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|October 28, 1999||
Clinton lifts sanctions, India welcomes move
President Bill Clinton on Wednesday waived economic sanctions imposed on India after its May 1998 nuclear tests but kept all but two penalties against Pakistan because a military government had taken power there.
The tit-for-tat nuclear tests by India and Pakistan automatically triggered the US sanctions and meant American banks could not lend to the two governments.
Clinton's action continued a waiver of the post-nuclear testing sanctions imposed on India, allowing US commercial bank lending to continue, and loans by the Export-Import Bank.
Mike Hammer, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said Clinton decided for now to waive only two economic sanctions on Pakistan -- the ban on US commercial lending and on agricultural credit guarantees.
That left Pakistan ineligible for loans from the Export-Import Bank, and unable to participate in an international military education and training programme. It also meant the US-backed Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Trade Development Agency would not be able to operate in Pakistan.
India recently held democratic elections, while on October 12 in Pakistan, the elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief was overthrown in a military coup.
''The different treatment of the two countries reflects the reality that things have changed for the worse in Pakistan. But we hope that Pakistan will return to democracy soon,'' said Hammer.
''Basically, we have made clear from the start that there can be no business as usual with Pakistan until an elected government is restored. So the President's decision is a reflection of our determination to see a democratically elected government restored in Pakistan,'' Hammer said.
India welcomes Clinton's move
India today described as ''positive'' US President's Bill Clinton's decision to waive economic sanctions on India, imposed on it after May 1998 nuclear explosions.
India has always maintained that imposition of unilateral sanctions prove counter-productive, official sources said.
However, the sources said the presidential order regarding the lifting of sanctions is being examined.
Interview with insurance workers' representative N M Sundaram:
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