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|July 4, 1998||
Pakistan to keep option open on test ban treaty
Pakistan said today it is keeping its options open on nuclear tests and is conducting a strategic review of the situation.
''We will decide our position on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in line with our supreme national interests,'' foreign ministry spokesman Tariq Altaf told the media.
Pakistan had described the CTBT and the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty as irrelevant after India detonated five nuclear devices on May 11 and 13. Two weeks later, Islamabad responded with six nuclear tests of its own.
Altaf said India had rejected Pakistan's offer for a regional test ban treaty, adding ''we have to keep our options open as long as India does not sign a test ban treaty''.
''If we feel that strategic parity in the region is threatened, we will take appropriate measures to correct the strategic balance.'' He did not elaborate.
Asked whether there was any departure from Pakistan's earlier position of linking its signing of CTBT and NPT to that of India's, Altaf replied, ''There cannot be any linkages in a watertight sense.''
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