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|July 18, 1998||
Indian machismo forced us to go nuclear, says Sharief
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief has said his country decided to go nuclear because it refused to tolerate threats by India whose tone became aggressive after its own nuclear tests on May 11.
Addressing a public function in Islamabad, Sharief said Pakistan has become the sixth nuclear power in the world and its defence was now impregnable. Pakistan is the first Muslim nuclear power, he added.
He strongly condemned those elements and politicians who were out to spread rumours and motivated speculation to create scare among the people.
He said the people should expose such elements and foil their "unpatriotic designs". He said Pakistan's history was replete with trials and sacrifices and if need be the whole nation would be ready to meet any challenge.
At this stage, Sharief asked the gathering if they were ready to make sacrifices for the country and the people replied in the affirmative.
He said the country would tide over the current crisis and emerge as a prosperous and strong nation. ''The government is determined to make efforts on a war-footing to achieve the objectives of self-reliance,'' he added.
Incidentally, Sharief has started using a bullet-proof car during his inter-city movement.
The Pak PM, who has given up luxury cars as part of his country's austerity measures, has begun using the bullet-proof vehicle since Friday. He drove in it to attend the foundation stone-laying ceremony of a kidney centre in Rawalpindi.
According to a report in Saturday's Daily News, tight security measures have been adopted for US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott's scheduled visit to the federal capital from July 21 to 23.
Police sources said a team of security officials from American agencies is expected to accompany the delegation. A special police squad will also be provided to the delegation during their movements in the country.
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