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Nuclear tests strengthened country's security: Nawaz

29 May, 2012

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif has called the conducting of nuclear explosions a difficult decision, saying that he had turned down a package of Rs 15 billion and decided to test nuclear bombs in 1998.

Speaking at a ceremony held to mark Yaum-e-Takbeer on Monday, Nawaz said that the day Pakistan became nuclear power, he had broken the begging bowl.

"It was not easy to conduct nuclear tests as I waited for 17 days," said the PML-N chief, adding that Pakistan's security strengthened due to the explosions, which acted as a deterrent against any explosions by the enemies.

"India could have attacked Pakistan many times, but due to Pakistan being an atomic power, India could not gather courage to do so," he said. Blaming the government for worsening situation in Balochistan, Nawaz questioned if there was anybody in the government who would bring peace in Karachi and Balochistan.

"Baloch leader Akhtar Mengal accompanied me to Chaghai when I decided to test nuclear bombs," he recalled. He said his government had devised a strategy for economy, which was foiled by the military dictator. "I conducted the explosions, the nation did not explode me but Musharraf blew up my government," he said.

Nawaz said that President Asif Ali Zardari had a discussion with him to give indemnity to former president Pervez Musharraf when he decided to step down from the Presidency. He said that Zardari had showed no interest in "becoming the president back then" and then he "deceptively" took over the Presidency.

"I was shocked when he became the president and so were the people of Pakistan," he said, adding that the PML-N did not vote for Zardari as the president. He criticised Zardari for attending the NATO summit in Chicago and expressed concern over delay in the report of judicial commission on Abbottabad operation.

Referring to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, Nawaz said those who claimed to resolve all the country's problems within 90 days were telling lies. He said that honour did not come with speeches, it had to be demonstrated, as was done by the PML-N through conducting nuclear tests.

Meanwhile, after the speech of Nawaz Sharif, the PML-N workers, including women, clashed with security guards when they tried to meet their leader. As a protest, a woman even laid in front of Nawaz Sharif's car. The security guards did not allow the woman from Sheikhupura to meet the PML-N chief, who wanted to appeal for the arrest of her son's killers. Ceremonies were held in the city to celebrate Yaum-e-Takbeer with a pledge to make the country strong, militarily and economically, among the comity of nations. PML-N leaders and workers cut cakes to mark the day.

The day is commemorated every year on May 28 to mark the conduction of nuclear tests on the very day, in 1998, making Pakistan the first Muslim and the seventh nuclear country in the world. Pakistan had conducted nuclear tests at Chaghi, Balochistan in response to five nuclear explosions conducted by India.


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