[ 2007-05-28 09:00 ]
nuclear tests" reads a Pakistani evening
|1998: World fury at Pakistan's nuclear
Pakistan has exploded five underground nuclear devices in response to
India's nuclear tests two weeks ago.
The move has provoked worldwide condemnation and fears of a nuclear
conflict in one of the world's most volatile regions.
"We never wanted to participate in this nuclear race ."Nawaz Sharif,
Pakistan's Prime Minister claimed.
Pakistani officials said the
devices were detonated underground at 1030GMT in the Baluchistan region
near the border with Afghanistan.
Shortly afterwards, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressed the nation on
television and said the five tests by India had made the action
"Today's day is history in the making," he said. "Today God has given
us the opportunity to take this step for our country's defence which is
inevitable. We never wanted to participate in this nuclear race. We have
proved to the world that we would not accept what was dictated to us."
The prime minister said Pakistan's response was fully supported by its
people and attacked the international community for a weak response to
But after his national address, he said he was ready for more talks
with India on a non-aggression pact.
There was uproar in the
Indian parliament when the news was announced. The Indian Prime Minister,
Atal Behari Vajpayee, said Pakistan's action vindicated India's decision to
conduct tests of its own.
The western nations were quick to condemn Pakistan's action. US
President Bill Clinton said Pakistan had missed "a truly priceless
opportunity" by not showing restraint. He said Pakistan would now face
Nato said the tests were a "dangerous development" and also warned of
Ever since the partition of the sub-continent in 1947, when Britain
dismantled its Indian empire, India and Pakistan have been arch rivals.
The animosity has its roots in religion and history, and is epitomised by
the long-running conflict over the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Now they have not only entered a new nuclear arms race but expanded the
club of nuclear powers across the globe which includes the US, Russia,
China, Britain, France, North Korea and Israel.
Optimists hope India and Pakistan's nuclear parity will now lead to
serious and constructive peace talks.
|Able (pictured) and
Baker were strapped into the capsule and monitored throughout the
1959: Monkeys survive space
The Two monkeys
have become the first living creatures to survive a space flight.
Able, a seven-pound female rhesus monkey, and Baker, a one-pound female
spider monkey, were fired 300 miles into space in the nose-cone of a
Jupiter missile AM-18 from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
The flight, which reached speeds of up to 10,000 mph,(16,090kmh) lasted
15 minutes and the monkeys were recovered 1,500 miles (2,413km) away in
the South Atlantic near Puerto Rico.
The pair, who were weightless for nine minutes, were monitored
throughout the flight for changes in their heart beats, muscular reaction,
pulse velocity, body
temperature and rate of breathing.
A spokesman from the Medical Research and Development Command of the US
Army said the monkeys were in "perfect condition" on their return. Data
recorded throughout the flight will be analysed over the next two weeks.
Although regarded as a success by space experts, the mission has been
heavily criticised by animal welfare groups.
The American Embassy in London received protests from the League
Against Cruel Sports and the Conference of Anti-Vivisection Societies,
which is made up of 29 animal welfare groups.
A statement from the League Against Cruel Sports read: "Such action as
this falls within the category of scientific devilry rather than
It added: "In the name of humanity we beg of you to drop these vile
The statement from the Conference of Anti-Vivisection Societies had the
same tone. It read: "Cowardly acts such as this can never be justified on
the grounds of expediency and all thinking people will be disgusted to
learn of this latest misuse by scientists of defenceless animals."
Able and Baker are due to return to Washington from Puerto Rico in a
military transport aircraft.
uproar: a condition of confusion and
vindicate: to provide support