Pakistans Nuclear Tests
News reports
photos courtesy of CNN

May 26-27

On May 26 the CIA reported Pakistan had completed its preparations to conduct its first nuclear test, two weeks after India surprised the world and conducted its tests. The Foreign Ministry in Islamabad insisted tests were not imminent.

On Wednesday evening (May 27) President Clinton phoned the Pakistani Prime Minister (PM) and begged him not to conduct tests as they would mean the start of an arms race in Asia. At the same time various nations offered increased aid in exchange for no tests, and the World Bank froze US$ 865 million of aid to India - Pakistan would receive the same treatment should it test.

May 28

In a half hour televised address at 13:00 GMT the Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif (left) announced that Pakistan had "settled the score" with India by conducting five nuclear tests. The Prime Minister did not give any technical details however early reports suggest all five devices were fission devices (atom bombs). Three were sub-kiloton, the remaining two had yields of 25 kton and 12 kton. The tests were conducted around 10:30 GMT.

May 29

While the government warned of hardship resulting from the sanctions that would surely be imposed following the tests, Pakistanis celebrated in the streets (right). Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan said, "These sanctions we'll survive. The people are there, they have the determination, the will." He also refused to rule out the possibility of further tests. U.S. officials confirmed that Pakistan is "technically capable" of conducting another nuclear test "at any time."

May 30

On May 30 Pakistan conducted a further nuclear test at a different locations - see maps. In contrast to the celebrations after the first tests the streets of Islamabad were quiet. A state of emergency has been in effect since the first tests were conducted. Pakistanis remain proud of the demonstrations of their nuclear ability. One man told CNN. "If they go to 100 blasts, we go to 100 blasts. It's that simple. Because we think India is our enemy number one."

Also check out...
[seismic data] [index and links] [Indian tests] [The Nuclear Monitor]

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