ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto has said Pakistan’s reaction to India’s nuclear explosion was shared by practically all impartial opinion throughout the world and that Pakistan’s fears could not be assuaged by mere assurances about the peaceful purposes of the test. It was a question not only of intentions but of capabilities, Mr Bhutto said in reply to Indian Premier Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s letter pledging that India would develop nuclear energy resources for peaceful purposes and continue to condemn the military use of nuclear energy. …

The text of the correspondence between the two leaders was released to the Press here today [June 9]. This has become necessary in view of the importance of the matter. … Mr. Bhutto took note of Mrs. Gandhi’s assurances and said that these “may in any case be ignored in subsequent years. Governments change, as do national attitudes. But the acquisition of a capability which has direct … military consequences, becomes a permanent factor to be reckoned with”, he said. Pakistan had reasons for a unique anxiety because of the unique confrontation and unresolved disputes which bedevilled relations between India and Pakistan. — News agencies

Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2024

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