Nuclear tests by India and Pakistan should be deplored as they cast a dark shadow on Asia and the world as well as the new 21st century


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): Asians are heart-sick that one year after the devastation of the Asian economic turmoils which have crippled the "miracle" economies on the continent with still no light at the end of the tunnel, Asia should acquire two nuclear powers in the past two weeks with the  five nuclear tests by Pakistan yesterday to "settle the score" with Indiaís detonation two weeks ago of five nuclear devices.

The nuclear tests of India and Pakistan pose a grave threat to regional and world peace and security, as they could open the Pandoraís Box of starting a new nuclear arms race with the entry of new nuclear players rendering meaningless the comprehensive test ban treaty signed by 149 signatories.

It is tragic that it is Asian nations like India and Pakistan which have destroyed mankindís dream about the new millennium even before it had started, that it would be a new era for humanity where weapons would be transformed into ploughshares.

What is doubly tragic is that the nuclear aspirations of India and Pakistan could prove costly to the economies of countries whose 1.1 billion people are among the poorest in the world.

There is nothing for Indians or Pakistanis to be proud that their nations have nuclear capability, when poverty, illiteracy and  disease are  the lot of the majority of their people. Both India and Pakistan should be condemned by all nations and the international community for their defiance of international opinion.

As a political scientist once pointed out, it is the governments and not the people which seek the power to hurl death upon its fellow nations.   Indians and Pakistanis should redeem their national honour by repudiating their governments for such a height of irresponsibility.

(29/5/98)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong