May 28 nuke tests reinforced power equilibrium in South Asia

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ISLAMABAD, May 28 (APP): The Pakistani leadership,
notwithstanding external Western pressures and Indian hegemonic designs to tilt power balance through its nuclear tests, opted courageously in 1998 to respond, and restored the power balance in South Asia through six tests.

With such tactical and sagacious response by Pakistan on
May 28, 1998, it became “a red letter day” in the country’s
history, silencing the belligerent ruling junta in its
neighbourhood that was clamouring to impose another war on Pakistan with its ill conceived expansionist designs.

The day, now remembered as Youm e Takbeer, is
celebrated every year across the country as a day of national pride and thanksgivings which made Pakistan the seventh nuclear nation of the world and the first Muslim state, having the nuclear arsenal in its defense stockpile to exercise maximum deterrence for peaceful purposes.

Youm e Takbeer, which literally means the “the day when
Allah’s name was exalted” regularly infuses new verve into
the high soaring spirits of a nation which refused to cower down by the repeated threats of war mongering mindset in its neighourhood during the long history of “hot and cold” ties between Pakistan and India.

On March 18, after the explosions, Indian Home Minister
L.K. Advani clearly warned Pakistan against trying to
intensify an indigenous separatist Muslims’ movement in the
Indian Held Kashmir (IHK).

But resisting the mounting Western pressure to restrain
and not to respond in kind, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif went for the bold decision to test the Pakistani nukes and thus skewed back the strategic slanting power in the region.

Amid slogans of “Allahu Akbar”, Pakistan conducted its
first test on May 28, 1998, by detonating five of its primary nuclear weapons at 1030 GMT at the RasKoh hills in the Chaghai District of Balochistan. On May 30, yet another test was carried out in the same area.

Shortly after the first test, the then Prime Minister
Muhammad Nawaz Sharif addressed the nation in these memorable words: The five tests by India had made the action “inevitable”.

“The enemy in their extreme arrogance has forgotten the
rules of communication and are openly threatening us,” he candidly said.

Nawaz Sharif further said,”Today’s date is history in
the making. God has given us the opportunity to take this step for our country’s defence which was inevitable. We never wanted to participate in this nuclear race. We have proved to the world that we would not accept what is dictated to us.”

The credit for making the country’s defence impregnable
during 1998, went to the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML N) government, laying strong foundations for a stable and prosperous Pakistan.

“But, I am not the representative of a cowardly and
submissive nation. The series of provocative statements that
the Indian leaders have been giving after the nuclear
explosions is becoming intolerable for us. Pakistanis are a
self respecting and honourable people who can sacrifice their
lives to protect their honour and dignity. If these people
were able to tolerate anyone’s hegemony and arrogance, this country would not have come into existence at all,” Nawaz Sharif remarked.