News Release

Coup in Pakistan and Nuclear Test Ban

GORDON S. CLARK
The executive director of the grassroots American organization Peace Action, Clark said Wednesday: “The military coup in Pakistan dramatically underscores the need for the nuclear test ban treaty. Will we be more secure or less secure with countries like Pakistan developing nuclear weapons? Because that is exactly what is going to happen if the U.S. rejects this treaty, and this treaty is only the beginning for the Republicans. George W. Bush, among others, has already said he favors abandoning the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which would without question cause Russia to increase its reliance on nuclear weapons. Is this what American needs — an unbridled global nuclear arms race with unstable dictatorships and crumbling superpowers?”

JACQUELINE CABASSO
A specialist in nuclear disarmament, Cabasso is executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation and a member of the Coordinating Committee of the U.S. Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. She said on Wednesday: “The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was supposed to be a disarmament treaty. It was supposed to cut off the modernization and development of nuclear weapons and lead to their deterioration and eventual elimination. That’s why people everywhere have worked tirelessly since the `Ban the Bomb’ days in the 1950s to end nuclear testing. That’s why most of the world’s countries have made the CTBT their top disarmament priority in international negotiating fora. And that’s why the vast majority of Americans support the CTBT today. Yet the current Senate debate has made clear that the Clinton administration’s intent is to `ban the bang, not the bomb’ and that the U.S. plans to maintain and modernize its nuclear arsenal indefinitely, with or without explosive underground testing, through the $4.5 billion a year `Stockpile Stewardship’ program…. We can’t expect countries like India and Pakistan to `do as we say, not as we do.'”
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JAY TRUMAN
During the 1950s, Truman grew up in Southern Utah, where he watched mushroom clouds rise from the Nevada Test Site about 110 miles to the west. Today, as director of the Downwinders organization, he is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on nuclear bomb testing. “Yesterday’s sudden military coup in Pakistan can only make a dangerous situation worse and dramatically raises the risks of a nuclear confrontation between the world’s newest nuclear power and its arch enemy India,” Truman said Wednesday. “One clear option open to the new military government to solidify support will be to quickly engage in additional nuclear testing as a show of power over rival India. Should that occur, India will likely conduct yet another round of nuclear testing to one-up Pakistan…. The failure of the U.S. to take the lead in securing a truly Comprehensive Test Ban and other measures starting on the path to nuclear disarmament clearly shares a major part of the blame for the recent nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: David Zupan, (541) 484-9167