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War fears as Pakistan continue nuke tests.

PAKISTAN tested another nuclear bomb yesterday amid fears that it was on the verge of all-out nuclear war with India.

The huge blast - Pakistan's sixth - was a direct challenge to the five tests carried out by India earlier this month.

The arms race was condemned by world leaders, who hold a crisis meeting of the G8 - the world's most powerful nations - in London next week.

The top five members of the UN Security Council also meet in the next few days.

Last night Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said: "In carrying out further tests, Pakistan has acted in flagrant disregard of international opinion.

"They do nothing to enhance its security - only heighten concerns about an arms race in South Asia.

"It is now more urgent than ever for Pakistan and India to work to lower tensions."

After the blast, Pakistan proposed a comprehensive test ban treaty with India. In response, India suggested a mutual pledge not to launch a devastating nuclear first strike.

But the leaders of the two traditional enemies are determined not to lose face.

India's Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, has vowed not to "rule out the use of any means to defend ourselves".

Pakistani Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub said he would retaliate "with vengeance and devastating effect" against any attack.
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 31, 1998
Words:213
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