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Pakistan's Nuclear Tests

June 07, 1998

Your May 29 editorial suggesting that Pakistan's nuclear tests are a blow to world security lacks political realism. The government of Pakistan clearly did not wish to conduct these tests, but was forced to do so by unilateral Indian tests followed by rather aggressive statements by Indian officials.

Unfortunately, the world community's response to India's nuclear tests amounted to mere lip service. Consequently, Pakistan was forced to conduct tests as a means to counter the Indian threats. Clearly, Pakistan cannot put its safety in the hands of the international community. It wasn't too long ago when the international community denied Bosnian Muslims weapons for their defense but provided for them "safe havens." Then the world watched their slaughter by the Serbs.

The reality is that there is no defense against nuclear weapons. The only thing that will keep an adventurer from launching an attack is the knowledge that the other side can and will respond in kind. Since Islam forbids the harming of civilians, Muslim countries should only consider nuclear weapons as a deterrent to aggression that should be eliminated through negotiations and international treaties.

HUSSAM AYLOUSH, So. Calif. Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic, Relations, Anaheim

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