ISLAMABAD, Jan 15, Reuter: Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto assured a U.S. Congressional delegation on Sunday that Islamabad’s controversial nuclear programme was peaceful, official Pakistan television said.

The delegation led by Stephen Solarez, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Asian Affairs Subcommittee, was earlier told by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan that Pakistan had “no intention whatsoever of either building or acquiring nuclear weapons,” the official APP News Agency said

Our nuclear programme is intended solely for peaceful purposes and the world must believe in the words of a democratic Government,” he said.

Bhutto, who took office last month after her Pakistan People’s Party won the first party based elections in 11 years in November, told the delegation Pakistan was implementing a “peaceful nuclear energy programme,” the television. said.

Fears have been expressed in its traditional rival India and in the west, particularly by the U.S. Congress, that Pakistan’s Nuclear Programme is geared to making a bomb.

Islamabad, however, has repeatedly said it wants to master the technology only for peaceful purposes, mainly to meet the country’s future energy needs.

India and Pakistan signed an agreement last month not to attack each other’s nuclear sites.

Pakistan has refused to sign the nuclear nonproliferation treaty until India, which exploded a nuclear device in 1974. does the same.

Article extracted from this publication >>  January 20, 1989