Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that he rejected $5 billion offered by then-U.S. president Bill Clinton at the time to prevent Pakistan from conducting nuclear tests.
PM Sharif said the U.S., on numerous times, attempted to persuade him to stop nuclear tests, but he refused the offer for “the honor and interest” of Pakistan, reports Daily Sabah.
Pakistan announced on May 28, 1998, that it had successfully conducted five nuclear tests, right after India carried out a set of similar tests earlier that month. Bill Clinton was the U.S. president at the time.
PM Sharif’s comments come as the U.S. Congress debates a nuclear agreement reached between Iran and six world powers, including the United States. The deal is aimed at preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Critics of the deal say it will fail.
The prime minister pointed out that terrorist acts in his country have dropped. Pakistan remains a nuclear power. It is one of the four nuclear armed countries, along with India, North Korea, and Israel, not recognized as a Nuclear Weapons State by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Nevertheless, Pakistan is considered a member in good standing by the the International Atomic Energy Agency. Pakistan operates civil nuclear power plants.
The prime minister is expected to attend the United Nations General Assembly sessions next week.
PM Sharif noted that his country has seen “rapid” economic progress, reports Daily Sabah, adding, that “he announced a relief package of 341 billion rupees for farmers at the Kissan Convention in Islamabad on Tuesday.”
“Highlighting the government’s sincerity with this new agricultural relief, the PM said that the federal cabinet-approved package foresees interest-free loans, simplifying loan and funding procedures, cash assistance and reduced rates in agriculture inputs,” notes the report.