Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

DATE=3/10/2000
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
TITLE=US-PAKISTAN (L)
NUMBER=2-260073
BYLINE=DEBORAH TATE
DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:
INTRO:  The Clinton administration is strongly 
condemning the shooting death of the lawyer defending 
Pakistan's deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.  The 
incident on Friday comes two weeks before President 
Clinton is due to make a brief stop in Pakistan at the 
end of a week-long trip to South Asia.  Correspondent 
Deborah Tate reports from the White House.
Text:  White House spokesman Joe Lockhart was quick to 
condemn the killing of Iqbal Raad and two others by 
unidentified gunmen in Karachi Friday, calling it 
"cowardly" and "a horrific act of violence."
But Mr. Lockhart said the incident would not affect 
Mr. Clinton's plans to visit Pakistan after his stops 
in India and Bangladesh.  In fact, he argued, it makes 
it all the more important for the president to 
personally make the case for the return to democratic 
rule in that country, where five months ago the 
popularly elected Mr. Sharif was ousted in a military 
coup by General Pervez Musharraf.
            /// Lockhart Act ///
      If anything, it underscores the need to press 
      for openness, democracy, constitutional rule -- 
      and those are points we were already planning to 
      make, and we will make, while we are there.
/// End Act ///
Mr. Clinton made similar comments on Thursday.  He 
said his decision to go to Pakistan was not an 
endorsement of the country's military government, but 
rather an acknowledgement that keeping open lines of 
contact with Pakistan offers the best prospect of 
positive change there.
Regarding the President's own safety during the visit, 
Mr. Lockhart declined to discuss security planning, 
but gave assurances that Mr. Clinton would be 
protected.
It is not clear whether the killing of lawyer Iqbal 
Raad was linked to Mr. Sharif's trial.  The deposed 
Prime Minister faces charges of attempted murder and 
hijacking stemming from his alleged attempt last 
October to prevent General Musharraf's plane from 
landing in Karachi hours before the coup.
Mr. Lockhart renewed the U-S call for a free, open and 
transparent trial for Mr. Sharif so that - in his 
words - "the rest of the world can see that justice is 
being done."
NEB/DAT/JP
10-Mar-2000 14:45 PM EDT (10-Mar-2000 1945 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
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