Lahore, May 31 : Former Pakistan foreign minister Gohar Ayub has said that former premier Nawaz Sharif would not have conducted the 1998 nuclear tests, had the then US president offered a 'lucrative' package to Pakistan.
Ayub was a member of Nawaz's cabinet in 1998.
Nawaz had clearly said in the Defence Committee meeting that he did not favour nuclear test as he feared economic sanctions, but had changed his mind when a majority in the meeting had favoured it, the Daily Times quoted Ayub as saying.
He said some other key cabinet members including Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Sartaj Aziz, Mushahid Hussain and Abida Hussain also opposed the nuclear tests.
Pakistan had conducted six nuclear tests from May 28 to 30, 1998. On Wednesday it celebrated the tenth anniversary of the nuclear tests, describing the day as "historic in the nation's quest for security".
"Pakistan has taken its responsibilities as a nuclear weapon state seriously. We have not relented in our pursuit for creating a peaceful global and regional environment," a Foreign Office statement said.
Titled "A Decade of Responsibility and Restraint," the statement said, "at all levels bilaterally and multilaterally, we have endeavored to promote the cause of peace, disarmament and non-proliferation. Pakistan has instituted an elaborate Nuclear Command and Control mechanism in February 2000. The National Command Authority (NCA) oversees custodial controls of all strategic assets."