Unclear Days

One more nuclear test. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif given tumultuous welcome in Lahore. Addresses rally. Newborn named Atom Khan.

28th May
The astrologers are predicting 21st June 1998 as the date when war will erupt between India and Pakistan. They also say that if it does not then the rest of the year will pass peacefully.

Foreign Minister Gauhar Ayub has stated that guesstimates of when the nuke tests will take place are just like guessing how many days should the eggs remain beneath the hen.   The Action Committee of Traders in Peshawar has suggested to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that he should do an Istikhara on whether to conduct tests or not. An Istikhara is a procedure whereby consolation is sought from Allah, who gives signs in the seeker's dreams.   Pakistan Transport Workers Union Punjab has urged the PM and the army chief to carry out the tests. Quoting history, the union president said that when Gandhi had asked how will Pakistan be made, the freedom fighter Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar had slapped him and said, "That's how".   Metropolitan Corporation Lahore (MCL) as part of its cleanliness drive has rounded up 28 cows and exiled them from the city. The operation was filmed on video.

29th May
Five nuclear tests have taken place today followed by imposition of financial emergency, freezing foreign currency accounts and suspending fundamental rights. The PM has quit his secretariat and called for an austerity drive.

The PM spent sleepless nights in the run-up to the blasts, says a special correspondent. Not only did he seek advice from technical and professional people but from laymen also, including his driver and chef, Shakeel.   Headline: Nuclear blasts: masses celebrate, elites frown Daler Mehdi, the Sikh bhangra singer, has said that the blasts have pushed Lahore and Amritsar thousands of miles apart.   Cricketer Inzamam ul Haq has observed that we are healthier and stronger than Indians anyway.   All-Pakistan Truck Drivers Union has offered to supply ammunition to frontline bunkers free of cost, whenever the need arises.   TV Monitoring Cell reports that when PM Vajpayee was announcing the news of the Pakistani tests in Lok Sabha, the jaw of Minister Madan Lal Khurana dropped and his lips formed an "O". The jaw remained dropped for the entirety of the announcement. Moreover, while talking to newspersons later Defence Minister George Fernandes repeatedly licked his lips as if his mouth had gone dry.   Kate Winslet is learning yoga.   The Metropolitan Corporation has impounded 136 more cattle. It is not confirmed if this operation was filmed or not.   YWCA Pakistan in a letter to YWCA World has condemned nuclear blasts by India.

30th May
Hearing of 45,000 cases suspended as they were based on issues of fundamental rights, now suspended under the Emergency.   Celebrations have taken place in Bangladesh too.   All-Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association congratulates PM on carrying out nuclear blasts.   BJP is responsible for Pakistani tests, says Shabana Azmi.   Chairman, Pakistan Film Producers Association, has announced collaborative filmmaking with Iran. He suggested that dropping the "Islamic Bomb" should be through the medium of cinema.   Children hard of hearing are more intelligent, say Australian doctors.   At Chagai, where the tests were conducted, some camels and goats have died after the blasts. Some people reported bleeding from the ears and nose. One woman has gone blind. But people of the area say for the sake of their country even if the tests were conducted in their homes they would have been as happy.   Despite a stay order from the court, Metropolitan Corporation Lahore loaded 29 cattle in a truck and left them outside city limits. President, Cattle Owners Association, has protested against this action claiming a loss of over Rs 7 lakhs. The cattle are still missing.   Flimsier Retime has said that as we are in a state of war we should not watch Indian channels on the dish antenna.   PTV is recording morale boosting songs and plays.   Snippets from headlines in reaction to the tests: "Malaysia fears", "Nepal concerned", "Vietnam hopes", "S. Korea regrets", "IAEA deeply regrets", "Turkey worried", "Greenpeace calls", "Euro-Atlantic Council condemns" and "Israel sticks (to its stance)".   13 intermediate students sustain burn injuries while lighting fire-works at the Crescent Hostel of Islamia College, to celebrate conducting of nuclear tests.   Kenya embarrasses India in one-dayer. Headline: Forget Kashmir, says Vajpayee.

31st May
One more nuclear test. Nawaz Sharif given tumultuous welcome in Lahore. Addresses rally.   Newborn named Atom Khan.   Speaking at the rally in Lahore, the PM asked the people if they had heard his speech on TV. Most of the people raised their hands but some did not. On this the PM said that he prays that there is a TV in every home.   Headline: Woman gives birth two years after being widowed.

1st June
PIA flight from Karachi to Islamabad delayed because of a cat entering the aircraft. Cat still not found.   Interior ministry has instructed its departments to switch off air conditioners when leaving office.   Hamas congratulates Pakistan on nuclear tests.   Cement Industry has refused to bring down prices.   Gambling has become second nature to Lahorites, we can't eradicate it, Superintendent of Police.   Twins born in Wazirabad named Nawaz Sharif and Qadeer Khan (the latter is the architect of Pakistan's nuclear programme).   PTV clocks up record business with congratulation ads.   Headline: Hydrogen bomb awaits government signal   Ginger Spice quits Spice Girls.   Headline: Man dies in accident Sri Lanka's top police commando chief has gone missing while swimming in the sea.

2nd June
Israel had planned to attack nuclear test sites, Pakistan tells USA.   PM starts using Toyota Corolla instead of Mercedes Benz.   Pakistan Olympic House will auction scrap today.   Nawaz Sharif's father was opposed to nuclear tests in the beginning but later agreed.   Whenever Pentagon computers played out a war between India and Pakistan it always ended after the use of nuclear weapons. Report.   Biharis in Bangladesh congratulate Nawaz Sharif.   Punjab Government will provide fax machines to all jails in the province.   Pak nuclear tests have shattered the dream of Brahman Raj. In case of war, Sikhs of Eastern Punjab will destroy Indian army's supply line, says Babbar Khalsa International.   India increases defence budget by $ 1.2 billion.   Punjab Food Department hands back Rs 2.8 million to Finance Department as part of the austerity drive. The money was meant for buying motorcycles for the department.   Only if we could make the atom bomb too: Taliban.

3rd June
UNICEF will give Vitamin A to 5 million Vietnamese women and children.   25 billion years ago one third of life on earth was annihilated due to extreme heat.   Metropolitan Corporation Lahore arrests two butchers for supplying illegally slaughtered animals.   Performers at the local theatre improvise an "Atomic Qawwali" on stage. Words are to the effect that "we have only blasted the small one/we still have the big one".   Barri Nizami the poet who wrote Dam Mast Qalandar Mast Mast, the qawwali which shot Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to fame, dies in obscurity.   Government cuts non-development expenses by 50 percent. Import of tea, oil and milk to be reduced. National holidays cut from 20 to 11.   Headline: Drug dependence eroding nation's foundations. The deputy commissioner bans the movement of stray cattle in the city.   A monthly meeting of the Floral Society of Punjab Club was held. Ms Naveen Munir demonstrated different arrangements on the occasion.

4th June
Baseball won't affect our culture, President, Pakistan Baseball Federation.   Federal Health Minister has suggested that every Pakistani should donate at least 500 dollars to the government to help cope with the economic crisis which has arisen after the sanctions. He, however, did not explain how each person would be able to do that given that Pakistan's per capita income is less than 500 dollars.   Since explosion the world has started taking us seriously, Speaker, Punjab Assembly.   Headline: Arabs envy Pakistan

Ginger Spice may join BBC.   In the wake of the financial crunch following the nuclear tests, Punjab's education budget is to be slashed by 33 percent.   WHO lowers daily dioxin dose.   Seven dacoits attired in police uniform loot a house.   Police have arrested a Punjab University clerk for printing fake degrees and recovered a printing press from his house.

5th June
Police beat Balochistan on the first day of National Baseball Championships.   Cattle eviction drive in 11 localities of Lahore underway.

6th June
Masihi Prem Party (Christian Love Party) burns 100 Indian films after announcing boycott of Indian goods.   Bomb blast in Lahore cinema. Three dead. One injured.   Imamia Students Organisation holds seminar to observe Ayatollah Khomeini's death anniversary.

7th June
Police suspect that the injured and one of the dead in the cinema bomb blast were accomplices in what turned out to be a mishandled operation. There are striking similarities between the two. Both were wearing the same kind of homemade underwear and both were uncircumcised showing a commonality of religion. The suspect is in police custody at the hospital.

8th June
Bomb blast in train kills 25, 70 injured.   GM, Railway, gives Rs 1,000 to each injured.   Thieves uproot two electric poles and make away with supply wire worth lakhs, in Muridke a town outside Lahore. The residents are still without electricity.   The American Embassy has added a new question in the visa application form for Pakistanis. The question asks the applicant to please mention if they are a member of a terrorist organisation or a drug mafia.

9th June
Farah Fawcett gets plastic surgery done.   Now a war with India will last only an hour and a half, Foreign Minister, Gauhar Ayub.   The Punjab government has declared Tuesday as the weekly holiday for barbers.   An Iraqi woman is being taken to court for having eight husbands "at once".   The injured in the cinema blast has admitted that his name is Ashok and that he is an Indian.   Police and Army reach finals of National Baseball Championships.   Rs 3 billion allocated for poultry industry. 16,000 new poultry farms in the next financial year.   Budget of Ministry for Women's Development and Special Education has been cut by 50 percent under the austerity measures. Defence budget may be increased by 20 percent.   Headline: Pakistan can benefit from big arms market – Nuclear tests improve image in Gulf States   A Lahore-bound train left behind four bogies on the track containing over 100 passengers. Driver stated that the engine was too weak and he had to lessen the load.

10th June
15 die in Karachi cyclonic rains.   MCL veterinary squads have impounded 117 buffaloes which are to be shifted outside metropolitan limits.   An average Pakistani consumes 21 kg of sugar every year compared to 12.8 kg consumed by the average Indian. Report by Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.   Pakistan needs 60 to 70 nuclear warheads to achieve credible deterrent capability, say Pakistani scientists.   Monica Lewinsky poses for Vanity Fair.   A training workshop for the newly-elected councillors of Sargodha Municipal Corporation was attended by only eight out of a total of 62 councillors. An administrator revealed that reasons for low turnout could be that three councillors are illiterate, two primary, three under middle (class eight) and 18 middle. Only five had done their graduation.   PTV to telecast play with the message of adopting simplicity in lifestyle in view of the sanctions.   Cricket, not trade with India – Gallup Survey. Police win National Baseball Championships.   Indian spy hanged. Balbir Singh, who was arrested in 1989 on spying charges was hanged in Sahiwal Jail. Balbir had converted to Islam in jail and used to pray five times a day. Last words, "War is of no use, Pakistan and India should hold talks and tell my brothers and sisters that I had become a Muslim".

11th June
On the instructions of Foreign Minister Gauhar Ayub a milestone has been put on the highway near Islamabad which reads, "Srinagar 306 kilometers".   The prime minister is moving into a simpler office on the third floor of the Cabinet building. Rs 1 million has been released for the initial interior refurbishing and decoration. Another Rs 30 million will be spent on elevators, alarm, airconditioning, lighting and security systems.   Typhoid killed Alexander: Researchers. Pakistan's external debt $ 25 billion.   Ad in newspaper: Before going to sleep every night ask yourself, "What did I do for Pakistan today?" Pakistan names 28 players for Asia Baseball Cup to be held in India.

Loading content, please wait...
Himal Southasian