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DAWN WIRE SERVICE

------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 01 November 1997 Issue : 03/44 -------------------------------------------------------------------

Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports

The DAWN Wire Service (DWS) is a free weekly news-service from Pakistan's largest English language newspaper, the daily DAWN. DWS offers news, analysis and features of particular interest to the Pakistani Community on the Internet. Extracts, not exceeding 50 lines, can be used provided that this entire header is included at the beginning of each extract. We encourage comments & suggestions. We can be reached at: e-mail dws-owner@dawn.com WWW http://dawn.com/ fax +92(21) 568-3188 & 568-3801 mail Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt.) Limited DAWN Group of Newspapers Haroon House, Karachi 74200, Pakistan Please send all Editorials and Letters to the Editor at letters@dawn.com Make sure you include your full name, complete address and, if in Pakistan, your daytime telephone number. TO START RECEIVING DWS FREE EVERY WEEK, JUST SEND US YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS! (c) Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., Pakistan - 1996 DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS ******************************************************************** *****DAWN - the Internet Edition ** DAWN - the Internet Edition***** ******************************************************************** Read DAWN - the Internet Edition on the WWW ! http://dawn.com DAWN - the Internet Edition is published daily and is available on the Web by noon GMT. Check us out !

CONTENTS

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NATIONAL NEWS

Asif's link with drug mafia being investigated PM accepts CJ's demand Says decision in national interest Pakistan, India agree to remove irritants Leghari opens automated trading at KSE SAARC to open up trade avenues Govt cuts 5pc merit seats in medical colleges ---------------------------------

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

TCL GDR listing on Luxembourg Stock Double-digit inflation edges up Foreign debt swells to Rs2,240bn Forex reserves up by $80m Positive signals for Gulf-SA gas project IMF: asking for too much, too soon Weak governance, corruption two major ills: WB's view Removing impediments to foreign direct investment Devaluation and its attendant travails Stocks back on rails, index recovers 60 points ---------------------------------------

EDITORIALS & FEATURES

Good governance Ardeshir Cowasjee Weddings Hafizur Rahman Away from it all Rifaat Hamid Ghani Give me back my vote! Irfan Husain Remembering the Raj Omar Kureishi Role of the Raj Kamil Siddiqi -----------

SPORTS

Historic win for S. Africa on Pakistan soil We lost because of our batsmen, says skipper Wasim Akram to replace Saeed Anwar Akram tells players to enjoy game Teams getting tuned up for 4-nation cup Jahangir to play in Hong Kong

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NATIONAL NEWS

971028 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Asif's link with drug mafia being investigated -------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Correspondent LONDON, Oct 27: The government is said to be trying to establish Asif Ali Zardari's connection with the drug mafia in its bid to get his British bank accounts frozen. A source accompanying the prime minister's official delegation said a former chief secretary of the NWFP, Khalid Aziz, has been sent to the United States to seek interviews with Pakistani drug traffickers now serving sentences in various US jails. "We are hoping that some of them might agree to give confessional statements involving Asif Zardari. Mr Aziz will try to meet drug barons like Ayub Afridi and Malik Mushtaq through the State Department." Mr Aziz was suspended on corruption charges by the Benazir government. The source said the joint secretary of the Ehtesab Cell, Hasan Waseem Afzal, was currently in London to collect further evidence about the alleged British bank accounts of the leader of the opposition. Under British law, a bank account can only be frozen if it is established that it contained laundered drug money. Meanwhile, two officials of the British Home Office, who had gone to Pakistan to examine the "evidence" regarding Zardari's involvement in drugs have returned and are preparing their report. The source said during their stay in Pakistan, the government arranged their meeting with four convicted drug traffickers who had given their statements to Ehtesab Cell claiming Zardari's link with the mafia. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971101 -------------------------------------------------------------------- PM accepts CJ's demand Says decision in national interest -------------------------------------------------------------------- Raja Zulfikar ISLAMABAD, Oct 31: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Friday the government had implemented the recommendations of the Chief Justice of Pakistan for elevation of five judges in the Supreme Court "in the larger interest of the country and its future." In a nationwide address from the floor of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister explained that he could not be a party to another confrontation which would only plunge the people into confusion once again. "My mission does not permit me to engage in polemics and I want to see a prosperous Pakistan. Let me do my work. Let me plan for future. Let me put the economy on the right track. I have no time to lose. I do not want to get involved in confrontation of egos and wills," Mr Sharif said. He said he had talked to the chief justice many times for cooperation in an attempt to curb the incidents of terrorism and sought his guidance for quick justice for the people. He also listed some of the past events which called for immediate provision of justice to the people. Mr Sharif recalled that he had avoided to engage in any written controversy with the chief justice so as to save time. The last many weeks had been spent in exchange of views and efforts to reconcile opinions, he said. The 22-minute speech of the prime minister contained a litany of complaints against "conspirators" who, he said, had struck whenever the country was put on the road to progress. In 1960, the prime minister reminded, the conspiracy began just when progress had started and, eventually, the country was divided. In 1990, his government had tried to improve the lot of Pakistan but once again an artificial crisis was created which destroyed everything. "And now again hurdles are being created at every step aimed at improvement," the prime minister protested. The prime minister, however, made it a point to talk high of parliament, saying it symbolised the will of the people. "For the sustenance and strength of democracy, it is essential that each institution should remain within its own sphere without assuming the function of the other." He said: "Parliament is the creator and guarantor of the Constitution. If parliament is removed, it would spell the end of democracy. Parliament has a central place in democracy. All other institutions perform ancillary functions and guarantee the supremacy of the Constitution." The prime minister listed the measures his government had taken for pulling the country out of the crisis when he took over. He said economy was supported and Pakistan was saved from being declared bankrupt. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971026 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Pakistan, India agree to remove irritants -------------------------------------------------------------------- Nasir Malick EDINBURGH, Oct 25: Pakistan and India on Saturday agreed to resolve all procedural difficulties to resume a meaningful dialogue between the two countries and directives had been issued to the foreign secretaries of the two countries to sort out matters during their stay in Edinburgh. The decision was taken during a 75-minute breakfast meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral here. The two leaders also held a 20-minute one-to-one meeting. The breakfast meeting, hosted by Nawaz Sharif, was the third between the two during the last five months. The last meeting was held in New York in September when Nawaz and Gujral were there to attend the UN General Assembly session. "They (the two prime ministers) have directed the (respective) foreign secretaries to meet in Edinburgh to resolve the procedural difficulties in resumption of a meaningful dialogue," Pakistan Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmad told reporters after the meeting which started at 8.30am. Talks between India and Pakistan were stalled in New Delhi after India refused to form eight working groups, the formation of which was agreed earlier between the two countries at foreign secretary level talks in Islamabad. The issue of forming these working groups, including one on Jammu and Kashmir, was raised by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during the talks. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971028 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Leghari opens automated trading at KSE -------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Reporter KARACHI, Oct 27: President Farooq Leghari inaugurated the Karachi Automated Trading System (KATS), which will introduce computerized, screen based trading system at the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE), at a local hotel on Monday. A delegation of the Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges (FEAS), currently visiting Pakistan in connection with a general assembly meeting scheduled to be held in Lahore, were also present at the inauguration ceremony held under the aegis of the KSE. In his inaugural speech, the president termed the KATS, "a significant development in our capital market which indicates that our stock exchanges are modernizing their systems so that our capital market will in the near future be ranked amongst the best in the region." Referring to the trend of liberalization and reliance on the private sector in the development of the capital market, Mr Leghari said that great opportunities and great responsibilities went hand in hand. He said that the liberated private sector must fulfil its obligations to the society and hoped that the KSE would keep the investors interest foremost. "Your success or failure will be determined by the bonds of trust that you create with the investors," he stated. On its part, the government, would continue to support the growth and development of the market, he added. Referring to the poor treatment of the investors in the past, he said the fact that the market place would exact its own penalties does not absolve the government or the stock exchanges from acting to protect the investors' interest. The president was confident that the recently reviewed legal framework of the Corporate Law Authority would lead to speedy resolution of investors' complaints. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971029 -------------------------------------------------------------------- SAARC to open up trade avenues -------------------------------------------------------------------- Hasan Akhtar ISLAMABAD, Oct 28: The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is to open up trade and economic avenues in order to enlarge advantageous regional links by pursuing a strategy which may enable the region to move into a freer and more open economic relationships as it enters the 21st century. Naeem Hasan, Sec Gen SAARC, responding to press reporters' questions on Tuesday at the end of the second conference of the SAARC parliamentarians, said the seriousness to develop free trade relations among the member countries was 'quite apparent' at the SAARC Summit at the Maldives. Hasan however, cautioned that there was still a long way to go before the region could turn into a free trade area. He pointed out that participants in the Maldives Summit felt confident that transition from SAPTA (SA Preferential Trade Agreement) to SAFTA (South Asian Free Trade Agreement) could be achieved three years ahead of its target of 2005. He conceded about the political difficulties the region was facing. All the same he admitted that the examples of development through regional cooperation was evident from ASEAN to European Community, reminding how much still remained to be attained. 'We have just started on the road,' he observed, but he appeared hopeful of meeting the target. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971031 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Govt cuts 5pc merit seats in medical colleges -------------------------------------------------------------------- Azizullah Sharif KARACHI, Oct 30: The Sindh government has curtailed 5 per cent merit seats in all the five medical colleges under its control in the province, it is reliably learnt. The decision would render about 70 students (30 in Karachi's two medical colleges and 40 in three medical institutions of Jamshoro, Larkana and Nawabshah) ineligible for admission to all the five medical colleges of the province. The process of admission to all the government-run medical colleges will begin on Nov 10 while the last date for submitting admission forms is Nov 24. Officials say admission policy in all the five government- controlled medical colleges has been finalised and will be made public in the next few days through prospectuses now under print. In the fresh admission policy, the government has retained the number of reserved seats in the medical colleges which comes to 223. This gives ministers and senior officials clout and authority to oblige the powerful and rich families to get their sons and daughters admitted to the medical colleges who in open merit would not be eligible, sources say. Another main feature of the new admission policy is 50 per cent rise in the tuition fees for the first year MBBS students who in the next academic session will pay Rs 2,400 instead of Rs 1,600 for the year. Moreover, there will be no entrance/aptitude test for admission to all the five medical colleges during the forthcoming academic year, although principals of medical colleges have strongly recommended it.

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BUSINESS & ECONOMY

971028 -------------------------------------------------------------------- PTCL GDR listing on Luxembourg Stock -------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Reporter KARACHI, Oct 27: The management of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has obtained official permission to list its Global Depository Receipts (GDR) on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange shortly with a view to attracting foreign investment. The management has already appointed UBS as its financial advisor to assist and arrange for the speedy listing of its GDR. A press release of the company said, adding "the entire listing process is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 1998". Pakistan's central bank and the Corporate Law Authority (CLA), have already approved two-way conversion of the PTCL shares into GDR, which eventually lead its listing on the Luxembourg and other European Union stock exchanges. "The two-way conversion will allow foreign investors to convert their holdings in PTCL shares or government exchangeable notes due 2,002 into GDRs and GDRs into shares on repatriable basis", the press release adds. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971028 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Double-digit inflation edges up -------------------------------------------------------------------- Our Reporter KARACHI, Oct 27: The double-digit inflation, which has been recorded for the last four years, edged up during 1996-97 and all measures of price fluctuations including GDP deflator indicated an average rise in the rate of price inflation by one to two per cent over the last fiscal year. The 1996-97 annual report of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) attributed the price hike to several upward adjustment of rupee\dollar exchange rate, government borrowing for budgetary support and slowdown in economic growth. The other important reasons for inflationary wave were rise in gas and electricity rates, imposition of central excise duty at 10% on gas distribution, increase in support price of various agricultural commodities, upward revisions in petrol prices, imposition of withholding tax and service charges and withdrawal of subsidies on basic food items. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in 25 urban centres rose by 11.8% during 1996-97 as compared to 10.8% in the preceding year. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971028 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Foreign debt swells to Rs2,240bn -------------------------------------------------------------------- Mohiuddin Aazim KARACHI, Oct 27: The fiscal 1996-97 gave a major setback to the economy as the growth in GDP fell to 3.1 per cent from 4.6 per cent in 1995-96, frustrating an ambitious target of 6.3 per cent. The fall in GDP growth is attributable to an overall decline in the performance of various sectors of the economy that pushed inflation (based on consumer price index) to 11.8 per cent — against 10.8 per cent in 1995-96 and much below the target of 8.5 per cent. In terms of the sensitive price indicator, inflation jumped to 12.4 per cent against 10.7 per cent last year. The poor performance of the economy and a population growth rate of 2.8 per cent prevented any substantial increase in the per capita income. It rose from Rs 16,441 in 1995-96 to Rs 18,318 in 1996-97. These highlights on the state of economy are recorded in the 1996-97 annual report of the State Bank of Pakistan released on Monday. While terming 1996-97 "one of the most difficult and disappointing years in the economic history of the country," the report observes that "the policy package that accompanied the budget 1996-97 did not succeed in achieving the...macroeconomic targets." But it terms the growth prospects for 1997-98 brighter. "Inflation control and further easing of pressure on the balance of payments will crucially depend on the continuation of prudent demand management, particularly in meeting the annual revenue targets." The report says that the total national debt (including foreign debt of $29.6 billion) climbed up to Rs 2240 billion or 89.5 per cent of GDP on June 30 this year. The figures for June 30 last year were Rs 1,921 billion or 88.5 per cent of the GDP - a rise of 16.6 per cent or Rs 318.5 billion. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971031 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Forex reserves up by $80m -------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Reporter KARACHI, Oct 30: Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves rose by $80 million to $1.639 bn on Oct 25 from $1.559 bn on Oct 18. According to the State Bank of Pakistan, the approved foreign exchange as reported by its Issue Department totalled $1.1437 bn on Oct 25—showing almost no change over the Oct 18 figure of $1.1438 bn. But the balances held outside Pakistan as reported by the SBP Banking Department climbed up to $495.821 million on Oct 25 from $415.394 million on Oct 18. Senior bankers and financial analysts link the $80 million increase in the reserves held outside the country to enhanced export earnings and overseas placement of funds in cash and short term securities by some banks instead of bringing it into the country where lending rates have crashed drastically. They also attribute it to the recent release of $208 million first transche out of a $1.56 bn IMF loan. Bankers and financial analysts hope that an expected increase in export earnings in the wake of Oct 15 rupee devaluation and a cut in oil and power machinery import bill may further augment the reserves. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971030 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Positive signals for Gulf-SA gas project -------------------------------------------------------------------- Shafaat Yar Khan DUBAI, Oct 29: Three prominent oil officials have unanimously agreed that the Gulf-South Asia gas project that links Qatar and Pakistan will materialize and described it as the "best geo-political and economic option". Nasser Jaidah, director New Projects, Qatar General Petroleum Corporation, confirmed his country's commitment to the surface- submarine Gulf-South Asia gas pipeline (GUSA) which is designed to carry 1.6 billion cubic meters per annum of Qatari gas to Pakistan. Jaidah reiterated that the project was now ready for implementation following the agreement on all relevant procedures. On his part, K.M. Wajahatullah, deputy managing director, Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd of Pakistan emphasized the urgency of the project which would supply Pakistan with a substantial portion of its gas requirements to meet the growing demand, particularly in the electricity generating sector. In a statement published in monthly 'Emirates News', the Pakistani official disclosed that the oil consortium, headed by Crescent International Petroleum Company Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding with the concerned authorities in Pakistan in 1992, but official contacts stopped in August 1994 due to intensive negotiations between the consortium and the Qatari authorities, expressing optimism that the project which is vital to his country would materialize in the very near future. On the other hand, George Quincey Lumsdan, JR managing director, Gulf-South Asia Gas Project and consultant of the consortium that joins Crescent Petroleum, Trans Canada pipeline, Brown and Root and Itochu, disclosed that the consortium had finalized all procedures and agreed on the details with concerned authorities in Qatar prior to launching the project in the very near future. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971027 -------------------------------------------------------------------- IMF: asking for too much, too soon -------------------------------------------------------------------- Sultan Ahmed THE IMF has set its seal of approval on the economic agenda of the government, and particularly its financial policies, and committed itself to provide $1.56 billion as loans on very low interest during the next three years. But immediately, the country has been put on the watch list. Hence instead of the $300 million eagerly awaited as the first tranche only $208 million are to be released. The government in return has committed itself to a great many things from tightening budgetary control and improving law and order to spending far more on the social sector and strengthening the social safety net. The question now is: Can the government which is marked for its lacklustre performance in its first eight months accomplish all that or most of that? The fact is that three of the previous Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) agreements had been breached by Pakistan. The Stand-by agreement, which followed the abounding of the last ESAF agreement midway last year, has also been jettisoned as Pakistan could not keep its commitments, beginning with reducing the budget deficit to 4 per cent of the GDP last year. The President of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, now says the gap between the government's income and expenditure is a high 8 per cent and that has to be addressed urgently, particularly when the scope for reducing official expenditure is small. The issue between the government and IMF or the World Bank is not one of policy or programmes. The policies are those prescribed by the IMF and World Bank over the years or those formulated by Pakistan in the light of the IMF framework, which is much too explicit. And they are good for the country, and in fact urgently essential in view of our galloping population growth which will cross 150 million by the year 2000, just three years from now. The issue is performance, real sustained performance or earnest implementation of commitments even in the face of obstacles. The issue is the political will of the government, the extent of real bureaucratic operation and the ability of the government to mobilise public opinion in support of making a success of the new agenda. The government cannot afford to fail again as the consequences can be disastrous. What matters now is not only the $935 million to be obtained under ESAF at half a per cent interest and $732 million to be received under the Extended Fund Facility at around 4.5 per cent, but also the IMF certificate of good economic health of the country and the competence of the present economic managers and the confidence it has been able to generate in foreign leaders and international donors. The certificate shows we are on the right track and but for this certification our low credit rating can go further down and our international risk rating rise higher. What is striking about the whole package is that all commitments and proposals are inter-dependent, and if one key element fails all other elements will falter or fail. And to ensure that the government stays on track, the IMF has prescribed targets not only for the whole three-year period but also for the current year. That means as the next financial year begins, it will set specific targets for that year. In fact, the next annual budget will have to be finalised with the full approval of the IMF so that it would meet its varied targets, beginning with four per cent budget deficit on which will depend a great deal of other factors. If economic growth this year is not 5.5 per cent (the earlier official target was 6 per cent) revenues can fall, exports drop, inflation rise, savings shrivel further, and the balance of payments deficit can become larger, instead of the 4 to 4.5 per cent of the GDP which the IMF stipulates. And if inflation does not come down to 7 per cent at the end of three years, beginning with 10.5 per cent this year, savings will not rise to 15 per cent from the current 12 per cent. And without higher savings there will be no real growth in investment which has invariably been negated by the rise in inflation. To achieve these targets, the right political, administrative and bureaucratic environment has to be created. The IMF has for the first time spoken of good governance as an imperative for economic progress. The IMF calls for fundamental reforms in tax administration and the civil services as well as broadening of the taxation base and agricultural income tax not on the basis of landholding but of income. Will the government really subject agriculture to taxation in the manner taxes from other incomes are? Will it influence the provincial assemblies packed with feudal lords to pass legislation for that purpose and honour it? It would be even better for the government to amend the constitution and make agricultural income tax a federal tax instead of letting the provinces mess that up. As long as the farmlords do not pay their share of the taxes, trade and industry may not pay full taxes and they may find a viable moral base for tax evasion. The government has also committed itself to spend far more on improving education, health care and expanding population planning. And that implies that the government will spend far more on the social services and promotion of human capital formation. The IMF expects the government to do far more to protect the increasingly polluted environment and pass a new environmental protection law and enforce that through the federal, provincial and local governments. Of course, the IMF wants far less corruption so that the money spent by the government is not wasted or embezzled. Mr Wolfensohn has also spoken of the urgency for eliminating corruption to make the best use of scarce resources. And this has become one of the major pursuits of World Bank now in the aid-receiving countries. The IMF wants the foreign exchange market in Pakistan to be deepened and exchange rate policy guided by market developments. But last week the government opted for the hefty devaluation of 8.7 per cent despite the fact the difference between the official and non- official rates of exchange was barely two per cent. What this implies is that if the rupee goes down in the open market vis-a-vis the dollar or other currencies, the rupee must be devalued correspondingly, or even more to avoid further devaluation too soon after that. So the government has to take steps to protect the rupee instead of letting it go down easily. After calling for all these market-oriented measures the social cost of the reforms has to be kept to the minimum and the social safety net strengthened. Otherwise there can be social convulsions, and the whole ESAF programme can crash as it had done too often before. What all this calls for is the government to work with clockwork precision. And to achieve that the prime minister has to seek the full cooperation of the ministers, and the officials down to the lowest level. And he has to mobilise the support of the provincial governments where the chief ministers have to play a similar role. It also necessary for the prime minister to enlist the support of all the political parties, and it is the obligation of all parties to make a success of this programme. Ms Benazir Bhutto argues that she was reviving the economy or restoring it to health when she was ousted from office. But the fact was the shape of the economy was not good in her time as well. Otherwise the last ESAF would not have been scrapped and the Stand-by agreement that followed with the IMF not left simply standing and non-operational. In fact, if the present agreement fails, and the country is left with no economic alternative the whole political system may become irrelevant and counter-productive. Of course, the government may find some financial relief if the process of privatization makes rapid headway and the funds from that are used for reducing the ballooning debt, particularly the more costly internal debt. The PM is in a hurry in that area and wants banks and DFIs to be privatised by March next year and all other enterprises by June, while the chairman of Privatization Commission, Khawaja Mohammad Asif, wants the process to be completed by the end of next year. But then he had himself said in August last he could complete the privatization within a year. The new deal with IMF is certainly very helpful for privatization. And the earlier the economy returns to normality and growth picks up momentum, the better for getting good prices for the enterprises and the best buyers. Meanwhile law and order should improve and corruption decrease, all this is a tremendous challenge for Mr Nawaz Sharif. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971027 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Weak governance, corruption two major ills: WB's view -------------------------------------------------------------------- Ihtasham ul Haque THE WORLD BANK believes that Pakistan's economy has suffered due to weak governance and rampant corruption which has created long- standing macro-economic imbalances. President of the World Bank James D. Wolfensohn, publicly talked about these ills, in private too is reported to have advised the government to seriously address these issues that is eroding the country's economy and depleting resources. Moreover, the Bank believes that unsustainable fiscal deficits have led to high inflation and a steadily rising interest burden resulting from increased bank borrowing. To finance its current accounts deficits, which was 6.6 per cent of GDP in 1995-96 and 6.4 per cent in 1996-97 (up from 3.2 per cent in 1994-95, Pakistan has increasingly resorted to short term financing, including greater dependency on foreign currency deposits that now amount to $9.5 billion dollar. This situation, the president of the bank, feels is more vulnerable to external shocks and also increases the vulnerability of the financial system. Mr Wolfensohn who held top level meetings with the President, the Prime Minister, the finance minister, deputy chairman Planning Commission and other important officials, is said to have made it clear that it would become difficult for his organisation to continue supporting Pakistan in case corruption was not reduced if not completely eliminated. He called for removing the culture of corruption, which should be started from top to bottom and not vice versa as was the case at present. Beside corruption and weak governance, he also discussed in detail with Pakistani authorities, the affairs of the commercial banks, advising them to 'get tough' against the defaulters to recover Rs 140 billion from them. He was of the view that the recovery of this huge amount was necessary for re-lending to deserving businessmen and industrialists. Insiders said that Mr Wolfensohn was informed about the harsh reaction in the public over the sacking of 7,500 UBL employees. A seven-member National Assembly committee on finance led by Sardar Mansoor Hayat Tamman also met the World Bank President and is believed to have expressed its concern over the issue, specially by saying that it was causing great political backlash for them specially when they visit their respective constituencies. They called for not pushing the issue so strongly. The World Bank chief reportedly took a hardline and said that without eliminating the root cause of the problem, Pakistan's banks could not be made financially viable and that their problems would continue to be compounded if they were not checked. The Pakistan government was constrained to allow the banks to sack a large number of employees because it was seeking $250 million financial and banking sector loan from the World Bank which would not have been offered unless there was a certain restructuring of the banks including the closure of more than 1,200 branches through out the country. Mr Wolfensohn was told that the National Bank of Pakistan has already taken an initiative to reduce its number of branches. The Bank's President has also reportedly expressed his concern over the 20 per cent reduction in the development budget which has been slashed from Rs 95 billion to Rs 78 billion. Nevertheless, the Bank has indicated to provide $800 million during the current financial year compared to $600 million in 1996-97. It has increased annual funding level by $200 million which is a sign of satisfaction over the economic policies being pursued by the government. Also the bank is thinking seriously of clearing $1.9 billion assistance in the pipeline. If that is done, it will remove the funding difficulties of the government, specially to undertake development work without cutting the PSDP every now and then. Then the IFC, the subsidiary of the World Bank, has reportedly been directed to offer enhanced assistance for the private sector. The officials of the bank termed the private sector of Pakistan as "the safest one" compared to many Third World countries as its enterprises did not default in repayment of loan and had never requested for rescheduling their loans. The IMF's clearance has paved the way for the World Bank to announce that it will provide $800 million. Next, according to the government's claim, would be the foreign commercial banks to extend substantial help to the government to pay off its foreign debt liability of $1.4 billion by December this year. But the important thing is that the World bank has almost given a clean bill of health to the Pakistani economy despite expressing some of its strong apprehensions on corruption, good governance and weak financial health of the banks. It believes that the Nawaz government has initiated a comprehensive, multi-year reform programme to accelerate growth, and improve the balance of payments and fiscal situation. However, the Bank thinks that Pakistan faces several development challenges as it moves into the 21st century and strives to join the ranks of the middle income countries. Pakistan's own experience, and the experience of other countries that have succeeded in growing rapidly, clearly demonstrate that macroeconomic stabilisation is essential to achieve sustained rapid growth, but it will be difficult to achieve this stabilisation without structural reforms. The bank is also of the view that improvement in export performance and balance of payments and reduction in inflation rate require bringing the fiscal deficit down to a sustainable level. Pakistan's inability to accomplish this in recent years has resulted in further accumulation of public debt and crowding out of private investment. According to the World Bank, distortions in the tax system have also adversely affected the efficiency and competitiveness of the private sector, while inefficient public expenditure have reduced the developmental impact of the budget. The bank calls for reduction in the difference between income and the expenditure of the government by about 20 per cent. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971027 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Removing impediments to foreign direct investment -------------------------------------------------------------------- Dr Syed H. Akhter COUNTRIES of every political or ideological hue are now rolling out the red carpet to welcome multinational corporations (MNCs). Gone are the days when MNCs were seen as either exploiters of irreplaceable resources or as ominous threats to national sovereignty. These negative views, prevailing mostly in less developed countries, evolved partly because of the massive resources MNCs controlled and partly because they had become a convenient scapegoat for the inept handling of economies by local politicians and bureaucrats. Today these same MNCs are courted, invited, and offered incentives to come to a country and make foreign direct investments (FDI) in different sectors of the economy. This change in attitude has been one of the most significant developments in recent years. The metamorphosis came about when people realized that in many cases it was not the MNCs that were exploiting the country's resources but graft-prone politicians who mishandled economic policies for their own aggrandizement. The goals of every country from the most advanced to the least developed are to develop economically and improve their competitive position in the global economy. Technological developments that have brought the world closer and created a global village have also created expectations of a better life. Public officials now realize that they have to deliver to the populace a standard of living that is superior to the one provided by their predecessors. Economics is on everybody's mind and economic agendas have ascended to the top of the list. Multinational corporations have what every country needs to achieve economic goals - capital to invest, technology to produce and market products, and management expertise to bring diverse resources together. They control more than 20 per cent of the world's Gross Domestic Product, around 30 per cent of global trade, and more than 90 per cent of the world's foreign direct investments (FDI). When the come to a country they bring with them a new approach of doing business, which is more in tune with the latest developments in management and marketing thought. They increase competitive pressure on local firms and force them to improve their performance. They also demonstrate that corporations should be run by professional managers, not by people whose experiences and skills are sufficient merely to run a neighbourhood retail shop. This is an important lesson that MNCs can teach in less developed economies. The governments of Bhutto and Sharif have done what they could cosmetically to attract FDI into Pakistan. Full-page Ads in leading newspapers in the US and other countries have appeared frequently, and numerous conferences have been held to attract FDI into Pakistan, but to no avail. Their efforts are commendable, but misdirected. Multinationals do not invest in a country because of one-page Ads in magazines or newspapers. Nor do they invest based on the promises of politicians. Their investment commitments are business decisions based on cost and benefit algorithms. They want to know how their investments will help them achieve organizational goals and how they will be able to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage in the global marketplace. A one- page Ad may attract their attention but will not persuade them to open their wallet, unless the country has something valuable to offer. Overall, Pakistan has not been very successful in attracting FDI. Export for the year 1995-96, when the total inflow crossed the magic number of $1 billion, FDI in Pakistan on a yearly basis has historically been under $500 million. The major foreign direct investors are the US and the UK followed by Japan, Korea, and the UAE. The US and the UK generally account for more than 60 per cent of the total inflow of FDI into Pakistan. In 1995-96, the US invested $319.8 million and the UK, $331.7 million. From 1991-92 to 1996-97, the stock of FDI into Pakistan from the US reached $1.1 billion and from the UK, $631 million. The total stock of FDI during this period was slightly over $3 billion, not an encouraging amount. What is significant for Pakistan is that it has neither been able to increase the inflow of FDI nor diversify the source countries or the sectors into which investments flow. This is the result of structural impediments, and unless these impediments are removed, no amount of glossy Ads or tall promises will succeed in increasing the inflow of FDI into the country. Capital flows to countries where there are production and marketing opportunities and where returns can be maximized. Pakistan, in its current state, does not offer these options. However, if it were to remove the following four structural impediments it would be able to increase the inflow of FDI into the country. The impediments are market size, regional integration, literacy, and political turmoil. Market size One of Pakistan's drawbacks is that it does not have a large market. A rough indicator of market size is Gross Domestic Product, which for Pakistan was $52 billion in 1994. On a per-capita basis this translates to roughly $414. Although per- capita GDP hides the real potential of different market segments, it does reveal the general purchasing power of the people. In addition to a low per-capita GDP, the distribution of income in Pakistan is highly skewed, with a small minority enjoying a large share of income. *From a marketing perspective, the purchasing power of this group is not sufficient to support huge investments in consumer and industrial products. Thus, to increase the inflow of FDI into Pakistan, the size of the market will have to be increased, which can be achieved through regional integration. Pakistan needs a bold vision, a vision that redefines enemies and friends. Neighbouring countries, whether India today or Afghanistan tomorrow, are not Pakistan's real enemies. The real enemies are poverty, illiteracy, and environmental degradation, which all the regional countries can work together on to eradicate. Regional integration, by allowing unrestricted movement of products between neighbouring cities such as Lahore and Amritsar, will bring the two markets closer and will allow firms to sell their products in both markets while saving on transportation costs. The creation of a large combined market will increase the attractiveness of Pakistan as well as India to MNCs. What Pakistan and its neighbours need to focus on is enlarging the size of the market through regional integration. Allowing people and products to move freely will be the first step towards the regional expansion of markets. Literacy The future of a country is increasingly being determined by the educational attainment of people living within its borders. As such, Pakistan will have to redirect its resources from building cantonments to building schools. There is no other choice. Pakistan and India cannot afford a war. For these two countries to go to war would be stupidity, pure and simple. What they need to do is to improve the conditions of their populace by giving them quality education. An educated workforce is a valuable and efficient workforce. The skills needed to run a modern factory today are different from those of a decade ago. Basic education is a must to work in today's factories, be it cobbling shoes or assembling microchips. Besides providing basic education that improves the quality of the workforce, Pakistan also needs to focus on professional education to increase the supply of managers who are familiar with the art and science of management. Together, productive workers and well-trained managers will improve the attractiveness of Pakistan for FDI. Countries, like people, are often defined by the lowest common denominator. Pakistan is no exception. Pakistan is not considered a safe country to invest in. This view is held not only by foreigners but also by locals. Recent news of investments by the Bhutto family in overseas real estate testifies to this fact. For MNCs both safety of investments and profitability are important. When people cannot go to work because of strikes, it results in a massive loss for companies as well as for the country. Every lost workday costs millions of rupees. A culture of harassment by law enforcement officials, a system of corruption and lawlessness, and other such maladies need to be rectified. A country exists as a social system to provide opportunities for mutually beneficial exchanges. Neither calling strikes nor giving free reign to public officials to extort money and harass people can solve a country's problem. The MNCs do not want to bother with such headaches. They know that what they have to give a country where they want to go and this happens to be anywhere today. Pakistan is only one of many locations where they can make investments. Pakistan will have to set itself apart from others by offering a distinctive locational advantage. Only then will the flow of FDI into Pakistan increase. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971027 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Devaluation and its attendant travails -------------------------------------------------------------------- R.M.U. Suleman THE RECENT decision to devalue the national currency has left many questions unanswered and this has been the subject of an animated discussion and debate. There are some, like Dr Hafiz Pasha, who insist that the government decision was pre-planned and not a hastily devised crisis move dictated by IMF-led international groups. The Deputy-Chairman of the Planning Commission, Dr Pasha, has just said that the government would not have to mobilize additional $3.40 billion or Rs 152 billion as a result of the recent 8.7 per cent devaluation of Pakistan currency. The government, he hoped, would manage the impact of the devaluation by keeping the inflation rate under control, and by getting additional $1 billion from exports. He further stated that the inflation would have to be contained to meet the objective of the devaluation and implied that the government was capable of achieving this laudable macro-economic goal. In a way, all this adds up to wishes being horses help beggars ride. Dr Pasha did not agree with the independent economists that the government now needed huge additional funds to cover the increase in the debt-servicing of its foreign loans, which is already provided for in the budget. One of the major consideration to devalue the rupee, Dr Pasha pointed out, was to arrest declining trends in exports that were specially witnessed in the month of September, the opening month of the crucial cotton export season. We will also be able to get additional $600 million to $700 million, he hoped, due to increase in cotton production and over $300 million from the export of the manufactured goods. Then he referred to a bumper rice crop along with sugarcane crop. The fact of the matter is that with the best of intentions, projections of exports based mainly on agricultural crops can go completely awry. With the devaluation, the Deputy-Chairman believed, the competitive edge, specially against India and Thailand in rice, and garments would be achieved. He said that the devaluation would also help narrow the trade deficit of the country. Defending the devaluation, he said, "we are now in the era of competitive devaluation and that, if the South-east Asian currencies have been forced to go for devaluation, Pakistan could not be an exception". Dr Pasha, however, assured that there would be no further devaluation during the remaining three quarters of the current financial year. This is contrary to the widespread belief that the equilibria exchange rate of the Pakistan rupee has virtually no bottom. Nevertheless, he conceded that if further devaluation were to be resorted to, it would be a definite liability on the budget because there did not exist any more of what he termed a "cushion in the budget". This devaluation was, however, a planned move and not a crisis move", he insisted. Compared with other countries, he said, Pakistan was in a comfortable position since we had household foreign currency deposits which also include our workers' remittances compared to corporate money like that of Malaysia and other countries. According to nine eminent economists and economic observers, on the other hand, the devaluation of the rupee is symptomatic of the desperation which afflicts the government of Pakistan on the economic front. This has been done at a time when no adverse market signals existed to prompt this move. The dollar was stable in the open market, growth in imports had been steady and recent devaluations in East Asia did not affect the competitiveness of Pakistan's exports for the simple reason that the structure of East Asian exports is completely different from that of Pakistan, consisting as they mainly do of substantially fabricated manufactured goods unlike Pakistan's exports dominated by agricultural products or their most rudimentary processing. The immediate impact of devaluation, according to them, will be distress caused by inflation, regardless of the safety cushions claimed to be provided by government. Since liberalisation in 1991, governments in Pakistan have been using inflationary policies to tide over their multifarious problems simply because the impact of inflation is different for different segments of society. For the elite who rule the roost, there is a cushion in the form of foreign currency accounts, the stocks market and real estate. The majority — daily wage earners or those on fixed salaries in rupees — therefore bear most or all of the brunt of devaluation. The situation has become particularly alarming in the last few years as import of food items — wheat, edible oil, sugar and tea — have increased rapidly. The argument that devaluation will help Pakistan's exports is also dubious. Since September 1996, the rupee has devalued by 23.3 per cent whereas exports registered a historically low growth of 4.4 per cent. Structurally inflation in Pakistan is highly correlated with the value of the rupee, therefore, very soon the inflationary impact of inflation will again appreciate the real exchange rate. Rather than tackling the issue of domestic inflation, successive governments attempt unrealistically to realign the real exchange rate. The adverse impact of devaluation must be clear to the government also. Then why has it resorted to devalue the currency? In all probability, this devaluation has been undertaken at this time to fulfil IMF conditionalities; since the IMF board meeting on the 20th of October was to approve the $1.6 billion ESAF loan to Pakistan. This, coupled with the recent retrenchment of more than 7,000 employees of UBL, demonstrates the extent to which Pakistan is pandering to the wishes of the international financial agencies, a result of decades-old policy of dependent capitalist development. As the underlying issue is one of debt management, the government, it is claimed, should draw up a concrete strategy. Lurching from crisis to crisis at the end of the very first quarter of the fiscal year is not only unsustainable but inflicts a huge cost on the people of Pakistan and seriously devalues the overseas worth of Pakistan labour living and working at home. Since the early 1980s, the macro-economic stabilisation and structural adjustment programmes imposed by the IMF and the World Bank on developing countries (as a condition for extending them foreign exchange credits that amount to no more than the rescheduling of their external debt) have led to the impoverishment of hundreds of millions of people. Contrary to the original spirit of "economic reconstruction", the structural adjustment programme has largely contributed to destabilizing national currencies and ruining the economies of the developing countries. Internal purchasing power has collapsed, famines have erupted, health clinics and schools have been closed down, hundreds of millions of children have been denied the right to primary education. In several regions of the developing world, economic reforms have been conducive to a resurgence of infectious diseases including tuberculosis, malaria, and plague. The restructuring of the world economy under the guidance of the Washington-based international financial institutions increasingly denies individual developing countries the possibility of building a national economy; the globalization of macro-economic policy economy transforms countries into open territories and national economies into 'reserves' of cheap labour and natural resources. The restructuring of individual national economies weakens the state, undermines production of essential food items for the internal market and bankrupts national enterprises. When applied simultaneously in more than 100 countries, these reforms are conducive to the 'globalisation of poverty' and a worldwide compression of wages. In all these countries the privileged social minority has accumulated vast amounts of wealth at the expense of the large majority of the population. The new international financial order feeds on cheap labour and the destruction of natural environment. While "the debt crisis is officially over" at least from the standpoint of the international banks and financial institutions, the so-called 'lost decade' of the 1980s constitutes for many indebted countries, the beginning of a new phase of economic and social devastation marked by sectarian excesses in Pakistan, caste violence in India and all pervasive rapid criminalisation of economic activity. There is a close relationship between the application of the IMF- sponsored reforms and the subsequent outbreak in many parts of the developing world of social unrest, ethnic strife, religious fundamentalism and civil war. The Western media has obscured and carefully distorted the inner causes of political and social collapse. Whereas the G-7 rhetorically deplore the derogation of fundamental human rights, no linkage is established between the outbreak of civil war and the prior disintegration of the state under the burden of debt-servicing and structural adjustment. Poverty and unemployment breed social unrest. The plummeting standards of living, which accompany the IMF's economic medicine exacerbates social tensions and divisions within national societies. The evidence confirms that the manipulation of market forces under the guidance of the Washington-based financial institutions, has also contributed to upsetting the fabric of national political institutions. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971101 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Stocks back on rails, index recovers 60 points -------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Reporter KARACHI, Oct 31: Stocks were back on the rails on Friday on active short-covering both by local and foreign investors at the lower levels aided largely by Press reports that the government has indicated to elevate five judges as desired by the apex court but there was no official word on the issue. KSE 100-share index recovered 60 points at 1,875.01. The market capitalization also swelled by Rs 15 billion at Rs 565.013 billion as compared to Rs 550.074 billion a day earlier as highly capitalized shares Hub-Power and PTCL rose sharply. The opening was, however, distinctly weak, what the dealers called extension of the overnight sell-off, but as the news of judges elevation reached the rings investors were back in the rings, lifting share values from the current lows on active support. Although news from the Asian stock markets were bearish, reflecting fresh decline on the Hong Kong market and its early impact was also visible here, but mid-session positive news from Islamabad brought investors back in the rings, dealers said. "The perception that end of the current row between two pillars of the government could put the market back on the rails is shared by all and that is perhaps why investors are back in the rings even on unconfirmed news of official willingness," dealers stated. They said weekend rally is always considered a good omen for the market as it generally leads the market to another improved performance. Some leading floor brokers said the weekend rally could be deceptive as news from the leading Asian stock markets are not encouraging and their weakness could have sympathetic negative impact here as it did on Tuesday, which eroded 171 points from the index just in one go. Analysts said Friday's proceedings indicated that some of the institutional traders were more active than in the previous sessions and their strong presence might have some positive reason behind it. "Support the market at any cost," these are standing orders for some of the financial institutions, a loud whispering in the rings suggests, they said. "Massive covering purchases in the pivotals show that it could not be work of foreign funds alone," they added. To put the market back in the plus column at the weekend session is a big gamble and only those could take it who have the capacity and the resources to absorb losses, they stated. Whatever are reasons behind the snap rally, but one thing is clear that the market could respond bullishly to any positive news, irrespective of heavy odds, some others said. Energy shares under the lead of Hub-Power led the market advance, while all others were also actively traded under the current favourites. PSO and Shell Pakistan, which have declined sharply during the recent sell-off, led the list of gainers, recovering Rs 13.60 and Rs 16 on active follow-up support. Both closed with most of the initial fall recouped. KESC, Southern Electric, Sui Northern, Sui Southern and Kohinoor Energy were among the other leading gainers, which also turned out large volumes. Chemical shares followed them rising sharply under the lead of Fauji Fertilizer and Engro Chemicals, which rose by Rs 5.50 to Rs 7 amid active trading. Reckitt & Colman and Lever Brothers were among the other MNCs which rose by Rs 1.50 to Rs 25. Bank shares also showed good rallies on active support at the lower levels and generally finished recovered under the Faysal Bank and some others. Adamjee Insurance came in for strong support from some foreign investors and was quoted higher by Rs 4.50 and so did Rupali Polyester. Losses on the other hand were fractional barring sharp setback in Sitara Chemicals, Crescent Steel and Cherat Paper, which fell by Rs 2 to Rs 5. Trading volume fell further to 66.483 million shares from the previous 84 million shares owing to absence of leading investors. The most active list was again topped by Hub-Power, sharply higher by Rs 1.95 on 23.398 million shares, followed by PTCL, up Rs 1.40 on 22.686 million shares, ICI Pakistan, firm 40 paisa on 6.433 million shares, Southern Electric, higher 90 paisa on 2.279 million shares, and FFC-Jordan Fertilizer, steady 15 paisa on 2.124 million shares. Other actively traded shares were led by Sui Southern, higher Rs 1.90 on 1.532 million shares, followed by Sui Northern, firm Rs 1.80 on 1.039 million shares, KESC, steady Rs 1.10 on 0.627 million shares, Dhan Fibre, lower 10 paisa on 0.522 million shares, Bank of Punjab, higher 65 paisa on 0.411 million shares, and Ibrahim Fibre, firm 30 paisa on 0.301 million shares. DIVIDEND: CPC Rafhan Maize, final cash at the rate of 40% for the year ended June 30, 1997, on a pretax profit of Rs 319.032 million, Indus Bank, interim 10%, and Ismail Industries, interim 12.5%, for the same period. ------------------------------------------------------------------- SUBSCRIBE TO HERALD TODAY ! ------------------------------------------------------------------- Every month the Herald captures the issues, the pace and the action, shaping events across Pakistan's lively, fast-moving current affairs spectrum. Subscribe to Herald and get the whole story. Annual Subscription Rates : Latin America & Caribbean US$ 93 Rs. 2,700 North America & Australasia US$ 93 Rs. 2,700 Africa, East Asia Europe & UK US$ 63 Rs. 1,824 Middle East, Indian Sub-Continent & CAS US$ 63 Rs. 1,824 Please send the following information : Payments (payable to Herald) can be by crossed cheque (for Pakistani Rupees), or by demand draft drawn on a bank in New York, NY (for US Dollars). 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EDITORIALS & FEATURES

971026 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Good governance -------------------------------------------------------------------- Ardeshir Cowasjee "TO the extent that command is a species of egoism, it tends naturally to grow. Man, says Rousseau, is a limited creature, his life is short, his pleasures know bounds, his capacity for enjoyment is always static, and it is no good his raising himself in his own imagination, for he continues to be small. "The State, on the contrary, being an artificial body, knows no fixed bounds; the greatness which belongs to it is unlimited, and can always be increased by itself." (On Power, Bertrand de Jouvenal). There have been in this country so many 'limited creatures' who have proclaimed, and many others who continue to proclaim (and always more than one at any given time), 'I am the State'. That is why we are now left with what we have on the ground, half the State, with over 100 million hungry, living below the poverty line, over 70 million living without potable water, one of the highest birth rates in the world and the highest in South Asia, one of the lowest literacy rates in the world and the lowest in South Asia, and in debt up to our sorry ears. Could it be that after our sole statesman died our leadership has been flawed? Could it be that, though we have had the 'Oxford educated', they were, and are, to the man and woman, all uneducated in the profound sense of the word? We have now a president devoid of moral authority, incapable of inviting the prime minister and the chief justice to sit together with him, and of setling the non-issue that has been made into an issue paralysing both government and judiciary. The prime minister reiterates, ad nauseam, that he has the mandate of the people. Yet he is incapable of comprehending that the mandate has been given to him to do good by the country and its people and not merely to massage his ego. He stands tall only because he has been put where he is by the people who voted him in with their feet. But, tall as he may be, he is incapable of going over and extending his hand to the one, or to the several, with whom he has differences. Instead of meeting and talking, he sends messages through intermediaries, most of whom are completely capable of warping his words by accident or by design and of fanning rather than dowsing the fire. In my column last week, 'The bare bones — autumn 1997', I reproduced what former senior executive vice president of the World Bank Shahid Husain had said to me: "...in the entire government, the man with the best foresight is the prime minister himself. In meetings, I have seen him show far more common sense than those around him." This provoked calls from various inscrutable men who asked how it is possible that Shahid could be right on that score. Why not? One only has to look at those with whom he persists in surrounding himself. We have a chief justice who has named the five senior judges he wishes elevated to the Supreme Court. The prime minister and his coterie do not want two of them moved away and up. Neither the prime minister, nor any other man in the government, dare write to the chief justice naming those not wanted and why. For what is written would be justiciable. The prime minister has very selfishly, shortsightedly, and knowingly created and nurtured dissension amongst our judges of the Supreme Court. In theory at least, it is the higher judiciary that he fears may block his way to becoming an absolute ruler. Many of this court's judges are able men. Three of the Supreme Court justices we have had here in Karachi sitting as the chief justices of our Sindh High Court — Justices Ajmal Mian, Saiduzzaman Siddiqui and Nasir Aslam Zahid are known and respected for their incisive minds, their dedication and the regard they have for the people and their rights. They are not easily provoked, but the fact that they have been is depressing and speaks volumes for the guile and wile of our greedy politicians. As law minister we have a brilliant lawyer who is totally out of his depth in the murky world of politics. Why is he allowing a mess to be made? Why does he not come back home? He does not need to live on the dole, as most ministers choose to do. My lawyer Khalid (dubbed Cicero by me to the ire of many) is a very careful man who, before he opens his mouth to talk to me, makes it quite clear that all that he is about to say is in the strictest of confidence. This binds me to silence. Then there is my friend, the clever magician, the Jadoogar of Jeddah, who has been in high politics more or less continuously for the past thirty-two years, since the days of Ayub when he started off as attorney-general. He has made and unmade many a judge and many a government. Up to this day he is a member of the government, an ambassador at large. He flies the flag and is consulted by those on all sides of the many divides. He remains as equally disturbed as are most of us who care for the supremacy of the judiciary. One memorable incident occurred in the days when Asif Nawaz commanded 5 Corps, stationed at Karachi. He, Sharifuddin and I were dining together. I turned to Asif and told him that as he was on track to becoming COAS, should he then ever feel like embarking on a misadventure, ever feel constrained to take over and promulgate martial law, to save the country in the name of the people, he should immediately send for Sharifuddin who would find the law to fit his crime. While Asif pondered, Sharifuddin graciously bowed, and handed him his visiting card. What we have seen and heard since August has been demeaning. It has taken us back far more than two months. Neither side is faultless. The prime minister's modus operandi is simple. There is no middle ground in his make-up. It is either saaday naal or saaday khilaf, it is either 'us' or 'them', but the 'us' is never the people, it is always 'us' the mandate holders. We accept that Nawaz Sharif can only be as wise and mature as his background, his age, his education, his experience, his Wah, Mian Saab, wah men, and his desk-thumpers allow him to be. He has broken the court, and this can only be disastrous for the people and for the country and most of all for him, as it will ultimately work against him. He obviously is ignorant of this fact, his foresight has its limits. He has forgotten the old tale of the Abbot of Aberbrothok, Ralph the Rover, and the Inchcape Rock. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971029 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Weddings -------------------------------------------------------------------- Hafizur Rahman AS the weather cools and cools the rush of the wedding season takes on an almost frenetic tone. Every Sunday our little grand- daughter counts the tinsel-decorated cars that roam the roads. With every Sunday their number increases. It will reach the climax during Christmas which, though a Christian festival, still casts a nostalgic spell upon us. Moreover it is the holiday time in schools and colleges, and also for many of those in government service who want to avail themselves of their remaining leave. Even recluses like me and my wife have to attend some weddings — the wedding proper if not the numerous ceremonies now connected with it. Some of the weddings are a source of delight while others are just a formality for us, and, therefore, a bore. What I don't like at my age is going with a baraat in what is now called a motorcade. It's a nuisance keeping up with the procession of cars, especially if the leading car is in a hurry to get there without bothering if the others are following or have lost their way. Once we got into the wrong procession and ended up at a graveyard! No, we didn't die. The procession I had got into on the way was a funeral. My wife was very annoyed because we had to go home for dinner. Invitation cards have already started arriving, both from Islamabad where we now live, and other towns, even Karachi. Which reminds me of the wedding of an officer of the Press Information Department some 20 years ago. He was very fond of sucking up to senior officers, whether they had to do anything with him or not, but had neither the heart nor the means to entertain. So, those who lived in Karachi his wedding card invited them for the wedding to a hotel in Rawalpindi. His patrons in Islamabad were informed that the valima was in a hotel in Karachi. Actually he got married in Lahore where the circle of his acquaintance was the narrowest. What a pity that weddings are no longer gatherings of relations and close family friends as they once used to be. The craze to invite so-called VIPs is nowadays the worst feature of these functions. Instead of due consideration being shown to the guests, and the focus of attention being the bridegroom, the VIP saunters in as a sort of guest of honour and steals the show, detracting from the sentimental nature of the occasion. Marriage is said to be the most significant event in a man's life. That is, if it is his only marriage and is not followed by three more. The significance is provided by his being joined in holy wedlock with a woman. Nowadays, with VIPs infiltrating the wedding ceremonies the bride's place has been taken by these worthies so far as the memorableness of the occasion for the groom is concerned. Soon, I think, we shall start receiving wedding invitations on which the inscription will run something like this: "Begum & Chaudhry Turra Baz Khan volunteer to suffer your company (for the sake of numbers only) at the wedding of their son/daughter. The President/PM/Governor/CM has graciously consented to spare time from his multifarious state activities to preside. The function will be followed by a speech from the Chief Guest on the political situation. N.B. In view of security, please bring your ID card with you, though even that may not guarantee your entry into the reception. Slogan-shouters need no invitation and are welcome." A friend and I really felt like walking out of a wedding in Islamabad some years ago. It was only the thought of going home to a derisive family which prevented us from doing so. The groom's father, our friend, was an old politician and a former federal minister, who had invited both the President and the Prime Minister as if one of them was not enough to mar the festivity of the day. We got a cursory handshake from our host and then he disappeared to await the exciting moments: the arrival of the two most important personalities in the country. Some of his lesser relations did not even get a handshake and were herded into a secluded part of the hall. During the next hour or so we saw nothing of our friend and host who was busy fluttering around his two super guests and catering to their needs. There were mutterings of protest from some of the lesser relations who probably thought that the cold shoulder of their host should have been compensated by a warm handshake from at least one of the two VVIPs. But they had no such luck. The poor bridegroom too must have felt pretty neglected by being deprived of the limelight. All that he got was being video-filmed with the VVIPs and the dubious honour of eating at the same table with them. I always wonder why the President and the Prime Minister accept these wedding invitations when they are merely on official (or political) nodding terms with their hosts. If it is not possible for them to go as ordinary guests, what with security and all, couldn't they make an excuse and send a gift and their good wishes instead? Must they convert what should be a purely family occasion into a kind of public rally? That is not all. Outside the capital, with provincial authorities striving to out-do themselves, the roads to the wedding reception become a nightmare for the normal traffic, with the citizens hurling dirty abuses at the system and its bosses. (I wish they could hear what the people have to say. It would open their eyes to their so- called popularity!). The hard-worked policemen have to stand by on the roadside for hours on end, probably cursing all and sundry and their own sorry fate. The local authorities of course try their best to ensure that the visit of the VVIP who, in a democracy, should be Public Friend Number One, turns into a public nuisance. Is it possible to restore the familial beauty of our wedding receptions? Or don't we want them that way? Let only those be invited who are connected with the two families in some intimate manner. These receptions are not PR dinners to which some personalities have to be asked for form's sake, or because we want to curry favour with them. Their presence at weddings in most cases, is superfluous as that of the uninvited guest who sneaks in there for a free meal. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971030 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Away from it all -------------------------------------------------------------------- Rifaat Hamid Ghani KARACHI and Islamabad make a fascinating juxtaposition. Tiny Islamabad the official capital — unlike the enormous port city of Karachi which completely misses out on the beauty of the sea — exploits the panoramic background of the Margalla hills to the hilt and is beautifully set. The only inhabitants one is ever aware of there have the outlook of the members of a small, select exclusive country club. The rest of the world is as unreal to them as they are to the rest of the world. There is nothing wrong with that kind of social serenity except that it does not offer the best perspective when it comes to running the affairs of an over-populated developing country. Karachi also has its elite of power and money but that elite is under constant pressure and in constant contact with the teeming millions. It may not ever be a part of them, but they are aware of each other. And so while Islamabad breeds envy and smugness, Karachi breeds aggression and the consciousness of a threat. Once you reach Islamabad you have escaped from it all and what may be a roller coaster ride is metamorphosed into something as gentle and soothing as the incline of the Margalla Hills. What messages have the CJ, the PM, the President and the COAS been exchanging? In Karachi that is the subject of common social discourse. There is an urgent general concern. But in Islamabad unless you were in the position where you either knew and heard about it or could venture an informed guess, it really didn't matter much. The common concern is that it may entail a change of post, a transfer and a new boss for the bureaucrat and his family. Issues do not matter — it is only the particularities that their resolutions may involve. Yet islamabad is where the action is. The attitude towards the fraternity of the pen is quite different too. Karachiites are more accommodating. In Islamabad neutrality is a kind of unforgivable deviation. Journalism is relevant only in terms of whether it supports 'you' or 'the adversary.' There is a preferred line of argument and journalists ought to report and analyse accordingly is how well-informed sources see things. The simple word for it is bias. One can escape it occasionally in Karachi in discussion, but very seldom in Islamabad. Journalists love their gossip, though, and the kind of succulent titbits that may fall from the table of the rich and the powerful. For a truly professional journalist, the atmosphere in Islamabad is not supportive. What the freedom of the press signifies is something the typical government servant and his dependants would rather do without. In Karachi the journalist is kept going by doses of appreciation from the disinterested common citizens, the simple anonymous public. They may be as critical as anyone in Islamabad of sloppy journalism or careless reporting, but they never forget the positive role of the watchdog, and have no wish to see it chained. It's hard for the elusive entity, the general public in Islamabad, to grasp this. And should the press be seen as losing credibility, the Karachiite reacts with alarm, whereas the man in Islamabad cannot help but show a 'told you so' triumph. The army too is a completely natural part of the scene in 'Pindi- Islamabad. The visibility of its presence in what started off as a garrison town is nothing out of the way. In Karachi it always spells tensions. But no matter where a Pakistani may be living, all eyes this week are focused on Islamabad and its marble edifices within which the direction of governance is being sorted out. If only the protagonists would see what the average citizen does so clearly: people may be disenchanted with things as they are, but that does not make them more receptive of change in the wrong direction or moves that may confer the unchallengeable powers of a dictator on anyone: a judicial activist or a political charlatan. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971101 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Give me back my vote! -------------------------------------------------------------------- Irfan Husain I KNOW the Chief Election Commissioner probably won't allow it, but I want to go on record as a voter who wants his vote back. When I voted for Nawaz Sharif last February, I did so reluctantly, on the "lesser of the evils" principle. Let me reiterate my reasons — more to convince myself that I was right at the time than to justify my decision to others. For obvious reasons, I could not vote for the PPP, the party I had been supporting since its inception. The sleaze and incompetence finally became too much for even the most ardent PPP loyalist, resulting in the party's rout last February. Nor could I bring myself to vote for obscurantist or ethnic parties. The choice was thus reduced to either staying at home, or voting for the Muslim League. After much agonizing, I opted for the latter course because I thought that Nawaz Sharif had learned something from his days in the wilderness, and despite his personal failings — and they are many — he would be good for the economy. When the magnitude of his victory became apparent, I thought my decision had been justified. For the first time in years, a leader had won the kind of majority necessary to free him from the horse- trading and blackmail that razor-thin majorities or bare pluralities had earlier inflicted on the system. In my optimistic scenario, I had imagined that Nawaz Sharif would use his majority to bring about structural reforms in the economy. I had no illusions about his liberal credentials and thus did not expect him to address the problems of women and minorities, but then what had Benazir Bhutto done for them? Basically, I voted for five years of sanity, stability and economic progress. What did we get instead? A totally unnecessary constitutional crisis, a wheat shortage, a devalued rupee, a stagnant economy, a repressive TV censorship code and no improvement on any front. The reason I am asking for an adjustment in the final election result is that I want the PML total to be reduced by my vote, so that no matter how remotely, I cannot be held responsible for what this government is doing. But even if the Election Commission were to give me the opportunity to change my mind, what would I do with my vote? And no rude answers, please. The fact is that there is simply no party or politician I would want to vote for. This is a sad comment on a country of 140 million in the fiftieth year of its independence. Unfortunately, we have developed a political system in which only crooks and charlatans seem to thrive. The few genuinely good people who have tried their luck have been sidelined, or have left of their own accord after being betrayed and disillusioned. Last week, the stock market fell 50 points in one trading session on the basis of a rumour that the army was moving in. This is another comment on the fragility of our system: here we have an elected government enjoying a two-thirds majority in Parliament, but which can still be shaken by speculation because of its own bungling. Like the Pakistan cricket team, Nawaz Sharif and his merry men are perfectly capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And, to mix a metaphor, of shooting themselves in the foot with high calibre weapons. Speaking at the recent Commonwealth summit in Edinburgh, Nawaz Sharif unburdened himself of his vision of the next century. According to him, the 21st century should be "an era of tolerance, harmony and mutual respect for all the various cultures and creeds that had for centuries enriched the South Asian landscape." Fine words, but how about translating these sentiments into reality right here and right now? How about a little tolerance for pop groups and men with long hair wearing jeans? For a start, the ridiculous censorship policy announced for the PTV can be withdrawn before we become a bigger laughing stock in the world than we already are. And since Nawaz Sharif is suddenly so keen on harmony between different creeds, how about doing away with the pernicious system of separate electorates that has done so much to drive a wedge between the majority and minority communities? In this space, I have often bemoaned the slow but steady unravelling of the democratic system. Throughout my adult life, I have supported and strongly advocated parliamentary democracy as the best dispensation for a country as divided as Pakistan is. I still feel it is an excellent system, but I wonder, for the first time in my life, if we are capable of making it work. The excuse that frequent military intervention had not permitted democracy to take root is no longer valid: after nearly a decade of unfettered democratic rule, things are getting worse, not better. By any yardstick, the level of governance has been falling, and unresolved problems continue to accumulate. Politicians are too busy settling scores or looking after personal interests to address the issues that confront us. Apart from hot air, the only sure thing to come our way from Islamabad is an unending increase in prices and taxes. Against this dismal backdrop, it is legitimate to ask whom one can possibly vote for. We know all the actors on the political stage, and are aware of their capabilities and their limitations. Unfortunately, the latter far outweigh the former. There are no attractive options available, and as we have seen, the "lesser of the evils" principle is not a good guide. So where do we go from here? If Nawaz Sharif with his crushing majority allows himself to get mired in irrelevancies, what hope is there for another politician with a mere plurality? The reason why we cannot make the system work lies in our psyche: an intolerant and undisciplined nation, we are incapable of realizing that power has certain limits and imposes certain responsibilities. Once installed, our leaders fall instant prey to hubris and arrogance, and view advice with suspicion, and a difference of opinion as a personal insult. Sycophants and yes-men thrive in this atmosphere, and before very long, the most populist leader is cut off from reality. This has happened so often that one is forced to wonder if we will ever get a leader who can overcome this syndrome. Unfortunately, we do not have the time to give each leader several chances of getting it right. Anyway, on present evidence, it seems most unlikely that they ever will. This depressing conclusion takes me back to my earlier question: which party or leader can a person with a conscience possibly vote for? DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971027 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Remembering the Raj -------------------------------------------------------------------- Omar Kureishi THE relationship was clearly spelt out and understood and reluctantly accepted: the ruler and the ruled. The British in India were in India strictly for themselves. The White Man's Burden was understandably heavy. It contained all the loot that they took out of the country. It is the worst kind of deception to maintain that they were in India for our good, on a civilising mission as if we swung from trees. Those of us whose formative years were spent living under the Raj still smart from the humiliation of being second or third class citizens in our own country. Those were angry times but also exhilarating times, there was a sense of purpose and a great belief in our destiny. If things haven't worked out as we had idealized they would, it just goes to show that it is better to travel hopefully than to arrive. I look back on those days with the same nostalgic yearning as Tennyson must have felt looking at the happy autumn fields that inspired his moving poem about idle tears that gathered from the heart and rolled to the eyes. But the British had only a walk-on part though they were the catalysts for my political awakening. Actually, one had very little to do with them. They lived in their own world and we lived in ours. I had Muslim, Hindu, Parsi, Christian, Sikh and Buddist friends but not a British friend. If our paths did cross, it was on the cricket field. I went to a British school in Bombay and the principal was a Mr. L. M. S. Brooks, a carrot-haired Scotsman with whom I got on famously since I was the school's cricket captain. One of our fixtures was against Ralli Brothers and their captain was a man called Glover, a tall, strapping Englishman who fancied himself as a fast bowler. He had a run-up that began from the near the sight- screen and he would come in to bowl, all arms, in leaping strides. Sadly the end-product did not match his ferocity. I hit him for three straight sixes, the last landing on the statue of a distinguished deceased Parsi city-father. I remember this well because I considered hitting those sixes as an anticolonial statement. One of our annual fixtures was against the Bombay Gymkhana, the "for Europeans only" club. This match too I considered to be a part of the anti-imperialism struggle. They had a South African who could have passed for Sidney Greenstreet. My late brother Shanoo (father of Hanif Kureishi, the playwright and novelist) and I opened the innings. I hit the Sidney Greensmith look-alike for a six, the first ball of the match. The ball cleared the ground and landed on the tram-lines. The South African went red in the face and threatened to report me to the principal for being irresponsible. No one hits the first ball of a match for a six he choked with rage. Shanoo and I both made hundreds and we won the match and the annual fixture was cancelled thereafter. Whether they admitted it or not, the British were racists and did not socialize with the natives. They had their own clubs and these clubs became the object of much antagonism. Their existence played a big part in rallying the Indians. Even the "toadies" and the "ji- hazoors" were not admitted even as guests. But a strange transformation came over the Britisher once he was west of the Suez Canal. He became a human being and those one met in England bore no resemblance to those who were the burra sahibs in India. All this is so much water under the bridge but it conditioned my attitude to the West. The only way to deal with the West is on equal terms otherwise the West's instinctive arrogance and sense of superiority will swamp you and put on the back-foot. It is interesting that the Indians handled the visit of Queen Elizabeth as ungracious hosts. They snubbed the Queen on quite a few occasions and made life extremely hard for her entourage, the behaviour bordering on the boorish. The British media expressed their disapproval in the mildest language and were almost apologetic. They chose, instead, to fry Robin Cook. The Pakistan leg of the Queen's visit went off without a hitch and we proved to be impeccable hosts. The British media took this for granted and no attempt was made to contrast the two legs of the visit and there was no public thanks to the government and people of Pakistan for according their sovereign such a warm welcome. I am not suggesting for a minute that we should have behaved as the Indias did. The Queen cannot be held responsible for the humiliations of colonialism. She, in fact, came on the throne when the British Empire was in an advanced stage of dismantling. She is, in any event, a gracious lady and deserved our respect and affection. But we could have pointed out, delicately, to Prince Philip in particular, that his uncle Lord Mountbatten did his damndest to have a still-born Pakistan and many of our troubles can be directly attributed to his blatant partisanship and his cozying up to Pandit Nehru. History should not be erased. It should remain, so that we can learn from it. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971031 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Role of the Raj -------------------------------------------------------------------- Kamil Siddiqi WHEN Taj Mahal was being built, the Indian subcontinent was regarded as "Golden Sparrow" by the outside world, especially by European nations. Simultaneously was being built the Saint Paul's Cathedral in London. Both the monuments stand today to show the world the subcontinent's erstwhile superiority in architecture and civil engineering over that of England. Taj Mahal is among wonders of the world. The subcontinent in the eighteenth century was a great manufacturing as well as agricultural country, and the products of the Indian loom supplied the markets of Asia and Europe. It is, unfortunately, true that the East India Company and the British parliament discouraged Indian manufacturers in the early years of British rule in order to encourage the rising manufactures of England. They employed the arm of political injustice to keep down and ultimately strangle a competitor with whom they could not have contended on equal terms. It is a painful episode in the history of British rule in the subcontinent, but it is a story which has to be told to explain the economic condition of the people of the subcontinent. Once bitten twice shy: the Indians are, to this day, in hatred with everything foreign. The "anti-foreign" campaign by a large segment of Indian society indicates the rancour the British rule has created in the hearts of so many Indians. This hatred is not unfounded. From being one of the most prosperous nations in the world, the Indians were rendered downtrodden within two centuries of British rule. At the advent of East India Company in the subcontinent England had nothing of value to offer India in the way of products comparable in quality or technical standard with Indian products, the only important industry then developed being manufacture of woolen goods, which were of no use for India. Therefore, precious metals had to be taken out to buy the goods in India. As soon, however, as domination began to be established — by mid-18th century — methods of power could be increasingly used to weight the balance of exchange and secure the maximum goods for the minimum payment. The margin between trade and plunder from the outset never very sharply drawn, began to grow conspicuously thin. The East India Company was abolished in 1858. The empire was transferred from the Company to the Crown, but the people of the subcontinent paid the purchase-money. The Indian debt, which was— 51 million pounds in 1857, rose to 97 million in 1862 and 200 million pounds in 1901. The development of railway construction with State aid and guarantees for the private companies undertaking it, as well as later with direct State construction, enormously swelled the debt. The system adopted was one of a government guarantee of 5% interest for whatever capital was expended by British investors in the construction of the railways. It is evident that this system encouraged the most extravagant and uneconomic expenditure. This was reported by the former Finance Minister, W.N. Massey, to the Parliamentary Enquiry on Indian Finance in 1872 in these words: "Enormous sums were lavished, and the contractors had no motive whatever for economy. All the money came from the English capitalist, and so long as he was guaranteed 5% on the revenues of India, it was immaterial to him whether the funds that he lent were thrown into the Hooghly or converted into bricks and mortars ... It seems to me that they are the most extravagant works that were ever undertaken." England's nineteenth century role as "the workshop of the world", and, increasingly, as a major source of overseas capital investment must also be analyzed in relationship to her Indian Empire. The American writer Brook(s) Adams tells us exactly how this happened: "The influx of Indian treasure, by adding considerably to the nation's cash capital, not only increased its stock of energy, but added much to its flexibility and the rapidity of its movement. Very soon after Plassey, the Bengal plunder began to arrive in London, and the effect appears to have been instantaneous, for all authorities agree that the "Industrial Revolution" began with the year 1770... Plassey was fought in 1757, and probably nothing has ever squalled the rapidity of the change that followed. In 1760 the flying shuttle appeared, and coal began to replace wood in smelting. In 1764 Hargreaves invented the spinning jenny, in 1768 Watt matured the steam engine, and in 1785 Cartwright patented the power loom... But, though these machines served as outlets for the accelerating movements of the time, they did not cause the acceleration. In themselves inventions are passive, ...Waiting for a sufficient store of force to have accumulated to set them working. ...Before the influx of the Indian treasure, and the expansion of credit which followed, no force sufficient for this purpose existed." Bengal certainly was a very rich and prosperous province before the British came, but within 187 years of their rule, turned into a land of poverty-stricken masses, starving and dying. As a matter of fact Bengal had the first full experience of British rule in India, and that rule began with outright plunder, and a land revenue system which extracted the uttermost farthing not only from the living but also the dead cultivators. The English historians of India, Edward Thompson and G.T. Garrett, tell us that "a gold-lust unequalled since the hysteria that took hold of the Spaniards of Cortes' age filled the English mind. Bengal in particular was not to know peace again until she had been bled white." The result of all this, even in its early stages, was the famine of 1770 which swept away over a third of the population of Bengal and Bihar. But it was all in the cause of progress, and Bengal can take pride in the fact that she helped greatly in giving birth to the Industrial Revolution in England. It may be said that a great part of the costs of transition to industrialism in western Europe were paid for by India, China and others. The Historian Montgomery Martin giving evidence before a committee of the British Parliament in 1840, said: "India is as much a manufacturing country as an agriculturist; and he who would seek to reduce her to the position of an agricultural country, seeks to lower her in the scale of civilization." The self-sufficient village community, with its traditional division of labour, could not have continued in its old form. But the change that took place was not a normal development, and it disintegrated the whole economic and structural basis of Indian society. A system which had social sanctions and controls behind it, was a part of the people's cultural heritage, was suddenly and forcibly changed, and another system, administered from outside the group, was imposed. India did not come into a world market but became a colonial and agricultural appendage of the British structure. In 1830 Sir Charles Metcalfe, one of the ablest of British officials in India, described these village communities as follows: "The village communities are little republics having nearly everything they want within themselves, and almost independent of foreign relations. They seem to last where nothing else lasts. This union of the village communities, each one forming a separate little state in itself ... is in a high degree conducive to their happiness, and to the enjoyment of a great portion of freedom and independence". The breakup of the old system created new problems, and probably the beginning of the new Hindu-Muslim problem can be traced to it.

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SPORTS

971028 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Historic win for S. Africa on Pakistan soil -------------------------------------------------------------------- Ilyas Beg FAISALABAD, Oct 27: In an appalling display of poor batsmanship, Pakistan team crashed to a dismal score of 92 in the second innings, 37 minutes after the lunch interval on fourth day to lose the third and last cricket Test to South Africa by 53 runs on Monday. With that South Africa also won the three-Test series 1-0. It was an abject surrender by the Pakistan side. Needing only 142 runs for a win in the last two days' play, the Pakistani batting never got going and the players continued to come to the crease, play rank, bad shots and get dismissed! Young right- arm paceman Shaun Pollock was the wrecker-in-chief of the Pakistan batting. He was richly rewarded with a haul of five wickets for 37 runs as he sent down 11 lethal overs. He swung the ball both ways and never allowed the Pakistani batsmen to settle down. Only exception being wicketkeeper Moin Khan, who fought all alone but could not avert the inevitable. Off-spinner Pat Symcox, who had batted very well in both the innings of this Test by scoring 81 and 55, respectively, mopped up the Pakistani tail. In his 9.3 overs, Pat Symcox claimed three wickets for eight runs and deservingly won "Man-of-the-Match" award. With only lastman Mushtaq Ahmad at the crease on other end, Moin Khan had a wild swing at the third delivery of Symcox's 10th over and was caught at mid-wicket boundary by Alan Donald. It was all over bar shouting. All the South African fielders ran to pick stumps, bails and other things as souvenirs of this historic win, hugged and embraced each other in absolute delight for registering a hard-earned win on Pakistani soil. A crowd of over ten thousand, which thronged the Iqbal Stadium to watch Pakistan team registering an easy win, saw in bewilderment a procession of seasoned Pakistani batsmen and was bitterly disappointed by this totally unexpected defeat. Many enthusiasts who roamed around the stadium to enter into it were lathi-charged by police." DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971028 -------------------------------------------------------------------- We lost because of our batsmen, says skipper -------------------------------------------------------------------- Sports Reporter KARACHI, Oct 27: A dejected Pakistan captain Saeed Anwar blamed his batsmen for the unexpected defeat in the third and final cricket Test against South Africa. "None of us applied ourselves. It was a devastating sight to see batsmen going and returning after playing reckless shots," Anwar said from Lahore. Anwar stated that none of the batsmen except Inzamamul Haq fell to good balls. "It was just senseless and irresponsible batting and nothing else. "The batsmen will have to change their attitude and commitment as we will be against three best one-day teams followed by a three-Test series against the West Indies in the next six weeks," he said. Anwar said he too was to be blamed. "I played very badly in the entire series. This is not supposed to be a performance from a leader but the factual position is that I am undergoing a bad patch which is bound to hit a professional. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971028 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Wasim Akram to replace Saeed Anwar -------------------------------------------------------------------- Sports Reporter KARACHI, Oct 27: In wake of an upsetting and demoralising 53-run defeat in the third and final Test against South Africa, Pakistan administrators have apparently decided to hand over the charge of the team back to Wasim Akram. "Saeed Anwar is already struggling with the bat and he is too good a batsman to be wasted like this," sources on condition of anonymity said. The 14-member team for the quadrangular cup is expected to be announced on Tuesday at Lahore. The team had been finalised two weeks ago but was delayed because the authorities had kept a watchful eye on the performance of Saeed Anwar. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971029 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Akram tells players to enjoy game -------------------------------------------------------------------- Sports Reporter KARACHI, Oct 28: Reappointed Pakistan captain Wasim Akram gave some comfort to the upset and dejected cricketers when he told them to simply enjoy the game. "I have told them to enjoy cricket and leave the rest on me. I will handle all the pressure and criticism if it is directed at the national team," Akram said from Lahore. Akram, who replaces Saeed Anwar, said he had a brief meeting with the players "but I can figure out that they are lost somewhere. I have to have a detailed meeting with them. "What I plan to inject in their minds is that winning and losing is part of the game. One day we will win and the other day we will lose. This is sport and no team can have a monopoly or dominance over it," said Akram. Akram admitted that it was a difficult time as the morale of the team was down and a tough forthcoming challenge is ahead. "But we are capable of bouncing back and I have all the confidence in my players. With an injury-hit team, we won in Australia and similar was the situation when Pakistan qualified for the finals of the Independence Cup in India." Akram was unsure of his tenure as captain. "It has not been defined by the authorities. All they told me was that I am the captain. But for how long, that I don't know," he said, adding: "Captaincy is not the end of the world and I am not bothered if I play under Saeed or anyone else. I just want to enjoy." Outgoing captain Saeed Anwar was more modest when approached for his comments. "Wasim Akram was the original captain. Since he was out, me or Ramiz Raja were handling the team. Now since he is back, he is incharge of the side. "There are absolutely no hard feelings. He is an experienced captain and the best choice for a captain's role because he leads from the front and with example." DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971031 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Teams getting tuned up for 4-nation cup -------------------------------------------------------------------- Sports Correspondent LAHORE, Oct 30: All teams participating in the Quadrangular One-Day International Cricket Tournament were tough, but the most dangerous of them was the world champions Sri Lanka. This was stated by the South African team manager S K Reddy while talking to reporters on Thursday at the Qadhafi Stadium where all the teams practised under floodlights. Reddy said Sri Lankan were champions and they also managed to maintain their supremacy after winning the World Cup in 1996. He said that West Indian team who had won World Cup twice would have upset any side. He said South African had always faced tough fight from the Carribeans. Reddy said Pakistan team had the services of seasoned players and the home ground and crowd advantages would also support them. He said South African captain Hansie Cronje was confident about the victory of the team. He, however, admitted that his team would miss three players McMillan, Kallis and Schultz who due to one reason or another had stayed at home. "They are good all-rounders and badly needed by the team for one-day game" Reddy said. But he said South Africa was still a well balanced side. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971031 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Jahangir to play in Hong Kong -------------------------------------------------------------------- Sports Reporter KARACHI Oct. 30: Doubles squash is a totally different ball game for it is as much taxing and demanding as the singles, said legendary Jahangir Khan, who would be returning to international competition after retiring in glory by leading Pakistan to victory in the 1993 World Team Championship in Karachi. "I would be partnering with Zubair Jahan Khan, currently ranked tenth in the world in the five-day World Doubles Championship scheduled in Hong kong from Dec 14, stated record holder of ten successive win in the British Open. Back to the top.

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