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DAWN WIRE SERVICE

Week Ending : 18 October 1997 Issue : 03/42 -------------------------------------------------------------------

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

Petroleum, gold prices up as rupee devalued Devaluation to fuel inflation Revamping of foreign missions given up Ayaz Baloch jailed: US regrets action 7,600 UBL employees sacked Public safety commissions likely to be set up soon Pakistan, UAE to discuss draft of extradition treaty Govt adopts cautious approach Lawyers advise Benazir to adopt wait and see policy Drug prices to increase by 12pc Defence team talks in US make no progress ---------------------------------

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

*From where to begin? Lack of planning again surfacing in wheat flour crisis Why the census was postponed Govt wants banks, DFIs disinvested by March Pakistan's privatization plan strongest in Asia, says World Bank Pakistanis abroad losing confidence in rupee CEPA gets extension Forex reserves up by $191m Planned and not a crisis move: Pasha Equities await outcome of IMF meeting on 20th ---------------------------------------

EDITORIALS & FEATURES

Breathing space Ardeshir Cowasjee Murder by any other name Omar Kureishi Keeping secrets Hafizur Rahman The sound of one hand clapping Irfan Husain Reverting to type Amjad Hussain -----------

SPORTS

UBL dispense with services of Waqar, Mushtaq & Inzamam Woolmer pleads for sporting wickets PCB delays naming team for four-nation cup Pakistan out of Champions Trophy tournament

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NATIONAL NEWS

971016 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Petroleum, gold prices up as rupee devalued -------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report ISLAMABAD, Oct 15: The prices of petroleum products and gold prices went up after the government devalued the rupee by 8.7 per cent on Wednesday morning. The cabinet took the decision on a proposal by the State Bank governor at a meeting early in the morning. The finance minister defended the decision at a press conference. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif presided over the meeting at an odd hour - 7.30am. The rise in petroleum prices in Karachi will be higher than the rest of the country. This is the first devaluation since this government came to power in February. Later in the evening, Finance Minister Sartaj Aziz defended the decision at a Press conference and said the devaluation would not affect the prices of essentials, e.g. electricity tariff, transport fares, Atta, kerosene, HSD, diesel, furnace oil. "Let me tell you that we will not allow price increases of any item except for a few POL products," he further stated. He listed a number of reasons that forced the government to effect what he frequently termed "necessary exchange rate adjustment" due to external and internal factors. Finance minister Sartaj Aziz did not believe that the devaluation would greatly affect the common man. "We have not so far allowed major increase like electricity, gas and would be further watchful". Responding to a question, Mr Sartaj Aziz disclosed that the government had made certain arrangements to manage the devaluation. "We have made certain provisions in the budget for future adjustments by anticipating an exchange rate of Rs 43 for a dollar", he added. The Finance Minister pointed out that since the US dollar had gained considerable strength against other currencies, the rupee had thus effectively appreciated against these currencies. He cited an example of the German mark, which was priced at Rs 26.20 in October last year and was now available for Rs 23.20. The French franc had gone down from Rs 7.80 to 6.90 and 100 Japanese yen from Rs 36 to 33. "Then the currency upheaval in South East Asia became one of the major factors", he said, adding that the Thai baht had been devalued by 30 per cent against the US dollar, Malaysian ringgit and the Indonesian rupiah by 17 per cent. He said since many of Pakistan's exports, like textiles and rice, competed in the world market with goods from South East Asia, "our competitive advantage has further eroded. "Besides these two external factors, a rate of inflation that is higher than that in the countries with whom we trade also forced us to devalue our currency", the finance minister said. Sartaj Aziz said from October last year to June 1997 (in nine months), the rate of inflation in Pakistan was 8.35 per cent (an annual rate of 11.2 per cent), whereas the comparative rates of inflation in countries like South Korea, Japan, USA, Germany and China was 2.26 per cent, 1.86 per cent, 1.42per cent, 1.24per cent and (-)0.77 per cent respectively. He said exports increased by 15.2 per cent in July over the same month last year and in August by four per cent, but later declined by two per cent in September, making for an average growth of five per cent for the first quarter of 1997-98. "In the past 12 months, our exports to Europe have declined by about 10 per cent, to Japan by 20 per cent and to South East Asian countries by 55 per cent", Sartaj Aziz said. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971016 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Devaluation to fuel inflation -------------------------------------------------------------------- Mohiuddin Aazim KARACHI, Oct 15: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday devalued the rupee by 8.71 per cent that enhanced the official buying and selling prices of a dollar from Rs 40.52 and Rs 40.72 to Rs 44.05 and Rs 44.27 respectively. In other words the price of a dollar rose by Rs 3.53 on spot buying. This is the first major devaluation of the current fiscal year. On July 11 the rupee had shed six paisa against the greenback but that was largely seen as a technical correction of the rupee-dollar parity rather than devaluation. The first of the current fiscal year this downward adjustment was the sixth by the PML government. The cumulative loss of the rupee against the dollar in previous adjustments was 40 paisa. The devaluation evoked a mixed response among bankers and money changers many of whom — particularly the money changers had no idea about such a huge devaluation. "We are shocked. The market situation was such that we expected devaluation but as the prime minister and finance minister had categorically ruled out its possibility we thought they meant it," said Munaf Kalia of Khanani & Kalia International. Some senior bankers reached by Dawn expressed the same feeling. The devaluation had an immediate impact in the kerb market and many people — particularly small holders — rushed to sell dollars for profit taking. "Those who have the greenback in big amounts are still waiting...they may offload their holdings within a few days," said a currency dealer. He said the buying and selling price of the greenback rose from Rs 41.21 and Rs 41.26 on Tuesday to Rs 44.40 and Rs 44.50 on Wednesday. This means that the spread between the official and the kerb market rates rather narrowed that is a healthy sign. Nevertheless, some currency brokers say the price of a dollar may touch Rs 45 in a few days widening the spread once again. The lowering of the rupee value against the US dollar pushed up the prices of almost all petroleum products, except diesel. Leading petroleum dealers told Dawn the per litre prices of super and regular grades of petrol shot up from Rs 18.55 and Rs 17.38 to Rs 19.10 and Rs 17.90, respectively. Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association had not notified increase in the prices of the two most widely used petroleum products till late in the evening on Wednesday but some petrol pumps had started charging the revised prices. On the other hand the devaluation raised the Karachi Stock Exchange index by 62 points on Wednesday and stock brokers felt the trend might continue in the near future. "But as the devaluation starts fuelling inflation it would rather make the small investors shy away," said a KSE member Zafar S. Moti. He said the stocks of efficient export-oriented industries, particularly such multinationals as Hubco would fare well giving the market a boost "but the overall impact of devaluation on the stock market would depend largely on how it effects the price line and the cost of living at home." So far the cost of living is concerned the devaluation took its first toll in the Jodia Bazar—the largest commodities market in the country—on Wednesday. According to the chairman of Pakistan Commodity Traders Association Raees Ashraf Tarmohammad the wholesale prices of tea and milk powder rose by Rs 17 and Rs 9 per kg on an average. "We did not expect such a huge devaluation," he said while talking to Dawn on telephone. "It will increase the cost of imports as well the total incidence of levies on imported items on the one hand and lead to misdeclaration and non-documentation on the other." Tarmohammad said the massive devaluation would encourage smuggling, besides increasing the cost of living and the cost of investment. "When the government devalues the rupee to help the export sector it should simultaneously reduce import duties on at least essential items." Treasury managers of both local and foreign banks who foresee another devaluation following before the close of the year were among those who expected the move coming about more than others did. "It was expected," said a senior manager at a foreign bank. He said the devaluation would help ease the liquidity crunch in the market with the increased inflow of the rupee equivalent of foreign currency deposits. "We expect an additional inflow of a few hundred millions of rupees every day that would augment the State Bank efforts to ease off the liquidity crunch in the market," the banker said referring to the first ever two-day open market operation conducted by the SBP. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971016 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Revamping of foreign missions given up -------------------------------------------------------------------- Our Correspondent ISLAMABAD, Oct 15: The Ministry of Commerce has apparently given up its plan to revamp foreign missions abroad to boost the country's exports. Instead of introducing any new set procedures to weed out poor performers, the vacancies are being filled in at different embassies and high commissions according to old practices. To fill these vacancies, no competition is being introduced, and the ministries/divisions are being asked to nominate the officials deemed suitable for the posts of trade ministers (grade-20), trade counsellors (grade-19), and trade secretaries (grade-18), at the embassies and missions. An Establishment Division letter No F-II (3) Admin 11/97 dated October 1, 1997, requires of the ministries and divisions to make these nominations. The heads and high officials of these ministries/divisions have been authorized to make nominations of their choice, a practice which the commerce minister has been lashing out at, in his recent speeches and comments on the issue. The letter says that the required experience for the nominee is 3 years service at an economy-related ministry or department. The ministry sources revealed that the last date for the October 1 announced nomination process has been given as October 8, and suspect that the ministry has already chosen the officials for these posts. "Otherwise, they would not have given such a short deadline", said one official. He added that in many ministries/divisions, the Establishment Division letter was received on October 4, which means only four days given to the process of making nominations. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971015 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Ayaz Baloch jailed: US regrets action -------------------------------------------------------------------- Our Correspondent ISLAMABAD, Oct 14: Mohammad Ayaz Baloch, tried by a Field General Court Martial (FGCM) for seducing an officer of Pakistan Air Force into drug trafficking, was awarded ten years' rigorous imprisonment which is subject to confirmation by the convening authority. Ayaz Baloch, son of Mohammad Nawaz Baloch and a resident of Islamabad, was an employee of Drug Enforcement Agency of the US Department of Justice. He was arrested here after Squadron Leader Farooq was held in the US on April 9, 1997, for drug trafficking and his accomplice Squadron Leader Qasim Bhatti was held on April 17, on the same charges. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and his counsel put up strong defence. The prosecution, however, presented irrefutable evidence which led to the conviction by the FGCM. Our Washington Correspondent adds: The State Department on Tuesday regretted the decision of a Pakistani military court to sentence DEA employee Ayaz Baloch to 10 years in prison saying: "We have always believed he has done nothing wrong." But a State Department official told Dawn the US respected the Pakistani judicial process and would continue to work with Pakistan in the efforts to combat drug trafficking. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971014 -------------------------------------------------------------------- 7,600 UBL employees sacked -------------------------------------------------------------------- Nafisa Hoodbhoy KARACHI, Oct 13: A total of 7,600 employees of the United Bank, including 4,500 from Sindh, were sent home on Monday, reducing the bank's nationwide strength by about one-third. The letters, dated Oct 10 and signed by the senior executive vice president, Khalid A. Sherwani, cited Rule 15 (1) of the UBL (Staff) Service Rules, 1981, and were served on all employees appointed or promoted to their present grade on or after Oct 1, 1991. Inquiries show that while UBL had 22,600 employees nationwide, the 7,600 employees who received the letters on Monday include 3,500 officers who were promoted out of turn from amongst the clerical staff to officer status (Grade 3) when Azizullah Memon headed the bank in 1993-94 and Aziz Memon was the CBA chief. The UBL management refused to answer a query from Dawn. However, the retrenchment letter issued by the management cited the large-scale removal of employees as a "painful decision" undertaken on account of overstaffing of the bank and in order to achieve its objective of "right sizing". With an estimated 3,000 Karachi-based UBL employees sacked, mostly from the main branch and head office, bewildered workers were seen on Monday afternoon milling around the UBL office on I.I. Chundrigar Road. A heavy presence of Rangers, police and Brinks security were posted to prevent any untoward incident. While Monday's action affected employees from 200 of UBL branches throughout Sindh, it was reported to have practically closed down the UBL's Personnel Department, Medical Department, Clearing, Sports, Printing and Stationery Departments throughout the city. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971013 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Public safety commissions likely to be set up soon -------------------------------------------------------------------- Raja Zulfikar ISLAMABAD, Oct 12: A cabinet committee has proposed setting up of public safety commissions (PSCs) in the federal capital and the four provinces to enhance the overall performance of police, Dawn learnt on Sunday. The commissions would recommend to the government steps to do away with all influences which affect the performance of the police. Besides promoting professionalism in police, the PSCs — if formed — would recommend training on scientific lines, suggest provision of latest arms and equipment, and other facilities to the police. The public safety commission would function as an independent body answerable only to parliament and the prime minister. The proposal for the establishment of the PSCs was discussed at a recent cabinet meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, but difference of opinion among the cabinet members prevented a decision. Knowledgeable sources told Dawn the proposal regarding PSCs saw resistance by representatives of the provinces who pointed out "certain flaws" in the commissions. The main objection to the proposal was that the PSCs would cause total isolation of police. "Police cannot function in vacuum," the opponent of the proposal had said at the cabinet meeting. Those who had opposed the establishment of the commissions had reportedly stressed the need for involving MNAs and MPAs and even senators who, they said, could help the police in arresting the rising crime rate. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971013 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Pakistan, UAE to discuss draft of extradition treaty -------------------------------------------------------------------- Our Correspondent ABU DHABI, Oct 12: Senior officials of Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, in a meeting here on Oct 18-19, will discuss the draft of an extradition treaty, besides anti-drug trafficking steps, trade and investment, and cooperation in cultural, educational, economic, technical and manpower at the meeting of joint ministerial commission. Pakistani diplomatic sources said no list of the members of Pakistan delegation has been received. But the delegation would include senior officials of the Board of Investment and the ministries of foreign affairs, interior, petroleum, labour and manpower, and other related areas. However, it is not expected that the extradition treaty would be signed during this meeting. "The draft will be discussed at length but due to disagreement on certain points it may not be finalized," the source said. UAE has been pressing for extradition treaty with Islamabad as usually the Pakistani fugitives sought by the UAE authorities are involved in fraud and financial scams, it is learnt. On the other hand, most of the Pakistani fugitives finding refuge in the Emirates are involved in misappropriation of funds and government taxes, and other social crimes. "In the absence of an extradition treaty, it is difficult for the Emirates authorities to hand over any fugitive to Pakistan," the source said, as their law is very strict and requires satisfactory evidence to take such measure," the source said. UAE is more keen on an extradition treaty and measures to curb drug trafficking from Pakistan. The two countries have signed anti-drug trafficking agreement in their meeting held in Islamabad in Nov 1996. In the agreement signed by the UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed al Nahyan and his Pakistani counterpart Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali, both sides affirmed their keenness to intensify efforts to combat drug and narcotic trafficking and misuse. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971014 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Govt adopts cautious approach -------------------------------------------------------------------- Mohiuddin Aazim KARACHI, Oct 13: While the private sector is poised to welcome foreign investment in software industry the government appears to have adopted a cautious approach in this regard. "Yes it is time to invite foreign investment in the software industry," said Mr. Ahmed Allauddin, President, Computer Society of Pakistan (CSP). "May be we succeed in attracting some foreign investment in the shape of joint ventures in the beginning," he observed while talking to Dawn. Mr Allauddin said initially Pakistan needs foreign investment for training and software development projects. He further said that the government may invite both local as well as foreign computer companies to get its various departments computerized through turn- key projects. "But while doing so the participation of the local companies must be ensured," he suggested. The country general manager of IBM-Pakistan, Mr Nisar A Memon also felt that the government should rather go for turn-key computer projects "if there is a resource constraint." Likewise, the CSP chief also felt that foreign investment may also be attracted in the private sector—whether directly or through joint ventures. He emphasized that while dealing with the multinationals and foreign investors the government must stick to its commitments "otherwise it sends a wrong signal in the world market." DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971014 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Lawyers advise Benazir to adopt wait and see policy -------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Correspondent LONDON, Oct 13: Opposition leader Ms Benazir Bhutto has been advised by her lawyers here to adopt a "wait and see" policy over the recent statements coming from the government leaders against her and Asif Ali Zardari, sources close to her said. Ms Benazir Bhutto who visited London recently, is understood to have consulted her lawyers besides her confidants during her stay here to discuss future strategy with them. A source close to Ms Bhutto said she has been advised to adopt a "wait and see" policy and not to take any step in a haste. He said her advisers have told her that Pakistani officials will find it too difficult to convince the British government to freeze her accounts in the British banks as they will have to provide hard evidence to establish their claim. Besides, she has been advised that the British government would not take any step unless it was established that the money in British banks was laundered "drug money". DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971018 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug prices to increase by 12pc -------------------------------------------------------------------- Azizullah Sharif KARACHI, Oct 17: Prices of both imported and locally manufactured medicines will shoot up by around 10 to 12 per cent in the wake of latest massive devaluation of rupee by 8.7 per cent, sources in the drugs manufacturing business told Dawn on Friday. It would be the fifth increase during the last 21 months and it was only in November last that the prices of medicines had gone up. Even the four per cent relief on the prices of medicines, which the government had passed on to consumers after Aug 15, will be eroded with the enhancement of drugs prices shortly. It was only on Monday last that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had assured a well-attended convocation of Lahore's Fatima Jinnah Medical College that prices of a number of drugs of common use would be reduced from Oct 25. When the finance manager of a multinational pharmaceutical firm, Eli Lilly Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd, Farrukh Faiyaz, was contacted by Dawn to know the impact of the latest devaluation of rupee on the prices of medicines, he said that as far as the prices of imported medicines were concerned they would definitely go up by 10 to 11 per cent. A member of Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association and the managing director of Lisko Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd, Nazar Talib, on being asked to what extent would the prices of locally manufactured drugs rise, said there would be an increase of around 11 to 12 per cent on locally manufactured medicines. Asked why the prices of medicines would be increased by 11 to 12 per cent when the rupee has been devalued by 8.7 per cent, he said actually the local manufacturers would have to incur an additional 3 to 4 per cent on paying duties for the import of raw material and packaging material. "Since almost 100 per cent raw material used in manufacturing medicines is imported, we will have to pay more duties owing to devaluation of the rupee," Nazar Talib added. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971018 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Defence team talks in US make no progress -------------------------------------------------------------------- Shaheen Sehbai WASHINGTON, Oct 17: No breakthrough was achieved on major issues haunting military ties between Pakistan and US in two days of talks at the Pentagon between top defence officials of the two countries. Pakistan's defence secretary Lt. General (R) Iftikhar Ali Khan, who led the Pakistani delegation and met the US Secretary of Defence William Cohen separately on Thursday, told a news conference he could not report any progress on the F-16 issue. He said Pakistan had told the US that it had only two options - — return of the planes or return of the money —- and there was no third option. But later answering questions the secretary said the legal option was also there though it may be exercised when all other options have been exhausted. General Iftikhar said the F-16 issue was the yardstick of measuring Pakistan-US relations as everybody in Pakistan saw our relations through that prism but "I cannot report any progress on that issue."

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BUSINESS & ECONOMY

971013 -------------------------------------------------------------------- *From where to begin? -------------------------------------------------------------------- Tasneem Siddiqui CAN we solve our economic problems in the long run? What about the governance issues? Do we have the potential, the capacity, the will to come out of our present fiasco? There are a large number of cynics and 'prophets of doom' who think Pakistan has no future. It can't come out of the woods because of its multi-faceted crises. But it is hard to share their pessimism. Pakistan definitely has a potential to become strong economically. A turn-around in other sectors is also not an impossibility. There is no doubt that there are major problems that relate to the way the government is organized and how it manages its affairs, but the main resource of Pakistan are its people who are hardworking, enterprising and full of creativity. They have faith in the country's future. They can do wonders provided an atmosphere is created where they can work freely and prosper. We have seen in the case of South Korea that in the life-time of a generation, from a poor, developing country it has become an industrialized country. Today it is blessed with one of the world's most vibrant economies (which is the 13th largest in the world) and is now ready to formally saying good-bye to the developing world (G- 77) to join OECD — the rich man's club. Starting from a per capita income of less than US $ 62 in 1962, can you believe it that their per capita income is now US $ 10,000. Their exports will be touching the US $ 200 billion mark by the turn of the century. All this has happened in a time span of 30-35 years. In mid-sixties, their experts used to visit Pakistan to learn from us the secrets of our 'success'. Now they have started giving aid to poor countries like us. Some countries are lucky. They have their Muhathirs, Lee Kwan Yus or Deng Xiaopings. If we do not have such visionaries amongst us, at least we can learn from their experience. We can start a process of reform and construction, and evolve our own strategy of development based on the experience of Asian Tigers, and of course, learning from our past mistakes. For any reform effort to be credible, the first step would be to regain the confidence of the people. We must admit that during the course of the last fifty years, people have lost faith in the political system and the government as such. When the government loses credibility, the natural consequence is that its writ does not run. State institutions become weak and are soon replaced by mafias. This is what has exactly happened in Pakistan. Regaining peoples' confidence will not be an easy exercise. To begin the process, our ruling elite will have to completely overhaul the well-entrenched system of patronage and nepotism, and replace it by a just and transparent system, accountable to the people. The question is are they ready to do it? The second most important reform which is needed is reducing the role of government to a minimum level and professionalization of public services — as opposed to their politicization. For the last three decades, what we have seen is the bloating of state apparatus to an extent that now it has become a mammoth, unwieldy organization that nobody can control. At the same time, all this time state machinery has blatantly been used for political and private uses. Now, there is hardly any distinction between public duties and private gains. This has virtually maimed and destroyed the public services and the facade of 'rule of law' lies deeply buried under the debris is discrimination, arbitrariness and nepotism. This is high time we have a lean and slim government and also restore the principle of merit, make public services accountable to the legislature, but at the same time save them from political influence in their day-to-day working. A demoralized, corrupt, pliable and incompetent civil service is antithetical to the needs of a democratic society. But again the question is: are our ruling elite ready to play by the rules? Are they ready to make the system transparent? Are they ready to give information to the people about everything? The government's priority is for improved macro-economic management, because unless we do that, we will soon face a default situation. In the short-run, the government will definitely succeed in averting this crisis, but this will only provide temporary relief. What we need are the institutional reforms all round. We need to have a close look at how our agriculture, industry and the service sectors function. Conventional approach in propping up hand-picked, inefficient, dishonest, 'robber barons' cannot help in reviving our economy. We will have to loosen bureaucratic controls and reduce redtape to encourage genuine entrepreneurs with new ideas, who want to start a new era of industrial and business activity in this country. They want to invest their own money and take risks. But they are discouraged by well-entrenched bureaucracy and powerful politicians. It is high time we accept the fact that most of problems in industry and business emanate from the highly 'interventionist' role of the state. The sooner we reduce it the better. Similarly, we will have to shift our attention from big, inefficient, absentee landlords to peasant proprietors and support them with credit and new technology, if we want to be self- sufficient in food. Rising poverty and the horrendous level of unemployment resulting in worsening crime situation need long-term planning. At the same time, if the government is serious in creating an immediate impact, it can make a beginning by focusing its attention on the human resource development. In the social sector, a change can easily be effected, and at the same time its benefits will be far-reaching. It will be the beginning of restoring the confidence of the people in government machinery. In this regard following agenda needs attention: The first step in this direction should be that the government should try to find out why our delivery system in the social sector has failed. In spite of the fact that we have invested billions of rupees in this sector, 50 per cent our children can't go to school, because there are no schools available; 89 per cent people have no sewerage services, whereas over 67 per cent people have no potable water to drink. In spite of all publicity and rhetoric there are hardly 18 per cent 'acceptors' of family planning practices. Our ruling elite now accept that Pakistan's social indicators paint a dismal picture. They also seem to know reasons for this poor performance. But strangely enough, they do not change the policies with regard to prioritization of needs, planning procedures, role of communities in the whole exercise. Nor do they want to decentralize the government working. We keep on doing the same thing again and again knowing fully well that the results cannot be different. Our planners should know that it is not the shortage of money, but the way it is spent which makes the difference. In primary education, basic health, and family planning we can achieve spectacular results within 4-5 years if we change the existing system and start a process of participatory development. How can we do that? From where can we learn? That takes us to the next point. The second major step should be that we make an inventory of successful pilot projects in the country and study them carefully. We are very lucky that in the last 15 years, a number of concerned and responsive citizens have intervened professionally and have come forward with the result of their research in the fields of primary education, basic health, family planning, urban sanitation, housing, solid waste management, even micro-credit. They have shown the worth of their research by implementing their projects in different areas of Pakistan. We should learn from these success stories. If their approach and methodology is correct, we must accept it with an open mind and make their approach a part of government planning and development mechanism. Based on these research projects, not only the people can be involved in the process of development but new concept of public-private partnership can also be established, reducing costs to government. The third step to prove the seriousness of the government is to carry out an exercise to make an inventory of incomplete or abandoned schemes. Thereafter, attention must be focused to operationalize these projects. There are thousands of schemes in rural water supply, basic health, primary education where billions of rupees have been invested but no benefit has accrued to the people. Similarly, a large number of community centres, polytechnic institutes for girls, working women hostels, stadiums, shopping centres, libraries, which were started by one government or the other, have been left incomplete or abandoned on flimsy grounds. If the government can complete these schemes and put them to use, it will be one big step to regain the confidence of the public. The fourth step should be to understand and define the role of different actors in the whole planning and development exercise. No matter what we say, the government can't abdicate its social responsibility. It has to strike a balance between market forces and benign intervention. In order to improve its delivery system in the social sector, the government has to test new concepts of partnership with private sector, supporting community action, sharing responsibilities and costs with beneficiaries, and promoting support organizations to carry out research in cost-effective, sustainable development. The most important step should be to find out permanent solution to our dependence on foreign loans — the one way can be that we get our borrowings rescheduled with the stipulation of easy instalments. That is a more appropriate way to come out of the debt trap on a sustainable basis. But for that, we will have to stop further borrowing and tighten our belts. Once we do that, we can stop taking dictation from the IMF and the World Bank. There is no doubt that we can finance most of our development, specially in the social sector, with our own money. So far we have reaped very little benefits from foreign assistance. Most of this money is either wasted, mis- allocated or goes into the pockets of consultants, engineers and contractors. We can make an experiment by not accepting foreign assistance for social sector projects for the next 2-1/2 years and try to complete the incomplete projects with our own resources. We should go for foreign assistance only for big projects in the field of energy, oil and gas exploration, big physical infrastructure projects. These steps may look small. But for achieving big results, a modest beginning is the surest way to success. We have had enough of grand designs. What did they achieve? If the government is serious about its 'Vision 2010', it can start implementing the above agenda right away. Most of these proposals do not require huge money. As a matter of fact, they will save billions of rupees which are being wasted, misallocated or plundered in the name of development. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971013 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Lack of planning again surfacing in wheat flour crisis -------------------------------------------------------------------- Ahmad Hassan THE NWFP at present has to depend for almost three fourth of its foodgrain needs on imported wheat and rice from down-country and abroad. This is so not only because it has no sufficient land to produce food enough for its needs but due to scarcity of water and lack of political will of successive governments which is major hinderance in turning the vast barren lands into fertile fields and cultivating food crops to not only meet the province's own requirements but also enable it export the surplus across the border. Water scarcity has been a phenomena after partition due to lack of sufficient irrigation facilities and of course want of Indus water apportionment accords between the provinces. Although the said landmark accords was signed in 1991 but even after that no serious effort had been initiated to tap maximum amount of water in order to develop provincial agricultural production. However, the ongoing wheat crisis as far as the NWFP is concerned, is far more due to the rampant smuggling of wheat flour to Afghanistan than other factors. According to an estimate, trucks full of wheat flour is smuggled via the Pak-Afghan border at Torkham and other routes in the tribal agencies. Reliable sources state that some influential people have started sending foodstuffs against fake permits reportedly issued by authorities who have no authority of doing so. This has resulted in panic buying, which creates a shortage of immediate nature in the market. On the other hand, dealers take advantage of the situation and put their stocks in secret godowns for black marketing. The food minister, Farid Toofan, who belongs to the ruling ANP, doesn't seem to be in control of the situation ever since the previous crises that had hit the province so severely. He is even blamed by his own party leadership for laxity and leniency with flour millers who took advantage by allowing their produce to be smuggled in every direction and leave the common consumers without flour. The deputy-speaker of the NWFP Assembly who is also a senior ANP leader has most recently blamed the food department for failure in provision of sufficient atta to the poor people. Although he refrained from directly blaming his colleague, his clear pointer was towards the newly appointed director food, from the post of administrator, Peshawar Municipal Corporation. The said director is said to be a man of confidence of the food minister who it claimed is doing everything under his directives. The cancellation of the permits of 30 small dealers of super fine wheat flour (the High Court has stayed the cancellation now) and awarding the same to some blue-eyed man of the minister. The wheat flour crisis which hit the province in March to May coincided with the coming to power of the present PML(N)-ANP coalition government in the province is again emerging and another acute shortage of wheat and wheat products is looming large in the province. Mr Toofan's hue and cry against the Punjab government for sealing its borders for wheat entry into the NWFP aside, the issue is more serious in the light of rampant smuggling. The government, although claiming to have regularized and streamlined the district-wise quota of wheat, it transpires that when it is ground in the mills it falls short somehow, somewhere to create artificial shortage in the local markets. To overcome the irrigation crises, the provincial government has recently undertaken medium-size irrigation projects of which Pehur High Level Canal from Tarbela water resource hopefully would be soon become a reality, while, Gomal Zam, Kuram Tangi Dams and Rodkohi system in southern districts of the province have yet to get funds for going ahead on physical work. The situation now is that the province has to purchase wheat through national imports and also to beg for part of it from the Punjab government. Despite all the claims by the food department and the provincial government, the wheat stocks position is worsening each day and the one month godowning facility is always vulnerable to keep the province self-sufficient in wheat supplies. The situation has further aggravated apparently due to lack of experience of the concerned officialdom and over-eagerness of taking political mileage and publicity in the place of concrete steps by the political government. The fact of the matter is that there are reports of massive irregularities in the award of permits of distribution of wheat and wheat flour, whereas the concerned department has either no grip on the whole sale and retail markets or they have some sort of under- hand understanding with them which gives an impression that there is no official control on prices. Hence, atta prices suddenly soar on the transportation of food grains across the borders. The flour mills which had played a dirty role in the previous atta crises are once again using the occasion to take maximum advantage from the crises. The talk of the town during the earlier wheat flour crisis was that every flour mill owner had earned enough to set up another flour mill for himself. And ironically, the majority of them belong to either the PML or ANP. Some prominent names of mills owners from the ruling coalition parties include, the Bilour brothers of ANP, Haji Javed (PML), Senator Javed Iqbal Abbasi (President of Flour Mills Association), Syed Ali Shah, MPA, and senior vice-president of PML-N, Yousuf Ayub Khan provincial minister for C&W. Senator Syed Qasim Shah (PML), Senator Saranjam Khan (general secretary, PML). DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971013 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Why the census was postponed -------------------------------------------------------------------- M. Ziauddin The sudden attack of second thoughts with regard to holding of the much postponed census is understandable. Perhaps the government had genuinely wanted very much to get it over quickly. Perhaps that was why it had put it high on its agenda soon after having romped home with a massive mandate in the February 1997 elections. But perhaps the looming challenges of holding the census on October 18 had seemed too perilous in the balance for the government to go ahead as scheduled. Therefore perhaps the decision to postpone the head count by about six months. But the question is, would the government be in a better position six months hence to cope with these formidable challenges. It has been only seven months since it came to power. The mandate which is seemingly overwhelming is still by and large in tact despite the continuing sluggishness in the economy and high prices. The understanding with the coalition partners, ANP and MQM is still good despite the occasional frictions. No major financial scandal about the government has come to light so far, despite there being no marked change in the style of governance. The main opposition is seemingly out and out with corruption charges chasing the top leadership all over the world. This is an ideal situation for any government to tackle any number of Pandora boxes. But still, it has chosen to postpone the inevitable. There is no guarantee that this situation would last for another six months. And by March 1998, the new date fixed for the census, things may not be as smooth as they are today for the government. And if the reason officially forwarded for the postponement is taken as correct, then what is there to stop our Southern neighbour which does not every want to see Pakistan take the road to progress and prosperity, from engaging the Pakistani troops once again in March simply to force us to postpone the census. A periodic census is essential for the planning and management of the economy. Without knowing how many people there are, where, in which age group, and with what income and educational bacground etc., it is next to impossible to know how much to produce and what, where to distribute and how much and what kind of investment to promote. It is also next to impossible to know how many can pay the taxes. That is why the CBR has never been able to estimate even approximately how much revenue it would collect during a particular year. The last census in this country was held in 1981. It is almost 18 years since. A new generation has been born. But we do not know the size and the profile of this generation. Pakistan's economy has many problems, some gigantic and some not so gigantic. But the mother of all problems is the lack of reliable data. And this problem is directly related to the continuing delay in the holding of the census. Every time we make a budget, we use the rule of thumb while estimating expenditure and income and every time the estimates go off the target by the billions forcing the government of the day to resort to borrowing. The social sectors have suffered the most due to the absence of an updated head count. Not only have these sectors received ever shrinking resource allocations, but also what was allocated was perhaps spent wrongly because of lack of reliable data on the in coming student population or the population- hospital ratios. Physical planning has also suffered greatly due to non- availability of data on population distribution and area-wise density. Consequently, the cities are turning into ghettos as despite the visibly steep increase in the urban population of Pakistan in the intervening period, the extent of developmental attention being paid to the cities and towns has remained unchanged since 1970s. The urban population has increased steeply partly because of the galloping population growth throughout the length and breadth of the country and partly due to ever increasing migration from rural areas to urban areas because of dwindling employment opportunity there. The biggest sufferer in this regard is the urban Sindhi. The cities of Sindh are overflowing while the physical infrastructure in these cities have simply collapsed. Overall the population of the province has increased manifold compared to the one recorded in 1981. But neither has the province's financial allocation under the national financial commission (NFC) award has increased proportionately, nor has its quota of government jobs been enhanced. Also the province's seats in the assemblies have remained static at the 1981 level. During this period the economy of the Punjab has grown at a relatively faster pace and at the same time the population of its cities has increased mainly due to migration from rural to urban areas. However, the overall provincial population has not increased at the same rate as Sind because, the overflows in the Punjab cities went to Sindh urban looking for livelihood and partly also because the relative improvement in the living conditions in the Punjab cities because of economic progress there has perhaps motivated the urban families to keep their respective counts down. However, Punjab continues to get the NFC award allocations as well as the job quotas on the basis of 1981 census. The number of its assembly seats have also remained in tact.But this has not improved the lot in the cities because rural Punjab has been getting a disproportionately higher share of the money and jobs from the provincial allocations despite a drastic reduction in their share in Punjab's population. In NWFP the population of Yousufzais is being overtaken by the Mohammands. Both are Pathans, but because of change in the demography of the sub-tribes, the political and economic power in the Pushtun areas of NWFP is likely to change hands once the census is held. Perhaps, due to the influx of Afghans and the impracticality of sorting them out from the local population, the overall population of NWFP has increased significantly since 1979. Still, the rate of increase in this province has remained less than that of Sindh because most of the overflows in the NWFP cities have also spilled over into Sindh urban. But the rate of increase in the province is still higher than in Punjab. So, perhaps after the next census NWFP is likely to gain significantly allocation-wise as well as job-wise. And its seats in the assemblies are also likely to increase at the cost of the Punjab. In Balochistan too the Afghan refugees have played an important role in upsetting the demographic distribution of Pathan and Baloch population. It would be only logical to sort out this issue before holding the census. Afghans are not Pakistanis. They have no right to claim Pakistani citizenship and reduce the local Pakistani population into a minority. The issue of Balochistan is qualitatively different from that faced by the Pathans of NWFP. In that province the influx of Afghans has only increased the number of Pathans. It has not turned the local population into a minority. So, while it would be highly welcome to sort out the two Pathan (Afghan and Pakistani) communities in NWFP and make the Afghan Pathan to go back to their own country, the sorting out in Balochistan is essential. In order to hold the census and still not upset the present politico-economic power balance, it has been suggested by some quarters to continue with the present resource distribution basis and also keep the number of seats in the assemblies same as at present for at least about two more census. But this would create more problems than it would solve. So if anybody is thinking on those lines, he should take a second look at this idea and try to fathom its ramifications and implications for Pakistan as a nation state. The government has announced the postponement of the census less than two weeks from the due date, fixed soon after it had come to power. In the intervening seven months millions of rupees had been spent in preparations for the census. All this has gone waste. Perhaps an equal amount was lost when the first Nawaz government stopped the exercise mid-way through in 1991. The new date fixed for the head count is March, 1998. A number of exercises would need updating entailing further expenditure. According to one estimate the country has already spent about Rs. 700 million on the preparations for the 18 October census. Rs. 40 million has been spent on printing and stationary alone. And the central government has allocated Rs. 300 million to the army, Rs. 30 million to Balochistan, Rs. 90 million to the Punjab and Rs. 40 million each to Sindh and NWFP for census purposes. All this money has now gone waste. It is therefore imperative that more postponement are no made if not for any other reason at least for the sake of economy. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971015 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Govt wants banks, DFIs disinvested by March -------------------------------------------------------------------- Ihtasham-ul-Haque ISLAMABAD, Oct 14: A special cabinet meeting here on Tuesday expressed dissatisfaction over the slow pace of privatization process, and the deteriorating financial affairs of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). The Prime Minister took exception to WAPDA's poor performance and warned officials of serious consequences if things did not improve within a few months. Informed sources told Dawn that the Prime Minister was unhappy to note that the privatization process of state-owned corporations was too slow and ordered that it be speeded up so that the entire exercise was completed by June next year. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971018 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Pakistan's privatization plan strongest in Asia, says World Bank -------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report ISLAMABAD, Oct 17: The World Bank has noted with satisfaction the progress made in Pakistan's power sector "where private investment of $5 billion has been committed." In the country brief on Pakistan released here on Friday, along with the World Bank Annual Report 1997, the World Bank has singled out Pakistan's privatization/private infrastructure programme for commendation, describing it as "the strongest in Asia — along with the programme in the Philippines." Building on a strong track record of 1996 when a number of important transactions were completed and others brought to an advanced stage, the government is expected to complete several additional major transactions this year, the Bank hoped. According to the World Bank report, Pakistan faced governance problems, including politicization of routine public sector decision making; declining effectiveness and capacity of public institutions; lack of effective law enforcement and timely dispensation of justice; evasion of taxes, loan repayments, and utility bills; and underdevelopment of local governments and other civil society institutions. These factors have severely reduced the effectiveness of public expenditures and tax collection machinery, held back and distorted the development of the private sector, weakening macroeconomic management, harmed the environment, and exacerbated the other structural problems Pakistan faces, maintained the Bank report. The structure of the economy and exports, in view of the Bank, remains too reliant on agriculture and cotton-based industries, leaving Pakistan vulnerable to external and internal shocks and limiting growth prospects. Despite past performance, industry and agriculture are still inefficient and uncompetitive in many respects, "both agriculture (major crops) and large-scale manufacturing suffered negative growth in 1996-97, and exports declined by 5 per cent." DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971018 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Pakistanis abroad losing confidence in rupee -------------------------------------------------------------------- Abdus Sattar Ghazali KUWAIT, Oct 17: Pakistani expatriates in Kuwait are divided over the repercussions of the devaluation of the Pakistan rupee by 8.71 per cent. The news of the devaluation spread like wildfire among the community members here, who rushed to money changers to find out the current rate of rupee against Kuwaiti Dinar and US dollar. The exchange rate for one thousand Pakistani rupees slipped from KD 7.540 to KD 6.920. Shabbir Hussein Jamani, General Manager of the Oman Exchange Company, said that Pakistanis will further lose confidence in the Pakistani rupee and the overseas Pakistani community would rely on US dollars as far as investment in the country was concerned. "The overseas Pakistani community have lost confidence in their currency and are after US dollars for their savings, because the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has offered 9 per cent interest on for five-year dollar deposits, while the interest rate on the rupee deposit is 15 per cent, which is actually less than that of the US dollar deposits". Syed Ajaz Hussein, General Manager of Overseas Exchange Company, said that the devaluation would cause inflation since the cost of import would rise in terms of Pakistani rupees. Ajaz Hussain said that there were so many other factors which had affected Pakistan's exports, that include uncompetitive prices, poor quality of products and dishonest behaviour of our exporters. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971018 -------------------------------------------------------------------- CEPA gets extension -------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report ISLAMABAD, Oct 17: CEPA Energy Pakistan Limited, a subsidiary of Consolidated Electric Power Asia Limited (CEPA), officially announced on Friday that it has been given a one-year extension by the government of Pakistan for achieving financial close for 1320mw Keti Bander power project. Managing Director CEPA Raymond Hill in a statement issued from Hong Kong said they had received a one-year extension to its power purchase agreement. Previously both CEPA and the government of Pakistan had the option of terminating the PPA on September 30, 1997 if the project did not reach financial close. "Under the terms of the extension, CEPA and the government of Pakistan are committed to seeking solutions to several issues of concern in the current PPA," Mr. Hill said. These issues include the cost of power from the plant and of the transmission line, the obligation of the provincial government of Sindh to provide associated infrastructure, and matching the project schedule with the country's needs for electricity capacity, he said. "Based on our past close working relations with government officials in Pakistan, we are optimistic that our ongoing negotiations will finally achieve mutually beneficial resolutions on the outstanding issues during the extension period," said Mr. Hill. A subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company, the largest electricity producer in the U.S. CEPA has power plant operations in China and the Philippines with a total combined installed capacity of 3,995mw. There are also other power projects under development in major Asian markets including India, China, Indonesia and the Philippines. CEPA has pioneered the use of the BOT (build-operate-transfer) structure in completing the first power generations facilities with private sector participation in emerging Asian markets like China and the Philippines, he added. The CEPA project at Keti Bander also involved construction of a deep sea port and an industrial zone. The power project was to be completed in two phases. The first phase envisages setting up of two 1320mw generators on the imported coal and in the second stage six more generators with a total capacity of 3960mw were to be installed. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971018 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Forex reserves up by $191m -------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Reporter KARACHI, Oct 17: Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves rose by $191 million from $1.357 billion to $1.548 billion on October 11. According to the figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan on Friday, the total reserves as on October 11 included $974.780 million held within Pakistan and $573.125 million outside the country. On Oct 4, the foreign exchange held within country stood at $473.904 million whereas the balances held abroad totalled $883.285 million. This means that while the reserves held within the country rose by more than 100 per cent the balances held overseas dropped drastically during the week ended Oct 11. Senior bankers and money market analysts reached by Dawn failed to give reasons for such a phenomenal rise in the reserves held within the country. They said there was an inflow of foreign currency swap funds worth less than $100 million coupled with another inflow of about $50 million on account of the increase in Nostro limits—and could not identify other major sources that doubled the reserves held within the country. The SBP had raised the Nostro limits by 15 per cent on Oct 1. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971018 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Planned and not a crisis move: Pasha -------------------------------------------------------------------- Ihtashamul Haque ISLAMABAD, Oct 17: Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Hafeez A. Pasha has said that the government would not have to mobilize additional $3.40 billion or Rs 152 billion as a result of 8.7 per cent devaluation of Pakistani currency announced on Wednesday. "The government 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. He said that the inflation would have to be contained at 10 to 12 per cent to meet the objectives of the devaluation. Speaking at a news conference here on Friday, he did not agree with the independent experts and economists that the government now needed additional $3.40 billion Rs 152 billion specially to cover the increase in the debt-servicing of its foreign loans. He insisted that there existed a "cushion" in the budget to meet the expected devaluation and that the government would be able to manage everything within the budgeted amount, fixed for the current financial year. One of the major considerations to devalue rupee, Dr Pasha, pointed out was to arrest declining trends in exports that were specially witnessed in the month of September. "But we will be able to get additional $600 million to $700 million due to increase in cotton production and over $300 million from the export of the manufactured goods", he claimed. "Then we would have a bumper rice crop along with sugarcane crop". DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971018 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Equities await outcome of IMF meeting on 20th -------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Reporter KARACHI, Oct 17: Stocks on Friday lacked the anticipated post- devaluation buying euphoria as foreign investors took profits at the inflated levels after the local follow-up turned shy owing partly to weekend considerations and partly to fears about inflationary pressures on the economy. The KSE 100-share index after early weakness managed to finish with a modest gain of 3.82 points at 1,978.66 as compared to 1,974.84 a day earlier, reflecting the strength of some leading base shares. The interesting thing was, however, that leading index shares including Hub-Power and PTCL, which have a weightage of about 43 per cent in it finished reacted and it rose, though modestly, without them. The market capitalization showed further increase of Rs 943.232m at Rs 593.090bn as compared to Rs 592.146 a day earlier, as some of the higher capitalized share tended further higher. Despite a relative weakness of the blue chips selective support figured prominently on a number of counters, which enabled the index to finish with an extended modest rise after early decline of 10 points. "The strength of the energy sector under the lead of PSO and Shell Pakistan did not allow the market to finish the weekend session easy", some dealers said. But they hoped the market will resume its upturn when the trading resumes next Monday as the basic fundamentals has undergone a major change after the devaluation, they added. Some analysts expect a massive inflow of foreign support but after the IMF Oct 20 meeting, which will approve $1.06bn credit line under ESAF . "Both the devaluation and the release of the first tranche of IMF credit line could boost the market to new peak levels", they added. Both PSO and Shell Pakistan again came in for strong support on the perception of higher sale volumes owing to an increase in the petroleum prices and so did some other energy shares. While PSO finished with an extended gain of Rs 13.45 at Rs 462 against the face value of Rs 10, Shell Pakistan surged by Rs 20 to Rs 352, its new career-best level. Other good gainers were led by Sapphire Fibres, Crescent Steel and Lever Brothers which rose by Rs 3.20 to 10. They were followed by Bolan Bank, MCB, Nishat Mills, Lakson Tobacco and some others. Losses on the other hand were fractional and reflected lack of support rather than large selling from any quarter. However, some of the MNCs, notably Reckitt and Colman, Engro Chemicals, and Knoll Pharma remained under pressure and ended further lower by Re 1 to Rs 2 and so did International Investment Bank. Among the locals, 9th ICP Mutual Fund and Century Paper were leading, falling by Re 1 to Rs 1.25. PTCL whose board met in Islamabad on Oct 15, declared an increased dividend of 10 per cent for the last year ended June 30,1997. The company earned post-tax profit of about Rs 12bn on sales volume of about Rs 41bn. But its post dividend performance was not that impressive. Trading volume fell from the overnight's 102m shares to 57.641m shares owing to the absence of leading buyers. There were 192 actives, out of which 81 shares fell, while 66 rose, with 45 holding on to the last levels. Hub-Power topped the list of most actives, easy 15 paisa on 15.552m shares followed by PTCL, lower 30 paisa on 14,299m shares; ICI Pakistan, off also 30 paisa on 13,044m shares; Japan Power, up 30 pasia on 6.678m shares; FFC-Jordan Fertiliser, unchanged on 1.840m shares. Other actives traded shares were led by KESC, up 55 paisa on 0.943m shares; followed by Southern Electric, firm 15 paisa on 0.553m shares; Sui Northern, steady 10 paisa on 0.364m shares; Sui Southern, unchanged on 0.331m shares; Pak-Suzuki Motors, up 25 paisa on 0.359m shares; Chakwal Cement, firm 10 paisa on 0.334m shares and MCB, higher Rs 1.75 on 0.246m shares. There were some other notable deals also. Defaulting companies: The trading in this sector was largely confined to Schon Bank,which rose 40 paisa to Rs 12.50 on a volume of 0.269m shares. Sunshine Cloth was traded at the last level of Re 0.50 on turnover of 2,500 shares. ------------------------------------------------------------------- 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). Name, Postal Address, Telephone, Fax, e-mail address, old subscription number (where applicable). 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EDITORIALS & FEATURES

971012 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Breathing space -------------------------------------------------------------------- Ardeshir Cowasjee THE visit of the Queen and Prince Philip, and the Prince's meeting with his old polo-playing friend, Brigadier Hesky Baig, brought back memories of the now dormant Pakistan Parks and Playing Fields Association. It was founded by that likeable man, Ahmed Jaffer and was affiliated with the British Playing Fields Association of which Prince Philip is Patron. In the 1950s and 60s, Hesky and Philip had played a lot of polo together, at Cowdray Park and at Windsor, mostly in opposing teams, occasionally in the same team. Hesky, of course, in those years, his heyday, was the sole Pakistani of his playing era with a 6-goal handicap. Ahmed Jaffer, later in his life spent more time in London than here, and when he sojourned at Karachi it was mainly to chair the annual general meetings of the twenty-seven associations of which he was president. As they were all held on consecutive days, the samosas and pakoras and biscuits growing steadily staler and soggier day by day, Hesky and I as vice-presidents of the Parks and Playing Fields Association managed to prevail upon him to hold our meeting on his first day in town. The last time we met was in the Zia days. The General-President had posted his army friends in various civil corporations. One rotund Brigadier, whose name neither of us can readily recall, was the administrator of the Karachi Municipal Corporation. The subject of polo matches between India and Pakistan cropped up, and the patriotic Brigadier's contribution was to tell us to forget about playing games. What was needed was "aik aur round" of warfare. We lost the previous wars, morale is low, we need a lift. A second patriot agreed: "Yes, now is the time. One of our soldiers equals three of theirs." A third patriot: "Wrong, it's one to five." Hesky and I looked at each other and asked what would happen to our morale if "aik aur round" was also lost. Should we not rather stick to playing polo? Traitors one and two were soundly admonished for even harbouring such unthinkable thoughts. Ahmed is dead, Hesky and I are in the winter of our lives. The Association must be revived to essentially keep open the city's lungs, its open spaces. Let us see how these have been encroached upon by marauders conspiring with corrupt politicians and controlling authorities. Take the revised Kehkashan Scheme 5, approved in 1972, and let us assess what has happened to its handkerchief-sized planned open spaces. Starting with Blocks 8 and 9, to the left of the Main Clifton Road (going towards Clifton) between the Teen Talwar and the Do Talwar roundabouts. The lessors of this land are the KDA but the controlling authority is the Clifton Cantonment Board (CCB) which has been very lax, or corrupt when it comes to the change of land use. In Block 8, Plot ST-2 is designated as a park. The Sindh government and the CCB agreed that a school should be built on this plot to compensate for a school plot in Shireen Jinnah Colony that had been grabbed for a highrise. The citizens of the area shouted 'Stop', but to no avail. Help came from Lt. General Lehrasab Khan, Commander 5 Corps, who had just taken over. His gun, which made no noise, was effective. Construction stopped at ground level, the excavations were refilled, but the plot still lies mucked up and undeveloped. ST-4, another park, has been encroached upon by the Imam of the mosque on neighbouring ST-5 who has walled-in a sizable portion. On other parts illegal houses have been built. Much of it remains open, but, again, undeveloped. ST-6, a park or a playing field, remains open. But the CCB has allowed Juma Bazaars to be held thereon, which entails one day to rig stalls, one day for the market, one day to unrig stalls, and another day to clear up the debris. This means that for only three days a week is there undeveloped breathing space where boys can play cricket. ST-8 is also designated as a park. On half of it now stands a magnificent Bohra masjid, and the other half has been occupied by Edhi. In Block 9, most of park plot ST-5, opposite the Islamic Chamber, has been encroached and built upon. A minute portion remains open, but this could be built upon any day. A portion of ST-10, another park, was given away in 1996 by the Chief Executive Officer of the CCB to a friend for a gymasium. Another portion has been converted into a veritable stinking slum, occupied by bagpeople, junkies, eating and doss houses. A decent sized portion remains to be saved and developed. Across the Clifton Road are the blocks controlled by the KBCA. Plot ST-6 in Block 7 is a designated park in which a monument was to be put up. It was given away by former chief minister, Jam Sadiq Ali, to his old teacher, Bishop Anthony Lobo, who was told to forget rules and regulations and build upon it an extension of St Michael's School. Construction was started, the people went to court, construction was stayed, the people are still in court, and the park space stands desecrated and unusable. ST-5, a park, has been entirely illegally walled-in by the mullah of the mosque on the adjacent plot. Parts of all the pocket-sized squares designated as parks, ST-6, 7,8,9 and 10 have been encroached upon. The Nahar-e-Khayyam, an open space, is for the most part an open sewerage line into which flows the untreated waste of the entire adjoining areas. In the era of Benazir-1, her cronies planned to reclaim it and build five highrise complexes (shops and flats). The citizens went to court and are still in court. The polluting sewerage continues to flow. Moving on to Block 5, to ST-15, yet one more park that has been encroached upon and desecrated, this time by the lessors themselves, the KDA, for a residential colony. They ran out of money and a few half-built houses stand upon it. Before a park could be built upon ST-23, half of it was converted into residential plots and taken over by bureaucrats. The principal beneficiaries were ex-bureaucrat Salman Faruqui, retired bureaucrat Saeed Qureshi, and serving bureaucrat Salik Nazir Ahmed. Salman occupied an extra portion merely to house his chowkidar. Following his fall, this has been retrieved for a children's park. Half of park plot ST-21 has been occupied by the Civil Aviation Authority on which to build houses for its officers. This was disputed by the people, the CAA are hanging on, but the space remains open. The other half was taken over by the KMC in the days of Benazir Bhutto and her helicopter pilot KMC's Fahim Zaman, and a half-built structure for an open air theatre stands there. The people will have to go to court to keep ST-21 open. Block-6 consists of the Boat Basin and a peripheral garden. The water forms a part of the eastern backwater and is controlled by the Karachi Port Trust. The garden belongs to the KDA. Through a convoluted manoeuvre the KMC, neither lessors of land nor water, signed the whole lot away to Asif Zardari's friends, the Gittus of Dolmen apparently in connivance with absconding former chief minister Abdullah Shah, and his adviser, absconding Tony Casino. In July 1997, additional chief secretary and secretary for local bodies and rural development, Ahmed Maqsood Hameedi, who controlled the KMC, ordered the cancellation of the agreement with the Gittus. Hameedi now stands OSDeed on the orders of Altafbhai of London town. An area sliced out from the garden was allotted to the Pakistan Navy to build a sailing club. Former CNS, Admiral Mansur-ul-Haq, inaugurated a non-functional building, which remains as it was for want of funds. A novel way of raising money envisages the leasing of the roof to a displaced wedding caterer to run a restaurant, ostensibly for members and 'visiting members.' This latter category is described as any member of the public who visits. Under no definition can a club run a restaurant open to the public. COMKAR, Rear Admiral Fayyaz-ur-Rehman, has promised to right the wrong. Under the present straightforward CNS, Admiral Fasih Bokhari, this space is unlikely to be surreptitiously commercialized. Now, who is willing to come forward and revive our old Parks and Playing Fields Association, to save and then to nurture our breathing spaces, to produce enough funds to go to court and keep what little is left from the clutches of the marauders and the conniving corrupt authorities? DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971014 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Murder by any other name -------------------------------------------------------------------- Omar Kureishi NOT all murders are equal. There is a sort of class distinction that classifies them. There is a murder, pure and simple and most foul, the taking of a human life for private or personal motives. This is a lowly homicide. Then there is a political killing. This does not qualify as murder and how it is treated depends very much in which camp the killer and the killed belong. In any event, it enjoys a higher status. It may be carried out in pursuit of private ambition but it falls in the public domain. And then there is assassination. This is in a deluxe category, the equivalent of travelling by Concorde, the Brahmin of murders. In each case the end-result is the same. A human life has been extinguished. When one considers how hard we try to keep alive, even those who are terminally ill will rage against the dying of the light, we will go to doctors, we will take precautions, we will give up dangerous and unhealthy habits, at great inconvenience, we will pray: the will to survive is powerful. Yet how cheap human life is and how easily it can be taken away, not always by accident or illness but by a conscious decision of someone to terminate the life of another one. Just like that, by blowing out a candle. As a case in point, there was the decision of Mossad, the Israeli secret service (not so secret) to kill a Hamas leader in Jordan. The Israeli prime minister Banjamin Netanyahu does not distance himself from this decision. He owns it and justifies it by saying that it is his job to send assassination squads to hunt for men he considers his enemies. By any definition, by any legal standards, Benjamin Nethanyahu is an accessory to murder, though in this case, attempted murder because Mossad horribly botched up the hit. If the botched up attempted murder had not been so grave and sinister an offence, it would have been hilariously funny, something out of either the Keystone Cops or Pink Panther. Nihal Singh, the editor of Khaleej Times is a serious writer and is not given to levity. Something about this botched up murder or attempted murder must have touched his funny bone. He describes it in these words: "If they were not so tragic, recent developments in the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation seemed to assume comic proportions more suited to second-rate pulp fiction than to real life. Imagine the pantomine. We have two spooks in Amman following their quarry in a car with their accomplices riding separately. They overtake their target and spray him with a mysterious poison out of a stick they take out of a bag. The bodyguard of the Hamas leader Khalid Meshal gives chase and hold the spooks long enough to be arrested. The spooks cover was blown off immediately because they did not want Canadian consular assistance despite allegedly being Canadian. And then followed frantic efforts in several capitals to bring the improbable story to an end, with Joran's Prince Hassan dispatched to Washington with a letter. The founder of the Hamas movement, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin languishing in an Israeli jail, was released at the dead of night and sent to Jordan. There was no deal, said King Hussain." And Nihal Singh goes on. Mossad has a reputation that invests it with almost super-human powers. It has been involved in several spectacular coups, including the kidnapping of Eichman and the raid at Entebbe that released the hostages of a hi-jacked aircraft. But they blew this one suggesting that they are, after all, human. Mossad is not the only intelligence agency that has been involved in dirty tricks including murder. No country can do without its spooks and they have come to become a government within a government, with an agenda of their own. It is well known that the US CIA made several attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. It is not at all certain whether these attempts were made with the approval of the US president. Several political leaders, including heads of government, have died in mysterious circumstances and suspicion has fallen on some of these spook organizations which may have been behind these deaths, if not the assailants. This amounts to official banditry and if a group of private individuals were to do what these agencies do, they would be branded as criminals and if they represented some political cause, they would be called terrorists. Yet these official "murders" are not treated as murders but as a part of policy. The same applies to custodial deaths and killings as a result of encounters. This is semantic jugglery but it involves a human life. The pity is that there is no international court where specific individuals could be prosecuted for specific murders. Had Mossad succeeded in killing the Hamas leader, the Israelis would obviously have denied having anything to do with it. But the real tragedy is that the murder attempt having been botched up, those Mossad agents will get off scot-free. They may incur the displeasure of their own government, not for attempting to murder a human being but for failing to do so. It is this twisted morality that is so hard to understand. How many public leaders who we have revered had blood- stained hands? And to think that we consider Jack the Ripper a monster! And Benjamin Netanyahu is still prime minister which is just as well for had he been a private individual, he would have been in jail. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971015 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Keeping secrets -------------------------------------------------------------------- Hafizur Rahman I HAVE always wondered why nobody ever tells us how many billions the ten richest men in Pakistan possess. You will read in newspapers a list of the ten richest men in America published regularly by Forbes' Magazine and Fortune. The latest came out in Fortune some weeks ago. Reports are also published about the most moneyed persons in Britain, Germany and Japan, even Australia, but never about anyone from Pakistan and India. Why? There is a reason why our Croesuses never disclose to newsmen or anyone else how much wealth they have accumulated. It is understandable since most of them do not pay the taxes they should be paying. People make guesses about their financial worth, but if these billionaires were to admit the veracity of these figures they would be hard put to it to explain where it all came from. And since no one can make so much money in Pakistan (and India) by fair and legal means, these gold-plated billionaires would at once be collared by the Central Revenue hounds and made to account for every penny they have gathered. It is now common knowledge that wealth these days is of two kinds; white and black. It is the ambition of every businessman, industrialist, defence contractor and real estate merchant to collect as much black money as possible, since this colour money is neither traceable nor taxable. Nowadays we have a new category in Pakistan. This is the chap ostensibly doing nothing but possessing billions — maybe from traffic in heroin — paying no taxes and, socially, trying to climb to the top in order to be counted among the "nobility." For we are very broadminded in these matters. We are not bothered where a man's gold comes from, whether from drug-dealing or the white slave trade. As long as he has the shekels he can count on us for our respect and on our daughter for a wife. Actually the disinclination to reveal how much money one has is a national trait in the subcontinent. For all I know it may be a trait common to the whole of the East, though I can't be sure, never having travelled beyond Karachi. And there are good reasons for maintaining secrecy in the matter. We are essentially a society of joint families howsoever our families may have become westernized or dispersed in composition. We feel responsible for our relatives, even distant relations, and if we are not able to help them when they are in financial need we feel guilty. Being Muslim also has something to do with this feeling. The reality also is that the moment it becomes known that we have struck gold, we are likely to be besieged by a host of nephews and brothers-in-law and friends and acquaintances who, it seems, had been waiting in the slips to make a catch. That is why we may be rolling in what it takes but we never admit it. You can try it. Ask anyone whom you trust and who trusts you. It may be your bosom friend or business partner or an office colleague or your own brother. Ask him how much he is worth and he'll be evasive or hesitant or he'll tell a white lie, but never the truth. This has become a habit with us. In fact, more often than not, the man you ask will start complaining about his lack of means and even his downright poverty. "It's sufficient, thank God, that we are able to have two meals a day," is the most you will get out of him. On the other hand, people in the West are not secretive about their financial position. Maybe because they know that no indigent friend or greedy relation is going to ask them for a loan or a gift as a matter of right. In our part of the world if my brother has a lakh I assume it as a matter of course that half of it belongs to me. Come to think of it, we are inclined to be close and secretive about most family matters. If we have suffered a financial reverse we'll never take friends and relations into confidence. If there has been a serious illness in the family — particularly cancer or a heart attack — the fact will be kept from acquaintances. If there is talk about a match for our daughter it must be kept hush-hush. And if the match is broken then of course it assumes the proportions of a defence secret. Strained relations between our daughter and her husband, which may lead to divorce, can only be talked about over our dead bodies. If there is lunacy in the family it is treated duly like a skeleton in the cupboard. Dismissal from service is described as voluntary retirement, and even honourable retirement is something that must not be loudly mentioned. It is as if the poor official has been guilty of an indiscretion and shouldn't be reminded of it. Other affairs like sale or acquisition of property are not for other people's ears. Some people go so far as to hide the pregnancy of a newly married daughter, as if a mere whisper about it would cause a miscarriage to take place. Why is it that we want to hide our personal information from other people? At the same time we can never keep a secret. Whether this secret pertains to the state or to individuals — our friends, our relations, our enemies — it is impossible for it to remain confined to the circle from where it is not supposed to leak out. Our government leaders and successive regimes derive full advantage from this national propensity. While their own secrets also become known to all and sundry, they succeed in finding out the innermost and closely guarded decisions of the opposition parties through the ubiquitous intelligence agencies and the ever-obliging "mole" placed within every political party. This insider is ready to betray his friends either for money or just to please the powers-that-be. Apparently mutual trustworthiness is not our strong point. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971018 -------------------------------------------------------------------- The sound of one hand clapping -------------------------------------------------------------------- Irfan Husain POLITICIANS never seem to realize that a mandate — massive or not — can slip away as remorselessly and as quickly as sand in an hourglass. With his two-thirds majority in the National Assembly and the opposition in disarray, perhaps Nawaz Sharif can be forgiven his hubris and his complacency. Having neutered the president and nailed PML members to their assembly seats by making floor-crossing illegal, the prime minister is as secure today as he can be in a country where no elected government has completed its tenure in the last twenty years. From this position of strength, he feels he can take on any party or institution except, perhaps, the army. Thus, he has moved — unnecessarily and clumsily, it is true — to clip the judiciary's wings. Although we have not seen the final act of this time-wasting and energy-sapping drama, it gives us an insight into the mindset of this government. Basically, Nawaz Sharif feels that with his overwhelming legislative strength, he does not need to consult anybody but his kitchen cabinet. Nor does he need to evolve a consensus. The recent censorship policy and the way in which it was announced is a case in point. Nawaz Sharif walks into the PTV studios in Lahore, gives the staff there a lecture on his half-baked concept of "Islamic values", announces that henceforth, men and women will not appear on the small screen "in close proximity"; there will be no pop music; and long-haired men will not be permitted anywhere near a TV camera. The PM went on to say that he would rather shut PTV down than have it compete with foreign channels. Now this would have been perfectly OK had he threatened to shut down a unit of his Ittefaq Industries empire, but PTV is a national asset (or liability, depending on your point of view) on which the taxpayer has been forced to shell out billions of rupees over the years. Who is Nawaz Sharif to shut our national television down because he doesn't approve of pop groups or men with long hair? Why doesn't he switch channels as the rest of us do so frequently when confronted with PTV's usual offerings? It is this arrogance that is beginning to take on ominous overtones. The prime minister would do well to remember that power has limits, just as it carries certain responsibilities. One of them is to set an example by respecting institutions and not treat them like his personal handmaidens. During the first half of her second (curtailed) term, Benazir Bhutto looked firmly entrenched. With her man in the presidency, and a supportive COAS in GHQ, only a foolhardy person would have predicted her early exit. Blinded and made deaf by this feeling of invulnerability, she proceeded to mess things up on a truly grand scale. Finally, in her usual arrogance, she antagonised the judiciary because of her husband's petulance. The rest, of course, is history. While Nawaz Sharif has been careful in avoiding any hint of financial scandal — mainly because virtually no deal of any magnitude has been finalized these last few months — he has taken on the bureaucracy and the judiciary in no uncertain manner. The former has reacted by refusing to take decisions that might result in inquiries and suspensions, while the latter has gone public on matters that are normally discussed behind the scenes. After eight months, the PML government looks as rudderless and clueless as it did when it took over earlier this year. Apart from its single point agenda of accountability, there is little sense of purpose or direction. And even on the accountability front, it has lost credibility by being so blatantly partisan and engaging in a vendetta against Benazir Bhutto and her family. While even the most ardent PPP supporter will want the Swiss connection pursued to its logical conclusion, the cases against many others are crawling along at snail's pace. The economy is still in the doldrums, and the stock market languishes without any sign of revival. A mandate is not something you keep around to display and gloat over as if it is a family heirloom; nor is it intended only to ramrod legislation through Parliament without discussion or debate. Rather, it is accorded to a political party by the electorate in the expectation that their lives will be improved. By this yardstick, there are yet no grounds for optimism. Granted that only eight months have passed since this government took over, we have been given no reason to expect that there is light at the end of this particularly long and dark tunnel. The only genuinely courageous initiative Nawaz Sharif has taken was to try and improve ties with India. Unfortunately, vested interests and hawks on both sides of the border have blocked this move, and the last few weeks have witnessed regular exchanges of artillery fire across the ceasefire line killing dozens of civilians. Clearly, there are people in both countries' military establishments who are unhappy over the prospect of peace between the two countries. Relations with Iran, on the other hand, have hit rock bottom. Apart from this step, removing the president's powers to sack a government and preventing floor-crossing are the other two major initiatives Nawaz Sharif can boast of. However, the latter two moves can be seen as insurance policies aimed at ensuring that he completes his tenure. However, the millions of Pakistanis who helped him win his landslide victory would be justified in asking: "What's in it for us?" So far, nothing this government has done is of direct benefit to the people. Inflation is still eating into the income of the average citizen; law and order are limited to well-guarded sections of Islamabad inhabited by diplomats, ministers and senior bureaucrats; and our macro-economic woes continue unabated. And yet, there are any number of actions Nawaz Sharif can take that will directly affect the lives of millions. for example, the recommendations of the committee set up under Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid to inquire into the status of women have been submitted to the government. If they are accepted and enforced, this alone would ensure Nawaz Sharif's place in history. But does he have the courage to take on the small but vocal obscurantist lobby? Nothing he has said or done so far suggests that he does. Ayub Khan faced them when he enacted the Family Laws Ordinance nearly 35 years ago, and this piece of legislation continues to give women whatever small degree of protection they have today. So far, all Nawaz Sharif has been able to do to touch the lives of the masses is to order the termination of thousands of jobs. Indeed, the only people who think his government is doing a good job is the coterie of sycophants surrounding him. From a distance, however, all the rest of us can hear is the sound of one hand clapping. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971018 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Reverting to type -------------------------------------------------------------------- Amjad Hussain Blaming the white man for ail our ills has become almost a second nature for us. He is there ready to be used as a convenient scape goat for all national disasters that have befallen us in the fifty years of our history. Be it sectarian violence in the cities, or the decimation of industrial structure, or the gradual mutilation of the institutions, it is always the white man in pursuit of his opportunistic designs who has been credited with these abominable achievements. Is it that we seek absolution in blaming others for our own shortcomings and escape our responsibility or is it a refuge we look for every time we have to face the unpalatable truth about us and the society in which we live in that drives us to look everywhere else except ourselves for an answer? Irfan Hussain's column on Our Colonial heritage (Dawn, October 4th) has outspokenly highlighted this unremarkable historical trait in our biological makeup. We blame and criticize the white man but have we ever taken the time to thank him for all the nice things he has done for us? The only thing the white man should not have given us are those awesome weapons that have wrecked so much carnage and havoc both here and in other parts of the Muslim world. Our white men, the British, were successful in colonizing us because of the decay in the structure and system of governance caused by years of depravity and neglect of the rulers. It was shocking to learn that a certain Maharaja or Nawab, I forget which, used human baits on his frequent tiger hunts. Are there any further depths of degeneration society could sink into? The British came to our soil as traders not conquerors but when they saw the crumbling edifice they stepped into the place of the deceased Mogul Empire as arbiters and keepers of peace. It was during the reign of George II that Robert Clive destroyed the French power in India and conquered Bengal as the first great continental area of British rule. The acquisition converted the East India Company from an armed trading corporation into an Asiatic power. By and large Indians began to find that under the British flag, and under theirs alone, was to be found security from warlike invasion and from grosser forms of domestic oppression. And upon that was based both the permanence and the justification of the British Raj. Lord Wellesley did most to expand the British power and to justify its expansion. He broke the power of Tippoo Sultan of Mysore and of the great Maratha Confederacy of Central India, whose horsemen had so long attacked and threatened all the neighbouring States. The implications of this policy of expansion as we have seen would have no geographic boundary save the Himalayas and the sea. It was to be proved by repeated experience in Punjab and elsewhere that peace in India could only be maintained by the acknowledged suzerainty of a single power. That few will be inclined to dispute. In India the process of the growth of fine traditions of Anglo- Indian rule had already begun among soldiers and civil servants who were devoted not to personal gain but to government as a means of peace and welfare for millions. In many material respects India benefited from various improvements and reforms introduced by the British administration. Railroads, bridges, roads, and irrigation systems were constructed; telegraph and postal services were established; and they stopped all manner of cruelty including the practice of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. In places where there had been no rights, no justice, no law other than the arbitrary whim of the ruler, they instituted individual rights. In many cases they made it possible for the first time for persons to own property and go to court to recover damages for harms done. What has been our contribution? Instead of building on the legacy left behind by the colonial rulers ours have presided over its progressive destruction. The democratic institutions and traditions, the infrastructure and the system of administration have all been eroded by the criminal neglect of the handful who have ruled since the birth of the country. That scourge of mankind, slavery, was abolished in the Empire in 1833 and yet here we are close to the end of twentieth century witnessing enslavement of people before our very eyes. Khalid Hasan is right when he says that we have reverted to type because for example, in the colonial days the feudals were prevented from the use of slave labour on their farmlands, they were prevented by the long arm of the British who had instituted checks and balances against the misuse of power by their protegees whom the British got to know very well during their conquest of the sub- continent. Today the descendants of the same landlords sit in the legislative assemblies to ensure that the privileges which they have multiplied over the years remain undisturbed and continue to grow in line with the multiplication of their progeny. Is it any wonder that almost all the feudal lords supported the demand for a separate Muslim homeland? Does it not lead one to speculate that their support for the movement was based more on convenience rather than conviction? Free from the constraints imposed upon him by an impartial administrative machinery to enforce justice the feudal joined hands with military and civil bureaucracy to entrench his position on the land which was handed to his ancestor for favours done and services performed for the British. The civil military bureaucracy is no better when it comes to power and privilege. Here again one can see reverting to type because these two institutions were nurtured under the fine traditions of British civil and military service and therefore should have stayed away from politics and offered their vast administrative and military experience to the inexperienced politicians who took over after the death of Jinnah. Yet very soon after independence these two institutions took over the levers of power and thereafter systematically destroyed the institutions, traditions and conventions of parliamentary democracy to maintain their hold on power. The destruction of traditions and conventions began with Nazimuddin taking over as governor general after the death of Mr Jinnah. He became prime minister after the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan. Ghulam Mohammad took over the governor generalship when Nazimuddin switched from the largely ceremonial to the executive role. Both appointments had constitutional implications which were ignored at the time. Nazimuddin was chief minister of East Pakistan before he succeeded Mr Jinnah as governor general. He therefore breached the convention that a nonpolitician be appointed governor general. Ghulam Mohammed was responsible for contravening two conventions: having served as finance minister, he too was a politician and additionally he was a former civil servant and civil servants by convention were not allowed to fill the office of governor general. The idea being that if the governor general was to be impartial, it was considered advisable that he should not be associated with any one particular interest in the government. Ghulam Mohammad had a long career as a civil servant and events later proved that he utilized his connection with the bureaucracy to extend his political power. Conventions of a constitution are often more important than its written parts. This is particularly true of constitutions which have their roots in the unwritten constitution of England. By contravening established conventions our earlier rulers nipped the infant parliamentary democracy in its bud. The succession of dismissed prime ministers first by the governor general and later by the President bears testimony to the struggle for power between the two institutions of the state. Our history is replete with examples of the extreme lengths which the head of state has gone to in order to maintain his hold on the levers of power. Starting from the dismissal of Nazimuddin by proclamation on April 17, 1953 to the dismissal of Benazir Bhutoo in November 1996, the motive behind each dismissal has always been the same, quest for power. Ghulam Mohammad dismissed Nazimuddin because he probably felt threatened by Nazimuddin's close association with his old enemy, Fazlur Rehman and feared that Nazimuddin would remove him as governor general. The dismissal did not provoke a single protest and was later described as "one of the most popular coups in history". Ghulam Mohammad sought to strip Nazimuddin of all political support, retaining six of the nine members of Nazimuddin's cabinet. The three who were dismissed along with Nazimuddin were the most influential members of the Muslim League and potentially the most difficult to control. They were replaced by three figures with little political strength. With the dismissal of the three, the last of Mr Jinnah's cabinet choices were removed from the administration thus eliminating the Muslim League as an independent voice in the central government. Nazimuddin's dismissal was an attack on the Constituent Assembly. Ghulam Mohammad had demonstrated that the confidence expressed in Nazimuddin by the assembly meant nothing. By appointing his own prime minister Mohammad Ali Bogra, Ghulam Mohammad began to exercise powers similar to Mr Jinnah who as governor general appointed a prime minister independent of the Constituent Assembly. The next move in his relentless pursuit of power was forced upon him when the Constituent Assembly moved to replace governor general's office by the office of the President who was reduced to a mere figurehead. This threat from the assembly was dealt with by the simple expedient of dissolving it and declaring a state of emergency throughout the country. The central point is that whenever the governor general and later the President felt threatened they took immediate action to remove the threat, whether perceived or real, to maintain their hold on power. Our history makes sad reading. We have floundered on the path of history as selfish, autocratic and short sighted people and the colonial interlude was the only time during which those natural instincts were suppressed. With the removal of the colonial restraint we have reverted to type and seem incapable of curbing those instincts. Let us hope that the recent confrontation between the executive and the judiciary is not a prelude to another contest for unbridled power by the chief executive of the country. For if it is a struggle for supremacy of power as we have witnessed in the past than we should have no hesitation in supporting the judicial arm of the constitution to keep a check on an executive with brute majority in the legislature. Let us make sure that this time around the infamous natural instincts are restrained by the popular will of the people. That will be the ultimate triumph of democracy.

SPORTS

971014 -------------------------------------------------------------------- UBL dispense with services of Waqar, Mushtaq & Inzamam -------------------------------------------------------------------- Special Representative PESHAWAR, Oct 13: United Bank Limited (UBL) has terminated the services of Pakistan Test stars Waqar Younis, Mushtaq Ahmed and Inzamamul Haq with effect from Oct 11, well informed sources revealed here on Monday. Besides, these three current players, nine other cricketers were terminated, including skipper Tauseef Ahmad and basit Ali. The 12 cricketers sacked are: Waqar Younis, Mushtaq Ahmad, Inzamamul Haq, Basit Ali, Tauseef Ahmad, Umer Rasheed, Salim Jaffar, Hasnain Kazim, Iqbal Imam, Aamir Bashir, Mohammad Ramazan and Javed Sami Khan. Informed sources stated that Younis, Ahmad and Haq will be served with termination letters later this week while the other nine have been served with the notices. Sources stated that the nine players were formed the backbone of the United Bank in Karachi while Waqar Younis is posted in Vehari, Mushtaq Ahmad in Sahiwal and Inzamamul Haq in Multan. Sources added that the sacking of the 12 cricketers was because the bank terminated 6,000 employees who were either appointed or promoted after Oct 1991. Each appointed at a gross salary of more than Rs 100,000 a month. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971015 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Woolmer pleads for sporting wickets -------------------------------------------------------------------- Special Representative PESHAWAR, Oct 14: South Africa's coach Bob Woolmer has seconded the idea that the International Cricket Council (ICC) should sit and decide which type of wickets were best for the promotion of the game in general. "The ICC should definitely discuss about the uniformity of the wickets rather than showing their authority that wickets should be like this or that," he said in an interview to Dawn. "The ICC should do what they think is right for Test cricket. The important thing is that they have to sell the game to the public, the sponsor, the television," Woolmer opined. "The ICC should realise that they need to make sure that they keep the game in the forefront of everyone's eyes," said the Indian-born Englishman. About the Rawalpindi wicket, Woolmer said it was favourable to batsmen. Two of the best bowling attacks could get only 16 wickets with only two-and-a-half innings being completed. It wasn't a bad wicket but it was a good batting wicket that made bowling difficult, he said. In the long run, Woolmer continued, if you see every single Test of two-and-a-half innings, Test cricket will become boring and not many people will come and watch the game, he stressed. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971018 -------------------------------------------------------------------- PCB delays naming team for four-nation cup -------------------------------------------------------------------- Sports Reporter KARACHI, Oct 17: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is delaying the announcement of the 14-member team that will take part in the quadrangular tournament. The four-nation event begins at Lahore from Nov 1 and is being participated by world champions Sri Lanka, South Africa and the West Indies, besides the home country. Investigations reveal that the selectors have submitted the team to the cricket board. In fact, the team was submitted when the selectors discussed the second Test squad. It was also confirmed that Mushtaq Ahmad has requested that he wants to concentrate more on Test cricket than one-day games. According to sources, Mushtaq felt more pressure in the limited overs games. Meanwhile, Inzamamul Haq has not been approached by the cricket board regarding his Toronto case. On Wednesday, an impression was given that Inzamam might have to go to Toronto but the factual position is that PCB's solicitor, Ali Sibtain Fazli, is handling his case and so far has not contacted the burly batsman. The 14 finalised by the selectors are: Saeed Anwar, Shahid Afridi, Aamir Sohail, Ali Naqvi, Ijaz Ahmad, Inzamamul Haq, Mohammad Wasim, Moin Khan, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mohammad Husain, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Aqib Javed and Azhar Mahmood. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS* 971015 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Pakistan out of Champions Trophy tournament -------------------------------------------------------------------- Michelangelo Rucci ADELAIDE, Oct 14; Pakistan has conceded. There is no more business to be done by the world champion at the 19th FIH Champions Trophy here after Pakistan fell embarrassingly to the foot of the table without a victory after a 1-3 loss to its bogey team Korea last night. It is the first time Pakistan has lost three consecutive games at a major international tournament — and it will need to find something extra to take the points from Olympic finalists Spain and the Netherlands in the next three days. Last night's crushing defeat the Pakistanis third in three matches after losses to Germany and Australia at the weekend has ended any chance of Pakistan claiming a medal here, just 10 months after it played off against Olympic champion the Netherlands for the Champions Trophy in Madras, India. It was Korea's first win at its first Champions Trophy series "we have no excuses," said Pakistan coach Jahingir Ahmed Butt. "We should not have lost tonight we played very good hockey and I can't give you the reason for this defeat. "We have so many good chances in the first half that we should have won by three or four goals. But we didn't. "And now we are out of this tournament. All we can do now is prepare for the World Cup next year." Back to the top.

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