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DAWN WIRE SERVICE

------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 25 October 1997 Issue : 03/43 -------------------------------------------------------------------

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

FBI agent says he cannot name Pakistan officials World Bank chief asks govt not to review cases Parliament alone can fix number of judges: PM US House may sanction refund of F-16 money Over 50,000 form human chain in AJK ---------------------------------

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Forex reserves up at $1.55bn Govt gets two offers for 30-year lease World Trade Centre to be set up at Port Qasim Devaluation: a no-win situation Privatization process beset with snags Devaluation: will it help us beat India? EC imposes dumping duties on bedlinen Hub Power and PTCL battered, fall-out of HK crisis ---------------------------------------

EDITORIALS & FEATURES

The bare bones: autumn 1997 Ardeshir Cowasjee Water, water everywhere.... Irfan Husain Terror remains untamed Aziz Siddiqui -----------

SPORTS

Poor planning exposed Pitch drying operation embarrassing Nawaz Sharif summons UBL chief, SEVP Jahangir Khan sad on sacking of sportsmen German coach to train soccer players Wasim Akram serves notice on Pak-Suzuki Pakistan-India hockey series being finalised

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NATIONAL NEWS

971021 ------------------------------------------------------------------- FBI agent says he cannot name Pakistan officials ------------------------------------------------------------------- Shaheen Sehbai WASHINGTON, Oct 20: The Kansi case took a dramatic turn on Monday when the FBI agent who had arrested him in a Dera Ghazi Khan hotel refused to disclose, during cross-examination, the identity of the Pakistan law enforcement people who had accompanied him during the operation. Agent Garrette was ordered by the Fairfax trial court judge to answer the defence attorney's question who was with him, but the witness said it was classified information and he could not disclose it. The judge at one time hinted he might have to jail a federal official. The importance of the disclosure was stressed by the defence which wanted to prove that the FBI and Pakistan authorities had jointly arrested Kansi and if that could be proved, Kansi could invoke his 4th Amendment rights under the US constitution. If Kansi was allowed to invoke his 4th amendment rights, all the statements he had made to the FBI officials would not be admissible in his case as evidence and that could make the prosecution's job a lot more difficult before a jury. But agent Garrette twice refused the orders of Judge Howe Brown although he conceded that some Pakistan officials had been present immediately after Kansi was arrested by him and three other FBI men from his hotel room. He said immediately after the arrest Kansi had been handed over to the Pakistan authorities and kept in a cell for two days during which the FBI men remained constantly with him. He did not disclose where the cell was located but he said the FBI men had remained with Kansi to ensure that no one interrogate Kansi, as well as to provide food and rest to the accused. The FBI agent told the court that Kansi had signed the statement after he was told about his rights. He had waived his rights and had indicated he would not hire a lawyer to defend himself. The signed statement, which was counter-signed by another FBI agent on board the plane, was placed in the court record by the prosecution. Kansi also told the FBI agent that he had a Master's degree in English language and he understood and spoke the language very well. Agent Garrette said he had spent over one and a half years to hunt for Kansi since the killing of two CIA men in front of the CIA headquarters in Langley in January 1993. He also stated that Kansi had signed his name on the statement as "Kasi" claiming it was his real name. The alleged confessional statement was not admitted by the judge as evidence but was taken in the file under seal with the possibility that if may be entered as evidence later. The defence was arguing that because Kansi had been arrested by the FBI in a joint venture with Pakistan authorities, he could invoke his constitutional rights and that would protect him from the statements he had made during the flight from Pakistan to the US. State attorney Robert Horan said it was for the defence to prove that Kansi was either a US citizen or was entitled to protection under the US constitution. Judge Brown said he agreed with the prosecution that Kansi had to establish a prima facie case that he was entitled to all the rights. The FBI agent was brought on the witness stand by the prosecution to prove that Kansi had made the confessional statement in the plane voluntarily and not under duress or coercion. Attorney Horan repeatedly asked the FBI witness whether he threatened Kansi or offered him leniency for making his statement, and the witness replied in the negative. Earlier at the beginning of the hearing, prosecutor Horan conceded that the FBI had no jurisdiction in Pakistan to arrest Kansi. He also agreed with the defence stipulation that Kansi had been not produced before a judicial magistrate after his arrest until he was brought to the US. Horan also conceded that in the arrest of Kansi the Vienna conventions had not been complied with and his arrest was not made in pursuance of any Pakistan document which allowed him to be seized. The court was told the CIA and the FBI had refused to comply with subpoenas issued by the defence to give files and documents of the Kansi case to the defence lawyers. "The FBI has handed over some newspaper clippings saying this was all that they had in the Kansi file," lawyer Romano told the court. The defence also argued that Kansi had been extradited to the US in violation of the Pakistan-US extradition treaty, copies of which were placed in the court record by the defence. When the defence lawyer, Ms Meleen, cross-examined the FBI agent, he admitted at one stage that he handed over Kansi to the Pakistan authorities immediately after the arrest but refused to identify the authorities. The court broke up for a recess and the cross-examination was expected to continue. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971022 ------------------------------------------------------------------- World Bank chief asks govt not to review cases ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ihtashamul Haque ISLAMABAD, Oct 21: World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn has called upon the Pakistan government not to review the cases of private power plants set up during the PPP government. Informed sources told Dawn the World Bank chief, who had met the president, the prime minister and the minister for finance, observed that reviewing the cases of the private power projects would discourage foreign investment in Pakistan. Mr Wolfensohn maintained that Pakistan needed substantial foreign investment which would only come when the apprehensions of the investors were removed, specially of those who had established private power plants during Benazir government. Sources said the World Bank president was told that the government only wanted to ensure transparency in the privatisation process and that the purpose was not to discourage investors. The government, they said, assured the World Bank chief that if, at all, any review was made, it would not necessarily mean the cancelling of a certain power deal. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971024 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Parliament alone can fix number of judges: PM ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ihtashamul Haque ISLAMABAD, Oct 23: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said here on Thursday that only parliament had the right to determine the strength of the judges of the Supreme Court. "We certainly want to resolve this issue through mutual understanding but it should be very much clear that it is parliament which has the right to determine the strength of the judges of the Supreme Court", the prime minister said. Speaking at a news conference at the PAF base, Chaklala, before leaving for Edinburgh to attend the Commonwealth summit, he, however, said the issue of the strength of the judges would be resolved by taking all the important institutions into confidence. "We would also be consulting Bar associations with a view to arriving at a consensus ", he said, and added: "When this issue will be taken to parliament, we will consult all the important institutions of the country". Mr Sharif, nevertheless, denied his government had decided to move in the Supreme Judicial Council any reference against Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah. He regretted that some newspapers were publishing stories without any substance. "I do not know how to respond to your question because some newspapers have published about this so- called reference and you are now trying to get it confirmed from me", he said. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971024 ------------------------------------------------------------------- US House may sanction refund of F-16 money ------------------------------------------------------------------- Shaheen Sehbai WASHINGTON, Oct 23: An important member of the House foreign relations committee on Wednesday indicated the US House may sanction refund of F-16 money to Pakistan, to resolve the pending issue, but it was not clear whether or when that may be done. Congressman Doug Bereuter, Chairman of the Asia-Pacific sub- committee of the foreign relations committee said at a hearing on South Asia that a proposal to appropriate money for the F-16s was pending with the Congress. His remarks came during testimony by Rick Inderfurth, Assistant Secretary of State, before the sub-committee and after Dana Rohrabacher, a congressman who sympathises with Pakistani causes, raised the F-16 issue and forcefully demanded that either Pakistan be delivered the planes or refunded the money. Bereuter's remarks were not clear whether the proposal to appropriate the money was a new one or it had been lying with the Congress for some time, neither it could be construed by observers as any definite move to resolve the issue. The Clinton Administration has been trying to resolve the issue by selling the Pakistani aircraft to a third party, but for the last over two years no progress has been made. The Administration has not attempted to take the issue to the Congress to seek a budgetary sanction to return the money as it thinks the proposal may not be adopted. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971025 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Over 50,000 form human chain in AJK ------------------------------------------------------------------- Our Correspondent MUZAFFARABAD, Oct 24: In a unique expression of solidarity with the people of Indian held Kashmir who have waged a war of attrition against Indian rule, more than 50,000 men, women and children formed, on Friday, a 56km long human chain from here to Chakothi near the Line of Control. The event coincided with the 50th anniversary of the foundation day of AJK government. Almost all political and religious parties of Azad Kashmir, had united under a common platform, the Jammu & Kashmir Solidarity Forum, in the campaign spread over the past six weeks. At 8:30am on Friday, representatives of the JKSF delivered a memorandum, signed by all the members of the JKSF, to the UN military observers. The memorandum called upon the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to grant Kashmiris their unfettered right to self-determination, arrange complete withdrawal of Indian troops, facilitate return of two million displaced Kashmiris and take suo motu action against the Indian government which was contemptuously violating the United Nations resolutions 51(1995) 91(A) of 1957 by granting autonomy to Ladakh in violation of the UN resolutions and the UN charter. The human chain started from the office of United Nations Military Observers post near Domail, the confluence of river Neelum and Jehlum, where women had been lined up on both sides of the road. People from all parts of Azad Kashmir had travelled to the capital to join the human chain and show the outside world that the hearts of the Kashmiris on both sides of the LoC throbbed together. Eyewitness reports say although the chain was to be formed between 12:00 noon to 1:00pm, the people had gathered on the road much earlier. "Indian dogs go back." "We want freedom." "Right to self- determination is our birth right." These were the slogans the children and girls were raising.

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BUSINESS & ECONOMY

971025 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Forex reserves up at $1.55bn ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Reporter KARACHI, Oct 24: Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves stood at $1.559 billion on October 18 three days after the 8 per cent rupee devaluation. According to the figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan on Friday, the reserves totalled $1.559 billion on October 18 up from $1.548 billion on October 11 showing a growth of only $11 million within a week. The modest increase in the reserves should have been more substantial had the huge 8 per cent devaluation not come about on October 15. The SBP statement shows that on October 18 the approved foreign exchange as reported by the issue department stood at $1.143 billion and the same reported by the banking department totalled $415.394 million. On October 11 the two figures stood at $ 974.780 million and $573.125 million respectively. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971025 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Govt gets two offers for 30-year lease ------------------------------------------------------------------- M. Ziauddin ISLAMABAD, Oct 24: Two consortia, one backed by South African sponsors and the other by Italian business interests, have made multi-million dollar offers for a 30-year lease of the about to be completed Islamabad-Lahore motorway. The 1.2 billion dollar motorway, which is expected to be inaugurated on November 26, carries 450 million dollars of Daewoo loan and the rest is budgetary allocations in rupees (Rs 22 billion). Paktoll, the consortium headed by South African sponsors and backed by an Omanese business firm has offered to pick-up the Daewoo liabilities, pay 200 million dollars up front and an average 100 million dollars a year over the next 30 years from the incomes. The annual payment offer of Rs 100 million is based on the traffic projections made by the National Highway Authority (NHA) with the caveat that it would go up or down in line with the actual incomes from traffic. There is no mention in the offer about the incomes from sub-leasing of facilities like motels, shopping centres etc on the motorway. The consortium has, however, offered to submit a bid bond of 20 million dollars. The other consortium, Auotrostrada which is represented in Pakistan by a Pindi businessman has offered to pay 75 million dollars up front, pick up the Daewoo liabilities and guarantee 2.1 billion dollars payment to NHA over 30 years from the incomes. Anything over and above 2.1 billion dollars would be split 50/50 between Autostrada and the Government of Pakistan. The income in this offer is defined the sum total of incomes from traffic and sub-leasing of facilities along the motorway. It is understood that the two offers also pick up the expenditure on maintenance including repairs and improvements of the motorway. The government has not yet taken a firm decision on the offers and according to some officials, more lucrative offers were expected after the completion of the motorway. These officials said the two offers have their own merits with payment of nearly 50 per cent of the total expenditure on the spot and the remaining over the next 10 to 15 years and substantial profits from then onwards. Any offer which would make good the entire expenditure in a matter of two years with 75 per cent of the payment up front is likely to meet a favourable response, they added. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971021 ------------------------------------------------------------------- World Trade Centre to be set up at Port Qasim ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ihtashamul Haque ISLAMABAD, Oct 20: The Minister for Finance, Senator Sartaj Aziz chaired, here on Monday, the first meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCOI) which approved the setting up of the World Trade Centre at Port Qasim at a cost of over $250 million. The proposed World Trade Centre would have facilities of international exhibition, permanent display centre, warehousing facilities including refrigerated storage, hotel, merchandizing plaza etc. The estimated cost of the project ranges from $250 million to $300 million. Informed sources told Dawn that the meeting also approved $500 million investment plan that sought to introduce real "One-Window" operation. All arrangements, sources said, would be made to offer all kinds of facilities to both the local and theforeign investors by having the representatives of all the concerned ministries and offices under one roof so that they should not face problems in getting their problems resolved instantly. The CCOI which has recently been created by the prime minister to facilitate new investment in the private sectors also approved the provision of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) handling and storage facilities by utilizing the exiting jetties of ENGRO and FOTCO at Port Qasim. This would ensure adequate availability of LPG at economical prices and appropriate safety standards. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971020 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Devaluation: a no-win situation ------------------------------------------------------------------- M. Ziauddin THE DEVALUATION was imminent, it was only a matter of time, the right political time. Coming as it does only 5 days before the IMF board meeting for ratifying the ESAF/EFF agreement, it seems the decision could not have been postponed much longer whatever the political consequences. The dollar had been appreciating for a long time against most of the hard currencies and with it, the rupee was also going up rather artificially. And we had begun subsidising the foreign exporters sending goods to Pakistan. Meanwhile, the currency crisis of East Asia hit the ceiling forcing most of the Asian tigers to devalue their currencies. Many of them are our competitors in textiles, our main item of export. Their devaluation robbed us of a thick slice of the competitive edge. The Indian rupee also followed suit, making it all the more imperative for us to devalue. Also, with the domestic rate of inflation at over 12 per cent officially (20 per cent unofficially), against 2 per cent in countries from where we import most, about 10 per cent downward adjustment in the rupee-dollar parity had become all the more imminent. This is the third October in a row which has seen massive devaluation of the rupee. In October 1995 and 1996 also the country had to resort to devaluation. Like the two previous occasions, this time also the devaluation has followed the collapse of the budget in the very first quarter. The latest reports emanating from the CBR indicate that the shortfall in revenue collection was to the tune of as much as Rs 9 billion. Against the target of Rs 62 billion, an estimated Rs 53 billion was collected. An almost 15 per cent decline against a revised target. And against the collection of the first quarter of last year the decline has been as much as 7 per cent. Even this collection was made possible because of tax returns filed in September on the incomes earned last year. In order to keep bank borrowing within limits in the face of such a marked decline in incomes, the government in the first quarter resorted to further cuts in development budget. The finance ministry held up releases for even the core projects (except the motorway), except amounts needed for salaries. On the non-development front also, expenditures on medical bills, newspapers, petrol etc are being withheld. The stagflation that had risen its ugly head in early 1996 (calender) and which had persisted throughout the crisis ridden months of 1996 was attempted to be broken by the newly elected government of Nawaz Sharif by announcing measures ostensibly to strengthen the supply side of the economy. The cost of production was brought down all around. But so far the investors have not shown any inclination to take advantage of the new business friendly policies of the government. This has manifested in the stagnating exports and declining imports. To be fair to the government, it perhaps knew that things would not improve at least for 12 to 18 months. It had planned to fill the gap with the incomes from an accelerated privatisation process (estimated to be in the region of $7-8 billion in the first year), recovery of bad loans amounting to Rs 135 billion and by offering amnesty to black money holders. But neither the privatisation process nor the recovery operations brought in the needed resources to make good the losses expected from the economy in the first year of restructuring. In fact the privatisation process did not even take off and the loan recovery measures simply collapsed. Therefore, the crunch. The revenue incomes reflect a massive stagnation on the production front. On the other hand the stoppage of almost all the public sector developmental activity (except the motorway and facelift of city of Lahore), has equally affected the incomes and employment situation generally. And together, the two have caused the persistent stagflation to become even more acute than it was last year. Now, let us see what the delayed devaluation is likely to do immediately. The foreign debt liability would go up steeply in direct proportion to the extent of the devaluation restored to. Next, the import bill for food and fuel would go up sharply. The government has announced that it would not let the prices of kerosene, HSD, furnace oil, diesel and atta be affected by the increase in the import bill of crude oil and wheat. That is understandable because there is enough room in the tax component of imported POL to take care of the higher import bill on the rupee side. But then to that extent the government's resources would get blocked which otherwise were budgeted for something else. The cost of production which the government had done so much to decrease by reducing taxes would surely go up again making the intending investors all the more reluctant to invest. The vicious cycle would continue. The one sector which stands to gain by the devaluation is the All Pakistan Textile Manufacturers Association (APTMA). But then the world today is in the grip of a recession. Therefore, even if there is a bumper cotton crop in the country this year and even if the APTMA regains the needed competitive edge in the export of yarn and textiles, the decrease in the demand due to the recession is likely to keep the export earnings of the APTMA members as low as they are today. The devaluation could not have been averted. In fact it should have been resorted to earlier. But the adverse impact of the devaluation too cannot be averted while there would be no gains on the export front. The ripple effect of enhancement of prices of POL products (except kerosene, HSD, diesel, and furnace oil) as also the prices of other raw materials, intermediaries and finished goods is expected to accelerate the rate of inflation further. It is a case of no-win situation. You are damned if you do, you are damned if you don't. We have nobody but ourselves to blame for having painted ourselves in to such a tight corner. How do we get out of this corner? That is the $64,000 question. Motorways certainly cannot do the job. Self-sufficiency in food, a population growth rate of 1.5 per cent and universal primary education can. But do we have the time, the inclination and the resources to achieve this before it is too late? That is another one of those $64,000 questions which have been agitating the minds of the masses of this country for the last 50 years while the ruling elite continues to dip into the shrinking till. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971020 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Privatization process beset with snags ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ihtasham ul Haque IN-FIGHTING and the non-cooperative attitude of the major ministries including communication, petroleum, water and power, and railways has been a major cause for the delay in privatising the remaining state-owned enterprises. The Privatisation Commission (PC) which has been assigned the task of completing the whole privatisation process by June 1998 has reportedly expressed its inability to deliver, saying that it does not have the support and cooperation from the major economic ministries. It has also informed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that the 'vested interest' of many ruling party legislators was hampering the process due to which it was not expected that the entire exercise could be completed in time. Insiders maintained that the government's plan to sell every thing to obtain $15 billion in the next three years was fast becoming a dream as the situation on the ground was different despite major efforts being made by the Privatisation Commission and its chairman, Khawaja Muhammad Asif. "Even the plan to get one billion dollars in one year by selling a few banks, DFIs and industrial units may not be possible to retire the most expensive foreign debt," an official commented. He said that unless the officials of the ministries of petroleum and natural resources, communication, water and power and railways changed their attitude, there could not be any hope to complete the process by June next year. The failure is said to have been experienced in the privatisation of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) which, according to its officials, could give $10 to 12 billion alone. However, they alleged that the high-ups of the ministry of communications did not want the privatisation of the organisation because of their own vested interests. Chairman PTCL Nasim Mirza is said to have told the high authorities that he would resign by June this year if he continued to receive a tough time from the officials of the ministry. He has made it amply clear that he would not be available to continue serving the organisation under these circumstances and that the top level people must intervene to rectify the situation. Interestingly, when the privatisation was planned for the PTCL, the ministry of communication had approved Rs 50 billion expansion and modernisation programme. The Minister for Communi-cations, Azam Hoti is said to be in the fore-front to oppose the privatisation of the PTCL and has every time resisted the pressure using his party, ANP's bargaining position in the government. It is said that Khawaja Muhammad Asif who is a good friend of Asfandyar Wali has failed to convince him to go along with the privatisation of the PTCL. The PTCL Chairman has reportedly asked the high ups to help privatise the organisation as early as possible. He said that by the year 2000, the international communication network system has to be liberalised under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and that if no timely privatisation of the organisation was done, then things could be pretty difficult for the government to seek $10 to 12 billion through its privatisation. The commission faces a formidable job of persuading the officials of the major ministries. It continues to face criticism that it has only been able to privatise two ghee units and a bank and that how could it be able to conduct the privatisation of more than 90 state-owned industrial units. The officials of the commission maintain that they are facing difficulties in privatising the loss-making public sector units and that everyone wanted to buy only running and efficient units. For example two months ago the PC decided to privatise the remaining six ghee units of the ministry of industry but only two could be sold and that too not because of the machinery installed there but due to the precious land associated with the units. About the units working under the ministry of water and power, it is said that since there is no policy of the government, it is not possible to privatise thermal power units. The one which has already been sold, Kot Addu, has been a target of frequent criticism by the government. The Minister for Water and Power, Major (retd) Raja Nadir Pervaiz has said more than once that the government would cancel the Kot Addu deal because a certain procedure was not followed. This has panicked foreign investors, who are reluctant to come forward for taking part in the privatisation process of the country. The British power company which purchased the Kot Addu power plant by paying $150 million and accepting $700 million liabilities is said to have protested over the issue and warned of serious consequences if the plan for cancelling the deal was considered. It was also planning to go to the higher courts to contest any decision on the issue. The privatisation of Sui Southern and Sui Northern gas companies along with other units under the ministry of petroleum and natural resources were experiencing similar problems. Although some initial efforts have been made by the Privatisation Commission to disinvest Sui Southern and Sui Northern, but it could not do the job due to the opposition by the ministry. The problems with the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) are more serious as it continues to be a loss-making organisation. There have been various proposals to privatise it but so far nothing could be done. So far the PC has received about Rs 54 billion by privatising around 90 state-owned units in about six-year period (during both the first Nawaz and two Benazir governments). The new target to complete the entire privatisation process by June 1998 is apparently difficult to meet keeping in view the slow process on which Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also reportedly expressed his concern and asked the authorities to accelerate it. "My effort is to do the job efficiently ensuring transparency and to avoid the blunders of the PPP government," said the PC chairman. He said he would see to it that the entire process is complete by June next year. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971020 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Devaluation: will it help us beat India? ------------------------------------------------------------------- Muhammad Aslam THE RUPEE, after the 8.7 per cent devaluation, on October 15 is now about Rs 8 or 18 per cent cheaper against its Indian counterpart, but it is too early to predict whether or not it will enable our exporters to recapture markets lost to the Indians a decade ago despite a massive competitive edge. The Indian rupee is trading in the range of Rs 36.20 - Rs 36.25 to a US dollar for quite sometime against Pakistan's Rs 44.05 and Rs 44.27 for buying and selling respectively. With a strong production base and diversified export products, the indications are that the Indian exporters might not be at a big disadvantage against Pakistani products on the world markets as their value-additions to the local manufctures provide a much- needed hedge against any major turmoil in the South Asian currencies. Loud whispering in business circles that India might also lower its dollar parity rates to meet the Pakistani threat to its exports is not relevant to the new finacial reality as the Indians have the capacity to defy the dictates of the donor agencies. "It is a text book advice," said the Indian finance minister while commenting on the IMF suggestion to devalue the rupee, adding, "political governments are not run on text book advice." However, some major Indian export items are likely to be affected by the Pakistani devaluation, notabale among them could be leather and rice. In both these sectors, the Indians have outperformed their Pakistani counterparts both in price and quality. The Indians, for instance, export leather products including footwear and garments worth Rs 60 billion each year with a growth rate of about nine per cent but after the devaluation they might not be able to compete with Pakistain. Similarly, local rice exporters are now in a position to break the decade-old Indian monopoly, notably in the Gulf, after beating the Indians on the price front. But Indian textile exports, which account for more than a half of the total annual volume of $30 billion, are not likely to be affected by the devalaution, as Pakistan is not a competitor as the former exports a variety of quality fabrics and value-added cotton yarn mostly of fine counts. "Pakistai spinners generally export coarse counts of cotton yarn below 30 counts and a limited quantity of fabrics, which could hardly match the Indians," spinners said. "Rice exports may not touch the high mark of $3 billion, but the private sector could build-up a strong position for the smooth outflow of the commodity in the years to come," some leading expoters said. But a major breakthrough could be achieved on the cotton export front if Pakistan really harvests a large crop of over 10 million bales, which will ensure an exportable surplus of more than a million bales. Meanwhile, trade and industry circles generally welcomed the massive 8.7 per cent devaulation of the rupee by the central bank on the perception that it will boost falling exports enabling the government to achieve the export target of $9.2 billion. "But much enthusiasm appears to be in the textile sector, which accounts for over 60 per cent of the total annual exports and rightly too as its main world competitors have already lowered their parity levels barring India," financial analysts said. However, an air of pessimism also prevailed as the centralbank's abrupt decision could add significantly to the production costs as imported raw materials will be more expensive, they added. "It will enhance the foreign debt of $32 billion, and the current account deficit of $3.37 billion in that ratio but it is not clear whether or not the export sector could match these increases," some economists said. Pakistan has a very low production base as compared to India and some other countries and the devaluation being a double-edged weapon seldom pays back in the same ratio, they added. The spinners were, however, not inclined to say what will be the quantum of increase in textile exports but some leading ones among them hoped it could be as much as 16 per cent Cotton exporters basing their export sales of lint on the expected surplus of 1.5 million bales categorically said they could hit the high mark of 2 million bales after the devaluation. "It has given a tremendous boost to our competitiveness on the world markets and there is no reason to doubt that we could hit the target and at a right price," said a leading exporter. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971019 ------------------------------------------------------------------- EC imposes dumping duties on bedlinen ------------------------------------------------------------------- Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana KARACHI, Oct 18: An overwhelming majority of European Union (EU) member states has voted in favour of imposing enhanced definitive anti-dumping duties as proposed by the Commission on imports of all types of bedlinen originating from Pakistan. According to a message received here on Saturday, 14 out of 15 member states of European Commission (EC) on October 16 voted in favour of the proposal to impose definitive duties in the range of 6.9 per cent to 8.2 per cent on imports of bedlinen from Pakistan. Estimated annual export of bedlinen from Pakistan to EU states comes to around 27,000 tons amounting to a value of around $200 million. The export of bedlinen which also falls under quota category stood at 74 per cent upto September and normally entire quota is utilized by Pakistan upto December 31 of each year. According to details, the Commission proposed final duty in the range of zero percentage to 8.2 per cent for individual companies, for non-cooperating companies the punitive margin has been fixed at 8.2 per cent, but for cooperating companies the dumping margin has been enhanced by 0.4 per cent to 6.9 per cent. These definitive duties proposed by the Commission and approved by overwhelming majority of member states will come into effect once they are notified in the official journal of the EC, and according to some estimates they would be effective before the year is out. However, handloom bedlinen imports are not affected by these dumping margins. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971025 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Hub Power and PTCL battered, fall-out of HK crisis ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Reporter KARACHI, Oct 24: Hub-Power and PTCL on Friday came in for fresh battering, what analysts called the fall-out of Wednesday's crash of the Hong Kong stock market, pushing the KSE 100-share index by two per cent or 33.52 points at 1,980.68. "The breach of the psychological barrier of 2,000 points just in two sessions reflect that the market is still playing on a terribly weak wicket as investors are not inclined to hold long positions even in the pivotals," said a leading broker adding "the euphoria created by devaluation or IMF approval of a credit line of $1.6 billion faded just in no time." They said most of the leading shares and current favourites are playing with an either-way range of Rs 3 as investors prefer to buy and take profits within this range without taking any undue risk. Some analysts did not rule out the possibility of a big inflow of foreign funds in shares as local stocks offer an appreciable capital gain in a shortest possible time. "The market has the capacity to rise 15 to 20 per cent but it needs positive background news including political peace," they added. The market has already 8.7 per cent devaluation of the rupee, which could attract any amount of foreign buying, and added to it is a big boost to Pakistan's credit rating on the world financial markets after the IMF approval for a three-year credit line of $1.6 billion, dealers said. However, investors both local and foreign are still shaky about the future share outlook and are not inclined to make long-term commitment and until they stay on the performance of the market might remain volatile. The KSE 100-share index was last quoted at 1,980.68 as compared to 2,014.20 a day earlier as leading base shares fell further. The market capitalization also suffered a fresh setback of Rs 8.829 billion at Rs 592.750 billion as against the previous Rs 601.579 billion, falling below the resistance level of Rs 600 billion. Minus signs were strewn all over the list as leading shares came in for fresh selling at the higher levels and finished with an extended fall amid active trading. Energy shares again led the market decline falling sharply under the lead of Pakistan Oilfields, which shed another Rs 10 on renewed post-dividend selling. Southern Electric, Pakistan Refinery, PSO, Sui Southern and Japan Power were among the other major losers. Bank shares, which have been active demand in the post-devaluation sessions, also came in for strong selling and were marked down, major losers among them being MCB, Al-Towfeek Bank, Prime Bank and Faysal Bank. Other leading shares which fell included Lakson Tobacco, Pakistan Tobacco, Knoll Pharma and Engro Chemicals, falling by one rupee to Rs 2. Leading gainers were led by Grays of Cambridge, Delta Insurance, KESC, Pakistan Cables, Glaxo-Wellcome, Fauji Fertilizer and Lever Brothers, which rose by 75 paisa to Rs 10. Trading volume fell below the 100 million shares mark at 79.166 million shares as leading investors stayed on the sidelines owing partly to weekend considerations. There were 187 actives which came in for trading out of which 108 shares fell, 41 rose with 38 holding on to the last levels. Hub-Power again topped the list of most actives, lower 95 paisa on 27.270 million shares, followed by PTCL, easy Rs 1.15 on 24.139 million shares, ICI Pakistan, steady 10 paisa on 11.156 million shares, Southern Electric, off Rs 1.05 on 2.206 million shares, and FFC-Jordan Fertilizer, easy 20 paisa on 1.977 million shares. The other actively traded shares were led by KESC, up Rs 1.10 on 1.787 million shares, followed by Japan Power, easy 20 paisa on 1.646 million shares, Bank of Punjab, unchanged on 1.32 million shares, Sui Northern, off 70 paisa on 0.830 million shares, and MCB, off Rs 2.10 on 0.782 million shares. There were several other notable deals also. DEFAULTING COMPANIES: Trading on this counter remained dull as only Gammon Pakistan came in for trading and was quoted further higher by five paisa at Rs 5.95 on 500 shares. DIVIDEND: Balochistan Wheels, cash 15 per cent, First Paramount Modaraba, 10 per cent, Pakistan Oilfields, final 15 per cent, 15 per cent interim already paid for the year ended June 30, 1997. ------------------------------------------------------------------- SUBSCRIBE TO HERALD TODAY ! ------------------------------------------------------------------- Every month the Herald captures the issues, the pace and the action, shaping events across Pakistan's lively, fast-moving current affairs spectrum. Subscribe to Herald and get the whole story. Annual Subscription Rates : Latin America & Caribbean US$ 93 Rs. 2,700 North America & Australasia US$ 93 Rs. 2,700 Africa, East Asia Europe & UK US$ 63 Rs. 1,824 Middle East, Indian Sub-Continent & CAS US$ 63 Rs. 1,824 Please send the following information : Payments (payable to Herald) can be by crossed cheque (for Pakistani Rupees), or by demand draft drawn on a bank in New York, NY (for US Dollars). 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EDITORIALS & FEATURES

971019 ------------------------------------------------------------------- The bare bones: autumn 1997 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ardeshir Cowasjee THE first of this series on my talks with Shahid Husain was printed in September 1995, just before he retired as a Senior Executive Vice-President of the World Bank. Now, on October 15, whilst on his way back to the United States we had another conversation and this is what he had to say: "I am less pessimistic than I was two years ago. Then I saw unparalleled corruption and a total disregard for the national interest. Today I do feel that the head of government has his feet firmly on the ground and wants to do good by the country. The question is: Has he the means to do so, will he have the time, and does he have his priorities right? "The most important factor about Pakistan, when I look back at the past 50 years, is the continuing inexorable decay of its institutions. There are big buildings, innumerable public functionaries, but the government as a functioning system has ceased to exist. The extreme example is WAPDA, but that is just one of many. "The questions that you put two years ago when you wrote 'The bare bones' are still valid, and if you are a common man in Pakistan and you pay taxes you have a right to ask these questions. "Do you get security for yourself and your family? Do you get education for your children? Does the government provide health facilities? "Unfortunately, the answers to all three are still 'No', and there are no signs of an early redress. "The second most important factor is that the government has lost its fiscal capacity. Every time taxes have been raised, the government has collected less in real terms. By its own estimates, fifty per cent of the potential tax receipts are lost through corruption or straight evasion. The situation is so bad that after debt servicing and defence spending nothing is left for the fulfilment of the essential functions of the government. Some fiscal sanity has been achieved, largely by slashing the development programmes. "The third important factor is the tremendous centralization. The provincial governments, particularly that of Sindh, have neither the financial capacity nor the administrative capacity to fulfil their functions. "Given these, while the immediate haemorrage has to be stopped, the government has to take a long view. It has to undertake a sustained programme of institutional rehabilitation which means that a much smaller government, possibly half the present one, has to be made more effective and nimble. It has to improve its collection while reducing the number of taxes. It has to decentralize and build up provincial and local governments. "The damage done by the two Bhuttos to the system has to be reversed. Public services have to be reconstituted on the basis of competition and competence. Salaries have to be improved massively, so that inadequate pay can no longer be an excuse for corruption. The leaders have to understand that in this day and age good organization and good administration means decentralisation, and mainly the improvement of the capacity of provincial governments and the constitution of local governments in large cities, particularly Karachi. "An institutional rehabilitation cannot be sustained in the absence of a functional system of education. Central and provincial governments have to undertake a major effort to improve basic and technical education. They must also rcognize that private educational institutions are essential to fill the gap left by the government. There should be no restrictions on private educational institutions. The quality may vary, but let the market decide, as the government is in no position to manage a public system. "Rehabilitation of the tax machinery is critical. Tax collection will not improve simply by hitting the CBR on the head at the end of each quarter, or by twisting the arms of those who already pay high taxes. The management of institutions can only improve with an improved quality of people, the motivation of those involved, and an improvement in systems and processes. Therefore, the government has to think in terms of not just one quarter, but in terms of five to ten years of fundamental reform in tax administration. "In countries like France and Japan, top civil servants are assigned to tax collection. The old ICS had its roots in tax collection. The economy was then agriculture-based and an ICS officer started as an assistant collector, moving up to become a collector a collector of land revenue. "Now that tax collection is the highest economic priority, let our tax collectors be chosen through competition, let them be trained well and thoroughly, and, above all, let them be paid such salaries that they cannot be pressured or reduced to corruption. It is imperative that these salaries are linked to those paid in the private financial sector. Then and then only can the government take away security of service and sack them at the slightest whiff of corruption or inefficiency. "While the immediate task is financial rehabilitation, it is critical not to forget that policies do not have feet of their own. They survive and work only if you have functioning institutions. We do not have them. Thus, a major effort to build them must be sustained. "The prime minister should ask himself again and again and again: Do I have a team for all this? If he does not, let him find and assemble around him men and women who can help him. The worst damage he can do is to once again become a victim to party hacks and to people whose experience is largely bureaucratic. "Can he deliver the goods? Yes, but it is all dependent on the quality of those around him. "Does he have the required people? At the moment, no. In my view, in the entire government the man with the best foresight is the PM himself. In meetings, I have seen him show far more common sense than those around him. "The biggest tragedy for this government is that the Muslim League's three years of opposition were not used to chalk out a strategy for the future. Look at the British Labour Party. They moved immediately, with determination and with speed, to put into force the plan they came in with. They swiftly brought about fundamental changes, including devolution. "His second tragedy is the quality of people in the cabinet and in the legislature. He has not included many new faces. He has around him the people who were largely responsible for the failure of his government in 1993. Unless there is a fundamental change of the actors, the prime minister's future and the future of Pakistan is at risk. Here again he has to learn from the British Labour Party. Tony Blair came with a new crew and got rid of figures who were responsible for past failures. "Another threat to this government will be the loss of its sense of priority and the opening up of all sorts of unnecessary fronts, thus detracting from necessary fundamental reforms. The prime minister must not forget his historical opportunity and his historical task. All will go to waste unless he concentrates on the fundamental tasks. Right now, he has no real cabinet, no competent team. "Unfortunately, far too many people in Pakistan believe in magic and believe that God is on their side. They forget that God has made a universe of cause and effect and unless this is understood, political management will not improve. The essence of good government is the limit of discretion. "Private initiative does not thrive in an environment of uncertainty and if we adopt policies that keep changing, then no planning is possible. Under the British system of taxation, one fine morning the budget is unveiled and is good for only one year. In the old days when the government role was limited, this worked. But today with the government role being so vast and all- encompassing, the system of budget-making must change. A move to the American system under which there are no changes for at least five years would be a good idea. "Security of the economic environment can only come when arbitrariness in government is banished. Tax and policy changes should be few and far between, there must be no discretion and such things as SROs must go." "I agree with you," I said. "Now, would you agree with my interpretation of what you saw, felt, and smelt last week in that alien city of Islamabad?" I asked. * That Nawaz Sharif seemingly has the will, but not the team, to mount a salvage operation. * That Nawaz Sharif's priorities need to be sharpened and narrowed, with a heavy focus on the reconstruction of institutions. * That to encourage investments, policies, taxes, utility charges will have to remain firm for three to five years. * That there are no short-cuts, that the very shortest period required to revive the economy and bring it close to zero again would be at least five years of sustained effort, and that too, by a very competent team." Shahid agreed. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971025 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Water, water everywhere.... ------------------------------------------------------------------- Irfan Husain A DECADE after the mantra of privatization entered the public policy lexicon, it is fair to ask what magic this panacea has wrought, and how it has affected our lives. Curiously very little, is the answer. Prices have continued spiralling upwards; the quality of goods and services has remained shoddy; and increased competition has not resulted in a better deal for the consumer. But if things haven't got any better, they haven't got much worse. However, this state of affairs may be about to change: with the impending privatization of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), those of us condemned to live in Karachi will soon feel the private sector's lash in right earnest. One argument given for flogging the family silver was that the money raised would pay off our mountain of debts. To the best of my knowledge, this has not happened. Another reason given for the indecent haste with which successive governments have been trying to sell off every asset in sight is that the private sector, being more efficient than the state, will be able to produce goods and services more cheaply; this, combined with greater competition, would result in lower prices. Obviously, our official spokesmen forgot to give a dose of this gospel to our entrepreneurial class because prices have continued to gallop far ahead of incomes. Next, the losses incurred by state enterprises and ultimately borne by the taxpayer would be halted; however, this has not happened because entrepreneurs have bid only for profitable units, leaving the loss-making ones in the hands of the state. Finally, the private sector is supposed to be ploughing profits back in the form of new plant and machinery, thus generating new jobs and serving as the engine of development. Welcome to the real world. Rather than creating new jobs, we have been axing them at a prodigious rate. But of all the utilities to privatize, water is a curious choice because in a sense, it is already mostly in the hands of the private sector, at least in Karachi.For years now, millions of the city's citizens have been making their own arrangements for the supply of water. The affluent pay through their nose for tankers and for bottled water, while the poor line up for hours with containers before community taps which occasionally spew forth the precious liquid. Indeed, the first word my nephew Nadir uttered was "tanker." For years now, we have been paying our water bills (which have risen four-fold in the last decade) in addition to the payments we make to the tanker mafia. Given the inherent inefficiency and leakages in the system, it is no surprise that the KWSB should be running at a loss (nearly Rs 600 million last year). In order to transfer these and any future losses to the subscriber (i.e., you and me), the government is actively pursuing a policy to transfer the assets and responsibilities of the Board to a private company. Actually, I am often surprised by the public's willingness to pay the KWSB's bills at all, given the fact that it hasn't supplied piped water to entire neighbourhoods for years. Nevertheless, over a period of time, we have invested billions of rupees into the system. Now the government at the prodding of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank has in principle decided to hand over the Board to a private company, and permit the operator to jack up water rates at 20% per year for five years, and the company will be given the right to free use of the KWSB assets for 20 years. The rationale behind this strategy is that the private sector will be able to invest in the progressive expansion and improvement of the system, using the money they accumulate from us. But what is to stop the private utility company from raking in profits without making any real investments? Given the weakness and corruption prevalent in all our overweight agencies, there is a real danger that we will be ripped off by these privateers (an 18th century expression for pirates) as well as the tanker mafia while still getting substandard water. The poor, of course, will have to fend for themselves as best as they can. So what else is new? So basically, what we are facing in the near future is a major municipal asset being handed over gratis to an agency that will be virtually free to charge us what it will, while we have to pay for tankers as well, or queue for hours, depending on our bank balance. So if the government doesn't get a penny, and we end up paying more, who will benefit? No prizes for the right answer. Understandably, many foreign utility companies have expressed an interest in cashing in on this bonanza. During the frenzied privatization in the UK under Thatcher, many water boards were broken up and sold off. In the last decade, prices have gone up enormously, and the quality of water has certainly not improved. Many less affluent users can no longer afford the luxury of maintaining even small gardens. A recent news item in this newspaper informed us that the number of rats in Britain had increased dramatically over the last few years; scientists have ascribed this phenomenon to the fact that privateers are not investing in the eradication of rodents to anywhere near the extent the public sector utility service had. Ultimately, there is a conflict between private profits and the public good. Raising water rates cumulatively by 300% over the next five years will undoubtedly be good for business, but how about giving the consumer a break? The whole exercise has been marked by secrecy and undue haste. A decision of this importance and magnitude should not be taken before extensive consultations, public debate and discussion. After all, we have been coping with the KWSB's inefficiency for years, and paying for their non- existent services as well. So what's the rush now? It's not that the government will get a windfall overnight: the proposal prepared by Banque Paribas and William Halcrow, consultants to the Sindh government (at a fee of a million dollars), calls for a 20-year period in which the KWSB system will be exploited free of charge. All in all, we need to think through the far-reaching implications of this proposal very carefully, and not let foreign agencies decide for us. Much of the information used in this article has been researched by Dr Aly Ercelawn and his colleagues at the Creed Alliance, a group dedicated to serving the public interest. They have voiced their concern and criticism of this mad-cap scheme in this and other publications. Perhaps they could kick off a discussion by appearing on TV for a debate with the KWSB officials. It would appear that for Islamabad, Karachi's many woes are of its own making, and therefore not deserving of any federal funding. I am sure when there are water riots here, our lords and masters will echo the Queen of France's immortal advice ("Let them eat cake!") to Parisians when they took to the streets over the shortage of bread: "Let them drink Ava!" DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971019 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Terror remains untamed ------------------------------------------------------------------- Aziz Siddiqui THERE were two aspects to Arif Iqbal Bhatti's killing in Lahore earlier this month. One was the blasphemy law which apparently was at the root of the murder; the other was terrorism, the instrument of his death. Justice Bhatti, it will be remembered, was the senior member of the Lahore High Court bench that admitted the appeal of Salamat Masih and Rehmat Masih against their conviction by a lower court for alleged blasphemy. That was more than two years ago, in February 1995. The bench heard the appeal on consecutive days in a highly charged atmosphere. Before that attempts had been made on the lives of the accused, and a third one among them, Manzur Masih, had died of his injuries from one such attempt just outside the court promises a few months earlier. During the appeal, menacing mobs collected outside and around the court and kept up a denunciatory chant while the session lasted. On one occasion the car of the defence lawyer Asma Jahangir was vandalised and she herself had to be placed under police protection. Inside the courtroom, in addition to hearing the advocate general and the counsels of the two sides the court invited a number of eminent lawyers of Lahore to assist it. As it happened, all but one of these amici curiae found that it was a case of no evidence. After their release Salamat Masih and Rehmat Masih had to quietly seek asylum abroad because of certain danger to their lives. But for some others that was not the end of the story. In one plot against advocates Asma Jahangir and Hina Jilani, a group from a fanatical organisation stole into their house early one morning along with a haversack filled with instruments good for shooting, slaying and strangulation. The sisters and their families were saved by a combination of wholly fortuitous circumstances. Subsequent police investigations revealed details of the horrific plan and the people behind it. The principal culprit however, though identified, was never caught. The senior judge of the High Court bench meanwhile kept receiving dire threats, as his widow has now revealed. They kept coming to the last. Why despite this he was not provided police protection, for whatever it was worth, is not known. After his death there were efforts to divert speculation about the killer's motive from the more obvious 'blasphemy' episode. Property dispute or sectarian malice was suggested as the likelier cause. Was it likely for a religious gripe to be nursed for over two years? Mob frenzy may have a short span of life, but fanatical grouse rabidly held usually endures for as long as the score is not settled. Especially so if the grouse springs from the very purpose of existence of its holder. Apparently those that had vowed retribution at the time of the court judgment did not forget their resolve with the passage of time. Their principal target, the alleged blasphemers, had escaped both the mischief of the law and their own sentence. The boys' lawyers, Asma and Hina, were next in line. But the mischief against them got aborted and the would-be killers themselves got exposed. The latter's attention then turned to the judge. Retired, he was no longer in the public eye and disposing of him must have seemed in the present circumstances unlikely to cause public stir or any embarrassment to the government. It was unlikely therefore to lead to any discomfort to themselves. If that was indeed the calculation it proved not to be far wrong. The murder has hardly had an aftermath. Such 'holy' killers also often bide their time until someone sympathetic to their creed gets appointed to a position of official proximity to their intended act and can thus preempt any heat straying their way. Bullying fanaticism exists in pockets in almost every society. But usually it acquires spunk and converts to murderous activism only where it is certain of clandestine official support, connivance, indifference or incompetence. The graph of its incidence here over the past years can almost directly be related to combinations of the above factors. The unholy warrior is unlike the common crook. He often needs a silent partner in crime to urge him on and to brace him against contingencies. The law minister claimed in a Dawn interview that his recent anti- terrorism law had brought the average of daily killings from 10-15 before the law to five after it. He was either being incredibly naive or plainly disingenuous. First, incidence of terrorism is not measured between one month and the next. It is in the nature of it to occur in waves. There were ebbs down to that supposedly satisfactory figure of five even in the worst days of terrorism. Secondly, the problem is terrorism as such, not just the numbers dead. A society is about as sick if a hundred are killed in a month, month after month, as when twice or thrice that number is eliminated. The canker thrives in one instance as much as it does in the other. Thirdly, even if the drop in the numbers proves stable that is not necessarily an indication that the evil is beginning to be brought under control. Fewer victims may even be a sign of worsening of the situation if the terrorists have improved their skills and resources sufficiently to zero in on their targets rather than kill indiscriminately. Ask the lawyers themselves. Eighteen of their community have been picked up in less than as many months, and at a rate not much different after the law than before it. The message to them and the effect on them has been: hands off. They have resolved not to accept cases of alleged terrorism. They had already been averse to getting engaged in cases of alleged blasphemy. Thus the scope for them has been narrowing and the prospects for the accused of various categories and for the due process of law has been under threat from both the law and the law- breakers. Finally, if granted that the situation has improved what proof that this is the result of the law the minister feels so proud of (though earlier when the law was new and under fire he had tried to put a certain distance between it and himself)? Did the other laws that a colleague of his had cited as parallels, India's TADA and Britain's Elimination of Terrorism Act, put an end to 'terrorism' in occupied Kashmir and Northern Ireland? If two months after our law a man walks into a former judge's office, asks for him to be sent for from the court, then on his arrival pumps three bullets into him and coolly walks away into the morning sunlight telling a man on way to go and take care of a dead body inside does that indicate that the new law has begun to strike terror in the hearts of the terrorists? Or if a fugitive from the law rings up a court soon after the passage of the law and warns it that while the law allows seven days to an accused he, the outlaw, wouldn't permit a sentencing judge the respite even of a single day should that afford Mr Khalid Anwar any reassurance about the impact of his handiwork? It may be claimed that such persons are just the remnants from the past. But are they? Even if that is so, the brazenness those few are still showing should cause worry rather than permit price. They can yet be capable of creating incidents on a scale good enough for many times their number. Terrorist leadership is always, everywhere, confined to just a handful of persons anyway. Religious terrorism in particular will not go away by just bringing in a more stringent law. When were even the older laws consistently enforced? Was it absence of a strong enough law that caused the lapidators of Shabqadar and the lynchers of Sargodha to freely stalk the neighbourhood afterwards? Or allowed those who poisoned Tahir Iqbal in his prison cell or killed Manzur Masih in daylight bazar to remain unpunished? Or let the false accusers of Gul Masih or Salamat Masih, Manzur Masih and Rehmat Masih to remain unquestioned? Or kept outlaws like Riaz Bisra and Raza Konain in defiant, terrorising freedom. Or prevented the seminarian nurseries of sectarian hatred from being purged? Did the sectarian killers of the past go free just because there was no law to bring retribution to them, and those who poured sectarian poison or mouthed denunciation of public-spirited activists as kafirs and wajibul qat'l, did they have their way because there was no law to silence them? Only if the answer to these were a yes there might have been room for a new law. The government may soon be tested some more. Religious parties like the Jama'at-i-Islami and the JUI, the one credited with launching the Taleban on the world, are just now reviving up to make their political presence massively felt. What they may end up doing is to create an atmosphere conductive to the more irresponsible and extremist elements' beginning to revel in a feel of militant power and self-glorifying intolerance. Should that happen this government does not seem equipped to make an appropriate response to it. Few apart from Mr Khalid Anwar will doubt that if the national leadership remains as funky about religious terror as in the past no anti-terrorist law will do any good. On the other hand, if the attitude becomes firmer no terrorist law will be necessary, with or without its obnoxious features. Indeed how many of our crop of political leaders have denounced religious bigotry as manifested in the late Arif Iqbal Bhatti's killing? That is one measure of how insidious terror reigns here.

SPORTS

971020 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Poor planning exposed ------------------------------------------------------------------- Qamar Ahmed Promoting the game is one thing and running it properly, another. In case of Pakistan which is now considered to be one of the top- ranking cricket playing nations along with Australia, South Africa and West Indies, the game is being reduced to mediocrity through mindless planning and lop-sided itineraries of a touring team. When a new cricket board was set up on a professional line with a full time chief executive, an administrator and a marketing expert one would have assumed that things would change for the better and the game would be richer for it. The players of the home team and the visitors will be saved the rigours of unnecessary travel in the country and established centres with proper facilities would be used for the bigger matches like the Tests and the smaller ones for the one-day and side games. But things remain as shabby as they have always been. Millions of rupees have been spent on renovations of the centres like Qaddafi Stadium Lahore and National Stadium Karachi and yet a test has been given to Sheikhupura which has no hotel for the home or the visiting team and no convenient or comfortable mode of travelling to the place. Staying in a hotel in Lahore and travelling every day for at least three hours for the Test is not what a modern day cricketer or a spectator relishes. In an age of satellite, things travel fast, matches are beamed to numerous countries and then the commentators indulge in their favourite past time of showing the pars of the city to the world to give them the opportunity to visit the place and the country. I do not think that a place like Sheikhupura offers much except that it would leave a rather poor image of a country which is much prettier than that. Why is it that countries like England, Australia, South Africa, new Zealand, West Indies play their Tests against visiting teams at established centres and not at some remote and unknown place like Waga Waga or Towoomba or in Torguay or at St Nevis or St Kitts. Only because places like that do not cater for an international event. As far as watching cricket is concerned they get it on the television anyway and those who are keen enough do travel to established Test centres with the charm of not only seeing the match but also experience the hustle and bustle of a big city. The notion that taking Tests to smaller places and towns would fill the grounds and that the game will spread in remote pars of the country is wishful thinking. Television and broadcasting has spread the game in every corner of the countries where it is played. The interest generated through it is much wider than staging a Test in a smaller place on the pretence of promoting the game. Places like Sheikhupura and Gujranwala, Sialkot and Hyderabad where no proper facilities of international standard exist should be given only a one-day game at the most till they are able to provide the type of facilities that the modern players have become used to. What happened at Sheikhupura on Friday made a poor impression about the state of this game facilities-wise in this country. Primitive pitch covers and mopping up facilities ruined the chances of any play on the first day and that certainly is not a pleasant experience for the players or for the people who must have accepted all kind of travelling difficulties to get there. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971021 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitch drying operation embarrassing ------------------------------------------------------------------- Zafar Samdani LAHORE, Oct 20: Few sights at a sports ground could be as ugly and pathetic and as embarrassing for hosts as the pitch drying operations in Sheikhupura on Friday last, the first day of Pakistan's second cricket test against South Africa. But even worse were possibly the causes creating that situation and utter indifference of all who should have been concerned and ashamed. The wicket got watered by nature as protective arrangements proved woefully inadequate, inefficient and non-professional. Rain water had seeped through the covers; their condition was obviously not checked till the time for unfolding them. Even then the moth eaten or rodden chewed state of the covers did not upset any one. Make shift last moment measures, for which the locals distinguish themselves in all fields, to plug holes and ensure that the pitch was not affected, could have been undertaken. That too was not done with the result that the start of the test was delayed by more than five sessions. The covers were not required all of a sudden. The test match in Sheikhupura was scheduled months back. But it did not occur to anyone to find out the quality of professional facilities available at the venue though endless meetings must have been held to review arrangements. The focus of such meetings is invariably or law and order, sale of tickets, contracts for the sale of eatables and permission to vendors to turn the stands in to the kind of sale points that offer questionable food at bus stops for inter district transport and of course comforts for spectators meriting VIP treatment. Every city of Pakistan has its socially and politically sensitive personalities. Officials of the administration head such inventories. That the event was to be a test match between cricket teams of Pakistan and another country was apparently inconsequential to the organisers of the match and managers of the sport. In this attitude of misplaced priorities anything could happen. On the current visit of the South African cricket team, one test centre had already produced unpleasant scenes. In the first test at Rawalpindi, entry was made free at one point to ensure a good gathering for the royal visitors from England. That caused a baton charge on a segment of the spectators. Covers for the pitch had proved problematic in Rawalpindi too. Earlier, during the visit of India's cricket team to Pakistan for a three-match series of one dayers, stone throwing incidents had marred the proceedings at Karachi while the last encounter in Lahore produced, besides thrilling cricket, almost unprecedented mismanagement which saw ticket holders lose out to free loaders, present in all stands, courtesy the police. The quality of professional facilities did not come under pressure and was hence not exposed. It is however doubtful if Hyderabad had come out unscathed if a demand was made on the management. Karachi and Lahore may have survived a challenge because they are major centres of cricket and consequently better organised. Even so, it is a question if these centres could be favourably compared with major grounds in other cricket playing countries. More regrettable is the aftermath of the clumsy handling of the situation in Sheikhupura. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) does not regard itself responsible because the ground is not under its control. But are professional facilities, at least reviewing their availability and quality, also outside PEB's jurisdiction? The district administration in Sheikhupura can not be treated as qualified for managing such matters but should it not have asked PCB to extend a helping professional hand? PCB may not have administrative control over grounds but pitches are prepared under its supervision; during test matches, they could be maintained by the Board too. The sum total is that every one has slipped. But at a time when the cacophony of accountability has reached a deafening level no one seems to be accountable for the terrible mess at Sheikhupura. The games which where played there was neither accountability nor cricket; they were passing the buck and sweeping things under the rug, in this case, under the covers. But the cover had holes and caused seepage. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971021 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Nawaz Sharif summons UBL chief, SEVP ------------------------------------------------------------------- Sports Reporter KARACHI, Oct 20: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has summoned United Bank President, Zubair Soomro, and Senior Executive Vice President, Khalid A Sherwani, to Islamabad. Sources added that Soomro and Sherwani, a former UBL chief, were due to call on Nawaz Sharif anytime Monday. However, the sources were unaware of the agenda of the meeting. Nevertheless, it is anticipated that the crucial meeting concerns to the sacking of 7,500 employees, including 13 cricketers and four hockey players. Amongst the 13 cricketers is Waqar Younis who three years ago was given a state award for his meritorious services for the country and promotion of the game. Besides Younis, also sacked are Tauseef Ahmad (bank's team captain who has taken 99 Test wickets), Inzamamul Haq (who has scored more than 2,500 runs in Tests and 3,500 runs in one-day internationals), and Mushtaq Ahmad (who has 120 Test wickets and more than 100 wickets in one-dayers). Former paceman Salim Jaffar, discarded Basit Ali, new Test cap Mohammad Ramazan were also fired by the bank on the grounds that they were either appointed after Oct 1, 1991 or were given promotions out-of-turn. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971024 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Jahangir Khan sad on sacking of sportsmen ------------------------------------------------------------------- Sports Reporter KARACHI, Oct 23: Squash legend Jahangir Khan, the record ten-time winner of the British Open and six times former world champion, today expressed his great concern and disappointment over the termination of services of World-fame sportsmen who brought honour and glory for Pakistan. Talking to Dawn, Jahangir Khan stated that termination of services of Pakistan's world -renowned cricketers such as Waqar Younis, Inzamamul Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Basit Ali and good number other emerging and potential test cricketers would have a negative effect on our national sports. There is a general apprehension among the sportsmen and also among the sportswomen, serving in various government and other organisations, that they might be awaiting the same fate as the cricketers. The former world champion said that he was sad at the dismissal of the who have rendered tremendous services to Pakistan's sports. It was a very unkind act by those who with a stroke of pen did away with the services of Pakistan sports heros, stated the Khan. Terrmination of sportsmen, in the name of downsizing, is not the solution of the problem, he stressed. There is a way to handle the issue, particularly of the sportsmen, who have given their best for the honour of the country. While millions of people in Pakistan and outside the country had watched them in action. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971024 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Wasim Akram serves notice on Pak-Suzuki ------------------------------------------------------------------- Faraz Hashmi ISLAMABAD, Oct 23: Former Pakistan cricket captain Wasim Akram on Thursday served a legal notice on Pak Suzuki Motors asking the firm to pay Rs. 50 million for "illegally" using his name. "Our client is astonished and shocked to note that your company has promoted its corporate name and products by illegally using the picture of our client's world famous bowling action," Barrister Kamaluddin Azfar stated in the legal notice served on behalf of Wasim Akram. Life-size pictures of Wasim Akram are displayed in prominent accredited showrooms of Pak Suzuki Motors throughout Karachi and elsewhere, he said adding that this illegal action was in full concurrence of Pak Suzuki to the detriment of his client. "Our client is one of the world's top few sportsmen and is recognized to be one of all-time great allrounders in the game of cricket," Mr. Azfar said. Mr. Azfar pointed out that cricket was one of the most popular games in Pakistan, United Kingdom, Australia, India, New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Hong Kong, Canada and Bangladesh and as a cricket star Wasim Akram was watched by millions on television in international matches throughout the world. "Apart from being a cricket professional, our client's name and image is associated with the promotion of goods, services and corporate images," said the notice. "Our client is the most sought-after sportsman for the promotion of corporate and produce huge promotion throughout the world. Among the companies and the products which have been promoted with the consent of our client are: Pepsi-Cola, British Telecom, ANZ Grindlays Bank, PIA, Paktel and other multinational and national corporate entities," he added. Mr. Azfar called upon the company either to pay Rs. 50 million within seven days as compensation or prepare to face a suit for recovery of damages. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971024 ------------------------------------------------------------------- German coach to train soccer players ------------------------------------------------------------------- Sports Correspondent LAHORE, Oct 23: The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) is making arrangement to hire a German soccer coach to train the National team. This was stated by M.N. Jehan, chief selector, PFF here on Thursday. The standard of football has witnessed a steady decline in Pakistan since the Dhaka fall in 1971. This was stated by the (PFF) chief selector M N Jehan while talking to Dawn on Thursday. M N Jehan who was also the captain of the Pakistan team in 60s said that like Calcutta, Dhaka had been awarding lucrative cash prizes to the footballers. But, after the debacle, the Pakistani players lost the opportunity which resulted in horrible decline of standard of the game in Pakistan. He said in 60s Pakistan was among the top football nations of Asia. Pakistan had also played the final of the Asian championship in 1965 but lost it to Japan, he said. With the passage of time, Pakistan lost its ranking due to poor planning and insufficient incentives for footballers, while the other Asian countries continued their struggle and now they were far ahead of Pakistan, he said. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 971025 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Pakistan-India hockey series being finalised ------------------------------------------------------------------- Sports Reporter KARACHI, Oct 24: Col (Rtd) Mudassar Asghar, Secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation, said here today after Islamabad s no objection to the Pakistan -India test series eight matches are to played next year from Feb 3. Taking to mediamen here this afternoon, at the Hockey Club Col (Retd) Mudassar Asghar, who arrived today from Lahore to oversee the arrangements of the National Women Hockey Championship, stated that PHF has already invited the Indian Hockey Federation Secretary Jothi Kumar in the third week of next month. The coming series, to be held after a lapse of ten years , would be step forward towards the revival of the hockey series between Pakistan and India. It would be of immense benefit to both the countries, he stressed. Back to the top.

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