------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 27 December 1997 Issue : 03/52 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS Phased cut in govt machinery proposed Finance ministry's objection overruled Tarar case adjourned till 29th Court orders police not to arrest Hakim Zardari Self-employment scheme may take shape next month Ajmal Mian sworn in as Chief Justice Pakistan to get over $100m from Bhutto Swiss accounts Govt not to protect loan defaulters Kashmiris among most oppressed people: US body Air pollution monitoring to be done in all major cities --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY Sale of big banks to foreign investors opposed Pakistan economy: a catharsis Long live our elusive accountability! Rs 2 bn worth of cotton exported 50 HBL branches to be merged Local cottage industry being destroyed 20pc growth expected in exports this month Foreign exchange reserves at $1.369bn SPI declines 0.25pc PIA to privatize non-core business companies Investors' return to rings strengthens equities --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES Fascism on the march III Ardeshir Cowasjee [Facism I] [Fascism II] The 'Sadim' touch Irfan Husain Death be not proud Omar Kureishi To the brink and back Shaikh Manzoor Ahmed Go out, young man Hafizur Rahman ----------- SPORTS Cricket team's slump in Sharjah Akram leaves for London today 6 Pakistanis to play in Indian benefit tie Cricketers to get contracts Wasim, Waqar, Moin dropped from Bangladesh tour

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NATIONAL NEWS
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971227
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Phased cut in govt machinery proposed
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Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Dec 26: The Commission for Admin-istrative Restructuring 
(CAR) has proposed a phased downsizing in government organizations 
to make the government "efficient, effective, transparent and 
responsive to the citizens".
    
"We have not proposed across the board downsizing of the government 
as it involves human aspects and serious political implications", 
said the Chairman of the Commission for Administrative 
Restructuring, Syed Fakhr Imam.
    
He told Dawn here on Friday that the Commission had finalized 
recommendations and forwarded to higher authorities for further 
examination. He said a phased restructuring of the government had 
been proposed to avoid hard feelings.
    
"Basically we have recommended a long-term programme for 
restructuring that will be implemented through a gradual approach 
and as a first step we plan to pick up two ministries for this 
purpose", Syed Fakhr Imam said.
    
He also disclosed that the government would soon float a new golden 
handshake package to cater for all departments and organizations. 
The ministry of finance, he revealed, would soon be announcing this 
package to remove bottlenecks in the earlier package.
    
He said his Commission had called for adopting new information and 
communication technologies to govern the country. "We have shown 
how to make government officials more professional."
    
Responding to a question, Syed Fakhr Imam denied that CAR had 
proposed removal of 50 per cent of the employees in government 
departments. "How can you remove so many people at one go and that 
too without offering any alternative," he wondered.
    
Asked how many ministries and divisions had been proposed by his 
Commission, he said nothing would be taken up in "one go" and that 
everything would be done in a phased manner. "As such we did not 
recommend reduction in ministries and removal of staff, but they 
would certainly be taken up turn by turn."
    
He said the CAR had proposed ways and means to deal with 
corruption. "We have formulated recommendations for a transparent 
and responsive administrative machinery".
    
He said recommendations had been finalized with a view to bringing 
about a drastic improvement in the economy.

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971227
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Finance ministry's objection overruled 
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M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, Dec 26: The government seems all set to launch the 
multi-billion-rupee Lahore airport project which has now been made 
even more questionable with the reported offer of sovereign 
guarantee to a costly loan of $180 million to be arranged by the 
contractors.
    
The project, which was originally conceived to be taken in hand by 
the previous regime on the basis of build, operate and transfer 
(BOT) involving no government guarantees for loans, has now been 
virtually transferred to a highly encumbered budget despite 
opposition from the finance ministry.
    
The ministry has opposed the proposed sovereign guarantee to loan 
financing on the ground that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was 
not in a position to meet the obligation. The ministry fears that 
the whole burden of repayment of the 180-million-dollar loan, 
including the local rupee component worth $60 million, would then 
fall on the budget.
    
The CAA has, however, taken the position that it would be able to 
take care of the loan on its own, if: (1) Import duties were 
reduced to 10 per cent from 100 per cent; (2) Permission is given 
for an additional five airline operations at the airport, which 
would generate an additional revenue of $25 million; (3) Permission 
is given for the sale of surplus CAA land worth Rs2 billion; (4) 
Recovery of outstanding dues from the PIA is brought to a minimum 
of Rs1 billion rupees; (5) Refund of Rs340 million is allowed to be 
claimed from the CBR; and (6) A decision is taken on the modus 
operandi to transfer an additional 278 acres to the CAA. But the 
finance ministry disagrees with all these projections and their 
inherent financial assumptions and insists that the project, if at 
all essential, should be undertaken on the basis of BOT only in 
view of the possibility of the failure of CAA to repay the loan. 
Finance Minister Sartaj Aziz, in a note to the principal secretary 
to the prime minister on Aug 25, suggested that the project be 
launched without asking the contractor to arrange financing. "In 
this way, we might get more reasonable bids. Ministry of finance 
can then arrange financing for the project against government 
guarantees at more reasonable rates. With lower construction costs 
and lower borrowing costs, the project will become relatively more 
viable for the CAA to implement," Mr Aziz noted.

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971225
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Tarar case adjourned till 29th
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Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Dec 24: A three-member bench of the Lahore High Court 
extended on Wednesday the interim stay granted to justice (retd) 
Mohammad Rafiq Tarar against the order of the acting chief election 
commissioner debarring him from the presidential poll, agreed to 
hear his main petition and stay plea together as a public interest 
case and adjourned the proceedings till Dec 29.
    
There was nothing on record to show that all the respondents  
acting CEC Justice Mukhtar Ahmed Junejo of the Supreme Court and 
candidates Maulana Mohammad Khan Shirani of the JUI (F), captain 
(retd) Haleem Siddiqui and Khwaja Qutubuddin of the PML and 
independents Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and Raja Saeeduzzaman Khan 
 have been served notices and furnished copies.
    
Appearing for Mr Tarar, Barrister Ijaz Hussain Batalvi expressed 
the view that the respondents were not interested in contesting the 
case and hearing may be commenced on that assumption.
    
Representing the only contesting respondent, PPP's Aftab Shaaban 
Mirani, Barrister Iftikhar Ahmad said his client, too, had no 
notice and was given a copy of the petition only on Tuesday night. 
Other respondents can, therefore, be safely presumed to have gone 
unserved.
    
Deputy attorney-general Khwaja Saeeduz Zafar, who on Wednesday was 
asked to assist the court in the proceedings, informed the bench 
that he has no instruction from the acting CEC or the Election 
Commission but a commission official was present with the necessary 
record.
    
Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum, the senior member of the bench which 
also consists of Justice Faqir Mohammad Khokhar and Justice Najamul 
Hassan Kazmi, observed that in any case the main petition was not 
fixed for Wednesday. He asked Mr Batalvi whether he would like to 
argue the stay application first.
    
Mr Batalvi replied that he wanted the application and the petition 
proceed simultaneously and disposed of by the same final order. He 
said he would not like his client to enter the race provisionally.
    
The bench agreed that the presidential elections should not be held 
under the shadow of court proceedings.
    
As requested by Mr Mirani's counsel, the hearing was adjourned till 
Dec 29 to enable the respondent to file his written statement in 
reply to the petition with an advance copy endorsed to the 
petitioner's counsel. Mr Batalvi will be free to file a rejoinder 
on Dec 29.
    
The rest of the respondents are to be served fresh notices 
telegraphically. Justice Qayyum informed all the rejected 
presidential candidates and their counsel that they will be heard 
without being impleaded as a party. In view of their importance, 
the proceedings will be treated as a public interest case and all 
interested persons will be given an opportunity to put forward 
their point of view.
    
BENCH UNDER FIRE: The bench came under criticism from some rejected 
candidates and lawyers. Syed Iqtidar Hussain, who is based in Saudi 
Arabia and whose papers were rejected by the CEC, told Justice 
Qayyum that one of his decisions in one Shahbaz Chaudhry's case 
earlier this July caused a loss of Rs 80 million to the people and 
since the current proceedings also involve matters of public 
interest, the judge should consider withdrawing from the bench. A 
momin should never be stung twice from the same whole", he said.
    
Advocate Mian Hanif Tahir said the petition was referred for 
consideration by a larger bench, which consists at least of five 
members. The case, according to him, warranted adjudication by an 
11-member bench. He also referred to the election of Justice 
Qayyum's younger brother, Mr Pervez Malik, as the ruling party MNA. 
Mr Malik would be bound to vote for Mr Tarar.
    
But when Justice Qayyum offered to withdraw from the proceedings, 
most of the petitioners, applicants and lawyers expressed their 
complete confidence in his ability to do justice to the case.
    
Justice Qayyum observed that he was not fond of hearing this or 
that case and it was for the Chief Justice to constitute benches 
and assign cases.
    
The rejected candidates and their counsel said that if Mr Tarar can 
be granted a stay against the CEC's order, they too could be 
extended same relief.
    
Justice Qayyum wondered whether their case stood on the same 
footing that of Mr Tarar. The candidates were not able to find a 
proposer and a seconder from among the assembly members. But he 
assured them that they all would be given a patient hearing.
    
Appearing for Tehrik-i-Istiqlal's Izzat Beg, advocate Khalid Moosa 
said he has sought the stay of presidential poll because of the 
incompetence of the acting CEC to conduct it.
    
Pleading the case of Amir Ali Pattiwala, a rejected candidate who 
was neither proposed nor seconded by an assembly member, Dr Abdul 
Basit said the presidential election rules were ultra vires of the 
Constitution. Any citizen can propose a presidential candidate. 
Justice Qayyum referred to the electoral college for the 
presidential election but said the challenge to the rules would 
also be considered.
    
Appearing for rejected candidate Mujahid-i-Urdu Fazlur Rehman 
Lahori, Advocate Ghulam Murtaza Qureshi submitted that there was no 
concept of political parties in Islam. He requested the court to 
order that the presidential election be held under injunctions of 
Islam as required by Article 2-A, which makes the Objectives 
Resolution an operative part of the Constitution.

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971225
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Court orders police not to arrest Hakim Zardari
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Our Correspondent

HYDERABAD, Dec 24: A division bench of the Sindh High Court, 
Hyderabad circuit, on Wednesday directed the anti-terrorism court 
not to take Hakim Ali Zardari in custody till the order of interim 
pre-arrest bail, granted to him by the Supreme Court, remained in 
force.
    
The bench comprising Justice Roshan Ali Essani and Justice Syed 
Saeed Ashhad also granted protective bail to the former MNA in a 
sum of Rs1 million, up to Jan 15.
    
Hakim Zardari, who was declared proclaimed offender by the ACT 
judge in the double murder case of a senior bureaucrat and his 
guard, has challenged the proclamation through a constitutional 
petition filed by lawyer Azizullah K. Shaikh (Karachi).
    
The petitioner appeared in the court where the defence counsel 
contended that no valid and legal order for the trial of his client 
within the precincts of central jail had been made by the competent 
authority and that he had been declared proclaimed offender in 
contravention of the provisions of Criminal Procedure Code.
    
The council maintained that proclamation was absolutely illegal and 
void and it had been passed solely with a view to arresting the ex-
MNA.
    
He asserted that although Mr Zardari was granted interim pre-arrest 
bail by the supreme court, yet the ATC court refused to accept his 
application, praying for recalling the proclamation.
    
Ghulam Nabi Soomro, the additional advocate general Sindh, 
requested a 10-day period for submitting comments and replies to 
objections, raised in the petition.
    
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971225
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Self-employment scheme may take shape next month
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Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Dec 24: The jobless people of twin cities of Islamabad 
and Rawalpindi may have to wait for another two weeks to see the 
Rs100,000 loan scheme taking a practical shape.
    
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced about a month ago that 
all unemployed youths of the country would be provided with soft-
term loans on personal securities to run their own businesses.
    
The announcement had created a ray of hope among the unemployed 
educated and skilled youth of the federal capital and adjoining 
rural areas.
    
A source of the Small Business Finance Corporation told Dawn on 
Wednesday that no specific date for acceptance of application forms 
had been decided yet nor "we have received any creditline from the 
State Bank".

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971224
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Ajmal Mian sworn in as Chief Justice
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Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Dec 23: Justice Ajmal Mian, the senior most judge of the 
Supreme Court, on Tuesday was appointed the permanent Chief Justice 
of Pakistan.
    
The oath of office to the newly appointed Chief Justice was 
administered by the Acting President Wasim Sajjad in a ceremony 
held at the Aiwan-i-Sadr on Tuesday.
    
The oath taking ceremony was attended among others by judges of the 
Supreme Court of Pakistan, retired judges of the Supreme Court, 
judges of the Lahore High Court, Rawalpindi bench, Speaker National 
Assembly, Acting Chairman of Senate, federal ministers, Attorney 
General for Pakistan, parliamentarians and officials of the Supreme 
Court.
    
The federal government, soon after the receipt of the order passed 
by the 10-member bench denotified the appointment of Justice Sajjad 
Ali Shah and notified the appointment of Justice Ajmal Mian as the 
Chief Justice of Pakistan.
    
Justice Ajmal Mian was one of the three judges of the Supreme Court 
who were superseded on June 5, 1994, when the PPP government had 
appointed Justice Sajjad Ali Shah as the Chief Justice of Pakistan. 
The other two judges senior to him were Justice Saad Saood Jan, and 
Justice Abdul Qadeer Chaudhry. Both the judges have already 
retired.
    
If the rule of seniority was followed in the appointment of Chief 
Justice of Pakistan, Justice Ajmal Mian would have been appointed 
the Chief Justice of Pakistan on June 30, 1996.
    
Justice Ajmal Mian would reach the age of superannuation on June 
30, 1999. After his retirement Justice Saiduzzaman Siddiqui would 
be the senior most judge.

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971223
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Pakistan to get over $100m from Bhutto Swiss accounts
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Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Dec 22: The government will get more than 100 million 
dollars, belonging to former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, her 
mother Nusrat Bhutto and her husband Asif Ali Zardari, to be 
repatriated from Swiss banks in January or February next, after it 
has been proved that it is ill-gotten money.
    
"This was stated by a spokesman for the Ehtesab Cell of the Prime 
Minister's Secretariat on Monday.
    
He told Dawn that the total amount being kept by the Bhuttos in 
Swiss banks was more than 200 million dollars. "But there are 
indications that, initially, we will get 100 million dollars, to be 
repatriated in January or February next year", he claimed.
 
Hasan Wasim Afzal, joint secretary and a spokesman for the Cell, 
said a decision of the concerned Swiss court in this regard was 
expected this month, after which the Pakistan government would get 
back the ill-gotten money of the Bhuttos.

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971223
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Govt not to protect loan defaulters 
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Shaukat Ali

LAHORE, Dec 22: The federal government has made it clear to the 
State Bank of Pakistan that it will not intervene on political 
grounds if the bank takes action against loan defaulters.
    
The bank wants to take action against loan defaulters, most of whom 
belong to the Punjab and who have not yet come to terms with the 
SBP on adjustment or re-scheduling of their credit drawn from the 
nationalised banks during the last about 10 years.
    
The bank had in fact desired to take action against the defaulters 
in October this year but then the government, with the consent of 
the bank, announced a relief period up to February next year for 
industrialists to repay their loans or get adjusted their 
outstanding credit as desired by the central bank.
    
Although the government has announced a relaxation of another 60 
days for the loan defaulters, the SBP is understood to have devised 
a strategy to take action against businessmen who are refusing to 
repay their loans without solid reasons.

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971222
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Kashmiris among most oppressed people: US body
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Our Correspondent

NEW YORK, Dec 21: Freedom House, a New York-based non-profit 
organization, on Friday described Indian occupied Kashmir as being 
a "worst of the worst" case scenario in repression.
    
In its annual report the Freedom House, established by Eleanor 
Roosevelt and Wendell Wilkie in 1941, for the promotion of liberty 
and democracy, characterized the Kashmiri territory under Indian 
occupation as being "worst of the worst," where basic human and 
political rights were denied to the people.
    
It said India faced separatist movements among Sikhs and Kashmiris 
and religious tensions between Hindus and Muslims.
    
Examining the state of freedom and democracy worldwide, the report 
observed that in Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif "appears to 
be using an overwhelming parliamentary majority to concentrate 
power and weaken the independence of judiciary. Similarly, it said, 
Slovakia's Prime Minister Vladmir Mecair was practising an 
authoritarian style of rule.

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971223
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Air pollution monitoring to be done in all major cities
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Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Dec 22: Minister of State for Environment, Local 
Government and Rural Development, Makhdoom Syed Ahmad Mahmud, has 
given directive that air monitoring stations be set up in major 
cities to ascertain air quality and assess people's exposure to 
pollution.
    
He was inaugurating a three-day training workshop on Air Quality 
Monitoring, organized jointly by the World Health Organization 
(WHO), Ministry of Health and Pakistan Environmental Protection 
Agency.
    
The minister showed concern over degradation of air quality in 
metro cities caused by increasing number of vehicles. He emphasised 
that local technology and expertise should be developed within the 
country to deal with the issue.
    
The training workshop is being attended by 35 participants from the 
federal and provincial institutions. The participants will receive 
training in air monitoring techniques, sampling procedures, and 
equipment used in monitoring of local and transboundary pollution.
    
Besides others, the inaugural session was attended by Malik M 
Zahoor Anwar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Local 
Government and Rural Development, Asif Shuja Khan, Director General 
Pak-EPA, Dr M.A.Barzgar, WHO country representative and Dr Sohail 
K.Hashmi, National Programme Manager, Ministry of Health.
    
While briefing the minister, the Director General, Pakistan 
Environmental Protection Agency stated that besides other 
pollutants detected in ambient air, particulate matters, carbon 
monoxide, un-burnt hydrocarbon and lead are of real concern.
    
He explained that financial constraints and non-availability of 
indigenous technology did not allow development of monitoring 
infrastructure in the country.
    
He, however, indicated possible grant from the Norwegian government 
for setting up monitoring stations in major cities. WHO 
representative, Dr M Ali Barzgar, while addressing the 
participants, said that "my organisation gives due importance to 
public health and we have initiated a number of projects in 
different countries for improving air quality".
    
He particularly mentioned the WHO's Global Environment Monitoring 
(GEM) programme which includes air quality monitoring. He 
appreciated that the present government has given due importance to 
the subject of environment and specifically mentioned the new 
environmental law which was passed by Parliament.
    
He assured his support in building monitoring capacity of 
environmental institutions in the country. Dr S S Tahir, Incharge 
of Pak-EPA Laboratory, highlighted contents of training programme.
    
After inauguration of the workshop, the minister visited the EPA 
laboratory where he was briefed on different activities being 
carried out by the laboratory staff.
    
The minister also visited operation office of environmental squad 
established by the Islamabad traffic police in the EPA premises to 
control vehicular pollution. He appreciated efforts of the traffic 
police for keeping the campaign against smoke emitting vehicles 
alive.


=================================================================== 
 BUSINESS & ECONOMY
971221
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Sale of big banks to foreign investors opposed
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Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 20: Speakers at a symposium on "Banking reforms and 
culture change" held here on Saturday strongly opposed any possible 
move to sell big nationalized commercial banks (NCBs) to foreign 
investors.
    
Such an eventuality , they contended, would lead to the domination 
of the aliens over the financial sector and added that the 
foreigners would be in the driving seat to turn and twist national 
policies to suit their special interests. Economic sovereignty 
would thus be seriously compromised.
    
Though privatization of NCBs emerged as a controversial issue, 
speakers were unanimous that the strategic areas of the national 
economy should not come under foreign control. Doubts were also 
expressed if the local investors had the financial resources to 
participate in the privatization of large nationalized commercial 
banks when even smaller banks like Habib Credit and Exchange Bank, 
Schon and Women Bank were bought by foreign investors. Referring to 
what was described as World Bank and IMF dictated banking reforms, 
speakers said that solutions valid for mature economies might not 
be relevant to emerging markets like Pakistan.
    
The symposium organized by the Public Relations Management Group 
was attended by bankers, economists and senior journalists.

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971222
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Pakistan economy: a catharsis
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Abdul Wahab Soomro

Isn't fifty years a sufficient time to learn that the only way out 
of the present quagmire of economic and social decay, is through 
investing in human capital? Absurd excuse of shortage of funds, by 
every successive government, has now completely lost its utility. 
What hinders the smooth and desirable transformation towards 
prosperous Pakistan is a decade old but accurately identified 
problem: absence of a political will to create a coherent and 
homogeneous society. Once we have the much needed political will, 
there is enough potential in Pakistan to generate funds for 
realization of our dreams, without recourse to begging bowl.
    
 No society can progress unless each of its segments contributes 
due share of taxes, proportionate to the privilege it enjoys. Thus, 
it is about time that our landed gentry realized from the gravity 
of present dismal economic scenario, that if they wish to keep the 
country intact, they will have to oil the economic machinery of the 
country with their potential of Rs 60 billion in revenues annually.
    
 Potential proceeds from the business community can be easily 
appraised from the lavish life style of revenue collection 
authorities. Business community pay more in bribes to tax and 
customs authorities than to the national exchequer. The situation 
demands complete overhaul and reorganization of revenue collecting 
machinery by adopting a target oriented approach, that is, having 
evaluated the potential of every revenue administrative unit, the 
officers concerned should be given a revenue target, achievement or 
failure of which be associated to incentives and punishment. 
Accordingly, government will have to bring the salary structure of 
the officers in consonance with the private sector.
    
 Much has been said about recovery of Rs 127 billion defaulted 
loans, but in vain. If we continue to hide black sheep and let them 
go unpunished, it would only serve to encourage others to adopt 
this easy way of making money. Therefore, all the defaulters should 
be brought to book and the money collected there from be spent on 
the social sector.
    
 Many have pointed out the theft of electricity worth billions of 
rupees annually. The grave misappropriation is reported mainly from 
Balochistan and FATA, though the whole country is guilty of this 
unpatriotic and shameful routine. Government should not hesitate 
even using armed forces to punish the guilty and make them pay 
their dues. 
   
Realization of this colossal revenue would not only curtail per 
unit cost of electricity, with its far reaching effects, but also 
generate adequate surpluses for the social sector.
    
 As they say, "charity begins at home", the attitudinal change has 
to come from the upper echelons of power. Steps like rightsizing 
the cabinet, cutting down the size and frequency of foreign trips, 
putting a ban on the import of luxury cars, doing away with the 
practice of keeping personal planes at peoples' cost, committing 
not to initiate further overambitious, low in priority projects 
such as new PM secretariat and motorway, etc. would pour billions 
of rupees for human capital formation.
    
 Some business sources estimate the size of underground economy at 
as high as country's current GDP of about Rs 2500 billion. 
Delivering a lecture on human resource development at National 
University of Science and Technology (NUST). 
   
Dr Mahbubul Haq said that the country was being deprived of US 
dollar 10 billion annually due to corruption. Proper documentation 
through computerization (computer is still used as a typing machine 
in most of our government departments) and installing proper 
monitoring mechanisms along the borders to check smuggling could 
double the country's capacity to spend.
    
 Unofficial figures confirm that trade through personal baggage, 
smuggling, and third country (Dubai, Hong Kong etc) between India 
and Pakistan is worth more than one billion US dollars annually. 
Though international support and respect can only be commanded with 
political stability, robust economy, and domestic-need-oriented 
foreign policy, we should make a breakthrough in trade relations 
with India without compromising our position of moral support to 
Kashmiri freedom struggle.
    
 Last but not the least, given the hostile neighbourhood the 
presence of a strong army cannot be overemphasized. 
  
However, our armed forces equipped with diverse technical and 
skilled manpower can play very effective role in national 
development on the pattern of China's Peoples Liberation Army 
(PLA). 
   
Effectively utilizing its cantonments in various parts of the 
country they can contribute in educating our illiterate, imparting 
technical know-how, building infrastructure, providing health care 
in remote areas, creating awareness about environmental pollution 
and family planning etc.
    
Everything is difficult before it is easy. Human capital formation, 
though it seems to be a formidable task, given the present level of 
chaos in our country, it is the only way out towards the land of 
prosperity. 
   
As a house without solid foundation is destined to crumble into 
rubble, a country without skilled human capital is sure to be 
doomed. Deng Xiopeng once said that for a journey of thousand miles 
it is important to take first step. So let us start our journey 
towards prosperity by investigating in our people.

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971223
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Rs 2 bn worth of cotton exported
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Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 22: Pakistan's private sector exporters have 
physically shipped a record Rs 2 billion worth of cotton during the 
first four months of the current season and indications are that 
the target of Rs.5 billion is expected to be achieved before March 
31 next year.
    
In its national effort, Pakistan plans to push the annual export 
earnings to $.9.2 billion to cut the widening trade gap from $2.5 
bn to $ 1.5 bn during the current fiscal ending June 30, 1998.
    
Pakistan's new cotton season begins on Sept 1, each year and ends 
on Aug 30, next year and during the first four months exporters 
have shipped 0.202 million bales to over four dozen countries, 
notably Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and some other Far 
Eastern countries against forward sales of 0.228 million bales.
    
'An idea of near-panic shipments apparently to meet the deadlines 
may well be had from the fact that during the last week alone 
34,294 bales including 10,327 bales on Dec 17, were shipped,' 
Karachi port sources said.
    
For the first time in Pakistan's cotton export history, the Multan 
dry port in central Punjab became functional as about 12,000 bales 
were exported through upto Dec 20.
    
Exporters said despite breach of the psychological barrier of 70 
cents per lb by New York cotton futures for the ruling March 
delivery, Pakistani lint is selling at a premium on the world 
markets.
    
'Most of the medium staple length lint from the central Punjab is 
fetching over 70 cents per lb c&f and it is most competitive 
keeping in view the pressure on local supplies owing to news of a 
short crop,' they added.
    
Conflicting reports about the size of the national crop are pouring 
in each day, 8.7 million bales on the lower side and 9.2 million 
bales on the higher side but indications are that figure could be 
attractive and could leave a sizable exportable surplus after 
meeting the local demand of 8.5 million bales. Spinners are allowed 
to import cotton from any foreign country including India after 
paying an import duty at the rate of 10% Last year, they imported 
0.242 million bales of long staple cotton for blending purposes to 
spin higher counts of yarn for export.

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971223
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50 HBL branches to be merged
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By Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 22: Twenty-five branches of Habib Bank in the city are 
being closed down and merged with 25 others, and the entire process 
is to be completed by, Wednesday Dec 24.
    
Inquiries show that following the closures and mergers, 350-375 of 
Habib Bank staff will be retained in the zonal offices, with 
further postings to be made as needed after Dec 31.
    
The process for closure and merger of the Karachi branches began 
for six branches on Dec 13. According to schedule, Shabbirabad 
branch was closed down and merged with Adamjee Nagar's, Mohammed 
Ali Society's with Karsaz's, Baloch Para's with Atma Ram Preetam 
Das's, Bara Maidan's with Commercial Area Nazimabad's, Imam Ahmed 
Road's with Commercial Area PECHS's and Bara Bus-Stop's with Muslim 
League Quarter's.
    
In the second phase which began on Dec 20, 13 branches were closed 
down and merged: Coachinwala Market's with Cloth Market's, Wood 
Street's with Foreign Exchange's, South Avenue's with SITE's, Old 
Market's with Juna Market's, Ellis Street's with Kharadar's, Chand 
Bibi Road's with Kutchery Road's, S. M. Taufiq Road's with 
Liaquatabad's, Sarafa Bazaar's with Lea Market's, Campbell Street's 
with New Challi's, Kiyani Shaheed Road's with Plaza Quarters's, 
Jinnah Street's with Ranchore Line's, Saifee Nagar's with Shoe 
Market's and Pakistan Chowk's with Arambagh's.

The third and final phase is due to be concluded on Dec 24 with the 
merger of National Motors's with Shershah's, North Napier Road's 
with Nanakwara's, Jinnah Square's with Malir Colony's, Moosa Lane's 
with Nayabad's, Khori Garden's with Rambharti Street's and Al-Falah 
Market PECHS's with the Community Centre PECHS's.
    
Meanwhile, the Habib Bank Officers and Workers Coordination Council 
announced on Monday that they had received assurance from the 
management that officers and workers would be paid Ramazan bonus in 
the first week of Ramazan, with a notification to be issued in this 
regard on Tuesday. The Council also received assurance that a new 
pay package for 1998 would shortly be announced.
    
The HBOWCC leaders, Habibuddin Junaidi, Mushtaq Ahmed Changezi and 
Rana Shahbaz Khan, urged that the management should pay annual 
closing allowance of Rs2,300 to non-clerical workers, Rs2,400 to 
clerical workers and Rs2,500 to officers.

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971223
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Local cottage industry being destroyed
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Our Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Dec 22: Local electronics manufacturers are faced with an 
unhealthy, intense competition in the market with foreign goods 
smuggled in large quantities as a result of an unfavourable 
government attitude and policy towards cottage electronics making 
industry.
    
"A huge influx of smuggled electronic goods has destroyed this 
industry," Pakistan Cottage Electronics Manufacturers Association 
(PCEMA), Chairman Mohammad Shoaib told Dawn on Monday. He said at 
least 75 per cent of the total electronics goods business was in 
the hands of smugglers. "The unchecked growth of smuggling has 
virtually obliterated local television makers," he claimed.
    
Shoaib said the levy of "two per cent turnover tax on sales up to 
Rs 1 million in the budget for 1997-98 has further burdened the 
industry". He said the electronics goods makers were unwilling to 
become members of the PCEMA for "fear of getting entangled into a 
vicious tax net by the Central Board of Revenue".
    
There are around 1,000 cottage electronics goods makers  400 in 
Lahore and 600 in Karachi. Scores are scattered in smaller and 
remote cities and towns, according to the PCEMA. "It is basically 
an assembling industry," Shoaib said.
    
About 15,000 people are claimed to be directly employed by the 
industry besides those working in the related vending sector. 
"There must have been more than 100,000 such units. The economic 
development (of the country) hinges on the progress made by this 
sector. Investment made in the sugar or cement industries cannot 
help the country grow as fast as this sector," he claimed.
    
He cited the example of Japan and China, saying: "They made 
progress by helping their cottage electronics sector grow. It'll 
create thousands of jobs in the country."
    
The local manufacturers make a variety of electronics goods  car 
tapes, radios, cassette players, door bells, amplifiers, etc. "We 
make every item you can think of," the PCEMA chief said. Only basic 
components  capacitor, resistors, PCBs, semi conductors, etc  are 
imported because it is not feasible to produce them in the country.
    
Shoaib said foreign investors would not come to the country as long 
as the government did not give incentives to them. Moreover, it 
must be understood that no foreign investor would invest money in 
the electronics sector unless smuggling continues.
    
"Why should they invest and set up their assembling units here when 
their goods, smuggled from Dubai, are sold here in abundance and 
without any hindrance," Shoaib said.
    
A big Japanese company tried to set up its assembling units in 
Lahore some years ago, but cancelled its plans due to heavy Zilla 
Tax of over Rs200, according to the PCEMA chairman.
    
The government indifference towards this sector of the economy 
could be gauged from the fact that an electronics policy drawn up 
by the National Commission of Electronics (NCE) back in 1992 has so 
far not been implemented. "Even the NCE, which was mandated to meet 
every three months to review the situation to solve problems and 
boost this industry has not met for the past four years," the PCEMA 
chief said. Besides smuggling, nonavailability of skill training, 
lack of research facilities and refusal of banks and non-banking 
lending institutions to advance loans to the manufacturers in this 
sector are said to be causes for its failure to make desired 
progress.
    
"Pakistan can export electronics goods to the tune of millions of 
dollars to various parts of the world should the government take 
measures to provide skill training and research facilities for this 
industry," Shoaib claimed. "The research facilities will help us 
upgrade our die and mould making sector and improve the quality of 
our end product."

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971227
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20pc growth expected in exports this month
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana

KARACHI, Dec 26: A record growth of around 20 per cent is expected 
in exports during the current month with export cargo in volume 
touching an all-time high of about 45,000 tons bringing in an 
estimated earning of $900 million as against $811 million during 
December, 1996.
    
Official sources disclosed here on Friday, that due to currency 
crises in Far Eastern economies particularly the 'Asian Tigers' 
exports might suffer in terms of foreign exchange earnings even 
after recording higher export volumes than those of the preceding 
year. "Currency crises in the Far East coupled with sluggish demand 
from European and American markets compelled our exporters to lower 
the prices not only to stay competitive but also not to lose their 
markets against other exporting countries," said an official of 
Export Promotion Bureau.
    
Physical export of bulk and container cargo upto Dec 23, on an 
average, stood at 16,000 tons per day, giving strong indication 
that by the end of current month exports in terms of volume would 
be higher by 10 to 15 per cent compared to December, 1996, which 
was itself a record achievement when the country earned around $811 
million in a single month.
    
The country has made record exports of all sort of goods in terms 
of volume but the sluggish and slow demand with high 
competitiveness from other countries forced our exporters to lower 
their rates resulting in lower earnings in the range of 10 to 15 
per cent in foreign exchange, EPB official added.
    
Responding to a question EPB official said, "It could be said that 
we did marginally good if not upto the mark under the present hard 
global economic conditions.
    
The EPB expects higher export figures in terms of volume during the 
remaining last five days of this month when most of the textile 
exporters will make their last ditch efforts to utilize their 
quotas before Dec 31, 1997, the official predicted.
    
He said that overall quota utlization during Jan-Nov, 1997 reached 
2094.21 million Square Meter Equivalent (SME) as compared to 
1822.64 million SME for the corresponding period of the last year 
showing an increase of about 14.90 per cent.
    
Despite adverse global economic conditions and the on-going deep-
rooted currency crisis in the East and sharp fall in European 
currencies against US dollar earlier this year, the country managed 
to earn $1739.44 million on exports during Jan-Nov, 1997 as 
compared to $1564.27 million for the same period last year, showing 
an increase of about 11.20 per cent.
    
In reply to another question the EPB official said, "What is wrong 
if we evaluate the export performance in terms of volume though it 
is good to get maximum price, but then, under sluggish and 
difficult economic conditions not to lose foreign markets is 
equally a great achievement."

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971227
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Foreign exchange reserves at $1.369bn
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Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 26: Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves rose by $185 
million to around $1.369 billion during December 14-20 after 
showing a continual fall for four weeks. Senior bankers link the 
increase to a $250 million World Bank loan that was released during 
this week. The loan has been advanced for banking sector reforms.
    
On December 13, the reserves had plunged by $110 million to $1.184 
billion bringing the total fall to $437 million within a month 
mainly due to political instability at home and a financial crisis 
in the region. On November 15, the reserves stood at $1.621 
billion.
    
The latest State Bank report shows that the reserves believed to 
have been held at home totalled $525.33 million whereas the 
balances held abroad stood at $843.42 million on December 20.
    
Recently the State Bank has taken many steps to seek greater inflow 
of foreign currency swap funds which should boost the foreign 
exchange reserves during the coming weeks. But foreign debt 
servicing due by the year-end may keep the reserves at a low level.
    
The steps taken to speed up inflow of swap funds include an 
increase in the yield on six monthly short term federal bonds to 
ensure a higher return on these funds. 
   
The cost of mobilizing dollar-denominated swap funds currently 
ranges between 12.50-13 per cent whereas the yield on STFBs has 
gone up 14.75 per cent.
    
On Friday, the SBP offered a much lucrative return of 13.50 per 
cent on even one-week repo of STFBs worth Rs 1.5 billion at its 
open market operation. The bids had totalled Rs 3.55 billion.
    
On Saturday, a whole range of proposed reforms in the foreign 
exchange regime would be discussed at a meeting between the top 
bankers and SBP Governor Dr Muhammad Yaqub. Some of these reforms 
are also aimed at strengthening the foreign exchange reserves.
    
Bankers and money changers say news of a $185 million build-up in 
the foreign exchange reserves will strengthen the rupee in the open 
market on Saturday. On Friday, the dollar closed unchanged at the 
Thursday level of Rs 46.20 and Rs 46.25 for spot buying and selling 
in the kerb market. Official rates remained intact at Rs 44.05 and 
Rs 44.27.

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971227
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SPI declines 0.25pc
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Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Dec 26: The week ending Dec 24 recorded 0.25% decline in 
Sensitive Price Index (SPI) from 210.46 to 209.94 over 
the preceding week, according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics 
press release on Friday.
    
When compared with the corresponding week of 1996-97, the same 
trend is observed as SPI, which covers price movements of 47 
essential items in 12 major urban centres, rose by 7.65%. During 
the week ending Dec 17, it had increased by 7.97% over the 
corresponding of last year.
    
A major reason underlying the arrest of upward trend of SPI was 
24.0% decrease in the price of tomato over the previous week from 
Rs 20.25 to Rs 15.39 per kg. This was obviously a seasonal 
phenomenon. The same factor was operative in the decrease of prices 
in respect of seven other items. These included: farm chicken (-
7.0%), potato (-6.0%), onions (-4.7%), sugar (-1.8%), masur pulse 
(-0.2%), red chilies (powdered)(-0.1%) and banana  (-0.1%).
    
But then the prices of 11 other essential items increased, although 
marginally. These included: garlic (5.0%), moong pulse (2.1%), tea 
packet (1.9%), eggs hen (farm) (1.7%), wheat (1.0%), gram pulse 
(0.4%), wheat flour (0.2%), mutton (0.2%), mustard oil 
(0.2%), vegetable ghee tin (0.1%) and vegetable ghee loose (0.04%).

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971227
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PIA to privatize non-core business companies
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Habib Khan Ghori
    
KARACHI, Dec 26: PIA has chalked out a programme, to be implemented 
in phases, to outsource its all non-core business companies to 
revamp the national flag carrier and make it a viable and efficient 
organization.
    
The non-core companies which are on the way out include Duty Free 
Shops, PIA Shaver Poultry Breeding Farms, Midway House hotel, 
Skyroom Restaurant, Engineering Department, International 
Advertising, and Roosevelt Hotel, New York.
    
The national airlines, which has suffered a loss of Rs4,795 million 
in 1996-97, has a total strength of about 22,000 employees, 
including contract employees. With outsourcing the non-core 
services, the strength that would be left with the organization 
will be around 13,000 as at present there are some 6,000 employees 
in the engineering department, 1,200 in the flight kitchen, 600 in 
the medical department, 1,000 in motor transport and 800 in 
security services.
    
Out of the total budget of Rs40 billion, the payroll costs 27 per 
cent of the total budget which comes to Rs10 billion. If the PIA is 
able to outsource the above departments, it will be able to save 
Rs3.24 billion. The PIA Board of Directors in its last meeting held 
at Islamabad in the first week of the current month had, in 
principle, gave the nod in this regard.
    
In the first phase, informed sources confided to Dawn that a 
financial adviser is being appointed for outsourcing, next week, 
Midway Hotel and the Skyrooms Restaurant.
    
"Duty Free Shops are already under the process following 
appointment of a financial adviser for them," the sources said, 
adding that the matter was likely to be finalized by March 1998.
    
"PIA has financial interest as well as partial management 
participation," the sources pointed out, saying that these non- 
core activities had been a source of financial and manpower squeeze 
on the PIA as every company had three to four persons on 
deputation.
    
In the second phase, those areas will be taken care of which are 
again non-transport but only providing support services like flight 
kitchen, motor transport and security, as these services are not 
being performed by other airlines, the sources said, adding that 
there was also a move to review the possibility of handing over 
medical services to an insurance company as the medical budget 
alone of the airline was Rs650 million.
    
The largest department of the PIA is the Engineering Department 
which has a large manpower involved in maintenance work of the old 
fleet.
    
With the induction of a new fleet in the national flag carrier, 
this department would become redundant. As such the PIA is 
considering outsourcing this department as well.

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971227
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Investors' return to rings strengthens equities
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 26: Stocks finished the weekend session on a 
relatively firm note as investors were back in the rings led by 
institutional traders and made active covering purchases in the 
pivotals at the lower levels.
    
The KSE 100-share index recovered another 17.80 points at 1,713.71 
as compared to 1,695.91 on Wednesday, as the leading base shares 
rose further. The total market capitalization also showed a rise of 
Rs 4.176 billion at Rs 516.721 billion as against Rs.512.545 
billion on Wednesday. News of a massive profit of Rs 1.5 billion 
made by the National Investment Trust (NIT) during the first four 
months after it opted for Net Asset Value formla was said to be the 
most stimulating news beind the sustained run-up for the second 
session in a row.
    
"Being one of the largest market player, NIT could take the entire 
market along with it where it wants to", analysts said.
    
The higher profits could well mean enhanced dividend for unit 
holders but the important thing is that it could work as 
consolidation force if the management could sustain its current 
market operations.
    
The year-end covering purchases might still have to make debut as 
leading investors are not inclined to go beyond their technical 
demands owing to, not too encouraging external news.
    
"But some of the foreign investors are active on a number of 
leading MNCs at the lower levels, although it is pretty difficutl 
to say whether or not the support is speculative", some analysts 
said.
    
The session was short as trading was suspended around 12.15 pm 
owing to the annual elections for the board of directors for the 
year 1998. Muhammad Yaseen Lakhani, a former president of the 
Karachi Stock Exchange was unanimously relected unopposed as 
president, a week earlier.
    
However, revival of demand in the bank and energy sectors has 
raised hopes of a sustained year-end rally as the highly 
technically-oversold market could attract any amount of short-
covering at the lower levels, dealers said.
    
Leading shares came in for active short-covering at the ex-dividend 
lower levels and rose sharply under the lead of Shell Pakistan, 
which surged Rs 39.00 at Rs 340. For the first time in the trading 
history, it was quoted at premium of Rs 1.50 over the oil giant 
PSO, which was quoted at Rs 338.50. Lever Brothers was another good 
gainers, rising by Rs 84, to Rs 1,394. HighNoon Lab, BOC Pakistan, 
and Elahi Electric were among the other notable gainers. Barring 
sharp setback of Rs 1.50 to 2.50 in Adil Poly, National Tanneries, 
and UDL Industries, most of the losses were fractional and 
reflected lack of support rather than large selling from any 
quarter.
    
Trading volume fell to 11.605 million shares owing to a short 
session but gainers managed to hold a silght edge over the losers 
at 52 to 50, with 46 shares holding on to the last levels, out of 
178 actives. The most active list was topped by Hub-Power, up 40 
paisa on 4.051 million shares; followed by PTCL 2.904 million; 
Crescent Investment Bank, unchanged on 0.503 million; Security 
Leasing, also unchanged on 0.479 million shares; and KASB Premier 
Fund, unchanged on 0.338 million shares.
    
The other actively traded shares were led by ICI Pakistan, steady 
five paisa on 0.322 million shares; Accord Textiles, unchanged on 
0.200 million shares; Artistic Denim also unchanged on 0.200 
million shares; Southern Electric, up 156 paisa on 0.199 million 
shares; and Sui Northern,firm five paisa on 0.155 million shares.
    
Defaulting companies: Trading on this counter again remained 
insipid as investors were not inclined to make fresh commitments 
owing partly to weekend considerations.
    
Only Colony Textile came in for modest support at the previous rate 
of Rs 4.30 and was accounted for 10,000 shares.
    
Dividend: Industrial Capital Modaraba, Dadabhoy Modaraba, Benz 
Industries, Premium Textiles, and S.S. Oils, all nil for the year 
ended June 30,1997.
    
But the First Capital Securities Corporation was an exception, 
which announced a cash dividend of 15 per cent plus bonus shares of 
10 per cent for the same period.

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EDITORIALS & FEATURES
971221
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Fascism on the march  III
Also see [Facism I] [Fascism II]
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ardeshir Cowasjee

THIS true story relating to the election of the first president, to 
suit the genius of the 1973 Constitution warrants repetition.
    
When President Bhutto decided to step down to the prime ministerial 
slot he looked around for a 'suitable' replacement. What he sought 
ideally was a blind, deaf, mindless, crippled candidate. Prior to 
his sighting of the gentle Fazal Elahi Chaudhry, his eye lit upon 
the politically acceptable Begum Shahnawaz, daughter of Sir 
Mohammad Shafi, sister of my late lamented friend, Mian Iqbal 
Shafi.
    
My first reaction was to exclaim, good grief, she must be pushing 
ninety. To check, and to congratulate Iqi in the event that it was 

true, I rang him. Yes, he said, there is something to it and, yes, 
she is getting on for ninety. But she qualifies perfectly. She can 
barely see, she is almost stone deaf, and she is mobile only if 
helped. We must hope they don't let her down. She is preparing her 
trousseau for the move to the presidential palace, and it will hit 
her hard if it doesn't come off. Nusrat and Zulfi have been 
visiting. Keep your fingers crossed, pal. You and I may be on to a 
good thing. She will have a special train. We'll organize an extra 
bogey and tour Pakistan in style. Pack your bags, pal, he 
instructed me before he signed off.
    
A few days later Iqi called. Unpack, pal, unpack. Bad news. 
Jehanara's chances have receded. She has regained her hearing in 
one ear, her eyesight has improved, and she has thrown out her 
nurse. No go. She has ceased to qualify.
    
Looking around this time, Nawaz Sharif's eye focused on 
octogenarian Fida Mohammed Khan as a suitable candidate. He also 
qualified on other grounds. Hailing from the NWFP, he would be 
acceptable to most as a symbol of the federation. But Wali Khan, 
Sharif's coalition partner, spoilt that one. Fida did not suit his 
purposes. He was relatively sharp of hearing and sight, and had 
almost all his brain cells intact.
    
Up came the name of Mohammed Ali Khan Hoti, also from the NWFP. He 
was immediately rejected, for he has a good solid spine and is 
quite capable of deciding for himself what is what.
    
Ghous Ali Shah of Sindh's name cropped up, but was hastily 
discarded as too many people who mattered insisted that he was far 
too 'controversial' (the local euphemism for 'totally 
unacceptable').
    
Then Abbaji stepped in, and within the space of one minute settled 
everything. Cut the cackle and forget about the 'smaller' 
provinces. Let's keep it all in the family and in Punjab. Select my 
friend and legal adviser, Rafiq Tarar, whose wit and wisdom I 
share, and with whom I often sup late into the night, exchanging 
sick Sikh jokes from our vast reservoirs. He is, and will prove to 
be, perfect.
    
What is good for the Sharifs, is good for the party, and is good 
for the nation. Soon, with God's blessings, we will have a Sharif 
nominee at the head of the Supreme Court and at the head of our 
powerful army.
    
'Der Fuhrer' had spoken. Without further ado, without consulting 
his ruling party members, or the leaders of the coalition parties, 
Nawaz Sharif nominated Tarar.
    
Thought-broadcaster and 'media developer' Mushahid Hussain was 
ordered to tailor Tarar to fit the slot, and vice versa. Mushahid 
trumpeted: Tarar is a moderate Muslim, a clean, devout, upright man 
and, contrary to what is said, is not a misogynist. 
   
He has been cleared by the agencies (who codified him in the 
records sent to those prosecuting Benazir's Bhutto government's 
dismissal as DW1  Dari Wallah 1). He is a son of the soil, 
officially born in Pirkhot, District Gujranwala, on November 2, 
1929, educated in Gujranwala and Lahore. Gujranwala is his oyster. 
It was there he grew his formal beard and in 1951 launched himself 
as a pleader.
    
He moved up to become advocate of the high court, to additional 
district and sessions judge, to district and sessions judge, and 
was elevated to the bench of the Lahore High Court in 1974, in the 
good old days of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's PPP. In 1989, in the equally 
good old days of Zia, he became chief justice of that court, moving 
up to the Supreme Court in 1991, from where he retired in 1994.
    
His brilliance on the bench of the Supreme Court has been 
immortalized. During the three years he sat there, one sole 
judgment authored by the Honourable Justice Tarar was recorded in a 
PLD  his concurring judgment in the case of the 1993 dissolution 
of the National Assembly when the presidential dissolution order 
was struck down and the government of Nawaz Sharif restored.
    
Amongst his friends who share his thoughts and beliefs and over 
whom he wields considerable influence are Justice Khalilur Rahman 
(codified as DW2), a signatory to the November 1997 order of the 
Quetta bench of the Supreme Court which sparked off the sorry 
disintegration process; Afzal Lone, a benefactor of the Ittefaq 
empire, rewarded with a Senate seat, who is inevitably to be found 
lurking in the prime minister's secretariat, and Major General 
Javed Nasir (DW3), Nawaz Sharif's former chief of the ISI and of 
the 'Afghan misadventure'.
    
Tarar's nomination was filed on December 16, together with that of 
his covering candidates Captain Haleem Siddiqi and Khwaja 
Qutubuddin. (It is somewhat of a disgrace that a master mariner 
should have allowed his name to be included amongst the spineless.) 
Tarar's nomination was rejected on December 18 by Justice of the 
Supreme Court Mukhtar Ahmad Junejo, who also holds the post of 
Acting Chief Election Commissioner. Junejo, in this case, proved 
himself to be as strong as Seshan.
    
Can we remove Junejo, was Nawaz Sharif's first Gawalmandi reaction. 
Risky, he was told. Then file a petition against Junejo's order in 
the Lahore High Court and have the order suspended. Suitable 
counsel were hurriedly contacted, and it goes to the credit of the 
bar that not one of the top constitutional lawyers was willing to 
accept Tarar's brief. 
   
Ejaz Batalvi, expert criminal lawyer, was roped in. Justice Qayyum 
admitted the petition on December 19 and suspended Junejo's order, 
allowing Tarar to "participate in the election provisionally 
subject to further orders". A larger bench will hear the petition 
on the 23rd.
    
My renowned constitutional expert (who for his own good explicitly 
asked me not to name him) maintains that Tarar may sail through the 
Lahore High Court. But, in the Supreme Court, it may, just may, be 
a different kettle of fish. Passing muster there will not be that 
simple. 
   
The irony is that the order of Acting CEC Mukhtar Junejo will be 
defended by Attorney General Chaudhry Farooq, who, though 
technically the first law officer of the land representing the 
people still acts as if he were the personal hired lawyer of 
Ittefaq and Nawaz Sharif.
    
As for the president of the republic, with the powers now left to 
him in the Constitution, all he can depend upon is his moral 
authority and his presentability to the world. Tarar, 
unfortunately, possesses neither. To quote from the 'Comment' of 
man-of-integrity Kunwar Idris, published in this newspaper on 
December 20 :
    
"Also casting a dark shadow on him is the referendum of December 
1984 when, as a member of Zia's Election Commission, he solemnly 
assured the people that 55 per cent and not just five per cent of 
the electorate had turned out to confer legitimacy on Zia's 
dictatorial rule. Mr Tarar also has to dispel the widely insinuated 
impression that he was involved in the 'Quetta Shuttle' which 
divided the Supreme Court and wrote the saddest chapter in 
Pakistan's constitutional history."
    
The task before the present de facto chief custodian of the Supreme 
Court, the honourable J-1, Justice Ajmal Mian, is onerous indeed. 
Before he can reform and unite his 'farishtas' (as the judges of 
the SC are affectionately known) he has to clean up the paradise 
over which they preside. The dignity and honour of the court remain 
desecrated and dented by the mob attack upon it organized by the 
ruling party. The court must be cleansed and reconsecrated, the 
sponsors and their stormers punished for committing a criminal act 
in the face of the court.
    
Another task awaiting Justice Mian is the reining in of the 
parallel judiciary incorporated in the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 
(a Lone-Tarar creation). 
   
Also (important and urgent) he must demolish the formation of a 
squad of honorary magistrates planned to be recruited in Punjab 
from the ranks of party bosses of the Muslim League. Following in 
his master's footsteps, Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat is said 
to have thought up this brilliant fascistic move.

Also see [Facism I] [Fascism II]

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971227
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The 'Sadim' touch
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Irfan Husain

EVERYTHING old King Midas touched turned into gold, but poor Nawaz 
Sharif has the opposite gift of turning everything he touches into 
clay; hence the Sadim touch.
    
We are not by nature a very introspective people: when things go 
wrong, as they do with clockwork regularity here, we tend to "put 
earth", as it were, on the unpleasantness, and get on with things. 
Unfortunately, the mound of earth has been building up over the 
years, and now threatens to bury the Republic.
    
Consider the events of the year that is about to end: if ever 
Murphy's Law ("If anything can go wrong, it will") needed proof, 
here it was by the truckload. When the year began, we were governed 
by a benignly ineffectual team of caretakers who did their job of 
conducting free and fair elections. The result was the emergence of 
the biggest majority ever enjoyed by a party in our parliamentary 
history. Granted that the Muslim League landslide was largely the 
result of PPP supporters staying home in droves as a mark of 
protest against Benazir Bhutto government's corruption and 
inefficiency, but we thought that finally we would get a respite 
from the endless bickering and viciousness that have come to 
characterize our polity.
    
No such luck. What we have got instead has been a string of body-
blows to the Constitution and two major pillars of state and civil 
society. The president has been virtually forced to resign under 
threat of impeachment, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 
has been told by his fellow judges that he was actually improperly 
appointed four years ago. However, the judgments he passed during 
his (abbreviated) tenure will stand, with the exception of those 
that have caused the government acute embarrassment in the last few 
weeks.
    
The implications of these constitutional contortions will be felt 
for a long time to come. But the worst part of the whole affair is 
that it was entirely unnecessary; in fact, these sordid events can 
be explained by one thing, and one thing only; Nawaz Sharif's Sadim 
Touch. Here is a politician who has suddenly and unexpectedly got 
everything he has ever wanted placed on a silver platter before 
him. And what does he do? Dump all the goodies on the floor and 
trample on them. Almost all the considerable goodwill he had at the 
beginning of the year has been wasted on a silly and entirely 
avoidable squabble.
    
And to cap it all, he picks a highly controversial presidential 
candidate whose eligibility has been questioned by the Chief 
Election Commissioner. It is entirely possible that the legal 
objections to Mr Tarrar's election will be thrown out by the 
courts, but the damage to our next president's credibility and 
standing has already been done. In a parliamentary democracy, the 
role of the head of state is a unifying one; he is supposed to be 
an impartial referee, above the hurly-burly of day-to-day politics. 
Unfortunately, not many people (with the possible exception of the 
elder Mr Sharif) see him in this light.
    
For most of us, Mr Tarrar represents an extremely retrograde 
element in our society. While he is welcome to his views, not many 
of us would like to have them propagated from the presidency. 
Considering the literally thousands of people he could have 
selected an acceptable presidential candidate from, Nawaz Sharif's 
final choice is as mind-boggling as it is disturbing. The Sadim 
Touch strikes again.
    
The one thing we all expected from Nawaz Sharif when he was elected 
was competent handling of the economy. Instead, we have a rupee in 
free-fall, a huge shortfall in government revenue and a stagnant 
stock market. No matter what spin our worthy finance minister 
places on it, there is no hiding the fact that our economy is in 
terrible shape, and Nawaz Sharif's ten months in office have done 
nothing to improve matters.

However, if he had not frittered his energies on futile and 
debilitating constitutional and political battles, he might have 
been able to deliver on some of his campaign promises. Even his 
much-trumpeted accountability drive seems to have stalled. Scores 
of civil servants are drawing salaries as officers on special duty 
 not very onerous duty it must be said  with their fate 
undecided. However, one gentleman known for his ability to 
accumulate money far in excess of his salary has been reinstated 
through semi-divine intervention from Raiwind.
    
As for Benazir Bhutto's Swiss accounts, they may have been frozen, 
but no actual criminal charge against her has been proven despite 
the fact that she has been out of power for over a year. Even her 
most fervent admirer no longer doubts that the lady and her husband 
did skim off vast sums of money, but there is a difference between 
strong suspicion and a conviction. So far, despite all the media 
hype, Saifur Rehman and his accountability brigade have failed in 
either filing a reference against the ex- PM or registering a 
criminal case against her. The Sadim Touch?
    
The one initiative Nawaz Sharif took that won him applause from 
even his opponents was his effort to improve ties with India. The 
most rabid hawk will privately admit that we cannot sustain our 
bloated defence budgets forever, and that a way out of the Kashmir 
impasse has to be found. Nawaz Sharif did make a sincere effort to 
break the deadlock, but here, too, the Sadim Touch intervened: his 
own position was insecure for months, and his interlocutor, Mr I.K. 
Gujral lost his job as prime minister of India.
    
As we approach the end of the year, we need to reflect on what 
might have been. Not because we can turn the clock back, but just 
to remind ourselves that all the things that are wrong with our 
country are not the result of some foreign plot; ultimately, we are 
responsible for our own follies.
    
Another thing to remember is that the legendary King Midas was 
given the poisoned chalice by the gods because of his greed: he 
starved to death because even the food he tried to eat turned into 
gold. What will the Sadim Touch do to Nawaz Sharif? More to the 
point, what will it do to the rest of us? On this gloomy note, I 
wish my readers a very Happy New Year.

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971222
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Death be not proud
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Omar Kureishi

WHEN my nephew Nusrat Nasarullah telephoned me and informed me that 
Hasan Musa had been shot dead, my reaction was one of stunned 
disbelief. "Which Hasan Musa?" I asked him, somehow convinced it 
could not be the one who had been a colleague and a friend of mine, 
someone for whom I had a great deal of affection.
    
Unfortunately, it was he who had been gunned down in broad daylight 
in the parking lot of the PIA Squash Complex. Obviously it was not 
one of those random killings with which we are so painfully 
familiar in Karachi. The killers had been waiting for him and fled 
after carrying out the murder. Thus it was a targeted killing and 
could have been because of some enmity or feud. 
   
So little value is placed on human life in our society and hitmen 
or guns-for-hire so freely available, they might as well be in the 
Yellow Pages of the telephone directory, that settling arguments or 
scores can now be done by proxy. In due course we may know why 
Hasan Musa was killed. On the other hand, we may never know.
    
When I was Director of Public Affairs in PIA, the Sports Department 
was put under me for an interim period. This was when PIA added 
squash to the many games that it patronised. I appointed Hasan Musa 
as the Squash Manager and gave him a free hand. I cautioned him, 
however, that since Air Marshal Nur Khan was taking a personal 
interest in the promotion of squash, he should be prepared for the 
flak he would get and if he goofed-up, not only he but I too would 
join the ranks of the unemployed. "No problem," he said to me. In 
fact this was to become his trademark words so much so that we 
began to call him No Problem Musa. He did not let us down. He did 
an outstanding job and I started to delegate more and more 
authority to him until he was running the show by himself.
    
I had had discussions with Kerry Packer and his organisation about 
a champions squash tournament, confined to the top ten squash 
players of the world. Kerry Packer was interested but somehow we 
could not finalise the deal. So PIA decided to go it alone and we 
came up with the PIA Masters to be played around the world. Hasan 
Musa was put in charge of the nuts and bolts of this travelling 
circuit. The first year of the PIA Masters was played in Eindhoven 
(Holland) Stockholm, Dusseldorf and Karachi. The next year we added 
Singapore.
    
There were a lot of problems. Some of the squash courts did not 
meet international requirements and it was Hasan Musa's job that 
they did. There were logistics, hotel reservations, airline 
tickets, the appointment of referees and other officials. It was a 
major undertaking. The tournaments went off without a hitch and it 
can be truthfully said that the PIA Masters played a major role in 
bringing big-time squash to the countries where it was played.
    
I was there at all the centres but in a protocol capacity and I 
made the speeches and shook hands with the dignitaries which in 
Stockholm included the King Gustav of Sweden. But it was Hasan Musa 
and the team that I had given him who did all the hard work.
    
I got to know him well. We made a good team. He was a cheerful 
young man with an infectious smile that worked wonders whenever I 
felt it necessary to pull him up. He was an eminently likeable 
person who made friends easily and despite being the son of General 
Musa, there wasn't a trace of arrogance in him and stood on his own 
feet rather that on high connections. In this respect he was like 
his father who too was unassuming and a soft spoken man. 
   
I remember once being told by my personal assistant that General 
Musa had come to see me. I thought he had lost his way and surely 
had come to see Air Marshal Nur Khan. I went out of my office to 
receive him and, if necessary, to personally escort him to the 
right office. He had indeed come to see me and to thank me for the 
interest I had taken in his son's career. I was humbled.
    
After I left PIA, I lost touch with him though he would 
occasionally telephone me and promise to come and see me. But it so 
happens that we lose touch, go our separate ways, plough our own 
lonely furrows. Hasan Musa had gone up in life. He had become Vice-
President of the Pakistan Squash Federation, the Asian Squash 
Federation and the World Squash Federation and vice chairman of the 
Sind Olympic Association. He has been widely praised for his 
organisational abilities and was a major figure in sports 
promotion. He will be missed and it will not be easy to replace 
him.
    
I do not have any high hopes that his killers will be found. The 
track-record of the authorities in this respect does not stand out 
as a shining beacon. What will happen is that we will be given 
assurances, which by now have become routine, and sooner than 
later, the file will be closed. One more unsolved murder. It is 
said of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that they always get 
their man. That certainly cannot be said of us. Instead we almost 
never get our man. We can have tough laws and anti-terrorist 
courts. But first we have to catch the criminal. But then that is a 
matter of detail.
    
I am saddened by the death of Hasan Musa and my heart goes out to 
his family. Hasan Musa was a lovable man. Diana, Princess of Wales 
was not the only candle in the wind. It would seem we all are  
candles in the wind.

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971223
-------------------------------------------------------------------
To the brink and back
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Shaikh Manzoor Ahmed

DURING the past several weeks, we watched helplessly with growing 
dismay, bewilderment, and alarm a most bizarre top-level politico-
judicial brawl in Islamabad involving the three highest ranking 
functionaries of the state  president, prime minister, and chief 
justice  as principal antagonists and a host of other political 
and legal luminaries in the role of 'support troops'. The 
complexity of the situation was further exacerbated by the 
unedifying intra-judiciary conflict it spawned, much to the 
detriment of the supreme court's prestige and credibility.
    
The fracas in Islamabad continued with unabated fury, in spite of a 
brief 'time out' brokered by the COAS to help cool tempers down a 
bit, culminating in the unprecedented outrage of storming and 
ransacking the Supreme Court building by a frenzied, screaming mob 
of goons belonging to the ruling party, while the large police 
force on guard duty stood idly by. Never before in our chequered 
political history of 50 years has any member of the superior 
judiciary been subjected to such humiliation in public. This 
shocking version of the 'politics of sharaafat', so loudly and 
frequently proclaimed by our prime minister, has evoked nothing but 
deep disgust among all right-thinking people in the country. 
Furthermore, the fact that this beastly act of criminal indecency 
was witnessed firsthand by millions of TV viewers around the globe 
has caused incalculable damage to our international image, which is 
already in tatters.
    
President Leghari is now gone and so is CJ Sajjad Ali Shah; the 
latter is now designated as "Chief Justice under restraint (CJUR)" 
 a novel addition to legal lexicon conjured up, presumably, under 
the "doctrine of necessity". We are thus now blessed with two chief 
justices of the supreme court  one CJ regular but "under 
restraint" and the other CJ functional but "acting". Here again we 
have scored a new "first" worthy of a prominent entry in the next 
edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.
    
Justice Shah now complains that "judges of the apex court had 
revolted with the support and encouragement by the government" and 
"never in world history judges of the same court removed the chief 
justice ... while the hearing was continuing in the supreme court, 
parliamentarians sitting there were giving a minute-wise report to 
the prime minister".
    
Justice Shah quite justifiably feels aggrieved at the reprehensible 
acts but it must not be forgotten that these are only a few of many 
unsavoury 'firsts' of misgovernance to our discredit as a nation. 
Perhaps, he should feel grateful that the votaries of 'sharaafat' 
and their mobsters who stormed the supreme court building did not 
molest or eliminate him physically, because, even if this dastardly 
deed had, God forbid, been committed, the culprits would have 
escaped punishment, as most terrorists do in this country, for want 
of conclusive evidence in accordance with the "due process of law". 
It would be relevant to mention here that the 10 ruffians arrested 
for allegedly taking part in the attack on the supreme court have 
been bailed out since by a lower court in Islamabad amidst 
enthusiastic celebrations by local PML activists.
    
In spite of grave institutional damage caused by traumatic events 
of the last two or three months, we must consider ourselves 
extremely lucky to have managed, somehow, to stagger back from the 
very brink of complete constitutional meltdown. The prevailing 
situation calls for serious reflection on the various issues that, 
coupled with the obduracy of the principal players involved, caused 
an entirely unnecessary 'turf battle' to snowball into such a 
monstrous crisis.
    
The genesis of the conflict can be traced back to the March '96 
judgment in the now well-known Judges Case, which effectively 
eliminated any meaningful role for the president / prime minister 
in all appointments / promotions of supreme / high court judges; 
also, it made the Chief Justice of Pakistan, in effect, the final 
arbiter of all such appointments. The decision which was based, 
broadly speaking and in layman's language, on a rather 
controversial interpretation of the word "consult" to signify 
"prior consent" in the relevant Article of the Constitution, 
created quite a stir in the country.
    
While some saw this as a blow to the independence of judiciary, 
others felt it was an unwarranted encroachment on the legitimate 
discretionary powers of the president / prime minister. Quite 
understandably, the then PM (Benazir Bhutto) did not take very 
kindly to this judgment while both president and opposition leader 
Nawaz Sharif  close allies against BB at that time  
enthusiastically applauded it. Subsequently, conflict with the 
Supreme Court was cited by President Leghari as one of the grounds 
for Benazir Bhutto's dismissal.
    
After Nawaz Sharif became prime minister in February 1997, the same 
issue exploded into a serious conflict between him and the CJ over 
the question of appointment of judges to five vacant posts in the 
Supreme Court. The Chief Justice insisted on acceptance of all five 
of his nominations without any delay while Nawaz Sharif was not 
willing, because of personal considerations, to accept some of 
these nominations. Also, there was serious disagreement, on account 
of human rights considerations, between the two on the anti-
terrorism law and the setting up of anti-terrorist courts. It 
amounted, protested the Chief Justice, to creating a parallel 
judicial system.
    
By this time, relations between the president and prime minister 
had soured greatly and the former had no problem whatsoever in 
siding with the CJ, ostensibly because of his "great regard for the 
rule of law". One thing led to another and the whole matter spun so 
much out of control that Nawaz Sharif had to appear personally in 
the Supreme Court before a bench presided over by the CJ to face 
the charge of contempt of court. However, before this matter could 
be finally resolved, the Supreme Court building was attacked by a 
mob of PML supporters and, after a couple of more days of confusion 
and hectic political activity, President Leghari resigned while the 
Chief Justice was forced out of office by a judicial order passed 
by some of his estranged brother judges on the Supreme Court.
    
The anti-terrorism law is a controversial piece of legislation 
which has strong supporters as well as vociferous opponents. 
Rhetorics apart, the reality is that normal laws and normal courts 
would not be of much avail in rooting out terrorism from the 
country. I do not know of any country in the world, including the 
most developed ones and the most vocal proponents of human rights, 
which has ever been able to successfully curb terrorism through the 
painfully slow normal judicial process.
    
Apart from inordinate delays in disposal of cases in ordinary 
courts, there is the difficult problem of getting witnesses to 
testify: even eye-witnesses to heinous crimes are unwilling to 
testify against terrorists because of the fear of inevitable 
reprisals. Consequently, most terrorists go scot-free.
    
An important distinguishing characteristic of a democratic polity 
is the division of powers among different organs of the state  co-
functioning multiple centres of power. For stability and good 
governance in any democracy, it is necessary that the main organs 
of state  the executive, legislature, judiciary and now also the 
armed forces  should work in harmony and not create unnecessary 
crises by interfering in each other's domains. The writ of the head 
of state and the head of government would necessarily have to 
extend, howsoever indirectly, over all these power centres and the 
institutions under their control. Otherwise, the state cannot 
function efficiently and administrative paralysis/anarchy can set 
in . This is precisely the kind of crisis which rocked the whole 
country in recent weeks.
    
In order to prevent the recurrence of such dangerous conflicts in 
the future, we need, keeping in view our elite's marked 
predilection for grabbing control of all powers/privileges within 
reach, to make necessary amendments in the Constitution:
    
i) to remove any ambiguities about specific powers available to 
each of the recognized power centres/state organs.
    
ii) to rid the country of the "sacred cow syndrome" as a follow-up 
to the nationwide revolt against VIP culture i.e. eliminate special 
privileges/protection enjoyed by some state organs.
    
Mercifully, there are now only two major institutional sacred cows 
left in the country which need to shed off some extra privileges to 
be brought at par with other equally important state institutions: 
(i) the judiciary and (ii) the armed forces.
    
Here, it is particularly important to refer to the concept of 
supremacy of law and independence of the judiciary, which is the 
cornerstone of all civilized governance. However, this concept must 
not be distorted to mean "supremacy of the judiciary"  an 
expression finding increasing usage in common discourse and 
newspaper articles  which is totally unacceptable. Common-sense 
interpretation of the expression "independence of the judiciary" 
should mean freedom of interference from any source in the exercise 
of judicial powers and prerogative. Stretching this, however, to 
mean almost a "sovereign" status for the judiciary can lead to 
serious difficulties in the smooth running of the state machinery.
    
Another issue that needs attention without delay is the contempt of 
court law, which played such an important role in the recent 
crisis. The contempt law  a legacy of colonial rule  was designed 
to stifle criticism of British justice. It can have no place in a 
constitutional democracy and must, therefore, he absolished. The 
exercise of judicial power and the conduct of judges must be open 
to public criticism like that of all other state functionaries and 
no special protection is justified. Of course, the judges must have 
the right to defend their reputation like everyone else, but the 
means available to them must also be no different.
    
Similarly, the press and public must not be denied freedom of 
expression to criticize the armed forces nor should their huge 
budget remain a closed book to the elected public representatives. 
Periodical review of programmes and budgets and scrutiny of 
expenditures by a specially selected review committee should help 
effect considerable savings, which would be a great boon to a 
nation like ours in desperate financial trouble.
    
Mian Nawaz Sharif has now emerged as the sole survivor of the just 
concluded epic power struggle with full control of all the civilian 
levers of power and no significant political opposition. He has 
more than two-thirds majority in the Federal National Assembly, no 
hostile provincial governments to contend with, a friendly superior 
judiciary, and will very soon have his own hand-picked nominee 
elected as president. Above all, the armed forces have demonstrated 
in no uncertain manner that they are not willing to topple him. No 
Pakistani prime minister has ever been blessed with circumstances 
so propitious for unhindered exercise of the enormous power of this 
post.
    
There is, however, considerable apprehension in many minds that, 
given Mian Saheb's despotic disposition, concentration of so much 
power in his hands can result in megalomaniac excesses in 
governance which, in turn, can provoke a severe backlash and push 
the nation towards deadly internal conflicts before too long. 
Consequently, there will be plenty of concerned individuals and 
organizations monitoring his performance to ensure that he does not 
get away with gross abuse of power.
    
Excessive power is a double-edged sword. It can propel one to dizzy 
heights or completely wreck one's career. If Mian Nawaz Sharif 
handles power wisely, without unduly harassing his political 
adversaries or indulging in blatant self-aggrandizement  and 
succeeds in reviving the economy, controlling terrorism, and 
bringing about tangible improvement in the quality of life of the 
common man, he will have established his credentials as a first-
rate national leader and made his position quite secure even for 
the next term. If, on the other hand, he fails to deliver in spite 
of all the favourable circumstances of his position, he may find 
the people in an unforgiving mood and unwilling to accept any 
alibis. The negative reaction then generated can be fearful and the 
sharp edge of the sword may then, unfortunately, come into play 
against him.

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971224
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Go out, young man
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Hafizur Rahman

WHY is it that our young men don't feel inspired when they read 
newspaper stories of derring-do and real life adventure? Every now 
and then there is something in the press about young people going 
into the awesome Amazon rain forests or climbing the Himalayas or 
crossing the Atlantic in a small boat or in a hot air balloon. Is 
it that our boys are different from those of Europe and America and 
Japan?
    
The answer is not difficult to give. Yes, they are different. They 
are more protected, more coddled and even made much of by their 
parents. A person of 25 here calls himself a boy, not a man. He has 
to be married off by the parents because they expect him to make a 
hash of it if he does it himself. They educate him, bring him up to 
his twenties, then decide what is to be his vocation, find a job 
for him and then (as I've just said) find a wife for him.
    
Sometimes it is the other way round. The wife comes first and the 
job later. In his relationship with his wife he can't fight himself 
loose from his mother's apron strings and creates problems for two 
families, who should actually have nothing to do with the couple's 
personality problems.
    
Being accustomed to a sheltered life, our young man can't even 
dream of adventure. Who is going to walk miles, sleep on the 
ground, suffer heat, bear extreme cold and go without mother's 
cooking? Home is much more comfortable. The only exceptions I can 
recall, and even those are hardly worth a mention really, are the 
stray cyclists who decide to wheel from Quetta to Islamabad or from 
Karachi to Peshawar. That's all the sense of adventure we come to 
see in our young men.
    
There was a news report the other day that a party of young men in 
Europe is walking 500 miles to the North Pole, with the temperature 
at 70 degrees below zero. They'll pull their equipment and food 
sleds themselves instead of employing dogs for the purpose.
    
This must be a superb test of human endurance, rarely witnessed 
even in the West. Our boys, on reading the report, must be 
thinking: don't these chaps value their lives? How can their 
mothers let them do such a foolhardy thing? There is an Adventure 
Foundation of Pakistan, but if it were to plan something like this 
polar trip, it would be sued by the boys' parents.
    
Love of security is a national trait with us. We will never give up 
a job once we've got it, howsoever we may dislike it. We'll never 
do anything unusual which deviates from the normal routine of life, 
howsoever boring life may be. So much so that we hardly ever go on 
a real holiday. Trekking and hitch-hiking of course are out of 
question. Too risky. And too much of a bother. Better sit at home 
and watch a video film about adventure.
    
Security is such an obsession that it has become like fear of the 
unknown. Among the well-to-do you see young couples who have 
managed to obtain a car but are on the verge of despair that they 
don't own a house of their own. As if owning a house is going to 
protect them from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
    
You see them using all the means at their disposal  pull, push, 
sifarish, parents' money, political strings, VIP pressure  to get 
a plot and build or buy a house. They feel threatened without it. 
The common expression is to have a roof over one's head. Without 
the roof anything might happen, God forbid!
    
I am not an adventure man myself. I've never done anything odd or 
out of the ordinary to distinguish myself from the common herd. But 
when I told young people that even after retirement, though a 
family man, I was not the owner of a house, they were dumbfounded. 
They didn't want to believe me. How is that possible? they asked. 
Don't you feel insecure? Where will you go when you are unable to 
work and have to live on your pension? For them the situation was 
simply incomprehensible. (By the way, I did become the owner of a 
small house when I was sixty-four).
    
This feeling of insecurity is almost a malady. I wrote in this 
column some months ago about the craze for building high walls 
around houses. There are people who can't even imagine living in a 
house without iron grills on the doors and windows. No, I am not 
stupid enough to forget Karachi and even Lahore. They are 
exceptions, like cities in siege. But the whole country is not like 
that. Or is it?
    
People's gates are always closed, day and night. Against what? 
Nobody knows. There are no stray animals who will drop in for a 
chat. Those who can afford it have a sort of telephone at the gate 
through which you have to disclose your identity before someone 
comes out and opens it for you. Beggars, of course, do not figure 
in our lives, except when we go out shopping. Even so they 
invariably ring the door-bell these days.
    
With this psyche of fear and insecurity, and extreme dependence on 
parents' shelter in the case of young people, and with these young 
people being petted and bottle-fed, how can you expect a sense of 
adventure to prevail?
    
A nephew of mine wanted to go up the Kaghan valley on his 
motorcycle along with other friends. He was not allowed by his 
mother. The father was willing, but was duly and properly snubbed 
by his wife for being so careless about the boy's safety and 
welfare.
    
I liked the view expressed by a black American member of the polar 
expedition I've talked about. He said, "I want to be an example to 
the youth of the city who don't have very much hope because of the 
places they live in and the things they see every day and the 
drugs, dilapidated buildings and poverty."
    
He might have been talking of conditions in Pakistan where the 
circumstances of the poor are even worse. But I know I can't ask 
the poor boys of my country to undertake adventure. The uncertainty 
of their lives is an adventure in itself. In any case, who will 
feed the family if they go away? My views are aimed at the rich and 
the privileged.
    
Yes, my grouse is against the indolent rich, the smug middle class, 
whose boys are too accustomed to creature comforts and the status 
quo to do anything exciting. All they can think of is stealing a 
car now and then and firing a few shots in the air.
    
In America the slogan once used to be, "Go west, young man!" My 
call to our youth is, "Go out, young man. For God's sake do 
something different!"


===================================================================
SPORTS
971222
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Cricket team's slump in Sharjah
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Lateef Jafri

Was it South Asia's defeat in the Champions Trophy quadrangular at 
Sharjah? Or the two subcontinental countries have to be taken 
separately for their acts of omission and commission?
    
The West Indians, decimated in the Tests and the jubilee one-dayers 
in Pakistan, cut to size both India and Pakistan in the desert 
sheikhdom. For them the tide had turned, at last! Then a freshly-
raised, raw outfit of England brought down to earth both of them by 
almost identical margins. The England side, though mostly revolving 
round youngsters, was energetic, vigorous and full of fight from 
the start of a match to the end.
    
The four-nation tournament, for the first time, confounded the 
prognosticators, the organisers and above all the global betting 
cartels. The results as they came in the stillness of night turned 
upside down their rates, if not the ratings of the teams. Where are 
the favourites, asked the punters and the fans in general.
    
Even though the subcontinental expatriates were disappointed by the 
upset the newly-installed floodlights at the venue of the oil State 
were quite an attraction for this competition. They will, the Gulf 
officials hope, draw full house during cricket's major one-day 
event  the ICC-approved limited-overs contest next September, 
featuring all the nine Tests playing countries,  a virtual mini-
World Cup.
    
Wasim Akram, captain of Pakistan, has termed the problem of 
adjustment to one-dayers after the team's engagement in Test 
tussles as the main cause of the setbacks. But haven't earlier they 
played the nascent cricket in the same sort of setting  the day-
and-night arrangement in Lahore? Perhaps illness and injuries to 
senior players made a difference in the team's strength. Besides, 
there was no time for a preparatory camp. But then the Caribbeans 
too landed in Sharjah straight from Pakistan. India also had hardly 
the time for nets at home after the series against Sri Lanka. Only 
England had seriously trained for the tournament with warmup 
matches in Pakistan, especially under the Qadhafi Stadium's lights. 
Would camp sessions have made any difference when Pakistan were 
pinning down the West Indies in the Tests and they had a nil-result 
in their favour in the Jubilee duels? Pakistan after its Test 
triumphs on home turfs had become over-confident and had to pay the 
price in the very first match on schedule  against the West 
Indies.
    
A score of 275 after Lara's challenging and enthralling 88 appeared 
a tall order. The Pakistani players' out-cricket was unimpressive, 
their running and pick-up were considerably weaker and below 
expectations. Then when their turn came three run-outs of key 
batsmen made the target almost impossible to be achieved.
    
The Pakistani squad, in the view of their supporters, was jaded 
after a heavy international schedule and the county engagements of 
the senior players. Perhaps the search for fresh talent proved 
unavailing seeing the overall show of Akhtar Sarfraz and Manzoor 
Akhtar, who turns the ball appreciably but there are no strokes in 
his batting as one sees his gentle, weak pushes, cuts and 
deflections. Where are the full-strength drives and powerful and 
confident sweeps?
    
The Pakistani supporters had cause for satisfaction when India were 
beaten by four wickets in the fourth league match after the latter 
had set a target of 244 to be achieved for win. It was entirely due 
to the robust century of Saeed Anwar that Pakistan romped home. His 
bat moved like a scimitar and broke the back of the Indian bowlers 
and the hearts of their backers. It was good to see him run into 
form at the right time. At one stage there was a beeline of 
Pakistani batsmen going back to the pavilion. Why a new batting 
order was experimented against a team reckoned as arch-rivals? 
Saeed Anwar, desperate for lack of support, found a reliable 
partner in Moin Khan, coming low to bat. He displayed the right 
temperament, quick and strong wrist-work to maul the Indian 
bowling. He had the chance to hit 50 but then the captain too had 
his turn at batting and Moin returned unbeaten one short of half 
century.
    
Was Saeed Anwar really out as given by the umpire. He had not 
touched the ball, as shown by the TV camera in the replay. India's 
wicketkeeper Saba Karim appealed after the batsman had missed 
Srinath's ball and the West Indian umpire, S.A. Bucknor, raised his 
finger up. Thus a brilliant knock came to an end for no fault of 
the player. There was no reaction on Saeed Anwar's face. He took 
the umpire's final verdict in the true sportsman's spirit.
    
There was a marginal chance for Pakistan's entry into the final but 
England put an end to their campaign. Was England's 215 a high 
score? It was not. The spinners, Saqlain Mushtaq and Manzoor 
Akhtar, had done well. A target of 216 was attainable with steady, 
sensible batting, even if the openers  an unfit Aamir Sohail and 
Shahid Afridi  had been sent back. There was no panic in the 
Pakistani camp. Saeed Anwar and Ejaz soon settled down and 
successive balls were sent to the fence with effortlesss ease. 
There was power in Anwar's pulling, driving and cutting. Perhaps 
the scene during the match against India was being reenacted. The 
task appeared easy. At the score at 99 and Saeed's own 54 he was 
trapped by spinner Croft. Ejaz too followed him to the pavilion 
next over. Still nobody thought that Pakistan was in for trouble  
the determined Moin Khan and Azhar Mahmood were there to redeem the 
situation.
     
However, the batting order was suddenly topsyturvied. Inexperienced 
Akhtar Sarfraz and Manzoor Akhtar were sent in to cope with the 
English bowlers at a stage which was turning dangerous. Manzoor is 
short of strokes. He stayed at the wicket for a considerably long 
period but there were only meek cuts and gentle pushes towards the 
leg side  no firm action against the English bowlers, no powerful 
strokes which was the need of the hour. Moin and Azhar Mahmood 
trying to force the pace lost their wickets. Had they been sent 
earlier, as such balanced commentator as Hanif Mohammad has said, 
the situation in the match may have been different. It was a 
setback in a crucial match. The captain too went in ahead of Azhar 
Mahmood but failed to justify his decision with a score of four 
from 19 balls. The captain has the reputation of brisk batting; but 
against England it appeared he wanted to save his wicket. The 
result, as it turned out, disappointed the stadium crowd, who left 
groaning in disgust as well as the TV viewers in this country.
    
Hanif and other experts are questioning the wisdom of fielding a 
sick Aamir Sohail. To add to the problems of Pakistan, Inzamamul 
Haq, injured in the earlier match, was unable to assist the side.
    
India, it appeared, took the tournament in a non-serious vein for 
in every tie they were in a winning position but then lost the way. 
In the last but crucial encounter against the West Indies the 
openers gave the side a start of 87 runs. The team should have 
reached the target of 230 comfortably. But they failed in their bid 
and the psychologically depressed West Indies, on the Pakistan 
tour, galloped home to reach the final. For India the competition 
was a miserable disappointment as they failed to win a single 
match.
    
The Indian board took the initial steps of redeeming the prestige 
of the country by making sweeping changes in the squad to face Sri 
Lanka in limited-overs tussles this week. Perhaps some more action 
may be required to push the team internationally.
    
For Pakistan soul-searching is needed. The material is available 
but its proper use is the main thing. Besides, the right tactics 
are to be adopted at critical moments.
    
Among the two dark horses in the final England, displaying more 
determination, fortitude and a disciplined approach, covered the 
course with verve and deservingly carried away the Champions 
Trophy. They were in deep trouble at 165 for six but ultimately 
Thrope and Fleming got them home by hammering the West Indian 
attack. It was a praiseworthy retrieval by England for all to see. 
Their specialist squad of one-day proved, if at all any proof was 
needed, that nascent cricket is a different ball game.
    
The West Indies revival in the tournament makes them a pugnacious 
set and the coming encounters in the Caribbeans against England 
will be interesting and full of fireworks.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
971223
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Akram leaves for London today
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Our Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 22: Pakistan captain Wasim Akram leaves here for 
London Tuesday morning for a check-up for his chronic shoulder 
injury.
    
Akram has an appointment with his specialist on Wednesday morning 
and will return by Dec 28.
    
"I talked to my specialist on telephone and told him about my 
injury. He said it was not a matter of concern but was of the view 
that it would be wiser if he takes a look at it," Akram said from 
his Lahore residence.
    
Akram was scheduled to arrive here Monday evening but will now 
arrive in the wee hours of Tuesday because of flight delay.
    
"I don't know if he would advice my some rest which may force me to 
skip the Dhaka tournament (between Jan 10 and 18)," Akram added.
    
The shoulder injury denied Akram of eight months of competitive 
cricket. He also underwent surgery of the bowling shoulder in 
England earlier this July.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
971223
-------------------------------------------------------------------
6 Pakistanis to play in Indian benefit tie
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Our Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 22: Six Pakistan cricketers, including two former 
stalwarts, will play in a benefit match in Bangalore, India, on Dec 
30.
    
According to well informed sources, Hanif Mohammad and Zaheer Abbas 
are the two former greats who will be joined by four current stars, 
Saeed Anwar, Saqlain Mushtaq, Shahid Afridi and Moin Khan.
    
The match between an Indian XI against the World XI is being 
organised by Sunil Gavaskar, former Indian skipper. It is the same 
game for which the Secretary of the PCB, Waqar Ahmad, had refused 
permission.
    
But the sources said Gavaskar approached Majid Khan, Chief 
Executive of the PCB, in Sharjah last week and persuaded him to 
grant permission to the four current cricketers.
    
"Basically, the board had no objection but they were concerned 
about the departmental sides who might be affected with the absence 
of four cricketers," sources claimed.
    
Interestingly, there is a gap of about two weeks before the 
Patron's Trophy Grade-I final round begins. In this background, the 
board's earlier stance of stopping the cricketers made little 
sense.
    
The six Pakistanis will leave here for Goa on Dec 28. From Goa, 
they will be joined by the Indian and Sri Lankan teams on way to 
Bangalore. The last match of the three-game one-day series between 
India and Sri Lanka ends on Dec 28.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
971224
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Cricketers to get contracts
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 23: A select group of players will be hired on a 12-
month contract by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) next year to 
raise the Pakistan cricket tea,, Chairman, PCB, Syed Zulfiqar Ali 
Shah Bokhari, said on Tuesday.
    
He was unclear exactly when the contracts will be awarded, but he 
seemed optimistic that during the first month of the next year some 
cricketers will be taken on the pay-roll of the cricket board.
    
The deal with the players will be effective sometime in January and 
terminate on Dec 31, 1998. During the year, the players will have 
to be available to Pakistan and would require a non-objection 
certificate from the PCB to participate in any festival/benefit 
match out of Pakistan.
    
At least five players viz Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Mushtaq Ahmad, 
Saqlain Mushtaq and Saeed Anwar are hired by English counties for 
the 1998 season. Since all the five star players will be in their 
final season in England, they might get the contract in 1999.
    
Bokhari said he discussed the matter with Chief Executive Majid 
Khan about two months ago. "I haven't discussed it again recently, 
but I am sure the proposal will be in its final shape."
    
Bokhari said the PCB were evaluating the contracts given by Sri 
Lankan and West Indies boards to their players.
    
"We can't pay the players as much as they get from counties but it 
would be a substantial amount," he said.
    
The PCB chairman was of the view that most of the national team 
players got injured while playing for their counties which extract 
every ounce of energy out of them.
    
Investigations conducted by this correspondent reveal that 
initially around six players will be given contracts on 
experimental basis. But the tally would be increased in 1999.
    
According to the proposal drafted, there would be a slab system in 
the contracts with the senior most cricketer being on the highest 
slab.
    
The PCB also plan to enforce relegation and promotion system while 
awarding the contract. "For example, if we give contracts to 20 
players, any of those players not performing well or not physically 
fit, will get out and be replaced by a fresh player from out of the 
20 contracted initially. This would also help in introducing the 
element of competition besides helping to break the monopoly of 
certain players," a source, familiar with the new PCB plan, pointed 
out.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
971227
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Wasim, Waqar, Moin dropped from Bangladesh tour
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ilyas Beg

LAHORE, Dec 26: In a surprise move,  reliable wicketkeeper/ batsman 
Moin Khan and lethal duo of pacemen Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram 
were dropped from the 14-member Pakistan cricket team announced for 
the Bangladesh Silver Jubilee Independence Cup Cricket Tournament 
on Friday evening.
    
The discarded Test player Rashid Latif has not only been recalled 
to replace Moin Khan in the team but also named its captain. Opener 
Saeed Anwar has been retained as vice-captain of the side. From the 
side which performed dismally during the Champions Trophy at 
Sharjah, all-rounder Manzoor Akhtar (younger brother of former Test 
player Mansoor Akhtar) has also been retained but Akhtar Sarfaraz 
has been dropped.
    
While replying to a question about the ouster of Captain Wasim 
Akram, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) secretary Waqar Ahmad said 
that the great all-rounder had informed the physiotherapist Dr Dan 
Kiesl before going to Britain to get his functional shoulder 
examined "that he was not fit".
    
One fails to understand logic behind the omission of a brilliant 
all-rounder like Wasim Akram, ideally suited to competition of one-
day internationals, on the ground that he spoke to the 
physiotherapist about his "unfitness". If the player had officially 
informed the PCB or its national selection committee, which met to 
finalise the team, only then it would have been justified in 
dropping him. Besides the chief selector Salim Altaf, selectors 
Zaheer Abbas and Shafique Ahmad "Papa" also attended the meeting.
    
A pleasant surprise is induction of two youngsters Younis Yohanna 
and Fazle Akbar, who have been performing very well during the on-
going cricket season.
    
Pitches of Bangladesh suit spin-bowling and it looks reasonable to 
pack the team with spinners like Mushtaq Ahmad, Shahid Afridi, 
Manzoor Akhtar, Saqlain Mushtaq and Muhammad Husain. Incidentally, 
the last-named left-arm Test spinner was facing disciplinary action 
for visiting Bangladesh without seeking permission from the PCB. No 
one is sure what action has been taken against Muhammad Husain and 
how he has been considered by the selectors? Shahid Afridi had been 
fined Rs 25,000 by the PCB on a "similar charge". A general 
impression was that he would be picked for the Pakistani team which 
is to leave for South Africa to take part in the Junior World Cup 
Cricket Tournament. Why has he been included in the senior team 
defies  reason.
    
Omission of Waqar Younis also is ununderstandable. No doubt, the 
pitches in Bangladesh do not suit speed-merchants but Waqar is too 
experienced a bowler to be ignored.
    
Moin Khan is a reliable wicketkeeper and daring batsman who has 
pulled the Pakistan team out of trouble on many an occasion. To 
drop such a consistent batsman also defies explanation. When this 
reporter pointed out the injustice to Waqar Ahmad, who announced 
the team after seeking its endorsement from the PCB Council, he 
said:
    
"Of course, Moin Khan is reported to be fully fit. But the 
selectors decided to omit him and preferred Rashid Latif over him, 
who has also been elevated to the position of the skipper!" The 
team will leave Lahore by PK 317 flight from Lahore to  Karachi on 
Jan 8. The same day, the team will leave by PK 266 flight from 
Karachi at 8 am and reach Dhaka at 12:10 pm (Bangladesh Standard 
Time).
    
The side has three openers in Saeed Anwar, Aamir Sohail and Shahid 
Afridi. The last-named will also strengthen the spin-bowling as he 
is good right-arm leg-spinner.
    
The spin department will be manned by the excellent right-arm leg-
spinners Mushtaq Ahmad, Manzoor Akhtar, off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq 
and leftarm spinner Muhammad Husain.
    
The pace department has been entrusted to Aaqib Javed, young Fazle 
Akbar and Azhar Mahmood. The last-named is also a promising middle-
order batsman.
    
Like the spin department, the Pakistani middle-order batting also 
looks strong. It has the experienced Inzamam-ul-Haq, Ejaz Ahmad 
Senior, Rashid Latif, Azhar Mahmood and talented Yousaf Yohanna.
    
The team is:
    
Captain Rashid Latif, vice-captain Saeed Anwar, Aamir Sohail, 
Inzimam-ul-Haq, Manzoor Akhtar, Ejaz Ahmad Senior, Yousaf Yohanna, 
Azhar Mahmood, Saqlain Mushtaq, Aaqib Javed, Mushtaq Ahmad, Fazle 
Akbar, Shahid Afridi, Muhammad Husain.
  
Manager: Yar Muhammad Solangi; Coach: Haroon Rashid; 
Physiotherapist: Dr Dan Kiesel.
 
The programme of the tournament is:

January 10: India vs. Bangladesh.

January 11: India vs. Pakistan.

January 12: Pakistan vs. Bangladesh.

January 14: First final.
    
January 15: Reserve rain day.

January 16: Second final.
    
January 17: Reserve rain day.

January 18: Third final.

January 19: Reserve rain day

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