------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 01 August 1998 Issue : 04/30 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports

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CONTENTS

NATIONAL NEWS Power policy announced: Tariffs on basis of open bidding IMF loan not likely before September No change in India's stand, says Raghunath Nawaz proposes initiative to resolve issues Pakistan gets $250m loan from Kuwait on Aug 3 Apex court sets aside curb on basic rights Talks with CBR inconclusive; jewellers to continue strike SC verdict restores people's trust in judiciary: Benazir Mengal resigns as centre refuses to extend support Traders observe hunger strike against GST Senator among 11 defaulters arrested Third World women role vital to world population control President, PM discuss Karachi situation --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY CBR agrees to FST, says MAT Moneychangers asked to file declarations New formula for computing income tax surcharge 120,000 ST non-filers in 1997-98 National Bank earns Rs62m after-tax profit SBP buys $15 million from banks Action against 40 companies under way Conversion of FCA into rupees challenged Stocks resist big fall on positive development news --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES Privilege? Ardeshir Cowasjee A rootless democracy Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS Pakistan to face stiff challenge: Jahangir Cueists in danger of missing Asian Games

NATIONAL NEWS
980801
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Power policy announced: Tariffs on basis of open bidding
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, July 31: The government on Friday announced a new 
private power policy, laying the principle of "international 
competitive bidding" for determining tariffs instead of up-front 
tariff approach of the previous policy.
    
The new policy offered local coal reserves and hydel resources to 
international private investors for setting up power stations to 
keep pace with the country’s energy requirements, growing at a rate 
of five per cent a year, Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja 
Nadir Pervaiz told a press conference.
    
The country, at present, had a surplus of 1200 to 1300 MW of power 
but, growing at a rate of five per cent a year, it would start 
having a shortfall by the year 2003, which might increase up to 
8500 MW by the year 2008, he said.
    
"In summer the country has 1200 MW of surplus power, which 
increases to around 1300 MW in winter," Mr Pervaiz added.
    
The policy aimed at providing cheap electricity to people by 
tapping and exploring indigenous resources, he said and added that 
the country had a known coal reserves of 200 billion tons and hydel 
potential of an estimated 40,000 MW.
    
The new policy had withdrawn all the concessions available on the 
import of power generating machinery, he added.
    
Mr Pervaiz said the projects, under the new policy, would be set up 
on build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis. Hydel projects would be 
transferred to the respective provinces at the end of concession 
period, he said.
    
Comparing the two policies, he said, the 1994 policy was based on 
first come, first served basis, and "any site, any fuel and any 
technology" was allowed.

In the new policy, he said, the government would identify sites and 
conduct feasibility before offering the project for an 
international bidding.
    
"Competitive tariffs will comprise an energy purchase price and a 
capacity purchase price, with adequate provision for escalation," 
he added.
    
Asked whether guarantees of the government would hold good as it 
was reportedly about to default, the minister said WAPDA had not 
defaulted as yet and was making payments to independent power 
projects(IPPs) on schedule. Even those IPPs which had been issued 
letters of intent of cancellation were being paid by the 
government, he added.
    
Mr Pervaiz said that till June 1998, the government had paid of 
Rs60 billion to the IPPs and the major part had gone to HUBCO and 
KAPCO. The IPPs would be paid Rs93 billion in June 1999, and Rs110 
billion in the year 2000.
    
He said the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank had given an 
indication that they would honour their commitments for providing a 
loan of 250 million dollars in September this year for the 
restructuring of WAPDA and KESC.
    
WAPDA, he said, would be converted into 13 corporate entities.
    
To a question about the IPPs, Mr Pervaiz said they had received 
replies from some of the companies which had been issued intent of 
cancellation notices. He denied that some of the IPPs had already 
gone to the international court.
    
He said an offer to purchase power from Pakistan had been made by 
some Indian multinational companies and not by the government of 
India. Replying to a question about Kalabagh dam , he said that if 
it was built it would save the country about 20 million barrels of 
oil a year.

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980801
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IMF loan not likely before September
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Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON, July 31: The IMF said on Friday no money was likely to 
be released for Pakistan before September after board members were 
given a brief "informal assessment" about Pakistan on Thursday 
afternoon.
    
The release of the money was also conditional to a successful 
completion of negotiations between a Fund mission and the Pakistan 
government, an official said. "Nothing is really feasible before 
September," he added.
    
The apparent IMF apathy towards Pakistan almost shot down a 
desperate attempt by Islamabad to seek an urgent loan from the 
other sister organisation, the World Bank.

    
Islamabad is seeking the World Bank loan to counter US and other 
sanctions and the Bank is considering the request, but its loans 
are generally linked to IMF negotiations, an expert said. "The Bank 
would wait for a decision or a signal from the IMF," he added.
    
The negotiations with IMF will take place sometime in the third 
week of August when the mission visits Pakistan following scrapping 
of the 1.6 billion dollar ESAF programme earlier this month.
    
The informal briefing to some of the IMF board members was given by 
Middle East Director Paul Chabrier, who briefly mentioned the 
situation in Pakistan as well, after he gave his assessment about 
several other countries that he recently visited.
    
The lack of importance shown for Pakistan by the IMF board was in 
sharp contrast to statements made by Pakistani leaders, including 
Finance Minister Sartaj Aziz, who were trying to give the 
impression that IMF was close to approving the new and a larger 
ESAF for Pakistan.
    
Islamabad is said to be desperate for the IMF cash as fears are 
growing that the economy might collapse and Pakistan could default 
on its debts. "Pakistani leaders are trying to make optimistic 
statements to keep the markets from a free fall," an analyst said.
    
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980731
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No change in India's stand, says Raghunath
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Hasan Akhtar

COLOMBO, July 30: Indian Foreign Secretary K. Raghunath briefing 
Indian journalists here maintained that there had been no change in 
India's known positions on the nuclear issue, Kashmir and the 
process of dialogue.
    
He is said to have affirmed that India favoured dialogue on all 
issues of mutual interest and concern but opposed the methodology 
accepted in Islamabad between the two foreign secretaries regarding 
formation of eight working groups to tackle the issues of peace and 
security and Kashmir.
    
The Indian foreign secretary said that the present summit as stated 
by the Sri Lankan president was basically to discuss economic 
issues confronting the region and the declaration too would mainly 
reflect the consensus on the economic issues.
    
The proposed summit declaration to be adopted later on Friday 
afternoon would spell out the strategy for expansion of trade and 
investment among member countries.
    
Sheikh Hasina's proposal to hold a trilateral business session of 
India, Pakistan and Bangladesh later this year is said to have been 
accepted by India and Pakistan.
    
The Indian foreign secretary is understood to have maintained that 
while holding its known positions both on the modalities of talks 
and the Kashmir and nuclear issues, the two secretaries had met to 
resume the process of a composite and serious dialogue.

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980730
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Nawaz proposes initiative to resolve issues
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Hasan Akhtar

COLOMBO, July 29: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday proposed 
a peace, security and development initiative for South Asia to 
resolve bilateral disputes hampering development among member 
states.
    
The initiative, he said, would have both a bilateral as well as a 
regional framework. It would focus on bilateral issues and problems 
between member states as well as on promoting economic progress in 
the regional context.
    
Speaking at the opening session of the 10th SAARC summit here the 
prime minister said that member countries with bilateral problems 
should engage in a sincere dialogue to resolve them.
    
The prime minister called for redefining the role and priorities of 
SAARC and proposed the setting up of a high council of SAARC 
foreign ministers to assist states resolve their bilateral issues. 
The council may offer its good offices, or upon agreement of the 
parties, convert itself into a committee of inquiry, mediation or 
conciliation.
    
He suggested that a South Asian security and development conference 
may be convened for discussion on issues of peace, security and 
economic development. The conference may be charged, inter alia, 
with the responsibility to prepare an agreement on the renunciation 
of the threat or use of force and peaceful settlement of disputes.
    
He called for immediate resumption of foreign secretary-level talks 
between India and Pakistan.
However, in his speech at the summit a little earlier, Indian Prime 
Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee firmly rejected any SAARC role in 
member countries' bilateral issues and said such differences should 
be resolved in "a rational manner, peacefully and through bilateral 
negotiations, at the sidelines of the SAARC summit", a practice so 
far been observed by both the countries.
    
Mr Vajpayee said India continued to seek good relations with all 
its neighbours and to work with them for collective development of 
the region.
    
He said India consistently favoured serious and sustained dialogue 
on these lines but he made no response to Sharif's suggestion for 
redefining the SAARC charter so as to enable it to take cognizance 
of member nations' bilateral differences and difficulties with a 
view to finding their solution.

On the nuclear issue, Mr Sharif said "the inescapable reality that 
confronts us today is that South Asia is now nuclearized" and 
described the development as a major turning point in the region's 
history. "The choice is stark. We have the option of either moving 
forward together on the path of mutually beneficial cooperation or 
taking the road to confrontation", he said.
    
He said that without an environment of peace and security, 
development efforts would remain limited.
    
Mr Sharif held out an assurance that Islamabad would remain 
committed to the principles and purposes of SAARC and would spare 
no effort in strengthening the association for promoting the 
welfare of 1.2 billion people of the region.
    
He observed that the primary reason for the failure of SAARC to 
live up to its promise, lay in the fact that it excludes the 
discussion of political problems.
    
"SAARC cannot and must not remain indifferent to or pretend to be 
oblivious of the differences and tensions between its members", Mr 
Sharif stressed.
    
Mr Sharif regretted that Pakistan's proposals to keep the region 
free of nuclear weapons did not meet proper response.
    
He urged that people of South Asia must be responsive to the 
realities of a transformed world. "We must overcome the inertia 
that has kept our peoples imprisoned in underdevelopment and 
poverty. Our peoples must break away from the mind-set of the past. 
Otherwise, we will continue to be enslaved by want and 
deprivation."
    
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980730
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan gets $250m loan from Kuwait on Aug 3
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, July 29: Pakistan will receive $250 million from Kuwait 
on Aug 3 to help improve its weak foreign exchange reserve 
position, it was learnt here.
    
"We have been informed by the Kuwait government that we will have a 
$250 million short-term borrowing on August 3," said Minister for 
Finance Sartaj Aziz.
    
The minister told Dawn here on Wednesday that the financing gap 
emanating from the outflow of the foreign currency accounts (FCAs) 
was expected to be considerably bridged by the loan being provided 
by the Kuwaiti government.
    
Responding to a question, the finance minister said the foreign 
exchange position was likely to be greatly improved because of the 
latest economic package given by the government.
    
"We expect a lot of reduction in imports and a gap between official 
and open market currency rates," Sartaj Aziz added.
    
When asked how much bridge financing the government had sought from 
friendly countries, specially those in the Middle East, the finance 
minister said: "To some extent our problems are being looked after 
by our friends and I am sure this temporary financial crunch will 
be soon over."
    
He did not agree that it was necessary for the press to know each 
and every government deal with foreign countries. Sometimes, he 
said, "Your friends do not like to be identified for offering any 
support to you."
    
Asked whether the IMF was likely to offer $3 billion new ESAF/EFF 
on hard conditionalities, he said he did not like to speculate 
unless the package was offered to Pakistan.
    
Nevertheless, he expressed the hope that the IMF would facilitate 
Pakistan to help overcome its economic problems. "I do not know 
about the details of the package which could be of $3 billion or 
less," he added.
    
To another question, he said the World Bank had not suspended its 
$750 million loan to Pakistan. "I do not know why they are printing 
such baseless stories," he exclaimed.
Informed sources, however, said the IMF was considering to offer a 
package which would just help avoid default but might not remove 
the ongoing crisis.
    
They believe that Pakistan would be asked to impose new taxes, 
increase prices of various utilities (including gas, electricity, 
water), and railway and other fares. The Fund may also ask to 
further increase petroleum prices.
    
"They may ask us to immediately overhaul and restructure the 
Central Board of Revenue (CBR) so that the general sales tax (GST) 
pending since 1990 could be effectively imposed at all cost," said 
a ministerial source who believed that the IMF wanted to see 
Pakistan on the "brink". 
    
The IMF package, the sources said, would also ask the government to 
accelerate the process of privatization by ensuring transparency 
and in the face of internal opposition by the bureaucracy.

The sources said the government's idea of curtailing imports did 
not go well with the IMF which did not want any restrictions on 
them. At the same time, the sources said, the Fund officials would 
ask Pakistan authorities not to try to "control and manage" the 
exchange rate mechanism in Pakistan and that it should be left to 
the market forces.

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980729
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Apex court sets aside curb on basic rights
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Shujaat Ali Khan

LAHORE, July 28: A seven-member bench of the Supreme Court 
unanimously upheld on Tuesday the imposition of emergency on May 
28.
    
It, however, set aside the fundamental rights' suspension order of 
the same date as also the July 13 notification, which restored the 
enforcement of all but nine of them.
    
The court ruled that a proclamation under Article 232 automatically 
empowered the State to make laws or take any executive action in 
derogation of six of the fundamental rights contained in Articles 
15 (freedom of movement), 16 (freedom of assembly), 17 (freedom of 
association), 18 (freedom of trade, business or profession), 19 
(freedom of speech and of the press) and 24 (protection of property 
rights).
    
Insofar as the remaining three suspended fundamental rights  
safeguards as to arrest and detention under Article 10; right to 
acquire and dispose of property under Article 23; and equality 
under Article 25  are concerned, the court observed that they were 
already sufficiently hedged and could be regulated by the 
government.
    
Declaring that the Supreme Court not only had jurisdiction to 
examine the validity of an emergency proclamation issued under 
Article 232 and that the petitions were maintainable, the court 
held that it also had the power to review or re-examine the 
continuation of emergency, at any subsequent stage, if circmstances 
so warranted.
    
The four-para short order was announced by Chief Justice Ajmal Mian 
at 3pm for reasons to be recorded later. The members of the bench, 
making the order were: Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui, Justice 
Irshad Hasan Khan, Justice Raja Afrasiab Khan, Justice Muhammad 
Bashir Jehangiri, Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid and Justice Munawar 
Ahmad Mirza.
    
The order said (text):
    
"For the reasons to be recorded later on, we unanimously hold as 
under:
    
"(1) That the petitions are maintainable.
    
"(2) That the materials placed before this court and shown to us in 
the chamber, prima facie indicate that the President was justified 
in issuing the proclamation under clause (1) of Article 232 of the 
Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, 
(hereinafter referred to as the Constitution).
"(3) That keeping in view the effect of the Proclamation provided 
for in clause (1) of Article 233 of the Constitution, which 
authorizes the State to make any law or to take any executive 
action in deviation of Articles 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 24 of the 
Constitution and also keeping in view the language of Articles 10, 

23 and 25 (which are hedged with qualifications), we are of the 
view that an order under clause (2) of Article 233 of the 
Constitution for suspending the enforcement of the fundamental 
rights was not justified and, therefore, the original order dated 
28.5.1998 and the order dated 13.7.1998 varying the above earlier 
order are declared as without lawful authority and of no legal 
effect.
    
"(4) That this court has jurisdiction to review/re-examine the 
continuation of emergency at any subsequent stage, if the 
circumstances so warrant."
    
The full import of the order will be known only after the delivery 
of detailed judgment. It does not spell out whether, the 
circumstances so warrant, it will review the continuation of 
emergency on its own or at the behest of a public interest or an 
aggrieved petitioner.
    
The short order also appears to render any order under Article 
233(2) redundant. As the government can take any legislative or 
executive action in derogation of Articles 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 
24 and all the rights are subject to reasonable restrictions 
imposed by law, an order under Article 233(2) can always be struck 
down.
    
Article 233(1) reads: "Nothing contained in Articles 15, 16, 17, 
18, 19 and 24 shall, while a proclamation of emergency is in force, 
restrict the power of the State as defined in Article 7 to make any 
law or to take any executive action which it would, but for the 
provision in the said articles, be competent to make or to make, 
but any law so made shall, to the extent of the incompetency, cease 
to have effect, and shall be deemed to have been repealed, at the 
time when the proclamation is revoked or has ceased to be in 
force."
    
Article 233(2), under which the suspension order of May 28 was made 
but was struck down on the basis, partially, of the above- 
mentioned article, says: "While a proclamation of emergency is in 
force, the President may, by order, declare that the right to move 
any court for the enforcement of such of the fundamental rights 
conferred by Chapter I of Part II as may be specified in the order, 
and any proceeding in any court which is for the enforcement, or 
involves the determination of any question as to the infringement, 
of any of the rights so specified, shall remain suspended for the 
period during which the proclamation is in force, and any such 
order may be made in respect of the whole or part of Pakistan."
    
The hedging and qualification of fundamental rights held by the 
court to render suspension of rights unjustified find all 
illustrative example in Article 18 conferring freedom of trade, 
business and profession. It says: "Subject to such qualifications, 
if any, as may be prescribed by law, every citizen shall have the 
right to enter upon any lawful trade or business.
    
"Provided that nothing in this article shall prevent:
    
"(a) The regulation of any trade or profession by a licensing 
system;
    
(b) The regulation of trade, commerce or industry in the interest 
of free competition therein;
    
(c) The carrying on; by the federal government or by a provincial 
government; or by a corporation controlled by any such government, 

of any trade, business, industry or service, to the exclusion, 
complete or partial, of other persons."
    
Similarly, Article 19 declares that "every citizen shall have the 
right to freedom of speech and expression, and there shall be 
freedom of the Press, subject to any reasonable restrictions 
imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam or the 
integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, 
friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or 
morality, or in relation to contempt of court, or commission of or 
incitement to any offence."
    
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980731
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Talks with CBR inconclusive; jewellers to continue strike
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

LAHORE, July 30: A 12-member committee representing jewellers from 
all over Pakistan pulled out of talks with the Central Board of 
Revenue officials in Islamabad on Thursday.

The jewellers' strike against the imposition of the general sales 
tax (GST) thus continues. It completed its second week in Lahore on 
Thursday with a sit-in at Faisal Chowk which passed off without any 
untoward incident.

Lahore Division Sarafa and Jewellers Association chairman Muhammad 
Ahmad told Dawn from Islamabad just after the meeting ended that 
the 12-man committee had rejected the offer of the CBR because the 
latter was still insisting on documentation.

He said the jewellers had agreed to pay a flat tax of 0.9 per cent 
on all sales to the government or that it would make sure that its 
association members paid a cumulative tax of Rs 90 million every 
year. Mr Ahmad said the CBR had indicated that payment through a 
fixed tax system was acceptable instead of through a general sales 
tax regime.

The association chief said the CBR wanted a guaranteed sum in tax 
collection from jewellers. He said how could the jewellers 
guarantee such a thing when the CBR itself was unable to meet its 
tax collection targets and kept revising them downward.

Mr Ahmad said now that the talks with the government had failed, 
the strike would be stepped up. He said a convention would be 
called soon, possibly on Friday, and proposals to increase the 
intensity of the strike would be discussed.

Chairman Moinuddin Khan led the CBR side and was assisted by the 
member, income tax, Tariq Iqbal, and other senior officials.

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980730
-------------------------------------------------------------------
SC verdict restores people's trust in judiciary: Benazir
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, July 29: Leader of Opposition Benazir Bhutto on Wednesday 
welcomed the Supreme Court verdict to restore the fundamental 
rights and said it would go a long way in providing relief to the 
common man.
    
Talking to newsmen during a tea break in the Sindh High Court 
premises, she termed it a historical decision and said it would 
also provide her some relief along with others.

"I am among those who need protection from the Supreme Court in 
safeguarding the rights given to us by the framers of the 
Constitution," said the PPP chairperson.
    
Ms Bhutto said when such protection was so important for public 
figures like herself, it was all the more important for those who 
were not public figures.
    
Now people could seek judicial relief against the freezing of their 
foreign currency accounts, she added.
    
Ms Bhutto was of the view that the decision had restored the 
confidence of the people in an independent judiciary in three 
months' time. She, however, said the nation was also awaiting the 
day when the Supreme Court inquiry into the assault on the apex 
court holding parliamentarians and officials responsible would also 
be made public.
    
About the recovery drive against bank defaulters, she said "it is 
nothing more than persecution of businessmen by the biggest loan 
defaulter of the country."
    
"The PPP condemns the persecution of the business community because 
this has led to the collapse of market confidence which does not 
augur well for the country," she said and assured the business 
community of PPP's support in building a healthy economy.
    
She added that "persecution of the business community" followed on 
the heels of sacking of tens of thousands of workers from banks, 
PSO, Sui gas etc. She alleged the Rice Export Corporation and 
Larkana Sugar Mills were under the threat of closure, threatening 
jobs of thousands of people.
    
"The anti-defaulter campaign is unacceptable to us because the 
nation's biggest defaulter and his crony, Saifur Rahman, has been 
allowed to go scot-free. While utility defaulters have been 
deprived of the facilities, the Ittefaq family remain unaffected," 
Ms Bhutto said.
    
She alleged a selective application of rules against bank 
defaulters had made the credibility of the whole campaign doubtful.
    
About the accountability process, the PPP chairperson recalled that 
in 1996 she had proposed to set up a joint committee of the 
parliament to look into the question.
    
"I had offered myself and other members of the party for 
accountability, but what the Nawaz government is doing tantamounts 
to witch-hunting," Ms Bhutto said, adding: "Even today I am ready 
for accountability, but it should not be one- sided and protection 
should not be provided to those who don't pay taxes."
    
KHUHRO: Sindh PPP president Nisar Ahmad Khuhro said the remarks 
made by the Chief Justice of Pakistan had vindicated the PPP's 
stand and suggested that such remarks be put on record for the 
students of history.
    
He added that the remarks of the chief justice that "martial law 
and emergencies have discredited the country and due to these we 
lost East Pakistan" had helped the people seeking causes why the 
eastern wing was lost.

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980730
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mengal resigns as centre refuses to extend support
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, July 29: The political crisis in Balochistan on 
Wednesday ended with the decision of Chief Minister Sardar Akhtar 
Mengal to step down after the federal government declined to give 
him any further support.
    
Mr Mengal chose to take the bitter decision after a series of 
meetings here throughout the day between a team of federal 
ministers, headed by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and the 
PML MPAs of Balochistan.
    
Protracted talks between the two sides, mediated by the 
representatives of the federal government, broke down on Wednesday 
night after which Mr Mengal informed the aides to the prime 
minister that he would relinquish his post.
    
His removal as chief minister came after he had survived an 
abortive no-trust motion tabled against him by the PML-MPAs and 
later a revolt within his own Balochistan National Party (BNP) some 
days ago.
    
The aides to the prime minister are believed to have conveyed to 
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif the decision of Mr Mengal. They have 
also given a go-ahead signal to the PML MPAs to reach consensus on 
a new leader of the house.
    
"The game is over and all of us may be leaving for Quetta tomorrow 
to win support for a new face," Saleh Bhotani, a PML MPA, told Dawn 
on Wednesday night. 
    
Earlier, all hopes that Mr Mengal would win over PML MPAs to avert 
collapse of his government had dimmed when the MPAs disregarded 
mediation by the federal government and refused to lend him any 
support.
    
There were day-long meetings to the effect as the aides to the 
prime minister shuttled between Mr Mengal and the PML MPAs. Punjab 
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had specially arrived here to 
intervene but he left for Lahore after the talks broke down.
    
Mr Mengal, however, said at the meeting that he would not leave the 
ground open for the opposition and fight to the end. Soon after the 
meetings in the capital were over, he went into a session with some 
of his confidants in the Balochistan House.
    
Meanwhile, the PML MPAs are preparing to end their week-long stay 
in Islamabad and are expected to leave for Quetta to contact other 
parties represented in the Balochistan Assembly. 
   
Sardar Saleh Bhotani confirmed that the MPAs might be leaving on 
Thursday to look for a new beginning.
    
APP adds: Talking to newsmen at the Balochistan House here, Mr 
Mengal said he would not dissolve the provincial assembly in the 
wake of prevailing crisis, and added that he did not want to repeat 
the past mistakes by resorting to undemocratic means.
    
He said he had tried his best to make adjustments with the PML 
government but it did not work.

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980728
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Traders observe hunger strike against GST
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Syed Irfan Raza

RAWALPINDI, July 27: Traders community of Rawalpindi and Islamabad 
on Monday observed token hunger strike to protest against the 
imposition of general sales tax.

The hunger strike was observed by three former presidents of 
Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry including Raja Tariq 
Kiyani (convener GST Action Committee), Ikramullah Lone and S.M 
Akhtar at a camp set up at Masi Gate, Saddar.
    
The office-bearers of other trader associations also observed 
strike including Saadat Nadeem Mirza, Haji Rehmatullah, Abdul 
Majeed Amjad, Ch. Muhammad Anwar and Abdul Rauf Khan.
    
Talking to Dawn, the convener of GSTAC, Raja Tariq Kiyani, said the 
traders of over 300 trader associations of the twin cities of 
Rawalpindi-Islamabad related to the business of tyres, electronic 
goods, spare parts, stationary, consumer items and others would 
stage a rally to be started from Masi Gate, Saddar, and conclude at 
Blue Area, Islamabad, against GST on July 28. On the same day 
another hunger strike camp would be established at Blue Area, 
Islamabad, he added.
    
He said that rally would start at 9 a.m and would pass through 
Murree Road, Marrir Chowk, Committee Chowk, Chandni Chowk, 
Faizabad, Zero Point Islamabad and Blue Area.
    
The traders of electronic goods and jewellers would also join the 
rally from Murree Road, he added.
    
Tariq Kiyani expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of a 
committee formed by the Chairman, Central Board of Revenue, 
Moinuddin, to resolve the issue of GST and said that the government 
was not ready to provide relief to the business community.
    
He flayed the government for not inviting the genuine 
representatives of traders for talks and instead holding 
negotiating with the so-called office-bearers of fake bodies.
    
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980726
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Senator among 11 defaulters arrested
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Reporter

KARACHI, July 25: Another 11 loan defaulters, including a senator 
of the ruling PML, were arrested on Saturday in a countrywide 
action by the Federal Investigation Agency, taking the total number 
of arrests to 14.
    
Five of the arrests were made in Karachi, taking the total number 
of arrests in the city to eight. Three others had been arrested 
late Friday night. Six other defaulters were arrested by the FIA in 
Islamabad, Lahore, Sialkot, Multan and Hyderabad.
    
Some FIA officials said teams had been conducting raids for the 
arrest of defaulters all over the country after getting a green 
signal from the prime minister on Friday.
Mr Irfan Nadeem, Deputy Director of FIA's commercial banking 
circle, told Dawn that 13 FIRs had been registered against 
defaulters under PPC sections 420, 406, 468 and 471, in Karachi, 
and efforts were continuing for more arrests.
    
On Saturday, the FIA had arrested Abdul Waheed of Fateh Group in 
Hyderabad, who defaulted on a loan of Rs 50 million secured from 
the Allied Bank. He was arrested on a complaint of the bank.
    
Mr Yousuf Tawakal of Tawakal Group, was captured from his Defence 
Society residence on Saturday. He had defaulted on a Rs 3.5 billion 
loan secured from different DFIs. The FIA had registered a fresh 
case against Yousuf Tawakal, and two other directors of the group, 
Rafique Tawakal and Qadir Tawakal, already in jail.
    
An FIA team was conducting raids for the arrest of Waheed Tawakal 
of the same house, sources said.
    
Sharfuddin of Abasin Enterprises was arrested in Karachi for 
allegedly defaulting on a loan of Rs 57 million secured from the 
United Bank.
    
The FIA, Karachi, booked Zikria Ghani, already in jail, in a fresh 
case. He defaulted on a loan of Rs 406 million, which he secured 
from National Bank. He had been arrested a couple of days ago by 
the FIA in a foreign bank fraud.
    
The FIA booked PML Senator Islamuddin Shaikh in a Rs 890.3 million 
default case on a complaint by ABL. He was arrested in Islamabad, 
where he had been under treatment for several days at a hospital. 
His firm, Star Enterprises, had also defaulted on a loan amounting 
to Rs 60.547 million, secured from United bank. Efforts were under 
way for arresting the senator's brother in Sukkur.
An FIA team arrested Chaudhry Mohammad Akram and Chaudhry Mohammad 
Azam in Lahore in a Rs 180 million default case on the complaint of 
ABL.
    
Mirza Akbar Beg of Azhar Group, who had defaulted on a loan of Rs 
607 million secured from National Bank, was arrested in Multan by 
FIA, and Sohail Siddique in Sialkot. Mr Siddique owed an amount of 
Rs 150 million.
    
Sources said they would arrest some senior bank officials after 
getting a green signal from the high-ups in Islamabad. "We are 
collecting evidence to lay hands on them", a senior FIA official 
said.

After Friday's high-level meeting, presided over by the prime 
minister, bank officials had provided documents to the FIA for the 
arrest of defaulters.
    
An FIA official said they had been asked not to spare "anyone for 
any reason".
    
On Friday night, the FIA had arrested Tariq Masood Baghpati and his 
brother, Mansoor Khalid Baghpati, and Dharamdas of DM Brothers in 
Karachi.
    
Dawn Lahore bureau adds:  The FIA, Lahore, Commercial Banks Circle, 
on Saturday arrested three bank loan defaulters.
    
Those arrested were defaulters of Allied Bank Limited. They were 
Haji Azam and Haji Akram, directors of Chaudhry Wire Group, and Mr 
Sohail Jaspal, a director of MBSS Industries.
    
Chaudhry Wire Group defaulted on an amount of Rs 140 million and 
the MBSS Industries owed Rs 179 million.

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980727
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Third World women role vital to world population control
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Reporter

LAHORE, July 26: About 90 per cent of young women in developing 
countries, are entering or about to enter their childbearing years, 
according to the 1998 World Population Data Sheet released by the 
Population Reference Bureau (PRB).

This 'critical cohort' is composed of more than 2 billion young 
people under 20 years of age in the less developed regions.

The report says that early childbearing often leads to higher 
lifetime fertility and speeds population growth by shortening 
generations. Each year 18 per cent of women 15 to 19 years of age 
give birth in middle Africa; 5 per cent in south-east Asia; and 1 
per cent in western Europe.

This year's world population survey presents a mixed picture on 
future population. The total fertility rate (TFR), or the average 
number of children women have during their childbearing years, is a 
basic demographic indicator.

The TFR is an important gauge of future population growth.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the TFR remains very high at nearly 6 live 
births per woman. Two children per woman is referred to as 
'replacement level fertility', whereby couples just replace 
themselves.

The TFR is expected to decline in sub-Saharan Africa over the long 
run. But with a disproportionate percentage of sub-Saharan Africans 
just reaching childbearing years  45 per cent of the population is 
15 years or younger  the resulting population momentum will 
increase population, no matter what the birth rate may be.

The two-track process of world population growth is clearly 
demonstrated by this year's numbers. There are roughly four times 
as many people in the less developed countries as in developed 
countries  and the gap is expected to widen for years to come.

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980728
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President, PM discuss Karachi situation
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, July 27: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who flew into the 
capital from Lahore on Monday evening, went into a session with 
President Rafiq Tarar and separately met three key ministers to 
discuss the Karachi situation, besides other matters.
    
Informed official sources said the premier and the president had 
discussed, in particular, the Karachi situation which had become 
further alarming in the wake of target killings of army personnel 
by terrorists.
    
A handout issued after the prime minister-president session read: 
"They discussed economy, law and order and political situation and 
many other issues facing the country. 

"The prime minister's likely meeting with his Indian counterpart 
Atal Behari Vajpayee in Colombo at the SAARC summit also came under 
discussion."
    
Sources told Dawn the prime minister had summoned ministers 
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Majeed Malik 
to discuss the Karachi unrest.
    
"The incidents involving killings of army jawans on Sunday and 
attacks on senior officials of Rangers and army personnel on Monday 
came under specific discussion," they said.
    
There were unconfirmed reports that one of the three ministers 
might visit Karachi in the next few days. But what officials 
confirmed here was that the federal government had established 
contact with the Sindh authorities to express concern over the 
Monday incident.
    
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan briefed the prime minister of his talks 
with MQM chief Altaf Hussain and his view point on the whole 
situation. The opposition's move to get in touch with the MQM to 
form some kind of political understanding also came under 
discussion.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY 980731 ------------------------------------------------------------------- CBR agrees to FST, says MAT ------------------------------------------------------------------- Syed Irfan Raza RAWALPINDI, July 30: The Central Board of Revenue has agreed to reintroduce the scheme of fixed sales tax, the spokesman Markazi Anjuman-e-Tajiran, Rawalpindi Cantonment said, on Thursday. Talking to Dawn, the spokesman said the CBR had assured the representatives of MAT, Pakistan that all demands of the traders' community regarding general sales tax would be accepted. He said that the representatives of traders including Haji Mannan MNA and Maqsood Butt called upon the chairman CBR Moinuddin on Thursday and told him that traders were ready to pay fixed tax in the shape of trade certificate but the way the system is being implemented should be decided after consulting the traders' representatives. Mian Mannan MNA, told the meeting that the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had assured him that government was ready to accept all demands of traders regarding GST. He said that the final decision of implementation of GST would be announced after the arrival of PM from Colombo on August 5. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 980726 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Moneychangers asked to file declarations ------------------------------------------------------------------- Mohiuddin Aazim KARACHI, July 25: The customs authorities deputed at airports are not allowing money changers from flying abroad with foreign exchange worth more than $10,000. The restriction has prompted influential money changers to invite the intervention of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif into the matter. A delegation of the Forex Association of Pakistan led by its President Malik Bostan met Sharif at Governor House on Saturday morning and apprised him of the problem. "The prime minister asked us to approach State Bank Governor Dr Muhammad Yaqub who at a separate meeting told us how to tackle the problem," Bostan told Dawn by telephone. He quoted SBP chief having made it clear that money changers flying abroad with foreign exchange worth over $10,000 would need an authority letter from the Association establishing his credentials. Bostan said he agreed to it. Sources privy to the meeting said State Bank Governor also made it clear that the money changers flying abroad with more than $10,000 would have to submit a declaration at the time of departure that they would bring in an equal amount of foreign exchange on return. They said the governor said this when he was reminded by Malik Bostan that money changers normally fly abroad with stocks of third currency only to sell it overseas and bring the US dollars in return. Currency market observers say the condition of producing the authority letter before flying abroad with foreign exchange over 10,000 would stop capital flight through unlicensed money changers. "Naturally the Association would not issue authority letter to any unlicensed money changer because State Bank would not tolerate it," said an executive member of FAP that groups some 300 licensed money changers in Pakistan. Observers estimate that those working without any licence number around 700 or so. The observers say the SBP decision not to allow money changers fly abroad with foreign exchange worth over $10,000 without an authority letter plus declaration would force unlicensed money changers to seek licences immediately. This would help the State Bank earn a handsome amount of foreign exchange because as each unlicensed money changer is supposed to pay a licence fee of $100,000. Malik Bostan said the delegation discussed with Prime Minister Sharif the ways and means to contain the foreign exchange crisis. He said the delegation told the PM that his government needed to offer alternative avenues of investment to people who were eager to buy more and more dollars that saves their money from erosion in value. He said the prime minister agreed to it and vowed to exploit local resources of foreign exchange mobilization to keep the spirit of self reliance from fading. Bostan said the delegation gave the PM a Rs5 million cheque as a contribution towards self reliance fund. He said the delegation also told the PM that money changers were busy pooling up their resources to swap foreign exchange with the rupee funds with the State Bank. The PM nodded his appreciation. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 980726 ------------------------------------------------------------------- New formula for computing income tax surcharge ------------------------------------------------------------------- Correspondent ISLAMABAD; July 25: The Central Board of Revenue has notified 10 per cent surcharge on tax payable by salaried class, and has announced a new formula to compute amount of tax on salary income and perks which asks for payment of minimum of Rs.45,000 from those getting anything above Rs.300,000 a year. Circular No 10 of July 23 issued by CBR on Saturday says: Ten percent surcharge on tax on salary income is payable for the assessment year 1998-99 from July 1998. The same may be paid in equal monthly instalments up to May 1999 rather than making a lump sum payment by September 30, 1998 along with the return of income (or the employer's certificate) as the case may be. This has been done to alleviate the hardship faced by the salaried tax-payers. The circular further says that certain changes have been introduced through the Finance Act 1998. Under the relevant provisions, if salary and perquisites exceeded Rs 300,000, the perquisites were taxable as a separate block at relatively low rates than those provided for salaries. For assessment year 1999-2000, perquisites in such cases would be taxable at same rates as are applicable to salaries. However, for purposes of deduction of tax under Section 50 (1), the tax rates are effective from July 1, 1998. The existing concession of taxation of perquisites under old rules where the salary and perquisites do not exceed Rs 300,000 shall continue. The formula drawn out for computation of tax deductible under Section 50 (1) in respect of salary income receivable during the income year 1998-99, says: Pay (Rs 360,000), value of perquisites (Rs 180,000), tax computed on first Rs 100,000 at 5 per cent (pay Rs 5,000 + perquisites Rs 5000); tax on next Rs 100,000 at 10 per cent (pay Rs 10,000); tax on next Rs 100,000 at 15 per cent (pay Rs 15,000); tax on balance Rs 60,000 at 20 per cent (pay Rs 12,000); tax on balance Rs 80,000 at 10 per cent (perquisites Rs 8000)= Total (pay Rs 42,000; perquisites Rs 13,000)= Rs 55,000 minus basic tax credit (Rs 2500)= Income Tax deductible from salary during income year 1998-99 (Rs 52,500). The circular says that dividend income, profit or interest on bank deposits, bonds, certificates and debentures are taxable as a separate block of income; basic tax credit in the case of working women will be Rs 3000. The computation of tax will consequently change accordingly. The formula for assessing tax on salary income assessable in the assessment year 1998-99 (income year 1997-98 is as follows: pay Rs 480,000; value of perquisites Rs 240,000; On the pay side, tax on first Rs 100,000 at 5 per cent (Rs 5,000); tax on next Rs 100,000 at 10 per cent (Rs 10,000); tax on next Rs 100,000 at 5 per cent (Rs 15,000); tax on balance Rs 180,000 at 20 per cent (Rs 36,000); Total Rs 66,000; on the perquisites side, tax on first Rs 100,000 at 3 per cent (Rs 3000); tax on next Rs 100,000 at 5 per cent (Rs 5000); tax on balance Rs 40,000 at 10 per cent (Rs 4000); Total Rs 12,000; Income Tax grand total (pay + perquisites)= Rs 78,000 minus basic tax credit of Rs 2500 plus surcharge at 10 per cent (Rs 7500), tax payable for assessment year 1998-99= Rs 83,000. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 980731 ------------------------------------------------------------------- 120,000 ST non-filers in 1997-98 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Correspondent ISLAMABAD, July 30: The Central Board of Revenue has reported to the Prime Ministers's Secretariat that 120,000 sales tax assessees did not deposit a penny during the financial year 1997-98. An average of 10,000 sales tax assessees per month have not been filing their returns despite the rounds of punitive measures adopted against the tax evaders during the year. In the financial year 1996-97, the number of ST non-filers was 152,000, at an average of 12,732 per month. During the financial year 1997-98, however, the number of ST non-filers decreased by 45 percent, an achievement the CBR attributes to the computerisation of the Sales Tax Department. This computerisation has helped the CBR to detect the cases of non-filing, short-filing and late-filing by the ST assessees. The CBR has provided a collectorate wise compilation on non-filers which indicates that the number of non-filers in the area of Hyderabad ST collectorate during 1997-98 was 1410 (last year 2149); Lahore 12700 (LY 20202); Multan 10200 (LY 12814); Peshawar 2950 (LY 3685); Quetta (Hub) 2640 (LY 1430); Rawalpindi 3800 (LY 6246); Faisalabad 5450 (LY 9478); Gujranwala 38700 (LY 42298); Karachi West 28055 (LY 35947); and Karachi East 13640 (LY 18403). The CBR has also compiled a report on late-depositors of the sales tax money and late-filing of the ST returns by assessees who numbered 15120 in 1996-97, but their number has reduced to 8460 in 1997-98. On this side, the ST department has recorded an improvement through computerised system by 61 per cent, only in one year. The CBR officials said that the number of habitual non-filers would further be decreased by adopting tougher punitive measures. The number of late-filers could be brought down to zero, by imposing penalties with efficiency and indiscriminately, they said. They added that the short-filing and non-filing caused an erosion on the total ST collection toward the end of the year, while the late- filers were assisted by the banks where they deposited tax money, and many of them have been getting their returns at the banks stamped in the back dates, to prove that they did not late-file. This trend too has been detected, and "we are taking a number of measures to curb it", said a senior ST official. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 980730 ------------------------------------------------------------------- National Bank earns Rs62m after-tax profit ------------------------------------------------------------------- Reporter KARACHI, July 29: State-run National Bank said on Wednesday that it earned a pre-tax profit of Rs 995.7 billion against losses of Rs 1.256 billion in 1997. It said the after tax profit stood at Rs 62 million against an after-tax loss of Rs 795 million in 1996. An NBP press release said the balance sheet of the bank presented before the annual general meeting held on Wednesday showed that the bank deposits rose from Rs 236 billion to Rs 255 billion. It said NBP President Mohammedmian Soomro told the AGM that total assets increased from Rs 274 billion in 1996 to Rs 310 billion in 1997. Soomro further told the AGM that the cost of intermediation had also decreased from 3.3 to 2.6 per cent. "The management fully provided for all the bad and doubtful advances ...and also managed to cover the loss of defunct Meharan Bank which was earlier amalgamated with NBP," the release said. "The previous mistake of income booking to declare higher profit were rectified and reversed and throughout this period of massive cash outflow the liquidity of the bank was not allowed to be impaired." The release said trade related business was effected with the change in the country's trading pattern as export business stood at Rs 19.1 billion in 1997 against Rs 17 billion in 1996. Imports business declined to Rs 35.9 billion from Rs 65.7 billion. In 1997 86 domestic branches and one overseas branch were closed, the release said adding that NBP's operating revenues rose by 25 per cent whereas its administrative expenses went down by 5.4 per cent. As of end December 1997 the return on average assets was 0.3 per cent, return on average capital 68 per cent and return on average equity 14.1 per cent. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 980729 ------------------------------------------------------------------- SBP buys $15 million from banks ------------------------------------------------------------------- Mohiuddin Aazim KARACHI, July 28: The State Bank bought some $15 million from 8-10 local and foreign banks on Tuesday in its maiden intervention in the foreign exchange market. The SBP did not make any announcement but bankers told Dawn the amount was raised at different rates ranging between Rs 51.00 and Rs 53.00 per dollar. Governor Dr Muhammad Yaqub had said on Monday the SBP would start intervening in the foreign exchange market to finance import of seven essential items; curb speculations and stabilize the rupee. Bankers said the Tuesday buying of the greenback should help the State Bank finance the import of essential items. The items whose imports are to be financed at the official exchange rate of Rs 46.23 per dollar are: (i) wheat (ii) edible oils (iii) POL products (iv) pulses (v) fertilizer (vi) pesticides and (vii) pharmaceuticals. Imports of all other items are to be financed 50 per cent at official exchange rate and 50 per cent at composite rate. The composite rate is the average of inter-bank floating rate and the official rate. Bankers said the inter-bank rates of the greenback that were quoted in the band of Rs 51-Rs 52 per dollar on Monday shot up to Rs 53.00 as the State Bank entered the market for buying. They said the buying brought the demand for the greenback under pressure forcing the banks to minimise their selling to their customers. *From Tuesday banks also began quoting the inter-bank buying and selling rates of foreign currencies with a maximum spread equal to 50 paisa per dollar as prescribed by the State Bank. "But as was expected many a bank overcharged their customers by exploiting the loop-hole in the system," said a treasurer. What he meant was that though the banks are supposed to keep the spread between buying and selling rates at a maximum of 50 paisa it cannot be checked whether they clear the stocks of the dollars before the buying and selling prices have moved up. SBP Governor Dr Muhammad Yaqub said on Monday Pakistan had only $531 million worth of foreign exchange reserves on July 24 down from $1.2 billion before the country went nuclear on May 28. "This shows how badly the country needs foreign exchange... as such the banks should not hope that the State Bank would be selling foreign exchange to them," remarked a senior banker. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 980727 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Action against 40 companies under way ------------------------------------------------------------------- Reporter KARACHI, July 26: Four more criminal cases were registered against loan defaulters on Sunday by the Commercial Banking Circle of FIA in Karachi taking the total number of FIRs registered since Friday to 17. FIA officials said a case, pertaining to default on a Rs190 million loan of National Bank, had been registered against Asif Sehgal and Tariq Sehgal of Sehgal Ghee Mills. Both the defaulters are untraceable, they said. Syed Asghar Jamil Rizvi of Metropolitan Steel Corporation was booked for defaulting on a loan of Rs203 million he had secured from the NBP. The FIA Commercial Banking Circle registered an FIR against Shaikh Mohammad Iqbal for Warehousing System Ltd, who defaulted on a Rs134 million NBP loan. The fourth case was registered against Abid Raz of Karachi Ghee Mills for defaulting on a loan of Rs78 million. The FIA sources said all four cases had been registered on the complaints of NBP. Raids are being conducted for the arrest of these defaulters, they said. Meanwhile, the FIA CBC is learnt to have returned at least six complaints lodged against defaulters by different banks and DFIs as the complaints did not contain specific charges. The FIA officials said they could register a criminal case of only a cognizable offence. They said that banks and DFIs had not so far named any of their official in their complaints against defaulters. We are also ascertaining the role of bank officials in this connection, the officials said. The FIA officials also hinted at the arrest of some senior bank officials in near future as, according to them, investigation against some of them was already in progress. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 980731 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Conversion of FCA into rupees challenged ------------------------------------------------------------------- Reporter KARACHI, July 30: A petition has been filed in the High Court of Sindh challenging the conversion of dollars in the foreign currency accounts into Pakistani rupee by the government at a fixed rate of Rs46 per dollar. The petitioners, Kashif Nafees and Nafees Siddiqui, have filed the petition against the government of Pakistan, and the State Bank has also been impleaded in the petition as one of the respondents. The petition, which was filed on Thursday and numbered 1069/98, has been fixed for preliminary hearing on Friday before Justice Hamid Ali Mirza and Justice M. Shaiq Usmani. The petitioners have challenged the State Bank circular No. 12 of July 2 directing the Crescent Bank and all the banks to liquidate the foreign currency account by July 31 to adjust the loan liabilities against the US dollars. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 980801 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Stocks resist big fall on positive development news ------------------------------------------------------------------- Reporter KARACHI, July 31: Stocks on Friday resisted larger decline as a section of leading investors covered positions at the falling prices amid some positive developments on the external front but the overall trend remained on the downside owing partly to weekend profit-selling. The KSE 100-share index suffered a fresh modest decline of 7.26 points at 920.49 and did not breach the barrier of 900 points as widely speculated a day earlier. The market capitalization also dropped by Rs 1.844 billion at Rs 270.451 billion as compared to Rs 272.105 billion on Thursday. The market took a breather on news that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to release the third tranche of $226 million after its high-powered delegation visit Pakistan in middle of the next month. "There is a loud whispering in the rings that the US might not punish Pakistan for the nuclear tests beyond its enduring capacity and that perception lured investors back and they made an extensive buying at the decline," said a leading broker. That was perhaps why the performance of the broader market was not that bad as it should have been at the weekend session, which mostly attracts selling from all and sundry, he added. Some others said the current sell-off might not have run its course and attributed the revival of demand to some technical factors rather than any genuine inspiring news from the corporate front. "News from Colombo regarding normalization of relations between Pakistan and India are not that positive as talks between the two sides seem to have run some snags," analysts said. Press reports about the possibility of governor's rule in Sindh also worked against the sentiment, although investors were divided on the issue and its impact on the stock market, they added. The buying support, however, remained largely selective as investors were not inclined to go beyond safe havens amid conflicting reports about the changing political scenario. How the market reacts to conflicting news both from the political and economic fronts will be known by the next week but indications are that there could be some improvement in the trading pattern. Although the on-balance trend was on the downside, some of the leading shares managed to put on good gains on active support at the lower levels, leading gainers among them being Shell Pakistan, BOC Pakistan, Colgate Pakistan, Lever Brothers, Pakistan Refinery and Al-Ghazi Tractors, rising by Rs 3 to Rs 6. Losers were led by Reckitt and Colman, Alico, Century Paper, Saif Textiles and Al-Khair Industries, falling by one rupee to Rs 3.60, the biggest decline being in PSO. Trading volume fell to 75 million shares from the previous 106 million shares, while losers led gainers by 40 to 33 with 34 shares holding on to the last levels, out of the 107 actives. PTCL again led the list of most actives, lower 30 paisa at Rs 19.45 on 46 million shares, followed by Hub-Power, easy 25 paisa at Rs 13.15 on 22 million shares, ICI Pakistan, unchanged at Rs 12.45 on 2 million shares, FFC-Jordan Fertilizer, easy 10 paisa at Rs 13.50 on 0.766 million shares, and Pakistan State Oil (PSO), off Rs 3.60 at Rs 82.50 on 0.577 million shares. DEFAULTING COMPANIES: Suzuki Motorcycle came in for active support at the lower level and rose 25 paisa on 42,000 shares. Asia Board was also traded actively but at the overnight rates and accounted for 2,000 shares. Mian Textiles finished unchanged on 500 shares. DIVIDEND: Habib Arkady, cash 30 per cent on post-tax profit of Rs 42.817 million for the year ended June 30, 1998. Haydari Construction, nil, after-tax profit Rs 8.741 million. BOARD MEETINGS: Citicorp Investment Bank on August 1 and ICI Pakistan August 11.
Back to the top.
EDITORIALS & FEATURES
980726
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Privilege?
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ardeshir Cowasjee

THIS is written for the benefit of my friend Illahi Bakhsh Soomro. 
Having desisted from boot-blacking his hair he now wears a most 
distinguished air whilst presiding over his motley herd of two 
hundred bowers-and-scrapers who respectfully address him as 'Janab-
i-Isshpeeker'.
    
He sits in his high chair of choice; he enjoys himself, he travels 
around the world attending every possible parliamentary conference 
at our expense. No legislation has been enacted in his assembly 
that has any worthwhile bearing on the welfare of the people. 
Whatever has been done has been in the larger interest of saving 
the skins of the ruling party and of ensuring survival.
    
Jointly and severally, the herd can do no good. But should the 
speakermen not save us from harassment, hurt and harm?
    
On July 15, I read in this newspaper that the debtors' court in 
Sialkot had taken up the cases of defaulter MNA Khwaja Asif, 
Chairman of the Privatization Commission, and his associates, all 
of whom had not paid back some Rs 13 million borrowed from the 
Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan. The court adjourned the 
hearing of the cases to September on being told that the defaulters 
were trying to strike a compromise with ADBP. As is expected, clout 
will now enter the game.
    
On July 16, I received a letter from the Secretary of the Standing 
Committee on Privileges of the National Assembly, informing me 
that:
    
"Whereas a privilege motion has been moved by Khwaja Mohammad Asif, 
MNA, regarding alleged use of abusive language and threat by 
Ardsher Cowasji, columnist, on March 25, 1998, in the Supreme Court 
of Pakistan.

"And whereas the privilege motion has been referred by the 
Honourable Speaker, National Assembly, to the Privilege Committee 
for investigation and report.
    
"And whereas the said privilege motion is fixed before this 
Committee for the above said purposes on 21/7/98, you are hereby 
required to appear before the Committee in person on the above said 
date ..."
    
Time being on the short side, I requested the secretary to e-mail 
me a copy of the privilege motion, a transcript of what was 
'allegedly' said, a list of witnesses who can substantiate the 
allegation, and any other details which the defaulter MNA may have 
disclosed.
    
The courteous secretary obliged, faxed me a photocopy of the 
privilege motion which is all he had. On 13.4.98 Khwaja Asif had 
forwarded to the Speaker, by special messenger, marked 'most 
immediate', the following missive:  "I beg to raise a question 
involving breach of my privilege under Rule 77 of the Rules of 
Procedure and Conduct of Business (sic.) in the National Assembly, 
1992, as a Member of National Assembly.
    
"On 25th March 1998 the Supreme Court of Pakistan summoned me to 
record my statement regarding the storming of the Supreme Court 
building by an unruly mob on 2/4/98 (sic). (Was there really a 
repeat of the 28/11/97 performance?)
    
"Before the proceedings could start, I was introduced in the 
courtroom with Mr Ardsher Cowasji, columnist, by Mushahid Hussain 
Syed, Minister for Information and Media Development. Mr Cowasji 
referred to a speech of mine delivered in the National Assembly 
during the last session regarding a scandal involving PWD land and 
asked me why did I call him a blackmailer in that speech, to which 
I replied that the courtroom is not the proper place to discuss 
this matter. Mr Cowasji in response not only used abusive language, 
but also threatened me with dire consequences.
    
"Sir, this is a clear breach of my privilege and attempt to stop me 
from performing my duties as a parliamentarian and request that the 
matter be referred to the Committee on Rules of Procedure and 
Privileges."
    
The Khwaja sent copies of this motion, for information and 
necessary action, to seven others, including The PS and MS to the 
PM; the President's DG Law; PS to Minister for Law; PS to Minister 
for Information.
    
A joke, asked I of my lawyer, Barrister Khalid Jawed Khan? A joke 
indeed, but the jokers can harass and harm. They have the powers of 
a civil court to enforce your presence. Find Janab-i-Isshpeeker', 
said I to my G-1. After ringing around the country, an aide from 
Jacobabad informed us that at that precise point of time he was on 
the Sukkur Express in his special saloon en route to Karachi.
    
The next morning I found him in Karachi, swore roundly at him, he 
roundly swore back, and then arranged to have the hearing 
postponed.
    
Later, in my mail sent care of Dawn, I found a telegram from the 
"Nassembly" and a four-sheet long schedule of the hearings for July 
20 and 21. 'Unbelievable' is what most of us would surely say on 
reading it.
    
The Privileges Committee would deliberate on July 20:
    
"1) Privilege Motion moved by (PM mb) Inamullah Khan Niazi, MNA, 
regarding alleged rude behaviour (rarb) of Superintending Engineer, 
WAPDA, Sargodha.
    
"2) PM mb Asfandyar Wali, MNA, re false reporting by Nawa-i-Waqt on 
22/2/98.
    
"3) PM mb Inamullah Khan Niazi, MNA, rarb of Chief Settlement 
Commissioner, Lahore.
    
"4) PM mb Rana Nazir Ahmad Khan, MNA, rarb of DG Customs 
Intelligence, Islamabad.
    
For July 21, the schedule:
    
"1) Delayed flight on 6/5/98 causing inconvenience to the Speaker, 
NA, and other Parliamentarians due to off-loading of a passenger 
allegedly travelling on fake passport/documents.

"2) PM mb Khwaja Muhammad Asif MNA regarding alleged use of abusive 
language and threat by Ardsher Cowasji, columnist on 25/3/98 in the 
Supreme Court of Pakistan.
    
"3) PM mb Mr Javed Ibrahim Paracha MNA regarding alleged breach of 
privilege of the Members of the Standing Committee on Railway in 
its meeting held on 11/6/98."
    
Copies requesting attendance were sent to Committee Chairman 
Nawabzada Iqbal Mehdi, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Yasin Watoo, 
and thirteen other Committee Members, including Khwaja Asif. The 
nine 'movers', including Khwaja Asif, were called. Also required to 
attend were the Federal Secretaries of four ministries  finance, 
interior, railways, and water and power; chief secretary, Punjab; 
Chief Settlement Commissioner, Lahore; From WAPDA  Chairman, 
Lahore; Chairman AEB, Faisalabad; SE Sargodha, and the 'then' SE, 
Jang; From Customs  Chairman CBR; the 'then' and the present DG 
Customs Intelligence, Islamabad; from FIA the DG and DD, Karachi 
Airport. Summoned also  Majid Nizami, editor in chief, Nawa-i-Waqt 
(who did not go), his Rawalpindi editor/columnist, and me.
    
Copies were sent to some two dozen others, including the Attorney-
General and the Accountant-General of Pakistan. The DPR of the NA 
was requested to arrange Press and TV coverage of the two meetings.
When I inquired about the Rules of Procedure, the NA Secretary 
informed me that none had been formulated. The Breach of Privilege 
Rules of the House of Commons were being followed. On then 
enquiring from Hansard, it was discovered that no such motions on 
such frivolous account had ever been tabled at Westminster. The man 
I spoke to recalled having read about one moved in 1865.
    
My dear Illahi Bakhsh, the company you have kept since you involved 
yourself in politics a quarter of a century ago has rubbed off on 
you. Just how many lives has your herd disturbed, how much 
harassment are they capable of causing? Have you no control over 
their stupidity?
    
A man who has borrowed money which he could not have borrowed 
without misusing his position and clout, a man who, again misusing 
his position, does not repay what he has borrowed, a man who takes 
cover under a law of sorts which he has participated in making, 
remains a defaulter. A defaulter, of any standing, can claim no 
privileges.
    
Should you still be in your chair when the next meeting of the 
Privilege Committee is scheduled, and should Khwaja Asif still wish 
to press his motion, would you request him to write and inform me 
exactly what it is that I am meant to have said, exactly what were 
the 'dire consequences' with which he was allegedly threatened, and 
explain to me how on earth anything could prevent him from doing 
what he has been doing for most of his adult life.
    
The ding-dong about the speech he made in the House when he 
referred to me as a blackmailing land-grabber ended long ago. On 
March 11, in this newspaper, I wrote: "Will Khwaja Asif, whose 
credibility is as good as that of those sitting with him in the 
National Assembly, be decent enough to name those he accuses me of 
having pressured and blackmailed? Also, I will be grateful if he 

can identify the land-grabbing 'campaigns' I have launched and am 
launching afresh."
    
Decent enough?

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
980801
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A rootless democracy
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Irfan Husain

WHEN Ayub Khan made his famous remark to the effect that 
parliamentary democracy was not in keeping with "the genius of the 
people of Pakistan", many of us were outraged at his self-serving 
presumption.
    
But many years, many elections and many governments later, one has 
to concede that the old soldier knew what he was talking about. 
Parliamentary democracy, above all forms of government, requires a 
level of tolerance and respect for other points of view that simply 
does not exist here. Although parliamentary democracy has been a 
stop-and-start business with many dictatorial interventions and 
authoritarian detours, we now have enough experience with the 
system to assess its merits and demerits in our context.
    
It is a fact that except for Mr Bhutto's first stint, no elected 
government has seen out its full term. A combination of real and 
perceived corruption and ineptitude has destabilized successive 
governments with the result that the voter no longer has any role 
in turfing out dishonest and incompetent rulers. One of democracy's 
major strengths is that on the basis of their performance, the 
electorate can periodically decide whether or not the current 
ruling party should stay. But time after time, this role has been 
usurped by the presidency and/or the GHQ.
    
Voters have thus been granted only the opportunity to choose the 
next government, but given the highly charged and polarized 
atmosphere that has prevailed after the questionable and 
controversial dismissals of elected leaders, the results of the 
elections have been usually tarnished by allegations of rigging. 
Indeed, it has become traditional for the losing side to reject the 
verdict of the people and accuse the administration of the day of 
gross electoral irregularities. All too often, these charges are 
not without substance, thus robbing the exercise of much of its 
legitimacy.
    
But with all its imperfections, if there is any consensus on any 
issue in this deeply divided nation, it is that we should be 
governed under a democratic dispensation. And there is a further 
broad agreement that we should have a parliamentary system that is 
more sophisticated and complicated than most presidential 
dispensations. For one, it requires the active cooperation of the 
ruling and opposition parties to operate successfully. This is next 
to impossible to achieve in our highly charged and hate-filled 
atmosphere.
    
Indeed, the concepts of a loyal opposition and a shadow cabinet are 
unimaginable in our context. Then, the notion of bipartisan 
parliamentary committees working as effective and powerful 
overseeing bodies is foreign to the antagonistic nature of the 
relationship between the ruling party and the opposition.
    

Over the last decade, politics in Pakistan has become hostage to 
the bad blood that has developed between Nawaz Sharif and Benazir 
Bhutto, the two major players in the endless power struggle. And 
because politics has become so personalized, the checks and 
balances as well as the cooperation and cordiality that lie at the 
heart of parliamentary democracy have become paralyzed.
    
This state of affairs has pushed us into a situation where the be-
all and end-all of the ruling party is to crush the opposition by 
using the power of the state. This not only politicizes the 
bureaucracy, but it also discredits the system. Also, this 
ceaseless cycle of revenge and persecution diverts the government 
from other, more pressing items on their agenda. But most of all, 
it exposes the shallowness of our politicians and ultimately, the 
average Pakistani is convinced that anything is preferable to what 
we are currently enduring.
    
After my column appeared last week ("Full Circle", July 25), I have 
received at least twenty e-mail letters from readers abroad who 
agree that the incompetence and venality of our politicians has 
rendered them unfit to govern. Several of them offered extremely 
blood thirsty solutions, and some urged me to stop writing and take 
up arms. As a pacifist, I have politely declined this invitation, 
but this digital, long-distance outpouring of anger against 
politicians is an indicator of how fed up most people are with the 
prevailing state of affairs.
    
Last week, I had the dubious pleasure of attending a session of the 
Sindh Assembly. For four hours, I witnessed the opposition resort 
to slogan-raising, noisy demonstrations and pointless delaying 
tactics. In all this time, they refused to allow the notified 
business of the day to proceed, so adamant were they to argue their 
no-confidence motion against the speaker. 
   
Near me, two boys in the visitors' gallery, barely in their teens, 
watched these undignified proceedings with a stoic patience that 
belied their tender years. I wondered what impressions of democracy 
in action they would take back with them.
    
During these heated exchanges and harangues  I would not dignify 
them by referring to them as debate and discourse  I also thought 
about the dangers of handing power to such intemperate people. The 
phrase "giving a loaded pistol to a chimpanzee" came to mind.
    
At the risk of repeating what I said last week, I must reiterate 
that given my long and passionate advocacy for democracy, it is not 
easy for me to express such strong reservations about the 
possibilities of a democratic order putting down roots in our 
infertile soil. I also foresee that my words here may well return 
to haunt me one day if we should slide back into authoritarian 
rule. 
   
But at this juncture, our politicians have made such a hash of 
things that I doubt very much if they are capable of even realizing 
the extent of the damage they have caused, let alone repair it.
    
Thinking people should be able to analyse problems and, when 
necessary, give up long-held positions when the facts no longer fit 
their ideologies. The problem is that many of us, having invested 
much thought and energy in arriving at an ethically and 
intellectually satisfying system of beliefs, find it hard to change 
tack even when we have been proved wrong.
    
Thus, my father's generation of leftist intellectuals who had 
supported the Russian revolution and the socialist experiment were 
baffled and bereft when Stalin cut a deal with Hitler at the start 
of the Second World War. Today, despite the rollback of socialism 
across the world, I find it hard to renounce my own espousal of 
socialist ideals.
    
But in the context of Pakistan's repeated failure to make the 
system work, we must be tough and honest enough to admit that our 
many grim experiences of military dictatorship were the direct 
result of our politicians' inability to govern effectively. 
   
Their blind ambition and greed has led directly to their downfall 
and to our subjugation by juntas who were only too willing to 
accept the invitations extended repeatedly by immature and power-
hungry leaders.
    
My readers have, from time to time, asked me to suggest a way-out, 
but I must confess that I have only questions and doubts, and very 
little hope.


SPORTS 980729 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Pakistan to face stiff challenge: Jahangir ------------------------------------------------------------------- Reporter KARACHI, July 28: Team manager Jahangir Khan said here on Tuesday that bronze medalists Pakistan, seeded number one, would be facing a still challenge to win the Tenth World Junior Squash Championship, schedule in Princeton, USA, from Aug Taking with the mediamen here at the PIA Jahangir Khan Squash Complex on the eve of the Pakistan's team departure late tonight for New York on its way to Princeton, squash legend Jahangir Khan refrained from predicting about the outcome of the boys performance in the coming 15-day championship, starting with the team contest followed by individual event. Jahangir managing the Pakistan junior (Under-19) team for the first time after his retirement in 1993 from international squash, stated that we do not know the strength and composition of defending champions England and silver medalists Egypt, who have been seeded number two and three respectively in the coming 32nation championship. Therefore one cannot make any prediction, pointed out the manager. However Jahangir Khan, record holder of 10 successive British Open titles and former world champion, said he has faith in his boys to give then best in the coming championship. He expressed his dissatisfaction over a short training camp and even this camp was marred by the absence of players. The world juniors camp should have been held at least two-weeks before the teams departure for a centralised training and coaching, remarked the manager. Today Ilyas Ahmed arrive from Lahore to join the team as he was having training under the guidance of former world renowned star Gogi Alaiuddin. Mansoor Zaman, who rounded from Kuala Lumpur after helping the Pakistan senior team to win the Asian Championship, joined the camp on return for a day. He was allowed three days rest in his home city Peshawar but he joined the team. Mohammad Hussain returned to Peshawar as his sister died and now joined the team on departure. Only Shahid Zaman remained in the camp. He pointed out. He was not satisfied with preparation of the team as he had planned when he was entrusted with the responsibility by the Pakistan Squash Federation, said the manager. Nevertheless he would guide the youngsters to produce their best in the matches although the boys need more physical fitness which could not be achieved due to the lack of training. Pakistan is placed in Pool A which includes Malaysia, Canada and New Zealand. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 980730 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Cueists in danger of missing Asian Games ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ian Fyfe KARACHI, July 29: Pakistan, already with a former world champion in the snooker ranks, is in great danger of not being represented at the Asian Games scheduled to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, in December. The country's three-man snooker squad for the games has indeed a great chance to win medals for the nation, but due to the high handiness of the officials of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), nothing has materialised in spite of Ali Asghar Valika's appeal to the Secretary of the POA, Lateef Butt. Ali Asghar Valika, President of the Pakistan Billiard and Snooker Association (PBSA) and also President of the Asian Confederation of Billiards Sports (ACBS), told Dawn that names of the three players nominated to represent Pakistan at the Asian games have already been sent to the POA for approval, yet for reasons better known to them there has been no response from their side. Back to the top.

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