------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 03 January 1998 Issue : 04/01 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS Nawaz, Tarar vow to amend Constitution Talks after new govt takes over in Delhi Loss of Siachen post a 'slap' to nation: Altaf Utility stores play a hoax on consumers 200 MQM men may get parole New policy Education sector may get more funds Crime rate was higher in 1997 Rethinking on privatization Govt accused of helping Tarar in poll campaign --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY Forex reserves fall by $206m PTCL restructured, top management reshuffled PC may get more powers to expedite privatization Rumours lead to dollar buying spree Turnaround in economy yet a far cry Increased output vital to raise exports Rs6 billion less tax revenue collected --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES Fascism on the march - IV Ardeshir Cowasjee The big meltdown Irfan Husain A horrible year Omar Kureishi Urdu on the Internet Omar R. Quraishi Dual citizenship: a potent tool Mohammad Saifullah Shakir ----------- SPORTS Pakistan's squash supremacy still in Jansher's hands Wasim Akram to step down as captain today? Ws and Moin given well deserved rest Haroon may be replaced before SA tour

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NATIONAL NEWS
971231
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Nawaz, Tarar vow to amend Constitution
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Raja Zulfikar

ISLAMABAD, Dec 30: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PML's 
presidential candidate Rafiq Tarar said on Tuesday all anomalies 
from the Constitution would be removed as early as possible to 
ensure uninterrupted functioning of parliament.
    
"We will have to introduce reforms in the judicial and 
administrative system", Mr Tarar said at a meeting of the PML and 
its allied parties. "The president is the custodian of parliament 
and a symbol of national unity and his function is to remove, in 
consultation with the prime minister, all hurdles which are likely 
to obstruct the smooth running of parliament," he read out from a 
written statement.
    
The Tuesday meeting was described by officials as "a warm-up 
exercise where the PML's decision about Mr Tarar's nomination was 
endorsed with an overwhelming majority."
    
Both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Mr Tarar said a constitutional 
package would be introduced soon while some of the old laws would 
have to be repealed "in the larger interest of the country."

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971228
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Talks after new govt takes over in Delhi
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Dec 27: Foreign minister Gohar Ayub has said that there 
is no immediate possibility of fresh talks with India. He said 
resumption of bilateral talks are expected after a new government 
takes over in India.
    
"The situation is still fluid and we do not know which party will 
come to power in India," he added.
    
The minister was talking to reporters after inaugurating a three-
day conference of Pakistan's envoys in South Asia, here on 
Saturday.
    
The foreign minister expressed the hope that the Bharatiya Janata 
Party,if it came to power, would also hold talks with Pakistan on 
outstanding issues, including Kashmir.
    
To a question, Mr Khan said the PML government had decided to 
improve its relations with the Russian Federation. He regretted 
that not a single visa was issued to any Russian citizen by the 
Pakistan's embassy in Moscow for the last three years.
    
About US President Bill Clinton's visit to Pakistan, he said the 
president would visit Pakistan early next year, as scheduled.
    
"So far there is no change in the plan for US president's visit to 
Pakistan and the agenda for discussion has almost been finalised", 
Gohar said.
    
He said different American teams had recently visited Islamabad and 
other places in connection with Mr Clinton's forthcoming visit.
    
Mr Khan said that from Pakistani side, the issues, including F- 16 
planes, Kashmir, Afghanistan, regional security and increased trade 
and investment relations between the two countries would come up 
for discussion during the US president's visit to Pakistan.
    
"And from the American side, the issue of signing the comprehensive 
test ban treaty (CTBT) and the nuclear non-proliferation treaty 
(NPT) and security matters are likely to be raised", the foreign 
minister added.
    
However, he made it clear that there would not be any talks on the 
acquisition of military hardware for Pakistan."We are not expecting 
strategic talks during Mr Clinton's visit.
    
He said bilateral trade and US investment would be the important 
topics for discussion. "The government expects to have more 
American investment after the visit of the US president", the 
foreign minister said confidently.
    
Asked about the envoys conference, the foreign minister said it had 
been convened to take stock of the regional situation. He said he 
would be given a first-hand report about Pakistan's relations with 
South Asian states by the envoys.

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971231
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Loss of Siachen post a 'slap' to nation: Altaf
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 30: The chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Altaf 
Hussain, said here on Tuesday that the "loss" of the Quaid-i-Azam 
post on the Siachen Glacier to the Indian forces was a "slap" in 
the country's face.
    
He said when a country's security institutions which are supposed 
to guard its frontiers "busy themselves on crushing" their own 
citizens then enemy nations get the opportunity to cash in on this.
    
Mr Hussain said this offer of his showed that the party and its 
workers were as patriotic as any other Pakistani and he claimed 
that his party's workers would be successful in re- capturing the 
post. He asked why were security agencies deputed on the country's 
borders being pushed on Sindh's urban areas. He said the security 
institutions that were deputed on the borders were indulging 
themselves in "crushing patriotic" citizens.
    
In a sarcastic tone, Mr Hussain said Rangers and other security 
agencies who had wreaked havoc in Sindh's urban areas should now be 
sent to Siachen so that they could show their "worth" there too.

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980103
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Utility stores play a hoax on consumers
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Naseer Ahmad

KARACHI, Jan 2: A handout issued in Islamabad on Thursday said the 
Utility Stores are selling consumers goods up to 20 per cent less 
than the market prices. Earlier the USC, through print and 
electronic media, has been touting a large number of items at a 10 
per cent discount. It is all a hoax. And it has been played on the 
people by the USC for several years.
    
A few weeks before Ramazan the USC raises its rates. When the holy 
month is just to commence, it cuts the rates but not to the level 
of the last rates. So it reaps profits, as well as laurels, at the 
same time. This time the prices were increased on Nov 22, 1997 and 
reduced on Dec 26 "to herald the holy month of Ramazan".
    
But in spite of the vigorous publicity campaign, the utility stores 
this Ramazan could attract fewer buyers. The stores, particularly 
the few located in low-income localities, fewer customers.
    
Earlier, many people used to visit the stores to buy the GCP brand 
of ghee. It was on sale at Rs55 for a five kilo tin. The GCP has 
been privatized and the supply discontinued. So there are no long 
queues at the stores. Hence, the short revenues. "The sale has 
fallen to less than 30 per cent of the last year's," an official, 
seeking anonymity, said on Friday.
    
The other item that attracted most buyers was sugar. When it was 
Rs24 a kilo in the market, the US would sell it at Rs16. Now, sugar 
is available at Rs20 a kilo at the utility stores and the same is 
the price at most retail shops. On a 5kg tin of ghee the stores 
offer a Rs3 discount. Similarly, the USs do offer a nominal cut on 
items such as toothpastes, toilet soaps and tissue papers. 
   
However, that too depends on where you buy them. Certain markets 
such as the Empress Market sell most consumer goods as cheap as the 
USC. The "empress" is rather generous. For example, a known brand 
of laundry soap is sold at the utility stores at Rs34 whereas it 
sells in Empress Market for Rs32.
    
Soon after the caretakers took power last year, the subsidy on 
sugar was withdrawn. And after the privatization, the Ghee 
Corporation stopped supplying ghee at the cheap. It left little for 
the consumers to gravitate to the stores.
    
Since the last atta crisis, wheat flour has been the most sought-
after item at the utility stores. It is scarce on the stores. More 
than half a dozen stores visited by this correspondent on Friday 
did not have atta. Employees at the stores, including the ones in 
Korangi, Defence Phase-V, Boating Basin and Clifton, either said 
they had exhausted the supply or had not received during the three 
days of Ramazan. Even the Jumma Bazar at Korangi-5, where the USC 
sets ups its stall, had no atta to sell. In the otherwise near-
deserted stores people were visiting to ask if atta was available.
    
Tea packets with printed price of Rs46.50 was being sold at a 
"discounted" rate of Rs63. At a couple of stores packets of spices 
with the Utility Stores label were worn out. The storemen said they 
had expired and would be withdrawn by the warehouse soon.
    
Although the USC produces nothing of its own, many items (packed to 
order) have been branded as its own. So their prices can't be 
compared with other brands'.
    
Probably because of the declining utility of the stores, several 
outlets have recently been closed down. The latest casualties are 
the store at Deewan-i-Khaas  the confluence of Defence Housing 
Authority, Gizri and Punjab Colony  and at the DHA's Phase-II. In 
all, the number of stores in the city has come down from 85 to 61.

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980103
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200 MQM men may get parole 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Tahir Siddiqui and Omar R. Quraishi

KARACHI, Jan 2: Over 200 under-trial prisoners of Muttahida Qaumi 
Movement (MQM) are expected to be released before Eid-ul-Fitr after 
the Sindh government introduced an amendment to its Prison Rules 
making parole easier for certain categories of convicted or under-
trial prisoners.
    
The party has also recently handed over a second list to the 
authorities for withdrawal of some 1200 cases against its workers 
and activists arrested in Karachi during last two years.
   
The first list contained over 1100 cases  from Umerkot, Sukkur, 
Khairpur, Sanghar, Mirpurkhas and other parts of the interior Sindh 
 out of which over 500 were withdrawn.
    
A senior government official told Dawn that a list of MQM workers 
had been forwarded to the authorities by the party for their 
release before Eid-ul-Fitr.
    
The official said the cases had been sent to the relevant 
departments for verification. Once the verification process was 
complete, a summary would be sent to the Sindh Chief Minister 
Liaquat Jatoi who would then issue a directive for the release of 
the prisoners on parole.
    
The Sindh government, in a notification issued here on Thursday, 
amended Rule 223-A of the Prison Rules, allowing a prisoner to 
become eligible for parole if "he has undergone imprisonment for 
two years or more without any substantial progress in the cases in 
which he is accused and is challaned [charge-sheeted] before the 
court".
    
The notification goes on to say that 'substantial progress' means 
the "absence of examination of any main witness by the court".
    
The new amendment also makes a prisoner  either under trial or 
convicted  eligible for release on parole if "he is suffering from 
a communicable disease and is a health hazard to the inmates of the 
prison as duly certified by the civil surgeon".
    
A senior MQM leader, Senator Aftab Ahmed Sheikh, told Dawn recently 
that his party had since long asked the Sindh government to release 
"hundreds" of its party workers on parole, especially those whose 
cases weren't progressing and they were not even being produced in 
court and nor were any witnesses being examined.
    
The government official said the MQM would not be the only party to 
directly benefit from this amendment in the Prison Rules. Workers 
of other political parties like Sindhi nationalist parties and the 
Pakistan People's Party, currently in prison, might become eligible 
for release on parole under the rules.
    
Informed sources said the list of people the MQM wants to be 
released on parole contains the names of over 500 workers currently 
in prison. The release of workers on parole and the withdrawal of 
cases against party workers and leaders has been a major demand of 
the MQM and features prominently in its accord with the PML.
    
As far as the withdrawal of cases, demanded by the MQM is 
concerned, the government official said the party had initially 
submitted a list of over 1100 cases out of which over 500 were 
found in order and withdrawn. Nearly half of these withdrawn cases 
were related to the possession of prohibited weapons (13-D of the 
Arms Ordinance).
    
The MQM was also asked by the authorities to file applications in 
the concerned courts for the withdrawal of the remaining cases 
since they fell under the purview of the Qisas and Diyat Ordinance 
and the government could not withdraw them.
    
The sources said that a second list containing over 1200 cases of 
MQM activists was handed recently by the party to the authorities 
for their withdrawal. These will now be taken up by the Cases 
Review Committee which meets regularly with participation by MQM 
representatives and senior government officials. The last meeting 
of this committee was held in the second half of December.

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980102
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New policy Education sector may get more funds
-------------------------------------------------------------------

ISLAMABAD,Jan 1: The government plans to increase funding for the 
promotion of education from 2.2 per cent to 3.9 per cent of the GNP 
in the new education policy for the year 1998 to 2003.
    
The new education policy was likely to be debated in Friday's 
cabinet meeting, besides other items, officials said and hoped that 
if the proposal was approved, it could be announced in a day or 
two.

Informed sources told Dawn on Thursday that another proposal, 
contained in the new education policy, envisaged depoliticisation 
of campuses and making them free of violence.
    
Officials in the ministry of education are believed to have debated 
the issue of depoliticising the campuses and were of the view that 
politics was leading to deterioration of higher education 
standards.
    
Another aspect of the new policy aims at declaring services in the 
boards and universities as essential ones, with no scope for union 
activity. A suggestion laid down in the policy also speaks of 
bringing in honest people to seats of higher education in order to 
improve their standards.
    
The informed sources said the cabinet meeting on Friday would also 
discuss the visa policy for the Central Asian states.
    
They said another item on the agenda was the consideration of a 
summary on cars which had been imported under the Yellow Cab Scheme 
but were not disposed of.
    
The cabinet might also discuss the affairs of Pakistan Railways. 
The prime minister had directed the cabinet at its previous 
meetinbg that a complete schedule for the privatisation of Railways 
should be presented at the next cabinet meeting they added.
    
The sources said issues relating to the Water and Power Development 
Authority and details of the assets of various ministries/divisions 
and similar details from provinces might be placed before the 
cabinet and discussed.
    
On the agenda there is a bill, CDA's Special Court Bill,1997, which 
aims at recovering illegal gains, the sources added.

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980101
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Crime rate was higher in 1997
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Tahir Siddiqui

KARACHI, Dec 31: The overall crime graph showed an upward trend 
during 1997 as compared to the preceding year.
    
Murder cases shot up to more than 725 during the year under review 
from 485 during 1996. They included the sensational killing of the 
managing director of the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation with 
his police guard and driver in July, two ulema of the Binori Town 
mosque with two others, and four American employees of the Union 
Texas with their Pakistani driver in November, all in terrorist 
attacks.
    
Besides, other similarities in these three shooting operations, 
such as use of automatic weapons, mainly AK-47 rifles (Kalashnikov) 
and commandeered cars, the course of investigation into the cases 
was almost identical. Several teams comprising police experts and 
headed by their seniors were formed to detect each case, but the 
outcome of their probe is anybody's guess.
    
While the mystery still shrouds the killing of KESC MD Shahid Hamid 
and Binori Town ulema as the police detectives have made no headway 
to the terrorists, several teams of the FBI (Federal Investigation 
Bureau of the United States) have arrived in Pakistan and 
conducting their own investigations. However, no breakthrough has 
so far been reported by them. Even the sketches of the suspects 
have not yet been finalised.
    
The investigators also looked into the possible connection between 
the killing of four Iranian cadets in Rawalpindi and the Americans 
in Karachi. Some newspaper reports suggested that the city police 
had picked up some Iranians linked with the killing of the 
Americans. But the reports were immediately denied by the 
authorities.
    
The Americans had been the core team of the UTP's auditors and had 
also been here before. They were here for the annual audit of the 
company's operations. Two of them had arrived here just a day 
before they were ambushed and killed.

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971229
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Rethinking on privatization
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M.B.Naqvi

LEADER of the Oppo-sition, Benazir Bhutto, has urged rethinking on 
the privatization policy of the government. Deregulation and 
privatization are two fundamental policies that all governments in 
Pakistan have followed during the last 10 years or so. The Benazir 
government was equally committed to it, though in its conduct, it 
was said to be somewhat less enthusiastic on the subject than this 
government.
    
Some would dismiss Ms Bhutto's statement as being overly critical 
of the present government and intended to create more difficulties 
for her arch-rival PM Nawaz Sharif. But the grounds she has adduced 
are such that a rethinking, in any case, would be advisable. It 
will be best to ignore the partisan motives of any side and focus 
on the merits of the proposition.
    
Ms Bhutto has started by pointing out that the new owners of public 
sector units that have been disposed off so far include people who 
have not paid the full price that had been contracted and various 
excuses and alibis are being made; the full and final settlement of 
the cost is anyhow being delayed on one or other pretext.
    
Second, the government has suffered revenue losses in terms of 
taxes. This is a serious matter.
    
Third, the new owners have not run them well. Two particular 
complaints are frequently heard. They have raised prices unduly in 
some cases as monopolies or they have, in other cases, sold of the 
movable property of the undertakings.
    
Fourth, the new managements are no improvement in terms of modern 
management practices; they were expected to be more efficient in 
management. But their being so is frequently and widely questioned. 
Fifth, unemployment has in fact grown through privatization and it 
is anyhow a major social calamity.
    
All in all, privatization has done nothing to improve the 
situation. These grounds certainly constitute a valid case for 
rethinking.
    
Rethinking does not necessarily mean reversing the decision. It can 
certainly mean many other things and a more thorough preparation 
for the sale and drawing up of a more efficient criteria for the 
sales is now an obvious need.
    
There is little doubt that the sales have so far not produced any 
noticeably beneficial effect either on the economy or on government 
finances.
    
The government budget deficit remains as high as has been the case 
during all the preceding three or four years and in fact more years 
despite some reduction in liability to spend on these enterprises.
    
There are constant complaints that the privatization processes are 
not as transparent as they are made out to be.  The identity of 
some of the buyers and their linkages with the members of the 
government of the day are said to be less than transparent.
    
Among the grounds Ms Benazir Bhutto has cited, one is of 
outstanding importance: how have the denationalised undertakings 
functioned in private hands? This is a question that requires 
urgent attention.
    
An intensive inquiry conducted with dispatch will provide very 
useful insight into what has happened, why it has happened and what 
preventive measure need to be taken by the Privatization Commission 
and the government before new sales of public sector undertakings 
is made.
    
Frequent statements are made by various high government 
functionaries that privatization should be completed by such and 
such date. Everything must be sold by that date. And so forth.
    
The Privatization Commission, just three days after making one 
statement that most public sector enterprises are to be sold off 
before the March 31st next, has been advised by its experts to hold 
its hand. Why? because it will take much longer to do that and 
sticking to the date may amount to haphazard and distress sales. 
And distress sales are something that need to be avoided.
    
One idea has been going around that the very idea of selling the 
loss-making undertakings first was defective. No one will pay an 
honest price for an enterprise that has not been making profits. 
And secondly, few buyers will pick up the tab for the liabilities 
of the loss making enterprises being put on the market.
    
The government will have to pay hard cash for those liabilities. 
That would be subsidising the new buyers because they will be 
paying much lower prices while the government will be paying a lot 
of money to pick up the losses that has been made which may reduce 
the net proceeds for god knows what percentage. In some cases, it 
might even wipe out any gain from the sales.
    
As a principle it is far better to sell in a reasonable timeframe 
after taking due precautions so that a reasonable price is 
realised. Any kind of haste is detrimental.
    
Some of the enterprises on sale are so big that very few Pakistani 
entrepreneurs are in a position to buy and run them efficiently.
    
In most cases, sale means selling to foreign buyers. Which is 
handing over the commanding heights of the economy to what in 
practice amounts to major multinationals. That raises its own 
problems and the wisdom of doing that can be questioned.
    
Margaret Thatcher, the British Prime Minister, was inducted in 1979 
into office as prime minister in Britain. She embarked on a policy 
of privatization and deregulation with gusto.
    
It took her to sell British Gas and British Steel, in one case 12 
years, and in the other a similarly long period.
    
She took the obvious route. She did not negotiate or allow direct 
negotiations between the government and individual buyers. She 
simply put the shares of the company on the market to be sold in 
the normal course through the stock exchanges. And the sale 
proceeds brought in a reasonable amount of money. The management 
remained scientific and the government did not suffer revenue 
losses on any notable scale.
    
As a general rule, we too, must put the shares on the domestic 
capital market first and see what prices can we get. 
   
The idea of handing over productive assets to multinationals, which 
in fact is the only available option for today, has already been 
widely questioned. 
   
The results of that kind of privatization can in fact be seen in 
the history of various Latin American republics. Do we want to 
repeat the experience?
    
Insofar as some of the specific public sector enterprises are 
concerned, one refers to Sui Gas, PTCL, PSO and National Refinery 
Limited, the position needs to be examined from the point of view 
of their sale's effect on government revenues as a special case.
    
Something like a billion rupees in profits are accruing to the 
government today from these major enterprises. Which, once the 
privatization has been completed, will simply disappear from the 
budget. That has to be looked into.
    
Ms. Benazir Bhutto is right in expecting that should these 
enterprises go out of government ownership, their privatization and 
then the repatriation of their profits would put further pressure 
on the currency and the government finances will be in even greater 
trouble. 
   
The country might in fact lose on all sides including its ability 
to survive as a viable economic player.
    
There are other organizations like WAPDA, Pakistan Railways, 
Pakistan Steel, PNSC and PIA that may not be big profit earners for 
the government. But they can be.
    
Anyone who has seen an airline operating can say with confidence, 
that PIA can conceivably again become a profitable and a good 
airline if only it is properly restructured, as it once was.
    
Much the same can be said for Pakistan Railways. The present 
government is presided over by Mian Nawaz Sharif who is so clearly 
aware of the benefits of the physical infrastructure, particularly 
of its communication parts.
    
Which is why he has been emphasising motorways, although his 
precise obsession appears to be less than wise by focusing only on 
the north while the lifeline of the economy is north-south 
arteries. Even so, on the general principle he is right.
    
But he would have used his resources of time, energy and money 
better if he had taken up the task of restructuring the Pakistan 
Railways by doubling the track and strengthening it with the help 
of foreign experts so that a 5 to 10 times greater tonnage could be 
transported on them and faster trains could be run between Peshawar 
and Karachi taking in Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan and other areas of 
economic importance in the restructuring.
    
The point of this argument is that it is much better to plan 
restructuring of these enterprises, make them more efficient by the 
government itself right-sizing them and bringing in expert managers 
from outside, making them less dependent upon official subsidies.
    
Indeed they can soon begin providing some money to the treasury for 
a change. There will be time enough to privatize them in an orderly 
manner at a decent economic price.
    
What is needed is emphasis on a good work ethic and proper 
management. If this government cannot do these things, which one 
can? It has begun doing that in the case of banks.
    
Let it accept this as a principle and first restructure enterprises 
before putting them on the market. Distress sales will aggravate 
the government's insolvency; let it do what is unavoidable in an 
orderly and scientific manner.

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971231
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Govt accused of helping Tarar in poll campaign
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Dec 30: Opposition senators on Tuesday raised issue of 
the unfair and unequal treatment being given to the candidates in 
the presidential polls on a point of order with Senator Dr Ismail 
Buledi accusing the ruling party of extending official protocol to 
its own candidate and demanding that all the candidates contesting 
the election for the top slot should be provided equal and fair 
opportunities to fight the polls.
    
Taking a serious objection to the provision of all the facilities 
to the government party's nominee only for election to the top slot 
in the Federation, Senator Buledi said that it was patently unfair, 
undemocratic and immoral to extend such a facility to one 
individual only.
    
He strongly demanded that all the candidates in the run should be 
provided equal and fair opportunity to contest the presidential 
election for the topmost office in the Federation by letting them 
address the joint session of parliament. This way, he said, the 
members of the electoral college would be in a better position to 
exercise their judgment by comparing the good and bad points of the 
individuals contesting the election.


=================================================================== 
 BUSINESS & ECONOMY
980102
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Forex reserves fall by $206m
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Jan 1: Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves declined by 
$206 million to around $1.163 billion on December 27 from $1.369 
billion on December 20.
    
The latest State Bank report shows that the approved foreign 
exchange reserves reported by its Issue Department totalled 
$287.572 million and the balances held abroad stood at $875.314 
million as on December 27. 
   
On December 20, the figures stood at $525.33 million and $843.42 
million respectively.
    
Senior bankers attribute the fall in the total forex reserves 
mainly to debt servicing the official figures for which is not 
available. 
   
But bankers say it should be somewhere between $150-$200 million. 
   
They also link it to outflow of foreign currency swap funds in the 
wake of declining yield on the rupee equivalent of the foreign 
currency funds mobilized in Pakistan.
    
On December 13, the reserves had plunged by $110 million to $1.184 
billion bringing the total fall to $437 million within a month. On 
November 15, the reserves stood at a cozy $1.621 billion.
    
Senior bankers say the outflow of foreign currency swap funds has 
rather stopped after the State Bank raised the yield on short term 
federal bonds thereby allowing inter-bank call and term rates to go 
up. 
   
They say this may have its impact on the forex reserves sometimes 
early January.
    
Bankers say the draw down on the reserves in the wake of debt 
servicing plus the inability of the banks to mobilize fresh foreign 
currency funds brought the forex reserves down adding had the banks 
been able to raise foreign currency funds or had the exports grown 
significantly the decline in the reserves should have been 
relatively low. 
   
Mobilization of foreign currency funds has become very difficult 
for the banks after the East Asian financial crisis that 
accelerated the race for foreign funds mobilization at the one hand 
and made the world businesses shy of placing funds in Asia on the 
other.

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980103
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PTCL restructured, top management reshuffled
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Jan 2 : Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited has 
been restructured and its top management reshuffled to further 
streamline the affairs of the Company.
    
Accordingly, the posts of the Member (Technical) and Director 
General (Plans) have been merged and redesignated as Member 
(Technical, Project Planning and Development).
    
Mr. Akhtar Ahmad Bajwa, Director General International 
Communications has been appointed as Member (Technical, Project 
Planning and Development) with effect from January 15, 1998. Syed 
Anisul Hasnain Naqvi, Member (Technical) PTCL has been appointed as 
Managing Director, Telecom Foundation by relieving Mr. Khalid Butt 
who is due to retire on 15th January 1998.
    
The posts of Director General (Information Technology) and Director 
General (Technology Transfer & Research) have also been merged  and 
redesignated as Director General (Information Technology, Training 
and Research) and Mr. A.W.Awan has been appointed as D.G. (ITTR) 
with immediate effect. Mr. Izhar Hussain, Director General (Plans) 
has been transferred and posted as Director General International 
Communications.
    
Two more posts of Director Generals have been created as a result 
of restructuring which will be utilized for special assignments and 
strategic planning. 
   
These have been designated as Director General (Task Force) and 
Director General (Strategic Business Planning, Operational Research 
and Corporate Affairs).
    
Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad Bhatti has been given the assignment of D.G. Task 
Force while a suitable officer will be assigned the duties of the 
post of D.G. Strategic Business, Operational Research and Corporate 
Affairs.
   
Meanwhile, the second annual general meeting of the Pakistan 
Telecommunication Company Limited held on Dec 23, 1997, in the 
auditorium of the National Library, Islamabad, was chaired by 
Naseem S.Mirza, Chairman PTCL.
    
According to the press release, the house discussed at length the 
financial statements of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited 
for the period ended 30th June, 1997 read with the notes as well as 
the Auditors' and Directors' Reports on the accounts. 
   
The shareholders actively participated in the meeting and showed 
great interest in improving the profitability of the company. 
   
The members made useful suggestions and proposed measures to 
further improve the total revenue of the company.
    
Responding to the queries of the shareholders, the management 
reiterated that it was implementing measures to increase and ensure 
realisation of receivable.
    
Besides, discussion on the Accounts, the Annual General Meeting 
also unanimously passed four resolutions in accordance with the 
Companies Ordinance, 1984. 
   
These resolutions related to approving the minutes of the first 
annual general meeting, adoption of the accounts of PTCL for the 
year ended 30th June 1997, approval of dividend in addition to 7.5 
% interim dividend as recommended by the Board of Directors and 
appointment of M/s A.F.Ferguson & Company as external Auditors for 
the year ending 30th June 1998 and fixation of their remuneration.

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980103
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PC may get more powers to expedite privatization
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Jan 2: The government may soon re-constitute the 
Privatization Commission Board to offer it more powers by 
eliminating or substantially minimizing the role of the Cabinet 
Committee on Privatization (CCOP).
    
Informed sources told Dawn here on Friday that the Privatization 
Commission has proposed to the government to enhance the role of 
the Commission with a view to accelerate the process of 
disinvestment in the country.
    
The Commission has expressed its inability to privatize all the 
National Commercial Banks (NCBs) and the Development Financial 
Institution (DFIs) by March 30 next and all other state-owned 
corporations and enterprises by June 30 as has been earlier 
planned.
    
Sources said that the Chairman Privatization Commission Kh. 
Muhammad Asif has informed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that it will 
take two to three years to complete the whole privatization process 
if certain rules were not amended and the Commission offered more 
powers.
    
The issue has been discussed by the officials of the ministry of 
finance in the light of the recommendations of the PC. Sources said 
that the next cabinet meeting may discuss and finalize the issue, 
offering more powers to the Commission for sticking to 
privatization schedule.
    
The government has been projecting to earn one billion dollars by 
selling all the NCBs and the DFIs along with couple of other state 
enterprises by March this year. However, certain impediments 
including non-cooperative attitude of some of the ministries have 
made the job of the Commission difficult to disinvest banks and 
public sector entities by March and June this year respectively.
    
Kh. Asif, sources said, has complained to the prime minister that 
he was not being offered the required cooperation by some of the 
economic ministries to enable him to deliver.
    
Sources said that it was in that backdrop the prime minister asked 
Kh. Asif to furnish him details as to what should be done to foster 
the process of disinvestment. And Asif has sent a detailed summary 
to concerned officials for Prime Ministerseeking more powers for 
the Commission by eliminating the role of the CCOP.
    
Sources said if the recommendations of the Commission were approved 
by the prime minister then every thing will have to be re-organize 
afresh to get the desired results.
    
Sources said that the Privatization Commission has called for 
amending rules to establish special courts to decide early pending 
cases. At present there are about 250 cases in litigation which 
needed to be settled between the Commission and different previous 
buyers of the state-owned enterprises.
    
The Commission has proposed that special courts be set up as have 
been established in various countries to deal with the 
privatization cases with a view to accelerate the process.
    
"There is a lacuna in the law that directly or indirectly supports 
the buyer which needed to be removed to help the Commission for 
delivering any thing", said an official.
    
Sources said that there are still about 100 public sector units to 
be privatized. So far about 40 units have been sold and Rs 57 
billion earned.
    
According to the projections made by the PML government, it could 
get 15 billion dollars by selling every thing that lies in the 
public sector. 

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971228
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Rumours lead to dollar buying spree 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, Dec 27: Fresh rumours of a further devaluation of the 
rupee has caused a mad rush for the US dollar in Islamabad.
    
On Saturday afternoon the frenzy caused a total drain on the 
currency exchange encounters and buyers had to look for non-counter 
suppliers of the dollar. They cashed in on the spree by selling the 
greenback at unusually high rates.
    
Dawn learned from both buyers and money-changers that people 
started looking for the dollar after a couple of news items 
appeared in the local Press that the government was considering a 
further devaluation before the end of the year.
    
Though the relevant quarters issued a denial, "nobody believes in 
these clarifications and the chase is on," said a money-changer in 
Blue Area.
    
Another said the selling rate of dollar was on the rise due to the 
depletion of cash registers. "They are buying it up in the hope of 
a better bargain, and the spree is for the bigger chunks, to grab 
higher rates of profit in case the rupee does not shed more than a 
paisa or two in a week's time, or devaluation does not take place", 
said a Commerce Ministry official monitoring the trend.
    
He said though the Ministry of Finance had not let any indicator of 
the devaluation out, buyers were not in a mood to leave any 
greenback with money-changers, hoping that from Monday onward there 
was going to be a rise in the rate of dollar and buyers would be 
grabbing huge profits.
    
Agencies add:
    
The sudden high demand for pound sterling made British currency 
stronger against the rupee in the kerb market during the week as 
authorities continued to focus on the dollar, dealers said on 
Saturday.
    
The sterling made a large gain of 85 paisas or 1.112 per cent 
against the rupee in the kerb market and closed at 77.35.
    
The spread between the official exchange rate for pound sterling 
and kerb market has now widened to Rs 3.56. The State Bank's 
official exchange rate is quoted at 73.69-74.53. A dealer said 
people concentrated on the movement of the dollar as the sterling 
slipped out of control.
    
The demand for dollar also continued to rise, making the rupee 
weaker in the kerb market despite the denial of State Bank 
regarding rumours of devaluation.
    
A leading money-changer, Munaf Kalia, said the dollar remained 
strong against the rupee as the demand for it continued to rise 
during the week, except on Friday.
    
The dollar gained 25 paisas during the week, rising from Rs 46 at 
the beginning of the week to close at 46.25.
    
The rupee was quoted at 46.20 to a dollar on Saturday.
    
"People are still anticipating devaluation of Pakistani currency as 
they continued to hold greenback in their accounts, despite SBP's 
denial", Kalia said.
    
He pointed out that the demand for dollars was high against its 
limited supply in the market and said it would continue to rise 
next week.
    
Another dealer said the SBP's denial had worked for a short while 
and it boosted the supply of dollar in the market due to heavy 
selling.
    
"But soon after, people realized that it was temporary and rupee 
will depreciate against the greenback".
    
He said large holders of the dollar were not releasing greenbacks 
in anticipation of a windfall.

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971229
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Turnaround in economy yet a far cry
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ihtasham ul Haque

THE MUCH TRUMPETED 'turnaround' in the economy to be achieved in 
the third quarter of the current financial year seems to have 
become a far cry, especially after the official sources started 
conceding that they are in for big trouble.
    
There is no progress on account of achieving targets in revenue 
collection, boosting exports, reviving industrial production and 
restricting double digit inflation.
    
Above all, the performance of the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) is 
said to have been most disturbing, over which the high- ups have 
been banking probably too much.
    
That eventually brought Mr Moeenuddin, a professional banker, to 
restructure and streamline the CBR with a view to achieving the Rs 
324 billion revenue collection target of 1997-98.
    
He has reportedly accepted the appointment on the condition that he 
would be given a free hand and that there would not be any 
interference from any quarter.
    
The CBR's inability to live up to the expectations, specially 
during the second quarter of the current fiscal year has forced the 
government to look for some 'real solution,' specially when the IMF 
is not ready to relax over the issue and might withhold the second 
tranche of $208 million, out of $1.6 billion ESAF/EFF.
    
The performance of the CBR has come under scathing criticism when 
it reportedly managed to collect only Rs 13 billion till December 
22 against the target of Rs 42 billion set for the month.
    
There have been meetings after meetings in the prime minister's 
secretariat during the last few days which discussed only a one-
point agenda  how to correct the distortion in the economy  with 
special reference to increasing revenue collection.
    
Planners are said to be highly worried on account of the revenue 
slippages which could not be tackled despite a lot of efforts.
    
Officials when contacted, said that so far there has been a 
shortfall of about Rs 15 billion during the five months of the 
current year and overall, it is said, the shortfall is likely to be 
in the region of Rs 25-30 billion by the end of 1997-98.
    
A special committee, headed by Deputy Chairman of the Planning 
Commission Dr Hafeez Pasha, for restructuring the CBR, has 
finalised its report. It calls for elimination of corruption and 
influence by the political people in the working of the CBR. It 
also proposed reward and punishment for its employees.
    
Export is another issue where no success could be achieved despite 
devaluing the rupee by 8.7 per cent. Officials do admit that the 
devaluation has only a marginal effect on exports. But they did not 
rule out the possibility of another devaluation. It is said the 
World Bank and the IMF have also given that advice.
    
The trade gap is still a $1 billion and that too due to decrease in 
imports.
    
The industrial revival, which could not be achieved despite seven 
packages, has also been a matter of concern and for the first time 
Minister for Finance Sartaj Aziz accepted that the desired results 
had not been achieved to boost the economy.
    
The other day, in the National Defence College, Islamabad, he had 
to face embarrassing questions over the government's claims of 
putting the economy back on track.
    
Inflation continues to be in double digits and nobody is ready to 
accept the claim of Mr Sartaj Aziz that it has declined to one 
digit. There is no improvement in the Sensitive Price Index (SPI) 
and Consumer Price Index (CPI).
    
The CPI has particularly surprised everybody and the example of 
eggs being sold at Rs 40 per dozen is often quoted. Likewise, the 
prices of almost all essential items are on the increase, which 
speaks volumes about the government's failure check prices.
    
Now that things are turning serious on all fronts, the Nawaz 
administration is said to be under pressure to once again consider 
increases in user charges in order to reduce the huge operational 
losses of organisations like WAPDA, KESC, PTCL and the two gas 
companies.
    
Moreover, the World Bank and the IMF have also proposed to the 
government to raise power, gas and telephone charges so that these 
major public sector corporations could be saved from total 
collapse.
    
The government has so far been avoiding increases in utility 
charges but, "now perhaps it is becoming increasingly inevitable to 
not to enhance these charges.
    
Officials said that WAPDA needs at least Rs 30 billion to carry out 
its development projects and reduce distribution and other losses.
    
The World Bank has assured grant of a big loan for restructuring 
WAPDA, but it has made it conditional on increases in power 
charges. WAPDA authorities have been pleading with the prime 
minister to allow them to increase power rates.
    
Mr Nawaz Sharif has been saying no to any upward revision, but 
sources said that this time he was convinced that to save WAPDA 
from total collapse, rates would have to be raised. 
    
Same is the case with KESC. Sources further said that in case power 
charges were are not increased, the IMF might with hold the second 
tranche of $208 million.
    
Similarly, Sui Southern and Sui Northern gas companies have asked 
the government to allow them to raise gas prices.
    
In this case too, the donors have asked the government to increase 
prices not only to reduce the losses of the companies but also 
improve their financial condition. 
   
Sources said the issue of increasing telephone rates could not be 
ruled out.
   
The rates may be revised upward from the next financial year, if 
not immediately.
    
Sources said that the financial problems of the public sector 
corporations have increased to threatening proportions. No efforts 
is said to have been made to reduce the growing losses of WAPDA as 
well as KESC.
    
The donors have reportedly proposed across-the-board corrective 
measures without offering any fiscal incentives to any segment of 
the society.
   
They have told the government that all kinds of subsidies and 
supplementary grants must be stopped to improve the declining 
economy.
    
Insiders said that the outcome of some of the important meetings 
chaired by the prime minister is that unless belts are tightened, 
expenditure would continue to increase and no improvement would 
occur.
    
Warnings have been issued by donors and powerful quarters in 
Rawalpindi. Word has it that they have established a full-fledged 
department to study economic matters and propose measures for 
improvement.

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971230
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Increased output vital to raise exports
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 29: Acting president Wasim Sajjad has stressed upon 
the business community to increase production as it holds key to 
most ills that plague the country's economy.
    
Speaking as a chief guest at 21st FPCCI Export Trophy Award 
Ceremony held Monday, he said the country could get rid of ills 
like inflation, low-levels of incomes and savings, slow capital 
formation, unemployment and a creeping recession only 'if we manage 
to improve production levels.'
    
He advised the large gathering of businessmen and industrialists to 
enhance production up to a level where a sizable surplus would be 
available for exports. Only then efforts to increase exports can 
bear fruit, he said.
    
Wasim Sajjad who later gave 76 trophies to leading businessmen for 
export performance during 1996-97, said that instead of relying 
entirely on the government to take steps to boost exports, the 
FPCCI should contribute by recommending ways to help boost exports.
    
He suggested that second best performers on exports should be 
recognized if not awarded and FPCCI should include their names in 
the list so that the effort to excel was registered.
    
The acting president said that since the end of the Cold War, 
countries all over the world are engaged in economic wars which are 
primarily for capturing markets. He said the so-called 
globalization of economy is a clear manifestation of this war.
    
'I feel that most of developing countries, both the governments and 
the business community, did not take seriously the GATT 
negotiations, specially the Uruguay Round which culminated in the 
World Trade Agreement (WTO),' Wasim Sajjad said and added that as a 
result, the developing countries now find themselves in a very 
difficult situation vis a vis the developed countries.
    
Still all is not lost and suggested that the developing countries, 
through right emphasis on science and technology and human resource 
development can tide over the crisis.
    
He advised the developing countries to form community-wise economic 
groups to protect rights and suggested that the developing 
countries which are producers-exporters of cotton may get together 
and protect their rights instead of indulging in cut-throat 
competition among themselves.
    
Wasim Sajjad asked recipients of the 1996-97 export trophies to 
give him their firm commitment that they would be certifying their 
business and industrial establishment by ISO-9000 standardization 
within one year.
    
However, he strongly felt that Pakistan should establish its own 
quality certification agencies instead of relying on foreign 
certification agencies.
    
Earlier in address of welcome President FPCCI, Senator Ilyas Ahmed 
Bilour urged the government to give legal cover to the economic, 
industrial and investment policies for at least 10 years as this 
will help to bring consistency and build confidence among 
investors.
    
Senator Bilour pointed out that without satisfying the investors 
already operating in the country the government would fail to 
attract any new foreign investment and for this government should 
do away with redtapism in the administrative set-up which creates 
lot of hurdles and much of frustration for investors.

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971231
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Rs6 billion less tax revenue collected
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, Dec 30: The revenue collection made in the first six 
months of the current financial year is Rs 6 billion less than what 
was collected during the same period last year.
    
Last year, the CBR collected Rs 137 billion during July-December 
period, while this year, as the CBR officials say, they are 
expecting Rs 131 billion by December 31, which is just 24 hours 
away.
    
Against the six month target of Rs 162 billion set for this year, 
the Central Board of Revenue is facing a shortfall of Rs 35 
billion. The actual money in deposits is not more than Rs 127 
billion. The CBR senior officials are scheduled to hold a meeting 
on January 1, 1998, with the prime minister, to explain the 
shortfall, said sources.
    
The current financial year's total tax collection target is Rs 324 
billion, but the CBR top officials are interpreting six month 
performance in a different way, making it look like a shortfall of 
only about Rs 10 billion.
    
They explained to Dawn on condition of anonymity on Tuesday that 
the total target for the first half of the fiscal year was set at 
Rs 141 billion, and the total collection estimated by December 31 
is Rs 131 billion. "We were asked to collect Rs 61 billion in the 
first quarter and Rs 80 billion in the second quarter", said a 
senior CBR official. "We will be collecting less than half of the 
remaining (324-131) Rs 193 billion in the third quarter and the 
rest of the amount in the last quarter", he said.

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EDITORIALS & FEATURES
971228
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Fascism on the march - IV 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ardeshir Cowasjee

SHOULD their mindset allow them one, all those who are still able 
to believe that the system we have is a democracy that suits the 
genius of and is capable of governing the 140 million people of 
Pakistan should have second thoughts.
    
Reproduced are extracts from a series of columns entitled 'Ehtesab 
or intekhab', printed in this space in this newspaper during the 
Leghari caretaker period:
    
Dec 12, 1996  "Never have we been nearer the edge of the 
precipice. The people must be taken into confidence and their will 
must prevail. A direct reference must be made and this caretaker 
government must ascertain what it is the masses want. The 
Constitution adequately provides in Article 48(6): "If, at any 
time, the President, in his discretion, or on the advice of the 
Prime Minister, considers that it is desirable that any matter of 
national importance should be referred to a referendum, the 
President may cause the matter to be referred to a referendum in 
the form of a question that is capable of being answered by 'yes' 
or 'no'."
    
Dec 29, 1996  "The constitutionalists who support Nawaz maintain 
that elections must be held within 90 days. They ignore Article 
254: 'When any act or thing is required by the Constitution to be 
done within a particular period and it is not done within that 
period, the doing of the act or thing shall not be invalid or 
otherwise ineffective by reason only that it was not done within 
that period.' They overlook Article 48(6).
    
"Why is the President afraid of holding a referendum? He must know 
that the overwhelming majority of the people will insist that the 
holding of the accountability process must be completed, and that 
the guilty politicians should be disqualified, or convicted, before 
any elections are held? But does he know that the majority of the 
people find many of the present caretakers unacceptable? He could 
easily replace them and appoint men in whom the people have 
confidence."
    
Jan 20, 1997  "The people say, let there be a time-limited delay 
in the holding of elections. Article 58(2)(b) provides for an 
appeal to the electorate. Article 48(6) permits the President "in 
his discretion or on the advice of the Prime Minister" (the advice 
being binding) to hold a referendum. Can the President not ask the 
people if they wish for a time-limited delay in the holding of 
elections (say, a period of 15 months) which would give him and his 
team (a changed team, he should get rid of the known rotters) time 
to strengthen the accountability laws and complete the process? 
>From the highest to the lowest in the land, the feeling is that 
these elections are being held far too soon. Chief Justice of 
Pakistan Sajjad Ali Shah is all for accountability and has stated 
that the 90 days period is 'too inadequate for completing the 
accountability process' (Dawn Jan 13).
    
"If, as it seems clear they will, the people vote for a time- 
limited delay, the Nawazians, the anxious hopeful beneficiaries, 
may go to court in protest. Let the CJ and his brethren then give 
their verdict."
    
All too late now, Leghari dithered, wavered, and made up his mind 
that Nawaz Sharif was to be installed in the prime ministerial 
mansion and given another round. Incapable of exercising moral 
authority, he let greed get the better of him. And what was his 
fate? In less than a year, having allowed himself to be rendered 
weak and vulnerable by the very creature he had installed, and 
fearing the remote possibility of impeachment, he fled the scene on 
December 2.
    
Nawaz Sharif was sworn in as prime minister on February 17. Rather 
than concentrating on doing good by the people, for which all that 
is needed are moral qualities and endowments, moral habits and 
conduct, and the ability to know the difference between right and 
wrong, he concentrated on grabbing more power than was due to him 
by the Constitution.
    
So, in less than two months at midnight on April 2, all rules and 
procedures of the parliament were suspended and in the middle of 
the night, the 13th Amendment Bill was rushed through both Houses, 
signed by the president the next day, and notified on April 4. By 
this Amendment, the president was disempowered, and the prime 
minister further empowered. The president cannot dissolve the 
National Assembly, he cannot appoint governors at his discretion 
but on the advice of the prime minister, the provincial governors 
cannot dissolve their assemblies, the president, though he remains 
supreme commander of the Armed forces, no longer has the power to 
appoint or sack the service chiefs.
    
The question the president did not ask before signing this bill: 
Why is this Amendment necessary? Why were the rules of procedure 
suspended? Why was no debate allowed in the House?
    
Rules dictate that a constitutional amendment is an extraordinary 
measure involving a great deal of deliberation on the part of the 
ruling party, consultation with the opposition, and an objective 
study of public opinion on the subject.
    
Thereafter, according to the rules of procedure governing 
parliamentary proceedings under the 1973 Constitution, a bill 
(other than a finance bill) upon its introduction in the House 
stands referred to the relevant standing committee, unless the 
requirements of Rules 91 and 92 are dispensed with by the House on 
a motion by the member-in-charge. The standing committee is 
required to present its report within 30 days and, on receipt of 
this report, copies of the bill as introduced, together with any 
modifications recommended by the standing committee, must be 
supplied to each member within seven days. Two clear days then must 
elapse before the bill can be sent down for a motion under Rule 93.
    
Less than three months after this transgression, on June 30, in the 
Senate, the rules of procedure were again suspended, The 14th 
Amendment Bill went through like a shot, passed in less than a day, 
without one single protest or dissent being recorded.
    
On July 1, the bill was presented to the National Assembly, again 
rules of procedure were suspended, and the bill was passed 
immediately, again without one single protest or dissent. It went 
up to the president, on July 3 he put his signature to the bill, 
and on July 4 the Fourteenth Amendment Act of 1997 came into force.
    
This Amendment admittedly has the aim of putting an end to 
lucrative defections. But 'lotaism' only existed because all our 
political parties were in the business of buying and selling 
bodies. However, that was not deemed to be sufficient. The prime 
minister had to be further empowered, and so he was. A member of a 
parliamentary party will also be deemed to have defected if he 
breaches any declared or undeclared party discipline, code of 
conduct or policies, or if he votes contrary to any direction 
issued by his parliamentary party, or if he abstains from voting as 
instructed by his party on any bill. The prosecutor, defence 
counsel, judge and jury who will decide the member's fate is the 
head of the party, whose decision is not justifiable in any court 
of law.
    
The 14th amendment rendered the herd of legislators voiceless and 
the bell-wethers all supreme. Again, the president did not question 
the necessity for the stifling of all dissent.
    
The 15th Amendment Bill, disempowering the Chief Justice of 
Pakistan, has already been drafted. It was to be rushed through the 
two Houses in November, but for some strange reason Nawaz Sharif 
and his men stayed their hand. There is no reason for them to stay 
it any longer, and any day now rules and procedures will be thrown 
to the winds and the hasty midnight process will be repeated.
    
Now, to face reality. Nawaz Sharif had, within six months, managed 
to remove most of the stumbling blocks in his way. He had so far 
not touched the judiciary. He soon realized that the superior 
judiciary, headed by an honest man, was capable of moving against 
him. He made up his mind that Sajjad Ali Shah would have to go. 
Having reached this conclusion, he then sought the means.
    
If fascistic practice prevails, ladies and gentlemen of the press, 
we are next on the chopping block.

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980103
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The big meltdown
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Irfan Husain

NOW that I am writing under my own name instead of flying the 
Mazdak banner, I find that people often ask for my opinion about 
where the country is going.
    
I repress the urge to reply "to the dogs", and come up with a more 
measured but less succinct formulation meaning the same thing. 
Normally an optimistic person, the events of the past year  much 
written about and discussed  fill me with despair. If a prime 
minister cannot lead us out of our predicament despite having 
everything going his way, what hope is there?
    
A small incident that took place recently says it all for the state 
of the nation: Nayyara Noor, the well-known singer, was performing 
at a five-star hotel one evening last week when some of our wild 
and woolly tribal cousins from Balochistan walked in and requested 
a particular ghazal. She was already singing some earlier requests, 
and could not please the newcomers immediately, so they pulled out 
automatic weapons and began firing in the air. Within moments, the 
terrified audience fled, and the performance was over. Needless to 
say, no arrests have been made.
    
And to further spoil your day, here is another bit of gratuitous 
viciousness: I was told at a party that the son of a well-connected 
Pakistani back home to work on an important government assignment 
is a student at Boston University and is currently visiting Lahore 
on vacation.
   
The other evening, some gunmen walked in and shot him in the legs. 
Apparently, the young man had quarrelled with another student in 
Boston, and the latter had hired some local thugs to settle scores. 
  
He knew that if he were to do such a thing in America, he would 
probably not get away with it, whereas here, there is no risk of 
detection or retribution. Meanwhile, it is not yet certain if the 
young victim will ever regain the full use of his legs.
    
What we are witnessing today is nothing less than an institutional 
meltdown of Rwandan proportions. Quite apart from organized 
assaults on institutions like the Supreme Court of the kind we have 
witnessed recently, there is a systematic undermining of the rule 
of law by those sworn to uphold it. 
   
This attitude and approach percolates downwards until the law loses 
its awe and majesty to the point where anybody and everybody thinks 
he can literally get away with murder. And as events continue to 
remind us, they are not wrong in this assessment: witness, for 
example, the impunity and ease with which five terrorists accused 
of brutal sectarian slaying were sprung from a Dera Ghazi Khan jail 
recently.
    
Detractors of democracy  a rapidly multiplying breed, alas  point 
to this breakdown in law and order to support their demand for a 
return to authoritarianism. They forget that it is the lengthy and 
repeated dictatorial episodes in our past that are partly to blame 
for the present state of affairs. That said, we cannot continue 
flogging a dead horse for ever: elected governments have been in 
power since 1985, with a few brief caretaker interregnums, and 
things have got worse, not better. Our political class has shown a 
tendency towards mass suicide previously noted only among lemmings. 
Time and again, they have shaken and battered the system until it 
is tilting at an angle that makes the Leaning Tower of Pisa look 
perpendicular.
    
And yet these are the very people who should have a strong vested 
interest in the system in keeping democracy healthy. Why then are 
they so hell-bent on pulling down the system? In a recent article 
in Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria has discussed the peculiar case of the 
"failed democracies." The eighties witnessed a sudden flowering of 
democracy around the world.
   
One dictator after another was toppled by victorious popular 
movements. From the Philippines to Pakistan; from Nicaragua to 
Nepal, the ballot seemed to have overtaken the bullet as the agent 
of political change.
    
But before you could say "Of the people, by the people, for the 
people" things started going horribly wrong in most of these new 
democracies. Corruption tarnished the glittering image of leaders 
like Benazir Bhutto almost before they had taken the oath of 
office. However, it must be remembered that under martial law, the 
press was not free to blow the whistle on uniformed crooks.
   
Once freed of restraints, it bayed for blood. No rumour was too 
outlandish, no figure too exalted for the pack. For instance, 
during the outcry over the mad-cow disease in England, people were 
seriously accusing Asif Zardari of importing contaminated beef at 
throwaway prices so that he could make a killing here.
    
But media excesses apart, there was a solid bedrock of truth 
underlying many of these stories. In addition to this blatant 
corruption, the inefficiency and nepotism that thrive under Third 
World democrats have further sapped the system of its credibility. 
The received wisdom is that capitalism goes hand in hand with 
liberal democracy, and that with the ejection of authoritarian 
rulers in many countries around the world, state capitalism and the 
command economy would be replaced by economic reform and 
liberalization that would usher in an era of peace and plenty.
    
So much for theory; now welcome to the real world. What has 
happened is that instead of this rosy-hued scenario, we have a 
situation where many economies in emerging democracies are heading 
rapidly towards collapse. And the new political systems, despite 
boasting all the trappings of democracy, are just not delivering. 
To put it bluntly, things are falling apart.
    
The blame for this state of affairs lies mostly with the 
politicians who have emerged from the rubble of dictatorships. 
Immature, incompetent and greedy, they have grasped power as a tool 
to enrich themselves, and not as a means to create a better world 
for their citizens. Devoid of ideals and vision, they are like a 
school of sharks let loose in a pool full of salmon.
    
Apart from their insatiable greed, most of them are not very 
capable managers. And since they are in the game largely to make 
money, they don't really care how bad things are as long as their 
bank accounts keep getting bigger. At best, they have a few pet 
projects that they devote some attention to, and as long as they 
are completed, our leaders couldn't give a damn about what their 
people are going through.
   
Benazir Bhutto had her Awami Markaz scheme, and Nawaz Sharif has 
his Motorway to keep him happy.
    
Basically, our politicians regard democracy as a system that gets 
them into power, nothing more. For them, democracy is an end in 
itself, and not a means to an end. Lacking compassion for their 
people, they just want to milk the system for their own benefits. 
And as we approach the next millennium, all indications are that 
things will get worse, not better.

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971229
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A horrible year
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Omar Kureishi

1997 is dying. Let it die unmourned. It was a horrible year and its 
only redeeming feature was that it could have been worse. We were 
able to pull back from the brink but not before certain ugly 
precedents were set, none uglier than the storming of the Supreme 
Court by a mob whom no one seems to own.
    
They just happened to appear urged on by spontaneity we were told. 
The President resigned and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 
was reduced in rank in a belated realization that his original 
appointment in 1994 was illegal. These were tumultuous happenings, 
yet strangely or perhaps, not strangely, they had no bearing on the 
lives of the vast majority of the people. Proof that what happens 
in Islamabad, in the dark corridors of power and in its backrooms 
concerns only a coterie, the elite of a limited choice, the deck of 
cards which can be shuffled and new combinations can be arrived at 
but within the limitations of the 52 cards that make up the deck. 
It is this point that needs to be highlighted, not the substance of 
democracy which remains a vision but its form, empty rhetoric and 
soapbox verbalism.
    
The economy continued to remain under siege and there were no real 
signs that it would be put on track. But as is true of the Third 
World all development would be unbalanced and all the solutions and 
remedies would lead to deeper poverty and deprivation. Development 
in the Third World has not meant that the gap between the rich and 
the poor has narrowed but it has actually widened.
    
The benefits of development are not intended to filter down. The 
poor have been kept down, their numbers increasing, not only 
because of an unchecked population growth but the near- elimination 
of the Middle Class through a cost of living that has made 
impossible for them to make two ends meet, tottering on the edge of 
the poverty-line.
    
The policies of successive governments have not been liberating nor 
protective of its citizens. They have been, instead, constricting 
and exploitative and have simply failed to be operative in any 
social sense. This has been powerfully stated by the hero of the 
Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe's Anthills of the Savannah. The 
prime reason the hero Ikem reflects "can't be the massive 
corruption though its scale and pervasiveness are truly 
intolerable; it isn't the subservience to foreign manipulation, 
degrading as it is; it isn't even this second-class, hand-me-down 
capitalism, ludicrous and doomed. All such miseries of malice and 
incompetence or greed could be blamed for the primal failure of 
government. But they were not the cause; they were the effects. The 
cause was to be found elsewhere. It lay in the failure of our 
rulers to reestablish vital inner links with the poor and 
dispossessed. It was the failure of postcolonial communities to 
find and insist upon means of living together by strategies less 
primitive and destructive than rival kinship networks, whether of 
'ethnic' clientelism or its camouflage in no less clientelist 
multiparty systems."
    
The key is the establishment of vital inner links with the poor and 
the dispossessed. This means participatory democracy and not a 
paternalistic state. The agenda of economic development has to be 
turned upside down. What is the last item on the agenda, social 
development has to be put on top of the list. There can be no 
meaningful democracy unless there is social justice and there can 
be no social justice unless visible efforts are made to improve the 
quality of life of the overwhelming majority of the people.
    
Democracy itself is much more than just a political system and a 
numbers game. It is a state of mind and a way of life. It rests on 
the foundation of consensus, of decisions arrived at openly. It is 
a fact that governments tend to be out of touch with the sentiments 
and wishes, to say nothing, of the needs of the people. This is 
because they have insulted themselves through an elaborate and 
complex protocol that includes pomp and ceremony and it is only 
after they have left their august offices or have been removed from 
them that they catch up with reality once again.
    
As a case in point, Farooq Leghari will now discover that the view 
from the Hill in Islamabad is different from the view he will now 
be getting from Choti or wherever he chooses to live. Democracy 
means nothing if the leaders do have their feet on the ground.
    
Democracy has yet to take root. It is a freshly planted sapling. It 
needs to be nurtured. It needs water and sunlight. It also needs 
protection, tree-guards otherwise it will wither away or be 
trampled upon, destroyed by disuse or misuse.
    
1997 will be remembered but for the wrong reasons. What will 1998 
hold for us? More of the same? Or will we have understood the most 
basic of truths that those who do not learn from history are 
condemned to repeat it. So far the indications are that we believe 
that history can be erased and we can operate with an authorised 
version made up to suit particular needs and ambitions. A wise man 
learns not only from his own experience but from the experience of 
others.

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971231
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Urdu on the Internet A reality or wishful thinking?
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Omar R. Quraishi

KARACHI, Dec 30: An interesting lecture on the introduction and 
uses of Urdu as a communication and entertainment tool on the 
Internet and the World Wide Web was held on Monday. The lecture at 
the IBA's city campus called "The Alif, Bay, Pay of the Internet," 
by MIT graduate and founder of his own software company in 
California's Silicon Valley, Umair Azim Khan, was attended by 
hundreds of people although the number of women present could be 
counted on both hands.
    
Mr Khan, who works with Intel (whose chief Michael Grove has been 
named Time Magazine's "Man of the Year" for 1997) and has his own 
company Urdu Web Inc., told the audience that his company had 
developed a site called Urduweb (address: http://www.urduweb. com) 
from where users could download for free an Urdu font and an Urdu 
word processor (based phonetically). He said the font download 
takes between 10 to 15 seconds while the word processor will take 
much longer time to download.
    
Mr Khan used several slides and accessed the Urduweb site in front 
of the audience and took them on a guided tour. He said the main 
aim of the website was to allow all those who wanted to use Urdu on 
the Internet to do so. He showed a downloaded version of the word 
processor and proceeded to write a few basic sentences in Urdu. The 
downloaded word processor, he showed, was very easy to use and came 
with instructions on how to access Urdu dictionary websites. It 
could eventually allow Urdu newspapers to have their own websites 
in Urdu, he said, and would do away with the transliteration 
process.
    
Once the font and wordprocessor are downloaded, users can make 
their own webpage in Urdu, send e-mails in Urdu and interact with 
websites which use Urdu. Mr Khan mentioned a bi-lingual literary 
effort of his, which encourages readers and users to contribute 
creative writing and to interact with the material already on the 
website (address: www. chowk. com)
    
Mr Khan said that innovations in computer and information 
technology were the key to progress in the next century. Pakistan 
had started its Internet journey, he said, but it had a lot of 
potential to spread to wider sections of society.
    
Mr Khan's lecture, given somewhat ironically in English, owed by 
brief remarks from two US-based software developers, Vajih Khan of 
WaveNet and Wasif Kazmi of NetPace, and a discussion session with 
audience members asking questions.

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980103
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Dual citizenship: a potent tool for Pakistan
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohammad Saifullah Shakir

Citizenship is a matter of jus publicum  constitutional and 
decisional law. Whether it is a right or a privilege is relative 
and, of course, subject to each nation's interpretation of its own 
laws and self interest. In the case of several western democracies 
it is one's birth right. The birth of a child entitles him/her to 
the citizenship of the soil regardless of his parental nationality. 
In other countries a certain length of residency qualifies people 
for it.

In countries like Saudi Arabia and a number of other Gulf states, 
neither the birth nor longevity really matters. If you are not one 
of their own, you just don't get it, plain and simple  Saudi 
Arabia, however is sui generis, in a class by herself. As the 
custodian of Muslim holy shrines she allures and tantalizes every 
Muslim's fancy to be a part of that community. She cannot afford to 
be lenient in this area or millions of Muslims will flock there 
permanently, for no condition is too harsh or any price too high 
for most devout Muslims to settle permanently in this holy land.
    
Rules of the game in the case of dual citizenship, however, are 
different and somewhat complicated. Some nations require a 
renunciation of all former allegiances, while other unilaterally 
grant citizenship, as an irrevocable birth right irrespective of 
one's current affiliations, Ireland and Venezuela are good examples 
of that. In this case the state of Israel most certainly offers a 
novel approach.    
   
Like Pakistan, Israel also claims religion to be the basis of its 
creation, therefore, it grants all Jews a de facto citizenship, 
which they can always claim, without any consideration of their 
current citizenship or length of residency. Consequently, a sizable 
American Jewry also enjoys Israeli citizenship.
    
The United States features a dichotomy, both awarding as well as 
expostulating dual citizenship. The US requires all future citizens 
to renounce their existing allegiance before they are naturalized. 
On the other hand the birth of a child on American soil, even to a 
visiting family, automatically entitles him/her to become a US 
citizen by jus soli (the law of descent). If a child is born abroad 
and one parent is a US citizen, that child can become a US citizen 
by jus sanguinis (the law or right of blood). According to Maria 
Rudinsky, a spokesman for the State Department "millions of 
Americans are dual citizens of other nations, acquiring another 
citizenship does not automatically strip someone of their US 
citizenship"  US Today, October 2, 1997.
    
Dual citizenship can be a potent and powerful tool in the hands of 
a nation, whereas, it can be cumbersome for those who are unskilled 
and ill prepared in the area of foreign relations. It is a matter 
of policy that must be debated openly and freely to reach a 
consensus but, certainly, does not require fifty years of debating 
and still no consensus. In the United States, issues of public and 
national interest are often debated amongst academics, media and 
citizen's group until consensus is reached. At such time advisors 
to the president or the Congress would advise their principals to 
initiate the policy (legislative) process. I am sure that in 
Pakistan, all pros and cons are not debated as extensively, 
primarily for the lack of such forums. Consequently, she still has 
no official position.
    
Many years ago, I interviewed Ambassador Najamuddin Shaikh, while 
he was visiting Miami, for my TV segment "Asian American Focus". I 
found him to be a brilliant, well-informed and skilled diplomat, 
who articulated Pakistan's cause very impressively. It was not 
until I asked him the question about the dual citizenship that he 
began waffling and ducking. My only conclusion is that Ambassador 
Shaikh opted to hedge at a personal cost rather than acknowledge 
the fact that his country does not have a policy. I certainly 
respected him even more for that.
    
Recently, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was in New York to attend the 
UN. General Assembly meeting and Ambassador Riaz Khokhar was 
gracious enough to invite me among others to the occasion. The 
issue of dual citizenship arose again. Though some proponents 
relegated the issue to mere sentimental attachment and visa 
concessions; what my fellow Pakistani Americans did not present or 
discuss was the question of why Pakistan must adopt such a policy 
and how the dual citizenship will benefit Pakistan. So let me 
present the case again Mr. Prime Minister ... Sir, both for 
Pakistani expatriates and for motherland, Pakistan.
    
With the exception of a select few, who need constitutional 
protection and safeguards, most of us need "dual" citizenship for a 
real sense of identity. We need our children to have respect and 
pride for their ancestry and heritage - it is a common human 
feature to have a spirit of belonging. The citizenship brings a 
relationship that generates a sense of patriotism. Most of us still 
have parents and grandparents in Pakistan and we travel quite 
frequently to visit them, and of course we need a visa and go 
through customs during these trips. Any accommodation in this 
regard would be a welcome relief for an average expatriate.
    
Realistically speaking, Pakistan is a relatively poor country - 
plagued by scant resources, low literacy, and high unemployment, 
yet with very ambitious goals to be a part of 21 st century - in a 
dire need of foreign currency to meet her short term commitment and 
capital investment for long term progress. On the political scene 
Pakistan faces serious regional and international challenges like 
Kashmir and nuclear proliferation. For countries like Pakistan, the 
citizenry is the most reliable and powerful asset and long-term 
resource. Pakistan must utilize them effectively to its highest 
potential to achieve progress and her lofty goals.
    
A quick glance, undoubtedly, would reveal that Pakistani 
expatriates still remain an ideal segment among Pakistanis with 
highest rate of education and economically perhaps the richest. 
Historically, Pakistan too has recognised that, and maintained an 
informal claim on us by reaching out from time to time. Whenever, 
she faced economic or political crisis, she called upon her sons 
and daughters abroad and appealed for assistance in the name of 
patriotism. And we always have obliged faithfully, by delivering 
windfall on Pakistan's treasury as well as marching on to the White 
House and the United Nations every time Pakistan faced a political 
turmoil or external threat.
    
Then why not turn this occasional flirtation into a permanent 
relationship by requiring every Pakistani expatriate, who wishes to 
maintain dual citizenship to file an income tax return each year, 
with a nominal process fee. That certainly will bring Pakistan 
millions of dollars every year. And we don't have to pay double tax 
either..thanks to some founding fathers who made a tax relief 
treaty with the U.S. that still remains on the books. As for the 
opportunists, who would like to take advantage of this privilege by 
filing occasionally to enjoy the selective fruit, a continuity 
clause may be added for those who missed any filing deadlines. That 
they can still file back-tax-return with processing fee and an 
additional late filing fee... which means a few more dollars of the 
State Bank of Pakistan..and why not?
    
Additionally, in an ever shrinking world of globalisation, 
continents are becoming next door neighbours, technology is getting 
sophisticated and trained help, scarce. Educated and skilled 
Pakistani Americans could be Pakistan's best asset and resource.
    
In a politically sophisticated country like the United States of 
America, Pakistani Americans are a formidable constituency that can 
be organised and turned into a powerful lobby. Kashmir and nuclear 
proliferation remain the two most misunderstood and ill-presented 
issues in America and may come back to haunt Pakistan in the 
future. Pakistan can use this lobby to articulate her perspective 
as well.
    
Additionally, to protect against a malicious and unscrupulous 
infiltration or fear of security breach, Pakistan may make 
citizenship conditional, subject to Pakistani naturalisation prior 
to 1950 or of course by just soli - by birth. It may very well hurt 
few Pakistanis in the short term but if the process is done fairly 
and sincerely and appeal to their sense of patriotism, am confident 
of their generosity that they will take one more lump for Pakistan 
with dignity and grace.
    
And finally, recent legislation by the U.S. Congress to reform the 
social welfare have restricted most benefits to U.S. Citizens only. 
Consequently, all those Pakistanis, who have deferred their 
naturalisation as the U.S. citizens will have their lives altered 
for-ever; their only options, either become the U.S. citizen or 
have their senior generation denied medical and retirement 
benefits; their children disallowed educational grants and 
scholarships; and themselves disqualified for certain employment 
opportunities. It is too high of a price to pay for the love and 
patriotism of their motherland, not to mention that it will render 
us second class citizens, unable to vote and redeem full benefits 
of this society.
    
We believe that dual citizenship is a prudent, viable and 
functional solution both for Pakistan and the Pakistani expatriates 
in the U.S. Just this month the Mexican Senate presented a 
Christmas gift to all Mexican expatriates by passing a dual 
citizenship legislatio. 
   
How about an Eid gift this month by you, Mr. Prime Minister, for 
Pakistani Americans? 


===================================================================
SPORTS
971230
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan's squash supremacy still in Jansher's hands
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By A. Majid Khan

Pakistan's image as a great  rather the greatest  squash power is 
sadly on the decline in 1997 as our one and only racquet wizard 
Jansher Khan seems to be losing his grip while the emerging world 
challenge is gathering formidable proportions day by day.
    
Jansher  worthy successor of the legendary Jahangir Khan, who 
retired because of back problem in 1993 - still stands on top 
though his number one ranking is threatened by Scotland's 
lefthanded Peter Nicol, aged 24, who had beaten the world champion 
thrice during the year.
    
Nevertheless even now the mighty Khan continues to enjoy the honour 
of winning four out of the eight Super series events, despite the 
fact that 28-year old was not in fine physical fettle. The later 
part of the current year saw him suffering from acute tonsil 
problem, necessitating operation. He has, however, recovered to 
face the 1998 challenge confidently provided he works harder and 
remains immune from injury.
    
Despite unusual reverses during the year it would be wrong 
assumption that Jansher Khan's days of domination are numbered. An 
in-form and fit Jansher still occupies a position of primacy and 
looks every inch a Champion. The Khan can face any challenge and 
overcome it for he enjoys great expertise and experience as 
compared to Peter Nicol the world No 2, Canadian Jonathan Power 
(World No 3) Australia's new world champion Rodney Eyles (world No 
4) and Egyptian world No 5 Ahmed Barada  all strong and potential 
challengers for ending Pakistan's domination in world super series.
    
Even during the end-year season Jansher Khan, not his usual self, 
demonstrated his fighting qualities to bring glory and honour for 
Pakistan. The great Khan started the season by retaining the 
British Open title for his sixth victory to maintain Pakistan's 
incomparable winning record of 16 years in a row. In his haul of 
super series Jansher Khan had regained the Hong Kong open title, 
won the Egyptian Open and Pakistan Open in Islamabad.
    
The Khan's defeats in the three super series events were in the Al-
Haram International final at Cairo, in the Qatar International 
semifinals and in Mombai Mahendra International final. In Qatar, he 
was plagued with tonsil problem and in Mahendra he fought all the 
way to enter the final and suffered defeat against Peter Nicol in 
his first ever Indian tour, for lack of required fitness in the 
five-game encounter. But reaching the final was a great tribute to 
his will and determination as he had not fully recovered from 
sickness when the Qatar International concluded hardly a week 
before the Mumbai event. Legal battle with his ex-Malaysian wife 
for the maintenance allowance for their son as ordered by a 
Malaysian court resulted in his skipping the Kuala Lumpur World 
Open in November. Jansher Khan, the eight-times world open record 
holder, did not defend the title which was won by Australia's 
Rodney Eyles. Jansher's withdrawal from the world open on personal 
grounds and his absence in Kuala Lumpur affected Pakistan's 
performance in the World team championship, also held in the 
Malaysian capital.
    
Besides winning the four super series events, Jansher Khan also won 
three more tournaments  Austrian Open, French Open and German 
Masters. He also won eight-man super series event in England at the 
start of the season. The Khan's tally of wins was seven, one less 
than last years (1996) eight.
    
However he lost in the top eight-man contest in Kuwait as well as 
in the US dollars 35,000 Heliopolis Open in the final at Cairo on 
December 12, marking the end of the 1997 squash season.
    
Pakistan's new-look team was captained by Zubair Jahan Khan and 
included rising squash star Amjad Khan, Kumail Mahmood and Umer 
Zaman. As world number ten Zarak was exempted from the national 
trials while other players were picked on the basis of their 
showing in the Karachi trials. Nevertheless the youthful Pakistan 
team did fairly well to keep itself among the top eight nations of 
the world by securing sixth place in the 32-nation world team 
championship.
    
But there is much cause for concern since Zarak Jahan Khan, Mir 
Zaman Gul and Zubair Jahan Khan remained stuck in their world 
ranking. Zubair started well and was the best Pakistani player 
after Jansher Khan in 1997 January rankings. He was ranked No 10. 
However stomach problem resulted in his unsatisfactory showing and 
in the November ranking he is placed 15th and may further go down 
in the next rankings to be announced in January, 1998. He is a good 
player but needs top fitness.
    
Zubair's elder brother Zarak Jahan Khan, who had recently undergone 
a knee operation, was ranked 18th at the start of the season but 
now he is at No 29, Mir Zaman Gul too has fallen in the ranking 
from 26th to 35th. Both are seasoned campaigners, playing 
competitive squash for about ten years.
    
With the efforts of the Pakistan Squash Federation more than half a 
dozen youngsters have come up within five years without any 
positive contributions from its affiliated units. The notable 
youngsters are Amjad Khan, Kumail Mahmood, Kashif Shuja, Ejaz 
Azmat, Mohammad Hussain, Mansoor Zaman, Humayun Khan and Shamsul 
Islam Khan Kakar.
    
Amjad Khan, the 1995 junior Asian champion and nephew of Jansher 
Khan, has shown remarkable progress during the year in the world 
ranking and in the next months world ranking his ranking is certain 
to go further up.
    
Twenty-year old Amjad Khan, who was given a wild card entry in the 
Pakistan open, gave an extraordinary performance by qualifying for 
the Kuala Lumpur World Open as well as Mahendra International. No 
other Pakistani youngster could earn qualification in two super 
series, barring Rawalpindi's Kashif Shuja at the Mumbai Mahendra 
International, though over half a dozen Pakistanis including Mir 
Zaman Gul and Sohail Qaiser competed. Kashif Shuja too is a 
promising youngster, committed fully to better his skills. Ranked 
currently 58th, Kashif has also made good progress. Better coaching 
and training would certainly help the talented youth to be among 
the top 25 by the end of 1998 season.
    
A new chapter in Pakistan's squash history has been added by our 
participation in the World Doubles Championship at Hong Kong in 
December. Zubair and Amjad went to represent Pakistan and they 
secured third place after Jansher Khan had to withdraw due to the 
ankle problem. It was a good performance for the players had no 
practice of playing together as a doubles pairs. The World doubles 
championship is a permanent feature of the World Squash Federation 
and the PSF must ensure to launch doubles tournaments at Karachi, 
Lahore, Peshawar, Islamabad and Quetta.
    
So far as the women's squash is concerned, little attention has 
been paid. Holding a national championship once in a year would not 
help promote women's squash unless all the affiliated units of the 
federation first work out a plan for coaching of girls.
    
The year ended on a tragic note as Pakistan lost a great squash 
technocrat Hasan Musa, the General Manager Sports PIA and the vice-
president of the Pakistan Asian and World Squash Federations who 
was recently gunned down at the Jahangir Khan Squash Complex 
(Karachi) by unknown assailants. Himself an international golfer 
and squash player, Hasan Musa, son of late Gen (Retd) Musa, the 
former Governor of the then West Pakistan and later of Balochistan, 
has rendered valuable services for our national squash. He was a 
great organiser and a technically qualified man and on many 
occasions he was the tournament director of the World Open, World 
Team Championship as well as Pakistan Open.

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980103
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Wasim Akram to step down as captain today? 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, Jan 2: Wasim Akram intends to call on Majid Khan, Chief 
Executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on Saturday morning 
which is expected to be a crucial meeting.
    
According to sources close to Wasim Akram, the allrounder is 
expected to express his inability to lead the Pakistan cricket team 
on a gruelling eight-week tour of Africa.
    
He would, however, confirm his availability as a player on the 
tour.
    
Pakistan play three Tests against South Africa and two against 
Zimbabwe besides nine one-day international, including three 
against Zimbabwe. The remaining six will be played in the tri-
series involving world champions Sri Lanka and South Africa.
    
"Yes I have a scheduled meeting with Majid Khan on Saturday in 
which I will discuss my future," Wasim Akram confirmed from his 
Lahore residence.
    
"I will also deliberate upon my role as Pakistan captain. I would 
like to continue but under the circumstances I have to reconsider 
my options," Akram said.
    
Akram is reportedly receiving death call for which his father has 
lodged a complain with the police in Lahore.
    
"I am not comfortable with the treatment I am receiving after 
serving Pakistan with distinction. I mean, whenever a team loses, 
it is attributed to match-fixing. It's only shattering the 
confidence of the team besides putting the players under tremendous 
pressure," he said.
    
He, however, refused to confirm or deny if he would be standing 
down from captaincy. "Let me talk to Majid Khan and then only I 
will be able to answer you," he said.
    
Nevertheless, sources close to the player said Akram was lacking in 
motivation after a series of match-fixing allegations against him.
    
The PCB has also instructed its match-fixing probe committee to 
look into the affairs that led to Pakistan's defeat in Sharjah.
    
"The relevant material has been provided to them (committee 
members) and they have been asked to submit a report," PCB chief 
executive Majid Khan confirmed.
    
He, however, said no deadline has been set. Khalid Mahmood, Waqar 
Ahmad, Mian Munir and Justice Ijaz Yousuf are the members of the 
panel.
    
The expected withdrawal of Wasim Akram leaves an open door for 
Rashid Latif to retain captaincy after being appointed skipper for 
the Dhaka triangular.

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971230
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ws and Moin given well deserved rest
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, Dec 29: The chairman of Pakistan cricket selectors Salim 
Altaf said on Monday that Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Moin Khan 
had been given well deserved rests after a hectic international 
domestic season.
    
The trio were surprisingly excluded from the Dhaka triangular team 
on Friday.
    
"Wasim (Akram) was not considered because of a suspected shoulder 
injury while Waqar (Younis) and Moin (Khan) were not considered 
because we wanted them to prepare for the demanding and gruelling 
tour of Africa,"Altaf told Dawn from his Lahore residence.
    
Asked if Wasim was consulted about his injury, Salim Altaf said: 
"The situation was very dicy and he was struggling with his 
shoulder in the match against India (at Sharjah). He was clearly 
uncomfortable. Then we were told that he has proceeded to England 
for a check-up. So we (selectors) decided to leave him out so that 
he can get some time to give rest to the injured bowling arm."
    
Over the exclusion of Waqar Younis, Altaf said the information 
about the wickets in Dhaka was that they were spinning ones. "So we 
thought instead of making him (Waqar Younis) struggle on those 
docile tracks, let him have a break.
    
"As far as Moin Khan is concerned, he had been keeping wickets non-
stop for the last 18 months. He deserved a break. After all, if he 
had minor injuries, they all needed some time to heal-up."
    
Salim Altaf emphasised that the basic concept of leaving out the 
trio was to have them in top physical shape for the African safari. 
"We want them mentally and physically fit for the South Africa and 
Zimbabwe tours which are very arduous besides being very tough."
    
Salim Altaf categorically denied that the ouster of the three was 
because of reasons other than cricket.
    
"We lost the Sharjah event because of poor planning. I personally 
feel that Azhar Mahmood should have gone ahead of Wasim Akram or 
even Moin Khan. But we (selectors) don't like to impose ourselves 
upon the team management."
    
On the selection of unknown Yousuf Yohanna, Salim Altaf opined that 
he saw the youngster in two warm-up matches that England played 
earlier last month. "The boy showed promise and talent. In addition 
to this, there were problems at No 5 and 6 positions. Therefore, we 
decided to give him an opportunity to him to show his potential at 
international level."
    
When asked what was the idea behind awarding free Test and one-day 
caps to the players, the chief selector said the main idea was to 
prepare a team for the 1999 World Cup. "I promise you that when the 
time comes to pick the team for the World Cup, we will have a 
larger pool to look at instead of having a select number of players 
of whom even some might not be around when the event comes."
    
Salim Altaf expressed his disagreement with the theory of having 
separate teams for one-day and Test cricket. Though he didn't rule 
out the possibility if it becomes a normal practice in future.
    
"I feel that the best players should get the chance to play, 
whether it be Tests or one-dayers. If the players are good, they 
can adjust to different levels of the game."
    
Discussing the team for the South Africa and Zimbabwe tours, Salim 
Altaf admitted that the situation had become very interesting after 
Rashid Latif was appointed captain for the Dhaka tournament.
    
"I don't know what the Council will do (while appointing captain), 
but the situation is very tricky. I have no idea who will be the 
captain (on the African tour) because it's the job of the Council. 
But I certainly know that the balance of the team will be tilted if 
Rashid Latif was made an official (captain or vice-captain).
    
"If that happens, naturally Rashid will become the No 1 
wicketkeeper as he cannot sit out," Altaf opined.
    
Salim Altaf gave his consent when asked his committee would 
shoulder an additional responsibility of recommending a captain. 
"Technically, the Council is the only competent authority to 
appoint a captain. But if we are entrusted this job by the Council, 
we would not reject it because I feel that when we can judge the 
real potential of a player in the field, we can also gauge the 
leadership qualities of the same player."

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980102
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Haroon may be replaced before SA tour
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Jan 1: Haroon Rasheed may be replaced as Pakistan team 
coach before the national outfit proceeds to Africa where it will 
play five Tests and at least nine one-day internationals on a 
three-month tour.
    
The chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Majid 
Khan, confirmed on Thursday evening from Lahore that Haroon 
Rasheed's seven-month tenure will be discussed by the Executive 
Council.
    
"The Executive Council will meet before team's departure in which 
Haroon's performance will be studied. If the Council expressed 
unsatisfaction, he (Haroon Rasheed) may be replaced.
    
"The Executive Council is the competent authority to retain or 
replace a coach," Majid said from his Lahore residence.
    
Majid admitted that Haroon's performance has not been very good. He 
said the Council was not particularly happy with it, at least.
    
The PCB chief executive, however, said Haroon will be going to 
Dhaka as coach. "But his position as coach for the African tour is 
not secure," he said.
    
Haroon's seven-month period has been plagued with defeats, 
including defeats in the Sahara Cup, home Test series against South 
Africa and golden jubilee quadrangular tournament.
    
However, what has not been considered is the fact that Haroon had 
to work with four different captains  Ramiz Raja, Saeed Anwar, 
Wasim Akram and lastly Rashid Latif  since taking over from 
Mushtaq Mohammad last May.
    
Majid Khan dismissed impressions that a foreign coach will take 
over from Haroon on the African safari. He said negotiations with 
foreign coaches were still on but nothing was confirmed so far.
    
Haroon was initially appointed as cricket manager for three years 
with a provision of review of his performance before extending his 
contract.
    
Meanwhile, newly-appointed captain Rashid Latif called on Majid 
Khan on Thursday morning. The PCB official said the discussion 
revolved around the coming assignment.
    
"We didn't discuss the African tour as our first priority is to win 
the Dhaka triangular. He (Rashid Latif) was informed of his 
responsibilities as a captain. Besides, I wished him best of luck," 
Majid said.

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