------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 17 October 1998 Issue : 04/41 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Kashmir issue only: Negotiators identify areas of convergence + New CGS appointed + Govt looking for 15 votes: NA sends CA-15 bill to Senate + Clinton invites PM to visit US + PM announces cut in surcharge: 30pc relief to power consumers + PM unveils Rs24bn uplift plan for Karachi + EB alleges bribery: Contracts with Hubco, Kapco being scrapped + Observer says it stands by its story about Nawaz + Emergency caused Dhaka debacle: SC + System losses to jump to 34pc: WAPDA overbilling provinces + PTCL tests coding system to prevent misuse of phones --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + PM seeks proposals : Structural changes to double exports + Options to make dollar bonds attractive + Govt urged to protect shareholders + No more devaluation of rupee, says Dar + Investment in Sindh at standstill + Punjab unable to generate funds + Banks borrow Rs5 billion + Fish exports: Pakistan included in EC list II + Economic activity slackens: Private sector credit growth recedes + KSE index loses 8.53 percent on massive selling in PTCL --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + The man of the hour Ardeshir Cowasjee + MQM in a quandary M. H. Askari + The search for legitimacy Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Nicol, Jansher head world squash rankings

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NATIONAL NEWS
981017
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Kashmir issue only: Negotiators identify areas of convergence
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Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, Oct 16: The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan 
who reopened their bilateral talks on Friday after a year’s delay 
devoted about three hours to discuss "full range" of Pakistan-India 
issues and charged their technical experts to deliberate 
elaborately on them and then report back to the principal 
officials.
    
The talks follow the meeting of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and 
Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in New York early last 
month.
    
Most of the time, the sources said, was also spent on confidence 
building measures to make the talks successful.
    
The talks were led by K. Raghunath as head of 8-member Indian 
delegation and Mr Shamshad Ahmad on behalf of Pakistan. The talks 
were held at the Punjab House where the Indian team is lodged.
    
Mr Ahmad and Mr Raghunath told newsmen at the end of their formal 
talks that while the technical experts of the two sides would stay 
engaged in discussing other issues they will grapple with the Jammu 
and Kashmir issue and it appeared their Saturday meeting will be 
devoted entirely to this issue.
    
The foreign secretaries are scheduled to end the present round of 
talks on Sunday with a joint communique.
    
Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmad while conceding there were no 
"quick-fixes" in Pakistan-India relations, said that Pakistan 
wished to proceed very realistically recognising the complexity of 
the relations and issues. Indian Foreign Secretary Raghunath 
responded to Ahmad’s observation: "We enter this process in a very 
positive and constructive frame of mind".
    
The significant aspect of the talks, according to informed sources, 
was to consider specific proposals which should aim at restraining 
the nuclear and conventional arms threat as also an apparent 
missiles race which has become obvious in the sub-continent. 
Pakistan apparently recognises the present talks most opportune and 
valuable opportunity to deal with the nuclear and conventional arms 
threat and the missiles race which pose horrendous implications.
    
The two foreign secretaries at their brief encounter with the media 
people appeared to emphasise that the resumption of talks was just 
the beginning of a process which they both would like to maintain 
instead of repeating the past year’s performance when they parted 
in a huff and broke off talks for more than a year.
    
Immediately after the talks, Indian Foreign Secretary Raghunath 
accompanied by Shamshad Ahmad called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif 
who responding to India’s expressed desire to increase cooperation 
with Pakistan across the board, emphasised the linkage of peace and 
security with the peaceful settlement of the Kashmiri’s right to 
self-determination. The prime minister however, stressed that the 
economic and social welfare of the people of Pakistan and India was 
a matter of prime concern and urgency priority in his view.
    
The prime minister after his meeting with the Indian foreign 
secretary directed that around 200 Indian fishermen and their boats 
which had remained detained in Pakistan for sometime, should be set 
free to return to India, as a gesture of goodwill to set level 
field for a fresh start in India-Pakistan dialogue.

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981017
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New CGS appointed
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Oct 16: In another reshuffle in top military hierarchy 
on Friday Maj Gen Mohammad Aziz Khan has been promoted to the rank 
of Lieutenant General and appointed as Chief of General Staff, the 
post vacated by Gen (retd) Ali Quli Khan, ISPR said.
    
Friday’s reshuffle was the second shake-up in military top brass 
since resignation of Gen (retd) Jehangir Karamat in which Corps 
Commander Lahore has also been changed.
    
Corps Commander Lahore Lt Gen Akram has been appointed as the 
Quarter Master General and the Command of Lahore Corps has been 
handed over to Maj General Khalid Maqbool by promoting him to the 
rank of lieutenant general.
    
Maj Gen Hamid Javed serving at Heavy Industries Taxila has also 
been promoted to the rank of lieutenant general.

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981015
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Govt looking for 15 votes: NA sends CA-15 bill to Senate
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M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, Oct 14: The National Assembly has sent the CA-15 bill to 
the Senate on Tuesday and according to the officials of the upper 
house if not passed within 90 days of its receipt by the Senate, 
the bill will lapse.
    
So, by January 13, 1999, the bill needs to be passed by the Senate 
and sent to the president for assent for the 15th amendment to 
become part of the constitution.
    
Meanwhile, the government has launched a hectic campaign to muster 
the needed 15 votes to pilot the bill with a two-third majority 
through the upper house where it has solid 43 votes against the 
required 58 votes.
    
Prime minister Nawaz Sharif's generous announcements with regard to 
development of Balochistan in Quetta on Tuesday are being seen here 
as an attempt to win over Sardar Akber Khan Bugti whose JWP has 5 
votes in the Senate.
    
Earlier when the prime minister went to Dera Bugti to enlist the 
support of JWP for the CA-15 in the National Assembly, Sardar Bugti 
reportedly agreed to let his party vote for the bill in the lower 
house if the prime minister agreed as a trade off to amend the 
constitution to enhance the quantum of provincial autonomy.
    
The prime minister is expected to meet the MQM leadership in 
Karachi on Thursday to try once again to change the opinion of the 
Muttahida's leaders about the CA-15.
    
The MQM had written a strong note of dissent at the time when the 
original draft bill came to the standing committee of the National 
Assembly for review. And at the time of voting on the 'diluted' 
bill in the National Assembly, the MQM MNAs abstained.
    
However, lately, the MQM seems to have indicated to the government 
that it was willing to be persuaded to review its position vis-a-
vis the CA-15.
    
The change of heart in the MQM is said to have occurred after the 
change in the command in the army which is now being headed by an 
Urdu speaking general. The recent changes at the top in the civil 
services are also said to have taken care of, to a large measure, 
the MQM demand of adequate representation of Urdu speaking officers 
in the top civil jobs.
    
Moreover, the recent changes in the ISI high command is also being 
seen here as an attempt by the government to reassure the MQM which 
has been consistently criticising the 'agencies' for the woes of 
Karachi. Lt General Ziauddin of engineering corps has taken over 
the ISI from Lt General Rana Naseem and Major General Shujaat has 
been replaced by Major General Ghulam Mohammad.
    
When asked how it would vote in the Senate, some of the MQM MNAs 
visiting the capital to attend official meetings here refrained 
from giving a direct answer and said: "Let us wait and see how 
things shape up."
    
They also refused to comment when asked if the changes at the top 
in the army and the ISI had caused them to have second thoughts on 
CA-15.
    
In another surprise development, the government is said to have 
bagged two PPP votes in its efforts to get the CA-15 passed in the 
upper house.
    
The government already has 26 votes of the PML, three each of its 
sympathisers and BNP one each of JUP(N), PML(J) and independent and 
8 of FATA totalling in all 43 votes in the Senate.
    
With the addition of the two PPP votes, one of Shahnawaz Junejo 
(Sindh) and the other of Syed Qasim Shah (NWFP) the government 
tally has gone up to 45.
    
JUI(F) which did not vote for the amendment in the National 
Assembly is said to have changed its mind and has now declared its 
intention to support the bill in the Senate where it has two votes. 
This will enhance the government votes to 47.
    
If the MQM finally decides to go with the government in the Senate, 
the CA-15 will get as many as 52 votes, still six short of the 
winning figure. And even if the JWP also decides to take the bait 
and vote for the amendment, the government would still be short by 
one vote.
    
The PPP (17) and the ANP (7) between themselves now have 24 votes. 
The BNP has two votes while PKMAP, BNM and JA each has one. This 
raises the anti-bill tally to 29.
    
Waseem Sajjad who is the chairman of the Senate cannot vote 
otherwise he would have taken care of the missing one vote. 
Perhaps, those among the opposition who at one point in time had 
wanted to replace the chairman must now be thanking their stars for 
not having turned their desire into a reality. However, political 
pundits predict that if both the MQM and JWP finally decide to vote 
for the amendment, the government would not have much difficulty in 
wooing at least one from among the 29 of the opposition.

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981016
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Clinton invites PM to visit US
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Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Oct 15: President Bill Clinton has invited Prime 
Minister Nawaz Sharif for an official visit to Washington in early 
December, seeking a major breakthrough in foreign policy when 
domestically he would be facing an impeachment process.
    
Announcing the visit on Thursday, a high official of the State 
Department said no dates had yet been fixed but their talks would 
include major US concerns on non-proliferation as well as 
Pakistan's economic problems, a major concern for the Pakistani PM.
    
The announcement of Clinton's invitation to Nawaz Sharif came just 
as Congress removed all hurdles in the way of a bill that would 
give President Clinton the authority to waive sanctions against 
Pakistan and India - something Pakistan has consistently been 
demanding to sign the CTBT.
    
"As the president is acquiring the authority to waive sanctions, he 
may be preparing to make serious offers to Pakistan to lift "the 
atmosphere of coercion" as Islamabad calls it, so that Pakistan can 
sign the CTBT," analysts said.
    
Analysts also saw the timing of the visit as important for 
President Clinton as he would be in the middle of a serious 
impeachment inquiry by Congress and by achieving a breakthrough in 
foreign policy he would like to checkmate the Congress.
    
Officials were not prepared on Thursday to discuss details of the 
visit but one State Department official told Dawn a series of 
meetings were scheduled between Pakistani and US officials before 
the summit talks in December.
    
There was immediate speculation in Washington that a deal on CTBT 
could boost the political fortunes of both the leaders and help 
them domestically.
    
"If Clinton gets Pakistan to sign CTBT, he would have snubbed the 
impeachment process. If Nawaz Sharif gets sanctions waived, he 
would bail out the country from the serious economic morass," 
analysts said.
    
State Department officials do not rule out anything at this stage 
but say everything is on the agenda and they will talk about all 
the issues.

Nawaz Sharif had earned some good points from President Clinton in 
his UN visit last month when he praised the US President as his 
video taped testimony was being shown all over America and Clinton 
was under severe pressure.
    
The only remarks made by Nawaz Sharif in his UN visit that got 
printed widely were in praise of Clinton in the backdrop of the 
Monica affair.
    
Dawn asked the State Department official some questions about Mr 
Sharif's visit on Thursday. The answers were:
    
Q: Is there a date for the visit?
    
A: It is going to be early December but no dates have been fixed.

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981012
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PM announces cut in surcharge: 30pc relief to power consumers
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Mohammad Yasin

ISLAMABAD, Oct 11: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday announced 
50 per cent cut in the additional surcharge of electricity, thereby 
providing a 30 per cent relief to the consumers, from October 21.
    
In his address to the nation over radio and TV, he announced that 
this was possible as a result of detection of irregularities and 
corruption in some of the private power plants established during 
the previous government which showed that commissions had been 
taken.
    
The prime minister said because his government's efforts, 
irregularities in contract with Hubco had been found and as a 
result of legal measures Rs10 billion would be saved annually.
    
Mr Sharif said that though WAPDA was going through financial 
difficulties, the amount of Rs10 billion was not being spent on its 
improvement but it was being provided as a relief to the consumers.
    
Dilating on his statement, he said a bill of Rs100 would come down 
to Rs72; of Rs500 to Rs342; of Rs700 to Rs474; of Rs1000 to Rs684; 
of Rs5,000 to Rs3,454; of Rs7,000 to Rs5,194; and a bill of 
Rs10,000 would come down to Rs6,845.
    
The prime minister expressed his concern over the increasing power 
tarrif which had upset the common folk. He hoped that they would 
now pay their bills honestly and would not allow anybody to indulge 
in power theft.
    
He also expressed the hope that they would also keep an eye on 
those indulging in power theft and hand them over to law enforcers.
    
The following is the revised billing pattern:

     Current            Revised 

      Rs 100             Rs 72
      Rs 300             Rs 210
      Rs 500             Rs 340
      Rs 700             Rs 470
      Rs 1,000           Rs 680
      Rs 2,000           Rs 1,390
      Rs 3,000           Rs 2,100
      Rs 4,000           Rs 2,800
      Rs 5,000           Rs 3,500
      Rs 7,500           Rs 5,200
      Rs 10,000          Rs 6,900
      Rs 12,500          Rs 8,516
      Rs 15,000          Rs 10,398
      Rs 17,500          Rs 11,946

CA-15 BILL: The PM, dilating on 15th constitutional amendment bill, 
said that it was not a problem of his ego, obduracy or his person 
nor was he completing any personal agenda through it.

He dispelled the impression that he was seeking enhancement of 
power through the bill.
    
He urged the opposition to change their attitude towards the bill 
and persuade their colleagues in Senate to vote for it.
    
The prime minister said that when he talked of enforcement of 
Islam, he had in mind the picture of a society free of crime, 
exploitation and respect and honour for every individual where no 
one would suffer from hunger and starvation, fear or excesses.
    
APP adds: Mr Sharif told the nation that the transitory phase of 
difficulties would soon be over  as the legacy of rampant 
corruption and mismanagement had been checked and a bright future 
of hope and advancement was fast approaching.
    
He said instead of solving the problems, those at the helm of 
affairs earlier, had brought the economy at the verge of disaster.
    
Corruption, gratification and kickbacks were used to rule the 
country. The employment opportunities were eliminated and the 
public sector was destroyed.
    
The PML government inherited an economy which was in total shambles 
owing to corruption. It had begun the task of improving the 
economy, saying the people would no longer hear tales of 
corruption.
    
NUCLEAR ISSUE: The PM said Pakistan had acquired impregnable 
nuclear capability. Nuclear tests were inevitable for national 
respect, grandeur and survival, he said.
The government did not knuckle under pressure by any world power 
and exploded the nuclear device.
    
Economic sanctions were slapped on Pakistan in the aftermath of 
nuclear tests hence it was not possible to give any relief to the 
nation. However Nawaz Sharif said, he still saw a dawn of a bright 
morning.

WHEAT IMPORT: Nawaz Sharif said, the government had saved Rs2 
billion after it effectively plugged loopholes in import of wheat.
    
When the wheat was purchased from abroad in the past, those 
determining its price and ferrying charges had been involved in 
swindling. The government has found this fraud and stopped it, he 
said.
    
TEXTILE QUOTA: Mr Sharif said after abolishing plunder and 
discretion in awarding textile quota, the government was able to 
earn Rs1.93 billion through its transparent auction.
    
He said similarly by doing away with oil permit, Rs1 billion had 
been saved.

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981016
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PM unveils Rs24bn uplift plan for city
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Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 15: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday unfolded a 
Rs24 billion development package for Karachi which envisages 
Northern bypass, revamped circular railway and construction of 
Karachi-Hyderabad motorway.
    
Addressing a news conference at the Governor's House, Nawaz Sharif 
said his government attached great importance to peace in the city 
with which was linked with the country's overall economic 
development.
    
The prime minister, who gave a resume of his meetings in the city 
since Wednesday, said at a time when the world was passing through 

great depression and recession the nation needed to tighten its 
belt, identify wilful defaulters and revive sick industries.
    
He took stock of the prevailing situation in the city, took 
decisions about Civil Aviation Authority, PIA, attended briefing on 
the creation of Metropolitan Police Force and held a meeting with 
the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) besides laying the foundation of 
a kidney hospital.
    
In the context of development projects, Nawaz Sharif said a 63-km-
long six- lane Northern by pass, which would be named M10, would be 
completed in two-and- a-half-years at a cost of Rs6 billion.
    
The project would not only ease traffic pressure in the city but it 
would also facilitate movement of goods across the country.
    
The prime minister also announced that the 68-km-long Karachi 
Circular Railway project, envisaging dual carriage and more 
establishment with more stations would be completed at a cost of 
150 million dollars or Rs7.5 billion. This would remove distortions 
in the city's transport system.
    
The 136-km-long M-9, six-lane Karachi-Hyderabad motorway, would 
cost Rs7 billion and would be completed in two-and-a-half years.
    
He said these projects would not only improve infrastructure 
facilities for the people of Karachi, they would also generate 
employment opportunities and boost economic activity so vital for 
making the country self-reliant.
    
Nawaz Sharif said bids for the Karachi-Hyderabad motorway and 
circular railway would be invited in a month and the whole process 
would be completed in six months following which in two-and-a-half 
years the two projects would be completed.
    
The prime minister also expressed concern over the shortage of 
water and the appalling state of power supply in the city. He said 
both WAPDA and the KESC were in dire straits and blamed the IPPs 
for the liquidity crunch of WAPDA.
    
Nawaz Sharif asked the people to avail the facility and help in 
curtailing power theft and bungling in other utilities.
    
Referring to the IMF conditionalities on disbursement of loans, the 
prime minister said it had put hard conditions on Pakistan 
demanding increase in power tariffs by 25 per cent, devaluation of 
currency, and downward adjustment of the rupee value from the 
official rate of Rs46 per dollar, which was unacceptable to his 
government as it was against the interest of the people.
    
Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan had neither violated any agreement nor 
defaulted yet it was being made the scapegoat for detonating 
nuclear device after India altered the security environment.
    
Asked whether the deal with the IMF was over, the prime minister 
said "when the Pakistan negotiating team informed me that the IMF 
is putting such stringent conditionalities I asked them to come out 
of the negotiations."
    
He nevertheless said that after that negotiations were revived.
    
He also referred to international criticism of action against Hubco 
and said that it was backed by solid proof and the World Bank or 
the IMF should not criticize it.

"Being a sovereign nation we cannot accept such tactics," he said, 
adding that the question of US sanctions and criticism was 
different but the attitude of the donor agencies was not correct.
    
Replying to a question about providing package of relief to 
portfolio investors, the prime minister said various options were 
under consideration to attract investment and in this context said 
the government was making bonds more attractive for new and old 
investors.
    
He said the government was also paying attention to increase 
exports which had shown improvement when compared with the figures 
of corresponding period in the previous financial year.
    
Referring to the law and order situation in the city, the prime 
minister said that "if we have to progress, come what may, we will 
have to find a solution," and added that the Muttahida Qaumi 
Movement (MQM) also had a role to play in overcoming this difficult 
problem.
    
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981015
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EB alleges bribery: Contracts with Hubco, Kapco being scrapped
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Oct 14: The government has decided to cancel the power 
contracts of Hubco and Kot Addu Power Company (Kapco) on the charge 
of their alleged involvement in corrupt practices, and specially 
bribing Ms Benazir Bhutto and her husband.
    
"Power contracts of these companies are being cancelled despite the 
concern being expressed by the World Bank and the IMF over 
government's dispute with the IPPs," Chairman Ehtesab Bureau 
Senator Saifur Rehman said here on Wednesday.
    
Speaking at a news conference he also said that the Lahore High 
Court has drastically reduced the electricity price per unit of 
Kapco. It has been brought down from Rs.3.44 to Rs. 1.98 with 
immediate effect. He said the court on Wednesday made this order on 
a writ petition filed by WAPDA under section 290 of the Companies 
Ordinance and investigations of Ehtesab Bureau. "The court was 
convinced that agreement with Kapco was patently wrong as WAPDA is 
having 64 per cent share holding and still it has no say in the 
affairs of the company", he said.
    
Responding to a question, he said that the government's case was 
very strong to face any international arbitration. Quoting 
Pakistani legal experts, he said IPPs could not go to international 
court of justice and that they could only call for certain 
international arbitration to resolve their dispute with the 
government of Pakistan.
    
The senator pointed out that disciplinary action against all the 
five WAPDA directors, who were in the board of director of Kapco, 
was being taken for having surrendered their directorship after 
being bribed by the National Power Company which owned Kapco.
    
Various other irregularities had been committed in the agreement 
between WAPDA and Kapco. "Pakistani law requires that minority 
shareholder cannot be given the right to manage the company 
perpetually. WAPDA which holds 64 per cent shares had no say in the 
affairs of Kapco," he added.
    
Mr Saifur Rehman said that Kapco which owed Rs. 22 billion to WAPDA 
and was supplying electricity to it, included Rs. 1 per unit in 
each bill as debt servicing. "It was in fact WAPDA's money being 
returned to WAPDA at a surcharge. This situation was absolutely 
absurd".
    
WAPDA has challenged the shareholders agreement and the Power 
Purchase Agreement signed during Benazir regime, he said. He said 
that similar plant in Muzzafargarh was selling electricity at a 
rate of Rs1.98 per unit as compared to Kapco's Rs3.44 per unit.
    
The LHC held that Kapco's rate be refixed on Wednesday at Rs1.98 
per unit. With Wednesday's order WAPDA would be saving Rs20 million 
per day. "This amounts to approximately Rs7.3 billion per annum", 
he said.
    
He pointed out that the investigations carried out by the Ehtesab 
bureau into privatisation of Kapco had revealed a series of 
systematic acts of corruption in financial evaluation and pre-
qualification of bidders. The highest bidder were made to appear as 
the lowest. The lowest ones were projected as the highest.
     
Approval of the prime minister was granted even before the 
evaluation of the bid by National Power company. The national 
exchequer was cheated to the tune of 80 million dollars. WAPDA was 
forced to make repressive payments of Rs. 336 million per year in 
excess to the terms and conditions of the original tariff", the 
senator claimed.
    
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981015
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Observer says it stands by its story about Nawaz
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Nasir Malick

LONDON, Oct 14: The management of The Observer said on Wednesday 
that it stood by its Sept 27 story in which serious allegations of 
corruption had been levelled against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
    
The newspaper management was contacted by Dawn to comment on a 
report released on Tuesday by the government-run Associated Press 
of Pakistan (APP) claiming that The Observer had "brushed aside the 
allegations" against prime minister "as hard to stick".
    
Paul Farrelly, city editor of the paper who was authorised by The 
Observer editor to speak on his behalf, told Dawn that the 
newspaper was still waiting for the prime minister to reply to the 
allegations levelled against him.
    
The APP had picked up a few lines favourable to the government from 
an article written by Jason Burke and published in The Observer on 
Oct 11. The news story gave an impression as if The Observer had 
retracted its Sept 27 story.
    
In its Sept 27 story, in addition to publishing a report by former 
additional director general of the FIA, Rehman Malik, the paper had 
claimed that Nawaz Sharif owned four flats in central London which 
were purchased through front companies.
"The observer stands by its original story of Sunday, Sept 27," 
Farrelly said.
    
Referring to Jason Burke's article published on Oct 11, he 
clarified that the Burke article was "simply an account of the 
political events (taking place) in Pakistan" after the publication 
of the FIA report.
    
He said Mr Sharif had so far "not answered" the allegations made in 
the FIA report. "If the Pakistani authorities wish to misinterpret 
our latest article for their own purposes all we can do is repeat 
that we stand by our original story," Farrelly said.
    
Asked about the complaint lodged by the Pakistan government against 
The Observer with the Press Complaints Commission, he said his 
newspaper would defend its position.
    
Farrelly said Mr Sharif had been given an opportunity to reply to 
the allegations when he was met by The Observer reporter outside 
his flats in London but he chose not to answer. "They have made a 
complaint which we will defend successfully," he said.
    
Asked whether the newspaper had received any legal notice from the 
Pakistan government, Mr Sharif or his family, Farrelly said no such 
notice had been received so far.
    
However, observers believe that considering the tough libel laws in 
UK, if the allegations published against him are baseless, he can 
file a libel case against the newspaper.

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981014
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Emergency caused Dhaka debacle: SC
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Oct 13: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that one of 
the reasons for the separation of East Pakistan was imposition of 
emergencies and the martial laws and the denial of fundamental 
rights of the people.
    
In the detailed judgment on the petitions challenging the 
imposition of emergency and suspension of fundamental rights, the 
seven member bench observed: "Up to the fall of Dacca the Pakistani 
people had enjoyed the fundamental rights for a total period of 7 
years, 6 months, and 14 days out of the total period of 24 years, 4 
months and 2 days."
    
In the short order which was passed in July 1998 the court had held 
that president was justified in imposing emergency, but had 
declared the order of suspending the fundamental rights as 
unconstitutional.
    
The court noted that unlike Indian constitution there is no check 
on the perpetual imposition of emergency in Pakistan. The court 
regretted that no amendment has been made so far in the 
constitution to check the indefinite imposition of emergency. "The 
present proclamation can remain in the field for years to come as 
it will depend on the sweet will of the government in power to 
advise the president for its revocation or not."
    
The court observed that most disturbing effect of the imposition of 
emergency is that the Parliament can take over the legislative 
power as well as the executive power of provincial government, 
meaning thereby that the federating units are denied of the 
provincial autonomy even to the extent guaranteed by the 
Constitution. In consequence the feeling of deprivation are 
generated among the people of the federating units which might 
impair the unity of the federation, the apex court noted with 
concern.
    
The court also made it clear that even if the joint sitting of the 
Parliament had approved the president's proclamation of emergency 
under clause 1 of Article 232 and the order under clause 2 of 
Article 233 it does not change the character of the original 
proclamation of emergency and those can be impugned in the court.
    
The court held that petitions challenging the proclamation of 
emergency and suspension of fundamental rights could not have been 
maintained if the court had held the conventional view.
    
The Chief Justice who authored the judgment observed that material 
placed before the bench was sufficient to hold that prima facie 
there was some material on the basis of which the President could 
issue the impugned proclamation of emergency on account of imminent 
danger of external aggression.
    
The court made it clear that same did not warrant passing of an 
order under Clause (2) of Article 233 of the Constitution 
suspending the enforcement of Fundamental Rights.
    
The bench which had heard the petitions challenging emergency 
consisted of Chief Justice Ajmal Mian, Justice Saiduzzaman 
Siddiqui, Justice Irshad Hasan Khan, Justice Raja Afraisaib Khan, 
Justice Bashir Jehangiri, Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid and Justice 
Munawar Ahmed Mirza.

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981013
-------------------------------------------------------------------
System losses to jump to 34pc: WAPDA overbilling provinces 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD, Oct 12: WAPDA has been overbilling the provinces to 
offset a substantial increase in its system losses which are 
expected to rise to 34 per cent during this year.
    
Sources in the prime minister's secretariat told Dawn that in the 
financial year 1997-98 alone WAPDA has over-billed the provinces to 
the tune of Rs8 billion.
    
A summary recently submitted by minister for water and power Gohar 
Ayub Khan to prime minister Nawaz Sharif disclosed that the 
overbilling practice of the Authority has even been proved by the 
latest exercise on reconciliation of the bills.
    
The summary contained a detailed review of WAPDA's financial crisis 
and its reasons. According to the sources, the recent change in 
WAPDA's top slot was the consequence of this summary.
    
The minister had sought that secretary water and power Shahid 
Husain be given additional charge of this position for three months 
to bring about the much needed changes in the organisation.
    
With regard to the grave financial crisis faced by WAPDA, the prime 
minister was told that the gap in its current income and 
expenditure was Rs31 billion. The gap has been financed by an 
increase in current liabilities which have increased from Rs53 
billion at the end of financial year 1996-97 to Rs86 billion at the 
end of the 1997-98. The authority has defaulted on debt servicing 
liabilities of the government (Rs18.2 billion) and on payments to 
fuel suppliers and contractors. "Default on payment of salaries may 
be next," the minister warned.
    
WAPDA's financial position deteriorated despite March, 98 increase 
in tariff. In the absence of metering of its agriculture consumers 
the losses are conveniently imputed to them, the summary said.
    
The World Bank, it added, also pointed out a substantial increase 
in system losses from 24.1 per cent in 1997 to 26.4 per cent in 
1998. These losses are expected to further increase to 34 per cent 
when adjusted for WAPDA's overbilling to the provinces. Metering 
for flat rate to agriculture consumers and FATA would further 
increase these losses.
    
With regard to WAPDA's thermal plants, the minister said that the 
availability from WAPDA's thermal plants (plant factor) had been 
much below the desired level. The plant factor of these thermal 
power plants during 1996-97 had been 42.48 per cent. On the other 
hand, the IPPs are committed to a maximum plant factor of 85 per 
cent during the entire period of their contract with WAPDA. "If 
WAPDA had run its thermal stations efficiently, its cost of 
generation would have been much less."
    
The minister admitted that the problems in WAPDA have reached to a 
crisis proportion. Massive mismanagement is more than palpable. 
PEPCO which was designed to overcome inefficiencies and corruption 
in the organisation has also been left without a writ.
    
The sources said in the light of this summary the prime minister 
has given go ahead signal to the newly appointed chairman to 
completely overhaul WAPDA by using all means including revamping of 
its bureaucracy.

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981013
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PTCL tests coding system to prevent misuse of phones
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 12: The Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) 
suspended overseas booking call facility from the telephones hooked 
on station trunk dialling (STD) over the weekend. It, however, 
restored the facility on Monday afternoon.
    
According to PTCL officials, they suspended the facility on Sunday 
on an "experimental basis" in order to test their plan of giving a 
code system to digital telephone subscribers to "lock" the system 
and prevent it from being misused and overbilled for national or 
international telephone calls.
    
The experiment however caused problems for telephone subscribers 
with non- STD telephones throughout the city. A number of 
subscribers caught off guard by the PTCL's new decision, repeatedly 
dialled 0102 to book overseas calls only to get a recording saying 
that their telephone did not possess the necessary facility.
    
The suspension of the facility also disrupted the inter-city 
transmission of faxes from telephones which did not possess 
international service dialling (ISD) facility. At the same time, 
complaints poured in from subscribers availing of the Internet 
through PTCL lines, claiming that they were unable to access their 
electronic mail.
    
A PTCL team, which visited the Gateway Exchange on Saturday as part 
of its ongoing inquiry against complaints of excessive billing, 
reportedly recommended the suspension of the service as a rehearsal 
for the PTCL's proposal to offer a coding system.
    
Officials claimed that the institution of the code would protect 
digital telephones from being hooked on to public call offices, 
apartment buildings with or without the convenience of telephone 
operators at the Gateway Exchange, preventing the mounting 
complaints of excessive billing.
    
According to them, the system required that telephone subscribers 
lock their system by dialling *33*, followed by dialling four 
digits (in some cases self- selected and in other cases given by 
their divisional engineers), concluding this by dialling *01#. The 
system could similarly be unlocked by repeating the procedure, 
replacing the 01 at conclusion by 02.
    
"In effect this would amount to turning the key on and off your 
telephone to prevent it from being misused," officials said.
    
The coding system, which may be advertised in the next few days, 
will be relevant for 619,000 digital telephone subscribers with STD 
facilities who wish to keep their system locked. At the same time, 
it will be available to telephone subscribers who voluntarily made 
their system non-STD by dialling in four digits and government 
departments which had applied for non-STD telephones in order to 
prevent misuse.
    
The officials said that for the time being they would not institute 
the coding system for the remaining 106,000 subscribers with 
analogue (six-digit numbers) on account of the problem of matching 
the numbers with their present system on the telephone exchange.
    
Over the next few days, the PTCL plans to advertise the details of 
its coding system.


=================================================================== 
 BUSINESS & ECONOMY
981016
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PM seeks proposals : Structural changes to double exports
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana

KARACHI, Oct 15: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has asked the private 
sector to suggest measures which could lead to self-reliance and 
would further lessen the dependence on world financial agencies.
    
The prime minister, who was chairing the meeting of Export 
Promotion Board at Governor House on Wednesday, told businessmen 
that time has come for Pakistan to attain self-reliance while 
giving up the dependence on external loaning agencies.
    
"I would like you to suggest such structural changes in the working 
of the government which could assist in increasing the exports two-
folds by the year 2000," was the request of the PM to the 
businessmen and the leading exporters who had come to the meeting.
    
The PM emphasised that as a sovereign state, it was imperative upon 
the countrymen to accomplish self-dependency rather than relying on 
foreign donors. He said that the only means available to fulfill 
these objectives is the elimination of financial deficits through 
enhancement of export earnings.
    
He asked the President FPCCI, Fazalur Rehman Dittu to form two 
separate committees which could finalize within a week proposals 
for enhancing exports and for revival of sick units.
    
"I will be meeting you next Tuesday at the Federation House, 
Karachi wherein, I will accept all your proposal and suggestion in 
their original form, but you, as a business community will have to 
ensure that exports are doubled within two years," PM reaffirmed to 
the leaders present.
    
Nawaz Sharif also told the FPCCI president that he could bring 
alongwith him as many as 60 members of the business community in 
the forthcoming meeting whereas, he (the prime minister) will be 
accompanied by only 20 advisors and ministers to assist him in the 
dialogue.
    
The prime minister said, "I assure you any impediments from the 
bureaucracy will be removed on the spot."
    
In a separate meeting with the APTMA members held earlier on the 
same day (Wednesday), the prime minister appointed a committee 
comprising Ishaq Dar Minister for Commerce, Fakhr Imam MNA, Humayun 
Ellahi Chairman APTMA and others members representing the cotton 
trade to formulate a mechanism whereby local cotton prices could be 
maintained at the level of international prices.
    
The committee has been directed by the PM to meet regularly and 
effectively to help in resolving the problems relating to cotton 
trade.
    
In respect to issues relating to the revival of the textile 
industry, the prime minister formed a three-member committee 
comprising Ishaq Dar Minister for Commerce, Dr Hafiz Pasha Advisor 
to PM on Finance and Economic Affairs and Chairman BoI. He asked 
the committee to ensure effective implementation of "the industrial 
restructuring committee on revival of sick units."
    
The Special Committee on Exports will comprise Fazalur Rehman 
Dittu, Maqsood Ismail, Sheikh Jamil Mehboob Magoon, Mahmood Ahmed, 
Mian Habib Ullah, Liaquat Jangda, Razzak Teli, Jehangir Anwar, 
Iqbal Ibrahim, Riaz Ahmed Tata, Mohsin Aziz, Humayun Ellahi, S M 
Nasim, Sardar Raza Mohammad Barrech, S Muhammad Qasim, Shakoor 
Dada, Javed Siddiqui, Shabbir Ahmed, Abdul Latif Malik, Hanif Khan, 
chairman Pakistan Surgical Instruments Manufacturers and Exporters 
Association and chairman Pakistan Sports Goods Manufacturers and 
Exporters Association.
    
The special committee on revival of sick units will comprise 
Senator Ilyas Ahmed Bilour, Sheikh Jamil Mehboob Magoon, Al-Haj 
Munawwar Khan, Waqar Monnoo, Maqsood Ismail, Humayun Ellahi and 
Mian Mohammad Usman.

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981016
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Options to make dollar bonds attractive
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sabihuddin Ghausi

KARACHI, Oct 15: A meeting of top bankers and stock brokers with 
the Commerce Minister, Ishaq Dar at the State Bank of Pakistan on 
Thursday discussed various options to make dollar bonds attractive 
for the foreign currency account holders.

The meeting, however, remained inconclusive and next session will 
be held on arrival of the Governor of State Bank, Dr Muhammad Yaqub 
from Washington who is due here this weekend.
    
These options were discussed in wake of the reports that in the 
last about two months hardly 35 million dollar deposits in foreign 
currency accounts have been converted into bonds. The minister's 
assertion was to launch a vigorous marketing drive of these bonds 
so that current foreign currency deposit liabilities on government 
are deferred quickly to next three to seven years.
    
One of the proposal mooted in the meeting was to cut down maturity 
periods of these bonds with more attractive rate of returns. 
"Instead of having 5, 7 and 10 years maturity period, the proposal 
mooted was to offer bonds with 3, 5 and 7 years maturity period," 
one of the bankers who participated in the meeting informed Dawn.
    
In the existing scheme, the government has offered LIBOR rate on 
five years bond, LIBOR plus one per cent on 7 years maturity bond 
and LIBOR plus 2 per cent on 10 years bond which is being 
considered unattractive.
    
Instead the proposal mooted in the meeting offered a rate of 2 per 
cent above London Inter Bank Offered (LIBOR) on 3 years bond, 2.5 
per cent above LIBOR on 5 years and 3 per cent above LIBOR on 7 
years bond.
    
According to few bankers, the government will not incur heavy 
liabilities on these bonds if the holders are allowed to trade them 
in stock market, offer them in privatization of public sector 
enterprises and allow them to adjust their borrowings in the banks 
and financial institutions.
    
At present there are 7 billion dollars deposit in the foreign 
currency accounts. Out of this 1.5 billion dollars are 
institutional deposits. The government is looking for conversion of 
5.5 billion dollar deposits into bonds.
    
Participants of the meeting are reported to have diverse and 
conflicting views on the suggestion to convert foreign currency 
deposits into bearer bonds.
    
Stock brokers and few bankers are reported to have expressed 
serious reservations on this proposal.
    
Stock brokers fear counterfeit bonds in case these dollar bonds are 
bearer and therefore" registration of these instruments in name of 
the holder is the safest way," Yasin Lakhani, a former President of 
the Karachi Stock Exchange told the meeting.
    
Lakhani said that the bonds be made transferable and endorsable 
from the day these are issued and final payment be made to the last 
holder of this instrument.
    
"Bearer bonds may be termed as new money laundering instruments and 
invite criticism from the international financial agencies," one of 
the participant of the meeting feared.
    
Other participants spoke of the hazards involved in keeping bearer 
instruments of such high denomination as 100,000 dollars. 
Registration of such high denominated instruments was considered 
safe by many of them.
    
Liquidity of the banks on conversion of their foreign currency 
deposits was the other main issue discussed thoroughly in the 
meeting. One of the suggestions was to allow the banks to retain 
these deposits with them against a rate of return they get on the 
treasury bills.
    
Bankers appear divided on this issue. While a few consider the rate 
on treasury bills too cheap for the funds other believe that 
foreign banks stand to gain from this proposal.
    
Next meeting on this issue is expected to be held sometimes early 
next week.

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981013
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Govt urged to protect shareholders
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 12: The Board of Directors of Karachi Stock Exchange 
has urged the government to protect interest of 97 per cent of the 
general shareholders who have a big stake in Hub-Power and have 
already suffered massively since March owing to tariff cut issue.
    
Commenting on the action against its management including 
rescinding of previous tariff agreements and filing of corruption 
cases against Hubco's top management, the KSE board felt that the 
clarification of certain issues was necessary.
    
The rescinding of the 1994 amendments for instance, allows the 
government to revert to original power purchase agreement executed 
in August 1992 by the first Nawaz Sharif regime at Rs1.36 per kwh, 
the board claims and adds whereas "the agreement was made in US 
dollar as per the prospectus".

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981013
-------------------------------------------------------------------
No more devaluation of rupee, says Dar
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Oct 12: Minister for Commerce Ishaq Dar declared here on 
Monday that there would not be any upfront devaluation of the rupee 
and the existing dual exchange rate will continue to be adhered to 
by the State Bank of Pakistan.
    
"All policy parameters have been agreed upon regarding the policy 
matters with the IMF and the World Bank and there will be no 
upfront devaluation and the exchange rate of Pakistani rupee will 
continue to be Rs 46 vis a vis a US dollar", he further stated.
    
Speaking at a news conference he regretted that all kinds of 
speculations have been made in the newspapers about the three weeks 
long talks with the IMF. "We should not have spoken about our talks 
with the IMF unless they are finalized but since the issue 
specially the so-called proposed devaluation is hurting the stock 
market I thought it necessary to clarify some of the issues", he 
said.
    
"There is no across the board devaluation as is being speculated". 
The term upfront is used to convey that there will be devaluation 
prior to the agreement with the IMF.
    
However, it was intriguing that the Commerce Minister Ishaq Dar 
addressed the news conference on the issue of negotiations with the 
IMF when Prime Minister's Advisor on Finance Dr Hafeez Pasha the 
man who has been conducting the negotiations on behalf of Pakistan 
was very much in Islamabad.
    
Dar said that another IMF delegation was expected to arrive in 

Islamabad during the next few days time to "re-work the detailed 
programme" with the Pakistani authorities. Dar pointed out that 
after about week-long discussions, a senior level official will 
reach here to finalize the issue. "We hope that by November the 
Executive Board of the IMF will approve $5 billion package which 
also includes $2 billion debt rescheduling by the Paris and London 
Clubs", he added.
    
The Commerce Minister also said that there would be no increase in 
the utility charges. "Again I would say here that there are no 
upfront increase in the tariffs of various utilities".
    
When he was asked if the IMF was not asking for certain 
conditionalities to be met to qualify for the resumption of the 
assistance then what was the problem in finalizing any agreement 
with the Washington based multilateral agency, he said: "I think we 
should wait for the conclusion of the talks".
    
When pressed further to disclose the demands of the IMF, he said, 
IMF was asking to revamp the financial system, restructuring of 
WAPDA and the establishment of Pakistan Revenue Service (PRS). He 
said the general sales tax (GST) rates could be increased by 
eliminating octroi and zila tax.
    
Answering a question Mr Dar denied that IMF assistance had been 
linked to the signing of the CTBT and transfer of fissile material 
to any third country. "Dr Pasha had met the US Under Secretary of 
State on Economic Affairs only to discuss the economic and 
financial matters and did not talk about any political issue as was 
published in the press," he added.
    
"We have reached a consensus with the IMF and for the first time 
Pakistan has succeeded in selling some thing new to IMF instead of 
accepting certain conditionalities as had been the case in the 
past", he claimed.
    
He said Pakistan has told the IMF that Islamabad will not accept 
any thing which was against its political and economic interest. He 
said Pakistan was a sovereign country and could not be forced to 
accept certain dictates by the donors. "Whatever is in our interest 
will be accepted and I can tell you that we have said no to IMF on 
many issues".
    
He also pointed out that there would not be any forced conversion 
of the Foreign Currency Accounts (FCAs). He said it would continue 
to be voluntary and that there should not be any panic in this 
behalf.
    
Dar disclosed that new rules were being framed for selling the 
foreign currency bonds to offer better profit - about one or two 
cent above London Inter Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) which will be 
transferable and tradable in the stock market. And the time frame 
will also be reduced. "This facility will be offered to old holders 
of such bonds as well", he added.
    
To another question Secretary Finance Moeen Afzal who was also 
present during the news conference said currently FCAs were in the 
range of $550 million to $600 million.
    
Asked whether Pakistan would commit default in case the IMF did not 
offer any thing from the revived ESAF/EFF, he said there might be 
some delays but in the meantime "we will try to handle the issue by 
having some grace period at our disposal".
  
He said that it was still to be determined how much this ESAF/EFF 
of $1.6 billion could be stretched. This will be finalized in the 
next meeting".
    
The total foreign debt, he told a reporter, stood at about 30 to 31 
billion dollars.
    
Asked whether the International Monetary Fund had asked for 
imposing tax on agriculture income, Dar said it was a provincial 
subject. But Moeen Afzal said that the government hoped that three 
provinces will follow Punjab to fully legislate the issue.

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981011
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Investment in Sindh at standstill
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Aamir Shafaat Khan

KARACHI, Oct 10: The industrial estates in Sindh have not seen any 
investment since the last few years for want of basic utility 
services like electricity and gas and deteriorating law and order 
situation.
    
Even the industrialists, who have been allotted plots on the 
existing estates, are reluctant to utilize them in the absence of 
basic facilities.
    
Not only that, at least 40 industrial units have been closed and 
industrial plots have turned into warehouses in SITE Karachi which 
is oldest industrial estate.
    
The price of land in estates like Nooriabad, Sukkur, Nawabshah, 
Hyderabad, Kotri and Tandojam, have fallen to under Rs100,000 per 
acre but there are no prospective investors. SITE sells industrial 
land in Karachi at Rs1.5 million per acre whereas the market price 
is Rs10 million.
    
Managing Director, Sindh Industrial Trading Estates Limited (SITE), 
government of Sindh, Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui told Dawn that some 
industrialists in interior Sindh complain of law and order 
situation but to my knowledge it is still much better than Karachi.
    
In Nooriabad, only 28 units are operative as against allotment of 
around 400 plots. About 4,000 industries were planned to be set up 
in that area, he added.
    
Industrialists are reluctant to go to Nooriabad owing to non-
availability of gas despite the fact the area provides 
infrastructure facilities like road networks, electricity, water 
and telephone.
    
He said that gas company is reluctant to provide gas in Nooriabad 
saying it is not feasible till the industrialists put up units in 
the area. "How can a investor come when there is no gas in the 
area," he added.
    
Similarly, Nawabshah estate lacks facilities like power, gas and 
water and only one unit is under operation out of allotment of 12 
plots, he said.
    
In 1,875 acres of Kotri Estate, only 40 industries are currently in 
operation out of allocation of 206 plots despite absence of 
electricity. Around 515 acres are available for further allotment.
    
He said that surprisingly WAPDA tells us that there is no 
government policy available for power generation for Kotri Estate.
    
In Sukkur only 24 units operate as more than 150 plots have been 
allotted. Road network, water, sewerage and electricity is there 
but there is no proper distribution of gas, he added.

The Hyderabad Estate has almost all facilities but around 50 units 
are engaged in operation out of allotment of 380 plots and 100 
units are closed, he added.
    
Since ban on allotment of new industrial plots in Sindh for almost 
a year, he said we have received only two to three applications for 
setting up units in Nooriabad, Sukkur, Kotri etc.
    
A proposal to remove ban on new allotment is under consideration 
with the Sindh government after studying proposals moved by SITE 
Limited and Chief Secretary Sindh two weeks back.
    
He said that two main industrial estates North Karachi and SITE 
Karachi still face problems of water and load shedding.
    
In SITE no land is available for allotment as almost all 2,000 
plots have been utilized so far.
    
Industrialists said that looming recession and political 
uncertainty has caused confusion among new investors while others 
already in business opt for short term planning under the present 
circumstances.
    
According to KCCI study on investment profile of Sindh, the 
province was in the grip of stagflation for the last few years. 
    
The reforms package announced by the prime minister last year have 
already had discernible affect on the industrial production 
although its full impact will be felt after a longer period.

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981015
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Punjab unable to generate funds
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Shaukat Ali

LAHORE, Oct 14: Punjab has told Islamabad that it would not be able 
to generate enough surplus funds from its current budget to afford 
province's Annual Development Programme for at least coming two 
years, informed sources said here on Wednesday. 
    
The federal government wants provinces, specially the Punjab, to 
mobilize additional resources and reduce its dependence on 
Islamabad.
    
The Punjab has obtained from Islamabad around Rs 12 billion since 
1997 to fund its development schemes. This is in addition to about 
Rs 8 billion which the federal government has given to the largest 
province to manage schemes under the Social Action Programme (SAP). 
    
"The Punjab has been struggling to economize its non- development 
expenditure. It hopes to save around Rs 7 billion from its revenue 
budget during 1998-99 though outcome of the austerity campaign 
during the first quarter of the year does not indicate that the 
government will be able to achieve its saving target", informed 
sources said. In the first three months of the current fiscal, 
measures to cut the recurring expenditure did not help the 
government to save more than Rs 150 million. 
   
All the provincial tax collecting departments are unable to meet 
their tax collection targets. In the area of provincial excise, 
property and motor vehicles the collection is reported to be 
slightly higher than the targets. 
    
"But Islamabad wants the province to tap more income sources which 
under the prevailing recessionary conditions is perhaps next to 
impossible", sources quoted senior officials as telling a high-
level meeting of financial experts from all the provinces held 
recently in Islamabad. 
    
Nevertheless, they said, the Punjab which levied new taxes on 
luxury vehicles, sprawling bungalows and members of stately clubs, 
expected to generate additional funds to the tune of around Rs 700 
million this year. But all the same, sources argued, the province 
was still far from funding all the development projects included in 
the annual budget from its own resources. 
    
Punjab, it is understood, has also blamed the financial managers of 
the federal government for making wrong projections about revenue 
collection last year which upset its budgetary planning this year. 
    
"The tragedy is that at a stage when the province was expecting to 
get Rs 97 billion from Islamabad (from the federal divisible pool 
of taxes) for the present financial year, it has been actually 
given Rs 70.6 billion", official sources said adding that under 
these circumstances the province could not remotely promise to fund 
the development sector schemes on its own. 

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981014
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Banks borrow Rs5 billion
-------------------------------------------------------------------

KARACHI, Oct 13: The liquidity squeeze in the interbank market 
forced Pakistani banks to borrow five billion rupees from the 
central bank for overnight on Tuesday, bankers said.
    
They said interbank overnight rates hovered around 16.5 per cent 
level in trade of 4.5 to five billion rupees.
    
The market was short of funds after a central bank auction on 
Monday mopped up Rs 2.2 billion from the interbank market.
    
The State Bank of Pakistan on Monday raised Rs 2.2 billion from the 
money market by selling 12-month treasury bills at 15.18 per cent 
yield per annum in an auction.
    
One dealer said trade in the market was largely in the range of 
16.45 to 16.50 per cent.Reuters

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981015
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Fish exports: Pakistan included in EC list II
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Aamir Shafaat Khan

KARACHI, Oct 14: Pakistan has been included in Part II list, Annex 
I of the European Commission (EC), which authorizes imports of 
fishery products to European countries.
    
According to messages received by exporters, the European 
Commission in its official journal has issued the list of various 
countries. The list is divided in two parts, I and II.
    
The EC's journal issued on October 12 said, "Pakistan has shown 
that it satisfies the equivalent conditions referred to Article 
2(2) of Decision 95/408/EC and the decision is in accordance with 
the opinion of the Standing Veterinary Committee."
    
An exporter told Dawn that the list II enables Pakistan to send 
fishery products to Europe by December 31, 1998 but according to 
messages from their buyers the EC is expected to extend the date up 
to December 31, 2,000.
   
The EC decision was communicated to the Marine Fisheries Department 
(MFD), Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MINFAL) and 
local exporters on Wednesday.
    
The MINFAL is expected to issue necessary instruction to the MFD 
within one or two days to issue health certificates so that 
shipments to European countries could be resumed immediately which 
had been suspended since July, 1 1998.

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981014
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Economic activity slackens: Private sector credit growth recedes
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Harris Anwar

KARACHI, Oct 13: The credit to the private sector, a major 
indicator of the economic activity, has recorded a negative growth 
of about Rs 33 billion in the first quarter of 1998-99, 
knowledgeable bankers told Dawn.
    
They said slowdown in the overall economic activity, banks 
hesitation to lend in this depressed economic situation and massive 
adjustment against the collateral on the foreign currency accounts 
were the major causes behind this sharp contraction.
    
Traditionally, the first quarter remains slack as it is the time 
when stocks deplete and textile sector retires bank credit," said a 
head of nationalized bank whose own bank has witnessed a negative 
growth of about Rs 4 billion.
    
This time our bank's credit growth is flat to down, but it'll 
definitely pick up in the second quarter when the seasonal 
borrowing by sugar and textile sectors start," he said.
    
But the textile sector has not fared well during the last three 
months. Textile exports have fallen by 31 per cent to $168 million 
over the corresponding period last year. And at the same time sugar 
sector is marred by heavy carryover stocks of around 0.4 million 
tons due to failure on export front.
    
The companies are not utilizing funding available to them due to 
deepening recession in the economy," said head of a foreign bank. 
He said the money market had the excess liquidity of RSV 15-20 
billion against Rs 2-3 billion in the same period last largely 
because of low credit demand by the private sector.
    
This has helped the government to keep its cost of borrowing down 
due to fairly liquid money market where short-term interest rates 
on T-bills are ranging between 13-15 per cent. But experts say this 
trend may reverse as this year government borrowing appetite is 
expected to increase due to large funding gap in its finances.
    
The credit plan for 1998-99 envisages Rs 98.5 billion for private 
sector borrowing, and Rs 93 billion for the budgetary support with 
13.6 per cent growth in the M2 money supply. 
    
But private bankers say State bank's decision to disallow 
collateral against foreign currency deposits had mainly contributed 
in the contraction of the credit growth. According to these bankers 
around 20-25 billion rupees have been adjusted against the 
borrowing on these deposits.
    
Bankers say highly dismal trade performance has also depressed the 
credit demand for trade financing. Imports from July-September have 

gone down by 21.4 per cent while exports dropped by 9.3 per cent. 
"This is really a matter of concern," said a banker.
    
The off-take of credit by trade and manufacturing sectors has been 
affected due to introduction of multiple exchange rate, which has 
increased the cost of imports financing by 15-20 per cent. 

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981017
-------------------------------------------------------------------
KSE index loses 8.53 percent on massive selling in PTCL
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 16: Massive selling in PTCL on Friday amid conflicting 
rumours including default on foreign debt again pushed the market 
to new lows as investors saw an erosion of Rs 19 billion from their 
market capitalization just in one session despite the presence of 
strong financial support at dips. The KSE 100-share index fell 8.53 
per cent or 78 points at 841 points.
    
PTCL, which was heavily traded a day earlier on the plus side and 
accounted for 89 million shares, witnessed the worst sell-off as 
bears were out to deflate the bull-run in it after spreading 
conflicting rumours in the rings.
    
Holding about 32 per cent weightage in the index, any big decline 
in its share value will plunge the entire market into a lowest ebb. 
It suffered a fall of Rs 3.65 at Rs 19.20 on 63 million shares, out 
of total volume of 82 million shares.
    
"A decline of 78 points or over eight per cent in a session 
reflects panic selling, prompted largely by basic terribly weak 
economic fundamentals," said Nasir Ali Bukhari, chief of KASB & Co, 
adding "conflicting rumours are there but they could hardly be 
termed as a bearish market factor."
    
There are widespread rumours since Thursday evening, both in the 
rings and beyond the corridors of the Karachi Stock Exchange, that 
Pakistan has defaulted on its debt repayment for the quarter ending 
September 30, 1998, and might not be able to line up required 
amount during the grace period also.
    
"Massive selling in kerb in the PTCL that followed the rumours 
seems to have taken steam out of the market, upsetting all official 
efforts to keep it in a good shape," Bukhari added.
    
He said in the developing economic scenario foreign funds might not 
be coming and those who hold this perception should think twice 
before making fresh commitments.
    
KSE high-ups said it were rumours that some punitive actions might 
be taken against those who indulged in kerb trading in PTCL late on 
Thursday evening and their transactions will not be regularized.
    
"Investors have build-up long positions in the mid-week buying 
euphoria created by the strong presence of banks and hastened to 
take profits after conflicting rumours gripped the market," 
analysts said.
    
"The energy issue is another disturbing factor for the market and 
until it is amicably resolved any inspired rally could falter half 
way as does the current one," said a member of the KSE.
    
The KSE 100-share index was last quoted at 841.47 as compared to 
919.90 a day earlier as leading base shares received massive 
battering under the lead of PTCL and Hub-Power.
The PTCL, which turned out a massive activity of 89 million shares 
on Thursday, again came in for heavy selling and accounted for more 
than a half of the total volume. Hub-Power, though being traded on 
spot basis, is attracting large bouts of buying and selling amid 
brisk trading. It also turned out a big turnover, totalling about 
50 million shares, since the last three sessions following the 
government action against its management. Losers dominated the list 
as blue chips, notably Lever brothers, Adamjee Insurance, PSO, 
Engro Chemical, Fauji Fertilizer, PTCL and Bawany Air and some 
others fell sharply by Rs 3.05 to Rs 20.00. Barring an increase of 
Rs 3.05 in Shell Pakistan, gains were fractional.
    
Trading volume fell to 82 million shares from the previous 119 
million shares. Out of the 103 actives only nine shares managed to 
finish fractionally higher, 76 fell with 18 holding on to the last 
levels.
    
PTCL topped the list of most actives, off Rs 3.65 at Rs 19.20 on 63 
million shares, followed by Hub-Power, easy 45 paisa at Rs 8.85 on 
6.258 million shares, Engro Chemicals, off Rs 1.85 at Rs 47.35 on 
1.723 million shares, Fauji Fertilizer, lower Rs 3.05 at Rs 35.80 
on 1.492 million shares, and FFC-Jordan Fertilizer, off 50 paisa at 
Rs 13.15 on 1.147 million shares.
    
Other actively traded shares were led by Bank of Punjab, off one 
rupee on 1.026 million shares, ICI Pakistan, easy 55 paisa on 0.956 
million shares, Sui Northern, easy 50 paisa on 0.867 million 
shares, Japan Power, lower 20 paisa on 0.726 million shares, Sui 
Southern, off 55 paisa on 0.679 million shares, and Southern 
Electric, unchanged on 0.440 million shares.

Back to the top
=================================================================== 
 EDITORIALS & FEATURES
981011
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The man of the hour
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ardeshir Cowasjee

GENERAL Jehangir Karamat, chief of our army staff until October 7, 
was endowed with one great attribute which no doubt helped him 
survive  a sense of humour.
    
Talking to him, several months ago, both agreeing that Nawaz Sharif 
was a prime example of all that a prime minister ought not to be, I 
asked him, "When are you taking over, General?" Looking me straight 
in the eye, he answered with one-word, "What?"
    
This just about sums up how low this country, gifted to us fifty 
years ago, has fallen whilst we, the docile, unthinking, fast-
multiplying millions have sat by.
    
We started with an area of 451,291 square kilometers, divided 
between West and East. A quarter of a century later came a 
political adventurer who threw away 143,998 sq.km in the East so 
that he could be top dog of the West. We had a proud army which 
this selfish man fattened and then disgraced.
    
In the 307,293 sq.km. left to us lies the second highest mountain 
of the world, one of its longest rivers, one of its most fertile 
plains, one of its best irrigation systems, and enough flowing 

water to generate sufficient hydro-electric power to meet the 
growing needs of the entire country. We have a coastline of almost 
1,000 kilometers opening up onto a rich sea, an abundance of 
untapped oil and gas reserves on and off-shore. We once had a first 
class railway system, as good as any in the world, and a network of 
serviceable roads. Situated outside the cyclone zone, we are 
blessed with good weather. We have a vast reservoir of human 
resources, the cream of which has filtered abroad where they hold 
their own against the best.
    
The half we were left with in 1971 was a viable country, governable 
even by the mediocre. We had friends around the world. Today we are 
friendless.
    
To call this nation a democracy is to grossly misuse the word. 
Exercising one foul means after another, the charlatans who 
followed in power after the deaths of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and a 
handful of others of that early era, have dug themselves in and 
worked purely for their own good, in total disregard of the needs 
of the nation. They have concentrated solely on the aggrandizement 
of self, family and cronies (a common Third World affliction), and 
more often than not have left office in disgrace.
    
For the past ten years, two families have been allowed a 
stranglehold on the fate of this country. There cannot be one 
thinking man, here or elsewhere, who will not agree that both are 
corrupt to the core. As to which has robbed and impoverished us 
more, as to which is more responsible for the present state of 
bankruptcy, is not yet certain. We depend totally on foreign loans 
and in the money world are now rated amongst the lowest, falling in 
the "Speculative Grade". How long can we continue to borrow without 
being able to pay back?
    
In the era of Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari, a few months prior 
to the January 1996 retirement of Chief of Army Staff General Abdul 
Waheed Kakar (‘The Man who came to Dinner’ and sent home one 
president and one prime minister), two generals, down the line in 
seniority, were vying for the top slot. One was the husband’s 
choice, a corrupt and slimy bully. The other was a crafty spook 
adept at feeding funds where needed, and suited the wife. 
Fortunately, thanks to the husband-and-wife split, seniority and 
merit prevailed and General Jehangir Karamat, upright soldier, 
officer and gentleman, was rightly appointed to succeed Kakar.
    
In November of that year, Benazir Bhutto’s government was dismissed 
by her own president, Farooq Leghari, the man appointed to protect 
her. He and his caretaker government made noises about initiating a 
process of accountability  ‘Ehtesab.’ The cry arose: Ehtesab 
before Intekhab! The people were convinced that the second family, 
obviously programmed to be brought back into power, would not be 
able to handle the country. Constitutionally, it was possible to 
postpone the elections for a limited period of time in excess of 
the stipulated 90 days.
The then Chief Justice of Pakistan, Sajjad Ali Shah, and army chief 
General Jehangir Karamat, shared the people’s view, as did those 
countries of the democratic world with an interest in Pakistan. The 

Times, the mouthpiece of the Mother of Parliaments in London, on 
January 8, 1997, editorialized under the heading, "Time for 
Pakistan  Delaying elections may be better than it appears":
    
"...A time-limited delay of the February elections would not 
necessarily be as damaging to Pakistani democracy as it seems. The 
two leading contenders have both been dismissed from office on 
corruption charges; three months was always too short a time for 
credible choices to emerge from such polluted political machinery.
    
"Time would also allow the interim government to toughen up its 
accountability law, intended to disqualify politicians guilty of 
corruption. It was hastily drafted and has allowed too many big 
fish to slip through its meshes. In particular, there is need to 
tighten the new rules designed to bar politicians who have damaged 
the country’s banking system by declining to repay massive personal 
loans to which nothing but their political influence entitled 
them".
    
The question the people asked of the diehard democratic 
constitutionalists baying for elections was: Do you want a 
constitution or do you want a country?
    
Farooq Leghari selfishly opted for expediency. He felt safe with 
Nawaz Sharif. Elections were held, the number of votes cast was the 
lowest ever. The people were disillusioned, disinterested.
    
Nawaz Sharif resumed his rule and started his second round. Having 
never batted on an even pitch, being used to playing the game with 
the umpire inevitably declaring a no-ball each time he was bowled, 
or caught, or run out, he decided to reverse the roles and declare 
the umpires ‘out’. The first to be neutralized was the president, 
disempowered by the 13th Amendment. The next to go, in one fell 
swoop, were the parliamentarians, all dissent being eliminated by 
the 14th Amendment. The judiciary soon followed, Nawaz Sharif 
fearing that Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah might be the man who 
could send him home. Before that could happen, Sajjad Ali Shah was 
sent home, together with the disempowered president who had dared 
flex a muscle.
What was left? The army. Whether we like it or not, each government 
has rightly felt threatened by this disciplined party of half a 
million men who can rise at a single command. Nawaz Sharif was 
incapable of appreciating that it was possible for a general not to 
want martial law, not to want to take over the country, but to 
simply want to do his best by tendering professionally sound 
advice.
    
Karamat was intelligent enough to understand that he and his men 
could not possibly serve the country and its people any better than 
the politicians. But he did his duty and voiced his protest at the 
deteriorating all-round situation, and continued to voice his 
protest. Finally, on October 5, he spoke out as he did. Can any 
reasonable man find any fault with what he said?
    
Nawaz Sharif could find no fault with Karamat’s statement, but the 
fact that he had dared speak up was sufficient for the insecure 
prime minister to ask him to go. No one who dares raise a voice 
against the designs of the nation’s foremost ‘Nur da puttur’ can be 

tolerated. He asked Karamat to retract his statement, which Karamat 
could never do. Knowing that he would be sacked before he could get 
back to his HQ, the wise army chief there and then opted for 
premature retirement.

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981017
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The search for legitimacy
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Irfan Husain

AS THE legislative process to enact the Shariat Bill grinds on, we 
are reminded yet again how far Pakistan has drifted from the 
progressive, liberal course our founding fathers had set for us.
    
Over the last half a century, government after government has 
groped for a consensus on our identity, but to no avail. And as the 
quality of governance declined, increasingly deadly forms of 
extremism have converged to hold the state to ransom. The national 
agenda has swung like a pendulum over the years, but now seems to 
have been permanently captured by the fanatic right. If proof is 
needed, just look at the proliferation of armed militias.
    
Pakistan’s dilemma since it came into being has been that we have 
forever tried to establish our legitimacy as a nation-state, and in 
this endless quest, we have forced ourselves to undergo countless 
constitutional contortions. An entire generation grew up in the 
shadow of the "two-nation theory." For younger readers, let me 
quickly explain that this thesis provided the basis for the 
partition of the Indian subcontinent on the grounds that as the 
Hindus and Muslims of South Asia constituted two separate and 
distinct nations, they both needed to live separately in their own 
physically and legally exclusive areas.
    
The civil war in East Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh in 1971 
put this theory to rest. But to forestall any questions about the 
legitimacy of what remained of Pakistan in the wake of this 
wrenching experience, a conscious effort was made to project the 
rump state as a Middle Eastern nation. This coincided with the Gulf 
boom following the rapid rise in oil prices, and the vast flow of 
Pakistani workers to our suddenly rich neighbouring states.
    
But with this expansion of ties between Pakistan and the Gulf 
states came a gradual change in attitudes here. Fanaticism and 
zealotry dominated the vocabulary of political discourse, elbowing 
out reason and rationality. This period came towards the end of 
Bhutto’s failed socialist experiment. The PPP leader was a 
nationalist who expressed Pakistan’s identity as a nonaligned state 
following the socialist path. But at the end of his stay in 1977, 
he tried to play the religious card to survive and unleashed the 
storm we are still trying to weather over two decades later.
    
Zia-ul-Haq was absolutely clear in his mind that Pakistan ought to 
be a theocratic state and did everything in his considerable power 
to mould Pakistan according to his vision. He encouraged the 
proliferation of madressas, and these seminary schools became the 
breeding grounds for the Taliban as well as our own homegrown 
militias that have turned the cities into battlefields. Zia’s 
Afghan policy also made it easy for these fanatics (and assorted 
criminals) to get the most sophisticated weapons without any 
difficulty.
    
In this period Arabic and Islamic studies were made compulsory for 
students at all levels. Special news bulletins were broadcast daily 
in Arabic, irrespective of the fact that few understood them. These 
continue to this day as does the lack of comprehension. Religious 
programming came to acquire prominence on state-owned television 
and radio.
    
Since Zia’s death a decade ago, power has been divided almost 
equally between Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, and both have 
accepted the agenda established by Zia without a question. While 
Nawaz Sharif is trying to extend his mentor’s programme, BB never 
tried to dilute it or roll it back. For instance, at no stage of 
her two innings did she try to repeal the Hudood Ordinance. Any 
difference between the two is in nuance, not in substance.
    
The one common thread in these different attempts to define a 
national identity and to establish Pakistan’s legitimacy has been a 
consistently anti-India stance. Indeed, it is almost as though we 
could only be accepted through our "un-Indianness." Part of the 
reason, of course, is the implacable hostility that we have 
encountered from New Delhi since the day Pakistan came into being. 
Also, if we aren’t totally different from the Indians, why did we 
create Pakistan?
    
The problem with any state created by carving up an existing 
country is that the new entity is bound to feel a certain 
insecurity. Its leadership will feel a need to justify its creation 
to the world as well as to its own people. In our case, the 
original concept of Pakistan being created as a homeland for the 
Muslims of the subcontinent has become twisted into an Islamic 
state. There is a world of difference between the two, and yet our 
politicians have accepted the transition from one ideal to another 
without a murmur.
    
States created in the name of religion also fall prey to internal 
divisions as proponents of different schools of the dominant faith 
jockey for control of the national agenda and the nation’s soul. 
Broadly speaking, the struggle can be seen as a conflict between 
orthodoxy and modernism. In Pakistan, the former seems to have won.
    
Inevitably, the minorities in theocratic states are bound to be 
marginalized. In Israel, Muslim and Christian citizens have seen 
their rights whittled away, while in Pakistan, the plight of 
Ahmadis, Christians and Hindus continues to worsen. Even a 
distinguished Parsi like Ardeshir Cowasjee can be made the target 
of the present vicious campaign in which he is being accused of 
being a Jew and, incomprehensibly, "Clinton’s brother" by a 
powerful mafia of builders who specialize in illegal highrise 
buildings. It is no coincidence that Mr Cowasjee’s co-accused is 
another non-Muslim, Roland D’Souza, a courageous crusader in his 
own right.
    
So more and more, we are defining Pakistan as a closed, inward-
looking state where anybody who does not belong to the mainstream 

lives on sufferance as a second class citizen. And if you don’t 
like it, you had better keep your mouth shut or leave.

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981014
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MQM in a quandary
-------------------------------------------------------------------
M.H. Askari

DESPITE conflicting reports about the status of the Muttahida Qaumi 
Movement (MQM) vis-a-vis Liaquat Ali Jatoi's coalition government, 
there are fairly clear indications that the party is aiming to 
extricate itself from the trappings of ethnic politics and identify 
with the aspirations of more representative political organizations 
of Sindh.
    
MQM volunteers participated in large numbers at Thehri railway 
crossing on Sunday along with cadres of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz 
(JSQM) in the mass sit-in against the proposed Kalabagh dam which 
Sindhis regard as damaging to their interests. In several other 
demonstrations also, MQM participated alongside Sindhi nationalist 
groups. This is a long distance from the position that existed some 
years back when Mohajirs as a group were seen to be pitted against 
Sindhis.
    
A major cause of the sense of deprivation among the Sindhis in the 
early years of Pakistan was their perception that Mohajirs who held 
some key positions in the government were among the architects of 
policies detrimental to the social and economic progress of Sindh. 
There was also a strong feeling that Mohajirs were unduly pro-
Centre and whole-heartedly supported the ruling cliques in their 
strategy of strengthening of the Centre, to the disadvantage of the 
smaller provinces.
    
An active collaboration of the Mohajirs was seen in the takeover of 
Karachi and some of its adjoining areas separating them from Sindh 
by the central government in accordance with the wishes of Quaid-i-
Azam. At least one Sindhi scholar, Dr Hamida Khuhro attributes the 
separation of Karachi to the scheme to "control and disposal of the 
rich pickings of evacuee property and settlement of the immigrants" 
(who were mainly Urdu-speaking Mohajirs.) Similarly, Mohajirs were 
also perceived as a party to the devious scheme for the creation of 
the erstwhile One Unit.
    
To put the record straight, it is relevant to recall that yet 
another eminent Sindh scholar, Dr Feroz Ahmad, has quite 
unequivocally stated that it was under a Sindhi politician, Pir 
Ilahi Bukhsh's chief ministership that Karachi was separated from 
Sindh. He also points out that again it was a Sindhi dignitary, 
Muhammad Ayub Khuhro, who, in the words of H.S. Suhrawardy, "struck 
terror into the hearts of the legislators" and forced them to pass 
the notorious One Unit Bill in 1955. All this, according to Feroz 
Ahmad, was done to protect the vested interests of Sindhi 
landlords.
    
Press reports of the JSQM sit-in on Sunday have graphically 
recorded the blocking by Sindhi protesters in partnership with MQM 
volunteers of the National Highway. Pictures of Altaf Hussain and 
G.M. Syed were displayed side by side on the occasion and slogans 
were also raised of "Sindhi-Mohajir Bhai, Bhai." A Mohajir MPA 
emphatically declared on the occasion that the Mohajirs and Sindhis 
would "fight side by side" with JSQM in the interest of Sindh and 
criticized elements who were "not happy to see Sindhis, Mohajirs 
develop friendly ties." Prominent among those who addressed the 
rally on the occasion were several veteran Sindhi nationalists such 
as Abdul Waheed Aresar, Dr Niaz Ali, Noor Jamali and Shair 
Khaskheli.
    
MQM leader Altaf Hussain, after a telephonic conversation with the 
Christian Liberation Front's president, Shahbaz Bhatti, concerning 
the Shariat Bill, also expressed the view that Pakistan had not 
been created for the "dominance" of any one sect or faith but to 
protect the interests of all those, including the minorities, who 
live in Pakistan. He criticised what he described as the 
exploitative system and the discriminatory practices that have 
remained intact in Pakistan.
    
At the time of writing it is not clear whether the MQM would 
abstain from voting on the proposed Fifteenth Amendment bill in the 
Senate, as it had done when the bill was voted upon in the National 
Assembly. If it supports the bill, it would have to live with the 
stigma of serving the interests of pro-centre politicians. The 
opposition of the Sindhi masses as of the people of Balochistan and 
the NWFP to the proposed amendment is beyond any doubt.
    
There is a great deal of ambivalence in the PML's overall approach 
to the politics of Sindh, in general, and that of the Mohajirs and 
the MQM in particular. It appears that there are elements in the 
central government who are not too well disposed towards the MQM 
and are, therefore, not entirely in sympathy with policies which 
could be regarded as pro-Mohajir. It is unfortunate that despite 
expectations, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has not been able to 
personally visit Karachi and see things for himself, presumably 
because of his extreme preoccupation otherwise.
    
The composition of the high-level committee set up by the Centre, 
following the rise in militancy in Karachi in the recent months is 
also perceived by the MQM as not being sympathetic to its 
grievances. The committee has been specifically charged with the 
responsibility to probe into the sudden spate of killings and of 
incidents of arson during the hartal called by MQM on October 7. It 
includes, besides representatives to be nominated by MQM, two MNAs 
of the Muslim League, Capt Haleem Siddiqi and Mian Ejaz Shafi. A 
press release issued by the MQM central coordination committee has 
strongly criticised the inclusion of the two, describing it as 
"indicative of the duality of the PML leaders."
    
For MQM the inclusion of Mian Ejaz Shafi in the committee is like 
the red rag to the bull, in view of his persistent criticism of MQM 
politics. It was only last month that he blamed the PML government 
for what he called its overindulging "the aliens"  aliens being 
the Mohajirs. The contemptuous remark could not but have infuriated 
the MQM, whose partnership in the Sindh coalition has even 
otherwise not been exactly welcome to Mian Ejaz Shafi. The MQM 
coordination committee lost no time in expressing the view that 
whenever the PML and MQM have tried to reach some sort of an 
agreement to resolve the problems of Sindh, Mian Ejaz Shafi has 
assumed a "subversive" role.
    
Not surprising, the MQM has made it clear that it would not be in a 
position to cooperate with the committee in its enquiry so long as 
it continues to have the two PML MNAs in it. It is difficult to 
understand why the committee could not have been constituted 
without them. It would have carried a greater credibility with all 
sections of the people if it had included persons of unbiased 
reputation such as retired members of the higher judiciary. However 
much one may condemn MQM for its sins of commission and omission in 
the context of Karachi politics, any enquiry body set up to probe 
the situation should consist of non-controversial members.
    
While announcing its decision to withdraw its nominees from the 
Sindh coalition cabinet last month the MQM coordination committee 
gave a detailed checklist of its "grouses" against its coalition 
partner, i.e. the PML, which is in power in Sindh as well as at the 
centre. Mr Aftab Shaikh, who addressed a press conference on behalf 
of the MQM central coordination committee, criticised the PML 
leadership for having reneged on the various undertakings given at 
the time when the PML-MQM coalition was formed in Sindh. He even 
accused PML leadership of adopting "Mohajir-baiting" policies and 
resorting to a "state operation" against the MQM.
    
Mr Aftab Shaikh also claimed that contrary to the specific 
undertaking given at the time, the government had not released the 
MQM workers and supporters who had been under detention mostly 
without trial for considerable time on "fake charges" and that the 
"no-go areas" of Karachi had not been abolished. Nor had the 
government constituted the judicial commission to investigate 
allegations of extra-judicial killings of MQM activists. (The 
socalled extra-judicial killings had in fact formed a major part of 
the list of accusations levelled by the then President, Farooq 
Leghari, while dismissing Ms Benazir Bhutto's government.) Mr 
Shaikh also alleged that the "agencies" working against the 
interests of MQM had not only not been neutralised but even 
strengthened by the PML government. Amongst other allegations 
levelled by the MQM leader against the Nawaz Sharif government was 
its "failure" to arrange the repatriation of "Biharis" from 
Bangladesh, despite a clear undertaking.
    
In view of its resentment against the policies of the PML 
government, it would be something of an irony if the MQM continues 
to remain in the Sindh coalition government under Liaquat Jatoi. 
One hopes that the late Dr Feroz Ahmad was quite wrong when he 
observed that "an overwhelming majority of the Mohajirs supports a 
movement which is not only ethnic-exclusivist, but is in 
confrontation with all other groups and the state itself."
    
The MQM's active participation in the anti-Kalabagh dam protest and 
its abstaining from voting in favour of the Shariat Bill despite 
being a coalition partner of PML clearly give the lie to such 
impressions, regardless of whatever ideology the MQM follows. It is 
also entirely misleading to believe that the MQM seriously demands 
a separate Mohajir province and now it is no secret that the story 
about the socalled 'Jinnahpur Plan' was altogether without any 
substance.

Why should any Sindhi intellectuals have any misgivings about the 
Mohajirs' political motivation when Dr Feroz Ahmad himself also 
concedes that "the traditionally Sufist Punjabi, Saraiki, Sindhi 
and Baloch people feel obliged to assimilate into the religious 
beliefs and practices which are common among the Urdu speaking 
people?...."


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SPORTS
981013
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Nicol, Jansher head world squash rankings
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Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 12: Scotland's left-handed Peter Nicol and Pakistan's 
former eight-time world squash champion Jansher Khan remain number 
one and two in the October rankings, anncounced by the Professional 
Squash Associaton (PSA).
    
However, former Asian junior champion Amjad Khan of Pakistan has 
come close to regain his place among the top 24 as he is ranked 
25th, He was ranked 27th in the PSA September.
    
If Amjad Khan, a highly potential youth, secure 24th place he would 
be directly placed in the main draw of the super series event and 
also in a major tournament, Amjad Khan , who was among the top 24, 
had lost his ranking a few months back. He has 113. 313 points.
    
Jansher Khan has 900.688 points against top ranked Peter Nicol's 
1147.313 points.
    
Pakistan's Zubair Jahan Khan is ranked 37 and his elder brother 
Zarak Jahan is at number 39 , while Mir Zaman Gul ranked at no 47. 
Other Pakistanis, in the 100 rankings are, Kashif Shuja (52), 
Mohammad Hussain (60), Kumail Mahmood (61), Mansoor Zaman (64), 
Shamsul Islam Khan (65), Ejaz Azmat (80), Umer Zaman (91) and 
Humayun Khan (98).
 
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