------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 23 October 1999 Issue : 05/43 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Musharraf addresses nation: Security Council to run state affairs + National Security Council likely to be set up today (Saturday) + Sanctions waived for two months + Military regime: US economic sanctions to stay + Pakistan troops begin pullback + Japan calls for revival of Lahore process + Multilateral agencies to work with military govt + US welcomes CE's pledge to restore democracy + Four cases against Nawaz being sent to FIA + Commonwealth confirms no reports of HR violations + Benazir demands withdrawal of cases + GDA calls for early return to democracy + Benazir says she has nothing to hide from probe --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + State Bank of Pakistan helps out banks, stabilizes rupee + Credit rating downgraded on financial pressures + LC opening slows down on cash margins + Improved liquidity may keep lending rates down + Fair amount of profit-selling witnessed in stocks + Tax return date extended to Oct 30 + Directive to CBR: Major tax evasion cases to be re-examined + Banks told to stop lending to public cos + MoF, CBR focus shifts to recovery of tax, duties + Nov 16 deadline: Banks asked to track down defaulters EDITORIALS & FEATURES + The coup that failed Ardeshir Cowasjee + The more the merrier Irfan Husain + Scratchy record, familiar tune Ayaz Amir ----------- SPORTS + Sohail and Waqar dropped from Australia-bound team + Musharraf to get summary of report today + Pakistan outclass Sri Lanka to lift Sharjah Cup

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NATIONAL NEWS
991018
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Musharraf addresses nation: Security Council to run state affairs
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By Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Oct 17: Chief executive Gen Pervez Musharraf has 
announced the setting up of National Security Council (NSC) which 
will guide cabinet ministers in running the affairs of the country.

In his address to the nation on radio and television on Sunday 
night, Gen Musharraf set a seven-point agenda to revive the economy 
and work for national integration. He also said that there was no 
martial law in Pakistan." The Constitution has temporarily been 
held in abeyance to save the country", he said.

The chief executive said he was happy to tell the nation that Rafiq 
Tarar had consented to continue as the president of the country. 
Giving the details, Gen Musharraf said he would head the six-member 
National Security Council, whose members would be the chief of 
naval staff, the chief of air staff, a specialist each in legal, 
finance, foreign policy and national affairs. A 'think tank' of 
experts would be formed as an adjunct to the NSC to provide 
institutionalised advice and input.

The seven-point agenda would be: rebuilding of national confidence 
and morale; strengthening of the federation, removal of inter-
provincial disharmony and restoration of national cohesion; revival 
of economy and restoration of investor's confidence; ensuring law 
and order and dispensing speedy justice; depoliticization of state 
institutions; devolution of power to the grossroots level; and 
ensuring swift and across- the-board accountability.

Gen Musharraf said the provinces would be headed by governors who 
would function through a small cabinet. "All these appointments 
will be made purely on the basis of professional competence, merit 
and repute," he said, and held out an assurance to provide good 
governance to achieve his objectives.

He called upon the people not to be despondent. "I am an optimist. 
I have faith in the destiny of this nation; belief in its people 
and conviction in its future. We are not a poor nation as generally 
perceived. In fact we are rich. We have fertile land that can 
produce three crops a year. We have abundant water to irrigate 
these lands and generate surplus power. We have gas, coal and vast 
untapped mineral resources and, above all, a dynamic and 
industrious people. All these await mobilization. We have only to 
awaken, join hands and grasp our destiny," he said.

The chief executive said he had taken over in extremely unusual 
circumstances which, he said, were not of his making. "It is 
unbelievable and indeed unfortunate that the few at the helm of 
affairs in the last government were intriguing to destroy the last 
institution of stability left in Pakistan by creating dissensions 
in the ranks of the armed forces." And who would believe that the 
chief of army staff, having represented Pakistan in Sri Lanka, upon 
his return was denied landing in his own country and circumstances 
were created which would have forced our plane either to land in 
India or crash," he added.

Pakistan, Gen Musharraf said, ha experienced in the recent years 
merely a label of democracy and not the essence of it. He promised 
that he would give true democracy to the people of Pakistan.

The Constitution, he said, had only temporarily been held in 
abeyance. " This is not martial law. only another path towards 
democracy. The armed forces have no intention to stay in charge any 
longer than is absolutely necessary to pave the way for true 
democracy to flourish in Pakistan," he added.

Gen Musharraf pointed out that cementing the federation was vital, 
which would be achieved through devolution of power, from the 
centre to the provinces and from the provinces to the local 
government level, as enshrined in the Constitution.

He said: "Media forms an integral part of statehood in this era of 
information. I have great regard and respect for the media. I trust 
it will play a positive and constructive role. I am a firm believer 
in the freedom of the press and am even considering liberalising 
the policy on the establishment of private television and radio 
channels".

The chief executive said people of Pakistan should be well aware of 
the exploitation of religion. "Islam teaches tolerance, not hatred; 
universal brotherhood and not enmity; peace and not violence; 
progress and not bigotry. I have great respect for the Ulema and 
expect them to come forth and present Islam in its true light. I 
urge them to curb elements which are exploiting religion for vested 
interest and bringing bad name to our faith. I would like to 
reassure our minorities that they enjoy full rights and protection 
as equal citizens," he added.

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991023 
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National Security Council likely to be set up today (Saturday)
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ISLAMABAD, Oct 22: The director-general of the ISPR, Brig Rashid 
Qureshi, said on Friday that the National Security Council was most 
likely to be announced on Saturday.

Talking to the PPI, he said the setting up of federal and 
provincial cabinets and a think-tank of experts, to be formed as an 
adjunct of the NSC to provide institutionalized advice and input, 
would take another two to three days.

Brig Qureshi said: "We will try our level best to announce the 
formation of the National Security Council on Saturday". He said 
the NSC would be a supreme body responsible to provide guidelines 
regarding all policies and national and international matters. The 
army spokesman said all the four provincial governors and the NSC 
would be consulted before giving a final touch to the list of 
federal and provincial cabinets adding their suggestions would be 
thoroughly considered.

Giving reason for the delay in the announcement of NSC and the 
cabinet, he said the purpose was to hold investigations so as to be 
completely satisfied with the people whose names were being 
considered.

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991023
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Sanctions waived for two months
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Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON, Oct 22: President Clinton on Friday extended the waiver 
on sanctions against India and Pakistan until Dec 21 as the threat 
of reopening Brownback-2 became increasingly serious if the 
President vetoes its carrier bill.

The waiver expired on Thursday but the administration used a 
loophole to extend it for two months during which the permanent 
waiver authority issue would be settled, one way or the other.

The carrier bill, the defence appropriations bill containing 
Brownback-2, is stuck in the White House as President Clinton is 
reluctant to sign it into law because of his differences with the 
Republicans on major domestic issues.

If the bill is vetoed and the sanctions issue comes back to the 
Congress for revision, it is almost certain that the Indians will 
succeed in removing all the clauses which favour Pakistan.

Foremost among them would be the authority to waive Pressler 
Amendment sanctions on sale of military spares and equipment, 
presently included in Brownback-2.

Assistant Secretary Karl Inderfurth told a House sub-committee 
hearing the administration did not intend to use that waiver 
authority to sell arms and equipment to Pakistan but the Indians 
want the powers withdrawn from the President altogether.

New Jersey Congressman Steven Rothman, a member of the House 
International Relations Committee, in addition plans to move an 
amendment proposing that "certain sanctions against Pakistan cannot 
be waived until the president certifies that Pakistan has a 
democratically-elected government".

It further states that a presidential certification (of a 
democratically-elected government) impinges on Islamabad having 
conducted the elections in a free and fair manner in the presence 
of international observers with all candidates having "full access 
to the international media".

This legislation zeroes in with rigorous conditions on the 
sanctions waiver that deals with the Arms Export Control Act, the 

Export-Import Bank Act, the Foreign Assistance Act as well as on 
multilateral financing from institutions such as the IMF, the World 
Bank, the IFC where the voice and vote of the United States to 
ensure aid to Pakistan matters a lot. Pakistani activists hope that 
the President would sign the defence bill in its present shape, 
otherwise they fear a military government in Islamabad would not be 
able to convince a single congressman or senator not to concede to 
the Indian demands.

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991022
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Military regime: US economic sanctions to stay 
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Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON, Oct 21: The US would lift economic sanctions against 
India immediately after President Clinton signs the bill containing 
the Brownback-2 Amendment, but sanctions on Pakistan will stay, 
Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth disclosed on 
Wednesday.

He stated this at a hearing by the House international relations 
committee headed by congressman Benjamin Gilman, a known Indian 
supporter.

Mr Inderfurth noted that in two weeks, pending congressional 
passage and President Clinton's signing into law, economic 
sanctions that were imposed on India and Pakistan as a result of 
their testing of nuclear devices could be lifted.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have already 
approved the Defence Appropriations Act which contains the 
Brownback- 2 and the president has also not raised any objection to 
it.

Before the military takeover, the Indian lobby was trying hard to 
introduce another amendment to overwrite the Brownback-2 but now it 
is unclear whether they would pursue that course as sanctions on 
Pakistan are likely to stay until the military face of the 
government is changed into a civilian one.

"Pakistan now is neither stable, prosperous nor democratic," Mr 
Inderfurth told the US-India council and recalled that the US cut 
off economic and military aid to Pakistan as a result of the 
military takeover last week.

He welcomed the announcement by the army chief, Gen Pervez 
Musharraf, that Pakistan would withdraw from the international 
borders.

 He, however, suggested that the army might want to withdraw 
further to the LoC that was the "boundary" before the Kargil 
conflict.

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991019
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Pakistan troops begin pullback
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RAWALPINDI, Oct 18: The process of military de-escalation on 
Pakistan's international borders with India had begun, an army 
spokesman said on Monday.

"Orders about the de-escalation have already been issued and the 
process began on Monday morning," Inter-Services Public Relations 
director-general Brigadier Rashid Qureshi told reporters.

Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf had on Sunday announced 
unilateral military de-escalation on Pakistan's international 
borders with India. This step would serve as a meaningful 
confidence-building measure, he hoped.

Brig Qureshi said Pakistan would reduce tension on international 
borders as announced by the Gen Musharraf in his address to the 
nation.

Asked when the interim set-up announced by Gen Musharraf would be 
installed, he said deliberations in this regard were going on and 
added that the chief executive would try to finalize the whole 
thing as early as possible.

On the health of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Brig Qureshi 
said he was "fit and well". He, however, had no idea where the 
deposed prime minister had been kept.

On international concern regarding human rights violations, he said 
there would be no human right violations.

Answering questions about the inquiry into the incident involving 
denial to the plane carrying the COAS to land at Karachi airport on 
Oct 12, Brig Qureshi said: "I think we need to wait for the inquiry 
to be completed".

He said there had been a very positive and terrific response from 
the people on the chief executive's speech. He said there had also 
been lot of phone calls, congratulating Gen Musharraf on his 
speech. "People have hopes, jubilation and support for what the 
army chief had said."

He did not answer questions about economic and investment areas, 
saying it was not his domain, as he was only military spokesman.-NNI

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991021 
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Japan calls for revival of Lahore process
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ISLAMABAD, Oct 20: Japanese ambassador Minoru Kubota on Wednesday 
called for an early resumption of the Lahore process between 
Islamabad and New Delhi, and expressed the hope that Pakistan's new 
military ruler would soon overcome political and economic 
difficulties.

Talking to newsmen, he said that Japan and the international 
community were waiting for the resumption of dialogue between 
Pakistan and India for resolving contentious issues, and hoped that 
both of them would take appropriate steps in this regard.

Referring to the Kashmir issue, Mr Kubota said it had a long 
history and concrete steps in this context would lead to stability 
in the region.

The issue was discussed in the ambassador's first meeting with 
Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf on Oct 16.

In his address to the nation on Oct 20, the chief executive had 
offered "unconditional, equitable and result-oriented" dialogue 
with India.

Meanwhile, the G-8 envoys in Islamabad were in "continuous informal 
consultation" over the political situation in the country, 
especially in the context of Gen Musharraf's address in which he 
had spelt out his seven-point agenda.

According to diplomatic sources, the G-8 envoys expected more 
reforms to be announced soon. They called for a cautious and wait-
and-see approach by major countries for facilitating an early 
resumption of democratic dispensation.-S.R

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991021 
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Multilateral agencies to work with mly govt
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Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Oct 20: Major international donors want General Pervez 
Mushsrraf to work out an economic agenda' to qualify for the 
uninterrupted external assistance. Sources in the multilateral 
agencies told Dawn that the World Bankand IMF have expressed 
willingness to work 
with the military government, provided an economic agenda was 
developed and implemented in letter and spirit.

They wanted that the IMF and World Bank programmes for Pakistan 
should not be 'diluted' rather 'strengthened' with a view to 
improving the economy of the country.

Sources said the IMF, which had withheld for the time being the 
disbursement of next tranche of $280m to Pakistan, has said the 
executive board of the Fund could meet soon to formally approve 
$280m instalment, out of $1.6bn Extended Structural Adjustment 
Facility (ESAF) and Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

'There are no political strings attached to financial assistance 
after the army taking over power in Pakistan', said a source, 
adding that the most important thing for the military authorities 
should be to have in place as quick as possible their economic team 
to ensure the implementation on the economic reforms programme, 
jointly prescribed by the World Bank and the IMF.

'The military government will have to go beyond the terms of 
structural reforms to qualify for the IMF assistance', another 
source in the donor agencies said.

Sources said the donors have supported the military government's 
agenda to recover defaulted loans, apprehend tax evaders and remove 
corruption from the government departments. They said they would 
see how the government improves tax administration, cut growing 
expenditure and to achieve 3.3% GDP budget deficit during the 
current financial year. 'We would support neutral accountability, 
recovery of bad loans and punishment to wilful tax evaders', 
another source said.

Also international donors wanted that the military authorities 
should resolve the IPP issue. They said they could not encourage 
foreign investors to come to Pakistan because of the unresolved IPP 
issue. Sources said that former minister for finance and commerce 
Ishaq Dar had given 'written proposals' to resolve the IPPs issue. 
These proposals, sources said, should be implemented to have some 
reasonable tariff to be agreed with the IPPs specially Hubco and 
Kapco.

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991018
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US welcomes CE's pledge to restore democracy
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Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON, Oct 17: The US on Sunday welcomed Gen Pervez 
Musharraf's commitment to a dialogue with India, his announcement 
of unilateral draw down of military forces along the Indian border 
and his pledge to restore democracy in Pakistan.

In a reaction issued here officially, despite a closed holiday, the 
State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin expressed disappointment 
that a timetable for early restoration of constitutional, civilian 

and democratic government had not been given by the General. Rubin 
called upon him to do so.

A senior official of the State Department, when asked by 'Dawn" 
whether "business as usual" had been resumed with Pakistan, said 
"we are doing business but not business as usual." He then himself 
asked: "What is business as usual with Pakistan for the last 10 
years."

The official indicated that the statement issued by Jamie Rubin was 
not "very critical" of Gen Musharraf and analysts said it was 
clearly a green signal for the military authorities to go ahead and 
implement their agenda in the weeks and months to come.

Rubin' statement said: "In an address to his nation today, 
Pakistan's chief of Army Staff General Musharraf defended the 
military's removal of the government of PM Nawaz Sharif and spelled 
out his aims and objectives in the days ahead. Because we do not 
believe military take over are the appropriate method of resolving 
the problems that face democracies, we welcome his pledge to work 
for a return of democracy and his promise that the armed forces 
would not stay in charge any longer than necessary. At the same 
time, we are disappointed that he did not offer a clear timetable 
for the early restoration of constitutional, civilian and 
democratic government. We call upon him to do so.

Gen Musharraf also addressed Pakistan's international priorities. 
The US believes that it is critically important for Pakistan to 
begin to resolve its differences with India, including the conflict 
over Kashmir. In this regard, we welcome Gen Musharraf commitment 
to dialogue with India.

We also welcome measures such as the unilateral draw down of 
military forces along the international border with India that Gen 
Musharraf announced. We hope that this move could be expanded to 
include forces along the LoC in Kashmir and urge Pakistan to 
undertake other CBMs that could lead to lessening of tensions with 
India.

We note Gen Musharraf's statements with respect to global non- 
proliferation objectives and nuclear and missile restraint. He also 
stated his belief that the Afghan conflict can be settled only 
through establishments of a representative government in Kabul, a 
view we share.

As Gen Musharraf told his nation, actions speak louder than words. 
The US will watch closely as the General acts to fulfil his pledge 
to return his country to democracy and to address the other serious 
problems he identified including the economy and corruption.

We call on Gen Musharraf to respect civil liberties freedom of the 
press and human rights while this process proceeds. Our own actions 
towards Pakistan in the days ahead will be guided by the steps 
taken by the new authorities.

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991023 
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Four cases against Nawaz being sent to FIA
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Ashraf Mumtaz

LAHORE, Oct 22: The process of accountability, which had come 
almost to a halt because of PML government attitude and some legal 
compulsions, has been resurrected with the military takeover.

Chief Ehtesab Commissioner Justice Ghulam Mujaddid Mirza is sending 
to the Federal Investigation Agency director-general four of the 37 
cases against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former Ehtesab 
Bureau chief Saifur Rehman and others.

The FIA chief has been asked to depute some honest and efficient 
officers to conduct inquiry into the allegations and submit a 
report to the CEC at the earliest.

In case the agency finds that the allegations are based on facts, 
the CEC will send references against the accused to the relevant 
Ehtesab benches of high courts for trial.

Mr Sharif is accused of non-declaration of a helicopter in the list 
of his personal assets he attached with his nomination papers while 
contesting the National Assembly elections.

Another case against the former prime minister is that he had made 
illegal appointments in the PIA.

The allegation against the former Ehtesab Bureau chairman is that 
he illegally got 15 acres of state land in Murree on lease for his 
business establishment, REDCO, at a nominal annual rent of Rs160 
per kanal.

The other charge against him is that he caused the exchequer a loss 
of Rs1,980 million by reducing import duty on luxury cars from 325 
per cent to just 125 per cent.

There are a total of 37 cases pending against Mr Sharif, his family 
and Senator (suspended) Saifur Rehman and others. In some cases 
former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, former finance 
minister Ishaq Dar and former foreign minister Sartaj Aziz are also 
among the co-accused.

A total of 16 cases are pending against former prime minister 
Benazir Bhutto, her spouse Asif Ali Zardari and other family 
members.

Over 280 cases had been referred by the CEC to the Ehtesab Bureau 
for inquiry and investigation, many of them some two years ago. But 
the EB took no action on them, although these involved serious 
allegations against prominent political leaders and senior 
bureaucrats.

The Ehtesab Commission was set up in November 1996, immediately 
after the dismissal of the PPP government. The chief ehtesab 
commissioner was given powers to take cognizance of cases, 
investigate and refer them to the Ehtesab benches. He was empowered 
to order the FIA, the anti-corruption establishments, the police 
and other agencies to assist him in investigations.

There was no Ehtesab cell or bureau at that time. The CEC finalized 
over 60 cases during the first few months and sent them to the 
relevant benches of high courts.

But the situation drastically changed when the PML government 
amended the accountability laws and set up an Ehtesab cell. The 
cell was given vast powers to investigate cases. Accordingly, the 
CEC was deprived of these powers.

Under the new law it was made obligatory for the CEC to send all 
cases for investigation to the Ehtesab cell, subsequently renamed 
as Ehtesab Bureau.

The EB showed little interest in cases referred to it and countless 
reminders sent by the CEC fell on deaf ears.

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991020
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Commonwealth confirms no reports of HR violations
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Correspondent

LONDON, Oct 19: Common-wealth Secretary General Emeka Anyaoku 
confirmed on Monday that so far there are no reports of human 
rights violations in Pakistan since the army took over power from a 
civilian government.

He was asked by a Pakistani journalist as to why the Commonwealth 
was considering taking actions against one of its members when 
there are no reports of human rights violations.

"You are correct, there are no reports of human rights violations 
(from Pakistan since the coup)," Mr Anyaoku told reporters at a 
news conference.

He said that the mission being sent by the Commonwealth Ministerial 
Action Group to Pakistan will also assess the situation to confirm 
it.

However, a British journalist questioned whether the arrest of 
former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his cabinet members was not 
a violation of human rights, Mr Anyaoku said that the Ministerial 
Action Group in his statement has not affirmed or denied the 
violation of human rights. "It will be up to the mission to assess 
that."

When another Pakistani journalist asked him why the Common-wealth 
had taken this action when, according to a Gallop survey report, 75 
per cent of the people surveyed supported the military action, the 
Chairman of Action Group and Zimbabwe Foreign Minister Dr I.S.G 
Mudenge said that the support to any government should be expressed 
through "ballot box and not through military bayonet".

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991022
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Benazir demands withdrawal of cases
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LONDON, Oct 21: Former prime minister and PPP chairperson Ms 
Benazir Bhutto has demanded of the Chief Executive, General Pervez 
Musharraf, to withdraw all motivated cases framed against her by 
the government of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

In an interview to BBC TV, she hoped that military authorities will 
withdraw all the motivated cases and begin fresh investigations in 
an honest way and she hoped that such an investigation will clear 
her name.

She further pledged to take part in the next elections and urged 
General Pervez Musharraf to restore democracy so as to solicit 
international support for the country.

She alleged that the deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif was 
responsible for the economic difficulties of the people.

Ms Bhutto, who is presently residing in London after she was 
sentenced to five years imprisonment and barred from politics in 
April, 1999 by an Ehtesab court, said she was not sure about the 
timeframe for next general elections in Pakistan.

She said as a Pakistani she can only advise General Mushrraf that 
there are certain international rules by which Pakistan has to 
play. 

 And if Pakistan wants to attract investment and improve its 
economy, then moving in the direction of democratisation is a 
necessity.

"The suspension from the Commonwealth is a moral signal but it is 
also a signal to economic investors who are going to stay away. 

 "So it is important for the General to convince his colleagues to 
announce a date for the restoration of democracy," she added.

She denied that people have lost faith in the politicians and 
observed that the emergency in Pakistan today is the direct 
consequence of the death of democracy that took place in 1996 when 
the popular government of the PPP was sacked. 

 It was at that time that the people boycotted the elections and 
only eight per cent voted for Nawaz Sharif.

She said the perception that technocrats could improve the economy 
was wrong.

The economy, she said, is not going to improve until Pakistan 
learns to live within its means. "Many of us are prepared to do 
that but not prepared to cut down the expenditure, on the heavily 
centralized state or on defence and that's why we have economic 
problems," she opined.

When asked why she was keen to go back to Pakistan particularly 
when jail sentences were hanging over her head, she said in fact 
the jail sentences have been suspended.

"They wanted to eliminate me from politics. I am hoping that the 
military rulers will withdraw all these motivated cases and begin a 
fresh investigation. I mean, on an honest basis.I am sure such an 
investigation will clear my name. But you know, I am not longing to 
go back and start resuming my life. I took this decision with 
difficulty. I am longing to have some peace and quiet in my life. I 
am going back because my people want me because they believe that I 
can give them stability. I feel I have to fulfil my duty," she 
added.-PPI

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991021 
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GDA calls for early return to democracy
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Mahmood Zaman

LAHORE, Oct 20: The mainstream Grand Democratic Alliance has 
welcomed the dismissal of the "despotic" Nawaz Sharif government 
and supported the seven-point programme of Chief Executive Gen 
Pervez Musharraf.

"The chief executive's programme is in complete harmony with the 
GDA's 10-point national agenda and we wholeheartedly support it", 
the alliance said in a unanimous resolution adopted by its eight-
member central council which met here on Wednesday with Nawabzada 
Nasrullah Khan in the chair.

Comprising 19 political organizations from all the provinces and 
including the 15-party Pakistan Awami Ittehad, the GDA hoped that 
the military government would, simultaneous with initiating 
ruthless and across-the-board accountability and taking other steps 
in implementing its seven-point programme, set up an independent 
and financially autonomous election commission and take measures 
"as soon as possible" to establish a genuine democratic order in 
the country.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, a member of the alliance's 
central council, Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, said the GDA had 
reiterated its commitment to its "national agenda" and resolved to 
work together to achieve its objectives. For this its central 
council would meet every two weeks to review the situation.

Mr Wattoo read out the GDA resolution which said that the central 
council welcomed the dismissal of the "dictatorial" Nawaz Sharif 
government and felt that he himself was responsible for his fall. 
Mr Sharif had dispensed with the democratic order and created such 
an atmosphere of vicimization that the entire nation wanted his 
one-man rule to come to an end.

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991017
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Benazir says she has nothing to hide from probe
-------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW YORK, Oct 16: Exiled opposition leader Benazir Bhutto said on 
Friday she had "nothing to hide" from an investigation into 
politicians' bank accounts by the new military government in 
Pakistan.

"This is a preemptive measure taken against all politicians, it is 
not Benazir specific or Nawaz specific, pending investigation of 
the accounts," former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who lives in 
London and was on a two-day private visit to New York, said in an 
interview with Reuters.

"And I welcome it because I have nothing to hide."

"These are trumped up charges," she said on Friday. "Now that the 
military has taken over I hope they will put an end to all previous 
persecution and establish a non-partisan accountability body, which 
will start a fresh investigation in these matters because the past 
regime forged papers and on the basis of unproven documents sought 
to convict."

General Pervez Musharraf, whom Benazir called a "moderate" and 
"professional soldier," overthrew Nawaz Sharif hours on Tuesday.

Benazir, who has described Sharif's government as a "civilian 
dictatorship", said her Pakistan People's Party would support 
efforts by the military toward "restoring political and economic 
stability."

Benazir said that if military authorities announced that elections 
would be held within three months, she would return to Pakistan 
immediately.

"But if the military would like to first set up an interim 
government of civilians and seek to restore political and economic 
stability before moving on to elections, then I'll go back at a 
time to encourage that process rather than to disrupt it," said 
Benazir.-Reuters


=================================================================== 
 BUSINESS & ECONOMY
991021 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
State Bank of Pakistan helps out banks, stabilizes rupee
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Oct 20: The State Bank has so far provided about $50 
million worth of foreign exchange to banks after the military take-
over on Oct 12 to keep the rupee stable following withdrawals from 
the new foreign currency accounts.

 Senior bankers told Dawn that people withdrew from their fresh FC 
accounts around $53 million between Oct 14 and 19, thus reducing 
the FCA volume to $720m on Oct 19 from $773m on Oct 12. "But the 
SBP provided the banks with cash liquidity of around $50m in 

foreign exchange to avoid panic and keep the rupee stable," the 
treasurer of a local bank said.

"That is why the rupee has remained pegged at around 51.90 to a US 
dollars during these days," he explained. (On October 13 banks had 
remained closed under SBP orders).

Bankers said the rupee traded between 51.75 and 51.90 for a dollar 
in the inter-bank market on Wednesday. Some deals were, however, 
struck at 51.95, they added. Before Oct 12 the rupee was trading at 
the same level in the inter-bank market.

Senior bankers said the State Bank provided the foreign exchange to 
the banks which did not have enough reserves to pay to customers 
wanting to make withdrawals from their fresh foreign currency 
deposits.

 They said the State Bank had given such banks the requested amount 
but told them to get the sum transferred from their overseas 
accounts to the State Bank's accounts in London and New York.

"The result was that banks did not return their customers who 
wanted to withdraw foreign currency from their foreign currency 
accounts. This saved people from getting panicky," the treasurer of 
a foreign bank said. 

He said the ban imposed on forward deals of foreign exchange 
between the banks and their clients also closed the doors on 
speculative hedging in anticipation of a devaluation of the rupee 
after the dismissal of the Nawaz Sharif government.

Senior bankers reached by Dawn said the State Bank decision 
requiring the banks to disclose details of the import letters worth 
$25,000 and more also slowed the outflow of foreign exchange from 
the inter-bank market and kept the rupee stable in its wake.

Bankers said they still continued to place fresh FCY deposits with 
the State Bank. Out of the $720 million worth of total fresh FCY 
deposits $225 million to $250 million worth of deposits were in the 
SBP accounts. They maintained that the provision of cash liquidity 
of around $50 million by the State Bank to the banks between Oct 14 
and 19 had nothing to do with the FCY deposits placed with the SBP.

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991021 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Credit rating downgraded on financial pressures
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON, Oct 20: A major credit rating company on Wednesday 
down-graded Pakistan's $250 million PTCL one notch, Duff & Phelps 
Credit Rating (DCR) announced. It gave the reason as the 
"increasing financial pressures that could arise out of the current 
political situation in Pakistan,
 namely the potential loss of multilateral loan disbursements, as 
well as the uncertainty regarding the government's ongoing debt 
reschedulings".

PTCL's Future Telephone Receivables Securitization was down graded 
from 'BB+' (Double-B-Plus), Rating-Watch-Down to 'BB' (Double-B), 
Rating Watch-Down, Duff said.

Additionally, from a cash flow perspective the company believes the 
overall receivables due from AT&T, Sprint, British Telecom, 
Deutsche Telecom and other international carriers will see some 
deterioration over the next several years.

PTCL is the exclusive provider of international telephone service 
within Pakistan and is currently owned 88 per cent by the 
government of Pakistan. 

 The PTCL future-flow transaction securitizes the net settlement 
receivables due from six international carriers.

While these telephone settlements are due from Pakistan as well, 
the net receivables continue to favour Pakistan because the level 
of calls originated outside Pakistan is far greater then calls 
originated within Pakistan.

Instead of remitting these payments directly to Pakistan, the 
securitization legally obligates these international carriers to 
make these payments directly into an offshore collection account.

A portion of these collections are then used to repay international 
investors and the remaining is directed back to PTCL and the 
government of Pakistan.

Analysts said Duff's Double-B rating for the PTCL is significantly 
higher than the government of Pakistan's foreign currency rating, 
because Duff believes the risk of international carriers not paying 
into the offshore collection account is much lower than the 
government's ability to repay its foreign denominated debt.

Duff is particularly concerned about the potential for 
deterioration in Pakistan's relations with international creditors. 

 Given low foreign investment and an expected current account 
deficit of more than $2 billion this fiscal year, Pakistan's 
external sustainability is dependent on multilateral funding.

Moreover, it said the ratification of agreements with international 
banks for renewal of $877 million in commercial loans and the roll 
over of $3.3 billion in credits under the Paris Club could unravel.

A third instalment of $280 million-part of a $1.5 billion loan from 
the IMF-is pending disbursement and could be in jeopardy, the Duff 
announcement said.

Additional concerns include continued deterioration in political 
stability, law and order, and military tensions with India.

In addition to the increasing sovereign risk, Duff said it is 
concerned over the downward pressure on settlement rates that are 
paid by the international carriers. 

 The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which establishes 
and enforces the benchmarks for international rates for US based 
carriers has continued to push these rates lower over the past few 
years.

The FCC's required benchmark for Pakistan is to achieve 23 cents 
per minute by January 2002 down from a level of 90 cents per minute 
just two years ago.

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991023 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
LC opening slows down on cash margins
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Aamir Shafaat Khan

KARACHI, Oct 22: The pace of opening letters of credit (LCs) by 
commodity traders and commercial importers has slowed down and 
trade bodies claim a 50% drop in the number of the LCs opened after 
the imposition of cash margins.

Commodity traders and commercial importers say they find it 
difficult to open LCs after paying the required 10-35% cash margins 
due to cash flow problems.

Bankers also confirm a significant fall in the number of LCs being 
opened by importers but they say the drop is not to that extent as 
importers claim.

'We cannot quantify the drop in the opening of LCs but a fall has 
definitely occurred,' they say.

A senior official at the Karachi Customs appraisement said the 
customs had no official figures of the LCs opened after the cash 
margins were imposed on October 14. But customs sources said the 
pace of opening of LCs had nosedived.

Chairman Pakistan Commodity Traders Association (PCTA), Raees 
Ashraf Tarmohmohammad said his members have complained that they 
had been facing problems from foreign suppliers over non-acceptance 
of LCs (usually called document of acceptance).

He, however, said there has been no increase in prices of 
commodities yet but this is a temporary phase as rise in cost of 
imports and shortage of commodities look eminent in coming weeks.

'Confusion still looms large among both foreign suppliers and local 
importers over LCs cash margin requirements,' Raees said.

According to PCTA chief, more than 90% of major imports of pulses, 
plastic, tea, milk powder, spices and dyes and chemicals are being 
managed from Karachi's Jodia Bazar.

Chairman Pakistan Chemical Dyes Merchants Association (PCDMA), 
Mohammed Jehangir Magoon shared the same views regarding 50% drop 
over LCs and added importers are currently confused.

Chemical and dyes traders are also facing problems over the rate of 
cash margin. He said banks demand 35% cash margin saying it is 
commercial imports while the Association says it is an industrial 
raw material therefore the cash margin comes to 10%.

'We have taken up the matter with the State Bank which in reply has 
asked the Association that the banks will deal the matter,' he 
said.

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991023 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Improved liquidity may keep lending rates down
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Oct 22: The inter-bank money market is set to see an 
inflow of Rs65 billion next month that could help banks keep their 
lending rates down. Senior bankers told Dawn that the market 
remained dry for the first three weeks of the current month 
with call rates anchored at 12.90-13.00 per cent. They said the 
rates had opened at 10-12 per cent on Thursday but an injection of 
Rs6.9 billion by the State Bank pulled them down to 2-5 per cent. 
On Friday the rates closed at 1.50 per cent after oscillating 
between 1.50 and 4.50 per cent all the day long.

Senior bankers said the SBP had to inject Rs8 billion also on 
October 14 to ease off the liquidity crunch in the market but to no 
avail. They said inter-bank market was facing the crunch for a host 
of reasons including huge withdrawals of deposits from the lottery 
schemes of three major banks that are phasing out the schemes under 
an SBP order. Bankers say it is difficult to estimate monthly 
withdrawals from these schemes but they say about Rs12-15 billion 
has been withdrawn from these schemes during past two months.

The bankers said the inter-bank market saw a small inflow of Rs6 
billion through maturity of treasury bills and federal investment 
bonds in the first three weeks of this month. They said the 
injection of Rs8 billion on October 14 and that of Rs6.9 billion on 
October 21 was in addition to it. The bankers said the market would 
see only Rs4 billion inflow through maturity of treasury bills in 
the remaining days of the current month.

Senior bankers say the market may become a little more liquid if 
major banks succeed in making some cash recoveries from the 
defaulters. "Besides the SBP may inject more funds if it deems it 
necessary," said a treasurer.

Bankers say the imposition of cash margins on import letters of 
credit would also enhance the present level of liquidity in the 
inter-bank money market.

Senior bankers say since Chief Executive Gen Musharraf is yet to 
appoint a cabinet of ministers for running day-to-day affairs of 
the government it is premature to say how monetary officials would 
keep the rupee stable without letting the money market go dry. "The 
uphill task the State Bank faces currently is to ensure the 
stability of the rupee," said treasury manager of a foreign bank. 
"In doing so they would need to ensure that the money market does 
not remain unnecessarily liquid with no major avenues of employment 
of funds open."

The rupee has so far remained stable in the inter-bank market after 
the October 12 military takeover. Bankers said the dollar traded 
between Rs51.80-51.86 in the inter-bank market on Friday down from 
Rs51.85-51.90 on Thursday. The dollar had peaked at Rs 51.95 two-
three days ago.

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991023 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Fair amount of profit-selling witnessed in stocks
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 22: The weekend session on the Karachi Stock Exchange 
witnessed a fair amount of profit-selling at the inflated levels 
but there was no dearth of buyers at the dips enabling the market 
to avert a major decline.

Apart from weekend profit-taking by a section of investors, the 
chief factor behind the sell-off was said to be the postponement of 
the PTCL board meeting which was scheduled for next Tuesday, 
disappointing investors who were expecting a good payout for the 
last year.

But some others said the main destabilising negative factor was 
return of the Hubco appeal seeking vacation of the restraining 
order not allowing it to go into arbitration in the international 
court and encashing sovereign guarantee of the government.

Heavy selling in the both, which at one stage pushed their prices 
as low as Rs18.90 and Rs17.15 was reflective of this negative view 
taken by investors. However, late buying at the dips allowed them 
to finish fully recovered at Rs19.05 and Rs17.55 respectively.

Selling in part was also technically motivate in the wake of last 
couple of sessions' sustained run-up as some of the leading 
investors squared positions owing to weekend considerations but 
there was nothing inherently wrong with the underlying sentiment.

The KSE 100-share index suffered a modest decline of 14 points at 
1,151.22 as compared to 1,165.22 a day earlier as some of the 
leading base shares finished partially reacted.

The market capitalization also was quoted lower by Rs3.2bn at 
Rs313.784 as compared to Rs316.943bn a day earlier, reflecting the 
weakness of base share.

The technical correction was overdue as the market has shown a fair 
amount of confidence in the army agenda, notably to revive economy, 
although worries associated with the inflow of foreign are there, 
analysts said.

They said the market is expected to resume its upward thrust by the 
next week as it has still to a go long way to attain the pre-
reaction index level of 1,235.00 point.

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991020
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Tax return date extended to Oct 30
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Oct 19: Central Board of Revenue has announced extension 
in the last date of filing of Income Tax and Wealth Tax returns 
under the Universal Self Assessment Scheme 1999-2000 up to Oct 30.

The CBR Public Affairs department said here Tuesday that the last 
date has been extended to benefit the taxpayers who, for a number 
of reasons, could not file their returns within the previously 
extended period for this purpose.

The taxpayers have been urged to take maximum advantage of this 
last chance to file their returns after which a thorough scrutiny 
of assets and incomes would be started to bring to book those who 
have failed to fulfil their national responsibility even after 
twice extended last date.

The CBR said the simplified USAS return form and the procedure 
should be taken maximum advantage of, to fulfil this responsibility 
and help the country's economy to recover from the present 
financial crisis.

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991022
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Directive to CBR: Major tax evasion cases to be re-examined
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Oct 21: The military authorities have directed the 
Central Board of Revenue (CBR) to undertake fresh tax assessment of 
the big evaders, particularly belonging to textiles, sugar and 
cement industries.

Informed sources said here on Thursday that the authorities of the 
CBR were asked to re-examine cases of large tax evasion with a view 
to "reassess" them. Sources said that the services of the 
specialists in accounts, penal and legal side have been acquired to 
reassess the cases of big tax evasion.

The CBR officials were also told that there would not be any 
interference in their work to bring to book tax dodgers and collect 
record amount of taxes within next six weeks period.

"Our drive against tax evaders is going to pick a big momentum in 
the days ahead and I do not rule out the possibility of recovering 

Rs10 to Rs15 billion very shortly", claimed the chairman of the 
CBR, Mian Iqbal Farid.

He told this correspondent that the issue of smuggling has been a 
big problem which was now being seriously looked into. He said that 
he was happy to have all the support of the military authorities to 
undertake some effective anti-smuggling campaign. He said that 
network in the NWFP was being strengthened to discourage the 
smuggling. "This menace is not only creating problems to collect 
required taxes, but was also hurting the local industry", the 
chairman CBR said.

Mian Iqbal Farid pointed out that his department could now deliver 
because of having all the support of the military authorities. "We 
are quite confidently not only to meet the current years collection 
targets but also to go beyond that", he added.

Responding to a question he said that all kinds of undue tax 
concessions given previously on political considerations will go 
and that the CBR would have to be tough to discourage tax evasion.

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991022
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Banks told to stop lending to public cos
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Oct 21: The State Bank on Thursday stopped banks from 
lending to public limited companies against the security of their 
own shares and instructed them to regularize the existing lending 
against such shares within 180 days.

This and a couple of other decisions were announced through a 
circular that substituted the existing prudential regulation on 
"financing against shares."

The circular instructed all the banks to furnish a six-monthly 
statement, by Jan 20 and July 20 for each preceding half-year, 
showing details of finances provided by them against pledge of 
shares.

The decisions would become effective immediately.

Senior bankers reached by Dawn said the decision to stop the 
lending was aimed at conserving financial health of banks through 
checks on "unsafe" lending.

"The reason for this decision is to contain borrowings of public 
limited companies (PLCs) and check the possibility of pledge of 
duplicate shares for this purpose," said a senior banker.

The circular said banks would also not provide "unsecured credit" 
to finance subscription towards flotation of share capital of 
public limited companies. It means that the PLCs seeking bank 
credit to finance fresh floats would need to pledge with the banks 
the government-approved securities or other securities not pledged 
elsewhere.

The circular also restrained banks from lending or issuing bank 
guarantees against the shares of the companies that are not listed 
on the stock exchange - a decision welcomed by the Karachi Stock 
Exchange.

"No bank shall allow financing facilities whether fund-based or 
nonfund-based against the shares of companies not listed on the 
Stock Exchange," said the circular.

"This decision would serve the interest of the small investor," 
said KSE Chairman Mohammad Yasin Lakhani.

The circular also said that financing facilities against the shares 
of listed companies would be subject to a minimum margin of 50 per 
cent of their average market-value of the preceding 12 months. It 
said the banks were free to set higher margins keeping in view the 
other factors. In plain words, banks can lend money equivalent to 
only 50pc of the average price of the shares offered as collateral 
during past 12 months. They will be free to lend even lesser than 
50pc if the circumstances demand.

Previously, the rates of margins ranged between 20 and 50pc, 
depending upon the market-value of the shares pledged for obtaining 
loans.

"The KSE feels that the margin requirement...be lowered to 30 per 
cent in view of drastic drop in value of shares during the last two 
years," said a KSE press release.

"We mean to say that banks be allowed to lend money equivalent to 
70pc of the average market-value of the preceding 12 months of the 
shares being pledged and keep the margin at 30pc," explained Mr 
Lakhani.

He said the cut in the margin would increase buying of more shares 
and the consequent appreciation of the share value would boost the 
confidence of the investors.

Leading analysts said many companies listed on the stock exchange 
used to borrow money from banks through their unlisted sister 
concerns. They said the ban on lending against the shares of 
unlisted companies would stop this "inter-corporate financing" that 
hurt the interest of small investors.

They said a classic example of inter-corporate financing was that a 
textile mills bought the shares of a partly-privatized bank for 
Rs44 apiece against the market price of Rs21. They said the 
restriction now placed on financing against shares would check such 
trend.

The SBP circular also restricted banks from lending or issuing bank 
guarantees against the shares of the companies that are not in the 
Central Depository System (CDS) - an electronic book entry system 
to record and transfer securities.

"The decision would mean genuine lending by the banks against a 
genuine pledge of shares," remarked Mr Lakhani. He said some 300 
companies out of the total 769 listed on the KSE were under the 
CDS, but hastened to add that "these 300 companies cater to 97 per 
cent of trading volume and the (shares) settlement."

Bankers and stock analysts say the companies that are not in CDS 
normally pledge the same set of shares with different banks to get 
loans, posing a potential threat to banking operations.

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991020
-------------------------------------------------------------------
MoF, CBR focus shifts to recovery of tax, duties
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 19: The first communication between CBR and Ministry 
of Finance after the latter's restart of the business as usual 
Tuesday, dealt with issue of tax/duties arrears.

Sources said the Ministry restarted its work after a break of about 
a week during which no policy matters were taken up for scrutiny 
and no directives were issued to the attached departments and 
organisations.

However, on Tuesday, the ministry is said to have made a formal 
contact with CBR wherein only one issue was discussed: getting 
prepared for explanation to the military government on revenue 
collection and arrears' recovery.

The CBR is receiving updates on sales tax and Income Tax arrears 
from all its ST collectorates and IT commissionerates which the CBR 
asked them earlier to compile for update presentation to 
appropriate authorities.

Sources said that neither the MoF nor the CBR had received any 
formal instructions from the military government to compile lists 
on tax/duties evaders.

'We told them that we would be ready in a couple of days to offer 
details on the following: tax/duties arrears held by taxpayers (Rs 
10bn, held by those liable to pay tax OF more than Rs1m); money 
stuck in litigation (about Rs 27bn in cases pending at courts); and 
reportable cases of tax evasion yet to be legally initiated (about 
Rs20bn),' said a senior CBR official.

He dispelled the impression that the military government was 
channelling the anti-tax evasion actions through the CBR. 'The new 
government might have taken up certain cases of big tax evasion and 
tax fraud with the Income Tax department on regional and local 
basis, but the CBR has not received any formal instructions from 
the government in this connection. The MoF has been informed 
accordingly', he added.

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991020
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Nov 16 deadline: Banks asked to track down defaulters
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Oct 19: The State Bank has asked the defaulters, banks and 
financial institutions to settle or clear all the bad debts by 
November 16.

The central bank in a letter on Tuesday directed all the heads of 
banks, DFIs and the defaulters, to "take seriously" the warning 
given by the Chief Executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, on recovery of 
defaulted loans.

The SBP also asked them to set up effective teams, comprising 
senior executives, to ask all the defaulters clear or settle 
immediately their loans by Nov 16.

"In step with the call of the Chief Executive of the country the 
State Bank would strongly urge the bankers and the defaulters of 
loans to take the warning of the chief executive seriously on their 
own as well as in the best national interest," advised the 
circular.

It directed the heads of all banks and financial institutions to 
give highest priority to the recovery of defaulted loans and to 
personally supervise the progress.

The central bank also directed the banks and DFIs to submit to it a 
detailed progress report showing the amount recovered by Nov 16.

"Those who fail to arrive at negotiated settlement by due date 
would face swift and strong action for full recovery of the 
defaulted amount," the SBP said. It further said all negotiated 
settlements must be on prudent banking practices and cleared by 
respective board of directors/competent authority, keeping in view 
the guidelines issued by the SBP from time to time.


It is estimated that the borrowers owe more than Rs200 billion ($4 
billion) to banks and other financial institutions.

Top bankers told Dawn that the state-run banks had already started 
approaching the loan defaulters some of whom had shown their 
willingness to clear their defaulted loans. "It is the other way 
round also. Some of our defaulters have also approached us and 
sought meetings to settle their loans", head of a state-run bank 
told Dawn by telephone.

Another state-run bank chief said he expected little cash recovery 
within four weeks but hastened to add: "Quite a number of 
defaulters would get their defaults settled before the deadline is 
over".

Back to the top
=================================================================== 
 EDITORIALS & FEATURES
991017
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The coup that failed
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ardeshir Cowasjee

WE start with the Constitution promulgated by Bhutto on August 14, 
1973, which had a life of four hours within which its promulgator 
effectively amended it by suspending fundamental rights. He was 
later to reamend it seven times, each amendment aimed at increasing 
his power and perpetuating his rule. But he always feared the army.

He abducted and sacked army chief Gul Hasan and appointed a 
nonentity, Tikka Khan. When his term expired he went to the fifth 
down the line, a man he mistakenly took to be a perfect Uriah Heep, 
one Zia-ul-Haq.

On July 5, 1977, Zia-ul-Haq deposed Bhutto and suspended the 
Constitution. He revived it in 1985 and amended it for the eighth 
time to suit his particular purpose. After he fell from the skies 
in 1988, it was trumpeted that 'democracy' had been 'reborn' when 
Benazir Bhutto was installed as head of government after emerging 
victorious in the elections.

She robbed freely, caring a damn when caught with her fingers deep 
in the till. She was dismissed and replaced with our second 
democrat, Nawaz Sharif, who robbed until he was dismissed and 
replaced with Benazir who robbed again, was again dismissed, and 
again replaced with Nawaz, who went dangerously berserk and was 
again dismissed.

One of the referee 'caretakers' in between the coming and going was 
the US-blessed Moeen Qureshi who, by the end of his three-month 
term, had transformed himself into a Pakistani democratic 
politician. He indulged in blatant nepotism that led to robbery. 
One instance : knowing the reputation of M. B. Abbasi and his 
ability to rob and destroy he appointed him head of the then 
solvent financial institution NDFC, acting deliberately against the 
advice of his finance minister, Syed Babar Ali. This was done to 
please Benazir Bhutto who was due to be enthroned for her second 
reign upon Qureshi's departure from the scene.

To knowingly appoint a renowned fiddler of finances to head a 
financial institution of the people is a crime. Amongst the myriad 
nepotic loans given by Abbasi was one of over Rs.100 million to 
Moeen Qureshi's brother Bilal, who defaulted.

The last referee was Farooq Leghari, who brought us to where we are 
today. Leghari bears sole responsibility for the disasters of the 
past two and a half years. Despite public pressure and 
international advice to delay elections and initiate a process of 
accountability he selfishly refused to do so. He chose instead to 
instal a known and proven band of exchequer robbers, headed by 
Nawaz Sharif, absent from whose list of priorities was the welfare 
of the nation.

Nawaz took no chances. He rushed through the 13th and 14th 
constitutional amendments - the first denuding the president of 
power and transferring it to himself, including the hiring and 
firing of our military chiefs, and the second stifling all 
parliamentary dissent. He took on the judiciary, ably helped by 
former Supreme Court judge and sitting Senator, Rafiq Tarar. They 
and their men masterminded the storming of the Supreme Court of 
Pakistan and the subsequent sacking of a Chief Justice of Pakistan 
who might have found Nawaz Sharif guilty in one of the 150 cases 
pending against him and thus disqualified him from politics. The 
majority of the judges of the Supreme Court cooperated. Unluckily 
for them, Nawaz had a 'book' on each judge, recording their good 
and not so good deeds. These 'books' now lie in the safe custody of 
his successors.

The judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan lies demoralized 
and helpless to the extent that a writ petition was recently 
admitted seeking the unseating of a good High Court judge on the 
ground that he is a non-Muslim. This, despite the fact that out of 
three of the only unbending upright judges of Pakistan deserving of 
honour without reservation, two were non-Muslims.

On October 13, whilst pleading a case before Supreme Court Justices 
Khalilur Rahman, Munir Shaikh and Wajihuddin Ahmad, Barrister Hafiz 
Pirzada boldly revived the disgrace of November 1997. He reminded 
them that on the day the men who stormed their court were acquitted 
by their court and then garlanded outside their court by their 
fellow members of the then ruling party, he had warned them that 
they would soon hear the march of jackboots and see the flash of 
bayonets.

Like his predecessors, Zulfikar and Benazir, Nawaz feared the army. 
He was unable to get along with his army chiefs, starting with 
Aslam Beg, then Asif Nawaz, and on to Waheed Kakar who sent him 
home in 1993. Returning, he had to contend with Jehangir Karamat 
who told the country what was wrong with it and its leaders. For 
that he was sacked. Nawaz, like Zulfikar, went down the line and 
chose the third in seniority, a man he took to be weak as he had no 
political base. As usual, a bad judge of character, Nawaz had 
blundered. General Pervez Musharraf is a soldier's soldier, strong 
of mind. Within a year a situation arose in which it was either a 
case of Nawaz getting rid of Musharraf or vice versa.

So Nawaz planned a coup. On October 11, to maintain secrecy and 
cover their tracks, he and his co-conspirators - Inter Services 
Intelligence maestro Lt-General Ziauddin, Supreme Court stormer 
Mushtaq Tahirkheli, information wizard Mushahid Hussain, PTV boss 

Parvez Rashid, won-over Journalist-turned speech writer Nazir Naji 
- flew to Abu Dhabi to finalize the coup programme. Musharraf was 
to be dismissed whilst on his way back to Pakistan after an 
official visit to Sri Lanka, and Ziauddin installed in his seat. 
Did this hamhanded lot, including one serving Lt- General, not know 
how the army operates, that there is a minute to minute updated 
contingency plan to deal with all types of emergency? 10th Corp's 
111 Brigade at GHQ Rawalpindi remains on red alert at all times, 
wherever be the COAS, to ensure that the army can take full control 
of the country within an hour.

On October 12, when General Musharraf took off for his 200-minute 
flight to Karachi the prime minister issued a notification 
dismissing him and ordered Ziauddin to get himself to GHQ and 
assume command. When Ziauddin arrived, the CGS informed him that 
according to army tradition, he would have to await the arrival of 
General Musharraf before command could be handed over. Ziauddin 
rushed to the PM's house in Islamabad for help and guidance.

Then came the masterstroke. The nervous conspirators instructed 
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, head of our national airline, to order those 
responsible to ensure that the flight carrying Musharraf would not 
land at Karachi. Where was it to land? Anywhere out of Pakistan. 
When the captain of the aircraft informed the control tower that he 
did not have enough fuel to fly out, he was told to land at 
Nawabshah. At Karachi, Nawaz's heavy, IGP Sindh Rana Maqbool Ahmad, 
sitting with the PM's Adviser on Sindh Affairs Ghous Ali Shah, 
bypassing the Nawabshah DC, ordered SSP Ahsanullah Gondal to round 
up the Nawabshah police force and APCs, rush to the airport, arrest 
General Musharraf when his plane landed, escort him to a secluded 
place, and hold him there until he and Ghous arrived by helicopter.

Meanwhile, the army took over Karachi airport and ordered traffic 
control to bring in the aircraft, which by then was left with fuel 
for seven minutes of flight. End of conspiracy, end of coup. 
General Musharraf, COAS and CJCSC, landed, sacked Nawaz, and 
assumed control of the country.

On October 13, legal pastmaster Sharifuddin Pirzada, closely 
followed by former attorney-general Aziz Munshi, flew to Islamabad. 
That night a Provisional Constitution Order was issued, together 
with a continuance of the state of emergency proclaimed on May 28, 
1998. General Musharraf declared himself chief executive of the 
Republic of Pakistan.

The general is a good Muslim, as opposed to being a fundamentally 
inclined fanatic. He is a man of liberal thought, outward-looking, 
and in full command of what and who he commands. He is a man who 
opposes the belief that the preservation or gaining of any 
territory is worth the nuclear destruction of even one city. We and 
the world should now feel safer knowing the nuclear button is in 
his hands rather than in those of unpredictable, untrustworthy, 
unthinking politicians such as 'democrats' Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz 
Sharif.

The international leaders and commentators who sit thousands of 
miles away from this blighted country and automatically 

unthinkingly call for the 'restoration of democracy' are blind to 
the fact that democracy was never there to be restored. To those 
who demand that the country be ruled according to the Constitution, 
I ask to which constitution they refer? The one we have at present, 
amended and reamended into mutilation by successive politicians to 
be used by the few to the detriment of the many?

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991023
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The more the merrier					
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Irfan Husain

AS the fighting in Kosovo and East Timor has died down, Chechnya is 
again in flames. All three territories have one thing in common: 
they are in varying stages of a struggle to gain independence.

Speaking in Canada recently, President Clinton advised the French-
speaking Quebecois not to vote for independence from Canada, 
fearing that if every ethnic or linguistic group opted for its own 
country, we might end up with 800 countries. This fragmentation 
would, according to the US president, make international trade 
difficult. Big deal. We have already witnessed a huge proliferation 
in the membership of the United Nations over the last fifty years; 
simultaneously, world trade has grown at a phenomenal rate.

Since the birth of modern nationalism at the French Revolution, the 
notion of any part of the nation-state breaking away has become 
anathema to the country in question as well as the world community. 
The word "secession" is in bad odour in international forums, just 
as secessionists have been placed at par with terrorists. But as 
nations were carved out of empires, or formed as a result of 
smaller nation-states merging because of a common culture and faith 
(Germany and Italy, for example), they included smaller ethnic or 
religious communities. Many of them now want to opt out of the 
union forced on them in the past.

So what is so sacrosanct about national frontiers that they can't 
be revised once they have been established? If you look at the map 
of Africa, you will notice that many boundaries are straight lines 
that certainly do not represent natural features like mountains or 
rivers, or the limits of tribal control. In actual fact, they were 
drawn in Europe in the last century when colonial powers carved up 
the continent between themselves. In this bizarre cartographic 
exercise, tribes were divided arbitrarily, and no attention was 
paid to tribal animosities as some groups were lumped together. 
This is one of the principal causes of the bloody conflicts that 
wrack black Africa today. And yet the Organization of African Unity 
insists that these colonial boundaries be respected.

The danger the world community foresees in condoning secession is 
that one such act would set a precedent for others to follow. 
Again, big deal. If the endless bloodshed and violence being caused 
by ill-conceived national frontiers can be halted by the emergence 
of new nation-states, expanding the UN to accommodate them would be 
a small price to pay.

One psychological problem that is blocking a more pragmatic 
approach to ethnic aspirations relates to national pride: a state 
and its people see their strength in terms of geographical landmass 
and population. Any diminution in either is perceived as a 
weakening of the country in question, never mind that it may be 
spending enormous amounts of lives and resources in an effort to 
keep the would-be secessionists in line. The mantra of territorial 
integrity has caused more bloodshed than any single cause apart 
from religion.

Ethnic groups who see themselves as getting a raw deal from the 
majority often want to leave the union, and invariably, this 
triggers a conflict of varying degrees of ferocity. The creation of 
Bangladesh was the result of one such civil war. But by and large, 
the world is unsympathetic to freedom struggles. The East Timorese 
struggled for a quarter century against Indonesian occupation 
before they won support and recognition. The Eritreans fought even 
longer to throw out the occupying Ethiopians, and they too did so 
virtually unaided. The Kurds fight on for their own homeland.

Another problem related to Kashmir is the fact that it contains 
significant numbers of non-Muslims, and given our poor treatment of 
our own minorities, it is unlikely that they would welcome 
absorption in Pakistan. It would therefore make eminent sense for 
them to have a state of their own, or to join India. Giving 
Kashmiris a free and unfettered choice to decide their own future 
surely makes better sense than the endless conflict between India 
and Pakistan which is ultimately to do with how much land each 
controls. Neither is interested in the welfare of the Kashmiri 
people.

The cliched Indian argument against giving Kashmiris the right to 
choose is that this would set a bad example to other states in the 
Indian Union, and they might start demanding a similar right to 
secede. So? Must Kashmir supply the glue to hold the Indian Union 
together? (We should remember that traditionally, glue was made by 
boiling the bones of horses). Another thing to remember is that in 
terms of history, a united India is a relatively recent phenomenon. 
If the Soviet Union can break up, why can't more states emerge out 
of New Delhi's control?

Similarly, if Chechnya or Dagestan want to opt out of Russia, 
Russian troops cannot forever stifle these aspirations. After all, 
these territories were conquered by the Russians two centuries ago, 
and their people have never accepted Moscow's rule, rising against 
their Slavic overlords time and again. Apply any yardstick of 
modern statehood, and you have a strong case for their independence 
from Russia.Basically, we are talking about a post-nationalist 
world here, a world in which good governance and economic 
prosperity are the binding force that guarantee cohesion, and not 
grandiose notions of territorial integrity. In this world, the use 
of armed force to keep a group within the national fold would be an 
admission of failure, and would invite international censure and in 
extreme cases, sanctions.

I strongly suspect that the next century will witness the emergence 
of many new states, and size will no longer count for much in a 
world in which technology, trade and finance will become truly 
global. National frontiers and outmoded notions of sovereignty will 
count for far less as small countries form large trading blocs. 
This brave new world will emerge whether we like it or not, so we 
may as well get over our hang-ups. 

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991022
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Scratchy record, familiar tune
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ayaz Amir

THE General Issimo's address makes at least one thing clear. The 
military is not about to leave in a hurry. It is here to stay. The 
good thing is this message came through without any of the rank 
hypocrisy a nation fooled once too often will forever associate 
with that earlier commander of the faithful, General Zia-ul-Haq. If 
anything, the message was brutally frank: no return to a "sham" 
democracy. The political class, depressed and dispirited as it is, 
can read what meaning it likes into this.

There is no harm, however, in taking note, if only for academic 
reasons, of the major contradiction sitting astride this latest 
takeover. The army says, and rightly so, that it had not planned it 
and that Sharifian adventurism forced its hands. Not only is this 
correct. It is also true that if the army had not acted the way it 
did, it would have stood guilty in its own eyes. But having 
conceded this much, it follows that the army action should have 
fitted the provocation and not exceeded it as it obviously has 
done. After foiling Nawaz Sharif's conspiracy, and taking the 
adventurists to task, the army should have returned to barracks, 
satisfied that it had repelled a move which, if successful, would 
have shaken the Republic's foundations.

But this argument is scholastic in nature and removed from reality. 
When power flows from the barrel of a gun it comes accompanied with 
its own logic. Newspaper editorials, however fancifully written, or 
resolutions, however angrily worded, passed by political parties 
out in the cold leave little impression on this logic. If it is 
affected by anything it is the pressure of adverse circumstances: 
if the domestic situation spins out of control, if the economic 
situation gets tough (that is, tougher than it is already) and if 
the world turns hostile.

In the present instance, however, the American ambassador, 
obviously a smart person and living in the real world, has given a 
certificate of approval to the new regime and the regime, no doubt 
overcome by a sense of relief, has run this certificate at length 
on television. So much for the fearless independence of our proud 
nation. Even President Clinton has given a cautious nod of approval 
to Pakistan's new rulers. Which only proves that whatever State 
Department spokesmen might say for public consumption, it is 
pragmatism which still rules the world. And in these matters always 
will.At home the military face no problem at all. If anything, the 
rush of support for them in these early days is almost embarrassing 
since it shows what a mess we have made of our democracy. The 
political parties are discredited and in disarray and the people, 
bitten once too often, have little sympathy for their travails. 
Benazir Bhutto in statement after statement is begging to be taken 
into the army's confidence but to her chagrin, and the quiet 
delight of most Pakistanis, her overtures are being met by an 
indifferent silence.

The stalwarts of the Muslim League, afraid even of their shadows, 
are temperamentally averse to any kind of political defiance. 
Expect no thoughts of insurrection from them. As to how Nawaz 
Sharif and his inner coterie, thought of upstaging the army will 
remain a mystery forever. Nawaz Sharif was the greatest political 
product the army ever produced. And here he was about to do a 
Hitler on his generals. With his inside view of events Mushahid has 
the chance of writing a bestseller.

The religious parties, preaching and practising jehad in 
Afghanistan and Kashmir, will not oppose the army, certainly not an 
army which has nurtured them and which, lest they forget, scaled 
the heights of Kargil. Ironically, therefore, it is General 
Musharraf who is favourably placed to moderate if not curb the 
fundamentalist tendencies in Pakistani society which so feed 
western nightmares. Also the best person, since he cannot be 
accused of softness towards India, to de-escalate tensions with 
India. This would be a classic variation on the Nixon theme: a 
conservative, if not an outright hawk, making peace with the enemy. 
The Americans at least seem to have caught on to the advantages of 
dealing with the new military set-up and, if they are on board, 
what remains of the bite of the IMF and the World Bank?

So with things looking up for the military it is foolish even to 
think that in these early days they would be thinking in terms of a 
time-frame for a return to democracy. On their minds is the thought 
of cleaning up the national stables and of ushering in an era of 
reform. How they go about this task, or whether they even fully 
comprehend its complexity, is another matter. But it is there. Is 
Ataturk the model before the Generalissimo? Vaguely, perhaps yes. 
General Pervez Musharraf even speaks Turkish. So here we have a 
profound affinity right from the start.

At this point, the case for cynicism or perhaps caution is easily 
set forth. The sound of jackboots marching into the political arena 
is not a rarity in Pakistan. Generals have come before, promised 
all kinds of things and then, overwhelmed by problems beyond their 
ability to comprehend let alone resolve, have fled in ignominy 
leaving a trail of disaster behind them. Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, 
Zia-ul-Haq, a trio of characters which has been deadly for 
Pakistan. What reason to believe Musharraf will be any different?

Furthermore, not to mince words, the intellectual tradition in the 
Pakistan army, apart from some notable individual exceptions, has 
never been very strong. Because of this the army's grasp of the 
causes of social and political decline has seldom been profound. 

What compelling reason to suppose it will be any different this 
time?

Pakistan's problems are complex. The army's solutions, to judge by 
the taste of them we have had in previous spells of military rule, 
are usually over-simplistic. Let us also not forget that this is 
the same command which at Nawaz Sharif's bidding went into areas - 
WAPDA, KESC, road-building, police training - it had no business 
entering. The same army command which misread, to put it no 
stronger than that, the entire Kargil situation is now expected to 
acquire political sophistication and address itself to the social, 
administrative and economic malaise which afflicts the country. 
Which is not to say the task is impossible. But for its 
accomplishment it will require more clarity and vision than the 
military in its previous Ataturk incarnations ever betrayed.

There are three things ordinary people in Pakistan urgently want 
(to the extent of course that a journalist can presume to speak on 
behalf of the people). First, an improvement in their economic 
condition by which is meant not wine and cheese on the table but 
simply more job opportunities and an easing of inflation. This 
calls for a revival, howsoever slight, of the economy.

Second, a sense of security or the feeling that in their dealings 
with the state - whether in the form of the thana, the tehsil, the 
kutchery, WAPDA or the identity card office - they will get 
justice. This requires overhauling the administrative machinery.

Third, across-the-board accountability, swift and ruthless and with 
no exceptions dictated by political expediency.

These are simple desires, not tall expectations, which says a lot 
about the narrow straits to which Pakistan has been reduced. But 
even satisfying these basic wants will require more than bluster 
and tough-sounding pronouncements. Reviving economic activity, 
reforming the administration and setting in motion the wheels of 
justice: it sounds so simple yet in history these tasks, more 
inter-connected than we might suppose, have tested the wisdom of 
the greatest kings. Will General Musharraf succeed where his great 
predecessors - Ayub, Yahya and Zia - so miserably failed? In trying 
to answer this question let us always bear in mind the sobering 
thought that in the beginning the army is always looked upon as the 
solution. Very soon it is perceived as part of the problem.

Two factors, however, are strongly in Musharraf's favour. Greatness 
and the mantle of Ataturk have been thrust on him. For this he must 
thank Nawaz Sharif and his closest gauleiters. Otherwise he is not 
burdened by any messianic baggage as Ayub Khan was when he walked 
the floor of his Claridge's suite and thought how utterly urgent it 
was for him to step into the political arena and save Pakistan. 
Half the world's miseries can be traced to shallow reformers of 
this sort and if General Musharraf is not of this mould, and it 
seems he is not, it is no small cause for mercy.

Secondly, no spectre sits at his feast as Bhutto's ghost sat at 
Zia-ul-Haq's table. Half the contortions that Zia as a ruler went 
into were dictated by the need to exorcise that ghost. Musharraf is 
under no such compulsion. He can pursue his agenda, if he has one, 
without having to look over his shoulder all the time. Nawaz Sharif 
will haunt no one. This is one measure of his ordinariness and one 
measure of Pakistan's peculiar destiny that it should have remained 
in thrall to such a figure.

Anyway, we are once again trapped in circumstances from which there 
will be no getting away in a hurry. True, Pakistan's democrats blew 
their chances. Of this there should not be the slightest doubt. In 
any country it would be hard to pick a duo more conspicuously inept 
and corrupt than that of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. And to 
think that an entire decade and some more of our history was 
dominated by these two figures.

But it is also true that the record whose scratchy sounds we are 
now hearing has been played many times before. Will it engender a 
new mood this time? If only one could divine the future. 


===================================================================
SPORTS
991023
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan outclass Sri Lanka to lift Sharjah Cup
-------------------------------------------------------------------

SHARJAH (United Arab Emirates), Oct 22: Two shocking umpiring 
decisions halted Sri Lanka in their tracks as Wasim Akram's 
Pakistan won the Sharjah Cup final by 88 runs here on Friday.

Sri Lanka, chasing Pakistan's modest 211-9 from 50 overs, got off 
to a flying start as Aravinda de Silva and Romesh Kaluwitharana 
tore into the new ball attack to post 49-1 by the ninth over.

Both batsmen, however, fell to umpiring errors within the space of 
one run, triggering a collapse which saw Sri Lanka fold up for 123 
in the day-night international.

Third umpire Steve Dunne of New Zealand ruled de Silva caught at 
first slip by Inzamam-ul-Haq off Abdur Razzaq even though repeated 
television replays confirmed the ball had hit the ground before 
lodging between the fielder's knees.

Kaluwitharana was unlucky to be ruled leg-before by English umpire 
David Shepherd in Wasim Akram's next over as the ball deflected 
from the bat on to the pad.

Shepherd may not have got the benefit of replays, but Dunne's 
shocking decision after watching at least 10 replays from the 
pavilion took the shine off Pakistan's victory.

Sri Lanka's Australian coach Dav Whatmore gestured angrily outside 
the dressing room as de Silva walked slowly back to the pavilion 
amidst jeers from the largely Pakistani crowd.

The duo came to the crease after the fourth ball dismissal of 
Sanath Jayasuriya, who fended a short ball from rival captain Wasim 
Akram to Shahid Afridi in the gully.

De Silva hit four boundaries in his 25, while Kaluwitharana was 
content to play second fiddle during the 49-run stand for the 
second wicket.

Their departure made Sri Lanka 50-3 and it soon became 66-5 as 
Azhar Mahmood had both Marvan Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardene 
caught behind.

Azhar Mahmood finished with five for 28, following his six for 18 
in the last match against the West Indies on Tuesday.

Pakistan, who begin a long-awaited tour of Australia next week, 
received the winners' purse of 50,000 dollars. It was their seventh 
victory in eighth One-day Internationals after losing the World Cup 
final to Australia in June.

Sri Lankan officials played down the umpiring errors, saying the 
team did not bat well under pressure.

"We should have won after getting Pakistan out to a low score," 
Jayasuriya said. "The batsmen let down the bowlers again."

Earlier, Pakistan's batting faltered against the spirited Sri 
Lankan fielding, the only notable contributions being half-
centuries from opener Saeed Anwar and Inzamam.

Anwar made 53 and Inzamam 54, but their performance was 
overshadowed by a three-wicket haul by leg-spinner Upul Chandana.

Pakistan were tottering at 148 for six in the 40th over when Akram 
smashed 30 off 26 balls as the lower order added 63 valuable runs 
in the remaining 10 overs.

The final over, bowled by Jayasuriya, realised 12 runs as young 
Shoaib Malik hit a six before being stumped off the last ball.

Pakistan won their fifth successive toss in the tournament, but 
their luck did not hold at the start of the innings.

Sri Lanka's left-arm seamers Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa bowled a 
steady line to restrict Pakistan to 25 for two in the first 10 
overs.

Anwar and Inzamam added 71 for the third wicket to take the score 
to 96 for two in the 25th, when Chandana hit back with two quick 
wickets.

Two more wickets fell in quick succession as the slog overs 
started, but Akram's big-hitting towards the end retreived the 
situation.-AFP

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991021 
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Sohail and Waqar dropped from Australia-bound team
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 20: Speed merchant Waqar Younis and flamboyant opener 
Aamir Sohail were dropped from the 16-man Pakistan cricket squad 
for the demanding tour of Australia.

The selectors named the side in Sharjah on Wednesday after 100-km 
man Shoaib Akhtar passed his fitness test.

The selectors recalled veteran batsman Ijaz Ahmad, Mohammad Wasim, 
spin duo of Saqlain Mushtaq and Mushtaq Ahmad, and opener Ghulam 
Ali for the tour for which the Pakistan cricket team leaves on 
Saturday from Sharjah.

The first Test starts at Brisbane from Nov 5.

The other changes in the squad presently in Sharjah are of middle-
order batsman Hasan Raza, opener Shahid Afridi and spinners Arshad 
Khan and Shoaib Malik.

Younis was unceremoniously dumped from the squad after the 
selectors took him to Sharjah as a mere tourist by picking him as 
the 16th player which ruled him out of contention from a place in 
the final eleven.

He has now been relegated to reserves list after performing with 
distinction for the last 10 years.

Aamir Sohail, who was recalled for the Toronto series, virtually 
lost his place after four poor innings with the bat.

But the apparent contradiction in the selection policy of the 
selectors can be judged from the fact that they have included Ijaz 

Ahmad and Mushtaq Ahmad purely on their past performance.

Ijaz, this year, has failed to cross the figure of 25 whether it be 
in Tests or one-day internationals. It was chiefly because of his 
recent performances that he was not named in a list of 26 probables 
for the tour of Sharjah and Australia. But he is in the side 
because of his five centuries against Australia, including two in 
Australia.

Similarly, Mushtaq Ahmad, who has played just one Test and one one-
day international this year, has been retained in the side after he 
captured 18 wickets in the last two Tests on the 1995-96 tour of 
Australia.

If the two players can be picked on past performance, it is 
anybody's guess if Waqar Younis, who has 287 Test wickets to his 
credit, and Aamir Sohail, scorer of over 3,500 Test runs, doesn't 
deserve a call for the tour which is said to be the most gruelling 
one for Pakistan in the last five years.

The other point to be noted here is that Waqar Younis has been 
omitted to accommodate Mohammad Akram, an injury-prone bowler who 
missed almost all the season last year. Besides, Akram's last 
appearance for Pakistan was more than two years back. He though 
toured Africa early last year, yet failed to appear in any games 
after being hurt in an accident in Johannesburg.

Opener Ghulam Ali has been preferred over Aamir Sohail. Not to 
belittle Ghulam Ali's talent, his choice is mindboggling as the 
selectors have not only weakened the openers department, they have 
picked a batsman whose last appearance for Pakistan was about five 
years ago.

Ghulam Ali was a member of the team that toured South Africa where 
Pakistan were bundled out for 43 at Cape Town - the lowest score in 
a one-day international. He then played in the Asia Cup at Sharjah 
in 1995 before being sidelined.

Ghulam Ali, an attractive batsman, nevertheless, earned the 
selectors nod after his 360 runs, including five half centuries in 
the National One-day Championship which saw his team - Pakistan 
International Airlines (PIA) - win the tournament for a record 
seventh time.

Sohail's exclusion leaves only Saeed Anwar as an experienced opener 
with Wajahatullah Wasti in the process of establishing himself as a 
successor to Aamir Sohail and Ghulam Ali with no Test experience at 
all.

Similarly, Mohammad Wasim has been brought out of the blue to 
replace Hasan Raza who showed a lot of promise, guts and potential 
while scoring 76 at Sharjah against the West Indies on Tuesday.

Hasan Raza, the youngest Test player, who has blossomed into one of 
the brightest future prospects in recent times, when toured 
Australia with the Pakistan Under-19 a couple of years ago, had 
slammed three centuries in as many four-day unofficial ‘Tests'. He 
had scores of 132, 131 and 109. Besides, he also scored a century 
in one of the three one-day games.

According to a member of the ad hoc committee, requesting not to be 
identified, Wasim has been picked as a standby wicket-keeper to 
Moin Khan after the selectors rejected Rashid Latif despite 
assurances by the ad hoc committee chairman and chief selector that 
he would be touring Australia.

Interestingly, Rashid Latif is not even part of the five-player 
reserve list. The selectors have picked Pakistan Reserves' Atiquz 
Zaman as a standby wicket-keeper.

The other sad part of the selection is the omission of Shahid 
Afridi. Afridi, in his debut Test against Australia, captured five 
wickets at Karachi, and then slammed a sparkling and match-winning 
139 against India at Chinnai earlier this year. It is anybody's 
guess if a player deserves the sack despite having five wickets and 
a century in the five Tests he has played so far.

Had the team been selected on records of recent past and keeping 
aside personal interests, a more balanced and formidable 
combination could have been named. Instead, a combination of 
vulnerable openers and unreliable middle-order was announced which 
indicates that the selectors overlooked Pakistan batsmen's 
deficiency in getting runs on hard and bouncy tracks.

AGENCIES ADD FROM SHARJAH: "We found Shoaib Akhtar absolutely fit 
to withstand the gruelling tour of Australia," Pakistan chief 
selector Col Naushad Ali said.

"All members of the squad have been approved by the Pakistan 
Cricket Board (PCB)," he added.

"Ijaz has been included because he has always fared well in 
Australia, while there was a tie between Waqar and Mohammad Akram 
and we opted for the latter since he is in good form," Ali said.

"Still, a lot of cricket is left in Waqar and he may return for 
future tours," said Ali, who headed a three-man selection committee 
completed by Rameez Raja and Abdul Raqeeb.

Ghulam Ali is included as an opener because "he scored tons of runs 
in domestic cricket", Ali said.

Asked what would happen if President Tarrar recommends action 
against any player midway through the tour, Naushad said: "We 
cannot go on ifs and buts."

The team:

Wasim Akram (captain), Moin Khan (vice-captain), Saeed Anwar, 
Wajahatullah Wasti, Ijaz Ahmad, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Yousuf Youhana, 
Mohammad Wasim, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmad, Shoaib Akhtar, 
Shabbir Ahmad, Mohammad Akram, Abdur Razzak and Azhar Mahmood.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
991021 
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Musharraf to get summary of report today
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Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 20: The Ministry of Sports has finalised its summary 
of the 176-page Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyam's one-man Inquiry 
Commission Report on the match fixing and betting charges against 
Pakistan cricketers including skipper Wasim Akram.

The summary will be submitted to the Chief Executive General 
Pervaiz Musharraf, Chief of Army Staff, today or tomorrow, a high 
ranking official of Ministry of Sports told Dawn on Wednesday 
afternoon.

The official dispelled the impression created by the foreign media 
that the report was submitted to the President who is also the 
patron-in-chief of Pakistan Cricket Board.

It was, however, maintained that it will be up to the chief 
executive to order implementation of the recommendations or forward 
the report to the President. 

A sealed copy of the report was submitted to the federal secretary 
sports at his office by Registrar of the Inquiry Commission Abdus 
Salam Khawar on Oct 16.

Sources within the ministry disclosed that tough action was 
recommended against the cricketers involved in the match-fixing and 
betting. 

Life ban on Salim Malik and Mushtaq Ahmed and penalties on Wasim 
Akram, Saeed Anwar, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Ijaz Ahmed are reported to 
be part of recommendations besides other actions.

CHANGE IN PCB AD HOC IN THE OFFING: The Ministry of Sports is 
actively considering bringing forth a change in the present 
Pakistan Cricket Board ad hoc committee.

A high ranking official told Dawn that they do not want to name the 
candidate until an official announcement is made.

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