------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 19 February 2000 Issue : 06/08 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + US official for coaxing Pakistan, India to sign NPT + India expels three Pakistan diplomats + Pakistan repulses attack on AJK post + Pakistan reaffirms policy of peace talks + No new licenses, says Moin: Ban on carrying arms from next month + Wheat quota: provinces to be consulted + Chief Executive issues order: Ex-lawmakers lose privileges + CIA terms Pakistan missiles threat to region + Sindh demands Rs700m from Centre for law & order + Arms carrying, display banned in Balochistan --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + GST at retail level from July: Shaukat + State Bank of Pakistan eases curb on lending to Modarabas + KSE 100-share index breaches psychological barrier + IMF team to review tax progress + CBR to probe Rs8.6m bribe case + GDP target may not be achieved: SBP report + 8 oil & gas companies given autonomy + Gold consumption at record high in Pakistan + Sales Tax department says agents cause delay in refunds + Downsizing of workforce announced --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + From Washington Ardeshir Cowasjee + Swaying in the wind Irfan Husain + Rocket-like personalities Ayaz Amir ----------- SPORTS + Sri Lanka clinch one-day series against Pakistan + PCB plans to build strong team for World Cup + PCB empowered to decide Shoaib's Test ban: Tauqir + National snooker: Saleh and Yousuf joint top seeded

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NATIONAL NEWS
20000218 
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US official for coaxing Pakistan, India to sign NPT
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Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON, Feb 17: A senior US official said on Wednesday 
Pakistan, India and two other countries "deserve a coaxing" to 
bring them into the non-proliferation treaty (NPT).

"The most serious threats in the most recent past have been in 
South Asia, where India and Pakistan have tested nuclear devices," 
John Holum, US Senior Adviser for Arms Control and International 
Security, told a news conference.

The US intends to remain a leader in pressing for more nuclear arms 
control and is looking forward to a balanced NPT Review Conference 
in April that affirms the importance of the treaty for all 
countries around the world, he said.

Holum called the NPT Review Conference, which will be held at the 
United Nations headquarters from April 24, "an extremely important 
international event." The review is the first since the 1995 NPT 
conference decided that the treaty should become permanent with 
periodic reviews held every five years. The United States has been 
underscoring three main points in the NPT review preparation 
sessions, he said.

"One is that arms control remains vital as a security instrument 
for all countries in the world," Holum said.

"Second, the United States intends to continue leading this effort 
despite setbacks, and we consider ourselves part of the 
international consensus in favour of further steep reductions in 
nuclear arms.

"Third: Although, the pace of disarmament will be an important 
issue to consider in the context of the review conference, it is 
also vitally important that we all understand that the main reason 
the NPT was made permanent in 1995, and the main reason it remains 
so important now, is that it is a security instrument for all of 
its members," he said.

Acceptance of the NPT "is not a favour by the non-nuclear weapon 
states to the nuclear weapon states," Holum said. The treaty "is an 
instrument by which the non-nuclear weapon states can avoid the 
costs and dangers of their own participation in a nuclear arms 
race, confident in the knowledge that their neighbours and rivals 
also are not pursuing nuclear weapons," he said.

"It would be self-defeating for countries to jeopardise either 
their own relationship with the NPT or the NPT itself because they 
are dissatisfied with the pace of disarmament, because the treaty 
is valuable to them," he said.

The 187 nations that have ratified the NPT "did not do so on the 
grounds that they liked what the United States and the other 
nuclear weapon states were doing. They did it because they saw a 
security value for themselves," Holum said.

But he added for the conference to be "balanced", there must also 
be discussions on the benefits of the treaty, such as strengthened 
safeguards and the benefits of peaceful uses of atomic energy in 
such areas as health and agriculture.

The United States also wants any discussion about the countries 
that are not members of the NPT regime to focus on all four 
countries - Cuba, Israel, India, and Pakistan - and not become a 
Middle East debate on Israel, he said.

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20000219   
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India expels three Pakistan diplomats
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NEW DELHI, Feb 18: India announced on Friday it was expelling three 
Pakistani diplomats, signaling a further deterioration in already 
strained bilateral relations.

"The government has sought the withdrawal of these three officials 
by February 25," Foreign Ministry spokesman R.S. Jassal said. The 
three embassy staffers, identified as Mohammad Khalil, Rana 
Mohammad Saghir and Mohammad Amin, were being expelled for 
"indulging in activities incompatible with their official status," 
Jassal said.

The Indian move is almost certain to result in retaliatory 
expulsions of Indian embassy staffers in Islamabad.-AFP

PAKISTAN PROTESTS: The Pakistan Foreign Office on Friday summoned 
the Indian deputy high commissioner in Islamabad and lodged a 
strong protest against "uncivilised and inhuman treatment" meted 
out to two officials of the Pakistan diplomatic mission in Delhi on 
Thursday, Hasan Akhtar adds from Islamabad.

The illegal detention and severe beating of the officials of the 
Pakistan High Commission, an official statement said, was carried 
out by the Indian intelligence operatives who during the five-hour 
detention of the Pakistani officials, extensively interrogated them 
and inflicted serious injuries by beating them up severely. The 
eardrum of one of the officials was badly damaged, the statement 
said.

The Foreign Office, while delivering the protest, reminded the 
Indian deputy high commissioner in Islamabad that it was the 
responsibility of the Indian government in accordance with the 
Vienna Convention and bilateral code of conduct to properly treat 
the diplomatic and consular personnel.

Pakistan also deplored "the unwarranted" expulsion by New Delhi of 
three staff members of the Pakistan mission by February 25, 
describing it as an action that clearly heightened the tensions and 
further strained relations between the two countries.

The Foreign Office also protested to the Indian official against 
another related incident of harassment of a woman officer of the 
Pakistan High Commission by the Indian intelligence staff on 
January 27, in which the rear windscreen of the High Commission's 
vehicle was completely shattered.

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20000217
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Pakistan repulses attack on AJK post
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JAMMU (Occupied), Feb 16: Four Indian soldiers were killed on 
Tuesday-Wednesday night when the Indian troops attacked a Pakistani 
post in Azad Kashmir.

The ISPR said on Wednesday that Pakistan had repulsed the attack on 
one of its forward posts, inflicting "heavy casualties" on India.

The army statement said that Tuesday night's attack was made in the 
Kotli sub-sector of Azad Kashmir, along the Line of Control (LOC).

"According to initial reports, the enemy has suffered heavy 
casualties and also left behind one body and a large number of 
weapons and ammunition," it said. Official sources said that more 
than five Indian soldiers were killed while many more were wounded.

In Jammu, held Kashmir, Maj Gen P.P.S. Bindra of the India's 
Northern Command said that at least four Indian soldiers were 
killed when a party on routine patrol came under heavy fire from 
across the LoC in the Mendhar Sector of Poonch district. The 
shootout lasted for 40 minutes.

Mendhar lies 210 km north of Jammu.

 "The bodies are lying on our side of the LoC and we could not 
retrieve them so far because they (Pakistanis) open fire on us as 
our movement is under observation from the other side," Bindra told 
Reuters while adding that casualties were also inflicted on the 
Pakistani side.

Intermittent mortar and small arms fire continued in the sector 
throughout Wednesday, he added.-Reuters/AFP

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20000218 
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Pakistan reaffirms policy of peace talks
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Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD, Feb 17: At a high-level meeting on foreign policy 
chaired by the Chief Executive, General Pervez Musharraf, here on 
Thursday, the government endorsed the policy of engaging India 
in a dialogue to resolve peacefully the core issue of Kashmir and 
to remove all other irritants harming the relations between the two 
countries.

Sources in the foreign ministry told Dawn that Chief Executive 
General Pervez Musharraf told the meeting that Pakistan wanted the 
resumption of dialogue with India but New Delhi was not ready for 
it.

The meeting, according to a foreign office press release, undertook 
a broad review of important foreign policy issues, particularly 
Kashmir and Afghanistan.

According to the brief press release issued by the FO, "Foreign 
Secretary Shamshad Ahmad made a detailed presentation. He 
highlighted the important considerations underpinning the 
approaches and the direction of the foreign policy which were, 
after discussion, endorsed by consensus."

The sources, however, said that the chief executive told the 
meeting that Pakistan wanted peace in the region and would support 
every effort towards this end.

The CE said that the tension between Pakistan and India needed to 
be decreased but he believed that this could only be done by 
resolving the core issue of Kashmir. The meeting agreed that peace 
in the region could not be ensured unless the issue was resolved.

The meeting regretted that India was not interested in the 
resumption of dialogue. It was felt that India was deliberately 
avoiding serious discussions because that would lead to talks on 
the core issue of Kashmir.

Kashmir, it was said, was the main irritant between the two 
countries while all the other pending issues were the result of 
this core irritant.

The meeting also maintained that Pakistan would welcome any third 
party mediation to get the issue resolved. It was observed 
thatPakistan's position on Kashmir was morally, ethically and 
legally strong whereas India was playing on a very weak wicket due 
to which it was hesitant to accept any sort of mediation.

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20000216 
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No new licenses, says Moin: Ban on carrying arms from next month
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Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD, Feb 15: The government on Tuesday put an immediate 
countrywide ban on the issuance of all kinds of arms licenses as 
part of its "seven-stage formula" to create a weapon-free society 
in the country.

In a high-level inter-provincial meeting on law and order which 
continued here for almost six hours, the government also decided to 
strictly prohibit the carrying of all sorts of weapons with effect 
from March 1, 2000.

Interior Minister Lt Gen (retd) Moinuddin Haider told a press 
conference, at the conclusion of the meeting which he chaired, that 
the above-mentioned decisions would be strictly implemented and 
there would be no exception or favour. "We will even use the army 
if required," the minister warned, when asked if it was possible to 
put an end to the growing culture of showing weapons in the public.

Haider said that the meeting, which was also attended by the chief 
executive for almost an hour, agreed on a "seven-stage formula" to 
make Pakistan a weapon-free society.

"Immediately, we are implementing only two stages - ban on arms 
licenses and prohibition on carrying weapons. The other stages will 
be announced and implemented later."

The minister, however, clarified that the issuance of licenses to 
security agencies and bank guards would continue but only after 
thorough scrutiny.

Haider, who declined to spell out all the seven stages of the de-
weaponisation formula, hinted during the question-answer session 
that there were proposals under consideration to recover illicit 
(unlicensed) arms; to cancel prohibited arms licenses; and to 
regulate arms manufacturing in the tribal areas.

Referring to the argument that weapon carrying was a cultural 
practice in parts of Balochistan and the NWFP, the minister said if 
the people of Afghanistan could abandon this culture why could not 
the people of these provinces.

"We will show the will and the people will themselves see the 
implementation of these decisions," he said, adding that in a 
civilised society people did not carry weapons.

SECTARIAN MILITANCY: The minister said that the meeting also 
discussed the issue of sectarian militancy and decided to check it 
with an iron grip. "Neither we will tolerate the culture of 
killings in the name of religion nor allow anybody to describe 
others as Kafir (infidel)," the minister said.

There are more than 4,000 religious institutions (Maddarris) 
throughout the country and 99 per cent of them are imparting 
education in line with the teachings of Islam. The minister said 
that only one per cent of these institutions got their students 
trained from organised weapon training camps in Afghanistan for 
"Jehad" which could result into sectarian terrorism in Pakistan.

He said besides asking these institutions to stop doing this, 
Pakistan had also taken up the matter with the Kabul government to 
ensure that no one from Pakistan received training from these camps 
in Afghanistan. "We are expecting a positive response in this 
respect from the Taliban," he said.

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20000216 
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Wheat quota: provinces to be consulted
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Rauf Klasra

ISLAMABAD, Feb 15: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf has 
stressed upon the need for organized, equitable and timely 
distribution of wheat among the four provinces and has directed the 
federal agriculture ministry 
to prepare a comprehensive plan for wheat distribution, in 
consultation with provinces.

He issued these instructions during a meeting on Tuesday, which he 
chaired, to review the wheat stock position in the country. The 
meeting took a number of decisions to meet the wheat requirement of 
the provinces.

The chief executive also assured the farmers that all commitments 
made by the government would be honored and their quality of life 
would improve.

Meanwhile, sources said NWFP and Balochistan governments have 
demanded of the federal government to enhance the per capita 
consumption of wheat as the eating habits of people of these two 
provinces are somewhat different from those of Punjab and Sindh.

Sources said this demand was made by representatives of these two 
provinces who attended the meeting in which the four provincial 
governors and federal minister for finance also participated.

Corps commanders, Chief of the General Staff, Director- General 
Staff, Director-General Military Operation, Secretary- General 
Finance Moin Afzal, secretary for food, agriculture and livestock 
Dr Zafar Altaf and the four provincial chief secretaries also 
attended the meeting.

Giving details regarding the meeting, sources said representatives 
of Balochistan and NWFP were more vocal in their demand to enhance 
the per capita consumption quota. Sources said, they told the 
meeting that their provinces must be given more wheat as the per 
capita calculation made by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and 
Livestock (Minfal) was insufficient to meet their demand for food 
due to a number of reasons. These included the eating habits of 
people in these provinces and another factor was the smuggling of 
wheat to Afghanistan, which resulted in its shortage.

Sources said the meeting also discussed all issues related to 
wheat, including the issue of its rationing in the country.

Sources said on the issue of supplying more wheat to the provinces 
to meet additional demand, it was pointed out that the Minfal had 
already allocated 150,000 tons of wheat to Sindh, 100,000 tons each 
to Balochistan and NWFP from the 0.5 million tons imported from 
Australia. The remaining 150,000 tons will be kept in Passco 
stores.

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20000216 
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Chief Executive issues order: Ex-lawmakers lose privileges
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Feb 15: The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, on 
Tuesday issued an order, suspending all the laws under which the 
members of parliament and provincial assemblies were enjoying 
privileges. 
The new order would be applicable from Oct 12, 1999.

It stated: "It is hereby declared for removal of doubts that no 
salary, allowance, financial benefit, right, privilege or 
concession shall accrue or be deemed to have ever accrued or become 
payable to any holder of representative office for the period the 
National Assembly, the Senate and Provincial Assemblies remain 
suspended, in pursuance of the Proclamation of the fourteenth day 
of October, 1989, and the Provisional Constitution Order No 1 of 
1999, as amended".

The laws suspended by order No 3 of 2000 are: i) the Member of 
Parliament (Salaries and Allowances) Act, 1974 (XXVII of 1974); ii) 
the Chairman, Speaker (Salaries, Allowance and Privileges) Act, 
1975 (LXXXII of 1975); iii) the Deputy Chairman and Deputy Speaker 
(Salaries, Allowances and Privileges) Act, 1975 (LXXXIII of 1975).

iv) the Balochistan Assembly Members (Salaries and Allowances) Act, 
1975 (Balochistan Act No.II of 1975); v) the Balochistan Speaker's 
and Deputy Speaker's (Salaries, Allowances and Privileges) Act, 
1975 (Balochistan Act No.V of 1975).

vi) the Provincial Assembly of North-West Frontier Province, 
(Salaries and Allowances of the Members) Act, 1974 (NWFP Act No. XI 
of 1974); vii) the North-West Frontier Province Speaker's and 
Deputy Speaker's (Salaries, Allowances and Privileges) Act, 1975 
(NWFP Act No.III of 1975).

viii) the Punjab Provincial Assembly (Salaries, Allowance and 
Privileges of Members) Act, 1974 (Punjab Act, No. XVI of 1974); ix) 

the Punjab Provincial Assembly Speaker (Salaries, Allowances and 
Privileges) Act, 1975 (Punjab Act No. XII of 1975); x) the Punjab 
Provincial Assembly Deputy Speaker (Salaries, Allowances and 
Privileges ) Act, 1975 (Punjab Act No. XLIII of 1975).

xi) the Sindh Provincial Assembly Members (Salaries and Allowances) 
Act, 1974 (Sindh Act No. XXVI of 1974); xii) the Sindh Speaker's 
and Deputy Speaker's (Salaries, Allowances and Privileges) Act, 
1975 (Sindh Act No VIX of 1975) and, xiii) any law, rule, order, 
sanction or notification relating to terms and conditions of 
federal parliamentary secretaries and provincial parliamentary 
secretaries.

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20000216 
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CIA terms Pakistan missiles threat to region
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Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Feb 15: The CIA has included Pakistan among countries 
with ballistic missile capabilities that pose an immediate, serious 
and growing threat to the US and its allies in the Middle East and 
Asia.

"The proliferation of medium-range ballistic missiles-driven 
primarily by North Korean No Dong sales has created an immediate, 
serious, and growing threat to US forces and has significantly 
altered the strategic balances in the regions," a leading CIA 
expert told a Congressional hearing in an open session.

Robert Walpole, the CIA's National Intelligence Officer for 
Strategic and Nuclear Programs, gave his assessment before the 
Senate Governmental Affairs Sub-committee on International 
Security, Proliferation, and Federal Services on the ballistic 
missile threat to the US through the year 2015.

Walpole categorically stated that Pakistan had acquired M-11 SRBMs 
(short-range ballistic missiles) from China and medium-range Ghauri 
from North Korea while India had short range Prithvi-I and recently 
began testing the medium range Agni-II missiles. "We assess these 
may have nuclear roles," Walpole told the committee.

Discussing the export of these missiles by North Korea, Walpole 
said acquiring long-range ballistic missiles armed with a weapon of 
mass destruction probably will enable weaker countries to do three 
things that they otherwise might not be able to do: deter, 
constrain and harm the US.

The CIA projects that the US will face threats from Russian, 
Chinese, and North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles 
(ICBMs), and possibly from Iranian and Iraqi ICBMs, in the coming 
15 years, Walpole said.

Some of these systems, he said, may be intended for their political 
impact as potential terror weapons, while others may be built to 
perform more specific military missions, facing the US with a broad 
spectrum of motivations, development timelines, and resulting 
hostile capabilities.

"In many ways, such weapons are not envisioned at the outset as 
operational weapons of war, but primarily as strategic weapons of 
deterrence and coercive diplomacy," he said.

They need not be highly accurate; the ability to target a large 
urban area is sufficient. They need not be highly reliable, because 
their strategic value is derived primarily from the implicit or 
explicit threat of their use, not the near certain outcome of such 
use.

Walpole said as alarming as the long-range missile threat is, it 
should not overshadow the immediacy and seriousness of the threat 
from shorter-range missiles.

He gave examples of Iran which has tested its 1,300 km-range 
Shahab-3, which can reach most of Turkey; Pakistan which has M-11 
SRBMs (short-range ballistic missiles) from China and Ghauri MRBMs 
from North Korea; India has Prithvi I SRBMs and recently began 
testing the Agni II MRBM.

"Countries developing missiles view their regional concerns as one 
of the primary factors in tailoring their programs to provide 
deterrents and force-multipliers," he said.

Iran, he said, was likely to test a space launch vehicle by 2010 
that could be converted into an ICBM capable of delivering a 
several-hundred kilogram payload.

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20000218 
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Sindh demands Rs700m from Centre for law & order
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Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Feb 17: The Sindh government's demand to the centre for 
bearing half of the cost the province had spent on handling the law 
and order problem will be discussed at the next meeting 
of the provincial coordination committee (PCC), Dawn reliably 
learnt.

Recently, Sindh Governor Azim Daudpota wrote to Chief Executive 
General Pervez Musharraf, seeking his help for the payment of Rs700 
million to the province. Copies of the latter were sent to the 
finance and interior ministries.

The governor reminded the federal government of its commitment to 
bear half of the expenditure the provincial authorities had been 
incurring on handling a "near insurgency situation" in Karachi.

During the PPP government, Sindh was given an assurance that the 
centre would share half of the cost of handling extra-ordinary law 
and order situation in Karachi and other parts of the province.

A formal document was signed by the representatives of both the 
governments. Payments were regularly made to the province since an 
operation clean-up in Karachi had been going on under the direct 
supervision of the then interior minister Naseerullah Khan Babar.

However after the change of the government in November 1996, the 
centre stopped those payments. The governor pointed out that in the 
last three years of the PML government the province had to spend 
Rs1.4 billion on the law and order. In accordance with the 
agreement, he said, half of the cost should be borne by the federal 
government.

The provincial authorities had also raised the issue of the payment 
of Rs700 million during the CE's recent visit to Karachi. The CE 
had directed the provincial authorities to formally take up the 
issue with the federal government by addressing a letter to the 
finance ministry.

Sources at the of finance ministry said that they had received the 
letter from the provincial government and the matter had been 
referred to the recently re-constituted Provincial Coordination 

Committee (PCC). The PCC is expected to meet sometime next month.

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20000218 
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Arms carrying, display banned in Balochistan
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Saleem Shahid

QUETTA, Feb 17: The Balochistan government has imposed an immediate 
ban on the display and carrying of firearms in the province, 
following the decision of an inter-provincial meeting.

Home Secretary Sheharyar Khan told Dawn on Thursday night that a 
notification in this regard had been issued by the concerned 
authorities earlier in the day.

To a question whether the ban was applicable to the tribal areas or 
not, the official said "there is no tribal area in the province". 
After the Supreme Court's decision on March 22, 1996, there were no 
tribal areas in the province, he said, adding that the ban would be 
applicable to every body, without any exception.

All the areas in Balochistan, including Dera Bugti Agency, Kholu 
Agency, Chagai and Zhob agencies, were under regular law, he 
elaborated. About the licensed arms, he said the display and 
carrying of arms were already banned under Section 144 Cr.PC in 
Quetta and many other parts of the province.

The home secretary said that detailed orders and instructions in 
this respect would be issued to all the commissioners and deputy 
commissioners in a couple of days. According to an handout issued 
late in the night, the Balochistan government also imposed a ban on 
the issuance of arms licences in the province.


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 BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20000219 
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GST at retail level from July: Shaukat
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Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Feb 18: Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz said on Friday the 
government would simplify reporting requirements for small general 
sales tax payers before budget and impose GST at retail level from 
July.

"The government resolves to impose GST at all levels from the next 
fiscal year," he told newsmen at a press conference held at the 
State Bank.

Aziz said the government would simplify reporting requirements for 
small sales tax payers but he made it clear that GST would be 
imposed from the next fiscal year.

The minister said the issue of how to impose GST would come up for 
consideration at a two-day meeting of Economic Advisory Board due 
in Islamabad on 24th and 25th. He said the board would review the 
report of its sub-committee on taxation adding that Chief Executive 
Gen Pervez Musharraf would also attend the meeting on the second 
day.

Aziz said the board would also consider the issue of agricultural 
income tax. He said he had spoken to various lobbies concerned on 
this issue adding that the experts' committee on agriculture would 
submit its report on the issue next month. He said the matter would 
be finalized before the budget.

The minister said the board meeting is being held primarily to 
reevaluate the state of the economy and to see what has so far been 
done to implement the economic revival plan of this regime.

He said initial indications are positive and cited a 20 per cent 
growth in tax collection and 8.5 per cent growth in exports during 
the first seven months of the current fiscal year as two key 
examples.

He, however, termed the State Bank report on the state of the 
economy in the second quarter ending December 1999, as "very 
balanced, fair and objective."

Aziz said sales tax excluding surcharge on petroleum showed a net 
growth of 30 per cent during July 1999-January 2000: He hoped that 
sales tax would be number one revenue collecting tax in next fiscal 
year.

In response to a question he said it could not be predicted at the 
moment whether petroleum prices would rise or fall in months to 
come. But he reiterated the government resolve to decrease the 
retail prices of petroleum if international prices went down. He 
said the government would review petroleum prices at end March.

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20000216 
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State Bank of Pakistan eases curb on lending to Modarabas
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Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Feb 15: Banks can now offer financing facilities to 
modarabas with credit ratings of B-3 without prior clearance of the 
State Bank of Pakistan. The latest SBP instruction on this subject 
is that banks will continue to seek prior permission of SBP for 
offering financing facilities to the modarabas whose credit rating 
is below B-3. The SBP issued this instruction to all banks through 
a circular. But it did not explain B-3.

SBP had instructed banks in September 1996 to seek its prior 
clearance before offering financing facilities to modarabas amid 
reports suggesting that bank financing to modarabas was creating an 
imbalance in the market.

"The matter has been reviewed and it has now been decided that 
banks shall no longer require prior clearance of SBP in respect of 
modarabas having a credit rating of B-3 and above," says the SBP 
circular (BPRD no 05). But it makes it clear that in offering 
financing facilities to even these modarabas banks will maintain 
their exposure limits and observe all the prudential regulations.

"In other cases banks shall, however, continue to seek prior 
clearance of the State Bank."

Though well received in spirit in the modaraba sector-the SBP move 
has created some confusion. In the first place the credit rating 
grade of B-3 is used only by Pakistan Credit Rating Agency and not 
by DCR-VIS.

Modaraba managers wonder what treatment will be meted out to the 
modarabas that are credit rated by DCR-VIS and not by PACRA.

Senior SBP officials say they would allow banks to offer financing 
facilities to the modarabas credit rated by DCR-VIS if their rating 
is equal to B-3 of PACRA.

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20000219 
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KSE 100-share index breaches psychological barrier
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Feb 18: KSE 100-share index on Friday breached the 
psychological barrier of 1,900 points after posting a fresh gain of 
58 points as the energy sector-led price flare-up followed by news 
of autonomy engulfed the entire market.

The KSE 100-share index breached the barrier of 1,900 points to 
quote at new highs for the last couple of years after scoring a 
fresh gain of 54.45 points or three per cent at 1,938.17. The 
message is clear that it could rise further after breaching the 
barrier of 2,000 points also possibly by the next week.

Weekend profit-taking by jobbers, bargain-hunters and day traders 
toward the closing bell did take its toll on certain inflated 
counters after reports of some technical problems in the computer 
system but it was well-absorbed at the dips.

Apart from President Clinton's possible visit to this part of the 
subcontinent, the market was essentially driven by the strength of 
the energy sector, analysts said.

'The autonomy given to the eight leading oil and gas companies 
including listed ones such as PSO, Sui Southern and Sui Northern 
aiming finally at their privatization was well-received in the 
rings as was reflected by active buying in most of them', they 
added.

They said the unfolding corporate scenario reveals that the 
government is inclined to significantly expand the role of private 
sector after curtailing the role of the public sector.

'All these steps are confidence-building and investors are taking 
them according to new policy perceptions being evolved at the 
highest level', said a leading floor broker.

He said both the general investor and the brokerage houses are 
attaching a great importance to the government's massive 
privatization programme during the next couple of months but 
possibly before June this year as 10% of sell-off will be 
transacted through the stock exchanges.

'I don't see any reason, which could halt the KSE index upward 
march to 2,000 points possibly by the end of the current month', 
stock analyst Faisal Abbas says.

Heavy buying in both hub-Power and PTCL, which together hold a 
weightage of 43% in it could take it where they want in the 
developing corporate scenario, he adds.

But massive covering purchases in the undervalued textile shares 
appears to be the chief stimulating factor behind the current price 
flare-up. Most of them rose in unison, some of them quite sharply.

Among the energy shares, which experienced a price flare-up, Attock 
Refinery, PSO, Pakistan Refinery, and Pakistan Oilfields were 
leading, closing with gains ranging from Rs6.00 to Rs15.20.

Other prominent gainers were led by Adamjee Insurance, Al-Ghazi 
Tractors, Nestle Milk Pak and Lever Brothers, which rose by Rs5.00 
to Rs12.45, largest rise of Rs105.00 being in Lever Brothers.

There were several other good gaines also including Grindlays 
Modaraba, Engro Chemical, Sapphire Fibre, Faisal Spinning, General 
Tyre, and Nagina Cotton.

Prominent losers were led by Dawood Hercules, Crescent Leasing, 
National Tanneries, Tri-Pack Films, Shell Pakistan and 14 ICP 
Mutual Fund, which suffered decline ranging from one rupee to 
Rs6.60. But the biggest decline of Rs15.00 was noted in Knoll 
Pharma.

Trading volume fell to 238m shares from the previous 276m shares as 
gainers held a strong lead over the losers at 196 to 100, with 58 
shares holding on to the last levels.

The most active list was topped by PTCL, higher 85 paisa at Rs31.50 
on 91m shares followed by Hub-Power, up 50 paisa at Rs28.85 on 68m 
shares, PSO, higher by Rs9.50 at Rs254.00 on 15m shares, ICI 
Pakistan unchanged at Rs12.60 at 9m shares and Sui Northern, up 
Rs1.25 on 7m shares.

Other actively traded shares were led by Fauji Fertiliser, firm 25 
paisa on 7m shares, ICP SEMF, higher Rs1.95 on 6m shares, Sui 
Southern, up Rs1.30 on 4m shares, Dhan Fibre, steady 20 paisa on 4m 
shares, FFC-Jordan Fertiliser, firm by five paisa also on 4m shares 
and Adamjee Insurance, sharply higher Rs10.25 on 3m shares.

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20000217
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IMF team to review tax progress
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Feb 16: Central Board of Revenue is taking necessary 
steps for an IMF experts' team expected to arrive in the last week 
of March 2000 to review the pace of IMF-sponsored measures for tax-
net expansion and tax administration reforms programme for 1999-
2000-2001.

Official sources told Dawn that a review of the current 
achievements in these fields by IMF experts would include study 
into new tax modules for scientific tax receipts estimation for 
1999-2000, structural reforms agenda for income/sales tax 
administration 1999-2000, and sales tax net expansion programme 
1999-2000-2001.

A report on performance trends in revenue collection during the 
first half of 1999-2000 and on receipts prospects after the 
inclusion of a number of new sectors into the GST net (like 
electricity and gas), would also be focused during the review.

Officials said the IMF experts would be re-examining a number of 
grey areas in structural reforms performance, which were pointed 
out previously.

These include: delay in creating a system of coordination between 
the sales tax and income tax wings for doing away with the 
loopholes helping wilful tax evasion, netting new taxable sectors 
and businesses, the persisting methods of IT administration that 
discouraged IT receipts and the net extension to new prospective 
assessees, continual loss of revenues due to imperfect ST/IT 
procedures, remaining impediments in the way of GST in VAT form, 
especially in the textile-related distribution and retail trade 
sectors, delay in legislation for implementing services (sales) tax 
and the ongoing right-sizing process in the CBR apparatus.

Sources said that the IMF experts would also be offered details on 
factors causing delay in launching the common tax identifier (CTI), 
which was scheduled for end of July 1999, as envisaged in the Fund-
Islamabad agreement for reforms-support, and the income tax wing's 
failure to improve its registered persons' number under the head of 
wealth tax.

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20000215
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CBR to probe Rs8.6m bribe case
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Feb 13: The government has directed the Central Board of 
Revenue to hold inquiry against the customs officials who allegedly 
took bribe in a cloth import consignment case at the Sust Pak-China 
border post.

Accordingly, sources said, the director-general of customs 
intelligence will soon be appointing a team to investigate the 
matter.

The deputy collector of customs, who supervised the checkpost, has 
already been ordered to report to the CBR. The CBR officials told 
Dawn that eight containers, meant for Gilgit cloth market, were 
stopped at Sust on Dec 6. The importers offered bribe for the 
release of the consignment without duty. They said the customs 
officers received Rs8.6 million bribe and released the consignment.

The director-general of customs intelligence and investigation has 
been directed by the CBR chairman to visit the checkpost.

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20000213
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GDP target may not be achieved: SBP report
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Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Feb 12: The State Bank has warned that Pakistan GDP (gross 
domestic product) may not grow to the target level of 5 per cent 
during fiscal year 1999-2000.

"The latest data indicates that the overall GDP growth may be 
somewhat lower than the targeted rate of 5 per cent," says SBP 
second quarterly report on the state of the economy. The State Bank 
released the report on Saturday.

In fiscal 1998-99, GDP had grown only 3.1 per cent against the 
target of 6 per cent. The SBP report does not specify an expected 
level to which it may grow this year.

The report implies that the current fiscal year may close with 
around 4 per cent inflation as measured by consumer price index. 
"On the basis of existing trends the rate of increase in prices may 
be around 4 per cent," this is exactly how the report puts it after 
commenting in detail on inflation.

It says CPI registered an annualized increase of 3.4 per cent in 
the first half of the current fiscal year against 6.5 per cent in 
the same period in 1998-1999. The report warns that increase in 
support prices of wheat and various varieties of paddy plus an 
upward revision of petroleum and furnace oil prices may have an 
impact on the price line with some time lag.

The report says that tax collection of Rs159.6 billion during July-
December 1999 was up 20.2 per cent compared with tax collection 

during July-December 1998. While terming this increase a positive 
development, the report says that the actual outcome on fiscal 
deficit would depend largely on the government ability to reduce 
its non-development expenditures.

A table attached to the report shows that, during the first six 
months of 1999-2000, credit to the private sector plus public 
sector enterprises stood at Rs28.6 billion against Rs56.6 billion 
during the same period in 1998-1999. It further shows the net 
government borrowing for budgetary support totalled Rs13.1 billion 
during July-December 1999 against Rs5.7 billion during July-
December 1998.

The total default of bank loans worth Rs1 million and above stood 
at Rs141.8 billion at the end of December 1999, about one per cent 
lower than similar defaults at the end of June, says the report.

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20000218 
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8 oil & gas companies given autonomy
-------------------------------------------------------------------

ISLAMABAD, Feb 17: The government on Thursday announced full 
autonomy to eight oil and gas companies under the ministry of 
petroleum and natural resources.

Making formal announcement at a press conference, Federal Minister 
for Petroleum and Natural Resources Usman Aminuddin said, the 
companies including, Pakistan Petroleum (PPL), Oil and Gas 
Development Co (OGDCL), Sui Southern Gas Co (SSGCL), Sui Northern 
Gas Pipelines (SNGPL), Pakistan State Oil (PSO), National Refinery 
(NRL), Pak Arab Refinery (PARCO), and Attock Refinery (ARL) have 
been given an independent status with immediate effect.

He said an approval to reach the decision was accorded by the 
federal cabinet during its Wednesday's meeting chaired by the Chief 
Executive General Pervez Musharraf.

The meeting had also approved the appointment of the Chairmen, 
Board Members and Managing Directors of the companies which have 
been given autonomous status.

The minister for petroleum and natural resources while citing 
details about the powers given to the newly inducted management of 
the companies said, 'they will enjoy full powers to run their 
respective companies on purely professional and commercial terms.' 
The management of these companies will be above all influence, he 
said.

He hoped the decision would help overcome the menaces of nepotism, 
corruption, plunder, and misuse of power which he said had been an 
order of the day in the public sector companies.

Regarding the role of ministry, he said, it will be supportive and 
rule framing body, that has hardly any influential role as far as 
the management affairs of the companies are concerned.

He announced the appointment of chairmen, members of board and 
managing directors who include: chairman, directors Pakistan 
Petroleum are H.M. Sohail, chairman, Munsif Raza, managing 
director/chief executive officer, and directors, Shahid Ahmed Abdus 
Sattar, financial advisor, Sajid Zahid, Tariq Ikram, chairman 
Export Promotion Bureau, and M.A.K. Alizai, International Director 
Finance Corporation, Washington.

The chairman and directors of ARL, Bashir Ahmed chairman, Islamic 
Investment Bank, M. Raziuddin, managing director, and directors 
Abdus Sattar, financial advisor (P&NR) G.A. Shahri, director 
general (Oil), Mukhtar Jafri finance and coordination.-APP

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20000218 
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Gold consumption at record high in Pakistan
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Masood Haider

NEW YORK, Feb 17: Strong demand for gold in Pakistan, India and the 
United States helped it reach new record level of consumption, 
World Gold Council said here on Thursday.

According to a statement by WGC in New York, the gold demand has 
risen by 21 per cent-more than a fifth to reach a new high. In the 
27 markets monitored by the council, demand for gold rose 566.2 
tonnes to 3278.4 tonnes, which is 21 per cent above the total for 
1998 and 224.8 tonnes above previous record of 3,053 tonnes set in 
1997-a gain of 7 per cent.

In Pakistan afflicted by the economic and political problem, the 
demand rose a shocking 24 per cent.

The 1999 record came in spite of a slowdown at the beginning of the 
fourth quarter when demand fell sharply as a result of the sudden 
volatility in the price of gold. However, demand recovered strongly 
as the period progressed so that fourth quarter demand totalled 
806.0 tonnes, just 0.7 tonnes below the figure of 806.7 tonnes 
achieved in the fourth quarter of 1998.

An increase in both jewellery and investment contributed to the 
year's record results. Jewellery demand in the fourth quarter 
totalled 707.8 tonnes, 5% above the total for the same period last 
year. That brought full year 1999 jewellery demand to 2,799.2 
tonnes - a formidable gain of 23% over 1998.

Meanwhile, investment demand for the fourth quarter 1999 was 98.2 
tonnes, down 24% from the fourth quarter 1998. However, investment 
demand for the full year 1999 totalled 479.2 tonnes, an increase of 
8% over 1998.

These are the main findings of the latest issue of the World Gold 
Council's quarterly survey, Gold Demand Trends, published on 
Thursday.

In reviewing a year of record demand, Miss Haruko Fukuda, Chief 
Executive Officer, World Gold Council, said that the results were 
the more remarkable in that they were achieved despite a volatile 
and highly eventful year for the gold market.

 She noted that consumers in many parts of the world held back from 
buying at the beginning of Q4 because of the sharp movements in the 
gold price following the signing of the Washington Agreement on 
Gold, which restricted sales out of the official reserves of some 
of the world's largest gold holding countries for the next five 
years. "Happily, gold demand recovered as the quarter progressed 
providing support for the view that it was the sudden increase in 
day-to-day volatility in the gold price that deterred consumers 
rather than the absolute levels. It is especially pleasing to note, 
too, the continuing gains in the demand for gold as an investment," 
she said.

Miss Fukuda observed that at the height of the Asian economic and 
currency crisis a year ago, only 9 of the 27 markets covered by the 
WGC recorded annual gold demand exceeding 100 tonnes. "That number 
rose to 12 in 1999 as a result of strong recoveries in Indonesia, 
South Korea and Taiwan," said Miss Fukuda.

Full year records were set by the following: - Pakistan, which 
shrugged off political problems to register a gain of 24%. - India, 
the world's largest consumer, with a gain of 3%. - The US, the 
second largest market in the world, up 7% year on year. - The Gulf 
States, which registered a fractional increase over 1998. - 
Indonesia, which was a net dishoarder in 1998. - Egypt, up 19%, 
helped by strong economic growth.

Several smaller markets also achieved record full-year gold demand. 
These included Mexico, up 27% over 1998 to 69.6 tonnes; France, 
edging up 1% to 60 tonnes; and Vietnam, rising 20% to 53.0 tonnes.

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20000218 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sales Tax department says agents cause delay in refunds 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Feb 17: The sales tax department has alleged that agents 
appointed by exporters for handling their refund cases are source 
of corruption and cause delay in processing of their refunds.

While clarifying the position of sales tax department with regard 
to delay in payment of refunds an official suggested that instead 
of appointing agents and middlemen all exporters should nominate 
their own staff for filing of refund claims and to appear before 
the Assistant Collectors (Refunds).

The department has taken serious note of the exporters' complaint 
over delay in payment of refund of sales tax, especially to 'Gold 
Category' card holders.

Exporters have been informed that the sales tax department has been 
advised to accord priority to sanction the refund claims which are 
received complete in all respects, the official added.

For streamlining the refund of sales tax on exports, specifically 
to 'Gold Category' exporters the department asked exporters to 
report their cases directly to the collector of sales tax.

Furthermore, all the sales tax registered persons have been asked 
to register their complaints/grievances regarding delays in refund 
through fax. Exporters may also be advised to file their claims 
complete in all respects so that the delay is avoided in future.

The business community had been demanding of the government to 
simplify the sales tax systems which has become a cause of 
unparallel corruption and extortion.

The harsh punitive law under Sales Tax Act 1990, giving power of 
arrest has become a weapon in the hand of revenue collectors for 
extorting and 'black mailing' business community, business leaders 
argue.

They had been also demanding removal of sales tax on exports as 
this generates corruption because the exporters have to make 'cost 
compliance' for getting timely refund from the sales tax 
department.

Almost all the trade bodies, including FPCCI are strongly of a view 
that the present sales tax rate of 15 per cent was took high and be 
reduced to 5 per cent for collection from all segments of trade.

It is also reported that almost all the high-ups in the government 
including ministers privately do agree that sales tax rate should 
not be more than 5 per cent but none was ready to put it into 
reality fearing backlash from the IMF and other world donor 
agencies.

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20000217
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Downsizing of workforce announced
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Feb 16: Chairman Privatization Commission Altaf M. 
Saleem has announced cutting down the size of PC work-force by 31%, 
and utilization of proceeds in future only for retiring the foreign 
debt.

Addressing the Rawalpindi Chambers of Commerce and Industry on 
Wednesday, he said under the right-sizing policy, the number of PC 
officials is being reduced from 118 to 69, while the number of 
private consultants is being reduced from 43 to 15 (a slash of 
87%).

He assured the RCCI members that immediate issues which pertain to 
siphoning out the state sector enterprises, will be addressed on 
emergency footing. Remedial actions have been devised, and he has 
sent a draft of amendment in the privatization law to ensure smooth 
process of engaging the private sector in state-owned businesses.

He said that members from the citizens are being offered slots on 
the PC board of directors to seek improved cooperation and 
guarantee transparency in deregulation and auction. 'We are not 
privatizing only for the sake of privatization,but we are working 
to ensure that economic activities in the country are afforded a 
boost and benefits reach the public', he stressed.

He said a conducive investment atmosphere is the chief aim at the 
moment and invited the businessmen to participate in the process of 
privatization to ensure success to this aim. A privatization reform 
agenda is in the offing, which will be implemented in a phased 
manner, he added.

He called upon businessmen to come forward to assist the government 
in privatizing and help increase the investor confidence.

President RCCI, SM Naseem drew the chairman's attention toward the 
privatization of power sector and said the Kot Addu Power Plant's 
sale resulted in steep rise in power tariff and rendered it beyond 
the means of commercial, industrial and residential consumers. The 
present regime will not repeat this flagrant mistake, he hoped.

He, however, urged the smooth privatization of PTCL and Pak Steel, 
in particular backdrop of the latter incurring un-manageable 
losses. He asked the PC chairman to conduct right-sizing of PIA 
which, he said, was incurring phenomenal losses due to 
mismanagement. In connection with OGDC, he said, privatization 
should be restricted to the new wells exploration only.

Back to the top
=================================================================== 
 EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20000213
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*From Washington
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ardeshir Cowasjee

AM still in Washington. My health is recovering, but at the speed 
of a camel's measured plod. Nevertheless, it still seems, or 
appears, that my recovery is immeasurably speedier than that of the 
health of our nation.

Over here, the concern of this country is firmly centred around the 
question of who will be the next president of the US of A. Former 
secretary of state and master of diplomacy Henry Kissinger's sights 
are set on the future as is evident from an article of his that has 
just been published entitled 'The Next President's First 
Obligation'. Others who have played similar or lesser roles in the 
political life of the country are following suit. Little thought is 
given to whether Bill Clinton visits Pakistan or not. It is of no 
apparent consequence.

Should Clinton's hesitation be caused by his apprehension of a 
meeting with President R. A. Tarar, or of making an overnight stop 
in Islamabad, we must excuse him. If he does not descend from the 
clouds and spend a few hours in our sanitized capital, the heavens 
will not fall, but he should perhaps take a chance, stop over, meet 
General Pervez Musharraf and assess for himself the leadership 
qualities he possesses. Does he present himself as a fundo or not? 
Is he likely to be an extremist or not? Will he be able to deliver 
or not?

As for Kissinger, at this time, and taking into account the present 
rickety state of Pakistan's relationship with the US, we might do 
well to cast our minds back to the days when pastmaster Kissinger, 
on behalf of his president, was playing footsie with an earlier 
military dictator of the Republic of Pakistan, General Agha 
Mohammad Yahya Khan.

Firstly, to quote : "Ever since it had come into being, Pakistan 
had sought a sustained legitimacy. No government after the death of 
the founder of the state had served out its term. Every change had 
occurred through some sort of coup; military and civilian 
governments alternated, with the military dominant." No, this was 
not written in February of the year 2000. Such was the state of 
Pakistan in 1970, as observed by Kissinger in his 'White House 
Years'. What has changed?

Neither has there been much change in US attitudes towards 
Pakistan. The military alliances formed way back in the days of the 
Eisenhower administration and Washington's interest in Pakistan 
cooled noticeably after 1961 when verbal assurances of protection 
were substituted for military hardware. After the 1965 war, the US 
stopped the supply of military equipment to both Pakistan and 
India. When President Johnson became aware of the one-sidedness 
(since India received arms from its own armouries and from its 
links with Communist nations) all he did was to promise to transfer 
some obsolescent American tanks to Pakistan through a third party, 
and even that transaction was not completed.

In 1970, Kissinger records: "Pakistan's leaders already felt 
discriminated against because a Harvard professor had been assigned 
as ambassador to New Delhi while Islamabad rated 'only' a career 
appointment." However, Richard Nixon was one American president who 
found the bluff, direct military chiefs of Pakistan, such as 
General Yahya Khan, far more congenial than the Indian leaders. But 
amongst the opinion-making groups in the US Pakistan had never 
found the sympathy that India enjoyed. There were also then, as 
there are now, hardheaded reasons for the priority attached to US 
relations with India. Nevertheless, the US did not baulk then at 
using Pakistan for expedient purposes, as it also did not in the 
1980s when Afghanistan was a problem, and surely would not baulk at 
doing so again in the 21st century.

In September 1970, Nixon granted an interview to 'Time' magazine. 
In it he touched upon China, its assumption of a future world role, 
and how he would like to be a part of it: "If there is anything I 
want to do before I die, it is to go to China, If I don't, I want 
my children to."

This was the era of Pakistan's budding flirtation with The Middle 
Kingdom. In October 1970, General Yahya Khan met Nixon in 
Washington shortly prior to a visit to Beijing. Nixon asked him to 
convey to China that the US regarded Sino-American rapprochement as 
essential and that he was ready to send a secret emissary to 
Beijing, mentioning Kissinger as a possible envoy.

General Yahya went to Beijing in November and three weeks after his 
return Pakistan's ambassador in Washington, Agha Hilaly, met 
Kissinger and produced a handwritten missive which he declared 
could not be handed over but could only be read out. It was a 
personal message for Nixon from Zhou Enlai who observed that though 
many messages had been received from the US via various sources, 
this was the first one to come "from a Head, through a Head, to a 
Head. The United States knows that Pakistan is a great friend of 
China and therefore we attach importance to the message." A 
personal representative of the president was invited to Beijing.

A reply was drafted by Kissinger and handed over to Hilaly on 
December 16. It made it clear that the US was prepared for high-
level talks in China.The Pakistani channel was not activated again 
until April 27, 1971, when Hilaly delivered to Nixon a handwritten 
message from Zhou Enlai in which he expressed his gratitude to 
Yahya and informed Kissinger that the Chinese government was ready 
to receive publicly in Beijing a special envoy of the US president, 
or even the president himself should he consider the time ripe, and 
that proper arrangements were to be made "through the good offices 
of President General Yahya Khan."

A formal reply to Zhou from Nixon was handed over to Hilaly on May 
10 in which he proposed a preliminary secret meeting between 
Kissinger and Zhou on any date from June 15 onwards. This first 
meeting was to be 'strictly secret' and would prepare the ground 
for Nixon's visit to Beijing. In a subsequent exchange of messages 
it was agreed that Kissinger would fly from Islamabad in a 
Pakistani Boeing to a Chinese airport not open to the public. The 
dates fixed were July 9 to July 11.

On the morning of July 8, 1971, Kissinger arrived in Islamabad 
after visits to Saigon, Bangkok and New Delhi. He lunched with 
Joseph Farland, the US ambassador, and dined with General Yahya, 
making much mention of a bad stomach. Geneal Yahya suggested a trip 
to Nathiagali, away from the heat of Islamabad, where he could 
recover over the next couple of days, and Kissinger gratefully 
agreed.

At 0430 on July 9 Kissinger took off from Chaklala in a PIA 707 
piloted by General Yahya's personal pilot. At 0800 a dummy 
motorcade proceeded from Islamabad to Nathiagali. The next day, 
Kissinger's aides announced that he needed an extra day's rest in 
the hills and his onward flight schedule was rearranged. Kissinger 
flew back into Chaklala at 1500 on July 11, drove via a circuitous 
route on to the Murree Road and thence back to Islamabad as though 
returning from Nathiagali. By 1800 he was in his own plane heading 
for Teheran.

Kissinger writes how "boyishly ecstatic" General Yahya Khan was at 
having pulled off the secret operation. He had personally reviewed 
each detail of the clandestine departure and arrival and put the 
full facilities of the Pakistan government at Kissinger's disposal. 
He asked nothing in return, contrary to media claims at the time; 
"he performed a great service for our country and it must be 
recorded that he dealt with us honourably." Nixon thereafter 
"adopted a somewhat warmer tone toward Pakistan. He and I were 
profoundly grateful for Pakistan's role as the channel to China. It 
was a service for which Pakistan's leaders, to their lasting 
honour, never sought any reciprocity or special consideration." But 
then "our relations with Pakistan were marked by a superficial 
friendliness that had little concrete content."

The superficial, as opposed to the concrete, in our particular case 
at this particular time, still reigns supreme. General Pervez 
Musharraf must realize that we have few, very few, friends and that 
nothing can be achieved by isolation.

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20000218
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Rocket-like personalities
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ayaz Amir

THE more one delves into Muslim history, the less one is surprised 
by Pakistani history. Indeed seen in the light of the past, the 
seizure of power by the Khan-i-Khanans of Pakistan (General Pervez 
Musharraf being the fourth in this distinguished line) seems less 
an aberration and more the iron norm.

Except for the first Caliphate, power throughout Islamic history 
has been won and lost by the sword. This is true of other 
civilizations as well but while the world of Christendom was able 
to make the transition from kingdoms and empires to nation-states, 
the world of Islam was unable to do the same on its own. The 
nation-states that constitute the Islamic ummah or commonwealth 
today came into being as a result or under the impact of 
colonialism.

The question of succession was never an orderly affair in the 
kingdoms of Islam with brothers killing brothers, sons rising up 
against fathers and more often than not a bloodbath preceding a 
change on the throne. The achievements of the Moghuls were great - 
none greater than the fact that for the first time in the history 
of India they created a continuous political tradition which people 
came to think of as a necessary condition of social existence. But 
their history with its fratricidal blood-letting and never-ending 
wars of succession makes for depressing reading. Even as the reader 
follows the triumphs of the emperors, he or she is beset by the 
gnawing feeling that the seeds of decay and destruction are also 
being sown.

The collective memory of the Muslim world therefore harks back to a 
tradition steeped in sword-play and authoritarianism. To the extent 
that democratic concepts exist in the Islamic world (and for that 
matter even in India) they have come from outside sources. And 
because they did not arise from within, these concepts have been 
but a veneer on the surface of our real existence.

Nothing proves this more than our own history. India before the 
advent of the British knew nothing of liberalism or democracy. Into 
the Indian body politic these came as imports from across the seas. 
The educated political class of India, Hindu and Muslim alike, 
learnt these concepts by rote without, I think, imbibing their 
substance. This is why in both countries, but more so in Pakistan, 
such a hash has been made of democracy.

In India the parroting of democracy and the rule of law is at least 
carried on with a modicum of sincerity. In Pakistan it does not 
take long for the ruling classes to betray their contempt for 
democracy. When a constitutional government is in place politicians 
subvert it by conducting themselves like squabbling ravens. When 
democracy is replaced by the cult of the strongman, as is happening 
for the fourth time now, strange theories are heard which have 
nothing to do with democracy. In either case what our ruling class 
reveals is the poverty of its political talent - which is the first 
condition for running any polity wisely and effectively.

In any event we got the trappings of democracy not because we 
demanded them, fought for them or even understood what they meant. 
We received them as a gift because we happened to be a British 
colony and the British voluntarily, a point we do our best to 
ignore both here and in India, chose to hand over power to us in a 
"constitutional" manner. If we had been a Dutch or a French colony 
our political progression would have taken place on different 
lines. 	

What is the purpose of this recital? Only to demonstrate the 
futility and irrelevance of mounting the house-tops and crying over 
the subversion of democracy when a constitutional government is 
overthrown. What constitution and what democracy? General Zia-ul-
Haq was not far wrong when he said that the constitution was a 
document of so many pages which he could tear up whenever he 
wanted. Perhaps in a rash moment he truly expressed what he felt, 
otherwise every khan-i-khanan in Pakistan's history has subscribed 
to the same unvarnished opinion.

Another similarity with our past should also be noted. Throughout 
Islamic history theologians, jurists and political thinkers have 
tried to resolve the dilemma presented by Imarat al-Istila or 
"Amirate by seizure". Thus just as Pakistani khan-i-khanans can 
claim a connection with Islamic history, Pakistani jurisconsults 
like Sharifuddin Pirzada whose duty it becomes to look for 
arguments to justify the seizure of power also can claim descent 
from a rich historical tradition. The 'doctrine of necessity' at 
whose altar Chief Justice Anwarul Haq sanctified Zia's martial law 
was not his own invention. This doctrine is as old as the first 
struggle for power in Muslim history.

Military strongmen always take pride in saying that the people have 
welcomed them forgetting that the people of the Indo-Gangetic 
plain, throughout their history, have been submissive before every 
conqueror and resigned before every natural disaster. Resignation 
and fatalism are the outstanding qualities of the subcontinent. 
They remain strong to this day. We people who inhabit this land 
have never been masters of our destiny. We live by our hopes and 
wishes but rebellion is alien to our temperament.

The Afghans are different. They have always been an unruly race, a 
fact which even Babur noted: "These Afghans remain very rustic and 
tactless." According to Bernier, a foreign chronicler of the Moghul 
Empire, the Afghans were "an intractable race...even the menials 
and carriers of water belonging to that nation are high-spirited 
and warlike." Even in our times the Afghans have exhibited a genius 
for war and insurrection (with no little help, it should be noted 
in passing, from the godless CIA) but very little talent for 
political organization, which is why, despite their triumph against 
the Russians, their country remains desolate and ruined.

We are not Afghans. Our genius consists in accepting the dictates 
of fate.

Pakistani rulers, however, even though they are always able to 
conquer power easily suffer from a sense of insecurity. Not content 
simply with the passivity or acquiescence of the people, they crave 
two more gifts: (1) the stamp of legitimacy from the Qazis of the 
day (which is where the Sharifuddin Pirzadas come in); and (2) a 
suspension of disbelief on the part of the people so that they take 
at face value whatever the rulers say.

The first is readily achieved but the second is more difficult. 
Every ruler in history who has overthrown another says that he has 
done so for the larger good of the nation or the people. In other 
words, if General Musharraf has a seven-point agenda, every ruler 
in his position also has a similar agenda, whether of seven points 
or of fourteen. This is a standard line to take because no ruler 
ever says he has seized power for himself. But enunciating this 
altruistic line is one thing; expecting people to swallow it is 
asking for too much.

It is true that whenever power forcibly changes hands, the general 
public lets its imagination take flight as a result of which 
expectations soar. This happened in the case of General Musharraf. 
This happened in the case of all three of his military 
predecessors. But after some time reality reasserts itself and the 
feeling takes hold that the dulcet sounds being heard are no 
different from similar sounds heard all too often before. This is a 
natural process of disenchantment but it goes down ill with all 
rulers.

So what conclusions are to be drawn from this tale? Judging by our 
history, the democratic impulse, for whatever it is worth, will 
remain weak in Pakistan for the foreseeable future. So safeguarding 
democracy is not the problem because democracy, if and when it 
resurfaces, will remain a threatened entity. The problem has to do 
with the quality of our strongmen.

About the conquistadors of the Islamic world, Nirad Chaudhri for 
one has this to say: "Yaqub ibn-al Layth al-Saffar, Mahmud of 
Ghazna, Muizz-ud-din Muhammad bin Sam of Ghur, Timur, Babur - 
Islamic society continued to shoot up these rocket-like 
personalities even down to the eighteenth century, and two of the 
last but of the very greatest were Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah 
Abdali."

If our lot is to be ruled by strongmen let us at least have someone 
on the lines of these "rocket-like personalities". What do we have 
instead? The likes of Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Zia-ul-Haq (discretion 
preventing me from going any further). It is enough to make the 
heart sink.

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20000219 
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Swaying in the wind 					 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Irfan Husain

IF our most recent experience with military rule proves anything, 
it is the irrelevance of our political parties. In four months, 
they have been unable to formulate a coherent policy on how to deal 
with the present situation.

Our two mainstream parties, the Pakistan People's Party and the 
Muslim League, are specially hamstrung by virtue of having ruled 
twice each in the last decade, and are hence the targets of 
concerted military accountability. As their leaders are facing 
legal action, the parties are hostage to their fate. And this 
personality cult is precisely the problem with politics in 
Pakistan: leaders centralize all authority and decision-making to 
such an extent that party structures - such as they are - are 
paralyzed into inaction when the top leadership is immobilized. 
Deliberately, a second tier is not encouraged to emerge.

Of course the nature of the two parties is very different, although 
they may find themselves in a similar quandary at present. The 
Muslim League in all its many manifestations has traditionally been 
a handmaiden of the establishment. Even when it was in opposition 
to the PPP in the latter's brief stints in power in the last decade 
or so, the PML had the barely concealed support of the powers that 
truly matter in our context. By now, the cash handed over to top 
PML leaders by the ISI is well-documented; even the then army 
chief, Aslam Beg, has admitted to dishing out large sums to ensure 
electoral victory for the PML in 1990.

If we trace the history of this party in the post-partition period, 
we find that in one form or another, it has been revived by 
authoritarian regimes to provide a fig-leaf of respectability for 
them. It has split again and again as every second homeless 
politician has used its name to gain public attention. It became a 
genuinely popular party for the first time under Nawaz Sharif, but 
then too, it had no tradition of resisting authority. The ex-PM, a 
past master at 'briefcase politics', had pockets large enough to 
buy key figures in the establishment without feeling the need to 
use political means. Indeed, as a protege of the military, Nawaz 
Sharif is unaccustomed to the rough and tumble of agitational 
politics.

The PPP, on the other hand, was born as an opposition party, and 
although its leader, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, strove for accommodation 
with the military, General Yahya and his henchmen kept him at arm's 
length. They were clearly unhappy with the PPP's electoral success 
in West Pakistan in 1970 as they had expected the resurrected 
Muslim League to perform far better than it actually did.

To its credit, the party provided Zia with the only meaningful 
opposition he faced during his long and baneful rule. And Benazir 
Bhutto was the undoubted leader of the opposition, a role she 
played with great distinction and personal courage. Given this 
history of refusing to knuckle under to authoritarian rule, it is 
sad to see this party now reduced to the odd statement condemning 
the desultory and highly selective accountability process we are 
witnessing. Benazir Bhutto is trying to orchestrate events from 
abroad, but clearly, the party is suffering from her absence. And 
as she has always discouraged the emergence of a strong second 
tier, the PPP is effectively leaderless. There was some talk of her 
apolitical sister, Sanam, coming to Pakistan to fly the Bhutto 
banner, but even the hordes of sycophants in the party may balk at 
this.

Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League, on the other hand, has been reduced 
to meetings in drawing rooms in Lahore and Islamabad in which 
nothing more than vague resolutions are passed. Meanwhile, it has 
been left to the ex-PM's wife, Begum Kulsoom Sharif, to make 
defiant statements against military rule. The famous 'heavy 
mandate' has been exposed as a fleeting fancy as Nawaz Sharif faces 
the maximum penalty and not a single significant demonstration in 
his support has been organized.

The ANP, nominally a left-wing, democratic party, has also been 
unable to formulate a clear strategy. It, too, is being run as a 
family fiefdom, and is stuck between its socialist agenda and its 
tribal roots. While it excels at wheeling and dealing to form 
provincial coalitions, its significance at the national level has 
dwindled. Indeed, it can hardly be called a national party any 
more.

The religious parties have traditionally been happy with 
undemocratic regimes as they have always been drubbed at the polls. 
Under the present dispensation, they are at par with the mainstream 
parties because now the size of a party depends not on 
parliamentary representation, but on the newspaper coverage they 
get. Also, apart from an initial public display of liberalism, 
General Musharraf has done and said nothing to disturb the 
reactionary agenda these parties have followed over the years.

The MQM, Pakistan's largest ethnic party, has been largely 
neutralized after the coup. Having antagonized all potential 
allies. Altaf Hussain had high hopes of the army, but is now sorely 
disappointed over the provincial administration's refusal to accord 
his party any special consideration. Hence his reported threat to 
launch an 'armed movement.' But given the MQM's internal divisions 
and its current state of disarray, it is doubtful whether any 
movement will in fact be launched.

Even under the decade of democracy that was ended last October, our 
political parties were largely disorganized and undisciplined 
groupings held together by personal ambitions and the leader's 
personal authority. Members were united more by common interest 
rather than a shared vision or ideology. Motivated mostly by greed 
and personal egos, they were quick to go to greener pastures 
whenever they thought it expedient. Party elections were seldom 
held in the mainstream parties, and potential challengers for 
leadership were never allowed to rise. This made them easy to 
manipulate and cow down.

This lack of organization, discipline, principles and common goals 
(except the burning desire to get into the corridors of power) has 
spread revulsion and contempt for the political class. This, in 
turn, makes it easy for the military to walk in at will with 
considerable public support. When General Musharraf seized power 
four months ago, he was widely seen as a saviour.

Clearly, much of the woes Pakistani politicians are currently 
facing are of their own making, and it is therefore hard to 
sympathize with them. Their arrogance and greed in power, and their 
refusal to cooperate with elected governments when they are in the 
opposition, have landed them (and the rest of us) in our present 
predicament. If there is little public sympathy for their plight, 
it is because they have not earned it. Until they do, they will 
continue swaying in the wind.


===================================================================
SPORTS
20000217
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sri Lanka clinch one-day series against Pakistan
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ilyas Beg

 GUJRANWALA, Feb 16: Sri Lanka took an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the 
three-match one-day international cricket series against Pakistan 
after winning the second game by 34 runs at the Jinnah Stadium here 
on Wednesday in front of a capacity crowd.

Skipper Sanath Jayasuriya led from the front with a superb all-
round performance which earned the Man-of-the-Match award. He 
struck a splendid 65 to lay foundation of Sri Lanka's impressive 
score of 263 for six in 50 overs, and then took two wickets for 30 
as Pakistan were bowled out for 229 in 45.1 overs.

The last match of the one-day series, at the Qadhafi Stadium in 
Lahore on Saturday (Feb 19), will now only be of academic interest.

Benefiting from the first use of the wicket when Pakistan captain 
Saeed Anwar won the toss and opted to field for the second time 
running, the Sri Lankan batsmen prospered against some wayward 
bowling.

Besides Jayasuriya, the in-form Marvan Atapattu also scored a fine 
knock of 57, followed by useful contributions from wicket-keeper 
Romesh Kaluwitharana (32), Chaminda Vaas (34) and Russel Arnold (36 
not out).

Pakistan, who were docked one over because of a slow over-rate, 
once again failed to cope against the disciplined Sri Lankan 
bowling, which was backed up by brilliant fielding.

A gallant knock of 68, the day's top score, by Yousuf Youhana was 
not enough to pull the Pakistan team out of trouble. Even a late 
charge by Wasim Akram, who hit four glorious sixes to electrify the 
crowd, proved a futile attempt by Pakistan to level the series.

Wasim Akram hammered 34 off 29 balls and twice in succession 
hoisted off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan out of the ground. Arnold 
and Pramodya Wickremasinghe were the other bowlers to suffer at 
Akram's hands.

The rest of Pakistan batting was disappointing as only Aamir Sohail 
(23 off 32 balls), Saeed Anwar (17 off 13 balls), Younis Khan (28 
off 44 balls), Moin Khan (15) and Abdul Razzaq (14) managed to 
reach double figures.

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20000216 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PCB plans to build strong team for World Cup
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

 LAHORE, Feb 15: A plan to build a strong Pakistan team for the 
2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa has been envisaged and it 
will be unfolded in phases. A new pattern for the domestic cricket 
is ready
 but it will be made public after a PCB meeting on February 19 
(Saturday), which will also be participated by nominees of 
associations of the country.

Lt.-Gen. Tauqir Zia told media men at a local hotel on Tuesday that 
the current stalwarts would be given a befitting farewell in due 
course of time after grooming their worthy replacements. That would 
facilitate finding a nucleus of the Pakistan team, which could 
deliver the goods in the World Cup. He said that his colleagues in 
the advisory council were being consulted on all-important issues.

Gen Tauqir said that Shoaib Akhtar was an asset of Pakistan cricket 
and the PCB fought to get the ICC ban on him removed but he was 
given an exemplary punishment simultaneously for misconduct because 
nobody was above the game. He said that Shahid Afridi was also an 
asset and with proper coaching he can be groomed into a consistent 
performer.

The PCB chairman said that nothing would be concealed from media 
men. "I do not believe in concealing facts and covering them under 
the carpet. In the past that policy gave an opportunity to some 
irresponsible persons in indulging in witch-hunting and Pakistani 
cricketers were accused of betting and match-fixing without 

providing evidence. Vested interest, particularly foreign media 
also played up things unnecessarily. However, I expect the 
Pakistani media men to play a more positive role in building 
Pakistan cricket and they must not print or put on air things after 
verifying the facts from concerned quarters", said Gen Tauqir in an 
emphatic tone.

He said that constructive criticism would always be welcomed. He 
had consulted all top-notchers but was looking forward to have a 
lengthy discussion with former Test stars Abdul Qadir and Majid 
Khan. He said that the PCB had a lot of funds and more were being 
generated to make infra-structure worthy of a "healthy cricketing 
nation". He said that 28 top players would be put in a hostel and 
the PCB would spend 6.6 million rupees annually to groom them into 
star performers.

The PCB ad hoc committee chairman said that during the next season, 
starting from September 2000, the game would be organised on a new 
pattern. Services of top physiotherapists, sports medicine 
specialists and trainers would also be acquired.

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20000214
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PCB empowered to decide Shoaib's Test ban: Tauqir
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Feb 13: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been 
empowered by the game's governing body to decide itself if the 
bowling action of Shoaib Akhtar was legal or illegal, Lt-Gen Tauqir 
Zia told reporters at the National Stadium on Sunday.

"As far as the International Cricket Council (ICC) is concerned, 
the Test ban on Shoaib Akhtar has been removed," the general said.

The general denied impressions that the PCB will have to send fresh 
video tapes to the advisory panel to seek its views and approval on 
the speedster who was banned from international cricket because of 
a suspected bowling action.

The general also dismissed reports that the ICC would see Shoaib's 
bowling action before Feb 26 before deciding whether to allow him 
to play in the Test series starting at Rawalpindi.

"He is cleared as far as the ICC is concerned. The ICC said that it 
was referring the case back to PCB.

"Now if the PCB feels that it is satisfied with Shoaib's bowling 
action, the board just needs to inform the ICC and field him in 
Tests," Lt-Gen Tauqir clarified in an emphatic tone.

He added: "My understanding with the ICC is that if Pakistan thinks 
that Shoaib's action is alright, he is cleared to play."

The general said Pakistan is already convinced that Shoaib's 
bowling action is absolutely legal and added that whatever remedial 
measures were to be done out have already been carried out.

Lt-Gen Tauqir Zia stressed that if he today says that Shoaib Akhtar 
is cleared, then he is ready to play.

"I will say it after I feel that it. Now since the whole case is in 
my court, therefore, I would like to be cent percent sure that 
whatever I say is the truth.

"I have got the video footage of his bowling action from Perth and 
his action looks absolutely perfect," he said.

He said Pakistan was not planning to dispatch a fresh video footage 
of Shoaib's bowling action to the ICC. "I just have to give the ICC 
my understanding that he has a legal bowling action and that's it. 
My assurance to the ICC is enough for him to play in Tests."

The general agreed that the umpires can still call him for throwing 
but said there was a clause in the law book that the umpire will 
first have to caution him, then give him a final warning before 
calling him.

"In Shoaib's case, this law was not followed. Secondly, the panel 
never had the powers to suspend Shoaib, and thirdly, the panel was 
given video footage of specific deliveries only and that too not in 
normal speed which was an essential requirement. Therefore, from 
the law and justice point of view, we got hold of all this and 
managed to get the pacer cleared."

The general said the ICC were reviewing its nine-man advisory 
panel. He said there were many legal anomalies and lacunas which 
the ICC is trying to complete and may take a long time.

He said Pakistan has suggested to the ICC that the advisory panel 
was too large. He said it has been recommended that the panel 
should be of three to four former fast bowlers with an odd batsman.

"We have also shown our apprehension on this panel that since it 
has gone public and also because Mr John Reid was a complainant and 
was also sitting on the judgement, therefore, we thought that the 
ICC should reform the panel."

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20000217
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National snooker: Saleh and Yousuf joint top seeded 
-------------------------------------------------------------------

KARACHI, Feb 16: Six cueists will be making their debut during the 
National Snooker Championship which will commence at a hotel in 
Faisalabad from Feb 21.

According to draws of the championship released here on Wednesday 
by the Joint Secretary, Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association, 
(PBSA) Arif Teherbhoy, these players had qualified from the 
provincial Cups.

The newcomers are Abu Siam, Muhammad Khurram, Farhan Nasir and Asif 
Ali Mughal all from Punjab, Shah Khan of NWFP and Shakir Rafiq from 
Sindh.

Defending Champion Saleh Muhammad, who bad won four major titles in 
1999 has been joined with top-seed Muhammad Yousuf.

Farhan Mirza, Naveen Perwani, Khurram Agha are seeded two, three 
and four. Other seeded players are Muhammad Shafiq (5), Vishan Gir 
(6) and Atiq Latif Bakhsh (7).

Former World Amateur Champion Yousuf is making his return to the 
national circuit after almost a year's absence. The PBSA banned 
Yousuf for breach of code of conduct but later an amicable out of 
court settlement between Yousuf and PBSA enabled him to return to 
the national championship.

Muhammad Yousuf, 47, has dominated this competition, winning the 
crown for a record eight times, including six times in a row.

This is the fourth time that national event is being staged outside 
Karachi. Peshawar, Islamabad and Lahore were other cities to stage 
the prestigious event.

Leading 32 cuemen from all over the country are taking part in the 
nine-day championship which will conclude on Feb 29.

The players are drawn in four groups and top two will advance into 
the quarter-finals.

The championship carries an enhanced purse of Rs 159,000 with 
winner taking Rs 60,000, runners-up Rs 30,000, losing semi-finalist 
Rs 15,000 each and losing quarter-finalists taking home Rs 8,000 
each. Cueist making highest break will get Rs 7,000.

He said four Riley tables had been dispatched to Faisalabad with 
specialists who will fix them.

The PBSA has appointed Shahnawaz Khan as Tournament Director for 
the championship.

The pools are:

Group "A": Saleh Muhammad (NWFP), Atiq Latif Bakhsh (Sindh), 
Arifullah (NWFP), Muhammad Akhlas (Sindh), Arshad Siddiq (NWFP), 
Mustufa Hyder (Bal), Farhan Nasir (Pun) and Minhas Malik (Sindh).

Group "B": Muhammad Yousuf (Sindh), Vishan Gir (Sindh) Younus Amir 
Bakhsh (Sindh) Rizwnullah (Sindh), Abu Siam (Pun), Shah Khan 
(NWFP), Shakir Rafiq (Sindh) and Muhammad Hussain (NWFP).

Group "C" Farhan Mirza (Punj), Muhammad Shafiq (NWFP), Shakeel A 
Bhatti (Sindh), Inamur Rehman (NWFP), Anil Bhawani (Sindh), 
Muhammad Khurram (Pun), Noman Alam (NWFP), Asif Ali Mughal (Punj).

Group "D": Naveen Perwani (Sindh), Khurram Hussain Agha (Sindh), 
Imran Shahzad (Pun), Shameel Shah (Pun) S. Zartash Hussain (Sindh), 
Mahmood Khan (Bal), Mesam Zaidi (Sindh), and Sarwar Siddiqui 
(Sindh).-APP 

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