------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 26 February 2000 Issue : 06/09 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Commanders finalize strategy: Army vows to protect borders + Clinton has not set any timeframe for visit to Pakistan + Clinton may plan separate visit to Pakistan, hints Talbott + Army to document economy: Tax base to be widened, GST from July 1 + Statements to be made public after scrutiny + Benazir objects to putting her name on ECL + Army prepared to meet eventuality, says Musharraf + Judiciary empowered to interpret any law: CJ + US senators' conditions for Clinton visit + Sindh refuses to pay wheat import dues + 115 former legislators on ECL + Illegal immigration: Canada offers help to Pakistan + Private TV channels to start operation soon + Illegal weapons can be sold to govt, says Moin --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Diplomats to be told to boost exports + Ordinance on sick units soon: Shaukat + Cash management: Investment banks to report details to SBP + HBL loan defaults up to Rs300 billion, says ex-president + Shaukat hopes to achieve 4% growth rate + Privatized concerns still owe Rs21.6 billion + Pakistan expels three Indian High Commission officials + State Bank of Pakistan allows inter-bank transfer of frozen FCA + 10% tax on export indenting agent fixed + Food support scheme for the poor from July --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + 'Blowback' Ardeshir Cowasjee + Too many shadows Ayaz Amir + The earthquake next door Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Azlan Shah hockey final: Pakistan and South Korea end undefeated + 5 uncapped players named in 18-man Pakistan Test squad + Moin to take over from Saeed after home series + National championship commences today

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NATIONAL NEWS
20000223 
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Commanders finalize strategy: Army vows to protect borders 
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Feb 22: A two-day conference of the Corps Commanders, 
which concluded here on Tuesday, pledged that the country's borders 
would be protected at all costs against any external aggression.

Informed sources said that the conference, which was presided over 
by Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf at the General Headquarters 
(GHQ), Rawalpindi, although spent most of its time in discussing 
professional matters, vowed to thwart India's hegemonic ambitions.

The sources said that it was the unanimous decision of all the 
participants, including the Principal Staff Officers (PSOs), that 
Pakistan's armed forces should continue to exercise restraint 
despite provocation by the Indian leadership and almost regular 
firing along the Line of Control (LoC).

The chief executive told the conference that the armed forces were 
fully alert to take on the enemy if it imposed war against 
Pakistan. Gen Musharraf, sources said, also told the meeting that 
the United States, China and important European countries today 
understood Pakistan's point of view better and believed that 
without the resolution of Kashmir problem, there could not be any 
lasting peace in the region.

He said that Pakistan would continue to provide all possible moral, 
diplomatic and political support to the people of occupied Kashmir.

The sources said that a two-day conference further took up various 
issues relating to good governance. It was told that all the 
corrupt government officers would soon be removed from their 
services and punished under the law of the land.

According to a handout of the Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) 
Directorate the conference deliberated at length on matters of 
professional interest.

Presentations were made by the Engineering-in-Chief, Director 
General Logistics, Director General Command Electrical and 
Mechanical Engineering.

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20000225 
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Clinton has not set any timeframe for visit to Pakistan
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WASHINGTON, Feb 24: White House has said President Bill Clinton has 
not set any time frame on making the decision to include Pakistan 
in his next month's visit to South Asia.

"We don't have any particular time frame on making the decision," 
White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart told a press briefing. He 
was responding to a question that Senator Tom Daschle and several 
others were urging the President to go to Pakistan. Lockhart cited 
last week's press conference of US President in which he did not 
rule out visiting Pakistan in his South Asian tour.

"I will make a decision about whether to go (to Pakistan) based on 
what I think will best serve our long-term interest in non-
proliferation, in trying to stop particularly, the arms race, and 
trying to help promote stability, democracy and a resolution of the 
conflict between India and Pakistan," Clinton had said on February 
16 in response to a question at a press conference.

Clinton said he hoped that his visit to South Asia would highlight 
to Americans the importance of that region of the world to the 
United States. "And the very real danger that a conflict between 
India and Pakistan not contained is one of the most significant 
security threats to the interests of the United States in this new 
century," he had said.

"I think the President was clear last week in the press conference 
that he has not made up his mind, and he will make up his mind 
based on what he thinks is in the best interest, what is in the 
U.S. national interest," the White House spokesman said.

"But we have not tried to put an artificial time frame on it that 
we've got to decide by this day or that day, and I expect that if 
we come to a conclusion one way or the other, we'll find a way to 
let you know," he added. (APP) 

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20000226 
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Clinton may plan separate visit to Pakistan, hints Talbott
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Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Feb 25: Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott on 
Thursday gave the strongest indication yet that President Clinton 
may delink a visit to Pakistan with his visit to India.

"There is strong support in the administration for delinking India 
and Pakistan and allowing a decision on a trip to India to be made 
independently of one on Pakistan," Talbott said speaking at the 

Centre for Strategic Studies in Washington. "We believe both 
countries when each wants to be treated in its own light," Talbott 
said. "Very much in that light the president will make his decision 
on his itinerary," he said.

His comments came as a decision by top White House and National 
Security Council officials was apparently delayed on Thursday and 
was now likely to be made sometime next week, according to informed 
sources. Amid an intense debate that is going on within the 
administration on whether the president should go to Pakistan or 
not, various lobbies are working full time to swing the decision.

The Pakistanis were surprised by an intelligently timed leak in 
Washington Times two days back which raised the spectre of a 
security threat to the president in Pakistan and that his life may 
be at risk because militants had infiltrated the ISI.

When Pakistan officials raised the issue with the administration 
they apologized for the leak, a senior Pakistani diplomat confirmed 
on Friday. But he said that so far the security question has not 
been discussed or raised as it would come up only after a decision 
is made by the president to visit Pakistan.

The Washington Times, which splashed the security threat two days 
back, published the statement of Pakistan embassy's deputy chief 
Zamir Akram on Friday in the middle of a story on the Indian 
community's influence in US politics.

The Times said: "Pakistani officials also disputed a report in the 
Times on Wednesday that the US Secret Service was against a 
presidential visit to Pakistan because it believed Muslim militants 
had infiltrated ISI. "I can deny that ISI is infiltrated by 
extremist groups. Senior administration officials apologized... for 
the leak," Mr. Akram was quoted as saying.

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20000225  
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Army to document economy: Tax base to be widened, GST from July 1 
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Ihtasham ul Haque 

ISLAMABAD, Feb 24: The National Security Council (NSC) here on 
Thursday decided to broaden the tax base, reduce the number of 
taxes, slash their rates, bring tax dodgers to book 
and induct the army to undertake documentation of the economy.

According to a press release issued after the meeting, Chief 
Executive Gen Musharraf, who presided over it, told the 
participants that provincial accountability bureaus were being 
established to expedite and enlarge the scope of accountability for 
which the army monitoring system was also being strengthened to 
collect and provide all relevant data "so that those who looted the 
country do not go unpunished."

Official sources told Dawn that the chief executive sought 
suggestions from the members of the NSC for increasing revenues. 
The newly-inducted member of the NSC, Shafi Niaz, was of the view 
that time had come when the government would have to take strict 
action against those who did not pay their tax dues.

Pakistan's formal economy is officially estimated at around Rs3 
trillion. The informal economy, which also includes black economy 
and is about 50-75 per cent of the formal economy and which exists 
at present side by side with the formal economy, is expected to be 
flushed out if the entire economy is documented.

The incidence of taxes in Pakistan and their rates are said to be 
the highest compared to other developing countries. One source said 
a businessman had to suffer the burden of as many as 100 different 
kind of taxes and their rates ranged up to 45 per cent.

GST: The NSC was told that general sales tax would be recovered 
from July 1 this year and that no opposition whatsoever would be 
tolerated against it. According to the CBR, there were 2.2 million 
small traders who had been resisting the GST in the past and were 
still unprepared to pay this tax. They had vowed to observe a 
countywide strike if this tax was recovered from them. The military 
government had earlier backed out of its decision to levy the GST 
on retailers. However, Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz now says that 
this time the government means business and that GST will have to 
be recovered from small traders.

The sources said Mr Niaz, who is an expert on issues relating to 
agriculture, also called for effectively levying tax on agriculture 
income. In this regard he said that concerned experts should devise 
a formula for introducing the tax to be recovered from the next 
financial year.

The meeting was told although agriculture tax was a provincial 
subject and was very much there, it needed to be effectively 
imposed. Some of the senior officials of the ministry of finance 
believed that it would be a big achievement if the military 
government collected even Rs2 billion from this head during 2000-
2001. Earlier, both the PML and PPP governments could not collect 
more than Rs500 million annually on this account.

The chief executive regretted that successive governments had 
failed to document the economy, with the result there had always 
been a failure to meet the revenue targets. He said his government 
would not tolerate revenue leakage and would bring to book both the 
tax dodgers and the corrupt officials of the Central Board of 
Revenue(CBR).

The sources said the chief executive pointed out that for the first 
time the army was being asked to take the responsibility of 
documenting the economy in order to increase the revenue 
collection.

The concerned officials, when contacted, said that the job of 
documenting the economy would be initiated with the help of the 
corporate sector, which was doing business with small businessmen 
who were avoiding to pay their taxes. "The corporate sector will 
provide the details of names and business addresses of those small 
businessmen with whom they are doing business and this is how we 
plan to undertake the exercise to document the economy and increase 
our revenues", said an official.

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20000226 
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Statements to be made public after scrutiny
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Reporter

KARACHI, Feb 25: The anti-terrorism court (ATC), trying deposed 
prime minister Nawaz Sharif and six others in the October 12 plane 
hijacking case, ruled on Friday that statements by defendants 
would be released to the public or media only after scrutiny by the 
court.

Judge Rahmat Hussain Jafferi of the ATC-1 passed the order on an 
application of the prosecution seeking reporting ban on statements 
of the accused, to be recorded in the court under Section 342 of 
Pakistan Penal Code.

The section reads: "For the purpose of enabling the accused to 
explain any circumstances appearing in the evidence against him, 
the Court may, at any stage of any inquiry or trial without 
previously warning the accused, put such questions to him as the 
Court considers necessary, and shall, for the purpose aforesaid, 
question him generally on the case after the witnesses for the 
prosecution have been examined and before he is called on for his 
defence."

Advocate-General Raja Qureshi in his application had apprehended 
that statements by the accused were likely to be "scandalous aimed 
at tarnishing the image of the present system prevailing in the 
Islamic Republic of Pakistan which itself is under legal scrutiny 
before the apex court at Islamabad and until such time a final 
verdict is given, such statements relating to proceedings and 
challenging the present system may not be allowed to be released to 
the public or media for public consumption."

However, defence counsel Ijaz Batalvi and Khawaja Sultan had 
opposed the application and argued that the defendants had right to 
speak and that right should not be curtailed and shortened.

CASSETTE REPLAY: Judge Jafferi on Friday allowed another 
application of the prosecution for replaying of cassettes 
reproduced from the spools containing conversation between the 
cockpit of flight PK-805, the air traffic control and the approach 
radar control. The judge fi|ed the replaying of the cassettes for 
Wednesday when the hearing of the case resumes.

ASF OFFICIAL'S EVIDENCE: The judge also disposed of an application 
of the defence for examining a prosecution witness as court witness 
and ordered that the defence was "at liberty to examine PW Mohammed 
Asif Tiwana in their defence at an appropriate stage."

The application was filed by Malik Manzoor Ahmed, attorney for 
former IG Police Sindh Rana Maqbool Ahmed, under Section 540 of 
CrPC, for examining Mr Tiwana, the ASF official who allegedly 
prepared the video tape of close circuit TV at the Jinnah Terminal 
on Oct 12. The ASF official was among the witnesses who were given 
up by the prosecution on the grounds that "either they were not 
necessary or won over by the defence."

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20000225 
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Benazir objects to putting her name on ECL
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Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Feb 24: Former prime minister and chairperson of PPP 
Benazir Bhutto on Thursday objected to her inclusion on the Exit 
Control List stating that she "has not borrowed any money from 

Pakistan banks" 
and certainly "has not defaulted on any loans".

"There is absolutely no justification for my inclusion on this 
list," Ms. Bhutto declared in a statement issued here by PPP media 
cell.

"I have neither borrowed money from the banks nor owe money to 
them. I am concerned that the National Accountability Bureau is 
using this list as a tool to control the movement of its political 
opponents and malign the reputation of innocent parties," she said.

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20000224  
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Army prepared to meet eventuality, says Musharraf
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Correspondent

QUETTA, Feb 23: Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf has said 
that Pakistan was fully alive to the rapidly changing geo-political 
situation in the region and prepared to meet any eventuality.

He said this while speaking to officers and troops at Zhob and Sibi 
garrisons here on Wednesday. Gen Musharraf said that neither the 
abundance of resources nor the comfort of large arsenal assured 
success in war. It was the combination of resolve, determination, 
efficient and intelligent use of available assets and the 
willingness to undergo any amount of hardship that attained success 
to which our armed forces were quite capable of, he added.

He said: "Our armed forces are quite competent to foil any attempt 
of belligerence on the motherland and would prove the trust 
bestowed upon them". Gen Musharraf said the armed forces as 
custodian of defence of the motherland would Inshallah live up to 
the nation's expectation in all times to come.

The chief of the Army staff said that all possible efforts were in 
hand to upgrade and equip "our services with most modern and state-
of-the-art equipme t and weapon system". He stressed on all ranks 
to not only improve their existing standard of training making it 
more realistic and cost-effective, but also devote greater time and 
energy for the maintenance of weapon and logistic infrastructure 
held with them. He urged them to remain in close harmony with the 
civil administration and work for the prosperity of Balochistan and 
the country.

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20000223 
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Judiciary empowered to interpret any law: CJ
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Feb 22: Chief Justice Irshad Hasan Khan said on Tuesday 
that judiciary in Pakistan was independent and had the right to 
interpret any provision of the Constitution or any other 
legislative instrument.

Speaking at the conference of the board of directors of Asian 
Ombudsman Association, the CJ said the judiciary in Pakistan was 
independent and enjoyed the power to interpret any provision of the 
Constitution or any other legislative instrument. The SC has the 
jurisdiction even to interpret that provision which sought to oust 
the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

"It [SC] claims and has always claimed that it has the right to 
interpret the Constitution and any legislative instrument and to 
say what a particular provision of the Constitution or a 
legislative instrument means or does not mean, even if that 
particular provision is a provision seeking to oust the 
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court."

The CJ said if judicial system was allowed to function without any 
let or hindrance and if it worked well, the people could live 
peacefully and enjoy freedom, security of their persons, as well as 
the rewards of their labour. "If the judicial system works badly, 
then the lives of the people would be marred by constant fear of 
crime, including terrorism."

The administration of justice in the civilized world, including the 
USA, the UK, India and Pakistan, was confronted with workload. 
"Continual addition of judges and courts in all branches of law is 
a temporary solution to the backlog crises," he added.

"What is, therefore, required is the strategy to be evolved, 
determining the priorities and objectives in a coherent and 
constructive way."

He said that genuine effort must be made by all and sundry for the 
maintenance of independence of the judiciary and encouragement of 
public confidence in the judicial system.

The CJ said the institution of Ombudsman in Pakistan could play a 
very effective and meaningful role in controlling litigation 
explosion in courts relating to acts of maladministration of public 
functionaries, by providing cheap and expeditious justice to the 
people at their door step.

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20000224  
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US senators' conditions for Clinton visit
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Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON, Feb 23: Nine leading US se~ators on Tuesday urged 
President Clinton to visit India and Pakistan only if there were 
assurances of progress on any of the issues he would discuss there.

In a letter to the president these senators, from both the 
Democratic and Republican parties, said if there could be progress, 
"then we would urge you equally strongly to include both India and 
Pakistan on your itinerary."

Their letter was part of a growing, but so far implicit, public 
demand that Mr Clinton should review the entire South Asia visit as 
the signs were he might not achieve anything and would turn it just 
into a failed public relations exercise.

On Monday the New York Times had written a long story on similar 
lines and had argued that President Clinton risked stirring an 
adverse backlash in the current charged atmosphere with India and 
Pakistan having dug in their heels on the most contentious issues.

The Times predicted that Mr Clinton was likely to be disappointed 
if he was hoping to persuade India to return to negotiations with 
Pakistan. "Mr Clinton is overestimating the power of his 
personality to get the two sides talking again," it said, adding 
"the downside is steep either way he calls it."

The nine senators told President Clinton "the historic nature of 
your proposed trip warrants extraordinary progress on the issues 
that divide the South Asian subcontinent." They also argued that 
given the historical uniqueness of the trip, he should consider 
including Pakistan in the itinerary. "American policy to the region 
has always been aimed at achieving a balance between the two 
dominant powers," they said.

Many of these nine senators recently visited Pakistan and met Chief 
Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf and said it might well be impossible 
to resolve the many contentious issues with one nation without the 
concurrence of the other.

The signatories to the letter sent to the president include 
Senators Tom Daschle, Tim Johnson, Chris Dodd, Bob Toricelli, 
Charles Schumer, Dick Durban, Harry Reid, Byron Dorgan and Daniel 
Akaka.

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20000224  
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Sindh refuses to pay wheat import dues
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Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Feb 23: The Sindh government has refused to pay Rs4.6 
billion dues to the Centre on account of imported wheat, accusing 
the federal government of purchasing the wheat at much lower rate 
than it sold to the provincial government during 1997-98 and 1998-
99.

The Sindh government has further excused itself saying it is also 
facing serious pressure from 2.2 million alien and 0.8 million non-
resident population in Karachi who have so far consumed a subsidy 
of Rs3 billion on wheat since 1991.

The provincial government has also asked the centre to provide it 
Rs3 billion which it has so far paid as wheat subsidy for the alien 
population. The Sindh government has also accused the centre of 
charging inflated mark-up/interest/handling charges and gunny bags 
from the provincial government on account of imported wheat sold to 
it.

Earlier, sources said, the federal government, through a letter 
concerning the "dues amounting to Rs4.6 billion against government 
of Sindh", had asked the latter to pay the outstanding amount. They 
said that now the provincial government, in its comprehensive reply 
to the centre, had disputed the federal government's claim of Rs4.6 
billion.

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20000222
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115 former legislators on ECL
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ISLAMABAD, Feb 21: The exit control list has been updated and the 
names of 115 former parliamentarians have been put on it who will 
not be allowed to leave Pakistan.

The list has been formulated by the ministry of interior after 
collecting reports from banks and financial institutions. The list 
includes names of the members of the suspended senate, national 
assembly and provincial assemblies.

Sources said the list is revised on a weekly basis and those who 
have genuine reasons for their visits abroad can seek permission 
from the ministry.-APP

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20000222
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Illegal immigration: Canada offers help to Pakistan 
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Feb 21: Pakistan and Canada have agreed to help each 
other check illegal immigration.

According to a government handout, at her meeting with Interior 
Minister Lt-Gen Moinuddin Haider, Canadian Deputy Minister for 
Citizenship and Immigration Janice Cochrane had agreed to provide 
technical and training assistance to Pakistan immigration staff so 
that illegal immigration could be checked.

On her suggestion, the handout said, it had been decided that there 
would be a continuous interaction between the immigration staff of 
the two countries on a functional basis.

Mr Haider told the visiting Canadian deputy minister that the 
government of Pakistan was working fast on a programme aimed at 
modernizing its immigration system and the system of issuance of 
passports and identity cards.

The minister told Ms Cochrane that a National Database Registration 
Authority, which had already been constituted, would undertake the 
task of issuing computerized and machine-readable passports and 
national identity cards to the citizens.

The exercise, he said, would minimize the misuse of Pakistan 
passport and identity documents by criminals. 

 The minister also told Ms Cochrane that an Alien Registration 
Authority had also been set up, which would collect and register 
the data about foreigners residing in Pakistan.

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20000221 
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Private TV channels to start operation soon
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M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, Feb 20: Private TV channel operators will soon begin 
operation as official paperwork for the purpose has been completed 
and is awaiting the cabinet's approval.

A legal framework will be put in place soon after the cabinet's 
approval of the proposed summary, to be followed by the setting up 
of an electronic media regulatory authority.

The legal framework will spell out the strict criteria that would 
be followed while granting licenses to private TV channel 
operators.

Under this legal framework, newspaper owners will not be barred 
from operating private TV channels. And the licensees will be 
allowed to broadcast even news and current affairs programmes in 
direct competition with the PTV and without direct or indirect 
censorship.

Successive governments had balked at the idea of allowing newspaper 
owners to run private TV channels, fearing unhealthy accumulation 
of media power in the hands of few.

The idea to restrict the newspaper owners intending to run private 
TV channels to areas where their newspapers do not have any 
presence was found to be unworkable in Pakistan as those newspapers 
whose owners had applied for permission had nation- wide presence.

Another problem which successive governments had faced while taking 
a decision on the matter related to the impact of private channels 
on the business interests of the PTV.

The total size of annual advertisement revenue in Pakistan is 
estimated to be around Rs. 4 billion with 40 per cent of it going 
to newspapers and 60 per cent to the PTV.

A TV establishment in the private sector is estimated to cost about 
Rs500m annually and if the software is also considered, the costs 
go up to about a billion rupees roughly.

This would mean the PTV and the private TV channels (if there is 
only one) would share about a billion and half rupees each of the 
advertisement revenue, bringing down the PTV's income by half.

There are, at least, three parties interested in the permission to 
launch TV channels in the private sector: One wholly private 
channel, one wholly public channel (besides the PTV) and one 
ostensibly private but under the direct control of one of the 
government institutions.

The new wholly public sector-owned channel has already been floated 
by the PTV itself under the name of Channel 3. The infrastructure 
for the wholly private channel, including the hiring of 
transponder, has already been put in place by a company called GEO 
which is owned by one of the leading newspaper chains in the 
country.

The third channel will be owned by Shaheen Pay TV (SPTV) which 
belongs to a foundation set up and controlled by the Pakistan Air 
Force on the lines of the Fauji Foundation. The SPTV is expected to 
hire a transponder on Panamsat.

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20000221 
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Illegal weapons can be sold to govt, says Moin
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ISLAMABAD, Feb 20: Interior Minister Lt-Gen (retd) Moinuddin 
Haider, while admitting that the enforcement of the de- 
weaponization plan was an uphill task, said it could be 
successfully enforced with the support of the public, the media and 
opinion makers.

Announcing concrete measures for 'de-weaponizing' society, on Radio 
Pakistan, he invited people to voluntarily hand over their illegal 
weapons to the government.

He said persons in possession of illegal weapons will be provided 
an opportunity to sell them to the government. They would be able 
to do this at certain sites to be announced later.

In the next phase, the government intends to introduce a sticker 
law to deal with those in possession of illegal weapons after the 
expiry of the immunity period.

About the imposition of the ban on weapons in certain sporting 
events, the minister said the ban on weapons used in hunting and 
sports competition would soon be lifted, adding that it would, 
however, remain in place for the time being.

Carrying of arms by security staff of multinational companies, 
embassies etc would also be regularized and only uniform-clad 
security guards would be allowed to carry guns.

To a question about the enforcement of ban on display of weapons, 
he assured that indiscriminate action will be taken against 
infringers by ensuring strict implementation of the law.

The minister noted that the complete record of the issuance of 
prohibited bores was available with the government which would make 
the recovery of assault rifles and Kalashnikovs possible.

Haider dismissed the impression that de-weaponization was not 
possible in the NWFP and Balochistan. "I will initiate a dialogue 
with the people of the two provinces and convince them to put away 
their arms as they have already adopted a modern and progressive 
lifestyle in other spheres of life," he added.

The minister referred to the successful campaign launched by the 
Taliban government of weapon-ridden Afghanistan and said, "if they 
made de-weaponization possible in their country, Pakistan can also 
do this."

Haider said in order to deal with arms manufacturers in the tribal 
areas, the Pakistan Ordinance Factory would collaborate with them 
and utilise their expertise.

In order to deal with the issue of sectarian violence, Haider said 
a dialogue with religious parties would be initiated through the 
inter-provincial coordination committee.

He said, 99 per cent of religious institutions were not involved in 
militant activities and only one per cent of them were said to be 
involved in objectionable activities which would be rectified 
through holding dialogue.

He said he had set an example by announcing to voluntarily return 
the G-3 rifle he had in his possession.

The minister was of the view that large-scale weaponization of 
society, in the last twenty years, had brought a bad name to the 
country.-APP


=================================================================== 
 BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20000221 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Diplomats to be told to boost exports
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report
 
ISLAMABAD, Feb 20: Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf will 
approve a plan on February 25 to revamp the Foreign Office and its 
missions abroad - a development that will radically change the 
present trends in the country's diplomacy.

Sources told Dawn that under the plan, new diplomatic techniques 
would be used extensively to boost exports and develop better 
commerce and trade relations with foreign countries.

In a high-level meeting at the Foreign Office on Feb 25, the chief 
executive will be briefed in detail on the revamping of foreign 
missions and the foreign ministry.

Sources in the chief executive's secretariat said that except for a 
few missions like Washington, London, Moscow, New Delhi, etc, which 
are politically very important, the main emphasis of Pakistan's 
diplomacy will be on trade and commerce.

"We are changing the orientation of the country's diplomacy by 
giving trade targets to our ambassadors and high commissioners," a 
source said, adding, "The government intends to introduce 
performance-based career for diplomats."

The career of bureaucrats belonging to the Foreign Service of 
Pakistan is being linked to their performance/efforts in improving 
Islamabad's trade relations with the country of their posting.

The chief executive's secretariat, according to these sources, has 
noticed that ambassadors/high commissioners of different foreign 
missions in Islamabad make regular contacts with Pakistani 
authorities, including ministers, to promote the trade interests of 
their governments as well their private sectors.

Sources said with the launching of the new plan, the Pakistani 
missions abroad will be encouraged to use their influence and 
connections in getting business for Pakistan's public and private 
sectors.

In order to boost the country's exports, professionals from the 
private sector will be given assignments related to commerce and 
trade in these missions. Pakistani expatriates will be preferred 
for these positions, which will not only substantially cut the 
administrative cost of foreign missions but will also improve the 
country's exports.

"We won't mind if these expatriates make personal benefits out of 
these assignments as long as they bring profitable business to 
Pakistan by improving its exports and trade," a source said and 
added that the present practice of appointing deputy commissioners 
as commercial attaches abroad was being done away.

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20000225 
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Ordinance on sick units soon: Shaukat
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Intikhab Amir

PESHAWAR, Feb 24: Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz said the government 
would soon introduce an ordinance to set up Cooperative & 
Industrial Restructuring Corporation (CIRC).

 The government aims to revive viable sick industrial units out of 
the over 4000 across the country, the minister said.

"The law is under preparation and would soon be introduced," said 
the minister while addressing a meeting of the Sarhad Chamber of 
Commerce and Industry (SCCI), on Thursday.

He said that the former president of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce 
and Industries Tariq Hamid would head the corporation, which would 
comprise professionals from the banking and private industrial 
sector.

The CIRC would look into the case of each and every sick unit 
separately to determine their viability, if provided working 
capital.

Finance minister said that government could not adopt a general 
policy to tackle the issue of sick industrial units as several of 
them were inherritantly not viable but were set up to take benefit 
of tariff protection.

The minister's remarks elicited reaction from some of the SCCI 
members who held government (of the past) responsible for offering 
unrealistic concessions to the industrialists of some of the 
special areas.

The minister asked them to come up with specific proposals. He 
assured them the government would also give serious consideration 
to their innovative and new ideas.

Responding to SCCI members' demands for the restoration of Gadoon 
Amazai Industrial Estate's lapsed incentives, the minister asked 
them to give their proposals to the provincial minister for 
industries Owais Ghani who has been assigned the task to carry out 

a study and forward his proposals directly to him (Aziz) within 
four to five weeks so that the same could be included under the 
budget for the next financial year.

Similarly, he informed the industrialists that government was also 
working on the preparation of a law thereby, 10 per cent proceeds 
of every privatization deal in the future would be shifted to the 
fund created for the National Poverty Alleviation Programme.

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20000225 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Cash management: Investment banks to report details to SBP
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Feb 24: The State Bank cash management account rules for 
investment banks are part of an overall exercise to weed out 
inefficient non-bank financial institutions.

Senior bankers said the restrictions put on investment banks in 
terms of cash management are such that inefficient of them would be 
exposed. They said these rules would also minimise the possibility 
of financial irregularities by investment banks to the disadvantage 
of their depositors in future.

The State Bank has issued a set of rules for cash management 
account (CMA) that call upon investment banks to make clear 
distinction between the funds they deploy on their own and the ones 
deployed on behalf of their depositors.

These rules also require them to make quarterly disclosures in 
detail about deployment of, and income on, both types of funds.

Under the rules an investment bank shall deploy the funds in 
approved activities acting as an agent of the customer by either 
(i) exercising its own discretion on behalf of its customer or (ii) 
operate solely at the discretion of its customer. The first type of 
account would be called discretionary accounts and the second non-
discretionary accounts.

It shall institute procedures to obtain proper identification and 
introduction of prospective customers for whom accounts will be 
operated under these rules. It shall also execute proper agreements 
with its customers for availing service under CMA. The investment 
bank shall have separate standard set of agreements for customers 
who wish to exercise their own discretion or who authorize an 
investment bank to exercise discretion on their behalf.

The agreement should be for a fixed maturity period. This period 
should be agreed by the customer in advance at the time of signing 
the agreement.

These agreements should invariably include a clause to the effect 
that all investment out of the CMA funds shall be made by the 
investment bank in the permissible mode of investments entirely at 
customer's risk with no recourse to the investment bank to the 
extent of losses incurred on such investments.

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20000225 
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HBL loan defaults up to Rs300 billion, says ex-president
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Feb 24: The actual defaulted amount of Habib Bank Ltd 
(HBL) stands at Rs250 to Rs300bn and not Rs146 billion as was being 
shown and reported time and again.

This was stated by Shaukat Tareen, the immediate past president of 
Habib Bank at a farewell reception given in his honour by president 
and members of FPCCI here on Thursday.

He said that bank's actual defaulted amount in 1997 was Rs250 to 
Rs300 billion but was shown as Rs146 billion. Similarly, the 
balance sheet of the bank he said showed over the table a default 
of Rs42 billion although the actual amount of default was around 
Rs70 billion.

He further said that since the actual amount of default was tot 
made public it looks as if the defaulted amount has increased from 
Rs146 billion to Rs210 billion despite the recovery and 
rescheduling of defaulted loans.

Shaukat said though HBL is ready for privatization but it may not 
fetch the best price due to the prevalent market conditions.

He, however, suggested that the bank should be disinvested as a 
whole, both local and foreign branches together. It may be a joint 
venture between local and foreign parties and a portion of its 
share say 20 per cent may be sold through stock exchanges as was 
done in India. But Shaukat advised that the professional management 
of the bank may be kept intact and the restructuring work be 
continued.

He said ha although the action taken by the National Accountability 
Bureau (NAB) have made the wilful defaulters realise that that 
government was serious in its recovery drive but said that this was 
not a lasting solution to the problem and the financial sector 
needed an on-going legal system to deal with the problem. He said 
that the country needed a bankruptcy law and a judicial set-up to 
act promptly and efficiently.

He further said that about 80 per cent of the bank's bad loans 
pertained to project financing because the banks never looked at 
the cash flows of the borrowers. Now the situation is changing as 
project cells are being activated in the banks.

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20000225 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Shaukat hopes to achieve 4% growth rate
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Intikhab Amir

PESHAWAR, Feb 24: Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz hoped on Thursday 
that the government would achieve 4 to 4.5 per cent growth rate 
during the current financial year owing to good results 
being shown by the agriculture sector.

"We are expecting a bumper wheat crop this time round whereas 
cotton, onion and potato crops have already showed better results 
than previous years," said Mr Aziz in his address at a gathering of 
local industrialists.

He said the government's move to fix wheat support price at Rs300 
had brought about a positive change and there might not be any need 
to import wheat next year. He expected a record wheat production of 
20 million tons in the coming season.

The minister said that the situation for Pakistan was becoming all 
the more encouraging with the international cotton market picking 
up. It was expected, he added, that the country's total export 
during the current financial year would end up between $8.5bn and 
$9bn, recording an increase by 8 to 10 per cent in comparison with 
the last financial year.

He said that with the achievement of over 4% growth rate - from the 
3pc during the last financial year - there would be enough 
liquidity in the market. Therefore, he said, there should not be 
any serious problems viz-a-viz foreign currency reserves even after 
repayment of certain loans.

He viewed a proactive and holistic role for the banks to play in 
the future by increasing their economic expertise to facilitate the 
industrial sector. Banks were not only supposed to give loans and 
receive interest but they also needed to explore good projects to 
lend money.

Banks' loans, he said, had not grown to bigger proportions even 
after effecting a 2pc reduction in the investment saving schemes 
and lowering down the rate of interest. They needed to seek out 
good projects to extend loans, he added.

He said the government was considering effecting more reduction in 
the banks' interest rate to achieve the required results. He hoped 
that further reduction would bring about positive financial impact 
on the government which itself was a major borrower.

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20000225 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Privatized concerns still owe Rs21.6 billion
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ikram Hoti 

ISLAMABAD, Feb 24: The unpaid privatization proceeds on about 45 
state sector enterprises have surged to Rs21.6 billion. Government 
sources told Dawn here on Thursday that in September 1998 
these unpaid proceeds amounted to Rs15bn. Some of the installments 
were received in 1999 from 13 parties to help curtail the amount 
from going up, but in December 1999 this amount was Rs20.43bn as 
most of the buyers of state sector units had stopped paying.

These buyers, they said, had gone into appeal in courts against the 
notices being sent for recovery, defying which the buyers had been 
facing legal action. During the entire 1999, however, the 
privatisation commission has been able to process anti-buyer 
litigation case for recovery of 14 different installments only and 
that, too, totaling Rs47 million, due from the purchase of nine 
units.

In all, these buyers purchased 67 state-controlled industrial units 
from 1991 onwards. In addition, losses worth Rs11bn have also been 
incurred on units retained in the public sector, due to the default 
on the operational loans they obtained since 1992.

The dues on proceeds have been accumulating and now, according to 
official estimates, these dues account for almost 75 per cent of 
the privatisation proceeds by the government through auction of all 
units ever since 1993. The sources said there had been a criminally 
poor performance on the part of the responsible authorities in 
retrieving the dues and auctioning the state-owned organizations.

For this poor performance, however, the government has been 
offering the plea that the market has not been favourable enough to 
put the remaining state sector enterprise to auction. These units 
thus could not get the favourable bids which could offset the 
losses incurred and for retiring the banks' debt, rising at a fast 
pace.

Officials processing the losses, the non-paid arrears against the 
auctioned units, also confirmed that there had been a tendency of 
defaulting on paying up the arrears of the remaining amounts after 
the buyers made the down payment at the time of successful bidding 
for the units put to auction, and after they paid three to five 
initial instalments.

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20000221 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan expels three Indian High Commission officials
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD, Feb 20: Pakistan on Sunday declared three Indian High 
Commission officials persona non grata. A handout issued by the 
Press Information Department (PID) said that these Indian officials 
had been found indulging in "activities incompatible with their 
official status".

These officials, Mr Gopal Chandra Ray, Mr Asit Bran Das and Mr R. 
Sankeranarayanan, have been told by the government of Pakistan to 
leave the country within a week by February 27, 2000.

The deputy high commissioner of India in Islamabad was also 
summoned to the Foreign Office and was informed of this decision. 
"A strong protest was lodged against the undesirable conduct and 
activities of these officials," the handout said.

The Foreign Office Spokesman, Tariq Altaf, declined to elaborate 
when asked by Dawn to explain the nature of the activities these 
Indian officials were involved.

Only two days back, on February 18, India had announced that it was 
expelling three officials of the Pakistani High Commission in New 
Delhi. These embassy staffers, identified as Mohammad Khalil, Rana 
Mohammad Saghir and Mohammad Amin, were asked to leave India by 
January 25.

Two of these staffers were mistreated by the Indian agencies which 
had declared their involvement in "activities incompatible with 
their official status".

Pakistan on Friday had lodged a strong protest with the Indian High 
Commission regarding the uncivilised and inhuman treatment meted 
out to the two officials of the Pakistan High Commission. The 
Indian deputy high commissioner was called to the Foreign Office 
and a strong protest was lodged with him on the above incident.

He was reminded of the responsibility of the government of India in 
accordance with the Vienna Convention and the bilateral Code of 
Conduct for the treatment of diplomatic and consular personnel.

The two officials were picked up by Indian intelligence agencies on 
February 17th and kept in illegal confinement for more than five 
hours. During this illegal confinement, the Pakistani officials 
were severely beaten up and extensively interrogated. One of these 
officials suffered serious injury to his eardrum.

Pakistan had also deplored the expulsion of its officials and 
termed it an action that clearly heightened the tensions and 
further strained the relations between the two countries.

Pakistan had also protested to the Indian officials against another 
related incident of harassment, involving a woman officer of the 
Pakistan High Commission, by the Indian intelligence staff on 
January 27th in which the rear windscreen of the high commission's 
vehicle was shattered.

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20000225 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
State Bank of Pakistan allows inter-bank transfer of frozen FCA
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Feb 24: If you hold a frozen foreign currency account you 
can now transfer it to the bank of your choice under a fresh rule 
announced by the State Bank on Thursday.

An SBP circular says people holding FCAs can transfer the same to 
other banks without actual movement of foreign currency. It says it 
has allowed only transfer of entire balance of FCAs with accrued 
interest-and not partial transfers.

An SBP circular says the permission of transfer of accounts is not 
applicable on swap funds that also formed part of frozen foreign 
currency accounts. Senior bankers say out of $11 billion worth of 
FCAs frozen on May 28, 1998 less than $3.0 billion including swap 
funds of around $1.5 billion are outstanding: the rest has been 
converted into rupees or dollar bonds.

Bankers say the transfer of accounts will benefit particularly 
those account holders whose banks are paying negligible or zero 
rates of return on frozen foreign currency accounts. "These people 
can now get the accounts transferred to the banks that pay some 
return," said head of treasury of a major bank.

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20000223 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
10% tax on export indenting agent fixed
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Feb 22: The Central Board of Revenue has announced that 
the 10 per cent withholding tax from the export indenting agent or 
an export buying house. Through a CBR Circular No 3 (10)SS(WHT)/99 
dated February 17, 
2000, the Income Tax Department says: In continuation of the CBR 
Circular No 13 of 1999, dated August 25, 1999, it is clarified that 
clauses (2A) inserted in part II of the Second Schedule to the 
Income Tax Ordinance 1979, vide SRO 1052 (I)/99, dated September 
17, 1999, and subsequently amended vide SRO 1313 (I)/99, dated 
November 30, 1999, provides that the tax chargeable in respect of 
commission received by an export indenting agent or an export 
buying house shall be at the rate equal to the rate of tax 
applicable to the exporter on export of goods to which such 
commission relates.

In view of the foregoing, the general rate of withholding tax for 
indenting commission remains 10 per cent as per paragraph CCCC of 
part-I of the First Schedule to the Income Tax Ordinance 1979. But 

the reduced rate applicable in respect of commission received by an 
export indenting agent or an export buying house shall be 0.50 per 
cent or 0.75 per cent or 1.00 pc, depending on the goods exported 
to which such commission relates.

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20000223 
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Food support scheme for the poor from July
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sabihuddin Ghausi

KARACHI, Feb 22: The government is launching a food support scheme 
from July for those poor people whose monthly income is Rs2,000 or 
less. The scheme is being launched as a component of the poverty 
alleviation programme.
 Since the country has no precise definition of poverty, the scheme 
is considered to be a "calorie-intake-based approach" targeting 
those who have no access even to the subsistence level existence.

About 2 to 2.2 million poor households are expected to be 
identified at the district level. Each of the identified families 
will get about Rs500 for every quarter or Rs167.67 a month to help 
them meet the cost of wheat following the 25 per cent rise in its 
support price and the resultant escalation in its market price.

Unofficial estimates put at least 36 million people or six million 
households below the poverty line and the proposed programme, if 
administered scrupulously, would address hardly one-third of the 
target groups.

Back to the top
=================================================================== 
 EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20000220
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'Blowback'
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ardeshir Cowasjee

'BLOWBACK' is a CIA term of art for the unintended spilling over of 
agency tricks abroad onto life in the United States." Such is the 
opening sentence of Jim Hoagland's column, 'Turncoat Terrorists' 
published in the January 16 issue of the 'Washington Post', in 
which he questions the practices, and even the existence, of the 
CIA in this post-cold war world.

The word 'blowback' was origially coined to counter the wash back 
into the US information flow of planted phoney news items from 
overseas. Now, says Hoagland, 'blowback' has assumed a deadlier 
form than mere falsified journalism. Washed back into the US itself 
are terrorist bombs ferried in by the messengers of death linked to 
the network of leftovers of the single-minded Islamic warriors 
recruited, funded and trained by the CIA to fight in the Afghan war 
of the 1980s against the Soviets and their communist supporters. 
These wars are still being fought, to our detriment, between 
Afghans of different ethnic and sectarian bents, one side still 
supported and aided by Pakistani and Arab youths trained in the art 
of fanatic warfare.

The United States may well have hastened the end of the cold war 
and the disintegration of the Soviet empire, but it did so at a 
terrible future cost to itself and to those, such as Pakistan, who 

helped it. This cost was either unforeseen or ignored by the CIA 
which presumably simply wished to get on with the job at hand and 
let tomorrow take care of itself. Tomorrow came, and with it 
terrorists, bombings, killings and bloodshed. The thousands of 
Pakistanis and Arabs sent in did their jobs, fought the 'holy war' 
against communism, and when that ended they turned their sights to 
another holy war, on a much grander scale, against those perceived 
to be enemies of their particular militant version of Islam.

In its zeal to eliminate the bogey of communism the CIA had 
blundered. It had discounted the possibility of a blowback and the 
form which that blowback might take. It had also ignored the 
lessons of recent history, of the aftermath of the break-up of the 
great colonial empires of the Middle East and North Africa.

The Agency's tricks bounced back with a vengeance. The 'holy 
terrorists', as Hoagland terms them, are now personified by Osama 
bin Laden, whose operatives in their murderous attacks use bomb-
making techniques taught in the training camps for Afghanistan run 
by the CIA in the 1980s. A recent attempt to smuggle explosives 
from Canada into the US was intercepted and the smuggler was found 
to have links with the veterans of the Afghan wars (now known as 
'Afghans') and with Bin Laden.

The US is not the only one to suffer from the CIA's games. By 1991, 
over 100 Algerians recruited to fight in Afghanistan had joined the 
Islamic Front for Salvation, a particularly violent group 
responsible for the widespread massacres of innocent Algerians. 
'Afghans' have fought in Bosnia, Chechnya, Kashmir, and wherever 
else the Islamist activists have joined battle with the 'infidels'.

Hoagland cites the prescience of George Orwell who in his 1939 
essay 'Marrakesh' (obviously overlooked by the CIA) related how he 
had asked himself, when watching a column of Senegalese soldiers 
marching by under the command of French officers, how long the 
colonialists would continue to kid themselves. How long would they 
continue to shut their minds to the inevitable? How long would it 
be before the native soldiers of the colonial lands turned the 
weapons provided to them by the colonialists upon the colonial 
masters?

The Afghan adventure of the CIA may have boomeranged on the US and 
on the other powers seen to be opposing the advance of the violent 
brand of Islam, but it is Pakistan which has been the major 
recipient of the wash back. It serves no purpose to repeat how this 
country has suffered. We all know too well how the homeful effects 
have afflicted every aspect of our lives, law and order being the 
major casualty, the proliferation of the Kalashnikov, the decline 
of the economy, drug smuggling and drug addiction being just a few 
others.

The madressah system of education has been institutionalized. Most 
of it turns out thousands of young blinkered bigots who have been 
taught only to parrot the misguided teachings of almost illiterate 
mullahs ingorant of the true tenets of their religion. There are 
also a sizable number of madressahs which send out into the world 
militant youths, schooed to fight, to kill and to die for the 
'cause'.

Politicized and established also are terrorist groups such as the 
Lashkar-i-Tayyaba, and the Harkat-ul-Ansar, funded by the CIA, 
which was declared a terrorist organization by the US State 
Department last year and promptly changed its name to Harkat-ul-
Mujahideen. These groups practice their own version of Jihad. The 
Taliban, sitting on our border, were admittedly created in the main 
by Pakistan, but at the instance and with the help of the CIA. That 
Pakistan is regarded by some as a terrorist state, encouraging and 
aiding international terrorism, must largely be credited to the 
CIA.

It is difficult to sympathize with the US in its post-cold war 
predicament, particularly when Pakistan has to bear the brunt of 
accusations in the US press that not only does it aid terrorists 
but was also associated with the planning and execution of the 
recent hijacking of the Indian airliner. The ISI which in the past 
worked closely with the CIA is now accused of having links with 
Osama bin Laden, of masterminding the release of the radical 
Maulana Masood Azhar from the Indian jail.

Tariq Ali, once the 'enfant terrible' of left-wing politics, 
writing on Talebanisation in a recent issue of 'Outlook' has this 
to say :

"With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the cold war came to an 
end. leaving behind orphan-states on every continent. The effect in 
Pakistan was catastrophic. The fundamentalist groups had served 
their purpose and, unsurprisingly, the US no longer felt the need 
to supply them with funds and weaponry. Overnight, the latter 
became violently anti-American and began to dream of revenge. 
Pakistan's political and military leaders, who had served the US 
loyally and continuously from 1951 onwards, felt humiliated by 
Washington's indifference."

Pakistan was awarded posthumous honours for aiding the US to enter 
China and Afghanistan. However, foreign policies of nations must be 
forward-looking and cannot depend upon history and forgotten 
goodwill. The US acts in its own interest, firmly believiing that 
the means justify the ends, as does India. The wise men of India 
have no wish to annex Pakistan and share borders with countries 
which are even more unstable, irresponsible and violence-prone. 
They would rather have a lame, deformed and orphaned Pakistan, 
barely alive, and we seem to be doing all we can to help them in 
this preference. The world accepts India's size and weight, even if 
we do not. But, then, it takes a confident leader to assess 
correctly his country's weaknesses.

Russia and Vladimir Putin have their own way of dealing with 
troublesome fundamentalists, as can be seen from the photograph of 
Grozny on the day the Russian flag was hoisted there.

China deals quietly with the fundos in its south-west areas, in 
true inscrutable Chinese manner. Its advice to Pakistan on the 
'Kashmir issue' is to wait, have patience, give it time, let 
changed circumstances come into play. But China has always thought 
in terms 'eternal'. It waited for 442 years before accepting Macao 
back into the fold and it is not hurrying to claim Taiwan tomorrow.

By and large, General Pervez Musharraf has chosen his men, civil 
and military, on merit. His programmes on education and health, 
both vital issues, are commendable. But should his public relations 
adviser, Javed Jabbar, not emphasize that what is said in a village 
in Pakistan, to raise the villagers' applause, is heard worldwide 
within the hour? The general's Muzaffarabad speech was ill-
conceived and counter-productive. Weakened and bankrupted as we 
have been, should we now not take tangible steps to reduce the 
tension which has been created? Without major global support we 
cannot hope to have the Kashmir issue settled in the way we wish. A 
heightened, hyped nuisance value can only imperil our country and 
its people.

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20000225
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Too many shadows 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ayaz Amir

DO we not have eyes to see or the wit to understand into what 
pitiless swamp the steady tramp of our heavy boots might 
conceivably lead us?

If the American CIA had wanted to devise a method for the 
destruction of the Soviet Union it could not, in its wildest 
dreams, have invented a figure such as Mikhail Gorbachev. On the 
erstwhile Soviet empire Hitler's armies did not wreak the havoc 
which this latter-day czar - with no small subsequent help from 
Czar Boris - inflicted. Hostile as that empire was to Pakistan I 
can have no sympathy with it but I merely point, by way of 
illustration, to the fate worse than death which has befallen it 
because of self-induced folly.

If RAW wanted to cook up a plan to break the concentration of the 
Pakistan army and set it to the task of chasing shadows and other 
figments of the imagination it could not have done better than what 
we are doing ourselves.

Anyone not completely oblivious to reality will be aware of the 
slow war dance being played on our frontiers. Even if both Pakistan 
and India are equally to blame for this fraught situation - because 
both countries lack statesmanship as well as the capacity to 
reconcile ends with means - it requires no extraordinary wisdom to 
realize that while this situation lasts the Pakistan army, to the 
exclusion of every other distraction or consideration, should be 
devoting its entire attention to this danger from without.

Instead of which the army, as every baffled citizen can make out, 
is involved to its teeth, and getting more involved by the day, in 
an open-ended agenda which includes, may the Heavens protect us, 
canal desilting, district monitoring (under the overall supervision 
of the Chief of General Staff, Lt Gen Aziz), railway reorganization 
(under the command of retired Lt Gen Javed Qazi who is being helped 
by a host of regular officers), the managing of electric utilities 
(WAPDA having been put under the command of Lt Gen Zulfikar Ali 
Khan), accountability (under Lt Gen Amjad), national reconstruction 
(under retired Lt Gen Naqvi), and the reorganization of cricket 
under the leadership of Corp Commander Lt Gen Tauqir Zia. Too many 
beribboned generals chasing too many shadows.

General Pervez Musharraf who wears three hats - army chief, 
chairman joint chiefs of staff committee and Chief Executive - lets 
no opportunity go by without declaring that the army is prepared to 
meet every eventuality and that its operational readiness has not 
been affected by its other duties. That may be so but even 
Napoleon's Grande Armee would have been hard-pressed to display the 
virtuosity or versatility which is currently being expected of the 
Pakistan army.

Indeed one could dwell on this point a bit more. What brought 
Napoleon to his doom? He took on too many enemies. What led Hitler 
to his ruin? The same megalomaniac failing: taking on Russia before 
finishing with England.

We seem to be doing one better than both Napoleon and Hitler. Any 
army would think it had its hands full with a situation like that 
obtaining in Kashmir and our long border with India. And yet not a 
day passes without the army command adding one more mind-boggling 
item to the already lengthening list of its internal functions.

The argument repeatedly deployed by the Chief Executive that it is 
the army's duty to look after external and internal security is 
only half-correct. Without cavilling at the external aspect of 
national security, safeguarding which constitutes the army's 
principal function, what constitutes internal security is open to 
question. The country's financial condition, the state of law and 
order, the quality of its justice system are all aspects of 
internal security. Is the army the institution best equipped to 
deal with these problems? Our own history would tell us it is not 
but if, despite the evidence, generals still insist on playing at 
administrators and law-givers it is an exercise in self-delusion to 
think their professional skills will not be affected.

None of this is to cast a reflection on the bravery and skill of 
our men in arms. The quality of our soldiers is second to none but 
time and again - in 1965, 1971 and even later - they have been 
betrayed by the blindness and ineptitude of their senior 
commanders. Must we keep repeating the mistakes of the past? If 
not, then the best service we can do ror the army is not to burden 
it with tasks it can neither fully appreciate nor effectively 
handle.

Of course politicians have made a mess of things. Of course the 
army and the other services cannot be expected to look on 
indifferently as the country goes to the dogs. But this argument is 
convincing only up to a point. If politicians have behaved 
irresponsibly, the military, which in various guises has ruled the 
country longer than politicians, has shown itself no better at the 
art of government. Indeed the biggest disasters in our history can 
more honestly be laid at the door of military saviours rather than 
civilian incompetents.

This is not to excoriate the present government but only to make a 
timid plea for a bit of understanding and humility when we dish out 
blame for the country's travails and problems. If Benazir Bhutto 
and Nawaz Sharif were the only things wrong with Pakistan, we would 
have nothing to worry about. But our problem is that the bleakness 
of the horizon which makes Pakistanis the world's leading moaners 
and breast-beaters extends far beyond the exploits of these twin 
captains of democracy. Sad though it is to say so, in Pakistan no 
holy institution or body of men (including the shining knights of 
the fourth estate) can lay claim to all-round rectitude or 
perfection.

The army thus must be clear about what it wants. If external 
security weighs upon its mind then it must concentrate on that and 
forego the temptation of wanting to run the country as well. But if 
it remains in thrall to the mistaken belief that saving Pakistan 
internally - that is to say, saving Pakistan from itself - is also 
a sacred mission entrusted to it, then, in all fairness to itself, 
it has cut down on its external involvement by reducing tensions 
with India and putting 'jehad' on the back-burner.

This means reorienting the country's foreign policy so that 
Pakistan, instead of having a messianic view of its place in the 
world, learns to live with its limitations. It does not mean 
abandoning Kashmir or giving up on our nuclear programme, only the 
eschewing of unsustainable bellicosity. It also means Pakistan and 
the Taliban breaking out of the cycle whereby they strengthen each 
other's isolation.

In 1917 Lenin came to the conclusion that protecting the Bolshevik 
Revolution was more important than fighting Germany. So he accepted 
a loser's peace, with utterly humiliating conditions, at Brest-
Litovsk. But events proved him right, for Germany was soon defeated 
while the Bolsheviks, helped in no small measure by the breathing 
space they had gained, consolidated power across the vast expanses 
of Russia.

The choice before the Pakistan army is less cataclysmic. It is not 
between humiliation and survival but between, to put it roughly, 
external vigilance and internal involvement. The army's commanders 
might be tempted to think they can carry off both these roles with 
aplomb but our history, which is a subject in depression, tells us 
they cannot. In trying to ride two difficult horses at the same 
time they risk putting an unbearable strain on their riding 
capabilities.

Greater entities than Pakistan have come to grief (if not perished) 
from softness or over-stretch. Pakistan is in no danger of being 
soft. But its guardians are in danger of over-stretching themselves 
by fighting against too many enemies on too many fronts.

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20000226 
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The earthquake next door
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Irfan Husain

FEW election results in the recent past have had as profound an 
impact on geopolitics as those that have emerged in Iran this week.

The rout of the conservative clergy signals to the rest of the 
world that Iran is ready to take its rightful place in the 
international community after a 20-year interregnum. But it is in 
the region that the shock-waves will be felt most strongly. After 
years of extreme rhetoric and active support for radical Islamic 
movements, if President Khatami manages to rein in the more 
fundamentalist elements in Iran, his country will become a major 
force for moderation.

But even if the contradictions between the reformists and the 
hardliners take some time to resolve, the direction modern Iran 
will take in the foreseeable future is clear. With 70 per cent of 
the population under 30, the entrenched theocratic order will not 
survive for long in its current form. However, this is the 
inevitable path revolutions have taken in recent history: after the 
initial ideological zeal has worn off, reality asserts itself and 
compromises are inevitably made. All revolutionary movements in the 
last century have travelled this route, so recent events in Iran 
should not surprise us.

Given its oil wealth and the energy and talent of the Iranian 
people, there is little doubt that this ancient and proud 
civilization will soon take its place as a major regional power. 
One of the first priorities President Khatami and his reformist 
allies have set themselves is the normalization of relations with 
the United States as well as other western countries. Iran was 
always an important market as well as a source of oil and gas under 
the Shah; now that oil has crossed the $30 per barrel mark, western 
companies are panting to get back and do business. There is little 
doubt that US sanctions will be lifted in the near future and the 
Iranian economy will realize its true potential.

Once relations with the West are normalized, Iran will have less 
time and sympathy for a chaotic Pakistan that is supporting the 
begotted Taliban in Afghanistan, and failing to protect its own 
Shia minority against repeated attacks by extremist organizations. 
Once the revolutionary rhetoric and fervour in Tehran are toned 
down, Iran will become more likely to support stability and peace 
so that it can rebuild its shattered economy. Inevitably, its 
relations with other powerful neighbours like India and China will 
improve even further.

In short, Iran will rapidly become a modern, progressive Muslim 
country while we continue our march backwards. Indeed, an immediate 
outcome of the election results in Iran is that we stand further 
isolated. Together with Afghanistan, Pakistan is viewed as a haven 
for fundamentalists and terrorists. If we want to avoid being 
branded a rogue state, we will have to take steps to demonstrate 
that we do not support terrorism, no matter what the cause.

The ban on the display of arms is a good first step, and one that 
should have been taken much earlier by elected governments. But 
while General Musharraf has the means to take on the extremist 
groups and armed militias, he has yet to demonstrate the will to do 
so. As long as they are not disarmed and disbanded, they will 
continue to pose a threat to our citizens, as well as to Pakistan's 
image and our external relations.

In its current issue, a Karachi monthly magazine has interviewed a 
number of leaders of alleged terrorist groups. One of them demanded 
that the West needs to make a distinction between jihad and 
terrorism. This is unlikely to happen because one man's jihad is 
another man's terrorism. When the Mukti Bahini activists were 
fighting the Pakistan army in 1971, they were termed bandits and 
terrorists and worse. The maquis in France and the partisans in 
Italy who resisted German occupation were hunted down by the 
Wehrmacht as terrorists, and yet they were heroes in the eyes of 
their people.

It should be clear to all of us that our perceived role in 
supporting extremists in Afghanistan and Kashmir is winning us no 
friends. The fact is that there is an international network of such 
groups operating in much of the Muslim world. Governments in these 
countries are deeply disturbed by the fact that many of these 
extremists receive training in camps located on Pakistani and 
Afghan soil, and then attempt to destabilize them. Indeed, it is 
now extremely difficult for Pakistanis to get visas to visit most 
Arab countries.

We must realize that we are going against the norm in our 
supposedly covert support for these groups. Nobody abroad accepts 
the official line that our backing is only moral. Moral support 
does not result in the level of fighting we saw in Kargil last 
year. We need to understand that we are not powerful enough to 
insist that we will play by our own rules, forgetting that we are 
part of an international system and community that does not 
countenance terrorism. Saying that country X or Y gets away with it 
does not absolve us of our responsibility to behave according to 
accepted norms.

Returning to Iran, we see how a country gradually resumes its 
rightful place in the community of nations while we are rapidly 
losing ours. There is a growing realization in even the most 
backward nations of the world that cooperation and interdependence 
are now the way forward, not isolation and insularity. The vast 
majority of Iranians have voted to get their country back into the 
global system. In Pakistan, despite the fact that religious parties 
have always been thoroughly rejected at the polls, they and their 
more extreme brethren have managed to hijack the national agenda to 
their own ends while successive governments have remained supine 
spectators.

Pakistani leaders are fond of repeating that our relations with 
China and Iran are "eternal", and their support for our position on 
Kashmir is open-ended. This is living in a world of delusion. Both 
are moving away from rigidly ideological policies to greater 
pragmatism and a desire to improve their economies. For this, they 
need to work with inimical powers like the United States. But as we 
know, there are no permanent friends or enemies in international 
relations; only permanent interests.

It is high time we realized that we have interests other than 
Kashmir, and that we cannot count on the few friends we have left 
to endlessly support us in our hugely expensive and seemingly 
futile quest.


===================================================================
SPORTS
20000225

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Azlan Shah hockey final: Pakistan and South Korea end undefeated
-------------------------------------------------------------------

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24: Pakistan ended their challenge for a place in 
the final of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup undefeated here Thursday 
with a 2-1 win over Canada at the National Hockey Stadium.

Pakistan had already made sure of their place in Saturday's final 
with four wins and one draw for 13 points and second place in the 
table behind South Korea on goal difference. Pakistan and South 
Korea meet in the final on Feb 26 (Saturday). Tomorrow (Friday) is 
the rest day. Against Canada Pakistan played well below full 
throttle contenting them with reacting to threats.

It took a goal for Canada by Sean Campbell in the 25th minute off a 
Ronnie Jagday pass to jolt Pakistan out of their complacency. 
Seconds before halftime Imran Yousuf drew his team level by 
flicking Pakistan's second penalty corner high into the net. In the 
second-half Pakistan showed bursts of activity mixed with lassitude 
taking he lead in the 50th minute when Muhammed Sarwar capped a 
fine run by scoring from close range.

Pakistan held the lead despite Canada's frequent incursions into 
their circle that brought them a rash of corners but no goals. 
Pakistan's opponents in the final, South Korea, wrapped up their 
first phase campaign with a nine-goal thriller against Malaysia.

The Koreans, regarded by many as favourites for this week's crown, 
had already secured their place in the final. They overcame a 
spirited Malaysian side 5-4 to also end unbeaten.

INDIA BEAT NEW ZEALAND: India beat New Zealand 2-1 and put 
themselves in the playoff for third and fourth placings on 
Saturday.

India will meet Malaysia in that placings match that will preceed 
the South Korea-Pakistan final. India should have won by a bigger 
margin but it was the usual tale of their not being able to convert 
possession into goals.

Umesh Parag shot New Zealand into the lead in the 22nd minute when 
he scouped in off New Zealand's second penalty corner. India 
equalised four minutes later through Deepak Thakur who deflected in 
Baljit Singh Dhillon's shot off a penalty corner.-AFP

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20000224 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
5 uncapped players named in 18-man Pakistan Test squad
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, Feb 23: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) advisory council 
on Wednesday continued their policy of giving the youngsters a 
taste of the highest form of the game by picking five uncapped 
players
 in an 18-man squad for the three-Test home series against Sri 
Lanka.

The first Test begins at Rawalpindi from Saturday while the second 
Test starts at Peshawar from March 5. The third and final Test will 
be played here in Karachi between March 12 and 16.

Younis Khan, Faisal Iqbal, Imran Abbas, Bazid Khan and Irfan Fazil 
were all named on Wednesday in a formidable lineup that also 
includes recalled Inzamam-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis, Wajahatullah Wasti, 
Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Akram.

Younis, Faisal and Imran had also played in the three-match one-day 
international series against Sri Lanka which the tourists won 3-0. 
Paceman Shoaib Akhtar and all-rounder Azhar Mahmood were not 
considered because of injuries. Shoaib has a groin injury and has 
been advised two-week rest while Azhar is suffering from a back 
strain and has been advised a six-week rest.

While the five seniors were reinstated in the team after being 
ignored for the one-day series, Ijaz Ahmad was overlooked for the 
longer version of the game following a poor performance in the 1999 
calendar year.

However, Aamir Sohail has been given another opportunity to prove 
if he still has more to offer. Aamir was tied with Ijaz for the 
troublesome No 3 batting slot. The former captain always had his 
nose in front of Ijaz after scoring more than 800 runs in the 
Quaid-i-Azam Trophy recently. He had also struck four centuries 
which gives evidence of his patience, temperament and ability to 
convert good starts into big scores.

The selection of Shahid Afridi may raise some eyebrows but fact of 
the matter is that the all-rounder picked five wickets on his Test 
debut against Australia and then followed up with a match-winning 
141 against India at Chennai a year ago. He has played just five 
Tests and this performance is by no means unimpressive.

Younis Khan was always going to be an automatic selection after his 
superlative performance in the recent Quaid Trophy where he scored 
over 1,100 runs. He is all set to make his Test debut at 
Rawalpindi.

However, Faisal Iqbal, Bazid Khan and Irfan Fazil are all 
teenagers. Faisal and Irfan played in the Youth World Cup in Sri 
Lanka last month while Bazid, who was also selected for the tour of 
pearl island, preferred to play for Pakistan Reserves in the Quaid 
Trophy.

Imran Abbas retains his place in the Test side after his 
unsatisfactory performance in one-dayers because of his 964 runs in 
Quaid Trophy for Agriculture Development Bank of Pakistan (ADBP).

Irfan Fazil earned the cricket officials' nod after taking five for 
120 against Sri Lanka in the three-dayer at Rawalpindi. Also 
benefiting from the three-dayer was opener Naveed Qureshi who 
stroked a fine 62. Naveed played in a Test against Zimbabwe in 
December 1998.

According to officials, Faisal, Bazid, Irfan, Imran Abbas and 
Naveed Qureshi have been picked so that they stay with the Pakistan 
team and learn more from the senior players.

"They have the potential and skills but are still not ready for 
five-day games. However, it was felt that instead of leaving them, 
they should be picked so that they move with the team, adjust to 
the dressing room atmosphere besides train with the squad," they 
said.

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20000223 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Moin to take over from Saeed after home series
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Feb 22: Wicket-keeper Moin Khan will take over from Saeed 
Anwar after the conclusion of the home series against Sri Lanka, 
official sources said on Tuesday.

They added that it has been decided in principle after Moin had a 
meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Lt-Gen Tauqir 
Zia.

"Moin has agreed to captain the team after declining to skipper the 
side in the home series," sources, requesting anonimity, confirmed.

Immediately after the home series, Pakistan fly to Sri Lanka for 
the triangular series also involving India and South Africa. From 
the desert city, Pakistan travel to the West Indies for a tri-
nation one-day series and three-Test rubber. From the West Indies, 
Pakistan go to Dhaka for the Asia Cup and then proceed to Sri Lanka 
in June-July for a three-Test and tri-nation series.

Sources said Moin, during his recent meeting with the PCB Chairman, 
had laid down some conditions, most important being a say in 
selection.

"The chairman has accepted Moin's suggestion," sources said. Moin 
has captained Pakistan in a drawn Test against Zimbabwe and four 
one-day internationals, winning all. He has been vice-captain since 
1998.

Sources said Saeed Anwar was appointed captain for the home series 
after Wasim stepped down from captaincy and Moin too expressed his 
inability to lead the team.

Although the PCB has decided to replace Saeed, the official 
announcement of a new captain will be made during the Karachi Test 
to be played between March 12 and 16.

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20000221 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
National championship commences today
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ian Fyfe

FAISALABAD, Feb 20: Former World and Asian amateur champion 
Mohammad Yousuf will be returning back to the snooker fold after a 
year's long absence when the Red & White National Snooker 
Championship gets under way here at the Serena Hotel on Monday 
morning.

The eight-time champion was banned by the Pakistan Snooker and 
Billiard Association (PBSA), for breach of code of conduct but 
later an amicable out of court settlement by the PBSA and Mohammad 
Yousuf enabled the veteran to be among the top 32 cueists from all 
over the country vying for the prestigious crown.

Yousuf is joint top seed with the defending champion Saleh 
Mohammad, ranked No.3 in the world circuit last year.

In Yousuf's absence Saleh dominated the proceedings in the year 
gone by by winning all the four major titles and being thg first 
player in Pakistan to achieve the Grand Slam.

Challenging these two giants will be the former National and Junior 
Champion Farhan Mirza from Lahore. The bespectacled cueist, 
recently married in London and ranked No.2 in Asia, will indeed be 
a constant thorn in the side of the joint favourites.

Former Junior Champion Naveen Perwani is ranked at No.4 and is 
followed by an exciting youngster Khurram H. Agha, who caused quite 
a stir in the Six-Nation tournament held in Dubai last year, when 
he toppled former Asian Champion Yasin Merchant when Pakistan beat 
India 4-1 to reach the finals.

Another two promising youngsters Atiq Latif Bux, scion of the late 
and great Latif Amir Bux, and Vishan Gir are ranked sixth and 
seventh respectively behind Peshawar-born Mohammad Shafiq.

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