------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 15 April 2000 Issue : 06/16 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
The DAWN Wire Service (DWS) is a free weekly news-service from 
Pakistan's largest English language newspaper, the daily DAWN. DWS 
offers news, analysis and features of particular interest to the 
Pakistani Community on the Internet.

Extracts, not exceeding 50 lines, can be used provided that this 
entire header is included at the beginning of each extract. 

We encourage comments & suggestions. We can be reached at: 

     e-mail        dws-owner@dawn.com
     WWW           http://dawn.com/
     fax           +92(21) 568-3188 & 568-3801 
     mail         DAWN Group of Newspapers 
                   Haroon House, Karachi 74200, Pakistan 

Please send all Editorials and Letters to the Editor at
                   
                   letters@dawn.com


(c) Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., Pakistan - 2000

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 


CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Suspension of Pakistan from IPU feared + Polls under PR system being considered, says adviser + Three more cases against Nawaz ready + New counsel appointed to represent government + Appeal ought to be decided in a week: Nawaz's counsel + PML reconfirms Nawaz as party chief + Kulsoom blames JI, others for ouster of PML govt + Azhar urged to take over PML presidentship + FO slams C'wealth official + Musharraf terms Nawaz trial fair + OAU rebuffs India for propaganda + Pakistan alert: ISPR + Pakistan, India to continue rail service + India accuses Pakistan of troop build-up + India told no talks if terms set + Pakistan not to press India for talks: Sattar + Rejection of talk's offer: Islamabad slams Delhi + Bodies of Kashmiri youths reburied + Pakistan asks Kabul to close terrorist training camps + Charge of N-material trafficking denied + Delhi's quest for SC seat doomed + US to back India for UN Council seat: envoy + Manzoor Wattoo challenges conviction + Hoti shifted to Attock Fort + Usman Farooqui, wife and daughter sentenced + Usman, wife, daughter file appeals in high court + NAB acquires documents against ex-CBR chief + Osama issue: UN threatens Taliban with more sanctions + New visa rules for Umra from July 1 + Former NWFP chief secretary charge-sheeted + Grenade attack on Imambargah leaves 14 dead + Troops deployed in Punjab sensitive areas + Court seeks prompt action on Edhi's application + Lahore runway work to lead to PIA flight rescheduling + 15 killed in Kashmir gun battles + PPL chief's kidnappers get death sentence + Oil well fire: situation termed under control + Four arrested for setting oil well on fire --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + WB chief urged to resolve HUBCO dispute + IMF wants SBP to validate tax figures + Aziz terms meetings productive + Washington meeting this week: Talks with IMF team end + Lowering of tax target IMF rejects CBR proposal + IMF for speeding up reforms + Outside review panel to monitor IMF work + CBR offer for audit rejected + Protection margins for industry excessive: IMF + Private sector borrowing nose dives + Privatization of PTCL deferred + Software exports: State Bank unlikely to offer credit line + Stocks stage smart recovery --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Pity the Pakistani people Ayaz Amir + All in the family By Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Poor batting lets down Pakistan + Rose destroys Pakistan + Pakistan in upbeat mood after Sharjah triumph

=================================================================== 
DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 
=================================================================== 
NATIONAL NEWS
20000414
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Suspension of Pakistan from IPU feared
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

LONDON, April 13: The 139-member International Parliamentary Union 
(IPU) is likely to suspend Pakistan's membership when it meets in 
the Jordan capital, Amman, on April 30, diplomatic sources told.

They were of the view that the week-long statutory conference, to 
be hosted by Prince Hasan bin Talal, might take up the issue of 
Pakistan's membership in the context of Oct 12 military coup. 
"There is a very strong possibility that Pakistan may be suspended 
from the IPU," one of them remarked on condition of anonymity. 
"Pakistan is no more a functioning democracy," he added.

The question of Pakistan's membership might surface when Namibia, 
advocating contribution of parliaments to the prevention of 
military coups to oust democratically elected governments, would 
table a motion for debate, the source said.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000414
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Polls under PR system being considered, says adviser
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

LONDON, April 13: Javed Jabbar has said that the government is 
considering to hold elections on proportional representation (PR) 
system or allow only those candidates to enter the assemblies who 
secure at least 51 per cent votes under the current first-past-the-
post system. He said the government is also thinking to make voting 
compulsory.

Mr Jabbar said that the system of first-past-the post was not 
working well so the government wants that those returning to the 
assemblies should represent majority of the people from that area. 
For this purpose it is considering to hold general elections under 
the PR system.

He said if that was not possible then the changes will be made in 
the present system by declaring only those persons elected who 
secure at least 51 per cent of the total votes.

He said the PR system, if agreed, would be first tried and 
implemented in the local bodies elections, which have already been 
announced by the government. Mr Jabbar said that the government is 
also planning to make voting compulsory, though, he admitted that 
there would be some problems.

He said the voting was compulsory in many countries like Singapore, 
Greece, Belgium and Australia. He said those not exercising their 
right to vote could be fined, or refused passport or some similar 
punishment.

The adviser said that the Election Commission has already 
recommended compulsory voting and the government would consider 
this recommendation seriously.

CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES: Mr Jabbar hinted that, if need be, the 
government would not hesitate to bring changes in the constitution 
to tailor it to its own requirements. He said the government wants 
the constitution to work but if at any stage it becomes an obstacle 
in the way of government, it would be changed.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000413
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Three more cases against Nawaz ready
-------------------------------------------------------------------

ISLAMABAD, April 12: Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who 
appealed against two life terms, now faces charges of corruption, 
the military government's top corruption prosecutor said.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had sent three cases or 
references to court and more charges of corruption and misrule were 
being investigated, NAB prosecutor-general Farooq Adam Khan told 
Reuters Television.

He said the accountability process against Mr. Sharif and some of 
his associates had been stepped up after Anti-Terrorism Court in 
Karachi sentenced the former premier last week to two concurrent 
life terms for hijacking and terrorism. Mr. Khan said the 
investigations could lead to "multiple arrests" and even women in 
the Sharif family might be involved as directors of companies. But 
he added, "we are going out of our way" not to take the women into 
custody.

Mr. Sharif's lawyers filed an appeal before the Sindh High Court 
challenging his conviction and the life term, which means 25 years 
in jail. The court has yet to set a date for the hearing. "There 
are other charges, or other allegations which require probing, are 
being investigated, inquired into and when we feel that we have 
sufficient evidence or record that we are capable of filing a 
reference, we will file a reference before the court," Mr. Khan 
said. "I do believe there will be more references."

FAMILY BUSINESS: Mr. Khan said the NAB was investigating the Sharif 
family's huge business empire which had been accused of benefiting 
from his tenure as chief minister of Punjab and two short terms as 
prime minister. Mr. Sharif has denied any wrongdoing. " Now when a 
family empire like that is being investigated it makes it a little 
bit more complicated in specifying who has done what," Mr. Khan 
said. "That is a factor in the investigations which we are looking 
into, we are dealing with it."

He said the charges the Sharif family would face, included massive 
defaults in repaying bank loans, misusing the tax-collecting 
Central Board of Revenue and laundering illegal money.

MASSIVE DEFAULT: "... (there are) massive default cases where the 
banks have actually been utilized to finance their empire and they 
have defaulted deliberately... in the repayment of those dues as a 
matter of policy rather than compulsion. " We have in that 
particular aspect cases where they have misused their authority, 
misused their influence in getting those loans or reschedules," Mr. 
Khan said. " Then we have cases against Nawaz Sharif in his 
capacity as chief minister and as prime minister where the misuse 
of authority is blatant, and misuse of influence is obscene in many 
instances," he said.

" And cases are then being investigated... where (there has been) 
such misuse of authority, misuse of the taxation system, utilizing 
the CBR to give benefits for his (Sharif's) own empire, deliberate 
use of the CBR to do that. "All these cases, kickbacks, commissions 
and contracts being awarded, money-laundering in its most blatant 
form that you can ever think of, the deliberate use of SROs 
(statutory regulatory orders) to that effect. All these cases we 
are looking into," he said.-Reuters

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000413
-------------------------------------------------------------------
New counsel appointed to represent government
-------------------------------------------------------------------

KARACHI, April 12: The Sindh government has appointed Barrister 
Zahoor-ul- Haq Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) and Advocate-General 
Raja Qureshi, Mohammed Ilyas Khan and Abdul Latif Yousufzai 
Additional Public Prosecutors (APP) to represent it in an appeal 
preferred by Nawaz Sharif in the October 12 plane-hijacking case.

According to a notification issued by the Sindh Home, the 
appointments have been made in exercise of powers conferred by 
Section 18 of the Anti-terrorism Act. Meanwhile, the Sindh Home 
Department, through another notification dated April 08, issued to 
the press accorded the necessary permission to the advocate-general 
to prefer an appeal/revision against the ATC judgment in the plane-
hijacking case acquitting the six other accused.-APP

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000413
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Appeal ought to be decided in a week: Nawaz's counsel
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, April 12: Nawaz Sharif's counsel has said the appeal has 
to be decided within seven days as per provisions of the law. 
Speaking to journalists in the Sindh High Court after filing appeal 
in the deputy registrar's offices, counsel Azizullah Sheikh said 
the defence had filed the appeal within the time period stipulated 
by law.

Answering a question, he said he did not know how much time the 
appellate court would take to give decision on the appeal, adding: 
"The Anti-terrorism Act says that an appeal challenging the 
judgment of the ATC shall be decided by the appellate court in a 
week's time. But the preparation of paper books containing the case 
documents, translation of vernacular-language documents into Urdu, 
etc, which are to be provided to the counsel by the court before 
the case is fixed for regular hearing, always requires time. This 
means one could not say with any degree of certainty about the 
actual time the appellate court would take for the disposal of the 
case," he said.

In reply to another question, the lawyer said he had found a lot of 
scope for defence after studying the judgment and was hopeful that 
the high court decision would be in Nawaz Sharif's favour.

At the appellate court, he said, there would be reappraisal and re- 
appreciation of evidence brought forth by the prosecution at the 
trial court. "I have seen numerous inherent contradictions in the 
individual deposition of each of the prosecution witnesses," he 
added.

Asked whether Nawaz Sharif would be appearing in the high court, 
the counsel said: "No. It is not necessary," adding that an 
appellant could appear when he himself wanted to speak in the court 
at any stage of the hearing.

Asked about his feelings about defending a former prime minister 
vis-a-vis his position in the past as a noted leader of the 
National Awami Party, Mr Sheikh said: "That chapter was closed 25 
years ago. Now, I am only a professional lawyer. I have cases of 
almost all parties and groups. My clients are from the PPP, the 
Muttahida Qaumi Movement and various other parties."

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000410
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PML reconfirms Nawaz as party chief
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, April 9: Begum Kulsoom Nawaz managed to save PML 
presidentship of her jailed husband by getting passed from a top-
level party meeting a unanimous resolution that reposed confidence 
in Nawaz Sharif's leadership.

"This joint session of Muslim League central working committee, its 
parliamentary group and allied parties reposes confidence in the 
leadership of Nawaz Sharif, and fully supports a demand that Nawaz 
Sharif should remain the president of the party," said the 
resolution that was read out later at a press briefing.

However, most of the members demanding a change in the leadership 
left the meeting very early, saying they had not been given a 
chance to speak. Mian Azhar, Wasim Sajjad, Begum Abida Hussain, 
Sarwar Cheema, Fakhar Imam, Maqbool Niazi, Abdus Sattar Laleeka and 
a number of other leaders left the meeting halfway through the 
deliberations.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000410
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Kulsoom blames JI, others for ouster of PML govt
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ashraf Mumtaz

LAHORE, April 9: Kulsoom Sharif has alleged that the movement 
against the PML government before its ouster as a result of the 
October 12 military action enjoyed the support of Gen Pervez 
Musharraf.

Talking to Dawn, she said Jamaat-i-Islami Amir Qazi Husain and 
leaders of other parties opposed to Mr Sharif were continuing their 
struggle with the backing of Gen Musharraf. "They were getting 
support from him (the General). Otherwise they could not have dared 
work against an elected government", she said.

The parties opposed to the PML government were keeping silent after 
the removal of the Sharif government because they had achieved 
their target, she added.

Begum Kulsoom said that the despite the role of various parties in 
the ouster of the PML government, her party wanted cooperation from 
all democratic forces for the revival of the political system.  "We 
want cooperation from every party and every individual, whose 
opinion matters, for the restoration of the democratic system."

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000412
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Azhar urged to take over PML presidentship
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, April 11: Some office-bearers of the local PML units urged 
former Punjab governor Mian Muhammad Azhar to take over the PML 
leadership no matter whether the existing leadership stepped down 
or not.

In a signed letter they handed over to Mian Azhar, they warned that 
if Mian Azhar did not respond to the call of the hour, the party 
might go to the wrong hands. The letter said after the conviction 
of Mian Nawaz Sharif, workers felt that the entire leadership 
should be changed.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000410
-------------------------------------------------------------------
FO slams C'wealth official
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, April 9: Pakistan has condemned the Commonwealth 
secretary general's reported desire to seek country's exclusion 
from other international organizations. "It is beyond the mandate 
of a civil servant," foreign office spokesman said in a statement, 
adding, "international organizations do not take dictation from the 
secretary general of the Commonwealth. He should keep his counsel 
to himself."

The spokesman also took strong exception to the reported remark of 
Don Mckinnon, the secretary general, regarding the court verdict 
against the former prime minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif.

Reacting to media reports on his statement, the spokesman of the 
foreign office recalled that the transparency and open and fair 
proceedings of the trial had been appreciated by the international 
media and the observers from a large number of countries who were 
given free and unhindered access.

The defendants themselves and their lawyers had also publicly 
expressed their full confidence in the integrity of the court and 
the fair manner in which the trial had been conducted. Thus, he 
added, for the secretary-general to reject the court verdict was to 
betray a biased approach and amounts to interference in the 
judicial process as well as in the internal affairs of Pakistan.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000411
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Musharraf terms Nawaz trial fair
-------------------------------------------------------------------

PARIS, April 10: The Chief Executive, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, said 
that the life term handed down to the deposed prime minister, Nawaz 
Sharif, was "extremely fair" and should not be criticized by the 
West. "The trial could not have been fairer than what has taken 
place," Musharraf told newsmen after his meeting with the French 
Foreign Minister, Hubert Vedrine, during a brief stopover in France 
ahead of a visit to Cuba for the Group of 77 summit.

Gen. Musharraf specifically responded to the comments by the 
Commonwealth Secretary General, Don McKinnon, who had said that he 
was "dismayed" by the severity of the sentence and urged the CE to 
grant a full amnesty to Nawaz Sharif. 

"I think criticism from Europe is absolutely unfounded," the CE 
said. He also suggested that legal action against Nawaz Sharif was 
not over saying: "there are dozens of corruption cases pending 
against the ex-prime minister."

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000411
-------------------------------------------------------------------
OAU rebuffs India for propaganda
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, April 10: India was rebuffed by the Organization of 
African Unity (OAU) against Pakistan at its ministerial meeting at 
Cartagena.

The Indian delegation, led by its External affairs Minister Jaswant 
Singh, launched an anti-Pakistan campaign, asking the OAU to attach 
a proviso to an internal decision of the Organization on democracy 
in African countries and make it applicable to the entire 
membership of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Many NAM delegates were critical of India's self serving efforts to 
malign Pakistan and India was forced to withdraw its proposal. 
India's proposal was directed against Oct 12 military takeover in 
Pakistan and it sought a censure of military governments in 
different parts of the world citing OAU decision as the precedence.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000414
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan alert: ISPR
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, April 13: "We are alert," said Major-General Rashid 
Qureshi, chief of ISPR, when his attention was drawn to reports 
emanating from Western and Indian sources that New Delhi seemed set 
to engage Pakistan in " a limited war" either along the LoC or on 
the international border. He, however, hastened to add that an 
aggressor generally did not issue such warnings before launching an 
attack.

" We don't have any such indication", said the general, when asked 
about state of alert reportedly declared by Pakistan and deployment 
of troops on this side of LoC and on the international border to 
effectively respond to any aggression. Qureshi, however, said that 
the Indian political and military leadership, including its defence 
minister and the army chief, had been issuing threatening 
statements. He was not sure what the real intention of the Indians 
was. But he sounded confident that Pakistan was fully capable of 
defending its frontiers. He, however, again denied the Indian claim 
that Pakistan was massing troops along the border.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000415
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan, India to continue rail service
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, April 14: The railway authorities of both Pakistan and 
India agreed to continue Samjhota Express train service between 
Lahore and Attari. The negotiating teams comprising railway 
officials of both the countries held detailed discussions on the 
Indian side of zero point (Wagah). They decided that the train 
service would be operated under an interim arrangement for the time 
being and further negotiations would be held at the same venue on 
April 26 for another round of talks to settle the modalities for 
its future operation.

An 11-member team of the railway officials headed by additional 
general manager (business) Aurangzeb and comprising among others 
chief mechanical engineer Anwar Saleem, Lahore DS Saleemur Rehman 
Akhund, railway division deputy secretary Nasir Zaidi and COPS 
Saifur Rehman Qaisarani represented Pakistan at the meeting. The 
Indian team was headed by the railway board executive director 
(coaching), N M Chopra, while executive director Vinod Sharma was 
among its members.

It was decided in the meeting that the Pakistan Railway would 
continue to provide rolling stock for the operation of train 
service till the final settlement of the issue.-APP

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000411
-------------------------------------------------------------------
India accuses Pakistan of troop build-up
-------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW DELHI, April 10: Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes 
accused Pakistan of reinforcing troops along the border with India 
after US President Bill Clinton's tour of South Asia last month.

When asked about Islamabad's "attitude" after President Clinton's 
March 20-25 tour, Fernandes said: "There is a build-up of Pakistani 
troops in the Kutch region", on the border with the western Indian 
state of Gujarat. -AFP

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000415
-------------------------------------------------------------------
India told no talks if terms set
-------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW DELHI, April 14: Pakistan said that peace talks with India 
could not resume while New Delhi laid down preconditions for 
dialogue. "Pakistan's position with regard to dialogue it that you 
simply can't make pre-conditions for a dialogue. Neither can we 
make them of you nor can you make them of us," Ashraf Jehangir 
Qazi, Pakistan's High Commissioner to India, said in an interview 
on Doordarshan.

"...if you lay down what appears to the other side to be 
preconditions, the assumptions of which are not accepted, for the 
talks to get under way in the first place, the end result is 
inevitably going to be no talks at all. Is that what India wants?" 
he said.

Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on Tuesday set terms for 
talks with Pakistan, saying Islamabad must accept it violated the 
understanding on the Line of Control (LoC). Vajpayee also told the 
public meeting that Pakistan should stop what he described as "the 
anti-India campaign".-Reuters

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000410
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan not to press India for talks: Sattar
-------------------------------------------------------------------

CARTAGENA, April 9: Pakistan said that it would not press India for 
resumption of the stalled dialogue as New Delhi had spurned its 
formal offer to hold talks. "We had made the offer of holding talks 
with India anytime anywhere. India has rejected it. We are not 
going to force the pace," Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar told 
reporters on arrival here to attend the two-day Non-Aligned 
Ministerial Conference. -NNI

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000409
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Rejection of talk's offer: Islamabad slams Delhi
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD April 8: Pakistan has made a "serious offer" of talks to 
India for setting up mechanisms to monitor alleged cross-border 
infiltration's which New Delhi has rejected, a foreign office 
official said.

Speaking at a news briefing the FO spokesman Tariq Altaf said 
although it was for the Indian government to decide its policy "we 
think by rejecting dialogue, they are going against the trend of 
the times and against the will of the international community."

He said Pakistan had made an offer of talks to India, which had 
been conveyed about 10 days ago by the foreign secretary to the 
Indian High Commissioner. But, Altaf regretted that India had 
rejected it, pointing out the statements by senior Indian officials 
such as National Security aide to the Prime Minister, Brijesh 
Mishra, and other "credible" Indians.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000409
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bodies of Kashmiri youths reburied
-------------------------------------------------------------------

SRINAGAR, April 8: Officials in Kashmir handed over the exhumed 
bodies of five men to relatives who identified them as the Muslim 
youths missing since last month, an official spokesman said. The 
bodies were then buried again by grieving relatives in Anantnag, 
where a strict curfew was in force for a sixth day to prevent any 
violence.

A communiqué from the Kashmir government said DNA tests would be 
carried out to confirm their identities. Medical experts took 
samples from the bodies, which were sealed in the presence of 
officials and the relatives.

Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, divisional commissioner of Kashmir, told AFP: 
"All the five bodies have been recognized by the family members. 
The government is waiting for tests to be conducted before saying 
anything on the issue."- Agencies

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000409
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan asks Kabul to close terrorist training camps
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Nasir Malick

LONDON, April 8: Pakistan has asked Afghanistan to close down 
training camps on its soil and extradite all those people who have 
taken shelter there after committing sectarian killings in 
Pakistan, Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider said.

The minister said the government is determined to root out 
sectarianism from Pakistan and make it a civilized society. "I have 
made it clear to Sipah-i-Sahaba and Sipah-i-Mohammad to stop 
(sectarian killings)," the interior minister said. "If they don't 
stop we will get them by neck."

Mr. Moinuddin Haider said sectarian killings are not only 
tarnishing Pakistan's image abroad but also having negative impact 
on the society.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000409
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Charge of N-material trafficking denied
-------------------------------------------------------------------

TASHKENT, April 8: Kazakhstan denied allegations by Uzbekistan that 
radioactive substances were concealed in a truck that was stopped 
by Uzbek customs officials on its way to Pakistan.

Kazakhstan ambassador to Tashkent Umurzak Uzbekov told a news 
briefing that some parts of the truck's load of scrap metal were 
contaminated, but he dismissed an Uzbek statement that 10 
containers carried radioactive substances.  "Contrary to reports by 
the Uzbek customs committee, no lead containers with radioactive 
materials were found when the scrap metal was unloaded," Uzbekov 
said.

A Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman also denied involvement in 
the incident, which has strained already tense relations between 
Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.  "Pakistan has nothing to do with this 
episode. We are not in any way connected with this shipment. This 
is obviously an attempt to falsely implicate Pakistan, which we 
condemn," he said.

Yerlan Kozhagapanov, head of customs for the Southern Kazakhstan 
province bordering Uzbekistan, said Uzbek officials had most likely 
mistaken old furnaces for containers used for storing radioactive 
materials. -Reuters

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000412
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Delhi's quest for SC seat doomed
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Masood Haider

UNITED NATIONS, April 11: "There is no chance for India to secure a 
permanent seat in the UN Security Council," despite the declaration 
of US support to the New Delhi's bid, diplomats and officials 
involved in the process of expansion and reforms in the Council 
said. "It is not for the United States to grant seats in the 
Council and its support does not carry any significant weight over 
189 members of the General Assembly who are involved in discussions 
to expand and reforms the Council," said a diplomat whose country 
is also vying for a seat in the Council. "Moreover", he added "at 
the United Nations, US has just one vote like everybody else and 
presently its clout has been eroded due to its unwillingness to pay 
full dues to the world body."

As far back as 1991, the then US president, George Bush, had 
announced US support for Japan's claim to a permanent seat in the 
Security Council and similarly in 1996 Bill Richardson, who headed 
the US mission here had reaffirmed US support to Japan and Germany 
bid, but so far there has been resistance to the idea.

Presently in the 15-member Security Council, China, Britain, 
France, Russia and the United States are permanent members. The 
non-permanent members are elected for a period of two years by 
consensus among various regional groups.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000410
-------------------------------------------------------------------
US to back India for UN Council seat: envoy
-------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW DELHI, April 9: The United States is prepared to support 
India's bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, US 
ambassador to India Richard Celeste said.

"The US has to be prepared and will be prepared to give India 
serious consideration for the permanent membership of the Security 
Council," Mr. Celeste told the state-run Doordarshan TV.

The ambassador said US President Bill Clinton believed that a 
stable and prosperous global community would require India as one 
of its leaders. "We anticipate India as a true global leader 
looking down the road 10 or 20 years." He said the United States 
also believed the Security Council needed to be recast and "we are 
prepared to give India every consideration."

Mr. Celeste said a political document signed between Mr. Clinton 
and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee laying a road map 
for future ties would hold good in the future. -AFP

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000413
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Manzoor Wattoo challenges conviction
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

 LAHORE, April 12: Former chief minister Mian Manzoor Wattoo 
challenged his conviction by an accountability court in the plots 
case in the Lahore High Court. Filed by Advocate Chaudhry Mushtaq 
Ahmad Khan and likely to be heard on April 17, the appeal says that 
the law allowed the CM to allot plots in his discretion and he 
allotted the plots in exercise of his lawful authority. 

The allottees were in no way related to Mr. Wattoo and the 
reference became invalid according to the Ehtesab Act - the law 
under which it was made - once it excluded 'others' and included 
only 'spouse and relatives' in the definition of 'beneficiaries'.

The appeal, which is to be heard by a division bench comprising 
justices Riaz Kayani and Khwaja Muhammad Sharif, also claimed that 
the prosecution has failed to produce any evidence to show that the 
plots were allotted injudiciously. The allegation that the 
allotments were made without applications, it said, was belied by 
the Lahore Development Authority, according to which applications 
were duly entertained and processed before being forwarded to the 
chief minister.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000410
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Hoti shifted to Attock Fort
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, April 9: A former federal minister and ANP leader, Azam 
Khan Hoti, who was due to be produced in local accountability court 
No 2 was, instead, shifted and produced in the Attock Fort. Hoti is 
facing charges of large- scale embezzlements in official funds and 
kickbacks in the motorway project.

The said court issued orders of shifting Hoti to Attock Fort from 
where he was remanded to Attock jail by the said court. The judge 
also ordered shifting of the accused from Attock Fort to Peshawar 
central jail. The former bureaucrat is facing charges of selling 
out on throwaway prices a large number of plots in Hayatabad town.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000413
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Usman Farooqui, wife and daughter sentenced
-------------------------------------------------------------------

KARACHI, April 12: Mr. Usman Farooqui, former chairman of Pakistan 
Steel Mills (PSM), Ms Anisa Farooqui and Ms Sharmila Farooqui, wife 
and daughter of Usman Farooqui were sentenced to five year 
imprisonment in a corruption case by Accountability Court.

Ms Anisa Farooqui and Ms Sharmila Farooqui who were on bail were 
taken into custody when Judge Javed Alam announced the judgment. 
Mr. Usman Farooqui is already in custody.

The former Steel Mills chairman was found guilty of corruption and 
accumulation of illegal wealth. His wife and daughter were 
sentenced for hiding the ill-gotten money.

An Ehtesab Reference was registered against the three when an FIA 
team probing into the alleged corruption of Mr. Farooqui recovered 
saving certificates worth Rs. 39.5 million from the possession of 
accused ladies. The case was transferred to Accountability Court 
after the promulgation of NAB Ordinance 1999. - APP

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000415
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Usman, wife, daughter file appeals in high court
-------------------------------------------------------------------

KARACHI, April 14: Former Pakistan Steel Chairman, Dr Usman 
Farooqui, his wife Anisa and daughter Sharmila Farooqui filed 
appeals before the Sindh High Court challenging the sentences 
awarded to them by the Accountability Court No 4, headed by Judge 
Javed Alam. They were convicted and sentenced to 5 years R.I. 
besides confiscation of misappropriated wealth in favour of the 
state in a corruption case involving an amount of Rs39.50 million.-
APP

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000410
-------------------------------------------------------------------
NAB acquires documents against ex-CBR chief
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, April 9: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has 
acquired documents for filing a reference against Mian Iqbal Farid, 
former chairman of the Central Board of Revenue, for issuing 12 
customs notifications allegedly "to the benefit of certain business 
groups," sources said. Mr. Farid is under the FIA custody since Dec 
23 last for un-stipulated charges.

Through a CBR circular to all customs collectorates, details on 
notifications issued for this alleged purpose by the former 
chairman, as per demand from the NAB, were sought from the Customs 
House, Karachi (CHK). The CHK submitted the required details to the 
CBR along with notes indicating revenue implications, which had 
accordingly been forwarded to the NAB, the sources said.

They said the details regarding the beneficiaries of the amendments 
made in the previous notifications through the new ones would also 
be submitted shortly.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000413
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Grenade attack on Imambargah leaves 14 dead
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

RAWALPINDI, April 12: Fourteen people were killed and 30 others 
injured when terrorists lobbed three hand-grenades and opened fire 
with Kalashnikovs at an Imambargah, in Attock district. A Majlis 
was in progress in the Imambargah at the Malohwali village when the 
terrorists made the attack at 10-30pm. Eight people, including a 
policeman, were killed on the spot, two died on their way to 
hospital and the rest succumbed to injuries in various hospitals. 
According to the police, the number of the deceased was 11.

There were conflicting reports about the attack. Eyewitnesses said 
that moments before the attack a flame-thrower was used from the 
other side of the street where the Imambargah was located. They 
alleged that the hand-grenades were thrown from a mosque. Others 
said that the terrorists had gathered outside the Imambargah before 
they threw hand-grenades. According to another version, masked 
assailants first shot dead the policeman when he offered 
resistance. Then they lobbed the hand-grenades on the crowd before 
resorting to shooting. No official version was available.

Following the incident, troops were deployed in various cities and 
towns throughout Punjab.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000414
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Troops deployed in Punjab sensitive areas
-------------------------------------------------------------------

LAHORE, April 13: Troops and police commandos have been deployed in 
all sensitive areas of the province to ensure peace on Ashura day. 
Troops have taken positions and started flag march in all the 
sensitive areas of the province. Chief Secretary Punjab Hafeez 
Akhtar Randhawa told APP that troops are also utilizing the 
services of trained sniffing dogs to help detect suspicious 
objects.

The army will also check the activities of suspects, subversive and 
unscrupulous elements and use these dogs to help identify the 
culprits involved in heinous crimes and trace out their hide-outs.-
APP

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000411
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Former NWFP chief secretary charge-sheeted
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, April 10: The accountability court No. 2, Peshawar, 
charge-sheeted the former chief secretary of the NWFP, Khalid Aziz. 
The judge of the accountability court Attaullah Khan framed charge 
of misuse of authority by Mr Aziz.

He has been booked in a NAB reference for allegedly misusing his 
authority, when he was the chief secretary, to benefit his family's 
personal business - Hayat Furnitures, his spouse is the managing 
director of the firm.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000409
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Osama issue: UN threatens Taliban with more sanctions
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Masood Haider

UNITED NATIONS, April 8: The Security Council has threatened to 
impose more sanctions against Taliban regime if it does not end 
fighting and hand over Osama bin Laden to the US for trial in 
bombing of two American embassies. In a strongly worded statement, 
the Council reaffirmed "its readiness to consider the imposition of 
further targeted measures".

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000411
-------------------------------------------------------------------
New visa rules for Umra from July 1
-------------------------------------------------------------------

ISLAMABAD, April 10: Saudi Arabian authorities have formulated new 
rules for issuance of Umra visa, which will be effective from July 
1, said a source. The ministry of religious affairs here had not 
yet been officially apprised of the new rules, ministry sources 
said.

Under the proposed measures, those desirous of performing Umra will 
be assisted by authorized agencies which will make entire 
arrangements regarding visa, travelling and accommodation in the 
holy land. The agencies, virtually acting like tour operators, will 
also be responsible for sending back all pilgrims after they 
perform religious rites.

The amendment to the rules aims at enhancing revenue receipt from 
existing $3bn to 20 billion annually on account of Umra visits, 
besides effectively checking those foreigners who may slip away and 
seek some petty job instead of returning home. The new rules will 
also prohibit Umra pilgrims from staying with their friends and 
relatives in Saudi Arabia. 

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000413
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Court seeks prompt action on Edhi's application
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, April 12: Maulana Abdus Sattar Edhi selected two sites - 
one each for destitute women and runaway children - near Lahore and 
a three-member bench of the Lahore High Court asked the authorities 
concerned to take prompt action to make them available to the 
philanthropist.

The proceedings, which originated from a petition by Advocate M. D. 
Tahir for protection of runaway children in the wake of killings by 
Javed Iqbal, were adjourned till May 15 to enable Maulana Edhi to 
work out details of his project and finalize a deal with the 
departments concerned.

In a written report, Maulana Edhi said he was shown round three 
sites by the Lahore and Sheikhupura deputy commissioners as 
directed by the court and he thought a 45-acre site between 
Shahdara and Muridke and a 30-acre stretch near Phool Nagar would 
serve his purpose well. But the government must ensure that the 
sites were free form any encumbrance and did not involve any 
litigation.

The bench consists of Justices Khalilur Rehman Ramday, Tasadduq 
Hussain Jilani and Asif Saeed Khosa.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000409
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Lahore runway work to lead to PIA flight rescheduling
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, April 8: PIA anticipates an estimated loss of Rs 20 million 
due to rescheduling of its Boeing 747 flights from Lahore to 
Islamabad and Karachi for 10 weeks starting from April 20 as a 
consequence of the closure of the existing runway to link it with 
the new airport terminal building.

"PIA has rescheduled its international 747 flights from Lahore and 
they will operate from Islamabad and Karachi during the interim 
period. We will try our level best to ensure that our passengers do 
not have to suffer too much inconvenience because of the 
rescheduled plan," Lahore PIA district manager Mahmood Talat told 
reporters at a briefing here on Saturday.

The closure of the runway for 747s will disturb as many as 28 
flights a week - 17 operated by PIA, three by Emirates and four 
each by Singapore and Saudi Airlines.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000410
-------------------------------------------------------------------
15 killed in Kashmir gun battles
-------------------------------------------------------------------

SRINAGAR, April 9: Fifteen people, including nine freedom-fighters, 
were killed in three gun battles between the Mujahideen and 
security forces in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

A defence spokesman said five freedom fighters were killed in an 
encounter with the Indian army at village Pazalpora. In another 
clash, three mujahideen and three paramilitary soldiers were killed 
in village Nasu, near Bandipora town, a police spokesman said. He 
added that three soldiers and three civilians were also wounded.

Four more people were killed in a third gun battle, which took 
place in village Seer, 40km (25 miles) south of Srinagar.-
AFP/Reuters

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000412
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PPL chief's kidnappers get death sentence
-------------------------------------------------------------------

KARACHI, April 11: Ajab Ali Rind and Nazar Mohammed Brohi, Two 
kidnappers of Pakistan Petroleum Limited chief Munsif Raza, were 
sentenced to death by Anti-Terrorism Court No. 3 headed by Arshad 
Noor Khan.

According to the prosecution the accused/convicts kidnapped 
Managing Director of PPL, Munsif Raza on January 22. He was taken 
to a village at the border of Sindh and Balochistan from where the 
accused were arrested after the recovery of Mr. Raza and his jeep.

The accused were sent for trial before ATC-3. The prosecution 
examined 12 witnesses and the judgment was reserved on Monday for 
Tuesday. The accused were also sentenced to serve different terms 
totaling 17 years and were fined Rs200,000 each.-APP

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000412
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Oil well fire: situation termed under control
-------------------------------------------------------------------

HYDERABAD, April 11: Situation at Boby oil field is under complete 
control and there is no cause for concern for villagers in the 
surrounding area, an ISPR press release said. The General Officer 
Commanding, Hyderabad Garrison, Maj-Gen Khalid Munir; the 
Commander, Corps Engineers, Brig Asif Ghazali, and other technical 
military officers visited the site of Well No 6 on Tuesday and took 
stock of the situation. 

They were briefed by OGDCL officials and managing director of Alert 
Disaster Control, a Singapore-based American-Canadian company, 
whose services have been acquired to control the fire. " The amount 
of loss is disastrous. Five to six hundred barrel of oil and 1.5 
million cubic feet gas are burning per day but the situation is 
under complete control and the fire will be extinguished within 10 
days", the visiting military officers were told. "The fire is 
deliberately kept alive because the gas, sprouting out of the well, 
is quite heavy and if left unburnt, it will spread along the ground 
and become injurious to the health of the people of the area," the 
experts added.

The Managing Directed of OGDCL, Mr. Farid; and the Director, 
Planning, OGDCL, Najam Kamal Haider, said they were working in 
collaboration with Alert Disaster Control on a 14-day program.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000415
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Four arrested for setting oil well on fire
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

SANGHAR, April 14: The police claimed to have arrested four people 
responsible for setting an oil well at the Bobby Oilfields on fire 
on April 6 while stealing crude oil.

The SSP, Sanghar, Ghulam Quadir Thobo, at a press conference at the 
Nauabad Police Station told newsmen that Shahbaz Khan Laskani, the 
owner of the land where Well No 6 is situated, had conspired to 
steal crude oil from the well. He also said that several inquiries 
were being made regarding the incident and strict action would be 
taken against those responsible for the negligence.


=================================================================== 
 BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20000415
-------------------------------------------------------------------
WB chief urged to resolve HUBCO dispute
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, April 14: The chairman of the US House International 
Relations Committee, Congressman Benjamin A. Gilman, has urged the 
president of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, to intervene and 
resolve differences between the government of Pakistan and Hub 
Power Company (HUBCO).

According to diplomatic sources, a group of 14 Congressmen, led by 
Mr Gilman, invited the president of the World Bank in Washington to 
their office on April 11 and said that Pakistan government was 
hurling allegations of corruption against HUBCO to "discredit" 
foreign investors.

"The unfortunate end result might well be a complete halt to the 
World bank and IMF involvement and an unwillingness of the private 
sector to cooperate with the Bank in future power sector projects. 
Your prompt and immediate consideration to this issue would be 

greatly appreciated," said the chairman of the US House 
International Relations Committee in his written opening remarks, a 
copy of which was made available to Dawn. He asked for specific 
follow-up actions by the World Bank and urged Mr Wolfensohn to use 
the opportunity of the visit of Pakistan Finance Minister Shaukat 
Aziz to Washington to make progress on this matter.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000415
-------------------------------------------------------------------
IMF wants SBP to validate tax figures
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, April 14: The IMF mission that concluded its revenue 
appraisal has conveyed to Central Board of Revenue that it would 
not accept in future the tax collection figures as valid without 
the counter signature of governor State Bank of Pakistan.

Having rejected the final figures of tax collection for 1998-99 and 
for the first eight months of 1999-2000 as 'fudged', the IMF 
mission sought a validation mechanism for the collection figures 
submitted to the IMF local representative, Dawn learnt from 
official sources.

The governor SBP has been informed that the figures obtained by his 
office from the CBR's directorate of statistics and research (DRS) 
will have to be duly reconciled with the actual deposits.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000414
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Aziz terms meetings productive
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Masood Haider

WASHINGTON, April 13: Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz said that talks 
with the International Monetary Fund were proceeding at a normal 
pace and expressed confidence that the Fund would resume credits to 
Pakistan by June.

He refuted reports that the talks between the Fund and the Pakistan 
government had failed saying "it's an on-going process" and "no 
overnight agreements can be made."

Mr Aziz said in Washington the talks between Pakistani delegation 
and IMF officials would continue in the light of Islamabad's 
discussions after which another IMF mission would visit Islamabad 
next month. "Following that IMF board would meet in June to 
consider Pakistan's package" he added.

Describing talks between IMF officials and Pakistan as very 
productive," he said IMF officials have appreciated the program 
outlined by the government. "It's a step by step process," Aziz 
said, adding "I expect positive results."

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000412
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Washington meeting this week: Talks with IMF team end
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, April 11: The formal talks between Pakistan and the 
five-member IMF review mission concluded without any understanding 
on major economic issues. Official sources told Dawn that the 
mission leader, Ms Sena Ekin, remained non-committal to the 
resumption of IMF assistance. However, she said that she would 
place her recommendations before the IMF's executive board for a 
final decision.

A meeting of the board is expected to be held in Washington during 
the week. Pakistan had requested for the conversion of existing 
$1.5bn-ESAF/EFF loan into a new three-year $2.5billion PRGF 
(Poverty Reduction Growth Facility. But, according to the informed 
sources, the review mission made no commitment to oblige Islamabad 
over the issue.

The Finance Minister, Shaukat Aziz, will be holding another round 
of talks with senior IMF officials. He will be joined by the 
secretary general, Ministry of Finance, Moeen Afzal, and the 
additional secretary and the spokesman of the ministry, Dr Waqar 
Masood Khan. 

The IMF review mission had reportedly objected to the budget 
deficit which has now been placed at 4.4 per cent of the GDP. It 
insisted on bringing it down to 3.3 per cent as agreed upon 
originally for 1999-2000.

According to the sources, the government side kept blaming the 
former finance minister Ishaq Dar for not apprising the IMF 
officials of a true picture. It tried to convince the IMF mission 
that bringing down the deficit to 3.3 per cent was not possible. 
Some officials conceded at the meeting tat the deficit might even 
rise to 5.4 per cent.

Revenues was the other subject on which the two sides failed to 
narrow down their differences. The mission did not agree to reduce 
the revenue target from Rs360 billion to Rs340 billion. Rather, the 
sources said, it called for an increase of Rs5 to 10 billion in the 
original target. The government side contended that it would 
require more time to address the issue adequately.

The two sides also discussed in detail an improvement in the 
banking sector by implementing financial sector reforms program for 
which the World Bank had provided $200 million. In this regard, 
sources said, the SBP governor told the mission that he was seeing 
to it that the branches of all the nationalized commercial banks 
and the Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) were made 
economically viable and that insolvent and loss-making branches 
would be closed down. He reportedly referred to the Habib Bank 
Limited which had already closed down many of its branches.

Pakistan was also advised to reduce its trade deficit which had 
reached $1.3 billion by the end of last month. According to the 
sources, the Pakistan team told the review mission that the 
government was concentrating on boosting exports for which new 
markets were being explored.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000410
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Lowering of tax target IMF rejects CBR proposal
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, April 9: The IMF mission has rejected the CBR's proposal 
of downward revision of tax collection target for the financial 
year 1999-2000 which stands at Rs360 billion. The proposal was 
discussed during the negotiations over the last four days between 
the mission members, conducting the revenue collection appraisal, 
and the CBR officials. 

A sum of Rs238 billion (officially claimed Rs240bn) had been 
collected in federal taxes by the end of March 2000. The amount yet 
to be collected stood at Rs120-122 billion, which, the CBR experts 
indicated, could not be collected. At the best, they said, Rs90 to 
95 billion could be collected in April-June period.

In a communication, made through its local representative in 
Islamabad, addressed to finance minister Shaukat Aziz, the Fund 
experts underlined five major causes for the imminent shortfall and 
suggested corrective measures. The CBR, say official sources, 
however, made a presentation focusing on the proposal for revising 
downward the year's collection target further downward by Rs20-25 
billion.

The IMF experts agreed that they too apprehended a shortfall of 
that amount but advised the CBR to stick to its original agenda of 
attaining a growth in direct taxes and sales tax which formed one 
of the most essential components of the IMF-assisted reform package 
of 1996-97.

This package was to be realized in all aspects by 1999-2000, its 
last component being the GST on retail sector. Other components of 
the program either remain partially implemented or ignored 
altogether. The letter sent to the CBR through the finance minister 
indicates that the measures to be taken for broadening the tax-net 
under the direct taxes and the sales Tax, were not applied as per 
the program.

If these steps are promptly taken, says the communication, "in that 
even a collection of Rs365-370 billion should still be attainable." 
The current fiscal year's target has already been reduced twice 
from Rs380 billion to Rs370 billion, the second time to Rs360 
billion, and now the CBR is looking for bringing it down further in 
the range of Rs340-345 billion.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000411
-------------------------------------------------------------------
IMF for speeding up reforms 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, April 10: The five member IMF review mission headed by 
Ms. Sena Ekin held its detailed internal meeting and concluded that 
the government needed to accelerate the process of economic reforms 
in Pakistan.

Informed sources said the leader of the mission said that she has 
been able to get a first-hand review of Pakistani economy by 
holding extensive talks with senior authorities, specially the 
Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz, State Bank Governor Dr. Ishrat 
Hussain and Sec Gen Ministry of Finance Moeen Afzal.

These sources said the meeting was of the view that the government 
required to boost its revenues, exports and revive sick industrial 
units quickly. It said the process of Balancing, Modernizing and 
Replacement (BMR) of the sick units be undertaken so that the 
country could be able to have surplus industrial production for the 
purpose of exports.

The mission has not decided anything about the government's request 
to convert the $1.5bn ESAF/EFF into the proposed $2.5bn Poverty 
Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). The mission will place 
recommendations about its assessment of the economy before the IMF 
executive board, expected to meet within this month.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000412
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Outside review panel to monitor IMF work
-------------------------------------------------------------------

WASHINGTON, April 11: The International Monetary Fund, responding 
to complaints about its secretive operations, agreed to appoint a 
group of outside experts to monitor its work, an IMF statement 
said. The brief statement said the IMF would work out over the next 
five months exactly how its new evaluation office would work, 
reporting back in time for the IMF's annual meeting in Prague this 
September. IMF board member Thomas Bernes, who chaired a committee 
examining the options, said it would increase transparency at the 
international lender.

Bernes said the new panel would be authorized to examine any aspect 
of IMF activity, including IMF lending in individual countries. The 
fund, which recently has commissioned three independent reviews, 
still would be authorized to call for separate independent 
assessments, and staff would continue to review their actions on a 
regular basis. But some IMF sources questioned whether the new 
review body would be truly independent or if it would just add 
another level of bureaucracy to the IMF.

An independent panel at the World Bank has carried out reviews of 
individual projects, but there have been delays in releasing the 
information and the bank's panel cannot make formal recommendations 
about what bank management should do.-Reuters

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000411
-------------------------------------------------------------------
CBR offer for audit rejected
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, April 10: The Central Board of Revenue has offered to 
the visiting IMF mission to conduct an audit of the tax collection 
for whatever period they chose.

The Fund has been communicating its serious reservations about the 
tax collection figures submitted for a specified period by the CBR, 
and the matter remained to be one of the important issues discussed 
between the currently visiting IMF mission and the CBR officials.

Sources said that the issue was discussed between the Fund mission 
members and the CBR officials at length, the former insisting that 
there did occur a fudging in the first half of the current 
financial year, and for a good part of records on 1998-99.

The Fund members had, in January 2000 pointed out to the CBR that 
as per their calculations, the CBR had not collected Rs 158 billion 
in July-December period, as officially claimed by the CBR. Later, 
in a number of communications, say CBR officials, it was claimed 
that the figures of collection had been fudged by showing certain 
amounts as collected which had actually not been collected. These 
amounts were "promised" by a number of manufacture sector taxpayers 
but were shown on ledgers as collected, without having actually 
received deposits on these counts.

The officials further said that the mission members did not offer 
any documentary evidence in support of their impression regarding 
the figure-fudging but said they were convinced by certain pieces 
of information received in this regard. "They suspect that the 
Customs department officials showed in collection the tax amounts 
on un-cleared consignments, the Income Tax department did so on the 
assessments orders without deposits, and the Sales Tax department 
followed suit by showing un-deposited amounts from the manufacture 
sub-sectors", said a senior CBR official.

He added that the mission members also pointed out that the figures 
obtained from the National Bank sources and those reflected through 
Final Tax Collection Statements on a collection made over an 
examined period, did not tally. The CBR figures were ledgered 
beyond the NBP figures.

"When we pointed out to them that there is a routine practice with 
the NBP not communicating the actual figures of deposits under the 
head of federal taxes for long periods, the mission members did not 
agree. They referred to (about) a year old communication (from the 
Fund to CBR) wherein the CBR was asked to launch a CBR-NBP 
coordination for instant communication of the tax deposits from the 
latter to the former. The CBR had then given out a contract to an 
international firm to bring about this coordination and the Fund 
was informed that the problem had been removed."

After these long drawn argument about fudging charge, the CBR 
offered to the Fund mission to conduct an audit on the figures of 
collection over whatever period they suspected as doctored. "They 
(mission members), however, did not agree, and said the CBR knew 
such a thorough audit needed countrywide checking of tax receipts, 
their date and amount wise tallying at the collecting/assessment 
points and the NBP branches. Since this needed a long time and 
giving out contracts (for auditing) to credible firms, the Fund 
would not be able to accept this offer.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000411
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Protection margins for industry excessive: IMF
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, April 10: The IMF believes that the government was 
offering excessive margins of protection against imports to the 
notified industries and equally excessive rebates to the export 
manufacturing sector.

The IMF officials are reported to have brought it to the notice of 
the Central Board of Revenue officials that, according to their 
calculations, the margin of protection to industries enjoying lower 
tariff rate which is meant for protecting them against cheaper 
imports, has remained far above the actual requirement of the 
relevant sub-sectors over the past three years.

Similarly, they have pointed out that the export rebate rates 
offered to the manufacturing sector for earning foreign exchange 
through exports, have been far in excess of the revenue losses 
incurred in this sector.

Dawn learnt from relevant officials that the IMF mission members 
have reminded to the CBR officials that a major area of (IMF's) 
concerns has been distortions in the procedures for taxation of 
certain areas, including the manufacture sector and taxable 
supplies without registration.

They referred to their communication made last year regarding the 
margin of protection wherein they had asked for thorough analysis 
on the following: irregular notifying of manufacture sub-sectors 
for protection against cheaper imports; existing margin of 
protection enjoyed by them through tariff rate and the amount of 
protection envisaged in the agreed formula (between IMF-Islamabad) 
to these sectors; the amount of deletion of sub-sectors which fall 
in the first lot of industries chosen for rebate rationalization; 
and overall export subsidization notified by the CBR through rebate 
SROs versus the amount of rebate agreed for each export sub-sector.

The mission members brought it to the notice of the CBR officials 
that the revenue losses incurred due to excessive tariff protection 
(over and above the agreed formula) has become one of the most 
irritating issues. They supplied the CBR officials with their 
calculations according to which the reduction of tariff rate for 
the notified protected industries has been far in excess to what 
actually was needed for them.

It has been pointed out in these calculations that no thorough 
exercise was conducted for bringing down the tariff rates in the 
1998-99 budget from 35% to 25 and 15% on recommendations from the 
relevant wings of the ministry of finance. 

The same was the case in the 1999-2000 budget, wherein tariff 
rates for a host of items for the listed (protected) sub-sectors 
were brought down without thorough item-analysis. This practice 
caused (in the Fund's view) losses in Customs Duty in the vicinity 
of Rs 3-4 billion in the first half of the 1998-99 and about Rs 5 
billion in the same period this year.

Regarding the rebate rates for export sub-sectors, the mission 
members are said to have expressed their "surprise" over 
announcement of increased rates on more than 300 items in the 
second half of 1998-99. 

 These rate-increases were not backed by any exercise to 
substantiate that the relevant export sub-sectors did need the duty 
subsidization to that extent, they pointed out.

Sources revealed to Dawn that the Fund experts on import duty 
subsidization have asked for a thorough review of this phenomenon 
and urged CBR to extend all kind of assistance required by the 
international consultants who last week launched a rebate-rate 
rationalization exercise at the Customs House, Karachi.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000413
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Private sector borrowing nose dives
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, April 12: The borrower and the banker tell different 
stories but the theme remains the same: credit flow towards the 
private sector is not picking up. Senior bankers say the private 
sector made a net borrowing of only around Rs28 billion in a little 
less than nine months of this fiscal year-between July 1, 1999 and 
March 15, 2000-against the full year target of Rs104.5 billion. In 
the same period of last fiscal year, the private sector had 
received Rs46 billion of bank credit.

Is it a sign of banks becoming poor? Not at all. They offered Rs25 
billion of net credit to the government during this period. (In the 
comparable period of last fiscal year the government had retired 
Rs18 billion credit instead of making fresh borrowing). So what 
else is holding down the growth of private sector credit.

Businessmen say bankers are still afraid of lending liberally to 
the private sector for fear of being caught for nothing by National 
Accountability Bureau (NAB). Bankers say this is part of the truth. 
The other part is largely reflective of an economic slump.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000412
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Privatization of PTCL deferred
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, April 11: The Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCOP) 
deferred the privatization of Pakistan Telecommunication Company 
with a view to getting a better price for it. The committee 
observed that it would off-load 26 per cent shares of the PTCL with 
the transfer of its management to its strategic buyer when the 
internal and external economic environment was improved, official 
sources told Dawn.

The privatization of the PTCL was on the agenda and one of the 
reasons for its postponement was that the finance minister had left 
the meeting quite early to leave for Washington. Egypt, sources 
said, had shown willingness to take part in the privatization of 
the PTCL.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
000412
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Software exports: State Bank unlikely to offer credit line
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, April 11: Software exporters should not expect banks to 
offer liberal credit because the State Bank is in no mood to create 
a credit-line for this purpose. But the silver lining is that 
state-run banks may allow them slightly increased access to credit 
if they move fast into world markets weathering all odds at home.

"Creating a credit-line as such seems to be out of question- at 
least at the moment," a source close to the SBP told Dawn. He said 
the SBP might consider this if software exports rose to a 
substantial level.

Official statistics on software exports are not available but the 
industry sources estimate them between $15-20 million per year. The 
paltry sum presents a sharp contrast to software export of India 
estimated at $3.5 billion last year.

Senior executives of five lead banks say they seldom finance 
software exports. And when they do that they make sure that the 
exporters furnish personal guarantees or pledge liquid assets or 
real estates as collateral.

They say most of software exporters seeking credit are those with 
no borrowing history that makes it difficult for banks to lend to 
them. Besides only a limited number of exporters meet standards of 
credit worthiness in terms of their projections of cash flow and 
business potential etc.

Local and foreign private banks-though much smaller in size than 
state-run and partly privatized banks-are not that rigid. "The 
reason is our bad loans are not that big. But we too do not offer 
clean credit to software exporters," said a senior private banker.

Bankers close to the SBP say software exports qualify for export 
refinance scheme. The SBP had declared software exports eligible 
for the scheme as early as in March 1997-four months after laying 
down a set of rules for software exports. But people in the 
business say the rules are cumbersome and need to be made simpler.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000415
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Stocks stage smart recovery
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, April 14: The KSE 100-share index showed a smart rally of 
34.56 points at 1,967.01 as compared to 1,932.45 a day earlier as 
leading base shares, notably PSO, PTCL and Hub-Power were massively 
traded.

Leading gainers were led by EFU Life, Knoll, PSO, Kohat Cement, 
Nishat Chunian Nishat Mill and MCB, which posted gains ranging from 
Rs2.00, largest being in Nishat Mills and MCB. Suraj Cotton, Faisal 
Spinning, Umer Fabrics, BOC Pakistan and Glaxo-Welcome also showed 
gains ranging from Rs1.75 to 2.00.

Losers were lead by leading MNCs, notably Engro Chemical, Fauji 
Fertiliser, Shezan International Shell Pakistan and Clariant 
Pakistan, falling by Rs 1.05 to 4.00.

Trading volume rose to 210m shares from the previous 167m shares as 
gainers forced a strong lead over the losers at 137 to 52, with 39 
shares holding on to the last levels.

Ibrahim Fibre, which has been in strong demand over the last about 
two weeks on news of import duty cut topped the list of most 
actives for the first time, relegating other market leaders to the 
secondary position, up Rs1.65 at Rs20.05 on 35m shares followed by 
ICI Pakistan, higher 65 paisa at Rs17.40 on 31m shares, PTCL, firm 
by 45 paisa at Rs31.80 on 25m shares, Dewan Salman, higher Rs1.20 
at Rs55.50 on 20m shares and Dhan Fibre, firm by 75 paisa at 
Rs17.30 on 15m shares.

Other actives were led by Chakwal Cement, unchanged on 11m shares, 
Fauji Fertilizer, off Rs1.05 on 9m shares, MCB, higher by Rs5.20 
also on 9m shares, Sui Northern, up Rs1.05 on 8m shares and Hub-
Power, higher 40 paisa on 7m shares.

DEFAULTER COMPANIES: Trading on this counter was relatively slow 
where only shares of seven companies came in for trading, most 
active among them being Azam Textiles, lower 20 paisa at Rs 1.30 on 
11,000 shares. Other actives were led by Allied Motors, off 50 
paisa at Rs2.50 on 6,000 shares, Crescent Board, up five paisa at 
Rs3.30 on 4,000 shares and Mian Textiles, higher 25 paisa at Rs3.80 
on 3,000 shares.

BOARD MEETINGS: Crescent Spinning and Central Insurance on April 
18, New Jubilee Insurance April 19, Sindh Abadgar's Sugar April 24. 
Market at a glance

TONE: firm, total listed 763, actives 228, inactives 535, plus 137, 
minus 52, unc 39.

KSE 100-SHARE INDEX: previous 1,932.39, today's 1,967.01 plus 34.56 
points.

TOP TEN: gainers Pakistan Refinery Rs7.00, Nishat Mills 5.70, MCB 
5.20, EFU Life 3.60,Knoll 3.45.

LOSERS: Clariant Pakistan Rs4.00, Shezan International 4.00, Shell 
Pakistan 1.70, Engro Chemical 1.55, Maqbool Textiles 1.50.

TOTAL VOLUME: 209.449m shares.

VOLUME LEADERS: Ibrahim Fibre 35.367m, ICI Pakistan 31.478m, PTCL 
24.589m, Dewan Salman 20.152m, Dhan Fibre 15.171m shares.

Back to the top
=================================================================== 
 EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20000414
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pity the Pakistani people
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ayaz Amir

THE people of Pakistan - not ones to be put down by repeated 
assaults on their intelligence - braced themselves for the start of 
a grand national awakening after the tumultuous events of October 
12. What they have received instead is a lesson in confusion and 
drift they will long remember.

They were looking for heroes. They have been given a cast of 
characters, from those in the national security council and the 
federal cabinet down to the provincial governments, about as 
exciting as a collection of sleeping pills.

Forgetting past experience and putting their badly-bruised faith in 
the vows of their latest saviors, they expected a dramatic form of 
house-cleaning that would make the future safe for effective and 
sustainable democracy. They have been rewarded with the legal 
nightmare of General Amjad's attritional accountability.

They expected the Mians and the Zardaris to be knocked out of the 
political arena. They are seeing instead that the leaden-footed 
march of the new regime is helping keep these discredited figures 
politically alive.

Pity the English-speaking middle classes who saw hope in the two 
puppies that General Musharraf held in his arms for the benefit of 
foreign photographers. They are learning the hard way that vision 
and a broad mental horizon entail more than puppies and well-cut 
suits.

The people of Pakistan expected a new beginning. Consider the 
deepening well-springs of their disenchantment when the tap-water 
(and not the old wine) being served to them comes in ancient 
bottles.

The people of Pakistan were not expecting miracles. Let us be clear 
on this point. They just wanted the assurance that the country 
finally was set on the right path. Imagine their sense of dismay as 
they watch the Chief Executive and his colleagues dissipate their 
energies on inconsequential things while leaving larger issues 
untouched.

It is easy, and tempting, to exaggerate Pakistan's misfortunes. But 
this is no exaggerating matter. If there were an instrument to 
check the national pulse all it would show would be dejection and 
despair. If in six months this is where the country has been 
brought, where will it be in a year and a half when General Naqvi 
finishes, or so at least he assures us, with his district 
devolution plan?

Fierce partisans apart, there is no longer any fervid popular 
interest in the fate of Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto or the 
future prospects of Begum Kalsoom Nawaz or Punjab's little Hitler, 
Mian Shahbaz Sharif. But there is also no great appetite for seeing 
the army make, for the fourth time in historical succession, a hash 
of things.

The national predicament is indeed baffling. In war college what 
are budding Montgomerys and Rommels taught? I suppose one of the 
lessons for higher commanders would be to concentrate on the larger 
picture. General Musharraf's reforming government has been doing 
just the opposite: instead of concentrating on strategy (the larger 
picture) it has been chasing every rabbit that runs across its 
path. For every problem, from canal-cleaning to economy 
documentation, the Generalissimo's answer is simple: send in the 
troops.

Nothing is achieved because half the time officers and men do not 
even understand the problems they are asked to solve. But the army, 
as the source of power, attracts the blame reserved earlier for the 
mandarin and the politician.

Not having an eye for the larger picture also means that there is 
no sense of priorities. The primary and the secondary, the 
important and the unimportant, get mixed together. This can have 
fatal consequences for a country with limited resources and an 
infinity of problems.

Having seized power in 1917, Lenin was faced with a stark choice: 
prosecute the war against Germany (Russia being a part of the anti-
German alliance) or consolidate the Bolshevik Revolution. Over the 
objections of his colleagues, Lenin opted for peace even though it 
came in a humiliating package. But Lenin was clear in his mind. 
Safeguarding the revolution was more important than riding the 
horse of misplaced nationalism.

Mao did much the same thing during the Long March. He traded 
territory for survival. The Red Army escaped encirclement in order 
to fight another day.

What are our priorities? Setting our house in order or emulating 
the feats of Genghis Khan? We have to make up our minds because we 
cannot have it both ways. Courting regional isolation because of 
our identification with the Taliban and encouraging a strange mix 
of extremist factions to keep alive the fires of insurrection in 
occupied Kashmir are aims at odds with the task of national 
reconstruction. This scarcely means Kashmir be abandoned. Only this 
that the Kashmiris themselves should lead their fight for 
independence.

As for our nuclear capability, it fits in with nothing. It does not 
enhance our security and only gives us a false sense of self-
importance.

All the same, if the army was the natural party of government our 
quest for political stability would come to an end. The army could 
set up a General Political Department and political parties could 
be required to register with it. The more eligible politicians 
could then jockey for position under the army's umbrella.

But if Pakistan's history makes anything clear it is that although 
politicians can ignore the army's point of view only at their 
peril, the army cannot lead politics from the front. Influencing 
events from the sidelines is a different thing altogether. 
Accordingly, despite illusions to the contrary, the army is not the 
natural party of government.

But what is to be done when politicians left to their own devices 
also turn out to be unqualified disasters?. It is not only Nawaz 
Sharif and Benazir Bhutto who are to blame. Without delving too 
much into the past, suffice it to say that anyone in a position of 
power in the last 20 years has contributed to the national mess: 
Ishaq Khan, General Aslam Beg, the late General Asif Nawaz, Farooq 
Leghari, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah. Power went to the heads of all of 
them. Besides, to a man, they were bereft of anything approaching 
vision. It is thus not the failure of individuals which is the 
issue but the bankruptcy, intellectual and moral, of an entire 
class.

What then should a new beginning (that people were expecting after 
October 12) have consisted of? Nothing more radical than a quick 
round of house-cleaning - swift, visible and, if such was the need, 
arbitrary - followed by a quick restoration of a hopefully 
chastened democracy. One caveat, however. The completion of this 
agenda would have required, for a brief period, a military-
political partnership in order to take Pakistan out of the woods.

There is of course no shortage of democratic purists who will scoff 
at the notion of any such partnership. Such people will never stick 
out their necks for anything but to hear them talk in the safety of 
their homes or through the anonymity of the internet (the internet 
having spawned more heroes than any recent invention) is to marvel 
at their bravery. In politics, however, what is workable is more 
relevant than the ideal.

Even so, how can a military-political partnership come about? Its 
first condition is a sense of urgency that Pakistan is at a cross-
roads and cannot afford a wrong turning. Its second condition is a 
measure of wisdom and understanding. These conditions have to be 
met before we can think of scaling the mountains.

But where is the sense of urgency? The Chief Executive should be at 
his desk trying to work out the causes of things. Instead, like all 
Pakistani saviors, he is acquiring a taste for foreign travel. And 
where is the sense of any wisdom? Where the army should be 
concentrating on a few select problems, it is spreading itself 
thin. Where it should be working on a restricted schedule it has 
set out on a road with no clear end in sight.

Six months ago there was a sense of hope in the country. Far from 
being mourned, Nawaz Sharif's departure was greeted with a sigh of 
relief. Everything seemed possible in that hour. That euphoria has 
vanished. The corrosive cynicism which is the hallmark of the 
Pakistani middle class has risen to the surface once again.

Can a rescue operation be mounted? Can some of that hope be 
rekindled? Can the strands of a military-political partnership be 
put together? The signs are not promising. While the challenges 

facing Pakistan are great, the national response to them is 
pathetic. Adding to the pervading gloom is the thought that the 
golden moment of opportunity which General Musharraf had is lost 
forever.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000415
-------------------------------------------------------------------
All in the family
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Irfan Husain

IS NOTHING sacred? Must just about everything and everybody in 
Pakistan be tainted by sleaze? Can't we even make a film about 
Jinnah, the founder of the country, without accusations and 
counter-accusations?

The production itself was mired in controversy as everything from 
the original surreal script to the choice of Christopher Lee to 
play the Quaid was questioned in the press. In the face of this 
raging debate, the government decided to withdraw its financial 
support. To his credit, Akbar S. Ahmad, the moving spirit behind 
the project, persevered and finally prevailed. Last year, the film 
was completed and has since been shown to a few select audiences. 
Not being part of this august company, I will withhold critical 
comment until have seen the movie; however, audience response has 
been somewhat mixed.

Although the film is due to be finally launched in Pakistan later 
this month, it has yet to be accepted by a major distributor 
abroad. Meanwhile, the Guardian of London ran a major story last 
month carrying serious allegations of financial impropriety by 
those responsible for raising funds for the project and authorizing 
expenditure. Apparently, Jamil Dehalvi, the director and producer 
of the film, has sued Akbar S. Ahmad and has made a a number of 
serious allegations in articles he has written for various 
Pakistani publications.

For me, the most shocking charge was that not only did Akbar Ahmad 
charge 50,000 pounds for himself as "writing fees," he also doled 
out 70,000 pounds to his son and his son-in-law. On top of this, 
his wife is the managing director of the Quaid Project. None of 
these accusations have been denied by any member of the family. 
Akbar Ahmad's money went into an offshore account which is pretty 
fishy in itself.

All this would have been par for the course in a country that has 
witnessed a depressing amount of corruption at the very highest 
levels. But what makes it all so much worse is that after the movie 
was made, this government appointed Akbar Ahmad our high 
commissioner to the United Kingdom. Initially this was perceived as 
a good move as he was generally well regarded in academic circles 
in Britain because of his TV series on Islam as well as his 
anthropological studies (hence the nickname "anthro-panthro" 
bestowed on him by columnist Khalid Hasan).

Now, however, this government is in the highly embarrassing 
position of having its representative to the Court of St. James's 
dragged through British courts on charges of sleaze, Presumably, 
members of his family will also be called upon to testify. It goes 
without saying that, given the nature of the case, the media will 
have a field day.

Apart from the unsavory financial details that have surfaced, Akbar 
Ahmad's intellectual integrity has also been questioned as it has 
been alleged by Dehlavi that although the former did not contribute 
to the script, he has claimed equal credit for it with the 
director. In actual fact, it appears that Farooq Dhondi was the 
principal scriptwriter, and he agreed to stay in the background. 
However, now that the matter has become public, Dhondi has 
confirmed his role in the film.

Quite apart from the legal, artistic and intellectual questions 
raised by the Guardian article and the subsequent publicity, the 
most pressing issue to my mind is the morality involved in paying 
large sums to close relatives who have no qualifications for the 
work they have been paid for. How can somebody with a lifetime of 
government service behind him be unaware that such rank nepotism is 
unacceptable even in Pakistan? and since most of the money for the 
film was raised abroad, surely our high commissioner should have 
maintained an even higher standard of probity.

In her somewhat disjointed and confusing defence published in the 
monthly Herald, Mrs Zeenat Akbar Ahmad has stated that the money 
received by her husband was put back into the project. This is good 
to know, but some documentary evidence would have been more 
convincing. She justifies the payments made to her son and son-in-
law as being in the interest of the project. She does not, however, 
tell us their qualifications for this work. Dehlavi is categorical 
in dismissing their contribution to his film.

Nepotism is endemic in our part of the world, and people think 
nothing of giving jobs, junkets and contracts to close relatives 
when they are in positions of authority without seeing anything 
wrong with this practice. One would have expected that as a 
scholar, serving civil servant (now a diplomat) and somebody with 
much exposure abroad, Akbar Ahmad would have refrained from doing 
the desi thing of putting his whole family on the project payroll. 
Unfortunately, the temptation of furthering family interests at the 
expense of the film seemed to have proved too powerful to resist, 
and the project is in danger of entering the long and dishonorable 
list of scams made in Pakistan.

This is a pity because I am sure Akbar ahmad had entirely honorable 
intentions when he started off to make the film. Virtually from the 
time Attenborough's film "Gandhi" made such an impact on the world 
nearly 20 years ago, he has been dreaming of producing a cinematic 
response based on Mr Jinnah's life and struggle. To have achieved 
his goal and then get bogged down in such a sleazy saga is as sad 
as it is unnecessary.

What makes this scandal specially reprehensible is that the subject 
of the film was a man of such absolute and towering integrity. Not 
even his worst enemy has ever accused him of fiscal impropriety, 
and if he was seen as uncompromising, it was because there were no 
skeletons in his closet. For his name to be associated with a 
project that has become the center of controversy, even 
posthumously, is a national disgrace.

Both Akbar Ahmad and his wife have tried to brush off these 
accusations as being part of a plot concocted by the "Indian lobby" 
to discredit him and the film. I'm afraid this is not good enough a 
defence. Surely this lobby did not make him involve his immediate 
family in the project and pay themselves large amounts of money. 
The fact that the foreign office has recently written him a strong 
letter pointing out various financial improprieties alleged to have 
been committed by him would seem to indicate that where there is 
smoke, there is a fire. Incidentally, the press reports carrying 
excepts of this letter have not been denied or contradicted.

No Pakistani could derive any pleasure at the unfolding of this 
saga, but it is in the nation's best interest for the government to 
intervene before it turns into an even bigger international 
scandal.


===================================================================
SPORTS
20000414
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Poor batting lets down Pakistan
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Qamar Ahmed

KINGSTOWN, April 13: Pakistan batting failed to come to terms with 
the variable bounce of Arnos Vale pitch in the triangular one-day 
series. Chasing a target of 214 in 50 overs, Pakistan were 
devastated by the Jamaican fast bowler Franklyn Rose, who bagged a 
career best haul of five for 23 to bowl the tourists out for only 
117 in 41.3 overs.

After containing the West Indies for 213, the target of just over 
four runs an over was made to look a huge struggle by Pakistan's 
inept batting. Their fragility and the gaping hole in their batting 
line-up was fully exposed as wickets one batsman followed another.

If not for a solid and defiant unbeaten 51 in 94 deliveries by the 
in-form Inzamam-ul-Haq the outcome could have been even more 
embarrassing. His partnership for the sixth-wicket with his captain 
Moin Khan (20) was the only resistance that Pakistan could offer 
after losing five wickets for just 41 runs in twenty overs.

Imran Nazir had no clue when a delivery from Curtly Ambrose reared 
at him and got the inside edge to wicket-keeper Ridley Jacobs in 
the first over.

Shahid Afridi hit one in the air and was caught at mid-off by Philo 
Wallace off Reon King after making five. Younis Khan (15), like 
Afridi, looked impetuous and committed the same blunder as he 
pulled and mistimed Rose to King at mid-on to Reon King. In the 
same over, Yousuf Youhana flicked one to leg off Rose and held at 
short square leg by Wavell Hinds before he had scored. Rose then 
forced Abdur Razzaq to play on to his stumps for two. The bald pace 
bowler later accounted for Moin Khan (20) and Wasim Akram in his 
second spell.

Later local by Nixon McLean picked up two wickets in one over to 
signal the end. Earlier, West Indies, after having won the toss, 
were restricted to 213 for seven in the allotted 50 overs as 
spinners Mushtaq Ahmed, Arshad Khan and medium-pacer Abdur Razzaq 
bowled a tight length to bag two wickets each.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000413
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Rose destroys Pakistan
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Monitoring Desk

KARACHI, April 12: A career-best five for 23 by Franklyn Rose 
helped West Indies beat Pakistan by 96 runs in Kingston's. The West 
Indies, defending a modest 213, shot Pakistan out for 117 in 41.3 
overs to record their third straight victory.

Pakistan restricted the West Indies to 213 for seven in the 
triangular one-day series fixture. Pakistan succeeded in keeping 
the West Indies scoring under check due to some tight bowling by 
their spinners, Mushtaq Ahmed, Arshad Khan and paceman Abdur 
Razzaq. The three equally shared six wickets between them.

The West Indian openers Philo Wallace and Sherwin Campbell put on 
49 runs in 14 overs before being parted by leg-spinner Mushtaq 
Ahmed who bowled the former off googly for 21.

Soon after the 50 was hoisted in the 15 over, the West Indians lost 
the wicket of Campbell who was caught at first slip by Inzamam-ul-
Haq off Razzaq for 22 in the 17th over.

Wavell Hinds and Jimmy Adams the shared a stand of 87 at a snail's 
pace to take the score to 138 in the 41st over. By then Pakistan 
bowlers were well in control of the situation.

Wavell Hinds, who survived a run-out when Yousuf Youhana hit the 
stumps from mid-wicket, went on to make 40 but consumed 82 balls 
and managed to hit a solitary boundary. He was finally bowled round 
his legs by Mushtaq Ahmed.

In Mushtaq's one over, however, nine runs were taken as Adams and 
Christopher Gayle attempted to increase the scoring rate. Adams 
added 32 with Gayle for the fourth wicket before being caught 
sweeping Arshad Khan but not before he had made 50 with only one 
four off 87 balls. In the same over, Arshad accounted for Gayle as 
well who was taken off a loose shot at cover by Imran Fazil for 15.

In the 46th over West Indies were 171 for 5. Ricardo Powell was 
caught at long-on by Younis Khan off Wasim Akram who was playing 
his first match of the tour.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20000410
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan in upbeat mood after Sharjah triumph
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Lateef Jafri

After its resounding success in the Sharjah triangular the national 
cricket squad appears to be in an upbeat mood to take up the 
challenge of Zimbabwe and West Indies in the Cable and Wireless 
tri-nation competition in the Caribbeans. Who would have expected 
that the crestfallen side, having been decimated at home by the Sri 
Lankans earlier in the one-dayers and two of the Test duels, would 
stage a revival in their next schedule of engagements and would 
even bring to earth such globally top-rated outfit as South Africa.

One thought that Javed Miandad, having taken over as coach just 
eleven days ago and before the launch of the Sharjah contest, had 
made an over-optimistic statement by saying that his team had 
started peaking. Maybe he wanted to encourage and back up a team 
which had gone to the Gulf sheikhdom without a trusted and 
experienced opening batsman and when the physical fitness of some 
of the players was doubtful. Miandad may have come out with his 
assessment in line with the building-up policy of the cricket 
board. An effort, whether successful or not, is being made to 
search for new batting and bowling talent to confront the 
lightweights and heavyweights of world cricket.

In Sharjah they were on the point of being written off as a team 
without resilient qualities, verve and vigor, when they were 
outplayed by India, a pack having a mediocre bowling strength, and 
South Africa, in the first two tournamental ties. However, in both 
the matches the newcomer Imran Nazir displayed the soundness of a 
seasoned campaigner and had exhibited the gift of finding the gaps 
in the fields. One was happy that at last the problem of a partner 
for Saeed Anwar, trying to get back his fitness, has been solved. 
The clash against South Africa in the first match may have been won 
but for the ill-planned drafting into the set of off-spinner Shoaib 
Malik, whom the Springboks faced without any discomfort when they 
were made to sweat for every run, even though the target to be 
chased was just 197. 

According to Press reports and electronic media commentaries the 
outcome of the match was still unpredictable when Waqar Younis gave 
away 11 runs in an over and it was all over bar the shouting. But 
weren't two clicks of Boje that went to the fence, though difficult 
chances should have been snapped up by wicket-keeper-captain Moin 
Khan? The complexion of the game would have completely changed and 
the South Africans may have been pushed to the wall.

If Miandad's early and over-rated estimate is to be taken as valid, 
the team did not look back after the two initial setbacks. India 
could hardly parry the menacingly fast stuff of Waqar Younis, 
previously shunted out of the squad or brought in, for reasons 
better known to cricket officialdom to beef up an inadequate 
attack. In reply to a Pakistani total of 272 for 3, India, despite 
the presence of Tendulkar, could with much difficulty reach 174 for 
7 in 50 overs. Pakistan took a sweet revenge in a game which was 
enjoyed by the spectators for the scintillating stroke-play of 
Younus Khan (44), the unbeaten century of Inzamam, an equally fine 
display of batsmanship by Yousuf Youhana (56 n.o.) and glorious 
bowling of Waqar.

The searing speed of Shoaib Akhtar in his fourth over just 
shattered and destroyed the South Africans when they were 
proceeding comfortably ahead to cross a simply easy target of 169. 
>From 74 for 1 the Springboks were reduced to 74 for 4. After this 
superb and sublime effort Shoaib could only send down five more 
deliveries, aggravating his groin injury. South Africa surrendered 
for only 101 runs, failing in the match by 67 runs. Pakistan broke 
a 14-match losing streak against South Africa.

Though the penultimate tie should have been a dress rehearsal for 
the final as Pakistan had suddenly been installed as a favorite 
from an under-dog, there were still doubts among Pakistan's 
supporters for its batting had been mostly frail except for the 
match against India. However, in the final the openers, Imran Nazir 
and Shahid Afridi, played sensibly and responsibly to put on 121 
during their first-wicket stand. It was a solid base. There were 
other significant contributions from Inzamam (53), Yousuf Youhana 
(26), and Abdur Razzaq (28), to take the total to a respectable 
263. Perhaps the score may have soared to 300 but Inzamam, as 
usual, was slow in running between the wickets. But there was no 
sense in out-of-form Moin Khan preceding Razzaq in the batting 
order only to return to the pavilion after making just two runs, 
three South African batsmen viz, Cronje, Boucher and McKenzie 
batted splendidly to make a valiant bid for their side's success. 
In fact, for a time it appeared that the McKenzie-Cronje 
partnership would remain unseparated and take their team to the 
shores of victory. Later, Boucher played briskly and boldly but his 
effort too went in vain.

In the final, as against India, Waqar's venomous pace of alarming 
velocity, with control over line and length, shook the South 
Africans in their shoes. In his second and third spells he was 
almost unplayable and even though the last over, (the 10th one), 
was rather costly he removed Pollock to end any chance of the 
rivals' win. Still the South Africans tried hard and lost the match 
by just 16 runs to make it a thriller as the fans desired.

Waqar Younis deservingly got the man of the final and man of the 
competition awards. Like Shoaib in the earlier match he sent back 
three batsmen when the South Africans, at 198, were sailing 
comfortably towards the victory target.

One hopes that the Imran Nazir-Shahid Afridi combination clicks 
even in the Caribbean campaign. Now that Younus Khan, Inzamam and 
Yusuf Youhana have struck form and have played gutsy knocks in 
Sharjah the fans expect them to display their wristy strokes in the 
Cable and Wireless one-dayers and later on in the Tests against the 
West Indies.

One notes that the captaincy is proving rather straining for Moin 
Khan as in Sharjah his contributions had been 14, zero, zero and 
two. He had been sadly out of form after the World Cup. It is a 
surprise to all how he has forgotten to demonstrate his aggressive 
and belligerent style. As a wicket-keeper too he has been found 
wanting and numberless chances have gone abegging to the 
discomfiture of the onlookers.

It was good to see Arshad Khan perform well enough in the absence 
of the reputed Saqlain. Since Shoaib Malik lacks the experience and 
the necessary training of international exposure one hopes the 
officials do not induct him in the main squad for he still has to 
learn the delicate art of spin and often he proves costly to the 
detriment of his team.

After the Sharjah triumph the tails of the Pakistani cricketers 
must be up and they are supposed to give a good account of 
themselves in the triangular there, the first such contest in the 
West Indies. Even in the Tests their chances should be taken as 
bright for the West Indies also are in the building-up process. 

Both their bowling and batting departments are on trial.

Last season Pakistan had a good record against the West Indies in 
Toronto and in the Champions Trophy of Gulf. There is no reason why 
the national team does not repeat its success over the Caribbeans 
after the impressive win achieved against Zimbabwe.

The national set is a blend of youth and experience. Coach Miandad 
has to see that the ground work and catching of the players show 
improvement. Even the running between the wickets is below par.

In any case one expects thrilling combats on far-away venues of the 
West Indies.

------------------------------------------------------------------- 
You can subscribe to DWS by sending an email to 
<subscribe.dws@dawn.com>, with the following text in the BODY of your 
message: subscribe dws

To unsubscribe, send an email to <unsubscribe.dws@dawn.com>, with 
the following in the BODY of you message:
unsubscribe dws
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Back to the top.

Dawn page

Webbed by Philip McEldowney
Last update: Friday, 16-Oct-2009 10:08:20 EDT.