------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 26 August 2000 Issue : 06/32 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Mori asks Pakistan, India to sign CTBT + Musharraf, Mori hold wide-ranging talks + Commanders evaluate vital issues + Fresh ceasefire in 2 months likely: Hizb + Policy to recover arms soon: Moin + SHC dismisses Nawaz's application + Bangladesh's envoy to deliver Hasina's message to CE + C'wealth to seek polls within three years + Civil service set-up being reshaped + Govt lodges protest with India + Parties oppose Kalabagh dam + Human resource uplift top priority: Rs5bn IT policy unveiled + PPA amendment: GDA to move court + Nawaz no longer PML chief, says Shujaat + CBR seeks copies of boarding cards + Medical colleges seats in Sindh cut by 10% --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Privatization Commission gets Rs630m offer for three LPG units + CE wants revival of sick units + Dollar sturdy despite SBP intervention + Punjab restores 12.5 acres ceiling: Agriculture income tax + Deal on debt relief in second session: IMF + World Bank lauds devolution plan + Turnover tax cut to 1%: Stock amnesty scheme from Sept 1 + $85 million investment projects approved + Limited funding by Japan likely + External debt reaches $29.52bn, says report + Traders agree to return tax forms + KSE 100-share index loses another 19.08 points --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Fellow-man Ardeshir Cowasjee + Who should be pointing out the lies? Ayaz Amir + Gateway to peace Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Abdur Razzaq excels as Pakistan reach final of Singapore Cup + Dubai series called off + No cricket in Toronto this year

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NATIONAL NEWS
20000823
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Mori asks Pakistan, India to sign CTBT
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NEW DELHI, Aug 22: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori on Tuesday
called upon Pakistan and India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban
Treaty (CTBT) and resume talks aimed at bringing stability to South
Asia.

In an interview with the Times of India, Mr Mori said: "It is
extremely important that both India and Pakistan sign the CTBT
towards preventing nuclear proliferation."

The interview was conducted before he left on Aug 19 for his
ongoing South Asian tour.

"I hope to see progress during my visit in this end," said Mori.

Regarding any easing or lifting of sanctions, the premier said
Japan would "continue to carefully watch progress made regarding
nuclear non-proliferation, including the signing of the CTBT".

Mori, who will hold talks in New Delhi with Prime Minister Atal
Behari Vajpayee and other Indian leaders on Wednesday, said it was
also essential for Pakistan and India to resume talks, frozen since
the Kargil conflict.

"The relationship between India and Pakistan is important to
establish peace and stability in the region," he said.

"I strongly hope that both India and Pakistan will overcome their
difficulties and resume dialogue."-AFP

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20000822
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Musharraf, Mori hold wide-ranging talks
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Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, Aug 21: The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, on
Monday assured Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori that Pakistan
would always act in the most responsible manner in the nuclear
field and would not be the first to break its moratorium on nuclear
tests.

Islamabad would be open to any offer to intercede on or mediate in
the Kashmir dispute with Delhi as has been repeatedly stated
earlier, the Foreign Office spokesman told a news briefing.

At their formal talks, the CE urged the Japanese premier to assist
Pakistan in relieving the debt burden. Mr Mori reiterated that full
economic relations, including the aid, would have to wait till
Islamabad adhered to the CTBT and nuclear non-proliferation.

The CE informed the Japanese premier that the economic sanctions
imposed on Pakistan were a serious handicap in its efforts to
recover and restructure its economic and political affairs. Tokyo
and several other industrialized countries had slapped those
sanctions on Islamabad after its nuclear tests in response to
India's in May, 1998.

Mr Mori, however, indicated some relaxation in reviving the aid
held in pipeline. In this connection, Spokesman Riaz M. Khan said,
the funding from Japan would be available for the under-
construction Kohat Tunnel.

The talks held on the second day of the Japanese leader's visit
were satisfactory from Islamabad's point of view and reflected no
reservations on the part of Mr Mori to see promotion of all-round
relations between the two countries, said the spokesman. Pakistan,
he added, was satisfied with the tone and contents of the
discussions.

In reply to questions, Mr Riaz said the Japanese PM had commended
the domestic agenda of Gen Musharraf and his vision about the
political and economic recovery.

Mr Mori had also appreciated the "vigorous efforts" for
implementation of the domestic agenda and showed understanding of
the circumstances that had led to the change of the government in
Islamabad in October, though emphasizing the need for
"reintroduction" of democracy.

Mr Mori had hoped that the military government would adhere to the
time-frame set by the Supreme Court to introduce democracy after
the legal and political reforms by the end of 2002. He had
explained the strong Japanese sentiments against nuclear
proliferation because of having suffered the nuclear catastrophe in
the World War-II.

The Japanese PM had hoped that while Pakistan was yet to adhere to
the CTBT, it would stick to its moratorium against further testing.

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20000820
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Commanders evaluate vital issues
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Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Aug 19: The two-day corps commanders conference
concluded here on Saturday after reviewing a host of issues
pertaining to national security and defence, an inter-services
public relations (ISPR) spokesman in a statement said.

The conference, presided over by the chief executive, Gen Pervez
Musharraf, on the second day mainly focused on the defence-related
issues, Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi said.

The conference, held at the general headquarters (GHQ) at Chaklala
in Rawalpindi, was also attended by all the principal staff
officers.

The military top brass discussed the operation preparedness of the
armed forces and other professional matters. Issues pertaining to
internal and external security also came under discussion, the
statement said.

In the conference detailed briefings were given about the
professional training, including enhancement of air defence
capabilities of the armed forces, it added.

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20000823
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Fresh ceasefire in 2 months likely: Hizb
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SRINAGAR (Occupied), Aug 22: Kashmir's frontline guerilla group
Hizbul Mujahideen said on Tuesday a new ceasefire was possible
within two months but denied plans for secret talks with the Indian
government.

"Efforts at the international level are on to remove the
bottlenecks and impediments coming in the way of resumption of a
dialogue," Hizb's field commander in Kashmir, Abdul Majid Dar, told
the local CNS news agency.

"I am confident that the ceasefire will again come into force
within two months" Dar said.

"Hizbul Mujahideen is fully aware of the wishes and aspirations of
the people (of Kashmir) and that is why it is desirous of the
resumption of talks with the Indian government."

The Hizbul ended a 15-day unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir on August
8 after India refused its demand to include Pakistan in peace
talks, demanding Islamabad must first suspend its support for the
armed insurgency in the disputed territory.

In his latest remarks, Dar, 50, said the freedom struggle, which
has left more than 25,000 people dead in Kashmir since 1989, will
not end without Pakistan's involvement in tripartite talks.

"Whatever solution comes out of the trilateral talks will be
acceptable to my organisation irrespective of whether the solution
is in favour of India or Pakistan", Dar told CNS.

"India should realise that Pakistan is an important party to the
Kashmir dispute. Without its participation, the resolution to the
dispute cannot be sought," he said.

Dar said that several people had offered to play a role and try to
end the deadlock. He also appealed to Kashmir's political parties
to help "create a congenial and conducive atmosphere for the
resumption and successful culmination of negotiations."

Dar rejected suggestions that a secret dialogue between the Hizb
and India was on the cards.

"There is no question of holding secret talks with New Delhi.

"We believe in transparency, and whenever talks will take place
they will be open and the media will be aware of it," Dar said.

Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah had said on Monday that Hizb
was preparing to open a secret dialogue with the government of
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

"Abdullah should act in a realistic way and adopt a policy which
will bring the parties nearer to each other rather than create
mistrust," Dar said in the interview.-AFP

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20000823
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Policy to recover arms soon: Moin
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ISLAMABAD, Aug 22: A new policy to recover arms and free the
society of violence will be made public in the next two years,
Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider said on Tuesday.

The minister told the newsmen that the task force constituted for
the purpose had completed work and he would be holding a couple of
meetings with concerned officials after which it would be submitted
before the cabinet for approval.

He said data had been collected about how arms licences had been
issued by the interior ministry and similar data was being
collected from the districts to know the exact number of licences
issued so far.

As for police reforms, Lt-Gen (retd) Haider said details had been
given for the devolution plan. Some other aspects of improvement in
the police system were being looked into.

Regarding the posting of ASPs at police stations he said their
service structure, recruitment and training were under
consideration. He said initially ASPs would be posted at police
stations of major urban centres and some rural areas.-NNI

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20000822
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SHC dismisses Nawaz's application
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Shamim-ur-Rahman

KARACHI, Aug 21: A full bench of the Sindh High Court on Monday
dismissed the deposed prime minister, Nawaz Sharif's application,
seeking adjournment of proceedings of three appeals in the plane
hijacking case.

Mr Sharif had sought the adjournment of the appeals till he obtains
clarification from the Supreme Court regarding its judgement in
Syed Zafar Ali Shah's case in which the SC had declared that the
removal of Gen Pervez Musharraf as chief of the army staff and
chairman joint chiefs of staff committee was illegal.

The full bench, comprising Chief Justice Saiyed Saeed Ashhad,
Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany and Justice Wahid Bux Brohi, also
ordered for holding the hearings in the appeals against the April 6
judgment of an anti-terrorism court from Aug 28 on day-to-day
basis.

The application was filed by Ejaz Hussain Batalvi on behalf of Mr
Sharif after an objection was raised by the Sindh advocate-general,
Raja Qureshi, last Wednesday on Azizullah Shaikh's contentions that
the appellant's action of removing Gen Musharraf was legal and that
he was an "ousted COAS."

Mr Batalvi had contented that the entire incident was spread over
three hours and the Supreme court's judgement, being relied upon by
the prosecution, "has nothing to do with those three hours."

The bench observed: "At this stage it would not like to express any
view on the matter and that the proceedings should continue during
which both sides will be free to refer to the record and to the law
in any manner.

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20000823
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Bangladesh’s envoy to deliver Hasina's message to CE
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ISLAMABAD, Aug 22: Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary C.M. Shafi Sami
arrived here on Tuesday to deliver a message of Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina Wajed to the Chief Executive General Pervez
Musharraf, diplomatic sources said.

Heading a two-member delegation, the special envoy of Bangladeshi
prime minister will hold formal talks with Foreign Secretary Inam-
ul-Haque. He will also call on Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar.

Pakistan and Bangladesh are the members of 7-nation South Asian
Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) that also includes
Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and India.

The biennial SAARC summit was scheduled in the Nepalese capital
Kathmandu in November 1999 but was indefinitely postponed due to
Indian intransigence citing change of government in Pakistan.

Islamabad has called for immediate convening of the SAARC summit
and suggested expansion of its charter to include political issues
in its fold.

According to diplomatic sources, Bangladesh is interested in the
holding of overdue SAARC summit and Sami's visit is taking place on
the personal initiative of Sheikh Hasina.

The Bangladeshi foreign secretary visited New Delhi on August 6 and
conveyed Sheikh Hasina's letter for Indian Prime Minister Atal
Behari Vajpayee.-APP

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20000826
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C'wealth to seek polls within three years
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Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD, Aug 25: Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon said
on Friday he would ask the chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf,
to hold election before the three-year deadline set by the Supreme
Court.

"We are beginning a series of discussions that should result in
elections well inside three years time," Mr McKinnon told a press
conference soon after his arrival here.

Even two years timetable could be addressed during these meetings
beginning on Saturday, the secretary-general said, adding that he
would convey to the CE the Commonwealth's concern for an early
restoration of the constitutional and democratic rule.

Being the secretary-general of the Commonwealth, he said, he was to
make contact with the military regime that had overthrown an
elected government, and to hold discussions with it to bring
Pakistan back as a full member of the Commonwealth.

He said his discussions on a return to the democratic rule would be
in the context of establishing a timeframe in which Pakistan could
be brought back into the councils of the Commonwealth.

During his stay in Pakistan, Mr McKinnon said, he would also meet
leaders of different political parties to seek their views on the
political situation.

About the possibilities of Pakistan's expulsion from the
Commonwealth, he said membership of the countries coming under
military rule had been suspended in the past but so far no such
nation had been expelled.

He said he would also discuss with the CE the forthcoming local
government election and the devolution plan.

He disclosed that Pakistan foreign minister had been invited to the
Commonwealth foreign ministers' meeting in New York during the
first week of September to explain the position of his government
on these issues and also to respond to the concerns of the
Commonwealth ministers.

Mr McKinnon indicated the Commonwealth might extend technical
assistance to Pakistan for restoration of democracy and added that
discussions on holding a fair and free election had already
started.

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20000822
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Civil service set-up being reshaped
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Aug 21: The military government is reshaping the civil
service structure of the country to the extent that even the fate
of some of the most important services/groups is in limbo, it is
learnt.

According to sources the groups like district management group,
office management group, secretariat group and military land and
cantonment group may not figure in their present shape, if not
abolished altogether, in the future civil service structure of the
country.

The services like Police Service of Pakistan, Foreign Service of
Pakistan, income tax group and customs and excise group are also
under-going structural changes.

This massive restructuring has left a very large number of the
civil servants into complete disarray. Uncertain about their own
future and completely dark about the shape of their service,
majority of these civil servants do not show much interest in their
assignments.

According to sources the recently unveiled devolution plan has put
the fate of the DMG at stake by proposing the abolition of the
centuries old divisional/district administrative set-up.

The new system of district government does not recognize the office
of deputy commissioner which has always served as a linchpin for
the DMG. With the abolition of the offices of commissioner, deputy
commissioner and assistant commissioner, the DMG will lose the
actual base of its cadre posts.

According to sources the very existence of the DMG is in question
as the newly created office of district coordinating officer under
the district government has not been specified, exclusively, for
the DMG officers.

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20000826
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Govt lodges protest with India
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Aug 25: Pakistan has lodged a strong protest with India
over trespass of the residence of an official of its high
commission in New Delhi.

According to foreign office spokesman six intelligence officials
barged into the residence of an air adviser in the Pakistan High
Commission in the Indian capital on Friday and carried out an
"unauthorized" search.

"India has geared up its harassment campaign against Pakistani High
Commission officials in total violation of Vienna convention on
diplomatic relations", he said.

"At around 1100 hours (0600 GMT) today, six persons in civilian
clothes forced their entry into the residence of the air advisor
and carried out unauthorized search," the foreign office said in a
statement.

The leader of the group introduced himself as Bindra, deputy
commissioner of police in the Central Bureau of Investigation, it
said.

It came a day after India expelled a Pakistan high commission
employee on "baseless charges", he said.

Pakistan immediately lodged a strong protest with Indian government
on Friday.

The protest was handed to a senior Indian diplomat who was summoned
to the foreign ministry, the spokesman added.

India asked Pakistan on Thursday to withdraw Malik Mohammad
Rafique, an official of the high commission in New Delhi by Aug 31.

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20000822
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Parties oppose Kalabagh dam
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Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, Aug 21: All major political parties of the three
provinces - Frontier, Sindh and Balochistan - have once again
unanimously rejected the proposed construction of the Kalabagh dam,
an issue reopened by the military rulers, at the "Anti- Kalabagh
Dam: Seminar" organized by the Awami National Party at Nisthtar
Hall here on Monday.

They had questioned the constitutional position of the present
government and said the constitution was in abeyance, while the
government had no legal, moral and constitutional grounds to re-
open a debate on a dead issue like Kalabagh dam. Of late, three
elected provincial assemblies of Sindh, Frontier and Balochistan
had passed unanimous resolutions against the construction of the
dam, they added.

ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, Begum
Nasim Wali Khan, Pakhtoonkhawa Qaumi Party chief Afzal Khan, Sindh
Awami Tehreek president Rasool Bakhsh Palejo, Sindh Taraqi Pasand
Party president Qadar Magsi, Social Democratic Party president
Gulzar Ahmed, Balochistan National Party's leader Hasil Khan
Bizenjo, Balochistan National Movement chief Dr Abdul Hayee Baloch,
PPP Frontier chief Khwaja Mohammad Hoti, PPP deputy secretary Syed
Khursheed Shah, chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
Afrasiab Khattak, Mustafa Rizvi, a former MQM senator and other
representatives of the Jamiat Ulema-i- Islam, Pakistan Muslim
League spoke against the construction of the dam.

According to the newspaper reports, HRCP chairperson Afrasiab
Khattak said, all important decisions were taken at corps
commanders' meetings in Rawalpindi.

He asked: "Do corps commanders represent a central committee of a
political party. Who has empowered them to decide about the basic
issues confronting the nation. If the military will indulge itself
into the politics, then the politics will spoil its body," he
warned.

Mr Khattak warned that military government's decisions were gross
violations of human rights and in today's world these violations
were not confined to a particular country. The world had witnessed
the treatment meted out to Serbs in Kosovo and the Indonesian army
in East Temore, he added.

He called upon the government to leave this issue (the dam) for the
future elected governments, otherwise it could be placed at the
United Nations agenda for its massive destruction of economy and
ecology in Sindh and Frontier.

Begum Nasim Wali Khan said it was a gathering of the people who had
a positive approach on collective national issues. "We are affected
people. We have one agenda to resist the usurpers and to fight for
common cause.

None of the military dictators, she said, had succeeded in
uprooting Pakhtoons in the name of Kalabagh dam and neither the
present would be allowed to play havoc with the life of people in
Frontier.

She thanked politicians who came to Peshawar to attend the seminar.

Asif Ali, a local engineer, said it was not a workable project and
everywhere the governments had abandoned the idea of making huge
and big dams. He quoted a western expert saying "large dams are
built by dame fools".

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20000824
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Human resource uplift top priority: Rs5bn IT policy unveiled
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Aug 23: The government has unveiled an information
technology policy, allocating Rs5 billion for the development of
the IT and telecommunication sector.

Speaking at a press conference here on Wednesday, the federal
minister for science and technology, Prof Attaur Rehman, said that
under the policy, which had already been approved by the federal
cabinet, four IT universities and one virtual IT university would
be set up. He added that a faculty of IT teachers and professionals
would be engaged from abroad.

The minister said a National Testing and Accreditation Service
would be set up to ensure quality IT education and training.

A written press statement containing the salient features of the
policy said the government had committed Rs5 billion for the IT and
telecommunication sector for 2000-2001. Rs2 billion, it said, had
already been allocated as a block allocation.

The minister said IT boards would be set up in all the provinces.
He added that the government would include local software houses in
public projects.

He said that for the development of the hardware industry the
government would waive duties and taxes on the import of hardware,
and would offer incentives aimed at reducing the cost of raw
material and inputs.

Mr Rehman said that for the growth of the internet, unnecessary
regulations would be avoided and its provision at low cost would be
ensured.

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20000824
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PPA amendment: GDA to move court
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Nasir Malick

ISLAMABAD, Aug 23: The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) has rejected
the amendments in the Political Parties Act (PPA) and decided to
challenge them in court, a spokesman for the alliance told
reporters here on Wednesday.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the alliance, presided over
by the veteran politician, Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, at the
Pakistan Peoples Party's central secretariat here today.

It was attended by the heads and representatives of 18 political
and religious parties and groups.

The alliance also expelled Tehrike Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehrik
from its fold after accusing them of "deviating from the GDA
policy." The two parties had decided to boycott the meeting.

The Nawabzada, who briefed reporters after the marathon session of
the alliance, said that the member parties were of the unanimous
view that the recent amendments in the PPA were aimed at minimizing
the role of the political parties. Hence, it was decided to
challenge the amendment in the court.

The amendments bar a convicted person from holding any party office
which ostensibly affect two major political parties - Pakistan PPP
and PML (N) - as heads of the two parties have been convicted by
the courts.

"No individual can be given a right to reject the leaders of
political parties," the Nawabzada, who was flanked by PPP leader
Amin Fahim and ANP leader Asfandyar Yar Wali at the briefing, told
reporters.

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20000825
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Nawaz no longer PML chief, says Shujaat
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Mohammad Yasin

RAWALPINDI, Aug 24: Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said on Thursday that
Nawaz Sharif was no longer the head of the PML in the wake of the
recently amended Political Parties Act.

At the Meet the Press programme of the Rawalpindi Press Club,
Chaudhry Shujaat said his sympathies were with Nawaz Sharif but the
fact was that he (Nawaz) could no longer claim to be the president
of the PML following his conviction in two cases and the amendments
made to the PPA.

As far as the PML constitution was concerned, he said, there could
be no acting president in the party.

In reply to a question whether Begum Kulsoom should be made the
president, the former interior minister disagreed with the idea. He
remarked that Raja Zafrul Haq was the "most suitable" candidate for
the top slot.

Raja Zafrul Haq, he said, was not interested in contesting the
election for the party presidentship. He, however, cautioned if any
one else was made the president, it might be challenged in a court
of law.

Chaudhry Shujaat appreciated the services Nawaz Sharif had rendered
for the party. He demanded restoration of assemblies.

Referring to storming of the SC, the PML leader said that people
had been brought from Lahore for that purpose. He named the then
chief minister Shehbaz Sharif in this regard. He said that in his
capacity as the interior minister he had tried to stop it but he
could not succeed.

He announced that the PML would take part in the local bodies
polls.

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20000821
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CBR seeks copies of boarding cards
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Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Aug 20: The Central Board of Revenue has requested the
interior ministry to submit copies of all boarding cards on
international flights for matching the travel expenses of Pakistani
passengers with their income figures declared with the tax
department.

The request was made last Saturday by Pakistan Revenue Automation
(PRAL), which is responsible for data analysis on tax survey and is
assisting the CBR in detecting tax evasion.

Official sources told Dawn that the PRAL was also approaching the
provincial vehicle registration authorities to supply records on
ownership of all the 1300CC and above vehicles, to check whether
they were registered as taxpayers.

Similarly, the government and private schools, charging more than
Rs1,000 fee per child, are also being approached through the
federal and provincial education departments, to supply the details
on children/parents, their residential addresses, and the annual
fee charged from them.

The government, semi-government and private housing societies would
also be asked to submit their data on leasing, land-deeds and
acquisition for matching these with the existing records on
taxpayers, to check whether the buyers and lease-holders of
land/houses are paying taxes. If they are paying do their declared
sources of income tally with the money with which they have entered
such deals.

Official sources said that those steps were necessitated after
finding "glaring" discrepancies in the declarations on the prices
and rents of residential buildings in the posh areas of 13 major
cities.

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20000822
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Medical colleges seats in Sindh cut by 10%
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Nizamuddin Siddiqui

KARACHI, Aug 21: The Sindh health department has decided to reduce
by 10 per cent the number of seats to be offered for admission by
the five public sector medical colleges of the province this year.
Next year also there will be a similar reduction.

The decision has been taken because even the better-known colleges
like the Dow Medical College do not have necessary staff and
infrastructure.

 The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) says that at best
the medical colleges are capable of imparting education to 250
students per batch.

A source toldDawnthat the health department had been considering
for the last two years a proposal for reducing the number of seats,
but it was not implemented due to political pressure.

Provincial Health Minister Ahsan Ahmed confirmed on Saturday that
this time there would be a reduction in the number of seats.

The five government-run medical colleges offer each year 1,574
seats for admission under various categories. A total of 1,211
seats are reserved for the open merit category and the rest for
'quota categories'.

If there is a reduction in the number of seats this year the
medical colleges will be offer-ing admission to only 1,417
students. And the total number of merit seats will decrease from
1,211 to 1,090.

Last year the Dow Medical College and Sindh Medical College
admitted 511 students under the open merit category. This year the
two institutions are likely to offer, under the same category,
admission to only 460 students.

The health minister told this reporter on Saturday that in the
past, the number of seats had been increased in the medical
colleges without keeping in view the available infrastructure and
strength of the teaching staf."And often these decisions were taken
due to political reasons more than anything else," he said.

The minister said that a chief minister, not too long ago, had
suddenly increased the number of seats to be offered for admission
by the Liaquat Medical College (LMC) from 350 to 666. "The decision
was purely a political one. And the step was taken on the basis of
the discretionary powers that this CM had," said Mr Ahmed.

"And not enough was done to increase the faculty strength, etc, in
the college. As a result, the academic standard suffered." He said
that his ministry was trying to reverse this trend.

In response to a question, the minister said that the number of
seats was being reduced " because we want to improve the academic
standards in the government-run medical institutions. There's no
other reason."


=================================================================== 
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20000825
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Privatization Commission gets Rs630m offer for three LPG units
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Aug 24: The Privatization Commission received a total
offer of Rs630 million when the LPG business of three state-owned
companies came under hammer on Thursday.

The bidding of LPG business of Sui Southern Gas Company was closed
at the highest Rs369 million offered by Caltex. SHV, another
private firm, offered Rs140 for PSO's LPG business, while Petrosin
won the bidding of SNGPL at the highest offer of Rs121 million.

In the afternoon, the PC met to evaluate the bids and made its
recommendations for the Cabinet Committee of Privatization (CCOP)
which would accept or reject the bids. The bidding was held at a
local hotel in presence of all the representatives of the
prequalified companies and the media. PC chairman Altaf Saleem said
the presence of some international players at the bidding was an
encouraging sign and a reflection of growing confidence of
international investors in the country's economy.

Mainly, he said, the gas quota of these companies had been
auctioned while the machinery and equipment component was
negligible.

He said the PC had received a good response. Ten companies had been
initially pre-qualified for the bidding, and six of them turned up.

Mr Saleem said that the CCOP would finalize these transactions
within one week. When asked whether the privatization of the LPG
business would have any impact on the prices, he said the
government had already deregulated the gas business.

Mr Saleem informed the PC meeting that the chief executive had, in
principle, approved the privatization of PIA. He said the
government would keep on adding more public sector companies in the
two list of the units to be privatized.

The meeting reviewed the bidding results of the LPG business, and
called for resolutions from the respective boards of the companies
before obtaining final approval from the CCOP.

It discussed the appointment of financial advisors for divestment
of government's working interest in nine oil and gas discoveries.

Members of the commission, S.M. Naseem, Khalil Mian, Saquib H.
Shirazi, Zafar Ali Khan, and others attended the meeting.

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20000824
-------------------------------------------------------------------
CE wants revival of sick units
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Aug 23: The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, on
Wednesday called for efforts to generate economic activity, said an
official statement.

Presiding over a meeting of his cabinet he said that investors
should be motivated to invest in different sectors, it added. The
sick industrial units should be revived to create more jobs and
generate more funds, the CE said. Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz
briefed the cabinet about his negotiations with the traders on tax
survey and other related issues.

The chief executive appreciated the efforts of the minister in
resolving the issue. It was observed that the tax survey campaign
was progressing satisfactorily and the government was moving
successfully towards achieving the target of documentation of the
economy.

Gen Musharraf said the performance of the ministries should be
projected properly so that the people could know what the
government was doing for their betterment, revival of economy,
elimination of corruption and for curbing the smuggling, said an
official statement.

He directed them to explain the devolution plan to the people in
its true perspective and spirit. "The people need to be informed of
the special values and benefits of this programme. How people at
the grass roots level are being empowered to run their own
affairs," the CE said.

He said, the people should also be informed as to how the
politicians in league with the bureaucracy have been playing havoc
with the nation. And how under the new system, the people at the
grass roots level would become masters of their own destiny after
becoming financially and administratively independent.

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20000822
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Dollar sturdy despite SBP intervention
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Aug 21: The dollar climbed up to Rs55.10/ Rs55.20 in
inter-bank market on Monday against the weekend close of Rs54.40
/54.50-losing 70 paisa in one session. The State Bank intervened in
the market but the intervention failed to fortify the rupee.

Senior bankers said the SBP intervened when the dollar had shot up
to Rs55. The intervention reined in the galloping greenback and
held it firm at Rs54.70 for some time.

But the small intervention soon lost its grip on the greenback that
rose again and reached the heights of Rs55.10 and Rs55.20 at the
end of the day. There was no official word on intervention but
senior bankers said it pumped in no more than $5-6 million in the
market.

This was the second intervention after the State Bank removed an
unofficial cap on inter-bank exchange rates free floating the rupee
on July 20. On July 27, the SBP had intervened after the dollar had
risen to Rs53.65. The intervention estimated around $1.5-3 million
had forced the dollar down to Rs53.35 at the end of the day. But
that small intervention had produced the desired result because it
was accompanied by a surprise inspection of some banks reportedly
engaged in creating artificial shortage of the dollar.

This time the intervention was not supplemented by such moves.

The reverberations of the inter-bank market were felt also in the
open market where the greenback closed at Rs57.25/Rs57.35:

On weekend the dollar had traded between Rs57.15/57.25. The open
market normally reacts to inter-bank fluctuations the next day.

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20000823
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Punjab restores 12.5 acres ceiling: Agriculture income tax
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

LAHORE, Aug 22: The old ceiling of 12.5 acres land holding for
exemption from agriculture income tax has been restored in the
Punjab.

The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, on Tuesday issued
necessary instructions in this regard to the Punjab governor.

In the current year's budget, the tax ceiling was reduced from 12.5
acres to five acres for generation of more funds.

Inaugurating a kissan mela at Company Bagh, Sheikhupura, the chief
executive said that the old ceiling was being restored in the
interest of the growers.

The governor, Lt-Gen Mohammad Safdar, Corps Commander, Lahore, Lt-
Gen Khalid Maqbool, Punjab Agriculture Minister, Khurshid Zaman
Qureshi and senior civil and military officials were also present.

Gen Musharraf credited the farmers for enabling the country not
only to achieve self-sufficiency in wheat but also producing one
million tons surplus crop for export.

The chief executive defended the newly-introduced local government
system, saying it would empower the people and help them change
their fate. He said now funds would be available at the district
level and the district governments would be able to approve
development projects according to their own requirements.

Enumerating the positive aspects of the new system, he said the
women had been given more representation on the local councils. He
asked the women to take part in the new system to be able to play
their due role in the national affairs.

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20000823
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Deal on debt relief in second session: IMF
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Jawaid Bokhari

KARACHI, Aug 22: The visiting IMF technical team, now busy in
preparing a financial table indicating the overall economic
picture, will be followed by another mission to negotiate
conditionalities for Pakistan to qualify for funding and debt
relief by the Paris Club, sources say.

The table is expected to be ready, after completion of talks with
federal and provincial governments, by the end of the current
month. On the basis of this table, the sources say, quarterly
targets will be set for compliance or indicated in areas where some
degree of flexibility becomes unavoidable because of variable
factors.

Any accord with the IMF will not, therefore, be applicable before
the second quarter of the current fiscal.

The sources say the visit of the second IMF mission in the current
fiscal to negotiate the IMF programme can only take place after the
financial table is ready as a reference and starting point for any
negotiations, for which Fund officials may either arrive in
Islamabad by the end of August or early September.

In case the talks conclude on a positive note, the IMF will also
broker a debt relief deal with the Paris club. The IMF would
develop an overall package which would include rescheduling of
bilateral debts.

Multilateral loans are preferred debts and no relaxation in
repayments are allowed.

The negotiations between the two sides earlier this year, after an
impasse of one year, was seen as the first step towards an
anticipated new and perhaps augmented facility from the Fund. These
discussions helped Pakistan evolve policies that correspond to the
IMF prescription for crisis-ridden economies.

Experts agree that the budget 1999-2000 is primarily
"stabilization" effort rather than growth oriented with focus on
poverty alleviation.

A substantial cut in the fiscal deficit, from 6.1 per cent to 4.6
per cent of the GDP, has been proposed for the current fiscal, with
an eye for multilateral assistance. The IMF prefers stabilization
to growth. However, government borrowings are still a source of
concern for IMF officials.

Sources close to the IMF say the budgetary policies have been
appreciated by the Fund because they are generally in line with the
IMF approach to the solution of the country's problems except for
minor deviations. Though ambitious, the Fund officials believe that
the tax revenue target of Rs436 billion is more creditable than any
of those presented by the previous government. Similarly, there is
a realization that it is for the first time in several years that a
concerted effort for poverty alleviation is being mounted.

With the critical negotiations with the IMF just round the corner,
the State Bank has removed the unofficial band for inter- bank
dollar trading and has allowed free float of the rupee to create a
conducive environment for talks.

The visit of the next IMF mission, carrying a mandate to negotiate
conditionalities on economic and fiscal issues has been preceded by
a dialogue with the visiting Japanese prime minister on political
problems between Pakistan and the G8 industrialized states.

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20000823
-------------------------------------------------------------------
World Bank lauds devolution plan
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Aug 22: The World Bank praises the military government's
initiative on devolution plan and also lauds its efforts to build
Kalabagh dam but without showing any sign of financial assistance.

Influential diplomatic sources told Dawn that the World Bank agreed
that the Kalabagh dam was the most viable project to be pursued by
the government. The bank, however, is reluctant to offer financial
assistance required to construct the dam if finally decided by the
government of Pakistan.

The World Bank, these sources said, was of the view that it would
not be in a position to offer around $6 billion to Pakistan, for
the purpose of constructing the dam, when the country is already
under huge foreign debts.

The World Bank is also said to be happy with the unveiling of the
military government's devolution of power plan and believes that
this initiative will have positive impact in the development of the
country.

It is said that the World Bank also supports the strengthening of
the local government institutions and has been pursuing successive
governments in Pakistan to protect these democratic institutions at
grass root level through a constitutional amendment.

According to sources the Bank had also demanded the devolution of
power from provinces to the local governments, in one of its
reports submitted before the government of Pakistan during the
recent years.

The WB, it is said, believes that the frequent dissolution of the
local government institutions and the appointment of hand picked
administrators could never solve the problems faced by the masses.

The Bank has also demanded of the government of Pakistan to
abolished the offices like commissioners and deputy commissioners
which are used by the provincial government to influence the
democratically elected local government institutions.

All major subjects like health, education, planning and development
etc should be handled by the local government institutions instead
of the provincial governments.

The Nawaz Sharif government, which was asked to implement WB's
recommendations, had though not implemented these proposals
forwarded by the Bank, the NRB formulated a plan which matches the
international donor's objectives.

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20000823
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Turnover tax cut to 1%: Stock amnesty scheme from Sept 1
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, Aug 22: Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz here on Tuesday
announced reduction of turnover tax rate for the wholesale and
retail traders from 2 per cent to 1 per cent for one year, and also
announced the launching of stock amnesty scheme operative for one
month, from Sept 1 to 30th, 2000.

Representatives of the trade bodies from all over the country, sans
NWFP, met him to conclude a package for these two trade sub-sectors
which have been agitating against the documentation of their
turnovers and profit-sources under the existing rules.

"The traders have assured the government that now they will
cooperate in the documentation process, pay tax in accordance to
the agreed formula, and maintain record-keeping on their sales-
purchases", said Shaukat Aziz.

He added that the traders will now fill monthly tax returns as
"enrolled" (not registered) persons, and will be bound to declare
volume and value of their stocks by the end of each quarter (four
times a year). "In view of their specific status of non-registered
persons, they will now pay 1% turnover tax, but will be charged one
and half per cent additional sales tax on their purchase" as a
penalty stipulated under the law for non-registered persons.

"We will step up our campaign to register all businesses under the
GST regime after arriving at an agreement with the trade sector to
bring them under a specific mode of documentation. The
documentation of economy survey is now being extended to 13 more
cities", said the minister.

The retailers will now get their undeclared stocks documented under
the Tuesday agreement by paying 2% of the actual volume of stocks-
in-trade. A new facility allowed to them is that a variation of 15%
will be applied in determining the taxable stocks (at 2%), each
year. The Gross Profit Rate for determining the income tax amount
in each case of trade and business will not be applicable in
future. The formula of Net Profit Rate will be adopted for this
purpose at the rate of 3.5%.

Retailers' stocks will be multiplied three times for calculation of
their Net Profit Rate, while the wholesalers' stocks will,
initially, be multiplied 6 times, until a new package is announced
for them. Wholesalers and jewellers have been promised a separate
package of taxation with simplified documentation and "attractive
rate" under the Tuesday agreement, which would be announced
shortly.

The agreement envisages that the trade bodies' nominees would be
accompanying each of the survey teams, during their visits for
distribution and retrieval of the survey forms, at each of the
markets in 13 major cities and, after extension, in 26 towns of the
country.

A partial immunity from audit operative under self assessment
scheme has been allowed to traders but their demand for increasing
the exemption limit for assessment of turnover from Rs1-3 million
has not been accepted. Stocks put up for declaration under the
formal will be subject to audit at the discretion of the tax
authorities, wherever necessary.

The retailers' NPR at 3.5%, as proposed by the trade bodies, has
been agreed, with the condition that the NRP rate for wholesalers
would depend on categories of traders, and that details on this
count would be finalized through further negotiations.

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20000822
-------------------------------------------------------------------
$85 million investment projects approved
-------------------------------------------------------------------

ISLAMABAD, Aug 21: The Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) met
here on Monday with Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz in the chair and
approved various investment projects worth $85 million.

Commerce Minister Razak Dawood stated that this was in addition to
the investment of $500 million under way in the textile sector,
which would modernize the sector to produce high value-added
products to meet the challenges of the international market. This
would also create jobs and promote exports, he added.

The meeting reviewed progress on the implementation of 16
investment projects worth $210 million and noted with satisfaction
that trans-national corporations like Sony, Copula, Daihatsu,
Hyundai, McDonald and Nike had plans to increase their investment
in Pakistan.

The meeting directed the concerned ministries and agencies to
expedite the pending proposals by the end of September.

Earlier, the finance minister said that Board of Investment had
been re-activated under the new chairman, Wasim Haqie. The next CCI
meeting will take place in September.

The meeting was attended by the ministers for commerce,
communications, food and agriculture, health, petroleum and natural
resources.-APP

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20000822
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Limited funding by Japan likely
-------------------------------------------------------------------

ISLAMABAD, Aug 21: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori in his
talks with the chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, on Monday
expressed concern over terrorism and nuclear non-proliferation, and
hoped that Pakistan would not undertake further nuclear tests under
its self-imposed moratorium.

A senior Japanese foreign ministry official told a news briefing
that Mr Mori had informed his host that Japan would seriously
consider a limited resumption of funding, which was in the
pipeline, for the Kohat Tunnel in view of Pakistan's nuclear
testing moratorium. He, however, had indicated that wide issue of
aid resumption and economic relations remained linked to signing of
the CTBT by Pakistan.

Mr Mori was the first Japanese PM to visit Pakistan after a lapse
of 10 years when Mr Toshiki Kaifu came here. The official said Mr
Mori had suggested renewal of economic and political dialogue
process after the long break and said that the Pakistan foreign
minister might visit Tokyo during the current fiscal year for the
purpose.

The official said the Japanese prime minister was not here as an
intermediary between the two South Asian neighbours, though his
next stop would be Banglore.

The reference to Kashmir by Mr Mori at his meeting with the CE, the
official said, was made while recalling the G-8 statement made at
the end of the Okinawa summit last month, urging Pakistan and India
to resume the Lahore dialogue process to reduce tension.

The Musharraf-Mori talks were spread over two sittings and they
were described as "cordial and constructive" by the official.-H.A.

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20000824
-------------------------------------------------------------------
External debt reaches $29.52bn, says report
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Aug 23: Pakistan's external debt on May 31, amounted to
$29.520 billion of which $23.611 billion was long-term and $1.484
billion short term, says a report on the economic situation sent by
Pakistan to the international donors this week.

The foreign exchange reserves stood at $1.352 billion at the end of
June, against $1.729 billion on June 30, 1999, showing a decrease
of 21.8 per cent. The exchange rate (Pak rupee-dollar interbank)
for June averaged Rs52.05, showing a depreciation of 0.7 per cent
over the exchange rate of Rs51.70 in June 1999. Foreign currency
account situation is reflected by the fact that $68.7 million were
converted into rupee and special dollar bonds from frozen FCA in
May. Of this, the conversion in rupee amounted to $42.3 million
(61.6 per cent) and $26.4 million were converted into special
dollar bonds (38.4 per cent).

The balance under FCA scheme is constantly decreasing. In May, the
balance amounted to $3.055 million, of which the resident accounts
were $1.374 billion (45 per cent) and the remaining 55 per cent
belonged to non-resident accounts.

Workers' remittances during 1999-2000 amounted to $983.7 million
against $1.060 billion in the previous year, indicating decline of
7.2 per cent.

It says that the current account deficit during July-April 1999-
2000 narrowed by 36.1 per cent to $1240 million over the level of
$1940 million of the comparable period last year. This was caused
by a reduction in trade deficit (FOB) and substantial rise (42.9
per cent) in private transfers.

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20000821
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Traders agree to return tax forms
-------------------------------------------------------------------

LAHORE, Aug 20: The traders have assured the military authorities
that they will return tax survey forms by Aug 27.

The assurance was given at a meeting of the representatives of
various trade organizations and army officials at the garrison
headquarters here on Sunday.

The traders' representatives also assured that they would extend
all out cooperation to the government in its efforts for
documentation of the economy.

Brig Nadeem asked the traders not to take the law into their hands.
He said that the government would not compromise on the
documentation issue and would complete the task at all costs.

He said: "We are trying to accomplish the task smoothly and in an
atmosphere of brotherhood." He hoped that the traders would not
become a tool in the hands of the "anti-state" elements and those
having "vested" interests.

He said, "in the past we adopted lenient policy for those traders
who violated the law, but from now onward we will adopt, 'no
negotiations' policy, with such elements. He said the role of the
armed forces was of a facilitator and we sent all the suggestions
received from traders to the quarters concerned.

He said the army personnel were working with the survey teams to
keep a check on the CBR officials, so that they could not harass
the traders unnecessarily.

Nevertheless, the army was working to facilitate the traders as a
"fair broker". He said it was encouraging that the process of
return of survey forms was going on and almost 60 per cent forms
had been received.

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20000826
-------------------------------------------------------------------
KSE 100-share index loses another 19.08 points
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Aug 25: The KSE 100-share index on Friday narrowly escaped
to breach through the barrier of 1,500 points as some of the
leading base shares managed to finish modestly recovered but the
underlying sentiment continues to be highly shaky in the absence of
strong demand.

What ails the market is now pretty difficult to fathom but one
thing appears certain that "it is not only the victim of slack
demand and there could be some more pressing negatives", floor
brokers said.

After breaching the barrier of 1,500 points at one stage, the KSE
100-share index finally finished at 1,500.97 as compared to
1,519.87 a day earlier, showing a net loss of 19.08 points.

The predictions that the sell-off of the LPG quotas of PSO, Sui
Southern and Sui Northern, the three state-owned units will lure
investors back in the market did not prove correct as auction bids
are said to be far below the officially fixed minimum selling
price, analysts said.

The bids amounted to Rs630 million, with Caltex Corporation being
the highest bidder for the Sui Southern's quota at Rs369 million
followed by SHV Energy Pakistan, Rs140 million for PSO and Petros
in Rs121 million for Sui Northern Gas.

Whether or not, the cabinet committee will accepts the auction bids
will be known during the next couple of days but the privatization
commission has already sent the report to it with its comments.

"The sell-off of the LPG quota could well prove a forerunner of the
massive privatization programme involving about four dozen state-
owned units valued at $4 billion", analysts said "hoping investors
will be back in the market after their tax worries are over".

The prevailing prices of both Sui Southern and Sui Northern below
Rs20.00 are quite attractive for long-term buying as they could get
the needed boost after the outcome of their LPG quote are out, they
added.

However, unlike the previous two sessions, all was not bad with the
broader market as some of the selected shares attracted good
support under the lead of Fillips despite fall in interim sales to
Rs 1.288bn from the previous half year's Rs1.402bn but on the other
hand Pakistan Gum Chemicals rose modestly to Rs175m from the
previous Rs158m.

The market decline was led by the energy sector where all the
leading shares suffered fresh decline on renewed selling, Shell
Pakistan, Pakistan Refinery, Pakistan Oilfields being the leading
losers. However, it was said to be profit-taking at the higher
levels and has nothing to do with any negative news. But the
largest fall was noted in Nestle MilkPak, which remained under
post-dividend selling.

Textiles shares followed it, major losers being among them being
Ishaq Textiles, Sapphire Fibre and Fazal Textiles, falling by
Rs2.50 to 5.00.

Other leading shares, which suffered fresh decline included Al-
Meezan Investment Bank, Adamjee Insurance, General Tyre, Millat
Tractors, Engro Chemical, and Lever Brothers, falling by Rs2.50 to
12.00.

Some leading shares managed to show fractional gains but lacked
aggressive support from any quarter.

DEFAULTER COMPANIES: Trading on this counter remained insipid in
the absence of demand. Al-Qaim Textiles was, however, an exception,
which came in for active buying and was quoted higher by 45 paisa
at Rs2.45 on 9,500 shares.

DIVIDEND: Century Insurance interim at the rate of 10 per cent for
the year ended June 30, 2000.

Back to the top
=================================================================== 
EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20000820
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Fellow-man
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ardeshir Cowasjee

MUCH to our comfort, press headlines in the Republic of Pakistan
scream no more. They whimper. For instance, let's have a look at
yesterday's four main English-language morning newspapers of
Karachi.

Dawn : A six-column wide headline at the bottom of the page read
"Musharraf says he will stay on as COAS." In the text of the PPI
news item, dateline Tokyo, he is quoted : " 'I am not retiring. I
am not going to retire in October 2001.. . . . . ..', the General
said . . . . dismissing speculations that he was planning to enter
politics and stay in power beyond the deadline set by the apex
court."

The News : A two-column wide front page second lead headline read
"Signing CTBT to lead to internal disturbances : CE." In the text
of this same PPI news item he is quoted as having said, "I am not
retiring. I am not going to retire in October 2001. . . .".

The Nation : A three-column wide front-page lead headline read :
"Musharraf says he will remain COAS," and he is quoted by PPI as
having said the same thing.

The Business Recorder : Sensibly, to my mind, a third-page headline
read "Time not ripe for signing CTBT, says Musharraf." PPI conveyed
the same message from the general.

To the credit of the general, though there may have been
speculation as to his plans in October 2001, he has never announced
that he intended to retire on his due retirement date. Power in
Pakistan rests firmly with the largest single disciplined party,
the army, and it will remain so until the large majority of our
people are literate, properly educated and are able to acquire
trained or semi-trained minds, and for as long as the politicians
who wield power remain materially and morally corrupt and dishonest
to the core.

Musharraf has no intention of proving wrong that great Englishman
Winston Spencer Churchill who said that the last victorious ruling
general who went back to his plough was Lucius Quinctius
Cincinnatus in 458 BC.

On record, so far Pervez Musharraf and his men have been better
rulers than Benazir Bhutto or Nawaz Sharif, both plunderers poorly
disguised as democrats, who between them managed to sink the
country, contrary to the claims of their cohorts who maintain that
there is still six inches of water beneath the keel. To some,
Musharraf has ruled for ten months as a benevolent dictator - but,
then, it is said, no dictator can possibly remain benevolent for
long. It is imperative that Musharraf and his generals ensure, by
ordinance or constitutional amendment or otherwise, that neither of
these two 'elected' leaders nor any of the men and women who
acquiesced in their doings and were party to their crimes, are
allowed to hold any office of state for at least the next ten
years.

Helpless as we are, the least we all can do is to try to see that
our fellow-man has enough to eat, enough water to drink, and is
allowed to live freely and with dignity.

Fellow-man Mirza Mubarak Ahmad Nusrat : An Ahmedi of Mirpurkhas was
arrested in 1989 for allegedly distributing a "Prayer Duel
Pamphlet" and was detained in a police lock-up. While he was under
detention Mullah Ahmad Mian Hamadi accused him of "offering
prayers" and a criminal case (13/88) was registered against him at
Tando Adam police station under Section 298 of the PPC. His trial
lasted 11 years, his case being heard at various locations - Tando
Adam, Sanghar, Hyderabad and Karachi. It was referred to the Sindh
High Court on three occasions, and eventually the SHC ordered that
the case be transferred to Hyderabad and heard there "at an early
date."

On May 20 of this year judicial magistrate of Hyderabad, Fida
Hassan Mughal, announced his decision and wrote :

"The point for my determination are as under : 1) Whether on
15/1/89 in between 2.30 to 5 p.m. in the lockup of police station
Tando Amad, the above named accused being Qadiani offered prayers
like Muslims with Sajdah and Rukoo with face towards Kabatullah
Shareef by posing himself as Muslim. 2) What offence, if any, the
accused has committed."

He "reached the conclusion that the prosecution has established its
case against accused beyond all shadow of doubt." He convicted the
accused "for an offence u/s 298 PPC but looking to the
circumstances of the case as accused has suffered the agony of
protracted trial for more than eleven years and also remained in
jail from 8/2/89 to 29/4/89 when he appeared on bail, for the
period of about 2 months and 21 days, I therefore sentence him for
the period of 2 months and 21 days which he has already suffered as
UTP by giving him benefit of section 382.B Cr.P.C. Accused has also
to pay fine of Rs3,000, in default thereof he shall have to suffer
S.I. for one month more. The amount of fine is to be paid by
accused within one month from today. Accused is present on bail.
His surety will remain good till depositing amount of fine by
accused. In case of non-payment of amount of fine within one month,
the accused will be taken into custody by issuing his NBW and will
be sent to jail to serve the period of sentence in default of
payment of fine."During the trial the accused and his advocate, Ali
Ahmad Tariq, had to travel thousands of kilometers for their
appearances in the various courts. The accused, a meticulous man,
claimed that had he kept a proper log it would have shown that by
January 2000 the total number of kilometers covered would have
amounted to 98,840. Nusrat and his attorney may like to know that
this distance is over twice the measurement of the equatorial
circumference of Earth (40,076 km), the planet on which they exist.

Should we not all plead guilty for having made this man suffer for
so long?

Next, to fellow-man Sher Nawaz Khan. On March 23, 1999, I reported
an incident to the police. The day before, on the two-way public
road running between the Federation of Commerce and Industry
building and the Cupola complex, "I was in my open Suzuki jeep
driving towards Clifton. I was stopped by private security guards
of Field Security who asked me to stop and turn back as I was on a
one-way road.

"The security guard was informed that it was not his business to
interfere with public traffic on a public thoroughfare notified as
a two-way road. Another armed guard appeared, rushed towards the
jeep with an automatic rifle, shouting and screaming in Pushto,
clicking it, making it ready to fire. He was overpowered and
disarmed by his comrades. He then mounted the rear platform of the
jeep, hit me on the head, grabbed and pulled a handful of my hair.
Again he was overpowered and taken away by his fellow guards. Upon
enquiring what his name was, I was informed it was 'Javed'
(possibly not true).

"At this point, several guards along with a crowd of what appeared
to be employees of the Cupola organization lifted my jeep off the
road, waved at the oncoming traffic, cleared the road and allowed
me to pass."

On May 17, 1999, a widow, a resident of Mardan came to see me and
informed me that her son, Sher Nawaz, a hot-tempered youth, was the
security guard who had behaved rather badly outside Tesmart. He was
in jail, and she had come to ask me if I was willing to forgive him
and have him released on condition that she guaranteed that she
would immediately take him back with her to Mardan. Surprised to
find the man had been jailed, I gave her the letter she sought. I
heard no more from her and presumed all was well.

At the end of July this year I was served with a summons to appear
before Judicial Magistrate Court No.1, Karachi South, as a witness
in Case No.88/1999 (FIR No.117/1999), The State versus Sher Nawaz
and Ors. My conscientious lawyer, Rustom Virjee, the sole surviving
Parsi pleading advocate of Pakistan, discovered that Sher Nawaz had
been kept in jail for some nine months until he was bailed out. He
said we should appear before magistrate Irum Jehangir, a kind
woman, and try and help him get off. We did so, and we can now only
hope that the man is freed.

'Speedy justice' is what General Musharraf promised in his address
to the nation on October 17, 1999.

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20000825
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Who should be pointing out the lies?
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ayaz Amir

AFTER the skeletons of the Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report have
come tumbling out of that dark cupboard where we keep our national
secrets locked there has been an outcry over what should be done.
Publish the full report. Call the guilty, living or dead, to
account. Face up to the past. And so on.

Maj-Gen Rahim Khan, one of the heroes of the East Pakistan debacle,
has spoken out in a slightly different vein. Immortalized for the
manner in which he deserted his command and later escaped from East
Pakistan on board a helicopter meant to fly out a team of female
nurses, Rahim has exonerated himself of any wrongdoing and put the
blame for everything on Bhutto. Audacity and more audacity, urged
Danton, the French revolutionary. Having made a career out of
audacity, Rahim would no doubt agree.

In most other climes commanders like him would be stood up against
a wall. In Pakistan which has always had a soft spot for
charlatans, he continued to climb the ladder of success even after
his wartime exploits had become known: chief of the general staff,
boss of PIA, secretary-general, defence. Eden never recovered from
the Suez debacle, General Westmoreland, or President Johnson for
that matter, from the Vietnam war. We have always been kinder on
our losers perhaps because we have had so few victors.

The problem, however, is not Rahim Khan but the past as a whole.
How to come to terms with it or how to exorcise its demons? Air
Marshal Nur Khan says the army should own up to past mistakes and
thus drain the puss from its body. "You cannot live with a lie
forever," he says. These are fine words but I wonder whether all
that realistic. Governments and government institutions are not
programmed to come out with the truth. They live with lies all the
time. Not only here but around the world. It is others - lone
rangers, lonely knights, toiling authors, persistent journalists -
who ferret out the truth and put up a mirror to a society's face.
Governments historically have not performed this function unless
absolutely forced to do so by defeat, upheaval or revolution.

Consider the case of France during the Second World War. Hollywood
notwithstanding, much of the French population quietly acquiesced
in the German occupation. Many French functionaries openly
collaborated with the Germans. There were French actors and
actresses, famous faces, who kept on performing in films during the
Occupation. German officers stationed in Paris faced no shortage of
French mistresses. The Resistance came later and although during
the course of it people suffered, made enormous sacrifices and
showed exceptional bravery, there is much in Resistance folklore
which is myth and fantasy, a reflection of the need to touch up one
of the more shameful episodes in French history.

What was de Gaulle's greatest achievement? To succeed in restoring
French pride even when the basis for this resurrection was weak and
tenuous. The Free French did not liberate Paris. The Allied armies
did that. But when the Allied armies were closing in on Paris, de
Gaulle insisted that a division of the Free French should be the
first to enter the city in order to help create the myth that the
French themselves had liberated their capital. Leadership has a lot
to do with the making of such myths. After the war some
collaborators were rounded up and a few were shot but anything like
a full-scale inquisition was avoided because that would also have
put the spotlight on the ugly face of France.

Yet over the years a picture has emerged of what went on during
that period. No thanks to any French government but because of
journalists and scholars who have pored over lost archives and
talked to survivors. Their painstaking research is what forms the
backbone of the historical record.

Where in all of Churchill's writings will you find any remorse over
the hundreds of thousands of Soviet POWs freed from German
captivity at the end of the Second World War and sent back, in most
cases against their will, to Stalin's Russia? At best they faced an
uncertain future; at worst a fate worse than death. Yet you will
not catch any British prime minister shedding tears of sorrow over
this squalid episode.

Perhaps there is a wider lesson in this conspiracy of silence.
Gorbachev started owning up to the Soviet Union's past and see
where it took his country: disintegration and the depths of
humiliation. The Chinese Old Guard was wiser. It cracked down on
the Tiananmen Square protests and thus held the winds of democracy
and who knows what else at bay.

Coming to the world's greatest democracy, when has the United
States chosen to live with the truth? The US has never come clean
about CIA-inspired plots, upheavals and assassinations. The US
government has never expressed regret, much less sorrow, over the
wholesale destruction of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in pursuit of a
policy now universally recognized as misguided and ugly. Yet if the
truth or a bit of it is known about these distant events, if the
Vietnamese experience has come to be branded on the American
consciousness, it is because of the efforts of individual Americans
who contributed their bit to the writing of history.

This is the difference between them and us. Governments, war
ministries and the established centres of power over there live
with lies all the time, being no more enamoured of the truth than
institutions in this part of the world. The difference lies
elsewhere. In our societies the intellectual tradition is weak. We
do not ask questions, do not question authority, are not as
diligent in searching for the truth. Books that should be written
stay unwritten. Forget the '65 war or the East Pakistan debacle.
Even as regards Jinnah foreigners have to come and do our history-
writing for us.

The hard-to-speak secrets of the French Occupation, French
atrocities in Algeria, America's role in Vietnam, other events: all
laid bare and put on the dissecting table by individual
journalists, researchers or historians. Slowly over time an opinion
is created about a particular event. Fresh evidence leads to a
fresh evaluation. And so it goes on, opinions being revised, fresh
interpretations leading to new insights.

Sometimes fantasy and make-believe triumph as in the case of
Mountbatten whose role in the events leading up to partition have
been glorified by outsiders, to some extent because of his links
with the British royal family. Now at last the truth is catching up
with this pompous ham too who is being seen, albeit slowly, as less
of a hero than made out to be. But we in this country, vigorous
Mountbatten-haters, have had nothing to do with this revisionism.
The books looking afresh at the man have been written by others.

When we say that the government should come out with the truth
about 1971, the Ojhri Camp blasts or the fighting in Kargil we are
in fact betraying and revealing the non-existence of any worthwhile
intellectual tradition in our country. Governments lie, they live
on lies. This is one source of their power. The truth has to be the
concern of other members of a society. If they cannot perform this
function it is no use asking the guardians of the establishment to
unlock their innermost sanctums. That is like asking them to
surrender some of their power which no holder of power does
voluntarily.

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20000826
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Gateway to peace
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Irfan Husain

I HAVE often been accused by friends of trotting out a set "re-
entry blues" column each time I return from a trip abroad. In this,
I am supposed to vent my frustration over the fact that things are
worse than they were before I left.

It is true that as I returned last week after three months, nothing
seems to have changed according to the newspapers: the bloodletting
in Kashmir continues unabated; the economy continues to slide;
accountability meanders along in its usual desultory fashion; and
our leaders go on making inane statements. In short, business as
usual.

But before I get down to the substance of this column, I would like
to thank the scores of readers who e-mailed me to wish me luck in
my coronary bypass last June. I was deeply touched by this
outpouring of support and sympathy from total strangers, most of
them Indian and Pakistani expatriates who read me on the Internet
edition of this newspaper. As it was, the quadruple bypass seems to
have been a total success, and I was extremely well looked after by
the highly competent nursing staff of my hospital in London.

One of the people who promised to pray for me before I left was a
nun who has devoted much of her life to the Dar-ul-Sakoon ("Gateway
to Peace"). This remarkable institution shelters mentally and
physically handicapped children who have either been abandoned, or
cannot be looked after by their families. Established by the
Franciscans in 1969, Dar-ul-Sakoon is run entirely by donations. It
is heartwarming to know that in a brutalized society like ours,
there are enough individuals and organizations around willing to
support such worthy causes.

Spread over three houses in different parts of the city, the
operation is supervised by ten nuns and fifty paid employees.
Although aware of its existence for some time as a relative is
cared for by the nuns, I am ashamed to admit that I only started
taking an active interest in it a couple of years ago.

The Besom Foundation, a UK-based charity, asked me to identify a
project they could help, and sent three thousand pounds with which
we bought refrigerators and other electrical items.

Since then I have been visiting the institution on and off, helping
in whatever small way I could. It is heartwarming to see the care
and love the children receive from the nuns; indeed, the warm glow
I feel when I leave restores my faith in humanity. Many of the kids
have grown up here, and know no other home. A few of the less
handicapped among them is transported to special school every day.
Despite the extreme nature of some of the mental illnesses, they
are gentle children who would not hurt a fly.

Unfortunately, mental illness in Pakistan carries such a stigma
that to admit its presence in a family is like revealing a shameful
secret. As a result, very little is done for retarded children or
adults, apart from locking them away. And yet the problem is widely
prevalent, and millions of people suffering from it receive no
professional attention or care. At best, victims are the objects of
pity and offhand charity; at worst, they are secluded from society
as pariahs who have no place or role in Pakistan.

Whatever else one may say against the late military dictator Zia-
ul-Haq, one must give him credit for not being ashamed of his
retarded daughter, taking her with him on trips everywhere and
spending much time with her. Perhaps as a result of his own
experience with a mentally retarded child, he was the first head of
government to recognize the problem and allocate funds for "special
education." To this extent, mentally ill children have been given a
little more attention than in the past. However, given the
reluctance of most people to work closely with them, they remain
largely neglected and unloved.

Under these circumstances, Dar-ul-Sakoon is indeed a gateway to
peace. Children here are looked after, irrespective of whether
their families are paying for them or not. But despite their
dedication and devotion, the nuns are not professionally qualified
to diagnose the nature and severity of the mental problems their
charges are suffering from. These range from autism to cerebral
palsy, with each ailment requiring highly specialized treatment. As
it is, Pakistan is desperately short of doctors trained to cure
mental disease, and most of them have lucrative practices. There
are very few doctors like Dr Haroon Ahmad and his team who are
giving their time free of charge to these unfortunate people.

A society is ultimately judged by its willingness and ability to
care for the old, the infirm and the handicapped. Pakistan fails
woefully on this count. Except for a handful of NGOs and charities
like Dar-ul-Sakoon, there is no safety net for the weak and the
dispossessed. Most families are so ashamed of mental illness in
their midst that they keep the afflicted family member at home
without seeking medical advice. Among the uneducated, the trend is
to take patients to one quack or another; alternatively, they treat
the problem as one of demonic possession, and subject the patient
to often-brutal exorcism at the hands of pirs and other religious
divines. Far too often, the cure is worse than the disease. In many
such cases, somebody with a mild problem is pushed over the edge;
in others, incarceration with mental patients drives almost normal
people into insanity.

Under these conditions, it is a minor miracle that 350 children
have found a safe haven. But even for them, the quality of life
could be greatly enhanced with better medical care and improved
facilities. Understandably, the nuns are handicapped by limited
resources. Development work proceeds in fits and starts, depending
on donations. For instance, the erection of a lift is currently
stalled, and as a result, some children now too heavy to carry are
consigned to the top floors, unable to climb down by themselves to
the small playing area on the ground floor. The school van is
constantly breaking down and badly needs replacement.

But despite these problems, Sister Ruth and her colleagues are
remarkably cheerful, serenely confident that they will continue
aiding the unfortunates placed in their care. If only the rest of
us had a fraction of their goodness and desire to help those unable
to help them selves, this would be a far better place than it is
today.


===================================================================
SPORTS
20000824
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Abdur Razzaq excels as Pakistan reach final of Singapore Cup
-------------------------------------------------------------------

SINGAPORE, Aug 23: Pakistan took South Africa's last five wickets
for seven runs on their way to a 28-run win and a place in the
final of the Singapore Challenge cricket tournament on Wednesday.
South Africa, chasing Pakistan's 227 for nine from their 50 overs,
were struggling to keep up with the run rate at 192 for five in the
46th over at the Kallang ground.

But Azhar Mahmood, who ended with three for 37, and Man-of-the-
Match Abdur Razzaq, who took three for 39, then helped wrap up the
innings in 18 balls as South Africa were bowled out for 199 in 48.4
overs. The last four batsman managed three runs between them.

It was Pakistan's second straight victory in the three-nation
competition after they beat New Zealand by 12 runs on Sunday.

The South Africans had begun their run chase well, with openers
Gary Kirsten and Andrew Hall putting on 61 before Hall edged Azhar
Mahmood behind.

The score moved on to 90 before four wickets fell for 39.

Kallis also edged Azhar Mahmood behind, Kirsten, after top-scoring
with 54, was run out by Imran Nazir's throw at the non-striker's
end and Lance Klusener was bowled by Razzaq.

Neil McKenzie and debutant Nic Pothas put on 63 for the sixth
wicket before the dramatic finale.

Wicket-keeper Pothas, on his One-day International debut, scored 24
to go with the three dismissals he had a hand in during Pakistan's
innings.

Pakistan's score was built around a 104-run stand between Ijaz
Ahmed, who made 56, and Abdur Razzaq (47), for the fifth wicket.-
Reuters/AFP

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20000822
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Dubai series called off
-------------------------------------------------------------------

KARACHI, Aug 21: The three-match One-day International series
between Pakistan and Sri Lanka scheduled to be held in Dubai next
month has been called off, Director Operations, Pakistan Cricket
Board (PCB) Yawar Saeed told newsmen here at National Stadium on
Monday.

Yawar said organizers have regretted to organize the series which
was to start from Sept 22.

He said PCB General Manager Operations, Zakir Khan last month
visited Dubai and recommended to PCB to go ahead with series after
inspecting the facilities there.

He said a representative of International Cricket Council, Raman
Subba Row had visited Dubai on Aug 17 to check the facilities to
submit his recommendations for staging the series.

PCB official said, Dubai organizers told him that there will be
very little time left for marketing the series when the final
approval comes from the ICC.

He said Dubai organizers were interested in hosting the series
later as no team was available during the next few months,
therefore the series was called off.

Commenting on Indian team's tour to Pakistan in late December,
Yawar Saeed said PCB was making contingency plan if Indians were
unable to visit Pakistan.

He said in consultation with coach Javed Miandad, PCB is planning
to invite a World XI if Indian team's tour is called off. He said
they are planning to organize one day matches in flood lights to
attract the public.

Responding to a question about action against three young players
who allegedly invited girls to their hotel room in Lahore, he said
disciplinary action will be taken after proper report from team
coach Javed Miandad was received on return of team from Singapore,
he added. -APP

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20000825
-------------------------------------------------------------------
No cricket in Toronto this year
-------------------------------------------------------------------

KARACHI, Aug 24: The organisers of the Toronto cricket series,
International Management Group (IMG), announced on Thursday there
will be "no cricket" in Toronto this year.

"IMG announces with regret that due to the non-availability of any
suitable team there will be no cricket in Toronto this year," the
group said in a statement released from London.

IMG on Wednesday said they were trying to arrange a team to play
India and Pakistan separately in a replacement series for the
cancelled Sahara Cup.

"Its disappointing to cancel the event and we apologise the fans
all over the world for this and would like to use all our energies
for the event in 2001," the statement said.

IMG tried to bring in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand after
the Indian decision but they all refused.

The group's representative here declined to say whether the series
next year would be between Pakistan and India.

Pakistan Cricket Board senior official Yawar Saeed expressed
disappointment over the cancellation of the Toronto series.

"It's disappointing. Pakistan would raise a question at the
International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting why itineraries are
made well in advance when teams pull out of the event," Yawar said.

He said Pakistan would lose financially as well as preparation-
wise.

"The event could have earned Pakistan half a million dollars and
tuned the players for the ICC knock out event in October. Pakistan
should not have lost the money because Pakistan was always willing
to play."

India, where match-fixing controversy has gripped cricket, pulled
out of the Singapore tri-nation series and also refused to play a
three-match series in Dubai. Pakistan replaced India in the current
Singapore event.

Yawar said Pakistan would press for a new contract to play in
Toronto.

"We will definitely press for a new contract in Toronto next year
with enhanced money," he said.-AFP

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