------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 9 December 2000 Issue : 06/47 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Proposals on Kashmir will lead to settlement: FM + India will have to hold talks: Lone + Shaukat to brief CE on additional taxation + New Delhi rejects tripartite parleys + Strategy finalized to improve law and order + Respect for civil rights has deteriorated in Pakistan: HRW + Display of arms: Political, religious activists warned + Polls may be 'most thinly' contested + Pakistan slams UN sanctions on Taliban + Pakistan urged not to delay CTBT signing + SC rejects pleas of 92 govt officials + Condition of Nawaz stable, say doctors + Dinosaur fossils found in Balochistan --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + IMF to check govt accounts + Refund of F-16 payment: US offers $30 million compensation + State Bank of Pakistan to liberalize forex regime + Finance ministry told to curb 'negative attitude' + Current deficit up to $616m in July-Sept + US court tells Pakistan to pay shipping firm + SBP injects Rs10.3bn: IMF target deepens liquidity crisis + EU commits 7.8m euros for drought victims + Paid-up capital for banks raised + Steps taken to restore investors' confidence + CE wants privatization expedited + Cabinet to consider oil price hike + NAB may retain 30% recovered money + Punjab opposes export of wheat flour to CARs + 10% custom duty on LPG waived --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + 'The frog croaks....' Ardeshir Cowasjee + There is no Kashmir solution Ayaz Amir + Straws in the wind Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Pakistan lose their grip on the third test

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NATIONAL NEWS
20001209
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Proposals on Kashmir will lead to settlement: FM 
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NEW DELHI, Dec 8: Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar has urged 
India to come up with ideas to resolve the Kashmir issue if the 
formulation put forth by Pakistan is not acceptable to it.

In an interview with Indian daily The Hindu in Islamabad, carried 
by the paper today, Mr Sattar expressed disappointment with the 
reaction of the Indian government on the formulation made by 
Pakistan for a dialogue on Kashmir in its Dec 2 statement.

"My disappointment with the Indian statement (Dec 6) is that it 
does not engage in exploration of any openings. It simply shuts the 
door on the ideas and openings we sought to inject in the Dec 2 
statement," foreign minister said.

Mr Sattar appreciated the ceasefire decision of the Indian prime 
minister, and said Pakistan responded to it positively as it firmly 
believed that the good decision needed to be sustained and 
strengthened.

"Our proposals would launch India and Pakistan on a course of 
permanent settlement of the Kashmir issue."

Maintaining that Pakistan was disappointed but not despondent over 
the Indian response, Abdul Sattar said the continuing stalemate is 
very easy to resolve.

Asked if Pakistan is prepared to address the Indian concerns on 
"infiltration" from across the border and continuing violence in 
Kashmir, Mr Sattar denied the charge.

He quoted the statement of Indian Home Minister, L K Advani to the 
effect that Hizbul Mujahedeen consists of indigenous Kashmiris. The 
Hizb is acknowledged to be the main group of freedom fighters.

He said Pakistan finds the latest statement by the Indian Ministry 
of External Affairs in contradiction with the July statement. "What 
one can recommend to an objective observer is a look at the 
graveyards in Kashmir. There are scores of them. The graveyards 
with tombstones contain the names of those (along the names of 
their fathers) who have perished in the last 11 years. These are 
all indigenous Kashmiris."

Therefore, the foreign minister said, the emphasis on movement 
across the LoC appears diversionary. Secondly, he added, India 
makes the allegations but apparently does not want to subject them 
to investigation and impartial determination.

>From Pakistan side, the government has offered activation of the 
United Nations Military Observers Group. They can monitor the LoC 
and report any violations that are alleged to occur. Let there be a 
mechanism for an impartial probe into the allegations, he added.

"So we believe that the allegations levelled by India against 
Pakistan seem to be an evasive tactic designed to prevent forward 
movement towards a settlement of the issue.

"According to reports of those engaged in the Kashmir struggle, 
75,000 people have perished in the last 11 years. Reports quoting 
Indian officials say 30,000 people have died. Whichever way you 
look at it, it is a horrible evidence of violence," he said.

He said Pakistan believes people of goodwill all over the world do 
no approve of killings of other human beings because they seek the 
realisation of their fundamental rights and implementation of 
pledges that have been made by India, Pakistan and the United 
Nations Security Council.

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20001208
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India will have to hold talks: Lone
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Intikhab Hanif

 LAHORE, Dec 7: "India will have to come to the negotiating table 
as this is a writing on the wall. But if it doesn't, we will not 
bow before it as we have no other options but to move forward with 
our struggle."

This was stated by the visiting All Parties Hurriyat Conference 
(APHC) leader, Khwaja Abdul Ghani Lone, during an interview with 
Dawn on Thursday.

Mr Lone who had come to Pakistan to attend the marriage of his son 
would return home by road on Friday.

Sitting in his hotel room, Mr Lone appeared grim while narrating 
the atrocities being perpetrated by Indian forces on the Kashmiris.

"They implicated me in a bomb case when I was in nineth class. I 
spent major part of my life in jails and escaped many attempts on 
my life whenever freed. There is no end to the suppression but the 
Kashmiris would not bow to Indian pressure. They will not rest 
until the liberation of their homeland," Mr Lone, who is a lawyer 
by profession, said.

He criticized the Indian prime minister for outrightly rejecting 
Pakistan's offer for tripartite talks for the resolution of Kashmir 
issue. He said New Delhi would have to come to the negotiating 
table because this was the desire of world powers which could not 
afford a conflict between the two nuclear states (Pakistan and 
India).

India was taking a very hard stand on the Kashmir dispute at 
present because it considered that it had won world sympathies over 
the Kargil episode. "We would like India to allow the APHC to 
establish a contact between it and Pakistan so that we may be able 
to break the deadlock," Mr Lone said, adding "there has to be some 
beginning."

He said Kashmiris were not going to submit to Indian pressure 
tactics. "Everything we have is at stake. The Indian occupation of 
our homeland has caused us 75,000 lives. Our daughters and sisters 
are being raped and molested as part of India's war strategy. Over 
5,000 Kashmiri youngmen have been killed in custody and an equal 
number of them are missing."

Mr Lone said more than 15,000 houses of Kashmiri had been blasted 
or burnt and property worth billions of rupees destroyed. "While 
braving all the atrocities we are left with no other option but to 
go forward. We know that we have the possibility of getting broken 
down under the Indian armed offensive. But we will prefer to be 
destroyed rather than how to India, he said.

"Kashmiris consider themselves as stateless people. They live in 
India but have never accepted its constitution or shown allegiance 
to the Indian state," he said.

Mr Lone said: "The Kashmir struggle was the only political movement 
in the world which has a legitimate background and backing of the 
UN resolutions. The people of Kashmir were the main subject of the 
resolutions which also granted them the right to determine their 
future.

He said the Indian prime minister's offer for ceasefire during 
Ramazan came as a ray of hope. But now they (India) had outrightly 
rejected the tripartite talks. The core issue was needed to be 
settled between all the parties concerned, that is, India, Pakistan 
and Kashmiris.

Mr Lone said the APHC was asking for the tripartite talks because 
it wanted resolution of the dispute for all times to come, which 
was not possible through dialogue only between two parties.

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20001204
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Shaukat to brief CE on additional taxation
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Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Dec 3: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf will be 
briefed here on Monday by Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz on steps to 
be taken for additional taxation in view of the failure in 
improving tax revenues during the first five months of the current 
financial year.

The additional taxation measures have been demanded by the 
International Monetary Fund in case the revenues do not improve 
substantially. 

 The finance minister was directed here on Sunday by the CE to 
conduct the briefing on an emergency basis, which would also be 
attended by the chairman of the Central Board of Revenue, Riaz 
Hussain Naqvi.

The CE asked for details on steps to be taken in view of the 
commitments made last week with the IMF by Pakistan to take "take 
additional measures if revenues fall short of expectations," as IMF 
Managing Director IMF Horst Kohler said in a statement issued on 
Nov 29.

According to sources in the finance ministry and the CBR, the CE 
asked for a detailed explanation on causes of lump in revenue 
receipts in July-November period, during which the CBR collected 
only Rs136 billion against a target of Rs150 billion.

If additional measures were to be devised, it would be 
administrative measures as no taxable area stands untaxed in 
Pakistan, though tax amounts failed to come as per estimates, said 
the sources.

Without listing these administrative measures, the sources pointed 
out that these might relate to the outcome of the tax survey.

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20001206
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New Delhi rejects tripartite parleys
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Jawed Naqvi

NEW DELHI, Dec 5: India on Tuesday rejected a widely-backed 
proposal for talks over Kashmir, involving Mujahideen and Pakistan, 
but said it was prepared to meet the two separately provided key 
conditions were fulfilled.

However, the Indian External Affairs Ministry said in a statement 
that New Delhi was committed to an early resumption of a 
'composite' dialogue with Pakistan within the ambit of the Simla 
Agreement and the Lahore Declaration.

The statement was originally scheduled to be read out by External 
Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh in the parliament on Monday, but the 
parliament was adjourned and the statement was put off till 
Tuesday. However, the Congress party-led opposition did not allow 
parliament to function on Tuesday too, demanding instead the 
resignation of Home Minister Lal Krishan Advani and two other 
ministers charged in the Babri Masjid demolition case. Wednesday 
marks the eighth year of the mosque's demolition by a Hindu mob.

Following India's official reaction to the tripartite talks 
proposal, leaders of Kashmir's All Parties Hurriyat Conference went 
into a huddle in New Delhi to prepare for a response. They included 
Hurriyat chairman Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat and spiritual leader 
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. However, Syed Shah Gilani, a senior leader who 
chose to stay away from the discussions spoke to Dawn from 
Srinagar.

"The Hurriyat constitution is very clear," he said. "We either 
solve the problem of Kashmir under the UN aegis or hold tripartite 
talks. There is no third alternative. If neither of this happens 
the talk of Indian ceasefire is meaningless." Gilani's Jamaat-i-
Islami is considered to be close to Hizbul Mujahideen which has 
given a cautious reaction to India's ceasefire offer.

Asked why he had not joined the talks in Delhi, Gilani said: "To do 
what? What's the point?"

Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on November 19 announced 
that Indian security forces would not initiate operations against 
freedom fighters in Kashmir during Ramazan. He had also expressed a 
hope that along the Line of Control (LOC), separating troops from 
both countries, infiltration would cease.

Pakistan said on Sunday it would not mind if India holds talks 
directly with Mujahideen so long as it also includes it in a 
tripartite dialogue "immediately after Ramazan".

On December 2, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Inamul Haq told a news 
conference that Pakistani armed forces deployed along the LoC in 
Kashmir will observe maximum restraint. The Indian High 
Commissioner in Islamabad was subsequently invited to the Pakistan 
Foreign Office and handed over a copy of the statement.

The Indian reaction on Tuesday said: "The Government of Pakistan 
has also clarified that 'there is nothing new but there are new 
ways of saying things', and that there was not any 'basic shift in 
the policies of Pakistan'. We, too, do not find anything 
substantially different in Pakistan's announcement from what they 
have earlier been saying."

It said Indian security had "always exercised utmost restraint in 
the face of persistent provocation and violations of the LoC, they 
will continue to do so. Attempts, however, to misuse this phase and 
push terrorists will be robustly met. The government wishes to 
reiterate that there is no role of any kind for any third party 
here.

"The government hopes that this statement of Pakistan is the 
precursor of a meaningful change in its attitude," the Indian 
statement said. "We expect Pakistan to address our concerns and 
also those of the international community about cross-border 
terrorism, infiltration into India, and aiding and abetment of 
violence. We note that Pakistan is reaffirming its commitment to 
'earlier agreements'. That is why a clear reaffirmation of and 
adherence to the Simla Agreement, and the Lahore Declaration would 
only be logical.

"A dialogue, too, has been proposed. India, as the initiator of 
dialogue remains committed to an early resumption of the composite 
dialogue process between the two countries.

"It is our hope that with all the initiatives for restoration of 
peace and normalcy taken by Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, Pakistan 
would now be persuaded to cease promotion of cross-border terrorism 
so as to create an environment suitable for resumption of the 
composite dialogue."

It said government has always conveyed its readiness to have talks 
with all parties and groups in Jammu & Kashmir, including also the 
militants. The government's desire in this regard is reiterated. 
The modalities of these talks, will be decided by the government of 
India. It is abundantly clear that there is, in this, no room for 
what are termed as 'tripartite talks'.

"The government is committed to the peace process and will remain 
steadfast in that approach. Upon conclusion of the month of Ramazan 
the government will review the situation and then announce its 
further course of action."

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20001209
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Strategy finalized to improve law and order
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Dec 8: A two-day corps commanders conference was 
informed here on Friday that the interior ministry has finalized a 
comprehensive strategy to deal with the law and order situation by 
implementing police reforms in the country.

The conference, which was presided over by Chief Executive Gen 
Pervez Musharraf, also reviewed the prevailing geo-strategic 
environment in the region, the situation along the borders and the 
Line of Control.

According to sources, the conference held a detailed discussion on 
the interior ministry's new strategy to improve the law and order 
situation, implementation of police reforms, monitoring the influx 
of Afghan refugees and deweaponization of society.

Briefing the participants, Interior Minister Lt-Gen Moinuddin 
Haider (retd) said a strong move was needed to get hold of those 
who were involved in subversion and terrorism. He said it was 
regrettable that a Shia leader in NWFP, Anwar Akhuzada, was killed 
and a former Punjab Assembly MPA, Syed Zakir Hussain, was seriously 
injured by terrorists in Rawalpindi the other day.

Sources said the chief executive expressed the hope that the 
ministry and the National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) would soon 
overcome their differences over police reforms so that it could be 
effectively implemented.

Mr Haider told the meeting that while some religious elements were 
involved in subversion, political elements and culprits from across 
the border were also involved in creating law and order problems 
for the government.

He said the latest Afghan influx was a matter of concern for the 
government. He, however, said that active support of the United 
Nations should be sought to deal with this issue.

He said his ministry was keeping a vigilant eye on those coming 
from Afghanistan to ensure that nobody causes any law and order 
problem, specially in the NWFP.

Sources said the chief executive also took the corps commanders 
into confidence about the government's initiative to resolve the 
Kashmir dispute. He said Pakistan wanted peace in the region and 
that was why he did not raise any objection over a proposed meeting 
between the Indian government and the All Parties Hurriyat 
Conference.

The chief executive said Pakistan has made an offer of peace with 
all its sincerity and the troops would continue to exercise 
restraint on the line of control.

However, sources said, he pointed out that now India should respond 
positively so that the outstanding issue of Kashmir could be 
settled and normal relations between the two countries established.

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20001209
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Respect for civil rights has deteriorated in Pakistan: HRW
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Masood Haider

NEW YORK, Dec 8: In its annual report the Human Rights Watch on 
Thursday charged that "respect for civil and political rights 
deteriorated in Pakistan significantly in the year following the 
bloodless military coup, on October 12, 1999, that deposed Prime 
Minister Nawaz Sharif in Pakistan.

The HRW report 2001, released simultaneously from Washington and 
New York, however, acknowledged that "General Pervez Musharraf's 
administration began to address some long-standing justice issues-
notably, through the adoption of Pakistan's first federal juvenile 
justice law and the establishment of a commission on the status of 
women-"

Nevertheless the report points out that Musharraf government "also 
greatly augmented executive powers and curtailed the independence 
of the judiciary. It moved to neutralize political parties through 
the application of broadly defined laws governing terrorism, 
sedition, and public order, and through the establishment of a 
powerful extra-constitutional "accountability" bureau. Opposition 
party members were subjected to prolonged detention without charge. 
Sectarian violence and attacks on religious minorities continued 
and, despite renewed attention to the issue, the government failed 
to provide meaningful recourse for women victims of domestic abuse 
and sexual violence.

The report says: "On May 12, a reconstituted Supreme Court issued a 
verdict rejecting petitions challenging the coup's legality. The 
court set a deadline of three years for the holding of national and 
provincial elections, but reserved authority to review the 
continuation of the Proclamation of Emergency, leaving the door 
open to future extensions of military rule."

Commenting on the working of the National Accountability Bureau, 
the HRW report said: "The new government's principal vehicle for 
detaining former officials and party leaders, however, was the 
National Accountability Ordinance, a law ostensibly created to 
bring corrupt officials to account. The ordinance confers sweeping 
powers of arrest, investigation, and prosecution in a single 
institution, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), and permits 
detainees to be held for up to ninety days without being brought 
before a court. The law was later amended to facilitate conviction 
by shifting the burden of proof during trial from the prosecution 
to the defence."

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20001209
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Display of arms: Political, religious activists warned
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Dec 8: Minister for Interior Moinuddin Haider said here 
on Friday that the government has taken a very serious notice of 
arms display by the political and religious workers.

"The Punjab government has arrested three persons in Lahore who 
were involved in arms display near Muslim League house recently and 
two others involved in it are also being arrested", he further 
stated.

Talking to Dawn he said that arms display by the religious and 
political workers will not be allowed. "We have decided to control 
the display of arms and we will take strict action against those 
who are involved in it".

The interior minister regretted that influential citizens were 
maintaining their own security staff outside their houses by 
providing them guns and other sophisticated arms. "And these people 
very daringly display their arms which is in fact a crime", he said 
adding that the government has started taking action against such 
people.

The practice, he said, has been more visible in Karachi. Either 
they should hire private security guards or stop allowing their 
people in plain clothes to have arms with them outside their 
houses, he added.

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20001209
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Polls may be 'most thinly' contested
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Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Dec 8: The forthcoming local bodies elections which will 
be held in the 18 districts of the country, are going to be the 
most thinly contested ever, according to figures released by the 
Election Commission of Pakistan.

According to the EC figures only 42,466 candidates have filed their 
nomination papers for 20,117 seats of the 956 union councils.

A press release issued by the commission said that 42,466 
candidates filed their nomination papers with the returning 
officers - till the midnight of December 7 - the last date for 
filing the papers.

On an average only two candidates will be contesting for a union 
council seat in every district. Till December 6, the Election 
Commission had reportedly received only 20,000 nomination papers.

The "last minute rush" of candidates for filing the nomination 
papers has caught the political analysts by surprise as almost 50 
per cent of the candidates filed their papers on the last date.

Whatever the case, the "last minute rush" has saved the government 
from a severe embarrassment.

In Balochistan, where a total of 1,407 seats in 66 union councils 
of three districts are at stake, only 1,528 people have filed their 
nomination papers. This means that more than 85 per cent of the 
candidates will be elected unopposed. There may be a few cases 
where there is not even a single candidate available.

The highest number of nomination papers per seat have been filed in 
Punjab where 28,120 candidates have filed their papers for 11,550 
seats of the 550 union councils.

In Sindh, the contest for 4,305 seats of the 205 union councils is 
going to be even less than one-to-one as only 7,599 candidates are 
contesting the election. It appears that quite a sizable number of 
seats will fall without any contest.

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20001209
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Pakistan slams UN sanctions on Taliban
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ISLAMABAD, Dec 8: Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar on Friday 
criticized plans to tighten economic and arms sanctions against 
Afghanistan.

A draft resolution before the UN Security Council was unprecedented 
in seeking to tighten the embargo on the Taliban, but exempt their 
opponents in the Northern Alliance, BBC reported.

"I have never come across sanctions from the Security Council which 
are so one-sided, which seem to be a prescription for fuelling the 
strife," BBC quoted him to have said this.

The draft resolution would broaden sanctions imposed last year 
after the Taliban refused to hand over Osama bin Laden for trial on 
the alleged terrorist charges.

Sattar said Pakistan favoured a total arms embargo against all 
parties in Afghanistan, and a peaceful resolution to the ongoing 
conflict between the Taliban and their opponents.

"Is that any way to promote peace, the supply of arms to a group 
that has very little territory under its control," he questioned.

He said, the proposed sanctions would undermine efforts by UN envoy 
Francesc Vendrell to bring both parties in Afghanistan to the 
negotiating table.

The proposed sanctions would tighten the existing air embargo and 
freeze on Taliban assets abroad.

Afghan government said this week that Osama bin Laden was a guest 
in their country, and that bowing to pressure to hand him over was 
against their "national and religious dignity."

The US holds Osama bin Laden responsible for alleged involvement in 
bomb attacks against two of its embassies in East Africa in 1998.-
APP

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20001205
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Pakistan urged not to delay CTBT signing
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Dec 4: Pakistan is once again being advised by G-7 
countries "not" to delay the signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban 
Treaty (CTBT) to obtain their assistance and to ensure timely 
release of the remaining three tranches totalling 404 million 
dollar in the next 10 months from the IMF's standby facility.

Diplomatic sources said that Pakistan, which has in principle, 
decided to sign the CTBT was only spoiling its case by delaying the 
issue due to which the country continues to suffer international 
sanctions.

They said that the United States had done a big favour by asking 
its representative to abstain from the IMF board of directors 
meeting in Washington on Wednesday (Nov 29) which approved 596-
million-dollar standby facility for Pakistan. The participation of 
the US representative in the Fund board meeting would have meant a 
negative decision.

Official sources said that the government has already stopped its 
own decision on the CTBT with that of India. They said that the 
present government was "inclined" to sign the CTBT but has certain 
constraints that were forcing it to delay the inevitable.

Pakistan's nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan has said more 
than once that signing of the CTBT would not make Pakistan 
vulnerable against India and that Pakistan's deterrent capability 
will not be affected.

Sources, fear that the politicians may try to exploit the issue 
once the government decides to sign the treaty.

The government, on the other hand, was being told that agreement 
with IMF could turn out to be single tranche affair if the 
government did not take a firm decision on the matter before it was 
time for the release of the second IMF tranche.

A senior government official said he did not know if there were any 
political conditionalities attached to the standby facility. 

 He said that Japan had offered to increase its assistance to 
Pakistan by enhancing the annual 500-million-dollar assistance 
provided Pakistan was ready to sign the CTBT.

Diplomatic sources said that G-7 countries did not want to see 
Pakistan default on its foreign debt as that would have caused a 
collapse of its economy and that was why the G-7 had put together a 
new bailout package of a shorter duration allowing Islamabad enough 
time to meet the political conditions as it put its economy in 
order.

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20001207
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SC rejects pleas of 92 govt officials 
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Rafaqat Ali 

 ISLAMABAD, Dec 6: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed over 90 
appeals against the Federal Service Tribunal decision of upholding 
the termination of 92 assistant directors, deputy directors and 
inspectors of Intelligence Bureau who were inducted during the PPP 
government in 1997 but were dismissed by the next government.

The SC bench observed that respondent department had the requisite 
authority to terminate the services of an employees who was on 
probation or on officiating basis, without issuing a show-cause 
notice.

The Federal Service Tribunal, in its common judgment, had upheld 
the government decision of sacking these officials. However, the SC 
has directed the government to pay the sacked employees 14 days' 
salary.

The bench consisted of Chief Justice Irshad Hasan Khan, Justice 
Chaudhry Arif and Justice Qazi Farooq.

The court held that the competent authority had the powers to 
terminate the service of a civil servant, if appointed on probation 
or officiating basis, against a temporary or permanent post at any 
time and it (the authority) may do so for any reason relevant to 
exigencies of service.

The court held that in such cases, no show-notice was required.

"A probationer has no vested right to continue in service. 
Therefore, the question of violation of any principle does not 
arise except in case of mala fide."

The court observed that the observation of the Tribunal that these 
appointments were made on political basis, was vague.

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20001208
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Condition of Nawaz stable, say doctors
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ISLAMABAD, Dec 7: The government on Thursday dispatched a team of 
specialist doctors to examine Nawaz Sharif, taking into 
consideration the state of his health as reported in the press and 
on the appeal of his family.

According to a government spokesman, the team has carried out 
detailed check-up and described Nawaz Sharif's condition as stable.

The spokesman added that his family was granted extended time to 
visit him and they were assured that Nawaz Sharif would be given 
the best possible medical treatment as recommended by the team of 
specialists. -APP

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20001203
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Dinosaur fossils found in Balochistan 
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Saleem Shahid

QUETTA, Dec 2: Pakistan discovered its first dinosaur fossils in 
the Barkhan district of Balochistan during mapping and 
biostratigraphic research, Abdul Latif, Director Planning 
Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) told newsmen here on Saturday.

He said that earlier, most of these discoveries had been made in 
parts of North and South America and recently in China and 
Mongolia.

Dinosaurs were giant reptiles, the largest being seven metres in 
height and 14 metres in length. They were the dominant land animals 
during most of the Mesozoic era but become extinct towards its 
close.

In the case of GSP's discovery, the dinosaur fossils are of 
locomotory limbs. These have been recovered from top of the Pab 
formation of Maastrichtian (late Cretaceous) age, which represents 
a period of seven million years ranging from 72 to 65 million years 
in the geological time scale.

The GSP's discovery attains special significance as the dinosaur 
fossil horizon in Pakistan is close to the period of dinosaurs 
extinction which is stalemated at 65 million years ago, latif said.

The director planning geological survey of Pakistan further said 
that the discovery has been made in the upper part of the Pab 
formation. 

This new fossil discovery will shed new light on the 
paleoenvironment and depositional history of the Pab Formation 
particularly with reference to interpreting the fluctuating land-
sea levels during the Cretaceous period and the supply of organic 
material to the sediments which eventually become the source for 
oil and gas, Latif said.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY
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20001204
-------------------------------------------------------------------
IMF to check govt accounts
-------------------------------------------------------------------
M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, Dec 3: Pakistan is obliged to get the accounts of all 
its income and expenditure scrutinized periodically and closely by 
the IMF staff over the next 10 months, according to documents 
relating to the standby loan approved by the Fund executive board 
on Nov 29.

These documents, which were released in Washington on Friday by the 
IMF, envisage the government to keep the Fund informed about the 
pace of reforms it has promised to undertake in its letter of 
intent (LoI) sent to the IMF on Nov 4.

The documents include details of the economic developments in 1999-
2000, the macro-economic objectives and policies for 2000-1, the 
medium-term outlook, structural reforms, trade liberalization, 
governance and transparency, financing issues and programme 
monitoring.

Under the technical memorandum of understanding, Pakistan is 
obliged to abide by a six-point conditionality, which includes the 
qualitative performance criteria, structural performance criteria, 
structural benchmarks, financing programme and monetary mechanism.

The structural reforms encompass fiscal sector, public sector 
enterprizes, privatization, financial sector, including national 
savings schemes, export finance scheme, transition of Islamic 
financial system, foreign currency deposits and recapitalization of 
State Bank.

The documents reveal that during the current year alone the 
government would add about $3 billion to the country's short-term 
private sector debt, including two loans of $145 million for public 
sector enterprizes for 300 days, $413 million from Islamic 
Development Bank, besides a $50 million loan for two years and 
another $80 million for a six-month roll over from the same bank, a 
roll over of $500 million from the Bank of China as well as $250 
million of roll over from Kuwait and $150 million of roll over from 
the UAE. The documents disclose that Pakistan needs $4 billion of 
exceptional financing under the new Fund arrangement to remain 
current on its external debt.

The documents quote the government, saying that following the 
overrun relative to the target for defence spending last year, 
adequate expenditure control mechanisms have been put in place to 
ensure that the defence budget remains within the agreed limit.

This has been done, according to the GoP, after consultation with 
the relevant departments who will liaise closely with the defence 
ministry on regular basis, and the progressive monthly expenditure 
will be monitored closely.

The outcome of this exercise, the GoP promised, will be reported on 
a quarterly basis to the fiscal monitoring committee of the finance 
ministry. In addition any virements (transfers of allocations 
across line items) will not be permitted without the finance 
ministry approval.

Under the structural benchmarks criteria, the GoP is obliged to 
enact an anti-dumping law by end of December, "that would lead to 
the withdrawal of the differential excises applied to domestically 
produced and imported goods as an anti-dumping measure."

The fiscal transparency condition obliges the GoP to establish 
basic reconciliation process in all provinces.

Programme financing has been defined in the documents to include 
balance of payments support loans, including adjustment loans from 
multilateral creditors other than the Fund, balance of payments 
support from bilateral creditors, and rescheduling and arrears on 
medium- and long-term public and publicly guaranteed debt.

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20001207
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Refund of F-16 payment: US offers $30 million compensation
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Hassan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD Dec 6: The United States has informed Pakistan that it 
would endeavour to provide compensatory assistance worth $30 
million in the form of goods and benefits after the end of fiscal 
2000, according to a foreign ministry press release, issued here on 
Wednesday.

The additional assistance being offered by the US administration is 
by way of compensation in the context of the cash payment and 
commodity shipments received by Pakistan in the settlement of the 
dispute over the refund of $467 million paid in advance for the F-
16 aircraft deal, negotiated in 1998, which failed because of the 
US ban.

The US President, Bill Clinton, had however recognized the 
justification of Pakistan's demand for a refund of the amount paid 
by it in advance for the non-delivery of military aircraft. The US 
paid $327 million in cash and the balance $140 was to be provided 
in "goods and benefits in fiscal 1999 and 2000.

The press release stated: The dispute over the refund of $467 
million which Pakistan had paid in advance for the purchase of F-16 
aircraft was settled by negotiations in the 1998 pursuant to 
agreement of December 18, 1998 - the US paid $327 million in cash. 
The remaining $140 million was to be provided in "goods and 
benefits" in fiscal 1999 and 2000.

"During the year ending September 30, 1999, the US provided 300,000 
tons of wheat under section 416 (b) of US law and 100,000 tons of 
wheat under PL-480. the price charged for 100,000 tons of wheat 
under PL-480 was reduced from $13 million to about $8 million, 
allowing for the confessional element in PL-480.

The total cost, including freight for wheat under 416(b) amounted 
to about $60 million. That amount was debited by the US to the F-16 
settlement account.

"Before the end of fiscal 2000, the US proposed utilization of $80 
million. The government of Pakistan decided to procure soybean and 
soya oil against this amount. An agreement to this effect was 
signed on September 1, 2000.

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20001207
-------------------------------------------------------------------
State Bank of Pakistan to liberalize forex regime
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Jawaid Bokhari

KARACHI, Dec 6: The State Bank will begin to liberalize the foreign 
exchange regime in second half of current fiscal, that may bring 
some volatility in the exchange rate and may lead to countervailing 
measures, 
a tight monetary policy despite a weak economic growth, to 
stabilize the rupee.

 As it is, the government has lowered its target of economic growth 
for this fiscal to 4.5 per cent from 4.8 per cent last year with 
simultaneous estimated rise in inflation rate from 3.6 per cent to 
six per cent. The strategy for economic growth would take a back 
seat in the face of IMF-induced pursuit of illusive fiscal and 
exchange rate stability.

Among the items on agenda stated in the Letter of Intent (LoI) 
submitted by Pakistan to the IMF, is a pledge to withdraw the 
requirement that inter-bank forex deals should be backed by 
approved commercial transactions, a mechanism devised to check 
speculation.

If the deals are not linked to transactions of goods and services, 
currency experts say the banks can take their own positions, and 
along with them, traders could indulge in unfettered forward 
trading and hedge against future risks. With the demand for forex 
picking up, the rupee exchange rate would come under pressure from 
a rising dollar.

The dollar, appreciating at the annual rate of 10 to 12 per cent, 
against the rupee, offers an attractive avenue for investment. The 
liberalization would create an environment for faster growth of 
dollarization. The confidence of rupee as a reserve currency would 
be further shaken.

With the free float of the rupee and the State Bank interventions 
minimized or disappearing to check speculative trading, Pakistan 
cannot remain totally immune from the global currency trading 
pattern.

Bulk of the daily global foreign exchange trading, whose turn-over 
is estimated at $2trillion, is not backed by commercial 
transactions of goods and services.

In June 1999, authorized forex dealers were prohibited from buying 
and selling foreign exchange by the State Bank from/to other 
authorized dealers unless purchase/sale were backed by permissible 
transaction.

Earlier, three banks took up positions that was categorized as 
"irresponsible behaviour". The moral suasion did not work with them 
though the rest of the banks did not apparently give any cause for 
complaint to the State Bank, apparently equipped with not a very 
strong monitoring system.

To check speculative buying, the State Bank also issued a circular 
that if purchases were proved to be speculative, the losses would 
be borne by the buyer, but he would not be entitled to profits.

Importers took the plea that they were not responsible if no 
shipment was made by the supplier and profits rightly belonged to 
them, says a banker. In case the IMF conditionality is accepted, he 
anticipates that profits and loss would go to the buyer.

Sources said the time to withdraw the requirement of approved 
commercial transactions for concluding foreign deals would have to 
be market- dependent. The environment has to be conducive. The LoI 
does not set a deadline. With a low forex reserves and current 
level of capital inflows, such a decision would prove a disaster. 
And without a market-driven exchange rate, large scale funding from 
IMF is ruled out. This was made clear in a recent speech by the US 
ambassador at a seminar organized by the Management Association of 
Pakistan in Karachi, recently.

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20001209
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Finance ministry told to curb 'negative attitude'
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, Dec 8: The Chief Executive's Secretariat has directed 
the Ministry of Finance to take urgent measures and eliminate 
unwarranted fears of accountability in the financial sector's 
bureaucracy, whose "negative attitude" was undermining the 
government's economic agenda.

In their appraisal of the performance of the financial sector's 
bureaucracy with regard to the government's economic revival plan, 
experts engaged by the CE's Secretariat have presented a report on 
the banking sector and the Central Board of Revenue. The report has 
been referred to the finance ministry.

The experts have pointed out that the banks and DFIs are purposely 
misinterpreting the government's policy on loan defaulters. "They 
are bent upon closing down industry. They are causing the existing 
projects to sink. Industrial loans are being withheld except to a 
handful of people."

The experts have stressed the need for a report on new findings by 
banks and DFIs, in order to determine the extent to which the 
financial institutions are supporting the new projects in the 
country. In a few cases where funding has been provided, it is 
almost totally for a few select groups, the experts point out.

"DFIs particularly have nearly totally stopped funding projects and 
are only concentrating on recoveries of loans by using all possible 
means," the report indicates, adding that bankers are reluctant in 
approving new loans as there is an element of fear attached to the 
implementation of new policies by the military government (for the 
industrial and taxation areas).

"There is a serious hesitation in the minds of many bankers with 
regard to the blame and responsibility for the stuck-up loans. Most 
bankers fear that they would be held personally responsible for 
issuing such loans. The FIA and NAB threats loom large. This has 
caused a very negative attitude in their dealing with regard to new 
funding and recovery of existing loans," the report says.

The recent assurances by the CE to the bankers on these issues have 
not produced positive results, the experts suggest. "To a great 
extent, this hesitation among the bankers is justifiable at the 
lower levels, as in some banks the senior management is telling the 
junior officers and relationship managers, that it would be their 
responsibility (if they issue new loans and the same get stuck)".

The "Textile Vision 2000" faces a threat from these attitudes of 
bankers, the report warns. The "Vision" objectives will not be 
achieved with such an approach.

"This policy document seeks to get Pakistan's textile sector ready 
for the post quota barrier era. Under the new scenario,if a project 
was intended to be rehabilitated through threats and coercion, the 
exercise would indeed be fruitless and the gains of would be 
temporary in nature. The policy of getting a project which could 
not pay back loans earlier, is now being asked by the bankers to 
pay huge down payments, with the balance payable in a very short 
period, often with no capital support."

Under the policy of loan repayment, "one project is allowed a 
rescheduling and restructuring for 12 years, while another is asked 
to repay within 10 days, or other such impractical conditions are 
imposed, in open discrimination", it points out.

The report says that the new income tax laws made by the Central 
Board of Revenue officials, have put about 96 per cent of the tax 
payers in direct contact with the assessing officers resulting in 
direct dealing - a major cause of bribe.

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20001209
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Current deficit up to $616m in July-Sept
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Dec 8: Pakistan's current account deficit went up to $616 
million in the first quarter of this fiscal year from $468 million 
a year ago.

Sources close to ministry of finance say the current account 
deficit expanded primarily due to a negative trade and services 
deficit. Pakistan registered a negative trade balance of $476 
million in July-September this year. In the same period it also 
recorded a net outflow of $850 million in payments of services 
including shipping bills and interest payment on official debts.

But the country earned $710 million in current transfers that kept 
the current account deficit at minus $616 million. Sources say the 
current transfers rose mainly due to $366 million worth of home 
remittances.

In July-September 1999, the trade balance stood at minus $466 
million and services recorded a net outflow of $658 million. In the 
same period the country had earned $656 million in current 
transfers that kept the current account deficit at minus $468 
million. The current transfers also included $215 million worth of 
home remittances.

The increase of $151 million in remittances in July-September 2000 
over the same period last year seems impressive but much of this 
increase is because of Hajj remittances and one-time payment to 
those Pakistanis, who were affected by Kuwait-Iraq war of 1990s by 
the Kuwait government. Separate figures for the two heads are not 
available but sources say more than $100 million of home 
remittances are from these sources.

Despite that home remittances show a sizable increase in July-
September this year, which is indicative of some improvement in the 
banking system.

The $710 million net current transfers in July-September 2000 also 
include $227 million worth of foreign exchange purchased by the 
State Bank from the open market. In the same period of 1999 the SBP 
had purchased $240 million from the open market. Bankers say the 
SBP refrained from purchasing more from the open market despite a 
compelling need just to keep the rupee stable. The rupee started 
sliding after the SBP had removed an unofficial cap on the exchange 
rates on July 20.

Financial analysts say Pakistan can enhance worker remittances 
significantly by offering real incentives to overseas Pakistanis.

They say a sharp increase in home remittances can be helpful in 
managing the balance of payments of the country and reducing its 
dependence on international financial institutions. 

 They say increased home remittances would also enable the SBP to 
stop buying dollars from the open market, thereby removing 
distortions in its exchange rates structure that has invited 
criticism by the international financial institutions (IFIs) in the 
recent past.

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20001208
-------------------------------------------------------------------
US court tells Pakistan to pay shipping firm
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Dec 7: A Washington DC court has ordered the Pakistan 
government to immediately pay over a quarter of a million dollars 
to a US shipping company otherwise all its accounts and assets in 
US would be seized within days.

The US District Court in Washington awarded the verdict against the 
agriculture ministry of Pakistan on Dec 4, in a case filed by the 
shipping company after Benazir Bhutto's government, in October 
1995, made the payment to the wrong company and refused to pay the 
genuine party.

According to a copy of district judge Royce Lamberth's judgment, 
faxed to Dawn by Pakistan embassy sources, Pakistan has been 
ordered to pay US$ 268,000 plus interest to Ned Chartering,which 
acted as a broker for shipment of 98,000tons of wheat from Turkey 
to Pakistan, purchased in early 1993.

The judgment reveals that Pakistan made the payment to the wrong 
party "on the basis of a good faith assumption..." which the judge 
called as "flawed".

Ned Chartering acted as broker for Horsebridge Enterprises which 
was awarded the shipping contract. Ninety per cent of the payments 
were correctly made until early 1994 when the new Benazir 
government had just settled in and Dr Maleeha Lodhi was appointed 
ambassador to Washington.

Then for the remaining 10 per cent, totalling US$ 268,000, a 
dispute arose and the government refused to pay Ned Chartering and 
paid the amount to Horsebridge Enterprises in October 1995. Ned 
Chartering went to court against Pakistan.

According to documents faxed to Dawn the judgment against Pakistan 
has left little ground for Islamabad to further contest the case 
without actually putting the entire money in a bond.

In a SOS sent on Dec 6 by Farrukh Qayyum, minister of trade in the 
Pakistan embassy to Islamabad, a copy of which was also faxed to 
Dawn, directions were sought "in a day or two, as this issue is 
time critical."

"In case steps are not taken to avoid garnishing/attachment of the 
government's property/the ministry of food and agriculture's 
account in the National Bank of Pakistan, Washington DC, will be 
attached and the bank will be directed to the adjudicated amount," 
the trade minister warned Islamabad on Wednesday.

The Pakistani official was told by his attorney in Washington that 
even if an application was to be filed for a stay of attachment of 
property, or an appeal against the judgment was made, a bond equal 
to the adjudicated amount had to be posted.

The attorney warned Pakistani officials that there were only two 
days to contest the judgment, out of which one day has already 
gone.

Under the US federal rules of civil procedure the judgment is 
automatically stayed for 10 business days but unless a bond was 
posted and a stay order obtained, the assets and propertyof 
Pakistan will be seized beginning Dec 18, the attorney informed the 
officials.

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20001208
-------------------------------------------------------------------
SBP injects Rs10.3bn: IMF target deepens liquidity crisis
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Dec 7: Money market remains tight as monetary targets 
tagged with the $596 million IMF loan make it difficult for the 
State Bank to ease off an ongoing liquidity crunch. 
But if the SBP is able to get some leeway from the IMF for which 
efforts are under way then it may contain the liquidity crisis to 
some extent.

The SBP injected Rs 10.30 billion in the inter-bank market on 
Thursday but the injection had a little impact on the short term 
lending rates.

Bankers said banks were so much short of liquidity that SBP 
received no bids for outright or repo sale of treasury bills at its 
open market operation. But it attracted Rs 15.67 billion worth of 
offers for purchase of treasury bills of two weeks to maturity: SBP 
accepted offers worth Rs 10.3 billion at 11 per cent and rejected 
the rest.

Bankers said the modest injection helped banks to square their 
daily positions and no major discounting from SBP was reported.

"But it had a little impact on lending rates structure," said head 
of a foreign bank's treasury. He said overnight repo rates opened 
at 12.95 per cent and fell to 11.0-11.5 per cent on news of the 
OMO. "But the rate shot up again to 12.50 per cent towards the end 
of the day."

The inter-bank money market has been short of liquidity for a 
couple of months as an expansionary monetary policy was replaced by 
a tight policy in late September.

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20001208
-------------------------------------------------------------------
EU commits 7.8m euros for drought victims
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Dec 7: The European Union has committed 7.8 million euro 
(about Rs380 million) new humanitarian aid to the victims of 
drought in Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.

The new programme follows an earlier grant of 5.5 million euro, 
said a statement issued here on Thursday by the EU's office for 
humanitarian aid.

Through the new programme the victims of the worst drought would be 
alleviated in 30 years in the region, it said.

The drought situation has worsened and spread since July this year.

This has led to significant population displacements and Echo 
deemed it urgent to devote additional resources to stabilize 
communities in their area of origin, inter alia to limit the number 
of displaced persons, including refugees.

Echo's aid will enable victims to survive the harsh winter months 
until the next harvest.

In Afghanistan the already difficult living conditions have 
worsened and the lack of food and drinking water, coupled with poor 
hygiene and population displacements, have increased the risk of 
epidemics and starvation.

In Pakistan the worst affected areas are in Balochistan and Sindh - 
also the poorest regions where 95 per cent of the population lives 
below the poverty line.

The affected area in Iran (Sistan/ Balochistan) is also the poorest 
province in the country and has a major proportion of Afghan 
refugees.

The activities to be undertaken include aid for internally 
displaced persons fleeing the drought with provision of tents and 
emergency kits. Furthermore, the Echo's assistance will respond to 
food insecurity by food distribution, food for work and increasing 
the availability of seeds. Activities for supplying drinking water 
will also be funded.

The present humanitarian aid grant is supplementary to the Echo's 
annual aid programme in Afghanistan.

The Echo has, since the beginning of this year, committed 17.3 
million euro (approx Rs850 million) for humanitarian purposes in 
the region.

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20001207
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Paid-up capital for banks raised
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 6: The State Bank (SBP) has raised the required 
minimum paid-up capital of banks from Rs500 million to Rs1 billion 
and has asked them to raise their paid-up capital to the required 
level by January 1, 2003.

An SBP circular (BSD 31) issued to all banks on Wednesday said 
banks are required to enhance their paid-up capital - net of losses 
- to Rs750 million on January 1, 2002 and to Rs1 billion on January 
1, 2003.

The circular says the minimum paid-up capital has been raised to 
facilitate the banks and financial institutions to strengthen their 
competitive ability, both domestically and internationally. 

 It says the decision will help banks become more cost effective by 
upgrading their technology and eliminating avoidable expenses.

The circular says the upward revision in paid-up capital will build 
up the equity structure of the banks to the levels, where the 
interests of depositors are adequately protected. It says the move 
will encourage the economies of scale and economies of scope.

The SBP was empowered to determine the minimum paid-up capital of 
banks by a Presidential Ordinance issued in September, this year.

Bankers say the upward revision in the minimum paid-up capital 
requirements will particularly force a couple of small domestic 
private banks to either close down or merge themselves with other 
banks.

Following is the remaining text of the SBP circular:

(a) No banking company shall be permitted to undertake a full range 
of financial services unless and until it has a minimum paid-up 
capital, net of losses, of one billion rupees on or after 1st 
January 2003.

(b) A banking company not meeting the minimum capital requirement 
as set hereinabove shall stand de-scheduled and converted into a 
non-scheduled bank with effect from the dates as determined below:

(i) On 1st January 2002, if it does not have a minimum paid-up 
capital, net of losses, of Rs750 million.

(ii) On 1st January 2003, if it does not have a minimum paid-up 
capital, net of losses, of Rs1 billion.

(c) Where a banking company so de-scheduled is short in meeting, 
the minimum capital requirement of Rs1 billion by more than 25 per 
cent such non-scheduled bank (NSB) shall not be eligible for 
collecting deposits from the individuals including 
partnerships/sole proprietors, or provide any financial services to 
individuals including sole proprietors. Such NSBs shall only be 
permitted to operate in inter-bank market, make investments in 
government securities, and finance import/export business within 
such limits as may be specified by the State Bank on case to case 
basis.

(d) Where a banking company, so de-scheduled is short in meeting 
the minimum capital requirements of Rs1 billion by not more than 25 
per cent, the State Bank on a request made to it in this behalf may 
allow the banking company to continue accepting deposits from their 
corporate/institutional depositors only upto the limit of total 
deposits mobilized by it as on December 31, 2000 or total 
outstanding deposits as on November 30, 2000, whichever is lower 
and provide such other support financial services as may be 
specifically allowed by the State Bank.

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20001206
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Steps taken to restore investors' confidence
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Dec 5: The Securities and Exchange Commission of 
Pakistan (SECP) said on Tuesday that various measures adopted to 
prevent market violations and introduction of automation in bourses 
would go a long way in restoring investor-confidence and would also 
help capital market play a positive role in economic development.

The basic role of SECP as a regulator, it said in a statement, was 
to endeavour in bringing about a level playing field among market 
participants and to help ensure protection to investors.

The commission explained its position in the context of long-
persistent bearish trends in stock market and steps taken to deal 
with the situation. It made clear that SECP does not intend to 
influence the trends either way.

Since the May crisis in stock market, the commission had been 
adopting various measures to keep the market under watch, it 
recalled. Then in June, managements of stock exchanges agreed to 
bring about improvements in the working. The steps were 
implemented, but partially, it noted.

In view of certain developments that could have adversely affected 
the integrity of stock market, the commission was obliged to take a 
proactive stance. A number of directives were issued to prevent the 
precipitation of any untoward situation, it added.

These measures constitute the initial phase of a series of steps 
the commission intends to take in order to strengthen the country's 
stock market and to improve the process of price discovery.

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20001205
-------------------------------------------------------------------
CE wants privatization expedited
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Dec 4: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf presided 
over a high-level meeting here on Monday on privatization and 
stressed the need to accelerate the process of disinvestment in the 
state sector.

The chief executive said that the government considers 
privatization as an important element for debt retirement and 
poverty reduction and it is committed to carrying out the process 
compromising on national interests.

The minister for privatization Altaf M. Saleem told Dawn, that the 
managing directors of Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Oil and Gas 
Development Corporation Limited (OGDCL), Pakistan Petroleum Limited 
(PPL), and Saudi Pak Fertilizer Company also attended. They 
informed the meeting about their companies' position with a view to 
privatize them as early as possible.

Answering a question he said that a decision has been taken for the 
privatized commercial banks to be 'corporatized' and certain 
percentage of their shares be sold through the stock market. 

 He added that the purpose was to offer shares of the state sector 
companies to the people. A certain percentage of their shares will 
be offloaded in the country's stock exchanges.

To another question he said that the meeting also approved a 
detailed disinvestment plan of the privatisation commission. He 
said a timetable has been fixed for the programme and that a number 
of new transactions including Saud Pak fertilizer will be completed 
in January and February 2001.

The minister expressed the hope that the government would not have 
to face any litigation or any other problem in disinvesting the 
public enterprizes.

He explicitly said that the public sector units would not be sold 
at throwaway prices and that transparency would be ensured in every 
deal.

To a question he said the privatization of nationalized commercial 
banks and the Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL) 
were very much part of the new privatization plan and that things 
hadstarted moving in the right direction.

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20001205
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Cabinet to consider oil price hike
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Dec 4: The federal cabinet is meeting here on Wednesday 
to consider an eight to 10 per cent increase in the petroleum 
prices.

Official sources said here on Monday that the petroleum ministry 
had put up a summary to the cabinet division for getting the 
approval of the increase in oil prices.

The increase, the sources said, had been proposed keeping in view 
the higher international prices, which did not stabilize during the 
last three months.

According to an earlier decision the government was to conduct a 
quarterly review of the oil prices and implement them from 15th of 
this month. However, due to Ramazan, the cabinet will only consider 
the issue and any approval for increasing the oil prices will be 
made most probably in the second week of January next.

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20001205
-------------------------------------------------------------------
NAB may retain 30% recovered money 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Dec 4: The government is considering promulgating an 
ordinance which would allow the National Accountability Bureau 
(NAB) to retain up to 30 per cent of the recovered money in its 
accounts for rewarding "efficient" officers and modernizing the 
bureau by purchasing sophisticated espionage equipment.

According to official sources, the law ministry has finalized a 
draft, which would be placed before the cabinet for approval.

The ministry had earlier opposed moves for change in the rules 
allowing the NAB to retain a certain percentage of the recovered 
money in its accounts on the ground that it was not possible 
without the advice of the chief executive and the approval of the 
president and the auditor-general.

The ministry, however, has been instructed by the Chief Executive 
Secretariat to draft the law as required by the bureau.

The draft provides that in case the NAB recovered stuck up bank 
loans, it would be entitled to keep three per cent of the recovered 
money in its kitty, and in cases of tax evasion in which the record 
was not complete and NAB officials had to work hard to recover 
money, the accountability bureau would be empowered to keep 10 per 
cent of the recovered money.

In case the bureau was able to recover any amount from those 
loanees who had succeeded in getting their loans written off on 
false pretexts, the bureau would be entitled to 20 per cent of the 
recovered amount.

The draft legislation also provides that in case where officers of 
the government, in collusion with contractors and others, were able 
to siphon off the money and the NAB managed to detect and recover 
the money, it would lay claim to 25 per cent of the recovered 
money.

In cases in which loans were extended but the records were missing 
and bureau officials managed to find out the fraud, the NAB would 
be entitled to keep 30 per cent of the recovered amount.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20001205
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Punjab opposes export of wheat flour to CARs
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Dec 4: Punjab has asked the federal government to review 
its decision to allow export of atta, maida and bran to Afghanistan 
and Central Asia states through private parties, fearing it will 
lead to shortage of these commodities in the province.

Official sources said here on Monday that the provincial government 
had expressed its inability to carry out the ECC decision taken 
last week and asked the Centre to immediately revise it as it had 
been taken without taking the provincial government into 
confidence.

It has also demanded of the Centre to stop private exporters from 
buying flour from the open market of the province.

The sources said the gravity of the situation could be judged from 
the fact that the Punjab food secretary, Junaid Iqbal, arrived 
Islamabad on Monday to convey the provincial government's concern 
and convince the federal authorities to reverse the ECC decision.

The sources said that the provincial food secretary had a series of 
meetings with the agriculture ministry officials and expressed his 
surprise over the decision.

The sources added that Mr Iqbal told the federal government that it 
was really interested in exporting the surplus wheat, then it 
should be made compulsory for all the private exporters to buy 
wheat only from Punjab food department and Passco. "They should not 
be allowed to buy these commodities from the open market", the 
sources quoted the provincial food secretary as saying to the 
federal government officials.

Mr Iqbal was of the view that the federal government must have some 
administrative control over export of such commodities.

Earlier, the ECC, which met on November 27, had decided to allow 
the private sector to import wheat to Afghanistan and other Central 
Asian countries.

Initially one million tons of wheat could be exported through 
public and private sectors and the situation would be reviewed when 
750,000 tons were actually lifted.

In order to speed up the process of export of atta, maida and bran, 
the ECC also decided that their transaction could be made in dollar 
or in Pak rupee.

The sources said the agriculture ministry had also supported the 
Punjab government's demand and had asked the cabinet division to 
review the ECC decision.

The ministry said the provincial government's apprehension was 
genuine as permission to private sector to buy wheat and flour from 
the open market would lead to its rapid disappearance from the 
market.

DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20001204
-------------------------------------------------------------------
10% custom duty on LPG waived
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Dec 3: The government has decided to exempt the import 
of Liquefied Petroleum Gas from 10 per cent customs duty, said a 
press release issued here on Sunday.

The companies importing LPG would also pay corporate tax to the 
government and in addition additional revenues would also be 
earmarked by the government in the form of general sales tax.

It was expected that the volume of LPG import would rise to 70,000 
tons per year. The total financial impact of exemption of 10 per 
cent customs duty was estimated at Rs33.07m per year and the 
government would earn revenue to the tune of Rs174m on GST alone 
which would not only offset the loss of revenue on account of 
customs duty waiver but would also generate additional revenue of 
Rs88.26m, the press release added.

With the policy of deregulation of LPG prices, the import of LPG 
would ensure abundant availability of LPG for domestic fuel to 
replace kerosene, wood and natural gas in areas where gas supply 
was technically or economically not viable.

Back to the top
EDITORIALS & FEATURES
DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS
20001203
-------------------------------------------------------------------
'The frog croaks....'
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ardeshir Cowasjee

ALLAH be praised! As can be evinced from the letters and columns 
printed in this newspaper of record, founded by the Founder of the 
country, culminating in Irfan Husain's column of December 2, some 
have awoken.

"Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught 
equality of man, justice and fair play to everybody. We are the 
inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our 
responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future 
constitution of Pakistan. In any case, Pakistan is not going to be 
a theocratic state - to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. 
We have many non-Muslims - Hindus, Christians and Parsis - but they 
are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges 
as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the 
affairs of Pakistan."

I did not say this. It was said by Mohammad Ali Jinnah, creator of 
Pakistan, in February 1948. Unfortunately he died before the 
Constitution could be framed.

"Intolerance and bigotry and dogmatism are the bitterest enemies of 
religion upon earth. They make religion a tyrant, a persecutor, a 
veritable daeva, the demoniac perversion of angelic religion. The 
frog croaks that his well is the whole world and the bigot boasts 
that his is the only inspired and perfect religion. The truth and 
the whole truth is exclusively garnered in his religion, he avers. 
His religion is the crown and culmination of all religions, his 
religion is ordained to be the universal religion of mankind and 
salvation is possible only through his religion, he adds.

"All bigotry is blind and stupid and savage. Sectarian bigotry is 
as bad as inter-religious bigotry. Bigotry stifles reason and the 
bigot, in his frenzy, is out to force all to believe what he 
believes. All religions come from one and the only God, who makes 
himself known by many a name."

I did not say this. It was said by Shams-ul-Ulema Dastur Dr 
Maneckji Nusserwanji Dhalla, the high priest of the Parsis, in the 
first half of the 20th century. He was no ordinary preacher, he was 
a learned man with a PhD from Columbia University which he was 
awarded in 1909.

"Distance makes mountains out of mere protuberances. Two centuries 
make an immortal giant out of very human flesh and blood. 
Nevertheless, in remembering and honouring the death of a great 
Englishman, we would do well to revive some of the very English 
Johnsonian Virtues that are a bit starved in our present national 
life. Where there is fanaticism, for Johnson's sake, let us have 
broadminded common sense. Where there are the caring industries, 
let us have compassion. When we are sure we are right, let us 
remember that even Whigs and Scots are human. Where we are bad-
tempered and blinkered, let us remember Johnson, and not take 
ourselves seriously. When we are introspective and insular Little 
Englanders, let us copy Johnson's vision of all mortals from China 
to Peru, including slaves and West Indians, as equal children of 
God. Let us clear our minds of cant, and rant. Let us cultivate our 
sense of humour, and recognize that most of our sublunary schemes 
and preoccupations and bees in our bonnets are very laughable 
things."

I did not say this. It was written by the Editor of The Times 
(London) on December 13, 1984, the 200th anniversary of the death 
of Dr Samuel Johnson, under the heading 'An English Saint 
Remembered.'

"....the people are the real recipients of power. This naturally 
eliminates any danger of the establishment of a theocracy... In 
technical sense theocracy has come to mean a government by ordained 
priests who wield authority as being specially appointed by those 
who claim to derive their rights from their sacerdotal position. I 
cannot over-emphasize the fact that such an idea is absolutely 
foreign to Islam. Islam does not recognize either priesthood or any 
sacerdotal authority; and, therefore, the question of a theocracy 
simply does not arise in Islam. If there are any who still use the 
word theocracy in the same breath as the polity of Pakistan, they 
are either labouring under a grave misapprehension or indulging in 
mischievous propaganda....... 

 "Therefore, there should be no misconception in the mind of any 
sect which may be a minority in Pakistan about the intentions of 
the state. The state will seek to create an Islamic society free 
from dissensions, but this does not mean that it would curb the 
freedom of any section of the Muslims in the matter of their 
beliefs. No sects, whether the majority or a minority, will be 
permitted to dictate to the others, in their own internal matters 
and sectional beliefs, all sects shall be given the fullest 
possible latitude and freedom. Actually we hope the various sects 
will act in accordance with the desire of the Prophet who said that 
the differences of opinion amongst his followers are a blessing. It 
is for us to make our differences a source of strength to Islam and 
to Pakistan and not to exploit them for our own interests which 
will weaken both Pakistan and Islam....... 

 "We believe that so shackles can be put on thought, and, 
therefore, we do not intend to hinder any person from the 
expression of his views."I did not say this. It was said by our 
first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, who was shot dead in 1951 
by heathens. Liaquat said these words on March 7, 1949, the first 
day of the fifth session of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, 
soon after the passing by the House of the Objectives Resolution, 
in his address to the President, the Honourable Mr Tamizuddin Khan.

The seventh paragraph of the Objectives Resolution reads: "Wherein 
adequate provisions shall be made for the minorities freely to 
profess and practise their religions and develop their 
cultures...."

This country was born in 1947 as the Dominion of Pakistan. On March 
23, 1956, the first of our constitutions was promulgated and the 
Dominion became the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. On October 27, 
1958, the country was taken over by General Ayub Khan, the first of 
our Ataturks. He promulgated his constitution on March 1, 1962, as 
the Constitution of the Republic of Pakistan. To appease the 
religious elements, to try to win popularity, and with the 1964, by 
the First Amendment Act to his constitution Ayub Khan brought back 
the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. When he departed from the 
national scene, his Constitution went with him.

Our next Constitution came on August 14, 1973. When this 
Constitution was amended by General Zia-ul-Haq in 1985, Article 2-A 
made the Objectives Resolution a substantive part of the 
Constitution and it was reproduced in the Annex. Mischievously, in 
the sentence "Wherein adequate provisions shall be made for the 
minorities freely to profess and practise their religion......" the 
word 'freely' was omitted.

Now we move to the Supreme Court, the Islamic Republic's citadel of 
justice, which in 1997 was so shamelessly stormed by Nawaz Sharif, 
his aiders and abettors, for which Nawaz remains unpunished. When 
the present building in which the Supreme Court sits was 
inaugurated plaques were affixed to the walls of the entrance hall 
on which were engraved in English and in Urdu the text of the 
Objectives Resolution. In the English version, the word 'freely' 
was again mischievously omitted although it was contained in the 
Urdu version.

In 1993, I made a vain attempt to get through to Chief Justice 
Afzal Zullah and impress upon him that the English version of the 
Resolution should be corrected. Then came Chief Justice Dr Nasim 
Hasan Shah, pronouncer of 'historical' judgments, who said he would 
do his best to set things right. Nothing happened. He was followed 
by Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah who settled the issue by having 
both plaques, English and Urdu, removed from the halls. No 
successive Chief Justice of Pakistan has seen to it that the 
plaques, with the corrected English version, be re-affixed.

Now I am appealing to General Pervez Musharraf, our second Ataturk, 
to do what he can to amend the Annexture to the Constitution and to 
have the plaques put back in the hallowed halls. 

 This I suggest he does whilst my friend, the Jadoogar of Jeddah, 
Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, is with him to advise him. Sharifuddin is 
super-competent. He is adept at righting wrongs, or, when 
necessary, wronging rights.

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20001208
-------------------------------------------------------------------
There is no Kashmir solution 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ayaz Amir

WHAT thunderbolt must strike us from the heavens to realize that a 
Kashmir solution that can satisfy our concerns or preconceptions 
does not exist. At least not in the realm of possibility.

Of course we can have a Camp David or something like the Oslo 
Accords on Kashmir. But then let us remember that these agreements 
brought not the peace of the brave but of the faint-hearted to the 
Middle East - the pusillanimity all lying on the Arab side. It is 
wrong also to say that at Camp David Egypt offered peace and got 
back the Sinai in return. Not only did it offer peace. It also, 
perforce, had to offer castration. Egyptian castration lies at the 
heart of the Camp David agreement.

The kind of Kashmir solution that we want can come about only if 
India returns to the anarchy of the post-Mughal period when there 
was no central authority and the Mughal empire had broken up into 
different pieces. Only when such conditions are recreated, only if 
India follows the Gorbachev path of self-destruction, can we get 
the Kashmir solution we want. What after all do we want from 
Kashmir? That India should vacate the Vale and that the Vale, the 
heaven-on-earth of so much song, should fall to the lot of 
Pakistan.

This will not happen till the mountains move. (I almost said till 
Birnam Wood doth come to Dunsinane but then thought better of it 
because in an age where education has become synonymous with 
computers the slightest allusion to literature risks charges of 
obscurity. So the mountains it shall have to be.) Or are we still 
prey to the illusion that there is an armed solution to the on-
going saga of Kashmir?

What about a negotiated solution then? Alas, there is none which 
can even remotely satisfy us. If we get not the Vale, and if India 
does not agree to a plebiscite, what, from our point of view, is 
the point of talking? If India does not budge on these two points 
it follows (with a logic writ in iron) that any negotiations on 
Kashmir will ultimately boil down to Pakistan offering unilateral 
concessions: no support to the Kashmiri freedom struggle, thus 
giving India a free hand to deal with the Kashmiri freedom struggle 
on its own terms.

This precisely is the dilemma we face: that neither arms nor talks 
hold the promise, or even the illusion, of a solution. But a 
dilemma washed with Kashmiri blood and buttressed with 
subcontinental foolishness, Kashmir being the third great example 
of modern subcontinental folly, the other two being (1) the events 
leading up to the partition of India and (2) the birth of 
Bangladesh.

Who forced partition? Contrary to the myths surrounding that 
seminal event, not Jinnah or the Muslim League. If anyone amongst 
the great Indian leaders had a modern or secular outlook it was 
Jinnah, leagues ahead in this regard of the confused and half-baked 
socialist in Nehru. What Jinnah and the Muslims wanted were 
safeguards so that their interests (material interests) should not 
be trampled underfoot by the Hindu majority. From 1920 onwards the 
history of Indian politics attests to the inability or the 
unwillingness of the Congress under Gandhi's leadership to address 
these Muslim concerns.

Furthermore, it was Gandhi not Jinnah who couched politics in 
religious terms. So who was the fundamentalist between them? 
Certainly not Jinnah who never spoke the language of Muslim 
revivalism, that not being a problem in his mind. It was Gandhi who 
after Vivekananda was the great avatar of Hindu revivalism. To his 
everlasting credit he thereby was able to reach down to the Hindu 
masses and make a mass party of the Congress. But he refused to 
see, till it was too late, that there was also a communal problem 
in India. This, and not the narrow-mindedness which Indian writers 
ascribe to the Muslim League, was the basis of partition.

Anyone having doubts on this score can do worse than read Azad's 
'India Wins Freedom'. Azad indeed, looking at the reaction of Nehru 
and Patel to the Cabinet Mission Plan (which envisaged a united or 
confederal India), calls Patel the father of partition.

The second great folly was ours in East Pakistan. Bangladesh was 
not born because of Shaikh Mujibur Rahman, the East Pakistan 
Rifles, the Mukti Bahini or even the Indian army. It was born out 
of the stupidity and arrogance of West Pakistan.

The third great subcontinental folly is being enacted by India in 
Kashmir. India had fifty years to win over the Kashmiris. But it 
failed even to satisfy Shaikh Abdullah whose sympathies lay with 
India not Pakistan. From 1972 to 1989 Pakistan just forgot about 
Kashmir. Firstly, because it had the loss of East Pakistan to come 
to terms with. Secondly, because Zia was embroiled in Afghanistan. 
Were not 18 years long enough to woo the Kashmiris and bind them to 
Mother India? They would have been if Indian policy had been driven 
by statesmanship rather than by a search for petty and short-term 
advantages.

Scapegoats and bogeys are comforting things because they are alibis 
for failure. How easy to pin the blame for everything on the ISI. 
But the unrest in Kashmir was never the ISI's creation. It arose 
out of the same smallness of spirit, in degree if not in scope, 
which the Congress leadership displayed in the run-up to 1947. In 
more ways than one, the subcontinent remains a slave to its past.

But none of this history resolves the Pakistani dilemma over 
Kashmir: to fight or to talk? Fighting will get us nowhere and 
talking, given the facts, can only lead to another castration, this 
time of Pakistan, at American hands. What then to do?

The first necessity is to liberate the Kashmiri resistance from the 
clutches of fundamentalism. If the Kashmiris in the Valley want to 
fight for their liberation we have a moral duty to help them, not 
just with the empty rhetoric of diplomacy but with arms and 
materiel. Of this duty we are not absolved even by the risk of 
international censure or lectures read to us by mid-ranking 
functionaries of the State Department.

But if the Kashmiris want to talk to India that should be their 
sovereign decision without anyone in Pakistan getting upset by such 
a development. In short, it is not for us to tell the Kashmiris 
what to do or how to go about their struggle. That should be for 
them to decide. We tried directing and remote-controlling the 
Afghan jihad. Look what a mess we made of it. We have no business 
replicating the same experience in Kashmir.

But if we are to ensure that the Kashmiri resistance does not go 
the way of the Afghan 'jehad' - fragmented, increasingly 
ineffective and prone to internecine warfare - we will have to 
liberate ourselves from the insidious appeal of holy warriorism. 
Because of our Afghan involvement there are too many confused souls 
in our intelligence establishment who believe that an Islamic 
empire is out there waiting to be created. They forget that while 
faith was an important factor in Afghanistan, so too were Stinger 
missiles and Saudi and American dollars. In this context, it is 
hard to figure out which is the more dangerous or mentally-
contricting: the Hamid Gul or the Jamaat-i-Islami schools of 
thought? Both have to be eradicated if anything like sanity and 
good sense are to be restored to our higher decision-making.

But an all-important caveat: reining in the demons of 
fundamentalism should not mean succumbing to the dictates and 
prejudices of the State Department. It should not mean abandoning 
our stand on Kashmir or following the American agenda in 
Afghanistan. For Kashmir's sake we should not imperil our own 
security. Or put upon ourselves a burden we cannot carry. But 
neither should we abandon our principled stand. It is important to 
grasp the distinction between being rash and consistent.

We must do the right thing because that is in our interests and 
because common sense so dictates. Not simply to appease distant 
godfathers. In any case, concessions made by the weak are never put 
down to wisdom. Always to necessity. Let us by all means get off 
the high horse of messianism in Kashmir and Afghanistan. But let us 
beware also of thoughtless concessions. We won't get thirty pieces 
of silver for them.

But above all let us hasten to put our internal house in order. 
Only when steadiness and a sense of purpose reside there can 
steadfastness and a measure of wisdom enter our foreign crusades. 
If not, we will keep being rigid where we should bend. And be weak 
and compliant where we need to stand tall.

WHAT thunderbolt must strike us from the heavens to realize that a 
Kashmir solution that can satisfy our concerns or preconceptions 
does not exist. At least not in the realm of possibility.

Of course we can have a Camp David or something like the Oslo 
Accords on Kashmir. But then let us remember that these agreements 
brought not the peace of the brave but of the faint-hearted to the 
Middle East - the pusillanimity all lying on the Arab side. It is 
wrong also to say that at Camp David Egypt offered peace and got 
back the Sinai in return. Not only did it offer peace. It also, 
perforce, had to offer castration. Egyptian castration lies at the 
heart of the Camp David agreement.

The kind of Kashmir solution that we want can come about only if 
India returns to the anarchy of the post-Mughal period when there 
was no central authority and the Mughal empire had broken up into 
different pieces. Only when such conditions are recreated, only if 
India follows the Gorbachev path of self-destruction, can we get 
the Kashmir solution we want. What after all do we want from 
Kashmir? That India should vacate the Vale and that the Vale, the 
heaven-on-earth of so much song, should fall to the lot of 
Pakistan.

This will not happen till the mountains move. (I almost said till 
Birnam Wood doth come to Dunsinane but then thought better of it 
because in an age where education has become synonymous with 
computers the slightest allusion to literature risks charges of 
obscurity. So the mountains it shall have to be.) Or are we still 
prey to the illusion that there is an armed solution to the on-
going saga of Kashmir?

What about a negotiated solution then? Alas, there is none which 
can even remotely satisfy us. If we get not the Vale, and if India 
does not agree to a plebiscite, what, from our point of view, is 
the point of talking? If India does not budge on these two points 
it follows (with a logic writ in iron) that any negotiations on 
Kashmir will ultimately boil down to Pakistan offering unilateral 
concessions: no support to the Kashmiri freedom struggle, thus 
giving India a free hand to deal with the Kashmiri freedom struggle 
on its own terms.

This precisely is the dilemma we face: that neither arms nor talks 
hold the promise, or even the illusion, of a solution. But a 
dilemma washed with Kashmiri blood and buttressed with 
subcontinental foolishness, Kashmir being the third great example 
of modern subcontinental folly, the other two being (1) the events 
leading up to the partition of India and (2) the birth of 
Bangladesh.

Who forced partition? Contrary to the myths surrounding that 
seminal event, not Jinnah or the Muslim League. If anyone amongst 
the great Indian leaders had a modern or secular outlook it was 
Jinnah, leagues ahead in this regard of the confused and half-baked 
socialist in Nehru. What Jinnah and the Muslims wanted were 
safeguards so that their interests (material interests) should not 
be trampled underfoot by the Hindu majority. From 1920 onwards the 
history of Indian politics attests to the inability or the 
unwillingness of the Congress under Gandhi's leadership to address 
these Muslim concerns.

Furthermore, it was Gandhi not Jinnah who couched politics in 
religious terms. So who was the fundamentalist between them? 
Certainly not Jinnah who never spoke the language of Muslim 
revivalism, that not being a problem in his mind. It was Gandhi who 
after Vivekananda was the great avatar of Hindu revivalism. To his 
everlasting credit he thereby was able to reach down to the Hindu 
masses and make a mass party of the Congress. But he refused to 
see, till it was too late, that there was also a communal problem 
in India. This, and not the narrow-mindedness which Indian writers 
ascribe to the Muslim League, was the basis of partition.

Anyone having doubts on this score can do worse than read Azad's 
'India Wins Freedom'. Azad indeed, looking at the reaction of Nehru 
and Patel to the Cabinet Mission Plan (which envisaged a united or 
confederal India), calls Patel the father of partition.

The second great folly was ours in East Pakistan. Bangladesh was 
not born because of Shaikh Mujibur Rahman, the East Pakistan 
Rifles, the Mukti Bahini or even the Indian army. It was born out 
of the stupidity and arrogance of West Pakistan.

The third great subcontinental folly is being enacted by India in 
Kashmir. India had fifty years to win over the Kashmiris. But it 
failed even to satisfy Shaikh Abdullah whose sympathies lay with 
India not Pakistan. From 1972 to 1989 Pakistan just forgot about 
Kashmir. Firstly, because it had the loss of East Pakistan to come 
to terms with. Secondly, because Zia was embroiled in Afghanistan. 
Were not 18 years long enough to woo the Kashmiris and bind them to 
Mother India? They would have been if Indian policy had been driven 
by statesmanship rather than by a search for petty and short-term 
advantages.

Scapegoats and bogeys are comforting things because they are alibis 
for failure. How easy to pin the blame for everything on the ISI. 
But the unrest in Kashmir was never the ISI's creation. It arose 
out of the same smallness of spirit, in degree if not in scope, 
which the Congress leadership displayed in the run-up to 1947. In 
more ways than one, the subcontinent remains a slave to its past.

But none of this history resolves the Pakistani dilemma over 
Kashmir: to fight or to talk? Fighting will get us nowhere and 
talking, given the facts, can only lead to another castration, this 
time of Pakistan, at American hands. What then to do?

The first necessity is to liberate the Kashmiri resistance from the 
clutches of fundamentalism. If the Kashmiris in the Valley want to 
fight for their liberation we have a moral duty to help them, not 
just with the empty rhetoric of diplomacy but with arms and 
materiel. Of this duty we are not absolved even by the risk of 
international censure or lectures read to us by mid-ranking 
functionaries of the State Department.

But if the Kashmiris want to talk to India that should be their 
sovereign decision without anyone in Pakistan getting upset by such 
a development. In short, it is not for us to tell the Kashmiris 
what to do or how to go about their struggle. That should be for 
them to decide. We tried directing and remote-controlling the 
Afghan jihad. Look what a mess we made of it. We have no business 
replicating the same experience in Kashmir.

But if we are to ensure that the Kashmiri resistance does not go 
the way of the Afghan 'jehad' - fragmented, increasingly 
ineffective and prone to internecine warfare - we will have to 
liberate ourselves from the insidious appeal of holy warriorism. 
Because of our Afghan involvement there are too many confused souls 
in our intelligence establishment who believe that an Islamic 
empire is out there waiting to be created. They forget that while 
faith was an important factor in Afghanistan, so too were Stinger 
missiles and Saudi and American dollars. In this context, it is 
hard to figure out which is the more dangerous or mentally-
contricting: the Hamid Gul or the Jamaat-i-Islami schools of 
thought? Both have to be eradicated if anything like sanity and 
good sense are to be restored to our higher decision-making.

But an all-important caveat: reining in the demons of 
fundamentalism should not mean succumbing to the dictates and 
prejudices of the State Department. It should not mean abandoning 
our stand on Kashmir or following the American agenda in 
Afghanistan. For Kashmir's sake we should not imperil our own 
security. Or put upon ourselves a burden we cannot carry. But 
neither should we abandon our principled stand. It is important to 
grasp the distinction between being rash and consistent.

We must do the right thing because that is in our interests and 
because common sense so dictates. Not simply to appease distant 
godfathers. In any case, concessions made by the weak are never put 
down to wisdom. Always to necessity. Let us by all means get off 
the high horse of messianism in Kashmir and Afghanistan. But let us 
beware also of thoughtless concessions. We won't get thirty pieces 
of silver for them.

But above all let us hasten to put our internal house in order. 
Only when steadiness and a sense of purpose reside there can 
steadfastness and a measure of wisdom enter our foreign crusades. 
If not, we will keep being rigid where we should bend. And be weak 
and compliant where we need to stand tall.

WHAT thunderbolt must strike us from the heavens to realize that a 
Kashmir solution that can satisfy our concerns or preconceptions 
does not exist. At least not in the realm of possibility.

Of course we can have a Camp David or something like the Oslo 
Accords on Kashmir. But then let us remember that these agreements 
brought not the peace of the brave but of the faint-hearted to the 
Middle East - the pusillanimity all lying on the Arab side. It is 
wrong also to say that at Camp David Egypt offered peace and got 
back the Sinai in return. Not only did it offer peace. It also, 
perforce, had to offer castration. Egyptian castration lies at the 
heart of the Camp David agreement.

The kind of Kashmir solution that we want can come about only if 
India returns to the anarchy of the post-Mughal period when there 
was no central authority and the Mughal empire had broken up into 
different pieces. Only when such conditions are recreated, only if 
India follows the Gorbachev path of self-destruction, can we get 
the Kashmir solution we want. What after all do we want from 
Kashmir? That India should vacate the Vale and that the Vale, the 
heaven-on-earth of so much song, should fall to the lot of 
Pakistan.

This will not happen till the mountains move. (I almost said till 
Birnam Wood doth come to Dunsinane but then thought better of it 
because in an age where education has become synonymous with 
computers the slightest allusion to literature risks charges of 
obscurity. So the mountains it shall have to be.) Or are we still 
prey to the illusion that there is an armed solution to the on-
going saga of Kashmir?

What about a negotiated solution then? Alas, there is none which 
can even remotely satisfy us. If we get not the Vale, and if India 
does not agree to a plebiscite, what, from our point of view, is 
the point of talking? If India does not budge on these two points 
it follows (with a logic writ in iron) that any negotiations on 
Kashmir will ultimately boil down to Pakistan offering unilateral 
concessions: no support to the Kashmiri freedom struggle, thus 
giving India a free hand to deal with the Kashmiri freedom struggle 
on its own terms.

This precisely is the dilemma we face: that neither arms nor talks 
hold the promise, or even the illusion, of a solution. But a 
dilemma washed with Kashmiri blood and buttressed with 
subcontinental foolishness, Kashmir being the third great example 
of modern subcontinental folly, the other two being (1) the events 
leading up to the partition of India and (2) the birth of 
Bangladesh.

Who forced partition? Contrary to the myths surrounding that 
seminal event, not Jinnah or the Muslim League. If anyone amongst 
the great Indian leaders had a modern or secular outlook it was 
Jinnah, leagues ahead in this regard of the confused and half-baked 
socialist in Nehru. What Jinnah and the Muslims wanted were 
safeguards so that their interests (material interests) should not 
be trampled underfoot by the Hindu majority. From 1920 onwards the 
history of Indian politics attests to the inability or the 
unwillingness of the Congress under Gandhi's leadership to address 
these Muslim concerns.

Furthermore, it was Gandhi not Jinnah who couched politics in 
religious terms. So who was the fundamentalist between them? 
Certainly not Jinnah who never spoke the language of Muslim 
revivalism, that not being a problem in his mind. It was Gandhi who 
after Vivekananda was the great avatar of Hindu revivalism. To his 
everlasting credit he thereby was able to reach down to the Hindu 
masses and make a mass party of the Congress. But he refused to 
see, till it was too late, that there was also a communal problem 
in India. This, and not the narrow-mindedness which Indian writers 
ascribe to the Muslim League, was the basis of partition.

Anyone having doubts on this score can do worse than read Azad's 
'India Wins Freedom'. Azad indeed, looking at the reaction of Nehru 
and Patel to the Cabinet Mission Plan (which envisaged a united or 
confederal India), calls Patel the father of partition.

The second great folly was ours in East Pakistan. Bangladesh was 
not born because of Shaikh Mujibur Rahman, the East Pakistan 
Rifles, the Mukti Bahini or even the Indian army. It was born out 
of the stupidity and arrogance of West Pakistan.

The third great subcontinental folly is being enacted by India in 
Kashmir. India had fifty years to win over the Kashmiris. But it 
failed even to satisfy Shaikh Abdullah whose sympathies lay with 
India not Pakistan. From 1972 to 1989 Pakistan just forgot about 
Kashmir. Firstly, because it had the loss of East Pakistan to come 
to terms with. Secondly, because Zia was embroiled in Afghanistan. 
Were not 18 years long enough to woo the Kashmiris and bind them to 
Mother India? They would have been if Indian policy had been driven 
by statesmanship rather than by a search for petty and short-term 
advantages.

Scapegoats and bogeys are comforting things because they are alibis 
for failure. How easy to pin the blame for everything on the ISI. 
But the unrest in Kashmir was never the ISI's creation. It arose 
out of the same smallness of spirit, in degree if not in scope, 
which the Congress leadership displayed in the run-up to 1947. In 
more ways than one, the subcontinent remains a slave to its past.

But none of this history resolves the Pakistani dilemma over 
Kashmir: to fight or to talk? Fighting will get us nowhere and 
talking, given the facts, can only lead to another castration, this 
time of Pakistan, at American hands. What then to do?

The first necessity is to liberate the Kashmiri resistance from the 
clutches of fundamentalism. If the Kashmiris in the Valley want to 
fight for their liberation we have a moral duty to help them, not 
just with the empty rhetoric of diplomacy but with arms and 
materiel. Of this duty we are not absolved even by the risk of 
international censure or lectures read to us by mid-ranking 
functionaries of the State Department.

But if the Kashmiris want to talk to India that should be their 
sovereign decision without anyone in Pakistan getting upset by such 
a development. In short, it is not for us to tell the Kashmiris 
what to do or how to go about their struggle. That should be for 
them to decide. We tried directing and remote-controlling the 
Afghan jihad. Look what a mess we made of it. We have no business 
replicating the same experience in Kashmir.

But if we are to ensure that the Kashmiri resistance does not go 
the way of the Afghan 'jehad' - fragmented, increasingly 
ineffective and prone to internecine warfare - we will have to 
liberate ourselves from the insidious appeal of holy warriorism. 
Because of our Afghan involvement there are too many confused souls 
in our intelligence establishment who believe that an Islamic 
empire is out there waiting to be created. They forget that while 
faith was an important factor in Afghanistan, so too were Stinger 
missiles and Saudi and American dollars. In this context, it is 
hard to figure out which is the more dangerous or mentally-
contricting: the Hamid Gul or the Jamaat-i-Islami schools of 
thought? Both have to be eradicated if anything like sanity and 
good sense are to be restored to our higher decision-making.

But an all-important caveat: reining in the demons of 
fundamentalism should not mean succumbing to the dictates and 
prejudices of the State Department. It should not mean abandoning 
our stand on Kashmir or following the American agenda in 
Afghanistan. For Kashmir's sake we should not imperil our own 
security. Or put upon ourselves a burden we cannot carry. But 
neither should we abandon our principled stand. It is important to 
grasp the distinction between being rash and consistent.

We must do the right thing because that is in our interests and 
because common sense so dictates. Not simply to appease distant 
godfathers. In any case, concessions made by the weak are never put 
down to wisdom. Always to necessity. Let us by all means get off 
the high horse of messianism in Kashmir and Afghanistan. But let us 
beware also of thoughtless concessions. We won't get thirty pieces 
of silver for them.

But above all let us hasten to put our internal house in order. 
Only when steadiness and a sense of purpose reside there can 
steadfastness and a measure of wisdom enter our foreign crusades. 
If not, we will keep being rigid where we should bend. And be weak 
and compliant where we need to stand tall.

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20001209
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Straws in the wind 
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Irfan Husain

IT'S NOT often that the window of opportunity for a settlement in 
Kashmir is open even a few inches. All the more reason to force it 
wider while we have the chance.

This long-jammed window opened briefly in 1989 when Benazir Bhutto 
and Rajiv Gandhi met in Islamabad and came close to an 
understanding over the vexing Siachin Glacier. Unfortunately, India 
soon backed out and the following year Benazir Bhutto's government 
was toppled with army support. Around the same time, the decade-
long Kashmiri resistance began. Ten years and 30,000 lives later, 
the window opened again when the prime ministers of the two 
countries met in Lahore to try and sort out the festering conflict 
that has kept relations between the two countries at flashpoint. 
Within weeks of this historic meeting, the Kargil misadventure was 
launched with disastrous consequences. One of the casualties of 
that ill-conceived military action was Nawaz Sharif's government.

The recent announcement from New Delhi regarding a ceasefire during 
Ramazan was soon matched by a Pakistani decision to exercise 
'maximum restraint' on the Line of Control dividing the two armies 
in Kashmir. There has been talk in India about extending this 
ceasefire after Ramazan. Predictably, suspicion has been voiced on 
both sides, but the fact that this initiative has been launched and 
reciprocated is to be welcomed, and, if possible, used as a 
stepping-stone to a more durable peace.

One problem that has prevented the right kind of atmospherics from 
being created is the knee-jerk reaction to any suggestion of an 
amicable solution to the Kashmir crisis on both sides. A Pakistani 
diplomat will start intoning the UN Security Council resolutions on 
Kashmir in his sleep, while his Indian counterpart will launch into 
a long catalogue of the wrongs Pakistan has committed, and how 
Kashmir is 'an integral part' of India. While both viewpoints may 
have a certain validity, neither is very helpful in moving the 
debate forward.

The armed forces and intelligence services on both sides have a 
vested interest in keeping the conflict on the boil, and neither 
has permitted a resolution of the conflict. However, the recent 
straws in the wind suggest that there is some rethinking in both 
capitals, and this has led to a certain amount of guarded optimism 
in pacifists like me who believe that this country can only come 
out of its slump by sorting out the Kashmir imbroglio. The dictates 
of both economics and geography demand that we improve ties with 
India.

I have often suggested that India's insistence that it would only 
talk to an elected government missed the point that in Pakistan, it 
is the army that has traditionally called the shots on Kashmir. It 
follows that now is the best time for New Delhi to talk to 
Islamabad. One reason why both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif fell 
foul of the army was that both of them, at one time or another, 
attempted to come to terms with reality and improve ties with 
India. But with the army in the saddle, now is the time to reach an 
understanding. Just as it took Nixon, a Republican, right-wing 
politician, to recognize Communist China, it will take a general to 
reach an understanding with India.

Some elements in and out of the military government have voiced 
disappointment over India's refusal to agree to tripartite talks 
with the Kashmiri groups and Pakistan. The point to remember here 
is that the Simla Agreement calls for bilateral talks between the 
two countries to resolve disputes. Initially, India and Pakistan 
could start talks, and once some progress has been made on setting 
the broad outlines on how they are to proceed, separate discussions 
can be held with Kashmiri representatives.

The fact is that the latter do not (yet) speak for a sovereign 
entity, and therefore should not demand to be treated as such. 
While Kashmir is the bone of contention, we cannot allow the tail 
to wag the dog, to mix a metaphor. The dispute has gone on too long 
and too many lives have been lost to surrender once more to 
posturing and pride.

One possible formula that has been discussed for years calls for 
India to keep the parts of Jammu and Kashmir that have a 
Buddhist/Hindu majority; Azad Kashmir with its Muslim majority 
would stay with Pakistan; and the Valley would become independent. 
Open borders, the withdrawal of all troops and the disarmament of 
independent jihadi outfits would be part of the deal. This way, 
each of the three parties would get something and have to surrender 
a part of their initial demand. This is the essence of negotiating 
a settlement of a long-standing problem. Indians might argue that 
they stand to lose more than they gain. But with open borders, 
their tourists and traders would be able to enter the Valley at 
will.

Another standing Indian objection is that a change in the status 
quo could mean an end to the Indian Union as well as the secular 
character of the state. Give me a break. Everybody knows that the 
Kashmiri problem is unique, and has no bearing on secessionist 
struggles in other parts of India. The separate character of 
Kashmir is enshrined in the Indian constitution. If we are to break 
free from yesterday's mantras and make a new beginning, everybody 
concerned needs to stop repeating tired old cliches and get 
real.Similarly, Pakistanis have to come to terms with the fact that 
violence will not win them Kashmir. We have fought two-and-a-half 
wars with India over the disputed territory, and now with the 
induction of nuclear weapons, war is no longer a sane option, if it 
ever was one. The current low-intensity proxy battle being waged 
has been devastating for the very Kashmiris whose cause we are 
espousing, and has gained us international condemnation to boot. 
The simple truth is that the current lethal stalemate is a no-win 
situation for all three parties to the dispute. Kashmiri jihadi 
groups will have to face the fact that their struggle is now 
counter-productive: the rest of the world is not going to lean on 
India to walk out of the Valley.

These truths may be unpalatable to many people, but they have to be 
faced if we want peace in the subcontinent. Another factor that 
needs to be kept in mind is that many of the actors in open and 
backdoor negotiations have lost all credibility on both sides. 
Perhaps it would be better to initiate a quiet exploratory dialogue 
out of the limelight between a small group of individuals who hold 
no official positions and are respected on both sides. They could 
see how much flexibility there is in each other's position without 
having to repeat familiar, official positions.

Whatever the modality the two sides choose, they must seize the 
moment.


SPORTS
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20001209
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Pakistan lose their grip on the Test
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Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, Dec 8: Pakistan let England off the hook in the third and 
final cricket Test when they failed to capitalize on their 
overnight position of strength to be dismissed for 405 on the 
second day of the third and final Test at the National Stadium here 
on Friday.

Pakistan lost their last seven wickets for 82 runs after resuming 
this morning at 292 for three to surrender an opportunity of 
posting a mammoth first innings total and putting the tourists 
under psychological pressure.

England, who started their reply almost half-an-hour before tea, 
finished the day's play at 78 for one with Michael Atherton 
unbeaten on a confident but attractive 43. With him was skipper 
Nasser Hussain on 13 who came out to bat after Imran Nazir took a 
blinder at gully off Waqar Younis to dismiss Marcus Trescothick.

Pakistan's trademark inconsistency lingered which increased the 
prospects of yet another high scoring draw against the tourists. 
The wicket had no demons. In fact, it looked featherbed for batsmen 
and it was a case of poor stroke selection that led to the downfall 
of almost all the batsmen.

Unfortunately that has been the story all through the series 
despite the fact that country's most successful batsman is the 
coach of the team. One wonders what guidance the batsmen are 
getting from Javed Miandad as there has been some individual 
brilliance in the series but no collective effort. This Test is a 
case in point in which Inzamam scored 142 and Youhana contributed 
117 to be the only big run-getters.

The discipline was missing, application and concentration were 
factors which appeared nonexistent watching Pakistan batters. Until 
these crucial points come into play in Pakistan batting, the 
present scenario would continue and Pakistan would win game here 
and there but never be in the same bracket as of Australia.

England left-arm spinner Ashley Giles, who was hit out for 52 off 
his 15 wicketless overs on the first day, captured four cheap 
wickets to finish as the tourists most successful bowler with four 
for 94. He probably would have added more had Michael Atherton, 
Graham Thorpe and Marcus Trescothick not dropped catches off his 
bowling.

Saqlain Mushtaq and Waqar Younis, who were the beneficiaries, later 
found their stumps uprooted by Darren Gough. The Yorkshireman was 
rewarded for his untiring efforts on an unsupportive track with 
three for 82 from 27.4 overs.

Pakistan's main hopes of a big first innings total rested on the 
shoulders of Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhana who had played 
brilliantly last evening to finish unbeaten at 123 and 104 
respectively.

But both the stroke-makers fell to over-adventurous shots. Yousuf 
Youhana, who was first to go, hit a Giles losener back to the 
bowler who brought off an eye-catching one-handed reflex action 
catch low on his weaker arm.

Two runs later, Inzamam perished to a casual drive off Craig 
Whites' first delivery of the day to leave Trescothick hold a good.

The dismissal of the two batsmen pressed the panic button in the 
Pakistan camp as the batsmen came in and returned as if they were 
in a hurry. There seemed to be no purpose behind their batting.

Moin Khan created some hunky dory in the field with his nudges, 
pushes and quick running between the wickets. But then he attempted 
a delicate push against the spin one too many and found the leading 
edge to be caught by Graeme Hick at mid-on.

Shahid Afridi's lucky survival in this Test in a spate of failures 
lasted just 14 deliveries when he made a fool of himself by 
offering no stroke to a straight delivery from Giles and finding 
the red cherry shattering the furniture behind him. Afridi's 
dismissal was a perfect example of the lack of technique of the 
Pakistan batsmen who actually don't know where their off-stump is 
when they bat which consequently lead to their dismissals behind 
wickets or in leg before wickets.

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