------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 08 July 2000 Issue : 06/26 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Pakistan not isolated, says United States envoy + Chief Executive begins talks with politicians + India must accept the reality of Pakistan: Chief Executive + Hubco invokes govt's sovereign guarantee + Helicopter case: Nawaz paid duty, deposes Sartaj + Acquittal plea in plot reference rejected + 14th Amendment: Nawaz can't act against dissenters: lawyers + Chief Executive, Fahim discuss reforms + Missile: China denies US report + Shaukat, IMF discuss fiscal reforms + National Accountability Bureau Ordinance amended + Politicians not to be associated with government + Farooq denies hand in octroi contract + Benazir urges Common wealth to take into account HR record --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Rs90bn assets declared: Rs9 billion collected from TAS + Corps commanders briefed: CBR seeks army help in tax recovery + Trade gap swells to $1.725 billion + Target can be met: 24% projected rise in tax revenue: Shaukat + 1999-2000 target exceeded: Govt borrowings touch Rs60bn + Rs950m to improve industrial technology + Traders refuse to return tax forms + 10% hike in drug prices + Surcharge on salary tax removed + Survey on 'credit' agencies: Asian investors distrust ratings + Stagnation feared in trade ties with Japan --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + The sole statesman-3 Ardeshir Cowasjee + Education of the military Ayaz Amir ----------- SPORTS + Moin hopes to win tri-series + BCCI protests over manager's remarks + Tauqir advises Majid against irresponsible statements + Sri Lankans break free from Pakistan's shackles + Pakistan to play 2 Tests in England

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NATIONAL NEWS

20000702 
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Pakistan not isolated, says United States envoy
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ISLAMABAD, July 1: Dispelling the impression that Islamabad had 
been internationally isolated, US Ambassador to Pakistan William B. 
Milam said on Saturday that Pakistan was an important country not 
only for the region, but also for the United States.

"This is a false impression, and it has to be undone by the 
Pakistanis themselves. We realize Pakistan is an important country 
and we cannot ignore it. It is an important player in the region, 
and we want to keep engaged," he said.

The envoy was speaking at a luncheon hosted by Mian Abdul Waheed, 
the former chairman of foreign affairs committee of the suspended 
National Assembly.

"Although we are trying to settle matters with the military 
government, still it is better that democracy returns to Pakistan 
as early as possible. The US can discuss the issues with a civilian 
government in a better way," the ambassador said.

Mr Milam said Washington wanted to see Pakistan economically strong 
and stable. "The United States also wants to invest in the country 
like some other nations. But it requires a conducive atmosphere.

"There are certain apprehensions among investors due to the IPPs 
issue and law and order situation. 

 They are reluctant to come here. It is for the government and the 
people to improve the atmosphere," Mr Milam said.

He urged the government to focus, particularly, on improvement of 
law and order situation.

The luncheon was attended by the British High Commissioner in 
Pakistan, envoys of Switzerland and the Netherlands, and some PML 
leaders.-NNI

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20000704 
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Chief Executive begins talks with politicians
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Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, July 3: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf on Monday 
started direct negotiations with the politicians by assuring them 
that democracy would soon be restored in the country.

He held one-to-one meetings with the Pakistan Muslim League 
convener, Raja Zafarul Haq, Secretary General of Jamiat Ulama-i-
Islam (JUI) Maulana Fazlur Rahman, the newly-formed National Awami 
Party chief, Ajmal Khattak, and PML(N) dissident leader Mian 
Mohammad Azhar.

Gen Musharraf is likely to meet leaders of other parties on 
Tuesday.

Mr Haq, an influential leader in the PML, described his meeting 
with Gen Musharraf "very good and productive" and said that issues 
like the future political set up, the proposed amendments to the 
Constitution, and hardships being faced by the deposed prime 
minister, Nawaz Sharif, came under discussion.

He told Dawn that the main thrust of the discussion was how to go 
back to democratic dispensation.

"How should the future election commission function in order to 
revive political activities were discussed during the meeting", Mr 
Haq said.

Responding to a question he said the PML central executive 
committee would meet shortly to discuss his meeting with the chief 
executive and to chalk out a future strategy of the party.

"Although I have raised a number of issues before Gen Musharraf but 
primarily it was a listening session from my side", he said adding 
he gathered an impression during the meeting that the chief 
executive wanted an early restoration of democracy and a civilian 
set up in the country.

"My meeting took place on the invitation of the chief executive and 
let us see how things would move in the future", said the PML 
convener. He said he did not know whether he would have another 
meeting with Gen Musharraf. "I had not sought a meeting with him; 
if he invites me again I would meet him with the permission of my 
party."

Answering a question Mr Haq said he told the chief executive that 
Nawaz Sharif was facing unnecessary hardships. "The chief executive 
did not say any thing specific about Mr Sharif but he said he would 
look into the issue", Mr Haq said.

"There are some issues which were discussed with the CE, and will 
now be placed before an important meeting of the Muslim League", he 
said.

Official sources told Dawn that the CE "very candidly and openly" 
discussed his future strategy with the PML leader by saying that 
the country needed to be pulled out of political and economic 
crises. He said accountability had to be conducted to set things 
right and that the mess of the last 52 years will have to be 
removed to have a fresh beginning.

Mr Haq also clarified Nawaz Sharif's statement over Kargil.

They said the CE told the PML leader that he was not against the 
politicians and the political parties and that he had all the 
respect for them. However, he made it clear that the people would 
have to differentiate between the good and bad politicians. Those 
who brought bad name to the country and looted the national 
exchequer did not deserve any sympathy, he asserted.

JUI CHIEF: Later in the afternoon, the CE met Maulana Fazlur Rehman 
and also assured him that the military government was not there for 
an indefinite period as some people were anticipating.

When contacted the JUI chief told this correspondent that the CE 
had accepted to incorporate various Islamic provisions in the 
Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO). "The general has also 
accepted our suggestion that a joint ministerial committee of 
Pakistan and Afghanistan be constituted to discuss and stop the 
terrorism and drug trafficking", he said.

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20000702 
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India must accept the reality of Pakistan: Chief Executive 
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NEW DELHI, July 1: Chief Executive, General Pervez Musharraf, has 
called on India to change its mindset towards its neighbours and 
help lead South Asia to development. In an interview with the 
Hindustan Times published here on Saturday, Musharraf specifically 
criticised what he called India's bullying, "big brotherly" 
attitude towards Pakistan, which he said blocked improved relations 
between the rivals.

"We would like to see India as a country that is tolerant towards 
its neighbours and which has a good relationship with us," said Gen 
Musharraf.

"One would expect India to take all the countries of the region 
along with it towards the path of development, towards removal of 
poverty and towards the resolution of all the problems afflicting 
the region."

He urged New Delhi to play a more constructive role within the 
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which he 
said was falling far short of its potential for affecting positive 
regional change.

Questioned what that attitude might be, Musharraf said India needed 
to accept "the reality" of Pakistan.

"One gets the impression here that in some minds the acceptance may 
not be there," he said.

"If this acceptance is there, then also accept that Pakistan is a 
sovereign country that cannot be bullied or dominated 
unnecessarily. This is what we expect from India."

"We want the Kashmir dispute resolved according to the wishes of 
the Kashmiris. And this cannot necessarily be done within the 
purview of the Indian state," Musharraf said.- AFP

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20000708 
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Hubco invokes govt's sovereign guarantee
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Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, July 7: The Hub Power Company invoked on Friday the 
Pakistan government's sovereign guarantee after Wapda failed to 
open a "satisfactory" letter of credit (L/C) for making the payment 
of Rs3.9 billion to the company.

The Hubco has issued a formal notice to the managing director of 
private power and infrastructure board (PPIB), the ministry of 
water and power, and the GoP.

It has notified the Wapda of continuing breach of section 9.10 of 
the power purchase agreement (PPA).

Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz and senior officials of the 
ministries of finance and water and power remained busy throughout 
the day on Friday to find out some solution to the problem arising 
out of the Hubco's move.

According to informed sources, they discussed two options: either 
to approach the superior courts to stop the power company from 
invoking the sovereign guarantee or make available funds for Wapda 
to open some credible LC in any reputed bank.

This is the first time that any foreign company has invoked the 
sovereign guarantee of the GoP.

It was announced today that the government would give fresh offer 
of tariff to Hubco within this month. A two-member committee, 
comprising the finance minister and Wapda chairman, was finalizing 
the details, it added. The committee was constituted by the chief 
executive for negotiating with all the IPPs, including Hubco and 
Kapco, on tariff issue.

According to the notice issued by Hubco to the PPIB, the copy of 
which was obtained by this correspondent, Wapda has been accused of 
continuing breach of section 9.10 of the PPA, which requires Wapda 
to provide a letter of credit and in a form satisfactory to Hubco 
with respect to all amounts payable by the authority.

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20000707 
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Helicopter case: Nawaz paid duty, deposes Sartaj
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Rafaqat Ali

ATTOCK, July 6: Sartaj Aziz stated before the accountability court 
here on Thursday that customs duty for the helicopter was 
"arranged" by Nawaz Sharif, and the PML had spent Rs615,000 as its 
operational costs.

The accountability court at Attock Fort, headed by Judge Farrukh 
Latif, recorded the statement of former foreign minister Sartaj 
Aziz in the helicopter case involving Nawaz Sharif and Saifur 
Rehman.

Prosecutor-general accountability Farouk Adam said that prosecution 
would produce two or three witnesses more and close its evidence by 
Saturday. Arguments would begin on Monday. According to the PGA, 
the case would, most probably, conclude on Tuesday.

For the first time the deposed prime minister used his right of 
cross-examination, ending his boycott of court proceedings. "Nawaz 
Sharif is actively participating in the court proceeding and he has 
ended his boycott of the court proceedings," Mr Adam said.

Nawaz Sharif, however, was not allowed to make a statement in the 
court by the judge, who said it was not a proper forum to deliver 
"a political speech".

The judge observed that the accused would be asked to record 
statements under Section 432 of the Cr.PC and then they would be at 
liberty to make whatever statements they wanted.

The former prime minister, however, continued speaking in the 
court. He stated that his confidence in the court had shaken and 
that the requirements of justice were not being fulfilled. "I know 
what will be your verdict, and you better sit in the GHQ."

Sartaj Aziz, who was summoned on the request of the prosecution, 
was shown a letter he had written to the Civil Aviation Authority 
for the registration of MI-8 helicopter. He confirmed that he had 
written the letter in his capacity as secretary-general of the 
Pakistan Muslim League.

Mr Aziz stated that he had signed the letter on Nov 5, 1996 before 
it was sent to CAA in response to its letter addressed to Nawaz 
Sharif.

When Mr Aziz said he wanted to explain the background in which the 
letter was written, the prosecution objected to it. At this stage 
Nawaz Sharif, who had remained indifferent after announcing his 
boycott of the proceedings, rose and requested the court to allow 
Mr Aziz to speak.

The prosecutor said he would have no objection if Nawaz Sharif 
wanted to question the witness. The judge then asked Nawaz Sharif 
to put a question to Mr Aziz.

Nawaz Sharif showed reluctance before he went into the witness box 
and asked Mr Aziz to explain the background in which he had written 
the letter to CAA.

Mr Aziz replied that there were some technical issues discussed in 
his letter. The first question was regarding the de-registration of 
the helicopter in Russia. The real question, he stated, was the 
ownership of the helicopter.

The helicopter, he said, was first chartered for three months from 
the Javaid Aviations by PML for the election campaign. It was 
purchased by Shaikh Abdur Rehman of Qatar in October 1993, and was 
grounded soon after the PPP came to power.

It remained grounded for two-and-a-half years on different pretexts 
until the Supreme Court ordered in 1996 that it should be 
registered and allowed to fly.

Mr Aziz said that the customs authorities kept issuing notices to 
the Javaid Aviations after the helicopter was grounded. It was, he 
said, correct that customs duty for the helicopter was "arranged" 
by Nawaz Sharif, and PML spent Rs615,000 as operational costs.

The helicopter, he said, was registered in the name of Nawaz Sharif 
in November 1996 after the SC order. It could not have been shown 
in the tax returns of 1996 as it was not registered in the name of 
Nawaz Sharif by June 30, the former finance minister contended. 
Before June 1997, he added, the helicopter crashed.

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20000705 
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Acquittal plea in plot reference rejected
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Tahir Siddiqi

KARACHI, July 4: Accountability Court No 1, headed by Judge Dr 
Qamaruddin Bohra, dismissed on Tuesday another application for 
acquittal of former land utilization secretary Ramesh Udeshi in a 
plot reference.

The reference No 23/20000 pertained to the allotment of a 28.8 
acres to Noor Mohammed Dahiri at a throwaway price in violation of 
rules and existing policy, thus causing a loss of Rs9.2 million to 
the state.

The court had earlier ordered the release of Dahiri in this 
reference and in another identical reference after the NAB chairman 
gave his consent to this effect.

The beneficiary returned the entire 28.8 acres and also surrendered 
the forfeiture of the paid amount of Rs853,050.

The court, however, disqualified Dahiri from contesting elections 
or holding public office for 21 years.

Another accused, Mohsin Haqqani, former deputy commissioner of 
Karachi West, was released on June 5 by the court after the NAB 
withdrew the prosecution against him.

While ordering the release of Haqqani, the judge however observed 
that the case against Haqqani was not fit to be withdrawn under 
Section 31-B of the NAB Ordinance and that "wrong facts" were 
placed before the NAB chairman and "the consent was obtained by 
misguiding him."

The ex-DC was alleged to have issued the challan for instalment in 
respect of the 28.8 acres in Deh Orangi, though the land in 
question was ordered to be allotted in Pir Mangho where no land was 
available.

The court had issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of 
Haqqani on April 6. He, however, surrendered before the court on 
June 3 and was released on June 5.

The then chief minister, wanted in several plot references, has 
been declared a proclaimed offender in the case.

Another accused, Noor Mohammed Khati, a former assistant 
commissioner of revenue department, is untraceable.

It was alleged that Dahiri applied to the Directorate of Mineral 
Development Department Sindh, for a quarry licence over an area of 
63.6 acres in Deh Pir Mangho. When the quarry licence continued to 
be operative, he moved an application to Udeshi and the then chief 
minister endorsed it on May 6, 1994 with the remarks "Request 
allowed. No Summary."

The reference alleged that the then secretary of land utilization 
department, being in connivance with Abdullah Shah to benefit 
Dahiri, floated a summary for allotment of 28.08 acres in Deh Pir 
Mangho for conversion of 28.08 acres for industrial and commercial 
use at the rate of Rs25 per square yard.

It was alleged that no report was called from the revenue officer 
by Udeshi "in collusion with Abdullah Shah to illegally benefit 
Dahiri in violation of Sindh Business rule, 1986, without observing 
the formalities as envisaged in the rules and in flagrant violation 
of the existing ban."

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20000705
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14th Amendment: Nawaz can't act against dissenters: lawyers
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Asad Ali

LAHORE, July 4: Lawyers say that PML President Nawaz Sharif cannot 
act under the 14th amendment against the party members who 
dissented from his decisions regarding the party's internal 
matters.

The lawyers were asked about the PML president's competence to have 
recourse to the 14th amendment to counter the moves by some of the 
members of the suspended assemblies and Senate who after October 12 
last disagreed with the leadership on different issues.

Senior Advocate S.M. Zafar said in the light of a Supreme Court 
judgment proceedings could only be initiated against a party member 
if he or she violates party discipline inside the parliament. He 
said this meant both voting or speaking against the party.

Asked if defection law would apply to the PML's suspended MNAs 
trying to form a separate group at present, the advocate replied in 
the negative. He said 14th amendment could not be applied during 
suspension of assemblies.

He said even if the assemblies were in place, party presidents 
could not act under the law in case of a dissent outside the 
parliament.

He replied in the negative when asked if the law would be applied 
when a member disagreed with his leadership at a parliamentary 
party meeting.

Dr A Basit said the 14th amendment gave full powers to a party 
chief to initiate action against the members for dissenting with 
him on the matters relating to the parliamentary affairs and other 
issues.

However, he said the Supreme Court on a petition filed by the 
Wukala Mahaz diluted the amendment and limited its scope. He said 
the SC created a distinction and said powers under the new law 
could only be applied in the matters relating to party manifesto or 
issues to be taken before the parliament.

But, he added, that the party president decided in his or her 
discretion if a debate concerned party's internal matter or it was 
an issue which related to the parliament.

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20000705 
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Chief Executive, Fahim discuss reforms
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Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, July 4: Vice chairman of Pakistan People's Party and 
former federal minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim called on Chief 
Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf here on Tuesday and discussed with 
him matters of national importance.

The meeting was held in response to the invitation of the chief 
executive and is a part of the series of his meetings with the 
country's politicians. "The CE apprised the PPP leader about the 
government's reforms policies and heard his views on various 
issues", says a press release of the CE secretariat.

According to the PPP central secretariat, the meeting between the 
chief executive and the PPP vice-chairman was held with the 
approval of the chairperson Benazir Bhutto and after taking into 
confidence the leadership of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA).

Mr Fahim presented the point of view of the PPP and also of the 
political alliance of PAI and GDA of which the PPP is a component 
party.

He reiterated the PPP demand for early holding of fair and free 
elections to the national and provincial assemblies and return to 
democratic and civil rule. He said that the local bodies' polls 
were important but these could not be a substitute for the general 
elections. "Urgent measures need to be adopted for the holding of 
general elections", he said.

Mr Fahim also demanded an end to the political victimization of PPP 
members.He demanded that all these cases against PPP leadership be 
withdrawn.

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20000705 
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Missile: China denies US report
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BEIJING, July 4: China denied on Tuesday it was selling missile 
technology to Pakistan. "I want to state clearly that there is no 
such thing as Chinese sales of missile technology to Pakistan," 
foreign ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi told a news conference in 
response to a report by the New York Times.

"The report is totally groundless." The newspaper said on Sunday 
that in a series of classified briefings in Congress, intelligence 
agencies described how China stepped up the shipment of specialty 
steels, guidance systems and technical expertise to Pakistan.

The New York Times said the intelligence agency briefings in 
Congress were complicating President Bill Clinton's effort to win 
quick Senate passage of a bill establishing permanent normal trade 
relations with China.

The bill, which paves the way for China's membership of the World 
Trade Organization, has been passed by the House of Representatives 
and had been expected to sail through the Senate.

A US official said Washington was worried about possible Chinese 
sales of so-called "dual-use" technology with both civilian and 
military applications.-Reuters

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20000707 
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Shaukat, IMF discuss fiscal reforms
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Masood Haider

NEW YORK, July 6: Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz met the Deputy 
Managing Director of International Monetary Fund, Eduarado Anianat 
on Wednesday and discussed with him a number of financial matters 
including Pakistan's new reform package.

The two met at the sidelines of the United Nations Economic and 
Social Council's annual meeting. On Tuesday Mr Aziz said Pakistan 
has been servicing its loans to IMF and the World Bank without 
getting any money from these institutions.

PETROLEUM PRICES: Referring to petroleum prices he said these have 
been de-linked from Pakistan's budget and are now linked to the 
prices set up by the consortium of oil producing nations, OPEC.

In an interview to Dawn, partially reported on Thursday, he said 
that there will be a quarterly review of the petroleum prices and 
the trend operating in the market would be reflected on the petrol 
pumps. The next review is to take place on September 15.

While saying that if the oil producing nations drop the prices of 
oil the prices may come down, he however, cautioned that prices of 
some petroleum products like diesel do not properly reflect in that 
drop. "Sometimes diesel prices remain higher despite the drop in 
oil prices," he stressed.

In the United States where petroleum prices have seen a steep hike 
due to rising oil costs, the price of diesel had more than doubled.

On the issue of rise in gas taxes, he said that Sui gas is not 
really a budgetary item. The prices which have risen were necessary 
to develop and explore more gas reserves, he said.

"This is not a tax imposed as a consequence of the new budget," he 
added.

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20000706  
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National Accountability Bureau Ordinance amended
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ISLAMABAD, July 5: The President Rafiq Tarar on Wednesday issued an 
ordinance to amend the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance, 
1999. The amendments said that any person, who had been arrested 
and investigated by the NAB on charges of default or non-payment of 
dues, might be referred to Reconciliation Committees, if the 
Governor of the State Bank deems fit.

"For the purpose of this ordinance the Governor, State Bank of 
Pakistan shall constitute one or more Reconciliation Committees." 
The reconciliation committee shall have a nominee by Governor of 
the State Bank, a senior and well-qualified official of the bank 
who shall be the chairman of the committee. Two members of the 
committee shall be taken from the NAB, appointed by the NAB 
chairman. Besides, five Chartered Accountants shall also be its 
members.

The ordinance added that if the committee failed to resolve the 
matter or borrower refused to accept its decision, the case shall 
be referred to the Accountability Court.

It amended ordinance said that the Accountability Courts shall have 
powers to punish for contempt of court with imprisonment for a term 
which may extend to six months and with fine which may extend to 
one million. Any person who abuses, scandalizes, ridiculous and 
disobeys the directions of courts and does anything which, by other 
law, constitutes contempt of court may be charged for contempt of 
court.

The ordinance said a holder of the public office or any other 
person voluntarily comes forward to return the illegal gain made by 
him, the chairman of the NAB may accept his offer and that 
particular case might be discharged against him.

The NAB chairman can delegate his powers to the person whom he 
deems fit and proper. "The chairman NAB or an officer duly 
authorized by him, may appoint such officer and staff as he may 
consider necessary for the efficient performance of his functions 
and exercise of powers under this ordinance."-NNI

Faraz Hashmi from Islamabad Bureau adds: In its amendment the 
government brought wide-ranging procedural changes in the original 
National Accountability Bureau Ordinance (NAB), of 1999, empowering 
the president to remove the chairman of the NAB and appoint a 
deputy chairman of the bureau.

In the original ordinance the president had the powers to appoint 
the chairman but he had no powers to remove the chairman.

About the appointment of deputy chairman of the NAB, the original 
ordinance laid the power with the chief executive.

The recent changes effected also barred serving district and 
session judge for being appointed as the judge of the 
accountability court.

In the section 5-g, concerning the appointment of judge to an 
accountability court the words "other than serving district and 
session judge shall hold the office for a period of two years 
unless removed by the president of Pakistan after consultation with 
the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

THE ACCUSED: Today's ordinance also made slight change in the 
definition of an accused person. In the original ordinance the 
employed director and chief executive were not included in the 
definition of person. But this exemption has been withdrawn.

The NAB chairman has also been empowered to delegate any of his 
powers or authorise performance of any of his function to an 
officer of the NAB as he may deem fit.

A new section has also been inserted in the original ordinance 
enhancing the powers of accountability courts to take cognizance of 
their contempt.

The new section 16(B) titled as contempt of court states: "The 
court shall have the power to punish for contempt of court with 
imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and with 
fine which may extend to one million rupees any person who:

a) abuses, interferes with or obstruct the process of the court in 
any way or disobeys any order direction of the court. 

 b) scandalizes the court or otherwise does anything which tends to 
bring the court a person constituting the court into hatred, 
ridicule or contempt;

c) does anything which tends to prejudice the determination of a 
matter pending or most likely to come up before the court or;

d) does anything which by any other law, constitutes contempt of 
court.

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20000706 
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Politicians not to be associated with government 
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Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, July 5: The cabinet on Wednesday endorsed Chief 
Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf's initiative to meet politicians 
with a view to briefing them on various national and international 
issues.

It was of the view that there was a need to take political leaders 
into confidence on important issues, official sources said.

Presiding over the cabinet meeting, Gen Musharraf said the initial 
contact with the politicians had been good and it had encouraged 
him to have more similar contacts in the larger national interest. 
He said he would meet other politicians also to seek their 
suggestions on different issues.

The CE was quoted as having said that he was not opposed to 
politicians as had been given the impression by some quarters.

However, sources said, the CE's meetings with the politicians did 
not necessarily mean that they would be associated with the 
government and that these meetings were aimed at breaking the ice 
for a better understanding of the issues.

The cabinet was of the view that meetings with the political 
leaders were relevant and helpful in developing a consensus on 
national stability, economic revival and important policy 
initiatives.

It was informed that the political leaders supported the 
accountability process in principle as there was a need to create a 
culture of transparency and good governance.

IRSA: The CE briefed the cabinet on the water management system in 
the country and his earlier discussions with the Sindh governor and 
provincial cabinet. To ensure equitable and judicious distribution 
of water under the Indus River System Authority accord, it was 
decided that the accord should be implemented in letter and spirit.

It was also decided that the federal representative in IRSA would 
be from Sindh. Thus, Sindh would have two representatives on the 
IRSA - one as member from Sindh and the other as the federal 
representative. The IRSA headquarters is also being shifted from 
Lahore to Islamabad immediately to stress the independent federal 
status of IRSA.

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20000706 
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Farooq denies hand in octroi contract
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Rafaqat Ali

Attock, July 5: Dr Farooq Sattar, a former senior minister of 
Sindh, stated before the Accountability Court here on Wednesday 
that he would produce witnesses to prove that he had not exerted 
pressure for the award of any octroi contract.

Dr Sattar further stated that the NAB had failed to bring out fresh 
evidence to justify alleged disregard of the Supreme Court order on 
the same issue. He said the apex court had reserved judgment on an 
identical issue and a fresh trial would amount to a contempt of the 
Supreme Court.

Dr Sattar is facing charges that he had used his influence in the 
awarding of a contract to M/s Bolan Enterprises for the collection 
of rail/road route octroi for the year 1997-98.

He stated that he would like to produce witnesses before the court. 
He also stated that the apex court had also issued an interim order 
allowing the contractor to retain the entire amount collected as 
octroi.

Dr Sattar pleaded that no incriminating evidence had been brought 
against him and, therefore, the reference, not being competent, 
could not form the subject matter of any criminal trial.

When asked by the court why the present reference had been filed 
against him, Dr Sattar said he did not know , but he added that he 
felt that the basis of the case was his political affiliation.

He further stated that, being a worker of the MQM, a party which 
was given a mandate by the people of Karachi, he could not have 
even imagined that there should be any shortfall in KMC revenues.

Replying to a question asked by the court, Dr Sattar said he had 
tried to find out as to why, how and on what pretext was M/s Bolan 
Enterprises collecting octroi at the Bhains Colony on goods coming 
from Port Qasim. He had been informed, he stated, that the 
situation had arisen due to a sudden divergence.

When asked what measure he had taken to rectify the situation, Dr 
Sattar stated that he had agreed to a proposal of the then 
administrator that an octroi post be set up at Port Qasim, and had 
initiated a move for the extension of the KMC municipal limits up 
to Port Qasim, enabling the Karachi Municipal Corporation to 
collect octroi on the cargo diverted to Port Qasim. The extension 
was recommended in September 1997 and he had acted upon it 
accordingly.

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20000708 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Benazir urges Common wealth to take into account HR record
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, July 7: Pakistan People's Party Chairperson Benazir 
Bhutto has called upon Commonwealth Secretary-General Don Mckinnon 
to take into account human rights record of the previous government 
while expressing concern over the trial of Nawaz Sharif by the 
military regime.

Noting the stand the Commonwealth had taken with regard to the 
trial of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, she called on the 
organization to be more even-handed, said a press release, issued 
by the PPP media centre here on Friday, following Ms Bhutto's 
meeting with the Mr Mckinnon in London on Thursday.

Ms Bhutto, who discussed with Mr Mckinnon the future of democracy 
in Pakistan, said the former regime had trampled upon human rights 
and due process of law.

She said if the Commonwealth took interest in the trial of Mr 
Sharif, it should also take interest in the situation faced by the 
PPP leaders at the hands of the former regime.

She hoped that the Commonwealth would increase its focus on rule of 
law and independent functioning of judiciary.

The two leaders, who met at the Marlborough House, the Commonwealth 
headquarters, also discussed human rights situation and needs for 
monitoring due process of law.

Ms Bhutto informed the secretary-general of the reservations her 
party had about the present accountability law and the arrests of 
the PDF members, including former ministers Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, 
Haji Nawaz Khokhar, Anwar Saifullah Khan, Siraj Durrani, Faisal 
Saleh Hayat, Naveed Qamar and Asif Ali Zardari.

She said her party had called for a date for elections and the 
release of political prisoners. The military government, she hoped, 
would engage the established political parties in meaningful 
dialogues to develop an "exit strategy" to pave the way for the 
restoration of democracy in the country.

She said her party was a liberal party that would like to see 
reforms, including joint electorates and women's seats, which could 
institutionally strengthen the liberal framework in the country.

Mr Mckinnon said he hoped to visit the country in summer to discuss 
with the military government the Commonwealth's viewpoint.


=================================================================== 
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20000702
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Rs90bn assets declared: Rs9 billion collected from TAS
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, July 1: Assets worth Rs90 billion have been declared 
under the Tax Amnesty Scheme while a tax amount of Rs9 billion has 
been received, on expiry of the scheme on June 30.

 An official announcement here on Saturday said that the Central 
Board of Revenue has been expecting only Rs5 billion in tax and 
Rs50 billion worth of declarations of assets and incomes. The 
scheme had been launched on March 1, 2000, for legalization of 
undeclared assets and incomes at 10% income tax and with the 
condition of no-probe into source of these incomes and assets.

 "It has been the most successful amnesty scheme in the country's 
history", says the CBR.

CBR officials say that in 1958, a similar scheme fetched Rs220 
million. Another amnesty scheme in 1969 brought Rs225 million, in 
1976 Rs450 million, and in 1997 Rs140 million. All these schemes 
collectively fetched in revenue Rs1 billion, approximately.

The CBR spokesman says: Collection of this hefty amount under the 
TAS 2000, mainly from the 13 cities where economic documentation 
survey is being conducted, reflects that "the impact of survey has 
started showing on the national economy."

The spokesman further said that the survey teams have so far 
collected 70,456 forms from recipients after distributing 383,696 
forms in 13 major cities of the country. 

 The forms collected were 19,420 from the business community while 
51,036 were from the residential areas.

Income Tax officials available for extending assistance to the 
survey form recipients in all matters relating to the declarations 
in 13 major cities can be contacted on telephone (UAN) 111-227-227, 
it added.

APP adds from Peshawar: Under the Tax Amnesty Scheme, expired on 
June 30, an amount of Rs. 160 million has been collected in NWFP 
against the declaration of assets worth Rs. 1.6 billion, said Taj 
Muhammad, Special Officer Income Tax, here on Saturday.

In all, a total of 1147 persons availed the opportunity and 
declared their hidden assets under the scheme.

Earlier, on June 28 (Wednesday) total amount collected under the 
scheme was calculated as Rs. 93.6 million. However, within two days 
the figures of collected money rose to 160 million.

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20000707 
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Corps commanders briefed: CBR seeks army help in tax recovery
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, July 6: The Central Board of Revenue has communicated to 
the army that their assistance would be required to ensure tax 
compliance even after the conduct of survey for documentation of 
economy.

Briefing corps commanders at their 72nd conference on Thursday, CBR 
chairman Riaz Hussain Naqvi explained that Rs100 billion additional 
revenue projected from the ongoing survey would be made possible 
only by a follow-up action for tax compliance. The Chief of General 
Staff, Lt-Gen Mohammad Aziz Khan, presided over the conference.

The tax compliance, he said, would only be ensured if the 
assistance of army continued to maintain pressure on taxpayers for 
at least three years. The ongoing protest from traders, especially 
the retail sector, could have evolved into an eruption if the army 
had not been directly involved in the conduct of the survey, he 
pointed out.

The CBR chief informed the corps commanders that the survey would 
bring one million new taxpayers. He said that continued support 
from the army was essential for smooth conduct of the tax survey. 
Once the retrieval of survey forms distributed among the business 
and residential sectors in 13 major cities picked pace, those 
cities would be covered for documentation in seven months, he 
added.

He stated that there was a negative revenue impact of the traders' 
strikes and protest which, if continued, would frustrate the tax-
generation plans for 2000-2001.

He said the CBR plans to complete the survey in posh residential 
areas by Sept 30, and by Dec 30 in other areas, including business 
establishments. From Jan 1, he said, the survey would be extended 
to 60 other, smaller towns in the country.

He hoped that as a result of the survey the registered income 
taxpayers' population would increase by 25-30 per cent which would 
mean an addition of 300,000 new taxpayers. At present, there were 
only 1.5 million registered IT-payers.

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20000707 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Trade gap swells to $1.725 billion
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, July 6: The fiscal year 1999-2000 ended with a trade gap 
of $1.725 billion, signifying an increase of 4.4 per cent over the 
year 1998-99.

The aggregate trade figures for the out-going financial year 
provided by the ministry of commerce here on Thursday, however, 
belie somewhat the earlier apprehensions that the trade deficit 
might exceed two billion dollars during the year. 

These apprehensions were based on the pattern of previous months 
when the trade gap was climbing by around $200 million per month. 
Instead, the trade gap went up by $117 million during the first 11 
months of 1999-2000.

The trade deficit during 1998-99 was $1.65 billion.

According to these figures, the country exported merchandise worth 
$8.459 billion, that is 8.7% more than in 1998-99. The imports 
totalled $10.184 billion, up 8.0% over the previous year.In 
absolute terms, however, the imports outdid exports: While the 
exports were up by $681 million compared to 1998-99, the imports 
increased by $752 million.

The exports thus fell short of the target of $9 billion for the 
year by about 6 per cent or $541 million.

Viewed in terms of the proportion of imports covered by exports, 
the figures also show some improvement. While in 1998-99, the 
exports had paid for 82.5 per cent of imports, in the year just 
ended, the proportion covered by exports went up to about 83.1%.

Despite 8.7% increase in exports during the whole year, their 
performance during the final month of the year showed a negative 
trend, compared to June, 1999. During the month of June, exports 
totalled $766 million, down 4.4% from the correspondent month of 
last year. However, these show a slight increase of 1.3% over May, 
2000.

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20000707 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Target can be met: 24% projected rise in tax revenue: Shaukat
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Masood Haider

NEW YORK, July 6: Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz said that the 
projected 24 per cent rise in tax revenue "was aggressive but not 
unrealistic" pointing out that without much effort this year there 
was a 17 per cent increase in revenues.

In an exclusive interview to Dawn in New York, on Tuesday, where he 
was on a four-day private visit, Aziz said "if we don't plan 
aggressively we will never get out of this quagmire we are in."

In fact Aziz pointed out that given the fact that country's wheat 
crop this year has been extraordinary the projected Gross Domestic 
product (GDP) could rise from 4.5 per cent to 4.8 per cent. Next 
year it could be 5 per cent, he added. It can't be done.

Expressing confidence that country is headed in the right 
direction, Aziz said that "the entire government machinery will be 
dedicated to meeting the target set in the budget.

He said that "the way to look at the targets is not to look at the 
year to year increase only, but to see the tax collection 
percentage of GDP. In the developed countries its 30 to 40 per cent 
of GDP, we only have 13 per cent. The developing countries average 
ranges between 18, 20 or 22 per cent of GDP.

He underscored "In the year 1999-2000 which ended June 30 our 
collection of taxes went up by 17 per cent, so keeping that 
percentage in mind 24 per cent increase in revenue with all the tax 
survey going on is not unreasonable,"

"It is high it is aggressive but I think it is attainable. Because 
of what we are doing," he said.

Aziz said "If we have fiscal autonomy and we reduce our deficit our 
reliance on foreign loans and domestic loans will reduce, pointing 
out that presently 55 per cent of our budget goes on debt 
servicing."

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20000702
-------------------------------------------------------------------
1999-2000 target exceeded: Govt borrowings touch Rs60bn
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, July 1: Net borrowing of the government for budgetary 
support rose to about Rs60 billion on June 10 eclipsing hopes of 
meeting the revised target of Rs28 billion for fiscal 1999-2000.

Sources at the ministry of finance told Dawn that between July 1, 
1999 and June 10, 2000 the government had made a net borrowing of 
around Rs60 billion from the banking system.

They said the borrowing figure might fall on June 30 with faster 
inflow of tax revenue and the additional income through tax amnesty 
scheme but it could hardly be reduced to Rs28 billion. Between July 
1, 1998 and June 12, 1999 the government had retired about Rs64 
billion worth of net bank credit instead of making any fresh 
borrowing.

Under the 1999-2000 credit plan, the government was supposed to 
retire Rs13.6 billion of bank credit instead of making any fresh 
borrowing. But as external inflows remained suspended and revenue 
collection fell short of target the government had to borrow from 
banks.

Realizing that the target of retiring a net credit of Rs13.6 
billion in 1999-2000 Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz said in his 
budget 2000-01 speech that net government borrowing in 1999-2000 
would be kept at Rs28.3 billion. By the time he was making his 
speech on June 17, the net government borrowing had risen to Rs53 
billion as on May 27-according to the then latest statistics.

Normally the data relating to government or private borrowing is 
compiled with a two-week time lag. The latest data shows that 
between July 1, 1999 and June 10, 2000 government borrowing under 
commodity operation rose to Rs31.5 billion. In the same period in 
fiscal 1998-99, government borrowing for commodity operation was as 
low as Rs3.6 billion.

Under the 1999-2000 credit plan, commodity operation financing was 
to rise by Rs10 billion. Sources close to ministry of finance say 
there is also a carry-over of Rs17 billion in commodity financing. 
This means that even if the commodity financing ends up at Rs27 
billion on June 30 that would be well within the target. Bankers 
say the commodity financing of Rs31.5 billion up to June 10 may 
either remain almost intact at the end of June or even fall 
slightly.

The statistics show that up to June 10 banks and development 
financial institutions had disbursed Rs14 billion worth of credit 
to the private sector against full-year target of Rs104 billion.

Bankers say the figure may either remain pegged at this level by 
the year-end on June 30 or decline marginally on faster retirement 
of seasonal credit.

Sources close to ministry of finance say the failure of the 
government in meeting its monetary targets set for 1999-2000 might 
go unnoticed by IMF and World Bank in the absence of any funding 
agreement in 1999-2000.

But in the current fiscal year Pakistan will have to meet its 
monetary targets at any cost because a new funding agreement with 
IMF-World Bank is on cards.

The finance minister announced in his budget 2000-01 speech that 
the government would retire Rs2.2 billion of net bank credit in the 
current fiscal year instead of making any fresh borrowing. 

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20000707 
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Rs950m to improve industrial technology
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, July 6: The government has allocated a sum of Rs950 
million to bring about technological intervention in the industries 
like textile, engineering, electronics, energy, ocean resources and 
biotechnology sector in the year 2000-2001.

Sources said, these interventions would be initiated and monitored 
by the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) under 
its technology information programme.

The textile fabric sector has been allocated Rs150 million to 
improve its quality. The fund will be utilized to bring about 
uniformity in the finishing process in the textile sector to boost 
exports.

Sources said, these activities included bringing about improvement 
in the technology of finishing, dyeing, printing and to ensure 
correct finishing shrinking control.

Sources said, besides this, a sum of Rs200 million has also been 
earmarked for the development of high yield, disease resistant and 
stress tolerant crop varieties. The development of biological pest 
control methods would also be undertaken; development and 
commercialization of food processing and preservation techniques, 
controlling waterlogging and salinity, development of methods for 
increasing efficiency of the irrigation system.

On energy sector side, a sum of Rs0.15 billion has been allocated 
for energy resources assessment; exploration; utilization of 
indigenous low quality coal; development and adaptation of 
renewable energy resources vis solar, wind, and other alternate 
technologies; energy efficiency improvement and conservation, 
adoption of environmental control technologies.

For the promotion of electronic industry, the Commission will spend 
a sum of Rs150 million. The project activities will focus on 
silicon technology, design and development of communication 
satellite/ ancillary ground equipment, optical instruments, 
establishment of electronics parks for promotion of the electronic 
industry.

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20000706 
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Traders refuse to return tax forms
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

 KARACHI, July 5: Shopkeepers of electronic markets in Saddar on 
Wednesday refused to give back the tax survey forms to the visiting 
tax officials.

A team of income tax officials comprising Tariq Zahid, Sultan 
Nasir, Assistant Collector Sales Tax, Dr Iftikhar and Major Ayaz 
and some personals of law enforcement agencies, visited shops at 
Abdullah Haroon Road and demanded return of the filled tax survey 
form.

These officials, according to Karachi Electronic Dealers 
Association (KEDA) press release, were informed that shopkeepers 
would not return the form unless the association was not taken into 
confidence.

KEDA claimed that the tax officials turned rude and threatened to 
adopt the same tactics which were taken to deal with the Multan 
dealers recently.

The association said that despite intervention of Sindh Governor, 
the tax officials remained in the market for at least an hour, 
causing fear among the traders and resulting in traffic jam.

Later KEDA President, Mohammad Irfan informed Income Tax 
Commissioner, Akhtar Jamil to take notice of the incidence. He 
urged the government to suspend Dr Iftikhar.

Meanwhile, Chairman, All Pakistan Organization of Small Traders and 
Cottage Industries (APOSTCI), Umer Sailya urged the government to 
release the traders by July 7 who were arrested in Multan.

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20000706 
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10% hike in drug prices
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, July 5: Local and international pharmaceutical companies 
have increased prices of medicines by 10 per cent from July 1, 
2000.

The pharmaceutical companies include that which have revised prices 
of their products include Glaxo Wellcome and Highhoon Laboratories 
among others.

 Glaxo Wellcome Company's medicines revised trade and retail prices 
are as follows:

Products                   Revised trade           Revised retail
                              Prices                  prices

Angised tablets              Rs 7.34                 Rs 8.64 
Betnovate cream              Rs 11.40                Rs 13.41 
Betnovate ointment           Rs 11.40                Rs 13.14 
Betnovate-N cream            Rs 12.43                Rs 14.62 
Betnovate-N lotion           Rs 36.07                Rs 42.44 
Betnovate-N oint             Rs 12.43                Rs 14.62 
Ceporax capsule (250mg)      Rs 73.06                Rs 85.95 
Dicofen tablets (50 mg)      Rs 85.68                Rs 100.80 
Grisovin-FP tablets(125mg)   Rs 277.23               Rs 326.15 
Kemadrin Tablets             Rs 30.74                Rs 36.17 
Migril Tablets               Rs 16.85                Rs 19.59 
Zantac Tablets (500mg)       Rs 146.88               Rs 172.80 
Amphyil Tablets              Rs 14.46                Rs 17.01 
Calci-Ostlin Syrup           Rs 13.25                Rs 15.59 
Zeffix (100mg) Tablets       Rs 1,390.35             Rs 1,635.70 
Zofran injection (8mg/4ml)   Rs 3,698.86             Rs 4,351.60 
Zofran Tablets (8mg)         Rs 3,102.33             Rs 3,649.80

Highnoon Laboratories' medicines revised trade and retail prices 
are:

Products                   Revised trade           Revised retail
                              Prices                   prices

Herbesser Tablets(30mg)      Rs 321.68               Rs378.45 
Herbesser Tablets(60mg)      Rs 584.88               Rs 688.10 
Herbesser  Capsule           Rs 105.82               Rs 123.86 
Herbesser Capsule            Rs 201.78               Rs 237.39 
Feverin Tab (50mg)           Rs 932.70               Rs 1,086.80 
Aria Syrup                   Rs 40.00                Rs 47.06 
Heprovac-B 10mcg             Rs 127.50               Rs 150.00 
Yotopar Injection            Rs 198.00               Rs 220.00 
Unitinase injection          Rs 2,700.00             Rs 3,000.00
DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 20000706 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Surcharge on salary tax removed ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ikram Hoti ISLAMABAD; July 5: The federal government has notified removal of 10% surcharge on the tax payable by the salaried class, and a further 50 per cent relief from tax liability to full time teachers and researchers serving in non-profit institutions. Two notifications were issued here on Wednesday, which explain the method of calculation of tax by the salaried persons under the revised rates for the financial year 2000-20001. SRO 457(I)/2000, dated July 1, 2000, notifies the following: In part IV (of the First Schedule to the Income Tax Ordinance 1979), after clause (6), the following new clause (61) shall be added: "The provisions of paragraph C of part V of First Schedule, in so far as these relate to surcharge, shall not apply in respect of any assessment year commencing on or after July 1, 2000". Circular No 16 of 2000 (Income Tax), dated July 3, 2000, notifies the method of calculation as follows: Although the basic tax rates remain the same, the salaried persons would be allowed a reduction in their tax liability for the assessment year 2000- 2001. Besides this reduction, a further relief equal to 50 per cent of the liability would be admissible to full time teachers and researchers (T&R) serving in non-profit institutions, including the government training and research institutions duly recognized by a board of education or the University Grants Commission. Highest amount of income tax payable by salaried persons whose salary income range is Rs50,001-60,000, would be Rs100 (T&R Rs50). The highest tax amount for the salary income range of Rs60,001- 80,000 is Rs450 (T&R Rs225); for the salary income range of Rs80,001-100,000 the highest tax amount payable is Rs1000 (T&R Rs500); for the salary income range of Rs100,001-150,000 the highest tax amount payable is Rs3750 (T&R Rs1875); for the salary income range of Rs150,001-200,000 the highest tax amount payable is Rs7500 (T&R Rs3750); for the salary income range of Rs200,001- 300,000 the highest tax amount payable is Rs19,250 (T&R Rs9625); for the salary income range of Rs300,001- 500,000 the highest tax amount payable is Rs52,400 (T&R Rs 26,200); for the salary income range of Rs 500,001-1,000,000 the highest tax amount payable is Rs186,750 (T&R Rs93,375). The persons receiving salary income above Rs1,000,000 would be enjoying a 5 per cent reduction in tax amount on the amount of tax payable at the presently applicable rates. The T&R would be enjoying a further 50 per cent cut on the tax amount payable by them at the presently applicable rates. Apart from this, a uniform tax credit of Rs2500 would be admissible from assessment year 2001-2002 to all persons where salary is more than 50 per cent of the total income. This reduction in tax liability is applicable for the assessment year 2001-2002 while for the purpose of tax withholding, it will be applicable from July 1, 2000. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 20000704 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Survey on 'credit' agencies: Asian investors distrust ratings ------------------------------------------------------------------- SINGAPORE, June 3: Many Asian investors are disenchanted with international credit rating agencies for their performance during the financial crisis. Asset Research polled investors in Asian bonds. The survey found the agencies are still being blamed for their performance during the crisis triggered in mid-1997. "Some people don't really trust the ratings very much," Asia Research said. "They are a bit suspicious of them because they were not considered to have been accurate." The survey results, published in The Business Times, showed despite the blemished image, only 5 per cent said credit ratings had no impact on their decisions while 46 per cent said they play a small to significant role. The agencies maintained the criticism emerging from the survey was unwarranted. "We were ahead of the industry," Julia Turner, managing director of Moody's Asia Pacific, was quoted as saying. "We downgraded Thailand in 1996 and got a lot of criticism for that," she noted. Cecile Saavedra, S&P managing director for Asia, told Asset predicting crises is not the agency's role. "Our role is to review the ability of a company to weather shocks," she said, adding she did not believe anyone could have forecasted the extent of the crisis from which the region is recovering. The survey however revealed that investors still rely on credit ratings in making decisions, a survey released on Monday showed. Moody's emerged on top in the importance of agency ratings in the investment process, according to the findings undertaken by Asset Research. Standard & Poor's came in second, followed by Thomson Bank Watch and Fitch IBCA. Standard & Poor's emerged as the best rating agency in Asia when weighted by assets under management followed by Moody's.-dpa DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 20000704 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Stagnation feared in trade ties with Japan ------------------------------------------------------------------- Reporter KARACHI, July 3: Mr Shun Imaizumal, leader of the visiting Japanese economic mission, said here Monday that unresolved issues like the IPPs or deferred payments/non-payment of public credit may lead to stagnation in Pakistan-Japan economic relations. Speaking at a meeting of Pak-Japan Business Cooperation Committee at the Federation House, he said honouring of commitments and consistencies in economic policies are vital for seeking Japanese investment. The mission referred to the non-honouring of commitments with IPPs by Pakistan and delays in payments of foreign investors have shaken the confidence of Japanese investors. He called for a sustainable business environment. He said the Japanese companies evaluate "returns" on investment before making any fresh commitments in any country. On economic sanctions, Shun said Japanese laws are "very strict" against countries conducting nuclear tests. He suggested that Pakistan should sign the CTBT before India so that economic sanctions could be lifted. According to a press release, he said it is important to continue economic exchanges at the public level between the two countries. Earlier, FPCCI president, Fazal-ur-Rahman Dittu called upon the Japanese mission to recommend to their government to withdraw economic sanctions imposed on Pakistan as a gesture of goodwill to give a helping-hand to the government in its efforts to revive the economy. He urged the Japanese companies to participate in the government's programme for modernization and upgradation of textile machinery under 'pay as you earn scheme' and by entering into collaboration with the local entrepreneurs for the manufacture of textile machinery, spare parts and components. Asad Umer, Director PJBC and other participants suggested that Japanese should consider setting up of manufacturing units in Karachi Export Processing Zone based on raw materials available locally for export to Japan and other countries.
Back to the top
=================================================================== 
EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20000702
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The sole statesman-3
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ardeshir Cowasjee

NO set of documents (nor even one single document) exists which 
spells out the 'ideology of Pakistan'. Thus, every man with a 
thought process available to him is entitled to his own conception 
of what this ideology is. However, it would be absolutely logical 
to assume that the ideology should rightly spring from what our 
sole statesman envisaged for the country he created and, more 
accurately, from what he wrote and said.

There are many who hold that the Objectives Resolution, which was 
drafted and came into being a mere six months after the death of 
Mohammed Ali Jinnah, is the embodiment of the 'ideology'. There are 
others who hold that it is not quite what Jinnah had in mind as the 
ideological cornerstone of his nation.

The Objectives Resolution, the text of which, in English and in 
Urdu, was embossed on brass plaques and once mounted in the hall of 
the Supreme Court of Pakistan, has been pronounced by our 
successive democratic and other leaders to be a reminder to us all 
of the purpose of the creation of Pakistan. It is regarded as the 
main source of guidance for whatever dispensation of justice 
exists, for the execution or non-execution of the affairs of the 
state. On the day in March 1993 when the present Supreme Court 
building was inaugurated by the then prime minister, Nawaz Sharif 
(later to be its ultimate demolisher), he declared that not only 
had the Objectives Resolution been affixed to the wall of the 
highest court of the land, but that it was imprinted in the hearts 
of every loyal Pakistani.

Right. Now let us look at this Objectives Resolution. It was moved 
and adopted on March 7, 1949, on the first day of the fifth session 
of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, meeting in the Assembly 
Chambers at Karachi, at four of the clock in the evening. The 
official report for the 1949 day's debates records:

"The Honourable Mr Liaquat Ali Khan (East Bengal, Muslim) : Mr 
President, Sir, I beg to move the following Objectives Resolution 
embodying the main principles on which the Constitution of Pakistan 
is to be based.

"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful;

"Whereas sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to God 
Almighty alone and the authority which He has delegated to the 
State of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the 
limit prescribed by Him is a sacred trust ;

"This Constituent Assembly, representing the people of Pakistan, 
resolves to frame a constitution for the sovereign independent 
State of Pakistan ;

"Wherein the State shall exercise its powers and authority through 
the chosen representatives of the people ;

"Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance 
and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed 
;

"Wherein the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the 
individual and collective spheres in accord with the teachings and 
requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and the Sunna ;

"Wherein adequate provisions shall be made for the minorities 
freely to profess and practise their religions and develop their 
cultures ;

"Wherein the territories now included in or in accession with 
Pakistan and such other territories as may hereafter be included in 
or accede to Pakistan shall form a Federation wherein the units 
will be autonomous with such boundaries and limitations on their 
powers and authority as may be prescribed ;

"Wherein shall be guaranteed fundamental rights, including equality 
of status, of opportunity and before law, social economic and 
political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, 
faith, worship and association, subject to the law and public 
morality ;

"Wherein adequate provision shall be made to safeguard the 
legitimate interests of minorities and backward and depressed 
classes ;

"Wherein the independence of the judiciary shall be fully secured ;

"Wherein the integrity of the territories of the Federation, its 
independence and all its rights, including its sovereign rights on 
land, sea and air, will be safeguarded ;

"So that the people of Pakistan may prosper and attain their 
rightful and honoured place amongst the nations of the world and 
make their full contribution towards international peace and 
progress and happiness of humanity."

But it was not the true English text of the original Objectives 
Resolution which was sanctified that day in 1993 on the wall of our 
apex court. The plaque in the Supreme Court gave a modified version 
of this Resolution. The original stipulated that "adequate 
provision shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and 
practise their religions and develop their cultures." On the 
plaque, in the English version, the word 'freely' was deliberately 
omitted.

Now to quote from Liaquat's subsequent address to the President, 
the Honourable Mr Tamizuddin Khan, a quotation which must bear 
constant and frequent repetition :

". . . the people are the real recipients of power. This naturally 
eliminates any danger of the establishment of a theocracy . . . . 
In the 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 overemphasize 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 and, 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 no shackles can be put on thought and, 
therefore, we do not intend to hinder any person from the 
expression of his views."

To return to the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the plaques 
initially affixed to the walls of the entrance hall. In 1993 I made 
a vain attempt to get through to Chief Justice of Pakistan Afzal 
Zullah, to impress upon him that the English version of the 
Resolution should be amended to contain the word 'freely' which in 
the Urdu version had not been omitted. Then came Chief Justice Dr 
Nasim Hasan Shah, a man with a great sense of humour with whom it 
is always a pleasure to converse. An expert at ping-pong, Dr Shah 
said he would do what he could do to set the record straight. 
Nothing happened. He was followed by Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah 
who settled the issue by having both plaques, the English and the 
Urdu versions, removed from the hallowed walls which still remain 
bare.

Sajjad Ali Shah's court was later, on November 28, 1997, stormed 
and morally destroyed at the behest of the then born-again prime 
minister Nawaz Sharif. Those who have followed Sajjad in the 
Supreme Chair have still to identify and punish the desecrators of 
the people's apex court.What our sole statesman's reaction would be 
to not only the Objectives Resolution, but to all those men and 
women and events that have followed it down the years can only be 
imagined.

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20000707 
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Education of the military
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ayaz Amir

ANYONE with a modicum of sense to his credit could have told the 
nation's military saviours that they should have done this a long 
time ago. To give credit where it is due, Sardar Mumtaz Bhutto, 
fairly early on in the tenure of this rising monument to confusion, 
had forcefully argued in a couple of newspaper articles that it was 
in the military's interest to open lines of communication with 
'clean' politicians.

If faltering memory serves me right, this term was his contribution 
to what was then a stalled national debate. After full eight and a 
half months the military government, assailed on all sides by cries 
of failure, has finally seen the wisdom of embarking upon a course 
that elementary political sense might have dictated that it follow 
right at the beginning. Still, no point in quarrelling with small 
mercies.

One or more fundamental points need to be clarified, however. Since 
we are a nation of monkeys forever looking for redeemers and 
saviours where nothing but disaster lurks, it is scarcely 
surprising if on the morrow of October 12 there was no shortage of 
people who saw heroic overtones in the leading figures of this 
government. None of Marilyn Monroe's several honeymoons could have 
been as ecstatic as the one General Musharraf enjoyed in those 
halcyon days. Whither are they fled?

Several wan moons later it should be abundantly clear even to the 
congenitally benighted that at this juncture what the country needs 
above anything else is a revolving door round which the military 
can swirl and on the rebound head straight for its barracks. The 
military need not leave a vacuum behind. The political space it 
vacates can be filled with the 'clean' figures of military 
mythology - people like Mian Azhar who, among a descending order of 
scoundrels and charlatans, are the least tainted by the shenanigans 
of the past 15 years.

Certainly stars in uniform who may have acquired a taste for power, 
and the nominated brigade which can only hope to enter the portals 
of power through the back door, will strongly oppose any such move. 
But then from such elements nothing better is to be expected. They 
should not be given a veto over the country's future.

Reform and renewal are dead concepts. We have seen how of much of 
reform has been delivered in the last eight months. Time now to 
bury these illusions and move ahead. There has to be a political 
revival with the military's voice heard on important national 
matters. Do we need a national security council for this purpose? 
This idea is beloved of the military but it will not work because 
as we have seen in the past any dichotomy of power sows the seeds 
of political instability. Far better to have a French-style 
president who embodies in his person the military and political 
points of view. The prime minister could be his nominee or at least 
work under his wings. Other experiments have been tried; all have 
failed.

The Ayubian experiment of a powerful presidential system was a 
disaster. The ZAB and Sharif models of powerful prime ministers led 
directly to the imposition of military rule. The Eighth Amendment 
model of a powerful president and a representative prime minister 
served only to spread strife in the political arena. It's time to 
move on to something more stable and enduring. With someone safe 
like Mian Azhar as prime minister, how about General Pervez 
Musharraf as the country's first Gaullist president?

Will this be a perfect democracy? Of course not. But then this 
hybrid solution is the only thing allowed by the prevailing 
circumstances. The military cannot be forced back to barracks. When 
it decides to withdraw, it will do so itself, on its own steam and 
propelled by a sense of its own necessity.

But this trick - that of withdrawal - must be pulled off for the 
larger good of the country. Politics is not the military's cup of 
tea. Furthermore, involvement in politics is the surest way to 
compromise the military's professionalism. Would any Pakistani want 
that? Do we want the Pakistan army to turn into the Thai or 
Indonesian armies, fit only for mounting coup d'etats? If the 
military is the last bulwark of national stability and survival, as 
the prevailing wisdom in Pakistan affirms, that's all the more 
reason to preserve its elan and fighting spirit. If these are lost, 
what remains?

Conducting an orderly retreat (ask anyone from staff college) is 
the most difficult of all military operations. Getting out of the 
quagmire the country is in will not therefore be easy. But there is 
no other way out. So General Musharraf's meetings with 'clean' 
politicians is a good beginning. But if these meetings are not 
merely to become grist for the regime's propaganda mills, they must 
form part of a game plan which leads to a political restoration. 
Otherwise they will make no sense.

But what is the military waiting for? Today, despite everything, it 
can still dictate the national agenda and make the politicians who 
are available dance to its tune. Tomorrow will be too late. The 
military should beware of the example of the traders. In the 
halcyon days after October 12 which trader would have had the 
audacity to challenge the military? It is the ineptitude of the 
government over the past eight months which has emboldened them to 
throw a gauntlet to the ill-considered tax survey drive. Keeping 
this in mind, it is to the military's advantage to start thinking 
seriously of a political withdrawal before public frustration with 
its rule mounts.

But on whom to dump the burden of civilian rule? On who else but 
the troopers of Pakistan's permanent King's Party, the Muslim 
League, a willing accessory down the years to every adventurist 
dispensation? Once again the Muslim League is proving true to form, 
the champions who pass for its leaders virtually panting to be used 
as the military deems fit. Eight months ago they were in a similar 
state of beatific anticipation. A sign then from General 
Musharraf's little finger would have brought them scurrying to his 
side, in the process disposing of the Sharifs unceremoniously. But 
the military was too full of itself and too ready to take 
everything for granted. So that golden moment was lost.

But it is still not too late. With their misjudged clamour the 
Sharifs are writing themselves into the history books while the 
stalwarts of their party are looking for other scripts on which to 
perform. The only question is, is the military capable of writing a 
new script? Can it sense which way the wind is blowing? Putting its 
ears to the ground, can it hear the approaching beat of distant 
horses?

Can the military also fulfil certain other essential requirements? 
Can it put a muzzle on its principal spin-master, whose vested 
interests are not tied to the revival of democracy? When General 
Musharraf met the first batch of clean-laundered politicos, Javed 
Jabbar, who is not programmed to keep quiet, was quick to chime in 
with the comment that these politicos not only belonged to 
different political parties but were also influential personalities 
in their own right. Note the attempt to draw a line under the 
political parties. If some of the confusion besetting the paths of 
this government is to be dissipated, this kind of smart thinking 
will have to be suppressed.

General Haider will have to be persuaded to put aside his 
blunderbuss (the first weapon, in any case, which should be 
confiscated in any drive to recover illegal weapons) and asked to 
reconsider the virtues of announcing mock battles which are 
followed by all-too-real retreats. Serious thought will have to be 
given to confining General Naqvi to quarters who in the name of his 
various schemes has spread more confusion across the land than any 
other individual. General Amjad of NAB presents a more formidable 
problem. He is presiding over something which began as a hymn to 
the rising sun but which has ended up being one of the all-time 
great Pakistani disasters. But he is a serious personality who 
takes his work seriously. Among mortals, said Euripides, second 
thoughts are always best. Getting General Amjad to think second 
thoughts cannot be an easy undertaking.Through thick and thin, 
however, let us keep one thing in mind. Taking issue with a 
government does not mean questioning the country's validity. When 
France fell in 1940 and the British Expeditionary Force was driven 
back to the Channel by the advancing Germans, Englishmen did not 
despair of England. They cursed Chamberlain for not being up to 
their country's need in the hour of its greatest danger. There is 
no reason to despair of Pakistan which, God willing, will find its 
place in the sun sooner or later, but every reason to wish to kick 
its Chamberlains into the departing sea.


===================================================================
SPORTS
20000703
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan clinch Test rubber 2-0: Moin hopes to win tri-series
-------------------------------------------------------------------

KANDY (Sri Lanka), July 2: Having accomplished his first task by 
winning the three-Test series against Sri Lanka 2-0 (1 drawn), 
Pakistan's cricket captain Moin Khan sounded a warning to his hosts 
and South Africa.

Pakistan's next target was the one-day triangular series starting 
on July 5 in the southern Sri Lankan town of Galle with Sri Lanka 
and South Africa, he said.

"Our team morale is very high after the Test series win over Sri 
Lanka, and we are looking forward to winning the one-day 
triangular," said Moin.

"We have won the last three one-day tournaments we've taken part 
in. We have a very good combination. We have won against South 
Africa at Sharjah and hopefully we will do it again here," he said.

Big-hitting Shahid Afridi has been recalled to strengthen the 
Pakistan team for the seven-match triangular.

Batsmen Mohammad Wasim and Qaiser Abbas left for Pakistan as they 
will not be part of the one-day squad. All-rounder Wasim Akram who 
is also unavailable for the tournament will leave on Monday.

Akram, named Man-of-the-Series at the end of the Tests, said that 
this would be his last tour to Sri Lanka.

"I am 34 and I don't think I will be around by the time the next 
Sri Lanka tour comes along. I would like to visit the country as a 
tourist in future," said Akram.

"I really had a great time. I enjoyed my batting and I think it's 
about time I concentrated on it. I have been doing so for the last 
couple of series," he said.

"Wasim is a great one-day player. He always gives 100 percent. We 
will definitely miss him. We have a few youngsters who need to get 
some experience. It's a good opportunity for them," said Moin.

"We came here looking to win the Test series, and I am really glad 
we are taking the trophy home," said Moin after the fifth and final 
day's play was washed out by rain and the third Test abandoned as a 
draw.

"It was a tremendous effort from our boys, the way they have been 
performing in the last four months. It was a totally combined 
effort and everybody performed well in the series, that's why we 
won," said Moin.

"The series was a great opportunity for the young players to play 
with the seniors. The absence of Saqlain (Mushtaq) put a lot of 
responsibility on Arshad Khan, and he responded well," he said.

"The turning point was the innings of Wasim Akram and his 
partnership with Arshad in the first Test. The way we were 
performing in the last few months, we were positive and we were 
thinking of a 3-0 win.

"Sri Lanka came back very hard in this game and it could have been 
a good match had it not been for the rain," Moin said.

Akram and Arshad shared a 90-run last wicket stand that turned the 
first Test on its head after Sri Lanka had looked like taking a big 
first innings lead.

A disappointed Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya said: 
"Unfortunately, we can't do anything with the weather. We started 
doing very well in this Test.

"We have been going down in the batting until we got this record 
partnership. We got a big score which has lifted up our confidence 
for the future games".

Jayasuriya made 188 and his vice captain Marvan Atapattu an 
unbeaten 207, putting together a record first wicket stand of 335 
for Sri Lanka. Atapattu who made 380 runs at an average of 95, ran 
a close second for the Man-of-the-Series award.

"The Pakistanis are an experienced side and they have been playing 
a lot of cricket in the last six months. They have been putting a 
lot of pressure on us. They are bowling well with the new ball as 
well as the old. The series has taught our cricketers to play 
hard," said Jayasuriya.

Looking ahead at the next Test series against South Africa, 
Jayasuriya said that it would be a tough one.

"It won't be easy. We will have to play very positive and hard 
cricket against them.," he said.-AFP

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20000707 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
BCCI protests over manager's remarks
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, July 6: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) 
has protested to their Pakistani counterparts over the comments 
made by team manager Brig (retd) Khawaja Mohammad Nasir about India 
being the 'hub of bookies'.

According to web-site 
http://www.go4cricket.com, 
BCCI secretary J.Y. Lele has sent a strong worded letter to 
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) director Yawar Saeed on the 
instructions of the A.C Muttiah, the board chief.

"The match-fixing and betting episode is being examined in India by 
the Delhi Police and CBI, in Pakistan by the Qayyum Commission and 
in South Africa by the King Commission besides the ICC is examining 
(it) through its code of conduct commission.

"Nasir's remark are absolutely out of place and unwarranted. On one 
side the relations between the officials of BCCI and PCB are so 
cordial and on the other your manager makes such baseless and 
unnecessary remarks.

"We therefore strongly protest (against) this and request you to 
kindly ask all concerned and your manager to refrain from making 
such remarks when the investigating agencies are examining these 
issues at various levels," Lele was quoted as having written.

While pressure mounts on the Pakistan team manager Nasir, he told 
the web-site in Colombo that the Indian officials were over-
reacting.

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20000704 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Tauqir advises Majid against irresponsible statements
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

LAHORE, July 5: Pakistan Cricket Board ad hoc committee chairman 
Lt. Gen. Tauqir Zia advised former PCB chief executive Majid Khan 
not to issue irresponsible statements on a sensitive issue like 
match-fixing.
 He disclosed that a special committee had been formed by the ICC 
to investigate into the unsubstantiated allegations levelled by Ai 
Bacher against the Pakistan team.

Gen Tauqir was talking to mediamen at the Qadhafi Stadium on Monday 
for the first time after returning from England, having attended 
the ICC meeting there. He said that the match-fixing was a very 
sensitive issue and a senior star like Majid Khan should avoid 
talking about it without having any solid proof.

It may be mentioned here that the South African cricket chief Ali 
Bacher has quoted Majid Khan about Pakistani cricketers involvement 
in match-fixing. Bacher has also alleged that the Pakistan team's 
matches in last World Cup against India and Bangladesh were fixed.

The PCB chairman also warned the former Test wicket-keeper Rashid 
Latif against issuing press statement on this issue. He said that 
the PCB had reserved the right to take action against Rashid Latif.

 He said that two Asian cricket giants, Pakistan and India, had 
good understanding at ICC level and were supporting each other's 
point of view there. He said that India had confirmed its 
participation in the Asia Cup Under-17 Tournament to be held in 
Sindh and Balochistan this month. That had paved the way for the 
Indian Senior team's tour to Pakistan in January, 2001, the PCB 
chief said.

Talking about Pakistan's next schedule of activities, Lt. Gen. 
Tauqir Zia said that the team would take part in a three-nation 
tournament in Singapore next month. Besides Pakistan, the other 
teams are South Africa and New Zealands. Pakistan and India would 
play for Sahara Cup at Toronto, Canada in September, before meeting 
in Dubai for another series, he said.

He said that PCB general manager Zakir Khan would visit Dubai in 
near future to examine the condition of pitches there.

He said that paceman Shoaib Akhtar would be fit for the game within 
one month and he (Akhtar) might be considered for Singapore tour, 
but the cricketer's selection for the home series against England, 
due in October, was sure.

Replying to another question, the PCB chief said that the ICC did 
not hand over any proof to him about an England tabloid News of 
World allegation on former Test captain Salim Malik's involvement 
in match-fixing. He said that only PCB would investigate into that 
allegation.

He said that the PCB would soon take over the control of the Pindi 
Stadium.

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20000706 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sri Lankans break free from Pakistan's shackles
-------------------------------------------------------------------

GALLE (Sri Lanka), July 5: Marvan Atapattu hit 62 as hosts Sri 
Lanka broke free from Pakistan's shackles to score a five-wicket 
victory in the opening match of the tri-series here on Wednesday.

Sanath Jayasuriya's men, handed an embarrassing 2-0 defeat by 
Pakistan in the recent Test series after losing both one-dayers to 
them in last month's Asia Cup in Bangladesh, fought back splendidly 
to make amends.

Lanky left-arm seamer Nuwan Zoysa set up the win with a career-best 
4-34 as Pakistan, sent to bat in overcast conditions, crashed to 
53-6 before ending with 164-8 from 45 overs.

Atapattu then notched up his sixth successive one-day half-century 
against Pakistan and exciting left-hander Kumar Sangakkara made 35 
on debut to fashion their team's facile win in the 38th over.

The pair put on 66 for the fourth wicket after fast bowler Waqar 
Younis gave the hosts a fright by removing opener Avishka 
Gunawardena with the fifth ball and Jayasuriya in his third over.

But Pakistan missed veteran all-rounder Wasim Akram, who opted out 
of the series for personal reasons, as Waqar hobbled off the field 
with cramps and the rest of the attack made little headway.

While Waqar gave away just eight runs in his five overs, new ball 
partner Mohammad Akram went for 42 in his eight overs and Abdur 
Razzaq 45 in nine.

Moin blamed the defeat on brittle batting, saying the loss of quick 
wickets at the start set his team back.

"The early collapse put pressure on the later batsmen and even 
though Inzamam played well, we did not manage to have enough on the 
board," he said.

"It was Sri Lanka's day today, but I am confident that Pakistan 
will fight back in the remaining matches and reach the final."

Zoysa came off after claiming 3-16 in a hostile opening spell of 
seven overs, but there was little respite for Pakistan from the 
tight Sri Lankan fielding.-AFP

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20000703
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan to play 2 Tests in England
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, July 2: Pakistan will play a two-Test series in England 
against the home side next year in April-May, a spokesman of the 
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said.

The series was finalized during the bilateral discussions between 
the officials of the two boards after the International Cricket 
Council (ICC) meeting at Lord's last week.

The PCB officials tried to persuade their counterparts in England 
to increase the number of Tests to at least three. But their 
request was declined on the ground that next year's programme had 
already been finalized.

The PCB spokesman said the board didn't want to play a two-Test 
series but was left with no other option as the previous board had 
already accepted the proposal.

"We have beaten England in England three times in a trot. But the 
last time we got a five-Test series was in 1992.Pakistan beat 
England 1-0 and then 2-1 in the 1987 and 1992 five-Test series 
respectively. In 1996, Pakistan won 2-0 in a three-Test series.

The PCB spokesman said Pakistan was willing to play against 
Bangladesh in the inaugural Test but said further discussions will 
be held in Nairobi, Kenya, during the ICC knock-out tournament in 
the directors meeting.

"Bangladesh are currently in the process of contacting all the 
cricket boards. But who will play them first will be decided there 
as all the boards will come up with their availabilities."

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