------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 10 June 2000 Issue : 06/22 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Traders reject deal, keep shutters down + Punjab traders end strike, two demands met + Shaukat warns traders: Govt determined to collect tax + Musharraf hints at more dismissals + Pakistan unaware of any US move on Kashmir: FO + EC links party polls to general election candidacy + Pakistan has edge over India in Nuclear Capability + Nawaz's trial in helicopter case starts + Provinces agree to share water proportionally + US asks India to resume talks + Legal cover for declarations: Tax cases not to be reopened + Mercury crosses 40 degrees in Karachi + Congressman calls on Musharraf + Recovery drive: NAB chief hints at bargaining with 'plunderers' + PPP wants even-handed accountability --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + GST, farm tax included: IMF links funds to levy of taxes + A crucial test for Pakistan: World Bank + Assets worth Rs2.5 billion declared under TAS + Private sector demand for credit low: Ishrat + Refusal to receive survey forms: Punitive action not to be taken + Central Board of Revenue offers new package + LSE Index plunges + Musharraf seeks report on impure palm oil + Yellow cab scheme: Govt decision on sale of cars awaited + Money changers asked to check speculators + Tax revenue revised to Rs356 billion + KSE 100-share index loses 31.21 points + Gold imports suspended --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + A laugh Ardeshir Cowasjee + Whose agenda is it, anyway? Ayaz Amir ----------- SPORTS + Singapore triangular: Pakistan may replace India + Waqar, Mushtaq recalled in Sri Lanka-bound squad + Pakistan claim maiden Asia Cup title + Saeed Anwar to retire after World Cup

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NATIONAL NEWS
20000610 
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Traders reject deal, keep shutters down
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DAWN Report

LAHORE, June 9: Rejecting a reported agreement reached between a 
group of traders and provincial governments in Lahore and Quetta 
late Thursday night on the issues of tax survey and GST, almost all 
the major markets continued strike for the 14th consecutive day 
here on Friday and elsewhere in the country.

The trade leaders in Lahore announced that they would continue the 
strike for the 15th day on Saturday.

Shaukat Ali reports from Punjab: In Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala, 
Sargodha and Sialkot the traders' reaction to the reported 
settlement will be learnt on Saturday because Friday is observed 
there as a weekly holiday.

Since local newspapers had prominently displayed the provincial 
government statement claiming end to traders' 13-day long strike, 
most markets opened in the morning. But as the All Pakistan 
Organization of Small Traders and Cottage Industries announced that 
it had not found any relief in the settlement, shopkeepers started 
pulling down shutters and by 11am all the major markets were 
wearing a deserted look.

Akbari Mandi, the largest market for supplying merchandize to local 
retailers and central Punjab cities, was the first to resume strike 
after staying open for about an hour.

The APOSTCI leaders also made a round of city markets to apprise 
shopkeepers about the flaws in the agreement. Busy markets of spare 
parts on Montgomery Road were next to shut, followed by 
electronics' goods market on Hall Road, other markets on Beadon 
Road and Panorama Centre on the Mall.

Azam Cloth market, Anarkali, Chemical market on Circular road, 
dozens of markets in the congested main Shah Alam market, bullion 
market, and shops in the old Gowalmandi area were completely closed 
by midday.

However, some markets like Liberty, Barkat and shops on Ferozpur 
road were open.

Most of the trade leaders who were present at the meeting with the 
Punjab Governor, Mohammad Safdar, and inked a deal to end the 
strike, were not available for comments as they had left for 
Islamabad to participate in a similar meeting arranged by the 
federal government.

APOSTCI Punjab leader Mohammad Mushtaq criticised the government 
act of issuing the statement late night obviously, what he termed, 
to hoodwink the striking traders.

He told Dawn, that it was no fun to be observing a strike for so 
long. "Traders understand their issues and complexities related to 
the tax survey and the GST. Since they are fully convinced that the 
tax survey form should be changed and GST not to be levied at the 
retail level, they could not be dodged by getting fake stories 
published in newspapers (about ending the strike by traders)", Mr 
Mushtaq said.

General Secretary of the Panorama Traders Association Bashir 
Chaudhry said that the traders would end strike only when there 
would be a clear statement by the government on their demands and 
duly approved by APOSTCI leaders.

Tanveer Beg, chairman of the Anjuman-i-Tahafuz Tajran, which 
represents 45 markets in the southern Lahore, also urged the 
government to announce in clear terms whether it had agreed to the 
traders' demand.

He said traders had explained in an unambiguous manner what they 
exactly had been struggling for. "The moment the government accepts 
our demands we will end the strike", he added.

Shopkeepers at the Hall Road electronics market held corner meeting 
in the afternoon condemning the government for not holding talks 
with the genuine leaders of the traders.

Leader of Beadon Road Traders Association, Iqbal Butt said the way 
the government had tried to break the traders' prolonged strike 
suggested as if it (government) was not serious in resolving the 
issue.

However the strike was partial in some markets. Shops in 
residential localities remained opened. Medical stores, 
tandoorwalas, restaurants, pan-cigarettes kiosks were also opened.

When contacted, a senior office-bearer of the small traders 
organization, told Dawn that impartial strike was observed 
throughout the country. "We would not pay any tax which would be 
levied in the country on the dictation of IMF and World Bank," he 
added.

Earlier, senior vice chairman of the All Pakistan Organization of 
Small Traders and Cottage Industries, Khawaja Mohammad Shafiq told 
reporters that if the government agreed not to reopen the old cases 
of returns for income tax files, and that there would be no 'on-
the-spot assessment' of existing taxpayers, they would call off the 
strike.

"But it has to be ensured whether the government has notified the 
issue or not", he said adding that if certain notification was 
issued, the association will formally call off the strike. He 
alleged that the finance minister had created confusion about the 
issue but hoped that things would be settled soon.

"We will wait for three days to see whether the notification has 
been issued about these two demands and if it was not done during 
that period we will restart countrywide strike", he threatened.

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20000609 
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Punjab traders end strike, two demands met
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Dawn Report

LAHORE, June 8: The traders of Punjab, after a 12-hour lengthy 
meeting with Governor Lt Gen Mohammad Safdar, decided to call off 
their 11-day strike with immediate effect. The government also 
accepted two major demands made by the traders' community.

The traders of Balochistan on late Thursday night decided to 
suspend strike till a final decision is taken after talks with 
Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf. The meetings which covered 
all aspects of the documentation of the economy, lasted many hours.

LAHORE: The meeting at Lahore was a marathon one, lasting for 12 
hours ending at 2am (Friday) and a handout was issued at 03.00am.

Earlier the provincial information minister Sahfqat Mahmood 
accepted the two demands of the traders which included the removal 
of last column in the national tax survey form and permission to 
the traders to deduct tax to be levied from July 1 on the current 
stocks.

The leaders of the traders, including Haji Maqsood Ahmad Butt, 
Shaikh Inam Elahi, Khawaja Mohammad Shafiq, Abdul Rab, Mian Manzoor 
Ahmad and others, praised the role of Punjab governor in helping to 
end the strike.

They assured full cooperation in the distribution of tax survey 
form and hoped that provincial ministers would continue their 
productive role in the future also. At the beginning of parleys, 
the provincial governor said that the government wanted to remove 
the suspicions of the traders with mutual consent so that the work 
of the documentation of the economy and distribution of forms could 
be carried out and the economy of the country could be put on a 
sound footing and the country could prosper.

On this occassion provivincial ministers Shafqat Mehmood, Dr Khalid 
Ranjha, Shahid Hafeez Kardar, chief secretary Punjab and regional 
Income Tax commissioner were also present.

The governor said that tax survey forms were being distributed to 
nab the tax evaders, nonetheless, the government wanted to provide 
all kind of security to the business community. He pointed out that 
the objective of this meeting was to overcome the present situation 
by mutual consultation.

He called upon the business community to demonstrate patriotic 
feelings and adopt constructive attitude instead of taking, 
negative attitude by staging strikes. He said this was not only 
harming the national exchequer but also inflicting heavy losses on 
the business community. No patriotic person in the country would 
adhere and support such acts which could create hurdles in the way 
of stabilization and restoration of the economy. He said that no 
one would disagree that every citizen had to pay taxes due to him.

The participating traders and businessmen presented their 
viewpoints and, after detailed deliberations over them, an 18- 
member committee was formed which included Haji Maqsood Ahmed Butt, 
Shaikh Inam Illahi, Khwaja Azhar Gulshan and Abdur Rabb from 
Lahore, Shaikh Mohammad Siddiq and Chaudhry from Rawalpindi; Saikh 
Bashir Ahmed, Mian Manzoor Ahmed and Mohammed Nawaz Vohra from 
Faisalabad; Tariq Saeed Sabri and Mian Abdul Khaliq from Sargodha; 
Khwaja Mohammed Shafiq and Khawaja Suleman Siddiqi from Multan; and 
Yousuf Ahrar, Shaikh Abdul and Dr Mahmood from Gujranwala.

QUETTA: The traders suspended their strike after their talks with 
the Governor, Justice Amirul Mulk Mengal, at the Governor's House 
here on late Thursday night.

The traders contended that their protest strike would remain 
suspended till the formal talks between traders and the Chief 
Executive or his nominated team end.

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20000609 
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Shaukat warns traders: Govt determined to collect tax 
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Nasir Jamal

LAHORE, June 8: Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz sounded a severe 
warning to the business community on Thursday, saying "no-one 
should ever suspect the government's determination to collect tax 
(from traders and others)
 and complete the tax survey".

Aziz was speaking at a pre-budget seminar organized here by the 
federal ministry of information at a local hotel.

"We cannot restore our economic sovereignty without broadening the 
tax net. The government will like to see your profit increase and 
business grow because it is essential for Pakistan's economic 
development and, for that purpose, it is ready to address all the 
problems faced by you. But everybody'll have to pay tax according 
to his income and capacity and also fill the tax survey form," he 
told an audience mainly comprising businessmen and traders.

Speaking about the effort to document the economy, he said the 
"government was not asking for too much (from traders) by urging 
them to keep an inventory of their sale and purchase". "It is a 
simple process which doesn't require a very high-level of 
education," he said, dismissing the demands for gradual imposition 
of GST at the retail level on the pretext that a vast majority of 
traders could not read or write and that it would be difficult for 
them to keep books.

He said it "was a defining moment for the country", admitting: "The 
tax system requires massive reforms and changes which cannot be 
brought about by sacking CBR officials." "We will have to make 
policies to curtail the discretionary powers of tax officials and 
reduce their interaction with taxpayers. The CBR will have to be 
totally revamped and restructured."

Aziz said a "committee had been formed to draft a report on the CBR 
in 90 days". Besides, an advisory board would also be set up 
consisting of the representatives of taxpayers for monitoring the 
process of reforms at the CBR.

Outlining major objectives of the budget for the year 2000-01, he 
said significant measures would be taken to "revive the sagged 
business confidence (in the economy and the government), increase 
exports, alleviate poverty and improve the social sector".

He said the budget would "attempt to narrow the fiscal deficit by 
slashing the current expenditure on one hand and enhancing the tax 
revenue on the other. "The public spending on the development 
projects which fell a victim of poor resource mobilization in the 
past will be raised to spur the economy. The government is trying 
to reduce its expenditure equal to 1.7 per cent of the GDP on the 
public sector entities by either selling them or improving their 
management," he asserted.

Speaking on the problems facing the economy, "We have got ourselves 
in such a situation where we are actually exporting capital to the 
IFIs which means that we are paying more to them than we borrow," 
he said.

He claimed that the increase in the petroleum rates in the 
international market had nullified the recent rescheduling of our 
foreign loans of $1.3 billion from the Paris Club.

In response to a question, the minister maintained, the amount of 
loan being negotiated with the IMF had not been decided as yet and 
the figures appearing in the press in the recent weeks were merely 
conjectures. He said the amount would be known when the IMF board 
considers Pakistan's case (in late September) for a decision.

Responding to yet another question on bringing the agriculture 
sector into the tax fold, he replied: "When I said that everybody 
would have to pay tax according to his capacity, I meant that no-
one, including the farmers, would be exempt from paying tax."

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20000604
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Musharraf hints at more dismissals
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, June 3: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf said here 
on Saturday that more government officials who were corrupt and 
inefficient would be dismissed.

Speaking to a number of Grade 20 to Grade 22 officers at the Chief 
Executive's secretariat at a meeting, he said: "Action would be 
taken in several other ministries or departments in the coming 
months under the recently promulgated ordinance by which corrupt 
and inefficient civil service officials can be dismissed or 
suspended through a process swifter than the one used in the past. 
"The meeting was also attended by the members of the National 
Security Council (NSC), the federal cabinet and other senior 
officials.

He added that the existing format of the Annual Confidential Report 
(ACR) was being reviewed to improve the performance of the civil 
service in Pakistan.

Gen Musharraf said the new ordinance would be used to punish those 
officers who were known to be corrupt and incompetent. He said he 
had also decided to strengthen the Federal Public Service 
Commission (FPSC) and had directed the Establishment Division to 
finalize recommendations for improvement in the existing procedures 
by which individual officials were periodically assessed.

Referring to the action taken against about 1,000 officials of the 
CBR, he said that the CBR was not the only organization where 
corruption existed on a large scale. At the same time, he said, 
honest officials would be appreciated and their inttegrity would be 
acknowledged "If an official performs his duty diligently and 
promptly without fear or favor, he is not doing something over and 
above the line of duty but simply fulfilling his solemn 
responsibility," he said.

Gen Musharraf said he was conscious of the fact that the 
administrative system of Pakistan was so vast and complex that it 
could not be set right overnight by a directive or a speech made by 
a chief executive. Nevertheless, he said, positive change only 
began from the very top. He said he had defined the direction for 
change and initiated a process that might take time but which 
should be sustained and strengthened.

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20000608 
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Pakistan unaware of any US move on Kashmir: FO
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ISLAMABAD, June 7: The Foreign Office spokesman said here on 
Wednesday that the Foreign Office was unaware of any American move 
to initiate an "Oslo-Like solution on Kashmir".

The Foreign Office comment was sought on Washington press report 
quoting Jane Intelligence Digest, a defence journal, as saying the 
"White House is using the services of an American-Kashmiri who is 
constantly shuttling between Delhi, Islamabad and Washington" as 
part of a secret diplomatic initiative.

Spokesman Iftikhar Murshed told Dawn the Foreign Office was unaware 
of any such move. The spokesman further said it was "incorrect" 
that Pakistan had been "instructed" by Washington not to interfere 
in effort to open dialogue between the All Parties Hurriyat 
Conference and Delhi to seek a possible rapprochement on Kashmir 
dispute.-HA

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20000610 
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Election Commission links party polls to general election candidacy
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ISLAMABAD, June 9: The Election Commission (EC) has proposed that 
political parties should be bound to hold party elections to 
qualify for contesting general elections.

A 15-point formula presented by the EC covers the whole gamut of 
the electoral process including the role of political parties, 
powers of the Chief Election Commissioner, speedy disposal of 
election petitions, code of ethics for candidates and introduction 
of the principle of gaining clear majority instead of a simple 
majority.

Official sources told APP here on Friday that the government is 
giving a serious consideration to the proposals, which will be 
included in the electoral reforms, to be introduced soon.

According to the proposals, the political parties would be bound to 
hold annual elections within their ranks, otherwise, their 
candidates would not be issued party's election symbol.

To make the office of the Chief Election Commission non- 
controversial and acceptable that his appointment should be made in 
consultation with the leader of the House, the leader of the 
opposition and Chief Justice of Pakistan. 

 His appointment should be for a period of six years instead of 
three years.

For speedy disposal of election petitions, it has been proposed 
that retired judges of the Supreme Court and High Court should be 
engaged on contract basis for one year to constitute election 
tribunals.

The central leadership of a political party which fails to submit 
details of their accounts to the satisfaction of the Auditor 
General, would not be eligible to contest general or by-elections.

It has also been proposed that Ordinance No.1966-CXVII should be 
repromulgated, which pertains to submitting returns of assets by 
defaulters.

This step would bind all contestants in the next elections to file 
their returns and those of their dependents with the Election 
Commission. The elected representatives would have to file returns 
of their assets every year.

All the political parties and candidates would have to strictly 
observe the code of conduct approved by the Election Commission.

No candidate would be allowed to fan religious, sectarian, or 
parochial differences in their speeches. It has also been proposed 
that two top candidates bagging less than 50 per cent of the votes 
would be required to go to polls once again. 

One who gets more than 50 per cent votes would be declared 
successful. The National Reconstruction Bureau is reported to have 
started considering these proposals. It is likely that a decision 
in this regard would be taken within a month.

The sources said necessary amendments would be incorporated in the 
existing laws for introducing electoral reforms.

Taking a major step forward in restoration of a democratic system 
in the country, Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf has 
already taken a number of decisions which represent the first phase 
of important electoral reforms, aimed at strengthening the 
operational and fiscal autonomy of the Election Commission.

In the second phase, some other important decisions would be taken 
in light of the Commission's recommendations, the sources added.

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20000608 
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Pakistan has edge over India in Nuclear Capability
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Masood Haider

WASHINGTON, June 7: Pakistan has not only five times more nuclear 
warheads than those of India but it possessed far more capability 
to use them also, US military and intelligence officials, 
reassessing the South Asian balance of power, told NBC News.

The report Pakistan nukes outstrip India's says that in the light 
of new evidence, the US has been forced to reverse its assessment.

The May 1998 nuclear tests by India and Pakistan caught American 
intelligence off guard, the report said. While US agencies long had 
known about weapon-development research in both the countries, the 
decision by the two neighbours to go public with their capabilities 
shocked policy makers, it added.

Since then, the US intelligence and diplomacy has focused on South 
Asia with a new intensity. Until recently, for instance, Pakistan 
was considered to have somewhere between 10 and 15 nuclear weapons 
and India between 25 and 100, reports the NBC.

But after two years of intelligence gathering, officials now 
believe that those figures overstate the capabilities of India's 
homegrown arsenal and understate those of Pakistan, whose programme 
it says has relied on "generous Chinese assistance". The report 
quotes one US official as saying that the Pakistanis "are more 
likely to have those numbers (25 to 100 weapons)."

Perhaps most important is that Pakistan appears far more capable 
than India of delivering nuclear payloads, say the officials.

"I don't think their (the Indians') programme is as advanced as the 
Pakistan's," one of the officials told NBC while discussing 
particularly the ballistic missiles.

In an interview by the NBC TV network, Marine Corps Gen. Anthony 
Zinni, chief of the US Central Command, said that longtime 
assumptions, that India had an edge in the South Asian strategic 
balance of power, were questionable at best.

"Don't assume that the Pakistan's nuclear capability is inferior to 
the Indians," said Zinni, the senior US officer who claims to be a 
friend of Gen Musharraf and was in Islamabad when the US fired 
cruise missiles on Afghanistan.

Opinions of other military and intelligence officials, as well as 
an intelligence analysis of South Asia's nuclear balance, obtained 
by NBC News, shed more light on the revised view.

"They both have a capability," the network quotes another unnamed 
senior military official. "Pakistan's may be better than India's, 
with more weapons and more capability."

"You can't underestimate the Pakistani programme," said the 
official.

The network's Pentagon specialists, Robert Windrem and Tammy 
Kupperman, said: "These US officials believe India understands that 
it is behind."

A recent Defence Department analysis of the Indian programme, 
obtained by NBC News, states that India is moving to address its 
shortcomings.

Referring to India's recently publicized draft nuclear doctrine, 
the Defence Department report said that "India announced its plans 
to develop a minimum nuclear deterrent force composed of a triad of 
nuclear delivery systems - air, mobile land-based launches and sea-
based platforms.

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20000610 
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Nawaz's trial in helicopter case starts
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ATTOCK, June 9: Trial of Nawaz Sharif and Saif-ur-Rehman in 
helicopter reference started on Friday at Attock Fort 
Accountability Court. On the first day evidence of two prosecution 
witnesses were recorded.

The witnesses deposed that a Russian made MI-8 helicopter was 
leased by Nawaz Sharif which was later purchased in the name of 
Sheikh Abdur Rehman Bin Nasir Althani.

The witnesses informed the court that Saif-ur-Rehman and Redco had 
been paying the lease fee and later cost of the helicopter when it 
was purchased on the direction of Saif-ur-Rehman.

The defense counsel once again did not turn up in the court, 
however, one of the defense counsels, Saadia Abbasi was present 
among the visitors in the court room.

First witness, Lt. Col (Retd) Niaz Hussain Siddiqui deposed that 
after retirement from Army Aviation corps in 1993, he joined Macro 
Group in private sector having sufficient experience of MI- 8 
helicopter. The Macro Group was licensed to set up an airline in 
the Orient Airlines in private sector. He said that as part of 
marketing campaign they offered helicopter and chartered plane 
services for the election campaign 1993.

"Saif-ur-Rehman contacted me through one of our colleagues Colonel 
(Retd) Asad who is related to Saif. Saif told me that Nawaz Sharif 
is interested to get on lease a helicopter."

He said, he met Nawaz Sharif in the last week of July and they rode 
together along with Saif-ur-Rehman from Islamabad Airport to 
Murree. "We discussed various aspects of the deal during this 
meeting."

Second time, he said, he met Nawaz Sharif at the residence of 
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and they generally agreed to go ahead with 
the plan of leasing a helicopter, however, Nawaz Sharif reduced the 
services charges from 25 to 15 percent.

"I demanded 50,000 US Dollars as mobilization charges to bring 
helicopter from Russia (Moscow) but Nawaz Sharif agreed to pay 
40,000 US Dollars.

"I was also informed that the payment would be made by Saif- ur-
Rehman and in future Saif would handle all the matters relating to 
the helicopter. In his absence Mujeeb-ur-Rehman the younger brother 
of Saif would handle the affairs," Siddiqui told the court.

He said, he was again summoned at the residence of Chaudhry Shujaat 
and Nawaz Sharif told him that Saif would pay the initial 40,000 US 
Dollars, which was later given to him at Redco building Islamabad 
by Saif-ur-Rehman.

Niaz said that Orient Airlines hired Meridian Consolidate, the 
consultants who provides consultancy in aviation related matters. 
"Dr.Sajid Latif was the person who was in contact with me on behalf 
of Meridian."

He said that he along with Dr.Sajid Latif went to Moscow on August 
2, 1993 and contacted Special Cargo Airlines in Moscow who had 
three new MI-8 helicopters.

"We negotiated the terms and conditions of the lease and finally 
selected one helicopter No: SCA-27092. The rates agreed was 550 US 
Dollars per flying hours for a period of 100 guaranteed flying 
hours or 60 days."

"Finally the agreement was signed by me on behalf of Orient 
Airlines and Mr.Alexander on behalf of SCA," Niaz told the court.

He informed the court that during their stay in Moscow, Saif-ur-
Rehman contacted him from Doha and told that the licence of Orient 
Airlines had been cancelled and that he should now sign the 
agreement on behalf of Javed Aviation Lahore.

He said that they renegotiated the agreement with SCA but they 
refused to entertain the new agreement, however, SCA agreed to 
allow operations under the name of Javed Aviation. By virtue of 
this understanding an additional protocol was signed on 13-8- 1993.

He said, the helicopter arrived at Islamabad Airport on 23- 8-1993 
and taken over by Colonel (Retd) Mohammad Zarif as Safety/Chief 
Pilot.-APP

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20000609 
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Provinces agree to share water proportionally
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, June 8: The provincial irrigation secretaries have 
agreed to share proportionally the unprecedented 50% decline in the 
main rivers' water flow till the situation improves. The agreement 
came during a meeting 
of the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) held here on Thursday.

An IRSA official told Dawn that the meeting decided that Sindh and 
Punjab would be supplied 51,000 Cusecs each. It noted that the flow 
at all the four rivers - Indus, Jehlum, Chanab and Kabul - was 
151,000 cusecs.

The sharp decline was observed over the last 10 days apparently due 
to low temperature in Skardu and northern areas, the official said.

When asked whether the drop in water discharge would affect crops, 
the official claimed that the sowing of rice would be delayed 
slightly.

Meanwhile, the federal government has rejected the nomination of 
Qamaruddin Sehto as member (Sindh's representative) at IRSA. The 
official, on a query, said that Mr Sehto had turned 70. His 
nomination was rejected on age reason, he said adding that Sindh 
had been advised to refer someone else.

To another question, the IRSA official said that the institution 
had not yet received legal advice from the law ministry on the 
validity of formula under 'historic sharing' applied during low 
discharge.

The matter was referred to the law ministry last month when Sindh 
had raised objection on the historic sharing - a term used for the 
arrangement of water distribution among the provinces before the 
signing of the Water Accord in 1991.

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20000609 
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US asks India to resume talks
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Masood Haider

WASHINGTON, June 8: Karl F. Inderfurth, US Assistant Secretary of 
State for South Asia, said here on Wednesday that the United States 
has asked New Delhi to "consider very seriously" to resume dialogue 
with Islamabad.

He said that if General Pervez Musharaff and Indian Prime Minister 
A.B. Vajpayee can transcend the past the problem of Kashmir can be 
resolved.

Addressing the annual meeting of Pak-American Congress Inderfurth 
said "we believe that the spirit and substance of February 1999, 
Lahore summit must be recaptured."

Noting that Pakistan's Chief Executive General Musharraf has 
repeatedly offered to meet with India, Inderfurth said "but 
Pakistan must also do its part to create the peaceful conditions 
that would make the dialogue meaningful."

He observed that until "there is peace and reconciliation between 
Pakistan and India both countries would be held back, especially 
the smaller of the two, Pakistan."

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20000607 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Legal cover for declarations: Tax cases not to be reopened
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, June 6: Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz declared here 
on Tuesday that all the apprehensions of the business community 
about the opening of their past income tax and sales tax cases will 
be removed and given legal cover in the next budget.

"We have been assuring the business community that once they give 
their full account of the business and assets, no question will be 
asked about their past. But today I want to tell them that we have 
formally decided to give legal cover to the issue in the budget for 
2000-2001 and I am assure this will allay their all apprehensions 
and concerns", he further stated.

Delivering a key note address at a one day pre-budget seminar 
organized by the ministry of information and media development, the 
finance minister, however, made it clear that there was no question 
of making compromise over the issue of the GST or to discontinue 
tax survey under any pressure.

Aziz said that the self-assessment scheme would become the 
important element of the new budget which too would be given 
required legal cover. Under the new total self-assessment scheme, 
he said, there will be only 20 per cent audit through a computer so 
that nobody should complaint about the victimisation or foul play.

The interest in the self-assessment scheme, the finance minister 
claimed, was growing as the government had collected Rs200 million 
in a short period of time. "But more importantly declarations worth 
Rs2 billion have been filed by the people which is very encouraging 
progress".

Talking about the on-going strikes being observed by the traders, 
he said, he was almost daily meeting with the representative of 
various business organizations with a view to working out some 
agreement with them over the issue of GST as well as tax survey.

He said that contact between the tax collecting agencies and the 
tax-payers was being minimized and that the issue will also be 
highlighted and given legal cover in the next budget.

The finance minister gave an overview of the economy and accepted 
that there were still some grey areas which needed to be given full 
attention. "There are so many challenges and one of them is the 
huge public debt", he said adding that the issue of fiscal deficit 
was another area of concern for the government.

"Then our weak revenue base is causing many problems". Also there 
were problems in increasing exports, he added.

"But one of the major challenges is to restore investor 
confidence", the finance minister said. He said that balance of 
payment position was also not all that good, and due to inefficient 
public sector, its share of investment has gone down to 1.7 per 
cent of the GDP.

The finance minister pointed out that the high rate of incidence of 
poverty was another issue which needed to be addressed in its true 
prospective. 

 "At the same time there is a great need to promote good 
governance", he said disclosing that the government had decided to 
bring transparency in its monetary system by giving the account of 
monthly expenditure at its website so that everybody could assess 
the performance of the government.

He said that one thing was good that the economy had started 
showing signs of improvement as 4.5 per cent GDP growth in 1999-
2000 was likely to be achieved. This growth, he pointed out, was 
due to better growth of the agriculture sector.

He said the estimated over 21 million tons of wheat production has 
been archived, out of which about one million tons will be 
exported. "There is going to be the infusion of Rs60 billion in the 
agriculture sector which has been earned by the farmers due to 
bumper wheat crop".

Talking about the better aspects of the economy, the finance 
minister pointed out that textile sector has done well as so far 
orders worth 400 million dollars had been placed for the export of 
its various products. There has been tremendous investment in some 
of the areas of textile industry.

He said that exports were likely to be in the double digit - about 
10 to 11 per cent in 2000-2001. He said that there was a need for 
monetary expansion and at the same time to have better exchange 
rate.

The finance minister said that tax collection had improved but not 
to the extent that the budget deficit could be considerably 
increased. 

"That is why we are broadening the tax net by including more people 
in the tax list", he added.

He also assured that no cut will be applied on the Public Sector 
Development Programme (PSDP) as has been the case in the past and 
that there will be a big increase in this programme in the budget 
for 2000-2001 to be announced on June 17.

He said social sectors needed to be offered more funding to remove 
poverty and offer jobs to the people.

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20000607 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mercury crosses 40 degrees in Karachi
-------------------------------------------------------------------

KARACHI, June 6: The Karachiites experienced one of the hottest day 
of the current summer on Tuesday when mercury crossed 40 degrees 
Celsius mark and sultry winds continued to blow in the city during 
the entire day.

The Met office recorded maximum temperature at 40.3 and minimum 
temperature at 29.6 degrees Celsius with 56 per cent humidity in 
the air.

The hot winds started hitting the city since morning, which raised 
the city's normal temperature. The normal temperature in the city 
during summer remains between 33 and 36 degrees Centigrade due to 
blowing of sea breeze.

This hot spell may continue for a couple of days, Met office said 
adding it will depend on movement of the system, which may move 
further north. Meanwhile, the local Met office has predicted dust 
and thunderstorm in the entire Sindh at different places during the 
next 24 hours.-APP/PPI

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20000606 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Congressman calls on Musharraf
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, June 5: The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, 
briefed US Congressmen Joseph Pitts about the measures taken by the 
government for the economic revival, political reforms and 
establishment of a stable democratic dispensation in the country.

The Congressman (Republican-Pennsylvania) called on the CE on 
Monday. He was accompanied by former Congressman Mark Silijander 
and the US ambassador.

The CE underlined the importance of strengthening Pakistan-US 
relations and for increasing multi-dimensional cooperation between 
the two countries.

Describing the bilateral relations as important, Mr Pitts stated 
that goodwill towards Pakistan existed in the US. He appreciated 
the agenda of political and economic reforms for the restoration of 
genuine democracy.

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20000608 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Recovery drive: NAB chief hints at bargaining with 'plunderers'
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

QUETTA, June 7: The chief of the National Accountability Bureau, 
Lt-Gen Syed Mohammed Amjad, has said that the institution would 
bargain on the recovery of plundered wealth with individuals, 
barring a very few, 
and restore the same to the national exchequer.

Speaking at a local press club programme on Wednesday, the NAB 
chief said he would be the last person to bargain with. He made it 
clear that no bargaining would be done with those who had 
mercilessly robbed the national wealth and resources. He held out 
the assurance that secrecy would be maintained during the process 
of the bargaining.

About the areas of accountability, he said there were three major 
categories: A. misuse of powers by politicians and officials, B. 
contracts for supply of equipment (including defence equipment) and 
C. land and development work mainly in urban areas.

Gen Amjad described the bank loan recovery as misconceived issue 
involving an amount of slightly over Rs100 billion and that, too, 
for a single fiscal year.He referred to a 23-hour meeting among 
bank chiefs, heads of DFIs and the finance minister and told 
newsmen that the assessment of Rs210 billion recoverable loans was 
wrong. The amount, he added, stood at up to Rs50 billion as 
transpired during the meeting.

The NAB chief said that the government could increase the tax 
revenue by Rs200 billion in a single fiscal year by improving the 
methods of collection and weeding out corruption.

He contended that white-collar offences were difficult to detect 
and investigate. "We have neither a culture nor skill to conduct an 
investigation into such offences," he remarked. Gen Amjad revealed 
that NAB courts would be established in Sibi, Khuzdar and Turbat.

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20000607 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PPP wants even-handed accountability
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, June 6: The Pakistan People's Party has opposed the 
decision of the government to keep the military top brass out of 
the accountability net. A party spokesman, commenting on NAB 
Chairman Lt General Syed Mohammad Amjad's statement 
in which the General had opposed accountability of serving army 
officers and judges, said on Tuesday that without even-handed 
accountability, the on-going accountability campaign would turn out 
to be one-sided, biased and aimed at maligning public 
representatives to prolong the military rule in the country.

The NAB Chairman had recently said that the military had its own 
system of accountability. Referring to this point, the spokesman 
said, "the Parliament also has its own provisions of accountability 
of parliamentarians. Yet NAB is interfering with the in-built 
system of the parliamentary accountability process without 
extending the same principle to other institutions."

"There are generals who are on record having said that they skimmed 
money from state-owned banks but no action has been taken against 
them. The people have a right to know how many other banks have 
been so looted," the spokesman asked.

"Pakistan is bankrupt and blaming politicians alone falls short of 
expectations. The military has ruled for half of the country's 
existence. The military needs to accept its responsibility and open 
the way for its accountability," he said.

The spokesman claimed that in the past there were different 
standards. "Late Mr Junejo gave his son a sugar mill at a 
concessional rate of three per cent. Mr Jatoi gave his family 
several lucrative plots in Islamabad within three months. Army 
generals took plots with their salaries. But now times have 
changed. The people do not expect their leaders to give mills at 
concessional rates or plots to their offspring and they do not 
expect their generals to get plots and free houses," the spokesman 
said.

He said that Press reports on military corruption included the 
account of a retired major general who had allegedly transferred $5 
million overseas and purchased a luxurious house in North America 
beyond his known sources of income.

Another retired brigadier, who had served as a minister in the 
Balochistan government, was not proceeded against despite the fact 
that a banking court had issued his arrest warrants in a case of 
loan default, the spokesman claimed.


=================================================================== 
 BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20000606 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
GST, farm tax included: IMF links funds to levy of taxes
-------------------------------------------------------------------

ISLAMABAD, June 5: The IMF review mission headed by Sena Eken left 
Islamabad on Monday linking possibility of putting Pakistan on its 
programme with the GST implementation on services sector, 
agricultural tax, revival of sick units, and curbing corruption.

"The review mission appreciated the official measures of putting 
the economy on track but was much interested in seeing effective 
implementation as the previous governments never implemented their 
agenda agreed with the funds," sources told NNI.

The IMF mission would again visit Islamabad next month "to see the 
implementation of the government measures for structural reforms 
programme," sources said. 

The mission has also expressed its concern on the GDP budget 
deficit projected for the coming financial year.

The IMF during the policy level talks with Pakistan discussed broad 
budgetary measures being taken by the government. The government 
told the mission the documentation of economy would help in 
collecting an additional Rs100 billion in the next financial year 
and within two years the collection of Rs600 billion would not be a 
difficult task.

The discussion was also focused on the government's efforts to 
improve the industrial growth with emphasis on reviving 800 sick 
units out of a total 4,000. Pakistan had been separately seeking 
about $400 million for this purpose.

In October 1997, SDR206.54 million under extended arrangement 
approved and expiring in October 2000. SDR352.7 million under 
contingency and compensatory arrangement; SDR43.7 million under SAF 
arrangements, and SDR410.24 million under ESAF/PRFG arrangements 
approved in October 1997 and expiring in October this year.-NNI

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20000610 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A crucial test for Pakistan: World Bank 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, June 9: The World Bank has called upon the military 
government to effectively enforce the GST regime in the country to 
improve revenue collection. "We appreciate the government's efforts 
to document the economy as it is the inescapable aspect of the 
modern tax collection system", said John Wall, Resident 
Representative of the World Bank. "This is a crucial test of the 
government as it is being seen both in and outside Pakistan as a 
fundamental issue of credibility", he further remarked.

Talking to reporters here on Friday after having launched the 
Bank's external web site, he said the economic reforms were much 
needed to specially increase revenues as per the GDP ratio.

"The World Bank had suggested some few years ago to increase 
revenues from 17 per cent of the GDP to 21 per cent of the GDP but 
unfortunately they have gone down to 15 per cent of the GDP", the 
World Bank local chief said.

Nevertheless, he said he was hopeful that the government's efforts 
would bear fruits to substantially increase revenue with a view to 
offer more funds to the social sectors.

Mr Wall said that the GST was in fact a Value Added Tax (VAT) which 
if enforced effectively it will reduce distortions in other taxes. 
"The least distorting tax is the sales tax which we also call VAT", 
he added.

He said that this was the most fundamental responsibility of the 
government to collect adequate taxes and, "if you don't do that it 
means you are not interested in improving your human indicators".

Mr Wall said that the government could not spare enough money for 
health and education and other social sectors if its revenues were 
narrow-based.

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20000609 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Assets worth Rs2.5 billion declared under TAS
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, June 8: Assets worth Rs2.5 billion have been declared so 
far under the Tax Amnesty Scheme, while a sum of Rs260 million has 
been deposited under these declarations.

The CBR sources told Dawn here on Thursday that the government has 
not decided to extend the last date for availing of the scheme by 
paying 10% tax beyond June 15. However, "special efforts are being 
made to meet the Rs3 billion target set for collection under the 
scheme", said a senior official.

He said that the Wealth Tax immunity offered on Wednesday which 
waives penalties and additional tax payment for non-filing in 
previous years for those who have never filed WT returns, is an 
added incentive to the declarants under the TAS Scheme.

The CBR has directed the Income Tax commissionerates in major 
cities to once again contact the representative bodies of the 
business community to win their confidence and support for the TAS.

Sources further added that "the CBR is confident that these efforts 
would bring dividends and the tempo of declarations and deposits 
under the scheme would be increasing over the next week. 

Our Staff Reporter from Karachi adds: The Tax Amnesty Scheme 2000 
(TAS-2000) has so far failed to get the much expected response from 
taxpayers as per reports coming from all the five tax region of the 
country indicate, official sources said.

With only seven days left for the expiry of the TAS-2000 on June 
15, the revenue originating on this account is of no consequence 
which is between Rs200-300 million.

Though CBR has made several amendments in the scheme, not much 
response was seen from taxpayers. Revenue figures originating from 
the five regions indicate poor response towards the scheme.

"As long as the government does not work to remove last 52 years' 
mis-trust between the taxpayers and tax collectors, no matter how 
good a scheme may be, it will not succeed," a tax consultant 
opined.

According to official figures, the Southern Region of Income Tax 
has topped the list where Rs51.070 million had been collected in 
357 cases filed under TAS-2000, followed by Lahore region where 
Rs50 million had been realized so far.

"We have a very large number of cases lying with us for filing 
under TAS-2000, but our clients have directed us to hold them back 
in the hope that some changes may be made in the scheme if a better 
sense prevails in the government," most of the tax consultants 
approached by the Dawn said.

Meanwhile, CBR sources said the on-going exercise of documentation 
of the economy through tax survey scheme will be achieved and only 
then the government could move forward for giving any relief to 
taxpayers.

Sources further said that to encourage documentation the government 
in July, 2000 will be launching such schemes which could only be 
availed by those taxpayers who would be maintaining proper books of 
accounts etc.

"Availing of Self Assessment Scheme could be attached to the 
documentation and only those will be allowed who would be having 
proper books of account," the officials said.

The CBR may also announce rebate of upto 5 per cent for those 
taxpayers who would keep proper accounts as well as document their 
business activities, sources said.

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20000609 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Private sector demand for credit low: Ishrat
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

LAHORE, June 8: Central bank governor Dr Ishrat Hussain has said 
this year's revised target of monetary expansion of nine per cent 
may not be attained because of the low demand for credit from the 
private sector 
in spite of about four per cent reduction in the interest rates in 
the recent months.

Speaking at a pre-budget seminar organized here by the federal 
ministry of information here on Thursday, the governor said banks 
had diverted credit available with them to support the commodity 
operations due to absence of demand for it from the private sector. 
He said the Punjab government had been given Rs45 billion for 
procuring wheat this year.

He sought to clarify that the central bank's monetary policy was 
"restrictive" as pointed out by a speaker, claiming that it was 
"expansionary". But, he added, the monetary policy had to be 
consistent with the fiscal policy and the budget.

He said the public expectations regarding the budget for the fiscal 
year 2000-01 should not be raised unrealistically. He said the 
investors' confidence was essential for economic growth and 
production even if good economic policies were put in place for 
their execution by excellent institutions.

Speaking about the country's foreign exchange reserves, Dr Hussain 
said the reserves were stabilized at $1.4-1.5 billion in spite of 
the fact that Pakistan had not received even a single dollar from 
any source since May 1999. In fact, he said, Pakistan had repaid 
$500 million to the international financial institutions during 
this period to keep current on its liabilities. Besides, he said, 
despite a bumper cotton crop the country had lost $300 million in 
terms of textile trade due to low international cotton and textile 
prices. He said the country could not benefit from the rescheduling 
of its $1.3 billion debt by the Paris Club due to increased 
petroleum prices in the international market.

He said it was very difficult to stabilize the foreign exchange 
reserves in these circumstances and maintain a stable exchange rate 
with a 4-4.5 per cent difference in the official and kerb market 
rates. However, he was hopeful that the present level of reserves 
would be maintained despite all odds.

The governor also urged exporters to bring back their full export 
proceeds. He said they should act as patriotic citizens and remit 
their outstanding export proceeds of $700 million back home.

Punjab finance minister Shahid Kardar spoke on the efforts to 
rationalize the tax structure, saying the number of provincial 
taxes was being cut from the present 29 to single digit and the 
government regulations reduced. He said more resources would be 
allocated to remoter areas of the province in the next budget. He 
said the burden of taxes would have to be shared by all sections of 
society.

Federal finance secretary-general Moin Afzal briefed the audience 
on the present economic scenario. He also spoke on the efforts 
being done by the government to reduce poverty and retire foreign 
and domestic debt. He said the report of the committee formed to 
suggest to reduce the debt burden would be made public.

Acting Lahore Stock Exchange chairman Asim Zafar demanded that the 
stock exchanges be exempted from the tax levied on them in 1996.

Acting Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Sheikh 
Asif urged for broadening the tax base in the country and slashing 
the tax rates.

APTMA chairman Mohsin Aziz expressed his fear that the industry 
would be closed down if the ongoing strike by traders continued for 
indefinite period.

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20000609 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Refusal to receive survey forms: Punitive action not to be taken
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, June 8: The government has decided not to take punitive 
action against those refusing to receive the economic survey forms 
or provide details of their income and assets.

The National Economic Survey Ordinance 2000, promulgated recently, 
provided that the defiant would have to pay a fine of Rs25,000 and 
a three-month imprisonment.

Announcing the decision here on Thursday, the federal interior 
secretary, Hassan Raza Pasha, told a news conference that the 
government, however, might promulgate another ordinance aimed 
against those causing disruption in public life.

"It has been decided at the highest level not to implement the 
punitive measures," Mr Pasha declared.

Before the press conference, a meeting of the provincial chief 
secretaries was held in the morning to review the progress and 
problems pertaining to the ongoing survey. Senior officials of the 
Central Board of Revenue and other concerned departments also 
attended the meeting which also discussed the oil tankers 
association's call for an indefinite strike from June 10.

"The meeting expressed its satisfaction over the tax survey 
campaign," Mr Pasha claimed.

"We have decided not to use the force," he said adding in the same 
breath, "but will also not allow others to disrupt public life."

The federal secretary claimed that the traders' shutter down strike 
was fading away. The survey would go ahead notwithstanding the 
shutdown, he added.

He stated that the process would continue till each and every 
person in 13 cities was covered. So far 125,000 forms have been 
distributed during the nationwide campaign, he revealed.

Barring some untoward incidents in a few cities, the campaign 
remained peaceful, Mr Pasha said.

Dispelling the impression about the government's 'rigid' attitude 
towards the traders, the official said that the traders had been 
bargaining on taxes with the government since 1991 and so many of 
their demands had been accepted. Still, he regretted, they were 
refusing to pay taxes and seeking negotiations.

He ruled out possibility of a meeting between the Chief Executive, 
Gen Musharraf, and the representative team of traders at this stage 
saying that the head of government was too busy to be dragged into 
more concerns.

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20000607 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Central Board of Revenue offers new package
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD; June 6: The federal government has waived payment of 
sales tax additionally chargeable for non-payment, and 50 per cent 
of the penalties imposed on registered persons, in case they pay up 
their dues by June 30.

The CBR notification said that the facility has been allowed to 
attract quick and larger ST amounts meant for increasing the 
revenue deposits for the current financial year, which would be out 
on June 30.

The additional tax in excess of one and a half per cent per month 
has been waived for such persons through a notification issued here 
by the Central Board of Revenue. The notification No SRO 
308(I)/2000, dated June 6, reads:

In exercise of powers conferred under section 34A of the Sales Tax 
Act, 1990, the federal government is pleased to exempt so much of 
additional tax chargeable under section 34 as is in excess of the 
simple rate of one and a half per cent per month and penalties as 
are in excess of 50 per cent of the amounts or rates of penalties 
chargeable under section 33 of the said Act due on such principal 
amount of sales tax as has accrued or has been assessed, 
determined, adjusted or demanded in any manner, or is outstanding 
on any account or for any reason or before the date of issue of 
this notification if such principal amount is paid by a registered 
person along with additional tax and penalties as reduced by this 
notification on or before January 30, 2000.

In cases where there are no arrears of principal amount of sales 
tax and the arrears involve additional tax and penalty only, the 
benefit of this notification shall be admissible if the amount of 
additional tax and penalties not exempt under this notification is 
paid a registered person on or before the said date.

This notification shall not entitle any registered person to refund 
of any tax, additional tax or penalty already paid. This 
notification shall also apply in cases where prosecution 
proceedings under the said Act have been initiated.

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20000606 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
LSE Index plunges
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

LAHORE, June 5: The LSE-101 Index plunged 2.16 points to close at 
367.59 when the Lahore Stock Exchange reopened on Monday after its 
closure last week for one-and-a-half-day because of the crisis 
caused by the failure of six brokers to settle their over-exposure 
limit accounts.

The decision to open the market on Monday was taken on Saturday by 
LSE directors who arranged a loan of Rs200 million from financial 
institutions to bail out the members facing default.

The crisis kept the bourse closed for two days, on Tuesday and 
Friday, and led to suspension of trading on Thursday noon in only 
one week.

The directors were still locked in a meeting with bankers till late 
Monday evening to finalize the modalities of the loan but no 
official word was available. However, sources said, the directors 
still had a number of matters which need to be solved before the 
crisis was fully overcome. 

 They said the bankers at one stage had refused to extend the loan 
when a couple of LSE directors pointed out that the exchange could 
not give guarantees under its rules. Another source said the 
directors would have to settle the issue today.

They pointed out that two of the defaulting six LSE members - Naeem 
Anwar and Shahid Nauman Rana - were not allowed to trade as their 
terminals remained closed throughout the day. But, a broker said, 
that the terminal of Rana was opened later in the evening to settle 
his accounts. Several LSE members demanded that the management fix 
the responsibility for the crisis and suspend those responsible for 
it.

The market remained under heavy selling pressure as Monday was 
treated the last day of the week for settling the clearing house, 
which could not be completed on Friday due to its closure.

The operators and jobbers, who had acquired large stocks in the 
expectation that the prices would go up further, took to unloading 
their portfolios. At the final bells, the declines were more than 
advances. The underlying sentiment remained steady in the absence 
of new guiding factors.

In all, the stocks of 140 companies were traded. As many as 11 
improved their worth and 44 lost as the rest remained unchanged.

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20000605 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Musharraf seeks report on impure palm oil
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, June 4: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf has sought 
report from the finance ministry by June 10 on the import of 
contaminated palm oil. The chief executive's inspection commission 
through a letter has directed finance secretary Mohammad Younis 
Khan to initiate inquiry 
into the import of two consignments of 6,000 tons each contaminated 
palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia.

Another case of import of 4,000 tons contaminated palm oil, 
released by CBR chairman Riaz Hussain Naqvi, has been prepared for 
the inspection commission.

The consignment has already been supplied in the market in January 
and February. It was mixed with 190 tons of furnace oil during 
unloading from vessel M.T Portofino.

The case file reveals that other CBR officials had disagreed to 
release the consignment. The CBR chairman, however, on a 
presentation by Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association 
(PVMA), rejected the officials' plea.

He wrote on the file: "A delegation of Pakistan Vanaspati 
Manufacturers Association saw me and represented that the samples 
had been found fit for the human consumption and yet a completely 
unnecessary and unimplementable restriction had been imposed on the 
consignment by the provincial health and food departments. They 
sought a review of the CBR decision in this behalf."

"Having perused the office notes on the file, the following facts 
emerged:

- that the "contaminated" samples sent to three laboratories, 
including the HEJ Institute, were found fit for human consumption, 
subject to proper bleaching; the melting point has been found 
within the standard range of 36-37 degree.

- it has been stated by the PVMA that the bleaching is normally 
done as a matter of course, and that PVMA would ensure that the 
process of bleaching was undertaken by its members."

The chairman ordered on the file that "in view of the foregoing, I 
see no point in associating provincial health and food departments 
(as proposed by the collector, customs, concerned). The 
consignments may be released on the importers' undertaking 
countersigned by PVMA." "Samples fit for human consumption" subject 
to bleaching, he observed.

The relevant officials had pointed out to the chairman that the CBR 
had no authority to release a contaminated consignment, under any 
circumstances. They told him that when the issue was on the Customs 
"table" it was unfit for human consumption. The Customs officer was 
to deal with the case.

The case file prepared for CE states that the Customs officers in 
the CBR had pointed out to the chairman that it should be 
confiscated and destroyed, being unfit for human consumption. They 
had standing instructions to seize such consignments in light of 
the following:

1) that bleaching is a process of making something colorless, or to 
reduce its original color; it does not mean segregating of furnace 
oil which had been mixed with the palm oil; separation of palm oil 
and furnace oil could only be done in a refinery.

2) the importers did not have the facility of a refinery in their 
factories; their consignment of 4,190 tons of palm oil mixed with 
furnace oil thus could not be sold in the market before it was 
purified, which has now endangered the life of the consumers.

The case file says that by obtaining the undertaking, the importers 
were assigned the job of purification which is under the law 
performed by the federal as well as provincial health and food 
ministries.

The CBR secretary, Raja Tahir Majeed, and director internal audit 
Mazhar A. Nurani, had also opposed the CBR chief for release of 
another consignment of contaminated palm oil. They had pointed out 
that it was in violation of the Customs laws. On this, the chairman 
ordered the CBR administration to charge-sheet Mr Majeed and Mr 
Nurani. They have now been suspended.

The consignments had arrived Pakistan on April 23, 1999 on MT 
Fujihoushi from Malaysia, and Oct 29, 1999 on MT Falcon from 
Indonesia. The chief executive secretariat, meanwhile, is also 
conducting an inquiry into the case. The report has to be submitted 
to the CE office by June 10, keeping the following aspects in view 
during the investigations:

Involvement of Customs staff as well as laboratories and recommend 
disciplinary action against them; quality of imported oil; CBR's 
role, highlight the negligence on the part of officials if any; 
recommend suitable measures to avoid recurrence of such cases in 
future; fix responsibility and recommend suitable actions against 
all those involved in the case.

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20000606 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Yellow cab scheme: Govt decision on sale of cars awaited
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, June 5. The federal government is considering to allow 
normal local sales of the Daewoo Racer cars imported in 1992-93 
under the prime minister's yellow cab scheme.

Official sources in the commerce ministry told this correspondent 
here on Monday that in this connection, the ministry has submitted 
a report to the finance minister Shaukat Aziz for a final decision 
regarding the disposal of unsold Daewoo racer cars.

Sources said that large numbers of vehicles including cars were 
imported for distribution under the prime minister's yellow cab 
scheme. However, it added, as a consequence of long litigation 
between importers and distributors after dissolution of the said 
scheme, some vehicles have remained undisposed of till date.These 
vehicles are since parked under the open skies and likely to loose 
their useful economic life, the ministry added. Sources said the 
ministry of commerce was of the view that a decision regarding the 
fate of these vehicles be taken quickly. 

Accordingly, sources quoted the commerce ministry as saying to the 
finance minister that the remaining vehicles be allowed to be 
cleared on the same terms and conditions as provided under SRO 
565(1)95. 

However, the importers may be allowed to market these on their own. 
Sources said the views of finance division, revenue division and 
ministry of communications were also sought in the matter. 

Sources said, the finance division has not supported the proposed 
move It has proposed that it should be left to the banks who are 
the main creditors to sell the unsold cars at the best possible 
price. While, sources added, the revenue division had proposed that 
the vehicles be released on payment of customs duty and other taxes 
at the existing statutory rates as the clearance at concessionary 
rate of duty would render the local industry uncompetitive.

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20000608 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Money changers asked to check speculators
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, June 7: More than 400 licensed money changers across 
Pakistan are sitting on some $50 million-at least ten times the 
total demand of foreign exchange in the kerb market on peak days.

Top bankers say this figure represents a conservative estimate 
adding that the real holding of foreign exchange could be higher.

Then what the market regulators are doing to ensure inflow of $50 
million in the otherwise tight kerb market? It is difficult to 
answer the question at this moment. But there are indications that 
the market regulators might force money changers to behave- if not 
right now maybe in a few weeks.

Senior bankers say the State Bank has already told top money 
changers in a meeting on Tuesday that they were supposed not to 
play in the hands of speculators. They say that money changers were 
told plainly that speculators had caused the rupee to fall sharply 
in the kerb market last week.

The rupee witnessed a new low of 55.00 to a US dollar in the kerb 
market last week against 54.50 a week earlier.

Bankers say the State Bank officials are of the view that rupee 
could easily trade at 54.50 or even lower to a dollar in the kerb 
market if money changers get rid of speculators.

But that is not an easy task. Top money changers say it is 
difficult to differentiate between genuine buyers of foreign 
exchange and speculators in a free market. "We neither keep a 
record of particulars of individual deals in the market nor provide 
it to the State Bank," said Hanif Galaxy who says he is newly-
elected vice president of Forex Association of Pakistan.

"The State Bank in any case does not require us to disclose such 
information in our weekly returns."

But the fact that no individual money changer can carry abroad more 
than $10,000 without the State Bank permission is a proof that the 
SBP is still watchful of foreign exchange outflow through operators 
of open market.

Bankers say the SBP may intensify its watch in coming weeks if 
money changers failed to keep the rupee from falling further on 
speculative demand.

In the mean time, money changers look poised to start a house 
cleaning. "We are going to make our interventions in the market 
more transparent," said Hanif Galaxy.

He claimed that senior SBP officials had told money changers that 
the SBP would intervene in the open market through Forex 
Association of Pakistan to keep the dollar from rising further. But 
sources privy to the Tuesday meeting between top money changers and 
senior SBP officials say this is incorrect. They say that the SBP 
officials rather asked money changers to arrange foreign exchange 
on their own and sell the same to stabilize the rupee in the open 
market. The rupee closed at 54.60 and 54.70 for spot buying and 
selling in the open market, according to leading money changers 
reached by Dawn. Forex Association of Pakistan issued no rate 
sheet.

"We will start issuing rate sheets from Thursday," said Hanif 
Galaxy. "The rate sheets issued by the new office-bearers would be 
truly reflective of the market rates," he said when told that 
previously the rate sheets used to understate the exchange rates.

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20000608 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Tax revenue revised to Rs356 billion
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, June 7: The final federal tax revenue estimates for 
1999-2000 have been revised downward from Rs362 to Rs356 billion by 
the Central Board of Revenue, sources said.

This is the third revision in current fiscal. The revenue estimates 
were budgeted at Rs356bn, were revised upward to Rs379bn in 
September 1999 (after GST levy on gas and electricity), but were 
revised downward in March 2000 to Rs 362bn.

The final estimates for the direct taxes collection have been 
revised downward to Rs118bn. The budgetary DT collection estimates 
were Rs130bn which were revised downward to Rs121bn in March 2000.

The total collection in July-May (11 months) under the direct taxes 
head amounted to Rs93bn, and CBR sources say that they would be 
able to collect only another Rs15bn worth of DT in June 2000, even 
less.

The sales tax collection, however, was Rs102bn in July-May period 
and the GST Wing of the CBR expects another Rs12bn under this head 
in June 2000.

The original GST collection target in the budget was Rs120bn, and 
the CBR was expecting after the levy of GST on electricity/gas that 
the target could be revised upward to Rs130bn. However, now the CBR 
expects Rs114bn from this head by end June 2000.

The customs duty collection in July-May period has been Rs56bn, and 
the CBR expects to collect another Rs7bn under this head in June 
2000. 

 The total customs duty deposits for the current financial year are 
expected to be Rs62bn, which was the final revised downward target 
under this head as well.

The progressive zero-rating under customs duties and reduction in 
majority of rates to below 35% has resulted in drastically reduced 
deposits.

Since the import stage sales tax and income (withholding) tax is 
deductible on the import value of consignment plus the customs duty 
levied, the customs duty zero-rating and rate-reduction over 1998-
99-2000 have also reduced collection of GST and withholding taxes.

Under an agreement with IMF, the government has not been able to 
levy regulatory duty in lieu of customs rate reduction, as had been 
in the pre-1999 period, the deposits under RD and Central Excise 
Duty (at import stage) also plummeted.

The CED collection in the July-May period of the current fiscal has 
totalled Rs49bn. The target for the year was Rs61bn, later reduced 
to Rs58bn. The CED Wing of CBR expects to collect another Rs6bn in 
CED during June 2000. This would help the CED collection for the 12 
months to be Rs51bn. This decline in CED collection has been a 
major reason for the current fiscal's final estimates revision.

As per the head-wise revised estimates, the total federal tax 
revenue collection for the current fiscal would stand at 
Rs118+114+62+51=345bn, not Rs356bn.

The CBR officials, when asked how would they meet the gap of Rs11bn 
to hit the figure of Rs356bn, they explained that there are four 
major additional revenue areas which would be tapped during June to 
meet this gap.

The CBR, as per these explanations, expect deposits of Rs2.5bn in 
import duty plus ST/WT on enhanced clearance of import goods 
incentivized through waiver of 2% penal surcharge.

 The sales tax department estimates to improve its collection by 
tapping Rs2bn in addition to the estimated collection from the pool 
of Rs12.5bn arrears stuck for a long time.Another onebn rupees is 
expected from the immunity offer made through a notification here 
on June 7 on Wealth Tax (waiver of additional tax/penalties).

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20000610 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
KSE 100-share index loses 31.21 points
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, June 9: Stocks finished the weekend session on an easy 
note as investors were not inclined to take new positions 
apparently awaiting reports from the clearing house about the 
weekly settlement. The KSE 100-share index breached the barrier of 
1,400 points.

Luckily the clearing worries were over as the settlement was smooth 
allaying fears of any possible default by any of the members.

The KSE 100-share index suffered a sharp setback of 31.21 points at 
1,399.30 as compared to 1,430.51 points, reflecting the weakness of 
leading base shares including PTCL and Hub-Power. At one stage it 
as low as 48 points but late burst of buying in some pivotals 
allowed it recover in part initial losses.

Losing shares held a strong lead over the advancing ones at 125 to 
42, 49 shares holding on to the last levels amid moderately active 
trading.

Although there was no chance of settlement default on the part of 
any of the KSE members owing to a week of terribly low volumes but 
fears related to arbitrage business were there, which drove the 
market further lower.

Apart from clearance, the other bearish factor, which kept 
investors out of the market was weekend considerations and 
investors' reluctance to make fresh commitments until the post-
default dust settles down, dealers said.

Analysts said trading interest in shares is progressively drying up 
as general investors think twice before making fresh commitment 
even in the low-priced blue chips.

"The market is witnessing outflow of money from stock trading to 
the US dollar as profit margin there is pretty attractive at least 
for the near-term", they added.

Investors are taking strong positions in dollar after taking 
profits in shares where possible before the national budget by the 
next week, they said, "there is no possibility of further 
devaluation of the rupee but a section of money changers is making 
it look so".

Floor brokers said normal weekly clearing has allayed fears of most 
of the investors about rumours of fresh default but no one among 
them appear to be in a mood to cover positions at the attractively 
lower levels.

The late recovery in the market was largely attributed to active 
buying in PTCL and some others low-priced pivotals including Asian 
Stocks and Ibrahim Textiles.

Both PTCL and PSO accounted for 70 per cent of the total volume, 
although both closed on a divergent note. But the weakness of the 
textile sector owing to active selling in the pivotals among them 
was said to be one of the major bearish factors behind the 
continued slashing.

Minus signs again dominated the list, major losers being ready 
shares such as Fauji Fertiliser, BOC Pakistan, Shell Gas, Knoll 
Pharma, PSO, and Al-Ghazi Tractors, falling by Rs4.25 to 9.00.

Other prominent losers were led by 13th ICP, Crescent Bank, Adamjee 
Insurance, IGI, Din, Blessed and Mehmood Textiles, Nishat Mills and 
Cherat Papers, which suffered decline ranging from Rs2.00 to 5.95.

Lever Brothers came in for strong support and was quoted higher by 
Rs49.00 followed by Shell Pakistan, Asian Stocks, Ibrahim Textiles, 
and National Refinery, which rose by one rupee to Rs2.00.

Trading volume showed a sharp increase at 122m shares from the 
previous 59m shares but losers maintained a strong lead over the 
gainers at 125 to 42, with 49 shares holding on to the last levels.

DEFULTER COMPANIES: Crescent Board again came in for active selling 
at the higher level and was marked down by 50 paisa at Rs3.50 on 
11,000 shares followed by Khurshid Spinning, unchanged at Rs2.50 on 
5,000 shares. Gammon Pakistan was also traded at the last level of 
Rs9.00 on 2,500 shares. 

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20000609 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Gold imports suspended
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, June 8: Gold import has remained suspended as a result of 
the country-wide shutter-down against tax survey twelve days ago.

General Secretary, Karachi Saraf and Jewellers Group, Haji Mohammed 
Farooq told Dawn that the import of gold is estimated at 120,000 
tola per month.

"This is our peak season of sales after Muharram when marriages 
take place but we are sitting at our homes," he said adding the 
closure is affecting our daily business.

He said problems have been arising to deliver the commodity in time 
for those customers who have placed orders prior to shutter down.

In the meantime, the international price of yellow metal has shot 
up to $285.50 per ounce on Thursday from $272 per ounce some 15 
days back.

If the current international price is taken, then the gold price 
comes to Rs 5,015 per 10 grams, he added.

Saeed Qureishi, general secretary, All Pakistan Gem Merchants and 
Jewellers Association, said that gold traders have not closed their 
shops because of the on-going tax survey but they have kept their 
shutters down due to fear of dacoties.

Back to the top
=================================================================== 
 EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20000604
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A laugh
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ardeshir Cowasjee

WHEN governments in this country are dismissed, petitions are filed 
in the Supreme Court, thousands of words are written by lawyers, 
and then thousands of words are written by judges delivering 
judgments.

To save labour, time and money, and to make it quicker and simpler 
for judges, lawyers, and laymen alike to grasp the essentials of 
these repetitious petitions and judgments in which it is only the 
names of the petitioners and respondents which change, could they 
not be standardized? For instance, for corruption, the petitioners 
could simply write: "Refer to Form Krupt K1", which the respondents 
could answer with : "Denied - in terms of Form Krupt K2"; for 
telephone tapping, "Refer to Form Teltap TT 1" and "Denied - in 
terms of Form Teltap TT 2 "would serve the purpose, and so on and 
so forth. A one-page judgment could then be written by the judges 
simply by ordering the Registrar to 'Print out Snooze 1'.

May I recommend that my friend Khalid Anwer, master of English and 
legalize prose, of petitioning and responding, compile a book of 
suitable forms. How effectively he attacked telephone tapping as 
the respondent's counsel in the matter of Benazir's petitition 
challenging her second dismissal (CP 59/96). Worth a read in his 
written statement is "Sixth Ground of the Dissolution Order : 
Illegal and unconstitutional phone tapping and eavesdropping". To 
reproduce excerpts :

".....it is necessary to discuss certain constitutional dimensions 
of the illegal phone tapping and eavesdropping........ the 
Constitution is based on the trichotomy of powers...... Although 
the three branches are inter-linked to a certain extent, e.g., the 
main organ of the executive, the Cabinet, is collectively 
responsible to the National Assembly.... Each pillar of the State 
must have the assurance that its correspondence and communications 
will not be illegally intercepted or interfered with...... What was 
going on was an invisible and silent surveillance being carried out 
deliberately and intentionally, in full awareness of the illegality 
of what was being done. The intent and the act were both mala fide 
and unlawful; the damage done had constitutional 
reverberations......

"The phone tapping and eavesdropping was being done by the 
Intelligence Bureau ("IB") which works directly under the control 
of the Prime Minister ... In the case of Judges, not only were the 
numbers at the Judges' rest house in Islamabad and Murree under 
surveillance, but the numbers of the following Judges were also 
being individually tapped [41 names listed]....

"That quite apart from the attack on the judiciary as an 
institution is the violation of individual fundamental rights by 
this phone tapping and eavesdropping....."

Nawaz Sharif came in for his second round after the second 
dismissal of Benazir, and Senator Khalid Anwer joined his cabinet 
as law minister, and assumed his part of the collective 
responsibility, which, considering the extent of his learning, 
knowledge, and capability must be calculated as being at least ten 
times more than that of, say, the man who was Nawaz's education 
minister, Ghous Ali Shah.

Nawaz and his government and his intelligence agencies in their 
turn telephone tapped and eavesdropped, also not sparing Judges and 
officials of the Supreme Court, as revealed by attorney-general 
Aziz Munshi in his arguments during the hearing of the petition 
filed by a number of parliamentarians challenging the second Nawaz 
dismissal (CP 63/99). Khalid appearing on behalf of the petitioners 
quite naturally had the decency to condemn the "tapping of the 
telephones of the Chief Justice of Pakistan and other Judges of the 
superior judiciary and called it a shameful act."

Now, to eavesdropping on others than judges and 'high-ups'. 
Moinuddin Khan, a Pakistani banker, happily living and working 
abroad, in early 1998 suddenly felt the urge to serve his country 
and allowed himself to be persuaded to return and head the Central 
Board of Revenue. When visiting Islamabad I used to call on him to 
discuss problems Karachi's stevedores were having with the excise 
collectorate. Whatever files or correspondence Moin was shown on 
the matter inevitably brought from him the remark, "Well, I see no 
problem," to which my response was to ask him to sort it out with 
his men. He promised to do so but never managed to get through to 
the obdurate taxmen right up to the December 1998 day when he read 
in his morning papers that he had been sacked by Nawaz and replaced 
by Iqbal Farid (jailed by this government for corruption, and 
released on hs paying back Rs. 10 million he had borrowed).

On each visit to Islamabad I used to dine with Moin and he did 
likewise when in Karachi. Suddenly, sometime in the second half of 
the year all communication from him ceased. I could not get through 
to him on the telephone and he never called back. So I faxed him 
asking why he was not responding, bemoaning the fact that it had 
not taken much time for him to convert himself into a proper 
Pakistani civil servant. This brought forth a call from a disturbed 
Moin, whispering down the line that he was calling from Lahore from 
the house of his sister-in-law's brother-in-law to explain his 
silence and to tell me that either my phone or his phone or both 
our phones were tapped. He had been visited by none less than the 
chief of the Intelligence Bureau, Chaudhry Manzoor, who recounted 
to him the exact dates upon which we had met, warned him that it 
would be in his interest not to consort with me as I was a 'Desh ka 
dushman'. I could do nothing but laugh helplessly and tell Moin 
that he was even a greater fool than I had thought. My phone, I 
said, has been tapped since Jinnah died in 1948. The idiotic IB men 
were probably listening in to this present call as well. What a 
waste of time and money, for I write each week and what I have to 
say is public knowledge. The IB would do better to spend their time 
and energy seeking out all the 'hidden hands' that do so much 
damage.

Sure enough, when Moin returned to Islamabad he was again visited 
by an irate Chaudhry who berated him for having told me that the IB 
had my line tapped, and thus provoked me into abusing him (Chaudhry 
was later sacked by Nawaz).

The ways of our governments are, to say the least, bizarre. On 
October 8 of that same year, a Thursday, I was rung by Saifur 
Rahman asking me to fly to Islamabad post haste as Mian Sahib 
wanted to meet me (the 'Desh ka dushman'). But he is coming here 
next week, can't he meet me then, I asked. Saif requested me not to 
'inkaar karo' the Mian as what he wanted to discuss was to my 
benefit. I explained that there was no question of 'inkaar' but 
simply that I could not come that week as I had to be in Karachi on 
Sunday for the ground-breaking ceremony of the school our family 
was founding. Saif's immediate reaction was to praise us for our 
astute business acumen as schools were most profitable ventures. It 
had to be carefully explained to him that the school was to be 
located in Macchar Colony (so named as mosquitos in Lyari outnumber 
men) and was to be run by the Citizens Foundation for the poor 
children of the area. No money would be taken home. He was 
nonplussed.

Late on Sunday night Commander Zahid, Nawaz's protocol officer, 
called from the PM's house telling me that Nawaz's programme for 
Monday had just been settled and I should be in Islamabad before 
noon. Impossible, I told him, if I ask PIA for a seat I'll be told 
there are none available until 2001. Not impossible for Zahid 
though. It was arranged for me to fly to Islamabad at noon on 
Monday and see the Mian that evening.

Meeting the Mian, in or out of power, was always amusing. The first 
question he would inevitably ask was whether I still thought he was 
'krupt'. I don't only think so, I would respond, I know so. That 
evening, after his usual greeting and question, he told me he had 
been following my columns of late in which I had advocated the 
imposition of governor's rule in Sindh and he would like me to be 
his governor in the troubled province. It won't work, I told him. 
He would phone me every morning and tell me to do five things, four 
of which will be manifestly wrong. And one of the first things I 
would do is to sack his hand-picked police chief Rana Maqbool. And 
I would not be at the airport whenever he arrived in or left 
Karachi. But in any case, all that was irrelevant because there is 
no way in which I could accept a job in any government and lose 
whatever credibility I have.

Nawaz is now in jail, and the government appeal asking for the 
death sentence has been admitted by the Sindh High Court. Not fair. 
Justice must be evenhanded. Will the government hang Benazir and 
all the other delinquents?

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20000609
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Whose agenda is it, anyway?
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ayaz Amir

This is no seven or fourteen point agenda to stop the rot and take 
the nation out of the woods. This is more like a wholesale recipe 
for disaster. Who will have the last laugh? Perhaps the IMF. 
Perhaps the babus of the Central Board of Revenue. Shaukat Aziz of 
course will have no problems. He has a place to go back to. But 
what about the other architects of the disorder spreading across 
the land?

Does no one in the inner sanctums of authority have eyes to see, 
ears to hear, as to what is happening in the rest of the country? 
Public frustration is at its height, even anger is mounting, 
because far from solving anything the present dispensation is 
making life more difficult both for itself and its hapless 
subjects. Is it simply a matter of bad advice or is the problem 
more serious and reflects a fundamental inadequacy? Whatever the 
case, one thing is for sure. From whatever angle you look at it, 
the government seems to be out of its depth.

Is India interested in spreading confusion in our ranks? It need 
not bother, or lift a little finger in this regard, because what we 
are doing to ourselves can be done by no one else.

The traders' shutdown and the other strikes being threatened by 
transporters, oil tankers, etc, are only the most visible symptoms 
of a wider discontent. At its source lies the disenchantment which 
has replaced the euphoria set off by the events of October 12. This 
government was expected to set everything right. There was even 
talk of working miracles. Nothing of the kind of course has 
happened but what makes matters worse is that instead of realising 
its failings the government is awash with a sense of its 
infallibility and, despite all the evidence to the contrary, thinks 
it has the key to every problem. Failure is easy to understand and 
even sympathise with. But smugness and complacency in the midst of 
failure tests human forbearance.

For all their faults politicians are trained to listen and to show 
sympathy even where none is intended. Not so the man in uniform who 
is taught to obey and to elicit obedience. This approach may be 
indispensable on the parade ground but, as the face-off with the 
traders is showing, it does not work in the outside world.

There is no shortage of people who have good things to say about 
individual members of this regime. There is no reason to quarrel 
with such assessments. The best in the army have to run a grueling 
race before they make it to the highest positions. Many are good at 
their craft, some even brilliant. But that precisely is the point. 
Good at their own calling they are proving less than good at the 
calling whose functions they have taken upon themselves.

A military government can take tough decisions. So at least the 
myth goes. What tough decisions have been taken since October 12? 
Nabbing people and throwing them into jail is not a sign of 
toughness. Pakistan's foremost problem is the disarray of its 
administrative apparatus. Tax evasion is a reflection of this 
problem. When the state cannot enforce its writ, how can it ensure 
internal peace and how can it collect taxes?

The first item of any reform program therefore must be the reform 
of the state so that it is able to carry out its functions better. 
Everything else, from conquering the moon to defeating our enemies, 
comes afterwards. In seven months not a single step has been taken 
to reform the administration. But instead of concentrating on first 
things first needless fronts have been opened left and right 
fostering the impression of a government not sure of what it wants 
to achieve.

The tussle with the traders is the most striking example of this 
tendency. Carrying out a nation-wide tax survey is not a small 
undertaking. For a dysfunctional state it is a daunting task. Yet 
it has been initiated without homework, without a build-up of 
necessary resources and in a way almost calculated to arouse the 
most resistance. Anyone wishing to undermine the military 
government could not have gone about it in a better manner.

The consequences should not have been hard to foresee. People are 
being turned off by the sight of men in uniform. Is this what we 
want? Most Pakistanis believe the army to be the last remaining 
bastion of discipline and integrity, the one institution capable of 
rescuing the country from its predicament. This may be a mistaken 
view but it is strongly held. Why destroy this last illusion? 
Rawalpindi and its environs must have the highest concentration of 
serving and retired generals anywhere in the world. Even these 
people who can hardly be accused of subversive tendencies will tell 
anyone who asks them that all is not well on the internal front.

The world may have become a smaller place and wars may no longer be 
in fashion but a certain aura still surrounds the fighting soldier. 
Nowhere in the world can this aura be preserved if the soldier is 
put to reading electricity meters or turned into a municipal or tax 
inspector. It is not a pretty sight seeing army officers surrounded 
by angry shopkeepers because apart from anything else it takes away 
something from the mystique which is an essential part of the 
officer's uniform.

But credit should be given where it is due. The person who in 
recent times started this process of embroiling soldiers in 
civilian affairs was that latter-day Nawab of Kalabagh, Shahbaz 
Sharif. 

 Any problem, real or imagined, and Shahbaz Sharif's stock answer 
was that he would ask the army to fix it. Discovering so-called 
ghost schools, building roads, training the police: for all these 
things he sought the army's help and the army command, instead of 
reading the dangers in this approach, went along happily with him.

The Elite Police (a waste of money if ever there was one) was one 
of Shahbaz's pet projects and for its training he discovered a 
tough-looking retired colonel from the SSG. At meetings it was a 
treat watching the colonel's super-patriotism. This same tough-
looking guy, along with two DIGs of police, now stands accused of 
embezzling 40 million rupees.

When General Musharraf was elevated as army chief he carried the 
process of army involvement in civilian affairs a step further and 
announced that wherever the army was needed it would be sent, his 
stated rationale being that if a boat (in this case the Islamic 
Republic of Pakistan) was leaking it was the duty of everyone on 
board to help plug the leak. In pursuance of this strategy (if so 
it can be designated) the army was sent to manage WAPDA and KESC, 
two battlegrounds where it is bogged down till today. Amazing as it 
sounds, it was even said at the time that should it be necessary 
the army would look into ways of reviving the economy.

Small wonder then if a cosy relationship burgeoned between the 
Sharif government and the army command. The high command was ready 
to perform every civilian duty at the government's bidding. With 
what face could the government refuse what the high command wanted? 
Kargil, may its ghosts be laid to rest, was a product of this 
almost incestuous atmosphere, the go-ahead given to it in almost a 
casual manner. The rest is history.

Shahbaz Sharif has reason to be pleased with himself. If he chafes 
at his incarceration he should be able to draw some comfort from 
the fact that the strategic line he advanced-- of seeing the army 
involved in civilian affairs--is holding up well even after his 
exit from the political stage.

Pakistan needs a respite from these comedies. Of course it is too 
much to expect that anytime soon the people of Pakistan will not be 
taken for granted. But at least they might be spared further 
attempts at national renewal. If this is national renewal, what 
would a disaster look like?


===================================================================
SPORTS
20000609 
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Singapore triangular: Pakistan may replace India
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DHAKA, June 8: The Indian cricket board's decision to pull out of a 
triangular cricket tournament in Singapore, is triggered by a 
proposed code of conduct for the board which restricts the team's 
participation in one-day tournaments abroad amidst growing pressure 
at home for not to take part in offshore tourneys organised by non-
Test countries.

"True, that we were committed to play in Singapore in August along 
with New Zealand and South Africa, but in a situation when the 
Indian Central Board of Investigation (CBI) is conducting an in-
depth inquiry into the allegations of match-fixing, I don't think 
it is appropriate to take part in these tournaments," said a top 
Indian cricket board official here adding "the code of conduct for 
BCCI is ready and will be approved very soon.

"We are committed to play the Sahara Cup matches against Pakistan 
in Toronto since our commitment to the organisers of the event is 
very old and we're supposed to complete five tournaments," said the 
official.

"With our Canada commitment finishing this year and our contract 
with the Cricketers Benefit Fund Series (CBFS) in Sharjah also 
ending this year after the November assignment, the board will sit 
down and re-plan their calendar," he stated.

"We'll think about the new contract with the CBFS after the end of 
the current contract."

Meanwhile, the Singapore triangular event organiser Anil Kalaver 
was obviously disappointed by India's pull out.

"India committed to play in Singapore one year back and now their 
late withdrawal is very disappointing," Kalaver, who is secretary 
of the Singapore Cricket Association, said in Dhaka.

"I have spoken to the Pakistan Cricket Board here in Dhaka and they 
have agreed in principle to play in the event starting on Aug 20," 
he disclosed.

"But one thing is certain that without India it's hard to organise 
a cricket event in Singapore as the team attracts a lot of 
sponsorships there," the Singapore-based Indian businessmen said.

"We have committed ourselves to play in Singapore in August," 
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Lt. Gen. Tauqir Zia, confirmed.-
PPI

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20000607  
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Waqar, Mushtaq recalled in Sri Lanka-bound squad
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

LAHORE, June 6: The left-handed batsman and leg-spinner Qaiser 
Abbas is new face included in the 17-member Pakistan cricket team 
for the Sri Lankan tour which begins from June 8.

Pakistan will play three Test match series against the host and a 
triangular One-Day tournament, also involving South Africa.

The team was announced on Tuesday after getting approval from the 
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) ad hoc committee chairman Lt Gen 
Tauqir Zia who is currently in Dhaka to watch Asia Cup matches.

Qaiser Abbas belongs to Muridke, a town some 25 kilometres from 
Lahore. It is also the home town of present opening batsman Imran 
Nazir. Qaiser Abbas has played the last domestic season for the 
Pakistan Reserve team which was formed by the previous PCB chairman 
Mujeeb-ur-Rahman. He scored with an average of 55.8, having one 
century and three fifties to his credit.

Except slogger Shahid Afridi, all the members of the Pakistan team 
which qualified for the final of the Asia Cup in Bangladesh has 
been retained in the 17-member team.

A PCB spokesman said that Shahid Afridi would be considered for the 
triangular series which will be held after the Test series.

Leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmad, paceman Waqar Younis and right handed 
batsman Younis Khan, who toured the West Indies last month but 
dropped from the Asia Cup team, have also been included in the 
team.

Following are the names of the Pakistan team:

Saeed Anwar, Imran Nazir, Mohammad Wasim, Inzamam-ul-Haq (vice-
captain), Yousaf Youhana, Moin Khan (Captain), Abdur Razzaq, Wasim 
Akram, Azhar Mahmood, Arshad Khan, Shoaib Malik, Mushtaq Ahmad, 
Mohammad Akram, Waqar Younis, Qaiser Abbas, Younas Khan and Shabbir 
Ahmad.

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20000608 
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Pakistan claim maiden Asia Cup title
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DHAKA, June 7: A battling 100 by Marvan Atapattu failed to save 
defending champions Sri Lanka from defeat by Pakistan in the Asia 
Cup final on Wednesday.

Pakistan's victory by 39 runs was their first success in the 
competition.

Atapattu, who made his century off 124 balls with 10 fours, hauled 
Sri Lanka's innings around after they had slumped to 46 for three 
in pursuit of a 278-run target.

Romesh Kaluwitharana was run out in the opening over without facing 
a ball, Chaminda Vaas was bowled by Mohammad Akram for 10 and 
Sanath Jayasuriya was caught and bowled by Mohammad Akram for 22.

But Atapattu kept Sri Lanka's challenge alive in partnerships of 71 
with Aravinda de Silva, who made 20, and 79 with Russel Arnold, who 
made 41.

He was eventually dismissed at 220, edging a ball from Wasim Akram 
to Moin Khan as soon as he had completed his century.

Upul Chandana then blazed 24 off 16 balls but when he was dismissed 
Sri Lanka's challenge died.

Earlier, Sri Lanka put down seven catches as they allowed their 
opponents to build a formidable total.

The Sri Lankans, showing better form than in their last match 
against Pakistan Monday, used every trick to restrict Pakistan from 
crossing the danger point of 250 runs, but failed after dropping 
six important catches, two of them by skipper Sanath Jayasuriya.

Confident but cautious Pakistan played their balls carefully and 
made leaps with the partnership of skipper Moin Khan and Inzaman-
ul-Huq to make the Sri Lankans chase a huge target of 278.

The first wicket fell at 12 when teenaged Imran Nazir was caught 
and bowled by Nuwan Zoysa with only three runs to his credit.

Pakistan quickly changed their original batting order and sent in 
Shahid Afridi to stabilise the match in their favour, but he too 
left the field after being caught by Russel Arnold off Zoysa with 
his score at 22.

Saeed Anwar, who was brought back for the final match, smashed the 
team's highest score of 82 off 115 balls, giving the Sri Lankan 
bowlers a hard time.

Afridi soon after was caught by Arnold Russel off Zoysa at 22.

A little shaken by the loss of two important wickets, Pakistan 
slowly tried to stabilise with Anwar and Yousuf Youhanna. They 
displayed their talent at thinking where to put the ball for a good 
score and put the islanders under pressure by bagging quick runs.

But the Sri Lankans, who displayed better bowling Wednesday when 
some 60,000 fans jammed the Bangabandhu National Stadium, felt more 
at ease after they dismissed Youhanna with a paltry 25.

The islanders, desperate to restrict Pakistan within a winning 
margin, changed bowlers, the partnership between Huq and skipper 
Khan flourished as they hit sixers and boundaries with both on the 
crease as the Pakistani innings ended at 277.-Reuters/AFP

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20000608 
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Saeed Anwar to retire after World Cup
-------------------------------------------------------------------

DHAKA, June 7: Pakistan's Saeed Anwar, one of the most prolific 
scorers in one day international cricket, plans to retire from the 
game after the 2003 World Cup, a press report said.

"I want to bid farewell to cricket after the World Cup" in 2003 in 
South Africa and "after that I am thinking of becoming a 
commentator for a television network," the Bhorer Kagoj daily 
quoted him as saying.

Referring to his knee injury and subsequent operation, he said that 
he was "100 percent fit. "It (the injury) was a blessing in 
disguise. It seems to me a second life. I feel I have two to three 
years cricket left in me and I want to enjoy the game during the 
rest of my career," said Anwar, who made his international debut in 
1988 against Australia.

Anwar also offered some observations on arch rivals India who bowed 
out of the tournament after losing to Pakistan on Saturday.

The team have many class batsmen, he said, but "their result is not 
that good because they lacked quality bowlers."

"Technique, talent and hardwork are the keys behind success for a 
cricketer. But to be at the top, you need the mental toughness."

"If you don't have that at the highest level, you are (a) nobody," 
Anwar added.-AFP

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