------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 4 March 2000 Issue : 06/10 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Rescheduling of debts: Pakistan facing no problem: minister + US asks India, Pakistan to respect Line of Control + Accountability, not media trial of investors, EAB told + Ban on display of arms from today + Certificate issued: Pakistan helped US in anti-drug efforts + SC seeks list of lawmakers under probe + Politicians in power try to be dictators, says CJ + US to suffer if Pakistan isolated: General + PTV World to have 10-minute news bulletins + Seniority of Chief Justices determined + 33% United States firms show lower profits --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Foreign companies propose gas sale to Wapda + Modified General Sales Tax package finalized + Stocks fail to extend recovery + People told to pay 10% on undeclared income + Central Board of Revenue's tax exemption power restored + Tariq Iqbal takes over as acting SECP chief + National Finance Commission body to take up revenue issue on 14th + Record of 100 senior officers being scrutinized + Gold demand up + Change in taxation schedules on cards + Free trade policy on cotton likely to go + CBR asks for fresh data from regional IT offices --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + A tale of a dazed city Ayaz Amir + Fighting for the faith Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + ICC to review panel of illegal deliveries + Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by two wickets in a thriller + National snooker: Saleh sets up title match with Yousuf

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NATIONAL NEWS
20000302
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Rescheduling of debts: Pakistan facing no problem: minister
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Ihtasham ul Haque 

ISLAMABAD, March 1: Pakistan is not facing any problem in the 
rescheduling of its remaining Swiss and Japanese loans, worth 850 
million dollars, in spite of the fact that a deadline ended on Feb 
29 last, Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz said on Wednesday.

" A broad understanding has been reached with Switzerland and Japan 
to get their debt rescheduled shortly", he added.

Talking to Dawn, he said both the countries had agreed, in 
principle, to reschedule Pakistan's loans, as had been decided by 
the Paris Club. In this regard they were currently working out 
necessary modalities, he added.

" Now the restructuring of loans with non-Paris Club members, 
including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates,is being sought 
and, hopefully, they too would be willing to oblige", Mr Aziz said.

Feb 29 last had been fixed by the Paris Club for the signing of 
rescheduling agreement with member countries while accords with 
some of the countries were still to be initialled. 

Six countries, out of 18, had so far rescheduled Pakistan's loans 
worth $ 2.138 billion, including three agreements signed with 
Italy, Finland and the UK last week, the finance minister said.

Responding to a question, he said an IMF mission was expected to 
visit Islamabad this month. He did not believe that the government 
would face financial problems in case funds from the IMF were 
delayed. 

"You know, we had managed earlier without outside support", he 
said, adding that the government was trying to build its reserves 
gradually. He said Pakistan wanted to reduce its dependence on 
foreign loans.

Mr Aziz said foreign exchange reserves had increased from $1.2 
billion to $ 1.5 billion. He said new directions had been given for 
enhancing overseas Pakistanis' remittances.

Answering a question, he said the basic theme had been developed to 
recover General Sales Tax at all costs from July 1 this year. He, 
however, pointed out that awareness was being created about the 
levy of GST in concerned quarters so that they could pay it 
voluntarily.

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20000301 
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US asks India, Pakistan to respect Line of Control
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Shaheen Sehbai

 WASHINGTON, Feb 29: The United States on Tuesday urged both India 
and Pakistan to respect the Line of Control (LoC) and to take steps 
to reduce the tension, including withdrawal of troops from forward 
positions.

A Senior State Department official gave the cautious US reaction 
that was asked to comment on the increasing clashes along the 
India-Pakistan border in recent days resulting in several military 
and civilian casualties on both sides.

" The situation along (Indo-Pakistan border) is always a cause of 
concern for us," the official told Dawn, regretting the continued 
injury and loss of life caused by the on-going fighting.

" We particularly deplore death of civilians on either side of the 
line. We urge Pakistan and India to respect the LoC," he said. The 
possible steps he outlined for de-escalation of tensions by both 
sides included stopping shelling and small-arms fire and to 
withdraw troops from forward positions.

The official stressed that "violence is not the way to end the 
Kashmir dispute. Its continuation underlines the pressing need for 
India and Pakistan to resolve their differences," he said.

Asked whether the increase in tension and exchange of fire was 
related to the upcoming visit of President Clinton to India, as 
alleged by New Delhi, the official said he would not speculate on 
the reasons but "whatever the reason, it is in the best interest of 
both to end this violence."

To the question whether Washington was taking some diplomatic steps 
or talking to both parties directly on the latest situation, the 
official said: "I think both parties are fully aware of our 
positions. It is something we deal with in public and we bring it 
up in discussions with them."

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20000301 
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Accountability, not media trial of investors, EAB told
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Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Feb 29: The Economic Advisory Board (EAB) which met on 
Feb 25 and 26 was told that any economic revival programme will 
prove futile if the confidence of the investors was not restored.

Official sources told Dawn that although the Minister for Finance 
Shaukat Aziz assured participants that the government was trying 
hard to create an enabling environment for local and foreign 
investors, the businessmen members of the EAB were of the view that 
nothing would work unless investors were allured and their 
apprehensions removed.

A number of EAB members including Bashir Jan Muhammad and Syed 
Babar Ali said that investors were worried and being harassed to 
make any investment in Pakistan, specially due to the ongoing 
accountability process.

They said that they were not against accountability but wanted a 
fair trial of businessmen and investors, specially those who had 
allegedly minted money through corrupt practices.

The sources said that majority of the participants were unanimous 
in saying that the government should first restore the confidence 
of the people by assuring the transparent accountability process. 
They said that they were all for accountability but not a media 
trial of investors and businessmen. 'If you continue betraying the 
confidence of investors nobody would come for investment in this 
part of the world', said a member of the Board.

The sources said that members called for adopting long term 
policies which should at least be applicable for five years and 
that no change was made in the budget after its announcement. The 
minister for finance was urged to have a permanent office of the 
EAB which should have its permanent members on rotation basis. In 
this regard example of US president was cited who has experts in 
his advisory board and their recommendations were given due 
importance. The meeting was told that why should the members of the 
EAB meet occasionally and why not they hold their meeting on 
regular basis and their recommendations were implemented by the 
government in letter and spirit form improving the economy of the 
country.

Some of the members of the Board also said that the ministry of 
finance should give up some of its functions and allow the Board to 
take up the assignment. 'The ministry of finance which cannot 
properly look after its job of public finance should not be allowed 
to retain so many functions', said a member of the Board.

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20000301 
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Ban on display of arms from today
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Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, Feb 29: Ban on display of weapons throughout the country 
becomes effective from today, it was officially announced on 
Tuesday. Earlier, the cabinet had decided to prohibit the display 
of weapons, 
particularly within the premises of educational institutions, 
hostels, market places, gathering of political, religious, 
ceremonial or sectarian character or in the premises of courts of 
law or public places, from March 1.

According to an announcement, the ban on carrying of arms shall be 
imposed at a subsequent stage. The government announced that it was 
devising a comprehensive plan on de-weaponisation. The issuance of 
arms licenses, keeping, carrying, and displaying of arms is, 
therefore, being rationalised to make the country a weapon-free 
society. As a first step, a ban has been imposed on the issuance of 
fresh arms licenses.

Any person displaying any arms in contravention of the government 
orders shall be disarmed immediately and on conviction shall be 
liable to punishment with imprisonment for a term which may extend 
to seven years or with fine or both. It is clarified that the ban 
on display of weapons will be effective from the 1st March, 2000.

Agencies add: In a recently-held meeting, Chief Executive Gen 
Pervez Musharraf had directed the law-enforcement agencies to make 
concerted efforts to improve the law and order situation in the 
country and establish the supremacy of law. The interior minister 
warned that the de-weaponization programme would be strictly 
implemented and troops would be called in help of civilian law 
enforcement agencies if need be.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider said on Tuesday that 
previous governments neither had the resolve nor the political will 
to de-weaponize the society nor expressed the hope that the de-
weaponization campaign, being pursued currently, would succeed 
provided the people cooperated.

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20000303 
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Certificate issued: Pakistan helped US in anti-drug efforts
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Correspondent

WASHINGTON, March 2: President Clinton has again fully certified 
Pakistan as a country which gave total cooperation to the US to 
achieve the counter-narcotics goals in 1999.

But Afghanistan and Burma were denied the certificate and four 
other countries, Cambodia, Haiti, Nigeria and Paraguay, were given 
national interest waivers.

Speaking on the occasion of releasing the 1999 narcotics annual 
report, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright criticised 
Afghanistan and said for several years now, Afghanistan and Burma 
had become world headquarters for the heroin business.

"This past year," she said, "they retained that deadly dishonour." 
She said opium harvest grew substantially in Afghanistan, and the 
Taliban's full complicity in drug trade had extended to the point 
where both the harvesting and trafficking of opium is taxed."

"While indigenous Pakistani narcotics production has shown a 
drastic decline, Pakistan remains an important transit country for 
Afghan opiates and cannabis," the explanation given by the State 
Department report said.

"In 1999, Pakistan made progress towards eliminating opium 
production by the year 2000 by reducing poppy cultivation by 48 per 
cent. Cooperation on drug control with the US is excellent and the 
formation of a Special Investigative Cell (SIC) within the Anti-
Narcotics Force (ANF) with DEA assistance was a major achievement," 
it said.

The overall record on narcotics interdiction was encouraging, with 
heroin seizures up 57 per cent and the arrest of high-profile 
traffickers. The government's resolve to prevent the re-emergence 
of heroin/morphine laboratories in Pakistan remained firm.

Pakistan extradited four narcotics fugitives to the US and arrested 
six others, a significant improvement on previous years. Efforts to 
extend application of the Control of Narcotic Substances Act (CNSA) 
and the Anti-Narcotics Force Act (ANFA) to tribal areas in NWFP are 
continuing.

The cabinet approved the drug control master plan in early 1999, 
but implementation has been slowed by a lack of funds. The counter-
narcotics policies were unaffected by change in government. 

General Barry McCaffrey, the director of the Office of National 
Drug Control Policy, told reporters that "the only thing I can tell 
that's working in Afghanistan is opium production, which is 
exploding in intensity.

"It is a massive threat, not to the US primarily, but to Europe and 
the former Soviet Union states, and indeed to the region. The 
Iranians have paid a horrendous price trying to protect their own 
people, as an Islamic nation, from this incredibly evil trade. They 
are taking hundreds of casualties.

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20000303 
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SC seeks list of lawmakers under probe
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Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, March 2: The Supreme Court bench, hearing petitions 
challenging the military takeover, on Thursday ordered the attorney 
general to provide a list of those suspended parliamentarians 
against whom corruption cases have been initiated by the National 
Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The chief justice of Pakistan, Irshad Hasan Khan, gave these orders 
when the counsel of Zafar Ali Shah, Chaudhry Farooq, claimed that 
there was no charge against his client. He prayed the court to send 
the military back to the barracks as the concept of military 
government was alien to the civilized world.

He said the army could not be allowed to take over power after 
every 10 years and start blaming the politicians for all crimes.

Elucidating his argument, he said the military takeover could be 
compared to the situation when a hired bodyguard would enter the 
house of his employer, occupy it and justify his entry on the 
ground that he was not treating his family well.

He said the prime minister did nothing wrong by removing the chief 
of the army staff as he was empowered by the Constitution to do so. 
It was not the first time that he used the power and, in fact, he 
had also removed the chiefs of the army, navy and air force in the 
past, he added.

He said he was not aware why General (retd) Jehangir Karamat was 
shown the door, but the prime minister was justified in doing so. 
The chief justice asked the attorney general, Aziz A. Munshi, to 
provide the court with a list of those members of parliament 
against whom cases of corruption had been initiated. He also asked 
him to place the recent report of the State Bank on the court's 
record.

The chief justice commended the role of the bar for the rule of 
law, and said that unlike the politicians, the members of the bar 
always fought for the rule of law.

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20000302 
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Politicians in power try to be dictators, says CJ 
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, March 1: The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Irshad Hasan 
Khan, on Wednesday observed that when the politicians are in power, 
they try to become dictators but when they are out of power, 
they become champions of the rule of law.

Presiding over a 12-member bench seized of the seven petitions 
challenging the military takeover, the chief justice directed the 
attorney general to provide details of the expenditure on holding 
elections, including the expenses made by the candidates on their 
election campaigns.

The Supreme Court announced that it would decide the issue of 
maintainability and merits of the case simultaneously. The chief 
justice said the court had entertained the petitions.

The bench started regular hearing of the petitions on Wednesday. 
The court first took up the petition of Syed Zafar Ali Shah, 
suspended MNA of PML from Islamabad. The representative petition of 
PML would be taken next and Khalid Anwer would argue the case on 
behalf of the party.

Other petitions before the court are of Syed Imtiaz Hussain 
Bukhari, challenging the PCO; Fazal Ellahi Siddiqui, challenging 
the PCO; Shahid Orakzai, seeking restoration of Senate, office of 
speakers and provincial assemblies; Al-Jehad Trust, seeking 
restoration of Constitution to the extent of judiciary; and Syed 
Iqbal Haider of MWM, seeking validation of PCO.

The bench consisted of Justice Irshad Hasan Khan, Justice Mohammad 
Bashir Jehangiri, Justice Sheikh Ijaz Nisar, Justice Abdur Rehman 
Khan, Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmad, Justice Chaudhry Mohammad Arif, 
Justice Munir A. Sheikh, Justice Rashid Aziz Khan, Justice Nazim 
Hussain Siddiqui, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Qazi 
Mohammad Farooq and Justice Rana Bhagwandas.

The chief justice made it clear at the outset that the counsels 
should try to be relevant and unnecessary repetition of arguments 
should be avoided. He said the whole work of the court was 
suspended due to the present case.

Chaudhry Farooq, the counsel of Mr Shah, said that on the last 
hearing the petitioner had apprehended that the judges of the court 
would be asked to take fresh oath under the PCO and his 
apprehensions proved to be true.

He said the PCO (1) of 1999 and subsequent orders were 
unconstitutional, having no force of law.

The chief justice asked the parties to avoid mud-slinging, and 
added that: "we will perform our function without intimidation." He 
observed that the bar and the bench were integral part of the 
chariot of justice. He said his effort was to save the system and 
referred to the decisions of the Chief Justices Committee.

The counsel said: "Pakistan was a gift of our forefathers, but 
unfortunately the rule of law had been interrupted at regular 
intervals. In its total life, Pakistan had suffered military rule 
for 30 long years".

He said the government in its reply to the petitions had said that 
the elections of Feb 3, 1997, were farce. The elections in which 
PML obtained heavy mandate were monitored by the observers across 
the globe, he said, and added the armed forces were employed to 
supervize the elections.

On the court's query, Barrister Khalid Anwar stated that 36 per 
cent of voters used their right of franchise in the 1997 elections.

Chaudhry Farooq said if the government of Khawaja Nazimuddin would 
not have been dismissed, the fate of Pakistan would have been 
different. He said Pakistan was created with the force of vote and 
not through any military operation. "Both citizens and soldiers are 
subject to Constitution alike."

Referring to Article 6 of the Constitution, he said abrogating the 
Constitution was treachery with the country.

When he stated that the respondents had not replied to the 
Politicians in power try to be dictators: CJ challenge he raised in 
the petition, the chief justice observed that the counsel was 
trying to be hyper technical. The CJ made it clear to the counsel 
that notice of the case to the chief of the army staff was there.

The counsel said he was firm believer that the Kafir (infidel) 
could not be a friend of Muslim and Hindus being Kafir could not be 
trusted.

When the counsel referred to a judgment from the Indian 
jurisdiction, the court asked him not to cite Indian judgments in 
the present case.

When the counsel started reading an old judgment from Pakistani 
jurisdiction, the chief justice asked the counsel to first read the 
speech of the chief executive in which he had spelt out the reasons 
which forced him to come into power.

The counsel was still reading the speech of Gen Musharraf when the 
court rose to assemble again on Thursday (March 2).

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20000302 
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US to suffer if Pakistan isolated: General
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Correspondent

WASHINGTON, March 1: A key US general on Tuesday pleaded for the 
need for a continuous dialogue with Pakistan saying isolating the 
country would be counter-productive to long-term US regional 
interests.

Gen Anthony Zinni, commander-in-chief of US central command forces, 
who has visited Pakistan several times, told a Senate committee he 
was in constant touch with Gen Pervez Musharraf since he assumed 
power on Oct 12.

His strong plea to the Congress to keep Pakistan engaged in some 
sort of a dialogue came during a Senate Armed Services Committee 
hearing on the US defence budget, at the Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Gen Zinni said after the Oct 12 coup in Pakistan "the dynamics of 
our relations with Pakistan had changed dramatically."

"While a return to a democratically-elected government remains an 
important US strategic interest, the reality of an interim period 
of military and technocratic rule in Pakistan seems inevitable," 
Zinni said.

He continued: "Because of the historic importance of the military 
as a source of stability within the country, I believe that 
isolating Pakistan's influential military establishment is, and 
will continue to be, counter-productive to our long-term interests 
in the region."

The general emphasised that if US isolates the professional 
military, "we deny ourselves access to the most powerful 
institution in Pakistani society."

He said that may hamper our non-proliferation and counter- 
terrorism efforts and stressed that in the larger strategic sense 
Pakistan could play a stabilising role in the region.

His statement also comes at a crucial time when the Clinton 
Administration is in the middle of taking a decision whether the 
president should stop over in Pakistan during his forthcoming South 
Asia tour.

The top US general recalled that Pakistani participation in 
numerous military programmes had been restricted by the 1990 
sanctions. "As a result we are rapidly losing contact with a 
generation of Pakistani military officers who are now serving in 
key leadership positions."

Gen Zinni said given the strong role played by the armed forces in 
Pakistani society, "losing this contact weakens our influence with 
many of their key military leaders and government policy-makers."

He then recalled his personal acquaintance with Gen Musharraf 
saying "I know the general well and have spoken to him on several 
occasions since his assumption of power."

"I believe that our strategic interests in South Asia, and beyond, 
will be best served by a policy of patient military-to- military 
engagement, as it effects difficult, internal reforms in Pakistan."

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20000302 
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PTV World to have 10-minute news bulletins
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M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, March 1: The government has decided to limit news 
bulletins on the proposed 24-hour news & current affairs channel 
(PTVworld) to 10 minutes every hour with two hours of current 
affairs programme,
 one to be shown in the morning and the other in the evening.

The rest of the time on this channel has been reserved for 
entertainment as the operators who had bought slots on PTVworld 
have refused to shift their programmes to Channel-3 (STN).

Another factor, which is said to have tilted the decision in favour 
of the sponsors of the entertainment programmes, is the financial 
implications of running a 24-hour, purely news and current affairs 
programme.

It was felt that news and current affairs programme alone would not 
be able to attract enough advertisement revenue to sustain the 24-
hour channel. 

 Therefore, the earlier proposal to shift the entertainment 
programmes from PTVworld to the Channel-3 and reserve the former 
exclusively for news and current affairs was withdrawn, sources 
said.

In another related development, the PTV authorities have appointed 
former general manager of PTV, Islamabad centre, Shaukat Pervez, as 
GM, Channel-3, which has been connected to Thaicom transponder.

Earlier, the PTV management, in order to facilitate the new set-up 
of news and current affairs, had converted the Islamabad centre 
into the news and current affairs centre and asked Shakoor Tahir, 
Director, News, to look after the centre as well, as its general 
manager.

Ihsan Qadir Hashmi, the head of Channel-3, was transferred as chief 
editor in the new set up. He will also look after the current 
affairs division.

Meanwhile, it has been learnt that the Oslo-based Prime TV, owned 
by a Pakistani businessman, has shifted its headquarters to London 
and plans are also said to be afoot to establish one more centre of 
the Prime TV in the US.

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20000229  
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Seniority of Chief Justices determined 
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Feb 28: The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Irshad Hasan 
Khan, on Monday constituted the Supreme Judicial Council, and 
determined the seniority of the chief justices of the high courts.

According to an order passed by the chief justice in his 
administrative capacity, the Supreme Judicial Council had been 
constituted. The members of the council are: Chief Justice Irshad 
Hasan Khan (chairman), Justice Mohammad Bashir Jehangiri, Justice 
Sheikh Ijaz Nisar, Justice Mian Mohammad Ajmal, and Justice Mian 
Allah Nawaz.

Only four cases were referred to the council in the last 52 years. 
The last case of the Lahore High Court judge, Justice Shiekh 
Shaukat, was referred about two decades ago.

According to a press release issued by the Supreme Court, the chief 
justice has institutionalized the decision-making process relating 
to administrative matters and decentralized his powers.

Justice Bashir Jehangiri, senior judge of the Supreme Court, has 
been delegated financial powers of the chief justice to sanction 
expenditure up to Rs30,000. Justice Jehangiri would assist the 
chief justice in matters relating to the administration of the 
Supreme Court and proposals for improving and strengthening the 
administration of justice.

Other judges of the Supreme Court are also delegated different 
duties, such as chairmen of different committees and members of the 
universities' syndicates.

The chief justice also determined the inter seniority of the chief 
justices of high courts. They are (seniority wise): Justice Mian 
Mohammad Ajmal, chief justice of the Peshawar High Court; Justice 
Mian Allah Nawaz, chief justice of the Lahore High Court; Justice 
Syed Deedar Hussain, chief justice of the Sindh High Court; and 
Justice Javed Iqbal, chief justice of the Balochistan High Court.

POWERS DECENTRALIZED: The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Justice 
Irshad Hasan Khan, has taken several steps to decentralise his 
powers and institutionalise decision making relating to 
administration to further improve performance and smooth 
functioning of the judiciary, adds APP.

He has delegated his powers to the following judges for smooth 
functioning of courts.

1- Mr. Justice Muhammad Bashir Jehangiri, Senior Puisne Judge: (i) 
Has been delegated financial powers of the Chief Justice to 
sanction expenditure upto Rs. 30,000/- (ii) To assist the Chief 
Justice in matters relating to the administration of the SC and 
proposals for improving and strengthening the system of 
administration of justice. 

2- Mr. Justice Sheikh Ijaz Nisar:

(i) Chairman, Building Committee at Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and 
Islamabad.

(ii) Chairman, Federal Review Board 

3- Mr. Justice Abdur Rehman Khan:

(i) Chairman, Disciplinary Committee of the Pakistan Bar Council

(ii) Member, Building Committee of Peshawar Building

(iii) Judge-in-charge Complaints 

4- Mr. Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmad:

(i) Member, Syndicate of the Quaid-i-Azam University

(ii) Member, Building Committee at Islamabad

(iii) Judge-in-charge of Computers

(iv) Member, Federal Review Board

(v) Member, Lahore Building Committee 

Continued on Page 11

5- Mr. Justice Chaudhry Muhammad Arif:

(i) Judge-in-Charge, Federal Judicial Academy

(ii) Judge-in-charge of the Library

(iii) Chairman of the Library Committee 6- Mr. Justice Munir A 
Sheikh:

(i) Judge-in-charge of Pakistan Law Commission regarding initiation 
of proposals for law reform.

(ii) Chairman, Enrolment Committee of Pakistan Bar Council.

(iii) Judge-in-charge for Welfare of retired Judges in

 Lahore/Islamabad

(iv) Chairman, Election Tribunal, Pakistan Bar Council 7- Mr. 
Justice Rashid Aziz Khan:

(i) Member, Executive Council of the Allama Iqbal Open

 University

(ii) Member, Building Committee at Lahore

(iii) Chairman, Disciplinary Tribunal of the Pakistan Bar

 Council 8- Mr. Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui:

(i) Judge-in-charge for Welfare of retired Judges in

 Karachi

(ii) Member of the Building Committee at Karachi 9- Mr. Justice 
Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry:

Judge-in-charge for Affairs of Staff Welfare 10- Mr. Justice Qazi 
Muhammad Farooq:

Judge-in-charge for Welfare of retired Judges in Peshawar 11- Mr. 
Justice Rana Bhagwandas:

Member of the Library Committee.

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20000303
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33% United States firms show lower profits
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Reporter

KARACHI, March 2: Out of over 50 American companies operating in 
Pakistan, one-third have reported lower profits, eight per cent 
posted losses and two-third showed a five per cent rise in their 
sales in 1999 as compared to their operating results in 1998.

"Two companies were forced to close down their business in 
Pakistan", the President of the American Business Council (ABC), 
Phillipe A. Bovay informed a press conference on Thursday.

Despite the disappointing profits, he said the American companies 
contributed Rs 17 billion to the national exchequer, which he said 
was about 5 per cent of the total collection of the Central Board 
of Revenue. "This is likely due to presumptive taxes and a general 
increase in taxation," he said while unfolding a set of four 
recommendations approved by the Executive Committee of the ABC to 
stimulate the national economy.

The ABC has urged the government to reduce the number of business 
taxes and levies on the existing taxpayers but widen the tax net. 
It suggested the government to confine taxation to the GST, 
agricultural tax, import duty and income tax.

With the help of a chart, Bovay explained how the impact of taxes 
on American companies was highest in Pakistan when compared to that 
in India, Indonesia and other countries. However, the ABC has asked 
the government to consider a reduction in personal income tax to 
provide more disposable income to the common man.

The ABC has also urged the government to sort out the remaining 
issues with the IPPs and pharmaceutical pricing. These measures, he 
said, would re-stimulate investments in these areas as well as 
eliminate negative points from the agenda.

Lastly, the ABC has advised the government to take firm steps to 
end counterfeits in trade for which the suggestion is to go for a 
comprehensive intellectual property right laws which should address 
the problems of trade mark and patent.

Calling this problem grave and of serious magnitude, the ABC 
President urged the chief executive to declare war on intellectual 
property right issue, constitute a dedicated task force and that 
leader of this force should periodically inform the government of 
the results.

According to ABC estimate, Pakistan government was suffering a 
revenue loss of Rs 9 billion because of the counterfeit in trade, 
besides affecting the consumers.

The American companies in Pakistan have created 19,000 jobs and in 
addition have over 600 Pakistani citizens overseas in broadening 
and training assignments.


=================================================================== 
 BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20000301 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Foreign companies propose gas sale to Wapda
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Haris Anwar

KARACHI, Feb 29: In a bid to solve their price issue with the 
government, foreign gas companies have proposed direct gas sales to 
Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), sources said.

"We have forwarded this proposal to the government, which they are 
considering seriously," a source in the foreign gas company said.

According to the proposal, a pipeline, carrying low BTU gas, would 
be constructed from Kirthar to Multan, providing gas directly to 
the Wapda's system.

The price of the gas will depend on the BTU value and how much heat 
it can generate. Sources said foreign companies were wiling to 
invest in the pipeline project with the government for which a 
separate company could be formed.

"On the one hand this would reduce the cost of development of new 
gas findings, it will also replace gas from oil used in the thermal 
power stations," a foreign gas producer said. According to sources, 
if the proposal is accepted, it would cut the amount of investment 
required to develop the new gas fields from roughly one billion 
dollars to $ 0.5 billion.

In the case of gas sale to distribution companies, foreign 
producers are required to provide a pipeline quality gas ready for 
the consumption for which they need to invest in the processing 
facilities.

"You don't need a good quality gas for the thermal generation that 
can replace oil used in the Wapda's thermal generating units," a 
gas producer said.

Pakistan is trying to reduce its dependence on the expensive 
thermal power, which accounts for about 70 per cent of the total 
electricity generation whose cost depends on the oil prices.

Foreign gas companies and Pakistan are locked in a pricing dispute 
on new gas discoveries - almost equal to 6 trillion cubic feet of 
gas found mainly in Sindh and Balochistan during the last three 
years.

According to the 1994 petroleum policy, gas price had to be 
weighted average of C&F price of a basket of imported crude oil. 
But with the higher crude oil prices and worsening balance of 
payment situation, Pakistan became reluctant to buy gas priced in 
dollars.

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20000301 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Modified General Sales Tax package finalized
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Feb 29: A simplified version of the general sales tax 
(GST) is being introduced by the government. It entails basic 
changes in GST procedures, as per decisions taken in the Feb 13 
meeting of the finance minister with CBR officials on taxation measures, 
pertaining to reducing the coercive actions in auditing, imposing 
penalties for non-compliance, plugging leakage's of tax money 
through refunds and soft-dealing with defaulters of GST.

The official sources told Dawn here on Tuesday that the modified 
package of GST, which would be subject to the final clearance by 
the chief executive in the second week of next month, had been 
finalized under which the GST procedures would be implementable in 
a business-friendly manner.

The package envisages that the already registered taxpayers should 
be treated with less strictly ways than they are presently treated. 
Those registered GST-payees, who were subject to compulsory 
registration, would not be sent notices of penalties and reprisals 
on non-compliance at the first instance. "Non-compliance should be 
considered broad-mindedly, on sectoral basis", it said.

"This means that in manufacture sectors where slump and marketing 
problems prevent regular filing of tax returns, the registered 
persons would not be sent notices of penalties. Some of such 
sectors have been specified in this connection", said a senior CBR 
official.

A similar treatment has been proposed for the newly-registered 
taxpayers, specially in the sectors of weaving, sizing, steel 
scrap, tanneries, etc. "The emphasis should be on encouraging them 
to start compliance after registration and, in due course, to 
overlook the past default."

The package also demands that the penalties imposed on audit (after 
detecting default/violations) should not be imposed in the first 
instance, "audits should be such as to involve no penalty in the 
first audit after registration, only 50 per cent of the penalty in 
the second audit, and full penalty subsequently", demands the 
package.

It also includes imposition of a Turnover Tax (TT) on retail 
sector, in substitution of the normal regime of GST. "This will be 
a major segment as it involves large number of new taxpayers both 
in sales tax and income tax", it points out. The final shape of the 
TT would be carved out in the finance minister and the Central 
Board of Revenue consultations on Wednesday.

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20000304
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Stocks fail to extend recovery
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, March 3: Stocks on Friday failed to extend the previous 
recovery as investors indulged in weekend profit-taking at the 
higher levels but the selling was well-absorbed at the dips. The 
KSE 100-share index shed 4.56 points at 1,906.91.

Institutional traders made massive covering purchases at the lower 
level in PTCL but unlike previous sessions, it failed to take along 
with it the entire market as other pivotals remained under 
pressure.

However, steep increase of Rs 1.40 in its share value at Rs 31.65 
did minimize the fall in the index, which otherwise should have 
lost a good part of the overnight gain.

After opening higher, what the dealers called, the extension of the 
overnight run-up, the KSE 100-share index finished with a 
fractional decline of 4.56 points at 1,906.91 as compared to 
1,911.47 a day earlier.

The index could pass through an other correction of about 50 points 
during the next few sessions but it is sure to rebound during the 
mid-week next week.

"I am eyeing a target of 2,200 for it during the next couple of 
weeks provided President Clinton did not skip Pakistan visit", 
stock analyst Faisal Abbas at Ali Husain Rajabali said.

The same view is held by a leading analyst at the KASB, who 
predicted it has had already passed through a correction and 
"investors now should expect a grand rebound".

Reports that the US intelligence team is in Islamabad for the last 
one week apparently to beef up security arrangements is being 
considered by analysts as a prelude to President Clinton's Pakistan 
visit.

The weekend selling by jobbers and day traders was evident on a 
number of counters but it was well-absorbed at the dips on the 
perception that the current correction was overdone.

Floor brokers said fairly encouraging dividend news coming from the 
textile sector are generating a good bit of short-covering on this 
counter amid predictions that the current year could be more 
rewarding owing to higher exports.

"Over 10 per cent increase in exports and a higher cotton crop 
could further give the needed boost to the economy and in turn 
buoyant stock market", they added.

Prominent gainers were led by Pakistan Oilfields, Shell Pakistan 
and Al-Ghazi Tractors, which showed gains ranging from Rs3 to 8.10 
followed by Alico, Nishat Chunia, Gatron Industries, PEL, Clariant 
Pakistan and Glaxo-Wellcome Pakistan, rising by Rs 1.25 to 2.10.

Minus signs, however, dominated the list under the lead of Fatima 
Enterprises, Mehmood Textiles, HinoPak Motors, Millat Tractors, 

Adamjee, and Lever Brothers, falling by Rs4 to 39.

Other leading losers were led by Faysal Bank, Fazal Textiles, 
Cherat Cement, Crescent Steel, Engro Chemical and Umer Fabrics, 
falling by Rs 1.90 to Rs 3.

Mitchell's Fruit Farms, whose directors have announced a cash 
dividend of 45 per cent for the last year ended Sept 30, 1999 came 
in for active selling and ended lower by Rs 7.50 on 5,500 shares.

Engro Chemical also attracted selling and was quoted lower buy Rs 
2.65 on 0.884m shares, indicating the bull squeeze on it is easing.

Trading volume fell to 279m shares from the previous 316m shares as 
losers maintained a strong lead over the gainers at 147 to 99, with 
38 shares holding on to the last levels.

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20000302 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
People told to pay 10% on undeclared income
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, March 1: The federal government has given a period of 
two months to the citizens to declare their undeclared and untaxed 
income and assets and avoid any penalty by paying 10 per cent under 
the amnesty scheme.

Wealth tax is not applicable on such declaration. Last date for 
filing declarations under this scheme is April 30. The Central 
Board of Revenue's circular issued on Wednesday says: "the scheme 
shall cover all taxpayers, whether existing or new, except persons 
against whom proceedings are pending under the National 
Accountability Bureau Ordinance, 1999.

The assets declared under the scheme shall not be liable to wealth 
tax for the preceding years and shall also be exempted for five 
years. "Undisclosed and untaxed income as well as any assets 
created out of such income earned in any income year ending on or 
before June 30, 1999, can be declared for availing of the benefit," 
it says.

The scheme covers income, including any investment to be deemed as 
income under Section 13 of the Income Tax Ordinance, or any other 
income, which could be taxed, but could not be so for any income 
ending before June 30, 1999.

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20000303
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Central Board of Revenue's tax exemption power restored
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, March 2: The Central Board of Revenue's powers to allow 
exemptions from duties and taxes are being restored. The decision 
to this effect was taken at a federal cabinet meeting last week. 
The proposal for restoring the CBR's powers to allow duty/tax 
exemptions was moved by the finance division a fortnight ago, after 
a number of presentations by the CBR.

The CBR has formally been informed by the cabinet division that the 
powers, of which it was stripped under an agreement with the 
International Monetary Fund, have been restored.

The IMF had taken up the issue of tax/duty exemptions with the 
previous government, stressing that the CBR powers in this regard 
were being grossly misused, causing heavy revenue losses every 
year, besides creating distortions in the tax-policy 
implementation.

The powers to exempt any sector from payment of income tax, sales 
tax, central excise and customs duty were vested in the parliament, 
through a Presidential ordinance. The law and justice division 
would now issue next week a repeal (of the previous) ordinance for 
this purpose, to restore CBR's powers of exemptions.

However, these powers would not be used as they were, before the 
Presidential ordinance issued to strip the CBR of its original 
powers of exemption. The reduction in tax-rates, sector-wise 
application of the exemption, item-wise review for procedural 
relaxation on a chargeable duty/tax by a certain sector/ 
business/sub-sector, would be areas which would be treated under 
the restored CBR powers in a different manner than it used to be in 
the past.

The officials said that the repeal ordinance was expected to retain 
some of the conditions in this connection, chiefly the one which 
asked the CBR to refer (as the case might be) before allowing an 
exemption, to the planning and development division, ministry of 
finance, ministry of commerce, National Tariff Commission, Export 
Development Board, Board of Investment, Engineering Development 
Board, the deletion committee of the industries ministry etc.

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20000303
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Tariq Iqbal takes over as acting SECP chief
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, March 2: Tariq Iqbal, Commissioner (Securities), has 
taken charge as acting Chairman of the Securities & Exchange 
Commission of Pakistan (SECP) following retirement of Shamim Ahmed 
Khan.

Khan was the founder-Chairman of SECP after its inception on 
January 1, 1999. Prior to that he was Chairman of Corporate Law 
Authority (CLA) which ceased to exist with the coming into being of 
SECP. Under the SECP Act, the Chairman and Commissioners are 
appointed by the Government for an initial term of three years, 
which is of course extendible.

His successor, Khalid Mirza, who is currently the Country 
Representative in Bangkok, Thailand, of IFC, a subsidiary of World 
Bank, which lends funds only to private sector entities, is likely 
to take over towards the end of this month.

Tariq Iqbal said that besides functioning as Chairman of the 
Commission, he would also continue to work as Commissioner 
(Securities).

Until such time as the new Chairman comes, it appears, the SECP is 
likely to work on day-to-day basis. All the major issues and tasks 
visualised in the SECP Act, 1997, which hung fire for various 
reasons including bureaucratic inertia, would have to await arrival 
of the next incumbent.

Most important among these is the administrative restructuring of 
the Commission which has been a source of uncertainty in the 
Commission staff inherited from the CLA, which was an attached 
department of the Ministry of Finance. The task of preparation of 
the new structure was entrusted by the Asian Development Bank to a 

foreign consulting firm. Its report was considered by the SECP 
Policy Board which set up a Sub-Committee.

This Sub-Committee, in its turn, pointed out certain flaws in the 
proposed structure. According to the out-going Chairman, the final 
shape had been given to the proposals that were to be placed before 
the Policy Board.

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20000303 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
National Finance Commission body to take up revenue issue on 14th
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Faraz Hashmi 

ISLAMABAD, March 2: The government has convened a meeting of the 
monitoring committee of the National Finance Commission here on 
March 14, Dawn reliably learnt. The committee last met in December 
1998 
although it was supposed to meet every three months according to 
the award announced in 1996. .

"The committee will hold deliberations for two days," said a 
notification circulated among the provinces. The agenda contains 
two items - the review of the previous two meetings and the 
implementation of the national finance commission award, a source 
said.

The performance of the government, with special reference to 
revenue collection, is likely to come under severe criticism since 
it has failed to realize the revenue collection targets as 
projected in the award.

The government had set a very 'ambitious' revenue collection 
target. It was projected that the government would collect Rs390 
billion in 1997-98 and Rs463 billion in 1998-99.

However, in the first two years the actual collection remained far 
short of the targets. The shortfall in the first year was to the 
tune of Rs40 billion as the federal government could manage to 
collect only Rs350 billion. In 1998-99 the shortfall jumped to Rs85 
billion as the actual collection could not exceed Rs375 billion.

A provincial government official said the shortfall was not the 
only issue. The provinces were also facing serious financial 
difficulties in managing their affairs because of irregular 
releases of funds by the centre.

"The government of the NWPF is going to make a formal demand from 
the federal government to revise the electricity royalty capped at 
Rs6 billion a year," the source said.

NWFP thinks the royalty should be increased at least by Rs2.5 
billion a year. Sindh would ask the centre to pay subvention money 
to the province. An understanding had been given to the federating 
units that the centre would provide subvention money if their 
actual expediters exceeded the projected ones.

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20000302 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Record of 100 senior officers being scrutinized
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD, March 1: Different intelligence agencies of the country 
are currently busy collecting information on almost 100 senior 
grade 21 officers who are in the run for promotion to grade 22.

Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf, on the basis of the reports 
submitted by these agencies and also after considering the already 
available personnel record of these officers, will make selection 
of limited number of officers for promotion to grade 22.

The intelligence agencies have been involved for the first time in 
the promotion process and this exercise, it is believed, will have 
significant impact on the elevation of the officers. Previously, 
the promotion of bureaucrats to this highest echelon of 
bureaucracy, were made purely on the basis of record available with 
the establishment division.

Personnel from different intelligence agencies are currently 
visiting various government offices to inquire about the conduct, 
reputation, behaviour and working style of the officers whose names 
were under consideration for promotion.

Though this snooping exercise is conceived as embarrassing by many 
senior bureaucrats, the sources in the chief executive's 
secretariat believe that this is necessary to make the proper 
selection. They say that since the chief executive had the full 
power to select anyone for promotion so he wanted to exercise his 
power judiciously and in the best public interest.

Recently, the military government had amended the relevant clauses 
of the Civil Servant Act to empower the chief executive with these 
powers. Previously, a high-powered Central Selection Board was 
recommending promotions for the approval of the competent 
authority.

The establishment division has already sent, a few weeks back, a 
panel of almost 100 grade 21 officers to the chief executive's 
secretariat for selection of "suitable" officers for promotion to 
grade 22 by Gen Musharraf.

The establishment division was not allowed to recommend a panel of 
suitable officers, rather, it was asked to send names of all those 
grade 21 officers belonging to the regularly constituted 
groups/service of Central Superior Services who joined the service 
till 1969.

The establishment division, in all, has communicated 18 vacancies 
but so many officers are not likely to be promoted in one go.

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20000302 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Gold demand up 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

KARACHI, March 1: With the demand for gold rising to 27.9 tonnes in 
the fourth quarter of the previous year, Pakistan's annual demand 
for the commodity rose to 121.8 tonnes in 1999, 
registering a rise of 24 per cent as compared to 1998. 

Yousuf Akhtar Hussain, Manager, Pakistan World Gold Council, 
ascribed this steady rise in demand to the investors' confidence in 
gold as a store of value as also to increased consumer interest.

In the Middle East, however, the quarterly demand for gold, 
weakened by its wildly fluctuating prices, dropped from 156.3 
tonnes to 149.3 tonnes, marking a decrease of 4.5 per cent over the 
same period in 1998. In the Gulf States, the gold demand fell to 
27.9 tonnes during the fourth quarter of 1999, showing a decline of 

9 per cent over the same period in the previous year. 

Likewise, with an off take at 39.1 tonnes, Saudi Arabia, too, 
showed a fall of 11 per cent in gold demand in the fourth quarter 
of 1999 as compared to the same period in 1998. Hit by consecutive 
earthquakes and greatly reduced tourist arrivals, the gold demand 
in Turkey, too, fell to 20 tonnes, registering a fall of 33 per 
cent as compared to the same period in 1998. 

Contrary to the general trend in the region, Egypt, with an offtake 
at 27.9 tonnes, registered an increase of 39 per cent in gold 
demand as compared to the same period in 1998. And, with its year-
end demand at 838.8 tonnes, India, too, registered 3 per cent rise 
in its gold demand in 1999 as compared to the previous year. 

The Regional Director for Middle East, World Gold Council, Moaz 
Brakat, said according to a Press release: "Uncertainty caused by 
volatile gold prices saw weak demand at the beginning of the 
period, but offtake increased during the quarter with the return of 
price stability, the Eid buying season during December and various 
trade promotions."

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20000302 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Change in taxation schedules on cards
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, March 1: A revenue-enhancement and tax rationalization 
plan for 1999-2000-2001 has been finalized here on Wednesday by the 
government for induction of major changes in taxation schedules.

Tentatively, a Rs 130 billion revenue enhancement projected under 
the plan, involves changes in rates, procedures and additional 
institutional support. The plan would be subject to the Chief 
Executive's approval, which is scheduled to be sought at a marathon 
presentation next week. The presentation would be given by Finance 
Minister Shaukat Aziz, Chairman Central Board of Revenue, Riaz 
Hussain Naqvi, senior officials of the Finance and Revenue 
Divisions, the finance ministry sources told Dawn.

The plan was formally approved for presentation to CE here 
Wednesday at a meeting between FM, Chairman CBR, and senior finance 
and revenue division officials. The meeting undertook a review of 
the taxation reforms and rate-changes, scope of the existing and 
planned taxation measures, implication of the revenue-enhancement 
plan, and the procedures adopted/changeable for plugging the 
revenue-leakages.

A textile-specific policy is also on the anvil. Under this policy, 
the textile sector refunds would be restricted to manufacture goods 
specified under the "same-state" formula. The plan envisages 
introduction of this formula to stop the huge amounts of sales tax 
refund payments illegally. These payments cause revenue leakages of 
about Rs 1 billion every month, on the sales tax side only. 

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20000229 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Free trade policy on cotton likely to go
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Rauf Klasra

ISLAMABAD, Feb 28: The federal government has decided to give up 
its four years' old free trade policy for cotton from next picking 
season.

The government will procure the crop by fixing its support price 
like other crops under its new policy expected to be announced by 
the chief executive next month.

Meanwhile, the agriculture ministry also expects to achieve farm 
growth rate of 4 per cent against 0.35 per cent last year.

These disclosures were made here by the four senior officials- 
cotton commissioner Dr Zakir Hussain, two senior joint secretaries 
Rashid Mahmood Ansari and Abdul Rauf Malik and agriculture 
development commissioner Mohammad Hanif during a press conference 
here on Monday.

They said the new mechanism for cotton trade is under study in the 
light of an announcement made by the chief executive General 
Musharraf in Multan recently that the government will protect the 
cotton growers from the brutal market forces from next year.

The officials said all kinds of modalities are being worked out and 
the new cotton policy will be announced next month after consulting 
all the relevant federal ministries and provincial governments.

They said decision was taken following massive drop in cotton 
prices and induction of TCP with a view to stabilize the prices.

Dr Zakir Husain told newsmen that the government had realized that 
free market forces would never allow growers community to earn some 
reasonable profit on their produce.

He said new cotton policy will only focus one main point: "how to 
protect our 1.5 million cotton growers from the ruthless market 
forces" which are not ready to share the benefits with other 
stockholders -the farmers in particular".

He regretted APTMA policy to import 2 million bales at the time 
when the local crop picking season was about to begin in the 
country.

SUGARCANE PRODUCTION DOWN: Dr Mohammad Hanif disclosed that this 
year, our sugarcane production has registered a drastic decrease in 
both areas and production due to number of reasons. He said this 
year, country is expected to produce 46 million tons of sugarcane 
against 55 million tons of last year, a shortfall of 9 million 
tons.

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20000229 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
CBR asks for fresh data from regional IT offices
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, Feb 28: The Central Board of Revenue has demanded fresh 
data from all its regional Income Tax offices for broadening the 
tax base on the basis of vehicles, immovable properties, mobile 
phones, imports and consumption of industrial and commercial 
electricity and gas.

The fresh data has been demanded on a directive from the government 
regarding broadening the tax base under Sales Tax and Income Tax 
departments.

The Income Tax department held a regional commissioners' conference 
here on Monday at CBR which undertook a review of the already 
available data in these fields, and decided that fresh data be 
sought from the relevant quarters by the regional IT offices.

Talking to Dawn, senior CBR officials said this data would now be 
demanded from the property agents, the electricity and gas 
distributing agencies, the Customs department (imports), the local 
registration offices (vehicles), and the phone companies (mobile 
phones).

The officials said this data would be utilized for determining as 
to what number of property/assets, vehicles, mobile phone users and 
taxable supplies making manufacture sectors plus large-
gas/electricity consumers are still out of the Income Tax net.

The already available data was reviewed at the commissioners' 
conference and it was observed that the department's performance as 
per this data was not satisfactory.The performance was judged by 
scrutiny of the data, assessing how many new taxpayers were to be 
brought into the net under this data, and how many were actually 
registered during the first half of the current financial year.

The conference took a serious note of the fact that it was not 
fully equipped to achieve the desired results in this area.

The regional commissioners, who had arrived from the Central 
Region, Islamabad; Southern Region, Lahore, Eastern Region, 
Karachi; and Northern Region, Peshawar, were asked by the Member 
Income Tax to also make a review of the performance in this area in 
the light of targets set in this connection.

A strategy was adopted to set these targets sector-wise, and make 
it mandatory on the relevant IT officials to see on monthly, 
quarterly and half-yearly basis as to which of the targeted area 
was bringing how many new assesees into the IT net.

Back to the top
=================================================================== 
 EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20000303
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A tale of a dazed city
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ayaz Amir

I HAVE no wish to inflict the joys or sorrows of a provincial 
backwater like Chakwal on the readers of a metropolitan newspaper. 
But my excuse for doing so this week is that it might shed a dim if 
lurid light on what our new reformers, in the shape of the 
enthusiasts in the army monitoring teams, may or may not be up to 
in the rest of the country.

Chakwal, the reader must remember, is at the very heart of the so-
called martial belt from where the army gets most of its soldiers. 
This tradition of military service - the product of economic 
necessity in a region where agriculture is not self-supporting - 
goes back more than a hundred years. Because of it discipline and 
obedience to authority are qualities deeply ingrained in the minds 
of the natives of this area. Indeed so pronounced are these traits 
that an uncle of mine, himself a retired naval officer, applies a 
pejorative description to Chakwal: he calls it a 'lance naik' 
district.

I mention all this only to emphasize the point that if anywhere in 
Pakistan there is to be found a natural reservoir of goodwill for 
the armed forces it will be in Chakwal. Consider then the grim 
irony at work when I say that four months after greeting General 

Pervez Musharraf's takeover with unabashed joy, the people of 
Chakwal are in a sullen mood as they look around and see what 
military rule has actually meant for them. If elections were held 
tomorrow (a foolish thought, I confess), the advantage in Chakwal 
would rest, as it has done so since 1985, with the bewildered and 
scared battalions of the Muslim League.

Of course there are larger reasons for this mood swing. Where 
people expected miracles from the new regime they have seen only a 
confused and lack-lustre performance. But in Chakwal there are more 
immediate reasons for this feeling of disenchantment, all having to 
do with the battle for hearts and minds waged by 1st Self-Propelled 
Artillery Regiment (1st SP) which has been on 'monitoring duty' in 
the district since the military takeover. As things stand today, it 
is scarcely an exaggeration to say that if this crack unit had been 
given the mission to disrupt normal life in Chakwal, it could not 
have done any better.

1st SP's first successful assault was on the rehri and thelawallahs 
of the town's historic Chappar Bazar which to Chakwal is what 
Anarkali and Shah Alam Market, rolled into one, are to Lahore. 
These petty cart-vendors who had been in this bazar for the past 50 
years, and a sizable number of whom had been issued chits of 
temporary tenancy by the municipal committee, were asked to vacate 
the place. With nowhere else to go this order amounted to signing 
their economic death warrants. But with the district 
administration, backed by 1st SP determined to have its way, it was 
useless to resist.

Two considerations arise out of this action. Firstly, why are we so 
keen to apply the law in this country to the lowly and the wretched 
when we are so ready to apply double standards to weightier and 
more serious transgressions? A fortune built on criminal 
foundations is no bar to respectability. Breaking or subverting the 
highest laws of the land (ask me not to quote examples) invites no 
penalties. But against the rehriwallah trying to make both ends 
meet on a pittance the law rears its head in all its severity.

Secondly, Chappar Bazar because of its vendors was certainly a 
crowded place but then with its noise and bustle it was also the 
soul of Chakwal, the very embodiment of its cultural spirit. Every 
day in Chappar Bazar was a market day, where people - including 
women and children from far-flung villages - used to come as much 
to buy or sell as to partake, albeit without realizing it, of a 
cultural experience.

Market-places all over the world are crowded and bustling affairs. 
That is part of their charm, ingredients of what makes them tick. 
Thanks to 1st SP's efforts at reform, much of Chappar Bazar's joy 
and colour has disappeared. Business too has suffered and, 
according to some estimates, is down by as much as 30 or 40 per 
cent. This from a regime which had vowed to turn the economy 
around.

1st SP's second coordinated assault was on the two bus addas in the 
town's centre on Talagang Road. These addas brought great profit to 
their owners - one an ex-MPA, the second a group of businessmen, 

including a son of Gen Majeed Malik, ex-MNA and ex-federal 
minister. But they also were convenient for the general public.

*From these bus stands Chappar Bazar is only five minutes' walking 
distance. Which means that commuters, including women and children, 
could easily come to the Chappar Bazar, do their shopping, have 
their fresh juice or hot kebabs at Pehlwan Juice (a cultural icon 
in Chakwal) and then in celebratory mood walk back to the bus addas 
and depart for their homes.

All that has radically changed. The bus addas have been removed to 
the municipal bus stand, a dirty and joyless place some distance 
from the town centre. The army monitoring team says that in time 
the new bus stand will earn substantial revenue for the city. That 
may be so but for the moment it is proving a headache for all 
concerned.Alighting from their buses or wagons villagers have to 
take a rickshaw to come to the main bazars. After their work or 
shopping is done they have to catch another rickshaw to return to 
the bus stand. The standard fare for anyone going from or coming to 
Chakwal has thus almost doubled. Not surprisingly, many villagers 
prefer not to come to the Chappar Bazar at all which is one reason 
(the other being the removal of the rehris) why business in the 
bazar has plummeted.

Now since Gen Majeed Malik, ex-MNA, was a puffed-up soul when in 
power, the misfortune to have befallen his son's adda has made his 
many detractors happy. But against the comeuppance that he may or 
may not have deserved must be set the great inconvenience to which 
the public has been put.

Anywhere in the world what holds a city together, and gives meaning 
and expression to it, is its centre or, as the Americans say, its 
downtown area. That is where the arts have a home and where 
culture, or some attempt at culture, leaves a stain on the 
pavements. Chakwal has no opera house or repertory theatre but it 
had something akin to a city centre which, no doubt for reasons 
attractive to the military mind, has come under sustained attack at 
the hands of a regiment which must be thinking it has done one hell 
of a great job.

Traffic on the main Talagang Road certainly moves around more 
freely but few people are thanking 1st SP for that because straight 
lines and a clear field of vision are a poor substitute for happy 
and contented citizens.

If only the two big bus addas had been disturbed the inconvenience 
to the public would still have been limited. But in the zeal to 
turn everything upside down the monitoring team has come down hard 
even on small wagon and suzuki stands straddled around the town 
which used to serve villages lying in different directions. Which 
means that anyone wishing to go to Saigolabad (ancestral village of 
the Saigols) and Khanpur which are to the east of Chakwal, has 
first to make a long detour west where the municipal bus stand is 
located in order to catch a bus for home.

1st SP's third and perhaps deadliest assault has been carried out 
at the behest of the sanitary staff of the municipal committee. 
When the monitoring team, eager for battle but unsure of what to 
do, first arrived in town it took the sanitary staff to task for 
not keeping the city clean. The sanitary staff responded with a 
classic diversionary tactic: they said no satisfactory cleaning 
could be carried out unless the whole of Chakwal was cleared of the 
small ramps covering the open drains running in front of shops and 
houses.

Apart from anything else, these ramps served the useful and 
aesthetic purpose of obscuring the ugliness of the open drains 
running like eyesores throughout the city. But the army monitoring 
team, little realizing that they were being asked to take on the 
entire town, ordered, under pain of the stiffest penalties, the 
immediate destruction of these myriad toy bridges. Cowed into 
submission, the hapless citizens of Chakwal went about demolishing 
what they had themselves constructed, all the while cursing the 
perpetrators of their misery.

Corruption in the great departments of state which deal with the 
public - police, revenue and the smaller courts - has not been 
affected in the least, 1st SP not having had the slightest impact 
on the working of any aspect of the administration. But an object 
lesson in municipal reorganization or disruption - take your pick - 
has been given to the shell-shocked citizens of Chakwal. Once upon 
a time mothers in these parts used to take the name of the Sikh 
general, Hari Singh Nalwa, when they wanted to frighten their 
children. Long after 1st SP leaves Chakwal, mothers will take its 
name when they want to put their children to sleep.

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20000304 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Fighting for the faith
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Irfan Husain

FROM the bloodletting in Aceh in Indonesia to the recent killings 
in Nigeria, Muslims and Christians are at each other's throats. 
Europe is not immune from these religious wars: witness the 
slaughter of Muslims 
in the Balkans and in Chechnya.

And yet followers of both faiths are 'people of the book' and 
adherents of very similar beliefs. What divides them is not so much 
conflicting dogmas as clashing nationalisms. A thousand years of 
invasions, crusades and jihads have burdened their relationship 
with a gory history. Myths and legends have been woven into the 
fabrics of both civilizations, extolling one and demonizing the 
other. For centuries, the exploits of Charles 'The Hammer' in 
stopping the advance of the Muslim army from Spain into France have 
been sung in courts and taverns across Europe. Similarly, stories 
about Salahuddin Ayubi, the scourge of the Crusaders, are taught to 
every Muslim schoolboy.

The fierce horsemen from the steppes of Central Asia have inspired 
great dread among the nations of Europe from the time of the Roman 
Empire. As many of these animists converted to Islam, this 
atavistic fear transferred to Muslims generally, and to Turks in 
particular. Once they had captured Constantinople in the 15th 
century, the worst fears of the West were confirmed, and a long 
struggle for supremacy began. In England, until the turn of the 
19th century, nannies would threaten children with the "Terrible 
Turk" if they did not behave.

Without realizing it, Muslims lost this struggle when the 
Industrial Revolution took hold in Europe by the 18th century. 
Rapidly, much of the non-European world was colonized, and traders 
were accompanied by soldiers and priests. In much of the conquered 
territories, churches were viewed as symbols of imperialism, and 
conversions through force and bribery were common. Indeed, 
colonization was justified at home through pious talk about 
bringing the light of civilization and the Christian faith to 
heathens. As these colonists were white and most of their subjects 
ranged from yellow to black, it was inevitable that racism 
developed quickly, and was institutionalized as a de facto 
apartheid.

This, then, is the historical, cultural and emotional baggage 
Muslims and Christians are carrying in their interaction with each 
other. Apart from personal prejudices, Muslims also have a 
collective sense of historic grievance as they feel they have been 
displaced as a world power by the Christian West. This sense of 
deprivation is unique to them as the Hindus and Buddhists, for 
example, were not expansionist civilizations.

Israel, a Jewish state, is widely viewed in the Muslim world as a 
dagger planted by the West in the heart of Islam. This view is 
reinforced by the open-ended financial, military and diplomatic 
support given to Tel Aviv by the United States. It is human nature 
to blame others for our own faults and weaknesses, and Arabs have 
consistently ascribed their humiliating military defeats at the 
hands of Israel to Western plots and conspiracies instead of 
analyzing the flaws in their own societies.

The one thing that unifies Islamic militants and politicians across 
the world is a burning hatred of the West in general, and the 
United States in particular. Alleged terrorists like Bin Laden and 
Ramzi Yusuf are heroes in the eyes of bearded militants from 
Karachi to Khartoum. In their narrow world-view, all liberal, 
secular and rational thought reflects a Western mindset, and 
anybody professing such a philosophy is automatically suspect. This 
obscurantist attitude has translated into a crippling rejection of 
science and scientific methodology, and the result is the 
prevailing barrenness in virtually every area of research in Muslim 
nations.

The last millennium has witnessed much competition and strife 
between Islam and Christianity, and if the current mood of 
militancy is anything to go by, this conflict will extend well into 
the new era. The demographic reality is that Muslim populations are 
increasing at a much faster rate than Western, Christian ones. To 
sustain their current level of material well-being, industrialized 
countries will have to allow significant numbers of immigrant 
workers to replace their aging workforce, and many of these will be 
Muslim. Already there is growing friction in Europe between Muslim 
workers and locals; this alienation will only increase, and will in 
turn feed resentment in the West and the East.

The growing religious fervour and militancy in countries like 
Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Algeria, Sudan and Nigeria is a 
matter of great concern among more moderate Muslim nations. This 
problem assumes an international dimension when one considers that 
traditionally Islam does not recognize national frontiers. Thus, 
radical elements consider it their right and indeed, duty, to go to 
other Muslim countries to topple what they consider 'unIslamic' 
governments. In line with this belief, volunteers from other Muslim 
countries (including Pakistan) are fighting in Afghanistan and 
Chechnya. Their active presence is also alleged in Indian-held 
Kashmir.

The flip-side of this internationalist coin is that these 
extremists do not have much of a stake in their own countries, and 
consider local laws and institutions to be irrelevant to their 
agenda. With the stated intention of uprooting the existing system 
and replacing it with a vague one based on faith, they are 
implacable foes of the post-colonial state. In their world-view, 
the ruling elites are perceived as agents of the West and therefore 
to be overthrown. Scientific education and research are viewed with 
deep suspicion. Women are relegated to an inferior position in 
society.

These self-imposed constraints have the ironic effect of hampering 
the declared effort to confront and defeat the West. Weakened by 
their own refusal to modernize and frustrated by the West's ever-
increasing ascendancy, these radicals turn to terrorism and random 
violence. But ultimately, terrorism is a weapon of the weak, and 
its indiscriminate use in the name of religion alienates even 
sympathetic people in the West and moderates at home. 
Unfortunately, given the rapidly rising populations and the 
resulting poverty and unemployment in much of the Muslim world, 
many young men join bands of Jihadis who promise to change the 
world in the blurred image of an Islamic millennium.

There is little doubt that this trend will grow and sharpen over 
the coming years. The only solution is to address the problems of 
poverty and unemployment afflicting this part of the world: it is 
only when the proponents of an Islamic revolution have a stake in 
the system that their zeal and ardour will cool. But the Catch-22 
here is that the present state of turmoil and instability in 
countries like Pakistan will discourage the very investment needed 
to usher in prosperity.


===================================================================
SPORTS
20000228 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
ICC to review panel of illegal deliveries
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

 RAWALPINDI, Feb 27: The International Cricket Council will review 
the panel on illegal deliveries during the forthcoming meeting to 
be held on June 23 and 24, chief executive of the International 
Cricket Council (ICC), David Richards said here on Sunday.

Richards said the ICC felt that panel's authority to suspend a 
bowler was unwise. "That's why we have gone to our legal experts to 
get a complete review of the process" he said.

He added that the powers of the panel has been taken away 
temporarily and not suspended for ever. Richards, commenting on 
Shoaib Akhtar's issue, said now the PCB has to satisfy itself. "We 
have been told by the PCB that a lot of work has been done on 
Shoaib. If the PCB feels that his action is alright, its their 
decision."

The ICC official said there was no other ambiguity in the law.

He said the law was very clear, "a ball has to be delivered not 
thrown. The referee can report the name of the bowler, which goes 
through confidentially."

Commenting on the standardised of pitches for all Test playing 
countries, Richards said that although discussion took place over 
the topic but since there was so much climatic, soil condition 
difference and it was big task on a world wide basis.

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20000302 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by two wickets in a thriller
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Farhana Ayaz

RAWALPINDI, March 1: Sri Lanka carved out a remarkable two-wicket 
victory over Pakistan on an enthralling final day of the first Test 
to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series at Pindi Cricket 
Stadium here on Wednesday.

Romesh Kaluwitharana scored the winning runs in a stubborn ninth 
wicket partnership of 43 with an injured Arjuna Ranatunga when he 
edged Waqar Younis to the third man boundary to cap Sri Lanka's 
fourth win against Pakistan in 22 Tests.

Kaluwitharana finished on an unbeaten 36 off 74 balls while the 
courageous Ranatunga defied 94 balls to score 29 not out.

The absorbing Test went down to the wire after a Sri Lankan victory 
looked a mere formality with visiting side reaching tea at 143 for 
four - 77 away from their target of 220 in the remaining 38 overs.

But the first hour after the interval proved quite sensational.

In the first over, Mahela Jayawardena without adding to his score 
of 35 in a dramatic fashion. Yousuf Youhana, fielding at short-leg, 
held a neat catch off Saqlain Mushtaq but umpire Athar Zaidi did 
not give the batsman out until he consulted his colleague Dave 
Orchard and TV umpire Siddique Khan. In the next over, Ranatunga, 
then batting on eight, was struck on the left thumb by a rising 
delivery from Waqar. Writhing in agony, the former Sri Lankan 
skipper was forced to retire hurt at 146 for five.

This was Pakistan's second consecutive loss at this ground, having 
lost by innings to and 99 runs to Mark Taylor's Australians in 
October 1998.

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20000229 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
National snooker: Saleh sets up title match with Yousuf
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ian Fyfe

FAISALABAD, Feb 28: Former World and Asian amateur snooker champion 
Mohammad Yousuf, after a year's absence from the snooker circuit, 
made a triumphant entry into the final of the 25th National Snooker 
Championship 
when he downed third seed Farhan Mirza 6-4 here on Monday evening 
at a local hotel.

In an another absorbing semi-finals, which had the large band of 
spectators glued to their seats, top seed Saleh Mohammad came from 
behind to beat Shameel Shah also by a 6-4 margin.

In the first semi-final, Farhan began the proceedings chalking up a 
fluent break of 64 which enabled him to bag the opening frame 
82/14.

Yousuf, however, took over the lead 2-1 by pocketing the next two 
frames with fine breaks of 58 and 30 respectively.

Farhan began the fourth frame by notching up 30 points on his first 
visit to the table and in the lead made a terrible blunder on the 
brown which enabled Yousuf to the scores 51-51 after potting the 
last four coloured balls.

With the frame going into the last Black tie ball it was Yousuf who 
sunk the Black and was now in a happy frame of mind leading 3-1. 
But the second seed's happiness soon turned to concern when Farhan 
with splendid breaks of 59 and 34 followed it up with 71 points on 
the trot to level the frame scores 3-3.

In a tense seventh frame Farhan chalked up 36 points, but Yousuf 
went two points better and secured the lead once again at 4-3.

Farhan began the eighth frame scoring 33 points on his second visit 
to the table, but when Yousuf came back strongly once again with a 
break of 49, the veteran picked up the frame 67/50 and was only one 
frame away from victory.

Farhan, in a last ditch effort to come back into the match, had two 
breaks of 33 and 54 to reduce the deficit to 4-5.

The bespectacled cueist once again took a flying star in the 10th 
frame but then began to miss crucial shots. Yousuf potting green to 
black, picked up the frame to emerge a happy 6-4 winner.

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