------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 25 March 2000 Issue : 06/13 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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Latest News:
Clinton visited Pakistan for 6 hours, met Gen Pervez Musharraf and
addressed Pakistani nation.

For complete coverage, visit our website:

http://dawn.com/events/clinton_visit/index.htm

(c) Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., Pakistan - 2000

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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + District governments by August next year + Clinton sees election plan as inadequate + Ban on movement of wheat creates flour crisis in NWFP + Jamaat-i-Islami reiterates demand for ruthless accountability + Clinton, Musharraf to discuss regional security + US to ask for roadmap to democracy: Berger + No proceedings in Sharif family case + India, Pakistan can build hydrogen bomb: Scientist + MQM holds demo in London + Messages: March 23 termed a red-letter day + Prosecution demands death for Nawaz + Clinton calls for restraint, dialogue --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + DAP imports: Decision likely to be revised + United States economy heading for downturn + Economic implications of Clinton's visit to SA + Macro-role for micro-credit + Foreign portfolio investment falls + Another IPP signs MoU with WAPDA on tariff cut + Country to be Opium free By Year End: ANF Chief + Habib Bank plans to shut 110 branches + Micro Credit Bank by May + Overseas Pakistanis: One-window facility for investment --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Stepping into the real world Ayaz Amir + Immigration and identity at Eid Irfan Hussain ----------- SPORTS + India record comfortable win over Pakistan + Spain beat Pakistan 3-2 to clinch Osaka hockey title + Team unlucky to lose final

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NATIONAL NEWS
20000324 
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District governments by August next year
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M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, March 23: Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf on 
Thursday announced the timetable for district government elections 
to be held on a non-party basis in two stages, with the process 
starting on Dec 15 and ending in July.

Addressing a press conference here, he said that by Aug 14, 2001, 
the district governments would be in place with full financial 
powers. The CE clarified that the district governments would remain 
within the provincial framework and their relationship with the 
federal government would be through the provincial governments. The 
present divisions would cease to exist after the district 
governments were set up.

Voting age for these elections would be lowered from 21 to 18 to 
increase the number of voters and also to bring youths into the 
mainstream. He said he would announce the schedule for provincial 
and national assemblies' elections in due course, after introducing 
electoral reforms.

To a question, he implied that elections to the provincial and 
national assemblies would not be held until the suspended 
parliament completed its constitutional tenure of five years. 
However, for the new assemblies to start functioning as soon as the 
tenure of the current suspended houses ended in February 2002, 
elections would have to be held by early January that year and the 
date for it announced by early November 2001.

In order to empower the local governments with enough financial 
autonomy, the CE proposed the setting up of 'provincial finance 
commissions' on the lines of the NFC which is a constitutional 
obligation.

He said his government was analyzing whether the minorities should 
vote through a joint or separate electorate during the forthcoming 
district government elections.

The CE then threw his plan open for analysis and debate in media 
till Aug 14, on which date the final shape of the district 
governments will be decided and the implementation machinery for 
the elections set into motion.

The plan involves elections at three levels: direct elections at 
the Union Council and District levels and indirect elections for 
the Tehsil Councils. The UC would consist of 26 members elected 
through direct adult franchise, using multiple member ward system. 
The chairman would be elected directly and he would also be 
automatically a member of the district assembly.

There would be 16 general seats in a UC house (eight each for men 
and women), eight for workers/peasants (four each for men and 
women), and two for minorities (one each for men and women). And 
for the first time in Pakistan, the CE said, urban areas would also 
elect union councils.

Monitoring committees would be formed from amongst the UC members 
which would create 'citizen community boards' in villages, towns 
and cities for monitoring the functioning of all lower level 
departments/amenities like hospitals, basic health units, schools, 
colleges, police stations, irrigation etc.

Members of the UC that represent a given village would constitute 
the 'village council'. The district government would be composed 
of: a district assembly of directly elected members, a directly 
elected Chief Mayor and Deputy Chief Mayor (contesting on joint 
tickets), a district administration and district police.

The district assembly would consist of 66 members with 50 general 
seats, 10 reserved for women, three each for workers/peasants and 
minorities.

The proposed provincial finance commission would work out the 
provincial finance award for allocation of funds in a transparent 
and accurate way to districts. The district assemblies will also 
have legislative authority to mobilize additional revenue.

Being financially self-sufficient the district assemblies would be 
able to work out their development plans and approve the budget for 
the same, said the CE.

The chief mayor would be personally responsible for district 
administration. He would have under him a senior District 
Coordination Officer (DCO) who would coordinate the functioning of 
all heads of government departments in the district to be called 
the district officers.

All the district officers would maintain their links with their 
representative departments/ministries. The appointment of the DCO 
as well as the district officers would be recommended by the chief 
mayor and ratified by the district assembly by a simple majority. 
Removal of the DCO or any district officer would require to be 
ratified by the two-thirds majority of the district assembly.

The chief mayor would head the district administration. He would 
formulate policies and plans for the development of his district 
with the help of the DCO and the district administration. The 
deputy chief mayor would be the speaker of the district assembly 
and would deputize for the chief mayor in his absence.

The province would be responsible for the raising, organizing, 
training, equipping and maintenance of the police for the 
districts. Head of the district police (District Police Officer) 
would be selected by the chief mayor from a panel to be ratified by 
the district assembly.

The police boss would operate directly under the chief mayor and 
not through the DCO. Removal of the police chief or any other 
police officer on the recommendation of the chief mayor would 
require the district assembly ratification by a two-thirds 
majority.

Each Tehsil Council (TC) would have 34 members elected indirectly 
by all the members of the UCs and it would be headed by a mayor 
elected by the members of the TC. Each TC will have 25 general 
seats, five reserved for women, two for workers/peasants and two 
for minorities. In the new system of Tehsil administration the 
urban-rural divide was being sought to be bridged, asserted the CE.

Bigger cities would be run as city districts. Each city district 
would be divided into a number of towns. It would comprise the same 
structure of district government as the rural districts with the 
tehsils being the towns.

The elections would be held in two stages - first the union 
council, commencing in December 2000 in 15 districts and 
subsequently in February, March, April and May (20 to 25 districts 
each time).

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20000324 
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Clinton sees election plan as inadequate
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JAIPUR, March 23: US President Bill Clinton views Chief Executive 
Gen Pervez Musharraf's plan to hold limited local elections as a 
positive step but wants to see full democracy restored, the White 
House said on Thursday.

Clinton, who will pay a fleeting visit to Pakistan on Saturday at 
the end of his six-day visit to South Asia, has taken an 
increasingly sharp tone with Pakistan's military government in 
recent days.

Gen Musharraf, who seized power in on Oct 12, announced a timetable 
on Thursday for local elections, saying polls for a three-tier 
system of local bodies would be held between December and August 
14, 2001.

But he rejected demands for a timeframe for national elections, 
saying he must first carry out his plans for economic revival and 
political and administrative reforms.

The announcements drew a mixture of praise and criticism from 
Britain and the United States. "It is a positive step but what we 
are looking for is a roadmap to national elections and a 
restoration of democratic rule in Pakistan," White House spokesman 
Joe Lockhart told reporters in Jaipur.

"This is a step in the right direction and I hope that a timetable 
for provincial and national elections will follow soon," British 
Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain said in a statement released in 
London. "I would also urge the military authorities urgently to 
reconsider their ban on various forms of public political 
expression."

Clinton is scheduled to hold talks with Musharraf during his visit 
to Islamabad on Saturday afternoon and to make a televised address 
to the Pakistan people.-Reuters

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20000324
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Ban on movement of wheat creates flour crisis in NWFP
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Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, March 23: The ban on inter-province movement of wheat 
flour imposed by Punjab for the last many years has created 
hardship for the NWFP government, which, despite its best efforts 
has so far failed to overcome the shortage of the commodity 
throughout the province.

The worst part of the crisis is that flour produced locally is so 
poor in quality that it cannot be used without mixing it with fine 
Atta brought from Punjab. Since the difference of prices between 
the two qualities is so much that a large number of people are 
engaged in this business despite the dangers involved.

Most of the fine Atta supplied by Punjab is consumed by bread 
makers (Nanbais). Hence the additional demand is fulfilled through 
smuggling.

Two provincial ministers Syed Imtiaz Hussain Gilani and Owais Ghani 
told newsmen on Wednesday that the ban on inter-provincial movement 
of Atta has led not only to rampant smuggling but has also 
jeopardized all efforts of the government to provide the commodity 
at reasonable rate.

Apart from daily supply of a sizable quantity of Atta from Punjab, 
hundreds of flour bags are coming in through non-traditional routes 
from down country which has become a lucrative business. However, 
the smugglers keep escalating its prices in the market besides 
smuggling it out of the province into Afghanistan.

The ministers, though not directly concerned with distribution and 
control of wheat or wheat flour, were equally perturbed over, what 
they said, the continuous crisis despite involvement of army 
officials at the head of food department.

Atta crisis, which started since Sardar Mahtab came into power in 
March 1997 and continued with sporadic gaps, has been hitting with 
greater enormity all through this period and has once again put the 
provincial administration into quandary.

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Jamaat-i-Islami reiterates demand for ruthless accountability
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Our Correspondent

MULTAN, March 23: The Jamaat-i-Islami has reiterated its demand for 
impartial and ruthless accountability of the corrupt people before 
holding general elections.

Addressing a Press conference here on Thursday provincial chief of 
the Jamaat Hafiz Muhammad Idrees said elections without 
accountability would be a fruitless exercise.

Replying to a question he said the Jamaat would not form any 
political alliance nor it would join any alliance because "we 
cannot sit with the plunderers and looters."

The Jamaat leader warned Gen Pervez Musharraf of hard times if he 
signed the CTBT.

Hafiz Idrees claimed that the nation had rejected the plan to roll 
back nuclear programme in the referendum which the Jamaat conducted 
on Thursday.

He said the present military regime had disappointed the common man 
by safeguarding the interest of world donor agencies at the cost of 
poor people.

FOREIGN LOANS: The Justice and Peace Commission has appealed to 
President Bill Clinton to pressurize world donor agencies to write 
off Pakistan's loans.

A Press release issued on Thursday said Chief Executive of Pakistan 
Gen Pervez Musharraf should demand in his meeting on Saturday with 
President Clinton to write off debts so that Pakistanis could have 
better health facilities, clean drinking water and education.

The Press release added that the US president should present a 
logical solution to the Kashmir problem to restore peace to the 
South Asian region and stop killing of innocent people at the hands 
of Indian occupation forces in Kashmir.

Sunni moot: The World Sunni Conference is being organized in Multan 
on April 1 and 2 to discuss international issues and the problems 
being confronted by Muslims in Chechnya, Kosovo, Albania, 
Palestine, Algeria, Indonesia and Turkey.

Briefing the newsmen here on Wednesday, moot's reception committee 
chief Allama Hamid Saeed Kazmi said the delegates from Bangladesh, 
India, Palestine, Kuwait, the United States, the United Kingdom, 
Australia, Italy and France had confirmed their participation, 
while renowned religious scholars from other parts of the world 
would also attend the moot.

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Clinton, Musharraf to discuss regional security
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By M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, March 24: US President Bill Clinton will speak to the 
Pakistan nation live on television for 30 minutes on Saturday from 
the presidency here after he has had a 40-minute-long formal 
meeting with Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf at the latter's 
secretariat.

On arrival here at 12:45pm on March 25, the US president will be 
received at the airport by Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar. After 
presenting him with a welcoming bouquet, President Clinton will be 
taken straight to the presidency from the airport.

The US president will call on President Rafiq Tarar at the 
presidency for 15 minutes and then proceed to the chief executive's 
secretariat for formal talks. There will be no welcoming ceremonies 
at the presidency as it is not a state visit. No guard of honour 
will be presented to the US president and neither would the 
national anthems of the two countries be played on the occasion.

The formal talks between the two teams, led respectively by 
President Clinton and Chief Executive Musharraf, will be followed 
by a working lunch and later the US president will retire to his 
suite in the presidency from where he would speak to the Pakistan 
nation direct on TV at 4:05pm.

President Tarar will see off the US president soon after he 
completes his speech at 4:35pm. From the presidency he will be 
taken to the airport where he will meet the US embassy officials 
and other personnel and prominent US citizens living in Pakistan. 

He is schedule to leave Pakistan at 5:35pm on his way back home.

The major areas of US concern in Pakistan are nuclear weapons and 
missile proliferation, regional stability, democratization and 
human rights, and economic reforms.

An ongoing Pakistan-India nuclear arms race, fuelled by rivalry 
over Kashmir, continues to be the focus of US nonproliferation 
efforts in South Asia and a major issue in US relations with both 
countries.

This US attention intensified after Pakistan's May 28, 1998, 
nuclear tests, which followed India's tests in the same year on May 
11, 13.

South Asia is viewed by some US experts as one of the most likely 
prospects for use of nuclear weapons. India has developed short- 
and intermediate-
range missiles and Pakistan has its own shot-to-medium range 
ballistic missile.

Pakistan-US relationship, which dates from the mid-1950s, began as 
security arrangement based on US concern over Soviet expansion and 
Pakistan's fear of neighbouring India. Cooperation between the two 
reached its peak during 1979-89 Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

A deterioration in US-Pakistan ties in recent years springs from 
the aid cutoff by the US because of Islamabad's nuclear weapon 
programme. In October 1990, US aid and arms sales to Pakistan were 
suspended.

Pakistan has been urging the US to play a decisive role in 
resolving the Kashmir dispute which, in its opinion, is the root 
cause of the perpetual tensions in South Asia.

Pakistan finds the US insistence that Islamabad sign the CTBT 
before India does it as unacceptable but has promised, in the 
meanwhile, to develop a national consensus on the matter.

Pakistan also expects the US to appreciate its current political 
predicament and support its efforts to restore democracy.

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20000325 
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US to ask for roadmap to democracy: Berger
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JAIPUR, March 24: US President Bill Clinton will urge Pakistan 
Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf on Saturday to back down in his 
conflict with India over Kashmir and provide a clear roadmap back 
to democracy for Pakistan, a top US official said
 on Thursday.

White House National Security Adviser Sandy Berger told a small 
group of reporters that Clinton would convey some "hard realities" 
to Gen Musharraf when they meet in Islamabad.

"I don't think we should turn our back on the Pakistani people, 
with whom we've had a very strong relationship," Berger said. "But 
it's a country that's in trouble and really needs to put all of its 
energy into self-
renewal and not into territorial conflicts."

Other senior US officials preparing Clinton for his high-stakes 
meeting with Gen Musharraf said the United States was resolutely 
against mediating the dispute between India and Pakistan over the 
Himalayan region of Kashmir because Pakistan, outgunned by India in 
conventional weapons, would see it as a "security umbrella".

"It's very important to disabuse the Pakistanis of the notion that 
if they get into a conflict (with India), the international 
community will step in," said one official.

"I think they feel they can be adventuresome because they feel the 
international community, particularly the United States, will bail 
them out," the official said.

Berger said Clinton's message would be that "we're worried about 
Pakistan and we're worried about the future of Pakistan".

"It's a country with deep-seated problems. It has economic 
problems, it has political problems, it has terrorist groups that 
are operating out of Pakistan.

"And I think in some ways one of the great dangers in this region 
is the potential failure of Pakistan, and so the message the 
president will give in Pakistan is you've got to decide what's 
important here in terms of your future," Berger said.

Clinton will tell Gen Musharraf that "you'll have a stronger basis 
generally on which to address these problems if people can see a 
clear roadmap back to a democratic government," Berger said.

"The objective is to reaffirm to the Pakistan people that we care 
about their future, that we don't want Pakistan to fail...and to 
talk chiefly to the Pakistani people about the critical choices 
they face," Berger said.-
Reuters

AFP reports from Hyderabad: President Clinton will warn Pakistan it 
must choose the road to peace and democracy or risk becoming an 
ostracized and "failed state," a US official said on Friday.

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No proceedings in Sharif family case
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By Our Staff Reporter

LAHORE, March 24: There were no proceedings on Friday in the case 
against the family of deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif pending 
before an accountability court because Judge Shahid Mahmood Akhtar 
Siddiqui was on leave.

Another accountability Judge Munir Ahmad Sheikh fixed April 3 as 
the next date of hearing.

The former prime minister's brother Abbas Sharif was produced 
before the court. Mr Sharif was allowed 30 minutes to meet his 
family members after the proceedings. The family met under a tree 
outside the court room.

Former premier Nawaz Sharif, ex-chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, Mian 
Sharif, Kamal Qureshi and Mukhtar Husain and the industrial unit, 
Ittefaq Foundry, is accused in the case about a loan default of Rs 
1.08 billion.

Judge S M Siddiqui is seized of an application filed by Mr Abbas 
Sharif under Section 265-k of the Criminal Procedure Code for his 
acquittal in the case. The applicant demanded his release during 
the pendency of the application.

The former MNA said he had nothing to do with the affairs of the 
company. He said the alleged default took place in 1994 when the 
act being attributed to them was not an offence. He said no law 
could be applied retrospectively.

The applicant said it was yet to be determined if theirs was a 
wilful default and that this question was pending adjudication 
before the Lahore High Court. The reference was premature and bound 
to prejudice the proceedings in the high court.

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India, Pakistan can build hydrogen bomb: Scientist
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By Zafar Samdani

LAHORE, March 24: Renowned international scientist Dr Saeed Akhtar 
Durrani declares that theoretically, both India and Pakistan 
possess the capability of producing a hydrogen bomb which is a 
'thousand times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on 
Hiroshima and Nagasaki'.

Talking to Dawn, Dr Durrani, who recently retired as Professor of 
Physics from the Birmingham University, England, strongly supported 
the signing of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty by both India and 
Pakistan. "The two countries should pull back from the precipice," 
he said.

Asked if Pakistan should have developed an atom bomb, Dr Durrani, 
who was a member of Pakistan's original team of nuclear scientists, 
replied in the negative but added that once India had detonated one 
"it became imperative for Pakistan".

"After the Indian experiment in May 1974, I was asked by BBC to 
comment on the event. I said that detonating it was terrible, 
particularly by a country that preached the principles of Ahimsa 
and prided itself for being a follower of Gandhi. However, once 
India detonated the bomb, Newton's third law came into operation" 
he said, adding, from then on it was a case of 'action and 
reaction'.

"A sense of responsibility should come with power," he said, 
regretting that "India had not demonstrated it".

Asked if mere signing of CTBT would clear the dust darkening the 
horizons in the Subcontinent, he said that the issue which had 
turned the region into a nuclear flashpoint needed to be resolved. 
"Without that, the situation will remain unpredictable. It can blow 
up any time".

The United States, in his opinion, "can help settle the Kashmir 
dispute"; once that was done, "the rest would follow", he said.

"The US has played a role in the Middle East between Israel and the 
Palestinians. It was the same for Israel and Syria. The same 
analogy holds true in the Subcontinent. Flashpoints in the Middle 
East were mostly conventional. Here we are confronted with a 
nuclear flashpoint. The US should play a similar role here and Mr 
Vajpayee should not continue refusing to go along", he said.

Reverting to the hydrogen bomb question, he said that 
theoretically, any country developing an atomic bomb could produce 
the H bomb "within a time lag of three to six years".

Pointing out that France, UK, US, (former) USSR and China had 
produced hydrogen bombs in less than six years time of producing 
atomic bombs, he stressed that the capability of producing an H 
bomb was the next step after A bomb.

But it is a "dangerous game and the two countries should consider 
its consequences".

Elaborating, he said if a hydrogen bomb was dropped on Lahore, "it 
would have a destructive impact on, besides Lahore, Gujranwala and 
Amritsar too while if Delhi was the target, the area covering a 
radius of about 40-45 miles would be devastated."

Asked if any country other than the five nuclear powers possessed 
an H bomb, Dr Durrani indirectly answered the question by narrating 
an experience at the centennial meeting of the US Physical Society 
last year. The nuclear programme of the US was started in 1899 and 
last year it completed one hundred years.

The meeting, attended by over 1,300 scientists from across the 
world, besides 45 Nobel laureates, devoted two sessions to nuclear 
arms race. Dr Durrani was co-chairman for one of the sessions.

Addressing the international congregation of eminent scientists, 
the Israeli representative openly stated that his country had 
possessed an atomic bomb since 1966. "I asked him: What about the 
hydrogen bomb? He smiled and said: What do you think?"

Asked what inference he drew from that incident, Dr Durrani said 
that one should draw one's own conclusions. The fact remains that 
once a bomb is developed, developing H bomb comes within the reach 
of nuclear scientists.

Discussing Pakistan's nuclear programme, he paid a tribute to Dr 
Abdus Salam and Dr I.H. Usmani. "They produced a command generation 
of scientists", he said.

Dr Usmani, he said was the "prime mover in the rejuvenation of the 
vision. To his credit remains the application of nuclear research 
to medical, agricultural and power sectors (other than Chashma). He 
has been dead for eight years. He cannot speak for himself."

"A nation with self-respect should recognise its heroes and in the 
nuclear field," Dr Usmani was a hero for Pakistan, Dr Durrani said.

Ayub Khan gave the first signal for the expansion of Atomic Energy 
Commission of Pakistan. Z.A. Bhutto was also the minister for 
Atomic Energy and he too supported the programme.

Asked if that meant nuclear bomb ambitions for Pakistan as early as 
in the fifties, Dr Durrani vehemently denied, stressing that the 
aim was purely peaceful, as was proved by the institutions 
established in that period. PINSTECH and research organisations in 
Faisalabad for agriculture were set up and research on medical 
aspects of nuclear science was initiated at that time. Pakistan 
took to the atomic bomb direction only after India had detonated a 
bomb, he said.

He regretted that the contribution of Dr Usmani had gone 
unrecognised and suggested that PINSTECH should be named after him. 
He said that scientists of Pakistan agreed with this idea and not 
only that, leading scientists of Bangladesh also felt that a 
movement should be launched for recognising the services of Dr 
Usmani. "I keep meeting them at the Third World Academy of Sciences 
and know their feelings about Dr Usmani. They remember him with 
affection and respect."

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MQM holds demo in London
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By Nasir Malick

LONDON, March 22: The workers and activists of Muttahida Qaumi 
Movement (MQM) on Wednesday staged a demonstration in front of the 
US embassy in Central London to ask President Clinton to exercise 
his influence over Islamabad for ending, what they claimed, 
genocide of Mohajirs in Pakistan.

Raising slogans for independence, around 110 demonstrators, 
including women and children, held an hour-long demonstration 
outside the US embassy building.

"Lay Kay Rahein Gay Azadi" (we will achieve independence), the 
demonstrators, led by their leaders like Dr Farooq Imran, Saleem 
Shahzad, and M. Anwar, chanted.

They also raised anti-Pakistan and anti Army slogans.

 The protesters also demanded that the army should go back to 
barracks and stop the killing of innocent Mohajirs in Karachi and 
other urban areas.

The MQM activists also used this opportunity to distribute 
pamphlets among the people in the area, highlighting the atrocities 
against the Mohajirs in Pakistan with particular reference to the 
arrest of Dr Farooq Sattar.

The pamphlet, headlined "Justice denied is life denied" claimed 
that more than 15,000 Mohajirs had been extra- judicially executed 
and thousands illegally incarcerated in Pakistan. The demonstrators 
also handed over a written petition, signed by MQM leaders, to an 
official of the US embassy.

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Messages: March 23 termed a red-letter day
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ISLAMABAD, March 22: President Rafiq Tarar has said Pakistan Day 
testifies the fact that no difficulty can stand in the way of a 
motivated and determined people to achieve their objectives.

In his message on the Pakistan Day, he termed 23rd March a red-
letter day when 60 years ago the Muslims of South Asia resolved to 
have a separate homeland of their own where they could lead their 
lives in accordance with the tenets of Islam.

To achieve this objective, millions of Muslims of the subcontinent 
waged a relentless struggle under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam 
Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and transformed this dream into a reality with 
the blessings of Allah.

Meanwhile,Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf has said the 
government has embarked on a multi-faceted programme of rectifying 
social evils and rejuvenating the economy.

In his message on the Pakistan Day, he said that to achieve those 
national objectives, the government had set up new institutions 
such as NRB (National Reconstruction Bureau), NAB (National 
Accountability Bureau) which were in the process of improving the 
government system to make it more public service-oriented.

He said Pakistan had seen many divergencies, both in political and 
in economic areas. "It was due to lack of stability in these two 
spheres that we could not make our beloved Pakistan economically 
and socially as strong as was conceived by the founders of 
Pakistan," he said.

The government, he said, was bequeathed a wrecked socio- political 
structure, weakened institutions and, above all, a system of bad 
governance where people had lost confidence in government and 
leadership.

He said political upheavals, social disorder and rampant corruption 
had created endemic conditions of uncertainty for the common man 
who had to suffer all kinds of deprivation.-APP

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20000321 
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Prosecution demands death for Nawaz
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By Tahir Siddiqui

KARACHI, March 20: The prosecution on Monday demanded maximum 
punishment - death sentence or life term - for deposed prime 
minister Nawaz Sharif and other accused in the plane hijacking 
case.

Advocate-General Raja Qureshi argued before Judge Rahmat Hussain 
Jafferi of the Anti-Terrorism Court No 1 that it was the mandate of 
this court to award maximum punishment to the accused under the 
law.

Opening final arguments at 8:45am, the AG submitted that around 
4:30pm on Oct 12, 1999, COAS General Pervez Musharraf was 
"purported to have been retired and General Ziauddin was purported 
to have been appointed COAS by principal accused Mian Nawaz 
Sharif".

He argued that in the process of retirement and appointment a 
conspiracy was hatched at the Prime Minister's House at Islamabad 
to ensure that the COAS, who was on an official tour to Sri Lanka, 
did not land on the soil of Pakistan.

He submitted that between 5pm and 7:50pm, Nawaz Sharif hatched the 
conspiracy with co-accused Shahbaz Sharif, Saifur Rehman and Saeed 
Mehdi in the PM's House and with co-accused Syed Ghous Ali Shah, 
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Rana Maqbool Ahmad and approver Aminullah 
Chaudhry at Karachi by telephone.

"The conspiracy was hatched with the object of hijacking the PK-
805, which was to land at Karachi airport with 198 passengers, 
including 50 American students, the COAS and the crew members on 
board, and abducting and attempting to cause Qatl-i- Amd 
(intentional murder) of 198 souls."

The AG argued that in order to ensure, execute, enforce and 
implement the objective of the conspiracy, Nawaz Sharif in 
collaboration with Shahbaz Sharif, Saeed Mehdi and Saifur Rehman 
contacted the then director-general of the Civil Aviation 
Authority, Aminullah Chaudhry, and the then PIA chairman, Shahid 
Khaqan Abbasi, to ensure that the PK-805 did not land anywhere in 
Pakistan.

"This step was taken by the co-conspirators at Islamabad with a 
view that the CAA and the PIA were the only two agencies which 
exercised professional and operational control on all flights 
flying to and through the airspace of Pakistan," he added.

The chief prosecutor stated that the telephonic contacts were 
established from the PM's House in Islamabad and the CM House in 
Karachi between Nawaz Sharif and Ghous Ali Shah with Rana Maqbool 
Ahmad.

Accordingly, he argued, orders were issued and received to the 
effect that "in the event PK-805 lands at Karachi airport, the same 
should be parked at the end of runway, refuelled through the bowser 
and no one should be allowed to get into or disembark from it; the 
aircraft be surrounded by heavy police contingent and APCs; and 
after refuelling, it be sent anywhere out of Pakistan".

He said that accordingly, orders were passed and relayed by Rana 
Maqbool to all the SSPs of Karachi to bring one APC each to Karachi 

airport. "Further, accused Rana Maqbool conveyed orders to the SSP 
of Nawabshah, Ehsanullah Gondal, to go with heavy police contingent 
to Nawabshah airport (which was the alternative designated airfield 
for PK-805), and upon landing, arrest the COAS, take him to a rest 
house and confine him there, while accused Syed Ghous Ali Shah and 
Rana Maqbool Ahmad would reach (Nawabshah) immediately."

Later, he argued, accused Syed Ghous Ali Shah and accused Rana 
Maqbool Ahmad arrived at Karachi airport while the former IGP had 
already issued directions to DIG Akbar Arain and SSP Bashir Memon 
to reach the airport for "implementation and execution of the 
orders emanating from the PM's House".

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20000322
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Clinton calls for restraint, dialogue
-------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW DELHI, March 21: US President Bill Clinton called on Tuesday 
for restraint and dialogue between India and Pakistan. Clinton's 
made his appeal on the first day of a state visit to India that was 
overshadowed by the massacre of 36 Sikhs in occupied Kashmir - the 
region that lies at the heart of the long-standing dispute between 
India and Pakistan.

"Respect the Line of Control, show restraint, stand against 
violence, restore the dialogue," Clinton said in a clear message to 
both New Delhi and Islamabad.

"The violence must end," Clinton told a joint press conference 
after his talks with Vajpayee. President Clinton said he had agreed 
to raise Indian concerns about terrorism, highlighted by the 
massacre of 36 Sikhs, with Pakistan officials.

Clinton, speaking to reporters at a joint news conference with 
Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee, said Monday's killings demonstrated 
the need for dialogue, restraint and an end to violence in the 
disputed territory.

"The prime minister said he hoped I would say that in Islamabad and 
I will," Clinton said after Vajpayee pointed an accusing finger at 
Pakistan for the massacre.

Clinton refused to assign any blame for the incident but said 
attacks on civilians were unacceptable in any context.

Asked if the massacre had come up in discussions with Vajpayee 
about terrorism - acts like the hijacking last year of an Indian 
airlines jet - Clinton said it had not.

"I don't suppose it came up in the context of overall terrorism in 
the sense that it just happened last night," Clinton said. "We have 
to know who did it before there could be a conclusion about that."-
AFP


=================================================================== 
 BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20000324
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DAP imports: Decision likely to be revised
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Rauf Klasra

ISLAMABAD, March 23: The government may revise its decision 
regarding DAP import to meet country's requirements during kharif 
season (April-September 2000) to avoid '98 crises like situation 
when its (fertilizer) shortage had led to reduced crops production.

Last month, the government had decided that it will not import 
fertilizer through FID during the season and will encourage the 
private sector to meet the requirements of the growers.

If the decision to import DAP is taken, 200,000 metric tons of 
fertilizer will be imported worth $44 million.

Rashid Mahmood Ansari, MINFAL spokesman told Dawn no decision has 
been taken on this issue. However, the government was closely 
watching the fertilizer availability situation.

He said the government would continue to watch the situation. If 
any shortage was reported, the government will make it sure that 
growers get the commodity at their door step at cheap rates.

Earlier, sources in the finance ministry said, ministry of food, 
agriculture and livestock had requested secretary general finance 
to arrange $44 million for DAP import in the season. Sources 
pointed out that if required, Fertiliser Import Department (FID) 
will be required to import 200,000 metric tons of DAP to meet the 
demands of growers during the coming kharif season.The ministry had 
told the finance division that among other cash crops of kharif, 
this ministry was going to launch a campaign for substantial 
increase in the cultivation of sunflower to cut the edible oil 
imports.

The ministry also pointed out that a major output will of course 
will be the timely availability of DAP to growers. It was also 
pointed out that the ministry has estimated that in addition to 
imports by private sector, imports by the FID should al least line 
up imports of DAP totalling 200,000 metric tons.

Later, it was decided that government will depend on the import 
commitments made by the private sector and will not allow its 
Fertiliser Import department (FID) to import DAP. According to 
estimates, demand of DAP during April-Sept 200 would be 360,00 
metric tons.

M/S Engro Chemical had already told the agriculture ministry that 
on the basis of domestic production estimates and import planned by 
the private sector, it was felt that the FID need not to import DAP 
for the next kharif crop.However, concerned circles felt that 
government must import some quantity of the DAP in order to ensure 
availability of sufficient quantity of fertiliser during coming 
season to stabilise the prices in the local market on the one hand 
and remove the pocket shortage and maintain a buffer stock.

The government is not ready to take any risk like it happened in 
'98 kharif season when wide spread shortage of DAP had dealt a 
serious blow to the crops output.

The sources added that estimated requirement of DAP fertilizer 
during next kharif 2000 indicates that total requirement during 
April-Sept would be 360,000 metric tons. Month-wise availability of 
DAP fertiliser through imports by private sector and local 
production during kharif 2000 indicates that opening stock is 
314,000 metric tons, local production during kharif 163,000 metric 
tons, anticipated imports by private sector 190,000 metric tons.

Thus, the total availability has been estimated at 667,000 metric 
tons.

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20000324
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United States economy heading for downturn
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By David R. Francis

Despite its recent kinetic energy, the US economy is headed for a 
downturn. The only questions: when and how far? That, at least, is 
what economists are predicting. Of course, they have been 
forecasting a slowdown for the past four years.

The economy has responded with mocking disdain. This time, however, 
there may be some truth in the predictions, for several reasons:

- Oil prices have soared above $30 a barrel, putting a damper on 
consumer spending. Three times since 1973, a sharp jump in oil 
prices was followed by recession.

- The federal budget has a big surplus. By not spending the money, 
Uncle Sam puts another brake on the economy - at least in the short 
term, some argue.

"A natural cooling off of the economy," says Martin Bailey, 
chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers. "I have 
great confidence in [Fed] Chairman [Alan] Greenspan." The Clinton 
administration forecasts economic growth of 2.9 per cent this year, 
after inflation.

That compares to a vigorous 4.4 per cent annual average since 1996. 
And the economy ran at a blazing 6.9 per cent annual rate in the 
fourth quarter of 1999.

Most economic forecasters have been predicting a walking - not 
running - economy for at least three years. They were wrong. Now 
their consensus forecast says 3 per cent in 2000.

The Fed has waggled its finger four times since last July, raising 
the short-term interest rate 0.25 percentage points each time.

In the US, the federal funds rate now stands at 5.75 per cent. This 
rate, charged by banks on overnight loans, could go to 6.5 per cent 
- or higher "if the economy does not slow by summer," says David 
Wyss, chief economist of Standard & Poor's DRI, a Lexington, Mass., 
consulting firm.

Watch those auto loans the prime rate of banks. Now at 8.5 per 
cent, will rise in step. Homeowners with equity loans, car buyers 
getting auto loans, will see their rates zoom upward.

Economists figure the Fed will eventually dampen growth. Last 
Thursday, the government reported that producer prices rose 1 per 
cent in February - the largest hike in nearly 10 years.

The numbers were boosted by higher prices for home heating oil, 
gasoline, and other energy sources, and higher cigarette prices. 
The consumer price index upturn of 0.5 percentage points, announced 
Friday, may also encourage the Fed to act.

A second key factor expected to slow output is the jump in the 
price of oil by some $20 to about $30 a barrel. That leads to 
roughly an $80 billion transfer of income from domestic consumers 
to foreign oil producers. "Think of it as a big tax hike," notes 
Lawrence Kudlow, chief economist of CNBC.

Though Mr. Kudlow sees snappy growth at a 5 per cent annual rate in 
the first quarter, the oil "tax" could shrink the growth rate by 
half for the rest of the year.

But recession is not generally expected. The magnitude of the oil 
price rise is relatively small. After the quadrupling of oil prices 
in 1973-74 and their doubling in 1979, Americans began using energy 
more efficiently. "In just 10 years, the average number of gallons 
consumed annually by passenger cars alone fell by 28 per cent," 
notes Irwin Kellner, an economist at Hofstra University in 
Hempstead, N.Y.

Even with more light trucks on the road today and average vehicle 
mileage up 16 per cent from 1973, gasoline consumption per car is 
lower today than 26 years ago. Cars and trucks are nearly 50 per 
cent more efficient.

Industry also has cut energy consumption. Offices, nearly three-
quarters of which have been built since 1980, use more efficient 
heating, cooling, and lighting. They're better insulated. Last 
year, the total value of crude oil used by the US fell to about 1 
per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), the nation's output of 
goods and services. It was 6.5 per cent in 1981.

Moreover, the crude-oil price of $28 a barrel in 1981 is the 
equivalent of $68 in 1999 dollars. Nonetheless, Mr. Wyss does 
expect the higher oil prices to have some impact on the economy. 
Dollars spent on gasoline are not available for buying other goods.

The oil price hike acts as a "drag," concurs Donald Strazheim, 
president of the Milken Institute in Los Angeles. Mr. Bailey, the 
White House economist, sees the current federal budget surpluses as 
another drag, meaning interest rates need not climb as high as they 
might otherwise to slow the economy.

Despite the forces slowing growth, few economists expect an 
outright recession. What could create such a scenario, though, is a 
major stock market bust, an unexpected inflation explosion, or 
dramatically higher oil prices.

Cynthia Latta, another economist at Standard & Poor's DRI, predicts 
a 10 per cent chance of such a downturn late this year. The odds 
rise to 35 per cent in late in 2001 and 2002.

As the economy is buffeted by various pressures, many analysts see 
investment fads changing on Wall Street as well. Prices of major 
industrial stocks rose at a record pace Wednesday and Thursday. 
Technology stocks, which had been soaring, plunged early last week, 
then recovered.-Dawn/CSM Service. (c) Copyright 2000. The Christian 
Science Publishing Society.

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20000320 
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Economic implications of Clinton's visit to SA
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By M.S. Qazi

One of the dimensions of US President Clinton's visit commencing 
March 19 to South Asian countries, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, 
is being visualished as a source of economic stability in the 
region and is likely to boost trade and foreign investment in these 
countries.

Given ground realities of the economies of the host countries, 
entangled Indo-Pak relations and US strategic economic interests, 
the basic question is: how far such a perception would hold?

President Clinton's visit has many dimensions. Main thrust of his 
visit is to further US interests in the South Asian region who 
include economic as well as strategic. The later interests of the 
US conflict with the security perceptions and security concerns of 
regional states, particularly India and Pakistan.

In the midst of varying perceptions and conflicting interests, 
President Clinton's visit aims at two points narrowing down the 
perceptual gap on security matters between the US on one hand and 
India and Pakistan on other and giving concrete expression to 
mutually beneficial economic interests between the US and the host 
countries. There are positive indications that India will be the 
major beneficiary keeping in view the strategic relationship which 
Washington and New Delhi intend to develop. Pakistan will be at the 
receiving end because of various policy constraints pursued by 
Islamabad and Washington.

The Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, Karl 
Inderfurth, in a statment on President Clinton's visit to South 
Asia said that there was a convergence of US and Indian interests 
in "maintaining an open international economy while addressing the 
potential inequities of globalisation and pursuing mutual benefit 
through private cooperation in the high technology sectors that 
will provide impetus to economic growth in decades ahead." About 
US-Bangladesh economic relations, the Assistant Secretary was not 
specific but as the indications are that economic matters will be 
discussed.

The Indian economy is an emerging economy. It is faced with 
problems of trimming the fiscal deficit (projected 5.1 per cent of 
GDP for the year 2000-2001 against 5.6 per cent of GDP for last 
year) and mobilising resources for infrastrucural development.

However, its forex reserve have increased form $26 billion to $32 
billion in one year and it has attained an economic growth rate of 
5.9 per cent of GDP. The NDA government led by BJP has kept the 
liberalisation programme of the economy alive that was initiated by 
the Congress government in 1991.

The Indian finance minister in the budget for fiscal year 2000-2001 
has projected growth rate of 7-8 per cent of GDP. He has expressed 
government's aim to attract foreign investment of around $10 
billion by the year 2004-
2005, three times more than last years' investment. India also 
wants to boost its exports from I T industry from its current level 
of $3 billion to a higher level. Keeping in view the size of the 
Indian economy, its volume, growth rate and government's 
willingness to go alongwith the US and western economic development 
strategy Washington is certainly encouraged to seek a strategic 
economic relationship with India.

India's financial markets are caught up with optimism that concrete 
results of President Clinton's visit would be increased trade and 
investment. Inclusion of a large number of the CEOs (Chief 
Executive Officers) of US companies in the president's entourage is 
being cited as one of the reasons. It is also being argued that 
Washington is poised to give boost to bilateral trade between the 

two countries which totalled $10.9 billion during financial year 
1998-99. India's economy worth more than $500 billion is considered 
to be one of the worlds strongest economy. (In the long-term US 
perspective, it could be useful to counter the region's economic 
heavy weight, China). India has demanded lifting of economic 
sanctions imposed because of N-explosions conducted in May, 1998. 
Under the changing scenario, the possibility of easing economic 
sanctions gradually cannot be ruled out.

Presently, US is India's largest trading partner accounting for 
21.7 per cent of India's exports and approximately 9 per cent of 
its imports. It is expected that exports, imports and volume of 
bilateral trade would improve substantially. However, some of the 
observers are of the view that miraculous growth of the Indian 
economy, US strategic economic relationship notwithstanding, on the 
pattern of South-east Asian 'tiger' economies is a far fetched idea 
because of the structural problems such as large public sector and 
high subsidies that plague the Indian economy alongwith other 
problems related to macro-economic indicators and management. 
Despite such reservations, President Clinton's visit is likely to 
open new vistas of economic and technological co-operation between 
New Delhi and Washington. President Clinton's visit to Hyderabad, a 
high-tech capital in the making symbolises desire for technological 
cooperation in future. Economic and commercial relations between US 
and Bangladesh will be the highlight of President Clinton's visit 
to Bangladesh. Washington is appreciative of the efforts made by 
the Bangladeshi government to end child labour in the garment 
industry and to alleviate poverty through micro-crediting. 
Washington's financial assistance is likely to come through 
substantially to make further progress in each of these important 
areas. US investment which has risen from $75 million to over $750 
million in past three years. It is likely to get further boost as 
US companies are keen to develop large energy reserves of 
Bangladesh.

Economic relationship between Washington and Islamabad has been 
marred by a sequence of developments during the last one-decade. 
The main contributory factor was Washington's reservation about 
Pakistan's N-programme. It resulted in economic and military 
sanctions against Pakistan. The relationship soured further when 
Pakistan exploded N-devices in May, 1998. Because of economic 
sanctions imposed by the US and as a consequence of poor management 
of the economy by successive governments since 1989 the economy was 
pushed towards a near collapse situation in late 1998.

Forex crunch and stoppage of financial assistance committed by the 
IMF, the WB, the ADB and IFIs at the behest of Washington worked as 
catalyst to deepen the economic crisis. Economic and inter-state 
relations between the US and Pakistan have lost a common ground 
after army took over the reigns of power on October 12, 1999. 
Washington had earlier disfavored using extra- constitutional 
methods to change the government and has been pressing for 
restoration of democracy. The "cooling down" of US- Pak relations 
have serious implications for national economy.

Pakistan's economy presently faces problem on three major accounts. 
First, it has not developed the capacity to meet foreign debt 
liabilities, which are likely to be around $5.5 billion by March, 
2001. Second, the position of forex reserves, remittances by 
expatriates and FDI remains perilous. Third, Wapda-HUBCO row over 
electricity tariff has remained unresolved. It has sent negative 
signal to foreign investors. The IPP row directly concerns the US 
interests. In addition to these factors growth rate is depressing 
and is likely to continue to be so because of political uncertainty 
persisting in the country. The basic question is: will President 
Clinton's visit in any way help Pakistan to overcome such economic 
vows?

Rescheduling of foreign debt for second time is urgently called for 
if Pakistan is to avert default. A default situation is worrisome 
both for Islamabad and Washington for their own specific interests 
and reasons. Islamabad can be helped by Washington. Debt 
rescheduling would help improving Pakistan's image in international 
corporate community. But rescheduling would be meaningful if the 
government worked to end political uncertainty and adopted 
consistent economic polices. The IMF will also help Pakistan only 
if it gets a nod from Washington.

US economic interest in Pakistan during the past few years have 
been hurt. The Wapda-HUBCO row is specific to Washington's concern 
because besides HUBCO, five major IPPs were sponsored by the US 
companies and their investment comes to $1.6 billion investment. 
Winding up of business by five pharmaceutical companies due to 
price curbs for keeping price freeze, bare minimum activity by Bank 
of America and dissatisfaction of US oil and gas companies with 
ever-changing policies of the government have also sent negative 
signals to the US government and investors. These issues, in 
particular the IPP issue, is likely to come up briefly during 
Clinton-
Musharraf talks.

The Pakistan economy needs a strong dose of foreign investment, the 
IMF assistance, implementation of consistent economic policies in 
secure a political environment and lifting of economic sanctions 
against Pakistan by the US and western countries. General Musharraf 
has the opportunity at hand to capitalise on the brief stop-over. 
He may have to make his political agenda flexible to gain on the 
economic front. The opportunity should not be lost.

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20000320 
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Macro-role for micro-credit
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By Sultan Ahmed

A billion rupees is a small amount as seed-capital for the new 
micro-credit bank in a country with total bank advances of Rs750 
billion. But it is only the initial capital or first allocation for 
the bank in a country in which 40 per cent of the people lives 
below the poverty line.

The bank headed by a prominent banker Ghalib Nishtar is to be 
capitalised further by the national commercial banks as well as 
international financial institutions. While the Asian Development 
Bank is to provide $70 to 100 million initially, the World Bank is 
to follow with more, and the IMF too is to assist the bank for the 
poor.

International financial institutions are giving a great deal of 
importance to poverty-alleviation in a world in which after over 50 
years of their role they find almost 25 per cent of the people of 
the world living in poverty. Recent studies showed the number of 
the poor had risen from 1.2 per billion to 1.5 billion following 
the economic turmoil of 1997, which though it began in East Asia 
had its impact on Latin America and Africa as well. The former 
Soviet bloc countries, passing through their prolonged transition, 
too were affected by that economic meltdown.

Michael Camdessus who has retired as managing director of the IMF 
has voiced a sense of guilt on behalf of the IMF for its failure in 
this key sector and wants the IMF and other international bodies to 
do all they can to reverse the process. The World Bank president 
James Wolfensohn feels equally strongly about it and is expressing 
himself on the issue eloquently.

In Pakistan, Chief Executive General Pervaiz Musharraf wants to 
give top priority to fighting poverty and has made it one of his 
five top objectives. And he has allocated Rs15 billion this year 
and Rs20 billion next year for his anti-poverty campaign which is 
part of his economic revival plan.

While the initial capital of the Micro-credit Bank is small other 
banks have come up with larger funds to promote the same objective. 
The Habib Bank has allocated Rs2 billion for the purpose, and 
National Bank of Pakistan Rs1.5 billion. Habib Bank was the first 
to start a micro-credit scheme, in 1998, with the assistance of a 
NGO.

The United Bank officials say they too are keen on playing their 
role in this sector but have not indicated their initial outlay. 
The reason could well be delay on the part of its new chief Amar 
Zafar Khan to take charge of the bank which he has now done.

With the much lauded Grammeen Bank of Bangladesh as its model, the 
National Bank is to set up five centres - three in the Punjab and 
one each in Baluchistan and Azad Kashmir - to provide Rs5,000 to 
Rs30,000 per skilled person on the basis of personal guarantees of 
two persons from their own community.

The interest rate is to be 16 per cent which is rather high. But 
the skilled persons have been borrowing from private money- lenders 
at higher rates of interest. But usually they return the loans 
quick as their trade does not involve large investment or long-term 
investment. Their turnover is also pretty quick.

An earlier estimate by the State Bank had said the total of the 
bank credit availed by the small industrial sector was less than 
five per cent of the total credit. And that was returned pretty 
quick.

Another study earlier showed that one person can be employed in the 
small scale sector at 1/80th it cost to employ a person in the 
large scale sector. In some sophisticated industries in Hub Chowk a 
person was provided employment after a capital out-lay of Rs10 
million had been made showed a suty by economist Kaiser Bengali.

No wonder despite the large capital employed too many persons are 
unemployed and eventually 4,000 industrial units are reported sick. 
And that meant they shed a great many workers, while the total bank 
default is over Rs145 billion.

Of course, if the banks had been more vigilant and the State Bank 
of Pakistan had shown greater alacrity less capital would have been 
employed or for the same number of persons employed or far more 
persons would have been employed for the same. Now is the time to 
make up for the past.

The policy to be followed is a deviation from the past when 4 per 
cent of the borrowers got 83 per cent of the loans and the rest of 
86 per cent of the borrowers were left with 17 per cent of the 
credit.

On a lesser scale an experiment was made with the Women's Bank, and 
it has a record of recovering 94 per cent of the loans, which is 
far better than the performance of the other public sector banks. 
What that means is the default by the small- borrowers is really 
small.

In a country where barely 28 per cent of the people are employed 
with a small percentage of women, a great deal has to be done to 
promote self-
employment and development of small industries.

In Baglandesh the back bone of the Grammen Bank is women who borrow 
the money, use that largely in the garment manufacturing and return 
the capital in time. Their record is excellent.

But in Pakistan, where the women are less liberated and more 
dependent on their men economically, the borrowers are more likely 
to be men and they may not be as conscientious in returning the 
money as the women are. And yet they have to be encouraged with the 
necessary safeguards for ensuring return of the capital or the 
culture of repaying loans.

What is apparent is the scheme will be refined and strengthened as 
it makes progress. The banks will be playing by the ear, as they 
say in music.

The reward for repaying the loans in time is more loans and larger 
loans for larger enterprises. And that can indeed be encouraging 
for development of the repaying culture.

When Nawaz Shairf as prime minister was cautioned against his 
ambitious yellow taxi scheme he used to say if the very rich could 
vanish with the large loans we should not mind losing small loans 
given to small men.

That approach made the scheme crash midway after a large number of 
unscrupulous borrowers who were not really poor got away with the 
taxis and quickly sold them to others. Many small taxi-owners were 
not the real gainers as much as the bank staff and the bank union 
leaders and others.

Under the new scheme care has to be taken to ensure that a crop of 
middle men do not come up and grab a large part of the loans to be 
lent. That may delay the loan-giving to some extent. Secondly the 
amount of Rs5,000 to Rs 30,000 proposed per head-may not be enough 
to start one's own business for skilled persons. So there is likely 
to be flexibility in this area on the basis of merit of each 
applicant and the project on which he proposes to invest.

The interest rate of 16 per cent is almost the same as proposed by 
the Nawaz Sharif government for his second taxi scheme as well as 
his 'Mera Ghar' scheme. And that is likely to come down as the 
interest rate comes down. Governor, State Bank, Dr. Ishrat Hussain 
is striving for that.

Care will have to be taken to avoid a glut in any particular sector 
as a results of over-investment in that. It may not be easy in the 
initial stage to export their products, and if they do not sell 
well in the local market they may come to grief and the banks 
suffer.

The banks, which lend the money, may have to play an advisory role. 
Or it should encourage some recognised NGOs to do that.

It is also necessary to encourage cooperative societies in such 
sectors so that they could get their raw materials cheap and do the 
selling of their products profitably. A single or a group of 
skilled workers may not be able to produce their products, buy the 
raw materials and sell their output profitably at every level. The 
country needs to develop a good marketing structure for such 
products as the cottage industries departments do but without their 
red-tape or corruption. Clearly giving micro-credit and recovering 
it is only one process among several. The other activities must 
receive enough attention for the micro-credit to give macro 
results.

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20000325 
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Foreign portfolio investment falls
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, March 24: Foreign investment in Pakistan stock market fell 
in the first eight months of this fiscal year to almost half the 
amount it had attracted in the same period of fiscal 1998-99.

Foreigners bought about Rs 3.2 billion worth of shares between July 
1999 and February 2000: they had purchased Rs 6.25 billion worth of 
shares between July 1998 and February 1999.

The data has been obtained from Karachi Stock Exchange that keeps a 
record of buying and selling of shares by foreigners. KSE 
management admits that the data cannot be treated final because it 
is complied on the basis of voluntary declarations by the stock 
brokers handling foreigners. Yet the data indicates the market 
behaviour to a big extent.

KSE statistic show that foreigners sold around Rs 5.8 billion worth 
of shares in the first eight months of this fiscal year: In the 
same period in 1998-99, they had sold shares worth Rs 6.65 billion.

An analysis of the two sets of buying and selling figures will show 
that the net outflow of funds in the first eight months of this 
fiscal year rose to Rs 2.60 billion from only Rs 390 million in the 
same period of fiscal 1998-99.

KSE officials say loss of confidence of foreigners is a key factor 
impeding growth of foreign investment. Says KSE Chairman Arif 
Habib: "Loss of confidence is the main impediment. It kept 
foreigners for a long time from investing heavily in our market."

What else held foreigners back was that they had gathered an 
impression of some kind of capital controls in Pakistan because of 
certain restrictions put on foreign remittances. "But now the 
situation is different. The performance of the market has partly 
restored the confidence of foreigners and we have seen sizable 
investment in late February and early this month." KSE statistics 
show, however, that foreigners purchased Rs 666 million worth of 
shares in February and sold shares worth Rs 812 million. The data 
relating to March is yet to be compiled.

KSE chairman is confident that the stock market should attract more 
of foreign investment in the months to come. The State Bank cleared 
pending cases of repatriation of funds in mid January and it is not 
causing much delay in such repatriation any more. "This has partly 
removed an obstacle in the way of attracting foreign investment," 
says Arif Habib. "The task will become easier if the condition to 
seek the State Bank approval for remittances is done away with.

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20000305 
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Another IPP signs MoU with WAPDA on tariff cut 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Our Staff Reporter

LAHORE, March 4: Yet another IPP has signed a Memorandum of 
Understanding (MoU) with WAPDA for reduction in its levelized 
tariff to US Cents 5.137 per kilowatt hour (KWH).

Wapda Chairman Lt-Gen Zulfiqar Ali Khan and Fauji Kabirwala Power 
Company Limited Managing Director/Chief Executive Lt-Gen (retd) 
Muhammad Maqbool exchanged the authenticated documents on behalf of 
their respective organizations at WAPDA House on Saturday.

It is the 12th IPP which has voluntarily reduced its tariff from US 
cents 5.578 per KWH to US Cents 5.137 per KWH.

The revision of tariff will result in total saving of US $ 156 
million over a period of 30 years. The project is based on low BTU 
and pipeline gas in Kabirwala near Multan. The plan has a capacity 
of 157 megawatts.

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20000305 
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Country to be Opium free By Year End: ANF Chief
-------------------------------------------------------------------

WASHINGTON, March 4: Pakistan will be opium poppy-free by the end 
of this year, Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) Director General Maj-Gen 
Zafar Abbas said in an interview with APP here on Thursday.

He called Pakistan a "success story" because no longer was it a 
drug-
producing country, but a "transit and victim state". He said 
Pakistan's achievement had won worldwide admiration and was cited 
as a worthy example that other countries affected by the problem 
could follow.

He said the ANF was working on three fronts: liquidating drug 
supply, reducing and finally eliminating drug demand and ensuring 
national and international coordination. Pakistan, he emphasized, 
had shown dramatic results by slashing opium poppy cultivation from 
a high of 32,200 hectares in the 1980s to only 629 hectares in 
1998-99. The total poppy crop last year was only 17 tons.

He explained that poppy was grown only in the Bajaur, Mehmand, 
Khyber and Dir regions of the country. "Come to think of it, in 
1985, we were growing 800 tons. By the end of the year, we will 
have no poppy cultivation at all. This is a remarkable achievement 
and Pakistan can be well proud of it," the general said.

Gen Abbas, who was in Washington to witness Pakistan's 
certification second year running by the State Department as a 
country which was fully cooperating with international agencies and 
the US government for the eradication of drug production and trade, 
said that Pakistan had been able to practically eliminate opium 
poppy cultivation because of its commitment, help from 
international agencies and farmer cooperation. "Where we stop 
cultivation we try to build roads, hospitals, schools; we bring 
electricity and water. We encourage the cultivation of alternative 
crops. You have to make it worth-while for the locals. You must 
give something in return for asking them to abandon a traditional 
crop which is money-making."

The ANF chief recalled the visit last year to Pakistan of Pino 
Arllacia, head of a Vienna-based UN drug agency (UNDCP), who called 
Pakistan a "success story". The UN official told his hosts that he 
had come to celebrate the success of Pakistan's efforts aimed at 
eradicating the opium poppy menace. Because of that, the UN 
agency's projects in Pakistan were extended for another five years. 
However, said Gen Abbas, this success had been all but nullified by 
the whopping increase in opium poppy cultivation and production in 
neighbouring Afghanistan which was now responsible for the bulk of 
poppy supplies in the world. Large heroin processing laboratories 
were also active there. The massive rise in Afghan production had 
come as an eye-opener for the world, he added. The Afghan poppy 
crop was now estimated at 4,600 tons.

Questioned about the ANF, he replied that it was a tightly- run 
outfit with 50 per cent of its force made up of serving army 
personnel, 40 per cent by the police and 10 per cent by others. He 
said the integrity of the organization was universally recognized, 
adding: "There are absolutely no political or other pressures on us 
and if and when they have been experienced, we have just ignored 
them. We act in the highest national interest and all our decisions 
are taken on merit. We have direct access to the army chief, who 
also now happens to be the head of the government."

"We seek the assistance of the Frontier Constabulary when we need 
it. We also use helicopters. We can do far more but we need to be 
better equipped. Most of our resources are from donor countries, 
principally the US and the UK. Smugglers are very well equipped. 
They have state-of-the-art equipment, vehicles, guns, and 
communication gadgets. There are often fierce encounters. Many 
times they get away because they are faster. They even have rocket 
launchers and missiles. There were 50 operations in 1999 and we 
lost some men, some were injured," he said.

Gen Abbas said ANF seizures in 1999 were impressive: 5,000kg 
heroin, 16,000kg opium and 81,000kg hashish. He disclosed that 
between March 15 and September this year, a countrywide survey 
would be carried out in Pakistan with the help of the UNDCP to draw 
up the latest and most accurate drug-
related statistics.

Asked what in his opinion had been the major achievements of his 
organization, he answered that there were several: transformation 
of Pakistan from a producing to a transit and victim country, full 
US certification of Pakistan for the second year running, increase 
in seizures, and freezing of smugglers' and drug dealers' assets.

He said so far this year not a single pilgrim to Saudi Arabia had 
been apprehended on a drug charge, thanks to the very strict search 
and scrutiny to which all intending pilgrims were subjected. "But I 
will keep my fingers crossed till the last Haj flight has departed 
from our soil," he added.-APP

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20000321 
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Habib Bank plans to shut 110 branches
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, March 20: Habib Bank plans to shut down 110 domestic 
branches that are either loss-making or earning marginal profits: 
the bank has closed down 222 such branches in the past three years.

HBL officials say they are waiting for State Bank permission to 
implement the plan. They need SBP permission because all 110 
branches are located in villages and hamlets in un-banked areas - 
the areas where no branch of any bank exists within 2 kilometre.

The officials say they have asked SBP to change the definition of 
un-banked areas so that they can withdraw banking facilities from 
the places where a bank branch exists within 5-10 kilometre.

Bankers say state-run National Bank and United Bank and partly 
privatized Muslim Commercial Bank and Allied Bank want similar 
change in the definition of un-banked areas. But SBP continues to 
stick to its position.

SBP officials say closure of bank branches in un-banked areas means 
depriving hundreds of thousand of rural men and women of the 
facility to save and borrow and receive money sent to them by their 
relations abroad.

The central bank wants to see these branches operating either under 
the proposed Micro Credit Bank or under post offices for collecting 
utility bills.

Senior SBP officials told executives of five major banks early this 
month that they could also retain these branches to conduct weekly 
banking business.

What would be the most suitable recourse for Habib Bank. "For us 
the most suitable option is nothing but to pull the shutters of 
these branches down," said an HBL executive. He said the 110 
branches that HBL wanted to close down were causing Rs50 million 
annual loss to the bank.

He said his bank had reservations on allowing the Micro Credit Bank 
or Post Offices to take over these branches. "The idea of weekly 
banking through these branches cannot work because it will not make 
them profitable."

The executive said the closure of 110 branches would render roughly 
500 Habibians surplus but he said they would be posted in other 

branches. "There is no retrenchment plan. Nobody would lose job," 
he asserted.

Habib Bank runs 1750 branches across Pakistan and more than 100 
branches in 26 cities abroad. It has a workforce of 23,000 people 
including around 1000 working at its foreign branches.

All five major banks namely (i) National Bank (ii) United Bank 
(iii) Habib Bank (iv) Muslim Commercial Bank and (v) Allied Bank 
plan to close their commercially unviable branches but they are 
waiting for the SBP nod.

NBP plans to shut down 55 branches; UBL 176; HBL 110 and MCB 76. 
The number of ABL branches identified for closing down is not 
known.

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20000321 
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Micro Credit Bank by May
-------------------------------------------------------------------

KARACHI, March 20: The Micro Credit Bank is expected to start 
functioning in May this year. This was stated by the Federal 
Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Shaukat Aziz, while 
talking to reporters here on Monday after the inaugural ceremony of 
the Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Pakistan.

The Minister said that ordinance is being prepared for the bank and 
legal formalities are being chalked out.

He stated that Ghalib Nishter, the CEO of the micro credit bank is 
in the process of forming his team and recruitment has started.

The Minister said that the head office of this bank will be located 
in Islamabad. Earlier, Shaukat Aziz said that the small and medium 
enterprise sector has to be the leader in spurring growth and that 
the government is fully committed to promoting this sector and 
removing all bottlenecks that in the past have impeded its growth.

He was speaking as chief guest at the inaugural function of the 
Small and Medium Enterprises Association (SMEA) of Pakistan here on 
Monday.

The Minister said that we want our banking system to redirect their 
efforts in favour of the small and medium enterprises which hardly 
get a fraction of bank credit but have consistently performed 
better in repayment of their obligations. Accordingly the provision 
of credit to this sector will help the banks in the improvement of 
their balance sheets.

He stated that the government would also support the small and 
medium enterprises' growth by funding training and research 
programmes, marketing of their products through Export Promotion 
Bureau (EPB) and simplifying the regulatory regime around their 
working including tax and labour law.

Shaukat Aziz said that the subject of small and medium enterprises 
is of special significance for this government and that at the 
heart of the economic revival programme of the government lies the 
objective of human development and poverty reduction.

He stated although we plan to undertake a number of measures for 
providing security and safety nets to the poor and vulnerable, we 
believe that providing greater burden of poverty alleviation will 
have to be shouldered by the process of growth.

Earlier, SMEA President, Mr Zafar Iqbal, presented the 'welcome 
address'.-

APP

Our Staff Reporter adds: Finance Minister, Shaukat Aziz has assured 
traders that the 35 cash margin requirement on the import of 
various commodities will be reduced.

In a meeting with Chairman Pakistan Commodity Traders Association 
(PCTA), Raees Ashraf Tarmohammad on March 18, the finance minister 
said he would take up the matter with State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) 
immediately.

According to the press release, chairman PCTA said that the rate of 
three per cent additional sales tax was too high and a source of 
encouragement for corruption. He urged the minister to bring down 
the rate at one per cent. Shaukat Aziz assured that he would review 
the matter in the forthcoming budget.

 Shaukat Aziz on Monday said the government is evolving a simple 
and hassle-free system of general sales tax.

In a meeting with a delegation of Pakistan Silk & Rayon Mills 
Association (PSRMA) the minister said to eliminate corruption the 
new GST system will ensure minimum interaction between taxpayers 
and tax collectors.

The PSRMA delegation led by acting chairman Gulzar Siddiq apprised 
the finance minister about the problems being faced by the weaving 
sector with regard to GST.

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20000322
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Overseas Pakistanis: One-window facility for investment
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, March 21: The federal government is planning to create 
one-window facilitation offices in major towns for the overseas 
Pakistani investors.

The Board of Investment has started processing a proposal to set up 
these offices while the CBR and Ministry of Commerce have been 
asked to remove all the bottlenecks, sources said.

They said representatives of overseas Pakistanis who have expressed 
intentions to invest in certain sectors, met the Chief Executive 
last month and submitted a list of requirements for their 
investment proposals to be realised. They met the CE in Islamabad.

The CE invited them to visit Islamabad during his meeting with them 
at Dubai, soon after the military takeover. The potential overseas 
Pakistani investors' demands included one-window operation for the 
processing of their applications for procedural clearance, and 
smooth and trouble-free clearance of their import consignments for 
their projects.

Facilitation offices in major towns, will be located in the close 
vicinities of the industrial zones and estates, where the Customs, 
Sales Tax, Central Excise and Income Tax departments.

The offices are intended to be set up within this financial year. 
The CBR has also been directed to clear without any delay the 
already submitted cases based on demands for investment-promoting 
taxation measures. The overseas Pakistanis' representatives are 
reported to have written to the CE last month that they have been 
facing problems with getting the taxation related bottlenecks 
removed, and that the cooperation of Customs and Income Tax 
officials has not been forthcoming in this respect.

The CBR would be deputing the relevant tax-wing officials for 
supporting the BOI programme within a week or so, while the BOI 
would be sending its case for special allocation for creating such 
one-window offices next week, after the proposal is duly cleared by 
other relevant ministries.

Back to the top
=================================================================== 
 EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20000324 
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Stepping into the real world
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ayaz Amir

IS there no getting out of the world of make-believe in which we 
live, a world in which pious intentions pass for action and fantasy 
for reality? Anyone with eyes to see can make out that our external 
posture is overextended and our internal policies do not make 
sense. As a nation we are bereft of a sense of direction and yet 
think we are embarked on a course which in the fulness of time will 
lead us to the promised land.

Of course our people are not without talent. Of course they are 
hardworking and require only the right touch for their energies to 
be released. All this is true but it is also true that there is so 
much about us that just does not look right and which indeed 
conveys the impression that while much of the world is racing 
ahead, mastering new concepts and new technologies, we are caught 
in a time warp and stranded somewhere in the past. The traffic on 
our roads, the chaos at our airports, the lethargy and 
procrastination of our bureaucracy, the muddle-headedness of our 
rulers, are just a few of the testimonials to our national 
condition.

Of the countries in our neighbourhood only one has the distinction 
of looking worse than us: Afghanistan, whose warring factions have 
bombed their once peaceful and tranquil country into the 18th 
century. The others are not without their problems. Poverty and 
disease in them are rampant. But, if I am not overstating the case, 
they exude a sense of purpose and direction while we do not.

As for India, much as we may abhor the notion, it is forging ahead 
on many fronts. It has invested in its education and is now reaping 
the rewards of this policy. By contrast, what a wreck we have made 
of our education system? The poor pick the weeds of vernacular 
education while the well-to-
do are just not interested because their offspring have their eyes 
on foreign shores.

While there is poverty at the bottom, the Indian middle class has 
come of age. The market that this creates for industry is huge. No 
wonder India is attracting foreign investment in a big way. Above 
all, there is a sense of political freedom in India which makes 
their media bold and vibrant and gives to their political discourse 
a confidence not to be found on this side of the border.

None of these achievements has given India the speed or dash of the 
tiger. It is moving along at the pace of a bullock cart but it is 
moving in a certain direction and although the journey may be long 
and arduous, there is a sense in India of a final destination. Not 
so here, which is why the question we most often ask ourselves is 
not about our journey's end but whether there is light at the end 
of the tunnel.

Let us by all means compete with India. Let us not forsake the 
people of Kashmir in their hour of suffering and distress. But at 
least let us have the sense to see that it is not only in tanks and 
warplanes that we have to match India but in the two things that in 
this day and age matter the most: education, for without it a 
country's foundations are built on sand, and political liberty 
which alone can lend a sense of dignity and strength to a people.

Why do our high officials behave so cravenly in front of 
foreigners, especially if they happen to be white? Because they 
lack inner confidence. Why is Indian television so much better than 
ours? Because it operates in an environment of freedom. Why don't 
English dockers or New York cabbies take nonsense from anyone? 
Because they have been used to social and political freedom for a 
long time.

If we want to put flesh on our rhetoric we have to change our 
attitudes. And to begin with we have to discover the holy grail of 
political stability so that once and for all we get over this 
destructive and soul-destroying thraldom to military rule. This 
will not, overnight, make our politicians virtuous or exemplary 
keepers of the national flame but it will make at least one 
distinction clear: that the defence of our national frontiers, no 
mean task, is the job of our soldiers while the management of 
national affairs has to be left to the representatives of the 
people. Mixing the two will no longer do. In fact, as we have seen 
so often before, mixing the two is a recipe for disaster.

The question is how is this to be accomplished? Not by any rider on 
horseback because great as our fascination is for heroes - 
Salahuddin Ayubis, Ataturks and de Gaulles - we must after 52 years 
come round to the realization that our soil is not propitious for 
the sprouting or cultivation of mythical heroes. It is with mortal 
figures that we must make do.

Firstly, then, on its own volition, because no one else can compel 
it and certainly not Pakistan's bankrupt political parties, the 
army must perform a supreme act of self-abnegation. Sheathing its 
sword it must go back to barracks. This has never happened before, 
the relinquishing of power seldom being a voluntary affair, but 
this must happen now if the soul of this country, tormented by 
nightmares and spectres, is at last to know some peace.

Secondly, the army having decided to conduct an orderly retreat - 
an orderly retreat, it must be remembered, being the most difficult 
operation in war - it must impose a political solution 
incorporating a few salient points. (1) The purge of the most 
corrupt political elements so that the political landscape is 
cleared to some extent of the foulness which litters it. This can 
be done in an arbitrary, Ayatollah Khalkhali-like, manner without 
an excessive care for legal niceties because time is of the 
essence. (2) The immediate holding of fresh elections. (3) Transfer 
of power to elected representatives, in whatever guise or colour 
they come. (4) The appointment of President Rafiq Tarar as Rector 
of the Islamic University in Islamabad. (5) To loud acclaim, 
General Pervez Musharraf's unanimous and uncontested election as 
the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Leaving aside canal desilting and district monitoring, the corps 
commanders should be concentrating on this agenda which, provided 
the will and heart are there, can be fulfilled in two or three 
months' time. As for General Musharraf's seven-point agenda, it can 
be left as a guiding beacon for the next government. Should it come 
to that, it can even be made a part of the Constitution. Over the 
years our lawmakers, forced to bend to the prevailing winds, have 
done worse than this. The appointment of the service chiefs can be 
made a presidential prerogative. The president, however, should not 
be able to dissolve the National Assembly. One last thing. Pakistan 
Television, which has led many a ruler astray, should be made an 
honest woman of: its state of concubinage should finally come to an 
end.

The new democratic republic that thus emerges from its cocoon can 
be monitored by the army so that the politicians of the new 
dispensation remain on the straight and narrow. Other countries 
have had transitions from dictatorship to democracy: Greece, Spain, 
Portugal, to name only three. Making a success of these transitions 
required, in equal measure, forbearance and restraint from the 
representatives of the old order and wisdom and vision on the part 
of the standard-bearers of democracy. With a bit of effort there is 
no reason why we cannot do the same. Even if in the past our 
standard-bearers have been soiled figures (Benazir and Nawaz 
Sharif) there is no reason we should not be able to improve upon 
them.

Before we can teach the Indians a lesson, we have to put our own 
house in order. At present our affairs are in a mess and what is 
worse, no one who matters seems to have the remotest clue about how 
to go about clearing this mess. The way the army is going about it 
will only make things worse: affect its professionalism and make 
the return to democracy more painful.

There is nothing novel or brilliant in what I have said. It is just 
common sense, and common knowledge, arising for the most part from 
our own experience. How many times must it be said that we have 
tried military rule on three occasions previously and each time the 
country has had to pay a heavy price for it? How long must we keep 
on repeating the same experiment, how often tread the same well-
worn path?

Meanwhile, let there be no mistake about it, the world and even the 
region are racing ahead leaving us far behind. What, essentially, 
is Clinton telling India and Pakistan? That we must be sensible and 
solve our problems not through pretending that they do not exist 
but through dialogue. When it comes to Pakistan India has blinkers 
on its eyes. Viewing the Kashmir problem rationally seems 
impossible for it. But we have blinkers on our eyes regarding a 
greater number of problems, both external and internal. In the 
overall competition for the irrational stakes then we seem to have 
the edge over India.

General Musharraf still has time to carve a niche for himself in 
our history. Although disenchantment with his rule has already set 
in, there is still time to make amends and strike out in a new 
direction. But only just because the shadows are lengthening and 
any more delay will only drag the present team into deeper waters, 
making a return to the shore all that more difficult.

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20000325
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Immigration and identity at Eid 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Irfan Hussain

AS I write this, it is the day after Eid-ul-Azha in England and the 
Daily Telegraph has carried photographs and stories of the ritual 
slaughter of sheep in France and Britain.

Apparently, sacrificing animals is illegal in France, but given 
that there are four million Muslim immigrants there, the police are 
reluctant to make arrests. In many cases people have erected 
plastic screens to mask the blood and gore from the road as they 
despatch newly bought sheep in suburban fields. In Britain, local 
authorities have permitted this slaughter in abattoirs. In either 
case, locals have reacted to these photos and news items with some 
revulsion.

Another custom imported into the West by foreign immigrants is the 
business of forced marriages. A number of horrifying stories have 
been printed in which the plight of young women brought up in the 
United Kingdom and then virtually kidnapped and forced to marry 
relatives back home and endure conditions they have no experience 
of. This, too, has been criticized and parents have often been 
prosecuted.

These random reports of cultural differences underline the 
difficulties faced by guest workers in adapting their customs and 
lifestyles to fit into their new homes. Or in these cases, not 
adapting. For host populations, these frequently bizarre (and often 
barbaric) practices are a test of their tolerance. Britain has been 
much more accepting of cultural differences than most other 
European countries. The uproar in France over girls wearing 
headscarves to school simply would not have occurred in the United 
Kingdom.

In the current climate of political correctness prevailing here in 
the UK, it is considered to be ill bred to comment openly and 
disparagingly on foreign customs that fly in the face of local 
culture and traditions. The Brits have long become accustomed to 
the smells and aromas of subcontinental cooking; indeed they have 
taken to the cuisine like ducks to water. But things like West 
Indians driving fast and flashy cars with the music going at full 
blast raise hackles as well as eyebrows. Muslim women swaddled in 
traditional veils are objects of scorn and pity. Islamic radicals 
in Bradford fulminating against western values and demanding the 
enforcement of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie cause alarm and 
fury.

The subtext here is that if these people refuse to change their 
customs to fit into their adopted home, why don't they go back to 
where they came from? In this seldom-articulated debate, immigrants 
reply that they are not breaking the law by clinging to their 
cultural roots. They are generally hard-working, tax-paying 
citizens and are simply exercising the freedom of expressing their 
identity by dressing and behaving as they are accustomed to. And if 
the locals don't like it, tough.

When we complain of racism and intolerance - the most extreme 
example of these attitudes being the phenomenon of 'Paki-bashing' - 
we need to put things into context. Would Pakistanis accept 
foreigners buying and eating pork in Pakistan, just because their 
dietary habits permit it? Would we tolerate the skimpy dresses men 
and women wear in the summer? So before we accuse others of 
intolerance, it is important to examine just how tolerant we are.

But more to the point in a discussion of multiracial coexistence, 
we need to analyse the motives that brought these migrants to 
western shores, and how best they can cope with life in a strange 
and unsettling environment. Clearly, the vast majority are economic 
refugees who have endured great hardship in order to make a better 
life for themselves and their families. They are not generally 
bothered about what locals think of them as long as they are 
allowed to get on with their lives. Not very educated, their 
overriding concern is that their children are not 'contaminated' 
with what they perceive as the lack of morals in the West. They are 
particularly protective of their daughters, just as they would be 
back home.

These rigid parental attitudes cause the second generation of 
immigrants great emotional confusion and turmoil. Already different 
by virtue of their colouring, school-going children of migrant 
workers try to blend in by adopting the accents and mannerisms of 
their schoolmates. But at home, they are expected to behave as 
South Asian children with all that implies in terms of deference to 
elders, respect and obedience. Girls in particular are not supposed 
to meet boys, although their western girlfriends do so without any 
social stigma attached to this normal interaction.

This schizoid behaviour creates its own tensions and pressures as 
children are forced to lead two very different lives from an early 
age. In the working class areas, they are often subjected to racial 
taunts despite their efforts to fit in, and at home they have to 
switch back into the role of good Asian children. As a protective 
shield, and in an effort to re-
assert their identity as they grow older, many of them become more 
'desi' than they would have back home. For some, this search for 
identity takes on a fundamentalist form.

But this deliberate return to their roots causes greater isolation 
and alienation, and although racism is now muted, the fact of 
commercial life is that nobody wants to employ a ferociously-
bearded man, no matter how qualified he is, just as women 
receptionists wearing head-scarves are not seen as the best 
advertisements for a company. So when complaining of unemployment 
among young immigrants, these factors need to be kept in mind.

It is not my purpose here to minimize the element of racism in the 
West. Although it has declined significantly in a single 
generation, it continues to mar relations between the guest and 
host communities. But more than colour differences, it is the 
contrasting cultures, traditions and values that separate the two. 
The fact is that Africans and Asians now play an important role in 
everything from sports to fashion to medicine. Educated immigrants 
are accepted as equals in the upper echelons of society because 
they do not make a point of flaunting their differences. The 
problem arises more among the working classes where both 
communities are generally poorly educated.

Third generation children of immigrants who have no first-hand 
knowledge of their homeland have far fewer hang-ups, and are 
therefore more easily accepted. Above all, they have acquired 
professional education and training and have been absorbed into a 
booming economy. In the United States, most South Asian migrants 
are better educated and without a social safety net, have had to 
sink or swim. In most cases, they have swum, and now form one of 
the most affluent ethnic communities. Very few of them have the 
time or the inclination to aggressively flaunt their cultural 
identity as they work harder than most other groups to get their 
share of the American Dream.

For most migrant groups, there is a need to cling to their identity 
lest it be submerged under a foreign culture. But courtesy - and 
practical considerations - demand that local customs and traditions 
be respected.


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SPORTS
20000324 
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India record comfortable win over Pakistan
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By Viren Varma

SHARJAH, March 23: That's one-day cricket, exactly like the golf 
swing. One day you feel on top of the world and the next day 
everything goes bust. No one knows why.

The Indians were pretty indifferent on Wednesday, losing their 
opening match by 10 wickets. What went wrong with them was 
something difficult to figure out. But on Thursday, the story was 
entirely different. Everything worked pretty well for them.

They did a remarkable job to fire out a tentative Pakistan for a 
modest 146. They then overhauled the score in 43.3 overs, taking a 
good 12 balls to score the last two runs.

Pakistan did raise a vision of a compelling fightback when they 
removed skipper Saurav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar, the two known 
for scoring bulk of runs, in the space of two runs, but it proved 
an illusion.

Experienced Mohammed Azharuddin and Rahul Dravid played with a cool 
head to see off blistering spell from a three-pronged Pakistan 
attack, spearheaded by Wasim Akram. That was the only period when 
Pakistan held sway.

Once the three fiery bowlers - Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar being 
the other two - were taken off, India paced their innings well. 
Dravid and Azharuddin prospered in a stand of 70 runs to put India 
on the road to victory. Dravid hit 26 off 70 balls while the former 
skipper led the scoring business.

By the time Azhar left after scoring 54 off 89 balls with seven 
fours - his 58th fifth in 329 matches - India needed just 15 runs 
in almost 13 overs, a task they took a de tour to complete.

Earlier, Ganguly (25 off 32 balls) chased Akram and was well 
snuffled by Moin Khan while Tendulkar was trapped lbw by Akhtar 
with a 149km per hour delivery.

India, no doubt, bowled pretty well, but Pakistan themselves made 
the life even easier for the Indian bowlers with poor cricket. What 
has gone wrong with the Pakistan batsmen is a sort of puzzle. Their 
frontline batsmen are scoring 30 or 40 odd runs, but have not been 
able to build up a good partnership in the middle, something which 
has greatly contributed to their inconsistent showing.

Pakistan do have the stuff, but what the use unless they don't 
score.

On Thursday, they lost the last seven wickets with the addition of 
just 38 runs and two run outs further contributed to the mess. In 
fact, Pakistan looked pretty okay when Inzamam and Yousuf Youhana 
were the crease after they lost the first three wickets for 62 runs 
by the 16th over.

Inzamam and Youhana, pacing the innings with singles and twos, took 
the score to 108 in the 29th when things went haywire for them.

Youhana ran himself out in a freak fashion when the Indians 
appealed at the both ends. First, a direct throw at the non-
striker's end by wicketkeeper Saba Karim found both the batsmen 
being stranded well short of crease.

And the ball ricocheted to mid-on, Inzamam hurriedly completed the 
run amid a forceful appeal from the Indians. But umpire Peter 
Manuel upheld the first appeal made by Ganguly, ruling Youhana 
after a TV replay. The drama on the wicket seemed to have upset 
Inzamam, otherwise a cool headed person, as he snicked the very 
next ball from Robin Singh to wicketkeeper.

Four balls later Younis Khan was bowled by Anil Kumble while to 
play a square cut. Three wickets in the space of six balls reduced 
Pakistan to 110 for six. All marks to India, who fully exploited 
the situation thereafter, hardly allowing stroke players like Moin 
Khan and Wasim Akram to play their shots freely.

Akram took 28 balls for his 10 runs while Moin, the last man out, 
played 33 balls for 14 runs, the statistics amply confirming the 
command of the Indian bowlers. Pakistan were eventually folded up 
in 45.3 overs.

The highpoints, if any, were the innings of opener Imran Nazir who 
chipped with a fine 43 off 51 balls with five fours and one six 
while Inzamam hit 41 off 77 balls with three fours. The third 
player to reach the double-
digit mark was Moin himself.

For India, all the bowlers, backed up by effective fielding, bowled 
wicket to wicket, something which will pleased Ganguly who too 
blunt in berating his attack against South Africa on Wednesday. 
Kumble returned with the most economical spell of two for 26 while 
Venkatesh Prasad, returning to side after Javagal Srinath was ruled 
out because of groin problem, and Sunil Joshi snared two each as 
the Indian went to the dressing room wearing a look of 
satisfaction.


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20000321 
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Spain beat Pakistan 3-2 to clinch Osaka hockey title
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OSAKA (Japan) March 20: Half-back Irfan Yousuf missed a penalty 
stroke as unlucky Pakistan went down fighting 2-3 against Spain 
after an exciting final in the Olympic Qualifying Hockey Tournament 
which concluded at Negai Sports Complex here on Monday.

Pakistan's star penalty corner striker in the second session. 
Substitute Eduary Tubau, Fullback Xavier Ribas and centre-forward 
Xavier Arnau scored the goals for Spain.

Spain led 2-0 at the interval.

Prince Takamado Nomiya, Honorary Chairman of Japan Hockey 
Association (JHA) was guest of honour who made the presentation to 
the players at glittering closing ceremony.

Osaka Mayor Isomura Ueda Muneyoshi was also present on the 
occasion. All teams took part in closing march-past.

Piotr Mijula (Poland) was declared the best player of the 
tournament. Jun Takahashi (Japan) got best goal-keeper award. 
Sohail Abbas took the highest scorer award and South Korea were 
awarded the Fair Play Trophy.

Pakistan was awarded a penalty stroke after Kamran Ashraf was 
virtually obstructed from scoring point in 22d minute. Irfan Yousuf 
took the stroke but goal-keeper Ramon Jufresa safed it on the chest 
and it sailed over the bar.

Pakistan forwards showed good speed, dribble and deception in the 
first-
half as Muhammad Nadeem, Atif Bashir and Kashif Jawwad generated 
several threatening moves into th Spanish defence. However, poor 
marksmanship and fine goal0-keeping by Jufresa denied them to open 
thee account.

Spaniards surprised Pakistan in the 17th minute when substitute 
Eduard Tabau scored the open ing goal on a pass from Xavier Ribas 
after getting a free ball.

Spearhead Kashif Jawwad, who suffered a minor injury, was replaced 
with Kamran Ashraf in 20th minute. Soon after his arrival he got a 
free ball inside the circle and when on scoring he was obstructed 
by Kiko Febregas.

New Zealand umpire John Mcracken awarded the penalty stroke. 
Pakistan's Irfan Yousuf took the stroke and Jufreas blacked the 
stroke to the delight of the his team-mates.

Haider Hussain came in for Atif Bashir just before half time but it 
failed to work.

Pakistan secured their first penalty corner in 31st minute but 
Sohail Abbas's scoop rebounded after hitting the goal post.

Spain consolidated their position three minute before interval. 
They were awarded their first penalty corner and Xavier Ribas 
prefect scoop beat goal-keeper Ahmed Alam to make it 2-0. This was 
Ribas fifth goal of the tournament.

Confident Spaniards enjoyed upper hand as Pakistanis looked under 
pressure. Soon after resumption, Spain got their second penalty 
corner but Ali Raza thwart the attack with a dash. The match halted 
for few minute after Ali Raza collided with Ribas who took the hit. 
Ribas went out after a neck injury.

Pakistan got their second penalty corner of the four in the match 
and Sohail Abbas reduced the deficit to 1-2 with a low scoop which 
beat Jufreas. But Sohail attempt on a penalty corner was smartly 
deflected by a defender in 49th minute.

After waisting a penalty corner in 52nd minute, Spain forged ahead 
3-1. Xavier Arnau took the ball from the top of 265 line and beat a 
couple of defenders to score the third goal. Arnau came close to 
score another one off a pass from Santi Amat but missed the target 
by few inches.

At the fag end of the match Pakistan scored their second goal when 
Sohail Abbas low push struck the board. This was Sohail's 13th goal 
of the tournament.-AFP

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20000321 
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Team unlucky to lose final
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OSAKA (Japan), March 20: Pakistan had achieved its prime goal to 
qualify for the Sydney Olympics but their real task to prepare the 
team for world's biggest hockey extravaganza starts now.

These assertions were made by Pakistan Hockey Federation Secretary 
Brig (Retd) M.H.Atif in an interview with APP at Nagai Stadium here 
on Monday after Spain beat Pakistan 3-2 in the final.

He said Pakistan played a good game against Spain but was a bid 
unlucky to lose in the final. However he said winning and losing 
winning was no matter. "We are now facing gigantic task to mould 
the boys into winning combination" he said.

Atif said he was hoping good results in Oympics but before that a 
lot of work is still to be done. He praised the team for their good 
performance and results in recent weeks.

He said Olympic qualifying event was not easy for the players as 
after winning the Azlan Shah Cup in Humid weather in Kuala Lumpur, 
they played in severe cold weather of Osaka. He said each an every 
player deserves the credit for their success.

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