------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 27 May 2000 Issue : 06/20 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Civil rule to be back, but corrupt to be kept away: Musharraf + Army-backed survey begins today + CE condoles Ludhianvi's death: Agencies asked to arrest killers + CJC vows action against lower staff also + Verdict for regular hearing on June 2 + Corruption & inefficiency charges: 1,000 CBR employees dismissed + Soomro sworn in as Sindh Governor + Plane hijacking case: Appeals maintainable, rules SHC + Pickering briefed on thorny issues + Pakistan reaffirms its Nuclear policy + Govt assurance to IMF team: Decision on GST won't be withdrawn + Japan may lift sanctions on India and Pakistan + Pakistan Origin Card scheme hits snags + Libya wants to buy Pakistani arms --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Finance minister unveils strategy: Tax evaders put on warning + Devaluation: SBP denies rumours + Budget 2000-2001: New dams, agriculture & tax reforms suggested + Govt accepts demand: Ghee makers call off strike + IMF team looking at exchange rate policies + CBR holding back Rs15-20bn in ST refunds, says CTA + Govt to clear refund claims + Rs22 billion wiped out from market capitalization + Textile Vision 2005: Bankers want focus on updated technology + Forward premium on $ shoots up --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Law and order Ardeshir Cowasjee + Learning politics the hard way Ayaz Amir ----------- SPORTS + Eight cricketers fined for match-fixing + Barbados Test ends in a tame draw + Pakistan judge says probe not over

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NATIONAL NEWS
20000526 
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Civil rule to be back, but corrupt to be kept away: Musharraf
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M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, May 25: General Pervez Musharraf indicated on Thursday 
that he would soon start meeting politicians to seek their support 
for his government. Speaking at a wide-ranging press conference 
here, the chief executive, however, hastened to add that the idea 
was still in the formative stage and he was not yet clear about 
under what arrangement the politicians' support would be sought.

He also announced the establishment of a high-powered committee, 
comprising the finance minister and the State Bank governor, which, 
he said, would scrutinize all financial corruption cases and pass 
on to the NAB only those cases which fell into a special category.

This, he said, should reassure the investors at large and the 
reluctant bankers, and hoped that the two would resume their normal 
working without the fear of being harassed unnecessarily by those 
engaged in the accountability process.

Gen Musharraf said he was considering bringing under the ambit of 
PCO the Islamic provisions of the constitution."These provisions 
cannot be abolished, they will always remain there, they are not 
covered by the PCO but I am considering bringing them under the 
PCO."

On the blasphemy law, he said it was a part of the constitution and 
it could not be removed, and reassured that his government would 
see to it that nobody was unnecessarily victimized by the misuse of 
this law.

He said his government was committed to restoring civil rule in the 
country, but "we will not allow corrupt politicians to come back."

Adding, the chief executive said he would never meet anybody from a 
position of weakness but on equal footing. "I will meet the 
politicians, the traders, the religious groups, I want to take 
everybody along."

In his opening remarks Gen Musharraf rejected the "misperceptions" 
that Pakistan was diplomatically isolated, that his government was 
suffering from paralysis and that it was moving like a rudderless 
ship without any strategic direction.

He said that, in the seven months since he took over, his 
government was able to set many things right, had discussed at 
length the immediate problems facing the country, conceptualized 
ideas and given a strategic direction to the country and now, 
according to him, Pakistan had entered the implementation phase.

He invited the press to serve as his eyes and ears by keeping a 
close watch on the implementing process. "Let me know if the pace 
had slowed down or the quality of implementation had gone down."

Giving his arguments against the diplomatic isolation aspect, the 
chief executive said Pakistan was at the 'epicentre' of all the 
important issues that were engaging the world today, like nuclear 
non-proliferation, religious extremism, Afghanistan, tension on LoC 
and narcotics.

He indicated that it was, therefore, necessary for the world to 
keep Pakistan engaged on all these issues."They give us their 
opinion on these matters and we give our opinion. So, where is the 
problem?"

Adding, he said that his government had not compromised national 
interests on any of these issues."On CTBT we have told them that we 
are trying to build a national consensus and also that the 
agreement is not being held up because we have not signed it."

"On the Kashmir issue, we have told them that it is not terrorism 
but people's uprising, a human rights problem; on Taliban, we have 
told that we are friendly with the Taliban because we have to have 
the Pushtoons on our side and they understand it," he maintained.

The chief executive then gave brief snapshots of his visits abroad 
during the last seven months and said that everywhere he went he 
was received warmly and his talks with the leaders of these 
countries were fruitful and that some of the results of these 
visits would appear soon.

He specially mentioned his visits to China, Iran, the Middle East, 
Gulf countries, Egypt, Libya, Turkmenistan, some Southeast Asian 
countries, his participation in the Group- 77 meeting and 
forthcoming visits to attend the ECO and OIC summit and the 
Millennium meet of the UN.

Gen Musharraf said the Chinese leaders were happy that he was the 
first foreign leader to visit their country in the new millennium 
and "this visit had been arranged at a notice of seven to eight 
days and I could meet all the four important leaders there during 
my short stay."

As a result of his visit to Iran, he said :" The bilateral trade 
has increased, we have been able to export rice to Iran and get 
steel from them and negotiations on gas imports from Iran and 
letting it pass through Pakistan to India were also held."

About the US, the chief executive said:" There is no change in our 
relations, they are all right (Thik thak), and they still want to 
play a role in connection with the tension on the LoC."

About India, he said that if they wanted to talk to him, he was 
ready to talk to them; if they did not want, then "I also do not 
want, but if they want to talk we will talk about Kashmir, that is 
for sure."

And finally, the chief executive said:" All our external debt 
amounting to over $3 billion had been rescheduled." All this 
showed, according to him. that"we are not isolated and that those 
who perhaps are suffering from some kind of complex are nursing 
this notion.

"Nobody can ignore a nuclear state with a population of 140 
million. We need self-confidence and play our cards well," he 
declared.

Turning to the domestic front, he said his government was not 
suffering from any paralysis, and claimed that, in the seven 
months, it had given a strategic direction to the country despite 
the fact that it had inherited a shattered economy, plundered 
banks, a graveyard of industry, totally destroyed corporations and 
budgets based on figure fudging, politicized state organs, 
provincial disharmony, overall downward trend and the making of a 
'failed state'.

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20000527 
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Army-backed survey begins today
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Dawn Report

KARACHI, May 26: A countrywide survey of business and properties 
will begin simultaneously in 13 major cities of the country on 
Saturday for expanding the tax net and documenting the economy.

A number of teams have been formed to conduct the survey. The 
cities to be surveyed include Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, 
Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Multan, Quetta, Sargodha, 
Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Sialkot.

In the first phase the teams will conduct the survey of business 
and industrial establishments and residential areas in the major 
cities, including the federal and four provincial capitals.

Thirty-five teams have been constituted to conduct the survey in 
five major cities of Sindh and Balochistan. Briefing the newsmen at 
a press conference here on Friday, the regional commissioner of 
Income Tax, Southern Region, Mohammad Shafi Malik, said that his 
region had geared up to meet all the requirements of the survey.

He said 16 teams had been constituted for Karachi, nine for 
Hyderabad, five each for Sukkur and Quetta. They would have 
supporting teams who will be staying back in camp offices along 
with army officials and members of other security agencies, he 
added.

The RCIT said that each camp office would be headed by an army 
colonel who would be assuming the responsibility of an 
administrator or in charge.

Sixteen teams will start the work in five districts of the city by 
distributing questionnaire forms available in Urdu and English. He 
said each team of 4 to 5 members will be visiting door-to- door for 
the distribution of questionnaire forms to be filled in by the 
taxpayers.

Mr Malik said that there will be two teams for industrial areas, 
nine for commercial areas, and five for residential areas.

In the first phase he said that posh residential areas like 
Clifton, Defence Housing Authority (DHA), PECHS, Gulshan-i-Iqbal 
and Gulistan-i-Jauhar will be covered by the survey teams.

Similarly, he said commercial areas like Clifton, DHA, Jodia Bazar, 
Shershah, Timber Market, Tariq Road, Saddar, Hyderi market, M. A. 
Jinnah Road, Gulshan-i-Iqbal and Gulistan-i-Jauhar will be put 
under first phase of survey. Industrial areas will include SITE, 
Landhi and Korangi.

Mr Malik further said that the teams visiting manufacturing and 
business establishments will be headed by assistant collector of 
Sales Tax, one assessing officer of income tax, superintendent of 
Sales Tax and a staff member.

The teams conducting survey of residential areas will be headed by 
the deputy commissioner of income tax accompanied by two 
inspectors.

About the camp offices, he said around eight such spots have been 
selected which include offices of SITE association of Industry, 
Imran Ice Factory, Korangi, All Pakistan Kirana Merchant 
Association office, Timber Merchants Association office, Assistant 
Collector of Income Tax office, Nazimbabad No 4, for Clifton and 
DHA, National Tent House, Mateen Centre of Tariq Road, and Hashoo 
Centre.

Responding to a question, he said about 100 to 150 questionnaire 
forms could be distributed per day and the department will be 
keeping register for recording of each movement. All the 
questionnaire forms, he said, will be collected back from the 
taxpayer in a week or so.

He said the information collected through this exercise will be 
compared with the records and data compiled by the departments' 
internal survey teams. After updating and verifications of 
statements only then revenue authorities will confront the 
taxpayers.

All the information collected will be stored in a regional data 
processing centre, headed by a colonel of army. The survey teams, 
he said are code numbered so that the data could be easily 
transferred into the computers of Pakistan Revenue Automation, a 
government owned company.

After processing these data, he said that it will be further 
transferred to National Revenue Data Process Centre (NEDPC), 
Islamabad as well as to General Headquarters (GHQ) Rawalpindi.

He said each team, in the first phase will only distribute the 
questionnaire forms to industrial, commercial and residential areas 
to be collected after a week or so. These will also provide 
assistance, if asked, for filling and completing the forms, he 
added.

In case of any resistance and defiance, he said that the violator 
would be prosecuted under newly issued Ordinance NO 15 of 2000, 
titled: "To provide for documentation of economy." All the teams 
will also be accompanied by judicial magistrate who could on the 
spot penalize those who may resist by fining them up to Rs25,000 or 
send them for three months to jail or both.

Mr Malik said that the questionnaire forms are to be separately 
filled by businesses, property owners and tenants. For businesses 
there are 29 questions in the survey form, for property owners 18 
and tenant 20 questions.

The government is estimating to collect Rs100 billion from the 
survey, which will be helping the country to meet its budget 
deficit, expand tax net and above all document the economy.

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20000524  
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CE condoles Ludhianvi's death: Agencies asked to arrest killers
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KARACHI, May 23: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf said on 
Tuesday that the martyrdom of Maulana Yousuf Ludhianvi was a 
conspiracy to create chaos and destabilize the country.

He added that not only foreign hands but internal factors were also 
involved in this gruesome act. He was talking to ulema, including 
Mufti Muneer Ahmed Akhund, the son-in-law of the late Maulana 
Ludhianvi, his sons Maulana Saeed Ludhianvi, Atiq Ludhianvi and 
Tayyab Ludhianvi, at Jamia Zakaria Al-Khairia at Masjid Al-Falah in 
F.B. Area where he had gone to offer condolence on the Maulana's 
death.

Gen Musharraf declared that the government would utilize all its 
resources for the arrest of the culprits and would award them 
deterrent punishment. He said all the agencies in the country had 
been told to arrest the killers.

The Ulema, including Dr Razzaq Iskandar, Mohtamam of Madarras 
Binori Town, Hafiz Atiqur Rehman, Maulana Imdad, Maulana Ghafoor, 
Maulana Naim and others on the occasion demanded of the chief 
executive to make the Blasphemy Law, part of the provisional 
constitutional order (PCO) and declare Friday as a weekly holiday.

The CE told them that their demand would be given due 
consideration. Gen Musharraf urged the Ulema to strengthen his 
hands in making the foundations of the country stronger.

The chief executive was presented a set of 19 volumes of books Aap 
Key Masail Aur Un Ka Hal written by the late Maulana Ludhianvi.

Sindh Governor Azim Daudpota, Chief Secretary Zubair Kidwai, IG 
Police Aftab Nabi, Commissioner Karachi Shafiqur Rehman Paracha, 
DIG Javed Iqbal were also present on the occasion.

VISITS Business Recorder OFFICES: Gen Musharraf expressed deep 
sorrow at the ransacking and setting afire of the offices of 
Business Recorder by miscreants on Thursday last. The CE hoped that 
such incidents should not recur in future. He was talking to 
newsmen after a visit to the offices of the newspaper here today.-
APP

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20000523 
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CJC vows action against lower staff also
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Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, May 22: The Chief Justices Committee, comprising chief 
justices of the Supreme Court, Federal Shariat Court and the four 
high courts, on Monday resolved to weed out corruption from the 
judiciary.

A meeting of the CJC noted that the Supreme Court in its May 12 
short order passed on the petitions challenging the military 
takeover had held that the process of accountability shall be 
accelerated in a coherent and transparent manner, and it shall be 
just, fair and in accordance with law.

The CJC, presided over by Justice Irshad Hasan Khan, Chief Justice 
of Pakistan, decided to vigorously pursue the process of 
accountability among judges. It approved the suggestion from the 
chair that judges should not involve themselves in public 
controversies and should not attend public functions except the 
functions of the bar. It resolved that any deviation from the code 
of conduct will constitute a "grave fault".

The committee decided to expedite the disciplinary inquiry 
proceedings against allegedly corrupt and inefficient judicial 
officers in the subordinate judiciary in all the provinces.

It resolved that all the pending cases of accountability and 
indiscipline against the judicial officers should be completed 
expeditiously but not later than 90 days from May 22.

The CJC resolved that the respective chief justices of the high 
courts should ensure the completion of inquiry proceedings within 
the said period and inform the chief justice of Pakistan about the 
outcome for consideration at the next meeting of the committee.

It directed the judicial officers of subordinate courts to keep 
vigilance on the staff of their respective courts and take action 
against the inefficient and corrupt officials, in accordance with 
the prescribed procedure for eliminating corruption and graft from 
the judicial administration forever.

The committee noted that after the first meeting of the CJC on Feb 
26, the efficiency of courts had improved and there had been an 
overall improvement in the system of dispensation of justice.

"A reasonably good advance has been made in the disposal of cases, 
falling in special category namely cases of widows, orphans, family 
suits, including suits for custody of minors, and other family 
disputes."

The meeting was attended by Justice Mohammad Bashir Jehangiri, 
senior puisne judge of the Supreme Court; FSC's Chief Justice Fazal 
Ilahi Khan, LHC's Chief Justice Allah Nawaz, SHC's Chief Justice 
Saeed Ashhad, PHC's Chief Justice Sardar Mohammad Raza Khan, and 
BHC's Chief Justice Raja Fayyaz Ahmed.

APP adds: The CJ proposed the adoption, among others, of the 
following resolution:

The CJC reviewed the state of implementation of the earlier 
decisions and measures recommended by the committee for quick 
disposal of cases, particularly family suits, rent cases involving 
ejection from houses, cases of widows and orphan children and minor 
criminal cases. The committee resolved that all such cases shall be 
positively disposed of by the specified date i.e. May 31.

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20000527 
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Verdict for regular hearing on June 2
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Shujaat Ali Khan

KARACHI, May 26: A three-member bench of the Sindh High Court will 
decide on June 2 whether to admit state appeals in the hijacking 
case to regular hearing and, if so, when to commence the 
proceedings.

After listening to Advocate-General Raja Qureshi's arguments in 
favour of admission from 8.45am to 10.45am, the bench headed by 
Chief Justice Saiyed Saeed Ashhad decided to reserve its order, 
indicating that, like the question of maintainability, the matter 
of admission will also be disposed of by a detailed speaking order.

A copy of Thursday's order dismissing the defence applications 
against maintainability was, meanwhile, ordered to be given to 
appellant Nawaz Sharif's counsel, Barrister Azizullah Sheikh, for 
transmission to the Lahore lawyers contesting the state appeals 
against the convicted ex-PM and his acquitted co-accused. The order 
is likely to be challenged in the Supreme Court on Monday along 
with a request for stay of proceedings.

June 2, when the bench will decide on the admission of state 
appeals, is the last working day of the Sindh High Court before its 
closure for a three-week summer vacation. The members of the bench, 
Justices Sarmad Jalal Osmany and Wahid Bux Brohi, will be working 
at Mofussil benches as vacation judges for a couple of weeks. Going 
by the roster, the appeals, if admitted, are unlikely to be heard 
before the end of vacation in August. However, the CJ may revise 
the roster and issue notices to the respondents for a convenient 
date during the recess.

 The advocate-general prefaced his submissions with a brief 
background of the case and its trial before Special Court Judge 
Rehmat Hussain Jafferi under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. He also 
referred to the 12-member Supreme Court bench finding that the 
removal of the chief of army staff, a constitutional office holder, 
on October 12, 1999, was arbitrary and unlawful. The ruling 
strengthens the prosecution case that the motive behind the 
hijacking was to effectuate an illegal change of army command.

In reply to a court query why Mian Nawaz Sharif's acquittal under 
Sections 324 (murder attempt) and 365 (kidnapping) of the Pakistan 
Penal Code (PPC) has not specifically been challenged as pointed 
out by Barrister Ijaz Husain Batalvi, the AG said the two offences 
constitute part of hijacking. There was an attempt to kidnap the 
army chief and other passengers by forcibly trying to divert their 
flight from its destination and an attempt to murder by 
jeopardizing their safe landing.

About capital punishment for the principal accused (Nawaz Sharif), 
Mr Qureshi said hijacking is the only offence in the PPC the 
attempt and commission of which carry the same punishment, that is, 
life term or death. As for the inclusion of the offence in the ATA 
schedule in December 1999 after the occurrence in October, the AG 
said there is no retrospective enhancement of the quantum of 
punishment and the amendment only changes the forum of trial, which 
is permissible under Section 38 of the ATA.

Analysing the impugned April 6 judgment, he said the PPC Section 
402-B (hijacking) prescribes the punishment of death sentence as a 
rule. That's why reasons are required to be recorded for lesser 
penalty of life term. The Balochistan High Court judgment on which 
Judge Jafferi has relied on awarding life term itself cautions that 
it be not treated as a precedent because of the peculiar 
circumstance of the 1991 hijacking case. There is no mitigating 
circumstance in the October 12, 1999, offence wherein the prime 
minister of an Islamic country used the state machinery to avenge 
himself on a person he considered his enemy. The (former) PM was so 
blinded by vindictiveness that he showed no regard for his oath, 
the injunctions of Islam or sanctity of the right to life.

The AG also emphasized that no accused testified on oath before the 
trial in anti-terrorism court so as to submit his assertions to 
judicial scrutiny and offer himself for cross-examination. Nor did 
any named a single witness in his defence.

Challenging acquittals, he claimed that there was sufficient 
incriminating evidence against each one of them and the ATC judge 
erred in holding that 'further corroboration was required' or that 
'the best evidence has not been produced' or that the prosecution 
case was exaggerated. A conspiracy is by definition hatched in 
secrecy and direct evidence is difficult to adduce.

There is, however, 'overwhelming direct and circumstantial 
evidence' to prove that all the accused agreed to commit a criminal 
act and acted in pursuance of their common goal, that is, to 
prevent as far as possible the COAS's flight from landing in 
Karachi. It was only timely intervention by the army that foiled 
the conspiracy, the AG said.

He submitted that accused Shahbaz Sharif, brother of Nawaz Sharif 
and (former) chief minister of Punjab, PML senator Saifur Rehman 
Khan, a confidante of the ex-PM, and Saeed Mehdi, his principal 
secretary, were all present in the TV lounge of family wing of the 
PM's House in Islamabad on October 12 to discuss, make suggestions 
and issue directions for the hijacking of the army chief's plane.

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20000526 
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Corruption & inefficiency charges: 1,000 CBR employees dismissed
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Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, May 25: Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf 
announced here on Thursday the dismissal of 1,000 employees of the 
Central Board of Revenue (CBR) on the charges of corruption. 
Speaking at a news conference here he said: "We need a real purging 
of the corrupt elements and as a first step 1,000 employees of the 
CBR belonging to excise, Custom and Income Tax departments had been 
removed from their jobs."

He accused them of "plundering the wealth of the country," and 
warned "they cannot be allowed to continue working in their present 
positions". He said details in this regard will be provided by 
finance minister on Friday.

He said the government has chalked out a plan under which 
downsizing will be carried out in other departments also.

Gen Pervez Musharraf said downsizing would start from the ministry 
of information and as a first step 2,500 people including those 
working in PTV, PBC, APP and elsewhere would be relieved. However, 
he assured that "competent and honest people did not have to worry 
as they will not be touched."

He claimed that his government has achieved a turn around in many 
fields and that by the end of this year, things would further 
improve to put the economy back on track.

He declared that documentation of the economy will start from May 
27 through the distribution of tax survey forms to traders and 
employees of the government and private sector. "I would urge 
traders not to oppose this campaign as nobody could deter me to 
undertake this job to increase revenues". Nevertheless, he assured 
that he would not allow the tax machinery to victimise the traders. 
"Both the tax payers and the tax machinery will have to behave", he 
said.

Gen Pervez Musharraf warned traders that he was not afraid of their 
strikes. "Let them close their shops for ten days but whenever they 
will open their shops, we will get the survey forms filled by 
them." he added. He said "there is no going back in this matter and 
message should be loud and clear for the traders."

Gen Pervez Musharraf said he realised that there was a corrupt tax 
machinery and that was why the government has deputed the army to 
go with the CBR people for tax survey. "Be rest assured I would not 
allow the CBR people to victimise anyone," he declared adding that 
tax survey was being started initially in 13 cities and that by 
December 31, the department would complete the survey. "My modest 
assessment is that we will get an additional amount of Rs 100 
billion through this campaign."

He said any trader whose income was below Rs 1 million had nothing 
to worry.

He said that a decision has been taken to reduce the number of 
taxes. There were 25 taxes in the provinces which were being merged 
to decrease this number. "We are also removing the discretionary 
powers of the tax authorities which will help remove the complaints 
of the traders". He said there was a potential of Rs 600 billion 
revenues.

He said fudging of revenues had caused a loss of $55 million which 
had been paid to the IMF because the previous government had 
indulged in the fudging of revenues to show a less budgetary 
deficit.

He admitted that nothing much has been achieved on the economic 
front so far but asserted there could not be quick fixes and that 
people will have to wait for sometime to see the government efforts 
bear fruit.

The major problems, he continued, were the identification of the 
problems which were causing damage to the economy.

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20000526 
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Soomro sworn in as Sindh Governor
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Reporter

KARACHI, May 25: The newly-appointed Sindh Governor Mohammed Mian 
Soomro has said that if Kalabagh Dam is useful for the province and 
the country it should be constructed. He was responding to 
questions of newsmen after his swearing in as Sindh Governor here 
on Thursday. He was administered oath by Sindh High Court Chief 
Justice Syed Saiyed Ashhad at the Darbar Hall of the Governor 
House.

Mr Soomro said his priorities would be restoration of law and 
order, prosperity of the people and integration of the country.

He would formulate strategy for obtaining these objectives in 
consultation with his colleagues after forming his cabinet within 
next few days.

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20000526 
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Plane hijacking case: Appeals maintainable, rules SHC
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Shujaat Ali Khan

KARACHI, May 25: A Sindh High Court full bench on Thursday found 
state appeals in the hijacking case maintainable and asked the 
advocate-general to advance his 'submissions and arguments' on 
Friday morning to satisfy it that they warrant admission to regular 
hearing.

The objection that the appeals have been filed without a direction 
from the government is 'ill-founded' and the applications raising 
it are dismissed to the extent of the question of maintainability, 
the bench comprising Chief Justice Saiyed Saeed Ashhad and Justices 
Sarmad Jalal Osmany and Wahid Bux Brohi said in a 16-page unanimous 
order announced by the CJ at 1-30pm. No copies were supplied to the 
reporters covering the proceedings despite repeated requests in 
view of the importance of the case. They were told by the court 
staff to rush through the original order and take notes from it.

One of the appeals found maintainable seeks enhancement of ousted 
premier Nawaz Sharif's penalty to death while the other challenges 
anti-terrorist judge Rehmat Husain Jafri's decision to acquit all 
six co-accused, including former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz 
Sharif.

Barrister Ijaz Hussain Batalvi, who moved and argued the 
application filed on behalf of the ex-PM, had informed the bench on 
Tuesday of the Sharifs' intention to challenge any adverse order in 
the Supreme Court. Barrister Azizullah Sheikh, who is appearing for 
Nawaz Sharif in his appeal for his acquittal, emphasized that the 
order was unanimous and that he could not say anything before going 
through its contents.

The bench agreed with the defence counsel that a government 
direction was a condition precedent to filing a state appeal under 
Section 25 (4) of the Anti-Terrorist Act but pointed out that the 
section or any other provision of the Act did not require that such 
direction be produced in the court in writing. The law nowhere says 
that the question of issuance of a direction by the government will 
remain disputed and unresolved unless it is produced in the court.

Referring to an identical provision (Section 417) of the Criminal 
Procedure Code, the bench observed that though it empowers a 
provincial government to direct a public prosecutor to prefer an 
appeal to a high court, there is no high court or Supreme Court 
judgment declaring that an appeal will be liable to be summarily 
dismissed if filed without an extract of the direction.

Considering the material on record, it said, the applicants have 
failed to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the requirements 
of Section 25 (4) of ATA were not complied with. The letters of 
April 8 and 10 appended to the memoranda of appeals, it added, 
clearly authorize the advocate-general 'to conduct and pursue' 
appeals arising out of the ATC judgment of April 6.

Citing Black's Law Dictionary and other lexicons, the bench 
observed that the words 'conduct' and 'pursue' were broad enough to 
embrace prosecution of all appeals. Their meanings cannot be 
confined to contesting the appeal filed by the only convict in the 
case."The objection has no legs to stand on and crumbles to the 
ground", the order said.

The bench repelled the allegation that a letter dated May 15 was 
'surreptitiously inserted' in the judicial record to make up for 
the absence of a government direction or to replace 'a wrong 
letter'. The letter in question was placed on court record along 
with a statement by the AG and was duly brought to the notice of 
the court for its consideration, the order said. The hearing will 
resume at 8-30am on Friday with AG Raja Qureshi arguing for the 
admission of the state appeals.

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20000527 
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Pickering briefed on thorny issues
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 26: US Under-Secretary of State Thomas Pickering 
called on Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf on Friday and 
appreciated the latter's commitment to restore democracy within 
three years.

Accompanied by US Ambassador William B. Milam, Mr Pickering 
discussed a wide range of issues with the chief executive and 
expressed the hope that the Kashmir dispute would be settled 
through dialogue between Pakistan and India in accordance with the 
wishes of Kashmiri people. Foreign Secretary Inamul Haque was also 
present.

According to an official press release, Gen Musharraf emphasized 
the centrality of the Kashmir dispute to peace and security in 
South Asia. He said the US should prevail upon India to accept 
Pakistan's sincere offer of a dialogue to resolve all outstanding 
problems, particularly the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

Gen Musharraf said Pakistan was similarly committed to the 
restoration of a durable peace in Afghanistan through 
reconciliation among the Afghan parties.

He reaffirmed the government's policy of restraint and 
responsibility in nuclear matters. He hoped that the forthcoming 
US-Pakistan dialogue on non-proliferation and security issues would 
lead to a better understanding on these matters.

The chief executive also apprised Mr Pickering of the measures he 
was taking to revitalise the economy and carry out far-reaching 
political reforms so that a stable democratic dispensation could be 
established in the country.

The chief executive recalled his useful meeting with President 
Clinton in March during the latter's visit to Islamabad. He said 
Pakistan looked forward to continuing its dialogue with the United 
States, and expressed the hope that the visit of the US Under-
Secretary would give further impetus to the cooperation between the 
two countries in diverse areas.

Mr Pickering said the US attached importance to its relations with 
Pakistan. The tense situation prevailing in South Asia was a cause 
of concern, he said and hoped that all outstanding problems between 
Pakistan and India, particularly the Kashmir dispute, would be 
resolved through dialogue in accordance with the wishes of the 
people of Kashmiri.

Mr Pickering said the US wished Pakistan well. He appreciated the 
chief executive's agenda for political and economic reforms, 
particularly his firm commitment to restore genuine democracy 
within three years in accordance with the judgment of the Supreme 
Court.

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20000527 
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Pakistan reaffirms its Nuclear policy
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 26: The National Command Authority, the apex body 
for nuclear command and control, on Friday reaffirmed country's 
nuclear policy of responsibility and restraint.

The NCA meeting was presided over by Chief Executive General Pervez 
Musharraf amid what is seen by Pakistan as unwarranted speculation 
of the western media accusing Islamabad of preparing for another 
series of nuclear tests.

Pakistan has already termed these reports as baseless and 
unfounded, a spokesman for the NCA said in a statement issued here 
today. The NCA, which was constituted in February this year for the 
command and control of strategic forces, also reaffirmed Pakistan's 
resolve to consolidate its nuclear capability as a means of 
deterring aggression.

It also discussed a number of issues, including proposals 
relatingto command, control and restructuring of strategic 
organizations.

The meeting was attended, besides the NCA members, by federal 
ministers, services chiefs and senior scientists. It was also 
decided that the NCA would meet frequently to deliberate on major 
policy issues related to the country's nuclear capability.

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20000525 
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Govt assurance to IMF team: Decision on GST won't be withdrawn 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 24: The visiting five-member IMF mission headed by 
Ms Sena Ekin was assured here on Wednesday by the minister for 
finance that the government would not back out of its decision to 
impose General Sales Tax (GST) on retailers from the next financial 
year.

According to the official sources, finance minister Shaukat Aziz 
and secretary general finance Moeen Afzal told the review mission 
that the government has made it clear to all the concerned trade 
bodies that the GST could not be withdrawn and that it was the 
future tax of the country.

The meeting between the two sides was arranged in the backdrop of 
ongoing controversy over the imposition of the GST and the traders 
consistent view against it. The mission was told that both the GST 
and the tax on agriculture income would have to be recovered from 
2000-2001 with a view to strengthen the country' weak tax base.

In this regard the resolve of chief executive Gen Pervez Musharraf 
was also mentioned, with finance minister saying that the GST would 
become an important element of the next budget and that all 
necessary arrangements were currently being made to ensure its 
effective levy by the authorities of the Central Board of Revenues.

The sources said Mr Aziz pointed out during the meeting that there 
was a dire need to increase the existing number of tax payers in 
order to not only narrow the budget deficit but also make available 
funds for development purposes.

Mr Aziz said that holding of strikes could not deter the government 
to recover the GST from the traders community. He said while the 
government was ready to remove the apprehensions of the traders 
about alleged pressure and coercion by the CBR, it was just 
unprepared to give a second through about it as has been demanded 
by the leaders of the traders community. 

 He also said that tax reform package will be announced on May 27.

Later the finance minister, sources said, held an internal meeting 
of the finance ministry to discuss the imposition of the GST where 
the CBR officials were also present.

He also directed the concerned officials to accelerate the pace of 
recovery in order to achieve the revised Rs360 billion revenue 
collection target for the current financial year.

The IMF review mission, sources said, also held its internal 
meetingat a local hotel. Ahsan Mansoor, the local IMF 
representative, briefed the mission about various economic issues 
and problems the government of Pakistan was facing including the 
levy of GST, increasing exports and attracting foreign investment 
in the country. In this regard the latest round of talks between 
the government and the Hubco held at Dubai on last Sunday was also 
discussed.

They expressed hopes that the World Bank sponsored talks will prove 
productive when the government of Pakistan would give its counter 
offer shortly about the reduction in tariff.

Later the IMF review mission and senior government officials 
attended a dinner hosted by the World Bank local chief John Wall.

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20000525  
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Japan may lift sanctions on India and Pakistan
-------------------------------------------------------------------

TOKYO, May 24: Japan's ruling party plans to call on the government 
to lift two-year-old sanctions on India and Pakistan imposed after 
their tit-for-tat nuclear tests, an official said on Wednesday.

A foreign policy committee within Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori's 
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has submitted the plan to Shizuka 
Kamei, the party's policy-making chief, the party official said.

"We handed in our proposal to the chairman of the LDP Policy 
Research Council on Tuesday," the official, a member of the LDP's 
Research Commission on Foreign Affairs said. "It is up to him 
whether we will officially urge the government to lift the 
sanctions," he said.

Japan imposed sanctions, including a freeze on new non-humanitarian 
grants and loans, after India and Pakistan carried out a series of 
nuclear tests in May 1998.

The LDP had already made a final decision to go ahead with the 
proposed removal of sanctions even if the two arch-rivals did not 
sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), outlawing nuclear 
tests, the Kyodo news agency reported.

Major Japanese companies have lobbied the LDP to lift the 
sanctions, which they have blamed for losing them business in India 
and Pakistan, Kyodo said.

"The two nations have yet to sign the CTBT, but we have been able 
to convey our strong message with the sanctions over the past two 
years," Taro Nakayama, who heads the LDP research commission, was 
quoted by Kyodo as saying. "We will continue to urge them to sign," 
Nakayama said.-AFP

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20000522 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan Origin Card scheme hits snags
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD, May 21: The launching of the Pakistan Origin Card (POC) 
is in jeopardy because of the high price fixed for its issuance, it 
is learnt. The scheme, which was conceived with an idea of 
generating $300 million during its first year and a half to finance 
various projects of the National Database Registration Authority 
(Nadra), is now eying at the national exchequer for its survival.

The fee for a five-year POC was fixed at $200 and $300 for a 10-
year card.

Sources told Dawn that Pakistan missions in many countries had 
recommended to the government that the price of the POC should be 
reduced. A large number of Pakistanis living abroad also expressed 
their reservations over the prices.

According to a source in the Pakistan High Commission in London, 
the formal launching of the scheme, which was due on June 1, had 
been delayed.

The advertising campaign for POC launched several weeks back on the 
PTV, has also stopped. According to officials, the PTV was asked to 
stop the advertisement some 20 days back without explaining the 
reasons.

Nadra chief Maj-Gen Zahid Ihsan denied that the scheme had been 
abandoned, but he confirmed that the interior ministry was taking 
up the price issue with the cabinet.

He said they were not proposing any revised prices and leaving the 
matter to the cabinet to take a decision in this regard. He said 
the cabinet would, however, be told that in case of drastically 
lowering the POC prices the government would have to finance the 
Nadra projects.

The government expected to earn $300 million during the next one-
and-a-half years through this scheme. According to plans, $112 
million were to remain with Nadra for the implementation of its 
projects and the rest were to be shared by the foreign ministry and 
the finance ministry.

The scheme was introduced last month by the interior minister 
during his visit to the US and Britain. He was accompanied by a 
team of Nadra officials, including the general.

On its return, the team said the scheme proved to be an 
"instantaneous success". The POC was to be issued from June 1, and 
Nadra, according to an official, had already started receiving 
applications from overseas Pakistanis from all over the world.

POC is to be a voluntary option and those who would obtain it would 
enjoy certain concessions to be announced by the Pakistan 
International Airlines.

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20000527 
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Libya wants to buy Pakistani arms 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, May 26: Libya has expressed its willingness to import 
arms and ammunition manufactured in Pakistan Ordnance Factory 
(POF), Wah Cantt.

Sources said a list of the POF products has already been provided 
to Major General Mustafa Kharoubi, inspector general of the Libyan 
Arab Armed forces.

Sources said, this has been revealed in a paper prepared by the 
Pakistan government regarding Pak-Libya joint ministerial 
commission (JMC) meeting scheduled to be held very soon at 
Islamabad.

A plan has also been prepared for boosting Pak-Libya economic 
relations including defence relations, sources said. According to 
the plan, Pakistan will focus on the following elements: frequent 
exchange of high-level visits, sale of the POF products, joint 
ventures in arm manufactures, training of Libyan army, navy and air 
force officers, secondment of Pakistan armed forces personnel in 
Libya and supply of requirements of 65,000 Libyan armed forces like 
rations, uniforms, shoes etc.

Sources said, the plan also envisages a high-level inter-service 
delegation for a visit to Libya which could also include 
representatives from the POF Wah Cantt. "The agenda for talks may 
be wide-ranging and cover all areas of bilateral cooperation in 
defence", sources quoted the plan as saying.


=================================================================== 
 BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20000527 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Finance minister unveils strategy: Tax evaders put on warning
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 26: The government has evolved a new strategy for 
broadening the tax base through documentation of economy and hopes 
to collect Rs100 billion in addition during fiscal year 2000-2001.

To achieve this objective a phased survey of assets and income in 
major industrial and commercial centers of 13 cities is being 
launched from Saturday.

"This is the requirement of house cleaning and that is why we have 
decided to document the economy and bring all its activities in the 
formal sector", Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz told a news 
conference here on Friday.

Mr Aziz spelled out the details of the tax survey and expressed the 
hope that the drive would help increase the existing number of 
taxpayers from 1.2 million to 2 million within a year.

He said the government would not tolerate any hurdle in the way of 
the survey. "Whether somebody likes it or not GST will be 
recovered", he said adding that the IMF and other donor agencies 
had been briefed about the imposition of GST and the survey.

As soon as the drive was complete we would have the necessary 
information to launch a crackdown on tax evaders, who would be 
dealt with full force, that would not only entail penal provisions 
but also arrests and imprisonment.

The minister also said that a total of 1,040 employees of the CBR 
had been sacked on charges of corruption. Their names would be made 
public in the next three or four days. Among the 109 dismissed 
officers six were in grade 21, 34 in grade 20, 43 in grade 19, 55 
in grade 18, and 52 in grade 17. While 850 employees belonged to 
grade 7 to 16, he said.

Mr Aziz did not mention under what law these employees have been 
sacked and whether they have been served with show-cause notices or 
provided any opportunity to explain their positions.

The new tax reforms, he said, included reduction in number as well 
as rate of taxes and penalties, both at the federal and provincial 
levels, simplification of assessment and collection procedures, 
reforms in labor levies, efficient dispute resolution, broadening 
of the tax base and enhancing the efficiency in tax administration.

The minister said 13 major cities had been chosen for survey which 
included Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, 
Hyderabad, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Sukkur, Multan, Quetta, Sargodha 
and Sialkot.

"Even within these cities, the initial target of survey would be 
the posh residential areas, commercial centres and industrial 
establishments", he said.

He added the drive would encompass three taxes - income tax, sales 
tax and excise duty - for which 1,600 officers of the CBR would be 
engaged backed by army personnel and law enforcement agencies.

The FM promised that there would be a minimum contact between the 
tax agencies and taxpayers. He added that the government would not 
allow victimization of any citizen during the survey.

During the first phase of the drive, he said, teams would 
distribute forms and secure acknowledgement. There would be no 
interaction with the taxpayers during this process except to 
solicit acknowledgement receipts of the form. A period of 5-7 days 
would be allowed before the teams return to collect the filled 
forms.

In the second phase, the teams would review the declaration in 
their field offices and cross check the data with other records, 
such as building societies and utilities. In case there are no 
discrepancies, the information would be accepted and tax 
registration number would be allotted, wherever needed.

In the third phase, in the case of residential forms, discrepancies 
will be communicated through formal notices and disputes would be 
disposed of under the ordinary procedures. For commercial and 
industrial establishments, discrepancies would be finalised after a 
return visit of the survey teams, he said.

In the case where the survey teams differ from the declared 
assessment, it would give an option to the owner to either accept 
their revised assessment or agree to a detailed inspection. If they 
opted for a detailed inspection, a new team, comprising an accounts 
professional, would arrive to carry out their inspection.

For cases assessed and agreed, tax numbers would be allotted, if 
needed, and assistance provided for future compliance.

On GST, the minister said it would be recovered from July 1, 2001 
and that it would not be applicable on retailers with a turnover of 
Rs1 million. For retailers with turnover of upto Rs5 million, 2 per 
cent GST would be applicable. They would be required to maintain 
simple accounts of their sales and purchases.

For others, GST on value-added tax (VAT) mode would be applicable 
or for one year they may continue to pay a 2 per cent GST on 
turnover. There would be a simple record keeping requirement for 
establishments with turnover between Rs1-5 million. No invoice 
would be required for sales, but record for daily total sales each 
purchase and closing inventory would be required on a quarterly 
basis.

For traders with turnover of over Rs5 million, invoices would be 
needed for sales together with the record of each purchase and 
closing inventory on a quarterly basis. Those who wanted to opt for 
VAT mode, complete record keeping of sales and purchases and 
expenses will be required.

Previously unregistered persons, who register under the GST, will 
not be liable to sales tax prior to July 1. However, compliance is 
mandatory from the same date even if the survey team reaches any 
person after that date.

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20000523 
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Devaluation: SBP denies rumours
-------------------------------------------------------------------

KARACHI: The State Bank said on Monday that it had come to the 
attention of "the authorities" that rumours about devaluation of 
Pakistani rupee, freezing of bank accounts and lockers are being 
spread by some groups with vested interests for their personal 
gains and speculative purposes.

"The State Bank of Pakistan vehemently denies these rumours and 
appeals to the general public and the business community to carry 
on their business in a calm, routine and normal manner." "They 
should not pay any heed to these unfounded rumours," it added.

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20000524   
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Budget 2000-2001: New dams, agriculture & tax reforms suggested
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

LAHORE, May 23: Political leaders have stressed the need to provide 
for the construction of new dams and water reservoirs, formulation 
of comprehensive policy to improve the agriculture sector and 
introduction of wide-ranging tax reforms in the budget 2000-2001.

Talking to Dawn on Tuesday, Pakistan Awami Ittehad president and 
Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) leader Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan 
underscored the need for constructing new dams to avoid a famine-
like situation in future.

He said the government had declared 22 districts out of a total of 
26 in Balochistan as calamity-hit areas where 40 per cent cattle 
were said to have perished in the recent weeks due to drought and 
hundreds of people were reported to be suffering from lethal 
diseases. A similar situation persisted in Thar, Cholistan, Dera 
Ghazi Khan and parts of the NWFP.

"It's not a recent phenomenon but has evolved over a long period of 
time because no timely action was taken to head off the calamity. 
If we don't move to construct new dams, we may soon be facing 
famine as experienced in some African countries like Ethiopia."

He said there was a strong need to strengthen the agriculture 
sector as well as industry. Growers were not getting fair prices 
for their crops be it cotton or any other, he added.

"The government has already abolished the flat power rates for 
tubewells and raised the diesel prices increasing the production 
cost which will have a negative impact on 70 per cent population of 
the country living in the rural areas. The need of the hour is that 
measures should be taken (in the forthcoming budget) to improve the 
lot of farmers and encourage value-added industry," he asserted.

The Nawabzada regretted that there would be no parliament or 
assembly to discuss the proposed budget and suggest amendments to 
it in accordance with the aspirations of the people. He said the 
country was isolated in the world due to absence of democracy to 
the extent that the prime minister of brotherly country - Turkey - 
chose to visit India and not Pakistan. The Turkish leader, he said, 
had also equated the Kashmir issue with the Kurdish issue and 
expressed sympathy with India (on the alleged incidents of 
terrorism).Moreover, the GDA leader said, aggressive Indian designs 
posed a great threat to the security of the country. The Indian 
leaders and army officials have threatened to impose a war on 
Pakistan if what they described as cross-border terrorism 
continued. In the meanwhile, the forces of confederation were 
raising their heads in Sindh and elsewhere in the country.

"The present conditions demand that a popularly elected government 
should be installed at the earliest to resolve the internal and 
external challenges facing the country."

Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) Chairman Tahirul Qadri has stressed the 
need for giving priority to agriculture sector in the next budget. 
He said agro-based industry should be encouraged for increasing 
production and promoting exports. Successive governments had 
obtained Rs 1,800 billion in loans during the last 12 years but had 
not spent a single paisa to ameliorate the lot of the poor of the 
country.

He said new water reservoirs needed to be constructed all over the 
country, especially in Balochistan. There was a strong need to 
promote technical education in the country so that the youth could 
get jobs when they finish their education, he added.

He said overseas Pakistanis had over $50 billion in savings. They 
should be encouraged to invest in Pakistan by giving incentives and 
constitutional cover to their investments.

He was hopeful that social sector would get its due share in the 
budget and the budget makers would not take dictation from the IMF. 
He also urged the government to associate politicians in the 
budget-making process to meet the challenges facing the nation and 
revive its economy. PML Senior Vice-President Ejazul Haq said the 
government should introduce a tax reforms package.

He said to make the tax amnesty scheme a success, the government 
should reduce its rate from 10 per cent at present to five per 
cent. Similarly, the sales tax scheme could be made acceptable by 
reducing its rate from 15 per cent at present to five per cent.

He said to document the economy, the government should return the 
entire tax received during the first two years. This way, he said, 
while the traders would not lose anything, the government would 
succeed in its target.

The PML leader proposed that the government should also reduce the 
rates of various taxes to make them acceptable to people. He 
proposed a close collaboration between the army, politicians, 
traders and feudals to improve the economy.

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20000526 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Govt accepts demand: Ghee makers call off strike
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 25: Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturer's Association on 
Thursday called off their strike after acceptance of all of their 
demands and 'clarifications' from both Commerce Minister Razzak 
Dawood and the association.

"Their demands had already been accepted only misunderstanding, 
which had cropped up in Tuesday's meeting were removed in 
Thursday's meeting," an official told Dawn.

All the demands including imposition of 25 per cent duty and 15 per 
cent sales tax on the import of all oil seeds, rationalization of 
tariffs on import of edible oils, removal of anomaly by levying 
uniform duty on all soft oils, import of palm olein instead of RBD 
palm oil, performance appraisal of Pakistan Oilseed Development 
Board, acceptance of full and final assessment of income tax, 
acceptance of declared transacted value of imported edible oils, 30 
days free storage period of edible oils, withdrawal of sales tax on 
hydrogen gas, withdrawal of 15 per cent sales tax and 5 per cent 
excise duty on metal containers were accepted by the government.

These demands would be incorporated in the next budget, Mian Hanif 
an executive member of PVMA said. The PVMA delegation led by acting 
Chairman Saleem Malik also called on Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz.

"It was a courtesy call," Hanif said. All the demands of PVMA were 
genuine and in the economic interest of the country, he said.

When asked as to what was the misunderstanding between the minister 
and some members of PVMA, he said, there was no use of discussing 
the issues which had been amicably resolved.

He said they apprised the minister that by import of oilseeds the 
country was suffering huge loss of foreign exchange. He said they 
import oil at a rate of $325 per tons while the oil seeds were 
imported at a rate of $240 per tons.

"From one ton oil seed only 40 per cent oil is extracted which cost 
approximately around $550 per ton," he said. The country last year 
imported 900,000 tons of oil seed which caused huge loss of foreign 
exchange, he added.

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20000525 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
IMF team looking at exchange rate policies
-------------------------------------------------------------------
M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, May 24: The visiting IMF team is taking a closer look at 
Pakistan's exchange rate policies to see if they are compatible 
with the undertakings the country has given under Article IV of the 
IMF's Articles of Agreement.

The Fund team is reportedly also examining the exchange policies to 
see what measures were being used to avoid manipulating exchange 
rates or the international monetary system in order to prevent 
effective balance of payments adjustment or gain an unfair 
competitive advantage over other members.

Informed sources said that the visit and the team's focus on 
exchange policies was nothing new as every year around May-June the 
Fund sends its team to make an appraisal of this country's economy 
specifically in the light of Pakistan obligations under Article IV.

Under this Article Pakistan has also undertaken to endeavour to 
direct its economic and financial policies toward the objective of 
fostering orderly economic growth with reasonable price stability, 
with due regard to circumstances.

Pakistan is also obliged under this Article to seek to promote 
stability by fostering orderly underlying economic and financial 
conditions and a monetary system that does not tend to produce 
erratic disruptions.

Under an international monetary system, exchange arrangements may 
include: 1. The maintenance by a member of a value for its currency 
in terms of SDRs or another denominator, other than gold, selected 
by the member, or 2. Cooperative arrangements by which members 
maintain the value of their currencies in relations to the value of 
the currency or currencies of other members, or 3. Other exchange 
arrangements of a member's choice.

Under this arrangement the Fund is obliged to exercise firm 
surveillance over the exchange rate policies of members, and adopt 
specific principles for the guidance of all members with respect to 
those policies.

On the other hand each member is obliged to provide the Fund with 
the information necessary for such surveillance, and when requested 
by the IMF shall consult with the Fund on its exchange rate 
policies.

Meanwhile, it has been learnt that the report which the visiting 
Fund team will prepare on its return would be released for 
publication on voluntary basis. A pilot project for such a release 
of all Article IV staff reports was approved by the IMF Executive 
Board (EB) on April 5, 1999.

Under Article IV, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, 
usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects 
economic and financial information, and discusses with the 
officials the country's economic development and policies. On 
return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms 
the basis for discussion by the EB.

The views expressed in an Article IV staff report itself are those 
of the staff team and do not necessarily reflect the views of the 
EB or of the member government's. The views of the EB are 
summerized in the Public Information Notice (PIN) which is attached 
to Article IV report.

Comments by the member country governments on the staff report are 
also attached, if any were submitted at the time of the EB 
discussion. The policy for publication of Article IV staff reports 
under the pilot project allows for the deletion of market sensitive 
information.

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20000525 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
CBR holding back Rs15-20bn in ST refunds, says CTA
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, May 24: The Convener of Council of Textile Associations 
(CTA) S.M.A. Rizvi on Wednesday claimed that around Rs15-20 billion 
is held back by the CBR against outstanding sales tax refunds of 
exporters.

Addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club (KPC) the CTA 
chief, a representative of 17 bodies of exporters- cum-
manufacturers, alleged that corrupt bureaucracy was bent upon to 
influencing the military government against business community by 
labelling them as tax evaders.

He claimed that over 90 per cent of government revenue is being 
contributed by business community through direct or indirect taxes 
as income tax, adding, in certain categories it has been replaced 
by presumptive, withholding and other similar taxes.

S.M.A. Rizvi further said that the export sector alone pays over 
Rs20 billion towards national exchequer, while total direct taxes 
paid by business community are Rs123 billion, sales tax Rs107 
billion, excise duty Rs63 billion and customs duty Rs68 billion.

Against this, he said businessmen are being harassed, humiliated 
and intimidated by the corrupt bureaucracy which draws salary from 
the taxes paid by them. On the other hand the biggest defaulters of 
taxes such as politicians, statesmen, feudal lords are leading a 
hassle free and honourable life.

The CTA convener said that the only crime of businessmen was that 
they had been demanding simple tax laws assuring least interference 
from the bureaucracy. "The revenue collecting authorities should be 
deprived of cruel, unjust and unbridled discretionary powers which 
is the main source of corruption and harassment for the business 
community," he added.

Citing an example, he said the case of exporters- cum-manufacturers 
which is not only registered but also reasonably well documented, 
but unfortunately are victimized most by the sales tax authorities. 

He said the tragic incident of a death of an exporter in the 
custody of sales tax department at Faisalabad would have never 
happened if such discretionary powers were not bestowed upon the 
tax collector.

The CTA chief said that when sales tax was imposed in 1996, an 
assurance was given that the laws would be rational, easy to 
understand and the return forms would be easy for filing with the 
government.

Contrary to this, he said, the position as at present is that the 
laws have been made extremely complicated and really 
incomprehensive by even an educated businessman. 

Draconian clauses like 37 and 38 are being misused by the tax 
authorities to an extent that it has really made the lives of 
exporters miserably, he added.

The biggest tragedy, he said is that whenever a new tax collector 
takes the charge of a circle, he interprets the Sales Tax Act in 
his own manner and nullifies all the settled cases of the past and 
starts the exercise afresh right from the year 1996. Above all, he 
said that the number of audits has increased from one to six, in 
addition to departmental scrutiny practically all the year round at 
the sweet will and whim of an officer.

He demanded that all notices and demands issued by the Department 
of Revenue and Receipt Audit (DRRA) should be withdrawn till such 
time the factor of wastage in accordance with the formula is agreed 
with the manufacturers, the sales tax authorities and the Export 
Promotion Bureau (EPB).

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20000527 
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Govt to clear refund claims
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Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, May 26: The federal government has decided to release 
most of the refund money claimed by the export sector. The decision 
has been taken after examination of a number of reports by survey 
teams during the past three weeks at CBR. 

A major chunk of the withheld refund/rebate amounts claimed by the 
export sector would be released within a fortnight, say CBR 
officials. 

"The CBR has taken this decision to honour the finance minister's 
announcement last Tuesday that the export sector would continue to 
be assisted fiscally, in boosting the exports", said a senior 
official.

Dawn learnt from officials that the CBR had withheld these refunds 
for two main reasons: to verify most of the claims filed for 
refunds and rebate repayment during the past 4-5 months; and to 
boost its net collection which would have been Rs 245-50 billion, 
and not Rs 269 billion (in the first 10 months) if these payments 
had been made.

It was further learnt that the CBR set up a committee to examine 
the reports based on verification in Lahore, Karachi and 
Gujranwala, which concluded that most of the "minor" observations 
in the refund claims to be settled in the post-release audit. The 
CBR officials say that an amount of Rs5-6 billion is under 
observation.

The rest of about Rs16 billion, say CBR officials, has been 
withheld "only to keep the net collection figures up", said a 
senior CBR official. He added that the CBR has also instructed the 
collectorates in major industrial estates to strike a deal with 
major refunds/rebate claimants for an adjustment of the refund/ 
rebate amount in their future (July/August) tax assessment. This 
way, the CBR officials say, the CBR keeps its net collection 
figures maintained at a higher figure than the actual amount 
collected.

The refund/rebate amounts were stopped early last month, "as 
usual", in line with the CBR's policy of withholding most of these 
amounts in the last quarter, especially in May and June. A slow-
down was applied on processing the refund/rebate applications. This 
resulted in protest from the trade and business sectors, and "a 
notice was taken by the government to resolve the issue", said a 
CBR ST wing official.

The CBR had earlier informed the government that at least Rs 4 
billion had been paid in excess of the actual payable amounts in 
refund/rebate during 1998-99 to export manufacturers. It had come 
to light that the amount was paid against "doubtful" import 
invoices and fake shipping bills. The investigations have remained 
inconclusive in this regard, and the CBR had decided to avert the 
same situation this year. This policy resulted in withholding major 
refund/ rebate amounts.

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20000527 
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Rs22 billion wiped out from market capitalization
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, May 26: The KSE 100-share index on Friday plunged by six 
per cent or 93 points on massive panic selling from all and sundry 
wiping out Rs.22bn from the market capitalization just in one go as 
fears of an imminent collapse of the market gripped the rings.

Rumours of default on the part of some Punjab brokers as they 
failed to meet their delivery obligations owing to steep decline in 
prices was said to be an aiding bearish factor.

The breach of barrier of the 1,600 points at 1,510.45 points 
reflects that the next resistant level is also vulnerable if the 
rescuing operation was not launched by the relevant quarters at the 
current lows, said a member of the KSE adding, "the corrective 
steps now are beyond the control of counter market forces as it not 
be easy to absorb the virtual flood of the cheaper floating stock".

Although the index partly managed to recoup some initial losses, 
the market remained in a terribly bad shape as waves of panic 
selling from all quarters did not allow bulls even a breathing 
space to take corrective steps to blunt the intensity of the 
current speculative sell-off.

"The six per cent plunge in the index could well mean that another 
Rs22bn were wiped out from the total market capitalization and such 
a massive loss for a single trading session reflects investor 
perceptions about the market direction", said a leading floor 
broker.

"There was a panic all around after the KSE index breached the 
jealously guarded psychological barrier of 1,600 point level," 
stock analyst Faisal Abass said, "everyone was guessing why the 
bears are on the rampage and people are following them in a bit 
haste, of course, after having suffered massive losses".

However, it narrowly escaped the breach of next barrier but in the 
process suffered a massive battering, as the index was last quoted 
off over 101 points or 8 per cent around 1,502.00 as compared to 
1,603.54 a day earlier.

The market is in the tight grip of speculative traders aided 
largely by Punjab-based politically motivated-selling and until 
financial institutions did not play their assigned roll, any other 
rescue operation may not work, most floor brokers believe.

The market should have behaved orderly in the wake of reports of 
finance minister's Monday visit to the KSE to have discussions with 
the board members on the new budget due to be announced on June 17, 
they added.

But speculative forces are not inclined to give even a breathing 
space to the consolidation forces and continued to indulge in fresh 
hasty selling on the high profile issues.

"It appears now pretty difficult to predict about the market 
behaviour even for the near-term", said a member of the KSE adding, 
"the market is flooded with the cheaper floating stock but there 
are no willing buyers".

Most of the leading MNCs led the market decline but it was 
intensified owing to the relative weakness of the textile, 
synthetic and banking sectors, which showed widespread decline on 
persistent selling both from the genuine investors as well as 
jobbers.

Minus signs were strewn all over the list as investors were in a 
bit haste to get out of the market, leaving behind a long list of 
causalities.

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20000527 
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Textile Vision 2005: Bankers want focus on updated technology 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, May 26: Lead banks and financial institutions are of the 
view that the proposed five-year textile policy should also focus 
on transfer of up-to-date technology into Pakistan without which 
the textile sector cannot grow.

Bankers told Dawn that the issue came to the fore when heads of 
four state-run banks and three development financial institutions 
gathered at State Bank office here on Friday to get a briefing on 
Textile Vision 2005.

They were briefed by Chairman of SMEDA-Small and Medium Enterprises 
Development Authority Iqbal Mustafa.

The list of the banks and DFIs included (i) National Bank (ii) 
Habib Bank (iii) United Bank (iv) Muslim Commercial Bank (v) 
Pakistan Industrial Credit & Investment Corporation (vi) National 
Development Finance Corporation and (vii) Small Business Finance 
Corporation.

SBP governor Dr Ishrat Husain, who chaired the session, told top 
bankers that the briefing was arranged to elicit their views on 
revival and growth of textile sector on Textile Vision 2005-a five-
year textile policy. The policy being chalked out to prepare 
Pakistan for a free global textile market by year 2005 may be out 
in June 2000.

Sources privy to the briefing said the bankers highlighted the 
issue of transfer of technology into Pakistan when they were 
informed that the new textile policy would focus more on exports of 
value-added products. "Exporting value-added products require 
availability of up-to-date technology which developed countries are 
reluctant to transfer into Pakistan," one participant said.Bankers 
generally agreed that developed countries often sell or transfer 
those textile technologies into Pakistan that are no more in use on 
their own soils. This creates problems for local manufacturers to 
come up with value-added textile products in line with the 
specifications of buyer countries where trends keep changing 
rapidly.

The sources said the bankers also underlined the need for the 
textile sector to have a larger number of composite or integrated 
manufacturing units. The bankers were of the opinion that a 
conglomerate of textile units engaged in weaving, spinning and 
manufacturing of textile made-ups not only ensures better quality 
but also cuts the cost of production and makes marketing easier.

They said the bankers were of the opinion that the long-term 
textile policy should also ensure availability of quality raw 
materials that can meet the specifications of buyers of Pakistani 
textile made-ups.

The sources said the briefing was very comprehensive and the 
bankers were informed in detail of how the government plans to 
revive various sub-sectors of textiles. They said the bankers were 
told that the implementation of the policy requires more than Rs300 
billion worth of fixed investment in the textile sector in five 
years. They said that the bankers informed the chairman of SMEDA 
that some major banks and development financial institutions had 
already started providing finances for BMR projects in the textile 
industry whereas the others are to follow suit.

The sources said that heads of lead banks and development financial 
institutions were asked by the SBP chief to forward formal 
recommendations on textile policy in the next meeting that would be 
held within a week or two.

Senior State Bank officials and an advisor to the ministry of 
finance also attended the briefing.

Sources close to the SBP said the SBP officials are busy revising 
the export refinance scheme to enlarge its scope to meet the 
objectives of the Textile Vision 2005 and check misuse of the 
scheme.

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20000524 
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Forward premium on $ shoots up
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, May 23: The price of the dollar rose in future deals in 
the inter-bank market on Tuesday but in spot transactions it 
remained unchanged at Rs 51.90. Senior bankers said most banks were 
selling the greenback 68-70 paisa above spot price for six month 
and 30-32 paisa above spot price for three month: Till Monday 
forward premiums hovered around 45-50 paisa for six month and 15-20 
paisa for three month.

Bankers said the premium on one month forward deals also rose to 
seven-eight paisa on Tuesday against one-two paisa on Monday. They 
attribute the sharp increase to a rush on the greenbacks by panic-
stricken importers who fear that the rupee would somehow shed its 
value in next fiscal year.

But in spot transactions the price of the greenback remained 
unchanged at Rs 51.90-thanks to an unofficial cap on inter-bank 
exchange rates. Bankers say the SBP placed this cap immediately 
after floating the rupee in May 1999.

Bankers say the rupee has been under pressure for the past few days 
on increased outflows of foreign exchange and larger forward buying 
by importers fearing rupee depreciation at the end of this fiscal 
year in June. 

How then they are warding off the pressure in the presence of what 
they call a cap on exchange rates? "Many a bank are conducting spot 
transactions in the guise of one-day future deals," explained 
treasurer of a foreign bank. "Banks are selling the dollar for Rs 
51.99 in value-tom (tomorrow value)," says treasurer of another 
bank.

On Tuesday also, the dollar changed hands between Rs 51.97 and Rs 
51.99 in "value tomorrow." In kerb market, the green bill closed at 
Rs 54.40 and Rs 54.45 for spot buying and selling showing a five 
paisa recovery overnight.

The president of Forex Association of Pakistan, Malik Bostan 
attributed this recovery to a strong denial about rumours of rupee 
devaluation and freezing of bank accounts or lockers by the State 
Bank carried in Tuesday papers. "The dollar had risen to Rs 54.50 
on rumours of all sorts. The SBP denial brought it down," he told 
Dawn by telephone. "Besides we also injected $2-3 million in the 
market to ease off the buying pressure on dollar."

But several senior bankers reached by Dawn said the forward 
premiums rose partly in reaction to the SBP denial: some of them 
said the denial was uncalled for.

The other reason-and that is rather more important-is that 
businessmen and bankers feel that the so-called cap on inter- bank 
exchange rate may either be removed or placed at an upper level by 
end June. But officials say this may or may not be the case 
depending upon such key factors as real effective exchange rate of 
Pakistan vis-a-vis those of its major trading partners.

The fact that Pakistan is facing a foreign exchange crisis is 
evident from the fact that the SBP had to purchase more than $1.3 
billion in the first nine months of this fiscal year from the kerb 
market.

Back to the top
=================================================================== 
 EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20000521
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Law and order  
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ardeshir Cowasjee

IN order to reconstruct we must revert to the "ideology of 
Pakistan" and to the premier dictum of its Founder and Maker 
Mohammad Ali Jinnah: "The first duty of a government is to maintain 
law and order so that the life, property and religious beliefs of 
its subjects are fully protected by the state."

Pakistani banks and lending institutions which handle state money 
and the people's money were nationalized on New Year's Day 1974 by 
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for a highly nefarious purpose - to allow him 
and his government to lend to those who could not repay and were 
thus unable to borrow from elsewhere in accordance with banking 
norms.

Our last two 'democratic' prime ministers, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz 
Sharif, plus their cohorts and admirers, robbed as much as they 
could from these very same institutions with the express purpose of 
not repaying anything, having successfully 'fixed' the relevant 
law-makers, law-dipensers andlaw-enforcers.

What I narrate illustrates how money is lent and recovered in 
recognized practising democracies where law and order prevails.

Hudabiya Paper Mills Ltd (first defendant), Mian Mohammad Shahbaz 
Sharif (second defendant), Mian Mohammad Sharif (third defendant) 
and Mian Mohammad Abbas Sharif (fourth defendant) , under English 
law and jurisdiction borrowed money from Investment Funds Ltd, 
operated by Al Towfeek Company (the plaintiff). Abiding by the 
Pakistani norm, they did not repay the loan. Al Towfeek went to 
court and the Order of Master Rose (The masters of the various 
divisions of the high court deal with routine matters) of September 
4, 1998, was duly served upon Hudabiya and the three Mians of 
Lahore. Employing the usual delaying tactics, as applied in the 
land over which they misruled, the Mians filed an application in 
the court asking that the order and the service of the proceedings 
be set aside. The application was heard in chambers by Mr Justice 
Buckley of the Queen's Bench Division. He wrote a one-page order on 
February 5, 1999, (as opposed to a 100-page judgment) which reads 
as follows: "Upon the defendants' application for an order that the 
Order of Master Rose of 4 September 1998 and the service of 
proceedings be set aside pursuant to RSC Order 12 Rule 8 and that 
the plaintiffs do pay the defendants costs to be taxed forthwith 
and upon hearing leading counsel for the plaintiff and the 
defendants and upon reading the following affidavits : . . . . . 
[13 affidavits listed]

"It is hereby ordered that: 1) the defendants' application under 
RSC Order 12 Rule 8 be refused. 2) Costs of this application be 
paid by the defendants to the plaintiff to be taxed if not agreed."

On March 16, 1999, the court delivered its judgment ordering 
Hudabiya and the Mians to repay the loan. The amount due was not 
paid and on November 5, 1999, Master Trench by a one-page order 
ordered that the properties of the Mians be attached.

"Upon reading the witness statements of Shezi Nackvi filed herein 
on the 26th October, 1999l, and 5th November 1999 whereby it 
appears that by a judgment made on the 16th March 1999 in the High 
Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, the second defendant was 
ordered to pay to the plaintiff the sum of US$417,719,315.26 or its 
sterling equivalent of which US$418,673,203.86 remains due and 
unpaid as at 19th October, 1999, and the third defendant and fourth 
defendant were ordered to pay to the plaintiff the sum of 
US$414,712,912.18 or its sterling equivalent of which 
US$415,504,732.37 remains due and unpaid as at 19th October, 1999, 
and that the second defendant, third defendant and/or fourth 
defendant has a beneficial interest in the assets specified in the 
schedule hereto.

"It is ordered by Master Trench that unless sufficient cause to the 
contrary be shown before a judge in chambers in Room No. E101, 
Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London on the... day of 1999, at 
o'clock, the second and third and the fourth defendant's interests 
in the said assets, to the extent of their respective interests, 
shall and it is ordered in the meantime it do, stand charged with 
the payment of US$418,673,203.86 or its sterling equivalent due on 
the said judgment as against the second defendant and 
US$415,504.732.37 or its sterling equivalent due on the said 
judgment as against the third and fourth defendants and interest 
thereon at the statutory rate together with the costs of this 
application.

"And it is further ordered that the plaintiff have permission to 
serve upon the second defendant, third defendant and fourth 
defendant in Pakistan a copy of this order together with a copy of 
the witness statements of Shezi Nackvi.

"And it is further ordered that this application and all documents 
supporing it be served on the companies named in para 16 of the 
first witness statement of Shezi Nackvi, as to which leave is 
granted to serve them in the British Virgin Islands, and also the 
creditors named in paragraph 4 of the said Mr Nackvi's second 
witness statement, as to which leave is granted to serve the same 
in Pakistan or in the state or states where any of them are 
registered."

The schedule lists the four properties owned in London by the Mians 
of Lahore: 16, 16A, 17 and 17A Avenfield House, at 117-128 Park 
Lane, London.

End of story. The Mians paid up and settled with the lenders. 
Master Trench recorded the 'consent order' signed by the solicitors 
of both sides on January 25, 2000 which reads as follows :

"Upon the plaintiff and the first, second, third and fourth 
defendants having agreed to the terms of the deed referred to in 
the schedule hereto "And upon the plaintiff by its solicitors 
undertaking not to enforce or execute judgment, or take any further 
steps whatsoever, in the action against the first defendant, save 
insofar as permitted by and in accordance with such terms

"By consent it is ordered that:

1) All further proceedings in this action be stayed, on the terms 
more particularly set out in the deed described in the schedule to 
this order, as between the plaintiff and the first, second, third 
and fourth defendants except for the purpose of carrying this order 
and the said terms into effect for which purpose the parties are to 
be at liberty to apply, including in particular, to apply in 
accordance with this order to enforce judgment against the 
defendants in this action in the event of non-compliance with 
Clause 3 of the said deed.

"The charging order nisi granted by Master Trench on November 5, 
1999, be discharged forthwith upon payment in accordance with 
Clause 3 of the said deed with no order as to costs."

To another matter, the power companies. HUBCO, KAPCO, and others 
have made shady deals involving, but not limited to, the companies 
themselves, the World Bank, other international lending agencies 
and our worthy 'democratic' prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and 
Nawaz Sharif aided by their team-mates. However, what is signed by 
the government must be honoured unless it can be commercially 
resolved out of court. The contracts with the power companies 
provide for international arbitration and WAPDA and the Government 
of Pakistan (whether civil or military) are bound by this 
provision. No foreign investor will invest in Pakistan if he is 
denied international arbitration and is compelled to take disputes 
to the Pakistani courts which he does not trust and is convinced 
are government-controlled and manipulated. The power companies are 
well aware of what they have done and are inclined to settle out of 
court. A commercial settlement is beyond the competence of military 
men. Our Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz should be empowered to lead 
a delegation of competent men of integrity trusted by the people to 
settle the outstanding issues.

The Asia Society annual corporate conference held this month in 
Shanghai was attended by a thousand delegates from all over the 
world, western and eastern, and was addressed by the prime minister 
of China and 43 leading world personalities in the political and 
business fields. The presence of our ambasador in Beijing, Riaz 
Khokar, marked our existence. No mention of Pakistan was made by 
any speaker, the country might not have been a part of Asia - or 
even of the world.

Of the greatest concern now is the physical law and order situation 
in Karachi. The least that a military government can do is to use, 
if and when necessary, the force and power it has at its command to 
stop rioters and arsonists from killing people and destroying 
public and private property. Case in point : the ransacking and 
burning of the offices of the Business Recorder on May 18. This 
government cannot be forgiven for what happened. If it had the will 
(the wherewithal it has), the least it could have done was to have 
ensured that no such incident took place.

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20000526
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Learning politics the hard way
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ayaz Amir

WHO would have thought only a short time ago that the supremely 
confident General Musharraf, taking a leaf out of the soiled books 
of General Zia-ul-Haq and Nawaz Sharif, would see the point of 
going to lowly roofs to offer prayers for the dead?

But this is precisely what he did this week, taking time out of his 
busy schedule to first visit Lahore to condole the death of the 
trader, Nadeem Akhtar, who fell a victim to the interrogating zeal 
of the Faisalabad Sales Tax Department and then, the same day, to 
fly onwards to Karachi to offer fateha at the house of the slain 
clerical figure, Maulana Yousaf Ludhianvi. While talking to the 
Maulana's family the general said that the demand being voiced by 
religious circles for declaring Friday a holiday would be given 
careful consideration. He also let it be known that he would be 
addressing the nation every month, something for which, until now, 
he has not felt the need.

These have been small gestures but in them can be seen the seeds of 
a reluctant turnaround. This was a government glorying in its 
insularity, sure of its power and convinced that it knew all the 
answers. Now it is learning politics the hard way, not from the 
press or discarded politicians but at the hands of traders and 
maulvis.

Over the anti-blasphemy law the military government was well-
advised to beat a hasty retreat because in the circumstances it 
would have made no sense to get embroiled with the religious lobby. 
The issue was peripheral and should never have been raised at this 
stage. But how will the government fare in its coming battle with 
the traders?

There is no denying the need for documenting the economy and 
cracking down on tax evasion. But then there is also no denying the 
need for cracking down on illegal weapons, smuggling, drug 
trafficking, corruption, bribery, sifarish and the hundred other 
ills which plague Pakistan? The question is not one of desire, 
because all of us want to ride the moon and see Pakistan strong and 
prosperous, but of what is possible and what is not.

A man wanting to climb Everest prepares for it. In fact, if he is a 
dedicated mountaineer, his whole life will be a preparation for it. 
Before going onto the offensive an army builds up its strength and 
tries to acquire superiority in numbers and materiel over the 
enemy. This is not rocket science but elementary wisdom. The 
military government, however, right from the start has been 
embarking on half-cocked initiatives without thought or 
preparation. The subsequent retreats have thus come as no surprise.

Was some of this attitude born of the events of October 12? Having 
bundled out Nawaz Sharif very easily, was the army under the 
impression that solving other problems would be equally easy? If 
so, it has been labouring under a delusion. In Pakistan about the 
easiest thing to do is to oust a civilian government.

A few truckloads of soldiers from 111 Brigade stationed in 
Westridge and the trick is done. By contrast, getting a patwari or 
a thanedar, let alone anyone else, convicted for bribery or 
dereliction of duty is infinitely more difficult. The wisdom of the 
parade ground simply does not work that effectively in all 
situations.

Also instructive is the case of the interior minister now 
mercifully quiet these past few days. He has declared any number of 
offensives against illegal weapons, smuggling, Bara markets and 
even traders. What has become of them? Even otherwise, in the seven 
months that it has been around, the only conspicuous success that 
the military government can claim is against street vendors and 
hawkers who have been driven away from busy streets. For the rest, 
its achievement chart is singularly empty.

Is this too harsh a judgment? If so, what is the state of law and 
order? Is the economy reviving? Are people 'feeling' better, the 
feel-good factor being very important in evaluating any government? 
Is popular enthusiasm on the same high level as it was on the 
morrow of October 12? The accountability drive is in a shambles, 
its pace too slow, its direction increasingly unclear. The 
showpieces on display in the National Security Council and the 
various cabinets are curiously listless creatures. There has 
already been some bloodletting in Sindh with the governor gone and 
some faceless ministers having stepped down with him. But the 
vacuousness which is perhaps the most conspicuous feature of this 
government goes beyond a single province.

Part of the problem lies in the reality of power which lies 
elsewhere: in the shadows and in the hands of a very few key 
players. Juntas and wheels within them we have had before - most 
notably under Yahya Khan when a few generals called the shots. But 
those were different times and even though not a few politicians 
were veritable firebrands, and there was ferment in the eastern 
wing, Pakistan was a simpler place to run.

Today, the political class, especially its leadership, has acquired 
all the characteristics of dumb cattle but Pakistan's problems are 
infinitely more complex and intractable. As the last seven months 
have demonstrated, these problems are not amenable to parade ground 
solutions.

Will the documentation drive be any more successful? The signs are 
not auspicious. For one, the question forms required to be filled 
are much too intrusive. If this were happening in the United 
States, the US government would have an armed revolt on its hands 
spearheaded by the National Rifle Association. But this is a matter 
of detail. The more important question is: does the government have 
the capability to successfully carry out such a massive exercise?

The majesty of the Pakistani state, afflicted with various 
diseases, has fallen on bad times. It is still superbly equipped to 
make life difficult for its citizens. But securing public safety, 
dispensing justice, collecting taxes - arguably, its basic and 
foremost functions - it stopped performing a long time ago. Can it 
now go about documenting the economy?

Stalin did not proceed with the collectivization of agriculture, an 
article of faith with the Bolshevik party, before Soviet power had 
been fully consolidated. Indeed no successful revolution, if it 
wishes to remain successful, plays around with half-baked or 
premature plans of reform. In seven months time the military regime 
has been unable to touch, let alone reform, the administrative 
machinery. But with blunt instruments at hand, and again without 
adequate preparation, it is about to embark upon one of the most 
difficult ventures in Pakistan's history.

Since the art of communication is not one of the strong points of 
this government, there is a lot of confusion about what 
documentation is going to entail. From what has emerged so far, 
including the promulgation of the ordinances specifying punishments 
in case of not filling the survey forms or of providing false 
information, the impression created is of a massive exercise in 
coercion which the government has in mind. Will it work? The Sikhs 
made coercion a successful tool of taxation but then in the Khalsa 
kingdom it was only the Khalsa court, the Khalsa grandees and the 
Khalsa army which prospered. Nothing else, not even the trees by 
the side of the roads.

If we were doing all this ourselves it would still be some small 
consolation. But, as everyone knows, all this is being done at the 
behest of the IMF and on the strength of the strangest arguments. 

Indeed, we are being told that in order to break the IMF's chains 
over the long term, we must strengthen those very chains in the 
short term.

True, our choices are limited. Despite our nuclear firecrackers, we 
are a nation of beggars waiting anxiously for the next 
international handout. But it is equally true that since the end of 
the Second World War more countries have been brought to ruin by 
the IMF than by wars or natural disasters. Are we so blind as not 
to see the writing on the wall?


===================================================================
SPORTS
20000525 
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Eight cricketers fined for match-fixing
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Farhana Ayaz

ISLAMABAD, May 24: Upholding all the recommendations of one-man 
judicial commission of Justice Malik Qayyum, Pakistan Cricket Board 
on Wednesday slammed life ban on Salim Malik, Ataur Rehman and 
fined six other cricketers, including four of the current Pakistan 
squad from Rs300,000 to Rs 100,000.

All the contents of the recommendations will be applied forthwith 
and the cricketers implicated could move the court if they so 
wished.

Malik has also been fined one million rupees and cannot take part 
in any activity relating to cricket, the report said.

Former captain Wasim Akram would be fined 300,000 rupees and 
stripped of the captaincy, the report suggested.

Leg spinner Mushtaq Ahmed was under allegations of match fixing and 
was fined 300,000 rupees.

Four other players, Waqar Yunis, Akram Raza, Saeed Anwar and 
Inzamamul Haq, were fined 100,000 rupees each.

Speaking at at a crowded press conference, chairman of Pakistan 
Cricket Board (PCB) Ad hoc Committee, Lt Gen Tauqir Zia made the 
long-awaited match-fixing and betting report public with a five-
page summary admitting that the issue was a global reality. 
However, the chairman said that no planned betting and match-fixing 
had been found in Pakistan team but a few players had been found 
implicated at individual level.

The chairman, who met President Rafiq Tarar at the presidency on 
Wednesday morning, said that the report had the blessing of both, 
the patron of PCB President Tarar as well as the chief executive 
Gen Pervez Musharraf.

The chairman applauded the trying efforts put in by Justice Qayyum 
in completing the report and maintained that not a word of the 
report had been tampered with. Changes in the PCB set up, change in 
the government and resolving the legal framework of the report were 
given as the three reasons for delay in making the report public.

The entire 149-page report will be made public through the Pakistan 
Cricket Board web-site starting at 10.00pm.

The chairman clarified that the current members of the Pakistan 
team, Wasim Akram, Mushtaq Ahmed, Waqar Younis and Inzamamul Haq 
will continue to play as the Commission has recommended cash 
penalties against them and has not suspended them from cricket.

The report recommends criminal proceedings against Salim Malik 
apart from cash penalty. Salim Malik was acquitted of all charges 
by Farrukhuddin G. Ibrahim in his inquiry in Oct 1995 following 
allegations from Shane Warne, Mark Waugh and Tim May for lack of 
evidence since the Australian cricketers refused to come to 
Pakistan and testify. However, an interim report by judge Ejaz 
Yousuf implicated Malik but being an exparte inquiry providing no 
chance to the accused the investigation was abandoned.

The report states that there were sufficient grounds to cast strong 
doubt on Mushtaq Ahmed, but the Commission failed to make a finding 
of guilt to the requisite standard. It was stated that Mushtaq be 
kept under strict vigilance and a supplementary inquiry has been 
recommended against him besides Rs300,000 cash penalty.

Former captain Wasim Akram has failed to co-operate with the 
Commission, and the suspicious circumstances under which Ataur 
Rehman changed his testimony gave Wasim benefit of doubt.

However, removal from captaincy, strict vigilance and further probe 
into his assets acquired through cricketing tenure was recommended. 
Wasim has been fined Rs300,000.

Waqar Younis, Inzamamul Haq and Saeed Anwar have been penalized and 
it was stated that these cricketers were withholding information.

The report does not mention the names of Ejaz Ahmed or Saqlain 
Mushtaq.

The chairman said that PCB was preparing its own recommendations, 
which are in the process of being finalised, However, one thing 
that has been agreed upon is zero-tolerance to any such behaviour 
and anyone found guilty would be dealt with severely.

Before reading from a five-page summary, Gen Tauqir gave a 
background to the whole episode. He also mentioned the infamous 
bodyline series, sledging, ball tampering etc. as the other sour 
areas of international cricket.

Gen Tauqir said that the Commission dealt with the issue involved 
at length and in this regard questioned a total of 54 witnesses 
including cricketers, officials, journalists, Australian cricketers 
etc. thoroughly before finalising is recommendations.

In the report, the Commission's finding is that there was no 
planned betting and match-fixing by the team as such. Thus, on the 
whole, the team is cleared of blame and as a whole the players of 
the Pakistan cricket team declared innocent. However, doubts of 
varying intensity have been cast on the integrity of some members 
of the team in their individual capacity.

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20000524 
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Barbados Test ends in a tame draw
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Qamar Ahmed

BRIDGETOWN (Barbados), May 23: If not for 'safety first' tactics a 
decision would have been possible on the final day of the second 
Test at the Kensington Oval but as it turned out to be, the match 
ended in a tame draw here on Monday with both Pakistan and West 
Indies sharing the honours.

Pakistan, having resumed the fifth day's play at 345 for seven in 
their second innings, left it a bit too late to force a result as 
they allowed their innings to drag on till 20 minutes after lunch 
when they declared their second innings closed at 419 for nine. 
That left West Indies a formidable 275 to save the match in the 
remaining 57 overs.

West Indies started their second innings shakily as they lost 
openers Adrian Griffith and Sherwin Campbell with only 15 runs on 
the board.

And when Shivnarine Chanderpaul was also dismissed for 16, it 
seemed that Pakistan could still force a win but Wavell Hinds and 
captain Jimmy Adams pulled the West Indies innings together to 
share a partnership of 72 for the fourth wicket and take their side 
to safety.

With seven overs still remaining in the last hour, play was finally 
called off by the two umpires with the consent of both skippers.

In the fifth over of the innings, Griffith (5) was adjudged leg 
before by umpire Eddie Nicholls when a delivery from Waqar Younis 
struck the batsman quite high.

Campbell (8) then fended a lifting delivery from Wasim Akram to 
substitute Shahid Afridi in the gulley.

With Saqlain Mushtaq and Mushtaq Ahmed bowling in tandem from the 
ninth over things were difficult to manage for the batsmen on a 
pitch that had deep foot marks.

Chanderpaul, not sure about Mushtaq's spin, dashed down the wicket 
to hit him but found the ball in the hands of Mohammad Wasim at 
silly mid-off. The third wicket falling at 41.

However, from 58 for three at tea, the West Indies recovered to 
take the score to 113 before Pakistan picked up the wicket of 
Wavell Hinds, who played at a widish ball from Mushtaq and was 
caught at the wicket for 52. He hit eight fours.

Hinds, the 23-year-old left-hander from Jamaica playing only in his 
fourth Test, was deservedly declared the Man-of-the-Match for his 
165 in the first innings and another brilliant effort in the second 
knock.

The Pakistani bowlers failed to dislodge either Adams or young 
Ramnaresh Sarwan. As it was, Adams remained unbeaten with 34 and 
debutant Sarwan followed his impressive 84 not out in the first 
innings with 11, including two wonderful drives to the long-off 
boundary off Mushtaq in the final over of the Test.

Both teams now head off to Recreation Ground in St John's (Antigua) 
for the third and final Test, starting on Thursday, with everything 
to play for.

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20000526  
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Pakistan judge says probe not over
-------------------------------------------------------------------

KARACHI, May 25: The judge who delivered a report on corruption in 
Pakistan cricket said on Thursday that all his recommendations were 
implemented but added that an investigation against wrist spinner 
Mushtaq Ahmed was continuing.

"I can only say that all my recommendations have been implemented. 
I neither have to be happy nor satisfied because it was up to the 
concerned authorities how they handled the report," Justice Malik 
Mohammad Qayyum said on Thursday from Lahore.

But Qayyum said an investigation against Mushtaq had not been 
completed because one witness had not been found.

"We are trying to locate one Mr Butt... Butt, according to my 
information, is in Kuwait and until I examine him I can't decide 
whether the allegations against Mushtaq are true or false," the 
judge said.

LIFE BAN NOT RECOMMENDED

Qayyum's report said Mushtaq was accused of match-fixing against 
Australia in a Singer Cup match in Sri Lanka in 1994. But he said 
in an interview he did not recommend a life ban against the player 
because his performance in the match had been impressive.

"He didn't concede many runs and also took wickets. The accusations 
didn't match the performance," he said.

Australia won the one-dayer by 28 runs, with Mushtaq taking the 
wickets of Waugh twins. His 10 overs cost 34 runs.

Mushtaq, currently touring the West Indies with the Pakistan 
national team, was fined 300,000 rupees ($5,800) by the Pakistan 
Cricket Board (PCB) on Qayyum's recommendation "for (having) 
brought the name of the Pakistani team into disrepute 
with...associating with gamblers".

The judge said a life ban was recommended against discarded test 
pacer bowler Ata-ur-Rehman because he confessed.

ALLEGATIONS WITHDRAWN

"He admitted taking bribe but Wasim Akram was not banned because 
Ata withdrew his allegations against him. Besides, Wasim never 
admitted paying Ata the said amount."

Rehman had said Akram paid him 100,000 rupees to bowl badly in a 
one-day international against New Zealand at Christchurch in 1993-
94, but later retracted the accusation.

Qayyum also recommended a life ban against former top batsman Salim 
Malik but added he would not comment as Malik has said he will go 
to court to challenge the ban.-Reuters

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