------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 28 April 2001 Issue : 07/17 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + SC orders changes in NAB Ordinance - Verdict announced + Chief Executive calls for stronger defence ties with Iran + Pakistan, Iran agree on broad-based govt for Afghanistan + All Parties Hurriyat Conference rejects Indian offer + Many ARD leaders, workers picked up + Land route only feasible option: Iran + US official discusses situation with Gohar + World Bank okays two projects + Government to implement decision: official + Expansion of trade relations stressed + POL smuggling to figure in talks with Iran today + Good governance, economic revival top priorities: CE + No rift in All Parties Hurriyat Conference ranks: Bhat + Canal water crisis costs Rs33billion to Sindh + Asif's shifting plea adjourned --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Asian Development Bank to provide $2.5 billion to Pakistan + Farm loan amount doubled: Shaukat: Drought ravages + 20% import tariffs for European Union under study + Talks on to streamline IMF conditionalities + State Bank not to buy dollar from kerb up to June + Sino-Pakistan trade relations to grow: Sattar + Pakistan, EU talks on trade barriers + Shifting of cane cultivation to sugar beet + UBL earned Rs 2billion in profits, says president + Money changers to trade $ with National Bank + Private sector to set up micro credit banks --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Another historic judgement Ardeshir Cowasjee + An excess of brass Ayaz Amir + It's a minefield out there Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Moin dropped as blundering selectors play musical chairs + Pakistan to name squad for England today + Unknown Foster named as bowling coach

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NATIONAL NEWS
20010425 
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SC orders changes in NAB Ordinance - Verdict announced
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By Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, April 24: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued guidelines 
to the government to amend the National Accountability Bureau 
Ordinance, preferably within two months, for bringing the 
accountability process under the existing judicial system.

Announcing its judgement in petitions challenging the vires of the 
NAB Ordinance, the apex court reduced the maximum period of remand 
from 90 days to 15 days and directed that the accused should be 
produced in the accountability court within 15 days of his arrest.

If sufficient and reasonable cause is available for further remand, 
after the expiry of first 15 days, the accused should be brought 
before the court for appropriate order and in no case, each remand 
should be for a period of more than 15 days at a time, it said.

Holding that the NAB law was promulgated competently, the court 
ruled: "We allow these petitions with the observation that this 
order and directions contained therein shall come into force with 
immediate effect. However, the federal government is directed to 
formally promulgate appropriate legislative instruments, as soon as 
possible, but preferably, within a period of two months from 
today."

The court held that detention of an accused for 90 days without 
sufficient cause was violative of personal liberties. The court 
held that chairman NAB's powers to freeze property shall not exceed 
30 days unless confirmed by an accountability court.

The court further directed that the accountability court passing 
order of remand should forward a copy of such order with reasons 
for making it to the high court concerned.

It was further held that the judgement passed on Tuesday would have 
no affect on the cases already tried and decided. "We, therefore, 
direct that this order shall not affect the trials conducted and 
convictions recorded or any order passed or proceedings taken 
thereunder and the pending trials/proceedings may continue subject 
to this order."

The 15 petitions, filed by prominent politicians, including former 
prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan and many 
others, were admitted for regular hearing on September 12, 2000, 
and were decided last week after one week hearing.

Chief Justice Irshad Hasan Khan, who authored the 342-paged 
judgement, read out the whole judgement, starting at 9:12am and 
ending at 11:45am. The bench consisted of Chief Justice Irshad 
Hasan Khan, Justice Muhammad Bashir Jehangiri, Justice Muhammad 
Arif and Justice Qazi Muhammad Farooq

The court ruled that from April 24, 2002, the accountability courts 
(ACs) would be under the discipline of high courts instead of 
federal government.

The court held that all the judges of accountability courts should 
be serving district and session judges, qualified to be appointed 
as judges of the high court. They should be appointed for a period 
of three years in consultation with chief justice of the high court 
concerned.

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20010427 
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Chief Executive calls for stronger defence ties with Iran
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By Ahmad Hasan Alvi

ISLAMABAD, April 26: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf said on 
Thursday that Islamabad wanted stronger ties with Iran in all 
fields and said there was good scope for increasing military co-
operation between the two countries.

The chief executive was talking to Dr Hassan Rouhani, Secretary of 
Iran's Supreme National Security Council and National Security 
Adviser to the President, who called on him here on Thursday.

The chief executive also underscored the need for greater economic 
co-operation between Pakistan and Iran and observed that the volume 
of trade between the two countries was far below its potential and 
needed to be substantially increased, says an official statement.

Referring to the traditionally close relations that have existed 
between Pakistan and Iran, the chief executive told Dr Rouhani that 
Pakistan sincerely desired to further strengthen these ties with 
Iran in all fields.

Similarly, there was good scope for increasing the co-operation in 
the field of defence, he added.

Talking about the continued turmoil in Afghanistan, Gen Musharraf 
said that it had brought nothing but misery and hardship to the 
people of Afghanistan.

The chief executive said Pakistan and Iran needed to co-operate to 
bring durable peace to Afghanistan. He also expressed his 
appreciation of Iran's support on the Kashmir issue and hoped that 
Iran would continue to raise its voice for the legitimate rights of 
the Kashmiri people. The chief executive renewed his invitation to 
President Khatami to pay an official visit to Pakistan.

Dr Rouhani conveyed the greetings of President Khatami to the chief 
executive. He referred to the historic and cultural affinities 
between the two countries which were based on shared faith.

Dr Rouhani said relations between the two countries were deep-
rooted and would not be affected by Iran's relations with any other 
country.

During his visit he had held important meetings in which proposals 
to expand bilateral co-operation in various fields were discussed. 
Frequent exchange of high level visit between the two countries 
would further strengthen these relations.

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20010427 
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Pakistan, Iran agree on broad-based govt for Afghanistan
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By Syed Talat Hussain

ISLAMABAD, April 26: Iran reiterated its stand on Thursday on 
broad-based government in Afghanistan and condemned the Taliban for 
blowing up the statues of Buddhas. Speaking at a press conference 
along with Foreign Minister
 Abdus Sattar at the Foreign Office, Dr Hassan Rouhani, Secretary 
of the Supreme Council of National Security of Iran, described 
Afghanistan as a complex issue and said there was a need to develop 
a proper mechanism to bring back stability.

"There cannot be a military solution to the problem," said Dr 
Rouhani, who also described extremism in Afghanistan as dangerous.

"Pakistan and Iran agree on the need for a broad-based government 
in Afghanistan, ceasefire, end of extremism and supply of weapons 
from outside to the warring factions," he said.

While quoting a verse from the Holy Quran about respecting other 
religions, he made a strong statement against the Taliban for 
blowing up the centuries old Buddha statues.

On Kashmir, Dr Rouhani said the best forum for resolving the 
Kashmir issue would be where Pakistan, India and the Kashmiris are 
represented.

He, however, categorically stated that in order to have influence 
with India, Iran has to have good ties with New Delhi.

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20010427 
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All Parties Hurriyat Conference rejects Indian offer
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By Jawed Naqvi

NEW DELHI, April 26: Kashmir's All Parties Hurriyat Conference 
(APHC) delivered an emphatic snub to India on Thursday, putting on 
hold a much-discussed offer of talks with New Delhi.

Hurriyat officials said any such exercise would be futile unless it 
was clearly understood by all concerned that Pakistan could not be 
kept out of any realistic quest to resolve the dispute.

"Our discussions were focussed on one point," said Maulvi Abbas 
Ansari, a member of the APHC executive council. "We decided that 
talks and not guns could end our misery. But we were equally clear 
that we needed a durable solution, one that inevitably involves 
Pakistan along with Hurriyat and India."

An APHC spokesman said the group's resolve, expressed unanimously 
and in one voice (thereby upsetting some calculations about a 
possible rift), urged New Delhi to allow its representatives to 
travel to Pakistan, not as a pre-condition for talks but as a 
gesture of sincerity to show its commitment to an open mind on the 
issue of Kashmir.

India had named former defence minister K. C. Pant to head the 
talks with Kashmiri leaders who in turn invited all and sundry to 
the proposed conclave, including the Hurriyat. The APHC resolution 
took exception to the approach.

In a statement in Urdu, which was read out to the waiting newsmen 
by Prof Bhatt, the APHC said there would be no meaningful result if 
a bilateral dialogue on Kashmir is started between New Delhi and 
the Hurriyat. "The Indian government wants to deal with Kashmir as 
an internal, law and order problem and this is contrary to the 
proclaimed stand of the people of Kashmir."

The statement questioned New Delhi for placing what it called 
'conditions on its own promises', since Pant has drafted his offer 
'in a manner that intends to ignore the trilateral dimension of the 
problem'.

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20010427 
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Many ARD leaders, workers picked up
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By Sarfaraz Ahmed

KARACHI, April 26: Hundreds of leaders and workers of parties 
belonging to Alliance for Restoration of Democracy, were picked up 
in a night-long operation and the day-long swoop on Thursday across 
the city.

Opposition sources said police and security forces launched their 
operation on Wednesday night in a bid to stop the 16-party alliance 
from pushing ahead with its plans for a rally set for May 1 in 
Karachi.

When Sindh Home Secretary Mukhtar Ahmed was contacted late Thursday 
night to tell about the number of arrests, he said: "I don't know 
anything."

A senior police official said the operation was a part of the 
government's plan to ensure law and order in the province. He also 
said that it was government's policy to expel all those political 
leaders entering Sindh from outside to gather at a banned rally on 
May Day.

The official sources said the number of those arrested since 
Wednesday night was 509 while the opposition sources claimed that 
over 1,000 workers and leaders, mainly those belonging to Pakistan 
People's Party and Pakistan Muslim League, had so far been 
arrested.

Those arrested included PPP deputy secretary-general Raza Rabbani, 
former defence minister Aftab Shahban Mirani and former federal 
minister Khurshid Ahmed Shah.

The police also arrested several PML leaders including the former 
governor of Sindh, Mamnoon Hussain, former Sindh minister Saleem 
Zia and ex-adviser to the chief minister Zahid Rafiq Butt. The 
three leaders were arrested from Arambagh, DHA and Baldia Town, 
respectively.

The police also arrested ANP's Sindh leader Rana Gul Afridi and 
others.

Pakistan Democratic Party Sindh leader Mushtaq Mirza was arrested 
from his residence as was confined in Ferozabad police station.

The ARD chief, Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, and PML acting President 
Javed Hashmi were taken into custody soon after their flight from 
Multan landed at the Karachi airport in the morning. After an 
eight-hour detention they were expelled from the province and sent 
to Lahore.

There was a heavy police presence at the Quaid-i-Azam international 
airport where security personnel stopped a group of about 130 PML 
activists - mostly women - from chanting anti-government and pro-
Sharif slogans.

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20010426 
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Land route only feasible option: Iran
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Khaleeq Kiani

ISLAMABAD, April 25: Pakistan and Iran agreed on Wednesday that 
trans-Pakistan route was the only feasible option for Iran-India 
gas pipeline project. Petroleum Minister Usman Aminuddin told Dawn 
that Iran considered land-route for the gas pipeline as the only 
option. "We have once again assured them (Iran) that Pakistan is 
ready to provide any support to remove Indian security concerns but 
we should know what these security concerns are in the first 
place," said the minister.

"Why there should be security concerns when the project is in the 
economic interest of all the three nations," said the minister. 
However, he said Pakistan did not need to get gas from the pipeline 
but would support Iran to take the pipeline to India.

The minister led a team of Pakistani experts that held an hour-long 
meeting with the visiting Iranian delegation led by secretary of 
the Iran's Supreme National Security Council and National Security 
Adviser to the President, Hojjatoleslam Dr Hassan Rouhani.

The minister said Pakistani side also asked Iran to start physical 
work on Pak-Iran Refinery near Hub in Balochistan. The Iranian side 
assured that a technical team would be dispatched to Islamabad on 
May 23, 2001 in this regard.

The minister also raised the issue of the smuggling of petroleum 
products from Iran to Pakistan and told the visiting delegation 
that it was harmful for the economies of both the countries. The 
visiting dignitary was asked that Tehran should help Pakistan check 
this problem.

The Iranian side was informed that Pakistan was interested in 
exporting surplus motor spirit to Iran but this was possible only 
on international market rates because Islamabad was importing crude 
oil from Tehran on international rates and this trade should be on 
a level-playing field.

"Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project will not only enhance the 
level of regional economic and trade interaction but will also open 
up new vistas of beneficial relations among the member states," an 
official statement quoted the petroleum minister as saying.

The petroleum minister talked about tremendous opportunities in the 
oil and gas field between the two countries and raised the issues 
pertaining to proposed Pak-Iran Refinery, gas projects, import of 
crude oil from Iran and export of motor gasoline to Iran, the 
statement said.

The statement said that Mr Usman also informed the Iranian team 
about the POL smuggling from Iran to Pakistan and solicited 
concrete steps to stamp out this menace causing loss to the 
national exchequers of both countries.

Ahmad Hasan Alvi adds: Pakistan and Iran have agreed to consider 
raising the level of Pakistan-Iran Joint Committee to a Joint 
Secretariat Commission, with minister level representation, apart 
from expansion of bi-lateral relations and co-operation in their 
efforts to check cross-border smuggling, drug trafficking, 
criminals' movement and other illegal activities of various anti-
social elements, says a press release.

Similarity in views was observed during a meeting between Dr. 
Hassan Rouhani, Secretary Supreme National Security Council of Iran 
and Federal Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider here on Wednesday.

Tarar expressed his "satisfaction at the special relations between 
Pakistan and Iran, which were deeply rooted in shared faith, 
culture and history."

The president also underscored the need for greater economic co-
operation between the two countries.

Dr Hassan Rouhani called for "greater unity in the Islamic world to 
face challenges that were confronting the Ummah."

He pointed out that Iran "attached great importance to the solution 
of the Kashmir problem."

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20010426 
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US official discusses situation with Gohar
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, April 25: The political secretary of the US embassy, 
Jeff Hawkins, called on the secretary-general of PML (like-minded), 
Gohar Ayub Khan, here on Wednesday. "The political situation and 
re-organization of PML remained the focus of discussion during 
the meeting that lasted for 45 minutes," Mr Khan told Dawn.

He said he apprised Mr Hawkins of the Muslim League stand on the 
issue of restoration of democracy. The possibility of restoration 
of democracy would remain there till the dissolution of suspended 
assemblies, he added.

He said the US diplomat was also informed of the preparation being 
made by PML to contest the next general elections. "We are also 
preparing for the next general elections," he added.

Later, the high commissioner of Republic of Cyprus, Ms Loria 
Markidf, also met the former speaker.

Talking about the Supreme Court judgement on the NAB Ordinance, he 
said it was a positive development. The changes suggested by the 
Supreme Court would give the NAB Ordinance more acceptability both 
at the local and international levels.

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20010426
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 World Bank okays two projects
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Tahir Mirza

WASHINGTON, April 25: The World Bank on Tuesday approved two 
projects for Pakistan, a $10.08 million equivalent project on 
conservation and a $3 million trade and transportation facilitation 
project.

The conservation project will help conserve nationally and globally 
important habitats and species in three protected areas of Machiara 
in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Hingol in Balochistan, and Chitral Gol 
in the Frontier province.

It will, according to a World Bank press release, specifically 
benefit the poor and women who make the most intensive use of 
natural resources due to lack of other opportunities, by providing 
skills training and micro-credit.

The project will seek to conserve natural habitats and arrest the 
decline of species; improve the capacity of government agencies and 
community institutions; improve collection of bio-diversity data; 
and support environmental awareness campaigns for the general 
public, schoolchildren and tourists.

The second project is aimed at assisting Islamabad in developing a 
more modern, efficient and competitive trade and transportation 
facilitation system. It will help reduce costs for Pakistan's 
industry and commerce and, in a competitive market, allow such 
savings to be passed on to consumers. It will also generate 
additional employment and growth opportunities.

The project will help develop and support the first phase of 
Pakistan's medium-term trade and transport facilitation programme, 
and support permanent institutional arrangements for modern trade 
and transport facilitation practices.

It will also help strengthen and streamline trade legislation, 
procedures and documentation; and it will modernize transport 
legislation and strengthen human resource development.

The project is expected to assist with preparation of a detailed 
time-bound action programme for further measures to be carried out 
by trained staff put in place during the project.

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20010425 
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Government to implement decision: official
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By Our Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, April 24: Prosecutor General National Accountability 
Bureau Raja Muhammad Bashir said on Tuesday that the Supreme Court 
judgement on the NAB Ordinance will be implemented "in its true 
letter and spirit and in quickest possible time."

The government will bring amendments within the period of two 
months given by the Supreme Court, Raja Bashir told a press 
conference held within few hours of the announcement of the 
judgement by the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

He termed the judgement "historic one" and said the accountability 
process would now be carried out with "full speed" as the SC 
decision has dispelled all the doubts in the minds of general 
public.

When asked whether the judgement would have any affect on the scope 
of accountability and whether it would be extended to superior 
judiciary and military, he pointed out that the judgement was 
explicit in this regard.

It mentioned that a comprehensive mechanism for the accountability 
of serving officers of armed forces was available under Pakistan 
Army Act, Pakistan Navy Act and Pakistan Air Force Act. During the 
hearing the number of court-martial cases so far undertaken had 
also been cited, he added.

Similarly, the superior judiciary would continue to be excluded 
from the purview of the NAB Ordinance, he added.

As regard the impact of the Supreme Court judgement on the 
accountability cases pending before the Ehtesab courts, he said the 
judgement has largely been related to powers of the chairman, 
freezing of properties, remand and some other issues of procedural 
nature.

The prosecutor general said the procedure laid down by the Supreme 
Court for the appointment of NAB chairman, would help the Bureau to 
emerge as a really independent body.

He pointed out that the SC had directed that NAB chairman should be 
appointed by the president in consultation with the chief justice 
of Pakistan. He said the SC had also specified a term of three 
years in which the chairman NAB could not be removed by the 
executive.

The decision would bring the NAB completely out of the influence of 
the government, he said. He, however, clarified that it would be 
applicable on the future appointments and not on the appointment of 
present chairman of NAB Lt-Gen Khalid Maqbool.

On the issue of qualification of the chairman, he said it had been 
discussed during the hearing.

The chief justice, he recalled, had observed that the 
qualifications of ombudsman were also not specified.

Raja Bashir further said that his appointment as a prosecutor 
general would be reviewed in the light of Supreme Court judgement.

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20010423 
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Expansion of trade relations stressed
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ISLAMABAD, April 22: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf said on 
Sunday that Pakistan and Oman were serious about taking their 
economic co-operation to new heights.

"The first thing that emerged was that there is a serious desire to 
collaborate with each other to take our relations to new heights," 
he told a group of reporters soon after his wide-ranging talks with 
Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said, here on Sunday afternoon.

Gen Musharraf said Sultan Qaboos had recognized this fact and said 
that both countries needed to collaborate in economic, trade, and 
commercial fields, as well as in the defence sector, where they had 
common interest.

The two leaders had an informal meeting before their delegations 
joined them for official talks during which they identified areas 
of co-operation.

Sultan Qaboos led his side at the talks and the Pakistani side was 
led by Gen Musharraf.

Both leaders were assisted at the talks by their ministers and 
officials.

The chief executive said the talks had strengthened their 
relations. He said both sides had identified the areas of co-
operation "in the economic field and also in training and defence 
production".

Both countries, he said, would revive their close historical and 
cultural relations and their ties would now be much better than 
they had been before.

"We have decided to look at the future with much more seriousness 
in the spirit of collaboration and brotherhood," said Gen 
Musharraf.

When asked about an agreement to set up Pakistan-Oman Investment 
Company, Gen Musharraf said: "This is very important and this will 
lead to collaboration in the economic field."

Soon after the talks, an official of the foreign office said both 
sides had in-depth talks and their focus had been on the 
enhancement of bilateral, economic and industrial co-operation.

"This meeting was primarily focused on bilateral economic 
relations," said the official.

Sultan Qaboos had said his country wanted to expand co-operation 
with Pakistan in the economic sector, the official said.

The chief executive had briefed Sultan Qaboos about the Kashmir 
issue and the Afghanistan crisis, he added.

Both the sides had noted that the Taliban should be engaged by the 
international community, the official of the foreign office said, 
adding that the ministers of foreign affairs, commerce, science and 
technology, communications, finance, education, privatization, food 
and agriculture had given a briefing on co-operation between 
Pakistan and Oman during the talks.-APP

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20010425 
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POL smuggling to figure in talks with Iran today
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By Our Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, April 24: Pakistan would take up with Iran here on 
Wednesday cross-border smuggling of petroleum products and trans- 
Pakistan gas pipeline, official sources told Dawn.

Petroleum Minister Usman Aminuddin, during his talks with visiting 
secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council and National 
Security adviser to the Iranian president, Hojjatoleslam Dr Hassan 
Rouhani, would raise the issue of smuggling of petroleum products, 
particularly the motor spirit, into Pakistan.

Though still unquantified officially, Pakistan's motor spirit 
market is badly affected by the smuggling of the product from Iran 
that, petroleum officials believe, is of a very poor quality. Mr 
Usman told this scribe sometime ago that the product, smuggled from 
Iran, was in fact called benzine and sold primarily in Balochistan 
and upcountry as motor spirit.

Pakistan is calling upon Iran to help control smuggling of motor 
spirit and is ready to offer certain measures in this regard. In 
return, according to the sources, Iran wants Pakistan to help it 
contain drugs smuggling.

Official sources said that the petroleum minister would also remind 
the visiting dignitary that Pakistan was ready to allow trans-
Pakistan gas pipeline to India to pass through its land and that a 
contradictory position taken by New Delhi on the subject had 
brought the issue to a "standstill".

The minister will also discuss issues pertaining to Pakistan-Iran 
coastal refinery in Hub, near Karachi.

TRADE TIES: Mr Rouhani, who arrived on a four -day visit to 
Pakistan on Tuesday, held talks with Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar 
during which they agreed on the need for enhancing economic co-
operation between the two sides, adds APP.

They held wide-ranging talks on bilateral, regional and 
international issues.

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20010424 
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Good governance, economic revival top priorities: CE
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RAWALPINDI, April 23 : Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf has 
said that economic revival, good governance and stability of the 
country are the top priorities of the government.

He was addressing the senior officers of the armed forces on the 
occasion of 54th Formation Commanders' Conference, which began at 
the Army Auditorium here on Monday.

The chief executive said Pakistan was following a policy of minimum 
deterrence at both conventional and non- conventional levels, 
according to an ISPR press release.

He said the sovereignty, integrity and security of Pakistan would 
be guarded at all costs. However, Pakistan had no interest in 
getting involved in any arms race, he added.

Gen Musharraf said that, due to the efforts of the government, the 
Kashmir issue had been highlighted internationally and had emerged 
as the major stumbling block to lasting peace in South Asia. The 
international community realized that stability could only be 
guaranteed in the region through the resolution of this problem.

Gen Musharraf dwelt at length on short and long-term measures the 
government was taking for revival of economy and poverty 
alleviation. " " I have a vision of a strong, secure, stable, 
economically progressive and dynamic Pakistan. Every possible 
effort will be made to achieve this noble cause," he added.

The chief executive differentiated between the long-term measures 
and policies being put in place to ensure genuine, continuous and 
sustained progress of Pakistan, desired by the present government; 
and the short-term self-serving measures adopted during the last 
decade by various governments.

He said that while the brave people of Pakistan might have to bear 
temporary short-term discomfort, soon the long- term benefits for 
the country and the people would permanently transform Pakistan 
into the Quaid's dream.

The chief executive also mentioned the tremendous support to the 
government being shown by many countries whose leaders were 
visiting Pakistan. All who had visited Pakistan during the recent 
past, had gone back highly impressed by the direction and progress 
that Pakistan had made in such a short time.

Replying to a question, he said that sustainability and continuity 
of the policy would be ensured and no one would be allowed to 
hinder the on-going process of reforms and restructuring.

Later, the director-gneral, Inter Services Intelligence, gave a 
comprehensive briefing on internal and external security situation.

Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz gave an update on economy, which 
included an overview of achievements of the current financial year 
and the next year's imperatives.

Minister for Privatization Altaf Saleem apprised the participants 
of measures taken by the government regarding privatization. He 
spoke about increasing domestic and international interest being 
shown in the privatization process.

Commerce Minister Abdul Razzak outlined Pakistan's trade policy and 
benefits that had started to emerge despite various limiting 
circumstances.-APP

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20010423 
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No rift in All Parties Hurriyat Conference ranks: Bhat
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ISLAMABAD, April 22: All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Prof 
Abdul Gani Bhathas dispelled the impression that there are 
differences among the APHC ranks on the Kashmir issue.

"There is no difference in our rank and file. Absolutely no 
difference at all. There may be differences among Kashmiris on 
other issues but there is no difference among them or anywhere in 
Kashmir about one issue, the Kashmir dispute," Prof Bhat told BBC.

In reply to a question about delay by the APHC in responding to the 
Indian talks offer, he said there was no issue of delay or 
rejection or acceptance: it is a matter of principles and 
objectives. If talks were held on the basis of principles, it could 
yield a result, he added.-APP

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20010422 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Canal water crisis costs Rs33billion to Sindh
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, April 21: Sindh has suffered a loss of Rs33 billion on 
account of an unprecedented shortage of irrigation water and a lack 
of rains.
The loss of Rs33 billion is additional to an estimated damage of 
Rs100 billion
 sustained by the province due to sea intrusion, Rs5 billion damage 
due to an earthquake in Gujarat and Rs8 billion due to a cyclone in 
May 1999, an official told Dawn.

These figures were presented by the officials of the government of 
Sindh to the representatives of the World Bank and the Asian 
Development Bank here at a meeting presided over by Finance 
Secretary-General Moeen Afzal.

The Sindh government identified five factors - sea intrusion, a 
shortage of irrigation water in canal command areas, a drought in 
the arid zones of the province, an effect of cyclone and earthquake 
in the Indian state of Gujarat.

Officials of the World Bank and the Asian Development told the 
meeting that they could extend financial assistance to those water-
related projects, including small dams and lining of canals, which 
would be completed in a maximum period of one year.

They said they could not commit financial assistance for long- term 
projects.

The officials of all the four provinces who attended the meeting 
were asked to prepare water-related short-term project reports 
before the next meeting, which would be held on May 10, the source 
said.

The Sindh government had put forward development projects worth 
Rs46 billion in the sectors of agriculture, livestock, fisheries, 
poultry, wildlife, forest, irrigation, roads, health and public 
health engineering.

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20010426 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Asif's shifting plea adjourned
-------------------------------------------------------------------

ISLAMABAD, April 25: A three-member bench of the Supreme Court 
adjourned till May 16 the matter relating to shifting of Asif Ali 
Zardari from Islamabad to Karachi.

The bench comprising Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmed, Justice Mian 
Mohammad Ajmal and Justice Deedar Hussain Shah is hearing the 
appeal filed by Zardari against the order of Sindh High Court.

Advocate General Sindh Raja Qureshi appeared before the apex court 
under notice and informed that Mr Asif Zardari will be produced 
before Accountability Court Rawalpindi on April 28 and so he could 
not be shifted to Karachi. The court adjourned the hearing for May 
16.

Mr Asif Zardari has filed the appeal against the order of Sindh 
High Court where his petition for shifting to Karachi was rejected 
on the ground that no court in Karachi had sought his production.-
APP


BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20010424 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Asian Development Bank to provide $2.5 billion to Pakistan
-------------------------------------------------------------------

ISLAMABAD, April 23: Asian Development Bank will provide financial 
assistance of US $2.5 billion for poverty reduction to Pakistan 
within next five years. The ADB has also appreciated the economic 
reforms agenda of the government.

This was stated by the Yoshihiro Iwasaki, Director Programme 
Department (West) Asian Development Bank while addressing a news 
conference here on Monday.

Lauding the economic policies, he said in terms of general economic 
performance, the government has succeeded in achieving the targets 
that it had agreed with IMF and other donor agencies.

"I will commend the government for its significant achievement and 
on its basis, the IMF has recently released its second tranche to 
the country", he added.

He said Pakistan today was going through a difficult period because 
of economic mismanagement in the past.

He said purpose of holding this forum with government was to know 
the views and comments of the participants on the poverty 
assessment, in order to finalize the draft and discuss the findings 
over the poverty issue in Pakistan.-APP

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20010424 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Farm loan amount doubled: Shaukat: Drought ravages
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, April 23: Oman has decided to invest 50 million dollars 
in various fields of Pakistan, Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz 
said on Monday.
Speaking at a news conference here
, he said that Oman would provide $12 million for chemical projects 
besides extending seven million dollars for the development of 
Gawdar city in Balochistan.

Both the countries have decided to arrange visits and, as a first 
step, a delegation of three ministers headed by Omanese finance 
minister will visit Pakistan in June this year to promote trade and 
economic relations between the two countries.

He said the government of Japan had also pledged 34 million dollars 
to meet the funding requirements for the second phase of the on-
going Kohat Tunnel Project.

The finance minister said the Japanese Ambassador had called on him 
on Monday and pledged the soft loan to be offered on 1.8 per cent 
interest rate for 30 years period. The agreement will soon be 
signed in Islamabad.

Aziz said he had briefed the formation commanders on Monday in the 
GHQ on various economic issues. Minister for Commerce Razak Dawood 
and Minister for Privatization Saleem Altaf also briefed the 
commanders on trade and the process of privatization.

"Then I also chaired a meeting today to discuss the latest drought 
situation and tentatively it has been agreed to increase 
agriculture loans to the farmers from Rs50 billion to Rs100 
billion", he added.

Giving details, he said the ADBP and other banks would be asked to 
offer more loans to farmers so that their losses caused by the 
drought could considerably be compensated in all the four 
provinces.

"We are expecting 150 million dollars to 200 million dollars' 
additional support from the donors for removing the serious effects 
of the drought", he added.

He said a task force had been constituted under the chairmanship of 
Deputy Governor Mr Chugtai to work out a comprehensive agricultural 
lending policy for farmers.

Responding to a question he said that the drought had caused a loss 
of $1.2 billion while there could be one billion dollar 
implications for the balance of payment support in case Pakistan 
decided to import wheat or other agricultural products.

However, he said at this stage it was difficult to predict exact 
estimates. He said the production of wheat had been estimated to be 
over 18 million tons and that 10.8 million cotton bales were 
expected this year. 

Talking about the GHQ meeting, the finance minister said that the 
commanders were informed about the latest economic situation with 
special reference to the new budget, taxation, revenues and the CBR 
reform programme. He said the commanders had expressed satisfaction 
over the economic reform programme and its effective implementation 
by the Ministry of Finance.

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20010427 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
20% import tariffs for European Union under study
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, April 26: Pakistan is considering to offer 20 per cent 
import tariff for goods from European Union, and in return will get 
5 per cent tariff for Pakistan's export to EU countries.

"We are seeking a market access in European Union for which we will 
have to strike a bargain", said the Minister for Commerce and 
Industries, Razak Dawood.

Speaking at a news conference here on Thursday, the commerce 
minister who has just returned from Brussels said that Pakistan's 
exports needed to be greatly increased in EU in order to earn more 
foreign exchange.

He said although maximum import tariff will be 30 per cent from the 
next financial year, special tariff will have to be given to EU to 
get in return some better market access. "This is a budget issue 
which is still to be finalized but tentatively we plan to give 20 
per cent import tariff to EU", he said.

He said he had met the Trade Commissioner of the European Union 
Pascal Lamy and was offered 17.5 per cent import tariff for 
Pakistan as was offered to Sri Lanka. He said Sri Lanka and Ukraine 
had accepted 17.5 per cent import tariff for EU goods and that the 
same was now being sought from Pakistan.

"We have not decided any thing but I told the Trade Commissioner 
that we need a better deal and we could consider 20 per cent 
tariff", Razak Dawood said.

The commerce minister pointed out that Bangladesh, Egypt were the 
privileged countries as there was no quota for them and that they 
could send their products in EU countries without paying any duty.

He said although quota regime will have to go by the year 2005, its 
benefits were being showered to some selected countries by the EU.

Responding to a question, he said that it will take about 3 to 4 
months to get various issues settled with the EU specially over the 
quota and new tariff.

Asked whether it was due to military government there was no better 
tariff package for Pakistan, Dawood said he thought so but he was 
not mentioned any thing like revival of democracy as a condition by 
the EU during his visit to Brussels.

He said on May 2 the Sri Lankan commerce minister will visit 
Pakistan and then on May 15 Kenya commerce minister was arriving 
here to discuss increasing trade relations. He said the issue of EU 
tariff will come up for discussion during their stay in Pakistan.

Responding to a question, he said that Pakistan was currently 
exporting 2 billion dollar worth of textiles related goods to EU 
which was further expected to be increased considerably once 
various issues were settled between the two sides. 

In reply to a question, the minister for commerce said that for the 
first time in the history of Pakistan 9 billion-dollar exports were 
expected during the current financial year. "I still maintain that 
we will mange to have 9.4 billion dollar exports at the end of June 
30".

He said there was a 6.4 billion-dollar export target for EU for 
2000-2001 while this target for textiles was 1.7 billion-dollar.

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20010427 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Talks on to streamline IMF conditionalities
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Jawaid Bokhari

KARACHI, April 26: The board of International Monetary Fund (IMF) 
is now engaged in discussions on "streamlining conditionalities" to 
give borrowing countries "possible scope" to develop their own 
approaches
 to dealing with the objective of the Fund's programmes.

The conditionality and programme content will be focused closer to 
the core areas of the IMF.

IMF officials say "there is a clear direction from our board 
discussion on streamlining of conditionality and focusing the 
Fund's efforts more broadly."

Dwelling on the current exercise at a news briefing, they pointed 
out that the IMF needed to ensure what was critical for the success 
of its programmes should be covered by adequate monitoring 
arrangements and conditionalities for those items, which were 
relevant. In areas not critical to the objectives and programmes, 
we should be much more parsimonious in the way, in which we assign 
conditionality, they added.

Currently, the IMF Board can ease conditionality and re-set targets 
on case by case basis.

Financial analysts said on Thursday in case of Pakistan, the IMF 
was primarily concerned about 4-5 issues that it considered 
critical to its stabilization programme. These include budget and 
balance of payments deficits, market-driven exchange and interest 
rates and tight monetary policy. The IMF stipulated reforms lowered 
economic growth rate and involved heavy social cost.

Growth and poverty are not high priority area for the IMF. It 
prescribes tight monetary policy and unrealistic cuts in fiscal 
deficit, often in a period of recession and slow economic growth. 
The government development spending are slashed at the cost of 
business and poverty reduction.

Economists say that sound home-grown strategies would be better 
suited for solving the country's economic and fiscal imbalances. 
The IMF's mandate and focus is on global financial stability. Its 
perspectives often do not coincide with ground realities in 
individual countries. The trade bodies and banks have sought 
relaxation in IMF conditionality for the business to prosper.

Giving an update on implementation of debt relief programmes and 
poverty reduction strategy papers to newsmen in Washington on 
Monday, Masood Ahmed, deputy director, policy development and 
review department, IMF, observed: "Now, it is not a question of 
numbers, conditions, although when you try and set out a table that 
explains this, you are invariably drawn to doing this in terms of 
numbers. What we anticipate is that in the areas of structural and 
social reforms which are outside the core areas of the IMF, we will 
not have normally conditions in PRGF programmes, rather we would 
expect that where the conditions are important, they would be 
included under the programmes of the IDA."

The IMF official was responding to a question as to how substantive 
the commitment is to streamlining conditionality. The questioner 
pointed out that the average core conditionality in PRGF had been 
raised and non-core structural conditionality had been cut.

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20010426 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
State Bank not to buy dollar from kerb up to June 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, April 25: As National Bank has started buying foreign 
exchange from private money changers raising the level of inflows 
in inter-bank market, the State Bank may stop buying dollars from 
the open market.
 But how long the SBP abstains from dollar buying is yet to be 
seen.

SBP sources say the central bank may not buy dollars from open 
market at least in the remaining part of this fiscal year i.e. up 
to June 2001. SBP suspended dollar buying from kerb at end-March 
three weeks before allowing National Bank to purchase all foreign 
currencies from private moneychangers.

There is no official word from SBP on whether it would restart 
dollar buying from kerb, but sources close to it say it would not. 
SBP bought more than $1.5 billion from open market in the first 
nine months of the current fiscal year i.e. between July 2000 and 
March 2001. In full last fiscal year it had bought $1.6 billion.

It is not known whether the central bank has stopped dollar buying 
from kerb for the time being or whether it has decided to 
discontinue this practice altogether. Sources close to SBP say it 
is premature to say anything on the possibility of SBP resuming 
dollar buying from kerb adding that much would depend on balance of 
payment situation. If the inflows in inter-bank market are not 
enough even after NBP buying of foreign exchange from open market 
and if there are no other means to fill in the gap in balance of 
payment SBP may eventually resume dollar buying from kerb.

This is one perception of this issue. Another perception is that 
the central bank has not only suspended dollar buying from kerb it 
has rather stopped it and it may not resume it in future.

Those who share the second perception argue that SBP buying of 
foreign exchange directly from the open market was rather more 
objectionable from the viewpoints of the IMF than similar buying by 
a commercial bank. That holds some weight also because of the fact 
that whereas SBP used to be net buyer of foreign exchange from open 
market the National Bank would not be: it is not only supposed to 
buy foreign exchange but also to sell dollars to private money 
changers against other foreign currencies if there is a demand.

In past four days private money changers have sold more than $20 
million to NBP but they have purchased no dollars thanks to a "wait 
and see" position taken by most currency speculators and local 
corporate and multinational that buy foreign exchange from open 
market.

FOREX RESERVES: Sources close to SBP said foreign currencies being 
bought by the National Bank would be treated as foreign exchange 
holding of the bank - and not that of the State Bank. But even in 
that case the build-up in foreign currency holding of NBP would 
boost liquid foreign exchange reserves of the country by augmenting 
the reserves of the banking system. Lately, the State Bank has 
started reporting liquid foreign exchange reserves of its own as 
well as of other banks separately. Currently, Pakistan has a little 
more than $2 billion worth of liquid forex reserves. Half of this 
is owned by the central bank and the other half by the banks.

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20010425 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan, EU talks on trade barriers: Cut in textile tariffs
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Shadaba Islam

BRUSSELS, April 24: The European Union and Pakistan open a second 
round of talks this week on EU proposals for an accelerated 
reciprocal lowering of trade barriers in bilateral textiles trade.

The EU has made, what at first glance appears to be a tempting 
offer to expedite the dismantling of its textile import quotas 
agreed under the Uruguay Round textiles and clothing agreement.

But the 15-nation bloc says, the move is conditional on reciprocal 
measures by Pakistan to slash textile tariffs and knock down other 
trade barriers.

The EU plan will liberalize Pakistani textile exports to Europe 
ahead of the 2005 World Trade Organization deadline for removing 
all global textile and clothing quotas.

The discussions are complicated, however, with many in Pakistan 
insisting that the EU must also slash its textile tariffs on the 
lines of a recent everything but arms EU initiative, which 
eliminates customs duties on all EU imports from 48 least developed 
states.

Pakistani business leaders and government officials argue that the 
EU's tariff-free trade measures for least developed nations, 
including Bangladesh, have increased competition for other middle-
income textile exporting nations like Pakistan.

The EU has been accused of creating divisions within the ranks of 
developing nations.

Critics argue that increased exports to the EU from the poorest 
nations will substitute exports from other developing nations, 
which are not in the LDC category.

World Bank experts say the increase in exports from the least 
developed countries to the EU could go up by 15 to 20 per cent, 
representing a substantial gain for the group.

The EU's textile liberalization offer, also made to other 
developing nations, follows what officials say is evidence of 
persistently high trade barriers in developing countries, including 
Pakistan, which 'virtually prohibits access to overseas markets' 
for European textile producers.

A commission report warns that Pakistan has very high-applied 
tariffs in the textiles sector, compounded by high import taxes.

Sri Lanka and the EU have clinched a deal under the new proposals, 
with the EU lifting all its imports on quotas of Sri Lankan 
trousers, cotton blouses, cotton shirts and anoraks.

In exchange, Colombo has agreed to notify the WTO of new and lower 
tariff rates of 0 per cent for raw materials, 5 per cent for fibres 
and yarns, 10 per cent for fabrics and 17.5 per cent for clothing 
products. A similar agreement has also been thrashed out with 
Ukraine.

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20010424 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Shifting of cane cultivation to sugar beet 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana

KARACHI, April 23: The sugar technologists have warned the 
government to desist from taking hasty decision of shifting 
cultivation of sugarcane to sugar beet in Sindh, as according to 
one, "this decision may prove counter-productive both for the 
industry and as well as for the growers."

"Some 68 mills in Punjab and Sindh are designed to crush and 
process cane only", President of the Pakistan Society of Sugar 
Technologists, M. Shifat Zaidi informed Dawn on Monday, revealing 
that only four mills in NWFP are designed to process beet.

The sugar mills in Sindh and Punjab, he said, are not equipped with 
'diffusers' a paraphernalia necessary for processing beet roots 
into sugar.

Instead of beet, Zaidi suggested, government should opt for new 
varieties of cane, with better yield per hectare and with more 
sugar content.

Many other sugar technologists and those claiming to have some 
knowledge of the industry advised the government to consider pros 
and cons before deciding to go for mass scale beet plantation.

These experts are also not ready to buy the idea that sugar beet 
requires lesser water than cane. Secondly, they point out that beet 
needs eight watering during its four months cultivation period, 
whereas cane needs only four during its entire one years 
cultivation time, further adding that cane can survive even after 
two watering, but sugar beet cannot sustain in case of water 
shortage.

Shifat Zaidi said that his society will never advise the government 
to shift cane with beet crop which is not at all a solution to the 
present water crisis in the country.

Instead, he suggested the government to evolve new sugarcane 
varieties with the patronage of National Sugarcane Research 
Institute, Thatta, and other research institutes for gaining 
optimum results.

Presently, he said sugarcane yield as well as sucrose contents are 
far below the world standard and even in India per hectare 
production of cane is 170 per cent more than in Pakistan.

He further said that without putting any additional rupee as 
further fixed capital outlay, sugar industry's possessed capacity 
to crush 62 million tons of cane a season just in 160 days time 
fetches 5.30 million tons of sugar at a prevalent low average of 
8.7 per cent. This can be improved to 9-11 per cent with sugar 
production enhanced to 5.58 to 6.82 million tons.

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20010424 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
UBL earned Rs 2billion in profits, says president
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Khaleeq Kiani

ISLAMABAD, April 23: Not only that United Bank Limited (UBL) did 
not require Rs21 billion capital injection from the federal 
government, it has earned an operating profit of Rs2 billion during 
the current year, the bank President Amir Zafar Khan said while 
talking to Dawn at a local hotel here on Monday.

He first insisted that the reports of Rs21 billion capital 
injections were incorrect but refused to disclose the after-tax 
profit saying the information was secret. 

However, when reminded that the issue was first disclosed by the 
privatization minister, Altaf Saleem at a recent seminar and then 
the Chief Executive had declined to entertain UBL's request of 
money injection, the UBL president said that the bank had infact 
asked the government to clear its Rs15 billion taxes stuck-up with 
the Central Board of Revenue (CBR), besides another Rs5 billion 
worth of foreign loans (government to government loans).

He said the bank had wanted that either this amount that was 
basically stuck-up with the government should be cleared or 
equivalent amount of capital should be injected. 

He refused to comment on the statement of minister for 
privatisation but said there were intelligence reports with the 
government that a specific group was interested to buy the bank at 
a throw away price and was busy spreading negative stories.

He said that the Chief Executive had assured the bank that he would 
ensure this amount is cleared by June this year or otherwise the 
money would be injected. 

He claimed that UBL would earn good price when privatised because 
it was now the best bank in Pakistan.

The UBL chief also refused to accept that the bank had siphoned off 
deposits of small depositors without any notice and said all the 
small depositors were informed in advance to maintain certain 
amount in their accounts.

He said UBL was launching some mega projects. These included one 
relating to joint venture with Pakistan Post, where retrenched UBL 
employees would be accommodated while another plan for forestry 
sector financing in collaboration with Pakistan Navy officials was 
just round the corner. Under this project, he said some 
organisations and individuals in the United States and Europe would 
be providing financing for plantation of sheesham trees for export 
and the bank would earn around 50 cents per tree.

The UBL chief said that a number of groups including locals like 
Mansha group and Sehgal group were interested in buying the bank.

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20010422 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Money changers to trade $ with National Bank 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, April 21: More than 400 licensed money changers will start 
selling all foreign currencies to state-run National Bank from 
Monday: they will no longer be taking out foreign currencies to 
Dubai 
on their own to bring in their US dollar equivalent back home. At 
the same time the government would launch a crackdown against 2000-
3000 unlicensed currency dealers across Pakistan to stop capital 
flight.

This was decided at a tripartite meeting here on Saturday at the 
State Bank head office: officials of SBP and NBP and 
representatives of licensed money changers attended the meeting. 
SBP Deputy Governor Dr Mukhtar Nabi Qureshi was in the chair.

"The banking system would get a daily inflow of $4-6 million in the 
shape of foreign currencies sold by money changers to NBP," said 
president of Forex Association of Pakistan Malik Bostan.

The Association though still not registered serves as platform for 
licensed money changers. Bostan said NBP would provide rupees to 
money changers in exchange of foreign currencies in most cases but 
designated branches of the bank would also sell US dollars to them 
against other foreign currencies at open market rates. He said this 
decision was taken at a follow-up meeting also held on Saturday and 
chaired by executive director of SBP Farhat Saeed. A senior SBP 
official confirmed this. According to a press release SBP deputy 
governor Mukhtar Nabi Qureshi told money changers that they would 
be required to maintain complete documentation of all their forex 
transactions.

Leading currency dealers said the directive implied that they would 
be required to keep complete record of the people buying foreign 
exchange worth $10,000 or more from the open market. They said they 
would need to record the names and national identity card numbers 
of such buyers. But in case of smaller buyers money changers would 
be required to keep sale receipts with themselves for auditing 
purposes.

SBP deputy governor said SBP was strengthening the regulatory 
framework for money changers but he would not spell out the 
specifics. He said the steps being taken to discipline them would 
discourage dollarization of economy and reduce the gap between 
inter-bank and open market foreign exchange rates. At present the 
spread is around Rs 3 per dollar. Financial experts say with the 
restrictions now being imposed on money changers the spread might 
come down to Rs 2 per dollar. They say that will be a sustainable 
level.

In recent past Pakistan had been target of mordant criticism by the 
IMF for its failure to keep the spread between inter-bank and open 
market rates at a low level.

Bankers say money changers will have to open their accounts with 
the National Bank to sell foreign currencies. They say the bank 
will buy these currencies at prevailing open market rates.

Money changers said National Bank officials who were present at the 
Saturday meeting had told them that they could now sell all foreign 
currencies to the bank.

Earlier SBP had said money changers could sell six major currencies 
to NBP namely (i) the US dollar (ii) the pound sterling (iii) 
Deutche mark (iv) Saudi Riyal (v) UAE Dirham and (vi) Kuwait Dinar.

A press release issued by Forex Association of Pakistan said that 
NBP would start buying foreign currencies from money changers 
initially in these cities: Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, 
Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Gujranwala. It said NBP would not charge 
any fee for inland transfer of the rupee funds generated out of the 
foreign currencies sold to NBP by money changers.

But the bank would accept foreign currencies only in lots of 
$100,000 or equivalent for smooth processing. NBP will sell foreign 
currencies bought from money changers in international markets.

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20010422 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Private sector to set up micro credit banks
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Sabihuddin Ghausi

KARACHI, April 21: The government is allowing the private sector to 
set up micro credit banks in the country for which an ordinance is 
being promulgated very soon, the Federal Finance and Economic 
Affairs Minister
, Shaukat Aziz announced on Saturday.

Speaking at a seminar on "Development and Financing of Small and 
Medium Enterprises" organized by the Small and Medium Enterprises 
Association (SMEA) on Saturday at a local hotel, the minister 
identified financing as a key constraint that is hindering the 
growth of small and medium enterprises in the country.

"What can government do in such a situation?" he asked while 
responding to the complaints made by the sponsors of the small and 
medium entrepreneurs that banks give only 5 per cent credit to them 
while 85 per cent of loans go to the big business. "Should the 
government issue a royal order to the banks and DFIs," he inquired 
from the SMEA members and then said that the government has opted 
for a better solution.

The government is restructuring the Small Business Finance 
Corporation to make it more responsive and friendly towards the 
small investors' needs, he informed the members of the SMEA.

At the same time, he said the government has set up Khushal 
Pakistan bank which has started operations in Dera Ghazi Khan and 
will soon have branches at Jacobabad, Dera Ismail Khan and on the 
I.I. Chundrigar Road in Karachi.

"All this is being done to provide credit facilities to the small 
and medium entrepreneurs," he said while pointing out that 
government gives a lot of importance to the development of small 
and medium enterprises in the country and is all set to remove any 
impediment that comes in the way.

The minister announced that another ordinance is being promulgated 
to spare them from any harassment of the government agencies when 
small investors will receive funds from the overseas Pakistani 
relatives or friends.

"Disciplinary action will be taken against government employee who 
will harass the recipient of money from the overseas Pakistanis," 
he said.

He said that the federal government had taken up the issue of 
multiplicity of taxes with the provincial governors and informed 
the audience that "something is being set in place which should 
relieve the small enterprises of the harassment they suffer at the 
hands of officials".

Another constraint in growth of small and medium enterprises, he 
pointed out is the lack of technical and financial capacity of the 
investors. For this, he said the restructured SBFC and other 
organizations will provide necessary assistance and guidance.

He agreed with the observation of earlier speakers that those 
government employees who opt for voluntary retirement with golden 
handshake can be trained to set up small enterprises.

Speaking on the present economic scenario, the minister termed it 
as a "challenging fiscal position" which has emerged from the 
failure in the last decade.

Nonetheless, he said the improvement in tax collection during the 
last one year matches with the total increase seen in taxes 
collection in earlier five years.

Similarly, the exports are poised to touch the nine billion dollars 
earning figures for the first time and manufacturing has made 
substantial recovery.

Agriculture, he said, has suffered a setback because of water 
shortage and drought conditions in many areas of the country.

Earlier, the President of the SMEA Zafar Iqbal in his welcome 
address urged the government to divide industries and business into 
three categories of small, medium and big. He suggested that there 
should be separate set of rules, regulations, labour laws, rate of 
taxes for each of these three categories of industry and business.

He proposed the rate of withholding tax on receipt of commissions 
of the indenting agents and companies be reduced to two per cent 
from existing 10 per cent.

Zafar Iqbal's main complaint was that the small entrepreneur is 
being subjected to 54 provincial and four federal taxes which, he 
said was the main factor to "retard the economic and industrial 
progress" of the country.

Also to address the meeting were Kaiser Naseem, the Managing 
Director of the SBFC, who informed the participants of the 
financing facilities available for small entrepreneurs. Faiq 
Hussain of Pak-Libya Holding Company proposed the setting up of 
small industrial parks. Mian Zahid Hussain, a businessman spoke of 
the problems of small investors while Sultan Ahmad a senior 
journalist highlighted the role of small and medium enterprises in 
the economies of even the developed countries and their potential 
in countries like Pakistan.

Back to the top
EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20010422 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Another historic judgement 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

"DO your judges still cover their heads with horsehair? Invited or 
not, they visit us. Some dump on us copies of what they proclaim to 
be historic judgements they have written. Others tell us they are 
in Washington for medical treatment for themselves or their wives."

This was said by a US Supreme Court judge to a man who had 
identified himself as a national of Pakistan, and who could only 
grunt and groan in response and do his best to uphold the honour of 
the country's judges.

The horsehair referred to was the wig worn by the former Chief 
Justice of Pakistan, Nasim Hassan Shah in his photograph printed on 
the cover of a booklet containing his 'historic' judgement 
restoring Nawaz Sharif and his corrupt government dismissed by the 
then president in 1993.

The medical treatment referred to was that of the wife of the 
present Chief Justice of Pakistan, Irshad Hassan Khan.

We now have another 'historic' judgement handed down last week by a 
bench of seven, headed by Justice Bashir Jehangiri, in the appeal 
against their conviction for corruption of the former prime 
minister, Benazir Bhutto, and her husband Asif Zardari.

Their guilt is doubted by none, not even their own defenders. But 
would the duo have been able to do what they did, robbing and 
destroying this country, without the aid and abetment of others? 
Dismissed for the first time, their re-entry into the government 
was expedited by none other than President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, the 
man who in 1990 had sacked Benazir's first government on charges of 
corruption, vociferously citing her husband Asif as being the most 
corrupt of the corrupt lot. After he had dismissed her successor, 
Nawaz Sharif, and his government on the same charge in 1993, Ghulam 
Ishaq sent for Benazir and Asif from London where they were biding 
their time, and himself swore in Asif as one of his caretaker 
ministers. Has anybody been able to calculate the loss to the 
country caused by the two rounds of Benazir's governments?

Now to the latest historic judgement, which records the taped 
version of a conversation which took place "between Saifur Rahman 
and Qayyum J." I can swear on oath that I was present in Saifur 
Rahman's office one day when he received a telephone call from the 
then Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court, Rashid Aziz Khan, 
reporting on the good work his court had done. Saif told him that 
he had done well and that he would convey the good news (whatever 
it was) to Mian Sahib.

The judgment makes it crystal clear what the honourable judges of 
our Supreme Court had in mind. Paragraph 36 reads: "The record 
reveals the glaring injustice meted out to Asif Ali Zardari, 
appellant, when the Court [Ehtesab Bench of the Lahore High Court] 
declined to grant him permission to recall certain witnesses for 
the purpose of cross-examination.... It may be pointed out that 
because of freezing of assets and funds, the appellant, Asif Ali 
Zardari, had expressed his inability to engage a counsel of his 
choice to cross-examine those witnesses.....".

The question that arises is, do Their Lordships really believe that 
Benazir and Asif are living below the poverty line and surviving on 
food ladled out in soup kitchens? Perhaps the judges were not made 
aware of the fact that their lawyers in Karachi have been 
handsomely paid, and that, knowing their clients as they did, they 
took their money in advance. As far as their law suits in England 
are concerned, it is a well known fact that the duo engaged senior 
counsel Lord Lester and a string of other leading counsel to plead 
for them, and various firms of solicitors, all of whose fees ranged 
up to 600 per hour, or, roughly speaking, some 1,000 rupees per 
minute.

The last paragraph of the judgement states, "Before parting with 
the judgement we are inclined to dispose of the plea of Mr Abdul 
Hafiz Pirzada, learned Sr. ASC, to the effect that Asif Ali 
Zardari, appellant, had already served out a substantive sentence 
of imprisonment, and therefore, he is entitled to be released from 
jail. As we have already sent the case to a court of competent 
jurisdiction, it would be more appropriate if this matter is 
agitated before the court aforesaid.'

We must be thankful for small mercies.

How can any sane man who lives abroad, have dealings with Pakistan 
and hope to safely invest his money here and prosper, bereft as we 
are of law and order? Anybody surfing the net, seeking information 
on this country, will come across a well read publication, the 
Information Times, published in Washington DC. 
(http://www.InformationTimes.com). On April 18, the Information 
Times carried an article on "44 wanted men, fugitives, crooks, 
criminals, thugs, smugglers, robbers and thieves of Pakistan who 
are wanted by NAB." Each person listed is ably qualified to be a 
respected member of any international swindling, smuggling or 
money-laundering organization.

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20010427  
-------------------------------------------------------------------
An excess of brass
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ayaz Amir

WHAT are formation commanders? The image conjured up by these words 
is of men commanding fighting formations divisions and corps. If 
so, what is to be made of the television pictures of the recent 
formation commanders' conference at GHQ? So many generals were in 
attendance that it looked more like a public meeting than a select 
gathering of a knightly order.

When General Musharraf talks of restructuring national politics, a 
laudable aim, he and his fellow commanders might consider the 
question of starting charity from home. Does he need to be told 
that the military has become too top-heavy too many generals, 
admirals and air marshals? Time was when senior staff officers at 
GHQ used to be brigadiers. MI and ISI were headed by brigadiers. A 
major general was a rarity and being one a mark of distinction. 
Lieutenant generals were one with the gods, somewhere on the upper 
reaches of Olympus.

What was once an aristocracy has become a democracy and the 
resulting epidemic can be seen at its clearest when it is closing 
time in GHQ: a never-ending stream of black staff cars conveying 
two and three star generals to their grim destinations in and 
around a cheerless city. Rawalpindi used to be a quiet, beautiful 
place. Where has all its charm fled? If the army cannot clean up 
Rawalpindi Saddar, which is at the heart of its domain, shouldn't 
it be a bit more modest about cleaning up the rest of the country?

But modesty was never a Pakistani virtue. Admitting to mistakes is 
not part of our tradition. A hallmark of authority is the claim to 
infallibility. A change of government only means replacing one form 
of infallibility with another. The kind we saw earlier was dressed 
in shalwar-kameez. The kind now is resplendent in uniform.

But what on earth do they do when the sun is down? To what opera or 
theatres do the black staff car head when the lights are on and the 
night anywhere else would be rich with possibility? Sure, too much 
of what passes for culture was never a strong point of the general 
staff. Or indeed of the higher reaches of the mandarinate. But in 
days gone by there was at least the 'Pindi Club where the spirit of 
conviviality reigned. Senior officers now are more pious and their 
greatest cultural pastime is to attend the marriages of each 
other's offspring.

Can anything in the world match the bored and listless expressions 
at upper-class Pakistani weddings? Yet because there is nothing 
else to do, and because Pakistanis in authority have yet to be 
converted to the idea that marriages and funerals are best left as 
private affairs, this excruciating form of self-torture is 
routinely suffered.

On the subject of rank though, there was the news a few days ago 
that two more air force officers had been promoted as air marshals. 
How many of these exalted beings do we actually have? At one time a 
single air marshal Asghar Khan or Nur Khan was good enough to run 
the air force. And run it he did impressively. But at some infernal 
point in air force history it was decided that a simple air marshal 
was not enough and to command the air force we had to have an air 
chief marshal. Now there is no running away from this nuisance. The 
earlier air force chiefs stick in the public mind because they had 
large qualities and not because they carried a ton of brass on 
their chests. Obviously we live in different times. If present 
trends continue we'll soon have more air marshals than squadrons in 
the air force.

As I write these lines an Urdu newspaper informs me that 22 
brigadiers have bean approved for promotion to the rank of major 
general. Good Lord, how many fighting divisions in all do we have? 
Where will all these major generals be accommodated? Remember, 
kindly, that a major general does not come cheap. He has to be 
housed and fed and looked after in the way to which Pakistani 
generals have become accustomed. It is not a question of burdening 
the exchequer. Our exchequer is used to such things. The question 
rather is of appropriate placing.

Was it MacArthur who said soldiers don't die, they fade away? He 
did not know what he was talking about. In Pakistan they refuse to 
fade away. On retiring they do not take to gardening or bird 
watching but expect to be reincarnated in another form of service. 
Hence the spectacle, for it is nothing less than that, of former 
navy and air force chiefs riding out as ambassadors, generals 
hankering for foreign office jobs, senior military figures heading 
corporations and now entering every nook and cranny of the 
administrative services. Where will it all end? Reincarnation is a 
Hindu concept. We have given it a new meaning.

Restructure politics by all means. Anything that keeps Benazir in 
Dubai and the Sharifs, the whole lot of them, in the Holy Land can 
only be for the national good. If General Musharraf thinks that the 
nazims and naib nazims being elected are the answer to Pakistan's 
problems, so be it. It is useless to quarrel with such fantasies. 
Resignation is the best attitude. Or as Euripides counsels, "Do 
thou endure as men must, chafing not."

In any event, what availeth chafing against the sublime certitudes 
of the Musharraf era? If its lights say prosperity is around the 
corner, will meek protestations to the contrary turn them from 
their path? A National Reconstruction Bureau is thus appropriate to 
the spirit of the times. But even while riding the crest of this 
optimism, might not a thought be spared for some of the other 
reconstructions the nation direly stands in need of?

>From the mountains do we extract any brass of our own? If not, the 
brass needed to fill out higher shoulders will burden our import 
bill. What about red cloth, the kind needed to make the tabs so 
beloved of senior officers? Fauji Foundation may soon have to set 
up a factory devoted exclusively to the production of this single 
commodity.

And what about agricultural land, and plots and houses? Military 
retirees need to be looked after. Every man needs a house. But 
between genuine need and flaunting excess the gulf is wide. There 
was General Gul Hassan who spent his last days in a room in the 
'Pindi Club, now an army mess. And there are the role models of 
today between whom and real estate brokers there would be little 
difference.

The properties in Pakistan of Admiral Mansur-ul-Haq are no laughing 
matter. They make for sad reading. What mechanism for the welfare 
of senior officers is there which enables them to accumulate so 
much property? Why the automatic grant of agricultural land (in 
poor Bahawalpur of all places) to every single, senior military 
grandee? Soon there will not be any land left to go around.

No one in England grudged Marlborough, Churchill's great ancestor, 
his Blenheim Palace after his victories against France, even though 
there were rumours over how he had got his money. After his 
victories against Denmark, Austria and France, the commander of 
Prussia's armies, the legendary von Moltke, received an estate (or 
was it money?) from a grateful nation. From a grateful emperor 
Bismarck received a gift of two huge estates. But the one was von 
Moltke, the other Bismarck. What Roman victories can we cite for 
the grant of minor estates in Bahawalpur?

Churchill supported himself throughout his life by his writing. 
Although the grandson of a duke, he had little if any independent 
income. Attlee took to newspaper writing when he stepped down as 
prime minister because the little money he had was inadequate to 
his needs. Wilson even when ill attended the House of Lords because 
his parliamentary daily allowance was a crucial source of income.

When we parrot the phrase 'colonial legacy', what do we know of its 
meaning? The colonial legacy was not only about dinner jackets, the 
hauteur of the civil service and gravelly voices shouting for 
whisky in clipped accents. More than these things it was about 
rectitude, integrity and service. The husk of the concept we have 
slavishly worshipped and its content discarded.

Gandhi, Nehru and Jinnah were products of India's colonial 
experience. Without the stimulus of British rule and the 
inestimable gift of western education they would not have been the 
men they were. Lee Kuan Yew is a product of his country's colonial 
legacy. So is Mahathir Mohammad of his. The colonial legacy does 
not mean aping foreign manners, something at which we excel. 
Paradoxically, its essence lies in learning to be truly independent 
in thought and manner.

If we had really been touched by our colonial experience, our 
notions of morality and public rectitude would not have been the 
fuzzy things that they have become.

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20010428 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
It's a minefield out there 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Irfan Husain

IN today's multiracial, politically correct Britain, public figures 
have to choose their words with care: the slightest hint of racial 
prejudice will attract more flak than would running naked across 
the hallowed cricket field at Lord's while a test match is in 
progress.

And as the elections draw closer, both Labour and the Conservatives 
are positioning themselves to attract the immigrant vote without 
alienating working class white voters who are concerned about the 
flood of foreigners (largely from Eastern Europe and North Africa) 
claiming political asylum and ending up begging aggressively at 
tube stations and traffic signals all over London. Over the last 
year alone, there were almost one hundred thousand applications for 
asylum, and nobody has been refused entry. But when a local branch 
of the Conservative Party put an ad in the papers promising to 
tackle the issue more effectively, William Hague and his cohorts 
were accused of racism.

Robin Cook, the Labour government's foreign minister, recently gave 
a speech in which he declared that 'chicken tikka masala' was now 
the national dish of multiracial Britain. While this caused much 
mirth among columnists across the land, there is some truth in what 
cook said: this dish does not exist in India or Pakistan. According 
to culinary lore, a customer in an Indian restaurant in London 
ordered a chicken tikka, but found it too dry for his taste, and 
sent it back, asking for it to be served with a bit of gravy. The 
chef mixed whatever ingredients were at hand, including tomato 
sauce and cream, and hey, presto!, the 'chicken tikka masala' was 
born. Starting from these humble beginnings in the seventies, it 
has swept into restaurants and upmarket food stores (including 
Harrods) all over Britain.

Indeed, food from the subcontinent now forms the most popular 
cuisine in Britain, with around a third of the billions being spent 
on eating out, going to curry houses, balti shops and tandoori 
restaurants. Considering that desi food usually costs a lot less 
than its European or Far Eastern counterpart, a lot of people are 
regularly tucking into biryani and chicken curry. All manner of 
spices and pre-prepared Indian meals are on offer at supermarkets 
in small and large cities. A couple of years ago, I was amazed at 
being able to buy high quality saffron in a small Welsh town. But 
as Britain becomes more and more genuinely multiracial, the dark 
side of ethnic differences is never far from the surface. The 
recent race riot in Bradford proves that far too often, racial 
harmony is only skin deep. Usually, hostility flares into violence 
after some young louts have had too much to drink at the local pub 
and then want to prove their manhood by beating up anybody who 
looks different. Until recently, it was the non-whites who were at 
the receiving end, but now Asian youths are hitting back, and have 
even declared their neighbourhoods 'no-go' areas for whites.

In some areas, complaints by whites are a third of all allegations 
of racial abuse and violence filed with the police. A 76-year old 
war veteran was badly beaten recently by Muslim youths, probably of 
Pakistani descent, when he was walking through their area. Such 
incidents have produced a predictable furore, with the police 
promising to take tough action. Some of these young Asian toughs 
have been quoted as saying their motive is revenge against the 
treatment their parents suffered a generation ago.

Clearly, these are not the kind of inter-racial relations most 
educated Britons would like to see in Cool Britannia. But the fact 
remains that tough suburbs and inner city ghettos are not the ideal 
breeding ground for racial harmony. Add unemployment, poor 
education and frustration over being cut off from their cultural 
roots, and you get a lot of angry young men more than willing to 
turn to violence over real or perceived insults. Among working 
class whites, there is a feeling of foreigners 'getting too big for 
their boots', and a fear of outsiders changing their culture. These 
attitudes and prejudices are openly on display in places like 
Bradford and Manchester with their heavy concentrations of 
immigrants.

However, in middle class Britain, people go out of their way to 
prove their liberal credentials. So in a sense, a two-track 
population is currently trying to come to terms with a nation that 
now has a significant non-white element. Indeed, according to 
projections, London will have a majority of non-whites by the year 
2010, and less than half of Britain will be white by 2025. 
Understandably, this has alarmed many people, but to their credit, 
Brits are not up in arms demanding the end of all immigration.

Perhaps a sign of the times is the recent news item (with 
photographs) of Asian Muslim women in the Metropolitan police who 
are now permitted to wear the hijab on duty. Sikhs were already 
allowed to wear their distinguishing turbans. Unlike the French 
(and even the Turks), the British establishment is far more 
flexible in allowing and encouraging cultural diversity. All manner 
of different ethnic festivals are celebrated, and all religions 
have the right to establish and propagate themselves. Such a degree 
of religious tolerance would be unthinkable in India or Pakistan 
where Christians and other minorities are often persecuted.

But in encouraging different communities to emphasize their 
separateness, successive British governments have missed the 
opportunity of integrating them and bringing them into the 
mainstream. The Americans, by way of contrast, insist on immigrants 
saluting the flag and singing the national anthem before they are 
given US nationality. There is thus a correspondingly greater 
cultural homogeneity in the United States than there is in Britain 
where Punjabi parents often demand that their children be taught 
the luddi instead of the Scottish reel at publicly funded schools. 
Political correctness dictates that no single white Christian 
culture be pushed at the cost of the multi-hued multi-ethnic 
culture that has put down roots in Britain.

These are complex and difficult issues, but in many ways, Britain 
has shown far greater tolerance than any other white, ex-colonial 
power. Our own track record in treating minority groups is abysmal. 
Forget immigrants: Pakistani religious communities outside the 
mainstream are often viciously persecuted. This is something we 
should keep in mind the next time we accuse anybody and specially 
the British of racial discrimination.



SPORTS
20010425 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Moin dropped as blundering selectors play musical chairs
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Samiul Hasan

 KARACHI, April 24: The blundering Pakistan cricket selectors 
continued to play musical chairs with next month's England tour 
aspirants when they named a 20-man provisional list on Tuesday 
instead of naming the final 16.

All the "walking wounded" that toured New Zealand but forced to 
return including former captain Wasim Akram were named in the 
provisional list. The sole casualty being Moin Khan who had lost 
his captaincy to a lucky Waqar Younis earlier this month.

"Moin has been left out because of his inconsistent performance," 
chairman of selectors Wasim Bari explained without elaborating if 
it was his wicket keeping or batting that led to his ouster.

To benefit from Moin's unceremonious exit was another former 
captain Rashid Latif who last represented Pakistan in Harare, 
Zimbabwe, on the 1997-98 tour. Rashid is the only wicket keeper in 
the list, which guarantees him a third successive tour to England 
for which the team leaves on May 2.

Inconsistent Imran Nazir and Shahid Afridi, who were described by 
the selectors as one-day specialists and were not considered for 
the Test series in New Zealand after the limited overs rubber, were 
retained. In-and-out, Mohammad Wasim, who has played 18 Tests since 
making his debut in 1996, was also recalled after 12 months in 
wilderness.

Also amongst the probables was paceman "joyrider" Shoaib Akhtar 
whose fitness was unknown though his controversial bowling action 
was cleared by the University of Western Australia.

"The formal official report on his (Shoaib), will be forwarded by 
the PCB's bowling advisors for onward submission to ICC," a PCB 
statement said.

On a day of chaos and confusion, powerless chief selector Wasim 
Bari, said in the afternoon that he had submitted a squad of 16 to 
the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) advisory council for approval and 
announcement.

However, the PCB in the evening came up with the names of 20 
probables claiming that the squad would be finalized in the next 
couple of days because the medical reports of several players were 
still being awaited.

Later in the evening, Bari took a somersault when he claimed he 
had, in fact, submitted the provisional squad and not the 16- man 
team. Nevertheless, Bari left the PCB officials red-faced when he 
confirmed that he had been conveyed by the cricket managers in 
Lahore that all the players were available for selection after 
clearing medical tests.

Contradictions after contradictions and repeated communication gap 
between the selectors and the PCB hierarchy once again reflect the 
sad state affairs of Pakistan cricket. If there is no planning and 
co-ordination amongst the administrators themselves, to demand 
cohesion and unity from the team is perhaps asking for too much.

Brig Munawwar Rana, the director of the PCB, said from Lahore that 
the medical reports on some players were expected within the next 
48 hours after which the team would be announced.

He, however, didn't reveal the names of the players whose 
selections were subject to medical clearance.

Wasim Akram had appeared before the three-man medical team on 
Sunday while Moin had cleared his medical test on April 13. The 
remaining players could be Yousuf Youhana, Azhar Mahmood and PCB's 
blue-eyed boy Shoaib Akhtar.

Sequence of events confirm apprehensions that the PCB 
administrators were adamant to show Moin the door. Initially named 
skipper until the tour to England, Moin was removed as captain on 
fitness grounds even though only two days before, he had been given 
a clean bill of health by the medical experts of the board and 
along with Wasim Akram also appeared in the on-going one-day 
competition.

The statistics of Moin, who was also dropped in 1993 before 
regaining his number No 1 slot in 1996, in the last 16 months 
doesn't justify the claims of the selectors.

Moin, who was bestowed with lifetime achievement award by the PCB 
last year, in 11 Tests as captain, scored 369 runs at 24.60 while 
accounting for 28 batsmen behind the wickets. In 63 Tests, Moin 
scored 2,493 runs and dismissed 134 batsmen. In 190 one-day 
internationals Moin has scored 2,853 runs. His 256 dismissal is a 
world record.

But the factor that played the decisive role in his dismissal was 
that he made more enemies than friends in the PCB. Moin repeatedly 
objected to outside interference in team matters which didn't 
please PCB officials and the selectors.

Needless to say that the PCB sacked two selectors earlier this year 
when they protested against outside interference. Last month 
another selector Sikander Bakth also resigned.

The unnecessary delay in the announcement of the 16-man squad 
obviously smells rat. And the bone of contention or debate is none 
other than Wasim Akram.

Sources within the PCB have confirmed that skipper Waqar Younis, 
once declared by the PCB chief himself that he (Waqar) was not a 
certainity in the team, was in no compromising mood and flatly 
refused to accept Wasim in the squad. Sources say Waqar feels that 
Wasim's inclusion in the team will not allow the skipper to enjoy 
total command over the affairs.

"The PCB are trying to buy time, hoping that they will convince 
Waqar to change his heart," sources said.

Wasim's allout effort to get into the squad has helped him retain 
his place in the 20. But whether he would find a place in the 
touring side? Only time will tell.

Provisional squad (in bracket are age and number of Tests played):

Saeed Anwar (32, 52), Imran Farhat (19, 3), Mohammad Wasim (23, 
18), Imran Nazir (20, 5), Shahid Afridi (21, 11), Faisal Iqbal (20, 
3), Inzamam-ul-Haq (vice-captain) (31, 72), Yousuf Youhana (26, 
30), Younis Khan (24, 12), Salim Elahi (25, 8), Abdur Razzaq (22, 
12), Azhar Mahmood (26, 19), Wasim Akram (34, 100), Waqar Younis 
(30, 71), Shoaib Akhtar (26, 15), Fazle Akbar (21, 4), Mohammad 
Sami (20, 2), Saqlain Mushtaq (24, 34), Mushtaq Ahmad (30, 50), 
Rashid Latif (wicket keeper) (32, 22).

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20010424 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan to name squad for England today
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Our Sports Reporter

 KARACHI, April 23: The Pakistan cricket team for next month's tour 
to England will be named on Tuesday evening, officials said, adding 
that the announcement of the coach will be announced later.

The chairman of selectors Wasim Bari said Monday that he was 
informed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that all the players 
were declared fit by the panel of doctors and were now available 
for selection.

Bari, however, said the team would be finalized and handed over to 
the PCB on Tuesday. He said he would be submitting a 16-man squad 
for the two-Test series while team for the tri-nation one- day 
series would be named later.

Bari indicated there was a possibility that an additional player 
might be sent to England.

As things continued to remain complex and intriguing, former 
captains Wasim Akram and Moin Khan were left facing the axe in the 
backdrop of recent happenings.

Wasim Akram, after a dismal performance in the two Tests against 
England at home, failed to take part in the three-Test series 
against New Zealand because of inter-coastal injury. Nevertheless, 
sources say skipper Waqar Younis was strongly opposing the 
selection of Wasim though the vote of the chief selector was in the 
left-armer's favour.

Rashid Latif is being favoured over Moin because of Waqar's firm 
belief in the talent of the former who first blew the whistle of 
betting and match-fixing in Pakistan cricket.

Not surprisingly injury prone and joy-rider, Shoaib Akhtar has once 
again been assured of a place in the squad after returning unfit 
from the tour to New Zealand in February. Brig Rana admitted that 
Shoaib neither appeared before the panel of doctors nor played in 
the on going one-dayers on the pretext that he was suffering from 
stomach upset.

Likely 16:

Waqar Younis (captain), Inzamam-ul-Haq (vice-captain), Saeed Anwar, 
Yousuf Youhana, Abdur Razzaq, Azhar Mahmood, Mohammad Sami, Faisal 
Iqbal, Younis Khan, Mohammad Wasim, Imran Farhat, Rashid Latif 
(wicketkeeper), Shoaib Akhtar, Fazle Akbar and Mushtaq Ahmad, 
Saqlain Mushtaq.

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20010427 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Unknown Foster named as bowling coach
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Our Sports Reporter

KARACHI, April 26: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Thursday named 
virtually unknown Daryl Foster as the national team's bowling 
coach-cum consultant for tour to England another mind boggling 
decision which will be debated for days to come.

An official of the PCB revealed that Foster would also work as 
consultant of the team but his contract was only for the two Tests 
"which is extendable upto the tri-nation one-day series".

The first Test at Lord's begins May 17 while the second Test at Old 
Trafford concludes June 4. The 18-day one-day series, also 
involving Australia and the hosts, will kick off at Edgbaston June 
7.

The PCB spokesman added that a full-time coach to replace sacked 
Javed Miandad would be named `soon' but confirmed that Foster would 
join the team in England where it is due to arrive May 2.

Although no details about the financial package offered to the 
former Kent county coach were released, but was anybody's guess 
that if Geoffrey Boycott can claim 30,000 pounds for a 15-day 
coaching stint, Foster would be getting the same if not more.

The free-spending PCB sustained the criticizm of wasting money on 
Boycott saying the Yorkshireman was sponsored by a food chain. But 
it will have to come up with a sound explanation to justify the 
investment on Foster.

It means all the current expenses to run the establishment are 
being met from previous earnings whether they be the 1996 World Cup 
profits $6 million from PILCOM or television rights of the recent 
home series.

It may not be out of context to mention here that the PCB has not 
conducted any audit of expenses for the last 18 months. And if 
anything has been done, the official document has not seen the 
daylight.

On the face of it, it appears that Foster has been hired 
specifically for controversial pacer Shoaib Akhtar, who underwent 
remodelling of his bowling action in the University of Western 
Australia in Perth.

The PCB has been emphasising for the last two days that it has 
proof that Shoaib's action was clean a claim based on the report 
submitted by Foster's university.

The PCB admitted that Foster's appointment did have an influence of 
him working with Shoaib. Which means that in Foster, the PCB has 
hired a "lawyer" for Shoaib to counter the hostile British media 
which is certainly not going to make the pacer's life easy.

Foster's job description as bowling coach is nothing but a belated 
attempt to give a legal cover because it is anybody's guess that in 
the presence of Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram, if selected, who 
could be better persons to guide the young pacers.

Wasim and Waqar together have around 20 years of experience of 
playing in England while the second Test is at Wasim's home country 
Lancashire.

Besides, if Wasim and Waqar are so deadly, it is not because they 
got the guidance of a bowling coach. They were nurtured by Imran 
Khan who tutored them and passed on valuable tips on the field 
rather than on the drawing board.

It is the second time that a specific person to handle and look 
after Shoaib has been appointed. Earlier Dr Tauseef Razzak toured 
New Zealand with the Pakistan cricket team specially to look after 
Shoaib who has become a regular "tourist" than a playing member.

Shoaib, on whom the PCB has already spent millions, has failed to 
sustain a series in his previous three tours. The same is likely to 
happen again no matter whom the PCB appoints considering Shoaib's 
past record.

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Last update: Friday, 16 October 2009.