------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 25 August 2001 Issue : 07/34 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Democracy roadmap satisfies Commonwealth + EC proposes elections on Sept 5, 2002 + Transfer of powers to provinces under review + Rallies to be allowed 90 days before poll + General election on party basis: official + EC may not assign the job to Nadra: Electoral rolls preparation + Vajpayee to visit Pakistan to pursue peace talks: Advani + Delhi asked to overcome hardliners' position: Haq + Chances of New York meeting still exist + US denies mixed signals on sanctions + US opposes Pakistan to go under Afghan influence + ARD evolves strategy to counter arrests + ARD won't boycott election + Obscurantist policies won't get dominance: CE + Jihadi groups demand Moin's removal + No plan to ban Jihadi groups: minister + Accounts of banned outfits to be frozen + Jihadi groups' offices in Karachi sealed + Jihadi outfits angry over Sindh govt curbs + Curbs placed on Jihadi outfits + Over two dozen LJ, SMP activists arrested + 17 injured in Lahore blast + Govt concedes failure on child rights front + Khyber agency's stupas face extinction + Pakistan denies Indian attack + Benazir's retrial to start next month + Asif's contempt plea elicits jailers' regrets + PPP criticizes arrest of its leader + Jehangir Badar arrested by NAB + Ghous evades questions about links to PML-N + Ghous Ali Shah released + RAB arrests ex-MNA + PML-LM meeting begins today + Haj forms to be issued from Sept 1 + Gen Ghulam Ahmed killed in car crash --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + New ABL chairman, directors nominated: Cases referred to NAB + SBP unearths clandestine move to take over ABL + SBP to be made autonomous to manage reserves + State Bank softens lending rules: Private limited cos + PIA suffers Rs7bn loss in 18 months + IMF mission unwilling to allow revision: Rs457bn revenue target + IMF asked to write off debts: Meeting with labour leaders + Talks with IMF mission begin: $2.5bn poverty reduction facility + Pakistan mulls action against Paris firm --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Can the people ever win? Ardeshir Cowasjee + Clear and present danger Irfan Husain + Heaven and its suburbs Ayaz Amir ----------- SPORTS + Saqlain misses Asian Test + Pakistan Test stars accuse India of double standards + India defends decision to withdraw from ATC + Wisden criticizes PCB chairman + PCB protests at referee Reid's appointment + Pakistan hockey faces rocky road ahead

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NATIONAL NEWS
20010824
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Democracy roadmap satisfies Commonwealth
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD Aug 23: The visiting Secretary General of Commonwealth
Donald C. Mckinnon said here on Thursday that he was satisfied with
the roadmap for Pakistan's return to democratic rule by October,
2002, as announced by President Pervez Musharraf.

"The military government was certainly moving in the right
direction," the Commonwealth SG told a news conference soon after
his meeting with the president. He offered technical assistance if
the Pakistan government needed it for completing the election
process in a smooth way.

The C'wealth SG stressed upon the president to defer plans, if any,
of introducing amendments to the Constitution for the future
elected parliament. He, however, said he was told by the president
that nothing had so far been finalized on the proposed amendments
to the Constitution. He claimed getting assurance from the
president that the 8th Amendment would not be re-introduced in the
constitution. The president had said, "that has not been addressed
right now."

He, however, quoted the president as having said that there was a
need for putting in place a mechanism to ensure a balance of power
between various institutions of the country.

Mckinnon said: "It was satisfying to note that the local government
elections had been held by August this year strictly in accordance
with the commitment made by the president last year." He said the
president had promised to give financial and administrative
independence to the Election Commission to bring it out of the
influence of the government.

He said the president assured him that the proposed district
support teams (consisting of army officials) would not interfere
with the functions and responsibilities of the local government
representatives. "They are to watch these institutions' smooth
functioning for a brief period," he commented.

The president had further assured him that the elections would be
held on party basis but he did not commit as to when the curbs from
political activities would be lifted. Replying to questions,
Mckinnon said the National Security Council (NSC) would be a very
important part of the future government apparatus. He, however,
stressed that such a body should be a part of the Constitution and
a clear majority of NSC members should be elected.

The CW official said the president had told him that the NAB was
functioning strictly according to the parameters set by the Supreme
Court. Mckinnon further stated that he was assured that all arrests
will be made while keeping the legal norms in view. Besides, he
maintained, he had stressed on equitable and free access to the
state-controlled media for all political parties of the country.

Referring to the Agra summit, he said the process of dialogue,
which had started on an optimistic note, must be continued. "It was
important for the political parties to engage with the government
to discuss the process," he commented. He hailed Gen Musharraf's
consultations with the politicians before he embarked upon the
crucial Agra summit meeting with Prime Minister Atal Behari
Vajpaee.

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20010823
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EC proposes elections on Sept 5, 2002
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By Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Aug 22: In the light of the roadmap for democracy
unfolded by President Gen Pervez Musharraf, Election Commission of
Pakistan has prepared a tentative schedule for holding general
elections on Sept 5, 2002, Dawn reliably learnt.

As per the tentative schedule, which has already been forwarded to
the Chief Executive Secretariat, the polling for the provincial and
national assemblies will be held simultaneously on Sept 5.

Election process will begin with the issuance of a notification
inviting nomination papers under section 11(1) of the
Representation of the People Act, 1976, on July 22, 2002. The last
date for the filing of nomination papers by the candidates with the
returning officers will be July 27. Scrutiny of nomination papers
will be carried out from July 29 to July 31.

Last date for filing of appeal against the decision of returning
officers for rejecting or accepting the nominations will be Aug 3,
and the last date for decision of the appeals by the election
tribunals will be Aug 10. Aug 12 will be the last date for
withdrawal of candidature and the list of candidates will be
published on Aug 13.

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20010822
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Transfer of powers to provinces under review
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By Habib Khan Ghori

KARACHI, Aug 21: The National Reconstruction Bureau is reportedly
reviewing the concurrent and central lists of powers to transfer
some of the departments to the provincial governments from the
centre which stands depleted following the shifting of its 12
departments to the local governments, leaving only 11 departments
at its disposal.

The NRB is also contemplating increase in the number of seats of
the senate, national assembly and provincial assemblies to give
adequate representations to people in the legislatures following
the expansion of the electorate college due to reduction in the age
of voters from 21 to 18 years.

A question likely to be addressed before the general elections is
whether the polls be held on the basis of proportional
representation. The sources said that all aspects of the elections
would stand crystallised once the president announced the package
of constitutional amendments as indicated in his address to the
newly elected Nazims on Independence day.

The circles close to the NRB said that the transfer of powers from
the centre to the provinces would be effected much before the
announcement of the election schedule for the October 2002 polls to
be held on party basis as had been pointed out by the government
spokesman.

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20010820
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Rallies to be allowed 90 days before poll
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KARACHI, Aug 19: The government will lift an existing ban on
political rallies 90 days before general elections due in October
next year, press secretary to the president Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi
said here on Sunday. “We will lift the ban 90 days before the
holding of elections," he told AFP.

Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi said general elections would be held on
party basis and there would be no restrictions on public meetings
or rallies. He appealed for a peaceful campaigning period and urged
political parties to remain within the law.

Preparations for elections would begin in September and culminate
in June 2002, while the new federal and provincial governments
would take over in October and November 2002, he said.

Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi said "the government has no intention to
keep the parties out of parliamentary elections. Anyone can
participate in the elections, except those barred under election
rules" he said, referring to former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif
Benazir Bhutto.

"Both these people, who are facing charges of corruption and loot
would be debarred from contesting the polls under the elections
rules," he said. "If they are convicted, there is little we can do
about it." But, he said, both Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto were
free to contact the court if they wanted to contest the elections.
The law will take its own course and "we will abide by the law," he
said.

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20010819
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General election on party basis: official
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ISLAMABAD, Aug 18: The Pakistan government has announced that the
elections, scheduled for October 2002, would be held on a party
basis in line with President Pervez Musharraf's resolve to restore
democracy in the country, according to IANS website.

A government spokesman told BBC that reports that some other system
was being introduced instead of the parliamentary one were
baseless. Online news agency quoted the spokesman as saying: "The
three years' timeframe and authority to introduce constitutional
amendments given by the apex court to the military clearly says
that only such amendments are authorized that are essential for
smooth handling of state affairs and which should not affect the
federal and parliamentary structure envisaged in the Constitution."

Asked why the roadmap to democracy, announced by Gen Musharraf did
not mention the election of a prime minister, the spokesman said
the president had announced the formation of federal and provincial
ministries, which implied that prime minister, along with chief
ministers of all the provinces, would also be elected.

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20010822
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EC may not assign the job to Nadra: Electoral rolls preparation
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By Sajid Iqbal

LAHORE, Aug 21: The Election Commission of Pakistan may prepare the
electoral rolls for the forthcoming general elections itself
instead of entrusting the job to the National Database and
Registration Authority, it is learnt.

According to a proposal being seriously considered by the ECP
authorities, the commission will hire the services of teachers and
other government employees from the provincial government for
conducting a door-to-door survey and preparing the draft rolls.

These lists will be put on display to invite claims and objections
before preparing the final lists. The final lists prepared manually
will then be handed over to Nadra which will print the computerized
lists.

"The National Database and Registration Authority was entrusted
with the job of preparing electoral rolls for the recently-
concluded local body polls and was provided Rs450 million from its
regular budget for the purpose," an ECP official told Dawn on
Tuesday. However, the draft voter lists prepared by Nadra for
holding LB elections in Sargodha and Dera Ghazi Khan divisions and
other parts of the country contained serious mistakes and were
rejected by the ECP. The ECP hired manpower from the administration
on a emergency basis and got the lists prepared afresh.

Nadra was, however, allowed to prepare the voter lists in the
subsequent phases with the ECP staff undertaking the task of
correcting those rolls at two stages. In the case of Lahore, the
correction of voter lists and registration of voters continued till
less than two weeks before the polling day.

According to the official, the ECP tried to get back the state-of-
the-art computers and other equipment purchased for the preparation
of computerized rolls from Nadra.  But, he said, the proposal did
not materialize as the ECP was not granted permission by the
Establishment Division to recruit IT experts and other staff needed
to operate the equipment. As a resultant, the ECP started
considering the proposal allowing Nadra to have the printing job
but keeping the preparation of electoral rolls with itself.

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20010820
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Vajpayee to visit Pakistan to pursue peace talks: Advani
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By Jawed Naqvi

NEW DELHI, Aug 19: Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee would visit
Pakistan to pursue peace talks with General Pervez Musharraf,
Indian newspaper reports quoted Indian Home Minister Lal Krishan
Advani as telling journalists in Lucknow.

Mr Advani also announced initiation of stiff measures to check the
growth of the Students Islamic Movement of India in the country.
"There is a reasonable prospect that Vajpayee and Musharraf will
meet in New York during the last week of September," the usually
reliable daily The Hindu said in a front-page story. Vajpayee is
expected to address the UN General Assembly on Sept 25 and General
Musharraf is likely to speak the day before.

"General Musharraf is reported to be planning an extended stay in
New York from the third week of September. Mr Vajpayee will be
there for a shorter period. But there is enough of an overlap for
the leaders to meet in New York and pick up the threads from their
unfinished conversation at Agra last month," The Hindu said.

The report took into account a Pakistani spokesman's opinion a day
earlier that such a meeting did not seem to be on the cards. The
point was later clarified by Foreign Secretary Inam ul Haq, who
said the statement reflected the absence of formal intimation from
New Delhi rather than Pakistan's reservations which don't exist.

The Hindu endorsed the view, saying that the Indian government had
not made up its mind completely on the issue. But it added: "The
indications here, however, are that India has conveyed clearly to
Pakistan that such a meeting is under consideration."

Advani, in separate remarks, was quoted by the Deccan Herald
newspaper as saying that Vajpayee would visit Pakistan to pursue
peace talks. "Our stand is clear that peace should not be held
hostage to the resolution of differences on any issue with
Pakistan," Advani said.

The remarks, coming from a key minister regarded as an anti-
Pakistan hawk, acquired even greater significance since they were
made in Lucknow, Vajpayee's parliamentary constituency and capital
of Uttar Pradesh where crucial elections are due soon.

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20010820
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Delhi asked to overcome hardliners' position: Haq
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staff Correspondent

NEW YORK, Aug 19: Foreign Secretary Inamul Haq called upon India to
resume dialogue with Pakistan on the basis of understanding reached
at the Agra summit and continue talks in the same spirit.

Talking to journalists after his Washington visit, Mr Haq observed
that both countries should not indulge in the blame game and
instead work for the resolution of Kashmir and other issues which
have strained relations between the two countries.

He reiterated that President Musharraf was willing and ready to
meet Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee at the sidelines of
the United Nations General Assembly session and hoped that India
would be willing to continue the Agra peace process.

"We have to continue with the spirit of Agra dialogue," said Mr
Haq, hoping that India would reciprocate by creating atmosphere of
understanding and dialogue.

The foreign secretary also expressed the hope that a meeting
between the US President George W. Bush and Pakistan President
Pervez Musharraf would take place in New York, saying it could help
in prodding both countries to remain engaged in dialogue on the
issues.

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20010819
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Chances of New York meeting still exist
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Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Aug 18: Pakistan has still not entirely ruled out a
meeting between Gen Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal
Behari Vajpayee when the two leaders are in New York for the UN
General Assembly session next month.

This was the impression gathered at a news conference held by
Foreign Secretary Inamul Haque at the end of his two-day visit to
Washington during which he had intensive discussions with senior US
officials. Both at the news conference and during an address at the
Woodrow Wilson Centre, the foreign secretary maintained a positive,
restrained attitude to questions on Pakistan-India relations and
the Agra summit, and said he would not be drawn into indulging in a
'blame game'.

Asked to comment on a Pakistan Foreign Office statement that a
Musharraf-Vajpayee meeting did not seem to be 'on the cards', Mr
Inamul Haque said if the two leaders were in New York at the same
time and a meeting could be arranged, Pakistan would welcome the
development, but if the Indians were not interested then obviously
there was nothing to be said about it. Mr Vajpayee is expected to
be in New York on Sept 23 and will spend five days in the US during
which he will also undergo medial tests.

Mr Haque said the perception that a meeting in New York might not
materialize could be due to the fact that when he had talked to the
Indian foreign secretary during the Saarc gathering in Colombo last
week, he was told that the possibility was under consideration. But
later the Indian official had made a statement in Chenai that had
left the question vague. However, he pointed out, Mr Vajpayee had
accepted an invitation to travel to Pakistan for talks with Gen
Musharraf, and this might happen in December or early next year.
The Indian and Pakistani leaders would also be together at the
forthcoming Saarc summit.

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20010823
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US denies mixed signals on sanctions
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Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Aug 22: The United States has denied that it is sending
mixed signals on the removal of sanctions against Pakistan. This is
stated by The Washington Times which had reported separate comments
on the issue from Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and
from State Department spokesman Philip Reeker and implied that the
two comments were contradictory.

Mr Reeker in a press briefing last week had said sanctions against
Pakistan could not be lifted until the president (Bush) determined
that a democratically elected government had taken office. Mr
Armitage on Friday told reporters in Australia that the Bush
administration was considering lifting some of the sanctions.

On Tuesday, Mr Reeker pointed out to The Washington Times that he
and Mr Armitage were talking about different sanctions. While he
was referring to democracy sanctions imposed after the military
takeover, Mr Armitage was referring to nuclear-related sanctions.

"There are absolutely no mixed signals .... You are completely
confused on the subject matter," Mr Reeker reportedly told The
Washington Times. Pakistan knows that the democracy sanctions will
not be removed till elections are held and a democratically elected
government is in place in Islamabad, but it has been urging the US
to lift nuclear-related sanctions at the same time as it removes
similar sanctions against India. Mr Armitage's comment in Australia
was seen by Pakistani diplomats as the most direct public
indication that the US might be inclined to do so.

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20010820
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US opposes Pakistan to go under Afghan influence
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Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Aug 19: The United States has said that increased US
engagement with India was not an attempt to establish a strategic
counterweight to China. This was stated by US Deputy Secretary of
State Richard Armitage while talking to the press in Sydney during
the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue.

According to a transcript of Mr Armitage's press talk posted on the
State Department website, the deputy secretary said that increased
US-China ties were based on various perceptions.

Mr Armitage said his remarks on the lifting of sanctions would also
apply to Pakistan. "We have some similar sanctions on Pakistan and
some different, because Pakistan is not a democracy. When Musharraf
did away with the democratic process, no matter how shaky it was,
then some other sanctions came into play. But clearly we have to
move somewhere with Pakistan. The United States is not interested
in Pakistan becoming more under the influence of Afghanistan. There
has to be a way out for Pakistan. We're going to try to play an
effective role."

He added that the United States was "looking forward" to a meeting
between President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari
Vajpayee when both are in New York next month for the United
Nations General Assembly session.

"We're looking forward, hopefully, to a meeting between our
President and the Prime Minister of India at the United Nations
General Assembly in New York. Beyond that, we will have a series of
meetings and exchanges and hopefully positive developments in our
relationship."

Pakistan has also proposed a meeting between Gen Musharraf and Mr
Bush during the general's visit to New York, and the request was
said by Foreign Secretary Inamul Haque to be "under consideration".

Incidentally, an Indian newspaper said fairly definitively that Mr
Vajpayee would also meet General Musharraf in New York.

This is seen as echoing the view advocated both by Pakistan and
within US administration and think-tank circles that the military
regime in Pakistan needs some measure of backing because the
alternative might be greater Taliban-type, extremist influence over
policy-making.

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20010825
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ARD evolves strategy to counter arrests
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By Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Aug 24: The heads of component parties of Alliance for
Restoration of Democracy (ARD) met to evolve future strategy
against what they said "the recently-adopted way of arrest and
repression of political leaders."

The ARD leaders, who met at the residence of Nawabzada Nasrullah
Khan, also exchanged notes on the All Parties Conference being
convened by Jamaat-i-Islami here in the federal capital next month.
Almost all the component parties including Pakistan People's Party
have separately committed with the host to attend the moot.

"All of us have already accepted the invitation therefore the issue
whether ARD should attend the conference did not come up for
discussion," acting President PML (N) Javed Hashmi told Dawn after
the meeting.

The moot is being viewed with great significance by the political
observers who believe that it might develop better understanding
among religious and political parties for launching a united
struggle against the government. When asked whether the APC could
pave the way for forging of a broad-based alliance comprising all
the religious and political parties, he said such a possibility can
never be ruled out when the political parties meet.

Mr Hashmi did not disclose the details of the strategy hammered out
by the ARD against the arrests of politicians in corruption cases.
The ARD had put off its plan of holding a public rally on Aug 14,
in Rawalpindi. Mr Hashmi said that the alliance would soon revive
its mass contact campaign and the new programme would be announced
by the ARD convener Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan. He said the ARD was
also contemplating a proposal to develop better coordination among
the component parties at the grass roots level.

The ARD component parties, he said, had been lacking understanding
and cooperation among its workers at district and tehsil level. The
alliance, he said, held detailed discussions on strengthening the
organizational structure at tehsil and district level. Reports
about the possible arrest of Mr Hashmi had been doing the round for
the past few days. However, so far the National Accountability
Bureau or any other agency has not taken any action against the
acting president of PML (N). The party had also set up a committee
which would take the charge of acting president in case of his
arrest.

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20010819
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ARD won't boycott election
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Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Aug 18: ARD Secretary-General Iqbal Zafar Jhagra said in
categorical terms that the opposition alliance would not boycott
the general elections in any case but would force the government to
hold the polls on the terms set by the 16-party coalition.

"We'll not talk of staying away from the elections in any situation
as our struggle is for restoration of democracy. We'll force the
government to hold elections on our terms," the ARD secretary-
general said while talking to Dawn. Mr Jhagra said the alliance was
making preparations for an anti-government campaign and for this
purpose it was extending its organizational structure to districts.

According to him, the districts where the alliance organizations
had not so far been set up, would be constituted during the next 10
days.

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20010821
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Obscurantist policies won't get dominance: CE
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MOSCOW, Aug 20: President Gen Pervez Musharraf has said Pakistan is
a progressive Muslim state and there is no reason to fear that
obscurantist policies will gain dominance in the country. He made
these remarks in an interview with a Russian newspaper, Kommersant.

"Pakistan is an enlightened, moderate and progressive Muslim state.
There is no reason to fear that obscurantist policies will gain
dominance in Pakistan." Responding to a question on Afghanistan,
the president said the Taliban enjoyed support of the Afghan people
and that was why they controlled 95 per cent of the country. It
would be unfair to view the Taliban's success through the narrow
prism of sectarian affiliations, he added. He denied allegations
that Pakistan was assisting the Taliban.

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20010825
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Jihadi groups demand Moin's removal
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Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Aug 24: Demanding removal of Interior Minister Lt-Gen
(retd) Moinuddin Haider, Punjab chapters of seven leading Jihadi
organizations announced starting a fund-raising and mass contact
campaign in the province.

"We are starting the campaign from today," announced the Punjab
leaders of the seven Jihadi outfits after a meeting at the
provincial headquarters of one of them, Tehrikul Mujahideen. A
joint committee was constituted in the meeting under Tehrikul
Mujahideen Punjab Amir Shakilur Rehman Nasir to start a dialogue
with Ulema and leaders of political parties and to "apprise them of
their responsibilities in the present situation."

The committee will also counter the propaganda campaign of the
government against the Jihadi outfits, the leaders informed
reporters, adding they were disappointed with the silence of the
politicians over the Jihad issue.

They said there was no ban on any of their activities including the
fund-raising in Punjab but they were starting the campaign here in
view of the "expected future conditions."

When asked about their reaction to any such ban in Punjab, they
said it will be known to everybody and they will not hold the
traditional demonstrations. Replying to a question about the
indication of a ban on all Jihadi outfits, they said President Gen
Pervez Musharraf had been supporting Mujahideen's cause here in
Pakistan and during his recent visit to India. Right now it was the
interior minister who was talking different things and his removal
will settle the entire controversy. They said the ban will "push
the things much forward as we move with the speed of the
government."

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20010824
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No plan to ban Jihadi groups: minister
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Staff Reporter

RAWALPINDI, Aug 23: The federal minister for Religious Affairs, Dr
Mehmood Ahmad Ghazi, said on Thursday that the government had no
plans to ban Jihadi organizations and religious seminaries.
Speaking at a Meet the Press programme of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad
Press Club here, the religious affairs minister said that only
public display of arms and open soliciting of contributions for
Jihad had been restricted.

About religious seminaries, the minister said the government wanted
only to put these institutions on modern lines by preparing their
texts as had been mentioned in the recently-promulgated ordinance.

According to the ordinance, a board would be established to prepare
the text and control the Madaris. But those institutions which
would like to remain independent would not be interfered in, he
said. The Board would only prepare the text for and award degrees
to those private institutions which opted for affiliation and other
affairs would be run by the institutions concerned, he said.

Apart from the religious subjects, the other subjects to be
included in the syllabus of the Madaris are: English, Math, General
Science, Social Studies and computer science. These subjects will
only form 35 per cent of the total studies of these schools.

The minister denied there was any international pressure to bring
these changes in the affairs of the Jihadi organizations and
religious seminaries. He said the religious ministry was planning
to establish three model religious institutions one each in
Islamabad, Karachi and Sukkar in the Haj buildings in these cities.
The Board meant for the Madaris will devise their system and plans
to run their affairs. He said the ministry would also request the
NWFP government to hand over the charge of four Madaris being run
by it to the Board. A women Madressah would be opened in the Haji
Camp, Rawalpindi, he said.

Dr Ghazi said these Madaris would produce such scholars and ulema
who, apart from the religious studies, would be well-versed in the
modern education and be in a better position to preach the religion
in the West and other countries of the world.

About the holy war in Kashmir, he said Pakistan had always
supported the Kashmiri Mujahideen and it would continue to do so in
future also. "We condemn India and Israel for resorting to
terrorism and support the ongoing Jihad there."

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20010824
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Accounts of banned outfits to be frozen
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Aug 23: The State Bank has asked all the banks and non-
bank financial institutions "to take immediate steps to freeze the
accounts" of Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and Sipah-i-Muhammad. It has also
asked them to furnish by Aug 31 a statement of frozen funds of the
militant groups that were banned on Aug 14 for being involved in
sectarian terrorism.

The SBP, instructed all the banks and NBFIs to include in the
required statement the names of the banks/NBFIs, the title of the
accounts frozen and the amount deposited in them.

Senior bankers said they would start scanning the accounts being
operated by Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and Sipah-i-Muhammad from Friday. But
they clarified that since both militant outfits were believed to be
operating underground they might not be operating their bank
accounts under their own title.

Officials of the leading local banks reached by Dawn said they had
no idea whether the two organisations were maintaining any account
with their banks under their own title. "Maybe they have bank
accounts under different titles...but we will have to scan our
books thoroughly to see if they maintain an account with us," said
an executive of a state-run bank.

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20010823
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Jihadi groups' offices in Karachi sealed
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Aug 22: In a day-long crackdown in the city, the police
sealed dozens of offices of Jihadi organizations and arrested
scores of activists. The crackdown follows a government decision
banning the display of signboards at the offices of the Jihadi
organizations and placing of fund-raising boxes at public places.

A senior police official said the orders for crackdown had been
received on Tuesday night. About 250 activists were arrested by the
afternoon, but the "situation" then changed and those arrested were
subsequently released.

The representatives of Al Badar, Jaish-i-Mohammad, Lashkar-i-Taiba
and other Jihadi organizations said that although they had removed
signboards and donation boxes from public places, yet the police
raided their offices and sealed them. Senior police officials were
divided on the issue of conducting raids on the Jihadi groups'
offices and about the number of arrests.

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20010822
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Jihadi outfits angry over Sindh govt curbs
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Aug 21: The Jihadi organizations have refused to comply
with the Sindh government orders banning placing of fund-raising
boxes at public places and installing signboards at their offices.

A day after the provincial home department announced a set of curbs
against the Jihadi outfits, DIG Karachi Tariq Jamil said, "we have
not yet received any notification to take action against those
disregarding these orders."

"No action has yet been taken," Mr Jamil told Dawn, adding that
although the orders had been reported in a section of the press,
these were yet to be notified. However, police mobiles reportedly
went to some of the offices of jihadi organizations and asked them
to take the fund- raising boxes inside their premises. They,
however, did not object to signboards.

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20010821
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Curbs placed on Jihadi outfits
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Aug 20: The Sindh government has restrained the Jihadi
organizations from displaying signboards and placing donation boxes
at public places. A spokesman for the Sindh home department said
that "it has been noticed with grave concern" that the Jihadi
organizations were displaying their signboards and collecting
contributions by placing boxes at shops and roadsides.

"It has been decided that no Jihadi organization will from Aug 20
onwards display signboards on their offices and collect financial
contributions by placing boxes on public places," he said, adding
any deviation from the order would be seriously viewed.

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20010820
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Over two dozen LJ, SMP activists arrested
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

FAISALABAD, Aug 19: The police arrested over two dozen activists
and leaders of outlawed Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and Sipah-i-Muhammad.

Police teams raided the residences of suspects in various parts of
Faisalabad, Jhang and Toba Tek Singh districts. A majority of the
arrested were booked under Anti-Terrorism Act.

Toba Tek Singh police arrested over a dozen leaders and activists
including Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan district president Qari Muhammad
Owais.

Sources told this correspondent that the operation would continue
for two more days in the districts..

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20010821
-------------------------------------------------------------------
17 injured in Lahore blast
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Aug 20: Seventeen people, including two women and four
children, were injured critically when a bomb exploded at the
crowded Dabbi Bazaar, Rang Mehal. Packed in a polythene shopping
bag, the device had been abandoned close to a water-tap,
eyewitnesses told reporters and said: "It went off with a bang at
around 12:45pm. The bomb left around two inches crater in ground
when it exploded."

According to the bomb disposal squad, the bomb was a local made
time device. "It was weighing one kg, loosely packed in the bag,"
an official of the BDS said. Splinters of the explosive device hit
the customers in all four directions and also caused them burns. It
also damaged some six shops and windowpanes of several houses.

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20010822
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Govt concedes failure on child rights front
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Aug 21: The government in a national consultation on
state of child rights here on Tuesday accepted its failure to
implement the National Plan of Action on child rights due to
resource constraints.

Federal Minister for Women Development, Social Welfare and Special
Education, Dr Attiya Innayatullah, conceded that Pakistan's End
Decade Review (EDR) report clearly indicated that during the last
decade, the plan of action remained largely on the drawing boards
and in committee rooms and the funding for the plan was not
forthcoming.

She said that much more "needs to be done than has been
accomplished" as the nation's children did not get the first
priority on national resources as committed in the World Child
Summit.

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20010820
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Khyber agency's stupas face extinction
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Intikhab Amir

PESHAWAR, Aug 19: Due to lack of financial resources and expertise
required to conserve archeological sites apparently the Buddhist
dynasty's stupas in the Khyber Agency are under threat of
extinction.

Indifference on the part of provincial and federal authorities
concerned appears evident from the deteriorating conditions of the
two 2000 year-old Buddhist worship places situated along the
Peshawar-Landikotal road inside Khyber Agency.

The one situated at the Changay Tambu area is worst hit due to
illegal excavations and apathy of the concerned department. Only
the base of the stupa exists whereas the upper part of the relic,
made of stone and sand, has vanished at the hands of illegal
excavators.

The second stupa, popularly known as Sphola stupa, is also pleading
for attention.

According to sources the political agent of Khyber Agency had
promised help conserve the Sphola stupa but he got transferred and
nothing was done.

The Peshawar-based officials of the federal and provincial
departments of archeology blame each for not doing enough to
conserve the ancient relics. "Being covered by the Antiquity Act of
1975, amended in 1976, - which is a federal law - responsibility to
conserve archeological sites in Fata rests with the federal
government's department concerned," said a senior officer of the
provincial government.

The federal government officials attributed their inaction to lack
of financial resource and inadequate facilities.

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20010820
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan denies Indian attack
-------------------------------------------------------------------
ISLAMABAD, Aug 19: An ISPR spokesman categorically denied an Indian
claim that its forces had attacked a Pakistani post in the Kotli
sector of Azad Kashmir.

The Indian media had earlier claimed that Indian troops had killed
nine soldiers deputed at the post. Commenting on the report, the
spokesman termed it baseless and concocted, adding that the Indians
were indulging in unfounded propaganda.

"No such incident, whatsoever, took place in the area," he said.

INDIAN CLAIM: A senior Indian army official claimed at least 12
Pakistanis - nine soldiers and three civilians - were killed when
Indian forces retaliated to shelling along the Line of Control
(LoC).

Brigadier P.C. Das alleged Pakistani troops had used 82mm and 60mm
mortars and "heavy calibre weapons" to target Indian posts in the
districts of Poonch and Rajouri on Saturday night and Sunday. "They
used anti-aircraft guns with muzzles lowered to hit our posts," Das
said.

Quoting Indian army intelligence reports, he said three Pakistani
civilians were killed, along with nine soldiers when Indian troops
returned fire. Six Pakistani soldiers were also wounded in the
firing, he added.

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20010823
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Benazir's retrial to start next month
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, Aug 22: The Prosecutor General Accountability said that
the NAB was still interested in prosecuting Ms Benazir Bhutto and
her retrial in a corruption case, sent back to the accountability
court by the SC, would start from the first week of September.

Raja Mohammad Bashir, PGA, talking to Dawn said it was a wrong
impression that the NAB had lost interest in the prosecution of Ms
Benazir Bhutto and her spouse Asif Ali Zardari. The case will
proceed from the first week of September and it would be the
endeavour of the prosecution that it should be disposed of as
expeditiously as possible, Raja Bashir said. On April 6, a seven-
judge bench of the apex court had ordered retrial of the case by a
court of competent jurisdiction.

The court had observed that the element of bias in the present case
was floating on the surface of the record. On the basis of the same
judgment, two judges, Justice (retd) Rashid Aziz Khan, and Justice
Malik Qayyum, were asked to leave the institution of judiciary.

After the SC order, an accountability court at Rawalpindi, headed
by Judge Mansoor Ali Khan, had taken up the case in May and issued
notices to all the respondents. No proceedings took place
afterwards. Legal experts say that after the amendments in NAB
ordinance the prosecution would be at liberty to place additional
records in the case as the Supreme Court had not made any direction
that prosecution should not be allowed to fill in the lacunas in
the case.

Asked whether the NAB would place more evidence on the record of
the court, Prosecutor General Accountability (PGA) Raja Mohammad
Bashir said the case was starting afresh.

The PGA said if the prosecution felt that it should place
additional material on the record of the court, it would be at
liberty to make a request to the Accountability Court. If the court
permitted, additional record could be placed before it and added
that it was the discretion of the court to allow or deny the
placement of additional evidence, he said.

Experts observing the case proceedings say that the NAB, after
getting a favorable verdict under section 31 of the NAB Ordinance,
was not so keen on starting fresh prosecution of Ms Bhutto. The
government, these experts say, was more interested in placing Ms
Benazir Bhutto in the category of "convicted persons" only.

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20010823
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Asif's contempt plea elicits jailers' regrets
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Nasir Iqbal

RAWALPINDI, Aug 22: Judge Rustum Ali Malik of accountability court
No I dismissed Asif Zardari's application in the Pakistan Steel
mills (PSM) reference to appoint a commission to record the
statement of his father Hakim Ali Zardari.

The application had asked the court to appoint a commission to
record the evidence of Hakim Ali Zardari, who was confined to a
hospital at Karachi as he was unwell and therefore could not be
brought here. Meanwhile, Mr Zardari had given up three defence
witnesses including Faqir Hisbani, Ali Akbar Jamali and Haji Allah
Bux Lakhoo, for whom he had earlier pressed to be summoned.

The court during the last proceedings had issued bailable warrants
against these witnesses with a direction to the prosecution to
produce them. The witnesses were given up when they failed again to
appear on Tuesday.

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20010823
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PPP criticizes arrest of its leader
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Aug 22: Pakistan People's Party has termed the arrest of
secretary-general Jahangir Badar an act by the present government
aimed at denying the party an even playing field in the forthcoming
general elections.

Speaking at a press conference at his residence, PPP deputy
secretary-general Mian Raza Rabbani demanded the release of party's
top leader and said that his arrest was the first of all those
arrests to be made by the present government to browbeat the party
after the results of local bodies elections, particularly in the
province of Punjab.

He further said that it appears that with this process of political
victimization, the regime wanted to sabotage the holding of general
elections in the country.

He said in the second phase of election process scheduled between
July and September, the government had chalked out a plan to
manipulate election results in this period. For this purpose, he
said, the government was looking forward carving out delimitations
of provincial and national assemblies constituencies in a way so as
to facilitate and favour the candidates supporting its rule in
order to brighten their victory prospects.

The electoral rolls, he said, would be prepared through a
government agency NADRA and not through Election Commission of
Pakistan so as to manipulate the rolls for its advantages.

Thirdly, he said, the government has decided to carry out selective
purge of leaders of liberal, progressive and mainstream parties,
particularly PPP.

According to him, there would be little or a low-scale rigging on
the election days as the government wanted to achieve its designs
prior to the holding of the elections. Giving the reason, he said,
there would be international teams of observers monitoring the
elections and the government could ill-afford to go for massive
rigging on elections days.

"The arrest of Mr Jahangir Badar is the beginning of the selective
purge," he said. The government, he said, wanted to create a
situation enabling it to bring about amendments. "Notwithstanding
the Supreme Court judgement, Chief Executive cannot be granted
powers to amend the constitution for its sole prerogative of an
elected parliament," he emphasised.

Speaking on the recently introduced amendments to the NAB
ordinance, the PPP leader termed those violative of the fundamental
rights enshrined in the Constitution. He said the ordinance has
been amended making it mandatory on the bank and financial
institutions to make available to NAB the accounts of any
individual.

"The amendment is an infringement of the privacy of the citizens
and impinges upon the confidentiality of banking transactions that
is recognized world over," he said. According to him, this
amendment will have far-reaching consequences as far as the
business community is concerned and will be another nail in the
coffin of the economy. Further, it is a violation of fundamental
rights.

Similarly, he added, the amendment relating to acceptance of
documents from a foreign government without being subject to the
law of evidence "is an attempt to over-ride the judgement of the
Supreme Court in Ms Bhutto acquittal appeal by the Supreme Court".

The amendments also provide a legal cover to the surveillance of
citizens and the reports submitted by the agencies involved in
surveillance work would be considered a piece of evidence in the
court of law, he said and added that "this is something highly
condemnable"

"The NAB law is blackest of all black laws in the world," he said,
and added "nevertheless such tactics by the military government
could not dampen the spirit of party, which can register a
landslide victory in any free, fair and transparent elections".

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20010822
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Jehangir Badar arrested by NAB
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Asad Ali

LAHORE, Aug 21: The National Accountability Bureau, Punjab arrested
PPP Secretary-General Jehangir Badar on charges of corruption and
misuse of authority.  The NAB said the PPP leader during his
tenures as a public office holder acquired assets disproportionate
to his known sources of income.

He is alleged to have been involved in illegal appointments as well
as receiving kickbacks.

The assets which he is said to have illegally accumulated and could
not account for are shares in Bakhtawar Hotel, Dubai Hotel,
International Hotel and National Tourism Hostel in Lahore; shares
in hotels in Dubai, London and Toronto; a petrol pump in Virginia,
USA; shares in a Kamani factory on the Bund Road; shares in Usman
Plaza; Lahore Hotel; Macleod Road and Butt Plaza, Badami Bagh; two
houses in Allama Iqbal Town, Lahore valuing approximately Rs20
million; an under-construction house on a 10-kanal plot in Ali
Town, Raiwind Road and a two-kanal commercial plot near Thokar Niaz
Beg, Lahore.

The NAB said the accused misused his authority in making illegal
appointments in the ministry of petroleum; received kickbacks and
monetary benefits from various deals involving exploration of oil
and other natural resources and obtained 12 kanals of commercial
land belonging to the Auqaf department in Ali Town in violation of
rules and regulations.

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20010821
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ghous evades questions about links to PML-N
-------------------------------------------------------------------
KARACHI, Aug 20: The former adviser to Nawaz Sharif, Ghous Ali
Shah, has said that he will try to remove misunderstanding between
the two factions of the Pakistan Muslim League, Nawaz group and
Qasim group.

Talking to newsmen at the National Institute of Cardiovas-cular
Diseases, where he got himself admitted shortly after his 23-month
detention, he parried questions as to which faction he belonged to,
saying that "to me, both the factions are worthy of respect because
the leaders of both sides used to meet me whenever I was produced
before the court".

Mr Shah's allegiance to the PML(N), Sindh, become controversial
when the general-secretary of the PML(Q) presented his resignation
from the post of the PML(N), Sindh, president at a time when he was
under detention.

He said he had submitted an application to the interior ministry,
asking to be allowed to go abroad for medical treatment. He claimed
that he suffered from such a "fatal disease" which could not be
treated in the country.

"After a medical examination, a team of government doctors asked
the government to send me abroad," he said, claiming that if he
continued to use the medicines he was taking at present, his eyes
and lever would be adversely affected. -PPI

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20010821
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ghous Ali Shah released
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Aug 20: Syed Ghous Ali Shah, a leader of the Pakistan
Muslim League and former defence minister, was released from
judicial custody after being granted bail by the Sindh High Court
in a corruption reference.

The PML leader, arrested immediately after the removal of the Nawaz
government on Oct 12, 1999, is facing charges of illegally
appointing 122 people in the Civil Aviation Authority. He was also
arraigned in the Oct 12 plane hijacking case, but he was exonerated
from all charges by the then presiding judge of the Anti-terrorism
Court No 1, headed by Rahmat Hussain Jafferi, on April 6, last
year.

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20010824
-------------------------------------------------------------------
RAB arrests ex-MNA
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Aug 23: The Regional Accountability Bureau, Sindh,
arrested the former secretary-general of the UBL employees
federation of Pakistan, Abdul Aziz Memon, says a press release.
Memon was arrested on charges of corruption, misuse of powers and
accumulation of assets beyond sources of income.

The press release adds that Memon started his career as a clerk in
1971. Being the president of the staff union, he had a lot of
nuisance value. His assets include a bungalow worth Rs10 million in
Defence, Phase 5, a bungalow in KDA, scheme 1, etc. In order to
contest National Assembly elections in 1993, Memon had his
resignation back-dated. As a member of the National Assembly, he
received bribes which he showed as "gifts". He also set up many
fictitious companies and obtained loans from banks. He pressured
bank employees to invest in his illegal companies. He
misappropriated the entire investment.

The press release says that Mr Memon obtained loans from banks in
the name of the yellow cab scheme. He got commission from insurance
companies for the scheme. He had lent many bank cars to his
friends, some of which are still untraceable.

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20010825
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PML-LM meeting begins today
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD Aug 24: A crucial two-day meeting of the central
executive committee of the Pakistan Muslim League (like minded) is
beginning here at party's central secretariat from Saturday. The
PML-LM CWC will be presided over by the party president Mian
Mohammad Azhar
and is expected to be attended by some 100 members from all over
the country.

According to the party sources, the meeting is being held at a
crucial juncture when it has to decide between going for the much
touted re-unification with League factions or to enter into
electoral alliance with like-minded political parties.

The party sources have disclosed to Dawn that two clear groups
appeared to have emerged in the League one led by party president
Mian Mohammad Azhar and the other by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. The
former is strongly opposing every possibility of accepting the
terms of estranged PML(N) but the latter due to some internal
differences with party president is convinced that the party can
not fare any good in the ensuing general elections unless the
league is reunified and strengthened.

The party stalwarts also expect a stormy session for, those having
soft corner for the ousted premier Nawaz Sharif were not happy with
the military regime over breaking of many promises. They are openly
criticizing the party top brass in failing to achieve anything
promised with them from time to time.

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20010824
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Haj forms to be issued from Sept 1
-------------------------------------------------------------------
ISLAMABAD, Aug 23: The Haji camps established at Islamabad,
Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi and Quetta will start issuing application
forms under the Open Haj Scheme, 2002, from September 1. The
application form, after being completed by the intending pilgrim,
would be received from November 1 to 15 at the same Haji camp from
where it was issued, official sources said here on Saturday.

Under this scheme, the applicants would be required to make the
following arrangements: passport, airline ticket, papers to show
confirmed arrangements of accommodation in the holy cities duly
attested by the director of Haj, necessary foreign exchange as per
regulations of the State Bank, and Rs2,000 to be paid to the
ministry of religious affairs as processing fee per person.

The pilgrims would be allowed to take accommodation at Harmain-al-
Sharifain and airline of their choice and can continue their
journey to any other country after performing Haj. The scheme is
meant for those who intend not to perform Haj under government
arrangements. A total of 120,000 Pakistani pilgrims, 75,000 under
sponsorship scheme and 45,000 under regular scheme, would perform
Haj next year.-APP

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20010825
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Gen Ghulam Ahmed killed in car crash
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

RAWALPINDI, Aug 24: Lt-Gen Ghulam Ahmed Khan, Chief of Staff of the
Chief Executive's Secretariat, was killed and his wife and two
daughters were injured when a truck crashed into their car near
Talagang on Friday.

The family was on their way to Rawalpindi from Mianwali when the
truck collided with their car head-on at the Mial Chowk, officials
said. Local people rushed to the site of the accident and pulled
out the victims from the wreckage of the car and shifted them to
the Fauji Foundation hospital. Gen Ghulam Ahmed died on way to the
hospital, officials said.

The truck driver identified by the police as Mohammad Asif was
arrested by the Tomman police and his vehicle was impounded.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20010824
-------------------------------------------------------------------
New ABL chairman, directors nominated: Cases referred to NAB
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Aug 23: The State Bank of Pakistan has referred the cases
of the four senior executives and two senior employees of ABL
involved in financial dealings with the Fateh Textile Mills (FTML)
to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB, and nominated new
chairman and three directors on the board, the State Bank Governor
Dr Ishrat Hussain informed newsmen.

The four senior executives, including the former chairman and the
chief executive of the ABL, three directors and two senior
employees were found to be main characters involved in financial
dealings with the Fateh Textile Mills.

A State Bank Committee had noted two serious irregularities in
these dealings which were (i) FTML availed export refinance from
the SBP through ABL Station Road Hyderabad branch against fake
shipment documents and (ii) the ABL, through its Foreign Exchange
Branch, Karachi and Station Road Branch Hyderabad extended
financing facility to the FTML, which were used for purchase of
shares held by the employees of the ABL. He said that the ABL
executives have replied to the removal notices served on them early
this month and have asked for certain documents from the State
Bank.

Dr Ishrat said that a new Chairman of the ABL Board and three
directors have been nominated. He hoped that after compliance with
all legal formalities, the ABL would approve the annual report and
make it public. Responding to a question on the fate of Prudential
Bank, the SBP Governor remarked "wait for some good news in near
future" dropping the hint that this bank would be merged with "some
bank". He did not identify the bank with which the Prudential Bank
is being considered to be merged but said that negotiations are in
final stages.

He agreed that the recent decision to reduce discount rates twice
in quick succession by two per cent was shift in the monetary
policy of the State Bank. "We have foreign exchange reserves of
three billion dollars plus, the inflation rate is well under
control and the cotton season is about to set in. Therefore, it is
appropriate time to bring down lending rates," Dr Ishrat said.

Discount rate has been used as an effective monetary tool when the
rupee was under tremendous pressure of dollar, and now the
situation is by and large stable and satisfactory.

The State Bank Governor was confident that trade and industry would
avail of his situation by accelerating the pace of business
activities in the country. The SBP Governor hoped that with
changing times the family business in Pakistan would gradually
convert into corporate entities.

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20010823
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SBP unearths clandestine move to take over ABL
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Sabihuddin Ghausi

KARACHI, Aug 22: A four-member Standing Committee of the State Bank
of Pakistan headed by a deputy governor has found that the former
Chairman of the Board and the Chief Executive of the Allied Bank of
Pakistan (ABL) and three other directors had also entered into a
Memorandum of Understanding with a California-based corporation-
Interlink Company-to conduct a buyout of ABL's employees shares and
to bid for other 49 per cent shares held by the State Bank and the
government.

All these four directors were declared "unfit and undesirable
persons to be associated with any banking institution" by the
Governor of State Bank Dr Ishrat Hussain in his order issued early
this month. They were found colluding with Fateh Textile Mills
Limited (FTML), a major defaulter of ABL, in extending financial
accommodation and full logistic support to enable it to
clandestinely purchase the ABL shares and eventually take over
control of the bank.

This order was passed on August 3, pursuant to section 41-A of the
Banking Companies Ordinance 1962 by the SBP Governor. It also
dismissed two other senior employees. All these five were found to
be actively involved in providing Rs2 billion financing facility to
Fateh Sons against insecure collaterals and securities. Bulk amount
of this money was eventually used to buy shares from the ABL
employees.

Those removed from the ABL and found unfit to be associated with
any banking institution were Rasheed Chowdhry, the third Chief
Executive and Chairman of the ABL after its take-over by the
management-employee group, Allied Management Group (AMG), in 1991.
The three directors found guilty were S Jauhar Hussain, I.A. Usmani
and Saleem Sheikh. Two employees who were removed from ABL were
Ashfaq H Qureshi and Aslam Qureshi.

The four member Standing Committee headed by the Deputy Governor of
SBP R.A. Chughtai carried out its probe and gave its report to SBP
Governor in June. It detected a document, which showed that all
these four directors in their personal capacities had entered into
an MoU with Interlink Company in November 1998.

The Committee mentions seven specific clauses of this MoU which
"reflect gross misconduct on part of the said directors and
establish they were acting against public interest, against the
interest of ABL" to promote their own interests. For example, the
one of the clauses stipulated Interlink to enter into an agreement
with Rasheed Chowdhry, Saleem Sheikh, Jahuar Hussain and I.A.
Usmani to purchase their personal shares at 2 dollars a share.

According to the SBP Committee report Rasheed Chowdhry and two
directors Jauhar Hussain and I.A. Usmani sold away their shares to
Fateh Textile Mills at Rs100 a share while Ashfaq Qureshi and Aslam
Qureshi got a price of Rs84.78 per share.

A large number of ABL employees in Karachi, Hyderabad and other
parts of the country were made to sell their shares at Rs15 and
Rs20 a share. Original price of share was Rs70 on which the
government had offered ABL to its employees in September 1991.

Under the MoU, the ABL directors wanted the Interlink to retain
them on the Board with its own directors after it takes over and
provide them a long term performance based pay-benefits package of
250,000 dollars per director. They also wanted a pay package
increase for the Chairman and directors that should double their
present basic and benefit package while providing a 25 per cent
rise for other employees.

Rasheed Chowdhry and directors committed to assist in preventing
the existing shareholders from selling their shares to other buyers
and committed to lobby for Interlink in the government and
Privatization Commission to acquire or underwrite 49 percent shares
of the government.

The SBP Committee also quotes from another document, a letter from
the Interlink addressed to Rasheed Chowdhry in January 1999 to
express its concern on ABL directors discussing with another
business group the proposed sale of ABL shares.

An earlier report of the Audit and Inspection Division of the ABL
last year has accused the then President of ABL Rasheed Chowdhry
and directors of misusing their position for personal gains by
providing bank funds against bogus foreign bills to fateh Textile
Mills for purchase of banks' own shares.

The SBP had directed the ABL board in August last year to "dig out
all cases pertaining to misappropriation of export refinance and
extension of facilities to Fateh Textile Mills for facilitating
purchase of ABL shares to determine the volume of misuse of bank
funds and export refinance facilities from January 1997 to June
2000."

Mukhtar Malik, a government nominated director on the ABL Board was
also associated with the Audit Committee probe and found that total
exposure of bank to Fateh Textile Mills was over Rs2 billion. Of
this hardly Rs300 million was covered by the securities and
remaining amount was doubtful recovery.

Based on evidence of witnesses, the report has mentioned the
directors and senior employees actively involved in opening
counters for buying shares of the ABL employees in various
branches.

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20010825
-------------------------------------------------------------------
State Bank softens lending rules: Private limited cos
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Aug 24: The State Bank has further relaxed rules for the
banks in making advances to a private limited company. Previously
no bank was allowed to make advances to a private limited company
without obtaining personal guarantee of the directors of the
company in addition to the normal security that the bank may
require.

Now a SBP circular issued to all banks says that in the following
cases the requirement of obtaining the directors personal guarantee
will not be applicable:

(i) Advances fully secured for all times against approved
securities such as treasury bills and federal/Pakistan investment
bonds.

(ii) Directors who are full time paid employees of the company and
the position of director is held by them owing to their
professional and technical capabilities; and

(iii) Directors who are nominees of corporate entity/financial
institution and a guarantee has been given by the corporate
entity/financial institution nominating such person as director.

Earlier, in May this year the requirement for the banks to obtain
personal guarantee of the directors of a private limited company
was relaxed under the following situations:

(i) In cases of foreign controlled private companies whose
directors in Pakistan are merely paid directors either the personal
guarantee of the directors in Pakistan or bank guarantee from the
holding company abroad may be obtained.

(ii) Advances made to private limited companies including foreign
controlled companies resident in Pakistan against lien on foreign
currency deposits held with the lending banks would be exempt from
the requirement of obtaining personal guarantee of directors of the
company.

(iii) Advances made to private limited companies including foreign
controlled companies resident in Pakistan against lien on foreign
currency deposits would continue to be exempted from the
requirement of obtaining personal guarantee of directors of the
private limited company when the foreign currency deposits are
replaced with special US dollar bonds registered in the name of the
borrower issued by converting US dollar deposits.

At that time SBP had further decided that in cases where the
advances made to private limited companies (including foreign
controlled companies incorporated in Pakistan) are fully secured by
lien on rupee deposits held with the lending banks, the requirement
of obtaining personal guarantee of directors of the company may be
waived by the banks at their discretion.

At present the requirement of obtaining personal guarantee of the
directors of the company is also not applicable in case of advances
made to private limited companies including foreign controlled
companies resident in Pakistan where the advances are fully secured
by way of:

(i) Lien on foreign currency deposits held with lending banks and
(ii) Lien on foreign currency deposits when the foreign currency
deposits are replaced with special US dollar bonds registered in
the name of the borrower issued by converting US dollar deposits.

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20010825
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PIA suffers Rs7bn loss in 18 months
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Dilawar Hussain

KARACHI, Aug 24: Pakistan International Airlines suffered loss of
Rs7 billion for the 18 months (January 2000 to June 2001), which
works out to a loss of Rs12 million per day. The Airline unveiled.

At June 30, 2001, PIA was carrying accumulated losses of over Rs13
billion on its balance sheet. This covered the Airlines equity of
close to Rs4 billion, more than three times over. After tax loss
for the financial year 2000 stood at Rs5.2 billion, 147 per cent
higher than the loss of Rs2.1 billion the year earlier. Loss for
the latest six months to end-June 2001 amounted to Rs2.4 billion,
about twice the deficit of Rs1.3 billion made by the Airline in the
corresponding period of 2000.

The depressing results were greeted with a 35 paisa drop in the
Airline's 10-rupee stock price on Friday, which already trading at
a discount, closed the day at Rs3.45. There was of course no
question of a dividend for the shareholders. And a dividend does
not appear to have accrued for a long time; the last payout was a
bonus issue, one-for-ten (10 per cent) in 1994.

Shareholders could only be looking at PIA's soaring losses: For the
year ended December 31, 1998, it had reported net profit of Rs2.0
billion. But that profit figure had, benefited from the write back
of Rs1,800 million that the airline had made in respect of
provision for pension liability, which it said, was no longer
required.

For 1999, PIA dived into net loss of Rs2,052 million and the
numbers disclosed on Friday, show that over the period of last 18
months, the Airline has been heading, uncontrollably and head
foremost towards the ground.

The disturbing aspect of both the 2000 full year accounts and of
those for the first half of current year, is that the airline's
revenue falls short of its costs and expenditure, resulting in a
net operating loss situation. Financial charges, which also falls
in the region of billions of rupees add to those losses.

Simplifying the data, it is seen that for the 18 months, PIA earned
Rs61 billion in revenue, while its expenses worked out at Rs65
billion, leaving gross loss of Rs4 billion. Financial charges
amounted to Rs3 billion, taking aggregate losses to Rs7 billion.

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20010822
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IMF mission unwilling to allow revision: Rs457bn revenue target
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Aug 21: The visiting four-member IMF review mission,
headed by Klaus Anders, is unwilling to allow the government to
revise downward revenue collection target from Rs457 to Rs447
billion due to Rs12 billion shortfall registered in the last
financial year.

Official sources said that the issue will be discussed in detail
again on August 23 when both sides will have policy-level
discussions. Secretary General, Ministry of Finance, Moeen Afzal
will lead the Pakistan side, which also includes Secretary Finance
Younus Khan and the Economic Advisor of the Ministry of Finance Dr
Ashfaque Hasan Khan.

While the mission was not initially agreeing to allow scaling down
of revenue targets, it was, however, not asking the authorities to
introduce additional taxes in the shape of mini budget during 2001-
2002. The CBR officials, had been saying that they were given
"stretched targets" despite considerable shortfalls seen in 2000-
2001.

The sources said that the Fund officials expressed concern that
three-time revised Rs406 billion revenue collection target of 2000-
2001, which was originally set at Rs436 billion, had not been
achieved and that there was a need to streamline the process to
avoid future slippages.

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20010822
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SBP to be made autonomous to manage reserves
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Jawaid Bokhari

KARACHI, Aug 21: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) would be made
autonomous for management of foreign exchange reserves. Sources
here said that the draft revisions to the SBP Act to guarantee
autonomy to the central bank in respect of management of reserves
is expected to be ready by the end of current month.

The amended SBP Act will also ensure that the governor and other
members of board can only be removed by what is described as 'legal
cause'.

The sources said that the last review of the stand-by arrangement
(SBA), now under way, will focus on financial sector reform, and
the issue of SBP autonomy may come up for discussions with the
visiting IMF mission. The government is committed to the Fund to
make SBP autonomous to manage reserves.

The IMF officials say that the government will complete the
implementation of the recommendations arising out of the Fund's
recent assessment of the SBP's financial safeguards in the coming
months.

The State Bank governor Dr Ishrat Hussain will be in Islamabad on
August 24 to discuss policy issues with the Fund officials.

Starting from July 1, 2001, the definition for IMF monitoring of
variables have also been changed. Reserves money includes scheduled
banks' required and excess foreign currency deposits with the State
Bank but excludes the special deposit accounts of the commercial
banks with the SBP on account of frozen foreign exchange deposits.

The move to make SBP autonomous for management of reserves follows
the adverse impact of freezing of foreign currency accounts in May
1998 (involving a sum of $11 billion) on investment and the economy
as a whole.

As part of the annual audit, the sources said the external auditors
will prepare a separate report on net foreign assets reported to
the IMF.

Under the new dispensation, the State Bank allowed banks and non-
banking financial institutions, effective from April this year, to
freely utilize foreign currency deposits mobilized by them for
lending/ investment/ placement in Pakistan or abroad. But banks and
NBFIs are required to maintain cash reserves in US dollar
equivalent to not less than 25 per cent of their total deposits on
daily basis (5 per cent cash reserve and 20 per cent cash
reserves). The reserve ratios are changed from time to time.

To improve safeguarding of reserves, says a Fund report, the State
Bank is required by the IMF to reduce its term deposits with the
Pakistani banks to $100 million by end-September and eliminate such
deposits by end of 2001. Current account deposits will be capped at
$120 million throughout this period.

The State Bank is expected to prepare IAS-compliant reporting
format and comparable IAS financial statement for previous years
ending June 20, 2000. The Central Bank is required to get an
independent review of SBP internal audit function.

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20010821
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IMF asked to write off debts: Meeting with labour leaders
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Aug 20: A four-member fact-finding mission of the IMF had
to defend the Fund's position more than once during a meeting with
top labour leaders. The mission members received verbal thrashing
by a whole bunch of hostile labour leaders who accused the IMF of
pushing Pakistan deeper into debt trap and creating joblessness in
this developing country.

Sources privy to the meeting said the labor leaders told the
mission that general perception in Pakistan is that people are
committing suicides due to ruthless IMF policies. They said the
labor leaders drawn from various national institutions were of the
view that the IMF and the World Bank should write off major
external debts of Pakistan. "If it is not done the country could
hardly survive, let alone whether it implements your reforms or
not," said one of the labour leaders. He and several others told
the mission people in Pakistan want the IMF to stop promoting the
pro-rich policies here as well as in other developing countries.

That forced the mission members to defend the IMF position saying
that it does not frame policies for Pakistan or any other country.
"We only come into picture on the request of a country for a
bailout...and it is your government that frames policies."

The mission was headed by Klaus Anders and included senior IMF
representative in Pakistan Henri Ghesquiere; Jean Lee Dem and
Marcio Ronci.

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20010821
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan mulls action against Paris firm
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Khaleeq Kiani

ISLAMABAD, Aug 20: Pakistan is considering penalizing a Paris-based
telecom company for dishonouring its agreement to launch a
strategic $500 million geo-stationary satellite - Pakistan
Satellite (PAKSAT).

"Yes, we are consulting our legal advisors to examine whether or
not we can take action against the company under the contract and
seek fiscal compensations," confirmed an official source in the
ministry of science and technology. "The loss is colossal from the
strategic point of view even if not in fiscal terms," said the
source who asked not to be named. Another source said it was
clearly mentioned in a recent cabinet meeting that "Alcatel should
be held accountable for its failure to fulfil its contractual
obligations."

The non-implementation of the agreement by Alcatel has left
Pakistan uncertain whether it would ever be able to share or launch
a space satellite system that was necessary to become the backbone
of country's defence, telecom, telecast and information technology
needs. Authentic official sources and documentary evidence
available with Dawn suggest that the federal cabinet has already
authorised Minister for Science and Technology Dr Ata-ur-Rehman
early this month "to take appropriate steps/decisions in the matter
to safeguard national interests".

The cabinet was informed that Space and Upper Atmosphere Research
Commission (SUPARCO) had initially planned to launch (38 deg E and
L) space satellite in 1983 and filed an application with ITU. Five
locations were allotted and Pakistan invited bids for its launch in
1994.

Four companies had applied for a licence but Alcatel of France was
granted an LoI in 1996 and then granted a 15-year licence in 1998.
The agreement was however subject to an implementation agreement
which could not be signed because of delaying tactics used by the
company and the licence expired in December last year.

Under the cabinet directive to utilise Pakistan's only space
allocation before April 2003, the ministry of science has already
invited fresh and open-ended (both old and new satellite locations)
bids for positioning a geo-stationary fixed satellite in 38 degree
E orbital location to meet the strategic and commercial interests.

In view of the very limited options available, the cabinet has also
directed that Pakistan should not only aim at a temporary solution
by way of an old satellite but should simultaneously ask the
companies to bid for the new satellite. The bids would be kept as
open as possible with a provision for the vendors to provide a
financial package as well.

"This means that companies would be free to submit bids for the new
satellite or for the repositioning of some existing ones," an
expert at the ministry explained. Simultaneously, Maj-Gen Khalid
Bashir, acting chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority
(PTA) has been asked to look after the project in consultation with
the ministry.

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20010821
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Talks with IMF mission begin: $2.5bn poverty reduction facility
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Aug 20: Formal talks have begun between the visiting IMF
review mission and the Pakistani authorities to look into
Islamabad's request to have $2 to $2.5 billion Poverty Reduction
Growth Facility (PRGF).

Official sources said that the head of the IMF review mission, Mr
Klausse Enders has arrived Pakistan and started holding discussions
with the senior authorities.

The IMF and the World Bank, the sources said, were jointly helping
the government in the preparation of a Poverty Reduction Strategy
Paper (PRSP) which was a "pre-condition" for seeking PRGF by the
present government after the expiry of $596 million Standby
Agreement (SBA) on Sep 30 this year.

The Deputy Director of the IMF for Middle East Department Mr Burton
is also due to arrive here on Aug 29 to discuss Pakistan's request
for new financing package. Later, the finance minister will leave
for Washington to further discuss with the IMF authorities the
PRGF, without which Paris Club would not reschedule Pakistan's $3.5
billion debt nor the country's credit rating will be improved by
the New York-based credit rating agencies - Moody's and Standard &
Poor.

"But nothing is likely to be finalized during the IMF review
mission's visit to Islamabad. Whether Pakistan should get PRGF or
not will be debated and finalized at a meeting of the Pakistan
Development Forum (PDF) being held in early November here," a
source said. However, he said the finalization of PRSP by the
government with the help of the World Bank and the IMF will lay a
basis for future assistance.

Back to the top
EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20010819
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Can the people ever win?
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

NO. They can't. Corruption persists.

While no one in the city of Karachi can deny that the Karachi
Building Control Authority (KBCA) of the Karachi Development
Authority (KDA) is riddled with graft (the governor's Dissolution
Order of 1996 conferred upon it the title of 'Nest of Corruption'),
it seems that it is virtually impossible for the government to
identify the bad elements in the organization and to take action
against them.

In 1995, the citizens of Karachi, helped by Shehri, the
environmental watchdog group, stepped up their campaign against the
proliferation of illegal buildings that was slowly destroying the
quality of life in the metropolis, particularly that of the inner
city. The government and the KBCA, during that year and in 1996,
were compelled by public pressure to seal some 260-odd unauthorized
structures, carry out minor cosmetic demolition, and initiate
disciplinary action against 29 KBCA officers who had colluded with
the highly corrupt builders' mafia.

In January 1997, an inquiry into the conduct of these 29 officers
was conducted by secretary, housing & town planning, Nur Ahmad
Shah, one of our rare honest and fearless bureaucrats. He
exonerated 14 of them, and recommended major penalties against:
Akhtar Iqbal Usmani, Zaidiul Wasti, Rauf Akhtar Faruqui, Iqbal
Aziz, Kazi Mumtaz Iqbal, Arshad Jamal, Sultan Mohammad Zuberi,
Mohammad Bux Qasmi, Anwar Kamal Kazmi, Khwaja Badi-uz-Zaman,
Munawar Azam, Mohammad Ali Qaimkhani, Iqbal-ur-Rahman, Abdul Waheed
and Abdul Sattar Pasha. These 15 were charged and suspended.

In 1996, to block their dismissal from service, the 15 filed a suit
in the High Court of Sindh, pleading 'political victimization'. By
an interim order the single bench of the court reinstated them,
pending the outcome of the case. One amongst them, Rauf Akhtar
Faruqui, a favourite of many a politician of many a political
party, not only survived multiple changes of government but grew in
stature with each change. His rise from assitant controller to
deputy controller to controller and finally to the plum post of
chief controller of Buildings, KBCA, was, as they say, 'meteoric'.
It was during his tenure as CCOB that many unlawful approvals were
given, inter alia, to Glass Towers (a portion of which was later
demolished on the orders of the Supreme Court) and Saima Trade
Towers (against which litigation is pending). Faruqui later rose to
be director-general of the Malir Development Authority.

The High Court dismissed the suit, declared that the court had no
jurisdiction, and directed the plaintiffs to approach the Services
Tribunal. They did not do so, but instead appealed to a double
bench of the SHC which upheld the decision of the single bench.
Undeterred, they filed a petition for leave to appeal in the
Supreme Court. In the year 2000, the Supreme Court dismissed the
petition. Leave was not granted.

No one will be surprised, and certainly not shocked, to learn that
these 15 servants of the public are still on the payroll of the
KBCA and that we are paying their salaries. What can also not
surprise any citizen of this country is that now, at this late
stage, the Sindh department of housing and town planning wishes to
exonerate these men, using one excuse or another. What is
surprising is that the military government-posted Brigadier Zaheer
Kadri, director-general of the KDA, and Brigadier Zafar Malik,
chief controller of the KBCA, are both supporting the department's
move. But then, who is motivating the department?

At the tail-end of the meeting of the governing body of the KDA
held this August 9, without any notice, a 37-page dossier was
presented to the members by DG-KDA Brigadier Kadri. The DG, who is
also the chief executive of the KBCA, has stated : "The case of the
exoneration of the 15 officers has been taken up in the backdrop of
the housing and town planning department's letter No.SO(G)/HTP/4-
5/197 dated 8/6/ 2001 which has provided clear guidelines for
processing the case" [it does nothing of the sort]. The governing
body members were further informed: "Points for decision. In the
light of above paras, the Governing Body is requested to kindly
consider to exonerate 15 officers from the allegations/charges
together with reinstatement of eight officers and set aside the
inquiry report."

The governing body decided not to follow the DG's recommendations.
"No," they emphasized. According to press reports, our Karachi
Nazim, Naimatullah Khan, is to now be the chairman of the governing
body. Heaven alone knows, what this devolution plan has thrown up
for us.

Moving on to the draft of the governor's ordinance to regularize
260-plus unauthorized and/or illegal buildings, a meeting was
called by Housing and Town Planning Minister Dewan Mohammad Yusuf
on August 17, at which the builders' mafia and the Association of
Builders and Developers (together with their "supporters") were
fully represented. None of these worthies could give any
explanation as to why they, in collusion with the corrupt officers
of the KDA and KBCA, had purposefully, deliberately and grossly
violated the building code, building in some cases as much as
200,000 sq.ft. in excess of what is permissible.

On this issue, the legal member of the oversee committee of the
KBCA, Barrister Qazi Faez Issa, has given his opinion which was
published in this newspaper on August 17. The general public and
the country's president and chief executive, from whose shoulder
the gun is being fired, should read this carefully.

In neighbouring India, in the city of Trivandrum, which has been
Indianized and is now simply and briefly known as
Thiruvananthapuram, the hometown of my late lamented friend
Girjaramprabhushankar Vitianandashivaramakrishna, the
'Regularization of Unpermitted Constructions and Deviations'
recently cropped up. In Kerala, officials do not use their kidneys
as brains, and the following was ruled:

"(143) Power of the secretary to regularize certain constructions:
The secretary shall have the power to regularize construction or
reconstruction or addition or alteration of any building or digging
of any well commenced, being carried on or completed without
obtaining approved plan or in deviation of the approved plan.
Provided that such construction or reconstruction or addition or
alteration of any building or digging of any well shall not be in
violation of any of the provisions of the Act or these rules.

"(144) Submission of application and procedure for its disposal :
(1) Application for regularization shall be submitted in the form
in Appendix A. (2) The application for regularization shall be
accompanied by documentary evidence of ownership of plot, site
plan, elevation, building plan, service plan, parking plan wherever
the building requires parking, and other details and specifications
as are necessary in the case of an application for new building
permit; in the case of deviation from approved plan, the approved
plan and permit already obtained shall also be submitted. (3) The
procedure for disposal of an application for regularization shall
be that followed in the case of an application for new permit.

(145) Application fee : The application fee shall by as specified
in Schedule I.

(146) Decision to be intimated : (1) The secretary shall by written
order either grant or refuse to grant regularization. (2) The
secretary shall, if the decision is to grant regularization,
intimate the fact to the applicant in writing specifying the amount
to be remitted as compounding fee and the period within which the
amount has to be remitted. (3) The secretary shall, on receipt of
the compounding fee, and compliance of the condition, if any
specified, issue order as in Appendix - I absolving the person from
all liabilities and regularizing the construction, and record the
details thereof in a register to be kept as a permanent document in
the form in Appendix - J. (4) The compounding fee shall be equal to
permit fee specified in Schedule II plus fifty per cent of that
amount. (5) The secretary shall, if the decision is to refuse
regularization, intimate the fact to the applicant specifying the
reasons for such refusal and the period within which such building
or part of building has to be demolished or the well filled up:

"Provided that an application for regularization shall be refused
only on such grounds on which approval of site or permission to
construct or reconstruct a building or well may be refused.

(147) Demolition of buildings not regularized: (1) Where the owner
fails to demolish the building or part thereof or fill up the well
as directed in the order refusing regularization or fails to remit
the compounding fee within the time specified, or fails to comply
with any condition stipulated in the order granting regularization
within the time specified, the secretary may himself cause the
building or part of thereof demolished or the well filled up as the
case may be, and the expenses therefore shall be recovered from the
owner as if it were an arrear of property tax due under the Act.
Provided that in the case of an order refusing regularization, the
building or part thereof shall not be demolished or the well filled
up or prosecution initiated as in sub rule (2) until and unless the
time prescribed for filing an appeal from such an order has not
expired. (2) Not withstanding anything contained in sub-rule (1),
the secretary may also take prosecution proceedings against the
owner."

The law-makers and ordinance-drafters of Pakistan should note the
preamble "provided that such construction or reconstruction or
addition or alteration of any building or digging of any well shall
not be [repeat, shall not be] in violation of any of the provisions
of the [relevant] Act or these rules." The law was upheld.

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20010820
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Clear and present danger
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Irfan Husain

As I write this on Independence Day, I realize that it is exactly
54 years ago that our family crossed over from New Delhi to Karachi
by train.

I was three years old, and my only recollection of the momentous
events of 1947 is a fuzzy memory of a chowkidar trying out
different keys to unlock a door late at night. When I was older, I
was told that our train had been attacked by Sikhs, and only the
presence of a platoon of Pakistani soldiers had saved us from being
hacked to death - a fate that was common enough among refugees
crossing the border in both directions.

In those early years of Pakistan, my father told us of him and his
colleagues in the government using scraps of paper for office
noting and thorns from trees as pins. There was a fervour and a
patriotism that we lost somewhere along the way. My 30-year
experience in the civil service was characterized more by cynicism
than by any idealism: most people I have worked with were concerned
more about their pay and perks and what they could get away with
rather than any sense of what they could do to improve things and
serve the people.

But as one reflects on the decline of standards in virtually every
field, the shrinkage in the writ of the state becomes most
striking. Whereas district officers and SHOs in British India
controlled the law and order situation effectively and ruthlessly,
successively weaker leaders in Pakistan (and India, too, one
suspects) allowed criminals to flourish as the police were used to
batter political opponents rather than pursue crooks and stamp out
crime.

Now, despite all the resources at their disposal, the police simply
cannot take on the might of Jihad Inc. Our heavily armed fanatics
outgun our cops, and in any case enjoy a quasi-immunity because of
the nexus they have formed with mainstream political parties, and
now with the army as they serve the agenda of successive
governments in Kashmir and Afghanistan.

When the army staged its latest coup nearly two years ago, I had
suggested that it should focus its energy and organizational
resources on a very short agenda with its first priority being the
eradication of the bands of armed religious fanatics of every
stripe that had proliferated across the country. Alas, General
Musharraf became too involved in other, less important, matters and
our jihadis continued to commit mayhem at will. It has taken a
particularly vicious string of killings over the last few weeks to
nudge the government into initiating action against them.

Banning two of the many militant parties and putting another two on
notice is the very least that could have been done under the
circumstances. The problem with a ban is that the members of these
bands can either float new parties under different names or join
the many other armed groups that continue flourishing. What needs
to be done is to make it a crime to preach hatred against another
religious community or sect. Next, activists who have been involved
in violence need to be locked up. Over the years, our many
intelligence agencies have built up a considerable data bank
concerning these zealots. If they haven't, they should be disbanded
for inefficiency. The current crackdown needs to be ruthlessly
implemented: far too often, militants are picked up only to be
released after a few days.

The sputtering campaign against illegal arms has yielded
predictably meagre results, reflecting poorly on a military
government: most people simply don't think it means business. Some
religious groups have defended their right to bear arms. Here
again, our many under-cover operatives should have a pretty good
idea about the arsenals that have been built up over the years, or
they have been wasting the taxpayer's money.

The whole problem boils down to one of political will, and so far,
this government has not shown that it has enough of it to
effectively tackle this difficult issue. In mid-nineties when the
MQM was on a rampage in Karachi, Benazir Bhutto and her interior
minister, General Babar, demonstrated that the state is not
entirely helpless in the face of armed and dangerous groups.
Despite the excesses committed by that government against many
innocent citizens, the fact is that the pain inflicted on the armed
faction of the ethnic group served as a highly effective deterrent.

It is this kind of commitment that is lacking in the present
campaign. One problem is that the MQM had no constituency in or out
of the government or the army to shield it from the might of the
state. It had completely alienated every major political party and
ethnic grouping. Jihad Inc, on the other hand, has some important
backers. Our army itself is not free of their influence, and
elements are engaged in furthering their hawkish agendas in Kashmir
and Afghanistan. Also, most of them hail from Punjab as do our
soldiers and bureaucrats. Thus, it is difficult to see how the
state can or will use the full force of its apparatus against these
dangerous elements. Again, having taken a first step against these
organizations, the regime must not falter in its campaign.

With these elements wantonly spilling blood at will, it is hard to
imagine foreign or Pakistani investors putting their funds into a
country where their lives are constantly at risk just because of
their faith. Everybody in this government from the president and
his finance minister downwards has been almost begging investors to
invest, offering them all kinds of incentives and guarantees. But
can they guarantee them physical security?

And until there is new investment, no new jobs will be generated to
absorb the million-plus young men entering the job market every
year. Without jobs, many of them will (and do) turn to drugs and
crime; and some of them are recruited by Jihad Inc.

As I have said in these columns before, this task can only be
undertaken by the army as the police have neither the resources nor
the training and motivation to take on the hydra-headed monster
created by Zia to serve as his constituency. For years after him,
successive leaders and governments have been content with issuing
statements and making the odd arrest, only to release these
activists under pressure.

The police have been too demoralized to even attempt to do their
duty against these elements, especially as they have seen them
sprung from prison by their political masters time and again.

The time has come for General Musharraf to stand firm and take this
rampaging bull by the horns. He has made a beginning of sorts, but
he must see this campaign to the end.

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20010824
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Heaven and its suburbs
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ayaz Amir

Since early manhood I have been trying to become a better person:
prudent, dutiful and punctilious about my responsibilities. Alas,
without much success. In moments of desperation I have called upon
the Lord to give me the strength to overcome my weaknesses. I have
struggled hard but my bad habits persist.

A grim prospect stares me in the face. What will I say, what
explanations offer, when the final trumpets sound. How will I get
past the pearly gates?

Of the writer and dramatist Simon Raven, who died recently, his
obituary in the Guardian started off like this: "The death of Simon
Raven, at the age of 73 after a stroke, is proof that the devil
looks after his own. He ought by rights to have died of shame at
30, or of drink at 50. Instead he survived to produce 25 novels..."
The obituary went on to list his literary achievements and also to
recount the highlights of his life of debt and dissipation. "His
considerable earnings," we are informed, "went on food, drink,
travel, gambling and sex..." The judicious reader will get the
picture: gloom-and-doom formed no part of Raven's view of life. You
are inclined to think that someone like him may well bluff his way
past the pearly gates.

I can only look with envy at a life lived thus to the full. My
failings are of the small, not the swashbuckling kind: sloth,
selfishness and a love of indolence. In my 20s I was much given to
thoughts of being involved in great causes and of manning the
barricades. I loved the sound of this word, barricades, and would
throw it into conversation at the slightest opportunity. Now I find
that my reserves of highmindedness are not what they used to be.

My eyes are still capable of becoming wet if I read a moving story
or listen to a rousing piece of music. At such moments I am
transported to a different world: a world of make-believe and
romance, usually false because it is a product of day-dreaming and
not anything real. But mention of worthy causes leaves me cold
probably because I have seen too many worthy causes transmuted, as
if by magic, into personal gain. I would not have minded this
alchemy had I shared some of the profits. Since I clearly have not,
I find myself slipping into cynicism.

But regarding the pearly gates, would someone like Simon Raven
really like to go past them? Would the perfect world beyond them
appeal to a scapegrace like him? Ordered hours, straight avenues,
permanently wise conversation, wine that causes no hangover, houris
perfect in all respects, goodness and light abounding everywhere -
these are the rewards awaiting the man or woman who has eschewed
worldly temptation and kept the devil at arm's length. Those worthy
of these rewards will constitute the highest circle of the elect
when the final sums are counted.

But what about lesser souls who, while assured of a place in heaven
because of something in their lives finding favour with the All-
powerful, may yet be tormented by the bad habits acquired during
their earthly sojourn? How will they adjust to the perfection of
the cypress-lined pathways where gravitas and good order rule?
Gypsies becoming staid and not dancing, Cleopatra forgetting her
winning ways, Ghalib keeping healthy hours, the great Hafiz not
sighing for his Turkish beauty (the one who lived in Shiraz),
Falstaff not getting into a brawl in a tavern - these images fit no
received conception of paradise.

In his short story The Celestial Omnibus - reading which, for some
reason, always brings tears to my eyes - E. M. Forster gives a
glimpse of heaven and of some of the personalities residing there.
Amongst them is Mrs Gamp, the nurse with a strong partiality for
gin from the Dickens' masterpiece, Martin Chuzzlewit. Mrs Gamp
drinks her gin on the sly and because of the quantities she takes
her nose is perpetually red. But she is a 'character' which is why
she is in paradise along with Achilles, Sir Thomas Browne and the
other figures whom the boy-hero of the story meets when he alights
from the Celestial Omnibus.

And in an essay which has long been a favourite of mine, Likes and
Dislikes, this is what James Agate, English journalist and essayist
of the first half of the last century, has to say of his idea of
heaven: "There must be a paradise for the simpletons as for the
picked spirits...I want a Valhalla which shall not be a palace, but
a home. I think I could trust Lamb to make a sufficient welcome,
though it is to Falstaff I should look to discourse of honour in a
strain bearable to soldier ears. Nectar and abrosia may be good
taking, but there must be familiar grog and laughter and good-
fellowship. I want a heaven in which horses shall be run, and the
laying of odds allowed a sinless occupation." There you have it - a
convivial and inviting heaven in which time shall not hang heavy
and the shadows of ennui are kept at bay.

But Agate is even more demanding: "I want not only the best the
celestial architects may contrive in the way of saloons, but I want
the atmosphere of bar-parlours; I want pipes of clay and pint-pots
of jasper, common briars and spittoons of jade."

Only in one particular do I disagree with him. Why should the place
he describes be only for simpletons and not for picked spirits?
Ghalib would feel at home there and so would Hafiz and Falstaff.
Imagine the revelry and singing in a celestial saloon where such
diverse characters congregated. Who would be the master of
ceremonies? By turns Ghalib and Hafiz. Come to think of it, even
Shakespeare would far prefer something close to a bawdy house to
spend his evenings in than a temple dedicated to the discussion of
virtue and morality.

Who would sing at these celestial suppers? Take your pick, for each
of us has his or her favourite singers. But I would bet on Saigol
to do the honours and when the night was far advanced snatches from
Wagner - played by an orchestra waiting in the wings.

At the foundation of all art lie similar qualities: gusto,
enthusiasm, clarity and imagination. Poets, musicians, singers - no
matter which age they come from or in what language they have
expressed themselves - belong to the same brotherhood. In heaven
will reign a hierarchy of excellence and not one graded according
to time and place. Ghalib and Shakespeare will not be strangers to
each other. Nor at such an assembly will Captain Pistol's
rodomontade be out of place.

These be good humours, indeed! Shall pack-horses, And hollow
pamper'd jades of Asia, Which cannot go but thirty mile a day,
Compare with Caesars, and with Cannibals, And Trojan Greeks? Nay,
rather damn them with King Cerberus; and let the welkins roar.
Shall we fall foul for toys?

This speech comes in a quarrel between Ancient Pistol and Mistress
Doll Tearsheet, with Falstaff watching the proceedings before
pitching in, at the Boar's-head Tavern in Eastcheap. Ever heard of
comparisons between caesars and cannibals or of Trojan Greeks? But
the rhetoric is splendid and puts Pistol by the side of Mrs Gamp as
one of the denizens of paradise.

There's one problem, however. Heaven is for perfect people while
some of the heroes I have mentioned are far from perfect. They can
fit only into a region somewhere between heaven proper and the
eternal fires below. The outskirts of heaven: that's where most of
the swaggerers will reside, where late hours will be kept, swords
will occasionally be drawn and the convivial spirit will last long
into the night.

If I had a choice in the matter that's where I would like to be.


SPORTS
20010825
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Saqlain misses Asian Test
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Aug 24: Off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq will miss the Asian
Test Championship opener between Pakistan and Bangladesh starting
at Multan from Aug 29. The chairman of selectors, Wasim Bari, who
watched the first day's proceedings in the three-day match
involving the visitors, told newsmen that Saqlain would return on
Sept 13.

Bari said Saqlain had some pressing domestic commitments in
England. He, however, clarified that his engagement had nothing to
do with English county Surrey.

The chief selector said the team for the Multan Test would be
handed over to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Sunday. He said it
would then be upto the establishment when to release the squad to
the media. Nevertheless, Bari hinted that the team for the match
had already been decided. "There are question marks against a
couple of players. But we have been discussing the team amongst
ourselves while Waqar Younis has already been consulted."

The chief selector said the playing lineup would be selected by the
captain as his committee's job would end with the picking of 15
players. Until last year, the selection committee used to decide
the playing lineup. But the change has probably come after Waqar
Younis threatened to quit if his views were not given due
consideration while finalizing the playing lineup.

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20010823
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan Test stars accuse India of double standards
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Aug 22: Former Pakistan stalwarts accused New Delhi of
double standards and believed that India had pulled out of the
Asian Test Championship because they were afraid of losing.

Intikhab Alam, a former captain and coach, said: "It's a senseless
decision. In my personal opinion, the Indians are afraid of losing
to Pakistan."

Hasib Ahsan, another vocal Test off-spinner, went a step ahead when
he suspected Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)
involvement in the withdrawal. "I suspect that BCCI themselves
asked their government not to clear the tour because they know they
can't go anywhere after losing to Pakistan in Lahore," he said.

Intikhab said: "This decision spells politics and politicians would
be the only gainers and cricket will be the loser." Intikhab
questioned New Delhi's policy of only targeting cricket. "Yasin
Merchant won the Asian snooker championship in Karachi in June
while an Indian player appeared in a squash tournament in Peshawar
earlier this month. In October, India will be sending its
contingent for the SAF Games. But when it comes to playing cricket,
they disallow permission.

"New Delhi's policies and logic are mind-boggling in the background
that they had said in April that they had no objection if India
plays Pakistan in any multinational tournaments," Intikhab said.

Intikhab demanded New Delhi to spell out its policy and come out
clean rather than confusing the situation and playing ping pong
with Pakistan.

Wasim said New Delhi's decision has not only dampened the hopes and
dreams of cricketers of the two countries, it has also spoiled the
party of billions of fans.

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20010823
-------------------------------------------------------------------
India defends decision to withdraw from ATC
-------------------------------------------------------------------
NEW DELHI, Aug 22: Indian Sports Minister Uma Bharti defended her
government's blocking of India's Asian Test Championship match in
Pakistan, saying the decision was due to strained ties between the
countries.

Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee made the decision at a
meeting with the country's foreign and home ministers late on
Tuesday. "The country's foreign policy is bigger than sports. When
we weighed national interest with sports interest we felt the
scales tilted towards national interest," Bharti told Aaj Tak
television channel on Wednesday. "It was a very apt decision
keeping in mind the current situation and the relations between the
countries," she said.

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20010819
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Wisden criticizes PCB chairman
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Monitoring Desk

LONDON, Aug 18: "You [the media] sort out one issue with me today:
do you want to build the team or do you want to take it down? The
choice is yours." Strange that the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket
Board (PCB), Tauqir Zia, thinks the media has more influence over
the national team than he does. But that was not the end of Lt Gen
Tauqir's extraordinary attack on Pakistani journalists during a
recent briefing in Karachi, observes highly respected Wisden
cricket monthly in its latest edition.

Zia was on a war footing: "I want to know what your problems are
with the establishment, players, selectors? I have been observing
for the last year and a half that whenever a tournament or series
is round the corner, controversies start."

His observations had been fuelled when the Pakistan manager Yawar
Saeed handed him a file of press cuttings. As Tauqir ranted, key
officials in the PCB looked on. There is a distinct impression that
Tauqir means well but is badly advised - it is difficult to imagine
how these bullying tactics could ever be deemed worthy of the head
of any organisation, the magazine writes.

Naturally, Pakistan's journalists were agog at this outburst.
Tauqir's statement arises from a grave misunderstanding of the
function of the media, and is doubly regrettable since the man who
appointed him, Pakistan's president General Pervez Musharraf, says
he supports a free press, the magazine says.

The media is not responsible for building up the team - Tauqir Zia
is. Journalism should not be about massaging the egos of the
bigwigs at the PCB but about commenting critically on the policies
of the board and the performance of the team. Journalists have a
responsibility to their readers not to the establishment, players
or selectors. It is particularly rich to accuse the media of
stirring trouble when the PCB is so skillful at making bad
decisions, it says.

The other aspect that Tauqir would do well to remember is that it
is his own officials and players who regularly leak "controversial"
stories to Pakistan's grateful media, says Wisden.

Tauqir Zia's tirade ended with a statement he will surely regret.
"No matter how much you criticise me or the PCB," he fumed, "I
don't care. At least my education is more than you all, while my
style of working and knowledge of the game is at least more than a
million times [better] than you, barring a couple."

You can almost hear press knives being sharpened. Let's face it,
the PCB does itself few favors. Take the recent obsession with mind
games. They have decided that Pakistan's players do not need a
coach to refine technique but a Mr Motivator, Wisden observes.

The galactic brains at the PCB have overlooked the simple point
that they need to first explain why international players need
motivating, Wisden questions. Moving at speed Pakistan have
appointed a psychologist. There is little to suggest that
psychotherapy has any benefit on team performance, and it is not
clear what experience Dr Aamer Siddique has in this field. If that
wasn't a shaky enough basis for the whole exercise, the PCB has
given him the laughable title of "Thought Leader and Team
Counselor."

Amateur psychology will likely do more harm than good. Tauqir
should also rethink his own ill-judged mind games and if he is
badly advised perhaps he might try thinking for himself, Wisden
concludes.

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20010820
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PCB protests at referee Reid's appointment
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Aug 19: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has protested
against the appointment of veteran New Zealander John Reid as match
referee for this month's Asian Test Championship game against
Bangladesh.

Hours after the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) said Reid has been
appointed match referee and another controversial figure Darrell
Hair as the umpire for the Multan match, the PCB said it has lodged
a protest against the New Zealander.

"Our stance (on Mr John Reid) is known to the International Cricket
Council (ICC). We don't need to repeat it," a spokesman of the PCB
said.

The Pakistan cricket officials had come down hard on the former New
Zealand all-rounder after he fined and suspended Waqar Younis for
one match after finding the pacer guilty of ball tampering during a
match in the Sri Lankan tri-series last year.

Reid, a former captain, had also fined and warned Azhar Mahmood on
the same charges. Interestingly, Reid had taken a unilateral
decision as the two umpires had not complained to the match
referee.

Prior to the Sri Lankan incident, Reid had raised suspicion on the
legality of Shoaib Akhtar's bowling action on Hair's report during
the Perth Test in 1999. Shoaib was suspended by the ICC before
being allowed to play one-day cricket.

Dr Zafar Altaf, current PCB chairman's predecessor, had declared
Reid persona non grata saying that the New Zealander was not
welcome in Pakistan after his dual policies while tackling Shoaib's
issue.

An ACC official admitted that it has received PCB's objection which
will be forwarded to the ICC for its consideration. "Now it is for
the ICC to decide whether they stick to Reid or appoint a new match
referee," ACC sources said.

The ICC are bound to accept PCB's request after it admitted Sri
Lanka's protest and removed Hair from all the 1999 World Cup
matches involving Sri Lanka after the umpire had called Muttiah
Muralitharan seven times in an over during the Melbourne Test in
Australia in 1995-96.

The ACC spokesman said while Hair will be the ICC nominee, the
second umpire would be appointed by the technical committee of the
ACC. He said either a Sri Lankan or an Indian will stand in the
match.

The ACC also approved the points system recommended by its
technical committee comprising Sunil Gavaskar (India), Zaheer Abbas
(Pakistan), Asantha De Mel (Sri Lanka) and Gazi Ashraf
(Bangladesh).

A team winning a match by an innings will get 16 points and an
outright victory will fetch 12 points. In addition, bonus points
have also been provided in the first 100 overs of the first innings
of both teams.

Scoring 250-299 runs will earn one point, between 300-349 will
fetch two points, between 350-399 three points and above 400 runs
four points.

On the bowling side, a team taking four to five wickets will get
one point, six to seven will earn two, eight and nine three points
and four points for all 10 wickets.

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20010820
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan hockey faces rocky road ahead
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Aug 19: The situation of uncertainty engulfs Pakistan
hockey after the team finished a poor fourth in the Azlan Shah Cup
in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month.

The worst result came after a mixed European tour where Pakistan
finished second behind Germany in the four-nation tournament in
Hamburg, won the series against world champions the Netherlands.
But surprisingly, lost to Belgium and drew a game with Spain, not
considered as formidable sides as the Netherlands and Australia in
hockey world.

With skipper Ahmad Alam already calling it a day, apprehensions are
that more is in store and the team management might have to pay the
price of an otherwise poor showing in the last three months. But
the big question is: Can the PHF afford to make drastic changes in
the team and its management with the Champions Trophy scheduled to
begin in Lahore from Nov 3 and the World Cup starting in Kuala
Lumpur next February.

According to a Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) spokesman, a line
of action has been initiated and the PHF secretary and the team
management is to meet on Aug 22.

"I can't comment whether there should be changes in the team
management or otherwise. I have started to analyze the seven- month
performance of the management. Once the process is complete, the
report will either be put up in the Council meeting or the
president PHF," secretary of the PHF Brig Musaratullah said from
Lahore. He added: "The federation will be able to make a future
strategy by the end of this month."

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