------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 15 December 2001 Issue : 07/50 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Pakistan forces put on high alert: Storming of parliament + Delhi blames Lashkar for attack: India wants militants' arrest + Pakistan agrees to extended US troops presence + US might allow India to attack Pakistan: JI + Satellite Badar-II launched + Pakistan will send report to UN: Anti-terrorism steps + Federal minister resigns + Amnesty flays killings by Indian forces + Osama tape verified scientifically, says envoy + Osama has no weapons of mass destruction + Osama's hand in terror attacks confirmed: Keith + Osama & Omar may be handed over to US: Meeting soon: Agha's aide + Military action against Al Qaeda to go on, says coalition + Over 140 Pakistanis detained in Mazar + US seeks use of secret evidence: Illegal immigrants + Refugees influx effectively blocked, says official + Extra security steps taken on border + Chaman checkpoint moved 1km forward + Three rockets explode in Quetta + Washington cracks down on Muslim students + Asif not arrested in polo ground case: NAB + Court allows Asif to talk to family on phone + PPP to unite Kashmiris across border: Benazir + NAB softens settlement terms in Wattoo case + Restoration of 1973 Constitution a top agenda: APC by month-end + Mian Azhar rules out patch-up with PML-N + Pakistan Steel GM jailed for 7 years --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Paris Club provides $12bn relief package + Rs51.8bn budget approved for PIA + ADB approves $350m agriculture loan + ADB to extend $1 billion for civil reforms + Germany gives $22m to fight poverty + Public debt swells to Rs3,000 billion + NBP in US not accepting cash for remittance + US imposes curbs on Pakistan banks: Day-to-day cash transactions --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Resurrection! Ardeshir Cowasjee + The logic of the mighty Ayaz Amir + Who is gaining more? Eric Margolis + Illusion of Muslim unity Irfan Hussain ----------- SPORTS + PIA accused of destroying an 'institution' in sports + Mudassar appointed coach until World Cup + PCB decides to take ICC head-on + Miandad expressed suspicion: witness

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NATIONAL NEWS
20011215
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Pakistan forces put on high alert: Storming of parliament
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By Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Dec 14: Pakistan put its armed forces on high alert 
following threatening statements by Indian leaders in the wake of 
an armed attack on parliament in New Delhi.

President Gen Pervez Musharraf presided over a meeting, which 
decided to keep vigil to meet any eventuality. The chairman, Joint 
Chiefs of Staff Committee, the three service chiefs and vice chief 
of the army staff attended the meeting at the GHQ in Rawalpindi.

Official sources told Dawn the meeting had regretted that without 
having inquired and investigated the attack on parliament, the 
Indian leaders had started pointing the finger at Pakistan.

The meeting reviewed the situation and decided to take "all 
necessary steps" to counter any threat coming from across the 
border.

Pakistan, the president told the meeting, had condemned the attack 
and sympathized with the Indian Prime Minister over the issue. 
However, he added, it had become a routine for India to implicate 
Pakistan in every matter without giving any proof.

Referring to Islamabad's relations with Delhi, the president said 
that Pakistan was continuously making sincere efforts to normalize 
relations with India despite provocations.

"Why have the Indians rejected the US government's offer to send an 
FBI team to investigate the attack on parliament?" asked a senior 
official.

India, he said, was facing internal problems and had failed to 
manage its affairs. That's why, he maintained, it was putting the 
blame for every thing on Pakistan.

"How did the suicide bomber enter the parliament premises and was 
it not a big security lapse for which its own people needed to be 
held responsible?" asked the official, privy to the GHQ meeting. He 
said that failure in getting its Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance 
passed by parliament, and Coffins' Scandal were, in fact, the 
issues worrying the Indian government.

He said the whole incident was a propaganda stunt by India itself. 
"The attack on parliament is a drama staged by Indian intelligence 
agencies to defame the freedom struggle in occupied Kashmir," he 
said.

"It has never been our policy to attack civilian targets. Lashkar 
and other Jihadi organizations are not involved in the recent 
attack. "Those (Indians) who can kill thousands of defenceless 
people in Kashmir can resort to such tactics to gain international 
sympathy. We demand the international community probe this attack 
independently to know the truth."

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20011215
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Delhi blames Lashkar for attack: India wants militants' arrest
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By Jawed Naqvi

NEW DELHI, Dec 14: A day after suspected Muslim militants launched 
a blistering attack on India's well protected Parliament House, New 
Delhi accused Pakistan of harboring the masterminds and said that 
Islamabad must arrest the leaders and freeze their accounts.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee led a mourning meeting of the 
two houses of parliament and later said that the objective of the 
five armed men who attacked the building from outside before being 
killed, was to take some 700 members of parliament gathered in the 
British-built legislature hostage to press for unspecified demands.

"Their intention was to indulge in large-scale killing and/or take 
hostages to make demands," Vajpayee said at a function to 
commemorate 10 years of the revamped Pioneer newspaper.

"It was a well-thought-out plan, perhaps planned for months. 
Otherwise the attack on a soft target like parliament with such 
deep awareness of the place would not be possible."

He denied opposition charges that the attack resulted from a 
serious security failure. "Had it been a security failure we would 
not be sitting here today," Vajpayee said. "We are being mean with 
praise for the security men who saved our lives, fought for 
democracy."

Home Minister Lal Krishan Advani, present at the function, put the 
blame on Pakistan although he did not directly name it. "In a way, 
a neighbouring country is responsible for the attack, in so far as 
that is where the (militants) were trained."

The foreign ministry was more explicit although there were reports 
that the cabinet itself was divided over Advani's apparent demand 
to go for a "hot pursuit" of the militants who India says are armed 
and trained across the border.

The foreign ministry blamed the Pakistan-based Lashkar-i-Taiba for 
Thursday's terrorist attack on Parliament, asserting it has 
"credible evidence."

New Delhi has also formally asked Islamabad to arrest Lashkar and 
Jaish-i-Mohammad men and freeze the assets of both organisations. 
Foreign Secretary Chokila Iyer summoned Pakistan High Commissioner 
Ashraf Jehangir Qazi and made out a demarche, setting out three 
demands.

Qazi told Dawn that Pakistan had not been directly blamed for the 
attack which has been condemned by President Pervez Musharraf. "It 
was a polite request to look into the various issues raised by the 
Indian government."

External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, coming out of a meeting 
with the visiting Afghan counterpart, Abdullah Abdullah, told 
reporters that "India has technical evidence that Thursday's 
terrorist attacks on not only the symbol but also the seat of 
Indian democracy and sovereignty was the handiwork of a terrorist 
organisation based in Pakistan - the Lashkar-i-Taiba."

Declining to go into the "credible evidence" the government has on 
the outfit's involvement, Singh said there were "obvious 
difficulties" in making it public as government agencies had many 
means of obtaining intelligence. "This is technical intelligence, 
entirely credible," he said.

Qazi was summoned by Foreign Secretary Chokila Iyer and a demarche 
was made to him. Singh told reporters that the demarche had set out 
three demands - arrest of the leadership of Lashkar and Jaish-i-
Mohammed, stopping their activities and freezing their assets.

Speaking from Islamabad, the Lashkar denied any role in Thursday's 
attack.

The President's spokesman, Rashid Qureshi addressing a question on 
whether India would pass on evidence to Pakistan if it is sought, 
he said: "It really is a decision that will have to be weighed 
against the requirements and the interest of the agencies that 
collect technical intelligence. I don't think any country reveals 
the methodology unless the intelligence collected has no further 
use there. That is the standard procedure."

Asked whether India would consider military retaliation, Singh said 
New Delhi's position was outlined in a Cabinet resolution and "it 
is not open for me to speculate."

On whether New Delhi has received any response from Pakistan to its 
demands, Singh said the demarche had been made out only on Friday 
evening.

About reports that Pakistan has put its troops on high alert, he 
said: "We have no reports on this," adding that he has been in 
regular touch with the Defence Minister and the service 
headquarters.

Asked if India had any evidence of Islamabad's involvement in any 
manner in Thursday's attack, he said one had to reflect on the 
origins of LT, its funding and patronage of both the LT and JM.

Asked what would be the next step if Islamabad chose to ignore the 
demarche, he said a diplomatic demarche cannot be ignored.

"Pakistan asserts that it is with the rest of the international 
community in its fight against terrorism. That it does not promote 
or encourage terrorism. It is our expectation that it will 
certainly abide by what it says itself," he said.

Later, asked about the response of the Pakistani High Commissioner 
after the demarche was made out to him, an external affairs 
ministry spokesperson told reporters that Qazi said he would refer 
its contents to his government.

To a question whether the Indian government had set a deadline for 
Islamabad to act on the demarche, she said, "We have not set a 
deadline but we expect them to act early."

Asked whether any US team had come to Delhi in connection with 
Thursday's attack, she said: "No FBI team has come." India is in 
touch with a number of countries on the terrorist attack, she said, 
when asked about the support from various nations on the issue.

Authoritative home ministry sources have reaffirmed that LT and JM 
terrorists carried out a joint operation in attacking Parliament on 
Thursday morning.

The sources noted that while initial investigation had pointed 
towards the involvement of LT alone, as External Affairs Minister 
Jaswant Singh said earlier on Friday, subsequent evidence indicated 
that the JM too had participated in the operation.

Security personnel had gunned down five militants, who had stormed 
into the Parliament complex in a white Ambassador car, after a 
prolonged exchange of fire on Thursday morning. The identities of 
these militants are yet to be established.

The sources noted that since each of the militants was carrying 
three to four identity cards each, the police was finding it 
difficult to establish their true identity.

One of these identity cards belonged to the man who had bought the 
car used in the operation. The sources quoted one of the injured 
security personnel as saying that the militants talked to each 
other in Urdu.

In the meanwhile, the Delhi Police is on the lookout for the 
"sixth" militant who went missing after the operation. The closed-
circuit TVs installed in Parliament clearly showed six people 
getting down from the car which carried the militants inside the 
complex.

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20011215
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Pakistan agrees to extended US troops presence
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KARACHI, Dec 14: In a sign of the increasingly close security ties 
between the United States and Pakistan, President Gen Pervez 
Musharraf, has accepted a US request for a long-term presence at 
Jacobabad air base, Pakistani security sources said.

US officials have requested 40,000 metric tons of concrete to 
renovate the base in Jacobabad, according to an aviation source. US 
officials have asked that a wall surrounding the base be raised 
four feet, and they want to construct air-conditioned barracks for 
US troops in time for summer.

"In the foreseeable future, Jacobabad air base would continue to 
serve as a key facility for the US military's peacekeeping or 
counter terrorism operation in Afghanistan," said a Pakistani 
military official familiar with discussions on the subject.

US officials have asked that all but a few Pakistani liaison 
officers be withdrawn from the base, the aviation source said. -
Dawn/LAT-WP News Service (c) The Washington Post

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20011215
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US might allow India to attack Pakistan: JI
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Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Dec 14: Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan acting amir Syed Munawwar 
Hasan feared that the attack on Indian parliament could be used by 
the United States as a justification to allow "revenge attacks" 
against Pakistan the way Israel had been allowed to attack 
Palestine.

Speaking at a meeting organized by the Pak-Afghan Defense Council 
at the Minar-i-Pakistan compound he said, he doubted the 
authenticity of the Osama bin Laden video released by the United 
States.

Mr Hasan alleged that the attack on Indian parliament had been 
orchestrated by the Vajpayee government to divert the attention of 
the international coalition against terrorism towards the freedom 
struggle in Kashmir. He said it was aimed at labelling the freedom 
movement as terrorism.

In the aftermath of the staged attack, he said, the US could allow 
India to launch an offensive in 'self-defense' like Israel. In view 
of the threat, he said, the US forces should be asked to 
immediately leave Pakistani territory.

He feared that the United States would ask Pakistan to freeze its 
nuclear programme, withdraw its support for the Kashmir freedom 
movement and impose restrictions on religious leaders and parties. 
Should the demands be accepted, he said, the reason for Pakistan's 
existence would be eliminated.

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20011211
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Satellite Badar-II launched
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ISLAMABAD, Dec 10: Pakistan's second satellite, Badar-II, was 
successfully injected into the earth orbit at 10:30pm (PST) on 
Monday from Russian Cosmodrome at Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
The satellite was launched with main Russian meteorological 
satellite, Meteor3-M on board Zenith-II launch vehicle, in 
collaboration with the Russian aviation and space agency.

It is orbiting the earth in a near circular sun- Synchronous orbit, 
according to official sources here. The satellite has been designed 
and fabricated by Suparco engineers.

The successful launch of Badar-II has once again demonstrated 
Pakistani engineers' capability in the field of space technology, 
the sources said, adding that the satellite is in its early 
operation and system checkout phase.

According to ISPR, a high-level delegation of Pakistan headed by 
Major-General Raza Hussain, chairman, Suparco, was in Baikonur, 
Kazakhstan, to witness the launch of Badar-II. -APP

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20011213
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Pakistan will send report to UN: Anti-terrorism steps
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By Nasir Malick

ISLAMABAD, Dec 12: Pakistan will report, within a fortnight, to the 
United Nations on the implementation of "mandatory anti- terrorism 
measures" suggested by the world body, a government official told 
Dawn.

The source said that a meeting will be held in the foreign office 
to prepare a draft of the report that has to be submitted before 
Dec 27.

A UN committee on counter-terrorism on Sept 28 had sent a set of 
concrete steps to member states, which they were required to 
implement, to counter terrorist activities.

The mandatory steps included freezing of bank accounts of 
individuals and organizations suspected of being involved in 
terrorist activities, arresting individuals and banning such 
organizations, and free flow of information between member states.

The official source said that Thursday's meeting would review 
measures taken so far and prepare a draft report, which after 
finalization, would be submitted to the United Nations committee on 
counter-terrorism.

The meeting will be attended by officials of the National 
Accountability Bureau, State Bank of Pakistan, ministries of law 
and finance, and Inter-Services Intelligence.

The source said that a complete list of individuals and 
organizations, whose bank accounts have been frozen because of 
their suspected involvement in terrorism, would also be placed 
before the meeting. It would also consider implementing the 
"remaining" mandatory steps which have not been carried out so far, 
the source added.

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20011212
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Federal minister resigns
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By Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Dec 11: Federal minister for labour, manpower and 
overseas Pakistanis, Omar Asghar Khan, resigned from the federal 
cabinet amidst reports that he was planing to launch a new 
political party.

The request made by Mr Khan to President Gen Pervez Musharraf to 
relieve him of his ministerial responsibilities has been accepted, 
said a press release issued on Tuesday evening.

The president has asked Mr Khan to continue as a member of the 
federal cabinet until after Eid, it added.

Mr Khan reportedly told reporters that he had resigned for 
contesting the next elections. Sources close to him divulged that 
he was also planning to launch his own political party.

However, the official announcement said that Mr Khan had made the 
request to this effect citing personal reasons to pursue his 
political career and his social services.

It maintained that the president lauded the services of Mr Khan for 
fostering a healthy relationship between the workers and the 
government, highlighting environmental issues, motivating overseas 
Pakistanis for a much-needed active role in the nation building 
activities.

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20011213
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Amnesty flays killings by Indian forces
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 12: The Amnesty International (AI) has flayed the 
unlawful killings of 10 civilians and injuring of up to 40 others 
by Indian forces following an attack on an army convoy on Dec 8 at 
Baramulla.

This incident at Baramulla was just one in a series which had led 
to deaths of many civilians in Jammu and Kashmir in recent weeks, 
the AI said.

It said that according to local observers, security forces had 
fired both from moving convoy vehicles and bunkers on passers-by 
and passing vehicles in retaliation to the ambush. There were 
reports that a nearby border security force patrol also joined in 
the firing, the AI said.

The world body pointed out that it was not the first time that 
security forces had turned on the civilian population after coming 
under attack. According to reports, the members of Kashmir Light 
Infantry had killed six labourers unlawfully after the attack on an 
army convoy at Baramulla in July 2001, it added.

The world body has urged all sides in the conflict to respect 
international humanitarian law that prohibits deliberate or 
indiscriminate attacks on civilians and those not taking part in 
hostilities.

Acknowledging that the Jammu and Kashmir government has ordered an 
inquiry into the incident at Baramulla, the AI said that previous 
probe into human rights abuses in the region had failed to punish 
the culprits.

Refugees protection: Supporter states for the 'war against 
terrorism' have failed in dealing with its results and sharing the 
responsibility of protecting the Afghan displaced persons (DPs), 
the Amnesty International stated in a press release on Tuesday.

The world body said: "For 50 years, since the adoption of Refugee 
Convention, states have failed to effectively address the source of 
refugee flow, primarily the human rights violations, including 
violations during armed conflict." They had not taken steps which 
would ensure the effective monitoring of their treaty obligations, 
it added.

The AI said the ministerial meeting on the Refugee Convention in 
Geneva was an unprecedented opportunity for the international 
community for strengthening international refugee protection.

"In the face of challenges such as people trafficking and tight 
security after the Sept 11 attacks, governments must re-affirm 
their commitment to the Refugee Convention and ensure that 
protection is not compromised," the world body said. In the 
aftermath of Sept 11, many governments have neglected the human 
rights of refugees and asylum-seekers by imposing security laws, 
which inevitably target non-nationals.

The Amnesty International said it had received reports that UK 
immigration officials at Prague airport singled out travellers from 
the Roma minority for detailed questioning and many had been 
refused permission to board their flights to the UK. The Australian 
government was diverting boats loads of asylum-seekers to Pacific 
island nations - which amounts to 'burden-shifting' rather than 
'burden-sharing', it said.

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20011215
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Osama tape verified scientifically, says envoy
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 14: The United States has scientifically verified 
the videotape recovered from Jalalabad showing Osama bin Laden in 
glory after the Sept 11 terrorist attacks, Ambassador Kenton Keith 
of the US-led coalition said.

"The US government has taken extraordinary steps to try and verify 
the authenticity of the tape," the spokesman said at the regular 
briefing.

"The release of the tape took some time because we wanted to be 
absolutely sure about the correct translation," he said, adding 
that independent translators had been employed to translate Osama's 
hour-long conversation with his companions. The quality, he said, 
was very poor which made the job of translators a bit difficult.

The spokesman said that the voice and images of Osama in the tape 
were compared with his earlier video and audio recordings to 
establish its authenticity.

In reply to questions about who had made the tape, and how and from 
where had it been recovered, Mr Keith said they did not know who 
had made the tape, adding it was "acquired at a house in Jalalabad 
in late November".

The question whether the videotape was a valid evidence in the US 
judicial system was avoided by the spokesman. "I am not in a 
position to discuss the legal details," he added.

The spokesman said that the US authorities had shared the videotape 
with many Muslim and Arab countries and their views had been sought 
on it.

In reply to a question whether the US-coalition enjoyed Arab 
countries support, he said the absence of Arab world troops in 
coalition forces did not mean that they had no support from them. 
There support was quite encouraging, he added.

He pointed out that many countries in the Middle East had already 
imposed restrictions on the funds channeled to Al Qaeda. He refuted 
reports that Osama had escaped Tora Bora, saying that to the best 
of their knowledge Osama was still in the same area.

He said there was no evidence that significant groups of Al Qaeda 
members had been able to escape through mountainous passes into 
Pakistan.

Pakistan, he said, had taken effective measures. "The situation 
could have been worrying if the government of Pakistan had not 
taken these measures," he added.

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20011212
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Osama has no weapons of mass destruction
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 11: The US-led coalition has not found any evidence 
that Osama bin Laden or Al Qaeda had acquired or produced weapons 
of mass destruction, spokesman Kenton Keith said.

Although no evidence has been found, some documents have been 
recovered which were specifically on the subject of various kinds 
of weapons of mass destruction, Mr Keith told a daily news 
briefing.

"What they wanted to achieve from these documents is not clear," he 
said, adding that in their judgement Osama and Al Qaeda were not 
able to acquire or produce any kind of weapon of mass destruction.

The spokesman reiterated that Pakistan and the United States had 
been cooperating against the proliferation of weapons of mass 
destruction and international terrorism, and added that it would 
not be fair to assume that some Pakistani scientists, who were 
under detention, had been involved in proliferation of such 
weapons.

Mr Keith denied reports that Pakistani troops were fighting in 
Afghanistan.

He avoided a direct reply to the question whether the US 
authorities were involved in interrogation of Pakistani scientists.

"We are cooperating with the Pakistan government and will continue 
to do so" was all what Mr Keith said about the US involvement in 
interrogation of nuclear scientists Bashiruddin Mehmood and Hameed 
Chaudhry. "It would not be a fair conclusion that we are interested 
in these people for a specific thing," he added.

In reply to a question whether the US had been providing technical 
help to the border security force of Pakistan, he replied in 
affirmative but had no details about the equipment given by the US.

Commenting on a statement by a Saudi prince that it was not Osama 
but some mysterious figure behind the Al Qaeda network, the 
spokesman said they were clear about what Osama was guilty of.

About a statement by interim interior Afghan minister Younus 
Qanooni that the role of peacekeeping force would be limited, Mr 
Keith said it was too early to say anything definitively about the 
role of peacekeepers. He said the United Nations had not yet called 
for peacekeeping force.

Referring to the capture of Tora Bora, he said advances had been 
made in that area but he could not say definitively whether the 
whole range had been brought under control by the opposition 
forces. "Obviously situation is still fluid and fighting 
continuing."

Asked whether Al Qaeda members had offered talks for surrender to 
eastern commanders, the spokesman said he had heard no announcement 
but it would certainly be welcomed if such an offer was made.

In reply to a question about Osama's association with the CIA 
during the war against Soviet Union, he said: "I do not think that 
Osama was not a card-carrying member of CIA."

Regarding the American involvement in training and support of 
Mujahideen, he said they had no apologies to make about supporting 
war against Soviet Union.

He said it would be far too stretched to say that it was the fault 
of the US to train Osama and that Osama had turned against the US 
for furthering his political gains.

He ruled out any possibility of retaliation from Osama, saying he 
was on the run and had no means of communication.

About detention and interrogation of Pakistanis expatriates in the 
US, the spokesman confirmed that some Pakistanis had been detained 
but added that expatriates from many other countries too had been 
detained for violating some regulations.

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20011211
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Osama's hand in terror attacks confirmed: Keith
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 10: The US-led coalition said that Washington and 
Islamabad were cooperating on the non-proliferation of weapons of 
mass destruction.

Asked whether the US authorities had requested the Pakistan 
government to question two of its nuclear scientists as had been 
reported by the New York Times, Kenton Keith, spokesman for the 
coalition information service, said Pakistan and the US shared the 
concern on the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Answering a question about a recent visit by CIA chief George J. 
Tenet to Pakistan, he said the cooperation between the two 
countries was going on at various levels.

As regards videotape recovered from Kandahar, the spokesman said 
they were considering it making public. "The tape ties him (Osama) 
to the Sept 11 incidents."

Mr Kenton maintained that they had no doubts about Osama's 
involvement in the terrorist attacks and the tape "ties it down 
completely." The video showed him in glory over the Sept 11 
atrocities, he added.

The spokesman dismissed reports about Osama's arrest by British 
troops as highly speculative.

A foreign correspondent asked whether the British troops had 
refused to hand over Osama to the US forces without a guarantee 
that he would not be awarded death penalty. The spokesman said that 
British troops were not operating independently.

He said the campaign to arrest Osama was going on and the coalition 
had made considerable progress to tighten its noose around the 
target. He said they did not have confirmed sighting of Osama but 
they believed that he was still in Afghanistan. Both Osama and 
Mulla Omar were in Afghanistan and they had no credible report that 
they had left the country.

About Kandahar he said it was the first challenge for interim Prime 
Minister Hamid Karzai to restore law and order in the city.

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20011211
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Osama & Omar may be handed over to US: Meeting soon: Agha's aide
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KABUL, Dec 10: The newly-restored governor of Kandahar province has 
called a meeting of tribal elders to decide whether Mullah Mohammad 
Omar and Osama bin Laden should be tried by a tribal court or 
handed over to the United States.

Gul Lali, an aide to governor Gul Agha, said Agha planned to hold a 
meeting as soon as possible of tribal elders and commanders to 
discuss how to bring Omar and Osama bin Laden to justice.

Omar, who was based in Kandahar throughout his time as supreme 
leader, has left the province, according to a Taliban official. But 
the US said over the weekend it is sure Omar and Osama were still 
in Afghanistan.

Osama is thought to be hiding in mountains in the east of the 
country. "Now he (Agha) has complete control of Kandahar he will 
call a meeting of tribal and religious leaders," Lali said.

"In the meeting, we will decide what is the decision of the Afghan 
people for Mullah Omar and Osama. They will be tried in a tribal 
court or they will be tried as the Americans say. "They are 
terrorists and must be treated like terrorists."

Omar, who was based in Kandahar throughout his time as supreme 
leader, has left the province, according to a Taliban official. But 
the US said over the weekend it is sure Omar and Osama were still 
in Afghanistan.

Osama is thought to be hiding in mountains in the east of the 
country. Agha began work in the governor's residence in Kandahar 
amid unconfirmed reports that a US military convoy was heading 
towards the city.

He assumed power on Sunday after talks between Afghanistan's 
leader-in-waiting Hamid Karzai and Mullah Naqibullah, the man who 
was handed control of the province after the surrender of the 
Taliban last week.-AFP

War to go on

KABUL: US Vice President Dick Cheney said in a TV interview that 
even if Osama was captured or killed soon, the war on terror would 
go on.-Reuters

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20011213
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Military action against Al Qaeda to go on, says coalition
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 12: Coalition military action against Al Qaeda will 
not end in Afghanistan and it will continue to wipe out its cells 
operating elsewhere in the world, Spokesman Kenton Keith said. 
"Once Al Qaeda is defeated in Afghanistan that certainly will not 
mean the end of action against the network," Mr Keith said at the 
daily briefing.

Al Qaeda cells, the spokesman said, existed in many places beyond 
Afghanistan and the surrender of Tora Bora would not mean an end of 
action against the organization.

He said there were thousands of caves in Tora Bora range and it 
would have to be decided whether this complex be rendered useless 
for military purposes.

Commenting on a report carried by The Washington Post that the 
second phase of Al Qaeda terrorist attacks, involving biological 
weapons, would commence after Ramazan, he said there was no 
indication that the story was based on facts.

The Post had based the report on the interrogation of John Walker, 
an American Taliban fighter who was arrested at Mazar-i-Sharif.

Mr Keith said that John Walker was still in Afghanistan and his 
future was being sorted out. He maintained that American 
authorities were not only interrogating John Walker but other 
people as well to get as much information on Al Qaeda plans as 
possible. He said it was not clear as to what was John Walker's 
standing in the Al Qaeda hierarchy.

Regarding reports on surrender, he said: "Pressure continues in the 
Tora Bora area. Al Qaeda fighters have not yet surrendered. As long 
as they refuse to do so, anti-Taliban forces on the ground, backed 
by the coalition, will continue the military campaign."

Negotiations, he said, had been intermittent but there had been no 
agreement. Some of the fighters, he added, were making their way to 
higher grounds. Border along Pakistan had been reinforced and it 
would be tough for them to escape, he said. Some Al Qaeda fighters 
might have fled the area but it would not be possible for them to 
come out from Tora Bora as a body, he said.

Mr Keith said that they had crushed the Taliban as an organized 
military and political force.

APP adds: US Attorney General John Aschroft is visiting London on 
the first leg of a European tour to discuss legal steps the 
countries are taking to dismantle the mechanisms of international 
terrorism, he said. More than 20 countries are now implementing or 
considering new legislation to tackle terrorism, he added.

The spokesman said the Coalition was committed to mine clearance in 
Afghanistan. "The Halo Trust - a non-governmental organization 
specializing in the removal of the debris of war - believes that 
Afghanistan is the most heavily mined country in the world with an 
estimated 640,000 mines laid since 1979," Keith said.

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20011214
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Over 140 Pakistanis detained in Mazar
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

MINGORA, Dec 13: The workers of the Red Cross delivered letters of 
those languishing in different prisons of the warlords in 
Afghanistan to their relatives. The workers did not like to be 
escorted by the police and avoided talking to the press. They were 
accompanied only by the local volunteers.

A prisoner, Fazal Rahim, hailing from the Sharingal Valley of upper 
Dir, has said in his letter that some 144 people of the Malakand 
division, who were arrested on Nov 10 soon after the fall of Mazar-
i-Sharif to the forces of Abdur Rasheed Dostum, have been 
imprisoned in Mazar-i-Sharif.

According to another letter, most of the prisoners are in a serious 
condition and are crying for bread and medicines. They are 
seriously wounded and are in need of immediate treatment.

A local leader of the Tehrik-i-Nefaz-i-Shariah Muhammadi, Malakand 
division, told Dawn that at least 900 TNSM workers were still 
missing in Afghanistan and efforts to trace them had failed.  Some 
of them, he added, were reportedly trying to return via the Chaman 
border, but the authorities were not allowing them suspecting their 
association with the al-Qaeda.

TNSM spokesman Muhammad Abdullah described as baseless reports 
indicating association of TNSM workers with the al-Qaeda net work.

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20011211
-------------------------------------------------------------------
US seeks use of secret evidence: Illegal immigrants
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 10: The Justice Department has asked a federal 
appeals court for a broad ruling to authorize the use of secret 
evidence in cases in which it is trying to detain or deport 
immigrants it contends are in the country illegally, it was 
reported. For national security reasons, the government argues that 
it should share secret evidence with only immigration judges and 
not with the immigrants and their lawyers, the daily Chronicle 
said.

Legal experts say that the request and other actions since Sept 11 
attacks on New York and Washington DC indicate that the government 
is moving toward the renewed use of secret evidence in immigration 
cases, one of the most criticized of the Justice Department's 
tactics in recent years.

In the 1990's, immigrants' groups and other critics of the secret 
evidence gained legal and political ground in their assertions that 
it relegates immigrants to a legal netherworld, having to disprove 
accusations like whether they have connections to terrorists 
without knowing specifically what the accusations are.

In a debate during presidential election last year, George Bush 
sided with the critics of secret evidence. "Arab-Americans are 
racially profiled on what's called secret evidence," Mr Bush said, 
adding that the government should "do something about that."

Some immigration lawyers say they have already detected that they 
are arguing against evidence that they are not allowed to see, the 
Chronicle reported.

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20011213
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Refugees influx effectively blocked, says official
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ahmad Hassan

ISLAMABAD, Dec 12: The Pakistan government has effectively checked 
the much-feared influx of Afghan refugees, by deployment of troops, 
surveillance, and patrolling along the Afghan border, informed 
official sources told Dawn.

In the aftermath of the Bonn accord and the reported surrender by 
Taliban in Kandahar the authorities feared an extraordinary 
movement of Afghans. But the Pakistan government didn't let this 
happen.

Instead of the influx of refugees, there are reports of thousands 
of Afghan refugees returning home in the hope of stability after 
Hamid Karzai's nomination as the future head of government in 
Kabul.

Around 70,000 refugees are reported to have returned to Afghanistan 
last month; the main reason being the timely supply of food inside 
Afghanistan. The WFP was doing Herculean job by transporting 52,000 
tons od wheat inside Afghanistan every month, officials said.

Interestingly, the government, in order have humanitarian 
assistance discontinued in 1995, has asked for extra funds. It may 
be recalled that the government had retrenched almost 80 per cent 
staff of the Afghan refugees commissionerates in Peshawar and 
Quetta after 1995 when the flow of international funding dried up.

The office of the chief commissionerate Afghan refugees, earlier 
wound up, was revived and the reorganization of the refugee 
management structure launched. Not only that the establishment 
expenditures would now be borne by the international community, 
material support to the old refugees would also be continued.

Revival of the chief commissioner's office, though technically 
untenable and unviable, the authorities decided in its favour to 
extract maximum resources to create employment opportunities, the 
sources said.

Another achievement of the government in refugee management was 
that it convinced the UN bodies to shift major chunks of refugees 
from concentrations in settled areas to the bordering areas with 
Afghanistan.

This strategy is believed to serve multifaceted objectives, a) the 
refugees, mostly from Pakhtoon background, will be better off with 
predominantly Pakhtoon population; and b) majority of them would 
perforce plan repatriation to their homeland after finding no place 
for permanent settlement in the urban population.

Defying the Pakistan government and the UN agencies, including the 
UNHCR estimation of over two million refugees influx, no more then 
0.2 million refugees have crossed the borders in three months, 
sources maintained.

An official said that the government had ensured that its policy of 
complete closure of borders was implemented in letter and spirit, 
and hence, sporadic exodus was noted from unfrequented routes.

Their number is small and they do not become a burden for the 
relief agencies, since they get absorbed in local population, 
official said.

Also, the shifting of Afghan refugees from Jallozai camp in 
Peshawar to newly-established camp in Bajaur agency in the NWFP, 
and from Faizu killi to Roghani camps across the border, is 
progressing well, besides migration of non-Pakhtoon refugees to 
Parachinar in Kurram agency, the officials said.

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20011209
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Extra security steps taken on border
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 8: The government has deployed additional troops 
backed up by helicopters along the border with Afghanistan to 
monitor movement and prevent Osama bin Laden and the Taliban 
leaders from entering the country.

Speaking at a Press briefing here at the foreign office, Director-
General ISPR Gen Rashid Qureshi said: "We have increased border 
patrols and beefed up security along the border area, particularly 
in areas close to the Tora Bora mountains and near Chaman." 
However, Gen Qureshi avoided to give exact number of troops 
deployed on the borders saying, "they were substantial in number... 
enough to do the job."

He said: "I cannot tell you the exact number of troops or their 
location of deployment, however, I can tell you that the security 
has been beefed up specially in areas close to the Tora Bora 
mountains and other exit points."

"There is greatly increased surveillance from the air and from the 
ground... We are utilizing all assets, which means vehicular, 
manpower as well as helicopter assets. "All that's needed to be 
done has been done. There are even armed helicopters that will be 
surveying the area."

Qureshi said anyone found entering Pakistan illegally would be 
"taken into custody, investigations and interrogations will be held 
and (if needed) action will be taken under the law."

To a question, he said he didn't have latest information about the 
two nuclear scientists held by the agencies. He said that five or 
six more members of the governing body of the NGO headed by these 
two scientists were being interrogated.

Gen Qureshi rejected a report appeared in New York Times that ISI 
supplied arms to the Taliban militia and said that the Soviet 
forces had left huge dumps of arms in Afghanistan. Hence the 
Afghans whether they were Taliban or Northern Alliance forces did 
not need arms from anywhere, he commented.

He said some western newspaper reporters had independently 
inspected many trucks loaded with humanitarian assistance entering 
Afghanistan and failed to find any trace of arms or ammunition in 
it.

Gen Qureshi also rejected speculation that Osama bin Laden had 
already entered Pakistan's tribal border areas.

"There have been people who have speculated - it's unfortunate," he 
said, adding that the government had allowed total freedom to the 
press but it was regrettable that some reports in the local and 
foreign press were misleading and creating misunderstanding.

So far reports about Osama's entering Pakistan were concerned all 
these reports were imaginary and based on suppositions and hence 
not credible, he added.

Replying to a question about the attempt by a British journal to 
obtain PIA ticket on fake name, he said had the effort not foiled 
at that time Pakistan would have been involved in a big trouble.

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20011209
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Chaman checkpoint moved 1km forward
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Saleem Shahid

CHAMAN, Dec 8: Pakistan has moved its Chaman border checkpoint one 
kilometre ahead towards Spin Boldak, nearer to the Durand Line, 
following Taliban's surrender in Kandahar.

The Pakistani border security forces have established their new 
checkpoint, reducing the existing over two-kilometer no man's land 
between Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Official sources, while confirming the move, told Dawn that 
negotiations were under way with Taliban authorities on this issue 
who had agreed to allow Pakistan establish militia checkpoint in 
the no man's land, close to Wiesh, the big trading town.

"We have established a new checkpoint close to Wiesh," a senior 
border security official said, adding that personnel of Frontier 
Corps (civil armed force) and levies (rural police) were deployed 
in the area.

In view of the situation emerging after the fall of Kandahar and 
taking over of Spin Boldak and Wiesh, Pakistani authorities decided 
to take this measure.

The Immigration checkpoint would also be established there pretty 
soon.

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20011211
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Three rockets explode in Quetta
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Saleem Shahid

QUETTA, Dec 10: The provincial capital, Quetta, was rocked by three 
rockets, which exploded, one after another in the heart of the 
city, police said.

"All three rockets were 107 MM Russian-made, and were fired by some 
unknown person from the northwest of the city," the director civil 
defense told Dawn.

The first rocket landed and exploded on the top floor of Dr Ayub 
Shah Sherani's bungalow, behind Civil Hospital, damaging the water 
tank and the children's bedroom. The two children sleeping in the 
bedroom were unhurt.

The second rocket exploded on the main road near Chaman railway 
crossing. According to the police the third rocket also hit a house 
in Christian Colony at Kansi Road. Again no one was hurt.

The explosions caused widespread panic in the city. Within no time 
senior military and police officials rushed to the explosion sites. 
The police have registered a case against unknown persons.  

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20011214
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Washington cracks down on Muslim students
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Fakhr Ahmad

LOS ANGELES, Dec 13: Ten people - all born in the Middle East - 
were taken into federal custody in Southern California as 
authorities began rounding up people suspected of violating their 
student visas - the first crackdown of its kind in the nation.

Immigration officials were seeking a total of 50 people with 
expired visas who were born in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan, Libya, 
Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Yemen, and who live in the San Diego 
area.

None of those arrested is suspected of involvement in the Sept 11 
terrorist attacks. One case will be referred to the US Attorney's 
office, which will decide whether to file criminal charges. The 
rest of those detained face possible deportation.

Officials at two of the area's biggest universities, the University 
of California, San Diego, and San Diego State University, said the 
INS had asked them to check the records of selected students.

UC San Diego received a list of 36 names, all of whom were of 
Middle Eastern descent. None of those students was arrested.

University officials said targeting a particular group of students 
was "inappropriate."

San Diego State was asked to check on about 200 names, but a school 
spokesman declined to comment on the investigation.

San Diego's Muslim community has drawn scrutiny from federal 
investigators since authorities discovered that at least two of the 
Sept 11 hijackers lived in the area last year.

The FBI arrested two students at San Diego-area colleges 10 days 
after the attacks. The two were detained as material witnesses and 
indicted by grand juries. They remain in custody.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service plans to expand the 
programme to cover holders of expired student visas from other 
regions - not just the Middle East - in other areas of the country, 
agency officials said. But the roundup angered many San Diego 
residents with Middle Eastern roots.

"This type of activity, people defaulting on their visas, is not 
particular to the Arab community," said Mohammed Nasser, the 
director of the San Diego chapter of the Muslim-American Society.

Randall Hamud, an Arab-American attorney representing two San Diego 
residents arrested as material witnesses in the terror probe, 
called it a case of "prosecutorial authority that has become 
persecutorial license." "Why are they just selecting Middle 
Easterners?" Hamud said. 

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20011214
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Asif not arrested in polo ground case: NAB
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 13: The National Accountability Bureau stated before 
the Lahore High Court, Rawalpindi Bench, that Asif Ali Zardari had 
not been arrested in polo ground case, clearing the second-last 
hurdle in his release after spending over five years in jail.

Asif, who was arrested in November 1996, is facing 13 cases, of 
which he has already been granted bail in 11. After the Thursday's 
decision he requires only one bail to walk out of jail.

The remaining bail application in narcotics case is slated to be 
taken up on Saturday (Dec 15) in Lahore. If the bail, which is 
pending before the session judge, Lahore, for over a year, is 
accepted, Asif Zardari can celebrate Eid as a free man.

After the statement of Raja Bashir, PGA, that Asif Zardari had not 
been arrested in polo ground reference case, the counsels for Asif 
Zardari, demanded that he would not be arrested without permission 
of "this" court.

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20011212
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Court allows Asif to talk to family on phone
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Nasir Iqbal

ISLAMABAD, Dec 11: An accountability court allowed Asif Ali 
Zardari, to talk to his family on a cellular phone and meet blood 
relatives during Eid holidays.

Mr Zardari, who has been admitted to the Pakistan Institute of 
Medical Sciences (Pims), has submitted separate applications before 
the accountability court seeking permission to talk to his family 
members through a mobile phone on Eid and to meet his three sisters 
and their three daughters living in Karachi.

Abu Baker Zardari advocate, while representing Mr Zardari before 
the accountability court No I argued that the sessions court in 
Karachi had allowed Mr Zardari to meet his sisters for four hours 
each day during the Eid holidays when he was detained at Karachi.

The accountability court No I earlier had permitted Mr Zardari to 
talk to his family including his spouse Benazir Bhutto, son Master 
Bakhtawar, daughters Miss Bilawal and Miss Asefa, sister-in-law 
Sanam Bhutto and mother-in-law Nusrat Bhutto on a mobile phone once 
a week on his own expenses.

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20011209
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PPP to unite Kashmiris across border: Benazir
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ashraf Mumtaz

LAHORE, Dec 8: Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto said that her 
Pakistan People's Party hoped to increase regional trade in South 
Asia and to unite the Kashmiri people through safe and open borders 
'without prejudice to the United Nations Security Council 
resolutions'.

In a wide-ranging email interview with Dawn organized by the PPP's 
Lahore media office, she also said: "We oppose the Kargil-like 
incidents and seek to defuse tensions in South Asia." The answers 
were received more than a week after the submission of the 
questionnaire.

Ms Bhutto's statements during her recent visit to India had 
triggered a controversy in political circles in Pakistan. 
Undaunted, Ms Bhutto, twice elected Prime Minister and dismissed on 
corruption charges, refused to budge.

Her views on Kashmir and Afghanistan are not acceptable even to 
Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, chairman of parliament's Kashmir 
committee during her second term who visited a large number of 
countries to highlight the decades old dispute and seek 
international support for Pakistan's principled stand on the issue. 
The Alliance for Restoration of Democracy chief, however, would say 
nothing on record, fearing that this might lead to the 
disintegration of the alliance.

The PPP chairperson also said despite several rounds of talks the 
party senior vice-chairman, Makhdoom Amin Faheem, had held with 
President Gen Pervez Musharraf, there was a wide gap in the 
positions of her party and the military ruler. She said her party 
was continuing the talks to establish that it had done its best to 
find a political solution.

Although the PPP leaders have been urging party workers to be 
prepared to accord a rousing welcome to their chairperson, Ms 
Bhutto parried question regarding her return to Pakistan and her 
reluctance to face the cases instituted against her by the 
government of Nawaz Sharif who, like her, is in exile.

Excerpts:

QUESTION: Some 75,000 Kashmiri people are estimated to have laid 
down their lives in their liberation struggle, but India is not 
ready to budge from its position. How can New Delhi then be 
expected to resolve the dispute in accordance with the UN 
resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people if, according to your 
suggestion, Pakistan agrees to promote trade first and place the 
dispute on the back burner? Does not your suggestion amount to 
undermining the freedom movement? How do you view the condemnation 
of your idea by the All Parties Hurriyet Conference leaders?

ANSWER: Kashmir is very much a part of the agenda of the Indo-
Pakistan talks. The differences in the positions of the two 
countries during the last fifty years led to wars, break-ups and 
unilateral withdrawals. Now the time has come for India and 
Pakistan to accept that they have different views on the Kashmir 
issue. Both countries need to manage the conflict to prevent war, 
which the two nuclear capable states can ill afford. Confidence-
building steps are necessary on this issue and the PPP has welcomed 
New Delhi's freeing some Kashmiri political prisoners, agreeing to 
a cease-fire as well as agreeing to talk to the Kashmiri leaders.

Q: You had suggested not very long ago that Pakistan and India 
should have the single president and the same currency. Now you are 
for putting the Kashmir dispute on the back burner. How do you 
justify then the visits to several countries undertaken by 
Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan as chairman of the parliament's Kashmir 
committee during your second term to highlight Pakistan's point of 
view on the issue and seek world support for it?

A: It is incorrect that I said India and Pakistan should have the 
same president and the same currency. I had said that the South 
Asian Association for Regional Cooperation should emulate the 
European Union in creating bigger markets through open borders and 
increased trade through a common trading currency. This is 
different from a common currency.

One fourth of humanity's poorest people are housed in South Asia 
which is four per cent of the world's territory. Nearly half the 
population lives on less than a dollar a day. Important 
negotiations are taking place world-wide, especially at the World 
Trade Organization. South Asia needs a coordinated approach to make 
an impact when seeking conditions that facilitate regional trade. 
The world is dividing into regional blocs like the European Union, 
the Gulf Cooperation Council and the ASEAN. I would like to see the 
SAARC be the structure that enables South Asia to meet the 
challenges of the twenty-first century world of regional economic 
alignments. We live in a time of great changes and we intend to 
bring a change in the life of our people.

Q: You recently said your government's support for the Taliban had 
been a mistake. Now you have taken a U-turn on the Kashmir issue. 
Earlier, you had abandoned the idea of district governments 
although it had been part of your election manifesto. Would it be 
fair, given the record, to say that your thinking on various issues 
lacks clarity and you conveniently sacrifice policies and 
principles at the altar of expediency?

A: The PPP and I speak clearly and what we say turns out to be 
correct.

We did support the Taliban in 1996 when they promised to build a 
broad-based government. We stopped supporting them in 1998 when 
they were hijacked by the Al-Qaeda and decided to go it alone in 
Afghanistan.

Our policy on Kashmir is also consistent. As Pakistan's Prime 
Minister, I ensured that non-Kashmiri groups did not try and seize 
the Kashmir movement from the Kashmiris. My party and I are 
criticizing attempts by the private militias to infiltrate into 
Kashmir.

As for devolution, we support it and our manifesto speaks of the 
social contract. However, contrary to the plan for devolution, the 
present dispensation is highly centralized. Each Nazim is 
answerable to the Centre. We are opposed to such centralization.

Q: If you do not feel the urgency about getting the Kashmiri people 
their right to self-determination, despite their laying down their 
lives for liberation from India, how do you justify the ARD's 
demand for 'immediate elections' on the ground that the people have 
the right to choose their own government?

A: The Kashmiris have indeed laid down their lives for the right to 
self-determination. My party and I support the Kashmiri people. We 
oppose Kargil-like incidents and seek to defuse tensions in South 
Asia. Without prejudice to the Security Council resolutions, we 
hope to unite the Kashmiri people through safe and open borders. We 
also plan to build trade in South Asia. Societies which fail to 
democratize decay. Pakistan is witnessing a sad decay of 
institutions due to repeated military interventions. We need 
democracy in Pakistan.

Q: Will the PPP, if it returns to power, follow the policy toward 
India which you have enunciated?

A: Yes, we believe in speaking in the same voice in public and in 
private.

Q: What will be the impact of the Afghanistan problem on the 
Kashmir issue? What should Pakistan do to avoid a fallout?

A: There will be an adverse impact on Kashmir due to the 
Afghanistan problem. The world will be less tolerant of Afghans, 
Arabs, and other foreigners going off to join the fight in Kashmir. 
On the other hand, there will be a positive impact. These armed 
private militias will be on the defensive. The sectarian violence 
in the country may come down.

Q: What should be four top priorities of the present government in 
the prevailing situation?

A: The military regime should reach accommodation with the 
democratic political forces in and out of the ARD. Political 
prisoners should be unilaterally released, politically motivated 
cases withdrawn, exiles permitted back and an attempt made at 
national reconciliation.

We should secure our relationship with our neighbours Afghanistan, 
Iran and India with whom we presently enjoy relations, which could 
be improved. We should pass the economic dividend down to the 
downtrodden people of Pakistan.

We should have an election process that is acceptable to the 
political parties. For example, political parties like the PPP want 
elections with joint electorate, multi-identity cards, announcement 
of results by returning officers, a mechanism for filing complaints 
and getting action against military and civil officers interfering 
in the election process as they did in the local elections and an 
end to control and command centres that are used to electronically 
enter every precinct and fill in the virtual booths with fraudulent 
ballots thereby changing the results.

Q: Makhdoom Amin Faheem, a leader of your party, has held some 
meetings with Gen Musharraf during the past few months. What has 
been the outcome? How do you see Gen Musharraf's recent statement 
that the government will arrest you the moment you return to 
Pakistan? Are you planning to move a court to seek a pre-arrest 
bail? If Mr Asif Zardari can face cases, why can't you? When do you 
plan to come back?

A: Senior vice-chairman Makhdoom Amin Faheem met General Musharraf 
several times. So far, there is a wide gap between the general and 
the PPP. However, the PPP is continuing with the efforts so that 
everyone can see that we did our best to find a political solution.

Q: Do the consultations between Gen Musharraf and political leaders 
on the issue of Afghanistan not justify the establishment of some 
institution, like the National Security Council, where the army and 
politicians could hold discussions on important matters facing the 
country? Why?

A: The PPP is opposed to a National Security Council and believes 
that the Defence Committee of the Cabinet is sufficient forum for 
security discussions. However, if the military regime wishes to 
change our minds then they should bring us a proposal. We would 
like to know what the powers and responsibilities of the National 
Security Council are meant to be that are still to be incorporated 
in the DCC. In Turkey, there is an NSC for ridding the army and 
intelligence of politically-motivated officers of any rank. Is this 
what the generals want? If so, we can incorporate it in the DCC. If 
otherwise, they need to spell out what they desire so that there is 
a public debate on the matter.

Q: Do you think that the present government will hold elections on 
its own or will the political parties have to launch a movement? 
Can a movement be launched while you and Pakistan Muslim League 
president Nawaz Sharif are out of the country?

A: The military regime will hold elections. Right now they are 
publicly admitting that these will be sham elections. Many 
candidates are being approached by civil and military officials. 
They are being asked to join Hum Khayal or Shaikh group in Sindh. 
They are being promised that the army-backed party will win. This 
is wrong and we have taken up the issue at different fora.

Q: Many people believe that it is time for political parties to 
prepare for the elections from their respective platforms. They 
also think that the ARD has outlived its utility and should be 
disbanded. Your comment?

A: The PPP thinks that the ARD still has a utility. It brings 
different political parties together. I am sure that political 
parties have already begun the research for elections.

Q: How is Begum Nusrat Bhutto Sahiba? Is she improving as a result 
of the treatment she is getting. How does she spend most of her 
time?

A: Begum Sahiba is physically well by the grace of Allah. During 
the Zia years, she was baton-charged at Qadhafi Stadium in 1977. 
She was then arrested and stopped from going abroad for treatment. 
Denied proper treatment, she developed some atrophy around the scar 
line of her head injury. As such she has problems with memory. 
Under medication, her condition is stable. Begum Sahiba enjoys 
walks, watching television, playing with her grandchildren.

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20011215
-------------------------------------------------------------------
NAB softens settlement terms in Wattoo case
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Dec 14: The National Accountability Bureau, Punjab, 
softened its terms for a settlement with former chief minister 
Manzoor Wattoo and others bringing down to 15 per cent the rate of 
mark-up to be charged on the Baitul Maal amount they are accused of 
having misappropriated.

The NAB had filed references against Mr Wattoo and six others for 
releasing and receiving Baitul Maal funds without lawful authority. 
The beneficiaries have since returned the principal amount. The 
NAB, however, has demanded payment of mark-up for a full 
settlement.

The prosecutor informed the court on Friday that the NAB was 
prepared to bring down the mark-up. The mark-up amount is Rs1,605 
million. The court deferred the hearing till Dec 22 for further 
arguments.

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20011210
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Restoration of 1973 Constitution a top agenda: APC by month-end 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Dec 9: The restoration of the 1973 Constitution would be on 
top of the agenda of the all parties conference (APC) being 
convened by ARD president Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan in the last week 
of the current month in Lahore.

Talking to reporters at the residence of ARD's deputy information 
secretary Munir Ahmad Khan, the Nawabzada said the APC would also 
discuss the reported amendments to the Constitution by the army 
government, establishment of an independent Election Commission and 
a caretaker setup to hold fair and free polls.

All political and religious parties, Pakistan Bar Council and high 
courts bars, trade unions of journalists, labours and other 
professions were also being invited to the APC to build a "real 
national consensus" on the four issues, he said.

"I am glad that response from most of the parties contacted for the 
purpose was positive and the APC agenda was acceptable to all."

He said he wanted to convene the meeting during Ramadan keeping in 
view the importance of the issues but on the insistence of some 
parties had to delay it till December-end. However, he would not 
give the exact date of the meeting.

Referring to the recent election results and transfer of power in 
two SAARC countries Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, he said "we want the 
tradition to take root in our country too."

He said it was unfortunate that free and fair polls were never held 
in the country. An election commission whose integrity was relied 
upon by the whole nation was the need of the hour, he added.

The Nawabzada said there was also need to set up a broad-based 
interim government in the country so that no party could hijack the 
election results with the connivance of the administration and the 
results were acceptable to all and sundry.

He hoped that the world forums like the UN and the EU would extend 
moral support to their struggle for the revival of democracy in the 
country as the assembly of representatives of 140 million people of 
Pakistan would have its effect on international level.

He said a democratic government, however bad it is, was better than 
dictatorship for it had to respect the public opinion, while the 
dictators considered themselves as the absolutely wise. The 
Nawabzada said there had never been two opinions on the question of 
integrity of the country in other democratic states but Pakistan 
was unfortunate in this regard that not only parties but alliances 
did not believe in the integrity of the country.

"A political leadership is the need of the hour to unite the nation 
divided by dictators on the basis of region, race, language, creed 
and biradri," he said. If the politicians were cornered, then the 
task of uniting the nation and preparing it for rendering 
sacrifices in the present crisis-like situation on borders would be 
impossible.

He expressed his apprehensions over the future policy of the new 
Afghan government and criticism by Tehran Radio of Pakistan's 
Afghan policy during the Iranian foreign minister's visit to 
Islamabad.

He said the army government had failed on internal as well as 
external fronts and it could not fulfil even a single point of its 
much-propagated agenda.

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20011210
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mian Azhar rules out patch-up with PML-N
-------------------------------------------------------------------
KARACHI, Dec 9: The President of the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-
i-Azam), Mian Azhar, said that his party was ready to talk on 
election alliance with every political party, except the PML 
(Nawaz) and the Pakistan People's Party.

Talking to newsmen after an Iftar party, hosted in his honour by 
the PML Sindh President, Ghaus Bux Mahar, here, Mian Azhar said he 
held detailed discussion with veteran Muslim League leader Pir 
Pagara on political issues.

"We held discussion on political issues," he said adding that he 
had been holding meetings with all factions of the Muslim League.

He said that his party was ready to participate in the forthcoming 
elections. Alliance with other parties could not be ruled out, he 
added.

Replying to a question, Main Azhar said he did not see any reason 
for postponement of the October 2002 election, which had been 
announced by the government on the directives of the Supreme Court. 
The government was sincere about holding election as it had already 
fulfilled its commitment by holding local government elections.

Answering a question, he said there was no possibility of early 
elections as had been demanded by certain political parties.

He claimed that the PML was a natural ally of the Jamaat-i-Islami, 
and his party would also consider election alliance in the future 
with this party. The party had alliance with the Jamaat in the 
local government elections and it won many seats with the help of 
the Jamaat, including those in Karachi.-APP

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20011211
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan Steel GM jailed for 7 years
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 10: An accountability court sentenced a general 
manager of the Pakistan Steel Mills to seven years' imprisonment 
with a fine of Rs10 million for causing huge losses to the national 
exchequer.

Judge Rahmat Husain Jafferi of the AC-3, who is also the 
administrative judge of all the ACs in Karachi, also ordered that 
Qaiser Raza would have to undergo an additional 30 months' 
imprisonment if he failed to pay the fine.

Former chairman of the Pakistan Steel, Dr Mohammed Usman Farooqui, 
his wife Aneesa Farooqui and their daughter Sharmila Farooqui were 
earlier ordered to be released in this reference after the approval 
of his plea for bargaining. The Farooquis surrendered assets of 
more than Rs330 million, acquired through illegal means.

The case pertained to the purchase of "iron slabs" and "pig iron" 
at exorbitant prices for the PSM in 1996, and it caused a loss of 
more than Rs1.3 billion to the national exchequer.

The judge, however, acquitted deputy GM Syed Iqtidar Rasool of the 
charges for want of incriminating evidence.

The accused were charged with purchasing 150,000 metric tons of 
slabs at the rate of 304.90 US dollars a metric ton and 100,000 
metric ton pig iron at the rate of 199.5 US dollars a metric ton, 
while the market prices of the items at the time were 190 and 148 
US dollars, respectively.

The dubious deal was struck through the local representative of the 
Cyprus- based suppliers, Mahboob and Sons, owned by Mahmoodul 
Hasan, who had been declared an absconding accused in the case. 
According to the investigators, an amount of more than 22.385m US 
dollars or more than Rs1.3bn was devoured by the accused in this 
deal.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20011214
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Paris Club provides $12bn relief package
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Dec 13: The Paris Club offered a $12 billion "stock re-
profiling" of loans for 38 years under which Pakistan would have to 
pay nothing in debt servicing during the first 15 years.

"Pakistan is the fourth country after Egypt, Poland and Yugoslavia 
to get this unprecedented package from the Paris Club," Finance 
Minister Shaukat Aziz told Dawn by telephone from Paris.

He described the offer as "beyond expectations" and "something 
amazing and incredible". He said that since Pakistan was 
implementing its economic reform programme, the Paris Club decided 
to favour it in a big way to help lessen its debt. "This all 
happened due to restoration of our credibility".

"The stock re-profiling of debt for 38 years will eventually 
provide us 30 per cent debt write-off," the minister said, adding 
the agreement included $0.5 billion loans write-off and debt swap 
by Canada, UK, Italy and Germany.

"Now our cash flow will greatly improve which will provide us an 
opportunity to look after our neglected social sectors adequately," 
he pointed out.

According to a finance ministry announcement, the total stock of 
debt affected by this arrangement is in excess of $12 billion. Two-
thirds of this debt relate to concessional lending, and will be 
rescheduled over 38 years, including a 15-year grace period. The 
remaining involves guaranteed commercial debt, and will be 
rescheduled over 23 years, including a 5-year grace period.

"This reorganization differs from Pakistan's previous rescheduling 
agreements not only in that it treats the entire stock of eligible 
debt, inclusive of previously rescheduled debt, but also in that 
the repayment terms for concessional loans are nearly twice as 
favourable as in previous arrangements".

Cash flow savings during the life of the recently approved 3-year 
IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility are estimated at $2.7 
billion, with significant savings during the subsequent decade, 
thereby removing the spike in debt service commitments.

The agreement is seen as a major milestone for the government's 
economic reform agenda. The delegation, led by Mr Aziz, made a 
strong plea before bilateral creditors that Pakistan's request for 
debt relief should be seen in the light of President Pervez 
Musharraf's commitment for economic reforms and the policies 
pursued by his government over the last two years.

The representatives of the International Monetary Fund, the World 
Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and UNCTAD gave their independent 
views of Pakistan's economic situation before they came out with 
support for the government's request.

Commenting on the results of the meeting, the minister said, "this 
agreement is unique, not only for Pakistan, but also in terms of 
the Paris Club... and it further testifies to changing attitudes of 
the international community towards Pakistan. "We consider today's 
agreement as providing Pakistan with a credible exit from its 
external debt problem and with sustainability".

He said the donors had showed flexibility and understanding of 
Pakistan's debt burden by not strictly following the conventional 
terms of the Club. This understanding resulted in a stock treatment 
of virtually all of Pakistan's outstanding bilateral debt which 
would provide the much needed fiscal space for poverty alleviation 
and enhanced allocations for the social sector.

The minister said that the reform process would continue unabated. 
The arrangement is an umbrella multilateral agreement under which 
bilateral negotiations with different creditors will soon be 
undertaken. It is anticipated that reflecting the downward trend in 
international interest rates, the conditions of these bilateral 
agreements will further enhance the relief provided by the Club.

The Club meeting was presided over by its chairman, Jean Pierre 
Jouyet, head of the French Treasury, and was attended by the 
representatives of the IMF, the World Bank, the AOB, UNCTAD, and 
delegations from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark.

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20011213
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Paris Club considering $4bn debt rescheduling plea 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Dec 12: The Paris Club creditors, now meeting in Paris, 
are considering sympathetically Pakistan's request for rescheduling 
$4 billion debt, part of which also includes debt re-profiling.

"The Paris Club is in session since Tuesday and we are getting very 
encouraging reports about Pakistan's request for debt 
rescheduling," said Dr Waqar Masood Khan, Additional Secretary, 
Ministry of Finance.

Dr Khan, who is also the ministry's spokesman, told Dawn here on 
Wednesday that Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz was already in Paris 
to attend the meeting as well as to hold bilateral talks with the 
members of the club.

"The representatives of the World Bank and the IMF have issued 
positive statements in favour of Pakistan during the meeting and we 
are very hopeful about the outcome of the Paris Club session," the 
additional secretary of the finance ministry said.

He also clarified DAWN's story, which appeared in Wednesday's 
issue, in which it was said that Pakistan's total external debt 
amounted to 43 billion dollar. He said 43 billion-dollar also 
included over 11 billion dollar private foreign currency deposits 
in 1998.

He also clarified DAWN's story, appearing in Wednesday's issue, in 
which it was stated that Pakistan's total external debt amounted to 
$43 billion. He said this amount also included over $11 billion 
private foreign currency deposits in 1988. Therefore, the actual 
foreign debt stands at $38 billion and not $43 billion, he added.

WB ADVICE: The World Bank has called upon the Paris Club to 
adequately restructure Pakistan's debt to not only help address its 
immediate cash flow needs but also bring its debt to sustainable 
level.

The World Bank representative, in his address to the Paris Club 
meeting on Tuesday, said that Pakistan's challenge of growth and 
poverty reduction was of a global significance. "To this end we 
believe the support of all Pakistan's creditors is critical to 
strengthen the hands of reformers and to address the severe balance 
of payments needs," he added.

According to a text of the speech, released by the ministry of 
finance, although Pakistan remains a blend of IBRD/IDA country, the 
World Bank expects to provide only highly concessional IDA credits 
over the next three years. However, Pakistan's growth and poverty 
reduction prospects are severely constrained by the high level of 
indebtedness and the very poor social indicators, he said. "A key 
issue over the medium term is how to bring Pakistan to a 
sustainable position."

Pakistan's human development indicators are abysmal and lag behind 
those countries with similar income level. Only 43 per cent 
Pakistanis are literate and the gap between male and female is 
wide. Only 27 per cent of all Pakistani women over the age of 15 
are literate, the World Bank representative noted.

The full impact of the Sept 11 events on Pakistan is still to be 
measured. Governance is a key component of the overall reform 
program. Emphasis has been on improving tax policy, including 
widening of the tax net and eliminating exemptions. 

 Public financial management has been strengthened through the 
appointment of Public Account Committees and enhanced fiscal 
transparency, he said.

The President of Pakistan has approved a medium term program that 
aims at effective tax administration that will facilitate and 
improve governance with tax laws, the World Bank representative 
said.

The support from the World Bank is designed to complement the 
reform program through a series of structural adjustments and 
investment credits. These include the Structural Adjustment Credit 
that is already in place, a Banking Restructuring and Privatisation 
Project and investment projects focussed on improving basic service 
delivery, he said.

Talking about the private sector, he said that tariffs had been 
lowered significantly to a maximum of 30 per cent and the tariff 
bands reduced from five to four. Three nationalised banks had been 
restructured, ineffective branches closed and prudential 
regulations strengthened. 

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20011213
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Rs51.8bn budget approved for PIA
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

RAWALPINDI, Dec 12: The Pakistan International Airlines' Board of 
Directors approved Rs51.811 billion budget for the national flag 
carrier for the fiscal 2002.

Managing Director PIA Ahmed Saeed while presenting the budget 
before the meeting projected a profit of Rs2.427bn during the next 
year. According to the provisional figures presented before the 
Board the airline sustained Rs2.085bn losses during the year ending 
December 2001.

The budget projections for the year 2002, he said, reaffirms 
management's resolve to put the airline on the path of sustainable 
profitability and growth.

The profit target of Rs2.427bn would be realized through revenue 
enhancement with a "restricted" increase in expenditure. The next 
year's target, the MD said, will be achieved through product 
improvement, better service, fleet renewal, manpower 
rationalization and image restoration.

The profit expectation is after absorption of interest cost of 
Rs2.3bn on Term Finance Certificates (TFCs) and short-term loans.

The revenue generation under the budget projections is expected to 
increase by Rs4.703bn from last year's Rs47.108bn to Rs51.811bn, 
whereas the expenditure would go up by Rs191 million from 
Rs49.193bn last year to Rs49.384bn. The projected revenue increase 
over the last year is 10 per cent, while expenditure would rise by 
0.4 per cent.

The seat factor has been projected to increase to 72.1 per cent 
against last year's 67.3 per cent.

According to the break up of the revenue sources, the PIA expects 
to earn Rs41.403bn from scheduled flights; Rs2.260bn from Hajj 
operations; Rs190 million through mail handling; Rs5.258bn as 
freight charges; Rs1.198bn from excess baggage and non-transport 
services to fetch Rs1.502bn.

The expenditure head of the budget has been divided into direct 
operating cost Rs36.814bn and indirect fixed cost of Rs12.570bn.

During the first half of year 2001, the national flag carrier 
sustained an operating loss of Rs2.285bn, whereas after the 
introduction of the business plan it is being expected that an 
operating profit of Rs200 million would have been earned.

The meeting was informed that the past six months, particularly 
after Sept 11 events had been very difficult for PIA because of the 
huge insurance cost. 

The government bailed out PIA by indemnifying the National 
Insurance Corporation.

Besides there was decrease in the outbound number of passengers by 
almost 20 per cent because of the visa restrictions introduced by 
different countries and the hostile working environment for 
Pakistanis in overseas countries.

The operating cost increased after the beginning of allied forces 
attacks against Afghanistan as planes flying to and from Europe and 
the United Stated had to fly an extra hour to avoid Afghan 
airspace.

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20011214
-------------------------------------------------------------------
ADB approves $350m agriculture loan 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Dec 13: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved 
US$350 million soft loan for the development of five-year 
agriculture sector program in Pakistan.

The first tranche of $125 million will be disbursed after taking 
compliance measures.

According to an announcement made by the local ADB office, the 
primary objective of the "Agriculture Sector Program Loan" will be 
to improve agriculture productivity and profitability.

It included special reform measures to promote efficient markets 
for major commodities including wheat, cotton, rice sugar, 
fertilizer, and seed. The purpose is also to strengthen support 
services in small farmer extension and training, research and 
regulation, to improve quality.

The program will promote pro-poor reforms to expand the role of the 
private sector through deregulation, liberalization, and 
privatization affecting many public input, supply, and output 
marketing enterprises that now operate in the agriculture sector. 
The resultant sectoral efficiency would minimize, and eventually 
eliminate the drag on the country's fiscal resources.

A technical assistance loan will also be provided to assist the 
government in policy advice, program coordination, improving 
efficiency of commodity markets, small farmer extension, research 
and safety nets, and reorganization and restructuring of relevant 
state-owned enterprises.

While the ADB has approved a major agriculture loan program, a 
number of its ongoing development projects with a cost of $450 
million in Sindh are experiencing delays in the implementation due 
to unfamiliarity with the Bank's procedures.

The officials of the Bank have said that the delay was also caused 
due to government's approval formalities and decisions on 
procurement matters. The Bank wanted to streamline various 
procedures so that unnecessary delays in completing ongoing 
development projects in Sindh could be avoided.

For this purpose the ADB was organizing workshops to familiarize 
the project directors/project mangers and relevant government 
officials with its guidelines and procedures on project management 
and related matters.

The concerned resource persons of the Bank will deliberate on the 
important aspects of project implementation, covering specifically, 
ADB project cycle, guidelines on procurement, guidelines on 
consultant selection, disbursement procedures, and financial 
management matters. 

The ADB portfolio in Sindh consists of 15 loans, comprising three 
in agriculture and rural development sector, two in physical 
infrastructure, two in energy sector, seven in social 
infrastructure and one emergency assistance for drought.

The ADB will hold similar workshops in the NWFP and Balochistan 
during the later part of December 2001. The Bank held similar 
workshop in Lahore and Karachi last month.

According to the ADB Annual Report for 2000, although Pakistan has 
a good disbursement record, project implementation continued to be 
delayed. The government and the ADB agreed on comprehensive action 
plan - updated at each country portfolio review - that addresses 
policy and governance-related covenants in loan agreements. 

Difficulties in complying with covenants were attributed to lack of 
ownership, an unclear definition of responsibilities, inadequate 
follow up, and resource and capacity constraints. As a result of 
slowed project implementation, some loan-closing dates had to be 
extended.

Since joining the ADB in 1966, Pakistan has received 192 loans, 
which included 20 private-sector loans without government 
guarantee, of which 51 were active at the end of 2000, bringing the 
cumulative loan figure to $7.5 billion.

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20011215
-------------------------------------------------------------------
ADB to extend $1 billion for civil reforms
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 14: The Asian Development Bank will provide 
approximately one billion dollars in 2002 for carrying out civil 
reforms, improving provincial resource management and developing 
capital market in Pakistan.

"Pakistan government's response to the Sept 11 event, and its role 
as a front-line state in the war against international terrorism 
has demonstrated its commitment to promoting Pakistan's economic 
and social development and establishing it as a modern, progressive 
state," said an ADB representative.

"ADB has strongly supported the government in its reform efforts 
and will continue to do so to achieve the shared objectives of 
poverty reduction and economic development," he stated.

The ADB, he pointed out, was in the process of preparing a three-
year new Country Strategy and Program (2002-2004) for Pakistan, 
which will be the basis of its operation in the future.

He said that ADB operations had been guided by its Country 
Operational Framework, which had the following, three principal 
objectives: improving economic efficiency and export 
competitiveness, human and social development, and governance and 
institutional strengthening. Constant to that, he said, the ADB 
provided $707 million in 2000.

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20011212
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Germany gives $22m to fight poverty
-------------------------------------------------------------------
BERLIN, Dec 11: Germany has given Pakistan 50 million marks ($22.8 
million) in additional aid to fight poverty, improve education and 
health care and support Afghan refugees, the overseas development 
ministry said.

Berlin said the aid package was intended in part to recognize 
Pakistan's anti-terrorism efforts and in particular its acceptance 
of thousands of Afghan refugees since the US-led war began.

"The German government has taken into consideration the role 
Pakistan has played in the war on terrorism as well as the 
additional burden placed on it by the influx of refugees from 
Afghanistan," the ministry said in a statement.

The funds will go mainly to projects in the north and northwest of 
the country, such as schools for Afghan refugees living in camps in 
Pakistan and the development of renewable energy.

Germany will also support projects targeted specifically at women 
and girls, the ministry said. -AFP

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20011212
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Public debt swells to Rs3,000 billion
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Our Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 11: Pakistan's increased fiscal and current account 
deficits have resulted in an explosive accumulation of Rs3,000 
billion public debt and over $43 billion external debt.

According to latest official projections firmed up and shared with 
the World Bank, IMF and the Paris Club creditors, it was 
increasingly becoming difficult to have any meaningful debt 
management, keeping in view the massive public and foreign debt 
that especially accumulated during the last 8 to 10 years.

The government, therefore, was seeking substantial debt relief, 
both from the bilateral creditors and International Financial 
Institutions (IFIs), to cope with what was termed an "alarming debt 
situation", according to official sources.

Sources said the new staff report prepared by the IMF was favorable 
to help reduce the country's debt, especially the most expensive 
and short-term one. "We owe about little over $2 billion most 
expensive and short-term foreign debt for which we are very 
seriously taking the issue with the international lenders 
concerned," a top official said.

When contacted, he disagreed with the suggestion that this most 
expensive and short-term loan amounted to $8 billion, out of the 
total $43 billion debt. "If you do not believe us then wait for the 
release of IMF staff report to be shortly made public and have the 
correct figure," he added.

The Paris Club creditors were meeting in Paris on Wednesday (Dec 
12) to consider both debt rescheduling and debt re-profiling for 
Pakistan. After the approval of $1.3 billion Poverty Reduction 
Growth Facility by the Executive Board of the IMF last week, the 
Fund officials were reportedly inclined to offer debt re-profiling 
for Pakistan. This meant the writing off of loans to some 
considerable extent in order to help Pakistan improve its balance 
of payment position and help reduce the payment of debt servicing. 
For 2001-2002, the debt servicing payment amounted to Rs329.2 
billion, out of the total budgetary outlay of Rs751.7 billion.

The government has sought $6 billion exceptional assistance from 
IFIs and about $4 billion debt rescheduling from the Paris Club 
that also included certain debt re-profiling. The assistance of $6 
billion has been sought to return Pakistan's $24 billion short-term 
loans during the next four-year period, sources said.

Officials conceded that a proposed Debt Policy Coordination office 
had not been set up in the ministry of finance to deal with the 
serious issue of both public and foreign debt. The Debt Reduction 
and Management Committee headed by Dr Pervez Hasan had proposed the 
establishment of the Coordination office.

Dr Pervez Committee believed that the stagnation in government 
revenues and exports during the last few years and the rising cost 
of government borrowing, both domestic and foreign, resulted during 
1996-1999 in fastest growth in public debt burden in the country's 
history. It said the small reduction in foreign exchange 
obligations was achieved only through freezing of individual 
foreign currency accounts.

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20011211
-------------------------------------------------------------------
NBP in US not accepting cash for remittance
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

NEW YORK, Dec 10: The National Bank of Pakistan has clarified that 
it does not accept any cash for remittances to Pakistan as a self-
imposed restriction.

Rafiq Bengali, general manager of the NBP on Wall Street, told Dawn 
that in the aftermath of Sept 11 terror attacks and subsequent 
guidelines issued by the US government "our legal and our 
compliance people identified that cash transactions are a high risk 
area, and since cash transactions are less than 10 per cent of our 
remittance volume, so we decided to limit the exposure of the bank" 
by not accepting cash for remittances.

However, "we accept cashiers cheques or certified cheques for such 
remittances," Mr Bengali said. The NBP has pasted notices outside 
its branches informing its customers that it does not accept cash 
for remittances abroad.

Officials at other Pakistani banks said no direct instructions had 
been issued by the US Federal Reserve to stop cash transactions but 
strict guidelines had been issued under rules of the Foreign Assets 
Control Act to identify individuals or organizations making any 
cash remittances.

Mr Bengali said: "We have imposed such restrictions following the 
new guidelines from the US authorities which require detailed 
information about the persons sending money to Pakistan. The 
information we cannot readily provide if we accept cash from 
Pakistanis walking in to the branches."

These instructions were issued following Sept 11 attacks on the US 
in a bid to stop any flow of money to the organizations which are 
on the US list of funding terror activities.

Mr Bengali said that "we have informed the Pakistan consulate and 
embassy about the changes. "We are not a licensed commercial bank, 
we only have permission to remit money to Pakistan."

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20011210
-------------------------------------------------------------------
US imposes curbs on Pakistan banks: Day-to-day cash transactions
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Masood Haider

NEW YORK, Dec 9: All Pakistani banks operating in the United States 
have been asked to stop day to day financial transactions in 
accordance with new laws enacted by the United States following 
Sept 11 attacks which endeavor to stop flow of money to the 
terrorist organizations.

Besides Pakistan many banks of other Muslim countries have been 
asked to suspend their daily cash transactions.

The orders came into effect as of Dec 1.

The banks are now allowed to issue certified cheques, money orders 
or personal cheques only. All cash money transactions are banned. 
Also include prohibiting transactions in foreign exchange, 
transfers of credits to foreign banks and importing and exporting 
currency or securities.

Pakistan's major banks - National Bank, Habib Bank, United Bank, 
Habib Bank AG Zurich have received orders from the US Federal 
Reserve Bank to stop cash transactions. National Bank of Pakistan's 
major branch at one UN Plaza has stopped functioning and has been 
merged with its Regional head office situated at Wall Street New 
York.

According to the new law the US Secretary of the Treasury Paul Neil 
now has sweeping powers to close the door to the United States to 
foreign financial institutions and nations that serve as conduits 
or depositories of terrorist funds or do not cut off the money flow 
to terrorist groups.

In consultation with the State Department and Justice Department, 
the Treasury Department is authorized "to employ all powers granted 
to the President" under the International Emergency Economic Powers 
Act (IEEPA). The powers include prohibiting transactions in foreign 
exchange, transfers of credits to foreign banks and importing and 
exporting currency or securities.

The New Law stipulates that US Treasury department has existing 
power to require cash, suspicious activity reports from aviation 
schools, crop dusters, many other high-risk businesses. Money 
Laundering Alert provides specific actions that Congress and all US 
agencies need to take to build permanent reforms to stop the 
financial nourishment of terrorists. One of the primary actions 
needed is an overhaul of the Treasury's Financial Crimes 
Enforcement Network.

The MLA provides key analysis of the US money laundering law as it 
relates to terrorists. The law lists 176 "specified unlawful 
activities." Three of them deal with terrorism, including one that 
deals with "providing material support to terrorists" (Title 18, 
USC Sec. 2339A).

All Pakistani banks operating in New York had signs posted outside 
the branches telling customers it could no longer provide them any 
services.

Pakistani bank managers say that it is not clear how long they 
would be able to function in the United States if they are not 
allowed to open doors to general public. They have sought 
intervention from the Pakistan government.

Back to the top
EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20011209
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Resurrection!
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By Ardeshir Cowasjee

THE bad news of the day is that in Pakistan nine babies are born 
every minute. The good news is that after two years in power we 
have a man at the helm of affairs who does not think or say that he 
has the divine right to rule, or that he hears voices from on high, 
or that he wishes to be an Amir-ul-Momineen.

President General Pervez Musharraf is what is generally accepted as 
a 'normal' man, who wishes to lead a 'normal' life, and who has 
unequivocally declared, without fudging or feinting, that he will 
remain the president of this country. He heads the most disciplined 
and organized party of the land which gives him its unrestrained 
backing.

So far, he has his feet on the ground and has taken the correct 
actions. He has realized that our extremists, the bigots amongst 
the people, must be restrained, which has been accorded approval by 
our international backers. Unless fate in a violent form intervenes 
he should be with us for many years.

Allah be praised, after fifty-four years we are now in the process 
of resurrection.

Musharraf was a toddler when Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the maker and 
builder of Pakistan, intended to be a progressively modern state, 
stated on February 19, 1948: "But make no mistake: Pakistan is not 
a theocracy or anything like it .... "Later that month, he 
reiterated: "In any case, Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic 
state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission .....".

On March 7, 1949, Musharraf was still a toddler when the Objectives 
Resolution was moved and adopted on the first day of the fifth 
session of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, meeting in the 
Assembly chambers at Karachi, at four of the clock in the evening. 
The official report for that day's debates records:

"The Honourable Mr Liaquat Ali Khan (East Bengal, Muslim) : Mr 
President, Sir, I beg to move the following Objectives Resolution 
embodying the main principles on which the Constitution of Pakistan 
is to be based.

"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful;

"Whereas sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to God 
Almighty alone and the authority which He has delegated to the 
state of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the 
limit prescribed by Him is a sacred trust;"This Constituent 
Assembly, representing the people of Pakistan, resolves to frame a 
constitution for the sovereign independent State of Pakistan;

"Wherein the state shall exercise its powers and authority through 
the chosen representatives of the people;

"Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance 
and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully 
observed;

"Wherein the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the 
individual and collective spheres in accord with the teachings and 
requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah;

"Wherein adequate provisions shall be made for the minorities 
freely to profess and practise their religions and develop their 
cultures;

"Wherein the territories now included in or in accession with 
Pakistan and such other territories as may hereafter be included in 
or accede to Pakistan shall form a federation wherein the units 
will be autonomous with such boundaries and limitations on their 
powers and authority as may be prescribed;

"Wherein shall be guaranteed fundamental rights, including equality 
of status, of opportunity and before law, social economic and 
political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, 
faith, worship and association, subject to the law and public 
morality;

"Wherein adequate provision shall be made to safeguard the 
legitimate interests of minorities and backward and depressed 
classes;

"Wherein the independence of the judiciary shall be fully secured;

"Wherein the integrity of the territories of the Federation, its 
independence and all its rights, including its sovereign rights on 
land, sea and air, will be safeguarded;

"So that the people of Pakistan may prosper and attain their 
rightful and honoured place amongst the nations of the world and 
make their full contribution towards international peace and 
progress and happiness of humanity."

Now to quote from Liaquat's subsequent address to the President, 
the Honourable Mr Tamizuddin Khan, a quotation which must bear 
constant and frequent repetition:

"...the people are the real recipients of power. This naturally 
eliminates any danger of the establishment of a theocracy .... In 
the technical sense, theocracy has come to mean a government by 
ordained priests, who wield authority as being specially appointed 
by those who claim to derive their rights from their sacerdotal 
position. I cannot overemphasize the fact that such an idea is 
absolutely foreign to Islam. Islam does not recognize either 
priesthood or any sacerdotal authority; and, therefore, the 
question of a theocracy simply does not arise in Islam. If there 
are any who still use the word theocracy in the same breath as the 
polity of Pakistan, they are either labouring under a grave 
misapprehension or indulging in mischievous propaganda.

"..... Therefore, there should be no misconception in the mind of 
any sect which may be a minority in Pakistan about the intentions 
of the state. The state will seek to create an Islamic society free 
from dissensions, but this does not mean that it would curb the 
freedom of any section of the Muslims in the matter of their 
beliefs. No sects, whether the majority or a minority, will be 
permitted to dictate to the others and, in their own internal 
matters and sectional beliefs, all sects shall be given the fullest 
possible latitude and freedom. Actually, we hope the various sects 
will act in accordance with the desire of the Prophet who said that 
the differences of opinion amongst his followers are a blessing. It 
is for us to make our differences a source of strength to Islam and 
to Pakistan and not to exploit them for our own interests which 
will weaken both Pakistan and Islam.

".... We believe that no shackles can be put on thought and, 
therefore, we do not intend to hinder any person from the 
expression of his views."

Now, in 2001, we address the first in the line of succession after 
the president, the honourable chief justice of Pakistan, Irshad 
Hassan Khan, who, all going well, will retire on January 6, 2002. 
The new Supreme Court of Pakistan building designed by Kenzo Tange 
was consecrated in March 1993 by the prime minister of the day, 
Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, the same Sharif who in November 1997 
desecrated the building and the institution of the judiciary by 
masterminding the storming of the court so as to save himself from 
being convicted of contempt of court by a stubborn shortsighted 
chief justice. It is a matter of eternal shame that our judicial 
system, despite the cold hard evidence on record, found itself 
unable to convict Sharif and his co-accused for their contemptible 
crime.

At the consecration of the building, Sharif declared that not only 
had the text of the Objectives Resolution been affixed in gilded 
lettering on the walls of the highest court of the land, both in 
English and Urdu, but that it was imprinted in the hearts of every 
loyal Pakistani. But, whereas the Urdu version was an accurate 
translation of the original English version, the English version 
had one glaring omission from the original. In the paragraph 
dealing with minority rights, the original version as recorded in 
the annals of the Constituent Assembly read: "Wherein adequate 
provision shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and 
practise their religions and develop their cultures;"

On the walls of the honourable Supreme Court the word "freely" was 
deliberately omitted from this paragraph. A crime, would one not 
say?

Chief Justice Afzal Zullah, during whose term the building was 
inaugurated, was informed of this omission and asked to have it 
rectified. He did not do so. Then came our one chief justice who 
possessed a great sense of humour, Nasim Hassan Shah, who was also 
reminded on more than one occasion to have this criminal ommission 
rectified. He also chose to ignore it. Chief Justice Sajjad Ali 
Shah followed; he had both plaques removed. They remained removed 
throughout the terms of Chief Justices Ajmal Mian and Saeeduzzaman 
Siddiqui, and they remain so now during the term of Irshad Hassan 
Khan.

During the month left to him, will our bold chief justice, whose 
words and records of his deeds have been spread over three 
continents, have the decency and good judgment to order that the 
engraving on the English version of the Resolution be corrected so 
that the word "freely" is inserted where it should be, and then 
have both plaques reaffixed on the walls of the entrance hall of 
our Supreme Court. No tall order, this!

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20011214
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The logic of the mighty
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ayaz Amir

"Contemporary global politics is the age of Muslim wars." - 
Huntington

"The Islamic world differs from other world cultures today in one 
important respect. In recent years it alone has repeatedly produced 
significant radical Islamist movements that reject not just western 
politics, but the most basic principle of modernity itself, that of 
religious tolerance." - Fukuyama

A short history lesson is in order. The very Islamist movements 
that the West denounces today were once the greatest favourites of 
the United States. Why? Because all of them had two things in 
common: anti-nationalism (believing as they did in a single, 
overriding Ummah) and anti-communism.

Today western scholars are preaching the virtues of secularism in 
the Muslim world and saying that unless Muslim countries learn to 
separate politics from religion there will be no progress for them. 
The irony couldn't be thicker for it was not long ago that the 
West's principal enemies in the world of Islam were those very 
nationalist regimes--like Nasser's Egypt and the Baathist regimes 
in Iraq and Syria--which looked to secularism and the appropriation 
of national resources (from western hands) as the keys to national 
resurgence.

Two other disturbing qualities characterised these nationalist 
regimes: considering the Soviet Union as the great champion of 
anti-colonialism, they looked to it for support and also denounced 
the conservative Arab regimes like that of Saudi Arabia as pawns in 
Western hands.

With the cold war on, and a global competition for influence raging 
between East and West, the US viewed pro-Sovietism with loathing 
for obvious reasons. But it was no less suspicious of the second 
tendency because Saudi Arabia and the other Arab monarchies and 
sheikhdoms were America's staunchest allies in the region, 
underpinning America's growing hold on the Middle East.

In short, conservative Islam was pro-American while nationalist or 
secular Islam was anti-American. The US was comfortable with kings 
and sheikhs and uncomfortable with the upstart army officers who 
had triggered coups in Egypt, Iraq, Syria and, somewhat later, 
Libya and challenged American interests once they had come to 
power. Opposing these nationalist regimes were such Islamist 
organizations as the Ikhwan and Jamaa-I-Islamiya in Egypt which, 
for this very reason, found sympathy and covert backing from the 
US. Islamism now a bugbear for the US, was very much in tune with 
American sentiments at the time.

The heady days of Arab nationalism came to an abrupt end with the 
comprehensive Arab defeat in the 1967 war. Among other 
consequences, this defeat brought home to the Arabs their weakness 
in relation to Israel--and its distant godfather, the US--and led 
to a change in thinking which culminated in the 1973 Arab-Israeli 
war and Sadat's eventual turning to the US.

The Arab nationalism of the old kind was confined to countries like 
Syria, Iraq and Libya while the rest of the Arab world, from 
Morocco to Saudi Arabia, fell under varying degrees of American 
influence and tutelage. The Iranian revolution of 1979 far from 
disturbing this alignment only strengthened it because Iran's 
neighbours were afraid of catching the revolutionary virus. 
Together with the US they looked at Iran through the same 
spectacles.

At this point came the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. To counter 
it, the US fashioned a coalition whose leading Muslim members were 
Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. From across the Muslim world 
shady fundamentalist organisations, most of them living a semi-
secret existence, responded to the call for 'jihad'. In Pakistan 
the ultra-conservative military regime of General Ziaul Haq 
provided crucial backing for the American effort, just as another 
military regime in Pakistan, 20 years later, has provided crucial 
backing for another American enterprise in Afghanistan. The more 
things change...

What is the point of this retrospective? To show that in the 
eighties in the cauldron of Afghanistan Osama bin Laden and Al-
Qaeda were born. When the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, these 
battle-hardened warriors, strengthened in their belief that it was 
their faith rather than American help which had proved decisive in 
the fight against the Soviets, turned their attention to the other 
Great Satan, the US, the partisans of yesterday thus becoming the 
enemies of today.

None of this means the US should not have reacted to the September 
11 attacks. But in doing so it should not forget recent history or 
try to find in Islam the causes that more legitimately and justly 
rest in its own policies. For instance, the Wahabism dominant in 
Saudi Arabia that American scholars now point suspiciously at has 
been an arm of American policy in the Middle East since the end of 
the Second World War. It is a bit tough that now it should be seen 
in altogether different colours.

Or consider even the present line-up in the Muslim world. The three 
Arab countries, which approximate to the secular ideal are Syria, 
Iraq and Libya, all on America's hit-list of enemies. In none of 
these countries is 'radical Islam'--the kind which feeds on 
American fears--a domestic threat. By any yardstick, Malaysia is a 
liberal country in social terms and one of the few Muslim countries 
to have done well economically. But the US doesn't like Mahathir 
Muhammad. Iran is outside the US orbit of influence but not because 
of its adherence to the Shiite brand of Islam.

The common thread in all these cases is something else. Secular or 
religious, a republic or a half-way house to democracy, any country 
that has stood up to the US, and questioned its double-standards in 
the Middle East, has come on the list of its enemies.

If the US is so concerned about 'radical Islam' and 'illiberal' 
governments then it should be calling for democracy throughout the 
Muslim world. But that is none of its concerns. The kings and 
sheikhs of the region suit it fine because its primary interests in 
the Middle East, as it takes no clairvoyant to see, are oil and the 
Israeli connection. Everything else, including the wishes of the 
House of Saud, is subordinate to these twin considerations.

Nor should any illusions be on offer about the future direction of 
American policy. September 11 has led to no passion for 
introspection on America's part. If anything, it has triggered a 
militant mood accompanied with cries of retribution for the 
attacks. The devastating effect of American firepower, leading to 
the collapse of the Taliban, has merely reinforced the belief in 
American omnipotence, that nothing is beyond the reach of American 
power.

It's not that some of us overestimated the courage and fortitude of 
the Taliban. When the enemy was visible they fought bravely. Many 
of us got the new face of war wrong--a war as radical in its impact 
on the future as the invention of gunpowder, the rifle or the tank-
- in the words of the London Observer, "... a war where men--or 
women--seated thousands of miles away can track the enemy's every 
move and then destroy them with a few strokes of a keyboard.

 It is a war where a whole country can be put under intense 
surveillance without being occupied..." The meaning of guerrilla 
war has changed in this conflict. The Tora Bora Mountains and caves 
were said to be unreachable and therefore impregnable. After the 
American air strikes on them, who will say the same again?

This is no setting for humility. After savouring the fruits of 
revenge in Afghanistan, the US wants to extend this same hi-tech 
war to other places. Iraq promises to be the next target. After 
that, who knows?

But this triumphalism is no endorsement of justice. As the West 
adopts a patronizing attitude to the Muslim world and preaches the 
virtues of secularism, let us remember that over the past 60 years 
the greatest threat to secularism in the Muslim world has come from 
the West. Of course we should not have accepted this state of 
affairs. But that's a different story.

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20011213
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Who is gaining more?
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Eric Margolis

What has the US achieved after waging war for the past two months 
in Afghanistan?

Afghanistan's de facto government, Taliban, with about 30,000 armed 
supporters, has been overthrown and scattered. After holding out 
for five weeks under massive US bombardments, its leader, Mulla 
Omar, ordered his men to retreat to the mountains. Omar, who may be 
shortly captured or killed, claimed he ordered the retreat to spare 
civilians in Taliban-ruled areas from US bombing. Kandahar, the 
last Taliban stronghold, was shattered by intensive US bombing.

To date, the US has dropped over 10,000 bombs on Afghanistan, 
killing sizable numbers of civilians - perhaps in the range of 
2,000, according to Afghan sources. US bombing of cities, towns and 
villages has driven over 160,000 people into refugee camps.

On December 3, 2000 - one year ago - this writer warned that 
overthrowing Taliban would 'pave the way for a second Russian 
occupation of Afghanistan.' This has now happened. The Northern 
Alliance, armed and funded by Russia, directed by the Afghan 
Communist Party, and under the overall command of the Chief of the 
Russian General Staff, Marshall Viktor Kvashnin, deputy KGB 
director Viktor Komogorov, and a cadre of Russian advisers, seized 
Kabul and all of northern Afghanistan, likely with the aid of 
troops from Uzbekistan and/or Iran.

Last week's much ballyhooed Afghan 'unity' conference in Germany 
produced a sham 'coalition' government run by the Northern 
Alliance. One of CIA's Pakhtun 'assets,' Hamid Karzai, who 
represents no one but himself, was named prime minister. There was 
no other real Pakhtun representation, though they comprise half the 
population. Of thirty cabinet seats, two thirds went to Northern 
Alliance Tajiks, notably the power ministries: defence, interior, 
and foreign affairs. Two women were added to please the West.

The 87-year old deposed Afghan king, Zahir Shah, widely blamed for 
allowing the communists to infiltrate Afghanistan in the 1970s, was 
invited back as a figurehead monarch. In short, a communist-
dominated regime, ruled by a king, whose strings are pulled by 
Moscow. Quite a bizarre creation.

The very next day, feuding broke among Alliance members. Old 
communist stalwart Rashid Dostam, who had just finished massacring 
hundreds of Taliban prisoners with American and British help, 
threatened war if his Uzbeks did not get more spoils. The 
Alliance's figurehead president, Prof. Rabbani, a respected Islamic 
scholar, was shoved aside by young communists. 

The Bush Administration was apparently too preoccupied chasing 
Osama bin Laden to notice its new best friend, Russia, had broken 
its agreement to wait for formation of a pro-US, pro-Pakistani 
regime, and seized half of Afghanistan. Marshall Kvashnin rushed 
his men into Kabul, just as he outfoxed the Americans in 1999 in a 
similar coup de main in Kosovo.

The hunt for Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda continues. A few 
senior figures have been killed, likely including Dr Ayman al-
Zawahiri, leader of Egypt's Islamic Jihad. The net is closing 
around Osama's possible hiding places. Unless he has escaped 
Afghanistan, his capture or death appear imminent.

This will be welcome news for the Bush administration. If he 
somehow escapes, or his body never found, Bush will be accused of 
blowing apart Afghanistan, killing large numbers of civilians, and 
allowing the Russians to grab back the country, all for nothing.

The late Pakhtun leader Abdul Haq, whom I knew from my Peshawar 
days, warned the US before his death that bombing of Afghanistan 
was unnecessary and a grave mistake. Taliban control could be 
broken, where needed, by financing tribal uprisings - the standard 
form of Afghan warfare - without foreign intervention. Otherwise, 
he warned, the Northern Alliance would take over and bring in the 
Russians. He pleaded with Washington for restraint, but to no 
avail. Haq was captured by Taliban during a bungled CIA operation 
and hanged. But Haq was right. US forces could have hunted Osama in 
southern Afghanistan with relative impunity, as they are now doing, 
without having to launch a total war against Taliban. US air power 
totally dominates barren Afghanistan. Taliban forces could not move 
or communicate. There were only a small number of Taliban fighters 
in southern Afghanistan where Osama was hiding.

Bombing Afghan civilian centres was absolutely unnecessary. The 
only real military targets offered by Taliban were its entrenched 
troops facing the Alliance. It was remarkable that Taliban managed 
to withstand five weeks of carpet bombing by US B-52s.

The US could have hunted Osama without allowing the Russians to 
recapture half of Afghanistan, a severe geopolitical defeat for 
American ambitions to use that nation as a gateway to Central Asian 
oil and gas. And without blasting to rubble what little remained of 
demolished Afghanistan, and without driving 160,000 civilians into 
terrified flight.

So, after eight weeks of war, Taliban is out; the Communists are in 
power in Kabul. The south is in chaos. Pakistan is isolated and 
unloved by all. The war has cost Washington US$60 billion to date. 
Afghanistan is a bloody mess. And Vladimir Putin is smiling.-
Copyright Eric Margolis 2001.

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20011215
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Illusion of Muslim unity
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Irfan Husain

RECENTLY, General Musharraf was quoted as having said that the 
present weakness in the Muslim world was due to disunity, and that 
once Muslims were united, they would become strong again.

How wrong he is. The mantra of Muslim unity has been a rallying cry 
for generations of pan-Islamists over the centuries that have 
witnessed the growing power of the West and the simultaneous 
decline of the Islamic world. Many thinkers and politicians have 
urged the Ummah or nation of Islam to join together and confront 
the perceived enemy. For them, the lost glories of resurgent Islam 
would be restored if only Muslims would unite. It is one thing for 
ignorant mullahs to preach this sermon after Friday prayers; quite 
another for responsible leaders to take it seriously.

Charismatic leaders like Nasser and Qadhafi have attempted to forge 
mergers with neighbouring countries time and again, only to have 
their dreams of Muslim unity dashed on the reefs of reality. I may 
be mistaken, but I think it was Suharwardy who famously dismissed 
one of these attempts at the time of the Suez crisis in the mid-
fifties by proclaiming: "Zero plus zero plus zero is equal to 
zero". This blunt formulation may not have won him many friends in 
the Middle East, but it did reflect the stark truth.

There is a feeble-minded, romantic notion that if the Muslim world 
was to pool its resources and its talents, it would become a 
significant power. Let us look at the facts: we are net importers 
of technology, and we will continue to buy the products of western 
minds for the foreseeable future. There is no research worth the 
name going on in any of the forty plus countries with Muslim 
majorities. So even if we could miraculously form an economic 
union, our economies would not benefit much from a union as they 
are not complementary. Basically, we only export primary products 
and low-tech goods. In brief, there has been very little value-
addition in the realm of ideas.

Then there is the notion that closer ties among Muslim countries 
would result in greater political strength. Closer scrutiny does 
nothing to support this thesis. For instance, the tin-pot dictators 
and monarchs who blight the Islamic landscape are so focused on 
preserving their unpopular rule that they have little interest in 
rocking the boat by espousing causes like Palestine. While they 
will pay lip-service to keep their streets quiet, they will 
certainly not use up their political capital for anything other 
than self-preservation. We have the examples of Bosnia and Chechnya 
before us: these were nations that suffered terribly without Muslim 
leaders lifting a finger. It was the United States that finally 
ended the genocide in Bosnia while the killings in Chechnya 
continue.

If General Musharraf is really interested in the subject, he should 
analyze the real causes of weakness and decadence in the Muslim 
world. He could begin at home where, until the mid-seventies, 
Pakistan seemed to have all the ingredients for economic take-off: 
a solid agricultural base; reasonably good infrastructure for a 
developing country; a hard-working workforce; and a relatively 
effective bureaucracy. So what went wrong?

People often lay the entire onus of our painful decline at Bhutto's 
door. It is true that his disastrous nationalization of key 
industries and educational institutions set us back by years. But 
the qualitative change in our approach to progress and development 
took place under Zia when faith, earlier a largely personal aspect 
of life, was elevated to a public expression of belief. For 
instance, two columns were introduced in the annual performance 
evaluation report for civil servants that required a reporting 
officer to comment on his subordinate's "attitude towards Islam" 
and "knowledge of Islam". These columns still exist, by the way, 
and negative entries have ruined careers.

This example should serve to illustrate the extent to which 
religion was pushed into every aspect of our lives under Zia. 
Schoolchildren are required to learn Arabic in addition to 
compulsory courses in Islamiat. This obviously cuts into the time 
they have for other subjects. And this emphasis on religiosity 
continues well into the university. The whole country comes to a 
grinding halt in Ramazan. Indeed, the public exhibition and 
expression of religious belief is now virtually mandatory.

This sea change has altered our political and economic landscape 
beyond recognition, and perhaps beyond salvation. Our bankrupt 
Afghan policy is just one result of a single-point agenda. The face 
of the Taliban is our face too. The dangerous sectarian militias 
that are determined to drag us back to the medieval era are Zia's 
political offspring. Who else is responsible for declaring interest 
rates un-Islamic, thus driving away whatever little foreign 
investment that might otherwise come to Pakistan?

While most of these problems are peculiar to Pakistan, the fact is 
that worldwide, there is a conflict between the perceived dictates 
of our faith and the demands of modernization and rationality. For 
centuries, Muslim rulers have been unwilling to provide the space 
and freedom needed for free thought to flourish, exercising tight 
control over intellectuals and teachers. This is why there is such 
little creative activity in the Muslim world. We have stifled 
ourselves with rigid rules about what is prohibited: instead of 
leaving it to the Maker to deal with transgressions in the next 
world, our leaders and mullahs insist on doing His job in this 
world according to their narrow, joyless interpretation of the 
faith.

One logical outcome of this system is that it has marginalized half 
the population of the Muslim world. Despite liberal scholars who 
insist that Islam does not require women to be locked up, the 
reality is that in most Muslim countries, the role of women in 
public life is very limited. The enrolment figures for school-age 
girls are low, and job opportunities for women are generally 
limited as compared to those available for men. Low literacy 
figures among women are eventually reflected in poorly educated 
children, lack of hygiene, high population growth and a backward 
society.

There was a recent survey of university graduates among different 
communities in Britain. Interestingly, over 20% of all Indians are 
graduates whereas the figure for both Pakistanis and Bangladeshis 
is 11%. Another study looked at family income levels in various 
ethnic groups, and it was found that the figure for Indians was 
much higher than for Pakistani families because in the former, both 
husbands and wives worked while among Pakistanis, the wives tended 
to stay at home. With a higher disposable income, Indian parents 
can afford to give their children a better education and a better 
start.

Although many of these facts and arguments have been taken at 
random, they would make a good starting point for General Musharraf 
if he really wants to study the reasons for the weakness he sees in 
the Muslims world today.


SPORTS
20011213
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PIA accused of destroying an 'institution' in sports 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
KARACHI, Dec 12: The controversy surrounding the termination of the 
services of Pakistan's leading sports trio-former squash stars 
Jahangir and Jansher Khan, and ex cricketer Zaheer Abbas - 
intensified as the former chief of Pakistan International Airlines 
Arif Abbasi Tuesday accused the administration of destroying an 
institution in sports. 

"How can you destroy an institution like Jahangir Khan? There are 
other sportsmen as well but Jahangir Khan is an institution by 
himself and a world renowned figure," said Abbasi, also a former 
Pakistan Cricket Board chief executive. 

The services of the three were terminated last month by PIA that 
said it would be laying off more staff following a financial 
crunch.  Fearing that PIA was abandoning its patronage of sports in 
the country, he rejected the view that this should have to take 
place owing to an economic crisis. 

"Sportsmen can bring in a lot of money through proper projection. 
Jahangir has done that," he reflected.  "People should rally round 
and appeal to the high-ups that Jahangir's services should be 
revived, he doesn't need to appeal." 

He lamented that "Jahangir was elected as one of five athletes of 
the millennium and here we don't need his services." It's a 
dramatic irony that rather than correcting other aspects of the 
airline they are sacking sportsmen," Abbasi said. 

Khan won a world record of ten British Open titles during his 
illustrious career and remained undefeated for five and a half 
years - another world record. 

"PIA can use this institution and through Jahangir can earn the 
sort of publicity that no advertising can match," he said.

"Once we sent Jahangir to France and PIA earned so much attention 
that we had to extend his stay," he said. -SADA

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20011211
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Mudassar appointed coach until World Cup
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By Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, Dec 10: Mudassar Nazar officially appointed as Pakistan 
coach until the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, a top cricket board 
official said.

"The understanding has been reached. Only the terms and references 
of the contract have to be finalized," Pakistan Cricket Board 
director Brig Munawwar Rana told Dawn from Lahore.

The PCB spokesman said he expected that Mudassar will formally sign 
the agreement before the Pakistan team embarks on the Bangladesh 
tour on Jan 2.

"Mudassar has good credentials for the job. Hopefully he will make 
a strong plan to prepare a good team for the World Cup," Rana said. 
"With the team as talented as Pakistan is, the expectations are 
certainly high. Mudassar and the PCB chairman Lt Gen Tauqir Zia had 
very productive meetings spanning over two days in which both 
exchanged views and put on table what was expected from each 
other."

Mudassar, who also coached the Pakistan team on the 1993 tour to 
the West Indies, was last Friday given an extension until the home 
series against the West Indies in March.

The former Test opener had expressed mixed reactions over the news 
but minced no words in saying that he was only interested in a 
long-term contract, ideally until the World Cup. Nevertheless, he 
was a satisfied man and was straightforward in spelling out his 
ambitions and priorities.

"Top of my priority list is to change things around at home. We 
have had poor four last home series' and I have set myself a 
challenge to end the victory drought," Mudassar said from Lahore.

Pakistan, since 1998, have lost to Zimbabwe, Australia, Sri Lanka 
and England while their last home series victory was against the 
West Indies when Wasim Akram's men handed a 3-0 white-wash to 
Courtney Walsh's squad.

"World Cup is definitely important but before that a lot of cricket 
has to be played. I am not driving head-on for the World Cup only. 
I sincerely hope the West Indies and New Zealand come to Pakistan. 
That would help me shortlist me World Cup probables to 20, barring 
a one or two changes," he said.

Mudassar said he would go step-by-step and series-by-series but 
admitted that despite being given the job until the World Cup, he 
had fears in the back of his mind that he might be sacked 
prematurely if he failed to deliver.

"I don't mind being sacked if I don't deliver. But then the team's 
performance will depend how much the players keep themselves fit 
and keep themselves motivated.

"After having seen what has been going on lately, I feel the 
pressure and fear of losing the contract. But I am not keen to 
surrender. I intend to become the longest serving coach after Inti 
(Intikhab Alam)."

Earlier, the PCB had appointed Javed Miandad and Moin Khan until 
the World Cup. But both met their Waterloo after the New Zealand 
tour and were sacked for different reasons.

Mudassar said he would not detach himself from academy. "I know I 
have to concentrate on the Pakistan team but then I have an 
emotional attachment with the academy as I was the first coach. Who 
knows maybe after four five years I return only as academy coach."

With the PCB taking the right decision in appointing Mudassar till 
the World Cup and giving him the cushion of confidence and support, 
it would not be a bad idea if same is done to Waqar Younis.

The paceman has been appointed till March with his future depending 
on his fitness and form. Waqar has been training extremely hard and 
his performance has been an inspiration for his boys.

By extending Waqar's contract until the World Cup, the two team 
officials will be able to think on a broader vision and chalk out 
their strategies according to their priorities. Needless to say 
that almost all the frontline teams have a established captain, 
coach combination until the World Cup.

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20011210
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PCB decides to take ICC head-on
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KARACHI, Dec 9: The Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to take the 
International Cricket Council (ICC) head-on over express pacer 
Shoaib Akhtar's bowling action which was questioned last month, 
sources said.

"The PCB sent a strong-worded letter to the ICC Saturday in which 
it argued that since Shoaib has been cleared medically by the 
Western Australian University, he should be handled as special 
case," the sources said.

The PCB has asked the ICC to consider the medical report or invoke 
Stage 3 in Shoaib Akhtar's case directly, as calling in Michael 
Holding for the Stage 2 would be of no use, the sources said.

"The PCB has also requested the ICC to set up a medical board 
during the Stage 3 and re-examine Shoaib on the basis of his 
abnormality in the right arm," the sources said.

Shoaib's bowling action was questioned for the third time since 
1999 when the umpires suspected his bowling action during the 
three-nation tournament in Sharjah this October. The ICC directed 
the PCB to invite former West Indian Michael Holding as part of 
Stage 2 of its process on dealing bowlers with illegal action.

However, if ICC invoked Stage 3 and Shoaib is reported after that, 
he would be barred from playing international cricket for 12 
months.

"Akhtar has a very genuine case of physical abnormality, his case 
should be treated as such and on the pattern of Muttiah 
Muralitharan who was also cleared by the WA University," the letter 
demands.

"Experts from the WA University have cleared Akhtar on medical 
grounds, just like they did with Muralitharan. Since Muralitharan 
is treated, we want Akhtar to be treated accordingly," the letter 
said.

"We have no objection in inviting Holding to invoke Stage 2, but 
his presence will hardly make any difference. It would just be a 
waste of time and money if we invite him at this stage."

The ICC had rejected the PCB's claims that Shoaib should be treated 
as a special case last month and had set Feb 22 as the deadline to 
complete Stage 2. The fast bowler is currently playing club cricket 
in Sydney. -SADA

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20011209
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Miandad expressed suspicion: witness
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Sports Reporter

LAHORE, Dec 8: A cricket correspondent has confirmed to Justice 
Karamat Bhandari that former coach Javed Miandad had expressed 
suspicion prior to the World Cup that Pakistan would lose league 
matches to either Scotland or Bangladesh.

A lady correspondent of a national daily has made the revelations 
in an affidavit, a copy of which was exclusively acquired by Dawn.

The correspondent had been asked to testify in the background that 
she was the first reporter who had claimed that Pakistan would lose 
a World Cup match to either Scotland or Bangladesh.

Justice Karamat Bhandari is investigating allegations that Pakistan 
deliberately threw matches to Bangladesh and India.

Proceedings were held in-camera by the one-man judicial commission 
of Justice Karamat Nazir Bhandari probing into the match-fixing 
allegations against Pakistan for losing two World Cup-1999 matches, 
deliberately, one against Bangladesh and the other against India.

Two former Test cricketers, Basit Ali and Aamir Sohail who were 
summoned by the commission to record their statement did not attend 
the proceedings because the summons could not be delivered to them.

Justice Karamat Nazir Bhandari called three persons including 
Pakistan Cricket Board's lawyer Hyder Asghar, former Test cricketer 
Abdul Qadir who is assisting the commission and a former 
international player Saleem Pervez to his chambers and held in-
camera proceedings for a half hour.

A letter from Karachi-based lady journalist was received by the 
commission as she could not appear before the commission due to 
domestic reasons.

In her letter, the lady journalist said that the match against 
Bangladesh was fixed and the cricket legend Javed Miandad had told 
her about the result of the match. She said that a colleague also 
quoted Miandad's allegation in his story.

She said that in fact, the Pakistani players by losing to 
Bangladesh tried to compensate the bookies who had suffered heavy 
losses when Pakistan lost to England in Sharjah Cup held months 
before the World Cup.

After the Sharjah Cup, the letter added, Miandad was sacked as 
coach because he had developed difference with the team members on 
match fixing. Miandad and Moin Khan also exchanged hot words, the 
contents of the letter revealed.

Saleem Pervez who played a one-day match against West Indies in 
1980, repeated his statement which he had already submitted before 
Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum. 

He alleged that one Aftab Butt had given $ 1,00,000 to some 
Pakistani players for losing triangular series match in Australia 
against Sri Lanka. However, he said that he had no information 
about the World Cup-1999 matches.

The commission ordered to again serve summons to Sohail and Basit. 
The commission has also agreed in principle to sent the registrar 
Kazim Ali Malik to Karachi to record the statements of two 
journalists there.

A PCB representative in England Ihsan Mani again failed to reach 
Pakistan from England to record his statement. His lawyer Raza 
Kazam, however, explained to the commission about non-presence of 
his client.

The next date is fixed for Dec 15. 

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