------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 10 February 2001 Issue : 07/06 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + US to spur India, Pakistan on talks: Policy on S. Asia unchanged + German envoy wants India to open dialogue + CE ready to meet Indian premier, says report + SC verdict on military take-over stands; polls in 2002 + Pakistan refuses new camp for Afghans + New Delhi frees 160 fishermen + Kashmir may provoke war, apprehends US + Ban on raw material sale: ordinance issued + Frontier Post case may be resolved soon, says official + Duty, tax evasion by small power producers + Pakistan presses for opening political route + UK paper's report on Benazir's conviction + F-16 deal: Report leakage to be probed + Free education, health care for all demanded: SAARC + TJP, SSP leaders still under detention --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Privatization Commission to invite EoIs for PTCL this month + Govt, World Bank agree to salvage SAP-II + CE says Economy revival top priority + Business demands cut in lending rates + Talks with IMF team begin + Agriculture ministry set to fight legal battle + US firm sues govt, minister for $2.9m compensation + Pakistan Steel Mills will return Rs11.3 billion to five banks + Business forum launched: Trade promotion with Japan + Cut in expenses of embassies okayed + Pakistan suggests trade exhibitions in Saudi Arabia + 100% rise in imported milk powder price --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Karachi warned Ardeshir Cowasjee + In this hammaam who is covered? Ayaz Amir + Rush to judgment Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Team leaves for New Zealand today: New millenium to bring success + Pakistan to get more money for playing in Sharjah

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NATIONAL NEWS
20010210
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US to spur India, Pakistan on talks: Policy on S. Asia unchanged
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Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Feb 9: The US ambassador to Pakistan, William B. Milam, 
said on Friday that the Bush administration would encourage 
Islamabad and New Delhi to initiate dialogue on various issues, 
including on Kashmir.

Talking to reporters, Mr Milam said the US interests in S. Asia 
were unchanged and the new administration would continue to 
encourage India and Pakistan to resolve their differences through 
peaceful means.

"The new Bush administration is still being formed but it will 
certainly look for forging better relations with India and 
Pakistan," he said.

The ambassador pointed out that the US Secretary of State Gen 
Powell had, in a policy statement the other day, said that the US 
would improve its relations with India, but at the same time it 
would not ignore Pakistan.

"Our priorities have changed after the collapse of the Soviet Union 
at various places, including in China, but our policies and 
interests in South Asia are unchanged".

He said the US government was encouraged to see certain 
accommodation on Kashmir by both Islamabad and New Delhi, and added 
that the dialogue process should be pursued to resolve all the 
issues. India, he said, was the largest practising democracy which 
evoked US interests there.

The ambassador, however, ruled out the possibility of US mediation 
on Kashmir. "But as a superpower and a great power we will continue 
to play our certain role wherever it is required".

In reply to a question, he said the new Bush administration was 
equally concerned over nuclear proliferation despite the rejection 
of the CTBT by the US Senate.

Asked whether the US had asked Pakistan not to flight-test its 
ballistic missiles in response to similar flight-tests by India, he 
said: "We are against the weapons of mass destruction and we have 
conveyed our displeasure to India over the issue".

If any country, including Pakistan and North Korea, was engaged in 
building ballistic missiles they would have to face the resistance 
by the Americans, warned the ambassador.

He appreciated de-escalation on the Line of Control, adding that it 
would facilitate holding of dialogue between the two countries. "I 
believe both India and Pakistan will have to maintain the same 
momentum to achieve a negotiated settlement."

In reply to another question, the ambassador observed: "The Jihadi 
organizations (in Pakistan) are working against the best interests 
of the people of the region." However, he said, the best judge was 
the government of Pakistan to resolve the issue.

The ambassador said that a delegation of the US Congressmen would 
soon be visiting Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. In India, he 
elaborated, the delegation would make estimates of losses caused by 
the earthquake and in Afghanistan issues relating to drought and 
weather would be assessed. "They have a wide range of agenda".

Talking about the revival of democracy, he hoped that the chief 
executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, would hold elections before 
October 2002. "We are much interested to see democracies sustained 
in the world and we do not feel happy when democracies are replaced 
by military rules or any other system,"

He said the US wanted to see the restoration of democracy in 
Pakistan as soon as possible. "And we can see the road-map for 
establishing democracy following the holding of local bodies 
elections and the initiation of the devolution plan," he said, 
adding that his government was waiting and watching the process 
because "we are concerned about democracy".

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20010209 
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German envoy wants India to open dialogue
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ISLAMABAD, Feb 8: German ambassador to Pakistan Hans Joachim Daerr 
on Thursday hoped India would make some decision to start dialogue 
with Pakistan for settlement of their outstanding issues.

"I hope that India will make some decision towards starting 
dialogue with Pakistan," he told APP after a literary evening with 
a German writer, Felicitas Hoppe, organized by the Academy of 
Letters in collaboration with Goethe Institute Karachi here.

Daerr said he did not know what drove India away from the 
composition of All Parties Hurriyat Conference's (APHC) delegation 
particularly when it had made a decision to begin stalled talks 
with Pakistan.

"The process may be long and complicated but there is a decision to 
go ahead. Both sides have made careful moves," said the German 
envoy.

He said one might be disappointed over slow pace of movement 
towards dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad but one has to be 
patient.

To a question on Osama bin Laden, he said, no country wanted a 
"projection of terrorism out of Afghanistan."

Bin Laden is accused by the US of being involved in acts of 
terrorism. Afghan government has refused to hand over bin Laden 
unless the US provides evidence of his involvement in terrorism.

"This is not only a problem of America, many Islamic countries are 
concerned about that kind of projection", of terrorism, said the 
envoy.

Mr Daerr visited Kandhar and Herat on Tuesday and met with Taliban 
representatives there. He went there as part of Afghan support 
group which was working to support the Afghan people. Mr Daerr said 
he had a close look at the refugee camps to have first hand 
knowledge of their conditions.-APP

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20010207 
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CE ready to meet Indian premier, says report
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Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Feb 6: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf was quoted 
on Tuesday as expressing his willingness to meet Indian Prime 
Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in Islamabad or New Delhi but said an 
offer could be made firmly only if there was a degree of certainty
 that it would not be rebuffed.

An Indian news agency quoted Gen Musharraf as telling the Dubai-
based Gulf News that he regarded the Indian prime minister as a 
moderate man who was surrounded by hawks.

An Indian foreign ministry spokesman, asked to comment on 
Musharraf's reported plans to invite Vajpayee to Islamabad, said 
New Delhi was not aware of any such move. He said the prime 
minister, external affairs minister and the home minister had time 
and again clearly spelt out India's approach to its relations with 
Pakistan.

"Our policy has been consistent. Our stand remains unchanged," the 
spokesman said. A day earlier Pakistani diplomats in New Delhi had 
denied reports that Musharraf had ever planned to visit the quake-
hit Gujarat state.

"Vajpayee is the only moderate (in the Indian leadership) and he is 
surrounded by hawks, so if we have to move in a substantial way, it 
can only be done in a dialogue between him and me," the United News 
of India news agency quoted Musharraf as telling Gulf News.

Musharraf said he was "absolutely willing" to invite Vajpayee. But 
the agency quoted him as stressing that "when one initiates such an 
act, one has to be very careful that the initiative is accepted."

Asked if he would be just as willing to visit India, if invited, 
the chief executive said "yes, certainly." Musharraf said the ice 
had been broken as a consequence of his first-ever telephone 
conversation with the Indian prime minister last week.

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20010208 
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SC verdict on military take-over stands; polls in 2002
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Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, Feb 7: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to change 
its earlier order of validating the military take-over on the basis 
of the doctrine of necessity.

Dismissing the review petition filed by the PML through Wasim 
Sajjad, chairman of the suspended senate, the court held that the 
period of three years was granted to the military government after 
considering all the "relevant factors" and "practical realities".

The government, which was asked by the apex court on Tuesday to 
come up with its election plan, "reaffirmed" its assurance of 
holding elections before Oct 12, 2002. Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, 
counsel for the federation, stated: "Under instructions from the 
competent authority, I reaffirm the assurances which have (already) 
been given."

He also referred to the chief executive's recent interview in which 
he was quoted as saying that the Supreme Court order, requiring 
restoration of elections within three years, would be adhered to.

Under the Supreme Court judgment passed on May 12, the military 
government is required to complete the process of elections within 
three years, starting from Oct 12, 1999.

In its 22-page short order on the review petition, the 11-man bench 
said: "We are firmly committed to the governance of the country by 
the people's representatives and we reiterate the definition of the 
term democracy to the effect that it is government of the people, 
by the people and for the people, and not by the army rule for an 
indefinite period."

The court held that it would not make any comment on the exile of 
former prime minister as the matter was sub judice. Similarly, it 
said, the matter relating to accountability under the National 
Accountability Bureau was also sub judice.

The court held that the validation and legitimacy accorded to the 
present government was conditional and inter-linked with the 
holding of general elections to the National Assembly and 
provincial assembles and the Senate within the time-frame laid down 
by the Supreme Court, leading to the restoration of democratic 
institutions.

The court further stated that there was no glaring or patent 
mistake floating on the surface in the judgment under review. 
"Nothing has been overlooked by the court, nor has it failed to 
consider any aspect of the attending matters."

Due to the situation prevailing on or before October 12, 1999, for 
which the Constitution provided no solution, the armed forces had 
to intervene to save the state from further chaos and to maintain 
peace and order, economic stability, justice, good governance as 
well as to safeguard the integrity and sovereignty of the country 
as dictated by the highest considerations of the state, necessity 
and welfare of the people, the court maintained.

The court held that the petitioners could not be permitted to re-
argue the case and seek reversal of conclusions earlier reached by 
the Supreme Court after the full application of mind.

It observed that no one could disagree with the opinion that 
Pakistan must have democracy, and any obstacles in respect of 
achieving that goal must be overcome.

The bench held that when the country was faced with grave crisis, 
the constitutional maintenance demanded that the court should 
interpret the proclamation of the PCO in such a way as to authorize 
whatever power and measures were necessary to cope with the 
emergency.

The court recalled that Khalid Anwar, who had argued the original 
petition of the PML, had rightly said that he would not request the 
court "to do the impossible."

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010210
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Pakistan refuses new camp for Afghans
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ISLAMABAD, Feb 9: The United Nations said on Friday that Pakistan 
had refused its request to open a new refugee camp, leaving 80,000 
Afghans stranded in a squalid field where conditions were rapidly 
deteriorating.

With the number of Afghan refugees fleeing to Pakistan since 
September placed at 170,000, the United Nations High Commissioner 
for Refugees (UNHCR) said existing facilities were now full.

"(The) UNHCR has requested the government to provide a new site. 
However, Pakistan has rejected our request," the refugee agency 
said in a statement. "The granting of a new site is now a matter of 
the utmost urgency."

Pakistan, saying it cannot afford to add to the estimated 2 million 
Afghans already within its territory, has closed its borders to 
fresh refugees despite UN warnings that conditions in Afghanistan 
verge on famine.

"UNHCR is extremely concerned about the plight of Afghans who have 
flocked to Jallozai in the last two weeks," the statement said of 
the site near Peshawar, where most of the new arrivals have gone..

It said little assistance could be provided to the makeshift site, 
which had no sanitation and had little water. It warned that 
conditions were deteriorating, arousing fears of epidemics and 
fire.

"The Afghans are squeezed in a little parcel of land where they 
have pitched flimsy tents made of plastic sheets, which offer no 
protection against temperatures that dip below zero at night," the 
UNHCR said.

The United Nations, facing chronic shortfalls in its funds for 
Afghan relief, has launched urgent appeals in the face of the flood 
of refugees into Pakistan to escape dire conditions inside their 
homeland.

Pakistan wants the UN to set up more facilities in Afghanistan to 
keep refugees from leaving.-Agencies

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010210
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New Delhi frees 160 fishermen
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NEW DELHI, Feb 9: India said on Friday it has ordered the release 
of 160 Pakistani fishermen from its prisons in a move an official 
described as underscoring New Delhi's "sense of goodwill" towards 
its neighbour.

The release appeared to be the latest in a series of gestures by 
both sides aimed at creating the conditions for a resumption of 
long-stalled peace talks.

Foreign ministry spokesman Raminder Singh Jassal told a news 
conference that New Delhi had asked Islamabad to make urgent 
arrangements for the repatriation of the fishermen, who were 
detained at various times for illegally entering Indian waters.

An official who asked not to be identified said about 127 Indian 
fishermen were still in Pakistani custody but could not say how 
many Pakistani fishermen would remain in Indian jails following the 
latest release.-Reuters

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20010209 
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Kashmir may provoke war, apprehends US
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Tahir Mirza

WASHINGTON, Feb 8: India was on Wednesday alleged to have received 
ballistic missile technology from Russian firms, which were also 
said to have provided the same technology to China, Iran and Libya.

In a rare departure from the usual practice when it was often 
Pakistan that alone appeared to be in the dock, CIA director George 
J. Tenet told a panel of the US that India continued to enjoy a 
superiority in conventional arms over Pakistan.

During his annual public presentation of the threats facing the 
United States, he said there was a good chance that there could be 
another round of nuclear tests in South Asia.

China, claimed Mr Tenet, had also increased its exports of missile 
technology in recent years to Pakistan, Iran, North Korea and 
Libya, and now must be "watched" to see if its leaders abided by 
the terms of the non-assistance pledge they made last November.

He said Russia provided assistance to Iran's civilian nuclear 
programme that "could be used to advance its weapons programmes as 
well."

Mr Tenet noted that relations between India and Pakistan remained 
volatile, making the risk of war between them "unacceptably high".

He said the military balance in which India enjoyed advantages over 
Pakistan in most areas of conventional defence preparedness 
remained the same.

This, he pointed out, included a decisive advantage in fighter 
aircraft, almost twice as many men under arms, and a much larger 
economy to support defence expenditures. "As a result, Pakistan 
relies heavily on its nuclear weapons for deterrence."

Describing the latest peace process under way in South Asia as 
"tentative and fragile," Mr Tenet said that if any issue had the 
potential to bring both sides to a full-scale war, it was Kashmir.

Kashmir, he pointed out, was at the centre of the dispute between 
the two countries. But, nuclear deterrence and the likelihood that 
a conventional war would bog down both sides argued against a 
decision to go to war.

"But both sides seem quite willing to take risks over Kashmir in 
particular, and this - with their deep animosity and distrust - 
could lead to decisions that escalate tensions," the CIA chief 
observed.

Mr Tenet said that Chinese help had enabled Pakistan to move 
rapidly towards serial production of solid-propellant missiles. In 
addition to Pakistan, he claimed, firms in China provided missile-
related items, raw materials, or other help to several countries of 
proliferation concern, including Iran, North Korea, and Libya. 
Chinese undertakings on non-transfer of missile transfers, Mr Tenet 
said, were being closely scrutinized.

"We are worried, for example, that Pakistan's continued development 
of the two-stage Shaheen-II MRBM will require additional Chinese 
assistance."

He said that recent statements by Indian and Pakistani leaders had 
left the door open for high-level talks and added that only last 
week Indian prime minister A.B. Vajpayee and Chief Executive Gen 
Pervez Musharraf conversed by phone, perhaps for the first time 
ever, to discuss the earthquake disaster.

However, he said, the process was fragile. Neither side had yet 
agreed to direct, unconditional talks, and tension could easily 
flare once winter ended, or by New Delhi or Islamabad manoeuvring 
for an edge in the negotiations.

He further said that leadership changes in either country also 
could add to tensions.

He said that India had been trying to engage selected Mujahideen 
groups, but those groups had kept up their attacks through the 
recent ceasefire. In addition, the decision by the government in 
occupied Kashmir to conduct local elections - the first in more 
than 20 years - would provoke Mujahideen who saw the move as 
designed to cement the status quo.

There was no sign of improvement in the competition between the two 
countries on development of missiles and weapons of mass 
destruction. India decided to test another Agni MRBM last month, 
reflecting its determination to improve its nuclear weapons 
delivery capability. Pakistan may respond in kind, said the CIA 
director.

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20010208
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Ban on raw material sale: ordinance issued
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By Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, Feb 7: The federal government has slapped a ban on sale 
of industrial raw materials to un-registered taxpayers through a 
Presidential Ordinance issued here on Wednesday.

The Ordinance stipulates that the industrial raw materials imported 
by commercial and industrial importers to persons and firms not 
registered with the Sales Tax department, would be an unlawful act.

So far, the un-registered persons have been paying 1.5 per cent 
extra tax on the supplies of such materials. The persons enrolled 
under the Sales Tax Act 1990 would also be authorized to obtain 
such materials.

The government has been authorized through this Ordinance to issue 
notifications for stipulating the raw materials the supply of which 
to un-registered persons would be banned. Primarily, the plastic 
granules, steel/iron scrap and yarn would be the items which would 
be the target of this Ordinance, said CBR officials.

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20010207  
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Frontier Post case may be resolved soon, says official
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Ahmad Hassan

PESHAWAR, Feb 6: The Frontier Post, a local English daily's case of 
publication of a blasphemous letter on January 29 seems to be 
getting close to a resolution. 
The Home Secretary, Syed Mazhar Ali Shah told Dawn on Monday that 
the in charge editorial page's confession had made the task of the 
investigators easy and, hopefully the case will be resolved soon.

Although the judicial inquiry tribunal is yet to start work, all 
indications point towards one thing that the publication of the 
sister newspapers may be allowed to be resumed on the insistence of 
the journalists bodies in order to save a large number of press 
workers from starvation.

This, the sources confided to Dawn, this became possible due to the 
positive attitude of the religio-political parties who have called 
off their protest campaign for one month and, the journalists who 
avoided publication of sensitizing material.

A highly placed source said that the government has reached the 
conclusion that the majority of the FP staffers held on the first 
day of publication of the said letter could be released any moment.

The home secretary also told Dawn that the police action against 
daily Jasarat, Peshawar bureau was being reviewed and redefined 
according to law.

A police party has been deployed outside the Jasarat bureau office 
to nab its chief to be involved in the investigations on the 
publication of a translation of the blasphemous letter.

The police and the NWFP administration have been convinced by the 
confession of the in charge editorial page that the panic and chaos 
on the publication of blasphemous letter had occurred due to human 
error of judgment and there was no conspiracy involved.

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20010206
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Duty, tax evasion by small power producers
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Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Feb 5: The government is suffering a loss of Rs600 
million a month on account of duties and taxes being evaded by the 
private power producers generating upto 1,000 MW a month, a Wapda 
official told Dawn.

For the power generated and sold by the small power producers no 
tax or duty or hydel-surcharge is being paid to the government or 
Wapda, a source said.

All the concerned departments including Wapda, central excise, 
general sales tax and other responsible are turning a blind eye 
towards the evasion of taxes and duties by small power producers 
(SPPs), he said adding that: "The power production has become most 
lucrative business after drug trafficking."

The SPPs, who got permission from respective provincial governments 
to set up their own generators in 1994, had been allowed to sell 
surplus power to their sister industrial units or the ones located 
in their close vicinity, he added.

These SPPs had been allowed to charge B-3 tariff, the same charged 
by Wapda from industrial consumers, he said.

Wapda tariff is composed of several components including 10.4 per 
cent hydel surcharge, three per cent excise duty and 15 per cent 
general sales tax. Hydel surcharge is paid to NWFP, excise duty and 
GST go to the federal government.

Moreover, Wapda also has to pay cross subsidy to domestic, and 
agriculture consumers as well as to residents of FATA from its 
profits from commercial and industrial consumers. However SPPs have 
not been paying any such cross subsidy.

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20010205
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Pakistan presses for opening political route 
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Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, Feb 4: Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar proposed to India 
here on Sunday that a natural course to reduce militancy in Jammu 
and Kashmir was to open political route and involve All Parties 
Hurriyat Conference in the settlement process.

The foreign minister was answering questions at a press conference 
on the eve of the Kashmir Solidarity Day to be observed on Monday, 
about India's insistence that it was imperative that Pakistan 
should restrain militancy in Kashmir before talks on the issue 
could be resumed between the two countries.

Mr Sattar said that it was important to recall that the freedom 
uprising in 1989 was launched by the Kashmiri people entirely as a 
peaceful political agitation and protest against the Indian 
domination. However, it was only because of Indian government's 
decision to bring in hundreds of thousands of army, police and 
paramilitary forces that the political agitation became impossible 
and the struggle, as a consequence, went underground.

There was a nexus between the political and militant struggle and 
Pakistan's logic was that political route had to be opened that 
would automatically lead to de-emphasis on militant route, the 
foreign minister said. But conditions could not be prescribed in 
advance to curb militancy as that would lead to a stalemate, he 
stressed.

He said that in order to create right atmosphere for Kashmir 
dialogue, it would be necessary to enable involvement of the APHC 
as the representatives of the Kashmiri people in the settlement 
process according to their wishes.

The foreign minister said that Pakistan had already welcomed the 
recent initiatives taken by India in Kashmir including suspension 
of the military action against people although it was 
incomprehensible why India was taking half-steps and extending it 
month by month instead of accepting termination of use of military 
force, violence and repression.

As a next step, he said that Pakistan was waiting for India to 
allow the Hurriyat delegation to visit Pakistan for consultations 
although the matter had been hanging fire for about two months, 
because delegation was facing difficulty in getting passports 
endorsed for Pakistan. However, Pakistan expected the delegation to 
be allowed so that they could discuss here initially the 
association of the Kashmiri people with the dialogue on the issue.

He said delay in the visit of APHC's delegation would not be 
conducive to the maintenance of the momentum in favour of peace.

However, Pakistan expected the delegation to be allowed so that 
they could discuss here initially the association of the Kashmiri 
people with the dialogue on the issue, he added.

The foreign minister described the present state of atmosphere 
between the two countries as "less tense" and recalled that the 
recent terrible earthquake in the Indian state of Gujarat had led 
to profusion of strong human sentiments which resulted in dispatch 
of three planeloads of relief goods by Pakistan for the quake 
victims. Chief executive Gen Pervez Musharraf during his telephone 
call to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had also offered 
additional assistance if required and the Pakistan High 
Commissioner in New Delhi had been instructed to stay in contact 
with the Indian authorities, he said.

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20010205
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UK paper's report on Benazir's conviction
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M Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, Feb 4: The guilty verdict handed down to Benazir Bhutto 
and her husband by the Lahore High Court in 1999 in the SGS/Cotecna 
reference case was rendered highly suspect by startling disclosures 
made in a report published by a respected British newspaper on 
Sunday.

Benazir's appeal against the verdict sentencing her to imprisonment 
for five years and nearly $10 million fine is coming up for hearing 
in the Supreme Court on Feb 26, 2001.

Justice Malik Qayyum of Lahore High Court had allegedly announced a 
pre-written judgment in the case, the Sunday Times story revealed 
quoting tape recorded conversations between the judge and the 
former Law Minister, Khalid Anwer, the former chief of 
Accountability Bureau, Saifur Rehman and the former Chief Justice 
of Lahore High Court, Justice Rashid Aziz.

The newspaper story has claimed that it had obtained the copy of a 
letter along with the tapes sent by an officer of the Intelligence 
Bureau (IB) to the President of Pakistan on Jan 29, 2001.

The newspaper said that on being approached Justice Qayyum said he 
could not remember the conversations recorded by the IB. "I don't 
recall any such calls," he said. "I don't know anything about it."

Abdur Rahim, a deputy director in the IB, who said he was told to 
monitor the office, home and mobile phones of Justice Qayyum at the 
very start of the Cotecna case, has explained, according to Sunday 
Times story, that following a crisis of conscience, he had decided 
to send an affidavit and hour-long tape to the President, with 
copies to Gen Pervez Musharraf, the chief justice and others.

The bugging allegedly disclosed that the former prime minister, 
Nawaz Sharif, was intent on securing Benazir Bhutto's conviction at 
any cost.

Rahim is quoted to have said in his letter to the President that 
during the process he was astonished that the judge was being 
dictated to obtain a judgment of their choice against Benazir 
Bhutto and Asif Zardari by Khalid Anwer, Saifur Rehman and Justice 
Rashid Aziz.

All the three men, Rahim alleged, were acting on the orders of 
Nawaz Sharif and the tapes allegedly showed that the judge was 
threatened with removal if he did not agree to conclude the trial 
quickly.

According to Sunday Times Rahim was presently outside Pakistan and 
has appealed to the President for protection, saying he feared for 
his life and for his family.

The tape transcript reproduced by the newspaper shows that Justice 
Qayyum even asked Saifur Rehman for advice on the sentence. "Now 
you tell me how much punishment do you want me to give her?"

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20010204
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F-16 deal: Report leakage to be probed
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Nasir Malick

ISLAMABAD, Feb 3: The Chief Executive Secretariat has directed the 
ministries of foreign affairs and agriculture to investigate how a 
report regarding the F-16 payment deal was leaked to daily Dawn.

A letter issued by the Chief of Staff Branch of the CE Secretariat 
and signed by Brig Haroon Sikandar Pasha said that the report 
appearing in the daily Dawn, which exposed the scandalous deal 
signed by the officers of foreign and agriculture ministries for 
the re-payment of F-16 money, has "caused embarrassment to the 
government".

The letter from the CE Secretariat named Dawn reporter Rauf Klasra, 
for exposing the deal, in his June 20, 2000 and Nov 30, 2000 
reports.

"In both these cases, mentioned above, Rauf Klasra had used 
confidential US official communications leaked to him in 
Islamabad," the CE directive, issued on Jan 27, said. Dawn stories 
had informed the readers how the Pakistani government officials had 
agreed to the shameful conditions in the deal, resulting in huge 
financial loss to the country.

Instead of initiating inquiry against the foreign ministry or 
agriculture ministries' officials, who had signed this questionable 
deal, the CE Secretariat has directed the two ministries to 
"investigate in detail the source of this leak and forward findings 
and recommendations to this Secretariat for further necessary 
action".

The letter also called upon the two ministries to "ensure proper 
security of confidential and classified information and avoid 
recurrence of such incidents".

The Chief Executive Secretariat has issued another directive to all 
the ministries and divisions in which it "observed with concern" 
that classified information and reports were being leaked out and 
disclosed to unauthorised individuals and correspondents of print 
media through various quarters, "which on occasions, has caused 
serious consequences and embarrassment to the government. This 
practise is a serious breach of trust and security and needs to be 
addressed at appropriate level, the letter said. The competent 
authority has directed that all the ministries, divisions, 
departments should adhere to utmost confidentiality, in accordance 
with the Official Secrets Act and existing rules/regulations while 
handling sensitive and confidential information."

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010210
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Free education, health care for all demanded: SAARC 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sarfaraz Ahmed

KARACHI, Feb 9: Renowned medical expert Prof Adibul Hasan Rizvi has 
called upon the Saarc countries to work towards providing free 
education and health facilities to their people.

He was delivering his keynote address at the Fourth Congress of 
Nephrology, Urology, Transplantation Society of Saarc countries 
which was inaugurated by the society's chairman Prof Rezvi Sherrif 
of Sri Lanka at a local hotel on Friday.

Prof Rizvi, who is the chairman of the organizing committee and 
president-elect of the society, said that health care was a highly-
productive area which, according to him, was a productive wealth.

Investment in health care is above all the investment in human 
capital, which eventually leads to greater economic growth and 
productivity.

"This is particularly important for developing countries whose 
people and their potential are great wealth," he said.

Calling for free health and education for all in Saarc countries, 
Prof Rizvi said, "It is our religious and constitutional obligation 
and in conformity with economic realities."

Presenting a "pathology of poverty", Prof Rizvi said only 45 per 
cent of the people had access to water, 22 per cent to sewerage and 
sanitation; 2million annually die of malaria, 3million of 
tuberculosis, 4million diarroheal diseases. Besides, millions are 
infected by Hepatitis B and C.

At present, he said, the developed world is abuzz with 
unprecedented advancements in medical science such as gene therapy, 
cloning, and artificial organs. But, he added, whether the people 
of this region would ever be able to benefit from these 
advancements.

He said it is important to ensure that nobody dies just because he 
cannot afford to live.

In this respect, he spoke about the role being played by the Sindh 
Institute of Urology and Transplantation where doctors act as 
catalysts for the support being provided by government and 
community, focussing on the patient.

Prof Sheriff, in his presidential address said that the people of 
the region were groaning under the double burden of diseases.

While there were communicable diseases which were required to be 
controlled, new emerging noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes 
and hypertension were also alarmingly on the rise.

He underscored the need for community-government participation in 
providing health care to people, and praised the role being playing 
by SIUT.

In his welcome address, Prof Anwar Naqvi said that the programme, 
which is being attended by 650 delegates from home and abroad, was 
aimed at providing the latest techniques and knowledge to all 
participating delegates.

Dr Iffat Yazdani, secretary general of the society, in her report 
said that since the society's conception in 1994 three congresses 
had been organized, and added that for the last two years, there 
had been a burst of activities in the field of nephrology, urology, 
and transplantation in the South-Asian region.

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20010208 
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TJP, SSP leaders still under detention
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Feb 7: The leaders of the Tehrik-i-Jaffaria Pakistan (TJP) 
and Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), detained on Tuesday morning, 
were on Wednesday taken to some "unknown destination".

"They have been told to hold talks and prepare an undertaking that 
they would end differences and stop attacks on each other. They 
have been further told that they would not be released until and 
unless they submitted an undertaking to the government in this 
respect," the sources in the police told Dawn.

The office-bearers of the two religious groups also said that their 
leaders, who had been lodged at different police stations, were 
taken to an unknown destination. The police and administration had 
assured them that their leaders would be released soon.

Two TJP activists Muzaffar Kirmani and Nazeer Abbas were shot dead 
by unidentified armed men near Hussaini Blood Bank in Soldier 
Bazaar on Monday night.

Tension prevailed on Wednesday in the locality in the aftermath of 
these killings.

The police and law-enforcement agencies were deployed in Soldier 
Bazaar to maintain law and order. The security was also tightened 
in the entire city with law-enforcement agencies patrolling the 
roads and streets.

The police put 28 persons in jail custody after they were produced 
before the court. Police had resorted to teargas shelling and 
baton-charge on the enraged mourners near Imambargah Shah-i-
Khurasaan in Soldier Bazaar on Tuesday.

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20010208  
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Pakistan suggests trade exhibitions in Saudi Arabia
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Correspondent

RIYADH, Feb 7: Pakistan has suggested the holding of joint trade 
exhibitions with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the three major cities 
of Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam.

The idea is to hold the trade fairs either in May or in September 
this year, after the peak summer months are over. Saudi Chamber 
officials have appreciated the initiative and are expected to 
respond officially to it soon. Convenient dates are being looked at 
for holding the exhibitions.

In order to stimulate interaction between the business houses of 
the two countries and to promote the level of bilateral trade among 
the two states, the idea of joint trade exhibitions was floated, 
said Mohammad Saleem, Pakistan's Commercial Counsellor in Jeddah 
while talking to Dawn. This would ensure greater interaction and 
participation of the Saudi business community in the event as 
compared to single country exhibitions, he commented

"The joint Pak-Saudi trade fairs will help the private sector 
identify new areas and products for enhancing the level of 
bilateral trade. This will reduce the communication gap between the 
private sectors of the two states. Through this exercise the Saudi 
business community will come to know of the export potential of 
Pakistan."

They will also have the opportunity of identifying items from 
Pakistan, such as quality bed sheets and other products, which 
until now is being imported here from costlier western sources. 
This will also provide the opportunity to the Pakistani traders to 
know goods, which Pakistan can import from Saudi Arabia. Until now 
in our minds Saudi Arabia is a country which exports only oil in 
abundance. The situation is quite different from that," said Mr 
Saleem.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY
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20010206
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Privatization Commission to invite EoIs for PTCL this month
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Feb 5: The Privatization Commission (PC) is inviting 
Expression of Interests (EoIs) from the interested parties in the 
last week of this month to privatize Pakistan Telecommunication 
Company Limited (PTCL) by June next, positively.

Sources in the Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCOP) said on 
Monday that the officials of the PC were told that by June 2001, 
the majority shares of the PTCL should be disinvested along with 
the transfer of management to new buyers.

The bidding process for the PTCL transaction will be completed 
during March, April and May. "So that every thing should be in 
place to handover the PTCL to a new buyer in June this year," a 
source said.

A number of interested parties from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Australia 
and Lebanon have expressed their keen interest to take part in the 
privatization of the PTCL.

Sources said some more foreign buyers have contacted the financial 
advisor for the PTCL, Goldman Sachs to purchase majority shares of 
the company. The representatives of Goldman Sachs are believed to 
have completed due diligence so that nothing went wrong at the 
eleventh hour of the privatization of the PTCL as had been the case 
in some of the deals previously.

Sources said Chief Executive Gen. Pervez Musharraf has also called 
for the early privatization of the PTCL. In one of the meetings 
held recently, he said that privatization process should now be 
accelerated specially when the relevant law was put in place by the 
government to discourage the challenging of various privatization 
deals in courts.

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20010208 
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Govt, World Bank agree to salvage SAP-II
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Feb 7: Pakistan and World Bank representatives agreed 
here on Tuesday to salvage the Rs500 billion Social Action 
Programme (SAP-II) by bringing radical changes in its future role 
and transferring its funds
 to provincial finance commissions (PFCs) for distribution among 
the local governments.

A source, who attended Wednesday's meeting with the representatives 
of World Bank, told Dawn that the government had agreed to transfer 
the funds to the local governments through PFCs.

The emergency meeting was called after Dawn reported that the fate 
of this big social welfare project was in jeopardy due to serious 
differences between the National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) and 
the planning commission about the future role of the SAP-II.

The NRB was supporting SAP's integration with its devolution plan 
to make it effective, while the planning commission was opposed to 
the idea.

Official sources told Dawn that the planning commission had given 
in at the meeting, after the donors threatened to close the 
programme.

They agreed in principle to save the project from collapse.

Sources said the WB delegation, led by its country director John 
Wall, comprised the Bank's local operation manager Abid Hasan, 
South Asian in charge, Tehseen Syed, and other concerned.

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20010209 
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CE says Economy revival top priority: Loan of 84 units rescheduled
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Faraz Hashmi

DANDOT, Feb 8: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf said on 
Thursday that economy revival of Pakistan, which had been turned 
into a "graveyard of sick industrial units", was his government's 
top priority.

About 190 industrial units were either closed or placed in the 
category of sick units, said the CE in his speech at a function in 
the Dandot cement factory.

He said the recently-established Corporate and Industrial 
Rehabilitation Corporation had rescheduled loans and liabilities of 
84 industrial units. Dandot cement factory near Khewra, over 200km 
from Islamabad, is the first of 190 dead or sick industrial units 
that has been revived. It resumed production last year after a 
closure of 30 months.

Gen Musharraf called upon the owners of the industrial units to 
share their profits with the employees. Workers should also put in 
their best efforts for the success of their establishments, he 
said.

He announced the setting up a girls schools, vocational institute, 
construction of 400 housing units for workers as well as two T.B 
sanatoriums. Pakistan, he remarked, was bestowed with immense 
resources, and with little hard work it could move towards 
development.

"We have fertile land, natural resources, ample waters, sea, 
manpower and brain," he said, adding that all what the country 
needed was that politicians, Ulema, trade and industry leaders 
should work in harmony.

The CE invited overseas Pakistanis to invest in the country so that 
its economy could be revived and it could be put back on the road 
towards development.

Gen Musharraf stated that his government was working to transfer 
power to people through its devolution plan. However, he pointed 
out, the success of the plan could only be ensured through the 
participation of people.

He urged the people to elect honest and forthright representatives 
without any fear and favour, and added that honest people should 
come forward and contest elections to provide better leadership.

Dandot cement factory was a public sector unit set up in 1982. It 
was privatized and handed over to its new owner in 1992. However, 
it went into losses and closed down. 

The CE hoped that the revival of the factory would herald the 
rehabilitation of all sick industrial units and restoration of 
economy. 

 Earlier, Gen Musharraf unveiled a plaque marking the revival of 
the units.

SITUATION IMPROVED: Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf has 
said that situation in Pakistan has improved tremendously from what 
it was on Oct 12, 1999. In an interview to the Egyptian daily Al-
Ahram, on Thursday, the Chief Executive said the downward slide in 
economy had stopped.

He said the Government had revived investors' confidence and the 
government's revenue receipts had improved. "We have crushed 
corruption and there was no incident of bribery or exploitation of 
personal influence on governmental level," Gen Musharraf claimed. 
He said the administration was being modernized and the economy was 
being re-structured.-APP

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010210
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Business demands cut in lending rates: Credit body meets next week
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sabihuddin Ghausi

KARACHI, Feb 9: Business leaders are coming up with demands of more 
bank credits and reduction in lending rates in the State Bank of 
Pakistan's Credit Advisory Committee next Thursday.

A four-point agenda for the meeting incorporates the demand of 
construction sector for allocation of bank credit. The textile 
sector too, is unhappy on the increasing trend in lending rates of 
banks and particularly on the recent decision of one per cent rise 
in export refinance.

A leader of the construction sector wants banks to treat his 
business at par with other industries after it has been declared an 
industry by the government. "With all its related fields, land, 
cement, steel, labour, construction is one of the most powerful 
tool of reviving and promoting the economy", argues leader of the 
construction sector who plans to take with him leaders of 
Association of Builders and Developers in the meeting next Thursday 
at the State Bank.

The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and 
the Pakistan Bedwear Exporters Association want the committee to 
discuss the trend of increasing rates in mark-up on bank loans. 
They want to focus on recent one per cent rise in export refinance. 
Coupled with utilities and transportation cost and the rise in 
cotton prices, the additional one per cent financial cost on export 
business is being described as 'crippling'. The textile exports are 
virtually stagnated at a little over $3 billion in first seven 
months of this fiscal as well as in same period of last fiscal. "In 
actual terms, this should be considered a decline in exports", 
Shabbir Ahmad, Chairman Pakistan Bedwear Exporters Association 
said. He holds abrupt rise in lending rates, increase in utility 
cost, problems in availability of industrial inputs and finally one 
per cent rise in export refinancing for the slump in export.

"Unless the textile export starts moving up in next four months, 
there is no hope of total exports touching even $9 billion mark", 
he said.

Spinners and leaders of the value added sector in textile are 
complaining of credit scarcity. "The working capital limits given 
by the banks have proved to be insufficient", Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, 
Chairman of the FPCCI Committee on Banking, Finance and Credit 
informed the SBP in his letter.

He said these limits have proved insufficient because of rise in 
cotton procurement prices and he wants to plead for a review of 
these credit limits.

Spinners are coming with a demand for bank loans to do their 
balancing, modernization and replacement. Liquid crunch has forced 
many banks including the major ones to squeeze their lending and 
oblige only those who in their judgment are credit worthy.

The credit advisory committees have been formed on the instructions 
of the SBP Governor at every station where the State Bank 
functions. This committee at each of this station comprises the 
head of the local SBP, the regional chiefs of five major banks and 
the leaders of various business groups.

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20010209 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Talks with IMF team begin
-------------------------------------------------------------------

ISLAMABAD, Feb 8: Pakistan began talks with an International 
Monetary Fund mission on Thursday, keen to convince it that a 
revenue shortfall should not prevent payment of a second tranche of 
a standby loan, officials and analysts said.

Analysts said the mission, led by Sena Eken, assistant IMF director 
for the Middle Eastern region, was likely to find Pakistan's 
efforts sufficient to meet economic goals set by the IMF during 
seven months of the fiscal year under review.

Government officials predicted that the talks would clear the way 
for the payment of the second tranche of the $596 million standby 
loan, which had been approved last year on Nov 30.

"We are very confident that we have met all the targets, except a 
minor shortfall in revenue collection, agreed with the IMF to get a 
favourable review," a Pakistani government official told Reuters.

The deficit target is 5.2 per cent for the fiscal year that ends in 
June against 6.4 per cent in the previous year.

Officials of the Central Board of Revenue said on Wednesday that 
Pakistan faced a shortfall of about 13 billion rupees in tax 
collections from the target in the first seven months of the fiscal 
year that ended in January.-Reuters

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20010209 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Agriculture ministry set to fight legal battle
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Feb 8: The Agriculture Ministry has decided to file a 
counter case against a US-based firm in a Pakistani court, which 
had earlier sent notices through a US court to the government and 
the Agriculture Ministry for payment of compensation.

The firm had approached a US court in Columbia district, which had 
issued notices to the Government of Pakistan and Agriculture 
Minister for payment of $2.9 million as compensation to the 
company.

The US court issued summons to Islamabad and Agriculture Minister 
Khair Muhammad Junejo on the petition of plaintiff IT Consultants, 
for the breach of an out of court settlement, which was also 
ratified by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the 
federal cabinet on Sept 4, last year.

Informed sources told Dawn that the counter case against the firm 
in a local court was being filed to foil the efforts of the US firm 
to drag the Government of Pakistan and the Agriculture Minister in 
the US court.

Mr Junejo has been asked to pay $1.5 million from his personal 
pocket as the firm has accused him of interfering in the matter of 
payment of compensation "arbitrarily and without any legal 
authority" as the decision to make payment was made by the ECC and 
the Minister could not block this decision.

The sources said that the suggestion to file a counter case had 
been given by the Foreign Ministry whose officials had "advised" 
the Agriculture Ministry to get tough on this issue.

The sources said that the government was developing its case 
against the US firm on the grounds that although it had entered 
into a contract with the firm worth $10 million in 1995 to 
manufacture, fabricate and install a geo-synthetic lining system in 
irrigation canals and water courses in Pakistan, it had to cancel 
the contract in 1997 because the firm was behind the agreed 
targets.

The Ministry is of the view that it had also paid Rs100 million to 
the firm despite slow work on the project but it could not satisfy 
the government due to its poor performance.

The sources said that the Agriculture Ministry was of the view that 
this single ground was sufficient to file a case against the US 
firm.

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20010208 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
US firm sues govt, minister for $2.9m compensation
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Rauf Klasra 

ISLAMABAD, Feb 6: A US court has issued two separate notices to the 
Pakistan government and the federal agriculture minister for paying 
$1.4 million and $1.5 million compensation to a Virginia-based 
firm.

The government, in an out of court settlement, had signed a 
memorandum of understanding with the plaintiff for paying it Rs80 
million but failed to do so. The MoU was ratified by the economic 
coordination committee (ECC) of the cabinet on September 4, last 
year.

The US court has asked the agriculture minister, Khair Mohammad 
Junejo, to pay $1.5 million in his personal capacity.

Notices have also been sent to Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz and 
Law Minister Shahida Jamil to explain their positions in the 
affair.

Sources told Dawn that the company, IT Consultants, had informed 
the US court that the Pakistan government had violated two 
agreements, the first signed in 1998 and the second in June 2000.

The company informed the court that in 1995 it had entered into a 
$10 million contract deal to manufacture, fabricate and install a 
geo-synthetic lining system in canals and watercourses in Pakistan. 
The contract was, however, unilaterally terminated by the 
government in 1997. However, a year later, after negotiations the 
Pakistan government signed an agreement for the settlement of the 
issue but did not implement it.

Last year another agreement was signed for out of court settlement 
under which Islamabad again agreed to pay $1.4 million and Rs10 
million to the plaintiff, but the payment was never made.

It told the court that the second settlement agreement was signed 
to terminate a lawsuit instituted by the plaintiff in the court 
against Pakistan.

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20010208 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan Steel Mills will return Rs11.3 billion to five banks
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Feb 7: Pakistan Steel Mills has agreed to return Rs11.35 
billion which it owed to five commercial banks at a fluctuating 
rate of interest. Earlier, it was agreed that the PS will pay off 
its loans at 11 per cent 
fixed interest rate or the treasury bills rates, which ever was 
low.

Chairman Pakistan Steel Mills, Col (retd) Mohammad Afzal Khan held 
a detailed meeting with secretary-general finance Moeen Afzal and 
the governor of State Bank, Dr Ishrat Hussain, here on Wednesday 
and was asked to agree to a new formula as the previous formula was 
not acceptable to HBL, NBL, UBL, ABL and MCB which lent Rs11.35 
billion to the PS.

"This was our very long outstanding issue with five banks and today 
this had been resolved as we agreed to pay back the loan at a 
fluctuating rate of interest rather than fixed 11 per cent or 
treasury bills rates, which ever was low", he said.

He told Dawn after the meeting that financial health of the mills 
has considerably improved and now it could pay back its huge loan 
relatively on tougher terms.

However, he said a number of new proposals of the Steel Mills had 
been accepted on Wednesday by the chairman CBR which will help the 
organization to further improve its financial health.

Giving the details, Afzal Khan said that chairman of CBR has issued 
orders to pay Rs1.1 billion refund to Steel Mills. "Then we have 
been allowed by the CBR to pay customs duty relatively at a lower 
rate for 50,000 tons of pig irons which was imported fraudulently 
by former chairman of the Mills Usman Farooqi at an exorbitant rate 
of $204 per ton against the then international market rate of $130 
per ton", he added. This was imported only to get kickbacks, he 
alleged.

This pig irons, he pointed, was rusting at Port Qasim which would 
now be brought in the mill, though it was imported without any 
need.

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20010207
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Business forum launched: Trade promotion with Japan
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sabihuddin Ghausi

KARACHI, Feb 6: Pakistan and Japan are working together in many 
fields including bilateral trade, despite sharp differences on 
signing of the Comprehensive Treaty for Banning (nuclear) Tests 
(CTBT) by Pakistan, remarked the Federal Commerce and Industries 
Minister Razzak Dawood on Tuesday.

Speaking at the launching of Pakistan-Japan Business Forum, at the 
residence of Japanese Consul General Kazumi Dekiba, the commerce 
minister said, "he will lead a delegation of the forum to meet the 
Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday. The 
delegation will discuss bilateral trade and economic issues.

The bilateral trade figures, he said, give a surplus balance in 
favour of Japan but then there is an immense potential to expand 
where Pakistan can gain and make a big leap.

There will be a marked change in the trade pattern next year, 
following an impressive reduction in duty rates in new budget, the 
minister said, adding, "negotiations are being held with the 
Central Board of Revenue on this issue".

The launching ceremony of Pakistan-Japan Business Forum was 
attended among others by the Sindh Governor, Mohammadmian Soomro; 
the Sindh Finance Minister, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh; Japanese 
Ambassador to Pakistan Sadaaki Numata, top business leaders and 
officials of the federal and provincial governments.

Razzak Dawood said, his government considers private sector the 
engine of growth and has assigned it a pivotal role in the 
development of the economy. We are restructuring the economy, and 
though it is a painful process but in the end it will provide 
immense pleasure, the minister revealed.

The Sindh Governor Mohammadmian Soomro in his brief speech said, 
"Pakistan offers a lot of investment opportunities and is an 
appealing market".

Earlier, in his address of welcome the Japanese Ambassador to 
Pakistan Saddaki Numata spoke of the Pakistan-Japan Business Forum 
as a "significant milestone" in the sense that business communities 
of both the countries, on their own have established an avenue 
through which they can actively search for kinds of answers both 
governments ponder about.

He said the forum is the realisation of genuine desire of 
businessmen, "to jointly explore ways of expanding trade and 
investment activities between Japan and Pakistan".

The Japanese envoy expressed his desire of "forging national 
consensus on signing of the CTBT, which according to him, "will 
help in getting us out of the dilemma between our national 
compulsions against nuclear weapons and the genuine yearning of our 
people to help Pakistan".

He declared that the $120 million technical cooperation and 
humanitarian grant by his government to Pakistan in the year 2000, 
remains the highest amount of assistance.

Besides this, he said Japan has also extended active support in 
getting relief on $1.8 billion debt rescheduling, of which "Japan's 
assistance to Pakistan will amount to $565 million".

The Japanese envoy also spoke of the private sector collaboration 
between the two countries referring to Engro-Aashi plant, launching 
of new Suzuki 1000cc car 'Cultus', Attock refinery upgradation and 
expansion, and the Chashma Hydro power project.

Numata also quoted the State Bank of Pakistan's figures of Japanese 
investment amounting to $59 million in 1998-99, which has declined 
to $17.7 million in 1999-2000.

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20010207  
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Cut in expenses of embassies okayed
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Feb 6: The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, has 
approved 25 per cent cut in the rental expenses of Pakistan 
missions abroad besides bringing down the number of officials in 
these missions to 1404.

The education subsidy has also been withdrawn for school going 
children of diplomats serving in additional eight missions to save 
unnecessary costs. The government is also reviewing all the 
properties abroad to be sold.

Foreign ministry sources told Dawn that the chief executive had 
approved a number of recommendations formulated by Lt-Gen Hamid 
Javed for the restructuring of the missions abroad.

The reorganization of the missions was delayed following strong 
reaction within the ministry against certain aspects of the package 
prepared by the Gen Javed several months back.

The sources said that the chief executive had partially approved 
the general's recommendations as the foreign office had been 
unwilling to accept different aspects of the plan.

He had recommended that over 30 Foreign Service officers (FSOs) be 
called back from the missions abroad; more than 200 staff members 
belonging to the ministry be reduced and over 300 locally-recruited 
employees by the missions be sacked.

A total of 270 diplomats are at present serving in 78 missions and 
20 consulates abroad. The strength of lower staff in theses 
missions is 1367.

Contrary to what was recommended by the committee, according to 
sources, the chief executive has decided that the strength of FSOs 
be reduced from the existing 270 to 254. The total strength of the 
staff, including both locally-recruited and Pakistan based, working 
under the ministry, is being reduced to 1150.

The strength of attached departments like information, commerce, 
defence, officiating in the missions has also been reviewed. It has 
also been decided that there will be 29 officers and 71 staff 
members in commercial sections; 13 officers and 41 staff in 
community and welfare sections; three officers and six staff in 
audit and accounts and 17 officers with 36 staff in press sections 
of the missions.

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20010208  
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Pakistan suggests trade exhibitions in Saudi Arabia
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Correspondent

RIYADH, Feb 7: Pakistan has suggested the holding of joint trade 
exhibitions with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the three major cities 
of Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam.

The idea is to hold the trade fairs either in May or in September 
this year, after the peak summer months are over. Saudi Chamber 
officials have appreciated the initiative and are expected to 
respond officially to it soon. Convenient dates are being looked at 
for holding the exhibitions.

In order to stimulate interaction between the business houses of 
the two countries and to promote the level of bilateral trade among 
the two states, the idea of joint trade exhibitions was floated, 
said Mohammad Saleem, Pakistan's Commercial Counsellor in Jeddah 
while talking to Dawn. This would ensure greater interaction and 
participation of the Saudi business community in the event as 
compared to single country exhibitions, he commented

"The joint Pak-Saudi trade fairs will help the private sector 
identify new areas and products for enhancing the level of 
bilateral trade. This will reduce the communication gap between the 
private sectors of the two states. Through this exercise the Saudi 
business community will come to know of the export potential of 
Pakistan."

They will also have the opportunity of identifying items from 
Pakistan, such as quality bed sheets and other products, which 
until now is being imported here from costlier western sources. 
This will also provide the opportunity to the Pakistani traders to 
know goods, which Pakistan can import from Saudi Arabia. Until now 
in our minds Saudi Arabia is a country which exports only oil in 
abundance. The situation is quite different from that," said Mr 
Saleem.

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20010209 
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100% rise in imported milk powder price
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Feb 8: The price of imported skimmed milk powder has 
increased by 100% whereas the vegetable fat milk is costlier by 
17%. The rise in prices has created a shortage in the local market.

Importers said the price hike is the result of phenomenal global 
price hike.

Milk powder prices in Europe has jumped to $2,300 per metric tons 
in January from $1,400 in July last.

In the local market, the prices of Ireland skimmed milk rose by 
100% to Rs6,000 per 25 kg bag in the domestic market in just one 
month from Rs3,000 per 25 kg bag.

Chairman, Milk Powder Standing Committee of Pakistan Commodity 
Traders Association (PCTA), Abdul Rahim Janoo told Dawn that the UK 
dairy crest milk powder prices have gone upto Rs7,000 per 25 kg bag 
from Rs3,800 per 25 kg bag.

Similarly, he said, vegetable fat milk prices in Jodia Bazar are 
now being quoted at Rs4,100 per 25 kg bag from Rs3,500- 3,600 per 
25 kg bag.

 Importers are now reluctant to open letters of credit (LCs), due 
to all time global prices as imported milk powder is already 
selling at under cost rates. The landed cost of vegetable fat milk 
comes to Rs4,300 per 25 kg bag as compared to current selling price 
of Rs4,100 per 25 kg bag.

He said the domestic market is now facing shortage of milk powder 
as importers have dragged their feet for further bookings. The 
12.5% rupee devaluation against the dollar during July-December 
2000 has further increased the landed cost of imported milk powder.

According to Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS), import of milk, 
cream and milk food for infants dropped by 39.46% in terms of value 
and 42% in quantity during July- December 2000-01 to 6,413 metric 
tons ($11m) from 11,073 MT ($18.45m) in the same period of 1999-
2000. Imports in December 2000 fell by 86% in quantity and 82% in 
dollar value as compared to the same month of 1999.

He said there was a shortage of buffer stocks of milk powder in 
Europe coupled with lower production of fresh milk.

Janoo has also sent a letter to the KCCI president on February 7, 
suggesting the government to allow milk powder import from India, 
where prices range between $1,300-1,500 pmt. He added that the PCTA 
has found very reliable suppliers of milk powder in India.

Currently, total expenditure (including customs duty, income tax 
and other levies) comes to 38% and there is no sales tax on the 
import of milk powder.

Back to the top
EDITORIALS & FEATURES
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20010204
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Karachi warned 
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Ardeshir Cowasjee

THERE must be millions of citizens of Karachi who wish their day to 
commence by their being able to say : 'I am well, the sun is 
shining. Rioters, bigots and arsonists permitting, I will venture 
forth, arrive safely at my place of employment to find it intact, 
and return home to find my house as it was, undamaged, unviolated.'

To the literate amongst these citizens who read newspapers, I 
recommend that the first thing they read each morning should be the 
page headed 'Miscellanea' in this newspaper. They will there find 
cartoons detailing the daily life of the Gambols, the happenings in 
the Kingdom of Id (a place where I would be happy to spend the 
remainder of my days), the doings of Archie, and a few others. For 
some time, the adventures of Hagar the Horrible have been missing. 
Why? Surely the old Viking still lives.

A few days ago, the little King of Id, wearing his crown (a cross 
between a Gandhi cap and a Bohra pugree) was shown addressing his 
subjects from his turret top : 'Your beloved king has eliminated 
crime in the city parks.' The crowd applauds: 'Hooray,' cry some, 
others ask 'How did you do it?' The King replies : 'I legalized 
mugging.'

The subject of the safety of those who live in buildings in Karachi 
has once again arisen. This particular aspect has been dealt with 
again and again, it Is boring in the extreme, but it is vital, The 
Nizami-spawned Karachi Development Authority and its twin, the 
Karachi Building Control Authority, remain as corrupt, as crooked, 
as devious, as damaging as they were in the beginning, and unless 
something radical happens they are likely to remain so now and for 
evermore.

The KDA is headed by its director-general, at present Brigadier 
Zaheeruddin Kadri, a fiscally honest man but a confused man, 
surrounded as he is by a large number of surplus and dishonest men. 
Being a military man he has a military mind, and he wishes to 
demolish what he terms to be his enemy, the governing body of the 
KDA. He is desperately trying to do so with the assistance of his 
minister, Dewan Mohammad Yusuf Faruqui ( sadly not a patch on his 
father, my friend Dewan Umar Faruq Faruqui).

For the first time in the GB's existence, the private members who 
sit with me happen to be (by accident) men who wish no favours or 
plots from the KDA. They are now engaged in combat with the Sindh 
government on the issue of its intention to regularize 
illegal/unauthorised/ faulty/dangerous buildings.

The majority of highrise buildings which stand in Karachi fall 
under the 'faulty' classification. Now, as to how these buildings 
managed to be built. The builders of highrises, higher than ground 
plus four storeys, are expected to send in plans which meet with 
the rules and regulations, making the building suitable to 
withstand 'Zone 2' earthquakes as defined by the Uniform Building 
Code of the US. The KBCA is expected to have the plans vetted by 
their engineers and an external panel of proof engineers. This 
seldom happens. The plans are normally merely stamped and approved.

What the builders then build are not even in conformity with the 
plans so dishonestly approved. 'Noora Kushti' then comes into its 
own. The KBCA makes ostensible objections and sends notices to the 
builders. The builders employ lawyers known for their ability to 
'grease', and they rush to court. These men of law manage to get 
court orders of sorts restraining the KBCA from taking any action 
and allowing the builders to continue construction. The judges 
concerned, knowingly or unknowingly, effectively become the Chief 
Controller of the concerned buildings. Others involved, criminally 
or not, are the builder, his architect, his engineer, his lawyer, 
his aiders and abettors - the KBCA Building Controllers and the 
KBCA lawyers.

The buildings are completed, no occupancy/completion certificates 
are asked for by the builders or issued by the KBCA. In fact, no 
such certificate has been issued to any highrise built since 1994.

The buildings are then allowed to be unlawfully occupied by the 
allottees/buyers who themselves are not interested in establishing 
whether or not they are occupying a safe and lawfully constructed 
building. By law, the KBCA should evict the occupants. This they 
never have done, using various excuses as a cover.

This same series of events was routine in Turkey prior to the 1999 
earthquake, and from what one can now judge, it is the same in 
India.

In the event that an illegally and badly constructed building 
collapses, and people die or are injured, everyone from the judge 
downwards is responsible. There have been various claims, counter-
claims and judgments regarding illegal buildings, but the two 
judgments which hold the field are 1999 SCMR 2089 Messrs (Excell 
Builders & others vs Ardeshir Cowasjee & others) and 1999 SCMR 2883 
(Ardeshir Cowasjee & others vs Karachi Building Control Authority-
KMC & others). The judges in both cases were Chief Justice of 
Pakistan Ajmal Mian and Justices Mohammad Bashir Jehangiri, Mamoon 
Kazi, Shaikh Riaz Ahmad and Chaudhry Mohammad Arif. Both judgments, 
which cover most aspects of illegal constructions, stand 
unchallenged. The barrister on the winning side was none other than 
the indefatigable Mohammad Gilbert Naim-ur-Rahman who often rises 
for the people without being paid. Strangely, some lower courts 
still decide contra to what Ajmal Mian has so painstakingly set 
forth in these two judgments of merit.

With regard to the latest 'regularization' misadventure on which 
the siblings, KDA and KBCA, are now bent, the private sector 
members of the governing body have sent in a note which the 
endangered species of Karachi may wish to read:

"1) The law presently allows 'regularization' of buildings that 
have contravened the approved plan - the deviations of which fall 
within what the Regulations permit. All these can be processed 
immediately. Minor excursions outside the Regulations will have to 
be removed/eliminated so that the remainder of the structure is 
'regularizable'.

"2) Before processing such action each unauthorised/illegal 
building/structure will have to be thoroughly examined and 
technically certified by Vetting Engineers of integrity for 
earthquake and structural-safety compliance.

"3) For the rest of the unauthorized/irregular constructions and 
so-called 'sealed' structures the following five steps must be 
taken (steps enumerated).

"4) Problems with mass and unlawful 'regularization' of illegal 
buildings include :

 a) the illegal structures are potentially dangerous and may 
collapse in the next UBC Zone-2B earthquake to hit Karachi. 
Naturally, for a fee, numerous 'brief case' structural proof 
engineers will be willing to certify that individual illegal 
buildings are 'safe'. 

 b) Mass 'regularization' will establish that the government is not 
interested in implementing the writ of law. Further illegal 
construction will be promoted and will mushroom. 

 c) Corrupt KDA/KBCA officials will get away scot free - and will 
make more illegal money in the 'regularization' process. 

 d) Who wants 'regularization'? Who is being affected? Builders? 
Allegedly they run away and cannot be found to be prosecuted and 
punished. Allottees? They have allegedly already occupied the so-
called 'sealed'/illegal buildings and obtained sub-leases, utility 
connections, etc. Government? The penalty monies cannot be used to 
pay salaries. 

 e) Profits on illegal buildings range from Rs.4 crores to Rs.90 
crores per building. Will the so-called 'deterrent' regularization 
penalties be comparable? In any case, the recalcitrant illegal 
builders will not be affected : they will pass on the penalites to 
the buyers.

 f) Why is the present non-political committed-to-implementation-
of-the-law government allowing this dishonest issue to be 'fired 
from the shoulder'? How can the present government assume 
responsibility for the thousands of lives which could be lost in 
the future when such 'regularised' buildings collapse?

 "5) 'Regularization' penalties are a form of 'development charges' 
and must only be used to upgrade the utilities and infrastructure 
of the localities affected by the concerned unauthorized 
construction. The funds cannot be diverted for any other use, 
particularly not towards non-development uses such as the salaries 
of a bloated bureaucracy.

"6) The concept of mass 'regularization' is a violation of the 
citizens' fundamental 'right to life' as guaranteed by the 
Constitution. The government cannot trample on the rights of 
millions of citizens to favour a few."

Stop press: Good news. As it appears in column one of page two in 
the Dawn of February 3, it should be believed. Headline - 
'Government plans to demolish illegal buildings'. This was 
reportedly 'decided at a meeting held here on Friday with the 
provincial secretary for housing and town planning department, 
Qamar Zaman, in the chair.'

Those who have e-mailed me and who are worried about the cracks 
they have noticed in their buildings since the earthquake at the 
end of last month may please contact Engineer Roland deSouza of 
SHEHRI (telephone 5211656 and 5211542) for technical advice.

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20010209
-------------------------------------------------------------------
In this hammaam who is covered?
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ayaz Amir

WHAT the publication of the Hamoodur Rahman Report did for the 
army, the Justice Qayyum tapes as revealed by the Sunday Times have 
done for the higher judiciary.

We had a fair suspicion of what the Eastern Command did in 1971 but 
the message was really brought home by the details in the Hamood 
Report. So too with the judiciary. We all knew such things went on. 
But for the cameras to catch a revealing episode: this is the value 
of the Qayyum tapes. The light they cast throws in sharp relief the 
judiciary's feet of clay.

Are the tapes genuine or doctored? There shouldn't be any doubts on 
this score because authenticity is writ large over them down to His 
Lordship Justice Malik Qayyum addressing Khalid Anwer, Nawaz 
Sharif's then lord chancellor, as "sir" and declaring himself to be 
his servant (khadim). Read the lines carefully. The tone and 
inflection are genuinely Pakistani. No one, not even a Booker Prize 
author, could have invented them.

Need we be surprised by the audacity of the interference and the 
readiness of Justice Qayyum to oblige his interlocutors? Not 
really. Prolonged authoritarianism has taken its toll, even on 
judges sworn to uphold the cause of truth and justice. After all 
who appoints judges? The executive, acting in all cases through the 
law minister. Security of tenure (as in established democracies) 
encourages independence. Insecurity breeds pliant and sycophantic 
behaviour. It's nothing more complicated than this.

When Zia promulgated his Provisional Constitution Order in March 
1981 some judges were asked to take the oath while others were 
dropped. The same happened with Gen Musharraf's PCO in 2000. A few 
judges were again quietly dropped. Civilian rulers have treated the 
judiciary no better, each one of them seeking pliant judges. Judges 
too have demeaned themselves by seeking small favours. Such a state 
of affairs hardly encourages independent behaviour. As for high 
court judges, the years have dealt more harshly with them. Although 
still attended with outward pomp, it does not stretch belief to 
imagine them sirring the lord chancellor of the day.

For far too long has the judiciary sought refuge behind a narrow 
interpretation of the law of contempt. But the old barriers have 
broken down. Just as repeated military interventions have 
demystified the military, repeated invocations of the doctrine of 
necessity have damaged the judiciary. The ISI no longer commands 
the awe it once did. A similar fate has befallen the other holy 
cows whose shadow once fell on the county.

With regard to Justice Qayyum, moreover, these subtle 
considerations in any event do not apply. In the sacred precincts 
of the Lahore High Court he has enjoyed a special standing because 
of his identification with the personal problems of the Sharif 
dynasty. Anything affecting the family's interests has come to him 
for adjudication, almost as if he alone possessed the requisite 
delicacy to handle these matters. The division of the family's 
assets between its contending factions, cases involving the 
family's huge bank loans, and even the banking loans of Nawaz 
Sharif's principal errand boy, Saifur Rehman, were all attracted, 
as if by a powerful magnet, to Justice Qayyum's court and no other.

This no doubt was the preferred style of the Sharifs, not only 
fashioning a personalized administration, with loyalists at key 
positions, but also arranging for a personalized form of justice. 
When their name was involved in the cooperatives' scandal of 1991, 
the Supreme Court judge selected to hold a judicial inquiry into 
the affair was Justice Lone who exonerated the Sharifs of any 
wrongdoing. Later, during Nawaz Sharif's second stint as prime 
minister, Lone became a PML senator.

Justice Qayyum (whose brother, incidentally, was a PML MNA) is a 
throwback to those interesting times. Small wonder if it was he who 
was chosen to be Benazir Bhutto's and Asif Zardari's principal 
nemesis. All the important cases against them were heard by him. To 
Justice Qayyum also belongs the triumph of reducing Benazir Bhutto 
to tears in open court, so zealous was he in the pursuit of 
justice. All this forms the backdrop to the tapes revealed by the 
Sunday Times.

Justice Qayyum had been hand-picked to hear the cases against 
Benazir Bhutto because, as the contents of the tapes make clear, he 
was considered a loyalist who could be counted upon to do what was 
expected of him. And yet Nawaz Sharif not only kept the pressure on 
Justice Qayyum through Khalid Anwer and Saifur Rehman. He also 
ordered all of Justice Qayyum's telephones to be bugged, probably 
just to make sure that his zeal did not flag.

In this saga the then chief justice of the Lahore High Court, 
Justice Rashid Aziz, also makes a cameo appearance. He too carried 
word from the prime minister that the axe should fall swiftly on 
Benazir. What did Nawaz Sharif want? He had everything going for 
him. Benazir was no threat and wanted merely to be left alone. Why 
this obsession with vengeance? Benazir and Asif were no angels (we 
can say that again) but in having them prosecuted Nawaz Sharif was 
not seeking justice. He was pursuing a vendetta (just as Benazir 
was pursuing a vendetta when she had the Sharifs in the dock).

None of the above, however, is surprising: not the fact that 
Justice Qayyum listened to Khalid Anwer and called him sir; not the 
fact that Saifur Rehman was acting as the prime minister's errand 
boy, after all this being one of his duties; not even Chief Justice 
Rashid Aziz's brief appearance. By Pakistani standards all this is 
fairly tame stuff.

What I find surprising, although hardly distressing, is to see 
Khalid Anwer, erudition and all, to be performing the role of prime 
ministerial pressure-boy. Why did he have to do it? Hanging on to 
office (and worthless office at that) when Nawaz Sharif was having 
the 13th and 14th amendments raced through a pliant Parliament was 
bad enough. But holding a clock to Justice Qayyum's head and urging 
him, at the prime minister's bidding, to dispense justice fast is a 
reflection less on the hapless Justice Qayyum than on the learned 
Khalid Anwer.

Peter Mandelson is out of office in the UK on the basis of what to 
Pakistani ears would sound a quibble. Over here Khalid Anwer, who 
can quote Cicero and I daresay Demosthenes, is engaged in something 
far more serious and when caught out, takes refuge behind a lapse 
of memory. He does not remember having had such a conversation. 
Then goes on to say that even if such a conversation took place all 
he is alleged to have said is that the case should be disposed off 
quickly, which suggestion on his part was strictly in accordance 
with the requirements of the law. It is hard to say which is worse: 
the original sin or this prevarication?

Anyhow, there is nothing in this whole affair which would really 
startle anyone even remotely familiar with the nexus between the 
judiciary and the founts of executive authority in Pakistan. The 
Nusrat Bhutto case which enshrined once again the doctrine of 
necessity; the hanging of Bhutto; the various judicial decisions 
validating Benazir Bhutto's dismissals from power; the one decision 
invalidating Nawaz Sharif's dismissal from power; the judges' 
revolt against Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah; the Supreme Court's 
inability to give any clear-cut verdict in the Supreme Court 
storming case (in which PML storm-troopers were involved); and the 
readiness of judges to abide by various provisional constitutional 
orders: these events do not constitute the judiciary's finest 
moments.

None of this makes the judiciary any worse than other institutions. 
It only goes to show that in the Turkish bath of Pakistani politics 
everyone is naked, including, let me say for the record, the press 
which too often has taken a self-serving view of where its true 
duty lies. In this humid arena there are no heroes, nor even any 
outstanding villains, great villainy requiring some qualities of 
head or heart. Read the transcripts of these conversations again 
and what comes across most strikingly is the mediocrity on display. 
Despotism being put to what uses? So much effort being expended to 
what end?

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010210
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Rush to judgment 
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Irfan Husain

IN a country that has witnessed so many political, financial and 
judicial scandals over the years, we ought to have become fairly 
shockproof by now.

But as the recently published transcripts of the taped 
conversations between Justice Qayyum, ex-Law Minister Khalid Anwar 
and Nawaz Sharif's chief enforcer Saifur Rehman showed, there are 
some depths of depravity we had still not explored. The pressure 
applied by various powerful figures in Nawaz Sharif's government on 
the judge in the corruption case against Benazir Bhutto and her 
spouse is scarcely believable.

In most countries, resignations would have been tendered, warrants 
of arrest issued and suo motu notice taken by the Supreme Court. 
Here, hardened as we are to the sight of the higher judiciary 
constantly bending to the will of the executive, all we are likely 
to see are a few editorials and articles plus a couple of weak 
denials by the actors in this new drama, and we will then sit back 
and wait for the next episode.

In his evasive defence, Khalid Anwer, once respected as an upright 
constitutional lawyer, said: "...I am alleged merely to have asked 
that the case be decided expeditiously in accordance with the 
provisions of the law." In the transcript, however, there is more 
than a hint of steel in the ex-law minister's words: "...But the 
gentleman [Nawaz Sharif] is very unhappy, because of the situation.

There was discussion regarding this issue and I was wondering that 
a problem might arise. Now I am thinking if you could reach the 
final result within the outside limit of two weeks..."

In his letter to the president (said not to be received in the 
Presidency, but reproduced in The Sunday Times), Abdul Malik, the 
deputy director of the Intelligence Bureau, who had been given the 
task of bugging the High Court judge, has quoted from his tapes, 
and alleged that Justice Qayyum had discussed the sentence to be 
passed and confirmed that the judgment had been written before the 
defence had even concluded its arguments.

Most Pakistanis would be ready to believe that this is not the 
first instance of blatant interference by the executive to obtain 
favourable judgments. However, reading the alleged words of those 
then in power reminds us yet again how precious a thing judicial 
independence is, and how its absence has shaped our tortured 
political history.

 Predictably, there have been proforma denials of varying degrees 
of conviction from Justice Qayyum and Khalid Anwar. Both claim to 
have no memory of any such conversations. 

However, the genuineness of the tapes can be easily established: 
everybody's voice has a specific and unique audio signature, and it 
would be a simple matter to compare the voice prints of the 
principal actors with the tapes made by the IB. Although tapes on 
their own are not normally accepted as evidence in our judicial 
system, the Supreme Court could order such a comparison given the 
magnitude of the can of worms opened under its nose.

Khalid Anwar has sought to cast doubt on the IB deputy director's 
motives by saying that if he had the tapes for two years, why has 
he chosen to release the tapes to the media now, merely three weeks 
before the Supreme Court is due to take up Benazir Bhutto's appeal 
against Justice Qayyum's judgment? She and Asif Zardari had been 
awarded seven-year jail terms each plus a huge monetary fine, 
including confiscation of their property in Pakistan. In his letter 
to the president, Abdul Malik has claimed that his conscience was 
shaken by the events he has described.

Unfortunately, we have become too cynical to accept a "crisis of 
conscience" as a reason to stick one's neck out over anything. And 
the timing of this bombshell is too close to the hearing of the 
appeal to be entirely coincidental. In the murky world of Pakistani 
politics, we have to stir the muck below the surface in an attempt 
to get at the truth.

Apparently, Malik and his family are currently abroad to escape 
official or political reprisals. Now flying off and living abroad 
takes a fair amount of money, and a deputy director in the IB is by 
no means well off.

One possibility is that the PPP discovered the existence of these 
tapes, and persuaded Malik to transcribe them and leak them to the 
press. In this scenario, he would have been promised a comfortable 
exile until the party returned to power and rewarded him suitably. 

However, knowing the PPP's unerring instinct to trip over its own 
feet, one feels the whole thing is too complex and subtle for the 
party's capability; indeed, it has all the hallmarks of an 
intelligence operation.

Just supposing that with Nawaz Sharif out of the way and elections 
due next year, it had been decided at the highest level to do a 
deal with Benazir Bhutto to enable her to return to power. The 
first step needed would be to rehabilitate the ex-PM, and lift the 
ban restraining her from holding public office for ten years 
imposed by Justice Qayyum. 

This could be done by giving Benazir Bhutto's appeal before the 
Supreme Court greater substance. If the tapes are found to be 
genuine - and the Sunday Times would have been unlikely to print 
the transcripts if they had any doubts on this score - then a 
verdict of mistrial could well be the outcome.

Whatever the truth, Benazir Bhutto's claim to be a victim of a 
vindictive Nawaz Sharif and a pliant judiciary has been vindicated. 
Most of her supporters are hardly likely to make the distinction 
between the accuracy of evidence provided before the court and the 
judge's rush to pass a verdict under pressure. In the case in 
question, a wealth of documentary evidence, duly certified by a 
Swiss judge, was produced by the prosecution to link Benazir Bhutto 
and her spouse to kickbacks paid by the Swiss inspection company 
Cotecna. 

Had Nawaz Sharif not been in such a hurry to get a conviction, 
chances are that the judge would have reached the same verdict. As 
it is, the sudden appearance of the tapes has cast a doubt on the 
entire trial. Basically, Sharif's impatience with procedures and 
due process has proved to be a boon to his rival.

This can only be good news for Benazir Bhutto and her party. 
Suddenly, she has been rehabilitated in her supporters' eyes. Even 
non-partisan Pakistanis are beginning to doubt the validity of the 
charges against her. The biggest loser is the judiciary as public 
confidence in this crucial institution - never very high - has now 
hit rock-bottom. All eyes will now be fixed on the Supreme Court 
when it begins to consider Ms Bhutto's appeal later this month.


SPORTS
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010210
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Team leaves for New Zealand today: New millenium to bring success
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, Feb 9: Pakistan cricket team jets off to Auckland on 
Saturday evening hoping to put recent disappointments behind them 
and begin the new millennium on a winning note.

On a six-week New Zealand tour, Pakistan will play five one- day 
internationals and three Tests.

"Obviously we have let our supporters down in the last couple of 
years. But we are hoping to win back their (supporters) confidence 
by beating New Zealand," Pakistan captain Moin Khan said, adding: 
"I am confident that the new millennium will change our fortunes."

Pakistan lost four home series between October 1998 and December 
2000 while also suffering their first-ever whitewash in Australia 
in 1999.

But their last series defeat in New Zealand was way back in 1984-85 
when Geoff Howarth's men beat Javed Miandad led Pakistan 2-0.

"The team is the same but some of the additional pressures that 
have been distracting the concentration of the players are no more 
there," he said with direct reference to allegations of betting and 
match-fixing against some of the leading players.

"A pep talk by the PCB chairman was a perfect tonic before we 
embark on the tour. He has once again assured his full support and 
faith in the players and told us to perform in the field while 
promising to take care of the rest."

The Pakistan skiper made no predictions over the results but said 
if Sri Lanka can lead New Zealand 4-0 in the five-match one-day 
series, Pakistan can match it if not perform better. 

"I believe the return of Shoaib Akhtar has given an altogether a 
different dimension to the Pakistan team. Although he has not 
played competitive cricket for sometime but he is a great fighter 
and looked sharp during the training sessions.

"Naturally, we have to be careful while playing him because we 
don't want to lose him again," he said.

Shoaib, as fast as Australian Brett Lee, has not played for 
Pakistan since April last during the tri-nation one-day series in 
the West Indies before breaking down with a series of injuries.

MAKE-OR-BREAK TOUR

Moin admitted that the visit to New Zealand would be a make-or-
break tour for him.

"I am on a crucial juncture of my career. I have neither played 
well nor have led the side as effectively as I am capable of.

"I know that I don't stand a chance of retaining my position (after 
the tour) if I can't deliver as captain and player on the tour. But 
I believe once the team starts winning, things would start falling 
in the right places," Moin said.

He said wicket-keeping was extremely difficult on Pakistani wickets 
where the surfaces are low and doubled paced. He recalled that Ian 
Healy also faltered in Karachi in the 1994 Test as Pakistan 
snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

"I will be more at ease in New Zealand where the ball would carry 
nicely to me.

"As regards wicket-keeping and captaincy together, I don't mind it 
at all because I have been doing it for the last 10 years or so at 
the domestic level. I believe winning is all matters."

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20010206
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Pakistan to get more money for playing in Sharjah 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter 

 ISLAMABAD, Feb 5: The Sharjah-based Cricketers Benefit Fund Series 
(CBFS) has agreed to Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) demand of 
enhancing participation fee under a new contract expected to be 
signed in April next. 

 This was stated by PCB chairman Lt-Gen Tauqir Zia while talking to 
Dawn on Monday. "Tentatively CBFS have agreed to our demand of 
making the Pakistan's participation fee comparable to India,".

Pakistan has been getting half the amount India was receiving. 
Sharjah Cup to be hosted in April will be the last tournament under 
the current contract. Without disclosing the amount the PCB chief 
said that under the new contract Pakistan would get paid equal 
amount to what India gets. 

 The PCB chief was unhappy with the on-going controversies 
generated by the the past and present players and claimed it was 
tarnishing the image of Pakistan cricket and urged them to shun 
their personal differences and get united and work for the game's 
promotion. 

"Here, the cricketers are not united. One day you hear Sarfraz 
Nawaz critical of Ramiz Raja, the next day Raja goes to the court. 

 Then stories on Javed Miandad's row with Moin Khan and other 
players are published and so it continues," the general added. 
Commenting on the selection of New-Zealand bound team, the general 
said that Azhar Mahmood has been given preference over all rounder 
Yasir Arafat because of experience.

The doctors have cleared Azhar as fit and the selectors thought his 
experience will be vital at that level of cricket, he said. 

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Webbed by Philip McEldowney
Last update: Friday 16 October 2009 .