------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 13 January 2001 Issue : 07/02 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Islamabad asks Delhi to facilitate APHC mission + Pakistan offers to demine Lebanon + Riba-free system to take time + Pakistan, Jordan to boost ties + Musharraf has no plan to visit India: FO + No Nuclear arms for Pakistan: Li + PPP slams govt 'threat' to arrest Benazir + India told to shun Nuclear doctrine + Hurriyat forms team for visit to Pakistan + AJK assembly enacts Ehtesab Bureau Ordinance + Govt puts curbs on official spending + New law on devolution within two months + Govt claims 45.7% turnout in LB polls + Afghan refugees inflow multiplies --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Relaxation in some IMF terms likely + Bigger uplift projects should get funds: CE + US lifts ban on computer export + Meeting export target a tough job: Dawood + Pakistan, Iran form body on trade disputes + Govt defers 15% GST levy + Team upset over Iran's refusal to buy wheat + Businessmen urge suspension of tax survey + Importers calm on rising of dollar + Foreign trade deficit up to $938m + Water shortage: IRSA given one month to resolve dispute + Rupee gains against dollar --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Advancing to retreat Ardeshir Cowasjee + The last of the public school boys Ayaz Amir + The price of hypocrisy Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + PCB yet to recommend names for civil award + Financially sound PCB can afford Boycott + PHF name new selection committee

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NATIONAL NEWS
20010113
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Islamabad asks Delhi to facilitate APHC mission
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Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, Jan 12: Pakistan has welcomed the nomination of a 
delegation by the All Parties Hurriyat Conference and called on 
India to facilitate their visit to Islamabad.

A foreign office spokesman in a statement here on Friday said that 
the government "welcomes the decision taken by the APHC executive 
council at a meeting in Srinagar on Thursday to send a five- member 
delegation to Pakistan."

It called on New Delhi to enable all members, nominated by the APHC 
chief to proceed to Pakistan for consultations to prepare the 
ground for a tripartite negotiations for a peaceful settlement of 
the Kashmir dispute.

The APHC delegation has proposed to undertake the visit from 
January 15, but three of its members have yet to be issued travel 
documents by the Indian government. Only two of the five designated 
members have valid passports.

Till late Friday evening there was no official information here 
about the firm date of the Hurriyat team's arrival.

The Indian authorities have been prevaricating about the intended 
APHC visit to Pakistan, indicating their desire to refuse visa to 
some of the selected APHC members.

The delegation comprises Mir Waiz Umar Farooq, Abdul Gani Lone, 
Sheikh Abdul Aziz, Syed Ali Geelani and Maulvi Abbas Ansari.

Agencies add: The All Parties Hurriyat Conference on Friday made it 
clear that its delegation would not go to Pakistan unless all the 
five members were given passports, reports APP news agency.

"We are not going for a pleasure trip to Pakistan. The delegation 
of Hurriyat will not go to Pakistan if the passports are not issued 
to all the five members announced by the executive of the 23-party 
alliance yesterday," the news agency quoted Hurriyat chairman Abdul 
Gani Bhat as telling newsmen in Srinagar.

However, he expressed the hope that the Indian government would 
take a positive decision and issue travel documents to all members 
of the delegation to undertake the visit on the scheduled date.

"Indian authorities should display a realistic approach by clearing 
present hurdles and make our Pakistan tour a success," Mirwaiz Umar 
Farooq, a former Hurriyat Conference chairman, said in a statement 
in Srinagar.

Islamabad says the Hurriyat trip could eventually lead to 
tripartite talks among Pakistan, India and Kashmiri leaders.

"Our aim is to reduce the tension between India and Pakis-tan by 
finding a permanent solution," said the statement by Umar, who is a 
member of the five-man delegation named by Hurriyat chairman Abdul 
Gani Bhat.

Mirwaiz, who is a member of the delegation named on Thursday, told 
a congregation at Jamia Masjid here that their desire and efforts 
would also be directed towards the resumption of stalled talks 
between India and Pakistan and to ease the confrontation and 
tension between the two countries, it said.

The unease has not only played a negative effect on the people of 
Jammu and Kashmir but those of the two countries for a long period.

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20010111
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Pakistan offers to demine Lebanon
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BEIRUT, Jan 10: The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, has 
offered demining of Lebanon's borders where the Israeli army left 
last year more than 130,000 mines during its 22-year occupation.

Speaking at the banquet hosted in his honour by Lebanese Prime 
Minister Rafik al-Hariri late Tuesday, he touched upon the Middle 
East crisis, Pakistan-Lebanese ties, investment opportunities in 
Pakistan, Kashmir and Afghanistan crisis.

Pakistan supported Lebanon's just stand to regain its territory and 
secure the full implementation of the UN Security Council 
Resolution 425, said Gen Musharraf.

He said Pakistan also supported Beirut's call for international 
assistance for reconstruction and rehabilitation of Lebanon's 
liberated territories.

Gen Musharraf said he was encouraged by his talks with the Lebanese 
prime minister which "have been constructive and productive."

He said the two agreements signed between the two sides on Tuesday 
were the first step in the right direction. He expressed the 
confidence that relations between the two sides would further grow 
in the years ahead.

On Afghanistan, Gen Musharraf said Taliban were a reality and added 
that a lasting peace in Afghanistan could not be ensured unless 
ground realities were taken into account.

On Wednesday, the CE condemned atrocities of Israeli forces while 
recalling the 1996 carnage at the CANA refugee camp which killed 
105 people.

"Pakistan certainly condemns these atrocities against innocent 
civilians by Israeli occupation forces," he said while talking to 
reporters soon after offering fateha at the memorial of those who 
were killed by the Israeli attack.

Referring to demining, Gen Musharraf stated that a team had to be 
sent from Islamabad to see and assess the degree of the work needed 
and the type of force required to demine the Lebanese border.

He said that according to the international norms and agreements 
all mines had to be marked and mapped.

Gen Musharraf said Lebanon should demand the maps from Israel and 
the international community should ask the latter to provide those 
maps.

He said Pakistan had the technical capacity about demining. But it 
had to first see the terrain and had to assess what type of mines-
lifting measures could be adopted to accomplish the job.

TRADE TALKS: Gen Musharraf held talks with Lebanese business 
leaders on Wednesday to boost modest bilateral trade.

"Our plan is to import from Lebanon expertise in financial 
services, real estate development and tourism because we are weak 
in these areas," Commerce and Industry Minister Razak Dawood told 
Reuters after the meeting.

He said Pakistan aimed to double exports to Lebanon to $20m next 
year by including textiles and more agricultural products.

Adnan Kassar, head of the Lebanese Chamber of Commerce, said: 
"Pakistan is a promising market for Lebanese consumer products. 
Pakistan's labour and raw materials are inexpensive."

Gen Musharraf held talks earlier on Wednesday with Lebanese 
President Emile Lahoud.-Agencies

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20010109
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Riba-free system to take time
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 8: The government is not yet ready to introduce 
interest-free banking because of the anticipated repercussions of 
the change over on Pakistan's relations with the international 
donor agencies and foreign commercial banks.

Official sources told Dawn here on Monday that Pakistan, which was 
still facing tough time from the multilateral agencies and G-8 
countries despite getting $596 million facility from the IMF to 
avoid default, will experience more difficulties if it decided to 
go for Riba-free banking from July 1 this year.

The finance ministry officials voice concern over the statement of 
the religious minister, Dr Mehmood Ahmad Ghazi, publish by almost 
all the Urdu and English newspapers on Monday.

"The World Bank and the IMF tell us nothing directly on this matter 
as they only assess and monitor our economic policies. But the 
statement given by the minister for religious affairs would not 
have gone well with them", a source said.

When contacted he said that he could not deny on record what had 
been stated by the minister. The newspapers quoted the minister on 
Monday having said that by July 1 Riba prohibition ordinance would 
be issued to bring domestic transactions strictly in accordance 
with Shariat and no person, group, individual, association or any 
institution would have the authority or freedom to do any Riba-
oriented transaction.

Nevertheless, sources said, the concerned officials were waiting 
for the Finance Minister to say anything over the issue after his 
return from Middle East tour.

The Islamization of the economy, they said, might not be officially 
opposed by the international lenders and foreign banks but they 
would certainly prefer to gradually withdraw their investments in 
Pakistan in case the new ordinance was promulgated by July 2001.

Sources said that the time-frame given by the Supreme Court for the 
elimination of Riba had been "well noted" by the donors and foreign 
banks and they had been expressing their reservations over it 
privately. "But what will happen from now on is a question which 
can only be answered by the finance minister", another source said.

He said Pakistan still needed to manage its financial affairs with 
the help of the donors and foreign banks and that the higher 
authorities should think about it with a view to avoid severe 
haemorrhage to the already fragile economy of the country.

Discussing about the transition to Islamic financial system, the 
IMF document on Standby Agreement with Pakistan says the government 
is in the process of making necessary preparations to implement the 
Supreme Court's December 1999 decision, requiring the 
transformation of financial system to conform with Islamic 
financial system.

In this connection a commission on the transformation of the 
financial system has been set up to formulate the plan and suggest 
amendments in contracts and operations of financial system. "Once 
the transformation is complete, all new domestic borrowing will be 
in accordance with the Islamic financial principles; new 
instruments and institutions, as well as a legal framework will 
need to be put in place for this purpose. All international debt 
obligations will continue to be services", the SBA said.

It was also learnt that the finance ministry officials are 
currently reconciling all the relevant economic data to seek $1.5 
billion restructuring loans from the Paris Club for which the 
finance minister and his team will be going Paris at the end of 
this month.

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20010110
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Pakistan, Jordan to boost ties
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AMMAN, Jan 9: The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, and 
Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb held in-depth official 
talks on Tuesday, calling for practical measures to strengthen 
cooperation in various fields. The Jordanian PM stated that both 
the sides had expressed the resolve to expand relations in the 
fields of culture, economy, science & technology.

He hoped that the increased mutual cooperation would yield positive 
results and help resolve problems facing the two nations.

Reciprocating Mr Ragheb's remarks, the CE said that Islamabad was 
appreciative of closeness of their existing ties and there was 
identity of views on many regional and international issues.

"The two sides should identify areas of cooperation to put our 
ideas into practice for mutual benefit."

The CE briefed the host leader about the Afghan crisis and stressed 
the need for restoration of peace in the war-ravaged country while 
keeping the ground realities in full view.

The international community, he said, must talk to the Taliban for 
peace in Afghanistan as they were a reality who controlled 95 per 
cent of the Afghan territory.

The Jordanian PM expressed an understanding of the views spelt out 
by the CE and said, the OIC should make greater efforts for durable 
peace in Afghanistan.

TRADE TALKS: Pakistan and Jordanian officials on Tuesday held trade 
talks aimed at promoting economic activities and removing trade 
imbalances between the two countries.

Jordan has shown interest in business activities relating to rice, 
cotton, cotton fabrics and auto-parts. Commerce Minister Razzak 
Dawood said: "We are looking at ways and means to further enhance 
our investment and business activities in Jordan."-Agencies

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20010113
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Musharraf has no plan to visit India: FO
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By HA

ISLAMABAD, Jan 12: The foreign ministry has denied any plan of the 
chief executive travelling to India since no formal invitation has 
been received from New Delhi.

The foreign secretary, Inamul Huq, was contacted on Friday for 
comment on news reports saying that Gen Pervez Musharraf was soon 
visiting New Delhi for talks with the Indian prime minister, Atal 
Behari Vajpayee.

The foreign secretary said that the CE was on record having offered 
several times to hold talks with India any time, anywhere and at 
any level. However, there has been no positive response from Delhi 
to Islamabad's desire to resume talks.

"How can the chief executive agree to travel to New Delhi for talks 
without an invitation from the other side."

Indian minister, Ajit Panja, "ruled out any imminent visit" by Gen 
Musharraf according to a foreign news report. Mr Panja was quoted 
to have said: "Our policy remains constant and until conditions are 
there for peaceful talks, until terrorism stops, it is not possible 
to talk (with Pakistan leader) for peace". Mr Panja was 
accompanying Mr Vajpayee on his current Indonesia visit.

Vajpayee responding to newsmen's questions during his visit had 
said: "I have seen the report (about Gen Musharraf's visit to New 
Delhi), but no date has been fixed as yet". Asked if that meant Gen 
Musharraf would go to (Delhi). Mr Vajpayee said: "Even that is not 
final. That is a question that should be directed to him (Gen 
Musharraf). How do I know when he will come?".

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20010113
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No Nuclear arms for Pakistan: Li
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Jawed Naqvi

NEW DELHI, Jan 12: The visiting Chinese leader, Li Peng, politely 
told India on Friday that his country was not giving any nuclear 
arms to Pakistan nor transferring related-technology to it.

Mr Li, chairman of the standing committee of the National People's 
congress, was asked by a parliamentarian during a reception by the 
heads of the Indian parliament's two houses to spell out his 
country's widely reported help to Pakistan's nuclear arms 
programme.

"This is not true. We do not help Pakistan in its nuclear 
programme. Pakistan is a friendly country with whom we have good 
economic and political relations," Mr Li said, appearing unruffled 
and keeping his familiar smile intact.

His week-long visit to India that began in Bombay on January 9 and 
brought him to New Delhi on Thursday, makes him the highest ranking 
leader from Beijing to be here since relations between the two 
Himalayan neighbours soured in May 1998.

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20010113
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PPP slams govt 'threat' to arrest Benazir
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Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Jan 12: A spokesman of the Pakistan People's Party has 
condemned the threats by military regime's spokesman that former 
prime minister Benazir Bhutto would be arrested on her return.

This has been stated by the spokesman of the Party while responding 
to the threats by military government's spokesman that Benazir 
Bhutto would be arrested when she returns to Pakistan this year.

"Ms Bhutto was the victim of a politically motivated accountability 
process and has been recognized internationally. The United Nations 
Rapporteur on Judges and the Judiciary has written to Islamabad to 
visit and investigate the PPP charges that she was denied justice. 
The regime should invite the Rapporteur instead of threatening 
arrest".

The spokesman said that any attempt to undo her leadership can only 
aggravate Pakistan's political challenges and will be resisted by 
the PPP and all those who believe in justice and truth.

The spokesman said that Ms Bhutto had already spent six years 
behind bars under a previous military dictator and her husband was 
spending his eighth year in prison in defence of freedom and the 
rights of the people. "The PPP leaders and workers are prepared to 
go to prison but unprepared to forsake the people of Pakistan in 
their fight for freedom".

The spokesman asked the regime as to why it was scared to invite 
independent investigation to determine Ms Bhutto's innocence or 
guilt. Why the regime chose to rely on a judge who had obtained a 
diplomatic passport in violation of rules as a reward for political 
elimination, the spokesman asked.

Noting that two American chief justices had opined that Ms Bhutto 
"could never be convicted by an American court", the spokesman 
asked the regime to answer accusation that Bhutto had been a victim 
of a conspiracy to deny the people the leader of their choice.

"The regime is unable to invite independent foreign jurists or UN 
persons such as Mary Robinson or the Rapporteur in the case of Ms 
Bhutto because in its heart it knows she is innocent".

Noting that the Islamabad regime had been unable to stem Pakistan's 
decline in international stature or the collapse of its economy, 
the spokesman said that it was ironical that the regime was 
concentrating on Benazir Bhutto instead of concentrating on saving 
the country by restoring democracy.

In another setback for the Musharraf regime and its foreign policy, 
China's second most powerful political leader Li Peng arrived in 
New Delhi on the second leg of his visit to India.

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20010112
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India told to shun Nuclear doctrine
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Tahir Mirza

WASHINGTON, Jan 11: The United States has urged India to distance 
itself from a draft nuclear doctrine released in August 1999 that 
said New Delhi would pursue a policy of credible minimum 
deterrence.

A comprehensive report Proliferation: threat and response, released 
by the US government on Wednesday, says while the Indian draft has 
no official standing, having been prepared by the private advisory 
group appointed by the Indian government, it is "not consistent 
with India's stated goal of a minimum nuclear deterrence" and 
should be disowned by New Delhi.

The report has a separate chapter on South Asia. It says 25 
countries now possess, or are in the process of acquiring and 
developing, capabilities to inflict mass casualties and 
destruction.

India, it says, has a capable cadre of scientific personnel and a 
nuclear infrastructure consisting of numerous research and 
development centres, 11 nuclear power reactors, uranium mines and 
processing plants, and facilities to extract plutonium from spent 
fuel. "With this large nuclear infrastructure, India is capable of 
manufacturing complete sets of components for plutonium-based 
nuclear weapons, although the acquisition of foreign nuclear-
related equipment could benefit New Delhi in its weapon development 
efforts to develop and produce more sophisticated nuclear weapons," 
the report says.

It points out that in June 1998 New Delhi signed a deal with Russia 
to purchase two light-water reactors to be built in southern India. 
"India has taken no steps to restrain its nuclear or missile 
programmes. In addition, while India has agreed to enter into 
negotiations to complete a fissile material cut-off treaty, it has 
not agreed to refrain from producing fissile material before such a 
treaty would enter into force."

On Pakistan, the report says, like India, it is putting emphasis on 
becoming self-sufficient for the production of its nuclear weapons 
and missiles.

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20010112
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Hurriyat forms team for visit to Pakistan
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Jawed Naqvi

NEW DELHI, Jan 11: The All Parties Hurriyat Conference on Thursday 
named a surprise five-member delegation for a proposed crucial 
visit to Pakistan, omitting its chairman Abdul Gani Bhat and key 
leader Yasin Malik.

The APHC move, analysts said, was largely meant to frustrate New 
Delhi's apparent attempts to split the apex group fighting the 
Indian rule in Kashmir.

The APHC, however, urged the Indian government to issue passports 
to all seven members of its executive council, an official at the 
Hurriyat told Dawn.

"We have decided to send Maulvi Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Gilani, 
Abdul Gani Lone, Sheikh Abdulaziz and Maulvi Abbas Ansari," he said 
after a day-long meeting of the APHC's executive council.

The meeting discussed India's "attempt to choose" the APHC 
delegation for the visit, initially scheduled for Jan 15, by 
selectively issuing passports to some while excluding other 
Hurriyat leaders.

Of the seven executive council members only two held passports on 
Thursday that were valid for the Pakistan tour. They are former 
APHC chairman Maulvi Umar Farooq and senior leader Abdul Gani Lone, 
camping here for a heart check-up. The passport of Maulvi Abbas 
Ansari was impounded when he recently returned from the Islamic 
summit in Doha. It was not clear if that order was ever revoked.

Earlier, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said the government had 
decided to issue a passport to Mr Malik, but on medical grounds. 
According to the Hurriyat officials, even that passport was 
restricted to travel to the United States and Britain and thus was 
not valid for Pakistan.

Mr Malik was not immediately available for comment but Jamaat-i-
Islami leader Syed Ali Shah Gilani, back from hospital though still 
convalescing from bronchitis, told Dawn: "Yasin's passport is not 
valid for Pakistan, so he, too, is as handicapped as me."

Mr Gilani and People's League leader Sheikh Abdulaziz are the two 
leaders who, with Mr Bhat, have not been issued any travel document 
whatsoever. Going by Home Minister L.K. Advani's reported remarks 
India would prefer them to stay in Srinagar rather than to go to 
Pakistan for a visit that could become an embarrassment for New 
Delhi.

There is another possible link to Mr Advani's remarks. The Indian 
election commission on Thursday announced polls in May for five 
states, including Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Mr Advani's Bharatiya 
Janata Party has a major stake in both states. With little else to 
show for their two years in power, the BJP is going to need a 
combination of jingoism and communalism to mobilize support, 
analyst say.

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20010110
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AJK assembly enacts Ehtesab Bureau Ordinance 
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Tariq Naqash

MUZAFFARABAD, Jan 9: The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative 
Assembly here on Tuesday unanimously passed the AJK Ehtesab Bureau 
Ordinance, 2000, with some amendments.

The ordinance, which was twice promulgated last year in July and 
November, was introduced in the assembly on Saturday. On the same 
day, it was referred to a select committee headed by law minister 
Haji Javed Akhtar.

The select committee had proposed amendments in some 10 sections of 
the ordinance, which were unanimously endorsed by the house.

Through an amendment in section 27 subsection 4, the Ehtesab Bureau 
has been bound to inform the person arrested of the grounds and 
substance in writing, the basis of his arrest. 

He must be produced before the court within 24 hours, excluding the 
travelling time. The detention period for inquiry and investigation 
has been reduced from 75 to 30 days.

By an insertion in subsection 3 of section 2, no punishment 
contained in the ordinance would apply retrospectively. The 
insertion says, the offences committed after January 1, 1985 shall 
be triable under the ordinance, provided that, notwithstanding 
anything contained in this ordinance or any other law, the 
punishment for the offence committed prior to the enforcement of 
this ordinance shall not be awarded greater than the penalty 
prescribed for the offence at the time the offence was committed.

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20010109
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Govt puts curbs on official spending
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Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD, Jan 8: The government has immediately put a bar on all 
official spending with the exception of pay and allowances and the 
"most obligatory expenditures".

The Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR) is also being 
directed by the authorities not to release money to any government 
agency/ department, unless it is meant for payment of salaries and 
allowances of government servants, or to meet the "most obligatory 
expenditures.

A reliable source in the finance ministry told Dawn that the AGPR 
would release money for the "most obligatory expenditures" only if 
the proposed spending carries the approval of the concerned 
financial advisor (FA) of the respective ministry/division.

Official sources believe that this extraordinary measure is the 
consequence of "irrational" and "unnecessary" spending, by 
different ministries and divisions, resulting in more pressure on 
the already fragile economy of the government.

However, the authorities say that this step has been taken to get 
time for the purpose of reconciliation of government accounts up to 
December 2000, the first half of the current financial year. The 
ban will continue till the completion of reconciliation of accounts 
and issuance of necessary instructions by the finance division for 
the operation of the budget for the second half of the current 
financial year.

Meanwhile, the finance ministry has also convened a meeting of all 
of its financial advisors and deputy financial advisors attached to 
different ministries/divisions on January 11, to evolve the 
mechanism for operation of the budget in the second half of the 
financial year.

The meeting is expected to suggest major cuts in the official 
spending during the second half of the financial year, to narrow 
down the deficit gap which is imminent, due to the shortfall fall 
in revenue targets and also because of over- spending by different 
government departments.

The new system, which has decentralized the government expenditure 
by authorizing the principal accounting officer (PAO) of every 
ministry/division to spend the allocated money according to the 
needs and without referring the matter to the finance ministry, has 
reportedly resulted in serious financial indiscipline in government 
agencies.

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20010108
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New law on devolution within two months
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Reporter

KARACHI, Jan 7: The law governing local governments under the 
devolution of power plan will be in place much before August 14, 
2001 when the new system is to go into force throughout the country 
after completion of election process.

The ordinance, also outlining the city government, was being 
drafted in consultation with the provincial governments and may be 
enforced within two months, said Federal Information Secretary Syed 
Anwar Mehmood while talking informally to a group of journalists on 
Sunday.

Replying to a question, he said that the devolution of power is to 
take place not only from provinces to districts, but from Centre to 
provinces also, as enunciated by Chief Executive Gen Pervez 
Musharraf and chief of the National Reconstruction Bureau Gen 
Naqvi.

Mr Mehmood said the government was considering making the provinces 
more autonomous and equipping the offices of Nazim and Naib Nazim 
with financial powers to make the district governments more 
responsive to the peoples' problems.

About the government's impression on completion of the first phase 
of local government elections, he cited the CE's statement who had 
said the results of local government elections "have been taken as 
reposing confidence in the government by the people."

The chief executive has asked all the four governors to interact 
with the newly elected members of the union councils and associate 
them with programmes like poverty alleviation, food stamp and Zakat 
system. He has also asked them to give the elected members training 
on how to monitor projects and acquaint them with problems and 
their solution.

On certain western countries' demand for a roadmap of democracy's 
return, he said the government had already initiated the process 
through the ongoing local government elections and on its 
completion the next phase of elections would be announced. 

He said that some 18 observers teams, constituted by diplomats 
based in Islamabad, had watched the first phase of the local 
government elections in the 18 districts of the country.

The reduced age factor of voters may be one of the reasons behind 
the large turnout in the elections, which were held soon after Eid, 
he said to another question.

He said that despite the new system, in which each voter had to 
cast five ballots, if the literacy rate in the rural areas was kept 
in view, the spoil votes percentage, which was not more than 18 per 
cent, was not much. He hoped that in the next phases, this 
percentage would further come down.

Mr Mehmood said that in the new system, the role of local 
government in the development of the district would be far greater 
than the basic democracies of Ayub Khan, whose role was more an 
electoral college than local bodies.

Under the devolution plan, it is envisaged that the finance system 
of the district government would consist of a- revenue and its 
resources, b- tax collection machinery, c- incentive framework 
(ownership promotion, performance incentives) and d- the district 
budget (development expenditures and recurrent expenditures).

All these factors would combine to maintain financial autonomy and 
sustainability of the district government. The three tiers of local 
government would have tax collection machinery at their disposal 
and the specified schedule of local taxes for a union, tehsil and 
district, that would fall under the control of these respective 
levels. These financial powers outstand the new local government 
system from the past local bodies.

 Mahmood said the government expects a large turnout of voters in 
the remaining phases of union councils elections in the country, 
with the next phase scheduled for March 21, 2001 in 23 districts of 
the four provinces, adds PPI.

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010107
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Govt claims 45.7% turnout in LB polls
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report 

ISLAMABAD, Jan 6: There was a 45.7 per cent voter turnout as nearly 
3.9 million, out of 8.9 million registered voters in 956 union 
councils of 18 districts, voted in the first phase of local bodies 
elections held last week.

This was stated at an inter-provincial meeting presided over by 
Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf here on Saturday. The meeting 
was attended by all the four provincial governors, federal 
ministers for finance, interior, local government, chairman of the 
National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) and the Secretary to Election 
Commission of Pakistan.

While the Election Commission of Pakistan was claiming that the 
turnout was 45.7 per cent and in some areas over 50 per cent, local 
and foreign observers continued to challenge the figures by saying 
that people did not participate in the local bodies elections with 
fervour and enthusiasm as had been witnessed in the past.

Generally, it was said that the turnout was not more than 35 per 
cent. BBC and other wire services reported 30 to 35 per cent 
turnout in the elections.

One of the factors attributed to this low turnout was the fact that 
ballot papers had confused the voters because of their colours. 
Some of the newspaper reports which were not denied by any 
government agency, including the Election Commission, suggested 
that the confusion on ballot papers contributed to the reduction of 
10 per cent of polled votes.

Moreover, informed sources continued to maintain that over 2000 
candidates did not file their nomination papers in different areas 
despite a lot of persuasion by the local administrations.

The chief executive asked the governors to initiate the ground work 
in consultations with the NRB for smooth transition of the 
devolution process at the union council, tehsil and district level. 
He specially referred to the need for putting in place the 
administrative and logistic arrangements for smooth functioning of 
district governments.

He advised the governors to interact with the newly-elected 
councillors regularly and seek their views regarding issues and 
problems relating to their areas.

The meeting expressed satisfaction over the fact that a large 
number of voters had enthusiastically participated in the elections 
despite inclement weather and the Eid holidays. Satisfaction was 
also expressed over the fact that these elections had also brought 
up a large number of young and educated councillors at the union 
level.

The sources said that the CE told the meeting that efforts should 
be made to create more awareness so that more and more people could 
exercize their right to vote to send honest and dedicated people as 
their representatives to the elected institutions.

In this behalf, he said, the forthcoming national and provincial 
assembly elections were very important. He said the people would 
have to take deep interest to choose their members with great care 
so that their problems could be resolved and the country could be 
put on the path of progress and development.

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20010113
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Afghan refugees inflow multiplies
-------------------------------------------------------------------

GENEVA, Jan 12: The flow of Afghan refugees arriving in 
neighbouring Pakistan has jumped threefold over the last three 
days, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said on 
Friday.

The refugees, who are mostly women and children, are fleeing the 
conflict in Afghanistan pitting the Taliban against the opposition 
Northern Alliance, and the worst drought in living memory, he said.

Of the new arrivals in the last four months three quarters are from 
minority groups mainly Tajiks and Uzbeks, UNHCR has said. Some 25 
per cent are ethnic Pashtuns.

It is said that there was still no word from the Tajik government, 
which the UN agency has called upon to accept some 10,000 Afghans 
stuck for weeks on string of islands on the river Pyandj bordering 
the two countries.

"The reports coming from Afghanistan indicate that the people here 
are the lucky ones because they can afford the transport," said 
UNHCR emergency coordinator Mohammad Adar.

"I think the situation in Afghanistan is becoming a famine - it's 
not just a drought anymore," he said.

"Most of them have already spent a year or two in displacement 
camps in Afghanistan. They arrive in Pakistan already exhausted and 
with no means to survive on their own.-AFP


=================================================================== 
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20010112
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Relaxation in some IMF terms likely
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Jawaid Bokhari

KARACHI, Jan 11: Some of the tough and numerous IMF 
conditionalities may be eased to remove hurdles and help Pakistan 
meet key fiscal and monetary targets.

The first indication of a possible relaxation has come from the 
Fund agreeing to Islamabad's request to delay the change-over from 
fixed rate of return on Defence Savings Certificates to market-
determined yield on long-term government bond.

Under the stand by arrangement (SBA), the fixed return on DSCs was 
to end on Jan 1. On the same date, the Central Directorate of 
National Savings (CDNS) however informed all its outlets that "the 
DCS issued from Jan 1 to June 30, shall carry the existing rates of 
profit and shall remain valid for 10 years."

A CDNS circular, however, clarified that the rates of return will 
be subject to review after every six months, for which amendments 
are being made in rules.

Sources said the current return on DSCs was very close to the yield 
on government bonds, with very nominal variation and the government 
felt the fixed rate should be sustained for a while so as not to 
destabilize the DSCs' sales in a difficult fiscal situation.

Officials feared sharp drop in sales with the switch over to 
market-determined yields. It would have meant greater dependence of 
the government on bank borrowing for budgetary support when the 
banks are facing a tight liquidity problem. Interest rates would 
have soared. And the government would have ended up with a larger 
budget deficit. Facing a difficult situation, Islamabad approached 
the IMF and the Fund allowed a six-month postponement, sources say.

Budget deficit is a key issue in the IMF funding. The IMF 
conditionalities designed to take recipients towards free market 
and integration of national economies into global economy, often 
tend to cancel each other and work at cross purposes. A tight 
schedule of tariff cuts goes simultaneously with rapid increase in 
tax revenue. Targets in both areas have to be met.

Sources said the IMF needs to relax stiff terms, detailed in SBA, 
that are not so important, to enable Pakistan to achieve key fiscal 
and monetary targets. Pakistan has met pre-conditions like market-
driven exchange rate and depreciation of the rupee.

Financial analysts say that progress is being made to meet IMF's 
vital structural performance criteria. Quarterly petroleum price 
adjustment will provide windfall benefit to the oil marketing 
companies.

The revision in prices, imposed under the SBA, is aimed at ensuring 
that government meets the budgeted petroleum surcharge. Unofficial 
estimates are that the government has managed to earn Rs.6.85 
billion during July-September 2000. The price monitoring mechanism, 
say financial analysts, will ensure that the full year's target is 
met.

And the government has met the deadline for enactment of anti-
dumping law set for Dec 31, 2000. The law has been formulated in 
conformity with the WTO rules and would help remove differential in 
excises applied to domestically produced and imported goods.

Yet another very difficult area is where the State Bank was given a 
target for net domestic asset for end-December. The State Bank 
delivered but the liquidity crunch faced by the banks raised the 
issue whether such stipulations that deprive industry and the real 
economy of funds were at all advisable. Even commercial bankers 
feel that the NDA target for March 31, needed to be revised. It is 
the government borrowings from the State Bank that is at the root 
of the crisis. It is the private sector that is being penalized by 
the IMF.

Commercial bankers say that if given an opportunity, they would 
like to raise the issue with the IMF review mission expected next 
month. There is apparently a consensus among officials and private 
sector on the issue which the IMF may not find so easy to brush 
aside.

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20010112
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bigger uplift projects should get funds: CE
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 11: The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, has 
directed the finance ministry and the planning commission to 
provide substantial funds for bigger development projects of the 
provinces, including a water supply project in Karachi.

Official sources said here on Thursday that the officials of the 
ministry and the commission had been directed to arrange 
substantial amounts for major projects by pulling out funds from 
the slow-moving and relatively insignificant schemes.

But the priority should be given to projects like Karachi water 
supply, coastal highway, national drainage programme, flood 
protection and irrigation.

They were also asked to seek coordination of the provincial 
authorities for getting the projects of their choice to be 
undertaken in near future.

"We need to remove inter-provincial disharmony by greatly favouring 
provinces to have more and more development projects of their 
choice", an official quoted the chief executive as saying.

He said that the chief executive had also asked for ensuring no cut 
in the allocation for public sector development programme. The PSDP 
size has been kept at Rs120 billion for the current financial year.

The sources said fears were being expressed that the government 
might not achieve certain success to lower its budget deficit which 
was still over 5 per cent (Rs180 billion) and that eventually the 
PSDP could be the causality to reduce this deficit. The deputy 
chairman, planning commission, Dr Shahid Chaudhry had started a 
week-long mid-year review of the PSDP, they said. Maximum efforts, 
they added, would be made to ensure that there was no cut in the 
programme. However, they said it all depended on the Central Board 
of Revenue (CBR) to generate additional Rs90 billion and in case 
the department failed, then things could be difficult for the 
government and that there was no guarantee for not slashing the 
PSDP size.

During the review the planners would see whether certain 
development projects required re-allocations.

The meeting will also discuss the finalization of new 15-year 
development programme to replace the three-year plan (2000-2003), 
prepared by the commission.

The three-year macroeconomic framework envisaged an average GDP 
growth rate of 5.5 per cent, implying acceleration of growth rate 
from 4.5 per cent in 1999-2000 to 6 per cent in 2000-2003.

Nevertheless, the sources said, the level of investment that was 
required for 15-year plan was enormous and that nobody knew as to 
how the government would manage new resources.

Investment requirements for even the modest three years plan was 
estimated to be 15 per cent of the GDP in the base year to 18 per 
cent in the terminal year. Keeping in view the increasingly 
privatized structure of the economy, nearly two per cent of this 
incremental investment will have to come from the private sector 
and about one per cent from the public sector.

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20010112
-------------------------------------------------------------------
US lifts ban on computer export
-------------------------------------------------------------------

WASHINGTON, Jan 11: US President Bill Clinton has decided to ease 
controls on high-performance computer hardware exports because 
technological progress has made such restrictions largely 
ineffective, the White House said on Wednesday.

The decision will allow a number of countries, including Pakistan, 
India, former Soviet Union countries, China, Vietnam, and many 
Middle Eastern nations to import computers under 85,000 MTOPS 
(millions of theoretical operations per second) without licence.

Currently, the United States restricts acquisition of such 
technology by rivals or foes by limiting exports of high-
performance computers to certain countries.

Nations classified as Tier 1 nations, including US allies such as 
Japan and Western Europe, face no restrictions, while Tier 4 
countries, whose governments allegedly sponsor terrorism, face a 
virtual embargo on computer exports.

Tiers 2 and 3 face licensing requirements based on a measure of 
computer performance called MTOPS.

But this method is "already ineffective and it will be increasingly 
so within a very short time frame" due to the easy availability of 
high-performance computers from non-US sources, White House chief 
of staff John Podesta said.

So the US administration will loosen the standard on hardware - the 
sixth such easing since 1993 - but beef up restrictions on 
"critical software applications, such as nuclear, military, (and) 
radar cross-section applications," said Podesta.

"Software cannot be produced overnight," emphasized Deputy Defence 
Secretary Rudy DeLeon, who said the decision came after a review 
undertaken in 1999.

"With this revised strategy, we will ensure that those high 
performance computing capabilities that are critical to the 
national security of the United States continue to be effectively 
protected," he added.-AFP

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20010113
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Meeting export target a tough job: Dawood 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 12: The achievement of $10 billion exports target 
for the current financial year is getting tougher and tougher, 
concedes Minister for Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Dawood, who also holds the 
portfolio of industries and production, said the exporters were 
being asked to export more so that the difficult target for 2000-01 
could be achieved. "I am still hopeful but it is getting tougher 
and tougher to achieve it," he stated.

He regretted that exports were low by six per cent in December as 
compared to corresponding period in 1999. However, he said exports 
were up by 12 per cent upto November last year. One of the reasons 
for low exports in December, he said, was week-long holidays on 
account of Eid ul Fitr.

"If we increase our exports by five per cent, during the next six 
months, we will end up getting nine billion dollars. And if our 
exports are increased to 10 per cent, we will be having 9.5 billion 
dollars and in case of 15 per cent increase Pakistan will make 9.7 
billion dollars," he said. But no incentive would be given further 
to exporters to increase the country's exports.

"But we need to increase our exports to 20 per cent during the 
remaining period of the current financial year to achieve the 
formidable 10 billion dollar target," the commerce minister said.

Responding to a question, he said trade deficit was still $900 
million and there was a need to diversify the country's exports 
specially by having value addition as was done by other countries 
of the region. Nevertheless, he said, trade deficit would be 
narrowed during the remaining period of the current financial year.

The exports of four categories that included textile, garments, 
rice, leather, sport goods and surgical instruments had been 
satisfactory during the first five months of 2000-2001. There was 
an increase of eight per cent in textile in November, 15 per cent 
in surgical goods, 26 per cent in pharmaceutical, fish, chemical 
fruits and vegetable and 34 per cent in other items. But overall, 
he admitted, there was no considerable increase due to which 
achieving the target looked tougher.

To another question, Dawood said Iran and Afghanistan were being 
exported 250,000 tons of wheat, separately. Similarly, he said, 
Iraq also expressed his willingness to import 250,000 tons of wheat 
from Pakistan.

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20010113
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan, Iran form body on trade disputes 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Jan 12: Pakistan-Iran Joint Business Council (PIJBC) has 
decided to form a dispute settlement committee to resolve disputes 
in business transactions between the trading houses of the two 
countries.

A task force was also formed to assess the level of on- going 
smuggling through Pak-Iran border.

These decisions were taken during the second meeting of the joint 
business council on Thursday at the Federation House.

The FPCCI and Iranian Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines 
(ICCIM) would furnish the names of their representatives on the 
proposed committee and task force. It was further agreed that an 
agreement would be signed for the formation of dispute settlement 
committee during the visit of the FPCCI delegation to Tehran next 
year to attend the third meeting of the PIJBC.

The Iranian side, led by Engr Sayed Housain Salimi, informed the 
FPCCI members that their government was prepared to pay some 
premium to Pakistan to stop smuggling. They further informed that 
the Iranian government provided subsidy of $7 billion to its 
farmers and on many other items, which resulted in increased 
smuggling besides incompetitiveness for the Iranian businessmen to 
import the same products for their local market. This was the main 
reason for the sharp decline in import of rice and other food items 
from Pakistan by the private sector.

Salimi suggested for setting up a joint committee of FPCCI and 
ICCIM to ensure speedy implementation of the decisions taken in 
business council meetings. He also urged for setting up a common 
web site for providing updated and relevant information to the 
businessmen of the two countries.

It was further suggested that a permanent display centres should be 
set up in the premises of the FPCCI in Pakistan and ICCIM in Iran.

Later, the delegation visited the office of Islamic Chamber of 
Commerce and Industry and met its secretary general, Aqeel Ahmed 
Al- Jassem. Salimi said that the population of OIC countries is 
more than one billion but the share of intra-Islamic trade remained 
much below the satisfactory level.

He suggested that Islamic countries should set up a system for 
carrying out preferential trade to enhance the level of OIC trade. 
He said lack of information was hindering the progress of economic 
cooperation.

Aqeel invited the businessmen of Iran and Pakistan to the 8th 
Private Sector Meeting to be held in Guinea in October next.

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20010113
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Govt defers 15% GST levy
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, Jan 12: The government has postponed plans to impose 15 
per cent GST, on those manufacturing units which are paying 2 per 
cent turnover tax, till the presentation of the next federal 
budget.

More than 7000 industrial units presently paying 2 per cent GST 
were to be brought under the normal procedure, in exercise since 
July 1996 under section 3(A) of the Sales Tax Act, 1990. However, 
these units were kept out of VAT mode tax and it was decided at the 
time of the Federal Budget 2000-2001 that GST would be extended to 
them from January or February 2001.

Sources explained to Dawn that the government intends to bring 
these units under the 15 per cent sales tax nomenclature for 
documentation of their inputs and sales. Their present status does 
not allow the Central Board of Revenue to scan their records for 
determining actual sales and income.

The recent changes made in Sales Tax Law for inputs documentation 
of large and medium scale industrial units has left no space of 
operation for small and medium scale manufacturing sub-sectors 
under the non-VAT mode.

The change in Sales Tax Ordinance for imposition of 15% tax on 
units presently paying 2 per cent turnover tax will be made through 
issuance of a Presidential Ordinance. Through this ordinance, these 
units would be converted into regular sales taxpayers.

The CBR has been negotiating with the management of these units 
after complaints from the large and medium scale industries paying 
15 per cent tax that those paying 2 per cent turnover tax have 
rendered the former units uncompetitive in a large number of 
locally-produced items.

Most of the turnover tax paying units produce mild steel, plastic 
goods, kitchenware, ceramics, sanitary fitting, electric fans, 
marble tiles, paper-board, polyethene bags, processed fabrics, 
PVC/RCC pipes, washing machines, desert coolers, aluminium utensils 
and powerloom manufacturers.

Through an audit conducted last year, the CBR found that 16 
manufacturing sectors paying 2 per cent turnover tax have evaded 
more than Rs6 billion sales tax in three months. In negotiations 
with the representative bodies of these sectors they were asked to 
open their accounts to routine audit by the Sales Tax Department as 
a first step towards imposition of VAT mode tax.

These negotiations, however, did not prove fruitful as the 
manufacturers did not agree to voluntary documentation. In the 
third round of the tax survey, however, scores of these units are 
now being visited by the survey teams and are being asked for 
details on their inputs and sales.

Once this process is over, the CBR would be asking the government 
to issue an ordinance for conversion of these units into GST-paying 
registered manufacturers. Presently, the CBR deems it fit not to 
carry out this plan until the next budget is prepared.

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20010112
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Team upset over Iran's refusal to buy wheat
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Aamir Shafaat Khan

KARACHI, Jan 11: Leader of the visiting 16-member Iranian trade 
delegation, Seyed Housain Salimi, has said that he would take up 
the issue of his government's refusal to buy 200,000 tons of wheat 
worth $30 million from Pakistan.

At a meeting with businessmen at the Federation of Pakistan 
Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Thursday, he showed 
concern over the decision.

"I am shocked," Salimi responded to a news item published in Dawn 
on Thursday regarding Iran's refusal to buy wheat from Pakistan.

However, he said: "Refusal to buy wheat from Pakistan will not 
affect our old relations," and added, "We will take up the issue at 
the government level."

Talking to Dawn, he stressed the need for exchange of business 
information between Pakistan and Iran. "We need to know each 
others' products and also should have some idea of our market 
demand," he said.

He said that his government had chalked out a privatization 
programme for the five years.

Addressing the gathering, he said his country had regularized the 
imports of various items including fruits and vegetables and only 
customs duty had to be paid. He said Tehran has lifted the customs 
duty on the import of denim from various countries including 
Pakistan, about a week ago.

He said according to calculations, 30-40 per cent of the total 
expenditure of global trade was related to transport, which in our 
case would remarkably decrease, due to neighbourhood.

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20010112
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Businessmen urge suspension of tax survey
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Jan 11: A large number of business leaders demanded of the 
government to immediately suspend the ongoing tax survey. This 
demand was made in a meeting of the businessmen representing 
various town and trade associations, held at the Karachi Chamber of 
Commerce and Industry on Thursday.

The meeting was held to examine the implications arising out of the 
checking of stocks and spot assessment by the tax surveyors' teams.

A KCCI press release stated that there were heated debates by most 
members of the business community against the prevalent tax survey.

The survey, President KCCI, Zubair Motiwalla observed, has neither 
broadened the tax net nor has it contributed towards revenue 
generation, rather it has slowed down the economic recovery 
process.

He informed that the KCCI has already invited income tax 
commissioners and collector, Sales Tax East to chamber for holding 
discussion on these problems.

He requested the CBR to disclose the total number of survey forms 
that have been returned. He said that about 40 per cent forms have 
not been collected by the authorities concerned.

The thrust of tax survey and procurement of necessary information, 
he said, must be directed towards those who do not hold the NTN 
cards.

The industrialists, Motiwala stated, are willing to discharge their 
legitimate tax liability and extend their support in broadening of 
tax net, but there ought not be any discrimination in the 
application of tax laws, either in sectors or in regions, letting 
everyone pay according to his capacity and ability.

Chairman SITE Association of Industry, Zakariya Usman asserted that 
these exercises were holding back the economic revival, specially 
in Karachi. Former chairman, Site Association, Majyd Aziz hinted at 
holding talks directly with the Corps Commander on such hardships.

Asif Aziz Balagamwala said that survey should be postponed till the 
time 100 per cent forms - which have already been distributed - 
were collected. Dawood Usman Jhakoora said that the survey is 
causing harassment. Aftab Khalili said that the agriculture sector 
has remained scot-free and the traders and industrialists are being 
pressurised for mobilizing additional revenues.

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20010110
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Importers calm on rising of dollar
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Jan 9: A two per cent decline in the rupee value this 
month has so far not led to panic buying of dollars by importers, 
who hope that the local currency may not fall further in the near 
future.

Senior bankers said there was no unusual rush for the dollars by 
importers adding that premiums on forward buying had declined 
during this month.

"We think the volatility in inter-bank exchange rates may soon 
recede and the rupee may recover part of its lost strength," said 
regional chairman of Pakistan Tea Association Razzak Bantwawala.

"The rupee may remain stable in near future," said chairman of 
Pakistan Plastic Manufacturers Association Zakaria Usman, who was 
asked by Dawn why importers were not making huge dollar buyings.

The recent history has it that importers make a beeline for 
greenbacks if the rupee starts falling upright. But why then the 
history is not repeating itself?

"The answer is importers have a positive outlook for the rupee in 
the near future," said Zakaria, who is also chairman of SITE 
Association of Industry, representing around 2000 industries.

"But one can also put it another way. Importers are rather not 
making big imports either... because of uncertainty in government 
policies," he said.

The rupee, after closing at 57.90 to a US dollar in inter-bank 
market on year-end, started falling immediately afterwards as banks 
made dollar buying for official and corporate debt payment. On 
Monday, the rupee closed around 59.40 to a dollar after rising to 
the intra-day high of 58.90 and touching the low at 59.75 for some 
brief moments.

Bankers say the most immediate reason for the fall of rupee is that 
some foreign banks have purchased millions of dollars ahead of a 
$50-55 million debt and interest payment by Hubco, this week.

They say unlike in the past the importers have so far remained calm 
and are not rushing either for spot dollar buying or forward buying 
to hedge their positions against future fall of the rupee.

They say banks are ready to sell forward dollars to importers on as 
low premiums as 10-12 paisa but there are not many buyers. 
Importers refute this impression saying that forward premiums on 
Monday were as high as 70-86 paisa for one month and cite "unfair 
premiums" as a key factor that keeps them from forward buyings.

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20010111
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Foreign trade deficit up to $938m
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Muhammad Ilyas

ISLAMABAD, Jan 10: The deficit in foreign trade of Pakistan soared 
to $938.09 million during the first half of 2000-01, up 22.32 per 
cent from the corresponding period previous year.

According to figures, released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics 
(FBS) on Wednesday, a significant aspect of the trade figures is 
6.01 per cent decline in exports during December 2000, as compared 
to December 1999. Likewise, the imports also showed a decrease of 
8.01 per cent.

It is this trend in foreign trade, which prevented the trade 
deficit from rising as sharply as in the previous months of the 
current fiscal.

The government had set the trade deficit target at $800 million for 
the entire year. As evident from the difference between the amount 
of goods exported and the amount of imports, however, the trade gap 
has already jumped ahead of the target by about 18 per cent when 
there still remain six months to the year.

The exports during the period July-December 2000, totalled $4.478 
billion, denoting an increase of 8.34 per cent over the 
corresponding period of previous year. The exports performance, was 
equivalent to about 43.73 per cent of the target of $10 billion. 
This leaves the country 6.27 per cent behind the target for six 
months.

That the balance of payments situation continues to worsen is 
evident from the fact that whereas in the first half of 1999- 2000, 
the trade deficit was equivalent to 18.77 per cent of exports. The 
ratio of trade imbalance to exports in the corresponding period of 
current fiscal went up to 20.97 per cent.

In order to come at par with the target, further analysis shows, 
the country needs to achieve $5.527 billion worth of exports, that 
is, at the average rate of $921.16 million per month in the 
remaining half of the fiscal. In the first six months, however, the 
exports averaged $745.46 million.

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20010107
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Water shortage: IRSA given one month to resolve dispute
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Jan 6: Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf has 
directed the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) to resolve the 
intra-provincial dispute over sharing of irrigation water shortage 
through consensus.

The chief executive also directed the IRSA to hold daily meetings 
to resolve the issue within a month.

The CE stressed the need for resolving the water dispute through 
consensus during a meeting with the officials of IRSA in Islamabad 
on Saturday, where he was briefed about the diverging views of 
Punjab and Sindh, over the sharing of water shortages.

Punjab has been demanding that during water shortages, distribution 
of the scarce resource among the four provinces should be made 
according to 'historical usage,' whereas Sindh claims that the 
provinces should be supplied water as per formula laid down in the 
1991 Water Accord.

Earlier, the Law Ministry, to which the issue was referred, had 
suggested that the irrigation water sharing should be made on the 
basis of the 1991 Water Accord but "the provinces, through 
consensus, can make some other temporary arrangement."

The Law Ministry's advice was referred to the provinces for their 
comments. Sindh promptly replied, reiterating its demand of 
implementing the 1991 Accord. Punjab took months to formulate its 
reply, which was finally received by IRSA on Friday.

Balochistan has also called for the implementation of the accord 
while comments from the NWFP are still awaited.

"Water management is a nationally important and sensitive issue and 
dispute over sharing of shortages should be resolved through 
consensus," Gen Musharraf stressed in the meeting, according to an 
IRSA press release.

The chief executive desired that IRSA should hold daily meetings to 
thrash out the dispute within a month.

"From Tuesday onwards we will hold IRSA meetings daily to reach 
consensus," an IRSA official told Dawn. During their hour-long 
meeting with the CE, the IRSA members apprised General Musharraf 
that the authority had already complied with all the directives 
issued by him earlier.

The CE was also informed that IRSA headquarters had been shifted 
from Lahore to Islamabad and the representative of the federal 
government at the authority had been selected from Sindh as desired 
by him.

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20010111
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Rupee gains against dollar
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Jan 10: After falling sharply over the last couple of 
sessions, the rupee on Wednesday showed a measure of strength and 
was quoted higher by 10 paisa against the dollar in inter-bank 
dealings.

Moving within an extremely narrow range of 15 paisa, as the demand 
for dollar was not that aggressive, rupee finally settled at 
Rs58.70 and 59.20 for buying and selling in comparison to Rs58.80 
and 59.30, a day earlier.

"The new year demand for greenback, both from importers and 
corporate sector appears to be falling", bankers say adding "the 
pressure on rupee is fading progressively".

Identical strength was also witnessed against other major 
currencies including the European and Gulf trading partners, they 
say.

For the third session in a row, the rupee, however, weakened 
against the dollar by six paisa in kerb, the total erosion since 
last Saturday of 22 paisa, reflecting that corporates are meeting a 
part of their demand from the open market, currency dealers said.

But there was no evidence of official intervention at any stage as 
the rupee was allowed to find its own value, they added.

Treasury Bills: Meanwhile, the central bank has accepted all bids 
offered by primary dealers against the sale of Treasury Bills, 
discounted value for one-month and 6-month bills being Rs10.215m 
and 16.018m, respectively. No bid was received against the 12-month 
Treasury Bills.

Back to the top
EDITORIALS & FEATURES
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20010107
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Advancing to retreat 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ardeshir Cowasjee

ONCE again we are on the backtrack, handing our detractors a field-
day and harming the lives, liberty and well-being of 150 million 
Pakistanis, many of whom, hungry and thirsty, exist below the 
poverty line.

Portions of the main Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report of 1972 
which does no damage to the interests of those now in power has 
been 'exhibited' (as opposed to released). Those who wish to read 
it and do not live in the capital city must travel all the way 
there to do so. Copies, strangely enough in view of the release 
last year of the Supplementary Report of 1974, have not been made 
available to the general public. Supposedly, we will now have to 
wait for the Indians to let us have the entire main report with the 
portions which have been withheld from us.

The principal culprits responsible for the break-up of Pakistan are 
all dead, the cleverest of the lot of course being the power-
hungry, megalomaniac politician, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto - 'I'd rather 
be the topdog of half of Pakistan than the underdog of the whole of 
Pakistan.'

Second on the list is President of the Republic, Commander-in-Chief 
of the Army, General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan, But, to our eternal 
shame, the brave leaders who followed him denied him an open trial 
and an opportunity to speak.

It has been recorded, and remains uncontroverted, that to the 
credit of Yahya, it must be said that he never denied 
responsibility for the part he played in the dismemberment of 
Pakistan. He made this admission on many an occasion, including to 
the Hamoodur Rahman Commission. Major-General Rao Farman Ali Khan, 
in his book 'How Pakistan Got Divided', records: "As far as Yahya 
was concerned, the Commission stated that he had accepted 
responsibility for everything."

Yahya was immediately incarcerated and held incommunicado by Bhutto 
at the end of December 1971, first in a 'special house' and then in 
his own home. By the time Zia came along and released him it was 
too late. He had suffered a debilitating stroke and was severely 
incapacitated until he died.

The third culprit and victim was Mujibur Rahman, who, prior to the 
break-up, was imprisoned by Yahya, released to become the first 
head of the new country Bangladesh and was subsequently killed 
together with members of his close family, daughters Hasina and 
Rehana being the two survivors, by factions of his own warring 
former supporters. (Hasina is now the prime minister of Bangladesh 
and the least any gentleman from this side could now do, in this 
age of apology and frank admission, is to condole, sympathize and 
express regrets for the bitter bloody past.).

After the first three on the list of culprits follow the mass of 
minions, the misled empty-headed army, and the cunning devious 
bureaucrats (Pakistan's 'gods on earth') who from the very birth of 
the country regarded and treated the people of East Pakistan, the 
'Bingos', like dirt (for want of a better word) and never missed an 
opportunity to humiliate them. Most of the top layer of bureaucrats 
are now dead. Those senior army officers who survive should be 
shamed and ostracized, even at this late stage of their lives. and 
not feted and feasted and requested to spare their valuable time to 
open flower shows and melas.

On the subject of Yahya Khan, reproduced is an excerpt from a book 
written by former American diplomat James W. Spain, 'In Those Days 
- A Diplomat Remembers'. It is humorous and informative and the 
portions relating to Pakistan tell us just how we are regarded by 
observers:

"Once the family and I went overseas again, the 'rubbing of 
shoulders' with the Great began in earnest. General Yahya Khan had 
replaced General Ayub Khan as president a few months before we 
arrived in troubled Pakistan in 1969. I had been friends with Yayha 
during my earlier incarnation in Karachi. That he liked a drink was 
known even then. Indeed, I had occasionally supplied a bottle of 
whiskey from our rationed diplomatic stock. I don't suppose that 
the difference was much greater in those days when he had been a 
colonel and I a vice-consul than that between a president and a 
charge d'affaires. I observed that now he never had anything more 
than a glass of sherry with lunch or dinner.

"In any event, in Pakistan old friendships run deep. To the 
annoyance of my anointed ambassadorial colleagues in Islamabad 
(including old friend General Parkavan, who was back in Pakistan as 
Iranian ambassador), Yahya took to calling the American charge to 
sit next to him on public occasions. We talked of the long-standing 
US-Pakistan alliance and how to preserve it. He got me off the hook 
with the US Air Force on the matter of compensation for the 
movables left at Badaber. I escorted to him a long line of visiting 
senior US officials, culminating in President Nixon's visit on 
August 1, 1969. Lasting good came out of that. Henry Kissinger's 
subsequent secret visit to Beijing from Pakistan, the first step in 
US recognition of Communist China, was arranged.

"By the time of the break-up of Pakistan in 1970-71, the pains were 
in far-off Turkey. Yahya emerged in the world press as the bloody 
but incompetent 'Butcher of Bengal'. Word came from old friends 
that he was drinking again. That may have explained some of the 
brutality and inefficiency of Islamabad's performance in what soon 
became the independent country of Bangladesh.

"In my mind even now, however, the real reasons for the break-up 
were different. Aspiring prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, 
fearing rejection by an East Pakistani majority, enraged the people 
of East Pakistan by forcing a delay in the national elections Yahya 
had promised to restore democracy. An always suspicious India 
seized the opportunity to undermine Pakistani unity and supported 
Bangladesh independence by war. In my experience, Yahya was a 
decent and honourable man. His intentions were good, and his sins 
were human. May peace be upon him."

Today Pakistan is mired in a deep sticky pool of cess. Our sole 
ally is the uneducated, violent, obscurantist, terrorism-bent 
Taliban government of the internationally-ostracized sanction-
stricken Afghanistan.

General Pervez Musharraf and his men are floundering, as would 99 
out of 100 in their position and circumstance. However, there is no 
corruption that we know of at the higher levels, and at the lower 
levels what seeps through is far less than it was in the 
'democratic' '90s. That in itself is a plus. The general has 
neither the guile and gall of Zia-ul-Haq nor his amazing capacity 
to tell lies. Another plus. But, in a short space of time he has 
decided that he has been assigned a 'mission' (which he hinted was 
divinely inspired). Now this is a definite minus. Reportedly, he 
does not read as many newspapers as did Zia, thereby hoping that he 
will be less confused. Another minus.

The general's one ear is Major-General Rashid Qureshi who luckily 
does not commute as often as did Qaim Ali Shah, Benazir's commuting 
chief minister of Sindh, but who for ever seems to be hovering over 
various areas of our land and is thus affectionately known as 
'Eagle'. He sometimes reads, and he may read this column.

As far as the Hamoodur Rahman Report is concerned, why not let the 
entire unexpurgated document be made public? This may do less harm 
than a truncated version which arouses high suspicion. Let It be 
read, commented upon and criticized. General Musharraf should be 
big enough to do this.

As for the people of Bangladesh, Musharraf should do as did Conrad 
Adenauer, Chancellor of West Germany, after World War II, who 
visited war memorials and various controversial sites and started 
the trend of atonement for the sins committed by a country at war. 
This trend has continued down a half century with other countries 
such as Japan and the US. If Musharraf cannot bring himself to 
travel and offer atonement for the sins committed for 24 long years 
by the Pakistan military and civil authorities, he should form a 
delegation of senior officials to do so. Is anyone in this country 
aware that it is the man who extends his hand and offers an 
apology, no matter how late, who is bigger than the one who 
doesn't?

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20010112
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The last of the public school boys
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ayaz Amir

WHO has ruled Pakistan this last half century? In parts, the 
political class, the bureaucracy and the military. But who amongst 
these three classes has constituted the core, the essence, of the 
country's ruling caste? The answer is obvious: boys from the public 
schools whose main attainment has not been the knowledge of the 
classics or the mastery of science, either of which would be some 
consolation, but the use of the English language.

No divide in Pakistan - ethnic, provincial or class - runs deeper 
than that of language. The language of power in Pakistan (as indeed 
in India) is English. It is the language of the law, the government 
and the military. Half-educated lawyers must perforce argue in it 
and judges with an indifferent command over the language perforce 
write their judgments in it (which accounts for the unreadable 
judgments of recent judicial history). Government summaries and 
communiques are written in English. At the military academy in 
Kakul raw cadets, many of them from mofussil schools, are taught to 
become 'gentlemen' in the Sandhurst manner.

The languages of impotence and disenfranchizement are Urdu and the 
local tongues - great for police constables or truck-drivers but of 
limited use in the higher spheres of the Islamic Republic. Small 
wonder then if merit is a whore in Pakistan. A public school accent 
guarantees not only employment but also success and adequate 
remuneration. Sure, boys and girls from the vernacular schools also 
rise to the top. But compared to their counterparts from the 
convents and the public schools they just have to try that much 
harder. To the extent then that the old boy network exists in 
Pakistan, it lies deep within the public schools. If there is a 
masonic tradition in Pakistan it is this. The religious madrassahs 
of course are helping create a different kind of old boy network 
but that's another story.

I am urging, however, no language revolution in Pakistan. That can 
await the rising of another sun. I am all for English (not least 
because I earn my bread and butter by it) provided it is not an 
instrument of exploitation of the many at the hands of the mediocre 
few, an instrument more powerful than any other in the land. All I 
am trying to do is to point out a simple truth. The failure of 
politics in Pakistan is the failure of the public school boys who 
have ruled the country as politicians, mandarins or super-generals. 
To say that Pakistan's affairs have been mismanaged has become a 
truism, a more enduring symbol of the cocktail hour than peanuts or 
potato chips. But seldom is the blame laid where it belongs: at the 
doorsteps of the true ruling caste.

Consider the paladins who have ruled Pakistan: Iskander Mirza, 
Ayub, Yahya, Bhutto, Zia (yes, even Zia, St. Stephen's College, 
Delhi), Benazir, Nawaz Sharif (yes, even he, St. Anthony's and then 
Government College, Lahore), Asif Zardari (he ruled Pakistan, 
didn't he?), Farooq Leghari. These are just the principal actors. 
Behind them stretch a long line of extras: all hoisted to powerful 
positions on the strength of the English language. In this feast of 
mediocrity and incompetence every public school of note has had its 
share, Aitchison College perhaps taking the prize in this 
connection. Chiefs' College is also what it likes to call itself. 
Down the years some roll-call of chiefs it has produced.

Today the wheel has taken another turn. As the sky darkens and the 
national colours flutter wanly in the evening breeze, it has fallen 
in great measure to my alma mater, Lawrence College, to provide the 
chiefs of this dispensation and shoulder the burden of government. 
If ever there was a chance for the public school fraternity to 
redeem itself, this was it. Forget the constitutional morality of 
it. October 12 was a great opportunity provided there was wit and 
vision enough to profit from it. But, as the evidence of failure 
mounts, it takes no extraordinary insight to see that the public 
school fraternity has blown it again. With one difference, however. 
This time it has blown it with great thoroughness.

But it is not Lawrence College alone that is to blame. The failure 
it represents is more general. Visit the country's leading clubs 
and on soft leather sofas you will come across impressive windbags 
- whisky-cured voices spouting cliches and inanities with an air of 
wisdom. Such Colonel Blimps are objects of fun even in England, 
their original home. But in Pakistan for 53 years they have 
furnished the country its leading statesmen and warriors.

The trouble is this circus, amusing while it lasts, is reaching the 
end of the road. In the public school hierarchy Aitchison is 
somewhere at the top, Lawrence College somewhere below on the 
heights. Beyond Lawrence College there is nothing, just the yawning 
depths. General Musharraf had no need to put his dogs on display in 
order to prove his liberal credentials. He and his generals, 
conscious of it or not, represent the last stand of the public 
school order as it has prevailed in the army for long. When their 
failure is played out, who will take their place?

Since the country's birth the public school boys have had the best 
of everything. Now as the shadows lengthen, it is they and their 
progeny who are deserting Pakistan. For the labouring or 
professional classes to seek a better deal outside is nothing. This 
has been the pattern of movement through the ages. In the 19th 
century and the early part of the 20th the lowliest Swedes, 
Italians, Germans and others besides, those who did not have much 
of a future in their own homelands, looked up at the Statue of 
Liberty and landed on American shores. But in Pakistan it is the 
privileged classes which are voting with their feet and getting out 
of Pakistan. Next door to us, the Afghan aristocracy - in many ways 
more poised and assured than our own - fled their homeland because 
of war and revolution. But Pakistan's well-to-do classes, after 
putting the seal of failure on the country's affairs, are getting 
out because of an insecurity that can only be explained by the 
psychology of plunder: the feeling that the till is empty and that 
the good times are finally over.

This is not the failure of a country. It is the defeatism and 
intellectual poverty of a parasitic ruling class: incompetent in 
leadership and ready to abandon the trenches at the first sign of 
defeat. You may not agree with Lashkar-i-Taiba or, say, Jaish 
Muhammad, which want to liberate Kashmir by force. But they are 
imbued with a sense of purpose which gives them strength. The 
overriding sense of purpose of Pakistan's public school boys is to 
give their kids a foreign education. To echo Yeats, on one side, a 
passionate intensity; on the other, the lack of all conviction. It 
is an unequal battle.

Every country needs a ruling class. There is nothing undemocratic 
about this. It is just the way how human societies are organized, 
with a knightly order at the top and drones and workers at the 
bottom. England has a ruling class and has had one for a thousand 
years. So does France, Japan, the United States. A hierarchical 
order of merit and superior accomplishment reigns in all these 
countries and will reign ten thousand years from now. The only 
thing is that the knights of a ruling order should be worthy of 
their vocation through learning and experience. It is just our luck 
to have a ruling class whose foremost characteristics are greed, 
incompetence and a knowledge of the English language.

Via the civil service, it is true, men of some learning entered the 
portals of power. But how many of them could resist the lure of 
corruption or refrain from exercising authority without regard to 
law or morality? In general terms, Pakistan's politicians have been 
feckless and vacillating creatures, lacking both spine and vision, 
its higher generals witless blunderers, its mandarins past masters 
at sycophancy and intrigue (and its journalists half-literate 
breast-beaters). The lights are dimming on their collective 
performance. What play awaits us next?

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20010113
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The price of hypocrisy 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Irfan Husain

IN its issue of January 2, The Guardian carried a story reporting 
on New Year celebrations from different parts of the world. It 
listed spectacular fireworks, people jumping into freezing rivers 
and all kinds of wild parties. At the end, it reported that 
Pakistanis had been prevented from celebrating because of threats 
from religious groups.

In his weekly column of Jan 9 ("Indoors on New Year's eve"), Omar 
Kureishi wrote in this space: "We must not stifle the people 
further by taking away whatever little enjoyment they get by saying 
farewell to a wretched year and hoping for a better one." In the 
same column he quoted from a letter to the editor by Taher Sachak: 
"Pakistan must be the only country in the world where people are 
not allowed to celebrate the dawning of the new year with the 
forced closure of hotels and restaurants."

Indeed, ever since Zia spread his poison across the land, Pakistan 
has become an increasingly joyless place. By giving fanatics a free 
hand in rewriting the social agenda, the military dictator 
succeeded in developing a political constituency for himself, as 
well as sowing dissent and confusion, thus prolonging his baneful 
stint in office. Weak politicians who succeeded him had neither the 
will to keep these zealots in check, nor the desire to rock the 
boat. They were too busy looting and mismanaging the country to 
care that it had been hijacked by the most backward elements in our 
society.

The result of this supine attitude towards intolerance is that 
well-placed military sources are unsure if they can handle the 
backlash a crackdown against jihadi groups could provoke. And if 
the army can't take them on, who can? Another problem is that there 
are elements within the armed forces sympathetic to the aims of 
these elements. By using them in Afghanistan and Kashmir, the 
establishment has conferred a certain legitimacy on them, apart 
from arming and financing them.

There had been high (and highly misplaced) hopes when this military 
regime took over that it would curb the growing lawlessness spread 
by these religious fascists. This calculation was based largely on 
General Pervez Musharraf's publicly professed admiration of the 
fiercely secular Mustafa Kemal Pasha, and by his personally liberal 
outlook. Initially, the fundamentalist groups were forced on the 
back-foot by the prospect of a hostile military command. But all 
too soon, the Chief Executive distanced himself from any Kemalist 
notions he may have entertained in the face of a strident attack 
from the Jamaat chief, Qazi Hussain Ahmad. The final surrender to 
the forces of darkness came when General Musharraf retracted his 
pledge to make the much-criticized blasphemy law less draconian.

Having seen and demonstrated that the army is a paper tiger, the 
bigots are bent on implementing their agenda to drag us back to the 
dark ages. Knowing full well that they stand no chance in winning 
an election (as proved yet again in the recent partial local body 
polls), they are confident that they can press ahead with the 
army's tacit support. To show their strength, they use bully-boy 
tactics on the streets, and hence a cheerless New Year's eve.

Returning to Taher Sachak's letter to the editor, he asks: "Are our 
law and order institutions so weak that a small unruly minority is 
permitted to hold the (law-abiding) majority to ransom?" I'm afraid 
the answer must be 'yes.' Given that successive governments have 
demonstrated an embarrassing lack of backbone in dealing with 
zealous thugs, the police force is hardly likely to stick its neck 
out without political support.

And yet other Muslim countries have no problem in celebrating the 
advent of the New Year. Festivities were at full-blast from Jakarta 
to Istanbul, and from Almati to Algiers. It was only Pakistan and 
Afghanistan that the event passed by. Why have we taken it upon 
ourselves to be bracketed with the most backward country in the 
world? More to the point, why do we make such a big deal about 
young people having a little fun? In what way is our faith 
threatened by a bit of dancing and merry-making?

The problem is that out of insecurity, our begoted pontiffs have 
taken it upon themselves to proclaim that somehow, Pakistan has 
acquired a monopoly on Islam, and only they can interpret it. If 
fun is banned in Islam, then how come it isn't taboo in other 
Muslim countries? Or do they practise a lesser brand of the faith? 
I have yet to hear a rational explanation of why we cannot enjoy 
ourselves without incurring the wrath of both the police and the 
religious vigilantes.

The other night a neighbour blocked the street, set up a shamiana 
and played very loud music the whole night. Neither the police nor 
the self-appointed custodians of our faith raised any objection, 
perhaps because the gentleman concerned has at least one foot in 
that camp. Similarly, the blood and entrails of sacrificial animals 
are dumped out on the streets at Eidul Azha without a thought. This 
anti-social and inconsiderate behaviour is condoned by the very 
people who so effectively sabotage other celebrations.

Although dancing and singing pre-date the development of language, 
our zealots are determined to stamp them out. There have been 
rallies in Peshawar and Karachi in which satellite receivers, TV 
sets and VCRs were destroyed. While Pakistan virtually comes to a 
grinding halt in Ramazan, the month is one long celebration in 
other Muslim countries.

Our hypocritical ways are not without a price: the ban on betting 
at horse races has deprived the exchequer of uncounted billions 
over the years. While races continue to be held (and results 
announced in the press) and bookies go on taking bets, the 
government cannot collect taxes as the bets are technically 
illegal. An even more illogical situation obtains where prohibition 
is concerned. While Sindh has sensibly issued permits to liquor 
shops to sell alcoholic beverages to non-Muslims, the other 
provinces have taken a far more rigid position, depriving 
themselves of a rich source of revenue. Meanwhile, the smugglers 
and bootleggers are thriving at the cost of the state exchequer.

We have become so accustomed to the sickness that is eating away at 
our social fabric that we have come to think of it as the norm. But 
when we look around, we discover that the world need not be the 
grim place it has become for us and that people can have fun 
without being struck dead by a bolt of lightning.


SPORTS
20010109
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PCB yet to recommend names for civil award
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Jan 8: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has not 
recommended names of any of its player for the prestigious Pride of 
Performance award to be conferred by the President on March 23.

A top official of the PCB confirmed that he had no information 
regarding the names of the players, admitting that no nominations 
had been sent until Monday.

"If there had been a move, some document pleading the case of the 
player must have been prepared," the spokesman said, adding: "I am 
not sure if the PCB chairman decides in next few days to nominate 
the names of a few players."

The director general of the Pakistan Sports Board, Brig Saulat 
Abbas, said from Islamabad that all the affiliated units of the PSB 
have been directed to suggest the names of their players who have 
achieved anything significant at the international level.

"But the PCB comes directly under the President and not the PSB," 
he said.

President Mohammad Rafiq Tarar is the Patron-in-chief of the PCB.

The Brigadier added: "In the next 20 days, the list of sports 
personalities to be awarded the Pride of Performance would be 
released."

Pakistan cricket is plagued with controversies with corruption 
charges still hanging over some of the leading players despite the 
publication and implementation of Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum's 
report on match-fixing.

To rub salt into the wounds, Pakistan cricket team's performance in 
the year that has just concluded has been a mixed bag.Last time any 
cricketer got the Pride of Performance award was few years back.

Last year, the PCB honoured Moin Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, 
Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saeed Anwar with lifetime achievement awards.

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20010108
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Financially sound PCB can afford Boycott
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, Jan 7: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) can afford the 
luxury of appointing Geoffrey Boycott because of the 62 per cent 
increase in its revenues in the year that has just finished.

The amount that was Rs 367 million at the start of year 2000, rose 
to Rs 593 million in the next 12 months because of the increase in 
investments by the PCB and recoveries from pending shares.

The PCB received its overdue shares from PILCOM ($3.75 million), $1 
million from Pepsi, the Pakistan team sponsors, and from the home 
series against Srli Lanka and England. The PILCOM claim was from 
the 1996 World Cup which was jointly hosted by Pakistan, India and 
Sri Lanka and whose distribution of profits had been delayed 
because of litigation (in India).

The profits from the investments include 4.7 per cent on foreign 
currency and 16.91 per cent on local currency.

Under this background, PCB's decision of hiring Boycott at 30,000 
pounds sterling (Rs 2.7 million) contract for just 15 days is not a 
surprise if the cricket managers are spendthrifts.

Abdul Qadir and Mudassar Nazar, who now lives in England, have also 
been hired at an disclosed fee which is still said to be in six 
figures. The two will be permanent coaches of the Lahore-based 
National Academy.

Not only Boycott's appointment is bewildering, PCB's decision to 
double the seating capacity of the National Stadium from 35,000 is 
nothing but waste of invaluable resources. According to an 
estimate, Rs 50 million from the Rs 260 million fixed for 
development programme have been sanctioned for the uplifting of the 
stadium which could still increase as the development process 
progresses.

Interestingly, the decision to increase the capacity has been taken 
after the disaster in the first one-day international against 
England where thousands of valid ticket-holders failed to enter the 
stadium. Whether the local administration will be able to handle 
70,000 spectators on a given day is another question.

Besides, the proposal is not feasible considering the fact that 
Karachi hosts one Test and a one-day international in a season. In 
the end, the National Stadium will be a white elephant with 
millions spent only on its maintenance.

The money could have been better invested had the PCB decided to 
build new stadia in the province or opted to improve the 
dilapidated Niaz Stadium in Hyderabad which last staged an 
international against India in 1997. Need not to recall that the 
PCB allocated Rs 30 million for the face-lifting of the cricket 
stadium in Multan.

Despite having so much in its coffers, the PCB has ignored the 
domestic cricket, which has no sponsorship at the moment. So much 
so, no prize money was given to the winners of the first-class 
championships in the past two seasons.

But as regards Boycott, the appointment was done after a lengthy 
debate by the advisory council in which Javed Miandad and Nasimul 
Ghani didn't participate.

While Wasim Azhar proposed that Boycott's salary would be covered 
up by a fresh sponsorship deal, Yawar Saeed emphasised that he 
should not be brought for just one visit and instead be asked to 
follow up and oversee the improvement in the technique of the 
players.

It was also decided that Boycott would be asked to arrive in Lahore 
on Feb 1 so that he can spend some time with the Pakistan Under-17 
players who proceed to Dhaka for the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) 
Asia Cup starting there from Feb 8.

While the PCB top hierarchy put its weight behind the 
'inexperienced' coaching abilities of Boycott, former Pakistan Test 
players took a swipe at their decision.

Mushtaq Mohammad said no cricketer in the world worth that much 
money for just 15 days. "I don't know what they (PCB) saw in him 
which they couldn't see in their own players. But there are several 
unanswered questions.

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20010113
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PHF name new selection committee
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Shazad Ali

KARACHI, Jan 12: The Pakistan Hockey Federation on Friday named an 
expanded seven-member selection committee with six men as members 
and sports minister Col S.K Tresslor (retd) as the chief selector.

Tresslor has been brought in following the nonavailability of Mir 
Zafarullah Jamali who has personal commitments and was out of 
country, said a PHF spokesman from Lahore.

Olympians Shahnaz Sheikh, Samiullah, Hanif Khan, and international 
Saeed Khan have been inducted as the members, while Brig Khalid 
Khokhar, the director general of the Army Sports Directorate, has 
been retained. Secretary of the PHF will act as co-opted member.

"We were having difficulty in finding a noncontroversial and 
impartial personality for the job. That's why he (Tresslor) has 
been made the chief of the committee," he said.

Though, the new selectors' chief has not been involved in the field 
of hockey internationally, but according to secretary PHF, he has 
exposure and technical know how of the game. He had represented the 
Army hockey team during the hey days of Brig Hamid Hameedi (retd) 
and Brig Manzoor Hussain Atif (retd).

The official said the new selectors would watch the open trials to 
be held on Jan 25 and 26 in Lahore. Samiullah and Hanif are 
currently attending a coaching clinic, while Shahnaz Sheikh is 
expected to join on Saturday.

A new set of team management would also be named on Jan 26 that 
would be attached with the squad for a longer period.

A group of probables would be picked by the selection committee 
after the open trials and a one-month training camp starts in 
Lahore from Feb 1 for future assignments.

Pakistan team are scheduled to play an eight-nation tournament in 
Dhaka from March 10. However, considering present political 
scenario and strain relations between the two countries, chances of 
Pakistan's participation seem to be bleak.

Nevertheless, Pakistan would by vying in June's four-nation event 
in Germany. The greenshirts would then defend Azlan Shah title in 
Kuala Lumpur in Aug.

To pick the final clutch of trainees, the selectors would consider 
the probables chosen from the preliminary round of the national 
championship held last Nov, final round which begins from Jan 14 in 
Lahore and the open trials.

"Even the players who have represented Pakistan at Sydney Olympics 
will be required to prove their worth during the open trials," the 
secretary said.

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