------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 20 January 2001 Issue : 07/03 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Kabul seals border with Pakistan: Taliban vow to face new curbs + New Delhi test-fires N-capable Agni-II + Commission to review draft today: Sindh Privatization Ordinance + Peace move will bear fruit, hopes Turkish FM + US general meets Musharraf + No accord yet on rail link + Six-point policy set to combat drought + Talks on rail links with India begin + CE asks officials to project country as modern Islamic state + Army's stay in WAPDA extended + India running 55 training camps for terrorists + Aliens registration body set up + Govt warns survey form defaulters + New ID cards by end of this month: NADRA --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Ishrat wants end to dependence on IMF + Aid: Japan awaits positive signals for CTBT signing + Power theft causes $850m loss to govt: ADB + Rupee at record low against Indian currency + Offshore drilling policy announced + SBP resells dollar to banks + KSE opts for legal recourse in battle with SECP + Compensation to US firm: NBP asks govt to pay $0.268m + Cabinet to okay tariff agreement with Hubco + Sugar millers' demand rejected + Businessmen to launch political party + Shortage of POL products likely --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Mummiya Ardeshi Cowasjee + 'I want it now!' Irfan Husain + Kashmir & power of illusion Ayaz Amir ----------- SPORTS + Tri-nation contest: Confirmation from India expected today + Rs 400m likely to be spend on SAF Games

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NATIONAL NEWS
20010120
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Kabul seals border with Pakistan: Taliban vow to face new curbs 
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Ahmad Hasan

PESHAWAR, Jan 19: No immediate reaction was reported from any part 
of Afghanistan as fresh UN sanctions against the Kabul regime took 
effect at 10.00am PST on Friday, while the Ulema conference of the 
Taliban in Jalalabad vowed not to surrender before world pressure 
and hand over Osama bin Laden.

In Peshawar, which hosts a large number of Afghan nationals, the 
situation remained peaceful and no rallies or demonstrations were 
held against the US-led sanctions. For most of the Afghan refugees 
it was business as usual.

There were no reports of protests or anti-West speeches by 
religious leaders during Friday sermons in Kabul either. Moreover, 
foreigners employed by aid agencies moved about in the Afghan 
capital as usual.

However, the ruling Shoora of bordering Nangarhar province decided 
to seal the Pakistan-Afghan border on its side as a mark of protest 
against the sanctions.

Earlier, it was the government of Pakistan which had sealed the 
border, to prevent a fresh influx of Afghan refugees.

According to reports, the decision was taken on the recommendation 
of a three-day Afghan Ulema conference held in Jalalabad. Maulvi 
Qamaruddin, the Taliban immigration official, has been ordered to 
seal the border for all those who want to leave or enter 
Afghanistan with effect from Saturday.

The Afghan Ulema conference, which was held on the instructions of 
Taliban spiritual leader Mullah Omar Akhund to review the UN 
sanctions and prepare a strategy for the regime, decided not to bow 
before world pressure to hand over Osama bin Laden.

The purpose of holding the conference, according to sources, was to 
discuss whether the Afghan government should accept or resist the 
UN move against them.

The sources disclosed that the Ulema conference, after lengthy 
deliberations recommended that the UN sanctions should be faced 
with courage and that all the conditions seeking Osama bin Laden's 
surrender should be turned down.

The conference also discussed at length discontinuing trade links 
with Pakistan as a result of sanctions and asked the Taliban rulers 
to face the situation with courage instead of bowing before the 
external forces.

Meanwhile, the Afghan Foreign Minister, Wakil Ahmed Mutawakil, has 
asked the Afghan people to remain peaceful in the face of UN 
embargo.

Talking from Kandhar by telephone to a local newspaper on Thursday 
night, Mutawakil said the Afghan people would not hold 
demonstrations against the sanctions. 

 Moreover, he said, Taliban leader Mullah Omar had already declared 
that security would be provided to all foreign workers in 
Afghanistan and had asked his followers not to harm anyone in 
retaliation.

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20010118
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New Delhi test-fires N-capable Agni-II
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Jawed Naqvi

NEW DELHI, Jan 17: India test-fired an improved version of its 
Agni-II intermediate range ballistic missile on Wednesday, capable 
of delivering nuclear warheads deep inside China, officials said.

Analysts said it was significant that the test took place on the 
last day of Chinese leader Li Peng's visit, barely hours before his 
scheduled departure from the southern city of Hyderabad for 
Beijing.

The test also coincided with the publication of an interview in 
which Indian Army Chief General Sunderajan Padmanabhan spoke of the 
need to upgrade the armed forces with capability to cope with 
nuclear warfare.

Wednesday's launch of the Agni-II took place from India's missile 
test range at Chandipur on the coast of Orissa. 

 According to officials at the Defence Research and Development 
Organisation, the Agni, which has a range of more than 2,000 
kilometres, was launched at 10am (9.30 PST). The missile had met 
all its test objectives, the officials said.

The new test, the second since April 1999, is meant to test a 
number of crucial systems on board such as the engines and guidance 
systems. The Agni-II, which is expected to be the mainstay of 
India's nuclear forces, is mounted on a rail platform, which means 
it can be moved all over the country to ensure that it is not 
targeted by enemy forces, defence analysts said.

An Indian TV channel quoted officials as saying the Agni-II uses a 
solid propellant in its engines not liquid fuel. 

 Solid propellants are considered safer for use. The Agni is 
designed to carry nuclear warheads.

Analysts said Wednesday's test during Li's visit may have been a 
response to the Chinese explosion of an atom bomb during the visit 
in 1992 of then Indian President R Venkataraman.

Analysts said it was significant that Li was accorded a low-key 
reception in India during which Prime Minister Vajpayee was not 
even present in the country.

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20010120
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Commission to review draft today: Sindh Privatization Ordinance 
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Sabihuddin Ghausi

KARACHI, Jan 19: A vetted draft of the Sindh Privatization 
Ordinance 2001 is coming up for final review of the Sindh 
Privatization Commission on Saturday, when it meets to take up 
about a half dozen points agenda.

Divided into seven parts and spread over 48 sections, the proposed 
ordinance stipulates setting up of an almost independent - 
financially and administratively - Sindh Privatization Commission, 
that will put on auction bloc the coal mines, sugar factories, 
urban real estate, state farms and also the water distribution 
system and sewerage facilities in the province. The commission will 
generate funds through privatization of which 90 per cent will go 
towards relieving the province of more than Rs100 billion loans 
liability. Ten per cent of the fund will be utilized for poverty 
alleviation programmes.

The ordinance empowers the 12-member Sindh Privatization Commission 
to establish and maintain a distinct Privatization Fund, in which 
all the privatization proceeds will be deposited. From this Fund, 
the Commission has been authorized to withdraw the money for 
maintaining a Privatization Account to meet its expenditure.

The Commission has taken notice of the fact that there were 26 
cases against the privatization and auction of state land done by 
the previous Sindh Privatization Commission. Besides, labour unions 
and farmers have engaged the Sindh Sugar Corporation, which owns 
two sugar mills in more than 55 cases.

Therefore, the ordinance expects the commission to lay down a 
privatization-disinvestment methodology that is transparent, fool 
proof and leaves no room for any dispute.

Headed by Syed Nasir Ali Bukhari, a local stock broker, the 
Commission has on it majority members from the private sector and 
those bureaucrats, who are in the government agencies that own or 
control the assets to be privatized.

On Saturday, the commission is receiving a detailed presentation 
from the administrators of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, 
having total assets of over Rs6 billion and unrealized receivables 
amounting to well over Rs8 billion.

The 8,000 employees strength labour union of the KWSB has already 
challenged its proposed privatization. Therefore, a senior official 
told Dawn over the telephone on Friday that "we are simply holding 
a departmental meeting with the Sindh Privatization Commission."

The KWSB has about 1.3 consumers but hardly 3,500 consumers who get 
bulk water supply have water meters installed. The domestic 
consumers are charged water rates on the basis of the size of their 
plots or the covered areas of the flats.

Bulk water consumers, about 3,500 in all, generate more than 60 per 
cent of the KWSB revenue amounting to well over Rs1.3 billion while 
about Rs900 million is received from 1.3 million domestic 
consumers.

For the supply of 435 million gallons of water every day, the KWSB 
has a distribution system that spreads over 5,400 miles. It has 131 
pumping stations, eight reservoirs, seven filter plants, seven 
hydrants and has taken up capital development work of about Rs20 
billion.

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20010116
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Peace move will bear fruit, hopes Turkish FM
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Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, Jan 15: Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said here on 
Monday that his country's relations with Israel and Palestinians 
had enabled Ankara to play a more effective and positive role in 
the Middle East crisis.

Mr Cem was speaking at a joint conference with Foreign Minister 
Abdul Sattar in the foreign office banquet hall.

Mr Cem said that PLO chairman Yasser Arafat's intensive endeavours 
during the past few months had infused more active international 
interest in the long-standing crisis.

Since Turkey enjoyed trust of the two sides, he pointed out, it had 
been burdened with greater responsibility that required of Ankara 
to make its modest contribution to resolve the crisis. However, he 
explained, Turkey was not presumptuous and did not aspire to play a 
bigger role in the matter.

Responding to questions, Mr Cem expressed the hope that the recent 
"positive developments" in Jammu and Kashmir would continue and 
bear fruit to bring to an end the plight of Kashmiris.

Turkey, he said, had always supported the Kashmiri people and 
Pakistan's efforts in resolving the dispute. He, however, parried a 
direct comment on a question relating to the atrocities being 
committed on the people of occupied Kashmir.

Mr Cem, who is on his second visit to Pakistan in the last two 
years, described the relations between Ankara and Islamabad as 
excellent and very strong.

Wishing Pakistan achieve "a more rational, egalitarian and dynamic 
framework," the minister said that Pakistan's decision to allocate 
one-third seats in recent local elections to women was "a 
revolutionary step" which, he added, Turkey would like to emulate.

He said that Turkey had watched with keen interest and appreciation 
Pakistan's efforts to revitalize its fiscal and economic policies 
and pull the country out of debts.

He hoped that both Pakistan and Turkey would expand their economic 
relations and provide larger avenues for mutually advantageous 
opportunities to the private sector so that the private sector 
enterprise in each other's country could develop.

Welcoming his Turkish counterpart, Mr Sattar said the agreement 
that the two countries had signed earlier in the morning would help 
institutionalize consultations between them more regularly and 
frequently.

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20010120
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US general meets Musharraf
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ISLAMABAD, Jan 19: US Central Command chief General Tommy R. Franks 
met General Pervez Musharraf on Friday to discuss "professional" 
issues, an official report said.

Franks met Musharraf, also Pakistan's army chief, at Rawalpindi 
General Headquarters near here after arriving on a three-day visit 
late on Thursday.

"Views were exchanged on matters of professional interest during 
the meeting," APP reported.

Franks, who is scheduled to meet the navy and air force chiefs on 
Saturday, was "given a comprehensive briefing on the prevailing 
geo-strategic environment in the region."

No other details of his meeting with Musharraf were available, and 
US embassy officials have described the talks as part of a routine 
"familiarization visit".

They said there was no link between the visit and fresh United 
Nations sanctions against Taliban regime.-AFP

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20010120
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No accord yet on rail link
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Monitoring desk

NEW DELHI, Jan 19: The talks between India and Pakistan railway 
officials for reviewing the agreement on rail communications, 
including the running of the Samjhauta Express, the peace train, 
between the two countries continued for the third day with no 
accord in sight.

The officials said the talks were being held in a cordial 
atmosphere, it is believed that the issue of extension of the train 
up to Wagah on the Indian side, as demanded by Pakistan, has proved 
to be difficult to resolve.

The delegations, headed by S S Bhandari, additional member 
(traffic), Indian Railways Board, and Abdul Qayyum, additional 
general manager (freight), Pakistani Railway, are reviewing the 
1991 agreement under which the Samjhauta Express train is running 
twice a week between Amritsar and Lahore.

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20010120
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Six-point policy set to combat drought
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Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Jan 19: The centre has authorized the provinces to use 
funds from federal resources to augment their drought related 
programmes after reports that drought is likely to hit Pakistan 
every year.

The centre has also forwarded a six-point policy for the provinces 
to address problems of the drought-affected people.

"Much of the work must be accomplished by the provincial, district 
and local governments, specially by the area development 
authorities and urban water agencies wherever these exist," a 
letter addressed to the provincial governors said.

Official sources told Dawn that the federal minister for 
environment, local government & rural development, Omar Asghar 
Khan, has written letters to the provincial governors asking them 
to develop new policies in accordance with the guidelines set by 
the centre.

The provincial governments have also been informed that drought 
conditions could extend over long periods and affect large areas.

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20010118
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Talks on rail links with India begin
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NEW DELHI, Jan 17: India and Pakistan began talks on Wednesday to 
decide whether to renew a 1991 agreement on rail links or to forge 
a new accord, an Indian official said on Wednesday.

"It will be a total review of the 1991 agreement covering all 
technical and other railway-related issues. It will be discussed 
whether to have a new agreement or whether the 1991 agreement will 
be modified or renewed," Akshey Kumar, public relations director of 
Indian Railways, said.

A passenger train travels between the two countries twice a week, 
and the frequency of freight trains varies on demand. The trains 
travel between points close to the border.

A five-member Pakistani Railways team travelled to New Delhi for a 
two-day meeting with its Indian counterpart to review the 1991 
agreement, which ends on February 7.-Reuters

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20010119
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CE asks officials to project country as modern Islamic state
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Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 18: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf has 
directed different organs of the government, including the foreign 
office, to promote Pakistan as a modern Islamic state, it is 
learnt.

A cabinet source told Dawn that the chief executive during the last 
cabinet meeting on Wednesday (Jan 17) called for efforts by various 
government functionaries to shed the country's image of being 
"fundamentalist", as perceived abroad.

He asked the foreign minister in particular to direct the missions 
abroad that they should "present true face of Pakistan" and dispel 
the perception of fundamentalism being connected to the country.

"The CE is keen to tell the people of the world that average 
Pakistanis are moderate Muslims. They are tolerant and not 
extremist," the source said.

The chief executive told the cabinet that he would also personally 
write letters to ambassadors/high commissioners to work on this 
line.

He said the foreign missions should seek the cooperation of 
overseas Pakistanis who, the CE believed, were well-connected, 
better organized, resourceful and patriotic.

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20010119
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Army's stay in WAPDA extended
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Reporter

LAHORE, Jan 18: The army's stay in WAPDA, due to end on March 31, 
has been extended for yet another 21 months to Dec 31, 2002.

"Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf allowed extension during the 
cabinet meeting on Wednesday," WAPDA Chairman Lt-Gen Zulfikar Ali 
Khan told a news conference called to brief newsmen about the 
army's performance since taking the control of the public utility 
in January 1999. "The army's stay has been extended to cement the 
gains of the present management during the past two years," added 
the chairman.

Some 33,120 army personnel, including 1,441 officers up to the rank 
of brigadier, had been inducted into WAPDA by the exiled prime 
minister Nawaz Sharif to eliminate corruption and restructure the 
utility for making it a profitable organization.

The number of the army personnel inducted was cut down to 3,567 
during July 26, 1999 to Dec 31, 2000 and to 682 since Jan 1, 2001.

"The army presence would be reduced to provide nominal support to 
cement our gains during the extended period," the general told a 
questioner. "The department has grown immensely and a conducive 
environment created (for sustaining the gains)."

The expenditure to maintain the presence of the army in WAPDA, the 
chairman said, had also come down to just Rs900,000 from Rs36 
million during the first six months, i.e., Jan-July 1999.

General Khan said WAPDA would have to accrue a loss of Rs17-18 
billion by the end of the present financial year (2000-01) because 
of the "increased payments to the independent power producers and 
the high rate of furnace oil." The expense incurred by WAPDA on 
account of fuel and payments to the IPPs will increase by Rs36 
billion to Rs122 billion during the current fiscal year from 
Rs86.30 billion last year.

The chairman said WAPDA's receivables from various federal and 
provincial departments as well as FATA and Azad Kashmir "had come 
down by Rs353 million to Rs32.222 billion by the end of 2000 from 
June 30, 2000. The federal government, FATA, AJK and KESC owe the 
utility Rs22.413 billion in arrears as compared to the arrears of 
Rs9.81 billion outstanding against the four provinces.

He said the longstanding dispute between the utility and Sindh had 
also been solved and the "province had agreed to stay current on 
its bills in future". Sindh owes WAPDA Rs7.242 billion. He said the 
public-sector agencies would be given 90 days for the payment of 
their dues in case "they have some kind of objection to the billed 
amount". However, in case of a non-controversial bill, they would 
be bound to make payments in 15 days like other consumers.

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20010119
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India running 55 training camps for terrorists
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Correspondent 

WASHINGTON, Jan 18: The Taliban, Osama bin Laden and Pakistan 
figured in a seminar on terrorism held here on Wednesday, in which 
Islam-abad's role in moderating the Kabul regime and India's role 
in running terrorist camps in Pakistan was also debated.

But, said Mr Steven Monblatt, deputy coordinator for counter-
terrorism at the US State Department, America and Pakistan 
disagreed on how far to go in the direction of isolating the 
Taliban and persuading them to change what they were doing. 

 He said a way must be found to end Afghanistan's position as a 
place where terrorists could find a sanctuary and return again and 
again for shelter.

The seminar, entitled "Terrorism: review of 2000 and Outlook for 
2001, "was held under the auspices of the Potomac Institute for 
Policy Studies, a think-tank based in the Washington area. 

 Speakers representing various regions, where terrorism is a 
threat, spoke at the seminar, but most of the presentations were 
banal and said little that was new. 

 A distinguished exception was Spain's ambassador to the US, Senor 
Javier Ruperez, who underlined the economic, social and political 
reasons that could give rise to the phenomenon described as 
terrorism.

The US official, Mr Monblatt, confined himself to the already well-
defined policy formulations of his government with regard to the 
threat of terrorism, but he made it a point to express his 
agreement with an observation made earlier at the seminar by the 
political counsellor at the Pakistan embassy, Masood Khan, who had 
expressed his resentment at the fact that Islam was being equated 
with terrorism. 

 Mr Monblatt said it was important to distinguish between the two.

Mr Khan, who was commenting on criticism of Pakistan voiced by the 
Indian participant at the seminar,Alok Prasad, deputy chief at his 
country's mission here, said terrorism did not have one dimension; 
and while he agreed that terrorists were criminals who should be 
punished, movements for self-determination and freedom should not, 
ipso facto, be considered terrorist.

He also alleged that, while India accused Pakistan of terrorism, it 
was itself running at least 55 terrorist training camps within its 
territory,and accused RAW of fomenting terrorist attacks in 
Pakistan- a charge that was described as dismissed by Mr Prasad. 

 The Indian diplomat said the Laskhar-i-Tayabba, which claimed 
responsibility for the recent attack on the Red Fort in New Delhi 
and Tuesday's assault on Srinagar airport, was based in Pakistan.

A brochure on Osama, detailing his alleged master-minding of 
various anti-US attacks, was also distributed among reporters at 
the seminar. The booklet has been produced by the Potomac 
Institute's International Centre for Terrorism Studies, and 
contains pictures and information about people described as his 
associates.

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20010118
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Aliens registration body set up 
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Rauf Klasra

ISLAMABAD, Jan 17: The government has set up a National Aliens 
Registration Authority (Nara) to locate and register illegal 
foreign workers and immigrants and to regulate their stay by 
issuing them annual work permits.

Informed sources told Dawn that the federal government was likely 
to announce amnesty for all illegal foreign workers and immigrants 
by asking them to get themselves registered with the Authority in a 
given time. Those who fail to avail this opportunity will be 
prosecuted.

Nara will be headed by interior secretary, who will be its 
chairman, while FIA Director-general, National Database and 
Registration Authority Director-general, Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs Additional Secretary, Home Secretary, Government of Sindh, 
Joint Secretary of States and Frontiers Regions Division, 
Inspectors-general of the Police, Islamabad, Punjab, Sindh, the 
NWFP and Balochistan and Nara Director-general will be its members.

In addition, officials from federal and provincial ministries and 
departments will be available to assist the Authority.

Nara Director-general will act as secretary to the Authority. It 
will also have a full-time Director-general.

The Authority has also been authorized to establish task forces at 
the provincial levels and set up its own force to locate the 
illegal immigrants.

Similarly, it will register all foreigners in Pakistan who 
immediately before the July 10, 2000, had no permission to stay in 
the country. Their registration will be annually renewed.

The Authority shall also issue work permits to those seeking 
employment or running their own business.

Officials said the Authority had been asked to complete 
registration of unauthorized aliens within three years.

The registered aliens shall not have the right to shift and settle 
in any city of the country other than the one indicated in his 
registration card without permission of the Authority.

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20010117
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Govt warns survey form defaulters
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Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana

KARACHI, Jan 16: Regional Commissioner of Income Tax (RCIT), 
Southern Region, Muhammad Shafi Malik on Tuesday warned the 
businessmen of stern action against all those who did not submit 
their tax survey forms. Mobile teams are being formed to find all 
those, who did not comply with earlier survey and propose punitive 
action against them.

 He was speaking at a meeting, convened by Karachi Chamber of 
Commerce and Industry (KCCI), to discuss problems confronting trade 
and industry over ongoing spot assessment of stocks and turnover. 
The RCIT said that these actions would be taken under Ordinance 
2000, which suggests fine of Rs25,000 or three months imprisonment 
or both.

He disclosed that these teams would comprise DCs, magistrates, tax 
officials and members of law enforcement agencies. However, Malik 
said, prior to final action the defaulters would be again persuaded 
to submit their tax survey forms.

The regional commissioner assured the participants that all 
possible assistance and cooperation would be extended to the 
business community, so that congenial atmosphere was maintained.

However he informed, the government was determined to collect Rs100 
billion to meet conditionalities of the world donor agencies. He 
requested for full cooperation from trade and industry.

He said for this purpose the government last year undertook a task 
of documentation of the economy through tax survey and also 
launched tax amnesty scheme.

Malik said the amnesty scheme was most successful in Karachi, which 
contributed around Rs4.5 billion out of a countrywide collection of 
Rs11 billion.

In second phase, he said, the government was targeting for higher 
collection of revenue alongwith tax returns through voluntary 
compliance, but this did not happen. As a result of this failure, 
Malik said even self-assessment scheme (SAS) had to confront some 
problems.

The RCIT also conceded that as compared to last year, the SAS was 
availed by lesser number of taxpayers coupled with other 
shortfalls. He said working of the government on revenue collection 
received a setback.

Consequently, he said, the government reluctantly had to go for 
third phase i.e. spot assessment in order to offset the shortfalls 
on account of earlier measures. He said all care was being taken to 
maintain good atmosphere and no harassment was caused to any 
segment of the society, including trade and industry.

He said that even government had little choice and in order to get 
rid of world donor agencies, "we have to generate enough revenues 
so that their assistance was not sought so frequently and there 
should be no tough conditions".

Malik said already these agencies had tagged Pakistan as "first 
tranche" country as we repeatedly fail to meet their 
conditionalities after receiving first tranche of loan.

Earlier, participants were highly critical about the performance of 
the tax machinery and said, if CBR has failed in executing earlier 
parts of phase one of tax survey, then why are they pressing ahead 
with the third stage.

Many speakers who took the floor to vent their resentment over spot 
assessment drive pointed out that since the tax authorities have 
failed to complete earlier stages of tax survey i.e. distribution 
and retrieval there was no point in their taking up the third stage 
of phase one of tax survey.

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20010117
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New ID cards by end of this month: NADRA
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Reporter

KARACHI, Jan 16: The National Database and Registration Authority 
(NADRA) will begin issuing computerized national identity cards by 
the end of this month.

NADRA has made adequate preparations to ensure that all eligible 
adult citizens get new cards by July this year, as all the old NICs 
would stand cancelled by December 31, 2001, and the system would be 
fully switched over to a computerized database, said NADRA 
chairman, Maj-Gen Zahid Ehsan Khan, while briefing journalists on 
Tuesday here at the NADRA headquarters on projects and computerized 
voters' lists.

The new ID card, which will be green in colour with the image of 
the national flag on both sides printed through the fine lines by a 
security printer, would have all international security features.

It will carry all relevant information including individual's name, 
father's/husband's name, address, date of birth, new and old ID 
card numbers, family registration number, permanent and present 
addresses, mark of identification, signature, thumb impression, 
photograph, date of issue and expiry, as well as signatures of 
authorized signatory from the issuing authority.

NADRA, besides issuing NICs to all eligible adult citizens, would 
also issue residency cards to overseas Pakistanis, expatriate 
Pakistanis, aliens and refugees, and welfare cards to senior 
citizens and special people, as per the new registration system by 
December 2001, and creation of the National Data Warehouse, Gen 
Zahid said.

Answering a question after the briefing, the NADRA chief said about 
30 million out of 64 million national data forms (NDFs) duly filled 
in during the 1998 census met the requirement of NICs and on their 
basis new ID cards would be prepared. Those who possessed old NICs 
would be charged Rs15 and they would be delivered a new card at 
home address. Others would have to pay Rs35 a card.

He said out of 64 million NDFs, about half of them do not provide 
complete information. For NICs, new forms would be provided at 
their doorstep besides making them available at post offices.

The new NICs, whose distribution would begin in 18 districts


BUSINESS & ECONOMY
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20010120
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Ishrat wants end to dependence on IMF
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Jan 19: The State Bank Governor, Dr Ishrat Husain, said on 
Friday that IMF programmes left little room for Pakistan to pursue 
an independent economic plan.

Speaking at a seminar he said: "The sooner we are able to wean 
ourselves off the IMF programmes the more liberated will be the 
economic managers of this country in pursuing an independent course 
of action...and follow a prudent growth." This course of action 
"balances the interests of the common man, the requirements of the 
global economy."

The seminar, titled Economic Challenges Facing Pakistan In The New 
Global Financial Architecture, was organized by the Centre for 
Development and Democracy - a body aspiring to become a think-tank.

"It is not that we are not committed to macro-economic 
stabilization or removal of distortions from the economy. But we 
need the flexibility to do so. I can assure this audience that the 
present global environment in which we are expected to produce 
instantaneous results is highly constrained and does not allow much 
room to manoeuvre."

The governor said the reason why Pakistan had to seek further 
rescheduling of foreign debts instead of opting for unilateral 
moratorium was that exercising the second option would have 
resulted in unbearable difficulties.

Speaking about the tough conditions set by the IMF under its $596 
million standby credit, the governor said: "We had to make up for 
our lapses of one decade in one go."

He said it would be wrong to presume that fresh investment had not 
been flowing in at all. "The three areas where investment 
activities are most brisk are Oil and Gas, Information Technology 
and Textiles."

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20010118
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Aid: Japan awaits positive signals for CTBT signing
-------------------------------------------------------------------

ISLAMABAD, Jan 17: Japan is eagerly awaiting positive signals from 
Pakistan regarding signing of CTBT.

" We are eagerly awaiting positive signals from Pakistan regarding 
the forging of national consensus for signing the CTBT, which will 
help us get out of the dilemma between our national compulsion 
about nuclear weapons and our genuine desire to help Pakistan," 
said Japanese Ambassador to Islamabad Sadaaki Numata.

He was delivering a talk on " Japan and Pakistan: Mutual 
Perception", at the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS).

He said Tokyo had paid attention to the statement of Chief 
Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf that Pakistan would maintain 
moratorium on nuclear testing pending the CTBT's coming into force 
and that Pakistan would never be the first to resume test.

Mr Numata said Japan had a genuine desire to help Pakistan in its 
efforts for nation-building and economic development.

However, he cited "absence of tangible progress" in the nuclear 
issue was hampering its (Japan's) desire to help Pakistan".

On the Kashmir issue,the envoy referred to the visit of Prime 
Minister Yashiro Mori to the region last year, during which he had 
told the chief executive and Indian leaders that Tokyo would 
welcome any initiative to be taken either by Islamabad or New Delhi 
for peace and confidence-building.

The ambassador said Prime Minister Mori had also told Gen Musharraf 
that he appreciated the efforts made by Pakistan for the 
establishment of democratic rule and the revitalization of the 
economy, and expressed the hope that these efforts would bear fruit 
as soon as possible.

At the same time, he said there was a political space or vacuum 
that needed to be filled.

Citing State Bank of Pakistan's statistics, Mr Numata said Japan's 
direct investment in Pakistan amounted to $59 million in 1998-99, 
which fell to $17.7 million in 1999-2000. "This does not seem to 
match Pakistan's potential," he added.

Referring to problems of business and investment climate, as cited 
by the Japanese businesses operating here, he said they would like 
to see more consistency, transparency, fairness and continuity of 
policy on the basis of their experiences in dealing with the IPPs, 
delayed repayment of commercial credits (notably by Industrial 
Development Bank of Pakistan) and other issues.

He described resolution of the Hubco issue as encouraging.

The ambassador said he wished to see Japan and Pakistan being fully 
engaged and working together in the international community as 
partners to make the world a better place to live in.

Referring to the positive elements of the Japan-Pakistan relations, 
he said Tokyo had signed the Exchange of Notes for the rescheduling 
of Pakistan's official debt to Japan amounting to S $822 million in 
last April. This entailed a net inflow to Pakistan of $350 million 
in 1999, he added.

Japan, he said, had been actively supportive of Pakistan in its 
efforts to secure the standby arrangement from the IMF, which was 
crucial in tiding over its current external payment difficulties.

" We will be actively taking part in the Paris Club deliberations 
on another debt rescheduling exercise to Pakistan in a few days' 
time," he added.-APP

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20010120
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Power theft causes $850m loss to govt: ADB
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Jan 19: The losses incurred by Wapda and the KESC on 
account of power theft during 1999 amounted to $850 million 
(Rs53.55 billion), an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report revealed.

"The theft of this magnitude could only be possible through 
corruption and malpractice at all levels of the organizational 
hierarchy, the government, politicians, labour, and the society in 
general," the bank further stated.

"The organizations of Wapda and KESC have degenerated into 
unwieldy, over-centralized and multi-layered bureaucracies, 
dominated by political expediency where efficiency and quality of 
services continue to decline."

The ADB in its latest report, the copy of which was made available 
to Dawn, also said that Pakistan's power sector had been affected 
by institutional and organizational weaknesses that had led to 
decisions on investments, electricity tariff determination and 
appointment of senior management and staff becoming increasingly 
politicized.

Wapda's scope has become overextended, as it has responsibilities 
for water and irrigation, developing the private power programme 
and planning and operating the power system.

Even with 110,000 employees in Wapda and about 12,200 in the KESC, 
responsiveness to customers leaves much to be desired. Over-time, 
lack of financial and commercial skills have become major obstacles 
to the accountability, quick decision-making, and commercial 
orientation needed to deal with Independent Power Producers (IPPs), 
it said.

Institutional malaise was most obvious in the recent abrupt decline 
in financial performance, blackouts, and stolen electricity (often 
the result of collusion between Wapda and KESC staff and 
consumers).

"Consequently Wapda and KESC lost the confidence of their 
customers, financiers, and the government," the report said.

The ADB also believed that Pakistan's energy sector was facing a 
financial crisis, which stemmed from weak governance, political 
interference in decision making in the past, rising fuel prices, 
the adverse impact of power purchases from the IPPs and endemic 
corruption (especially in the power sector).

"Weak governance has resulted in inefficient utility operations, 
power theft, illegal power supply, reduced billing and collection, 
and nonpayment of arrears. These problems have had an adverse 
impact on the financial performance of the utilities and have 
hindered the effectiveness and sustainability of the power sector," 
it observed.

This situation, the report said, has affected the poor segment of 
the population more than the affluent and contributed to the build 
up of the financial crisis in the sector, which has affected the 
government's macroeconomic framework. Appropriate reforms and 
necessary adjustment measures including introduction of a market-
driven system, are needed to restore financial and operational 
viability in the sector and to make it self-sustaining, it added.

The ADB support of the government's initiatives for structural 
reforms in the energy sector is considered essential given the 
urgent need to introduce competition as the driving force for 
improvement and private sector participation as a vehicle for 
creating a competitive environment.

For ensuring a stable supply of electricity which is essential for 
country's economic recovery, the ADB has approved two programme 
loans amounting to $300 million and $39 million Special Drawing 
Rights (SDR) to support policy reforms.

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20010114
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Rupee at record low against Indian currency
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Reporter

KARACHI, Jan 13: The rupee on Saturday fell to a record low against 
its Indian counterpart on the open market as demand from the Dubai-
based informal and formal sectors, is drying up for unknown 
financial reasons.

For the first time after several years, the rupee was quoted as low 
as Rs1.38 and Rs1.40 for buying and selling against the Indian 
rupee from the normal average trading range of Rs1.25 to Rs1.30, a 
fall of eight paisa. Some months back, it was being quoted at 
Rs1.23 to Rs1.28 to an Indian rupee.

"The recent decline in gold prices from Rs5,400 to Rs5,290 per 10 
grams may be one of the reasons behind the rupee's slide," one 
currency dealer said, adding: "A good part of the informal gold 
trade from across the border and Dubai is done in rupees."

But no currency dealer was inclined to believe the whispering that 
current peace initiatives between the two warring neighbours may 
slow down the inflow and outflow of the rupee after strict checking 
on the border.

"Smuggling the worldover is now considered a two-way trading 
channel and no government could stop it and hence the weakness and 
strength of any currency in trade will depend on its size," market 
sources said.

However, all want to cover the weakness of the rupee and its 
stability at the previous levels to make up trade losses.

In kerb, the dollar was, however, unchanged at Rs61.23 and 61.25 
for buying and selling amid slow ready offtake.

There was a relative calm on the money markets owing partly to 
weekend considerations, although the rupee was again quoted 
modestly lower against the dollar in the inter-bank trading.

The rupee was lower by five paisa at Rs58.75 and 59.25 to a dollar 
for buying and selling respectively as compared to Rs58.70 and 
59.20, a day earlier.

Banking sources attributed the strength of the dollar to active 
buying by the importers as leading among them are inclined to re-
enter the foreign markets on Monday to make forward covering 
purchases against their immediate raw material requirements.

Some others say the evidence of stray dollar selling by some 
exporters was not lacking but the amount in trade was too small to 
give a big boost to the value of the dollar.

Meanwhile, the liquidity position on the money market further 
improved as was reflected by modest decline both in repo and call 
rates, dealers said.

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20010119
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Offshore drilling policy announced 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, Jan 18: The federal cabinet has decided that the 
companies, investing in the offshore exploration, will not be 
required to share revenues from the oil and gas production, with 
the government till the recovery of their cost.

The package of incentives for offshore exploration of oil and gas, 
approved by the cabinet on Wednesday, provided that the investors 
would initially recover cost (subject to recovery limit of 85 per 
cent) and thereafter share revenues from oil and gas production 
with the government.

This package would be available to all new as well as existing 
licence holders for a period of five years.

Instead of flat 12.5 per cent royalty, a sliding scale royalty with 
a holiday of initial four years, was introduced. The corporate 
income tax was also reduced from 50 per cent to 40 per cent of the 
profits. Import duties and taxes would be zero for exploration and 
after the first commercial discovery the same would be three per 
cent.

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20010119
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SBP resells dollar to banks 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mohiuddin Aazim

 KARACHI, Jan 18: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has so far sold 
back to banks about 50 per cent of the total $255 million, it had 
purchased from them in one-month swaps against the rupee last 
month. The SBP had swapped $255 million for rupees with banks 
between December 13-22 to keep the market liquid at the year-end.

Senior bankers say the SBP will sell back the remaining amount of 
foreign exchange in a couple of days, according to the maturity 
schedule of the swaps.

Bankers say the maturity of about $120 million worth of swaps in 
past few days has made the rupee stronger against the dollar. 
"Further maturity of $135 million swaps in next few days may add 
more strength to the rupee...and keep it up amidst oil payments," 
said a bank treasurer.

Bankers said the SBP had started footing import bills of previous 
quarter (October-December 2000) on its own - without asking banks 
to pay part of the bills through purchases from the open market. 
They said SBP was not financing oil import bills - even through its 
own kerb purchases.

"This time SBP has been making oil payments on its own. They have 
not involved us," said a local banker. In the past, the State Bank 
was financing part of oil import bills leaving it upon oil 
marketing companies to pay the remaining part through open market 
purchases of dollars. Oil marketing companies (OMCs) used to 
purchase dollars from the open market through banks. And at times 
the central bank would simply buy dollars from the open market for 
footing large import bills.

Bankers close to SBP say the central bank has not been making heavy 
dollar buyings from the open market only because the time is not 
ripe. "Lately they have not made big buyings," confirmed a leading 
money changer.

So far this month, the rupee has l ost 70 paisa against the US 
dollar in kerb as the greenback is in demand among those overseas 
Pakistanis, who are returning after celebrating Eid in Pakistan.

Whereas some bankers believe that the maturity of $135 million 
worth of dollar-rupee swaps in coming few days may keep the rupee 
stable, the others say much would depend on corporate demand as 
well. "Today a big local corporate bought $8-9 million from some 
local and foreign banks," said a foreign banker. "I foresee more 
demand from the corporate side in the coming days. That combined 
with oil payments may weaken the rupee - or stop it from getting 
stronger," he observed.

Bankers said the rupee finished almost unchanged in the inter- bank 
market around 59.15 to a dollar. They said it had fallen to 59.25 
on corporate buying but then moved up as some banks started selling 
dollars.

MONEY MARKET: The State Bank on Thursday rejected all bids and 
offers for treasury bills received at its open market operations.

The two-way OMO had attracted Rs8.2 billion worth of bids and 
Rs10.3 billion worth of offers, but the central bank rejected all 
of them without assigning any reason. Bankers said this served as a 
signal for them that the central bank was in no mood to change the 
liquidity levels in the inter-bank market.

They said the market was surplus by a few billion rupees with 
overnight call rates oscillating between 6-8 per cent.

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20010118
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KSE opts for legal recourse in battle with SECP
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Dilawar Hussain

KARACHI, Jan 17: The stand-off between the Karachi Stock Exchange 
and the watchdog, Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan 
(SECP) took a new twist on Wednesday, when the KSE board decided to 
seek legal recourse, a source close to the bourse said.

Surprisingly, the decision to "wave all options including dialogue 
and seek legal opinion" was reached by a unanimous vote by all 
members including the seven outside directors, who had been 
nominated by the SECP.

At the heart of the current controversy are the five amendments & 
modifications that the corporate regulator has sought to include in 
the articles of association of the bourse. These include: (1) 
Election of the chairman of the board by the directors as against 
the existing procedure of election by the KSE members at the annual 
meeting; (2) Removal of the office of the Vice chairman; (3) 
Nomination of seven outside directors on the board by the SECP as 
against the existing procedure of two nominations by the SECP and 
other two by the Board and three by the institutions; (4) Providing 
necessary provisions for appointment, removal and termination, 
including non-renewal of contract, of the MD, with the prior 
approval of the SECP; and (5) Restricting delegation of the Board's 
authority relating to operational matters to the MD only.

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20010117
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Compensation to US firm: NBP asks govt to pay $0.268m
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Jan 16: The National Bank of Pakistan has asked the 
government to immediately pay $268,000 to a US shipping company, 
which had recently won a case against Pakistan, so that the food 
accounts frozen by the US government on court orders are restored.

Official sources told Dawn here on Tuesday that the National Bank 
of Pakistan (NBP) Karachi management had contacted the concerned 
ministry and asked them to arrange payment to the company so that 
the accounts were unfrozen.

An inquiry into the circumstances which led to the freezing of 
accounts in the United States last week had held the food wing of 
the agriculture ministry responsible for making "deliberate" 
payment of $268,000 to another shipping company instead of paying 
the money to the contracting shipping firm.

Pakistan bank accounts were frozen by the US government after 
Islamabad failed to pay $268,000 to the shipping company, as 
directed by a US District Court in Washington.

Ninety per cent of the total freight payment for the shipment of 
wheat from Australia and Turkey had been made to the company - 
Horsebridge - but the dispute arose on the remaining 10 per cent 
amount.

The remaining payment was made to Horsebridge in October 1995, 
while Ned Chartering, which was also Horsebridge's broker and had 
shipped the wheat to Pakistan, was refused payment on the ground 
that the payment had already been made to its partner.

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20010117
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Cabinet to okay tariff agreement with Hubco
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 16: The federal cabinet is meeting here on Wednesday 
to discuss the current economic situation and to approve a new 
power tariff agreement with the Hub Power Company (Hubco).

Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf, who will preside over the 
meeting, will be informed of the economic situation by Minister for 
Finance Shaukat Aziz and Minister for Commerce Razak Dawood.

Sources said the meeting would be told about Rs10 billion revenue 
shortfall that occurred in the first six months of 2000-2001 
financial year. According to the downwardly revised revenue target, 
the Central Board of Revenue could collect Rs180 billion against 
the target of Rs 190 billion, leaving a shortfall of Rs10 billion.

Also, exports were down by 6 per cent in December against the 
corresponding period in 1999, and the cabinet would be apprised of 
the reason for this decline, the sources said.

They said the meeting would also approve new power tariff agreement 
with Hubco which would now give 3 billion dollar benefit to the 
Water and Power Development Authority in the next 27 years.

The sources said Hubco was also holding an extraordinary meeting of 
its board of directors in Karachi on Feb 6 and 7 to approve its new 
agreement with the government. The meeting would be told that 
internal rate of return (IRR) of the company had been reduced from 
18 per cent to 12 per cent and that it had been done with a view to 
settling over three years old dispute with the government.

The sources said that at its Karachi meeting Hubco would discuss 
and later take up with the government the withdrawal of a number of 
FIRs lodged against its senior executives so that they could travel 
freely in Pakistan.

Withdrawal of FIRs, the sources said, would automatically remove 
the need for arbitration that had been sought by Hubco in the 
International Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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20010116
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Sugar millers' demand rejected
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Rauf Klasra

ISLAMABAD, Jan 15: Federal government has turned down Pakistan 
Sugar Mills Association's (PSMA) demand to impose 30 per cent duty 
on sugar import, saying that the mill owners should first bring 
down the price to last year's level, if the production is surplus 
this year.

The PSMA's demand was turned down by ECC's sub-committee on sugar, 
which met on Monday to resolve the sugar issue.

The ECC also formed three provincial sub-committees in Punjab, 
Sindh and NWFP, headed by their respective provincial agriculture 
ministers, to examine proposals submitted by Small and Medium 
Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and sugar association for 
the development of a new sugar policy by February 5.

These committees were asked to submit their recommendations within 
a fortnight for formulating a final sugar policy by the end of next 
month.

It, however, accepted sugar industry's request to review sugar 
import situation in March, when the local crushing season would end 
and exact sugar production figures would be available to the 
government agencies for a decision.

Earlier, the ECC's sub-committee, represented by the Commerce and 
Industries Minister Abdul Razzak Dawood and Agriculture Minister 
Khair Mohammad Junejo, met the representatives of APSMA and cane 
growers.

The meeting was also attended by Sindh Agriculture Minister Hassan 
Ali Chaniho and senior officials of the federal and provincial 
governments.

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20010116
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Businessmen to launch political party
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

CHINIOT, Jan 15: Top businessmen community of the country has 
decided to take active part in politics and is heading towards 
launching a political party, Dawn learnt here on Monday.

The decision was taken at a two-day meeting of industrialists and 
traders held here on Sunday and Monday at a tourist resort on the 
bank of Chenab river near here.

The participants belonged to the Sheikh community of Chiniot which 
has businesses in Faisalabad, Lahore and Karachi and Memon 
community of Karachi.

A news conference was addressed here on Monday by MCB chief Mian 
Muhammad Mansha, SM Munir, former Karachi chamber chief Ahmad 
Sattar, Sheikh Pervez Ahmed and others. They announced that they 
were finalizing their agenda. Former MNA Qaisar Ahmed Sheikh is 
their convener. According Qaisar, the meeting resolved that the two 
main political parties, PML and PPP, had failed in reviving the 
economy.

"Heavy weapons and nuclear bombs could not halt USSR break-up. Now 
it is the age of economic war and survival is for those who are 
economically strong," Qaisar quoted the meeting as saying.

"To make country economically strong, businessmen have decided to 
come into politics and decision making," Qaisar said.

According to him, the business community was worried over the 
prevailing political and economic condition of the country. "It 
wants to increase industrial activity but poor policies of 
successive governments has disappointed it."

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20010115
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Shortage of POL products likely
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Jan 14: The government's failure to make timely 
arrangements for the export of surplus motor spirit (petrol) and 
kerosene after the commissioning of the Parco refinery, has created 
a crisis-like situation in which diesel, jet fuel and some other 
POL products are likely to become scarce in the coming weeks.

According to knowledgeable sources, with the start of the Parco 
refinery in Mehmood Kot, Multan, the storage tanks of the refinery 
for the motor spirit fill up even when the refinery is running at 
70 per cent of its capacity.

If the situation does not improve drastically, which according to 
experts is physically impossible, the refinery may be closed down.

If the refinery closes, POL products i.e high speed diesel (HSD) 
JP-4 will be scarce as the imports were made, keeping in view the 
production capacity of the Parco refinery.

In case JP-4 is not available in sufficient quantity, the haj 
flights might be disturbed.

The situation has been further complicated as the chief executive 
has fixed February 19 as the date for inaugurating the refinery, 
built at the cost of $900m.

The government, which had contacted the Iranian government in March 
last year for the export of surplus motor spirit, is in a tight 
corner.

 The secretary petroleum, Yousaf Abdullah, had led the delegation 
to Iran and discussed the possibility of Pakistan exporting its 
surplus motor spirit and kerosene to Iran.

Back to the top
EDITORIALS & FEATURES
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20010114
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Mummiya 
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Ardeshir Cowasjee

GET on to the internet, click on the search engine 'Bizarre-
Pakistan', ask for and then download 'mummy-mummiya'.

'MUMMY-MUMMIYA..... The word 'mummy' comes from the Arabic word 
'mummiya'. Mummiya means bitumen or pitch, the tar we use on road 
surfaces. Arab invaders noted that badly prepared, blackened 
mummies looked as if they had been dipped in pitch.... Ancient 
Egyptians believed that everyone had a soul after death. The soul 
relies on the body for a place to reside. After death the soul 
travels between the corpse and the Kingdom of the Dead. When the 
soul returns from its travels in the Kingdom of the Dead it would 
reunite with the body of the deceased. In order to do this the soul 
needed to be able to recognize its body. Thus, preserving a corpse 
through mummification came into practice.

>From Newsline of December 2000, 'The Mystery of the Mummy' by 
Massoud Ansari:

"......The mummy was discovered by chance by the Sindh police when 
they arrested Ali Akbar in Karachi in the course of a murder 
investigation. During a search of his house, they found the video 
made of the mummy, and upon interrogation, Akbar divulged that the 
actual mummy was in Quetta at Reeki's residence and he had been 
assigned to hand the video to one. Asfandyar, who was to smuggle it 
out of the country. On the basis of this information and after 
seeking permission from the Balochistan authorities, the Sindh 
police raided Reeki's house and recovered the antique.

"Unaware of its importance, however, they brought it to Karachi by 
road in an ordinary vehicle and kept it in a local police station 
for at least three days. Afterwards, they contacted the renowned 
archaeologist, Professor Emeritus Ahmed Hasan Dani in Islamabad, 
who asked them to send him photographs of the mummy. After seeing 
the photographs, Professor Dani immediately rushed to Karachi to 
closely examine what is surely one of the most significant antiques 
ever found in Pakistan. The Sindh police disclosed the discovery of 
the find in a crowded press conference only after Professor Dani 
confirmed its importance.......

"According to him, the art of mummification belongs exclusively to 
Egypt. However, he added, the inscriptions on the gold plate are in 
cuneiform script, which was used in ancient Mesopotamia and later 
adopted by the Babylonians and subsequently brought to Persia by 
the Archaemenians......

"However, investigations conducted by the curator of Karachi's 
National Museum, Dr. Asma Ibrahim, suggest a Persian connection. 
Her findings are based on the fact that the wooden sarcophagus is 
engraved with an image of Ahura Mazda, the supreme Zoroastrian 
deity, and a specimen of cuneiform script, which was extant in 
ancient Persia about 600 BC.......".

>From the magazine Archaeology, an official publication of the 
Archaeological Institute of America, Volume 54 Number 1, 
January/February 2001, Special Report: 'Saga of the Persian 
Princess' by Kristin M Romey and Mark Rose - 'In a dangerous corner 
of the world, uneasy neighbours clamour for the gilded remains of a 
mummified noblewoman. Trouble is, she's a fraud':

"The bizarre tale of a mummy adorned with a cuneiform-inscribed 
gold plaque identifying it as a 2,600-year-old Persian princess, 
perhaps, according to one translation, a daughter of the king 
Xerxes, began trickling out of Pakistan this past October. Found 
during a murder investigation, the mummy, an amalgam of Egyptian 
and Persian elements, had evidently been for sale on the black 
market for a cool $11 million. While archaeologists in Karachi 
tried to make sense of the mummy, a dispute between Iran and 
Pakistan broke out over its ownership. Afghanistan's Taliban regime 
hinted that they, too, might claim it. Then, one November day, 
thousands of miles from where the mummy lay in Pakistan's National 
Museum under the watchful eye of armed guards, 'Archaeology' was 
shown documents identifying the Persian princess as a fraud.

"According to newspaper reports, Pakistani authorities learned of 
the mummy in mid-October, when they received a tip that Karachi 
resident Ali Akbar had a video tape showing a mummy he was selling. 
After interrogation, Akbar led police to the remains, which were 
being kept in the house of tribal leader Wali Mohammad Reeki in 
Quetta, capital of Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan Province, 
which borders Iran and Afghanistan. Reeki told police he had 
received the mummy from Sharif Shah Bakhi, an Iranian who allegedly 
found it after an earthquake in a nearby town. Reeki and Bakhi had 
agreed to sell the mummy and split the profits; Akbar's role is 
less clear. Reeki said an unidentified representative of an 
anonymous foreign buyer had offered 60 million rupees ($1.1 
million) for the mummy, well below the 600 million rupee ($11 
million) asking price. Reeki and Akbar were charged with violating 
Pakistan's Antiquity Act, which carries a ten-year maximum 
sentence; Bakhi remains at large.

"The mummy was brought to the National Museum in Karachi as news of 
it spread quickly through the local and international press. In an 
October 26 press conference, clips of which appeared on NBC's 
evening news, archaeologist Ahmed Hasan Dani of Quaid-e-Azam 
University in Islamabad announced that the mummy, wrapped in 
Egyptian style and resting in a wooden coffin carved with cuneiform 
writing and images of the Zoroastrian deity Ahura Mazda, was that 
of a princess dated to ca. 600 B.C.....

"Shortly after the press conference, the Iranian Cultural Heritage 
Organization, claiming the mummy was of a member of the Persian 
royal family, said it would take legal action through UNESCO for 
its return. Salim-ul-Haq, director of Pakistan's Archaeological 
Department's Headquarters, retorted that the mummy was found in 
Kharan in Balochistan Province, "which is one hundred percent 
Pakistani territory. The mummy is property of Pakistan." At that 
point, Iran said it was cooperating with Interpol for the mummy's 
return. Pakistan's foreign minister warned against politicizing the 
issue, while the Taliban, the rulers of most of Afghanistan, 
demanded that their archaeologists play a role in deciding its 
ownership........

"Two weeks after the discovery first hit the press, Oscar White 
Muscarella of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and author of The Lie 
Became Great: The Forgery of Ancient Near Eastern Cultures9, 
visited Archaeology's offices, where we asked for his thoughts on 
the Persian princess. While unaware of the recent find, Muscarella 
volunteered that its description sounded remarkably similar to 
photographs of a gold-adorned mummy sent to him last March by a New 
Jersey resident on behalf of an unidentified dealer in Pakistan - 
in fact, they were the same.

"Muscarella had received four photographs of a mummy in a wooden 
coffin, replete with golden crown, mask, and inscribed breastplate. 
An accompanying letter stated that the mummy was owned by a 
Pakistani acquaintance and was brought by Zoroastrian families many 
years ago from Iran to Pakistan. The author claimed that the mummy 
was the daughter of the Persian king Xerxes, referring to an 
attached one-page translation of the cuneiform inscription on the 
breastplate. The owners, he wrote, had a video of the mummy - most 
likely the same video found with Ali Akbar in Karachi - that could 
be sent to New York if the museum was interested in purchasing the 
princess.

"Muscarella, who suspected immediately that the mummy was a fraud, 
contacted the translator of the inscription, a cuneiform expert at 
a major American university, and found out that the dealer's New 
Jersey representative had not given him the complete analysis of 
it. The inscription does indeed contain the line 'I am the daughter 
of the great king Xerxes,' as well as a sizable chunk lifted 
straight from a famous inscription of the king Darius (522-486 
B.C.) at Behistun in western Iran. The Behistun inscription, which 
records the king's accomplishments, dates to 520-519 B.C., 
substantially later than the 600 B.C. date proposed for the mummy. 
The second page of analysis listed several problems with the 
mummy's inscription that led the scholar to believe that its author 
wrote in a manner inconsistent with Old Persian. The inscription, 
he concluded, was likely a modern falsification, probably dating 
'from no earlier than the 1930s'.""Archaeology has submitted 
Muscarella's documentation to federal authorities, who have 
forwarded the matter to Interpol. Hopefully, by the time this 
article goes to press, the dispute between uneasy neighbours in a 
dangerous corner of the world will be resolved. While the Persian 
princess may be a fraud, perhaps a genuine Egyptian mummy with 
forged Persian additions, she is a reminder of the powerful 
emotions that can be sparked by unprecedented, or unbelievable, 
archaeological discoveries."

(Courtesy websites and publications mentioned above)

Stop press: Dr Vera Sohrab Katrak (PhD, Institute of Archaeology, 
University of London, Faculty of Arts, 1959), says the mummy is a 
fake. Should it be proved that the mummy lying in the wooden 
sarcophagus at the National Museum in Karachi originates from the 
Achamaenian period of Persian history, I, as a surviving 
Achamaenian, lodge my claim on behalf of my fellow Achamaenians.

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20010120
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'I want it now!' 
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Irfan Husain

APART from technology and the level of affluence, perhaps the most 
marked difference between this century and the last is the 
ideological content of our vocabularies.

As the Soviet Union crumbled under the weight of its own excesses 
and inefficiency, the left everywhere was forced to retreat. This 
was accompanied by the global triumph of consumerism and the 
elevation of profit and loss to the position of our governing 
principle. For the young, socialism was no longer fashionable; for 
their parents it was an embarrassing reminder of the past.

 Earnest and humourless young MBAs took the place of intense, 
argumentative Trotskyites and Maoists on campuses around the world. 
The NGO movement replaced parties of the left, and personal 
computers and TV took the place of Marxist literature and 
existentialist tracts. Humanist philosophies lost out to a hard-
edged, no-nonsense pragmatism.

In brief, the triumph of the profit motive over idealism was 
complete. Although altruism has seldom played a major role in human 
history, most civilized people have paid lip-service to it, and at 
least pretended that they aspired to nobler things. It was 
considered crass to be seen as selfish and money-grabbing. No more. 
Today, everybody wants to be as rich as he can be, as quickly as 
possible. As the ubiquitous dish antenna shows us what money can 
buy from Tokyo to Toronto, the universal cry is "I want it, and I 
want it now!"

When my son Shakir first started working a couple of years ago, I 
was a a bit disturbed by his stated goal of making big bucks sooner 
rather than later. "You're just being hypocritical," he replied 
when I voiced my concern. "You like collecting paintings and books 
and eating at good restaurants, but you pretend not to care about 
money. In fact, your whole generation has a similar attitude." Sad 
but true. Growing up, I do not recall any conversations about money 
or business at the dinner table. Young Pakistanis in the sixties 
and seventies were much more political than today's cynical 
generation, and ideology played a much greater part in their lives 
than it does today. Now, the only ideology around stems from 
religion, but it is a thesis without an antithesis.

But even in the days of greater involvement, there was much 
ideological and intellectual confusion. Although we had ready-made 
labels for everyone and everything, looking back, I can only smile 
wryly at our pretensions.

 I was reminded of those distant days when I picked up an old 
edition of "The Opium of the Intellectuals", a collection of 
columns by Raymond Aaron, a very influential French columnist in 
the fifties and sixties. An iconoclast, Aaron was writing at a time 
when Sartre and Camus were at the height of their powers and fame, 
and Paris was still the intellectual capital of the world. His 
insights are still relevant fifty years later. For instance, in the 
chapter "Myth of the Left", Aaron writes:

"It is always dangerous to apply terms borrowed from the political 
vocabulary of the West to the internal conflicts of nations 
belonging to other spheres of civilization, even and perhaps 
specially when the political parties concerned are at pains to 
identify themselves with western ideologies. Removed from their 
original settings, ideologies are liable to develop in a manner 
diametrically opposed to their original aims and meanings. The same 
parliamentary institutions can exercise either a progressive or a 
conservative function according to the social class which 
introduces and directs them.

"When a group of well-meaning officers with a lower middle-class 
background dissolves a parliament manipulated by Pashas and speeds 
up the development of national resources, where is the left and 
where the right? Officers who suspend constitutional liberties (in 
other words, the dictatorship of the sword) cannot in any 
circumstances be described as left-wing. But the plutocrats who 
made use of democratic institutions to maintain their privileges 
are no more worthy of that noble epithet."

In an era when ideologies blur and overlap, and when productivity 
and profits are the be-all and end-all of all human activity, it is 
easy to forget that one of the primary duties of the state is to 
protect the weaker segments of society. Marxism in all its 
manifestations professes to do just that: The credo "To each 
according to his needs" is at the heart of socialism. Capitalism, 
on the other hand, rewards the ruthless predator. Most rich 
European countries have developed welfare states where the taxes of 
the upper and middle classes provide a safety net for the poor. In 
countries like Pakistan, there are no such provisions for the 
dispossessed for ours is a sink-or-swim economy.

There has been much brave talk of the IT revolution providing 
countries like Pakistan and India the means to break out of the 
poverty trap. Computers and the Internet are supposed to be the 
engines of magical growth. Unfortunately, when misty-eyed 
enthusiasts expound upon this vision, they tend to forget that it 
is difficult to spread computer literacy among a largely illiterate 
population. It would seem that the first step is to teach people to 
read and write before talking about information technology. 
Unfortunately, as the elite do not send their children to 
government schools, these continue to languish or exist only on 
paper. One of the (unsung) successes of socialist governments, 
wherever they have existed, is the excellence of the educational 
system they have put in place. Health is another sector to have 
benefited under socialism.

It is true that in developed capitalist societies, the poor are 
provided for, leaving aside the thousands who are forced to live on 
the streets of affluent cities like New York, London and Paris. 
Schooling is free, as is health care, and the unemployed do not 
have to choose between begging and starving. But in underdeveloped 
nations, the poor get no support of any kind from either the state 
or the rich. They survive as best as they can, and there is a 
permanent underclass of impoverished people who have no hope and no 
place in society. Of these marginalized millions, the World 
Development Report 2000 says:

"The world has deep poverty amid plenty. Of the world's 6 billion 
people 2.8 billion - almost half - live on less than $2 a day, and 
1.2 billion - a fifth - live on less than $1 a day, with 44% living 
in South Asia..."

It is clear that without idealism and passion, the wretched of the 
earth will stay just where they are. The IMF and the World Bank 
have neither the mandate nor the motivation to pull them out of the 
poverty trap.

Most governments and politicians are not really concerned with the 
fate of the poor, except at election time. Unless we accept that 
social conscience goes hand in hand with the profit motive, there 
can be little hope for a harmonious world.

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20010119
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Kashmir & power of illusion
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ayaz Amir

IT's good that the guns have fallen silent along the LoC. Good too 
if there is less aimless shelling on the Siachen Glacier which 
surely must be the most foolish battlefield in the world.

 It will be a good sign if Hurriyat leaders come to Pakistan and 
hold talks with officials here and with the leaders of the so-
called jihadi organizations. But this flurry of activity should 
fool no one. None of it will or can lead to a Camp David on 
Kashmir.

The choice in Kashmir is not between peace and war. Never was 
except when impulsiveness drove Pakistan into unwinnable wars. The 
choice is between no-peace and no-war. This was the situation 
obtaining till 1989 when the Kashmiri people rose in revolt against 
India. If the current moves lead anywhere the best that can be 
hoped for is a return to the pre-1989 situation, with the Kashmir 
problem as unresolved as it is today but with a modicum of calm 
returning to the Kashmir Valley. India clearly stands to gain from 
this process. What its army in Kashmir has been unable to win its 
diplomatic overtures will achieve.

The question is: will the end of militancy be to Pakistan's 
advantage? In other words, what is Pakistan hoping to achieve from 
the current illusion of progress? Surely not a final settlement of 
the Kashmir dispute. There is no shortage of fools in what passes 
for the Pakistani establishment - otherwise we would not be in the 
mess we are - but no one can be so foolish as to think that given 
goodwill and whatnot (the usual claptrap of weak or confused 
diplomacy), a final settlement of Kashmir is around the corner or 
is even a realistic proposition. India will never accept that and 
Pakistan is not in a position to change this.

So the next question is should Pakistan still be interested in the 
current moves knowing that, apart from clearing the atmosphere (a 
good enough thing in itself) and dampening the spirit of jihad, 
these can bear no other fruit? The answer to this question is a 
harsh one: even if Pakistan knows that India is beating about the 
bush and has no interest in a just solution of the Kashmir dispute, 
it should still go for the illusion of peace because no other 
choice lies before it.

The stark truth is that jihad (a term being used loosely here) has 
no future in Kashmir. This is a harsh thing to say given the blood 
spilt and the sacrifices rendered but, unfortunately, all too true. 
A continuation of the insurgency can bleed India, as it has done 
with creditable results over the past decade, damage Indian 
prestige and keep the Valley unsettled. But it cannot secure the 
liberation of the state. This much should be clear from the history 
of the last 53 years. What the Pakistan army has failed to secure 
in full-fledged battle the jihadis cannot hope to achieve with 
their hit-and-run tactics.

The jihadi organizations have their strengths - otherwise the 
Indian army would have crushed them a long time ago - but they also 
have their weaknesses. Much like the Afghan resistance they lack 
unity and have no central political organization. But this is not 
the point. Even if these weaknesses were overcome there would still 
be no military solution to the Kashmir problem.

It is also facile to think that jihad in Kashmir will bring India 
to the negotiating table. India has always been prepared for talks 
on peripheral issues, talks lacking substance and skirting the 
Kashmir issue. From the current moves what we are likely to get at 
the most is more of the same - another round of inconsequential 
talks, whether at the level of foreign secretaries or, given luck, 
at a higher level. Surely the purpose of jihad cannot be to secure 
such exercises in futility.

Pakistan's predicament, however, is altogether different. Far from 
achieving anything, the jihadi line is creating problems for 
Pakistan at home. Look, what we reaped in Afghanistan. Unwittingly 
and for small gains, we entered that conflict holding on to the 
coattails of the United States. For the US Afghanistan is a distant 
memory while for us it is a damaging reality casting long shadows 
on our national existence.

Was it for drugs, guns and unwanted refugees that we fought that 
jihad? What is more, involvement in that conflict nurtured the 
seeds of religious militancy. The creed propounded in the 
seminaries which now dot the land, and whose growth is one 
consequence of that jihad, may not lead to the green banner of 
Islam flying over Chechnya or the Central Asian republics but it 
has contributed to the spread of intolerance and bigotry within 
Pakistan. Democracy already was a weak sapling. Now it must compete 
for survival with more noxious weeds.

Much the same fallout can be detected with regard to Kashmir. The 
jihadi organizations, exemplars of great sacrifice (let us never 
forget this), cannot wrest Kashmir from Indian hands but their 
growing presence is colouring the political waters in Pakistan. The 
political parties stand discredited. The army is in the process of 
discrediting itself. The religious parties think they alone remain 
to be tested and that their hour has arrived. In elections, it is 
true, they stand no chance. But elections will be of consequence if 
democracy returns, not as long as it is banished and treated as a 
soiled commodity. Besides, the consciousness of armed strength (for 
many of the religious parties have their armed cadres) lends added 
strength and confidence to their voices. Is there anything more 
dangerous than soldiers returning from a war, especially a lost 
war? On whom will they turn their guns and anger?

Looking carefully we might just see that it is not India which is 
making any concessions but Pakistan which is trying to wash away 
the stigma of "cross-border terrorism" and undo the larger damage 
wrought by the folly of Kargil. Because of Kargil we painted 
ourselves as irresponsible. Now we are trying extra hard to prove 
our peaceful intentions. This has been the history of Pakistan: 
plunging into adventures and then trying to recover from the 
consequences. One step forward, several back.

As long as the Kashmir insurgency was largely a home-grown affair 
the advantage was ours and the odium India's. But then in a replay 
of Afghanistan we had to bring the Kashmiri resistance under the 
wings of the ISI, which meant that the Pakistan-based jihadi 
organizations began overshadowing the Kashmiri element. Added to 
this was the national inability to keep a low profile when 
circumstances so dictated. Just as Dr A. Q. Khan has never been 
able to resist the spotlights, none of the jihadi organizations has 
been able to stop itself from proclaiming its deep involvement in 
Kashmir.

Thus what should have remained a Kashmiri affair became a Pakistani 
headache, with the international community less willing to put 
faith in Pakistan's protestations of innocence. Other countries 
handle these things with greater discretion. Syria never made a 
tamasha out of its support for the Hezbollah in Lebanon. Somehow 
such subtlety has always seemed beyond us. Then, of course, came 
the brilliance of Kargil which overnight transformed the oppressor 
(India) into the aggrieved party.

Anyhow, the damage having been done what remains is to salvage 
something from the debris. But to repeat the earlier point, the 
shadow-boxing now on display will lead to nothing. After all, since 
when did losers in every sphere win victories at the negotiating 
table? Even so, Pakistan must grasp the only thing on offer, the 
illusion of peace, and pretend that a great diplomatic opportunity 
awaits it if only to turn its gaze inwards and fight the jihads 
within that are clamouring to be fought.

Shouldn't we first put our house in order? We cannot make ends meet 
and yet must play with lordly ambitions - nuclear status, missiles 
and a lot of pretentious stuff which passes for foreign policy. Our 
ambitions are not grandiose but foolish, with no connection to 
reality. Let us manage our own affairs better. Let us strive to 
achieve political stability. Let us invest a bit more in education 
and address the causes of our backwardness. Then with what remains 
let us fight more distant battles.

This does not mean we give up on Kashmir. Nor does it mean we 
kowtow to anyone. May the mountains come to the sea before we do 
that. Did China give up its claim to Hong Kong? Has it changed its 
policy towards Taiwan? We too must stick to what we believe in 
while at the same time keeping our feet on the ground and 
recognizing that being aware of one's limitations is no weakness 
and being driven by false pretensions no sign of strength.

But for this to happen the redoubts of the old thinking - the 
thinking born of the Afghan involvement - must be assaulted. Within 
the Pakistani establishment there are powerful elements which still 
subscribe to the Hamid Gul and Maulana Samiul Haq schools of 
foreign policy nonsense. Unless these elements are reduced to their 
proper places not much hope can be entertained of the scales 
falling from our eyes.


SPORTS
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20010120
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Tri-nation contest: Confirmation from India expected today
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Correspondent

LAHORE, Jan 19: Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) will inform Pakistan 
Hockey Federation (PHF) on Saturday whether it will take part in 
the three-nation tournament scheduled to be played in April or May 
later this year.

Australia, the third team in the proposed triangular contest, has 
confirmed its participation.

This was stated by PHF secretary Brig. Mussaratullah Khan on his 
return from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, after attending meeting of the 
Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).

 Both, Pakistan and India, last played a home and away series in 
1999. The strained relations between the two countries had prompted 
India to refuse permission to its cricket team to tour Pakistan 
last December.

Meanwhile the nine nominations made by the Pakistan Hockey 
Federation (PHF) for the FIH different committees and executive 
board have been accepted by the AHF.

The Pakistanis nominees would be the joint contestants from AHF for 
the FIH elections to be held at Brussels (Belgium) on April 21 
under its resurrecting plan. 

 The elections will be held onlyfor the seat of members while the 
chairmenofthese committees would be appointed by the FIH.

 The PHF secretary said that all the 18 Asian countries who would 
take part in the elections were allowed one entry for each 
committee and Pakistan got nine nominations.

The former PHF secretary Brig Manzoor Hussain Atif (retd) was 
nominated for the seat of the FIH executive board while another 
former secretaryCol Mudassar Asghar (retd) was nominated for the 
competition and event committee. 

 Former Olympian and coach Islahuddin will be the candidate for the 
FIH rules board instead of Atif.

For the technical sections Olympian Khalid Mahmood, Shafaat 
Baghdadi and Inam Rabbani Rana were nominated. Shahbaz Senior would 
be contesting for the athletes commission.

Federal Minister, ShahidaJamil, was nominated for the disciplinary 
committee with Sardar Khan being the candidate for the marketing 
and public relation committee in place of Farooq Mazhar.

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20010116
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Rs 400m likely to be spend on SAF Games
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Farhana Ayaz

ISLAMABAD, Jan 15: Pakistan will spend an estimated amount of Rs 
400 million to host the biggest-ever South Asian Federation Games 
at Islamabad from Oct 6-15, Chairman Organizing Committee Maj-Gen 
Arif Hassan announced here on Monday.

The status of holding the XI SAF games was given when the 24th 
South Asian Federation (SASF) Executive Committee unanimously 
approved rowing 15th sport of the games.

The meeting, presided over by Minister for Sports S.K Tresslor in 
two sessions, was attended by representatives of six SAARC member 
countries. Bangladesh delegates, who declined to attend, were said 
to be busy in the on-going elections of their National Olympic 
Committee.

The Indian delegates took the opportunity to quash rumours of any 
uncertainty associated with their participation in the games, by 
announcing to send the biggest-ever Indian contingent to the SAF 
Games. During the meeting Bhutan's plea to include women's karate 
and taekwondo was rejected by the other members.

President Pakistan Olympic Association Syed Wajid Ali Shah urged 
that all member countries should work closely to achieve the aims 
and objectives set for the SAF Games 17 years ago.

Later, addressing the first media briefing, Maj-Gen Hassan pledged 
that the games will have a mid-term and long-term objective of 
boosting national sports performance at the forthcoming Asian and 
Olympic levels.

He said the foremost responsibility of enhancing the performance of 
the athletes lied with the national federations who will receive 
complete support from the Pakistan Sports Board and his committee.

Pakistan was placed fourth behind India (102), Nepal (31) and Sri 
Lanka (16) when it earned 10 gold medals during the Kathmandu 
games. He announced that the all event will be computerized to 
ensure complete transparency.

The chairman gave a detailed briefing on the number of events to be 
contested, medal tally, finances, fund-raising, facilities, 
preparations, sponsorships and functioning of the organizing 
committee.

Maj-Gen Hassan announced that as chairman organizing committee he 
intends to market each sport for sponsorship for which a Advisory 
Committee will be formed.

It was stated that the national competition will be launched to 
finalize the mascot for the games. The top three mascots will be 
given attractive prizes and a committee will choose the final 
mascot.

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