------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 20 October 2001 Issue : 07/42 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Pakistan, India trade fire at LoC + Army put on high alert: India warned against aggression + 'Troops movement cannot be ignored' + Pakistan asks UN to check Indian designs + Musharraf, Vajpayee talks in US likely + 'India not to go on hot pursuit across LoC' + Zaeef back from Kandahar with ceasefire plan + Support to continue till military targets achieved: CE + Agreement on Afghan setup: Powell-Musharraf talks + Powell promises market access + US trying to win over Pashtun leaders: Commandos in Afghanistan + Hekmatyar summons commanders meeting + Washington wants democracy restored + Bush signals switch to ground assault: Civilian toll mounts + Bush gets authority to lift all sanctions: House passes bill + Bush asks Islamabad, Delhi to 'stand down' + Bush says no to new offer by Taliban + Islamabad seeking compensation + Pakistan not part of all operations: FO + Britain writing off $84m loans + EU promises swift signing of cooperation treaty + Attacks to end soon if Osama gives in: FO + Nuclear installations being handed over to US + Qazi urges change in Afghan policy + Fire breaks out at Jacobabad airport + Security at Jacobabad airport tightened + CE gave no interview to US paper: Qureshi + Imposed Afghan setup not acceptable: Commanders meeting + Powell coming to make a deal on Kashmir: ADC + Post-Taliban scenario not clear: report + Benazir reiterates demand for civilian rule + JI decides to launch drive against Musharraf + Zaeef appeals for relief goods + Britain to give £15m for Afghan refugees + New centres to deal with Afghan relief + United Nations issues $584m donor alert + Hearing of case against Benazir adjourned + Qazi's entry into Sindh banned + JUI chief's residence declared sub-jail + Islamuddin convicted in loan default case + Mansur to be indicted --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + US assures of financial help + Japan reluctant to write off debt + US industry opposes quota free access: Pakistan textile products + ADB facility to finance LC State Bank outlines procedure + Setting up of microfinance bodies okayed + Conversion of RDFC, SBFC into limited co: Ord promulgated + Stocks finish weekend session on optimistic note --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Commander of the faithful Ardeshir Cowasjee + A happy assumption waiting to be tested Ayaz Amir + Pipedreams and daydreams Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Waqar reacts calmly to probe + Mushtaq, Saqlain unaware of being summoned + Salim Malik likely to challenge ban in LHC + Petition against Miandad dismissed + Winning start by Pakistan + Shahbaz's comeback defies logic + Pakistan's claims ignored by ICC

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NATIONAL NEWS
20011019
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Pakistan, India trade fire at LoC
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SRINAGAR, Oct 18: Pakistani and Indian troops exchanged fire across
the Line of Control (LoC)as twenty five people were killed in
clashes in occupied Kashmir.

Indian defence spokesman Major C.K. Aggarwal accused Pakistan of
starting the firing and "necessary retaliation" was taken by Indian
troops. "For the first time Pakistan used automatic grenade
launchers and heavy-calibre weapons in this area and fired on
civilian areas," he alleged.

Seven Indian soldiers were among the 25 people killed in clashes.

In one of the worst outbreaks of fighting, at Haripura village,
three Mujahideen and three Indian soldiers were killed. "It was a
seven-hour-long gunbattle," a police spokesman said.

In the Kupwara district, police claimed the Indian army shot dead
six Mujahideen near the Line of Control.

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20011018
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Army put on high alert: India warned against aggression
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 17: Armed forces were put on high alert along its
eastern front following movement of Indian troops near the
international borders.

Pakistan reserved the right to respond appropriately any act of
aggression against its territory or violation of its airspace by
India, defence spokesman Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi told reporters
after the foreign office briefing.

He gave no details of the number of troops and the sector where the
fresh deployment had been made by India, but pointed out that the
fresh deployment when seen in the context of an irresponsible
statement by the newly appointed Indian defence minister and
unprovoked firing by Indian forces two days ago constituted a clear
threat.

Islamabad, he said, had made it amply clear on more than one
occasion that while world attention remained focus on Afghanistan
no one would be allowed to exploit the situation or undertake any
hostile action against Pakistan.

The recent demonstration in some parts of Pakistan by some
extremist elements, the spokesman said, might have been perceived
by Indians as a sign of weakness but they should know that
Pakistanis got united whenever there was a threat to the country.

Asked again about the sectors where fresh deployments had been
made, he said the movement of some troops had been monitored closer
to the international borders.

In reply to a question, he said: "The armed forces have been on the
alert since Sept 11 but what one wants to convey is that they are
fully alive to the situation on eastern borders and have
information about the movement of Indian forces."

Maj-Gen Qureshi hoped that sense would prevail and India would not
indulge in any aggression against Pakistan. "India knows that
Pakistan armed forces are fully capable and competent to respond
appropriately."

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20011019
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'Troops movement cannot be ignored'
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ISLAMABAD, Oct 18: Director General ISPR General Rashid Qureshi
said that Indians know well that if they resort to any adventure
they will suffer tremendous losses.

India is seeking to gain attention in the wake of September 11
events but the "limit to which Indians are going, I am afraid they
will have to face the consequences," he said while speaking in PTV
program 'Current Affairs Time.'

Gen. Qureshi said "we cannot ignore completely that there have been
movements of troops in occupied Kashmir, where there are already
more than 650,000 troops."

After the incidents of firing, we picked troops movement which are
far from the ordinary including movement of aircraft to forward
areas where they (Indians) normally do not go, so when India tries
to camouflage that by saying these are routine movement, that is
incorrect so therefore, there is a real threat here," he added.

He said recently rehabilitated Indian Defence Minister, George
Fernandus is trying to justify his recent appointment by resorting
to rhetoric.

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20011019
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Pakistan asks UN to check Indian designs
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Staff Correspondent

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 18: Government called on the international
community to dissuade India not to exploit the current situation by
launching "pre-emptive strikes" against Pakistan in its "narrow
selfish desire" to secure concessions on Kashmir.

Addressing the UN General Assembly's debate on international peace
and security, Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations at Geneva
Munir Akram said India was exploiting the war against terrorism in
Afghanistan to embark upon a course of "adventurism or blackmail"
against Pakistan.

Warning that any attack on Pakistan by India would be met by fierce
response, Mr Akram said that "the aim of peace, stability and
mutual restraint in South Asia will remain elusive so long as our
eastern neighbour maintains its quest for a 'great power role' and
domination over its neighbours."

Saying that the new international paradigm also offers an
opportunity to build a new and stable security architecture for
South Asia, Akram outlined Pakistan's concept of a 'strategic
restraint' regime involving nuclear restraint, conventional arms
balance and a political mechanism for the resolution of mutual
disputes and conflicts especially Kashmir.

Akram said that President General Pervez Musharraf has demonstrated
that he is prepared to go the extra mile to extend the hand of
friendship to India. "He took the initiative once again last week
to telephone Prime Minister Vajpayee to commiserate with him over
the recent terrorist attack in Srinagar and to again invite him to
visit Pakistan."

He said that Pakistan believes "while a bilateral dialogue between
India and Pakistan on Kashmir is essential, it is not a sufficient
condition to resolve the dispute. Akram said that the maintenance
of a conventional balance between Pakistan and India is vital to
ensure nuclear stability in the region.

Emphasizing the threat of a nuclear conflict in South Asia, Mr
Akram said that "to promote nuclear restraint and prevent the use
of nuclear weapons, Pakistan and India could agree to:

1) formalize their respective unilateral nuclear test moratoriums,
perhaps through a bilateral treaty;

2) not operationally weaponise nuclear capable missile systems;

3) not operationally deploy nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, and
to keep them on de-alert;

4) formalize the previous understanding to provide prior and
adequate notification of flight tests of missiles;

5) observe a moratorium on the acquisition, deployment or
development of Anti-ballistic missile systems; 6) implement further
confidence-building and transparency measures to reduce the risk of
the use of nuclear weapons by miscalculation or accident;

7) open discussions on the nuclear security doctrines of the two
countries with a view to forestalling an all out nuclear arms race;

8) an agreement on non-use of force, including the non-use of
nuclear weapons.

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20011020
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Musharraf, Vajpayee talks in US likely
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By Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, Oct 19: The foreign office gave strong indications of
President Gen Pervez Musharraf's visit next month to the US to
address the UN General Assembly meeting and of his possible meeting
with Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on the sidelines.

Foreign office spokesman Riaz Mohammad Khan told a questioner that
although no final decision had been taken about the President's
visit to the United States, the Pakistan mission in Washington had
been advised to request for a slot for the President in the UN
General Assembly debate.

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20011020
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'India not to go on hot pursuit across LoC'
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By Jawed Naqvi

NEW DELHI, Oct 19: India said it would not go on any adventurist
hot pursuit of Kashmiri Mujahideen across the Line of Control.

The focus in fact shifted to the wider agenda of seeking a new role
in Afghanistan in tandem with Russia.

A "joint working group on Afghanistan" between Russia and India
concluded on Friday with a call for avoiding the Taliban in a new
dispensation, according to an official Indian statement. They
agreed that "for peace and stability to return to Afghanistan, it
was essential to ensure the establishment of a broad-based
independent government, with equitable representation to all ethnic
groups which do not radiate extremism and fundamentalism."

The talks between Indian Foreign Secretary Chokila Iyer and
Russia's First Deputy Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov will be
followed by a visit to Moscow by Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari
Vajpayee on November 4.

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20011020
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Zaeef back from Kandahar with ceasefire plan
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By Saleem Shahid and Ahmad Hassan

QUETTA/ISLAMABAD, Oct 19: Taliban leadership has drawn up a
"ceasefire plan" and a "workable solution" to all the troubles in
Afghanistan, Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan Mulla Abdul Salam Zaeef
said.

Mulla Zaeef was in Kandahar for almost a week and had consultations
with Mulla Omar and other Taliban leaders.

"Yes, I am carrying a peace plan to Islamabad," he told newsmen at
the airport, adding that the plan would delivered to the Pakistan
government. He gave no details of the ceasefire plan, saying it
would be unfolded in due course. In response to repeated questions,
he sounded an optimistic note, stating he was hopeful of getting a
positive result from the Pakistan government.

"It is not a retreat plan," he clarified, adding the peace plan
should not be interpreted as their weakness. "We are very positive
and expect a positive response."

In reply to a question, the envoy said that Foreign Minister Wakeel
Ahmad Mutawakil was in Kandahar, and asserted that he (Mutawakil)
"can die but would never betray Taliban".

"I did not see any American troops in Kandahar," he said, adding in
case USA sends its troops in Afghanistan they will find Taliban
ready to give them a tough fight. In fact, he said, "we are waiting
for them."

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20011017
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Support to continue till military targets achieved: CE
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 16: President Gen Pervez Musharraf reaffirmed
Pakistan's commitment to support the United States operation in
Afghanistan till the achievement of military targets, but hoped the
mission would be accomplished soon.

"The duration of the operations is relative to the achievement of
objectives, therefore one hopes that objectives are achieved and
operations would be short," President Musharraf said at a joint
press conference held with the Secretary of State Colin Powell.

President Musharraf rejected suggestions that Pakistan had fixed
some deadlines for rendering support to the efforts of
international coalition in its war against terrorism.

Pakistan, he assured, would continue to facilitate the operations
in the parameters of logistic support, information sharing and use
of airspace as long as the objective to bring the perpetrators of
terrorism to justice was attained.

He said he would urge the international coalition to achieve the
military objectives as quickly as possible, and terminate the
operation.

On the possibility of inclusion of some Taliban's representatives
in the future political dispensation, the president said there were
some moderate elements in the Taliban who could be included in the
future set-up.

President Musharraf noted with regret that the Taliban did not
comply with the Security Council resolutions. "Compliance with the
relevant UN Security Council resolutions by the Taliban government
would have saved Afghanistan from the damage it is suffering since
Oct 7," he said.

"We grieve for the innocent victims. We regret that the government
of Afghanistan jeopardized the interest of millions of its people."

He said the decision to support the international campaign against
terrorism in all its manifestations was based on principles.
Referring to the recent OIC foreign ministers' conference, the
president said that the extraordinary session had endorsed this
position. "It also denounced the minority and fringe voices that
try to cause harm to Islam and Muslims."

President Musharraf said that during his talks with Mr Powell he
had emphasized that the root-causes of most acts of terrorism lay
in the political oppression and denial of justice. "In order to
achieve durable results, the current war on terrorism must address
and eliminate its causes," he added.

The president said that the situation in Afghanistan had given an
opportunity to the world community to focus not only combating
terrorism but also on helping the Afghans establish a durable
political system, and on the rehabilitation and reconstruction of
their country.

"We agreed that durable peace in Afghanistan would only be possible
through the establishment of a broad-based, multi-ethnic government
representing the demographic contours of Afghanistan freely chosen
by Afghans without outside interference," he said.

Former king Zahir Shah, political leaders, moderate Taliban
leaders, elements from the Northern Alliance, tribal elders,
Afghans living outside their country - all can play a role in this
regard, he pointed out.

Stressing the need for putting in place the political process
needed on a fast track for preempting the possibility of a
political vacuum, he said political process should not lag behind
the fast moving events in the military field. "Nor should any
attempt be made by any warring faction to impose itself on
Afghanistan in the wake of military strikes against the Taliban,"
he said.

The success of political process would depend on economic
conditions, President Musharraf said, calling for an immediate
action for economic development of Afghanistan.

"Afghanistan is in ruins, pastures have been destroyed. Millions of
mines litter the landscape," he said, adding that a massive
reconstruction work was required to be undertaken.

"Assistance would also be required for the repatriation of the
millions of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran, and for the
million of Afghans displaced internally due to fighting, drought
and economic difficulties."

The president stressed that the establishment of durable peace and
economic development of Afghanistan would also help in elimination
of terrorist who had found a safe haven in the war-torn country.

"That is why, I believe that the military campaign in Afghanistan
should be short and targeted, and it should be followed immediately
by application of political and economic strategies."

TIES WITH INDIA: The president said that he had briefed Mr Powell
about Pakistan's desire to develop tension-free relations with
India. "I emphasized that normalization of relations would require
that the Kashmir dispute is resolved in accordance with the wishes
of the Kashmiri people."

Kashmir, he maintained, was at the heart of Pakistan-India
tensions. "We agreed on the need for the two sides to address this
and other bilateral issues with sincerity and with a sense of
purpose.

He said the secretary of state had informed him about United
States' willingness to play a helpful role in the resolution of
Pakistan-India differences. "We agreed that peace and stability in
South Asia is not only in the interest of Pakistan and India, but
also of the entire region and world at large."

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20011017
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Agreement on Afghan setup: Powell-Musharraf talks
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By Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Oct 16: Pakistan and United States agreed on the
formation of a broad-based government in Kabul having
representation from the Northern Alliance as well as 'moderate
elements' of the Taliban.

"We both agree that all elements, including the Northern Alliance
and southern tribal leaders," should have representation in the
future political set-up, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said
after talks with team headed by President Gen Pervez Musharraf.

The three-hour discussions included a session of one-on-one meeting
between President Musharraf and Mr Powell.

"When you say broad-based it means all will have to have an
opportunity," Mr Powell said, laying emphasis on 'all'.

After getting rid of the current regime, said Mr Powell, there
could still be some elements willing to participate in the
development of new Afghanistan.

Emphasizing that moderate elements within the Taliban would have to
be taken into account, he said: "You cannot export them, you cannot
send them to any other country, or you cannot ethnically cleanse
Afghanistan after this is over."

Pakistan and the US, he said, had the common goal that the post-
Taliban government in Kabul would be one that would represent all
people of Afghanistan and that would be the one who would be
friendly to all neighbours, including Pakistan. "Otherwise it would
be creating a new situation of destabilization and factional
fighting," he said.

Referring to reports of defection from the Taliban regime,
particularly of Mulla Wakeel Ahmed Mutawakil, the secretary of
state said some of the Taliban leaders had defected and a few
villages had changed their allegiance. He, however, had no specific
details.

Asked how close the Taliban government was to fall, Mr Powell said
the regime was under tremendous pressure as all the neighbours had
turned against it. "But I cannot tell how long it will sustain."

On President Musharraf's expectations that the military campaign
should be short, Mr Powell said they did not want to extend the
military operation beyond the achievement of its objective of
punishing the perpetrators of terrorism.

He said that they had no quarrel with the Islamic faith or the
Afghan people but the terrorists attacks of Sept 11 were targeted
against the civilized world in which, he added, 80 nations had lost
their citizens.

The focus of discussions with President Musharraf, he said, was the
threat emanating from Afghanistan, Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.
"We shared how to begin the process of reconstruction in
Afghanistan even as military element of our strategy continues," he
said.

Election on time: President Gen Pervez Musharraf promised US
Secretary of State Colin Powell during his visit to Islamabad that
he would hold elections next year as planned, a senior State
Department official said on Tuesday.

"He (Musharraf) said he intended to go forward with the election,"
the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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20011017
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Powell promises market access
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By Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Oct 16: The US Secretary of State Mr Colin Powell held
two detailed meetings with five federal ministers and assured them
that Washington will offer substantial support for "Afghan
refugees, give market access and extend all possible fiscal support
to Pakistan."

Official sources told Dawn that during the first meeting, ministers
for foreign affairs, interior, finance, commerce and Kashmir,
states and frontier region participated and discussed with the US
secretary of state issues that Pakistan was facing in the aftermath
of Sept 11 terrorist attack in New York and Washington.

Later, Mr Powell held another meeting with foreign minister,
finance minister and commerce minister and discussed with them some
of the specific issues to improve Pakistan's economy.

"Besides the support for Afghan refugees, Mr Powell assured
Pakistan of market access for its products in the United States,"
said a senior official of the ministry of finance.

When contacted, he said the US secretary of state told Pakistani
ministers that as a first step, a number of remaining international
sanctions against Pakistan had been lifted and that now his country
would offer market access for textiles and other Pakistani
products.

Pakistan pleaded that if Bangladesh could be offered special
treatment and given huge market access in the United States, why
Pakistan should not get a similar treatment, especially when it was
extending all the required support to the Americans.

The sources said that Mr Powell concurred with the contention and
assured the Pakistani ministers that market access will be given to
Islamabad by bringing about new adjustments with other countries.
Likewise, he said that Pakistan will be offered the required fiscal
support to manage its serious economic problems. "This fiscal
support could be in the shape of rescheduling or writing off of
loans together with some good financial package on concessional
terms," a senior finance ministry official said.

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20011020
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US trying to win over Pashtun leaders: Commandos in Afghanistan
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WASHINGTON/ KABUL, Oct 19: The United States disclosed it had sent
a small number of elite commando troops into southern Afghanistan
to make contact with factions opposed to the Taliban, which vowed
to shield Osama bin Laden and said its defence remained strong.

"It is at the very, very, very earliest stage," one defence
official said, but declined to say when the troops entered
Afghanistan. The troops were in the south of the country, near the
Pakistan border, to contact tribal factions opposed to the Taliban
and boost CIA efforts to encourage Pashtun leaders to formally
break away from the Taliban.

In the north, Ustad Attah, one of three commanders trying to
recapture the strategic northern town of Mazar-i-Sharif, said eight
US personnel, apparently on an intelligence or reconnaissance
mission, had been with fellow opposition commander General Abdul
Rashid Dostum for several days.

"First we want to surround Mazar-i-Sharif, so that people there
will remain calm and so that the Taliban have no way of escaping,"
he said.

The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef,
repeated that his government would not surrender Osama to the
United States, as President George W. Bush has demanded.

"The issue of Osama has not changed. It is a matter of our faith,
we might as well change our faith," he said, dismissing US reports
that the Taliban defence had been degraded.

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20011020
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Hekmatyar summons commanders meeting
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Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, Oct 19: None of the Taliban commanders or ministers have
so far defected or joined hands with the anti-Taliban forces
maneuvering for the establishment of a broad-based government in
Kabul.

The seven-party alliance, which had fought a US-sponsored long war
against the four successive communist regimes in Afghanistan, is
being reorganised to manage a lion's share in the underway post-
Taliban arrangements.

Some of the old commanders, known for their consorting with the US
officials, are heard complaining about the non-cooperation of the
Americans. They are desperately asking for weapons, but no one is
hearing them.

Some of the commanders, who have remained idle in Peshawar during
the last 10 years, are becoming active. They are free to summon
their soldiers, hold meetings and consent with the Afghan leaders
abroad.

Once well-organized, the Hizb-i-Islami Afghanistan (Hekmatyar) had
summoned a meeting of its 20 commanders at Shamshatoo refugee camp
to discuss the future line of action of the group.

Qutbuddin Hilal presided over the meeting. Gulbadin Hekmatyar, at
present staying in Tehran, had been the main choice of the Pakistan
establishment during war against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan.

Considered as pro-Pakistan Afghan commander among Pashtun leaders
of Afghanistan, he was the main recipient of the US military aid
during 1979-1989 and a close ally of the then military regime of
Gen Ziaul Haq.  He was also first among the Afghan commanders who
had presented a future political plan to the Taliban regime five
month ago. But, Taliban turned it down.

The Shoora-i-Nizaar of eastern province also held its meeting in
Peshawar. Besides religious leaders, tribal elders and Shoora
members, some 14 Mujahideen commanders hailing from Laghman, Kunar,
Nangarhar and Nooristan attended the meeting, which urged the
Taliban leadership to quit immediately. They also warned that they
would forcibly dislodge them to save the country.

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20011020
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Washington wants democracy restored
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By Tahir Mirza

WASHINGTON, Oct 19: The United States continues to attach
importance to Pakistan's full return to democracy and would be
closely monitoring implementation of the timetable for elections
announced by General Pervez Musharraf.

This was indicated by the State Department's deputy spokesman, Mr
Philip Reeker, during a special briefing for foreign correspondents
here on Thursday afternoon.

Asked whether the waiver of almost all sanctions against Pakistan,
including the so-called democracy sanctions, and in view of
Islamabad's role in the Afghan crisis, there might now be an
inclination to soften insistence on the country's return to
democracy, Mr Reeker said: "I think, in fact, we've been quite
clear in stating the importance we place in the return to full
democracy in Pakistan. I think it's a message that Secretary Powell
took with him in his meetings there."

He said it was in America's interest to follow measures designed to
make Pakistan a stronger partner, implying that restoration of
elected government would facilitate the country's development.
Pakistan, he said, has been "an exceedingly strong partner in our
coalition against terrorism. We understand the difficult decisions
that President Musharraf had to take, and we think he's taken the
right decisions, and we think that the vast majority of the people
in Pakistan support that, because we can't believe that the people
of Pakistan would have seen what occurred on September 11, seen the
death and destruction of innocent people, realizing that those
actions are entirely un-Islamic and therefore understand what we're
trying to do and also what we've been doing in trying to help the
people of Afghanistan, which is a real serious problem, a
humanitarian crisis that predates September 11, that was caused by
the Taliban and by drought in the region."

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20011019
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Bush signals switch to ground assault: Civilian toll mounts
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KABUL, Oct 18: Concerns over civilian casualties from US attacks on
Afghanistan mounted, as President George Bush signaled the focus of
the campaign would soon switch to ground forces.

Raids on Kabul left at least six people dead in the worst case of
civilian deaths since air strikes against the Taliban began 12 days
ago. And as aid agencies warned of an imminent humanitarian crisis
in Afghanistan, the Taliban admitted that the lives of foreign aid
workers would be at risk if they returned to the country.

A series of direct hits on residential areas in Kabul placed the
ability of US forces to hit what is left of the Taliban's military
infrastructure without the risk of killing innocent civilians under
the critical spotlight.

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20011018
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Bush gets authority to lift all sanctions: House passes bill
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By Tahir Mirza

WASHINGTON, Oct 17: The US House of Representatives passed by voice
vote a bill that gives authority to the president to waive all
sanctions against Pakistan, including democracy sanctions.

The way is now clear for the United States to resume all kinds of
economic and military aid to Pakistan till 2003. Although, one-time
waivers were earlier permitted with regard to some restrictions,
this is the first time in a decade that Pakistan will be entirely
free of American sanctions.

The US administration had even before the Sept 11 attacks decided
to seek waivers for all anti-Pakistan sanctions, but democracy, or
Section 508 sanctions, that under the US law come into effect
immediately a civilian, elected government is deposed through a
military coup, were proving an obstacle, with Congress reportedly
baulking at lifting them. But Pakistan's transformation as the key
battle-line state for the US-led military operations in Afghanistan
dramatically changed the mood in Congress.

The bill was first rushed through the Senate proposing waiver of
all tiers of sanctions, which has now also been approved by the
House.

With regard to Section 508 sanctions, while blanket waiver
authority has been given to the president for the current fiscal
year, for the year after, the president will have to certify that a
waiver will facilitate the restoration of democratic governance in
Pakistan and is important to the US efforts to respond to, deter or
prevent acts of terrorism.

The legislation, which runs through till October 2003, includes
waivers of sanctions under the Missile Technology Control Regime
and the Arms Control Act, prohibitions relating to loan defaults
and the ban on transfer of excess defence equipment.

Following approval of the legislation, the US will be able to
release an economic aid package for Pakistan which is believed to
be in the vicinity of $600 million, including $100 million
announced by President Bush in September.

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20011016
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Bush asks Islamabad, Delhi to 'stand down'
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Oct 15: President George Bush asked Pakistan and India
to "stand down" at this time when the US was conducting military
operations in Afghanistan. The president made this remark when
asked to comment on the latest incident of Indian firing across the
Line of Control.

Talking to reporters at the White House, Mr Bush said he was
unaware of the details of the particular incident, but it was very
important that "India and Pakistan should stand down during our
activities in Afghanistan -- and for that matter, for ever."

The president pointed out that Secretary of State Colin Powell was
in the region, and was there to talk to both sides. If there were
tensions between the two, and obviously there were, they should be
reduced, and "we're mindful that activities around Kashmir can
create issues in that part of the world, particularly as we're
conducting our operations in Afghanistan".

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20011015
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bush says no to new offer by Taliban
-------------------------------------------------------------------
JALALABAD, Oct 14: The Taliban said on Sunday that Osama bin Laden
could be handed to a neutral country for trial if the United States
provided sufficient evidence. Maulvi Abdul Kabir, number two in the
Taliban, urged the United States.

Washington lost little time in rejecting the offer, which appeared
to edge slightly away from earlier demands that any trial be held
in an Islamic country. Asked if Osama bin Laden could be handed to
the United States, Kabir told a news conference:

"It can be negotiated provided the US gives us evidence and the
Taliban are assured that the country is neutral and will not be
influenced by the United States," he said in Jalalabad. "If the
Taliban are provided with evidence, then negotiations can start."
However, he declined to specify which country could be acceptable
as a site for the trial of Osama bin Laden.

"We can't identify the country unless we are given the evidence
against Osama," he said. White House spokeswoman Anne Womack
reiterated that talks were out of the question. "The president has
made it clear there will be no negotiations," she said in
Washington. -Reuters

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20011014
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Islamabad seeking compensation
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Khaleeq Kiani

ISLAMABAD, Oct 13: Pakistan is seeking compensation from the United
States for expenses it continues to accrue since Sept 11 for
mobilizing civil and paramilitary forces to maintain law and order.

Informed sources said that besides Kashmir and Afghanistan in the
overall context, Pakistan would discuss with US Secretary of State
Colin Powell the additional financial burden in controlling the
anti-US mobs in the country.

"Pakistan would definitely take up with the US Secretary of State
its precarious economic conditions and the strain this (the US war
on Afghanistan) is bringing on us in the shape of fall in exports,
reduction in manufacturing and collection of revenues," a senior
government official told Dawn in a background briefing.

"There have been a lot of suffering for us. Our civil and police
forces have constantly been on the move since Sept 11 to control
these mobs and protests. This cost a lot of money. We don't have
fiscal space in the national budget to meet such expenditures,"
said the official.

This would be the part of a composite dialogue Pakistani
authorities would have with US Secretary of State Colin Powell said
the official but did not quantify the expenditure Pakistan has made
so far or the future estimates. The official said that finance
minister Shaukat Aziz who also had detailed meetings with US
treasury officials in Washington had to cut his visit short in the
same background.

Official sources said that provocative statements by the Indian
leadership about Kashmir would also come under discussion. Official
sources said that Indians had assured Pakistan that from now on
they would not issue provocative statements but "we want further
guarantees" since Pakistan was a part of international move to
fight terrorism.

These sources said that religious parties had been requested to
remain away from the talks between the government and the US
Secretary of State but law-enforcement agencies would also take
adequate steps in that direction.

The government believes that strikes are not against the law and
hence the people must be provided sufficient space as they have the
right to express their ideas and beliefs but the country-wide
strikes should remain peaceful, the sources said.

These sources said that Pakistan had also asked United Nations High
Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to create conditions within
Afghanistan for the refugees to reduce their sufferings on long-
term basis.

"We are making efforts to convince the UNHCR that whatever funds
are coming for Afghan refugees from the donor countries, should be
used to restore and rehabilitate water, communication, health and
agricultural facilities within Afghanistan so that these people go
back to Afghanistan rather than staying in Pakistan and Iran," said
the official.

The official said that Pakistan had repeated many times in public
about another option that refugees should be kept closer but safer
positions near the Pak-Afghan border. Pakistan had to bear single-
handedly the economic burden of over three million Afghan refugees
for half a decade when all the donor countries and UN agencies
stopped assistance in 1995 for Afghan refugees and ran away.

"Pakistan is a highly indebted country, it has to take loans to
repay loans, its exports and revenues are on the decline and it has
already given a lot of sacrifices in the Afghan crisis," said the
official.

"Pakistan has joined the international community against terrorism
and the current situation is a global problem. Pakistan cannot bear
it alone. All partners will have to share the burden instead of
leaving Pakistan alone to bleed economically", said the official.

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20011014
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan not part of all operations: FO
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 13: Pakistan said that it is not part of all
operations which the United States is carrying out from Indian
Ocean, Central Asian States and some other places.

"We have no desire and do not want to be privy of all these
operations. Pakistan has shared information with three-member US
defence delegation about terrorist training camps which had visited
soon after attacks on US," Riaz Mohammad Khan, a spokesman for the
Foreign Office told newsmen here. He said the phase of sharing
information is over long ago. We are not party to the present
operations so "we have no interest in knowing the details of these
operations."

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20011019
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Britain writing off $84m loans
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 18: British Secretary of International Development
Ms Clare Short announced that the international community has
decided to extend maximum economic support to Pakistan including
relief in debt repayment.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Finance Minister Shaukat
Aziz she announced that $84 million loans were being written off by
British government. She said immediately her department will write
of $34 million loans while $51 million loans will be written off by
the Commonwealth Development Corporation shortly.

Mr Shaukat Aziz during the press conference disclosed that a
comprehensive economic package was being finalised by Pakistan in
line with the wishes of the international community.

In reply to a question, he said that Pakistan has a $12 billion
bilateral debt and $15.5 billion multilateral debt. "And our
package initially focuses on getting relief on account of $12
billion bilateral debt."

He disclosed that Pakistan has been assured maximum support by
international donors and bilateral creditors in this regard and
termed Ms Short's visit as very significant to have lined up
economic support for Pakistan both for economic recovery as well as
for Afghan refugees.

The British secretary of state for international development also
announced a 15 million pounds package to support the government of
Pakistan in its continuing reforms and in its efforts to alleviate
the humanitarian crisis which has been made worse by the influx of
Afghan refugees into the country.

Ms Short also declared that her department would increase its
bilateral programme to Pakistan to 45 million pounds annually for
the next two years. "These financial pledges come on top of the
additional 11 million pounds the UK has provided since September 11
to ensure that weaker section of the society in Pakistan do not
suffer because of the influx of Afghan refugees, and further 40
million pounds committed to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in
the region," she said.

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20011018
-------------------------------------------------------------------
EU promises swift signing of cooperation treaty
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Shadaba Islam

LUXEMBOURG, Oct 17: European Union governments promised a swift
signature of a new cooperation treaty with Pakistan, with diplomats
also recognising that any future broad-based post-Taliban
government in Afghanistan would have to live in peace with its
neighbours.

"There is a will to sign the agreement with Pakistan very quickly,"
Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel told Dawn.

European External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten said
signature of the pact put on ice in October 1999 after the military
takeover would be done "very shortly."

In another signal of their growing recognition of Pakistan's
regional role, EU governments recognised that international efforts
to establish a viable administration in Kabul must take account of
the "legitimate interests" of Afghanistan's neighbours.

An Afghan government could not be imposed from outside, warned
Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel. "It must have the backing of
the Afghan people," he stressed.

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20011018
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Attacks to end soon if Osama gives in: FO
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, Oct 17: Pakistan reaffirmed its belief that as soon as
the Taliban government accepted the UN Security Council resolution
demanding surrender of Osama bin Laden to the US for trial and
joined in efforts to establish a broad-based government in Kabul,
the Afghan war would fast come to an end, bringing durable peace in
its wake.

The foreign office spokesman said that there was convergence of
views at the talks between US Secretary of State Colin Powell and
President Pervez Musharraf on Afghan situation and the regional
problems.

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20011020
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Nuclear installations being handed over to US
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 19: Former senator and secretary-general of Jamiat
Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) Maulana Hafiz Hussain Ahmed claimed that the
government had agreed to handover the nuclear installations to the
US.

He was speaking at a demonstration held under the aegis of
Afghanistan Defence Council (ADC). The JUI secretary-general,
talking to the protesters, claimed that the government had decided
to handover Albadin base to the US forces for launching attacks on
Afghanistan.

The base is very close to the nuclear installations in Chaghi, and
giving it under US control is like handing over our key
installations to America, Mr Ahmed said. He said the patriotic
forces of the country would not allow the government to make a deal
on the country's nuclear programme.

He alleged that the recent visit of US Secretary of State Collin
Powell was a conspiracy to crush Kashmir freedom movement, as on
the same day India violated line of control and killed several
innocent citizens.

The JUI leader refuted the US forces's claims of having achieved
supremacy over the Afghanistan airspace. He asked if the if the
claims were correct, then why the US had still not sent its ground
troops to the area?

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20011020
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Qazi urges change in Afghan policy
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, Oct 19: Jamaat-i-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad here on
Friday urged people to change the government if it does not review
its Afghan policy.

" The Jamaat's objective is to overthrow the present government as
it is siding with America," he said, while addressing paricipants
in a big procession at the Soekarno Square.

The Qazi warned the government that the Jamaat movement to remove
it would continue so long as it did not change its Afghan policy.

He asked the people to fight against imperialists' agents who
justified the US aggression on Afghanistan. He appealed to the
people to boycott US goods and donate to the Jamaat's Jihad fund.

He said that while the Jamaat would run a peaceful movement against
the government it would not provide any opportunity to the enemy to
create disturbance and destabilise Pakistan.

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20011020
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Fire breaks out at Jacobabad airport
-------------------------------------------------------------------
KARACHI, Oct 19: A fire broke out at the Jacobabad air base
reportedly being used by the US forces engaged in attacks on
Afghanistan.

A senior Civil Aviation Authority official confirmed the blaze and
said it was caused when bushes caught fire during a spell of dry
weather.

Residents said the fire had engulfed nearby villages as well as an
open area around the airport and strip.

Residents said they saw fireballs coming down from the sky before
the fire broke out. Another report suggested that aircraft landing
at night used flare shells because the airport was ill-equipped for
night operations.-dpa

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20011017
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Security at Jacobabad airport tightened
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

SUKKUR, Oct 16: Security at the Jacobabad airport was tightened
following the reported overnight arrival of six M-15 US jet planes
at the airport. The area people told Dawn that six M-15 jet planes
had landed at the airport in the wee hours of Monday. The planes'
activity had continued from 2am to 6am, they added.

The Rangers pickets set up around the airport were reinforced and
more pickets were established on the rooftops of many houses.
Nobody was allowed to enter the airport area, where one person had
been killed and 50 others wounded when police had opened fire to
stop protesters from marching towards the airport.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam leader Khalid Mehmood Soomro had earlier
threatened at a public meeting that if the airport was not vacated
by the US troops within a week, the JUI would lay siege to it.
Following the issuance of this threat, more pickets of the Rangers
and the army were set up in the area.

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20011016
-------------------------------------------------------------------
CE gave no interview to US paper: Qureshi
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 15: President Pervez Musharraf's spokesman expressed
"shock" and "utter disbelief" at remarks attributed to President
Musharraf by the USA Today and CBS radio, quoting him as having
said that he planned to tell US Secretary of State Colin Powell
that US forces should first "take out" Mullah Omar rather than
Osama bin Ladin if they wanted to eliminate terrorism in
Afghanistan.

Talking to Dawn Maj General Rashid Qureshi, Press Secretary to
President and Director General of ISPR, said that no interview was
granted to USA Today and CBS radio. He said that he had never heard
of any interview in which no audio or video tapes were made. He
said that in fact, no such interview was requested by the news
establishments concerned nor was one granted.

He said that after Sept 11, the President had been interviewed only
by two international TV networks, CNN and BBC, and he held a press
conference. "He (President) has not granted any other interview
since then," he stated emphatically.

Masood Haider adds from New York: The USA Today on Monday said that
its correspondent in Islamabad along with CBS radio reporter
interviewed President Pervez Musharraf on Friday.

The World News editor of USA, Elisa Tensley, told Dawn that "we
stand by our story" when told that in Islamabad President
Musharraf's spokesman denied that such an interview had taken
place.

Ms Tensley said emphatically: "The interview took place and we
stand by our story." Mike Donahue of CBS Radio network also told
Dawn that their correspondent did interview Gen Pervez Musharraf
along with USA Today correspondent. "It was an informal interview
and it lasted for over one hour," he said, adding: "We stand by our
report." However, he said that since the interview was in an
informal setting no audio or video tapes were made.

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20011016
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Imposed Afghan setup not acceptable: Commanders meeting
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 15: President Gen Pervez Musharraf told a corps
commanders conference that Pakistan had made it abundantly clear to
the United States and United Kingdom that it would not accept any
future government in Afghanistan which was not broad-based.

Pakistan did not want to preempt any thing but it would not accept
any imposed dispensation in Afghanistan, sources quoted President
Musharraf as having said at the conference. He said the Northern
Alliance represented the minority, therefore it cannot be accepted
to form a future government.

Pakistan wanted that the future government in Kabul should be
established in accordance with the wishes of Afghan people, Maj-Gen
Rashid Qureshi, chief spokesman of the president, told Dawn.

The president took into confidence the corps commanders and
principle staff officers about the visit of US Secretary of States
Colin Powell. Gen Musharraf said that he would again apprise Mr
Powell about Pakistan's principled stand on Afghanistan to have a
broad-based government there. Pakistan, he said, had offered its
support to the US-led coalition to combat terrorism and that his
government was not looking for any quid pro quo.

Nevertheless, official quarters are maintaining that Pakistan would
be compensated for having supported the US at a time when religious
extremists were protesting against the government and were even
instigating violence, particularly in the NWFP and Balochistan.

The president apprised the participants about the geo-strategic
situation in the region and Pakistan's stand in the backdrop of
post-Sept 11 scenario. The conference reviewed the operational
preparedness of armed forces.

The participants expressed full confidence about the operational
readiness and capability of the army, and its ability to combat all
possible threats. "The conference discussed important internal and
external aspects to meet any situation," Maj-Gen Qureshi said.

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20011015
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Powell coming to make a deal on Kashmir: ADC
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 14: Leaders of Afghanistan Defence Council (ADC)
have claimed that Pakistani troops have killed six activists of the
Council in Jacobabad. Speaking at a protest rally the leaders of
the Council warned the government to withdraw its support to the
United States, otherwise the ADC would announce war against it.

They asked President Pervez Musharraf to quit as he was responsible
for killing of innocent persons, who were heading towards Jacobabad
air base. They said interior ministry had given information to the
US intelligence agencies about the whereabouts of Taliban's chief
Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden.

The speakers said freedom fighters' organizations like Harkatul
Ansar and Jaish-i-Mohammad had been black-listed by the US, despite
the fact that these organizations were also actively engaged in
occupied Kashmir. "President Pervez Musharraf has betrayed the
Kashmiris by supporting the US and keeping silence over black-
listing of these two Jehadi outfits," they added.

They warned the US that Afghanistan would become a graveyard for
its troops if it started ground war. On the visit of the US
secretary of state, Colin Powell, to Pakistan, they said he was
coming to make a deal on Kashmir. "The US wanted to eliminate the
nuclear program of Pakistan in the pretext of war against
terrorism," they said.

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20011015
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Post-Taliban scenario not clear: report
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

NEW YORK, Oct 14: American Special Forces may stage a commando raid
inside Afghanistan this week, Newsweek reported on Sunday. Such an
operation, the magazine says, would, however, likely be limited to
gathering intelligence, not trying to kill or capture Osama bin
Laden.

According to the magazine, senior military officials say they are
pessimistic about the success of a drawn-out military campaign. The
top brass is worried that the military is being asked to do a job
that requires not just brute force but skilful diplomacy and
cunning spying, not to mention a large dose of luck.

Speaking privately to fellow officers not long after the Sept 11
attacks, General Anthony Zinni (retired), the former head of the
Central Command, bluntly stated: "I hope the military isn't given
this to solve." And in the days immediately after the terror
attacks, Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld privately grumbled
that the military was unable to come up with a creative battle
plan.

War councils seemed to drone on endlessly without fresh thinking.
At one point, Rumsfeld joked that the operation, then known as
Infinite Justice, should be renamed "Infinite Meetings."

One of the best ways to find Osama may be a well-placed bribe. "It
was said by the Brits that only two things move the tribal leaders
- religion and money," a former high-ranking Pakistan military
officer tells Newsweek. "I would reverse the order." The CIA is
reportedly trying to payoff local war lords to turn against the
Taliban and guide the Americans to Osama's lair. And a diplomatic
source, with intimate knowledge of Afghan affairs, told the
magazine that some tribal leaders were demanding titles and power
as well as cash. "They're saying, 'I can get Osama if I can be
governor of this or that province after it's all over," says the
diplomat. "Washington's problem is: how do you deal with people who
are mostly a bunch of pirates?"

If Osama is spotted, small units of highly-trained special forces
can be inserted nearby, in the next phase of the campaign. And
though the Pentagon is being tightlipped about the movement of
these warriors, some operators are probably already stationed at
remote bases along the Afghan border in Pakistan and Uzbekistan, as
well as aboard the carrier Kitty Hawk in the Arabian Sea, the
magazine said. But some Pentagon officials told Newsweek that they
were concerned that Osama was not hiding in a cave but in the
squalid slums of a city like Kandahar.

Lacking its own "assets," among the Afghans, the CIA will almost
surely need the help of Pakistan intelligence service, the ISI. But
knowledgeable US officials say they have been disappointed with the
information provided by the ISI, which had a hand in training
Taliban and presumably al- Qaeda fighters, but now can't seem to
find them.

A senior Pakistan official told Newsweek that his leaders were
reluctant to become deeply involved in a proxy war until they had a
clearer picture of what might follow the Taliban regime. To that
end, a top US administration official told the magazine that
Washington was prepared to fill a "political vacuum" if the Taliban
collapsed. There was talk of bringing back Afghanistan's exiled
king, Zahir Shah, who has been living in Rome.

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20011016
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Benazir reiterates demand for civilian rule
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Oct 15: Pakistani political parties' support to Gen
Pervez Musharraf at this critical point in the country's history
should not be seen as acceptance of the military government or as
conferring legitimacy on it.

She said the PPP had extended support to Gen Musharraf, despite its
difference with him, because he had taken a decision in then
nation's interest by backing the US-led drive against terrorism,
but the party stood by its demand for elections next year and a
return to civilian, democratic rule. The question of legitimacy was
separate from backing Gen Musharraf in the present crisis.

In fact, Benazir Bhutto said, the situation in which Pakistan found
itself would not have arisen if there had been continuity of
democratic governance in Pakistan and her party had not been ousted
form power. She said her government had managed to persuade Mullah
Mohammad Omar, the supreme Taliban leader, to negotiate an alliance
with other ethnic and sectarian groups and to sign a document that
a broad-based administration would be formed in Kabul. The document
should still be with the Foreign Office, she said.

Referring to the rise of the Taliban, which took place during her
government's second period in power, Benazir said her government
had not created the Taliban, but adopted it. However, at that time
it was seen as a factor for peace. It was later when Osama bin
Laden made Afghanistan his base that the situation changed. Far
from providing strategic depth for Pakistan, we've got a strategic
threat from groups operating" in that country, Benazir Bhutto said.

Although she asserted that most of the problems created for her
came not from army chiefs, but from the intelligence agencies, she
seemed disinclined to blame the ISI for funding militant madressahs
and training camps.

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20011014
-------------------------------------------------------------------
JI decides to launch drive against Musharraf
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ashraf Mumtaz

LAHORE, Oct 13: The Jamaat-i-Islami has decided to launch a
vigorous agitation to force President Pervez Musharraf to step down
and set up an interim government to run the country.

Jamaat sources say that the military government is working
according to the dictates of the United States and, therefore, it
has no right to stay in power. Though the Jamaat's stand is almost
identical to that of the Alliance for Restoration of Democracy,
there is no possibility of the two working on the same platform.

It said that repeated statements that Pakistan would not take part
in attacks on Afghanistan were misleading as it was already sharing
intelligence with the US, allowing the use of its air space and
providing other logistical support for strikes.

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20011018
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Zaeef appeals for relief goods
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD Oct 17: Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Afghan ambassador
in Islamabad, has appealed for relief goods including food and
drugs for the people of Afghanistan, in wake of the US air raids on
the country.

Sohail Shaheen, acting Afghan ambassador, talking to this scribe
said that Mullah Zaeef had asked him by telephone to appeal to the
world community especially Pakistan to save hundreds of thousands
of people of Afghanistan from starvation and sure death due to
shortage of life saving drugs by rushing their supplies at the
earliest.

When asked if Mullah Zaeef had been able to hold a meeting with
Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar so far which was the purpose of
his visit, the Afghan diplomat said "I was not informed". He
rejected reports of any secret visit to Islamabad by Afghan foreign
minister Wakil Ahmed Mutawakil and holding talks with Pakistani
foreign office on any deal for a broad-based government.

"There was no truth in all these reports as Mutawakil is still
inside Afghanistan and has not visited Pakistan so far", said
Sohail Shaheen.

He said, there were reports of food shortages especially in the
remote areas and areas close to the US planes bombing theatre. He
claimed that some 20 deaths were confirmed in fresh air strikes and
20 others had been injured in last 24 hours.

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20011018
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Britain to give £15m for Afghan refugees
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Oct 17: Britain has decided to further offer 15 million
pounds for Afghan refugees, says the visiting British secretary of
state for international development Clare Short.

She said over four-and-a-half million refuges have already fled
Afghanistan but, following the attack on the World Trade Centre,
the crisis has escalated.

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20011015
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New centres to deal with Afghan relief
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By M. Arshad Sharif

ISLAMABAD, Oct 14: The United Nations has dispatched advance teams
to Quetta and Peshawar to establish a "common security telecom and
logistics support system" as it moves ahead with networking for
humanitarian assistance in countries bordering Afghanistan.

Senior UN officials in Islamabad told Dawn that negotiations were
in advance stage to establish similar telecom and logistics systems
in Turkmenabad (Turkmenistan), Termez (Uzbekistan), Mashad and
possibly Zahedan (Iran), and Dushanbe or Ishkashim (Tajikistan).

The joint UN offices will provide the essential network to enable a
co-ordinated cross border logistics supply operation as well as to
facilitate effective flow of information to and from the respective
country offices, said an official of United Nations Office for
Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan (UNOCHA).

Sources said the UN teams would replace and upgrade the common
security telecommunications services within Afghanistan for all UN
agencies. The new common security telecommunication will use local
VHF communications and longer range HF manned by 24 hour radio
rooms with the technical support of the WFP FITTEST (Field IT and
Telecommunications Emergency Support Teams) staff.

A base layer of integrated IT e-mail server system will be
installed to provide field data communications as the common
systems are geared to be established to link and support offices in
the neighbouring countries, sources said.

According to the officials, Islamabad is currently functioning as
the focal point for access and use of common services that support
security, logistics, communications and information flow for
assistance provision in Afghanistan. "These services have to date
been provided by the UN Co-ordinator's Office in Islamabad which
maintains a 24 hour radio communications network throughout
Afghanistan and in the region in addition to running the UN flight
operations which provide a comprehensive passenger and cargo
transport service." Inside Afghanistan, these services have been
supported by UN Regional Co-ordination Offices.

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20011016
-------------------------------------------------------------------
United Nations issues $584m donor alert
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 15: The United Nations has issued a new donor alert
amounting to $584.03 million for six months to ensure delivery of
an inter-agency humanitarian assistance plan for Afghanistan and
neighbouring countries.

Official sources said the UN would use the funds for humanitarian
efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan,
and Uzbekistan through a Regional Humanitarian Coordinator.
According to UN sources, the donor alert for humanitarian
assistance had replaced the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) 2001
for Afghanistan in view of the drastic changes in the overall
context. The 2001 CAP is no longer applicable and as soon as a
clearer picture emerges on the scale of the humanitarian needs in
the region, a modified CAP will be initiated once again.

The alert, sources said, was a six-month plan of action based on a
number of agreed scenarios and planning assumptions. "The alert to
donors is based on initial plans and sets out in broad terms the
projected immediate requirements to respond to the needs of the
most affected and vulnerable Afghans, particular women and
children, in and outside Afghanistan.

The figure, according to UN sources, was not likely to remain valid
for a period longer than six months in view of the uncertain
situation in Afghanistan and may increase if the crisis aggravates.

The UN hoped that donors would respond positively and flexibly in
order to allow the UN and its NGO partners to put in place the
resources and the operational capacity to provide for 7.5m Afghans
desperately in need of assistance. The sources said that a Regional
Humanitarian Coordinator (RHC) would be responsible for
coordination at the regional level of the inter-agency response to
the situation in Afghanistan and its regional implications.

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20011020
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Hearing of case against Benazir adjourned
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 19: Judge Muhammed Jawaid Alam of the AC-4 put off the
hearing of a corruption reference against former prime minister
Benazir Bhutto till Nov 7.

Benazir Bhutto along with others is facing the charges of
appointing and promoting 1,393 people in the national carrier in
violation of rules and regulation.

Other accused in the reference are Air Vice Marshal (retd) Umer
Farooq, former PIA chief, Naheed Khan, Ghulam Qadir Shah Jamote,
Siraj Shamsudin and Najamul Hasan.

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20011019
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Qazi's entry into Sindh banned
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

SUKKUR, Oct 18: The Sindh home department has banned the entry of
Jamaat-i-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed into Sindh, Dawn learnt.

The ban on Mr Ahmed's entry was said to have been imposed due to
security reasons and to prevent him from taking out an anti-US
rally in Jacobabad on Oct 23. JI provincial chief Asadullah Bhutto,
however, declared that his party "defies the home department's
ban", and said Qazi Hussain Ahmed would lead the rally in
Jacobabad.

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20011020
-------------------------------------------------------------------
JUI chief's residence declared sub-jail
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Oct 19: Following the registration of a rebellion
case against Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahman, his
residence has been declared a sub-jail.

On Friday, various law-enforcing agencies were deputed to ensure
external security of the sub-jail, whose internal security would be
ensured by jail assistant superintendent Muhammad Ayub Khan, one
head warden and four wardens. No one was allowed to visit the JUI
chief.

The jail staff, however, are facing a problem. The JUI chief is
residing in the house with his three other brothers and their
families and, according to the jail manual, a prisoner cannot be
lodged in the prison with his family members.

The jail staff have contacted the inspector-general of prison, the
home secretary and others, and have sought advice and guidance as
to whether the prisoner be separated from the rest of his family
members or otherwise.

An awkward situation occurred on Thursday morning when Jamaat-i-
Islami deputy chief Liaqaut Baloch insisted on seeing Maulana Fazl-
ur-Rahman, but he was not allowed to meet him. The same thing
happened with JUI-F general-secretary Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri.

Both Baloch and Haidri had come from Lahore and Quetta,
respectively, to see the Maulana and discuss with him the ongoing
situation in Afghanistan. The situation became so bad that the home
secretary and the NWFP governor had to be contacted by phone and
briefed about the situation. However, neither Liaqaut Baloch nor
Maulana Haidri were allowed to meet the JUI chief. All the
telephone connections of the Maulana's residence are already
disconnected.

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20011019
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Islamuddin convicted in loan default case
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Tahir Siddiqui

KARACHI, Oct 18: Islamuddin Shaikh, a former senator and
industrialist, was convicted on for committing wilful default on
over Rs845 million bank loans and sentenced to three different
terms, totalling 42 years.

Judge Dr. Qamaruddin Bohra of the Accountability court No. 1
convicted the industrialist in three different bank loan default
references and imposed separate fines, totalling over Rs162.89
million.

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20011020
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mansur to be indicted
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 19: Former naval chief Admiral (Rtd) Mansurul Haq,
is likely to be indicted by an accountability court in kickbacks
and commission reference.

According to NAB, the accused received $3.36 million in
commissions, kickbacks and bribes from contractors for supply of
defence materials to the navy and put the funds in an offshore
company in the name of Titan Europe in Gibraltar.

Subsequently, the accused set up two other offshore companies and
the accounts of Titan were transferred to these companies one after
the other.

The co-accused, in the case, Amir Lodhi, has already been declared
a proclaimed offender.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20011017
-------------------------------------------------------------------
US assures of financial help
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 16: The US Secretary of State Colin Powell held out
a firm assurance that America would take concrete steps in the
coming months to help Pakistan strengthen its economy.

"We had very straightforward discussions on the debt problem being
faced by Pakistan," Mr Powell said at a joint press conference
after three-hour talks with President Musharraf and his team.

Mr Powell said that he would be taking a strong message back to
Washington as to what was required to be done to help Pakistan
overcome its debt problem. He pointed out that President Bush had
already lifted a number of sanctions on Pakistan with a view to
expanding the relations between the two countries.

As regards financial assistance, he said, a debt amounting to $379
million had already been rescheduled and a new IMF assistance
package was being processed.

"As a result of actions taken by Pakistan over the past five weeks
we have made a new beginning of relations which will grow and
thrive in the months and years to come," he said.

President Bush, he added, asked him to undertake the visit to
demonstrate America's enduring commitment to relations with
Pakistan. "We did not stop on discussions on Afghanistan. We are
looking forward to strengthening of relations and so covered a
whole range of bilateral issues," he said.

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20011018
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Japan reluctant to write off debt
-------------------------------------------------------------------
TOKYO, Oct 17: President Gen Pervez Musharraf called on Japan to
boost its financial support, including a debt waiver, as Pakistan
struggles to cope with a flood of refugees following US bombing
attacks in Afghanistan, officials said.

President Musharraf made the request during a 30-minute telephone
conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, the
officials said. "Referring to five billion dollar loans from our
country to Pakistan, President Musharraf requested Prime Minister
Koizumi to write off the loans," a Japanese foreign ministry
official said.

Mr Koizumi vowed to continue backing Pakistan but showed no
intention of waiving its loan.

"I would like to support Pakistan from a financial point of view,"
Mr Koizumi was quoted by the official as telling the president.
"But our basic stance is that a debt waiver is not desirable," Mr
Koizumi said.-AFP

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20011014
-------------------------------------------------------------------
US industry opposes quota free access: Pakistan textile products
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana

KARACHI, Oct 13: The US textile industry has strongly opposed
Pakistan's move to get duty and quota free access to textile
products, fearing it would cripple the domestic industry, sources
in touch with the US Department of Commerce told Dawn on telephone.

The US government has been working on several propositions for
providing economic assistance including a $600-million aid package
for Pakistan. The package is likely to be made public by US
Secretary of State Colin Powell during his scheduled visit to
Pakistan on Monday, as part of administration efforts to shore up
support for military action against Afghanistan and Osama bin
Laden, a key suspect in the Sept 11 attacks, sources said.

The textile concessions are expected to be part of the package
which may include easing of quota restrictions on Pakistan's
textile exports to the US, sources said.

Consequently, the American Textile Manufacturers Association (ATMI)
has taken strong exception over the issue and cautioned the
Commerce Department that it will hit the domestic industry which
was passing one of the worst crises. More than 100 units have been
shut and over 60,000 jobs loss had been reported so far, sources
from Washington said.

In its resentment note, the ATMI has suggested to the State
Department that instead of making textile trade a central component
of the aid package, such measures should be taken which could help
Pakistan to get rid of debt burden to give fiscal spread to its
economy.

However, looking at fast moving developments, the ATMI has
indicated to the US administration that new duty-free entry for
hand-knotted and hand-hooked floor coverings from Pakistan would be
acceptable. But this proposition may not be acceptable to Pakistan
which has been looking for total withdrawal of quota and tariff
restrictions over its textile products, sources added.

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20011018
-------------------------------------------------------------------
ADB facility to finance LC State Bank outlines procedure
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 17: The State Bank told banks that the Asian
Development Bank facility to finance confirmation of letters of
credit would cover up to 100 per cent of the LC value.

Earlier this year the Asian Development had established a $100
million facility for this purpose.

In a circular issued to all banks SBP said that the facility was
negotiated between Pakistan and ADB keeping in view that some
international banks want confirmation of LCs opened by the banks
operating in Pakistan "for a variety of reasons." Bankers say the
main reason is the country risk that first increased after the 1997
East Asian crisis and then reached its peak after Pakistan went
nuclear in 1998.

They say the risk has again increased after the September 11
terrorist attacks on the US soil followed by the US retaliatory air
strikes on Kabul.

The SBP circular said the facility shall be used to guarantee
payment to international banks confirming eligible LCs. The
guarantee so provided will effectively transfer Pakistan country
risk into ADB risk.

The facility shall be administered through a facility agent. The
ADB with the concurrence of the government of Pakistan has
appointed Standard Chartered Bank in Dubai as its agent. The bank
on behalf of ADB will enter into a master risk participation
agreement with each international bank that wants to obtain LC
confirmation guarantee.

Each guarantee under the facility may cover up to 100 per cent of
the face value of the LC, but it will not cover any risk associated
with the performance of the issuing bank. The circular has laid
down several eligibility criteria for the LCs. One criterion is
that its validity term should be 360 days. The validity may exceed
360 days and may extend up to three years on case-to-case basis.
Another criterion is that the LC should not be of less than $5000
and not be more than $1 million in value.

The ADB facility for financing LC confirmation shall cover the LCs
that are opened to import goods, services, spare parts and capital
equipment from ADB member countries.

It will not cover the LCs that are opened for import of goods,
services, spare parts or capital equipment from countries that are
not ADB members. Similarly the facility will not cover the LCs
opened for the import of luxury goods, consumer goods or other
imports that are on SBP's negative list.

The facility will also not cover the LCs opened for import of arms,
ammunition and other military materials; radioactive and associated
materials, nuclear reactors and components thereof, fuel elements
(cartridges) non-irradiated for nuclear reactors.

Following is the list of the international banks that have agreed
to provide guarantee for LC confirmation under the ADB facility:

(i) Credit Agricole Indusuez (ii) Deutsche Bank AG (iii) HSBC
Investment Bank (iv) ING Bank NV (v) Societe Generale (vi) Standard
Chartered (vii) Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (viii) Wells
Fargo Bank NV.

All local and foreign commercial banks operating in Pakistan can
avail of the facility.

Senior bankers say the issuance of the SBP circular regarding ADB
facility for confirmation of LCs would help importers open LCs more
frequently than in the last one month.

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20011018
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Setting up of microfinance bodies okayed
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, Oct 17: President General Pervez Musharraf allowed
establishment of microfinance institutions in the country to
provide "financial, infrastructural and organisational support to
poor persons, particularly poor women, for mitigating their
poverty."

The law, however, has been drafted in such a way as to avoid a
repeat of cooperative societies-like scandals, by providing a
mechanism under which the State Bank of Pakistan would ensure that
there was no political interference in such microfinance
institutions.

The new law, called Microfinance Institutions Ordinance, 2001,
provides that no person other than a company shall establish a
microfinance institution without the issuance of licence from the
State Bank of Pakistan.

The objective of the law is stated "to promote the establishment of
microfinance institutions for providing organizational, and
infrastructural support to poor persons, particularly poor women,
for mitigating poverty and promoting social welfare and economic
justice through community building and social mobilisation."

The function and powers of the microfinance institutions would be
to render assistance to micro-enterprises and provide microfinance
services to poor persons, preferably poor women, with a view to
alleviating poverty.

The microfinance institutions will be authorized to provide
financing facilities, accept deposit, pledges, mortgages,
hypothecations, provide professional advice to poor person
regarding investments in small business, and pay, receive, collect
and remit money and securities within the country.

No microfinance institution would be able to create a floating
charge or the undertaking or any of its assets unless the creation
of such floating charge was certified in writing by the SBP as not
detrimental to the interest of the depositors of such institutions.
Any such floating charge created without obtaining the certificate
of the SBP would be invalid.

No microfinance institution would be able to operate in the whole
country, unless it had a paid-up capital of five hundred million
rupees.

A microfinance institution holding the licence for operation in a
province would be required to have a paid-up capital of two hundred
and fifty million rupees.

The microfinance institution operating at district level would be
required to have a paid-up capital of one hundred million rupees.

Any person performing the functions of a microfinance institution,
before the promulgation of this law, would be required to get
licence from the State Bank.

Before granting any licence to any microfinance institution, the
SBP would satisfy itself that the "institution is, or will be, in a
position to meet its liabilities to the present or future customers
in full as and when such liabilities accrue."

A microfinance institution would have to maintain by way of cash
reserve in cash in current account, opened with the State Bank or
its agent, a sum equivalent to five per cent of its deposits.

The law stipulates creation of depositors' protection fund for
providing security or guarantee to persons depositing money in such
institutions.

Five per cent of the annual after-tax profits of microfinance
institution and profits earned on the investment of the fund would
have to be credited to the depositors' protection fund and such
fund would be either invested in government securities or deposited
with State Bank in a enumerative account.

The depositors' protection fund, the law stipulates, would be used
to make payments to the individual depositors with aggregate
deposits of up to ten thousand rupees in case of liquidation of the
microfinance institutions.

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20011020
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Conversion of RDFC, SBFC into limited co: Ord promulgated
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 19: President Pervez Musharraf promulgated an
ordinance allowing the federal government to amalgamate the
Regional Development Finance Corporation and Small Business Finance
Corporation into one company.

The ordinance called Regional Development Finance Corporation and
Small Business Finance Corporation (Amalgamation and Conversion)
Ordinance, 2001, provides that both the financial institution would
be amalgamated and formed into limited company.

Within 90 days of the promulgation of the ordinance, the federal
government would, in consultation with the RDFC and SBFC
shareholders, form a public limited company, registered under the
Companies Ordinance 1984.

The company will maintain existing deposits, continue lending and
any other business which were being undertaken by the RDFC and
SBFC.

All the permanent employees of the RDFC and SBFC, who were
continuously in the service for a period of one year immediately
before the effective date (date specified in the order) on the same
term and conditions and would be subject to same rules and
regulations as were applicable to them before the effective date.

All contracts subsisting or having effect immediately before the
effective date to which the RDFC or SBFC might have been a party or
beneficiary, would be deemed to have been made by the company.

After the registration of the company, the federal government
would, by an order, direct that all the assets, contracts,
liabilities, proceedings and undertakings of the RDFC and SBFC
stood transferred to the company.

All proceedings by or against or relating to the RDFC or SBFC
pending on effective date before the any court, tribunal,
arbitrator or any other authority should be continued, prosecuted,
defended, enforced, and executed by or against the company in the
same manner and executed by or against the RDFC or SBFC as the case
may be.

The order by the federal government would be required to specify,
among other things, the following:

a) The transfer of all the assets, contracts, liabilities,
proceedings and undertakings of the RDFC and SBFC to the company;
b) the allotment of shares or debentures of the company to the
shareholders, debenture-holders or bond-holders of the RDFC and
SBFC in proportion to the their shares, debentures, bonds or their
securities in the RDFC or SBFC as the case may be, after
determining the net asset value of both the RDFC and SBFC on the
effective date; c) the dissolution of the RDFC and SBFC from the
effective date; and d) such incidental and consequential and
supplemental matters as are necessary to secure the amalgamation
and transfer under this ordinance.

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20011020
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Stocks finish weekend session on optimistic note
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 19: Over the week, the KSE 100-share index has risen
by more than 70 point or six per cent just in the wake of reports
of extensive coalition bombing in Afghanistan and waves of new
refugees crossing into safe havens in Pakistan. Despite being
sensitive to negative external developments, there are no signs of
panic among the investors and that reflects investor confidence.

The fact that the index has not only sustained the support level of
1,250 but ended well above it analysts at the W.E predict it could
well prove a turning point in the market's upward direction.

The close at 1,267.05 that too at the weekend session reflects that
leading bulls are not inclined to take even a technical breather
and are out to play above the resistance index level of 1,250.00.
The net rise was 13.41 points.

"I presume the index will fluctuate between 1,450 and 1,500 level
not in the very distant futures," says a leading broker basing his
predictions on the future market behaviour of the leading base
shares, notably Hub-Power. "Together with PTCL, it could take the
index to any highs where both will like it to."

Both, the PTCL and Hubco have a weightage of over 40 per cent in
it, and that could well mean an increase of a few paisa in them
could keep the index rising each session despite poor performance
of the broader market.

Selective support on all the blue chip counters, notably the
fertilizer sector was evident, which in turn evoked good
sympathetic buying on the other counters. Engro Chemical and ICI
Pakistan were among the top performer, up Rs.2.10 and 3.20 on
strong foreign buying.

Plus signs were strewn all over the list, major gainers being
Blessed Textiles, Din Textiles, Faisal Spinning, Gul Ahmad
Textiles, Cherat Paper, Security Paper and Lever Brothers, which
posted gains ranging from Rs.2.55 to 8.35.

Nestle MilkPak was leading among the losers, off Rs.4 followed by
Shell Pakistan, which was quoted ex-dividend at Rs.183.25. Others
fell fractionally.

Trading volume fell to 83m shares owing to the absence of sellers
but gainers maintained a strong lead over the losers at 120 to 40,
out of 204 actives.

Hub-Power again led the list of actives, up 20 paisa at Rs.18.80 on
26m shares, one third of the total, followed by PTCL, unchanged at
Rs.15.65 on 14m shares, ICI Pakistan, sharply higher by Rs.3.20 at
Rs.40.50 on 10m shares, Engro Chemical, up Rs.2.10 at Rs.51.45 on
8m shares and Sui Northern firm by 45 paisa at Rs.9.55 on 6m
shares.

PSO led the list of other actives, up Rs.1.50 at Rs.104.00 on 4m
shares, Nishat Mills, higher 40 paisa on 3.423m shares, Dewan
Salman, firm by 35 paisa on 3.171m shares, Adamjee Insurance, off
55 paisa on 1.330m shares and Fauji Fertilizer, easy five paisa on
1.109m shares.

FUTURE CONTRACTS: Bulk of the activity remained confined to Hub-
Power, which accounted for 2m shares, up 10 paisa at Rs.18.75. PTCL
was traded unchanged at Rs.15.70 on 0.793m shares. PSO and Engro
Chemical were leading among the gainers, up Rs.1.80 and 2.50 at
Rs.104.70 and 51.50 respectively on modest turnover.

DEFAULTER COMPANIES: Shares of five companies came in for stray
alternate bouts of buying under the lead of Allied Motors, which
was marked lower by 15 paisa at Rs.3.10 on 1,500 shares. All others
showed light volume of 500 shares mostly unchanged barring Ravi
Rayon, up 10 paisa at Rs.0.60 also on 500 shares.

Back to the top
EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20011014
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Commander of the faithful
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

On the bridge stands Pervez Musharraf, captain of a rebellious
crew. His ship is making water; its bilges are full. Storm signals
have been hoisted, heavy weather has been forecast ahead and
astern. The engine telegraph is on 'Stand By'.

A cutter comes alongside, and Pilot George Bush and his apprentice,
Tony Blair, embark. The heavy odds are discussed. The pilot can
advise but the responsibility, as always, must rest with the Master
of the ship. The Captain is aware of the capacity of his fickle
advisers. As soon as they feel they have done enough, they are more
than capable of forsaking him. He has the choice of ordering his
ship to sail ahead or astern. He is decisive, he takes the risk,
and pushes the telegraph to 'Full Ahead'. Some days later, those of
his officers who have rebelled are lowered into a lifeboat and cast
away.

Pakistan has to move forward.

Now we revert to Captain Basil Henry Liddell Hart's thesis, 'Why
don't we learn from history?' (published posthumously, 1971) in
which he elaborates on what dictators and men who have ridden in on
horseback tend to do when they gain power:

"They soon begin to rid themselves of their chief helpers
'discovering' that those who brought about the new order have
suddenly become traitors to it.

They suppress criticism on one pretext or another and punish anyone
who mentions facts which, however true, are unfavourable to their
policy.

They enlist religion on their side, if possible, or, if its leaders
are not compliant, foster a new kind of religion subservient to
their ends.

They spend public money lavishly on material works of a striking
kind, in compensation for the freedom of spirit and thought of
which they have robbed the public.

They manipulate the currency to make the economic position of the
state appear better than it is in reality.

They ultimately make war on some other state as a means of
diverting attention from internal conditions and allowing
discontent to explode outward.

They abuse the rallying cry of patriotism as a means of riveting
the chains of their personal authority more firmly on the people.

They expand the superstructure of the state while undermining its
foundations - by breeding sycophants at the expense of self-
respecting collaborators by appealing to the popular taste for the
grandiose and sensational instead of true values, and by fostering
a romantic instead of a realistic view, thus ensuring the ultimate
collapse, under their successors if not themselves, of what they
have created.

“This political confidence trick, itself a familiar string of
tricks, has been repeated all down the ages. Yet it rarely fails to
take in a fresh generation."

General Ziaul Haq took over on July 5, 1977. On July 25, he called
me and I had the pleasure of meeting him, of watching him puff
himself up and twirl the ends of his moustache, so obviously dyed
black (Is there some obscure army regulation that dictates that our
generals and lesser officers must dye their hair black or brown or
red?). When he told me that he intended to return to his barracks
within the space of ninety days, he was reminded that the last
general who had completely relinquished state power to return to
his farm was General Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus, and that was in
458 BC. It was highly unlikely that he would prove to be a latter-
day Cincinnatus.

Given time, Zia managed to cover each and every point on Liddell
Hart's list. Had fate, our good fortune, or his adversaries, not
intervened to have him fall from the skies, he may very well have
still been with us today.

In contrast, so far, how has Musharraf conducted himself? He has
had to jettison a few of his fundo helpers. He has not suppressed
criticism. The press is free. He has neither enlisted religion on
his side nor fostered a new kind of religion. He has not spent
public money lavishly, one good reason being that his predecessors
in power left nothing for him spend. He has not manipulated the
currency, the dollar rises and falls freely. He has had no need to
make war to divert attention; from the start, he has lived through
one. He has, though, used a rallying cry of patriotism
unsuccessfully in the form of his constant unstemmed stress on the
'national interest'. He has also chosen to opt for the realistic
rather than the romantic view.

Pakistan cannot survive on rebellion, or on bigotry, or
fundamentalism, or religiosity, or hypocrisy, or, importantly,
terrorism. We have today a war raging internally in Pakistan with
modernity, education, knowledge and science ranged against abject
but dangerous ignorance and obscurantism.

Now to assess the chief protagonists and antagonists. Supreme
Commander of the United States Armed Forces George W. Bush, born on
July 6, 1946, was raised into politics. In 1994 he was elected
governor of Texas with a 54 per cent majority and re-elected in
1998 with a 69 per cent majority. He was elected president of the
United States with a 47.9 per cent majority in 2000 and was sworn
in on January 20, 2001. His father, George, was president of the US
from 1989 to 1993 and his grandfather, Prescott, was a US senator,
a Republican from Connecticut. Brother Jeb is governor of Florida.
Whether he is or not, his pedigree should make him an astute,
devious political animal. He went to Yale, earned his B.A in 1968,
went on to Harvard Business School and graduated as an MBA in 1975.
Between 1968 and 1973 he was a pilot in the Texas Air National
Guard.

>From 1975 to 1986 he worked as the founder and chief executive
officer of the Bush Exploration Oil and Gas Company. A sportsman,
his great interest is in baseball. He was the managing general
partner of the Texas Rangers professional baseball team (1989-
1994). He did not know the name of the President of Pakistan until
he became president of his own country, and prior to September 11,
2001, could not even pronounce the name Musharraf. He calls him
'Mush' for short which rhymes with his own name.

The supreme commander of the opposing force in this war against
terrorism, Mullah Mohammad Omar, was born around 1959 in Nodeh, a
village near Kandahar. He is a Hotak tribesman of the Ghilzai
Pashtuns. He learnt his arts and sciences in a madressah in the
North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. He lost an eye in combat
and is the proud husband of four wives. In school he was never
taught the meaning of the word tolerance. He cannot conceive that
another man can hold a view which differs from his particular view.
According to Afghan scholar, Ahmed Rashid, some say that Omar was
chosen as the Taliban leader not for his political or military
ability but for his piety and his unswerving belief in Islam.
Others maintain he was chosen by God. Says one of his followers,
"We selected Mullah Omar to lead this movement. He was the first
amongst equals and we gave him the power to lead us."

He and the Taliban took up arms "to achieve the aims of the Afghan
jihad and save the people from suffering at the hands of the so-
called Mujahideen." Omar has complete faith in God Almighty who can
bless the Taliban with victory or plunge them into defeat. He has
assumed the title of Ameerul Momineen, Commander of the Faithful,
the first to have done so after Hazrat Umer some 1,400 years ago.
His line of action is dependent on his visions, dreams, and voices
from on high.

We have also had men who would have liked to proclaim themselves
Ameerul Momineen - one was Mard-e-Momeen Mard-e-Haque Ziaul Haq,
and another, Nawaz Sharif had he managed to push his 15th
constitutional amendment through the Senate before he took on the
might of the Pakistan army.

To add to Musharraf's troubles, our friends the Indians are making
hostile noises, to quell which, Colin Powell, a retired general of
the US army yet to prove himself as a politician, is visiting both
India and Pakistan. Atal Behari Vajpayee, though not a general,
should be capable of understanding that when he and his countrymen
glibly talk of the 'Talibanization' of Pakistan he is ignoring the
tedious and dangerous battle being fought by Musharraf to hold at
bay the violent vocal extremist minority and keep them from making
inroads. The demons Musharraf is struggling to contain will be
India's demons should he fail.

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20011019
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A happy assumption waiting to be tested
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ayaz Amir

Nothing could be clearer than the one holy assumption on which all
the current war planning and military operations are based: that
the Taliban, unable to bear the brunt of American military action,
will disintegrate from within and soon be part of history.

The feverish talk of a post-war dispensation in Afghanistan flows
from much the same iron-clad belief that the Taliban, hoisted on
their own foolishness, are on the verge of disappearing from the
Afghan scene.

If this thinking proves correct the cries of vindication from the
American-led coalition will resound across the heavens. President
Bush will have won his fight against evil. The anger of the
American people will be assuaged, their self-righteousness
immeasurably strengthened. And President Musharraf, riding the most
dangerous horse of all, will be hailed at home as a far-sighted
statesman.

The play, in other words, will have run according to script:
Taliban morale collapsing, Taliban ranks weakened by defections,
the Northern Alliance on the march, and the coup de grace delivered
by American and British 'special forces' operating out of captured
Kabul and Kandahar.

This is a beguiling scenario which could well turn out to be true.
After all, the Taliban have their backs to the wall while the
Americans have everything going for them.

But what if the Taliban hold on? What if, unlike Pakistan, they do
not lose their nerve? Or their will to resist? What if by the time
the snows start to fall they are still in place, defiant in the
face of the death and destruction raining down on their country?
It's a safe bet that in that case everything will be in a mess with
anti-war demonstrations on the rise across Europe and the mood
getting uglier in Pakistan.

Not for nothing has General Musharraf been stressing the need for a
swift conclusion to the war effort. Speed is of the essence, for
anything less will land both America and Pakistan in a quagmire.
The trouble is that a speedy conclusion is possible only if the
Taliban collapse from within. Or they are defeated on the ground.
If the Taliban are not so obliging, or American special forces not
so enterprising, we have a problem on our hands.

This is the nightmare haunting Pakistan: the fear of being caught
in a bind in which backing off - that is, getting out of America's
loveless and overbearing embrace - will be as dangerous as staying
the course. By now most Pakistanis know where their country stands.
For a pittance it has been made hostage to American wishes. This is
not a feeling which most Pakistanis appreciate or find flattering,
whatever General Musharraf may say about the support he enjoys.

As the bombing runs over Afghanistan continue the anger in Pakistan
is getting stronger. Anyone thinking otherwise has no clue to the
mood across the country. The opposition to the air strikes is
almost total. This is not for any ingrained support for the
Taliban. But because of emotional sympathy for the plight of fellow
Muslims. Innocent people died in New York and Washington. But
aren't innocent people - men, women and children - dying in
Afghanistan? Where then is the morality of what America is doing?

True, the anti-American protests held so far have not rocked the
government. But it is hard to say what the public mood will be if
the bombings continue into the winter which, let us not forget, is
only a few weeks away.

Coupled with sympathy for the sufferings of ordinary Afghans is
anger at the role Pakistan is playing: providing military
facilities for use against Afghanistan. No one likes being cast in
the role of a stooge. We have been here before (for much of our
history) and are at it again. As a consequence, the premium on
Pakistani self-respect is not riding very high these days.

Worried by our debt problems, assailed by the fear of what the
Americans could have done to us had we not complied with their
wishes, burdened by the thought of being pressed into service in a
war in which we are not emotionally involved but momentarily lifted
up by the prospect of suitable financial rewards for our services,
we are being hit by winds from different directions.

This situation is made worse by American rhetoric. President Bush's
words would be embarrassing on the lips of a Sunday-school
preacher: them and us, good and evil, " we are so good". It is also
made worse by American arrogance. Each time an American official
talks of the prospect of the on-going war being extended to other
(Muslim) countries, Pakistanis get another reason to feel a twinge
of shame because they are fellow-travellers in this dubious
adventure.

That this is a global coalition against terrorism is a bit of a
misnomer because on the frontline are only three states: the US,
its poodle Britain and a Pakistan which is alternately delighted
and horrified at the client role it is playing. Other countries are
sympathetic but between sympathy and active cooperation the
distance is considerable.

Certainly no other country is taking the risks Pakistan is taking.
Its government is tempting public anger by being hand in glove with
the Americans. If there is no quick end to the war it takes no
visionary to see that public anger will mount. A sullen mood will
grip the military itself for it bears repeating that being with the
Americans against what they are doing to Afghanistan is not a
popular cause in this country.

And what is Pakistan getting for its pains? Small, calibrated doses
of comfort which without satisfying its hunger or its real wants
merely whet its appetite for more. A sanction or two lifted here, a
sliver of the country's huge debt rescheduled there and the promise
of more relief in the future: that is all. During Secretary
Powell's visit the one word he conspicuously avoided mentioning was
debt 'write-off'. A lot of verbal sympathy but few hard
concessions. In a telephonic talk with Japan's prime minister,
General Musharraf made a strong bid for writing off Japanese debt.
All he got was more verbal sympathy.

This war is of far graver importance to the Americans than their
last involvement in Afghanistan during the 1980s. At that time the
supreme war aim was bleeding the Soviets. Nothing of America's own
was at stake. It's different this time. The US has never felt
threatened like this before. That is why an entire range of
mythological concepts has been put on the line: the American way of
life, freedom itself, goodness in its most purified form.

And in this great battle between good and evil the one crucial
country without whose ready support the warlords of the Pentagon
would have had a hard time arranging their maps was Pakistan. Yet
instead of putting a proper value on Pakistan's cooperation and
assistance, the Americans are almost suggesting that they have done
Pakistan favour enough by taking it on board instead of bombing it
back to the Stone Age. It is hard to figure out which is the more
egregious, American arrogance or Pakistani folly.

Proponents of the government's line say this is a great opportunity
for Pakistan which will enable it to embark on the path of
development and get in step with the outside world. If only this
were true. For achievement of any kind, qualities such as resolve,
national dignity and the readiness to take on huge odds are
infinitely more important than material resources. We have had
opportunities before but blew them because of the governments we
had: self-serving and short-sighted. Other countries far richer
than ours have squandered national wealth for much the same
reasons.

During the present crisis we have shown a disregard for national
dignity that would be condemnable in a banana republic. Can
weakness such as this be turned into future strength? We are hoping
it will be although the evidence of our own history suggests a
different conclusion.

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20011020
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pipedreams and daydreams
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Irfan Husain

Our paranoid preoccupation with conspiracy theories and the
boundless capacity Muslims have for self-delusion never cease to
amaze me. Had the consequences of these follies not been so tragic,
they would have been downright hilarious.

Consider the horrifying events of September 11 as an example:
several weeks later, millions of Muslims continue to believe that
the Israelis were behind the strikes on New York and Washington. As
proof, they assert that 4,000 Jews absented themselves from their
workplaces at the Twin Towers on that fateful day.

Reasonably educated and intelligent people have declared this
rubbish to me as gospel truth. When I have tried to reason with
them, pointing out that there was no way for anybody to determine
the faith of those present or absent from the WTC buildings within
days of the tragedy, there is never a cogent reply. Indeed,
employment records in the United States do not include information
about religion.

My interlocutors simply cannot grasp the reality that Israel would
be the last country on earth to risk the wrath of the United
States, the source of so much of its wealth and power. They argue
that Zionists staged this attack to somehow frame Muslims so that
the Americans would become their enemies, but are unable to explain
what Israel would gain by this. Their clinching argument is that
Muslims are simply incapable of planning and carrying out such a
complex operation.

Then there is another school of conspiracy theorists that maintains
in all seriousness that it was actually the American government
that attacked its own cities. The 'reasoning' behind this far-
fetched plot is that this would give the Bush administration an
excuse to bomb Afghanistan, throw out the Taliban and build a gas
pipeline across that country from Turkmenistan to the Arabian Sea.

These crackpot theories, ludicrous though they are, are firmly
entrenched in the minds of millions of Muslims. These same people
probably also believed the hype about the invincibility of Iraq's
Republican Guards and the 'mother of all battles' they were
supposed to put up against the American-led coalition in the Gulf
War. In the event, they were pulverized by the long bombing
campaign that preceded the land assault, and then mercilessly
slaughtered in a 'turkey shoot' as they fled from their bunkers and
trenches.Now as American planes blast targets across Afghanistan,
the Taliban and their supporters are again falling into the same
trap, and boasting that American troops will 'meet the same fate as
the Soviets' when they land. No such thing will happen because the
Americans will simply not send in a large number of soldiers. Also,
the analogy with the Soviet invasion is false as in the latter
case, the Mujahideen had a sanctuary in Pakistan, and the financial
and diplomatic support of a superpower. The Taliban enjoy none of
these advantages, and the firepower the Americans can bring to bear
is far superior to the resources the Soviets could muster.

But we blithely ignore such realities, and are disappointed each
time a Muslim nation is humiliated by a western power. This
disillusionment adds to the bitterness and anger that has built up
in the Islamic world towards the West. But in order to compete more
effectively with this perceived foe, many orthodox Muslims want to
turn the clock back: instead of using the modern tools of reason,
logic and science, they seek to return to the imagined purity of
early Islam, purging society of all modern influences so that
somehow we would regain the supremacy and glory of the all-
conquering armies that swept out of the Arabian peninsula fourteen
centuries ago.

This romantic daydreaming is fine for a Sunday afternoon after a
heavy lunch, but to base the goals of entire societies on it is
madness. Unfortunately, this shallow rationale is now prevalent in
Muslim countries around the globe. Even educated people have
succumbed to this pipedream. In a way, this is a seductively
attractive path: instead of having to put in the hard work involved
in building a modern, progressive society, how much simpler to just
transform ourselves into good Muslims by rigidly following the
letter of the holy scriptures. This will ensure God's blessings on
the true believers - blessings that have been withheld because we
have deviated from the path shown to us by the Almighty.

Unfortunately, as there is no single interpretation of God's
revelations and what constitutes the ideal Islamic society, there
has been endless conflict among the various schools of thought that
divide Muslims. Sunnis and Shias are often at each other's throats;
sects are declared 'non-Muslim' for not adhering strictly to a
particular dogma; and for centuries, the slaughter among the
believers has been far bloodier than war with the infidels.

Weakened by internecine conflict and thus easily colonized by
Western powers, most of the Islamic world has been left at the
starting blocks in the race for scientific progress and economic
prosperity. Rich Arab states have been unable to translate their
enormous oil wealth into political power or military might; and
when they have, they have mostly used it against their own people
or other Muslims. None of them has sought to use their resources in
building up their educational systems and their scientific base. As
a result, they remain importers of western technology, and send
their own children abroad for higher education.

As Muslims see themselves falling further and further behind, and
watch impotently as Palestinians and Iraqis are killed and
humiliated, their rage against their own rulers and the United
States mounts steadily. In a relatively new development, young
Muslims born, raised and educated in the West are being radicalized
into taking up arms for Muslim causes. And as the United States is
perceived as the source of so much angst and suffering in the
Muslim world, there is every possibility that these home-grown
young militants will launch the next wave of attacks.

In this low-intensity war without end, there will be no victors and
no losers, only hostages to hatred and suspicion on both sides.
Unfortunately, there is no indication that either side will change
policies and attitudes any time soon. Among fundamentalist Muslims,
rationality and a scientific approach are anathema as they would be
marginalized and dogma would be questioned in a modern
dispensation. But until Islam has its own Reformation, Muslims will
continue to wallow in the past while ostrich-like, they keep their
heads firmly in the sand.


SPORTS
20011017
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Waqar reacts calmly to probe
-------------------------------------------------------------------
KARACHI, Oct 16: Pakistan cricket captain Waqar Younis reacted
calmly to the match-fixing probe and hoped that the matter would be
settled after the ongoing inquiry.

"Till today I have not thought about the match-fixing inquiry. But
I hope that the matter will be buried once and for all after this
inquiry," Younis told SADA.

Younis, along with former captains Wasim Akram, Moin Khan, Inzamam-
ul-Haq and Saeed Anwar and off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq and former
Pakistan coach have been summoned by the match-fixing commission.

The Justice Karamat Bhandari Commission is probing match-fixing
allegations in the 1999 World Cup. Its next hearing is scheduled on
October 20.

"I am not worried at all because all the allegations are baseless.
But I think this should not have happened with an international
event so near," he regretted.

Younis said the Pakistan Cricket Board has not briefed the players
on the matter. "Neither I have received any summon nor the PCB has
given us any instructions in this regard. I will think over it once
I get the summons," he added. Younis was among the six players
fined by Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum's match-fixing commission
for non-cooperation with the September 1998-October 1999 inquiry.

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20011018
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mushtaq, Saqlain unaware of being summoned
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Qamar Ahmed

LONDON, Oct 17: Mushtaq Mohammad and off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq
denied that they had been summoned to appear before Justice Karamat
Bhindari's commission on Oct 20.

The commission has been set up to investigate allegations that
Pakistan threw two 1999 World Cup matches. Former Pakistan Cricket
Board (PCB) chief executive Majid Khan raised suspicion on the
matches last Saturday on the basis of which the commission issued
summons for Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saeed
Anwar besides Moin Khan and Saqlain Mushtaq.

A baffled Mushtaq, when contacted at his Birmingham residence said:
"This is news to me. I have not been intimated by the PCB or by the
inquiry commission to present myself there and testify.

My nephew Salman (son of Sadiq Mohammad) rang me from Loughbrough
on Tuesday to say that my name was on the internet and I am was
required to be there on Oct 20. I could only laugh. What kind of
joke is this. No one has got in touch with me about this and I have
nothing to say.

He said "as a captain of the team and later as a coach I have never
noticed that any of the Pakistan player was involved in dicy deals.
If at all anything was going on behind the scene, I would have no
knowledge of it. It is easy to make allegations but where is the
evidence? It is difficult to prove the allegations."

Saqlain Mushtaq, was as much astonished at the news. "I have no
idea about it. No one from the board or the commission has
contacted me to come to Pakistan for the Oct 20 inquiry commission
sitting.

"My friend from Pakistan informed me about this Tuesday."

"I had told the commission of Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum few
years ago that there was no way I was involved. If anything was
proven against me, hang me or otherwise hang the people who have
made allegations. "I stand on that statement." he said.

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20011018
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Salim Malik likely to challenge ban in LHC
-------------------------------------------------------------------
KARACHI, Oct 17: Former captain Salim Malik said he would file a
writ petition in Lahore High Court against his life ban imposed
last year on charges of match-fixing.

"The lower courts do not hear the petition against an order of a
higher court. So I will file a case in Lahore High Court," Malik
told SADA.

Pakistan Cricket Board banned Malik for life in May last year after
recommendations from a match-fixing inquiry conducted by Lahore
High Court judge Malik Mohammad Qayyum.

Interestingly, six of Malik's former colleagues will also be
appearing before a one-man commission of Justice Karamat Bhandari
Saturday for testimony regarding alleged match-fixing during World
Cup 1999.

Pakistan captain Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar, Moin Khan,
Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saqlain Mushtaq have been summoned by the
Bhandari Commission.

"I don't have details about the Bhandari Commission probe and hope
that I will not be summoned by this inquiry," Malik said.

Malik was granted a stay against the life ban but proceedings have
not been held since June 2001.

"I am mentally disturbed and hope that my appeal would be heard,"
Malik said.-SADA

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20011018
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Petition against Miandad dismissed
-------------------------------------------------------------------
KARACHI, Oct 17: Lahore High Court disposed off a petition against
former coach Javed Miandad on grounds of a written statement by the
defendant, court sources said.

There were two reasons for that," Pakistan Cricket Board's legal
advisor Asghar Haider told SADA. "One, Miandad told the court that
he had categorically denied saying anything on match-fixing and
submitted a written statement," Haider, defending Miandad, said.

Miandad had reportedly alleged that the Pakistan team "threw
matches" to lose a one-day series against New Zealand in March-
April this year. Miandad later retracted his statement saying that
he had been misquoted by the media.

The petitioner's lawyer Rafiq Bajwa told SADA that Miandad on oath
had denied the statement on match-fixing. "Since Miandad has denied
the statement we do not want to proceed with the case but Miandad
had apologized to the court and had given an assurance that he
would not give any statement on match-fixing in the future," he
said.-SADA

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20011017
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Winning start by Pakistan
-------------------------------------------------------------------
KARACHI, Oct 16: Pakistan's squash quartet opened the Australian
tour on a winning note by notching up wins in the first round of
the World Challenge.

Mansoor Zaman crushed Australian Scot Hofer in straight game 9-0,
9-0, 9-0. Pakistan team is in Australia to feature in the World
Team Championship starting in Melbourne from Oct 22. The World
Challenge is organized to tune players from different countries
ahead of the big event.

Zaman will lay Australian Billy Haddrell in the second round.
Shahid Zaman overcame a sluggish start to beat Australian Paul
Davis by 4-9, 9-6, 9-2, 9-1 and would square off against former
world number two Peter Marshall of England in the second round.

Aijaz Azmat beat Malaysian Yab Kok For in straight games, with a
score of 9-8, 9-5, 9-4.

He will play Egyptian Omar Al Borossy in the next round. Pakistan's
Shamsul Islam had the better of Dutch Gabor Marges. Islam lost the
first game 7-9, but came back strongly to win the next three games
9-4, 9-3, 10-8.-SADA

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20011018
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Shahbaz's comeback defies logic
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Shazad Ali

KARACHI, Oct 17: Pakistan Hockey Federation's (PHF) double
standards were exposed when it recalled ageing former captain
Shahbaz Ahmad but decided against asking goalkeeper Ahmad Alam to
reverse his retirement decision.

Although the impact of Shahbaz's inclusion in the team for next
month's Champions Trophy is yet to be seen, the PHF's policy of
ignoring Ahmad has certainly dealt a bitter blow to Pakistan
hockey.

Ahmad, a former skipper and country's best goalkeeper, announced
his retirement in August citing a dip in his form days after the
team returned securing fourth position at Azlan Shah Cup in Kuala
Lumpur. However, there were reasons for his decision to quit other
than just his failure under the bar in the Malaysian capital.

The fact that it was merely a bad patch for Ahmad was evident from
his performance at the four-nation tournament in Germany in June-
July where he was named Goalkeeper-of-the-Tournament.

The presence of a reliable 'keeper would have obviously bolstered
the national side, still in the process of regaining its lost
glory. But the PHF chose 35-year-old Shahbaz to add firepower to
the forward-line rather than going for a dependable goalkeeper.

Shahbaz, not only famous for his agility in the field but also for
the revolt he led against the PHF in 1996, has staged his second
comeback after little over three years. Interestingly, he will be
playing along with the same bunch of players whom he was coaching a
few days ago.

The decision was mind-boggling keeping in view the fact that modern
day hockey needs the best goalkeeper, especially since the off-side
rule has been abolished.

While Ahmad was cold shouldered, what compelled PHF to recall
controversial Shahbaz, who had hung his boots more than once, is a
million-dollar question. Apparently, it seems to be a case of'ego
problem'.

"I would say the federation should have asked him (Ahmad) to
comeback, at least till the World Cup in 2002. Indeed he didn't
fare well in Kuala Lumpur, his departure at this stage is a severe
blow to Pakistan hockey. The PHF should have had a pep talk with
him after his decision," former Pakistan goalkeeper, Shahid Ali
Khan, said.

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20011020
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan's claims ignored by ICC
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 19: The International Cricket Council (ICC) snubbed
Pakistan when it didn't even consider it as an optional venue for
the biennial knockout tournament.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had been telling all and sundry
that it had been kept as a standby host for next year's tournament
in case India pulled out. The PCB had gone on to say that it was
geared up to organize the tournament in a befitting manner.

But on Friday, it received a rude shock when it was not even
considered as back-up venue for the 2004 and 2006 events, let alone
next year's tournament.

"India remains the preferred venue (for 2002 event) with Sri Lanka,
Australia and the UAE as alternatives."If India does not stage the
2002 event, it will be hosted in 2004, with England confirmed as
host nation in 2006," the ICC said in a press release from Kuala
Lumpur where the executive board meeting concluded without reaching
any decisions of note.

With political uncertainty hanging over the region in the aftermath
of allied forces raids on Afghanistan, Pakistan's chances of
staging the competition next year were remote. But if the ICC can
postpone final decision on the 2002 event's venue for next
February, Pakistan could have been considered if situation eased
out.

If the ICC had been sympathetic towards Pakistan following reported
$30million losses this year due to cancellation of three events, it
would have allocated the money-spinning competition in 2004 or
2006.

But failure to do so clearly points out that Pakistan presented a
weak case in the ICC. Had PCB (PCB) chairman Lt Gen Tauqir Zia
attended the meeting, there might have been a different story. But
unfortunately, the summit was attended by director Brig Munawar
Rana.

It may be mentioned here that the remaining three Asian Test
playing countries have been considered for the ICC knockout
tournament. Bangladesh hosted the inaugural tournament in 1998
while India's new chief Jaghmohan Dalmiya is certain to win the
rights for next year. In case India doesn't get the event, Sri
Lanka is there as an alternative.

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Last update: Friday, 16 October 2009.