------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 27 October 2001 Issue : 07/43 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
The DAWN Wire Service (DWS) is a free weekly news-service from 
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Asian group backs Pakistan for SC seat + Musharraf asked to attend UN session: FO + Group warns of launching movement + Pakistan takes necessary measures: Indian troop movement + India warned against any adventurism: Musharraf + UN urged to take notice of Indian threats to Pakistan + India warns of 'specific action' in Kashmir + Bodies of eight Pakistanis arrive + Kabul told not to allow Pakistanis to join war + Taliban execute commander: Last moment rescue operation fails + US using chemical weapons, says Zaeef + New setup may include dissidents, says Powell + Benazir welcomes support to US + US helicopter comes under fire in Pakistan + N-material not given to Osama: FO + 2 foreigners held for links with Al Qaeda + Pakistan, Taliban agree on refugees + DPs forcibly enter Chaman + Extensive screening of refugees ordered + Gen Maqbool to be new Punjab governor + Govt flayed for not issuing passport to Benazir + Govt not sincere in holding polls next year: PPP + 200 JUI, JI workers arrested + Time-bomb seized in Islamabad, goes off + Former naval chief indicted in $3.369m kickbacks case + Redco chief denies wilful default charges + SGS move to seek compensation + Acountability court can hear SGS case: judge + NAB asked to submit reply by Nov 6 on Zardari's plea: + Saleem Malik granted bail + WB blasts Pakistan's power watchdog --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Pakistan reaches understanding with IMF + Japan suspends sanctions + Japan may restore $500m annual aid + US likely to revive annual economic aid, says official + Islamabad seeks quick, extensive debt relief: + US assures Pakistan of immediate debt relief: Larson + Islamabad offered $800m immediate cash grant + IDB pledges $50 million assistance to Afghanistan + Early merger of NDFC with NBP likely + KSE 100-index up by 6.6pc on speculative buying + Stocks breach 1,400-point barrier again --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Arrogance battling with ignorance Ardeshir Cowasjee + Media's role in war Eric S. Margolis + Helpless in the eye of the storm Ayaz Amir + A separate reality Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Cricketers dismiss suggestions of foul play + Miandad accused players, says Moin + Miandad admits he raised suspicion + Miandad demanded sweeping powers + Pakistan whitewash hapless Kenya + ICC body to review Indian withdrawal

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NATIONAL NEWS
20011027
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Asian group backs Pakistan for SC seat
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Staff Correspondent

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 26: Pakistan's bid to secure a non-permanent
seat in the 15 member United Nations Security Council, received a
major boost with the unanimous endorsement by the Asian group.

The Asian group comprises of 54 members of the UN General Assembly
and its endorsement is vital for Pakistan to secure the seat in
elections next year for the rotating term in the Security Council
from 2003-2005.

The elections to the non permanent seats would be held in the 57th
session of the General assembly.

In the 15 member Security Council five countries-China, United
States, Britain, France and Russia - are permanent members and 10
non-permanent members rotate for two years term. The permanent five
members have veto power over the resolutions put forth in the
Security Council while the non permanent members do not enjoy such
powers.

Addressing the Asian group meeting on Thursday, Pakistan's
Ambassador to the United Nations, Shamshad Ahmad expressed
government's gratitude to the Asian nations for reposing confidence
in Pakistan's leadership.

He assured the Asian nations that Pakistan was committed to the
principles of international peace and security and would exert
every effort to rise to the expectations of the UN membership in
general and the Asian countries in particular.

The endorsement by the Asian group is considered vital for
Pakistan's success in the elections next year.

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20011021
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Musharraf asked to attend UN session: FO
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By Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, Oct 20: United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has
suggested President Gen Pervez Musharraf to visit New York during
the Nov 10-16 General Assembly session where Afghan situation is
expected to dominate the proceedings.

Foreign Office spokesman Riaz Mohammad Khan said that the
secretary-general had phoned the president and invited him to visit
New York. Under the present circumstances, the spokesman said, it
would take due time for the president to decide on paying an
overseas visit.

Analysts believe that the UN chief's call is crucial and of great
importance not only in relation to the conflict in Afghanistan but
also because of mounting tension between Islamabad and Delhi which
has added a highly dangerous dimension to the situation.

The question of the president's visit was under consideration, the
spokesman said.

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20011027
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Group warns of launching movement
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 26: The Defence of Pakistan and Afghanistan Council
(DPAC), a coalition of religious parties, threatened to launch a
civil disobedience movement against the government from Nov 1, if
the government did not withdraw its support to the United States.

A declaration read out at the DPAC's "Jihad-i-Afghanistan
Conference" held at Lal Masjid said "all roads and highways will be
blocked to stop vehicular traffic, American goods will be boycotted
and the government servants will be asked to tender resignation".

The DPAC also held a rally which was attended by both factions of
JUI, Jamaat-i-Islami, JUP, Tanzim-i-Islami, SSP and a number of
smaller religious organizations besides Harkatul Mujahideen.

"The government has lost the support and confidence of the masses
by allying itself with the United States in its war against a
Muslim country," said a resolution adopted at the Friday
congregation. It also demanded of the President to resign.

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20011024
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Pakistan takes necessary measures: Indian troop movement
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By Khaleeq Kiani

ISLAMABAD, Oct 23: Pakistan's Director-General of Military
Operations (DGMO) contacted his Indian counterpart on the hotline
on Tuesday to express Pakistan's deep concern about the unusual
Indian troop movement.

The contact is understood to have been arranged in the backdrop of
large scale movement of Indian troops on LoC. Military sources said
that Indian army had moved heavy artillery and mortar guns during
the last few days and brought them to the forward positions on the
LoC.

The Inter Services Public Relations Directorate said that Pakistan
armed forces had taken necessary precautionary measures keeping in
view the unusual movements by the Indian armed forces in the last
few days. Meanwhile, President Gen Pervez Musharraf reaffirmed on
Tuesday Pakistan's determination to defend its sovereignty and
independence and thwart any aggression.

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20011023
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India warned against any adventurism: Musharraf
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ISLAMABAD, Oct 22: President General Pervez Musharraf said: "India
will be paid back in the same coin" if it resorts to any
'adventurism.' "We will teach them a lesson if they would try to do
any thing against Pakistan," President Musharraf declared in an
interview with PTV in the backdrop of Indian troop and air assets
movement on the working boundary and LoC and the rhetoric indulged
into by Indian leadership during the last few weeks.

About US role in case India attacks Pakistan, the president said:
"We should believe in our own strength and we should not expect
others to help us in defending our country."

Unfortunately, Gen Musharraf said, India is trying to pressurize us
by taking advantage of the turmoil in Afghanistan. "By the grace of
God, we have the strength to defend ourselves," he emphatically
stated.

He said, Pakistan is not a small country and the people who wished
of crossing over the LoC and talked of hitting targets, "should not
commit this mistake. Else, they will be paid back in the same
coin."

The president suggested that the Indian leadership should stop
hurling threats and adopt the path of dialogue. "Indulgence in such
a rhetoric would not serve any purpose, as it would rather cause
damage to them."

He asked Indian leadership not to be vary of the fact that Pakistan
armed forces are fully capable and prepared to defend the
motherland and they should not resort to any adventurism. "Not only
our armed forces are fully prepared to defend the country but we
will teach them a lesson if they would do anything," the president
warned.

President Musharraf said, it is high time for the Indian leadership
to realize that there is a freedom struggle going on in Kashmir and
they should come forward for political solution of the issue and
negotiate it with Pakistan.

Asked how successful has Pakistan been in achieving the four
objectives of integrity and solidarity of Pakistan, safety and
security of nuclear assets, economic revival, Kashmir cause- the
president said: "Joining the international coalition would be
beneficial to achieve these objectives."

Gen Musharraf said that he had taken the decision to join the
international coalition in the best national interest "considering
all the pros and cons" of the matter.

"We had choice to join or not to join the international coalition
in the fight against terrorism. We decided to join the
international coalition as it was beneficial to achieve all the
four objectives that I have underlined," he said.

As far as the integrity of Pakistan is concerned, he said, there is
a remarkable recognition of Pakistan's enhanced political and
diplomatic stature and status in the world.

About economic revival, the president said, it is not an easy job
and there is no quick fix solution in this matter. "We are not
running a shop. Let me assure there would be remarkable progress in
our economy as the time passes."

The president said that his ultimate goal was to bring Pakistan out
of debt trap, adding: "There will be and there is a definitive
progress in this regard."

The Kashmir cause, he stated would have been a different story had
Pakistan not joined the international coalition, keeping in view
the developments on Indian side.

"I would like to ask the people who are carrying out processions
that with international coalition against us and the Indian
developments across the Line of Control, what would be the
situation here," he asked.

"Think of the scenario when international coalition would have been
against us with India on their side. But now we have no threat to
our strategic assets and they are safe," he said.

About anti-government processions, the president said that when he
met religious scholars, he told them that our decision is not un-
Islamic and "we have taken this decision in the best national
interest."

The president said there are few extremist elements who are
opposing the government's policies, but the majority is supportive
of the government.

He said, no operation is being conducted from Pakistani territory
against Afghanistan. All the operations are being carried out from
Gulf or from the Central Asian States. "We are only providing
airspace, intelligence sharing and logistic support."

"There is some misunderstanding about logistic support," the
President said, elaborating that the logistic support is being
provided only for search and rescue purposes.

Answering a question on economic revival, the president said he has
told US, European and Gulf countries and all the friends in detail
about Pakistan's economic problems, saying: "They want to help us
in a big way."

On debt relief, Gen Musharraf said the government is dealing with
the issue of debt trap very seriously. "I am confident that we will
come out of the debt trap but it will take sometime." He said,
Pakistan's exports would also increase and it would create an
opportunity for new industry and resultantly new job opportunities
would be there.

Asked does Afghanistan give strategic depth to Pakistan, the
president said, these are old theories. After India and Pakistan
having become nuclear powers, if anyone perceives that one would
try to get some strategic gains, it would be a sheer folly.

"It is not possible now that we will be overrun and will go to
Afghanistan for strategic depth," he said.

About military operation in Afghanistan, Gen Musharraf said, the
international coalition is convinced that Osama bin Laden and the
organization Al-Qaeda are involved in the acts of terrorism of
September 11 and some earlier acts of terrorism, and they also
state that Taliban are abetting and supporting them.

He said, keeping in view these things, the military planners had
set certain military objectives and they are carrying out
operations in Afghanistan to achieve these declared objectives.

On the issue of political dispensation in Afghanistan, President
Musharraf said, there are four parameters to solve the problem of
Afghanistan.

"The integrity, peace and stability in Afghanistan, a broad based
government representing all ethnic groups based on demographic
assessment opted by the Afghans themselves without external
interference. These are the essentials of the solution, I am
suggesting," he said.

The president further said, Pakistan wants a friendly government in
Afghanistan. "If these parameters are not followed and any
government would be imposed in Afghanistan, it would be a failure."

Gen Musharraf said that Afghans are deliberating on these issues
and they are planning to hold a convention. The political strategy
should be crystallized as early as possible. "If there is any
vacuum it should be there to be filled in."

He said, there are saner elements in Afghanistan and every body
including Afghans are witnessing what is happening there. They want
an end to their miseries, they have been facing for the last 21
years.

Answering a question, the president said he is not aware of the
situation inside Afghanistan whether Taliban remain united or not
after military operation. "But everyone wants an end to the
miseries the Afghans have faced since long."

About civilian causalities in Afghanistan, the president said, in
such a big military operation the possibility of collateral damage
is always there. Though the figures being given from inside
Afghanistan are exaggerated but there are civilian casualties. "We
regret that and feel sorry about civilian causalities," he said.-
APP

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20011023
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UN urged to take notice of Indian threats to Pakistan
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Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Oct 22: Mian Azhar urged the United Nations to take serious
notice of the Indian threats to Pakistan and to take practical
steps for the solution of the 54-year-old Kashmir dispute in
accordance with its resolutions.

In a statement, the PML(QA) president said India had aggressive
designs against Pakistan and it was for this reason that its troops
were perpetrating atrocities in occupied Kashmir.

He said Pakistan, being a member of the coalition against
terrorism, would not tolerate terrorism in any form. He advised
India that Pakistan's love for peace should not be taken as a
weakness as the country was fully capable of thwarting any
aggression.

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20011022
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India warns of 'specific action' in Kashmir
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NEW DELHI, Oct 21: Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes warned
of "specific action" against Islamic insurgent groups in held
Kashmir. Fernandes, speaking to the Press Trust of India did not
elaborate.

"We are not sticking to only one option and we have some more plans
too. I have discussed the operations with senior army commanders
and we will make things public soon," the defence minister warned.

"Hot pursuit is not action specific and is only a general
statement. What we have been discussing is specific action," he
said in a direct reference to some local demands that Indian troops
attack alleged militant camps in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.-AFP

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20011025
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Bodies of eight Pakistanis arrive
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Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, Oct 24: Bodies of the eight Pakistanis killed in the US
bombing on Kabul were brought over to Pakistan through Mohmand
tribal area bordering Afghanistan after the authorities refused to
let them through at Torkham border checkpoint.

"The bodies attracted quite a bit of attention," an official source
said. The eight Pakistanis were among the thirty-six other
compatriots reportedly killed in a US bombing raid on Darul Aman in
the Afghan capital.

An official posted at Torkham said the bodies were brought to the
checkpoint at 7:15 am in pick-up trucks covered in coffins,
accompanied by an activist of the Harakatul Mujahideen. "The
Taliban border guards approached us with a request to allow the
bodies to enter Pakistan," the official said.

He said that they had permission to allow wounded people into
Pakistan from Afghanistan but there was no directive to allow
bodies.

Apparently upset at being denied entry, the Harakatul Mujahideen
activists took the bodies back at around 8:25 am, saying they would
bury them in Jalalabad, the official said.

Later, however, it transpired that the bodies were brought over to
Pakistan through an unfrequented route via Khwizai in Mohmand
Agency.

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20011025
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Kabul told not to allow Pakistanis to join war
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By Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, Oct 24: Pakistan had been impressing upon the
Afghanistan government not to allow Pakistanis to join Afghan
forces or get training there.

"Islamabad had also been making efforts to intercept Pakistanis
traveling for such an objective to Afghanistan," foreign office
spokesman Riaz Muhammad Khan told a questioner at a press briefing.

He confirmed that a large number of Pakistanis, who were indicted
in the country, had fled to Afghanistan and were required to be
handed over to Islamabad by the Afghan government. He said there
was no official information here whether there were Pakistanis
among persons killed in a recent bombing attack on Afghanistan.

He denied knowledge of any request being made to Pakistani
authorities for allowing bodies of eight Pakistanis to be brought
back here.

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20011027
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Taliban execute commander: Last moment rescue operation fails
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By M. Ismail Khan

PESHAWAR, Oct 26: The Taliban executed a key Afghan commander on
spying charges hours after he was captured along with a handful of
his men in the Logar province, Afghan and Pakistani officials
confirmed.

Taliban information minister Mulla Amir Khan Muttaqi said in Kabul
that Commander Abdul Haq had been executed on the orders of supreme
leader Mulla Mohammad Omar. The 43-year-old former Mujahideen
commander was charged with spying for the United States and treason
against the state, Muttaqi said. He was given a summary trial and
was later executed in Rishkore, south of Kabul, the Taliban
official said.

Haq's nephew, Izzatullah and Commander Haji Dauran, were also
executed, a Taliban official said.

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20011024
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US using chemical weapons, says Zaeef
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD Oct 23: Afghan ambassador in Islamabad Mulla Abdul Salam
Zaeef alleged that the US-led forces were using chemical weapons
against the Afghans. Speaking at a news conference, Zaeef, without
giving details said, "We have information about the evidence of
chemicals found on people injured by bombings."

He also said that a Japanese journalist had been arrested by the
Taliban authorities from Kunar province for entering the country
illegally and has been kept in Jalalabad for investigations. He
gave no indication when he would be released.

He said, "We have downed two US helicopters which proves that our
air defence system was still intact and the claim that it was
crippled by US air raids was false."

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20011022
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New setup may include dissidents, says Powell
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By Tahir Mirza

WASHINGTON, Oct 21: The United States rules out any role for the
current Taliban leadership in any future administration in Kabul,
but believes there may be elements in the Taliban movement who are
against the policies of their leadership and they will have to be
accommodated in a new Afghanistan set-up. This was indicated by
Secretary of State Colin Powell in an interview with CNN on Sunday.

He reiterated US backing for the Northern Alliance, but said
whether or not alliance forces should be permitted to take over
Kabul was a matter that was under discussion.

Mr Powell said this discussion was not simply prompted by Pakistani
opposition to the Northern Alliance; there were other countries
also which wondered whether a group that represented only 15 per
cent of the population should be in sole control of Kabul. That
might crystallize opposition in other regions, the secretary
pointed out.

Mr Powell, however, said the US would be very interested if the
Northern Alliance, "which we are supporting" and which "has become
more aggressive", captured Mazar-i-Sharif.

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20011022
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Benazir welcomes support to US
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By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 21: Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto has
praised President Pervez Musharraf's decision to allow the United
States to use Pakistan's airstrips and intelligence information for
its military operation against Afghanistan.

Addressing a crowd at the Stanford University in Palo Alto, Ms
Bhutto clarified that her support to President Musharraf was for
national unity, and stressed the need for a democratic government
that would bring stability to the region. "A democratic Pakistan is
a triumph of modernity for one billion Muslims, who must decide
between democracy and theocracy," she said.

She said members of Pakistan People's Party thought that the time
was ripe for her to return to Pakistan, but she thought doing so
now would distract the country. She expressed hope that the
president appreciated the gesture and would guarantee her safety
when she returned.

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20011024
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US helicopter comes under fire in Pakistan
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Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Oct 23: The Pentagon confirmed on Tuesday reports that
a US helicopter had come under fire in Pakistan over the weekend.
However, Assistant Secretary of Defence Victoria Clarke, who gave
the information at the Pentagon's briefing, refused to disclose the
location where the helicopter was hit. She said no casualties were
reported as a result of the firing.

The briefing was told that a salvage helicopter that had gone on a
rescue mission for the helicopter that had crashed in Balochistan
"took fire" on Saturday during a refuelling stop at some place in
Pakistan while returning to base. The nature of the attack was not
specified, whether it was gunfire or something else.

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20011027
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N-material not given to Osama: FO
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 26: Pakistan has a unilateral commitment to the
international community that it will not transfer technology or
materials of sensitive nature including nuclear material to any
other country or entity, Foreign Office spokesman said.

Strongly refuting reports carried by some western media
organizations that nuclear material had been passed on to Osama bin
Laden, Foreign Office spokesman Riaz Mohammed Khan said that
Pakistan had an impeccable record of honouring the commitment of
not passing the sensitive material to any third country or entity.

"These reports are absurd," he said, adding that Pakistan had
possessed the nuclear material for the past 15 years.

Mr Khan said that Pakistan's nuclear material was under multi-
layered custodial control.

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20011024
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2 foreigners held for links with Al Qaeda
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By Sarfaraz Ahmed

KARACHI, Oct 23: Two more foreigners have been arrested for their
alleged links with Osama bin Ladin's Al Qaeda organization.

According to well-placed intelligence sources, these foreign
nationals, whose identity and nationality could not be immediately
ascertained, were taken into custody at the Pakistan-Afghanistan
border in North West Frontier Province when they were crossing into
Pakistan from Afghanistan.

The sources said the two were in the custody of Frontier
Constabulary and a joint team of FBI and ISI was interrogating them
and some sensational disclosures were expected. The sources also
said about 15 persons of various nationalities had been tracked to
have crossed over to Afghanistan from Pakistan just before the Sept
11 attack on World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

They are of various nationalities, including German, French,
Belgian and Afghans living abroad. Some of them had some form of
association with one of the alleged hijackers, Mohammad Ata, the
sources authoritatively said.

A joint FBI-ISI team is on the lookout of these individuals and are
hopeful of apprehending them shortly.

Since the beginning of the US operations in Afghanistan, the
sources said four other foreigners -- three Germans and one
Australian -- had been arrested for their alleged links with Al
Qaeda. They were arrested at the Chaman point of Pakistan-
Afghanistan border.

One of the Germans was extradited to Germany within 48 hours of his
arrest.

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20011023
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Pakistan, Taliban agree on refugees
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By Saleem Shahid

CHAMAN, Oct 22: Pakistan security officials and the Taliban
authorities agreed, in principle, to keep the shelter-seeking
Afghans within their country, at a safe distance from the Chaman
check post. The agreement was reached at a meeting between
Taliban's Frontier and Tribal Affairs Minister Mulla Jalaluddin
Haqqani and the Pakistan border officials.

The security forces then started deporting all those Afghans who
had either sneaked in or forcibly entered Pakistan during the last
two weeks.

Under the agreement, the Taliban would keep the Afghans within
their borders at the settlements of Weesh and Spinbuldak.
Humanitarian assistance for the Afghans would be delivered at those
places. "Yes, the Taliban minister has agreed to establish camps
for Afghan refugees in border areas within Afghanistan," a senior
Pakistani border security official confirmed to Dawn.

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20011022
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DPs forcibly enter Chaman
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By Saleem Shahid

QUETTA, Oct 21: Several thousand desperate Afghans pushed their way
into Pakistan on Sunday after border guards on both sides -Pishin
Scouts on Pakistan side and Taliban on Afghanistan side- failed to
contain the crowd even after baton-charge and firing shots in the
air.

"Five persons, including a young boy, were injured" a senior
officer of Pakistan border force told Dawn on telephone from
Chaman. He made it clear that all these persons received injuries
from intense stoning of the unruly crowd.

"The crowd became unruly and violent" the source said. He said the
crowd ransacked a tent used by the immigration officials, removed
girders and pulled out the barbed wires on the border. Taliban
baton charged the crowd but could not contain them. Eventually gun
shots were fired in the air by Taliban as well as Pakistani
security forces.

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20011022
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Extensive screening of refugees ordered
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 21: The government has directed the border security
forces to carry out extensive screening of refugees entering
Pakistan, especially for illicit arms and ammunition.

Sources close to the interior minister told Dawn that the action
was taken as Pakistan continues to be threatened by the influx of
arms from the troubled region. "It's an incentive for the destitute
refugees to bring a weapon to Pakistan and sell it for a few
thousand rupees here."

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20011027
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Gen Maqbool to be new Punjab governor
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By Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Oct 26: Lt-Gen Khalid Maqbool relinquished the charge of
Chairman National Accountability Bureau to assume his new
assignment as the Governor Punjab in place of Lt-Gen (retd)
Mohammad Safdar, an official source told Dawn.

Governor Punjab Mohammad Safdar was summoned to Islamabad earlier
in the day and informed about the decision of his replacement, a
source said.

Lt-Gen Khalid Maqbool will have to seek early retirement from
military service for assuming the charge of Punjab governor.
Besides, he will have to seek an exemption from a law, which bars
any government servant from assuming any civilian office within two
years of his retirement.

This exemption was recently granted to Maj-Gen (retd) Sardar
Mohammad Anwer Khan before his nomination as President of Azad
Kashmir.

Lt-Gen Munir Hafeez, presently serving as a Corps Commander,
Bahawalpur, has been tipped as the new chairman of NAB.

Maj-Gen Shahid Hameed, who is serving as the commandant Pakistan
Military Academy, Kakul, has been promoted to the rank of
Lieutenant-General and given the charge of Corps Commander,
Bahawalpur, the source said.

An ISPR press release later confirmed the report of his promotion
but made no mention about other changes being made by the
government.

The change in the office of chairman NAB, sources said, was in
contravention of the Supreme Court verdict in the NAB ordinance
case, in which the apex court had fixed the tenure of the chairman
at three years and asked the government to appoint the new chief in
consultation of the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

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20011026
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Govt flayed for not issuing passport to Benazir
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 25: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) vice- chairman
Makhdoom Amin Fahim has condemned the government's "harassment" of
the party chairperson, Benazir Bhutto, in denying her a Pakistani
passport.

In a statement Mr Fahim said the former prime minister had applied
for an urgent passport at the Pakistani High Commission in London
on October 1. The high commission, instead of issuing the passport
within two days as required under the rules, referred the
application to the authorities in Islamabad, who declined to issue
the passport.

Mr Fahim urged President Gen Pervez Musharraf to direct the
concerned functionaries to immediately issue the passport to Ms
Bhutto. He said the denial had sent a negative signal to the
international community about the state of civil and human rights
in the country. It would also not be conducive to the efforts
currently being made for national unity, he added.

The PPP leader said he would soon approach the relevant authorities
for the issuance of passport to Ms Bhutto.

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20011026
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Govt not sincere in holding polls next year: PPP
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ashraf Mumtaz

LAHORE, Oct 25: The Pakistan People's Party has expressed serious
doubts about the government’s sincerity to hold general elections
by October next year, as ordained by the Supreme Court, saying it
had not yet launched a preparatory work it was supposed to initiate
some seven weeks ago.

Party's acting secretary-general Reza Rabbani said while talking to
Dawn at the office of provincial information secretary Naveed
Chaudhry that there was no guarantee of the government adhering to
the deadline set by the apex court even if the PPP showed some
flexibility in its demand for immediate elections.

"I substantiate my fears on the basis that no preparatory work for
the elections is in hand, nor an independent and autonomous
Election Commission has been appointed, nor has the democratic
process been restored".

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20011023
-------------------------------------------------------------------
200 JUI, JI workers arrested
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

SUKKUR, Oct 22: More than 200 leaders and workers of Jamaat-i-
Islami and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, including JI Naib Amir Liaquat
Baloch, were arrested in different cities of Sindh.

The arrests were made to thwart plans by the two parties to stage a
sit-in in Jacobabad in protest against the support the government
has extended to the United States in its so-called war against
terrorism.

The Sukkur police had literally besieged the Sukkur airport where
they expected the arrival of JI chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed.

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20011021
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Time-bomb seized in Islamabad, goes off
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Mohammad Asghar

ISLAMABAD, Oct 20: A high-intensity time-bomb exploded in a "bomb
disposal ditch" at the Islamabad International airport soon after
it was seized near the domestic departure lounge at 12:25pm. The
explosion caused no loss of life and property, bomb disposal
experts and Airport Security Force officials said.

Experts said it was a locally made time-device, weighing 1.5
pounds. If detonated near the lounge, it could have caused massive
destruction and loss of lives within a radius of 20 feet. Later,
the military bomb experts arrived at the airport with sniffer dogs
and conducted a search.

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20011023
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Former naval chief indicted in $3.369m kickbacks case
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Nasir Iqbal

ISLAMABAD, Oct 22: An accountability court indicted former naval
chief Admiral Mansurul Haq for receiving commissions and kickbacks
worth $3.369 million in defence deals.

Admiral Haq, however, pleading not guilty, submitted another
application before the court with an offer to pay back the entire
corruption money.

Aitzaz Ahsan advocate, the counsel for the accused, requested the
court to direct the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to receive
the kickback money.

The Accountability Court No I judge Rustum Ali Malik directed the
prosecution to seek further instructions from the NAB chairman,
since the application has been filed directly in the court.

The counsel, however, prayed the court to accept the plea-bargain
application as after the amendment in the NAB ordinance 1999, the
court had been empowered to decide the settlement requests.

An earlier request for plea-bargain was rejected by the NAB
chairman.

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20011023
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Redco chief denies wilful default charges
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 22: Former accountability bureau chief Saifur Rehman
denied charges of committing any wilful default and blamed United
Bank Limited for breaching agreements and violating State Bank
regulations.

Recording his statement under section 342 CrPC before the
accountability court No II, the former senator stated that the
prosecution had failed to produce any evidence to prove the
allegation of wilful default.

The court adjourned the hearing for October 29.

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20011023
-------------------------------------------------------------------
SGS move to seek compensation
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 22: The Swiss company, Societe Generale de
Surveilance (SGS), has approached the International Centre for
Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), a forum set up under UN
Convention, to help it get compensation from the Pakistan
government for the termination of a pre-shipment inspection
contract.

In its letter to Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar, the company has
informed the government that a claim has been filed.

The company stated that Pakistan and Switzerland had signed an
agreement on May 6,1996, for the promotion of reciprocal protection
of investment.

A number of disputes, it stated, had arisen in connection with
investment by SGS in pre-shipment contract due to Pakistan's non-
payment of invoices submitted by SGS.

" Pakistan's acts and omissions in this connection constitute a
violation of number of obligations owed to SGS pursuant to the
Swiss-Pakistan agreement as well as the breaches of the SGS-
Pakistan agreement", it said.

Soon after the Supreme Court set aside the judgment convicting
Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari on the charge of getting
commission from SGS, the company had filed a counter-claim against
the government of Pakistan, demanding US$ 329 million as damages on
account of premature termination of the pre-shipment inspection
contract and damage to its reputation.

In case ICSID invokes its jurisdiction, the Swiss company would not
press its claim in Pakistani court. SGS claims that no payment was
made to any official for the award of the PSI contract." The award
of contract was fair, transparent and based on a competitive
process of bidding and at no stage had it indulged in any corrupt
or unethical practices in order to procure the award of the
contract."

It was stated that the mode and manner in which investigation was
carried out after the removal of PPP government, suggested the
existence of a conspiracy to target a political opponent.

The Swiss company, SGS, stated that the wrongful repudiation of
contract by the government of Pakistan and its subsequent false and
politically motivated accusations had caused a colossal monetary
loss and damage to the reputation of the company.

It demands US$329 million in the form of outstanding invoices;
interest on the unpaid invoices; damages on account of premature
termination of the contract; demobilisation cost; damage to the
reputation of the company as a direct result of the defamatory
statements of the government of Pakistan; damages on account of
loss of opportunity; and legal fees and expenses.

The government of Pakistan is of the view that SGS was awarded the
contract by the government of Pakistan in consideration of 6 per
cent paid to an offshore company operated by Jens Schlegelmilch,
owner of which is Asif Ali Zardari.

The government had stated that investigations revealed that the
respondent had paid bribes and commissions to the beneficiaries out
of the fees received from the government of Pakistan.

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20011026
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Acountability court can hear SGS case: judge
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 25: An accountability court (AC) declared that it
had the jurisdiction to proceed with the SGS pre-shipment
inspection award reference against former prime minister Benazir
Bhutto and her spouse Asif Ali Zardari.

The defence counsel, Farooq Naek, representing the jailed PPP
leader, had questioned the competency of the court during the last
proceedings on the grounds that the case was not pending before
Ehtesaab bench at the time of its transfer to the accountability
court as required under National Accountability Bureau (NAB)
ordinance 1999.

Judge Mansoor Ali Khan of the Accountability Court No II also
suggested to the prosecutor-general, Raja Bashir, to inquire from
the law ministry about the procedure involved in summoning of
respondents, including Benazir Bhutto, who was living abroad.

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20011024
-------------------------------------------------------------------
NAB asked to submit reply by Nov 6 on Zardari's plea:
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 23: An accountability court on Tuesday issued notice
to Prosecutor General Raja Bashir for November 6 to submit his
reply on an application moved by jailed PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari
for his acquittal from the ARY Gold reference.

The application was submitted on Tuesday by Babar Awan advocate on
behalf of Mr Zardari under section 265-K of the criminal procedure
code (CrPC), contending that the prosecution had failed to made out
criminal offence against his client.

The applicant contented that no legal basis existed to proceed with
the trial against him as the policy to regulate the import of gold
and silver by means of licence was approved by the economic
coordination committee (ECC) of the cabinet. Moreover the same
policy still remains in force, he stated.

The prosecution has also no cause of grievance against any member
who participated in the ECC meeting and approved the policy, the
application states. Citing provisions from the Constitution, the
counsel emphasized that the cabinet was collectively accountable to
the National Assembly. And that the accountability court lacked
jurisdiction to scrutinize the cabinet decision.

Mr Zardari in his application stated that none of the witnesses in
their statements had said a word about his involvement in the
corruption or corrupt practices as envisaged under section 9 of the
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ordinance. Moreover there was
no evidence that the applicant ever attempted or received illegal
gratification for the issuance of the import licence.

The applicant also stated that there was no likelihood or
probability that he might be convicted of any offence on the basis
of the present record. Even otherwise his prosecution was conceived
out of political victimization and his involvement in the case
smacks mala fide, he said.

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20011024
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Saleem Malik granted bail
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Oct 23: A local judicial magistrate accepted the bail plea
of former Pakistani cricket captain Saleem Malik against a surety
bond of Rs 30,000. Mr Malik was arrested by the Kot Lakhpat police
reportedly on abetment charges in a case registered against his
brothers and their servants.

Col Javed Akhtar of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)
reportedly told police that he and his men visited the RGA factory
to investigate a property case on Oct 18. Mr Malik, his brothers
and their servants allegedly detained the NAB officials for several
hours. Mr Malik, however, was later nominated in the case on
abetment charges.

The former captain reportedly told police that the NAB officials
had visited the factory in plain clothes and did not disclose their
identity. He said that his servants had locked the officials and
informed him and also rang up the police emergency at 15. He
claimed that he along with police reached the spot and matter was
resolved when the officials disclosed their identity.

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20011026
-------------------------------------------------------------------
WB blasts Pakistan's power watchdog
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 25: The World Bank has expressed serious
dissatisfaction over the financial position of both the WAPDA and
the KESC, doubted analytical and regulatory capabilities of the
Nepra and feared "great risks" of more money injections unless
power tariff increased further.

In its latest report prepared this month, the World Bank expressed
serious concern over the performance of National Electric Power
Regulatory Authority due to which "regulatory uncertainty remains
high" in Pakistan.

The report has been prepared by a WB energy sector mission that was
in Pakistan last month but had to cut short its deliberations in
the wake of US attack on Afghanistan.

The Nepra objection to write off Rs36 billion public sector and
provincial electricity dues by Wapda has also come under sharp
criticism.

This is for the first time the bank has criticised Pakistan's power
sector regulator for delays in the reforms and corporatization
process including distribution and generation licences to WAPDA's
corporate companies.

The World Bank has already put on hold a $350 million power sector
loan that is part of an overall $1 billion reforms programme co-
financed by Asian Development Bank and other financiers due to
delays in completion of reforms as agreed under the policy matrix.

The bank has forecast further disruption in Nepra's work in view of
departure of its ADB-financed advisors from Pakistan in the post-
Sept 11 situation. "Some disruption in the work is now expected,
since the expatriate advisors have evacuated from Pakistan," said
the report.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20011026
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan reaches understanding with IMF
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PARIS, Oct 25: Pakistan has reached a "broad understanding" with
the International Monetary Fund on a major poverty reduction loan,
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz said after talks with IMF officials.

Aziz also said the Paris Club group of creditor states had
scheduled a session to discuss a separate request for "substantive
debt relief" in December.

Pakistan is burdened by some $36 billion of debt, of which around
$15.5 billion is with the World Bank, IMF and other institutional
lenders and $12.5 billion with Paris Club states.

Aziz said talks held with delegations from both the IMF and the
Paris Club had been "very constructive", but said the amount of any
IMF loan was still open. "We have a broad understanding on the
modalities of the (poverty reduction) program. The amount obviously
depends on many other factors," Aziz told a news conference.

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20011027
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Japan suspends sanctions
-------------------------------------------------------------------
TOKYO, Oct 26: Japan said it would suspend sanctions on Pakistan
and India, clearing the way for fresh economic aid in a show of
support for the two nations during US-led strikes on Afghanistan.

While stopping short of announcing fresh aid, Fukuda said Tokyo
would discuss specific economic steps later to help ensure
political and economic stability in the two south Asian countries.

Fukuda stressed that Pakistan and India had stuck to the self-
imposed unilateral moratoriums on nuclear testing declared shortly
after the test blasts. He said Japan may consider reinstating the
sanctions in the future if the nuclear non-proliferation situation
worsens. -Reuters

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20011027
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Japan may restore $500m annual aid
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Oct 26: Japan is considering restoring its 500 million
dollars annual assistance under Yen Package Loan for Pakistan
because of Islamabad's decision to combat terrorism.

According to informed sources, Japan would soon be announcing the
revival of annual assistance by extending 500 million dollars under
32 Yen Package Loan program which was suspended in 1998 when
Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in retaliation for the Indian
nuclear tests.

The revival of annual assistance will be in addition to little over
800 million dollars "one time grant" being offered after US and its
allies decided to extend 780 million dollars cash grant to help
improve the country's economy.

The sources said that ever since the US government removed
remaining military and economic sanctions against Pakistan, Japan
too was considering lifting similar sanctions and that a decision
to this effect would be taken soon.

According to an official of the ministry of finance, as soon as
Japan lifts sanctions against Pakistan and revive assistance, a
number of new development projects would be conceived and
undertaken.

The funding requirements for the President's 20 mega projects could
also be met with the new assistance from Japan.

Japan had offered 300 million dollars to Pakistan in 1999 for some
of the ongoing development projects despite sanctions.

Japan has emerged as the largest donor to Pakistan as it had given
dollars 495 million in 1998, despite sanctions Tokyo had imposed on
Islamabad following the nuclear tests.

Japan continued to extend assistance for the ongoing projects such
as OECF Yen loans, Grant Aid and Technical Cooperation.

In 1998 the net disbursement of the Japanese assistance amounting
to 495 million US dollarss included 424 million dollars in yen
loans, 56.65 million dollars as Grant Aid and 13.94 million dollars
as Technical Cooperation.

Pakistan is thus ranked as the fifth largest recipient country of
Japanese assistance out of 160 countries after China, Indonesia,
Thailand and India.  The share of Japan's assistance amongst the
Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries is expected to go
up more than 127 per cent over its own share in 1997.

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20011025
-------------------------------------------------------------------
US likely to revive annual economic aid, says official
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Oct 24: The United States is considering reviving
Pakistan's annual economic assistance under USAID program which had
been suspended many years ago.

"My department has proposed the revival of USAID to Pakistan and
now a final decision has to be taken by the Bush government over
the issue," said Mr Bear McConnell, Director of the Central Asian
Task Force at the US Agency for International Development.

He told reporters here on Wednesday at the residence of the US
Ambassador to Pakistan that Official Development Assistance (ODA)
for Pakistan was likely to be restored soon. However, he pointed
out that his government would be taking any final decision about
it.

"May be this issue of USAID is decided along with the bigger
economic package that is currently being finalized for Pakistan",
he added.

Pakistan had been receiving 400 to 450 million dollars USAID,
including wheat, under PL 480 program till early 80s which was
later suspended. He said that the US had decided to develop new
political and economic relations with Pakistan and that the revival
of annual suspended aid could be around the corner.

Mr McConnell said that United States was contributing an additional
320 million dollars in humanitarian assistance for the people of
Afghanistan. Much of this money, he said, would go for purchasing
foods and other important commodities including edible oil.

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20011024
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Islamabad seeks quick, extensive debt relief:
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Oct 23: The government has finalized a 10-point multi-
dimensional economic package and has forwarded it to the United
States, seeking an immediate and extensive debt relief before a
write-off which could take some time.

Official and diplomatic sources said that US Under Secretary of
State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs Alan P.
Larson had received a 10-point package and had largely agreed on it
with a view to fully support Pakistan in acknowledgement of the
support the country had extended to the US in its war on terrorism.

The Pakistan government, through the proposed package, thanked the
US and its allies for committing $800 million immediate grant, and
called for bigger financial allocations in shape of cash grants to
provide certain immediate relief to its economy.

According to the sources, the package calls for re-profiling of $12
billion bilateral debt in order to bring it to a sustainable level
so that it could be serviced easily. This re-profiling will provide
temporary breathing space if not a permanent solution to the
country's debt problem. The package also seeks a larger size of the
Poverty Reduction Growth Facility (PRGF) than the one, which was
being discussed before Sept 11 terror attacks in New York and
Washington.

Pakistan was earlier given to understand to get about $1.5 billion
under the PRGF by virtue of having maximum 90 per cent quota under
$1.3 billion Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).

This quota could now be stretched to 130 or 140 per cent through a
new amendment in IMF rules as the Americans are fully supporting
the government of President Gen Pervez Musharraf. The PRGF was
being sought on highly concessional terms and could be offered to
Pakistan at only 0.5 to 0.7 per cent service charges.

The sources said Mr Larson had proposed enhancement of Pakistan's
maximum quota in the IMF from 90 per cent to 120 per cent. But he
had not disagreed that it could be further increased, as the
country was currently facing an unusual economic situation, they
added.

The package wants new assistance from International Financial
Institutions (IFIs) on new and better terms and not on existing
Houston or Naples terms. Pakistan has so far been offered
assistance under Houston terms and not under Naples terms, which
were relatively more favorable. "But the future assistance is
likely to be on new terms other than Houston and Naples terms
because of Washington's renewed support to Islamabad, a diplomatic
source said.

The sources said Pakistan was not against a debt write-off, but did
understand that it was not currently possible for bilateral donors
as their respective constitutions did not allow them to have such a
preposition. However, they said the US had assured that it would
look for changing laws as had been changed for lifting political
and military sanctions against Pakistan.

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20011022
-------------------------------------------------------------------
US assures Pakistan of immediate debt relief: Larson
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 21: US Under-Secretary for Economic Business and
Agriculture Affairs Alan Larson announced that Washington would
extend an "immediate and sustainable debt relief" to Islamabad.

"We are working out modalities to provide meaningful, immediate and
lasting debt relief to Pakistan that maximizes opportunities and
lay foundation for trade and investment relationship," Mr Larson
said at a joint press conference with Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz
after their talks.

Asked whether the US was working to waive Pakistan's debt as had
been done in case of Egypt at the time of the Gulf War, the under-
secretary without giving a direct answer said: "Washington is in
consultations with Islamabad and other creditors to tailor a
programme for Pakistan that fits its needs, interest, and its debt
profile".

The US, he said, was trying to be flexible about the modalities so
that "the relief is immediate, lasting and has a sustainable
approach to Pakistan's debt

Mr Larson said he had come to Pakistan on the directive of
President George W. Bush for developing long-term cooperative
arrangements with Pakistan. The US, he said, wanted to facilitate
the government and the people of Pakistan to become a growing
economy that could produce benefits and jobs to its people.

Mr Larson said he had discussed with Mr Aziz ways to put together a
sustainable package of measures so that Pakistan could get support
from international financial institutions and other bilateral
donors, and debt relief package as well as market access to promote
private investment.

During the past few weeks, he pointed out, the US government had
moved for normal economic relations with Pakistan. "The United
States is actively supporting Pakistan's negotiations for a new
agreement with the IMF. Islamabad has good relations with the World
Bank and the Asian Development Bank, and Washington is supporting
(Islamabad) for increased access to resources of these
institutions."

He said the US government was looking at new measures to increase
access of Pakistani products in US markets. As an immediate step,
he said, the US restoring some of the benefits under the General
System of Products and was working with Congress to extend new GSP
benefits for certain products. The US was committed to remove
quotas on textile-related products. In addition, they were working
with Congress to consider ways to stimulate Pakistan's major
exports.

Mr Larson said the Overseas Private Investment Cooperation had
extended a line of credit of $300 million and added that the US
Export and Import Bank was also considering a number of projects to
promote business relationship.

He recalled that the US had already decided to provide $30 million
in food assistance to Pakistan and was working in a number of
areas, including border security and law enforcement program.

SHAUKAT AZIZ: Mr Aziz said Pakistan was in bilateral discussions
with donors for fiscal support, revival and enhancement of aid,
debt relief, market access, etc.

He said he had substantive talks with Mr Larson on various issues,
particularly the debt relief. The debt profile of Pakistan, he
said, was quite heavy, affecting the budget. Pakistan needed a
fiscal space to use the money to pursue development projects.

The minister said the debt relief would enable Pakistan to
undertake more infrastructure projects, particularly water
reservoirs for agriculture sector.

He said the government had initiated discussions with the American
Exim Bank to revive the PIA fleet. The debt relief that Pakistan
was contemplating would be such that it would be under the auspices
of Paris Club which is expected to meet in December. He said the
government was holding negotiations with the IMF after which Paris
Club would be moved.

In reply to a question, the finance minister said that as a result
of the Afghan situation the loss to Pakistan's economy would be
between $1 billion and $2.5 billion, depending on the duration of
the crisis.

He said the government was negotiating with international
underwriters to get insurance rates reduced. "We see no
justification for increase in insurance rates," he said, adding
that Arabian Sea today was safer than ever before, and therefore,
insurance rates should not be increased. He also said that the US
Exim Bank would extend finances to American investors to invest in
Pakistan's energy and power sector.

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20011021
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Islamabad offered $800m immediate cash grant
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 20: Pakistan has been offered $800 million immediate
"cash grant" by the United States and its allies to help improve
its economy said minister for finance Shaukat Aziz.

Unfolding his economic assistance package jointly being sought from
the US, European Union and International Financial Institutions
(IFIs) at a news conference he said that Pakistan has been offered
a substantial budgetary support as well as debt relief.

He said 1 to 2 billion dollar effect to the Pakistani economy has
been estimated till June next year in the shape of reduced exports,
imports, revenues and less privatization proceeds.

"Let me clarify here that this $800 million cash grant has been
provided as part of the budgetary support till June 30 next year.
And we were given to understand that grant assistance will continue
during the next financial year with considerable debt relief," the
finance minister said.

He said that it has been decided that UN agencies will buy wheat,
tents and other necessary items for Afghan refugees from Pakistan.
"But the major debt relief is expected from Paris Club as our
bilateral creditors look very supportive of Pakistan."

He said that Canada has converted its $285 million loans into
social sector funding to remove poverty and undertake new health-
related activities. "This is almost a writing off a loan," he said
adding that the UK's secretary of state for international
development Clare Short had already declared writing off 24 million
pounds Commonwealth Development Corporation's loan.

The minister also furnished, for the first time, latest foreign
debt figures accumulated till September 30, 2001. He said the total
foreign debt was to the tune of $37 billion which includes $12.5
billion bilateral and $15.4 billion debt of World Bank, IMF, Asian
Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank.

Giving the breakup, he said Pakistan owes $5 billion loan to Japan,
$3 billion to USA, France $1 billion, Germany $1 billion, Canada
$318 million, Italy $175 million, Korea $738 million, Sweden $127
million, Russia $103 million and the Netherlands $88 million. "The
total non-Paris Club debt amounts to $500 million that has been
offered to us by our friendly countries".

Similarly, he said that short-term foreign banks debt amounts to
$751 million that had been offered as part of trade financing.
"Then the private sector support credit stands at $2.1 billion, and
$5 billion are in the shape of dollar-deposits and Euro bonds," he
added.

The finance minister pointed out that Pakistan was seeking debt
relief keeping in view the objective of creating fiscal space and
reducing poverty from the country.

In reply to a question Mr Shaukat said that it was wrong to presume
that Japan has refused to write off Pakistan's $5 billion loans.
Referring to president's telephonic talks with Japanese prime
minister, the finance minister said that Japan could not currently
write off its loans because of an existing constitutional and legal
hitch. "But I would be visiting Japan from October 29 to discuss
the issue for which we hope some new legislation could be done by
the Japanese," he said.

He told a reporter that beside getting debt relief and cash grants,
Pakistan was also negotiating fresh foreign loans on concessional
terms. In this regard he referred to Poverty Reduction Growth
Facility (PRGF) being sought from IMF about which he avoided to
give the size. Also, he said that World Bank has agreed to offer
$300 million banking sector loan on just 0.75 per cent service
charges.

He said that despite facing sanctions till very recently Pakistan
has paid back $600 million loans. In this regard, he said that the
government has recently purchased $100 million from the open
market.

He told a reporter that new legislation was being finalized by the
finance ministry and the State Bank of Pakistan to discourage money
laundering.

He said that Exim Bank of America has offered $300 million loan
facility to US investors to invest in Pakistan. "Since there are no
more sanctions against Pakistan, we expect substantial US
investment in the country," he said adding that US Overseas Private
Insurance Corporation (OPIC) was extending all facilities to
American investors to invest in Pakistan. "Now we expect a new
relationship with US Exim Bank," he said.

The finance minister said that he would be meeting the visiting US
under-secretary of economic affairs Alan Larson on Sunday to
further discuss with him new US funding line for Pakistan,
including to have certain debt relief.

Asked about foreign private agencies, he said after the lifting of
international sanctions, M/S Coface of France, M/S Sace of Italy,
M/S ECDG of UK, M/S Harmes of Germany, and Japan's Exim Bank would
now start extending export credit. This credit, has said, had been
suspended for about three years and had effected foreign investment
in the country.

"We have successfully negotiated with the US government to have
market access and increase in textile quota, and at the same time
removal of undue taxes," the finance minister stated.

He said that the US and its western allies have also assured to
promote foreign direct investment in Pakistan. He said since there
were no more sanctions, private investors should come forward and
get a letter of credit facility for which Asian Development Bank's
$150 million were still to be used.

Talking about an increase in freight and insurance charges, the
minister said that the World Bank and the IMF were providing
necessary assistance to reduce LC cover charges for Pakistan.

Responding to a question the finance minister said that the
government has refunded Rs11.8 billion to exporters during July-
September this year which was 60 per cent higher compared to the
corresponding period last year.

He said that the government has received Rs77.5 billion revenue
during the first quarter of 2000-2001 against the target of Rs81.3
billion. He said the main reduction was experienced in custom
duties.

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20011025
-------------------------------------------------------------------
IDB pledges $50 million assistance to Afghanistan
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Oct 24: The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has decided
to extend a $50 million humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan.

Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali, President of Islamic Development Bank told
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz during the 26th Annual meeting of
Board of Governors of Islamic Development Bank in Algiers that the
bank will offer a US $50 million humanitarian assistance for
Afghanistan out of which US $10 million will be in the form of
grant and remaining US $40 million interest free loan for
reconstruction of Afghanistan.

According to a handout of the minsitry of finance, Mr Aziz also
signed two agreements with the President of Islamic Development
Bank amounting to US $24.75 million out of which US $14.3 million
will be for the purchase of wagons and rescue cranes for use in the
Railway Development Project in Pakistan and US $10.45 million will
be utilised for purchase of equipment and rails for use in the
Railway Development Project in Pakistan.

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20011024
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Early merger of NDFC with NBP likely
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 23: A senior executive of National Development Finance
Corporation said that the NDFC could be merged with NBP much
earlier than scheduled. "We may see the merger taking place in
early November," Executive Vice President Syed M. Husaini told
Dawn.

When asked why NDFC has so far not allowed its depositors to
withdraw up to Rs500,000 from their accounts he said: "We are
discussing this thing with the State Bank. One view is that the
corporation may be merged with NBP by early November. In that case
NBP may start repaying the depositors in phases."

No confirmation was immediately available from NBP.

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20011023
-------------------------------------------------------------------
KSE 100-index up by 6.6pc on speculative buying
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 22: Boom-like conditions were witnessed on the stock
market as the KSE 100-share index breached through the
psychological barrier of 1,300 points just in one go, up 6.6 per
cent or 84.41 points on massive speculative buying triggered by two
per cent cut in discount rates by the State Bank and an expected
big aid package.

The 6.6 per cent increase in index, which raised the total gain to
20 per cent during the last couple of weeks, may owe its strength
to some solid insider information not shared by the local expecting
the leading foreign fund managers but followed the lead more
actively as was reflected by a large single-session volume of 275
million shares.

The 84-point rise in the index means an increase of over Rs.18
billion at Rs.332 billion, in the total market capitalization,
although it needs a dozen more such pushes to attain its pre-
reaction level of Rs.610 billion touched in mid-90s boom. However,
the increase added to the savings of small investors significantly.

The index finally breached through the psychological barrier of
1,300 points at 1,351.46 points as compared to 1,267.05 at the last
weekend. Volume soared to a recent level of 275 million shares. The
highest-ever figure is 500 million shares in a session recorded
couple of years back.

Big gainers were led by Millat Tractors, Gul Ahmed Textiles,
Liberty Mills, PSO, Al-Ghazi tractors, Glaxo-Wellcome Pakistan,
which rose by Rs.4.00 to Rs.7.50. But biggest price flare-up was
noted in Shell Pakistan, Lever Brothers and Wyeth Pakistan, up by
Rs.11.95, 23.50 and Rs.32.00 respectively. All other shares also
rose under the lead of textiles and energy sectors.

Losses on the other hand were fractional barring Atlas Honda and
Cherat Papers, which fell by Rs.1.25 to 1.50 on selling at the
higher levels.

Trading volume rose further to 275 million shares from the previous
83 million shares as 181 shares finished higher, while 21 fell,
with 22 holding on to the last levels, out of 224 actives.

Bulk of the buying remained confined to PTCL on market talks of
higher dividend owing to steep rise in earnings, sharply higher by
Rs.1.75 at Rs.17.40 on 119m shares, followed by Hub-Power, up
Rs.1.65 at Rs.20.45, on 86m shares, PSO, sharply higher by Rs.6.70
at Rs.110.70 on 12m shares, ICI Pakistan, up Rs.2.40 at Rs.42.90 on
9m shares and Engro Chemical, firm by Rs.2.00 at Rs. 53.45 on 7m
shares.

Other actives were led by Engro Chemical, up Rs.2.00 on 6.555m
shares, Nishat Mills, firm by Rs.1.35 on 6.300m shares, MCB, up one
rupee on 3.631m shares, Dewan Salman, higher 90 paisa on 3.487m
shares and Fauji Fertilizer, steady 45 paisa on 2.459m shares.

FUTURE CONTRACTS: Speculative issues on the forward counter also
followed the lead of their counterparts in the ready section and
rose appreciably under the lead of PSO, which came in for
successive emergency clearing and finally finished higher by
Rs.5.30 at Rs.110.00 on 0.203m shares followed by Engro Chemical,
higher by Rs.1.90 at Rs.53.40 on 0.120m shares.

PTCL proved to be the most active scrip, up one rupee on 2.388m
shares followed by Hub-Power, higher Rs.1.65 at 19.80 on 0.467m
shares.

DEFAULTER COMPANIES: Shares of five companies came in for active
trading under the lead of Saitex Spinning, up 10 paisa at Rs.0.55
on 8,000 shares, followed by Allied Motors, firm also by the same
amount at Rs.3.20 on 2,500 shares and Suzuki Motorcycle, higher 20
paisa at Rs.1.10 on 1,000 shares.

DIVIDEND: Pak Datcom, cash 7.5 per cent plus bonus shares at the
rate of 20 per cent for the year ended June 30, 2001, Javed Omer
Vohra, nil for the same period.

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20011027
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Stocks breach 1,400-point barrier again
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 26: The KSE 100-share index was quoted higher by 38.71
points at 1,401.51 as compared to 1,362.80 a day earlier as leading
bases share showed smart gains.

It was again the Hubco day as it posted its career-best gain of
Rs1.95 at Rs23.60 on expectations of a good final dividend for the
current year and an interim for the next year in its board meeting
to be held on Nov 5, dealers said.

Big gainers were led by EFU Life, Adamjee Insurance, Pakistan
Oilfields, Shell Pakistan, Lever Brothers and Nestle MilkPak, which
scored gains ranging from Rs3.90 to Rs15, the largest being in
Nestle MilkPak.

Other good gainers included ICI Pakistan, PSO, Attock Refinery,
Aventis Pharma and Bolan Casting, which showed gains ranging from
Rs2.30 to Rs3.

Losers were led by Merit Packaging and General Tyre, which suffered
fall ranging from one rupee to Rs1.45, while others fell
fractionally.

Trading volume fell to 210m shares from the previous 254m shares as
sellers held on to their positions but gainers forced a strong lead
over the losers at 96 to 51, while 38 held on to their last levels
out of 185 actives.

Hub-Power led the list of most actives, up Rs1.95 at Rs23.60 on
110m shares, followed by PTCL, higher 50 paisa at Rs17.90 on 54m
shares, PSO, up Rs2.85 at Rs113.75 on 7m shares, ICI Pakistan,
higher Rs2.30 at Rs45.70 on 5m shares and Adamjee Insurance, up
Rs3.90 at Rs42.90 on 4m shares.

Other actives included Engro Chemical, up 70 paisa on 4m shares,
Sui Northern, firm by 30 paisa on 2.259m shares, MCB, up 60 paisa
on 1.794m shares and Dewan Salman, steady 55 paisa on 1.438m
shares.

FUTURE CONTRACTS: Forward counter also showed firm trend in line
with the ready section where leading shares finished higher for
both the October and the November settlements under the lead of
PSO, which rose by Rs3 to Rs3.35 for both the October and the
November contracts at Rs111 and 113 and Hub-Power followed it, up
Rs1.16 and Rs1.13 at Rs22.66 and Rs21.73 on 1.431m and 1.507m
shares respectively.

PTCL was marked up by 75 paisa at Rs18.25 for November and 50 paisa
for October contract at Rs18.25 and Rs17.80 on large volume of
2.913m and 2.222m shares. Engro Chemical rose by Rs2.66 at Rs.53.91
for the November settlement.

DEFAULTER COMPANIES: Allied Motors came in for active support and
was marked up by five paisa at Rs3.20 on 7,500 shares followed by
Al-Asif Sugar, unchanged at Re1 on 1,000 shares and Hydery
Construction, up 25 paisa at Rs1.30 on 500 shares.

DIVIDEND: Ghani Glass second interim at the rate of 30 per cent,
Cherat Cement, cash 20 per cent, First Habib Modaraba, cash 22.5
per cent, Trust Leasing bonus shares 10 per cent, B.R.R.
International Modaraba cash 13 per cent, Cherat Papersack cash 40
per cent and Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari & Co, nil for the year ended
June 30, 2001.

Back to the top
EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20011021
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Arrogance battling with ignorance
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

Today we have a war being fought by arrogance battling with
ignorance in order to eliminate terrorism. But how can terrorism be
eliminated as long as ignorance predominates?

The US uses in its fight the knowledge and the means it possesses,
and its arrogance; Osama and his like retaliate with the means they
can muster up. If the causes of terrorism are to be eliminated, or
even rectified, it is education that can help - but education of
the profound type as opposed to mere literacy - which brings with
it understanding and tolerance and empathy.

In the world of today, the Americans are amongst the well-meaning
peoples and they make as good an ally as did the British as
colonial masters. They kill and feed at the same time. They drop
bombs as well as food parcels. The contents of these parcels were
designed by the US defence department for use in emergencies to
feed and sustain moderately well-nourished people as opposed to the
hungry or starving. Cowboy Bush tells us, "This is our way of
saying that while we firmly and strongly oppose the Taliban regime,
we are friends of the Afghan people. We will make sure that not
only the folks in Afghanistan who need help get help but we will
help those who have fled to neighbouring countries to get help as
well." Well-meaning words, no doubt.

Each food parcel contains two main vegetarian meals based heavily
on lentils, beans and rice, and also complimentary items like
bread, a fruit bar, a fortified biscuit, peanut butter, and spices.
Beans with tomatoes, beans and rice, and bean salad, are entrees
among the five available menus. Each of these packets cost around $
4 and have a shelf life of 18 to 24 months. Could the US not buy
wheat and rice, better suited to the Afghan diet, from Pakistan? A
packet containing a kilo of rice and a kilo of wheat flour would
cost $ 1 and would help offload our stocks and aid our economy.
This is where our men should come in. But are they capable of
conveying the message?

When the Americans talk of enduring commitment and durable peace,
they do so with the full knowledge that the two adjectives actually
mean permanent, unchanging, perpetual, continual, firm, steadfast,
persisting, constant, changeless. But they also know that they are
saying what they do not and cannot mean. They have learnt and
absorbed the wise words of their first president, the great
statesman and general, George Washington, who in his farewell
address to his nation in 1796 laid down its future policy:"'Tis our
true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion
of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to
do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing
infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maximum no less
applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is
always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those
engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But in my opinion,
it is unnecessary, and would be unwise, to extend them.

"Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments,
in a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust no
temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

"Harmony, and a liberal intercourse with all nations, are
recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our
commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither
seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting
the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying, by gentle
means, the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing,
with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to
define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to
support them, conventional rules of intercourse, the best that
present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but
temporary, and liable to be, from time to time, abandoned or
varied, as experience and circumstance shall dictate; constantly
keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for
disinterested favors from another; that it must pay, with a portion
of its independence, for whatever it may accept under that
character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the
condition of having given equivalent for nominal favors, and yet of
being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be
no greater error than to expect to calculate upon real favors from
nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure,
which a just pride ought to discard."

The Labour prime minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair,
inspires little confidence despite his attempts to talk forcefully.
There was an interesting column in The Times last week, written by
Anthony Howard, a supporter of the Labour Party. His thoughts on
war and its outcome are pertinent.

In 1939 Britain declared war on Germany. The reason : to protect
the independence and integrity of Poland. By 1945, after the
Germans had surrendered, Poland was delivered into the hands of the
Red Army and into a harsher bondage than had threatened it at the
outbreak of the war. The outcome of any war more often than not
differs radically from the intentions of the victors when they
first set out to fight. War is treacherous; it is not a precision
instrument. It can achieve quite the opposite of the original aim.
World War II was fought to guarantee the rights of free people to
self-determination. What many of those people got at the end of the
bloodshed was "an Iron Curtain from Stettin in the Baltic to
Trieste in the Adriatic," as Winston Churchill put it after the
curtain had been firmly drawn by the Soviets.

Now, as the British commentator has it, George W. Bush, the all-
powerful leader of the democratic world, has marched into battle to
save that world from terrorism, all in the name of democracy and
freedom. By his side he has, amongst the many, the support of a
military dictatorship, Pakistan, the fiefdoms of the Gulf states,
and the police state of Egypt. "My enemy's enemy is my friend," is
the present-day adage. The limited objective of this war - the
capture and bringing to justice of bin Laden - is achievable. It is
the grander aspirations which are in doubt.

The western leadership waxes eloquent on such things as ethics,
ideals, democracy, freedoms, values - things they believe in -
their way of life, but does it not all really boil down to the
limited doctrine as enunciated so succinctly by Lord Palmerston,
the British foreign secretary, to the House of Commons in 1848: "We
have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies. Our
interests are eternal and perpetual and those interests it is our
duty to follow."

This week's Time magazine, over a photograph of Musharraf, has a
distinctive headline: 'The world's toughest job'. This is supported
by a secondary line reading, 'Musharraf risks his life and his
country by siding with the West against extremism. Can he
survive?'.

Who are Musharraf's enemies? His own home-bred bigots and
obscurantists. Yesterday's Dawn tells us that the city of Karachi's
government has placed 17 large open areas at the disposal of these
disruptionists where they can shout and shriek to their hearts'
content and burn as many effigies as they like. Within these areas
they can bring down the world, bring their enemies to their knees.
But out of these areas they have no right to burn, destroy, or
force those who wish to work to strike and down tools. No sane
loyal man with his nation's well-being at heart can wish to further
batter our dying economy.

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20011025
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Media's role in war
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Eric S. Margolis

In war, said Napoleon, the moral element and public relations are
half the battle. And that was before radio and television.

For the first time, a Mideastern antagonist of the United States -
Osama bin Laden - has not only mastered public relations, but is
using the media as a potent weapon against the world's mightiest
military and media power.

Washington had planned to repeat in Afghanistan the success it
enjoyed during the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq, when the Pentagon
monopolized, filtered, and shaped all news coming from the theatre
of operations. To this day, the number of Iraqis killed by US
bombing remains secret.

However, researchers have just learned through the Freedom of
Information Act that the US government expressly destroyed Iraq's
sewage and water treatment facilities, apparently knowing full well
the result would be widespread disease and epidemics. In short,
biological warfare. The US refuses to allow Iraq to import chlorine
to purify water, claiming that the chemical could be used as a
military weapon. Iraq's inability to purify its drinking water
continues to spread sickness across that blighted nation.

According to the UN, 500,000 Iraqis, mostly children, have died
from disease and malnutrition caused by US sanctions. Thousands
more Iraqis are suspected to have gotten cancers from US depleted
uranium munitions. When asked about this huge toll, then US
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright memorably replied, "the price
is worth it." One cannot but wonder if the anthrax terror now
afflicting America is payback.

Israel's American supporters are currently beating the war drums
over Iraq. Such pro-Israel loudspeakers as 'The Wall Street
Journal' and 'The Washington Post' have been straining every sinew
to link the September 11 attacks against the US to Iraq. Their
intent is plain: to push the United States into attacking Iraq,
which is considered a major long-term threat to Israel. The Israel
lobby wants to see Iraq demolished, Saddam Hussein killed, and
partitioned into three weak mini-states. Israel's American lobby is
ready to fight to the last American to destroy Iraq.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban stole a march on the US by giving Al-
Jazeera, the Arab world's only uncensored TV station, exclusive
coverage. Bin Laden uses Al-Jazeera and Pakistani media to promote
his anti-US cause and challenge America's control of information.
As a result, the White House is trying to silence bin Laden by the
disgraceful recourse of censoring America's media.

The president of a democracy whose very essence is founded in free
speech has asked the media to silence bin Laden and his allies
under the laughable pretext that by wiggling an ear or rubbing a
nose they communicate information to Muslim terrorists lurking in
the United States. This would be comical were it not such a threat
to the basic freedom of all Americans.

Almost as shameful, much of the US media has cooperated, reducing
its role from useful critics to public relations hacks.-Copyright
Eric S. Margolis 2001.

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20011026
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Helpless in the eye of the storm
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ayaz Amir

Why do we pick such useless heroes? During the Gulf War, Saddam
Hussein. During the present crisis, Osama bin Laden. Osama t-
shirts, Osama posters, Osama as David to the US's Goliath. As
counterpoint to the glorification of Osama is the demonisation of
the US. Then we complain about being branded as a nation of
fanatics.

The Taliban at least are consistent about word and action. What
they say is what they do. It is not so with us. Although there is
no shortage of people here who deify Osama as a hero, the paradox
remains that all these rooters for Osama would not put their money
where there rhetoric is. The anti-American protests are confined to
the religious parties. So they are likely to remain even if the
attacks on Afghanistan stretch into winter and beyond.

Time was when Pakistanis were good at agitation. Not any more. They
may be anarchic in their general behaviour but ever since Bhutto's
fall they have lost the habit of protest. The agenda of protest has
passed from the left and the centre - where it was once securely
lodged - to the extreme right.

The left has ceased to exist. The centre has been represented by
such incandescent figures as Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto. Any
fire and passion that exists is only on the right. But the
religious right does not inspire most Pakistanis. Hence the picture
we see in Pakistan today: professionals and other members of the
middle class capable of great verbal extremism but keeping their
indignation confined to the rooms in which they watch television.
Chocolate subversion: that's what these armchair agitators are good
for. On the streets, meanwhile, march the cadres of the religious
parties - striking figures on television but nowhere near strong
enough to make things really hot for Musharraf and his fellow-
generals.

This is not a case for mass agitation or for saying that we should
rise from our couches and man the barricades. If the premise is
accepted that we have a talent for choosing useless heroes, it
follows that any agitation which has Osama as its central figure is
equally useless. Since when was Osama's ideology ours? Since when
have we espoused such a narrow brand of incendiary Islam?

We do ourselves no favour by placing ourselves in an extremist
corner. The attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were an act
of frenzied madness. There is no way to justify them, much less to
see them in an ennobling light. Just as there is no way to justify
the slaughter of Jews in the Second World War or the killing of
Palestinians at the hands of Israeli soldiers. There are some
things which lie not just beyond the pale of civilization - a word
in danger of being misused in these trying times - but beyond the
pale of human acceptance.

It is no good therefore for Muslims, wherever they may be, to get
into the game of accusing the US of double standards or of trying
to explain why the US evokes negative feelings in many parts of the
globe. This is not the time for it. For to indulge in such an
exercise now is to play into the hands of the very forces which are
trying to demonize the Muslim world and suggest connections between
Muslim anger and the attacks on the US. There are many charges that
can be levelled against the US. Just as there are many things that
can be said about the Muslim world. But the attacks on the US have
to be seen on their own terms and not against the backdrop of any
wider discontent.

Why then the Osama t-shirts and the accompanying hero worship? The
religious parties live in a world of their own. Much before the
present troubles began they believed that the Taliban had brought
true Islam to Afghanistan. Supporting the Taliban is therefore
entirely consistent with their world view. But what about the rest
of Pakistan? Pakistanis cannot be expected to applaud the bombing
of Afghanistan. But between this and the glorification of Osama
lies a world of difference.

Who should have taken the lead in pointing out this distinction?
Why, the government of Pakistan. But this was hardly possible when
the government was playing as much of a mug's game as the mullahs.
If the mullahs are at one extreme, glorifying Osama, the government
is at another, succumbing to US pressure and accepting every last
American demand without being sure what the quid pro quo will be
for all this scraping and bowing.

That hesitation of any sort would have spelt Pakistan's ruin is an
insidious myth spread as much by the Americans as our own
government. True, we were not asked for help, no such courtesy
being extended to us. We got what was little better than an
ultimatum. Still, if we had said, "We are with you but let us
discuss the details and what all you expect Pakistan to do" - would
we have qualified for punishment by Tomohawk missiles?

The Americans could not have done without the use of Pakistani
facilities. An offer to discuss options would have enhanced, not
diminished, our importance. It could certainly not be read as
refusal. Nor was there any danger of India taking advantage of the
situation and ganging up with the US to flatten our cities (and our
precious nuclear facilities). But like so often before, we sold
ourselves cheaply this time too: throwing away our geographic
indispensability for vague promises of future assistance. Even
streetwalkers, the readiest of them, haggle. On this occasion we
fell below the level of the accredited streetwalker. Now we are
hoping for a major financial bail-out but having put a low value on
ourselves to begin with, we can blame no one else if the US is
taking us for granted. We are in the eye of the storm but with
little control over the action. Does the Pentagon consult us or
give advance warning of its military plans? Do we have any control
over the airbases we have given to the Americans? We said these
would not be used for offensive action. What are the Americans
using Jacobabad, Pasni and Dalbandin for? Not to lift mineral water
into Afghanistan.

There may be some refuge for the wicked, none for the weak or
faint-hearted. What we have been reduced to is to plead our various
concerns: that the war against Afghanistan should be short and
focused; that the Northern Alliance should not be given a free run
to Kabul; that hostilities should end before Ramazan. As if our
reservations matter. As if the Pentagon loses any sleep over them.

Granted these are strange times. The men who carried out the
September 11 attacks may have been infected by a peculiar frenzy
but in what may yet turn out to be their biggest success; they have
passed on a portion of their frenzy to the US as a whole.

Bad as those attacks were, they do not come close to the scale of
so many other tragedies the world witnessed in the last century:
the first great war, the second, the Holocaust, Stalin's purges,
the Chinese dead in the Korean War (nearly half a million), the
American atrocities in Vietnam, the destruction of Cambodia because
of American intervention, Israeli atrocities against the
Palestinians. But because it is the US which is at the receiving
end of this particular tragedy, the entire world is expected to
behave as if the Apocalypse has been at hand.

At Stalin's rallies audiences went on clapping forever, for to be
the first to cease clapping meant a trip to the Gulag. In America's
hour of grief the world is expected to forget history and weep
endlessly, for not to do so risks incurring imperial displeasure.
Just consider why American officials hinted at the possible bombing
of Iraq after the September 11 attacks: because Iraq had not been
sufficiently clear in its condemnation.

In its undoubted grief and agony the US is in danger of forgetting
what the Greeks taught: that hubris, or excessive presumption,
invites retribution. While there is no denying America's distress,
it will only help America's cause if this distress is not clothed
in too excessive an arrogance.

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20011027
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A separate reality
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By Irfan Husain

Over the last few weeks, I have received scores of e-mails from
American readers of this column, asking me to explain why their
country is so hated in much of the Muslim world.

I have tried to answer them by pointing out the dichotomy between
the innate decency of most Americans and the amoral, short-sighted
foreign policy so often followed by their governments in the
pursuit of narrow interests. True, international politics have
little room for morality and decency: the old adage "might is
right" is still the name of the game. Despite the proliferation of
international treaties and organizations, the law of the jungle
still prevails.

We all like to think that the behaviour of nation-states has become
more civilized in the last five decades, but the reality is very
different. If we survey the globe, we find conflagrations
everywhere. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the official
end of the cold war, we deluded ourselves into thinking that
without the rivalry between the two superpowers, the world would be
a safer place. That brief glimpse of a 'peace dividend' evaporated
when that regional thug, Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait and
precipitated the Gulf War.

Briefly, there was talk of a 'New World Order' where there would be
peace imposed by the United Nations backed up by the sole
superpower. But all too soon, the contradiction in selectively
enforcing Security Council resolutions surfaced; people began
asking why Iraq-specific resolutions should be so enthusiastically
and forcefully applied when those relating to other conflicts like
Palestine and Kashmir could be so blatantly ignored. We now have a
situation where the UN is relevant only to the extent it suits the
United States: the current bombing of Afghanistan has no UN
sanction. Indeed, the entire operation has no basis in
international law.

But Washington has never been deterred by such mundane
considerations: it has blithely attacked tiny countries like Panama
and Grenada, mined harbours, backed terrorist groups against
legitimate governments, sanctioned assassinations of leaders,
toppled regimes, all in the name of self-interest. To be fair, it
must be noted that the United States has also given billions as aid
and loans, albeit in the same self-interest. However, over the
years, successive American governments and the media have convinced
the public that they are the good guys, and their country stands
for law and morality the world over.

So when the bloody attacks of September 11 took place, ordinary
Americans were not only horrified by the carnage, but bewildered by
the intensity of the hatred these incidents revealed. This is the
first time in decades that they began looking inward, and asking
why so many terrorists were willing to kill themselves in order to
inflict death and destruction on such an unimaginable scale.
Although their leaders and much of the media have tried to present
the conflict in simplistic, black-and-white terms, many concerned
Americans are trying to grapple with the causes of these attacks
and come to terms with the underlying issues.

They understand that unless they do so, they will remain at risk
and the world will be a dangerous place, even (or specially) for
the sole superpowers.

Americans are justly proud of their freedom of expression, and look
to their media to learn about the world. However, let me reproduce
a few lines from the preface of the ground-breaking book
"Manufacturing Consent: the political economy of the mass media" by
Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky:

"...the democratic postulate is that the media are independent and
committed to discovering and reporting the truth, and that they do
not merely reflect the world as powerful groups wish it to be
perceived. Leaders of the media claim that their news choices rest
on unbiased professional and objective criteria, and they have
support for this contention in the intellectual community. If,
however, the powerful are able to fix the premises of discourse, to
decide what the general populace is allowed to see, hear and think
about, and to 'manage' public opinion by regular propaganda
campaigns, the standard view of how the system works is at serious
odds with reality."

The authors develop their thesis by cataloguing the linkages
between the business groups that control media conglomerates, the
government and academia. Chomsky and Herman argue: "To consolidate
their pre-eminent position as sources, government and business
promoters go to great pains to make things easy for news
organizations...

In effect, the large bureaucracies of the powerful subsidize the
mass media, and gain special access by their contribution to
reducing the media's costs... The media may feel obligated to carry
extremely dubious stories and mute criticism in order not to offend
their sources and disturb a close relationship...."

Although this book appeared in 1988, it was graphically illustrated
for me during the Gulf War as I was in Washington at the beginning
of that conflict. As I scanned channel after channel for some
dissenting view, I was shocked by the uniformity of opinions being
expressed by platoons of so-called experts. The endless panel
discussions merely offered variations on a theme, and that theme
was that war was inevitable, and even desirable. No independent
voices were given time or space by either the mainstream electronic
or print media. And once the bombing began, retired generals and
so-called analysts began falling over themselves in hailing the
American armed forces. It was obvious that if any of them strayed
from the script, he would not be invited back.

This "manufactured consent" made it easy for the elder Bush to
completely crush Iraq while muting any moral qualms about the
slaughter of an estimated two hundred thousand helpless Iraqis.
There was no opposition because there was no debate. And there was
no debate because the media was in bed with the administration.
Fast forward to the 'war against terrorism' currently being waged
in Afghanistan: hardly any mainstream voice is questioning the
campaign and the inevitable civilian casualties it is causing in an
already devastated nation.

As a matter of policy, respected independent figures like Chomsky
himself are denied access to TV talk shows and the op-ed pages of
The New York Times and the Washington Post. Instead, they call on
the services of people who will toe the line and not question the
broad policy, specially in foreign affairs. And since readers and
viewers have been conditioned to accept them as objective experts,
they take what they say as gospel.

Thus, after years of being told that their policies abroad are
righteous and benign, the turmoil in the minds of ordinary
Americans is perfectly understandable. However, now that they have
begun the difficult process of looking beneath the surface, they
will discover that there are other realities and other truths than
the ones they have been spoon-fed all these years.


SPORTS
20011021
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Cricketers dismiss suggestions of foul play
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 20: Pakistan's four frontline cricketers dismissed
World Cup fix allegations while recording their statements before
the one-man commission of Justice Karamat Bhindari in Lahore.

Moin Khan, who was the vice-captain of the World Cup team, Saeed
Anwar, Inzamam-ul-Haq and present skipper Waqar Younis maintained
that Pakistan lost the games just because it was their bad day.
They vehemently dismissed suspicions that Pakistan had deliberately
thrown matches against India and Bangladesh.

Wasim Akram, who was the skipper in 1999, was present in the court.
But his statement would be recorded when the team returns from
Sharjah after appearing in the tri-nation one-day series to be
played between Oct 26 and Nov 4.

Off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq and Pakistan's World Cup coach Mushtaq
Mohammad, who are in England and were also summoned for Saturday's
hearing, have been asked to inform the commission when they are
available to record their statements.

Justice Bhindari, expanding his inquiry, has summoned the scribes
who covered the 1999 event on Oct 27.

MOIN KHAN: Moin Khan disagreed with team manager Dr Zafar Altaf's
observation that substandard pitch was to be blamed for the defeat
against Bangladesh. He told the honourable judge that the captain,
senior players and he himself had decided to chase the target if
Pakistan won the toss.

"We had played four stressful matches before the game against
Bangladesh which we won while defending totals. This time we
decided to chase the target. But I think lost because we bowled
badly," Moin said, while admitting that complacency was the major
factor of team's defeat.

Wasim Akram, in his post-match interview at Northampton, had said
that Pakistan lost to its brothers. When Justice Bhindari sought
Moin's point of view on Akram's statement, Moin said that he didn't
see anything foul in the remarks.

The outspoken Moin blamed former Test cricketers for hurling match-
fixing allegations against current Test players. "When they were in
the team, everything was okay to them. When they lose their places,
they start throwing baseless allegations."

On the match against India at Old Trafford, Moin said Pakistan
players have always played to win. "We tried our best against India
in the World Cup. But I think it was one of our bad days and
nothing more than that."

INZAMAM-UL-HAQ: Inzamam-ul-Haq, during his testimony, suggested
that any player against whom there was slightest of doubt, should
be withdrawn from the Sharjah-bound squad and not allowed to play
until investigations were completed and he given a clean sheet.

Inzamam, on the match against Bangladesh, observed the players
didn't focus themselves on the game. He didn't blame the pitch but
felt that Pakistan buckled under pressure after losing three quick
wickets. "The pitch was normal, but it does always happen whenever
we chase and lose two or three quick wickets we struggle. And that
exactly happened against Bangladesh."

Inzamam complimented Bangladesh for putting up a good show. "It's
not that we didn't bowl well. Bangladesh batsmen batted well
against us.

"As far as game against India is concerned I don't think any
ulterior motive can be attributed to Pakistan team," he concluded.

WAQAR YOUNIS: Waqar Younis told the honourable court that the only
reason for defeat against Bangladesh was complacency and over-
confidence. By the time we realized that the match was slipping out
of hands, it was too late to recover.

"Since it was my first match in the World Cup, I was more concerned
about my own performance. The conditions were overcast and the
skipper (Wasim Akram) thought bowling first was the right choice,"
Waqar said.

On the match against India, Waqar recalled that Pakistan's history
against India in World Cup was not good. Pakistan had also lost
1992 and 1996 World Cup matches to the traditional rivals.

SAEED ANWAR said when Wasim Akram won the toss, the team felt that
they would bundle out Bangladesh for 50/60 runs as the conditions
were ideal and ball was swinging. "But our bowlers couldn't control
the ball."

While agreeing with Justice Bhandari that Pakistan were bad
chasers, Saeed said the decision was also taken keeping in mind
that since tougher matches were in store in the Super Six stage,
the experiment was worth a try.

Saeed said he didn't see any abnormality in the defeat against
India. "Our opponents knew know that we are bad chasers and they
won the toss and we came under pressure while chasing." Explaining
his cheap dismissal in the final when he was out first ball after
changing the grip of the bat, Saeed explained "At that time people
thought that I had been approached by bookmakers. But there was
nothing of that sort of a thing at all.

"I wanted to play the final with the same bat with which I scored
two centuries. But the grip of the bat got loose and that was the
only reason I changed the grip. Unfortunately I got out off the
very next delivery and people started to hurl match-fixing
allegations against me."

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20011021
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Miandad accused players, says Moin
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 20: Former captain Moin Khan admitted to the one-man
inquiry commission of Justice Karamat Bhindari that former coach
Javed Miandad had levelled allegations of betting and match-fixing
against the team.

During his cross-examination and while replying to Abdul Qadir's
query if he had lifted the bat to hit Miandad, Moin said: "That's
not true but it is true that Javed Miandad had accused the team of
fixing the match."

Qadir, who is assisting the inquiry commission, was inquiring about
April's Sharjah Cup match against England. The tour turned out to
the last of Miandad who was forced to resign a couple of weeks
before the commencement of the World Cup.

Pakistan's second round match against England in that Sharjah
tournament is also alleged to have been a fix. Pakistan had already
qualified for the final when they meekly surrendered to England.

Moin, who was then the vice-captain, further told court that
Miandad had accused the team of match-fixing before the toss. "He
created a panic in the dressing room when he (Javed Miandad) said
he knew which players were involved and how they would get out.
"Naturally, Miandad's allegations upset all the senior players. I
was also one of them but it's not correct that I lifted the bat to
hit him."

A petition against Miandad in the Lahore High Court was also
dismissed earlier this week after the former captain said on oath
he never accused the team of fixing matches.

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20011022
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Miandad admits he raised suspicion
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 21: Former coach Javed Miandad Sunday admitted that he
had raised suspicion of foul-play in the 1999 Sharjah Cup match
against England.

"It's true that I was informed by 'sources' that the match had been
fixed. But when I inquired from the players, they rejected the
claims, and I have no reason whatsoever not to trust my players,"
Miandad said from Lahore.

The former captain also said Moin Khan's testimony on Saturday was
spot on. "But the impression being created that I had lied under
oath hurts me. The factual position is that I had informed the then
Pakistan cricket officials and also revealed the same details to
the judicial commission of Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum.

"I have got nothing to hide nor do I have to lie about anything."

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20011023
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Miandad demanded sweeping powers
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Oct 22: A former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) supremo
claimed Javed Miandad had demanded sweeping powers when he was the
coach of the national team in 1999. "Miandad demanded complete
authority to manage the team and that included players of his
choice in the side," former PCB chairman Khalid Mahmood said from
Islamabad.

Miandad resigned in controversial circumstances immediately after
the Sharjah Cup in April and just two weeks before the commencement
of the World Cup. Miandad's issue resurfaced Saturday when former
captain Moin Khan told a one-man inquiry commission that the coach
had raised suspicion of foul-play before the Sharjah Cup game again
England - a claim admitted by Miandad Sunday. But Khalid Mahmood,
while admitting that Miandad's relations had strained with some
senior players, refused to reveal details which led to Miandad's
resignation. He, however, revealed that Miandad had demanded
sweeping powers to manage the team which was rejected outright.

"It was a sensitive issue because only a couple of days before he
had levelled serious charges against some of the team members. The
PCB council, however, decided against accepting Miandad's demands,"
said Khalid Mahmood.

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20011023
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Pakistan whitewash hapless Kenya
-------------------------------------------------------------------
MELBOURNE, Oct 22: Pakistan got off to a confident start with a 3-0
victory over Kenya in the first round of the the world team squash
championship.

Pakistan's Mansoor Zaman, faced no difficulty in disposing off Otto
Kwach 9-0, 9-0, 9-1.

Up-and-coming Shahid Zaman saw off Hartaj Bains 9-0, 9-3, 9-6,
while Aijaz Azmat swamped Rajdeep Bains 9-1, 9-2, 9-1.-AFP

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20011026
-------------------------------------------------------------------
ICC body to review Indian withdrawal
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Correspondent

LAHORE, Oct 25: The Dispute Resolution Committee of the
International Cricket Council (ICC) will also determine the
legitimacy of India's withdrawal from a scheduled tour of Pakistan
earlier this year.

Director of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Brig Munawar Rana,
told a news conference that committee would be constituted soon.

India refused to follow ICC's 10-year plan when it pulled out of
the tour to Pakistan earlier this year for a three-Test series. If
found guilty, India can be penalized upto $2million.

Financial penalties and compensations to host boards were approved
by the executive board of the ICC which met at Kuala Lumpur last
week.

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