------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 22 September 2001 Issue : 07/38 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + FO hopes for swift action by Taliban + No warship in Pakistan waters + Osama advised to leave voluntarily: Shura + No decision yet on use of Pakistan soil: FO + US planning to use Pakistan bases: Post + Taliban offer to hold talks with US: It's time for action: Bush + Religious parties reject president's argument + Wrong step can spell disaster: Musharraf + Pakistan backing US under pressure: CE briefs think tanks + 25 warships near Ormara + Pakistan to wait for US plans: Sattar + No step against country's interest: CE + ISI team back from Afghanistan + Last-ditch effort to ward off impending attack + All measures to be taken to protect country, says CE + Pakistan, Taliban forces take up positions + Taliban threaten war for aiding US + Pakistan not to join operations beyond borders + ARD asks govt to take nation into confidence + Beg warns of threat to nuclear installations + Emergency declared in PTCL + Afghan DPs pose security threat + UN seeks help for DPs + More FC men at Chaman border + Pakistan closes border with Afghanistan: People fleeing Kabul + Movement of Afghan DPs to be restricted + Asif moves court for acquittal in SGS case + Judge refuses to hear Zardari's appeal + SHC orders release of Hakim Zardari + Former FIA chief indicted + Four killed in Karachi: Partial strike across the country + Six killed in Sialkot blast + Badar remanded in custody till Oct 4 --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Debt relief strategy being updated + SBP not mulling cut in discount rate + Talks with IMF to focus on PRGF: Team to visit US soon + Trading in bourses suspended + Petroleum ministry told to be vigilant + SC dismisses ABL plea against share sale + Extension in bourses shutdown feared --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Al-Qaqa Ardeshir Cowasjee + A passion for selling ourselves cheaply Ayaz Amir + Red tide rising Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Ex-Test stars unhappy with ICC's policies + ICC declines to reschedule NZ's tour of Pakistan + Pakistan makes fresh offer to Black Caps + Inzamam and Waqar beef up NBP + India 'preferred' venue for Knockout tournament

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NATIONAL NEWS
20010922
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FO hopes for swift action by Taliban
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 21: The Foreign Office said that President Gen 
Musharraf's call on India to lay off was intended to repudiate the 
vicious propaganda campaign being carried out by India.

The remarks had evoked strong and prompt reactions from Indian 
government and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had threatened 
to discontinue the talks process initiated in Agra. He reportedly 
said that they would have to reconsider their acceptance of 
President Musharraf's invitation to visit Pakistan later this year.

However, the Foreign Office spokesman said Pakistan wanted to hold 
talks with India to address Kashmir and other issues. "Pakistan 
remains interested in the resumption of dialogue," he said. On the 
decree of Afghan Ulema, he hoped that Taliban leadership would take 
prompt action keeping in view the gravity of the situation, which 
was in the interest of Afghanistan and its people and would also 
satisfy the concerns and demands of the international community.

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20010921
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No warship in Pakistan waters
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Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 20: No warship, either of the US or of some other 
country, has entered into Pakistani waters, official sources said.

A number of multinational warships, including those of the US and 
Britain, are at present in the waters of Oman, the sources added. 
These warships are at present stationed 150 nautical miles south of 
Pakistani naval port Ormara.

The vessels of Western countries have been concentrated ahead of a 
possible US-led military strike against land-locked Afghanistan.

When contacted, ISPR spokesman Brig Saulat Raza said that there was 
no warship of any foreign country in the Pakistani waters and none 
of those present outside country's territorial waters was heading 
towards Pakistan at the moment.

According to reports, the US military is in the process of 
deploying a massive armada of planes and ships around the Middle 
East.

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20010921
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Osama advised to leave voluntarily: Shura
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By M. Ismail Khan

PESHAWAR, Sept 20: A meeting of about 600 Afghan Ulema in Kabul 
urged the Taliban to persuade Osama bin Laden to leave Afghanistan 
for a place of his own choosing. The shura also issued a fatwa, 
making it obligatory for all Muslims to wage Jihad against the 
United States and kill those collaborating with it in the event of 
an attack on Afghanistan.

In a resolution adopted at the concluding session of the two-day 
meeting, the Ulema authorized the Islamic Emirate to persuade bin 
Laden to leave Afghanistan on his own accord to a place of his 
choosing within a reasonable time.

The non-binding resolution that would now go to Taliban supreme 
leader Mulla Muhammad Omar for endorsement or otherwise, said the 
Saudi dissident should leave voluntarily so as to arrest the 
present crisis and to prevent such misunderstandings in future.

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20010920
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No decision yet on use of Pakistan soil: FO
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 19: Pakistan said that the United States had not 
shared its "specific plan of action" with it, and it would be 
premature to state if Pakistan would allow its soil to be used for 
mounting attacks on targets inside Afghanistan.

Asked to define its offer of "fullest cooperation," Foreign Office 
spokesman Riaz Mohammad Khan said it was premature to state what 
assistance Pakistan would extend.

He said the government was aware of its responsibilities and it had 
taken political, religious, and opinion-makers into confidence on 
the issue.

The spokesman said that despite the fact that there was a 
difference of opinion as one section was opposed to extending any 
support to the US, there was no possibility of any civil war in the 
country. After examining all pros and cons, the government had made 
a decision and it would stick to that, he stated.

About retaliatory attacks against Pakistan by Taleban in case of US 
strikes from the Pakistan soil, the spokesman said Pakistan had 
stood with Afghanistan in difficult times and it did not expect any 
hostility from Afghanistan. He, however, stated that Pakistan would 
take all necessary steps to protect its interests.

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20010920
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US planning to use Pakistan bases: Post 
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Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Sept 19: The United States is readying plans in 
cooperation with Pakistan for using bases in Pakistan as staging 
grounds for raids into Afghanistan as one of the options now being 
considered by the Pentagon. This is claimed in a report in The 
Washington Post, quoting officials in Islamabad and Washington, but 
stressing that no decisions have yet been made. A possible overseas 
deployment of US troops could begin within weeks.

According to the report, Pakistani officials have said the Bush 
administration has not asked to station a large number of ground 
troops in the country in view of the political sensitivities 
involved. Instead, the US may propose raids by Special Forces on 
suspected terrorists in Afghanistan from troops based outside 
Pakistan and flown to Pakistan at the last moment. Pentagon 
officials are said to be discussing basing some forces abroad navy 
ships in the Arabian Sea and sending them in helicopters to 
Afghanistan. American troops may also be based in Gulf states such 
as Oman and Kuwait.

The report added: "Military planners say a limited ground presence 
will be necessary to command any operation run out of Pakistan, 
including operating a headquarters and basing the Special 
Operations helicopters that would be used for the short trip over 
the border into Afghanistan. Officials said they are planning to 
keep the deployment as 'austere' as possible, with troops living in 
tents, and as many support functions as possible, such as 
intelligence analyses, being carried out elsewhere. .... 'You can 
run a limited war with the facilities that the US Navy has in the 
Arabian Sea,' a senior Pakistani naval official said. 'But they are 
no substitute to a solid support paraphernalia on the ground'."

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20010920
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Taliban offer to hold talks with US: It's time for action: Bush
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ISLAMABAD/WASHINGTON, Sept 19: Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar 
said he was ready to hold talks with the United States, but 
appeared to rule out any swift surrender of Osama bin Laden.

The White House quickly responded that it wanted action, not 
negotiations, saying President George W. Bush expected the Taliban 
to "take the actions necessary to no longer harbour terrorists - 
whatever form that takes".

Omar said, however, that any evidence linking Bin Laden to the 
attacks should be handed over to the Afghan supreme court or to 
religious scholars of three Muslim countries. "We assure the whole 
world that neither Osama nor anyone else can use Afghan territory 
against anyone," he said.

He also suggested the hunt for Osama had other aims. "The enemies 
of this country look on the Islamic system as a thorn in their eye 
and they seek different excuses to finish it off," Omar said. 
"Osama is one of these."

Mullah Omar has called for a jihad against the United States if 
Afghanistan is attacked. The AIP said the Kabul gathering, a shura 
of scholars, was expected to take a final decision on Osama bin 
Laden's fate in accordance with Islamic law.

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20010921
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Religious parties reject president's argument
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Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Sept 20: Rejecting President Gen Pervez Musharraf's 
arguments for his pro-US policy, the religious parties declared 
they would go ahead with their agitation plan announced earlier. 
They said the strategy preferred by the military government could 
not safeguard national interests.

The Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-i-Azam), meanwhile, strongly 
supported the course of action announced by the president in his 
address to the nation.

Pakistan and Afghanistan Defence Council Chairman and JUI(S) 
President Maulana Samiul Haq said by telephone the president did 
not say anything new in his address to the nation. He rejected the 
pleas taken by Gen Pervez Musharraf regarding his government's 
strategy to tackle the situation. "One should not surrender before 
the enemy in the name of seeing reason. One should not also offer 
one's country to the enemy in a platter. The government must show 
courage and in this case, we will face hardships and problems but 
save our country."

Maulana Sami said the nation would lose heart if the government 
showed "sagacity." If the army chief started showing wisdom the US 
would practically occupy Pakistan, he said. He said allowing 
America to use facilities in Pakistan would destabilize the region. 
In that case America would directly watch Central Asia, China, Iran 
and Pakistan.

"America has never left the land it has stepped on and it will 
further destroy our economy besides creating other problems if 
allowed to use Pakistan's territory," he said.

The Maulana said it was required to ask America as to why it wanted 
to use Pakistan for settling its differences with the Taliban. It 
was also required to be informed that Pakistan condemned terrorism 
and was itself a victim of it.

He said through his address the president gave the impression that 
he was siding with America. But the examples quoted by him from the 
early Islamic history were not relevant as the agreements he 
mentioned were made to calm down the anti-Islam forces. But, he 
said, the present situation was different. Now an un-Islamic 
country wanted to use a Muslim country (Pakistan) to destroy 
another Muslim country (Afghanistan).

"There is no such example in the Islamic history and right now 
America wants Pakistan to serve as a hired assassin," he said. He 
said the strike his organization had planned for Sept 21 was aimed 
at giving courage to the government and not creating any law and 
order situation or to seek any political benefit. He appealed to 
the people to observe the strike.

Pakistan Awami Tehrik chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri supported the 
president and said the government's strategy was the best and 
according to the situation, averting the danger of war at least for 
the time being.

He said India and Israel were striving to get Pakistan declared as 
a terrorist state, targeting its nuclear capability. The 
government's strategy was the best to tackle the prevailing 
situation. "We support all steps and decisions by the government 
and condemn every measure, attempt and demonstration that endangers 
the solidarity of the country," Dr Qadri said.

He said all political and religious parties should see the reason 
and back the government "otherwise the history will not forgive us 
for any wrong decision."

JUP Vice-President Gen K. M. Azhar (retired) said Gen Pervez 
Musharraf should take such a decision that could strengthen Islam 
and Pakistan and create unity among the nation.

Punjab JUP General Secretary Qari Zawwar Bahadur said Pakistan must 
take a courageous stand.

JUI amir Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that Gen Musharraf had 
demoralized the nation. Wisdom, of which the president talked so 
much, the maulana said, did not mean that people should be 
terrorized into submission. Also, he said, it was not fair on the 
part of the general to define the national interest the way he 
liked it.

The maulana said the president claimed that he was trying to save 
the independence and sovereignty of the country, but the same would 
be gone once the US was allowed to use Pakistan's soil and other 
facilities against Afghanistan.

He said it was a miscalculation of the government that by adopting 
a pro-US policy it would be able to save the nuclear installations 
or maintain its stand on the Kashmir issue. This policy, he warned, 
would hot up Pakistan's western borders and create unrest at home. 
Referring to the saying of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) quoted by the 
president, Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the treaties signed by the 
Prophet (PBUH) were to save Islam while Gen Musharraf's strategy 
would weaken the same.  He said religious parties would launch a 
movement against the government from Friday.

Jamaat-i-Islami Secretary-General Syed Munawwar Hasan said it was a 
speech by a defeated general who was out to defend the US interests 
more than the interests of his own country. "Well not let him do 
that. We'll launch an unprecedented agitation both against the US 
and its supporters here. We'll also call upon the army to give the 
right advice to Gen Musharraf".

The JI leader said Gen Musharraf had distorted facts and his speech 
writer did not seem to have much acquaintance with the Islamic 
history. Alleging that the US wanted to start an Iraq-like war in 
Afghanistan, Syed Munawwar Hasan said Gen Musharraf should not take 
dictation from the US. He said all decisions should not be left to 
one individual.

Dr Israr Ahmad termed the president's address disappointing and 
said his argument were generally against the facts. He said Gen 
Pervez Musharraf claimed that the US war was limited to Osama bin 
Laden, the Taliban and terrorism. He said contention was against 
the statement of president George W. Bush who termed the war as a 
"Crusade".

Dr Israr also contested Gen Musharraf's argument that his decision 
was in conformity with the injunctions of Islam. The president 
should have consulted the Council of Islamic Ideology before making 
such a claim, he concluded.

Maulana Akram Awan said the president's address reflected his fear 
of America. It was not wisdom to accept Osama bin Laden without any 
proof. The president should seek from America the proof of bin 
Laden's involvement in terrorism and try to convince the Taliban.

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20010920
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Wrong step can spell disaster: Musharraf
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 19: President Gen Pervez Musharraf said that 
Pakistan's existence, its economic revival, its defence of nuclear 
installations and the Kashmir cause were the four critical concerns 
that had made him extend support to the United States.

"I am a sipah salaar of Pakistan's armed forces and I will defend 
my country first, then comes anything else," President Musharraf 
said in a televised address to the nation. He told the nation that 
the US had demanded intelligence information, use of Pakistani 
airspace and logistic support in its anticipated attack on 
Afghanistan.

So far, the president said, the United States had not made any 
operational plans nor had it informed Pakistan about the specific 
support it required from Pakistan. "What we know is that the United 
States has the support of the United Nations, and that the UN 
General Assembly and Security Council have passed resolutions in 
this regard."

He said the government decision was in conformity with the tenets 
of Islam and the principles of justice. "Where national interests 
are at stake, the decision should be taken with wisdom and 
sagacity," he said, adding, "it was not the question of cowardice 
or bravery."

The president said his initial response to this situation was also 
aggressive but he gave it a cool thought as "bravery without an 
element of wisdom is foolishness". The nation, he said, was passing 
through the most critical phase since 1971. "Our decision will have 
far-reaching consequences for the country. Any wrong decision can 
spell disaster for the country's existence and jeopardize it's 
critical concern, including nuclear installations and Kashmir 
cause."

A correct decision, he pointed out, could yield positive results, 
and claimed that because of this decision Pakistan could emerge as 
a responsible and dignified nation and solve its problems.

CONSULTATION: The president said that he had consulted a cross 
section of society, including services chiefs, members of the 
National Security Council, the cabinet, politicians, religious 
scholars, think tanks, former foreign ministers and retired army 
generals, as he had done before attending the Agra summit.

He said he intended to meet tribal chiefs to exchange views with 
them. The president noted that the opinion on the issue of 
extending support to the United States was divided. However, he 
said, a predominant majority was of the view that the government 
should demonstrate patience while a negligible number of people who 
were not more than 10 to 15 per cent of those consulted, appeared 
"sentimental".

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20010919
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Pakistan backing US under pressure: CE briefs think tanks
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 18: President Gen Pervez Musharraf said that the 
decision to extend "unstinting support" to the United States had 
been taken under tremendous pressure.

Talking to Dawn, Gen (retd) Mirza Aslam Baig quoted the president 
as having revealed that the US authorities had asked the latter to 
reply in definite terms whether Pakistan was a friend or foe of the 
United States.

The president apprised the select gathering that the US authorities 
had conveyed in categorical terms that Islamabad's decision would 
determine its future relationship with Washington.

President Musharraf said the US had fixed a tight deadline for 
meeting its demands of extending support, including the use of 
Pakistan's airspace, logistics and intelligence information, in its 
fight against terrorism.

A refusal could have serious consequences for the country, and 
there were fears of direct military action by a coalition of United 
States, India and Israel against Afghanistan and Pakistan, the 
president said.

The participants were informed by the president that he had talked 
to leaders of friendly countries, including Saudi Arabia and UAE, 
and was also in touch with Iran and other countries.

Some of the participants were of the view that the president should 
have consulted a cross section of society before taking any 
decision.

Those who were invited were Sahibzada Yaqoob Ali Khan, Agha Shahi, 
Dr Bhatti, Dr Mubashir, Air Vice Marshal (retd) Ayaz, Lt-Gen 
Nishat, Lt-Gen Lodhi, Sartaj Aziz, Gen (retd) K.M. Arif, Dr Rifat 
Hussain and Laiq Ahmed.

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20010918
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25 warships near Ormara
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Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 17: About 25 French, British and US warships are in 
the waters off Oman in the Arabian Gulf. It has been learnt from 
some well placed sources that these warships are at present 
stationed 150 nautical miles south of Pakistani naval port Ormara.

The vessels of Western countries have been concentrated ahead of a 
possible US-led military strike against land-locked Afghanistan.

When contacted, the ISPR said it could not confirm the number of 
ships in that area. It added that of these ships, British vessels 
had been conducting some exercises in that area for some time. The 
ISPR spokesman, however, clarified that none of those ships was 
heading towards Pakistan.

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20010918
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Pakistan to wait for US plans: Sattar
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ISLAMABAD, Sept 17: Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar reiterated 
Pakistan's full cooperation in the fight against terrorism and said 
Islamabad would wait to know Washington's plans in this regard.  
"Pakistan will extend full cooperation in the fight against 
terrorism," the foreign minister said in an interview with CNN.

As for the specifics, he said Pakistan expected consultations and 
"we understand from the news that a group of high-level officials 
from the United States will be visiting Pakistan in near future."

"We would also like to know the plans that the United States has in 
mind and then we will discuss that to what extent Pakistan can be a 
partner in the fight against terrorism," Ms Sattar said.

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20010918
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No step against country's interest: CE
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 17: President Gen Pervez Musharraf has said that in 
the situation prevailing due to the terrorist attacks in America, 
no step would be taken without taking the nation into confidence.

Talking to Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan chief of AJK Muslim Conference, 
who called on him, the president further said that the nation 
should rest assure that no step would be initiated against the 
solidarity, sovereignty and security of the country.

Gen Musharraf said that in the current situation every step would 
be taken keeping the national interests high. He said that his 
government was fully aware of the sentiments of the masses and it 
will not fail the nation in taking any decision which was against 
the integrity and welfare of the people.

He said that the government had sought consultation with the 
political leadership on every important issue and had implemented 
their positive proposals. He referred to the consultations with the 
politicians before embarking upon Agra summit which provided a firm 
basis to him for going to talks with the Indian leaders.

The president said that the country was passing through most 
delicate time of its history when it needed unity more than any 
time in the past. He assured his guest that the government was 
determined to keep the national interest high while taking any 
decision and expressed his confidence that the nation will show a 
sense of unison with the government in its decision in the interest 
of the country.

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20010919
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ISI team back from Afghanistan
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By Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Sept 18: The high-level delegation led by ISI Chief Lt. 
Gen. Mahmood came back, leaving Taliban behind mussing over tough 
choices which would be further discussed at a meeting of 600 Afghan 
clerics in Kabul.

No official announcement about the outcome of two-days discussions 
with the Taliban in Kandahar and Kabul was made after the arrival 
of the delegation. When contacted a highly placed government source 
said no official announcement was expected till a decision was made 
from Afghan Shura which is reportedly meeting in Kabul. 

"The delegation went to Afghanistan not for negotiations but to 
impress upon the Kabul regime the gravity of the situation," 
Foreign Office Spokesman Riaz Ahmed Khan told a news briefing 
earlier in the day.

Unconfirmed reports said the Taliban had set three conditions 
including lifting of UN sanctions, commitment of financial 
assistance for restructuring of war ravaged country and trial of 
Osama bin Lander in a neutral country for handing over the Saudi 
millionaire and alleged prime suspect in World Trade Centre and 
Pentagon incidents.

The foreign office spokesman did not offer any comment on the 
outcome of the talks or the three conditions reportedly set by 
Taliban.

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20010917
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Last-ditch effort to ward off impending attack
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Special Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Sept 16: Pakistan hopes to convince the Taliban to hand 
over Osama bin Laden in a last-ditch effort to ward off an 
impending US-led allied attack on Afghanistan, but deteriorating 
relations between the two leave very little hope that the 
initiative will be successful.

The Musharraf government has absolutely no doubt in its mind that 
the US holds Osama and his protector, Mulla omar, fully responsible 
for the Sept 11 kamikaze attacks on the World Trade Center and the 
Pentagon. It is sending a high-ranking delegation to meet Mulla 
Umar, headed by General Mehmood of the Inter Services Intelligence 
(ISI), to underline the point that the impending attack can destroy 
Afghanistan totally, and lead to a human catastrophe of 
unimaginable scale.

General Mehmood, who was in Washington when the US faced its 
morning of terror, has been conveyed in no uncertain terms by the 
US officials what the mood in the United States is.

Pakistan's plea is that while it is difficult choice for the 
Taliban but the costs of persisting with holding on to the line 
that proof of Osama's crime has to be produced before them to 
enable them to take a decision on the issue, will be death and 
destruction, and eventual fall of the Taliban government.

At present according to government sources, the US does not make a 
difference between Mulla Umar's men and Osama bin Laden unless the 
Taliban supreme leader severs his links with him and hands him over 
to the US. For Pakistan the considerations behind making the 
desperate effort to convince the Taliban to show flexibility are 
domestic, regional and global. 

Pakistani decision-makers are worried about a severe domestic 
backlash from the Taliban lobbies in the mosques and the bazaars. 
Sunday's rallies all over the country - more are planned today -- 
against the anticipated US strikes are just a tip of the iceberg of 
larger trouble that can erupt when the US military operation 
starts. That is why all the law-enforcement agencies have been 
given additional powers and a fully-fledged internal security plan, 
prepared at General Headquarters, and approved by President Gen 
Pervez Musharraf has been put in place. The governors of all four 
provinces, along with the respective area corps commanders, have 
been readied to meet with any exceptional law and order situation 
with standing orders to use force where necessary. Even more 
stringent measures have been taken for Karachi and the border areas 
of the NWFP and Balochistan, where the Afghan refugees are present 
in the thousands.

Special monitoring and surveillance of the sectarian groups is 
being done and all possibilities of a nation-wide reaction by 
religious parties have been worked out. But still fears are that 
this may not be enough. The Taliban threat delivered by their 
ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdus Salam Zaeef on Saturday of 
invading any regional country that will provide bases or air space 
to the American-led strike force, has been taken seriously by the 
government.

Pakistan officials say that they are extremely disappointed with 
this statement. They see this as audacious and uncalled for and a 
sad reflection on the sense of gratitude that the Taliban should 
have, considering that Pakistan, at grave risk to its own image, 
has been sticking its neck out for them.

More than that Pakistani officials see in the threat a real 
potential for the Taliban in a moment of crisis using their Madaris 
links inside Pakistan to create upheaval and unrest. Pakistan 
officials also believe that there is a real danger of sectarian 
terrorism erupting in the wake of the strikes because the Taliban 
continue to harbor some of the most wanted sectarian criminals on 
their soil. The other danger to which the Musharraf government is 
paying attention to is that of random terrorism of the sort that 
Pakistan has experienced emanating primarily from Afghanistan. In 
the 80s and early 90s Pakistan cities and bazaars were repeatedly 
hit by bombs that went off in crowded places killing hundreds of 
people.

However, Pakistan's biggest threat comes not from the ordinary 
Taliban or sympathisers of Osama bin Laden, but from that close 
circuit of friends who have the resources to carry out massive 
operations inside its territory. If the case that the US is 
building against Osama bin Laden has any factual basis, Pakistan is 
the most vulnerable state in the world to terrorism. That is why, 
some government military observers believe, intelligence sharing 
with the US is of vital importance. Because it will be Pakistan 
that will have to deal with the blow-back of the inferno that 
Afghanistan will become when the military operation starts against 
Afghanistan.

Just as worrying are regional concerns for the Musharraf 
government. Pakistan is mortally fearful of the possibility of the 
facilities that it will grant to the US troops being misused. 
Military analysts admit that Pakistan will bear the brunt of a 
fully-fledged military operation in its neighbourhood because of 
its geo-graphic proximity to Afghanistan.

More precisely, when the operation starts the sheer scale of it and 
the confusion it may generate can afford, according to senior 
military officials, an opportunity to take the risk of sabotaging 
Pakistan's strategic assets - the nuclear installations. This is 
the reason why extra measures have been taken to guard these 
installations and the air force has been instructed to hunt down 
any aerial danger in Pakistan's air-space.

The details of which air-path can be used by the US-led forces have 
been worked out and there are other routes that are out-bounds for 
any alien aircraft. Pakistan policy-makers are also concerned about 
the possibility of an accidental or misfired hit at any of 
Pakistan's vital installations. Modern weapons especially aerial 
weapons that can move in all the wrong directions.

Pakistan is equally concerned over the new political arrangement in 
Afghanistan. The strikes are surely going to leave the Taliban 
totally destroyed. For decades Pakistan has invested in the policy 
of having a friendly government in Afghanistan, and the Taliban, 
when they had not become an international pariah, were the closest 
it could come to that idea.

However, with the Taliban likely to be destroyed as a political 
entity in the wake of the strikes and the movement disintegrating 
along its tribal and local lines, the emerging scenario can lead to 
a political arrangement that would not be according to the wish 
list of Pakistan.

Pakistan officials still hope that they will be able to have a say 
in the final shape of the new Afghanistan government -- if it did 
come to that point. In fact this is one of the many issues that 
Pakistan has put forward to the US in its on-going discussions with 
Washington.

However, it is not sure yet what will be the response of the 
international community, particularly the US, to Pakistan playing 
such a role because of late Islamabad has been, rightly or wrongly, 
seen by a majority of the countries around the world as part of the 
problem in Afghanistan.

But the most immediate concern for the Musharraf government is the 
US pressure. Close associates of President General Pervez Musharraf 
say that he is under tremendous pressure because "events are moving 
at a bewildering pace." Saturday night's telephone call from the US 
President George Bush was not just to thank him on his support but 
to also ask what has Pakistan decided on providing logistical 
assistance to the military operation. The US is not keeping 
according to the schedule of Pakistan's final decision; it wants a 
decision and a final detailed yes according to its own plans - not 
all of which have been shared with Pakistan.

Pakistan according to some officials wants the US to also provide 
it with some incentives: economic and military assistance, removal 
of sanctions, debt relief, active role in helping it to solve the 
Kashmir problem and no role of India and Israel in this military 
operation.

However, the signals from Washington are that while these demands 
will be considered sympathetically, at this point in time the only 
incentive that is available to Pakistan is negative. "Pakistan has 
the option to live in the 21st century or the Stone Age" is roughly 
how US officials are putting their case.

The pressure is being added by advice from Saudi Arabia and other 
Gulf countries that have sent message and emissaries to convey 
their sentiments to General Pervez Musharraf. Against this 
background, Pakistan's best hope is that its delegation will come 
back with the good news of Taliban changing its position on Osama 
bin Laden.

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20010917
-------------------------------------------------------------------
All measures to be taken to protect country, says CE 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 16: The Jamaat-i-Islami and two factions of Jamiat-
i-Ulema Islam at a meeting of political and religious parties with 
President Gen. Pervez Musharraf opposed the government's decision 
to extend support to the United States for launching an attack 
against Afghanistan, official sources said.

Except for the three right wing parties having close connections 
with Taliban all other main stream political parties supported 
government's decision to lend support to international community in 
fight against terrorism, an official source said.

"Barring for these three parties there was a general consensus 
among the parties that the government is on the right course," the 
source said.

A source said that the president informed the leaders about a 
delegation being sent to Kandahar for talks with Taliban. ISI Chief 
Gen. Mehmud who had returned from the United States on Saturday 
would head the delegation which would leave for Kandahar. Moreover 
he also briefed the leaders about the discussions held with the US 
authorities.

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20010917
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Pakistan, Taliban forces take up positions
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By M. Ismail Khan

PESHAWAR, Sept 16: The Pakistani and Taliban border forces have 
taken up positions at the Pakistan-Afghan border at Torkham as 
tension rises amid threats of war by the puritanical militia to 
neighbouring countries that facilitated a US attack on Afghanistan.

The Taliban border-guards have installed 12.7mm anti-aircraft guns 
close to the border with Pakistan. The guns which have a straight 
shooting range of two kilometres and four kilometres in the air 
have been installed near the Taliban's intelligence offices close 
to the main gates of the check post and the customs offices.

"The light anti-aircraft guns may not mean much in military terms 
but this is something very symbolic," a government official 
commented. "The guns have been positioned in the direction of 
Pakistan and this means something," he remarked.

The Pakistani paramilitary forces, the Khyber Rifles, which man the 
Pakistan-Afghan border at Torkham, have also taken up positions.

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20010916
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Taliban threaten war for aiding US
-------------------------------------------------------------------
KABUL, Sept 15: The Taliban threatened Pakistan with a "massive 
attack" if it helped the United States launch military strikes on 
Afghanistan in retaliation for suicide bombings in New York and 
Washington.

The militia said it would regard such cooperation as an act of war. 
"The possibility of a massive attack by our Mujahideen cannot be 
ruled out if any neighbouring country offers its ground or air 
bases to US forces," a statement of the Afghan foreign ministry 
said.

"It's possible that we will invade any country that provides access 
to the US. Our Mujahideen will force their way into their 
territory. "The responsibility for the grave consequences and 
instability of the region would then rest with them."

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20010916
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan not to join operations beyond borders
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Sept 15: Pakistan announced that it would extend full 
cooperation to the international community in its fight against 
terrorism without involving its forces in any action beyond its 
geographical boundaries.

"Pakistan does not envisage taking part in any military operation 
outside its borders," Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar told a news 
conference held at the foreign office after a four-hour joint 
meeting of the National Security Council and federal cabinet.

"The NSC and the federal cabinet reached consensus on the policy of 
lending full support to the world community in combating 
international terrorism," Mr Sattar said.

Mr Sattar said President Musharraf would take the nation into 
confidence through consultation with the leaders of public opinion, 
including politicians.

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20010916
-------------------------------------------------------------------
ARD asks govt to take nation into confidence
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Sept 15: In the absence of any information from the 
government on demands made by the United States from Pakistan in 
the wake of terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre, New York, 
and the Pentagon, the Alliance for Restoration of Democracy 
declared that the government alone would be responsible for the 
consequences of any decision taken by it to meet the situation.

The alliance demanded that political leaders should be taken into 
confidence to evolve national consequences to which PML (N) acting 
president Makhdoom Javed Hashmi immediately added that national 
consensus would not be possible unless former prime ministers Nawaz 
Sharif and Ms Benazir Bhutto were allowed to return to the country 
and join the process of consultations.

He alleged that the government had already taken necessary 
decisions to deal with the post-attacks situation but it was 
deliberately keeping the nation in the dark. ARD President 
Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan opposed the reported US demand that 
Pakistan should give bases to enable American troops to take action 
against those responsible for the cataclysmic attacks.

"We had opposed such a decision in the past, and we'll again oppose 
it now (if it is under consideration)", the senior leader said.

The meeting was held at the Defence residence of PML (N) leader 
Begum Tehmina Daultana and leaders of almost all component parties 
participated.

The Nawabzada recalled that he had vehemently opposed the 
permission to deploy the UN monitors on the Pakistan-Afghanistan 
border as the step amounted to infringement of Afghanistan's 
sovereignty. He said such teams could not be expected to confine 
themselves on keeping an eye on Afghanistan, but could also work 
against Pakistan.

The ARD president said terrorist attacks on the WTC and the 
Pentagon were condemnable and they had confronted Pakistan with 
altogether a new situation. To be able to reach a right decision to 
meet the challenge, he said, the government should take the nation 
into confidence.

He said religious minorities in Pakistan should be given full 
protection to save them from any possible reaction triggered by the 
situation.

Javed Hashmi said if a world system was evolved to deal with the 
menace of terrorism and its rules were also equally applicable to 
the United States, there would be no harm in Pakistan becoming a 
part of the mechanism. However, he said, there should be no 
discrimination against any country, and the proposed setup should 
also address the situation prevailing in occupied Kashmir and 
Palestine.

The Nawabzada said it was strange that the United States had yet to 
identify people responsible for the Sept 11 attacks, but it had 
started making various kinds of demands from Pakistan.

ARD Secretary-General Iqbal Zafar Jhagra said the alliance would 
hold workers conventions in all four provinces.  He said initially 
nine cities had been selected for these conventions, dates for 
which would be decided by the relevant provincial organizations of 
the alliance.

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20010916
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Beg warns of threat to nuclear installations
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Sept 15: Pakistan cannot afford to allow the United States 
to use its facilities for attacks on Kabul, former army chief Gen 
Mirza Aslam Beg (retired) said. Talking to newsmen, he said if the 
government took such a decision, the nation would reject it and 
rise against it. He warned that there was a serious threat to 
Pakistan's nuclear installations.

Gen Beg recalled that Pakistan had twice cooperated in the past 
with the United States. He said on both occasions it was a net 
loser. He said Pakistan had extended the fullest cooperation to the 
US against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. But the day the 
defunct USSR pulled out its troops, the USA turned its back both on 
Pakistan and Afghanistan. Then, he said, Pakistan stood on the side 
of the US during the Gulf War, but the result was no different.

According to him the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the 
Pentagon had exposed the vulnerability of the security system of 
the United States and exploded the myth of the so-called super 
power.

A country which could not challenge the aircraft hitting the WTC 
nor could take any other step to prevent the damage had implicated 
Afghanistan and Osama Bin Laden within 24 hours. He said the US had 
no evidence against Osama or Afghanistan, but the media had created 
an atmosphere against them. "This is a trick to achieve a 
particular objective".

He said it was not fair on the part of the United States to treat 
Pakistan like a client state.

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20010917
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Emergency declared in PTCL 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 16: Paramilitary forces were deployed at all 
sensitive communication installations in the country after an 
emergency was declared on the Pakistan Telecommunication Company 
Limited.

Well-placed sources in Islamabad said the emergency had been 
declared and, the staff of the PTCL had been put on high alert 
following the situation that had arisen out of the United States' 
intended military strikes on Afghanistan.

The sources said that all heads in the provincial, divisional and 
sub-divisional offices of the PTCL had been asked to remain ready 
round the clock.

Other important installations and the gateway exchanges are also 
being guarded by paramilitary troops, the sources added.

The directives, issued to the PTCL staff had also restricted them 
from sanctioning leave to its workers. However, no instructions 
were issued about those already on leave.

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20010921
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Afghan DPs pose security threat
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, Sept 20: Thousands of armed Afghan refugees living in 
several parts of the NWFP, particularly in Peshawar, appeared to be 
a major source of concern for the provincial government, according 
to official sources.

Senior provincial government authorities told Dawn that though they 
don't expect an attack on the Pakistan territory by Taliban in the 
near future following the possible retaliatory US attacks on 
Afghanistan, thousands of armed Afghans - refugees and other 
Afghans - living in several parts of the province appeared to be 
the real source of concern for the provincial government.

The armed Afghan fighters, present in large number in the refugee 
camps and other residential areas in and around Peshawar, said the 
sources, could create law and order problem in the provincial 
capital.

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20010921
-------------------------------------------------------------------
UN seeks help for DPs
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 20: The United Nations agencies in Pakistan have 
called for assistance from world governments and donor community to 
deal with a developing regional humanitarian crisis where six 
million people face pre-famine conditions and 1.1 million are 
internally displaced.

Three United Nations agencies, the World Food Program, United 
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the United Nations 
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (UNOCHA), in 
a joint press conference at the United Nations Information Centre 
here, highlighted the risks to human life and a refugee crisis 
which can effect the entire region.

The Afghans have been placed at an additional risk as a result of 
the repercussions of the September 11 attacks on the US, UNOCHA 
said.

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20010921
-------------------------------------------------------------------
More FC men at Chaman border
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Saleem Shahid

QUETTA, Sept 20: The government has deployed more personnel of the 
Frontier Corps at the international border with Afghanistan to 
observe complete closure of the border at Chaman.

After sealing the border with Afghanistan the Pakistani authorities 
have put barricades and erected barbed-wire along with Afghan 
border to restrict the new influx of Afghan refugees who were 
arriving in thousand in Weesh to enter Pakistani border town 
Chaman.

The Frontier Corps personnel were also seen patrolling along with 
the border area with heavy machine guns fitted at vehicles. "We 
have called out more FC men at the border just to tighten the 
security at the border," a senior border security official said 
adding that horse raiding FC men were also deployed at the border 
to keep a vigilant eye on the other side of the international 
border.

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20010918
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan closes border with Afghanistan: People fleeing Kabul
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By M. Ismail Khan

PESHAWAR, Sept 17: Pakistan placed a complete ban on the entry of 
Afghan nationals following a report from Kabul that the city had 
largely become deserted.

"No Afghan national shall be allowed even with valid travel 
passport and visa," a short order issued by the NWFP home and 
tribal affairs department said.

The order was issued to the Commandant Frontier Corps, whose forces 
control and command the Durand Line and the political 
administrations governing the tribal agencies straddling along the 
porous borders. It, however, said that Afghans proceeding to their 
country would be allowed to go back.

The Commissionerate for the Afghan Refugees which looks after the 
1.2 million refugees in the province, has issued another order, 
suspending the issuance of cross-border permits to refugees. The 
order shall remain enforced for 15 days.

The border, however, is not sealed as goods covered under the trade 
regime are being allowed to go through, a senior official at the 
home and tribal affairs department said.

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20010917
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Movement of Afghan DPs to be restricted
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Intikhab Amir

PESHAWAR, Sept 16: The NWFP government has decided to restrict the 
movement of Afghans and confine refugees in their camps set up in 
several parts of the province in addition to increasing security 
personnel's deployment at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border to curb 
infiltration of unauthorized Afghans to this side of the border, 
senior government officers told Dawn.

A state of emergency prevailed in the provincial capital where 
senior officers of the NWFP government and 11 Corps, remained busy 
doing the needful as tension built up due to the possible US 
retaliatory strikes on Afghanistan and its repercussions for 
Pakistan, in general, and the NWFP in particular.

Security has been beefed up in and around Afghan refugees' camps in 
and outside Peshawar and contingents of police have been deployed 
around the Jallozai makeshift camp, Shamshato camp and Nasir Bagh 
refugee camp to keep a close eye on refugees' movement. Besides, 
security has also been strengthened at all the sensitive buildings, 
military and civil installations, public places, important roads, 
squares in Peshawar as part of the government's precautionary 
measures to get ready for meeting any eventuality.

Meanwhile, an official handout said the government has decided to 
set up an operation room in the Home and Tribal Affairs department, 
NWFP, "warranted by the tense situation. The Governor said that the 
law enforcing agencies should develop close coordination to 
effectively meet any eventuality," the handout said.

The provincial government has also constituted two teams to 
establish contacts with the tribal elders and notables from Fata 
for the maintenance of law and order in the tribal areas.

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20010922
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Asif moves court for acquittal in SGS case
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Nasir Iqbal 

ISLAMABAD, Sept 21: Asif Ali Zardari has submitted an application 
before a Rawalpindi accountability court for his acquittal in the 
SGS pre-shipment inspection contract case praying that any retrial 
would amount to double jeopardy.

The application had been moved under Article 13 of the Constitution 
which guarantees protection against double punishment and self-
incrimination.

Article 13 of the Constitution also states that no person shall be 
prosecuted or punished for the same offence more than once or 
shall, when accused of an offence, be compelled to be a witness 
against himself.

The accused stated that he had already completed five years 
sentence, awarded by the Rawalpindi Ehtesab Bench of the Lahore 
High Court.

Mr Zardari has been kept in a room of the Pakistan Institute of 
Medical Sciences (PIMS), after declaring it a sub-jail, since 
February, 2001. Earlier he was kept at the Karachi Central Jail 
since 1996.

An ehtesab bench, led by former Lahore High Court Chief Justice 
Malik Qayyum, had awarded Mr Zardari five years imprisonment with a 
fine of $8.6 million on April 15, 1999. The judge had also 
disqualified the former senator as a member of the parliament.

Prominent lawyer Hafiz Pirzada, who had also pleaded the case of 
the accused before the LHC ehtesab bench, is representing him in 
the accountability court.

Since he was busy in the Supreme Court on Friday, the hearing was 
put off for September 28, on which the application of Mr Zardari 
would be discussed.

The former premier, Benazir Bhutto, and Asif Zadari are being 
retried in the SGS case. The Supreme Court on April 6, 2001 had 
declared the LHC verdict biased and ordered for retrial of the 
accused.

The SGS reference was sent to the Lahore High Court, Rawalpindi 
Bench, which was later referred to the Rawalpindi accountability 
court for retrial.

The couple has been accused of getting six per cent commission of 
the total revenue of preshipment for awarding the contract to the 
Societe Generale Survillence (SGS).

The commission was paid to an offshore company, Bomer Finance Inc 
allegedly owned by Asif Ali Zardari, through his fiduciary agent 
Jens Schlegelmilch.

The ultimate beneficiaries of the commission were Asif Ali Zardari 
and Benazir Bhutto, the prosecution alleged. Meanwhile the earlier 
notices issued to the respondents for the appearance in the court 
could not be served as majority of them lives abroad.

The other respondents in the case are: former Central Board of 
Revenue (CBR) chairman A.R. Siddiqui; Jens Schlegelmilch of 
Switzerland; the then SGS vice-president, Colin Robey; the then SGS 
managing-director, Oliver De Breakeleer; three operation managers, 
Michael Lysewyes, Mickael Warrow and David Murray; two managers, R. 
Rijken and Ms Andrea Ralp.

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20010918
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Judge refuses to hear Zardari's appeal
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Sept 17: A division bench of the Lahore High Court declined 
to hear an appeal filed by former MNA Hakim Ali Zardari against his 
conviction by an accountability court.

Mr Zardari was sentenced to one and a half year's imprisonment and 
a fine of Rs20 million for misuse of authority as chairman of the 
National Assembly's public accounts committee. He secured a loan 
from the National Development Finance Corporation for a petrol pump 
in the tourist village project but did not utilize it.

Mr Zardari says the loan was repaid and that a reference based on 
the same charge was dismissed by the Lahore High Court.

As the appeal came up before a bench comprising Justices Mian Nazir 
Akhtar and Mian Najamuzzaman, the latter recalled that he had 
prosecuted the reference as public prosecutor and it would not be 
proper for him to hear the case. The appellant's counsel, Barrister 
Saleem Sahgal, expressed his confidence in the bench but the judge 
remained firm on the question of propriety. The appeal will now be 
heard by the other bench adjudicating appeals against 
accountability court decisions.

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20010921
-------------------------------------------------------------------
SHC orders release of Hakim Zardari
-------------------------------------------------------------------
KARACHI, Sept 20: A division bench of Sindh High Court while 
granting petition of ex-MNA Hakim Ali Zardari directed that he 
should be set at liberty on Sept 24 if not required in any other 
case.

The bench comprised Justice Sabeehuddin Ahmed and Justice S Ali 
Aslam Jaffery.

The petitioner had prayed that pending the decision of appeal filed 
by him against a verdict of the Accountability Court of Lahore he 
was entitled to remission granted to persons aged 65 and above.

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20010916
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Former FIA chief indicted
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Sept 15: An accountability court framed charges against 
FIA's former director-general Maj Mushtaq Ahmad (retired) in a 
corruption case. The accused pleaded not guilty. The court fixed 
Sept 22 for recording prosecution evidence in the case.

The reference accused FIA's former official of acquiring assets 
disproportionate to his known sources of income. It is alleged that 
he owned 14 plots, had shares in different mills and bank accounts 
which he could not account for.

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20010922
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Four killed in Karachi: Partial strike across the country
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Dawn Report

KARACHI, Sept 21: Four people were killed, several others injured 
in clashes between the protesters and the police, the day of strike 
observed on a call given by the religious parties against the 
feared US military attack on Afghanistan.

Elsewhere in the country, the strike was partial amid reports of 
stray incidents of violence. However, in Karachi, there was a 
complete shutdown and industrial/commercial activities remained 
suspended. Transporters also kept their vehicles off the roads 
resulting in thin attendance in offices. Most of the educational 
institutions remained closed.

The police said two protesters were shot dead in an exchange of 
fire between the law enforcement agencies and the protesters on 
Super Highway near Sohrab Goth. The protesters beat a milkman to 
death in the Airport area and a private security guard shot dead 
one of the protesters when they attacked a flour mill in Mauripur 
industrial area.

The angry mob burnt three police mobiles, a cinema house, and tyres 
on streets and main arteries of the city. Four Edhi ambulances were 
also damaged in attacks by the violent mob.

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20010920
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Six killed in Sialkot blast
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Six labourers were killed and 44 others injured seriously in a bomb 
blast at Adda Mazdooran near Pul Aik on the Pasrur Road.

Official sources told Dawn that some unidentified terrorists parked 
a bicycle at Adda Mazdooran with a high intensity bomb planted 
under the seat. The bomb went off at 8:40am killing six labourers 
on the spot. A large number of people, including passers-by, 
injured badly in a stampede which followed the blast. The injured 
were rushed to different hospitals of the city.

Sources said it was an Indian-made plastic time bomb, weighing two 
kilograms. It was the second bomb blast which occurred at the same 
spot. 

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20010920
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Badar remanded in custody till Oct 4
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Sept 19: An accountability court remanded PPP leader and 
former petroleum minister Jehangir Badar in judicial custody till 
Oct 4. The court dismissed NAB's application for physical custody 
of the accused for another 15 days.

Jehangir Badar was arrested on Aug 21 under the NAB ordinance for 
allegedly committing corruption by amassing assets and misuse of 
authority.

Special Prosecutor Haroon Rasheed Cheema said the prosecution had 
some new allegations for which it required the custody of the 
accused. He said the accused as petroleum minister and chairman of 
the board of directors of the SSGP used his influence to make a 
payment of Rs15 million in favour of a contractor as escalation 
charges when the contractor finished the projects assigned to him 
with a delay of two years. The projects were supposed to be 
completed in 1986. The contractors' initial requests for the 
payment had been dismissed when the minister allegedly prevailed 
upon the board to release the amount.

The PPP leader was also accused of issuing licences for PSO 
stations throughout the country. The prosecutor said the 
investigators had also learnt about a locker and a foreign currency 
bank account in the name of the accused. He said the locker had to 
be opened in his presence.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20010921
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Debt relief strategy being updated
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Jawaid Bokhari

KARACHI, Sept 20: Pakistan is updating its strategy focused on debt 
relief and long-term debt rescheduling at most concessional terms 
possible, given the past bilateral practices and options available 
in the guidelines set by IMF, World Bank and the Paris Club.

Sources here said the strategy update has become inevitable to 
acquire fiscal space for carrying out responsibilities entrusted to 
Islamabad by the international community and to reduce the debt 
burden to a sustainable level. The new responsibilities and 
challenges emerge from the US strategy which has currently placed 
Pakistan at the centre of its campaign to fight international 
terrorism.

Tanvir Agha, economics minister at Pakistan embassy, told a foreign 
news agency on Tuesday: "What we are looking after is that imparts 
sustainability to the debt burden and ensures that Pakistan does 
not have to go in for repeated rescheduling." As it appears, the 
country's cash-strapped and fragile economy would be subjected to 
dual strain in the near term. With US slowdown fuelling a global 
recession, Pakistan would not escape economic woes. And the 
mounting tension linked to a possible attack on Afghanistan has 
started unravelling its initial impact.

Some foreign banks have hiked their lending rates by one percentage 
point. Foreign shipping lines have increased freight rates. 
Insurance and reinsurance companies are looking at country-risk 
involved in tracking down Osama Bin Laden.

Whereas Japanese banks are believed to be in favour of Hubco's 
declaration of dividends, western banks are dragging their feet on 
the issue. The stock exchanges have been closed for three days and 
the anticipated Rs5 billion that go into the market's revival may 
not yield positive results.

It is the external sector that may be subjected to a lot of 
pressure. Tensions linked to a possible attack on Afghanistan would 
dry up foreign investment, already reduced to the lowest levels. 
Informal and formal trade with Afghanistan may suffer despite the 
long porous border.

Fear of a prolonged recession is raising the threat of 
protectionism which the industrialized states are trying to avoid. 
Pakistan may not be able to escape the consequences of a prolonged 
recession. 

Pakistan is therefore working on a "contingency plan" that would 
perhaps be financed by the benefits accruing from the 
responsibility entrusted to Islamabad by the US.

To quote the Federal Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz: "Clearly, as 
the relationship with US grows, I am sure that economic ties will 
grow, which would mean better market access, better treatment on 
debt rescheduling and more money, both directly and through the 
multilateral institutions."

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20010919
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SBP not mulling cut in discount rate
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By Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Sept 18: Despite the post-terror attack lowering of 
discount rates by the Federal Reserves and other central banks 
including the Bank of England, the State Bank of Pakistan is not 
considering such a move.

"In view of the IMF stabilization program we are not linked with 
the international market as yet," said SBP Economic Adviser Dr 
Mushtaq A. Khan while explaining to Dawn why the SBP was not 
considering further cut in its discount rate. "We have already 
reduced our discount rates twice and are now waiting for the market 
to settle down." The SBP cut its discount rate from 14 to 12 per 
cent in two phases in the last two months to pull the economy out 
of a continuing slowdown.

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20010919
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Talks with IMF to focus on PRGF: Team to visit US soon
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Sabihuddin Ghausi

KARACHI, Sept 18: A small mission of Pakistan is visiting 
Washington in next couple of weeks to work out details with the 
International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a smooth transition from a 
stringent conditionalities loaded 10 months standby facility to a 
relatively less restrictive three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth 
Facility (PRGF).

Sources close to the finance ministry in Islamabad say that 
composition of the Pakistan's mission will be finalized soon. The 
agenda for the meeting is also expected to be drawn up in next week 
or so.

The 596 million dollars standby facility expires by end of this 
month, and Pakistan expects the release of last tranche of 133 
million dollars sometimes next month.

A narrowing down of the budget deficit to 5.2 per cent last fiscal 
from 6.3 per cent a year ago, building up three billion dollars 
plus foreign exchange reserves, besides major reforms in the 
taxation, in the financial, oil and gas sectors, and restructuring 
of state enterprises are few of the achievements being claimed by 
the government.

"More important than all these achievements is the confidence that 
IMF has now in Pakistan", a senior banker close to the top people 
of finance ministry in Islamabad pointed out. The sources claim 
that Pakistan has regained lost credibility with the IMF and all 
other international financial institutions by "addressing all the 
relevant issues."

Main focus in the forthcoming talks with IMF is expected to be on 
easy terms financing and a debt rescheduling programme to be drawn 
up with the donors.

"With a foreign exchange reserve of 3.4 billion dollars, an 
impressive record of taking up an unprecedented reforms programme 
in all vital sectors of the economy, Pakistan's position in dealing 
with the IMF is much better than what it was a year ago", a senior 
banker pointed out.

The American Business Council (ABC) representing 63 US companies in 
Pakistan have already asked the American President George Bush to 
lift all nuclear related sanctions on Pakistan.

Pakistan has been identified as a "crucially important friend of 
the US and a moderate Islamic country." The US being one of the key 
stake holder in international financial institutions, IMF and the 
World Bank is expected to be much more favourable than in the past.

"The World Bank has already offered 374 million dollars during 
April to June and may offer more assistance in many other areas," a 
source said.

According to the source the World Bank offers about 200 to 250 
million dollars a year assistance to those countries with 700 to 
800 dollars per capita income. "Countries showing better governance 
qualify for greater assistance even with that level of per capita 
income," he said.

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20010917
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Trading in bourses suspended
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Amjad Mahmood

LAHORE, Sept 16: Trading in all the three stock exchanges will 
remain suspended for three days (Sept 17-19) "on the instructions 
of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP)" to 
protect them from further losses.

The share market witnessed heavy losses due to uncertain conditions 
in the country after last Tuesday's terror acts in New York and 
Washington.

The decision was taken unanimously at a meeting of the office-
bearers of all the three exchanges held at the Lahore Stock 
Exchange.

The Karachi Stock Exchange 100-share index hit its three-year low 
by losing 115 points, 50 during its weekend session, to 1,139 
points since the US attacks, eroding as much as Rs26 billion from 
market capitalization.

The analysts feared that the index would break the 1,000 barrier 
during the next trading sessions as the shares not included in the 
index had witnessed 40 per cent decline.

The LSE had shed 23.43 points during the last three sessions as the 
index had come down to 227.06 from 250.49 points.

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20010918
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Petroleum ministry told to be vigilant
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Khaleeq Kiani

ISLAMABAD, Sept 17: The petroleum ministry has been directed to 
remain extra vigilant about demand and supply position of the 
petroleum products and to further augment the reserves position, 
official sources told Dawn .

This word of caution came at the meeting of Economic Coordination 
Committee of the cabinet which reviewed the prices and availability 
of essential items in the country.

Presided over by finance minister Shaukat Aziz the committee found 
that the stock position and movement of essential items like wheat, 
POL and fertilizers etc was satisfactory and that prices of various 
kitchen items remained by and large stable, an official statement 
said.

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20010922
-------------------------------------------------------------------
SC dismisses ABL plea against share sale
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 21: The Supreme Court dismissed the petition of 
Allied Bank's management, demanding that federal government should 
not be allowed to dis-invest its 49 per cent shares to general 
public through stock exchange.

The SC in its decision on Allied Management Group's (AMG) petition 
held, "The petitioner is neither interested to purchase the shares 
nor is permitting its sale in favor of general public."

The AMG had sought a direction, from the Lahore High Court and 
later from the SC, that the federal government be restrained from 
transferring any portion of its 49 per cent shares, as some "greedy 
capitalists" wanted to grab the bank.

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20010922
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Extension in bourses shutdown feared
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Nasir Jamal

LAHORE, Sept 21: "Would the country's three bourses reopen on 
Monday following a week long closing in the wake of an imminent 
attack by the US on Afghanistan?," is the biting question that is 
haunting investors and dealers alike.

"The market will reopen on Monday," Lahore Stock Exchange (LSE) 
chairman Dr Yasir Mehmood assured. "It is not good for the bourses 
to remain closed for a long period," he told Dawn.

However, several dealers are skeptic of his statement and fear that 
the shutdown period might have to be extended for a few more days 
in view of the worsening regional situation as a consequence of the 
Taliban's defiance to extradite Osama bin Laden.

The bourses were closed initially for three days amidst mounting 
concerns of possible US military strikes on Afghanistan. The 
closing period was extended for the remaining two days of the week 
in view of the looming, unresolved crisis in the region.

The KSE-100 index lost 115 points, about 12 per cent, to close at 
1,139, and the LSE-101 index lost 23.43 points, about 9.36 per 
cent, to close at 227 during the last three days of trading after 
the US attacks.

About a dozen banks and non-banking financial institutions have 
committed early this week to inject Rs5 billion in the carry-over 
trade (COT) to shore up the equities. 

Back to the top
EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20010916
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Al-Qaqa
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

The spooks of Pakistan, with their highly sophisticated equipment, 
who cost us far more than we can afford (one of whose pastimes is 
to tap my telephones ) should rejoice. They are not the worst of 
the lot. The American intelligence which spends some $30 billion 
year of their people's money were not able to protect their own 
front yard.

Having pondered deeply, the Americans have come to the conclusion 
that the prime suspect, the man responsible for the New York and 
Washington aircraft-bombs which exploded causing so many deaths, 
and massive damage to life and property (which any civilized man 
must find abhorrent) and the third hijacked crashed aircraft in 
Pennsylvania, is Osama bin Laden, also known as 'Al-Qaqa', The 
Prince, The Emir, Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Laden, Shaykh Usamah Bin-
Laden, Abu-Abdullah, Mujahid Shaykh, Hajj, and lastly, in rather 
James-Bondish fashion, The Director.

This man is the first amongst the ten most wanted fugitives on the 
FBI list. The FBI describes him thus: Born in 1957 (some say in 
1956 or 1958) in Saudi Arabia (some say elsewhere), he stands 6 
foot 6 inches high unstooped and 6 foot 4 inches stooped, he weighs 
some 160 pounds, is of thin build, has brown hair, brown eyes. He 
bears no scars or marks. His occupation is stated to be 'unknown'. 
It is said that he is the 'leader of a terrorist organization known 
as Al-Qaeda (The Base). 

He walks with a cane. Reports say the Saudis have now stripped him 
of his nationality and frozen his funds. He is armed and 
exceedingly dangerous. The government of the United States offers a 
reward of up to $5 million for information leading directly to his 
apprehension or conviction.

The United States District Court of the Southern District of New 
York records that in 1998 the Grand Jury indicted Bin Laden on 
various charges, under indictment No.S(2)98 Cr.1023(LBS). Others 
indicted with him on similar charges are Mohammad Ataf, aka Abu-
Hafs el Masry, Abu Hafs el Masry el Khabir, Taysir, Sheikh Taysir 
Abdullah; Wadih el Hage, aka Abdus Sabbur, Abd al Sabbur, Norman, 
Wa'da Norman; Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, aka Harun Fazhl, Fazhl 
Abdullah, Fazhl Khan; Mohamed Sadeek Odeh, aka Abu Moath, 
Noureldine, Marwan, Hydar; and Moahmed Rashed Daoud Al-'Owhali, aka 
Khalid Salim Saleh Bin Rashed, Moath, Abdul Jabbar Ali Abdel Latif.

Osama may be reading this right now. The Taliban say he does not 
have a telephone line - which is true. He would be a dead duck were 
he to rely on the Afghan telephone network or for that matter on 
ours. But he is considered to be the most wired terrorist ever 
known, now running a holy war via satellite telephones and modems. 
The National Security Agency regularly listens to his unencrypted 
calls from his bat-cave in Afghanistan. 

He uses a portable INMARSAT phone that transmits and receives calls 
over spacecraft owned by the International Maritime Satellite 
Organization, the same system as is used by our smugglers and 
heroin traders. Osama is aware that the United States can and does 
eavesdrop on his international communications, but he does not seem 
to care. To impress cleared visitors, NSA analysts occasionally 
play audio tapes of bin Laden talking to his mother over an 
Inmarsat connection.

US Intelligence operates what is probably the largest information 
processing environment in the world. Just one intelligence 
connection system alone can generate a million inputs per half 
hour. Filters throw away all but 6,500 inputs, only 1,000 of which 
meet forwarding criteria. Ten inputs are normally selected by 
analysts and only one report is produced. These are routine 
statistics for a number of US intelligence collection and analysis 
systems which collect technical intelligence.

Inside Osama's cave, in rooms hollowed into the rock face, computer 
screens glow, fax machines whirr. US Intelligence believes that he 
e-mailed instructions from his cave to his supporters on the timing 
of the 1995 car bombing in Riyadh that killed five Americans. They 
also believe that he controls some $300 million (they at one time 
paid him $10 million) and kills with the 'send' button of his e-
mail.

Osama watches his diet. He lives on gritty bread, cheese and tea. 
One of the US spooks found him and his entourage of twelve sharing 
a meal of just four fried eggs. After picking him up and training 
him for their own purposes, the US still knows little about the man 
whose face has become the scariest icon in the past five days. 
Osama was born the seventeenth of the 52 or 53 children of Saudi 
construction magnate Muhammad Awad bin Laden. 

His mother (variously reported as either Palestinian or 
conservative Saudi) is derided as the billionaire's tenth and least 
favoured wife. Osama is the only child of this union. By all 
accounts he was a quiet and unremarkable boy who learned the family 
business in his school holidays. He is said to have graduated from 
a college either in Riyhadh, or Jeddah, or maybe London, with a 
degree in business management, or perhaps engineering.

Most accounts have it that as a teenager bin Laden became fired 
with religious fervour whilst working on restoring the Islamic holy 
sites at Makkah and Madina. The Washington Post has it that he left 
school in 1973, caroused in bars and nightclubs in swinging Beirut, 
trading insults and punches over the attentions of pretty barmaids 
and sexy belly-dancers until the party ended with the Lebanese 
civil war in 1975.

Now, before our spooks disrupt my communications systems, I tell 
them that all this information has been culled from the Internet, 
available with one click to anyone with access.

Now we come home. Our president general, so to speak, now on the 
carpet, is capable of seeing us through this rather tricky patch. 
He must remember that all leadership demands a price and remember 
that the Americans still follow the solemn admonition of their 
first president, George Washington, delivered in his farewell 
address: "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent 
alliances, with any portion of the foreign world."

Our help has been sought and it must be given. By their own 
admission, American memory is short. Today's friends of necessity 
become tomorrow's enemies. What we want, what we badly need, is to 
be asked upfront. We can do better than Hosni Mubarak, who by 
nimble adept footwork had Egypt's $9 billion written off. Pervez 
Musharraf is now a statesman and not a commando. He must 
unequivocally endorse the belated words of Atal Behari Vajpayee:

"We must strike at the roots of the system that breeds terrorism. 
We must stamp out the infrastructure that imparts the perverse 
ideological poison by which the terrorist is fired up. We must hold 
governments wholly accountable for the terrorism that originates 
from their countries. In other words, to get at the terrorists the 
world community must get at their organizations, at those who 
condition, finance, train, equip and protect them. 

The world must join hands to overwhelm terrorists militarily, to 
neutralize their poison.... every Indian has to be a part of this 
global war on terrorism..... what happens in Mumbai one day is 
bound to happen elsewhere tomorrow, that the poison that propels 
mercenaries and terrorists to kill and maim in Jammu and Kashmir 
will impel the same sort to blow up people elsewhere."

On Friday afternoon in Washington the Senate adopted a joint 
resolution. President George W Bush was "authorized to use all 
necessary and appropriate force against those nations, 
organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, 
committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 
11, 2011, or harboured such organizations or persons, in order to 
prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the 
United States by such nations, organizations or persons." 

Unanimous rapid-fire approval was given to a down-payment of $40 
billion dollars for this purpose, twice the amount the President 
had asked for.

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20010921
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A passion for selling ourselves cheaply
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By Ayaz Amir

It is a moot point which crumbled faster: the twin towers of the 
World Trade Centre or the imposing ramparts of Pakistani pride? 

Just a few threatening statements from President Bush and Gen 
Powell and Pakistan's military government, usually so tough at 
home, conceded everything the Americans were asking for.

We did not say, as forgivably we might have, that we would look 
into the US demands. We did not say that we would consult public 
opinion before formulating our response. To some extraordinary 
outbursts of arrogance from Washington we succumbed first and only 
later was a show made of consulting leaders of public opinion.

We buckled under pressure. Alas, no other construction fits our 
swift capitulation. Perhaps, as General Musharraf has been at pains 
to explain, we had no other choice. But must we have bent that 
swiftly? Even if only for form's sake, couldn't we have paused to 
take breath before agreeing to every last item on America's 
imperious list of demands?

And, pray, what precisely were we afraid of? That the US in its 
blind anger would make an example of us, flattening our airfields, 
destroying our installations, taking out our 'nuclear strategic 
assets'? These wretched assets were supposed to be our ultimate 
defence. Now they turn out to be our biggest weakness, useless 
against the crude blackmail to which we have been subjected.

Sadly, it's all in character. After India's nuclear tests in May 
1998, a few threatening statements from that side threw us into a 
panic and made us carry out our own tests. Restraint would have won 
us international kudos and put India in a spot. But out of paranoia 
we frittered away an historic opportunity. It makes one wonder as 
to the kind of people we are. Listening to our bombast anyone would 
take us to be Greeks of the Homeric period. Anyone examining 
closely our national record would be struck by our pusillanimity. 
And our ability to shoot ourselves in the foot.

But I bet the Americans who have a fair measure of Pakistan's 
capacity to withstand stress are not surprised. We have always been 
eager to serve their interests, often at great cost to ourselves 
and mostly without getting much in return. Once again we are 
gearing up for the same role despite bitter experience of having 
been repeatedly used and repeatedly abandoned.

What handsome revenge for America's debacle in Vietnam was the 
savaging of the Soviet bear in Afghanistan. A handful of Pakistani 
generals enriched themselves during that momentous struggle. But 
what did the country get? Guns, violence, drugs and a sea of 
refugees. All the glory America's, all the recurring costs 
Pakistan's. Anyone could be forgiven for thinking that history is 
being repeated.

Surely, a measure of self-serving calculation is involved in the 
decision General Musharraf has taken on behalf of the nation: a 
vision of gratitude dollars pouring in, of our debt burden easing, 
of India being outsmarted, and of Pakistan being treated as 
honoured ally instead of a country down on its luck. But what did 
we get before that we are hoping for the wheel to turn this time?

We don't know what the US eventually decides. Afghanistan is not 
the easiest of battlefields and sending in ground troops carries 
enormous risks. But we do know that Pakistani territory and 
facilities will be used for any strike on Afghanistan. Such a 
concession, if at all to be given, should have come at the end of a 
process of mutual discussion and consultations, not right at the 
outset as we have done, hoping that the US out of the goodness of 
its heart will reward us later. We don't even know who'll take care 
of the refugees pouring into Pakistan. Should we then have pressed 
the panic button so quickly?

Granted that it was our support for the Taliban which brought us 
into the focus of American pressure. But who was pushing the 
support-Taliban policy? The military, the ISI, the national 
security establishment. The people of Pakistan are now paying the 
price of this folly.

There was no shortage of voices questioning the wisdom of our 
Taliban policy: that it was fanning the flames of religious 
extremism at home and proving a source of disquiet for our friends 
abroad. The notion of 'strategic depth', so beloved of GHQ, also 
made no sense because blind support of the Taliban meant not 
enhanced defence but importing another set of problems into our 
midst. But the experts remained unfazed. Now under duress we are 
doing what should have been done long ago: distancing ourselves 
from the Taliban. At long last the right policy but for the wrong 
reasons.

We are being told, however, that if we had not acted first India, 
which was rolling out the red carpet for the US, offering it every 
last facility, would have stolen a march on us, leaving us out in 
the cold to face American anger alone. 

What nonsense is this? Must we see ourselves in India's mirror 
always? True, in order to paint Pakistan into a corner, India has 
tried to pander to American sensibilities (to its chagrin without 
much success). We had a duty to protect our flanks. But we could 
have paused for a moment.

>From which bases in the Rajasthan desert can a ground assault be 
mounted on Afghanistan? The key to any land action against 
Afghanistan is Pakistan and if the Americans are serious about any 
such action they have perforce to use Pakistani facilities. Had our 
nerve held we could have played for time in order to see what the 
US was willing to give in return. Admittedly, Pakistan is not 
Vietnam or Cuba. Our leaders do not take Ho Chi Minh as their 
model. Still, must we have caved in so quickly?

How would the Lion of Damascus, Hafez Al-Assad, have played his 
cards in such a crisis? He would have spoken no unnecessary word, 
would have guarded his silence like the Sphinx and made the 
paladins of the State Department and the Pentagon come to 
Islamabad, refusing only to meet the American official (was it 
Armitage?) who said it was for Pakistan to decide whether it wanted 
to live in the 21st century or the Stone Age. Credible threats 
Assad would have weighed carefully. Arrogance he would have treated 
with contempt. Above all, he would not have displayed his hand 
prematurely.

This is not a summons to arms or any misplaced arrogance of our 
own. The winds blowing across our country may be too strong for us 
to deflect. But there is no reason for us to sully national honour 
by behaving in too supine a manner. In any case we are confusing 
two separate issues: support for the Taliban and bowing before 
American demands. Our Taliban policy was a prescription for folly. 
Even if we have friendly feelings for the people of Afghanistan, 
Pakistan cannot be sacrificed for the sake of any other country. 
But this is one thing, offering Pakistani territory for use against 
Afghanistan quite another. Have we carefully pondered the 
consequences of this move? How will our people take it? And what 
will be the cost to our already battered pride as a nation?

We are being told to be wise. Wisdom does not lie in acting 
cravenly. What good is our half-a-million man army and our famous 
nuclear deterrent if in every crisis we are to crack under the 
first strain? This does not mean we take on the Americans. 

 There is no need to tempt the gods or please our enemies by doing 
that. It only means that we let the Americans know, politely but 
firmly, that while we are only too ready to do the right thing, 
preferably under United Nations auspices, we are not willing to be 
pushed around or sell ourselves cheaply.

Was it a sense of opportunity lost which made General Musharraf 
look so tense on Wednesday evening when he addressed the nation? It 
was not one of his best performances and certainly was a far cry 
from his conquest of Agra. He asked the nation to trust him. The 
nation has no choice: he is the captain on deck and it is he who 
must take the ship of state into safer waters.

It would help, however, if even at this stage he opens the shut 
portals of his regime a bit to let in some fresh air so that 
decisions affecting the country's future are taken in a setting 
slightly broader than the cloistered world of the corps commanders. 

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20010922
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Red tide rising
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Irfan Husain

These are troubled times. Understandably, raw and powerful emotions 
like hatred, grief, pain and the atavistic demand for vengeance 
have taken over the discussion of how to deal with last week's 
trauma in New York and Washington.

By nature, Americans are not a very introspective people, nor do 
they dwell too long or often on foreign affairs. During my brief 
sojourn and visits to the United States, I have found ordinary 
Americans to be open, warm and hospitable. Uncomplicated and 
straightforward, their eyes often glaze over in a discussion of 
international events. For them, their vast nation is world enough. 
We, on the other hand, are obsessed with national and international 
politics. 

This difference in outlook explains why the average American cannot 
equate his government's policies overseas with the hatred many 
foreigners feel for his country. To him, they are envious of the 
prosperity and freedom he enjoys as a citizen of the richest and 
most powerful country in the world. Many American leaders from 
President Bush downwards have described last week's suicide 
bombings as "attacks on liberty and democracy", naively or 
deliberately missing the connection between cause and effect.

As the US-led juggernaut threatens to flatten Afghanistan together 
with the Taliban, there is a real danger that the lessons to be 
drawn from this tragedy will be overlooked in the rush of events. 
Although President Bush has vowed to "rid our children and our 
children's children of the scourge of terrorism", I fear that 
unless he and the international community are prepared to inquire 
into how and why this scourge is born and flourishes, future 
generations will continue to grapple with it.

Despite the temptation to focus on action alone as the Americans go 
into Afghanistan with guns blazing, it is important that we ask 
ourselves why 19 seemingly educated, perfectly ordinary young 
middle-class Arabs killed themselves and thousands of innocent 
people on September 11. According to reports, several of them drank 
alcohol, had girlfriends or families, and led outwardly normal 
lives. Hardly the profile of fanatical suicide bombers. So what 
made them all board passenger aircraft one morning and fly them 
into the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre? Unless we are 
prepared to look at the motivation underlying their resolve, we 
cannot prevent similar horrors from visiting us in the future. Even 
if terrorist groups are broken up, their leaders killed and their 
banks accounts frozen, what is to stop individuals from driving a 
truck into a petrol station, or sinking a hijacked cruise ship? Not 
much training or resources are needed to carry out such random 
terror attacks. The truth is that it is virtually impossible to 
stop a person from committing mayhem if he is willing to die in the 
attempt.

Most Americans - even well traveled, sophisticated ones - are 
convinced that suicide bombers have been brainwashed since 
childhood into killing themselves for whatever cause their parents 
support. This racist view assumes that certain races like the Arabs 
or the Tamils somehow love their children less than Westerners, and 
therefore bring them up to sacrifice themselves when required. The 
uncomfortable truth is that people take such a desperate step only 
when they have no other choice. We need to remember that no matter 
how devastating its effects, terrorism remains a weapon of the 
weak.

Pakistan's leaders too, appear to have learned little from past 
experience as they walk a tightrope between becoming a pariah state 
and being wracked by internal dissension and strife. A decade ago, 
as the US sought to build a coalition against Iraq in the wake of 
Saddam Hussein's suicidal invasion of Kuwait, we grudgingly climbed 
on board. But instead of benefiting diplomatically and financially 
from being a partner of this coalition, we made our lack of 
enthusiasm clear, with Gen. Aslam Beg leading the way with his 
fatuous 'doctrine of strategic defiance.' Indeed, his total lack of 
appreciation and understanding of the situation made one doubt the 
efficacy of the army's promotion system: if somebody like him could 
head our defences, how safe were we? Fortunately, Gen. Musharraf 
seems to have a cooler and wiser head on his shoulders, and has 
never been more impressive than in this crisis as he strives to 
build a national consensus behind the entirely rational decision to 
help the Americans in their fight against terrorism.

We must be in no doubt that this war is our war too. Pakistan has 
been a victim of more terrorist activity over the years than almost 
any other country. But in our case, most of the perpetrators have 
been home grown: violent ethnic and sectarian groups came into 
being under Gen. Zia's baneful rule, and after we were rid of him, 
successive governments encouraged the emergence of jihadi militias 
to further their agendas in Afghanistan and Kashmir. To add to this 
rich mix of terror, other countries have financed the operations of 
some of these elements in a proxy war on our soil, or to pay us 
back for our covert cross-border activities. Our leaders have tried 
vainly to distinguish between terrorism and jihad. Now, more than 
ever before, the world will accept no such distinction. Some 
commentators have suggested that support for the Americans implies 
a loss of sovereignty. This is nonsense: helping to root out terror 
and random violence is something we should all support.

The Taliban are our very own Frankenstein's monster, and like the 
creature out of the novel, is now ready to turn on its creator. For 
years now, we have supported them militarily, financially and 
diplomatically, and have been constantly embarrassed by their 
bizarre behaviour. It is entirely appropriate that we have been 
dragged back to the frontline to help clear up the mess we were 
instrumental in creating.

Given the licence we have granted extremist groups over the years, 
controlling the domestic backlash of anti-Taliban action will not 
be easy. Gen Musharraf will have to be very tough and not fall into 
the trap of trying to appease the fundamentalist lobby by half-
hearted support for the Americans. If he does, we will end up in 
the same kind of situation we did in the Gulf War. If he can carry 
the army with him, there is no reason why we can't use this crisis 
to crush our domestic extremist groups, and rejoin the mainstream 
instead of being relegated to the periphery. I know this is asking 
a lot of a beleaguered government, but leadership calls for 
difficult and occasionally unpopular decisions and firm resolve.

The thing to remember is that the people demonstrating in the 
streets against our support for the anti-terrorism coalition 
represent a tiny fraction of the population. Most Pakistanis are 
horrified by the loss of innocent lives (including Pakistani ones) 
in Washington and New York. If the government takes tough action 
against any agitator breaking the law, it will send a clear message 
that a street movement will not be allowed to change its decision.

This is a military government after all, and now is the time it 
started acting like one.


SPORTS
20010921
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ex-Test stars unhappy with ICC's policies
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 20: Pakistan's former Test stalwarts refused to 
digest International Cricket Council's explanation that it was not 
its responsibility to reschedule New Zealand's tour to Pakistan 
which is all but cancelled due to security reasons.

Legendary Hanif Mohammad blamed the ICC for not showing 
professionalism while chalking out the 10-year program, a vocal 
former chairman of selectors Hasib Ahsan accused the game's 
governing body of bias.

"I think the ICC should accept the blame of not keeping provision 
of unexpected happenings at the time of finalizing its 10-year 
calendar. Loopholes have been exposed in its planning," the Little 
Master said.

"The ICC should take this incident as an eye-opener and revise its 
10-year plan. There needs to be provision to reschedule tours if 
affected by events beyond their control," Hanif said. But Hasib 
took a shot at the ICC when he said: "The ICC is like United 
Nations. It appears to be non-existent when there are issues 
involving countries like Pakistan but suddenly surfaces when 
influential countries face some crisis. "If the ICC claims itself 
to be the game's controlling authority, then its responsibility 
doesn't end at all. It needs to reschedule New Zealand's tour so 
that Pakistan doesn't suffer any financial setback and receives 
equal treatment."

The ICC, however, received an unexpected support from Zaheer Abbas 
when the former captain said: "It don't think the ICC can do 
anything. The present situation is beyond its control. "However, 
the ICC should press New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to honour the 
commitment at an appropriate time." Another former chief selector 
Salahuddin Ahmad opined that the ICC now needed to give assurances 
to the host board that the series would be rescheduled.

"Pakistan is honoring its commitments but is getting a raw deal 
from others. The ICC needs to show some teeth and spine. If the ICC 
says its responsibility has ended, then it is conveying signals 
that it has limited powers."

Arif Abbasi, the longest serving Pakistan cricket administrator, 
argued that if the ICC had taken the responsibility of arranging 
tours, it was its duty to monitor if the schedule was being 
followed.

"If the ICC claims that it is all in all, then it has to act 
accordingly. The ICC is not United Nations but a company which is 
registered in Monaco. If the ICC cannot ensure the implementation 
of the 10-year program, then its better that the respective boards 
go back to the old format where tours were bilaterally decided."

Abbasi, however, felt that Pakistan should have demanded the ICC to 
spell out its policy after India had refused to honour its 
commitment. "Pakistan should have asked for penalties then and 
there. Unfortunately, Pakistan lost out that opportunity." Pakistan 
stands to lose at least $5million which will be a terrible setback 
after it suffered a $15million and Rs 2million losses earlier this 
year - courtesy India.

Ironically, both the countries generated revenues at least three 
times more than what Pakistan would have earned when the green-
shirted cricketers toured India in 1999 and New Zealand earlier 
this year. Hanif, Zaheer and Arif Abbasi were unanimous in saying 
that there should be compensation and sanctions if a country 
doesn't fulfill its obligations even under friendly conditions.

"There should be fines. The defaulting board should be penalized at 
least 50 per cent of what the host board would have earned," Hanif 
observed. Zaheer said: "If the ICC can't enforce itself, what's the 
point of having it. The least they can do is to impose fines or 
sanctions on team's not binding the agreement. "Why the host board 
should suffer because of atrocious policies of some government or 
its cricket establishment and ICC's ineffectiveness."

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20010920
-------------------------------------------------------------------
ICC declines to reschedule NZ's tour of Pakistan
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, Sept 19: The International Cricket Council (ICC) disowned 
its responsibility of rescheduling New Zealand's tour to Pakistan 
which is all but cancelled because of security concerns prevailing 
in the region.

"It is not the ICC's responsibility to reschedule the New Zealand 
tour to Pakistan," the game's governing body said in a statement to 
Dawn. "(The) ICC sets the schedule with the 10-year tour program, 
but after that it is the responsibility of individual countries to 
fulfill the fixtures.

"We (ICC) hope that this will be the case, but obviously it will 
depend on the political situation," ICC communication manager, Mark 
Harrison, said while replying to Dawn's questionnaire. 

Pakistan stands to lose approximately $5million over the 
cancellation of the New Zealand tour which is set to hamper the 
development and promotion projects in the country. Pakistan has 
already lost revenues estimated to be worth $15million after India 
cancelled a scheduled tour to Pakistan earlier this year.

Pakistan also suffered another loss of Rs20million through title 
sponsorship when India refused to cross borders for the Asian Test 
Championship match scheduled between Sept 12 and 16 at Lahore. 
Ironically, the Black Caps were set to tour Pakistan according to 
the much publicized ICC's 10-year program which was constituted, 
approved and released last year. The ICC had masterminded the 10-
year plan to provide equal opportunity to countries to play Test 
matches on home and away basis.

The other objective of the 10-year plan was to award World Test 
Championship to the team accumulating highest number of points on 
cricket played in the first five years. The ICC's arrogant response 
is yet another example of its ineffectiveness. 

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20010917
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pakistan makes fresh offer to Black Caps
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Monitoring Desk

KARACHI, Sept 16: Pakistan will offer a series of seven one-day 
internationals to New Zealand for a short tour, a cricket official 
said.

"We are exploring the possibility of having seven one-day 
internationals against New Zealand on a short tour of Pakistan," 
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) marketing advisor Zahid Bashir said. 
"It's not very tough to arrange limited over games and we have as 
many as five venues to stage the one-day games with two each in 
Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi."

New Zealand was due to arrive in Pakistan last Friday but they put 
off the tour for eight days over fears of security problems in 
Pakistan.

The PCB stands to lose around $2 million if no team plays in 
Pakistan this season. Pakistan's next home series will be against 
West Indies in February-March next year. Pakistan will wait for New 
Zealand's final reply until next week.

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20010919
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Inzamam and Waqar beef up NBP
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 18: Pakistan captain Waqar Younis and vice-captain 
Inzamam-ul-Haq will represent National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) in 
the Patron's Trophy first-class competition starting Sept 21. The 
two have agreed to play for NBP after being convinced by old pal 
Mushtaq Ahmad who will skipper the side.

A NBP spokesman confirmed the participation of the two players, 
adding that it would be a great honour for the establishment.

"We were approached by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) if we could 
accommodate Waqar Younis and Inzamam-ul-Haq. The matter was taken 
to the highest authorities who gave the thumbs up," the spokesman 
said.

Waqar and Inzamam are without any departments. However, it was not 
immediately known at what financial package the two players will 
represent NBP.

Squad: Mushtaq Ahmad (captain), Waqar Younis, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Imran 
Nazir, Sajid Ali, Shahid Anwar, Mohammad Javed, Akhtar Sarfraz, 
Mohammad Sami, Shabbir Ahmed, Kamran Akmal, Hanif-ur-Rehman 
(wicketkeeper), Imran Javed, Naeem Tayyab, Qaisar Abbas, 
Naumanullah, Aleem Moosa, Athar Laiq, Khalid Latif, Salman Butt, 
Aurangzeb Khan, Zafar Iqbal, Naeem Khan.

Mohammad Jamil (manager) and Saeed Azad (coach) will be officials 
of the team.

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20010920
-------------------------------------------------------------------
India 'preferred' venue for Knockout tournament
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 19: The International Cricket Council (ICC) still 
considers India as the preferred venue for next year's ICC Knockout 
tournament to be played in September. Although the formal decision 
on the host of the biennial tournament is expected to be made at 
Kuala Lumpur's executive board meeting, the ICC hinted that it 
would like the competition to be held in India.

"India remains the preferred option for the Knockout tournament," 
ICC communication manager Mark Harrison said in a statement to 
Dawn. However, India might lose the rights to host competition if 
Pakistan stands firm on its policy of not playing the traditional 
rivals until they toured Pakistan. Besides, India has held back 
confirming holding the tournament because of tax problems and the 
unfortunate legal battle between Doordarshan and Star Sports over 
the television rights of the 1996 World Cup.

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