------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 18 May 2002 Issue : 08/20 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + 'Pakistan not to accept threats from India' + Pakistan rejects Indian charge + Pakistan prepared to repulse attack: Nisar urges peace with India + Islamabad rejects New Delhi charge + 'Army kept PM in dark' + Pakistan seeks troop pullback, dialogue + Paris reviews military ties with Islamabad + Doctors who did autopsies on blast victims called to capital + Consequential legislation be completed by June 30 + DNA tests to help identify body: IG + Shaikh Omar's men helped recover body + Pearl's body recovered? + AG's plea in Pearl case rejected + Defence disputes video's validity: Daniel Pearl case + Judge to testify in Pearl case + FBI agent deposes before court: Daniel Pearl case + Prosecution witnesses cross-examined: Daniel Pearl case + Agreement on Omar's trial in Pakistan + FBI agent, two others record statements: Pearl case + US newsman allowed to take sensitive video tapes + New force to fight terrorism: Musharraf discusses strategy + Army to start patrolling in Waziristan shortly + US will grant $73m to fight terrorism: Moin + Deal with govt in the offing, says PML + Nawaz to return before polls: PML leader + Govt renews offer to Benazir, claims PPP + PPP willing to cooperate with mily regime: 'Limited objectives' + Qayum briefs president on meeting with Benazir + LHC acquits Zardari in corruption case + Move to replace Azhar brushed aside + Ex-secy rejects allegations on Bhopal House + Conflicting claims on Bhopal House + Bhopal House eviction dismays SHC + Conflicting claims by govt depts on Bhopal House + Bhopal House inmates evicted + Princess Abida Sultaan passes away + Supreme Court hears Swiss firm's claim: $120m damages sought + Riaz Basra, 3 others die in 'encounter' --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Swiss firm brought no investment: AG: SGS can't approach ICSID + Govt seeks reversal of SC verdict: Interest-based banking + $109 million IMF tranche by June 30 + W. Bank assures Islamabad of support + Stocks lose 38 points as war scare causes panic selling + Panic-selling wipes out Rs23bn from market capitalization --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Homegrown terrorism 2 Ardeshir Cowasjee + My contemporaries Ayaz Amir + The growth of terror Irfan Husain + Crucial economic issues in forthcoming elections M. Zaki. Adam ----------- SPORTS + Home series on foreign soil not in Pakistan's interest + Top Australian cricketers not to tour Pakistan + Cancelling Karachi Test was obvious course of action

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NATIONAL NEWS
0020517
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'Pakistan not to accept threats from India'
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ISLAMABAD, May 16: The Director-General of ISPR, Major General
Rashid Qureshi, said Pakistan would not accept threats from India
and was fully prepared to respond to any aggressive action.

Talking to BBC Radio, he said Pakistan had always made efforts to
resolve problems through dialogue but it was unfortunate that India
was hurling threats at Pakistan with an aim to start a fight one
way or the other. He said: "We will not accept these threats but
want to resolve all outstanding issues through talks."

He categorically rejected India's allegations of Pakistan's
involvement in the recent incident in Indian occupied Kashmir.

Gen Qureshi said Pakistan had time and again called for an
independent inquiry because those who had nothing to hide adopted
this attitude.

To a question, he said India was looking for excuses and it had
amassed its troops along the border with Pakistan.

"How we and the international community can accept what India is
saying when it has laid landmines along the Line of Control and
international border. How anyone can infiltrate due to extensive
planting of landmines and heavy deployment of troops," he added.

The general reiterated that Pakistan's armed forces and people were
fully prepared to respond to any action by the Indian forces.

India should not have any doubt as Pakistani nation was not
troubled by its threats and knew how to defend itself, he added.-
APP

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20020517
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Pakistan rejects Indian charge
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, May 16: The foreign office said that wild allegations of
Pakistan's involvement in the Jammu incident and threats of
retaliation by the Indian government were part of Delhi's plan to
divert international attention from the genocide of the Muslim
minority in Gujarat.

In a statement, a foreign office spokesman rejected the allegations
levelled by Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes that Pakistan
was behind the May 14 attack near Jammu.

He said the Indian defence minister's claim was "irresponsible and
reflective of the Indian mindset of constantly levelling baseless
accusations against Pakistan".

The spokesman took particular exception to the Indian minister's
insinuation against the president of Pakistan. The spokesman stated
that he could also accuse Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari
Vajpayee and his cabinet colleagues of training fascist Hindu
terrorists to kill and rape members of the minority communities in
their country but would desist from doing so in the interest of
maintaining dignity in the discourse between the two countries.

He said that Pakistan condemned terrorism in all its forms and
manifestations, and added that as a frontline member of the
international coalition against terrorism it was bearing the brunt
of the battle against terrorism. He recalled that immediately after
learning about the Jammu attack, the government of Pakistan had
condemned the civilian deaths and called for an impartial inquiry
to unmask the motives of its perpetrators.

The spokesman pointed out that hurling such baseless allegations on
Pakistan, even before any proper investigation or inquiry into the
incident, strengthened the suspicion that these allegations and the
threat of retaliation were part of an attempt to divert attention
from the ongoing genocide of the Muslim minority community in
Gujarat as well as the domestic difficulties being faced by the
Indian government.

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20020516
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Pakistan prepared to repulse attack: Nisar urges peace with India
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Staff Reporters

ISLAMABAD, May 15: The government has sufficiently enhanced its
military strength on borders to repulse any attack by the enemy,
Information Minister Nisar Memon said.

Briefing reporters after the cabinet meeting, he said Pakistan was
quite capable of thwarting any venture by the enemy.

Commenting on the statement of Indian Defence Minister George
Fernandes that India could retaliate against Pakistan, Mr Memon
said that all measures had been taken to protect every inch of the
homeland and that nobody should take Pakistan for granted.

He, however, said there was no unusual movement of troops on the
borders by the Indians. "Pakistan wants peace with India and we
hope that India will not venture and if it does then it must be
ready for receiving an adequate reply. But I believe that our
foreign friends are taking a lot of interest to defuse the
situation in the region," the minister said, adding that the
cabinet had decided to take into confidence the nation if and when
required over the situation going on between India and Pakistan.

He told a reporter that Pakistan had beefed up its military
presence on its western border to check any illegal entry by
Afghans. He said the government would not allow any country to use
Pakistan soil for conducting any operation inside Afghanistan.

In reply to a question, Mr Memon said it was not the first time
that India had accused Pakistan of encouraging terrorism in
occupied Kashmir. "We totally reject India's allegation that we are
involved in the Jammu incident," he said, adding that Pakistan
itself had been the victim of international terrorism, and in this
behalf, he recalled the May 8 suicide bombing in Karachi.

In reply to another question, the minister said that an Indian
journalist had been arrested when he was attempting to cross into
Afghanistan from Pakistan without valid documents. Nevertheless, he
added, he would be released shortly after investigation.

Mr Memon said that there was no discussion or decision about
certain constitutional amendments at the cabinet meeting. The
matter, he pointed out, was still with the National Reconstruction
Bureau. "The cabinet will deal with the issue of amendments
shortly, and later it will be made public."

The minister denied that any interim government was under
consideration. "There is no decision about the interim government
in the cabinet," he said, adding that the new government would come
into being after the October elections.

Asked to comment on reports that foreigners, especially
businessmen, were facing problems to get visa, he said there had
been some problems due to the blast in Karachi but generally nobody
had been refused visa for Pakistan.

Mr Memon said that Riaz Basra had been killed in a police encounter
and his body had been identified by Punjab's inspector-general of
police. It was wrong to say that Riaz Basra was killed in a fake
encounter, he added. He rejected the idea that there should be a
judicial inquiry into the killing of Riaz Basra.

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20020515
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Islamabad rejects New Delhi charge
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ISLAMABAD, May 14: Minister for Information Nisar A. Memon rejected
claims that Pakistan was involved in the attacks in the Indian
Occupied Kashmir. Talking to BBC radio, he said: "Whenever there
are attacks in India, it (India) claims to have been done by
Pakistan."

"I totally reject this idea. India has miserably failed in this
game. In the past they have resorted to all kinds of methods to
malign Pakistan," he added.

India wants to isolate Pakistan in the world, but it has neither
succeeded nor will it ever be able to do so, he added.

He said Pakistan too is a victim of terrorism and the recent bomb
blast in Karachi is one such incident, he added. He urged India to
resolve its internal problems. He said the government has curbed
the activities of extremist organizations and arrested many of
their members.

"The government's policy is not to allow anybody to use its soil
for acts of terrorism against another country," he added.

Nisar said: "If India says that people from Pakistan's side of the
border are crossing over, may I ask, what are the thousands of
Indian troops doing in held Kashmir?"-APP

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20020514
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'Army kept PM in dark'
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By Masood Haider

NEW YORK, May 13: The Pakistan army mobilized its nuclear arsenal
against India in July, 1999, without the knowledge of the then
Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, a senior White House adviser in the
Clinton administration at the time has disclosed.

The details of the paper, to be published shortly by the University
of Pennsylvania and obtained by the Sunday Times and an Indian
paper, reveal that Bruce Riedel, who was a senior adviser to Bill
Clinton on India and Pakistan, recalls how President Clinton was
told that he faced the most important foreign policy meeting of his
career.

There was disturbing information about Pakistan preparing its
nuclear arsenal, Riedel writes.

As the Indian army pushed the Pakistani forces back across the Line
of Control dividing the disputed territory of Kashmir, Nawaz Sharif
asked for American intervention and flew to Washington.

Riedel and other aides feared that India and Pakistan were heading
for a deadly descent into a full-scale conflict, with a danger of
nuclear cataclysm. They were also concerned about Osama Bin Laden's
growing influence in the region.

Intelligence experts had told Riedel that the flight times of
missiles fired by either side would be as little as three minutes
and that a Pakistani strike on just one Indian city, Bombay, would
kill between 150,000 and 850,000 alone.

He told President Clinton not to reveal his intelligence in the
opening talks with Sharif, in which the president handed the prime
minister a cartoon that showed Pakistan and India firing nuclear
missiles at one another. But in a second discussion, at which
Riedel was the only other person present, Clinton asked Sharif if
he knew how advanced the threat of nuclear war really was. Did
Sharif know his military was preparing their missiles? he writes.

The president reminded Sharif how close the US and Soviet Union had
come to a nuclear war in 1962 over Cuba. Did Sharif realize that if
even one bomb was dropped...Sharif finished his sentence and said
it would be a catastrophe.

Riedel does not state in the paper how the Americans gathered their
intelligence, nor what the mobilization entailed. But John Pike,
director of the Washington-based Global Security Organization, said
intelligence channels could have become aware of the trucks that
were being moved from their bases at Sargodha, carrying Pakistan's
nuclear missiles.

One scenario is that missile trucks were picked up parked in a
convoy, he said.

Pakistan's uranium bombs are designed to be dropped by plane or
carried by Ghauri missiles, while smaller plutonium warheads can be
attached to Chinese-made M-11 missiles.

Clinton drove home the advantage that the intelligence coup had
given him, Riedel recalls. Did Sharif order the Pakistani nuclear
missile force to prepare for action, the prime minister was asked.
Did he realize how crazy that was? Riedel describes how an
exhausted Sharif denied he had ordered the preparation and said he
was against that, but worried for his life back in Pakistan. Soon
afterwards Sharif, who now lives in exile in Saudi Arabia, signed a
document agreeing to pull back his forces.

If, as Riedel implies, Sharif was kept in the dark about his
nuclear programme, he suffered a similar embarrassment to that of
his predecessor, Benazir Bhutto, who is said to have asked the CIA
for a briefing on Islamabad's nuclear capability because that
privilege was denied to her by her own generals.

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20020514
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Pakistan seeks troop pullback, dialogue
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By Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, May 13: Government reiterated its policy of seeking
peace and asked India for de-escalation of the situation by
withdrawing troops to their peace-time locations and resolving all
disputes in a peaceful manner. This was said by the foreign
ministry spokesman, Aziz Ahmad Khan, at his news briefing.

In reply to questions, the spokesman played down talk of war, but
cautioned that "when practically India's entire military might is
deployed across the border, Pakistan has no choice but to take
defensive posture and position".

"Well, the point is that it is a dangerous situation although
Pakistan has exercised maximum restraint and asked for diffusion of
the situation and withdrawal of forces. I think it points towards
the success of our diplomacy that they (world powers) have taken
notice and efforts are being made to persuade India for withdrawing
its forces so that all issues may be resolved by negotiations."

However, he warned that when forces were facing each other eyeball
to eyeball, the situation could turn for a dangerous kind of
development. As far as Pakistan was concerned, he said, Islamabad
wanted withdrawal of forces, reduction in tension and return to
negotiations.

Asked if there were any peace efforts being made behind the scene
as the senior US officials had been repeatedly visiting the region
and talking to Indian and Pakistani leaders, the spokesman said
"nothing behind the scene is taking place".

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20020513
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Paris reviews military ties with Islamabad
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By Paul Michaud

PARIS, May 12: As a military aircraft from Pakistan arrived at
Villacoublay military airfield outside of Paris - and two hours
later at Cherbourg airport carrying bodies of 11 French nationals
placed in new caskets - governmental authorities continue to ponder
whether in fact France will continue to take part in the
construction of the Agosta-90B submarines on which the naval
employees were working in Karachi when they were killed.

In spite of Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie's declaration
that France would continue its military cooperation with Pakistan,
the precise date of the resumption of the collaboration has not yet
been set.

Indeed, in the words of Gerard Clermont, the man who heads the
Direction de la Construction Navale's detachment in Karachi,
nothing is less certain than whether construction of the Agosta-90B
submarine, the second of three being built by the DCN in Karachi,
will effectively be continued.

"We consider," notes Mr Clermont, "that our mission (to Karachi) is
momentarily ended." And when asked whether he feels it is possible
to resume the Agosta project given the terrorist attack, all he
will say is that "evidently it's very difficult to do so, given the
conditions under which the work would resume." To which he adds:
"The only work we can truly turn to right now is absorb the shock
of what happened, and attempt to come to grips with our grief."

For, back in Paris, and in the wake of revelations carried in the
Saturday edition of Le Monde according to which the conditions
under which the Agosta contract was negotiated between France and
Pakistan, the tendency within the French government has been to
propose that Franco-Pakistani cooperation be suspended until a
global study is undertaken of France's military ties with Pakistan,
to determine what in fact is at stake for France in the region.

There are many, for example, in the French government, and notably
at the Quai d'Orsay, who point to obvious contradictions in
France's present foreign policy game plan for the region, which
sees France provide naval infrastructure - the Agosta-90Bs, but
also some of its more sophisticated Exocet missiles - to Pakistan,
giving it a strategic naval advantage in the Indian Ocean over
archrival India, all the while providing India with a definitive
air superiority through delivery of the Mirage-2000.

The new strategy - if a much hoped-for victory in legislative
elections to be held on June 9 and 16 gives President Chirac a new
majority which would stay in place until June 2007 - would see
France attempt to redraft its foreign policy, not only bringing it
up to date, but also permitting strategic planners to look ahead
and decide what will henceforth be the country's longer-term goals.

As far as Pakistan is considered, a preliminary assessment issued
this weekend would indicate that Pakistan is henceforth high on the
list of the risk-countries in which French citizens are being asked
not to travel and where authorities will henceforth undertake
special security measures to assure that those French nationals who
must reside there will be better protected than in the past. Which
is why too, as far as Pakistan is concerned, the last word has not
yet been said - in spite of Defence Minister Alliot-Marie's pledge
of May 9 - that military cooperation with Pakistan will continue as
in the past.

Also on the initial list is Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Afghanistan,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Georgia, Chechnya, Colombia, Chad,
Liberia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Somalia.
Still, the list is subject to change, say Quai d'Orsay sources,
notably as a function of the larger-scale inter-ministerial study
which is to be completed only later this year, evidently after this
June's legislative vote at which time a Socialist win - which is
considered as possible - could very well send strategic planners
back to square one.

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20020513
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Doctors who did autopsies on blast victims called to capital
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By S. Raza Hassan

KARACHI, May 12: The team of medicolegal officers (MLOs) which
performed post-mortem on the bodies of the 11 French nationals who
had been killed in the suicide car bomb explosion here on May 8
have been called to the federal capital by an intelligence agency
in connection with the investigations, sources told Dawn on Sunday.

The sources said police surgeon Dr Qasim Soomro, an additional
police surgeon at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), Dr
Irfan Qureshi, and three medicolegal officers, Dr Yasmeen, Dr Yahya
and Dr Mehboob, had been asked to report at the office of the
federal minister of health on May 15, with all relevant record.
These three doctors (MLOs) also examined the remains of the suicide
bomber.

Post-mortem on the 11 bodies had been performed by a team of
doctors, comprising Dr Ghulam Ali, Assistant Professor in Forensic
Medicine, and the above-mentioned three medicolegal officers of the
JPMC.

Air tickets for the five doctors had been sent from Islamabad to
the office of the police surgeon, the sources said. The upper half
of the suicide bomber's body was completely dismembered due to the
intensity of the explosion. The remains of the lower half of the
body were brought to the JPMC.

The team of doctors also examined the remains of the suicide bomber
for circumcision and they found that the man had been circumcised,
the sources said.

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20020513
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Consequential legislation be completed by June 30
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By Intikhab Hanif

LAHORE, May 12: The Punjab chief secretary has finally fixed June
30 as deadline for the completion of the consequential legislation
the ratio of which is below than 50 per cent at present.

The consequential legislation was a major task which the provincial
governments were required to accomplish as soon as possible to
synchronize their laws with the local government ordinance under
which the district governments were launched on Aug 14, last year.

The district governments (or the devolution plan) were designed by
the National Reconstruction Bureau and launched against the advice
of many quarters which wanted it to also simultaneously tune in
scores of other laws, sources said.

Their warning was that launching the devolution plan without
amending laws governing the provincial governments would create a
chasm in the administration system, rendering the district
governments unable to function as was desired by their designers,
they said.

Under the pre-devolution plan system, the office of deputy
commissioner used to be considered the face of the government,
having all administrative powers to implement official policy. But,
as the office was abolished along with the executive magistracy at
the time of the introduction of the new local government system,
the powers of the deputy commissioner/district magistrate were
divided between the district and sessions judge, district Nazim and
the chief secretary of his administration's team, the DCO. And as
this was done without amending the law, problems like who would
order the constitution of a medical board or disinterment of a body
for postmortem or who would issue or cancel the declaration of a
newspaper or journal erupted, the sources said.

According to the sources in the provincial law and local government
and rural development departments, from Aug 14, 2002, to todate 60
to 65 ordinances regarding various departments had been
promulgated.

The number of these ordinances was 45 in early March and the
officials had put the ratio to only 30 per cent of the total
required consequential legislation. The sources said the chief
secretary had earlier asked all departments to finish the
legislation as early as possible but still around 12 departments
"are sleeping." They said major changes were required to be made in
the laws relating to the Board of Revenue like the amendments to
the Land Revenue Act and the Tenancy Act but these had been brought
about.

Similarly legislation relating to the home department had also been
completed. But there were still departments which had not initiated
even a single law for the required change.

The officials did not disclose the names of these departments but
said they had been asked by the chief secretary to finish their job
at any cost by June 30 so that the Punjab could be able to take the
load of steps regarding the devolution of power from the federal
government to the provincial governments and prepare for the
general elections.

When asked about the status of the ordinances which had already
been promulgated, they said they were still being adjusted in view
of the problems pointed out by the quarters concerned regarding
their applicability.

The Gujranwala DCO had recently demanded adjustments in the Motor
Vehicles Acquisition Law because of the on ground problems, they
said.

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20020518
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DNA tests to help identify body: IG
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Staff Reporter

KARACHI, May 17: Amid reports that police have found the remains of
slaughtered American journalist Daniel Pearl, 10 pieces of a
decomposed human body were exhumed in a farm, off Superhighway in
the presence of a judicial magistrate, police and a six-member
medical board.

The provincial police chief, Syed Kamal Shah, neither confirmed nor
denied that it was Daniel Pearl's body.

"Body viscera have been sent for medical examination and DNA test
after which the identity of the body can be established", Syed
Kamal Shah told a news conference at the Driving Licence Branch in
Clifton.

He categorically denied the arrest of three persons, believed to be
affiliated with a proscribed organisation, and said: "We have not
arrested anyone in this case." He said "a source" led the police to
the body but he was unaware about the identity or when it was
buried there.

To a question, neither he refuted nor acknowledged as to whether
the 1,000 square yards plot having a boundary wall was the property
of Al-Rasheed Trust, a banned organisation.

The IGP said that the ownership of the compound in which two small
rooms are constructed, is being ascertained.

"We will answer to the question of ownership of the property after
seeing the papers and revenue record", he said, adding after
verification of the ownership, it would be investigated as under
what circumstances the burial was carried out and in whose
possession the premises was.

About exhumation, he said on a tip-off, the police party, headed by
SSP Investigation Manzoor Mughal, with a judicial magistrate, a
medical board of six-experts, headed by Dr Qasim Soomro, and two
musheers reached the spot and dug up the spotted place in Gulzar-i-
Hijri police limits in a vacant plot having a compound wall near
Ahsanabad, Gulshan-i-Maymar.

The digging started at 12:20pm on Friday by meeting all legal
formalities. After three hours of digging to a depth of 4.5 feet,
three feet in length and two feet in width, ten limbs of body were
discovered. Those limbs found in the grave were skull, right arm
with hand amputated from shoulder, left arm with hand amputated
from shoulder, chest, abdomen, right thigh from hip to knee- joint,
right leg from knee to foot, left thigh from hip to knee joint,
left leg from knee to ankle and left foot, he added.

In addition to the body parts, three pieces of rope in green
colour, three plastic bags in blue colour, and certain other things
were also recovered.

He said the compound comprised an open space with two small rooms.
In one room there were blood stains and their samples were also
sent for medical examination. He said the body parts had been sent
for medical examination and DNA testing. The facility of DNA
testing was not available in Karachi and it was only available in
Lahore.

"We can also seek foreign technical assistance, if needed in this
respect", he maintained. He said the body was preserved to save it
from further decomposition.

The IGP told a questioner that he cannot say as to how much time
these tests would take but the parts of the body would be at the
disposal of analysts for the purpose of identification.

"We have to rely on the opinion of experts, who would thoroughly
analyze the DNA and other medical tests and then form an opinion,
which will be binding for us."

About DNA test results, he said it might take a couple of days or a
week. Without naming Daniel Pearl, the US journalist, throughout
his press briefing, Kamal Shah said: "We have attached importance
to the recovery of this body as there were strong rumours at
national and international media."

About the identification or any indication about Daniel's body, the
provincial police chief said: "We can't form an opinion just after
having a glance. We have to analyze from different angles and
examine in depth. We also require technical experts' opinion on
each and every item found as evidence."

To another question, he said: "We will match the DNA test report to
all important persons missing."

Exhumed parts kept in Edhi morgue

KARACHI, May 17: The exhumed body parts, suspected to be those of
US journalist, Daniel Pearl, were kept in the Edhi morgue at Sohrab
Goth, according to a statement issued by the Edhi Foundation, on
Friday.

The statement said that the US has arranged for a special air-
tight coffin to store the body parts and to keep them from further
decomposition.

The police were deployed outside the Edhi morgue and the key of the
locked coffin was in the possession of the police, the Edhi sources
said. Another body, that of the suspected suicide bomber, is kept
in the Edhi morgue at Moosa Lane, under the protection of the
police and rangers, the press release said.

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20020518
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Shaikh Omar's men helped recover body
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By Arman Sabir

KARACHI, May 17: Three detained activists of a banned militant
group helped the police recover a chopped-up body, supposedly of
the US journalist Daniel Pearl, from a vacant plot in Gadap Town
off Super Highway.

Well-placed police sources disclosed that the three activists -
Adnan, Haider and Tauheed - belong to the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi.
But, Syed Kamal Shah, Inspector-General Police, Sindh, at a news
conference, denied having arrested the three men. He claimed that
police had acted on a tip-off from "a source." But the sources said
that the three detained suspects were among the six who are
allegedly the associates of Shaikh Omar, prime suspect in Daniel
Pearl's murder case, presently facing trial inside a prison in
Hyderabad.

The sources said the three activists had revealed to the police
during interrogation that the US journalist had been kept in a
house in Orangi Town when he was alive. But after his murder his
remains were burried in a desolated place in Gadap Town. Acting
upon this information the police began digging the said plot for
Pearl's body on Thursday night.

According to sources the police did find a body but reportedly
buried it again and waited for the medical board to arrive on
Friday morning.

The medical board comprised police surgeon Dr Qasim Soomro, Dr Prof
Tariq Mirza, Dr Hamid Parihar, Dr Prof Ghulam Ali, Dr Shafi
Nizamani, and Dr Hafiz Athar.

A judicial magistrate, and two foreigners, believed to be FBI
agents, were also present at the time of the exhumation.

The sources said the body was chopped-up in 10 pieces and kept in
shopping bags. Two spoons, a sleeve of the blue shirt supposedly
worn by Daniel Pearl, and two ampules of tranquillizer were also
found from the grave.

The doctors, preserved the body viscera in 16 jars which were taken
first to the police surgeon's office and then shifted to
laboratories.

The sources said although the body parts had been badly decomposed,
the heart, kidneys and lungs were in an examinable condition, and
were sent for histopathological examination and chemical tests. The
fingertips, hair and pieces of skin were also preserved, they
added.

According to sources the walls of one of the two rooms built on the
plot from which the body parts was recovered, were blood-stained.
Two car seats were also found there.

The 1,000 yard plot is flanked by Madaris - Fehmul Quran on its
right and the other on its left is under-construction; Jamia
Rasheedia is located at its back.

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20020517
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Pearl's body recovered?
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By S. Raza Hassan

KARACHI, May 16: Police on Thursday reportedly recovered the body
of Daniel Pearl, the slain correspondent of the Wall Street
Journal.

While the top brass of the city police was in a meeting at the
residence of the provincial home secretary, some senior officials
in the police department said that they had recovered a body
somewhere at the Super Highway and it was being examined on the
spot to ascertain its identity. Other reports said that the body
was recovered from the Western part of the city.

"I can only say that the subject of the meeting is Daniel Pearl and
you can expect some startling disclosure any moment," a senior
police official told this reporter.

Other sources in the police department said that the body was
recovered following a tip off, from three suspects arrested by the
CID, earlier in the day. However, these sources failed to confirm
the identity of the arrested suspects.

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20020518
-------------------------------------------------------------------
AG's plea in Pearl case rejected
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

HYDERABAD, May 17: ATC Judge Syed Ali Ashraf Shah rejected an
application of prosecution in Daniel Pearl kidnapping-cum-murder
case, requesting to place on record a report of a handwriting
expert, containing grounds on which he certified the admitted and
disputed documents were written by the same accused.

A prosecution witness conceded before the court the FIR of Marine
Pearl, widow of slain journalist, was lodged after a delay of 12-
days, defence counsel claimed.

The accused complained to the court they had been denied facilities
permissible under jail manual. They said they were not even allowed
to offer prayers collectively. The accused claimed they were only
allowed half an hour stroll whereas other under trial prisoners
were allowed to have this opportunity for two hours.

Defence council Rai Bashir Ahmed claimed medical examination of
Salman Saqib was conducted and according to the report, his liver
was afflicted with some disease and he was still passing blood in
urine.

According to Saqib's brother his condition was serious and he was
not provided medicines prescribed by the doctors.

The court called DIG, Prisons, Nawaz Hussain, and acting jail
superintendent, Zia-ur-Rehman, and directed them to ensure the
availability of facilities permissible under jail manual.

The court rejected the application filed by the prosecutor,
Advocate General, Raja Qureshi, on the ground sufficient material
had been brought on record in connection with the observation of
the handwriting expert Ghulam Akbar Jaferi.

Qureshi told journalists the prosecution reserved right to question
the said order of ATC before Sindh High Court.

In the application, he sought permission for bringing on record a
report of the handwriting expert that contained grounds for his
determination of the fact that specimen of disputed and admitted
documents of accused Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and Adil Sheikh were
similar. He claimed the prosecution mistakenly forgot to attach the
said report. Both the defence counsels opposed the application.

The counsels also opposed the application of prosecution, seeking
constitution of a commission to proceed to London and record
statement of Marine.

The court deferred this application for Tuesday when Barrister
Jameel, counsel for Marine, will argue this application and inform
whether he had any written request on behalf of Marine.

Ahmed informed the court no written application or medical
certificate had been submitted on behalf of Marine. He added in
case she was pregnant at an advanced stage, the court could wait
for her to come before the court personally and record her
statement if she was interested.

He claimed it appeared the prosecution wanted to visit London on
government expenses. He argued the defence also would have to be
facilitated by the government to go to London because the presence
of accused was necessary during recording of Marine's statement
unless they requested for exemption on their own.

The counsel said defence lawyers informally discussed with
prosecution the reported recovery of Pearl's body.

He told journalists if it was Pearl's body, the court would have to
stop the proceedings. He said since there were reports of arrest of
three more suspects, the court would have to hold a retrial afresh
right from framing of charges and recording of evidences of
prosecution witnesses. He alleged it was another drama staged by
prosecution.

Prosecution produced another witness, sub-inspector Aslam Jat of
the Artillery Maidan police, who had lodged the FIR of Marine on
Feb 4.

The counsel quoted Jat as having admitted Pearl went missing on Jan
23 whereas the case was lodged on Feb 4 after a delay of 12 days.

The police official stated in Marine's application it was not
mentioned Pearl had been kidnapped and she told police her husband
had gone to Village Restaurant and since then he was missing.
Prosecution will produce a new witness on Saturday.

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20020517
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Defence disputes video's validity: Daniel Pearl case
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

HYDERABAD, May 16: The defence lawyers of four accused in Daniel
Pearl kidnapping-cum-murder case disputed veracity and validity of
the video cassette and e-mails' attachments, brought on court
record by two FBI special agents, during cross-examination of the
FBI men.

The lawyers claimed that the video was prepared with the help of
modern computer and camera technology.

The court rose for the day to take up an application of Advocate
General, Sindh, Raja Qureshi, seeking constitution of a commission
to go to London to record statement of Marine Pearl, widow of
deceased journalist.

Abdul Waheed Katpar, counsel for Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh, filed
objections on the said application, praying for its rejection.

The FBI officials, who were subjected to extensive cross-
examination lasting for over seven hours, were brought to
Hydera0bad Central Jail amidst tight security. Both the officials
were accompanied by two other US nationals whose identity could not
be ascertained. They were also present in the court.

The defence counsels, Katpar and Rai Basheer Ahmed, argued the
witness did not disclose from where he received the video cassette
and who had prepared it. Similarly, Katpar claimed that the
forensic examiner Ronald Joseph had said that he had received the
laptop at the US consulate while he came to Pakistan on Feb 4. He
said the FBI agent admitted that the computer was not sealed.

Ahmed, counsel for Salman Saqib, Fahad Naseem and Sheikh Adil, said
he made FBI official John Moligan concede before the court that
video cassette, produced by him, could be prepared through modern
technology, devices and computer.

Noting an anomaly in Moligan's statement, the advocate claimed the
ticket of FBI official showed that he had gone to Bangkok from
Karachi on Jan 31 whereas the FBI official said he had arrived from
USA to Karachi on Feb 4.

He said the attachments and computer files of e-mails showed they
were transmitted for informing news agencies and other
organizations Pearl was being released. He added they did not
relate to ransom demand.

Ahmed said he told Moligan actually the video cassette was prepared
by Inspector Hameedullah Memon, the investigating officer of the
case, as it bore names of Memon and Faisal Noor, adding the
cassette was sealed by Memon before being handed over to FBI agent.

The counsel said the words, Palestine, Afghanistan and Kashmir,
which appeared on the screen, were inserted in the video through
computer. This fact was admitted by Moligan, the lawyer said,
adding FBI official said he received the video copy near Sheraton
hotel but he did not try to interrogate the man who gave it to him.

The prosecution witness Ronald Joseph told the counsel he secured
three files from computer, JPG1, JPG2 and JPG3, but the FBI
official provided five files with his report.

The FBI official told the counsel he took photographs while he was
taking out hard disk and then inserted it in the computer but
admitted he did not attach the photographs with his report.

The counsel said 64 attachments obtained by the FBI official from
computer were entire data of hard-disk and not alone of e-mails. He
said it had not been established from where the laptop was
obtained.

Joseph also stated he was provided photo copies of e- mails and
photographs of Pearl before he examined the laptop, the counsel
said.

The counsel said Joseph also admitted data secured from the laptop
could be inserted by FBI, police or anyone else before it was
handed over to him for examination and asserted FBI official also
did not know how many people kept the laptop with them earlier.

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20020516
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Judge to testify in Pearl case
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

HYDERABAD, May 15: ATC Judge Syed Ali Ashraf Shah has fixed May 22
for recording the evidence of former presiding judge of the case,
Arshad Noor Khan, provided Sindh High Court allows him to appear as
court witness in Daniel Pearl kidnapping-cum-murder case.

The court passed the order on an application of Advocate General,
Sindh, Raja Qureshi- the chief prosecutor- wherein it was claimed
that the principal accused, Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh, had given a
confessional statement of having kidnapped US journalist Daniel
Pearl before ATC Judge Arshad Noor Khan.

On the application, counsel for Omar Sheikh, Abdul Waheed Katpar,
told the court that he had no objection if the SHC allowed the
judge to depose in the matter. However, the other defence counsel,
Rai Basheer Ahmed, sought notice on the plea, arguing that since
the ATC Judge had already held hearing of this case, he could not
be called as witness.

"I have kidnapped Daniel Pearl. He (Pearl) is dead. I do not want
to defend myself because I know that I would be extradited to
United States", Raja Qureshi quoted Omer Sheikh as having confessed
before ATC Judge Arshad Noor Khan when he was produced before him
by police for obtaining his remand.

Both the defence counsels pointed out that in his order on that
day, the ATC Judge did not make any mention of such confession of
Omar Sheikh.

The judge dismissed the application of defence counsel, Rai
Basheer, seeking registration of a blasphemy case against Raja
Qureshi for having passed derogatory remarks and making
objectionable gestures about the Holy Prophet (PBUH) on May 8.

"I will move the high court after obtaining a certified copy of the
ATC judge's order, dismissing my application", Rai Basheer told
newsmen.

The prosecution presented three witnesses, Arif, a camera shop
owner, Naeem Sheikh, an Internet service provider, and Usman,
manager of a cellular phone company in Karachi.

Only Arif was cross-examined by the defence whereas both the
defence counsels, Abdul Waheed Katpar and Rai Basheer, reserved
their cross-examination of the remaining two witnesses on the
ground that they needed certified copies of documents placed by the
witnesses on the court record.

The defence also demanded not to allow the documents, presented by
the witnesses, to be made part of the case.

The judge observed that this point would be decided during final
arguments.

Prosecution witness Arif identified Fahad Naseem and Salman Saqib
as the persons who had bought two cameras from his shop. He also
produced receipts carrying the names of Naseem and Saqib.

During cross-examination both the defence counsels pointed out that
both the receipts were not printed ones and were issued on blank
paper. They said that whereas the other receipts produced by
witnesses did not have the names of buyers, only these two receipts
had the names of Saqib and Naseem. The receipts (no 26 and 27) also
did not have name of the company.

The counsels noted that the receipts also did not bear the camera's
make number. They said that the receipts were issued by the witness
under police pressure and this witness had no value in the eyes of
law. They argued that in the absence of original receipts, these
cash memos prepared on blank papers could not be relied upon.

Rai Basheer also filed an application, seeking copy of the video
cassette of Pearl's murder in order to defend his client. He said
that when the video had been watched even by the CNN people and FBI
special agent John Moligan had prepared four copies of it, why
could it not be provided to defence.

He told newsmen that the drama of this video was staged after it
was reported that Pearl had gone to London. The lawyer said that he
had objected to the presence of SSP, CIA, Manzoor Mughal, in the
court, claiming that the SSP heard witnesses and then passed on the
information to other witnesses.

The court asked the SSP to leave the court.

The manager of a cellular phone company, Usman, also testified
before the court.He produced 200-250 print-outs of telephone calls,
specifying details of telephonic conversations alleged to have been
taken place between the accused, Katpar told newsmen.

Raja Qureshi informed journalists that these documents contained
every detail about the date, time and duration of the telephone
calls made by the accused to each other.

Another witness, Naeem Sheikh, who is an Internet service provider
in Karachi, deposed before the court and presented some documents,
mentioning that the e-mails, sent by the accused, were transmitted
through his server.

The AG added that the e-mails carried the photographs of Pearl and
the demands put forward by the accused to some newspapers and
international agencies.

Rai Basheer, advocate, held a two-hour meeting with the four
accused in the jail, DIG, prisons, Nawaz Hussain confirmed.

The advocate carried more than 72 attachments of the e-mails
produced before the court by FBI agent Ronald Joseph during his
evidence on May 11.

The counsel showed these attachments to accused Fahad Naseem who
pointed out several anomalies/shortcomings in the attachments.

The FBI official in his statement had said that the e-mails were
sent through the lap-top of the accused and he had secured the
attachments from the laptop.

Doctors checked Salman Saqib as per court orders and changed his
medicines, Mehar Mohammad Waris Bharwana, advocate, junior of Rai
Basheer told newsmen.

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20020515
-------------------------------------------------------------------
FBI agent deposes before court: Daniel Pearl case
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

HYDERABAD, May 14: Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Judge, Hyderabad,
Syed Ali Ashraf Shah along with the accused, prosecution and
defence lawyers witnessed the three-minute video footage that
showed US journalist Daniel Pearl being assassinated by his
captives.

The cassette was produced before the court in a sealed cover by a
special agent of FBI, Mr John Moligan.

The court will hear on May 16, a plea requesting constituting of a
team to go abroad and record the statement of Marine Pearl, wife of
Daniel Pearl.

The court, however, reserved its order on the application of
Defence Counsel Rai Basheer Ahmed, seeking registration of
blasphemy case against Advocate General Raja Qureshi.

Attorney General Raja Qureshi, in an application, has requested the
court to allow him to bring on record a report of handwriting
expert, Ghulam Akbar Jaferi, that proved that the specimen's of the
accused handwriting were the same.

Later, talking to newsmen defence counsel Rai Basheer refused to
accept the video footage as genuine, and raised a number of doubts.

He said that it is difficult to comprehend what Daniel Pearl was
saying in the cassette. He also said that "there was no resistance
on part of the slain journalist, when he apparently was being
slaughtered". "Rather Pearl was shown in the video with a smiling
face," he remarked.

The court on Tuesday examined two more prosecution witnesses, FBI
agent John Moligan and Rajesh Kumar.

The FBI agent deposed before the court that under directives of his
superiors from New Jersy, USA, he had assisted the local
investigating agencies in Pakistan in the Daniel Pearl case, and
had returned back on Feb 28.

He said a source had provided him the video tape, and he had
prepared four copies of the same. He told the court that under the
law, he could not reveal the identity of his source. At this point,
Raja Qureshi also argued that the FBI agent enjoyed immunity under
Article 6 of the Qanoon-e-Shahdat in this context.

John Moligan said that out of four copies, one was given to FBI in
Karachi, second to the US consul general at Karachi, and the third
copy to the local investigators. He said that he had taken the
original copy to the FBI headquarters in Washington, DC.

The second prosecution witness, Rajesh Kumar, owner of a computer
shop in Karachi, told the court that one person had purchased a
scanner and a printer from his shop, and added that he had also
issued a warranty card.

During his cross-examination, he said the receipt was issued in the
name of Suleman Saqib Naseem. Kumar, however, did not identify any
of the accused present in the court.

The prosecution claimed that the warranty card in question was
recovered from Omer Sheikh.

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20020514
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Prosecution witnesses cross-examined: Daniel Pearl case
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

HYDERABAD, May 13: Three more prosecution witnesses, including
Judicial Magistrate, Karachi South, Erum Jehangir were cross-
examined by the defence.

During cross-examination, the lady magistrate told the court that
the confession obtained by police was genuine, and the accused was
not pressurized for attaining the said statement. She said that the
statements recorded by the accused were 'voluntary'.

Advocate General Sindh, Raja Qureshi informed the court that the
prosecution is ready to make arrangements for witnessing the video
cassette, filming the assassination of US journalist Daniel Pearl.
He also said that the defence is also welcome to witness the video
tape. The court is set to view the film on Tuesday (today).

Defence Counsel Rai Basheer pointed out that the writing expert
failed to provide reasons as to what prompted him to arrive at a
conclusion that there was a similarity in both the writings and the
specimens. He objected that in order to fill the lacuna of
prosecution, this application could not be allowed. The court,
however, fixed the application for Tuesday with notices to the
defence counsels.

The ATC Judge, Syed Ali Ashraf Shah, asked DSP Investigation,
Karachi, Qazi Chand to go out of the court when defence counsel
objected to his presence.

Rai Basheer argued that the DSP would gather every detail from
cross-examination and subsequently pass it on to other prosecution
witnesses, which would adversely affect the defence's case.

However, later talking to journalists, Defence Counsel Rai Basheer
quoted Erum Jehangir as telling the court that the "confessional
statements of the accused were under duress and not independent".

Raja Qureshi told Dawn that the magistrate, in fact, had informed
the court that it seemed the confessional statements of the accused
were not "voluntarily". He, however, hastened to add that the same
magistrate in the certificate of confessional statements had noted
that the statements were voluntarily as per provisions of the law.

The magistrate recalled that the accused, Fahad Naseem, told her
during the recording of his statement that "he wanted to be
remanded to judicial custody because he wanted to save himself".

She said that Omer Sheikh had a bullet mark on his right shoulder,
and added that she had obtained specimen handwriting and sent it to
the experts for verification. She claimed that in the certified
copy of the court order, the name of one Junaid was incorrect and
was due to a typing error.

Another prosecution witness, handwriting expert Ghulam Akbar
Jafferi, submitted reports of handwriting specimens of accused -
Adil Sheikh and Omer Sheikh. He said that he had found the specimen
and the original to be the same.

According to prosecution, the drafts seized from Omer Sheikh and
Adil Sheikh at the time of their arrests, and three specimen
written by both these accused before the magistrate, were found to
be same.

Omer Sheikh had written the specimen in English, whereas Adil
Sheikh in Urdu.

These press release demands pertained to release of Pakistani
prisoners detained at a US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and
thereafter their trial in Pakistan; restoration of Mullah Abdul
Salam Zaeef as Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan; release of
Pakistani money given to USA for the purchase of F-16, the
prosecution claimed.

The writing expert said he had received a letter from SSP CIA,
Karachi, and wanted to bring the letter on record of the court.

Defence counsels maintained that it could not be produced because
it was not from the judicial file.

The expert, however, admitted that in his report of determination
he did not mention the ground in support of his opinion that the
writings were same.

Head Constable of CIA Investigation, Muhammad Iqbal deposed before
the court that Saqib was arrested from Asifabad, Shah Faisal
Colony, Karachi, on Feb 11 and then he (Saqib) led the police party
to the house of Sheikh Adil, who was arrested from his bungalow in
(316/173) North Karachi.

He said Sheikh Adil had told the police that Omer Sheikh was
scheduled to meet him on Feb 13. The police party then went to
airport and at 11 pm arrested Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the
constable said.

He said that he had disclosed his name as Muzaffar Farooque, then
as Rafiq and subsequently as Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh.

During search, policeman stated, a wallet containing two visiting
cards, two receipts, two National Identity Cards and Rs 300 were
recovered.

One of the NIC was in the name of Rauf, and the other which was a
photocopy was in the name of Bashir. He said that one bag was also
seized which contained photocopies of e-mails. He rejected defence
claim that Omer Sheikh was falsely shownto have been nabbed on Feb
13.

In his cross-examination by Rai Basheer, advocate, he denied that
Salman Saqib and Sheikh Adil were arrested on Feb 4.

OMER SHEIKH: Defence counsel Rai Basheer quoted prime accused in
the Daniel Pearl's case as saying that he did not believe in
"criminal justice system because it was unIslamic".

Quoting Omer Sheikh, Rai Basheer said that his client had told the
court of his observation when Advocate General Raja Qureshi
objected on the presence of Sheikh Saeed, Omer's father, with the
defence counsel.

Omer Sheikh told the court that it was because of his father that
he was pursuing his case under the present "criminal justice
system", otherwise he did not believe in it because it was
unIslamic.

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20020512
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Agreement on Omar's trial in Pakistan
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, May 11: The United States has apparently agreed to let
Pakistan try Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the main accused in the
Daniel Pearl's kidnapping and murder case, before making any moves
seeking his extradition.

Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider said during his just concluded
visit to Washington that US authorities were satisfied with the
investigations and trial in the Pearl case suspect, and had trust
in Pakistan's judicial system.

Newspaper reports here have suggested that Sheikh's trial may be
concluded soon and that he is likely to be awarded capital
punishment.

At a press briefing, State Department spoksman Richard Boucher said
the US position remained that it wanted to try Sheikh, but it had
also been made clear from the beginning that there was always "a
question of when different jurisdictions should try somebody and
punish somebody, how to work out the sequencing of that. We decided
in this case that the Pakistani judicial system should go first."

Asked whether if Sheikh was going to be sentenced to death, would
the US feel that it had to try him before he would be extradited
back to Pakistan to face execution, Mr Boucher said: "I don't want
to speculate at this point. I think all I'm saying is Pakistanis
are holding the trial first."

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20020512
-------------------------------------------------------------------
FBI agent, two others record statements: Pearl case
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

HYDERABAD, May 11: A prosecution witness, Amir Afzal Qureshi,
receptionist of the Akbar International Hotel identified Ahmed Omar
Saeed Shaikh before the Anti-Terrorism Court as the man who had
stayed in his hotel by the name of Muzaffar Farooque.

Recording his testimony in US journalist Daniel Pearl's kidnapping-
cum-murder case, he, however, said he had come to know through
Inspector Rao Mohammad Aslam that Muzaffar Farooque was Omer Shaikh
and the foreigner who met Farooque was Daniel Pearl.

Anti-Terrorism Court Judge Syed Ali Ashraf Shah recorded the
statements of three prosecution witnesses, including special agent
of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Ronald Joseph, the
hotel receptionist and judicial magistrate of Karachi South, Erum
Jahangir.

The hotel receptionist was cross-examined. However, the FBI agent
and the magistrate were not put through this exercise on the
request of defence counsels, Abdul Waheed Katpar and Rai Basheer
Ahmed.

The four accused - Ahmed Omer Saeed Shaikh, Adil Shaikh, Salman
Saqib and Fahad Naseem - were present in the court. Three other
foreigners, including a woman, were also in attendance.

The defence counsels would cross-examine the judicial magistrate,
Erum Jahangir, on Monday and the FBI agent on Tuesday as the
defence wanted to go through the statement and attachments, given
by the FBI agent during his examination-in- chief.

The FBI people were brought to the court amidst strict security,
supervised by Hyderabad DPO Moazam Jah Ansari. He then accompanied
them back to their place of stay in Hyderabad from the court.

The FBI agent has been bound by the court to be present on Monday -
the next date of hearing. The FBI witness told the court he had
assisted the investigators in the case. He said he had conducted
forensic examination on Dell Laptop.

The attachments, produced by the FBI agent, were in fact the
working reports that culminated in the formation of the actual
report, showing that E-mails were sent from the laptop in question
which was the case property.

The judicial magistrate, Erum Jehangir, told the court she had
recorded the statements of accused Salman Saqib and Fahad Naseem
under section 164 CrPC and added that two witnesses, Nasir Abbasi,
a taxi driver, and Asif Mahfooz Farooqui, a journalist of
Islamabad, had identified Omar Shaikh as the accused.

Farooqui (Omar Shaikh) had assisted Daniel Pearl in connection with
his investigation on some stories. She said she had also obtained
the specimen of writing of the accused and added that Omer Shaikh
had given his specimen in English whereas Adil Shaikh wrote in
Urdu.

She also said the investigating officer had shown her the letter of
the district and sessions judge for recording confessional
statement and that she had no copy of it now.

Rai Basheer, counsel for Salman Saqib, Adil Shaikh and Fahad Naseem
told journalists after the proceedings were over that when the
magistrate was recording her statement, Salman Saqib interrupted
her and said that he gave his statement under section 164 out of
compulsion as he was told by the investigators that his mother and
sister would be stripped if he did not sign the statement.

The counsel added that Adil Shaikh had also informed ATC Judge Syed
Ali Ashraf Shah that he was threatened by SP Zubair, DSP Farooque
and Inspector Hameedullah Memon to sign the statement failing which
the consequences would be disastrous.

The third witness, Amir Afzal Qureshi, deposed before the court
that Inspector Rao Mohammad Aslam had come to his hotel at
Rawalpindi and demanded the record about Jan 11 regarding room no
411.

According to the record, Muzaffar Farooque had stayed in the room
for one night and on the next date he departed from the hotel.

The witness said that a foreigner had also visited Muzaffar
Farooque and added that the inspector told him that Farooque was
actually Omer Shaikh and also disclosed that the foreigner was
Daniel Pearl.

On this evidence, defence counsel Rai Basheer Ahmed raised
objection and said that it was hearsay evidence and could not be
placed on the record.

He said he did not bring the ledger as he was not asked to bring it
adding that he was examined by police and he had also read his
statement. He said it was incorrect to suggest that he had not
mentioned in his police statement that Daniel Pearl had met with
Omer Shaikh in the hotel and it was wrong that he was deposing at
the insistence of the police.

In his cross-examination by Rai Basheer Ahmed, he was confronted
with his earlier statement, given to the police, adding that he had
mentioned the name as Muzaffar Farooque and not Farooqui and he was
not having beard at that time.

He denied that he had mentioned in his police statement that room
no 417 was booked for Muzaffar Farooqui as his hotel did not have
such a room. He said he had stated in his police statement that the
foreigner had met Muzaffar Farooqui but it was not recorded in the
statement under section 161 CrPC, adding that he did not disclose
the name of the foreigner.

Rai Basheer claimed that the FBI agent had recorded his statement
under a fictitious name as he did not produce his identity card and
just waved it to the court, saying that US laws permit him not to
disclose his identification. The court directed the superintendent
of jail to get Salman Saqib medically examined as he was passing
blood in urine.

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20020512
-------------------------------------------------------------------
US newsman allowed to take sensitive video tapes
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, May 11: The government allowed an American citizen to
leave the country with video films of the entry and exit points of
a prison, raising apprehensions among law enforcement agencies
about the security of the jail and its inmates.

When contacted, Information Secretary Anwar Mehmood said: " Thomas
Mead Jennings was carrying seven video cassettes, one of which had
scenes which raised security concerns."

In reply to a question, Federal Information Minister Nisar Memon
said the particular individual had sought permission for another
purpose, but did something else. " We have made a note of the
likely breach of security, which could occur, and if any incident
takes place we certainly know who are the persons to hold
responsible."

Some video taps, sources said, had scenes of the entry and exit
points of the Karachi jail, whereas others pertained to the
referendum rallies addressed by President Musharraf. However, on
the intervention of the higher authorities, the American citizen,
who claimed to be a freelance newsmen, was allowed to leave the
country along with the video cassettes, sources said.

"We allowed him to go to uphold the principle of freedom of the
Press, although it was not right to make such a movie," the
minister said and added that the officials concerned had visited
Karachi to see the movie, and noted the breach of security which
could occur as a result of it.

The American journalist would have been in trouble for filming such
places in his own country, the minister said.

Mr Jennings was detained by the customs authorities at Karachi
airport last week, the sources said, adding that the information
minister was informed about it by the ministry.

At an official meeting held here, concerns were voiced over the
filming of such sensitive places and suspicious role of a
journalist of Indian origin, Asra Nomani, in the case.

Last week, Asra Nomani had made a number of calls from Paris to
some officials of the information ministry for securing the release
of the video tapes made by Jennings, the sources said.

Earlier, Asra Nomani had made media headlines when Wall Street
Journal Reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped, as before the
kidnapping, Pearl was staying with her in Karachi.

" She was denied a visa by the press counsellor. It is not known
how she had managed to reach Pakistan," said an official letter
sent from the Pakistani officials in New York to the government.

Referring to the Indian connection in the US newsman case, the
official correspondence said: "May I inform you that Asra Nomani,
the American passport holder - Indian Muslim woman who accompanied
Daniel Pearl- had applied for Pakistan visa on Sep 19, 2001, on the
ground that she wanted to visit Pakistan, her ancestor's birth
place. She was also married to a Pakistani, but the marriage broke
after three months."

The letter gave her residential addresses in India and New York
with a note that the information might be of help in the
investigations in the Pearl case.

Asra Nomani, in her hand written application for visa after
detailing her journalistic background, had pleaded: " My name comes
from the 17th Surah of the Quran that tells of the mystical journey
the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) took to the seven heavens, bringing
back from him revelations. Allow me this journey, and I promise I
will allow voices to reveal that will be good for the cause of
humanity."

The mystery of how Asra Nomani managed to get a visa, despite
initial refusals by the Pakistani authorities and her role in
getting the seven movies confiscated by the customs authorities
released is a cause of concern, one of the participants of the
official media meeting told Dawn.

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20020512
-------------------------------------------------------------------
New force to fight terrorism: Musharraf discusses strategy
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, May 11: The government decided to raise a special
investigation force and arm it with latest equipment for combating
terrorism in the country.

The decision for raising the force on an emergency basis was taken
at a meeting presided over by President Gen Pervez Musharraf, here
at Aiwan-i-Sadar, Interior Secretary Tasnim Noorani told Dawn.

The meeting reviewed the law and order situation in detail and felt
the need for improving investigation as well as intelligence
gathering capacity of the law enforcement agencies.

The interior secretary, who gave a detailed presentation to the
meeting about the counter-terrorism measures being adopted by the
law enforcement agencies and also about the areas which needed to
be strengthened, said that the meeting noted a change in the
pattern of terrorist attacks in Pakistan.

In view of the new techniques being adopted by terrorists,
particularly the suicide attacks, the meeting decided that there
should be a special unit for prevention and investigations of such
acts of terrorism.

The proposed Central Investigation Unit (CIU) would be set up by
drawing the most capable officers from the law enforcement
agencies. This unit would be equipped with latest available
technology.

Members of this force would be sent to the United States, France,
Japan and Britain for extensive training, he added.

The interior secretary said that a strict criterion for selection
of officers and staff to be inducted into the new unit would be
adopted and those selected would be given special incentives in
terms of foreign training and other facilities.

Although, no timeframe had been specified by the meeting, it
directed the authorities to accomplish the task within minimum
possible time, he said. The meeting, he added, also decided to
establish a forensic laboratory at the federal level and revamp the
existing laboratories at provincial Central Intelligence
Departments (CIDs) by providing them latest equipment.

The forensic laboratory at the federal level would be initially set
up in a hired building till a building specially designed for such
a high-tech laboratory is constructed, he added.

About the ongoing crackdown on extremist groups, the interior
secretary said that the government had carefully prepared a list of
extremists in consultation with all the four provincial governments
and in light of recommendation of the intelligence agencies.

So far, 383 activists, who have been placed in "Category A" had
been rounded up from the four provinces, he added.

Mr Noorani said that only those who had been allegedly organizing
or funding terrorist or extremist groups had been placed in
"Category A". "We are not just arresting operatives but the real
culprits," he added.

As regards foreign assistance sought by the government in the wake
of Karachi incident, he said that their response had been very
encouraging. "We will first raise the force and than we will ask
for training and equipment," he added.

The meeting was attended by all the four provincial governors, Vice
Chief of Army Staff Gen Yousaf, Law Minister Dr Khalid Ranjha,
Corps Commanders of Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar and Karachi and
provincial chief secretaries and heads of an intelligence agency.

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20020514
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Army to start patrolling in Waziristan shortly
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Intikhab Amir

PESHAWAR, May 13: Army troops would step in for the first time in
the inaccessible areas of the North and South Waziristan agencies
in a couple of days with dual objective of carrying out development
work and patrolling the area to check infiltration of undesirable
elements from Afghanistan.

Taking to Dawn, Corps Commander Lt Gen Mohammed Ali Jan Orakzai
said: "In line with an understanding reached with the tribal elders
from the South and North Waziristan agencies recently, troops would
enter these two agencies on Wednesday to take on their job."

Apart from carrying out development works in these agencies of the
Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) bordering Afghanistan,
the troops would also keep vigilance on the cross-border movement
from Afghanistan, he added.

In this regard a representative Jirga (council of tribal elders)
from the South Waziristan agency held a meeting with the Corps
Commander. The tribal elders assured the Corps Commander to extend
their cooperation to the government providing access to army to
their areas in lieu of development schemes in the education, health
and public health engineering sectors, apart from the supply of
electricity to their areas.

After getting similar commitments from the military authorities a
couple of days back, the tribal elders from the North Waziristan
agency agreed to accept army's presence in their area, considered
to be housing Al Qaeda and Taliban activists.

Following the assurances by the tribal elders Lt Gen Mohammed Ali
Jan Orakzai will shortly visit the South and North Waziristan
agencies to lead the army troops including members of the
engineering corps with some 20 bulldozers and other machinery to
launch development works in these areas.

Army's deployment in these two agencies will come as a boost for
Islamabad to take necessary action amid rising international
pressure for carrying out operations in North and South Waziristan
agencies reported to be housing the fleeing Al Qaeda and Taliban
warriors.

"Yes there were reports about their (Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters)
presence in some pockets of the two agencies, but they proved
wrong," replied the commander of the Peshawar-based 11 Corps when
asked about the reported presence of Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters
in Fata. He also did not see any threat to the government's reforms
program for Fata amid increasing unrest among tribesmen due to the
presence of American communication experts in some parts of Fata.

In an attempt to persuade tribesmen to cooperate with government in
its bid to open up the inaccessible areas of Fata, Gen Mohammed Ali
Jan Orakzai, hailing from the Orakzai agency of Fata, visited four
areas of the Upper Kurram agency and Frontier Regions of Kurram.

The places he visited include Kundao (FR Kurram), Darra Dar
(bordering with Tora Bora), Said Karam and Camel Bazaar in the
Upper Kurram agency. At all these places, tribal elders of Para
Chamkani tribe assured their cooperation to the government in
carrying out development works and government's bids to abide by
its international commitments. They also put forth their demands
for carrying out development schemes in social sectors.

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20020514
-------------------------------------------------------------------
US will grant $73m to fight terrorism: Moin
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, May 13: Interior minister Moinuddin Haider said that
Pakistan would get a $73 million grant from the United States to
combat terrorism in the country.

The interior minister said that cooperation between the two
countries would continue to combat terrorism, check trafficking in
drugs, and infiltration of terrorist elements from across the
western borders.

Talking to newsmen at Islamabad airport this morning he said out of
the $73 million, 44 million would be spent on strengthening of
security on the Pakistan-Afghan border to check illegal crossings.
For this purpose, paramilitary scouts and provincial levies would
be trained and equipped. The rest of the amount he said would be
utilized to establish an air wing for surveillance of the western
border.

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20020517
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Deal with govt in the offing, says PML
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ahmed Hassan

ISLAMABAD May 16: The information secretary of PML(N) Siddiqul
Farooq has claimed that Gen Musharraf, after the referendum fiasco,
was working on a 'face-saving exit'; Sardar Qayum's recent meetings
with Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto as his emissary were in that
direction.

He said, "Nawaz Sharif talked to party secretary-general Saranjam
Khan and expressed his readiness to fly home any day, any moment".
He claimed things were changing fast as the general had lost the
confidence of American and western allies by indulging in 'rigged'
referendum.

Talking to Dawn, Farooq said, his party and other democratic forces
in the ARD and APC would like the October polls to be held
according to plan. He claimed that Nawaz Sharif received a message
to show some flexibility towards the military regime so that
matters could be settled amicably.

It therefore will try to keep the sentiments of the Lahore APC (May
19) in control and avoid a direct clash with the military regime;
this could halt the restoration of democracy process.

Farooq said it is a popular demand and the desire of all democratic
parties including PML(N), PPP, MMA, and others that free and fair
elections are held under an independent election commission.

He claimed that Gen Musharraf had taken the risk of his lifetime by
going for a referendum despite being told by the agencies that he
would not get more than 3 to 5 per cent votes.

Farooq lauded the role played by the national and internal media in
exposing the farce.

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20020515
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Nawaz to return before polls: PML leader
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ahmed Hassan

ISLAMABAD, May 14: Pakistan Muslim League (N) Chairman, Raja
Zafarul Haq, has said the exiled party chief, Nawaz Sharif, is
expected to return home much before the October polls and there
were no restrictions on his leaving Saudi Arabia.

Raja spoke on a host of current issues, including his party's
position on proposed constitutional amendments, the ongoing
crackdown against religious and sectarian groups, the situation in
the Indian-held Kashmir and the reunification of league factions.

He expressed the fear of a serious Indian army move in reprisal to
the fresh incidents in Jammu in which some three dozen people had
been killed. He cited Indian leadership's recent statements which
were indicative of its intention of taking a limited punitive
action in Azad Kashmir.

When quizzed whether the politicians, now out of power, had learnt
their lesson and would not repeat the mistakes which had resulted
in their fall, the league leader said: "The atmosphere is now
changing and there is a wider realization that the political
culture must change and improve in terms of inter-party relations,
mutual tolerance, better governance and financial integrity."

On being asked what the status of the constitutional amendments
would be, that were being mulled over by Musharraf government, he
said: "Just as the amendments announced by Gen Ziaul Haq had been
reviewed by the 1985 assembly, any such exercise would be subject
to scrutiny and approval of the future elected parliament."

In his opinion, even after the Supreme Court's verdict the position
on constitutional amendments has not changed. He recalled that Gen
Zia had also been given almost similar powers by the then SC, but
only 8th amendment was retained by the parliament. He challenged
the notion that President Musharraf will not need endorsement of
his election by an elected parliament and recalled that Gen Zia was
also elected in a referendum but he had to seek the endorsement of
the then assembly.

Talking about the league factions' reunification efforts, he said:
"I have not received any indication from PML (QA) committee for a
meeting on the subject and whenever such a thing happens our party
will take a position."

In our belief, no faction or party can enter into an understanding
with PML (N) unless it agrees with its stance in totality, that is
opposing all acts of Gen Musharraf after October, 1999, he said.

Speaking about the claim of PML(QA) chief Mian Azhar that his party
will win more then 70% seats in the coming assembly Raja Zafarul
Haq said,"I think he was not serious while making such a claim as
he added, he has got much sense of humour".

Speaking about the claim of PML(QA) chief Mian Azhar that his party
will win more than 70 per cent seats in the new assembly, Raja
Zafar said: "I think he was not serious when he made that claim."
He added that he (Azhar) "has got much sense of humour."

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20020517
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Govt renews offer to Benazir, claims PPP
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, May 16: Pakistan People's Party has claimed that the
government has renewed its offer to Benazir Bhutto to step aside
from contesting the elections and convert her exile into a
voluntary one, a claim disputed by the government.

A statement issued by Benazir Bhutto's media cell said that the
party had rejected the offer saying that it was neither new nor
conciliatory. The PPP for the first time admitted that government
had offered Ms Bhutto to quit politics in order to pave the way for
conciliation with Gen Musharraf regime.

It said, "a party representative was contacted to renew the old
offer that Mohtarma should unilaterally step aside from contesting
the forthcoming elections and turn her exile into a voluntary
exile." It also denied report that Pakistan's ambassador to the UAE
held two brief meetings with Ms Bhutto.

"The PPP has always kept the doors of dialogue open to facilitates
the democratization of Pakistan and transfer of power to the
elected representatives."

The president's spokesman Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi refuted the claim
that government had made any indirect offer to former prime
minister.

Reaffirming President Musharraf's determination not to let Ms
Bhutto contest the elections, he said, there were cases against her
and she would have to get herself cleared before qualifying to
contest the elections.

He pointed out that a court had even declared her absconder for not
appearing before it.

When asked whether Ms Bhutto would be arrested if she returns to
Pakistan, he said, law would take its course and courts would
decide her fate.

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20020516
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PPP willing to cooperate with mily regime: 'Limited objectives'
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ashraf Mumtaz

LAHORE, May 15: The Pakistan People's Party, though feels singled
out for political victimization, said on Wednesday that it was
still willing to hold dialogue with the military regime for the
limited objective of working out an exit strategy for the latter
and the formation of an interim government of national consensus to
ensure free and fair elections.

Talking to Dawn after he called on party chairperson Benazir Bhutto
in Dubai, PPP acting secretary-general Reza Rabbani said his party
was making full preparations for the October elections. But, he
made it clear, if the elections were to be the repeat of the April
30 referendum (which most of the parties have rejected as a farce),
the PPP would consider the other options. However, he did not like
to identify those options for the timebeing.

"As far as the military regime is concerned, it is singling out the
PPP for political victimization. Today, only our leadership is
being subjected to accountability, whereas corrupt and notorious
elements in the 'king's party' have been given a clean bill of
health."

He said at present the PPP was the main political rival of the
regime. "Yet, if the regime seeks an exit strategy for the purposes
of forming a government of national consensus, holding free and
fair elections and transferring power to the elected
representatives, the democratic forces within the ARD could enter
into dialogue for this limited purpose".

Several parties, representing various shades of opinion, are due to
hold an all-party conference in Lahore on May 19 to review the
political situation, specially in the context of the presidential
referendum, and decide their future course of action.

Formation of an interim government of national consensus and the
establishment of an independent and autonomous election commission
has been a consistent demand of the ARD and the APCs held in the
past. However, the government has been vehemently rejecting them.

Asked whether the PPP would take part in the elections even if the
regime did not allow Ms Benazir Bhutto to contest, Reza Rabbani
said the party did not look at any other scenario as for the
timebeing the PPP chairperson had not been disqualified nor was any
other law in the field which could keep her out of the electoral
arena.

There was no law, the PPP leader argued, which prevented the twice
elected former prime minister from exercising her constitutional
right of seeking to become a member of parliament.

He said Ms Bhutto would return to the country to take part in the
elections, but the exact date of her arrival would be decided after
the announcement of the election schedule.

Answering a question, Mr Rabbani said: "We are making full
preparations to take part in the elections. We are also conscious
that political scenario after the referendum leaves little room for
free and fair elections. In such a situation, the PPP, in
cooperation with the ARD, will mobilize the domestic and world
public opinion to exert pressure on the regime to hold free, fair
and transparent elections".

He said the PPP was also in the process of completing its
assessment of all national and provincial constituencies, the
constituencies which were the PPP's strong strongholds. The party
was also identifying potential candidates in these constituencies.
The preparation of the manifesto was at an advanced stage which
would be announced at an appropriate time.

The PPP, Mr Rabbani said, was also filing appeals against
gerrymandering of constituencies, carried out to favour the king's
party. Party organizations were reviewing the electoral rolls and
identifying the areas where bogus votes had been registered in
bulk. He said competent courts would be moved to seek deletion of
such votes.

Answering a question, Mr Rabbani said for the moment the PPP was
making preparations to contest elections. "But all our options
remain open, particularly with regard to the attitude of the regime
on the arrival or participation of Ms Benazir Bhutto and on the
transparency, freeness and fairness of the electoral process. If it
is to be a repeat of the April 30 referendum, the PPP, in
consultation with its ARD colleagues, will make a decision when the
appropriate time comes".

He said there were a number of options available to the PPP but at
this stage he would not like to place all his cards on the table
and, instead, prefer to maintain an element of surprise, an
essential ingredient of political strategy.

In response to another question, Mr Rabbani said his party was of
the view that at this stage it was premature to consider an
electoral alliance or seat adjustments with other parties. "For the
moment, we are preparing to contest the elections as the PPP. But,
after the election schedule, when the campaign gears up, we would
be open to political dialogue with progressive, democratic
political forces".

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20020514
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Qayum briefs president on meeting with Benazir
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ahmed Hassan

ISLAMABAD May 13: Veteran Kashmiri politician and chairman
President's Kashmir Committee, Sardar Abdul Qayum Khan is said to
have met PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto in Dubai during his recent
visit to the Middle East.

He informed the parliamentary party that he had passed on the
details of the said meeting to President Gen Musharraf when he met
him at president's house Monday. Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
Committee, Gen Mohammad Aziz Khan and other high-ranking officials
were also present at the meeting.

However, his disclosure of holding a meeting with PPP's life
chairperson in his speech at the parliamentary party meeting of AJK
Muslim Conference has reinvigorated expectations of the possibility
of a deal with the Musharraf government on the future set up in the
country.

The PPP, sources say, was ready to accept any pre-condition except
for the keeping of Benazir Bhutto out of the coming elections,
whereas, the Musharraf government's offer to the party so far has
revolved around this one point.

In a related development, PPP leader has relieved party's senior
vice-chairman Makhdoom Amin Faheem of dealing with the army
establishment and has asked for a direct contact with the party
chief.

Sardar Abdul Qayum Khan, according to party sources, without giving
details of what transpired in the meeting during which he was
accompanied by a former comrade of Nawaz Sharif, Mushahid Hussain
Syed, said that he had apprised the president of the details.

Sardar Qayum said that he had held a meeting with Gen Musharraf
today and briefed him about his recent visit to Middle East states
as chairman Presidential Committee on Kashmir. During his stay in
Dubai, he also met All Parties Hurriyat Conference leadership
including its present chief Abdul Ghani Bhat and former chairman
Maulvi Omar Farooq.

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20020515
-------------------------------------------------------------------
LHC acquits Zardari in corruption case
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, May 14: Former Pakistan People's Party MNA Hakim Ali
Zardari was acquitted by a Lahore High Court accountability
appellate bench.

Father-in-law of the former premier Benazir Bhutto, Zardari was
accused of misusing his office as MNA and chairman of the National
Assembly's public accounts committee during 1988-90 in a series of
transactions he entered into with various institutions and
organizations for an abortive tourist village project planned to be
set up by his Zardari Group (Pvt) Limited in the Rawalpindi
National Park.

He was convicted by a Lahore accountability court under the Ehtesab
Ordinance 1997, in March 2001 and was sentenced to undergo simple
imprisonment for a year-and-a-half and pay Rs20 million in fine or
serve another term of the same duration. He was also disqualified
from holding any public office for 10 years. Zardari has already
served out his imprisonment at his residence, which was declared a
sub-jail, due to his poor health.

The LHC appellate bench, which consisted of Justices Tasaddaq
Husain Jilani and Mian Saqib Nisar, ordered that the acquitted
appellant be released forthwith if not wanted in any other case.

Allowing the appeal filed through Barrister M. Saleem Sahgal, the
bench observed that audit reports contained no adverse observation
regarding the affairs of Tourist Village (Pvt) Limited, which the
Zardari Group set up in collaboration with the Pakistan Tourism
Development Corporation, to execute the tourist village project.

No loss was caused by the impugned transactions to the PTDC, the
Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (which leased out 4.5 acres for the
project), the NDFC (which sanctioned a loan) the PSO (which was to
install a petrol pump at the village) or any individual.

None of the individuals or organizations involved has moved a
complaint. The prosecution, which based its case on circumstantial
evidence, has failed to prove any charge, the bench observed.

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20020514
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Move to replace Azhar brushed aside
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, May 13: The Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-i-Azam)
Central Working Committee (CWC) brushed aside the move to replace
its chief Mian Mohammed Azhar with a consensus candidate for a
unified league and linked unification of the PML factions to its
approval before the final decision by the reconciliation committee.

However, party insiders admitted that a strong lobby supported by
the power brokers was on the move to merge the factions and to
cause a fatal dent in the PML (Nawaz) by bringing its influential
block out to join the pro-Musharraf camp, even if change of
president was necessitated.

The sources claimed that resisting the pressure to join the
government-sponsored six-party alliance was a message to the power
brokers that the party was not going to surrender everything and
that the party leadership was determined to take its decisions
within the CWC.

Mian Azhar, who presided over the meeting, later told a news
conference that his party would definitely field its candidates
against the (pro-Musharraf) alliance if no arrangement was made
till the October polls.

He contradicted the report that any understanding on a supreme
leadership council had been reached in his meeting with PML
(Functional) chief Pir Pagaro. He said the party had decided that
the Gohar Ayub committee would hold talks with all splinter groups,
including PML(N), for reunification.

Asked what the purpose of his meeting with Jamaat-i-Islami chief
Qazi Hussain Ahmed was when the latter had rejected any chance of
political cooperation with his party, Azhar said: "It was a social
meeting as we have many things common with the JI since long."

He dispelled the impression that his party was under pressure from
any quarter to join the government-sponsored alliance. He said he
was not under pressure for stepping down as party chief.

Asked should his party's keeping away and National Alliance chief
Farooq Leghari's claim that the NA would take over power in the
polls be taken as beginning of the end with the government, he
said: "We were never assured power by anyone but the masses will
get us to power."

He expressed the confidence that his party was in a position to win
more than two-third majority in the polls.

Mian Azhar refused to admit that his party was weakened in the post
referendum scenario as admitted by the NWFP PML(QA) chief Salim
Saifullah Khan.

Replying to a question regarding the move of replacing him with
Ijazul Haq as party president, he said: "It should better be asked
from him (Ijaz)."

Earlier, speaking at the CWC meeting, Mian Azhar admitted
indiscipline in the party ranks, which he said was resulting in
unnecessary bickering. He said: "Our main aim was restoration of
democracy and all of us will have to work together to achieve this
object."

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20020518
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ex-secy rejects allegations on Bhopal House
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, May 17: Former foreign secretary Shahryar M. Khan rejected
government allegations of using fraudulent means and misusing his
connections to get undue benefit with regard to the Bhopal House
case and declared that as a law-abiding citizen he would accept the
verdict of the court.

Dismayed over such allegations, Mr Khan told a news conference at
the Karachi Press Club that "I have no desire to politicize the
case nor do I have any intention of violating the court's verdict".

The former foreign secretary made it clear that he was neither
under any pressure nor in confrontation with the government but was
addressing the news conference to respond to the allegations
levelled against him by two government departments.

He said the act of dispossessing his family of the property in
Clifton was a violation of the order of the court and read out from
the order given by the then judge Shaiq Usmani. He claimed that he
had complied with the requirements of the order.

With regard to the accusation of misrepresentation, he said he had
submitted the sale deed and mutation of the property since 1947 to
1993 in the name of his grandfather and since 1993 in his late
mother's name. "These are public documents on the record of the KMC
and I cannot change these records."

The respondents, he pointed out, had so far not submitted their
documents in the court. He also refuted the prosecution's claim of
purchasing the property and said "let them bring documents". He
said: "It is surprising that on the one hand they claim the
property was purchased by the government whereas the other version
of the government described it a evacuee property in its possession
since 1947."

Mr Khan said that a three-member committee had been instituted by
the government, two of them were respondents in the case. This
committee reviewed the whole case without his knowledge, said Mr
Khan, adding that if he had been informed, he would have objected
as two of its members were party to the case.

"I requested for hearing but it was denied. How can I accept the
verdict of the committee whose two members are respondents; I
oppose the conclusions of the committee," he said.

With regard to one government department's claim that the property
in question was purchased by it, he said that the matter was in the
court, let the respondents prove their contention.

He also referred to the appointment of commissioner in the case and
said that after the death of his mother, he would appear before the
court on May 25. A contempt application pertaining to the family's
eviction from the Bhopal House was already fixed for May 21.

Asked how he personally felt after the incident and whether he had
any regrets about coming to Pakistan, Mr Shahryar Khan
categorically dispelled the impression and said "we don't have any
regrets about coming to Pakistan; no, not at all. We may have been
disappointed at times but this is our own country. Neither my
mother nor I have any regrets. My mother came here to serve the
ideals of the Quaid-i-Azam."

Giving background of the case, he said it was filed on behalf of
all the heirs of the late Nawab Hamidullah Khan of Bhopal, not just
on behalf of his late mother.

The Bhopal House, he said, was the property of his grandfather
Nawab Hamidullah Khan. He showed the sale deed and mutation of the
property in favour of the late Nawab.

He said the property was inherited by his late mother under the
Islamic law after the death of his grand father.

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20020516
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Conflicting claims on Bhopal House
-------------------------------------------------------------------
staff Reporter

KARACHI, May 15: Two different departments of the Federal
government on Wednesday made conflicting claims in their rejoinders
to the contentions of Shahryar M. Khan, former foreign secretary,
about the status of the Bhopal House.

While the rejoinder faxed by the ministry of Housing and Works said
the property in question was" purchased by the government of
Pakistan from the Nawab of Bhopal for a consideration of Rs450,000
in 1958", the message faxed by the Press Information Department
said the "building had been in possession of the government of
Pakistan as an evacuee property since 1947, without any objection
from the claimant or anyone on his behalf uptil 1992".

Meanwhile, when a contempt matter pertaining to Bhopal House came
before Judge of the Sindh High Court he expressed dismay over the
manner in which inmates of Bhopal House at Clifton were forcibly
evicted allegedly at the behest of the Intelligence Bureau.

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20020516
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bhopal House eviction dismays SHC
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, May 15: A judge of the Sindh High Court expressed dismay
over the manner in which inmates of Bhopal House at Clifton were
forcibly evicted, allegedly at the behest of the Intelligence
Bureau.

"What was the hurry to do all this in such a manner a day before
the Soyem. There is something called humanitarian consideration.
You could have gotten the property in due course, if it was proved
that it is yours," observed Justice Zahid Kurban Alavi, when the
question of eviction from Bhopal House came up against the
concerned authorities in a contempt of court proceeding.

Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, who appeared for the former Foreign
Secretary, Shahryar M. Khan, the only son of the late Begum Abida
Sultaan vehemently deplored the blatant use of force by the
authorities against the inmates of Bhopal House, despite court
order and undertaking given to the court by the respondents.

He argued that the respondents had committed yet another contempt
and that he planned to file yet another contempt application. "They
came along with a strong police force and in spite of objections,
forcibly threw out the inmates from Bhopal House. This action was
taken in spite of the court's order which prohibited the defendants
from taking such an action," submitted Mr Pirzada.

He deplored the action a day before the Soyem of Begum Abida
Sultaan. When he pleaded for calling all the contemners, the IB
personnel, who were present in sizable number, slipped away and
left the Executive Engineer of the PWD to face the court, in the
presence of Amir Hani Muslim, the DAG.

Mohammad Mushtaq, Executive Engineer, PWD, (Defendant No 3) who was
present in the court, submitted that he had received instructions
from the Federal Law and Housing and Works ministries.

The contemner further submitted that he was fully aware that there
might be a possible contempt to which he was given assurance by the
competent authority to defend him.

There was a court ruling that a government servant was not bound to
follow the illegal orders of his superiors. He said that the
property had been taken over by the PWD and handed over to the IB.

Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, while disputing the contention, said that the
lady magistrate, who had earlier refused to sign the order, argued
that she was coerced to sign the documents later.

The matter was adjourned to May 21. Amir Hani Muslim, DAG, was also
present.

There was an earlier contempt application which was filed on behalf
of the late Begum Abida Sultaan under Article 204 of the
constitution in the pending suit for declaration and permanent
injunction in the year 1995, in which Defendant No 3, (Executive
Engineer, PWD) was also arrayed as a party. The plaintiff had
claimed ownership of the suit property and was admittedly in
possession thereof.

It was her contention that her application under Order 39 Rules 1
and 2 came up for hearing before this court, it issued an ad
interim ex-parte order directing maintenance of status quo.
Evidently, this order was passed to restrain the defendants,
including the contemner, from taking possession of the suit
property.

The said ad-interim ex-parte order remained in force until Sept 21,
1998, and was duly obeyed by the defendants, including the
contemner.

On that date, the application, under Order 39 Rules 1 and 2 for
grant of temporary injunction, came up before the court in the
presence of the advocate for the plaintiff - Mamnoon Hassan, Deputy
Attorney General - representing Defendant No 1 and Mohammad Fazil,
advocate, representing Defendant Nos 2 and 3 (including the
contemner).

On that date, categoric undertaking was given on behalf of the
defendants, including the contemner, by the DAG and Mohammad Fazil,
advocate, that the plaintiff shall not be dispossessed from the
property, except under the due process of law.

In view of the said undertaking, the counsel for the plaintiff did
not press the application, which was disposed of accordingly in
terms of the statement of the two counsels for the defendants.
Since then, four years have elapsed and the defendants abided by
their undertaking.

The suit had proceeded in accordance with the due process of law,
but was still sub judice and therefore the undertaking was binding
on the defendants and its breach shall be tantamount to gross and
contumacious contempt of this court.

According to the plaintiff, all of a sudden, on May 6, Defendant No
3, issued a notice to the Begum Abida Sultaan, purporting to be
under Section 5(1) of the Federal Government Lands and Buildings
(Recovery of Possession) Ordinance, 1965, alleging that the
plaintiff was in illegal possession of Plot No 25 (the suit
property), Bhopal House, and must vacate the same within seven days
from the date of issuance of the said letter, failing which the
same shall be gotten vacated through law enforcement agencies. The
notice was issued when the plaintiff was in a coma.

It was contended by the plaintiff that the aforesaid letter by
Defendant No 3, the contemner, was contumacious, defiant and in
total disrespect and disregard of the undertaking given to this
court and was tantamount to interference with the administration of
justice and due process of law; Defendant No 3 was a party to the
suit and it had given undertaking as far back as Sept 21, 1998,
which was being acted upon until the notice dated May 6, and was
maliciously and unlawfully issued.

It was reiterated that the plaintiff had good title to the property
and was in possession of all the relevant and material documents,
such as mutation documents and documents of sale. Hence, the
provisions of the law referred to in the notice were not applicable
unless this court had rejected the plaintiff's prayer on the
disposal of the suit.

Under Article 204 of the constitution, a violation of unqualified
undertaking given to the court allowed certain course of action,
amounted to a contempt of court. Defendant No 3, by violating this
court order, had now committed gross contempt of court.

This application was made as a matter of urgency as unless this
court took contempt proceedings against the Defendant No 3, the
plaintiff might suffer the risk and harm of being evicted from the
premises on Monday, May 13, in gross violation of the undertaking.

A reply to the notice was sent to the contemner, giving him the
opportunity to purge himself of the contempt, but to no effect.

The plaintiff had prayed for initiating contempt proceedings and
issue contempt notice to Defendant No 3, namely, Executive
Engineer, Karachi Central Civil Division No. IV. Pak PWD, Karachi,
for violating and breaking the undertaking given to and order of
the court, dated Sept 21, 1998. It was further prayed that the
contemner be punished and detained in prison for circumventing and
flouting the aforesaid undertaking order of this court and
subverting and interfering with the due process of law and
administration of justice.

The interim orders, including revival of the court order dated Aug
3, 1995, be passed for the relief of the plaintiff, so as to
prevent any illegal or malicious action being taken against her.

In an earlier hearing, Abdul Aziz Memon was appointed as
commissioner to record the evidence and return it to the commission
within three months. This was possible after Amir Hani Muslim, DAG,
had stated that he would have no objection to the appointment of
commissioner for recording of evidence subject, however, to the
condition that the fee of the commissioner was paid by the
plaintiff.

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20020516
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Conflicting claims by govt depts on Bhopal House
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, May 15: Conflicting claims were made by the federal
government departments about the status of Bhopal House, while
challenging the reported assertion by Shahryar M. Khan, former
foreign secretary, at a news conference on Tuesday.

The rejoinder faxed by the ministry of housing and works said the
property in question was "purchased by the government of Pakistan
from the Nawab of Bhopal for a consideration of Rs450,000 in 1958".
However, another rejoinder faxed by the Press Information
Department (PID) said the "building had been in possession of the
government of Pakistan as an evacuee property since 1947, without
any objection from the claimant or anyone on his behalf uptil
1992".

It was intriguing to note that the PID's rejoinder accused the
former foreign secretary, whose grandfather and mother had
scarified a lot for Pakistan and Quaid-i-Azam's ideals, of "grossly
misrepresenting the facts" and "misusing his official political
connections and tried to get undue benefit."

Both the versions had one common point i.e. the press conference of
Mr Khan was "one-sided".

According to the ministry of housing and works, the news-item gave
a one-sided story suppressing some vital facts. It claimed that
"the property, known as Bhopal House bearing survey No. 25 & 26 Old
Clifton, Karachi, measuring 2,233 and 2,459 square yards, was
purchased by late Nawab Hameedullah Khan of Bhopal in July, 1947.
It had a main building, having an area of 10,147 square feet, with
some outhouses.

"The building was requisitioned by the government and used for the
office of the ministry of foreign affairs and commonwealth
relations. The premises were purchased by the government from the
Nawab of Bhopal for a consideration of Rs 450,000 in the year
1958." On shifting of the ministry of foreign affairs to Islamabad,
the building was allotted to the Intelligence Bureau for their
office accommodation.

"In 1992, after a lapse of 34 years, Mr Shahryar Khan, on behalf of
his mother, Princess Abida Sultaan, filed a request with the then
prime minister for releasing Bhopal House to her on the plea that
his mother was the sole legal heir of the Nawab of Bhopal.
Accordingly, a directive was issued by the then prime minister for
handing over the property to her. Needless to mention that this
directive was issued through misrepresentation of facts. Later, the
issue was re-examined and in 1995 this directive was cancelled.
Princess Abida Sultaan then filed a constitutional petition in 1995
and got a status quo order from the High Court of Sindh.

In 1997, Mr Shahryar Khan approached the minister for housing and
works with a proposal for out-of-court settlement. The government
appointed a high-level committee to examine the issue which came to
the conclusion that Mr Shahryar had no case for ownership of the
building.

As Mr Shahryar Khan was in unlawful occupation of a part of the
building, it was decided to get it vacated as per law. This process
started before the unfortunate demise of Princess Abida Sultaan and
its coincidence with the event is only accidental.

It said the case was at present subjudice and the government would
abide by any decision that emerges after due process of law was
completed.

The clarification sent by the PID, on the other hand, termed the
property in question as "evacuee property" and said that "Princess
Abida Sultan had never claimed the ownership of the house till 1992
for almost 32 years after the death of her father. Her father, the
late Nawab Hameedullah Khan of Bhopal (who never migrated to
Pakistan), had never made any claim regarding the ownership of the
property till his death in 1960."

It was also claimed that Mr Shaharyar Khan, who was in foreign
service since 1957 had also not raised the issue of ownership,
despite having worked in the building itself. "Unfortunately the
applicant had misused his official position and political
connections and tried to get undue benefit for himself by
initiating action in the name of his mother and later on got the
property gifted in the name of his wife," the PID version claimed.

It maintained that the office of the Intelligence Bureau was
constructed in 1983 on a portion of the said property which
belonged to the federal government. "The allotment and possession
of a portion of the property by an illegal order of the then prime
minister (Nawaz Sharif) in 1993 was unconstitutional, illegal and
based on fraud," the rejoinder said, adding that the allotment was
cancelled by the government of Benazir Bhutto in 1995 who had
ordered vacation of the building.

Referring to Mr Khan's offer of out-of-court settlement, the PID
version claimed that it was an attempt to avoid the consequences of
what it termed dismissal of the suit. It said that Mr Khan was
given sufficient time to vacate the premises, who instead of
complying with lawful order again resorted to underhand tactics to
deprive the government of Pakistan of public property, hence action
was taken strictly in accordance with the law of the land, and not
otherwise as alleged by Mr Khan.

It termed Mr Khan's attempts to contact senior government
functionaries as an attempt to bearing extraneous influence in his
favour to threaten the process of law. It claimed that "reliable
sources informed that Mr Shaharyar Khan had given a personal
gentleman's undertaking to a very high government functionary in
1995, when this allotment was cancelled, that he would vacate the
premises within three months and dispossession proceedings, which
were in the final stages be stopped. Unfortunately Mr Khan belied
and betrayed this trust reposed in him and obtained a stay order
from the courts."

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20020515
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Bhopal House inmates evicted
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Shamim ur Rahman

KARACHI, May 14: A day before the soyem of late Begum Abida Sultaan
of Bhopal, who died on Saturday, inmates of Bhopal House in Clifton
were evicted by force at the behest of the Intelligence Bureau.

"I am deeply aggrieved and let down by the government of Pakistan
for such a treatment meted out to the family which sacrificed
everything for the sake of Pakistan and to pursue the ideals of
Quaid-i-Azam," said a grief-stricken and shocked former Foreign
Secretary Shaharyar M. Khan, the only son of the late Begum Abida
Sultaan.

Talking to newsmen at the residence of Begum Salma Ahmed, Mr Khan
said while he was preparing for the Qul of his mother in Malir, a
strong force of police arrived at Bhopal House in Clifton and asked
the inmates, including his wife and others, to leave. This
situation continued until 4pm when a strong police force under a
DIG came to the scene, following which they had no option but to
leave, to save themselves from the humiliation.

The house was the property of Nawab Hamidullah Khan of Bhopal where
the IB had set up its office in the annexe. Mr Khan showed various
documents to disprove the claims of the intelligence agency. There
had been attempts in the past also to dislodge the family.

An urgent contempt application would be moved in the Sindh High
Court, he said.

The former foreign secretary said he was shocked that the IB
officials took such an action in complete disregard of the fact
that the matter was in the court. It was against the civilized
norms, he said. He said the matter was fixed for May 25 in the
Sindh High Court.

The Bhopal House, he said, was the property of his grandfather
Nawab Hamidullah Khan, ruler of the second most important Muslim
princely state in India after Hyderabad. He showed the sale deed
and mutation of the property in favour of the late Nawab. Since
1993 it was in the name of the late Begum Abida Sultaan.

Shaharyar Khan appeared deeply grieved when, he said, while his
mother was in coma, she was sent eviction notice by the government
under special powers assumed under an ordinance. This was despite
the status quo order of the high court. On Saturday, he said the
PWD was informed that Begum Abida Sultaan had died.

Deploring the action of the IB officials, he said: "I am deeply
shocked that such a humiliating treatment will be meted out to my
family while I was preparing for the Qul of my late mother who had
sacrificed everything for the sake of Pakistan and for the ideals
of Quaid-i-Azam. It seems that we are being punished for our
commitment."

"This is the reward of the central government to my mother," said
Mr Khan, condemning the high handedness of the Intelligence Bureau.

The former foreign secretary who had pleaded Pakistan's case on
Kashmir many a time, said: "Who is going to listen to our pleading
when we treat our own people in such a way."

He regretted that his calls to Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider,
President Musharraf's principal secretary Tariq Aziz, and the
minister for works were to no avail. He nevertheless said the
minister for works had told him that the action had not been
ordered by him.

Mr Khan said that in order to settle the question of title of the
property, he had also proposed to Brig Talat of the IB to put the
property under the control of the court and had even agreed to
arbitration. He said that to him honour of his mother and the
family was more important than the acquisition of the property.

Neither his late mother nor he himself had planned to live in that
house and had actually planned to either open a school there or
hand it over to Edhi Centre, Mr Khan said.

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20020512
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Princess Abida Sultaan passes away
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, May 11: Princess Abida Sultaan, the heir apparent of the
Bhopal state, who had migrated to Pakistan, died on Saturday
morning after a protracted illness. She was 89. She was buried at
Bhopal House, Malir, after Zohar prayers.

Among the mourners she has left behind, is her only son, Shaharyar
M. Khan, who served as Pakistan's foreign secretary. She was an
outspoken leader, who never compromised on principles and had
sacrificed her coveted position to serve Pakistan.

Princess Abida Sultaan was born in Bhopal on Aug 28, 1913. She was
the eldest of three daughters born to Nawab Hamidullah Khan, ruler
of the second most important Muslim princely state in India after
Hyderabad.

Princess Abida Sultaan was brought up by her grandmother, Sultan
Jahan Begum, the last of the famous Begums of Bhopal who ruled the
state for over a century. Sultan Jahan Begum gave her granddaughter
a strict religious education that saw Abida Sultaan complete the
lafzi-tarjuma of the holy Quran by the age of eight.

After Nawab Hamidullah Khan became the ruler of Bhopal in 1926,
Princess Abida Sultaan was formally recognised, in November, 1928,
the heir apparent of Bhopal at the age of 15. She was brought up to
succeed as ruler of the state and was given a thorough grounding in
administration, public dealing and statecraft.

Princess Abida was a noted all-round sportswoman, who was an all
India women's squash champion and regularly played hockey and
tennis. Her preferred sport, however, was polo and she became one
of the few women handicap players after playing in her father's
famous team.

Princess Abida Sultaan was appointed chief secretary to the Nawab
in 1930 and subsequently president of the cabinet, at a time when
her father was absent on war service and as chancellor of the
chamber of princes. An adventure-loving free spirit, Princess Abida
learnt flying and received her flying license in 1942. She was also
a fearless hunter who shot 73 tigers in Bhopal.

Princess Abida migrated to Pakistan with her only son, Shaharyar M.
Khan, in 1950. She was the only ruler or heir apparent of a major
princely state of India (17 gun salute or above) to have migrated
to Pakistan.

She arrived in Pakistan with only a suitcase in hand, having
abandoned, palace, jagir, farms and artifacts to follow the Quaid's
ideal.

She was appointed ambassador to Brazil, a post that she resigned 18
months later. She then joined the Council Muslim League and was a
leading supporter of Miss Fatima Jinnah's presidential campaign of
1964. Princess Abida was a regular writer in the Pakistan press,
defending democracy, women's rights according to Islamic tenets and
criticised obscurantist views of the bigoted mullahs through her
deep understanding of the holy Quran.

She recently completed her autobiography - 'Memories of a Rebel
Princess' - which is expected to be published soon.

Princess Abida was particularly well known for her frank, fearless
and trenchant views on Pakistan's politics that were aired on
television and printed in the national press. Her son, Shaharyar
Khan, joined the Pakistan foreign service and ended his career as
foreign secretary. He also served as ambassador to Jordan, UK and
France. He was appointed UN secretary-general's special
representative in Rwanda in 1994.

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20020516
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Supreme Court hears Swiss firm's claim: $120m damages sought
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, May 15: The Supreme Court was informed by the Swiss
company SGS that Pakistan, by alleging that pre-shipment inspection
contract was acquired fraudulently, had forfeited its right to
initiate arbitration proceeding for recovering damages.

"A contract procured by fraud was void and even the arbitration
clause in such an agreement does not survive," KMA Samdani, SGS
counsel argued before a three judges-bench of Supreme Court.

The SGS has approached the Supreme Court against the civil court
order of appointment of arbitrator to settle the dispute arisen
after the termination of the contract. The civil judge has
appointed Justice (Retd) Khalilur Rehman Khan as arbitrator.

The government of Pakistan had filed a suit for the recovery of
huge amount, which according to its estimates were lost after the
award of contract to the Swiss company.

The Swiss company is of the view that all the proceedings should be
stayed in Pakistan as its request before International Centre for
Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), a forum set up under UN
Convention, had been registered.

The SGS was represented by KMA Samdani and Barrister Farrukh Karim
Qureshi. The Swiss company had approached the ICSID for getting
compensation from Pakistan government for termination of pre-
shipment inspection contract.

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

The Federation was represented by Makhdoom Ali Khan, Attorney
General for Pakistan, Uzair Bhandari Advocate, Khuram M. Hashmi
Advocate and Raja Mohammad Irshad Advocate.

The SGS is claiming damages of more than US$120 million against
Pakistan. It has filed a claim before the ICSID at Washington.
Pakistan has challenged the jurisdiction of ICSID.

The counsel for SGS KMA Samdani stated that the arbitrator in
Pakistan be restrained from proceeding any further with the matter
and the proceeding before ICSID may be allowed to continue.

He stated Pakistan, after alleging that the SGS had acquired PSI
contract fraudulently, had forfeited its right to initiate
arbitration proceeding for recovering damages. "A contract procured
by fraud was void and even the arbitration clause in such an
agreement does not survive,:" the counsel argued.

The counsel said ICSID arbitration was based on a treaty between
Pakistan and Switzerland could proceed.

Attorney General Makhdoom Ali Khan stated the issue of whether the
Government of Pakistan made allegations of fraud and corruption
would only arise when Pakistan filed a statement for claim before
the arbitrator.

He said that the SGS had approached the Swiss court after their
contract was terminated and went up to the level of Supreme Court
of Switzerland.

The AG stated that Pakistan had claimed sovereign immunity in the
courts in Switzerland. This plea was accepted. They had also
invoked the arbitration clause in the SGS agreement. In view of
this objection the Swiss courts had accepted that arbitration
should proceed and had not decided the case on merits.

The AG stated that it was a settled law that a party which was
victim of fraud or corruption could pursue its claims in
arbitration.

Justice Munir A. Sheikh, heading three judges bench asked SGS
whether it was his case that the entire PSI agreement was nullity.
He answered in the affirmative. He was then asked whether in view
of this fact, ICSID arbitrator could proceed.

The counsel submitted that ICSID could proceed because it was not
based on the PSI agreement but on the Pak-Swiss treaty. The counsel
said his case was that a contract procured by fraud was not a
contract and the entire PSI agreement including the arbitration
clause therefore did not survive.

The SGS counsel said that by approaching the courts in Switzerland
and by filing counter claim before the civil judge, Islamabad, it
had not waived its right to ICSID arbitration.

Justice Munir A. Sheikh asked SGS counsel if his client was aware
of the existence of the availability of ICSID arbitration at the
time when they approached the courts in Switzerland.

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20020515
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Riaz Basra, 3 others die in 'encounter'
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Dawn Report

MULTAN, May 14: Riaz Basra, the alleged mastermind behind hundreds
of sectarian killings, was killed with three of his accomplices in
an 'encounter' in Mailsi. The 'shootout' took place at Dakota,
which had been targeted twice in the past by Lashkar-i-Jhangvi
militants.

Riaz Basra headed Lashkar-i-Jhangvi. Sources claimed that Basra was
in the Faisalabad police custody for the last five months and was
being interrogated for the activities of his network.

According to the police, four heavily armed outlaws came to Chak
Kot Chaudhry Sher Mohammad Ghalvi at about 3:15am in a Toyota
Corolla and stopped near the house of Chaudhry Fida Hussain Ghalvi,
the district chief of the banned Tehrik-i-Jaferia.

Being on the hit-list of the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi militants, villagers
used to keep vigil round the clock and were helped by the police at
night.

Mr Ghalvi told Dawn that he was on guard on the rooftop of his
house when the assailants arrived. He said when he questioned the
purpose of their visit at the odd hours, they came out of the car
and opened fire. Mr Ghalvi said that he and other villagers
returned the fire and informed the police control.

Police said that SP Syed Javed Shah of Vehari was patrolling the
area with some police officials and "therefore, he arrived at the
spot in no time." Known in police circles as encounter- friendly,
SP Javed has already to his credit scores of encounters.

In a crossfire that lasted nearly an hour, the outlaws died. The
bodies were taken to the Vehari DHQ hospital for a post-mortem
examination. Police said they had recovered some fake number-plates
from the car.

Chaudhry Iftikhar Ahmed, DIG of the Multan range, told Dawn that
the police had also recovered a rocket-launcher, four rockets, four
Kalashnikovs and a huge quantity of live rounds from the scene.

Mr Ghalvi claimed that the assailants had come to kill him. He said
that Lashkar-i-Jhangvi had killed his brother, Mukhtar, in 1997.

It is suspected that Lashkar-i-Jhangvi was involved in two strikes
in Dakota. On Aug 18, 1996, it killed 12 people at a Majlis and on
July 23, 1997, it slew five people, including TJP leader Mukhtar
Husain Ghalvi. On Feb 18, 1999, unknown assailants gunned down
three more Shias near Pul (bridge) 14 in the vicinity of Dakota.

Later, at a press conference in Vehari, SP Javed identified one of
the dead as Riaz Basra. He said Riaz Basra's identity was
established by one of his accomplices, Kashif, who is under
detention for his alleged involvement in the killing of Siddiq
Kanju in Lodhran.

SP Javed said that Basra carried a head money of Rs500,000. His
body was identified earlier by a police officer who had met him
some years ago in Afghanistan.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20020517
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Swiss firm brought no investment: AG: SGS can't approach ICSID
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, May 16: Attorney General Makhdoom Ali Khan on Thursday
stated before the Supreme Court that SGS, whose contract for
providing "services" as pre-shipment inspection company had not
brought any kind of investment to Pakistan, had no right to
approach ICSID under the bilateral investment treaty between
Pakistan and Switzerland.

The three-judge bench comprising Justice Munir A. Sheikh, Justice
Qazi Mohammad Farooq, and Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, continued
hearing of the appeal of SGS in which it asked the court to issue
direction that no arbitration proceeding should continue in
Pakistan as the company had already taken the matter to the
International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. The
hearing is likely to conclude next week.

Attorney General Makhdoom Ali Khan argued that when the pre-
shipment inspection contract was terminated, the company had a
number of choices available.

The company, after accepting the termination, sued Pakistan in
Switzerland. After the rejection of the company case on merits by
the Swiss Supreme Court, the company joined the proceedings in
Pakistan and filed a counter claim against Pakistan in a civil
court in Islamabad.

After its failure in the Swiss courts, the company decided to go
before ICSID. He said if Swiss company was given the permission to
continue availing itself of the remedies, one after the other, the
Pakistan's Supreme Court would be discriminating its own citizens
who were consistently denied the right to second remedy after
availing one.

The AG referred to the petition of SGS filed before the Swiss court
to substantiate his contention that all the relevant points were
raised by the company there, but the petition was dismissed on
merit and not on the grounds of mere technicalities.

He said Pakistan did not file any application for initiation of
arbitration proceedings till the time the Swiss courts decided
their application on merits and asked the company to go for
arbitration in Pakistan.

The AG stated that the statement of SGS that its application had
been registered by the ICSID, hardly carried any value. He said
that registration of an application by ICSID was almost identical
to institution of a civil suit in the civil courts in Pakistan.

He also referred to the application of SGS which it had filed
before the ICSID, saying that relevant facts, such as dismissal of
its petition from the Swiss courts and its joining of proceedings
in Pakistan by filing counter claims, were suppressed.

One possible explanation for suppressing the facts, he stated, was
that they were apprehensive that their application might not even
be registered by the ICSID.

The Supreme Court would continue hearing the case till next week.
The court had decided to hear the appeal to decide three points:

i) Whether the arbitration agreement between Pakistan-SGS continued
to remain valid after the Pak-Swiss treaty?

ii) Whether the SGS was an "investor" within the meaning of the
Pak-Swiss treaty?

iii) Whether the SGS had waived its right to ICSID arbitration in
view of its conduct in pursuing its claims before the Swiss courts
and filing a counter claim before the Civil Judge, Islamabad.

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20020515
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Govt seeks reversal of SC verdict: Interest-based banking
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, May 14: The government has decided to ask the Supreme
Court to reverse its judgment, declaring all forms of interest-
based banking un-Islamic.

An official told Dawn that the government had decided not to seek
extension in time-limit for implementation of the SC judgment,
rather it would request the court to reverse its judgment as it was
wrongly declared that all forms of existing banking activity was
un-Islamic.

The government has engaged prominent scholar Syed Riazul Hasan
Gillani and Raza Kazim advocate to argue the case. Raja Akram would
represent the United Bank, which has filed a review petition.

The lawyers would have a formal meeting with President Pervez
Musharraf to finalize an strategy in this regard. The deadline for
the implementation of SC verdict would expire on June 30, 2002.

In 1992, the Federal Shariat Court shook the entire banking
industry by holding about four dozens laws enforced in the country
un-Islamic.

The Shariat Appellate Bench of Supreme Court on Dec 23, 1999, had
upheld the FSC verdict after keeping the government appeals pending
for seven years. The court had set the deadline of June 30, 2001,
for the implementation of the judgment. The deadline, however, was
extended till June 30, 2002, by the Supreme Court last year.

United Bank Limited has filed an application seeking suspension of
the judgment till Dec 31, 2005. Official sources told Dawn that
nowhere in the Muslim world, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, there
existed any model of interest-free banking.

Last year, seeking extension in the deadline, the then Attorney-
General had hinted that if the judgment was not suspended, the
doctrine of state necessity might be invoked.

Syed Riazul Hasan Gillani had also been engaged at the time of
hearing of appeals, but he could not complete the arguments, as
some of the judges had made up their minds and were not ready to
give time.

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20020515
-------------------------------------------------------------------
$109 million IMF tranche by June 30
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, May 14: The visiting five-member IMF review mission
headed by Klaus Enders has expressed satisfaction over the current
state of the economy and said it would recommend to their executive
board to disburse the third tranche of $109 million to Pakistan by
June 30 this year.

Sources in the multilateral agencies told Dawn here on Tuesday that
the mission has almost completed the review of the second and third
quarters of 2001-2002. The mission, which is expected to leave for
Washington on Friday, has assured the senior officials of the
ministry of finance and the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) that
favourable recommendations will be made to the executive board for
the release of third tranche, out of $1.3 billion Poverty Reduction
Growth Facility (PRGF) by June 30. The board is likely to meet in
the third week of next month.

"The mission feels that Pakistan government is implementing its
home-grown reforms agenda, especially in line with Interim -
Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I-PRSP) and therefore there will
not be hesitation on our part to make positive recommendations for
the next installment," said a source.

When contacted, he said the success of the three-year PRGF will be
gauged only by seeing that the government continued to scrupulously
implement structural reforms program in all the major sectors of
the economy.

Asked whether the IMF had allowed the government to revise downward
the revenue collection target a fourth time, and also agreed on a
6.1 per cent fiscal deficit, he said these were all speculations
and that such issues were still to be agreed upon. "We also have
yet to agree on next financial year's revenue collection target,"
he said, requesting anonymity.

The thrust of the talks with the IMF mission, a government official
said, was to stay focused on removing distortions from the economic
and financial system of the country.

Availability of adequate resources for poverty programs is an
important consideration in determining the effectiveness of the I-
PRSP. Both the IMF and the government officials believe that I-PRSP
demonstrates the need to closely monitor the effectiveness of
government policies and measure progress on poverty reduction
initiatives. "For this purpose, it is important to combine poverty
reduction efforts at the federal, provincial and district level and
develop localized capacity to monitor progress of I-PRSP
indicators," says the strategy paper.

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20020514
-------------------------------------------------------------------
W. Bank assures Islamabad of support
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ihtasham ul Haq

ISLAMABAD, May 13: World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn said
that terrorism was not a unique problem in Pakistan and it must be
seen in the global context.

Talking to reporters after a meeting with President Gen Pervez
Musharraf, the World Bank chief praised the government's reforms
agenda as well as devolution of power to the local government
level. He said he himself had witnessed this during his visit to
the NWFP and added that there was a more transparent application of
powers, including financial powers.

Mr Wolfensohn said he was impressed by the steps that President
Musharraf and the government of Pakistan had taken and added that
the Bank would be giving full support to Pakistan.

The World Bank chief said he had agreed with Gen Musharraf over the
priority being given to education, health and poverty alleviation.
He said the World Bank was more than ready to work with the federal
and provincial government to support the social sector programs. He
said this would be one of the main items of strengthening
relationship between the World Bank and the Pakistan government.

Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz described the talks as important. He
said the World Bank was expected to offer very concessional loans
totalling about $1 billion to Pakistan this year to be used for
education, health and poverty alleviation.

Mr Aziz said the World Bank president had visited the NWFP and
tribal areas earlier in the day and reviewed a number of ongoing
schemes.

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20020518
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Stocks lose 38 points as war scare causes panic selling
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, May 17: The KSE 100-share index eroded 38 points or 2.09
per cent breaching through the barrier of 1,800 points at 1,779.76
as the leading base shares virtually caved in under the mounting of
weight of nervous unloading.

Minus signs dominated the list under the lead of PSO, Adamjee
Insurance, Shafiq Textiles, Pakistan Oilfields, Ferozsons Packages,
Universal Leather and several others, falling by Rs1.50 to Rs3.

Wyeth Pakistan and Rafhan Maize were leading among the gainers, up
Rs5 and Rs18 followed by Alico, and Bestway Cement, higher by one
rupee to Rs1.90.

Trading volume rose to 139m shares from the previous 126m shares as
losers forced a strong lead over the gainers at 217 to 39, with 43
shares holding on to the last levels.

Hub-Power topped the list of most actives, lower 55 paisa at
Rs23.55 on 64m shares, PTCL, also off by the same amount at Rs17.35
on 24m shares, PSO, down Rs5.05 at Rs148.30 on 14m shares, FFC-
Jordan Fertilizer, lower 45 paisa at Rs6.65 on 5m shares and Sui
Northern, easy 20 paisa at Rs13.60 on 4m shares.

Other actives were led by Ibrahim Fibre, easy 35 paisa on 3m
shares, Telecard, off 75 paisa also on 3m shares, Engro Chemical,
lower Rs2.30 on 2.406m shares and ICI Pakistan, easy 40 paisa on 2m
shares.

FUTURE CONTRACTS: Speculative issues on the forward counter came in
heavy battering under the lead of ICI Pakistan, Engro Chemical and
PSO, off by Rs1.25, Rs1.45 and Rs4.61 respectively at Rs40, 60.85
and 148.55 on active sales. PSO accounted for 4.619m shares.

But massive unloading in Hub-Power jolted the entire forward
counter as it was marked down by 60 paisa at Rs23.60 on a heavy
volume of 14.063m shares followed by PTCL, lower 55 paisa at
Rs17.40 on 3.774m shares.

DEFAULTER COMPANIES: Shares of 16 companies came in for alternate
bouts of buying and selling but the activity lacked normal
aggressiveness witnessed over the last couple of sessions.

Ravi Rayon again led the list, unchanged at Rs5 on 55,100 shares
followed by Mehran Jute, easy 55 paisa at Rs0.85 on 47,500 shares
and Allied Motors, off Rs1.15 at Rs12.15 on 25,000 shares.

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20020513
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Panic-selling wipes out Rs23bn from market capitalization
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Muhammad Aslam

The KSE 100-share index lost about six per cent during the sell-off
and over Rs23 billion from the market capitalization in just three
sessions. The KSE 100-share index has breached through two
psychological barriers of 1,900 and 1,800 points in mere three
sessions.

The KSE 100-share index, which early plunged 6 per cent or 105
points on the panic selling finished below the psychological
barrier of 1,800 points as its journey to the 2,000 level seems to
have been intercepted at least for the near-term. It ended around
1,798.46 points as compared to 1,904.16 points, a week earlier, off
105 points or six per cent.

During the initial three days, the index has fallen by 113 points
or 6.5 per cent, sending signals that all may not be well with the
investor-perception about the law and order situation and the
future market outlook in coming weeks.

"The suicide bomb attack could cause the outflow of foreign
investment rather than attracting it, as is speculated in the
changing financial scenario", stock analyst Faisal Abbas at the
AHRA say, adding, "the outlook is uncertain and it is not that easy
to predict how much the index would further erode its current rise
of about 800 points or 45 per cent since January this year".

Share prices fell like nine pins across the board under the lead of
the MNCs and the blue chips such as the PSO and the Shell Pakistan
as there were more sellers than the buyers.

Most of the gains were fractional barring Faisal Spinning and
Dawood Dawood Hercules, Janana Demalucho Textiles, and the Glaxo-
Wellcome, while the Lever Brothers and Wyeth Pakistan, who had
omitted the dividend last year were leading among the losers.

Other prominent losers were led by Javed Omer, Adamjee Insurance,
Shafiq Textiles, National Refinery, Al-Ghazi Tractors, Siemens
Pakistan, Engro Chemical, Highnoon Lab, Otsuka Pakistan and the
Packages.

Trading volume rose to 768 million shares from the previous 600
million shares owing to post-bomb blast hasty liquidations from all
and sundry in the absence of strong demand.

About 60 per cent of the total turnover shared by most actives, the
PTCL and the Hub-Power, which turned in massive activities during
the couple of sessions amid alternate bouts of buying and selling.

Other actives were led by the PSO, the ICI Pakistan, the FFC-Jordan
Fertiliser - on the reports of a big financial bailout package -,
the KESC after the reports that the banks have repaid its debts,
and the Sui Northern and the National Bank.

Adamjee Insurance, Dewan Salman, the Bank of Punjab, Ibrahim Fibre,
the MCB and some others were also actively traded amid alternate
bouts of buying and selling.

FORWARD COUNTER: Speculative issues on the forward counter also
followed the lead of their counterparts in the ready section.
Barring the ICI Pakistan, the PSO and the Hub-Power, which received
massive battering on the persistent selling, all others ended
modestly lower.

Back to the top
EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20020512
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Homegrown terrorism - 2
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

First and foremost, our sympathy must now be with the bereaved
families of the Frenchmen and our own Pakistani citizens who were
blown up last Wednesday by this novel form of terrorism which has
now arrived amidst us - the unstoppable suicide bomber.

The original Thunderer, The Times of London, in an editorial on May
9 has correctly opined that governments that care little about
losing their own citizens are forced to crack down more heavily if
foreigners are murdered.

When foreigners are specifically targeted it provokes confrontation
between embarrassed governments and foreign capitals. As for
President General Pervez Musharraf, he "must hold his nerve, while
foreigners hold their breath. There may be more to come."

Our own thunderer, Dawn in its editorial of May 11 has it that
"Pakistan's enemies are both international terrorists and those
operating at local levels to settle sectarian and factional
scores."

Shortly after Musharraf took over, he tried to lessen the scope of
mischief caused by our local level operators by making an
administrative amendment in the prevailing blasphemy laws which
have evoked much international and national disgust and criticism.
But, he was prevailed upon by his so-called advisers not to rock
the boat, so he backed down. Now that he is more secure,
ostensibly, with a firmer hand at the controls, having been
recruited by the powers of the world to join them in their battle
against international terrorism, surely he is better equipped to
tackle terrorism at home.

As one step towards doing so, he should revert and make an
administrative amendment in the blasphemy laws as previously
suggested. Before an FIR can be filed against anyone under these
dreadful laws and all other laws that lead to religious
persecution, the police must have the prior written sanction of the
advocate-general of the province.

Dr Younus Sheikh, now in the death cell, Circle 3, Central Jail,
Rawalpindi, where he has been since he was sentenced to death in
August 2001 having been charged under the iniquitous section 295-C
of our blasphemy laws, has again written to me : "I draw your
attention to religious terrorism, violations of basic human rights
[and] transparent injustice being perpetrated under the notorious
lynch law, the Blasphemy Law 295-C PPC, in our beloved Pakistan.

As you are well aware, religious fundamentalism, fanaticism and
Taliban-style Nazi organizations exist in Pakistan, and these evil
organisations are led by the fanatic and extremist mullahs who have
abused this law to the extent and in a style that it may be called
'religious terrorism through the abuse of the blasphemy laws.'

"Like the infamous Indian law, Poto, our Pakistani law, 295-C PPC,
is wide open to abuse through and by the miscreant mullahs for
political, religious, sectarian, repressive and vindictive purposes
on the pretext of undefined wording of this law.  "Its abuse is
indeed a sign of the creeping onslaught of malevolent and fascistic
mullahism and religious fanaticism at social, political and
cultural levels, a rising wave of aggressive ignorance, incivility
and intolerance as well as the abysmal mediaeval theocratic
darkness."

Dr Sheikh's trial was held in camera inside the Rawalpindi Central
Jail after the mullahs of the Aalimi Majlis Tahafuz Khatam-i-
Nabuwat Pakistan had issued their usual threats. The petrified
judge, in order to preserve his life, pronounced the death
sentence, as writes Dr Sheikh "without good evidence. The facts of
the case being that there was no tangible proof against me and all
the oral or documentary evidence on court record pointed to my
innocence."

An appeal has been lodged, which has resulted in a fatwa of
apostasy being issued against Dr Sheikh and threats being issued
against the lives of his lawyers and their families.

Dr Sheikh quotes one definition of 'terrorism' from an official US
document : "the calculated use of violence or threat of violence to
attain goals that are political, religious or ideological in nature
carried out through intimidation, coercion or instilling fear."

Perhaps the community most prone to the religious persecution form
of terrorism is that of the Ahmadis, as can be seen from a summary
of cases registered against members of that community from April
1984 to April 1999 : 189 for blasphemy, punishment mandatory death
sentence plus fine ; 10 for allegedly burning copies of the Quran,
punishment life imprisonment; 378 for posing as a Muslim, 93 for
praying, 27 for celebrating the Ahmadiya Centenary, 50 for
celebrating the Centenary of the Eclipses of the Sun and Moon, 748
for displaying the Kalima, all crimes punishable with three years
imprisonment plus fine. Seventeen cases have been registered
against the Khalifa-tul-Masih charging him in absentia with
blasphemy, punishment mandatory death sentence plus fine.

As many as 1,296 members of the community have been charged with
various other crimes.

On December 15 1989 the entire population of Rabwah (some 35,000
persons) was charged under Section 298-C of the Pakistan Penal
Code, which reads: "Person of Qadiani group, etc, calling himself a
Muslim or preaching or propagating his faith : Any person of the
Qadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves Ahmadis or
by any other names), who, directly or indirectly poses himself as a
Muslim, or calls, or refers to his faith as Islam, or preaches or
propagates his faith, or invites others to accept his faith, by
words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or
in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of
Muslims, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description
for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable
to fine." This section was inserted in the PPC 'by the Anti-Islamic
Activities of Qadian Group, Lahori Group and Ahmadis (Prohibition
and Punishment) Ordinance XX of 1984.'

The FIR was prepared, lodged and filed by Mohammad Ashiq Marath,
Station House Officer, Rabwah. The 35,000-plus were collectively
charged with the crime of having inscribed the Kalima Tayyaba and
other Quranic verses on their graves, buildings, offices of the
community, places of worship and business centres. They were also
charged with having said Assalamo Alaikum to Muslims, for having
recited the Kalima Tayyaba, and for having repeatedly indulged in
similar Islamic activities.

Persecution under these laws is widespread. In Sindh, three years
ago, Ayub Khoso, a young poet, writer and teacher at a school in
Jhudo, near Mirpurkhas, was sentenced by the Mirpurkhas Anti-
Terrorist Court to serve seventeen years in jail for allegedly
having written a blasphemous column in the Sindhi newspaper Alakh
(now closed down).

He has no means left to him to engage a lawyer to file an appeal.
He needs help.

Most amazing of all these cases is perhaps that of another young
man of Sindh, 17-year old Nazir Ahmad Khoso, an Ahmadi, charged
with injuring the religious feelings of Muslims, and a series of
other related charges.

On December 14, 2001 the Anti-Terrorist Court in Hyderbad sentenced
him to a total term of 118 years imprisonment sentences to run
consecutively.

The matter was referred to the High Court, which remanded the case
back to the AT court, and this court very considerately amended its
judgment and reduced the sentence to 60 years imprisonment. He is
now in Hyderabad jail and his appeal is pending.

Whereas the thunderers thunder and groan, our other newspaper, 'The
Nation' of Lahore printed a highly apt quote from Iqbal's 'Baal-i-
Jibreel', on its back page on May 8, the day of the Karachi suicide
bombing: "I happened to be there - I could not control myself.

When Providence ordered Mullah a place in Paradise. 'Excuse me for
being impertinent,' I interrupted the Lord Divine, 'This person is
not compatible with Houries, [gardens] and wine. Paradise is not
the right place for a quibbler of precepts.

"This man of Allah argued and discussed, did nothing except preach
malice to nations and sects - If you ask - In Heaven there is
neither Temple, [nor] Church, nor Mosque'."

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20020517
-------------------------------------------------------------------
My contemporaries
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ayaz Amir

I was a kid at the time of Ayub Khan's martial law and when we
asked our dreaded and legendary headmistress, Ms Glegg, what
martial law meant she said that if we did not take our lessons
seriously soldiers would come and take us far away. For weeks after
that revelation I worked very hard at my exercise books.

I was a cadet in the Pakistan Military Academy at the time of Yahya
Khan's martial law and well remember that when he once came
visiting and had dinner with us in the great dining hall above the
parade ground - his face ablaze with what I can only imagine to be
premium whisky (lucky dog) - and a cadet complained that our
physical training was too tough, the Generalissimo shot back that
at our age we should have PT morning, afternoon and night.

In Ziaul Haq's martial law I tried making a new start as a
journalist but for want of openings or opportunity, I stayed for
the most part on the outer tracks of the profession, out of work or
writing for obscure journals with little circulation. In that small
city with grandiose pretensions which is Islamabad, occasionally I
come across remnants from the ruling class of that period, always
driven to wonder as I look at their shrivelled figures what
inscrutable power placed the country's destiny in such hands. In
the days of their glory, however, I saw these magnificoes only from
a distance.

But the present military dispensation is of my generation, with
some of its leading pillars my contemporaries either at school or
in the Academy. Lt Gen Mahmood now mulling over the turn of the
wheel in ill-deserved retirement but who on the Night of the Long
Knives - Oct 12, '99 - foiled Nawaz Sharif's plans and kept
Islamabad warm for his chief, Pervez Musharraf, was a year senior
to me at Lawrence College. As was the first Chief of the NAB, Lt.
Gen. Amjad, now commanding 1 Corps in Multan.

To drop a few more names, but for a purpose I'll come to soon
enough, Ehsan who heads ISI and who on the Long Night was head of
Military Intelligence, was my course mate in the Academy. Maj Gen
Talat Munir who heads the Intelligence Bureau was also from the
same course (41st). One of my course mates was until recently
commanding the Mangla corps. His replacement, Lt Gen Javed Alam, is
from Lawrence College. The present Corps Commanders Rawalpindi and
Lahore were two or three courses junior to me in PMA. Several other
lieutenant generals - Imtiaz Shaheen, Waseem Ghazi and so on - were
two or three courses ahead of me.

All the officers I have named are outstanding professionals who in
any army of the world would make Grade 1 officers. Of their
military expertise or competence there should not be the slightest
doubt. But about their capacity for politics or the higher
administration of the country doubts are bound to arise simply
because nothing in their training or scholastic background equips
them for this role. I say this not with a sense of glee but a great
deal of sadness because these contemporaries, while men of great
ability in their own field, are scampering about on the wrong deck
trying to perform duties they are ill-equipped to discharge.

Can any of them or indeed anyone else from the long list of my
military colleagues say with any honesty that the country today is
in good shape or that it is marching to a brave new future? Let us
have a proper measure of time. Two or three years in the life of
any country - whether here, Nazi Germany or FDR's America - is
pretty long, certainly long enough to mark the difference between
success and failure.

In two years Roosevelt had established the outlines of his New Deal
and turned America's back on the Great Depression. In two years
Hitler (a politically incorrect example but relevant nonetheless)
had turned Germany around, reviving its economy, repudiating the
Treaty of Versailles and restoring Germany's prestige as a great
power (that he took a wrong turning thereafter is a different
story). Britain stood alone after the fall of France in 1940 but in
that dark hour Churchill lifted his countrymen's spirits when he
became prime minister. This is what leadership is about: making a
difference when it matters. Rhetoric aside, what has military
leadership achieved since the Night of the Long Knives? As a
country we are as much at sea now as we were then, the roll-call of
failure and of opportunities wasted being dismal and long.

The army command has too much on its plate. The intelligence
agencies are distracted between the competing pulls of gathering
intelligence and carrying out political intrigue. The state of law
and order, the first priority of an authoritarian government, is
abysmal, the agencies of the state helpless before the rising tide
of lawlessness and terror. NADRA, a military white elephant, can
neither issue identity cards nor make a population or voting list
which is error-free. WAPDA is in the red. So is the national
carrier, PIA, and Pakistan Steel.

In a dictatorship the trains are supposed to run on time, trains in
this case being a metaphor for good order and discipline. But if
anything, life has become more chaotic in these two and a half
years. Which is not to say Nawaz Sharif or Benazir were the heralds
of a Golden Age. But then the Night of the Long Knives was supposed
to make a difference. Indeed, the promise of making a difference
was its sole justification. The chattering classes, duped as so
often before, flocked to the military's standard fully convinced
that the age of miracles was finally at hand.

Long after the gathering evidence pointed to a different conclusion
- to ineptitude and clumsiness in handling even ordinary matters -
the chattering classes clung to their belief, hailing Musharraf as
messiah, redeemer and Ataturk rolled into one. It had to take the
referendum to strip the scales from their eyes and make even the
general's most ardent admirers sit up and take notice of the things
happening around them.

Full-fledged banana status is about the only thing we have
convincingly achieved. But again we miscalculated. By signing up
for loyal service in Afghanistan we thought we were beating India
to the draw and leaving it behind in the calculus of American
favour. But far from America putting any pressure on India to lay
off and withdraw its troops from our border, it is Pakistan which
is read lectures on restraint and responsible behaviour. Indeed, it
almost seems as if heightened tension with India - short of an
actual flare-up - is a pistol pointed at Pakistan's head to keep it
in line and ensure that its anti-Al Qaeda fervour does not flag.

The IRA in Britain, Basque separatists in Spain: other countries
have faced far more sustained campaigns of terrorism than Pakistan.
But even when very serious incidents have taken place in those
countries, no one has accused them of being unsafe for travel or
investment.

Two or three terrorist incidents in Pakistan and it appears as if
everything is about to cave in or fall apart. Why? Because with our
banana politics and the absence of institutional rule our country
looks fragile and vulnerable. Nothing sticks out more like a sore
thumb in this day and age than a government dressed in military
uniform.

This, baldly stated, is the problem facing my generation: how to
come round to the realization that even with the best intentions in
the world the Pakistan army is simply not equipped to play a
political role or give the country a political lead. Do we want a
future brighter than Burma's or Indonesia's? If we do, we have to
do some urgent rethinking because, taking heed from the lessons of
the past, the course we are embarked on is another prescription for
disaster.

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20020518
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The growth of terror
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Irfan Husain

Over a week has passed since the gruesome suicide bombing that left
14 people dead, including 11 French technicians, but no heads have
rolled and, more importantly, no introspection seems to have taken
place.

It is true that it is very difficult to stop an attack if a
terrorist is willing to die, but it is not impossible to anticipate
where an attack will take place. In this case, it was glaringly
obvious that religious extremists would seek out foreign targets
from nations supporting the ongoing 'war on terror' as attacks on
them would also hurt the Pakistan government.

The movements of the French contingent working on the submarine
project were predictable, and even our navy could have foreseen the
strong possibility of the visiting Frenchmen coming under attack,
specially after the grenade assault in a church in Islamabad that
left five foreigners dead. So clearly, a massive intelligence
failure has occurred, and so far at least, nobody has been held
accountable.

Over the last week, newspapers and TV talk shows have been full of
what the government intends to do to prevent the recurrence of such
terrorist attacks. The list runs from the decision to set up an
anti-terrorist force to getting 'the latest technology' from the
West. This begs the question why old technology like finger-
printing has still not been integrated into our 19th century police
methods. Although senior police officers move around in expensive
vehicles like Land cruisers, the department can't find the money to
upgrade forensic labs.

But more importantly, nobody has focused on the underlying issues:
why has there been a steady build-up of terrorist activities on our
soil over the years? Why has the state tolerated the growing
presence and activities of religious and ethnic terrorists? We
don't need new anti-terrorist forces or courts; what we need is for
the law of the land to be strictly and impartially enforced. But
above all, we need the sustained political will to stamp out the
culture of violence and lawlessness that has taken root here.

The current issue of Fortune magazine carries a long and
devastating article on Pakistan (which the writer refers to as
'Problemistan') which discusses the multiple crises we are passing
through. A few days ago, a story in the Washington Post based on
interviews with American embassy staff concluded that most US
diplomats wanted to leave Islamabad because their families could
not stay with them because of security concerns. A recent New York
Times article on the trial of those accused of the kidnapping and
murder of Daniel Pearl describes how the alleged criminals openly
threatened and abused witnesses in the court, and how the judge was
unable to control the proceedings. The report suggests that
Pakistan has become a 'soft state'.

In the plethora of hype and justifications flowing from government
spokesmen, nobody has asked how and why we have reached such a
pass. The story in Fortune even claims that Pakistan has the
largest number of terrorists in the world, and I have no reason to
question this estimate. Certainly, no other country has suffered so
much terrorist activity over such a long period of time on its
soil. Against this background, it is relevant to ask why successive
governments have permitted this state of affairs to continue.

Initially, the terrorist phenomenon in Pakistan began with our
involvement in Afghanistan in the early eighties: retaliating to
our military support for the mujahideen, the government in Kabul
unleashed a series of bomb blasts against civilian targets across
Pakistan. The easy availability of arms in that period swelled the
arsenals of outfits like the MQM, leading to years of bloodletting
in Karachi and Hyderabad.

After the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, followed by the
Americans, Pakistan attempted to shape events there by propping up
proxies, and then began our ultimately disastrous support of the
Taliban. In this period we also encouraged jihadi outfits to
operate in Indian-held Kashmir. The recent slaughter of the
families of Indian soldiers is an offshoot of this aggressive
policy.

Sustaining extremists like oxygen is the aura of fake piety that
permeates Pakistani society today. Endless religious talk shows;
years of compulsory religious instruction at school at the expense
of the sciences; and the constant invocation of dogma have become
the hallmark of contemporary Pakistan. It is as if we have acquired
a monopoly on Islam and are its sole custodians.

In such an environment, the call to jihad has greater resonance and
appeal, specially for those who have no future in a rapidly
changing and demanding world. Underpinning the network of jihadi
groups is a system of madressahs which imparts nothing but the rote
learning of the scriptures. Graduates are also taught to hate all
those whose practice of the faith diverges in some minor detail.
These fanatical foot-soldiers are the ones who are spreading terror
and death across the land.

General Musharraf has repeatedly announced his intention to
eradicate this menace. In January, two thousand extremists were
locked up, only to be soon released. Several hundreds have been
scooped up in the wake of last week's suicide attack on the French;
let's see how soon they will be set free. So far, the general has
yet to exhibit the political will to take on the zealots, and here
he can study the methods used by General Babar, Benazir Bhutto's
interior minister when he set out to crush the MQM's militant wing.

Despite the lamentable human rights violations that undoubtedly
took place, Karachi was rid of the daily violence. Whatever we may
say about her now, the fact is that she showed more gumption and
staying power in dealing with this menace than any of her
successors, including the ones in uniform. Now that the government
is negotiating with the MQM, my businessmen friends report that
they are getting calls demanding protection money or bhatta again.

And this is precisely why the problem cannot be solved: those in
power persist in doing deals with all kinds of shady organizations
to achieve questionable short-term goals, and in the process give
them immunity from the law. This licence is then abused by these
extremists to further their own agendas. Very often, the police are
ordered to release militants because a deal has been struck over
their heads. Even when they are brought to book, they are released
as witnesses and/or the judges are frightened.

What General Musharraf and his security advisers must understand as
they grope for answers is that no amount of 'modern technology' can
substitute for resolve, effective intelligence gathering and an
efficient judiciary. Above all, they must stop cutting deals simply
to keep certain politicians and political parties out of power. If
our intelligence agencies spent their resources on keeping tabs on
terrorists instead of politicians and journalists, Pakistan would
be a far safer place today.

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20020513
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Crucial economic issues in forthcoming elections
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By M. Zaki Azam

The present regime has confirmed, time and again, that elections
will be held in October 2002. Electoral reforms have been
announced. The registration of voters and delimitation of
constituencies are already in hand. This election is very important
and it will be the first in the new millennium, setting forth the
future direction and pattern of democratic trends in Pakistan.

Despite these, political parties have adopted an attitude of wait
and see. Mojor political parties like PPP, PML, ANP, JI and MQM
have yet to announce their respective manifestoes and launch
election compaigns. However, we can look forward to hectic
electioneering activities in a few month's time, once the exercises
for delimitation of constituencies and finalization of voters'
lists are completed by the Election Commission and the relevant
objections of major political parties like PPP and PML (N) are met.

The people of Pakistan have a fairly good idea what sort of rosy
promises will be forthcoming as usually have been the case in the
past, by both the democratic and the military governments which
occupied the corridor of power rotating like musical chairs. They
are tired of wishy washy developments which did not reduce the
income inequality but widened the economic and social gap. They are
no more fascinated by the promises of attaining high economic
growth.

In the past, economic growth made the rich richer and the poor
poorer because "it was not growth with equity". They are also not
interested in promises of foreign aid as it was not beneficial for
the common people. They look with disdain at the so-called economic
reforms and strategic macro economic policies which in fact
worsened their economic condition instead of improving it.

Pakistan's record of formulation and implementation of public
economic policies has been dismally poor.An attempt was made in the
first half of the seventies, when people-oriented policies were
adopted but not implemented because of the callous indifference of
the bureaucracy and the sinister interference of the vested
interest groups.

The people of Pakistan are fully aware of the fact that the
economic nose-dive started after 1996. Since then, the actual
performance of the economy continues to be dismally poor. Wrong
economic priorities, mughal style projects, misconceived economic
policies, freezing of FCAs resulting in loss of investors'
confidence are some of the examples which contributed to the
economic nose-dive. Half-baked policies of the present government
further contributed to the economic and social deterioration.
Despite the big claims of the present government, the economy
continues to be in a bad shape.

The overall economic growth rate was 3.5 and 2.5 per cent in 1999-
2000 and 2000-2001 respectively, the lowest since 1990. The
incidence of poverty did increase after 1996 because of four
primary reasons: (i) low and falling GDP growth rate, (ii)
increasing unemployment, (iii) crushing raise in utities'tariff,
and (iv) the imposition of 15 per cent GST whose impact on the
middle and low income groups has been severe. It would be
interesting to note that increase in the price of gasoline, was 12
times during 1995 and 1999 and 20 times since October 1999 to date.
>From the point of view of the lower middle and lower classes which
constitute the largest segment of the population, the most crucial
issues in the forthcoming election are set out below.

The electorate will support a political party whose key economic
agenda will be to solve the deteriorating economic condition and
lay the foundation of a resurgent economy. They undoubtedly like
the emergence of a vibrant Pakistan economy but it must be least
regulated and most decentralized. The strategy for economic
development should be based on "growth with equity", reducing
social and income inequality and control the rise of unfettered
capitalism. With this end in view, a political party must formulate
and effectively implement a thorough and comprehensive policy
package based on economic pragmatism with appropriate delivery
mechanisms and realistic implementation arrangements. The slogan of
"Roti, Kapra aur Makan" has a higher degree of relevance to the
existing economic conditions in Pakistan. Because of the gravity of
situation, a political party must give priority to speedy economic
reconstruction and provide quickest relief to the suffering people.

In so doing, it should be guided by three internationally prevalent
criteria: (i) increase in people's income, (ii) increase in
employment level and (iii) increase in the overall quality of
people's life giving them good education, medicare, water supply
and electricity at affordable prices. Proverty "elimination" and
"not alleviation" must be the corner-stone of its economic policy.
For this purposes, requisite investments must be sought both from
domestic and foreign investors. The government must create and
provide the necessary operational environment, friendly to their
success.

In addition, effective social action program like micro credit,
self-employment schemes, rural works program and a host of other
activities must be generated in rural and urban areas through
people's participation and not through bureaucrats. There is need
to intensify, formulate and implement projects which would employ
at least half of the total adults numbering about 0.8 million which
are added every year to our labour market. In other words, each
year it must create job opportunities for 400,000 people, the
balance will be taken care of by the market forces.

People believe that the economic well-being of the people can not
be ensured unless the country is taken out of the debt trap. The
current per capita debt in Pakistan exceeds Rs29000. Breaking the
debt trap and bringing fiscal balance must be given top priority.

In the industrial field, the policy of private sector-led
industrialization, selective privatization and expansion of service
sector industries should continue. Similarly, agro-processing
industries should also be given priority to ensure better return to
agriculturists. To make economic reforms successful, complementary
steps will need to be undertaken to increase the efficiency and
effectiveness of delivery mechanisms by reforming and strengthening
them, particularly the general administration system, law
enforcement system and revenue and tax collection system.

Based on people's perception a six-point program is suggested for
adoption and implementation. These points are:

(i) Immediate relief: All adjustments, charges, surcharges,
additional surcharges currently being paid by the consumers of
electricity, petrol, diesel, gas, water and other utilities must be
thoroughly reviewed and rationalized in such a manner as to give
substantial relief to their consumers. In future, the prices of
utilities should be indexed to the price of inputs. Input-output
pricing studies of all utilities must be undertaken, keeping in
view paramount interest of the consumers.

(ii) Review and rationalize the salary and wage structures: There
is need to introduce a social insurance and security system to
ensure pension payment and economic relief after retirement. Income
tax threshold level for small businessmen and salaried personal
should be increased to Rs150,000.

(iii) Make "Rozi, Rozgar aur Mulazmat" the hallmark of the economic
policy: Additional employment and income should be generated
through sustained investments by both private and public sectors
for which special "guarantees" and "incentives" must be offered to
the investors. All cases of those, who were victimized and thrown
out of jobs in the name of downsizing, golden handshake or other
pretext should be quickly reviewed, with the exception of those who
were found guilty of mis-conduct or corruption. All staff thrown
out of jobs on political or other grounds should be re-employed.

(iv) Tax less, collect more: This motto is in consonance with the
international trend . All taxes should be levied and collected on
the fundamental principles of public finance i.e "quid pro quo",
and "no taxation without representation". Pakistan is one of the
most heavily taxed countries where a person is subjected to 40
kinds of taxes and levies. After rationalization of taxes and
levies, the number should be reduced to less than 10. There should
be no misgiving that reduction in the number of taxes will lower
revenue collection. Experiences of many countries show that the
reverse has happened. Pakistan is a unique country where the cost
of collecting a large number of taxes and levies is more than the
amount collected. This also gives rise to the culture of "bhatta"
collection.

(v) Review all cases of dis-investment and privatization:This is
necessary to confirm that those activities were carried out with
due diligence and transparency and in the best public interest.
Similarly, merger or dismantling of several corporations, DFIs and
other entities should be reviewed from economic and financial
viewpoints to justify their efficacy and their need, to determine
the best way they can serve the financial interest of various
groups, particularly the common people and small depositors.

(vi) Introduce the concept of zero-budgeting in all ministries and
government departments: Each expenditure has to be justified on the
basis of public interests. In this connection, all government
expenditures should be reviewed and rationalized according to the
principles of financial propriety and must be brought under
rigorous audit. This will effectuate considerable savings by
economizing expenditures and preventing corruption.

Political parties are fully cognizant of the fact that there are
several constraining factors which would inhabit their economic
performance when in power. There is the danger of lack of
cooperation from the bureaucracy. They know that the support of the
armed forces, international financial agencies, business and
industrial groups, law enforcing agencies and the legitimate
cooperation of the bilateral donors will play a crucial role. The
voters also know it full well that the victorious political party
will inherit not a bed of roses and will face stupendous
difficulties in view of poor economic predicament of the country.
However, they will be willing, without hesitation, in wishing well
and pray for its successful performance.


SPORTS
20020514
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Home series on foreign soil not in Pakistan's interest
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ali Kabir

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) failed to show national character
following May 8 suicidal bombing in Karachi which resulted in
cancellation of the second and last Test between Pakistan and New
Zealand.

While the whole nation was still in a state of shock, the PCB got
down to assess its gains and losses and implications on future
international fixtures schedule.

Of all the persons, the PCB high-ups started speculating on the
tri-nation series and the Australian team's tour in August. So much
so that they even expressed their opinion of holding the series
outside Pakistan - either in Sharjah, Dhaka or Tangiers.

As things stand today one doubts that New Zealand will return in
August for the three-nation one-day tournament. The same can be
said about Australia who are more fussy about minor details of
their tour programs when visiting the sub- continent especially
Pakistan.

Australia in fact immediately picking threads from PCB Chief Lt
Gen. Tauqir Zia's statement have suggested of a possible series in
Tangiers. The whole question is what is the objective of a Test
series between two countries. It is to promote the game and create
recreation to the people of the two countries involved in the
competition. The very idea of a Test series on neutral ground
defeats the very ethics of Test cricket. If it is played on foreign
soil the whole purpose is defeated.

Who is going to benefit by such a competition. The ICC, the parent
body too has shown its inclination on projecting the Pakistan-
Australia series in Tangiers. From where has this venue emerged as
a Test centre. Morocco is a country, as big as California, and
there is no history of cricket having ever been played there.

It may provide an opportunity to manipulators as it will hardly
have any local following. Whatever the developers of Tangiers may
have in their mind does not concern Pakistan as long it does not
involve itself. When the Sharjah venue was established Pakistan had
played a very supportive role. But it was Pakistan which suffered
most because its players were accused of involvement in match
fixing and Pakistan had to work really hard to improve its image
but some players had to be punished for their alleged involvement
in the matter. So it will be better if PCB makes a calculated move
and takes a safer course.

Over and above all this, the strongest point is, why the PCB should
at all agree for a neutral venue. Is the present PCB set up not
sure that the present Government will handle the situation and
control terrorism.

Why is the PCB so concerned about its financial constraints . Are
they running the economy of the country from the cricket funds? If
the PCB shows any intention of arranging the series at Dhaka,
Sharjah or Tangier, it will create doubts in the minds of foreign
investors who will shy away and will have sound reasons to tell the
Government of Pakistan of the law and order situation.

The reason for going through the series at some neutral ground too
does not hold water. The PCB chief said that with the 2003 World
Cup round the corner, PCB cannot afford to keep the cricketers
starved of international exposure.

Being a Pakistani, I would say " To hell with the World Cup". First
it is Pakistan and then anything else. Sri Lanka had been suffering
worst kind of terrorism but it never compromised on national
issues. Despite worse conditions Sri Lanka won the 1996 World Cup.
Sri Lanka never buckled down on national issues and ICC and every
country had to accept their principled stand.

It is a shame that PCB cannot take a firm stand on the petty issue
of a tri-nation tournament or a Test series against Australia. Fine
the PCB bank balance will be depleted as it has unnecessarily
increased its expenditure on paraphernalia but according to the PCB
chief, hosting of matches on foreign soil is hardly financially
viable. If the financial gain is not there then there is all the
more reason that Pakistan should refrain from shifting its domestic
tour to a foreign country.

The only beneficiary from the whole drill which was started by
Pakistan could be none other than the CBFS. If the PCB wants to
support them by going out of its way, it is a different matter.

It is time that the Government should step in and set up a code of
conduct for all institutions to function within a framework. Nobody
should be allowed to take any step which is against the national
interest, intentionally or unintentionally. One hopes that the PCB
will review the whole situation and revise its decision in the
national interest.

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20020515
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Top Australian cricketers not to tour Pakistan
-------------------------------------------------------------------
SYDNEY, May 14: Australia's tour of Pakistan in September appears
highly unlikely after a handful of their Test stars said they would
refuse to tour even if the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) decided
it was safe to go.

Captain Steve Waugh and bowlers Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne
believed it was too dangerous to tour following last week's bomb
attack in Karachi which killed 14 people and made New Zealand fly
home on the morning of the second Test.

Warne told Australian Associated Press from Monte Carlo he would
put his safety and family ahead of cricket. "If it was on in
Pakistan, I don't think I would be going," the leg-spinner said.

"For obvious reasons. There's a war going on there, there was a
bombing with New Zealand. If it was tomorrow and we were going, I
wouldn't be going, no way. "I don't think anyone would hold it
against people if they decided not to go to Pakistan. "It's a big
decision especially when you've got kids involved.

"I've got three kids and there's a lot more at stake when you've
got family. It's a pretty hostile place at the moment."

Warne is in Monte Carlo with Test skipper Waugh, one-day captain
Ricky Ponting and fast bowler McGrath, representing the Australian
team nominated for World Team of the Year at the Laureus World
Sports Awards.

Warne said the ACB had made the right decisions in the past in
canceling the recent tour of Zimbabwe and forfeiting a 1996 World
Cup match in Colombo because of Sri Lanka's civil war against the
Tamil Tigers.

McGrath said he had already been told by his wife he would not be
going to Pakistan.

"At the end of the day, we play cricket and we love what we do, but
to put your life on the line for a sport, is not what it's all
about," McGrath said.

Waugh said no-one should be forced to go if they felt at risk.
"It's pretty hard to give in to terrorism," he said.

"You look at it from both sides. One side you go for the good of
cricket and not giving into terrorism and on the other side is that
it may be dangerous and you're putting yourself at risk.

We want to go out there and play cricket but if you're in danger,
you've got to consider what the options are. "They've got to send
players over there who want to go. If the players don't want to go,
there's not much point in sending a team."

Alternative venues including Sharjah, Morocco and Bangladesh have
been suggested for the three-Test series.

Pakistan has become a security flashpoint since the Sept 11
terrorist attacks in the United States.

The Karachi bombing was the third attack involving foreigners in
the country in six weeks.

Pakistan Cricket Board director Brig Munawwar Rana said it would
take a lot of effort to convince the International Cricket Council
and other cricket boards to play in Pakistan.

ACB chief executive James Sutherland said it was too early to
decide on Pakistan. "It's a serious issue and the ACB are treating
it extremely seriously - the safety and security issues are of
paramount concern to us," Sutherland said. "But we're still months
away from the tour and there are plenty of things to work through
in that time. Circumstances can change in that time which is why I
don't want to be getting into hypothetical situations."

A neutral venue looms as the most likely option for the PCB, which
would still receive most of the revenue.

Pakistan played the West Indies earlier this year in Sharjah, which
became cricket's most tainted venue following bribery scandals.

The ACB has previously refused to send teams to Sharjah.

"We have had concerns about Sharjah as a venue in the past but with
it now being approved by the International Cricket Council as a
suitable venue then that gives us a bit of comfort," Sutherland
said.-AFP

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20020515
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Cancelling Karachi Test was obvious course of action
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Omar Kureishi

It may be semantic nit-picking but the New Zealand tour was not
called off. The tour had proceeded without a hitch and the three
One-day Internationals had been played as well as one Test match.
It was just the last match that was abandoned for reasons that had
nothing to do with cricket.

It is imperative that it is understood that the New Zealand team
was not the target if they were in any danger because of blast, so
too was the Pakistan team who were staying in the same hotel. There
is no denying that it must have been traumatizing and canceling the
Test match was the most obvious course of action, players of both
teams being in no mental frame of mind to play.

There is much pessimistic talk that the future of Pakistan cricket
has been put in jeopardy and no foreign team is likely to tour
Pakistan in the near future. Particularly at risk is Australia's
tour. If Pakistan is a high risk country, so too is every other
country in the world. We are living in extremely dangerous times.

Unlike the IRA and the Tamil Tigers which can be described as
vertical terrorism, the terrorism against which a war is being
waged, is horizontal. It knows no frontiers, no boundaries. There
are no obvious targets. Who, in his wildest imagination, could have
foretold the attack on the World Trade Centre or the Pentagon? Or,
for that matter, what happened at the Sheraton Hotel, in Karachi?

International terrorism must come in the same category as a natural
disaster. This is the case that the PCB must place before the
Australian Cricket Board. Whatever is humanly possible to provide
security to the Australian team will be done, as it was, in the
case of the New Zealand team. Can the United Cricket Board of South
Africa give a water-tight guarantee that terrorists will not strike
during one of the matches of the World Cup 2003? Of course, it
can't.

International media, particularly television channels, have done a
loathsome job in projecting Pakistan as a volatile country.
Pakistan's law and order situation may not be as good as we would
want it to be but life goes on as it does in other countries which
are as safe or as dangerous. Let me just add here that as far back
as 1974, when I was manager of the Pakistan team touring England,
we twice had to evacuate our hotel rooms because of bomb threats.
The IRA was pretty active in those days. The thought of abandoning
the tour never crossed our mind. These bomb threats were real.

I think there is a need to be level-headed. At the time of the bomb
blast, a certain amount of hysteria was perfectly understandable as
it is understandable that the New Zealand players should feel
traumatized though I must say that the Pakistan players who too
were "five minutes away from death", (Stephen Fleming's words) seem
to have steadied their nerves.

The West Indies are concerned with the form of Brian Lara but the
Indians should be concerned with the form of Sachin Tendulkar. At
the start of the series, there was much hype about the series
deciding who was the greater batsman. But cricket is a great
leveller. As in the case of Inzamamul Haq who too went through a
wretched lean patch and bounced back with a triple century, I am
sure that both Lara and Tendulkar will soon shrug off this lean
patch and runs will start flowing from their bats. Presently, they
are proving that, like the rest of us, they are mere mortals. And a
good thing too because cricket is a team game and no individual is
bigger than the game. But what you lose of the swing, you gain on
the roundabout.

Tendulkar's failure have placed a greater responsibility on the
other Indian batsmen and Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and
Vangipurappu Laxman are coming through and as a bonus so too is
Ratra with a superb hundred.

For the West Indies, Carl Hooper and Shivnarine Chanderpaul seem to
be in top form while Ramnaresh Sarwan continues to bat with great
fluency but seems to lose his concentration just when it seems that
he is set for the big one.

Sri Lanka will find the going tough since they are touring in the
first half of the summer when it is cold and wet and the ball seams
about. Without Muttiah Muralitharan, they are half the team.

England have chosen to go backwards and have recalled Alec Stewart
and John Crawley and Sri Lanka on its part have included that old
war horse Aravinda de Silva. Strange that I should call him an old
war horse since I first saw him play as a teenager and I still
remember him hooking Imran Khan for a six at Faisalabad. I was
doing the commentary and was momentarily speechless.

The recall of these 'veterans' is an admission that there is a lot
of difference between Test cricket and the one-day game. In Test
cricket, the premium is on experience.

Sir Vivian Richards was a part of the commentary team for the
Antigua Test match. I think it would be fair to say that he was a
better batsman than he is a commentator. But he is still capable of
being outrageous. He was asked by Harsha Bhogle (with great
reverence) why he (Richards) did not wear a helmet. He said that he
liked to chomp on his chewing gum and the helmet interfered with
that.

"You have to be comfortable when you are batting," he said. What an
advertisement for chewing gum. He could have made a fortune from
Wrigley's.

Viv is also somewhat guarded in his comments. He would have liked
to say more about Hooper's decision to put India in after winning
the toss. Hooper probably thinks he still has Courtney Walsh and
Curtly Ambrose in his team.

Star Sports interviewed Wasim Jaffer and the interview ended up as
a coaching lesson by Geoff Boycott. The young batsman had played a
jewel of an innings. It seemed singularly inappropriate to be
telling what he was doing wrong.

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Webbed by Philip McEldowney
Last update: Friday, 16 October 2009.