------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 28 September 2002 Issue : 08/39 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Election 2002 is marked by notable departures + Musharraf needs no parliament nod: Ranjha + Polls definitely on Oct 10: Musharraf + EC tells candidates to abide by code + Agents allowed to check material before polls + Govt asked to provide security to observers + Parties mull strategy to check 'organized rigging' + Shahbaz, Kulsoom to move SC + SHC moved against rejection of Benazir's papers + PPP, PML-N to cooperate for supremacy of parliament + PML-QA denies rigging allegations + PML-Q for cohesion between govt, armed forces + PML-N leader urges people to reject 'king's party' + PPP vows to oust military rulers + PPP to emerge as single largest party: Rabbani + Beg says army pressing candidates into joining PML-QA + MMA vows to end US influence + Altaf pledges to provide basic needs to people + MQM seeks new constitution + Removal of Qadianis' names: writ filed in SC + Christians' killing: police inquiring survivor + Seven Christians shot dead in Karachi + Held Arab's link with 'Hamburg cell' seen + Five Al Qaeda suspects held + Musharraf sees no imminent danger of war + Govt rejects WB report on defence budget + US to help raise conventional arms capability + US to provide $47m for law enforcement + New Delhi allegations ridiculous: Islamabad + Seven killed as train derails near Sibi + 20 killed as bus falls into ravine --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Japan to give $200m for poverty eradication + Saudi Pak okays Rs351m financing + Rs795m bids for Bank Alfalah, ICP Funds + Stocks maintain upward trend on weekend session --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + 'To the best of my knowledge and belief...' Ardeshir Cowasjee + Baghdad poker Eric Margolis + Our saviours & their shibboleths Ayaz Amir + A house divided Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + PCB gives another chance to ex-manager + Nasir blasts Wasim and Saeed for not facing Australia + Abbas topples Jansher to reach last four + Pakistan hopes to improve performance

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NATIONAL NEWS
20020924
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Election 2002 is marked by notable departures 
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By Qudsia Akhlaque

ISLAMABAD, Sept 23: The elections that come on the heels of a 
massive 'political cleansing' are marked by more departures than 
any other in the country's history.

Former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, 
representing Pakistan People's Party and Pakistan Muslim League 
(Nawaz), have been forced into exile. The political career of the 
two would-be main contenders for the prime ministerial slot has 
been for the foreseeable future stymied through a Presidential 
Order.

By virtue of the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance and the 
Legal Framework Order prepared by the National Reconstruction 
Bureau, certain political luminaries are either in detention or 
stand disqualified. They include Shahbaz Sharif, Gauhar Ayub, Javed 
Hashmi, Yusaf Raza Gillani, Asif Zardari and Nawaz Khokhar.

A lot of ousted political heavyweights have their scions contesting 
the polls.

For the first time, the public representatives across the political 
divide will have something in common - they will be graduates.

None of the new heads of the major political parties seen as likely 
contenders for the prime ministerial slot - Amin Faheem and Mian 
Azhar - have a track record in government at the federal level.

It will be the first instance since 1988 that there will be no 
woman candidate for the top slot, unless Zubeida Jalal is 
considered as one.

Another significant aspect of the elections is the bonding of seven 
major religious parties under the banner of Muttahida Majlis-i-
Amal. Previously, they entered electoral alliance with the 
mainstream political forces. However, this time the religious 
parties have forged an alliance to bring Islamic revolution.

Unlike previous election campaigns, this one has been low-key, 
short in duration and scope. It has lacked flavor, spontaneity and 
enthusiasm, at least this far. No gimmicks or antics that would 
engage or amuse the voters. No spirited and milling crowds at 
public meetings - rather no big rallies for concerns of security 
and the curbs on political activity.

Notably, there has been an absence of organized media campaign that 
had been the hallmark of previous elections. Unlike the past, no 
media consultants have been hired by leading political parties nor 
political advertisements have appeared in the press. Hussain 
Haqqani and Mushahid Hussain, who masterminded the media campaign 
of the two former premiers, are also missing. Hence no fact sheets 
circulated and no front-page ad campaign in newspapers that marked 
the elections in the 1990s.

While constituency-level political dynamics may be evident, there 
are no broad issues that dominate the limited electioneering. The 
campaign has largely been devoid of issues such as unemployment, 
price hike, access to social services, and law and order.

Local patronage, not public policy, seems to be the focus of the 
elections.

The overriding issue is not the Kashmir dispute, the nuclear bomb, 
corruption or terrorism. The call is for a truly representative 
government, not one in uniform.

The khakis have done what no one could do previously. They have 
created a sympathy vote for the cheerless and once bitterly 
condemned politicians. They have brought the two major political 
parties together, even if only to push the one-point agenda of 
sending the army back to the barracks.

With the establishment making little effort to conceal its support 
for the king's party, concerns of pre-poll rigging have become real 
and deep. It is the first time in the country's election history 
that Nazims are at play in power politics. They are being used to 
ensure victory of the incumbent government's favourites, even 
though there is a law prohibiting that.

The reduction of voting age limit to 18 years has increased the 
number of voters by some 5.2 million to around 72 million.

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20020923
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Musharraf needs no parliament nod: Ranjha
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By Ashraf Mumtaz

LAHORE, Sept 22: Gen Pervez Musharraf needs no ratification by 
parliament of his election as president by virtue of the April 30 
referendum nor is he required to seek a fresh election to retain 
himself as the head of state for the next five years, Law Minister 
Dr Khalid Ranjha said.

Talking to Dawn, he said if new parliament was of the view that it 
could not work with Gen Musharraf, it would be free to oust him 
through impeachment, the procedure for which had been laid down in 
the Constitution.

The minister said that the election of the president through the 
referendum had been made part of the Legal Framework Order and 
incorporated in the 1973 Constitution, which was now in abeyance. 
The day the Constitution was revived, the LFO would be part of it, 
which would mean that the referendum would enjoy the constitutional 
cover.

In such a situation, he said, the election of Gen Musharraf as 
president would be fait accompli for new parliament and the general 
would be under no obligation to seek a fresh election.

Asked what would new parliament have to do to oust the president if 
it was of the opinion that it could not co-exist with him, the 
minister said impeachment was the only method available to 
legislators.

Under the 1973 Constitution, the president may be impeached by a 
two-thirds majority of the bicameral legislature.

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20020923
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Polls definitely on Oct 10: Musharraf
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 22: President Gen Pervez Musharraf said he was 
willing to sign a certificate, if there was any, to confirm that 
the Oct 10 elections would be held as planned.

"I have said this 200 times that the elections would be held on 
schedule. I am now ready to sign a certificate, if there is one," 
he said after distributing prizes on the conclusion of the COAS 
Championship at the Rawalpindi Golf Club.

"The election commission is following the time-table that has been 
set for them and there would be no rigging, the polls would be fair 
and transparent."

"Claims of pre-poll rigging by some parties are all baseless."

There is a lot of interest in Pakistan elections abroad and the 
European Union mission can send in as many monitoring teams as they 
like. "The elections would be completely fair."

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20020923
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EC tells candidates to abide by code
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ISLAMABAD, Sept 22: The Election Commission once again asked the 
political parties and all the contesting candidates to abide by the 
code of conduct already issued by the commission in this regard to 
ensure smooth, peaceful and orderly election campaign for the 
forthcoming general election.

Chief Election Commissioner Chief Justice Irshad Hasan Khan 
(retired) referring to already issued 22-point code of conduct for 
the political parties expressed hope that implementation on this 
code of conduct would ensure decency, respect for opponents and 
peaceful election campaign for the forthcoming elections.

The code of conduct already approved by the commission, was issued 
on July 5 to seek public opinion and for effective and meaningful 
consultations with the political parties and then it was finalized 
keeping in view the proposals received from various political 
parties. 

STATMENTS OF ACCOUNTS: The Election Commission which gave 
additional days to seven political parties to submit their 
statements of accounts duly certified by chartered accountants will 
decide the fate of these parties on Monday. An spokesman for the 
Election Commission told APP that on the request of some of the 
parties, the commission had given one more chance to these parties 
to submit the statements of their accounts by Sept 23.

The seven political parties namely, Jamote Qaumi Movement, Kakar 
Jamhoori Party Pakistan, Pakistan Awami Quwwat Party, Pakistan 
Brohi Party, Pakistan Jamhoori Aman Party, Pakistan Progressive 
Party and Tehreek Wafaq Pakistan are facing disqualification if 
they do not submit duly certified statements of their accounts.

These parties have so far failed to submit their statements of 
accounts and now the commission has decided to give them another 
chance to submit their statements by Sept 23, failing which the 
symbols allotted to them will automatically stand withdrawn without 
any further notice or proceedings.

These parties then will be disqualified and cannot participate in 
the forthcoming general election.

POSTAL BALLOT: The Election Commission explained that the polling 
staff and police personnel who have been assigned duties at the 
polling stations are advised to apply for postal ballot by Sept 30.

An spokesman for the Election Commission told APP that applications 
for postal ballot should be made on prescribed form with the 
returning officer of the constituency in which such persons are 
enrolled as voters.

Application forms for postal ballot can be obtained from any 
returning officer.

The voters to whom postal ballots are issued will not be entitled 
to vote in person at the polling stations.

The application should be forwarded/endorsed by the 
office/department of the voter concerned to guard against 
unauthorized person applying for postal ballot.-APP

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20020927
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Agents allowed to check material before polls
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 26: The Election Commission (EC) has directed the 
presiding officers (POs) to allow polling agents of the candidates 
to check the ballot paper books with serial numbers, to ensure that 
all the ballot papers meant for their polling stations were 
available in polling bags, and that nothing was detached from them.

The EC in its meeting reviewed the measures it had been proposing 
to ensure fair elections, and said that on the polling day, the 
sealed polling bags should be opened in the presence of the polling 
agents.

The commission asked the POs to ensure that each sealed polling bag 
contained a detailed invoice of all election material and the 
ballot paper books with serial number.

The EC said it also should be ensured that a certificate should be 
obtained from the polling agents in whose presence the polling bags 
were opened and the polling commenced.

The EC stated that the ballot papers provided at the polling 
stations were not numbered, and only the counterfoils of the ballot 
papers bore the running serial number.

The commission said the rationale behind this was that once a 
ballot paper was issued to a voter, and he marked and inserted it 
in the ballot box concerned, and no one could find as to who has 
voted for whom.

The chief election commissioner said it should also be ensured that 
all ballot boxes should also be shown empty to the polling agents 
and should be sealed for balloting in their presence and a 
certificate to this effect should also be obtained.

The commission, highlighting the other measures, stated that it 
should be ensured that in the "statement of count" (Form-XIV), copy 
whereof was enclosed, the presiding officers should write the 
number of votes secured by each candidate both in words and figures 
to eliminate the chances of any alteration.

About the results, the commission announced that on the basis of 
statement of counts in respect of all polling stations in a 
constituency, total votes polled and the votes polled by each 
contesting candidates would be summed up by the returning officer 
(RO) concerned for each NA and PA constituency.

The ROs would prepare preliminary results of election and the each 
result would also be signed by the candidate concerned or his 
election agent, who might be present at that time.

The commission clarified that such results for the constituency 
would be announced by the concerned ROs locally at the spot, and a 
copy of the preliminary results for the constituency would be 
pasted at the prominent places outside the ROs offices.

The result would also be transmitted to the Election Commission of 
Pakistan through telephone and fax, and they would be released to 
the electronic and print media by the Election Commission, the EC 
said.

About the consolidation of results by the ROs, the Election 
Commission clarified that every result would be finally 
consolidated on a date fixed by the officer concerned.

The consolidation would be carried out in the presence of the 
candidate and/or the election agent of the candidate, the EC added.

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20020924
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Govt asked to provide security to observers
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Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 23: The Chief Election Commissioner "directed" the 
federal and provincial governments to provide security to the 
international observers in the forthcoming general elections to 
"see for themselves the transparency of the election process."

The CEC Justice Irshad Hasan Khan has issued the directives after 
the EU announced that it would reduce the strength of its observers 
which it intended to send to Pakistan because of Pakistan's 
"reluctance to meet security requirements."

Justice Irshad had been telling the international observers in the 
past that they would be welcome to "observe" but not to "supervise" 
the forthcoming general election.

An EC announcement, whose tone and tenor was different from the 
previous announcement, said: "The international observers are most 
welcome to observe the pre-poll arrangements, voting process and 
counting of votes by the presiding officers at the close of the 
polls."

The EC announcement said the observers could also witness the 
preparation of preliminary results by the returning officers after 
receiving statements of count from all polling stations of his 
constituency.

The EC said that the presiding officers would announce the 
preliminary result locally and shall provide a copy thereof to be 
affixed outside his office for information of general public.

The CEC emphasized that the Election Commission is arranging 
necessary briefing sessions for the observers in the EC secretariat 
at Islamabad and in the offices of the provincial election 
commissioners and necessary briefing material is being provided to 
the observers. 

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20020925
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Parties mull strategy to check 'organized rigging'
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By Ahmed Hassan

ISLAMABAD Sept 24: Three major political parties have begun mulling 
a unified strategy to forestal what they fear "chances of organized 
rigging" on selected seats on the election day.

People's Party Parliamentarians Chairman Makhdoom Fahim, Pakistan 
Muslim League (N) Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq and Pakistan Tehrik-i-
Insaf Chairman Imran Khan are expected to meet in the federal 
capital in the next couple of days to reach a consensus on giving a 
substantive ultimatum to the establishment to stop meddling in the 
electoral process or to go for an all-out agitation, informed 
sources of the three parties confirmed to Dawn.

They were also in contact with the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal leaders 
and had taken them into confidence in taking a united stand against 
the expected rigging, the sources said.

According to PPP spokesman Farhatullah Babar, all the major parties 
in the run are extremely perturbed over the reports of a planned 
rigging on the election day after all pre-poll rigging actions 
taken.

"There are chances of misuse of election material when it is 
delivered in the evening of October 10," he said, adding that 
Makhdoom Amin Fahim was arriving here by evening and would start 
meeting the leaders of other like-minded politicians to plan a 
strategy.

Mr Fahim, who has already held meetings with the leaders of these 
parties, told a news conference the other day that he was meeting 
the politicians to achieve the objective of national 
reconciliation.

"It is very tough to fight against the establishment's moves but we 
are determined to expose every player of the power game before the 
masses as well as the world opinion leaders," said a political 
source.

PIT Information Secretary Akbar S. Babar indicated that the leaders 
of the three parties might hold a joint press conference on Sunday.

He said Imran Khan was also expected to speak to the press to 
expose the establishment's activities towards manipulation in shape 
of pre-poll rigging and rigging on the day of elections.

Another suggestion is that these leaders during their meetings may 
consider chances of the maximum cooperation by making seat 
adjustments on the most crucial seats, where the top candidates of 
their parties were contesting.

One of the suggestions is that the PPP withdraw its candidate from 
the contest against Raja Zafarul Haq in Rawalpindi, as the PML-N 
has already asked its candidate to withdraw from contest against 
Makhdoom Amin Fahim.

Similarly, they are also likely to discuss the possibility of 
withdrawing their candidates for the seats for which pro-government 
heavy weights are contesting.

Their main target is said to be PML-QA President Mian Azhar, who is 
contesting for two National Assembly seats.

The biggest hurdle in the way of getting all these leaders together 
is that all of them are pretty busy in their own electoral campaign 
in the four provinces. Makhdoom is contesting polls in Sindh, Imran 
in Mianwali, Swat and Lahore and Raja Zafarul Haq is fighting the 
battle of his lifetime in Rawalpindi.

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20020928
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Shahbaz, Kulsoom to move SC
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Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Sept 27: The Lahore High Court (LHC) dismissed all the six 
petitions of PML-N leaders Shahbaz Sharif and Kulsoom Nawaz for 
inclusion of their names in the final lists of candidates, 
upholding the election tribunal's decision disqualifying them from 
elections.

The full bench of LHC comprising Justice Javed Butar, Justice Ejaz 
Chaudhry and Justice Jamshed Ali observed that they had examined 
the written orders of the election tribunal disqualifying the 
petitioners. There was nothing on record to show that the detailed 
judgment had been issued after the expiry of tribunal's life-span.

A detailed judgment would be issued later.

After pronouncement of the short order, the counsel for the 
petitioners, Ashtar Ausaf Ali, said he would challenge the verdict 
in the Supreme Court as soon as he got a copy of the detailed 
judgment.

The petitioners had nominated the returning officers for NA-119, 
NA-122, PP-141 and PP-142, all candidates from these four 
constituencies of Lahore, the election tribunal and the Election 
Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as respondents.

The petitioners submitted that orders of the returning officers 
concerned clearing both Mr Shahbaz and Ms Kulsoom for elections, 
were restored when the election tribunal failed to sign its 
disqualification order within its life span. It was pleaded that 
the nomination papers and the authority letters appended with those 
papers had been signed by the petitioners. Lastly, Mr Shahbaz had 
refuted the tribunal's declaration that he was a wilful defaulter.

When the full bench delivered the verbal order, Deputy Attorney 
General (DAG) Khwaja Saeeduz Zafar had completed his arguments. He 
submitted that it would be presumed that the tribunal's verdict had 
been written and signed the day it was announced verbally. The 
delay in signing the judgment was a procedural anomaly, which could 
not hurt a judgment's validity, he added.

The state argued that under the Representation of People's Act 
(ROPA) 1976, a candidate was supposed to say under oath that 
whatever he had disclosed in nomination papers was true. However, 
it was contended, an affidavit signed by one Dr Makhdoomi had been 
appended with the papers of Mr Shahbaz, saying that the latter had 
signed the nomination papers himself in front of the former who, in 
fact, was sitting in Pakistan.

It was argued that this affidavit had been prepared in Pakistan 
whereas Mr Shahbaz had not visited Pakistan since his departure to 
Saudi Arabia. The state contended that the petitioner's wrong 
statement of facts had put his credibility in doubt and defeated 
the purpose of ROPA, which was aimed at bringing honest candidates 
to the fore.

The DAG said the signatures of both the petitioners on nomination 
papers differed markedly from those on affidavits. He acknowledged 
that there could be a slight difference in signatures of a person 
depending on his state of mind and sitting posture, which, however, 
could not cause such a marked difference as there was in this case.

He contended that the finding of election tribunal that signatures 
of the two petitioners appeared to have been forged was not open to 
judicial review. It was argued that the affidavit produced by Hamza 
Shahbaz before the tribunal saying that signatures on the 
nomination papers were of his father did not have any legal value 
since it had not been attested by any authority.

The DAG submitted that Mr Shahbaz would be considered a wilful 
defaulter as long as the amount owed by him was not paid off. The 
bench asked as to how could Mr Shahbaz be regarded as a wilful 
defaulter when he and Nawaz Sharif had handed over the assets of 
Ittefaq Brothers and Ittefaq Foundries Private Limited to the 
company judge concerned. The DAG replied that the matter of loan 
recovery was not yet over, as no final orders had been issued in 
this regard. Mr Shahbaz would be considered a wilful defaulter till 
the announcement of company judge's final orders.

The state in its concluding arguments submitted that the delivery 
of ballot papers to the officials concerned had been started, and 
these petitions could not be allowed at this stage. The bench was 
requested to reject the petitions on grounds that the polls could 
not postponed for allowing the petitions, as such a permission 
would be against national interests.

To a bench query, Punjab Advocate-General Maqbool Ellahi Malik 
submitted that mere arrangements for retirement of liabilities did 
not relieve a respondent of default. Not a single penny had been 
given to the plaintiff bank in this case so far, he added. He 
further said the election tribunal's finding that Mr Shahbaz was a 
wilful defaulter had obtained finality and could not be challenged.

In a short reply to state arguments, petitioners' counsel submitted 
that under the law, an election tribunal was bound to deliver the 
verdict in an open court and within its life-span. He said 
variations in the signatures of Mr Shahbaz and Ms Kulsoom did not 
amount to forgery.

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20020928
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SHC moved against rejection of Benazir's papers
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Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 27: Three constitutional petitions have been filed in 
the Sindh High Court by the attorney of Ms Benazir Bhutto, against 
the dismissal of her nomination papers for the two NA 
constituencies of Larkana and one reserved seat for women, by the 
returning officers and subsequently by the Election Tribunal.

Ms Bhutto's nomination papers were rejected on the ground that the 
petitioner has been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment under 
Section 31-A of NAB ordinance 1999 by NAB Court Rawalpindi / 
Islamabad in Reference No.23/2000, the disqualification prescribed 
under clause (n) of Sub-Article 2 of Article 8-D of the Conduct of 
General Election Order 2002 and clause(r) of Sub-section (1A) of 
section 99 of the Representation of People Act 1976 is attracted.

Being aggrieved by the order she preferred an appeal bearing 
Election Appeal which was dismissed.

Ms Bhutto's attorney Farooq H.Naek claims in the memo that having 
no other efficacious and alternate remedy he filed the petition on 
the grounds that the impugned orders are bad on facts and in law. 
They are based upon surmises and conjectures and contrary to the 
law applicable thereto and the judgments of the superior courts in 
the matter.

It is his case that the respondents erred in holding that having 
been convicted by the Accountability Court Rawalpindi the appellant 
is disqualified to contest election.

He maintains that the respondent No.1 erred in holding that the 
judgment/order of the Accountability Court cannot be looked into by 
the Tribunal and that it has no domain to nullify the said judgment 
and set aside the conviction awarded by the said court.

He also maintains that the respondent erred in holding that the 
terms convict, conviction, criminal trial, nolo-contender and 
sentence cannot be considered while deciding the appeal and that 
there is no illegality or infirmity in the order passed by the 
respondent.

Farooq Naek maintains that the petitioner never absconded in terms 
of Section 31-A, of the NAB Ordinance, 1999, as she had left the 
country with the permission of the Lahore High Court, dated 30-12-
1998. Thus, no question of disqualification under clause 2(n) of 
Article 8D of C.E.O No.7 of 2002, amended by C.E.O 21 of 2002 and 
under Article 63(1) (P) of Legal Frame Work Order arises.

Article 8D 2(n) and Article 63(1)(p) of Legal Frame Work order 2002 
only applies where a person has been 'convicted' and sentenced for 
absconcion. Under Section 31-A of NAB Ordinance 1999 the guilt is 
determined by operation of law and not as a result of conviction. 

Thus, the disqualification envisaged under Article 8D 2(n) and 
Article 63 (1)(p) does not apply in the case of the petitioner. 

Even otherwise the NAB Courts do not have the jurisdiction to 
convict and sentence the petitioner and any order passed without 
jurisdiction is a nullity in the eye of law and has to be 
discarded.

Even otherwise Section 31-A of the Ordinance, 1999, only applies 
where a person absconds in order to avoid being served with any 
process, the attorney maintains.

It is the petitioner's contention that Section 31-A of the NAB 
Ordinance, 1999, is violative of Article 175 of the Constitution as 
it interferes with the judicial functions which the Courts are 
required to perform in accordance with, inter alia, the Criminal 
Procedure Code, while dealing with cases of absconcion. The 
legislative fiat reflected by Section 31-A of the Ordinance, 1999, 
flouts the independence of judiciary.

The petitioner has already filed a constitution petition bearing 
No. D-1427/2002 challenging the vires of section 31-A of NAB 
Ordinance 1999 as well as of Article 8D 2(n) of C.E.O 7 of 2002 as 
amended and Article 63(1)(p) of the Legal Frame Work Order 2002, 
and the same is pending adjudication before the full bench of the 
SHC.

It is his contention that orders of Accountability Court Rawalpindi 
have been assailed by Mr Muhammad Sardar Latif Khoso Advocate, who 
was allowed to appear on behalf of the petitioner in all the 
references before various courts vide order dated 30-12-1998 by the 
Lahore High Court Lahore, and intra court appeal in this regard is 
pending adjudication before the LHC, Rawalpindi Bench.

The petitioner has prayed for declaring that the orders passed by 
the respondents are illegal, without jurisdiction and of no legal 
effect and for setting aside the same and directing the respondents 
to revise the list of validity nominated candidates for election to 
the national assembly by incorporating her name.

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20020925
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PPP, PML-N to cooperate for supremacy of parliament
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Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 24: People's Party Parliamentarians chief Makhdoom 
Amin Fahim said that the PPP and PML (N) would cooperate with each 
other for the supremacy of parliament, though they have not yet 
struck a deal on broad-based seat adjustments.

He said that efforts were on to narrow down the gaps. He also 
declared that if the PPP leadership was pushed to the wall, the 
option of boycott was also open, though he emphasized that the PPP 
was a serious contender in the October elections to establish the 
people's supremacy through parliament.

He spelt this out while talking to newsmen, party workers and 
supporters at the residence and election office of NA-250 candidate 
Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig.

He declared that despite all the attempts by the rulers to create 
impediments for the PPP and its leader Benazir Bhutto, his party 
would not abandon the struggle for the rights of the downtrodden 
and supremacy of parliament.

He said that struggle and going behind bars was nothing new for the 
PPP leadership and workers who were prepared to sacrifice 
everything. The prolonged imprisonment of Asif Zardari and others 
was proof of that resolve and determination, he added.

Amin Fahim, stressed that his party firmly believes in democratic 
political dispensation and is not going to give a walkover to the 
"Kings Party". However, the double standards of the regime were 
adding to dissension and division in society, which is dangerous 
for the federation and the country.

He said that the PPP had demanded free, fair and transparent 
elections, but the rejection of Ms Bhutto's nomination papers was 
not fair play. 

He dispelled the impression that Ms Bhutto was afraid of coming 
back to Pakistan, and said that she could return any time, but the 
timing and mode was part of party strategy.

Fahim said that only time will tell how effective and independent 
the next prime minister would be.

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20020926
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PML-QA denies rigging allegations
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

KOHAT, Sept 25: Brushing aside the allegations of pre-poll rigging, 
Syed Iftikhar Hussain Gilani, senior vice president of Pakistan 
Muslim League (QA), has said that the government and some political 
parties have a common vision on a number of issues, therefore, the 
president has a strong "desire" to see them in the future 
parliament through fair and impartial elections.

Talking to a group of newsmen at his residence, Mr Gilani said that 
the politicians have lost credibility among the masses because they 
never wanted to strengthen the institution of parliament and 
instead relied on non-political organizations just to let down the 
opponents.

"Nobody had the courage to bring any motion against the army 
meddling in politics although the constitution had all the 
provisions to facilitate the functioning of the house. It was their 
corruption which forced them to lean towards army for help and 
undermine the power of the parliament, he added.

The prime ministers always went for a patch-up through the military 
to settle political scores among themselves and invited them not to 
only interfere but grab power", Mr Gilani observed.

He accused both Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto of violating the 
rules of the game and making important decisions in their houses 
without consulting the cabinet and party members into confidence. 
"Both were power-hungry and running the country's affairs as King 
or Queen," he remarked.

Both of them blamed the army, he said, for interference and 
criticized the ISI political role when they were out of power or 
sitting in opposition, but never had the courage to consult the 
parliament, which was a supreme body to deal with such things. 
Moreover, the army was united, whereas the politicians were divided 
at all levels and played a very selfish role.

He said that he had a strong believe that President Musharraf would 
transfer the power to the elected parliament as soon as the speaker 
of the new assembly was elected. 

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20020923
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PML-Q for cohesion between govt, armed forces
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 22: The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam (PML-Q) 
has pledged to continue the policies of Gen Pervez Musharraf, if 
voted to power in the coming general election.

Speaking at a press conference, the central vice-president of the 
PML-Q, Syed Kabir Ali Wasti, said that his party believed in 
complete cohesion between the government and the armed forces in 
post-election scenario.

Mutual confidence and harmony between the armed forces and 
political institutions is necessary to bring the country out of the 
crisis, the vice president added.

Mr Wasti said that after sweeping the elections his party would 
initiate a process of dialogue with India for the solution of 
Kashmir dispute by taking the leadership of the Pakistani armed 
forces into confidence.

The leader made it clear that his party did not believe in efforts 
made by Nawaz Sharif. "We will take each and every step towards 
normalization of relations with India by consulting the armed 
forces," he added.

Mr Wasti was confident that the parliament and provincial 
legislatures to be elected next month would play a historic role in 
safeguarding the national interests.

He said the PML-Q would resolve chronic problems including 
unemployment and would work for strengthening of national economy.

The PML-Q leader advised the fellow politicians not to confuse the 
election environment, which might result in a low turnout.

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20020923
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PML-N leader urges people to reject 'king's party'
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 22: The Pakistan Muslim League-N candidate from NA-
48, Syed Zafar Ali Shah, has urged the people to reject the "king's 
party" in elections as it represented the usurpers of their rights 
and those who have been instrumental in repeated suspension of the 
democratic order.

Speaking at corner meetings in suburban area of the capital, the 
former MNA said: "Islamabad is brain of the country, therefore the 
electorate must keep it in their mind that a wrong decision on 
their part could cause trouble to the whole of the country."

He strongly defended former prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif with 
regard to the allegations that he had plundered the national 
wealth.

"He was the saviour of the nation, who was taking the country on a 
path of prosperity and peace. His schemes of easy loans for 
peasants and for public transport vehicles were the first acts of 
their kind ever introduced by any government," he maintained.

In addition to this, "the bold act of making Pakistan a nuclear 
power speak volumes of his being a sympathizer of the downtrodden 
and an advocate of a strong Pakistan," Mr Shah said.

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20020928
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PPP vows to oust military rulers
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

QUETTA, Sept 27: The chairman of the People's Party Parliamentarian 
(PPP), Mukhdoom Amin Fahim, has said his party will fulfil its 
commitment to restore democracy in the country and will not 
compromise the rights of the people.

Speaking at a public meeting in connection with the party's 
election campaign at the Ayub Stadium, he announced that the PPP 
would bring Benazir Bhutto back to the country and nobody could 
stop her from becoming the country's prime minister for the third 
time.

"There will be a direct fight on October 10 between killers of 
(Zulfikar Ali) Bhutto and supporters of PPP," Mr Fahim said, adding 
that the people would vote for the party to bring it once again in 
power.

He said the PPP had rendered great sacrifices for ousting all the 
military rulers from power and would continue its struggle for the 
removal of the present rulers.

The PPP leader said the government had given unemployment and 
price-hike to the people, who, he added, were facing great 
hardships.

He claimed that his party would win the October polls, as the 
people would give their decision in favour of the PPP that had 
always served them with honesty. He appealed to the people to vote 
for PPP candidates in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.

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20020924
-------------------------------------------------------------------
PPP to emerge as single largest party: Rabbani
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Sept 23: PPP acting secretary-general Raza Rabbani claims 
that his party will emerge as the single largest group at the 
centre and in the Punjab and NWFP, capable of forming governments 
there, in case the regime holds free and fair elections.

At a news conference, he said this was his assessment of the 
possible party position despite massive pre-poll rigging already 
carried out in favour of what he called 'king's party'.

He alleged that the regime wanted to keep the major political 
parties out of the electoral process to be able to bring in people 
of its own choice in assemblies. But, he made it clear, the PPP 
would frustrate such designs by taking an active part in the polls.

The PPP, Mr Rabbani said, was committed to contesting the elections 
as enthusiastically as was the regime determined to using every 
possible tactics to get results of its own choice.

Asked if the party was so serious about taking part in the 
electoral process, why the PPP leaders frequently talked of the 
boycott option, Mr Rabbani said options to deal with various 
situations were always available.

Before the news conference, the PPP leader inaugurated an election 
cell which would document pre-poll rigging methods used by the 
regime and intimidation of the party workers and supporters. The 
proof would be provided to the election commission as this was the 
only relevant institution which should be approached in such 
situations.

The cell, the like of which will also be working in the other 
provincial and federal capitals, will also monitor the election 
results. Election candidates facing hardships at the hands of the 
regime have been directed to approach the cell of their respective 
areas.

Mr Rabbani said the regime was targeting the PPP but the latter 
would not be browbeaten.

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20020927
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Beg says army pressing candidates into joining PML-QA
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Amjad Mahmood

LAHORE, Sept 26: Awami Qiadat Party president and former chief of 
army staff Gen Mirza Aslam Beg claims that army officers are 
pressing AQP candidates into joining the PML-QA.

"Maj Mubashar of the Rangers approached AQP candidate Rana Ashraf 
(PP-158) and directed him to join the PML-QA as, according to him, 
it would settle all his affairs," Mr Beg told Dawn.

Party's information secretary Muhammad Mehdi and media adviser 
Tariq Gill were also present.

Gen Beg said the Rangers had taken the step after he addressed an 
election meeting of Mr Ashraf at Jallo Mor a day before.

Asked if the party would launch a formal complaint with the 
Election Commission or the army authorities, he replied in the 
negative. "It will be of no avail. The (army) officers will deny 
the report and there is no other authority powerful enough to 
redress the grievance despite the provision of evidence."

Moreover, he added, there was also the possibility that the 
authorities might force the complainant (the candidate) to disown 
the complaint.

The AQP had fielded 70 plus nominees for national and provincial 
assemblies seats throughout the country but the number was reduced 
to 35 as many candidates were made to withdraw their nominations 
and some were issued wrong election symbols, he claimed.

He did not believe that the government would indulge in rigging on 
the polling day. "The rigging has been done before the polling and 
I have also pointed out this matter to the European Union 
monitoring team."

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20020924
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MMA vows to end US influence 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Correspondent

QUETTA, Sept 23: Revival of the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, 
ousting of the Karzai government and enforcement of the Islamic 
laws and system in Pakistan are top priorities of the Muttahida 
Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), a central leader of the coalition has said.

"End of the US influence in the region is another important 
priority of the religious parties united at the MMA platform", 
Maulana Noor Mohammad, a central leader of the bloc and JUI-F said 
while speaking at a press conference.

Mr Noor Mohammad, a former Balochistan minister, flayed the role of 
the United State in the region including Afghanistan, and said the 
religious parties of Pakistan would not abandoned their struggle 
for the revival of Taliban government in the war-torn country.

He said: "We are contesting elections against the secular forces in 
the country. People have tried the PPP and PML several times, but 
they failed to resolve their (people) problems."

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20020928
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Altaf pledges to provide basic needs to people
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 27: The chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Altaf 
Husain, declared that if his party formed government, it would 
bring prices of essential commodities to such an affordable level 
that no one would be forced to commit suicide due to hunger, 
unemployment and discrimination.

Speaking to a big election public meeting in Nishtar Park, Mr 
Husain lashed out at the religious parties and the rival Haqiqi for 
allegedly deceiving the people whose cause they claimed to 
represent.

He also demanded of the regime to demolish the "no-go areas" if the 
elections had to be transparent, free and fair.

Urging the international observers to take note of the situation 
with regard to the "no-go areas," he said: "If the government will 
not demolish the no-go areas, how can one say the elections will be 
transparent, and free, when we are not able to propagate out 
views."

At the outset, he castigated the killing of seven Christians in 
Karachi and observed a one-minute silence to express solidarity 
with the Christian community and the bereaved families.

He said those who were attacking religious minorities and those who 
were abetting such attacks were not friends of Pakistan or of the 
Muslims. He warned against a possible backlash in Western countries 
where a sizable number of Muslims lived.

Mr Husain, whose speech was punctuated by a highly-charged slogan 
chanting and flag-waving crowd, repudiated the perception that by 
advocating the case of Sindhi-Mohajir unity he had bartered away 
the rights of the Mohajirs.

He said those who were spreading this perception were Mir Jafers 
and Mir Sadiqs, who had come on military trucks when the operation 
of June 19, 1992 was unleashed against the Mohajirs. He said the 
unity of Sindhis and Mohajirs was not directed against Punjabis, or 
Pakhtoons, or Baluchis.

He also came down heavily on the MMA and alleged they had joined 
hands due to political expediency, otherwise none of them saw eye 
to eye, and they pitted Muslims against Muslims.

He categorically declared that when Sindh would be free from the 
clutches of the oppressive federal rule, not a single Punjabi or 
Pakhtoon, who had made Sindh his permanent abode, would be harrased 
or thrown out.

He urged such Punjabis and Pakhtoons to stop looking towards Punjab 
and the NWFP for solution of their problems. He said when Sindh 
would get its rights, they too would reap the harvest.

Mr Husain also referred to the MQM manifesto which called for 
drafting a new constitution and autonomy to the provinces in the 
true spirit of the 1940 Lahore Resolution, administrative 
restructuring, human welfare, development and security.

He declared that after coming into power the MQM would not only end 
downsizing, but would also provide honourable job opportunities. He 
also warned the feudals who were threatening MQM supporters in the 
interior of Sindh.

He declared that the MQM government would provide electricity, 
water, and gas to every nook and corner of Sindh and provide health 
and education facilities.

He also declared that the MQM would punish those responsible for 
karo-kari (honour killing) and the practice of marriage with Quran.

He warned those who convert schools into autaq.

"The MQM is a peace-loving political party which believes in non-
violence and oppose terrorism in all forms and manifestations," he 
said.

Mr Husain also referred to measures that would be taken by his 
party for the rights of women and measures for providing them with 
jobs.

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20020927
-------------------------------------------------------------------
MQM seeks new constitution
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 26: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement unfolded its 
election manifesto which calls for a new constitution and 
provincial autonomy according to the 1940 Lahore Resolution.

The elections 2002 manifesto, titled "Moving Pakistan forward" was 
presented by deputy convener Aftab Shaikh, who was flanked by other 
deputy conveners Nasreen Jaleel, Shoaib Bokhari, and Dr Farooq 
Sattarat a news conference.

In the preamble, the MQM says it is a peace-loving political party 
and opposes terrorism.

The MQM wants an independent and non-aligned foreign policy and 
wishes to promote close and friendly relations with all the 
countries. It believes that all disputes should be settled through 
negotiations.

It wants to strengthen the defence of the country. Such policies, 
it stresses, should be formulated as can enable people from every 
region of the country to be recruited into the armed forces.

The MQM claims that all the past constitutions, including the 1973 
constitution, have failed to provide the fundamental rights, 
security, democracy, freedom, social justice and equality to the 
people of Pakistan.

The main reason for this was the non-inclusion of the true spirit 
of the Resolution of 1940 which was the basis of the Pakistan 
Movement.

The civil and military autocrats have made so many amendments to 
the constitution of 1973 that it has lost its original form, spirit 
and utility.

Keeping in view the failure of the constitution of 1973, the MQM 
proposes the formulation of a new constitution by an assembly with 
equal representation from all the constituent units.

The proposed constitution should not only envisage the 
reincarnation of the spirit of the Resolution of 1940 but should 
also be in conformity with the genius and aspiration of the people, 
it claims.

The new constitution should have all the salient features of a true 
federation - supremacy of parliament, autonomy of the provinces, 
the federation having only three subjects, ie, defence, foreign 
affairs and currency, a bicameral legislature with meaningful 
powers to both houses, joint electorate, independence of judiciary, 
free press, gender equality, equality of all citizens before law 
and equal representation of all the constituent units in all 
federal services.

The MQM will not defend those arbitrary laws that were designed by 
any regime to discriminate against a person or community for 
his/her or their personal faith, belief or creed. 

It has come to the conclusion that provincial autonomy and 
decentralization are sine qua non for the internal stability of 
Pakistan. The MQM therefore stands committed to striving for 
complete economic, financial, administrative and political autonomy 
for the provinces.

It stands for: a) Make Senate an effective body for the protection 
of the constituent units' rights; b) The provinces shall have full 
autonomy in accordance with the Resolution of 1940;c) No taxes or 
fees will be raised by the Federation on its own behalf; d) Funds 
needed by the Federation for defence, foreign affairs and currency 
will be paid by the provinces on the basis of their population; e) 
The amount of Zakat will be distributed in the same district from 
where it is collected.

It also stands for bringing all the federally-administered areas as 
regular districts within the jurisdiction of the respective 
provinces, except the federal capital, and strengthening of local 
bodies institutions.

It also stands for bringing all the cantonment areas within the 
political ambit of the local/district/city government.

It maintains that governor should remain in office on the pleasure 
of provincial assembly.

The MQM believes that fair and impartial elections alone are not 
sufficient for a parliamentary democratic order. Full and complete 
power needs to be transferred to the elected representatives 
immediately after the election results are announced. Some 
convention (on rotation basis) will be established to have the 
posts of President, Prime Minister, NA Speaker and Senate Chairman 
filled, keeping in view adequate provincial representation.

Structural changes needed to control budget deficits, optimize the 
tax base and reduce public debts will be effected.

It is of the view tat the first input to growth is thus human 
resource. It proposes to allocate 5% of GNP annually for education, 
make education compulsory up to 10th Class and impart free 
education up to the primary level, subsidize girls' education in 
rural areas, bring 100% literacy rate in urban areas, 75% male and 
50% female in rural areas within five years and cent per cent 
literacy within 10 years.

It propose to allocate 4% of GNP annually for the health sector and 
introduction of a comprehensive social security system.

It is proposed to abolish all such laws that cause injustice to 
women. It proposes to provide more opportunities to women to join 
the teaching profession. More training schools for female nurses, 
midwives and lady health visitors have got to be opened. Population 
Welfare Centres need to have at least 75% female staff.

It has proposed new paradigms of economic growth. It has proposed 
that local and provincial planning boards should be established and 
the perspective and or National Plan, whether five-year or rolling, 
to be formulated on the recommendations of these boards.

While emphasizing the need to maintain free economy, it maintains 
that downsizing or rightsizing will be resorted to in phases in 
such a way that the displaced are absorbed by the new/expanded 
projects under the new economic policy. It is also correlated with 
our social security system proposed.

It has also resolved to accelerate the development of Port Qasim, 
Gawadar and Keti Bunder ports through the private sector, but 
ownership of the land shall remain vested in government. It 
maintains that Water Distribution Accord(s) shall not be tampered 
with, except with the unanimous consent of the provinces. No new 
irrigation projects that adversely affect the growers of lower 
riparian areas, including Kalabagh dam, Thar Flood Water Canal 
Project/ Greater Thal Canal Project, be undertaken without the 
approval of all the provincial assemblies and by the Council of 
Common Interest.

Wapda's power distribution system will be provincialized 
immediately till it is privatized. The manifesto also outlines 
various matters connected with the rural population also.

It stands for abolishing the government cooperative department and 
instead encourage cooperative farming (including cattle and 
poultry), credit and marketing through private cooperatives.

Solid waste management schemes to be launched in metropolitan 
cities to begin with.

It is committed to implementing the Karachi Mass Transit Project 
besides providing road network in rural areas, launching the 
Northern Bypass Project, Karachi, tone up traffic management in 
urban areas and encourage private enterprise in the road transport 
sector.

In the context of providing security to the people from terrorism, 
sectarian killings, etc, the party proposes that, according to the 
principle of autonomy, maintenance of law and order shall be the 
exclusive responsibility of the provincial governments. There shall 
be no federal interference in any form.

All forces - federal and quasi-federal - for maintenance of law and 
order shall work under home minister (treasury bench) through a 
board comprising a member of provincial assembly (from the 
opposition), home secretary and chief of the provincial police, 
also duly shared and supported by the local government. The 
principle of chain of command has got to be re-established.

It is of the view that police have utterly failed to provide 
protection to the common man and is viewed as perpetrator of crime 
and lawlessness. So all the police and administration have to be 
local having domicile of the province where they serve. It also 
proposes various restructuring of the police administration system 
and dispensation of justice.

It has devoted considerable space to the need for abolishing 
feudalism which is identified with social injustices, honour 
killing, gang rape, etc.

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20020925
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Removal of Qadianis' names: writ filed in SC
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 24: The Supreme Court has been approached to end 
discrimination against Qadianis in the forthcoming general 
elections, as by deleting their names from the voters lists, they 
have been deprived of the right to contest elections.

Petitioner Shahid Orakzai, in his constitutional petition under 
Article 184(3) of the Constitution filed, has stated that Article 
7C of the Conduct of Elections Order, 2002, was discriminatory 
against a specified minority because it deprived those who did not 
sign an oath about the finality of the Prophethood of Muhammad 
(PBUH).

He stated that Article 7C was extremely discriminatory against 
Qadiani group and negated the very theme and purpose of joint 
electorate.

It deprived Qadianis from participation in election both as voters 
and as a candidate for a general seat.

He further contended that there was no rationale for including the 
oath about the finality of the Prohpethood of Holy Prophet 
Mohammad, in nomination form unless all the general seats were 
formally allocated to Muslims.

"The provision that anyone refusing to take oath would get his name 
deleted from the joint electoral rolls is all more ridiculous. How 
an electoral roll be called a joint electoral if the name of a non-
Muslim is deleted just because of his belief."

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20020927
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Christians' killing: police inquiring survivor
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 26: The police have begun investigating the role of 
the only survivor of the Rimpa Plaza massacre as he has been 
continuously changing his statements since then. The agents of 
federal Investigation Agency (FBI) have also joined the inquiry 
beside the Pakistani investigators.

Sources in the police investigation wing said Robin Piran Ditta, 
was the only eyewitness to the horrible incident. The police got 
the sketches prepared of the possible attackers with the help of 
Ditta. He told the police that there were three armed men who 
committed the crime.

However, the investigators were suspecting that Ditta had been 
concealing some information and he had tried to misguide the 
police. He told the police that all of the killers were Urdu-
speaking. Contrary to his statements, the sketches prepared with 
the help of Ditta appeared to be Sindhi and Punjabi-speaking. The 
investigators said they believed Ditta had got prepared misleading 
sketches.

They said the differences in the statements of Ditta had created 
doubts. Ditta had told the police that he went out to buy tea and 
when he came back, two armed men caught him and beat him. The armed 
men then escaped. Later, he came to know about the incident.

After some time, the investigators said Ditta retracted from his 
earlier statement and said he was tied with the chair beside his 
other colleagues and as first, who was sitting beside him, was 
shot, he fell unconscious. His chair on which he was sitting also 
rolled down. He was untied by the police. Later, on a query that 
who had opened the door when another worker Rahim Bux Azad knocked 
the door, Ditta said he did that. The investigators questioned him 
that how could he open the door when he was tied with the chair. To 
this, he had no answer.

The sources said the leaders of Christian community in the country 
had been continuously exerting tremendous pressure on the police to 
release Robin Piran Ditta. They alleged that he had been subjected 
to torture. "We have taken him (Ditta) to a doctor for a medical 
checkup and he is all right," said a police officer.

An FIR was registered at Garden police station on the complaint of 
Dr Zafar, administrator of Idara Amn-o-Insaf. He mentioned in the 
FIR that some personal files were also missing from the office.

The sources said the Federal Investigation Agency (FBI) agents and 
the officials of the US consulate also visited the place of 
incident to inspect the crime scene. They minutely examined the 
place where the killings took place. They also obtained finger 
prints from different things including table, chairs, adhesive 
tapes, etc. They took some evidence with them for further 
examination.

Meanwhile, the police investigators including the city police chief 
Asad Jehangir and DIG Investigation, Fayyaz Leghari, visited the 
place of incident and demonstrated a fire to know whether the 
killers had their pistols silencers.

The outer door of the office was locked and a bullet was fired. The 
sound of the fire was heard outside the office and in the other 
offices, which indicated that the killers had their TT pistols 
silencers.

The investigators also collected some more evidence from the place 
of killings. The also seized the literature available at the office 
and some previous issues of the monthly Jafakash, which was being 
published from the same premises.

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20020926
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Seven Christians shot dead in Karachi 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Arman Sabir

KARACHI, Sept 25: Seven Christians were shot dead and another was 
seriously wounded in an NGO's office located at Rimpa Plaza. Six of 
them died on the spot.

The other two wounded were taken to the Civil Hospital, where one 
of them died.

Each of them was shot a single bullet into his head from point 
blank range. They all belonged to Idara Amn-o-Insaf, a Christian 
charity which has been operating for the past 30 years.

The dead were identified as: Iqbal Allah Rakha, 40 (driver); 
Benjiman Sadiq, 26, (driver); Kamran Anjum, 25, (computer 
operator); Jan Muneer, 30, (office assistant); Aslam Martin, 45, 
(communication coordinator); Mushtaq Roshan, 51, (accountant); and 
Edwin Foster, 20. Robin Sharif, the assistant communication 
coordinator, was seriously wounded.

Robin Piran Ditta, the peon and watchman of the office remained 
unhurt and suffered a heart problem after he was beaten up by the 
killers. He told the police that he went to buy milk and did not 
lock the door. When he came back, he was held up by two armed men, 
who beat him up, went out of the office and closed the door.

He said he was shocked to see his colleagues dead and wounded. He 
opened the door when another office worker, Rahim Bux Azad, knocked 
at about 10:15am. He unlocked the electrical door, which could only 
be opened from inside. Rahim Bux immediately informed the police at 
15.

Sindh police chief, Syed Kamal Shah, told newsmen at the NGO's 
office that it appeared to be an act of terrorism. "However, the 
motive of the incident will be thoroughly investigated after which 
the police will be able to arrive at any conclusion," he added. He 
also did not rule out the act of a foreign hand.

According to him, two men armed with TT pistols made the entire 
office staff hostage at gunpoint, tied them to chairs in a library 
room, blind-folded them and shot a single bullet to everybody's 
head. Five of them died on the spot. The sixth was found near the 
bathroom door. Eight empty bullets were found from there.

"We are trying to collect all maximum available evidence from the 
spot, which would help investigate the killings," the police chief 
said, adding that the killers left Robin unhurt, who was a useful 
witness.

The police chief said the Idara Amn-o-Insaf was patronized by the 
Church of Pakistan. He said a monthly magazine Jafakash was also 
being brought out from this office, which highlighted the issues 
relating to human rights and labour rights besides social issues.

On May 22, Edwin Noon, 45, the chairman of Idara Amn-o-Insaf 
(Organization for peace and justice), was found dead in his office 
near Tibet Centre. Police found the body trussed-up and the 
victim's mouth was sealed with adhesive tape. The police said the 
victim had been injected some poisonous substance.

His wife, Sara Edwin Noon, was later made chairperson of the 
organization. She said: "We didn't receive threats in the past. We 
don't know who is behind the incident and what was their motive," 
she added.

The Bishop of Sindh and Balochistan, Sadiq Daniel, said: "It was a 
shameful and dangerous act to target the Christians. The security 
is needed to be increased for the security of the Christian 
community."

Daniel did not support the suggestion that it could be an outcome 
of a communal dispute within the Christian community.

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20020926
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Held Arab's link with 'Hamburg cell' seen
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ismail Khan

PESHAWAR, Sept 25: An Al Qaeda suspect arrested in Peshawar last 
week may well be a member of the so-called Hamburg cell that 
planned and executed the Sept 11 terrorist attacks in the US last 
year, a senior intelligence official said.

The official dealing with the case said Lutfi, who used four 
different aliases and picked up from a suburban locality in 
Peshawar, had left Hamburg (Germany) shortly before the terrorist 
attacks in Washington and New York. "He may have a lot of 
information," the official said.

A team of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) accompanied 
by Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) raided a house in Jehangirabad 
last week and arrested Lutfi along with a Pakistani and Afghan 
national.

Officials at the time had identified the 30-year-old Tunisian as 
Saleem but investigators now say the suspect used different aliases 
and speaks Arabic only. "We know that he received training at an Al 
Qaeda facility in Afghanistan and his travel documents show that he 
lived in Germany, France and Spain," the official familiar with the 
interrogation of the suspect said. "He is not a well-known figure. 
But we believe that he is important," he said.

Lutfi, according to investigators, arrived in Pakistan shortly 
before the attacks on World Trade Centre and the Pentagon and 
crossed over to Afghanistan. He, however, later sneaked back into 
Pakistan through the tribal region in October last. "He had been 
hiding in Peshawar since then."

He said Lutfi was being questioned by Pakistani investigators and 
had not yet been turned over to the Americans.

The other members of the so-called Hamburg cell were: Ramzi bin Al 
Shibh, arrested in Karachi recently, and Mohammad Atta, who was 
killed in one of the hijacked planes that destroyed the US 
landmarks.

AL QAEDA CELLS: The official acknowledged reports that the Al 
Qaeda's network remained intact and that its militants were hiding 
in the Pakistani tribal areas, including the North and South 
Waziristan tribal regions, Bajaur and the districts of Peshawar and 
Swat. "The trouble is that they don't stay at one place for more 
than a week and keep on changing their hideouts."

The official said Pakistanis and Afghans sympathetic to Al Qaeda 
continued to provide logistical support to the militants.

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20020924
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Five Al Qaeda suspects held
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Shafiq Ahmad

PESHAWAR, Sept 23: A joint raiding team has arrested five Al Qaeda 
suspects in Peshawar and Mianwali. Of them, an Al Qaeda member and 
two others were arrested by a team of Crime Investigation 
Department (CID) and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) from 
Peshawar's Jehangirabad area, while the two others were held from 
Mianwali.

Officials in Peshawar said the arrests had been made following a 
tip-off from the FBI team. The three belonged to different 
nationalities. "One is a Tunisian national, one belonged to 
Nooristan province of Afghanistan and the third one is Pakistani," 
sources added.

The raiding team also seized a computer and some data.

Sources said during the initial investigation, all the three Al 
Qaeda suspects were changing their names, but finally the name of 
one suspect was confirmed as Saleem. The Pakistani national 
belonged to the Bajaur tribal agency.

An AFP report said two men were identified as Saeedur Rehman and 
Juma Din, an Afghan.

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20020928
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Musharraf sees no imminent danger of war
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 27: President Gen Pervez Musharraf advised India to 
overcome its internal problems rather than putting blame on 
Pakistan for everything.

Talking to reporters after a function, he rejected Indian 
allegations that Pakistan was involved in a recent attack at a 
Gujarat temple.

"What is going on in that Indian state is a fallout of the killing 
of thousands of Muslims," he said, adding that India should set its 
own house in order rather than indulging in mudslinging.

Responding to a question about the possibility of war, the 
president said there was no imminent danger but the nation must 
have confidence in its defence force. 

He said Pakistan was fully prepared to thwart any misadventure and 
that no one should harbour any ill-intentions against the country.

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20020927
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Govt rejects WB report on defence budget
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 26: The government has rejected the latest World 
Bank report, which says that Pakistan is spending 29 per cent of 
its budget on defence. "The total defence expenditure in the budget 
for 2001-2002 was 18.6 per cent which has been reduced to 16.5 per 
cent in the budget for 2002-2003," said the economic advisor to the 
ministry of finance, Dr Ashfaq Hasan Khan.

"Therefore, it is absolutely wrong to say that the government is 
spending 29 per cent of the budget on defence and it is very high 
by international standards," he added.

Commenting on a Dawn's report published, Dr Khan said the 
government had objected to the World Bank's report, which, he said 
was a draft report and not a final report.

"We have raised the issue with the bank and told its officials that 
language of the draft report was extremely harsh and needs to be 
improved," he added.

The ministry official told Dawn that he had attended a video 
conference recently in Washington and had expressed his serious 
reservations about the draft report. He was hopeful that the WB 
would rectify its report by incorporating facts which were being 
given to it by the government.

Dr Khan said that Pakistan's defence budget had been static for the 
last three years. "In fact, it has been capped," he said, 
regretting that some officials of the World Bank did not bother to 
look into facts before preparing their draft report.

"Pakistan's defence budget is not our problem but the real problem 
is debt servicing for which we have made available Rs289.7 billion 
during the current financial year," he said.

Responding to a question, he said the defence budget, which used to 
be seven per cent of the GDP in 1980s, had declined to 3.6 per cent 
of the GDP and as such there was a substantial reduction in it.

"But look at India which is spending 42 per cent of its budget on 
defence despite the fact its fiscal deficit is hovering around 10 
to 11 per cent of the GDP," the official said, adding that whatever 
little defence expenditure had been increased last year by 
Pakistan, it was due to threat perceptions in the region and 
India's massive building of troops on borders.

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20020928
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US to help raise conventional arms capability
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ihtashamul Haque

RAWALPINDI, Sept 27: The United States has agreed to enhance 
Pakistan's conventional defence capability by making substantial 
military cooperation with it.

"We have an interest in working together with Pakistan's armed 
forces to address Pakistan's security concerns and help enhance its 
conventional defence capabilities," visiting US Undersecretary of 
Defence, Douglas J. Feith said.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Pakistan's Defence 
Secretary, Hamid Nawaz, Mr Feith said Pakistan and the United 
States had developed a major understanding on vital issues 
including bringing an improvement to the present alarming security 
environment in the region.

He termed a 3-day meeting of the Pakistan-US Defence Consultative 
Group (DCG) as very successful and said a number of areas had been 
identified for enhanced military cooperation between the two 
countries. He led a 40-member US delegation at the meeting.

The Defence Secretary, Hamid Nawaz, said during the extensive 
talks, issues concerning acquisition of new military hardware 
including F-16 aircraft, training and joint exercises were 
discussed.

"Pakistan has also given a new defence list to purchase US arms and 
we hope now that not only our previous transactions, which got 
interrupted, will be cleared but new weapons would also be offered 
to help improve Pakistan's conventional defence capabilities," he 
added.

"We have communicated our defence list to the Americans," he said, 
adding that the US government realized that conventional defence 
capabilities of Pakistan were needed to be improved," he further 
stated.

He told a newsman that the US side had sought to further enhance 
cooperation to counter terrorism and check infiltration across the 
border. "Both the countries have developed a very sound basis for 
future military cooperation," the defence secretary said, adding 
that substantial progress had been made to forge new and better 
military cooperation between the two countries.

Mr Feith said Pakistan had made a very important contribution to 
make operation "Enduring Freedom" a success. "We have put together 
a good military relationship to work against terrorism and improve 
security environment in the region," he added.

About Pakistan's defence needs, the US Under Secretary said during 
the three-day talks this issue along with extending more financial 
assistance, training and joint exercises came under active 
discussion.

Asked how the United States could help Pakistan specially when 
India was getting all possible military cooperation from Russia and 
Israel and that how his country would like to balance it, he said: 
"We have reviewed Pakistan's defence requirements and as I told you 
that we have an interest in enhancing Pakistan's conventional 
defence capabilities as sought by Islamabad," he replied.

Answering to a question, Mr Feith said from the US point of view 
Pakistan was exerting itself to effectively deal with Al Qaeda and 
Taliban. "But we know that border areas of Pakistan with 
Afghanistan are very difficult terrains. Pakistan and the US made 
some success but not as much as we like," he said. However, he 
appreciated that Pakistan was doing a lot to track down Al Qaeda 
members. He said necessary support would be provided to Pakistan 
army and the police to monitor the activities of terrorists. "We 
have discussed new ideas over the issue".

Mr Feith said his country had decided to give all necessary 
equipment, financial assistance, training and sharing of more 
intelligence with Pakistan to chase Al Qaeda and other terrorists. 
"And in this behalf a list of priorities has been prepared," he 
said without elaborating.

Mr Feith told a reporter that he was not aware of the statement of 
the US ambassador to India in which he had said that infiltration 
from Pakistan had increased into Kashmir. However, he said the US 
was hopeful that Pakistan would ensure that there was no 
infiltration across the Line of Control.

DEFENCE TIES: Replying to question whether military cooperation 
between Pakistan and US as existed in the early 1980s would be 
revived, Mr Feith said a decision had been taken to build a long-
term relationship which should be mutually beneficial.

About the release of military hardware to Pakistan, the US Under 
Secretary said the US policy-decision making was a complex issue 
due to which things could be delayed for some time.

"We hope to make sure that we are well informed about the views of 
Pakistan on defence trade," he said.

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20020926
-------------------------------------------------------------------
US to provide $47m for law enforcement
-------------------------------------------------------------------
ISLAMABAD, Sept 25: The United States will provide a grant of $47 
million for the development of the Federally-Administered Tribal 
Areas (Fata) and for launching high-tech projects in the field of 
law enforcement.

This was announced at a meeting of the Pak-US Joint Working Group 
on Law Enforcement.

The Pakistani side was led by Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider, 
while the visiting US side was led by the coordinator for counter-
terrorism of the States Department, ambassador Francis Taylor. The 
meeting was also attended by US Ambassador in Islamabad Nancy 
Powel.

The meeting discussed cooperation between the countries in the 
field of counter-terrorism.

"During the meeting, the US side agreed to provide equipment and 
training and also committed to provide an additional fund to the 
tune of $47 million for the development of Fata and launching of 
high-tech projects in the field of law enforcement," said a senior 
official of the interior ministry, while talking to APP.

The two sides held a discussion to improve their cooperation and 
took decisions to strengthen the capacity of Pakistan's law 
enforcement agencies to combat the menace of terrorism.

They expressed satisfaction over the progress so far achieved in 
the ongoing war against terrorism and re-affirmed their commitment 
to enhance the existing level of cooperation.

It was also decided that the second meeting of the joint working 
group on law enforcement would be held soon.

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20020926
-------------------------------------------------------------------
New Delhi allegations ridiculous: Islamabad
-------------------------------------------------------------------
ISLAMABAD, Sept 25: Pakistan said India's allegations that Pakistan 
planned an attack on a Hindu temple in Gujarat state were 
irresponsible and would only heighten tension in the region. "These 
are highly irresponsible statements," Foreign Ministry spokesman 
Aziz Ahmed Khan told Reuters.

He was referring to a statement earlier by Indian Deputy Prime 
Minister Lal Krishna Advani, accusing Pakistan of planning Gujarat 
attack. "These accusations are ridiculous," Khan said.

Two gunmen opened fire and hurled grenades at people in the vast 
temple complex in Gujarat, killing 29 people and wounding more than 
70.

One Indian commando was killed during a later assault and two 
policemen died of their wounds, police said, bringing the total 
death toll, including the two gunmen, to 33.

Advani cited a speech by President Pervez Musharraf to the UN 
General Assembly this month in which he referred to Gujarat.

"This indicates they had planned this for sometime," Advani said.

Khan said India was in the habit of rushing to conclusions and 
accusing Pakistan of anything happening in India even without 
holding a preliminary inquiry.

"Such baseless accusations will only add to heightened tensions," 
Khan said. He urged India to pay attention to improving its law and 
order situation rather than laying blame at the door of Pakistan.

"We have strongly condemned this reprehensible attack because it 
was mounted on a place of worship," Khan added.

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20020927
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Seven killed as train derails near Sibi
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Saleem Shahid & Shamim Shamsi

QUETTA, Sept 26: At least seven people were killed and 57 injured 
when eight bogies of Quetta Express derailed as a railway bridge on 
Sibi-Jacobabad section collapsed.

The Quetta-bound Quetta Express coming from Rawalpindi met with the 
disaster, some 200km east of here at 10.05am, suspending the train 
service with the rest of the country.

Fifty-seven injured, including women and children, were admitted to 
the Government Hospital, Sibi. The medical officer of the hospital, 
Dr Ghous Bakhsh Barozai, confirmed that 12 of injured were in 
serious condition.

The exact point of the accident was the Railway bridge No 130-B. 
The 200-ft-long bridge, located between Dambuli and Dinghra, was 
built by the English over a century ago on a storm river allowing 
the flow of hill torrents and floods during rains.

The Pakistan Railways authorities said sabotage activity could not 
be ruled out, however, the probe had been ordered into the 
accident.

The Chief Controller of Quetta Railway Division, Jalilur Rehman, 
confirmed that 57 persons had been injured out which 47 had been 
hospitalized at Sibi. "Those injured seriously are being shifted to 
Quetta and other hospitals for specialized treatment," he added. 
Others with minor injuries have been discharged.

Rescue and relief operation started as four relief trains have been 
rushed to the spot from Sukkur and Quetta and for restoring the 
railway track.

More than a dozen ambulance vehicles of the provincial health 
department and Edhi Welfare Centre rushed to the spot. Residents of 
the nearby villages and notables also helped the injured in 
reaching them to hospitals. A number of government agencies, 
personnel of Pakistan army also reached the spot and helped the 
Railway officials in relief work. Some injured were taken out by 
cutting the twisted metals.

According to eyewitnesses, the accident occurred when the main 
diesel engine and a passenger bogie passed the bridge which 
collapsed and bogie fell down in the nullah followed by seven other 
bogies.

"Six pillars of the Railway bridge collapsed causing the disaster," 
a senior official of the Sibi administration told Dawn over 
telephone. Chaos and confusion gripped the scene of accident and 
the passengers were screaming for help.

The Chief Controller of Pakistan Railways, Jalilur Rehman, said the 
train service had been suspended, which could remain suspended for 
at least two days as trains are operating on a single track. "It 
will take reasonable time to clear the track. The Railways may 
build a diversion from the collapsed bridge," Mr Jalil said.

Pointing out to the cause of the accident, he said the bridge 
collapse was the apparent reason for the accident. However, he 
said, Chairman of Pakistan Railways has ordered an inquiry.

In the meantime, the hospital sources have identified seven persons 
who lost their lives. They are: Syed Gul son of Sardar Allah Gul of 
Saranan; Abdul Malik son of Meharban Khan and Abdul Rehman son of 
Meharban Khan of Naushki; Mohammad Zaffar son of Ahmed Khan of 
Dhaddar; Iftikhar son of Nazir Ahmed of Sialkot; Haji Allah Ditta 
and Abdul Qayyum.

The body of Iftikhar was taken away by his relatives to Sialkot who 
were travelling with him in the same train. The bodies of others 
were in Civil Hospital, Sibi.

List of 48 injured in train derailment:

Out of the total wounded, 10 were admitted to Railway Hospital Sibi 
and their names are: Ms Wilson, wife of Abdul Hameed; Zafar Iqbal 
Mohammad Hayat; Mohammad Rasoolpur Tarar; Mohammad Aslam, son of 
Fateh Mohammad; Iftikhar Ahmed, son of Abdul Hameed; Mustafa, son 
of Ghulam Rasool; Mohammad Umar Daraz, son of Mehar Ali; Mohammad 
Shahzad, son of Mohammad Bahadur Khan; Mohammad Azhar, son of Shan 
Mohammad and Shahid Ali, son of Mirza.

While the remaining 38 were admitted to Civil Hospital Sibi and 
their names are: Inamul Haq; Mohammad Tufail; Qasim; Mohammad 
Akhtar; Imran; Atta Mohammad; Zulfiqar; Ms Kishwar Saghir; Ms 
Sakeena Bibi; Majid; Amar Farooq; Musa Naseer; Ms Shamaila; 
Mohammad Shakeel; Mohammad Ahmed; Liaquat; Aslam; Abdul Qadir; 
Mohammad Qasim; Master Rehmat Ali, son of Mehar Din; Mehmood Ahmed; 
Arif Mehmood; Mohammad Idris; Mohammad Hanif; Abdul Khaliq, son of 
Inayatullah; Zar Khan Sadar, son of Safdar Hussain; Inamullah, son 
of Mohammad Yousuf; Surraya Bibi, wife of Amin Masih; Haji Ghulam 
Qadir, son of Qadir Bakhsh; Ms Parveen Akhtar, wife of Mohammad 
Amin; Ms Bilqis, wife of Mohammad Aslam; Ms Mumtaz Bibi, wife of 
Fateh Mohammad; Choudhry Abdul Hameed; Ms Razia Bibi, wife of 
Nazeer Ahmed; Ms Hameed, wife of Haji Mukhtiar; Ms Akhtar Fahmeeda, 
wife of Qamar; Qamar Sharif, son of Mohammad Sharif and Shahzad .-
APP

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20020928
-------------------------------------------------------------------
20 killed as bus falls into ravine 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Tariq Naqash

MUZAFFARABAD, Sept 27: At least 20 people were killed and 25 others 
injured when an overloaded passenger bus fell into a deep ravine 
near Pir Galli village on the Khuiratta-Mirpur Highway, police and 
witnesses said.

The Bhatti Transport Service vehicle (AJK-6140) was going to Mirpur 
from Khuiratta village in district Kotli when it veered off the 
road while negotiating a sharp curve at about 8:35am, police said.

A witness told Dawn by telephone that the bus was overloaded with 
some people sitting on its roof. As the driver was negotiating the 
steep curve, he lost control and resultantly the vehicle fell into 
the 500-feet deep ravine, he said.

Police said 20 people, including two women and a police official, 
died in the accident. They were identified as Mohammad Amin, son of 
Shafi; Rashid, son of Abdul Majeed; Zaraat Bibi, wife of Nazar 
Mohammad; Tahir, son of Azam (conductor); Sub Inspector Chaudhry 
Zafar Hussain; Raja Masood, son of Raja Abdullah; Mohkam Deen; 
Mohammad Abbas; Pervez and Javed, sons of Munshi Khan; Tasweer 
Begum, wife of Moazzam Khan; Arshad Gul and Mehfooz Gul, sons of 
Shamshad Gul; Younus, son of Mohammad Rafiq; Masood, son of Zaman, 
Rizwan, son of Ilyas; Farhat, son of Barkat Hussain; Shahzad, son 
of Zulfikar; Mohammad Sharif, son of Ghulam Mohammad; and Younus 
Khan.

Of the 25 injured, 14 were admitted to the DHQ hospital Mirpur. 
They were identified as Mohammad Iqbal (driver), Muzammil Hussain, 
Zakia Bibi, Mohammad Fazil, Mohammad Shafi, Fayyaz Begum, Mohammad 
Asif, Surayya Begum, Arif, Altaf Hussain, Taimur, Ansar Mehmood, 
Mohammad Iqbal and Ghalib Hussain.

At least five other injured were taken to the Pakistan Institute of 
Medical Sciences in Islamabad.

A doctor at the DHQ hospital Mirpur told this correspondent that 
condition of some of the injured was serious.

Officials feared that the number of casualties could be more, 
because many persons had removed the victims from the site of the 
accident without informing the police.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY
20020923
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Japan to give $200m for poverty eradication
-------------------------------------------------------------------
TOKYO, Sept 22: Japan will provide $200 million to Pakistan till 
next year as second part of the $300 million pledged last year. 
Director of Japanese foreign affairs ministry's southwest Asia 
division, Takio Yamada, told APP that his country had already 
provided $100 million to Pakistan.

Japan has also decided to provide soft loan of billions of Yens for 
the completion of third phase of Kohat Tunnel. The loan would have 
a 10-year grace period with nominal interest rate and it would be 
paid in 30 to 35 years.

He said Japan had provided soft loan for the first and second phase 
of the tunnel. The first phase had been completed and the second 
was in progress, he said.

He said Japan wanted to assist the government for initiating 
projects to eradicate poverty.

The government of Japan promised to give $300 million to Pakistan 
in two years as part of financial assistance for poverty 
eradication programme.

He said that after the visit of Pervez Musharraf, a parliamentary 
delegation headed by a leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, 
Mitsuo Horiuchi, visited Pakistan. The exchange of delegations 
would continue, he said. -APP

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20020922
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Saudi Pak okays Rs351m financing
-------------------------------------------------------------------
ISLAMABAD, Sept 21: Saudi Pak Industrial and Agricultural 
Investment Company (Pvt) Limited approved a total financing of 
Rs351 million to 11 companies in manufacturing, financial services, 
communication and petroleum sectors.

The financing will facilitate expansion of existing production 
facilities and create additional capacities.

Board of Directors of the company has given approval, in this 
connection, in its 80th meeting held in Dubai, under the 
chairmanship of Dr Abdullah T. Al-Thenayan, who is also Director 
General of Arab Company for Livestock Development, Kingdom of Saudi 
Arabia.

The board reviewed the operating performance of the company for the 
first eight months ending August 31, 2002 of current financial year 
and expressed its satisfaction on all the key areas of operation 
including approval and disbursements of new financing and position 
of collection of dues from long-term and short-term financing 
portfolio.

Since inception the company has provided financing facilities of 
Rs14,505 million, which includes direct equity investment of 
Rs1,690 million, and term financing of Rs12,815 million. In 
addition the underwriting of public issue of shares and guarantees 
have also been provided for a total amount of Rs1,825 million.

The company, a joint venture of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Islamic 
Republic of Pakistan, is committed to accelerate industrial 
development in Pakistan by providing loans and investment 
facilities to industrial projects sponsored by private sector.-APP

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20020922
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Rs795m bids for Bank Alfalah, ICP Funds
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 21: Abu Dhabi Group of UAE offered the highest bid 
of Rs27.56 per share against the floor price of Rs26.56 per share 
for the remaining 30 per cent shares (22.5 million), making a total 
of Rs620.1 million.

The group has already acquired 70 per cent shares of Bank Alfalah 
(former Habib Credit & Exchange Bank) in 1997 through an open 
bidding.

The offer came during bidding of 28 per cent equity stake in Bank 
Alfalah. Sealed bids for ICP Mutual Fund-lot-A were opened by the 
representatives of print and electronic media, and Abamco bid of 
Rs175 million was declared the highest one.

The Privatization Commission recommended to the Cabinet Committee 
on Privatization (CCoP) to approve the bids for the two 
transactions.

The Privatization Commission met under chairmanship of Minister for 
Privatization Altaf M. Saleem, who is also chairman of the 
Commission.

The other party Javed Omer Vohra & Co attended the bidding but gave 
no offer for Bank Alfalah. The Privatization Commission had 
received four EoIs from interested parties for the divestment of a 
minimum of 28 per cent equity stake in Bank Alfalah Limited through 
a 'block sale' to the general public through an open bidding 
process.

The buyer will also pay for two per cent shares allocated for the 
employees. In case, employees do not buy these shares, the 
Privatization Commission would reimburse the amount received on 
that account to the highest bidder. For the ICP Mutual Funds, the 
bid received were: (I) ABAMCO Limited, Rs175 million; (II) 
Consortium of Arif Habib Securities Limited and Arif Habib 
Investment Management Limited, Rs125.1 million; (III) Charless 
Schmitt & Associates Limited (CSA), Hong Kong, Rs63 million; (IV) 
Consortium of Pakistan Kuwait Investment Company (Pvt) Ltd and Al 
Meezan Investment Management, Rs102.01 million; and (V) Pakistan 
Industrial Credit & Investment Corporation Ltd (PICIC), Rs162.5 
million. Sulaiman Ahmad Al Hoqani from UAE, though deposited the 
earnest money, did not turn up for the bidding.

The three highest bidders - ABAMCO Limited, Arif Habib Investment 
Management and PICIC - were asked to raise their bids in the second 
phase of open bidding round but all the three declared that they 
have given their final offer. Therefore, ABAMCO Limited was 
declared the highest bidder.

For the sale and transfer of the management rights of lot 'A' of 
ICP Mutual Funds, the Privatization Commission had recommended nine 
parties for pre-qualification. The Privatization Commission had 
received 16 EoIs from local and foreign Fund Managers. The 
successful bidder will manage the Fund under the rules prescribed 
by the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan.

Bidding was also held for the acquisition of 75 per cent 
government-owned share of Lyallpur Chemical & Fertilizers Limited 
(LC&FL) and 25 per cent shares of a private company which 
authorized the Privatization Commission to sell them. The bidding 
opened with Rs120 per share floor price for 100 per cent shares 
with a minimum increase of one rupee per share but could not 
proceed further as the participating two bidders did not make any 
offer. Chanar Sugar Mills Ltd Lahore and Sitara Chemical Group of 
Industries, Faisalabad, insisted to substantially reduce the floor 
price. This was not acceptable to the Privatization Commission. As 
such the bidding process was cancelled.

The Privatization Commission Board reviewed the implementation 
status of various transactions, which included Pakistan State Oil, 
OGDCL, HBL, POL, NITL and offering of additional shares of NBP. A 
road show for NBP shares offer for sale has been planned at Karachi 
Stock Exchange on September 24, 2002. The Board members and senior 
officials of the respective ministries attended the meeting.

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20020928
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Stocks maintain upward trend on weekend session
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 27: Stocks on Friday maintained their uppish leaning 
as investors continued to build up long positions on the counters 
where dividend announcements are due and the lower levels, which 
ensure handsome capital gains.

After touching the day's peak level at 2,025 at one stage, the KSE 
100-share index managed to finish with an extended gain indicating 
that it could resume its upturn when the trading starts on Monday.

The final close of both the sessions was at 2,019.04 as compared to 
previous level of 2,013.85, up 5.19 points, reflecting the strength 
of PTCL and PSO.

The higher closing reflects that the new system has worked well.

After holding a couple of mock trading sessions during the last 
about a month the KSE on Friday held two - morning and afternoon 
sessions - to test the accuracy of the new system, which it wants 
to put in operation in due course.

It started trading in the new system on trial basis after the Juma 
prayers for about two hours and till the close at 5 p.m. the 
activity remained insipid. The brokers will take sometime to fathom 
the technicalities of the most modern system and after that it will 
replace the current one.

Locally developed, the new system, according to KSE sources was 
most transparent. The software put into operation has the capacity 
to take in daily turnover of over 700m shares as compared to the 
existing one's 300 to 500m, and it will cater to the needs of 
future expansion in the daily volumes.

Floor brokers said firm closing at the weekend session generally 
paves the way for a sustained run-up during the next week and 
indications are that blue chips could rise further on the strength 
of fresh buying triggered by higher dividend news.

"Investors are not inclined to sit on the sidelines as an 
attractive bait of sell-off of the leading state units has 
reinforced their perception about a sustained bull-run in the 
coming sessions," they added.

Bulk of the buying interest remained confined to Hub-Power, PTCL, 
PSO, MCB, National Bank, and some of the leading cement shares, 
including D.G. Khan and Lucky Cement, which have announced modest 
dividend.

Wyeth Pakistan led the list of leading gainers, up Rs42 followed by 
Ferozsons Lab, Treet Corporation, Shell Pakistan, Island Textiles 
and General Tyre, which posted gains ranging from Rs3.70 to Rs7.50. 
Bata Pakistan and Noon Pakistan also showed good gain. Bulk of the 
support was inspired by higher dividend.

Losers were again led by Grays of Cambridge, off Rs15, followed by 
Millat Tractors, HinoPak Motors, Siemens Pakistan, Clariant 
Pakistan, and Ghani Glass, off Rs1.45 to Rs3.75.

Trading volume fell to 114m shares from the previous 153m shares 
but gainers held a fair lead over the losers at 160 to 107, with 64 
shares holding on to the last levels.

Hub-Power led the list of actives, easy 10 paisa at Rs24.05 on 21m 
shares followed by PTCL, unchanged at Rs20.15 on 15m shares, PSO, 
up 40 paisa at Rs196.25 on 11m shares, Adamjee Insurance, higher by 
95 paisa at Rs44.25 on 9m shares and Engro Chemical, higher 55 
paisa at Rs63.25 also on 9m shares, D.G. Khan Cement, lower five 
paisa at Rs12.45 on 7m shares and ICI Pakistan, up 45 pasia at Rs41 
also on 7m shares.

FORWARD COUNTER: Active trading was again witnessed in hub-Power, 
which rose by three and six paisa for both the settlements on 
combined turnover of 14m shares followed by PTCL, lower 6 pasia for 
the ruling contract at Rs20.06 on 5.699m shares and higher by three 
paisa for the distant at Rs20.30 on 3.657m shares.

PSO rose by 45 and 10 paisa for both the contracts at Rs196 and 
Rs159 on 2.452m and 1.440m shares, respectively. Other actives were 
modestly traded, mostly on the higher side.

DEFAULTER COMPANIES: Custodian Modaraba came in for active selling 
and fell by 45 paisa at Rs4.05 on 17,000 shares followed by Allied 
Motors, easy five paisa at Rs9.50 on 12,500 shares and Crescent 
Board, unchanged at Rs2.80 on 3,500 shares.

DIVIDEND: Universal Leather cash 60 per cent; Noon Pakistan 50 per 
cent; Pakistan Refinery cash 37.5 per cent, interim 25 per cent 
already paid; Liberty Mills 17.5 per cent; Pakistan Synthetics 20 
per cent; Habib Bank Modaraba 16 per cent; UDL Modaraba five per 
cent; Lucky Cement 7.5 per cent; D.G. Khan Cement 10 per cent bonus 
shares; Pioneer Cement cash 5 per cent; and Union Bank right shares 
at the rate of 66.67 per cent.

Back to the top
EDITORIALS & FEATURES
20020922
-------------------------------------------------------------------
'To the best of my knowledge and belief...'
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

It is extremely difficult to get to the bottom of many of the 
alarming stories we read in our press. My column last week made 
mention of a September 14 news item which related how a religious 
school teacher, a Qari (a reciter of the Quran), of the small town 
of Yazman, near Multan, had chopped off the tongue of a 13-year old 
student who some days previously had observed his teacher 
sodomizing a fellow student.

The boy's father, a Pesh Imam (a leader of prayers) had told 
reporters that his son had witnessed the sexual assault, had been 
threatened by the Qari not to tell anyone about it, had told his 
father, and the Qari had then used a razor on his tongue. But no 
arrest had been made, as the boy's family had not so far lodged any 
complaint with the local police.

Another report in another newspaper on the same day had it that the 
boy, Hafiz Abdul Qadoos, was aged 18, that he had reported the 
matter to the police and that a case against Qari Bashir Ahmed, the 
seminary in charge, who had deprived him of the power of speech, 
had been registered under sections 336 and 506 of the Pakistan 
Penal Code. 

The case was registered on the complaint of the boy, who 'told' the 
local SHO that he and the Qari had for long been at daggers drawn, 
that on several occasions he had thrashed the Qari, and that on 
September 2 the Qari in his turn had overpowered him and 'injured' 
his tongue with a sharp weapon, and then threatened him with dire 
consequences 'if he let the cat out of the bag'.

The boy's father, when contacted by the police told quite a 
different story. He claimed that the injuries to the his son's 
tongue were self-inflicted and that boy had not lost the power of 
speech. The police maintained that the boy had given his statement 
in writing as he could not speak. Some of the town's people had 
told the police that the Qari had first sodomized the boy Qudoos 
and then cut off his tongue.

Come September 18 and in a further report on the incident we learnt 
that the Yazman police had discharged the case against the Qari as 
two local doctors had declared that the injury was indeed self-
inflicted. A fresh case had been filed under section 182 of the 
Penal Code against the boy Qudoos for having misled the police.

All quite normal happenings in our neck of the woods.

We will presumably never know the truth, nor will we learn of the 
true state of the injuries to the boy, nor of his fate. If someone 
concerned in this sordid matter can do a spot of clarification, the 
people will at least learn what is or is not what.

On September 19, a news report from Naushahro Feroze, headlined 
'Jirga hands over girl, land in murder dispute', gave us the 
startling news that a former ambassador of Pakistan, Syed Manzoor 
Ali Shah, had been a member of the three-man jirga. One Naban 
Solangi had been murdered by three of his relatives. The judgment 
of the Jirga was that two of the accused, a father and son, would 
hand over one acre of land and Rs 10,000 to the sons of Solangi and 
that the third accused would hand over his daughter. Both parties 
readily agreed. Again, normal happenings.

A headline in a Lahore newspaper yesterday reads: 'Jirga system to 
remain intact, says governor.' The NWFP governor has declared in 
Bajaur Agency that the tribal areas will not be subject to judicial 
reforms. Will our other three governors follow suit? This would be 
quite in keeping with our times.

Another report in this newspaper on September 19, underneath the 
blazing headline 'Policemen wanted in rape cases still at large', 
related how, during the past two months there had been reports of 
gang rapes involving policemen. In one case, a woman, the mother of 
two, was found in Neelam Colony crying in agony as her face had 
been burnt with acid. She was taken to Jinnah Hospital where it was 
established that she had been raped.

Her story was that she had been abducted by three policemen of 
Karachi, taken to Mian Chunnu in Punjab, and repeatedly raped over 
the course of one week. She was brought back to Karachi, threatened 
with the usual 'dire consequences' if she spoke out, and the dire 
consequences in her case was a dose of acid-throwing. 

A 'clarification' to this story issued by a 'spokesman' was 
published in yesterday's Dawn. It only serves to further confuse 
the issue - the object obviously being to adhere to the old saying, 
'if you cannot convince them, confuse them.' Again, perfectly 
normal.

The second case took place in Karachi's Kashmir Colony, involving 
four policemen, who took a young girl to a Defence house, raped 
her, and then dumped her near Golden Towers (also in Defence). A 
case has been registered against the four policemen, who of course 
absconded and remain at large.

On quite a different topic which I touched upon last Sunday, on the 
difficulties now faced, post-9/11, by Pakistani students trying to 
obtain admission to US colleges and the requisite US visas, 'Aliya 
and Saqib' responded by e-mail:

"Hello, Your recent article with the mention of Pakistani/ Muslim 
students not getting visas, brought back the memory of the Aga Khan 
medical students and Duke University. I am sending you the web 
documents regarding an incident in which a Duke professor told 
students that he won't consider their applications because they may 
be terrorists."

The story dates back to December 19, 2001:

"Medical school dean apologizes for faculty letter sent to foreign 
students. Three Pakistani medical students, whose inquiries about 
working in a research laboratory were initially rebuffed by a Duke 
University professor, have been sent a letter of apology from Dr R. 
Sanders Williams, dean of the Duke School of Medicine.

"Williams also has sent a message to the Duke University Medical 
Centre community that reaffirms Duke's commitment to cultural 
diversity.

"In his letter e-mailed to the three students at Aga Khan 
University Medical College, Williams stated, 'I have learned of 
your interest in spending time in one of our research laboratories 
and of the intemperate and inappropriate response that you received 
from Professor Michael Reedy in your quest for information. 
Professor Reedy's initial response to you does not represent the 
views of Duke University or of Duke University Medical School.

"...... 'I have spoken with Professor Reedy and, as he indicated to 
you in his follow-up e-mail, he sincerely regrets his initial 
response and appreciates very much your acceptance of his apology. 
I am convinced his response is both sincere and appropriate. In 
addition to his apology, I want to express my own on behalf of our 
school.'

"The students concerned had e-mailed Reedy about possible summer 
research opportunities in his laboratory, Reedy replied by e-mail: 
'Your ethnicity and your age (student age = idealistic) are so 
similar to those of the jihad-minded terrorists from the schools 
that nurtured the Taliban and Al Qaeda that it is not worth our 
trouble to try to determine if you are a well-disguised terrorist 
or a real learning-motivated medical student. You may well be 
innocent, but some of your neighbours are as potentially lethal as 
anthrax or HIV, and must be protected against.

"As long as there are zealots whose idea of reasonable dialogue and 
persuasive rhetoric is suicide bombing, we seem to have no 
efficient choice but to react with suspicion, which must motivate 
us to extreme avoidance or to kill-or-be-killed defensive activism 
aimed at extermination.'

"Reedy later apologized: 'I see now that my negative reaction came 
mainly from my anger and frustration with the extremism and 
deceptiveness of the terrorists of Sept. 11, which seemed to 
destroy my personal hopes for a reasoned an peaceful resolution of 
international conflicts. ... Your messages touched me in that sore 
spot, and I fired back at you in anger and frustration ......... I 
deeply apologize for my violent words and bad manners.'

"Reedy also noted that the incident had 'made very clear to me that 
the ease and speed of e-mail can embody hazards as significant as 
its conveniences'." This last observation is very correct.

All involved in the occurrences related in this column have 
undoubtedly acted in keeping with their respective characters and 
with the knowledge each possesses. Should the people of Pakistan 
educate themselves to remain in synchronization with the world 
outside, or should we keep to our insular ignorant barbaric ways 
and expect the world to accord us respect?

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20020926
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Baghdad poker 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Eric Margolis

The latest hand of high-stakes Baghdad Bluff Poker is really 
getting interesting. Here's an update:

President George W. Bush: Just as the Texas Crusader was about to 
invade Iraq, ostensibly for refusing to admit weapons inspectors, 
the slippery Iraqis agreed to inspection. How dare Saddam 
cooperate! Fight fair, you Iraqi scoundrel! So now Bush says he 
will block UN inspectors from going to Iraq.

How confusing. If the US is now blocking UN arms inspectors, can 
Iraq go to the UN and get approval to invade the US and do a regime 
change in Washington DC, maybe putting the Rev. Jesse Jackson in 
the White House?

Bush just blasted Saddam for 'undermining and weakening the UN.' In 
his very next sentence, he vowed to ignore the UN Security Council 
and invade I-Raq, as he calls it, if the UN didn't give him a green 
light to attack. Bush is determined to destroy a nation whose name 
he can't even pronounce correctly.

No problem, however, with the supine US Congress. Special interests 
that have bought Congress demand war on Iraq. More important, Bush 
and Congress (Democrats and Republicans alike) fear the minute Iraq 
war fever subsides, they will be crucified over the gargantuan 
scandals engulfing Wall Street and Corporate America. The Clinton 
and Bush administrations and Congress all took huge donations from 
the super-crooks at Enron, Worldcom, Global Crossing and their Wall 
Street co-conspirators, and were thus party to the most massive 
swindle in American history.

November elections are only six weeks away. Bush and Congress must 
keep voters terrified by the bogeyman of Baghdad or the folks in 
Peoria will exact revenge on the politicians who enabled the mother 
of all frauds.

Iraq: Saddam says...Bush is taking orders from Israel and wants to 
rob us of our oil. Meanwhile, trusted aides are burying a few old 
cans of chemicals and toxin deeper in the desert. Showing untypical 
diplomatic agility, Saddam has temporarily split the great powers 
and is busy offering oil deals to Russia, China, and France. 
However, on a down note, Iraqi Life Ltd just cancelled his 
insurance policy.

Britain: This week, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw accused the Iraqis 
of being 'duplicitous.' That's a five-dollar word that means two-
faced. Talk about the kettle calling the pot black. The British 
invented duplicity. In fact, double-dealing British imperialists 
created many of the world's chronic problems. Thank the Brits for 
Palestine and Israel; Belfast; India, Pakistan, and Kashmir; Iraq; 
and the mess in Africa. London is determined to grab a share of 
Iraq's oil once Saddam is overthrown. That's why Tony Blair, known 
far and wide as 'Bush's poodle,' is barking so loudly.

Russia: Well, says clever President Putin to unclever George Bush, 
maybe we'll give you a green light to invade Iraq, but the price 
will be allowing us to invade Georgia and smash the Chechen 
independence-fighters, plus about $12 billion in cash, and a chunk 
of Iraq's oil for our Russian oil companies. By the way, hearty 
thanks from my old pals at KGB for branding the Chechens 
'terrorists.'

France: The French are too clever to stand in the path of the 
charging American bull, so they are temporizing and hedging, trying 
to slow down the rush to war while making sure that if the US 
invades Iraq, French oil firms and arms producers will get a share 
of the plunder of Iraq.

Germany: In a stunning act of independence, Germany's chancellor 
Gerhard Schroeder, while seeking re-election, has strongly opposed 
any US invasion of Iraq, a position supported by a majority of 
Germans. Never before has subservient post-war Germany stood up to 
Washington. Europeans are delighted; Washington is furious. Expect 
more Hollywood films about World War II.

Israel: Being very low key. But has put its mighty US lobby into 
high gear to press for a US war against Iraq...then against Iran, 
then Syria, then Lebanon, then Libya. Once the Arab states are 
shattered, Israel will dominate the Mideast. 'The Israel-Iraq Oil 
Company'...now, that has a nice ring to it.

The Arab Rulers: Cowering in their palaces. Can't decide whether 
they are more petrified of a run amok Bush administration or their 
own angry people. Most Arab leaders will come down against Saddam, 
since their personal protection and fortunes are assured by the US, 
and they know they're next to be 'liberated' if they don't obey.-
Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2002.

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20020927
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Our saviours & their shibboleths
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Ayaz Amir

The reformers who walked into the political arena three years ago, 
vowing to turn the country's fortunes around, can plume themselves 
on some notable successes. Politicizing their own institution, the 
military, they are well on their way to depoliticizing the country. 
The current election campaign makes this amply clear. A damp squib 
so far, it has yet to set fire to anything.

I speak from the frontline. Not that there is no enthusiasm on the 
part of the contesting candidates. They are pitching in whatever 
they can. And let me remind armchair revolutionaries that 
electioneering is pretty tough business which, to make a success 
of, requires vigour, energy and cash in equal measure. It is just 
that the terms of this election have been so restricted that it is 
more BD election (the local elections under Ayub Khan) than 
anything else.

No national-level leaders tramp across the country, the politics of 
exile having taken care of this. The Sharifs sit in Jeddah, 
anxiously scanning the national horizon from afar. Ms Bhutto mulls 
over her misfortunes in Dubai. Their lieutenants at home lack the 
fire of leadership. So the only fires being lit remain confined to 
press statements. In the field local issues predominate. And apart 
from party ticket, which still retains its importance, what counts 
is the standing and worth of the individual candidate.

The reform managers of the government can congratulate themselves 
on the downgrading of politics and its substitution by parochial 
issues. Presidential supremacy has already been ensured by 
constitutional slaughter. The two leaders who could have spoiled 
the government's calculations are far from the scene of action. The 
electoral arena thus lies stripped of serious issues.

No one is campaigning against the Musharraf government; the two 
major parties concentrating on the task of winning the maximum 
number of seats. They seem in no mood, or indeed in no position, to 
rile the army's feathers. The Q League is working to the 
government's advantage because the harsh criticism that its 
leadership is inviting would have been directed in other 
circumstances at the military government and its lack-lustre 
performance.

The government thus has little to worry about. All it has to ensure 
is smooth polling on election day, free from the shenanigans which 
turned the April referendum into a farce and a comic hit with the 
people. The government can afford a limp turnout. What it cannot 
afford is the perception of a rigged election. That would be good 
for the opposition parties. They'll have something to talk about. 
It'll be disastrous for the government. Apart from anything else, 
it will invite comparisons with the state elections in Indian-held 
Kashmir.

But if the perception of fairness be the aim, something will have 
to be done about the district nazimeen who are making a nuisance of 
themselves by their partisan behaviour. With the purse strings of 
district funds in their hands, they are in a position to lend 
powerful support to their favourite candidates. The Election 
Commission's hollow warnings have had not the slightest effect on 
them. To this extent this has been a free election, with the 
nazimeen free to indulge in what interference they choose.

In any event, the real power over the nazimeen is not the Election 
Commission but the provincial governors. By not curbing the 
nazimeen the governors are complicit in their behaviour. Nor should 
this appear odd. The governors form the vanguard of General 
Musharraf's election team and they want the pro-government 
candidates (Q Leaguers take heart) to win.

The military hierarchy, however, (and let this be noted) is keeping 
itself clean. Unlike the nazim elections last year and the 
referendum earlier this year, the corps commanders or the ISI are 
not directly meddling in this election campaign. For this they 
deserve the nation's thanks.

Pre-poll rigging is another thing. We have seen a fair amount of 
this, the government queering the pitch for its own team. About 
macro-management from afar I cannot say, obviously not being in the 
know. But of micro-interference of the referendum kind there are 
few signs - the ISI, the real Election Commission of Pakistan, 
keeping its whistles and guns clean. The blatant interference on 
offer comes from the governors and their nazim stooges. May the 
governors have sleepless nights and may their dreams not come true.

But to turn to other issues: what gives any election a keen edge is 
not the language of manifestoes - who reads them, in any case - but 
the question of power. An election is about power, its retention or 
capture, or it is about nothing. But where the question of power is 
already decided, zest disappears from the exercise. If a football 
match is not about winning or losing, what is it then about?

Some such conundrum lies hidden in this election. General Musharraf 
has been Caesar for the last three years. He is to be all-powerful 
president for the next five. The people of Pakistan have had no 
choice in the matter. They have simply been told what is in their 
best interests. These have been defined as "five more years for 
Musharraf" although Musharraf, the eternal optimist, says he needs 
not five years but seven to fix the country. When the question of 
power thus lies settled, what remains for this election to decide?

The country's permanent finance minister is the IMF. Its commander-
in-chief for the next five or seven or, God willing, ten years will 
be Musharraf. So the fools taking part in this election, what are 
they running for? No one has tried to answer this question.

Did the 1962 National Assembly elected under Field Marshal Ayub 
Khan achieve anything? Did the 1965 assembly under the same cover 
achieve anything? Did the political experiment hatched under the 
tutelage of General Ziaul Haq give the country anything apart from 
more unrest and turbulence? What good will the present experiment 
achieve? Unless there is a national meeting of minds, unless the 
military understands the basic truth that politics is best left to 
the workings of democracy, Pakistan will know neither stability nor 
internal peace. And its dreams of economic progress will remain 
unfulfilled.

Large sections of the population tolerated, if not welcomed the 
military intervention of October '99, thinking that it would be 
just that, a short-lived intervention. If even General Musharraf's 
most ardent fans had any inkling that the coup they were welcoming 
would turn into a long drawn-out affair, they would have withheld 
their clapping. What if this affair turns into a nightmare? From 
where will the Pakistani nation then begin?

This has been our tragedy, one step forward, several back. Always 
back to the beginning, always returning to first principles, 
perpetually searching for the Holy Grail of stability. Most 
pilgrimages come to an end, at journey's end lying the oasis of 
fulfilment. Not so in our case. Our journey is all beginning and no 
end - the curse of Sisyphus with a twist added to it.

Is this what a nation of 140 million souls deserves, a nation not 
without talent or resources? Must it always remain a testing lab 
for different kinds of political experiments? I am sure that the 
majority of corps commanders know little of the Government of India 
Act 1935. That gave more political liberty to a conquered people 
than the present dispensation gives to a free people.

The British did not impose partition on India. They discussed 
partition and other options with the representatives of the Indian 
people - Congress, Muslim League and other parties. The 
independence of India and the birth of Pakistan were the outcome of 
a consensus between the British and the major Indian actors. It was 
not something decreed by a conference of corps commanders.

Let us not forget another thing. British colonialism was based on 
institutions, and strong institutions at that, and the rule of law. 
It was not the ad hoc mess we have made of our polity.We have to 
break out into the future. Only there lies our salvation. Instead, 
we remain trapped in shibboleths. The greatest creator of 
shibboleths is the national security state and the myths its weaves 
to ensure its supremacy. Nothing in the present election provides 
even a glimmer of hope that these shibboleths are about to be 
tested, let alone broken.

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20020928
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A house divided 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
By Irfan Husain

It is a measure of how badly democratic institutions in Pakistan 
have been mauled that barely a fortnight before the general 
elections, many people are sceptical that they will be held at all. 
The rest of the electorate is convinced that the government will 
rig the elections to manufacture a result that suits the military 
rulers.

This kind of cynicism is grounded in recent history. Official 
interference in virtually every election conducted after 1970 has 
led many people to believe that their choice is not accurately 
reflected in the final results. Also, we have seen a series of 
elected governments toppled at the whim of the establishment which 
has shown its contempt for the popular mandate time and again. On 
top of this abysmal record has come a crop of constitutional 
amendments relating to the elections, apart from making the next 
assembly and government subservient to the president.

The presence of the Chief Election Commissioner, the man who 
supervised Gen Musharraf's farcical referendum, does not inspire 
much confidence in the fairness of the elections. And a final 
contribution to the general sense of disillusionment and despair is 
the ham-handed way in which this government has pressured many 
candidates into changing allegiance.

The unedifying spectacle of government officials from governors to 
chief secretaries twisting arms to secure a 'positive result' is a 
sign of things to come. For instance, according to impeccable 
sources, a popular PPP candidate in Khanewal was threatened with 
dire consequences by officials in and out of uniform to withdraw 
his nomination papers and re- submit them as an independent 
candidate. The poor man was finally forced to go along.

The game-plan that is emerging is to ensure that the PML (Q), also 
known as the King's Party, emerges in the National Assembly with 
the biggest number of seats, so a coalition can be formed with 
smaller parties and independents. It will be simple for President 
Musharraf to dictate to this bunch of political orphans. He will 
easily get them to accept the prime minister of his choice, apart 
from obtaining their endorsement for a five- year extension for 
himself as president and their acquiescence for his National 
Security Council as well as the scores of ordinances and 
constitutional amendments he has issued.

However, if our murky electoral history has showed ample evidence 
of official interference, it has also proved that more often than 
not, the establishment's attempts at fine-tuning the results do not 
always work out. Thus, in 1988 the PPP won a plurality despite the 
government's efforts. In the last elections held in 1997, Nawaz 
Sharif won a massive majority that allowed him to amend the 
Constitution to suit himself, much to the annoyance of the 
establishment.

This time, too, the people might surprise both the government and 
the pundits. Having visited several constituencies and talked to 
candidates and their political workers as well as other politicians 
and political observers, I am not wholly convinced that despite all 
the obstacles placed in the path of anti- government parties, 
things are going according to plan.

Multiply this picture across Punjab and Sindh, and you get the 
makings of a surprise result. In the past, the establishment 
cobbled together an electoral alliance of anti-PPP forces; thus, 
these groups, flying the flag of the PNA or the IJI, did well as 
they put up joint candidates to face the PPP in constituencies 
across the country. This time, they will be dividing the right- 
wing, pro-establishment vote. But just about everybody I spoke to 
in Lahore is convinced that an outright PPP victory would be beyond 
doubt if Benazir Bhutto were to return before the elections.

The pro-government parties are facing the problems of incumbency 
while enjoying official support. Firstly, any government in a 
problem-ridden country like Pakistan is bound to become unpopular 
over time. Prices and unemployment have both increased over the 
last three years, and the onus for this is being laid at Musharraf 
government's door.

The downsizing and privatization of public sector units are hugely 
unpopular with the masses, whatever the economic merits of these 
policies. For them, the dictates of the IMF and the World Bank are 
remote issues: all they know is that their sons are not getting 
jobs and they have to pay more for basic necessities. Then, the 
American bombing of Afghanistan has been very unpopular, and Gen 
Musharraf is being blamed for supporting the Americans; this too is 
rubbing off on the pro-government parties.

Nawaz Sharif's faction of the much-divided Muslim League, used to 
official patronage over the years, is not motivated enough to stand 
up to the establishment. Thus, its top candidates have deserted in 
droves and joined the pro-government group of the party. 
Nevertheless, the PML(N) will probably gain a respectable number of 
seats. The religious parties have managed to get together under the 
banner of the MMA, but historically, they have never gained over 
five per cent of the popular vote, so they will play a role only in 
the event of a very tight election.

The MQM is likely to do well in urban Sindh, although there are 
persistent rumours of a deal between it and the army in which it 
will not contest five or so seats in Karachi to let certain 
establishment favourites make it to the National Assembly. Given 
the peculiar relationship between the MQM and the army, this would 
not be a surprising development if it proves to be true.

Short of major irregularities on election day, it is entirely 
possible that the PPP will emerge as the biggest single party in 
the assembly and be in a position to form a coalition government 
with the PML (N). But while this would not be Gen Musharraf's 
preferred outcome, it would be one he could live with, given the 
wide-ranging powers he has given himself. For instance, his new- 
found ability to throw out the prime minister without dissolving 
parliament will give the future leader of the house something to 
think about before he tries to pull a Junejo on the president.


SPORTS
20020927
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PCB gives another chance to ex-manager
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By Imran Naeem Ahmad

ISLAMABAD, Sept 26: Manager Yawar Saeed was relieved of his duties 
because of his "professional commitments" as the Pakistan Cricket 
Board (PCB) continued to play its favourite past time the game of 
musical chairs.

In his place Brig Khawaja Mohammad Nasir was asked to take the hot 
seat he first occupied in 1999 for almost a year before he was 
shown the door.

Nasir will be on his way to Colombo "shortly" to join the Pakistan 
team before the first Test against Australia starting Oct 3 but 
only time will tell what magic wand he is taking along to stem the 
rot.

While Nasir prepared to fly out, Yawar dismissed reports that he 
had been sacked. "I have already been on tour for a long time and 
with the Australia series being played at neutral venues, I can no 
longer afford to be away from my job at the Lakson Group of 
Companies," he told Dawn after meeting Lt Gen Tauqir Zia, the 
chairman of PCB.

Terming the two-and-a-half-hour meeting as "cordial", Yawar dubbed 
as PCB's "indispensible official" said that he was leaving after 
serving the orginisation for 18 years in one capacity or the other 
and had no regrets whatsoever. "I have had a wonderful association 
with the Board and am going out on a happy note."

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20020927
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Nasir blasts Wasim and Saeed for not facing Australia
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By Mohammad Yaqoob

LAHORE, Sept 26: The newly appointed manager of Pakistan team 
alleged that some senior players chose to stay home rather than 
face Australia in the three-Test series possibly fearing failures 
against world's best cricket playing nation.

Brig Khawaja Mohammad Nasir told Dawn that Saeed Anwar and Wasim 
Akram had preferred to take rest instead of facing the Australians.

"Saeed should have great confidence in God and he must face the 
Australians," Nasir declared.

He said that it was not a good ploy to throw the youngsters to face 
world champions. But he vowed that he would try his level best to 
get maximum results from the lads. And added that he would prepare 
the young Pakistan team with the spirit of slogan "Go, fight and 
win".

The manager said that God had given youngsters a golden chance to 
show their guts and cement a permanent place in the team.

Imran Farhat, Faisal Iqbal, Hasan Raza, Taufiq Umar, Mohammad Zahid 
and the uncapped Naveed-ul-Hasan are the new players included in 
the team after Saeed, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Akram and Yousuf Youhana 
ruled themselves out of the series.

Nasir said that the team would not suffer much due to absence of 
Wasim. He said that in fact the batting line of the Pakistan team 
was weakened to a large extent in the absence of Inzamam, Youhana 
and Saeed.

"The bowling is still potent with the likes of Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar 
Younis, Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Sami, Saqlain Mushtaq and Mohammad 
Zahid in the team," he said.

Nasir said that as he had majority of inexperienced players so now 
he was not under any kind of pressure of being defeated.

"With an experienced side, everyone expects the team to win, but 
now the nation expects only a fight from these youngsters," he 
said.

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20020927
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Abbas topples Jansher to reach last four
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By Ian Fyfe

KARACHI, Sept 26: Mohammad Abbas of Egypt, seeded No 28 in the 
world, caused quite a stir at the Pakistan Navy Roshan Khan 
Jahangir Khan squash complex, when he toppled former world champion 
Jansher Khan 3-1 in the quarterfinals of the Chief Of Naval Staff 
International.

The former world champion making a comeback after a three-year 
lapse due to injuries, elbowed the world No 14 Egyptian Omar 
Elborolossy in three gruelling games the previous evening and 
seemed on course to reach the semifinals after disposing off 
Mohammad Abbas. 

But this was not to be. The Egyptian youngster attacking from the 
word go matched Jansher stroke for stroke in the first game.

Jansher after a fairly long rallies, picked up the first two 
points. But the Egyptian was soon abreast 2-2, before Jansher being 
awarded a stroke, stole the lead again 3-2.

Matching each other point for point, the scores read 3-3, 4-4 and 
5-5, before Jansher drew away 7-5, which later increased to 9-7. 
Unruffled with the situation, Abbas pinched six vital points on the 
trot to take over the lead 12-9. Jansher forcing his opponent to 
smash into the tin drew closer 10-12 and 11-13, but Abbas with two 
great smashes off the wall grabbed the opening game 15-11.

Like the previous game Jansher once again took early lead moving 
ahead 2-0, before Abbas came back strongly to surge ahead 5-2. 
Jansher rallied again, closing the gap 4-5 with two fine shots, 
which left his opponent stranded on the court.

Another three points on the trot took the Egyptian in front 8-4 and 
increasing his lead 10-6, it seemed Jansher was doomed to surrender 
the second game also.

Calling up on his reserves, Jansher with the crowd noisily urging 
him on levelled the scores 10-10, with Abbas on the defensive. A 
stroke awarded to Abbas enabled the Egyptian to take over the lead 
again 11-10. The scores were levelled again 11-11 and 12-12. As the 
fierce duel continued, Jansher was a stroke away from winning the 
second game 15-14, only to see Abbas level the scores again 15-15, 
with a fine placing just above the tin that caught Jansher on the 
wrong foot.

However, with a stamp of class, Jansher pinched the next two points 
to win the game 17-15 and level the game scores at 1-1 to the 
delight of the partisan home crowd.

Getting a tremendous reception when on the court again, Jansher 
after levelling the points 1-1, slipped down the ladder to trail 1-
4. Suddenly it was a different ball game altogether. Abbas on the 
attack increased the lead in the vital third game 2-6, and 3-12. 
Jansher reduced to a mere passenger surrendered the third game 4-
15, which enabled Abbas to take a winning 2-1 lead.

Stunned into silence, the crowd saw their hero take the lead in the 
fourth game, but was on the receiving end again. Abbas levelled the 
scores 1-1 and after being awarded a stroke he was in front 3-1.

The former world champion fighting on levelled the scores at 5-5 
and the crowd went wild when Jansher took over the lead 6-5. Abbas 
was soon abreast at 6-6 and then 7-7, before he pulled away 9-7.

Playing perhaps his best squash Jansher had the crowd urging him 
on, levelling the scores 11-11 and forging ahead 12-11. The scores 
were tied again 12-12 and when Jansher's back hand smash hit the 
tin, Abbas went in front 13-12 only to be caught up again at 13-13.

But after 58 sweaty minutes on the court it was all over for 
Jansher. Abbas picked up the next two points to emerge a 3-1 
winner.

Thursday's results (prefix number denotes seeding):

Quarterfinals: 1-Karim Darwaish (Egypt) beat John Williams 
(Australia) 15-12, 15-13, 15-7; 4-Shahid Zaman (Pakistan) beat Wael 
El Hindi (Egypt) 15-3, 15-11, 12-15, 15-10; 3-Mansoor Zaman 
(Pakistan) beat M. Essam A. Hafiz (Egypt) 15-9, 15-6, 15-10; 
Mohammad Abbas (Egypt) beat Jansher Khan (Pakistan) 15-11, 15-17, 
15-4, 15-13.

Friday's fixtures:

Semifinals: Karim Darwaish (Egypt) v Shahid Zaman (Pakistan) at 
3.00pm; Mohammad Abbas (Egypt) v Mansoor Zaman (Pakistan) at 
4.00pm.

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20020924
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Pakistan hopes to improve performance
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Sports Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 23: The Pakistan contingent will set out in quest 
of gold as they board the plane for Bangkok on their way to the 
Asian Games city of Busan.

Pakistan will feature in the following disciplines at the Games 
that will explode into action:

Boxing, weightlifting, squash, billiards and snooker, rowing, 
sailing, wrestling, shooting, hockey, kabaddi, tennis, swimming, 
table tennis, taekwondo, karate, bodybuilding, volleyball, 
football, cycling, judo, athletics, gumnastics and wushu.

The kabaddi, bodybuliding, karate and taekowondo teams will leave 
for Busan on Friday.

The squad (sponsored by Pakistan Sports Board): 

Squash: Mehboob Khan (coach), Mansoor Zaman, Shahid Zaman 

Table tennis: Mrs Raheela Kashif (coach), Ghazala Roohi Swimming: 
Sadiqa Afzal (manager), Kiran Khan, Ayesha Tajwar 

Kabaddi: Muhammad Sarwar (coach), Muhammad Mansha, Tariq Hussain, 
Zubair Ahmed, Badshah Gul, Muhammad Akram, Mukhtar Ahmed, Muhammad 
Latif, Noor Akbar, Muhammad Akram Jnr. Muhammad Saleem 

Tennis: Rasheed Malik, Aisamul Haq, Aqeel Khan 

Sailing: Khalid Bashir Cheema, Tahir Abbas, Shahryar Arshad, Riaz 
Muhammad, Naseem Javed, Abdul Hameed, Muhammad Yousaf, Muhammad 
Tanvir, Muhammad Huzaifa Farooqi, Miss Andrea Yasmin Rehman 

Rowing: Lt. Col Hammad Khalid, Rizwanul Haq, Azmat Javed, Muhammad 
Afzal, Zeeshan Majeed, Muhammad Akram, Muhammad Adeel Sultan, 
Naseer Ahmed 

Shooting: Javed Lodhi, Zahid Ali, Irshad Ali, Mustaqeem Shah, Ahmad 
Sultan, Daud Jan, Muhammad Ayaz Tahir, Nazish Khan, Urooj Fatima 

Karate: Kashif Zia, Farman Ahmad 

Billiards and snooker: Shah Nawaz, Wahid Fakhruddin Tawawala, 
Arifullah, Muhammad Hussain, Saleh Muhammad, Muhammad Yousaf, 
Khurrum Hussain Agha, Naveen Perwani, Imran Shehzad

Bodybuilding: Muhammad Ismail Bhatty, Javed Akhtar, Khalid Ali 

Wrestling: Ch. Muhammad Asghar, Papoo Pehlwan 

Taekwondo: Muhammad Hanif 

Boxing: Muhammad Zubair Shahid (coach), Reinaldo Alvarez Ulacia 
(coach), Zaighum Maseel, Nauman Karim, Abid Ali, Mehrullah, Imran, 
Mazhar Hussain, Asghar Ali Shah, Kashif Mumtaz, Ahmed Ali Khan, 
Shaukat Ali, Mirza Muzaffar Iqbal 

Hockey: Col (Retd) Zafar Ali Khan, Tahir Zaman (coach), Asif Bajwa 
(coach), Dr. Waqar Saleem Mirza, Muhammad Qasim, Ahmed Alam, Sohail 
Abbas, Tariq Imran, Zeeshan Ashraf, Muhammad Nadeem, Ghazanfar Ali, 
Muhammad Saqlain, Waseem Ahmad, Dilawar Hussain, Mudassar Ali Khan, 
Muhammad Sarwar, Kashif Jawaad, Rehan Butt, Muhammad Shabbir, 
Khalid Saleem. 

Football (Sponsored by Pakistan Football Federation): JuzefHerel, 
Muhammad Sadiq Sheikh, Hidyatullah, Jafar Khan, Asadullah Tarique, 
Muhammad Shahzad, Amir Shehzad, Ashfaq Ahmed, Haroon Yousuf, Tanvir 
Ahmed, Naseer Ahmed, Adeel Ahmed, Atiqur Rehman, Zulfiqar Ali Shah, 
Gohar Zaman, Muhammad Essa, Mehmood, Muhammad Asif Ayub, Nomi 
Martin, Arif Mehmood, Zaheer Abbas

Volleyball (sponsored by SAF Games secretariat): Allama Ghulam 
Hasan (manager), Fedir Lashchonov (coach), Ihsanullah, Muhammad 
Tufail, Bakht Risal, Sajid Nawaz, Kashif Manzoor, Zafar Iqbal, 
Irfan Nawaz, Muhammad Elahi, Muhammad Jamil, Ashfaq Hussain. 
Sponsored by Pakistan Olympic Assocation: 

Shooting: Munir Hussain, Nadia Saeed, Sheikh Amin Karamat Masud, 
Khurrum Inam, Mahmood Sultan, Usman Sadiq 

Swimming: Zafar Mahmood, Zulfiqar Ali, Muhammad Khan, Fatima 
Lakhani, Sana Wahid, Mahira Karim, Mehrunnisa Khan 

Wushu: Iftikhar Ahmed, Usman Ahmed 

Table tennis: Shujaat Ali Baig, Farjad Saif, Shabnam Bilal 

Gymnastics: Muhammad Akbar Shah (manager), Tanveer Ahmed 

Cycling: Sheikh Nisar Ahmed, Haroon Rashid 

Judo: Muhammad Jahangir, Muhammad Zeeshan Butt Karate: Munir Ahmad 
Dar, Babar Iqbal 

Wrestling: Muhammad Ali 

Athletics: Ahmad Saeed Anjum, Allah Ditta, Abdul Rashid, Sumaira 
Zahoor 

Rowing: Allah Rakha, Muhammad Nazir, Aslam Hayat, Qazi Muhammad 
Amjad 

Sailing: Xerxes B Avari, Kamil Aziz Khan, Noor Muhammad 

Contingent officials (sponsored by PSB and SAF Games secretariat): 
Brig Arif Rasool (Deputy cehf de mission), Khalid Javed 
(secretary), Lt. Col. Muhammad Yahya (administration officer), 
Jawaid Akhtar (treasurer), Lt. Col Dr. Khalid Hussain (Doctor), Maj 
Yahya Ghaznavi (media coordinator).

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