------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 03 August, 1995 Issue : 01/30 -------------------------------------------------------------------

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MQM ..........Govt offers favour to MQM for peace ..........Govt unaware of MQM's decision ..........MQM not to attend ..........MQM boycotts talks ..........Govt agrees to MQM's name demand Karachi ..........Six MQM men gunned down ..........13 die as violence re-erupts in city ..........July ends with 279 deaths as four more die in violence ..........Six gunned down in city violence ..........Top MQM activists, 4 others killed ..........US declares Karachi dangerous zone ..........PM asks Babar to check violence threat in Karachi Women seats in Parliament ..........Restoration of women's seats ..........Women seats restored Flood ..........Death toll in NWFP 118 ..........Floodwater enters Wazirabad, Sialkot ..........Super flood passes thru Sindh barrages ..........Another deluge in Punjab predicted Govt-IMF negotiation ..........Crisis talks fail to woo IMF officials ..........Pakistan told to follow IMF plan ..........Government clarifies stand on Fund US rules out sanctions against Pakistan 3 Americans sent to jail in narcotics case OIC working on plan to send arms to Bosnia: Ghabid Govt failed to enforce law on child labour, tribunal told Rabbani regrets Pakistan's silence over his proposals Kashmir issue hurdle in SAARC way Internet service for computer users -------------------------------------


US loses textile quota case against Pakistan Shaheen Sehbai WB, Japan advise against Chashma Ihtashamul Haque US officials to study joint ventures Prospects of 2nd credit rating agency uncertain Cancellation of contract of 2 Swiss firms demanded 1% surcharge on all imports Bill to amend Forex Act cleared Stock Exchange : Rally on optimism over Govt-MQM parleys Mohammad Aslam Taiwan imposed anti-dumping duty on Pakistan yarn The Business & Financial Week ----------------------------------------


Give and take, yes, but also a sense of urgency editorial column Women in Parliament editorial column What it takes to break the stalemate editorial column Child labour in Pakistan : Hoodwinking will not help Dr Zareen Fatima Naqvi Money Ardeshir Cowasjee The Singapore solution Mazdak Genesis of the crisis Mushtaq Ahmad Islamabad Diary : Back to the promised land Ayaz Amir A tale of three cities I.A. Rehman A challenge for Pakistan Anjum Niaz Cutting off your nose to spite your face Tahir Mirza Gap between the poor & poorer Kunwar Idris Whose Pakistan are we living in? M. Ziauddin -----------


Akram and Mushtaq in the Counties


=================================================================== 950730 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Govt offers favour to MQM for peace ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From Ihtashamul Haque ISLAMABAD, July 29: Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister N.D.Khan said here today that the government was ready to offer a favour to MQM in order to help solve the burning Karachi issue. "We will be proposing quid pro quo to MQM in our scheduled meeting on Monday (July 31), which means that Rangers will be slowly withdrawn from Karachi and, in return, we would expect them to dissociate from terrorism," he elaborated. Replying to a question, the law minister said without conceding anything there could not be the resolution of the problem. "We would be assuring our MQM friends in the next meeting that the on-going operation in Karachi could be slowed down provided they should also give us some undertaking that the incidents of violence and terrorism would also not be supported." He also pointed out that the MQM team would have to furnish clarifications on certain points without which there could not be any hope for the success of the talks. "Are we not justified in asking the MQM to tell us as to why Altaf Hussain called the Two-Nations theory a 'butt of jokes'. Moreover, is it some thing not serious to seek clarification of the MQM Leader's statement. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950731 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Govt unaware of MQM's decision ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report ISLAMABAD, July 30: The government will hold talks with the MQM with an open mind to reach to a negotiated settlement of the Karachi crisis, Federal Law Minister, N.D. Khan said on Sunday. "We are sure of achieving a negotiated settlement," he told Dawn. However, the MQM has not made any announcement so far whether or not its team would be attending the Monday's round of talks. After the last round, held in Karachi, MQM chief negotiator Ajmal Dehlavi had said the talks had been deadlocked. The government side, however insisted that there were just "a few difficulties" which would be removed before the next round of talks. Mr. Khan said on Sunday that the government would be taking part in the talks in the spirit of "give and take" so that peace could be restored in Karachi. But he made it clear that there would be no bargain on principles. "The most important thing is to save the people from killing and look after their properties. Whosoever is found involved in violence will be definitely taken to task." Indirectly referring to MQM demand for calling off the operation in Karachi, Mr Khan claimed that "no operation" was being conducted in Karachi except for a defensive patrolling by the law enforcement agencies to maintain law and order. "The rangers and the police are bound to take action whenever it is required." The law minister reiterated that the government believed in give and take and not in offering any favours to the MQM. "When you have to achieve a political settlement of an issue you go for give and take which does not necessarily mean that you are offering any favours to anyone," he added. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950731 ------------------------------------------------------------------- MQM not to attend ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Our Staff Reporter KARACHI, July 30: Mohajir Qaumi Movement chief negotiator Ajmal Dehlavi said on Sunday that the MQM negotiating team would not participate in the fifth round of talks scheduled for Monday in Islamabad. Talking to Dawn late at night, he said: "The deadlock is very much there. The government has done nothing to break it. It will be an exercise in futility to dash to the federal capital." Mr Dehlavi said no one had contacted them since Monday last, the day the deadlock cropped up. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950801 ------------------------------------------------------------------- MQM boycotts talks ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From Nasir Malick ISLAMABDAD, July 31: The government-MQM-talks to restore peace to Karachi reached an impasse after MQM negotiators boycotted the fifth round scheduled to be held at the Parliament House on Monday. Although apparently there is a deadlock, still the two sides have kept their doors open. "It is unfortunate they boycotted, but we are available for talks," Mr Khan told reporters in the committee room after a long wait. The MQM's chief negotiator, Ajmal Dehlavi said, "The deadlock is very much there he said. "There will be no talks today but we will wait for another two or three days and if the government does not come up with a positive response in the next few days the MQM leadership will take a final decision about the future of the talks." The MQM side had demanded implementation of its four proposals for restoring normality to Karachi. The demands included withdrawal of rangers, restoration of mobile telephones and pagers, calling the MQM by its real name instead of "Altaf group" and an end to provocative statements about the MQM leadership. Mr Dehlavi said if the conditions were not acceptable to the government, his party would reconsider the prospects of the talks as also restarting a weekly two-day protest strike in Karachi which the MQM had called off as a goodwill gesture. The government meanwhile also awaits clarification on Altaf Hussains' interview and the MQM's threat to revert to violence in case the talks failed. Mr Khan said the MQM would have received the response to the clarifications it had sought at today's meeting. He said the issues on which the government had sought clarifications related to the state and not the government. "They were supposed to bring clarifications at today's meeting and we were to submit answers to the clarifications they had sought from us." He said the government had already informed the MQM during the last round that it would start calling the MQM by its original name provided the MQM brings along clarifications. He said the MQM's action was incomprehensible for him but this was not the end. He said the government was committed to a negotiated settlement of the Karachi issue. The law minister said the government had told the MQM that the talks on the main demands from the two sides would start once peace was restored and the killing of innocent people stopped. But Mr Dehlavi said there was no point in continuing the talks when the government did not even recognise the MQM by its real name. He, however did not rule out the possibility of rescheduling the talks. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950803 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Govt agrees to MQM's name demand ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From Nasir Malick ISLAMABAD, Aug. 2: The government has agreed to call the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM) by its real name instead of "Altaf group" and has sent Zuhair Akram Nadeem to Karachi to contact the MQM's chief negotiator, Ajmal Dehlavi, to bring him back to the negotiation table, an official source told Dawn. The decision was taken at a meeting of the three-member government team which is holding talking with the MQM. "We have sent Zuhair Akram with the mandate to bring back the MQM on the negotiation table by assuring them that the government will call them with their real party name provided they bring the clarifications sought by the government," an official source said. "He has also been authorised to fix the venue, date and time for the next round of talks," the source said. The source said the decision to send Zuhair was taken at the meeting of the negotiating team. The MQM boycotted the fifth round of talks accusing the government of raising non-issues and demanding to call the party with its real name. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950728 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Six MQM men gunned down ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Our Staff Reporter KARACHI, July 27; Six MQM workers and supporters were gunned down outside their homes in Asif Colony on Thursday night. Also on Thursday, the police arrested one of the most wanted alleged criminals who was allegedly involved in the KMC supermarket killings in Liaquatabad. Meanwhile, three "most wanted" MQM activists, including Rehan alias Kana, were arrested by the police during a snap checking of vehicles in Sindhi Muslim Co-operative Housing Society. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950730 ------------------------------------------------------------------- 13 die as violence re-erupts in city ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Our Staff Report KARACHI, July 29: Thirteen people including an 18-month-old boy were killed as terrorists struck at several places in the city on Saturday raising the month's death toll to 272. Among the dead were a brother of a councillor, a son of a Muslim Leaguer, a government employee, a ranger and two MQM workers. With fresh killings on Saturday after a relative peaceful Friday, the toll during the last seven month's rose to an all time high of 1,207. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950801 ------------------------------------------------------------------- July ends with 279 deaths as four more die in violence ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Our Staff Reporter KARACHI, July 31: Four people, including two activists of rival MQM groups, were killed in the city on Monday, raising the month's death toll to 279. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950802 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Six gunned down in city violence ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Our Staff Reporter KARACHI Aug. 1: Three MQM men and a policeman were among the six young people who fell victim to on-going terrorism and gang war in the city on Tuesday. Three MQM men, who had allegedly killed their gang leader four days back over some monetary dispute, were kidnapped and killed by the members of their own gang as a punishment, the fourth who survived the execution told the police. Sources in the police claimed that these men, all residents of Orangi, had a dispute with their group leader over the distribution of protection money. On July 28, the four allegedly kidnapped the leader near his Orangi home and dropped his bullet-riddled body in the same area a couple of hours later. In retaliation, the other gang members, infuriated over the act- kidnapped the four, kept them in captivity for a day, asked them to board a stolen vehicle and then sprayed them with bullets. All but one of the victims died, who related this story to the police and is presently placed under custody. The police claimed all the gang members were 'habitual criminals' and wanted in several cases of murders, robberies and extortion. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950803 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Top MQM activists, 4 others killed ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Our Staff Reporter Aug. 2, Farooq Dada 25, whom the government described as one of the top MQM terrorists and a brain behind city terrorism, died, along with his three companions in an alleged encounter in Model Colony near the Quaid- i-Azam International Airport on Wednesday morning. MQM chief Altaf Hussain owned all the four, condoled and sympathised with the bereaved families and asked his supporters to have patience and to remain united. Later when the police searched the boot of the car, they found 12 AK47 rifles, a tripod machine-gun, a rocket launcher, a rocket and thousands of bullets. Like other police encounters, this one also became controversial as the Karachi police did not issue any official handout till late Wednesday night, while the Airport police, headed by SHO Anwar Ahmed Khan, a close associate of the late police officer Bahadur Ali, gave a different version. In the morning, they said, the four had come to attack a PIA aircraft. Later in the day, police claimed that they picketed the Model Colony road after information that Dada and his friends would pass through. Farooq Dada's friends claimed that the four had been trapped and murdered in cold blood. One of his neighbours claimed that they had been in custody since Monday. The government claimed that Dada was also involved in the murder of an army Captain and six policemen of Baldia police station. Their death sparked off violence in parts of the city and forced the closure of Gulbahar, Nazimabad, Malir, and Baldia Town. A number of witnesses some of whom contacted by Dawn, claimed that rangers and police resorted to indiscriminate firing and did not even spare women. The bodies were kept at the Airport police station for 10 hours. At 4:30 they were brought to Jinnah Post-graduate Medical Centre for autopsy. Two hours later they were shifted to Edhi Home at Sohrab Goth. Relatives were asked to collect no-objection from the police on Thursday afternoon to take possession of the bodies. Elsewhere in the city, four people, including constable fell victim to violence. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950728 ------------------------------------------------------------------- US declares Karachi dangerous zone ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From Our Staff Correspondent WASHINGTON, July 27: The United States has declared Karachi a dangerous zone and asked all its officials and citizens not to travel or even transit, through that international city, according to a State Department announcement. "The State Department has now designated the Karachi consulate as an "employees only" post. No US government family members may reside in the Karachi consulate district," the announcement said. It said: "As security conditions in Karachi have deteriorated, the US State Department has ordered that official personnel arriving in Pakistan not transit Karachi enroute to other posts in Pakistan. All official US government personnel scheduled to arrive in Pakistan must re-route their schedules to avoid transiting Karachi." It said: "The violence in Karachi continues at a high level with strikes, bus burnings, car bombings, RPG attacks and random gunfire disrupting the normal functioning of the city. The MQM Altaf group has called for rolling strike days each weekend. Additional strike calls could be issued at any time resulting in further violence. "In addition, the March 8 attackers on a US consulate vehicle that killed two foreign service employees and wounded a third have not yet been identified. "Immediately following the March 8 attack, the United States Department of State ordered the departure of all US government school-age dependants resident in the Karachi consulate district and authorised the departure of other family members. "Should transit of Karachi be unavoidable because of late notice and inability to charge travel plans, every effort must be made to schedule connections to avoid leaving the airport (i.e., not to stay overnight in Karachi). Travellers should allow sufficient connecting time (3 hours or more) to take into account the frequent flight delays. Official travellers must notify the US consulate of all such travel plans. In an emergency, travellers should remain at the airport and contact the US consulate-general for information." DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950801 ------------------------------------------------------------------- PM asks Babar to check violence threat in Karachi ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report ISLAMABAD, July 31: Prime Minister Bhutto on Monday presided over a meeting to discuss MQM's boycott of the talks and to draw a fresh strategy, an official source said. N.D.Khan had told reporters earlier that he would discuss today's development with the Prime Minister to draw a new strategy. The source said that it was decided that the MQM would be approached through other channels to convince them to resume the talks in the national interest. "May be the chief minister or the law minister or some other person approach the MQM leadership in their personal capacity to bring them to negotiating table," he said. The chief minister of Sindh reportedly briefed the meeting about the law and order situation in Karachi and said that the activities of terrorists have been contained to a great extent. He lauded the services of the police and rangers in controlling the situation and called them "unsung heroes" of the country. The interior minister, Gen. Babar, the source said, was directed by the Prime Minister to proceed to Karachi along with the chief minister to personally supervise the law and order situation and to take appropriate measures to forestall any renewed threat of violence in the provincial metropolis. The Prime Minister reportedly told the meeting that the government would like to continue the talks with an open mind and give concessions to the MQM provided they help in restoring peace to the violence-hit city. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950729 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Restoration of women seats : Opposition invited to work out modalities ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Bureau Report ISLAMABAD, July 28: The Minister of State for Law, Senator Raza Rabbani, on Friday invited the opposition parties to come and sit on a table to work out modalities for the restoration of women seats in elected institutions. Apart from restoration of seats in the National and provincial assemblies the government also wanted to give representation to women in the Senate, the indirectly elected upper house of parliament, he told a Press conference. Mr. Rabbani also expressed the government's willingness to negotiate any constitutional reforms package, including the abrogation of the Eighth Amendment in the Constitution. "The constitutional 14 amendment bill of women seats can become a stepping stone to move towards a consensus on the other amendments," he said. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950730 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Women seats restored ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From Ahmad Hasan Alvi ISLAMABAD, July 29: Three main political parties of the country on Saturday agreed to revive the reserved seats for women in parliament as well as in the four provincial assemblies, breaking a seven year-old deadlock over the issue. Representatives of the PPP, the PML and the ANP signed the agreement at the concluding session of a workshop organised by the Auarat Foundation here in Islamabad. The organisers said the agreement called for a minimum of 20 seats for women in the 217-member National Assembly and nine in the 87-member Senate (Upper House). It provides for a five percent quota in each of the provincial assemblies. The three-party consensus will ensure support of a two-thirds majority in parliament when a constitutional bill on the subject is introduced. The women in Pakistan, constituting about half of the country's 130 million population, had a parliamentary quota until October 1988 when a constitutional provision allowing this lapsed. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950728 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Death toll in NWFP flood tops 118 ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From A.S. Yousufi PESHAWAR, July 27: The death toll in the current torrential rains and floods rose 118 on Thursday. It was 95 on Wednesday. In Sindh and Balochistan, too, the situation worsened with a number of breaches occurring in flood protective embankments and vast areas coming under water. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950729 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Army evacuates victims : Floodwater enters Wazirabad, Sialkot ------------------------------------------------------------------------ *From Mahmood Zaman LAHORE, July 28: Flood-water entered the cities of Sialkot and Wazirabad on Friday inundating villages of Sialkot, Wazirabad, Nankana Sahib. Pind Dadan Khan, Chiniot, Shakaragarh, Narowal, Chak Arnru, Gujar Khan and Rawat. About 42 people were killed and hundreds of others marooned in the countrywide floods. The worst hit regions were central and north-eastern parts of Punjab where 30 were reported to have died. About 150 villages were inundated in Sialkot, Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Shiekhupura, and Jhang districts. Meanwhile, the Flood Forecasting and Warning Bureau (FFWB) said the Chenab and Jhelum were flowing in very high flood while the Ravi received a gushing water current from Madhopur in India. Bureau director Abdul Majeed told reporters on Friday that the flood situation would improve in coming days. According to him, the present monsoon pressure over the area had moved towards north-east and was fast fizzling out over the region. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950803 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Super flood passes through Sindh barrage ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From Our Correspondents SUKKUR Aug. 2: The water levels at Guddu and Sukkur barrages continued to rise on Wednesday and in the overlong had reached a discharge of 950,000 cusecs-record high of the present season. According to irrigation officials, the super flood would pass through the two barrages on Thursday and Friday, and a straits vigilance is being kept round the clock to avert any situation. The department has chalked out a contingency plan to save the two barrages in case of more rise in water level. According to latest position one million cusecs water was discharging from Guddu and Sukkur barrages on Wednesday evening. However, at Mithankot some decrease in the water level was recorded, while on other places the position remained unchanged. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950803 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Another deluge in Punjab predicted ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report LAHORE, Aug. 2: The National Flood Forecasting Bureau on Wednesday predicted another high flood in the Chenab at Marala during the next 24 hours. An official of the NFFB told reporters at a briefing that, the current spell of rains had been generated by accentuation of a seasonal low and the activation of easterly and south-westerly currents. The official said the Indus at Guddu was in exceptionally high flood with a discharge of 952,127 cusecs which would reach 980,000 cusecs. The river was in very high flood at Sukkur (879,575 cusecs) and will be in exceptionally high flood (900,000 to 950,000 cusecs) during the next 24 hours. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950728 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Crisis talks fail to woo IMF officials ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From Shaheen Sehbai WASHINGTON, July 27: Two days of top level talks between senior IMF executives and a powerful Pakistan delegation headed by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's special assistant apparently failed to break the deadlock here on Thursday, Pakistan delegation sources said. Special assistant Shahid Hassan Khan, Mohammad Yaqub Governor of the state Bank and secretary finance Javed Talat, who met IMF officials for what were billed as "crisis talks", failed to convince the Fund bosses to release the 300 million dollar tranche, suspended by the Fund after the June budget. "There is no chance of resumption of the IMF Programme unless Pakistan was prepared to follow the agenda set by the IMF," the sources said. Experts say Pakistan was not just losing the 300 million dollar tranche, but the entire one billion dollar programme that was to follow in the next two years. Pakistani sources said Shahid Hassan Khan and the others two top economic managers from Pakistan had explained the circumstances in which Pakistan was unable to meet the targets set by the Fund. Pakistan sources say under the suspended programme, Pakistan has already received about 500 million dollars out of the total of 1.5 billion dollars but the rest was now gone. They also, however, said the Fund would continue the discussions with the government and a delegation would go to Islamabad in August while the talking process would continue in September when the Fund holds its annual meeting. "Article IV consultations, which is a standard IMF practice with all member countries, will continue with Pakistan with the Fund reviewing the economy and holding general discussions," these sources said. The Wednesday and Thursday talks are said to have proceeded in a cordial atmosphere, but the IMF was said to be "very polite but firm" on the resumption of its programme. The IMF officials even pointed to the Karachi situation in undertones, insiders said. The outcome of the talks would depend on what the objectors of the mission were publicly announced, according to an analyst. "If the purpose was to explain the position and continue the dialogue, then the mission would be called a success. But if anyone was expecting that the talks would result in release of the Fund money, without meeting the IMF targets, he would be disappointed." These analysts are, however, of the view that by refusing to pursue the IMF programme, the Benazir Bhutto government had confirmed to the world that she was politically weak and vulnerable could not afford tough measures that would have rushed Pakistan further on the path of long and durable macro-economic adjustments that could turn Pakistan into an Asian tiger. "The government has chosen to pursue immediate-term petty, partisan, political gains at the cost of Pakistan's long term economic interests," they say. The argument that Pakistan had built up big foreign exchange reserves, almost 2.2 billion dollars, is also rejected by these analysts as they cite the example of Turkey and Mexico where larger reserves evaporated within weeks following adverse political developments. "We don't know what is the trigger point in Pakistan which could send these reserves, which include private dollar accounts, scrambling out of Pakistan," one analyst, critical of the government policy, said. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950729 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Release of funds : Pakistan told to follow IMF plan ------------------------------------------------------------------------ *From Our Staff Correspondent WASHINGTON, July 28: The high level Pakistan delegation which held two days of top level talks with IMF here on Thursday conceded that there was no chance of IMF funds coming to Pakistan until Islamabad was really to put the disrupted process back on the rails. Speaking at a news conference after meeting the IMF Managing Director Michael Camdesseus, delegation leader Shahid Hasan Khan said Pakistan and IMF had agreed to start a monitoring programme in August, when an IMF team visits Islamabad, which will keep the Fund in the picture about Pakistan's economic situation. "We will try to maintain financial discipline as if the, now suspended, SAP was going on," Khan said in what was seen as a definite indication that Pakistan had no intention of getting the derailed process back on the track. Analysts interpreted his remarks as an admission that the two days of talks had produced no change of mood at the IMF headquarters which was insisting that if Pakistan needed the money, it had to adhere to the terms listed by the Fund. "Our talks in August will be not just under Article IV but beyond that which will give indications to others that we were having consultations on more than routine matters," Khan said. But under questioning by newsmen he conceded that Pakistan did not need IMF funds, at least for the current financial year. "For the first two quarters we will see how the revenue collection goes and we would keep the IMF with us so they could also walk through the process," Khan said. He said the difficulties faced in the last fiscal year to meet the targets set by IMF on budget deficit and import tariffs would help the Government to formulate its responses this year. "We will set new benchmarks with the IMF in August but we are clear that no money would be forthcoming until we ask them to begin the structural adjustment programme all over again," Shahid Hasan Khan said. "We need their support, not their money," Khan said, informing newsmen that Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves were over two billion dollars after making some heavy disbursements recently. Asked about the down-grading of Pakistan's debt risk rating by Moody's, Khan said they had actually corrected their assessment because originally they had listed Pakistan one grade higher than we should have been. "But I agree that the Moody decision could have an adverse impact on investments in Pakistan." Shahid Hasan Khan was unable to explain clearly as to why Pakistan decided suddenly not to meet the IMF targets when assurances and commitments had been made at the highest level and as late as in April, during Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's visit to Washington. "We found at the end of May that if we adhered to the IMF targets, we would have to raise an additional 55 billion rupees in taxes. It was a political as well as a psychological problem," he added, "I can say categorically that we are not deviating from the programme but only slowing down the pace." He said one problem was in raising the Sales Tax as machines could not be put into place. "In the next three months the new sales tax collection machinery would be fundamental," he said. Shahid Hasan Khan said the World Bank had agreed to provide guarantees for railway projects Pakistan which was a major break through. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950729 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Government clarifies stand on Fund ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Bureau Report ISLAMABAD, July 28: An official spokesman has clarified the government's position with regard to what he said the "misleading impression" created by Mr. Shaheen Sehbai, in a despatch from Washington which appeared in daily Dawn of 28 July 1995," about the objectives and outcome of the talks held by the Pakistani delegation with members of the IMF on 26-27 July 1995." According to the spokesman the purpose of the visit was set out even before the Pakistan delegation left Islamabad in a statement by the government which said: "The visit is taking place in the backdrop of the new Federal Budget 1995-96. In view of certain economic and political developments occurring since April 1995, the government had to make some adjustments in the speed of its economic reform programme. Paucity of time did not allow the Government to discuss these changes with the Fund. Thus the primary aim of the visit is to inform the Fund the background conditions that led to the present formulation of the Federal Budget 1995-96. "The government is not seeking any financial support from the Fund. However, there is no change in Government's commitment to continue with the economic reform programme that was formulated in consultation with the Fund. "It seems Mr Sehbai was unaware of the background of discussions. As indicated in the press release, Pakistan had neither demanded the said tranche nor was it a point of discussion with the Fund authorities. "The government's record of adopting measures which are economically sound but politically unpopular and difficult is unmatched in this country's recent economic history. For two years it has adopted all the measures, like granting autonomy to SBP, imposition of agriculture wealth tax, expansion of sales tax, rationalisation of tariffs etc. prescribed in a programme which is basically negotiated by the Interim government of Moin Qureshi, which had no political compulsion. "The government has now consciously decided to slow down the speed of adjustments, as it was evident from the experience of two farce that the real issue was from to expand their tax efforts but to effect the structural changes in the administrative machinery required for efficient tax collection. Yet, one cannot be oblivious of the progress achieved in restoring country's macroeconomics framework. The budget deficit in the last two decades has averaged 7 per cent. And more particularly, starting with a persistent deficit of about 8 per cent in the proceeding three years, the government has been able to firmly reduce the deficit below 6 per cent (5.8 per cent in 1993-94 and 5.6 per cent in 1994-95); if the results of last six months is any indication of revenue potential, then there is no doubt that we already have on ground significant taxes which would allow IMF to achieve the deficit target of 5 percent and do even better. "There is no reversal of any of the policies of adjustments and reforms. The slow-down in the speed of adjustment was required to consolidate the measure adopted its the last two years which include unprecedented broadening of sales tax (273 new items added), reduction in the number of slabs (reduced to less than 10) and consolidation of para tariffs (Iqra Flood relief etc.) and reduction in maximum traffic rates. "There is no let up in the attraction of foreign investors in Pakistan. Recently, three private sector power projects have achieved financial close. The CEPA Corporation of Mr. Gordon Wu, is sending a team in the first week of August to finalise agreements for its power project in Sindh. "The resource position in the country has never been as good as it has been in the last two years. There is no fear of any out-flow of foreign currency deposits from Pakistan, as these are held in largely by residents and non-residents Pakistanis. The deposits held by the foreign banks, which are not very large, are also safe as Pakistan's interest rates are competitive. More than anything else, it was an improvement in the country's trade account, primarily due to good export performance, that had a positive impact on reserves. Thus to speculate that Pakistan may face a Turkey or Mexico type of crisis, is not only far fetched but serves no interest of the country." DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950730 ------------------------------------------------------------------- US rules out sanctions against Pakistan ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From Shaheen Sehbai WASHINGTON, July 29: US Secretary of State Warren Cristopher categorically stated on Friday that Washington had no evidence against China and Pakistan to justify imposition of sanctions for MTCR violations. "We are concerned about proliferation issues, and we are certainly concerned about it as they relate to South Asia. We monitor it very carefully and very closely. At the present time, although there is a fairly large body of evidence, we do not think there is evidence there that would justify the imposition of sanctions. But I want to assure all that we feel an obligation to keep this matter carefully under review and to follow and comply with the law in this regard," the Secretary of State said in response to a question. His comments, coming from the top most foreign policy official of the Clinton Administration, appeared to throw cold water on Senator Larry Pressler and other anti-Pakistan hawks like him who want to block legislation in Congress to dilute sanctions against Islamabad under the Pressler Amendment. These hawks have been beating Islamabad and Beijing with the M-11 missiles stick and the presence of some crates at Sargodha Airport is repeatedly cited as evidence that the M-ll's had reached Pakistan. But observers said the statement by Warren Cristopher, just days before the crucial Senate vote to resume supply of arms and equipment to Pakistan, was a major setback for the Indian lobby trying to kick up a storm on the Hill over the Clinton Administration's package to ease Pressler sanctions. On the strategy of the United States for Asia Pacific region, Warren Cristopher said the United States was pursuing a four-part strategy to ensure a peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific for the 21st century. He explained that the first part of this strategy was to "maintain and invigorate our core alliances with Japan, Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand. "Secondly, we're actively pursuing a policy of engagement with the other leading countries in the region, including- and, perhaps, especially including-our former Cold War adversaries. "Thirdly, we're building a regional architecture that will sustain economic growth, promote integration, and assure stability over the longer term. "And, fourthly, we're supporting democracy and human rights, which serves our ideals as well as our interests. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950728 ------------------------------------------------------------------- 3 Americans sent to jail in narcotics case ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Bhagwandas KARACHI, July 27: The Special Judge (Customs and Taxation) sent three American suspects- two women and a man-and their Pakistani supplier to the central prison here on Thursday for their alleged involvement in drug smuggling. Instead of being booked under the recently promulgated ordinance which carries death penalty for drug trafficking, the suspects have been booked under Section 2 (s) of the Customs Act 1969, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years. The Americans-Christopher Rollins Kelly, Carrie Leigh Dempsey, and Jody Lynn Robledo - were caught by the Customs with 12 kilograms of off-white heroin powder at the Quaid-i-Azam International Airport while leaving for New York. On the information provided by the Americans their Pakistani supplier, Khalid Yousuf Malik (alias Abdul Mateen) of Gujranwala, was arrested in Lahore by the Customs. Khalid Malik, who owns a Sialkot-based import-export firm -M/s Continental Associates- is an ex-convict in a drug smuggling operation and had been jailed in the US earlier as well. Four other Americans have also been arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York, on the information provided by the arrested Americans here. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950731 ------------------------------------------------------------------- OIC working on plan to send arms to Bosnia: Ghabid ------------------------------------------------------------------- A Bureau Report ISLAMABAD, July 30: The secretary-general of the OIC, Hamid al Ghabid, said on Sunday that the OIC was "working on the logistics of supplying heavy weapons to the Bosnian Muslims." Talking to journalists informally, he said that at its recent meeting in Geneva the OIC member-countries were of the unanimous opinion that the United Nations had completely failed to protect the so-called safe enclaves and had "left the Muslim children and people at the mercy of the marauding Serbs." Terming the unilateral arms embargo against the Bosnian government "illegal", he said the proposal of supplying weapons to the Muslim forces was "under study." He said the OIC member-states were also contemplating the possibility of beefing up their existing forces in Bosnia. At present these contingents were a part of the UNPROFOR, but "they would be strengthened to provide a real and better defence to the beleaguered Bosnian Muslims." DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950801 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Govt failed to enforce law on child labour, tribunal told ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report LAHORE, July 31: The government has failed to set up any machinery to enforce the laws against child and bonded labour, the inquiry commission investigating the murder of BLLF activist Iqbal Masih was informed on Monday. The commission comprising Justice Khalid Paul Khwaja of the Lahore High Court concluded its proceedings on Monday after arguments by Advocate Faiz Mohammad Bhatti on behalf or Inayat Bibi, Iqbal Masih's mother. Twenty seven witnesses were examined but the probe was inhibited by the impending trial, which might have been prejudiced by any detailed scrutiny of evidence. The high-level judicial probe was instituted to identify the killers of the carpet weaver and to determine whether it was a murder by a provoked individual, as claimed by police, or assassination by conspirators or the 'carpet mafia' as alleged by the BLLF. Concluding the proceedings on Monday, the judge read out a letter addressed by the Swedish Bonded Labour Liberation Front from Stockholm to the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court complaining against the inadequacy of the inquiry. It specifically pointed out that the lawyers were allowed to ask only three questions while cross-examining the witnesses and that the issue of Iqbal Masih's age was not given the importance it deserved. Justice Khwaja said it was he who summoned the witnesses otherwise no one was coming forth to assist the inquiry. The BLLF and the Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association did not join in the probe. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950801 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Rabbani regrets Pakistan's silence over his proposals ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From Anjum Niaz KABUL, July 31: Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani on Monday regretted Pakistan's silence on his proposal for establishing a joint commission to resolve bilateral misgivings that were marring relations between the two "brotherly" countries. "Last March, at the ECO summit, I suggested to Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to set up a joint-commission which would explore and examine in detail the problems cropping up between us and Islamabad," President Rabbani told a select group of Islamabad-based journalists here at Gulkhana Presidential Palace. In a rare interview with the newsmen, the Afghan President also deplored Pakistan's move to invite Sardar Wali, the son-in-law and nephew of former King Zahir Shah. "It is the same man who says he will collect a laskhar and attack Kabul. How can your country support such a person?" questioned Mr Rabbani, who refuses to step down despite the expiry of his term last December. President Rabbani said he was looking forward to the visit of foreign minister Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali starting this Thursday. However, it appears Pakistan's latest peace initiative for Afghanistan has run into trouble even before it's beginning with the arrival of foreign minister Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali in Kabul as not only President Rabbani, but his Prime Minister Ahmed Shah Ahmedzai and foreign minister Najibullah Lafrie do not favour the idea of Sardar Assef travelling to Mazar-i- Sharif, Herat and Kandahar from Kabul. "We warmly welcome the foreign minister to Kabul. Let us first hold discussions on issues of mutual concern. We will then decide whether there is a need for him to go to other parts of Afghanistan," Mr Rabbani said. Sardar Assef has announced his plans to meet Rabbani's foe, General Dostum in Mazar-i-Sharif and the Taliban in Kandahar. Earlier, Prime Minister Ahmadzai told Dawn that Pakistan and Uzbekistan were the two countries interfering in the internal affairs of Afghanistan. "Uzbekistan is supporting General Dostum, while Pakistan is supporting Gulbadin Hikmatyar." In an emotional tone, the American- educated engineer who belongs to Prof. Siyaf's Ithad-i-Islami said: "Pakistan supported us during the jehad, but we never expected our brothers to support the opposition which is destroying our country," he said. According to him, there was a conspiracy against the Islamic state of Afghanistan and Islam. "Our enemies do not want Islam to prosper in Afghanistan", he added. At the newly renovated room in the Foreign Office, which only three months ago had been destroyed by shelling from Hikmatyar's forces, Afghan foreign minister Lafrie, while responding to Dawn's question about Indian interference and Pakistan's allegations that New Delhi was supplying military aid to Kabul, said: "While we are a sovereign country and nobody has any right to object to our friendship with other countries, I still want to make it very clear that Afghanistan has not received any assistance from India." Decrying "negative propaganda appearing in Pakistani Press", the Afghan foreign minister took pains to explain: "Except for us buying 50 tons of tea from India, we have not got anything else from there." Later, when this correspondent asked President Rabbani regarding his new peace proposal submitted to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran recently, the serious-looking Rabbani went to great details explaining its mechanics and the reasons for its success. About the UN peace plan being pushed by Ambassador Mahmood Mestiri, President Rabbani said: "Mr Mestiri has no formula to offer. In such an event, the UN should adopt our plan."
Kashmir issue hurdle in SAARC way
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Aug. 1: Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said 
on Tuesday that the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan was 
preventing SAARC from realizing its full potential as a regional 
economic power bloc.  

Speaking at a press briefing, the minister urged both India and Pakistan 
to "put aside the Kashmir issue for the moment and let SAARC grow". 
Appearing extremely careful in replying to questions relating to Kashmir 
and the ongoing violations of human rights by Indian forces he said that 
he did not want to give any "judgmental opinion" on Kashmir. Reiterating 
Sri Lanka's official stance he said that the Kashmir dispute should be 
resolved according to the terms of the Simla Agreement.  

Answering a question he said that the time to "formally raise" bilateral 
contentious issues in SAARC had yet not come. Pointing out to the SAARC 
charter which specifically ruled out the raising of such issues he felt 
that doing so at this stage "would only prove counter productive as both 
India and Pakistan have adopted very rigid stances for the present". He, 
however, opined that a lot could be achieved meanwhile by the holding of 
"flexible discussions on thorny issues in an informal manner, like 
discussions in the Council of Ministers".  

He added that, The whole world is changing and if is only a matter of 
time before India and Pakistan are also touched by the wave and then 
that would be the time to change the SAARC charter to include discussion 
of bilateral disputes. That would also be the time when SAARC will 
witness a real boom and emerge as a formidable economic force of the 

He also cited the emergence of the SEPTA trade agreement as a 
significant achievement of SAARC. So far five member countries have 
already signed the agreement while the remaining three, India, Pakistan 
and Bangladesh have signaled their intent to sign on the dotted line 
before the coming tenth anniversary of SAARC.  

Answering another question on the recent Serb actions in Bosnia, he 
said: "We abhor the unspeakable cruelty being inflicted on the Muslims 
by the Serbs in Bosnia". To another query he replied that although his 
government had not adopted any formal position on the subject but he 
felt that there was no moral justification for the continued unilateral 
arms embargo against the Bosnian Muslims. "The Muslims must be allowed 
to buy arms and defend themselves", he said.  

Internet service for computer users
By Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Aug. 1: A local company has started on-line Internet services 
for computer users in Pakistan which is the first venture of on-line 
internet link by any company here.

Mr. Arif Iftikhar, Country Manager, Digicom Pakistan said that computer 
users could now connect to the Internet through Digicom's head office in 
Karachi and the Company was offering on-line e-mail as well as other on-
line Internet services to computer users.  

Explaining the present of-line e-mail available in Pakistan, he said 
that it was a store and forward mechanism and a user's message has to 
wait for hours on the service provider's computer before it is sent to a 
user on the Internet, causing unnecessary delays.

The service is operational in Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Faisalabad 
and efforts were under way to bring on-line services to these cities in 
the near future.  Tariffs will be discounted at the PTC rates for users.



=================================================================== 950728 ------------------------------------------------------------------- US loses textile quota case against Pakistan ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From Shaheen Sehbai WASHINGTON, July 27: The United States has lost its textile quota cases against three countries in the Textile Monitoring Body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), clearing the way for Pakistan to file a similar case against Pakistani quota cuts by the US. Thailand, Costa Rica and Honduras have won their case against similar quota cuts in Geneva-decisions which the US Commerce Department officials were waiting for to decide whether to cut Pakistani quotas. "We now hope that the US would desist from cutting Pakistani quotas, but if they do, we have to immediately go to the TMB," a spokesman for Pakistani exporters said in Washington on Thursday. The US side had indicated that a decision about the quota cuts would be taken in two weeks time, apparently after the decision in cases filed by Thailand and other two countries was available. Talks between Pakistan and the United States had failed to break the impasse two weeks back as the US side indicated that it may go ahead to cut 45 percent of Pakistan's bed linen quota for circumvention of third country laws. The US negotiators had refused to accept evidence produced by Pakistan that the product exported to the US through Bangladesh had not originated in Pakistan. Pakistani officials had claimed that evidence showing that Pakistan did not export cotton to Bangladesh and the grey cloth which was exported to Bangladesh was a man-made fibre which did not fall into the category for which the circumvention laws had been invoked had been disregarded by the US. Experts now say the US will have to produce evidence in the TMB that Pakistan was actually responsible for exporting the raw material for products that were exported by Bangladesh. "We will produce all the evidence but the US side could not substantiate their claim that 700,000 pieces of bed sheets were actually made in Pakistan and exported through Bangladesh," the official said. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950731 ------------------------------------------------------------------- WB, Japan advise against Chashma ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From Ihtashamul Haque ISLAMABAD, July 29: The World Bank and the Overseas Economic Co- operation Fund of Japan have told Pakistan that the viability of the Chashma Nuclear Power Project has changed owing to initiation of new power projects in the public sector and the Ghazi Brotha project. According to the Review Mission, "the Chashma Nuclear Project is not part of the least cost solution for meeting Pakistan's electricity requirements. Moreover the prospective demand environment for this project has changed with the success in attracting new private power investments and the initiation of the Ghazi Brotha project, raising doubts about its commercial viability, even on sunk-cost basis (about one-third of the estimated total project cost will have been expanded by the end of 1994-1995). There are also environmental and safety concerns which need to be taken into account. And Pakistan has been advised that the Chashma 1,and 2 projects, costing Rs.30.5 billion should not be considered as high priority investment. "The two small Chashma projects are also not considered high priority investments and therefore should not be included in the Core Programme". The recommendations of the World Bank and the OECF of Japan's Review Mission sources added, seems to supplement the view often expressed by the advocates of the Pakistan's nuclear programme that the enthusiastic response of the American investors as evident in the signing of large Memorandum of Understanding (MoU's) was in fact designed to derail Pakistan's nuclear programme. The 1995-96 PSDP for WAPDA includes Rs.4.8 billion for the Chashma Nuclear Project, Rs.20 million for exploration of uranium, Rs.25 million for the Reshun Hydro project and Rs.3 billion for rural electrification The Review Mission also recommended that instead of pouring huge amount of funds into Chashma Nuclear Project the government should provide Rs.2.5 billion (including Rs.1900 million in foreign currency) for rural electrification during the current financial year. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950731 ------------------------------------------------------------------- US officials to study joint ventures ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Our Staff Reporter KARACHI, July 30: Key officials of Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Company of the US are scheduled to visit Pakistan early next month to explore the possibilities of launching a joint venture private credit rating company. Currency Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) is the lone credit rating firm operating in the country and if the Duff & Phelps form a joint credit rating agency here it would be the second one in the country. According to Vital Information Service (VIS)-a corporate research firm- they are also likely to be a partner in the proposed joint venture credit rating agency. "Duff and Phelps Credit Rating Company is recognised world-wide as a major credit rating agency providing sovereign and corporate credit rating services," a VIS Press release said on Sunday. "D & P has been attracted by VIS which has made worthwhile research efforts for the capital markets of Pakistan," the release said adding that apart from VIS some other leading financial institutions were also likely to be equity holders in the D & P proposed joint venture in Pakistan. The financial and capital markets of the country are likely to get a fillip with the formation of another credit rating agency as it would make available locally the facilities for rating the sovereign risk in addition to a wide horizon of corporate debt risks. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950801 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Prospects of 2nd credit rating agency uncertain ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Mohiuddin Aazim KARACHI, July 31: While the US-based credit rating agency Duff & Phelps looks for a joint venture in the field of credit rating in Pakistan, uncertainty hangs over whether the market regulators would allow a second rating agency coming in within less than one year of the launching of the first rating agency. "We do not really need a second credit rating agency in the near future," said a Corporate Law Authority (CLA) official when asked whether the CLA intended to allow another credit rating firm after Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA). "Let the first rating agency reach its break-even point...let the volume of rating work grow to the extent where a second rating agency come in," he remarked. PACRA Managing Director Javed Masud told Dawn his company was not averse to the idea of the country having a second rating agency. "We would not be wary about any competitor coming in," he said when approached by telephone in Lahore. Established in October last year, PACRA is currently the only credit rating agency in the country and has so far rated four debt instruments and two corporate entities. "From the issuers viewpoint, it is certainly better to have more than one credit rating agency," he said but hastened to add: "The pattern set by many an Asian countries shows that the premier rating agencies have been allowed sufficient time to reach their break-even point before the doors were opened for others." "India which is a far bigger economy than ours took three years to allow a second rating agency come in," he claimed adding the first rating agency in India was set up in 1988 and the second one in 1991. "Besides such countries as Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia all more powerful economies than ours-still have one rating agency each." He said PACRA started rating exercises in February this year and had carried out three ratings during the last six months and added that at least 40 ratings a year would mean that the agency had reached its break-even point. "Presently we have seven analysts each one of whom is capable of carrying out ten ratings a year that puts PACRA rating capacity at 70 ratings per year." The debt instruments so far rated by PACRA include those of Packages Ltd., Sui Southern Gas Ltd., Nishat Tek and LTV Modaraba. Vital Information Service (VIS) Managing Director Faheem Ahmed said VIS had established initial contacts with the CLA to convince them of the necessity of having a second rating agency and added, "the D&P delegation would meet CLA officials during their visit in the first week of August and make presentations about their credit rating work." VIS has been instrumental for the last many months to set up a joint venture credit rating agency in collaboration of D&P and leading local financial institutions. Sources in VIS said the Asian Development Bank, Muslim Commercial Bank and the Karachi Stock Exchange have agreed in principle to form a joint venture credit rating firm in league with the D&P and VIS. He said with the SBP having asked the Non-banking Financial Institutions to go under mandatory credit rating "there is enough work to do which a single credit rating agency may take a long time to clear. Besides, a second credit rating agency would check monopolistic trend and create a competitive environment in the field of credit rating." He said although an understanding existed between D&P and VIP about a possible joint venture no formal agreement has been reached at. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950801 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Cancellation of contract of 2 Swiss firms demanded ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Our Staff Reporter KARACHI, July 31: Mr S.M. Muneer, President, Federation Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has urged the Government to immediately cancel the pre-shipment inspection contract with the two Swiss companies because the excessive over-valuation being done by them was badly damaging the country's economy. Muneer cautioned that if the over-valuation issue was not resolved at the earliest, he would be left with no choice but to call All .Pakistan Businessmen Convention. He said that both the Pre-shipment Inspection Companies have created such a situation where all types of goods imported through regular channels have become costlier and those smuggled into the country are cheaper. S.M. Muneer alleged that the working of both the PSI companies is 'anti- Pakistan,' because they are causing severe damage to the interest of the country. Due to over-valuation by the PSI companies, the cost of all kinds of imported industrial goods, including raw materials have gone up by 40 to 100 percent resulting in higher production cost, he added. He said under such a situation the Pakistani manufacturers could not compete in the world markets as their products have become costlier and if the two PSI companies are allowed to operate the country's exports would fall drastically. The FPCCI chief said that initially the working of the PSI companies was satisfactory but lately somehow they started declaring everyone in this country to be 'dishonest' and invariably loaded each invoice from 40 to 100 percent in their Clean Report of Finding (CRF). He alleged that the valuation of imported goods by PSI companies was so high that even the supplier of goods in foreign countries were perturbed, adding that USA and South Korean Chamber has lodged their concern with the FPCCI in this regard. He said that liaison offices of PSI companies in Karachi and Lahore do not respond to the requests for reconsideration of the excessive valuation given in the CRF. He suggested that Pakistan should have its own valuation system and felt that there was no dearth of skill and knowledge in the country to implement it. He extended FPCCI's and other trade bodies full cooperation to the government on the issue. Muneer said on the instruction of CBR, the FPCCI last week extended an invitation for a meeting to both PSI companies-Cotecna and SGS- to sort out the problems being faced by the business community because of their valuation system. He said that instead of accepting the invitation both demanded a list of participants and the proposed agenda. Commenting on the importance of the meeting he said, that apart from a member of Customs, representative bodies of multinationals like Overseas Chambers of Commerce and Industry and US Businessmen Council would also be attending. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950801 ------------------------------------------------------------------- 1% surcharge on all imports ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report ISLAMABAD, July 31: The federal cabinet has imposed one per cent flood relief surcharge on all imported items which are subject to sales tax for six months to meet relief and rehabilitation requirements of the flood-affected people in the country the surcharge will be withdrawn after six months. No figure was put forward to the amount the government was expecting to get from this surcharge. The cabinet also decided to open sub-branches of the Prime Minister's relief fund in all the four provinces. The fund has already over Rs 500 million in it and with further donations from the well-to-do, the cabinet hoped the requirements of relief and rehabilitation would be sufficiently augmented. To raise additional resources, the cabinet decided that special stamps and coupons would be issued to involve the general public. Information Secretary, Mohammad Akram said the ministers, members of the National Assembly and Senators would contribute their one month's pay towards the fund while the government employees would contribute towards the fund according to their grades. Asked whether the government would accept foreign aid for the flood- affected people, the information secretary said: "Humanitarian assistance from foreign countries wil1 be welcomed." The cabinet also constituted a committee, headed by deputy chairman of planning commission, to review and oversee the relief operations and for formulating and implementing infrastructure restoration and rehabilitation projects. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950801 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bill to amend Forex Act cleared ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report ISLAMABAD, July 31: The federal cabinet on Monday approved a draft bill to amend the Foreign Exchange (Prevention of Payments) Act 1972, to delete clauses which were repugnant to Quran and Sunnah. These clauses have been deleted on the recommendations of Council of Islamic Ideology (Cll). The clauses proposed to be deleted through the draft bill empowered the government to withhold from the declared amount portions due from the repatriator to any person or authority who had claims against him. The proposed amendment wil1 s also take away from the government the power to instruct the adjudicating officer to grant priority to any particular claim in case there were more than one claimant. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950729 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Stock Exchange : Rally on optimism over Govt-MQM parleys ------------------------------------------------------------------------ By Mohammad Aslam STOCKS staged broad rallies during the preceding week on heavy covering purchases spurred by optimism about the success of one-going peace talks despite some snags and a market talk of an agreement between the government and the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM) to restore normality in the city. The Karachi Stock Exchange index of share prices showed a hefty rise of about 68 points at 1,723.80, consolidating well above the psychological barrier of 1,700, which could well be the launching pad for the onward run-up. at the last weekend it was quoted at 1,656.46. Thus, an air of optimism prevailed all around the rings and those who could precisely peep into the future were active buyers at the current levels in bank, energy and cement shares and might not be losers. But leading investors were not inclined to jump to conclusions about the peace talks and decided to keep to the sidelines until Monday, although they covered positions on the safe areas. Floor brokers said technically the market is ripe for a grand rebound and what it needs now is peaceful atmosphere, without killings. Institutional traders were active but on selected counters and until there was general shortcovering at the current lower levels any technical rally might be inconclusive, they maintained. Bulk of the support, therefore, again remained centred around the current favourites under the lead of Faysal Bank, which proved to be the most active scrip, "The index could gain though progressively about another 300 points in due course provided there is a peace agreement," most floor brokers believe. "The market might witness a new buying euphoria at the current lows after the deal," some others said. Analysts said the market has other positive corporate stimulants on which it could rely but its current demand is elimination of violence and peace. The market advance was led by the bank shares, leasing among them showing broad rallies on heavy covering purchases at the current lows. Askari, al Towfeek, Crescent Bank Citicorp, Bank of Punjab, Atlas Bank, Bears Stearns and some others being among the top gainers. ICP, SEMF and LTV Modaraba were among the leading gainers in the modaraba section, while Askari and Union Leasing led by the advance in the leasing group. Much of the activity in the insurance sector was confined to ALICO which after a weak start managed to finish partly recovered but off the best level of well over Rs. 50. But other insurance shares fell under the leading of Adamjee Silver Star and Union Insurance, although Raja Insurance rose. Textile shares were again neglected, on news of problem on the export front owing to falling yarn prices and so did sugar shares despite reports of substantial export business. Heavy buying in Dewan Salman, which rose appreciably featured the trading in the synthetics where all other active also rose amid active deals. After a weak start cement scrips came in for active support and rose in general, major gainers among them being Cherat, Dandot, D.G. Khan, Fecto and Pakland Cement. Energy shares showed two-way movement on reported rolling of position from one counters to the other Mari Gas, National Refinery, Nishat Tek and some other rose but Shell Pakistan fell. Hub-Power among them remained centre of activity moving either-way and so did auto shares barring Honda atlas, which rose followed by news of good production results for the last year. All the transport shares were actively traded under the lead of PTC vouchers followed actively by PIAC, PNSC and Tri-Star shipping on various positive news. Chemicals, however, did not follow the market's general line of action as some leading among them. remained under pressure under the lead of Wellcome Pakistan, Pakgum, Ciba-Geigy, and Reckitt and Colman. Parke-Davis, ICI Pakistan, Engro Chemicals, Searle and some other rose. Other big gainers were led by Security Safe Deposit company after the news of management change and a right issue, Lever Brothers, Universal Leather, Cherat Paper, Saif Textiles 4th ICP and Hino Pak Motors, which showed good gains at the fag-end of the week on heavy covering purchases. Volume soared to 58 million shares from the previous week's 39.249 million shares owing to heavy short-covering in most of the current favourites at the current lows. Faysal Bank led the list of most active, accounting for well over 18 million shares followed by PTC shares, which was relegated to the secondary position. Hub-Power, Askari Bank Dewan Salman and Dhan Fibre followed. LTV Modaraba burst into activity over the week after several months relative quietness on strong buying followed by PIAC, Lucky Cement, Maple Leaf Cement, Bankers Equity after the news of its privatisation and so did Sui Northern. Other actively traded shares were led by Bank of Punjab, Genertech, KESC, Century Paper, and Pakistan Synthetics. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950803 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Taiwan imposes anti-dumping duty on Pakistani yarn ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana KARACHI, Aug. 2: After completing investigations initiated against spinners and exporters about 9 months back, the Taiwanese government in its final decision has proposed imposition of anti-dumping tariff of 5.60% on Pakistani yarn. According to reports reaching here, on completing findings based on the questionnaire issued to 13 spinning mills late last year, Ministry of Finance, Government of Taiwan has proposed punitive duties in the range of 1.4 to 5.60 percent on these mills. The decision conveyed to the legal advisors of the All-Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), in Taipei and transmitted to Karachi on Aug. 1, 1995, further stated that Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Economic Affairs, have also proposed to slap a maximum anti-dumping duty of 5.60 percent on all the other Pakistani manufacturers and exporters of cotton and cotton mixed yarn of metric count 14 - 52 (English count 8 to 31). Before these punitive duties are made effective, the Ministry of Economic Affair, Government of Taiwan will give another opportunity on Aug. 15, 1995, to both the sides i.e. Taiwan Textile Industry Association (TTIA) and the Pakistan manufacturers and exporters represented by APTMA, to give view points in their defence. After hearing both the sides, according to Taiwanese laws approval of the Custom Duty Committee would also be needed to bring the anti- dumping duties into effect. The Pakistani spinning mills have been penalised with the following duties: Shahpur (1.43%), Ramzan (1.63%), Din (4.50%), AlAzhar (3.25%), Gulistan (1.24%), Gulshan (nil), Ghazi (5.60%), Kohinoor- (2.90%), Mahmood (4.77%), Arain (5.60%), Crescent (5.60%) and Fateh (5.60%). The dumping duty sought by the TTIA was of the order of 50% and the period under investigation was from May 1, 1994 to Oct. 31, 1994. The annual export of all types of yarn to Taiwan during 1994 was about $ 145 million. The proposed punitive duties of the Taiwanese government coinciding with the Japanese decision to go ahead with the anti-dumping duties on yarn imports from Pakistan from Aug. 4, send shock waves in the textile circles who strongly believe that this could prove a fatal blow to the crisis-ridden industry. The industry circles are highly critical of the manner the government handled the Japanese issue of anti-dumping and are of the opinion that had the matter taken up at higher political level, there would have been no punitive duty. Requesting anonymity a spinner said: 'The government seems to have no time to look into the problems faced by the country's manufacturing sector which contributes over 60% in revenue to the rational exchequer but it was always ready to assist landlords and feudals who hardly pay 1 percent in taxes.' Having no diplomatic relations with Taiwan, he said, Pakistan does not have a chance to take up the issue at international forums such as WTO which was possible in the Japanese case. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950729 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ The Business & Financial Week ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ~The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will provide $40 million to three leasing Modarbas for enhancing their lending capability. ~The government's target of $ 531,65 from earnings from tourist may not materialise owing to the volatile law and order situation, in addition to the closing of the Chamman and Torkham borders, according to sources of the Ministry of Tourism. ~The federal government has allowed exporters to obtain guarantee of Rs.1 million for pre-shipment financing from the Export Credit Guarantee Scheme of the Pakistan Insurance Corporation. ~A special programme has been chalked out for the modernisation of surgical units at Sialkot. This was recently stated by a source of the Export Promotion Bureau of Pakistan. ~The Middle East Trade Fair 1996 is to be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre next year from February 25 to march 2. ~The Punjab Labour and Manpower Secretary, Mohammad Khalil Bhatti has said that poverty was the main cause of child labour and economic inequality adding that factors like burgeoning population, lack of educational facilities and ignorance had further aggravated the problem. ~Banana production in Sindh rose by 108.57 percent, from 27,783 tonnes in 1993 to 49,605 tonnes in 1994, a development which officials attribute to better crop management. ~Cotton growers experts, and traders are certain that thus far, the recent rains have had a very beneficial effect on the cotton crop. A joint survey of around 100 sick textile mills is being carried out by the governmental agencies and Aptma to ascertain the correct and factual position as regards the plants physical condition and the machinery. ~Recovery from community and social services in the Punjab is almost one-eighth of what the government spends on them, according to official sources. ~The government has just borrowed Rs 9.365 billion from banking institutions, mostly government-run banks. ~The government has decided to import pulses worth $10 million on account of an impending shortfall of 1000,000 reliable sources said recently. ~Malik Abdul Rehman Khar, Punjab Minister and Chairman Punjab Small Industries Corporation, said recently that 16 new industrial estates would be establishes under a phased programme at the district level to promote industrial growth. ~The Oil and Gas Development Corporation (OGDC) has worked out a Rs 8 billion investment programme for 1995-96 including Rs 3.7 billion in foreign exchange. ~Labour Minister Ghulam Akbar Lasi said recently that remittances from Pakistanis working overseas reached $ 1.5 billion last year as against $1.3 billion a year earlier. ~Local manufacturers of paper and board have increased prices by Rs 3,000 per tonne, justifying the step on grounds of the "recent surge in gas and electricity tariffs". ~The privatisation of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines may be delayed by six months to a year because of massive political appointments made during the last nine months. ~Beijing recently debunked a compromise bill on China passed by the House of Representatives as "Gross interference", demanding Washington to take concrete measures to prevent the passage of the bill in the Senate. ~Russia and Libya recently signed trade and technical co-operation accords recently worth $1.5 billion, including Russia's help for Libya's embargo-hit industry. ____________________________________________________________ DAWNFacts*DAWNFacts*DAWNFacts*DAWNFacts*DAWNFacts*DAWNFacts* DAWN FACTS Another first from the DAWN Group of Newspapers --- the people who Brought you the first on-line newspaper out of Pakistan --- comes DAWN Facts, a new and powerful Fax-on-Demand service, the first service of its kind in Pakistan, which gives you access to a range of information and services. Covering all spheres of life, the services arms you with facts to guide you through the maze of life, corporate and private, in Pakistan. With information on the foreign exchange rates, stock market movements, the weather and a complete entertainment guide, in short all the facts that one might need to survive in Pakistan, DAWN Facts is your one-stop source of information. DAWN Facts is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! DAWN Facts - (0092)-(021) 111-777-111 DAWNFacts*DAWNFacts*DAWNFacts*DAWNFacts*DAWNFacts*DAWNFacts* ------------------------------------------------------------------- SUBSCRIBE TO HERALD TODAY ! ------------------------------------------------------------------- Every month the Herald captures the issues, the pace and the action, shaping events across Pakistan's lively, fast-moving current affairs spectrum. Subscribe to Herald and get the whole story. 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=================================================================== 950728 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Give and take, yes, but also a sense of urgency ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From the editorial column THE Prime Minister is right when, in referring to the talks with the MQM, she says that in politics dialogue means a bit of give-and-take. She is also right in trying to dispel the impression of any deadlock in the talks which are now to be held once again on the 31st of this month. Indeed, there is nothing very strange if in negotiations over something as admittedly complicated as the situation in Karachi, one side or both seek clarifications of the other's negotiating stance. It is equally true, however, that dialogue should not mean stonewalling, playing for time or seeking to find out the meaning of relatively unimportant things. The present hiatus in the talks would not have amounted to anything if there was not already a gulf of mistrust between the two sides-the government and the MQM. Given the existence of such a gulf, the first prerequisite for anything to come out of the current talks is the creation of a climate of trust and understanding, an objective which will scarcely be advanced if there are any more breakdowns and if Mr N.D. Khan and Mr Ajmal Dehlvi, representing respectively the government and the MQM in the talks, once again enter into a semantic debate over the meaning of the words 'deadlock' and 'difficulties'. The situation in Karachi is too serious to be treated in a cavalier fashion. Both sides must, therefore, show a greater sense of responsibility than they have hitherto been able to do. They also must show a greater sense of urgency because negotiations cannot be dragged on forever unless, of course, no one is interested in a solution. As far as creating a better climate is concerned, it would also help if, somehow, the interior minister, General Nasirullah Babar, could be persuaded to desist from some of the statements he is so fond of making. Whether his obiter dicta do any conceivable good is extremely doubtful. But that they raise suspicious thoughts in minds already predisposed to think the worst of the government's intentions is fairly certain. General Babar would be doing the nation a favour if he could control his utterances about the situation in Karachi at least until the duration of the talks. The matter of calling the MQM the Altaf Group rather than by its proper name (understandably a sticking point with the MQM) is also something which defies belief. The MQM is the MQM, otherwise there would have been little sense in the government talking to it. Besides, if the MQM was just a group and not a mass organisation which has Karachi in its thrall, the country's largest city would not have been facing its present crisis. It is worth no one's dignity to make this point an issue. There is another matter which we would also like to touch, albeit somewhat gingerly. As long as the talks continue and there is some hope, however tenuous, of something coming from them, there might be wisdom in going slow with the mopping-up operations being conducted by the security forces in various parts of Karachi. Admittedly, the maintenance of law and order is a permanent responsibility in which there can be no breaks for any reason. But considering the poor law and order record in Karachi not only over the last several months but the last several years, there ashould be no harm in laying the heavy stick aside if doing so should help improve the climate in which the talks are being conducted. Above all, however, it is the Prime Minister as chief executive of the country who must provide the impetus for the talks to succeed. It is for her to ensure that the talks do not again get bogged down in semantics and that the larger objective-bringing peace to Karachi-remains before the two sides when they sit again across the negotiating table. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950731 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Women in Parliament ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From the editorial column THE agreement in Islamabad between three major political parties to revive the reserved seats for women in parliament will be widely welcomed. Of course, it will have to be seen whether the accord is honoured by the top leadership of each party and if endorsed, how promptly and smoothly the process of amending the Constitution is instituted. The Aurat Foundation, an NGO working for the welfare of women, did a good job in bringing the major parties which together command a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly on a common platform on this issue. The move could not have been more timely. Ever since the constitutional provision for reserved seats for women in the National Assembly lapsed in 1990, Pakistan's women have been denied their share of representation in the legislature. Unfortunately, the factors which prompted the authors of the 1973 Constitution to provide for reserved seats for women have not changed and women have yet to enter the national mainstream in a big way. Although they are now joining various professions in larger numbers than before, they are still relatively unrepresented in politics, the election of a woman prime minister notwithstanding. This has negative implications for women in all sectors of life because their point of view often fails to get any attention at the decision making levels. Admittedly, the representation of women in parliament world-wide is generally low. Of course, in the Scandinavian countries where women enjoy a high status they hold 42 per cent of the total seats (as in Sweden). But at the other end of the spectrum are Muslim states like Kuwait and the U.A.E which do not allow women to vote, let alone seek election. The conference of women parliamentarians from Muslim countries which is opening in Islamabad on Tuesday will perhaps deliberate on this sorry fact. But Pakistan's case is in a way more deplorable because it is probably the only country where the number of women MPs has declined. It fell from 24 in 1988 to a negligible four today. The ratio is the second lowest in South Asia, after Bhutan which has no female legislator. One does not really have to argue the case for greater representation of women in parliament because the need for this is widely acknowledged. In fact, all major political parties in the country both in the government and in the opposition-had promised in their election manifestos to restore the reserved seats. Their failure to do so until now underscores their propensity to capitalise on the issue for political purposes. Each has been seeking a quid pro quo for agreeing to a package of constitutional amendments which would include the women's seats question. Now that they have agreed to separate this issue from the package, one can hope that the matter will not be delayed much further. Since this question has been thrown open to debate, new ideas have come up for consideration from women activists, constitutional experts and politicians. Some have questioned the wisdom of a system in which the women MPs were elected indirectly. It was believed to have robbed them of their independence as they owed their elections to male legislators. Others have suggested direct election of female MPs by women voters, which could prove as outlandish an idea as that of minority MPs being elected by the voters of their own community. Rather than experimenting with some fanciful ideas, it has been wisely decided to revive the old arrangement with the addition of nine reserved seats for women in the Senate which did not exist before. The objective should be to induct a larger number of women in politics and law-making so that the input of their ideas, views and concerns enriches the parliamentary process. Women should also be enabled to enter local bodies by reserving seats for them in those institutions; their impact would be greater at that level. Political parties should also be encouraged (maybe required under an amendment in the Political Parties Act) to field more women candidates in elections on general seats than they do at present. The ANP in South Africa promised to have 50 per cent women on its list of candidates in the 1994 elections. As a result, 25 per cent of MPs in South Africa today are women without having any seats reserved for them. Until more women enter the political mainstream, reserved seats for them will remain a prime necessity as well as a vital nudge in that direction. Now that an agreement has been reached on the issue, the government should make haste with the necessary preparation for moving the Parliament on the question of restoration of women's seats. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950802 ------------------------------------------------------------------- What it takes to break the stalemate ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From the editorial column EVEN if wisdom does not grow on trees, and even if it be not given to everyone to eat its fruits, the plea that we would make in the context of the current impasse in the talks between the government and the ;MQM is not for anything, extraordinary but for ordinary, everyday wisdom. Why did the MQM side fail to show up for the talks on the 31st in Islamabad? For reasons that sound shockingly pedestrian if set against the enormity of what is at stake in the continued turmoil in Karachi. In asking the government that it should be called by its proper name the MQM is not demanding any strategic concession. How right is Mr. Amjad Dehlavi when he says that if the government was so interested in holding talks' with the Altaf Group,: then it should hunt out this animal wherever it could be found. And to think that while Karachi cries out for some relief from the anguish and pain from which it suffers, what was supposed to have been the current round of talks has floundered on the rocks of this semantic absurdity. No one should compromise on principles but then in politics as much as in everyday life one should be able to see the difference between a principle and a mountain which has been raised out of a molehill. What strains belief furthermore is the government's disdainful attitude towards both the spirit of the talks and towards the MQM in that even when MQM spokesmen were proclaiming from the housetops that their side would not appear for the talks unless the issue of its name was settled, the government still felt not under the slightest compulsion to contact the MQM. This is no way to conduct any talks. If we may say so, this is also no way to conduct the business of the state. Either the government is serious about the current talks, in which case it should don the mantle of maturity and realism. 'Or it is playing for time, in which case there is no point in going on with what would then amount to a charade. This is not to say that the MQM is floating on a sea of purity. It too has blinkers on its eyes, something which can be gauged from the sweeping and uncompromising nature of some of its demands. But in this dialogue of the deaf and the blind it is the government which has by far the greater responsibility to see that matters are settled with the MQM and a modicum of peace is brought back to a virtually embattled city. This is not a small objective and it will not be gained by a small-minded approach. Even if the MQM is guilty of allowing a spirit of maximalism to color its approach to the talks, it is for the government, as the embodiment of the state and the Pakistani people, to soften the rough edges of the MQM's demands, so that a crisis whose shadows are looming over the entire country is thereby resolved. But this it will only succeed in doing if with wisdom (admittedly a commodity in short supply) it is able to add a measure of generosity. In this connection, there is no point in disguising the harsh reality that a recourse to the stick as a means of pacifying the MQM has come to a sticky end. All the more reason therefore, for the government to be committed to the success of the talks with the MQM because no alternatives are on offer. Even now it is not too late to pick up the threads of this tattered dialogue provided the government makes a distinction between strategy and tactics. No one will blame it if it is firm as regards the first. But regarding the second it should be infinitely flexible. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950728 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Child labour: Hoodwinking will not help ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Dr Zareen Fatima Naqvi RECENTLY the government made a rather ridiculous announcement on the issue of child and bonded labour in Pakistan. According to the official sources reported in the newspapers on July 23, 1995: "The menace of child labour or bonded labour no more exists in Pakistan. Pakistan stands distinct in implementing recommendations of ILO to the extent much more than several developed countries. The propaganda against Pakistan is aimed at hampering the country's efforts to boost exports, particularly from the cottage industry like hand-woven carpets." In explaining the recent child labour controversy in the carpet industry, the government sources said: "The carpet industry in the country has now been working totally free of child labour. The carpet manufacturers have themselves decided not to hire child labour in carpet manufacturing since they have realised that skilled labour alone can help them compete in the international markets." In explaining the motives for the negative propaganda on child labour, the official said that. "In order to divert attention of world opinion from gross violations of human rights in held Kashmir, anti-Pakistan lobbies are trying to confound to spoil efforts of the government of Pakistan at international forums in highlighting the situation in held Kashmir." To say that child labour and bonded labour has been eliminated in Pakistan is totally wrong. This is a typical reaction from Islamabad i.e. to deny the problem and call it Indian propaganda. The governments officials should do better than make such ridiculous and wrong statements. Instead they should come up with a sensible and serious strategy to deal with this important and humanitarian issue in Pakistan. According to estimates, there are approximately 10 million child workers in Pakistan (source: The Child and the State in India and Pakistan, OUP 1995). One does not have to look far to find examples of children working in workshops, shops, restaurants and as domestic servants in houses. Children work in industries like, engineering, metallurgy, dyeing and weaving, cement, match-making, fireworks and explosives, soap-making, and also in predominately export-oriented industries such as carpets, garments, leather, sports goods etc., Many of these children work in extremely hazardous occupations, for long hours for a fraction of adult wages. The use of child labour is mainly in the unregistered and the informal sector. In the registered units in manufacturing and services sectors, there may be better compliance with child labour laws, but there are serious anomalies in the laws themselves. There is not even standardisation in the definition of a child worker where the age of a child is defined between 12 and 18 years. To state that Pakistan complies with ILO recommendations in child labour, as quoted by the official source, may at best be true for a very small segment of the workforce in the large-scale manufacturing and services sectors. There may be some truth that anti-Pakistan forces have used the child labour issue to malign Pakistan in the international arena. This was especially true in the Iqbal Masih murder case, where the Bonded Labour Liberation Front (BLLF) accused the carpet industry for the murder, whereas independent inquiry by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and other government sources found the claim to be unfounded. The Indian carpet industry and NGOs raised the issue of child labour abuse in Pakistan in relation to this case. But it is the Western media, labour groups, NGOs and governments which have taken up this issue at a much serious level than the "propaganda" from across the border. The cancellation of carpet and sports goods export orders for alleged child labour abuse have come from the US, Germany, Australia, the UK, etc., The recent removal of "guest of honour" status at the Comptoir Suisse fair has come from Switzerland. It is not India but our major trading partners who will hit us where it hurts most on this issue. To think that the issue of child and bonded labour would go away in the near future is just myopic and wishful thinking by our government. If "the US government and international opinion makers had expressed their satisfaction over Pakistan's record with regard to bonded labour" this year, it does not mean that this issue will not reappear in the future. There are powerful reasons for this thorny issue to remain on the horizon. The changing global economic scenario is generating strong pressures for all countries to maintain or gain competitiveness in international markets. The slow economic growth and unemployment in the US and European Union countries has led to demand for protectionist polices, particularly from strong labour unions and industries that compete with developing countries' exports. On the other hand, the latest round of GATT agreements and establishment of World Trade Organisation (WTO) is likely to change the rules of the game in world trade. Whereas the dominance of the North in world trade has been somewhat diluted by agreements such as the phased removal of MFA, better market access and trade in services, and so on, at the same time, agreements on intellectual property rights, phytosanitary and environmental standards, anti-dumping, etc. have given the developed countries the card to practise more covert forms of trade discrimination against their rivals in the South. Although child labour laws are not part of the GATT/WTO agreements now, it is quite likely that they may become part of international trade agreements in the future. It is also possible that in reaction to the perceived losses in traditional areas of dominance in world trade, the developed countries, and even developing countries with good record on child labour, may discriminate against our exports in the future. These are just a few external reasons why this issue has to be dealt with sensibly and expeditiously. It is unfortunate that we now have to deal with child labour problems in reaction to Western trade and media pressures. Ideally, we should have taken up this issue because child and bonded labour is a denial of rights of children. It impairs their health and growth. It denies children access to education and limits their horizons. It not only harms the child but has serious negative consequences for society as a whole. What should be a good strategy to deal with the problem of child labour? Firstly, in order to grasp the extent of the problem we need to get some hard statistics on the existence of child and bonded labour in Pakistan. To my knowledge, a few localised surveys have been conducted by NGOs but no national survey has been undertaken. One reason why the Indian carpet industry was able to exploit the Iqbal Masih case to its advantage was because they are way ahead of us in combating this issue. The Indian journal Margin (October/ December, 1994), recently reported the results of a survey conducted in the carpet belt of Uttar Pradesh with the collaboration of the carpet industry and government. The survey found almost no decline in the incidence of child labour in the carpet industry, but it did find increase in literacy levels of the child workers, reduction in average working hours and an increase in average age. This has been attributed to the implementation of sensible government regulation regarding child labour. The Indian carpet producers seem to have realised that unless these measures are taken, they will suffer losses. Compared to our competitors, the Pakistani carpet industry seems to be clueless on many aspects of child and bonded employment in their own industry. The recent measures which have been initiated to deal with child labour in Pakistan-7 years rigorous imprisonment for hiring children, vigilance committees, public awareness campaigns and invitation to foreign NGO's to court hearings of Iqbal Masih case-seem too ineffectual compared to those of our competitors. It has to be realised that child labour is a symptom of poverty. In many reported surveys of children in developing countries, a sizeable percentage state that their incomes are critical for their family. The moralistic element in the Western reaction to child labour has to be dealt with squarely. Reading the history of child labour in many developed countries, one finds that it was not eliminated overnight. As relative wealth of nations increased or their expansionist role became important, Western countries started viewing children as investments or assets and notions of compulsory education and elimination of child labour became acceptable. In several countries, religious groups adopted the goal of compulsory education as a means to salvation. For example, the idea that deluder Satan kept people from learning the Scriptures led to the passing of the Old Deluder Satan Law in Massachusetts in 1647. While one has to counter the moral high ground from which the Western pressure groups often approach the child labour issue, one has to generate domestic awareness and get on with taking action on this front. Denying the problem or hoodwinking it will not help at all.
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

SCOTLAND, land of Sir Walter Scott, land of highlands and lowlands, is a 
beautiful country inhabited by Scotsmen who more than appreciate the 
value of money. Once upon a time Scotsmen built very fine ships, and 
they still distil very fine whisky.  

I lived in Scotland for some time whilst our good ship, 'Ohrmazd', was 
being built in Burntisland on the Firth of Forth, and I learnt a lot 
from  the dour Scots. Whenever I ended an argument with my shipbuilders 
by telling the managing director, Howard Johnson, that money, money, 
money was all he talked about all the time, that money was not every 
thing in life, his answer would be, "Ay lad, money may not be everything 
but it runs a very close second to whatever comes first."  

Apart from money being an item of necessity, it is also an extremely 
sensitive commodity, and it can fly away with the greatest of ease as it 
recently did from Mexico. It always seeks safety, and those lending or 
investing naturally wish to remain assured of the credibility and 
solvency of the borrower. As an illustration of its sensitivity, I quote 
from  The Times of July 22: "Many strange events move stock markets-but 
few stranger than a moustache. When Poland's charismatic President Lech 
Walesa returned from holiday earner this month, his exuberant facial 
trademark had gone. "Nervous aides aware of how fickle the investment 
community can be-they move funds in and out of countries on far flimsier 
pretexts-warned him of the dire consequences. Poland has to compete 
against rivals such as the Czech Republic and Hungary to attract inward 
investment, and much of it comes from the UK.  

"A clearly relieved aide told Weekend Money yesterday, 'The official 
version we are giving out is that the President inadvertently cut his 
moustache very short when he was on holiday. But now he has agreed to 
grow it again and it is progressing well.'..."

This speaks volumes for the necessity and benefits of 'damage control'.  

Where were our damage control mechanics when the deputy speaker of the 
Punjab Assembly informed the Press the other day that were Benazir and 
Chattha to appoint a donkey as chief minister it would have his support? 
Benazir and Chattha undoubtedly smirked with self satisfaction at this 
declaration and the deputy must now be hoping to be rewarded for his 
loyalty by being promoted to speaker. However, such a remarks is not 
likely to enhance the stating of our government in the eyes of any 
foreign banker or investor.
Another case in point: on July 8 in Kuala Lumpur our Prime Minister told 
the international Press that the turmoil in Karachi would have no effect 
upon the rush of foreign investors bent on investing in Pakistan, and 
that "Karachi unrest won't hurt Pakistan." Three days later, on July 11, 
this news item appeared in the American Press:
"Moody's Investors Service has lowered the foreign currency debt rating 
of Pakistan to B1 from Ba3. As a consequence, the rating on the Republic 
of Pakistan's $150 million Eurobond issue due December 1999 has been 
downgraded from Ba3 to B1.
"Moody's said that recent economic policy slippages suggest a lack of 
commitment to the reform process agreed with the International Monetary 
Fund and other official creditors which may weaken anticipated financial 
support. In addition, continued unrest in Karachi, the country's 
financial centre, represents an impediment to political stability as 
well as economic activity and exports. The violent confrontation in 
Karachi is also likely to have long-term negative implications for the 
potential foreign investment that is crucially important for the 
development of the country's infrastructure."
The fact that the Bond issue was not fully subscribed when floated at 
the end of 1994 and that the underwriters had to act as the undertakers 
did weigh with Moody's.
This investor's service rating is highly regarded in the wealthy world 
from  which all us unfortunate poor seek dole. It rates country risks, 
banks, companies and individuals. The categories of rating are finely 
tuned, each category having its own gradation. The long-term foreign 
currency debt rating is bifurcated in two, the investment grade and the 
speculative grade. The investment grade starts at Aaa which has the top 
rating of (1) and it goes all the way down to Baa3 rated at (10). The 
speculative grade starts with Bal at (11) and descends to C at (19).
A reading of Moody's detailed rating definitions may enlighten our 
financial men (many of whom may not even have heard of Moody's):  

Aaa: Bonds which are rated Aaa are judged to be of the best quality. 
They carry the smallest degree of investment risk and are generally 
referred to as "gilt-edged." Interest payments are protected by a large 
or by an exceptionally stable margin and principal is secure. While the 
various protective elements are likely to change, such changes as can be 
visualised are most unlikely to impair the fundamentally strong position 
of such issues.  

Aal to Aa3: Bonds which are rated Aa are judged to be of high quality by 
all standards. Together with the Aaa group they comprise what are 
generally known as high-grade bonds. They are rated lower than the best 
bonds because margins of protection may not be as large as in Aaa 
securities or fluctuation of protective elements may be of greater 
amputated or there may be other elements present which make the long 
term risk appear somewhat larger than the Aaa securities.
A1 to A3: Bonds which are rated A possess many favourable investment 
attributes and are to be considered as upper-medium-grade obligations. 
Factors giving security to principal and interest are considered 
adequate, but elements may be present which suggest a susceptibility to 
impairment some tune in the future.  

Baal to Baa3: Bonds which are rated Baa are considered as medium-grade 
obligations (i.e. they are neither highly protected nor poorly secured). 
Interest payments and principal security appear adequate for the present 
but certain protective elements may be lacking or may be 
characteristically unreliable over any great length of time. Such bonds 
lack outstanding investment characteristics and in fact have speculative 
characteristics as well.  

Bal to Ba3: Bonds which are rated Ba are judged to have speculative 
elements; their future cannot be considered as well-assured. Often the 
protection of interest and principal payments may be very moderate and 
thereby not well safeguarded during both good and bad times over the 
future. Uncertainty of position characterises bonds of this class.  

B1 to B3: Bonds which are rated B generally lack characteristics of the 
desirable investment. Assurance of interest and principal payments or of 
maintenance of other terms of the contract over any long period of time 
may be small.
Caa, Ca, C: Poor standing, poorer standing, extremely poor prospect. 
At the end of last year, Pakistan was rated at Ba3 (13) in the lower 
speculative grade. It has now been downgraded to B1(14). In simple terms 
this means that money, each dollar, will now cost us more. There is very 
little water under our keel. In comparison, the other half of our once 
whole, India, still remains rated at Baa3 (10), in the higher investment 

Unbelievably, we do not have a fully dedicated finance minister. Our 
minister for tourism, sports and culture, for the environment, for 
communications, for health, is our prime minister. Additionally, though 
completely innocent of state finance, she heads the finance ministry and 
is aided and abetted by a nodding minister of state and a handful of 
advisers specially chosen for their ability to acquiesce.  

The sycophants must realise that the economy cannot be sustained by mere 
propaganda and by those billions of dollars worth of non-performing 
promises, the MoU's. They should remember the shameful part played not 
so very long ago by their brothers- in-crime in neighbouring brotherly 

The oleaginous well-heeled grovellers of Iran first persuaded King 
Mohammad Raza Pahlevi (installed upon his throne by the Western powers), 
that he was not only a king but the King of Kings, the Shahinshah. Not 
satisfied, they convinced him that he was the Emperor of the Iranian 
Empire, the Aryameher. It did not stop there. They further convinced him 
that he was the spiritual heir of Cyrus, the great Achaemenian. Spurred 
on, the born-to- rule Shah, his family and cronies enriched themselves 
at the expense of the kingdom and its impoverished people. Not one 
transaction could be completed without them all claiming their huge 
cuts. Vast amounts of money were stolen, squandered, and whisked away. 
By divine right, the country was plundered and raped.  

When finally 'The Shadow of God on Earth' fell and died, out of the 
1,648,000 square kilometres over which he had ruled his body was not 
accorded even two square metres of land in which to rest.

The Singapore solution
By Mazdak

IN ancient times, a messenger who had the misfortune to bring bad news 
to the king was often killed. Since this role has now fallen to the 
media, it is journalists who face the sovereign's wrath for reporting 
ill tidings.  

After Zia's stranglehold on the Press was loosened on his death, 
Pakistan's print media has made remarkable progress. Indeed, we can 
boast of some of the liveliest and freest publications in the Muslim 
world. Benazir Bhutto can claim much of the credit for this as her first 
government removed a number of restraints, including newsprint quotas, 
the system of Press advice, overt bribery through government advertising 
and the demeaning necessity for journalists to obtain No Objection 
Certificates from the information ministry before they could travel 

The requirements for starting a new publication were also simplified, 
and many journals that appear today owe their existence to that period 
of glasnost. Although many in the PPP partly blame the Press for their 
government's untimely removal, in retrospect, it merely gave the 
Establishment one more excuse to carry out a decision that had already 
been taken. But during her time in the opposition, the print media 
served Benazir Bhutto well, as sympathetic journalists supported her and 
her party, countering the barrage of propaganda churned out by a captive 
radio and TV, as well as by Nawaz Sharif's paid hacks.  

This time around, however, the liberal instinct is clearly missing in 
the government's attitude towards the Press. Journalists are kept at 
arm's length, and the emphasis is on media management and spin control 
rather than on openness and easy access. Poor governance and rumours of 
corruption have dogged this administration since its earliest days; 
indeed, this is true of all recent governments in Pakistan.  

For whatever reason, the PDF government regards the liberal Press as an 
adversary. For their part, independent journalists have continued doing 
their job which is to expose and comment on corruption and inefficiency 
in high places. However, government media managers have never understood 
that this adversarial role is central to the working of a free Press in 
a democracy. For this, our information ministry functionaries can be 
excused because their resentment and dislike are shared by their 
counterparts across the world, although they are often better concealed. 

In Malaysia and Singapore-two countries with very tightly controlled 
democracies-the local Press functions under severe restrictions. And 
when the foreign media step out of line, the governments try and control 
them through a variety of methods. For instance, The Economist of London 
was banned for months in Singapore a year or so ago for its critical 
reporting; it has been allowed to return after a compromise was worked 
out whereby the weekly has agreed to publish the government's point of 
view where it disagrees with a report or comment printed in the 
magazine. Malaysia threatened to stop doing business with British firms 
after the government was accused of corruption in the media in England. 
This ban was lifted after members of the British government appeased the 

Insofar as legal action is taken against publications that deliberately 
distort the truth, the government is well within its rights. But a clear 
distinction needs to be drawn between straight reporting and political 
comment: the former purports to present the facts whereas the latter 
expresses an independent view on the situation as it is perceived by a 
columnist. Without claiming a licence to distort the truth, I would 
suggest that the world over, columnists express their opinions-often 
jaundiced and occasionally biased- to make a point without necessarily 
wishing to harass or hurt.  

One reason the government has chosen to sue publications in foreign 
courts is the perception that our libel laws are deficient and our legal 
system dilatory. Indeed, I know of nobody who has sued a newspaper 
successfully in Pakistan. There is a clear need to strengthen 
legislation relating to defamation and character-assassination, and to 
speed up the legal process. Alternatively-or in parallel-a Press Council 
comprising editors, publishers and journalists can act as a kind of 
media ombudsman attending to complaints of distortion and libel. 
Hearings could be held in a specific time-frame, and if it is 
established that an individual or an institution has been unjustly 
defamed by a publication, a full apology would be printed. Short of 
naming an anonymous source, the onus of proving that it was justified in 
running an article or a news item that caused offence would rest with 
the editor. This provision would encourage journalists to exercise due 
care about facts before rushing to print.  The matter of contempt of 
court has caused much controversy because this is such a poorly defined 
legal area. Some judges have been more sensitive of any breach of their 
dignity than others, so the entire issue has become subjective, varying 
in interpretation from one bench to another. This has caused 
considerable confusion among reporters and columnists because one report 
or column can get away with implicit criticism of a judge or judgement 
while another causes the editor and publisher to be hauled up before an 
offended bench. Clearly, some guidelines need to be laid down so the 
Press knows where it stands.  However, it must be added that our higher 
judiciary should keep in mind that by and large judges in other 
democracies very seldom take shelter behind, contempt laws, permitting 
their conduct and judgements to be freely discussed and criticised in 
the media.
The public's need to know must outweigh considerations of privacy and 
dignity within the bounds of decency and national security. This is the 
essence of a democratic dispensation, and without it, the Press cannot 
play its role of a watchdog. It is not always easy  to strike a balance, 
but we have the example of other democracies before us. The important 
thing to remember is that irrespective of which government is in power, 
a free Press will be in an adversarial relationship with it. This is the 
name of the game, and frankly, it makes for a livelier Press. Apart from 
these mundane considerations, the public has certain expectations from 
the government of the day which-in a developing country like Pakistan - 
cannot be met.
Even in the unlikely event of our getting a clean and efficient 
government, the gap between unmet needs and scarce resources will 
continue to yawn, thus ensuring the presence of a hard core of 
discontent. In addition, journalists tend to be an irreverent lot who 
delight in deflating pompous public figures and in digging out dirt in 
high places. Thus, those in power will always feel that a section of the 
Press is "out to get them." This paranoia results is knee-jerk reactions 
like the ones we have been witnessing recently. But politicians would do 
well to remember that the very Press they try to muzzle when they are in 
power gives them space and sympathy when they are in the opposition, 
ignored or reviled by the government-controlled electronic media.  

In short, for Pakistan, the Singapore solution is no solution. 

Genesis of the crisis
By Mushtaq Ahmad

THE nerve-racking violence that has wrecked the peace and tranquillity 
of Karachi over the past six months, and in the process virtually 
paralysed the economic life of the entire country, is an unprecedented 
phenomenon. The death toll is sufficiently large and the injuries far 
too many to permit a lesser description than bloodbath. The plight of 
the population could not be allowed to continue any longer without 
causing widespread consternation and chaos. 
A New Yorker is proud of his city and so is a Parisian of Paris and a 
Londoner of London. But the citizens of Karachi, or for that matter of 
Pakistan, have to hang their heads in shame for the tragic happenings, 
which have made life in the metropolis a nightmarish experience. the 
city of breezes for which a bright future was forecast by the Quaid has 
almost relapsed into a state of anarchy, reminiscent of the state of 
nature before its progression into civil society when the war of each 
against all had ceased.  

We cannot boast of getting ready to enter the twenty-first century with 
a Kalashnikov culture. In the age of new technology which has wrought 
miracles in the world of science, the progress mankind can achieve in a 
short span was unheard of in the centuries we have left behind. To keep 
pace with the march of time, Pakistan cannot afford to waste its 
energies on debating outworn concepts and fighting over lost causes. 
What we have witnessed was the very definition of barbarism, we claim to 
have banished from this earth, fourteen hundred years ago. Ours was a 
message of peace and not a battle cry for mutual destruction.  

Lord Bryce after visiting the subcontinent in the old colonial days had 
observed that from the time he landed on its shores till the time of his 
departure, wherever he went he smelt nothing but gun powder. Perhaps 
more lives have perished from the gun powder in the countless bullets 
that have been fired than in an equivalent period of time in civil 
society by both sides. The air of the city is still thick with its 
deadly poison. How far will be crucial dialogue between the parties will 
fulfill the hopes of a return to normality is too early to predict. 

Neither of the parties to the conflict should, therefore, aim at 
protracting the negotiations for extracting the maximum advantage out of 
the bargain. Power is the immediate end of all politics, but its 
ultimate end is the well-being of the masses which alone justifies the 
existence of the state. 

Exploiting popular grievances is its very essence. The PPP knows it 
better than any other organisation, since it rose to power on the crest 
of mass discontent both in the Ayub era and the Zia period. To the fact 
of dictatorial suffocation and the denial of basic rights to the 
population, Mr Z.A. Bhutto and Ms Benazir Bhutto had owed their 
electoral victories. Implicit in their triumph was the popular 
expectation of relief from tyranny and remedy of the ills from which the 
people have perpetually suffered. No party has either the monopoly of 
patriotism or political wisdom to hold the key to the solution of 
problems that beset society. If it had, parliamentary government would 
be a meaningless exercise in governance. Besides, no party, however 
inspiring its manifesto and programme, can honour its commitments to the 
electorate if it makes compromises with entrenched vested interests to 
perpetuate its stay in power. With the support of these elements the so-
called government of the people soon tends to degenerate into a 
government of a coterie or a class.  

Both the father and the daughter were unable to perceive before their 
assumption of power the difficulties they were certain to encounter 
during their tenure. Such is the geographical distribution of electoral 
power in Pakistan that every government at the Centre is more concerned 
with nursing the most populous province at the cost of the smaller 
provinces, not equally blessed with natural and manpower resources. 
Karachi in particular was more neglected-not the city as such but a 
large segment of its population, barring the affluent class living in 
luxury, while the rest wallow in the mire of squalor and poverty. True, 
it is not the heartland of the country, but it injects the life blood 
into the veins of the hinterland. On it the people as a whole had a 
rightful claim. The denial of that claim was a crime against the state 
and society. The government had a moral responsibility to organise the 
country's productive mechanism and distributive machinery on the 
principle of equitable sharing so that no class or community suffered 
from  a sense of deprivation.  

Politically Karachi was a No-Man's Land which had rich raw material for 
a new and young leadership to exploit. The Mohajir Qaumi Movement led by 
Altaf Hussain, though highly localised, was not without its impact on 
national politics, which, too, was not free from provincial mores and 
motivations. The strength of the mainstream was itself sapped by many 
diversions and deviations. 

Leaders of several major parties, though parochial in outlook, made a 
pretence of being national in attitude when in power and out of power 
did not form part of national politics. Whatever its bias, the MQM did 
not have a national base. Its localised orientation, however, did not 
prevent it from operating on the national plane through alliances with 
other parties, not excluding the PPP, and including the IJI of which the 
Nawaz Muslim League now professes to be the successor. Like the other 
organisations, the MQM also played politics to gain its political 
objectives although it was not a class party in terms of leadership and 
following. Its real strength came from the refugees living in 'kacchi 
abadis' to whose problems of rehabilitation Bhutto's socialism had 
offered no solution. 

Following in his footsteps Benazir was also preoccupied with Punjab. 
There, she had a formidable challenge to face from Nawaz Sharif who had 
the province firmly under control by dint of his overwhelming majority 
in the provincial legislature. Pitted against the Centre, he was 
determined to use it as a lever to dislodge its occupant.  

Only through politics of accommodation and policies of welfare could 
Benazir hope to retain an otherwise precariously held office. Wooing 
members of the National Assembly by offers of ministerial bait and 
official patronage was not the answer. Initially describing themselves 
as independents, the MQM members were closely knit members by their 
inflexible loyalty. The PPP should have in its own interest aimed at 
cultivating its leadership or winning over its following by a planned 
effort to redress its grievances in the matter of housing and 

Reluctance to share power was her innate weakness. Benazir could not act 
like her father who had a decisive mandate and the refugees in his time 
were not politically organised. To make enemies of potential friends was 
the surest way of eroding her power base, of which her political foes 
were waiting to take advantage. That is what Nawaz Sharif did in coming 
to terms with Altaf Hussain, although between them not much love is 
lost. Instead of bringing the MQM into its fold, the policies of the PPP 
were aimed at driving it into the arms of the Opposition.  

Violence breeds more violence, of which the deprived and the 
dispossessed innocents are the inevitable victims.  

The Prime Minister was right in her recent assertion that the government 
cannot provide jobs to all the unemployed but to deprive them of their 
legitimate share in the administration must necessarily generate a 
feeling of deprivation and create a condition of confrontation. While it 
is the duty of the government not to permit defiance of law, it is also 
its primary function to create a climate of confidence under which 
defiance does not take place. Otherwise, violence will breed more 

It is beyond the capacity of any government to restore peace by 
resorting to force. Peace can be restored only through a policy of 
conciliation. Discrimination originates from discontent and discontent 
is a prelude to protest, whose ugly manifestation we have been 
witnessing for quite some time. It is time to think of the 
reorganisation of the outmoded social order in the country as a whole. 
In Karachi, the government can cash its cheques in the voting bank, if 
it starts promoting the interest of the voters who have been alienated 
by the lack of interest in their welfare. 

Islamabad Diary : Back to the promised land
By Ayaz Amir

I HAVE to express my sincerest thanks to Dr. Humayun Khan, former 
ambassador and foreign secretary, who by making it possible for me to 
get a grant from the Commonwealth Foundation in London, which he heads, 
enabled me to spend three delightful and most useful months in Oxford as 
a Reuter Fellow.  

I have known Dr Humayun Khan since our time together in Moscow where he 
was minister in our embassy and I a very green third secretary. But 
since our relationship there was far from cosy or intense, may I, in all 
modesty, attempt to reject the impression that the offer of a grant to 
me was due entirely to the workings of nepotism, a national 
characteristic whose pervasiveness lends so much charm to the art of 
living in Pakistan.  

My thanks also to the Cowasjee Trust (at the mere mention which, I am 
all too aware, the judicious reader will be inclined to think of the 
old-boy network again) which provided me with a grant for the purchase 
of books during my stay abroad. I have indeed brought back a collection 
of books - mostly some delightful editions of the Greek classics - which 
should add lustre to my meagre library. To that extent I can claim to 
have justified the faith put in me by the Trust. But in all honesty I 
must confess that a portion of this grant, albeit a minor one, went also 
into a rather sustained investigation of the arcane workings of the 
flourishing brewery trade in England. Being men of the world, the 
guardians of the Trust would perhaps forgive this lapse on my part, even 
if it was committed against their express instructions.  

And now to the task of explaining what useful bits of knowledge I might 
have picked up at Oxford. There was no lesson that I as a Pakistani 
found more relevant to our own national condition than that it is 
possible for educated people to discuss and debate matters temperately 
even if they happen to be in profound disagreement with each other. I 
and my colleagues had many opportunities to listen to men distinguished 
in their field who would deliver themselves of what they had to say and 
then settle back calmly to listen, with the utmost attention, to our 
often jejune observations or objections as if they were listening to one 
of their peers. Let me give but one example in this regard.  

Dr Norman Stone, Professor of Modern History at Oxford, and a man with 
an international reputation, spoke at one of our seminars about the 
prospects of democracy in Eastern Europe. To say simply that his talk 
was dazzling is not to do full justice to it. In trying to explain to us 
the characteristics of the Polish, the Hungarian and the Czech peoples 
he dwelt on their past and the historic and social processes which had 
made them what they were today. So revealing was the connection that he 
drew between the past and the present that it was obvious even to a dull 
observer that this was the way to understand any people: by bringing to 
bear upon their present the weight of the past. When he finished there 
arose a chorus of questions, few of them up to the level of what Dr 
Stone had been saying. But throughout the one or two hours that he 
attempted to answer our questions he gave the impression as if he was 
imbibing fresh knowledge from us. Perhaps my observations in this regard 
are adolescent in the extreme (for which the ready excuse I will offer 
is that it was the first time I was at such a place as Oxford), but what 
I am saying is not without relevance to our own state of affairs if we 
only consider the one-sided shouting and the exchange of empty rhetoric 
which passes for rational discourse in the halls and arenas of the 
Islamic Republic.  

Nor is this facility for rational debate confined only to the academic 
world. One afternoon in the House of Commons I felt not a little 
disturbed when in my mind I compared the sad shenanigans which regularly 
punctuate our parliamentary life with the ability and the debating 
skills on display in that chamber. On that particular occasion Michael 
Heseltine had to read out a policy statement regarding a matter 
pertaining to the Board of Trade (whose President he was before his 
present elevation, after the recent Tory leadership contest, as deputy 
prime minister). After he had finished there was a rejoinder, sharp but 
friendly enough, from his opposite number on the Labour benches, 
followed by questions from MPs who would stand up to make their points 
only after being recognised by the Speaker. Almost all the questions 
were brief and incisive and all put in the form of questions rather than 
thundering statements as is so often the case in our own Assembly. Each 
question would then be answered there and then by Heseltine whose 
performance throughout the odd half hour that it took to wrap the matter 
up was absolutely masterly.  

I will say again that all this is very basic and hardly earth-shaking 
stuff but coming from a different milieu and used to the noise and the 
total idiocy of the political class in whose hands a blind Providence 
has entrusted the Republic's affairs, I could not help being impressed. 
And to think as one of the English journalists on the course with us, 
Rob Shepherd, would keep insisting - that the intellectual standards 
prevalent in British public life today were not what they were thirty or 
forty years ago. If what I was seeing were low standards what must they 
have been like in better times?  

Twice a week over plentiful bottles of wine (such being the decadent 
custom in that town of learning but a custom, I need hardly remind 
anyone, which I as a devout person from these shores studiously avoided) 
we used to have the seminars which I have already mentioned, presided 
over with unfailing wit and charm by Godfrey Hodgson, distinguished 
journalist and prolific author whose books are held in high regard, who 
is the current Director of the Reuters Fellowship Programme. Again the 
memory that remains with me of those rather hazy evenings (hazy because 
even if I was sworn to follow the paths of piety, the other Fellows were 
under no such constraint) is of conversation flowing easily from subject 
to subject and of disagreements being expressed calmly and even 
genially. If there was any misguided passion, more often than not I was 
the source of it. At this point I cannot help mentioning the quiet 
efficiency of Rosemary Allan, the Administrator of the Programme, who 
kept everything together and for whom no detail was too small to handle. 
By some of the Fellows with greater knowledge of these things than mine 
I was also given to understand that Ms Allan's choice of provisions 
which contributed to the festive atmosphere of our seminars was 
invariably superb.  

At the Oxford Union of which I became a temporary member I had the 
priceless opportunity of listening for the first time in person to 
Pakistan's last great hope for the future, Imran Khan, who arrived to 
address the Union with the Lady Jemima and a handful of drooling 
Pakistanis in tow. Dressed in a smart suit and with his height and good 
looks he cut an impressive figure but what more, without upsetting his 
admiring hordes, is there to say about him? There he was with his usual 
routine about 'brown sahibs' and the virtues of native dress but beyond 
that it was impossible for him to venture. If his minders like the 
inevitable General Hamid Gul are still pinning their hopes on him, some 
desperate measures on their part are called for to broaden the scope of 
Imran Khan's public conversation. Still, it is a sobering thought that 
he is the most talked about and photographed Pakistani in all the green 
spaces of the United Kingdom. Which probably means that the modern 
celebrity business is no laughing matter.  

Some of the debates that I listened to at the Oxford Union, one of the 
prime places where the skills of the English ruling classes are honed, 
also filled me with despair. While the confidence and the ready wit of 
those uppity under-graduates was something to watch I was left wondering 
why none of those qualities had rubbed off on our own dazzling prime 
minister whose portrait, as a former President of the Oxford Union, 
adorns the walls of the debating chamber. Or perhaps they have rubbed 
off only too well.  

At the clever and quick retort - a quality to be found in abundance in 
Oxford Union debates - Ms Bhutto remains a past mistress. But for 
serious discussion or for the calm consideration of an issue which 
requires even the slightest intellectual rigour (as anyone who has had 
the privilege of watching her from close quarters will readily testify) 
she has not the slightest ability. Apropos of which I feel like saying 
that sending Pakistan's best and brightest to Oxford or Cambridge is a 
waste of time and money. Forget about real learning the pursuit of which 
is scarcely a Pakistani quality. All that Pakistani under-graduates are 
pre-disposed to pick up at such places is an arrogance of manner for 
whose acquisition, if we judge the matter calmly, there is hardly any 
need to cross the seven seas, there being no shortage of home-grown 
arrogance in the country. But there is another side to this matter as 
well. If a list were drawn up of those favoured souls from these dark 
spaces who have been to Oxford or Cambridge and who later have held 
leadership positions in our land, it would become all too clear that the 
sum total of their achievements, as opposed to the positive harm they 
might have done, is pretty small. If the belated reformation of the 
Pakistani political class is to be taken in hand (not, I fervently hope, 
by the likes of Imran Khan) then sooner or later a law will have to be 
passed forbidding any Oxbridge graduate (of course, excluding short-
termers like me) to have anything to do with the running of this 

Of course none of this is to denigrate Oxford or Cambridge which remain 
great centres of learning. But the treasures to be found in them are not 
for the scions of Pakistan's privilegentsia to discover. If I only add 
that both President Farooq Leghari and Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (to 
say nothing of foreign minister Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali whom I meet off 
and on at various parties in Islamabad) do I need to say anything more 
to prove my point?  

For a Pakistani these days, however, there is no escaping the sights and 
sounds of the motherland, at least not for long. In my case too all that 
it would take to bring me down from the ivory tower in which I had shut 
myself up in Oxford was one look at the headlines of a Pakistani 
newspaper. Bed news in the abstract is one thing but bad news tied 
closely to our own inadequacies and to our own unique gift for short-
sightedness is something totally different.  

Karachi, with whose sad affairs these headlines were full, by no means 
represents an insoluble problem. But there is another way of looking at 
it as well. When on my way home I arrived at Islamabad airport and put 
my baggage on one of those juggernaut trolleys which decorate our 
airports I was again close to despair. Is making or selecting a workable 
baggage trolley so beyond the sum of our national ingenuity? When a day 
later the Leh Nullah which runs through the heart of Rawalpindi again 
overflowed its banks for the 40th time in the last 40 years I could not 
help thinking that if the mastering of relatively simpler things is 
beyond the resources of our collective wisdom, how on earth and from 
where will we even begin to resolve the more complicated problems whose 
insistent knocking can be heard at the several gates of our God-gifted 

A tale of three cities
By I. .A. Rehman

WE were sitting in Hyderabad, trying to understand how it was possible 
for anyone to ignore the dignity of a fellow being-an exercise we have 
not given up even after witnessing the limits of man's brutality. The 
academic indulgence was interrupted when a haggard-looking boy, Karim, 
walked in to seek our help in a real situation.  

He had been trying for a whole month to secure the release of his elder 
brother, or at least to ascertain his whereabouts. The latter's arrest 
by the police had been witnessed by acquaintances but the police denied 
that he was in their custody. Karim had been to each and every police 
station in Hyderabad city. There was no record of any case against his 
brother and his detention was denied by all station house officers. 
Since it was common knowledge that persons taken into custody in 
Hyderabad were often locked up in police stations in the adjoining rural 
areas, Karim also went to a few police stations around the city. 
Everywhere he drew a blank.  

At last Karim found an SHO who admitted that his brother was being held 
at a police station on the outskirts of the city. This gentleman even 
volunteered to ring up the SHO concerned but after speaking to the 
latter he told the hapless youth, "I am afraid you have to go and speak 
to the officer concerned." Everybody knows what such negotiations mean.  

Someone in the group quoted a senior police officer having once observed 
that he could detain a person without producing him in a court for as 
many days as the number of police stations under his control.  All that 
he had to do was to keep transferring the detainee from one lock-up to 
another after every 23 hours or so and to keep finding new charges 
against him. A more experienced colleague opined that this stratagem was 
resorted to by weaker officials only. Real police officials could hold 
their prey in detention for months at any police station they liked, 
often in private premises.  

In Karachi, a woman, Haseena, from the northern part of the city, was 
not at all worried that her son, barely 20 and the sole breadearner in a 
family of five, had given up his job as a taxi- driver and picked up a 
gun. "He has become a Mujahid in the path of God," she calmly declared. 
Haseena did not have a clear idea what her son was actually doing. 
Sometimes he took the steering wheel of an automobile and transported 
'Mujahideen' operating far away from Karachi, and sometimes he worked in 
Karachi. She did not know who the 'Mujahideen' were and did not care to 
find out. The boy often brought a gun home and had admitted to having 
used it. He kept bringing in money for the family, not as regularly as 
earlier but enough to keep the stove burning. The mother was faintly 
aware that the boy could get killed but her faith told her that a 
shaheed never died.

The tragedy Haseena fails to foresee has actually befallen Martha, who 
lives in a high-crime area of Los Angeles. Her young son joined a gang 
given to violence. One day, looking out of the window of her house she 
noticed her son walking towards home. As he came close to the house, the 
sound of gunfire was heard and the boy fell down, never to rise again, 
obviously shot down by a rival gang. For days she was obsessed with the 
idea of revenge. Then she gradually succeeded in sublimating her grief. 
She found a kindred soul in Maria, who had given up her job when she 
discovered that her daughter had joined a gang of killers, and who spent 
two years on reclaiming the girl and securing her the joys of a happy 
marriage, motherhood and peaceful living. Both the women became leaders 
in a project called Violence Preventive Initiative.

This project is run by a community-based organisation and covers five 
Los Angeles housing projects which are notorious for violence and crime. 
It has been launched by a church but it has survived on local community 
support. The project director sums up the initiative in a few words:  
"We believe that violence is preventable. It takes a commitment by 
everyone to look for positive solutions around jobs, education, media, 
and recreational activities. When we all get serious about prevention 
rather than incarceration, the tide will turn." The project offers the 
youth,  especially those who have been tempted into violence and crime, 
facilities to study, to take part in sports, and to qualify for jobs. 
And one can see the boys who have been cured of romance with violence.  

It is not clear if we, in Pakistan, have realised that the roots of 
violence in Karachi, or elsewhere, do not lie in the mind of the boy 
with his finger on the trigger but in the minds of his elders. We have 
state functionaries who, out of sheer cussedness, turn young persons, at 
worst somewhat misguided, into criminals. We have parents and relations 
who, in their misplaced zeal, condone violence committed by their wards, 
and we have teachers and leaders who do not hesitate to use their 
followers as gun fodder. Finally, a religion that had no church has been 
monopolised by priests who issue licences to kill.  

Is it impossible for the public-spirited men and women of Karachi-
academics, teachers, psychiatrists, senior citizens, businessmen, even 
some level-headed clerics-to set up a few centres for offering the 
therapy of love and hope to the young ones who have been pushed into the 
alleys of hate and violence? 

A challenge for Pakistan
*From  Anjum Niaz

KABUL:  Master strategist Burhanuddin Rabbani has struck again. In a 
pre-emptive move, he has presented Pakistan with his own formula for 
peace. He has also challenged Islamabad to provide proof of Kabul's 
cosying up with New Delhi. With the ball now in his court, Foreign 
Minister Sardar Assef will be on the defensive instead of the offensive 
when he arrives in Kabul on Thursday. The cold war being fought through 
the media between Kabul and Islamabad can only end with Assef 
acknowledging Rabbani as the rightful leader of Afghanistan and 
canceling his onward journey to Mazar-i-Sharif and Kandahar for meetings 
with Dostum and Taliban.  

Hiding behind UN ambassador Mestiri's plan, OIC initiative, Saudi Prince 
Turki Al-Faisal's formula or accusing Kabul of receiving military aid 
from  India won't do. Plans now are history, accusations now sound 
hollow. Because they have been overtaken by realities on the ground.  

Four months after commander Ahmad Shah Masood trounced the Taliban and 
Hizb-i-Islami, the beautiful but battered city of Kabul has bounced back 
to life. People are returning home to bury the past and begin anew. 
Despite no electricity and a daily night curfew, the resilience of the 
residents is amazing. Alongside destroyed electric poles and dangling 
traffic lights, walk women wearing the daintiest of shoes, sporting the 
latest hairdo with flowing black skirts, chatting and laughing as if the 
worst is behind them. Men and children move with a confidence which 
spells freedom from fear. Gone are the days of gunfire, rocket rain and 
heavily-covered female faces.  

"I can put my head on the block and say that Kabul will not be under 
military threat in future," a senior western correspondent who has 
covered the three year old civil war told me. "Rabbani's enemies are far 
and few...They are now left licking their wounds." Flags at six 
embassies are fluttering high in the sky today: "Turkish, Egyptian and 
the Chinese ambassadors are due soon," says Foreign Minister Najibullah 
Lafrie. The UN has been told by him to shift its offices to Kabul from 
Islamabad. His own foreign office is blooming with roses and a fresh 
coat of paint. It is the same office which once had an abandoned look. 
Lafrie has just returned with a commitment of support from Tehran. "The 
Iranian promise to allow us sea passage and free access from Bandar 
Abbas will soon materialize," he tells me. Pakistan's hold on Kabul 
seems to diminish with this alternative sea route.  

Even Uzbekistan, which is supporting the militia of Gen. Dostum in 
Mazar-i-Sharif, now wants to mend fences with Rabbani. "We want to have 
friendly relations with the Russians and the Uzbeks," says Lafrie, 
adding that "the Uzbek foreign minister is visiting Kabul soon."  

For Pakistan's foreign minister, Lafrie has a message: "Stop interfering 
in our internal affairs. If you have any complaints against us then let 
us sit down and talk about them," he says. "Pakistan alleges Indian 
support to Kabul. What proof has Pakistan. Let us see it."  The 
expressionless face of President Rabbani suddenly lights up when Dawn 
asks him to spell out his new peace plan. He wants a commission to be 
set up comprising university professors, academicians, high court judges 
and representatives from all the provinces including the opposition. 
"This grand assembly convened by the OIC and the UN will appoint members 
of parliament and draft a constitution." He even wants this assembly to 
decide about a "national army". Anything which can prolong his tenure as 
president of Afghanistan is acceptable to him, it appears.

Prime Minister Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai also wants to see an end to war and 
continuation of Rabbani. "Fighting is not the solution. Let the people 
choose their leaders through a loyal jirga.

But peace can never return to Afghanistan until Pakistan and Uzbekistan 
stop interfering in our affairs," he says when pressed to name the 
countries allegedly interfering. "have these countries forgotten our 
sacrifices for Islam.  We succeeded in driving out the Russians and 
saved our neighbors from the cancer of communism. We liberated 
Afghanistan at the cost of our blood. Today, instead of appreciating our 
efforts, they are busy supporting our enemies."

For Sardar Assef, the Afghan prime minister has this advice:"Let us 
resolve our differences. Pakistan is too precious for us." But on the 
other hand, India is a friend, too. "We are an independent country. What 
is wrong with receiving technical assistance from India?"

But Najibullah Lafrie denies receiving any kind of assistance from 
India: "It is all negative propaganda by the Pakistani press," he says. 
According to him, Kabul has only "bought 50 tons of tea from India." 

Cutting off your nose to spite your face
By Tahir Mirza

LAHORE: There are some things for which there does not appear to be any 
defense. The federal government's action in forcing Justice Qurban Sadiq 
Ikram to relinquish charge as special judge for offenses in respect of 
banks is one such action. Judge Ikram's contractual term as special 
judge - his second such stint since his retirement from the bench in 
1988-- was due to expire on October 15. On Sunday, he had granted 
interim bail before arrest to Mian Sharif, father of the opposition 
leader, and his two nephews. The bail is due to come up for confirmation 
on Wednesday.  

On Sunday evening, a message was received by the judge's office from the 
law division of the ministry of law and parliamentary affairs requiring 
him to proceed on leave for 78 days with immediate effect, the 78-day 
period coinciding with the rest of his contractual term. The judge 
relinquished charge and went on leave on Monday.  

The fact that the judge's contract was in effect summarily terminated on 
the same day that he granted bail to Mian Sharif is so stark and speaks 
for itself so tellingly that any comment is perhaps unnecessary. No 
explanation had been offered all Tuesday afternoon for the abrupt 
action, and the legal profession would surely construe it as an attack 
on the freedom of the judiciary, and it would be right. One can only 
wonder at the growing indiscretion-probably the ruling party considers 
it boldness-of the government in its dealings with the opposition and in 
the process, its increasing readiness to trample underfoot accepted 
principles of morality and good sense. It does not seem to be at all 
concerned about the damage its conduct can inflict on democratic 
institutions, already weak and under constant threat from forces 
inimical to any kind of political progress. There is evidence also in 
such actions of a mean streak which  does not behoove a government which 
claims to enjoy the trust of its electorate.  

The government has already been targeted for attack for some of its 
judicial appointments.  Some of the opposition criticism on this account 
could be described as politically motivated, and the government has 
repeatedly declared its trust in and respect for the judiciary. But when 
a judge is asked to go on leave within hours of granting bail to an 
opposition figure, the criticism can only increase and assume validity 
in the eyes of even neutral observers. The shabby episode involving Mian 
Sharif's arrest a few months ago still rankles as a display of totally 
unnecessary politically self-defending show of vindictiveness. Following 
the latest move, statements from various retired judges have started to 
come in, and more will follow. It is almost as if the government is 
testing the patience not only of the opposition but of its own 
followers, as if it is daring people to do what they can. The People's 
Party is shooting itself in the foot, and it doesn't seem to realize it. 
It is giving more and more the impression of having retired from 
politics, and now being only in the business of governing-and of that 
too it is making a mess all round. Surely it has bigger problems to 
tackle, not least Karachi and the hiatus created in negotiation with the 
MQM, than to spend on transfers and postings of judges who give bail to 
opposition men. This would make a mockery of accountability, to which 
surely many of those in opposition should and need to be held. If the 
government considered the interim bail granted to Mian Sharif as legally 
untenable, it could have gone in appeal or at least waited to see what 
happened when the bail came up for confirmation. 

Perhaps if there hadn't been so many allegations of wrongdoing on the 
part of the government itself, if it had been universally perceived as 
an honest and incorruptible government, it might have been easier to get 
away with such steps without too many question being asked. In the 
present circumstances, with the government's reputation low, they are 
simply inviting trouble.  It's cutting off you nose to spite your face.

Gap between the poor & poorer
By Kunwar Idris

KARACHI: Beset with internal problems of all descriptions and serious 
proportions, Pakistan has simultaneously to contend with successive 
indictments from the human rights organisations. The charge by the 
Amnesty International that Pakistan tortures prisoners and maltreats 
minorities has been followed by a lengthier accusation by the American-
based Human Rights Watch Asia of widely prevalent bonded and child 

Thousands of children, Asia Watch has reported, are held in virtual 
slavery and sexually abused in kilns, carpet and handicraft factories. 
Children are born in bondage to work to discharge the debts incurred by 
their parents. The bonded farm labour is sold like chattel. The sadder 
part of the indictment is that the local authority generally colludes 
with the masters or, at least, ignores the plight of the slaves.  

Encouraging slave or child labour, it should go unsaid, is not a state 
policy. Yet it is also well known that both are rampant and the state 
machinery does nothing to stop it. In the national context it is not 
viewed as a problem requiring a plan for its long-term eradication. The 
assertion by a government adviser (Shahnaz Wazir Ali) that slave labour, 
like beggary, is no more than a mere manifestation of poverty at large 
might well be the explanation for any aberration or crime in society. 
Poverty can never be made a justification for the degradation of human 
soul or denial of freedom to those who are born into it.  

If the crime is too widespread to be punished or the consequences of 
checking it would be adverse to the very people it tends to 
help, the least the state can do is to pursue economic and social 
programme which would prevent the poor from being caught in its dragnet. 

The policies as reflected in financial allocations have been, 
unfortunately, to the contrary. Adult literacy in the country even by 
the most lax standards is 35 per cent.  In rural areas and among women 
where the child and bonded labour are most rampant it may not be even 
half that. (Incidentally it is comparable to the poorest country in the 
world -Mozambique which has a precept income of $90 against Pakistan's 

Yet the expenditure on education which was 2.7 per cent of the total 
central expenditure in 1980 fell to 1.1 per cent in 1993. 0n health, in 
the same period, it fell from 1.5 per cent to 0.4 per cent, on housing 
and social welfare from 4.1 to 2.8 per cent. That is not the way to 
break the shackles of poverty and ignorance. Malaysia to achieve today's 
80 per cent literacy, increased the expenditure on education to 20 per 
cent, on health to 5.7 per cent, on housing and social welfare to 11 per 

The national policy in dealing with slave labour, both as an economic 
necessity, needs to be given a direction supported by financial 
resources. As a crime the local authority must not connive at it much 
less protest its perpetrators. At national level, the policies should 
aim at reducing poverty and ignorance which give rise to this despicable 
practice, rather than exacerbate both.  

The government legislation and machinery at the moment is all geared to 
safeguard the rights and welfare of labour employed in large industrial 
and commercial establishments.

The total labour force in the country is estimated at 35.68 million. Of 
that barely 1.4 million, or four per cent, is employed, in the formal 
sector organised into trade unionism and thus protected by the laws 
governing wages, security of service, health cover, old-age benefits, 

They have at their service a host of departments, a hierarchy of courts, 
a national commission and conventions of ILO. The remaining 34.2 million 
are left to be driven by fate or their poverty into the slavery of a 
tyrant or, rarely, a benign master.  

Our concern today is not the growing gap between the rich and the poor 
but also between the poor protected by the state and a far greater 
number of poorer still left to fend for themselves. The debt of a rural 
parent equal to the monthly wage of a protected worker in a privileged 
establishment like Pakistan Steel, KPI or a nationalised bank may 
condemn their child to life long servitude.  

The international human nights organisations like Amnesty International 
and Asia Watch may be politically motivated even biased against our 
values or culture but when they speak of oppression on the poor and 
outcast we should sit up and pay heed. 

Whose Pakistan are we living in?
*From  M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD- Every Pakistani has his own individual perception of his 
country, but while articulating this perception most would seem to agree 
on a common vision that they call Pakistan. Yet, going by the recent 
utterances and conduct of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, opposition 
leader Nawaz Sharif and MQM chief Altaf Hussain - all three critically 
relevant to today's Pakistan - it seems as if we are living in four 
different Pakistans.  

One of Benazir and her hard-core supporters backed by the permanent 
civil and military establishment; the second of Nawaz and his staunch 
loyalists; the third of Altaf and his zealots; and the fourth the 
fantasy that most Pakistanis who seem to have become totally irrelevant 
lately, call their country.  

Benazir's Pakistan is the same old entity which the successive civil and 
military rulers have been trying to force down the throat of the 
'natives' through the oppressive and sick instruments of governance left 
behind by the departing British colonialists. Lately these instruments 
have been further reinforced by the government controlled electronic 
media. In this Pakistan the government has become synonymous with the 
state and those who disagree with the government become anti-state and 
'ghaddars'. In fact everybody who dares point out that the king is 
without clothes, is branded a traitor in this Pakistan. And ruthless 
administrative measures are used in this Pakistan to resolve political 

Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan is the one in which he is the chief executive or 
at least the warlord of Punjab. Without him as the prime minister there 
is no Pakistan and without him controlling Punjab, there is no Punjab. A 
Pakistan with Benazir Bhutto as the prime minister does not exist for 
him. How can a ghaddar be the prime minister of his Pakistan? He is 
still  living in the Pakistan of Ziaul Haq in which Benazir was a 
traitor and her party was a bunch of jiyalas. In his Pakistan, Benazir's 
lot is that of an outsider living in London or Paris hounded by Hameed 
Guls and Imtiazs.
Altaf Hussain's Pakistan is Karachi. In his Pakistan there is no dissent 
or disagreement. In his Pakistan like in the Pakistan of Nawaz, Ms 
Bhutto is a ghaddar and her party a bunch of blood-thirsty-Mohajir- 
bashing-Sindhi-jiaylas. Every Pakistani, including the Sindhis, have to 
learn Urdu to get a job at the national level in the fantasy that is 
Pakistan, but in Altaf's Urdu-speaking Pakistan there is no place for 
the Sindhi language in the province of Sindh itself. Altaf's Pakistan 
has stopped in the time tunnel of the 1950's when the country used to be 
ruled by the Aligarians and when the Aligarian network used to work 
wonders like the Government College, Lahore and Aitchison College 
networks work now-a-days. Before his advent, the people of his Pakistan, 
that is Karachi were badly off. Now they are worse off but his zealots 
seem to believe that they are reliving the pre-partition ordeals of the 
1940s and look up at Altaf as their saviour come to the rescue of their 
Pakistan. All these three Pakistan's naturally are incompatible with one 
another. Therefore, a three-sided war of attrition is on among them 
since 1988.  

The civil and military establishment has changed sides, however, to suit 
its periodic convenience. In 1988 it was against Benazir and her party. 
In 1990 it threw its lot completely behind Nawaz and Altaf. But in 1993 
it crossed over to Benazir and the PPP. The establishment's support is 
very crucial for the combatants. Without its support, the PPP could not 
last for more than 20 months the first time around. With its support 
Altaf could rule his Pakistan without let or hindrance for 16 long 
months which ended most ignominiously when the operation clean-up was 
launched against the MQM by the establishment in June 1992. Nawaz, too, 
lost the battle for his Pakistan when 10 months later the establishment 
suddenly withdrew its support from him. 

Their mutual hatred for Benazir and the PPP provides Nawaz and Altaf is 
a common enough platform to join forces against her government. But the 
fundamental differences that exist between the perceptions of the 
respective Pakistan of the two obviate this possibility. More so, 
because as long as Benazir and her party continued to enjoy the support 
of the establishment, the chances of the two succeeding even by a joint 
effort to obliterate her Pakistan are too remote.  

The new-found love of the establishment for Ms Bhutto is being clearly 
sustained by the fact that she is articulating the perception of the 
country that the former has so lovingly nursed over the last 47 years as 
if it is her own vision of Pakistan.  

Those who seemed puzzled over the sudden deadlock in the MQM government 
talks need only to compare the remarks of N.D. Khan who wondered the 
other day why MQM was taking the matter of its being called Altaf Group 
so seriously when the ruling Congress in India does not mind being 
called Indira Congress and Nawaz does not mind his Muslim League being 
called PML (N), with that of the late COAS, Asif Nawaz, who while 
justifying his support for the MQM (Haqiqi) soon after launching the 
operation clean-up, wisecracked in a BBC interview that when there were 
so many Muslim Leagues in the country what was so bad about having two 



=================================================================== 950801 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Akram and Mushtaq in the Counties ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From Athar Ali LONDON, July 31: Two Pakistani cricketers, Wasim Akram and Mushtaq Ahmed, are proving to be the best ambassadors for their country, according The Times which says that they are both very popular with their own county teams. Lancashire are so impressed by Wasim that they recently entrusted him with team captaincy against Somerset and he led them to a 10 wicket victory, keeping their hopes for county championship alive. The success rate for Mushtaq, who plays for Somerset, is also very high. He is the leading wicket-taker in the county championships and is a hardworking player. Wasim, who was removed from the captaincy of the Pakistan team, finds it "lot more fun" playing for Lancashire. He has, however, not given up the hope of leading his country once again. "If Pakistan wanted me to he captain again, I would be happy to do it", he said. But he would do so only "if the circumstances were right". "We have a lot of world-class players but there is a lack of team spirit and you cannot expect to win without that." Wasim said he has enjoyed playing for Lancashire more than ever this year because he has given higher concentration and focused his mind totally. He has taken 52 wicket at an average of 20 runs. Mushtaq has taken 66 wickets this season for Somerset and has been much in the news. His county director, Bob Cottam, says that he is inspirational and has never shirked from the task. "He never gives in". He was deeply hurt when dropped from the Pakistan side and wants to take at least 100 wickets to prove his mettle. Mushtaq thinks that he will once again earn his place in the Pakistan side.

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