------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 14 September, 1995 Issue : 01/36 -------------------------------------------------------------------

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------------------------- Karachi ..........11 killed in city violence ..........Five killed, 5 vehicles set ablaze on protest day ..........Violence claims six lives ..........Three killed in city violence ..........Three more killed in violence ..........Younus Habib's wife murdered Punjab Crisis ..........PML(J) splits Wattoo joins forces with Nawaz ..........Watoo expelled by Chattha ..........Leghari defends Punjab action ..........Chattha agrees to back PPP ..........PDF names Makhdoom Altaf as Punjab CM ..........Opposition claims support of 129 MPAs ..........Wattoo claims enough support to form govt ..........Makhdoom levels charges against Wattoo ..........Nawaz ready for PML reunification ..........Wattoo may be asked to seek fresh trust vote ..........Nawaz to back Chattha's candidate ..........Wattoo out in 10-minute PA session ..........Saroop has no powers to summon PA, says Wattoo ..........Arif Nakai of PML(J) new chief minister Govt-MQM talks ..........Govt-MQM talks make headway ..........MQM calls for protest day tomorrow ..........MQM threatens indefinite strike ..........'One-point formula' controversy hits talks Pak-Afghan relations ..........Ties with Kabul to remain unaffected ..........Attack on Pakistani Embassy discussed ..........Pakistan to shift its embassy from Kabul ..........Kabul must apologise, pay compensation, says Assef ..........Kabul rejects Pakistan's demand ..........Afghans hold rally against Pakistan Sutlej flood washes away 2,500 houses India kills 3 Kashmiris on LoC Ambassador blames NA speaker for toning down speech 20% of Green Cards referred to US embassy found to be fake India's defence deal with US to be opposed -------------------------------------


------------------------------------- UK court refuses bail to BCCI man UK court order used against local firm $240m plan for pilgrims' accommodation Cotton accord with Turkmenistan signed 30% jump in conservancy, water rates CBR announces refund of custom duties ECNEC approves projects worth Rs 3138.43m Stock Exchange : Short covering prevents decline ---------------------------------------


--------------------------------------- Khajjiloo Ardeshir Cowasjee The politics of irrelevance Mazdak Crossing the line Omar Kureishi A nation of lawyers Ayaz Amir Not as rosy as that Editorial Column -----------


----------- Off to a good start Sarfaraz Ahmed


950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- 11 killed in city violence Staff Report KARACHI, Sept. 7: Three MQM workers, a widow and a boy were among 11 people shot dead in the city on Thursday. Tension gripped Saeedabad and Baldia Town after two MQM workers were killed during a raid on their houses early on Thursday morning. Mohammad Yunus, 24, and Mohammad Rafiq, 25, of MQM Baldia Town sector, were killed when their Turk Mohalla residence, was raided by members of the law enforcement agencies. The police came out with two different versions about the killings. Initially, they claimed the two were "terrorists" and killed in an "encounter". The police then changed their version and claimed that their bullet-riddled bodies had been thrown in the area by unidentified men. DWS 950911 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Five killed, 5 vehicles set ablaze on protest day ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ghulam Hasnain KARACHI, Sept. 10: The MQM strike against alleged torture of its women activists in illegal police detentions kept closed all major markets and shopping centres, most of the city banks and financial institutions and private businesses on Sunday. Rangers and police, clad in bullet-proof jackets and helmets and riding armoured personnel carriers and mobiles, patrolled the troubled localities throughout the day. In stray incidents of violence, five people were killed and seven others wounded and five vehicles were set ablaze. Deputy opposition leader Shoaib Bokhari claimed that 300 to 350 women who were going in a procession to a police station in district Central to demand the release of their children and men were detained by the administration in Khwaja Ajmer Nagri. The police, however, denied the charge and claimed that about 10 to 15 women were stopped from taking out a procession and were later dropped at their homes. The strike also badly hit the industrial production. All the five industrial areas of the city wore a deserted look. In some of the factories, where night shift was detained, production was carried out. Factories' main entrances, were, however, locked. Federal minister Naseerullah Babar told Dawn that he had also deployed force at Tariq Road to boost the confidence of shopkeepers but said: "They (people) have lost confidence in the system. It will take them little time to understand. But it is not like a ghost city. The strike is partial," he said. DWS 950913 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Violence claims six lives ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Report KARACHI, Sept. 12: Six people, including a PPP activist and a brother of MQM worker, were shot dead in the city on Tuesday, raising the month's death toll to 48. Police accused the MQM of carrying out the killings. Police found the body of an unidentified man in a locked house in PIB Colony. The victim, who rented the house just last week, had a throttled neck. Another unidentified body was found in Gulberg. The victim whose body bore bullet injuries could not be identified. Constable Barkat Ali , 30, who was wounded on Aug. 28 in Malir died of his injuries on Tuesday. DWS 950914 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Three killed in city violence ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Report KARACHI, Sept. 13: Three people were killed in scattered incidents of violence on Wednesday, raising the month's death toll to 52. Sohail Ahmed, 23, was shot dead in Surjani Town. His body was brought to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for autopsy. His father, Raees Ahmed, is a supporter of Jamat-i-Islami. In Orangi Town, police found the body of Imran Rana, 19, with a chopped hand, a chopped leg and a bullet injury in the mouth. His political affiliation could not be known. DWS 950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Three more killed in violence ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Report KARACHI, Sept. 8: Three persons were killed in stray incidents of shooting in the city on Friday. Mehfooz, 40, an employee of the Anti-Corruption Establishment, and his companion, a young man were standing outside their house when they were caught in a sudden shooting in the locality. Mehfooz was brought dead at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital while Asif, 20, died a couple of hours later. In Orangi Town, where rival MQM groups exchanged gunfire, police found the body of an unidentified 25-year-old man. DWS 950913 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Younus Habib's wife murdered ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Report KARACHI, Sept. 12: The 38 year old wife of jailed banker Younus Habib was shot dead by a lone assassin in Clifton on Tuesday. Zeba Habib, accompanied by her two younger brothers, Raees Baseer and Naeem Baseer, was going to the Special Court for Offences in Banks to meet her husband. Earlier this year, Younis Habib was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment and fine of Rs 2.2 billion for misappropriating $37.6 million worth of State Bank's dollar bearer certificates. A motorcyclist who had been chasing their car fired a shot in the air. As their car suddenly stopped, the killer fired three more shots =97 all aimed at Mrs Habib. The murder occurred a quarter kilometre from the Clifton police station. But the police learned about it after more than an hour from the medico-legal officer of the hospital. The couple had been married for the last 23 years. They have no children. Government officials were divided on whether the murder was the result of an enmity or was politically motivated. DWS 950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- PML(J) splits Wattoo joins forces with Nawaz ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ashraf Mumtaz LAHORE, Sept. 7: The PML(J) on Thursday split into two factions with the one led by Hamid Nasir Chattha deciding to remain in the PDF and the other led by Mian Manzoor Wattoo forging an alliance with erstwhile foe Mian Nawaz Sharif. Wattoo and Sharif later said they would work together in and outside the assembly against what they called the fascist policies of the government. The leader of the PML(N) and PML(J-W) claimed that 28 PML(J) supporters had reached there and another seven were with them. The reporters, however, counted 23. Now, the PML(J) MPAs led by Wattoo and PML(N) supporters would jointly act if Wattoo is asked to seek a fresh vote of confidence or if a no- confidence motion is moved against him. At the residence of Nawaz Sharif, the PML(J-W) leaders looked visibly embarrassed during the encounter because they had been consistently working against the PML(N) since April 1993. Wattoo regretted some of his actions against the Sharif family, and dissociated himself from some others which he alleged were taken by the federal government. Sharif said he was forgetting whatever he had to face during the Wattoo rule. Sharif embraced Wattoo in the same room in which, fed up with increasing victimisation at the hands of the government, he was once heard saying that Wattoo could not even imagine the kind of fate he would have to face. Wattoo introduced his colleagues as if he was a foreign dignitary. Addressing the ceremony, Sharif said unity in the PML was the need of the hour and he was happy that it was taking place at a time when Wattoo was not in power. "Had you been in power, I would have resisted you as well as the PPP to the last, as I have been doing for the last two days." The opposition leader said he was against personal vendetta and had he believed in this contemptible thinking, he would not have met Wattoo today. "Anybody opposed to 'fascism' is my ally". DWS 950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Watoo expelled by Chattha ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report LAHORE, Sept. 7: PML(J) President Hamid Nasir Chattha has expelled former chief minister Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo from the party and dissolved Punjab organisation of the party. Wattoo, who was the president of the PML(J) Punjab has been replaced by Dr Basharat Elahi who has been assigned the task of organising the party in the province. Talking to newsmen, Chattha said Wattoo had entered into an alliance with the PML(N) which was a gross violation of party discipline. "He (Wattoo) joined hands with Nawaz Sharif for personal interests and out of lust for power". DWS 950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Leghari defends Punjab action ------------------------------------------------------------------- Anjum Niaz President Farooq Leghari said that he had suspended the provincial assemblies in the NWFP and Punjab with a heavy heart, but had to do so in order to avert a "dangerous situation." "I am not very happy that I have been obliged to do this and I hope I will never have to do it ever again, because I always try to ward off such actions as long as possible," President Leghari commented for the first time since he had suspended the Punjab assembly on the eve of his three-day visit to Turkmenistan last Tuesday. Asked by Dawn to spell out the specifics, other than corruption which had induced him to implement the federal government's advice for the suspension of the Punjab assembly, President Leghari said: "The corruption and the charge-sheet provided by PML (J) advisers were many of the things I had seen for the first time. One had heard of the (CM's) jet and other things, but the misuse of discretionary funds convinced me that I should agree to the proclamation without referring the case back to the federal government." He explained that under his constitutional powers, he could only refer the case back once, but was "obliged to follow the advice the second time." When reminded that he had given the former chief minister of NWFP a chance to show his majority in the house, why then did he not give a similar chance to Wattoo," the president said that, according to his sources, this was not the major factor: "there were very strong rumours that in order to save himself from defeat, the chief minister (Wattoo) was going to dissolve the assembly and thus it was necessary to act swiftly." DWS 950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Chattha agrees to back PPP ------------------------------------------------------------------- Mahmood Zaman LAHORE, Sept. 8: The PML (J) is learnt to have accepted to support the PPP's nominee as the new Punjab chief minister if its candidate is appointed senior minister. A new working formula was under discussion at a PML (J) meeting which was presided over by it's president Hamid Nasir Chattha. According to sources, the PML(J) has asked the PPP leadership that it should be given the ministries it held during the Wattoo government. The PML(J) held portfolios of education, law and parliamentary affairs, excise and taxation, communication and works in the previous administration. The PPP leadership, according to sources, is willing to accept the PML(J) plea under an advice by the NWFP chief minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao. He is stated to have played a "big role" in keeping the= PDF intact as it has a direct bearing on his province where he is heading a coalition government with the help of the PML(J). DWS 950910 ------------------------------------------------------------------- PDF names Makhdoom Altaf as Punjab CM ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ihtashamul Haque ISLAMABAD, Sept. 9: Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on Saturday called on President Farooq Leghari and informed him about her decision to nominate former senior minister Makhdoom Altaf as the new chief minister of Punjab. Sources said Ms. Bhutto told the president that the People's Democratic Front (PDF) was in a very good position to form the government in Punjab. In this regard she referred to her series of meetings with other politicians, including Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan and PML(J) President Hamid Nasir Chattha. Sources said that Ms. Bhutto apprised the president about the power sharing formula with the PML(J), according to which, the PML(J) will be offered the ministries of Food and Agriculture, Local Government, Education, Law and Justice, Sports and Tourism while the PPP will have other portfolios, including the Home, Services and General Administration. It was said that one senior minister will also be taken from the Junejo League and Mr. Ata Muhammad Manika and Chauhdry Sadaqat will be the likely contenders in this behalf. On the other hand PML(N) sources claimed that they have also finalised their strategy to field Chauhdry Pervaiz Elahi as the new chief minister. They said that they enjoyed the support of many MPAs and that they would give a surprise by getting their nominee elected as the leader of the house in the suspended Punjab Assembly. DWS 950910 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Opposition claims support of 129 MPAs ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report LAHORE, Sept. 9: The opposition claimed on Saturday that it had acquired the support of 129 MPAs in Punjab and that the strength would rise to 140 during the next two days. A spokesman said that 12 of the MPAs the government had flown to Islamabad, would also vote for the opposition. He said that any session of the Punjab Assembly, convened while its members were still in "detention", would be illegal and the opposition would resist it. Opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, he said, had directed his party leaders to prepare lists of all those officials playing into the hands of the present government. Such officials, he said, would be held accountable after a change of government. Meanwhile, PML(N) candidate for the office of chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has claimed that the party is fully united and reports of differences are baseless. DWS 950910 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Wattoo claims enough support to form govt ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report LAHORE, Sept. 9: Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo on Saturday alleged that the government had taken away some of his supporters but claimed that they would vote for him in the assembly. He also claimed that he still enjoyed enough support to form a government in the Punjab, where the power struggle continues unabated. On the PPP's side, Makhdoom Altaf, who was senior minister in the Wattoo cabinet, claimed at a news conference that the PDF would form its government in the Punjab and its candidate, in case of a secret ballot, would get a two-third majority in the house. The opposition, in his words, would get less than 100 votes. "They have taken some of my colleagues (to the other side) after subjecting them to tremendous pressure. But they will vote for me if I am asked to seek a confidence vote (to prove my majority) or if a no- confidence is moved against me", Wattoo said. However, he did not specify the number of those who have left him. DWS 950910 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Makhdoom levels charges against Wattoo ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report LAHORE, Sept. 9: Former senior minister Makhdoom Altaf Ahmad claimed on Saturday that suspended chief minister Mian Manzoor Wattoo had conspired to dismiss his cabinet, break the PDF and form government in the province in league with the PML(N). Speaking at a news conference, he termed the plan a "London conspiracy" under which Wattoo was to suddenly have a vote of confidence on Sept. 4 with the help of the opposition during the last Punjab Assembly session requisitioned by the PML(N). But he had to drop the idea at the eleventh hour as he was not sure of his success. "We came to know of the conspiracy and in the subsequent development we had no choice other than steps under which the governor's rule was imposed on Punjab", he added. Altaf said Wattoo had, prior to his departure for the United States, promised the Prime Minister that he would resign from his office on his return home. But Wattoo had something else in his mind. He rushed to London from the US and gave final touches to his "conspiracy" which= he had been hatching in league with the PML(N) for about 20 months, he added. In reply to questions, Makhdoom claimed that given the secret ballot, the PDF would form a government in Punjab with a two-thirds majority and the support to the other side (PML(N)-Wattoo combine) in the assembly would be even below one hundred. He also claimed that Wattoo had, after the imposition of governor's rule and after assessing his own strength, established contacts with the PPP leadership four times, seeking forgiveness. But his request had been turned down as "we have closed doors for him". When things became clear to the MPAs who had gone with Wattoo, they started deserting his (Wattoo's) camp and started joining either the PPP or the PML(J). He said Wattoo had tried to turn his personal disputes with his party as a conflict between the PPP and the PML(J). "I must make it clear that there has been and never will be any conflict between the two parties in the PDF which now stands more united than ever before", he added. DWS 950911 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Nawaz ready for PML reunification ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report LAHORE, Sept. 10: PML President Mian Nawaz Sharif, shunning past rigidity, expressed his readiness for a merger of all factions of the Pakistan Muslim League and said for this purpose he had written letters to Hamid Nasir Chattha and Pir Pagara, president of the PML(J) and the Functional Muslim League, respectively, inviting them to work out the modalities of a merger. He also gave a call to all political leaders, public opinion leaders, intelligentsia and all sections of society to work together to resist the government efforts to "impose a fascist one-party system" and attempts aimed at demolition of the democratic process. Sharif said the president owed an explanation to the nation why, at the behest of the Prime Minister, he had allowed the floodgates of horse-trading and black-mailing to open. "If the president does not act to prevent these violations of the Constitution, then the people of Pakistan will have reason to believe that he is not faithfully discharging his duties as the constitutional head of state." DWS 950911 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Wattoo may be asked to seek fresh trust vote ------------------------------------------------------------------- Nasir Malick ISLAMABAD, Sept. 10: The ruling alliance of Pakistan Democratic Front (PDF) is set to bring its chief minister with a majority of 150 members after sending Wattoo out of office on Sept. 12. The PDF displayed its strength in the Punjab House here at a joint meeting of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League(J) on Sunday. According to the strategy chalked out today, it was decided that the Governor would ask Wattoo to seek a fresh vote of confidence when the assembly meets on Sept. 12. Since he will not be able to take a vote of confidence, the PDF will put up its own candidate on Sept. 13 who will seek a vote of confidence, the source said. The source, who chose anonymity, said the Governor's rule would be lifted a day before the assembly session. "The Speaker can summon the assembly at a short notice of 12 hours and probably this will be done in this case and assembly will be summoned on Sept. 11." A PPP source said the government wanted to resolve Punjab issue before the National Assembly session which is beginning on Sept. 13 in the afternoon so that the opposition should not get any point to score. PPP members are confident that this time it will be their candidate who will head the province. "Mr Hamid Nasir Chattha has been told by the prime minister that the present power-sharing formula between the PPP and the PML (J) is not workable and that the chief minister should be from the majority party," the source said. Hamid Nasir Chattha however told reporters after the meeting that it was his desire that the chief minister should be from his party. DWS 950912 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Nawaz to back Chattha's candidate ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report LAHORE, Sept. 11: In an unexpected move here on Monday, PML(N) President Nawaz Sharif declared that his party would not nominate any candidate for the office of the Punjab chief minister if the PML(J) nominated its candidate for the post. A message in this respect has been sent to Hamid Nasir Chattha with the hope that because of his family background and his long affiliation with the PML, he would make use of the offer and would not deprive the PML of an opportunity to form its government in the Punjab. A party source told Dawn that in the changed situation, the PML(N) wanted to make all possible efforts to prevent the PPP from coming into power in the Punjab. He said he had made the offer after taking into consideration the prevailing situation and the supreme interests of the PML. He said his party was ready to offer any sacrifice for the establishment of a PML government in the Punjab. DWS 950913 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Wattoo out in 10-minute PA session ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ashraf Mumtaz LAHORE, Sept. 12: Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo stood ousted as Punjab chief minister on Tuesday when he failed to turn up at a special session of the assembly called by the governor to seek a fresh vote of confidence. With the formal end of the Wattoo administration in Punjab, the campaign first started by deputy speaker Manzoor Mohal in June through anti-Wattoo statements, which escalated when four of the Wattoo's advisers tendered their resignations, came to its logical conclusion. The entire opposition as well as Wattoo boycotted Tuesday's session on the plea that the whole exercise was "illegal and unconstitutional" since the governor had not restored the chief minister's powers before requiring him to show his majority in the House. Wattoo, who had first become Punjab chief minister after a no- confidence motion against the late Ghulam Haider Wyne on April 25, 1993, declared at a news conference later that he would go to court against the "illegal proceedings" of the session. He maintained that under the Constitution, the governor could ask a chief minister, and not a suspended chief minister, to seek a vote of confidence. DWS 950913 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Saroop has no powers to summon PA, says Wattoo ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report LAHORE, Sept. 12: Former Punjab chief minister Manzoor Wattoo has disputed governor Saroop Khan's powers to summon the assembly session and ask him to seek a fresh vote of confidence without restoring his government, suspended on Sept. 5 by President Farooq Ahmed Leghari under Article 234 of the Constitution. "Without my restoration as chief minister, I cannot be asked to obtain a vote of confidence because Article 109/130(5) of the Constitution postulates that the Punjab governor can only require the chief minister to seek such a vote and not an ordinary member of the assembly. At any rate the Punjab governor, having not been so mandated by the president, could not issue the order and create a constitutional crisis," Wattoo said in a letter he faxed on Tuesday to the president, the governor and Punjab Assembly Speaker Haneef Ramay. Wattoo also announced that they would boycott the "unconstitutional and illegal" assembly session. "I cannot attend a session which is wholly illegal and emanates from an order that is ab initio void," the former chief minister said. He said they had completed their preparations to move the courts against the illegal summoning of the assembly session and the presidential proclamation, in a couple of days. He expressed the hope that he would get relief from the court and the proclamation would be set aside. In his letter, Wattoo has also questioned the "legality" of the presidential proclamation denuding him and his cabinet of executive powers. He dubbed the proclamation order illegal and motivated. Wattoo said the federal government was using the electronic media and the entire state machinery to "persecute and malign" him and his cabinet colleagues, by levelling accusations against them, to browbeat them into submission since the suspension of his government. The administrative machinery, he charged, had been massively mobilised by the governor during the last five days and government officials, who had relatives in the assembly, were asked to force the MPAs concerned to indulge in the worst kind of horse-trading to switch their loyalties. Such acts of the government had "destroyed democratic norms and the constitutional system". "I was not asked by the governor to obtain a vote of confidence on my return home on Sept. 3 because he knew I would get one. Instead, the federal government and the governor managed the proclamation for ulterior considerations." Wattoo concluded: "I and my colleagues are shocked over the misuse of state powers flowing from the apex, in ruthless violation of all norms, law and ethics, and call upon your conscience to revoke all the illegal and unconstitutional orders and acts. We hope that you will serve the people of Pakistan by restoring me and my cabinet by rising above your selves and thus uphold constitutional rule in the largest province of the country." DWS 950914 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Arif Nakai of PML(J) new chief minister ------------------------------------------------------------------- Mahmood Zaman LAHORE, Sept. 13: Sardar Mohammad Arif Nakai, a PML(J) MPA from Kasur and a member of the deposed Wattoo cabinet, was elected leader of the house on Wednesday to head the next PDF government in Punjab As many as 152 votes were recorded in favour of the 66 year old Nakai, whose nomination by the PDF coalition took most people by surprise. Those voting in his favour included six PML(N) dissidents. The PML(N) as a party abstained from taking part in the count. Before the election of the new chief minister began in a specially convened Punjab Assembly session, it was announced that Nakai was the PDF's candidate, and the other nominees =97- including the man most tipped to be chief minister, the PPP's Makhdoom Altaf =97 then withdrew= their nominations. Acting opposition leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, after ascertaining that only the PML(J)'s candidate was left in the field, announced that he was also withdrawing from the contest, Nakai was thus elected unopposed. An immediate problem for the PDF would be the restoration of administrative powers to the new chief minister. The powers were taken over by the governor on Tuesday and the PML(J) would like them to be restored to Nakai. This may result in an immediate tug of war between the PDF partners as well as between the PML(J) and the governor. DWS 950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Govt-MQM talks make headway ------------------------------------------------------------------- Shamim-ur-Rahman KARACHI, Sept. 7: The government-MQM peace talks apparently crossed the psychological threshold on Thursday as they "moved closer" to each= other in "forging an understanding" that may lead to a "political accord". Both sides appeared relaxed and optimistic at the end of the seventh round of talks which lasted about three hours at the Governor's House but parried questions in a bid to save the process from running into snags. The "crucial and important" eighth round would be held at the Parliament House in Islamabad on Sept. 13 in which both sides have agreed to discuss each others point of view as spelt out in 18 and 21 points of the MQM and the government, respectively. The two sides also agreed to continue "silent and quiet efforts to defuse tension" and for "improving the law and order situation in Karachi," Mr Khan said. The MQM had observed a day of strike last week to protest against the alleged humiliation of Mohajir women, encirclement of the Mohajir localities, end of mass arrests and alleged extra-judicial killings. DWS 950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- MQM calls for protest day tomorrow ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Report KARACHI, Sept. 8: The MQM coordination committee announced on Friday that it would observe Sept. 10 as a "protest day" against what it alleged was "continuing arrest of its women workers and their torture in interrogation cells". In a statement, the committee appealed to transporters, traders and shopkeepers to join the protest by closing their businesses on the day. It further said that "unless arrest and torture" of its workers was not stopped, the MQM would continue its protest against the government and its agencies. DWS 950910 ------------------------------------------------------------------- MQM threatens indefinite strike ------------------------------------------------------------------- Shamim-ur-Rahman KARACHI, Sept. 9: Prospects for the resumption of the eighth round of talks between the government and the Mohajir Qaumi Movement on Sept. 13 appear to be bleak because the latter has threatened "indefinite strike" if any harm came to its activists during Sunday's strike, party sources said on Saturday. "If the strike continues beyond Sunday, we will not be able to go to Islamabad as we cannot violate the party discipline," said the chief MQM negotiator, Ajmal Dehlavi. He also expressed the view that the talks could not go on indefinitely without any progress. DWS 950914 ------------------------------------------------------------------- 'One-point formula' controversy hits talks ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report ISLAMABAD, Sept. 13: The MQM negotiating team on Wednesday presented a one-point formula that Ajmal Dehlavi termed a "short cut" to a negotiated settlement of the Karachi crisis. While the government chief negotiator, N. D. Khan, refuted MQM's claim. "It is totally baseless and ill-founded statement," he said when asked by reporters to give details of the formula. Khan said that the government had the one-point agenda and that was the restoration of peace in Karachi. He said during today's talks they focused on the 18 and 21 points presented earlier by the MQM and government respectively. Dehlavi, who refused to elaborate the formula, said the initial response of the government's negotiating team was very positive and they welcomed it. At the joint briefing held shortly after the conclusion of 8th round, both the sides made no mention of the formula. However, Dehlavi said at the briefing that the onus of making the talks a success was now on the government. He said the formula presented at the end of 8th round of the MQM- government negotiations, had been framed in the light of MQM chief Altaf Hussain's directive not to prolong the talks. To another question whether the MQM would suspend their weekly strikes, he said the MQM stance on the issue was very clear. "Wherever there is suppression there will be some reaction", he remarked. Regarding the ban on the MQM to function as a political party, he said it was his party's constitutional right and they could get this right >from the court. Lifting of the ban, he maintained, would not be a favour to the MQM. DWS 950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ties with Kabul to remain unaffected ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Report RAWALPINDI, Sept. 7: In a statement to the press Foreign Secretary, Najmuddin Shaikh, said that Pakistan had taken strong exception to the statements and attitude of Yunus Qanoni, head of Kabul's security commission. Adding however that the incident will not effect the relations between the two country's. Shaikh said the Afghan government was warned earlier about the rumours of a large demonstration, but no precautions were taken. He said that the fact that "the demonstrators gathered at a central place and arrived at the embassy in buses suggests that they were under a central command." He said virtually all the embassy personnel were injured besides which they all went through a traumatic experience. On the other hand, he said, the Pakistan government, had made adequate security arrangements at the Afghan consulate and other buildings. Refuting the allegations by the Afghan government of supporting the Taliban, Shaikh said, President Rabbani had himself acknowledged financing the Taliban movement. Accordingly, Pakistan had always acted neutral in disputes among various Afghan groups. The MQM accused the PPP and PPI (Punjabi-Pukhtoon Ittehad) activists of killing the two, with the "support of law enforcement agencies." DWS 950910 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Attack on Pakistani Embassy discussed ------------------------------------------------------------------- Nasir Malick ISLAMABAD, Sept. 9: The President, Prime Minister and Chief of the Army Staff met to discuss the attack on the Pakistan embassy in Afghanistan, an official source said. The attack in which almost all embassy staff, including Ambassador Qazi Humayun were injured, is being considered as an "engineered attack" by the Pakistan government. The source said the three leaders discussed the recent provocative statements of some Afghan government leaders in which they had tried to involve Pakistan in their internal affairs by accusing Islamabad of supporting Talibans, who recently captured the western city of Herat. The Foreign Minister, Sardar Assef Ali, told the meeting that the Pakistan Embassy had been informed about the attack from its own sources a day before and immediately the Foreign Office took up the matter with President Rabbani with a request to provide additional force to protect the lives and properties of the Pakistani staff stationed in Kabul. He reportedly told the meeting that only 10 guards were provided which were insufficient to deal with such an unruly mob. DWS 950911 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Pakistan to shift its embassy from Kabul ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report ISLAMABAD, Sept. 10: Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said on Sunday that Pakistan will shift its embassy to some safer place in Afghanistan because of repeated attacks on its staff and building in Kabul. At least 25 members of the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul, including the Ambassador, were seriously injured in an attack by around 5,000 people last week. The demonstrators, protesting against Pakistan's support to Taliban, also killed a staff member and set the embassy on fire. Pakistan had demanded an apology from the Kabul government as well as compensation. Ms. Bhutto said the government had also considered breaking diplomatic relations with Afghanistan but decided not to do so. Ms Bhutto said that she was personally reluctant to reopen the embassy in Kabul after it was attacked by demonstrators protesting at the killing of three Afghan gunmen who had hijacked a bus load of school children from Peshawar and brought to Afghan embassy. The gunmen were killed by Pakistani commandos. However, Ms Bhutto said the attack on Pakistan embassy would not affect more than two million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan. She said the attack was a deliberate act to provoke Pakistan to abandon its neutrality and openly support some group. "We do not wish to be provoked and that is why we have been restrained (from taking any action)," the prime minister said. DWS 950911 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Kabul must apologise, pay compensation, says Assef ------------------------------------------------------------------- Hasan Akhtar ISLAMABAD, Sept. 10: Foreign Minister Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali warned the Kabul regime on Sunday that Pakistan would not reopen its embassy in Kabul unless Afghan President Rabbani made an unqualified apology to the government and people of Pakistan and agreed to fully compensate this country for the losses and damage caused by thousands of Afghans during their attack on the Pakistan embassy and its diplomatic and non-diplomatic personnel on Wednesday last. The foreign minister accused the Afghan authorities of ignoring Pakistan government's frantic appeal to take measures for protecting the embassy and its personnel from a pre-planned attack by Afghans. The injured Pakistani staff, including ambassador Kazi Humayun, had been airlifted on Thursday aboard a chartered PAF plane and admitted in the Combined Military Hospital and other government hospital. The body of the embassy watchman who was killed in the attack was also brought by the aircraft. The embassy is now virtually closed. Ali, who was speaking at a Press conference at the Foreign Office, ruled out at this stage snapping of diplomatic ties with Kabul, pointing out that Pakistan would not like to forsake and punish the people of Afghanistan with whom, by and large, this country's relations had remained friendly and close. It was precisely for that reason, he pointed out, that Pakistan missions in several other Afghan cities, including Mazar Shariff, Herat and Jalalabad, would keep functioning as before. He said "that (the attack) was definitely a reprehensible act on the part of Kabul regime and was certainly not a spontaneous protest or act by the Afghan people." He claimed " (By this attack) they wanted to please somebody. This is to provoke Pakistan into taking certain (retaliatory) acts" to serve the ends of those interested quarters. DWS 950913 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Kabul rejects Pakistan's demand ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Report KABUL, Sept. 12: The Afghan government has declined to apologise over a mob attack on the Pakistan embassy which left one Pakistani dead and several others injured, an official statement said. It also countered a demand by Pakistan for the restoration of its embassy, which was gutted in the attack, and for full protection for diplomats and staff, claiming that a Pakistani diplomat had fired on the crowd sparking the attack. According to a statement made by the Afghan foreign ministry, "first of all the Pakistan authorities should apologise for the bullets fired by their diplomat and the murder of an Afghan". DWS 950914 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Afghans hold rally against Pakistan ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report KABUL, Sept. 13: In another show of protest, the Afghan government renewed its attacks on Pakistan at a mass rally in Kabul with each speaker accusing it of "direct interference in Afghan internal affairs." Most of the speakers claimed that Pakistan was using the Taliban militia as a front to camouflage what they called a de facto invasion of Afghanistan. "However they might try, Pakistan will never succeed in their ambition to make slaves out of their Afghan brothers," Kabul security commission chief and acting defence minister Younis Qanouni told the gathering. "Whatever their propagandists might whisper in your ear, whatever they might say about other Mujahideen (Islamic fighters) defecting, you must stand united against Taliban," he said. The rally was held almost a week after over 4000 Afghans protesting against Pakistan's alleged assistance to Taliban, ransacked and burned down the Pakistan embassy killing an embassy employee and injuring 28 others, including the ambassador and military attach=E9. Pakistan denies helping Taliban and has asked for an apology for the attack. Kabul dismissed the demand. DWS 950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Sutlej flood washes away 2,500 houses ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report LAHORE, Sept. 7: The "super flood" in the Sutlej on Thursday washed away as many as 2,500 houses in some 40 villages in the Kasur region. In Lahore, several low-lying localities in Shahdara were inundated by the flood waters of the Ravi. On Wednesday night a protective bund near Shakargarh was swept away by the Ravi, flooding residential areas and agricultural land there. According to reports, the super flood peak of more than 300,000 cusecs in the Sutlej entered Pakistan early on Thursday morning. No casualties had been reported till the evening. There was, however, no immediate danger to Kasur city, the administration said, adding that efforts had been made to evacuate marooned people. It did not say anything about casualties, saying communications were disrupted. The report said district administration had started evacuation of people from the affected villages late on Wednesday night. On Thursday, many families were still trapped in their marooned houses and army jawans were removing them to safer places by ferry. DWS 950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- India kills 3 Kashmiris on LoC ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Report MUZAFFARABAD, Sept. 8: According to officials, at least three people were killed and four injured when Indian troops opened fire on civilians from across the border. Indian troops resorted to "unprovoked" shelling on a border township in Neelum Valley, some 50 kilometres from the state capital, Muzaffarabad. Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir, Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan, said the situation in the Neelum Valley was tense. With frequent skirmishes along the Line of Control. DWS 950910 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ambassador blames NA speaker for toning down speech ------------------------------------------------------------------- Masood Haider NEW YORK, Sept. 9: Ambassador of Pakistan to the United Nations, Ahmad Kamal, has made an all-out effort to absolve himself of any responsibility in vetting the Pakistani Speaker's speech given at the International Parliamentary Council's meeting here last week, by the Indian mission. Ambassador Kamal has suggested to the Pakistan Foreign Secretary in a letter that the onus and responsibility for any change or deletion of the paragraphs 'offensive' to the Indians rests solely with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Yusuf Raza Gilani. The speech was eventually toned down by deleting references against India's human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir, but the Indians still raised objections and lashed out at Pakistan. DWS 950912 ------------------------------------------------------------------- 20% of Green Cards referred to US embassy found to be fake ------------------------------------------------------------------- M. Ziauddin ISLAMABAD, Sept. 11: Twenty per cent of the suspect green cards referred to the US Embassy by the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) for verification before booking seats for the return journey of the holders were found to be fake, sources close to the embassy said here on Monday. The overwhelming majority of these card holders, trying to leave for the US from Pakistani airports, are said to be Afghans living in Pakistan. However, PIA which only three years back had enjoyed the dubious distinction of being ranked at the very top of the list of world airlines carrying illegal immigrants to the US has now lost this coveted position, the sources maintained. The airline had been heavily fined in 1993 by the US for carrying illegal immigrants to New York and it lost even more because it had to carry back these illegal immigrants at its own cost. Things had gone so bad that at one point in time, the airline was about to lose its landing rights in the US. DWS 950912 ------------------------------------------------------------------- India's defence deal with US to be opposed ------------------------------------------------------------------- Shaheen Sehbai WASHINGTON, Sept. 11: Pakistan would raise strong objections if the United States tried to make a deal with the Indians for sale of sophisticated US defence technology in return for release of Pakistan's arms and equipment blocked under the Pressler Amendment, competent sources said on Monday. Reports of such a possible deal were published in some Indian newspapers as Indian Defence Secretary K.A. Nambiar flew to Washington to resume dialogue on defence matters, suspended last June. "We don't know if these Indian reports are correct or form part of a disinformation campaign, but Pakistan would certainly not agree to the sale of sophisticated technology to India while the sanctions under the Pressler law are intact," a diplomat said. But state department officials tried to dispel the impression that these talks would focus on the Pressler Amendment or Pakistan-US relations. He was asked about any possible offer of a trade-off to New Delhi in which hi-tech technology could be sold in return for softening of Indian position on release of equipment to Pakistan. The talks, to be held under the umbrella of the Indo-US Consultative Group, were called off by New Delhi in June when Washington announced a new policy and made all hi-tech military sales to New Delhi conditional on removal of discrimination against Pakistan, enforced by the Pressler sanctions. Diplomatic sources said the United States was expected to raise the issue of the Indian missiles programmes in talks with Nambiar, specially after recent statements of Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao that Prithvi could be deployed on Pakistan borders. According to one newspaper, the exclusion of the vice chiefs of the three Indian services, who are chairpersons of their respective military steering committee groups, is a clear indication that military to military cooperation will not figure high on the agenda.


950910 ------------------------------------------------------------------- UK court refuses bail to BCCI man ------------------------------------------------------------------- Athar Ali LONDON, Sept. 9: A former official of the closed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), Ziauddin Ali Akbar, was refused bail at the Bow Street Magistrates' Court and remanded in custody until Oct. 6 when a request from the New York District Attorney for his extradition would be considered. Akbar, a former head of BCCI treasury office, was rearrested on Sept. 1 after his release from prison on completion of his sentence on charges of defrauding the BCCI. He is now wanted by the United States for trial on two charges of grand larceny and extortion by unfair means. The US has been fighting for his extradition since he was detained in France in Sept. 1991, having run away from UK where he had been restricted by the authorities from going abroad following his conditional release on completion of an 18 months prison sentence for drug money laundering. The British authorities were able to prevail upon the French that since Akbar had escaped from the UK and was also wanted here in connection with BCCI investigations, he should be extradited to Britain first. February last, he was sentenced at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey to six years imprisonment after pleading guilty to 16 charges of false accounting and defrauding the BCCI of an estimated 500 million pounds. DWS 950913 ------------------------------------------------------------------- UK court order used against local firm ------------------------------------------------------------------- Mohammad Malick ISLAMABAD, Sept. 12: In the first ever move of its kind to recover debts through the implementation of an English court's decree in Pakistan, the liquidators of the defunct Bank of Credit & Commerce International (BCCI) have obtained a restraining order against the chief executive of Highnoon Laboratories for the recovery of a loan of 279,154 pounds sterling. The restraining order passed by an additional district and session judge of Lahore, has restrained Tariq Jawaid Khan from transferring his shares in the companies mentioned in the application of the liquidators. Mr Khan's holdings include the Highnoon Laboratories, Highnoon Chemicals, Highnoon Antibiotics, Denpak Enterprises, Pakistan Guarantee Insurance and International Multi-Leasing Corporation. His shares in Highnoon Labs alone are estimated to be worth over Rs 2.5 crore. The relatively small amount of the loan notwithstanding, the move is being viewed as very significant by the business circles because it is the first instance of the BCCI liquidators actually going for the recovery of the defunct bank's loans. The BCCI liquidators have already obtained similar decrees against a number of other Pakistani businessmen as well but it could not be ascertained whether similar moves for their execution through Pakistani courts would be made in the immediate future or not. DWS 950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- $240m plan for pilgrims' accommodation ------------------------------------------------------------------- M. Ziauddin ISLAMABAD, Sept. 7: The government is considering a $240 million plan proposed by a private sector consortium to buy land in Makkah and build two multi-storeyed buildings to overcome the problem of shortage of accommodation during Haj season which has been causing immense hardships to thousands of Pakistani pilgrims for a number of years. The project envisages acquisition of two plots of land =97 one measuring 2,500 square metres near Haram Sharif costing $102 million and the other measuring 7,500 square metres (1,500 metres away) and costing $70 million=97 and constructing buildings to house some 20,000 of the 90,000 pilgrims who go for Haj every year on an average. Those who know the layout of Makkah Mukarramah well feel intrigued as only two kilometres away from Haram Sharif in the Aziziyah locality, there are a number of decent multi-storeyed buildings which offer rooms at economical rents along with buses for commuting in groups between Haram Sharif and the lodgings. The most intriguing part of the whole scheme, however, is its financial plan under which the sponsors have offered to arrange a loan in foreign exchange to meet the entire cost of the project with sovereign guarantee of the government of Pakistan at a rate of 2.5% over seven-libor fixed or 2.7%t over one-year libor floating. The normal interest rate for such loans is a maximum of 1.5% over libor. The sponsors have also offered to lease the two buildings completed at Pakistan's cost to the Pakistan government for 99 years when the Saudi government regulations do not permit lease arrangements at all. The outline financial plan submitted by the sponsors carry the following assumptions: a) The rent of the building located near Haram Sharif per pilgrim will be SR1,500 and for the building located at 1,500 metres from Haram Sharif it will be SR1,350 per pilgrim. b) The building near Haram Sharif would also be used for Umrah pilgrims at an estimated rent of SR250 per room per day for 10 months a year at 90 per cent occupancy. c) Ten per cent of the total rental income will be spent on maintenance, d) The annual escalation of rent is estimated at 5 per cent. DWS 950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Cotton accord with Turkmenistan signed ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Report ASHKHABAD (Turkmenistan), Sept. 8: Pakistan and Turkmenistan have signed an agreement for expanding trade in cotton. Turkmenistan is a significant regional producer of high quality and long staple cotton. Last year when Pakistan had a shortfall of cotton and while many countries in Central Asia and elsewhere were approached by the Cotton Export Corporation of Pakistan, only Turkmenistan responded positively by signing a contract for sale of 31,000 tons of the commodity. Turkmenistan agreed to set aside as a matter of priority between 5 to 15 thousand tons of cotton to be exported to Pakistan, on an annual basis for the next five years subject to mutually acceptable terms and conditions on price and delivery period. DWS 950914 ------------------------------------------------------------------- 30% jump in conservancy, water rates ------------------------------------------------------------------- Saghir Ahmed KARACHI, Sept. 13 : The Sindh government has approved enhanced water tariff, entailing an average increase of 30% and a consequential increase in sewerage rates, with immediate effect, official sources disclosed here on Wednesday. The increased tariff was proposed to the government by the KWSB to fulfil the legal covenants of the World Bank, which funds billions of rupees worth of the KWSB's major water and sanitation projects, as well as to lessen its financial crisis. A notification has now been issued by the secretary of the local government department, directing the municipal commissioner to notify the "new water tariff with 30% average increase" and "consequential= increase in sewerage tariff on a differential slab basis" with immediate effect but it makes no mention whether or not it would be given retrospective effect from July, as had been done in the case of similar increases in the past. Conservancy charges are recoverable at the rate of 75% of the water tariff. Officials said the increase in the water and sewerage tariff was a "cross subsidisation" phenomenon for the cost recovery of water by imposing increase in water tariff and conservancy rates on percentage basis, in the present case, causing a rise of 30% on an average. The KWSB's consumer base is 914,000. The board hopes to bring on record at least 100,000 properties on its billing record during 1995- 96 and another 100,000 by reclassifying them from "unconnected" to "connected" category. It is still in the mid of finalising its plans for the early implementation of the World Bank's "Action Plan" which aims at improving its financial performance. DWS 950914 ------------------------------------------------------------------- CBR announces refund of custom duties ------------------------------------------------------------------- Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana KARACHI, Sept. 13: In a major move to boost exports of non-traditional items the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has announced to refund customs duties and sales tax on raw materials to be used in a variety of items, notably toys and other plastic products. Encouraged by the last year's spectacular performance of the non- traditional sector, which contributed about $2 bn to the total export proceeds of $8.2 bn, the Government appears to be all-out to supplement the efforts of this sector by providing a number of tax relief's and other concessions. To achieve the target of $9.2 bn set for the year 1995-96, the Government seems to have again pinned its hope for earning substantial amount of foreign exchange through the export of non-traditional items. The imported raw materials used for the manufacture of various categories of toys and allowed repayment of customs duties and refund of sales tax include PVC Resin 3 (Plastic assorted), DOP D 2E, HL (soft toys), LDPE EX/2 Inj grade (plastic poly dolls with hair), pigment, packing film, ink etc. The repayment of customs duties and refund of sales tax are admissible in respect of the goods exported on or after December 12, 1993. DWS 950914 ------------------------------------------------------------------- ECNEC approves projects worth Rs 3138.43m ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Report ISLAMABAD, Sept. 13: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved projects in education, manpower, health and water sectors costing Rs 3138.43 million. In education sector the project the committee approved the improvement of equipment at the Institute of Educational Technology of Allama Iqbal Open University. The project envisages the replacement and strengthening of obsolete equipment. A programme for training in technical trades and domestic services with an aim to reducing unemployment, meeting skilled workers' requirements of industries, help in self-employment and facilitating the export of manpower. The project will provide training to 50,000 persons per year. The upgradation of PAEC's Nuclear Medical Centres in various cities in Pakistan, which will provide accommodation for more patients, better medical facilities for malignant diseases, training of doctors and research of radio diagnosis. And in agriculture, a project to improve surface drainage of agriculture lands and to provide protection against surface run off. DWS 950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Stock Exchange : Short covering prevents decline ------------------------------------------------------------------- Muhammad Aslam The holiday curtailed week saw equities fall across a broad front last week as investors continued to take profits at the available margins fearing further slashing, but major decline was averted thanks to short covering at the dips. But the market could run into deeper recession during the next week as the sacking of the coalition chief minister of Punjab could have a negative bearing in the centre, if the PDF members are not pacified in time. The Karachi Stock Exchange index of prices, therefore, finished with an extended decline about 40 points at 1,773.86 as compared to 1,772.97 a week earlier, as most of the local base shares suffered fresh setbacks. The weekly delivery, which was shifted to the next week should have prompted a lot of speculative buying and bargain hunting, but some other factors weighed heavily against the investors mind, who undertook only guarded commitments. There was, however, a welcome change in the market psychology after the advent of foreign buying, and there was a perception that the market might be back on track as it was on Tuesday. Institutional traders were active and there were predictions that foreign buying could gain in stature at the still attractively lower levels, but change in the Punjab after the removal of the chief minister created an uncertain atmosphere in the rings, prompting selling by jobbers and day-traders. Floor brokers said foreign fund buying was not affected by the political developments, and it continued to figure prominently on most of the low-priced. Opinions differ from broker to broker, but all agree that this is now the buyers market and those who could take some calculated ones might be the ultimate gainers. The opening was distinctly easy, what the dealers called, an extension of Sunday's weakness, but the new account buying came in a big way lifting prices of blue chips substantially higher. "This seems to have lent support to the perception that foreign buying is in the rings may cause steep rise in prices of some MNCs scrips", dealers said. "A big rise in prices of MNCs, notably in the pharmaceutical sector provided the much-needed boost to the market but the city situation is not very conducive for making larger commitments", said an analyst. But the satisfying feature is that selling was not that aggressive, as to cause major dents on any of the counters, as was reflected by a mostly fractional fall. ICP mutual funds performed well under the lead of those which have good portfolios on news of higher earnings but modarabas and leasing shares fell fractionally barring some exceptions including NDLC, Pilcorp and Orix Leasing. Bank shares followed them, falling fractionally but attracted a lot of support at the lower levels on news of higher interim earnings. Platinum, Faysal, Askari Bank and Bank of Punjab and some others were actively traded, finishing with modest to good gains. The volume leaders among them were Faysal Bank and the Bank of Punjab. Among the insurance companies, Adamjee Insurance continued to drift lower on stray selling, but some others managed to end modestly higher under the lead of ALICO, Central, Century and Silver Insurance. Textiles lacked normal trading interest as investors were not inclined to make fresh commitments even at the attractively lower levels, owing partly to higher lint prices and partly to problems on the yarn export front. News of some financial relief to the sick units failed to enthuse investors. Synthetic shares were massively traded under the lead of Dhan and Dewan Salman, but then late selling pushed them modestly lower. Cement, Energy and Auto shares remained in active demand at the lows, though gains and losses were fractional as investors played on both sides of the fence amid alternate bouts of buying and selling. Leading shares among them managed to finish modestly higher. Most of the MNCs in the pharmaceutical sector including Parke-Davis, Ciba-Geigy, Nestle Milkpak, Abbott Lab and Highnoon Lab remained in active demand, and ended sharply higher. But Brooke Bond, Cyanamid Pakistan, and some others remained under pressure, falling modestly. Owing to the shortened week, the turnover figure fell to 27 million shares as against last week's million shares, bulk of which went to the credit of a few current favourites, notably Hub-Power, PTC vouchers and Faysal Bank which was massively traded in each session. They were followed by Dhan Fibre, Maple Leaf Cement, ITV Modaraba, KASB Premier Fund, Platinum Bank, Tri-Pack Films, Schon Bank and after the news of good interim profits, Adamjee Paper, Dewan Salman, etc. DAWNFacts*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 from Pakistan --- comes DAWN Facts, a new and powerful Fax-on-Demand service, the first service of its kind in Pakistan, giving you access to a range of information and services. Covering all spheres of life, the service 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, DAWN Facts is your one- stop source of information. DAWN Facts is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! DAWN Facts +92(21) 111-777-111 DAWNFacts*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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950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Khajjiloo ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ardeshir Cowasjee LAST week I finally met a man I had been wanting to meet for quite a few months =97 the Victor of Khajjiloo, Major General Naseerullah Babar, our Interior Minister. As a man, as far as I am concerned, he is a veritable enigma. Arriving at the initially appointed hour at his Head Quarters, the State Guest House, I was told by the gatekeeper that the General had left at 0500 hours. My first thought was that he had departed at dawn to survey the Karachi scene, perhaps to lay another siege. On second thoughts, I asked if he had flown away. bag and baggage. No one knew, as his habit is to arrive and leave alone, without luggage as such, with just his toothbrush and razor in a brief case, balancing his injured arm with his swagger stick. He travels around on his own, unarmed, unaccompanied by the inevitable bevy of flunkies. In this he is so vastly different from our swarm of ministers who surround themselves with gunmen, policemen, bag-carriers and hopeful sycophants. He has no motorcades, no gun-toters, he moves in a small white Japanese car flying the flag of his country. He does not fly the party flag, the alien banner. His car was there, waiting for him. Later in the day, I discovered that on an impulse he had flown off to Quetta that morning to be amongst the throng of partymen at an Achakzai wedding. In the evening, when he returned, he rang. Again, unlike his fellow ministers, he had the good manners and courtesy to call and apologise for not having managed to let me know he had to postpone our meeting. He invited me and my G-1 to meet him for lunch the following day. I told him that he was an enigma, that all our mutual friends, some his contemporaries some who had served under him, had always insisted that he was an extremely brave man, and an honourable straightforward soldier. Being so, I asked, how was it that he was so closely connected with, and able to work with, a party and government so highly corrupt, dishonest, greedy, selfish, insecure and dishonourable. He told me of his association with Bhutto, way back in the seventies, how Bhutto had opened up the tribal areas, how he had done things for the tribesmen that no one had done before, how Bhutto had offered him the governorship of the NWFP, forcing him to choose between his army career and politics, and how he had chosen the latter because he felt he could do some good. My conclusion: his loyalty to the man has merely been extended to the daughter. I asked how he reacted to his nicknames: 'blunderbuss', 'bull in a china shop', 'madman', 'barbaric Babar'. He laughed. "Let them call me what they like. I have a job to do. I am doing it in my way, I am trusted, I have been given a free hand, and that is all there is to it". I questioned the methods of his Karachi campaign. His answer was simple: the end will justify any means. Did that mean, I asked, that he went along with the theory of the Butcher of Bengal and Balochistan, about whom Yahya used to say "My Tikka, he shoots first and questions afterwards"? He laughed. But, I said, what about alienation, what about all the non-terrorist innocents who are being rounded up, subjected to humiliation and torture? Are you not converting them to hard-core followers of Altaf Bhai and his group? No chance, said he. All has been taken care of, Altaf is losing his grip and day by day is being recognised for what he is =97 a man with feet of clay. What about your own government, its inept corrupt ministers and hangers-on, its ambitious unscrupulous bureaucrats-turned-politicians? Why do you concentrate on the opposition? Why do you do nothing about the stench on your own doorstep? In true military fashion, he deflected the question. But, he has a clear head. His judgment, to me, appeared sound, for when I mentioned certain names uncomfortably close to his 'Mohtarma' (as he unfailingly refers to Benazir). He agreed with me and said they should not be where they are, they should have been dumped long ago. Why were they not? I asked. He shrugged his shoulders. It seems he does not mind enduring what he cannot cure. He is clued up, has a hearty Frontier sense of humour, enjoys doing what he is doing, and is satisfied in otherwise remaining blinkered. I zeroed in on appointments in Karachi. Babar can do what he likes with the administration, chop and change here and there, but as far as ministers and party cronies are concerned, he has no mandate. But should the party have no regard for maintaining "essential services",= should they at least not be saved, preserved and headed by men of merit? What about the country's principal port of Karachi, for instance? He well knew all about the 'disaster', the begging for the job and the nagging that had gone on, even how the influence of the powerful Pir of Mohra-Sharif, who Benazir frequents, had been brought into play. The General is not a pir-murid player. He is very much his own Pir. Babar is loyal to his subordinates, knows them for what they are, tolerates and uses them well. Rahman Malik, the notorious head of the FIA, whose operations day by day grow to resemble those of the old hated FSF, is to him a successful officer who one way or another delivers. What about the 250-odd cases filed against Altaf Bhai, I asked? Would any man with a modicum of sense facing so many allegations, fair or foul, allow himself to be arraigned in Pakistan? Would he return and risk it? Has the British Home Secretary not heard of the hospitalised Unnar against whom, whether he be guilty or not, the 54th case was registered that morning? No response. The General may well have felt that Altaf Hussain was being cut to size. But two days after our meeting, Altaf gave a strike call and life and work in the city were effectively and efficiently suspended, billions of rupees were lost, lives were lost, buses were burnt. We were at a standstill. I know of eight businessmen, who normally disregard strikes, who did not go to their place of work simply because of Babar's announcement in that morning's Press that people were liable to be shot at sight were they to be found disturbing the peace. On the day after the strike yet another FIR was filed against Altaf. Karachi remained half-closed on Thursday August 31, closed on Friday, half-closed again on Saturday, strike-closed on Monday, holiday-closed on Wednesday, will again be half-closed on Thursday, closed on Friday, half-closed on Saturday, and again closed on Monday the 11th, mourning the death of Jinnah the Founder. Does nobody care for the economy of Pakistan? The occupancy of the better hotels of Karachi, during the month of August, was rated at 28 per cent! According to police reports, the body score for June and July was 610 killed, 135 of whom were activists (42 MQM, 17 Haqiqi, 11 PPP, 65 unclear), plus 404 innocent passers-by, and 71 security personnel. These being police figures, one can safely estimate the bag at 1,000. How many mothers, fathers, wives, children, sisters and brothers were left in mourning or distress? How many thousands of parents had to pay ransoms ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 30,000 to recover innocent young men abducted by the police? Should the government, or what passes for government, not have some concern? As this goes to Press, Babar and the scene shift to Lahore. Wattoo's Assembly has been suspended. The Prime Minister's action is by any standards unconstitutional. Wattoo is worth no tears, but his fundamental right, under Article 18, his "right to enter upon any lawful profession or occupation" has been violated. There are now more MPAs to be 'fixed'. The heat has been turned on, the deserving, and undeserving are under pressure. Trading is frantic, buying and selling is the order of the day, in harmony, and at the expense of the country and the people. Is this a dress rehearsal for Sindh? Any suggestions as to how to shame the shameless? DWS 950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- The politics of irrelevance ------------------------------------------------------------------- Mazdak Mr Manzoor Wattoo is no longer Chief Minister of Punjab, at least for two months. Since some kind of a change was very much on the cards, suspension of Punjab Assembly may not have surprised many. Can Mr Wattoo weather the storm and still be in the saddle? Who knows? Apart from the growing tribe of aspirants for the job and their hangers-on, the only other people to whom a change in Punjab kept preoccupied are Lahore-based journalists who seemed to be in a feeding frenzy. For months, we have been regaled ad nauseam with stories of imminent change. Political pundits had analysed every smile and frown on Wattoo's and Governor Saroop's faces. Columnists sifted through the comments of the rival groups as though they were examining the entrails of a beast slaughtered for the purpose of foretelling the future. "Confidential", "reliable" and "impeccable" sources have all been invoked to predict the ouster or retention of the present CM, depending on whether the writer wants him to stay or go. The entire tedious exercise underlines yet again the bankruptcy of a system in which parties and politicians have become totally irrelevant. We have come to a point where politicians are part of the problem, not the solution. Whether it is Wattoo or Chattha who occupy the chief minister's house in Lahore has become a matter of supreme indifference to everybody excepting, perhaps, the supporters of the two gentlemen who may stand to gain or lose by a change. Indeed, politics in Pakistan is now only about personal gain, so which particular politician occupies a particular slot is relevant only to those who are on his gravy train. For the rest of us, it does not really matter which mugger is skulking around the corner: since it is our fate to get mugged anyway, why should we care who is doing the mugging? We should care for the simple reason that the greed and rapacity of our ruling elite's will grow exponentially if we do not stand up and say "enough"! The problem is that under the present system, we only get a chance to sack those in power once every five years; by then, they have made their pile, and the next lot shove their snouts in the trough. OK, so here the cycle is a bit briefer with one party getting turned out sooner than the Constitution envisages. But this only puts pressure on the ruling party to make their fortunes in two or three instead of five years. Stop me if you've heard this one before, but this unchanging scenario reminds me of a story. Passing through a forest, a man saw a fox with a swarm of flies feeding from an open wound. This Good Samaritan shooed the insects away and was walking off, when the fox piteously asked him to put it out of its misery. When the man pointed out that he had helped the fox, it replied: "You cruel man, the flies you shooed away were well fed. The ones which will now settle on my wound will be hungry, and will surely finish me off." So how to break out of this unending cycle of corruption and poor governance? Having tried out just about every political system under the sun =97 from dictatorship to parliamentary democracy, every ideology and every kind of politician, =97 it seems that we have come to a dead- end. I have often been accused of being a cynic, but I refuse to believe that a country of 120 million is incapable of producing honest and reasonably efficient leadership. The problem is that the people who fit the job description can neither finance an election campaign, nor would they wish to rub shoulders with those currently in occupation of our assemblies. Indeed, they would never be given tickets by the mainstream parties to start with. To a great extent, the Election Commission and the major political parties share the responsibility for this state of affairs. Through its inability to enforce the statutory spending limit on electoral expenses, the Election Commission has permitted these costs to reach the stratosphere. And yet when politicians file their expenses, they fudge them to stay within the (derisory) ceiling. It is common knowledge that candidates spend at least ten million to mount a serious campaign, and yet blatantly and routinely lie about their actual expenses in the statement they provide to the Commission which accepts them without demur. And yet, considering the three-ring circus that national and provincial elections have been transformed into, even a blind man can tell that millions have been poured into the exercise. In the 1990 elections, a very dear friend was in danger of being awarded a PPP ticket for the National Assembly, and some of us did a costing exercise to determine how much he would have to raise to have a reasonable chance of winning. We discovered that just for hiring transport, setting up temporary election offices and providing food for his supporters would cost him about three million rupees. This was five years ago, and this figure was the rock-bottom minimum. Luckily for him, the ticket went to somebody else, and he was spared the necessity of selling some land to finance his campaign. And yet, the current limit on electoral spending is a million for the National Assembly, and Rs 600,000 for the Provincial Assembly. Even these sums are prohibitive for most of us, and prevent many people from challenging the hegemony of the two mainstream groupings. Indeed, independent candidates or a serious third party are virtually precluded from politics by the sheer expense involved. Given these financial realities, it is understandable (if inexcusable) why feudals, drug- dealers and crooked businessmen are awarded party tickets. These people can finance their own campaigns, and have a vested interest in preserving a status quo that is rotten to the core. So how do we break out of this vicious cycle? There are voices in the wings urging an extra-constitutional change. But clearly, this option is unacceptable to those of us who have witnessed the ravages dictatorship has caused over the years. Although democracy is not an end in itself, its one abiding redeeming feature is that it allows us to change our rulers periodically, even though this may not be much more than a cosmetic change. I have long advocated the full-time TV coverage of assembly proceedings so that voters can see how their representatives are performing: each fist-fight, curse and quorum bell should be broadcast live nationally on a separate channel. This might put some pressure on our parliament members to at least behave in a reasonably civilised manner, and actually attend the proceedings once in a while. Also, senior officers deputed to the Election Commission should be posted in each constituency for the duration of an election campaign to monitor expenses, and any candidate exceeding the official limit should be debarred. As a double check, representatives of NGOs like the Human Rights Commission should monitor the campaign as well as the actual election. I realise that none of these suggestions by themselves will improve things unless there is an overwhelming public desire to make the system work. DWS 950910 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Crossing the line ------------------------------------------------------------------- Omar Kureishi NO MAN is a hero to his valet. That is why the general perception of our security agencies was that they tended to be hamfisted and when they were not being sinister, they had something of Inspector Clouseau of Pink Panther about them. One had vaguely suspected that over the years they had acquired a measure of sophistication and reached a level of competence abroad though alas, at home, they were associated with political dirty tricks. One had no idea that they possessed such an awesome omnipotence that they were able to operate with impunity in far corners of the world and especially in India. To have the Indian propagandists tell it, Pakistan's not-so-hidden hand is behind every dastardly act in that country. The day cannot be far off, if the present level of accusations is maintained, that even death from natural causes will be attributed to some Pakistani jantar-mantar. As matters stand, as of now, Pakistan is behind the uprising in Occupied Kashmir, the latest outrage being the kidnapping of four Westerners and holding them hostage. Al-Faran which claims to have carried out the kidnapping is supposed to be linked to Harkat-ul-Ansar which is supposed to be based in Pakistan. The fact that the kidnappings have been strongly condemned by the Pakistan Government including the Prime Minister and Harkat-ul-ansar has denied any ties with Al-Faran has not cooled the ardour of the Indian propagandists. Pakistan too was blamed for the 1993 Bombay blasts. And the latest is that Pakistan is being accused of staging the assassination of the high-profile chief minister of Punjab Beant Singh, a man loved by few and hated by many. The Federal Home Minister Shankarao Chavan has told The Economic Times that the gruesome killing of Beant Singh was masterminded by the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan. Mr Chavan, a close confidant of Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao pulled no punches. "I can say without any fear of any contradiction that the ISI is behind the bomb blast," he thundered and added that the Sikh separatists wanted by Indian authorities were taking refuge in Pakistan. There is an interesting and intriguing side-light to this. Within hours of the assassination of Beant Singh, the Indian High Commissioner in London was talking to BBC and he said much the same thing as Chavan has said, that Pakistan was behind the bomb blast and that Sikh separatists were being trained and given sanctuary in Pakistan. The question is: how could the Indian High Commissioner sitting in London make such a categorical accusation within hours of the assassination? Did he have foreknowledge? Or was he simply parroting a standard Indian line, almost as if he had made a tape-recording of it and was playing it back? The Babbar Khalsa has taken the responsibility for the bomb blast. Is it the Indian position that this is a Pakistan-front organisation? Give them time I say and the Indians may yet prove that the Pakistani ISI was behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. And sell the proposition to Senator Pressler. More grist to the mill of the India lobby in Washington D.C. The Indian Government has admitted that there had been serious security lapses. The Internal Security Minister Rajesh Pilot has gone so far as to refer to it as "a total security failure." There had also= been a security failure in the assassination of Indira Gandhi as well as Rajiv Gandhi. Rather than blame outsiders for their own negligence if not incompetence, the Indians would do well to get their act together. There are, as they say, wheels within wheels in Indian politics and a good rule of thumb would be to apply the principle of cui bono =97 a question of who stands to gain and therefore was likely to be responsible. When Mahatma Gandhi was killed, a Hindu fundamentalist group was held responsible. But the air was thick with rumours and there were suspicions that much more was involved. A high- profile politician, a pillar of the government was being mentioned as being the brains of the conspiracy. It is too easy and too convenient to rush to judgment. There has been a noticeable stepping up of anti-Pakistani propaganda in the Indian media. It appears to be orchestrated, emanating from a central source. I am wondering whether the Indians have adopted Dr. Goebbels as a patron-saint. The creator and administrator of Nazi propaganda made a distinction between "two truths." He believed: "We= are only helping the public when we call the imagination to our aid in certain cases where the record of facts is for some reason incomplete." Dr Goebbels was Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. It is the public enlightenment aspect of his job that is compelling and which no doubt fascinates the men and women who worked for the Truth Ministry in New Delhi. Then there is the ranting of someone like Bal Thackeray. He cannot now be dismissed as a member of the lunatic-fringe because his party now controls Maharashtra and they have already started to flex their muscles on the national scene. The inmates appear to have taken over the asylum. His particular fixation seems to be the Pakistan cricket team and his statements carry a nastiness that is extreme even by his usual standards. Not only is he not going to allow the Pakistan cricket team to play in India, he is targeting Coca Cola which will sponsor the Pakistanis in the World Cup. Thackeray says that Coca Cola will be thrown out. He says scornfully and menacingly: "let Coca Cola restrict to selling soft drinks otherwise they will find it very hard to gulp the consequences." Given his track-record, this cannot be considered an idle threat. Mr Jimmy Moghul, an executive of Coca Cola in India has simply passed the buck to his counterpart in Pakistan. That's not good enough. I am trying to find out whether there is any method in the madness of the propaganda onslaught. I don't find any. It betrays a certain amount of desperation. There is a thin line between propaganda and outright hostility. Has the line been crossed? DWS 950911 ------------------------------------------------------------------- A nation of lawyers ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ayaz Amir WHEN a government, federal or provincial, is sent home in this country, what do the nation's pundits and other wiseacres do? They rush to their constitutional textbooks for enlightenment and, instead of grasping the reality of the situation, expend bile, energy and eloquence in legal hair-splitting and in passing moral judgements. There is no question about it that the presidential proclamation dismissing the Wattoo government in Punjab is a high-handed measure and a gross misuse of Article 234 of the Constitution. But then politicians just as much as martial law administrators live in the real world. What is important for them is the end not the means. Wattoo had to be got rid of and given his come-uppance. The PPP had arrived at this conclusion a long time ago. His presence, his regal ways and the manner in which he was running Punjab were galling both to the PPP's hungry legislators in the province as well as to their masters in Islamabad. When Benazir Bhutto's own position was weak she suffered Wattoo and bided her time. But with the PML(N) still on the defensive and still trying to digest the failure of its agitation last summer, the Frontier safely in the hands of Aftab Sherpao and the army willy-nilly going along with General Babar's offensive in Karachi, it was only a matter of time before Ms Bhutto, her great incompetence surpassed by her good fortunes, got her claws into Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo. The morally high-minded are of course entitled to exclaim that the democratic course for the federal government would have been to ask Wattoo to prove his majority in the Punjab assembly. Or else the PPP could have moved a vote of no-confidence against him. Those holding such opinions are to be admired for their rectitude and their sense of moral outrage but not for their knowledge of Pakistani politics. With the powers of incumbency and the engines of patronage on his side, and the province's DCs and SPs answering to his call, is there anyone so foolish as to think that Wattoo would not have been able to prove his majority or that the PPP had even half a chance of successfully pushing a vote of no-confidence against the maestro, now sadly humbled, of Wasaiywala? In 1989 President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Mian Nawaz Sharif who was chief minister of Punjab, General Aslam Beg, head of the army, and Lt-Gen Asad Durrani in charge of the sharp instruments of the ISI were all out to get Ms Bhutto. But despite this vast array of forces ranged against her, she survived the motion of no-confidence moved in the National Assembly because the prime minister's office was still hers to command. With Wattoo occupying the chief minister's chair no one should be under the illusion that any 'constitutional' move against him =97 a move in accord with the sensibilities of the nation's moralists =97 would have had any chance of being successful. If Wattoo's removal was the desired end, the only effective means to achieve it was by clearing the field through his dismissal. The argument that this move is violative of the spirit of the Constitution would carry greater weight if we were living in a democratic paradise. But that we are not should be plain to the meanest intelligence. We have the trappings of democracy but who is there to say that there is any ingrained respect for the law or democratic traditions in this country where every ruler behaves like a Mughal despot and where the favoured instruments of governance, so many years after independence, are the deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police? Is it surprising then if the first move of any incoming government is to post the officials of its choice in key places. The wholesale transfer of officials in Punjab under the direction of the province's new gauleiter, Brigadier Aslam Qureshi, is thus wholly in keeping with the character and temperament of Pakistani politics. Nor is this state of affairs going to change in a hurry. Arbitrariness, disrespect for the law and a greed which knows no bounds have become the dominant characteristics of the national elite. If this be the case, how is it to be expected that governments should not be susceptible to the same characteristics or that in the exercise of power they should respect the pristine tenets of democracy? Or consider another example. All political parties in Pakistan, barring the Jamaat-i-Islami are one-man or, in the case of the PPP and begging Mr Zardari's pardon, one-woman shows. The very idea of introducing democracy into their ranks is abhorrent to them. Is it reasonable to expect then that once in power they will transcend their authoritarian bearings and be converted to the cause of democracy? We must note in passing that the prattle to be read about in Pakistani newspapers and the fulmination's of the civic-minded citizenry of the country (including various NGOs, women's organisations and retired military and civil officials who after their retirement are consumed by the desire to save the nation's soul) do no service to the cause of realism because what they preach has precious little relevance to the country's real conditions. The branches or organs of the state the common citizen comes into contact with in his everyday existence are police stations, the courts, the tehsil offices which control the revenue record of their respective areas, hospitals and state-run schools. How much democracy or respect for the law do we find in these institutions where as a rule nothing can be done and not a step taken nowadays without bribery or sifarish? It is here that the changes that we all desire in Pakistani society must begin. If they do not, all talk about democracy and the various freedoms is so much useless indulgence. There is, of course, another way of looking at the phenomenon of Pakistani democracy. If corruption, ostentation, the cutting of sordid deals, the amassing of wealth by any means become second nature to the ruling elite, is it not the height of absurdity to expect the same ruling elite to show a high-minded regard for the Constitution when it comes to something like dismissing a difficult chief minister? It is like expecting a habitual criminal to behave morally in a particular situation, the very idea of which is ludicrous. No tears, therefore, need be shed at the manner of Wattoo's sacking. Right from Ghulam Mohammed's dismissal of the first constituent assembly down to the present day, the preferred method of governmental change in Pakistan has been through resort to arbitrariness. With this legacy so well established, and with politics as an art being more debased today than at any time during the past, it is too much to expect that when President Leghari and Prime Minister Bhutto put their heads together about how best to get rid of Wattoo they should have opened the Constitution and consulted its phantom spirit. Had they done anything of the sort the Punjab MPAs, who must be among the world's greatest realists, would soon have taught them to rue their temerity. The only question worth putting in the circumstances is whether Ms Bhutto instead of being able to complete what she has set out to do, has succeeded merely in turning, in the words of that legendary policeman Qurban Ali Khan, a grade II problem into a grade I problem. A day after Wattoo's dismissal I told Abida Hussain, doughty fighter >from Jhang, that the Pipliyas would have to strive hard to create their majority in Punjab. She, with a knowledge of practical politics greater than mine, retorted, "Just you wait, they will do it in two days." When I demurred and raised objections she relented to the extent of saying, "All right, if not in two days then in four." The next morning after having re-evaluated in my mind the supple qualities of the Punjabi lota I called her up to concede that I had been wrong. With a bit of striving and wooing and cajoling Ms Bhutto would get her majority because for the waverers and fence-sitters in a Punjab Assembly to defy the force of a presidential proclamation amounts to rebelling against the entire thrust of their province's long and obedient history. DWS 950908 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Not as rosy as that ------------------------------------------------------------------- Editorial Column THE fact that Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's keynote address at the women's conference in Beijing was well received by the delegates at the meeting should not obscure the reality of the status of women in Pakistan. Ms Bhutto was perfectly correct when she pointed out that it was a misconception actively promoted in the West, that the problems of women in Muslim societies stemmed from their faith. Islam forbids injustice and recognises the identity of women and grants them equal rights. If women have been denied their rights in Muslim societies it is to be attributed to social prejudices rather than religious injunctions. In that context, the Prime Minister numerated the steps her government has taken to improve the lot of women in the country. But the fact is that much more needs to be done than was admitted by Ms Bhutto. The position of women in Pakistan today is more dismal than in any Third World countries. Not only is the gender gap more pronounced here (this points to he discrimination against women). In absolute terms too, the vital indicators for women make sorry reading. Only 25% of women are literate. Barely 30% of primary school-age girls are enrolled in schools. Less than 12% of women are in the organised labour force. Maternal mortality rate is exorbitantly high (500 per 100,000 births), while contraceptive prevalence is exceedingly low (12%). These are quantifiable indicators. Social prejudices and taboos cannot always be reduced to bare statistics but they are often more damaging than is realised. In this respect, the government could have done more but has failed to do enough, notwithstanding the fact that the Prime Minister is a woman. Paradoxically, the nascent women's movement in Pakistan, if one can describe it as such, has failed to grow after the end of military dictatorship in the country. The activists who had struggled for women's rights have somewhat relaxed their efforts once the male chauvinist grip represented by General Ziaul Haq was loosened. This has proved to be detrimental to the women's cause. Many of the issues which Ms Bhutto mentioned in her address have been neglected. For instance, the evil of dowry which has been the bane of women in our society has continued to grow unchecked. The campaign to create social awareness about its negative aspects has been more or less abandoned. The rate at which female primary school enrolment had been growing has slowed down considerably - the increase in percentage point was only 0.1 this year when it grew by 1.2 and 4.5 percentage points in the two previous years - and the participation ratio of women in the labour force has not grown at all. Ms Bhutto would do well to address the priorities of the education sector in real earnest. If education - both of men and women - is expanded sufficiently, it would help dispel the back-wardisation that comes with the prevalence of obscurantism and superstition. It would also help women achieve financial independence which Ms Bhutto correctly believes is important as a vital underpinning for their status. It would also make it possible to help emancipate them from the clutches of demeaning customs like dowry which reduces them to the status of chattels in matrimonial contracts. These are issues the government must take up if it really wants to improve the status of women. There are also the discriminatory laws which militate against the rights of women that need to be changed. This could prove quite problematic because of the political factors that operate and restrain any government in office. But there is nothing to stop a government that cares from spreading enlightenment and education if it wants to.


950912 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Off to a good start ------------------------------------------------------------------- Sarfaraz Ahmed THE FIRST Test of the three-Test series ended under four days' play. Ramiz won the maiden Test in his new capacity as a demonstrative captain. Wasim blew out the Lankans with his ability and adequacy. Ranatunga-Tillekeratne partnership turned out to be the best resistance for their team in the match. D=E9butante Saqlain Mushtaq, the off-spinner, impressed with his potential. Aamir aided Pakistan in his role of a change bowler seemingly ascending to a regular one in the absence of a left-armer with a career best figure. There was not much else in the match played at the slow track of the Arbab Niaz Stadium of Peshawar staging a Test match for the first time. The struggling Lankans have, however, made their point that with some better understanding of the circumstances after Pakistan declared their first innings with 400 plus on the scoreboard they could have given a tough fight to the hosts had they not been wayward and wavered in the use of the willow. What Arjuna Ranatunga and Hasan Tillekeratne did was only the mean of their performance they have been producing over the years against such oppositions. They had always banked on their batting prowess -- be they are playing one-dayers or the highest level of cricket, Test matches. `They've got a dangerous batting line-up' was the concern of an England team manager in a match at Sharjah a few years ago. Their batting capability enabled them to register a crucial victory over Pakistan in the last Asia Cup, which was later won by India. Nevertheless, playing the trio of Waqar, Wasim and Aaqib could be the best test of any batsman's nerves in today's cricket. Their proficiency and workmanship is no secret. They are skilful in exploiting conditions on any land or in any country. Their record speaks for them. What must have come precious for the Lankans is their pre-World Cup drill which they have been afforded by the best pair of fast bowlers at the cost of a Test match, however. Regardless of the outcome of the two more matches, playing against the one of the best teams would be much more than a mere consolation for the experienced Arjuna Ranatunga. With Arvinda de Silva joining his folks, thereby strengthening the batting base of the Sri Lankan team, one could expect from him a similar performance he gave for his county, Kent, against the West Indians recently.

Dawn issues