Week Ending : 18 May, 1995 Issue : 01-19

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    (c) Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., Pakistan - 1995






The curse of stagflation By Senator Sartaj Aziz Dangers of flawed IMF programme By Senator Sartaj Aziz Charar Sharif sacrilege From Hassan Akhtar Aftermath of Charar Sharief By M.H. Askari Bureaucracy & corruption By M.H. Askari Matrimony and the moralist From Tahir Mirza A sinister move Budgeting without convulsions By Sultan Ahmed In free fall By Mazdak Empowerment, but not quite Misuse of bank funds By Sultan Ahmed ------------


Farooq Umar made Olympics mission chief Imran to marry on June 20 under Islamic tradition Board giving me a raw deal, says Wasim Zarak made permanent as a footballer! Salim Malik innocent until proved guilty: CEO Latif, Basit don't want to play with Malik Hasib wants amicable solution to Salim's case



SECTION B, DAWN 18 May 1995


9500514 ------------------------------------------------------------------ The curse of stagflation ------------------------------------------------------------------ By Senator Sartaj Aziz As the nation braces itself for the next budget, it is important to review the economic record of the PPP government and ask the pointed question if the impending economic crisis is only because of the failure of the cotton crop or are there deeper causes springing from faulty management of the economy. As the data on the main economic indicators of the economy begin to pile up, it is clear beyond any shadow of doubt that the PPP government has failed to achieve its main economic and financial targets announced in the budget for 1994-95. The GDP growth target of 6.9% has already been lowered to 5.3%. But the latest data indicates that the actual growth rate will be even lower, i.e. about 4.5%. "The industrial growth target 7% will also suffer a serious shortfall and is likely to be below 5% Many more factories have closed down during the year, adding to the ranks of the unemployed. The inflation rate, as measured by the Consumer Price Index ( CPI), will be at least 14%, in 1994-95, i.e, twice as large as the target of 7%. The increase in the Sensitive Price Index (SPI) is much higher. "The fiscal deficit, instead of declining from 5.8% of (IDP in 1993-94 to 40%, is likely to exceed 6% in 1994-95. As explained later in this article, this will be the result of serious shortfalls in the collection of revenues, higher expenditures and record borrowings from bank and non-bank sources." The export target of $ 7.7 billion will also fail to materialise. The projected export of $ 7.5 billion will in fact mean a decline in real term over the export level of $ 7 billion in 199192, if the rate of inflation and deterioration in the value of the dollars is taken into account. But imports will increase by 12.5% against the forecast of 9%. There will thus be a basic deterioration in the balance of payments, despite larger borrowing from international agencies and private lenders. The stock market, which is an overall index of the health of an economy, has seen its sharpest fall in history. The KSE index has plummeted from 2660 in March 1994 to 1530 on May 3 1995. This fall of 43% in the value of shares means a total loss of Rs. 170 billion to. the investors. On the face of it, the foreign exchange reserves of $ 2.5 billion can be mentioned as positive feature of the economic balance sheet. However, one cannot overlook the fact that these reserves have not been built up through larger exports but by a windfall receipt of $ 900 million from the sale of PTC shares and about $ 500 million of other short-term flows mostly for the purchase of shares on the stock market. As the stock market has started crumbing, some of the hot money can flow out as quickly as it came in. If the overall performance of the economy during the current financial year is carefully analysed, most of the shortfalls can be traced to the deflationary and anti-growth policies adopted by the government, combined with the negative impact of the deteriorating law and order situation and the worsening relationship between the government and the business community. When an economy is growing at a healthy rate, government can collect a portion of the increased income as taxes. But when the economy is in a recession, only a modest dose of additional taxation is advisable. Totally disregarding the reality on the ground, the government formulated a very unrealistic budget and went for increasing tax collections by a record 41% in 1994-95. Sales tax was expected to increase by 88% and customs by 34%, despite reduction in tariffs, and projected increases in duty exempt items like wheat and machinery. Growth Rate of GDP and Inflation Rate in Pakistan: (1960-1994) GDP Growth Inflation Rate Rate 1960-61 4.89 73.30 1961-62 6.01 0.48 1962-63 7.19 -0.60 1963-64 6.48 4.19 1964-65 9.38 4.79 1965-66 7.56 2.54 1966-67 3.08 8.58 1967-68 6.79 3.57 1968-69 6.49 1.59 1969-70. 9.79 4.11 1970-71 1.23 5.72 1971-72 2.32 4.71 1972-73 6.80 9.68 1973-74 7.45 29.98 1974-75 3.88 26.71 1975-76 3.25 11.67 1976-77 2.84 11.77 1977-78 7.73 7.79 1978-79 5.53 6.63 1979-80 7.33 10.71 1980-81 *6.40 12.36 1981-82 7.22 10.00 1982-83 6.70 4.59 1983-84 4.75 8.26 1984-8- 9.17 7.46 1985-86 6.96 4.83 1986-87 5.72 3.87 1987-88 5.82 3.96 1988-89 4.88 10.39 1989-90 4.67 6.04 1990-91 5.48 12.66 1991-92 7.68 9.62 1992-93 3.03 11.66 1993-94 4.0 11.80 1994-95 Projected 4.5 14.5 Source: Pakistan Economic Performance 1947-93 The economic managers seemed to have convinced the Prime Minister that she must take bold measures to achieve "macro-economic stability by resorting to heavy taxation to reduce the budget deficit, and also raise utility charges of items electricity and gas. Some other advisors that she must reduce subsidies on fertilisers, wheat and edible oil, by increasing their prices. But no one explained to her that the cumulative result of all these policies would be to further lower the growth rate, already affected by the cotton crop failure and fuel inflationary pressures. As if to compound its fiscal sins, the government also suppressed the estimates of its expenditures to support its target of reducing the deficit. Debt servicing which had grown at 24% per annum in the past five years was allowed only a 5% increase, despite the higher cost of borrowing as a result of financial sector reforms and the expected- appreciation in the value of the yen and the DM. The development expenditure was also grossly underestimated in relation to construction contracts already awarded for approved objects. Any sensible observer could have predicted at the very outset that in the absence of major reforms and improvements in tax collecting machinery and a concerted programme to accelerate economic growth in order to enlarge the tax potential, such a large increase in tax revenues was not possible. But this government took about 7 months to reduce the tax collection target from Rs. 259 billion to Rs. 240 billion. In March '95 the target was again revised to Rs. 230 billion. Even this revised target is not likely to be achieved and actual collections may not exceed Rs. 215-220 billion i.e. Rs. 40-45 billion lower than the tar8et. This will mean that if additional taxes of Rs. 45 billion are excluded, the taxes collected will be even lower than those in the preceding year. The other side of the equation which has been thrown in total disarray by the shortfall in revenues is that of bank borrowing. Total bank borrowing for budgetary support, upto March '95, was Rs. 40 billion against the limit of Rs. 15 billion agreed with the IMF. In desperation, the country's fiscal managers decided to lean more heavily on the secondary market. Up to March 1995, the government has borrowed, in addition to Rs. 40 billion from the banking sector, Rs. 50 billion through various national saving schemes by raising the return on these schemes. This will not only add to the domestic debt burden of Rs. 730 billion as of March '95 but also to the debt servicing cost of this debt. It addition to these two sources of deficit financing, the government has also utilised at least Rs.13 billion from the proceeds of PTC privatisation lout of a total Rs. 29 billion) against the IMF advice. which waited these proceeds to be used primarily for debt retirement. The total budget deficit financing in the first 9 months of the financial year has already crossed Rs. 103 billion. In contrast to the government of Mr Nawaz Sharif, when larger spending was mostly for the development of infrastructure, over-spending by this government has been mainly for non-development expenditures. The main result of this fiscal mess will be a dismal failure to bring down the budget deficit to 4%. It is more likely to be over 6%s although government might resort to some window dressing to show a lower figure. The higher deficit will also mean a much larger increase in debt servicing than the 5% forecast in the budget, further complicating the process of budget making for the coming year. The key failures of this government are reflected in the unprecedented price hike. The inflation rate of 14%, as measured by CPI in 1994-95 will be the highest rate of inflation experienced by the economy since 1973-75, when under PPP Mark I, the rate of inflation touched 30% and 27% respectively. The table in Annex I presents the rates of GDP growth and the rates of inflation, since 1960-61, to show that stagflation, i.e. the combination of low growth and high inflation, has occurred mainly during PPP rule. The increase in the Sensitive Price Index covers items of daily use and reflects more fully the impact of inflation on the common man. In the past 12 months, the price of atta has increased by 40% rice by 60%, vegetable ghee by 40% and sugar by 22%. Price of pulses have increased by 15-20% and those of chillies, pototoes and onions, by 50 to 70%. Prices of beef and mutton have also gone up by 40-45%. People with fixed incomes, like civil servants and pensioners, have been hit even more severely by this price hike. (To be concluded) The writer was federal finance minister during 1990-93; currently Secretary-General of the Pakistan Muslim League (N). DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950515 ------------------------------------------------------------------- The curse of stagflation-II : Dangers of flawed IMF programme ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Senator Sartaj Aziz This unusually high rate of inflation will also create serious pressures for the country's balance of payments in the coming year. Since the value of the rupee has not been adjusted in 1994-95 to make up for inflation, a sharper adjustment would be necessary in 1995-96. With its chain effect on prices of POL, gas and electricity, the exchange rate adjustment will not only add to budgetary problems but would also make it more difficult to contain inflation in the coming year. While agriculture is affected by adverse weather or other natural calamities, on the average, in two out of five years, industrial growth, if sustained by the right mixture of policies and incentives, can cushion the economy against agricultural fluctuations and sustain a reasonable overall growth of the economy. Pakistan's industrial sector, however, has a very narrow base, and is largely dependent on the agricultural sector. Industries, like textile, sugar, fertiliser and agricultural machinery account for almost 75% of total industrial output in the country. One of the main objectives of the new industrial policy launched by the Nawaz Sharif government in 1991 was to accelerate the transformation towards science-based, value-added industries like electronics, engineering and chemicals, through both domestic and foreign investment. It also sought to reorient the role of the government from a regulator of business to that of a supporter of business on the model of countries like South Korea and Japan. This government has not only rolled back those policies but also created a multi-dimensional crisis in the existing industries like textile and sugar. Early signals about the failure of the cotton crop were ignored and no remedial measures were taken either to import cotton or provide some relief to the textile and garment sectors against the impact of the very sharp increase in cotton and yarn prices. Countries like Bangladesh and Thailand which hardly grow any cotton, have flourishing textile industries and exports, whereas Pakistan which produced 8 million bales of cotton, even in a bad agricultural year, has seen its exports of cloth and garments decline. Similarly, the sugar industry was pushed into a crisis by delaying the decision on the export of sugar and allowing it to export only 300,000 ton less than half the estimated surplus of 700,000 tons. Many sugar factories suffered losses because of huge unsold stocks, but many party stalwarts made money by selling sugar export permits. The engineering industry, particularly units making parts and components for tractors have been affected by the large scale import of low quality built-up tractors under the Awami Tractor Scheme. Similarly, the imposition of 15% sales tax on bricks and coal created a crisis in the construction industry. The dangers of an incomplete and flawed adjustment programme of the IMF must be fully recognised. It slows down growth and fails to infuse confidence among investors. As a result, the economy can slip into a prolonged period of stagflation and a decline in cement production. The sickness of our industrial sector particularly in textiles, sugar, engineering and cement is clearly reflected in the falling share prices on the stock market. The causes of the continuing industrial sickness in Pakistan emanate both from economic and non-economic factors, but recent policies have raised the overall cost of industrial production by raising the cost of credit, the cost of raw material and the cost of electricity and gas. This has also depressed domestic demand and reduced their competitive edge in the export markets. For some Indus tries, large scale smuggling remains a major threat. Instead of evolving smooth working relationship with business and industry, an essential pre-requisite for the success of a deregulated economy, the PPP government, in keeping with its past traditions, has taken confrontation with the business community to unprecedented heights. In June '94, there was an unprecedented strike to protest against budgetary measures and again in March '95 to register the widespread outrage against the law and order situation in Karachi. Instead of undertaking a dialogue on issues and complaints the government sacked the main office bearers of the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This relationship is now in a state of crisis and mistrust. The problems outlined above are complex and deep-seated. They cannot be cured by signing a barrage of MoUs every two months. It should be clear from the foregoing that the economic crisis we face today is not just the result of a failed cotton crop but because of wrong policies to manage the economy. The adjustment programme in 1993-94 launched by the caretaker government of Mr. Moeen Qureshi through a strong dose of additional taxation, devaluation and increase in utility charges, won the support of IMF and other donors, and created a euphoria about macroeconomic stability. But neither the domestic policy makers nor the IMF experts were able to recognise that the limited success achieved in 1993-94, would not automatically solve the real problems facing the economy. Debt and defence spending were high and could not be compressed. The tax potential on the other hand had been not enlarged as economic growth had slowed down for the third year in succession. The tax collection machinery, notwithstanding, minor tinkering here and there, had not been reformed either. The financial situation of the provinces was also plagued by chronic and rising deficits. Instead of taking concerted steps, in consultation with trade and industry, to revive and accelerate industrial production, through a fuller utilisation of installed capacity, the Government went ahead with the same adjustment process in 1994-95 i.e. record level of additional taxation, further increase in utility charges, increase. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950515 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Charar Sharif sacrilege ------------------------------------------------------------------- From Hassan Akhtar ISLAMABAD: The attack and destruction of the Charar Sharif shrine near Srinagar, following its more than two month long seige by the Indian armed forces, has further heightened the tension between Pakistan and India to an ominous level. Although for the rulers in whelming Muslim population cannot be legitimately claimed to be a part of the Indian Union in the same way as, say, Uttar Pradesh or Andhra Pradesh or any of the other component states of the union. The wanton Indian action against the shrine of Charar Sharif is yet another reflection of the Indian government's contempt for internationally recognised agreements and human rights so far as the overwhelming people of the disputed Kashmir are concerned. Indeed the demolition of the move in Ayodhya about a couple of years ago and of numerous other Muslim shrines and graveyards have been clear demonstration of the Indian authorities' lack of respect and concern for the religious and cultural traditions of the Muslims of India as a whole in sharp contrast to its constitutional commitment to treat all its people equally, without prejudice or bias. However, what is relevant and important at this juncture is what Pakistan, which arrogates to itself the role of a champion of Muslim causes and rights whether in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya or the Central Asia, can do in case of the ongoing bloodshed of the Kashmiri Muslims and the destruction of their shrines and proportions, which many religious and political leaders in the country frequently describe as the genocide of the muslim Kashmiris by the brute Indian armed might. Sardar Assef Ahmad Ali, foreign minister, came on the television on Friday seeking to assure the people that he would raise the Kashmir issue at the forthcoming OIC foreign ministers conference due to be held in the next few days. But one would be naive to believe that such an action, however pious it might be on the part of the foreign minister, is likely to yield anything more than the oft repeated phraseology in the form of yet another resolution, expressing hopes and prayers coupled with a mild warning, but with obvious lack of any tangible action or even a diplomatic move. Of course no one in his right mind is pleading for military action because nothing could be more disastrous than taking recourse to military confrontation in the present-day international political environment and apparent ground conditions. Such actions in the past should serve as glaring examples for the leaders and people of Pakistan and India, if any doubt still remains in some minds. In the given situation in Kashmir where nearly six-year old militancy has led to barbaric bloodshed, tortured, raped and destruction of material wealth, it is high time the leaders in government and outside rose above their petty self-interests and employing real statesmanship, give serious thought to workable practical steps to in the first place, save the miserable humanity from Death and dishonour in the burning vale and then to ponder on ways and means to resolve the problem which has been periodically turned into senseless bloodbath. Of course, the main responsibility of finding the way to cry halt to atrocities on innocent people and then to resolve what has been described as the core issue, lies with the government leaders and their foreign offices who command the wherewithal necessary to follow up sane and sensible course in resolving the dispute. To anyone who has been following the meandering, complex and often frustrating course of action adopted in the last more than four decades in seeking a solution of the Kashmir dispute, it should be obvious that no settlement that goes in favour of one or the other party to the dispute, could be contemplated in the near future. It is also to be regretted that the people of Kashmir, particularly on the Pakistan side, have had little part to play in the initial and early years of the dispute it was initially treated as a dispute relating to a territorial part of the divided subcontinent, with little emphasis on the will of its people. In fact this concept was adopted by our leaders in relation to those hundreds of Indian princely states where there were grounds for claiming their accession to one or the other newly emergent countries, or staying independent as in the case of Hyderabad Deccan. While most of what is being pleaded and claimed by the leaders in respect of Kashmir in Delhi or Islamabad, is a repetition of what is now history, it is important that in the evolving political situation not only in the two countries directly concerned but also on the international horizon, innovative political thought should be directed to find a settlement of the bleeding Kashmir problem. Mere plays Oh the mini-screens of State-controlled television arousing the passions on both sides which inevitably lead to more bloodshed and destruction and more autrocities, can hardly be the answer to the present calamity which, if not handled wisely and calmly, has the potential of turning most of the subcontinent into an inferno with wars of various dimensions already raging in our vicinity, with the rest of the developed world playing their own nice game fuelling conflicts and enhancing their own national ambitions and goals. The alternative to armed confrontation in seeking settlement can only be a peaceful move towards holding a dialogue. It is an unfortunate fact that at present both the governments are faced with their own internal problems threatening their political survival. Reactionary forces both in India and Pakistan seem to be having a field day. Why such a situation has arisen in the two countries is a subject for a separate discussion some other time. What is urgently needed in Kashmir if the worst is to be avoided is to create on a priority basis a congenial political environment for opening a meaningful and consistent dialogue which should first of all silence the guns and discourage the use of the power of the barrel to settle the dispute. Although mediation or third- party involvement is generally regarded as useful in political or diplomatic parlays, in the case of Pakistan and India, which have had a history of over a thousand years of interaction, the best possible course would be to enter into direct talks with active participation of the Kashmir leadership. During the last four decades of struggle for the right of self-determination, the Kashmiris have matured and they have at present a truly bold leadership. What is required is that the leaders of Pakistan and India should have an equal level of courage and move to the negotiating table along with the Kashmiri leadership. Results cannot be expected to emerge instantaneously. But the participation of the Kashmiri leaders can make a qualitative difference in trilateral discussions. This may be a new possible road to an equitable and just settlement and peace in the recklessly destroyed state and for its miserable people, specially the women and children and the old poverty- stricken millions not only in Kashmir but across the entire subcontinent. In short, what is perhaps urgently needed is to discard the beaten track and adopt a fresh peaceful course of action. It is indeed a test for the leadership in both Pakistan and India. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 9500517 ------------------------------------------------------------------ Aftermath of Charar Sharief ------------------------------------------------------------------ By M.H. Askari WHILE the dreadful prospect of a war between Pakistan and India is hardly ever more than a hiccup away from happening, it would be unduly alarmist to believe that armed hostilities between two countries are about to follow in the aftermath of the Charar Sharief outrage. This notwithstanding the Indian minister of state Rajesh Pilot's threat of securing the "vacation of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir." India is too preoccupied with its internal problems to seriously contemplate undertaking a military adventure of any kind. Prime Minister Narasimha Rao came under pressure in both Houses of the Indian parliament on Monday and was called upon to resign by opposition leaders, representing both the revivalist Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the leftists. A major reason for the demand was what the opposition described as his inept handling of the Kashmir situation. Even within his party, Narasimha Rao's leadership is under serious threat. Veteran dissidents of the Congress such as Narain Dutt Tiwari insist that the recent setbacks suffered by the Congress in certain state elections were the result of Mr Rao's flawed leadership. Predictably, Narasimha Rao has stoutly resisted his opponents' demands and has given no indication of wanting to resort to mid-term polls. Naively, ---------------------------------------------- Like the ostrich with its head buried in sand, he insists upon not recognising the rapidly deteriorating situation in occupied Kashmir and appears determined to go ahead with the socalled 'political process'=97negotiating for a larger degree of autonomy for the state and state assembly elections. ---------------------------------------------- In a meeting with the leaders of the opposition on Sunday, even while admitting his blunders with 'disarming candour' (as our Delhi correspondent put it), Rao outlined a plan sponsoring an all-party delegation to visit the disputed state for what he called greater interaction with the Kashmiri people and provision of funds for reconstruction of the township and shrine of Charar Sharief. No sooner the latter offer had come to the knowledge of the Kashmiri leaders in the occupied state, it was rejected outright. An unflappable Kashmiri patriot, Yasin Malik, who has been in the vanguard of the freedom movement, came on television personally, to declare that the Kashmiris would not accept New Delhi's offer of funds and would rebuild the township and the shrine by mobilising their own resources. The Indian Prime Minister must realise the futility of his plans for holding the state elections, for that would hardly mean an end to the uprising in the Valley, and, in fact, would, without a shadow of doubt, add to the suffering of the Kashmiri people. India's indomitable chief election commissioner, T.N. Seshan, in a TV talk show the other day, parried the question whether he would hold elections in Kashmir if asked by the government to do, saying that this would have to be decided on the basis of the realities on the ground. Seshan is known for not holding out empty threats and had the state assembly elections in Bihar postponed, despite pressure from New Delhi, as he required certain conditions to be met first. At the same time, Mr Narasimha Rao has to reckon with the constitutional requirement of not keeping the occupied state under the Centre's control she has taken much notice of Mr Rajesh Pilot's belligerence. She firmly believed that the escalating Indian brutality would in no sense weaken the Kashmiri people's resolve to attain their right of self-determination. Pakistan's Foreign Office statement condemned the destruction of the holy shrine, describing it as "an affront to the conscience of the Muslim world " Pakistan's military high command, while putting the defence forces on a state of high alert=97 the only logical thing to do consequent upon the irresponsible statements from the Indian side =97have given no hint that they are in a 'state of flap' over the Charar Sharief incident. In fact the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Defence Committee of the Cabinet=97the appropriate forum for taking decisions involving war and peace=97were not= due to meet until May 16 and May 18, respectively, as these lines were being written. On the Indian side, Mr Rajesh Pilot in an apparent attempt to backtrack from his earlier posture of bellicosity, has merely confirmed that India had further "tightened security" at the frontiers with Pakistan and was in a position to counter any terrorist attack by infiltrators from across the border. The Indian foreign. Like the ostrich with its head buried in sand, Prime Minister Rao insists upon not recognising the rapidly deteriorating situation in occupied Kashmir and appears determined to go ahead with the so-called 'political process'=97negotiating for a larger degree of autonomy for the= state and holding of state assembly elections beyond July 17. The chances of his getting an amendment accepted by the parliament, to overcome the 5-year limitation, besieged as he is, cannot be described as bright. Nevertheless, there has been much talk of war since the burning down of Charar Sharief. Some speakers at a seminar in Lahore even demanded that Pakistan should no longer yield to American pressure and not demur in regard to the nuclear option. Fortunately, former chief justice, Dr Nasim Hasan Shah, and Dr Javed Iqbal, who were among the principal speakers at the seminar, did not suggest war as an option despite the deep concern and anguish at the happenings in occupied Kashmir. The former stressed the imperative need for ending the present political confrontation within the country and proposed the setting up of 'a government of national salvation' to meet the domestic crises and face India. Dr Javid Iqbal, even while not ruling out the possibility of a war with India, maintained that Pakistan's nuclear capability is the main deterrent standing in the way of India's going to war. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has condemned the Charar Sharief outrage in no uncertain terms but, judging from the Press reports, minister, even while accusing "hired mercenaries" of the burning of the Charar Sharief shrine, has reportedly urged Pakistan to prevent the event from becoming a hurdle in bilateral ties. In plain words, nothing has happened on either side of the border to justify a war hysteria, not at least for the time being. On the contrary, a leading Indian daily has reported that Mr Rao's office and the Indian ministry of external affairs are "in a bind" over Rajesh Pilot's outburst, which could have "serious implications for India". Western diplomats in the Indian capital have also been quoted as expressing the view that "the rhetoric from both sides" are mainly for domestic consumption. It would be a mistake, however, not to recognise the strength of the hawk lobby in India. At the end of the 1965 war, India's prime minister, late Lal Bahadur Shastri, was advised by several of his aides that India should now disregard the old ceasefire line in Kashmir as there had been "massive violation" of it by Pakistan. However, Shastri decided otherwise and even gave up some strategic posts its army had captured during the war. Lately, the doyen of the Indian hawk lobby K. Subrahmanyam, contributed an article to the Times of India which basically deals with the reported "disclosure" by a certain aide of late Mrs Indira Gandhi about Mr Bhutto and Mrs Gandhi allegedly arriving at a secret understanding in Simla but reflects the thinking in an important segment of the Indian establishment. Surprisingly, the article, published in New Delhi on April 12, has received little attention in Pakistan before his retirement. Subrahmanyam belonged to the Indian Administrative Service (equivalent of old CSP) but was in effect a leading member of the policy-making cell on India's defence plans during Mrs Gandhi's regime. He, incidentally, had referred to the Pakistan Army's action in the then East Pakistan in 1971 as the "opportunity of the century" and advocated India's overt intervention to achieve the separation of the eastern wing. In his article under reference, Subrahmanyam has regretted the absence of a "national security decision-making mechanism" in India. He also accuses Pakistan of disseminating "terrorism" in the occupied Kashmir and goes on to suggest that "their (i.e. Pakistan's) terrorism is exacting a heavy price in terms of terrorism within Pakistan itself." This can only be interpreted to mean that Indian agencies are behind certain acts of terrorism which are currently in evidence in Pakistan. However, there are also some saner elements in India who do not hesitate to criticise the policies of their government. A eminent South Asian scholar, Praful Bidwai, in an article which appeared in thus paper on Monday, said clearly that the elections proposed to be held by Mr Narasimha Rao "could not possibly produce a government (in occupied Kashmir) possessing legitimacy and authority." Bidwai has disclosed that the situation prevailing in the occupied state could possibly prompt some rethinking on Kashmir among the policy-makers and that some political leaders, including Karan Singh, a former minister and son of the late Maharaja of Kashmir, are urging Narasimha Rao's government to give up its "coercive approach" in Kashmir in favour of reconciliation and negotiation. One would hope that such voices of sanity would ultimately prevail. And, more importantly, they would be reciprocated by saner elements in Pakistan. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950510 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureaucracy & corruption ------------------------------------------------------------------- By M.H. Askari OF late there seems to be a systematic effort on the part of some former civil servants to minimise, if not actually whitewash, the role of bureaucracy in the steady decline of the institutions of governance and blame it all on the political leadership. There has even been a near-eulogistic piece about Mr Ghulam Ishaq Khan, who played a key role in the arbitrary dismissal of at least two democratically elected governments and sat smug in the President's House in Islamabad when one of his close relations played havoc with the law and order machinery in Sindh. The fact is that the bureaucracy in Pakistan unconscionably exploited the inexperience and weaknesses of the political leadership in the years immediately after the partition to strengthen its own hold over the levers of power. If there is rampant corruption in the country today that too is because some bureaucrats were always there to work the mechanism of corruption and benefit the corruption-prone political governments with their expertise. What we see today, therefore, is the other side of the coin =F9 the exploitation by an unscrupulous political leadership of a section of the bureaucracy, to use the system to its own advantage and perpetuate its own hold over sources of corruption. The political leadership and the bureaucracy are in fact working in tandem to achieve ends which have less to do with national objectives and national aspirations and more with the fulfilment of their respective private agenda. The attempt on both sides may not always be to acquire illicit wealth but to keep a tight grip over state power, by fair means or foul. Power is its own reward. There have, of course, always been honourable exceptions on both sides but the unholy alliance has always been there for everybody to see. The resulting damage to the state apparatus is now virtually beyond repair. It is a futile exercise to apportion blame. If it is half a dozen on one side, it is only six on the other. If the political leadership in Pakistan in the early years after independence failed to cope with the challenge of state and nation building, that can be traced to the weaknesses of the political leadership in the Muslim League which spear-headed the Pakistan movement. The party was virtually without a firm power base until a few years before independence and was confined mostly to an elite upper class. There was the charismatic personality of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, but most of the leaders around him were too dazzled by his charisma to have a mind of their own. A top leader of the Pakistan movement once confessed to this almost in so many words in the presence of this writer. When asked why he and other leaders of his calibre in the inner sanctum of the Muslim League did not assert themselves if and when they found anything going wrong within the setup of the party, he frankly admitted: "The Quaid's charisma was like a drill which went straight to your heart and left you dumbfounded!" Most of them did no independent thinking and made little contribution to the job of erecting a democratic base that could support the edifice of the party's organisation. In the crucial years of mid-forties, when the battle for independence entered its final phase, the strongest bastion of the Muslim League were the students, with students of Aligarh University in the vanguard. In New Delhi where the representatives of the British government were engaged in last-ditch negotiations, the lobbying for the League as representative of the Muslims was done mostly by middle-level bureaucrats and Muslim traders while the Jamaat-i-Islami and the Jamiat- ulema-i-Hind, who claimed to represent Islamic ethos, were firmly opposed to the League and Quaid-i-Azam. Yet another hurdle in the Quaid's way was the fact that until about the time of the Simla conference in the summer of 1945, League had made little headway in asserting itself inside the legislatures. Even if one were to disagree with Dr Ayesha Jalal's contention that the 'magnificent seven' handpicked by the Quaid for his first cabinet were mostly without independent bases of support in the provinces which comprised Pakistan, there is certainly substance in her observation that on the other hand "the administrative bureaucracy had a better chance of putting together their own structures of command, control and coordination." The civil servants were thus to become the "real wielders of authority." While a former officer of the Accounts Service, Ghulam Mohammad, was to be inducted in the government as Finance Minister another of his junior colleagues, Chaudhri Mohammad Ali, came to occupy the pivotal post of Secretary-General. Incidentally, both were to play havoc with the administrative and constitutional structure of Pakistan, while there was no comparable hierarchy of command within the structure of the Pakistan Muslim League. It was when Mohammad Ali was the Prime Minister that if there is rampant corruption in the country today, it is because some bureaucrats were always there to work the mechanism of corruption and benefit the corruption-prone political governments with their expertise. The sinister concept of One Unit, which was to for ever alienate the smaller provinces from the Punjab-dominated centre, was introduced. Ghulam Mohammad, despite his obvious physical and mental disabilities was soon to be elevated to the position of Governor-General, to subvert the country's constitution. As early as 1950-51, bureaucrats at the helm of the civilian intelligence agencies had taken upon themselves the responsibility to "certify" which Pakistani was loyal to the country and who was not. Passports were denied to journalists by middle-level officials in the passport office and intelligence bureau as they were believed to be a security risk. Begum Shaista Ikramullah has recorded in her biography of the front-rank Muslim Leaguer, Husseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, how the eminent leader was treated when in June 1948 he came to Dhaka to take up permanent residence there. Within 24 hours of his arrival, he had a notice of extradition served on him by the IG, Zakir Husain, under the orders of the -city magistrate, Mr Rehmatullah, who had been asked to do so by the chief secretary, Mr Aziz Ahmed. The last two were officers of the old ICS who had opted for service in Pakistan. Whether they acted on their own or on a directive from above is not clear. However, they acted with unceremonious haste. The appointment of Gen Ayub Khan as Pakistan Army's first Pakistani commanderin-chief in 1951 virtually placed the destiny of the nation in the hands of a group of bureaucrats occupying key positions. Ayub Khan functioned in concert with the Defence Secretary, Iskander Mirza. It is even believed that there were times when Ayub Khan and Iskander Mirza bypassed the Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, in their efforts for securing aid and supplies from the Americans. Ayub Khan has recorded in his autobiography, Friends Not Masters, that since he found it too cumbersome to get "clearance" from Karachi, which he described as "a hotbed of intrigues", he took decisions affecting the army on his own, 800 miles away from seat of the political government. In Ayesha Jalal's words, after Pakistan survived the assassination of its first prime minister (October 1951) "those holding executive authority and answerable to parliament (i.e. the political leaders) were able less and less to influence government policies while real power came to rest with state officials unencumbered by such constitutional niceties as accountability to the people (emphasis added). In the 10 years of Ayub Khan's Presidency, after he captured power through a military coup, his chief aides were two officers of the civil service in succession. The political devastation caused by Ayub Khan's policies is only too well known. Kazi Anwarul Huque, a Bengali, who began his career as a police officer but in later life rose to be a Cabinet Minister, has expressed the view in his In Quest of Freedom (p. 1991) that after assuming power under martial law," Ayub Khan found the civil service not only the most appropriate instrument for the management of the bureaucracy but also a willing agency to uphold his authority." The role of senior West Pakistan-based bureaucrats functioning out of Islamabad as managers of the country's finance and development plans in the ultimate alienation and breakaway of East Pakistan is no secret. It has been said that the top economic planners in Islamabad maintained two sets of reports and statistics concerning the country's economy, one for the information of the international aid-giving agencies to assure them that the development of the eastern wing was not being neglected, and the other reflecting the actual position, which was that there was proportionately a much greater quantum of resources being ploughed into the development of West Pakistan. They had mentally already written off East Pakistan. The authoritarian regimes of Bhutto and Gen Zia-ul-Haq also had civil and military bureaucrats playing a key role in the making of their policies. Bhutto leaned too much on certain serving or retired police officers and on civil servants such as Waqar Ahmad and Afzal Saeed Khan. Zia-ul-Haq had Mr Ghulam Ishaq Khan at his elbow, promoted to the position of Finance Minister in the first civilian Cabinet formed after the deposition of Bhutto. It is, perhaps, not possible to fix the responsibility for the rampant corruption which exists in Pakistan today either to the bureaucracy or to the political leadership. Shahid Javed Burki and Craig Baxter have put the matter in what can be called a realistic perspective. In their study of Pakistan during the Zia regime they observe: "One area that is difficult, if not impossible, to document and quantify is corruption in government. There is no question that it exists at all levels. It appears to be systematic in that, in certain government departments, officials know exactly what percentage of a project's funds are for their taking." That the entente between the bureaucracy and politicians in positions of power is a perquisite to corruption is undeniable. The pattern set in the past regimes has only become more sharply delineated over the years. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950515 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Matrimony and the moralist ------------------------------------------------------------------- From Tahir Mirza LAHORE: The first lesson Mr Imran Khan must be in the process of learning is that if you have pretensions to a career in politics or in the service of the people in any other capacity, your personal life cannot be divorced from your public life. The second lesson he should learn is: Don't preach. Don't fall into the trap of moralising and sermonising. Do whatever you have to do, build a hospital or set up a pressure group, without constructing a Taj Mahar around it. And don't bring religion into everything. Now that it has been confirmed that he is marrying an aristocratic English girl, who will remain English whatever her religion or the clothes she wears, it is inevitable that all the words with which Mr Imran Khan has been flooding newspaper columns in recent months will be recalled to mock him. Those who always thought that there was something a little bogus and hypocritical about his conversion to Pakistaniyat will say: We told you so. In one of his articles, he had said: "All in all, I was smoothly moving to becoming a pukka Brown Sahib. After all I had the right credentials in terms of the right school, acceptability in the English aristocracy, something that our Brown Sahibs would give their lives for. So what led me to do a lota on the Brown Sahib culture and instead become a desi?" What will he say when he is told that he has taken advantage of what he had decried, namely, acceptability in the English aristocracy, "some Sahibs would give their lives for"? And what kind of a 'lota' has he done in the final analysis? The uncharitable will say that his credentials have worked. Mr Imran Khan should realise that the parameters he had set out for the debate initiated by him as a prelude to entering public life were always naive and simplistic. Pakistan's main problems have nothing to do with the impact of Western culture or civilisation but absolutely every thing to do with our own feudal values which dominate all sectors of life. The symbol of the feudal is not jacket and trouser but shalwar and kameez. He is often uncouth in his behaviour and not very literate: indeed a dose of Western civilisation would do him a world of good. The criminal who terrorises the citizen is not Westernised either, and even the gun he carries is a Russian one imported from the Afghan Mujahideen. The corruption that permeates society is our very own, as is the serfdom and the oppression encountered in the rural areas and at the hands of the police in the cities. The only people for whom wearing Western clothes is actually mandatory and who find it not at all distasteful, are our military men and policemen about which Mr Imran Khan had nothing to say. Marry of Dur political attitudes, not least the lack of tolerance for opposing viewpoints, are coloured by feudalism. If the Iranians crusaded against Western culture, that formed only one strand of a revolutionary upsurge which involved the overthrowing of deeply entrenched and sinister monarchy. It was not something adopted in isolation, merely for the sake of being different. Dress has lithe to do even wit the sense of national identity, which can come only from a feeling of full participation in the governance of one's country and the knowledge that the life, honour and property of the citizen are being protected by those elected to do so. The sense of nationhood should not in an case be confused with wearing one's patriotism on one's sleeve or being chauvinistic. If M Imran Khan had tried to tackle some of these issues as well the religious bigotry that has enveloped us, instead of railing against the brown sahibs, he might have evoked a more sympathetic chord among those who read him. He allowed himself t be involved in irrelevancies, an now stands in danger of being described as a lost cause. Which is a pity because he has been on of the most charismatic personalities produced by Pakistan. H should have confined himself to quietly building and running his hospital instead of fulmination against politics and politicians, getting himself hooked on the likes of Gen Hameed Gul and telling us ordinary mortals what grovelling creatures we are. But good luck to him in hi marriage. May he have the courage to say 'to hell with you to his critics. That would b more like the Imran Khan who people liked. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950515 ------------------------------------------------------------------- A sinister move ------------------------------------------------------------------- IT IS, perhaps, still not too late to hope that for the mere expediency of appeasing the American Jewish lobby the United States Congress would not embark upon the disastrous course of alienating the entire Muslim world. For that is what would inevitably happen if the legislation, proposed by certain pro-Israel Republican members of the US Congress calling for the transfer of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Al Quds (Jerusalem), were to become law. President Clinton would be well advised to nip the mischief in the bud and heed the warning sounded by the PLO Observer in the United Nations that the proposed shift would be seen as a hostile act and lead to 'catastrophic consequences.' Recalling the relevant directives of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), the executive committee of the Islamabad Council of World Affairs has issued a timely statement, warning the US that the Islamic countries would have no option but to sever diplomatic relations with any country that transfers to or establishes its embassy in Al Quds. It is not for sentimental reasons alone that such a consequence would be logical although sentiment, too, is a strong factor since Al Quds is the third holiest place for the Islamic fraternity. There are also compelling reasons under international law for the Muslim nations to expect that the US would not take the fateful step. Washington does not need to be reminded that East Jerusalem is an occupied territory and that its occupation and annexation by Israel in the 1967 war has remained unacceptable to the Muslim world. The act was also in clear violation of the Geneva Convention of 1949, the UN General Assembly resolutions of July 1987 and several specific resolutions of the UN Security Council. Under the UN Charter as well as international law and convention, acquisition of territory by conquest is inadmissible. There is in fact a clear mandate from the UN General Assembly calling upon Israel to rescind its annexation of the Holy City. Besides, Islamic countries are bound by the directives of the OIC Jerusalem Committee, which, meeting in Morocco immediately after the great fire in Masjid Al Aqsa in 1969, resolved that the establishment of its embassy by any country in Al Quds would be tantamount to extending diplomatic recognition to Israel and endorsing its annexation of Al Quds. As it is, President Clinton's decision to place an economic embargo on Iran has been widely seen, and generally resented by the Muslim countries, as a move on his part to appease America's Jewish lobby, in preparation for next year's presidential election. For the same reason, he now appears to be yielding to pressure from the Senate Republican leader, Bob Dole, and the House of Representatives Speaker, Newt Gingrich, who are behind the move for the transfer of the US embassy to Al Quds. The US President must know that the moment the proposed transfer takes place, the Arab-Israel peace process, brokered by Washington would go up in flames. In that event, the gains of the peace process made so far would be lost and, in all likelihood, the Middle East would once again become a flashpoint of tensions and conflict. Washington must realise that its turning a blind eye to the land-grabbing by Israel in the occupied territories is making a mockery of the exercise in peace-making in the Middle East. This can only be seen as a betrayal of the trust placed in Washington by the PLO in regard to its role in promoting Arab-Israeli normalisation. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950513 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Budgeting without convulsions ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Sultan Ahmed THE government is blowing hot and cold in regard to the next budget to be presented on June 14, which means not enough time will be allowed for its discussion in the National Assembly. Meanwhile, the speculators have, as usual, begun hoarding the items likely to be taxed higher beginning with costly cigarettes. And President Farooq Leghari, who has been taking considerable interest in the next budget so as to prevent an adverse political fallout, has spoken of the real economic crunch the country is facing again and of tougher times to come. But the budget will not be tough, says Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Minister of State for Finance, who loves to sound reasonable and reassuring. He has spoken of relief measures which can be deceptive in the light of such past assurances. What matters is what they are, how much they are, and to whom they are addressed. We are told there will be no rise in POL prices. That statement is the outcome of our belief that the revenue-hungry government will push up administered prices everywhere, and POL has been one of the major hobby horses of the revenue-raisers. Sometimes petrol prices are raised, and at other times prices of oil products, like lubricants. When world prices of POL do not rise we are told the exchange rate of rupee has gone down and oil costs more in rupees. The government has neither of the alibi now. World prices of oil have not gone up. And the exchange rate of the rupee instead of going down has nominally improved following the fall of the dollar by 15 per cent in relation to the Japanese yen and 10 per cent in relation to the D- Malk and Swiss franc. Hence the Arab oil producers are talking of fixing oil price in a more stable currency. In fact there is a valid case for r educing oil prices at home as the government is committed to do that when oil imports cost less. But if POL prices are not to rise, gas prices are to be increased by 20 per cent, as has already been indicated. Price of compressed gas has already been raised by 19 per cent. And that is to come following the rise in electricity rates by 20 per cent on an average, with 35 to 45 per cent rise for industries. Both have a multiplier effect on prices as a whole. Higher gas prices would mean rise in prices of items from bred and confectionery to fertilisers and cement. The government tends to ignore the fact that what matters for the people is not only the direct and indirect taxes they have to pay but also the enhanced prices and rates for utilities. When utility rates are increased, prices of all manufactures rise. Payments for all these have to come out of a single pocket, and it matters little to the citizen whether he pays more as a tax or higher prices for essential items. Governments in developing countries are now separating the taxes from user's charges to minimise the tax burden of the masses. But if the rates for power, water, gas, POL and telephones, and even passports, keep on rising and even ah-travel comes under heavy taxation, how can the people feel they are not heavily taxed? Such deceptions are permissible if they are moderate but not when they come with the kind of excesses for which they are marked. And such practices are far worse for higher rates, as for water, power and telephones, coexisting with poor service or frequent and prolonged breakdowns, forcing the people to pay heavily for alternative supplies. The government is under two kind of compulsions now. It has to reduce the budgetary deficit to four per cent next year under the IMF compulsion, having failed to achieve that target this year, and it has to reduce import duties on an average by 45 per cent next year from 70 per cent. It has also to reduce inflation next year, having failed to achieve the seven per target set for the current year, and exceeding that by almost loo per cent. On the other side, after failing to achieve the tax collection target of Rs. 258 billion for the current year and scaling down the targets to Rs. 222.48 billion a fall of Rs. 35.6 billion the government may not be in a mood to overshoot this time. And Mr. Leghari is keen on preventing such absurd excesses. So how is the government going to find additional resources to meet its ever-expanding expenditure, of which a great deal is wasteful? The government has already done a good deal of smart load-shedding by asking various autonomous bodies to borrow directly from the banks and DFIs instead of depending on development funds through the budget. A good deal of the development activities including infrastructure development is being passed onto the private sector, including foreign companies. The Prime Minister now wants the private sector to build the highways, while Chief Minister Abdullah Shah wants that sector to develop the infra-structure in Sindh despite its convulsions. All that can. Those in power and the senior officials are not aware of the hardships caused by high taxes and inflation as they themselves do not experience them. They are given free houses, cars, drivers and domestic servants. Unless all these perks are abolished and they are paid clean salaries, they will never come to know the reality of life in Pakistan, nor make better budgets reduce the pressure on the budget a great deal and increase the pressure on public sector banks. And yet the budget has been showing large deficits, though it is far less than the peaks reached earlier, and the government is under compulsion from the IMF to reduce that sharply during the coming last year of the three-year Extended Structural Adjustment Facility. Then President Clinton in the richest country in the world is emphatic that the ultimate solution for saving the shrinking dollar lies in reducing the U.S. budget deficit and the government borrowing far less, the government in Pakistan cannot afford to follow a contrary course after the rupee now gets just about a tenth of a dollar compared to what it used to in the 1950s when it was Rs. 3.35 to a dollar. In the prevailing circumstances a strong rupee which is imperative for the health of the economy and image of the country, could be achieved by slashing the non-productive expenditure and the vastly wasteful ways of the administration with its mega cabinets marred by the small merit of its ministers and advisers. The lavish external expenditure of the government could be cut a great deal instead of too many delegations going abroad to achieve too little. In a set-up in which the ruling class will not pay taxes on its incomes or agricultural wealth the government has no other option but to cut its wasteful expenditure, particularly when its revenue collection departments are too leaky and have been known for promoting and profiting from smuggling instead of preventing it. As the budget proposals are being finalised the central question now is: will the government repeat the folly of over-estimating the revenues committed in the current year? The over-budgeting was done despite the saner counsels of the middle-level of the Central Board of Revenue that increase in income tax revenues could not be more than 15 per cent this year, customs revenues could not rise -above seven per cent because of the tariff concessions to be given this year sales tax on imports could not rise above seven per cent and on domestic manufactures above 12 per cent, and excise revenues may not rise above 12 per cent, which was however, accepted. But instead of the 15 per cent income tax revenue target was raised by 27 per cent and of other direct taxes by 36 per cent, customs target was raised by 15 per cent instead of 6.8 per cent which followed, and the sales tax target were raised by 23.23 per cent instead of the 12 per cent which has followed. And now even the revised revenues of Rs. 22.48 billion is far from certain as too many industries have closed down or are working partially. Earlier 2,000 industrial units were sick, and then their number rose to 3,000 and now Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, who has been restored as vice-president of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, says 500Q units are sick. That would mean far less revenues despite the draconian measures adopted by the taxation authorities under the directive of the PM. What is amazing is that those in the CBR who counselled against over- budgeting or unduly high taxation targets have been punished as they failed to mobilise the high collection targets arbitrarily given to them. And those who were too bullish about the targets were promoted. And now that their projections and the actual collection which followed have failed dismally, they are not being penalised. Instead those who came up with prudent counsel remain punished or shot out of the CBR, while the new CBR team is adopting draconian measures at one end and complaining of the very high target at the other. This is grossly unfair. The government should now make amends for the wrong course it chose and not continue with punishing those who gave it the right counsel. What the government now needs is a rational and realistic approach to budgeting instead of over-budgeting because some computer company comes with large assumptions of revenues based on simulations. In fact even in this case the final simulations were more realistic than the earlier ones, but then it was too late. The targets were then scaled down not only because the computer company came up with more modest projections but also following the wide-spread protest in the country, including the one called by the FPCCI. Unfortunately, those in power and the senior officials are not aware of the hardships caused by high taxes and inflation as they 'themselves do not experience it. They are given free houses, cars, drivers, domestic servants and their utility bills, including heavy telephone bills, are paid by the public. They go for holidays and treatment abroad at public expense with their families and do their shopping there and perform Haj too at public expense. Unless such perks are abolished and they are paid clean salaries. they will not know the reality of life in Pakistan nor make better budgets. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950513 ------------------------------------------------------------------- In free fall ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Mazdak YOU can skip this paragraph if you've heard this one before, but there was this guy who jumped off a thirty-storey building. As he hurtled past the tenth floor, he said: "So far, so good!" This is the way our economy seems to be heading, and its managers seem to have the same carefree attitude towards its fate. As all indicators point towards the pavement, the government insists that all is well, and getting better every day. If the stock exchange is taken as the barometer of the national economy, then we are in for a very stormy season indeed: over the last year, the Karachi Stock Exchange Index has fallen 1,100 points from 2,600 to the current 1,500. This represents an erosion of well over a hundred billion rupees in market capitalisation. Thousands of small investors have seen their savings wiped Out, and institutional portfolios have suffered huge declines. At the same time, inflation has been eating into the savings accounts of the middle class and the liquid assets of the well-to-do. As the prices of essentials have shot up, there is less money than ever before to put into savings accounts. This translates into less invisible funds for banks, and will lead to lower levels of industrial activity. According to a recent study carried out by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (and quoted in an editorial in this newspaper last week), inflation is currently running at 19%. This is considerably higher than the 12 Mo claimed by the government. And as the budget looms large on the horizon, the rate of inflation is bound to rise still higher. None of these and other portents requires great insight into economics or high finance. Anybody with an ounce of sense will have seen the blood on the floors of our stock markets, and felt the agony in the shops where the common man buys articles of his daily needs. But despite the present and clear danger from (and to) the national economy, there is no expression of concern, no suggestion that those at the helm of affairs give a single solitary damn at this state of affairs. Had the government been worried or concerned, there would have been some activity to indicate that there was a genuine desire to turn the economy around. Instead, there is the daily boasts of yet more MoUs signed. The thing to note here is that quite apart from the deteriorating law and order situation, specially in Sindh, the other factor that is likely to deter foreign investors is the depressed state of the stock market. The rupee component needed for power plants and other projects will have to be largely raised on the stock exchange, and given the battering investors have received, it is extremely unlikely that even the most promising stock will be fully subscribed. The other area that appears to be a blind-spot with the government is its lack of concern over its abysmal relations with the business community. Recently, Farooq Sumar, a leading industrialist, came out into the open with some startling allegations of robbery, extortion and blackmail against the MQM (Haqiqi). We had heard rumours of these activities, but to have them substantiated by a person of Farooq Sumar's credibility came as a shock. What was even more shocking than the Haqiqis' alleged involvement in such criminal conduct, however, was the indifference of everybody in authority Mr Sumar turned to for help. Farooq is an old friend, and not somebody given to exaggeration or hype. Nor is he of suicidal bent. For somebody like him to go public against a lethal outfit like the Haqiqis requires courage of a high order. It also needs desperation. In this kind of climate where successful businessmen are ripped off without getting any help from the government, one would have to be living in a fool's paradise to imagine that foreign investors will come flocking in. In the wake of the recent government-FPCCI confrontation, there is a widespread feeling of insecurity among the business community. The arrest of Riaz Shafi (and the needless delay in granting him bail despite the fact that he has been accused of no criminal activity) and the placing of many industrialists on the Exit Control List has heightened the sense of persecution. Hopefully, the government will break this deadlock and talk seriously with representatives of trade and industry to restore some modicum of confidence. Currently, the actions being taken by the government have reinforced the PPP's image of an anti-business party. Surely it would be in the government's interest to dispel this notion and get the economy moving. But so far, there are no signs that anybody in authority is even remotely interested. All the talk emanating so far from Islamabad is about deals and commissions. Indeed, the rumour doing the rounds regarding the crackdown against Mansha and his business interests is that he is being pressured to sell his shares in Muslim Commercial Bank (of which he is Chairman). Hopefully somebody in authority will one day wake up to the fact that in a free economy, industrialisation can only take place in an environment of mutual trust between the government and the business community. There has to be constant interaction between the two, and policies affecting the economy (and which don't?) should ideally be evolved after a process of discussion and give-and-take. For instance, the plastics industry is reeling from the decision to lower duty on finished products while raising it on imported raw material for this sector. Overnight, the local products have become uncompetitive, and half the factories have closed down. Manufacturers complain that their representations to the CBR and the Finance Ministry have fallen on deaf ears. The engineering sector, too, has been hard hit by contradictory policies that seem to be aimed at favouring imports at the expense of the local industry. The Awami Tractor, Scheme is a case in point. Instead of sitting down with the local manufacturers to work out the modalities of supplying cheap tractors to farmers, somebody in a tearing hurry went and ordered thousands of tractors from technologically backward East European countries which were, happy to dump their obsolete equipment at throwaway prices. The result is that local manufacturers and their overseas partners, as well as their downstream parts suppliers, are in a quandary. Despite the government's promises to lower duty on imported components to make them participate in this scheme, they are still waiting for CBR's written instructions. Politically, this government is well entrenched, with the opposition reeling, and the GHQ and the President solidly behind the PDF coalition. Its only danger lies in a rapidly unravelling economy. It is high time that this slide were arrested. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 9500517 ------------------------------------------------------------------ Empowerment, but not quite ------------------------------------------------------------------ ALTHOUGH the ordinance empowering the Pakistan Banking Council (PBC) to make public the names of the bank loan defaulters is unexceptionable as a step towards meeting the requirements of accountability, the practice of bypassing the Parliament in matters of important legislation, as in this case, could be frowned upon. However, in this case the deviation from the constitutional norm can be condoned because the government had promised to discuss cases of default in the next session of the Assembly and before that the compilation and publication of the list of defaulters was imperative. The ordinance, by amending take Bank (National station) (Second Amendment) Ordinance of 1995, removes the cover of secrecy in regard to those who have had outstanding loans of one million rupees and above for more than one year. In actual practice, however, the enabling power will come into effect after the lapse of one full year of the loan installments having fallen due. This is fair enough as it allows ample time to the borrower to tide over any temporary or unforeseen difficulties-in meeting the repayment obligation. Providing full information about the nature and circumstances of sanction of loans and the subsequent defaults has been a source of conflict between the finance ministry and the banking authorities on the one hand and the accountability agencies on the other. The information required for investigation into certain suspected irregularities in the sanction of loans was denied to the federal Anti-Corruption Committee and the Federal Ombudsman on the plea of confidentiality provisions in the law. The general impression has been that most of the defaulted loans were rooted in irregularities at the initial stages, giving rise to suspicions of involvement or connivance of senior bank officials and bureaucrats. The withholding of information of protection the erring officials. The ordinance still does not fulfil the full requirements of transparency. It stipulates that the Banking Council will publish a complete list of defaulters of loans from banks, DFIs and cooperative societies, "as and when directed by the federal government". This provision may become another weapon in the armoury of the government to use selectively to keep members of legislatures and difficult politicians in line. Fairness and transparency demand that the publication of the list become a regular feature at specified intervals. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 9500518 ------------------------------------------------------------------ Misuse of bank funds ------------------------------------------------------------------ By Sultan Ahmed PUBLIC sector banks and development financial institutions with their eroded capital base are to embark on an intensified drive to recover large defaulted loans of Rs 80.28 billion. Since the publication of lists of defaulters in August 1993, the recovery of loans exceeding Rs one million has been only 11.38 billion or under 15 per cent. An ordinance enabling the banks and DFIs to publish new lists, to bring the tally of defaulters up-to-date, has been promulgated by the President following expiry of the earlier ordinance promulgated when Mr. Moeen Qureshi was caretaker Prime Minister. How large is the total default now will be known only after the lists are out. Meanwhile we have been told the number of sick industrial units has risen from 2,000- 3,000 to 5,000 units due to excessive financial constraints. At the centre of the recovery drive is the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) which was earlier said to be less enthusiastic about publishing new lists and more about effective recovery as has been achieved to an extent by the privatised MCB and Allied Bank with far less default than the big three, National Bank, United Bank and Habib Bank. And now that the threat of a new list is to hang over the defaulters, will that pay better dividends before the disclosure of their names or immediately thereafter? Meanwhile, following the arrest and trial of Mr Yunus Habib of Mehran Bank, Khalid Latif of Allied Bank and Mr. Khairati, Punjab chief of Habib Bank and dissolution of a private sector bank immediately after the public had subscribed to it capital, the central question now is: how to save the banks from the bank chiefs themselves, both in the public and private sector? The federal cabinet in July last decided to take action against bank officials who had sanctioned loans without securing proper security or guarantees and blacklist the defaulters for seeking new loans. Action was to be taken particularly against those who had committed such offences between 1991 and 1993. What is at issue right now is not only the vast misuse of the bank funds or loans by senior bank officials but also the politically-motivated appointment of bank chiefs and politically directed large bank loans even in the face of defiance or reluctance on the part of bank chiefs. The dual flaw can do serious damage to the banks and result in far larger defaults, with heavier liabilities in the case of some individual borrowers. The State Bank came up with the comprehensive Prudential Regulations for banks and nonbank financial institutions, and has been ready to relax them for a period in cases where it is absolutely essential. But the regulations as a whole have to be implemented by the bank executives, and permitted to do by their political bosses. At issue right now is the appointment, promotion and transfer of top bank executives and actual freedom for them to act according to the Prudential Regulations and in conformity with the relaxation permitted by the SBP to meet the current exigencies. Such protection from arbitrary political intervention is essential in view of the fact that the deposits in the banks are usually the savings of low and middle income groups, while the borrowers are the rich men. We now face a situation in which large politically-directed loans are given on the basis of small collateral in disregard of the Prudential Regulations in reality, and later when the State Bank or another government is seized with the problem it may be too late. What is at issue right now is not only the vast misuse of the bank funds or loans by senior bank officials but also the politically-motivated appointment of bank chiefs and sanction of large bank loans for political favourites even in the face of objections from bank officials. = In fact in the case of the prevailing context, it may be imperative to have a pre-loan audit or verification by the State Bank before large loans are given, although that could mean delaying the loaning process to an extent. But in a country where the defaults have been excessive and the capital base of the banks has been wiped out after nationalisation, such precautionary steps are essential if the situation is not to get far worse. Of course, privatisation of the public sector banks and DFIs is the lone solution in our context as combination of political leaders and senior bank executives have been instrumental in giving too many bad loans since nationalisation in 1974. In such a banking world where the impact of globalisation of monetary movements is increasing, we cannot have a light-hearted or convential approach to banking in Pakistan, which can take a triple hit from the political bosses, senior bank executives and the mighty bank unions. While the leading banks of the world are punishing their executives for fraud or other malpractices, in Pakistan the chief of the National Bank in Britain, Zahid Khurshid, who caused a loss of 40 million dollars was not punished. Instead his promotion was delayed by 3 months, says Malik Qasim indignantly. Such large losses were caused to the UBL and MCB too in Britain but hardly any action followed as the guilty had plenty of clout. All this makes it irnperative that presidents of public sector banks and major DFIs are not appointed by an individual, however high but by a board of persons inclusive of the governor of the SBP, chairman of the Banking Council, and possibly the chairman Federal Public service commission as well-to insulate such appointments from political intervention. Very large loans should also be scrutinised by the SBP before they are given instead of futility objecting to them when it is too late. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=


950509 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Farooq Umar made Olympics mission chief ------------------------------------------------------------------- KARACHI, May 8: The Prime Minister of Pakistan has appointed the Managing Director of PIA and President, Pakistan Hockey Federation, Air Vice Marshal Farooq Umar, as Chief de mission of Pakistan for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The Chief de mission from all over the world are having their first meeting on May 20 at Atlanta, USA. Pakistan is also requested by the Pakistan Chief de mission AVM Farooq. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950513 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Imran to marry on June 20 under Islamic tradition ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Samiul Hasan KARACHI, May 12: One of the world's most eligible bachelors Imran Khan, marries Jemima Goldsmith on June 20 in London, family sources confirmed on Saturday. According to the sources in Lahore, the marriage ceremony will strictly be according to Islamic tradition and culture. The Nikah ceremony will take place in London's Islamic Centre and will be followed by a sumptuous dinner. However, the exact time of the Nikah is not confirmed though as is usual in the subcontinent if is expected to be in the evening. The Valima reception, date and venue of which is yet to be finalised, will be held in Lahore in the first week of July. The wedding of the former Pakistan captain, 41, who once enjoyed the reputation of a raging playboy in sports, will be attended by his immediate relatives who leave for London in the second week of June. Family sources stated that Sir James Goldsmith has asked Imran to invite as much relatives or friends as he desires. "But it is extremely difficult for all of us to travel to England to attend the marriage," Imran's cousin Hafeezullah said, adding: "However, some of Imran's friends living in England will definitely grace the occasion." The relatives, Hafeezullah continued, who will be unable to attend the function will, however, attend the Valima reception which will be held in Lahore in the first week of July. "Since Imran's schedule after marriage is not confirmed, the Valima date has not yet been fixed. But it will be held in Lahore." The sources, nevertheless, confirmed that immediately after marriage, Imran alongwith his bride, will proceed for Umra before returning Lahore around June 28. Hafeezullah said he did not know the fact that when Imran met Jemima Goldsmith but stated that the marriage proposal was made through the 'proper channel'. "Imran's father approached Sir James who, without any hesitation or inhibitions okayed the proposal." While the proposal was made in the second week of March, a simple engagement ceremony was held in London a week later where Imran exchanged rings with Ms Jemima. "The engagement ceremony was only attended by a few people. They included Jemima's family and a couple of Imran's family members." Asked if there were any objections in the family to the marriage, Hafeezullah replied in the negative. "There is no reason for anyone to raise objections. The lady has embraced Islam and is now a Muslim girl. Moreover, she will live in Lahore and will also follow Islamic ways of life. "The family is not concerned at all if Jemima's family is Christian or Jew. Jemima matters us and she is now a Muslim. Besides, marriage with al-Kitab is allowed in Islam." Hafeezullah also disclosed that after embracing Islam, Jemima's new name is Haika. "For us, she is Haika now and will be called Haika Imran after June 20." Hafeezullah was not sure what Jemima, half the age of Imran at 21, will do after marriage. "What I have gathered is that she will participate with Imran in social work, including fund raising and looking after the Shaukat Memorial Cancer Hospital. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950510 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Board giving me a raw deal, says Wasim ------------------------------------------------------------------- DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950509 KARACHI, May. 9: Pakistan Test all-rounder Wasim Akram who lost the reins of Pakistan team's captaincy because of the players revolt against him over a year ago, is now blaming the cricket authorities for ignoring him for the job. "The cricket board did not make me captain (for Asia Cup at Sharjah) because they probably were scared of player power and fear I might argue with them and have my own team. They don't want this to happen and the best way is not to make me captain," said Wasim Akram in a recent interview. The interview appeared in India's well known sports weekly," The Sportstar" about a week after the conclusion of the Asia Cup at Sharjah in mid-April and the copy of which is now available here. "No one is a born leader. You learn with experience and I have learnt so much while playing international cricket for so many years. I think I can be a good captain but the authorities in our countries seem to think otherwise," said the all rounder responding to a question about his leadership qualities. It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan's top seven players, including his new ball partner Waqar Younus, openly revolted against Wasim Akram before the team's departure for New Zealand about a year and half ago and demanded his ouster otherwise they threatened they will not make themselves available for the impending tour. Consequently Wasim lost his job as captain. During the course of the interview the former Pakistan skipper touched upon many issues, including the Board's decision not to allow his wife to stay with him in Sharjah, betting in Pakistan cricket and politics in Pakistan cricket. He admitted that his first decision not to play for Pakistan in Asia Cup was because of the board's refusal to allow his wife to stay with him. Akram said he was for the policy to allow wives to stay with their player husbands during long or short tours. "We play for 12 months a year and are out on long tours playing for the country. Let us see how many Board members stay away from home for six months. For them, it is easy to sit in a cosy room and make rules for players who sweat it out on the field. I think they are being stupid basically". Answering a question what ails Pakistan cricket, he said: "Politics. Petty politics. It is in the game in Pakistan, this politics. Not just the game, it is in the administration. The cricket administration depends on the party in power. Which ever party is in power, the Board should be from that party's people". In reply to a query, don't you think you can overcome this politics in your cricket, he said, "No. I don't think. Because it is ingrained now in the system. It is sad but what you can do about it. We would have to live with it." Commenting on the allegations of offering bribe to two Australian spinners by Pakistan=92s former skipper Salim Malik, he said the Board was= not fair to Salim Malik. He agreed to the question that the bribery allegations against Pakistan was part of the campaign to take the 1997 World Cup away from Pakistan and India. "I wish India and Pakistan play together. It is my dream to go and play in India before I quit playing cricket". Of stories now circulating in the subcontinent about betting and bribery, Wasim said, "I have also heard so much and been reading about it but honestly no such thing had happened in front of me. No one ever approached me for betting or bribing someone. I have no idea about it really because I too have been just hearing about it." DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950510 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Zarak made permanent as a footballer! ------------------------------------------------------------------- By A. Majid Khan KARACH[, May 9: After serving as a contractual player for several years the world renowned squash star Zarak Jahan Khan has been permanently absorbed as a footballer and not as a squash player. The appointment of Zarak Jahan Khan who played for Pakistan which regained the World Team title at Karachi in 1993, now as a football player is said to be the biggest joke not only in Pakistan squash history but might be in international sports. The letter issued by the PIA Sports Department says Zarak Jahan Khan has been absorbed in Group Three in the Sports Department. A shocked Zarak, who has improved his world ranking from number 11 to ten announced on May 1, has yet to sign the appointment letter as a footballer. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950515 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Salim Malik innocent until proved guilty: CEO ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Samiul Hasan KARACHI, May 14: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will be dispatching its reply to the International Cricket Council (ICC) in the next few days in response to the sworn statements submitted by three Australian cricketers to the game's supreme body at Lord's. Abbasi, who returned Saturday evening from New Delhi where he signed a record 8 million pound sterling sponsorship contract with Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) for the 1996 World Cup, however, refused to disclose the contents of the letter. "The inquiry into the charges made by the Australian cricketers against Salim Malik is still continuing. Therefore, any official thing cannot be made public," Abbasi responded. "The only thing I can tell you is that that we have stressed in the letter that Salim Malik should be given proper hearing. He(Malik) is under tremendous pressure and the reputation of Pakistan cricket is also at stake. Therefore, the situation demands that the law should take its natural course of dispensation," Abbasi said. Arif Abbasi added that as far as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was concerned, Salim Malik was innocent until proven otherwise. "These are only accusations and no action can be taken on these bases alone." "Previously, the documents were not signed. But this time, they have been initialled by the concerned players," he said, adding: "But the statements cannot be termed sworn statements. No signed document is a sworn statement. "Moreover, Salim Malik cannot be punished simply because the documents submitted are sighed. Both the parties will have to be cross-examined by the Disciplinary Committee before a judgment of guilty and not guilty is given." DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950515 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Latif, Basit don't want to play with Malik ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Our Sports Reporter KARACHI, May 14: Rashid Latif and Basit Ali on Sunday dropped a bombshell when they said they will not play with Salim Malik in future. The two, who delayed announcement on their future plans today, stated that if Salim Malik would be in the Pakistan team, they will pull out. "We are friends with him(Salim) but as far as cricket is concerned, we will not play with him anymore," the two told Dawn. Rashid, who was Salim Malik's deputy on the African safari where he announced his retirement alongwith Basit Ali, was more specific, saying: "He has already caused a lot of damage to Pakistan cricket. "I feel sorry that I played cricket with him. But after knowing everything, I will not play with him." Rashid, an outspoken cricketer, added: "Salim's era as Pakistan captain is the darkest period of Pakistan cricket." Rashid stated that if he had any intentions of playing with Salim Malik, he would have travelled to Kuwait to represent the World Eleven. "I withdrew from the match despite signing the contract because Salim Malik was included in the team. I was being paid US $ 4,000 for one game. But for me, money is secondary. My principles take precedence over everything." Rashid said. Rashid and Basit, asked if available for the country, said if Salim Malik is ousted, they are available. Rashid and Basit again appealed that former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad be brought back to the team and in the role of captain. "His experience is -invaluable. He can be the scattered team." DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 950509 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Hasib wants amicable solution to Salim's case ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Walter Fernandez KARACHI, May 8: "The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should come forth with a sound reason as to why Rashid Latif and Basit Ali have announced their retirement from Test and international cricket. Were they forced into a corner to take such a drastic step and have the PCB officials set the ball in motion to resolve the issue by asking the two to withdraw their decision," said: former Chairman of Cricket Selectors Hasib Ahsan in an exclusive interview to 'Dawn' here on Monday. "With both Rashid and Basit having taken the ultimate step prematurely, the matter has become public property as the two cricketers are national heroes. On this rationale alone, the public have every right to know the underlying motive that prompted the two into the act," opined Hasib Ahsan. "Coming to the captaincy issue. The crux of the dilemma is that the, should not be kept hanging in the balance. After all, we are the world champions and the captain should be appointed much in advance so that he can play an active part in the selection of the squad," added the former Chief Selector. "But the way it is being handled spanks of an amateurish approach. The PCB is hell bent to please the Test and County Cricket Board (TCCB) and the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) even at the expense of the total destruction of the team -and the losing of its status as the world champions," explained Hasib Ahsan. "Then, come to think of it, the Salim Malik case is being referred to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for a solution. By and large it sounds ridiculous. No way it is a Kashmir issue that has to he sent to the United Nations for a resolution but a purely internal matter, requiring an answer to be found by the PCB," opined the former Chairman of Cricket Selectors. "Nor has the ACB any justification to intervene in the affair. Just because two of their players who failed to live up to their billing as the best spinners in the game at the moment on the tour of Pakistan, came up with a trumped up bribery charge to camouflage their ineffectiveness. It will not stand good in any court of law," stated Hasib Ahsan. "The present Chief Executive Officer of the PCB and the outgoing Chairman of the Board of Control for Cricket in Pakistan (BCCP) are agents of the TCCB and ACB. If they cannot find anamicable solution to the Salim Malik case they should call it a day and go home," demanded the former Chief Selector. "Without a shadow of doubt, Salim Malik is the best batsman in the world and he just cannot be dislodged by mediocre spinners like Shane Warne and Tim May on Pakistani tracks, they want him removed at all cost from the international scene, so that Australia can assume the mantle of the best team in the world," opined Hasib Ahsan. "Both Rashid Latif and Basit Ali have levelled allegations that many players in the Pakistan team were actively involved ill betting. If that be so, an investigation should be held and if anybody is found guilty he alongwith all the undesirable elements should be banished from the team for ever," stressed the former Chief Selector. "Yet another mess is being created in the National Stadium (Karachi) and Qadhafi Stadium (Lahore) renovation work. The job has been given to favourites of the officials of the PCB, without even resorting to the time-tested method of securing open tenders. A colossal sum of Rs 22 crores is being spent on the work," alleged Hasib Ahsan. "Is this not a waste of public money on the Qadhafi Stadium which at most will hold only the final with a capacity crowd. The match will not draw any foreigners but only spectators from home," claimed the former Chairman of Selectors. "What should be done is to save this kind of money and build five small staid in Karachi, another five in Lahore and 15 others around the country. This would help enormously in improving the infrastructure for the game in the country," opined Hasib Ahsan. "I hope, Senator Malik Mohammad Qasim, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, probes the matter. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D END =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=

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