------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 18 April, 1996 Issue : 02/16 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports

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Clinton approves release of equipment Pakistan to take US to ICJ on equipment issue Assef rules out secret talks with India Talks offer to MQM stands, says Shah Karachi to have five civic govts under DCs 6 killed in Lahore hospital blast No headway in blast probe: SSP We have too few men, equipment: DIG Feudalism termed a social evil Feudalism a hurdle to progress: Palijo Over 125 MNAs seek plots in Islamabad PEPC to discuss introduction of lead-free petrol ---------------------------------


Hubco to start production within two weeks Economy achieves 6.5pc GDP growth Forex reserves rise to $1.34bn CPI rises by 10.82pc during July-March Balance of payments jump to $2.69bn during 9 months No sales tax at retail stage this year? EPB to set up Eco-Textile laboratory Steep fall in budget support borrowing 25 public sector units incur losses of Rs 2 billion Stocks finish weekend session on steady note Stock market remains under pressure ---------------------------------------


Glass Towers Ardeshir Cowasjee Avoiding a global nightmare Benazir Bhutto Limping into the 21st century Shaikh Manzoor Ahmed Limping into the 21st century  II Shaikh Manzoor Ahmed Waiting for a third force M.B. Naqvi The stick and the carrot Mazdak -----------


India end four-year drought at Sharjah beating Pakistan India lose to South Africa but reach final Pakistan, erratic in shooting, beat US Jansher is Pakistans precious asset Pakistan to take part in Far East baseball Mackerdhuj blasts Dalmiya for conduct in World Cup


960418 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton approves release of equipment ------------------------------------------------------------------- Shaheen Sehbai WASHINGTON, April 17: President Clinton has given the final go-ahead for the release of military equipment worth $368 million to Pakistan under the Brown Amendment but economic aid is to remain suspended, a state department official said. "I can confirm that there is no further blockade in the shipment of this equipment other than the practical problems and logistics," the official said, confirming an earlier Washington Post report which spoke of a letter written by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott to a number of congressmen. Asked whether the moves in Congress, particularly by Sen Larry Pressler to repeal the Brown Amendment, were of any significance, the official said: "This is now improbable." The administration is also releasing $124 million which has been determined as `excess amount' received from Pakistan for weapons and spares which were never manufactured. In letters to members of Congress, Mr Talbott said President Clinton had decided that delivery of the military equipment that Pakistan paid for in the 1980s provides the best opportunity to engage Islamabad in our [nuclear] non-proliferation strategy and to improve cooperation with Pakistan on such vital issues as counter-terrorism and counter- narcotics. "Pakistan also will get $120 million in cash that it paid for weapons and spare parts that were never manufactured," the Post said. A law provides for cut-off of Ex-Im Bank loans to countries that help other nations to develop a nuclear arsenal. But administration officials had signalled previously that they wanted to avoid an across-the-board cut-off of Ex-Im Bank transactions for China, a major trading partner. They are considering much more limited sanctions, such as imposing restrictions on Ex-Im financing just for China's nuclear industry. The military equipment Pakistan will get includes missiles, rockets, rocket launchers, howitzers and three P-3C Orion aeroplanes, used in anti-submarine warfare. The deal does not include 28 F-16 jet fighters for which Pakistan paid $650 million. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960417 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Pakistan to take US to ICJ on equipment issue ------------------------------------------------------------------- Shaheen Sehbai WASHINGTON, April 16: Pakistan has indicated that it may go to the International Court of Justice to seek return of about $750 million blocked in US under the Pressler Amendment, a matter which the recent defence talks in Washington could not resolve. A senior member of Pakistan's defence team, Rear Admiral Khalid Akhtar, who is director-general of defence procurement, has revealed in an interview to authoritative "Defense News": "The (disputed) cases remaining (after the recent defence talks) are valued at $750 million and may have to be resolved through international arbitration or the International Court of Justice in The Hague." Pakistani and American officials had strictly maintained that nothing was to be publicly stated about the defence talks except for the joint statement which was released on April 4 and the leader of the Pakistani delegation, secretary of defence production Mazhar Rafi, has adhered to the agreement with Pentagon officials. It was the first time after the recent talks that any senior Pakistani official had spoken on the record about the meetings in Washington between Pentagon and defence ministry officials which, "Defense News" said, continued from April 1 to 11. A joint statement issued after the talks had given no details except saying that a number of cases were reconciled and another meeting would be held in September/ October in Pakistan. But, sources close to the Pakistani delegation and the Pakistan embassy had revealed to Dawn that some 96 cases had been reconciled and the delegation was going back with the firm opinion that Pakistan may have to seek legal relief from the courts in the US to get back its money. "The High Court or arbitration is a very real possibility ... (but) we will think very carefully about this option because it will touch on the entire US-Pakistani relationship," Admiral Akhtar said. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960412 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Assef rules out secret talks with India ------------------------------------------------------------------- Our Correspondent ISLAMABAD, April 11: Foreign Minister Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali ruled out the possibility of holding any secret talks with India for solving the Kashmir issue. Pakistan was ready to hold formal talks with India provided Kashmir issue should be placed high on the agenda the foreign minister told upper house of the parliament. Criticising the Indian policy on Kashmir he said India had been maintaining double standards. New Delhi had adopted a contradictory policy as on the one hand Indian leaders called Kashmir as the integral part of India while on the other they concede it as a disputed territory and express readiness for talks. Replying to another question regarding increasing contacts between non- governmental organisations he said official stance remained the same and government has nothing to do with informal talks between intellectuals of Pakistan and India. Over 34 types of non-official exchanges had taken place in which private individuals from India and Pakistan had participated, he said. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960413 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Talks offer to MQM stands, says Shah ------------------------------------------------------------------- KARACHI, April 12: Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Abdullah Shah said that "our doors are always open for a dialogue with the Altaf Group at any time" because the government believes that outstanding issues should be settled through dialogue. He was talking to newsmen at Cantonment Railway Station after formally seeing off the Lahore-bound over-night non-stop air-conditioned train. The chief minister referred to the boycott of Sindh Assembly by the Altaf group opposition for the last several sessions and said "we felt delighted when they came to the House on Wednesday and we thought that they have now ended their boycott and will discuss public problems at the forum to which they were returned by their electorates". He referred to reports in the Press about Wednesdays proceedings of the Sindh Assembly and said that it was not a democratic way for opposition MPAs to demonstrate such sort of behaviour to disturb the House. He said they should have demonstrated good parliamentary behaviour in the assembly. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960415 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Karachi to have five civic govts under DCs ------------------------------------------------------------------- Omar R. Quraishi KARACHI, April 14: After a six-hour-long marathon session, the Sindh Assembly passed by a vote of 45 to 6, Bill No. 5 of 1996, the much- contested Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 1996, that will decentralise the city's municipal government. Six opposition MPAs, all from the MQM, were present in the House and opposed the bills passage. Leader of the Opposition Dr Farooq Sattar told the House that his party had "rejected the entire bill because it was entirely against the interests and wishes of Karachi's citizens, and so the point of suggesting any amendments to it did not arise". This piece of legislation will amend the Sindh Local Government Ordinance (SLGO), 1979, to create separate district municipal corporations (DMCs) for each of Karachi's five districts; each of these DMCs will have a mayor and deputy mayor. The KMC will continue to exist simultaneously but its members will be elected by each DMC on the basis of equal representation from all the five districts. This method of election to the KMC council  outlined in Clause 6 of the bill  was particularly opposed by the MQM opposition on the grounds that it would "undermine the representative rights of the large electorate of Districts Central and East, where much of the MQM vote- bank lives." Dr Sattar spoke well to put forward the opposition's viewpoint. He said that the SLGO bill would not decentralise but bureaucratise municipal government. Sindh National Front chief Mumtaz Bhutto who attended the session, but did not stay till the vote, supported Dr Sattar's latter motion. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960415 ------------------------------------------------------------------- 6 killed in Lahore hospital blast ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report LAHORE, April 14: An explosion in the outpatients department of Imran Khans Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust Cancer Hospital here killed at least six people, including a 12-year-old boy, and left over 30 injured, eight critically. The explosion is believed to have been caused by a device weighing nearly five kilograms, reportedly placed under a sofa in the outpatients department, which was crowded with people when the explosion occurred at around 12.30pm. The pressure from the explosion was so great that it broke all fixtures and installations in the room and damaged the chemotherapy and pharmacy areas of the hospital. This is believed to be the first time that a hospital has been targeted in this manner. The scene at the Shaukat Khanum's OPD was horrific when reporters visited it soon after the blast, with shattered bodies and broken glass everywhere. First aid was provided to those injured before they were rushed to the nearby Jinnah Hospital. Three people, including the child, were killed on the spot while the other three died on their way to Jinnah Hospital. Shaukat Khanum, which is a cancer hospital, is not geared to provide trauma therapy. Three of the injured were admitted to the Shaikh Zayed Hospital. No clue was immediately available as to the identity or the motive of those behind the deed. A shocked Imran Khan, who was in the administration wing of the hospital when the blast took place, told reporters that if the purpose of the explosion was to intimidate him, this would not happen. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto heard of the news in Peshawar and, cancelling all her engagements, rushed to Lahore. She first went to Jinnah Hospital to see the injured people and then visited the scene of the explosion. She condemned the blast, saying it was tragic that even the sick and the innocent were now being targeted by terrorists. She charged that the incident was part of the same series of terrorist activities which had seen explosions in Lahore. Talking to reporters shortly after the explosion, Imran Khan said he could not speculate about who planted the bomb and why, but a bomb explosion in a hospital was the worst thing that anybody could do. He said if it was aimed at intimidating him, then those who were responsible for the heinous crime had failed in their motive. "I have gained strength due to this incident and am not about to get intimidated," he said. Hospital administrator Dr Nausherwan Burki hoped that the hospital would again be functional within a day or two. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960417 ------------------------------------------------------------------- No headway in blast probe: SSP ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report LAHORE, April 16: The senior superintendent of police, Lahore, said here that police had not yet made any breakthrough in their investigation of Sunday's explosion at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust hospital. "Although we have collected some evidence from the place of the incident, it would be too early at this stage to speculate on such a sensitive matter," the SSP said while talking to reporters. He dispelled the impression created by a section of the Press that the police had reached a conclusion about the man who had planted the explosive device and that the man himself was blown up in the explosion. He said the investigation team had obtained a list of the approximately 250 patients present in the OPD and their statements were being recorded. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960417 ------------------------------------------------------------------- We have too few men, equipment: DIG ------------------------------------------------------------------- Our Reporter KARACHI, April 16: The police chief of Karachi, the Deputy Inspector General, Dr Shoaib Suddle, said that his department was short of policemen, mobiles and wireless sets, and that this was affecting its performance. Business people and industrialists told Dr Shoaib Suddle to do something about the lukewarm response of the police against crime, especially against businesses, in the city. He said: "The police are being run under the obsolete Police Act of 1861 which aimed at controlling the then native population. This Act now needs massive change." Dr Suddle said one of the reasons for corruption in the police department could be the lower incomes earned by the policemen. "We are trying to improve the complaint system in collaboration with Citizen Police Licence Committee (CPLC)," he said. Regarding complaints of mobile jurisdiction, one of the businessmen told the DIG that police mobiles of Districts East and West police stations were often found patrolling in District Central. The DIG asked the industrialists to note the number of any such police mobile and said that he would take stern action. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960412 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Feudalism termed a social evil ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Reporter KARACHI, April 11: Feudalism works through a well-entrenched oppressive network, led by landlords who, with their lackeys, exploit landless peasants, eminent academic and social scientist Hamza Alavi said. Lecturing on the system of feudalism Prof Alvi told the meeting, arranged by Forum for Peace and Development (FPD), that landlords, the police, patwaris (record-keepers of lands), rasagirs (cattle-rustlers) goons and other minions of the village administration were the main pillars of feudalisms edifice. Referring to his first hand experiences about rural life and the role of landlords in Punjabs villages, Prof Alvi said that landlords had been the rulers of rural society. They got their own men appointed in civil administration to secure their hold over the lives of landless masses of people, he added. The tenants, sharecroppers and labourers, he said, depended for their livelihood upon the will of landlords. "Landlords are masters of landless people. They exploit their labour and honour both, and in return give them such a small quantity of food which keeps them alive for more drudgery," he said. Speaking about the hierarchy of the system, Prof. Alvi said it was based on the biradri (shared community) system and each component of feudalism had its separate biradri, and had a relationship with the other biradris. Landlords, he said, had their own biradris which either had a relationship or enmity with the other feudal biradris, and they exploit the biradris of the peasants. Small land-holders had their own biradri which at times had their own role in helping support the edifice of feudalism, he said. The rival landlords, he said, also used communities of their tenants, already bowed by the burden of exploitation, as cannon fodder to settle scores. A landlord gathers his favourite men around him who can fulfil his evil mission. He harbours cattle-rustlers and his goondas intimidate the helpless tenants and kidnap their women to teach a lesson to rebels, he said. The police, Prof. Alvi said, provided them (cattle-rustlers) protection and got their share out of the business. "Landlord demonstrate their might through their collusion with the police and patwaris," he added. With the advent of the Green Revolution in Pakistan, tenants had to undergo difficult circumstances. The use of tractors, tube-wells and superior seeds had accelerated growth of production and left the tenants helpless, he said. The use of one tractor replaced eight tenant families in the race of old and new modes of production. The mechanisation of farming had on the one hand boosted personal power of landlords and on the other accelerated the pace of migration from rural areas to urban centres, he said. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960416 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Feudalism a hurdle to progress: Palijo ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Correspondent HYDERABAD, April 15: The president of Awami Tahreek and chief of Sindhi Ittehad, Rasool Bux Palijo, has said that many countries in Asia like China, Japan, Indonesia and even Malaysia has progressed and improved the living conditions of their people for the simple reason that they had uprooted feudalism in their respective countries. Speaking at a seminar on Problems of the Sindhi peasantry and their solution organised by the Sindhi Hari Tehrik at the Press Club here, Mr Palijo said that Pakistan was the only country where the curse of feudalism persisted and gained strength with the passage of time. Citing the feudal system in Pakistan, the term for a mental attitude, a part of culture and a way of thinking, he declared that a feudal lord sat in the mind and heart of every leader claiming to represent the middle class. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960414 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Over 125 MNAs seek plots in Islamabad ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ihtasham ul Haque ISLAMABAD, April 13: Over 125 MNAs have sought residential plots from the government to build their houses near the posh diplomatic enclave in Islamabad. According to official sources the PPP Parliamentary Secretariat has received 125 forms for plots, which also included 55 from the opposition PML-N and PNP, and 12 members of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). However Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and Opposition Nawaz Sharif did not apply for the residential plots to be developed near one of the highly expensive and posh areas, between the diplomatic enclave and the road leading to Murree. Three sizes of plots measuring 1000 sq. yards, 1200 sq. yards and 1500 sq. yards have been offered at a price of Rs.1.4 million, Rs.1.6 million and Rs.2.1 million respectively. Interestingly all the MNAs deposited non-refundable forms and membership fee of Rs.1700 for 1500 sq. yards plots. The provision for allotment of plots have been kept for both MNAs and Senators whose total number stood at 304 (217 MNAs and 87 senators). The price of plots would have to be deposited in three instalment. Sources said that only those parliamentarians would be offered these plots who did not earlier avail of this facility. The cabinet had decided last month to offer these residential plots to the members of the present Parliament. It also decided not to offer any of these plots to ex-MNAs or ex-Senators. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960418 ------------------------------------------------------------------- PEPC to discuss introduction of lead-free petrol ------------------------------------------------------------------- *From Muhammad Ilyas ISLAMABAD, April 17: The Pakistan Environment Protection Council, the highest policy-making body on environmental affairs, will consider a programme to make petrol lead-free by 2005 and halve the sulphur content in diesel by 2000 when it meets here on April 24. A report on the subject, according to an official source, will be presented by the Convenor, Standing Committee on Clean Fuels, Mr Hameed Haroon, in the meeting to be presided over by Mr Asif Ali Zardari, MNA, Chairman of PEPC. Besides Mr Haroon, other 13 members of the committee include senior executives of oil companies and experts from various scientific organisations. Other items to be discussed are: disposal of hospital waste, plantation of one million trees, proposal to establish a Pakistan Environment Fund in the private sector, presentation of progress report on shifting of Textile Processing units in Faisalabad to a new industrial estate in Jaranwala, and review the progress on the ambitious Spring Plantation 1996 programme. While considering the report on Clean Fuels, it is apprehended, the PEPC will have to revise various deadlines given in the original proposal which PEPC had been unable to discuss in its November 1995 meeting, the urgency of its objective notwithstanding. For example, the Draft recommendations proposed April 1, 1996, as the date for (1) elimination of regular brand gasoline of 80 octane; (2) reduction of lead content to 0.35 gm/l; and (3) HOBC imports to be unleaded as the initial steps towards complete phasing out of the regular petrol by 1.7.2005. That date has, however, passed uneventfully. It is envisaged to bring price of leaded petrol equal to unleaded petrol by next July. Even if the plan is adopted by the PEPC in its forthcoming meeting and approved by the Federal Cabinet, it will indeed be an uphill task to implement the recommended deadline of July 1, 1997, for restricting import of diesel with not more than 0.5% sulphur content. Eventually, the level of sulphur in diesel, imported as well as local, is to be reduced from the present 2.0% to 0.1% with effect from January 1, 1999. All public vehicles will be subject to testing by July 1, 1997, if the plan is accepted. For private vehicles, the cut-off date for exemption from such testing is July 1, 1998. In order to reduce carbon monoxide and other emissions, the Plan has stressed the need of encouraging the use of compressed natural gas/liquid petroleum gas in vehicles. For this purpose, the refineries are to be required to follow the existing NEQS (National Energy Quality Standards) for all effluent and emissions. The Plan also recommends the elimination of duties, taxes and surcharges on import of CNG/LPG equipment.


960414 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Hubco to start production within two weeks ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Reporter KARACHI, April 13: Hubco  the 1292 megawatt private sector power project  will start partial production of electricity this month as one of its four 323 mw units is all set to be fired. "Hubco will start producing power within two weeks," said its Construction Director Gerard Blake at a two-day seminar held in Quetta last week. He said arrangements had been completed to hook up the first Hubco power generation unit to the national grid. Four Hubco power generation units of 323 megawatts each are scheduled to go into commercial production every three months after July this year and as such the firing of the first unit would be ahead of schedule if done this month. He said the $1.5 billion project spread over an area of 1450 acres in Hub would greatly benefit Pakistan in general and Balochistan in particular. Mr Yousuf said Hubco had also provided jobs to a large number of local people adding that an estimated 85 per cent of total unskilled labour force was drawn from local population. Gerard Blake said Hubco had spared 600 acres of land for forestation to protect environment and check the pollution caused by the project. He said Hubco would spend $5.0 million to $10.0 million on environment protection schemes and claimed that the project would not pose any significant environmental problem like acid rains. He told a questioner that Hubco shareholders would get their first dividends in March 1998 i.e. one year after the company goes into operation. He said Hubco was in no position to indicate what would be the power tariff for the end consumers after it started supplies to WAPDA adding that only WAPDA can determine this tariff. "We would be selling power to WAPDA and not to the end consumers, he said adding that for the first ten years Hubco would be supplying power at a rate of 5.9 cents per KWh if WAPDA utilises up to 64.4 per cent of our total power production. If the utilisation rate goes up to 90 per cent the price would come down to 5.0 cents per KWh." DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960418 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Economy achieves 6.5pc GDP growth ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ihtashamul Haque ISLAMABAD, April 17: The overall performance of the Pakistans economy during the current financial year has been mixed, achieving 6.5 per cent GDP growth rate specially supported by 6.2 per cent growth rate in agriculture. According to a document to be presented to the Aid-to-Pakistan Consortium meeting in Paris on April 21, the economic growth target for 1995-96 was envisaged at 6.5 per cent supported by a growth rate of 6.2 per cent in agriculture, 7.5 per cent in industry (including 6.0 per cent in large-scale manufacturing) and 6.1 per cent in services sector. Total investment required to sustain this GDP growth was projected at 19.3 per cent of GDP, to be financed to the extent of 77 per cent from national saving, inflation was targeted at 9.5 per cent. While the agricultural sector performance is expected to be better than planned, the manufacturing sector will just be able to achieve the projected growth (6.8%). The overall growth in the commodity sector is expected to be 7.1 per cent as against planned target of 6.9 per cent. However, the services sector performance is likely to be lower than expected due to slower growth in transport and communications, banking & insurance and public administration. The preliminary estimates of performance of the economy during 1995-96 suggest a GDP growth rate of 6.4 per cent. The rate of inflation is expected to be around 9.5 per cent compared with 12.9 per cent in 1994-95. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960414 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Forex reserves rise to $1.34bn ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Reporter KARACHI, April 13: Approved foreign exchange reserves swelled to $1.346 billion on Thursday (April 11) after indicating a disturbing downward trend a few weeks ago. According to the State Bank of Pakistan sources, improved export figures for the quarter ended March 31, 1996 is one of the main reasons behind the current surge in forex reserves. Besides this, financial analysts attribute the improvement in foreign exchange reserves to some other factors which also helped to push up the reserves, notably among them being a substantial increase in remittances from the overseas Pakistanis. However, financial analysts said that a big trade deficit, which has touched the high mark of $2.69 billion during the first 9 months of the current fiscal tells a different story and it could take away the seasonal advantage in the final analysis. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960412 ------------------------------------------------------------------- CPI rises by 10.82pc during July-March ------------------------------------------------------------------- Our Correspondent ISLAMABAD, April 11: The consumer price index, which is considered a measure of the rate of inflation, rose further by 10.82 per cent during the period July-March, 1995-96 compared to the corresponding period of previous year. The CPI for March, 1996 as compared to March, 1995 showed an increase of 10.27%. During February 1996, it stood at 9.76% over January, 1996. During the month of March 1996, according to Federal Bureau of Statistics, CPI with 1990-91 as the base stood at 172.90, showing an increase of 1.35% over the Index of February 1996. All the group indices of the CPI have recorded an increasing trend - except fuel & lightening says the FBS Press release. The food, beverages & tobacco group index showed an increase of 2.06%, fuel & lightening, however, recorded a nominal decrease of 0.07%, and apparel, textile & footwear group showed an increase of 0.61% over the previous month. The household furniture and equipment, etc group index showed an increase of 0.66%. Transport & communication group index rose by 0.83%. Finally, the recreation, entertainment & education group index recorded a rise of 0.70%. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960414 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Balance of payments jump to $2.69bn during 9 months ------------------------------------------------------------------- Our Correspondent ISLAMABAD, April 13: Due to 19.6% increase in imports in dollar terms last month, Pakistans balance of payments jumped to a startling $2.690 billion during the first nine months of the current financial year, according to the foreign trade statistics for March 1996 of the Federal Bureau of Statistics. This denotes an increase of $1.634 billion or 60% more than during the corresponding period of 1994-95, when the current account deficit had amounted to $1.634 billion. During March 1996, exports amounted to $844.3 million up from $718.0 million. Yet, the official statistics show 17.6% increase in exports during March 1996 ($844 million) over February 1996. When compared with March 1995, it was an increase of 23.8%. The improvement in exports was, however, cancelled by imports which amounted to $1.17 billion, that is 19.6% more than the figure for February 1996 and 27.6% more than during March 1995. A disturbing feature of the exports scene is that the share of value added categories in total exports declined from 58.45% during July-March 1994-95 to 50.5% during the corresponding period of current financial year. Similarly, value-added textiles excluding cotton yarn accounted from 41.95% during July-March, 1995-96 as against 45.96% during the corresponding period of the last year. The biggest contributor to the rise in imports in dollar terms was the import of road motor vehicles on which the country spent $48.08 million in March 1996. Cumulatively, the import bill of road motor vehicles rose to $301.2 million (Rs 10 billion), as compared to about $295 million during the corresponding period of last. Cotton yarn was the biggest source of foreign exchange last month: $151 million, followed by raw cotton ($100 million). It increased by 13.88% over February Carpets & carpeting exports also picked up by a hefty 51.95% over March 1995 but only by a negligible 1.65% over February 1996. Rice also registered 33.08% increase over the previous month. Among value-added items other than textiles, sports goods and leather manufactures registered 28.73% and 60.71% decrease, respectively, while surgical instruments and tarpaulins also dropped by about 60%. 1996 but decreased slightly, when compared with March 1995. The export of raw cotton showed 1.24% decrease in dollar terms over February 1996. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960413 ------------------------------------------------------------------- No sales tax at retail stage this year? ------------------------------------------------------------------- M. Ziauddin PAKISTAN has assured the IMF that in the next budget sales tax coverage will be extended to all commodities at the import and manufacturing stages. Also, an understanding has been reached between the two about the time and modalities of the extension of sales tax to the retail stage. In addition the government has to withdraw all fixed tax schemes and reduce import tariffs to an average of 50 per cent by June, 1996. All this is the direct outcome of the periodic meetings held from time to time between the concerned government officials and the IMF representatives since a Standby Arrangement was signed between the two in December 1995 for a $600 million concessional loan over a 15-month period ending March 1997. This entails a gigantic structural reform effort of far reaching politico-economic implications, especially in the context of the immense hurt these will cause to powerful interest groups in the trading and manufacturing sectors by closing doors on their unearned incomes. Two years ago when about 225 commodities were taxed at the import and manufacturing stages, the business community reacted strongly and actually went on strike for five full days during the financial year. Mindful of this and also in view of the fact that this time as many as 300 items are to be brought under the sales tax net at the import and manufacturing stages besides abolishing all fixed taxes, the government is said to have impressed upon the IMF that at least two years must elapse between the present phase of full coverage of sales tax at manufacturing stage and the extension to retail stage. It was explained to the Fund that extension of sales tax to retail stage would be a momentous step and the same needs to be tackled as a separate project. However, the two, meanwhile, have agreed to proceed to impose VAT type of sales tax in the next budget on a few selected items like cloth, ready-made garments, hosiery, knitwear, jewellery, arms and ammunition, motor vehicles, motorised two- and three-wheelers, air conditioners, deep freezers and refrigerators. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960416 ------------------------------------------------------------------- EPB to set up Eco-Textile laboratory ------------------------------------------------------------------- Aamir Shafaat Khan KARACHI, April 15: The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) in assistance with Synthetic Fibre Development and Application Centre (SFDAC) is establishing an Eco-textile laboratory in Karachi, vice chairman, EPB, Mr Abu Shamim Ariff, told Dawn. It may be noted here that European Union, (EU) Germany in particular, have promulgated the laws and regulations from April 1, prohibiting the use of some Azo-dyes and other chemicals used in the textile garments, knitwear, hosiery and other cotton-related garments. Mr Mazhar Yousuf, who read a paper at a seminar on the topic of A challenge to Pakistans textile exports, quoted certain lines from his monthly journal (Aug 1995) saying that several consignments of Pakistani textile worth millions of rupees were denied clearance by German Customs due to use of prohibited dyes in the finishing process. The instructions have come from Germany and we have to comply with in order to continue our textile exports in these regions, he added. Providing further details, Fayyaz A. Mian, National Project Director, (SFDAC) said that EPB is financing the establishment of the lab at the SFDAC. The Eco lab, which stands for environmental consciousness, he added, would be set up at a capital cost of about Rs 60 million which was expected to commence its operation from October this year. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960416 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Steep fall in budget support borrowing ------------------------------------------------------------------- M. Ziauddin ISLAMABAD, April 15: In what could be regarded as a dramatic development on the monetary front, government borrowing for budgetary support fell steeply from Rs64.1 billion until the middle of March to Rs33.13 billion by the months end against the full year target of Rs28.10 billion and Rs32.27 billion recorded in the corresponding period last year. According to the latest fortnightly report of the State Bank, the retirement of Rs31.4 billion during the second half of the last month was achieved as a result of a significant improvement in government balance with the bank. The improvement in the borrowing position, however, is still off the mark by Rs1.13 billion compared to the target of Rs32 billion set by the IMF for end of March. Government borrowing for commodity operation also declined by Rs0.7 billion to Rs3.9 billion by the end of March against the full years target of Rs5 billion. Credit to the private sector, which had declined by Rs2.4 billion during the preceding fortnight, showed a further contraction of about Rs1 billion to Rs51.5 billion by the end of last month against the full years target of Rs64 billion and achievement of Rs47.55 billion in the corresponding period last year. This decline in government borrowings for budgetary support has been responsible for a decline of Rs19.9 billion to Rs112.6 billion in domestic credit against the full years target of Rs108.70 billion. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960417 ------------------------------------------------------------------- 25 public sector units incur losses of Rs 2 billion ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Reporter KARACHI, April 16: More than two dozen public sector industrial units have reported losses of about Rs 2 billion and quite many of them are either totally inoperational or are working on partial production capacity. One of these 25 public sector industrial units include the Taxila- based Heavy Mechanical Complex set up with Chinese assistance in early seventies to produce cement and sugar plants but now reports the highest loss of more than Rs 191 million. An official report of the government controlled corporations has suggested to the government for the disinvestment Heavy Mechanical Complex, which with Heavy Forge and Foundry located at Taxila and Pakistan Steel at Karachi, were considered the prestigious projects of late Z.A. Bhutto government. As an alternate option the report suggests conversion of Rs 454.5 million loans advanced by the banks and financial institutions as governments equity in the project. It also proposes 20 per cent reduction in workforce for which it estimates availability of Rs 82.50 million from the Privatisation Commission to meet the expenses. The report has urged the government to take suitable steps that should make the Iranian order effective for cement and sugar plants placed on Heavy Mechanical Complex effective. These steps include the release of down payment to Heavy Mechanical Complex in accordance with an agreement of Iranian orders of 108 million dollars. Iranians are understood to have offered bulldozers in exchange of sugar and cement plants. Losses of more than Rs 1 billion have been reported by eight oil and vegetable mills. These are Burma Oil Mills Rs 171 million, E.M. Oil Mills and Industries Limited Rs 189 million, Kohinoor Oil Mills Rs 186 million, Morafco Industries Limited Rs 127 million, Sargroh Vegetable Ghee and General Mills Rs 108 million, Universal Oil and Vegetable Ghee Mills Rs 146 million, Maqbool Company Rs 117 million and Dargai Vegetable Oil Processing Industries Rs 50 million. Pakistan Engineering Company located at Badami Bagh Lahore has suffered loss of about Rs 125 million for which a revival plan has been put into operation. Now on the list of privatisation, the Lahore-based Ravi Rayon has suffered losses of Rs 127 million. Shahdadkot Textile Mills reported losses of about Rs 21 million and was closed down in 1988. National Refinery in Karachi has suffered losses of over Rs 123 million. Other public sector industries suffering losses are Spinning Machinery Company of Pakistan Rs 48 million, National Petrocarbon Rs 10 million. The five other units, which are in losses have either been privatised or have been restructured. They are Nowshera Chemicals, The Punjab Vegetable Ghee and General Mills, Harnai Wools, Pak Iran Textile and Talpur Textile mills. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960412 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Stocks finish weekend session on steady note ------------------------------------------------------------------- Commerce Reporter KARACHI, April 11: Stocks finished the weekend session on a steady note, sending signals among the investing public that the next week could see the advent of bull-run. But analysts doubted the markets ability to sustain the technical rally until the current political tension among the contenders of power is defused. The KSE 100-share price index added another 6.39 points to the overnight gain and was last quoted at 1,555.30 as compared to 1,548.91 a day earlier as most of the blue chips ended further higher. Most of the MNCs suffered fresh pruning as investors sold at the higher levels for replacement buying on some undervalued shares, notably in the bank sector. Big losers were led by PSO, Grays of Cambridge, Pakistan Gum Chemicals and 2nd and 4th ICPs, which suffered fall ranging from Rs 4 to 10. Others to follow them were 8th, 13th ICP, Dewan Textiles, Dadabhoy Insurance, and Dawood Cotton, falling by one rupee Rs 2. Among the leading MNCs, which remained under pressure, Philips, BOC Pakistan, Glaxo Lab, Engro Chemicals and some others were leading but selling in them was well-absorbed at the declining prices. Shell Pakistan, Abbott Lab, and some others were exception among the MNCs, which attracted good support at the lower levels and recovered by one rupee to Rs 2. Among the local leading issues, which rose Orix Leasing, Premier Tobacco, and Pakistan Synthetics were prominent, while among the undervalued Indus Bank was outstanding. Hub-Power topped the list of most active shares, up 60 paisa on 18.875m shares followed by PTC vouchers, steady 50 paisa on 16.350m shares, Fauji Fertiliser, higher 50 paisa on 1.350m shares, D.G, Khan Cement(r), lower 25 paisa on 0.793m share. Other actives were led by Dhan Fibre, easy five paisa on 0.793m shares, Pakistan Synthetics, up one rupee on 0.199m shares, ICP SEMF, unchanged on 0.150m shares, LTV Modaraba, lower 10 paisa on 0.114m shares and Trust Leasing, unchanged on 0.108m shares. Trading volume rose to 42.259m shares from the previous 35.640m shares owing to brisk trading in the current favourites. There were 359 actives, which came in for trading, out of which 156 shares suffered decline, while 104 rose, with 99 holding on to the last levels. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960418 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Stock market remains under pressure ------------------------------------------------------------------- Commerce Reporter KARACHI, April 17: The stock market remained under pressure as investors sold in a bit haste ahead of MQM's strike against the decentralisation of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation by the Sindh government. The KSE 100-share suffered fresh setback at 1,521.15 as compared to 1,539.05 a day earlier, showing a decline of 17.90 points over the day as base shares finished further shaded on renewed selling. Investment shares though fell fractionally but showed general recession in the absence of buying support at the falling prices, major losers among them being Askari, Bank al-Habib, and some others. Union Insurance in the leasing sector and BSJS and KASB were among the other leading losers. In the insurance sector, Adamjee, Dadabhoy, PIC, and EFU Insurance after early rise were leading losers. Textile shares lacked normal trading interest owing to some problems on the export front and higher lint prices but synthetic scrips were traded actively under the lead of Dhan Fibre, while Dewan Salman fell sharply. News of overproduction and the consequent glut depressed the cement sector further as leading among them fell sharply under the lead of Cherat, Zeal-Pak, and Pakland. But the biggest decline of Rs 21.50 was noted in Mustehkam Cement. Massive activity in Hub-Power in each session featured the trading in the energy sector but it ended shaded and so were some other leading shares, notably PSO, Pakistan Oilfields and Shell Pakistan. Bulk of the activity in the communication sector was centred around PTC vouchers, which unlike previous sessions remained under pressure and finally ended lower and so did Telecard despite late rally. Fauji Fertiliser and Engro Chemicals in the pharma group were actively traded but mostly on the lower side as there were more sellers than buyers. Glaxo Lab, ICI Pakistan, Parke-Davis, Sandoz Pakistan and Searle Pakistan also fell on renewed selling and so did blue chips such as Brooke Bond, Rafhan Maize and Lever Brothers on other counters. Dividend news both from Singer Pakistan and Sandoz Pakistan at the rate of 37 per cent cash and 20 per cent bonus respectively came at a time when the market was dominated by some other pressures and could not boost the sentiment. Hub-Power topped the list of most actives, off 70 paisa on 11.777m shares, followed by PTC vouchers, easy 55 paisa on 11.476m shares, Fauji Fertiliser, off 60 paisa on 0.775m shares, Lucky Cement, easy 30 paisa on 0.643m shares, and Dhan Fibre, lower 20 paisa on 0.345m shares, and PICIC, up one rupee on 0.223m shares. After several lean sessions trading volume rose to 27.282m shares as compared to 18.363m shares a day earlier. There were 336 actives, out of which 186 shares fell, while 66 rose, with 84 shares holding on to the last levels. DAWNFacts*DAWNFacts*DAWNFacts*DAWNFacts*DAWNFacts*DAWNFacts*DAWNFacts* DAWN FACTS Another first from the DAWN Group of Newspapers --- the people who brought you the first on-line newspaper from Pakistan --- comes DAWN Facts, a new and powerful Fax-on-Demand service, the first service of its kind in Pakistan, giving you access to a range of information and services. Covering all spheres of life, the service arms you with facts to guide you through the maze of life, corporate and private, in Pakistan. With information on the foreign exchange rates, stock market movements, the weather and a complete entertainment guide, DAWN Facts is your one-stop source of information. DAWN Facts is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! 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960412 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Glass Towers ------------------------------------------------------------------- By Ardeshir Cowasjee BREATHES there a man of Karachi, with intelligence so dead, who never to himself has said... lawyers mistakes are hanged, doctors mistakes are buried, architects and builders' and developers and town planners and chief ministers mistakes stand (with apologies to Sir Walter Scott). Now, having observed the sketch, take a drive down the 70-year-old solid well-built Clifton Bridge in the direction of Clifton, look towards the left and you will see a large building called Prince Complex built 15 years ago according to the norms of the day, when there was no scarcity of water or power or sewage lines, there was no traffic congestion, when a high-rise presented no impediment, drew no protests. You will see that the building is correctly set back 55 feet from the existing road curb line. You will pass the turning to Jehangir Kothari Road and come upon the PSO building, also set back correctly by 82 feet, but higher than permitted by the rules. Next to it you will be confronted by a monstrosity now being built, erroneously named Glass towers. What is being built is being incorrectly built, and is set back only 25 feet from the road curb line. You then cross the nullah and find, still on your left, Columbus Tower, incorrectly built height-wise but correctly set back by 89 feet. Other buildings in the Columbus block are all set back at the same building line, which extends even to the block on the other side of the Teen Talwar, where stands the truly awful and incorrectly built in every way, Gulf Towers. Glass Towers is being built on a residential plot which was surreptitiously converted into a commercial plot, much money having changed hands. The builders first built a tawdry hideous- looking booking office at the cost of some Rs 15 lakhs. In it, they displayed a model of Glass Towers, showing the building as being correctly set back, in line with the PSO building. The cut- away models showed passages dividing the rows of shops as being wider than those shown on the plan. In fact, all shown in the third dimension deviated from that recorded on the building plans. Why, I asked Mr Mohammed Hashim, son of Suleiman, of Excel Builders & Developers, late last year (Hashim is the attorney of 21 persons who are said to be "seized, possessed of and otherwise sufficiently entitled to all that plot bearing Survey No. 2 Sheet No. FT-3, measuring 6344 square yards or thereabouts"). The models are for sow (so he pronounced show), they are not to scale, he told me. They are not to scale, he told me. They are made solely for the purposes of selling and are not what the buyers will eventually get. I asked for a copy of the approved plans and was told that they would be delivered to me the following day. They have so far not arrived. Hashim knew he was doing wrong and said so. He honestly admitted to having spent a lot of money over and under the table. Why do wrong? I asked. To make more money, came the answer. To this, I asked whether he had heard the story of King Midas, who, when the gods agreed to grant him one wish, requested that all he touched should turn into gold. Thus, when he touched his head, his arm, his leg, his foot, they were all transformed. At this, Hashims thoughts must have turned to other parts of the anatomy for he uttered a string of tobas and clutched at his ear lobes. I finished off the tale. When even Midas food turned into gold, he requested the gods to take their favour back. Hashim looked distinctly uncomfortable. Disturbingly, the structure that has so far risen, i.e. basement, ground plus four floors, is only 25 feet away from the curb line and will prevent for the coming hundred years the widening of the Clifton Road by four standard 12 feet wide traffic lanes.The offending part of the building must be demolished and the structure set back to at least the line of the PSO building. Those in government, or any concerned citizens, unable to comprehend what I write or what is sketched may contact Citizen Architect Husnain Lotia at 5869154. On the way to his office across the road, he watches the monster rise every day. To make matters worse, on January 9 Hashim wrote to His Excellency the Chief Minister of Sindh requesting that he be allowed to construct a unique type of building consisting of basement plus ground plus mezzanine plus two parking floors plus 14 upper floors. All this will equal 19 floors. The chief minister, without consulting his town planners or any other regulatory body, noted on the application that very same day, "Permission be granted with a fee of Rs 2 crores or the usual fees." Hashim apparently went back to the CM on the 15th with the same application, and had the CM endorse thereon, "Ratio 1:8 allowed." Both permissions were confirmed by Dr Sajid Yousfani, Deputy Secretary (Staff), by his letter No. PS/DS(STAFF)/CMS/96-249 dated January 15, 1996, addressed to the Controller of Buildings, KMC. The permissible ratio in Frere Town Quarters, wherein Glass Towers is being built, is 1:3, allowing for a built-up floor area of 171,288 sq. ft. By the arbitrary sanction of the chief minister for the construction of additional floors and for the increase of the ratio to 1:8, the builders have been permitted to build 456,768 sq. ft. To whom are the people to appeal to ask that wrong be righted? That further desecration of their city be halted? The chief minister is honest enough to admit that all his actions are controlled by Islamabad. Had my friend, Mahmoud Haroon (five years my senior as a citizen of Karachi), still been the Governor of Sindh he would have intervened. But with Kamal Azfar in that spot, one must take into account the unexpurgated remarks of Prince Aurangzeb, the MNA from Swat, as recorded in the assembly proceedings when he addressed the Treasury Benches earlier this week, "I can talk straight to my leader, Nawaz, but you have to wear diapers in your leader's presence." No help can come from this Governor. The sole hope lies in the judiciary, which has now asserted itself. The people must go to court. Justice is likely to triumph. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960418 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Avoiding a global nightmare ------------------------------------------------------------------- Benazir Bhutto THE 21st century has always been a popular science-fiction subject  whether it's taken the form of a vision of paradise on Earth or a futuristic nightmare. Now, however, we are less than five years away from the new millennium and faced with the disheartening prospect that the real nightmare is that the status quo will remain unchanged. The cynics among us say the hype surrounding the coming millennium is just another pipe dream. There is no escape, they maintain, from the fitful fever that has consumed mankind for the better part of the 20th century: two world wars, genocide in Germany, Cambodia and Rwanda, famine in Armenia and Ethiopia, and ethnic bloodshed in the Middle East, South Africa and Northern Ireland. The cause of this is the growing imbalance between the "North" and the "South"  a euphemistic way of describing the worlds haves and have- nots. Over the last three centuries, the balance has tilted heavily toward the Norths colonialism and exploitation of the South. Rapid industrialisation has led to the increasing centralisation of wealth and opportunity in a few, fortunate regions. That has left the fate of the South in the hands of the North  a situation that should not, and cannot, long endure. This is not to say that attempts to alleviate some of these concerns, such as the dismantling of colonial empires, the creation of international organisations and private humanitarian aid, haven't been made under the current system. The end result, however, has always been simply a reshuffling of the deck, with a different set of privileged nations astride the globe. At the end of the cold war, some heralded the beginning of a new era. At present, however, the worlds leaders have remained subservient to the interests of the old order, their attempts at change incompletely implemented, occasionally considered but generally co-opted, thwarted or ignored. The time is past for half-hearted efforts and windy rhetoric. For those of us looking for a fair interaction between developed and developing countries  one that avoids paternalism on one side and dependence on the other  the need for a new formula is becoming increasingly urgent. Some of our leaders have called for the nations of the South to cease contact and shun cooperation with the North, focusing instead on greater South-to-South integration. The ostensible rationale for this is that the Norths interests consistently run counter to those of the South, both on political and economic fronts. The nations of the North will never accept less than a master-slave relationship with countries of the South, such as Pakistan. This type of thinking is as deluded as it is self-destructive. It denigrates the well-intentioned work being done by people in the North to help alleviate the problems of the South. It ignores the increasing interdependency of all nations. It can only lead to greater conflict and consequent suffering. For the people living in the South who want prosperity, equality and security, the only solution is collective bargaining with their Northern counterparts. Such bargaining should not take the form of a pious and self- righteous assertion of our destinies as a group or an appeal to morality on the part of richer countries, however. With few exceptions, morality has played little role in international affairs throughout history  self- interest has always prevailed in the end. But it is self-interest thats our strongest trump card. If we in the South have a lot to lose politically and economically from failure to meet these challenges, so do the richer countries from our ensuing instability. A countrys wealthy cannot survive in isolation from the desolation of the poor masses. So, too, the rich in a global village cannot afford to hold at bay the burgeoning mass of disgruntled humanity for long. Bargaining as a united whole, held together by common interests, does not mean the nations of the South must share common identities, paths, cultures or even traditions. But the effects of war, debt, poverty, disease, environmental degradation and prejudice recognise no frontiers and no hemispheres. It is for precisely this reason that we must look beyond the boundaries that separate us. As citizens of a common Earth with common needs  and a common future  we must all wake to the realisation that it is in everybodys interest to help those struggling to fulfil their dreams. We must work together as partners rather than rivals, in cooperation rather than competition, through consensus rather than imposition. If we dont  if the status quo remains and inequality continues to drive at the soul of our peoples  our nightmares will be our childrens reality. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960412 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Limping into the 21st century ------------------------------------------------------------------- Shaikh Manzoor Ahmed IT HAS become very fashionable these days for top functionaries to make pronouncements projecting Pakistan as a potential Asian tiger of the 21st century and one could easily be fooled into believing that necessary ground work for achieving the objective was being laid on war footing. In actuality, however, there is a yawning gap between word and deed. It would be appropriate, therefore, to take careful stock of the factual situation as the hapless tiger will need a lot more than idle boasts of VIPs to have any chance of survival in the competitive environment of the 21st century. As the size of global village continues to shrink inexorably with continuing advances in science and technology, it is assumed that national geographical boundaries will progressively lose significance leading to early emergence of a wholly new society and way of life in the next century. The shrunken globe will become just one single vibrant market place with free international trade and commerce. It will be a new era of unbridled global competition where only the fittest will be able to survive and any protective trade barriers erected by individual governments will be of no avail whatsoever to inefficient local enterprises. The globalisation of economic activity will open up exciting new vistas of opportunities for countries technologically advanced and economically strong but the weaker nations will find themselves totally marginalised. Inevitably, such backward nations will be economically over-run before long with all the attendant adverse fallout. This is the great danger Pakistan will be confronted with and we need to do everything possible to ensure that such a grim fate does not overtake us. But what are the ground realities in our dear country today? Let us look at the situation pertaining to a few key sectors: It is widely accepted by impartial observers that our economy is in a shambles. We continue to mismanage our resources and live far beyond our means with little concern for the unacceptably high level of national budget deficits year after year. Because of the cumulative effect of reckless overspending for so many years now, we are at present perilously close to financial collapse. While the incumbent government proudly claims credit for having brought the budget deficit down from 8% to 5.5% of GDP during the last two years, it is important to note that this figure is still substantially higher than the target of 4% agreed with the IMF; besides, most of this reduction has been achieved not by clamping down on ever-escalating non- productive expenditure and eliminating waste but by retrenchment in development funds, which can have very adverse implications for the countrys future progress and welfare. The overall economic scenario in the country is indeed very bleak. Our industrial production as well as exports are in doldrums with balance of trade deficit in the first half of the current financial year reaching as high as $2 billion (twice as much as in last years first half), home remittances by expatriate Pakistanis appear to be falling, and foreign exchange reserves have declined alarmingly to only about $1 billion (excluding emergency short term loans). The enormous national debt bomb is ticking away loudly but we have conveniently turned a deaf ear to all such unwelcome warning sounds. Inspite of the fact that our external debt has reportedly climbed to a staggering figure of around $35 billion (with external debt service payments exceeding $2 billion a year) and the domestic debt is an equally mind boggling figure of over Rs 800 billion, we appear to be very reluctant to set aside the sale proceeds of privatisation of public sector industries / financial institutions to retire this huge debt. There is a very real danger that, given our penchant for reckless extravagance, we shall soon have liquidated most of the major assets of the nation without liquidating its major liabilities. This will be a great disaster not only for the present generation of Pakistanis but will also blight the lives of our future generations by saddling them with an enormously heavy debt burden. There is a general perception  not entirely incorrect  in the country that Pakistani banks and other financial institutions exist primarily to serve the interests of the crooked and the powerful. Unrecovered long overdue loans exceeding Rs 100 billion wrongfully doled out to such luminaries have wrought such havoc with the national banking system that the Minister of State for Finance very recently has been moved to publicly declare (Dawn, February 21) that all the financial institutions of the country have gone bankrupt. How can things possibly get any worse than that? Raging inflation coupled with rapidly rising unemployment has caused acute impoverishment of large sections of the population creating a huge new underclass in the nation. On the other hand, a small number of highly influential crooks are raking in unbelievably fat rewards and milking the country dry of its wealth through their criminal manipulations without any fear of accountability. Currently, defence spending, debt servicing and general administration expenditure are reported to be consuming the entire revenue generated by the government while expenditure on all development projects and social services is met through borrowing and the assistance of foreign donors. Consequently, development has slowed down to a crawl and social services remain badly neglected to the great distress and resentment of the people at large. This has added a highly explosive new dimension to life in a society already wrecked by a fast spreading drug culture, terrorism, general lawlessness and severe ethnic / sectarian tensions. Can there be any more potent recipe for violent upheaval in the country? Pakistans investment in education has always been much below the minimum level considered acceptable by the UN for poor developing countries; quite predictably, therefore, the results produced are most lamentable. Many Asian countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan etc. have, during the last 30 years or so, attained literacy rates of well over 80% while the officially claimed literacy rate for Pakistan at present is around 35%. Even if one were to accept the official figure of 35% as correct, Pakistan would rank far behind not only its neighbouring countries but also some of the least developed countries in the world like Burundi, Djibouti and Togo. However, there are strong indications to suggest that this figure of 35% is grossly exaggerated and the true figure is somewhat below 20% Pakistan is one of the nine most populous countries in the world with a population growth rate slightly above 3.1% per annum, which is the highest among these nine countries. With such a low literacy rate and phenomenally high population growth rate, we are likely to achieve the dubious distinction of contributing perhaps the largest contingent of illiterates to the global population at the dawn of the 21st century. At the secondary and higher levels, the education scene is absolutely chaotic. Apart form grossly inadequate facilities due to lack of funds and abysmally low academic standards, we have to contend with the endemic problem of campus indiscipline and violence throughout the country. There are heavily armed student Mafias with powerful connections who have converted most university/college campuses into veritable battlegrounds for bitter and violent proxy wars of supremacy between major political parties as well as ethnic and sectarian groups supporting them. In a highly polluted campus environment like that, it is obviously not possible to maintain high academic standards. The upshot of all this mayhem in the education sector is that most of our degrees are now not recognised abroad and the vast majority of our students studying in foreign universities perform very poorly. There have been several cases of government sponsored scholars who have been sent back by foreign universities/ institutions where they were sent for higher studies/ training because their academic standard was found to be much below par. How can we possibly expect to survive international competition with our institutions of higher learning turning out such poor quality human material? The science and technology (S&T) sector in Pakistan is a vast wasteland where the situation is even more deplorable than in the general education sector. This is so largely because our rulers have little interest in or comprehension of the problems involved. Ever since its creation about 25 years ago, the Ministry of S&T has invariably, for purely cosmetic reasons, been placed directly under the Chief Executive of the country. The purpose, of course, is to create an illusion that this sector enjoys the highest priority in the scheme of things of the government of the day. The sad reality is that S&T has in practice always been treated as a low priority area by every government perhaps because there can be no immediate visible returns on the investment made. The national allocation for S&T has consistently remained below 0.2% of GNP whereas, according to the criteria developed by the UN, the minimum acceptable level for poor developing countries like Pakistan is 1 per cent. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960413 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Limping into the 21st century : II ------------------------------------------------------------------- Shaikh Manzoor Ahmed Almost all our S&T research institutions are today in a terminal state of decay because: 1. Due to continued lack of support (except lip service) to the S&T sector at the top most levels of successive governments, the scientific community has remained sub-critical in size and resources; hardly any funds are made available for meaningful research. 2. Neither appropriate laboratory facilities exist nor first rate libraries for reference / data collection are available within the country. 3. Due to badly warped outlook of decision makers in successive governments, our scientists are almost totally isolated from the international scientific community and foreign institutes of higher learning / research in S&T. 4. Due to lack of sufficient exposure to international competition, local industrialists do not realise the critical importance of vigorous indigenous R&D activity for constant upgrading of products and processes. They view R&D as an unprofitable activity and unnecessary burden on their resources. Consequently, they are extremely reluctant to provide needed support. 5. As almost everywhere else in the country, there is no accountability in research institutions  no reward for merit and no punishment for poor performance. In our present unhappy situation, we cannot even expect to successfully absorb advanced technology in most fields if and when some friendly country chooses to offer the same to us. There appears to be no coherent national effort to catch up with our competitors in the S&T sector; glittery conferences and seminars (without meaningful follow up action) appear to be the only favoured form of activity. No country without first rate infrastructure facilities can realistically expect to be an effective player in the fast moving hi- tech global economy of the 21st century. In Pakistan, because of perpetual financial constraints, we have not only failed to expand and upgrade the physical infrastructure to internationally acceptable standards but have, in fact, allowed many of the valuable assets inherited from per-independence days to deteriorate to near extinction for want of proper upkeep and maintenance. We inherited an efficient railways system on the eve of independence which, inspite of many handicaps, continued to be well maintained for several years and was actually improved considerably during the decade 1955-65. The Tez Gaam of the late fifties was as good - comfortable, clean, punctual, and excellent dining car service etc - as any train in Europe or America. Subsequently, however, as air and road travel became more popular and VIPs / senior officers gave up travelling by train, management control became lax and the railways went into rapid decline with sharp deterioration in performance. Recently, railways have made a very strong comeback in advanced countries, particularly the United States. What we need, therefore, to do on top priority basis is to rehabilitate, upgrade and expand the existing derelict railway system. Our highway system can only be rated as very poor by international standards. Not only is the road network in the country grossly inadequate in quantitative terms, but most of the existing major roads are in a shocking state of disrepair. The National Highway Authority is a white elephant (like WAPDA) which has so far contributed very little, if anything, to improvement of the national highway system. Unless immediate and energetic corrective measures are taken to rehabilitate seriously damaged sections of our arterial highways and pre-empt further deterioration, we may soon have to suffer sudden, serious and prolonged disruption of trade and commerce throughout the country due to long stretches of major roads becoming absolutely unmotorable. A countrywide highway rehabilitation programme must, therefore, be carefully drawn up and assigned top implementation priority as for construction of new highways. Pakistans power sector has been facing a crisis situation for a number of years now. While there has lately been a flood of MoUs with foreign entrepreneurs in respect of power projects and press reports suggest that there would be a very healthy increase of about 10,000 MW in electric power generation by the turn of the century, there is disturbing lack of reliable information about the cost factor. If, as suggested by some writers, the cost to the average consumer of this additional supply would be over Rs 6/-per KWh, we would have a different kind of crisis on our hands-plenty of power supply but hardly anyone able to afford it. This matter needs urgent and careful attention at the highest levels of the government because, unless satisfactorily resolved, it can snowball into a major national crisis. It is necessary to comment here briefly on the following two important aspects of major development projects currently being undertaken by government agencies: (i) Large scale induction of foreign consultants and contractors even for projects/work items which can be handled very satisfactorily by local technical personnel. (ii) Increasing reliance on BOT financing mode in project planning. Induction of foreign consultants / contractors for jobs that can be designed / executed very satisfactorily by locally available professionals not only inflates project costs unnecessarily but also deprives local talent of much needed opportunities for acquiring hands on experience of working on important projects in their own country. Such unhealthy practices inevitably produce a very negative impact on development / improvement of technical skills within the country. As regards BOT financing, it is important to realised that while it is a significant new tool for governments to finance development projects outside their budget allocations, very few projects would actually qualify for BOT financing because of stiff criteria to be met for ensuring protection of and deficiently attractive returns on international private investors capital outlay; besides, project costs invariably increase by 25 to 30% under BOT financing. Moreover, since all payback of capital as well as dividends / interest to international investors has to be made in foreign currency, it is essential that the economy should be able to generate the required amount of foreign exchange without undue strain. These limitations must never be lost sight of in preparing project portfolios for BOT financing. Pakistan earned considerable notoriety last year for being ranked by Transparency International (TI) of Berlin, a German anti-corruption organisation, as the third most corrupt country in the world. This caused considerable embarrassment to the sensitive elements amongst us. Judging by the unending blizzard of mega corruption scandals unfolding in the press day after day without any report of punitive action against the perpetrators or even a strong and sustained public outcry, it is obvious that our nation not only accepts corruption as a norm of societal behaviour but actually regards it as the most desirable option available to an individual because of the hazardless huge rewards it brings. Time for you, Senator Malik Qasim, to lay down the onerous burdens of your farcical office of Chairman FACC. Pakistan is perhaps the greatest country in the world to live in if one wishes to avoid hardwork. We now have a five day work week and, since we love holidays and strikes, the list of official holidays and other non- working days  mostly due to strikes on various pretexts  in a year is unbelievably long. Someone addicted to maintaining all kinds of statistics recently came up with a startling finding; according to him, we actually have as many as 91 full working days in a year i.e. every fourth day in a year is a working day. The foregoing review presents a grim but true picture of the state of affairs prevailing in the country. Blessed as it is with very considerable material as well as manpower resources, Pakistan could easily have by now joined the ranks of advanced and prosperous nations fully equipped to make an impressive start in the new millennium. Instead, because successive rulers have mercilessly squandered material assets and failed to make urgently needed investment in development of human resources of the nation, we find ourselves in a state of terrible disarray. Apart from unending price spiral, high unemployment rate, poor education and health service facilities, crumbling physical infrastructure etc, the harassed citizenry have to endure endemic lawlessness, terrorism, police atrocities, and massive corruption at all levels. This makes it a real grand slam of back-breaking hardships in the daily life of a common man. We stand poised at a critical cross-roads today. Frightfully depressing as the overall scenario is at present, things can still be turned around for the better provided we can find a few competent and dedicated leaders of broad vision as well as high integrity who will, instead of being focused on self aggrandisement in every conceivable form, speedily bring about badly needed sea-change in government policies and programmes to uplift the nation. If, on the other hand, the current downward drift continues unimpeded much longer, Pakistan will be well on its way to becoming a failed state and will find itself stumbling into the 21st century not as an Asian tiger  not even a paper one  but as a barefoot urchin nation. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960413 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Waiting for a third force ------------------------------------------------------------------- M.B. Naqvi PRIME MINISTER and ruling party chief Ms Benazir Bhutto stated in her recent speech at Larkana: "There are only two forces in the country namely the PPP and its opponents; no third force exists." Although by no means the whole truth, there is a kernel of truth in the statement. Hence the need to ponder over its implications. Other and independent forces in the country do exist. There is the Pashtoon nationalism, though it seems to be rather worse for its years and also seems to be undergoing a mid-life crisis. (How else to account for the PPPs tally of seats in the NWFP provincial assembly in the 1993 election?) An amorphous Baloch nationalism may still be said to exist, if also without much elan. Nearer home what about Sindhi nationalism? It is xenophobic and chauvinistic, with unmistakable secessionist undertones. But politically, Bhutto charisma always manages to trump it; indeed so long as the Bhutto mystique retains its appeal as well as power of office, Sindhi nationalists can be contained. As of now, despite much noise and perfervid rhetoric, Benazirs prognosis of there being only the good (PPP) and the evil (its opponents) in the field holds in a rough and ready way. Pure Punjabi chauvinism too can be ignored and what might be the irreducible residue is anyhow subsumed in the numerous brood of PPP haters. In Sindh there is apparently the indigestible Mohajir assertion that is unlikely to go away with MQMs Langra this and Kana that. It is going to haunt Pakistan politics; eight to ten per cent population, concentrated as it is in two major cities, can neither be kept suppressed for long nor ignored. Insofar as the other foes of the PPP are concerned, they can only be generically categorised after one discusses the PPP phenomenon of Pakistan politics. There is something paradoxical about the animosity between the forces represented by PPP chief Bhutto and Mian Nawaz Sharif, the PML(N) boss. The two have kept Pakistan politics sharply divided quite like Begum Khaleda Zias and Shaikh Hasina Wajeds forces have kept Bangladesh polarised, despite strong social and political commonalties between them. Many Pakistani observers have at least had a rational explanation about the Bangladeshs political divide in the Bengali Muslim attitudes towards India; it is hard to see a similar rational explanation in the Pakistani polarisation. But an effort would be of interest. The defining quality  strong qualifications and corrections of inaccuracies implicit in this statement will be needed later on  in Pakistan politics is still the attitude towards the PPP and Bhutto leadership: some are for it and others are opposed to it. Broadly speaking, Benazir is right; there is no other credible contender for power. This division certainly arouses strong partisan feelings. The PPP cause has a strong element of personal admiration for, and loyalty to, the Bhuttos; indeed the Bhutto mystique is a fact of life, which is what seems to make the PPP tick. The others begin by disliking the Bhuttos for a variety of reasons and which is where elements of serious politics come in as secondary matters  to justify strong personal dislike for the Bhuttos. Mr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto made a tremendous impact on Pakistan by founding a party that was all things to all people. It was strongly populist and raised spectacular slogans of anti- imperialism ("East is red") and socialism is our economy. He did not leave the religious appeal out of his repertoire: "Islam is our deen" and "democracy is our objective" took care of the ruling passion of the day against the decade-long rule of the military strongman: the peacetime Field Marshal Ayub Khan. In addition to this catch-all compendium, there was the strong personality of the man, with the gift of the gab  Bhutto could mimic, impersonate and make the crowd laugh or cry while being able to discuss with the learned. He has historic achievements to his credit; these included three major successes: He made the downtrodden conscious of the fact that they are being cheated; that they are human beings deserving of respect; and things ought to be made better for them. That essential message to the people at the bottom rung of the social ladder, in fact, created a tumult that has lasted, in a diffused sort of way, until now, despite PPPs conscious conduct to the contrary. Secondly, he enabled the Pakistani voters over large parts of Punjab and Sindh to vote against their masters  a thing that was unthinkable until then, although the situation seems to have largely reverted to the former torpor of the masses. And thirdly the PPP represented a message of change, modernism and the endeavour to bring everyone on board in the march to progress. Consequently the PPP could keep all manner of socialists, leftists and liberals hostage for long, though this motley crowd, by now, has trekked out of the PPP's fold. The forces arrayed against the PPP are traditionalists of all kinds, with three lead groups presiding over the destinies of the silent majority: They are the landed aristocracy, the military-bureaucratic elites and the religious parties and groups trying to squeeze themselves in and the number of such groups is hard to count. What is nearly common to all of them is that they dislike the Bhuttos and hate the underlying trend or the image of the PPP, underlining the need for change. Power and the pull of tradition are with PPP haters. Nationally and generically, Mian Nawaz Sharif and PML (sans suffixes) can be taken as the symbols of all that was, rather than is, threatened by the PPP. It is now time to note the inaccuracies involved in such a clear-cut and partly rational explanation: the PPP is no longer committed to any programme of change, to start with; it is as deeply conservative as they come; its leading lights are feudal lords and it can be depended upon to preserve the old social order as best as may be feasible. It is by no means a harbinger of any secular or enlightenment movement, though it has been widely accused of being secular in its heart of hearts. it regularly panders to religious obscurantism. All the major manifestations of religion in politics were largely PPP's innovation like declaring Qadianis non-Muslim and making Friday the weekly holiday. It did implement what it thought to be socialism for some years and that comprised nationalisation of virtually all the industry there was, except textiles and sugar mills; even flour milling, rice husking and cotton ginning were nationalised in the sense of bureaucrats being given their charge. It included nationalisation of banks and most financial institutions. But that phase lasted no more than three years, after which, under IMF advice, the PPP government of the elder Bhutto itself began implementing what is todays policy package attributed to IMF thinking, excluding the privatisation part. There were also two land reforms supposedly calculated to strip the big landlords of their overly large assets which in terms of implementation were as bogus as Ayub Khans land reforms; almost every major landlord is nearly as big as he used to be, if not bigger. And a good half of them now adorn the PPP platform as leaders. The PPP's third historic achievement was to give a consensus Constitution to the country that it did not have for its first 25 years, although five constitutional drafts were officially written and two of which could also be implemented. The country was dismembered as a result of basic disagreements over the political framework for the new state. The Constitution that the elder Bhutto gave still enjoys the formal support of all political parties and factions. A fourth achievement may also be noted: Bhutto and the PPP rule did look like a break from the long military rule, although he was for a long time a part and parcel of the military regime from the beginning and his conduct towards the Army after its 1971 defeat was bewildering. He certainly represented the democratic urge of the people when he left Ayub Khan and founded his own party. Later he tried to conciliate the army as much he could but was overthrown by a General of his own choice who hanged him, for good measure. After this the military went for PPP suppression in a brutal way. The military-PPP animus after 1977 lasted many years and Benazir has succeeded after hectic efforts to befriend the Army High Command, necessarily at a price, circa 1991. Which is what has enabled her to return to office and stay there since 1993. But all these passions are still raw. The elements that stand for the status quo and traditionalism instinctively dislike the PPP and they are many and strong, still led by the military- bureaucratic elites and supported by the landed gentry. But the leading (military-bureaucratic) elite is consciously being flexible; it has sought to transform the PPP by accommodating it in top offices of the state. But, deep down, it still does not trust the PPP, especially the Bhuttos whose personal versatility and undoubted power-drive makes them look volatile; they are seen as being capable of taking any road that suits them at any given time. Propaganda based on Bhuttos waywardness from an Islamic viewpoint is the basis of the widespread dislike of the PPP, especially in cities, and which is what explains the PML(N)'s and Mr Sharifs popularity, although his own maladroitness in office still makes him an undesirable person in the Army's eyes. But that dislike is for one person and not for his party or other associates or allied groups. Although the PPP today is comfortable in close alliance with all the elite groups and is being trusted enough by all the factors in whom power resides, or so it appears on surface, its fundamental vulnerability ought not to be forgotten. There is always the lingering suspicion that should the circumstances arise in which a reversal of the elite groups' choice becomes necessary, it will be so easy to happen. Also, there is a widespread suspicion that both major leaderships have actually been manipulated by the very elite groups to remain engaged in gladiatorial fights for spectators delight and it is these groups which do not want the two parties to join hands. May issues  people's economic interests or these parties' own common interests  are going by default. However given the record since 1988, it is time to conclude that (a) the two main alignments are unlikely to cooperate for what are common objectives; and (b) neither of them is in practice worthy of true liberals' support who are neither blase about morality in politics nor are as pragmatic (opportunist) as the two leaderships are. The political warfare between the PPP and the PML is going on and its prolongation will only suit the vested interests. It is time to leave them alone to go on slogging it out. The best way to undo the mischief, that is resulting, is to create a true, democratic third force. The same goes for the political warfare in Sindh; its own insistent exigencies are calling for such a new force. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960413 ------------------------------------------------------------------- The stick and the carrot ------------------------------------------------------------------- Mazdak A FEW days ago, a colleague from Lahore wondered why Karachi was no longer being mentioned by columnists and editorial writers. The answer, of course, is that only bad news is reported, analysed and commented upon. It is a welcome fact that for nearly two months, Karachi is enjoying an uneasy peace after years of violence and uncertainty. For the first time in months, murder and mayhem are not dominating the headlines. It would appear that the government's claim to have broken the back of MQM terrorism has been justified by events, or rather, the lack of them. Many MQM activists have been killed recently  some of them under highly suspicious circumstances  and many others have been arrested. For the present at least, the MQM seems to have been subdued. But before General Babar and his troops start victory celebrations, a word of caution: none of the issues that led to the civil war-like situation have been addressed, and there are thousands of embittered and frustrated young men out there in Orangi, Malir and New Karachi to fill the gaps in the MQM ranks caused by a largely successful anti-terrorist operation. Finally, the continued presence of secret arsenals provides the fuse waiting to be lit. In short, the MQM might have suffered a temporary setback, but it hasnt gone away. Nor have the issues that propelled it to centre-stage. Now that we have gained a measure of respite from the endless blood- letting, perhaps the government can finally turn its attention to the task of ensuring that Karachi will not become a battlefield again. This job will be made easier by the general sense of relief that has replaced the cloud of fear and despair that had so long hung over the city. MQM supporters, too, privately voice their satisfaction over the improvement in the law and order situation. But this state of affairs should not make the government complacent. Now is the time for vision and a generosity of spirit, qualities General Babar is not renowned for. Instead of rubbing the MQM's nose in the dust, the government should initiate a series of measures aimed at bringing the Mohajir community back into the mainstream of national politics instead of further isolating them. Altaf Hussain has done them enough harm already without the government adding to their pain. The only weapon the MQM is left with now is the strike, and that too is becoming increasingly unpopular. On the second day of the recent two-day shutdown, there was more traffic on the roads than I have seen on a strike day before. Clearly, this tactic has a very limited impact apart from adding to the misery of the common man. The other ploy that has alienated so many small traders is the collection of bhatta or protection money. The other day I chided my local video shopowner for shutting down for three days. He apologised and said if he hadn't, the MQM "unit commander" would have paid him a visit. When I asked if he had to pay bhatta, he opened a drawer and showed me a printed MQM receipt for three thousand rupees. It appears that apart from regular monthly collections, MQM thugs turn up at odd intervals and demand "donations". And yet Altaf Hussain denies the very existence of this racket. So there is considerable popular disenchantment with the MQM for the havoc it has wrought in and on Karachi, and the government should begin confidence-building measures to reassure an alienated and shell-shocked populace. To begin with, all elected representatives of the MQM currently under arrest should be released, and charges against them dropped. Their incarceration serves no useful purpose beyond further antagonising the people who voted for them. In any case, we all know that most of the charges against them have been concocted, and would never form the basis for conviction in a fair trial. Now that the MQM does not rule the streets of Karachi, the authorities can afford to be generous and release them, thus permitting MQM members of the Senate and the Sindh Assembly to play their role in these representative bodies. The next step would be trickier for the government to take, but it is an essential precondition for peace in urban Sindh: elections to municipal bodies have to be announced. Never mind if the MQM wins. Even if it does, it will be by a smaller majority. In fact, this would be a test of Altaf Hussains popularity, and if he does win fewer votes than the landslides he is used to, perhaps he will descend from cloud cuckoo land and allow his negotiating team to talk seriously to the government. But it takes two to talk. For its part, the government will need to negotiate in good faith and with a clear resolve to get results. When negotiating from a position of strength, it is easy to become arrogant and lay down a charter of rigid demands. Let us hope the government does not fall into this trap. Nor will it help if both sides start blaming each other for what has happened in the past. Both parties are responsible and the precise quantum of guilt can be calculated by future historians. The task at hand is to make sure that Karachis few remaining playing fields are never transformed into killing fields again. For this, low- income, no-hope supporters of the MQM have to be made to feel they have a stake in the system, and there is a path to prosperity other than the blood-smeared one Altaf Hussain has led them on for the last decade. The government has to realise the limits of power: there are times when it is counterproductive to attempt to translate battlefield gains into bargaining chips at the negotiating table. It would be far better to seem generous in victory and make unilateral concessions that cost nothing. Indeed, by taking some of the steps suggested here without insisting on a quid pro quo, the government would put the MQM on the defensive. If the Prime Minister were to announce that a certain number of portfolios have been reserved in the Sindh and federal governments for MQM MPAs and senators, she would take much of the wind out of Altaf Hussains sails. This move would have aspirants and their supporters pressuring their exiled leader to be flexible. So far, General Babar's stick has been effective, but it can take us only so far: to go any further, the carrot has to be brought out./pre>


960416 ------------------------------------------------------------------- India end four-year drought at Sharjah beating Pakistan ------------------------------------------------------------------- SHARJAH (United Arab Emirates), April 15: India produced a stunning batting display in a crisis situation to overcome their favoured arch- rivals Pakistan by 28 runs in the Sharjah Cup one-day international here. Facing elimination from the three-nation event after heavy defeats in the first leg of the preliminary league, the fired-up Indians piled up a record score of 305 for five and then bowled out Pakistan for 277 in a high-scoring thriller. Sachin Tendulkar made 118 and Navjot Sidhu 101 during a record partnership of 231 for the second wicket to help India surpass their previous best total of 299 for eight against Sri Lanka at Bombay in 1986. Skipper Mohammad Azharuddin, under fire at home after three successive defeats in Singapore and here, then hit a brilliant unbeaten 29 off 10 balls  including 24 runs in Ata-ur-Rehmans final over  as India smashed 60 off the last five overs. Pakistan, given only 48 overs to reach the tough target after being penalised two overs by match referee Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka for a slow over-rate, made a gallant bid for victory. Skipper Aamer Sohail made 78 off 76 balls, Rashid Latif 50 off 31 and Ejaz Ahmed 42 off 51 to lift Pakistan to a promising 172 for two by the 26th over. The victory was only the fourth by India in 18 meetings with Pakistan at Sharjah, but jubilant Indian fans celebrated the long-awaited win as if the tournament had been won. India had last beaten Pakistan at Sharjah four years ago. We batted and fielded to our potential today, a relieved Azharuddin said after the match. I am glad we have answered our critics suitably. Its quite funny how we are regarded a bad team after a few defeats, but then everything changes after a win. His Pakistani counterpart Sohail said the Indians played better and deserved to win. But he felt his team had conceded too many runs. "We allowed them to score 60 in the last five. That's high by any reckoning. I was looking at a target of around 260. The slog overs proved very crucial," Sohail said. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960418 ------------------------------------------------------------------- India lose to South Africa but reach final ------------------------------------------------------------------- Viren Varma SHARJAH, April 17: India just managed to scramble into the final, taking the longest possible route. They did go into their last league match with an outright victory on their mind, but the fiery South African attack quickly blew up their plans to pieces. And the only option under the circumstances was to play for the required run-rate they needed to edge Pakistan out of the competition. They duly accomplished the task, but life wasnt all that easy for them. After India, thanks to a brilliant unbeaten 71 by Ajay Jadeja, knocked up a modest 215 in the allotted 50 overs, they needed to prevent South Africa from scoring that number of runs in 26.4 overs. The moment India restricted the high-flying South Africans to 112 for three in 27 overs, it sounded the death-knell for Pakistan, and the match became academic. South Africa were not bothered by all the crazy calculations and went about their task in a thoroughly professional manner without resorting to any rash play to achieve victory  their fourth in as many matches  in 47.1 overs. The way they hammered both India and Pakistan in the league matches, it looks as if the South Africans are hell-bent to atone for their surprise exit from the World Cup. And that (to perform well) is the motivating force behind their success here. India won the toss and elected to bat with the intention of piling up a score of 250 or 260  considered a decent score to defend by the experts. But the amazingly disciplined South African bowling suffocated their hopes. But Jadeja came to their rescue. The young, energetic lad from Haryana revived the flickering flame of hope, batting with authority and conviction. Full marks to the so-called tail-enders who lent a valuable hand to Jadeja in his swaggering quest to pull India out of the woods. Adams was named Man of the Match, a great achievement for the young bowler playing in his first match at Sharjah. South Africa needed to score at the rate of 8.2 an over if Pakistan had any chance of making it to the final. They, as usual, started in blazing fashion with their openers  Kirsten (39 off 57 balls with two fours) and Jacques Kallis (who replaced Andrew Hudson who was suffering from a stiff back)  scoring 53 runs in just 12 runs, but the advent of the spinners applied the brakes in the spiralling run rate. Leg-spinner Anil Kumble bowled his full quota of 10 overs at a stretch with an economical figures of 37 for one. Off-spinner Vekatapathy Raju also bowled exceedingly well and it was primarily his three-wicket haul that kept the South Africans quiet. Mohammed Azharuddin felt relieved after the match. "Our top batsmen are not showing the application and putting more pressure on the tail- enders. We should be scoring 250 to 260 in every match." But then he admitted it isn't easy. "We are playing matches regularly, without getting any chance to recoup energy." South African coach Bob Woolmer was pleased with the performance of his team. "The team is motivated, for their want to make up for early loss in the World Cup. We have won all the four matches, but we are complacent. India have improved a lot and we can't afford to take them lightly in the final." DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960416 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Pakistan, erratic in shooting, beat US ------------------------------------------------------------------- Sydney Friskin ATLANTA, April 14: Pakistan took the field for what should have been an easy victory over the United States, instead of which they struggled to a 2-1 victory without a goal scored from open play. The bustling tactics of the Americans upset Pakistans rhythm but there was no excuse for some erratic shooting by Pakistan's forwards late in the second half. A bit of sporting history was made with the Americans taking a 1-0 lead over Pakistan midway in the first half. They had never established such an advantage in the international field before. It all started with three penalty corners being awarded to the United States on the trot. Of the third one the former Egyptian international Ahmed el Maghraby scrambled the ball across the line but the goal awarded to the Americans was disputed by some of Pakistan's defenders. It was gathered later that the umpire had failed to spot an infringement by the Americans before the ball landed on the target. All this happened while Pakistan looked a little unsettled. It was not long before Asif Bajwa was brought into action and the first thing he did was to test the American goalkeeper Steve Wagner with a stinging angled shot which the goalkeeper just managed to deflect. Three minutes before half-time, however, Pakistan launched a fierce attack through the middle to force a scramble in front of goal. The Korean umpire Choi penalised the American goalkeeper for obstruction and awarded Pakistan a penalty stroke which Tahir Zaman prompt converted. The second half which began with Pakistan in full cry was only six minutes old when Pakistan earned their second penalty stroke. Tahir who was on the ball and ready to score, was pushed from behind and the Indian umpire had no hesitation in making the supreme award. Tahir again converted. With the tension somewhat eased Pakistan began to move more freely up front but in the American goalkeeper Steve Wagner they had a difficult obstacle to surmount. Judiciously rushing out of his charge he blocked shots by Raza Aleem, the outside left on two occasions. With the American launching only sporadic raids Pakistan dominated this period of play but soon indulged in a sequence of missed chances. Aleem hit the outside netting after eluding three defenders, including Sarwar the goalkeeper and within five minutes the substitute wing forward did the same thing on the other wing. There was little in the match after that but Pakistan were obviously happy to have achieved their third successive victory to be the only team with full points. Pakistan on top: At the end of the third days play in the six-nation hockey tournament Pakistan were at the top of the table with maximum points and everything now seems set for the final showdown on Wednesday against India. In the first match of the day on Sunday India dropped a point in a 1-1 draw with Great Britain who put up a gallant fight but never looked like winning the match. India, however, had injury problems. The inside left Sanjeev Kumar did not play and the outside right Mukesh Kumar was also on the bench. Although he took the field in the second half as a substitute he played at half pace. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960413 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Jansher is Pakistan's precious asset ------------------------------------------------------------------- A. Majid Khan By registering a record-breaking performance in the World Open squash five months back at Nicosia, the seven-time world champion Jansher Khan extended Pakistans hold on the coveted title to 15 years  ten years being the share of legendary Jahangir  in the prestigious British Open. Jansher Khan outclassed Australias second seeded Rodney Eyles in 50- minute straight games (15-13, 15-8, 15-8) at Cardiff (Wales) last week. The great Khan, however, took seven minutes more for his effort as in November last in Karachi he had thrashed Rodney Eyles in 43 minutes for a score of 15-12, 15-11 in the title battle (worth US Dollars 75,000) during Pakistan Open, a super series event of the Professional Squash Association. Though a number of other world renowned players are working hard to make their impact on the PSA circuit but their limitations had been invariably exposed by Jansher Khan who had virtually monopolised the international circuit. He seems certain to dominate the international squash notwithstanding a defeat at the hands of Del Harris of England in super series challenge, not a ranking event. Jansher Khan is 26 and has reached the half-way stage to equal or surpass Jahangir Khan's ten consecutive wins in the British Open (1982- 1991). Jansher can accomplish this feat but it is noteworthy that he was twice beaten in the 1987 and 1991 British Open finals by none other than his great compatriot Jahangir Khan. Jansher Khan is our national asset as he is single-handedly facing the world challenge all through the years, bringing glory and honour for the country. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960412 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Pakistan to take part in Far East baseball ------------------------------------------------------------------- Sports Correspondent ISLAMABAD, April 11: Pakistan confirmed its participation in the 1996 Little League Far East Baseball Tournament being staged at Manila from July 26 to Aug 3 this year. The decision was announced by district administrator of Pakistan Little League, Amjad Shiekh over the weekend. Pakistan will be competing against teams from Guam, China, Korea, Japan, and Taipei. The District Administrator who returned after attending a preliminary meeting of Little League Baseball, Far East region, at Hong Kong stated that Pakistan has also confirmed its entry in the 1996 senior and big league tournaments to be held at Taipei from Aug 5-8. Amjad Shiekh who was elected the district administrator little league about six months back said that Pakistan also declared its interest in participating in the girls Big League category after Guam confirmed its entry in the Senior League for the 1996 Girls Softball World Series in October this year. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960412 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Mackerdhuj blasts Dalmiya for conduct in World Cup ------------------------------------------------------------------- SHARJAH (United Arab Emirates), April 11: South African cricket chief Krish Mackerdhuj launched his campaign to head the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday with a blistering attack on his rival Jagmohan Dalmiya of India. Mackerdhuj slammed Dalmiyas conduct of the recent World Cup in the Indian sub-continent, and hinted that his rival was trying to buy votes ahead of the July election to succeed present ICC chairman Clyde Walcott of the West Indies. "I can't distribute free tickets for tournaments and call officials for banquets in South Africa," Mackerdhuj said, referring to Dalmiyas lavish hospitality for ICC guests during the World Cup. Indian cricket chief Inderjit Singh Binra said last month that the host of the 2003 Cup was still in doubt since the West Indies had expressed their desire to conduct the games premier limited-overs tournament. Mackerdhuj also dampened Indian hopes that the election will be a cake- walk for Dalmiya, who is banking on the support of 19 of the 22 non test-playing nations  the same formula which won the Indian sub- continent the right to host the recent World Cup. "It's not as cut and dried as people expect, Mackerdhuj said. "There are five associate members in Africa and I think I have a better chance of getting their support. Each of the nine test-playing nations have two votes while the associate members have one each. Both rivals will lobby for votes of the neutral full members like England, Australia, West Indies, New Zealand and Zimbabwe. But it is likely that the final outcome will be decided by the associate member countries. Mackerdhuj said his primary aim was to make the ICC a strong body on the lines of footballs FIFA. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960418 ------------------------------------------------------------------- PTV/DAWN Dream Team competition results ------------------------------------------------------------------- Due to the overwhelming response which has poured in for the Dream Team Competition, the results of the Competition have been delayed. We apologise for the delay and are pleased to announce that the results will be released by the middle of May

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