------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 29 August 1996 Issue : 02/35 -------------------------------------------------------------------

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Death toll 72 with rivers in high fury Rs 150m set aside for relief in Punjab Pakistan will not take back any more Biharis: FO Pakistan building missile factory: WP UN refuses to revoke agenda decision PML, ANP legislators hand over resignations to Nawaz SHC official unearths police-run human cages Stowaways in PIA cargo hold land in New York Corruption quantified at about 10pc of GDP --------------------------------


Trade with India becoming inevitable How polity shapes economy Special Industrial Zones may be revived Govt providing wrong figures, claims IMF Special incentives to lure foreign investors No devaluation of rupee, says Shahabuddin Foreign Cos to take over electricity distribution A step by KSE towards more transparent deals KSE to introduce recomposed 100-share index Stocks lack normal trading interest ---------------------------------------


KPT-2 Ardeshir Cowasjee Bringing war criminals to justice Benazir Bhutto What Brown Amendment promised and what it gave Shaheen Sehbai Is the system we have worth saving? Ayaz Amir Doing away with VIP culture Rifaat Hamid Ghani Quacks and astrologers Hafizur Rahman -----------


Pakistans imposing 2-0 series triumph over England Jansher in top form to retain Hong Kong Open title



960827 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Death toll 72 with rivers in high fury ------------------------------------------------------------------- Dawn Report LAHORE, Aug 26: Nineteen more people were killed in different cities of the Punjab during the past 24 hours due to floods in rivers Chenab and Ravi. Both the rivers were in very high and exceptionally high flood at various points. The latest death toll which was released officially, increased the total number of deaths so far to 72 which included 28 in Lahore where torrential rains wreaked havoc on last Thursday and Friday. In Sargodha division, Midh Ranjha town and its 40 adjoining villages were adversely were inundated when water discharge level in river Chenab at Talibwala bridge reached 853,000 cusecs. However, no loss of life was reported. A visit to affected areas by Dawns correspondent showed that Midh Ranjha town was totally swamped and newly-constructed buildings of a hospital, a school, and a telephone exchange had been partially damaged. Some adjoining villages were under 10 feet deep water, while a number of katcha houses had collapsed and crops sown over an area of 15,000 acres of land had been completely destroyed. The badly-hit villages included Midh Ranjha, Chak Suleman Zaida, Ram Dehana, Burken, Abal, Mohriwala, Syed Kohna, Thathian Khurd, Thathian Kalan, Khaiwal and Burj Ghulam Rasool. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960828 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Rs 150m set aside for relief in Punjab ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Reporter LAHORE, Aug 27: The Punjab government has set aside Rs 150 million out of the block allocations which are placed at the chief ministers disposal for the rehabilitation of rain and flood-affected people and areas of the province. Official sources said here that Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto would also announce a relief fund of around Rs 1 billion for the calamity-hit people on her visit to the province within a couple of days. Finance department officials said that there was no specific allocation in the provincial budget for the ongoing fiscal year to meet emergencies like floods or any other disaster. They said chief ministers block allocations, which were around Rs 1.7 billion this year, were generally utilised to tackle such situations. Since the block allocations, they pointed out, were set aside to look after the development sector, only 50 per cent of them could be utilised at the maximum for other purposes. The Punjab government, the sources said, had started making assessment of damage to crops and the capital stock due to excessive rains and floods. The initial report shows that the damage in monetary terms is around Rs 1.5 billion. This does not include losses suffered by the private sector industries and shops in Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat and Sialkot. Estimate of their losses will be made after consultations with them later, the sources said. The government has already announced to waive abiana (water) charges from farmers whom crops have been washed away by the deluge. Industries which faced severe damage due to inundation would also be considered for concessions like moratorium in payment of their loans, the sources said. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960823 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Pakistan will not take back any more Biharis: FO ------------------------------------------------------------------- Hasan Akhtar ISLAMABAD, Aug 22: A foreign office spokesman said on Thursday that Pakistan would not accept the Biharis stranded in Bangladesh and denied that Pakistan had agreed to take them back. Replying to a question about the conflicting reports pertaining to the repatriation of stranded Biharis from camps in Bangladesh, the spokesman recalled a recent foreign office statement on the subject and affirmed that the repatriation of people covered under a tripartite agreement had been completed. Apart from the possible transfer of some others on humanitarian grounds no further repatriation was contemplated, he declared. The spokesman disowned any further Pakistani obligation for repatriation of more persons from Bangladesh and said if at all there were any such issue, it was not the obligation of Pakistan alone; it was for the Ummah and Bangladesh as well to consider. Regarding settlement of the question of assets, he said there was no serious issue concerning the division of assets and liabilities between Islamabad and Dhaka. Bilateral issues had recently been discussed by the two sides during the visit of Foreign Secretary Najmuddin Sheikh to Bangladesh. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960826 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Pakistan building missile factory: WP ------------------------------------------------------------------- Shaheen Sehbai WASHINGTON, Aug 25: US intelligence officials have come up with an allegation that Pakistan is secretly building a medium-range missile factory near Rawalpindi using blueprints and equipment supplied by China, the Washington Post said on Sunday quoting unnamed officials and intelligence sources. In a story filed by Jeffery Smith, who usually breaks such stories using intelligence sources, the Post claimed that the United States had complained about it to Pakistan, but the Pakistani leadership had denied the existence of such a factory. The paper believed the development raised the prospect of a major proliferation dispute with Beijing. Washington only recently settled a dispute with Beijing over an alleged sale to Islamabad of nuclear-related equipment, and officials said reports on the missile factory raised the possibility that broad economic sanctions eventually could be imposed on both nations. The Washington Post claimed that US officials knew of the existence of the Pakistani factory since last year, when construction evidently began. Its purpose was described in a recent, classified US National Intelligence Estimate on Chinas missile-related assistance to Pakistan, which also stated that Pakistan might have developed nuclear warheads to be placed atop its M-11 missiles. A National Intelligence Estimate is a consensus view of US intelligence agencies. US officials said that completion of the factory would for the first time give Pakistan an ability to match Indias indigenous production of the Prithvi medium-range ballistic missile, which could also be equipped with nuclear warheads. Washington fears that any deployment of such weapons could bring the two nations to the brink of war. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960829 ------------------------------------------------------------------- UN refuses to revoke agenda decision ------------------------------------------------------------------- Masood Haider UNITED NATIONS, Aug 28: After three days of strong disagreements and divided opinions the working group of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday refused to rescind its July 30 decision dropping 50 items, including Kashmir and Palestine, from its agenda as demanded by Pakistan, Arab states and others. But the working group reached a broad consensus on a compromise draft submitted by the president of the Council to amend its July 30 decision retaining Kashmir, Palestine and other issues on its agenda for an indefinite period with the stipulation of yearly review and notification. Pakistan and the Arab group had challenged the procedure adopted by the council on July 30, calling upon the council to revoke or rescind its decision saying that it was not transparent because the affected member states were not consulted. However, Britain and several other council members insisted that they liked the objectives of July 30 decision and insisted on retaining it. Under pressure from the United States, the Security Council is undertaking simplification of the Councils agenda in order to cut peacekeeping costs. Confirming the agreement reached by the working group, a spokesman for the German mission to the United Nations, Rolf Welbarth, told newsmen we have agreed on a text. There was a consensus. However, he added that the text of agreement would now be sent to the capitals of the Security Council members for approval before it could be approved by a formal meeting of the Security Council. He also said that in view of the concerns expressed by Pakistan and other member states of the United Nations who do not sit on the Council, they would be given the draft unofficially for comments. The draft stipulates that in future the Security Council would consult with the affected member states before any item is considered for deletion in the future. Asked whether there was a consensus on retaining the July 30 procedure established by the Council, the spokesman said Absolutely. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960826 ------------------------------------------------------------------- PML, ANP legislators hand over resignations to Nawaz ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ahmad Hassan PESHAWAR, Aug 25: All the members of Senate, National and provincial assemblies hailing from the NWFP and belonging to Awami National Party and Pakistan Muslim League presented their resignations here on Sunday to the Opposition leader Mian Nawaz Sharif. These resignations were presented during a public meeting of opposition alliance organised here today. The provincial chief of Jamaat-i-Islami, Prof. Mohammad Ibrahim, declared on the occasion that the resignations of his partys legislators have already been handed over to JI chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed and these would be tendered at a time whenever the opposition alliance deemed fit. Addressing the meeting Mian Nawaz Sharif declared that the merit, justice and rule of law would be the touch stone of his policies when he would return to power after ousting Benazir government. It will again be a Pakistan where poor mans son will get equal opportunities with the affluent ones and the wealth plundered by the ruling elite will be recovered from them to repay the countrys huge debts, he said. The opposition leader accused the government of dividing the country into two classes. On the one side there were people who had plundered the national exchequer and purchased big villas in Surrey and on the other hand there were poor people who could not provide sufficient food to their children. The PML leader said that his struggle was not aimed at regaining power, but it was for saving Pakistan which was at the verge of destruction while in the hands of enemys agents. These rulers, he said, could not be given any more time. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960829 ------------------------------------------------------------------- SHC official unearths police-run human cages ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Correspondent HYDERABAD, Aug 27: The deputy registrar of the Sindh High Court, acting on the orders of SHCs Hyderabad bench, on Wednesday unearthed a private jail set up by the police in Tando Allahyar. Twenty-seven people, including two leaders of Sindh Taraqqi Passand Party (STPP), were rescued, all of them detained illegally. The court, comprising Justice Amanullah Abbasi and Justice Rana Bhagwandas, after hearing a petition filed on behalf of the STPP leaders, Dr Abdur Rahim Solangi and Punhal Sario, directed the deputy registrar, Ghulam Mustafa Channa, to conduct an immediate inspection of the police station. The court official was told to see if there was any such person, as claimed by the defence, confined in or around the police station, and order the police to produce the detenus, if any, in the court. Mr Channa visited the police station and found the two STPP leaders with 25 other people unlawfully detained in the police quarters next the police station. A police official posted at the cells, offered some resistance but soon gave up. No senior police official was present. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960828 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Stowaways in PIA cargo hold land in New York ------------------------------------------------------------------- Masood Haider NEW YORK, Aug 27: Two Pakistanis, who reportedly worked for Pakistan Airlines at the Lahore airport, stowed away in an airliners cargo hold and emerged at New Yorks JFK airport seeking political asylum last Friday. They were taken into custody by the US immigration service, sources here confirmed. PIAs General Manager in New York, Salim Jehangir, confirmed the incident on Monday evening saying, I really dont have any details. I will have to check with the airport manager. He said that such incidents keep happening all the time. But he could not confirm whether the two who stowed away in airlines cargo hold were PIA employees. Nor did he know their names. If the United States immigration department determines that in fact Pakistan Airlines was at fault in letting the two stowaways travel to New York without any travel documents  they had no passport, tickets or any identification on them  then the airlines will be heavily fined. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960829 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Corruption quantified at about 10pc of GDP ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report ISLAMABAD, Aug 28: Dr Mahbubul Haq, former finance minister and adviser to the United Nations Development Programme, here on Wednesday called upon Parliament to hold a special session with knowledgeable, honest citizens to root out pervasive corruption in the country. There was nothing unusual about this proposal because parliaments of several other countries often invite non-members to hear their views on important national issues, he said in his talk on Corruption and Development held under the auspices of Pakistan Forum (PF), Quantifying the level of corruption as a technocrat, he put forward the crude estimate that on the basis of the economic transactions (Rs1000 billion) that pass through the hands of civil servants, politicians and other influential groups in society, the quantum of corruption would range between Rs100 billion and Rs200 billion per annum, or 5% to 10% of the total GNP. If corruption did not exist, we could either wipe off this deficit or even turn it into a surplus, he asserted. This, he hastened to add, is not an indictment of any one government. The cancer of corruption has continued to spread more and more in the last few decades. Dr Haq enumerated three critical characteristics that distinguish Pakistan from many other countries in the matter of corruption: (1) It is a phenomenon of decision-making at top levels; (2) Corrupt money often goes abroad and is not recycled within the country to grease the wheels of investment and production; and (3) No one gets punished for corruption. He cited the examples of Korea where a court has sentenced a former president to death and of India where as many as 43 ministers had to resign after their implication in the infamous Havala case. In Pakistan, however, there is no accountability after a lot of noise is made in the system about co-operative scandal or Mehrangate or about several other scandals, he noted. Dr Haq, however, recalled the sole instance of Pakistan where three ministers were dismissed for corruption. And late Mohammad Khan Junejo was the only prime minister in this country to have taken that step. His proposals to end corruption included: * Privatise most public corporations, through the stock exchanges of the world and not through negotiations. This can help wipe off the entire domestic debt and save the budget from Rs120 billion of interest payments alone. * A permanent judicial commission, consisting of eminent retired judges, is absolutely essential so that public cases can be pursued against alleged corrupt people. * Establish more open, transparent procedures, minimise secrecy, and exercise more control over the raw politics of money through land reforms, agricultural income tax, control over smuggling and drug trafficking. ******************************************************************* DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS ******************************************************************* INTERNET PROFESSIONALS WANTED * MS in computer science, with two years experience, or, BE with four years experience in the installation and management of an ISP. * Must be able to select equipment, configure, and troubleshoot TCP/IP networks independently. 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960824 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Trade with India becoming inevitable ------------------------------------------------------------------- Sultan Ahmed All the five committees set up by the Pakistan government to examine the issue of full scale trade with India have submitted their reports and none has opposed the early resumption of such trade through the private sector. The committees were both official and non-official in nature and researchers in them like the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in Islamabad and the Applied Economics Research Centre in Karachi have examined almost all the aspects of the trade feared by some elements in Pakistan. They have recognised the inevitability of such trade and Pakistan coupled with according the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment to its eastern neighbour, under the World Trade Organisation, (WTO) which has replaced the GATT. Many people regard, according the MFN treatment to a country which they consider their adversary or enemy as inconceivable or unacceptable, but the fact is, that under the WTO, Pakistan can possibly delay that for sometime but cannot deny it for ever. According such a status to India will be more of a routine and not a special favour, as some in Pakistan hold and that is a status Pakistan has accorded or will accord to 150 other states around the globe. On December 8 last year, Pakistan joined the six other SAARC states and reached an accord on the creation of a SAARC Preferential Trade Agreement (SAPTA) and identified 226 items for preferential treatment in import tariff. Customs notification were reported to have been issued by the SAARC states for such tariff preference, with India giving such preference on 106 items and Pakistan on 35 items. However, soon after the agreement, customs officials in Karachi were not honouring the same, as reported by concerned businessmen. Commerce Minister Ahmed Mukhtar is a strong advocate of trade with India as he sees its inevitability as a minister and its uses as a major industrialist! He insists that full scale trade with India would be soon resumed through ships and rail. Meanwhile, the Pakistan government continues to import a good many edible items, including sugar from India. And the import of 200,000 tonnes already made, may be followed by import of the same quantity or more from there, while the import of iron ore for Pakistan Steel Mills continues from Goa. The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has a dubious attitude to trade with India. But Mr S.M. Muneer, who as President of the FPCCI, was not excited about trade with India, is now in its favour since he joined the government and became Minister of State for Trade Fairs. Dynamic support The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) is strongly in favour of normal trade with India. It wants to import textile machinery from India and spare parts for the mills already functioning, which will be cheap compared to those imported from Germany, Japan or Switzerland. The APTMA has made its views known publicly several times. The President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Mr Tariq Saigol, who stands for a dynamic trade policy instead of one that is excessively inward-looking and too protectionist, is also in favour for trade with India. All those who stand for full-scale trade with India are also advocates of reasonable protection for the vulnerable among the industries of Pakistan, particularly the engineering industries struggling against heavy imports, including massive smuggling. And now the Indian Commerce Secretary Mr Khanna has said that a high-level trade delegation would visit Pakistan by the end of this month. He has told a meeting of the Inter-regional trade body in Calcutta, that India would honour all its commitments to the SAARC Charter and implement the provisions of the Preferential Trading Agreement. So having agreed to this Preferential Agreement, along with the six other SAARC states in December 1995 and identifying all 226 items on which tariff preference would be given by the member states to each other, Pakistan cannot resign from that commitment now. If it does, it will be cutting a sorry figure before the other SAARC states which want the regional organisation to be strengthened and not allowed to become feeble and ineffective. Broader support Senior officials of Pakistan, who are examining the reports of the five committees, propose to circulate their contents on September 30, 1996 for eliciting public opinion on the issue. Finally, the federal cabinet is to take a definitive decision on the issue by October 30. In between this period, two large seminars would be held on the subject in Lahore and Karachi to get more non- official involvement in the final decision and obtain authentic insight. At the Prime Ministers level, the decision appears to have been taken to separate political issues from economic ones in the manner the super powers and other states have been doing in the modern world. The old policy of settling the Kashmir issue first and then talk of trade has given way to a pragmatic and realistic approach. But then Pakistan has the right to trade with India only on those items which are relatively profitable to it. India would do the same. No Pakistani would want to import any thing for which there is no genuine demand in Pakistan. The Indians have in the past said they were ready to forego trade in such items that might hurt the new industries of Pakistan, particularly the engineering industries. But the Pakistanis fear that the cheaper Indian goods, particularly manufacturers, would swamp the Pakistani market. One Pakistani businessman says: See Zee TV. India is offering to sell new toilet soap for Rs 6 each, while the same kind of soap in Pakistan costs more than double. So how can we hope to compete with such Indian goods in Pakistan? The fact is that the new budget has given an awesome blow to the manufacturing sector in Pakistan. High and cascading taxes, increasing production costs and heavy interest rates have stifled the growth of Pakistans large scale manufacturing sector further after it grew by a nominal half a per cent in 1994-95 and professedly by 3.13 per cent last year, which in fact would be far lower when the final figures come in. The FPCCI is not agitating against the 10 per cent GST and wants total exemption for exports instead of the GST being refunded long after the exports and after heavily greasing the palms of the GST officials. The fact is that Pakistan is competing with Indian exports all over the world, particularly in textiles and so it should not be too apprehensive of Indian goods coming into Pakistan after the vulnerable industries have been provided with reasonable protection for a fixed period. Indisputably, the present average import tariff of 65 per cent cannot be maintained for long. It has to come down to 35 per cent on an average as committed by Pakistan in 1993 when the care-taker government of Moeen Qureshi made a farm policy announcement to that effect. When that happens, more and more of foreign manufactures, including textile, would come into Pakistan and Pakistani textiles would have to compete with them effectively. Tariff walls The powerful US Trade Representative Mickey Kantor spoke last year of US textiles entering Pakistan at 35 per cent duty this year. That has been delayed by the subsequent decision of the Pakistan government not to lower the import tariff this year and in fact retain the regulatory duty of 10 per cent, which it came up with in October last year. However, it will not be long before such tariff walls crash upon the insistence of the WTO and Pakistans manufactures and other items are exposed to total global competition. So Pakistan has to prepare for the challenges ahead not only from India but also other exporting countries, big and small, with their low cost of production, sophisticated products and high pressure advertising. It is for the government to realise that instead of killing the manufacturing sector with heavy and multiple taxes, high production costs and giddy interest rates, it instead should adopt a growth oriented policy. But, it seems to be intent on going the wrong way, beginning with excessive taxation on the industries and stringent collection. Businessmen in Pakistan do not have hope. They can neither deter nor correct the government, or force it to put things right in the economy. Added to their varied problems, is the rampant corruption which inflates the cost of production and the political uncertainties, protests, hartals and strikes which push up the cost further. This is not the environment in which the industrialist and small manufactures would welcome trade with India without special protective measures for them. But the government has no brave new initiatives in mind. At best, it comes up with palliatives, which achieve nothing or create more confusion, especially at a time when real clarity and positive policies are needed. The choice for Pakistan is either to trade with India in the normal manner or leave the trade in the hands of smugglers. Pakistans High Commissioner to India, Mr Riaz Khokhar, had earlier estimated that smuggled goods worth a billion dollars were reaching Pakistan from India. If that be so, Pakistan is losing duties to the extent of half a million dollars, especially at a time when Pakistan needs larger revenues. The problem for Pakistan is within the country and it has got to put its house in order economically as well as improve the competitive edge of its exports, quality, price and delivery-wise. If the competitive edge is not improved fast the economy can come to grief irretrievably whether we trade with India full scale or not. Pakistan should trade with anyone if it is profitable and not be too politically selective. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960824 ------------------------------------------------------------------- How polity shapes economy ------------------------------------------------------------------- Jafar Wafa THE QUESTION being asked by the lay and the learned alike in Pakistan these days is whether the political system of a country has any bearing, favourable or adverse, on the state of its economy. Ours being in the doldrums and that of neighbouring East Asian countries having taken a tigers leap in almost the same duration after the demise of colonialism, appears to have provoked such thoughts. While answering this question, as attempted here, it is made explicit at the outset, that the intention is not to make democracy the moot point, inspite of what the ancient Greek masters have said in their logical vein, or not so ancient Fabians in their caustic remarks, about this political system. However, it would be interesting, as well as instructive, to analyse whether the notions of dynastic rulers and the peers and the lords enjoying a permanent superiority by divine right, as is implicit in the British monarchical-cum-bicameral parliamentary system that serves as the prototype of our present polity, has created the kind of mind-set among our masses and those of other South Asian nations that has made them prone to vote for dynastic rulers and moneyed persons in preference over others. Economic Misery Contrasting the economic misery of the South Asians with the economic success of the peoples inhabiting the contiguous East Asia, who have devised for themselves, systems of government different from that left behind for us by the departing foreign power, one is led to suspect, that the blame, perhaps, lies on the system we have adopted. It hardly permits a person of ordinary means, but extraordinary virtues, to come at the helm and steer the country out of the old rut and on to a new course. As a result we and our South Asian neighbours continue to suffer from illiteracy and poverty. The Confucian countries of East Asia  China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore  started their journeys on the road to economic miracle through learning and saving. Compared to our sub-continent, literacy rates in these countries are as high as 75 per cent, excluding Japan where well over 95 per cent people are literate. Their gross domestic savings range between 35-40 per cent of GDP. The high literacy rate has produced a balanced frame of mind in the citizens of these countries. Perhaps, this is why their interest in political polemics is minimal. In China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, neither elections have ever been held nor the people there have any concept of a democratic polity which has been bequeathed to the South Asians by the outgoing colonial power. In other countries of East Asia like Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia, there is either autocratic rule or one-party government. There too, the citizens are not politics-minded. They are economic animals, as the late Mr Z.A. Bhutto had so aptly said about the Japanese. Political upheaval In contrast, the literacy rates in South Asian states are as low as 35 per cent to 48 per cent, with the exception of Sri Lanka where it is as high as 90 per cent. Perhaps, this high literacy factor explains why there has been no political upheaval of any kind in Sri Lanka, and one family of proven integrity has been ruling there for a fairly long time. The armed hostilities to which that country is a prey are not an internal conflict, as is common knowledge, but are the acts of Tamil insurgents given active support by their brethren from neighbouring South India. In other countries of South Asia, which are characterised by low literacy rates, politics revolves round communal and caste conflict (as in India), sectarian and ethnic strife (as in Pakistan) and senseless wrangling about political agenda (as Bangladesh). The teeming millions of destitute of these countries are being ruled by dynastic leadership, at present mostly women belonging to the families of slain political leaders, as in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In India, political leadership had mostly been the proud preserve of the Nehru dynasty until Rajiv Gandhis assassination brought it to an abrupt end, not far back in history. But even then the latters widow of Italian origin has enormous political clout in Congress (I) which her mother-in- law, the redoubtable Indira Gandhi, had set up to rule over 950 million souls till an assassins bullet killed her without killing the political party she had founded, or altering the political thinking in that country. The East Asian countries have become tigers mainly through re-investment of their high amounts of savings in nation-building activities. It is doubtful if the Pakistanis and other South Asians can save as much, with the kind of governments they have at present; with the likely exception of India where the administration has taken a left turn, though it stands on slippery ground. Domestic savings are the highest (44 per cent) in China, a socialist republic where the state provides almost free health-care, free basic education and heavily subsidised transport to urban commuters. The Indonesians save as much as 37 per cent and the South Koreans and Malaysians nearly 33 per cent of their gross domestic incomes. These rates were as low as 8 per cent in Indonesia and South Korea and about 24 per cent in Malaysia during the sixties when they were not even cubs. In Japan, however, the rate of 34 per cent has been constant for more than three decades of its post-war history. Abysmal savings The rate of savings in our Islamic republic is abysmally low. It is around 13 per cent, having slid from about 17 per cent five years ago. How low it is, can be gauged from the fact that it is far less than 19 per cent in prodigal America or 16 per cent in blue-blooded Britain. Naturally, our rate of investment too has been as low as 19 per cent of GDP throughout the 90s, same as in the UK and 3 per cent better than in the US, the two representative countries from the highly developed northern hemisphere, where domestic investment has already touched the ceiling and whose capitalists are seeking propitious places off-shore to invest for higher return than is possible at home. Our own country is one such propitious place for them. So, we can not derive satisfaction from the mere fact that our investment rate compares favourably with that in the United States or in the United Kingdom, as the levels of their economies bear absolutely no comparison with ours. If at all comparison must be made, we should again look eastward. Against our 19 per cent, the Chinese have lately been investing at approximately 40 per cent of the GDP, the Indonesians at 36 per cent, the Malaysians at 34 per cent and the South Koreans at 37 per cent of their national incomes. Hidden hand What hidden hand  no foreign hand this time around  is playing hell with this hapless nation? It happens to be our own government, present and preceding ones. Our government itself consumes 15 per cent of the available resources which, in terms of percentage, is only marginally less than what the various tiers of governments of the sole surviving superpower do. How spend-thrift and expensive our government is can be realised when we are told that the East Asian governments spend only 9 to 10 per cent of the total national expenditure on themselves. The rate of private consumption by citizens of these East Asian states ranges between 50 to 60 per cent of GDP, allowing a substantial margin for investment in industry and infrastructure. Our people have the doubtless distinction of consuming nearly 75 per cent of GDP on food, clothing, shelter and other needs, against a little less than 70 per cent in neighbouring India, which is far more populous and hardly more resourceful, and 18 to 20 per cent in the US and UK. Our folk have to spend nearly 55 per cent, out of their aggregate household expenses, on food alone; against 50 per cent by the Indians, and as less as 16, 23 and 35 per cent by the Japanese, Malaysians and South Koreans respectively. In the US and UK, raw, uncooked food is cheaper than even these East Asian countries. This should be food for thought for our feudal-dominated government which keeps on enhancing the procurement prices of wheat and sugar, every now and then, making the staple diet of the masses costlier and allowing higher incomes to flow into the coffers of the rich growers who devote their energies more to extremely rewarding political pursuits than to increasing the productivity of their unmanageably huge land holdings. These landed gentry, according to an estimate, own 70 per cent of the arable land on which 8 million peasants toil hard to cultivate foodgrains and cash crops. Successive governments, including popularly-elected ones, have failed miserably to restrict human procreation through effective and pragmatic planned-family programmes, and to increase farm production through effective land reforms. If people spend more than half of their earnings on feeding themselves and their large families, they can hardly save enough to invest in domestic industry and infrastructure, which is a pre-requisite for foreign investment. And if the government spends prodigally on its own parliamentary paraphernalia, it can hardly find enough resources to spread literacy and sponsor research and development schemes in universities and specialised institutions of higher learning. Without learning and saving as the East Asians have proved, the country is bound to enter the next century with a bigger begging bowl in hand and a bloated, top-heavy, wasteful government on its back. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960824 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Special Industrial Zones may be revived ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ihtasham ul Haque WITH the Board of Investment (BoI) having been merged into a new full- fledged Investment Ministry, fresh efforts have again started to revive the defunct Special Industrial Zones (SIZs) to protect over $ 2 billion investment in Pakistan and further attract such investment which had otherwise started falling. The officials of the Investment Ministry are believed to have once again raised the issue before the Prime Minister to get the SIZs revived as early as possible. The Minister for Investment, Mr Asif Ali Zardari, has been convinced by relevant quarters that the revival of the SIZs was not only necessary to protect the existing $ 2 billion investment, but to remove the fears of foreign investors that Pakistan was no longer an investment friendly country. Prime Ministers Advisor on Finance and Economic Affairs, V. A. Jafarey is said to have vigorously opposed the revival of SIZs by saying that it will make his task more difficult while negotiating issues with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He said that the IMF was against any revival of these zones and that the matter should not be re-opened. However, the officials of the Investment Ministry took up the issue once again and reportedly convinced the Prime Minister on the issue. I am confident that these zones will be revived specially after Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto allows me to hold direct negotiations with the IMF and sort out the issue, disclosed Syed Mohibullah Shah, Secretary, Ministry of Investments. Here I would like to tell you that I have had few meetings with the IMF officials and I found them considerate over the issue of reviving these Special Industrial Zones, he further stated. Mr Shah said that he would soon be holding fresh talks with the IMF official so that SIZs could be re-establish. He said Pakistan was lucky to have over $ 2 billion investment, in a record period of only two years which could be substantially increased provided the abandoned SIZs were revived. Asked how could he get them revived when the officials of the Ministry of Finance were opposing them, Mr Shah pointed out that the issue was very important which was why he discussed the same with the Prime Minister who then agreed to take up this issue with the IMF directly. The Prime Minister has given me the mandate to directly talk with the IMF and I would ensure that our SIZs are revived as early as possible. The IMF has been opposing the offering of incentives to various business groups and the facilities given to the entrepreneurs in the SIZs. In fact at one point of time, it refused to discuss any thing unless these SIZs were wound up. It is said that Mr V.A.Jafarey was of the view that without winding up SIZs there could not be any negotiations with the IMF and that the Fund officials were adamant not to accept any of these zones. The officials of the Ministry of Commerce and BoI reportedly opposed the closure of the SIZs but when the crunch came, they were eventually abandoned. It would be quite interesting to tell you that today the attitude of the IMF is very sympathetic towards the revival of the SIZs, he said adding that the Fund has told him to wait for some time so that they could give a second thought to the issue. He said he had convinced the IMF that a country like Pakistan could not survive without offering certain concessions and incentives to both local and foreign investors. They agreed with me that if developed countries like Malaysia, Korea and China could still offer incentives to their foreign investors why should Pakistan be stopped from doing so, Mr Shah added. Pakistan could not attract more than $ 200 million of investment during the last 20 years in Export Processing Zones. Assess our performance and you do not have to think much to know that we managed over $ 2 billion investment in SIZs in a very short period of two years, Mr Shah stated. Answering a question he said that, he had earlier held meetings with the envoys of Aid-to-Pakistan Consortium and they too supported the BoIs point of view over the revival of SIZs. He disclosed that entrepreneurs from Korea, Malaysia and United Arab Emirates have assured him that they would invest heavily in SIZs if they were revived. According to latest estimates, direct foreign investment during 1994-95 stood at $ 442.4 million, while portfolio investment measured at $ 1089.9 million and the total was $ 1532.3 million. In 1995-96 direct investment reached $ 1090.7 million while portfolio investment declined to $ 205.2 million, totalling $ 1295.9 million. Thus, the share of direct investment increased by more than 100 per cent which did not include Foreign Exchange Bearer Certificates (FEBC), Dollars Bearers Certificates (DBC) and Euro Bonds. This has happened despite withdrawal of incentives including those offered in the SIZs, said an official of the Investment Ministry. He said now that Mr Asif Zardari had taken over as the minister for investment, it was expected that he would take personal interest in removing the disincentives to investors, specially the rigidities of the officials of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Central Board of Revenue (CBR). The officials of both the Ministry of Commerce and the BoI now the Investment Ministry have been complaining against the attitude of the MoF and the CBR. They had said that investors had complained to them that no one in the CBR and the MoF listened to their grievances. The Investment Ministry, would now try to remove the bottlenecks wherever they existed, so that the foreign investors were encouraged to invest in this country. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960825 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Govt providing wrong figures, claims IMF ------------------------------------------------------------------- Shaheen Sehbai WASHINGTON, Aug 24: Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has personally requested the IMF Managing Director Mr. Michael Camdessus to send a delegation of the Fund to Pakistan to release the next two tranches of the standby loan, but he is unlikely to oblige her. Officials here said the prime minister telephoned Mr Camdessus once the lower officials of the Fund indicated that a visit by the Fund was not on unless Pakistan addressed the concerns raised by the IMF after the 1996-97 budget. Economic experts closely watching the IMF and the World Bank told Dawn the refusal of the Fund to continue lending to Pakistan could cause serious balance of payments problems for Pakistan leading possibly to a default- like situation on its loans and repayments. IMF sources said Pakistani officials, including Mr V.A. Jafarey, were making frantic calls to the Fund, almost every other day to send the delegation and in return the Fund officials were asking them only one question: What is your programme? They never came back with a credible answer. Another problem faced by the Fund, sources said, was the wide gap between the facts given to the Fund by the government and the reality. The Pakistan government has been mis-informing the IMF so much that they no longer rely on government data, an insider said. She said a serious problem had arisen between the IMF management and the IMF Board because the Board had been embarrassed by the misinformation on which the management based its decisions regarding Pakistan. The insider said the IMF was stunned to read reports in the Pakistani press that the government had borrowed more than the entire years limit in the first 18 days of the new year. How the government misinforms and conceals facts was revealed by one example given by the insider. She said the State Bank of Pakistan lost nine billion rupees every time the rupee depreciated against the dollar by one rupee. This is so because the government has guaranteed the rate on which the deposits were originally made. This loss was never reflected in government figures. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960828 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Special incentives to lure foreign investors ------------------------------------------------------------------- Nasir Malick ISLAMABAD, Aug 27: Pakistan received a direct foreign investment of $1.1 billion in fiscal 1995/96 (July-June) as compared to $ 442 million in 1994/95, a government official said on Tuesday. Mohibullah Shah, secretary of state-run Board of Investment (BoI) told a news conference that 30 per cent of the investment was made in the energy sector while the remaining in transport, communications and agriculture sectors. He said the United States invested $319 million, the United Kingdom $317 million, Japan $50 million, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong $40 million each. Shah said the high cost of capital because of inefficient banking and rising cost of utilities was making Pakistan uncompetitive in the region and keeping the foreign investors away. He said another factor was the withdrawal of the special industrial zones package, which the government had offered to foreign investors but had rolled back on the pressure of the International Monetary Fund. Shah said the Board of Investment was working for the revival of these special industrial zones to create competitiveness. Only in 11 months, before this package was withdrawn, Pakistan received projects worth $ 2.0 billion against only $200 million attracted by Export Processing Zones in last 14 years. Shah said the BoI had been arguing with the IMF that Pakistan was losing its competitiveness because of the withdrawal of this package. We are working with the IMF to revive these special industrial zones to maintain Pakistans competitiveness. If we want to bring foreign investment we will have to give investors special incentives particularly when we lack infrastructure, have poor labour force and cost of capital and utilities is high, he maintained. If we had stuck to this package, in five years new industrial towns would have sprung up all over the country creating job opportunities and releasing pressure on the cities. Shah said Pakistan was working hard to achieve an annual foreign investment to around $5.0 billion by the year 2000. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960828 ------------------------------------------------------------------- No devaluation of rupee, says Shahabuddin ------------------------------------------------------------------- Mohiuddin Aazim KARACHI, Aug 27: State Finance Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of a devaluation of rupee against the market forecast. No devaluation. You will see the rupee stable by the end of next month, he said while talking to Dawn. When pointed out that money market analysts and currency dealers foresee at least 3-5 per cent devaluation by the end of this year, he said he did not share this perception. The exports have started picking up and the foreign exchange reserves are improving. The rupee is not going to fall further, he asserted. The minister claimed of the 9.3 per cent increase in exports value in July and hoped that the exports in August would register an 11 per cent rise thereby improving the balance of trade position. He said the jump in exports in July was much higher than the increase in imports that registered only 2.8 per cent rise and hoped that the same trend might prevail this month. Not only the export earning has risen but there has also been a quantitative jump in exports. Makhdoom Shahabuddin did not assign any specific reason to the recent steep fall in the rupee value and only casually remarked that the fall was vis-a- vis all currencies implying that it fall reflected the usual fluctuation in the global currency markets. On August 19, the rupee lost a huge 35 paisa against dollar in the kerb market to settle at 39.0 and 39.10 to a dollar for spot buying and selling though official rupee-dollar parity remained unchanged at 35.53 and 35.70. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960829 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Foreign Cos to take over electricity distribution ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bureau Report ISLAMABAD, Aug 28: The federal government has decided to transfer the entire distribution network of electricity in the country to foreign managements to curtail the losses of billions of rupees. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has approved our plan to transfer the distribution of electricity throughout Pakistan to foreign companies so as to reduce huge losses, said Prime Ministers Special Assistant on Energy, Mr Shahid Hasan Khan. Speaking at the Forum of Economic Writers (FEW) here on Wednesday, Shahid Hasan Khan said that as a first step Lahore and Fisalabad Area Electricity Boards were being given to two foreign companies. There is a lot of resistance against the decision by workers unions of both the boards but we are firm to implement the decision, Shahid said. He said it has been agreed that the foreign companies being hired for the purpose would be entitled to keep half of the amount recovered on account of distribution losses while the other half will be transferred to the consumers. Giving the details Mr Shahid said that the distribution losses in Karachi were 39 per cent while Hyderabad and Lahore were incurring 19 per cent and 13 per cent losses respectively. You may not believe that reducing one per cent such loss in distribution means a gain of Rs.1.2 billion annually. The Special Assistant strongly dispelled the impression that the governments energy policy had any flaws. He pointed out that the energy policy was prepared on the recommendations of the Task Force on Energy which had its members from important ministries and Planning Commission. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960828 ------------------------------------------------------------------- A step by KSE towards more transparent deals ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Reporter KARACHI, Aug 27: The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) on Monday switched over to partial computerised trading in about 300 listed shares what financial analysts claimed, will lead to a greater transparency in the share business. It is an important milestone in the trading history of the Karachi Stock Exchange and credit must go the team led by Arif Habib, said a foreign fund manager who is operating in the market for a couple of years. He said there have been frequent complaints from many foreign investors about the transparency of transactions because of the manual handling of the stock business, but now most of them are expected to be removed after the trading was fully computerise, possibly by the end of the current year. The computerised trading, or widely known electronic transactions in shares, mean sale offers and bids for the members finalised in the computers installed in their offices and routed directly from there to the clearing house for financial settlements. The KSE authorities, have initially selected eight sectors, ICP mutual funds, Modarabas, leasing, banks, insurance, synthetic and chemical, cement and chemical and pharmaceutical shares, which together total 294 or about a half of the total listed 785 scrips for computerised trading. But we hope to cover the entire list by the end of the current year if all goes well with the trial run, said a member of the KSE. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960827 ------------------------------------------------------------------- KSE to introduce recomposed 100-share index ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Reporter KARACHI, Aug 26: The Board of Directors of the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) will introduce the recomposed 100-share index from Sept 10 after replacing 10 companies by an identical number of new ones. The new 10 companies being added to the list have become largest stocks in different sectors having more (time-based) market capitalisation than the previous meeting the criteria set by the KSE governing board. LTV Modaraba, Nakshbandi Industries, Shahmurad Sugar, Chakwal Cement and Price Glass, will replace Grindlays Modaraba, Kohinoor Weaving, Dewan Sugar, Lucky cement and Karam Ceramics as largest sectorial stocks ,while Lucky Cement, Honda Atlas Cars, Telecard, Ciba-Geigy, and Pakistan Services will replace Dadabhoy Cement, Nishat Tek, Mohib Textiles, Dandot Cement and Kohinoor Textiles having the largest market capitalisation. The new recomposed KSE 100-share index will capture the market capitalisation to the extent of 82.3 per cent as compared to previous ones 79.9 per cent, making it more representative. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960829 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Stocks lack normal trading interest ------------------------------------------------------------------- Staff Reporter KARACHI, Aug 28: Stocks lacked normal trading interest on Wednesday as leading investors again kept to the sidelines discouraged by the developing political situation. The current anti-government drive launched by the Opposition parties has pushed the buying interest to a lowest ebb as the consequent uncertainty is hardly helpful for fresh investment even from the financial institutions. Investors are awaiting the outcome of the current political tussle and might re-enter the rings in a big way until the atmosphere is clear, dealers said. The worst-hit are the foreign investors who are in two minds whether or not to buy at the current attractively lower level and the consequent decline in the daily trading volume. They said investors are looking for an opportunity to get out of the market to save themselves from further losses rather than buying at the current lower levels. The KSE 100-share index, therefore, suffered a fresh setback of 7.84 points at 1,423.43 as compared to 1,431.27 a day earlier. Dealers said there are fears in some quarters that it could breach the barrier of 1,400 points as the increasing political tensions will attract renewed selling from some of the genuine investors. Persistent liquidation in most of the MNCs, notably the pharma shares, signifying the exit of foreign investors was another destabilising factor. An interim dividend at the rate of 15 per cent from the Directors of Adamjee Insurance was said to be far below the market expectations. What was more important was that it was not backed by bonus shares of an identical amount. Bulk of the support remained centred around the pivotals, notably Hub-Power and PTC vouchers, both of them witnessed rolling of positions from one counter to the other. PSO came in for active short-covering at the lower levels and was the prominent gainer, rising by Rs 4 followed by Custodian Modaraba, which surged by Rs 2.50. Other notable gainers were led by Orix Leasing, which continued to inspire new buying after the announcement of a good dividend of 45 per cent last week, followed by Al-Towfeek Bank, Universal Insurance, Ishtiaq Textiles, Mari Gas (right) and some others, which rose by one rupee to Rs 1.25. Dadabhoy Insurance, which has risen sharply higher despite being traded on the spot basis came in for active selling and was marked down by Rs 15. Bolan Bank followed it and so did EFU, ICP SEMF, Kohat, and Pakland Cement. Among the MNCs, which fell though modestly ALICO, Attock Refinery, Shell Pakistan, General Tyre, Siemens Pakistan, Telecard, Glaxo Lab, Parke-Davis, Hoechst Pakistan and Nestle Milkpak were leading, falling by one rupee to Rs 5, the larger fall of Rs 5, being General Tyre. The most active list was topped by Hub-Power, off 50 paisa on 6.091m shares, followed by PTC vouchers, up 10 paisa on 5.965m, Dewan Salman, lower 55 paisa on 1.293m, LTV Modaraba, unchanged on 0.592m, Faysal Bank, easy 15 paisa on 0.184m, Askari Bank, off 60 paisa on 0.135m and FFC-Jordan Fertiliser, unchanged on 0.121m shares. Trading volume fell to 16.996m shares from the previous 17.937m shares owing to the absence of leading buyers. There were 329 active scrips, which came in for trading, out of which 177 shares suffered fall, while 74 rose, with 78 holding on to the last levels. Late in the computerised two-hours evening session, prices maintained their downward trend on renewed selling but activity was slow as only 11,300 shares changed hands bulk of which 8,000 shares went to the credit of Dewan Salman, off 50 paisa. Only eight shares were traded, out of which six fell, while only one rose, with another staying unchanged. The KSE 100-share index lost another 1.44 points at 1,421.99 from the afternoon close of 1,423.43. ------------------------------------------------------------------- SUBSCRIBE TO HERALD TODAY ! ------------------------------------------------------------------- Every month the Herald captures the issues, the pace and the action, shaping events across Pakistan's lively, fast-moving current affairs spectrum. Subscribe to Herald and get the whole story. 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960823 ------------------------------------------------------------------- KPT-2 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ardeshir Cowasjee FIRST of all, let us be happy that there are still people in this country of ours who will not sell their souls for a plot of land. A few years ago, I addressed my friend Irshaduddin, then managing-director of Commercial Union, who had been nominated as a Trustee of the KPT by the Overseas investors Chamber: What sort a Trustee of the KPT by the Overseas Investors Chamber: What sort of a man are you, what is the difference between you and the skimmers and scammers? Which school did you go to? By virtue of being a trustee, you took a plot from the Port Trust and breached the trust reposed in you. To his credit, the very next day, he wrote to the KPT saying he would not take the land. In the same honourable category fall: Zahid Bashir, Haji Omar Haji Karim, Nader Dinshaw Kabraji, Nisar Memon, Yunus Khan. The present Board has three private sector men: Maqbool Sadiq, Naseem Ahmed, Abdul Shakoor Khatri. They have categorically stated that they will neither accept a plot nor any fees for attending Board meetings. Following my column of last Friday (KPT-1), there have been thanedar- style reprisals, and a rejoinder  matters concerning vital public institutions and assets which are being systematically and purposefully destroyed and depleted should be debated openly. Reprisals: The Chairman is understandably angry. He presides over the affairs of a goldmine, out of which gold is steadily pouring. His term is running out in November and he wants an extension. Immediately after the publication of my column, orders were given to the chief of the Watch and Ward division of the KPT, retired Major Sikander Noon, to Traffic Manager Samoo (intentionally bypassing the General Manager, Operations, under whom they serve) and to General Manager (Engineering) Rahu to do whatever they could to see that our firm and its businesses (which have continued uninterrupted since 1883) are harassed, obstructed and harmed. Rahu told the newly elevated (unqualified) Estate Manager, Suddle, to place a letter on record stating that I had visited him some time ago and threatened him with dire consequences if he did not obey my instructions. Major Noon, the Chairmans principal axe-man, over the course of August 20- 21, on various flimsy grounds (parking where they should not park, no original registration papers, etc), impounded our container trucks, trailers and forklifts, and arrested and handed over their drivers to be held in police custody. We managed to get our men and the vehicles released. Traffic Manager Samoo on August 20 wrote us a letter accusing us of having done what we had not done and gave us seven days notice to vacate and hand over vacant possession of our container yard on O/F-5 East Wharf, which has been leased to us since 1978. On August 21, Major Noon, without any notice, had all work in our container yard stopped, preventing all movement of cargo and containers. I went to the KPT office to see the forthright God-fearing General Manager, Operations, serving Rear Admiral Mumtaz Wali Khan. He was distressed, made inquiries and ordered that work be resumed, that it not be disturbed further until orders were received from him. When he accompanied me to the lift, we heard a raucous chorus of voices shrieking Cowasjee murdabad. When I moved towards my car, I saw a gathering of around 100 KPT employees hanging over the verandah balconies and gathered in the compound. I asked one of the shouting men, Yeh Cowasjee kaon hei? He told me he hadnt a clue, but hed been ordered to shout and he was shouting. An ancient KPT man stopped my car on the road: Maaf karna, Sahib. Yeh sub oont ka bachcha hai. Further reprisals are expected and will be dealt with. As my young friend and counsel, Barrister Makhdoom Ali Khan said, in our country freedom of commerce and industry and freedom of expression cannot co-exist. Rejoinder (letters column Aug 22): This was signed by PRO Kafil ahmed Khan, an old hand. We share a mutual respect for each other. He is always apologetic as his job is to write the truth as dicated to him. Plots were also transferred to Mr Cowasjee, A downright untruth. I have never asked for a Port Trust plot, and no plot has ever been allotted or transferred to me. As for the 75 acres, what is stated is confusing. As recommended by acting General Manager (Civil Works and Estate) Rahu, appointed for the purpose, and as submitted to the Board, a proposal to transfer this land to the Sindh government is being considered. One can only hope that the newly constituted Board (at a full Board meeting and not at one hurriedly called after establishing that the majority of the members or out of town) will have a rethink and withdraw the proposal of gifting away any land for the enrichment of government cronies. A couple of months ago, Brigadier Javed Ahmed applied for a weeks leave on the death of a relative and his application was rejected by the Chairman. Some days later, the Brigadier was told to take one months leave, which he did not then want and which he did not take. He continued to attend office every day. On August 17, the General Manager (Administration) wrote to the Brigadier: You were granted 30 days leave. It is learnt that you are attending office regularly. You are therefore requested to please submit joining report to the Chairman after availing of the sanctioned leave of 30 days.... The Brigadier wrote back saying since he had never been away on leave, or handed over charge, he could not join and take over charge. As Kafil says of the Trustees, ...none of them is a KPT employee. Precisely. But why is it that they are encouraged by the Chairmen to become members of the KPT Officers Co-operative Housing Society and why is it that as members thereof plots are allotted to them? Kafil also writes that a proper hydraulic survey of the proposed reclamation of the 75 acres has been conducted. There may have been a desk exercise, but the necessary physical model study has not yet been done. Would the KPT make public the detailed findings of this survey they claim has been completed. Now I address the sciolistic Canutes of our country, whose stock in trade is flummery, and who cannot control the tides. In my first column of the series, I dealt with the eastern backwater. Now to the western backwater and the proposed reclamation to be done there. The KPT has entered into an agreement with PROMET of Singapore who propose to develop some 60,000 acres of land in this area for high-cost housing. PROMET has an office at Karachi where the daughter of Faruque Chaudhry, General Manager, Project & Development of the KPT, is employed as the executive director. The Port Trust commissioned HR Wallingford, UK, to make a study of the effect of reclamation on the harbour and the channel. The initial desktop findings show that the PROMET scheme will cause a reduction in tidal volume of 15 per cent which would lead to an approximate loss of natural depth from 12 meters to 10 meters. If the project goes ahead, maintenance dredging after the peak monsoon season will increase by about 0.5 million cubic meters. Wallingford has made it clear that the changes will be highly significant and that the effects of the tides and the flows in the harbour must be studied in details using the physical model at Karachi, which badly needs updating and upgrading. At present, to maintain sanctioned depths, 1.5 million cubic meters have to be dredged each year. The present contract has been awarded at the rate of Rs 142 per cubic meter to the Tidewater Dredging Company, with whom, as alleged by The Frontier Post in a news item published on August 11, the present Chairman, Admiral A. H. Khan is associated. This is not surprising, for in this country to get any large contract one must be associated with the boss or be the son-in-law or brother-in-law of a minister or secretary. The Operations division of the KPT is not satisfied with the performance of this company. Early this month, it was reported to the Chairman that none of the nine berths so far dredged have been dredged to sanctioned depths plus 0.6 meters, as contracted. The dredger performs poorly and remains at berths for longer than required, losing berthing capacity and large amounts in berth dues. The Chairman was informed that this is a very serious matter, which needs an urgent inquiry, as large sums have been advanced to the contractor despite its non-performance. The recommendation is that the contract be terminated immediately and heavy penalties recovered from the contractor. 1.5 million cbm plus PROMETS 0.5 million cbm of dredging would cost us, at the present rate, approximately Rs 300 million a year. The recurring expenses of all this need elaboration, as does the Jinnah bridge, other harbour works, tree plantation, fire, which my further columns on the KPT will cover. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960823 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Bringing war criminals to justice ------------------------------------------------------------------- Benazir Bhutto DURING the first months of my new government, Pakistan decided to make a million-dollar contribution to the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. We did this despite vehement arguments from those who believe the best way to deal with past horrors is to bury the truth alongside the victims, never to be disturbed again. To relive atrocities, they said, is to destroy any chance for healing. But this is simply not true  if we are going to ever have lasting peace in places like Bosnia, justice must be served. Inaction in response to war crimes compounds the injury of the victims and only encourages future abuses. When we pick and choose which crimes well look into and which well ignore, were giving ruthless dictators carte blanche to commit genocide. As I said in a speech before the World Affairs Council in 1993, morality selectively applied is, by definition, immoral. Justice must be swift, no matter how unpleasant the resulting investigations may be. The framework for such global action is clearly set out. The Vienna Declaration states that universal rights are legitimate subjects for review by international organisations. The Genocide Convention of 1942 asserts that the community of nations has an obligation to establish trials and enforce universally agreed standards of human rights, including the creation of international trials to prosecute war criminals. Sadly, this has not been the way the world has acted over the last 50 years. And millions have died because of our neglect. Early on in Adolf Hitlers career, he asked, Who remembers the Armenians? In other words, if others could get away with genocide and ethnic cleansing, then he could, too. Unfortunately, his deeds soon gave proof to the ferocity of his words. Fifty years later, it seems the Bosnian Serbs asked themselves the same cynical question as they ravaged Bosnia-Herzegovina. If the nations of the world stood by as the Khmer Rouge slaughtered over 1 million in Cambodia, why would anyone care about a little bloodshed in Bosnia? The lesson is clear: Genocide acquiesced in is genocide encouraged. If the world cannot unite to enforce standards of universal human rights, international society has no moral foundation. Without enforcement, our commitment to human rights is meaningless. We must go well beyond sanctimonious rhetoric and begin the often-difficult task of implementation and enforcement. We must be prepared to act. Bosnia, then, is a test case as to whether the world is serious about its commitment to human rights and morality. Will we dare to uncover the truth, no matter how embarrassing it may be to the nations that stood by while the atrocities occurred? Or will we turn a blind eye to the genocide, allowing these wounds to fester until violence erupts again? The punishment of the guilty restores a sense of honour and dignity to the victims and provides them and their families with a sense of justice and catharsis. It also establishes a psychological closure to the horror, and a sense of finality and completeness. Whether it be the Nazi Holocaust, the devastation in Cambodia, the slaughter of the Tutsis in Rwanda or the ethnic cleansing of the Bosnian Muslims, the community of nations has a vested interest in promoting and enforcing basic standards of international and personal conduct that will make such tragedies less likely in the future. Those of us in positions of leadership as the new millennium approaches have a special responsibility to ensure that morality is not only universal but universally applied and enforced. I echo the words of another young leader, US President Bill Clinton, who recently said: Now it falls to our generation to make good on its promise to put into practice the principle that those who violate universal human rights must be called to account for those actions. There is no better, no more fitting place for this principle to be applied than at the War Crimes Tribunals now meeting in The Hague on the question of Bosnia genocide. Pakistan stands firmly behind these actions, both emotionally and financially.Copyright 1996 Creators Syndicate, Inc. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960826 ------------------------------------------------------------------- What Brown Amendment promised and what it gave ------------------------------------------------------------------- Shaheen Sehbai THE SLOW motion wheel of US foreign policy has, in the last about 18 months, turned a full circle as far as South Asia is concerned and analysts who were screaming against the long-term disastrous fallout of the Brown Amendment are now beating their chests in sheer agony. The events that have unfolded since the Brown Amendment was passed, and partially implemented, have been so clearly against Pakistan that a well respected senior of the Washington Beltway establishment could only correct this correspondent by saying: There is not just a tilt towards India but a very heavy one at that. The landmarks in this tilt which can be identified are:  In January the Brown Amendment became law.  In April Pakistan was paid the $124 million that marked the repayment of the first of the two instalments. The second was to be paid in June but has not yet been paid.  In July shipment of some of the equipment was made. - In July the new pro-India, pro-elections Kashmir policy was finalised in Washington and Ambassador Frank Wisner was assigned to go and sell it to Islamabad. If they were not prepared to buy, it had to be dumped at their doorstep as a fait accompli.  In July again, important players in the UN Security Council, including the US, decided to adopt some procedures that would throw the Kashmir issue out of the UN, both Security Council and General Assembly, for good.  In August US admitted it was having private negotiations with India on the CTBT and despite the veto by New Delhi, the state department has maintained that no threats, strong-arm tactics or economic sanctions were to be imposed against New Delhi.  In August again, the US conceded that no decision had been taken about sale of Pakistani F-16s to Indonesia and it was likely that the planes were never sold. Now look at what Pakistan has achieved and lost as a result of the Brown Amendment. For the $124 million cheque, some military spares and three naval planes, Pakistan has given away a huge moral and political lever that had kept the US away from India for more than six years, an investment banker interested in South Asia said. The US tilt towards India is so pronounced that even the single-handed defiance on CTBT has not diluted its impact, he said. Just consider the Wisner intrusion into Pakistan. Wisner is regarded in Washington as the mainstay of the US policy on South Asia and he is actually being tipped in the new Clinton administration, if the president is re-elected, as the new deputy secretary of state to replace Strobe Talbott who is tipped as the new secretary of state. So his unique diplomatic sojourn to Pakistan and his meetings with everybody who is somebody and specially his address to the military top brass at Quetta, were not just off-the-cuff type of statements and events. He was telling Pakistan about the new shape of things to come and to be prepared for them, no matter what diplomatic spin or in what stately jargon the state department spokesmen may try to couch his words and deeds, a South Asian diplomat said. Analysts say the screw would continue to get tightened as Pakistan virtually heads towards defaulting on its loans and debt repayments in under six months, as it is neither in a position to accept the IMF demands nor to meet its obligations independently. The World Bank meetings at the end of September would be vital for Pakistan as failure to get the Bank and the IMF to lend some hard cash would mean sudden collapse, a run on the dollar accounts and a free fall for the rupee, a senior banker said. He noted that even the top most managers of the Pakistan economy were now conceding that last year a run started on the dollar accounts and almost every dollar that was not tied up in collateral, or hot money as he called it, was pulled out - up to $200 million in total. Accompanying this admission also comes the news that Pakistan had desperately sought the intervention of the Citibank to loan just $100 million dollars for a few weeks, and that too against the collateral of blue chip Pakistani companies like the PSO or NRL. That speaks everything about the desperate situation, he said. In such a gloomy scenario, analysts say whatever big or small moral or political leverage Pakistan had before the Brown Amendment, had been lost. Pakistans only chance of regaining some of its bargaining power vis-a-vis the US and the West was to take an independent and bold stand on the CTBT, by announcing its own terms for signing the treaty and privately asking for whatever it thought would serve its security and economic interests in the long term. But that opportunity was flunked by the foreign office mandarins by first linking up their signature with that of India and then the foreign minister making conciliatory gestures towards the CTBT establishment. The result was that Pakistan was ignored, or taken for granted, and India became the sole obstacle to the treaty which also means that India elevated itself to the position of being able to ask for the moon if it were to sign the treaty. Analysts now say the US and the West would go to any length to appease India, they have already conspired to throw Kashmir out of the UN, they have sent clear signals that an Indian- tailored political solution in Kashmir was acceptable to them and they couldnt care less for Pakistans economic or political woes. What the Indians could achieve in this big game of wits and wisdom would further squeeze Pakistan. They could ask for a UN seat in the Security Council as they have increased their value and weight by rejecting the CTBT, they could go for a number of nuclear tests a la China and France before they agree to a test ban, they could demand complete US and western adoption of the Indian position on Kashmir, they could ask for billions of dollars of US investment in critical sectors, they could seek super-sensitive defence technology, they could go for almost anything and possibly get it. We, on the other hand, have been marginalised, not because somebody pushed us, but because we were ourselves naive and could not determine our own national interest, they argue. We were mesmerised by the few crumbs the Brown Amendment threw at us. It may have helped a diplomat or two project themselves as doers and achievers. But is anyone calculating the losses to the country. Has not the Brown Amendment written us off the US map ? Where are the streams of milk and honey that were supposed to flow towards us? Let someone answer. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960826 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Is the system we have worth saving? ------------------------------------------------------------------- Ayaz Amir WE have had enough lectures read to us in recent days to know that the crisis we face above all is economic. The figures just dont add up. While internal revenue is almost at a static level and there is not much that we can do to increase our exports, government spending (mostly on keeping itself in the style to which it has become accustomed rather than on anything even remotely approaching development) is crossing all limits. If things continue like this, sooner rather than later we just would not know how to service our foreign and internal debt. Hence it is that economic soothsayers, while painting a grim picture of what might happen in the next few months (their dire predictions having been reduced to months rather than years), are telling us that unless there is a change of tack in Islamabad, the nation is surely headed for the cleaners. It is against the backdrop of this dark and forbidding canvas that the view is gaining currency that a decisive intervention in state affairs, envisaging the wrapping up of the present ruling set-up and its replacement by an interim order composed of honest and competent experts and charged with the responsibility of carrying out urgently-needed social and economic reforms, has become an unavoidable necessity. The economic and fiscal measures being proposed (with great persuasiveness, it would have to be admitted) by Mr Shahid Hussain and Mr Shahid Javed Burki imply, for their implementation, a change of masters in Islamabad. In passing it might be mentioned that the issue of national corruption which is causing so much anguish these days acquires a real edge if the premise is accepted that the nation is surely heading for hyper-inflation and the other symptoms of a super economic disaster. Otherwise it is theoretically possible for large-scale corruption, as is to be seen in Pakistan these days, to go hand-in-hand with economic progress and development. Two examples that come to mind in this regard are those of South Korea and Indonesia where the money-amassing of the ruling elites has been accompanied by the growth and expansion of these countries economies. The charge that can be brought against the present ruling set-up in Pakistan is that in its blind pursuit of pelf it is killing the goose that lays the golden eggs  an end being achieved not so much by corruption itself as by the distortion of the countrys economic and fiscal structures. In other words, a measure of corruption a country such as Pakistan can live with. It is the accompanying subversion of other institutions  political and economic  that is imposing an unbearable strain on the national fabric. It is clear that the kind of far-reaching economic reforms that may be desirable are not going to come from the present team running the country. A change in Islamabad (leaving aside the question of how it is to be brought about) would, accordingly, seem to be a pressing necessity. But the question that must be asked at the same time is whether, given the immaturity of its democracy, Pakistan can afford a constitutional deviation of any sort and whether, on balance, the adoption of such a course will solve more problems than it well might create? It is not as if Pakistan has not tried technocratic or bureaucratic solutions to its political problems before. The justification for both Ayub Khans coup detat in 1958 and Zia-ul-Haqs nearly two decades later was to clean up the mess created by the politicians. But with the benefit of highsight, is it all that clear that these purported solutions left the country better off than before? If they did not, should we not be cautious about putting too blind a faith in the efficacy of similar experiments in the future? Of course, Mr Irshad Ahmed Haqqani is entirely right when he argues (with the effectiveness that is the hallmark of his writing) that we are not condemned to repeat our mistakes and that it should not be beyond our collective endeavour to meet the present challenges facing us. Even so, some caution is still in order when in our genuine concern for the smouldering crisis on our hands we find ourselves hypnotised by the attractiveness of solutions that have been tried and found wanting before. Caution is all the more in order when we consider that extra- constitutional deviations, no matter what the rationale behind them, once begun acquire a life of their own. After all, there is no guarantee that a two-year interim period would remain just that and not be prolonged on one pretext or the other. More than other countries, the destiny of Pakistan, with its patchwork of languages and provinces, is closely intertwined with the survival of democracy, even if this democracy be flawed and even if it becomes a vehicle for the enrichment of a particular class. Certainly those who advocate surgical intervention are not calling for the abrogation of democracy. Still the danger cannot be dismissed out of hand that if, for whatever reason, the Constitution is subjected once to flexible interpretation it will lose what remains of its sanctity. In all our anguish over the present state of affairs, let us not close our eyes to the one great achievement of the last ten or eleven years and that is the survival of the present democratic order. Even if assemblies have been dismissed and prime ministers sent home, in all these changes the letter if not the spirit of the Constitution was respected. If the army has exercised its influence, and there is no doubt that it has (sometimes subtly, at other times egregiously), it has been from the wings and not by sending its tanks to Islamabad. For a country bedevilled by instability and praetorianism, this is no mean accomplishment. For the first 23 years of our history we never had a general election. Now our experience in them has become so rich that we have realised that elections by themselves solve nothing. All the same, the fact that from time to time the political class has to return to the electorate, if only to make false promises, is far preferable to the wastelands of dictatorship when no such recourse was thought necessary. There was a time when the intelligentsia used to decry the absence of a two-party system which was thought to be an essential pre- requisite for stability. Today, through a fortuitous chain of circumstances, we have a two-party system. That still what it does best is deliver corruption rather than good government should not be a cause of unmitigated despair if for no other reason than that in all climes the mills of democracy are apt to grind very slowly. There is also a question of principle involved in this discussion. Either we have faith in the people or we do not. Ms Bhutto after all, for all her coloured record in office, was not put in power by back-room intrigue (much as the PML-N would like to think she was) or authoritarian manoeuvre. She won the last elections with the support of that rump of the Muslim League which broke away from the parent body. If her performance in office has been dismal (there being few unbiased voices which would say that it has not) let her be turned out by the people. Nor is the opportunity for doing so too far off. The country has already put up with three years of the PPPs rule. In another twelve months the pressure for elections will grow too strong for the ruling party to ignore. If nothing happens in the meantime, the chances are that, instead of letting herself be drawn into a lengthy election campaign, Ms Bhutto will call snap elections. The real task before the PML-N is to ready itself for that eventuality. It must be said, however, that those advocating immediate change harbour serious misgivings about precisely this course of action. According to them, the economic crisis facing the country is so serious that in tackling it no delay can be brooked. They also say that elections would solve nothing because the same faces that are responsible for our present predicament would be thrown up again into positions of power, there being little difference, when it comes to essentials, between both the major parties. These are valid and weighty objections but then what is the alternative? An interim order which plunges the nation into the unknown? A President acting as the centre-piece of this order when his own personality has not been free of its share of controversies? True, as any visitor to the Presidency nowadays will readily vouchsafe, the President today scarcely hides his displeasure at the way the government is being run. But even as this change is welcome, it should not be forgotten that not long ago the President himself was very much hand-in-glove with the government in trying to tame the spirit of the opposition and, more specifically, in ousting the Sabir Shah government in the Frontier. This does not amount to saying that conversions, and healthy conversions at that, do not take place in politics. They certainly do but the performance of the President has to be taken into account when we discuss the merits of an order in which, unless the Constitution is to be scrapped altogether, his will be the major role. If there was a de Gaulle or a Kemalist figure around whom the nation could rally and in whom it could place its trust, then perhaps a plunge into the unknown would not carry so many risks. But since to our bad luck there is no such figure on the national horizon it might be best to stick to the certainties of the present system, with all its gross shortcomings, and pray that when elections come round, as they must, some of the sharp souls responsible for the nations distress will get what they deserve and the nation will salvage something from the wreckage with which its path at present seems to be so full. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960829 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Doing away with VIP culture ------------------------------------------------------------------- Rifaat Hamid Ghani SOME of the sweetest sounding words the PM ever uttered are that she intends to do away with the VIP culture. The simplest way to do that of course would be to do away with the concept of the VIP: the fact itself rather than the accessories like the big cars they all have by now. One way of showing she means business is to disallow the use of some of these status symbols within the official context. Junejo was so responsive to the publics disgust with conspicuous consumption that the hallmark of the higher hierarchies of the bureaucracy became the pint-size Suzuki which replaced the official limousines in use. Let the GP and GS vehicles come within the lowest bracket of the Motor Vehicles Registration Act. Personally I have no qualms about letting the decommissioned Mercedes, Hondas, Pajeros and their kind rot  better those than the fabric of society  but they could always be sold off to the robber barons of industry with a ten per cent concession. The next step could be an education in the highway code for those who occupy grade 20 and above cars. They stop at red lights, they slow down at intersections, they do not honk in silent zones, they do not park in no- parking areas and they do not double park with impunity. As people are in earnest about eliminating the VIP culture they can understand and permit official escorts in some cases. One does not care to think what might happen to any of our top ten without buffers between them and the masses that voted them in so hopefully. But does the military brass for instance really think that any passer-by would even know a brass button was twinkling through if the passage wasnt advertised with flagged escorts and whines? That kind of security only feeds a sense of self- consequence. The police mobile too should cease to be the mark of extra distinction among the distinguished. VIPs are at least as expendable as the rest of us. They are definitely more replaceable. Official residences too can revert to the sector style housing of Islamabad as it was in its earlier days. High-ranking government servants live like the executives of multinationals used to before the last budget. Government servants do not achieve this beguiling comfort on a salary, they achieve it on perks, legal and illegal. Legal perks that facilitate this ease at the taxpayers expense should be taken off the books, and illegal perks should be booked. The PM, the President, and to a lesser extent, the Chief Ministers and the Governors make a statement about favoured social values in their official lifestyles. What can one think on the basis of the glimpses we get of their official residences? Marble, crystal, velvet, brocade, parquet, gilt, carpets that evoke the splendour of a potentates court... cutlery, crockery, napery that are better suited to a Sir Oliver Goldsmiths table than our own. We have unlearnt the more arduous lessons of sound, honest administration and education our colonial masters gave us a generation ago. But we are assiduously reviving those appurtenances to colonial living that our parents proudly scorned in the first flush of independence. We perceive it as a gentlemanly refinement. In a poor country it is decadence. The PM and the President are compelling role models. If they did not condescend to dignify the ostentatious wedding feasts of those who can aspire to invite them and if the sumptuary laws about entertainment, dowries, and other expenses were taken more seriously, it would influence the rest of us. Instead of striving to impress we might strive for simplicity. One is not campaigning against elegance or enjoyment: just for a sense of proportion. DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960828 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Quacks and astrologers ------------------------------------------------------------------- Hafizur Rahman AS you drive from Islamabad to Murree, the beautiful green hillsides are dotted all over with huge hoardings advertising all kinds of goods. None of our government leaders who talk glibly of beautifying one city or another realises that, before beautification can take place, ugliness has to be removed. I wonder if our great environmentalist, Asif Zardari, ever thinks of what these hoardings are doing to nature on the road to Murree. We have a genius for utilising extra-curricular places for advertising free of cost, or for very little money. During general elections shabby and ramshackle constructions all over the country are plastered with the candidates names, making an ugly environment uglier. And as soon as the election fever subsides, these buildings get covered over with the stock characters, the permanent occupants of open air wall space  astrologers and dawakhanas (indigenous clinics). Both are symptomatic of our unshakable reliance on things unscientific. Really, it has to be seen to be believed, the way wall after wall is decorated with names of soothsayers living in small towns on the way from Islamabad to Lahore. Yes, none of these star- gazers and palm-readers lives in Rawalpindi or Lahore or even Gujrat or Gujranwala. They cast their spells, or whatever it is they do to foretell the future, in places like Lala Musa and Mandi Bahauddin. And why shouldnt they? When people in droves are ready to go to these little known places to meet them, why should they shift to a big city and increase their expenses? It is the thirsty who will go to the spring, and not the other way round. A well-known astrologer/palmist used to frequent our office in Lahore in the early fifties. Like the cooks and bearers of old Englishmen serving in India, he too kept up a book of testimonials in which letters of appreciation were carefully pasted. I tell you there was no government leader (from the Governor General downwards) or politician or captain of industry of that time who had not given him a letter. In glowing terms they praised the man for his spiritual powers and his uncanny knowledge of the future. We got rather friendly with this seer who welcomed our free cups of tea. Although he insisted that it was a combination of God-given ability to foresee events and the art / science of astrology and palmistry that had endeared him to national leaders, he also gave us a glimpse of the plain horse sense which went into his vocation. Apparently these leaders were always on the upward path. In their lives, after every six months or so, there was a stage which was important for their ascent. It was these stages which our friend exploited. Basing his advice on a careful reading of newspapers and on the law of averages, he would tell the leader concerned whether what he wished for was going to happen or not, and what to do if it did not happen. Usually he was right, and hence the profusion of fulsome testimonials. In recent time, during the eleven years of General Ziaul Haqs rule, there have been two gentlemen in Lahore who were very close to him because of their reportedly superhuman spiritual attributes. It is a sad testimony to the late Generals stress on Islam that he relied more on the so-called mystic powers of these two johnnies than on the advice of truly religious persons. Anyway, because of common knowledge about this affinity with an autocratic head of state, these charlatans (what else would you call them?) literally held court at their homes and were besieged by scores of needy persons every day. Either these people were in real distress who thought that only the President could help them, or were greedy sycophants seeking a short- cut to material prosperity through his patronage. I dont think there is any point in impressing upon the public that our religion does not countenance such devious methods, and that recourse to soothsayers and necromancers militates against faith in the Almighty. Such homilies have no effect, and astrologers continue to proliferate, filling up every empty wall space on the main highways with their names and addresses and telephone numbers. The dawakhana or clinic business too seems to be flourishing. Actually these two professions are telling examples of what I would call home-made advertising. No expensive proposals from an agency are called; no portfolio or presentation for the advertiser is needed; no hoardings or TV time are required. Your only investment is that you send out a man with a brush and paint (usually coloured lime-wash) and then sit back and wait for the dividends. What a variety of treatments is offered by these clinics: Chinese and Japanese and Arab and Greek! As you must have noticed they concentrate almost entirely on countering male debility. Any visitor from abroad, if he were able to decipher these Urdu wall-paintings and frescoes, would think that the biggest medical problem in the country was impotence or the like. Impotence it certainly is, but it is impotence against military adventures and civilian exploiters  exploiting in the name of democracy, whom we, as a nation, continue to tolerate for years on end. This disease is usually incurable because the only medicine which can cure it, i.e. undiluted and unadulterated democracy, is taken off the market by these usurpers of the peoples power. All stocks are buried deep in the verbiage of the crazy nostrums offered as alternatives. Only God can help us to overcome the effects of this impotence. Reliance on unscientific ways of self-improvement is one reason why we have not been able to popularise science in Pakistan. You listen to the speakers at government-sponsored seminars and symposiums and you will feel that in just a few months science and technology will be ruling the destiny of this country. But nothing happens. Instead, government leaders visit the shrines of saints and express their regimes total commitment to superstition and voodoo. Hundreds of thousands of our people fall over each other trying to get the saints to intercede on their behalf. But I have yet to see the one who endeavoured to emulate these great men and followed in their footprints.


960827 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Pakistans imposing 2-0 series triumph over England ------------------------------------------------------------------- Qamar Ahmed LONDON, Aug 26: Pakistan wrapped up the three-match series with a thumping nine-wicket victory in the final Test at The Oval to win the series 2-0, their best-ever performance in a split series in England. Their triumph by such an imposing margin seemed only but a distant possibility on the final day when the England openers Alec Stewart and Mike Atherton put on 96 without being parted but once they were gone there was no stopping Pakistan and only a brief resistance was offered by Nasser Hussain who scored a fighting 51, like Stewart earlier. But the man who transformed Pakistans fortunes on the final day was little Mushtaq Ahmed who bowled magnificently to pulverise England and finish with 6 for 78 to bowl England out for 242 in their second innings. Deservingly he was declared Man of the Match for his eight wickets in the match and also Man of the Series for his consistent display with the ball, which earned him 17 wickets. If not for his stunning bowling on the final day, England may perhaps left the Oval having achieved a draw but it was not to be. Sensational unchanged 30-over spell paid rich dividends as Pakistan were left to make only 48 runs to win the Test and the series with a big margin. But that does not take the credit away from Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram who were venomous in pace and in intent. Wasim Akram finished with 3 for 67 to add to his 3 for 88 in the first innings to reach the cherished landmark of 300 wickets in Tests, thus becoming only the 11th in history to do so and only second after Imran Khan to achieve this distinction for Pakistan. Wasim Akram, a delighted captain said, I am over the moon. This win in the Test and in the series would not have been possible without the team effort. We promised in the beginning that we will play positive cricket and we stuck to that, he said. He praised Mushtaq for his marvellous performance and praised his batsmen, Ijaz Ahmed and Inzamam-ul-Haq, and bowler Waqar Younis as well as Moin Khan and Salim Malik and all the rest of the members of his team for being absolutely wonderful on the tour. It is very difficult to single out any one. All of them have played their part and with great honesty and integrity. The manager and coach Yawar Saeed and Nasim-ul-Ghani were as much helpful all the time, he said. To be bracketed with the other 10 before him who have taken 300 wickets and over he said. This is a cherished goal and I love the moment. The other ten who achieved a similar distinction before him were: F.S. Truman (307), L.R. Gibbs (309), D.K. Lillee (355), R.G.D. Willis (325), I.T. Botham (383), Sir Richard Hadlee (431), Kapil Dev (434), Imran Khan (362), M.D. Marshall (376), C.A. Walsh (308). DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS*DWS 960826 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Jansher in top form to retain Hong Kong Open title ------------------------------------------------------------------- Farhana Ayaz RAWALPINDI, Aug 25: World number one Jansher Khan said today that he was mentally and physically in top form to retain the Hong Kong Open squash title. The tournament starts Aug 27- Sept 1. Speaking at a Press briefing at VVIP PAF Chaklala Base, the world champion stated that the two- and- half month rest after the Cairo Open in May has provided him the necessary break to compaign solidly and confidently for future international squash competitions. Earlier this year, Jansher Khan decided to play only eight to ten international tournaments which would keep him fighting fit besides retaining the top slot in the world. Jansher, who directly flew from Peshawar to the Press conference , added that he wants to extend his winning spree to eight triumphs in the World Open Squash being hosted by Pakistan at Karachi. I have won the tournament seven times and I want to extend it to eighth win, Jansher said while adding that being hosted by Pakistan it has boosted his confidence.

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