DAWN WIRE SERVICE
Week Ending : 20 February 1997 Issue : 03/08
The DAWN Wire Service (DWS) is a free weekly news-service from
Pakistan's largest English language newspaper, the daily DAWN. DWS
offers news, analysis and features of particular interest to the
Pakistani Community on the Internet.
Extracts from DWS can be used provided that this entire header is
included at the beginning of each extract.
We encourage comments & suggestions. We can be reached at:
fax +92(21) 568-3188 & 568-3801
mail Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt.) Limited
DAWN Group of Newspapers
Haroon House, Karachi 74400, Pakistan
TO START RECEIVING DWS FREE EVERY WEEK, JUST SEND US YOUR E-MAIL
(c) Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., Pakistan - 1996
*****DAWN - the Internet Edition ** DAWN - the Internet Edition*****
Read DAWN - the Internet Edition on the WWW !
Pakistan's largest English language newspaper, DAWN, is now Pakistan's
first newspaper on the WWW.
DAWN - the Internet Edition will be published daily (except on Fridays and
public holidays in Pakistan) and would be available on the Web by noon GMT.
Check us out !
Nawaz gets vote of confidence
MNAs get perks worth Rs17,600
Names of many rich Pakistanis also to come into limelight
Benazir backs PM's call to overseas Pakistanis
Benazir ready to head foreign affairs body
Nawaz sworn in PM: Drastic economic surgery pledged
Soomro elected NA speaker unanimously
MQM to get one slot in federal cabinet
What the caretaker govt did during its 12-week stint
Transitory passengers warned
Sharifs cure for the balance of payments crisis
Catching thieves who have grown rich on public money
The main dilemma facing Nawaz Sharif Govt
1 billion dollars may be raised shortly
NFC award Provinces may get Rs139.6bn as share
Drop-outs could make good entrepreneurs
Pakistans exports need quality control
Advancing issues take strong lead over losing ones
Through French eyes Ardeshir Cowasjee
Reflections on the change Mushtaq Ahmad
Learning from the past Dr. M.A. Bhatty
Coming of age of the electorate Ghani Eirabi
Fall-out of polls sweep on sports set-up
No off-side rule to rob hockey of artistic touch
Three more probables join hockey camp
Asif steers Pakistan to win over Bangladesh
Draws taken out for Davis Cup matches
Nawaz gets vote of confidence
ISLAMABAD, Feb. 19: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday afternoon won
the vote of confidence as 181 members of the National Assembly, four more
than those who voted for him in the election on Monday, reposed their trust
in him as prime minister of the country.
After securing the vote of confidence, the prime minister pledged to leave
no stone unturned for the prosperity and progress of the country. We would
implement our manifesto in totality for ushering in an era of all-round
progress, welfare and good of the masses, he told the members amidst
thumping of the desks.
All the members present in the House from all political parties including
MQM, ANP, minorities as well as independents voted for Prime Minister Nawaz
MNAs get perks worth Rs17,600
ISLAMABAD, Feb. 17: Monthly emoluments of an MNA amount to Rs17,600
inclusive of salary of Rs5000, office maintenance allowance of Rs5000,
telephone allowance of Rs46,00 and sumptuary allowance of Rs3000.
Besides, the MNA is entitled to travel allowance in form of travel vouchers
worth Rs50,000 annually or cash allowance of Rs35,000 annually in lieu of
travel vouchers. In addition, MNA is entitled to nine business class open
return air tickets in a year from the airport nearest to his constituency
The MNA is entitled during sessions/ committee meetings to travel
allowance: (1) Air travel: One business class air fare plus Rs150.
(II)Rail: One AC class fare plus one 2nd class fare. (III) Road: Rs3 per
km, and (IV) First class air fare while travelling abroad on official
He or she is entitled to daily allowance of Rs400 during the period of
residence on duty,(which includes a period not exceeding three days and
three days following a session and two days preceding and two days
following a committee meeting or official business). The two other
entitlements are housing allowance of Rs450 per day for the period of
residence on duty and conveyance allowance of Rs250 per day for the period
of residence on duty.
Names of many rich Pakistanis also to come into limelight
WASHINGTON, Feb. 17: The noose of illegal foreign campaign donations is
tightening around the second Clinton presidency at a stunning speed and
soon many big names, including a lot of wealthy Pakistanis, will come into
limelight, analysts said on Sunday.
The latest move in the hitherto slow-moving process came on Sunday when an
important chairman of a House sub-committee demanded the entire White House
database, called "Big Brother", which lists all the names of donors and
supporters of the Clinton campaign.
The database has not been handed over to the committee yet and Congressman
David M. McIntosh threatened on Sunday he would issue a legal subpoena to
secure Big Brother.
Analysts said the database, which includes some 350,000 names, including
everyone who has ever come into contact with the Clintons since they moved
into the White House, could turn out to be highly embarrassing as it may
include many such names who neither the Clintons nor the visitors would
like to divulge.
So far Pakistanis who made contributions to the Clinton campaign have
remained protected as nothing illegal was detected in their donations or
source of their funds but this may not remain as such once full disclosures
are made to the congressional committee.
The only prominent name which has figured so far is that of Maryland
businessman Rashid Choudhry, who is said to have donated $340,000 to the
Clinton campaign which gave him access not just to the White House but even
to Air Force One, the president's personal aircraft.
The scandal has been widening ever since Indonesians, Koreans and Indians
were found involved making illegal donations to the Clinton campaign, most
of which were returned to the donors.
Already 52 subpoenas have been issued by Congress which include all the
leading government officials and private donors based in the US and once
the circus of hearings begins, the Clintons would find themselves in an
increasingly difficult situation, analysts say.
One such embarrassing aspect of the donations has been the availability of
the Lincoln bedroom in the White House to donors who contributed in six
Cartoonists and columnists have preyed on the Lincoln Bedroom scandal with
relish and the Clintons have occasionally been made to look like running an
infamous house in the red light area where bedrooms were up for hire at a
The White House denies that the Big Brother was used for political purposes
and maintains that it was created to help the president send Christmas
cards to his friends and supporters.
Benazir backs PM's call to overseas Pakistanis
ISLAMABAD, Feb. 17: Opposition leader in the National Assembly, Ms Benazir
Bhutto, on Monday supported Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's call to the
overseas Pakistanis to send $1,000 each to overcome the economic crises in
"I also appeal to the Pakistanis living abroad to send $1,000 each so that
Pakistan can get a breathing space," Ms Bhutto said in her first speech as
leader of the opposition in the new assembly in which she welcomed the
prime minister on his election as leader of the house.
The former prime minister said while the money sent by the overseas
Pakistanis will help in increasing Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves and
to make debt repayments, the government in the meantime should sell the
state-run enterprises and the proceeds from the privatisation should then
be spent on debt-repayment.
Ms Bhutto said it was to her credit that the PPP government was the first
to repay the foreign debts from the proceeds of the privatisation. "We paid
$1 billion foreign debt from privatisation proceeds," she added. She
disagreed with Nawaz Sharif's proposal of cutting civilian non-development
expenditure which she said was only 12 per cent of the total budget. She
said the civilian non-development expenditure includes salaries of para-
military forces and expenses on Pakistani missions abroad.
Benazir ready to head foreign affairs body
ISLAMABAD, Feb. 17: Former prime minister and leader of the opposition in
the National Assembly, Ms Benazir Bhutto, said on Monday she would consider
accepting the chairmanship of the NA's Foreign Affairs Committee, if
offered by the government.
"If it is in the interest of the nation, I might consider accepting this
office," she said in response to a question when asked to elaborate how her
party could cooperate with the PML.
Ms Bhutto had accepted the office of chairperson of Foreign Affairs
Committee when she was opposition leader in 1990.
Responding to questions in the parliament building after the election of
the leader of the House, Ms Bhutto demanded of the new prime minister to
repeal the controversial 8th Amendment. However, surprisingly, she did
neither make this demand nor raise this issue in her assembly speech
earlier although people sitting in the galleries were expecting her of
making such a demand as she had been a victim of Article 58 (2)(b), a part
of 8th Amendment, twice.
Ms Bhutto said Nawaz Sharif's party had achieved two-thirds majority in the
217-member house. "Now he has two-thirds majority in the house, he must
take some practical step to undo the 8th Amendment."
Nawaz sworn in PM: Drastic economic surgery pledged
ISLAMABAD, Feb. 17: The newly elected Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif said
on Monday that "Pakistan is facing worst economic situation" and pledged
that he "will carry out a major surgery and a drastic cut in expenditure".
Mr Sharif, who secured 177 votes against 16 of the PPP nominee Mr Aftab
Shahban Mirani to become leader of the house, said that without this
drastic step, the country could not surmount its economic problems and this
painful treatment was urgently needed. He said that many institutions were
on the verge of collapse and required overhauling and added: "It is my
promise with the people that I will not sit idle until I solve their
The bonhomie and the spirit of mutual accommodation witnessed in the
National Assembly on Sunday was lacking as neither the PML and its allies
sought unanimous election of the leader of the house nor did the PPP made
any conciliatory gesture in this regard.
Mian Nawaz Sharif said the massive mandate given to his party by the people
had enabled him to take drastic steps to surmount the economic predicament
and bring political stability. He lashed out at the administration and
police which he said were the most corrupt institutions in the country.
"This (police) institution is not worth calling the police," he said
adding: "How can you call it police when it cannot protect the life of
citizens? "There is a need to revamp the police through revolutionary
measures," he said adding that his government would hold accountability of
police officers as well as those running the administration. "We will not
show leniency towards anyone". Terming the massive mandate as a "silent
revolution", he said such revolutions were normally accompanied with
bloodshed. "It was a silent revolution which occurred on Feb. 3." But he
emphasised that his party would not misuse this mandate and try to move
ahead in the right direction.
Mr Sharif dwelt on a number of issues confronting the country, particularly
the economic crisis and corruption, which he said, had eaten up the very
fabric of the society. In his short speech, punctuated with thunderous
applause from the members, Nawaz Sharif announced that he had buried once
and for all the politics of victimisation in the country and would adopt a
path of mutual trust and understanding with the opposition.
Nawaz Sharif said the nation had given a massive mandate for the second
time to Pakistan Muslim League. The first time it was given to Quaid-i-
Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah for the creation of the country. "This mandate
should be used neither for myself nor for any other individual but for the
betterment of the country." He said the nation was faced with serious
problems. "The economic situation is such that we have to take loans to
Nawaz Sharif said that during the past 50 years successive governments had
been taking loans but wondered where all the loan money had gone. "The
economy is running on loans. It needs a major surgery otherwise our entire
gross national product will be spent on debt servicing and nothing will be
left for expenditures. I request the opposition to guide us."
He said the situation had reached an alarming state and unemployment,
corruption, lawlessness and dacoities had become rampant. "There is
unemployment and illiteracy," he said. "Tyranny, injustice, sectarianism
and dacoities have become the order of the day." He said Pakistan was
blessed with fertile lands and abundant water resources. But, he regretted,
that the resources had not been exploited and though the country's economy
was agrarian, Pakistan was importing three million tonnes of wheat annually
to meet its requirements.
Nawaz Sharif said his government would endeavour to bring a revolution in
the lives of the people by providing relief to farmers, labourers and the
poor. He said vast areas of land were barren in the country which would be
distributed among the farmers to grow crops. Similarly, water theft from
canals and water courses would be checked to ensure that the tail-end
farmers get their due share of water. The prices of agricultural
commodities would also be enhanced to give them their due share, he said.
Referring to the problem of unemployment, Mr Sharif said it had increased
over the past few years because of closure of factories and mills. He said
many more factories were on the verge of closure.
Nawaz Sharif said he was aware of the problems of the poor people. "I can
well imagine the difficulties of a man who is getting only Rs 3,000 per
month and has a family of five." He said it was time to take immediate
remedial measures to rectify the situation. "There is an urgent need to
take concrete steps."
The PML chief said sectarianism and law and order were other issues which
would have to be dealt with on top priority.
Regarding corruption in the society, he said his government would not
tolerate any corrupt official and deal with them firmly. "We will have to
recover every paisa looted by them," he said expressing his surprise how
government officers who were not earning more than Rs10,000 a month were
living in luxury air-conditioned houses. "How come these people, who did
not even have a motorcycle when they had joined the service, became owners
of dozens of bungalows and how they invite 2,000 people on weddings." He
said though he did not believe in revenge, he would not spare those who had
looted the country.
Nawaz Sharif said he would not only continue the process of accountability
but also strengthen it. "There should be accountability of all, whether
belonging to the treasury benches or the opposition." He said justice was
not available to the people and they did not get justice without greasing
the palms of the officials concerned.
Nawaz Sharif assured the minorities that their rights would be protected at
all costs as they were equal citizens of the country. "The nation includes
Muslims and non-Muslims and they have equal rights." He said the government
would deal with minorities equally and regretted the recent incident in
Shantinagar where homes and churches of Christians were burnt. He said his
government would pay compensation to the affected people. "I assure the
minorities that our treatment towards the minorities will be the same which
was promised to them by the Quaid-i-Azam." Nawaz Sharif also assured the
assembly that he would provide a transparent government and contracts would
be awarded in a transparent manner.
The leader of the House said though he and his party workers had been
subjected to the worst kind of victimisation during the past three years,
he would not take revenge from the present opposition. "We will not do what
they had done to us," he said adding that even if he was found guilty he
should be tried and punished like any other person. He said positive
criticism from the opposition would be welcomed. "It is the right of the
opposition party to criticise the government policies but criticism should
not be for the sake of criticism." Similarly, he said, the accountability
process would be above party politics and not based on victimisation.
Nawaz Sharif said merit would be adopted in every sphere. "I assure you
that merit would be the only criterion everywhere and we will provide you a
Following the election of Mr Sharif as the leader of the House in the
morning, he was sworn in as the prime minister later in the day.
Soomro elected NA speaker unanimously
ISLAMABAD, Feb. 16: Mr Illahi Bakhsh Soomro, the nominee of the PML, was
unanimously elected speaker of the National Assembly on Sunday. PMLs
Chaudhry Jaffer Iqbal from Punjab, was also unanimously elected deputy
Earlier, Pakistan Peoples Party had withdrawn the candidature for the two
posts paving the way for the unanimous election.
PML chief Mian Nawaz Sharif, in his congratulatory speech expressed his
desire for enhanced cooperation between the government and all political
After the election of the speaker, Mr Sharif accompanied by some party
stalwarts including Gohar Ayub Khan and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain walked to
Begum Nusrat and Benazir Bhutto and greeted Begum Nusrat Bhutto who shook
hands with him. Nawaz Sharif then greeted PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto
and expressed his gratitude for making a gesture in acceding to his partys
request in withdrawing the PPPs candidates Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah for
the office of the speaker and Mr Naveed Qamar for the office of deputy
speaker. After staying for some time with Ms Bhutto, Mian Nawaz Sharif
returned to his seat. This gesture left a good impact in the House and
galleries. On behalf of the PPP chairperson, Mr Shabbir Chandio
congratulated the new speaker Mr Soomro on his election.
MQM to get one slot in federal cabinet
KARACHI, Feb. 19: The MQM will be getting one seat for now in the federal
cabinet which is expected to be announced on Thursday, Farooq Sattar, a
member of the partys negotiating team told Dawn on Wednesday.
Speaking over the phone from Islamabad, Mr Sattar, who expected to be made
senior minister in the Sindh cabinet or given some important portfolios,
said he was happy at the accord that had been reached between the MQM and
the PML-N. He said a joint communiqui would be issued detailing the
agreement reached between the two parties.
All members of the negotiating team, Mr Sattar said, would be flying back
to Karachi late on Wednesday night. We have to be there to take oath on
Thursday morning, he said. He said his party would get one seat in the
federal cabinet. The MQM had in its negotiations with the PML-N had
previously asked for three slots in the federal cabinet and the portfolios
of commerce, communications and petroleum and natural resources.
What the caretaker govt did during its 12-week stint
ISLAMABAD, Feb 14: The caretaker federal cabinet held 24 meetings, took 400
decisions and approved 50 ordinances during its 12-week stint in power,
according to statistics gathered by Dawn.
The most controversial decision of the caretaker cabinet had been the
formation of the Council for Defence and National Security.
On the economic front, the caretaker government increased foreign exchange
reserves from $400 million on November 5 to around $800 million .
It collected Rs 55.3 billion of taxes in November-December 1996, 22 per
cent more, compared to the previous year.
It reactivated the stand-by arrangement with the International Monetary
Fund. The augmented facility was to be $551 million.
The regulatory powers of the State Bank of Pakistan were increased.
The power to grant licences and regulating non-banking financial
institutions was given to the Corporate Law Authority.
Taxation net was widened and agricultural tax was imposed by the caretaker
The public sector development programme was reduced by over Rs 20 billion
but the core investment programme and the Social Action Programme was,
A fund was established with an amount of Rs 2.0 billion for providing
relief to the poor and destitute.
Monthly entitlement of pension was enhanced from Rs 425 to Rs 625 per
To boost stock exchanges , companies were allowed to re-purchase their
treasury stocks by amending the Companies Ordinance, bonus shares were
exempted from the levy of withholding tax and income from Mutual Funds and
NIT Units exempted from income tax, insurance companies exempted from
capital gains tax on shares traded on the stock exchange, deemed income
from rights/shares issued by companies exempted from income tax, income
from trading shares exempted from levy of tax on turnover and provinces
asked to rationalise the levy of stamp duties on share transactions across
The National Finance Commission award was announced. The Pakistan Banking
Council, Pakistan Institute of Credit and Investment Corporation and Rural
Development Finance Corporation were merged.
The Privatisation Commission was re-constituted and the area of
privatisation expanded. At least 1,696 posts in Water and Power were
abolished. A new communication air services agreement was approved between
Pakistan and the USA , allowing PIA to have access to seven additional
destinations in the USA.
The pilgrims housing project under Awami Haj Trust was dropped.
Services of 78 passenger trains were discontinued, and Railways Police
abolished and replaced by Watch and Ward.
Industrial Council, representing all ministries and private sector , was
set up to integrate industrial and investment policies.
Framework and development plan for the 8th Five- Year Plan were prepared.
The Central Depository, formed to facilitate prompt transfer of shares and
computerised transfer of shares, ended uncertainty.
Petroleum sector was de-regulated and private companies were allowed to
directly import POL products. Attock Oil Limited was allowed to enter into
An Ehtesab Ordinance was introduced.
Chief Ehtesab Commissioner was appointed and a Federal Anti- Corruption
Cell established in the Interior Ministry.
Names of loan and utility services defaulters were published and Rs 3.67
billion was recovered from them against Rs 1.45 billion in 1995.
A ministerial committee was formed to scrutinise declaration of assets and
liabilities of government servants of Grade 20 and above. Election
tribunals were given powers to take initiative for debarring the defaulters
of loans, taxes and utility charges from contesting the general election,
and winning candidates were asked to declare assets and liabilities as well
submit election expenses returns.
Allotment of plots to parliamentarians was cancelled. Allotment of land to
a private hospital was also cancelled.
The non-official members of the Social Action Boards were removed and Zakat
and Ushr committees were suspended.
Construction of a Haj complex at Makkah was cancelled.
Permits for transporting food and petroleum items from Pakistan to
Afghanistan were issued only to Afghan nationals.
A memorandum of understanding signed between CDA and Johan Holding BHD of
Malaysia for the construction of a CDA tower bloc in islamabad was
Sale of Burmah Castrol shares was suspended. An agreement signed with a
firm for establishing pharmacy stores in government hospitals was cancelled
and a deal between CDA and Tameer-i- Mashriq for the development of a
shopping mall on Jinnah Avenue in Islamabad was also scrapped.
The contract for pre-inspection of imports , granted to two companies , was
Quota of liquefied petroleum gas was abolished and an open- auction method
The Sales Tax Group was disbanded and existing vacancies will be filled by
the Federal Public Service Commission.
To introduce austerity, the caretaker cabinet members drew only 50 per cent
of their salaries. Seventeen divisions of the federal secretariat were
abolished or merged, contract employees were sacked, use of official car
for ministers and other government officials was restricted to one.
VIP lounges at the airports were abolished, exemption on income tax on the
salary of the president was withdrawn . The armed forces surrendered Rs 50
million , allocated to them for golden jubilee celebrations. The prime
ministers monitoring cell was disbanded, the Rice Export Corporation and
the Cotton Export Corporation were merged into the Trading Corporation of
Pakistan, 146 cars were declared surplus.
Five hundred telephones, identified as surplus in federal secretariat, were
disconnected, permission to construct a business complex and a five-star
hotel at Shakarparian in Islamabad was cancelled, development finance
institutions reduced their expenditures by Rs 2.57 billion, agreement
between CDA and Johan Holding BHD for development of a golf course- cum-
country club in Islamabad was cancelled, ceiling was fixed on the use of
official telephones, the prime ministers aircraft Being 737 was reverted
to the PIA Corporation, the golden jubilee celebration programmes were
scaled down and the Civil Aviation Authority was trimmed.
A Freedom of Information Ordinance was promulgated, all job quotas were
abolished , changes were made in electoral laws, people of Federally
Administered Tribal Areas were given right to vote .
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting was renamed as Ministry for
Information and Media Development. An Electronic Media Regulatory Authority
A drug policy was announced and import of raw materials allowed from India.
The government reverted to six- day week from the five-day week.
It decided to convene a national education conference in the near future to
formulate a policy in consultation with the provincial governments.
A proposal of the Foundation for Advancement of Science and Technology for
setting up a university of computer and emerging sciences was approved.
A decision was taken in principle to establish a medical college in
Mobile telephones were restored in Karachi and autonomous status was
granted to the Quaid -i-Azam Papers project.
Transitory passengers warned
KARACHI, Feb. 19: FIA deputy director, immigration, Haji Abdul Qadeer on
Wednesday said the passengers belonging to those countries where Pakistanis
were required to obtain visa for entry would no more be given the landing
permit by the FIA and such transitory passengers would be confined to the
lounges during their interim stay at the airport. The airlines which fly in
any inadmissible passenger may be fined, he warned.
The airlines representatives while lauding the performance of the FIA
immigration staff at the Jinnah Terminal said the number of the deportees
remained remarkably low in the past few months.
Sharifs novel cure for the balance of payments crisis
MR NAWAZ SHARIF has been following up his overwhelming electoral victory
and his commitment to give top priority to economic recovery, coming up
with a novel approach to improve the critical balance of payments.
He has appealed to every Pakistani abroad to send $1,000 to savings
accounts at home in an effort to reduce the balance of payments deficit
from a record 6.6 per cent of the GDP last year to 4.4 per cent this year
as targeted now. Surely, such desperate efforts are imperative after the
last year recorded a balance of payments deficit in the current account of
$4.2 billion following the rise in the trade deficit to a staggering $3.66
billion from $2.53 billion the year before.
The $1,000 per head sent from abroad will not solve the major problem of
total foreign debt of over $30 billion including the short-term loans
hurriedly obtained at high interest rates in recent years; but it marks an
interesting new beginning if the response is as good as reported initially
and might have been better if the Eid holidays had not intervened.
To some people, Mr Sharifs appeal reminds them of Quaid-i-Azams appeal
for silver bullets to fight the cause of Pakistan and particularly to back
the Muslim League candidates in the elections to the constituent Assembly
of India but what Mr Sharif wants from the affluent Pakistanis abroad is
not generous donations but savings in their names in dollars, which the
government will use, and on which it will pay interest in the manner it
pays to the depositors in dollar accounts in Pakistan which now total about
$7 billion. Those who may be sending the dollars will be earning far more
than what they are earning abroad on dollar deposits but less than what
Pakistan has to pay for short-term loans now.
Pakistanis overseas are estimated at two million and if all of them send
$1,000 each, the total will be only $2 billion compared to the foreign debt
of over $30 billion. However, the deposits sent by Pakistanis is not to be
used to repay foreign loans as much as to improve the foreign exchange
deficit which has sunk to a low of $800 million even after the recent
improvements from $2,065 million on June 30 last year and $2,737 million
on June 30, 1995.
The target for June 30, this year is $2,331 million while even the very
modest target of $1 billion by the end of 1996 could not be reached by
December despite the caretaker governments efforts, inclusive of short-
term borrowing from banks abroad and the IMF.
Out of the two million Pakistanis abroad, about a third may be wives and
children. Hence the total, even if each of the adults sends $1,000 per
head, would be rather small.
Some argue, the overseas Pakistanis including those who have become
nationals of other countries in the West, number three million. In that
case too, the total receivable on the basis of $1000 per capita would be
small. Since Mr Nawaz Sharif is not appealing for donations but only small
savings deposits many of them could send far more than $1,000 per capita.
In fact, a sizeable number of them have already sent a good deal of foreign
exchange. That is how their deposits in Pakistan banks are around $1.5
billion and more. And, some say, much of these accounts opened in the names
of Pakistanis overseas is in reality accounts of resident Pakistanis opened
in the names their relations abroad.
The total amount of money held by Pakistanis abroad now, according to
guestimates is $50 to 60 billion, and that includes a good deal of drug
money, large kickbacks obtained by Pakistani industrialists on the import
of machinery, rewards for the vast corruption and crimes committed within
the country, including large bribes obtained by various taxation officers
who got their bribes paid abroad.
So much of these vast fruits of corruption and veritable crimes may not
come back home in a large measure. In fact some of that money has come into
the foreign exchange deposits of Pakistanis overseas and resident, which
total about $7 billion.
As such, Mr Nawaz Sharif is not asking the large foreign exchange deposit
holders or asset owners to bring in large amounts to Pakistan but urged
every Pakistani to send $1,000 per-capita to be retained in their savings
In rupee terms, the depositors may earn about 20 per cent a year through an
average devaluation of the rupee by 12 per cent annually, the 6.5 per cent
interest in foreign exchange and exemption from the 10 per cent withholding
tax on interest earnings or profit. Even without the 12 per cent
devaluation, 6.5 per cent interest earnings along with the exemption from
the 10 per cent withholding tax is attractive for Pakistanis overseas whose
interest earnings on their deposits is very low abroad.
In not appealing to the more affluent Pakistanis abroad and those who made
money illegally here and sent it abroad, Mr Nawaz Sharif is being
realistic. India has been appealing to its larger overseas Indians
community to come and invest in their homeland but their investment has
been very poor.
Some of them invested modest sums and then disinvested and went back. Some
asked for excessively generous terms by Indian standards for making large
investments and India could not agree to that.
Recently when a major conference of Indian industrialists appealed to Prime
Minister Deve Gowda for various tax concessions, monetary reliefs and
incentives, he told them they were all the time talking of the rapid
economic leaps China was taking, but the fact was, he maintained, that 80
per cent of the foreign investment in China was done by overseas Chinese.
He wanted the Indians overseas to do likewise and make India economically
strong instead of demanding more concessions and reliefs all the time.
If Mr Nawaz Sharif makes good use of the $1,000 per-capita from abroad he
is appealing for now and revives the economy and moves ahead steadily,
certainly far more deposits can come from abroad. How much will come
finally depends on his economic performance which should cut out the
pervasive corruption at one end and the officials inefficiency and red tape
on the other and put the existing industries to the best use and increase
industrial and farm productivity.
In that area, the industrialists and businessmen have to help him and the
country instead of only asking for more and more concessions and incentives
galore. He has to talk to them and make them play an enlightened role.
Those who have deposited over $7 billion in Pakistani banks now see the
government had consumed all that money and is left with a foreign exchange
reserve of $800 million after heavy short-term borrowing and IMF
Compared to that, India has made use of much of those deposits, minus the
short-term deposits, to build its foreign exchange reserve which now stands
at $19.7 billion.
The kind of wasteful performance the Benazir government indulged in will
not do. Instead the depositors from abroad and at home have to see the
government making better use of the dollars deposited by them. And that
could bring in far more deposits to build a better reserve.
*From this initial move for attracting small deposits form Pakistanis
abroad, Mr Nawaz Sharif has to move soon towards attracting the richer
Pakistanis abroad to make real investments in Pakistan either directly or
in partnership with others or through large scale buying of shares.
All that will depend on the ultimate response to his current appeal for
small deposits and how well they are used and how soon the economy returns
to the tracks.
The first 100 days of the Nawaz Sharif government will be very important
but not for its immediate achievements but the sense of direction of the
government and its political will. So he will have to move both decisively
and cautiously, eschewing the follies of his own government as well as
Benazir Bhuttos which had collectively damaged the economy a great deal.
Catching thieves who have grown rich on public money
THE MOST notorious gangster of the 20th century who dominated organised
crime, acknowledged czar of gambling, prostitution and also bootlegging,
was the crowned king of the illegal liquor traffic during the Prohibition
Era. The man was declared Public Enemy Number 1 by the Chicago Crime
Commission. Someone whose income was judged to be $2 million per week, a
colossal $105 million for the income tax year 1927.
Alphonse Capone, Scarface to us. Fourth of nine children, born and raised
in Brooklyn by Italian immigrant-parents who had moved to the New York
vicinity only six years before his birth. Capone quit school right after
the 6th grade to gang up with Johnny Torrios James Street Boys gang in
Johnny sent Capone to Chicago to work for Big Jim Colosimo, who was then
the head of Chicagos largest prostitution and gambling ring. Colosimo was
allegedly killed by the young Capone, who then look over Colosimos
prostitution and gambling empire, adding to it the enormously profitable
At the age of 26, Capone had full control over at least 1,000 of Americas
most dangerous gangsters who were collectively generating profits of over
$100 million a year and were paid more than $300,000 a week by Capone
For more than 20 years, all the police did was to chase Capone around while
the most powerful mob boss of his era went around his brothels, gambling
dens, bootlegging operations, assassinating rivals, ordering murders and
along the way sucking tens of millions of dollars in illegal profits. One
of the most powerful police on the face of this planet could not lay a
charge on Capone that would hold. The gangsters always managed to remain a
few steps ahead of them.
For a good part of two decades, Al Capone remained absolutely immune to
prosecution for any and all of his criminal activities. In June 1930,
Capone was finally indicted not on a murder charge, bootlegging or for any
of his other seriously criminal undertakings but on a much lesser charge of
federal income tax evasion.
Thus one of the most notorious criminals of the 20th century was imprisoned
for tax evasion. All of the resources of the American police, FBI and other
federal authorities failed to collect any evidence to prove that Al Capone
was a dangerous criminal. At the end of the day, he had to be imprisoned
for evading federal income taxes.
The trial began on October 7, 1930. Capone had retained one of the highest
paid team of lawyers, muscle-men and manipulators who appeared fully
confident of a win. The jury, it is said, had already been tampered with.
At the very last minute, however, the judge on the case was changed. Judge
Wilkerson took over from Judge Edwards and also brought into the courtroom
12 new jurors (who were confined during night).
Still, the government prosecutors could only prove two things. First, that
Capones lavish spending was evidence of a colossal income. Second, that
Capone was well aware of his obligations to pay federal income tax but
failed to do so.
Judge Wilkerson allowed nine hours of deliberations at the end of which the
jurors found Capone guilty of three felonies and two misdemeanours, all
five relating to his failure to pay and/or file his income taxes between
1925 and 1929.
After the jurors found Capone guilty, Judge Wilkerson sentenced Al Capone
to serve 11 years in prison and to pay $80,000 in fines and court costs.
(United States of America v, Alphonse Capone, October 17, 1931)
More than 20 years of serious crime including innumerable murders, but the
entire US government paraphernalia could only prove that Capone was guilty
of three felonies and two misdemeanours, relating to his failure to pay
and/or file his income taxes ...
Capone, nevertheless, was sent away to Atlantas federal penitentiary and
later to the Alcatraz prison. Senile and suffering from syphillis, he was
paroled in 1939 and died in his Miami Beach mansion on January 25, 1947.
On April 23, 1930, the Chicago Crime Commission had issued its first ever
Public Enemies List. There were 28 names on it, and Capones was on the
If a similar list were to be compiled by our very own Ehtesab Commission we
night have round 200 names on it.
Although, our thoroughly inept and exhaustively politicised institutions of
Police, FIA and IB have a 50 year history of failing to do anything good
for the country, most of these 200 people could very easily be found guilty
of either federal income tax or wealth tax evasion.
Their lavish spending, outrageous lifestyles, helicopter campaigning, kids
in America, crores of rupees paid back to banks in order to become eligible
and other election expenses is all solid evidence of either colossal
income or of tremendous, undeclared hidden wealth. They are all also very
well aware of their obligations towards federal income tax and wealth tax.
We all know that the 200 have severely violated almost all laws of the
land, commissions, kickbacks, looting the national exchequer, fleecing
state-owned enterprises, robbing nationalised banks and DFIs, criminal
negligence of education and health while some are even accused of murders.
The President the caretakers and the entire state appear either by design
or by sheer ineptitude has in the past and would continue to fail in
delivering what these 200 really deserve. Why not just charge them of tax
evasion punishable order the Pakistan Penal Code?
Who can really rid this nation of its worst public enemies? Nawaz Sharif
has an historic opportunity. He has the mandate, the time and all the
resources in this country at his disposal. The only thing that has been
lacking in the past has been the will.
The main dilemma facing Nawaz Sharif Govt
ISSUES involved in the transfer of power and the working of the new
government are not relevant here but one aspect is: hitherto the declared
main thrust of caretakers and Presidents policies was to bind the
incoming Nawaz Sharif government to implement in letter and spirit, the
policy package that the IMF and Shahid Javed Burki have devised for the
There was the well-publicised need and requisite intent to force the next
government not to diverge from the policies and quantitative target that
had been basically set by the IMF. The question is, would Mian Nawaz Sharif
and his government meekly sign on the dotted line and act accordingly?
The people of Pakistan have given him a mandate of an extraordinary kind.
It empowers him to do new things and not to remain stuck in the old
grooves. People were being crushed in the jaws of the twin vices of
inflation and unemployment. Morally and politically the new government is
bound to provide relief to the people of the lower income brackets.
If the new government accepts the old programme in toto, the prospects in
the future for the common folks will worsen: the cost of living will rise
further while the chances of new employment creation will become even less.
That will speedily discredit Mian Sahib.
Whether the country would in future be inundated with rivers of milk and
honey as a result of strictly following the IMF prescription does not seem
likely, at best that may happen after God knows what length of time. But in
the meanwhile the economic pain of the adjustments, on the basis of the
programme hitherto followed, is sure to be passed on the poorer sections
while the fat cats become fatter still.
To be sure, the people can be enlightened enough, under certain
circumstances, to undergo much pain and travail if at the end of some
specified period the troubles begin to end and prospects of progress become
brighter in a credible fashion. However, it has to be shown convincingly
that the progress later will actually improve the lot of the common man.
As it happens the conditions now are that following the IMF programme in
letter and spirit, in no matter what time-frame, the result is likely to be
a bust up and a collapse rather than any improvement whatsoever.
This is not an absolute statement regarding the validity of IMFs
recommendations. It is predicated on Pakistans specific conditions today
after the gross mismanagement and misallocation of the resources of the
past 50 years.
Even the official rate of inflation does not really signify what it badly
says; the accumulated and built-in inflationary pressures have reached a
point where the economy simply refuses to respond in the normal or expected
ways. No known remedy now applies.
The politics involved in economic policies is a necessary ingredient. It
has to be taken into serious consideration. The new government will be
committing suicide if it supinely agrees to carry on from where Benazir and
Burki have left off. There is no knowing as to what final decision the
Premier-designate is going to take.
Politics of economics
The only available indication is the statement that Mr Sartaj Aziz, former
finance minister in the earlier PML government, made soon after the
election. He said that it would not be possible for the new Nawaz
government to hit all the IMF-suggested targets by June 30 next, especially
the budget deficit at 4 per cent of GDP and associated limitations on bank
borrowings and new money creation.
On the other hand, the Finance Ministry is said to have prepared a report
for the incoming PM that outlines what has got to be done: it spells out
the specific commitments given by the Benazir government and reiterated by
the caretakers to the IMF for which it may have to increase gas and
electricity tariffs and POL products prices by 15 to 20 per cent and
impose new taxes to the tune of Rs 20 billion immediately and certainly
well before the next budget in order to ensure greater and early
collection of revenues in which a heavy shortfall (of Rs 41 billion) has
been reported during the last seven months.
If this is to be done, one more dose of devaluation might also not be
avoidable. Supposing Mian Sahib does that, will that mean the achievement
of IMF targets? And will that lift the economy on to the path of self-
That is the moot point. The previous government had imposed new taxes worth
Rs 120 billion over the last few years. The fact of the matter is that the
expert assessment that Rs 120 billion will be collected from the economy,
without diminution in the collection of other and older taxes, has proved
erroneous. All collections have shown shortfalls. Why? because, first, a
saturation point seems to have been reached in taxation; and secondly, the
economy is not accelerating enough.
On the contrary, it is, at its most hopeful, ticking over and is largely
stagnant, even if the government does not recognise the fact of recession
in at least its large-scale industrial sector having taken hold during the
last two years or so. On the side, the sharp cutting down of government
expenditures while increasing taxes can only intensify the recession in
which new job creation will not only not take place but unemployment is
sure to increase.
As for inflation being reduced by high taxation, the opposite has been the
result. How so it may be asked. Normally mopping up extra incomes through
more taxes should reduce inflationary pressures and thus prices.
That has not happened in Pakistan. Why? This is so because of the nature of
most of the new taxes to which the government is resorting in desperation:
Increases in POL prices and gas and electric tariffs directly increase
prices and cost of living that quickly gets reflected in higher costs of
transportation and production. Ultimately inflation is intensified by
adding to the cost structure of the economy, blasting radically the basis
of the governments own export promotion by reducing both the export
surplus and making the prices of Pakistani products non-competitive. Which
then requires more devaluation and which will further accentuate costs and
result in more inflation and infitum, unless something now and effective
It is to be hoped that Mian Nawaz Sharif understands this peculiar
situation. The fact of the matter is that the expertise employed by the
World Bank and IMF supplemented by economists who have their careers
hooked to the goodwill of multilateral agencies goes simply off the
It is not that their prescriptions are inherently wrong. What actually is
the matter is that they do not apply to Pakistan in its present sick and
aggravated condition. This statement needs further elaboration.
One reason why recommendations made by IMF experts do not now apply is
because the successive Pakistan governments have actually twisted their
It is not this writers contention that reducing budget deficit does not
result in reduction in inflation and improve normal conditions. If that
were the case, it would be foolish. The practice of cutting non-productive
expenditures has been fundamentally flawed.
They simply cut social sector spending, while leaving intact the
expenditures on debt servicing, defence and the bloated administration
that largely means footing the bill of internal security operations,
paramilitary forces and the vast undercover services. Very little is left,
then, to cut, And what is cut is the unkindest of cuts. The government thus
shoots itself in the foot by cutting or needlessly limiting current
expenditures on education, health and community or economic services.
Future growth is thus being both limited and distorted.
There is another kind of cut that Benazir has applied and more is likely to
follow: it is development spending. One hesitates to condemn this
theoretically unsound approach.
If one could be sure that all development spending actually results in some
development, the cut would be totally unacceptable and morally wrong. As it
happens, much of the development spending in fact pays for a needlessly
huge bureaucracy with very little net development.
There is far too much of fat in the development budgeting and far too much
of distorted priorities and corrupt practices in both the selection of
projects and the choice of technology, not to say corruption in costing.
Thus such cuts do not necessarily cut development.
Insofar as these malpractice are rampant, cutting down of such development
spending is no great tragedy. But, other things being equal, the fear is
that the axe will fall on what may actually be useful and not on what goes
mainly to sustain bureaucracy by spreading funds too thin over a large
number of projects, one of which makes actual progress.
This is a separate subject really. Here what can generally be said is that
the choice of development spending for applying cuts is not right, assuming
that the development budget conforms to normal criteria.
Few experts in multilateral agencies would insist that this is the right
approach to cut non-productive expenditures. Common sense suggests that if
the country is facing a dire crisis and expenditures need to be brought
down drastically, then debt servicing, defence and administrative
expenditures have to be substantially slashed by making the government much
leaner and if necessary meaner.
How it is to be done is simple: given the severity of the national crisis,
the Nawaz Sharif government will be fully justified in imposing a
unilateral moratorium of all debt servicing the subject of augmenting
revenues through forcing the rich folks to pay their due shares and the new
taxes that actually fall on the richer sections.
It will probably be necessary to discriminate between the Funded Debts and
the short-term loans from private banks. The latter will have to be paid
off fairly early, though moratorium in terms of the period should be a much
shorter duration, say for a year or 18 months.
During this latter period all the privatisation proceeds should go for the
repayments of these loans with interest. As for the larger quantum of
permanent debts, its servicing should be resumed after five years during
which period, it is to be hoped that the economy would have expanded by a
respectable margin through notable yearly GDP growths.
Similarly no expert in any multilateral agencies will insist on the kind of
taxes that Pakistan governments have been imposing every few weeks. Most
governments have chosen to burden the common consumer and the poorer
section with additional taxes while leaving the rich farmers,
industrialists, traders, financiers and other with much lighter load.
Indeed the rich are among those who pay the least proportionate to the
Moreover, the supply side economics is not gospel: look at our rates of
savings, households and the national aggregates; the lightly taxed rich
have not participated in savings and investments. There is plenty of scope
for increasing savings and investments and savings rates that however is
not done. Why?
The new PM should ask his and foreign experts to find out and how do these
rich folks neither pay taxes honestly nor do they save enough to invest.
What do they do with their high incomes and how? The idea of successive
Pakistan governments relying heavily on foreign investments is also
fundamentally unsound. Why would foreigners invest when locals do not.
It is these questions that will have to be attacked at their roots if the
economy has to be turned around. The kind of tinkering that various
governments have attempted and failed will no longer do.
Would Mian Nawaz Sharif have the courage to strike out on a new path? Maybe
he feels it is safer to sign along the dotted line and not fall foul of
powerful forces at the very start. In the latter case, the decision would
be fateful and he should then await the results that Benazir successive
1 billion dollars may be raised shortly
KARACHI, Feb. 17: Senior executives of leading commercial banks feel the
new government may raise shortly at least $1.0 billion by creating the
proposed fund for foreign debt retirement.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Governor Dr Muhammad Yaqub on Monday held
a meeting of the senior executives of five major banks to discuss the
outlines of the proposed fund.
Sources close to the meeting said the meeting discussed in detail various
aspects of the plan and decided to draw up a scheme for its immediate
implementation. They said the participants of the meeting were of the view
that the foreign debt retirement scheme announced by Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif may attract at least $1.0 billion shortly.
They said the SBP chief told the senior executives of National Bank, Habib
Bank, United Bank, Allied Bank and Muslim Commercial Bank that the new
government also wanted to draw a plan for local debt retirement. He asked
them to help the government frame the plan on sound footings taking into
care all the professional requirements of good banking.
At the end of fiscal year 1995-96, Pakistan foreign debt stood at Rs
1,004.0 billion or 46.2 per cent of the GDP and local debt at Rs 908.9
billion or 41.8 per cent of the GDP. Total national debt constituted 88
percent of the GDP.
This precarious situation demands a revolutionary plan to reduce the debt
burden and that is why Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto on Monday endorsed
the initiative taken by Prime Minister Mr Nawaz Sharif for foreign debt
retirement in a novel fashion. Mr Sharif had appealed to Pakistanis living
abroad to make donations worth $1000 each in foreign debt retirement fund.
He had also asked both local citizens as well as Pakistanis living abroad
to make commercial deposits in the fund the details of which are yet to be
announced. It is against this backdrop that the meeting of five major
banks held at the SBP office reviewed the various aspects of effective
implementation of the scheme.
"The banks will actually help the government decide the minute details of
the implementation of the scheme," a source close to the meeting told Dawn.
He said no targets were set in the meeting but the participants agreed to
design such medium and long-term deposit schemes that could offer the
depositors a net annual return of 8-9 per cent on their foreign currency
accounts depending upon the maturity period of the deposit. He said one way
of attracting a sizeable amount in the proposed fund could be conversion of
local foreign currency accounts be they saving or term-deposit accounts
into a relatively long-term fixed accountspossibly for 2-5 years.
NFC award: Provinces may get Rs139.6bn as share
KARACHI, Feb. 18: All the four provinces are expected to get a total share
of Rs 139.6 billion from an estimated total federal taxes revenue pool of
Rs 372.3 billion during 1997-98, the first year of the operation of the
recently declared consensus award of National Finance Commission.
Sources connected with the working and implementation of the current
National Finance Commission award announced last week by the outgoing
Caretaker government disclosed that Punjab will get a total of Rs 80,808
million, Sindh Rs 32,502 million, NWFP Rs 18,904 million and Balochistan Rs
7,399 million in 1997-98.
Estimates of provincial distribution of these funds are based on the
population ratios worked out by the NFC on the basis of 1981 population
census. Accordingly Punjabs population ratio has been determined at
57.88%, Sindh 23.28%, NWFP 13.54% and Balochistan 5.3%.
Drop-outs could make good entrepreneurs
MATSUSHITA of Japan, Hyundai of South Korea, Virgin of the UK and Wrigley
of the USA are some of the multinationals whose founders have been school
The founder of Matsushita, Konuke Matsushita, started in 1918 with $50 and
built the largest consumer electronics company in the world. His fervent
mission was to provide all households with high quality appliances prices
as less as possible and to support the greater social good. He is regarded
as Japans good of business management. the postwar occupation forces
prevented Matsushita from working at his company for four years. Matsushita
Electronics entered into a joint venture with Philips in 1952; and began
producing televisions, refrigerators and washing machines the next year.
By 1960, Matsushita became Japans largest home appliance maker. In 1974,
the company bought Motorolas US television plants, adding Quaser to its
brand-name roster. Since 1986, it has expanded its semiconductor,
automobile electronics, office and factory automation, audiovisual,
housing, and airconditioning product offerings. Today, Matsushita operats
354 factories in 39 countries.
The founder of Hyundai Group, Chung Ju-Yung, established Hyundai
Engineering & Construction in 1947, and Hyundai Motors in 1967. when
Hyundai Engineering & Construction won a $1 billion contract in the 1970s
to build a port in Jubail, Ghung saved money by importing Korean parts and
not insuring the shipments, risking ruin.
The gamble paid off, and Hyundai became a major factor in Middle East
construction. In 1973, he began building the worlds largest shipyard
despite having no experience in ship-building. He was successful. His
success had a backing of their government too.
He established the Ulsan Institute of Technology in 1977 to increase South
Koreas pool of engineering talent. In 1985, the company closed a plant in
California when it found that Americans would not regularly work nights and
weekends, as South Koreans will. Hyundai took advantage of low labour costs
to start an export drive in the 1980s, beginning shipments of the Pony to
Canada (1984), where it became #4 in auto sales.
In the US, in 1986, the company first introduced Blue Chip brand IBM-
compatible PCs, and then launched inexpensive Excel subcompact the same
year, in the most successful imported car launch in US history. Currently,
though Hyundais US-bound car exports have plunged by one-third, sales
continue to grow in Europe.
The founder of Wm. Wrigley, Jr., Company, William Wrigley, Jr., started his
career at 13, by selling door-to-door. In 1891 he moved to Chicago to sell
soap and baking powder. Two years later he had established Spearmint and
Juicy Fruit business.
By 1910 Spearmint gum was the leading US brand, and Wrigley began to expand
into Canada the same year, Australia in 1915, and Great Britain in 1927.
Today, Wrigley is #1 chewing gum maker in the world.
The founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, dropped out of the
prestigious Stowe School at 16 to start Student a youth magazine. With no
publishing experience or money to fund his project, he lured such writers
as Jean-Paul Sartre and Alice Walker to contribute. Moreover, to keep the
magazine above water, Branson began a mail-order record business in 1970.
Sales reached 50 pounds million in 1983, and in 1984 branson launched
Virgin Atlantic Airways (VA). With only one plane and a London- New York
route, VA offered two classes: economy and upper. In 1985, Virgin Holidays,
a tour operator, was formed, complementing the companys airline
operations. The same year VA won a license to fly to Miami. Today, the
Virgin Groups three holding companies control more than 100 subsidiaries
in over a dozen countries. Virgin Atlantics eight planes fly to London,
Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles Miami, Orlando and Boston. Virgin Group is the
third largest private company in the UK, and its Retail Group operates 35
The saga of the four dropouts in not meant to be narrated to promote
dropping out of school, but to remind all: it is the initiative in
enterprise which is superior to that stereotype struggle, on the part of
our students, to earn degrees, like MBA, CA, ICMA, etc. in the prime of
their lives and ending up serving one or the other entrepreneur the rest of
South Korea has produced enterprises such as Samsung, Daewoo, Sunkyong,
Ssangyong, Hyundai, and Pohang Iron & Steel, which stand among the top
multinationals of the world. Her greatest enterprise, Samsung, stands at
rank #18, which is higher to many renowned names, like Unilever (#20),
Nestle (#26), Honda (#28), Philips (#29), Renault (#30), Boeing (#32),
Hoechst (#34), and NEC (#39). The question arises, do we also have any
enterprise which could stand among top 100, or top 200 or even top 500? The
answer is NO! not as yet.
Nobody can say, our people are inferior to any other people in the world.
One of our young Pakistanis, Safi Qureshey, along with Albert Wong and Tom
Yuen, started a high-tech consulting firm in the US in 1979. The three
Asian-born engineers, working from Yuens garage, set out to make computer
enhancement and peripheral products. They established AST (Albert, Safi,
Tom) Research Inc. In 1980. And only four months after IBM came out with
its PC in 1981, AST Research Inc. had a memory enhancer. In 1983, sales
reached $12 million, and in 1984 AST went public, raising over $13 million.
today, AST is the fourth largest American computer maker (after IBM, Apple
and Compaq), has plants in the US, Hong Kong, Scotland and Taiwan, and
sales offices in 23 countries. Its products are sold in more than 100
countries, and its CEO is Safi Qureshey 45, a Pakistani.
There are, in the outside world, many expatriate Pakistanis, equally
enterprising like Safi Qureshey. Why, then, no enterprise of international
repute has so far been created within Pakistan?
The euphoria of obtaining university-degrees without learning
entrepreneurship is the greatest impediment. Our professors, scholars and
intellectuals ought to address this problem, and devise ways and means to
encourage entrepreneurship among at least prospective students.
Pakistans exports need quality control
THE FAST-GROWING economies, high standards of living, and rising labour
wages in industrialised Europe, Japan, and North American countries have
given rise to a new concept of multinational manufacturing system in which
components, parts and sub-systems or any particular product are produced by
companies in different countries and are utilised by the principal
manufacturers for their final products. It is yet another factor
contributing to the growth of trade.
The acceptability of these products as suppliers largely depends upon their
capability to meet the international quality standards. Besides, they are
also required to give positive understanding about their ability to fulfil
the delivery commitments.
This has led to the implementation of Quality Assurance Practice during
design and development of the product and sub- components. It was Japan
that first realised the need for QA in design and development and by
implementing these practices it has almost perfect its products. Quality
control is the most needed item requiring attention for the upcoming
economies of the developing countries specially in view of the variant
market, industrial culture and quality perceptions in these countries.
Different laws are being introduced by different countries in respect of
the standard and quality of products that is acceptable to them for the
purpose of imports to their country. Accompanying this trend has been a
growing realisation that continually improvements in quality are often
necessary to achieve and sustain good economic performance. And one of
these standards is called ISO-9000.
In most companies especially in the developing world, although the concept
of quality is much emphasised, it is hardly adhered to, largely because it
is subjective. However, with the introduction of ISO-9000, one can
establish standards of quality in the management system because these
standards describe comprehensively and systematically the activities
necessary to achieve quality, as agreed upon by world authorities.
These standards, if properly adopted, will bring about a professional
change in a companys business behaviour, from an inspection- based and
product-oriented quality policy to one which covers all aspects of the
When the ISO-9000 standards were released, companies in Pakistan thought it
to be just another exercise in bureaucracy. But they soon found out that
getting certified to ISO-9000 standards not only helped them compete in the
international markets, it also improves their profit margins Today, about
10 Pakistani companies have received the ISO-9000 certificate, another the
pipeline for accreditation but that leaves a large number of companies who
should have begun working towards achieving these standards. The companies
who have received the certification include major multinational companies
and also small Pakistani companies. By the beginning of the century,
companies will no longer be allowed to submit bids for their products
unless they have the required ISO-9000 certification, this will happen
because there will be enough companies who will have both, the
certification and the products.
Ever since the Geneva-based International Organisation of Standardisation
(ISO) issued its first standards series in 1987, many countries that have
been known to be keen about imparting reliability to the quality of their
products and services have found it increasingly gainful to acquire these
standards. Covering a wide range of quality-related management and
organisational matters, these standards ecompass the functions of various
departments with the basic idea of eliminating uncertainties about the
business practices of the manufacturing and service industries as well as
the quality of their products. The standards set by the ISO are, no doubt,
quite demanding, but once adopted and certified by the competent
authorities, they are apt to add immensely to the reputation of the firm,
placing it on equal footing in reliability with the most trusted names in
Seeing the awareness level in Pakistan about ISO and how the local firms
work, one can predict a tough time in store for the countrys economy. The
Pakistan exports are likely to suffer much for only a few firms will, in
the beginning, be able to get the certificate.
Theoretically, the ISO-9000 only has the positive aspects ensuring
humanitys well-being by guaranteeing quality product(s) and service(s).
But practically, it will be hell for Pakistani firms which have to lay more
emphasis on price than on the quality because people here are price and not
quality conscious for rampant poverty.
Abroad it is the other way round Just an example: In June 1995, Japan took
up a legislation for the textile sector which says that if a product causes
suffering to a Japanese buyer the manufacturer, local or foreigner, will be
liable to punished under the Japanese law.
Up until now, the Pakistani firms worked in a protected environment,
fleecing and deceiving local buyers by producing low quality products. The
fast globalisation of trade will now change the situation. And the country
will suffer if it prefers to work in a glass box in isolation. Now that a
stage has come where the fast expanding world market calls for maximum
effort for quality and efficiency, Pakistan is bound to be faced with the
challenge of making its products increasingly competitive. One sure way out
of this situation is to go seriously for adopting the ISO standards and
thus catch up fast with a number of countries that have succeeded in
raising their export earnings.
Exports play a vital role in the economic development of Pakistan for
generating employment opportunities and meeting the import bill for
purchase of much needed capital goods and industrial raw materials.
There is no denying the fact, that the export of value-added products, not
only accelerate the rate of foreign exchange inflow, but help strengthen
the local industrial infrastructure too, so that they could be able to
compete in the world markets.
Advancing issues take strong lead over losing ones
KARACHI, Feb. 19: Stocks maintained a firm outlook on Wednesday as despite
profit-selling on a number of counters advancing issues held a strong lead
over the losing ones amid a brisk traded session.
After early bullish start, the KSE 100-share index finished with a modest
decline of 4.16 points at 1,758.45 owing to profit-selling in some of the
leading index shares. Although Hub-Power was back in the plus column after
news that its 1,292-mw plant has started full production and has already
been linked to the national gird system, recovering 20 paisa from the
previous losses, but PTC did not follow its trend. The PTC though suffered
a fractional decline of only five paisa after fluctuating erratically amid
alternate bouts of buying and selling but it has bearish impact on some of
the other pivotals.
News that its exchangeable bonds are highly oversubscribed on the foreign
markets should have pushed its price substantially higher but instead it
encountered selling, dealers said. They said some of the foreign funds are
selling it to push its prices lower and then to buy for obvious reasons.
They stated that PTC vouchers might continue to give an erratic performance
for the some more sessions to come but technically speaking it is a good
buy at the current level.
Analysts said the fact that a record number of 420 shares came in for
trading after about two years speaks of the qualitative changes that has
taken place in the share market and those who could peep through the future
are active buyers at the current levels.
No one could say some weeks back that the textile sector could again
assume the role of trend-setter but after about a decade of protracted
bearishness it is back on the rail and could take the entire market along
with it in plus territory, they added.
Leading among them posted gains ranging from Rs 3 to Rs 11 under the lead
of Ellcot Spinning, Sapphire Textiles and Dewan Textiles, paving the way
for others to follow.
The sudden burst into activity of leasing shares, some of them rising by Rs
3.25 to Rs 7 and major gainers among them being International Multi-
Leasing, Apex Leasing, Orix Leasing and Atlas Leasing, showed that other
might follow as leading among them could attract any amount of short-
covering in the sessions to come.
Barring some of the leading energy shares, which came in for profit-selling
under the lead of Ideal Energy, PSO and Shell Pakistan and finished reacted
and so did some of the leading cement shares, notably Pakland, Pioneer,
Essa and Dandot Cement, all other sectors maintained their upward thrust
and generally ended with an extended gain.
Engro Chemicals whose board of directors has announced final dividend of
25% for the last financial year and an interim of 30% responded bullishly
to the news as its share value together with the last three sessions rise
closed with a fresh gain of Rs 9 amid active trading. Other big gainers
were led by BOC Pakistan, Lever Brothers, after the news of an interim
dividend of 30%, and PIC, which posted fresh gains ranging from Rs 13 to Rs
35,the biggest gain being in PIC, which rose by Rs 95 against its face
value of Rs 100. Other good gainers were led by Growth Mutual Fund, Tri-
Star Fund, Asset Bank, EFU and Dadabhoy Insurance, which rose by Rs 1.50 to
Trading volume soared to 71.272 million shares as compared to 51 million
shares a day earlier, thanks to strong buying in most of the second-liners.
The most active list was topped by PTC vouchers, easy five paisa on 12.445m
shares, followed by Hub-Power, up 20 paisa on 11.446m, ICI Pakistan, lower
20 paisa on 10.411m, Dewan Salman, lower 25 paisa on 5m, and Fauji Cement,
up Rs 1.60 on 3.143m shares. Other actively traded shares were led by
PICIC, up 25 paisa on 0.514m, Japan Power, firm 10 paisa on 0.387m, Sui
Southern, higher Rs 1.75 on 0.694m, and Bank of Punjab, off 75 paisa on
0.276m shares. There were some other actives also.
There were 420 active scrips, which came in for trading, out of which 234
shares rose, 119 fell with 67 holding on to the last levels.
DIVIDEND: Engro Chemicals 25% final and 30% interim for the current year,
Al-Faysal Bank 15%, Brooke Bond Pakistan 35% and Pakistan Cables 15% cash.
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.
Annual Subscription Rates :
Latin America & Caribbean US$ 93 Rs. 2,700
North America & Australasia US$ 93 Rs. 2,700
Africa, East Asia Europe & UK US$ 63 Rs. 1,824
Middle East, Indian Sub-Continent & CAS US$ 63 Rs. 1,824
Please send the following information :
Payments (payable to Herald) can be by crossed cheque (for
Pakistani Rupees), or by demand draft drawn on a bank in New York,
NY (for US Dollars).
Name, Postal Address, Telephone, Fax, e-mail address, old
subscription number (where applicable).
Send payments and subscriber information to :
G.M Circulation, The Herald
P.O.Box 3740, Karachi, Pakistan
We also accept payments through American Express, Visa or Master
Card. Allow 45 days for first issue.
Back to the top.
Through French eyes
LAURENCE GOURRET, a Frenchwoman, friend and freelance journalist who I have
known for quite a while, has been regularly visiting our country over the
past few years. She contributes articles to various French publications
(amongst them, Enjeux les Echos, L'Evenement du Jeudi, VSO, Valeurs
Actuelles) covering for them the different aspects of Pakistan.
Laurence knows the East well, she has travelled to and written on China,
Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam. This time round, she came to
Pakistan in the last week of January to cover the end of the various
election campaigns and the elections themselves. During this and her past
visits she has met and interviewed many of our unimpressive political lot,
she has met both the washed and the unwashed. To begin with, she was very
taken by Benazir Bhutto, by her charisma, her popularity, both here and in
the West, and that fact that she was the first Muslim woman to be prime
minister of a Muslim country, so taken that whilst Benazir was in
opposition from 1990 to 1993, Laurence spent some six months following her
around Pakistan, interviewing her and her party people, her friends and her
enemies. She wrote a book on the subject which is shortly to be published
in France under the title Benazir: La Promesse Trahie (The broken promise).
This time, on her way back to Paris, she spent a few days in Karachi. We
met, and she told me all about her thoughts on Pakistan, her impressions of
the recent events and happenings, and about her trip with Nawaz, by
helicopter from Lahore, to Sarghoda, Khushab and Bhalwal where he addressed
the awam, exhorting them to vote him in.
I wish I could write as Laurence speaks fluently, very quickly, with a
strong French accent, all accompanied by elegant gestures. When I asked her
what it is that she likes about Pakistan she had no hesitation in saying,
"I like the country, the people. I feel for the country, I feel for the
people and I despair for them. The people are poor and one can only think
that they are deliberately kept ignorant and thus poor. No one has made any
effort to educate them. The process of education is long, admittedly, but
not one leader in Pakistan has concentrated on how to go about educating
all these millions in even a rudimentary manner, let alone concertedly. It
is ridiculous in such a country to say that the people get the governments
they deserve. The uneducated are gullible and they trust the promises your
different politicians make, whether Benazir or Nawaz or Imran or the
mullahs. All they can hope is that one day some of the promises will be
kept. They just hope. They can do nothing else. And they multiply like
rabbits. This is another thing that not one politician seems to be even
vaguely worried about. Have your politicians never heard about population
control? It seems not, though at least Benazir should have done so. And
this in spite of the fact that millions and millions of dollars have come
in to aid and help the population control programmes. But then we all know
what happens to that. It is stolen."
*From what she said about Benazir it was clear that Laurence is now highly
disillusioned and no longer enamoured of her. The more she got to know her,
the more insufferably arrogant she found her. When arrogance is not
supported by ability and a track record or at least by some promise of
fulfilment it is a highly negative, even destructive, trait. The people
that swirl and twirl around Benazir, be they high or low, all behave like
serfs or servants. They are afraid to question her, to express any opinion
(not that they are ever asked to), or to show any concern when she
manifestly does wrong. What exactly are they afraid of?
The West, whose darling she once was, expected a lot from her. She was
portrayed to the westerners as western educated with western values. She
was the one who would raise Pakistan from its ashes, bring true democracy
to its people, and turn it into a flourishing forward-looking nation.
Nawaz, on the other hand, comes out to West and East alike as what he
actually is. He has no pretensions. He does not maintain that he was born
to rule. A businessman, he became a leader when chosen to be one by others
who thought he showed some sort of promise. Circumstances and events have
put him where he now is. At the present moment, after this last election
and its amazing result, he rightly feels that he is fit to rule again and
that this time he can deliver. Unlike Benazir, he has admitted that in his
first round as prime minister he did make mistakes. But like Benazir he
staunchly maintains that he and his men did not loot the country, whereas
we all know that in both cases they did and with a vengeance.
Of late, it is the PML and not the PPP that is the better organised the
PPP is in total disarray whilst the PML under Nawaz's leadership has become
a well-oiled efficient machine. Laurence was most impressed with the
orderly swift arrangements and with the unusual punctuality. Nawaz's media
man in Punjab, Parvaiz Rashid, is highly efficient, low-key and very
capable. The helicopter, with Nawaz in it, left on time, it arrived at each
place at the scheduled time, and Nawaz's public meetings were all held at
the appointed hour. Whilst conversing with Nawaz, Laurence detected an air
of sincerity in all that he said, whereas trying to have a conversation
with Benazir is like trying to converse with a running tape-recorder. And
when Nawaz addresses the electorate, it seems that he has some sort of
close rapport with them. He laughs and they laugh back, he perhaps tells
them jokes (Laurence could naturally not understand) and they respond with
I asked her what she felt were his shortcomings. The major one to her mind
is that he is surrounded by the same people as when he was last in office.
Some are greedy for power, some for money, and to them all Nawaz is but a
platform from which they can amass either power or pelf, or preferably
both. If he is to have any chance of succeeding in what is truly an awesome
task putting the country even half right he will have to shed a lot of
deadwood and take on some of the new faces he has enrolled.
How do they see Nawaz in France, I asked Laurence. They don't, she said. He
has an enormous handicap. As soon as you say he is the leader of the Muslim
League, no one wants to know about him. The word 'Muslim' in the West
conjures up immediate visions of 'fundamentalists', of the troubles and
killings and bombings in Algeria and in Egypt and elsewhere, of public
executions in Saudi Arabia, and of Iranian fatwas issued against authors
and writers. This coupled with the now exploded myth that Benazir tried to
spread "fundamentalism or me" did not help.
His past is also against him his first-round failure and his dismissal on
charges of corruption which most people believe to be true. How is it
possible that in three years he is a changed man? His business empire has
been wiped out by Benazir and her men. How will he build it up again? What
will he have to do to keep his family happy?
So what do you see happening from now on, I asked. Well, she said, as I see
it, he has one big advantage from which he could take off. The people in
France, and in other western countries, and of course in Pakistan, now
recognise Benazir for what she actually truly is the facade has finally
been smashed. They realise that her promises were never meant to be kept,
only broken. It is clear to everyone at this moment in time that Nawaz
definitely presents the better choice of the two and there is only one
viable choice for Pakistan and that is between the two. The people have now
undoubtedly spoken in his favour.
Laurence liked Nawaz. She was sorry she had not met him before. She was
struck by his humility, his total lack of self- importance, by his shyness
and by his manners. She was also struck by his glowing air of cleanliness,
crisp clothes, shining hair, well manicured nails, fine monogrammed
handkerchief. He has an air of well-being, of health and good grooming.
(One thing is for sure, I told her, he is well-fed.) One small
insignificant gesture that she remarked upon on their return from the
helicopter trip Nawaz insisted that she and another woman journalist be
taken back to their hotel in his own car. Such a thought would not even
cross Benazir's mind!
Reflections on the change
SELDOM do elections spring so unsuspected a surprise as the recent polls in
Pakistan. The landslide victory of Nawaz Sharif has few parallells in the
countrys history with perhaps the solitary exception of Mujibur Rehmans
in 1970, which was more in the nature of a referendum than a general
For a major party which has been the most powerful force in Pakistan
politics with a leadership of national stature and international
recognition, to be literally swept off the electoral board, is an unheard
of phenomena. From 118 the strength of the PPP in the National Assembly has
dropped to a bare 18, in the punjab from 92 to a minimal 2 and in the
Frontier from 25 to a meagre 4. And in its own home province, an absolute
majority of 67 has declined to 36, where it cannot form its government
unaided by extraneous support of the smaller parties with whom it had never
looked eye to eye or independents for whose support it had to pay a high
The rout though not comparable is reminiscent of the fate the Muslim League
had suffered at the hands of the United Front in 1954 in East Bengal. The
lowest ebb the PPPs popularity graph has touched, is a cause for serious
concern not only for the partys future but for the future of democracy
itself in Pakistan. However unpredictable were the prospects of the two
party system in the political alignments that had existed prior to the
polls, in the aftermath of the elections they have become dim if not
altogether extinct. We have before us the plight of an illassorted
opposition of less than a dozen members in the Bhutto period. It was a
misnomer to call it an opposition or even the nucleus of an opposition
party inside and outside the parliament. Nawaz Sharif is far more
advantageously placed than was Bhutto to discipline the house to his
purposes and silence the criticism of the opposition. Whatever its
composition and complexion it will not be in a position to assert itself as
the embargo of a shadow government. Its parliamentary plight might well
force it to take to agitational politics. Past precedents point towards
such an eventuality. The agitation which had unseated Nawaz Sharif despite
a favourable court verdict, was organised by no less a person than Benazir
herself. The promise to refrain from it, is a promise of a politician which
is a necessity of the present and breaking it might well become a necessity
of the future. Expediency may dictate a choice which for the sake of
expediency may not be compelling in the immediacy of the situation.
Nawaz Sharifs greatest asset is his overwhelming majority which will give
his government an assurance of stability few governments before him have
enjoyed. It is more impressive than Bhuttos parliamentary backing and
comes close to the triumphant majority of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman. Nurul Amin
was the sole survivor from the electoral debacle. Unlike him Benazir is not
a spent force. She and her party may not be a deterrent to arbitrary
exercise of state power but with her own record of its exercise, an
attitude of total resignation to the dictatorship of the majority is
unthinkable unless the PPP has written off its future in politics.
Although Benazir would not publicly admit it, she knows that she alone was
responsible for her fall and that it was not brought about by Nawaz Sharif.
The PPPs defeat at the hands of its own votebank had paved the way for the
victory of the Muslim League. The polls did not evoke the kind of
enthusiasm witnessed in the preceding four elections which had recorded a
heavy turnout. Even if it is 35% according to the latest announcement of
the Election Commission, it makes a poor showing compared to over 50% in
the previous polls. Both the parties have lost their ground, exposing the
weakness of our democracy.
In the West the electoral fortunes of the parties are not influenced so
much by their own traditional voting pool as by the uncommitted floating
vote which tilts the balance in favour of one or the other. If the
political clients cannot bank on their party strength in the electoral
arena and there is no floating vote on which they can bank between the
creditworthiness of the parties and their bankruptcy there is a thin line
The new prime minister who has received a liability loaded legacy from his
predecessor, cannot rest on his laurels and hope that all will be well. The
economy has not turned the corner and will not be out of the wood by the
turn of the screw. It will have to be extricated out of the morass of
deprivation and dependency by a frontal assault on the citadel of the
deeply entrenched interests that have precipitated its fall. Manifestos of
the political parties, including that of the triumphant Muslim League, had
not analysed the causes of the economic malaise and suggested the remedies
for its cure. Couched in vague and ambiguous generalities, promising
everything to every body, affluent and the indigent alike, the party
programmes held out no promise of fulfilment. The emptiness of these
promises was largely to blame for a decline in popularity.
The PPP of Benazir is not a replica of the party founded by her political
father, nor can the Muslim League of Nawaz Sharif trace its parentage to
the organisation led by the Father of the Nation. The Quaids League had a
great ideal to achieve. The Nawaz League was born long after its
achievement and the subsequent demise of the organisation that brought the
new state into existence. The PML(N) in glaring contrast was a product of
the struggle for power that had ensued in the post-Zia period. Its appeal
still lacks the all pervasive character of the Muslim League, deriving as
it does its strength from the largest province which is its stronghold,
while in the smaller provinces it has not generated the same measure of
response, where it is more of an outgrowth than an offshoot of its foster
Nawaz Sharifs stewardship of the Punjab is undisputed, while in the rest
of the provinces, his claim to national leadership is conditioned by
compromises and concessions. The question marks to its unity will become
more pronounced after the governments at the Centre and in the provinces
are formed and start functioning. Even the League-led coalitions in the
provinces will be no guarantee of a trouble and tension-free Centre-
provincial relationship Nawaz Sharifs own tenure as the Chief Minister of
the Punjab was characterised by an exercise of provincial authority that
had exceeded the bounds of autonomy to the point of defiance of the centre.
In the political spectrum that has now emerged relations between Islamabad,
Karachi and Peshawar are certain to be under a severe strain. The MQM and
the ANP have their own commitments to their provincial constituencies which
have remained safe and unaffected by the wind of change. They are not
likely to toe the central line when it comes to honouring their pledge to
the electorate. A bridge between rural and urban Sindh is easier planned
than built. The bitterness of the past has made it almost unbridgeable.
Power sharing though essential cannot by itself be a guarantee of
The Muslim League even with its improved performance in the elections,
cannot speak on behalf of the interior of which the PPP is more
representative than any other party represented in the Assembly. An accord
between the PPP and the MQM alone can pave the way towards an
understanding. It is doubtful if the two will come together to build a
society on mutual trust and goodwill in the larger interest of the province
and the country. Without it, peace and tranquillity will not return to a
benighted land. An improvised legislative majority is not a solution. It is
a key that can unlock the door to the repetition of an unhappy past on
which the country must turn its back.
Sindh is not the only problem province, the problem in Balochistan too does
not admit of an easy solution. It will call for a continuous adjustment of
differences if experience in the past is an index to the future. The Bhutto
period was a period of turbulence which had witnessed an outbreak of
insurgency following a refusal by Islamabad to accept its demands of
autonomy and followed by the imposition of an emergency and military
intervention. Attaullah Mengal was the chief minister of the province then
and has now once again emerged as the leading political personality of the
province and the BNP, the largest single party which can be a rallying
ground for a more viable coalition. Economically neglected and politically
alienated its development will warrant for an ever increasing flow of
financial assistance and the aspirations of the people a far greater
devolution of power.
The sailing in the Frontier will not be smooth either. The Awami National
Party, national in name and Awami in a restricted sense, has never been a
part of the mainstream of politics. Even its alliance with Muslim League of
Nawaz Sharif will not bring it out of its provincial isolation. Though the
largest party, the Muslim League is not large enough to form a government
on the strength of its following. Differences with ANP sunk in the
opposition are bound to erupt in the government. A marriage of convenience,
it will be an uneasy coalition. uneasy a strong province with a new
nomenclature and a weak Centre with limited powers has been a constant
refrain of its programme for which it will press more vehemently, now that
it will have an almost equal share in the governance of the province.
Whether the party has shed its historical animosity to the Muslim League of
yore, its role as a partner in the government will soon reveal.
In politics too adversity makes strange bedfellows. In Pakistan we find
them both in the government as well as in the opposition. Even if the polls
were entirely free from the baneful influences of the past the results
would not have given the nation the government it deserved.
Learning from the past
Dr Maqbool Ahmad Bhatty
THE concluding days of Ramazan brought us the divine gift of the Quran, and
in our lifetime the gift of Pakistan in 1947. The results of the February 3
election this year can also be seen as a divine dispensation to put
democracy back on the rails in Pakistan, with one party, which claims the
mantle of the founding fathers, holding the kind of majority that liberates
it from the constraints faced by hung parliaments over the past decade.
Mr Nawaz Sharif, who will be assuming power as prime minister, will not
only have unprecedented support from the elected representatives since the
early days of Pakistan, but will also have an equally unprecedented host of
problems to address. He has secured this mandate from a people whose
despondency over worsening standards of governance was approaching despair,
with the economy teetering over the edge of insolvency, while forces of
lawlessness and violence appeared to be triumphing over those of law and
The up and coming leader has acted in a manner that combines humility with
a realistic awareness of the dimensions of the challenges ahead. He has
begun by going to the holy places of our faith to seek God's blessings and
guidance. His preliminary remarks to interviewers reveal a welcome desire
to eschew the politics of confrontation and revenge, and to seek national
consensus in solving the problems that plague nearly every facet of our
national life. He was also reported to have said that he wants to bury the
past and look to the future.
Even though this may have been a figure of speech, designed to emphasise a
forward-looking attitude, the writer respectfully urges the desirability of
keeping the recent past very much in mind, to avoid making the mistakes
that were made not only by his predecessor but by his own administration
not so long ago.
George Santayana is credited with the statement that "those who do not
learn from history are condemned to repeating it." The writer was one of a
group of six persons who had "been privileged to serve Pakistan in
responsible positions" who had addressed an "open letter" to the Prime
minister in October 1995, at a time she appeared to be considering action
to deal with corruption and inefficiency by appointing a Police Commission.
The letter pointed out the need for a much wider set of actions to arrest
the decay in the operation of the principal state institutions. Drawing
attention to doubts being raised by foreign experts, whether Pakistan would
survive into the next century, the letter had urged the elected leader of
the country to adopt the path of conciliation and dialogue with political
opponents, to end the Politicisation of public services to prevent
corruption and inefficiency, and to appoint a Presidential Commission to
examine the host of problems affecting good governance.
Though the "open letter" drew a positive public response, the government of
the day took umbrage and a campaign to defame its writers at the personal
level was started. All of them were accused of having skeletons in their
cupboards, and were even alleged to be "stoking the fires" with "job
applications" in hand. Perhaps there was a divine purpose in the then prime
minister persisting in her flawed policies, for the president, who belonged
to her own party, ultimately felt compelled, a year or so later, to
exercise the discretionary powers given to him by the Constitution by
dismissing her. This has facilitated the powerful mandate that Mr Nawaz
Sharif has received from a people who passionately want their country to
survive and succeed.
Mr Nawaz Sharif is already being flooded with advice and admonitions. There
will be no dearth of ideas, and of sound recommendations, notably from the
task forces appointed by the caretakers to focus on key sectors of the
economy. The writer seeks to make some specific points that have figured in
agonising discussions within groups of well-wishers of the country who feel
deeply concerned that many international analysts continue to regard
Pakistan as a likely candidate for becoming another "failed state."
A "failed state" is manifestly one that has been unable to maintain the
machinery of administration, through economic collapse and lack of
political cohesion. We have the examples of Somalia and Rwanda, with
Afghanistan hopefully set to emerge from a state of near anarchy brought on
by factional rivalries and infighting, either through the victory of the
Taliban or a UN backed effort to promote a compromise among the various
ethnic groups. The reasons that lead foreign observers to conclude that
Pakistan might follow down the road to oblivion are the following:
i) Our management of the economy, or rather the lack of it is such that we
are neither able to pay our way abroad, with adverse balances of trade and
payments, nor at home, where our budgetary deficit persists at levels that
oblige us to subsist on the basis of heavy borrowing and deficit financing;
ii) Our political system has been dominated by confrontation and
polarisation, without the tolerance or accommodation basic to a democratic
iii) Political tampering with the government apparatus, and the weakening
of institutions have increased corruption and inefficiency to a point where
the majority of the people are losing faith in it.
The rising incidence of crime and violence is rooted partly in economic
distress and partly in ethnic and sectarian tensions some of which are
exploited by interested foreign powers. The "culture of heroin and
kalashnikov" which was a by-product of the Afghanistan crisis is also a
factor which has never been tackled effectively owing to corruption or
collusion in high places.
Learning from the past is particularly apropos for Mr Nawaz Sharif with
regard to his own first term as prime minister that saw failures which
neither he nor the country can afford to repeat:
i) His government had decided to set up a Committee on Administrative
Reforms, under the chairmanship of the then minister Hamid Nasir Chattha.
One of its recommendations, which was approved by the Cabinet, was to
enforce the merit principle in recruitment to many sensitive non-gazetted
posts by entrusting it to the Federal Public Service Commission. The
writer, who was then a member of the Commission, was charged with the
drawing up of plans to implement that decision, but at the last moment, the
elected representatives, including the provincial chief ministers,
prevailed upon the leadership to resile from that decision, as they wanted
to retain political patronage for appointments to such "lucrative" posts as
income-tax inspectors, customs inspectors, etc. The enforcement of the
merit principle in all recruitment to government posts must now be given
high priority, both to improve the quality of administration, and to
ii) Another failure that had remained common to successive administrations
was in terms of inability to collect adequate revenues, which resulted in
deficits on the one hand, and in an unfair apportionment of the tax burden,
which tended to fall on the poorer segments of the population. Mr Nawaz
Sharif will find that the reduction of the deficit not only requires a
drastic reorganisation of the tax collecting machinery, but also effective
taxation of the agricultural sector, as well as a quantum increase in the
number of taxpayers. Perhaps lower taxes, collected more honestly, will be
iii) Owing to rise in living costs, and high inflation, the rate of savings
in the country has tended to fall. Measures to raise the savings rate would
involve simpler living, lower inflation, and higher inducements. The
savings rate in China and Japan exceeds 30% whereas it has been less than
half that in Pakistan. Mr Nawaz Sharif had initiated a drive for simple
living in his first term, with a highly publicised call for wedding feasts
to be limited to one dish. At the same time, this call lacked credibility
when he and some of the chief ministers went for the purchase of expensive
luxury aircraft for official use. Austerity, and simple living become
acceptable when the example is set at the highest level.
As the prime minister-elect has stated, and as his countrymen have
observed, he has learnt a great deal during the years out of power. The
Almighty has chosen to bestow on him the kind of mandate that even he had
not expected. Let us hope and pray that as he embarks on a term that will
hopefully continue into the next century, he will be blessed with the
statesmanship, the wisdom, and the ability to learn from the past that will
lift his nation of 140 million to a place of honour and dignity among the
Coming of age of the electorate
CONTEMPORARY analyses seem to be overlooking the main cause of the collapse
of the People's Party: it is not an impulsive reaction; and it is not so
much the taint of political corruption, which was damaging enough as
the erosion of its economic pretensions that has triggered such massive
Those blaming it on ethnic reassertion, Punjabi chauvinism or Pakhtoon
pride, appear to forget that ethnicity is not a new phenomenon; it was
there even before the new state came into being. In 1946-47 ethnic
separatism was superseded by the Indian Muslims' bid for self-preservation;
and in 1969-70 by the Pakistan masses' resolve to retrieve themselves from
poverty. To them "roti, kapra and makan" was not an empty slogan but a
solemn commitment by a group of politicians they had come to trust.
That the longing for the much-needed economic relief swept aside every
other consideration including ethnic parochialism is shown by the
overwhelming support the PPP won in Punjab in fact, Mr Zulfikar Ali
Bhutto enjoyed in numbers and loyalty, greater backing in Punjab than even
in Sindh. The common people of Punjab and the NWFP rallied to the People's
Party's support not once, but several times; and they continued to exhibit
the same devotion to his daughter Benazir Bhutto for the same reasons.
What has brought about a change has been explained by the PPP's founder-
ideologue Sheikh Mohammad Rashid who, in a recent statement in Lahore, put
the blame squarely on the PPP's betrayal of the solemn economic commitments
made to the teeming masses of Pakistan. From the role of a rebel against
the status quo, the PPP relapsed into the position of protector of the
Wadera privilege. Once it lost that high moral ground, its other ugly scars
such as political corruption became more visible and less acceptable.
This is not to suggest by any means, that sickening accounts of all-
pervasive corruption did no damage the lurid descriptions of Asif Ali
Zardari's wrong-doing undoubtedly took a heavy toll but just to make the
point that it was not redeemed by any ideological sympathy between the
ruler and the ruled. The people, increasingly nauseated by governmental
corruption or the high-handedness of the party functionaries were not
assuaged by any economic relief. Not only were the people denied the
"bonanza" they had been promised, they were hard-hit by shrinkage of
economic opportunities and sky-rocketing inflation. The party workers also
became victims of discrimination within the party between those who
enjoyed all the patronage and prospered and those who were left high and
dry, exploited by the party's own power brokers.
Under Benazir, the People's Party moved away from its original role of
mobilising a revolt against economic status quo and instead assumed the new
role of protector of the privileged and the powerful, representing not only
the feudal aristocracy and the government-patronised entrepreneurs, but
even shifty operators of PPP-dominated trade unions which exacted a heavy
fee from the poor workers for fixing them in job. PPP trade union leaders
helped themselves to such lavish facilities as transport fleets and huge
kick-backs in the Karachi Steel Mill, the United Bank network, and the
Karachi Port Trust. Those who had sneaked into popular acceptance as
champions of drive against exploiters and racketeers had themselves become
exploiters and racketeers. And that verily marked the beginning of the end.
That the electoral upheaval of February 3 was a genuine revolt of the
victims a proclamation of electoral maturity is becoming increasingly
clear, as more and more details come in from the erstwhile PPP strongholds.
Contrary to original reports that PPP workers signalled their disgust just
by staying away from the polls, fresh information suggests that at a number
of places, the erstwhile party faithfuls showed their resentment by
actually voting against the "party waderas."
Not only PPP voters but the Pakistan electorate as a whole appears to have
begun to move against "vested interests" as a whole, be they economic,
religious or sectarian. It has revolted against hypocrisy and denounced
horse-trading and defection. It has drastically curtailed the
representation of religious orthodoxy from seven MNAs to two. It has thrown
out Maulana Fazalur Rahman, inflicted the first ever defeat on Mustafa Khar
and repudiated Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan and the NWFP has taken care to
defeat every single turn-coat. The people are so angry against corruption
that Benazir Bhutto had to keep Asif Ali Zardari out of the polls and many
of the PPP cabinet ministers suspected of corruption have lost their seats.
Again, the people who have long favoured popular polls as a means of
democratic assertion this year for the first time flashed the clear message
that much as they liked elections, they prefer "Ehtesab" first to clean the
Augean stables; and they loudly proclaimed their aversion to what they
dubbed as the "same ugly faces." And they kept out as many "ugly" faces as
they could. This represents a sea change in the stance of the electorate,
which, from all appearance, seems to demand henceforth evidence of greater
moral integrity on part of their chosen representatives, less hypocrisy,
cleaner administration and more importance given to the amelioration of
their economic condition which is understandably considering the
benumbing privation the common folk have undergone smack in the midst of
vulgar display of unearned opulence.
This should leave nobody in any doubt that accelerated urbanisation, that
is the rapid shifting of population from the rural to urban areas, is
beginning to move the overall balance of power from the landed interests to
the urban lower middle class, which comparatively speaking has awareness
enough, guts enough and mobilising skill enough to have itself heard.
No ruling party, no matter what its political complexion, can hope to rule
long and well without taking cognisance of these fundamental changes in the
attitude of the electorate. The new government will have to recognise the
fact that the people will no more be satisfied with empty slogans and they
will not tolerate economic injustice any more. They insist that
opportunities for gainful employment be provided forthwith and runaway
consumer prices be controlled even faster.
The people's nerves are on an edge and any further increase in economic
hardship at this stage could trigger more trouble than any of us has
bargained for. To convince the people of the need for fiscal discipline,
there will have to be a comparable measure of economic self-restraint not
only on the part of the government but also the wealthy elite whose
ostentatious living is a grade provocation. Instead of misleading the
people with any show-off projects like the yellow cabs scheme, the
government should be launching short-gestation honest-to-God economically
viable projects urgently and mobilising the propel in a common endeavour to
increase production to begin with, farm-production reminiscent of the
British "Grow more food campaign" during World War II, followed by enhanced
industrial output, both by disciplining the wayward labour by imposing
financial restraints and by rehabilitating the industrial plant.
Irrespective of what the semi-literate religious leaders preach, Zakat
money should be utilised to sponsor an elaborate chain across the country
of cottage industries to absorb able bodies self-respecting men and women.
An economic relief package is an immediate necessity.
However, no benefit of a policy or project, no matter how well conceived or
operated, will reach the common man unless the administrative machinery is
drastically overhauled without delay. There ought to be visible tightening
of discipline and operative revitalisation of at least three sectors to
begin with namely the operation controlled by the D.C., the S.P. and the
Tehsildar. No quarter should be given to any functionary, SHO or patwari,
found slack or corrupt. The point is that it is immediate provision of
economic relief and immediate improvement in the law and order situation,
ensuring security of life, honour and property at the grassroots level
rather than any manner of high-level political manoeuvring or pseudo-
intellectual debate on the Eighth Amendment or CDNS that is going to
determine not only the future of parliamentary democracy and the Pakistan
Muslim League but of Pakistan itself.
Fall-out of polls sweep on sports set-up
THE landslide victory of Pakistan Muslim League, headed by Mr Nawaz Sharif,
in the national elections has stunned foreign and home observers and has
led to many speculations. It is beyond doubt that changes will come in many
fields. Even sporting disciplines will not remain untouched and various
organisations will go through the process of accountability and perhaps axe
may fall on their top officialdom.
One can easily assume that there may not be any possibility of a
reshuffling in the setup of football, now that Mian Mohammad Azhar,
President of the games federation, has won a National Assembly seat from
Punjab with a thumping majority. Soccer is an Olympic event but it is
controlled internationally by FIFA, headquartered in Zurich. The Asian
Football Confederation, FIFAs regional body, has full sway over the game
in the whole continent and is responsible for its development. Any dispute
or controversy is taken note of both by the parent organisation as well as
its Bangkok-based affiliate. When two parallel bodies started working in
Pakistan it was a violation of FIFA charter and AFC had to intervene on the
directive of the international federation. New elections were held under
the supervision of AFC. Thus the central setup of the game cannot be
With Mian Azhar, an important figure in his party, at the helm of soccer
affairs in the country one can expect considerable push to the game. It is
possible his presence may lead to the necessary upliftment of the game in
the provinces as well. If `the poor mans sport has gone down the hill in
Sindh with two groups challenging each other and activities having declined
Mian Azhar may step in to either order fresh elections or help end the
bickerings in the interest of the game. Football activities have to
increase in cubits; the tiffs have to be thrown to the lumber-room. Though
a mild-mannered and refined person, Mian Azhar, former Governor of Punjab,
can toe a tough line to set the soccer house of Sindh in order and even
bring in new corps of honest, efficient and more practical people to give
boost to the game and stage as many tournaments as possible to enhance the
standards, which have soared in countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait,
Iraq and Syria the Arab countries, having minimal level and
infrastructure a few years ago.
In athletics, the major discipline in Olympics, the Asian Games and SAF
Championship Sindh betrays a sad scenario with two rival factions trying to
get the better of the other in politics rather than in track activities.
The one recognised by the national Olympic association and the athletic
federation came forward to stage the annual programme of track and field in
Larkana, even though the facilities there for such a big venture were
available in the smallest degree. The other group practically did nothing
for athletics in the province or the mega-city of Karachi with tartan
surface laid for the specific purpose of sprints and jumps. One expects the
incoming government to advise the two factions to close their ranks and
work jointly for the cause of athletics. Already there is talk of the
shifting of the National Games, allotted to Sindh, to the Frontier. Karachi
can take on the responsibility of holding the games provided the tussles
among the warring groups come to an end.
Will there be change in the hierarchy of hockey federation? Traditionally
the top slot goes to the head of the national carrier. Was the appointment
of the present incumbent of PIA chief a political one? He had been a
regular employee of the airlines and rose to the highest post on the basis
of efficiency and merit. For over three years AVM Farooq Umar held the dual
charge of PIA head and president of the hockey organisation. In those days
when hockey plunged to its lowest depth, Nawaz Tiwana was having his
odyssey in the Defence Ministry or the Port Qasim Authority. Once Tiwana
staged a comeback to PIA, the Aitchesonian colour-holder could not but have
taken over the onerous functions of hockey. There was devolution of
executive, training and selectorial work. The arduous camp drills and fair
selection with an amalgam of youth and experience paid the dividends and in
the first major test in the Champions Trophy at Madras Pakistan climbed the
podium as the runnersup. The rules had been modified and yet the selected
set rose to the occasion, exhibiting their fighting qualities and
sustaining spirit. With so much progress in hockey the technocrats rule out
any possibility of a change in the games administrative makeup. If the
transfer from the Port Qasim Authority to PIA would have been the result of
political manoeuvrings the caretaker government would certainly have
reversed the arrangement. It was a purely executive decision made by the
previous government in the first quarter of last year and perhaps the
arrangement may not be disturbed to let hockey make further headway
internationally and domestically. A hard test comes next month when a
multinational tournament is set to be held in the country.
Cricket has its own constitution, its rules and regulations. The choice of
the higher functionaries is the discretion of the President, who under the
constitution is the Patron of the Board. Now that the elections have
altered the whole political complexion of the country, will the President
think of changing guards at the top level of cricket?. The games
organisers rule out the possibility. They say the Chariman, the Chief
Executive and Treasurer have a tenure of three years under clauses 5,6 and
7 of the board constitution. However, the officials may hold the posts
subject to the pleasure of the Patron.
On the contrary, some observers feel that if nominations were made on the
basis of party alignment the incoming government, with a different
political shade, may request the President (the Patron of the board) to
install new administrators, to run the affairs of cricket. Both the
Chairman, Syed Zulfiqar Shah Bukhari, and the Treasurer, Salman Taseer, are
avowed Peoples Party men. In fact the latter lost election to a National
Assembly seat from Punjab by over 35,000 votes. Will they be able to retain
their cricket posts, ask some followers of the game? Yes, say the
constitutionalists, who feel that cricket is not politics. Why should the
Patron make changes in the setup? Others point to previous new appointments
in the board following governmental ousters as Dr Nasim Hasan Shah and
Shahid Rafi had to make way for an Adhoc committee after the PPP took the
reins of the government. Arif Ali Abbasi stayed as Chief Executive of the
board for just 10 months (not three years) to later give charge to renowned
cricketer Majid Khan who came over from the Pakistan Television leaving
temporarily its sports directorship. It is possible the Patron on his own
or at the request of the Prime Minister may bring new faces considering
that previously too he was ringing changes in the boards administrative
setup, whatever the constitution clauses may say.
It is also possible that now that the Pakistan Muslim League (N) has won a
massive democratic mandate the constitution of the board may go through a
drastic modification and a democratic process may be adopted for installing
top executives, as is the mode in some other cricket-playing countries.
Anyway it is for the Patron to take the initial step in the switch to the
democratisation of PCB.
No off-side rule to rob hockey of artistic touch
Hockey, the favourite game of the spectators, has in the recent past been
subjected to so much of experimentation and changes that it has confused
its fans and lost quite a bit of its charm. The changes in the rules,
carried out by the FIH are likely to do more harm than good to the
indigenous style. Brig Atif, Chairman, Rules Board, in an interview
telecast by PTV and partly reported in the press a few days back, has tried
to justify and uphold the change in the off side rule. It has been
claimed that the off side rule was an impediment in making the game more
thrilling and scoring field goals. He disagrees with the contention that
the new no off side rule, would be detrimental to the sub-continental
style of hockey.
The change in playing conditions and rules are generally brought in to make
the game more attractive provided all equally benefit from the change. The
Rules Board needs to be complimented for introducing certain changes to
save time and to build tempo of the game. However, no off side rule
recently introduced has totally destroyed the advantages that had accrued
from the above changes. The artistic game of hockey would now be turned
into hit and run and aerial approach. The delightful and eye-catching
dribbling and dodging would lose their importance and be replaced by brute
Artistic and attractive demonstration by the players at various positions
was encouraged and they initiated their moves from the centre line. The
contestants, due to non-existent no mans land, had to plan the moves from
the very beginning. Forwards had to ensure, by speedy movements and quick
thinking that they did not fall into the off side trap laid by the
defenders. Wingers speed and ability to send fast and accurate crosses
were effectively exploited.
Centre half acted as the pivot and Anwar Ahmed Khan in that role was
adjudged as the best of his time. Noor Alams cross in the Rome final in
1960 enabled late Naseer Bunda to score to win the goal. Thereafter, Khalid
Mahmood and Samiullah dominated the scene as wingers.
The Rules Board changed the off side rule upto 25 yards. The inner trio
managed to play quite a pleasing game. However, the wingers lost some of
their effectiveness for the reason that the policy of passing the ball to
them in line with the corner flag was abandoned for fear of being off side.
Now that the rule has altogether been done away with, pivotal role of the
centre half has been substituted with a sweeper.
It may not be fair to suggest that the chairman of the Rules Board, does
not appreciate the significance of the no mans land. It must, however,
be realised that the larger the area of no mans land, the more difficult
it becomes to dominate and go through to score. Offence normally succeeds
in the situation where no mans land does not exist. In hockey, for this
reason offence is considered as the best form of defence, which makes the
game thrilling. The Rules Board un-wittingly appears to have given undue
advantage to those who believe and indulge in packed defence which can deny
approach to the sensitive area of defenders.
The defenders by a hard and forceful hit or scoope to their well placed
players in the opponents area, can pose a serious threat against run of
play. Results achieved through such means and methods can never bring the
game closer to spectators.
Three more probables join hockey camp
KARACHI, Feb. 18: The National hockey camp has been complemented by another
three probables on the second day of training at the Hockey Club of
Pakistan (HCP) Stadium here on Tuesday.
So far, the strength of the camp has risen to 42 probables from the lot of
47 selectees. Pakistans star inside-left Mohammad Shahbaz Junior, who was
affected with vision problems during the last National camp because of a
lacerated vessel behind the right eye and then forced to skip last
Decembers Champions Trophy World Hockey Tournament staged at Madras
(India), has reached full fitness.
The stylish Olympian inside-left, who has long suffered the indignity of
being compelled to stay in the shadow of former Pakistan Captain Shahbaz
Ahmed told `Dawn that he has been given a clean bill of health by his
doctors. Im rearing to get into the fray and after the camp training, I
should be playing upto my full potential, added the dashing Mohammad
Shahbaz, who has now been provided the godsend opportunity to make the
inside-left position all his own.
Olympian utility midfielder Irfan Mahmood has also joined the camp and
similarly goalkeeper Ashfaq of Sargodha. Right winger Ejaz Ahmad, inside-
left Aleem Raza and left half Waheed Shahid have sent medical certificates
to the PHF to ensure their leave of absence. However, there is no news
about the whereabouts of Wahs goalkeeper Ghulam Abbas, son of Zakir
Hussain, the 1968 Mexico Olympics gold medal winning team custodian.
In a strange twist where the picking of the camp probables are concerned,
yet another son of a former National star has been called up for camp
training to join Kamran Ashraf, son of former international and
international umpire Chaudhry Mohammad Ashraf. He is Moazzam Saeed, son of
the great Olympian right half Saeed Anwar. And to add to this is the
inclusion of right back Ziauddin, son of freelance journalist Baziz Khan.
Ziauddin appears to be in an age group where there is hardly any room for
Asif steers Pakistan to win over Bangladesh
DHAKA, Feb. 19: A captains knock of 67 in 105 balls by Asif Mujtaba
steered favourites Pakistan `A to an easy 6-wicket victory against host
Bangladesh in the opening match of the 3rd SAARC Cricket Tournament here
The Pakistan skipper hit seven boundaries and a sixer as he shared 98 runs
with Mohammad Wasim for the second wicket. This enabled Pakistan A to
overhaul the hosts total making 186 for 4 in 39 overs before a capacity
crowd at the Dhaka National Stadium.
Mujtaba, who earned the Man of the Match award, joined Wasim in the eighth
over when paceman Saiful got rid of opener Akhtar Sarfaraz (18) with
Pakistan A managing 41 runs for two wickets.
Winning the toss, skipper Asif Mujtaba put Bangladesh to bat first and
restricted them at 182 runs for 9 wickets in allotted 50 overs as the top
order batsmen of the host nation failed to rise to the occasion.
Draws taken out for Davis Cup matches
ISLAMABAD, Feb. 19: The draws ceremony for the first round tie of Asia-
Oceania Davis Cup Group-II match between Pakistan and Iran will be held at
10.00 in the morning on Thursday at a local hotel.
The Feb. 21-23 round will get under-way at the newly-built Pakistan
Tennis Complex clay courts with opening singles being contested on
Friday at 1000 a.m. The doubles will be competed on Saturday at 1200
noon while the reverse singles will be played on Sunday at 1000 hrs.
International Tennis Federation referee Fabrrice Chouquet on Wednesday
expressed his satisfaction over the condition of the new courts. It is
a new complex, something which will serve greatly in the future events
to be held in Islamabad. Yes, Im satisfied with the work being done and
the courts will be ready for Davis Cup games on Friday, the ITF gold
badge official said. Chouquet on Wednesday morning held captains meeting
involving the two teams and informed them about the new set of rules etc.
Later, in the evening the ITF referee held a meeting with the chair
umpire Arif Qureshi, Pakistans only white badge referee, and the lines
men. The neutral chair umpire from Malaysia, nominated by ITF, will be
arriving here on Thursday, it was learnt.
There is only one change in the nomination of captain and players by
ITF. It was stated that up to 10 days prior to the tie a nation may change
its team nominations one or more times. After the 10-day limit, two
nominations may be changed up to one hour before the draw. Earlier only
one change was allowed. However, it was highly unlikely that in case of
both hosts and Iran this new rule will be utilised as Iran has already
brought a three-man team after the fourth member Ruhullah Akbari fell ill
and there is no question of any change in the Pakistan side selected on
league basis competition.
Back to the top.