D A W N    W I R E    S E R V I C E
Week Ending : 24 May, 1997                            Issue : 03/21
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                          C O N T E N T S 

N A T I O N A L   N E W S
Benazir asked to appear before US jury
Benazir says she is willing to testify before US grand jury
FIA arrests its officer probing corruption case
Pakistan embassy official removed
Nakai, Wattoo face new charges
Surplus energy not available for export to India: Nawaz
Benazir seeks probe into appointments
Arbitrary use of executive powers curbed
10 more Mina blaze victims identified
Medical board for Wajid formed
CDA preparing cases against 'favourites' of former govt.
Order be withdrawn, demands MQM
US trying to sell Pakistan's F-16 planes, says Gohar
Pakistan opposes disbandment of UN observers  

B U S I N E S S  &  E C O N O M Y 
PM clears PTCL of all ambiguities
Default on payments looming large
Mounting short-term debts haunting money market
SBP Act amended State Bank gets full autonomy
Borrowings surge as revenues tumble
NA passes bill to dissolve PBC
PC to sell KESC, HBL, 15 other state units
Forex reserves down by $196m
Stocks fall across broad front on renewed selling

E D I T O R I A L S  &  F E A T U R E S
Ehtesab - 2                                       Ardeshir Cowasjee
More reforms need debate, not haste                   Ghani Eirabie
Of ministers and civil servants                    Editorial Column
The end of politics?                                         Mazdak

S P O R T S 
Why a fresh probe against Aamir Sohail?
Talat spells out policy on Aamir Sohail issue
Sohail likely to reappear before PCB panel on 26th
PCB accused of violating service rules
Allied Bank withhold Sohail's promotion

                     N A T I O N A L   N E W S 
Benazir asked to appear before US jury
Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON, May 17: Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto has been served
with a subpoena to appear before a grand jury investigating former
Pakistani lobbyist Mark Siegal's charges against Pakistan's friend and
supporter Congressman Dan Burton.

Ms Bhutto who is in the US on a lecture tour was served the subpoena in Los
Angeles last week but it is not clear whether she would appear before the
jury, the Washington Post reported. Dawn has learnt that the FBI was also
likely to ask a few questions from Ms Bhutto regarding the controversy over
Mark Siegal's failure to raise $5,000 for Republican Congressman from Indiana.

Pakistani observers in Washington said the move was "an ugly attempt" by
the Democratic Party to drag a former Pakistani prime minister into
domestic US politics. They said the initiative to call Ms Bhutto to the
witness box before the grand jury may have come from Mr Siegal, who himself
testified before the grand jury some weeks back after he publicly accused
Mr Burton of "shaking him down" for not raising money for his (Burton's)
election campaign. Mr Siegal, whose firm was replaced on May 1 by a new
lobbying company Hooper, Hooper and Gould with former congressman Charlie
Wilson as the main driving force behind it, was reportedly to be travelling
with Ms Bhutto during her lecture tour in three western states.

The observers said it would be "an unfortunate day for Pakistan" if Ms.
Bhutto were to attack congressman Dan Burton who has been supporting
Pakistani causes in Congress for several years and is a great source of
strength for the Kashmiri and other anti-Indian lobbies in the US.

The Washington Post said the Justice Department task force investigating
fund-raising abuses during last year's election, was seeking to question
Benazir Bhutto about efforts by Rep. Dan Burton to pressure the lobbyist.

The grand jury, which is conducting a broad review of fund-raising
practices in the congressional and presidential elections, has already
questioned Mark A. Siegel, the lobbyist for the Benazir government, about
whether he was "shaken down" for campaign contributions by Burton, who is
heading a House investigation of Democratic fund-raising practices.

Siegel made the claim in a July 25 memo to the Bhutto government. The memo,
first disclosed by The Washington Post, was sent in reply to a faxed
message from a top Bhutto aide in Islamabad saying the then-prime minister
was "distressed to know . . . that Congressman Dan Burton says that you
were unable to keep certain promises regarding fund-raising for his
re-election campaign and that you were also very unhelpful in other matters."

The Post said a spokesman for the Pakistan embassy said that officials here
knew nothing about the subpoena and could not comment on whether Ms Bhutto
would respond to the summons to testify before the grand jury.

Kevin Binger, a top aide to Burton, has confirmed that the congressman
asked Siegel in 1995 if he could raise $5,000 in campaign contributions
from Pakistani Americans, and he confirmed that Burton had mentioned the
lobbyist's failure to do so to the Pakistani ambassador here last year.

Benazir says she is willing to testify before US grand jury
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, May 19: Former prime minister and chairperson of PPP said if the
government of Pakistan allowed her she would testify before a grand jury.

"If the government gives a waiver then obviously I'll not obstruct the path
of justice," Ms Bhutto told a news conference. "I had told the US justice
department that under official secrets act I cannot divulge anything and
suggested that the US government should take up the matter with the
government of Pakistan because it is a matter between the two governments,"
Ms Bhutto said.

Ms Bhutto said when the FBI had tried to question her, she had contacted
the Pakistan mission and informed the officials there. "For once I thought
that they may try to prevent me from returning home," said Ms Bhutto. The
PPP chairperson also denied the report that she had sought political asylum
in Britain during her previous visit and termed it as "vicious media trial
against her". "I have returned home to disappoint those who have indulged
in malicious propaganda and media trial of myself and my party", she said.
"I will not quit politics. I will keep serving the party and [the] people
of Pakistan. I am in politics just because of [the] masses." She said if
her party wanted her to contest [in the future] as chairman of the senate,
she would stand for the post but made it clear she was not aspiring for the
prime minister's slot for the third time.

FIA arrests its officer probing corruption case
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, May 19: The Federal Investigation Agency has arrested one of its
own officer investigating matters of the National Fibre Ltd, a concern of
Schon Group, on the complaint of a director of the group who was also named
in another case pertaining to financial irregularities in the NFL.

The FIA official was arrested last week after the Crime Circle of the FIA
registered a case against two of the agency's inspectors, Rafiq Mughul and
Mirza Masood Alam Baig, who is also the SHO of Commercial Banks Circle of
the FIA Karachi, and chief of investigation of the Habib Bank, senior vice
president, Rao Naseem Tehseen on the complaint of Khalid Siddiqui, a
director of the Schon Group arrested by the FIA at Islamabad. Mr Baig and
Mr Tehseen have not so far been arrested.

Knowledgeable sources confided to Dawn that Mr Mughul was investigating
into a case of misappropriation of hypothecated stock and non-payment of LC
amount to the tune of Rs354 million by the operators of the National Fibre.
Nasir Hussain and Tahir Hussain, sons of Capt. Ather Hussain, the chief of
the group, and some senior officials of the Habib Bank were booked in the
case which was lodged on the complaint of Mr Tehseen, they added.

Mr Siddiqui, on whose complaint the case against FIA officials and the
banker was registered, was himself booked in a case registered on May 13 by
the Commercial Banks Circle, Karachi. He reportedly alleged that Mr Mughul
had been given US$10,000, Mirza Baig Rs200,000 and Mr Tehseen Rs1.5 million
for granting "favour" in the investigation of the case.

The sources said the NLF directors had filed two separate petitions in the
high court, one challenging the registration of the Rs354 million bank
fraud case against NFL directors and the other for quashment of the case.
However, the petitions were still pending for pre-admission hearing, they
added. They said as the suspects in this case were not arrested, the
investigators had got their proclamation orders issued from the trial court
and the Interpol was also being contacted for their arrest.

Pakistan embassy official removed
Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, May 19: The chairman of the committee of Pakistan embassy
officials, which recently awarded $60 million worth of wheat purchase and
shipping contracts to US and Australian firms, has been removed from the
committee, officials confirmed.

Mr Agha Ghazanfar, Economic Minister of Pakistan embassy was asked last
week to stop dealing in wheat contracts and the job was given to Mr Kamran
Aslam, Trade Minister of the embassy. Mr Ghazanfar, who recently replaced
Mr Mansoor Ilahi, is a political appointee of the new government and was
reported to have been given the job despite resistance by the ministry of
finance and Ambassador Riaz Khokhar.

Mr Khokhar first refused to accept his appointment and he was not allowed
to assume the charge of office until specific orders were received by the
embassy from the higher authorities. He was then asked to handle the
purchase and shipment of 330,000 tons of wheat, concluded earlier this month.

Officials said fresh differences between him and the ambassador over
appointment of a loading port agent in California resulted in his instant
removal from the wheat section. The Minister for Food and Agriculture,
Syeda Abida Hussain, also approved the ambassador's action in removing him
from the job.

Nakai, Wattoo face new charges
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, May 20: Prosecution evidence against former Punjab chief ministers
Mian Manzoor Wattoo and Sardar Arif Nakai will be recorded by the Ehtesab
Bench. On Tuesday it framed charges against Mr Wattoo in two more
references. The prosecution evidence in these references will be recorded
on June 4.
Mr Wattoo was charged, by the bench comprising Justice Tanvir A Khan and
Justice Naseem Chaudhry, for taking money out of the discretionary fund
illegally to pay a designer firm for furnishing 90-Shahra-i-Quaid-i-Azam.
Sardar Arif Nakai was charged with illegally drawing funds from the CM's
quota to perform Umra along with some other people. He is said to have
caused a loss of Rs 1.9 million.
Defence counsel Chaudhry Mushtaq Ahmad Khan prayed to the bench that he
would not be able to cross-examine witnesses as the prosecution had not
provided him with a complete record of material against his clients, the
former chief ministers.
Regarding the material against Mr Nakai, the special prosecutor said it was
submitted in the court after the hearing on the previous date. But the
original file could not be traced in the court and the proceedings were
adjourned with a direction to provide the defence with photocopies of the
documents against the accused.
One witness, treasury officer Mohammad Umar, out of a total of six cited by
the prosecution, was present to record evidence against Mr Wattoo. Summons
were serviced on under-secretary Abdul Qayyum but he did not come to the
court. Former secretary to the CM, Salman Siddique is also a witness in the
reference and he was summoned along with the above mentioned two witnesses
to be present in the court. The prosecution has been directed to bring the
entire record of the case.
Surplus energy not available for export to India: Nawaz
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 20: Prime minister Nawaz Sharif, while confirming reports
that his Indian counterpart I K Gujral had expressed desire to buy 3,000Mw
electricity from Pakistan, said at present there was not sufficient supply
Talking to reporters in his parliament chambers, the prime minister
remained non-committal on whether or not Islamabad would sell electricity
to New Delhi. However, he expressed hope the supply situation would improve
in future.
For the current crisis, the prime minister blamed the energy policy of the
previous government and said it chose to set up thermal power plants which
was against the country's interests.  "This year, WAPDA has to pay Rs32
billion while the next year the amount [payable] will rise to Rs80 billion
and the next year 150 billion and then 250 billion. How will WAPDA pay all
this? At what rate will it sell power and who will buy [so costly]
electricity?" the prime minister asked.
Nawaz Sharif, in his brief press talk, presented a gloomy picture of the
country's economy and foresaw complications cropping up. He said each
department was in bad shape due to over staffing that was done in the past
in complete disregard to principles and ignoring merit.  "The banks and
corporations are facing collapse and the economy is seriously threatened,"
the PM remarked.

Asked to comment on the reservations of the Awami National Party (ANP) on
the Kalabagh Dam, the prime minister said he was due to have a meeting with
Ajmal Khattak on the issue. He denied reports, however, that there was any
PML (N)/ANP agreement that the government would not construct the dam.
Benazir seeks probe into appointments
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 20: Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto demanded the
setting up of a judicial commission to investigate appointments made in
government departments since 1985.
Talking to newsmen at Gulzar House she refuted charges levelled against her
regarding recruiting people in violation of merit.  "We always observed
merit while inducting people into government jobs," she said. Blasting the
government for conducting one-sided accountability Ms Bhutto said they had
unleashed a vilification campaign against political opponents. She alleged
that the leaders and workers of Pakistan Peoples Party were being
implicated in false cases. "There must be some difference between
accountability and vilification," she said. She said the government instead
of addressing real issues wanted to divert the attention of masses by
issuing statements.
Responding to a question she said she did not want to become opposition
leader in the National Assembly. However, the PPP parliamentary group would
continue to play an effective role in the parliament, she added. Referring
to the recent remarks of Nawaz Sharif which he made during his meeting with
Indian Prime I.K. Gujral that "I like this man" she said "had I uttered
such words I would have been hanged by these people." She also flayed the
government for not taking appropriate action against bank defaulters.

Arbitrary use of executive powers curbed

ISLAMABAD, May 21: The Senate amended a century-old law called the General
Clauses (Amendment) Bill, 1997, in order to implement the principle set out
by the Supreme Court in its judgment that arbitrary exercise of executive
power begets corruption.
The amended law says that executive power by or under any statute is
"exercisable only reasonably, fairly, justly and for the advancement of the
purpose of the statute."
When the Bill was put to vote, the opposition did not reject it. The
insertion of new section 24-A in the General Clauses Act, 1897, after
section 24, reads:
24-A. Exercise of power under enactment's -- (1) Where, by or under any
enactment, a power to make any order or give any direction is conferred on
any authority, office or person, such power shall be exercised reasonably,
fairly, justly and for the advancement of the purposes of the enactment.
(2) The Authority, office or person making any order or issuing any
directive under the powers conferred by or under any enactment shall, so
far as necessary or appropriate, give reasons for making the order or, as
the case may be, the direction to the person affected prejudicially.
10 more Mina blaze victims identified
Staff Correspondent

RAWALPINDI, May 21: Ten more Pakistani victims of Mina blaze have been
According to Madinatul Hujjaj, Islamabad, the victims were identified as
Mohammed Naeem, son of Sardar Mohammad(Passport No 367438); Alam Din, son
of Allah Ditta(Passport No 478726), Multan; Sakina Begum , wife of Mohammad
Sharif(Passport No 423182), Kasur; Fateh Bibi, wife of Malik Fateh(Passport
No 264798), Sargodha; Najma Sultana, wife of Nooruddin(Passport No 141381),
Karachi; Memona Begum, wife of Shafique Ahmed (Passport No 474479), Lahore;
Syed Alamgir, son of Syed Anwar Sher(Passport No 4523905), Karachi; Abdul
Khaliq, son of Abdul Salam(Passport No 450630), Hyderabad; Khatoon, wife of
Abdul Salam (Passport No 450631), Hyderabad; and Nafees Fatima, wife of
Mohammad Ahmed(Passport No 443456), Hyderabad.

Medical board for Wajid formed
Staff Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, May 21: Interior Minister Chaudhry Shujjat Hussain informed the
Senate that he had directed the Ministry of Health to constitute a fresh
Medical Board to examine Pakistan's former high commissioner to the UK, Mr.
Wajid Shamsul Hasan.
He was replying to a point of order made by Senator Safdar Abbasi in the
Upper House. The Senator said that Mr. Wajid Shamsul Hasan who is a
prominent journalist, is sick and he should be shifted from the Adiyala
Jail to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences.
The Minister promised to direct one of his staff officers to personally
deliver his advice to the authorities concerned for the re-constitution of
the fresh Medical Board.

CDA preparing cases against 'favourites' of former govt.
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 21: The Capital Development Authority is working hard to
prepare the cases in which the "favourites" of the previous government
obtained financial gains at the expense of the CDA.
After the notification of District Judge Islamabad as  Special Court
(recovery of illegal gains), the office of the CDA is preparing the cases
wherein gains at the cost of CDA were obtained by  the government
functionaries or their favourites but those "under the existing rules".
The chairman CDA has sounded a stern warning to the directors that in case
they were found withholding information with mala fide intents, or a case
which was fit for recovery of illegal gains was not reported, severe
disciplinary action would be taken against them.
Through an office order all the departments were asked to send such cases
to the office of the legal advisor CDA, from  where those would be referred
to the chairman.
The term " illegal gain" has been defined as: If a person has obtained
allotment or transfer of any land  or plot from the Authority; i) at a
price lower than the price of such or similar land or plot; ii) by exchange
for other land or plot in the same sector or in any one or more sectors;
iii) through conversion of the land or plot meant or earmarked for any
community building or facility such as public park, graveyard or incidental
open spaces; and iv) in violation of the provisions of the Capital
Development Authority Ordinance, 1960 (XXIII  of 1960), or Land Disposal
Regulations made by the Authority.
The first batch of cases which the CDA wanted to refer were of allotment of
16 big plots by the Benazir Bhutto government in different sectors for the
purpose of schools at lower rates. According to CDA sources, all the 16
such plots were allotted on the direction of the Prime Minister
Secretariat. Three such plots were allotted to the schools whose board of
governors were headed by the government functionaries including Ms Benazir
A plot measuring 3.4 acre was allotted to Sindh People's Welfare Trust
headed by the former prime minister Benazir Bhutto herself in sector H/8/4.
The plot was allotted at the rate of Rs 250 per square yard against the CDA
reserved price of Rs 2000 per square yard.
Another plot measuring 4.1 acres was allotted to Nasira Education Trust,
headed by Nasira Wazir Ali and Shahnaz Wazir Ali, special assistant to the
prime minister. After the change of the government, Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali
has surrendered the plot to the CDA.
Wahid Public School whose board of directors was headed by Ms Nahid Khan,
political secretary to the prime minister, got a plot measuring 3.01 acre
at a rate of Rs250 per square yard.

Order be withdrawn, demands MQM
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 22: The Mohajir Qaumi Movement demanded of the government to
quash the decision, taken during the previous regime , that Rs 3 million
would be paid for the arrest of Dr. Imran Farooq.
MQM MNA Farrukh Naeem Siddique made this demand on the floor of the
National Assembly during a discussion on a calling-attention notice
regarding a reign of terror allegedly let loose by the Mohajir Qaumi
Movement's splinter group "in collusion with sensitive agencies."
MQM members, through the calling-attention notice, tried to bring home the
point that normality had not been restored in Karachi where even MQM's
elected members could not visit their constituencies. They said the MQM
members, elected from constituencies 192, 913, 194, 195 and 196, could not
go there as the areas were controlled by armed "terrorists" of Haqiqi who,
they alleged, were enjoying full protection and patronage of law
enforcement agencies.
Parliamentary Secretary for Law Syed Zafar Ali Shah pointed out that the
MQM was part of the provincial government and the matter could be taken up.
However, he expressed his willingness to visit any place in Karachi along
with the MQM members.
US trying to sell Pakistan's F-16 planes, says Gohar
Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, May 22: Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan said there was a
possibility that the Pakistani F-16 aircraft stranded in the US might be
sold to a East European state, but the issue would not be resolved even then.
He confirmed at a news conference that the National Security Adviser to the
President, Sandy Berger, had assured him that the US would intensify
efforts to sell them to an East European country.
The foreign minister, however, agreed with a questioner that the sale of
the aircraft at throw-away prices would not resolve the problem, because
Pakistan had asked the US to refund the entire amount paid by it for the
planes. Mr. Khan said the US itself had over 500 F-16 aircraft similar to
the models made for Pakistan, and Washington was trying to dispose them of
in East Europe.
Defence experts said the US was trying hard to sell even its used F-16
aircraft to Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania and there was a possibility that
the Pakistani planes might also be disposed of along with these US planes.
But the experts said the price the former East European countries were
offering was peanuts, compared to the price Pakistan had paid and if these
planes were sold at the same price, only a small percentage would be
recovered, with the bulk of it again staying blocked. If the balance was to
be paid by the US from its own budgetary resources, Pakistan and the
Clinton administration would again have a major uphill fight in Congress to
get these approvals, the experts said.
Basically, selling of the planes to any buyer at a throw-away price would
not resolve the issue of Pakistan getting back all its money which the US
was committed to refund in full, the foreign minister said.
Mr Khan said Pakistan would wait for two or three months to watch how the
Clinton administration made its moves on this issue.  "Then we will have to
seriously consider other options, including the option to go to the court
before the statute of limitations debars us in February 1999," he said.
He said Pakistan had also proposed that the US should replace the F-16s
that had been lost in crashes in Pakistan if Washington did not want to
increase the fighting capacity of the PAF beyond the existing level. Mr.
Khan said it was an unprecedented situation in the world that a country had
taken the money as well as the goods and was not returning either of them.
He said both the Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and the National
Security Adviser Sandy Berger had told him during meetings that the US was
making endeavours to resolve the issue.
He said Pakistan and US were entering a new phase of relationship. "All the
controversial issues which Washington raised with the previous government
very strongly were raised with us but in a very mild way, just passingly,"
Mr Khan said. "This was because our government has a very heavy mandate
from the people of Pakistan."
Pakistan opposes disbandment of UN observers  
Hasan Akhtar 

ISLAMABAD, May 22: The Foreign Office expressed opposition to any move to
disband the United Nations observers group supervising the Line of Control
in Jammu and Kashmir, saying that "had it not been there, the situation on
the LOC would have been much worse".
The US Administration and some congressmen have been demanding that the
United Nations cut down expenses on its worldwide peacekeeping operation
and in this context the suggestion has been made several times to disband
the United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan. The
UNMOGIP has been supervising the Line of Control since 1949.
Pakistan formally opposed the suggestion to abolish the UNMOGIP and a
Foreign Office spokesman reiterated at his news briefing that the Group had
been serving its purpose very well and without it the situation along the
LOC would have been much worse. India had, however, informed the UN a few
years ago that it did not want the UNMOGIP on its side of the Line of
Control and would not cooperate with it.
The spokesman said Pakistan felt that the monthly reports against LoC
violations to the UN headquarters by the UNMOGIP had helped in maintaining
relative calm along the LOC. He said Pakistan had taken up the matter with
all concerned.
                 B U S I N E S S  &  E C O N O M Y
PM clears PTCL of all ambiguities
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 23: All ambiguities regarding sale of 26% management stakes
of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd. (PTCL) were cleared on Friday
when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave a go ahead signal to Privatisation
Commission to put the company to hammer along with other public entities
within next one year.
Nawaz Sharif directed the Commission to expedite the process of
privatisation to complete deregulation and disinvestment of all public
sector entities within the next 12 months. He underlined the need of
maintaining maximum possible transparency of all transactions.
Prime Minister said at the meeting in categorical terms that PTCL has to be
privatised during the specified period and that there should be no
ambiguity in this regard. The meeting noted that an amount of $ 30 bn can
be generated by the sale of all public sector entities including large
scale utility companies like WAPDA and gas distribution and marketing
The Prime Minister gave approval to the transactions plan of communication
power and energy, financial and industrial entities which include Pakistan
Telecommunication Company Ltd, Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Oil and Gas
Development Corporation, Sui Southern Gas Pipeline Ltd., Sui Northern Gas
Pipeline Company, Pakistan National Shipping Corporation, National Tankers
Company, Pakistan Railway, Area Electricity Board, Heavy Mechanical
Complex, all banks, financial institutions and a number of industrial units.
He directed the concerned ministries to expedite the matters relating to
their public sector entities and extend maximum support to the Commission
for achieving these targets with in the stipulated time.
Later, chairman of the Commission told a press briefing that the process of
selling 70% share of Habib Credit and Exchange Bank will be completed by
June 15, he said giving schedule of privatisation of other units. The
remaining 25% share of Muslim Commercial Bank and 45% shares of Allied Bank
Ltd. would be done by September 30, he added.
Pak-Saudi Fertiliser, Pak-Arab Fertiliser, Heavy Mechanical Complex, 10
ghee and five other industrial units would be put to hammer by September
30. However Pakistan National Shipping Corporation, Convention Centre,
Faisalabad Electricity Board, United Bank Ltd., National Investment Trust,
Investment Corporation of Pakistan and Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Co would
be sold by December 31, he added.
He said the Government has decided to use sale proceeds strictly for the
retirement of debts and all the revenues generated through privatisation
would go straight to State Bank.

Default on payments looming large
M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, May 17: WAPDA is facing serious financial crisis with default on
payments to oil and gas companies looming large and debt servicing
obligations escalating to unmanageable levels.

A number of factors have been identified by analysts for the crisis
including cost escalation, increase in losses and receivable, irrational
tariff structure, uneconomic plant utilisation and unplanned delays in
completion of development projects.

A survey of the 16 power generation projects has shown that WAPDA lost a
prospective net income (profit) of nearly Rs10.5 billion due to delays in
completion and approximately Rs 50 billion as net losses of cash flows.
Roughly speaking, commercial and industrial consumers are subsidising
agriculture and FATA users to the extent of Rs14 billion. Even half of this
amount could provide the necessary relief that WAPDA may need to smooth out
the current crisis. These subsidies have induced not only misuse and abuse
of electricity, but has also led to parking of theft and pilferage under
these heads while it may have been committed elsewhere. For example, based
on the total population of tubewells, rate of utilisation etc the total
reported consumption of electricity is almost 50 percent more than the
required level of electricity.

The furnace oil prices, only in the last year, have almost doubled from Rs
3196 per ton to Rs 6,297 per ton. The gas prices in the meanwhile have
increased from Rs 298/cm to Rs400/cm representing a 30 percent increase.
And in the last one and half year, the exchange rate has been devalued by
more than 25 percent against the US dollar. Against this cost escalation,
the tariff increases allowed to WAPDA are 16 percent in 1995-96 and less
than 7 percent in 1996-97.

In the last six years, WAPDA has suffered generation losses to the tune of
23.5 percent on annual average and its receivables have been around 20
percent of billed revenues on an annual average. It is estimated that a one
percent reduction in generation losses save more than Rs 1.2 billion in
revenues. And if the losses on receivables are checked, it would save upto
Rs 2 billion annually.

Financial operations of WAPDA have to conform to two important covenants of
the World Bank, which were imposed as part of Energy Sector Development
Loan. These are (a) 40 percent internal cash generation (ICG) for
development projects and (b) maintenance of debt services coverage at 1.5
times. Both these constraints contribute to higher cost of operations, as
they limit access to leverage as well as require more than desired level of
cash flow. These conditions were justified in an environment when WAPDA had
a greater part of its development budget devoted to commercially oriented
thermal power projects. This is no longer the case, as WAPDA has stopped
investing any further in this area. Presently, excepting Ghazi Barotha, no
significant power sector is in the WAPDA's development programme, which is
almost entirely hydel.

Analysts hold that commercial considerations in the water sector were not
very strong, and hence the requirement that such projects be financed on
the basis of 40 percent ICG would amount to imposing an unreasonable burden
on WAPDA. Similarly, relaxation in debt service coverage also needs to be
given so that WAPDA can resist the pressure for increase in its tariff.

WAPDA has been denied the unqualified access to sale proceeds from its
privatised projects. There has to be a source of cash flow for WAPDA,
otherwise it will not be in a position to offset its loss of net income due
to privatisation. WAPDA has been increasing tariff all through its history
for generating funds for investment. It is only natural to expect that a
part of sale proceeds would be used to lower the tariff, or to release the
pressure for further increases.

Mounting short-term debts haunting money market
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, May 17: The lurking fear that Pakistan may move into a debt-trap,
given the current trends in external borrowings and foreign trade balance,
has begun to surface in the financial markets.

Acknowledging the positive impact of the surge in foreign exchange reserves
to over one billion dollars on May 10 from 865 million dollars a week
earlier, forex experts point out that improvements have not come about in
the fundamentals of the economy.

Sources said the current forecast is that fiscal year 1996-97 may end with
a yawning trade gap of 3.5 billion dollars and current account deficit of
4.5 billion dollars. The improvement in reserves is primarily due to
commercial borrowings at market rates. A financial analyst says "current
account problems are being compounded by rising debt service repayments on
account of growing trends towards short term debt financing."

A study by IAMC reveals that the foreign exchange crisis in the first
quarter of 1997 occurred due to substantial capital outflow estimated to be
over two billion dollars after the tax heavy budget of June 1996 and large
short-term commercial debt taken by previous administration. While a
consensus prevails that Pakistan would not default on its repayments, IAMC
head of research Nadeem Naqvi says "there is a likelihood of some form of
restructuring of Pakistan's long-term debt with multilateral lending
agencies in fiscal year 1997-98 which allows Pakistan to continue fully
servicing its commercial debt obligations. "Such an arrangement, he says,
could give the government a breathing space before growth-oriented policies
can begin to have a positive impact. The official position of the PML
government has been that it is not looking at loan re-scheduling as an
option though its views are not shared by many independent economists.

Some experts here say that it would be both in the interest of Islamabad
and IMF not to exclude completely debt rescheduling as one of the viable
proposition to bring about a quick turnaround in the economy.

SBP Act amended State Bank gets full autonomy
Staff Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, May 21: The National Assembly amended and passed the State Bank
of Pakistan Act, 1956, to give full autonomy to the State Bank of Pakistan
in its administrative matters.
The amendment renames the Monetary and Fiscal Policies Coordination Board
as the Coordination Board and it will determine the extent of government's
borrowing from commercial banks. It will also enforce overall expansion of
liquidity and determine the limit of credit to be extended by the banks to
the federal government, provincial governments and other agencies.
After the passage of the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 1997
Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Sardar Kamil Omar told Dawn, "the
purpose of this amendment is to free the banking system from the control of
the federal government."
The amendment, as approved by the National Assembly, inserts a new Section
(46A) in the bill which says "no governmental or quasi governmental body or
agency will issue any directive, directly or indirectly to any banking
company or any other financial institution regulated by the State Bank
which is inconsistent with the policies, regulations and directives issued
by the bank pursuant to this Act, the Banking Companies Ordinance, 1962 or
any other law in force."
The amendment alters Section 9 A and re-elaborates functions and
responsibilities of the Central Board. It says "in order to secure monetary
stability and soundness of the financial system, the Central Board shall
formulate and monitor monetary and credit policy and, in determining the
expansion of liquidity, take into account the Federal Government's targets
for growth and inflation and ensure that the bank conducts monetary and
credit policy in a manner consistent with these targets and the
recommendations of the newly named Coordination Board with respect to
macro-economic policy objectives."
Passed in the absence of the opposition PPP legislators who walked out
while objecting to the legislation on technical grounds, demanding that it
should first be sent to the Standing Committee, the bill did not encounter
any other obstacle.
The passage of the Amendment Bill empowers the Board to determine and
enforce, in addition to the overall expansion of liquidity, the limit of
credit to be extended by the Bank to the Federal government, provincial
governments and other agencies of the federal and provincial governments
for all purposes. The governments will meet their additional credit
requirement directly from commercial banks through market-based auctioning
system to be conducted by the State Bank.
It will also approve the credit requirements of the private sector and
intimate the same to the Coordination Board in addition to tendering advice
to the Federal Government on the interaction of monetary policy with fiscal
and exchange rate policy. The analysis and advice to the federal government
on the impact of various policies on the state of economy has also been
assigned to the Central Board.
The Board will also submit a quarterly report to Parliament on the state of
the economy with special reference to economic growth, money supply,
credit, balance of payments and price developments. It will also discharge
such other functions as may be necessary for formulating monetary policy
and regulating the monetary system or as may be assigned by the federal

Borrowings surge as revenues tumble
M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, May 22: Bank borrowing for the year is around Rs 95-96 billion
at present which is well within the revised target agreed with the IMF in
Washington three weeks ago, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Dr. Hafeez
Pasha maintained.
He strongly refuted reports that the bank borrowing has already reached the
Rs 100 billion mark and was most likely to go beyond Rs 115 billion by
financial year-end.
Dr. Pasha said that the IMF had agreed to revise the bank borrowing target
because the Fund was convinced that the revenue targets fixed in the
current year's budget were too ambitious and were based on wrong assumptions.
Also, the budget was changed four times during the year rendering all
previously fixed IMF targets redundant, added secretary finance Moin Afzal.
Dr. Pasha admitted that the revenue shortfall during the year had amounted
to as much as Rs 50 billion, which he said was the main reason for higher
bank borrowing. He disagreed with the observation that the year would end
with a budgetary deficit figure of around 8 per cent and said it would be
nearer to 6 per cent against 6.9 per cent recorded in the previous year.
He said the government could keep the bank borrowing well within the new
IMF target despite the fall in revenues because of across the board cut in
expenditure, both in the development and non-development sectors, amounting
to a total of Rs 50 billion.
However, those who questioned his claim on expenditure said that the new
government's penchant for grandiose projects like the motorway and other
such extravagance including its weakness to appoint its favourites in
lucrative government jobs vacated by the favourites of the previous
government has instead, neutralised all efforts to save on the expenditure
side by the announced cuts.
Therefore, they insisted that the year would in any case end with the
budgetary deficit shooting well past even 8 percent of the GDP which in the
meanwhile has grown at a very slow rate of 3 percent.
However, both Dr. Hafeez Pasha and finance secretary Moin Afzal insisted
that for a change the government has decided not to window dress the
balance sheet with doctored figures and disclose the actual amounts of
income, expenditure and borrowings come what may so that Pakistan wins back
the credibility it had lost in the immediate past for maintaining two
books, one for the consumption of the multilateral agencies and the other,
depicting the true state of affairs.

NA passes bill to dissolve PBC
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 22: The National Assembly adopted amendments in the Banks
Nationalisation Amendment Bill, 1997 which dissolved the Pakistan Banking
Council and simultaneously repealed the exclusive right of the federal
government to establish a bank.
The new legislation amended the Banks Nationalisation Act of 1974 and
carried some amendments introduced by PML-N's Mian Yaseen Wattoo. However,
it empowered the federal government to appoint the presidents and chief
executives of nationalised commercial banks and other financial
institutions for a period of three years from amongst the professional
bankers in consultation with the State Bank of Pakistan.
By virtue of the amendments, all assets, properties and rights of the
Pakistan Banking Council will stand transferred to and vest in, and all
liabilities and other encumbrances of the Council will stand transferred to
and become the liabilities and encumbrances of the State Bank.
The employees of the Council whether on deputation or secondment from any
public sector or financial institution shall revert to, and continue to be
employed by their parent institutions on terms and conditions governing
their employment in their parent institutions. Others will become employees
of the State Bank. The funds of the Council will be transferred to the
State Bank.
The bill says that the chairman, the president and other members of the
Board will be appointed in consultation with the State Bank. They can be
removed for misconduct before the expiry of the three-year period by the
federal government in consultation with the State Bank. The Board will
determine the credit policies of the bank and evaluate criteria for the
performance of the employees other than the President.
All selections, promotions and transfers of employees of the banks except
those of the president and the decisions as to their remuneration's and
benefits will be made by the president in accordance with the evaluation
criteria. The president, members of the Board of every bank, every
administrator, auditor, advisor, officer or other employees of a bank, will
before entering in office, make a declaration of fidelity and secrecy in
such form as may be prescribed.

PC to sell KESC, HBL, 15 other state units
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 22: The privatisation commission has finalised strategy to
privatise, during the next six months, the KESC, SSGC, SNGC, HCEBL, HBL,
Pak-Arab Fertiliser, Faisalabad Area Electricity Board and ten ghee
manufacturing units of the ministry of industries.
The 53rd meeting of the privatisation commission, discussed and finalised a
strategy to sell some of the major state-owned units to raise US$400
million during the next financial year. The meeting decided to remove
various bottlenecks as quickly as possible with a view to disinvest these
industrial units. The chairman of the privatisation commission told the
meeting that the process had to be accelerated to have early privatisation
of many of the state-owned corporation in 1997-98.
The privatisation commission has also taken a decision to streamline the
privatisation process for ensuring transparency. The meeting further
approved the revised valuation and audit policy which included the
introduction of slab system of payment for the public sector entities being
privatised. The commission also accorded approval for the process of
appointing a financial advisor for Habib Bank Limited (HBL).
The meeting expressed satisfaction over the ongoing privatisation process
of Habib Credit and Exchange Bank Limited (HCEBL). Currently due diligence
of the bank was being conducted by the bidders at Karachi. It has been
learnt that 70 percent shares of HECBL are being disinvested on 100 percent
cash payment.
Privatisation commission members, senior officials of the finance division,
economic affairs division and the State Bank of Pakistan attended the meeting.

Forex reserves down by $196m
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, May 22: Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves fell from $1.094
billion on May 10 to $897.76 billion on May 17 - showing a big decline of
$196.24 million.
According to the latest weekly statement of the State Bank of Pakistan, the
forex reserves held within and outside Pakistan totaled Rs 36.126 billion
or $897.76 billion on May 17. A week ago on May 10, the reserves stood at
Rs 44.038 billion or $1.094 billion.
The SBP had decided late last month to release the foreign currency funds
under export refinance scheme instead of placing it a special account or
block account as the bankers call it. The decision is now causing an
outflow of foreign currency funds from the system depleting the forex
reserves marginally. Meanwhile, some foreign banks have also decided not to
roll over the deposits they had brought in Pakistan under a special scheme
offering 17 per cent return.
The SBP statement shows that on May 17 the forex reserves held outside
Pakistan totalled Rs 11.177 billion or $277.75 million. It puts the
balances held within the country stood at Rs 24.948 billion or $619.98

Stocks fall across broad front on renewed selling
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, May 23: Stocks fell across a broad front. The KSE 100-share index
lost another 13.16 points at 1,534.51 owing to the relative weakness of the
base shares.
Engro Chemicals, Shell Pakistan, Cyanamid Pakistan were among the top
losers, falling by Rs 2 to 10 on persistent selling, although there were
buyers at the dips.
Although major price changes were on the lower side some of the leading
shares managed to put on good gains under the lead of Paramount Spinning,
Mehmood Textiles, Nishat Mills, Clariant Pakistan, Lever Brothers Pakistan,
Balochistan Wheels and Spencer Pakistan, which rose by one rupee to Rs 2.50.
Cyanamid Pakistan, IGI Insurance, Lawrencepur Woollen, Brooke Bond
Pakistan, Sui Northern, Crescent Steel and PSO were among the leading
losers, falling by one rupee to Rs 10.00. The biggest loss of Rs 10.00 was
noted in Cyanamid Pakistan. Traded volume remained light owing to spot
trading in the PTC Vouchers and totalled 13.343 million shares as compared
to 13.164 million shares a day earlier.
The KSE 100-share finally finished around 1,334.51 as against the previous
1,547.67 a day earlier but the market capitalisation showed a modest
decline of 1.795 billion at Rs 472.287 billion as compared to Rs 474.083 a
day earlier, reflecting the strength of base shares.
There were 284 actives out of which 159 shares suffered fractional fall
while 57 rose with 68 holding on to the last levels. The most active list
was topped by ICI Pakistan, lower 35 paisa on 5.448m shares, mostly in the
evening session, followed by Dewan Salman, off 70 paisa on 2.655m,
Hub-Power, easy 20 paisa on 1.941m, Dhan Fibre, easy 10 paisa on 0.360m,
and ICP SEMF, up 65 paisa on 0.325m shares. All other transactions were
modest and below 0.1m shares, reflecting the investor reluctance to make
bigger commitments at the falling prices.

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              E D I T O R I A L S  &  F E A T U R E S
Ehtesab - 2 
Ardeshir Cowasjee

THE low-flying Senator Saifur Rahman who pilots the prime minister's
Ehtesab Cell has of late been at the receiving end of a lot of flak aimed
at him by the Press. He says he expected it, and is prepared to counter any
criticism, even that which can vaguely be substantiated. Brave words indeed!

Last week I spoke to him about the many allegations made against him by
various publications which, for their own reasons, seem desperate to prove
that the Senator himself needed to be cleansed.

AC: Every new-born democrat of ours, fascist at heart though he may be,
claims that we cannot have democracy without accountability. From 1988
onwards those in power - Ghulam Ishaq, Benazir, Jatoi, Nawaz, Mazari, Moeen
Qureshi, Farooq Leghari, Benazir again - could have started the Ehtesab
process but did not, mainly because of their own individual greed for power
and pelf. They did not want to rock the boat. At last, the Leghari / Meraj
Khalid team put the process on the rails and now that Nawaz has got it
going. Every right thinking citizen of this country should help him. Why
did you accept this onerous 'win-or-lose, you lose,' position?

SR: Nawaz is my friend. He could hardly have asked any politician or
bureaucrat to take on the job. He asked me. I have faith in him. I
accepted. By and large, the people have supported me. I am prepared to
answer any allegations obliquely or directly made against me in any of our
more responsible publications. As a matter of fact, I would like to clarify
some of the unsubstantiated charges that have been levelled against me.

AC: Is there any truth in the allegation that your present role as the
Mian's chief gunner is a bit of a cover, that you and the Mian intend doing
business together, you 'fronting' for him?

SR: A baseless allegation. No joint ventures have been planned. As a matter
of fact, our group of companies have decided not to bid for any public
sector project in Pakistan as long as I head the Ehtesab Cell.

AC: It is said that your past businesses in Pakistan culminated with your
having a dispute with the Customs Department involving some Rs900 million
which still has to be resolved, and that you are counter-attacking Customs
officers to ease your way out of the predicament. Is there any truth in this?

SR: Absolutely none. Can anyone produce any evidence to support this
allegation? Of course, my companies have had the usual disputes and
arguments with the Customs, just as have had all other business houses.

AC: Bank loans: Have you or any of your concerns defaulted?

SR: Our problems in Pakistan began when we were politically victimised by
Benazir. The banks controlled by the government reneged on their
contractual obligations. Our limits were cancelled without assigning any
reason or giving us due notice. To this day, the banks have not been able
to explain why they took such action. The operations of our textile
businesses had to be suspended, the repayment schedules were affected. Some
payments are overdue, we have sought redress, rescheduling. The matters are
before the proper tribunals and are at present sub judice . The banks stand
secured. We are solvent.

AC: Were you involved at all in the building of the Murree- Rawalpindi road

SR: No. The road was constructed by Saadullah & Brothers.

AC: Did Redco, or any of your other concerns, land any hefty government
contracts at highly inflated rates during Nawaz's first round as prime

SR: None. Again, let those who make the allegations come forth with evidence.

AC: Are you at all involved in the recent cancellation of the Lahore
airport expansion contract recently awarded to a concern known as JAPAK?

SR: I have no knowledge of the Lahore airport project, I have had no
dealings with JAPAK and do not even know who owns or runs it.

AC: It is claimed that your younger brother, Mujeeb, is now in Seattle,
wheeling-dealing for the purchase by PIA of two Boeings. Is he?

SR: My brother is not in Seattle. We have neither had nor have any dealings
with Boeing.

AC: Are you, or any of your concerns, about to land a Rs 700 million
contract to fence the Lahore-Islamabad motorway?

SR: No. We will abide by our commitment. We will not bid for this or any
other government business.

AC: 'They' say you are on friendly terms with such men as Salman Faruqui
and that your pursuit of the 'bad' bureaucrats is just a hoax.

SR: Of course, I know Salman Faruqui, and many of his likes. As you all
have, I too have heard and know much about them. But I am not 'negotiating'
with anyone to let anyone off the hook who deserves to be hooked.

AC: What about senior bureaucrats Anwar Zahid, the PM's Special Assistant
and Chaudhry Iftikhar of the FIA? Are they helping you pursue your Ehtesab
operation? Have they suggested making 'deals' with anybody?

SR: The first has no connection with my cell. The second being an FIA man,
I obviously do have discussions with him on the process. After all, we are
both working towards the same goal. But neither has proposed making any

AC: Stories circulated or fabricated about your past are intriguing. One
publication has claimed that you started ten years ago with a drug store at
Mozang, that later you were a supervisor of expatriate labour working for a
construction company in the Gulf and sleeping in a shed, that there you
befriended Abdun Nasir, a rich Arab Sheikh, who enabled you to take off and
make your pile.

SR: If all this was so, this rags-to-riches story true, would it not be to
my credit? My father, a farmer of Sialkot, was also a pharmaceutical
distributor. I went to Lahore, first to F.C. College to do my F.Sc. and
then to Hailey College for my B.Com. Then I went to Qatar as a trainee
executive in a German company. We built up our family businesses in the
Gulf with partners such as Sheikh Abdur Rahman Al-Thani, a member of the
royal family of Qatar, and Sheikh Sultan Bin Hamadan al Nahyan, of the
royal family of the UAE. Our interests include textile spinning and
weaving, construction, transport, cement and so forth. The group's head
office is in Doha. I do know Sheikh Abdun Nasir, but we have never been
business associates.

AC: There was a letter about you in Dawn on May 15, written by Syed Kausar
Ali Shah of Lahore, who stated: "It would be graceful of him if he
volunteered to face accountability for the rapid rise of his own
construction firm in controversial circumstances. This would vindicate his
position and clear his credentials for accountability." Your reaction?

SR: I am willing to face the process. Would I have taken on the job
otherwise? Let any man of any credibility question me, privately or
publicly, as it may suit him.

AC: The same letter writer is "concerned about the manner in which 91
senior bureaucrats, the majority of whom command general respect, have been
suspended from service and publicly humiliated without justification." What
are your views?

SR: As can be appreciated, the tentacles of the suspended are long and
widespread. Naturally, they, their relatives, friends, associates and
dependants are unhappy. What does "general respect" mean? Whatever it be, I
would say that generally the people have applauded this action.

AC: As compared to bureaucrats, you have so far netted very few
politicians. Why?

SR: The evidence against the politicians is coming in and is being sifted.
You are a businessman, you tell me, could the country have been robbed to
the extent it has been by the politicians and their partners without the
connivance or collusion or compliance of the bureaucrats? Could they not
have stopped or impeded the corruption? Corruption is easier to detect than
to prove. As you yourself said during your TV interview, "Chor receipt
nahin choortay." And if everyone who has been touched is innocent as he
claims to be, then who has robbed the country?

My comment: If all that Saifur Rehman has said is to be believed, he has
emerged as white as driven snow. For the doubters, it is open season. He
says, shoot him down if you can.

More reforms need debate, not haste
Ghani Eirabie

THE speed and secrecy with which the Prime Minister pushed through the 13th
Amendment abolishing the President's power to dissolve the parliament is
understandable; but no such tactics are called for in introducing other
changes in the Constitution.

In fact, the government would be well advised to give deeper thought to the
pros and cons of the next (14th) Amendment and have them fully thrashed out
in the parliament and try to consolidate related items into a single
package. Among the proposals that require more dispassionate deliberations
is the plan to limit the judiciary's discretion in the grant of bail; but
even more startling is the idea of burdening the accused with the onus of
proving his innocence.

Undoubtedly, the government's anxiety to get to grips with the rising tide
of terrorism appears to be driving it to desperation, but it would be wrong
on its part to stoop to methods that are not far removed in concept from
the evil ideology which breeds terrorism itself. Actually both the
projected provisions are likely to be declared invalid by the Supreme Court
despite being incorporated in a constitutional amendment - citing as a
precedent an Indian Supreme Court judgment which quashed a duly adopted
constitutional amendment on the ground that it ran counter in the overall
spirit and thrust of the Indian constitution as a whole.

In our case too, the bail-limiting proposal amounts to challenging the
independence of the judiciary, and shifting the onus of proof from the
prosecution to the accused violates not only the Pakistan Objectives
Resolution which anchors the constitution but also flouts the
long-established sanctity of a basic human right. Being dubbed as the
world's second most corrupt nation was bad enough, but inviting
denouncement now as humanity's most retrogressive outcast would be worse.

That apart the way our judicial system works - it is frustratingly slow and
incorrigibly corrupt - both the proposed provisions would inflict
punishment on the accused even if he were later found innocent. Those
glibly advocating denial of bail ought to know that there is irrefutable
documentary evidence showing that a large number of "under-trials"
frequently undergo in actual practice much longer imprisonment than what
they would have served by way of punishment for the offence they are
charged with. In the event of their being subsequently proved innocent,
what is the compensation the state can offer them? Further, while there is
justification for refusing bail to those accused of heinous crimes like
murder or physical violence or gang-rape, that is those likely to commit
more crimes if let out on bail, routinely denying bail to those suspected
of non-violent white-collar offences violates the ethos of a civilised
society. In any case, the grant or denial of bail should be left to the
discretion of the courts.

Finally, one fervently hopes that flushed with his electoral victory and
success with deletion of article 58(2)(b) divesting the president of his
power to dissolve the parliament Mian Nawaz Sharif makes no attempt to
tamper with the recently won independent of the judiciary. That would be a
fatal error.

Besides tightening the law against terrorism, the government is also
assigning high priority - and rightly too - to restoring the women's seats
in the legislatures. The restoration by itself should offer no problem - in
fact the government has a direct stake in expediting it as it would further
augment the ruling party' strength by virtue of its majority in the
National and provincial assemblies which form the electoral college for the
women's seats. And this identifies a serious flaw in the system; the
purpose after all is not to enhance the tally of the ruling party but to
provide genuine representation to the women of Pakistan. That purpose is
not served by having male MNAs and MPAs electing female representatives.
Which means the women representatives would not be representing the women
of Pakistan but the men legislators.

This needs to be drastically reviewed. The government and the women's
organisations should give serious thought to the demand that the women's
representatives in the assemblies be elected by women themselves. An idea
mooted in the national Press sometime back was that the electoral college
for the National Assembly seats should be formed by the country's women
graduates and for the provincial legislatures by the faculties of girls
high schools. The proposal has a lot to recommend it.

Closely related to the composition of the assemblies is a suggestion for a
substantial increase in the strength of the legislatures. An idea how
meagre the present strength is can be judged from the fact that Pakistan's
population of 120 million or more returns only 207 representatives to the
National Assembly while Great Britain with nearly half of Pakistan's
population sends over 650 MPs to the House of Commons. This makes our
constituencies inordinately large, with one MNA representing more than half
a million people. It creates two problems: one, the magnitude of the
electioneering expenses drives all but the richest candidates out of the
field; and two, there is scanty interaction between the constituents and
the legislator who cannot adequately represent the interests of the entire
constituency. As a result, the undesirable institution of the middle man or
the power-broker comes into play which lays down the initial groundwork for
corruption. The answer lies in doubling the strength of both the national
and provincial legislatures; smaller constituencies would facilitate the
return of middle class legislators instead of only waderas and business
magnates, and larger Houses would make horse-trading more difficult.

No fresh demarcation may be necessary for the National Assembly
constituencies; most of the existing N.A. Districts are made up of two
provincial constituencies, each of which under the proposed dispensation
would begin to operate as a full-fledged parliamentary constituency. The
existing provincial constituency of course would have to be subdivided into
two and re-demarcated. But this is not such a formidable task, in view of
the fact that the new constituencies required to accommodate the increased
membership of the legislatures, even if sanctioned by a constitutional
amendment today, would not be needed until the next elections, some five
years hence.

The tenure of the assemblies is another question that calls for an
objective study. While there is no way the PML will agree to curtail the
tenure of the present assembly, a reduced term for the legislatures of the
future can be profitably agreed upon now and incorporated in a
constitutional amendment.

It needs to be understood that no sanctity applies to any assembly tenure.
The Indian Lok Sabha has a five-year run like ours; the Iranian Majlis has
four; and the US House of Representative holds elections every two years.
We should have a legislative tenure which fits our situation. Experience
has shown that a five-year stretch does not suit us; hardly ever an
assembly of ours has completed the full period. That is why the two major
political parties, both PML and PPP, have already expressed themselves in
favour of a four year term.

Last but not the least is the issue of defection. In fact, it is the most
important of all, belonging to the same class as abolition of Article
58(2)(b). Broadly speaking, defection causes distortions in the body
politic that 58(2)(b) is invoked to remedy. Floor-crossing is an evil that
not only proclaims the moral degeneration of our politicians but also
undermines our political stability which in turn hurts our economic

It is a shame we have done nothing so far to stamp out the scourge. We have
not even honestly tested the adequacy or otherwise of Clause 8-B of the
Political Parties Act of 1962. To many of us it is clear enough in its
provision that any MNA or MPA defecting from the party that sent him to the
assembly loses his seat; but those wanting to escape the rigours of seeking
a fresh mandate from their constituents take shelter behind the excuse that
the law does not define "defection." It is a lame excuse. For when an MNA
or MPA flouts his own party whip, or crosses the floor or joins the rival
party's cabinet, only the blind would fail to recognise it as an act of

Equally untenable is a turn-coat's plea that a "tie-down" to the party
violates his fundamental right to "freedom of association." In the first
place, exercise of all fundamental freedoms is "subject to law" - and the
Political Parties Act is one such law. Secondly, this right gets exhausted
when the politician in question first exercised his freedom to choose and
associate himself with a particular political party and draws on its
resources to get elected.

If such self-serving pleas were accepted, soon enough people would begin to
repudiate their "wedding vows" or "business-partnership commitments" on the
ground that staying tied to them restricted their "freedom of association."
To the honest, there is no ambiguity in the anti-defection law even as it
exists; but if there is, let the Supreme Court issue an authentic
interpretation. However, if the consensus still be that a constitutional
amendment is imperative, let it be adopted now and here. In fact, it should
have been incorporated in the 13th Amendment, for it is no less important
than the deletion of the provision abolishing the President's power to
dissolve the National Assembly. The present government's failure to plug
this vicious hole, at a time when the public opinion demands it and Mian
Nawaz Sharif has the parliamentary majority to carry it through, would be
deplored by history as a flagrant betrayal of the vital national interests.

Of ministers and civil servants

SARTAJ AZIZ  has already made his mark. Ch. Nisar and Ishaq Dar are doing
alright. Mushahid Hussain's presence in the government is being
increasingly felt and seen. His performance in the Senate the other day
after Aitzaz Ahsan's stinging attack on the new administration, focusing on
the Sharif brothers, was impressive. Normally known as a relaxed and a
good-humoured journalist-turned-politician, Mushahid could more than match
the more experienced and highly vocal PPP heavyweight.
More open-ended discussions on TV, with the PPP well-represented, on
national issues, along with the televising of the Question Hour in the
Assembly and the Senate, are welcome developments. In one such Senate
Question Hour proceedings, one saw the opposition grilling Syeda Abida
Hussain who was handling the supplementaries meant for the ministry of law
and parliamentary affairs. Despite a brave face, she was hardly able to
cope with the concerted attack launched by Raza Rabbani and Aitzaz Ahsan.
Chairman Waseem Sajjad let them shoot from the hip. Though at times he did
come to Abida's rescue, Khalid Anwar's absence took its toll. Where was our
able law advisor? Why was he absent? He did turn up the following day but
the damage had been done.
Abida also bore the brunt of the Atta crisis. Food and agriculture is her
additional charge. That she muddled through is no justification for not
appointing a whole-time minister for agriculture. Take one of the most
vital ministries - education. No whole-time minister of education as yet.
Are the portfolios allocated so far rightly assigned? Chaudhry Shujaat
Hussain and Gauhar Ayub are relatively, experienced and loyal front-rank
members of the ruling party. But is Shujaat the stuff interior ministers
are made of? Gauhar Ayub is accomplished and impressive. He is doing his
best but is foreign affairs his forte?
The burden of pressing problems and complex issues, made all the more
complicated and troublesome with the passage of time, called for the
appointment of all the needed ministers within two or three days of the new
government's assumption of power. That this has not been done even after
three months raises questions. If the existing deficiency, in terms of
appointments, is deliberate, is it advisable? How can you entrust four,
five or more ministries to a single person and then expect work to be done
properly and expeditiously? If the excuse is the difficulty in finding the
right persons or the fear of displeasing some while making selections the
bull, in any case has to be taken by the horns - sooner or later.
With the kind of pressures weighing the ministers down, it would be folly
to hide behind the plea of a small cabinet. Also, is it proper that those
given jobs other than ministerial be notified as enjoying the status of
ministers with all the privileges that go with it. Some discrimination is
necessary in doling out such patronage.
The question is: has the prime minister been able to create a team strong
enough to deal with the daunting tasks the government faces today? Have all
the top jobs and important slots been judiciously filled or is his exercise
still incomplete? In Britain Tony Blair was able to name all the 22
ministers within two days.
Even with the best of programs and packages, there is no surety of
achieving the desired results unless suitable hands have been found and put
in place to bring them into fruition. Excellent policies will fail for want
of effective and adequate implementation. A word here about the role and
performance of the much maligned civil servants. Of course, the civil
services today are tainted with corruption but let us pause and think as to
how they have earned this reputation. In the '50s and even '60s the vast
majority of them were generally considered honest.
Corruption was mostly to be found then in a few known departments like
customs, PWD, Forestry and police. It has to be admitted that it were our
politicians and mostly the feudal lords in the assemblies and the local
councils who not only politicised government servants but also used them to
feather their nests. To please their political masters, and to avoid being
pushed to the sidelines, these "servants" were quick enough to learn the
tricks of the trade. Both made hay while the sun was shining.
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's arbitrary Civil Servants Act took away the simple
protection the government employees had till then - of the opportunity of
"a show-cause notice" before services were terminated. This contributed
towards making them helpless and, therefore, pliable.
There is nothing wrong with suspending a government officer if there is
good reason and evidence to assume that his is a fit case for investigation
and that his continuation in the job could harm the interests of the
government and/or may result in the obstruction of the proceedings against
him. Utmost care, of course, needs to be taken before the order of
suspension is issued.
As one who knows the ropes, I was surprised to find that recently some
officers were served orders of suspension before due consideration of all
the relevant facts. Still more inappropriate is the reported decision that
henceforth none would be suspended unless he is simultaneously
charge-sheeted. Why deprive the government of the power to suspend which
sometimes becomes necessary even before all the material for framing
charges has been pieced together.
Put the right men and women at the right jobs, train them well, impose the
desired discipline, even fix time-frames for the completion of tasks. Also
give them authority commensurate with responsibility. Trust them and let
them deliver goods. Closely supervise them. But don't misuse them or
repress them. The political masters have to set an example. They must learn
to handle their job, and act according to law, rules and procedures. If
they violate rules and cut corners, how can they expect their subordinates
to remain straight and honest?
As in the armed forces, let the training institutions be headed and manned
by some of the finest serving and retired officers. As role models, they
would contribute a great deal towards making the new entrants rightly
oriented and well-groomed for the jobs to be entrusted to them later.
Similarly, the in-service training institutes should put the trainees
through what the American Management Association calls an "Efficiency Lab"
- a program which brings out the capabilities and deficiencies of the
Once these are identified, steps can be taken, through instruction and
self-study, to shed the inadequacies and strengthen the positive
attributes. Whatever be the approach and the techniques adopted, a serious
attempt could be made to turn the officers around, making them more
knowledgeable and proficient in new techniques and in handling modern aids
to better management, including computers.
Equally necessary is a program for elected members of the assemblies to
acquire information and understanding of the Constitution, the rules of
business, the assembly procedures, the way the government is organised and
run and some comprehension of our foreign and domestic policies. This
orientation will make them better perform their role and help them imbibe a
sense of greater responsibility to be able to act with confidence and
competence in the discharge of their duties.

The end of politics?

FIVE or six years ago, the American historian Frances Fukuyama created a
major stir when he wrote an article called "The End of History." This
thesis was expanded into a book that became a huge best-seller.
Basically, Fukuyama has argued that with the demise of the Soviet Union and
the emergence of a unipolar world, history, as we have known it, has ended
since there is now no opposing antithesis to the thesis of the Western
alliance and everything it embraces in terms of a capitalist economy, a
democratic polity and a civilisation based on Greco-Christian values. The
challenge to this system posed by the Warsaw Pact (distant echo from a
remote past!) led by the Soviet Union and based upon an autocratic
communist structure having collapsed, there could be no dialectic, and
therefore, no more history of equal and opposite forces and ideologies
engaged in constant and unending conflict.
Whether one accepts this argument or not, a similar case can be made out to
prove that with the demolition of the PPP last February, politics as we
have known it for the last decade is finished. To all intents and purposes
Pakistan is now a one-party state with Nawaz Sharif and his Muslim League
lords of all they survey. Quite apart from the sharp erosion of the PPP's
numerical strength in the assemblies, the fight seems to have gone out of
its leader. Whatever else she might have been, Benazir Bhutto was always a
fighter. But of late, her statements lack a sense of conviction, and she
sounds like somebody unsure of herself.
Without claiming to know her at all well, on the few occasions we have met,
she has come across as a person brimming with self-confidence whether she
was in power or not. Indeed, this attitude seemed so much a part of her
that it was difficult to penetrate her shell of self-assurance that
bordered on arrogance. This is a far cry from the sense of hesitancy that
comes through when she is discussing her political role at this juncture.
Basically she has made it clear that she will not seek a third term as
prime minister, and nor does she see herself as leader of the opposition.
To confuse matters, she now says she would not be averse to accepting the
post of Senate chairperson. Assuming somebody was to offer her this slot,
what would she do with it?
In short, it would seem that at least for the time being, her heart is not
in politics. Whatever her reasons, we now have to consider a PPP without
Benazir Bhutto at its helm. Unfortunately for the party, there is no leader
of her stature around who would be acceptable to the rank and file. Just as
Russia cannot match the power of the US, a rudderless PPP cannot stand up
to the PML. This would seem to suggest that we have reached the end of
By itself this is not necessarily a bad thing over the last decade, the
country has had a surfeit of politics in all its sordidness. We have seen
despicable deals, horse-trading of the most stomach-churning kind,
Machiavellian manoeuvring and vicious back-stabbing. The country has been
stripped of resources and pride by selfish politicians whose only goal was
to attain power, and once there, to hang on by any means possible. We have
also witnessed three presidents dismiss governments more or less at whim,
and the not-so-subtle pressures exerted from GHQ.
So a few quiet years without political turmoil seem no bad thing. An old
Chinese curse puts it very aptly: "May you live in exciting times!" Well,
we have certainly lived in very exciting times this last decade or so. But
before we celebrate the end of politics, let us not forget the role the
opposition plays in a democracy, even in a fragile one like Pakistan's. By
exposing wrongdoing in high places, the opposition can help keep the
government on its toes. Granted that this has not acted as much of a
deterrent in the past, at least this function has kept the public informed
of sundry scams. Thus, the famous Surrey mansion became a symbol of
corruption when Nawaz Sharif showed photographs of the property in the
National Assembly. Similarly, Benazir Bhutto exposed the extent to which
the top tier of the PML was involved in the co-op scam in her earlier stint
as leader of the opposition.
For the foreseeable future, the PPP is the only credible opposition around,
and if it is paralysed and demoralised, there is no other party on the
scene to don its mantle. The other power centre in the presidency has
effectively and permanently been neutered, leaving only the army as a major
player in the power game. And almost certainly, GHQ is not an active
contender. The religious parties, either individually or collectively, are
outnumbered. Thus for all practical purposes, Nawaz Sharif is king of the
So what does this portend for us? To state the obvious, there is no serious
opposition to pin down the government on corruption charges. And the Press,
without heavyweight politicians to make a scandal newsworthy, is not
playing its role. For example, duties on imported goods were lowered on
March 28 and then further cut on April 12. They were then raised back to
the original rate some weeks later. During this window of opportunity, a
few well-informed individuals made a killing by importing large
consignments of all kinds of finished goods. Under normal circumstances,
the opposition would have gone to town on such an obvious scam. But there
has been barely a squeal, and the Press has been equally subdued.
Apart from the fact that the end of politics makes it difficult for pundits
to ply their trade, a moribund opposition makes for very boring newspapers.
I would not be at all surprised to learn that circulation figures have
dropped significantly in the last few months. I know this will not be
enough to motivate Benazir Bhutto as she thinks the Press was unfair to her
government. But since she has not encouraged or permitted any party
leadership worth the name to emerge as an alternative to her, she now has a
duty to her millions of supporters to shake off her post-election daze and
play her true role. Indeed, she has always been a far better leader of the
opposition than a prime minister.
We may have reached the end of politics for the time being, but the
government has not taken advantage of this fact. In the last
three-and-a-half months the PML has been in office, they have trodden the
corridors of power as though they were traversing a minefield. I know it is
early days yet, but at this rate, we might soon forget the trauma of the
last three years and collectively shout: "BB come back! All is forgiven!"

                            S P O R T S 
Why a fresh probe against Aamir Sohail?
Lateef Jafri

KARACHI, May 19: The cricket board has created more confusion by not
meeting the demands of the parliamentarians, cricket fans, media critics
and the public in general and taking a conditional decision on the Aamir
Sohail issue.

All followers of the game had expected that once the Adviser to the Prime
Minister on Sports, Syed Mushahid Husain, had listened to the points of
view of the two sides and had given a compromise formula to resolve the
dispute the officialdom of the PCB will show moderation and lenity,
entirely in the interest of cricket and the country, and reverse its
earlier penalisation of a two-year ban. The Council, the higher tier of the
PCB, after a marathon session, converted the ban into a fine but asked the
famed opening batsman to appear before its disciplinary committee for
expatiating his allegations on bribery and match-fixing with what it calls
"solid evidence."

In the first instance many enthusiasts of the game like to know why a
second round of inquiry has been thought necessary. According to PCB it
will be a very detailed one. Certainly this new process or effort at
cleansing the Aegean stables will throw a stream of fresh issues, will
degenerate into personal bickerings and further tarnish the image of the
country's cricket instead of enhancing it and coming to a fair decision.
The Adviser to the Prime Minister had, without mincing words, told the
Senate that the Sohail issue had been delinked from the bribery
allegations, which in unambiguous terms mean that the PCB, or for that
matter its Executive Council, should have adopted a temporising attitude at
its meeting called at the behest of the Federal Government. Besides, the
board had received unconditional apology from Aamir Sohail and it was to
accept the appeal and close the chapter. The board would then have earned
the appreciation of the general public, which was apparently standing by
the cricketer and wanted him back into the mainstream of the national cricket.

Certainly the Council, convoked for the first time to have a second look at
a subject, was not supposed to have put a rider on its decision. The action
which one expected from the members of the Council was the overturning of
the ban clamped at an earlier meeting held 27 days ago. A one-month
punishment meted out on personal grounds was sufficient. The second
instalment of the penal action betrayed animus against an all-rounder, who
in the opinion of experts, is an asset to the country's cricket.

Many are of the view that after the first meeting of the  Council, an
emergent session of the same tier of the board should not have been
summoned. Instead the General Body, which has the powers to "exercise
appellate and supervisory jurisdiction over the decisions of the Council
and other affiliated bodies of the board," under clause 14 (G) of the
board's constitution should have been called into session. Seen from the
constitutional angle the second  exercise of the Council becomes irregular
and illegal. The whole decision of replacing the ban with a heavy fine and
then directing the cricketer to reappear before the disciplinary committee
cannot stand the test of fairness and constitutionality. Whatever may be
the functions of the Council it cannot take back its own decision; only a
higher body can give a ruling on this issue.

There are many cricket enthusiasts who want to know how the Council's ban
was imposed on two separate complaints. Talat Ali, chairman of the
disciplinary committee, had in a very clear-cut way stated that the
punishment had been given due to allegations made by Sohail against
team-mates (on bribery and match-fixing) and criticism of Javed Burki. The
charges against the cricketer were lumped together and the penalisation was
a two-year ban. No separation of the complaint and charges was announced
when the disciplinary panel took its decision on April 17. The fans of the
game have doubts over the intentions of the top office holders of the
board. Once the reversal of an action takes place the ban goes. A recycling
of the investigation is unimaginable. Why cannot the cricket officials show
justice towards a famed cricketer. Further probe and inquiry mean pure
harassment and nothing else.

Besides, if there had been a criticism of Javed Burki, he is not an
official of the board. Burki, heading the Ad hoc committee had berated
Salim Malik, accused by Australians Tim May, Shane Warne and Mark Waugh, of
bid to bribe them on the Pakistan tour. He had reportedly seen the
documents sent by the Australian board at the ICC headquarters in London.
He was fuming with anger at the behaviour of a senior cricketer and wanted
him not to be selected later. He deplored reports of match-fixing in South
Africa and Zimbabwe and perhaps wanted a thorough probe into such incidents
(or rumours). Later an inquest was held and in an ex parte finding the
Pakistani cricketer was absolved from the charges. But doubts still persist
that the evil continues - not gambling and betting, an international
phenomenon, but the detestable game of match-fixing and bribery. Why at all
the Pakistanis should be a party to it?

Hanif Mohammad, former captain and usually detached from cricket politics,
resented the reopening of the Aamir Sohail case asking him to again go
through the process of a probe. In his opinion the cricket officials want
to keep the star performer under pressure. How can Aamir deliver the goods,
asked Hanif  Mohammad? It is one of the tricks of the cricket
administrators to bring to an end a brilliant career, regretted Little Master.

Some others have pointed out that it was the present board which had
spoiled Aamir Sohail's contract with English county Middlesex, had removed
him from vice-captaincy and relegated him in the batting order and dropped
him from the team. The victimisation must end and the Government, with a
cricket-fan Prime Minister at its helm, should see to it that justice is
done to a brilliant cricketer, whose services should be requisitioned for
the country's outfit.

Talat spells out policy on Aamir Sohail issue
Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, May 17: The three-member Disciplinary Committee of the Pakistan
Cricket Board (PCB) will decide when it will call Aamir Sohail to
substantiate the match-fixing and bribery allegations he had made against
his team-mates.

Talat Ali clarified certain things and said Aamir Sohail's other colleagues
will only be called to appear before the Disciplinary panel if the
cricketer (Aamir Sohail) submits anything concrete in support to his

The chief of the Disciplinary Committee stated that if the accused players
were called on the basis of Aamir Sohail's interview, it would be injustice
to them. "Unless we see something convincing, we will not call any player.
As far as we are concerned, we have complete faith in our boys and it would
be equal to denting their confidence to probe their Loyalties on the basis
of just accusations of which the evidence has not been provided at all."

Talat Ali said this stance of the Disciplinary Committee was not confined
to just Aamir Sohail. "If any cricketer has any solid evidence, he should
come forward. "We want to settle this issue once and for all. It has been
lingering on for quite sometime which is neither good for the morale of the
team nor for the image of the country."

Talat Ali also explained why Aamir Sohail was fined Rs 50,000 by the
Executive Council but was subsequently asked to appear before the
Disciplinary Committee also. "Aamir Sohail was fined Rs 50,000 because he
had violated the PCB Code of Conduct for giving a damaging interview in a
newspaper. That was one charge. "Aamir Sohail was then guilty of accusing
his team-mates in the similar interview. For that, it was decided in the
background of his appeal/unconditional apology that he should be asked to
appear again and elaborate/prove his allegations," briefed Talat.

Sohail likely to reappear before PCB panel on 26th
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, May 20: The Disciplinary Committee of the Pakistan Cricket Board
(PCB) has fixed May 26 as a tentative date to ask Aamir Sohail to reappear
before it and substantiate betting and match-fixing allegations he levelled
against his team-mates.
Chairman of the three-man Committee, Talat Ali, confirmed that he has
informed Majid Khan (Chief Executive, PCB) about the finalised date. "The
PCB will now inquire from Sikandar Bakth and Ashraf Qureshi about their
availability's and if all goes right, a notice will be served to Aamir
Sohail on Wednesday," Talat Ali added. The former Test batsman added that
PCB Secretary, Waqar Ahmad, was directed to seek the availability's from
his other two members.
Talat Ali stated that the date could be altered if Aamir Sohail was engaged
on May 26. "Since we are setting a date on a short notice, Aamir Sohail can
ask for another date citing his other commitments.
Talat said the star cricketer will be asked to bring along the documentary
evidence on the basis of which he levelled serious accusations against his
team-mates. If Aamir Sohail submits anything convincing, the Disciplinary
Committee will ask the accused players before it to explain their
positions. "But if Aamir Sohail doesn't come up with something concrete,
none of the accused players will be asked to clarify their positions,"
Talat Ali repeated.

PCB accused of violating service rules
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, May 22: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials were criticised
for breaking Government of Pakistan Service Rules by former Chairman of
Selectors Hasib Ahsan.
The former Test off-spinner claimed that according to regulations, none of
the officials working on deputation was allowed to draw salaries from two
respective institutions.
"Majid Khan (Chief Executive) is drawing two salaries from Pakistan
Television Corporation as well as from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)
which is a violation of the service rules," alleged Hasib Ahsan.  "Majid
Khan is only entitled to 25 per cent lien allowance in addition to what the
salary he is getting from PTV," emphasised Ahsan.
Hasib Ahsan said not only Majid Khan was benefiting from two different
salaries, Haroon Rasheed and Agha Zahid were also getting richer by
breaking the law of the land. "Haroon is being paid handsomely for looking
after the junior team as well as serving in the United Bank and the same
goes with Agha Zahid who also works in Habib Bank besides doing a junior
coaching assignment.
"Either these three officials be presented before the Ehtesab Committee or
they should be directed to refund the money they earned for which they were
not entitled to," Ahsan stressed.
Hasib Ahsan also accused Majid Khan to monopolise things and get a raise in
the salary from PCB. "Majid Khan is reportedly drawing a salary of Rs
60,000 which interestingly has not been approved by the Executive Council
which is now being given importance after the Aamir Sohail issue.
Previously it was treated shabbily."
Hasib Ahsan stated that Majid Khan was repeatedly calling for discipline.
"Is this the example Majid Khan is setting for discipline? I advise him to
first discipline himself and his companions before passing on the order to
others," attacked Hasib Ahsan.
The former Chief Selector showered all praise on Saeed Anwar. "It was a
glorious innings, unlikely to be played by anyone."
Ahsan said Saeed Anwar was always under-estimated "but now he deserves to
be credited with world's best one-day batsman award." Ahsan also questioned
the performance of the Selection Committee. "What they (selectors) have to
say after Aqib Javed's 11 wickets in three matches? Does their (selectors)
performance deserve continuation or sacking?
"The selectors have been deliberately ruining the careers of cricketers who
are still the best. It is time that they should be taken to task and
explain why they kept sidelining Aqib Javed for so long," Ahsan said.

Allied Bank withhold Sohail's promotion
Sports Reporter

LAHORE, May 23: "In conformity with our bank's policy to promote sports and
give protection to players we put our foot down when Pakistan Cricket Board
(PCB) tried to ban Test opener Aamir Sohail and deprive him of playing in
the Wills Cricket Cup final after his 'personal tiff' with chief executive
Majid Khan", revealed ABL president Syed Shaukat Kazmi during a crowded
Press conference in the head office on Friday.
Mr. Kazmi said that his bank had employed 113 sportsmen to provide them
jobs and uplift sports, out of them 47 are national players.  "Aamir Sohail
is one of the most outstanding sportsmen who have brought honour to our
country and we feel his suspension for two years is rather harsh. However,
I cannot condone Aamir Sohail's folly of going to the press without having
solid evidence to prove his allegations against own team-mates of
'match-fixing' and 'bribery'. Rather, I reprimanded him for granting an
interview to newspapers without taking his employers into confidence.
Still, I am keeping my fingers crossed and watching what decision the PCB
takes about him in near future", said the ABL president.
While replying to a question, Mr. Kazmi said that as a mark of our
"annoyance" over his unwelcome act, we have "withheld" his one-step
promotion which was due.

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