------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 07 February 1998 Issue : 04/06 -------------------------------------------------------------------
The DAWN Wire Service (DWS) is a free weekly news-service from 
Pakistan's largest English language newspaper, the daily DAWN. DWS 
offers news, analysis and features of particular interest to the 
Pakistani Community on the Internet.

Extracts, not exceeding 50 lines, can be used provided that this 
entire header is included at the beginning of each extract. 

We encourage comments & suggestions. We can be reached at: 

     e-mail        dws-owner@dawn.com
     WWW           http://dawn.com/
     fax           +92(21) 568-3188 & 568-3801 
     mail          Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt.) Limited
                   DAWN Group of Newspapers 
                   Haroon House, Karachi 74200, Pakistan 

Please send all Editorials and Letters to the Editor at

Make sure you include your full name, complete address and, if in 
Pakistan, your daytime telephone number.


    (c) Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., Pakistan - 1996 

.header ends. 

******DAWN - the Internet Edition  DAWN - the Internet Edition*****
Read DAWN - the Internet Edition on the WWW !


DAWN - the Internet Edition is published daily and is available on 
the Web by noon GMT.

Check us out !

                          C O N T E N T S 

N A T I O N A L   N E W S
Complete support shown to Kashmiris
Pakistan warns of reviewing N-option
CIA fears China will sell N-tech to Pakistan
Islamabad to review Kabul trade pact 
PIA to be privatized, says Khawaja Asif    
Pakistani passports 'on sale' in BD
Ehtesab officials get SHO's powers 
12 killed as train ploughs into mosque
Quaid's relative dies in police custody
Overseas Pakistanis to get plots in Islamabad
Altaf acquitted in Maj. Kaleem case

B U S I N E S S  &  E C O N O M Y 
Pakistan Steel to be made viable
India wants to import cotton, sugar
PRS plans to double number of tax-payers
SBP to fix rates for pound, yen, mark
Sales tax: erosion of provincial autonomy
Banks start fixing their exchange rates
Stocks witness highly erratic trading session

E D I T O R I A L S  &  F E A T U R E S

The State Bank			            Ardeshir Cowasjee
Why too many holidays?				Sultan Ahmed
Options before India's Muslims	      M.H. Askari
Eid does not mean revelry		      Dr Irshad-ul-Haq Quddusi
Feudal culture and violence               Eqbal Ahmad

S P O R T S 
Shahbaz among probables for hockey camp
Majid offers no comment
Basit Ali blasts 133 against India 'A'

                     N A T I O N A L   N E W S 
Complete support shown to Kashmiris
Dawn Report 

ISLAMABAD, Feb 5: The entire Pakistani nation and Kashmiris living in 
Pakistan and abroad on Thursday demonstrated a rare show of unity by 
expressing solidarity with Kashmiris struggling to liberate their 
motherland from Indian occupation.
Business centres in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Hyderabad, 
Gujranwala, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Multan, Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Sargodha, and 
other towns remained closed.
Rallies and corner meetings were held across the country to condemn 
atrocities in held Kashmir.
Speakers urged the international community to pressure India to halt its 
reign of terror in Kashmir. They urged India to redeem its pledges made 
before the world body in 1948 and 1949.
Addressing a big rally in Islamabad, the Minister for Kashmir Affairs and 
Northern Areas, Lt.Gen (retd) Abdul Majeed Malik, said Pakistan would never 
soften its stand on Kashmir.
Leaders and workers of all political shades in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir 
attended the rally.
The participants included thousands of men, women and children chanting 
slogans in support of Kashmiris.
"The entire Pakistani nation will stand by their Kashmiri brethren through 
thick and thin", read a placard carried by an old woman.
Alluding to charges that the government had compromised over the Kashmir 
dispute, Kashmir Affairs Minister Majeed Malik said "no Pakistani 
government can dare lead this dangerous path".
"I assure you on behalf of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his government 
that there can never be any change in our principled stand that this core 
issue be resolved in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiri people and in 
line with UN Security Council resolutions", Mr Majeed Malik said.
He also assured the people of Kashmir that Pakistan would leave no stone 
unturned to support them by all possible means. "We will never hesitate to 
render any sacrifice for your noble cause", the minister declared.
Speaking on the occasion, the Leader of Opposition in the Senate, Senator 
Aitazaz Ahsan, said "we want to give a clear message to Kashmiris as well 
as Indian and outside world that we may have differences with the Pakistan 
Muslim League, but as far as the cause of Kashmir is concerned we are one".

A minority MNA, Rana Chandar Singh, said minorities had always supported 
the Kashmiris' freedom struggle and would continue to do so in.
The Federal Minister for Labour and Overseas Pakistanis, Sheikh Rashid 
Ahmad, said "there is no difference in Pakistan over the Kashmir issue and 
participation of all political parties in the rally has proved this point."
He reiterated the government's resolve to support Kashmiris till 
Sardar Khalid Ibrahim, a member of the AJK Legislative Assembly, thanked 
Pakistan's political parties for showing solidarity and unity over the 
Kashmir issue and expressed a hope that this spirit would endure.
Khuda-i-Noor of the Jamhoori Watan Party extended support to the government 
for its policy on Kashmir and said people of all the four provinces were 
unanimous in their support for the cause of Kashmiris.
The chief of the National Assembly's Kashmir committee, Chaudhry Mohammad 
Sarwar, led a delegation that called on UN representative Robert England 
and presented a memorandum asking the United Nations to implement its 
"There should be no double standard and resolutions on Kashmir should be 
implemented immediately", the memorandum demanded and added "UN resolutions 
cannot be time-barred unless these are revoked or implemented".
The memorandum said it was a moral obligation of those who boast about 
human rights violations in other parts of the world that they should move 
to stop atrocities in occupied Kashmir.
The UN representative assured the delegation that he would communicate the 
sentiments and memorandum of the rally to Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Tahir Naqash writes from Muzaffarabad:
People all over Azad Kashmir staged rallies, demonstrations and token 
hunger strikes to condemn Indian atrocities and express solidarity with 
their brethren fighting Indian rule in held Kashmir.
Traffic remained off the roads and shopping centres and business 
establishments were closed.
In Muzaffarabad, a general strike was observed. There were no vehicles on 
roads till 3pm and even after that the traffic was thin.
A big rally was held outside the old civil secretariat . The venue was 
decorated with colourful banners inscribed with slogans in favour of the 
freedom movement, right to self-determination and against Indian 
The participants, who were also holding placards, chanted slogans like 
"Indian dogs leave Kashmir, we want freedom, UNO wake up."
The Jamaat-i-Islami took out a procession from its Quetta office. It was 
led by Dr Mohammad Ibrahim.

Pakistan warns of reviewing N-option
Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, Feb 4: Pakistan may have to review its nuclear policy in case 
India exercised nuclear option as pledged by the BJP which is poised to 
form government after winning the forthcoming elections.

At a news conference here on Wednesday, Siddique Kanju, minister of state 
for foreign affairs, said the BJP manifesto was being examined to assess 
the foreign policy the next government intended to pursue so that Pakistan 
could prepare itself to respond to the new situation, especially concerning 
Indo-Pakistan relations.
Reacting to the BJP intention to build a temple on the ruins of Babri 
mosque, he said the announcement by the BJP had exposed the "Hindu face of 
the so-called secular India". He urged the United Nations, OIC and the 
international community to take steps to prevent the BJP from implementing 
its designs in case it came to power.
CIA fears China will sell N-tech to Pakistan
Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON, Jan 29: The CIA does not believe that China would stop selling 
nuclear technology to Pakistan and Iran, despite categorical statements by 
Beijing both at the diplomatic and government level.

This CIA view emerged on Wednesday when a panel of top CIA and DIA 
officials, led by Director George Tenet, testified before a Senate 
Committee. "The jury is still out," The CIA chief said, "on whether the 
recent Chinese changes in export policy are broad enough and will hold."

Lt Gen Patrick Hughes, director of Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), put 
proliferation as "the greatest direct threat to US interests worldwide." He 
observed that 20 countries were actively developing such weapons motivated 
"either by regional competition or the desire to develop a deterrent or 
counter to the concomitant superiority of others, including the US."

This was directly construed by Senate Committee members as a reference to 
the nuclear arms race in South Asia, led by India and Pakistan, and joined 
recently by Iran.

The DIA chief said that because chemical and biological weapons were 
"generally easier to develop, hide and deploy than nuclear weapons" they 
will be "more widely proliferated and have a high probability of being used 
over the next two decades."

CIA's Tenet noted that China had improved its record by tightening nuclear 
transfers and pledging to halt sale of anti-ship cruise missiles to Iran, 
and said the Chinese defence industries "are under increasing pressure to 
become profit-making organisations."

One result, Tenet said, was that Beijing was looking to technology-related 
sales of weapons of mass destruction primarily to Pakistan and Iran to make 
up for lagging sales of their conventional arms.

Tenet put the proliferation of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons at 
the top of his list of issues "that pose dangers to the lives of all 
Americans, especially American troops abroad."

He said that potentially hostile states such as Iraq are still trying to 
develop and deploy these so-called weapons of mass destruction and that 
efforts to halt their proliferation were complicated because they are often 
developed using technologies and materials that have civilian as well as 

military applications. In addition, Tenet said, countries such as Russia 
and China "require particular attention" because, despite recent promises 
to halt sales of missiles and missile technology, both countries have 
contributed to proliferation.

Russian export controls on missile-related technology and on the missiles 
themselves "have not worked well, and proliferant countries have taken 
advantage of its shortcomings," Tenet said.

He attributed Iran's advances in development of a new medium-range missile 
to Tehran's success in getting technology and materials from Russian 
companies. As a result, he said, Iran could develop a missile that could 
hit Saudi Arabia or Israel "much sooner" than the 10 years he projected 
just one year ago.

Tenet said that the new decree announced last week in Moscow prohibiting 
Russian companies from exporting items that could be used in developing 
weapons or delivery systems would be important, "if it is enforced," in 
preventing Iran from obtaining technology it needs for missiles with a much 
longer range.

Phyllis Oakes, assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research, 
joined Tenet in calling proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological 
weapons a major threat. She pointed out that the United States funds 
programmes at chemical and biological institutes in Russia to keep 
specialists there from being diverted to potentially lucrative research on 
biological warfare agents.

The CIA chief was also questioned about a constant irritant created by 
leakage of top secret CIA reports to newspapers, specially The Washington 
Times, particularly on issues concerning nuclear proliferation in South 

"The CIA and FBI are struggling to find multiple leakers within the 
executive branch as their disclosures harm national security," Tenet said. 
"The executive branch leaks like a sieve. I'm here to tell you that right 
now," Tenet said. "There's guilt everywhere, but the executive branch - and 
everybody sitting behind me knows it all too well and it's a major 
frustration - there are people all over this executive branch who have 
violated a trust."

Intelligence officials later said he has been particularly annoyed by a 
string of articles over the past year or more in The Washington Times that 
quote from secret or top-secret CIA reports about national security topics.

Tenet said CIA and FBI counter-intelligence specialists were actively 
investigating security breaches involving leaked information. "We are doing 
the best we can with the FBI to find the people who are doing this, and 
when we do, we will fire them."

Islamabad to review Kabul trade pact 

ISLAMABAD, Feb 5: The Ministry of Commerce has asked the Central Board of 
Revenue to re-examine the Afghan transit trade agreement of March 2, 1965, 
without altering its fundamentals, as demanded by the Kabul government 

In October last year, the Afghan government had objected to a move by 
Islamabad to unilaterally change the purview and scope of the ATTA-65 and 
had written to the government of Pakistan that it would be an encroachment 
on the sovereignty of the Afghan nation.
The Commerce Ministry's External Trade Procedure Wing held a meeting last 
month and concluded that the re-examination of a list of items, allegedly 
being re-smuggled into Pakistan on transit, be carried out after a review 
of the duty rates of these items.
The CBR has been asked by the Ministry of Commerce to see whether further 
lowering of duty rates is feasible, to discourage the smuggling of these 
items into Pakistan once they are imported through transit trade and cross 
the Pak-Afghan border.
The CBR is learned to have responded that though the lowering of duty rates 
has proved to be ineffective in deterring the smuggling of these items, it 
would submit its report within a fortnight.
The items most objected to by the government of Pakistan are: toiletry and 
cosmetics, electronic goods, car accessories, tyres/tubes of buses and 
trucks, crockery and cloth, especially silks and fabrics.
A team of Afghan officials is expected here next week to discuss the matter 
with their Pakistani counterparts, and the duty rates review report was 
expected to be reviewed before their arrival.
Sources told Dawn that if the duty rates were lowered further, the local 
producers of the affected items would have to be compensated, to save their 
products from becoming uncompetitive in the local market.
This might lead to a review of the entire duty structure on the relevant 
machinery and raw material, though the CBR officials say there is no chance 
of lowering the duty and taxes on these items because the federal budget 
has already allowed massive exemptions.
"This issue has become a sore point in relations between Pakistan and 
Afghanistan, and we have no option but to be lenient toward ATT importers, 
and to follow the government policy of not antagonizing our northern 
neighbours", said a senior official in the ministry.

PIA to be privatized, says Khawaja Asif    
Staff Correspondent 

LONDON, Feb 5: Privatization Commission chief Khawaja Asif announced on 
Thursday that the state-run Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) would be 
privatized after splitting it into eight units.
He told a gathering of leading British investors, business leaders and 
corporate sector representatives at a packed hall that the government had 
decided to divide PIA into eight units. These will be privatized separately 
to get better offers.
He said the job of dividing the national corporation would be completed 
within two months and after that these units would be offered for sale.
Two units  the international flying and inland flying  will remain in the 
public sector. The remaining six will be offered for sale, he told a 

questioner at a meeting arranged by Robert Flemmings and Company Limited, 
specialists on investments in Asia.
The meeting was addressed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who also had a 
luncheon meeting with important private sector leaders and bankers before 
the event, described as "the most successful" by a participant.
Khawaja Asif said six remaining units of the PIA to be offered to the 
private sector would include engineering, hotels, catering and general 
handling. He forgot the names of two other units which would be offered for 
The meeting was followed by a question-answer session. Finance Minister 
Sartaj Aziz, Privatization Commission chief Khawaja Asif and Board of 
Investment chief Hamayun Akhtar replied to most of the questions asked by 
curious investors.
The question regarding the schedule for privatizing the state-run airline 
was put by Charles Rowe, a tycoon who offered to buy the entire airline on 
his own.
However, Khawaja Asif said the government had no plan to sell the national 
flag carrier as one unit.
The Privatization Commission chief also made it clear that international 
and domestic flying would not be privatized and remain in the public 
The tycoon also offered to enter into joint venture with any Pakistani 
company given international flying licence to operate from Pakistan.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who handled questions from the audience very 
efficiently, told businessmen in a lighter vein: "If you have the money, 
come to me and I will give you PIA right away".
He told them that at a later stage the government would consider opening up 
the skies, but at this stage it was offering six units for privatization.
"I have not seen such an enthusiasm among investors at such meetings", a 
banker told Dawn.
Another businessman said the prime minister was speaking from his heart. 
"He was very convincing and everyone, I believe, was impressed by his 

Pakistani passports 'on sale' in BD
Tahir Siddiqui

KARACHI, Jan 29: A novel method of human smuggling from Bangladesh has 
alerted the FIA Immigration authorities at the Karachi airport after they 
detected seven people travelling on Pakistani passports which were not 

The intending illegal immigrants, eight in all, who arrived here by a PIA 
flight (PK-267) from Dhaka on Jan 22, were later deported on Jan 25. One of 
them was carrying a forged passport whose second page was replaced.

Sources said the FIA staff at the arrival counters of the Quaid-i-Azam 
International Airport detected the foul-play after they thoroughly examined 
the documents of the suspects who only had a close resemblance with the 
photographs of original passport holders. They said the suspects confessed 
that they were travelling on the passports which were not theirs. They were 
interrogated by a team led by Assistant Director Mohammad Malick, head of 

the FIA's immigration wing at the arrival section.

The suspect during interrogation revealed that the Pakistani passports and 
national identity cards were arranged by an agent in Dhaka. The suspects, 
identified as Muhammad Bilal, Inamul Haq, M. Alamgir, Noor Muhammad, Anwar 
Hussain, A Rasheed and M. Hanif were travelling on the documents of 
Muhammad Sadiq, Inamul Haq, Muhammad Jasim, Ehtesham Ahmed, Mohammed 
Dilawar, Abdul Rehman and Meer Ahmed. The Bangladeshis were arrested on 
their arrival and later sent to the FIA Passport Cell in Saddar for further 

Mohammad Jasim, who arrived here on the passport of M. Alamgir, told Dawn 
at the Passport Cell that he had paid Rs20,000 to an agent through his 
relative for arranging his travelling documents.

The FIA investigators said the illegal immigrants, mainly from Bangladesh, 
obtained fake national identity cards with the connivance of the 
registration offices in Karachi. Later, they manage to get genuine 
Pakistani passport on the basis of fake NICs, they said.

The sources said the human smugglers took to this modus operandi, known as 
"man-changed" passport in immigration jargon, after the immigration staff 
at the airport made almost impossible for the illegal immigrants to enter 
on a forged or fake Pakistani passport. Now they have resorted to this that 
they arrange passport of those resembling to their clients, they added.

The sources said the illegal immigration of Bangladeshis to Pakistan had 
been minimised as the immigration staff had become more active after strict 
directives by the FIA chief, Inayatullah Khan Niazi.

Earlier, they said, the immigration authorities at the Quaid- i-Azam 
International Airport had detected 56 Bangladeshis in a single flight from 
Dhaka by Biman Airlines on Aug 31, 1997. All of them had arrived here on 
forged and fake Pakistani passports issued from Karachi, the sources said.

They said the agents in Dhaka bargain with the Bangladeshi nationals, who 
manage to obtain Pakistani passport on the basis of fake NICs, and purchase 
their valid Pakistani passports. The agents purchase these passports and 
then smuggle people having resemblance with the genuine passport holder to 

A thorough investigation into the racket has been started and the FIA 
detectives are making hectic efforts to track down the local connections of 
the Dhaka-based human smugglers.

Ehtesab officials get SHO's powers 

ISLAMABAD, Feb 4: The federal government on Wednesday amended the Ehtesab 
Act, replacing the name, "Ehtesab Cell", with "Ehtesab Bureau", and 
provided powers of an SHO to the chief of Ehtesab Bureau or any other 
official designated by him for the purpose of investigation.
The amended law provides indemnity to officials of the Ehtesab Bureau on 
acts deemed to have been done on "good faith".

The amendments were introduced into the Ehtesab Act through a presidential 
ordinance, the first by President Rafiq Tarar, under clause 1 of Article 87 
of the constitution.
The chief of Ehtesab Bureau or any officer designated by him will enjoy all 
the powers of an officer-in-charge of a police station. The chairman or 
designated officer will be empowered to require the assistance of any 
agency or police officer.
A senior government official told Dawn that the name of Ehtesab Cell was 
changed because the word "cell sounded harsh" and the government 
substituted it with a relatively "softer" word.
By amending Section 3 of the Ehtesab Act, the government has again brought 
in the original definition of "corruption and corrupt practice".
In the original Ehtesab Ordinance, corruption by a government official was 
defined as "favours or disfavours to any person."
Through a subsequent amendment in the original Ehtesab Ordinance of 1996, 
the words "any other person" was replaced with the words "his spouse or 
The government has again restored the original meaning that any favour by a 
government official to other person other than his/her spouse or dependents 
would also fall in the definition of corruption, and he would be held 
responsible for that.
A reference made to the Ehtesab Bureau will now be treated as a report 
under section 154 of the code. After the reference of any case to the 
Ehtesab Bureau by the Ehtesab Commissioner, it would be an exclusive 
responsibility of the bureau to examine all the material, evidence and 
proof. No other agency will have a power to look into the matter.
For the purpose of inquiry into any matter referred to the Ehtesab Bureau, 
the chairman and of the bureau will have the powers of an officer in charge 
of a police station, including the power to ask any citizen to appear 
before it.
Every government agency, police official or any other government official 
would be bound to assist the Ehestab Bureau in investigation.
After the amendment, the Ehtesab Bureau is also empowered to ask the Chief 
Ehtesab Commissioner to make a request to any court for the withdrawal of 
any case pending in a court. If the application is granted by the court, 
the case will be transferred to the Ehtesab Bureau.
The Chief Ehtesab Commissioner will have the powers at any stage of 
proceedings against an accused under the Ehtesab Act, to order the arrest 
of the accused. A reference to the court by the Chief Ehtesab Commissioner 
shall contain the substance of the act of corruption and corrupt practice 
alleged to have been committed by the accused.
The amendment has provided a right of appeal to the Chief Ehtesab 
Commissioner if the Ehtesab bench acquitted any accused. Earlier this right 
was only with the accused.
After the amendment, the Ehtesab Act provides that on the grant of pardon 
from the CEC, an accused will be examined by a magistrate appointed by the 
CEC himself.


12 killed as train ploughs into mosque
Syed Irfan Raza

RAWALPINDI, Feb 1: Twelve people were killed and several others injured on 
Saturday when the Karachi-bound Zulfikar Express derailed and ploughed into 
a mosque near a level crossing at Sihala, 25km east of Pindi.
First the engine of the train skidded off the track, smashing into the 
roadside mosque and then four front coaches too derailed. Three people, 
including the fireman, died instantly.
The derailed coaches blocked the Rawalpindi-Khutta Road for four hours . 
Traffic was restored late Saturday night.
The Zulfikar Express had originated at Peshawar and after stopping at 
Rawalpindi, it left for Karachi at 3:15pm.
At the Sihala station, it was again "put on loop to halt and give a cross 
to another train," a railway official said.
When it reached the Sihala level crossing at 3.45pm, the driver lost 
control. The engine and four coaches derailed and ploughed into the nearby 
The driver jumped from the moving train before it hit the mosque, but a 
fireman, Mr Mohammed Ramzan, could not escape and died on the spot. The 
driver was later arrested for "negligence and overspeeding".
Two other passengers, Mohammed Riaz and his wife Samina of New Malpur, who 
were travelling in the first coach, also died on the spot. Several others 
received injuries.
A young woman, Farzana, sustained severe injuries and was rushed to 
Islamabad's Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), but died there 
on Sunday morning. Rescue teams retrieved the bodies of eight passengers on 
Sunday. Three of them could not be identified.
Officials identified five of the dead passengers as Aqeel alias Babu, Nadra 
Begum, Anjum, Fokas and Sadia.
They said at least five people were injured.
The derailed carriages were badly damaged and heavy cranes had to be used 
to remove them from the sand. The carriages were, however, lying at the 
site of the accident late Sunday night and authorities were making 
arrangements to bring them to the railway workshop.
After removing the damaged carriages and the engine, new coaches and an 
engine were joined onto the train for onward journey.
Several eyewitnesses said there were some more people in the engine, but 
railway officials said it was difficult to say how many people were present 
A committee has been formed to ascertain the cause of the accident.
Some passengers said the accident took place due to overspeeding. They said 
as the derailed coaches got stuck in the sand, they did not overturn and 
thus a bigger tragedy was averted.
PM ORDERS INQUIRY: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday ordered an 
inquiry into the accident.
In a message from Davos, the prime minister expressed sorrow over the loss 
of lives and sympathized with the injured.
He directed the railway minister to help the bereaved families and make 
arrangements to provide medical facilities to the wounded.

The Prime Minister also directed officials to overhaul the Railways safety 

Overseas Pakistanis to get plots in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD, Feb 2: Federal Minister for Labour and Manpower Sheikh Rashid 
Ahmed announced on Monday the decision of the Overseas Pakistanis 
Foundation (OPF) to acquire an exclusive sector in Islamabad for the 
overseas Pakistanis.
The foundation would acquire the entire D-13 sector from the Capital 
Development Authority at market rates. The authority would be responsible 
for acquisition of the land, its development and payment to the land 
The decision came at a board meeting of the OPF, which discussed the 
working and complaints of the foundation.
Talking to APP, Sheikh Rashid said the meeting had also decided to hand 
over the possession of plots purchased by the overseas Pakistanis in 
various housing schemes in Phases I and II of the housing schemes at 
Larkana, Gujrat, Lahore and Mirpur (Azad Kashmir) before March 30.
The meeting, he said, had also agreed to formally approach the federal 
cabinet to acquire a designated industrial zone, along the motorway's 
Lahore- Islamabad section, for the overseas Pakistanis.
The industrial zone would be specifically developed for the overseas 
Pakistanis and they could invest their hard-earned money in various 
schemes, providing foreign exchange and employment to the people.
Sheikh Rashid said the prime minister had specifically directed his 
ministry to prepare vocational training schemes and, the OPF, in this 
regard, had decided to set up about 100 vocational training centres in the 
private sector all over the country to train raw manpower.
They would be trained in use of computers, left-hand driving, art of 
cooking, masonry, electrical work, besides being given working knowledge of 
English and Arabic languages.
"We have got enormous demand for skilled labour and there is strict 
competition and the days of sending unskilled labour abroad are over," he 
The government, he said, would assist the private sector in running these 
vocational training centres. "It is beyond the means of the government to 
run such institutions," he added.
In continuation of the deliberations of the convention of overseas 
Pakistanis at Islamabad, he said, regional conventions would be held at 
Bahrain, Qatar, Muscat and the UAE. The dates of the conventions would be 
announced later.
The OPF, he said, had also decided to launch a special OPF card for the 
overseas Pakistanis and their families in Pakistan. The card, to be issued 
on payment of Rs1,000, would be given to bona fide overseas Pakistanis to 
solve many of their problems regarding attestation of documents, he added.
It would also enable them to receive medical services and free fax from 
regional and head offices of the OPF to and from their relatives abroad.

The OPF, he said, had launched an insurance scheme for the overseas 
Pakistanis, the details of which would be given in a couple of weeks.
Under the scheme, the overseas Pakistanis who had been working abroad for 
10 years or more would be insured, he said, and added the scheme would 
provide numerous benefits to them if they were disabled.
Similarly, to meet the emergency requirements or other problems of the 
families of the overseas Pakistanis, interest-free loan of up to Rs100,000 
would be extended, he added.
The welfare section of the OPF, Sheikh Rashid said, had been geared up to 
meet the requirements of the overseas Pakistanis, and directives issued to 
provide an efficient airport service, including ambulance service to 
transport dead bodies.
The minister, who has been very critical of the working of the OPF over the 
past some time, issued strict orders to improve the efficiency of the 
foundation and do away with the inefficient staff.
The minister has asked the affectees of the Gulf war to collect their 
compensations from the OPF offices as soon as possible. Otherwise their 
claims would become invalid and the money would be returned to the United 

Altaf acquitted in Maj. Kaleem case
H. A. Hamied

KARACHI, Feb 6: A division bench of the Sindh High Court on Friday 
acquitted Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain and 18 other top 
leaders in the Maj Kaleem kidnapping case and overturned Altaf Hussain's 
27-year jail sentence ordered by a special Suppression of Terrorist 
Activities (STA) court.
The bench, comprising Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui and Justice Abdul 
Hameed Dogar, gave the short judgment on the third day of hearing.
The court ordered the release of three of the 18 acquitted leaders  Ashfaq 
Chief, Javed Kazmi and Haji Jalal who are serving their term in Karachi 
Central Prison. The rest, including Altaf Hussain, had been declared 
absconder by the STA court.
The 16 others acquitted in the case include Altaf Hussain, Saleem Shahzad, 
Safdar Baqri, Dr Imran Farooq, Yousuf, Nadeem Ayubi, Ayub Shah, Aftab 
Ahmed, Ismail alias Sitara, Ashraf Zaidi, Sajid Azad, Asghar Chacha and 
Rehan Zaidi.
According to the prosecution, Maj Kaleem and three other army officers were 
patrolling the Landhi area in civilian clothes in an army jeep when about 
20 armed youths took them hostage after seizing their weapons. The armymen 
were taken to a place called White House in Landhi where they were 
allegedly tortured and kept for seven hours. They were rescued when the 
police reached the place.
The incident had taken place on June 20, 1991, and the FIR was lodged on 
June 24.
The accused in the case had been charged with kidnapping the army officers 
and torturing them.
The counsel for the Muttahida leaders, Iqtidar Ali Hashmi, Arshad Lodhi and 
A.Q. Halepota, pointed out a number of contradictions in the statements of 

the state witnesses who had appeared before the STA court.
They said the state witnesses had failed to substantiate how army officers 
possessing automatic weapons could be overpowered by armed youths.
They argued that the names of top Muttahida leaders were not mentioned by 
the state witnesses, but were later inserted in the challan by the 
investigation officer, and added that this suggested that the party 
leadership had been named in the case with mala fide intention.

                 B U S I N E S S  &  E C O N O M Y
Pakistan Steel to be made viable
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Feb 2: The government has decided to cut down the growing losses 
of the Pakistan Steel Mills by substantially reducing the number of 
employees through Golden Handshake Scheme (GHS), and by immediately pumping 
Rs 2 billion into it.
It has also been decided that the Pakistan Steel should be converted into a 
public limited company and listed with the stock exchange as early as 
possible, so that it could raise the required capital from public 
Official sources told Dawn here on Monday that the government has accepted 
the recommendations of the Task Force that primarily called for slashing 
overstaffing in the mills by introducing GHS.
The Task Force headed by the chairman National Development Finance 
Corporation (NDFC) concluded that overstaffing the major problem of the 
Pakistan Steel Mills since the beginning of its operation.
It said that the optimal requirement of the mills was around 15,000 where 
as it had provided jobs to 24,907 persons as on 30-6- 1997 with an annual 
wage bill of about Rs 4 billion (32 per cent of the sale proceeds).
The ministry of industries and production has been advised to submit a 
summary to the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) for 
"retrenchment" of the staff. It has also been asked to work out the ways 
and means to finance the cost of the golden handshake scheme. The Task 
Force felt that the workers engaged directly in the production process work 
faced much harsher environment than those who were provided different types 
of services. "An entirely separate remuneration package should be designed 
for workers directly engaged in steel manufacturing activities.
The Task Force indicated that PS was a viable project, provided it was run 
as a commercial organization. "It was running in losses due to declining 
sales, piled up inventories, overstaffing and mismanagement", it stated.
The chairman NDFC assured to arrange urgently from banks and the DFIs Rs 2 
billion to remove some of the pressing financial difficulties of the mills. 
In this connection, the question of moratorium on PTCs was also discussed 
with chairman NDFC agreeing to find a way out after holding discussion with 
the banks.

Sources said that the government has also accepted the recommendation of 
the Task Force that instead of imposing ban on the sale of PS products to 
unregistered dealers, it should be allowed to sell its products to all the 
dealers and provide the lists to Sales Tax authorities. The Central Board 
of Revenue (CBR) had imposed ban on the sale of products to those who were 
not registered under the sales tax. "This is hurting PS sales", the Task 
Force said.
Sources said that the government has also allowed PS to lift the pig iron 
lying at the port pending final decision with regard to demurrage charges. 
The demurrage charges were imposed on the unwanted and sub standard slabs 
and pig iron imported by the previous management.
On the recommendations of the Task Force, the government has directed the 
concerned authorities to professionalise the Board of Directors of the PS. 
Sources said that the government has also accepted the proposal for the 
separation of the post of the chairman and the chief executive officer of 
the mills. The Task Force has proposed that the CEO should be business-
oriented with adequate leadership qualities.
It has also been proposed by the Task Force that the government should have 
a "very little interference" in the affairs of the steel mills and that the 
government-enterprises relationship should be clearly defined.

India wants to import cotton, sugar
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Feb 3: India has expressed its willingness to import substantial 
quantity of cotton and sugar from Pakistan.
Official sources told Dawn here on Tuesday that India would soon be 
formally requesting Nawaz Sharif government to import cotton and sugar from 
Pakistan with a view to overcome the shortages.
Pakistan is facing a shortfall of 1.5 million cotton bales but still, 
according to latest official estimates, it will get 9.5 million of bales. 
Pakistan has just exported 2.5 million lint cotton. India does not export 
its cotton and needs to import it to make up its shortages of the commodity 
by importing it from Pakistan.
Officials said that they would oblige India to import substantial quantity 
of cotton and sugar from Pakistan. However the job will be done by the 
private sector and it will have nothing to do with the government.
Pakistan has been told by the Indian authorities that the curl virus leaf 
had hit hard their cotton crop due to which there was a shortfall of 2 
million cotton bales in the target of 17.82 million of bales.
"Indians have informed Pakistan that it has to import half a million cotton 
bales to meet its requirement and that it is interested to import it from 
Pakistan," said an official related to the exercise.
The increased production of sugarcane has also helped the government to 
offer surplus quantity of sugar to India. The government has already 
allowed the export of 600,000 tons of sugar and India may like to import 

about 100,000 to 1,50,000 tons of sugar from Pakistan.
Officials said that there has been a bumper rice crop this year and the 
surplus quantity was being exported to Indonesia and Philippines who are 
facing the shortfall of the commodity this year due to El Nino (warming of 
the pacific) which too has affected Pakistan in the shape of more rains 
that in fact damaged cotton crop.
"We have a 4.7 million tons of white rice production compared to 4.1 
million tons of last year," said an official. He pointed out that the 
surplus quantity of white rice will be exported to Indonesia, Philippines 
and some other countries of South East Asia.
Pakistan has been informed that Indonesia was facing a 3 million tons of 
rice shortfall which it wanted to import from Pakistan. Similarly 
Philippines has said that it needed to import rice from Pakistan because of 
its one million reduced production of the commodity this year.
"This year we will get a better price for our rice from $180 per ton of 
last year to $230 per ton this year," another official stated.
"Then we have more opportunities to export our rice to European Union where 
there is no more restriction of exporting rice," he further stated.
Pakistan would also get 700,000 tons of increased production of DAP 
compared to 300,000 tons of last year.

PRS plans to double number of tax-payers
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Jan 29: New Chairman Central Board of Revenue (CBR), now renamed 
Pakistan Revenue Services (PRS), Moeenuddin Khan has sought permission for 
the induction of 30 senior executives from the private sector to what he 
calls necessary for "revamping and removing mounting corruption from the 

Informed sources told Dawn here on Thursday that Khan has called for having 
urgent new high-level appointments in the department from the private 
sector to effectively carry out the restructuring plan that is primarily 
aimed at increasing the revenues.

Sources said that he has particularly informed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif 
that he needed his full time team of private experts to join the PRS for 
which prevailing rules be amended. He has said that he wanted to have the 
appointment of 30 to 35 people from the private sector who should replace 
the present senior level staff in the organization.

The new chairman has also told the authorities that they should make 
arrangements for the transfer of a number of senior officials of the 
organization to some other departments.

Sources said that the prime minister has accepted, in principle, the demand 
of the new chairman for induction of at least 30 people from the private 
sector in the PRS. Nawaz Sharif has directed the minister for finance and 
the officials of the Establishment Division to oblige Moeenuddin Khan by 
amending rules, if necessary.

Sources said that Khan has expressed his inability to deliver anything in 
the presence of present officials, many of whom, he believed must be 

transferred some where else.

"The new chairman believes that the menace of corruption in the 
organization cannot be eliminated without removing number of people from 
the senior position, and the induction of the new senior level staff from 
the private sector", said an official. He said that Khan has assured that 
the objectives of increasing revenues by one per cent of the GDP/tax ratio 
(about Rs 60 billion), provided he was allowed to hire experts from the 
private sector. Khan has, however, been told to also contact some senior 
level officials, who enjoy good reputation but have been sidelined.

Sources said that the first directive to CBR officials by Moeen Khan was to 
stop chasing salaried classes. He feels that these salaries classes have 
been paying their taxes through at source deduction for which they should 
not be bothered any more. "Why do not you net those people who are not 
paying their taxes", he reportedly asked officials.

Sources said that Khan has also assured the prime minister that he would 
double the number of tax-payers from 8,00,000 to 16,00,000. Once the tax 
machinery was revamped according to his perception, he further assured the 
premier, he would be able to remove corruption and substantially increasing 
the revenues. He has also started taking personal interest in the formation 
of the proposed implementation committees to ensure the recovery of General 
Sales Tax (GST) from Feb 2.

SBP to fix rates for pound, yen, mark
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Feb 4: As the stage is set for the banks to fix foreign 
currencies' exchange rates minus dollar from Friday, the State Bank of 
Pakistan (SBP) has decided to continue quoting the exchange rates for three 
other major currencies for special purposes.
The SBP will continue to fix the exchange rates for pound sterling, 
Japanese yen and Deutsche Mark, says an SBP circular "only for the purpose 
of surrender of foreign currency deposits and booking forward cover for 
interest." The circular was issued on Tuesday afternoon.
In simple words, the exchange rates fixed by the State Bank for these three 
currencies will apply on mobilization of foreign currency swap funds. 
Similarly, the forward cover rates that the State Bank would determine on 
these currencies would also be for calculating interest on these funds.
The State Bank has been in the practice of fixing forward cover rates of 
only four major currencies namely the US dollar, pound sterling, Japanese 
yen and Deutsche Mark. Accordingly, the banks providing forward covers 
against other currencies have always taken the cover from the State Bank 
after converting them into any of these currencies. Bankers say roughly 85-
90 per cent of foreign exchange transactions are made in these currencies 
and the remaining 10-15 per cent in other foreign currencies.
Currently the State Bank provides forward cover at 5.25 per cent on the US 

dollar, 3.90 per cent on pound sterling, 10.10 per cent on Japanese yen and 
7.20 per cent on Deutsche Mark.
Since the banks have been allowed to fix their own exchange rates and 
forward cover rates for all foreign currencies except for dollar obviously 
every bank will be issuing its own rates sheet and as such it would not be 
possible for the State Bank to follow any of them. Hence the new decision.
"Now that each authorized dealer (bank) will fix its own exchange rates for 
the above currencies, application of different exchange rates for foreign 
currency transactions with the State Bank will create complications," says 
the State Bank circular. "It has, therefore, been decided that Foreign 
Exchange Rates Committee will continue to quote Authorized Dealer's spot 
buying and selling rates for pound sterling, Japanese yen and Deutsche Mark 
as hithertofore, based on the existing formula only for the purpose of 
surrender of foreign currency deposits and booking forward cover for 

Sales tax: erosion of provincial autonomy

WHEN PAKISTAN and India became independent, they inherited the Government 
of India Act, 1935, as their constitutional law, under which Entry 48 of 
List II of the Seventh Schedule, vested the power to levy "taxes on the 
sale of goods and advertisement" in the Provincial Legislature to the 
exclusion of the Central Legislature
Acting under these powers, Bombay was the first to levy a tax on sale of 
tobacco in 1938. In the same year, CP & Berar levied a retail tax on motor 
spirits and lubricants.
This was followed by the levy of a general sales tax in Madras in 1939 at a 
low rate of half per cent. Sales tax was introduced in the Punjab in 1941 
and in Sindh in 1947. The sales tax was developed during the World War II 
and post-war period.
By its very nature, sales tax is competitive to excise duties, and a 
serious conflict developed immediately after the Provinces started levying 
it under the powers granted to them by the Act 1935.
When CP and Berar enacted the Sale of Motor Spirits and Lubricants Tax Act 
1938, the Central Government made a reference to the Federal Court as to 
its legality on the ground that the tax interfered with its right to levy 
excise duties, and that it did not matter whether an excise duty was 
actually being levied or not on a commodity subject to excise duty, because 
it had the power to levy the duty on any commodity produced or 
The provincial government's stand was that excise was a tax on the act of 
production or manufacture, whereas sales tax was levied on an act of sale. 
The Federal Court unanimously opined that the CP and Berar Act was not 
ultra vires, and declared, "The Central Legislature will have power to 
impose duties on excisable articles before they become a part of the 
general stock of the Province, that is to say, at the stage of manufacture 

or production, and the Provincial Legislature has the exclusive power to 
impose a tax, on sales thereafter."
Again, when Madras passed the General Sales Tax Act, 1939, the Central 
Government referred the matter to the Federal Court. Whereas CP and Berar 
had levied a tax at the retail stage, Madras levied it on the first sale by 
manufacturers and producers. The Centre argued that their power to levy 
excise duties was more directly affected by the Madras Act.
The Federal Court did not find anything wrong with the Madras Act, and 
stated, "The sales tax on a manufacturer or producer cannot be 
distinguished from a tax on other sales, and therefore, it was within the 
competence of the Provincial Legislature." The appeal of Government of 
India was rejected by the Privy Council. These two cases established the 
competency and jurisdiction of the Provinces to tax sales at any stage and 
on any commodity, but they could not levy such a tax on the act of 
manufacture or production of a commodity.
It has been accepted in India that while excise duties are central 
revenues, sales tax is a state (province) revenue, and these two levies 
have been distinguished and differently allocated in the Constitution.
The levy of sales tax, which is much more in the nature of a general tax 
covering all commodities, except those where the intention is to spare the 
consumer, has proved to be the only flexible one in the field of 
provincial/state taxation.
In India, sales tax is the backbone of the financial structure of state 
governments, providing a good measure of elasticity and buoyancy to the 
state revenues. Its merit, as a source of revenue, lies in the fact that it 
is dispersed over a large number of goods and dealers, making possible the 
realization of substantial revenue from a comparatively low rate of tax.
The rate of growth of this tax in India can be gauged from the fact that in 
1951-52 the total collection of sales tax in all the states was Rs 590 
million, which increased to Rs 1,588 million in 1960-61. It went upto Rs 
8,548 million in 1971-72. It jumped to Rs 40,180 million in 1980-81 and to 
Rs 175,777 million in 1990- 91. In the year 1995-96, the estimated 
collection was Rs 355,291.2 million.
On the other hand, in Pakistan, the finance minister, while presenting the 
very first budget in February 1948, stated that since direct taxes could 
not yield any large additional revenue, the deficit would have to be 
covered by other taxes. A tax, which had proved very productive in other 
countries but which had not been fully exploited was the sales tax, which 
hitherto had been in the provincial field.
Continuing, he said that all the provinces had introduced some kind of 
sales tax, but its yield had so far been comparatively small. He suggested 
that a central tax at a uniform rate presented, obvious possibilities of 
increased revenue.
He declared that the question had been discussed with provincial 
governments and it had been agreed that for the next two years the 
provinces would vacate this field of taxation in favour of the central 

government on the understanding that the latter would pay them certain 
amounts in lieu of taxes which they might had collected under their own 
proposals. This would necessitate certain modifications in the existing 
Constitution, and thereafter, a Central Sales Tax Bill would be introduced 
in the House, he added.
Briefly, what the Central Government did was 
(i) to extinguish the constitutional rights of the Provinces to levy tax on 
sales of goods within their territorial jurisdictions, first temporarily 
and then permanently without the approval of East Bengal. (Sir Jeremy 
Raisman, in his Report on Allocation of Revenues, wrote, "All the 
Provinces, except East Bengal, fully approve the change in administration." 
As a matter of fact, East Bengal had strongly pressed for provincialisation 
of this tax, while placing their case before Raisman.);
(ii) to change the character of a tax of essentially local character into a 
tax on international trade so as to make it indistinguishable from import 
(iii) to hand over the administration of an indirect tax to an organization 
dealing with direct taxes;
(iv) to assign, more or less, as a sop, a portion of the net proceeds of 
this tax to the Provinces; and
(v) to amend the Government of India Act 1935, so that a new Entry 54B was 
added to List I (Federal Legislative List) reading "Taxes on the sale of 
goods," and the original Entry 48 in List II (Provincial Legislative List) 
was limited to "Taxes on advertisements" only.
Despite all the claims of the Central Government, the trend of sales tax 
collection on domestic goods remained sluggish, and the Government depended 
more and more on import based tax. This heavy reliance on import based tax 
is agonizingly visible all along. The domestic scene is marked by ever 
enlarging black holes of exemptions.
Banks start fixing their exchange rates
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Feb 6: Both local as well as foreign banks on Friday started 
quoting their own spot exchange rates for leading world currencies minus 
the US dollar in an atmosphere marked by great enthusiasm. But the response 
they attracted from the clients was rather cool.

Treasury managers of a number of local and foreign banks said most of them 
offered more lucrative rates to selected clients either for their credit 
worthiness or for the size of currency transaction.
"The cushion on our exchange rates moved between 0.10-0.15 per cent 
depending upon the type of the clients and the size of transactions," said 
another treasury manager of a foreign bank.
Until recently the banks used to charge a cushion of 0.20 per cent on the 
exchange rates fixed by the State Bank for both buying and selling foreign 
currencies. The nominal drop in it as witnessed in case of many a bank 
shows that the banks want to keep their exchange rates competitive to 
attract more business.

Stocks witness highly erratic trading session
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Feb 6: Stocks passed through another highly erratic trading 
session on Friday as investors indulged in alternate bouts of buying and 
selling owing partly to weekend considerations and partly to heavy selling 
by some of the foreign investors in Hub-Power. However, after initial 
weakness, the KSE 100-share index managed to finish with an extended modest 
Unconfirmed reports about resignation of the Governor of State Bank, Dr 
Muhammad Yaqub, despite official denial was said to be bearish as it could 
well signal major changes in the current financial policies and that could 
work on both sides of the market, analysts said.
The strong covering purchases toward the closing bell, despite two official 
closures, showed that the market has absorbed the early shock about 
possible changes in the central bank.
"Any rally at the fag-end of the week always signals a sustained run-up 
during the next and whether or not foreign investors stay in the rings will 
be known next Monday," said a leading dealer.
The KSE 100-share index after an easy opening managed to finish modestly 
higher at 1,678.04 as compared to 1,672.99 at last session as some of the 
base shares minus Hub-Power and PTCL managed to finish with good gains.
The market capitalization also swelled to Rs 510.165 billion from the 
previous Rs 508.670 billion as the broader market showed firm trend. Out of 
the 156 actives, 65 shares rose, 50 fell with 41 holding on to the last 
Although basic economic indicators continued to be bearish both local and 
foreign investors have chosen to play safe, seldom moving out of the 
"About half a dozen current favourites, notably Hub-Power, PTCL and ICI 
Pakistan, witnessed two-way activity all through the session as investors 
have no appetite to go beyond them for obvious reasons," said a floor 
He said the market might behave in the same fashion as it has been doing 
for the last two weeks, reflecting that no one is inclined to hold long 
positions despite some positive changes on the political front.
"The goal of peace might not be now as elusive as it has been some weeks 
back and the new buying is expected to be largely based on this 
perception," some analysts said.
Lever Brothers led the list of gainers, up Rs 43.85 at Rs 1,398.85, 
followed by PIC, higher Rs 35 at 425. Losers were led by Colgate Pakistan 
and BOC Pakistan, the two leading among the MNCs, falling by Rs 10 to Rs 
Analysts said energy shares should responded bullishly to the new gas find 
in Sindh as some of them did but selling toward the closing bell allowed 
them to maintain a near-status quo.
However, they predicted that the current highly erratic trading pattern 
could witness a major change during the next week owing to some bullish 
corporate fundamentals.

A cash dividend of 12.5 per cent plus bonus shares to five per cent by 
Askari Commercial Bank was well-received in the rings as is reflected in 
active trading in its share. It has earned after-tax profit of Rs 310.670 
million for the year ended December 31, 1997.
The management of Star Textiles also announced bonus shares at the rate of 
five per cent for the year ended September 30, 1997, despite post-tax loss 
of Rs 9.164 million.
Volume rose to 71 million shares from the previous 67 million shares, bulk 
of which went to the credit of ICI Pakistan, up 80 paisa at Rs 21.30 on 
23.273 million shares, followed by Hub-Power, off 85 paisa at Rs 61.50 on 
22.406 million shares, PTCL, lower 45 paisa at Rs 31.25 on 11.521 million 
shares, Dhan Fibre, up five paisa at Rs 3.75 on 6.645 million shares, and 
Ibrahim Fibre, higher 60 paisa at Rs 8.10 on 1.212 million shares.
DIVIDEND: Askari Commercial Bank, cash 12.5 per cent plus bonus share 5 per 
cent, Star Textiles, bonus shares five per cent.

                    SUBSCRIBE TO HERALD TODAY ! 

Every month the Herald captures the issues, the pace and the 
action, shaping events across Pakistan's lively, fast-moving 
current affairs spectrum. 

Subscribe to Herald and get the whole story. 

Annual Subscription Rates : 

Latin America & Caribbean                US$ 93    Rs. 2,700 
North America & Australasia              US$ 93    Rs. 2,700 
Africa, East Asia Europe & UK            US$ 63    Rs. 1,824 
Middle East, Indian Sub-Continent & CAS  US$ 63    Rs. 1,824 

Please send the following information : 

Payments (payable to Herald) can be by crossed cheque (for 
Pakistani Rupees), or by demand draft drawn on a bank in New York,
NY (for US Dollars).

Name, Postal Address, Telephone, Fax, e-mail address, old 
subscription number (where applicable). 

Send payments and subscriber information to : 

           G.M Circulation, The Herald 
           P.O.Box 3740, Karachi, Pakistan

We also accept payments through American Express, Visa or Master 
Card. Allow 45 days for first issue. 

              E D I T O R I A L S  &  F E A T U R E S
The State Bank
Ardeshir Cowasjee

A LEADER of a nation is supposed to lead, using wisdom derived from 
experience. Through his conduct and his acts of omission and of commission, 
he must set an example. For our sins, once again we have a leader in the 
form of our prime minister, who squanders the wealth of this nation of 140 
million, the great majority of whom are poor and deprived.

Nawaz Sharif drives around Islamabad in his 500 SEL Mercedes Benz, the 
spare car that follows him is also a 500 SEL. His police escort follow him 
in three Mercedes, equipped with flashing roof lights. Should such a prime 

minister collect money from schoolchildren and pensioners supposedly to 
redeem the debt of the nation?

For Nawaz Sharif, laws are neither applicable to him and his cronies nor 
are they observed. He believes that his majority gives him the right to 
amend the Constitution at midnight, without debate or discussion. He 
believes that he can make laws and also break them. He cannot tolerate the 
independence of any institution.

He first tackled the presidency and deprived the country of the checks and 
balances that this office provided. Then came the tackling of the Supreme 
Court - we know what happened there. During a recent Supreme Court hearing, 
one of the honourable judges was bold enough to inquire from the Bench as 
to what is the public perception of the judiciary. The law-abiding senior 
advocates, and those sitting in the court, politely answered the question 
silently, with averted eyes.

The assault on the press has begun and is being mishandled by the minister 
of information.

Only two institutions of the state are now left with any semblance of 
autonomy - the military and the State Bank. We will see what happens to the 
army when the term of COAS General Jehangir Karamat ends.

Now to the subject at hand. The autonomy of the State Bank is about to end, 
after a year of anaemic existence. Governor Mohammad Yaqub is being readied 
for the chop. Since he holds a statutory position and cannot be sacked, the 
plan is to force him to resign.

The prime minister and his financial advisers are making no effort to 
assimilate the basics of good government. The people recommend they rethink 
their policies.

A modern and progressive state is founded on a diversity of institutions 
and a decentralized system. Excessive centralization exposes the state to 
the inherent limits of an individual, or a single institution. Hence, for 
example, it is vital to have independent metropolitan authorities, 
independent local governments in the rural areas, and, most importantly, an 
independent central bank.

Beneath the superb recent economic performance of the United States is an 
independent Federal Reserve. The chairman is appointed by the president, 
but is independent of him and cannot be sacked by him. His term is fixed 
and the executive cannot interfere in the policies of the Federal Reserve.

Tony Blair, on becoming prime minister of Britain, made the Bank of England 
independent of himself and the Treasury. The independence of the Bundesbank 
in Germany is decreed by the German constitution. After their economic 
crises, Mexico, Chile and Argentina also legislated the independence of 
their central banks.

One of the major reasons for the current crises in Korea, Thailand and 
Indonesia is the politicization of their central banks which did not 
adequately regulate their banking systems. They became a part of East 
Asia's "crony capitalism."

In Pakistan, the first attempt to make the State Bank independent was made 
by Moin Qureshi and his caretakers. Benazir Bhutto and her men, guided by 
greed, arrogance and ignorance, reversed the change. The Leghari caretakers 
passed an ordinance decreeing the Bank's independence. Nawaz Sharif's 

government which followed concurred and confirmed the ordinance by an Act 
of Parliament. But now, Nawaz Sharif wishes to disregard his own law.

In the past, during Benazir Bhutto's second round, Yaqub may have sinned by 
sitting back while the banking system was being plundered. He had 
sufficient powers to have at least dammed the plunder, but his main sin was 
that he feared fear. He is not a corrupt man, nor is he greedy. On the 
credit side, he knows the mess we are in. Since this government's pretended 
affirmation of the State Bank's autonomy he has been systematically candid 
and courageous in giving the public cold facts and sound analyses on the 
economy, and in giving independent advice to the government.

He has been forthright in the councils of government, warning against the 
dangers of deficit financing and excessive borrowing. Unfortunately, he has 
not had the support of the finance minister, whose sole aim from the 
beginning of this year was to be as obsequious as possible as he was vying 
for the presidency. The Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Hafiz 
Pasha, is a competent economist who knows what needs to be done, but is too 
fond of his job and remains silent.

Finance Minister Sartaj is committed to the dubious 'supply side' 
economics, arguing that deficit financing would help activate unused 
capacity. Little does he understand that much of the 'unused capacity' is 
unusable. All he has given the country is inflation and near bankruptcy.

Yaqub's recently acquired strength, candour and forthrightness has made him 
unpopular with the prime minister. The matter came to a head at a 
nationally televised conference in Islamabad on January 20, where some two 
hundred representatives of the private sector advisory council had 
gathered. The conference was organized by MNA Humayun Akhtar, Chairman of 
the Board of Investment. All that Akhtar has to his credit is that he is 
the son of a former Lt. General of the army. He inspires no confidence 
either in potential foreign investors or in those of his own country. He 
should not be where he is.

At this conference, the finance minister and the deputy chief of the 
Planning Commission held their peace when a few gentlemen of the private 
sector, amongst them defaulters, complained about not getting low interest 
loans for their projects. The prime minister asked Yaqub to explain. Yaqub 
had the temerity to suggest that deficit financing and not the State Bank 
was the cause of high interest rates. He also suggested that defaulters 
should repay previous loans before asking for new ones. For this he was 
publicly humiliated by our chief executive who snubbed him, scornfully 
disagreeing with him. All that Nawaz Sharif cares about is that he and his 
politicians, defaulters or not, should be given more and more long-term 
project loans at very low interest rates irrespective of what they can or 
cannot pledge.

Does the prime minister know that 50 per cent of projects built with loans 
have failed, that the best recovery of money by the banks and financial 
institutions is only some 30 per cent, that the inflation rate, though 

officially declared to be 12 per cent, is 18 per cent, that this country's 
rate of saving is one of the lowest in the world (around 11 per cent as 
compared to India's 20 per cent, China and Sri Lanka's 30 per cent)?

The pressure on Yaqub to resign is planned to be exerted after the IMF 
mission has come and gone in March. He has been 'strongly' advised to go 
without making waves. He is obviously an obstacle to "crony capitalism" of 
the Indonesian kind. Resign, he must not, and the people should support 

As to the IMF, Nawaz Sharif should not worry. As things stand today, we 
will be saved. Informed sources have it that the political handlers of the 
IMF have already decided to release the next tranche of their loan to 
Pakistan, come hell or high water. They will accept lapses in Pakistan's 
performance and fabricated figures, for they do not want another meltdown 
in Asia after Indonesia, Korea and Thailand.

Nawaz Sharif believes in the privatization of banks but not in the 
functioning of monetary and banking institutions without political 
interference. World Bank President, James Wolfensohn, following his visit 
to Pakistan, said that the only sensible finance men he met, who were doing 
their jobs correctly, were the three young Pakistani bankers, Shaukat 
Tareen (Habib), Ahmed Mian Soomro (NBP) and Zubair Soomro (UBL). But, on a 
daily basis, these men are harrassed by various politicians and asked to 
let defaulters off the hook, and to grant loans to those in power and their 
cronies and creditors.

World Bank senior banker, Neils Minners, in charge of finance and private 
sector development, visited Pakistan in mid-January to look at the 
privatization process. He was happy at the manner in which Habib Bank, the 
first on the block, was being handled. But he agreed that the family silver 
must not be handed out to cronies at a throwaway price. HBL just cannot be 
fairly privatized by March this year, as is being insisted upon by Nawaz 
Sharif and his Privatisation Commission.

Why too many holidays?
Sultan Ahmed

THE economic turmoil in East Asia will shave only a sliver off the global 
economic growth this year, says Michel Camadessus, managing director of 
IMF. He thinks that by the year 2000 most of these countries would be on 
their feet.
As the crisis in East Asia deepens his optimism is based on the IMF 
commitment to pump 117 billion dollars into Indonesia, Thailand, South 
Korea and the Philippines, although the new estimates are that they need a 
total of 163 billion dollars bail- out  five times the amount provided to 
Mexico in 1995.
Meanwhile, the resistance in US to providing 18 billion dollar loan to IMF 
for this large bail-out is increasing both from the left and the right. The 
right argues the money would go down the drain as it was wasteful and the 
focus should be on radical financial reforms, while the left maintains the 
money would feed the authoritarian rulers of East Asia and increase their 

corruption and financial inefficiency.
But the US would have to come to the assistance of Asia in its own 
interest. The UN Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin says "Asian 
financial instability is still a threat to economies all over the world."
And Larry Summers, US Deputy Treasury Secretary, who undertook a tour of 
the affected countries on behalf of President Clinton says "what happens is 
Asia is important to our economic and security interests." He argues that 
while people speak of an American economic model and an Asian model, what 
Asia needs today is neither an Anglo-Saxon or a Confucian solution but an 
effective solution as each country's situation is unique.
Writing in the latest issue of "Fortune" magazine on "Asia's meltdown  the 
risks are rising" Jim Rohwer says "what is certain is that things are going 
to get a lot worse before they get better." No one knows the depth to which 
the turmoil can go and how long will sustained recovery take, although the 
economic fundamentals of these countries are right, as James Wolfenson, 
President of the World Bank reaffirmed on Monday.
But Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif insists that Pakistan is not affected by 
the Asian turmoil. Finance Minister Sartaj Aziz goes much further. He said 
in Davos that the Asian crisis had almost no impact on Pakistan's economy 
nor would it affect it in future. Incredibly or inexplicably he is too 
cocksure about that. He has not been seeing the straws in the Pakistani 
wind or read the writing on the wall.
Surely, if the richest countries in the world can be affected by the Asian 
turmoil how can poor Pakistan whose external dependence is excessive, not 
be affected by it? Tuesday's newspapers report that export orders for 
cotton yarn and fabric for 56 million dollars were cancelled in December by 
South Korea and other Asian importers. And those who had exported earlier 
are finding it too tough to recover payments.
Many textile exporters who went to Germany for a major trade fair returned 
with hardly any new order. Importers there wanted to know how far down 
would the melting East Asian currencies go and make textile exports from 
there cheaper before placing new orders with Pakistani exporters. It is 
wrong on the part of the government to dismiss these disturbing signals and 
talk of business as usual to top investors abroad as if they do not know 
As the government is dismissing the possible impact of the Asian crisis on 
Pakistan hastily, the people, besides the exporters, are not taking it too 
seriously either. Rich families in South Korea and Thailand are 
surrendering their gold to the government to bolster its foreign exchange 
reserves, while in Indonesia the ruling family members have handed over to 
the government their dollar holdings to save the plummeting rupiah. But in 
Pakistan more and more people are rushing to convert their rupee savings 
into dollars to profit by the large devaluation of the rupee they expect. 
And the prime minister collects 60 of his ministers, friends and family 
members and goes for Umra at a high foreign exchange cost to the country. 

To follow the example, a larger number of people went for Umra from here.
And since we do not anticipate any adverse reaction of the Asian crisis on 
Pakistan the PM was generous enough to declare the Jumatul Widah and 27th 
of Ramazan as holidays and later three Eid holidays. And now February 5, 
too, is a holiday to express solidarity with the Kashmiris. As a 
businessman the PM should know the high cost of a holiday for the 
deteriorating economy and the result of delayed exports in the wake of too 
many holidays.
It is not only the exporters who suffer from such holidays which increases 
their export cost and delay execution of export orders, but also 
multinational companies who have to cancel visits of their chiefs coming to 
Pakistan as a part of their regional tours. The high cost of such frequent 
holidays apart, they should be decided six to eight weeks before they are 
announced. In fact, there should be no deviation from the annual schedule 
of holidays announced earlier save in case of a major emegency. 
Globalization of the economy and localisation of our production process 
cannot go together.
What has been admitted by the Western critics of the Asian crisis is that 
it is largely a banking and financial crisis, while the fundamentals of the 
East Asian economy are sound and the crisis is in the private sector and 
not in the public sector where the macro-economy is sound. The crisis is 
the result of excessive external private sector borrowing which in South 
Korea is as much as 130 billion dollars. In Indonesia, out of the total 
external debt of 140 billion dollars 75 billion have to be repaid by 
private sector.
But in Pakistan the crisis is truly three-dimensional  with the public 
sector too in very bad shape as a result of the current 6 per cent deficit 
in the budget, the poor economic growth in the 1990s, including last year's 
3.1 per cent economic growth in a country with a population growth of 3 per 
cent, the large balance of payments deficit exceeding four billion dollars 
and other negative macro-economic indicators, which are proving to be too 
daunting to reverse. And the large public sector units, like PIA and 
Pakistan Steel and even WAPDA are incurring large losses. So Moody's of New 
York has given us a credit rating of B- 2.
In the private sector 4,000 industrial units are sick, according to the 
government and after a negative growth of 1.4 per cent last year, the large 
scale manufacturing sector grew by a mere one per cent in the first half of 
this financial year. Even major multinationals are reporting sharp fall in 
profits and the crisis-ridden stock market is just crawling, with the 
mutual funds hit very hard.
In the banking sector the banks have not been able to recover the defaulted 
loans of Rs 127 billion and bankers brought in from abroad say the default 
is as large as Rs 250 billion or as much as 50 per cent of the total bank 
And while the government is facing the resistance challenge of businessmen 
to pay three per cent retailers' sales tax, they did not avail of the 
concession of paying only 7.5 per cent tax to whiten their black wealth. 

But in India businessmen declared hoarded wealth of Rs 33,000 crore and 
paid 30 per cent or Rs 1050 crore as tax of that by December 31.
In such a context, presenting a rosy picture of Pakistan to successive 
groups of investors in Davos may not produce favourable results. Four years 
ago Ms Benazir Bhutto as prime minister stressed there that Pakistan was 
the gateway to Central Asia which was challenged by its leaders who argued 
Central Asia had many gateways. Investors of the world did not rush to 
Pakistan to enter Central Asia via Pakistan also because of the civil war 
in Afghanistan. And now Mr Nawaz Sharif talks of Pakistan as the robust 
bridge linking Central Asia, the Gulf and South Asia. But the investors 
visiting Davos in this information age know that economically ECO and SAARC 
have been feeble organizations despite their brave rhetoric and the Gulf 
states do not suffer from access problems for any country, and Dubai's Al 
Jubel has made tremendous headway as an export processing zone compared to 
Pakistan's limping EPZ.
In such a context what can Pakistan achieve by holding SAARC and ECO summit 
through the World Economic Forum of Davos in September? Give the theme of 
the summit as "Silk Road" or something even more alluring. But in 
economics, more so in global economics, realism matters far more than 
romanticism or vaulting ambitions or summit melas.
The administration in the country is already facing too many problems 
because of the increasing absence of the prime minister from the country 
along with some of the key ministers. As he is chairman of too many policy 
committees and takes most of the key decisions personally, he cannot be on 
tour within the country or abroad most of the time. Beginning with his Umra 
trip before the end of January he will be out of the country most of the 
time until he returns from China on February 17.

While he wants more of foreign investment this certainly is not the time to 
hold a conference of 200 investors in London. Investors want to know the 
eventual outcome of the East Asian crisis before they decide on making 
large investments in Asia, particularly in countries known for political 
and economic instability aggravated by law and order problems. And yet the 
PM was determined to address the investors in London.

Options before India's Muslims
M.H. Askari

THE widely-condemned murder of 23 members of the Kashmiri Pandit community 
in a village near Srinagar on January 26 cannot be seen as in any way 
having served the cause of the Kashmiri freedom fighters, whose umbrella 
organization, the All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC), has been striving 
to keep their struggle strictly non-communal.
On the contrary, Hindu revivalist political parties such as the Bharatiya 
Janata Party (BJP), which is a front-runner in the Indian elections 
campaign could well use the incident as the argument for consolidating 

their fundamentalist character and achieve their objective of being called 
upon to form the next government in New Delhi. This would mean a clear 
setback to the efforts of India's Muslims to support the secular forces in 
the elections in order to ensure a fair deal for themselves as citizens of 
Although the BJP and other parties belonging to the Sangh parivar (Hindu 
right wing) have of late somewhat softened their fundamentalist rhetorics, 
they continue to regard India essentially as a Hindu homeland in which the 
other religious minorities could at best be tolerated. The BJP has also 
been most ambivalent in its statements on the future of the site, where the 
Babri Masjid of Ayodhya once stood, despite the demand by Muslims of almost 
all shades of political affiliation for the reconstruction of the mosque. 
The recent declaration by Bal Thackeray, head of the militantly Hindu Shiv 
Sena, that the Babri issue is over, does not carry any credibility with any 
segment of the Muslims.
Fifty years after independence and about 48 years after India adopted its 
constitution, the Indian Muslims once more appear to be uncertain about the 
direction of their political role. Following the avalanche of communal 
violence which came in the wake of the partition, it took the Indian 
Muslims some time before they could develop a measure of faith in the ideal 
of secularism enshrined in the Indian Constitution. It took all the 
eloquence of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and all the passionate exhortations of 
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru before the Muslims could even begin to appreciate 
the strength and vitality of secular nationalism which the leadership of 
the Congress, which was at the helm at the time, adopted as its creed. The 
Maulana told a gathering of Muslims in Delhi in October 1947, when the city 
had barely survived the onslaught of communal madness: "Stars may have 
plummeted down but the Sun is still shining; borrow a few of its rays and 
sprinkle them in the dark caverns of your lives."
Even committed Congress-ites such as Maulana Hifzur Rehman and Dr Syed 
Mahmud saw in the policy of "overshadowing" of Urdu in the UP and Bihar as 
a strategy to undermine the Muslim identity of their compatriots. A 
deputation led by Dr Zakir Hussain (who was later to become the President 
of India) submitted a memorandum to then President urging him to direct the 
UP government to recognize Urdu as one of the regional languages. Among the 
signatories of the memorandum were Uma Nehru, H.N. Kunzru and Maulana 
Hifzur Rahman.
In the early 1950s there was a strong move by the Muslims to set up a 
separate political organization representing as a safeguard of their 
separate religious and cultural identity. The Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat 
was thus established in the early 1960s as a common platform representing 
Muslims of various shades of political affiliations and Muslim Students 
Associations were set up in several states of India. However, on a national 
level, the Congress was seen as the party which most cared for the rights 
and privileges of the Muslims. In the first three of India's general 

elections, Muslims voted almost solidly for the Congress, and in some areas 
where a Congress candidate was pitted against the Indian Union Muslim 
League or the Ittehad-ul- Muslimeen (which was strong in the south), 
Muslims tended to favour candidates who had Pandit Nehru's backing.
In their preference for secular-oriented parties, the Muslims even backed a 
communist trade union leader in Kanpur and the unbelievable actually 
happened when in Amroha, Maulana Ishaq Sambhli, a Deoband alim, was elected 
to the parliament on a communist party ticket. The Indian scholar, Dr 
Mushirul Hasan says that in the 1957 elections Muslims preferred communist 
candidates for the parliament and socialist candidates for municipal 
elections. However, after Pandit Nehru's death the trend apparently began 
to change.
The Muslims' ultimate disillusionment with the Congress began with the 
unpredictability of the government of Mrs Indira Gandhi and reached its 
peak with Rajiv Gandhi and his successors turning a blind eye on the rising 
tide of Hindu fundamentalism. The destruction of Babri Masjid in December 
1992 finally shattered the Indian Muslims' confidence in the Congress and 
its proclaimed commitment to secular ideals.
It has been pointed out by Indian authors that at a time when the communal 
temperature in India was high, the Congress governments sponsored the 
serialization of Hindu epics such as Mahabharata and Ramayana. Even the 
"wooing and pandering to the religious sentiments of Muslims" by Rajiv 
Gandhi after he backtracked on his government's position on the Shah Bano 
case failed to appease the Muslims.
Judging from some of the latest comments appearing in the Indian media 
about the ongoing election campaign, the Indian Muslims appear to be 
passing through yet another phase of uncertainty. A staff study conducted 
by the widely circulated India Today has come to the conclusion that since 
the destruction of the Babri Masjid, the anger of the Muslims at the BJP 
and the Congress "has been matched by a disgust for self- serving Muslim 
leaders." It suggests that self-appointed Muslim leaders have already set 
out to "market" the votes of their community to the "highest bidder."
Jawed Habeeb, a former general secretary of the Babri Masjid Action 
Committee, is stated to have entered into a sort of race with the Imam 
Delhi's Jama Masjid, Syed Abdullah Bokhari, and his son, Ahmed Bokhari, in 
"sending feelers to the BJP" hoping to strike a bargain with the party in 
return for the Muslim votes. According to India Today, at a hurriedly 
assembled gathering of Muslims  the Qaumi Mushawarat  Jawed Habeeb even 
"made it clear that he was available for auction."
The views of various Muslims, many of them placed in positions of 
considerable eminence, quoted in the India Today study present at best a 
blurred picture of how the Muslims are likely to vote in the forthcoming 
election. Several leading Muslim intellectuals such as Syed Shahabuddin, 
former MP, and Prof Imtiaz Ahmad of Delhi's prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru 
University, acknowledge that Muslims must vote for secular candidates, 

constituency-wise, rather than for a particular party.
It appears unlikely that India's Muslims will vote as "a monolithic body" 
for any single party. Their support for the BJP appears most unlikely, even 
though a former MP and minister of state, Aslam Sher Khan of Bhopal, has 
joined the party. A Muslim Leader of Bangalore is quite candid in his view 
that "as long as the BJP maintains its links with the Rashtriya Swayam 
Sewak Sangh (RSS), it is very difficult for us to accept it." A professor 
of Aligarh University, echoes the same sentiment, pointing out that "our 
wounds (at Babri Masjid's destruction) have not healed," while a Muslim 
professor of Bangalore stresses that the emphasis should be on economic 
reforms and not "on reforms in personal law", something that the BJP has
been advocating. All the same, Bombay's Dr Rafiq Zakaria, Islamic scholar 
and former MP, somewhat cynically suggests: "...Some sections (of Muslims) 
will vote for the Sena alliance." It appears that the position in respect 
of Uttar Pradesh (where Muslims represent about 20 per cent of the 
electorate), which has the largest number of seats in Lok Sabha, continues 
to be unclear. Generally, since the Babri Masjid outrage, the Muslims of 
the UP have tended to favour the Dalits (the untouchables and the lower 
caste Hindus) rather than the upper class Hindus. However, Samajwadi 
Party's Mulayam Singh has failed to enter into an alliance with the 
Congress and the BJP, therefore, appears to be in a stronger position in 
the state. There is therefore a feeling among Muslims that in the 
circumstances their votes would make no difference to the final outcome and 
that they may as well not participate in the polls.
In West Bengal, where again Muslims are in a strong position, representing 
about 21 per cent of the electorate, their traditional ally is the Left 
Front, but the breakaway faction of the Congress led by the fiery Mamata 
Banerjee, is also gaining in popularity with the Muslims and is also 
believed to be making conciliatory approaches to Muslim voters.
In all this, the India Today perceives a positive trend  that the Indian 
Muslims are likely to vote "with their heads rather than with their hearts. 
However, this may be more of wishful thinking. The ascendency of 
communalist forces, in the form of the BJP and other Sangh Parivar parties, 
who are creeping to the top of the popularity graph, has not been checked. 
Incidents such as the one which resulted in the killing of 23 Hindu Pandits 
in occupied Kashmir last month may have given a further impetus to this 
unfortunate trend.

Eid does not mean revelry
Dr Irshad-ul-Haq Quddusi

Eid-ul-Fitra is a symbol of fraternity and joy throughout the Muslim world. 
It marks the completion of month of fasting that entails intensive self-
discipline and self-control. What is more Ramazan is the month wherein 
Quran was revealed for universal guidance.

The first Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated in the second year of Hijrat, when the 
last Prophet of Allah, Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W) led the prayer at Madinah. 
The festival came in the wake of the memorable battle of Badar, the first 
war between the forces of Islam and those of the unbelievers of Makkah.

It is called Eid-ul-Fitr, because payment of Fitra is compulsory before 
offering Eid congregational prayers or even well ahead so that the poor and 
needy brothers may also be provided for their needs and may share with all 
others Muslims in Eid rejoicing. The day is celebrated by Muslims all over 
the world to express their feelings of heartfelt gratitude and unbounded 
joy on the completion of prescribed fasting days designed to achieve 
physical, moral and spiritual reformation as well as self-purification.

There could be no greater levelling influence in this world than uniformity 
in prayer. All men, great and small, white and black, rich and poor, high 
and low, stand on terms of perfect human equality before Allah in the 
congregation of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha. Thus these important annual 
festivals serve to remind us that one Muslim is not superior to another, 
either on account of wealth or of social status or because of race and 
colour differences, but only on the basis of Taqwah.

Eid-ul-Fitr is the festival that highlights the spirit of sharing. Before 
the advent of Islam, fasting was generally observed at the time of 
mournings, but the Quran changed both its form and meanings and made it an 
instrument of moral, spiritual and physical discipline of the highest 

Mere abstension from eating from dawn to sunset does not constitute real 
fasting in Islam. The Holy Quran says: "0 you who believe, fasting is 
prescribed for the followers of all prophets before Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W) 
that happily you may be able to guard yourself against evils and inculcate 
the spirit of piety amongst you" (Sura II Ayat 122).

The festival of Eid-ul-Fitr calls upon us all Muslims to pay some money to 
our needy brothers to enable them to share the felicitations and joys with 
us in token of our thanks to Allah. The Quran specifically says: "Your 
deprived and needy brothers have their share in our wealth." The festival 
of Eid is the harbinger of Muslims' unity and practically symbolises the 
spirit of fraternity. It helps to eliminate prejudices and promotes the 
feelings of brotherhood among the believers. This festival is not only a 
great source of spiritual rejuvenation but also a vital force for 
strengthening the bonds of mutual love and cooperation.

Compliance with this Divine injunction fosters the sense of willing 
obedience to God's commands which is a sign of firm and true faith. It 
forcefully brings forth the feeling that a believer has to serve only one 
master and one law, the law of his Creator. The real spirit underlying the 
restraints and restrictions that fasting implies is total submission to the 
will of Allah. By abstaining from whatever He forbids, and obeying whatever 
He commands, the faithfuls reaffirm through performance what they profess.

Taqwa whose attainment is the main purpose of fasting is an Arabic word, 
which means the guarding of self against evil. It is not an easy task as 
the way of life traversed by man is strewn with thorny shrubs of base 
desires, sensuality and temptations of all kinds. To pass through this path 
without getting stuck is the test of piety. God has enjoined fasting to 
enable man to overcome these obstacles and attain righteousness that only 
the fear of Allah can create and sustain. If one merely follows the outward 
regulations that govern fasting, without imbibing its main spirit, one 
cannot get anything out of it except the pain of hunger and thirst.

Taqwa or piety, which is the soul of fasting, is a dynamic force that 
builds up a Muslim's Iman, conduct and character. By reaffirming the 
Omnipresence and Omniscience of God this belief inculcates accountability 
at every step in life and in the hereafter. Those who consider the gains 
and pleasures of this worldly life as temporary and keep the Day of 
Judgment in mind are moved by spiritual and moral motivations. Such a moral 
code is strengthened by 'Ibadat' of which fasting is a pillar. He or she 
who fulfils the requirements of fasting, is rewarded by Allah in His 
infinite Mercy. This belief enhances the joys of Eid.

A rigorous regimen followed for a month every year to earn the pleasure of 
Allah renews faith. This annual exercise consciously and voluntarily 
practised uplifts the soul. No better course of training can be devised to 
purge evils. Collectively undertaken this serves to cleanse society and 
deepens the quality of compassion in the community as a whole. It should 
have a lasting effect on character and conduct. Eid as such does not mean 
reversion to revelry.

The congregational prayers of Eid after collective observation of fasting 
is conducive to the promotion of fraternal feelings, the foundation stone 
of the structure of Islamic edifice. It inculcates the spirit of human 
equality, love and sympathy. Those who themselves experience the pangs of 
hunger and thirst become better aware of their fellow-beings' plight. Their 
Eid should also reflect the same sentiment.

The month of Ramazan brings with it innumerable blessings. It was in this 
month that the Holy Quran began to be revealed. This ultimate and perfect 
guidance from Allah transmitted through the last Prophet (peace be on him) 
is the greatest gift for mankind. There could be no better cause and 
occasion to celebrate by way of Eid.

Feudal culture and violence
Eqbal Ahmad

An inquiry into the roots of violence in Pakistan may begin with a critical 
look at the linkages between culture and violence in our society. Feudalism 
serves as the whipping boy of Pakistan's intelligentsia. Yet, to my 
knowledge not one serious study exists on the nature and extent of feudal 
power in Pakistan, and none to my knowledge on the hegemony which feudal 
culture enjoys in this country.

In economic terms, feudalism is now but only one of many forces in our 
society, and certainly not the ascendant one. But the culture it bred over 
the century, remains. Culture almost always persists after the hegemon is 
weakened and gone. The tenacity with which the colonial culture has, after 
decolonization, held out and tightened its grip on Pakistan and India is a 
case in point. Its persistence is defined by the failure of the post-
colonial elite to spawn alternative values and styles as foundations of a 
new culture.
This challenge Pakistan's small and excessively consumption- driven, 
therefore cautious and West-obsessed, intelligentsia has largely ignored. 
Hence, the feudal culture continues to enjoy absolute hegemony, that is to 
say, it sets the norms of behaviour and its values are largely those of 
Barring a few Pirs, the feudal order is rarely based on ideology or 
ascription. Nor, unlike capitalism, does it derive its strengths from a 
process of constant growth in productivity. What defines the feudal order 
above all is its mastery of violence. Its members practise it, occasionally 
with some regard for local customs, and always with scant respect for the 
law. The law-abiding feudal is an oxymoron. Any experienced district 
officer will tell you that among the powerful lords of rural Sindh, Punjab, 
Sarhad, and Balochistan it is the will and integrity of the government that 
makes the difference between law and lawlessness, civility and violence. 
Similarly, any hari knows, as the Hari Commission so accurately described 
some six decades ago, that violence defines the relationship between lords 
and peasants.

An extra-ordinary example of the persistence of feudal culture is that in 
the last decade of the twentieth century the Human Rights Commission of 
Pakistan has forced open private jails; entire families have been liberated 
from bondage  tortured and chained, women used, children misused. And a 
remarkable detail: these liberations have been affected not by the state 
but by a private organization. It is failures of this magnitude on the part 
of the state  and the elite that controls it that help sustain feudal 
values in our society.
Until such time as the state intervenes to enforce laws, and the 
intelligentsia actively promotes non-violent values, the culture of 
violence shall continue to prevail. Rather, as social change continues at a 
rapid pace, traditional systems of social control become progressively 
dysfunctional and the state's administrative machinery continues to erode, 
violence shall augment in its varied forms.
Violence has traditionally occupied a central and elevated place in our 
cultures. There are numerous manifestations of it in our social life. I 
shall mention only three: (i) the value we put on revenge, (ii) the 
violence against women which persists and has possibly augmented and, (iii) 
our abuse of children. Revenge is viewed by perhaps an overwhelming 
majority of Pakistanis as a natural sentiment. It is not merely accepted as 
normal in many areas of our social, political, and family life; rather, it 

is linked to the identity and honour of the individual, family, biraderi 
and tribe. Friends and relatives express solidarity when a man takes 
revenge while his adversaries proceed, more often than not, to avenge the 
avenger. To my knowledge, no annual statistics are compiled of revenge 
killings in Pakistan. Were it available the figure would run into the 
thousands. Pick a day, and you are likely to find a manifestation.
Wife-beating is viewed by a large section of rural society as though it 
were a droit de seigneur. It is quite common also among urban dwellers 
especially in working and lower middle class milieu, and is known to 
persist in some educated upper class families. "Wife abuse is a fairly 
common phenomenon in Pakistan", says an extremely balanced and wise "Report 
of the Commission of Inquiry for Women" of August 1997 , "[it] is also 
indulged in not only by the husband but also by other members of the 
husband's family. It can take the form of slapping, beating, torture, 
mutilation and murder."
Rape, especially gang rape, is becoming endemic. In the first nine months 
of 1997 over 100 women were reported to have been raped in Lahore alone; of 
these, 28 were victims of gang rape. Typically, the police registered only 
35 of the over 100 rape Lahore cases reported to it  a phenomenon that 
adds to the inhibition against reporting. Actual instances of rape are 
estimated by human rights groups as being two-&-a-half to three times 
higher than those reported in the press. Yet, there is no let up in 
official neglect of this scourge.
With painstaking and risky effort, women's groups and the Human Rights 
Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) have been documenting the crime against 
women. HRCP estimates that nationwide a woman is raped in Pakistan every 
three hours, and "nearly as many minors become victims as adults". In a 
majority of instances they also suffered violent assault either before or 
after the crime, and many commit suicide. The ultimate form of violence 
against women, murder and mutilation, is widely accepted as a mechanism for 
restoring honour  a practice institutionalized in customs like Karo Kari, 
in areas of Sindh, Balochistan, the NWFP, and southern Punjab.
To these have been added now a new horror  stove burning  of which spot 
hospital checks indicate victims in the thousands. Notable, as they co-
relate with my argument on feudal culture, are two facts: [i] 80% of the 
violent crimes against women are committed in rural areas, 20 % in the 
urban; and [ii] almost all victims of the reported cases of sexual assault 
were working class women. (Dawn, October 29, 1997) Since from their infancy 
children witness violence as an integral part of adult behaviour, males and 
females alike grow to accept it as a normal, even preferred, mechanism for 
achieving one's objective or affecting behaviour change. There are scant 
laws to treat domestic violence as crime, and the police are known to 
routinely discourage registration of cases in domestic crimes.
Violent treatment of children is even more common than that of women. 
'Spare the rod, spoil the child' remains a central tenet of our upbringing 

of children. It is extravagantly interpreted and excessively practised in 
schools no less than in homes. To be sure, physical abuse of children is 
less prevalent today in educated upper and middle class families than a few 
decades ago. It remains, nevertheless, widespread in other strata of 
society. In the absence of available data it is impossible to identify its 
comparative prevalence along class or rural/urban lines.
For a host of reasons, including studies on Latin American countries, I 
surmise that among the urban working class, lower middle class, and lumpen-
proletariat child abuse is more widely and more excessively practised than 
in rural areas. In the religious schools (madaaris), which have 
proliferated exponentially in the last two decades, pupils are routinely 
administered physical punishment; the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan 
has exposed instances even of children being kept in chains, for months 
even years at a time. There exists a considerable body of literature 
indicating that abused children often become abusive and violent adults.
If they are serious about eliminating the high rate of violence and crime 
in Pakistan, the least that our governments can do is to legislate against 
these practices. Laws, after all, are not merely links between crime and 
punishment. They also set the moral and behavioural standards for citizens 
of this and coming generations. 
                            S P O R T S 
Shahbaz among probables for hockey camp
Sports Reporter

LAHORE, Feb 2: Discarded forward Shahbaz Ahmad Senior has been included 
among 40 probables called for national hockey camp being set up at the 
Hockey Club of Pakistan (HCP) Stadium in Karachi for preparation of the 
eight-match hockey series against India.
Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Col Mudassar Asghar announced 
here on Monday that the camp will begin on February 5 (Thursday). The 
players will report to manager Islahuddin Siddiqui and coach Ayaz Mahmood.
After a dismal performance by the Pakistan senior team in the 19th 
Champions Trophy Hockey Tournament at Adelaide last October, the PHF has 
had second thoughts and decided to recall Shahbaz Ahmad Senior to re-
furbish the forwardline. Shahbaz had been excluded and forgotten after the 
1996 Olympic Games at Atlanta. However, the star-forward, who has the 
distinction of winning  the best player's award in about a dozen 
international competitions in which he took part during his eventful 
career, was engaged as a professional on lucrative fee by Germany, Holland 
and Bangladesh during his two-year absence from Pakistani scene.
PHF President Akhtar Rasool, Secretary Mudassar Asghar national selector 
Khawaja Zakauddin and national coach Ayaz Mahmood watched Shahbaz Ahmad 
Senior and most of the other players who represented their departments, 

namely PIA, National Bank, Allied Bank, Habib Bank, WAPDA and Railways in 
the first Ramazan-ul-Mubarik Hockey Tournament held at the National Hockey 
Stadium. The PHF has chosen to ignore some other senior Olympians like 
Khawaja Muhammad Junaid (captain Allied Bank) and Rana Mujahid Ali (NBP), 
who also took part in the Ramazan-ul-Mubarik Tournament.
Most of the probables are those who were either in the Pakistan senior team 
which played in the Champions Trophy at  Adelaide or in the Pakistan junior 
team which gave a dismal performance during the Junior World Cup Hockey 
Tournament at Milton-Keynes last September. Selection of young Sohail Abbas 
for the camp is welcome because he outshone all the other participants of 
the tournament by converting the highest number of penalty-corners.
The 40 probables are:
1. Ahmad Alam, 2. Ejaz Khokhar, 3. Qader Bashir, 4. Haider Rasool, 5. 
Saleem Aamir, 6. Sohail Abbas, 7. Waseem Ahmad, 8. Muhammad Usman, 9. Ali 
Raza, 10. Tariq Imran, 11. Muhammad Ali, 12. Abu Bakr, 13. Mubashir, 14. 
Sameer Husain, 15. Muhammad Qasim, 16. Imran Rasool, 17. Irfan Mahmood, 18. 
Rahim Khan, 20. Haider Husain, 21. Ijaz Rasool, 22. Naveed Alam, 23. 
Muhammad Sarwar, 24. Babar Abdullah, 25. Irfan Yousaf, 26. Imran Yousaf, 
27. Shahbaz Ahmad Senior, 28. Muhammad Shahbaz Junior, 29. Asad Ali, 30. 
Naveed Asim, 31. Irfan Husain, 32. Tahir Zaman, 33. Anis Ahmad, 34. Asif 
Ahmad, 35. Muhammad Nadeem, 36. Atif Bashir, 37. Kamran Ashraf, 38. Farooq 
Ahmad, 39. Muhammad Khalid, 40. Danish Kaleem.

Majid offers no comment
Sports Correspondent

LAHORE, Feb 5: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive Majid  Khan has 
refused to make any comment on the Indian  cricket   board's decision to 
order its `A' team, not to take part in the final day (Friday) of  their 
 three-day  game  against  the  Karachi   City  Cricket Association  (KCCA) 
 at the National Stadium  Karachi. "I  have no official information about 
the  Indian  cricket board decision therefore can not offer any comment in 
this  respect," said Majid Khan, when contacted by this reporter on 
telephone for reaction. "You are the first person from whom I am getting 
this news," Majid said.

It may be mentioned here that Thursday was the last day of the  said match, 
but the PCB declared it as rest day.

Basit Ali blasts 133 against India 'A'

KARACHI, Feb 3: An outstanding innings of 133 by discarded Test batsman 
Basit Ali was the highlight of the opening day of the three-day tour match 
between Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) and India 'A' at the 
National Stadium here on Tuesday.
Basit's brilliant knock enabled the KCCA skipper Asif Mujtaba to declare 
his side's first innings at a healthy 338 for nine. The Indian opening pair 

of Wasim Jaffer and captain Gagan Khoda safely negotiated 20 minutes to 
close the day at seven without loss.
Basit, who had been overlooked for top international honours for the past 
two seasons, was in his serene touch during almost an unblemished stay of 
197 minutes and treated the visiting bowlers with scant respect. His 
driving, especially in the arc between cover and mid-wicket, was 
breathtaking. The only chance he offered was a very difficult return catch 
to Debaisish Mohanty.
In fact, until Basit arrived in the middle, the KCCA team was struggling 
against an Indian bowling line-up who had managed to claw its way back 
after Pakistan opener Shahid Khan Afridi had blasted a typically 
swashbuckling half-century in the morning session.
Afridi and the makeshift opener Zafar Iqbal gave KCCA a flying start after 
Asif Mujtaba had won the toss on what appeared to be an easy-paced track.
Afridi, as usual, carved the pace bowlers to all parts of the ground in his 
flamboyant manner. Medium-pacer Mohanty, the solitary Test player in the 
touring party, and Nekkanti Madhukar were never allowed to settle into a 
rhythm by the slim right-hander.
Afridi narrowly cleared the long-on boundary in Madhukar's second over and 
a couple of moments later produced a remarkable stroke off Mohanty with the 
ball escaping the sightscreen at the Scoreboard End by a whisker, striking 
the barbed wire fence on the full at long-on.
Afridi, who had reached his 50 off 41 balls in 67 minutes with two sixes 
and four fours, appeared well on course for a hundred before lunch when his 
impetuosity offered Wasim Jaffer a neat catch in the covers. Afridi's faced 
only 54 deliveries during a stay of 81 minutes, striking in all, seven 
fours and two sixes.
The Indians struck twice just before the lunch when Hasan Raza, who had 
looked uncomfortable, failed to keep down a sharp, lifting delivery from 
slow left-armer Murali Kartik and was caught by Jatin Paranjpe at slip.
Zafar Iqbal, who had been batting sensibly throughout, virtually ran 
himself out when he dashed out of his crease in a haste. His 73-ball knock 
in 114 minutes contained six hits to the fence.
KCCA, who had reached 115 for three at the lunch interval, lost Farhan Adil 
when medium-pacer Ajit Agarkar forced him to play an injudicious stroke. 
That dismissal brought in Basit Ali to the crease. Even the loss of skipper 
Asif Mujtaba at 163 failed to deter the dusky 27-year-old right-hander.
With Manzoor Akhtar giving him company, Basit dominated the 73-run stand 
for the sixth-wicket in 78 minutes off 124 balls to wrest back the 
Khoda, in a vain attempt, tried to curb Basit's stroke-play by adopting 
defensive field-settings but succeeded partially. The spin trio of Kartik, 
leg-spinner Sairaj Bahutale and off-spinner Noel David hardly got the ball 
to turn much. However, Kartik, who bowled the longest, bowled better than 
his spin colleagues and was the pick of the bowlers.
Basit, having completed his fifty in 79 minutes of 67 balls with seven 
fours and a six, duly reached his first hundred of the current season with 

second of the four boundaries in a Kartik over after resuming at his tea 
score of 63 with KCCA at 241 for six. His 142-ball hundred had taken 167 
minutes and included 14 fours and a six.
Basit, who had hit six more fours after reaching his century, finally went 
when Madhukar held him at long-on off David. Mujtaba immediately declared 
the innings.

Back to the top.

Dawn page