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                          C O N T E N T S 

N A T I O N A L   N E W S
Census gets under way today
MQM, PPP continue their complaints against census
Farooqui's wife, daughter arrested by FIA
CM pledges protection to foreign investors
Fixed tax replaces GST: accord reached
7 killed in two bomb blasts in Karachi
Banks told to take defaulters to court
Attempt on life leaves Ahsan seriously hurt
Eight die as rain plays havoc in the country

B U S I N E S S  &  E C O N O M Y 
Forbes signs $500m pact
No more devaluation, please!
EC plans 32.5pc dumping duty
Short-term plan to improve PS performance
IMF to face financial crisis

E D I T O R I A L S  &  F E A T U R E S
Hear no evil                            Ardeshir Cowasjee 
Who is to blame for '71 crisis?               M.H. Askari
Story of an attack foretold                  Irfan Husain

S P O R T S 
Tennis time tunnel: more about Iftikhar
Pakistan record historic 1st Test win against S. Africa
Chief selector Altaf resigns in protest
Waqar Hasan cites irregularities

                     N A T I O N A L   N E W S 
Census gets under way today
Dawn Report
ISLAMABAD, March 1: After a 17-year-long wait the population census and
house count begins on Monday and ends on March 18. The exercise would
involve 300,000 civilian and armed forces personnel at a cost of Rs1.40
billion, reports Dawn Bureau.
The decision to hold Pakistan's fifth census from March 2 was
re-endorsed in a special cabinet session summoned urgently at Lahore on
Feb 28. Although Sindh Chief Minister Liaquat Ali Jatoi had raised some
objections against holding census on March 2, the majority view
It may be noted that late last month, the government had chosen to
postpone the census citing letters of the Chief of the Army Staff and
the Sindh chief minister but a general outcry forced it to proceed
according to the earlier schedule.
In a message on the occasion, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said as the
census was being conducted in the best national interest, it should be
considered above board of any provincialism, parochialism and personal
The following measures are being taken by the government to make the census 
process transparent:
- Army personnel will be involved in the completion of database work and
census process. Each enumerator will be accompanied by an armed forces
personal to help him.
- Vigilance teams under the chairmanship of deputy commissioners have
been established at district level. Superintendent of police, area
magistrate, assistant director, registration and an officer from army
will be included in the team.
- Six months imprisonment or a fine of Rs15,000 or both will be awarded
to those who provide wrong information in this regard and to the
enumerators who record wrong information deliberately. The deputy
commissioners have been delegated powers for this purpose.
- All provincial governments and the government of AJK and Northern
Areas have been directed to establish monitoring cells in their
respective areas. They will monitor census process and database work
daily to avoid any error.
- Every officer deputed to control the census process will go from door
to door and fill in at least 20 forms daily. He will also check the work
of the enumerator in the area and delete the error.
- Control rooms have been set up at the central, provincial, district
and tehsil levels to ensure the inclusion of all people in the
statistics. Their lists will be published in the newspapers. Every
person will be allowed to record his complaint on telephone or
personally at these control rooms.
- Afghan refugees or other foreign nationals residing in the camps will
not be included in the census. However, the Afghan refugees and other
foreign nationals living with the local population will be registered
temporarily but excluded from the final statistics. The foreign
nationals having Pakistani passports, national identity cards or
property through unfair means will not be considered Pakistani.
- To minimize the margin of human error in the data-processing, an
optical mark reader will be used. The high-tech equipment can read 7,000
forms within an hour while a computer operator is able to read just 100
forms during the same time.
- The Census Department has been ordered to make foolproof arrangements
for dispatching census forms to avoid any tampering.
During the 17-day census process, the house listing operation will be
completed within the first three days. A database form will also be
distributed and later received back.
Officials in Islamabad said the provisional results of census would be
made available in three months but finalization of the lists would take
a long time.
The government has also marked certain areas where a law and order
situation might arise. Law enforcements agencies have been put on alert
in such areas to cope with any untoward situation.
The field staff comprises 180 census district officers, 2,500 charge
superintendents, 16,500 circle supervisors and 110,000 enumerators.
To eliminate any discrepancies at the initial stage, supervisors have
been asked to check 20 to 25 houses at random in each block and compare
the results with those listed by the enumerators.
KARACHI: On Sunday, a full-dress rehearsal was carried out here by
census enumerators in the company of the armed forces personnel, says
Dawn Staff Reporter. It was also learnt that during familiarization
visits, the census staff was welcomed by almost every section of the
LAHORE: The Punjab government has finalized arrangements for the census.
About 100,000 officials from various government departments have been
assigned the task.
Meanwhile, reports have been received from several cities and town of
the province that public transport vehicles were being impounded by the
administration for "census duty". This practice had caused acute
transport problems for the common people, it was complained. The wagons
not yet impounded had gone off the road, adding to people's miseries. In
Lahore, people have been facing problems commuting since Saturday.
QUETTA: Balochistan government has declared that all possible steps
would be taken to maintain law and order during the census in the
"We will extend all possible help and cooperation to the federal
government for conducting a fair and transparent census in the
province," Chief Minister Sardar Mohammad Akhtar Mengal said on Sunday.
Meanwhile the Deputy Census Commissioner of Balochistan, Idrees Manzoor,
told Dawn Staff Correspondent here that over 37,000 government
employees, including 25,000 army personnel had been deputed to conduct
the census in the province. He said all the staff members had reached
their specified areas to launch the population census and house counting
starting Monday.
Replying to a question, he said no Afghan refugee or any other foreigner
would be enumerated as Pakistani. A survey had already been carried out
for identification of the refugees and other aliens, he informed Dawn.
To another question, he replied that Pakistanis living abroad would not
be enumerated. However, people of other provinces residing in
Balochistan would be counted here and not in their home province.
BOYCOTT: Meanwhile, the Pushtoon Qaumi Ulasi Jirga (PQUJ) has decided to
boycott the census in Balochistan. This was announced by the Jirga
Convener Nawab Mohammad Ayaz Khan Jogezai at a protest public meeting
held at Sadiq Shaheed ground here Sunday evening.
"No Pushtoon, Hazara or Punjabi should cooperate with the census staff
so as to foil the provincial government's conspiracy against them,"
Nawab Jogezai urged in the public meeting. He also announced to launch a
protest movement against the forthcoming census, declaring: "We will not
accept any census in which Pushtoons, Hazaras and Punjabis living in
Balochistan are not participating." He alleged that the provincial
government wanted to falsely enhance population of the Baloch in the
Baloch-Brahvi areas.
MUZAFFARABAD: In the AJK capital too all arrangements have been made to
launch the population census and house listing on Monday, officials told
The officials said Azad Kashmir had been divided into 452 circles
wherein 3,300 trained employees of the education, revenue and local
government departments would carry out the census; they would be
accompanied by the armed forces personnel.
Kashmiri refugees from across the Line of Control would be enlisted in
the census while the Afghan refugees and other aliens would not be
registered, the the officials said.
The deputy commissioner of Muzaffarabad, Sardar Rahim Khan, told Dawn
that the staff as well as census material had been airlifted to the
upper areas of the snow-capped Leepa and Neelum valleys by army

MQM, PPP continue their complaints against census
Staff Reporter
KARACHI, March 3: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement and the Pakistan People's
Party continued for the second day on Tuesday to criticize the census
exercise but their criticisms were both for different reasons.
The MQM said it seemed as if the current census was being held like the
last time and was part of a "conspiracy" against the people of the urban
area of Sindh and they would not accept the results of such an exercise.
A senior PPP leader from Karachi said the MQM was threatening people of
"dire consequences" and forcing them to declare their mother tongue as
The MQM said there were "serious irregularities and rigging" in the
census exercise and people in many areas of Karachi had been left out.
On the other hand, a PPP leader and former deputy speaker of Sindh
Assembly, Nabil Gabol, said the MQM was using what he said were
"pressure tactics" on different communities living in Karachi in an
effort to force them to register their mother tongue as Urdu.
The MQM's coordination committee said in a statement that in many places
the number of national database forms that were given was less than the
number of people living in the household. It said that in some areas
where people lived in flats census enumerators were marking just the
single building at its main gate and not marking the flats individually.
The MQM said many flats and building compounds in Ranchhore Lines had
not been marked and in the T & T Colony in Korangi not even the forms
had been distributed leaving out "around 1,500 houses". The MQM said the
form was quite confusing and the requirement of attested photographs in
the absence of any announcement from the government in this matter was
making matters only more confusing. It said President Rafiq Tarar and
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should take notice of these "irregularities"
because many houses were not being marked at all and if this was not
checked it would be difficult for people to accept the results of the
The PPP leader, Mr Gabol, said MQM workers were "terrorizing"
communities inhabited by Memons, Gujratis, Marwaris and Punjabis and
were threatening them of "dire consequences" if they didn't declare
their mother tongue as Urdu.

Farooqui's wife, daughter arrested by FIA
Staff Reporter
KARACHI, March 3: Usman Farooqui's wife Anisa Farooqui and daughter
Sharmila Farooqui were arrested on Tuesday morning by the FIA (State
Bank Circle) and remanded to custody for investigation until March 6.
The former PS chief's wife and daughter were arrested in connection with
FIR No.  19/96, and given in the custody of the Ehtesab Cell by the
special judge, central II, handling cases of public servants.
The counsel for the Farooquis, Iqtidar Ali Hashmi, will be filing the
bail applications in the court of special judge, central II, on
Wednesday morning challenging the arrest of Anisa and Sharmila. APP
FIA deputy director Moazzam Jah said Anisa and Sharmeela have disclosed
that they have another locker and three bank accounts in London and UAE.
He said Anisa and Sharmeela informed the investigators that they have
valuables worth millions of rupees, cash in dollars and pound sterling
in a locker company, named Self Ridges London.
They also told the FIA that they have two joint bank accounts in London's 
Midland Bank and Barclay's Bank in their names.
They told the FIA that a private party of Pakistan Steel had transferred
the commission to Midland Bank in London during 1996.
Mr Jah said FIA had also obtained documents relating to the payment and
deposit of kick-backs from the private party in Midland Bank London.
They also informed the FIA team that they have another bank account in
the UAE.
During the investigation and search of their house, FIA Ehtesab Cell
recovered cheque books of about 48 accounts in several local banks
including HBL, UBL, MCB, Bank of Punjab and ANZ Grindlays Bank.
He said FIA team was interrogating both the women and some more
disclosures are expected in few days about the actual worth of valuables
and cash in Self Ridges locker and three bank accounts, two of them in
London and one in the UAE.
Similarly, investigations will further reveal the value of amount in 48
bank accounts in Pakistan, he added.

CM pledges protection to foreign investors
BADIN, Feb 28: Chief Minister Liaquat Ali Jatoi has held out the
assurance that his government would make every effort to ensure
protection to the the foreign investors and the culprits involved in the
terrorism would be taken to task.
Mr Jatoi was addressing a reception hosted in his honour at Khaskheli
Oil Fields of the Union Texas of Pakistan (UTP) here on Saturday.
A large number of workers, including employees of the UTP, were present
on the occasion.
The chief minister expressed his heartfelt sorrow and grief over the
killing of UTP employees, Iranian technicians and other employees of
certain foreign firms, in acts of terrorism recently at different places
of the country. He said the terrorist attacks were aimed at frustrating
government's moves to invite foreign investors.
He said that his government would crush terrorists with iron hand who,
he said, were bent upon creating hurdles in government's moves to bring
about industrial revolution in the country.
Mr Jatoi appreciated the UTP's activities in social sector. He welcomed
the firm's cooperation and assistance in health and education sector
especially its donation of Rs20 million for the establishment of a girls
college in Shaheed Fazil Rahu.
He said such assistance and cooperation would improve the standard of
living and socio-economic conditions in the area.
The Divisional Manager of Union Texas, Lerry W. Sipe, in his welcome
address said that 25,000 barrels of oil were being produced daily from
Khaskheli Oil Field which is 25 per cent of the country's total oil
Similarly, he said, the fields were meeting 10 per cent gas requirements
of the country. The oil production from the fields would touch 60 per
cent mark over the next few years, he added.
Mr Jatoi said that the government had been maintaining strong relations
with other countries and expressed his hope that the ties would be
strengthened further with the passage of time.
Provincial ministers Mohammed Ismail Rahu and Saleem Zia, Senators
Sadaquat Jatoi and Aftab Shaikh also spoke on the occasion.
Later, the CM, ministers and senators visited various sections of the
fields and inspected UTP's various units of oil and gas exploration.

Fixed tax replaces GST: accord reached
ISLAMABAD, March 4: The government on Wednesday eventually acceded to
the businessmen's demand for levying a fixed tax in lieu of the General
Sales Tax (GST). However, the chief of the Central Board of Revenue made
it clear that the fixed tax would be a one-time affair and from 1998-99
onwards, a new formula would have to be worked out for payment of
general sales tax..
"We have told traders that the government will recover fixed tax up to
July this year and from the next financial year, everything will have to
be worked out afresh", said Mr Moeenuddin Khan, the new CBR chief.
"The issue has now been resolved after the traders agreed to get
themselves documented with the Central Board of Revenue."
He told Dawn the government had decided to categorize businessmen and
after completion of the process, would ask traders to pay tax in lump
Mr Moeenuddin Khan said a formula would soon be worked out for
calculating the amount of GST from the next financial year (1998-99).
"Now the traders will be categorized as soon as possible and we hope to
recover over Rs 2 billion by April," he said.
International donors, especially World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), have been opposing a fixed tax regime.
Sources said the International Monetary Fund had told authorities that
the GST should be linked to income as a flat tax would not solve the
problem of low revenue collection.
The CBR had earlier made arrangements to induct computer programmers for
assessing the traders income and had interviewed 1,280 people for the
purpose.  But Wednesday's decision has turned all this into an exercise
in futility.
The decision to appoint law officers and auditors for recovering GST
will also have to wait.
Sources said the prime minister had made it clear to traders that the
government would make no concessions and every businessman would have to
pay GST.

7 killed in two bomb blasts in Karachi
Mohammed Riaz and Tahir Siddiqui
KARACHI, Feb 28: At least seven people were killed and another 26
injured on Saturday when two time-bombs exploded in the premises of
Al-Asif Square at Sohrab Goth on the Super Highway.
Two of the victims died on the spots, four on arrival in hospital, and
the seventh one late in the night.
The first explosion, caused by a home-made time device containing 400
grams of TNT, occurred at 11am under a wooden cabin of Mohammad Naeem,
an Afghan refugee, between 'M' and 'G' blocks of the
residential-cum-commercial plaza housing 1,911 flats and more than 300
shops in addition to over 200 makeshift stalls in the lanes around the
The cabin along the wall of block 'G', also housing the Islamia Public
School on the third floor of the building, was reduced to rubble by the
The students of the school were playing in the lane during their recess
when the bomb exploded, and four of them were injured.
The first victim of the blast, a cold-drink and icecream vendor, flew
like a rocket and landed in the balcony of the flat at the first floor
opposite the cabin. He was stated to be the owner of the cabin.
The explosion, which claimed two lives on the spot, caused a crater
measuring 35x21 inches under the cabin. Pieces of human flesh were seen
glued to the walls of the block.
Two other cabins owned by Qasim Tareen, a pot seller, and Haji Mohammad
Shafi, an electrician, too, were destroyed.
Haji Shafi said they had brought down a mutilated body from the rooftop
of a cabin, but he could not identify the victim. A knot of human hair
was seen pasted on the wall above the cabin owned by the electrician.
Some pieces of human flesh were littered on the ground in front of Sakhi
Restaurant in the square.

Banks told to take defaulters to court
KARACHI, March 1: The State Bank governor, Dr Muhammad Yaqub, on Sunday,
urged all the commercial banks to gear up efforts to recover the
stuck-up loans by pursuing the defaulters in the newly established
banking courts under the new recovery law, says a SBP press release.
Presiding over a meeting of the chief executives of all commercial banks
at the SBP, Dr Muhammad Yaqub said that the total amount of stuck-up
bank loans against those in the Rs1 million and above category had gone
up to Rs143 billion on Dec 31.
At the time of launching of the Loan Incentive Scheme the outstanding
amount was Rs127 billion.
The meeting after a detailed review evolved a strategy for the recovery
of loans and it was agreed that the State Bank of Pakistan would monitor
the implementation of the strategy.
A committee, headed by President Habib Bank, Shaukat Tareen, was
entrusted the task of preparing a report on impediments to loan
The report will be submitted to the prime minister and the finance
minister for consideration, Dr Yaqub said.
The State Bank governor acknowledged that despite all the concessions
and time given, the "initial response of the loan defaulters was
lukewarm and the ultimate outcome was very poor."

While a large number of defaulters did not respond, some 39,000, with an
outstanding amount of Rs27 billion, entered into agreements to pay
Rs15.5 billion, implying an implicit remission of interest of Rs11.5
billion. But until Feb 16 only Rs4.2 billion were paid by them.
The SBP governor observed that all those who had not settled their full
dues under the agreements, had once again joined the ranks of

Dr Yaqub briefed the bankers on the expansion of credit to the private
sector up to February 14. Private sector credit had expanded by Rs78.4
billion during July 1, 1997 - February 14, 1998, as compared to Rs59
billion in the corresponding period last year and the target of Rs82
billion for 1997/98 as a whole.
Export finance, production loans to agriculture, lending for working
capital and trade financing during the current year so far were way
above the corresponding period last year, claimed the SBP press release.
The State Bank governor urged the banks to intensify the retirement of
seasonal credit so that non-seasonal credit demand could be met without
exceeding the credit expansion limits for the year as a whole.

Attempt on life leaves Ahsan seriously hurt
Mohammed Riaz and Tahir Siddiqi
KARACHI, March 4: The Ahsan-Riffat love saga took a tragic turn on
Wednesday when gunmen opened fire and wounded Kunwar Ahsan seriously
outside a court room on the 2nd floor of the City Courts building here.
Ahsan, 31, received three bullets and was rushed to Civil Hospital where
he was still fighting for his life in the intensive care unit of the
surgical ward but was stated to be in a stable condition and on
spontaneous breathing when this report was written past midnight.
Ahsan, whose remand expired on Wednesday, was brought by inspector
Chaudhry Bakhtawar of the Range Investigation Cell to the court of S. M.
Shakeel, a judicial magistrate, at 11.50am. Ahsan and the RIC escort
walked up the stairs to the second floor of the building. Just outside a
vacant courtroom adjacent to that of the judicial magistrate, the
gunmen, who had been probably hiding near the stairs, fired several
shots on Ahsan who was in the middle of several policemen. He was pushed
by a policeman into the vacant courtroom, but he had already been hit by
three bullets. He collapsed and fell unconscious. Blood was splashed in
and outside the courtroom.
The shooting jolted the entire floor and caused a general panic among
litigants and court staff. Everyone scambled down the stairs.
The police retuned the fire and also fired teargas shells to clear the
way for them to round up the suspects.
The RIC team comprised two mobiles manned by armed personnel. Besides,
there were scores of policemen on the premises and they all joined in
the hunt for the assailants.
A policeman grappled with Niazbat Khan who claims to be the husband of
Riffat, at the stairs and overpowered him. The police recovered two TT
pistols with 10 live rounds from the suspects. Eight empties were found
on the site.
The police rounded up 12 people, including Niazbat and Abdul Qudoos, a
brother of Riffat, and took them to the Risala police station. After
clearing the verandas of the crowd that had gathered there, the police
took Ahsan to the hospital where they cordoned off the emergency ward
and also fired to restrain

people from coming in.

Eight die as rain plays havoc in the country
Dawn Report
PESHAWAR, March 4: During the ongoing spell of rains, more areas
suffered casualties and damages to property. At least eight people were
killed and many others injured in rain-related accidents as heavy rains
played havoc only in different parts of the NWFP.
The current spell of rain in the whole province has no match in the
recent past and the intermittent downpour continuing for the last three
months has badly affected the normal life.
The worst-hit areas are Hazara and Malakand divisions. Several deaths
were reported in remote areas of Mansehra district while in Swat and
Swabi at least eight people were killed in house collapse accidents.
Reports of a large number of house collapse accidents and livestock
killings were also poured in from every nook and corner of the province.
The rivers and nullahs are overflowing and roads have also been badly
MINGORA: At least four people were killed and two others seriously
injured as torrential rain lashed the area. The incident took place at
Kanju Gharibabad on Tuesday night, Our Mingora Correspondent adds.
Amir Rawan and his wife, Begum, died in the house collapse while their
two children miraculously escaped. In similar incident at Village
Kokari, Safia, daughter of Gul Rehman, and his son, Salim, died. Two
other sons suffered serious injuries and were admitted to Saidu Sharif
Reports reaching from the whole Swat valley say that rains have
seriously damaged mud houses. The situation has been complicated by
heavy snowfall that has cut all road links with remote areas including
Shangla. People of Chakesar, Puran, Martung and other far-flung areas
have been facing severe food shortage because the rains and snowfall
have blocked all roads.
ABBOTTABAD: The entire communication system of the Hazara division was
badly affected because of heavy snowfall and land sliding in Abbottabad,
says Our Abbottabad Correspondent.
The Abbottabad-Muree Road is completely closed from Toheed Abad to Donga
Gali point where three to four feet snowfall was reported. The highway
staff of Abbottabad circle was making efforts to clear the road with at
least three cutting machines and was helping the NHA authorities.
Kaghan and Naran areas were reported to have received four and seven
feet snowfall, respectively. However, the main KKH road is clear for all
types of traffic.
Unusual spell of rain and snowfall has badly hit the census work in the
region, especially in Thandiyani area where Thandiyani to Pattan Kalan
Road and Boi Soargali Road were closed for all types of traffic, thereby
blocking the movement of the census staff.
MIRPUR (AJK): Normal life was badly affected in Mirpur following
torrential rains in all parts of Azad Kashmir since Tuesday night, adds
Attendance in private and public sector institutions remained thin
because of the downpour.
Reports reaching from across the Line of Control said various parts of
occupied Kashmir also received heavy rain.
The valley was cut off from the rest of the world following the closure
of the highway linking Jammu and Srinagar due to land-sliding.
ISLAMABAD: The Met Office said that during the last two days, Islamabad
received a total of 75mm of rain in the current wet spell, Our
Correspondent adds from Islamabad.
Murree received the heaviest spell of rain during the last two days. A
total of 150mm rain was registered in the Hill Resort of Murree and
surrounding areas.  For the crops, a Met Office official said the
current wet spell was not beneficial or good for the Rabi Crops
especially for the wheat.

                 B U S I N E S S  &  E C O N O M Y
Forbes signs $500m pact
Faraz Hashmi
ISLAMABAD, Feb 28: An American investor group Forbes on Saturday signed
an agreement with the Government of Pakistan for investing half a
billion dollars to develop a fishing port at Gwadar.
The agreement, inked by Lucien E. Forbes Chairman and CEO of Forbes and
Company and Secretary Board of Investment Abdullah Yousaf, envisages the
investment of 519 million dollars in the next three years.
Forbes and Company will undertake a study of the project within next six
months.  "If there is no hurdle from the government side we will
complete the project within three years," Ali Nawaz Sheikh Chairman of
ICA a local partner of Forbes told Dawn.
"The Forbes-ICA project entails a foreign direct investment of 0.5
billion dollars for the establishment of large-scale fisheries
industries, development of sea-ports, and setting-up of a
state-of-the-art fishing fleet for deep-sea fishing," said a press
release of Forbes.
Sheikh, who did not give other details of the project on phone, however
said that it would provide jobs to 2000 people. The project also
involved import of around 100 fishing trawlers and grant of deep sea
fishing licence in the Pakistan exclusive economic zone.
A source said that the government would grant a licence allowing Forbes
to catch 3.5 million tons of fish a year from the economic zones of
Pakistan having an estimated potential of over 700 million tons per
Forbes visiting Pakistan had been accorded status of state guest. Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif had put his personal plane at his disposal in
which he also flew to Abu Dhabi and came back on Thursday to sign an
agreement with the government of Pakistan.

No more devaluation, please!
Anil Datta

THE Chairman of the Export Promotion Bureau, Khawaja Bilal Ahmad, a
knitwear exporter, recently advocated devaluation of the Pakistani rupee
"by a realistic margin" to make exports competitive in order to stave
off the impact of the regional currency turmoil.
According to the latest State Bank of Pakistan hand-out, Pakistan's
foreign exchange reserves fell from $1.078 a week earlier, to $1.042 on
February 14, 1998.
The week prior to that, according to another State Bank bulletin,
reserves had dropped by $46 million in the January 31- February 7
The January 17-24 week, also witnessed a plunge of $68 million, from
$1.107 billion to $1.039 billion.
If we were to trace the record further backwards, we would find the same
dismal performance.
Among other things, this successive drop in reserves figures proves
beyond a shadow of doubt that the frantic four-time devaluation of the
Pakistani rupee within a matter of two years, (October 28, 1995 to
October 15, 1997) has simply failed to achieve its objective. All it has
done is, it has given rise to constantly skyrocketing inflation, all to
the detriment of the common folk who now have to constantly grapple with
shortages and insufficient funds. In short, it has bred nothing but
unmitigated misery for the man on the street.
Most of all, apart from the IMF and the IBRD, among those clamouring for
devaluation of the Pakistani currency was the ubiquitous APTMA
(All-Pakistan Textile Mills' Association). They were hankering after the
step on the grounds that it would help make their products more
competitive overseas, which they thought would bring in large sums of
foreign exchange.
Surely they would have had to lick the dust when a recent Press report
said that there had been a 4 per cent drop in the exports of Pakistan's
textile in the first half of Fiscal 1997- 98.
What further confounds the confusion amid this dismal scenario, is the
recent statement of the Chairman, Export Promotion Bureau, advocating
devaluation of the Pakistani rupee, "by a realistic margin".
The reason he cites is the currencies of the entire region going down,
an obvious reference to the east Asian currency crisis. One would have
expected that officials of such vital and august organisations who have
constant access to facts and figures, and being absolutely aware of the
incessantly dismal performance despite the four-time devaluation, would
know better.
It would be absolutely erroneous to equate Pakistan with the erstwhile
east Asian Tigers. The pattern of their exports is totally different
from ours.  These countries were (and are) exporting mostly capital
equipment and hi-tech items whereas an overwhelming chunk of our exports
is raw materials and primary goods, like cotton and rice. We, on the
other hand, are major importers of capital equipment. As such, in our
case devaluation would be a totally counter- productive, a backfiring
exercise, as after devaluation, we would have to pay far more for import
of this capital equipment, which in turn would increase the cost of
production of our manufactures, making them even more uncompetitive in
the world market, eroding any competitive edge we may be having over our
rivals.  This would make the step a self-defeating exercise.
An in-depth analysis of the country's manifold economic ills reveals
that these have been mainly due to manipulation of the exchange rates
without any attention to other macro-economic fundamentals like the
fiscal deficit, galloping inflation, low productivity of labour, and
grossly inept feudal-dictated economic management, both in the public
and the private sectors. The scenario has been marked by a total absence
of generation of export surplus, particularly value-added items.
Even though devaluation worldwide has seldom been known to achieve the
desired results--at least never in totality--it still could be said that
it might help prop up the exports of a country that is lumbered with a
large export(able) surplus.

EC plans 32.5pc dumping duty
Shadaba Islam
BRUSSELS, March 3: The European Commission is planning to impose an
anti-dumping duty of 32.5% on Pakistan's exports of unbleached cotton or
grey cloth later this week.
Dumping fines of 31.7% could also be imposed on Indonesia, 16.9% on
India, 20.6% on Egypt, 15.7% on China and 14.29% on Turkey.
Trade analysts say the EC is planning to impose these fines on a
provisional basis, after consulting European Union member states on
March 5.
Under EU rules, the duties can be imposed temporarily by the EC but can
only be made definite after a period of six months if they are backed by
a majority of EU governments.
European traders and importers have accused the EC of "trade harassment"
and say the fines are politically motivated.
This is the second time in two years that the EC, responding to a
complaint from Eurocotton, Brussels-based lobby group, imposed
provisional anti-dumping duties on the six countries.
The EC's first anti-dumping inquiry ended in February, 1996, with the
Commission saying it had found no evidence that the grey cloth imports
were damaging European industry.
The second time around, provisional duties were imposed but in May,
1997, a majority of EU member states rejected the imposition of
definitive anti-dumping fines on the exporters.
Soon after, however, following political pressure applied by France
which hosts several cotton producing plants, the European Commission
opened its third anti- dumping investigation into the same products
exported by the same six developing countries.
"Our impression is that the EC is guilty of misusing its anti-dumping
power," says Hendrik Abma, of the Foreign Trade Association, which
brings together European retailers.
He said the EC was engaged in a "power struggle" with the EU Council of
Ministers which last year voted against the anti-dumping fines.


Short-term plan to improve PS performance
Ihtashamul Haque
ISLAMABAD, March 3: The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet
(ECC) which met here on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Minister for
Finance, Senator Sartaj Aziz has approved a short-term plan to improve
the performance of the Pakistan Steel Mills.
"The ECC has decided to rehabilitate the mills by removing its problems
that are related specially to demurrages and excise duty", said the
minister for finance.
He told Dawn after the meeting that a decision has been taken to remove
unfair competition in the Pakistan Steel due to which it was facing
various problems.
"The government wants to resolve the financial problems of the mills and
we also plan to correct its income tax regime", the minister for finance
further stated.
He pointed out that various improvements will be introduced in the mills
in the light of the recommendations of the Task Force constituted
earlier, over the issue.
He said that the issues related to corruption in the PS did not come up
for discussion and that they were being handled separately.
However, he said that the menace of corruption in the PS has
considerably been eliminated during the last one year.
He said that it was PPP government which ruined the organization.
The ECC was informed that a committee has since been set up, following
prime minister's visit to PS, to look at some remaining issues including
those relating to expansion of the mill.
However, it was not known whether the ECC discussed the converting of PS
into a public limited company as was reportedly recommended by the Task
The ECC also approved the support price for onion for the 1997-98 crop
at Rs 112 per 40kg for the size of bulbs of 40-50mm and Rs 120 per 40kg
for size above 50mm. The decision was taken keeping in view the
increased prices of inputs i.e.  higher wage rates, power tariff, diesel
price and cost of plant protection.
The committee also directed the ministry of food and agriculture to take
measures for supply of quality seeds, balanced use of fertilizers,
grading of onions and improving crop statistics.

IMF to face financial crisis
Shaheen Sehbai
WASHINGTON, March 4: The IMF is almost certain to face a serious
financial crisis as the US Congress on Tuesday agreed only to provide
less then 20 per cent of 18 billion dollars with the rest of the money
tied to reforms.
Chairman of the Senate Appropriations sub-committee, Mitch McConnell,
told the Clinton Administration that his committee may approve only $3.5
billion in US contribution to the new IMF emergency fund.
"The other $14.5 billion will have to wait until Congress sees actual
reforms implemented within IMF. What reforms can you support and secure
in the IMF and when can you get them," he asked Treasury Secretary
Robert Rubin.
The congressional conditions and linkage to changes within the IMF came
at a hearing in which Rubin and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan,
testified on behalf of the administration to lobby for the 18 billion
dollars promised by the US to the IMF.
Senators wanted to know, and get assurances, whether the IMF was working
actively to promote changes within the agency.
Observers saw it as another sign of the growing US arrogance, at all
levels, to impose its will on the international community, either
through the UN Security Council as in the case of Iraq or through the
lending agencies by seeking political changes.
Rubin told the hearing the Clinton administration was holding intensive
discussions with IMF officials about various proposals to promote
greater openness, including having the agency's books reviewed by the
General Accounting Office, a proposal pushed by Senate Foreign Relations
Chairman Jesse Helms.
A diplomat said by demanding that a US office audit the IMF books,
Congress was actually trying to bring the IMF under its thumb,
literally, in utter disregard to the rest of the donors who hold 82 per
cent of IMF's voting rights.
Both Secretary Rubin and Greenspan cautioned that it was critical not to
deprive the IMF of the resources it might need to cope with future
crises while reform efforts are under way.
"We cannot afford to take the risk - however small the probability -
that a major crisis develops while the IMF is without the capacity to
respond," Rubin told the panel.
The IMF took the lead last year in assembling more than $100 billion in
emergency loans for Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea after the three
countries were hit by severe currency crises.
Critics of the IMF said they were sure that without firm action by
Congress, like withholding US support, the agency would never make the
necessary changes.
Rubin stressed that one of the key reforms the administration is seeking
to put into place is a new method to deal with the so-called moral
hazard issue, to ensure that investors and banks that make bad decisions
are forced to suffer losses.
Critics have charged that a large portion of the IMF bailout money ends
up in the pockets of wealthy banks and investors.
Rubin told reporters after the hearing that the administration remained
hopeful it could obtain congressional funding for the IMF.
"There are a number of issues members of Congress want to get addressed
and we are very much working to try to address those issues," Rubin
The issue of what reforms should be imposed on the IMF is only one of
the hurdles the administration is facing. Abortion is another as
opponents are vowing to attach language on family planning programmes of
international institutions to any IMF funding bill.

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              E D I T O R I A L S  &  F E A T U R E S
Hear no evil
Ardeshir Cowasjee
OUR two alternating juvenile prime ministers and opposition leaders are
made of the same stuff. They care not for our Constitution; they make no
effort to conform to it; they amend it to suit their own purposes. They
have no regard for our laws, which they chop and change at will. When a
chief justice asserts the independence of the judiciary, he is deemed to
be 'non- cooperative' and is removed by machinations defying law.
Had the seven honourable judges of the Supreme Court now hearing the
cases against this prime minister and his minions been able to hear the
testimony of former president Farooq Leghari (who suffered both
juveniles), he would have sworn on oath that neither is capable of
tolerating, or surviving, an independent judiciary.
He would have reaffirmed his public statements of December 2, 1997 when
he announced his resignation (and might even have revealed other issues
such as Tarar's flight to Quetta on November 26, 1997). He would have
substantiated his affirmations with details of past shameful events, and
the Supreme Court of Pakistan might just have found the present and
former heads of government guilty as charged.
Shortly after the March 20, 1996, judgment was announced by the then
Chief Justice of Pakistan, Sajjad Ali Shah, Prime Minister Benazir
Bhutto went to President Leghari and asked him to denotify the Chief
Justice. Why? Because his judgment, repugnant to her selfish interests,
would stand in her way.  Impossible, he told her, and advised her not to
take on the judiciary in a battle she was bound to lose.
Eighteen months later, on October 16, 1997, shortly after the then Chief
Justice had nominated five High Court judges for elevation to the
Supreme Court, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif went to Leghari, taking with
him as support and as his voice Leghari's erstwhile friend, Punjab
Governor Barrister Shahid Hamid.  They asked him to denotify the same
Chief Justice, giving as an excuse their fear that with the five judges
elevated, he may shoot down their Anti-Terrorism Act.  Nawaz had the
denotification document ready for the President's signature in his
pocket. Once again, Leghari had to refuse. Nawaz Sharif went a step
further and asked him to send to the Supreme Judicial Council a
reference against Sajjad Ali Shah on the grounds that his appointment
was unconstitutional and that he was guilty of misconduct. There was no
way, under the Constitution, that Leghari could agree to this. Nawaz
Sharif then put on a brave face and announced that all was not lost as
they had "worked on the Judges." When Leghari pressed them to give the
true reason, they admitted that it was Nawaz Sharif's fear that Sajjad
Ali Shah, with the support of those elevated, might well disqualify him
in the cases filed against him. And, besides, it suited Nawaz to have
two of the five remain where they were.
At around 0130 hours on November 27, following the unprecedented
unconstitutional suspension of Sajjad Ali Shah (Chief Justice of
Pakistan for almost four years) by the Quetta Bench of the Supreme Court
in the afternoon of the 26th, Nawaz Sharif arrived at the Aiwan to meet
Leghari, bringing with him Speaker Ilahi Bakhsh Soomro, Senate Chairman
Wasim Sajjad, Law Minister Khalid Anwer, COAS General Jehangir Karamat
and DG-ISI Lt. General Rana. For four hours they tried to pressure him
into swearing-in as Chief Justice the seniormost judge of the Supreme
Court, Ajmal Mian. The Law Minister trotted out at length various
precedents to support the action of the Quetta Bench, in response to
which Leghari informed him that during the past three months it was his
advice that had brought Nawaz to his present predicament.
Leghari informed them that he would not sign Sajjad Ali Shah's
denotification, that he would rather resign and hand over to Wasim
Sajjad who, as Acting President, would have no moral compunctions to
swiftly signing on the dotted line. They begged him not to resign, quite
ignoring the fact that for the past many days Nawaz Sharif, Illahi
Bakhsh and Wasim had been frantically busy trying to move an impeachment
motion against Leghari.
Five days later Leghari did resign rather than uphold Sajjad Ali Shah's
unconstitutional removal. In his December 2 resignation speech (recorded
by his men) to an audience which included some 200 international and
national media people, he spoke at length on the crisis engineered by
Nawaz Sharif, intent upon his confrontation with the Chief Justice,
loathe to make any attempt to resolve it. He spoke of the cost to the
nation in economic terms of the two-month paralysis of the government, a
cost of some Rs.1 billion per day, and of the cost in other intangible
terms - the negation of the rule of law, the subjugation of the
judiciary, the damage done to the nation's institutions and morale.
He spoke of the engineered disruption of the Supreme Court, of
government pressure exerted upon the judges of the Court in order to
deliberately and with mala fide intentions fuel the confrontation
between the executive and the judiciary. He spoke of how the prime
minister's parliamentarians in open court had insulted the chief
justice, of how the ruling party had sent in "goons and militants and
parliamentarians to assault the Supreme Court, to jump over fences, to
break through doors, to go through corridors waving flags, chanting,
dancing and hurling abuses at the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the
Supreme Court of Pakistan."
He spoke of how he had done his best to dissuade Nawaz Sharif from his
tussle, to instead concentrate on the major issues confronting the
nation, such as poverty, illiteracy, the backwardness of its women, its
health, the need for social reforms, the need for modern technology, the
need to improve science and agriculture through research. He spoke of
how he had begged Nawaz Sharif to back down, to uphold rather than
destroy the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law, to not
damage irreparably the institutions of the state. He spoke of how Nawaz
Sharif had thrice offered him a second term in return for his
'cooperation' and how thrice he had refused.
On February 24, 1998, an application under Order V Rule 1 of the Supreme
Court Rules 1980, was filed by Advocate Muhammad Ikram Choudhary,
petitioner in the contempt case against Nawaz Sharif and others now
being heard in the Supreme Court, and his Advocate on Record, M A Zaidi.
The application pleaded:
"That Mr Ardeshir Cowasjee has written an article in Dawn of Karachi, on
Sunday the 22nd of February 1998, titled 'The second Tumandar' relating
to alleged 'subjugation and politicising of the judiciary,' as stated by
Mr Farooq Leghari, the ex-president of Pakistan, and so stated in the
above article.
"That Mr Ardeshir Cowasjee ... has already sent the speech on video
cassette to the Resgistrar S.C. Islamabad. "That Mr Leghari, as per
Ardeshir Cowasjee, is ready to make a statement on oath in the learned
court for the purposes of analysis of the relevant facts and events
involved in this case and to do so in the interests of justice.
"That the petitioner is placing on record the video cassette containing
the speech of Mr Leghari and other things stated above and requests for
an appropriate order".
The application came up the next day before seven judges. They ordered:
"In our view, Mr Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari's the then proposed speech
which is contained in the video referred to in the application cannot be
taken by this Court as a piece of evidence on the controversy in issue.
The application is dismissed."
The video cassette of the speech submitted to the Court is not the
recording of " Mr Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari's the then proposed speech".
It is the recording of the speech actually made by President Leghari at
the Aiwan-e-Sadar on December 2, 1997.
Excerpts from this speech were broadcast on international television
channels on December 2 and December 3, but no part of it was allowed to
be broadcast by the government-controlled PTV. Excerpts were also
reported in the national and international press of December 3.

Who is to blame for '71 crisis?
M.H. Askari
FOLLOWING certain remarks made by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his
recent tour of Dhaka about the breakaway of the former eastern wing of
the country, there has been a bitter media debate over who was to blame
for the excesses allegedly committed during the army action there in
1971 and whether or not Pakistan owed an apology to Bangladesh for what
There are clearly two aspects of the 1970-71 crisis: one, whether the
secession of erstwhile East Pakistan could have been averted, and, two,
whether the manner in which the secessionist impulse among the people
there was handled was the best or only way to deal with it.
In tracing the genesis of the breakaway movement, there is virtually a
consensus among scholars and political scientists that it certainly did
not erupt suddenly with the elections of 1970. The question has been
asked time and again whether the dominant elements in Pakistan's ruling
elites did not from the outset pursue policies which aggravated rather
than narrowed down the cultural, political and economic disparities
between the two wings of the country.
It is a matter of record that the veteran Muslim League leader of
undivided Bengal, Abul Hashim, actually raised the demand for a separate
Bengali state in the session of the All India Muslim League Council in
New Delhi in 1946 on the plea that the March 23, 1940 resolution of the
League had to be interpreted as an endorsement of the demand for two
separate states. Along with Shaheed Suhrawardy, Abul Hashim had been the
architect of the Muslim League in Bengal during the critical phase of
the struggle for a homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent and
represented the will of the Bengali people at the grassroots level.
However, he and the elements represented by him were passed over in the
Muslim League Council session of 1946 and the Lahore resolution was
amended in a way to establish that the intention had always been to
demand a single state and not more than one state. Did Abul Hashim and
other Bengali leaders who were in harmony with his thinking have the
premonition that within the setup of a single state, the people of
Bengal despite their majority, would have to live under the domination
of a highly centralised government, with no regard for their own
aspirations and political and cultural identity? It has been suggested
by several eminent scholars that soon after the formation of Pakistan,
the conflict between those who claimed to represent the popular and more
radical elements in Bengal and others, who were more conservative, had
begun. Prof Khalid Bin Sayeed has expressed the view that once Pakistan
had come into being, the central leadership adopted the perception that
"a significant number of influential Bengali Muslims were probably not
completely loyal Pakistanis." It was openly suggested that in matters
such as the Bengalis' insistence upon retaining the Bengali language and
culture, it was evident that they were under the influence of ideas from
across the border.
The Muslim separatist movement had almost always been dominated by the
Urdu- speaking leadership belonging to the northern parts of the
subcontinent. Prof Sayeed contends that strong elements among them,
specially those under the influence of the thinking of Jamaat-i-Islami,
tended to regard the Bengalis as well as Muslims from many other
non-Urdu speaking parts of the subcontinent as "not really pure and
strict Muslims," almost "an inferior breed who needed to be purified
more rigorously." Such thinking in the western wing, even among sections
of the intelligentsia, reached near-hysteric proportions during the
crisis of 1970-71 and was perhaps even encouraged by certain vested
interests who believed that dumping East Pakistan was the only way to
deal with post- election situation.
However, even Prof G.W. Choudhury, who subscribed to the belief that
Bengali nationalists like Shaikh Mujibur Rahman always wanted to have a
separate state of Bangladesh, concedes that though at the outset
Pakistan had adopted a parliamentary system of government and a federal
constitution, this remained only the outer trappings. They were designed
to provide a cloak for "rule by the few who were able to concentrate
power in their own hands." He was emphatically of the view that during
eleven years (1947-58) of socalled parliamentary system, neither the
system nor the federation was genuine. This even prompted the Electoral
Reforms Commission of Pakistan to say in a report in 1956 that Pakistan
had held no general elections, even such provincial elections as were
held had been no more than "a farce, a mockery and a fraud upon the
One would tend to agree with Prof Choudhury that the failure of
democracy in Pakistan led to the emergence of a powerful civil-military
bureaucratic elite, almost entirely dominated by West Pakistan, and they
were the ones who wielded real political and economic power. Even in
purely provincial matters, all the key posts in the East Pakistan
administration were held by West Pakistanis with direct access to the
ruling elite at the centre.
A senior civil servant from Punjab had the temerity to give a Bengali
Muslim leader of the stature of Suhrawardy 24 hours to move out of East
With the rise of Ayub Khan to power, the army which was until then
supporting the ruling bureaucratic elite from the outside, came into the
open. In the state of affairs which then prevailed, to quote Prof
Choudhury once again, it was only through participation and sharing of
responsibility that the Bengalis could have developed a national
sentiment but this was not to happen. In the situation that the Bengalis
found themselves, religion failed to serve as a binding force with the
rest of Pakistan.
To make matters worse, the country's economic resources were almost all
entirely under the control of the West Pakistan-based bureaucratic
elite. While East

Pakistan earned most of the country's foreign exchange, a much larger
share of it was spent on the development of West Pakistan. A report
compiled by certain economic experts of the Planning Commission in 1970
established the fact of the increasing disparity between the economic
development of the two wings, with "a widening gap between the income of
the average West Pakistani and of his (poorer) Eastern counterpart."
Prof Choudhury has also gone on record to say that in 1969 when he
joined Yahya Khan's cabinet, he discovered that the intelligence
authorities used to render elaborate briefs to the Cabinet merely on
matters such as labour or education policy and their "real reports" on
the political situation was meant only for Yahya Khan and his inner
junta. Never during his two years in the Cabinet did Dr Choudhary see
any "real and meaningful report on vital matters such as defence,
foreign affairs or political policies and programmes."
The turning point in the situation in East Pakistan developed after Mr
Bhutto and the PPP decided not to attend the Constituent Assembly
meeting in Dhaka scheduled for March 1, 1971. But the responsibility for
what followed was entirely that of Yahya Khan and his junta. According
to "one able officer" quoted (but not named) by the American scholars
Richard Sission and Leo Rose, authors of one of a most definitive study
of the 1971 crisis, Yahya Khan declared in "an important meeting" on
February 20 that Mujibur Rahman was not "behaving" and he needed to
"sort this b... out" and test his loyalty. The following day (Feb 21),
Yahya Khan dismissed his civilian cabinet, one major reason for which
was that it could have been a "nuisance" if and when military action had
to be taken in East Pakistan and with five of the ministers belonging to
the eastern wing it was impossible to discuss the East wing crisis in
the cabinet.
At a subsequent high-level meeting Yahya Khan announced his intention to
renege on his announcement to convene the Constituent Assembly at Dhaka
on March 1. The President also decided to impose strict Press censorship
and ensure a "tighter enforcement of martial law," in the eastern wing
by combining the posts of governor and martial law administrator.
Admiral Ahsan, who had persistently opposed military action, immediately
asked to be relieved of his responsibilities as governor in Dhaka. If
appears that in the last few days of February, communication between
Dhaka and Rawalpindi were virtually at a standstill and East Pakistan
was unaware of what was happening in the President's House.
When the negotiations in Dhaka between Yahya Khan and his aides on one
side and Mujib and his aides on the other in the third week of March
1971 broke down, Yahya Khan directed Generals Tikka Khan and Rao Farman
Ali to "finalize the drafting of operational orders for military
action." It was then discovered that Gen Rao Farman, along with another
General, Khadim Raja, had already started drafting the operational
orders a week earlier. This surely could not have happened at the
instance of political leaders such as Bhutto but only at the behest of
the army high command.
In the words of Professors Rose and Sisson, Yahya, under pressure from
his army command, chose to "pursue a military solution according to
plan" when the chances of a negotiated settlement with the Awami League
diminished. The estimates of civilian casualties after the onset of the
military action range from thousands to hundreds of thousands.
Among the perceived objectives of the Operation Searchlight (the code
name for the army action) were the arrest of the top leaders of the
Awami League, and the neutralizing of "the more radical elements" in the
eastern wing such as students, intellectuals, the journalists. According
to some senior army officers who were involved in the operation, the
chaos in the streets and the road blocks, combined with various forms of
people's resistance led to the army action being unusually aggressive,
rather than in the nature of a selective search and neutralization of
the radical elements.
It is significant that two of the senior most and most competent
military persons who were in East Pakistan when the crisis there reached
its peak, i.e.  Admiral S.M. Ahsan and Lieut- Gen Sahabzada Yaqub Khan,
were firmly opposed to the form that the military action assumed. Yaqub
Khan had drawn up the much discussed Operation Blitz but that was in the
context of the situation as he assessed it on the eve of the 1970
elections, and not after the results were known and the Awami League
became entitled to being trusted with political authority on the basis
of the results.
As for the political antecedents of the 1971 debacle, they had their
root in how the eastern wing was governed by the highly centralized
ruling elite initially from Karachi and later from Rawalpindi, after the
capital was shifted to Islamabad.
As has been said, it was indeed an 'artificial situation in which the
majority felt itself dominated by an elite from West Pakistan composed
of top civil and military officials." A lot of the ruling elites in
successive governments at the centre contributed to the making of the
crisis which finally erupted in 1970-71 - not much different from the
murder plot in Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express.

Story of an attack foretold
Irfan Husain

IF ever there were a man in Pakistan whose life no insurance company
would insure it was Kunwar Ahsan.

Ever since he eloped with Riffat Afridi a few weeks ago, he was a marked
man, with the young bride's male relatives - together with her entire
clan - baying for his blood. And when a sizable section of Karachi's
huge Pathan community brought the city to a grinding halt by calling a
strike, politicians of every stripe bent over backwards supporting the
lawlessness which saw two persons killed, and two doctors seriously
burned by mobs who enforced the strike with rocks and petrol bombs.

Even Benazir Bhutto demanded that the supposedly kidnapped girl be
returned to the family, callously ignoring the fact that this would have
condemned her to death. When the couple were forcibly brought back to
Karachi from Rawalpindi where they had fled, they were separated and
forced to suffer the indignity of medical examinations and repeated
court appearances. And this after Riffat produced an affidavit attesting
to her decision to marry Kunwar of her own free will, as well as a legal
marriage certificate duly witnessed.

Apart from the direct and tragic implications for the couple, this love
match and the resultant murderous attack on Kunwar Ahsan raises a number
of disturbing questions about Pakistani mores and traditions. First of
all, the fact that the attack was allowed to take place at all
underlines yet again the total ineffectiveness of the police as a
trained and disciplined body of men. Here was a man whose life was
threatened virtually daily by Riffat's family, and yet two pick-up loads
of Karachi's finest were not enough to prevent the gunmen from
approaching their target and shooting him several times at close range
within the precincts of the heavily guarded court.

As Kunwar struggles for his life, I would like to place a small bet: his
assailants will soon be released on bail, and a few months from now, the
whole incident will be forgotten. If the unfortunate young man survives,
he and his bride will have to seek sanctuary abroad if they wish to lead
a normal life. This was the fate of Saima and Arshad, the couple from
Lahore who got married last year against the wishes of Saima's family.
That legal battle went all the way to the high court where a split
verdict established the right of an adult Muslim woman to marry the man
she loved. But despite this victory, the couple was hounded into exile.

So what does this sad and sorry saga say about us? The fact that so many
people think that Riffat's and Saima's families were right in their
attempts to thwart the young women's wishes is a telling comment on how
insecure most Pakistani men are. Around the world and over the ages,
millions of girls have let their hearts and not their parents' wishes
dictate their choice of husbands. Mothers and fathers have usually
nursed their disappointment, and come to terms with the situation and
their new sons-in-law after a while. Here, they seek religious and
social sanction to vent their murderous rage against the young couples.

It would be easy to blame this barbaric mindset on our patriarchal
social structure that still rests, at the end of the millennium, on
tribalism, feudalism, and a most retrograde interpretation of Islam.
However, both the Saima and the Riffat episodes happened in Lahore and
Karachi, Pakistan's biggest and most sophisticated cities - if, indeed,
this adjective can be used in our context. If such things can happen
here without social sanction or state retribution, the situation in the
hinterland can easily be imagined. So clearly, our pretence at culture
is a thin veneer, and our claim to civilization a very hollow one.

Another myth that has been exploded by this incident is that men and
women are equal under the law in Pakistan. This whole business about
adult women having to obtain parental permission before they can get
married makes a mockery of equal rights. One of the three Lahore High
Court judges in the Saima case opined that he was being forced to
concede the girl the right to marry Arshad because of the present laws
of the land; however, he urged Parliament to amend the relevant laws to
prevent our society from becoming like "Las Vegas and Reno."

Every society has its own traditions, laws and history; this makes the
world such an interesting and varied place. But having said that, we
should remember that there are certain shared and universal values that
bind humanity together. These include a respect for the individual and
his or her right to decide what is best, as long as this decision does
not harm somebody else.

Unfortunately, Pakistani women continue to be treated as chattel, or as
children who are not fit to take the most important decision of their
lives independently. It is true that traditionally, there is very little
opportunity for boys and girls to meet, so arranged marriages continue
to be the norm. However, in a modern, urban setting, this segregation is
not as absolute as it once was. When tribals migrate to cities, they
have to accept certain changes in their lifestyle. But unfortunately,
this resistance to change is not limited to backward tribals alone: many
urbanised, educated Pakistani men share this attitude.

Somehow, male "honour" is equated with the comportment of the women of
the family: if one of them deviates from this rigid code of behaviour,
there is a tremendous loss of face followed almost inevitably by a loss
of life.  These murderous and atavistic attitudes may bemuse and puzzle
outsiders, but they are unfortunately a way of life - and, indeed, of
death - to millions of Pakistanis. But what is even more disturbing is
the manner in which both society and the law condones and tacitly
encourages such conduct.

And the fact that politicians haven't openly and strongly condemned the
recent attack and the attackers is an indication of their moral
bankruptcy.  Rather than coming to the defence of the beleaguered
couple, they have chosen to curry favour with Riffat's Pathan community.
Even the MQM, normally such a vocal defender of Mohajir rights, has
maintained diplomatic silence.

Despite what the calendar says, it seems that the millennium drawing to
a close in Pakistan is the first, not the second.
                            S P O R T S 
Tennis time tunnel: more about Iftikhar
When I wrote, "On the nearby lawn tennis courts, the burly Iftikhar
Ahmed held the small discerning group of spectators in a trance with his
aces, hard hitting drives and passing shots," in my piece, 'The Lahore
That Was' for Dawn Lahore

Special Launch Supplement, I never thought that Iftikhar would cross
over to the Happier Court, so soon.
As a school boy and university undergraduate, I had admiringly and in
adulation, followed his career through newspapers like Times of India
and Statesman, but never got a chance to see him in action as I had
Ghaus Mohammed, Yudhister, Singh, Bobb, Blake and others. I had to wait
till 1948, when I first saw him playing his immaculate, serene and
tireless tennis, which surprised his opponents in all corners of the
court, in the Lawrence Gardens of Lahore.
And I had to wait for good forty four years before meeting him for the
first time in 1992, when certain circumstances led to two brief but
pleasantly cordial encounters. Their memories, I still cherish. There
was nothing chilly and formal about him.
The column of Lateef Jafri (January 12), the unsigned note (January 24)
and Lahori's Notebook (January in Dawn on Iftikhar Ahmed prompted me to
dip into my sport scrap books, which have come down to me from my
The tennis volume starts from 1921, when the All India Lawn Tennis
Association was formed, and, it includes clippings, over the years, of
tournaments run by the Lahore Gymkhana, Allahabad Gymkhana, the Calcutta
South Club, Calcutta Cricket Club, and various tennis events in other
cities and hill stations.  (The first Lawn Tennis Championships in India
were held at the Lahore Gymkhana in 1885 - only seven years after
Wimbledon). There are assorted clippings about Karaghpur, a former
Anglo-Indian settlement (near Calcutta on the former Bengal- Nagpur
Railway), which produced an astonishing range of sportsmen and women.
Two players dominated the Indian tennis in 1920s M. Sleem was recognised
as India's number one player for almost fifteen years. Though he lacked
hitting power, he was one of the greatest tacticians in tennis, and had
a tennis brain of a high order. He represented India in Davis Cup in
1921, 1924, 1928 and 1934, leading the team on the last three occasions.
It was because of him that India won the European Zone final in 1921.
Again, it was Sleem, who took India to the final of the European Zone in
In his career, Sleem had won the Belgian, Dutch and Italian
championships, and in 1928, he won the All England Plate. His greatest
achievement was that of reaching the final of the Paris Olympics in
1924. After five thrilling sets, he lost the match (to the American
Vincent Richards) and a gold medal.
Pakistan record historic 1st Test win against S. Africa
DURBAN, March 2: Pakistan had a well earned 29-run win over South Africa
in the second Test at Kingsmead to go one up in the three-match series.
This, their first ever win in Test against South Africa, was achieved
within 43 minutes play on the final day with Waqar Younis wrapping up
the tail with the new ball but not before Mark Boucher and Fanie de
Villiers had put on a record 86 runs stand at Kingsmead for the ninth
wicket partnership. This indeed was South Africa's first defeat in 34
years at this ground after 1964-65 when England had beaten them.
The South African pair had started the final day's play which was
delayed for half an hour because of wet and soggy field at 186 for 8 and
still needing 69 more runs to deprive Pakistan of a victory. Having come
together on the fourth afternoon with Pakistan well in sight of a
historical win having reduced South Africa to 133 for 8, the two had
already shared 53 runs to create panic in the Pakistani ranks when play
had to be called off on the fourth afternoon because of bad light.
The balance though still was in favour of Pakistan as the final day's
play began. Mark Boucher and De Villiers had a tough job ahead and with
the game of cricket as it is, the possibility of a South African win was
also there considering that Boucher was well set and De Villiers not
hesitant to take chances against some wayward Pakistan bowling and
jittery fielding. After only four overs in the morning, Pakistan had
conceded 24 runs and the lead had started to look ordinary. It was then
that the final gamble was taken. The new ball, already four overs due,
was handed over to Waqar Younis who had started the day with Mushtaq
Boucher 26 overnight, who had played a couple of scorching drives in the
morning then was soon past his fifty with the help of seven fours in 126
minutes of sheer gut against Mushtaq Ahmed's attacking spin bowling. The
new ball, however, brought the much needed wicket as Waqar pitched one
on the middle and off disturbed Boucher's furniture behind him. Boucher
made 52 and in the process had added 86 record runs for the ninth wicket
at Kingsmead overtaking 80 runs stand between Azhar Mahmood and Shoaib
Akhtar in the first innings of this Test.
It was now a matter of time before Pakistan could inflict the final blow
which they did through Waqar once again who forced the injured Allan
Donald on the back foot and wrap him in front to win a successful appeal
and with it the match which at one time had started to slip away as the
ninth wicket partnership progressed and started to pose a threat. But De
Villiers who already had two fifties to his credit remained unbeaten
with 46 having struck six fours.  Had he managed to pull it off for
South Africa he would have been a hero.
But the man who did really influence the game in the final reckoning was
the little Mushtaq Ahmed who returned with a match figure of 9 for 149
to be declared the Man of the Match. His was a remarkable piece of
leg-spin bowling which earned him 6 for 78 in the second innings in 37
successive overs. It was a herculean effort and a memorable one too as
he curled, spun and bounced the ball from one end to unsettle the South
African batting.

Chief selector Altaf resigns in protest
Sports Correspondent

LAHORE, March 3: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief selector Salim Altaf
has tendered resignation as a protest against by-passing his committee
while picking all-rounder Wasim Akram to re-inforce the Pakistan team
now touring South Africa.
Talking to Dawn, former Test paceman Salim Altaf said that he had faxed
his resignation to the PCB chief executive Majid Khan on Tuesday.
Salim Altaf, who had assumed the job in July 1996 after the sixth World
Cup, said that induction of Wasim Akram in the team was the decision of
the newly- appointed PCB chairman Khalid Mahmood and for not asking the
selection committee to pick a re-inforcement, he was forced to quit the
job forthwith. He thought the decision should also have been approved by
the PCB executive council.
"According to the PCB constitution, the chairman can neither interfere
in the affairs of the selection committee nor the executive council. The
way Mr Khalid Mahmood took a decision on his own reflects that there is
no constitution existing! He did not even ask Wasim Akram to prove his
fitness", said Salim Altaf regretfully.

Waqar Hasan cites irregularities
Sports Reporter
KARACHI, March 4: Former Treasurer of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB),
Waqar Hasan, on Wednesday said he would think more than twice in future
if it was worth taking up a post in the cricket setup if offered.
Talking to mediamen, he minced no words in saying that he felt
embarrassed and humiliated "with the way I have been treated.
"To say that my services have been terminated, sounds cruel. I was
working on an honorary basis and was not drawing any salary.
"I have a big business and enjoy a good standing and reputation in that
circle.  I feel that it has been dented though the Patron of the cricket
board has all the right to do what he has done," a dejected former Test
batsman told the press conference.
Waqar Hasan believed that vested interests must have misinformed the
"There is no guarantee that the same thing would no happen again if I am
offered a job and I accept it. There will always be a possibility that I
might receive a fax message again," he opined.
The soft-spoken Waqar, who was due to submit the audit report of the
last two years, was unsure if his dismissal was a link to the General
Body and Council meeting that was to take place on Sunday.
"I had traced massive financial irregularities in the last two years and
several other gross abnormalities in the accounts. Naturally, I was to
disclose to the mismanagement in that meeting.
"Probably, I have been deliberately stopped from doing that by the
dismissal. I am not sure if I am right but I am confident that Hafiz
Manzoor Husain (new Treasurer) will have to follow the same audit report
that has been prepared by one of the world's best companies (M/S A.F
Ferguson & Co.)," he said.
Waqar, who held a more than 200-page audit report, cited a few
irregularities but first disclosed that the board had Rs 90 million in
its kity.
"By the year end, the total revenue, as per budgeted figures, is
expected to be in the region of around Rs 160 million," he said, adding:
"This figure may be further augmented by the PCB's pending dues from the
profit of the 1996 World Cup."
Waqar opined that the cricket board really flourished during 1996 that
showed an appreciable rise from Rs 66.3 million to Rs 234.9 million
which was mainly due to PCB's income from the 1996 World Cup.
Although, total expenditure during 1996 increased to Rs 203.3 million
from the previous year's figures of Rs 79.9 million, Waqar continued,
this was primarily due to the World Cup expenses amounting for Rs 106.1
"However, considering the financial lapses and irregularities it is my
opinion that we could have added to our profits from the World Cup by
about Rs 50 million," he said.
Pointing out the financial irregularities that surfaced during the
audit, Waqar said there was no record available of World Cup tickets
worth Rs 29.4 million that were withdrawn by the PCB "nor any
acknowledgement for receipt of tickets amounting to Rs 22.6 million."
"Unsold tickets valuing Rs 70.5 million were still lying with the
National Bank of Pakistan and the previous PCB hierarchy didn't make any
effort to retrieve them. So much so, the bank also violated a Memorandum
of Understanding it signed with the PCB to return the unsold tickets
within two weeks," he lamented.
The former chairman of selectors disclosed that several irregularities
were also highlighted by PCB's external auditors in respect of the
construction and renovation work carried out at the National Stadium and
Qadhafi Stadium during the period under review at the enormous cost of
Rs 406.6 million.

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