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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS Four issues to dominate MQM meeting with PM Ban on jobs to be lifted within a week Amendments to Constitution soon: Nawaz Visa policy for C. Asian countries relaxed Local bodies elections deferred to April F-16 aircraft Pakistan to sue US for return of money 13 freed children arrive from S. Arabia Bhuttos amassed $1.5bn: US paper --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY Cotton crop estimate at 8.1m bales: APTMA $2.5bn proposals finalized: BoI chief Two thermal power plants fail to begin operations CBR admits Rs9bn tax revenue shortfall in first 5 months Market capitalization falls by Rs7 billion Incentive package soon for high-tech industry --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES The president in the shade Ardeshir Cowasjee The holy terror Irfan Husain 1998 � more of the same Omar Kureishi The ways of the prime minister Aziz A Siddiqui ----------- SPORTS Forthcoming Pakistan-India hockey series welcomed Wasim Akram vows never to lead Pakistan again Twelve invited for Asian squash trials Akram, Younis borderline cases for African safari

Four issues to dominate MQM meeting with PM
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Jan 5: Four issues - related to the local bodies polls and 
the existence of so-called 'no-go' areas in parts of Karachi's 
eastern district - will dominate a meeting scheduled in Islamabad 
on Wednesday (January 7) between an 8-member delegation of the 
Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a senior 
MQM leader said here on Monday after his return from London.

He also said that disassociating from the coalition government in 
Sindh was one of the options but making such a decision would be 
considered by the MQM's coordination committee only after the 
meeting with the prime minister - a meeting he described as 
"crucial" and not like meetings in the past.

The deputy convener of the MQM and its parliamentary leader in the 
Senate, Senator Aftab Ahmed Sheikh told Dawn on his return from 
London (he returned to Karachi on Monday morning along with Sindh 
minister Farooq Sattar and Wasim Akhtar and MNA Babar Ghouri) that 
the party delegation would raise the issue of the 'no-go' areas in 
Karachi and tell the prime minister that unless they weren't 
removed the local bodies elections couldn't be fair.

The MQM, the senator said, would also ask the prime minister that 
1200 families displaced from these so-called 'no-go' areas be 
rehabilitated, that the "escalation" of activities of activists of 
the Mohajir Qaumi Movement led by Afaq Ahmed be curtailed, and that 
they be disarmed and the patronage given to them taken back. He 
said that these matters were discussed with MQM chief Altaf Hussain 
in London from where several MQM ministers and legislators returned 
on Monday.

Senator Sheikh said that right after the meeting with the prime 
minister the MQM's coordination committee would go into session and 
consider various "options" if a "satisfactory reply" was not 
received from the federal government. The senator said that these 
were not the party's "demands" or that it would be lobbying with 
the prime minister, but that these points were "part of the accord 
signed with the PML on February 21, 1997".

Responding to a question the senator said that boycotting the 
forthcoming local bodies elections was not an option. He also said 
that the party with the election of a new president was not 
pressing for the Sindh governor to be replaced with its nominee.

The senator said that the MQM would be going into the meeting with 
an open mind "expecting" that its viewpoint would be accepted by 
the prime minister. Asked if the party's other major demands of 
getting compensation and the establishment of a tribunal to probe 
extrajudicial killings had taken a back seat, the senator said that 
wasn't the case but a question of priority.

The senator admitted that the meeting of all the MQM's MPAs with 
the Sindh chief minister on Saturday morning was "unusual" or 
unprecedented but it showed the "seriousness" of the matter. The 
senator also said that MQM delegation would invite the prime 
minister to Karachi to inaugurate the newly-rechristened Khidmat- 
i-Khalq Foundation. The prime minister was supposed to do this in 
December but postponed that trip.

The delegation that will meet the prime minister will include, 
apart from Senator Sheikh, federal production and industries 
minister Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Senator Nasreen Jalil, MNA Kunwar 
Khalid Yunus, and Sindh minister Farooq Sattar, Qazi Khalid Ali and 
Shoaib Bukhari. Anees Ahmed advocate and MPA Zulfiqar Hyder who 
went to London did not return with the rest of the ministers and 
legislators on Monday.

Ban on jobs to be lifted within a week
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Jan 8: The Sindh government will be lifting within a week 
the ban on 10,000 appointments in the education department.

The appointment of over 10,000 people, including 4,000 primary 
schoolteachers, was suspended last month.
Sources said that funds for recruitment would be made available 
from the Social Action Programme (SAP). Projects having components 
of SAP include Sindh primary education development programme, 
middle school project and Sindh girls education development plan.
These funds run into billions and all these projects needed urgent 
attention as the deadline for their completion was nearing fast and 
till today not even 50 per cent of work had been completed, sources 
For example, Sindh primary education development programme, 
initiated a few years ago, is scheduled to be completed by coming 
December and hardly 46 per cent of the work had so far been 
As far as middle school project is concerned, the sources said, it 
had almost come to a halt following a Rs 35million fraud in its 
funds a couple of years ago, and certain steps were being taken to 
bring the project on the rails.
The decision of the government ordering stay over the process of 
appointment had jolted the entire education department as it had 
already finalised lists of a good number of potential candidates.
Almost all the cases of those who appeared for interview tests for 
the posts of 4,861 posts of primary school teachers had been 
finalised. Besides, work was in progress on the recruitment of 
around 6,000 people to various technical and non-technical posts.
According to sources, the selection committees had finalised lists 
and hundreds of those selected were scheduled to be given 
appointment letters.
They maintained that chief minister had given approval for filling 
in the vacancies in September with a decision that recruitment to 
grade 1 to 7 posts be monitored by additional secretaries and from 
grade 8 to 15 by secretaries.
The sources maintained that the education department had begun the 
process in the first week of April. In June, it invited 
applications for over 4,000 vacant posts of primary schoolteachers.
Almost half of the Sindh government's entire workforce of 448,000 
is from the education department alone. Out of Sindh government's 
budget of Rs 41.051 billion for 1997-98, education received Rs 
11.578 billion.
The Sindh government initiated a few months ago a recruitment drive 
to add 18,668, including around 10,000 in education department, 
more employees in existing workforce to push up its annual wage 
bill by more than Rs 1 billion.
On completion of this additional recruitment, financial managers of 
the Sindh government estimate that the total wage bill of the 
province would go up to Rs 20.4 billion a year, from existing Rs 
19.3 billion. 
In addition, Sindh government pays Rs 3.3 billion to the retired 
employees, which means a total payment of Rs 23.7 billion is made 
only on account of serving and retired employees.
Officials say that grade-wise requirement of new employees with 
financial impact on a virtual empty provincial exchequer has been 
worked out. 
According to this initial exercise, 12,930 jobs are being created 
in grades 1 to 7 which would claim Rs 5.87 billion a year as basic 
salaries and allowances. High number of 6,590 jobs are being 
created in grade 5 followed by 2,945 in grade 1, 2,387 in grade 7, 
448 in grade 6, 235 in grade 4, 187 in grade 2 and 138 in grade 3.

Amendments to Constitution soon: Nawaz
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Jan 3: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said here on Saturday 
the government was preparing a package of constitutional amendments 
to avoid any possible crisis in future.
Talking to newsmen at Walton airport on his arrival from Pakpattan 
by helicopter, he said a special committee had been constituted to 
review the Constitution.
Governor Shahid Hamid, Federal Minister Sheikh Rashid and 
provincial minister Haji Fazle Karim accompanied Prime Minister 
Nawaz Sharif during his short visit to Pakpattan.
"If the country is to be saved from any possible crisis in future, 
a package of constitutional amendments is imperative", Mr Sharif 
He said the original 1973 Constitution was a consensus document but 
a number of amendments were incorporated in it during the martial 
law period. These amendments, he pointed out, needed to be 
Asked whether the opposition would also be taken into confidence 
before finalizing the proposed package of constitutional 
amendments, Mr Sharif said: "Let the government first make up its 
mind about the proposed amendments".
Replying to another question, the premier said positive aspects of 
the Eighth Amendment would be incorporated in the package.
The prime minister said peace in Afghanistan would be possible only 
through a broad-based dialogue.
Asked how the Taliban government viewed Pakistan government's 
efforts for peace in the war-ravaged country, the prime minister 
said: "Positively".
Regarding the 12 references against former prime minister Benazir 
Bhutto and her husband Asif Zardari sent by the Ehtesab Cell to 
Chief Ehtesab Commissioner Justice (retd) Ghulam Mujaddid Mirza, Mr 
Sharif said they were old cases which had come to light now.

Visa policy for C. Asian countries relaxed
Our Correspondent    

ISLAMABAD, Jan 4: Pakistan government has announced a liberal and 
comprehensive visa policy to promote relations with the Central 
Asian States in the fields of trade, tourism, culture, and 

Federal interior minister, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, said this 
while talking to newsmen here on Sunday.
He said the ministry had issued a notification regarding the new 
visa policy for the Central Asian States, which has simplified the 
acquisition of visa for all the bona fide businessmen/tourists of 
the states of the former Soviet Union, i.e., Central Asian 
Republics/ Commonwealth of Independent States.
Explaining the main features of the new visa policy, the Chaudhry 
Shujaat said Pakistan missions in these states would issue visas to 
genuine and bona fide businessmen/tourists. A visa fee of US $40 
would be charged for a six-month multiple entry visa from the 
nationals of these states.
He said the tourists from these states would be allowed landing 
permit/visas for 15 days on arrival through chartered flights 
arranged by designated tour operators. A visa fee of US $10 would 
be charged for a single entry from each tourist, he added.
He said the tourists from these states would be required to have at 
least US $500 per head and a return air ticket. They would not 
carry any contraband item as may be notified by the Central Board 
of Revenue (CBR).
The minister said the tour operators would be responsible for the 
arrival, stay and return of these tourists. Their arrival/departure 
would be notified to the interior ministry along with particulars 
of the tourists including their passport numbers.
He said henceforth the facility of landing permit/visa up to 15 
days through chartered flights would also be valid for Islamabad, 
Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta in addition to Karachi where facility 
of landing permit of chartered flights was already available.
Chaudhry Shujaat said guidelines would be issued by the interior 
ministry for the concerned tourists. The activities of both the 
tourists and tour operators would be monitored for a period of six 
months and the guidelines would be reviewed by the ministry, if 
Necessary, at the end of the said period.

Local bodies elections deferred to April
Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Jan 7: The federal cabinet on Wednesday decided to hold 
local bodies elections on April 18 on a non-party basis throughout 
the country.
The cabinet also decided to hold the much-delayed national 
population and housing census from March 2 to 18. A national data 
base will be compiled during the census.
The cabinet dwelt at length on the holding of local bodies 
elections in the light of recommendations made by the PML council 
on Monday and took a note of the provincial governments' proposal 
for postponing elections from February to April due to harsh 
weather conditions in certain areas of NWFP and Balochistan.
The PML council had suggested the holding of local bodies elections 
on party basis.
"Everything was changed at the eleventh hour as nobody knew that 
the prime minister would surprise ministers by announcing LB polls 
on a non-party basis," said a source.

F-16 aircraft Pakistan to sue US for return of money
Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON, Jan 5: Pakistan has reached a decision in principle to 
sue the US for the return of the 658 million dollars it paid for 
the F-16 aircraft and the only point to decide is when, diplomatic 
sources said.

"What we are thinking about now is whether to file the suit now or 
after the visit by President Clinton, if it is not too late," a 
source said, confirming that at all levels of decision-making there 
was consensus that the only way out of the impasse was to go to the 

The sources said the general view in Pakistan to take the legal 
route had also been conveyed to top US officials including the 
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright when she visited Pakistan 

The state department reaction to these suggestions by Pakistan has 
always been mixed. One official told Dawn some time back the 
decision could cause some diplomatic problems between the two 
countries, but it could not be said with certainty how exactly the 
US would respond, officially.

Experts, however, say there was no other way to bring the issue to 
a closure since the Congress would not appropriate the money to 
refund Pakistan and the planes would not be sold to any country as 
they are obsolete and expensive, compared to the hundreds of 
similar US F-16 jets, waiting to be disposed of at a bargain price.

According to one expert even if Pakistan got the planes back, which 
was almost next to impossible in the present circumstances, they 
would be worth not much since Pakistan would not get the upgrades 
and the parts to keep them functional.

Apart from the technical side, the price Pakistan has already paid 
is now good enough to buy 200 such planes at the going market rate 
of three million dollar a piece, and Pakistan would only be getting 
28 obsolete aircraft.

Experts said the matters that need to be decided included the 
interest on the amount that the US kept blocked for so many years 
and how would that be paid.

Some influential Pakistanis, who have been working on this issue 
privately, have discovered a legal fund, available with Congress, 
which can be used to repay Pakistan, if the courts decided the 
issue in Pakistan's favour.

While the return of the aircraft now looks almost impossible and 
the repayment of the money is the pending question, many experts 
and senior Pakistani diplomats are now convinced that the passage 
of the Brown Amendment in 1995 was not in Pakistan's interest.

According to one senior diplomat Pakistan only got "crumbs" under 
the Brown Amendment and the key issues remained unresolved while 
the Benazir Bhutto government and her cronies made a big deal out 
of the whole event as if US-Pakistan relations had never been 

"The US passed the Brown Amendment because they wanted to do it in 
their own interest and the influential lobbies in Washington, 
including the strong Jewish lobby, did not oppose it, because they 
knew that Pakistan was not getting anything out of it," an expert 
said. A senior Pakistani diplomat agreed with him fully.

Even journalists, who were pouring heaps of praises for the Brown 
Amendment and its sponsors, both in Washington and in Pakistan, now 
admit they were wrong and the whole exercise proved to be "too much 
hot air, with nothing inside."

13 freed children arrive from S. Arabia
Dawn Report

LAHORE, Jan 8: Moving scenes were witnessed when 13 children 
repatriated from Saudi Arabia where they were held on drug 
smuggling charges arrived here on Thursday by a PIA flight from 
The children, mostly aged between three and 13, were originally 
charged with drug trafficking but, following requests by Pakistan 
authorities, released on humanitarian grounds.
The juveniles were caught along with their parents aboard two 
flights from Pakistan in October 1996 and January 1997. Some had 
heroin tailored into their clothes while others carried heroin-
filled capsules in their stomachs.
Flight PK 736 was scheduled to arrive on Wednesday morning, but was 
delayed and landed at the Lahore airport at 10am on Thursday.
Pakistan's assistant consul-general at Jeddah accompanied the freed 
children to Lahore. Seven of them, six belonging to one family, got 
down here while the remaining were flown to Islamabad and Peshawar 
to be handed over to their relatives.
Those who disembarked in Lahore were Gulshan, 17, Nargis, 13, Inam, 
7, Muhammad Ali, 4, and Asma, a baby of 18 months �- all said to be 
children of a resident of Gujranwala, Sajjad of Budha Gharaya �- 
and Mushraf, 8. Mushraf is described as Sajjad's nephew.
Sajjad himself is reported to be a taxi driver trapped by smugglers 
into sending women and children of his family ostensibly for Umra 
but in effect to carry contraband drugs into Saudi Arabia. There 
were 21 members in a group which went by a Saudi airline flight on 
January 19 last year, and all of them were arrested at Jeddah 
They were languishing in Saudi prisons till an appeal was made by 
the Pakistan government for the release of the children in the 
group. The grown-ups in the group are still in detention in Saudi 
All the six children who reached Lahore on Thursday were allowed to 
go with their relatives who had been waiting for them since 
Wednesday morning.
The case of the seventh person landing in Lahore, five-year- old 
Shahnaz, is different. Her mother is in a Jeddah prison while her 
father in a jail in Gujranwala in connection with some other 
charge. Her grandmother and aunt are also undergoing imprisonment. 
There was nobody to receive Shahnaz at the airport. 
She is being looked after by officials of the Overseas Pakistani 
Foundation and has been temporarily lodged at the local SOS 
village, a home for destitute children. She will later be shifted 
to Kot Lakhpat jail where her grandmother and aunt are lodged. 
Shahnaz allegedly carried heroin stitched into her clothes when she 
travelled by flight SV-731 on Oct 5, 1996.
Mohammad Arshad, 3, and Zeeshan, 4, belonging to Taxila, were flown 
to Islamabad by a connecting PIA flight which left Lahore at 
12.30pm. Mohammad Ashraf Khan, assistant consul-general of Pakistan 
in Jeddah, went with the children.
Noman Ahmad, 7, his sister Aisha Siddiq, 3, from Peshawar, Mehra, 
5, and Sobia, 6 from Takht Bhai (Mardan) were taken to Peshawar on 

Thursday evening. These six children were allegedly involved in 
three separate heroin smuggling cases.
In the group disembarking in Lahore, 17-year-old Gulshan was the 
only person able to give a coherent account of their tribulations. 
She said she was happy to be home. 
"We were sent to Saudi Arabia by Irshad, Javed and Anwar. We were 
supposed to be going to perform Umra. They promised to give us some 

Bhuttos amassed $1.5bn: US paper
Masood Haider 

NEW YORK, Jan 9: The Bhutto family and their associates generated 
more than $1.5 billion "in illicit profits through kickbacks in 
virtually every sphere of government activity" - from rice deals, 
to sell-off of government land, airplanes deals with Dassault 
Aviation, even rake-offs from government welfare schemes, claimed 
the New York Times in a front page exclusive report.

The Times , which asserts that it had conducted its own "three 
months long intensive investigations" into allegations of illicit 
wealth acquired by former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and her 
husband, Sen Asif Zardari, following the dismissal of her 
government in November, 1996, says: "In 1995, a leading French 
military contractor, Dassault Aviation, agreed to pay Zardari and a 
Pakistani partner a $200 million commission for a $4 billion jet 
fighter deal that fell apart only when Bhutto's government was 
dismissed. In another deal, a leading Swiss company hired to curb 
customs fraud in Pakistan paid millions of dollars between 1994 and 
1996 to offshore companies controlled by Zardari and Bhutto's 
widowed mother, Nusrat Bhutto."

The Times goes on: "In the largest single payment investigators 
have discovered a gold bullion dealer in the Middle East who was 
shown to have deposited at least $10 million into one of Zardari's 
accounts after the Bhutto government gave him a monopoly on gold 
imports that sustained Pakistan's jewelry industry. The money was 
deposited into a Citibank account in the United Arab Emirates 
sheikdom of Dubai, one of several Citibank accounts used by 

The NYT writes: "The Pakistani officials say their key break came 
last summer, when an informer offered to sell documents that 
appeared to have been taken from the Geneva office of Jens 
Schlegelmilch, whom Bhutto described as the family's attorney in 
Europe for more than 20 years, and as a close personal friend. 
Pakistani investigators have confirmed that the original asking 
price for the documents was $10 million. Eventually the seller 
travelled to London and concluded the deal for $1 million in cash. 
The identity of the seller remains a mystery."

Schlegelmilch, 55, developed his relationship with the Bhutto 
family through links between his Iranian-born wife and Bhutto's 
mother, who was also born in Iran. In a series of telephone 
interviews, he declined to say anything about Zardari and Bhutto, 
other than that he had not sold the documents. "It wouldn't be 
worth selling out for $1 million," he said.

The alleged documents included statements for several accounts in 
Switzerland, including the Citibank accounts in Dubai and Geneva; 
letters from executives promising payoffs, with details of the 
percentage payments to be made; memorandums detailing meetings at 
which these "commissions" and "remunerations" were agreed on, and 
certificates incorporating the offshore companies used as fronts in 
the deals, many registered in the British Virgin Islands.

The NYT says: "The documents also revealed the crucial role played 
by Western institutions. Apart from the companies that made 
payoffs, and the network of banks that handled the money - which 
included Barclay's Bank and Union Bank of Switzerland as well as 
Citibank - the arrangements made by the Bhutto family for their 
wealth relied on Western property companies, Western lawyers and a 
network of Western friends."

The documents leave uncertain the degree of involvement by Bhutto, 
but they trace the pervasive role of her husband who turned his 
marriage to Bhutto into a source of virtually unchallengeable 

Together, the documents provide a detailed look at high-level 
corruption in Pakistan.

A worldwide search for properties secretly bought by the Bhutto 
family is still in its early stages. But the inquiry has so far 
found that Zardari went on a shopping spree in the mid-1990s, 
purchasing among other things a $4 million, 355-acre estate south 
of London. Over eight months in 1994 and 1995, he used a Swiss bank 
account and an American Express card to buy jewelry worth $660,000 
- including $246,000 at Cartier Inc. and Bulgari Corp. in Beverly 
Hills, California, in barely a month.

In separate interviews with the New York Times in Karachi, Ms 
Bhutto and Sen Zardari declined to address specific questions about 
the NYT inquiry, which they dismissed as a political vendetta by 
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. In Karachi Central Prison, where he 
has been held for 14 months on charges of murdering Bhutto's 
brother, Zardari described the corruption allegations as part of a 
"meaningless game." But he offered no challenge to the authenticity 
of the documents tracing some of his most lucrative deals.

"Most of those documents are fabricated," Ms Bhutto said, "and the 
stories that have been spun around them are absolutely wrong." But 
she refused to discuss any of the specific deals outlined in the 
documents, and did not explain how her husband had paid for his 
property and jewelry. Lamenting what she described as "the 
irreparable damage done to my standing in the world" by the 
corruption inquiry, she said her family had inherited wealth, 
although not on the scale implied by tales of huge bank deposits 
and luxury properties overseas.

"I mean, what is poor and what is rich?" Bhutto asked. "If you 
mean, am I rich by European standards, do I have a billion dollars, 
or even a hundred million dollars, even half that, no, I do not. 
But if you mean that I'm ordinary rich, yes, my father had three 
children studying at Harvard as undergraduates at the same time. 
But this wealth never meant anything to my brothers or me."

Some allegations against Bhutto and Zardari appeared in European 
and American newspapers last fall, after Pakistani investigators 
began releasing some of the Bhutto family documents.

But a much fuller picture emerged when several thick binders full 
of documents were made available to The New York Times over a 
period of several days in October. The Times' own investigation, 
lasting three months, extended from Pakistan to the Middle East, 
Europe and the United States, and included interviews with many of 
the central figures named by the Pakistani investigators.

As striking as some of the payoff deals was the clinical way in 
which top Western executives concluded them. The documents showed 
painstaking negotiations over the payoffs, followed by secret 
contracts. In one case, involving Dassault, the contract specified 
elaborate arrangements intended to hide the proposed payoff for the 
fighter plane deal, and to prevent it from triggering French 
corruption laws.

Cotton crop estimate at 8.1m bales: APTMA
By Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana

KARACHI, Jan 5: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) 
while putting current year's cotton production at a depressed level 
of 8.1 million bales has urged the government to immediately impose 
ban on cotton export and ensure availability of man-made fibre at 
international prices.

In support of its argument APTMA has pointed out that with the 
recent fog and adverse weather conditions in Punjab, the cotton 
crop is not expected to exceed 8.1 million bales as compared to 
last year's cotton production of 8.9 million bales.

APTMA, largest representative body of spinners and exporters in a 
statement to the press has cautioned that the depressed cotton 
production would trigger a serious raw material shortage for the 
textile industry which would be needing around 8.9 million bales to 
see the season through.

As against over optimistic government estimates of 11 million bales 
of current cotton crop and last year's actual cotton production of 
8.9 million bales, the current year's estimated production of 8.1 
million bales would leave a shortfall of over 0.800 million bales 
to meet the industry's current year requirement of at least 8.9 
million bales, APTMA asserted.

Opposing the unrestricted export of raw cotton, APTMA stated that 
to-date 0.27 million bales have been already physically exported 
and if no immediate check is made on exports it will result in an 
acute shortage of cotton for the local industry.

APTMA has claimed that even at this stage the industry is faced 
with a shortage of 1.07 million bales and apprehends this deficit 
will continue to increase with every consignment of cotton export. 
Though export and import of cotton is free, but APTMA believes that 
if cotton was imported the country has to bear the cost of inward 
freight, transportation and handling charges which work out to 
around 2 per cent of the international prices.

It has further stated that Polyester Staple Fibre (PSF), which is 
another essential raw material for the textile industry, could very 
well meet the gap, but only if it was made available at 
international prices.

Giving details APMTA stated that at the moment the usage of PSF is 
20 per cent against 80 per cent cotton. In order to meet the world 
demand for blended textile manufactures and to reduce the over-
dependence on cotton it is essential that the usage of PSF was 
gradually increased to reach the optimum ratio of 50 per cent, it 

However, the association feels that this could not be possible if 
the government continues to allow free export of cotton and imposes 
restrictive duties on the import of polyester to protect a handful 
of local polyester manufacturers at the cost of the entire textile 

The association fears that if the government does not immediately 
come up with steps to ensure availability of raw material the 
textile industry could soon drift back into chronic sickness after 
getting impetus from business friendly government policies.

$2.5bn proposals finalized: BoI chief
By Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Jan 3: The Board of Investment (BoI) has finalized 
"actual proposals" of $2.5 billion foreign investment in six months 
of the current financial year, claimed Humayun Akhtar, Chairman, 
"We have been able to attract and facilitate actual proposals of 
$2.5 billion foreign investment which is quite an achievement", he 
further stated.
"I am not talking about so-called Memorandum of Understanding 
(MoUs) but this has actually happened as the foreign investors have 
started taking Pakistan seriously," he said.
Talking to Dawn here on Saturday, the BoI chairman pointed out that 
these concrete proposals have been finalized by the Cabinet 
Committee on Investment.
Responding to a question, he said that Minister for Finance Sartaj 
Aziz chaired a high level meeting on Saturday in which a number of 
important decisions were taken to promote local and foreign 
investment in the country. The BoI chairman, SBP Governor, heads of 
the financial institutions and number of concerned federal 
secretaries attended.
"The meeting has constituted five different bodies to inter-act 
with local businessmen and representatives of the multinational 
companies to promote foreign investment in Pakistan," Mr Humayun 
Akhtar said.
Giving deals, he said the "International Advisory Council of the 
Prime Minister" has been set up which will comprise 15 prominent 
local businessmen and key heads of the multinationals in Pakistan. 
"This Council would target multinationals of this region for their 
increased investment in Pakistan."
"Then we have set another advisory body which will comprise heads 
of the banks and the DFIs, leasing companies, modarabas, chartered 
accountant firms and representatives of multinationals operating in 
Pakistan," he said adding that the job of this body would be to 
offer input for attracting foreign investment in the country.
Similarly, he said the meeting has decided to constitute another 
council which will be composed of top 50 businessmen of Pakistan.
"Then we have established a Private Sector Advisory Council with 
BoI officials, local businessmen, multinationals, commercial 
associations and representatives of the elected chambers as 
members," he said adding that the task of this council would be to 
provide input for enhancing local and foreign investment.
He said that it has been decided to focus on the manufacturing 
sector specially to encourage high tech industries, export-
oriented, agro-based industry, petro chemical and mining processing 
"We have decided that the heads of the local multinational 
companies will be provided an opportunity to have one to one 
meeting with the prime minister," he said.
The BoI chairman said that these foreign companies were very much 
interested to raise their level of investment, provided some of 
their problems were sorted out.
He said that a meeting between the prime minister and heads of the 
local multinationals would be held in March or early April next.
He said that it was also discussed how to remove shyness of the 
local businessmen to shift their thrust from traditional to non-
traditional manufacturing sector.
"Traditional manufacturing sector has reached its capacity and 
there is now a high time to shift the thrust to non-traditional 
sector," he believed.

Two thermal power plants fail to begin operations
Nasir Jamal

LAHORE, Jan 3: Two of the three thermal power plants set up in the 
private sector around the Punjab capital failed to begin commercial 
operations during 1997 according to the schedule due to, what 
officials claim, the 'snags created by WAPDA.'
Three independent power producers (IPPs) � Southern Electric Power 
Company Ltd (SEPCOL), Japan Power Ltd (JPL) and Kohinoor Energy Ltd 
(KEL) � with a gross capacity of 383MW were allowed to set up 
thermal plants in the vicinity of the city by the previous Benazir 
Bhutto government as part of its energy policy to overcome the 
power shortage in the country.
Only KEL, with a gross capacity of 131MW, could start supply of 
power to WAPDA from November 10 after a prolonged dispute on 
legality of June 20 as its commercial operations date (COD) 
declared by an independent engineer.
'We've completed our arrangements. But WAPDA is unnecessarily 
delaying approval of the operative procedures,' a SEPCOL official 
told Dawn on Saturday. SEPCOL has a gross capacity of 117MW and was 
scheduled to start commercial production in December.
'WAPDA has yet not completed synchronization of the plant with its 
transmission system,' he said. 'However, we're trying to sort out 
these problems with WAPDA officials.'
The official was hopeful that SEPCOL would be able to hammer out 
the differences with WAPDA during the next week, beginning the 15-
day reliability run test sometime this month.
JPL, which was originally scheduled to complete in October last 
year, will not become operational before the end of the first 
quarter of this year. 'We hope that we'll start commercial 
operations by the end of this quarter,' a senior JPL official said.
The official said JPL, having a gross capacity of 135MW, could not 
start commercial operations due to failure of WAPDA to complete a 
132KV transmission line linking the plant with its system.
'The transmission line could not be completed due to resistance 
from influential agriculturists from whose land the transmission 
line is to pass through. But it's not our headache,' the JPL 
official said.
He said they had operated one of their 24 engines on the occasion 
of the company's annual general meeting last month. He admitted 
that the project management was itself behind the schedule, but did 
not explain the reasons for the delay. 'Even if we had completed 
all our arrangements, we could not have tested power load due to 
absence of the transmission line,' he argued.
The JPL official claimed that WAPDA had secretly conveyed it to all 
IPPs not to go into commercial operations in 1997 because 'WAPDA 
wanted to avoid paying us additional bonus tariff incentive of 0.25 
cent per KWh'. All IPPs were promised premium if they completed 
their projects before the end of 1997.
Another private sector power project � EAS Lal Pir � being 
established by an American company at Muzaffargarh has failed to 
become operational as scheduled.
When a senior WAPDA official was contacted, he refused to comment 
on the allegations levelled by the officials of the IPPs. 'It is 
what they think. They are trying to hold WAPDA responsible for the 
delay in the completion of their projects to avoid penalty they 
would have to pay in case of delay in the start of power supply,' 
he said.

CBR admits Rs9bn tax revenue shortfall in first 5 months
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 7: The National Assembly's Standing Committee on 
Finance was told here on Wednesday that there has been Rs 9 billion 
tax revenue shortfall during the first five months of the current 
financial year.
"The CBR authorities have informed us today that despite lot of 
efforts there has been a Rs 9 billion tax revenue shortfall in the 
first five months of 1997-98," said Chairman of NA Standing 
Committee on Finance, Sardar Mansoor Hayat Tumman.
He told Dawn after the meeting that the NA committee would now meet 
again on January 16 to further discuss the performance of the 
Central Board of Revenue (CBR). "New CBR Chairman Moeenuddin has 
also been asked to attend the meeting," he added.
He said the committee could only discuss issues related to CBR and 
that in the next meeting other economic issues would also be 
deliberated upon.
"In the next meeting we will discuss CBR performance on Customs and 
Central Excise Duties beside banks and the DFIs."
Sardar Mansoor Hayat said it was for the first time that the CBR 
officially admitted that there was a Rs 9 billion tax revenue 
shortfall. He did not believe that this shortfall was much more as 
has been published in different newspapers.
"I do not think they can hide anything from us and if at all they 
could do so how the hell they are going to hide it from the IMF," 
he asked.
However, he said that concerned officials were still waiting for 
the final collection data to reach CBR on January 15. Nevertheless, 
he pointed out that the CBR had admitted this Rs 9 billion 
shortfall in tax revenue collection.
He stated that according to CBR officials non-tax revenue 
collection would be more to offset the impact of shortfall in tax 
Responding to a question, he said that he believed the overall Rs 
324 billion target for 1997-98 was too high to be achieved. "I 
sincerely believe it is a very ambitious target," he said adding 
that it should have been around Rs 280 billion keeping in view 
various tax exemptions and rebates offered by the government during 
the last few months.
Moreover, he said that the last year target was Rs 286 billion and 
as such there was a sudden increase of Rs 38 billion which, "I 
think is not justified."
Asked whether the committee members were satisfied with performance 
of the CBR, he said by and large the organization was making all 
out efforts to increase its revenue generation position.
"But we stressed the need for broadening the tax net with a view to 
increase revenues," he said hoping that the new CBR chairman, who 
belongs to a private sector and enjoys rich experience, would help 
improve the overall performance of the CBR. "We were told that 
policy level changes are being made in the overall structure of the 
CBR to substantially increase revenues," said Sardar mansoor Hayat 
He agreed that without enhancing revenue base the funding problems 
of the government could not be minimized. He said that the National 
Assembly's Standing Committee on the Ministry of Finance has 
decided to regularly meet to offer suggestions for bringing 
improvements in various government departments and agencies.

Market capitalization falls by Rs7 billion
By Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Jan 5: Stocks gave another poor performance on Monday as a 
section of leading operators continued to offload long positions on 
selected counters, pushing the KSE 100-share index by another 27 

A fall of 27 points or 1.56 per cent in the index means wiping out 
of market capitalization of about Rs 7 billion just in one go, 
which is said to be an impressive figure for a single-session 

"The Moody's downgrading of Pakistan's credit worthiness to the 
lowest grade of "E" seems to have intercepted the budding rally as 
investors moved out of the rings with the same speed as they 
entered early last week, leaving a long list of casualties behind 
them," analysts said.

However, a big decline in share values of most of the MNCs, notably 
BOC Pakistan, Abbott Lab, Ciba-Geigy, Engro Chemicals, Gillette 
Pakistan and some others, worried local institutional traders as it 
may reflect the exit of some foreign investors after offloading 
long positions, some dealers said.

The market direction is expected to be set by the new account 
buying and if it failed to boost it then investors should be ready 
to live with a longer bearish spell, they added.

But some leading stock analysts are not inclined to entertain 
bearish ideas for the long-term as much has now changed on the 
political front and that could lead to sound sustained economic 
revivals during the months to come.

"Those who could peep into the future are least worried over the 
market's snap reversal after a sustained run-up as they foresee 
better days ahead for the share business," they added.

They said stock markets the world over generally derive strength 
from higher economic indicators and political stability and 
Pakistan is moving towards that end.

The KSE 100-share index lost another 27.10 points or 1.56 per cent 
at 1,708.04 as compared to 1,735.14. The market capitalization also 
dropped by about Rs 7 billion at Rs 513 billion as compared to Rs 
520 billion at the last week.

Although bulk of the selling was confined to the trend-setters such 
as Hub-Power, PTCL and ICI Pakistan, which together command a 
weightage of over 45 per cent in the KSE index, it caused 
sympathetic liquidation on other blue chips too.

Analysts said the impact of Moody's negative rating of Pakistan's 
economy will ultimately be absorbed as it works as psychological 
depressant rather than a real bearish factor.

But the state of the economy and not very encouraging increase in 
the foreign exchange reserves, despite a number of incentives given 
to boost exports, certainly worry investors, notably the foreign 
ones, they added.

A section of leading operators, however, believe the selling 
islargely technically-inspired as no one is inclined to hold long 
positions for obvious reasons.

The interesting feature was that some big inter management deals 
were noted in the modaraba and leasing sector at the unchanged 
rates and that could be prelude to management changes in the coming 
weeks, dealers said.

Trading volume showed a sharp increase owing to active selling in 
the current favourites, rising to 35.441 million shares as compared 
to 21 million shares at the last weekend. 

Out of the 180 actives, 92 shares fell, mostly fractionally, 32 
rose with 56 holding on to the last levels.

The most active list was topped by Hub-Power, lower 65 paisa at Rs 
56.05 on 9.463 million shares, followed by ICI Pakistan, down Rs 
1.20 at Rs 18 on 9.133 million shares, PTCL, off 70 paisa at Rs 
31.90 on 8.219 million shares, Askari Bank, easy 50 paisa at Rs 
28.50 on 0.737 million shares, and Southern Electric, off 35 paisa 
at Rs 15.40 on 0.584 million shares.

Other actively traded shares were led by Union Leasing, unchanged 
on 0.450 million shares, Ibrahim Leasing, off 50 paisa on 0.450 
million shares, Asian Stocks, unchanged on 9.435 million shares, 
Nishat Mills, off 80 paisa on 0.567 million shares, and FFC-Jordan 
Fertilizer, easy 40 paisa on 289 million shares. There were several 
other notable deals also. Big gainers were led by Paramount 
Spinning and Shell Pakistan, which came in for active short-
covering and rose by Rs 3.80 to Rs 5. 

Losers were led by Ciba-Geigy and BOC Pakistan, which posted losses 
ranging from Rs 3.25 to Rs 4.

DEFAULTING COMPANIES: Suzuki Motorcycle again came in for modest 
selling and fell by 25 paisa at Rs 2.55 on 2,000 shares.

Incentive package soon for high-tech industry
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 9: The government is formulating a policy framework 
and liberal incentives package for software and related services 
industry in Pakistan.

"We have chalked out a four-pronged approach towards Pakistan's 
initiative for the development of high-tech industry in the 
country", he stated.

He was speaking at the launching ceremony of "Action Learning 
Centres of Software Programme", here on Friday.

He said that the development of skilled manpower in the field of 
infrastructure and related services was also the part of the four-
pronged strategy. "Infrastructure development through Software 
Technology Parks Scheme and aggressive national and international 
marketing would further form part of the strategy", he added.

He said that the government has already announced liberal fiscal 
incentives for software exporters which included income exemption 
for software companies and duty free imports of hardware and 
software for the purposes of software exports.

He said over 200 software companies have been registered with the 
Software Export Board. These companies were involved in software 
development and export, ranging from low tech data entry, medium 
tech millennium projects to high tech image processing and chip 
designing. "These companies and their expertize have been 
documented in a directory of software companies for the ease of 
larger software and related services companies all over the world 
in finding partner companies in Pakistan". This directory, he 
pointed out, was available with PSEB for distribution to anybody 
who was interested in it.

He said that the lack of an educated workforce was a major hurdle 
for developing expertise in the field. "To cater for the shortage 
of trained manpower quickly and effectively, PSEB conceived the 
idea of Action Learning Centres of Software (ALCoS)".

The minister for commerce said that a decision has been taken to 
allow private sector to establish these centres. 

 The government, he said, was providing all possible help for the 
success of this initiative by announcing incentives like five-year 
tax exception for computer training institutes established between 
July 1, 1997 and June 30, 2000.

"Today India is one of the largest exporters of software and 
related services in the World", Ishaq Dar said. He pointed out that 
Hong Kong, Malaysia, China, Singapore have achieved the Asian Tiger 
status and their multi-billion dollar economies by aggressively 
concentrating on their Information Technology (IT) industries. 
Malaysia, China and Thailand were the favourites of the largest 
multinational IT companies for investment purposes. 

 "The statistics are truly mind boggling. No doubt these are 
exciting times to be living in", he added.

"Nations who anticipated that IT would affect every walk of life, 
took steps and measures to capitalize on this $600 billion 
opportunity", he said adding that the phenomenal pace of change and 
the benefits it brings to those who have captured this opportunity 
and has tempted and caught the attention of those outside the 
cooperate circle as well.

He pointed out that the software industry was all set to become 
"the industry" by the year 2010. The revolution brought about by 
the advances in the field of IT took place in the last two decades 

 As a matter of fact it was only 10 years back when the likes of 
Microsoft, Intel, and IBM started giving new meaning to computing, 
software and its related services.

The commerce minister said that the organizations which have 
managed to capitalize on this opportunity were the business giants 
of today which include Microsoft, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Cisco, 
Intel, Motorola were involved in one or more ways with IT.

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Back to the top.
The president in the shade
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

TWO weeks ago, I was wrong when I wrote: "During the three years he 
sat there, one sole judgment authored by the Honourable Justice 
Tarar was recorded in a PLD � his concurring judgment in the case 
of the 1993 dissolution of the National Assembly restoring Nawaz 
Sharif." Two judgments of his have been recorded, the second being 
Criminal Appeal No. 74/SAC/L, decided by Tarar on February 19, 
1994, reported at 1994 SCMR 1466.
This was the case of "Muhammad Ashraf and Others versus The State," 
an appeal against the enforcement of the Hudood Ordinance and the 
conviction of the appellants by the Special Court for Speedy Trials 
No.II, Lahore. Muhammad Ashraf, Khalid Javaid and Zafar Ali had 
been sentenced to have their right hands amputated from the wrist 
and their left legs from the ankle, to seven years RI, and to a 
fine of Rs.20,000 each. Their crime was the theft of Rs.40,000 and 
of a licensed pistol from one Zahid Mahmood, and for "causing him 
simple and grievous injuries" in the process.
The learned honourable Chairman of the Supreme Appellate Court, 
Justice Muhammad Rafiq Tarar, headed the bench comprising members 
Justices Afrasiab Khan and Muhammad Zubair. The honourable Justice 
Tarar wrote the judgment. His concluding paragraph :
"Before convicting the appellants, the learned trial Court 
considered all the relevant provisions of law, including sections 
10, 11, 16 read with sections 7 and 20 of the Offences Against 
Property (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance 1979 which cater for 
situations where Hadd shall not be imposed and/or enforced and on 
proved facts rightly concluded that the offence committed by the 
appellants squarely falls within the ambit of section 17(3) of the 
Ordinance. The only punishment provided by section 17(3) is the 
amputation of right hand from the wrist and left leg from the ankle 
which has been imposed by the learned trial Court and we confirm 
the same." To repeat, the year was 1994.
Another interesting case has come to light involving the honourable 
and learned Justice Tarar. On August 3, 1994, Justices Munir Khan 
and Mir Hazar Khan Khoso of the Supreme Court heard the matter of 
"Khalil-uz-Zaman versus Supreme Appellate Court Lahore," reported 
at PLD 1994 SC 885. This was an appeal against the judgment of that 
court dated March 14, 1993, passed in Criminal Appeal 91/SAC/L/92. 
The chairman, again, of that honourable Supreme Appellate Court was 
Justice Tarar, sitting with Judges Raja Afrasiab Khan and Abdul 
Majid Tiwana.
Justice Tarar wrote the judgment (not reported), opening up : "This 
appeal by Khalil-uz-Zaman convict is directed against the judgment 
of the learned Special Court for Speedy Trials-II Lahore, whereby 
he was convicted u/s 302 and 324 read with Section 337-F of the 
PPC. Under Section 302-PPC he was sentenced to death as Tazir and 
was directed to pay Rs.50,000 as compensation to the legal heirs of 
Mst Aasia Perveen deceased u/s 544-A of the Cr.P.C. and u/ss 
324/337-F of the PPC he was sentenced to imprisonment for 10 
years...." He finished off: "In the circumstances, the appellant is 
liable for Qatl-e-Amd u/s 302(a) of the PPC punishable with death 
as Qisas. In that view of the matter, the order directing payment 
of compensation is set aside. His conviction and sentence u/s 337-F 
is also set aside and with the above modification his appeal is 
Supreme Court Judges Munir Khan and Khoso heard the convict's 
appeal against Justice Tarar's judgment, and, inter alia, in their 
judgment have recorded :
"...we are in no manner of doubt that the trial Court and also the 
learned Appellate Court had no lawful authority / jurisdiction / 
power whatsoever to convict the petitioner under section 302 PPC or 
to impose penalty of death on him, and have acted in gross 
violation of law. The Courts derive authority to punish the accused 
from the statute. If the statute does not provide death penalty for 
the offence then obviously the Court would have no jurisdiction to 
award the same, and, as such, the conviction and sentence of the 
petitioner recorded under section 302 PPC is coram non judice.
"...If the impugned judgments are allowed to stand then the 
petitioner would be deprived of his life obviously in pursuance of 
orders which suffer from lack of jurisdiction and authority, gross 
carelessness, illegality and were violative of Fundamental Rights 
guaranteed by the Constitution. Fortunately for the petitioner, our 
Constitution gives protection to the citizens of Pakistan against 
illegal treatment in the matter of life, liberty and body.... In 
this case the Courts, vide impugned judgments, have ordered the 
petitioner to be hanged to death although he was/is not liable to 
death in law for the offence allegedly committed by him. There can 
be no case more fit and proper than the present one for 
interference in exercise of our original jurisdiction under Article 
184(3) of the Constitution."
"....Had the Courts taken the trouble of reading three sections of 
the Pakistan Penal Code, i.e. section 306, 307 and 308, we are sure 
they would not have sentenced the accused/petitioner to death under 
section 302 PPC. The error committed by the Courts in convicting 
the accused/petitioner under section 302 PPC and sentencing him to 
death is so serious that had the petitioner eventually been hanged 
to death, we are afraid it would have amounted to murder through 
judicial process. Needless to say that plea of good faith/bona 
fide/ignorance of law/incompetency is/are not available in such 
like cases." The case was remitted back to the Lahore High Court 
for a "fresh decision in accordance with law." The year was also 
Another much discussed case involving the good Justice Tarar dating 
back to circa. 1994 involved a 20-year old girl and a young man 
accused of adultery and of killing the girl's husband. On very 
flimsy evidence they were convicted by a sessions judge in the NWFP 
to be hanged to death. They appealed to the High Court but the 
sentence was upheld. They then appealed to the Supreme Court where 
they found Justice Tarar. He upheld the sentence and the 20-year 
old girl would have been hanged but for an ultimate presidential 
Three years later, whilst the Anti-Terrorism Act was being drafted, 
retired judges now Senators, Rafiq Tarar and Afzal Lone, were 
called in. They recommended what could be termed a parallel 
judicial system composed of special courts with special judges with 
special powers to try all those suspected of terrorist acts. Chief 
Justice of Pakistan Sajjad Ali Shah objected, and proposed that 
suspects be tried in the normal course by sessions judges 
(requesting that many more be appointed). To expedite matters, 
trials could be held in the jails. Those convicted could appeal to 
the High Court, and then to the Supreme Court. The CJ assured the 
prime minister that he would see that the entire trial period was 
completed within three months.
Nawaz Sharif did not want trials held in three stages, so it was 
finally agreed by all that the sessions court stage would go, that 
suspects would be tried in the High Court, and then allowed an 
appeal to the Supreme Court.
However, much to the CJ's surprise, when the Act was passed by 
parliament, the law laid down that a suspect would be tried by a 
special judge in a special court, that an appeal would lie only 
before a special tribunal of two specially appointed high court 
judges, that no bail would be granted, and no appeal to the Supreme 
Court allowed. All as initially recommended by Tarar/Lone.
Such is the recorded mindset of a judge (thank heavens, no longer a 
judge), a Senator, and now the president.
After he had been nominated on December 15 as the Muslim League 
presidential candidate, minister of thought control Mushahid 
Hussain declared Tarar to be a "moderate Muslim" On December 18, 
Acting Chief Election Commissioner Mukhtar Junejo rejected his 
nomination papers under Article 63(g) of the Constitution.
Rather than honourably withdrawing from the race, Rafiq Tarar 
appealed for help to the prime minister and to the law ministry. 
The law ministry confidently announced that Tarar's appeal would be 
placed before Justice Malik Qayyum of the Lahore High Court, 
brother of PML MNA Malik Parvez, that an interim stay would be 
given on the EC order, and the dates of subsequent hearings of the 
case would be so adjusted as to allow Tarar to successfully contest 
the election. This happened, and as things now stand, Tarar is 
president subject to the EC order being struck down by the High 
Court and then by the Supreme Court.
With all this behind their head of state, � the judgments and the 
new law � and with him and the prime minister on the march for 
"Reform", should we be a very frightened nation ? Wake Up.

The holy terror
By Irfan Husain
AMONG all the many forms of violent death, there is something 
especially gruesome and stomach churning about getting one's throat 
There is an element of proximity combined with a cold, deadly 
deliberation that makes this method of killing so repugnant. Also, 
I suppose this kind of butchery is normally associated with the 
ritual slaughter of animals, and therefore makes one equate human 
victims with sacrificial lambs. When one reads about the 
interminable killings in Algeria, where the death toll is now over 
100,000, the mind cannot absorb such mindless viciousness. Tens of 
thousands of women, children and babies have had their throats 
slit, and untold people have been decapacitated. Most of these 
massacres have been carried out in the name of Islam, and are 
alleged to have been perpetrated by the Groupe Islamique Armee 
For its part, the Algerian government is not entirely blameless in 
this shadowy civil war. Many independent reports have accused 
various security and intelligence agencies of playing an active 
role in this slaughter of the innocents at worst, and of turning a 
blind eye to these atrocities at best. Some of the bloodiest 
massacres have been carried out a few hundred yards from army 
barracks, with the killers carrying out their gruesome deeds at 
leisure. Despite the heart-rending screams of the victims which 
would have normally woken the dead, there has been no response from 
the nearby security forces. In addition, there are literally 
hundreds of documented cases of torture, abduction and killings 
laid at the door of the government by journalists and human rights 
Shortly after the first-round election victory of the religious 
party Front Islamique de Salut (FIS) in 1990, the Algerian 
government cancelled the second round, thus depriving FIS of its 
right to form a government. At around this point, I met the 
Algerian ambassador at a small dinner party in Washington, and 
asked him if he didn't think his government's decision would 
precipitate a civil war in his country. Very suave and urbane, he 
was very confident that the situation would be handled without much 
Basically, he argued that if the fundamentalists seized power 
through the ballot, they would never leave by the same means as 
they would block any future elections that threatened their hold on 
power. I pointed out that the (secular) Algerian army would be in 
the background and ensure that the rules of the game were not 
changed by the FIS once it was in power. Events have shown that the 
ambassador was wrong in his assessment, and the Algerian government 
has neither the vision nor the will to restore peace to that 
strife-torn land. 
Meanwhile, a fertile country, well endowed with natural resources, 
is steadily sinking into chaos and anarchy.
Thousands of miles away, a much poorer country is well advanced on 
this route. The present rulers of Afghanistan seem determined to 
drag their hapless nation back into the stone age. With each 
passing day, the plight of our neighbours worsens. Apart from the 
poverty that is grinding the people down, they are being 
simultaneously robbed of their human dignity by the Taliban. These 
backward fanatics remind me of cruel little boys who derive 
pleasure from pulling the wings off butterflies. The daily edicts 
emanating from Kabul are reminders of how terribly things can go 
wrong in a very short time. Afghan women have been reduced to 
nameless, faceless creatures that exist on the periphery, and 
Afghan society has been sent backward to a forgotten, pre-Islamic 
era where only the rulers had any rights. Rulers, I might add, who 
are in power today, thanks to the support they get from Pakistan.
Many Muslims around the world have (rightly) objected to the 
negative stereotypes of Islam that fill the Western media. Arabs 
are caricatured, and the Islamic world demonized as a matter of 
routine by even the most sober newspapers. But in our anger, we 
forget how much we contribute to these stereotypes. When a reader 
in London sees pictures of Algerian babies with their throats cut 
lying dead in pools of their own blood; or an American sees a TV 
report of Afghan women being caned in the streets of Kabul because 
their chadors do not quite cover their toes, we shouldn't expect 
them to be sympathetic towards the Islamic world.
Basically, opinions and views are formed by words and images 
absorbed over the years. Turkey was recently refused admission into 
the European Union for the umpteenth time because of what it has 
been doing to the Kurds for decaes. Indeed, if we are willing to 
look at facts objectively, it is difficult not to arrive at the 
conclusion that some of the worst human rights abuses in the world 
are occurring today in Muslim countries. In an era of instant 
communications, these images of mayhem and barbarism are flashed 
around the globe. Small wonder that followers of the faith have a 
negative image in the non-Muslim world. Unfortunately, the track 
record of secular governments is just as bad as that of so-called 
Islamic models. Both Syria and Iraq � to mention only two Muslim 
countries � are police states that use torture and coercion as a 
matter of routine. Yet their leaders get re-elected time and again 
by farcically large margins in elections that are a mockery of the 
real thing. Oil-rich sheikhs squander their undeserved and unearned 
fortunes in casinos and jewellery shops around the world. Democracy 
is practically non-existent in most of these countries whose 
leaders are famous only for their profligacy and cruelty. And 
despite their routine condemnation of the West, they make sure that 
their investments are made in New York, London, Paris and Zurich.
In spite of Pakistan's long and repeated bouts of martial law, it 
remains probably the most democratic Muslim country in the world. 
It certainly has a free press: you probably couldn't read this 
article anywhere else in the Islamic world. But we, too, seem 
determined to send out the wrong signals: our support to the 
Taliban, the endless battles between various groups of 
obscurantists, and our treatment of women and the minorities, have 
all combined to place us firmly in the category of bigoted, 
repressive states. Certain things happening in the recent past have 
confirmed that we, too, are determined to travel back in time to 
our distant past.
We'll probably find that the Taliban have got there before us.

1998 � more of the same
By Omar Kureishi

IS there a difference between revelry and celebrations? The stern 
press note about how the New Year was to be ushered in or rather 
not ushered in clearly indicates that in the minds of the 
authorities there is. 
Revelry is perceived to be rowdy and disorderly and probably 
offensive in that there is about it something of the sinful values 
of the decadent West. Celebrations would suggest that there is some 
sort of control on our emotions, that happiness must be felt 
without being seen to be felt. Five- star hotels took no chances 
and they advertized in the newspapers telling the public to stay 
away on New Year's Eve. One had visions of the owners bolting the 
door and locking up shop. Thus 1998 made a relatively quiet 
entrance and, perhaps, it was just as well for it promises to be 
just as barren as 1997 was.
The proliferation of foreign television channels enables us to get 
a pretty good idea of what is happening in the world and what is 
happening is that on a daily basis somewhere there is a war going 
on, people are being massacred or there is famine. Nothing to 
suggest that there has been an improvement in the human condition. 
There is a good deal of news about the revolutionary advances in 
technology, about globalization but alas none of this has produced 
even a microscopic diminution in the misery of the lives of a great 
majority of the people. Statistics of social progress are 
depressing because there is no profit to be made in the alleviation 
of poverty.
Happily, the same cannot be said of our own television and although 
PTV gets its share of flak, or more than its share, it must be said 
that unlike foreign television channels, PTV exudes good cheer. 
Down in the dumps, concerned about the state of the economy and the 
ongoing political conflicts, one has to watch Khabarnama to know 
that at least all's well with Pakistan. I once asked a news reader 
how it felt to be reading out one-sided version of domestic events 
and he told me that we should be grateful for, at least, for the 
duration of the newscast we are getting good news. He had a point. 
Whatever else may be said of PTV, it remains an island of optimism 
in a sea of cheerlessness.
New Year is the time when people make resolutions. It is a kind of 
therapy, a conversation with oneself for the purpose of self-
correction and ironing out the wrinkles of bad habits. I too have 
made a resolution and it is to watch less television and do more 
reading. I once used to have friends who read books as a passion 
and we would spend endless hours discussing the books that we were 
reading. It was a long time ago and those years have simply 
vanished from my memory as have those friends, some of whom 
vanished for good and are probably browsing in book-shops in the 
I have just re-read Ryszard Kapuscinski's The Emperor which is a 
portrait of the last nightmare days of Haile Selassi. I was first 
drawn to the book because I felt that there was a comical element 
as well as a sinister element to the pursuit of power. I had seen 
decent people change, change not only in attitude but change 
physically. Kapuscinski confirms this. "First, the whole figure of 
a man changes. What had been slender and trim-waisted starts to 
become a square silhouette. 
It is a massive and solemn square; a symbol of the solemnity and 
weight of power. We can already see that is not just anybody's 
silhouette, but that of visible dignity and responsibility."
Kapuscinski describes how the steps become solemn, feet firmly on 
the ground, the body bent slightly forward to show determination to 
push through adversity. He says that facial features become solemn, 
almost stiffened, more worried and closed.
"The gaze changes too, its length and angle are altered. The gaze 
is trained on a completely unattainable point. In accordance with 
the law of optics, an appointee cannot perceive us when we talk to 
him since his focal point is well beyond us. Speech is another 
post-assignment symptom.. meaningful pauses and changes of 
intonation, misty words and a general air of having known 
everything better and for a longer period."
I have often felt that one picture is worth a thousand words and 
have regretted that the political cartoonist has not been given his 
rightful importance. But sometimes, a good writer can put into 
words what a cartoonist would find impossible to draw.
I picked on this particular passage from a remarkable book because 
it applies so universally. Not just political power but any kind of 
power, the sort that one exercises, even briefly when an 
opportunity presents itself. I once wrote: give a small man power 
and he will show you how small he is. I write of power in the 
context of the disempowerment of people through technology, the 
automatic lift has made the lift-man obsolete, direct dialling has 
made the operator unnecessary and so on. But technology has its 
limitations. For which we should be thankful. The other day, there 
was a traffic jam and people were held up. The reason was that 
someone very very important was due to do us the honour of passing 
through. Although vastly inconvenient, it was comforting to know 
that human folly still prevails. It seems a high enough note on 
which to end this new year greeting.

The ways of the prime minister
By Aziz A Siddiqui

THE prime minister's style of governing and how he makes his 
decisions when he has to is now folklore. It may have the sound of 
a joke but it often has the effect of black humour. From his 
telephone link to the people to his choice of the president of 
Pakistan the tragi-comedy has many facets. His media managers and 
his eager clan of close kinsmen do sometimes seem to have turned 
his running of the state into pretty much of a burlesque.
There was first his recourse to the modern equivalent of the sultan 
roaming the streets at nights in disguise and listening in to 
citizens griping behind bolted doors. Mian Nawaz Sharif had the 
people calling him on telephone for an hour or so everyday. 
That want on for some time, but then the novelty and the publicity 
value of it wore off and he tired of it. It has come back recently 
in the form of internet. The PM will now be available to the people 
via the cyber space but at second remove after the information 
ministry bosses. 
The chances are, this experiment will have an even shorter life. 
The device isn't at hand for many people and its use is far less 
amenable to media hype.
The weekly kutchery in the Model Town home in Lahore has had the 
most success with the media. From the prime minister's squatting 
beside a child for a fetching public posture to an aide clutching a 
dumpy woman under one arm and reading her application from the 
other, it has all been good spectacle for the press, and the 
photographers and reporters have revelled in it. But again the 
routine motions were bound to pail with time and there must also 
have been a limit to the chastisement to officials and largesses to 
the people that even a prime minister could hand out week after 
week. The experiment now appears to have begun panting for breath.
The rulers' accessibility to the people is a good thing but this 
cannot now best happen the way it used to a few centuries ago. The 
state's responsibilities have become far more wide-ranging and 
complex and both the people and their problems are now more 
numerous and diverse.
In a democratic-like order there is not one ruler but many, and 
even if a prime minister wants to appear as the sole dispenser of 
good things it is bound to be asked, for instance, if he is the 
prime minister of the country or of a tiny part of his 
constituency. And no matter how accessible he is, he can meet, or 
receive calls from, only a small fraction of people with grievances 
to press, and he can redress the grievances of even a smaller 
fraction of them. 

If his intervention does bring some relief to these few it can add 
to the despair of a lot more of the others.
Besides, government machinery today has to work by a variety of 
rules and procedures. Impromptu directives will often be based on 
insufficient evidence or incomplete information. They can end up 
doing more injustice than justice. 
A police official asked to be handcuffed on the spot or the 
chairman of an authority ordered suspended forthwith did induce 
throaty slogans of hail and welcome but they had omitted 
consideration of some other relevant factors and had to be judges 
impugnable by the courts afterwards.
Finally, the method puts a premium on individual relief rather than 
institutional reform, on temporary help to a few rather than a 
correction for the benefit of all for all the time. It makes the 
one a substitute for the other.
Ordering at one kutchery that all the handshaken UBL employees be 
embraced back into the fold, or at another that the temporary 
lecturers on notice be given another year's extension may be sound 
action, but the ad-hockery creates problems elsewhere.
It undermines the institution, the policy process and the follow-up 
action behind the earlier decision (which to must have emanated 
from the government thinking of that time). 
It erodes the credibility of institutional decisions as such. It is 
elementary that when an action is reversed it must usually be made 
to flow from a rethinking of the essentials, not to spring purely 
from the supposed largeness of an individual's heart.
Similarly, going out and commisserating with a rape victim is good-
neighbourly behaviour. It may bring some balm to the family's 
would. But a government's essential responsibility isn't that of a 
good neighbour's. It has to demonstrate keen and urgent attention 
to getting to the bottom of the crime, and not just in words only.
That almost never happens. And when the victim family knows who the 
criminals are and also that the arms of the law will never reach 
them, it can only feel contempt within its heart for the show of 
The style of governance has also been remarkable for its aversion 
to public debate. From the change in the weekly holiday and ban on 
wedding feasts to the two constitutional amendments and the new 
laws on ehtesab and against terrorism, the government allowed 
little or no respite for airing of views ahead of the decisions. 
This indicates a suspicion of even marginal involvement of the 
people in decision-making. It circumvents the opportunity for 
educating and mobilizing public opinion. It smacks more of the 
dictatorial or monarchical method of imposing decisions and only 
asking for obedience.
Then there is evidence of this clannish hand in decision- making, 
which is a step further down from the purely personal style. The 
latter allows some room for professional and political advice; it 
is also a little concerned about image. A clan is more rigid and 
closed, it is more narrowly demanding, more of a world unto itself, 
and more keen to shape the rest of the world to the service of its 
Consider the choice of the new president. It is almost clear that 
it was purely a family decision. The outsiders had little, if 
anything, to do with it. Such posts are normally used to broaden 
the coalition of interests, limit the era of conflict or diminish 
any source of friction. No such creative political engineering was 
put to work here. Given all and more of Mian Nawaz Sharif's 
political requirements, there was virtually nothing in Mr Tarrar's 
record to commend him above all the others. 
There was plenty, on the other hand, not to enable him even to be 
It could only have been personal consideration that nevertheless 
made him the sole choice for the post. It was that he commanded the 
family trust above all others. He could be depended on to render 
total loyalty to them regardless of all other corsiderations. After 
their experience of the two previous presidents and given that even 
divested of his fangs, a president could still be a spoiler, 
especially in situations of emergency, of which the prospects were 
never slender, implicit loyalty had to be the ultimate test.
Mr Tarrar had proved it in his personal relations with the family 
and in the public areas that they had been most concerned about, 
such as in the recent crisis with the judiciary. His hatred for the 
Bhuttos also matched their own.
Other high-level appointments also seem to have been based on, and 
look likely in future to be based on, the same overriding 
All this does not augar well for capable consensual governance. 
There is no indication where the resistance to it will come from. 
Sections of the judiciary may to some extent feel they have a 
certain reputation to live up to. But largely the pressure against 
the personal and clannish tendencies will have to emerge from 
within the party. 
Its members will have to recover some of the political will they 
have surrendered. They will find this important for their own 
political survival too. 

Forthcoming Pakistan-India hockey series welcomed
By A. Majid Khan

After a lapse of about a decade the revival of men's hockey test 
series of eight matches between Pakistan and India is generally 
welcomed. It is hoped the coming February series would give 
considerable boost to the game in the two countries, once regarded 
and recognised as leading nations in the game.
Strained political relations were the main stumbling blocks in 
Pakistan-India hockey relations. The last test series in 1988 had 
ended in a draw with Pakistan and India winning two matches each, 
while the two ended without definite result.
The eight-match series commences with the first four matches 
starting from Feb 28 at Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi. 
After a week's break the Pakistan team will go to India to play 
four matches at New Delhi (March 19) in Punjab, Hyderabad and 
Madras. The series ends on March 26 as the last Test Madras.
The coming series would provide an ideal opportunity to Pakistan 
and India to improve their financial position as the public 
response is expected to be fairly high. Their traditional rivalry 
still remains the core point of the matches to be played between 
the two countries.
The recent meeting of the high up of both Pakistan and Indian 
Hockey Federations, held at PHF headquarters at Lahore, had decided 
to acquire the services of foreign international umpires through 
the good offices of the International Hockey Federation as the 
performance of the referees belonging to the two countries had been 
controversial. The FIH would not be found lacking in providing the 
services of foreign umpires, having international reputation.
Hockey, both in Pakistan and India, has gradually lost its mass 
appeal in the wake of their teams unsatisfactory performance in the 
international hockey. Pakistan indeed, had better hockey record as 
compared to India. Even today Pakistan is the World Cup title 
holder and India has no international title in its bag today.
The past achievements however, are part of the history and for 
making new history both Pakistan and India will have to work very 
hard with missionary zeal to improve their competitive standards. 
The standard bearer of today's world hockey is neither Pakistan nor 
India but Europe and Germany who have emerged as the strongest 
hockey nations with new ideas and new formations that outwitted the 
challenge from Asia, once a dominating force in international 
Pakistan and India still earnestly believe in playing traditional 
system of 5 - 3 - 2 - 1 formation, a system discarded by European 
nations over three decades ago. The no-off-side rule is another new 
element in world hockey and both the countries, so far, have failed 
to show their mastery in its wake. It only shows that both the 
countries lack in developing new strategies to keep abreast of the 
new rules and conditions.
A case in point is the conversion of the penalty corner. Both the 
countries usually follow the foreign tactics when they watch them 
or play against them. But they hardly evolve their own strategy in 
scoring or thwarting and blocking the challenge posed by foreign 
teams. They usually blame Europe for changing world hockey rules as 
they dominate the world hockey today. Since there is no apparent 
sign that rule making will be in the hands of Asians or they will 
be able to act as ruling force in the FIH, therefore we should 
direct our energies in popularising the international version of 
hockey in Pakistan and India.
It had been generally observed that Pakistani and Indian players, 
having more flexibility in their reflexes enjoyed an advantage over 
foreign players. They are more skillful in dodging as compared to 
heavily-built Germans, Dutch and Australians, but the foreign 
players certainly enjoy the advantage of better gathering, marking 
and hitting.
The foreign players and coaches discuss in detail the advantages 
and disadvantages of their strategy whereas in Pakistan and India 
the sole authorities are the managers and coaches who in many cases 
do not have much knowledge about the latest developments in the 
prevailing pattern of the game.
In Pakistan we have to bring to our fold more educated and brainy 
players to understand what tactics they would have to adopt in a 
given situation in top flight hockey. The game's role in the 
educational institutions, should as such be increased to produce 
educated talent.

Wasim Akram vows never to lead Pakistan again
By Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, Jan 3: Pakistan cricket started the new year on a wrong 
foot when Wasim Akram expressed his inability to lead the national 
team in future.
Wasim Akram's decision includes the forthcoming tour of Africa 
where Pakistan play three Tests against South Africa and two Tests 
against Zimbabwe besides a series of one-day games in the two 
"I have conveyed my decision to the cricket authorities and they 
have accepted it," the star allrounder told Dawn from his Lahore 
"It has been one of the most difficult decisions to take but I have 
decided to play as an ordinary member in the team in accordance 
with the mental pressures I was in," said Akram, who has 334 Test 
wickets and 341 one-day scalps.
"Whatever cricket is left in me, I want to enjoy it as a player not 
as captain," stated Akram, who recently spearheaded Pakistan to a 
3-0 win over the West Indies, 2-0 win over England in 1996 besides 
guiding Pakistan to its first World Series Cup win in Australia in 
17 years.
Akram needs 29 runs to join the elite company of Kapil Dev, Ian 
Botham, Sir Richard Hadlee and Imran Khan to grab 300 wickets and 
2,000 runs in Test cricket.
Akram led Pakistan in 17 Tests winning nine, losing four and 
drawing four. In 72 one-dayers under his captaincy, Pakistan won 43 
games, lost 28 with one ending in tie. Personally, he took 78 Tests 
and 112 one-day wickets as captain.
Akram's decision is believed to come in the wake of media and 
public criticism after the Pakistan team lost the quadrangular 
tournament and the Champions Trophy last year under his captaincy. 
The critics attributed the loses to match-fixing, the allegations 
yet to be substantiated by the accusers.
Akram said he called on the PCB chief executive Majid Khan in his 
office on Saturday morning. Also present during the deliberations 
were chairman of selectors, Salim Altaf, and Talat Ali, chairman of 
the disciplinary committee, said Akram.
"All of them gave me a good hearing and admitted the pressure I was 
in. They were sympathetic and endorsed my decision. They admitted 
that I have come for a rough treatment,' he said.

Asked if he was persuaded to continue as captain, Akram replied in 
the negative.
Akram was first appointed captain in 1993-94 on the tour of the 
West Indies but was dethroned 12 months later by a group of nine 
cricketers who rebelled against him. Akram regained captaincy on 
the 1995-96 tour of Australia where Pakistan lost 2-1.
Elaborating the reasons for taking this extreme step, Akram said: 
"Allegations of match-fixing have been the backbone of all reasons. 
These baseless accusations have taken a toll on me and I find 
myself in no man's land.
"I am not motivated any more to lead the team. And when I am not 
geared up myself, how can I lift my team on a demanding tour of 
South Africa and Zimbabwe," he said.
"Naturally the boys also come under pressure and they look for the 
captain to lift them. But in the present situation, I am in no 
position to support them because I am myself down.
"I don't find any strength in myself to sustain any more pressure 
and unjustified criticism which to an extent is personal," he 
"I have badly lacked in backing up or support from the concerned 
authorities," he said.
Akram said he had enjoyed playing and captaining the side � the 
things he was missing now. "I am not enjoyin captaincy any more so 
what's the point in doing the job which you can't enjoy. It's then 
better to step down and let another man take over the team."
Akram said he has been receiving death threats and his family 
members were being harassed. "After serving the country with 
distinction for so long you get this treatment, it is depressing 
and upsetting."
Akram said Pakistan teams have lost in the past but betting or 
match-fixing allegations were levelled. "To rub salt into the 
wounds, no investigations have been carried out to convict or 
acquit the guilty.
"Only once match-fixing probe was done (in 1995) in which the 
accused player was acquitted as the accusers failed to prove the 
charges," he said.
However, Akram promised that he would extend full support to 
whoever steps in his shoes. "My priority has always been to play 
and perform for country. Captaincy has been secondary to me.
"I would fully contribute as a player and would also help the 
captain in taking any ticklish decisions. Since I am in the 
twilight of my career, I would like to contribute by grooming up a 
couple of good pacers."
Haroon Rasheed, who served as coach in Akram's last three 
assignments as captain, said he was sad with the decision of the 
pacer. He, however, said Akram was a professional cricketer and if 
he has taken such decision, there must have been a good reason to 

Twelve invited for Asian squash trials
By A. Majid Khan

KARACHI, Jan 7: Eight time world champion and world number one 
Jansher Khan has been exempted from the Asian squash trials while 
12 other players, not among the top ten world rankings, are to 
appear in the national trials which will be held here from Feb 5 at 
the PIA Jahangir Khan Squash Complex. The Pakistan Squash 
Federation Secretary Squadron-Leader S.M. Fazal, told Dawn today on 
telephone from Islamabad that the federation has invited 12 players 
to appear in the eight-day trials for selection of Pakistan team 
for the seniors Asian Squash Championship.
The 9th Asian Squash Championship is scheduled from Feb 13 in 
Seoul, South Korea Pakistan would be defending the team title as 
well as the individual event, won by Mir Zaman Gul in the last 
championship held in Amman, Jordan, in 1996.
The players, listed for the trials, are Jahan brothers � Zarak and 
Zubair � Mir Zaman Gul, Amjad Khan, Kumail Mahmood, Kashif Shuja, 
Ejaz Azmat, Umer Zaman, Shams-ul-Islam Khan Kakar, Mansoor Zaman, 
Humayun Khan and Mohammad Hussain. Sq-Leader Fazal stated that 
under the new selection policy of the federation, a player, who is 
among the top ten world rankings, is exempted and squash wizard 
Jansher Khan is the only one which stands exempted from the next 
month's trials in Karachi. Previously, the players, who were among 
the top 15 world rankings, were exempted from the national trials. 
Therefore, those invited for the Asian squash trials are not even 
among the top 15 and they have to appear in the trials to prove 
their form and fitness, said the federation secretary.
The Pakistan squad will consist of four players.
The trails, he stated, would be on the single league basis and each 
player has to play two matches each day, one in the morning and the 
second in the afternoon, to show his top physical fitness. Last 
year while selecting Pakistan Team for the Kuala Lumpur World Team 
Championship, the PSF held the trials on single league basis and 
each player played two matches. Those who lacked in required top 
physical condition, after playing three or four matches and having 
no chance of selection, later withdraw, observed the secretary.
There would be no change in the mode of trials as it is the 
decision of the federation, emphasised the secretary.
The selection of the Pakistan team would be purely on merit and on 
the basis of trials, he said.
The five-member national selection is headed by PSF Senior Vice-
President Air-Vice Marshal Zahid Anis and other members of 
committee are former British open champion Qamar Zaman, ex-world 
number two and national coach Mohibullah Khan, Sq-leader S.M. Fazal 
and Farhan Samiulla.

Akram, Younis borderline cases for African safari
By Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, Jan 4: The three-member national selection committee meets 
later this week to pick the 15-man team for the South African tour 
with speed merchants Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis being borderline 
According to investigations carried out by this correspondent, 
either one of the two pacers is likely to get the axe. Sources said 
Akram was on top of the hit list.
Wasim Akram on Saturday had vowed never to lead Pakistan again. But 
board sources said his place in the national team was also 
The cricket board has provided relevant material to its probe 
committee which has been directed to prepare and submit a detailed 
report on the basis of which the authorities can take any action.
Justice Ijaz Yousuf, Balochistan High Court Judge, is a member of 
that committee.
The board officials were also unsure of the fact if Wasim Akram has 
regained complete fitness from a bowling shoulder injury.
Sources said Akram had told cricket officials on Saturday that he 
would be playing a Patron's Trophy match for Pakistan International 
Airlines (PIA) at the National Stadium. The match begins from Jan 
"We will closely monitor Akram's bowling in that game before 
deciding whether to select him or not. But one thing for sure is 
that he (Wasim Akram) is no more an automatic selection," sources, 
requesting not to be quoted, said.
Waqar Younis, who was left out of the Dhaka triangular team along 
with Wasim Akram, is said to have lost his pace and venom. The 
selectors, according to sources, were of the view that the pacer 
was also struggling to get into his bowling rhythm.
"He could have sorted out his problems by playing in the domestic 
circuit. But he didn't. We have serious reservations if he is fit," 
sources said.
The board officials admitted that Younis was only 26 years of age 
but said "only on paper. We doubt if he has told his real age. We 
suspect he is 30 as his bowling shows. His body has refused to take 
further strain and that may be one of the prime reasons for decline 
in his strike-rate."
These stern observations of the authorities on the two lethal 
bowlers are believed to be because of three reasons. 1 � The PCB 
chief executive Majid Khan's statement that the two were past their 
prime and no more could run through the innings, 2 � the selectors 
policy of injecting fresh blood, 3 � to weed out the players 
suspected of match-fixing.
It may be recalled that Salim Malik was discarded after Toronto's 
Sahara Cup on similar grounds though the batsman scored 237 runs in 
three Tests last year. Need not to mention the PCB's hit-list of 
four players comprising Salim Malik, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and 
Ijaz Ahmad.
But the experts of the game believe that South African tour was a 
gruelling one and the inclusion of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis was 
a must. They argued that the wickets in South Africa were bouncy 
and seaming ones which would give Pakistan the edge over the hosts 
if the new ball was shared by the two speedsters.
Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis have shared 572 wickets between them 
with Akram (334) having represented Pakistan in 72 and Younis (238) 
in 48 Tests.
The selectors have apparently pinned down their hopes on Azhar 
Mahmood, Abdul Razzak, Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Zahid though the 
latter is still on the casualty list and trying to regain fitness 
after undergoing back surgery last August.
The chairman of selectors, Salim Altaf, said from his Lahore 
residence on Sunday that the selectors would meet either on Tuesday 
or Wednesday "depending upon the arrival of Zaheer Abbas from 
He said since the tour would be a long one, he would like to ask 
the board to have a 16-man team "but it depends entirely on the 
board how many players have to go."
South Africa came here with 15 players and according to reciprocity 
they would entertain an equal number of players when Pakistan reach 
there early next month.
The chief selector refused to indulge himself when asked if his 
panel would be axing Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. "It is matter of 
just two or three days and you will get the answer yourself. I 
don't want to comment at the moment because it was quite 
He, however, did indicate that the selectors would surprise the 
followers of the game when he said: "We might give a jolt to a 
couple of players."
Altaf, who leaves for South Africa as Pakistan Under-19 manager on 
Wednesday evening, said the selectors would submit their team to 
the cricket authorities on the day they finalise the side.
"The authorities, if they deemed it necessary, would make changes 
in the team in the background of national team's performance in 
Dhaka," he said.
He said three or four one-day specialists will be named later on 
when the tour enters the one-day stage. "They will replace those 
who will go there primarily for Test matches."
Shahid Afridi, Aqib Javed and Manzoor Akhtar are believed to be 
those players.
With the fate of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis undecided, the 
remaining 13 players may be:
Rashid Latif (captain), Saeed Anwar (vice-captain), Aamir Sohail, 
Ali Naqvi, Ijaz Ahmad, Inzamamul Haq, Mohammad Wasim, Hasan Raza, 
Moin Khan, Azhar Mahmood, Abdul Razzak, Saqlain Mushtaq and Mushtaq 

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