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                          C O N T E N T S 

N A T I O N A L   N E W S
Pakistan seventh most populous country
New force being set up to fight terrorism 
IMF rejects retail tax at fixed rate
30,000 stranded in Sunt Sar tehsil
Eight die in train blast near Lahore 
Pakhtoonkhwa chapter closed: Nawaz
PR privatization: from the frying pan into the fire
Japan okays Rs25bn loan
Need to build Kalabagh dam emphasized
UBL seeks Rs19bn to avert collapse
Russian mediation offer welcomed
Ahsan's condition improving

B U S I N E S S  &  E C O N O M Y 
Japan offers $250m loan for banking sector
The case of the missing Rs 21bn of bad debts 
July-Feb trade gap reduced to $919m
PTCL plans steps to overcome problem of inflated bills
$3 billion US investment available: BoI
Import duty on tea reduced by 20 per cent
64 companies acquire ISO-9000
KSE index recovers 21.49 points on PTCL trading

E D I T O R I A L S  &  F E A T U R E S
Skimmers and scammers                             Ardeshir Cowasjee
The demand for quotas                                 Shahid Kardar
Are they better off?                             Rifaat Hamid Ghani
Indictment of a betrayal                               Irfan Husain

S P O R T S 
Jansher reaffirms his class in Super series
South Africa level series after winning third Test     

                     N A T I O N A L   N E W S 
Pakistan seventh most populous country

ISLAMABAD, March 12: The newly-formed Standing Committee of the 
National Assembly on population welfare was informed here on 
Thursday that Pakistan's current population (1998) was estimated at 
140 million and Pakistan had become the seventh most populous 
country of the world. It was at number 14 in 1950.
The committee was also informed that Pakistan's population welfare 
programme was a development activity and the social investment was 
to improve the quality of life of the people by encouraging 
voluntary adoption of small family norms.
The first meeting of the body was held in the parliament house under 
the chairmanship of Chaudhry Safdar Rehman, MNA. The minister and 
secretary, population welfare and senior officers also took part in 
the briefing.
Stating the achievements of the present government, it was informed 
that the programme coverage had increased from 20 per cent to 70 per 
cent and awareness from 11.8 per cent in 1990 to 24 per cent in 
1998. Growth rate in population had, therefore, declined to 2.7 per 
It was stated that the programme had a total political support as 
the NA had unanimously adopted the motion on population programme on 
Nov 19, 1997. It was also stated that the target was to reduce the 
population growth rate to 1.7 per cent by year 2003. This means a 
two per cent annual decrease.
New force being set up to fight terrorism 
Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, March 12: The government decided on Thursday to set up a 
special task force to combat terrorism in the country, Dawn reliably 
The task force, to be headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, would 
be composed of trained personnel drawn from different agencies, a 
source said.
The decision to have a separate anti-terrorism task force was taken 
at a high-level meeting here, presided over by Interior Minister 
Shujaat Hussain.

The meeting, attended by chief ministers of Punjab, Sindh and the 
NWFP, Information Minister Mushahid Hussain, Law Minister Khalid 
Anwar, chief secretaries, heads of intelligence agencies and other 
high-ranking officials of the concerned departments, approved the 
creation of a task force.
The task force would focus more on analysis and study of terrorist 
attacks and do planning to provide guidelines to the other law 
enforcement agencies to effectively check terrorist activities, the 
source added.
The anti-terrorist force would be established on the lines of the 
elite anti-narcotics force, set up a few years back to check the 
smuggling of drugs to the country, with officers having outstanding 
record in different law enforcement agencies. Similarly, in the 
anti-terrorist force, brilliant officers from different forces would 
be drawn to take up the task of combating terrorism.
The federal government had given an assurance of all possible 
financial assistance to the task force, the source said.
The meeting was briefed by the heads of law enforcement agencies 
about the steps being taken by them to check the infiltration of 
terrorists from across the eastern borders.
All the agencies, including the ISI, had been told to extend full 
support to the new force and give the names of their good officers 
who could be taken on it, the source added.
IMF rejects retail tax at fixed rate
Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, March 13: The International Monetary Fund is believed to 
have told Islamabad that it would not approve the retail tax at 
fixed rate, as it was "not a part of the understanding" between the 
two sides.
In a communication to the ministry of finance, in response to a 
letter from the ministry in which it informed the IMF of the method 
devised for the payment of retail tax, the Fund indicated that there 
would be adverse implications of such a move.
The IMF reaction, sources said, was causing a delay in finalizing 
the details of the fixed retail tax formula agreed to between the 
government and the representative bodies of the traders, about two 
weeks ago.
"We do not expect to receive details on this formula for 
announcement within the week, as the ministry of finance has already 
received the Fund's disapproval of a fixed-rate RT", said a senior 
official here on Friday.
Explaining to Dawn, he said the ministry had written to the IMF last 
week to inform it about the govt's move to impose fixed retail tax. 
The Fund wrote back that the agreement reached between the two sides 
stipulated a documentation-based general sales tax.

Other officials, approached for details on the issue, said that the 
ministry had started working out the formula on registering the 
intended retail-tax payees through trade certificates, and under 
different categories of turnover, immediately after the agreement 
was reached between the traders' bodies and the government.

In this endeavour, the Central Board of Revenue was fully assisting 
the ministry, but there has been no communication on this issue over 
the past couple of days, and the CBR officials said they did not 
know what happened.
30,000 stranded in Sunt Sar tehsil
Saleem Shahid

QUETTA, March 9: Over 30,000 people were stranded and 5,000 houses 
washed away with the onslaught of flash floods in Sunt Sar tehsil, 
district Gwadar, official sources confirmed on Monday night. The 
people stuck up in flood-hit areas have been cut off from the rest 
of the district as road links have been severed.
"They are waiting to be airlifted through helicopters", sources told 
Dawn on telephone.
Twenty-seven villages were completely destroyed while 12 suffered 
partial damages in the floods. However, no loss of life was reported 
from any of the affected villages so far.
The deputy commissioner of Gwadar said people of the area had 
shifted to hilltops and other safer places before the onslaught of 
flash floods which struck the area after playing havoc in Turbat 
district of Makran division.
Eight die in train blast near Lahore 
Azmat Abbas
LAHORE, March 10: Eight people were killed and over 60 others were 
injured, including women, when a powerful bomb went off in a 
passenger train at the Walton railway station in the suburbs of 
Lahore on Tuesday morning.
This was the second train bomb blast in two days. On Monday, a bomb 
had exploded on the Quetta-bound Chiltan Express near Changa Manga, 
killing at least seven passengers.
The explosive device responsible for Tuesday's blast had been 
planted under a seat in front of the toilet of coach No. 9442 of the 
407Up Kasur-Lahore passenger train. It exploded at 7:10am, minutes 
after the train had stopped at the Walton station.
Six people were killed on the spot while two succumbed to their 
wounds at the Lahore General Hospital.
The coach  with a capacity of over 120 passengers  in which the 
bomb exploded had two portions separated by a toilet with a small 
passage connecting the two sections. The portion in which the bomb 
exploded had a seating capacity for about 30 passengers but was 
overcrowded. The explosion ripped through the compartment blowing a 
two feet wide hole.
Officials said the division of the compartment saved many lives.
Sources said the train, which is used by daily commuters and milkmen 
coming to Lahore and remains crowded, had left Kasur at 5am and 
arrived at the Walton railway station at 7:08am. It had stopped on 
the third set of tracks from the platform and was stationed between 
two freight trains. 

Pakhtoonkhwa chapter closed: Nawaz
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, March 7: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in categorical 
terms here on Saturday that the chapter of renaming the NWFP as 
Pakhtoonkhwa had been closed and the government had no intention to 
reopen it.

"There is neither any need nor intention to reopen the issue (of 
Pakhtoonkhwa)", he told newsmen at the Lahore airport on his arrival 
from Faisalabad.

Information Minister Mushahid Husain, Petroleum Minister Chaudhry 
Nisar Ali Khan and Investment Board chairman Humayun Akhtar also 
accompanied him.

The prime minister was asked if there was a possibility of the ANP 
and the PML entering an alliance new.

Mr Sharif said he had called on ANP leader Wali Khan a few days ago 
on account of a personal relationship. As for the Pakhtoonkhwa 
issue, he reiterated, it would not be reopened.

About the possible difficulties the government might have to face in 
having the proposed constitutional package approved by parliament 
after the parting of the ways by the ANP, the prime minister said: 
"If there is any difficulty it will come to light".

Answering a question, Mr Sharif said the date for the completion of 
the census would not be extended. However, he said, the exercise in 
the problem areas would be completed subsequently.

The NWFP Assembly had, through a unanimous resolution, demanded that 
the date should be extended by one month.

PR privatization: from the frying pan into the fire
S.H. Zaidi

THE DECISION to privatize the railways is a vote of no-confidence by 
the government in its own capability to run a key infrastructure 
facility on the one hand and to make the best use of a skilled and 
trained labour force on the other.
Since no national company or corporation is big enough with the 
requisite experience to run such a specialised and complex 
organisation as the railways, its sale to foreign companies is being 
Such a sale would mean that the local employees would be restricted 
eventually to lower rungs of the management ladder. All planning, 
design, decision-making, and even implementation, would gradually be 
taken over by foreigners.
A time may come when the government's control over either the 
operational cost including the passenger and freight charges and the 
running of this great asset may be lost forever.
Coupled with the planned 'internationalisation' of other strategic 
interests, god knows where the process would lead to, whether it 
would catapult the country into a new era of 'global co-operation' 
as some supporters of internationalising such assets claim, or 
gradually erode its sovereignty according to others. If history is 
any guide, the latter is the more likely result.

The government's present plan is to float three companies in the 
private sector and two in the public sector. Reconstitution of the 
Railway Board and creating a new regulatory authority is also on the 
The Pakistan Railway Act has already been amended according to which 
the board will comprise five members out of which three will be 
drawn from the private sector and serve on the board on part-time 
basis while the remaining two will be full time members.
One shall be the general manager railways, and will be the CEO, 
while the other will be the finance member, responsible for the 
financial administration. However, it has not been disclosed from 
where, and how, he will be appointed.
If the recent past is any indication, very little confidence can be 
placed in such moves. The fact that 42,000 railway workers out of 
more than 120,000 who work for the PR, mostly technical staff, had 
opted for the recent golden handshake scheme (which was later 
withdrawn by the government for this very reason) shows the 
ineptitude and lack of foresight of the bureaucrats who drew up the 
scheme and the fact that they had not done their homework before 
announcing the scheme. It also shows the technical staff's 
discontent with their conditions of service, the very staff that 
makes the running of the railways possible and has been successfully 
doing it for the last 50 years at extremely low wages, even by 
Pakistani standards!
Have the wise men of the state ever considered the question of the 
importance of its own human resources asset which, once lost, will 
be very difficult to replace and it may take an inordinately long 
time to train new workers.
If efficiency has gone down, or if the railways are running in 
deficit, it is a management rather than a technical default. 
Privatization, and that, too, sale to a foreign company, is no 
panacea for the problem, to solve which, the government's will and 
commitment is now on trial.
Japan okays Rs25bn loan
Bureau Report 

ISLAMABAD, March 10: Japan will provide a loan of 531 million 
dollars (about Rs 25 billion) to Pakistan to help improve its 
balance of payments position. The loan is also meant for the 
purchase of machinery for road construction, debt relief and 
cultural grant assistance.
According to a Press release of the Japanese embassy, Tokyo will 
extend 266 million dollars (Rs 12.326 billion) as part of a soft-
term loan for balance of payment support.
Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan, currently visiting Tokyo, was 
informed about the Japanese balance of payment support at a meeting 
with his counterpart, Mr Keizo Obuchi, on Tuesday.
The exchange of notes relating to grant assistance were signed 
between the ambassadors of the two countries in the presence of the 
two foreign ministers.
Another loan of 250 million dollars (Rs 12 billion) for balance of 
payment support was also finalized and announced at the meeting of 

the two foreign ministers. 
This BP support will be a co-financing with the World Bank, which 
has already provided to Pakistan a matching amount of 250 million 
The loan has been offered under the Banking Sector Adjustment 
Programme to help Pakistan tide over difficulties in implementing 
economic reform policies.
A separate grant assistance of 9.5 million dollars has also been 
offered for improving construction machinery for utilization by the 
NLC across the country.
An amount of 4.7 million dollars will be offered for procuring 
agricultural machinery to help in the promotion of mechanized 
farming in the country to increase per hectare yield of crops.
Need to build Kalabagh dam emphasized

ISLAMABAD, March 7: Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power has 
stressed the need for building consensus while selecting sites for 
the construction of more water storages and dams in the country for 
meeting the growing irrigation and food needs of Pakistan.
The Senate body, which met in the Parliament House here on Saturday 
under the chairmanship of Senator Sar Anjam Khan, was holding 
discussions on the Kalabagh dam and its alternatives.
Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Nadir Pervaiz khan 
highlighted the need for the construction of Kalabagh dam in order 
to bridge the rising gap in the supply and demand for food, which 
was likely to increase by 6.4 million tons by the year 2000.
He maintained that such a large deficit in food requirements could 
not be met by improving the farming techniques alone and that the 
situation demanded harnessing of the water resources to the optimum 
level by building more dams and water reservoirs.
The federal minister said the live storage capacity of the existing 
water reservoirs, which stood at 15million acre-feet (MAF), had 
already depleted by about 20 per cent due to silt that, according to 
an estimate, would decrease the storage capacity by 5.35MAF by the 
year 2010.
Keeping this in view, the minister pointed out that the participants 
of an international seminar on water resources, which was held in 
Islamabad recently, passed a resolution supporting the construction 
of a new water reservoir in the country.
Chairman WAPDA Shamsul Mulk informed the committee that there was a 
need to build two major dams immediately to cater to the food needs 
of the country and also to meet the growing industrial requirements 
in view of the "Programme 2010".
He pointed out that the food availability in the world was 
decreasing by one per cent every year and the food situation was 
likely to become critical by the year 2010. He said that the global 
food security concept has already been shattered, making it 
imperative to have food security at regional level.
The chairman, WAPDA, quoted international experts as saying that 
Pakistan and Thailand were the only countries in this region which 

had the capacity to meet their food requirements after the year 
However, he said, it was dependent upon water use and "we have no 
choice but to make Basha and Kalabagh dam for maintaining our 
growing level of agricultural production". He said that the Kalabagh 
dam has been conceived after carrying out comprehensive studies by 
employing state of the art methodology and collecting maximum 
possible data information, never made available for a project of 
this nature before.
He further said the Kalabagh dam would have some special features, 
including a long and narrow gorge type reservoir, which would allow 
considerably less sedimentation, making 50 per cent of its capacity 
perpetually available for irrigation.
The WAPDA chairman allayed fears about flooding of some parts of 
Nowshera or other areas and said modifications in the design and 
lowering of the reservoir level has absolutely minimized the  
chances for the flooding of any area. He said that a computer-based 
study, backed by physical modelling in Pakistan, had established 
that recurrence of record flood of 1929 would not affect the water 
level at Nowshera even after 100 years of sedimentation in the 
UBL seeks Rs19bn to avert collapse
Bureau Report
ISLAMABAD, March 12: The United Bank has sent an SOS message to the 
State Bank seeking immediate financial assistance to the tune of 
Rs19.6 billion to save the bank from imminent collapse.
In a letter written to the SBP, UBL President Zubair Soomro said 
that the bank had to publish its annual report in March or April and 
if the present situation of the bank showing a capital loss of 
Rs10.3 billion was shown it would have negative effects on customer 
deposits and international credit lines.
"The position is quite serious as our annual account has to be 
finalized and as these now stand we will report a substantial loss 
and a large negative equity position," he said.
"Coming after the recent banking-led crises in Korea, Thailand and 
Indonesia such signals could have a ripple effect on our own overall 
economy," said Mr Soomro adding that publication of the annual 
report would have significant market repercussion both in terms of 
customer deposits and international credit lines.
He opened the letter by stating the financial implications of the 
restructuring and downsizing exercises carried out in the bank last 
He said the bank was passing through a critical phase of 
restructuring and had tackled the key issues of manpower rightsizing 
and accelerated recovery of bad debts.
Russian mediation offer welcomed
Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, March 7: Pakistan welcomed on Saturday an "offer of 
mediation" between Pakistan and India in the Kashmir dispute, which 
was made by Russian Vice Foreign Minister G.B.Karasin during his 
visit to Islamabad this week.
Answering questions at his routine news briefing, a spokesman for 
the Foreign Office said Pakistan regarded the Russian mediation 
offer significantly helpful as it indicated the success of 
Pakistan's efforts to spotlight, at international level, the 
existence of Kashmir dispute, which needed to be resolved in the 
interest of regional peace and stability and prosperity of the 
people of South Asia.
The spokesman told journalists that the Russian mediation offer was 
all the more welcome for Islamabad since it raised the number of 
world powers, such as the United States and the UK, which had 
expressed their willingness to mediate in the Kashmir dispute.

The spokesman, however, parried a question whether Mr Karasin had 
made the offer on his own or in response to a request, and made no 
comment when asked whether there was a shift in Moscow's stand on 
the Kashmir issue.
He said Mr Karasin's visit to Islamabad was significant and the 
wide-ranging discussions he had held here reflected Russia's growing 
interest in developing ties with Pakistan in different fields. 
Pakistan hoped that the relations between the two countries would 
assume greater dimensions in future, the spokesman said, and added 
that a high-level Russian delegation was expected here in the middle 
of this year.
The spokesman, responding to a question about Prime Minister Nawaz 
Sharif's planned visit to Russia, said preparations for it were 
under way, but denied that it would take place next month.
Mr Karasin had also been briefed on Pakistan's efforts for promoting 
a political settlement of the Afghan issue, the spokesman added.
RELATIONS: Pakistan reiterated on Saturday that it wanted to develop 
"tension-free and good relations" with India, and hoped New Delhi 
would reciprocate.
Ahsan's condition improving
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, March 11: Kunwar Ahsan's condition has improved 
considerably and he has now started taking normal diet.
Kunwar Ahsan was critically injured in an attack at City Courts.
"He is now neither on ventilator nor on oxygen", said Prof Tipu 
Sultan, head of the Civil Hospital's surgical intensive care unit 
and also of anaesthesia department.
Earlier, Ahsan was being provided calories and antibiotics through 
intravenous and dextrose injections.
With regard to Ahsan's paraparesis problem which has developed owing 
to injuries caused to his vertebrae, Prof Tipu said: "At present he 
doesn't need any operation as his condition is improving day-by-
Mr Ahsan had received three bullet wounds in his left chest, abdomen 
and right thigh. Two of the bullets had gone through his body while 
the third is still embedded in his lung's region. However, the 

presence of the bullet in his lung's region has not yet been 
confirmed, doctors said.

                 B U S I N E S S  &  E C O N O M Y
Japan offers $250m loan for banking sector

ISLAMABAD, March 9: Japan has offered a $250 million banking sector 
adjustment loan (BSAL) to Pakistan.
Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan, who is in Tokyo on a four- day 
visit, will discuss the offer in further detail with the economic 
officials of Japan.
Preliminary discussions on the Japanese offer have already been 
completed between the two countries.
Japan wants the rupee generated from the 250 million dollars of 
BSAL, (about Rs 11.25 billion) to be placed in a separate fund. 
About 70 per cent of this amount or Rs7.86 billion are required to 
be used exclusively for SAP II projects and the balance for non-SAP 

Exchange of notes between Pakistan and Japan on the 250 million 
dollar loan, according to earlier schedule, was to take place during 
Gohar Ayub's Tokyo visit.
However, due to some undisclosed reasons, now the loan agreement is 
expected to be signed in Pakistan later this month.
The Japanese BSAL is said to be closely linked to the release of 
second tranche of 208 million dollars of IMF from the three-year 1.6 
billion dollar extended structural adjustment (ESAF) and extended 
fund facility (EFF).

In the event the IMF board which is meeting in Washington this week 
fails to approve the release of the second tranche, the Japanese 
offer is also likely to be withdrawn.
However, the officials in Islamabad are very hopeful of getting 
both, the second IMF tranche as well as the Japanese BSAL of 250 
million dollars which would boost the foreign exchange reserves 
(FER) to nearly 1.5 billion dollars which in turn would allow the 
country to meet another IMF conditionality concerning the level of 
FER that Pakistan must show on March 31, 1998.
The country is also expecting 250 million dollars each from Asian 
Development Bank (ADB) and EXIM Bank of Japan for capital market 
This amount was to have been disbursed soon after the passage of 
securities and exchange law by the parliament which the parliament 
did some two months back. But the disbursement is still being 
Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan is likely to take up the issue when 
he meets the officials of Japanese Exim Bank.
Gohar Ayub Khan will also discuss with the Japanese officials the 
32nd yen package and sign two agreements for economic cooperation. 
He will also meet officials of Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund 
(OECF) and the Japan Investment Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The case of the missing Rs 21bn of bad debts

M. Ziauddin    

"You have praised the structural reforms in the banks, but the banks 
have not been as successful in recovering bad debts. Are you 
satisfied with the performance of the banks on that front too?"
This question was put by the correspondent of a Lahore-based daily 
at the Press conference addressed jointly by Mr Antonio Furtado 
leader of the IMF mission and Hafeez Pasha, Deputy-Chairman of the 
Planning Commission, Government of Pakistan, on February 22, 1998 at 
the end of Fund mission's 15- day visit to Pakistan which it had 
undertaken to find out how Pakistan's economy was faring against the 
ESAF and EFF criteria.
The question posed by the correspondent was directed at Mr Furtado. 
And his answer: Actually that is one of the best parts of the story. 
The amount of loanscash recovery has been larger than we had 
actually expected. So I think this is one of the best development 
that we have seen. Banks are going and having a good performance in 
terms of recovery.
At this point Dr Hafeez Pasha intervened and said: When you are 
looking at recovery of debts, it is not just recovery under the 
concessional schemes but the recovery that has been going on 
directly by the banks themselves. It is because of the combined 
effort that it looks significant.
"What is the total debt that the banks are carrying now after the 
'significant' recoveries?" asked Dawn. The question was directed at 
Hafeez Pasha with whom were sitting finance secretary Moin Afzal and 
additional secretary Ghafoor Mirza. Mikal Ahmad formerly of the 
Planning Commission and presently of the IMF was also sitting on the 
flank occupied by Pakistani officials.
The question caused a sort of commotion among Pakistani officials, 
they looked at each other muttered something among themselves and 
then Moin Afzal volunteered: "We don't have the latest figures...."
We have an idea how much has been recovered but we have information 
upto February 16, Pasha interjected "it is quite substantial."
How much? Dawn insisted.
Rs 21 billion, Dr. Pasha retorted rhetorically.
That means you are now left with a total bad debt of Rs 120 billion 
because you started with Rs 140 billion of bad debt? Dawn asked.
That is right, because there has been no increase in the intervening 
period, Pasha answered. At this point Mr Furtado did the proverbial 
moreover: "This issue of debt depends largely on the criteria you 
use. Therefore, depending upon on strict criteria you use  for us 
what is really important is not so much how you have classified 
portfolios between performing and non-performing loans; for us what 
is really important is how much you have actually managed to recover 
during a given period of time and we think that the recovery in 
excess of Rs 20 billion is quite significant, no matter how you 
classify. So they( the banks) are moving in the right direction.

July-Feb trade gap reduced to $919m
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, March 9: The trade gap dropped to less than one billion 
dollars during the period July-February (1997-98) which was also 
marked by a 5.7 per cent increase in exports.
Export figures ($705 million) for the month of February 1998 show an 
increase of 9.8 per cent over the corresponding month of last year 
and an increase of 16.7 per cent compared to January 1998.
"I have been constantly working on reducing the trade gap which has 
now narrowed down to 919 million dollars", said the Minister for 
Commerce Muhammad Ishaq Dar.
He told Dawn here on Monday that the balance of payments position 
had greatly improved during the first eight months of the current 
financial year. The exports would improve further during the 
remaining four months of 1997-98, the minister added.
"I am satisfied with the current performance and hopefully we will 
soon be in a position to remove the remaining trade deficit of 919 
million dollar", Dar asserted.
>From July to Feb 1998, the exports stood at 5.6 billion dollars 
compared to 5.3 billion dollars during the corresponding period of 
last year.
Similarly, imports fell by 0.4 per cent during February to 792 
million dollars compared to 789 million in January this year. And 
during the last eight months, imports declined by 8 per cent to 7 
billion dollars in 1997-98 from 7.6 billion dollar during 1996-97.
Responding to question, Ishaq Dar pointed out that the industrial 
revival has started in the country and that now few hundreds units 
were left to be revived compared to thousands of previously.
He said that the State bank of Pakistan was looking after the 
revival of sick industrial units and its committee is expected to 
soon give some report about them.
PTCL plans steps to overcome problem of inflated bills
By Nafisa Hoodbhoy

KARACHI, March 11: The PTCL is studying making changes in the 
billing system for Internet users, following complaints that 
subscribers have to queue up for inflated bills and suffer 
disconnection for non-payment.
Officials at the International Gateway Exchange, which provides 
Internet service to 3,026 individuals and companies in Sindh, told 
Dawn that the government's requirement that PTCL should possess a 
hard copy of paid bills had so far prevented them from adopting the 
system followed by other Internet providers of sending bills by 
electronic mail (e-mail).
However, they maintained that they had begun reviewing their billing 
system  with the PTCL already dropping its requirement this month 
that subscribers fax a copy of the paid Iternet bill to Islamabad.
Till recently, most of the complaints against PTCL's Iternet service 
have related to billing. One irate PTCL user of the Iternet, who 

collected his bill from the UBL bank at the Customer Service Centre 
(Plaza) on Feb 10, told Dawn it had the expiry date of Feb 5. Even 
before he could pay his bill, his Internet service was disconnected 
on account of non-payment.
Another Internet subscriber, who is using a commercial provider, 
related that there was no reason why the PTCL could not follow the 
lead taken by commercial Internet providers of sending bills by e-
mail  afterwards sending a hard copy for verification.
According to the computer users, the PTCL would do well to adopt 
software for a totally automated "Hot Billing" system that could 
clock the number of hours used and bill accordingly. A backup system 
could be set up exclusively for Internet users who may encounter 
problems related with automated billing, they recommended.
Billing problems aside, Internet users having conversations in 
cyberspace have complained that PTCL staff have been selling 
passwords to Internet users. "In short, one password is being used 
by several people at the same time, without the poor owner of the 
account knowing anything about it," wrote one subscriber from 
$3 billion US investment available: BoI
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, March 11: The Chairman, Board of Investment (BOI) Humayon 
Akhtar Khan, on Wednesday said, "with the US Overseas Private 
Insurance Corporation's (OPIC) cover to American investment and the 
US Exim bank's decision to withdraw the bank on equity and project 
financing, government is expected to attract $3 billion US 
investment in Pakistan".
"Earlier we projected $2.5 billion investment but now we have been 
told that over $3 billion investment is available for Pakistan".
"There is no doubt that Exim Bank's decision will boost US 
investment in this part of the world", Humayon Akhtar Khan asserted 
in an interview to Dawn.
He was of the view that the US investment which was earlier 
discontinued in the power sector could now be available. 
However, he expected investments in new sectors like petro chemical, 
mining, services, agro bases industry, mineral processing and 
fisheries. "About $450 million new US investment in the fisheries 
has almost arrived", he added.
"After the latest review of the Pakistani economy by the 
International Monetary Fund (IMF), the US Import and Export bank, 
Exim has decided to extend all kind of project lending and equity 
financing to the American investors in the country", he added.
He said that the recent favourable review of the Pakistani economy 
by the IMF has opened new avenues for substantial American 
Import duty on tea reduced by 20 per cent
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, March 10: The Economic Coordination Committee of the 
Cabinet (ECC), which met here on Tuesday under the chairmanship of 
Minister for Finance Aziz, has reduced the import duty on tea from 
45 per cent to 25 per cent.
The reduction in the import duty, the ECC expressed the hopes, would 
curb the smuggling of tea and avoid the loss of revenue to the 
national exchequer.
The committee reviewed the wheat situation and was informed that 
four million tons of the commodity has been imported, out of which 
3.8 million tons have arrived. It was also told that the position of 
wheat stock with the provincial governments was quite satisfactory 
and the releases to the flour mills by the provincial food 
departments were being carefully monitored.
The wheat/atta availability as well as market prices have been 
stable throughout the country even at the end of current wheat year, 
the ECC believed.
The committee was presented a report on the establishment of new 
sugar mills in the country and was informed that at present the 
crushing capacity of the sugar mills was in excess of the total 
consumption of sugar in the country, so there was no need to 
encourage the setting up of new sugar mills in the country. The 
committee, therefore, decided that the Banks/DFIs would be advised 
not to encourage the financing of new sugar mills. However, they 
would continue to finance the modernization and balancing of the 
existing sugar mills.
64 companies acquire ISO-9000

KARACHI, March 10: Only 64 companies in Pakistan have acquired the 
ISO-9000 quality certificate compared to 10,000 industries in India.
This was stated by chairman, PERAC, S.M. Ismail at a seminar 
organized jointly by SITE Association of Industry and Petroman on 
He said time has come to find ways to make major breakthrough in 
global trade and that can be possible through major changes and 
improvement in management system in companies.
He referred to the open market competition in the wake of WTO regime 
and tariff reduction in which only quality products will have a 
better market.
He that Pakistanis have to make a shift from informal style of 
management to a formal, modern style which will require professional 
skills and awareness compatible with current international 
He said it is indeed sad that less than two per cent or high school 
students go for technical and vocational education compared too ten 
times as many in South Korea.
'We need an investment of at least 5-6 per cent of our GNP in 
education  more than twice the present level so that at least a 
technical school in every district and town would be set up to meet 
the future challenges,' he added.
PERAC, he said, proposes to set up Petroman University of Science 
and Technology which would specialize information technology and 
offer regular under graduate as well as post graduate level 

programmes in computer hardware and software.

KSE index recovers 21.49 points on PTCL trading
By Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, March 13: A massive activity of 37 million shares in the 
PTCL, triggered by market talk of appointment of a financial advisor 
for its privatization, featured the trading on the stock market on 
Friday where other blue chips also finished recovered in sympathy. 
The index recovered 1.35 per cent or 21.49 points at 1,618.85, 
lifting the market capitalization by Rs 5 billion.
With the news of confirmation of appointment of UBS as financial 
advisor for privatization of KESC, the rumours of appointment of 
Goldman Sache as the financial advisor for sell-off of the PTCL, the 
largest capitalized listed share, sent a wave of optimism among 
foreign investors who made heavy covering purchases in it, lifting 
its share price substantially higher.
An idea of buying craze in it may well be had from the fact that it 
alone accounted for 37 million shares, out of the total volume of 50 
million shares, gaining about 3 per cent after afternoon sell-off. 
KESC was also actively traded in response to its privatization news.
All energy shares followed the lead of KESC and recovered modestly 
under the lead of Shell Pakistan and some others.
Most of the foreign investors who have been selling in the pivotals 
such as Hub-Power and PTCL on a number of negative news were back in 
the rings and made extensive buying at the lower levels, dealers 
After having breached the barrier of 1,600 points a day earlier 
owing to massive selling in PTCL amid conflicting reports about 
appointment of a financial advisor for its privatization, the KSE 
100-share index stayed well above the psychological barrier and was 
last quoted around 1,618.85 points or 1.35 per cent higher as 
compared to 1,597.36 a day earlier. The market capitalization rose 
by Rs 5 billion to Rs 485 billion.
"The news from the political front, notably a possible alliance 
between the PPP and the ANP after a recent meeting between their top 
leaders, are not very encouraging as it could add further to the 
existing political uncertainty," analysts said.
But some others said the weekend rally always paves the way for a 
sustained run-up when the trading resumes next week.
The market might rise in patches but near-term outlook appears a bit 
bearish as most of the fundamentals are terribly weak and added to 
them are negative political twists, they added.
Big gainers were led by Parke-Davis, which rose Rs 55 to Rs 475.00 
for a 10-rupee share owing to the shortage of floating stock, 
followed by another MNC, Lever Brothers, rising by Rs 50 to Rs 
Other prominent gainers included Orix Leasing, KASB & Co, Burewala 
and Textiles, Dawood Cotton, Shell Pakistan, Millat Tractors, 
Johnson & Philips and Sitara Chemicals, which showed gains ranging 
from one rupee to Rs 2.90, the largest rise being in Burewala 

Dawood Hercules was among the major losers, falling by Rs 5.15 at Rs 
124, followed by Sapphire Textiles, off Rs 5 at Rs 55. They were 
followed by Century Insurance, Mustehkam Cement, Pakistan Oilfields, 
Exide Pakistan, Associated Industries and MNCs such as Grays of 
DEFAULTING COMPANIES: Trading on this counter was relatively slow 
and was largely confined to Service Fabrics, which remained pegged 
at the last close on 2,000 shares. Sunshine Cloth was traded lower 
by 55 paisa on 1,500 shares. Allied Motors came in for modest 
support and edged higher 45 paisa on 500 shares, followed by Fawad 
Textiles, unchanged on 1,000 shares.

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              E D I T O R I A L S  &  F E A T U R E S
Skimmers and scammers
Ardeshir Cowasjee

"YOU told us that each bird shot by Leghari, when president, cost us 
some Rs 25,000, that he was involved in a land scam with Yunus 
Habib, that he managed to recover some 30,000 acres of family land 
in Balochistan taken over in the 1972 land reforms. You wrote that 
he was responsible for many of the wrongs done since 1993. How can 
you now speak up for him?"
This I have been asked since my two columns on post- resignation 
Leghari were printed. My answer: Read again what I have written. On 
the scale of 'bad, worse, worst', Leghari stands at 'bad.' That is 
all. I met him here in Karachi, heard him pontificate, saw the video 
cassette of his speech to the media, as president, prior to his 
resignation, and then asked him whether he would stand by all he had 
said were he to be cross- questioned under oath in the Supreme 
Court. He answered in the affirmative.

He can disclose much more  the meddling with the judiciary last 
year, the conspiracies hatched to weaken it, how and why last 
November Rafiq Tarar flew to Quetta, in a special plane, how his 
arrival went unrecorded at the airport. Under cross-questioning by 
the attorney-general, the prime minister's lawyer rather than that 
of the people, the truth could have come on record.
Be that as it may, the Supreme Court judges with the wisdom and 
instinct gifted to them, declined to summon him to depose before 
The Supreme Court is now inquiring into the November 28 storming of 
the court by members of the government and their imported goons. In 
their helplessness, and realizing that they are neither protected by 
the majesty of the court nor by the aura of their position, the 
honourable judges have been forced to request that they be afforded 
stricter and reinforced security by the relevant agencies to prevent 
a recurrence of that unfortunate incident (Dawn March 6).
Should the judiciary not raise itself up to the position of 
dominance its stature requires that it occupy in a democracy, so 
that in the public perception it stands like Caesar's wife, above 
and beyond any and all suspicion, clean and upright, a shining 
example to the other pillars of state?
On February 25, PIA flight No. PK 386, flying from Lahore to 
Islamabad (a half-hour flight), was delayed for some three hours. 
Dawn reports (Feb 26) that Justice Malik Qayyum of the Lahore High 
Court and Interior Minister Chaudhry Shujaat were travelling on that 
flight. The judge, justifiably irritated at the delay, enquired as 
to the problem. "After verifying that the flight had been delayed to 
facilitate Hussain Nawaz," the prime minister's son, he acted 
rightly. He set up his court at the airport, summoned the airport 
manager and suspended him. According to Dawn the interior minister 
intervened and asked the judge to withdraw his orders.
What does this say to the people? That the interior minister can 
tell a judge what to do and what not to do? That a Judge tamely 
takes orders from a minister? Should the judge not have politely 
told him exactly what he thought of him, summoned him to appear 
before his court the next day to face a contempt of court charge, 
and then convicted and sentenced him? Should the people be shown so 
blatantly that a judge of a high court can be swayed by the words of 
a minister? Should the Chief Justice of Pakistan not take notice of 
this incident and take appropriate action?
Now to skimmers and scammers. In order to combat Leghari and the 
remote possibility of his founding a viable opposition party, Hamza 
of the Public Accounts Committee has announced that approver Ahmad 
Sadiq, the closest aid to chief executive Benazir Bhutto, has 
disclosed that in 1994 a sum of Rs 80 million was paid out of the 
exchequer to Malik Allahyar, brother-in-law of the then president, 
Farooq Leghari, to purchase from a non- existent company non-
existent helicopters. According to Sadiq, Benazir Bhutto ordered 
finalization of the deal on Leghari's insistence. (Leghari, of 

course, has since denied any knowledge of the scam.).
Should Benazir Bhutto not be charged with robbing the exchequer, and 
accomplices Sadiq and Cabinet Secretary Humayun Faiz Rasool with 
aiding and abetting? Why is the government procrastinating? Why is 
no attempt being made to recover the Rs 80 million? It could not 
simply have vanished into thin air. Where are the priorities?
On to a bigger scammer. From a column headed 'Bare bones - 3' 
printed in this newspaper on Friday December 8, 1995: "In 1995, 
Pakistan Steel Mill was headed, and well run, by engineer-General 
Sabih Qamar-uz-Zaman. The general totally disregarded the 
recommendations of ... Naheed Khan, so when his term expired, it was 
not extended. Acting charge of the mill was given to Sajjad Hussain, 
a man known neither for integrity nor ability. He failed to deliver 
to Islamabad the expected spoils, and in December was summarily 
displaced. Salman Farooqui's brother, 'Dr' Usman Farooqui, took over 
as acting chairman and managing director.
"In a well-researched article published in August 1992, Altaf Butt 
of Newsline had written on this man. 'Usman Farooqui has worked in 
key positions in state-owned public enterprises for more than a 
decade, with fake degrees. But since he happens to be the brother of 
a powerful secretary, Salman Farooqui, he continues to work on an 
important post in Pakistan Steel with impunity.'
"Farooqui's 1985 Annual Confidential Report rated him as 'below 
average' in leadership quality, intellectual integrity, and sense of 
responsibility in financial matters. Prior to his PS appointment, 
his services had been [dispensed with] by PACO, whose chairman noted 
on his transfer papers, 'he must be watched closely as he gives 
preference to personal benefit rather than the interest of the 
organization. He does not hesitate to make incorrect statements for 
his own benefit.' The US consulate general confirmed that his two 
foreign degrees, MBA and Ph.D, had been given by a non-genuine 
university well known for its selling of certificates and degrees. 
All this can be found on the records of Pakistan Steel. "Why was 
this man appointed, and to deliver what to Islamabad?"
Why? Because the wily Asif Zardari had correctly deciphered Major-
General Jalaluddin's remarks made on his transfer papers that the 
man was a crook and a liar.
Two days later, early on the morning of December 10, a friend of 
mine who has the capacity of getting high on Rooh-Afza, rang. A 
sleepy voice told me that Mrs Usman Farooqui and her daughter were 
at his house requesting him to persuade me not to write more on 
Usman. Why, I asked, is the man not a thief? He may be, but he is 
her husband, I was told.
Later, at a New Year's Day reception, a woman introduced herself to 
me as Uquaili's daughter, Usman's wife, also introducing her young 
daughter Sharmila. You don't know what pressure Usman is under, she 
said, how much he has to send to Islamabad each week to keep his 
job. There was nothing I could tell an obedient wife.

We now know the pressure exerted on Usman. In his own kitty he has 
somewhere around Rs 3 billion. He is living comfortably in the 
Liaquat National Hospital. Should he now not make a clean breast of 
things and save his wife and daughter the indignity of police 
interrogation? Why are their photos being splashed all over the 
press, I asked an Ehtesab Bureau man? It has nothing to do with the 
Bureau, was the answer. The question should be asked of the 
newspaper editors  why did they print the photos?
Up higher, Hussain Lawai and his lawyer, jolly Khwaja Tariq Rahim 
(former Punjab governor known affectionately as KTR), can perform 
miracles. Lawai says he has never been to Australia. Our high 
commissioner in Canberra, Khawar Zaman, renowned for his integrity, 
tells me that Lawai managed to land in Perth, Western Australia, on 
March 3. The airport authorities neither liked his looks nor the 
look of his papers and decided that Australia could well do without 
him. He was held in the detention room at the airport and deported 
on March 4 by Singapore Airlines flight SQ226.
Saifur Rahman has the unenviable job of not only having to run down 
grand larcenists, champion swindlers, expert tumblers, but also of 
contending with opposing factions in his own party. Governor Shahid 
Hamid managed to get his relative, Captain Naseer, off the hook, and 
Chaudhry Shujaat engineered the release and escape of Salman 
Farooqui. That Salman could have fled the country without the prime 
minister's blessings is doubtful.

In the fifth sentence of the first paragraph of the editorial 
entitled 'Shop status tax' in yesterday's  issue, the range of tax 
mentioned there should have read 'from Rs 500 to Rs 10,000' and not 
Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 as erroneously printed. The error is regretted.

Indictment of a betrayal
By Irfan Husain

WHILE Murtaza Bhutto's murder remains shrouded in mystery, his ex-
lieutenant, Raja Anwar, has exposed many secrets of his life in his 
recent book "The Terrorist Prince."

Passages from the book were reprinted in this newspaper a few weeks 
ago, but the excerpts don't convey Mir Murtaza's paranoia, 
deviousness and streak of cruelty. I met him only once a few months 
before he was gunned down by the police, but after an intense, hour-
long discussion, I was struck by the fact that unlike his sister, 
Benazir Bhutto, he was somebody who was prepared to listen. So when 
I heard about his death, I was saddened and thought it a great loss.
However, after reading "The Terrorist Prince," I cannot but conclude 
that the manner of his passing had an element of poetic justice. 
Here was a man who clearly had lived by the sword. Directly or 
indirectly, he was responsible for many deaths, and the author 
barely escaped Murtaza's wrath by the skin of his teeth. He did, 
however, have to suffer incarceration in Kabul's notorious Pul-i-
Charkhi prison as a result of Murtaza's vindictiveness.

But despite his suffering and his understandable bitterness, there 
is a ring of authenticity in his account of his terrifying 
experiences in Al-Zulfikar. Indeed, this is the first detailed 
expose of the shadowy organization, and we owe a debt of gratitude 
to the author (who lives in self-exile in Germany), and to Khalid 
Hasan for his fluent and crisp translation.
Had it not been for the suffering of so many individuals, parts of 
the book seem to be straight out of the Keystone Kops: the bumbling 
terrorists had no training and no clue. The description of the two 
bungled attempts on Zia's life would have made hilarious reading had 
it not been for the fact that either of them could have so easily 
succeeded had it not been for the total lack of planning. The 
idealistic but untrained young volunteers who served as cannon 
fodder were so mesmerised by their young leader's name and charisma 
that they regularly risked death at his command. Far too often, they 
were either betrayed or caught owing to their own ineptitude, and 
were tortured and imprisoned, while many were executed. Murtaza, of 
course, stayed far away, sending his troops on dangerous and often 
pointless missions.
During Zia's long dictatorial rule, we tended to disbelieve 
everything the government dished out. So its endless diatribes 
against Al-Zulfikar were discounted as military propaganda aimed at 
discrediting the PPP and the Bhuttos, and all the stories on the 
official media about the organization's foreign connections and its 
anti-state activities were put down to the information ministry's 
psychological warfare against the PPP. In those days, anybody 
standing up to the dictator was clearly somebody to be admired. 
However, many of us saw the 1981 hijacking of a PIA airliner to 
Kabul as a major setback to the MRD movement as Zia used the 
incident as an excuse to crack down viciously on pro-democracy 
But according to Raja Anwar, the hijacking was a great public 
relations coup for Murtaza: while he was not taken seriously by 
anybody earlier, he was now courted by the intelligence services of 
Afghanistan, India, Syria and Libya. Raja says that before the 
incident, "If murtaza's dog Wolf was to be included, at the time 
there were only eight who could be called Al-Zulfikar." But the 
author shows just how amateurish the entire operation had been, and 
how the Afghan and Syrian intelligence agencies had assisted Murtaza 
for their own purposes once they were presented with the 
The author is equally bitter about the Bhutto ladies, accusing them 
of callously using and then discarding their most loyal followers. 
But this is a trait common to all feudal leaders, as they believe it 
to be their birthright to be served by lesser beings without being 
under any obligation. With Murtaza this tendency was compounded by 
his conviction that he was born to be his father's successor. 
Indeed, ever since Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's overthrow in 1977, 
Murtaza's life can be seen as a search for his patrimony. Had it not 
been for all the suffering and bloodshed he caused, it would have 

been possible to feel sorry for this driven, tragic figure. 
Unfortunately, he inherited his father's flaws, but not his gifts. 
He could dream, but could not plan. He could impress people, but 
could not inspire them. Above all, he made promises he had no 
intentions of keeping.
The fact that his father cared far more for his older sister 
undoubtedly played a major part in his development. Benazir Bhutto 
was the apple of the senior Bhutto's eye, and he regarded her as his 
political successor. So it must have been doubly galling for Murtaza 
to see her become the leader of the PPP, and then prime minister of 
Pakistan while he remained a peripheral figure nobody took very 
seriously. This explains his bitterness and the very public 
squabbling that split the family on his return from exile. He had 
convinced himself that his "struggle" and his long years abroad 
(usually in very comfortable circumstances) somehow entitled him to 
automatically don the mantle of leadership as soon as he returned.
The one theme that runs through this chilling account is how easy it 
was for all the Bhuttos to use people and to discard them when their 
utility had ended. Raja Anwar is a classic example: an idealistic 
student activist, he was Bhutto's adviser for youth and labour 
affairs. After the coup, he went underground and was involved in 
anti-Zia activities at great risk to his life. As the noose 
tightened, he fled to Europe and then joined Murtaza in Kabul. 
Instead of valuing his experience, Murtaza soon turned against him, 
accusing him of wanting to take over the PPP; at his request, the 
Afghan authorities locked him up. He was lucky. Others who aroused 
Murtaza's suspicions or wrath were often executed.
In the concluding chapter, Anwar writes: "Murtaza drew upon a store 
of hard-working idealism that he exploited but did not repay. He and 
his sister between them dashed the hopes of a generation that 
believed in democracy and social justice. They did not expect it 
from General Zia-ul-Haq, but they thought that a Bhutto might begin 
to restore it..."
Indeed, this stark, unadorned indictment of the betrayal of a 
generation of idealists should serve to remind us that ultimately, 
if we hitch our wagons to individuals, no matter how charismatic, we 
should expect a rough ride, and to be dumped when it suits the 

The demand for quotas
Shahid Kardar

A HEATED debate on the need to continue with job quotas is currently 
taking place in the National Assembly. Representatives of the 
smaller provinces are pleading that the constitutional provision in 
this regard should be extended for another 10 years. In a country 
where the inefficiency of the public sector is legendary, is such a 
demand valid? If not, how should the less advantaged groups in 
society be assisted so that they can also participate effectively in 
the country's economic growth?

The demand for a fair representation of all nationalities in the 
administrative services and in public sector agencies is an old, 
contentious issue in Pakistan, as in many other federations in the 
world. What does this demand mean?
The argument for quotas is that all groups must have equal 
opportunity to a share in the overall power structure, to be 
achieved by the specific measures that will counter any disability 
in competitiveness. The demand for a representation in public sector 
employment has, undoubtedly, been heavily influenced by the 
opportunities for economic benefits that are provided by employment 
in these services (security of tenure, "other earnings", etc.). And 
these are the more critical institutions from the point of view of 
the power structure that all groups want to capture or seek a share 
Whether or not the bureaucracy represents the power structure, does 
it follow that it should reflect the ethnic composition of society? 
It is, after all, a functional institution and not a 
representational one. It is required to perform certain specific 
functions. If it performs these functions well the nation at large 
will benefit, otherwise there will be inefficiency, entailing social 
and economic costs. Not everyone can serve as a technocrat or an 
administrator. Some communities, like the Memons, Bhoras and 
Chiniotis, are more active in business (although there is little 
doubt that the Pakistani entrepreneur is to a large extent the 
product of state patronage  of state distributed licences, permits 
and loans). Similarly, the Pathans seem to control the transport 
sector. Can we then justify under-representation in these areas but 
not in the bureaucracy? We cannot deny that the aptitudes of 
different ethnic groups can be, and are, different in the 
Moreover, the term representation in administration should not be 
used in the restricted manner employed for the purposes of this 
discussion. Administration does nor merely refer to the different 
ranks of the commissioner but also includes other activities of the 
government in the fields of banking, science and technology, 
manufacturing, etc. A variety of skills in accounting, law, 
economics, statistics and even computerisation are required for 
obtaining employment in the highly diversified public sector. 
Therefore, despite the fundamental changes taking place in the 
market for public sector jobs, the argument for and against quotas 
is carried in terms of jobs of general administrative nature.
The demand for quotas is couched in a manner that seems to argue for 
the placement of every single post under the category of quota 
qualifications, rendering inapplicable the principle of merit. But a 
number of ministries, particularly defence, exempt certain positions 
from the ambit of the instructions of quotas. The armed forces and 
PIA, for instance, do not relax qualifications to satisfy quotas. 
Again, the ministry of science and technology and the various bodies 
and institutes that operate under it do not have to strictly comply 
with quota requirements.

Are they better off?
Rifaat Hamid Ghani

WITH women's day falling on the eighth, this was a week of 
professing support to the cause of empowerment of women. It is 
tempting to go off at a tangent and say that our social arbiters 
often give the impression they would like to disempower men who do 
not fall in line with the outlook embodied in the person of our 
president, what to speak of empowering women. Yet much heartening 
sentiment was voiced, and the high and the mighty gave women and 
their cause a benevolent nod of approval.
All of it seems like a pantomime though in the midst of what is 
hopping around us. It provided two symbols of the actual state of 
women: the photograph of Usman Faruqui's wife and daughter, visibly 
frightened by contact with the police. And a fainting Riffat Afridi, 
better off perhaps in police custody than in the hands of a family 
that adheres to the tribal mores and can carry them into the 
courtroom. That is the reality of women's lives here: they are not 
entities to be separated from the males who preside over their 
temporal affairs.
Begum Faruqi and her daughter were there in the lock-up because they 
were Usman Faruqi's womenfolk. For all the money and property that 
may be held in their names, it is doubtful they could ever make any 
use of it or dispose it of without reference to Mr Faruqi. They are 
penalized for his supposed accumulation of ill-gotten wealth without 
ever having been able to spend it their way: they may have chosen a 
diamond or two, but the decision and power to spend on it were not 
theirs. Corrupt men frequently retain control of their wealth by 
putting it in the names of female dependents: family males could 
turn out to be more enterprising and less controllable. Women are 
used and bullied no matter how socially emancipated they might 
appear. How liberated a woman is depends on how liberal is the 
father, husband, brother or son under whose watchful gaze she lives 
out her life.
Developing a self-awareness can be a doubtful gift. Acting on the 
consciousness that she has a right to think for herself and make her 
own personal decisions can spell disaster for a woman when the men 
around her do not subscribe to that approach. Riffat Afridi is in 
the middle of that kind of situation. Society frowns upon women 
falling in love: it's a very forward young miss who does. But 
society does not condemn with the same vigour the tribal ways and 
mores when they come into conflict with the normal law of the land. 
'We don't have nikah namas' Riffat's father said, claiming that his 
daughter had already been married to a person of her family's choice 
 a claim that Riffat denied. That the father was forcing a marriage 
on his daughter  an act entirely against the concept of Islam  did 
not offend as strongly as the daughter's temerity in exercising her 
right to choose to marry Kunwar Ahsan. The jirga mentality receives 

a kind of endorsement, though the writ of the jirga has no place 
beyond the tribal areas.
In the Zia days when it was common to bemoan regressive trends and 
the resurgence of the concept of chadar and char divari as a means 
of containing and constraining women. I remember being startled by 
the reaction of a former principal of Kinnaird College who had come 
back after some years to attend the institution's jubilee 
celebrations. She felt optimistic about women's empowerment. "Almost 
every young girl here now thinks in terms of a career; and economic 
independence is the key to a woman's emancipation. When she 
contributes to the national economy she becomes part of the whole 
political process and automatically acquires a voice.
Looked at from that point of view, it is true there has been 
positive progress. And perhaps cases like Saima's and Riffat's arise 
because their consciousness is expanding and they are flouting 
values that nobody questioned openly before.
But there are also more people within the educated working sectors 
of society blocking women's emancipation and empowerment more 
vehemently than before. Whereas the standard-bearers of women's 
rights were recognized and honoured a generation ago, today they are 
often vilified and persecuted. Asma Jehangir has received death 
threats. A woman venturing into any public or professional sphere 
used to be accorded a minimal respect and encouragement. Today the 
attitude is that if a women is out of her home she must face the 
consequences: what's more natural for the wolf than to whistle?
Not enough has been achieved, and there is a backlash from outraged 
and narrow orthodoxy. Those wanting to empower women and guarantee 
their rights generally have to contend first and foremost with the 
sort that say they support liberation, but... They are eager to 
grant every kind of cosmetic concession to inhibit actual progress. 
Restoring reserved seats for women can be regarded that way. The 
kind of representation women will obtain under that reservation is 
the privilege of supporting and strengthening the males who put them 

                            S P O R T S 
Jansher reaffirms his class in Super series
A. Majid Khan

Pakistan's squash wizard Jansher Khan retained the Super series in 
style and in the process destroyed Peter Nicol, the man who 
dislodged him from the Number One ranking two months back. It was 
both, sweet revenge and a notice served to his challengers in the 
forthcoming encounters.
The aggression and authority brought to bear by the great Khan (28) 
in the semi-final against his adversary left the Scotsman exhausted 
which the scoreline (17-14,15-4, 15-3) clearly demonstrated. Coming 
after three successive defeats within a span of one month - 

obviously because of unfitness  this crushing rejoinder is 
particularly reassuring.
The Professional Squash Association, a player's organisation, had 
instituted this event, which carries cash prize but no points and 
top eight players of the eight super series of the 1997, compete in 
the new season's first non-ranking event. The top eight players 
included 1- Peter Nicol (Scotland), 2-Jansher Khan (Pakistan), 3-
Jonathan Power (Canada), 44-Rodney Eyles (Australia), 5-Ahmed Barada 
(Egypt), 6-Alex Gogh (Wales), 7-Anthony Hill (Australia), 8-Mark 
Chaloner (England).
However, Ahmed Barada withdrew because of flu and his replacement 
was England's Simon Parke (No. 10) and Del Harris, also from 
England, and Number Nine replaced Jonathan Power who had an injury 
It was a tough competition and of great importance and significance 
as the best eight players were in the field at the start of the 
season. They were divided in two groups, and Jansher Khan in his 
group had Alex Gough, the last world cup semifinalist, Mark Chaloner 
and Del Harris. Peter Nicol group consisted of reigning world 
champion Rodney Eyles, Simon Parke and Anthony Hill.
South Africa level series after winning third Test     
Qamar Ahmed

PORT ELIZABETH, March 10: Inevitable as it was the third and final 
Test between Pakistan and South Africa ended in a defeat for 
Pakistan by 259 runs.
The three-match series thus culminated with both the teams sharing 
the honours evenly. After a rain-marred drawn first Test, Pakistan 
had done remarkably well in winning the second Test by 29 runs to 
take a 1-0 lead. But their unreliable batting let them down in the 
final Test as they were bowled out twice for humiliating scores.
In reply to South Africa's 293 in the first innings, they were 
bowled out for 106 in the first innings and when South Africa put 
them under pressure with a massive target of 394 to chase and win. 
Pakistan once again failed to improve on their failing as they were 
all out for 134 in their second knock.
After South Africa had declared their second innings closed at 206 
for 7 on the fourth afternoon, Pakistan were left with four sessions 
and a half to survive. Winning the match and going for that big 
score was certainly beyond them but they could at least have made 
the effort to stick around and defend their wickets. They failed to 
do that. What they did was another utterly disgusting display by 
their batsmen who once again wilted. With a day lost on the second 
day one would have hoped that they would be able to draw the game 
and win the series for the first time against South Africa but that 
dream remains unfulfilled for which they only have themselves to 
Safety first tactics would have been their strategy instead they 
changed the team and decided to play with a batsman short and that 
is where they faltered. At least this defeat must have come to them 

as a reminder that complacency at any stage does not pay and 
Pakistan undoubtedly had been guilty of that. The captain of the 
team Rashid Latif admitted that this was the case. "We batted poorly 
and there is no excuse for that. With a day rained off we had become 
complacent and a bit relaxed and confident that we will be able to 
draw this game."
The final day's play lasted for 25 minutes only and it was just a 
matter of time before Pakistan's second innings was over. Pakistan 
had resumed the day at 120 for 7 and in 5.5 overs in the morning the 
remaining three wickets were taken by the South African bowlers 
Allan Donald and Fanie de Villiers. The first to go was Waqar Younis 
who was caught at the wicket by Mark Boucher off Donald for 3 at the 
overnight score. Boucher had thus equalled Dave Richardson's record 
of nine victims behind the wickets in Tests which Richardson had 
achieved in a Test against India here at St George's in 1992-93. 
Azhar Mahmood added 11 more runs to his overnight 30 to be the next 
man out. He hooked Donald straight into the hands of Gary Kirsten 
when 41 made in 74 minutes batting in which he hit five fours and by 
far looked the best Pakistan batsman. Deservedly he was named the 
man of the series for his two centuries in the series.

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