------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 21 November 1998 Issue : 04/46 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
The DAWN Wire Service (DWS) is a free weekly news-service from 
Pakistan's largest English language newspaper, the daily DAWN. DWS 
offers news, analysis and features of particular interest to the 
Pakistani Community on the Internet.

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

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

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

Please send all Editorials and Letters to the Editor at

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


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


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

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

Check us out !

CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + President invokes Article 245: Armed forces take control of Sindh + Military courts in a week + 8,000 to get jobs, Rs1bn saving in fuel: PM + Indo-Pakistan talks on border security end + Hepatitis-B afflicts 15m people in Pakistan + Defence ties with Kuwait discussed + Cabinet to discuss illegal hike in drugs' prices + Immigrant visa: US embassy resumes processing review cases + Senate session prorogued amid rumpus + PPP files petition in Swiss court + Kahuta can place satellite in space, says Dr Qadeer ---------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Dar hopes accord by Tuesday: Draft paper finalized with IMF + Trading in treasury stocks may be allowed + Power cos issues being resolved, says Nawaz + Forex reserves down to $417m + $5m ADB technical assistance for export + Trading in dollar bonds + ECC move to check price volatility + PM issues fresh orders for recovery of tax dues + Wasim Sajjad for local production of computers + KSE index gains 22 points as investors remain active --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + No nous Ardeshir Cowasjee + A critique of the critics Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Jansher Khan pulls out of World Open + Sohail and Yohanna guide Pakistan to a 4-wicket win + Pakistan to face India in 10-game hockey series

President invokes Article 245: Armed forces take control of Sindh
Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Nov 20: The government on Friday gave sweeping powers to 
the armed forces to arrest, interrogate and summarily try 
terrorists in Sindh, by invoking Article 245 of the Constitution.
President Rafique Tarar, in exercise of his powers under Article 89 
of the Constitution, invoked article 245 through an ordinance named 
Pakistan Armed Forces (Acting in Aid of Civil Power) Ordinance, 
The ordinance, which comes into  force at once, shall be extended 
to only those areas of Sindh in which the armed forces are called 
upon to act in aid of the civil authority.
Section 3 of the ordinance gives powers to the COAS, or any officer 
designated by him not below the rank of brigadier or equivalent, to 
constitute as many military courts as required by the federal 
The ordinance has also set aside the jurisdiction of superior 
courts and any verdict passed by the military courts could not be 
challenged in the apex court or any high court.
The military courts, constituted under the ordinance, will try only 
civilian offenders and not the armed forces personnel and will be 
bound to pass their judgment within three days.
An appeal against the verdict of these courts could be filed only 
in a court of appeal. The court of appeal shall have to dispose of 
an appeal within three working days and its final decision could 
not be called in question before any court.
The trail courts and courts of appeal will not have the powers to 
release any accused on bail.
All the pending cases regarding the offences cognizable under this 
ordinance can also be transferred to the military courts on the 
directives of the federal government.
The government has provided complete indemnity to all actions taken 
by any authority under the provisions of this ordinance.
"No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against 
any person in respect of anything which is in good faith done or 
intended to be done under the ordinance," it said.
The ordinance has described civil commotion as "creation of 
internal disturbances in violation of law or intended to violate 
law, commencement of continuation of illegal strikes, go-slows, 
lockouts, vehicles snatching/lifting, damage to or destruction of 
state or private property, random firing to create panic, charging 
bhatta, acts of criminal trespass (illegal qabza), distributing, 
publishing or pasting of a handbill or making graffiti or wall-
chalking intended to create unrest or fear or create a threat to 
the security of law and order or to incite the commission of an 
offence punishable under Chapter VI of the Pakistan Penal Code (Act 
XIV of 1860)."
Military courts in a week
Sarfaraz Ahmed

KARACHI, Nov 20: Summary military courts would be set up in a 
week's time, sources said, adding that the army headquarters had 
received the notification of the ordinance promulgated by the 
president on Friday invoking Article 245 of the Constitution, 
vesting the armed forces with certain major powers.
The concerned branch of the GHQ was at present studying the details 
of the ordinance and would issue instructions after their approval 
by the chief of army staff, the sources added.
They said legal experts of the armed forces would be involved in 
the preparation of necessary framework, on the basis of which 
military courts would be set up and course of army action would be 
Consequently, the sources added, each summary court might have at 
least three members, which would be presided over by an officer of 
the rank of a lieutenant-colonel or an officer of equivalent rank 
in the navy or the air force.
The members of the jury of plea would be named from amongst majors-
general or officers of equivalent rank from the other two services.

8,000 to get jobs, Rs1bn saving in fuel: PM

KARACHI, Nov 19: Prime minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday that 
Rs9 billion, 135-kilometre-long Karachi-Hyderabad motorway project, 
expected to be completed in two years, before the next elections, 
would provide jobs to 8,000 people and help save one billion rupees 
in fuel costs annually.
He was speaking after the ground-breaking ceremony of the project 
near Al Asif Square at Sohrab Goth where PML supporters, mostly 
from upcountry, had converged to welcome Mian Nawaz Sharif.
Carrying national and Muslim League flags and Mr Sharif's picture, 
his supporters had come in pick-ups, busses and trucks as well as 
in the vehicles of various utilities, specially of the KESC, led by 
their union activists.
Addressing the crowd the prime minister said the project was a very 
important segment of his overall plan to integrate the country with 

fast moving tracks to boost trade and interaction among the people 
within the country as also Pakistan's relations with other 
countries of the region.
He said owing to higher speed limits and better facilities, there 
would be a saving of 5.5 million litres of petrol every month which 
in one year would come to 66 million litres.
Mr Sharif said the project would be the harbinger of prosperity in 
Karachi and other parts of the province.
Explaining the salient features of the project, which the prime 
minister considered very important for his party's election 
campaign in the province, he said the six-lane motorway project 
would have six inter-changes and six service areas (3 on each 
side). Besides, there would be seven rest areas, three on one and 
four on the other side.
The motorway will have four weighing stations, at least 12 
flyovers, and emergency telephone at every two kilometres. In fact, 
the project envisages the construction of two additional lanes and 
rehabilitation of existing dual-carriageway Super Highway.
The prime minister said very soon ground-breaking of the Rs6 
billion northern bypass would be held and the circular railway 
would be revamped at a cost of Rs7 billion.
Mr Sharif did not touch upon the apprehensions that on completion 
the motorway would take away the revenue generating source from 
Sindh which at the moment earned Rs100 million from the auction of 
toll on the Super Highway.
Earlier, in his welcome address, communications minister Raja Nadir 
Pervez said the project was part of the Trade Highway that would 
serve as "Suez Canal" for the country linking it with the Central 
Asian countries. He said the projected Gawadar port would also play 
a key role in boosting Pakistan's links with those states.
The minister of state for water and power, Haleem Siddiqui, said 
the project had dispelled the impression that the motorway projects 
were only meant for Punjab.
Welcoming the imposition of governor's rule he rejected the claim 
that Karachi belonged to a particular group and said if given 
patronage, the PML could win more than a dozen National Assembly 
seats from Karachi.
"Those who think that Karachi is their city are living in a fool's 
paradise. Karachi belongs to Muslim League," he added.

Indo-Pakistan talks on border security end

LAHORE, Nov 19: The 3-day meeting of the delegations of Pakistan 
Rangers and Indian Border Security Force concluded here on Thursday 
The exchange of firing along the working boundary in Sialkot 
sector, joint patrolling, illegal border crossings and maintenance 
of boundary pillars were discussed in detail in the meeting. Anti-
smuggling measures being taken by the two sides for preventing the 
flow of contraband as well as narcotics were also discussed.
It was agreed that measures being taken to stop smuggling, drug 
trafficking and illegal immigrations would be strengthened to 

ensure desired effectiveness. It was also agreed to exercise 
restraint while dealing with inadvertent border crossers and avoid 
casualties to innocent civilians and farmers living in the border 

Hepatitis-B afflicts 15m people in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Nov 16: Hepatitis-B, a deadly liver disease having same 
mode of transmission as AIDS, has infected 15 million people in 
According to well-placed sources, hepatitis-B (a kind of jaundice) 
is hundred times more deadlier and infectious than AIDS, and every 
tenth person in Pakistan is the carrier of this disease.
Dr Sharif Astori, in charge, blood bank, Federal Government 
Services Hospital (FGSH) Polyclinic, observed that hepatitis-B was 
spreading fast owing to ignorance about the disease and lack of 
proper preventive measures.
He said hepatitis (inflammation of liver) had five types A,B,C,D 
and E. He said A and E were caused through oral infection, 
contaminated water and unhygienic food while B,C and D were caused 
through unsterilized syringes, sexual relation, blood transfusion 
and from mother to newborn baby.
Dr Iram Kamran, a student of higher education in the Health Service 
Academy, maintained that a person, having such symptoms as nausea, 
mild fever, restlessness, bodyache and pain in abdomen should go 
for a jaundice test.
She asserted that passage of yellow colour urine, loss of appetite 
and distaste for cigarette were also among the common symptoms of 
the killer disease.
Dr Sarwar Chaudhry, associate surgeon, Polyclinic, said hepatitis-B 
spread through blood transfusion, sexual intercourse and use of 
common needles for taking drugs like heroin.
He said boring of nose and ears, a practice in vogue, and dental 
surgery could also be causes of its transmission. He said that 
according to latest research, breathing and saliva might act as 
hepatitis-B transmitters.
Dr Mohammad Naseer from the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences 
(PIMS) said properly screened blood should always be used and blood 
of a person positive for hepatitis-B should be avoided.
Dr Zafar Toor of the National Institute of Health (NIH) said 
preventive measures should be adopted, including use of sterilized 
syringes, avoidance of shaving at barber shops, sharing of towels, 
tooth picks and tooth brushes.
He said the most important prevention was the use of clean drinking 
water and hygienic food. He urged medical professionals to prefer 
oral medication to giving injections to patients.
Dr Toor said the World Health Organization had strongly recommended 
the inclusion of anti- hepatitis-B vaccine in the expanded 
programme of immunization (EPI) in the third world.
There are some reports that some vaccinated persons also acquired 
hepatitis-B virus, which was due to the efficacy missing in the 
vaccine because of absence of cool chain or placing it in the room 
Dr Naseer warned people that vaccine, which is not properly 
maintained through cool chain, had no use and rather killed a 
person. He said some suppliers of imported vaccine were misleading 
people that these vaccines had unique feature to keep it under room 

Defence ties with Kuwait discussed

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 15: A six-member Pakistan defence delegation, led 
by the Defence Secretary, Lt General Iftikhar Ali Khan, held talks 
on Sunday with Kuwa-it's acting defence minister, Sheikh Mohammad 
Khaled Al Sabah.
Later addressing a press conference at the Embassy of Pakistan, the 
defence secretary said that he discussed with the Kuwaiti minister 
and other high military officials the expansion of bilateral 
cooperation in defence field.
He said that he has invited Kuwaiti military officials to visit 
Pakistani military establishments in order to determine the fields 
of cooperation.
The Pakistani delegation, which arrived here on Thursday night, 
left Kuwait for Abu Dhabi at the end of the visit during which it 
also met the commander-in-chief of Kuwait Armed Forces, General Ali 
Momen and Defence Undersecre-tary Sheikh Sabah Nasser Al Sabah.
Iftikhar Ali Khan explained that his visit follows an understanding 
reached between Kuwait's Crown Prince and Minister Sheikh Saad Al 
Abdullah Al Salem Al Sabah and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to 
expand cooperation in the field of defence, Pakistan Prime Minister 
visited Kuwait last June.
Iftikhar Ali Khan said that Pakistan remains committed to the 
territorial integrity of Kuwait and backs all the United Nations 
resolutions related to the Gulf war, particularly concerning to the 
release of all Kuwaiti POWs still in Iraqi jail.
He said that Pakistan and Kuwait enjoy excellent relations and he 
hoped that they would be strengthened further. The defence 
secretary said that Pakistan also enjoys good relations with the 
Muslim and Arab countries and it has agreements of defence 
cooperation with a number of Arab countries.
Cabinet to discuss illegal hike in drugs' prices

ISLAMABAD, Nov 19: The federal cabinet will take up the issue of 
illegal and arbitrary increase in the prices of more than 100 
medicines and also consider whether to enhance or not the prices of 
drugs by 7 to 9 per cent as recommended by the ministry of health.
According to well-placed sources the issue of drug price raise is 
on the agenda of the cabinet meeting and Health Minister Makhdoom 
Javed Hashmi is likely to take it up.
In an interview to APP, Makhdoom Javed Hashmi said the next cabinet 
meeting would review increase in drug prices from 7 to 9 per cent 
and the issue of arbitrary increase in the prices of 100 drugs from 
100 to 2000 per cent.
He said, "We are public representatives and bound to safeguard 
people's rights, particularly the rights of patients."
"I had resisted any increase in the prices of medicines for two 
years and the health ministry will continue to look after the 
consumers' rights," Javed Hashmi added.
Meanwhile, Pharma Bureau Executive Director and spokesman Zafar 
Mooraj denied any illegal and massive increase in the prices of 
certain medicines. He said the reports appearing in the press in 
this regard were baseless. He said pharmaceutical industry was 
already in deep crisis and on the verge of collapse.
Mr Mooraj said that despite the issuance of SRO 1038(i)/94 dated 
Oct 16, 1994 which committed annual price adjustments to the 
industry to make up for the increase in input costs such as 
inflation and devaluation, there had been no implementation since 
November 1996.
Mr Hashmi confidently said, "I will raise the issue of illegal 
increase in the prices of 100 drugs in the cabinet meeting and will 
try to convince cabinet colleagues to link up the raise with the 
withdrawal of arbitrary enhancement in the prices of these drugs."
He said, "the PPMA and Pharma Bureau to first withdraw the 
arbitrary and illegal price increase in the medicine then they will 
be given the agreed price raise in drugs."
He said it was true that the Pharma industry and government had 
reached an agreement to increase prices of control products and 
decontrol medicine from 7 to 9 per cent.
He said, "raising of drug prices is not the issue with drug 
manufacturers because it was an agreed formula but problem is to 
reverse and bring back the prices of drugs detected by the 
ministry's different investigating teams.
The spokesman for the Pharma Bureau said over the last two years 
input costs had sky rocketed with inflation registering a 19.8 per 
cent increase and devaluation of rupee by another 23.9 per cent. An 
additional duty on all imported raw and packaging materials had 
also added to the cost of finished medicines.APP

Immigrant visa: US embassy resumes processing review cases

ISLAMABAD, Nov 19: The United States embassy announced here on 
Thursday that, its consular section would accept for review the 
cases of all the previously-refused immigrant visa applications 
from Nov 23.
In a press release here today the embassy said the applicants were 
being advised to appear on any working day except Thursday before 
8:00am with their form OF-194 (blue sheet or refusal sheet), along 
with all documents requested previously by the consular officer. 
Failure to bring the required documents would only mean further 
delays for the applicant.
The applicants would be issued a token with a new appointment date 
by which time their case would be decided. This notice applies to 
all applicants who had been refused immigrant visas prior to Nov 
23, 1998, the release said.

Senate session prorogued amid rumpus

ISLAMABAD, Nov 18: The Senate session was prorogued on Wednesday 
night amid rumpus and exchange of hot words between the treasury 
and the opposition over the latter's insistence on moving a 
resolution seeking suspension of rules to condemn the siege of the 
Sindh Assembly and denial of the democratic right of the people of 
the province.
The presiding officer, Anwar Bhinder, prorogued the session reading 
out Senate chairman's order to this effect.
This dramatic turn in events took place as the Information 
Minister, Mushahid Hussain, was readying to wrap up the debate on 
the opposition's adjournment motion on the imposition of the 
governor's rule on Sindh.
The opposition leader Aitizaz Ahsan surrendered his time to the 
information minister to sum up the debate on the ground that the 
senators wished to go home and another Sen Dr Hayee had been given 
time to conclude the debate on behalf of the opposition.
As he was about to begin his concluding speech, the deputy 
opposition leader Raza Rabbani stood up seeking suspension of the 
rules of procedure and business to move his resolution.
Anwar Bhinder rejected Mr Rabbani's plea and ruled the point out of 
order arguing that the resolution he wanted to move could not be 
given leave since the House was already seized with the discussion 
on the adjournment motion.
This remark evoked repeated shouting from the opposition as well as 
the treasury benches. Senator Raza Rabbani addressing the chair 
called for taking the sense of the House.
The opposition with their numerical superiority took charge of the 
situation. Amid the exchange of hot words between the two sides, 
the presiding officer read out the order of the Senate Chairman 
Wasim Sajjad proroguing the House.
Earlier in the day six senators from both sides took part in the 
debate on the opposition's motion. Those who addressed the house 
included Akram Shah, Syed Hussain Shah Rashdi, Shafqat Mehmood, 
Javed Iqbal Abbasi, Ajmal Dehlavi and Dr Abdul Hayee Baluch.
They criticised the imposition of the governor's rule on Sindh and 
described it as a political and administrative failure of the 
government. The opposition alleged that the province of Sindh was 
being run from Islamabad by remote control.
Sen Javed Iqbal Abbasi of the PML defended the government's action 
in Sindh in order to banish terrorism from Karachi.

PPP files petition in Swiss court

ISLAMABAD, Nov 19: The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has filed a 
petition in a Swiss court challenging the legality of the Swiss 
authorities' acceptance of Pakistan government's request under the 
mutual assistance agreement to probe against opposition leader 
Benazir Bhutto and her spouse Senator Asif Ali Zardari.
According to a press release issued here by the PPP media cell, the 
petition was filed on Monday by the PPP leader and in charge of 
party matters in the West European countries, Mr Matloob Waraich.
The petitioner has taken the plea that by misinterpreting the 
mutual assistance law and accepting as true without questioning the 
politically motivated allegations of the Ehtesab Bureau, the Swiss 
government had lent its name to damaging the reputation of the PPP 
and its leaders. The Swiss government through its foreign minister 
and the chief of federal department of justice and police have been 
made respondents in the case.
The petitioner maintained that the government of Pakistan had 
resorted to perjury, torture and coercion to extract statements 
from businessmen and bureaucrats implicating Ms Bhutto and her 
spouse in false cases of money laundering and drug trafficking.
False cases of drug trafficking and money laundering specially 
fabricated belatedly so as to "attract the mischief of Mutual 
Assistance Law of Swiss government which cannot be invoked 
otherwise", the petition said.
Copies of statements of some of those who said they had been 
coerced and tortured and an October 1997 statement of Senator Saif 
that sleep deprivation had been employed to get confessional 
statements has also been attached with the petition.
The petition said the myth of the so-called narcotics case against 
Sen Asif Zardari was exposed last month when the investigation 
officer, police inspector Ehsan Elahi, moved the High Court against 
the pressures exerted on him by the government for falsely 
implicating Sen Zardari in he drug case. A copy of the police 
inspector Ehsan's writ petition No.12369/98 before the Lahore High 
Court last month is also annexed with the petition before the Swiss 
Ehsan Elahi's petition mentions how he was penalized by way of 
suspension from service and demotion in rank when he refused to go 
all out in carrying out the illegal orders of his bosses in the 
drug case against Sen Zardari.
It was a grave travesty of justice, abuse of judicial processes and 
misinterpretation of the mutual assistance agreement on the part of 
relevant Swiss authorities to have agreed to allow such a spurious 
and fictitious case as the basis of co-operation, the petition 
The petition asked the court to direct the relevant Swiss 
authorities to refrain from becoming a party to a political 
squabble in Pakistan.

Kahuta can place satellite in space, says Dr Qadeer

ISLAMABAD, Nov 14: Renowned nuclear Scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan 
said on Saturday that Kahuta Research Laboratories (KRL) would 
fulfil any task assigned to it by the government and come up to the 
expectations of the nation.

He expressed these views, while speaking as chief guest at the 
concluding ceremony of the course and exhibition on "Vacuum 98", 
organized jointly by KRL and Pakistan Vacuum Society (PVS), in 
order to promote vacuum technology in the country.
President PVS, Dr F.H. Hashmi and course coordinator Muhammad Amin 
Sabir also spoke on the occasion.
Dr Khan said that KRL has become one of best modern scientific 
institutions in the world and added, "we can do any task assigned 
to us".
He commended the role and efforts of KRL scientists and other staff 
for successful nuclear research carried out by them in the 
laboratories which enabled Pakistan to explode its nuclear devices 
on May 28.
Dr Khan further said that credit of successful development of 
Ghauri Missile also went to KRL, which led to the successful test-
firing of the missile.
He said that KRL has developed this technology indigenously and 
achieved self-reliance in it. He said "We are proud of Ghauri 
missile as its accuracy rate is 99.94 per cent and can carry 
warhead of more than 700 kgs up to 1500 km".
He said that Pakistan's missile technology was far superior than 
that of India.
Dr Khan said "if the government asks us for putting a satellite in 
the space, we can do it".
He said the Vacuum is one of the basic technologies being used in 
almost all scientific, technical and industrial organizations 
including nuclear plants.
He said that PVS would make its all-out efforts for the promotion 
of vacuum technology in order to achieve self-reliance in this 

Dar hopes accord by Tuesday: Draft paper finalized with IMF
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Nov 20: The government and the visiting seven-member IMF 
mission have finalized the "Draft Paper" after a week long talks to 
provide $ 5 billion rescue package to Pakistan.
Official sources told Dawn that Governor State Bank Dr Yaqub, 
secretary and special secretary ministry of finance held here on 
Friday a marathon session with the IMF mission headed by Ms Sena 
Eken and formulated the Draft Paper to have maximum understanding 
on major issues.
The issues which came up for discussion related to IPPs, multiple 
exchange rate, readjustments in Pak rupee vis a vis dollar, GST 
rate and GDP growth rate, restructuring of the WAPDA and CBR and 
implementing the banking sector reforms.
Sources said that while the package has almost been finalized, some 
of the issues related to IPPs were still to be sorted out.
Minister for finance and commerce Ishaq Dar is expected to hold a 
final meeting with the IMF mission here on Saturday that may lead 
to the announcement of the package at a news conference to be 
jointly addressed by him and by Ms. Sena Eken.
Reuters adds from Karachi: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on 
Friday he expected to finalize an agreement with the International 
Monetary Fund by Tuesday.
"We are expecting the IMF and World Bank negotiations to be over 
hopefully by Tuesday," Dar told Reuters. "We hope to have a good, 
strong, but a productive programme for Pakistan."
He said Pakistan intended to approach the Paris Club and London 
Club for rescheduling of some of its debt after concluding an 
agreement with the Fund but before the IMF board meeting which is 
due to be held sometime next month.
"We will go to the Paris and London Club as soon as the conclusion 
with IMF ... and obviously before the matter goes to the IMF board 
sometime end of December," Dar said.
An IMF team is in Islamabad negotiating resumption of a stalled 
$1.56 billion structural adjustment facility that is said to be 
crucial for Pakistan to avoid a default on the repayment of its $32 
billion debt.
Pakistan says talks include a bailout package to plug a gap of $5 
billion external payments gap in 1998/99.

Trading in treasury stocks may be allowed
Muhammad Ilyas

ISLAMABAD, Nov 19: Corporate Law Authority has formally submitted 
to the federal government the draft of an amendment in section 95 
of the Companies Ordinance, 1984, to allow introduction of the 
concept of treasury stock in Pakistan, an official source told Dawn 
here on Thursday.
The objective, he said, was to remove the long-persistent 
depression of the stock market as a result of which the shares of a 
large number of companies have ceased to be traded following the 
steep drop in their quoted market value. In order to avoid loss, 
the shareholders have been holding on to their shares, waiting for 
the opportunity to offload these once the market starts picking up 
again, for the past three or four years.
The system of treasury stock has been in vogue in some of the 
countries for some times. India too, introduced it recently to come 
out of a deep slump of shares market.
The proposed amendment would remove the rules that prohibit the 
companies from buying back their own shares from the general 
public. It had been finalized in the light of the recommendations 
of a Committee which was headed by Khalil Mian, Chairman of Policy 
Board of the proposed Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan. 
Other members of the committee are Shamim Ahmed Khan, Chairman, 
Corporate Law Authority, M. Yasin Lakhani, President, Karachi Stock 
Exchange (KSE) and some eminent bankers and businessmen.
The committee, in formulating its proposals, also studied similar 
laws in other countries, particularly, the United Kingdom and 
India. According to the source, the committee was particularly 
keen, while working out amendments in the relevant law, to 
effectively eliminate the possibility of manipulation and insider 
The CLA was now preparing the rules for facilitating the companies 
to exercise this option. 
These would be notified once the proposed amendment in the 
Companies Law is approved by the government.
The main objective of the change in law, he said, was to facilitate 
restructuring and reduce the spread of the capital of companies 
that would lead to improvement in the earnings per share. The main 
features of the amendments prepared by the CLA were:
*A company proposing to re-purchase its shares shall be required to 
seek approval of its members through a special resolution.
*The companies shall be able to purchase shares only out of their 
distributable profit.
*Shares shall be purchased through tender system and the modality 
shall be approved by the company in a general meeting.
*Shares required through buy back arrangement shall be cancelled 
and not resold in the market.
"It is hoped," said a senior CLA official, that with the amendment 
of the law a number of companies who have excess liquidity would be 
able to purchase their own shares besides allowing the companies to 
restructure their capital." 
In reply to a question, the source said that there would be no 
compulsion on the shareholders to sell their shares. It was likely, 
however that the measure would benefit them potentially by raising 
their price. The companies, he explained, would have to indicate 
the maximum price and the period for which the offer would be 
valid. Consequently, the rates of shares in the stock market would 
go up, inducing the shareholders to sell these.
The situation now is that the market price of shares in many cases 
was much below the real worth of the companies.
The directors of a company opting for the scheme would be required 
to give full disclosure about the mode of purchase, reasons for 
purchase and source of funding, the source further stated. The CLA 
would also take appropriate steps to ensure that the offered price 
is not below the breakup value.

Power cos issues being resolved, says Nawaz

KARACHI, Nov 19: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said Thursday 
that issues pertaining to private power companies were being 
Addressing businessmen at the annual dinner of All Pakistan Textile 
Mills Association (APTMA), he said important administrative changes 
have been made to bring about improvement in the affairs of WAPDA.
He said Capt Haleem Siddiqui has played an important role in this 
regard and hoped that these measures will prove enough to remove 
the grievances of trade and industry.
'Power theft is a very important issue which needs to be resolved 
with mutual co-operation,' he added.
He said co-operation between the government and industrialists was 
need of the hour and hoped of positive results if the co-operation 
is broadened.
Prime Minister said the government had brought economic reforms and 
amended policies after due consultation with the business 
Referring to the revenue collection, he said 'Government was quite 
optimistic that revenue collections will increase after taxation 
reforms and businessmen will pay their taxes honestly but the 
statistics of CBR were self-explanatory which negate the 
expectations of the nation.'
The Prime Minister said he wants maximum participation of 
businessmen in measures taken by the government for economic 
development of the country.
He said the government has introduced Special Dollar Bonds which 
offer an attractive package for the bond holders. The Scheme is 
guaranteed by Government of Pakistan, he said and hoped that 
businessmen would ensure their maximum participation in it.
Premier Nawaz Sharif said besides the issue of GST and power 
tariff, the government was trying to resolve the problem of trade 
and industry and would soon make the announcements.
He said there was no need to set up a separate Ministry of Textile 
for the time being.
He asked the owners of sick industrial units to avail of the 
incentive package announced by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). 
'Repayment of loans will ensure a lesser number of sick units,' he 
He said the cotton crop has been very good this year and hoped that 
there will be a surplus for export purpose also. 'Government has no 
immediate plans to allow exports of additional bales of raw 
cotton,' he said while referring to permission of exports of 0.5 
million bales of cotton.
He called upon the businessmen to concentrate on value- addition 
and come forward for economic development of the country.
He said there was a greater need of cooperation instead of steps 
promoting protest demonstration and strikes. 'We need to promote 
peace,' he added.
He said government had introduced self-employment scheme for the 
youth of the country and suggested the youths of Karachi to take 
maximum benefit of the scheme.APP

Forex reserves down to $417m

KARACHI, Nov 19: Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves fell by $7.0 
million to $417 million on November 14 from $424 million on 
November 7.
The latest State Bank report said on Thursday that on November 14 
the country had $313 million worth of approved forex reserves and 
$103 million worth of cash and short term securities held abroad. 
The two figures stood at $294 million and $130 million on November 
Senior bankers link the marginal fall in the reserves over a week 
to shortfall in export earnings and foreign remittances. They said 
had the State Bank not reduced the permissible period from 14 to 7 
days last week for selling of 50 per cent export proceeds into the 
market the reserves might have fallen below $400 million.
On May 19 this year Pakistan had $1.4 billion worth of forex 
reserves which fell to $1.2 billion on May 28the day it conducted 
a nuclear blast. 
Consequent economic sanctions imposed by the developed countries 
and an overall mess-up in the economy later on resulted in a 
continual decline of the reserves which still goes on.

$5m ADB technical assistance for export

ISLAMABAD, Nov 18: The Asian Development Bank has sanctioned $5 
million for a $7.6 million technical assistance programme for 
export and trade facilitation.
Sources said the programme envisages reform of customs valuation 
system, institutional development, capacity building for anti-
dumping, and establishment of a national level accreditation 
The assistance is meant for promotion of export facilities by 
establishing mechanisms that assure free-trade status and 
availability of pre-shipment financing at international market 
prices to exporters while developing public and private sector 
capacities to deal with emerging international trade perimeter.
The ADB will provide $5 million for the project while the 
government of Pakistan will be co-financing it at $2.5 million.
The cost and financing plan of the programme is as follows: ADB 
financing relates to international and local consultants' 
remuneration and per diem ($2.513 million); international and local 
travel ($1 million); communication and reports ($2.38 million).
The government of Pakistan will co-finance the programme as 
follows: equipment ($2.4 million); office, secretariat and related 
services ($125,000); local transportation ($35,000), and local 
counterpart staff ($35,000). Pakistan has agreed to the ADB 
financing $5,000,000 equivalent comprising $3.835 million in 
foreign exchange costs and $1.165 million equivalent in local 
"The Technical Assistance will be financed as a loan from the ADB's 
ordinary capital resources (OCR)", says the agreement. It includes 
a provision of $1.3 million for computer hardware and software for 

Trading in dollar bonds

KARACHI, Nov 18: The bearer US special dollar bonds for three and 
five-year maturity came in for active support on Wednesday as 
investors continued to lift the bonds offered below Rs 50.00 or 
around it.
Unlike the Tuesday's maiden session when the trading was confined 
to only three-year maturity bonds, five-year ones also attracted 
good support and finished Rs 2.90 higher at Rs 48.90 as compared to 
Rs 46.00 a day earlier. Seven-year bond, however, remained inactive 
at Rs 46.00.
In kerb the dollar further weakened by 30 paisa at Rs 56.75 and 
56.65 for selling and buying, reflecting the outflow of money to 
the bearer bonds, analysts said.
Bulk of the business was reported in the five-year maturity bond, 
which rose by Rs 2.90 to Rs 48.90 from the previous Rs 46.00 
accounting for 23 lots followed by seven-year maturity, unchanged 
at Rs 46.00 on 10 lots, while three-year maturity rose by 75 paisa 
at Rs 50.00 on only one lot.
The total business thus comes to 34 lots of $100 dollar each. 

ECC move to check price volatility 

ISLAMABAD, Nov 19: The Economic Coordination Committee of the 
Cabinet has underscored the need to take appropriate and timely 
measures to check volatility and erratic trends in the prices of 
important items of daily consumption.
The ECC meeting chaired by the Finance Minister, Muhammad Ishaq Dar 
here on Thursday, reviewed the prices and availability of essential 
items in the country and noted that prices of 10 out of 21 kitchen 
items either declined or remained stable during the week ending on 
Nov 11.
The committee was presented a report on the trends in export and 
import during the current fiscal year. 
The impact of development in international economy particularly in 
South Asia on exports was highlighted.
For the generation of exportable surplus, it was pointed out at the 
meeting, that good cotton crop and consequently growth of textile 
and exports of sugar and rice presented hopeful signs of export-led 
It was noted that the imports were lower by about 15% as compared 
to the last year. 
The import of consumer goods declined by 49% but the decline in 
imports of raw material was relatively modest to the tune of about 
13% during the period under review.
The ECC directed to keep the study updated with a view to keep the 
balance of payments position under constant review.
The ECC was also presented a report on the export of cotton during 
the current year and was informed that the total anticipated 
production this year would be more than 10 million bales.
The committee, therefore decided that the quantum of half a million 
bales allowed for exports from the 1998-99 crops would be 
It was decided that the committee would review the situation 
pertaining to cotton exports in the last week of November.
The committee reviewed the rehabilitation development of social 
services/infrastructure in settlement of the affectees of Tarbela 
Dam Project.
The committee noted that there was need to immediately attend to 
the plight of people uprooted in the development of large projects.
The meeting directed that ministry of water & power should 
coordinate with the NWFP government to resolve the issue of Tarbela 
Dam affectees.
The meeting was attended by minister for water & power, Chairman 
Privatization Commission, SBP Governor, concerned secretaries and 
other senior officials.APP


PM issues fresh orders for recovery of tax dues
ISLAMABAD, Nov 17: The prime minister has issued fresh instructions 
to Central Board of Revenue for swifter recovery of arrears of all 
taxes due after the period of June 1998, alongside those which had 
been due prior to the 1998-99 budget.
This order came last week, after CBR completed its four-month long 
drive for recovery of tax arrears recoverable by the end of June 
1998. During this period, a number of evaders have been arrested 
while others are absconding.
Those listed throughout the country as evaders of tax arrears by 
the end of June 1998, owed a sum of about Rs 14.7 billion. By Oct 
15, 1998, the CBR has reported to have recovered about Rs 7 billion 
under the premier's directives, which means about 50 per cent 
performance on this count so far.
The PM had issued the previous orders for recovery of the tax 
arrears simultaneous with the announcement of the National Agenda 
wherein he had said that he was relieving himself of the burden of 
all tax arrears and that those holding tax money would have to pay 
up or face reprisals. 
The fresh orders mean extension of the CBR efforts for making tax 
arrears' recovery onto the period between June and October 1998.
Fresh steps are being taken to ensure that the rest of the arrears, 
which are due by end of October, are recovered without further 
delay, to improve the receipts situation and help meet the pressing 
payment demands.
Sales tax arrears worth Rs 3.5 billion were due on June 12 of which 
almost half the amount was recovered by last week. By end of 
October, another Rs 756 million piled up and the prime minister has 
asked the CBR to go all out for the recovery of this amount too.
Wasim Sajjad for local production of computers
ISLAMABAD, Nov 17: Chairman Senate Mr. Wasim Sajjad has said that 
there are bright prospects for the manufacture of computer 
equipment and also development of computer software packages in 
Pakistan as both the application and the demand for computer 
technology are rapidly increasing in the country.
Mr. Wasim Sajjad was talking to Mr. James W. Jarret, vice president 
Intel Corporation/president Intel China, who called on the former 
in the Parliament House here on Tuesday. 
Senator Taj and Intel country manager for Pakistan Mr. Mohsin Iqbal 
were also present on the occasion.
Chairman Senate said that Pakistan was endowed with talented and 
gifted manpower which possessed tremendous aptitude to learn and 
handle new gadgets and techniques in a very short span of time.
He said business-friendly culture and environment, coupled with the 
availability of manpower, offered good prospects for the setting up 
of indigenous industry and that the equipment produced here could 
be used in the country and could also be exported abroad.
Senate Chairman said that the interest in computer literacy 
programmes and development of software packages were rapidly 
increasing in Pakistan and to cope with the rising demand the 
computer training institutions were expanding their facilities.
Mr. James W. Jarret apprised the Chairman Senate about the 
activities of Intel Corporation in Pakistan, which included 
identification of the usage of computer technology, organization of 
training course and assistance in the development of software 
He said that Intel Corporation was also trying to encourage the 
development of local brand computers in Pakistan. 
He informed the Chairman Senate that the use of computer technology 
worldwide was growing at 15 per cent while the growth rate in the 
case of emerging markets like Pakistan was 30 per cent.

KSE index gains 22 points as investors remain active

KARACHI, Nov 20: Stocks maintained their upward drive on Friday as 
investors were not inclined to take a technical breather owing to 
weekend considerations followed by predictions that the current 
bull-run could be sustained next week also.
"This optimism is also shared by many others as perception of peace 
in the city and an imminent release of stuck up credit lines from 
the IMF do not allow investors to stay out," said an analyst.
Bulk of the interest remained confined to the low-priced blue 
chips, notably Adamjee Insurance, PSO, Engro Chemical and Fauji 
Fertilizer, which were massively traded at a substantial higher 
levels under the lead of PSO, surging by Rs 8.55.
"Unconfirmed reports say some of the foreign funds are in the rings 
in a big way and are making extensive buying in the blue chips," he 
News that Japan will lift the post-nuclear test economic sanctions 
and positive signals from Islamabad regarding settlement of the lPP 
issue seem to have reinforced the investor confidence about the 
future market outlook, dealers said.
The KSE 100-share index finished with an extended gain of 22 points 
at 988.00 as compared to 966.24 a day earlier, reflecting that it 
is inching up progressively to achieve its base level of 1,000 
A 2.32 per cent increase in the index means an increase of about Rs 
5 billion in the market capitalization at Rs 286 billion.
"As the developing economic scenario tells, the KSE index could 
stabilize above 1,200 points not in the very distant future," 
analysts said.
"The current lower level of blue chips could provide the much-
needed bait to any prospective investor," he added.
Any rally at the weekend tells that it could be extended next week 
also as investors seldom take risk before the two official closures 
on Saturday and Sunday.
Floor brokers said the city situation, notably terrorist attacks on 
police parties, did worry investors as they could be intensified 

creating new law and order situation.
"News from the economic front appear to be more encouraging and 
there are reasons to believe that sailing might be smooth in the 
coming sessions," they added.
Analysts said huge amount of cash also outflowed from the bond 
market to the leading shares and that was one of the reasons behind 
the market's weekend upturn.
Bank and chemical shares led the market advance, which rose in 
unison on persistent support at the current lower levels, but 
energy shares showed either-way movement amid alternate bouts of 
buying and selling with fractional price changes.
Big gainers were led by Adamjee, Dawood Hercules, Engro Chemical, 
Fauji Fertilizer, Lever Brothers and PSO, which posted gains 
ranging from Rs 3.95 to Rs 8.55 on large turnovers. 
They were followed by Gulf Commercial Bank, Metropolitan Bank, 
Reliance Weaving, Searle Pakistan and Dawood Cotton, rising by one 
rupee to Rs 1.70.
Losses on the other hand were mostly fractional barring Orix 
Leasing, Balochistan Wheels, Millat Tractors, Knoll Pharma and Syed 
Match, which suffered fall ranging from one rupee to Rs 3.00.
Trading volume rose to 86 million shares from the previous 73 
million shares thanks to active short-covering in the current 
favourites, notably Hub-Power, PTCL and some others.
There were 141 actives out of which 69 shares rose, 33 fell with 39 
holding on to the last levels.
Hub-Power topped the list of most actives, higher 35 paisa at Rs 
14.80 on 26 million shares, followed by PTCL, up also 35 paisa at 
Rs 22.50 on 21 million shares, KESC, firm 25 paisa at Rs 8.65 on 13 
million shares, PSO, up Rs 8.55 at Rs 77.40 on 11 million shares, 
and ICI Pakistan, steady 20 paisa at Rs 13.70 on 4 million shares.
Other actively traded shares were led by MCB, higher 80 paisa on 
1.419 million shares, Fauji Fertilizer, up Rs 4.10 on 1.288 million 
shares, FFC-Jordan Fertilizer, steady 30 paisa on 1.243 million 
shares, ICP SEMF, firm 10 paisa on 0.724 million shares, Japan 
Power, steady 10 paisa on 0.572 million shares, Dewan Salman, up 20 
paisa on 0.467 million shares, and Adamjee Insurance, sharply 
higher by Rs 3.95 on strong foreign support on 1.537 million 
Back to the top
No nous
Ardeshir Cowasjee

GOVERNOR'S rule has been imposed upon our province, and the 
governor's hands duly tied behind his back. Unsuitable senior 
officers have been foisted upon him by the federal government, 
without even seeking his advice or obtaining his consent.
Really bad news is that Jam Sadiq Ali's notorious principal 
henchman, Imtiaz Shaikh, who was suspended on the charge of 
corruption by the succeeding government, is attempting another 
comeback. He has been trying since the day Liaquat Jatoi was sworn 
in as chief minister, when Imtiaz drove him to the Governor's 

House. Currently, he is being pushed by the prime minister's 
information Minister, Mushahidsaab, and by the PM's Karachi host, 
Senator Majid Sultan, to be slotted in as the Sindh information 
secretary. The governor is resisting.
Now to the subject at hand  education. A young man sent his bio-
data  impressive, well presented. He had studied at one of 
Karachi's leading old-established schools, obtained seven 'A' 
grades in his 'O' Levels and had managed to get admission into a 
university in the US. His father had been saving up to send him 
abroad, but his foreign exchange account had been frozen by Nawaz 
Sharif. He applied to our family Foundation for a scholarship.
Worth helping, we decided, and called him for an interview. He 
arrived, extended his hand, and said "Hello, Ardeshir." "How old 
are you?" I asked. "Eighteen," came the reply. When I informed him 
that I was four times his age, he failed to get the point and 
looked at me blankly.
His general knowledge was abysmal. Who was Ferdinand de Lesseps, I 
asked. He had never heard of him. I then asked him where the Suez 
Canal is located. His response was to inform me that geography was 
not one of his subjects. Next, I tried the Panama Canal. In Cuba, 
he announced with pride.
At that stage I felt sorry for the parents. I had talked to his 
father  well spoken, well educated, who had three growing sons to 
put through college. Because the father deserved to be helped, the 
boy was given a grant. We asked ourselves what exactly it is that 
education in a good school and the passing of exams had done for 
him. Perhaps he is possessed of a mind that does not question, but 
hopefully it will develop in a better environment.
What about all the poor young men, perhaps with enquiring minds, 
perhaps who are keen to learn across the broader path? They have no 
chance, they are given no opportunity. The Government of Pakistan 
spends little or nothing on education which is a subject that is 
near to last on its priority listing. Any man appointed to the 
education ministry or departments, or given an education portfolio 
considers that he is being punished (except perhaps the astounding 
Ghous Ali Shah). It is a subject of no interest to our 
parliamentarians or the millions of sycophants who pay court to 
It is not the letters which follow a name that denote that a person 
is educated, or necessarily the institutions which they have 
attended. Take one of our recent prime ministers who can boast of 
having been to Radcliffe and to Oxford. Was she educated in the 
true sense of the word? And her brother, a Harvard man  could 
anyone in his right mind refer to him as having been educated? It 
is also doubtful whether, in view of his track record, our last 
president, manor-born and an Oxford man with letters after his 
name, could be deemed educated. How can an educated man knowingly 
collude with a bank robber, shamelessly deplete his poor country's 
exchequer, and misuse his presidential position to retrieve some 
29,000 acres of land which he had surrendered to the state land 
reform commission 26 years earlier? Can we say that those who make 
an industry of robbing the people are educated?
On to a Rhodes Scholar, Shahid Javed Burki of the World Bank. 
Having lived outside Pakistan for the past 31 years, he has managed 
to retain his sense of balance. At the convocation last Sunday of 
the Institute of Business Administration at Korangi Creek, he 
spoke, with regret, on the crumbling state of Pakistan and on the 
deep crisis in which we find ourselves. The thrust of his address 
was the dearth of education and the need for the building of 
institutions, two of our weakest sectors.
*From experience of dealing with development in various countries, 
he told us: "When people lose hope in the ability of the state to 
provide the services they expect of it, they step forward and fill 
the gap themselves. Bangladesh is the most recent example of the 
working of this phenomenon. Some of the non-governmental 
organizations in Bangladesh are now as important as the 
institutions of the state. Some of the remarkable social 
improvements that have taken place there in the areas of health, 
education and family planning were the consequences of the work 
undertaken by non-governmental organizations. Perhaps the best 
example of the positive impact of their work is in the area of 
demography. In the sixteen-year period between 1980 and 1996, the 
fertility in Bangladesh declined by 44 per cent; from 6.1 births 
per woman to 3.4. Consequently, the rate of population increase has 
declined by a third, from an average of 2.4 per cent between 1980-
90 to 1.6 per cent between 1990-97.
"Compared to Bangladesh Pakistan has done badly. Whilst its total 
fertility rate has dropped by 27 per cent, from 7.0 in 1980 to 5.1 
in 1996, it remains one of the highest in the world. A high 
fertility rate produces a rate of population growth that Pakistan 
does not have the space or the resources to sustain over time. At 
2.9 per cent per year [the questionable official figure], the 
growth rate of Pakistan's population is 81 per cent higher than in 
Bangladesh has spent far more of its limited funds than Pakistan on 
education, with particular emphasis on the education of women, 
without which the population growth cannot decline. It knows what 
it is doing; it knows where it wants to go.
To quote Shahid again, "It is indeed a matter of great regret that 
administration after administration in Pakistan has paid such 
little attention to educating the country's women. A society that 
condemns its women to backwardness is choosing backwardness for 
Burki and the rest of us must remind our failing governments of 
such facts over and over again. They must be repeated time and 
again, even though our words may fall on deaf ears and even though 
the people can expect little or no help from the governments such 
as ours in the education of their children or, as things are going, 
of their children's children.
Education of the masses at the hands of this government is at its 
lowest ebb, hopeless. But there is good news on the private sector 
A group of citizens of Karachi have formed The Citizens' Foundation 
(TCF) with the principal aim of educating the poor. They were 
fortunate and found themselves an able organizer in General Sabeeh 
Qamar uz Zaman, their chief executive officer.
Sabeeh, as chairman of the Steel Mill (1992-1994), was the first to 
detect a ghost labour force of some 3,000 men. He sacked them. When 
the Mill started to produce steel in 1982-83, that year it produced 
32,000 tons. In 1993-94 Sabeeh managed to cross the million-ton 
mark, the mill producing 1,044,000 tons utilizing its capacity (on 
the ground and not merely on paper) to the extent of 95 per cent. 
Naturally, he had to go. The fact that Benazir Bhutto, Asif Zardari 
and Naheed Khan wanted him sacked add to his stature. Allegations 
cooked up against him on questionable grounds remain 
In the short space of two years, TCF has built and equipped and now 
operates 25 primary schools on the outskirts of Karachi and Lahore, 
and a further nine are in various stages of completion. Encouraged 
by this success, our family Foundation also joined in and has 
committed funds for a high school in the slums of the Machhar area 
of Lyari. The school will accommodate eight hundred children and, 
as with all the TCF schools, 85 per cent of the children will pay 
nominal fees ranging between Rs.5 and Rs.50 per month. Last month 
we had the ground-breaking ceremony  a happy day for our family  
when Cyrus, aged three, my brother Cyrus's grandson, broke the 
ground with his spade. Plinth level has already been reached.
To all the e-mailers who ask me what they can do to help this 
country, where they should invest, my answer is: Education. The 
return will be priceless.
The TCF website: http://www.citizensfoundation.com. Please visit 
it. The e-mail address : citizens@cyber.net.pk

A critique of the critics
Irfan Husain

FOR an institution that makes it its business to criticize people, 
policies and governments, the press itself is hardly ever the 
subject of comment and criticism.
Indeed, there is a vast, unmonitored fraternity flourishing under 
the protective umbrella of organizations like the All Pakistan 
Newspapers Society (APNS), the Council of Newspaper Editors (CPNE) 
and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) which together 
constitute one of the most powerful lobbies in the country. All in 
all, these organizations have played a positive role in gaining and 
protecting the freedom of expression in a country that has suffered 
years of repressive rule.
But this immunity from criticism has meant that, by and large, the 
print media has not been forced to evaluate and assess itself as 
any institution needs to from time to time. Archaic practices and 
attitudes are the norm, and editors and publishers have seldom 
bothered to invest the time and resources needed to revamp their 
publications. The exceptions are a handful of monthlies and 
weeklies that approach international standards in terms of 
editorial content and layout.
Despite the enormous strides made in print technology and newspaper 
design in developed countries, most of our publications have been 
locked in a Victorian time warp, both in style and content. Much of 
the language is positively Dickensian, except that the famous 
English writer was not guilty of as many grammatical and spelling 
errors in his entire lifetime as a single issue of any of our 
dailies contains.
Take the average front-page as an example. Crowded with many small 
headlines, over a dozen stories vie for attention and are then 
continued in the inner darkness of page eight. A couple of 
indistinct photos and an ad or two complete the layout. The world 
over, the emphasis is on simple, uncluttered design with crisp, 
eye-catching photographs of people, objects or places that often 
have nothing to do with the main news, but tells a story visually.
The selection of stories is often bizarre. Instead of focusing on 
what happened the previous day, our newspapers concentrate on who 
said what. Political lightweights get coverage far beyond their 
role and significance. Indeed, it can be argued that many of them 
exist on life support provided by an indiscriminate print media. 
Not only do some of these worthies frequently write columns, their 
utterances and comings and goings are solemnly reported as though 
the rest of us were dying for such information. Talk about double 
Then there is the whole other problem of most of our reporters 
being reluctant to do the legwork needed for accurate and 
interesting stories. As a rule, they would much rather use press 
releases or handouts to base their reports on, rather than cover an 
event themselves. I know journalists who ask colleagues on the 
phone to describe what happened and who said what during a VIP's 
visit, and then call their editors with a rehashed story from the 
Press Club.
There is virtually no follow-up on even the most sensational story 
after it has died down. For instance, we may read one day that 23 
people died in a horrific bus accident, and the driver was 
arrested. But what happened to him? Was he tried and sentenced, or 
released? A man kills his wife for alleged adultery and is locked 
up. Was he hanged, jailed or let loose? Neither our reporters nor 
our editors seem to have the curiosity or the capacity to follow up 
and keep the readers informed of developments.
Editorial pages are usually one solid block of text with solemn, 
self-important prose usually reserved for Biblical pronouncements. 
Editorial writers and columnists hold forth at interminable length, 
advising the world on how to conduct its affairs. Nobody seems to 
consider brevity a virtue; indeed, think of how much revenue could 
be generated by accepting ads in this space! Writers get genuinely 
upset on being edited; I must confess to a distinct rise in my 
blood pressure when I get censored. But generally speaking, editors 
refrain from cutting down pieces because they are too long. The 
result is an endless ramble on every issue under the sun, beginning 
from the Flood.
Most editors seem to be allergic to names. Thus, a hotel where a 
certain event took place in not named but referred to as "a five-
star hotel." If I cite another newspaper, the reference is changed 
to "a Lahore daily", and if I quote a fellow columnist, his name is 
blue-pencilled. As far as I can gather, the logic behind this 
insistence on anonymity is to avoid giving free publicity to 
individuals, business concerns or rival publications.
Another paradox is the dearth of local human-interest stories while 
such reports from other countries often find their way into our 
pages. This can be explained by the fact that foreign news agencies 
wire ready-to-print stories, while for local reports, our own 
reporters would have to travel to remote parts of the country. By 
the same token, our papers often carry photographs of local events 
and personalities sent out by foreign agencies based in Pakistan.
For two decades now, Afghanistan has been making headlines around 
the world. Journalists from virtually every major news gathering 
organization in the world have gone into our neighbouring country 
from Pakistani soil. And yet only a handful of enterprising local 
journalists have taken the flight to Kabul or the hike across the 
border. Do our newspapers lack the initiative or the money? Or 
Every few years, we hear that the Wage Board is meeting to fix 
salaries for working journalists. Since this August body does not 
touch upon the question of rates for freelance columnists, I have 
not paid too much attention to its deliberations. But I am not 
aware of government-appointed boards fixing wages for journalists 
working in privately owned newspapers in other countries, just as I 
haven't heard of subsidized housing colonies for journalists 
Having vented my spleen against friends, colleagues and an 
institution close to my heart, let me say there is nothing I would 
rather do than be a full-time journalist. Unfortunately, fate and 
circumstances have taken me higher and yon, but the one constant 
factor in my life has been a column in one publication or another, 
under one name or another.
Despite its limitations, the print media in Pakistan is probably 
the freest in the Muslim world. There are certain taboo areas like 
religion and the army, but by and large, we can criticize anyone 
and anything without checking our facts and get away with it. What 
more could a desk-bound hack wish for?

Jansher Khan pulls out of World Open

KARACHI, Nov 17: Former squash world champion Jansher Khan of 
Pakistan said Tuesday he had pulled out of the World Open Squash 
Championship because of a groin injury.

The championship is scheduled to start in Qatar November 29.
"My groin injury has healed up and I am feeling much better, but on 
doctor's advice I have decided not to play in the World Open," 
Jansher told AFP.
The eight-times world champion, now sixth in the rankings, did not 
participate in last year's world open in Malaysia due to personal 
reasons. Australian Rodney Eyles won the world title.
Jansher said he was confident he would bounce back, saying 
"everyone will see when I regain my place, with Allah's blessings."
The 29-year-old, who underwent surgery on both knees in July, 
believes he will be fit to play at his best in three weeks' time.
"I would love to play for Pakistan for three more years and will 
regain my top place in 1999," Jansher vowed.
The six-times British Open champion lost his world number one 
ranking to Scotland's Peter Nicol last February and subsequently 
his British Open crown to Nicol in April.
Jansher's first competition on his return to the arena will be the 
Tournament of Champions starting in New York January 23.
He will also play the Esso Open in Belgium in February 1999, the 
Hungarian Open in March and the British Open the following month.

Sohail and Yohanna guide Pakistan to a 4-wicket win
Ilyas Beg

GUJRANWALA, Nov 20: Half centuries by skipper Aamir Sohail and 
Yousuf Yohanna pulled Pakistan from trouble to steer the home team 
to a four-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the first one-day 
international at the Jinnah Stadium on Friday.
Leading from the front, Aamir Sohail scored a brilliant 91, studded 
with nine exquisite boundaries and a six off Eddo Brandes to help 
Pakistan reach the victory target of 241 in 47.4 overs. This 
overhauled Zimbabwe's total of 237, accumulated in 49.3 overs and 
gave Pakistan a welcome win after a bad drubbing at the hands of 
Australia in Tests as well as one-day international series.
Both teams will play their second one-day international at the 
Sheikhupura Stadium on Sunday (November 22).
Pakistan was also served well by Yousuf Youhanna (55 not out of 80 
balls with one six and two boundaries), Moin Khan (35 of 26 
deliveries with one six and four boundaries) and Azhar Mahmood (17 
not out of 35 balls with one four).
Yousuf Yohanna added 54 runs for the fourth wicket with his skipper 
off 62 deliveries when Pakistan was struggling at 87 for three. 
Thereafter, Yousuf Yohanna added 52 runs for the sixth wicket 
partnership with Moin Khan off 44 balls. That brought Pakistan's to 
197, needing 41 runs to win.
Yohanna kept up the good work and added 44 runs with Azhar Mahmood 
(17 not out) for the unbroken seventh wicket stand. Azhar Mahmood 
swept Heath Streak for his only boundary which took Pakistan to the 
winning total.
Aamir Sohail, named Man-of-the-Match, earlier provided Pakistan a 
sound start with Saeed Anwar when the two left-handers put on 60 
runs off 77 balls (19 of 29 balls) for the first-wicket partnership 
which laid a foundation for an easy sailing.
For a change, despite giving some shaky batting displays, the 
Pakistan players fought like a team and gave a superior display in 
all departments of the game. Their bowling was immaculate which 
restricted Zimbabwe to a not-so-big total. Catching of the 
Pakistanis, particularly of Wasim Akram and Yousuf Yohanna, was 
brilliant. Even the ground fielding of the Pakistanis was praise-
worthy. Had there been discipline in the Pakistan batting, it would 
have wilted mid-way through. Pakistan is fast moulding into a 
fighting combination which augurs well for the future.
Pakistan to face India in 10-game hockey series

NEW DELHI (India), Nov 19: Traditional rivals India and Pakistan 
will play a ten-match field hockey series in February next year, a 
domestic news agency said Wednesday.
Dates for the matches will be finalized later this week during 
Indian officials' meetings with Pakistan Hockey Federation 
president Akhtar Rasool who arrives in New Delhi on Thursday, 
United News of India reported.
Five matches each are likely to be played in both countries, the 
news agency said quoting K.P.S. Gill, who heads the Indian Hockey 
Federation. The first five matches will be held in India.
The two sides played an eight-match series in India and Pakistan 
before huge crowds earlier this year, with Pakistan winning 4-3 
with a game drawn.
Field hockey, like cricket, is hugely popular in both India and 
Pakistan but matches between the two sides are often laced with 
bitterness because of the 50-year enmity between New Delhi and 

You can subscribe to DWS by sending an email to 
<subscribe.dws@dawn.com>, with the following text in the BODY of your 
message: subscribe dws

To unsubscribe, send an email to <unsubscribe.dws@dawn.com>, with 
the following in the BODY of you message:
unsubscribe dws

Back to the top.

Dawn page