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                          C O N T E N T S 

N A T I O N A L   N E W S
980420  Nawaz hopes for closer ties with Italy, Belgium
980425  Belgians demand better law and order  
980423  Pakistan, EU agree to diversify relations
980421  US ready to write off debt equal to F-16s cost
890420  Benazir criticizes govt for 'media trial' 
980419  MQM-PML alliance to continue
980423  No operation to end 'no-go' areas: Nisar
980419  III-gotten contracts to be cancelled
980421  Govt to contest LHC verdict on ATA 
980422  PPP, ANP stage walkout from NA

B U S I N E S S  &  E C O N O M Y 
980425  IPPs agree to cut power tariffs, says Anwar
980424  99 pending court cases delaying privatization
980423  Turkmen gas project not to be abandoned
980421  Paktel to invest $60m in 1998-99
980422  PS suffers Rs916m loss: Senate told
980419  State Bank mounts watch on forex market
980420  How to save the budget from collapsing

980423  Lifting of ban on exports urged
980419  Overhauling of CBR hits snags
980421  SBP relaxes rules to raise export charges

E D I T O R I A L S  &  F E A T U R E S
980419    Chief secretaries                     Ardeshir Cowasjee
980425    Power and paranoia  		      Irfan Hussain                   
980422    A Muslim imperialist                  Hafizur Rahman
980423    The global march: Karachi diary       Rifaat Hamid Ghani

S P O R T S 
980423  National Games open amidst colour and pageantry
980424  South Africa thrash hapless Pakistan in tri-nation final
980425  Yousuf, Saleh, Farhan and Shameel reach semi-finals

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                     N A T I O N A L   N E W S 
Nawaz hopes for closer ties with Italy, Belgium

LAHORE, April 19: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif left for an official 
visit to Italy and Belgium on Sunday. He hoped that his tour would 
strengthen bilateral relations with these countries.
The prime minister will also call on Pope John Paul II during his 
stay in Italy and attend investment conferences in the two 
He is also scheduled to meet Mr Jaques Santer, president of the 
European Union Commission, and the commission's executive body to 
discuss improvement of economic ties with Pakistan.
While leaving for the two countries, the prime minister said in a 
Press statement: "Today, I am leaving for Italy and Belgium on 
official visits at the invitations of Prime Minister Romano Prodi 
of Italy and Prime Minister Jean Luc Dehaene of Belgium.
"Pakistan and Italy enjoy close relations and share common views on 
major issues. My visit will serve to further strengthen the 
existing cordial relationship between the two countries.
"My discussions with Prime Minister Prodi will include exchange of 
views on a wide range of regional and global issues of mutual 
interest. During my stay in Italy, I would also call on the Italian 

"During my visit to Rome, I will also call on Pope John Paul II.
"In Italy, I will also attend an investment conference, which will 
be attended by a large number of potential investors from Italy. We 
will apprise the Italian entrepreneurs of the investment 
opportunities in Pakistan.
"During the visit, a number of agreements will be signed which will 
enhance bilateral cooperation and institutionalize regular 
consultations between the two countries.
"While in Belgium, I will hold discussions with the Belgian 
leadership on bilateral, regional and global matters of mutual 
interest. Belgium, an important member of the European Community, 
is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. Pakistan, with 
its revolutionary economic initiatives, hopes to benefit from 
enhanced Belgian participation in its economic development 
projects. I shall be attending an investment conference sponsored 
by the BOI, the Foreign Trade Board and the Europe-Pakistan 
economic chamber with the participation of a large number of 
Belgian and European entrepreneurs. The conference will seek to 
open new avenues of economic cooperation between Pakistan and 
"I will also meet Mr Jacques Santer, President of the European 
Commission, the executive arm of the EU, responsible for 
facilitating economic interactions of EU member states with other 
countries. The European Commission has been participating in 
development projects in Pakistan.
"The visits to Italy and Belgium will provide a strong impetus to 
the traditionally warm and cordial ties between Pakistan and the 
two friendly countries", the statement added.

Belgians demand better law and order  
Shadaba Islam
BRUSSELS, April 24: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday urged 
Belgian and European investors to step up their economic stake in 
He told a conference attended by over 200 Belgian business leaders 
that Pakistan's programme of economic deregulation, privatisation 
and liberalization made it an "ideal place" for investments by 
foreign firms.
However, Belgian entrepreneurs told the Pakistani delegation that 
the government would have to do much more to improve the law and 
order situation in the country, especially in Karachi.
Education facilities must be improved to upgrade the skills of 
Pakistan's work force and step up managerial competence in the 
country, they said.
In talks with Muslim League activists late on Thursday night, the 
prime minister also called for Pakistani expatriates to start 
channelling funds back into their home country.
Nawaz Sharif told an investors' conference organised by the Belgian 
Foreign Trade Office and the Euro-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and 
attended by some of Belgium's most powerful companies and banks 
that his government was determined to create an investor-friendly 
environment for domestic and foreign businesses.

In addition to the manufacturing plants, foreign firms could also 
now invest in all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, 
services, infrastructure and the social sector, he said.
"If any company wants to come to Pakistan and build a high-way, you 
are most welcome," Mr Sharif added.
He told the meeting that Pakistan wanted to produce more 
sophisticated, high-tech, value-added and export-oriented products.
On Thursday night, the prime minister delivered a similar message 
to members of Belgian branch of the Muslim League in Brussels.
Invited for dinner at the prestigious "Chateau du Lac" restaurant 
by the League, Nawaz Sharif told an enthusiastic audience that 
Pakistanis who had prospered abroad must now start thinking of  
investing some of their money in Pakistan.
The prime minister's message has been heard with interest by 
Belgian business leaders - and the Pakistani community. Most agree 
that Sharif's government is trying to put Pakistan's economic house 
in order. But, they also stress that the battle has not yet been 
Executives of many Belgian companies told Dawn that they saw great 
potential in Pakistan. But, investing in the country remained 
difficult because of slow decision-making. As a result many 
projects had been languishing for years and could not be 
Pakistan, EU agree to diversify relations
Shadaba Islam 
Brussels, April 22: Pakistan and the European Union have initialled 
a new cooperation treaty which promises to "consolidate, deepen and 
diversify" their economic, trade and political links.
The agreement was initialled as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif began 
official talks here with European Commission President Jacques 
Santer and European Commissioner for Asia Manuel Marin. This is the 
first visit to the EU by a Pakistani premier.
"We are pleased that Pakistan is now clearly established as a 
democracy with strong roots," Jacques Santer told Nawaz Sharif.
"Given its crucial pivotal position between South and Central Asia, 
it is essential that Pakistan is able to play its full role both as 
partner and as a strategic partner in its own right," Santer added.
The EU chief also praised Pakistan for its "liberal economic 
policies," saying they were the most effective measures of 
maintaining economic growth, creating jobs and attracting inward 
On Thursday, Mr Sharif is set to meet Belgian Prime Minister Jean-
Luc Dehaene and members of the Pakistan Muslim League's Belgian 
branch. Discussions with Belgian industrialists are set for April 
The new EU-Pakistan treaty follows almost three years of intensive 
negotiations between the two sides. The resulting wide-ranging pact 
provides for reinforced ties between Pakistan and the EU in areas 
such as trade, development, environmental cooperation, industry and 
services and tourism.

Other sectors covered by the deal include energy, science and 
technology and joint efforts to combat money-laundering.
In the preamble, the EU recognizes the need to support Pakistan's 
efforts for development, with special focus on the needs of the 
poor and disadvantaged sections of society.
Social development, the agreement stresses, should go "hand in 
hand" with economic progress.
Both sides also promise to create "favourable conditions for a 
substantial development and diversification" of their bilateral 
trade links.
The first article of the treaty specifies that "respect for human 
rights and democratic principles ...underpin the domestic and 
international policies" of both partners and "constitute an 
essential element" of the agreement.
In other cases, the EU has used similar provisions to suspend aid 
to countries accused of flagrant human rights violations.
Significantly, given Pakistan's sore feelings on the issue, the new 
deal promises "adequate opportunity for consultation" on EU anti-
dumping measures.
Also on trade, there is a pledge by both side to "work towards the 
elimination of barriers to trade and to implement measures to 
improve transparency, in particular through the timely removal of 
non-tariff barriers."
Pakistan promises to ensure the "adequate and effective" protection 
and enforcement of intellectual property rights. Officials say that 
the EU has agreed to shorten its initial lists of trade and patent 
protection treaties that it wanted Pakistan to sign. Brussels has 
also agreed to provide "technical assistance" to Islamabad in this 
EU aid programmes will continue to focus on health, education and 
human resource development, with special attention being paid to 
the welfare of women.
Enhanced cooperation to fight the use of drugs and the spread of 
aids is also foreseen.
On the economic front, the new treaty commits the EU to helping 
Pakistan to develop a "creative, competitive economic environment" 
by facilitating the use of European know-how and technology, 
including in the fields of design, packaging, standards and the 
development of new products.
But in a separate letter sent to EU member governments, Islamabad 
has made it clear that the undertaking "exclusively represents 
Pakistan's readiness to enter into negotiations" on the subject, 
not a pledge to accept any "non-negotiable" text submitted by any 
EU state.
Germany is believed to be especially adamant that EU treaties with 
foreign countries should include such "readmission agreements."

US ready to write off debt equal to F-16s cost
Shaheen Sehbai 
WASHINGTON, April 20: The United States has proposed to write off a 
portion of Pakistan's foreign debt equalling the amount Washington 
has to refund for the F-16 aircraft in return for Pakistan dropping 
the threat to take the US to court.

This and other such options are being explored by US to resolve the 
complicated F-16 issue before President Bill Clinton flies to 
Congressional sources said Ambassador Bill Richardson had carried 
these proposals to Islamabad and one such option was to provide 
Pakistan relief in its foreign debt equal to the amount the US owes 
to Islamabad.
These sources told 'Dawn' on Monday Richardson had discussed these 
options with Pakistani leaders in his two-day stay and the State 
Department would be working feverishly to develop them into viable 
The existence of these options was given further credence when 
Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub Khan spoke of "some positive 
developments" during the Richardson visit and expressed the hope 
that the issue would be resolved.
Mr Gohar categorically stated in a VOA interview that Bill 
Richardson and Pakistan government "were endeavouring to have all 
the irritants that were there in the past behind them."
"When President Clinton comes here we are not reminded or we do not 
discuss the irritants that have been there between the two 
countries, but we start on a very positive and constructive and 
progressive outlook for the future of our relationship," he said in 
the interview.
It is not yet clear how the administration wants to articulate the 
option to provide debt relief to Pakistan in return for Pakistan 
dropping its threat to file a law suit to recover the 658 million 
dollars it paid for the F-16s.
But experts said this could be done either through IMF or through 
the Pakistan Development Forum, the former aid-to-Pakistan Paris 
An influential congressman and chairman of the house foreign 
affairs committee, Mr Lee Hamilton, is learnt to have written to 
the president on the issue and has emphasised the need to find some 
amicable solution to the F-16 issue before the Clinton visit.
Benazir criticizes govt for 'media trial' 
LONDON, April 19: Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto on Sunday 
indirectly defended the purchase of Surrey Palace by her jailed 
husband Senator Asif Ali Zardari and said there was no wrong in 
buying a house worth couple of millions of pounds.
"What's wrong in buying a house worth couple of million of pounds?" 
asked Benazir Bhutto in a BBC-1 television programme "Breakfast 
with David Frost" on Sunday morning.
The former prime minister, who had denied buying the house in the 
past though did not admit in clear words that Surrey Palace was 
purchased by her husband but strongly defended him even if he had 
made that deal.
"Without going into specifics let us assume my husband bought a 
house," she said. "He has a house in Pakistan in equivalent value. 
Even if house is his, what's wrong in that?" she asked.
Asked to comment on The Times report that her husband even wanted 
to purchase a nearby pub close to Surrey Palace, Ms Benazir Bhutto 

said no Muslim would like to buy a pub as alcohol was prohibited in 
The opposition leader said Pakistan wanted that Britain and 
Switzerland should provide them with some material so that they can 
concoct some drug charges against her husband.
Asked about the case registered against Asif Zardari in which he 
has been accused of murdering Benazir Bhutto's younger brother 
Murtaza Bhutto, the opposition leader said her brother had never 
liked her husband.
"My brother did not like my husband but my husband had nothing 
against my brother," she said and added that it was more annoying 
to see him being involved in that case because it was apparently an 
attempt to protect his brothers real murderers.

MQM-PML alliance to continue
Nasir Malick
LONDON, April 18: The coalition government of Pakistan Muslim 
League in Sindh got a new lease of life on Saturday as its ally, 
Muttahida Qaumi Movement, assured it of continued support after a 
marathon nine-hour negotiating session.
A one-page joint communique issued by MQM and PML at the ends of 
talks did not say in clear words whether the government had 
promised to end the "no-go" areas in Karachi, though it did say 
that the government renewed its resolve "to follow and implement 
the (February 21, 1997) accord with renewed commitment".
The Federal Minister for Provincial Coordination, Chaudhry Nisar 
Ali, came out from the committee room of the MQM's international 
secretariat, where the talks were being held, at 8.30pm London time 
(0030 hrs Pakistan time) to deliver the joint communique.
He rushed back inside the room without answering any question, 
saying that the negotiations were still continuing and a joint 
communique was being issued.
The MQM had been demanding the implementation of the 19-point 
agreement, which it signed with the government on Feb 21 last year 
and Saturday's discussion revolved around that agreement.
Apparently, the MQM has still some reservations over certain issues 
as is apparent from the language of the joint communique. It said: 
"It was decided to continue the cooperation and to remain in 
alliance despite certain differences over the slow speed of 
implementation and in compliance with the accord.
"While showing concern on the non-implementation of some of the 
provisions of the (1997) agreement and the abolition of the no-go 
Areas, the MQM impressed on the government side that the alliance 
between the two parties continues to flourish," the joint 
communique said.
"The government side briefed the MQM over the state of the 
implementation of the accord and identified the problems which have 
contributed to non-implementation in certain areas," it said.
"While reviewing its resolve to follow and implement the accord 
with renewed commitment, the PML asked and MQM assured of its 
cooperation, support and understanding to help strengthen the 

alliance in the larger interest of the country, the province and 
the people."
The MQM assured the PML of its continued support in the province 
while in return the government "renewed its commitment to support 
the MQM's demands and assured the MQM that it would spare no 
efforts in the solution of the issues and implementation of the 
MQM senator Aftab Sheikh said that MQM had not come out of the 
negotiations "without fully and completely addressing the main 
problem of "no-go areas", adding that today's understanding on the 
implementation of the February accord was "to the satisfaction" of 
the parties.
He also confirmed that the two parties would exercise restraint in 
issuing statements against each other on "sensitive issues".
"Negotiations would not have continued had there not been a 
positive note," he concluded.

No operation to end 'no-go' areas: Nisar
Bureau Report
ISLAMABAD, April 22: No operation would be launched to end "no-go" 
areas in Karachi, and the government instead would take 
administrative measures to ensure that no areas remain inaccessible 
to anybody.
The government and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement both agreed that 
the issue could be solved through administrative measures rather 
than operation, said Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, minister for 
petroleum and provincial coordination, while talking to reporters 
here on Wednesday.
Chaudhry Nisar, who had detailed talks with MQM leader Altaf 
Hussain in London, said he had found Mr Hussain very accommodating.
He said the MQM had agreed not to issue any more ultimatums and 
deadlines in future to avoid misunderstandings between the two 
Referring to his talks with Mr Hussain, he said all issues had been 
discussed with the MQM chief. He, however, said that no time limit 
had been fixed for ending "no-go" areas.
Chaudhry Nisar said the two sides had agreed that rangers would 
stay in Karachi as long as lasting peace was not achieved. It was 
also decided that an elite force, on the pattern of Punjab, would 
be set up in Sindh to control the law and order problem.
He said a decision had been taken during talks with the MQM leader 
that competent officers from other provinces would be inducted into 
the Sindh administration to improve the situation.
Responding to a question, the petroleum minister said he was happy 
that the MQM leadership had agreed with him that rangers should 
stay in Karachi for the time being. 
"As long as the new elite force is not established and the police 
not strengthened to cope with the situation, rangers would continue 
to operate in Karachi", he said.
He said that no new agreement had been signed during talks with the 
MQM chief in London, and added that there was no secret agreement 
with the MQM nor had Mr Hussain put any condition or demand.

Chaudhry Nisar said he had held talks with the MQM leadership on 
the basis of the previous agreement, and added that he had assured 
Mr Hussain that the agreement would be implemented.

To a question, the petroleum minister said that talks with the MQM 
had been decisive and "I am sure our alliance with the MQM will 
continue despite various irritants."
CASES: To a question, he said that he had assured Mr Hussain that 
fake cases against MQM leaders and workers would be withdrawn 
shortly. He said that Sindh chief minister had given approval for 
the withdrawal of many cases. "But we have made it clear to the MQM 
leadership that the government could not do anything to withdraw 
heinous cases against their leaders and workers," he said.
III-gotten contracts to be cancelled
ISLAMABAD, April 18: The government promulgated an ordinance on 
Saturday empowering it to cancel power contracts found to have been 
secured deviously.
The ordinance stipulated a prison term of up to seven years and an 
undetermined fine for those found guilty of paying commissions, 
kickbacks or bribes to win contracts for power supply.
The ordinance, aimed apparently at contracts signed by the 
Independent Power Projects (IPPs) with the Benazir government, 
makes it mandatory for the firm to declare on oath whether or not 
it had bribed the government for getting the contract.
In case the company admitted that it had bribed government 
functionaries in the form of commission or consultation fee, the 
contract would be cancelled. If the company denied giving any 
kickbacks, the Ehtesab Bureau would start an investigation.
Law Minister Khalid Anwer on Saturday told newsmen the government 
was giving a "fair opportunity to all IPPs to come and negotiate 
with us seriously."
The government, he added, did not want to give an impression of 
arbitrariness, and everything would be done under the law.
He said contracts were awarded at rates ranging from 6.5 cents to 
11 cents. In Bangladesh, he pointed out, a similar contract was 
signed at a rate of 2.7 cents.
He said it was right that the Bangladeshi government had offered 
some concessions to power producers. If the concessions offered by 
the Bangladeshi government were taken into account, even then the 
rate amounted to half of what Pakistan had agreed to pay.
Mr Khalid Anwer said when Pakistan signed the contracts with IPPs, 
the rate prevailing in international market was 600,000 to 800,000 
dollars per megawatt, but in Pakistan they were awarded the 
contract at a rate of 1.1 to 1.2 million dollars.
"In many cases," he said, "the government has concrete evidence and 
confessions that bribe was taken." He said under section 23 of the 
Contract Act of 1872, any contract obtained through bribe was void.
Explaining the salient features of the law called "Eradication of 
Corrupt Business Practices Ordinance, the federal law minister said 

the law had two parts. Dealing with a future contingency, he said, 
if a local or foreign company was found guilty of bribing an 
official, its chief executive could be sent to jail for seven 
Govt to contest LHC verdict on ATA 
Bureau Report 
ISLAMABAD, April 20: Attorney General Chaudhry Mohammad Farooq on 
Monday informed the supreme court that the federal government had 
decided to challenge the verdict of the Lahore High Court on the 
Anti-terrorism Act (ATA).
The three-member bench, headed by Acting Chief Justice Saiduzzaman 
Siddiqui, took up a number of appeals and constitutional petitions 
challenging the ATA, but decided to adjourn hearing till May 4.
The bench was informed by the attorney general that a detailed 
judgment of the Lahore High Court on ATA petitions was about to be 
released as it was in circulation.
He said the government would file an appeal against the Lahore High 
Court judgment on ATA.

PPP, ANP stage walkout from NA
Bureau Report
ISLAMABAD, April 21: The Pakistan People's Party and the Awami 
National Party on Tuesday staged a walkout from the National 
Assembly to protest against the manhandling of opposition members 
and the closure of the parliament house gates while the lower house 
was in session on Monday.
The walkout followed heated debate over the privilege motion 
against the closure of the parliament house gates forthe opposition 
members while the house was in session.
The treasury benches members did not oppose the motion and said 
they were willing to refer it to the privilege committee, but the 
opposition asked the speaker, Illahi Bakhsh Soomro, to set up a 
special committee of the house to investigate the matter 
"We went outside to pacify our workers," said deputy opposition 
leader Syed Khurshid Shah. He said the attitude of the government 
was very painful.
He said the gates of the parliament house were closed, and the 
opposition members were not allowed to take Raza Rabbani to a 
dispensary inside the parliament house. Mr Shah expressed disquiet 
over the attitude of the Speaker and urged him to rise above party 
"There is no difference between Nawaz Sharif's democracy and the 
martial law," he asserted.
"It was all preplanned and was part of their plot to perpetuate one 
party fascist rule in the country," the PPP leader said.
Awami National Party leader Asfandyar Wali asked the speaker to 
tell who had ordered the closure of the gates. The Speaker said he 
had not given any such orders and he would hold an enquiry into the 
"It means there is an authority over and above the speaker of the 
National Assembly," Mr Wali asked.

                 B U S I N E S S  &  E C O N O M Y
IPPs agree to cut power tariffs, says Anwar
Ihtashamul Haque
ISLAMABAD, April 24 : The representatives of the Independent Power 
Producers (IPPs) have eventually agreed here on Friday to reduce 
their power tariffs from 6.5 cents to 3.5 cents.
"We have held successful talks with the representatives of IPPs who 
have agreed to reduce electricity tariffs from 6.5 cents to 3.5 
cents or even 3.2 cents per kwh", said the Minister for Law and 
Justice Mr Khalid Anwar.
He told Dawn after a marathon session with the IPPs that by next 
week everything would have been finalized to get the prevailing 
power tariffs substantially reduced. "We want to finish the job as 
quickly as possible so that the immense burden of high electricity 
tariffs on the common man is considerably reduced", he further 
Responding to a question, the Minister for Law and Justice said 
that several of the IPPs have agreed that they were charging 
unrealistic power tariffs and that they were now willing to reduce 
them in the larger interest of the Pakistani people.
"We have told the IPPs that the government of Pakistan would not 
make future payments to them on the basis of previous agreements", 
he said adding that he was happy that the representatives of the 
IPPs had finally realized the gravity of the problem and decided to 
lower their tariffs.
Khalid Anwar denied that the representatives of the IPPs were 
manhandled by the officials of the  Ehtesab (Accountability) 
Bureau. "They have been certainly called for meetings on various 
occasions but there has been no manhandling".
The Minister for Law and Justice did not believe that the issue of 
IPPs would mar the future foreign investment in Pakistan. 
He claimed that a number of US investors have appreciated the 
Pakistan government's move to discourage corruption in clearing 
power projects.
"As a matter of fact we have received a number of new proposals for 
foreign investment including in the power sector where they are 
ready to offer their reduced tariffs", he said.
He said that he knew one case personally in which the PPP rulers 
sought huge bribe from an Australian group for the setting of power 
projects in Pakistan. "The group was being supported by the 
Australian Ambassador in Pakistan but finally it opted not to 
invest due to a big bribe demanded by the PPP rulers", he claimed.
Mr Anwar was sure that the honest investors would welcome the new 
law that prohibited any kind of kickbacks and under hand dealing 
with regard to establishing power plants or any other business in 
99 pending court cases delaying privatization

Ihtashamul Haque
ISLAMABAD, April 23: The Privatization Commission has expressed its 
inability to quicken the pace of privatization due to its 
involvement in the long drawn litigation process, and the absence 
of regulatory framework needed for most of the State Owned 
Enterprises (SOEs).
Informed sources told Dawn here on Thursday that the Privatization 
Commission has also asked for rationalization of tariffs of various 
Corporations to help disinvest them as early as possible.
The officials of the PC have informed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif 
that currently there were 99 cases pending in courts, opposing the 
privatization of various public sector entities. They said that 
quick disposal of the cases by the courts was needed to accelerate 
the process of privatization.
Sources said that the PC was of the view that except for couple of 
organizations, regulatory framework of many SOEs has not been 
provided with the result there was hardly any progress to achieve 
the desired results.
"We have just received a notice about the stay order given by a 
Sindh court to privatize the Karachi Electricity Supply Corporation 
(KESC)", said an official of the Commission. He lamented that the 
PC has been "cornered" by all the concerned quarters to complete 
different privatization deals as were early planned. The date for 
hearing of the KESC case, he said, will be 27th of this month.
However, sources said that under the present unfavourable 
circumstances, Habib Bank Limited (HBL) was expected to be 
privatized by June this year.
Sources said that despite reduction of time period for submitting 
pre-qualification documents and Expression of Interest (EOI), there 
was hardly any progress on disinvestment of couple of Nationalized 
Commercial banks (NCBs) and Development Financial Institutions 
(DFIs) by June this year. This situation has marred the PC plans to 
collect about one billion dollars at the end of the current 
financial year as was desired by the prime minister.
Chairman Privatization Commission Kh Muhammad Asif, sources said, 
has once again told Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that he was 
experiencing difficulties to carry out his assignment and that all 
the economic ministries should be directed to cooperate with him.

Turkmen gas project not to be abandoned
Ihtashamul Haque
ISLAMABAD, April 22: After reconsideration, the sponsors of the 
Central Asia Gas Pipeline (Centgas), led by UNOCAL Corporation of 
the United States have decided not to abandon the project and now 
intend to complete it by the year 2001 despite the on-going war in 
"The group of seven international companies led by UNOCAL is not 
leaving Pakistan as was earlier feared and has told us that it is 
ready to start the construction of gas pipeline at the end of 
1998", said Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Gulfraz 

He told Dawn here on Wednesday that 2 billion dollar gas pipeline 
project was very much intact and would be completed in three years 
period despite continued internal conflict in Afghanistan.
Dr Gulfraz said that the situation in Afghanistan has been a matter 
of concern for everybody, with UNOCAL earlier expressing its 
inability to undertake the project. "But now they are ready to go 
ahead with the project irrespective of what is happening in 
Afghanistan", he further stated.
He said that UNOCAL has achieved three milestones with regard to 
the gas pipeline project and the fourth and the last milestone will 
be achieved by starting the construction of 1271 kilometres 
pipeline at the end of this year. The first milestone, he pointed 
out, was achieved on Sept 15, 1997 when gas price formula was 
successfully negotiated by the government of Pakistan. Then in 
October last year, a consortium was set up and now "its financial 
close is likely to be achieved in October this year".
Responding to a question, he said that the delivery of gas would be 
started from Turkmenistan by the year 2001 without any delay. 
Currently the government is more interested to have the gas 
pipeline constructed within the stipulated period for which it has 
also taken up the issue with the warring groups in Afghanistan who 
all have assured that they would not create any problem for the 

Paktel to invest $60m in 1998-99
Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, April 20: Paktel with over 70,000 subscribers in the 
country will be investing $ 60 million in 1998-99 to bring its 
total investment in Pakistan to $ 134 million, the newly appointed 
chief executive of Paktel Limited, Andy Gent told a press 
conference on Monday.
"Paktel is constantly busy in expanding the network, introducing 
new value-added service and improvement of its customer services. 
This investment is a proof of this commitment", Gent said.
He added that Paktel's network is the fastest growing, covering 
more places and people than any other cellular network. 
Recently Paktel added Bahawalpur, Hyderabad, Jhelum and Sukkur to 
its network as well as greatly extending and improving coverage in 
Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.
Answering a question about the comparison of GSM and AMPS 
technology, Andy added that the company has been awarded the D-AMPS 
Paktel already has the largest fully digital cellular switched 
network in Pakistan, comprising five digital mobile switching 
Many Paktel customers enjoy using digital phones that are fully 
compatible with the network and enable them to benefit from 
features such as CLI. 
The move to D-AMPS or digital AMPS will complete the digitalization 
of Paktel. 
All Paktel offices are being renovated and several are being 
relocated to provide extra convenience to the customer. 

PS suffers Rs916m loss: Senate told
Faraz Hashmi
ISLAMABAD, April 21: Pakistan Steel Mills suffered a loss of Rs 916 
million in the current financial year, Minister of Production 
Khalid Maqbool Siddique stated at the floor of Senate on Tuesday.
In the previous financial year when PPP ruled for first five 
months, caretakers for three months and Muslim League held the 
power in the last four months the losses of steel mills were Rs 2.4 
The minister also gave sales figure for first four months of the 
financial year 1997-98 and the corresponding months of previous 
financial year.
The sales in the first four months of 1997-98 showed a slight 
improvement and it rose to Rs. 4.8 billion from 4.7 billion. 
In July 1997 it earned profits of Rs. 1.057 billion compared to Rs. 
1.063 billion in July 1996. In August 1997 the sales dropped to Rs. 
1.041 billion against Rs. 1.118 billion in August 1996. 
In September 1997 the sales remained at Rs. 1.080 billion compared 
to Rs. 1.082 in the corresponding months of previous year. In 
October the sale increased to Rs. 1.621 from Rs. 1.393 in the 1996.

State Bank mounts watch on forex market
Mohiuddin Aazim
KARACHI, April 18: The State Bank of Pakistan is watching closely 
the behaviour of the market after opening up of the foreign 
exchange market and the banks going erratic may have to pay the 
Senior bankers say the SBP is doing spadework to go for further 
opening up of the market but that may come around only after the 
recent liberalization keeps the market stable.
"If the market players go erratic they may have to wait a little 
longer for further liberalization," said treasury manager of a 
foreign bank. "Those who are out to take undue advantage of 
liberalization would also suffer individually."
Bankers say some banks are quoting off-the-market rates for foreign 
currencies particularly the US dollar to attract more business. 
"What they do not know is that this practice would expose them when 
their balance sheets are out," said treasury manager of another 
foreign bank. "Then they would be in real trouble."
Banks have been quoting their own exchange rates for various 
foreign currencies minus US dollar from February 6 and for the 
dollar from March 22. They are free to quote any rate for the other 
currencies but for the dollar the banks have to follow a pre-fixed 
band. At present banks can quote exchange rates for foreign 
currencies only for the purpose of trade account i.e. imports, 
Senior bankers say the SBP has been in consultation with the banks 
over what areas of foreign exchange regime should be opened up 
further and how. They say a committee headed by chief foreign 

exchange advisor of SBP Mahfooz Alam is studying a set of proposed 
measures for further liberalization of foreign exchange regime. "It 
is premature to say what is on the cards," said a source close to 
the committee. "Let the committee make its recommendations... only 
then one can assume what is coming on and when."
Bankers say whereas major reforms in foreign exchange regime may 
take some time to come about some minor changes may occur before 
June 1998.

Bankers say the manner in which the State Bank has moved towards 
opening up of foreign exchange market indicates that the central 
bank wants the transitory period between regulated and totally free 
market to pass smoothly. That is why banks have not been allowed so 
far to quote preferential exchange rates to selected clientele 
because that would have made the market volatile to the 
disadvantage of smaller bank clients.
Bankers say they have approached the State Bank seeking permission 
to quote preferential rates to their selected clients. "We hope a 
positive response but not before the State Bank makes it sure that 
the facility would not crowd out smaller bank clients," said 
treasury manager of a bank.
How to save the budget from collapsing
M. Ziauddin
IT IS NOW the budget season. The relevant ministries and divisions 
are busy making expenditure projections for the next 12 months 
while the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) is engaged in projecting 
revenue incomes for the year. Hopefully, eight weeks from now 
Pakistan will have a brand new budget.
The current budget was based on the assumption that drastic 
reductions in the cost of production would encourage accelerated 
investment activity which in turn will boost exports and revenues 
and keep the budgetary deficit at 5 per cent of the GDP.
This did not happen. There are many reasons for that, all 
important. And not the least the proposed IMF prescribed schedule 
of tariff reduction to 35 per cent in July 1998. All investment 
related imports were postponed for one year by the investors in 
1997-98 to take advantage of the additional room of 10 per cent 
that would be available to them in 1998-99. Therefore, the drastic 
slump in imports during the current year and almost negligible 
investment activity which in turn caused massive slippages in the 
revenue collection.

Sluggish investment
The failure of the cotton crop was the other very important reason 
for the sluggish investment activity in the country during the 
current year. And those few investors who were, nevertheless, 
prepared to take the risks were put off by the massive devaluation 
of October 1997 which had wiped out most of the tax and tariff 
reduction-related advantages.
The executive-judiciary tussle in the second half of the last 
calender year which had brought the government to a standstill for 
almost three months had also contributed to some extent to the 

slowdown in investment activity.
The banking sector which underwent massive reforms during this 
period also did not help much as the new managers from the private 
sector had focused mostly on retrenching old staff and recruiting 
costly new officers. Advances-wise it was more a period of 
consolidation rather than expansion.
And finally the increase in the power rates by an average of 12 per 
cent in the third quarter of the current financial year further 
slowed down economic activity.
Normally reforms, even if they are undertaken correctly and 
sincerely, do take about 18 to 24 months to start yielding results. 
So, in any case things could not have improved drastically before 
September 1998-March 1999 even if all other factors (mentioned 
above) had been favourable. The unfavourable factors had caused the 
revenue collections to fall short drastically during the year. And 
the situation was saved just about by the windfall gains made from 
the collapse of international oil prices.
Next year this windfall will not be available. And next year the 
burden of WAPDA would increase manifold. The banking sector would 
continue to remain in a state of animated suspension because the 
new managers are likely to spend the next 12 months also in 
learning how to destroy the banks under the cover of making them 
This is the only conclusion one can reach after the grand infusion 
of Rs 21 billion into UBL after one full year of the so- called 
'efficient' and 'honest' management. Very soon Habib Bank and 
National Bank would be asking for similar spoon feeding.
If the only way to make the banks viable for privatisation is 
through retrenchments and massive infusion of government resources, 
then it would be far better to forget about privatisation and close 
them down, because this way they would never become profitable.
The case of WAPDA is very interesting. When the IPPs were not 
around, the excuse for the authority's financial crisis used to be 
passed on to the profit transfers to NWFP under the constitution. 
Before that it were the low tariffs which WAPDA authorities never 
tired of comparing with the high cost of production, transmission 
and distribution.
Lifting of ban on exports urged
KARACHI, April 22: There should be no restriction on export of any 
category of goods and commodities, particularly agricultural 
produce and customs duty on import of industrial raw materials 
should not be more than 2.5% across the board.
These and other suggestions have been made by the Federation of 
Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) in its seven 
page 'FPCCI Proposals for Trade Policy 1998-99' submitted to the 
Ministry of Commerce on April 6.
The apex body of trade and industry believes that for facing the 
challenges thrown open by the theory of 'globalization of economy' 
it would be in the best national interest to liberalise the foreign 

trade by removing export restrictions on all categories of 
'What ever is produced in the country, specially the agricultural 
commodities should be allowed to be exported and imported,' FPCCI 
FPCCI feels by adopting liberal import and export policy for farm 
products, on the one hand it will induce local producers to produce 
more and become competitive in world market and on the other it 
will help to protect the interest of local consumer of these 
As for industrial raw materials, the FPCCI has suggested that the 
import policy should be made as such to ensure easy availability of 
raw materials for all industries. The rate of Customs duty on 
industrial raw materials should not be more than 2.5% in any case, 
FPCCI maintained.
FPCCI also demanded of the government to allow exporters to retain 
a portion of export proceeds, at least 30% for import of banned or 
restricted goods. 
It strongly feels that all duty draw-back rates should be revised 
in consultation with the concerned associations as the drastic 
reduction in these rates during last two to three years has 
seriously affected exports.
It says that this has become imperative in view of the fact that 
the cost of industrial production has increased by more than 10 to 
15% due to inflation, depreciation of the rupee against foreign 
currencies and increase in utility charges during the period.
The Export Trade Control Order, 1997 has allowed export through 
land route to Afghanistan and Central Asian states without the 
facility of duty drawback, which in fact is a ban on exports via 
land routes, FPCCI believes.
This virtual ban, FPCCI feels, has created crisis for industrial 
units in NWFP who due to geographical proximity with Afghanistan 
and Central Asian states have slight advantage in transportation 
costs. It has listed a large number of consumers' goods which could 
be easily exported via land route if given duty drawback facility.
'Bara Markets' have moved from border areas to major cities and 
towns of the country and this has happened due to the failure of 
the government to make smuggling unattractive through adequate 
fiscal and preventive measures. 
As a result, not only the government's revenue is dwindling, the 
concerned local industries are also going suffering' FPCCI said in 
the document.

Overhauling of CBR hits snags
Ihtashamul Haque
ISLAMABAD, April 18: The new Chairman of the CBR Moeenuddin Khan, 
who initially wanted to appoint four new Members, has been informed 
by the officials of the Establishment Division that rules did not 
permit them to oblige him over the issue.
Sources told Dawn on Saturday that the restructuring plan of the 
Central Board of Revenue (CBR) cannot proceed without induction of 
the people from the private sector. The process of reforms is being 
put in jeopardy, they added.

Khan, sources said, then asked for the appointment of one new 
Member Planning and Evaluation which too, was refused by the 
Establishment Division.
Sources said that the Restructuring Committee headed by the Deputy 
Chairman Planning Commission, Dr Hafeez Pasha had supported the 
appointment of experts from the private sector at market rates, now 
being opposed by the Establishment Division.
"The new chairman who has been allowed by no less a person than 
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself to have 40 to 50 people from 
the private sector, has not so far been able to induct a single 
expert on any senior position", said a source.
Interestingly, the whole restructuring plan, which was approved by 
the Cabinet and the prime minister, was now reportedly being 
opposed by some influential members of the bureaucracy.
He also wanted to have a Member Budget from the private sector, 
specially in view of the forthcoming budget but here again he has 
not succeeded.
Sources said he planned to give bonuses to the employees of the CBR 
before Eid and the Ministry of Finance had formally approved the 
idea. However, funds were disbursed after Eid when frustration was 
high in the organization.
SBP relaxes rules to raise export charges
KARACHI, April 20: One of the recent amendments in prudential 
regulations requires all banks to get clearance from the State Bank 
before raising their service charges related to exports.
Banks are, however free to determine their charges in respect to 
various other services that they offer to their clients.
Previously banks were not allowed at all to increase their service 
charges related to exports. Bankers say the relaxation in the 
rules, allowing them to enhance these charges with the permission 
of the State Bank, would help them make their export business more 
Lately banks have adopted an easy recourse of enhancing their 
service charges to make up for the losses they incur on other areas 
of operation. 
But in doing so, majority of them especially the state-run and 
private local banks have spared the export-related business.
Businessmen say a couple of foreign banks, however, continue to 
overcharge the exporters on one pretext or the other. An Executive 
Committee member of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry told 
Dawn that in many cases foreign banks were not following the 
minimum flat rates that are applicable in place of the rates 
mentioned in percentage. 
He said one particular foreign bank was charging Rs1000 as a 
minimum fee for confirmation of export LC. The rate fixed by the 
State Bank for this service is 0.25 per cent per quarter with a 
minimum of Rs 250.
The minimum and maximum charges fixed by the State Bank for export 
related services are reproduced:

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

Chief secretaries                                   
Ardeshir Cowasjee
MOST senior bureaucrats with ambition wish to be given, at least 
once in their careers, the coveted post of chief secretary of a 
province. Only a select few (for whatever be the reasons) achieve 
this height more than once.
The job carries with it, theoretically at least, far more power 
than the secretary of a federal ministry can ever wield. Sadly, now 
that our bureaucrats by and large have allowed themselves to cast 
aside their honour and politicise themselves, the job of chief 
secretary is too often that of a chief minister's personal hatchet-
man. During the last decade the province of Sindh has had its share 
of wimpish chief secretaries, intermingled with three good men.
Kunwar Idris: The people of Karachi have known him since he was 
district magistrate and collector in the late 1960s to early 
1970s.A low-profile man, he was fair and just. he left his mark on 
the administration, and holding his own rose up in the hierarchy. 
When Benazir Bhutto triumphantly 'democratized' the country at the 
end of 1988, she appointed him Chief Secretary of Sindh. He 
survived with the PPP government until the end of 1989, when he had 
to decide between either action according to the dictates of his 
conscience or to 'respond positively, without question, to the 
party programme and its democratic principles', the party and its 
leader having swum through 'rivers of blood' to get where they 
were. His choice displeased Benazir Bhutto who shunted him into a 
siding to head the DFI, Bankers Equity.
When Benazir Bhutto was dismissed, Mustafa Jatoi's caretaker 
government posted him as Federal Secretary of Production, which 
post he held for the first few months of Nawaz Sharif's first 
government. He was soon OSDeed because he had justifiably approved 
a price rise of Rs. 5 per bag of cement, angering Nawaz Sharif's 
constituents, and in turn Nawaz Sharif.
After four months he was brought back as Secretary of the Petroleum 
Ministry, surviving the ministership of Chaudhri Nisar Ali until he 
was again OSDeed immediately after Nawaz Sharif dismissed assembly 
was restored by the Supreme Court in May 1993. But, before Nawaz 
Sharif was forced to resign in July, he sent Kunwar Idris back to 
Bankers Equity from where he honourably retired at the end of 1993.
Thereafter, he was recalled at the end of 1996 for a short period 
to serve as Senior Minister with Chief Minister of Sindh, Mumtaz 
Bhutto, during the caretaker premiership of Meraj Khalid.
Now, he is Chairman of the prestigious Orix Investment Bank, Al 
Ghazi Tractor Corporation, the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers' 
Association, and a director of the board of management of various 
other concerns.
Kunwar Idris suffers from two handicaps. One is historical. He 
cannot pick up his telephone to answer a call. His physician wife, 

Khalida, has to be on call, wherever she may be in the house, to 
answer the telephone and pass it on to her lord and master. When 
she is away, and Kunwar Idris is alone in the house, one can ring 
and ring and never get a response. The other handicap is legal. He 
is a member of the minority community whose members have the unique 
distinction, under the law, of attracting a jail sentence if they 
utter the time-honoured words 'Bismillah- hir-Rahman-ur-Rahim' in 
praise of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. He rests content.
Abdul Karim Lodhi: Another no-nonsense man who held his own. The 
first half of the 1970s and ZAB's government found him in London, 
happily posted in our High Commission as Economic Counsellor. He 
did not sufficiently bend, he did not do unseemly things he should 
not have done to instigate Benazir Bhutto's election as president 
of the Oxford Union, as so ordered by her father. So, in true ZAB 
style, he was summarily discharged from service.
Come Zia-ul-Haq and he was reinstated. In 1987, he headed Bankers 
Equity from where in 1989, ridding herself of Idris, Benazir Bhutto 
chose him as Chief Secretary of Sindh. He survived her government. 
Then came Chief Minister Jam Sadiq Ali with his own set of homemade 
rules and procedures which he was not permitted to enforce by the 
Chief Secretary. Jam Sadiq way of getting rid of him was to make a 
pretence of liking him, and at the same time to propagate rumours 
that he was soon to be removed. Lodhi, feeling uneasy, confronted 
him. Jam Sadiq having reassured his 'younger brother', drove 
straight to the latter's home and feigning injured innocence asked 
his wife Feroza to produce her Holy Quran on which he would swear 
that Abdul Karim Lodhi would be the chief secretary as long as he 
remained the chief minister. Fiery Feroza would not permit him to 
desecrate her holy book, and stoically heard him out. Two days 
later the wily Jam Sadiq Ali removed Karim Lodhi, transferring him 
to head State Life.
There, Karim Lodhi had difficulties with Nawaz's minister, Malik 
Naeem, and he was moved up to Islamabad to the Statistics Division. 
After Nawaz's forced resignation and the advent of Moin Qureshi's 
caretaker government, Lodhi was sent to Punjab as Chief Secretary 
to oversee the 1993 elections. Benazir Bhutto was brought back for 
her second term and she made him her Establishment Secretary, and 
then moved him away to Washington, to the World Bank as the 
region's nominee director on the Board.... He has just finished his 
four-year term and as this goes to press is sailing across the 
Atlantic, on his way home.
Saeed Mehdi: Having never been posted in Sindh, he came here as 
Chief Secretary at the start of Nawaz Sharif's second round. The 
people found him to be humane and helpful, they could rely on him 
to deliver on his promise. Firm, incorruptible, he stood up well to 
the rival 'bullying' of the PML Chief Minister and the MQM 
ministers. They did not like him, yet they could not complain 
loudly against him. Trusted by Nawaz Sharif and for his sins, he 
has just been taken back into the fold and made the Prime 

Minister's Principal Secretary, and installed in the horrific 
multi-domed and many turreted secretariat. An effective man has 
been rendered ineffective. The loss of a good officer.
Zubair Kidwai: He first came to the fore in 1990 when as Secretary 
of the Ministry of Transport and youth Affairs of the Government of 
Sindh he disagreed with Benazir Bhutto's minister, Manzoor Hussain 
Wassan. Kidwai conceded that the minister had the right to overrule 
him, but this had no effect on the angry Manzoor Wassan. He 
attempted to gain his Secretary's acquiescence at gunpoint, using 
his personal armed guards, in the Secretariat, to threaten Kidwai. 
(The Managing Director of the Karachi Transport Corporation who was 
present was similarly threatened). Secretary Kidwai refused to 
This incident was reported to Chief Secretary Abdul Karim Lodhi, 
who wrote a firm note to his Chief Minister, Aftab Shahban Mirani, 
requesting him to immediately issue orders to his ministers and 
other party members that "...... no one shall cause fire arms or 
any other weapons to be carried into the office rooms. If anybody 
does so, from now onwards, Sir, with due respect, one will have to 
order the physical removal from the Secretariat of both the 
Minister and his companions bearing arms. The Government has 
provided adequate police security in the Secretariat. If that is 
not considered enough by anybody, it cannot be supplemented by 
ruffians. ...... Now, reverting to the ugly incident, Sir, it so 
happens that both the affected officers have a known reputation for 
uprightness, competence and integrity. One wonders if anything 
similar can be used to describe the errant Minister. ..... Mr 
Manzoor Wassan should personally apologize to both the officers, 
preferably in the presence of his private secretary and the two 
guards (of course, minus their weapons)".
The assistance of the constitutional head of the province, 
appointed by the Federal Government, Governor Fakhruddin Ebrahim, 
was also solicited. As was expected, they took no action.
Soon thereafter the PPP government was dismissed. Then came the 
government of Jam Sadiq Ali. Partners, the MQM, were not happy with 
Zubair Kidwai and he was sent into the wilderness, to the Export 
Processing Zone. (The fact that he was popular with no political 
party must go to his credit). From there he went to Islamabad where 
he has survived, making no waves, steadily working his way upwards 
to Secretary, Ministry of Industries and Production, from which 
post he has just arrived in Sindh as Chief Secretary.
As long as the majority of our population are forcibly kept 
illiterate this country will be burdened with dishonest, 
irresponsible and uneducated elected representatives. However, 
clean and straightforward civil servants, who adhere firmly to 
their convictions, can help the people survive their ignorance.
Power and paranoia  		                         

Irfan Husain
THE saying "uneasy lies the head that wears a crown" is truer for 
past and present occupants of Islamabad's Prime Minister's House 
than for any contemporary monarch.
This week's vicious and unprovoked police attack on a peaceful 
crowd of PPP demonstrators outside Parliament House demonstrates 
yet again how insecure our leaders are. Here is a government that 
has tamed the judiciary, appointed its own man in the Presidency, 
and enjoys an unprecedented majority in the Assembly, and yet feels 
so threatened that it can't permit a small opposition rally.
Not only did the cops beat up and teargas the demonstrators, they 
also saw fit to brutalize two eminent PPP senators, Raza Rabbani 
and Aitzaz Ahsan. Now I can't say I support the cause these 
worthies were demonstrating for, namely the release of Asif Zardari 
from jail so that he can attend the Senate session and an end to 
the "media trial" of Benazir Bhutto and her family. However, I will 
certainly defend their democratic right to carry out a peaceful 
As expected, senior government spokesmen are speculating that a 
"hidden hand" is trying to discredit Nawaz Sharif and his merry 
men. Frankly, they are doing such a good job of shooting themselves 
in their collective foot that I don't see why the mysterious 
"hidden hand" would bother. Seriously, the Muslim League has 
created a charged "them-versus-us" atmosphere where the lowliest 
cop can open a senator's skull with his baton and reasonably expect 
to get away with it. This same spirit moved the mob of Muslim 
League thugs to storm the precincts of the Supreme Court a few 
months ago. They were all secure in the knowledge that they 
wouldn't be touched, and their confidence does not seem to be 
While condemning this mindless police action, one can sympathize 
with the senior representative of the administration present on the 
occasion: if he had allowed the demo to proceed without 
intervention, he would have been put on the mat by his superiors 
for not dealing effectively with the protesters. As it is, there 
will be a whitewash of an enquiry, perhaps an overzealous cop will 
be suspended for a few days, or, at worst, transferred. Then the 
whole thing will blow over, and the senior officer will be secretly 
praised for being a tough, no-nonsense cop. "Sher da puttar" (son 
of a lion) is the sobriquet he will have earned by his swift savage 
attack on unarmed men and women. Basically, our police force 
behaves the way it does because it is not only allowed to do so, 
but is actively encouraged by those in authority to crush any and 
all opposition. The ruling party's insecurity cannot stem from any 
short-term threat because it faces none. The opposition is in 
disarray, with Benazir Bhutto's reputation in tatters; there is no 
danger from the judiciary, and none whatsoever from the presidency.
The answer, I suspect, lies deep in the psyche of our elected 
civilian leadership, placed there by our frequent experience with 
overt and covert military intervention. Almost from day one of 
their respective tenures, both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif have 

nervously glanced towards GHQ, speculating feverishly about 
perceptions and reactions there. This is one power centre they have 
been unable to capture, and they both know that when push comes to 
shove, it is the military that ultimately calls the shots.
Therefore, in order to pre-empt any moves from that quarter, our 
leaders feel they must not give the armed forces any excuse for 
intervening. Such a pretext can only come through a street movement 
at a time when, for a change, there is no constitutional crisis. So 
it becomes important to crack down on any sign of political 
Unfortunately, our immature leaders do not seem to grasp that there 
is another way to reduce the role of the military, and that is to 
improve their own performance. If governance improves, civil 
society will be strengthened, and people will stop looking to the 
army as the final arbiters. But this route means hard work, honest 
government and a real commitment to change. So far, there is no 
sign that either of the two mainstream parties is able or willing 
to provide this kind of leadership. Unless this transformation 
occurs, we are likely to see more heads broken and more blood 
Against this backdrop of paranoia and suspicion directed against 
all those who refuse to fall into line, the recent incidents 
involving columnists Ardeshir Cowasjee and Amina Jilani seem to 
make sense. As described by the former in a recent column, his 
house was broken into late at night by an armed prowler who did not 
seem very interested in taking anything. The latter went through 
the bizarre experience of having a motor cycle ram into her car, 
and being briefly detained by an armed man who seemed to be from an 
intelligence agency. The fact that both columnists are actively 
pursuing the contempt proceedings against senior members of the 
ruling party in the Supreme Court cannot be without significance.
Of course, a simpler explanation for all this unnecessary bloody-
mindedness is the intolerance that lies at the heart of our society 
and our collective psyche. There is no such thing as a "loyal 
opposition" in Pakistan's political lexicon. Almost by definition, 
the opposition is the enemy, and the enemy has to be crushed. No 
half-measure will do. This ruthless, adversarial approach towards 
politics works fine as long as you are in power, but you end up 
paying the price when you get turfed out, Nawaz Sharif found that 
out when banks stopped extending (further) credit to his industrial 
empire, and his father was locked up. Benazir Bhutto is discovering 
the realities of politics now that her bank accounts in Switzerland 
have been sealed, and her husband has been jailed.
This cycle of tit-for-tat will continue as long as our leaders 
don't grow up and understand that the dictates of civility and 
decency can co-exist with the hard demands of politics. In other 
words, you can attack each other inside Parliament without 
necessarily cracking opponents' skulls outside.


A Muslim imperialist 
Hafizur Rahman
LONG ago, when I was a junior officer in the Punjab Government, I 
asked the Central (federal) Interior Secretary whom I knew, what 
was being done about bringing home the remains of Chaudhry Rahmat 
Ali, the man who coined the name "Pakistan," as was being 
vociferously demanded by some people in this country.
"Nothing," he said, and added, "By the way, are you sure he would 
have approved? You see, he never came to live in Pakistan because 
he heartily disliked it for being contrary to his concept of a 
Muslim homeland in India, and preferred to pass his days in 
England. I wonder what he did for a living there."
This last, more a thought than a question, remained unanswered, for 
some of us too used to make conjectures in the days when Pakistan 
was still an idea, as to what Rahmat Ali did in Cambridge.
But since it was Cambridge, we all thought he was studying for some 
kind of degree or even a doctorate. It is strange that all those 
who count him among the founders of Pakistan still can't throw 
light on what he did there.
I owe it to columnist Khalid Hasan for reminding me of those days 
through a newspaper article that he has called, "The Quaid's 
Detractor." Actually detractor is a small word, for Rahmat Ali had 
nothing but contempt for Mr Jinnah, whom he took as an agent of the 
devil himself for not conforming to his (Rahmat Ali's) idea of 
The difference between the two was that while one was a practical, 
down-to-earth politician, sworn to truth and exactitude, the other, 
sitting in Cambridge, was a visionary without any sense of reality 
or sense of history, and, if I may say so, without any common 
Chaudhry Rahmat Ali has been discussed threadbare by votaries of 
Pakistan and those who determine its heroes, but an aura of 
heroship has been built up around him as if he had all but snatched 
Pakistan from the British and the Hindus.
Whereas all that he did was to coin a word which was soon picked 
up, even by Mr Jinnah himself, and nothing more. Repeat, nothing 
more. As for his concept of a homeland for Indian Muslims in South 
Asia, it was the most hare-brained scheme one could ever come 
I have called him a Muslim imperialist. If he were alive in 1965 
during the September war with India, he would have been one of 
those who wanted to fly the star and crescent on the Red Fort in 
Delhi, probably by landing on it by helicopter, for otherwise it 
was hardly possible.
He was a firm believer in the slogan "Crush India," and if he could 
crush Hindu India from Cambridge, he would have readily done so.
The dictionary defines imperialism as "Principle or spirit of 
empire, advocacy of what are held to be imperial interests." When, 
in his mind, Rahmat Ali appropriated for the Muslims nearly two-
thirds of the Indian subcontinent, he forgot one important detail: 
how the Muslim empire in India was to be brought about - by force 

of (non-existent) arms or by persuading the non-Muslims to make do 
with a small part of India to be called Hanoodia. Apparently, even 
this was done in a spirit of generosity, for the Hindus, in his 
opinion, didn't deserve anything better than a ghetto, as Khalid 
Hasan calls it.
Apart from what is today Pakistan (with of course Kashmir and much 
more added to it) in the west, and Bang-i-Islam, comprising Bengal 
and Assam in the east, the Muslim Indian empire was also to have 
Osmanistan (Hyderabad Deccan), and Moplahistan on the western coast 
of South India, and numerous other bits and pieces. Apparently, any 
area, big or small, that had any connection with Muslim history and 
culture, had been arbitrarily included, with Mr Rahmat Ali secure 
in the supreme self-confidence that the Hindus wouldn't mind giving 
up whole regions, some of them as vast as countries, in which they 
were in an overwhelming majority.
This was the "great visionary," who, in school textbooks and the 
country's postage stamps, is counted among the heroes whose 
tireless efforts before 1947 led to the establishment of Pakistan.
As votaries of the Rahmat Ali cult would have us believe, a crazy 
idea, howsoever nebulous and impracticable it may have been, is 
preferable as an ideal to the real Pakistan which is too small and 
too pragmatic to evoke the Muslim spirit of imperialism.
What we want is empire-builders like Muhammad bin Qasim and 
Salahuddin Ayubi and not the prosaic Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the 
constitutionalist. The Rahmat Ali Society is very much active in 
Gujrat, his home town. Left to it, the Quaid's bones would probably 
be disinterred from his mausoleum and the remains of Ch. Rahmat Ali 
put in their place.
As Khalid Hasan mourns, most of us are not particularly interested 
in facts and history, preferring to live with myths of our own 
making, or half-truths or even pure fantasy.
While Mr Jinnah, with his bad health but millions of Muslims at his 
beck and call, was labouring day and night to create a separate 
homeland for them in India, Rahmat Ali, safe in Cambridge, was 
spinning grandiose dreams of conquering Hindustan without a single 
follower to his name. And when the former had achieved his 
objective, look what the Chaudhry had to say about it. 
He said the Quaid had dealt six deadly blows to the Millat. I need 
not recount the six blows; they are too deadly for this column to 
take. If you are interested you can read the book "Pakistan, the 
fatherland of the Pak nation," published by Book Traders of Lahore, 
which also contains Rahmat Ali's original pamphlet "Now or Never" 
on what Pakistan, the name coined by him, was supposed to consist 
of as a resuscitated Muslim empire.
Before I close, let me tell you what the Interior Secretary of old 
said in conclusion: "If it were generally known what Rahmat Ali 
thought of the Quaid-i-Azam and what he wrote about him, the box 
bringing his remains from England might not get an exactly red 
carpet welcome.
So, as we bureaucrats say about matters that don't need further 
attention: Please file."

The global march: Karachi diary
Rifaat Hamid Ghani
THE participants of the Global March against child labour passed 
through Karachi on the twentieth. Child labour is an issue in 
Pakistan. But even those with well-developed social conscience do 
not perceive it within the confines of the same perspective as the 
developed Western world does.
According to a report there are around forty million 'working 
children' in the world. Two-thirds live in South Asia and Pakistan 
has approximately 3.3 million. Because this is where the evil is, 
the point of view from here needs hearing when it comes to tackling 
it. If in the context of universal human values the approach 
appears askew, correcting it will become easier. For after all, 
that should be the outcome of the enhanced public awareness induced 
by the march, not just pointing fingers but addressing the problem 
itself as it exists.
The moment a social outrage or crime touches a child it becomes 
doubly abhorrent. A child is innocence and potential. The human 
instinct, not just the humane value, is to protect and nurture the 
child. A child who is working at something other than school is 
being robbed of his childhood as well as his chance to pass through 
the doors open to an educated adult. He is being denied both the 
present and the future even if he is not undergoing downright 
physical maltreatment or living in terrible fear of punishment 
should he fail to please his taskmasters.
The image of the child knotting carpets, making footballs for 
others to play with, breaking his back in labour at kilns, or 
enduring the humiliations and drudgery of domestic servitude is not 
something Pakistanis who plead against trade boycotts and other 
penalties regard with equanimity. But they regard it in a context 
where the outline of that image is not the only parameter of pain, 
exploitation, perversion, denial...
This is a society where sending your children to school can mean 
the child is manacled at the madressa. This is a society where 
poverty reduces parents to selling their children as camel kids; 
relinquishing one child to save the others  a constant Sophie's 
Choice. It is a society where children  like adults  can be 
robbed of organs without being paid for the transaction by 
racketeers. Such are the depths of poverty and degrees of 
callousness. And that is the heart of the problem; We cannot 
effectively correct or improve the lot of the child without also 
improving the lot of the adult who comprises his world and 
determines it.
People here are not apologists for child labour or out to protect 
the interests of trade and industry if they argue that the prospect 
of well-regulated remunerative employment can actually help 
children. Provided the nature of the labour that can be demanded, 
its hours and conditions in the workplace are strictly spelled out 
and monitored.

Did the participants of the march have the time to notice the 
children at the traffic-signals hawking newspapers or selling hand-
towels? They look happier than the children just standing there 
begging. Is begging child labour? Is starving a more valid 
There are no easy answers in the Third World. Nor perhaps any 
consistently applicable general codes for conditions vary too much 
and too densely. What do sanctions against buying carpets and 
footballs achieve for children held in bondage in the impenetrable 
fastness of feudal estates? The lords of some of those domains have 
graced our parliaments and made fine speeches. They have an urban 
face and a rural one.
The Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (POLER) 
held a seminar on the theme of child labour which coincided with 
the day the global march came to Karachi. Perhaps because of that, 
more people read the news report about the proceedings. They hit 
the nail on the head when speakers stressed that poor socio-
economic conditions were behind child labour and unless those 
conditions were changed the phenomenon of child labour could not be 
effectively controlled.
                            S P O R T S 
National Games open amidst colour and pageantry
Walter Fernandez

PESHAWAR, April 22: The XXVII National Games were declared open by 
President Mohammad Rafiq Tarar at a colourful  ceremony at the 
Qayyum Stadium here on Wednesday morning.
The  three-hour long event was staged with  clock-like precision 
and was witnessed by a packed-to-capacity terraces.
Among others were Sardar Mehtab Khan, Chairman of the organising 
committee, Senator Aqil Shah, organising secretary and President of 
the NWFP Olympic Association, Syed Wajid Ali Shah, President of the 
Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), Mr. Latif Butt,  POA 
 Secretary. Brig. Abid,  Chairman  Army  Sports Directorate.
This is the fourth time Peshawar is hosting the National Games.
Former squash great Qamar Zaman was granted the honour of carrying 
the national flag.
Former International athlete Iqbal Shinwari was handed the torch 
for the final lap of the relay to set the flame alight.
The march past was led by Pakistan Army's Col. Mohammad Yahya and 
concluded with the host NWFP squad entering the arena.
A clutch of eleven contingents comprising 2,339 male and female 
athletes are taking part in this six-day sporting gala.
Balochistan, NWFP, Punjab, Sindh, Pakistan Army,Pakistan Air Force, 
Pakistan Navy,Pakistan Police, Pakistan Police, University Grants 
Commission (UGC) and Pakistan WAPDA are the participating squads.
In all, 352 medals will be at stake in 24 disciplines to be 
contested at Peshawar while two others namely swimming will be held 
in Islamabad and yachting at Karachi.

South Africa thrash hapless Pakistan in tri-nation final
CAPE TOWN, April 23: Pakistan's tour of southern Africa ended in 
ignominy on Thursday when South Africa thrashed them by nine 
wickets with 22.2 overs to spare in the final of the tri-nation 
Standard Bank limited overs series at Newlands.
With Lance Klusener taking five for 25, Pakistan were shot out for 
114 after being sent in to bat on a lively pitch.
The match had been postponed for 24 hours because of rain 
Wednesday. Klusener had three spells, taking a wicket with the 
first ball on each occasion.
South African opening batsmen Gary Kirsten and Mike Rindel put on 
54 in quick time as the home side cruised to victory. Kirsten went 
on to make an unbeaten 52 as he and Jacques Kallis added 61 to 
complete the win.
On the ground where five years ago they were bowled out for a world 
record low 43 by West Indies, Pakistan looked like a team eager 
only to catch the first available flight home.
Pakistan enjoyed reasonable success on their three-month tour of 
South Africa and Zimbabwe, sharing a Test series against South 
Africa and beating Zimbabwe in Tests and one-day games. They 
qualified for Thursday's triangular final ahead of world champions 
Sri Lanka.
When Pakistan were bad, however, they were often terrible. They 
were bowled out for 145 and 114 in their last two matches against 
South Africa, with neither match lasting beyond mid-afternoon.
Pakistan's collapse on Thursday was sparked by South Africa's ace 
fielder Jonty Rhodes, who ran out Mohammad Wasim with a direct hit 
from backward point in the ninth over. Four balls later Ijaz Ahmed 
was caught at second slip off Roger Telemachus for nought.
Opener Saeed Anwar made top score of 30. His innings included three 
sixes. Anwar hit two sixes in one over from Allan Donald, including 
one which was caught by Klusener at fine leg, although the fielder 
stepped over the boundary in taking the catch.
Inzamamul Haq made 21 and was looking in good form before he was 
given out caught behind off South African captain Hansie Cronje. He 
stood in disbelief after the decision by umpire Cyril Mitchley.
Inzamam's show of dissent led him to be called to appear before 
match referee John Reid after the match.
Inzamam's dismissal started a flurry of five wickets which fell for 
nine runs in 5.1 overs before Waqar Younis and Abdul Razzak staged 
a minor recovery with a ninth wicket stand of 20.
It was the third successive match in which South Africa's opponents 
had been dismissed inside the scheduled 50 overs. Pakistan were 
bowled out for 145 at Centurion Friday and Sri Lanka tumbled to 105 
all out in Bloemfontein Sunday.
Wasim Akram, the most successful bowler in the series, bowled his 
allocation of ten overs unchanged in South Africa's innings. He had 
Rindel caught behind for 20 to finish the series with 15 wickets in 

seven matches.
The win was South Africa's 12th in succession against Pakistan. It 
completed a season in which they won 18 out of 22 limited overs 
matches to retain their ranking as the most successful one-day team 
in the world.
Pakistan skipper Rashid Latif made South Africa favourites for next 
year's World Cup in England.

RESULT: South Africa won by nine wicketsAFP/Reuters

Yousuf, Saleh, Farhan and Shameel reach semi-finals
Ian Fyfe
KARACHI, April 24: Pakistan's No. 1 Mohammad Yousuf trailing 0-3, 
fought his way into the semi-final of the Second Snooker Classic, 
after beating Naveen Perwani 5-4 in an absolute scorcher, in the 
Siddiq Bilwani Hall at the Haji Sir Abdullah Haroon Muslim Gymkhana 
on Friday evening.
Seeded No.4, Naveen after snatching the first frame 59/57 with a 32 
clearance, was in a commanding 3-0 lead, pinching the next two 
frames with breaks of 31 and 32 in the second and 46 in the next, 
although Yousuf notched up a splendid break of 61 in the third.
Earlier, the defending champion Saleh Mohammad, losing a very close 
first frame with the black ball deciding the issue, breezed past 
Aneel Bherwani, a second year student of Dentistry at the Baqai 
Medical University 5-2, although the latter did put up quite a 
fight with breaks of 46, 51, 44. But Saleh notching up 39, 41, 32, 
48 and 35 had the last say.
Third seed Farhan Mirza tied 2-2, at one stage of the game with 
promising left-hander Vishan Gir, moved into top gear to emerge a 
5-2 winner. Farhan had sound breaks of 48, 35, 45, 49, 36, 34, 47 
and 44 to Vishan's 34, 64, 32, 46 and 39.
Last year's runner-up Shameel Shah also made it through to the 
semi-finals, demolishing Khurram Hussain Agha 5-1. Much was 
expected from Khurram, making his first appearance in a quarter-
final round in a ranking tournament, especially after the Karachi 
youngster beat Saleh Mohammad in the last Pool A match the previous 

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