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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS Govt sets up five firms to support PR privatization Pakistan should apologize to BD for '71 tragedy: Asghar Sindh not to pay up Rs 4.4bn to WAPDA MQM gives Eid gifts worth Rs10m to the poor Accord for $10bn SAP signed with WB, donors Islamabad receives Delhi plans for talks PTCL shows interest to buy Paktel Bomb blasts rock three Punjab towns Shifa plans to set up medical college in Islamabad --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY Stocks performance improves despite weekend selling Banks allowed to fix export bill rates World Bank okays $2bn soft loan Big power consumers get special concessions Move to raise revenue by Rs60bn annually Budget-GDP gap crosses IMF limit --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES Contempt of the people Ardeshir Cowasjee Eid then and now Rifaat Hamid Ghani Things to learn from China M.B. Naqvi Are we sliding into fascism? Shameem Akhtar ----------- SPORTS Duel in the dark that lighted cricket scene Wasim is axed

Govt sets up five firms to support PR privatization 
Mahmood Zaman

LAHORE, Jan 28: As part of its plan to privatize the Pakistan 
Railways (PR) the government is setting up three companies in 
private sector and two in public sector by March 31.
The government has decided to sell almost all the railways assets 
and hand over the PR's operational functions to the private sector, 
more likely to some international consortium, by June 30 this year.
Pakistan Railways general manager Mohammad Afzal Khan told Dawn 
that the three private companies would manage PR's infrastructure, 
passenger traffic and freight business. International bidding have 
been invited from April 1 by the Privatization Commission. At 
present three foreign consultants firms, including the two hired by 
the commission, are preparing separate inventories for each of the 
prospective private companies.
Simultaneously, two public sector authorities, one functioning to 
carry out heavy repairs and the other to dispose of surplus PR 
land, make a permanent alternative disbursement arrangement for 
about 120,000 pensioners, take decision about the future of about 
100,000 employees and settle all other residual issues which may 
not be falling within the privatization ambit, would be 
established, according to the PR general manager. These bodies 
would be temporary in character and would be dispensed with as and 
when their job is completed, understood to be within a period of 
four to five years.
The Privatization Commission, Mr Khan said, had hired the Hickling 
Transom from Canada and the Link Laters and Paines from the UK, and 
the Pakistan Railways has acquired the services of Irish CI 
Consults to prepare inventories for private and public sector 
companies and help the government in unbundling, restructuring and 
corporatizing of the railways.
The steps for privatization are being taken in the light of the 
Burki Report, presented to the federal government on March 20 and 
approved in April, 1997. The report seeks merger of the ministries 
for railways and communication to create a ministry for transport. 
The government has taken certain administrative steps to the 
direction and legislative measures are said to be in the offing.
RAILWAY BOARD: The PR general manager said the restructuring of the 
Railway Board had been done and orders issued for its transfer from 

Islamabad to Lahore. The board was likely to be house at the PR 
headquarters and start functioning by the next week. It would be 
assigned with the duty of organizing and facilitating the 
privatization process.

Asked for his comments on the Dhaka demand, Mr Khan said he 
sincerely believed that it would be a decent and proper course for 
Pakistan to adopt, pointing out that he had all along condemned the 
military action in former East Pakistan.
Mr Khan, who now heads an alliance of several parties,called the 
Pakistan National Conference, said Japan and the US had also 
publicly apologised for committing atrocities during the last world 
"It is apparent that even after 27 years, it will be a national 
mistake to gloss over the events of 1971 tragedy,as has been done 
by General 'Tiger' Niazi in his recent book and the reaction it 
aroused, particularly from an important bureaucratic actor of that 
period in his scathing criticism of Niazi's version of the 1971 
story", he added.
The Foreign Office here declined to be drawn into any "on record" 
comment on the Dhaka news report. It is, however, apparent that the 
report has touched its raw nerves, particularly at a time when it 
is making allout effort to bring to world attention the Indian 
forces' oppression in held Kashmir.
Observers said the Foreign Office could still make amends for the 
past lapse by accepting Islamabad's responsibility for the East 
Pakistan tragedy.This would greatly strengthen its argument against 
the Indian atrocities in Kashmir,they added.

Sindh not to pay up Rs 4.4bn to WAPDA
Sabihuddin Ghausi

KARACHI, Jan 24: The Sindh government has refused to pay WAPDA's 
fresh electricity bill of Rs 4.40 billion for the period of July to 
December 1997 on the grounds that it is "presumptive and 
In an official communication to Islamabad, the Sindh government has 
made it clear that WAPDA was charging Sindh government four and 
five times more than NWFP although the number of consumers in both 
provinces are by and large the same.
Early this month WAPDA sent a fresh bill to all the four provinces 
amounting to Rs 8.86 billion for electricity by three categories of 
consumers which are the provincial government offices, local bodies 
institutions and autonomous organisations. This bill pertains to 
July to December 1997 period and has evoked anger among the 
officials as well as legislators of Sindh.
Sindh has total number of 16,361 consumers and has been billed Rs 
4.40 billion. It is four times more than the amount of Rs 1.02 
billion bill to NWFP where the number of consumers stands at 15,498 
which is more or less same as that of Sindh. It also reflects 50 
per cent of the total amount of bill of all the four provinces. 
WAPDA's bill for Sindh does not include Karachi where the main 
secretariat, KMC, DMCs and principal offices of autonomous 
organisations are located and billed by the KESC.
Yet another glaring disparity in WAPDA's "presumptive" bill pointed 
out by Sindh government is in case of Punjab where the number of 
consumers is 47,463, almost three times more that of Sindh but is 
being asked to pay only Rs 2.95 billion.
Balochistan is another victim of WAPDA's "excessive and 
presumptive" billing and is being asked to pay Rs 478 million. The 
number of consumers in Balochistan is 3,514 which is almost 16 time 
less than Punjab and about four time less than NWFP but is being 
billed for 5.40 per cent of the total bill of all four provinces.
Islamabad has been informed of Rs 10.84 billion "over deduction" by 
WAPDA at source from Sindh's share of funds in the divisible pool 
during four years ending June 1997.
Another anomaly originating from the WAPDA's presumptive billing is 
the amount recovered from Lahore Municipal Corporation and a small 
town committee of Kandhkot in December 1995. "WAPDA billed Kandhkot 
Town Committee for Rs 9.22 million in December 1995 when Lahore 
Municipal Corporation was asked to pay almost half of the amount, 
Rs 5.50 million" the Sindh government informed Islamabad in its 

MQM gives Eid gifts worth Rs10m to the poor
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Jan 28: Addressing the annual relief programme of Khidmat-
i-Khalq Committee at the KKF compound on Wednesday, chief of the 
Muttahida Qaumi Movement Altaf Hussain said the MQM is the only 
political party that believed in providing grassroots level social 
At the KKF annual relief programme, Eid gifts, both in cash and 
kind, amounting to Rs5 million each, were distributed to more than 
2,000 needy persons.
Speaking over the telephone from London, MQM chief Altaf Hussain 
traced the history of the KKF which he said was initially created 
as Khidmat-i-Khalq Committee way back in 1978 immediately after the 
formation of the All-Pakistan Mohajir Students Organization.
He said the MQM had realized from the very outset that in order to 
change the prevailing inequitable system, a long and painful 
struggle would have to be launched and to provide some succour to 
the poor in the intervening period, the KKF (previously known as 
KKC) was formed.
Mr Hussain said the MQM was striving for the elimination of poverty 
from the country and to make Pakistan a technologically advanced 
state. In this regard, he said, polytechnic institutions and 
computer training schools needed to be established all over the 
Referring to the country's economy, the MQM leader said astable 
government could not be provided because of steadily falling value 
of the rupee and the resultant inflation.
Criticizing the political leadership of the last 50 years, Mr 
Hussain said after the Quaid-i-Azam and Liaquat Ali Khan, power 
remained concentrated in the hands of the "two per cent privileged 
class." He said the policies of the power-hungry and self-serving 

political leaders never reflected the true wishes of the masses.
Accord for $10bn SAP signed with WB, donors
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 27: Pakistan and the World Bank-led multi donors 
support group signed an agreement here on Tuesday for the $10 
billion Social Action Programme, phase-II (SAP-II).
The representatives of the group later announced at a joint news 
conference with Pakistan officials, including Dr Hafiz Pasha, that 
the donors would provide $2 billion soft loan for the programme 
The negotiations between Pakistan government and the World Bank-led 
group were held between Jan 22 and 27 this year which culminated in 
the signing of the agreement. The draft of the agreement would be 
presented by the World Bank to its board of directors on March 24, 
and by other donors to their respective governments for approval.
Mr Ian Morris of the multi donors support group appreciated, what 
he termed, strategic change in Pakistan's policy that convinced the 
international donors to offer $2 billion assistance for the 10 
billion dollar SAP-II.
He said the focus of the second phase of the Social Action 
Programme would be on alleviating poverty, decentralization of 
management and enhancement of community participation. The 
representatives of the donors group that included United Kingdom, 
the Netherlands and Asian Development Bank lauded the government's 
policy aimed at ensuring transparency and proper utilization of 
donors' aid.
A number of conditions were put by the donors to curb corruption, 
appointments without merit and inefficient use of funds.
Prior to the negotiations on SAP-II, the WB and donors had made it 
clear that no accord would be possible if certain conditions were 
not met, including elimination of corruption. They stressed that 
conditions should be improved to make the programme successful.
Consequently, Pakistan government agreed to enforce strict 
procedure to guarantee transparency and efficient use of funds in 
the implementation of SAP-II which would continue for five years. 
The government has also agreed not to make political appointments 
against the vacancies to be created by new projects under the 
programme. The vacancies will be filled by the auditor-general of 
Pakistan on merit.

Islamabad receives Delhi plans for talks
Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, Jan 24: The Pakistan foreign secretary has received 
"some proposals" from his Indian counterpart which may break the 
deadlock in opening a substantive dialogue on an eight-point agenda 
to which the two sides had agreed in Islamabad last summer.
Foreign Office spokesman Tariq Altaf said at the weekly news 
briefing here on Saturday that the Indian proposals were received 

following a meeting in Dhaka in mid-January on the fringe of the 
three-nation summit hosted by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh 
Hasina. The proposals were currently under study, he said, and 
hoped that Pakistan would be able to respond as soon as it was 
convinced that India was ready to make operational the Islamabad 
The spokesman reiterated Pakistan's commitment to hold talks with 
India on bilateral issues, but pointed out that, right now, the two 
sides were engaged in removing the stumbling block in the way of 
addressing the substantive issues which, according to him, arose 
when India distanced itself from the understanding reached on 
making operational the mechanism for such a dialogue at the 
Islamabad round of talks between the foreign secretaries in June 
Pakistan would engage itself in addressing the substantive issues 
as soon as it was convinced that the Indian proposals encompassed 
the mechanism that had been agreed upon, said the spokesman.
Answering questions, he conceded that the current Indian political 
scene was relevant to determining time and date for dialogue since 
India was on the verge of going to the polls to elect a new 
The spokesman asserted that whenever Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif 
had met Indian Prime Minister Gujral  and he had met him four 
times  the "prime topic has been that the situation in Kashmir is 
very bad, that the repression of the Kashmiri people should be 
halted, and violations of the Line of Control should stop" to 
create a sense of security in the region.

PTCL shows interest to buy Paktel
M. Ziauddin 

ISLAMABAD, Jan 25: In what would appear to be a clear case of 
policy aboutface the government is all set to take over Paktel, a 
cellular telephone service operated by a Pakistan-UK joint venture 
in the private sector.
The proposed takeover, certain to send confusing signals to 
prospective foreign investors, could also cause the other two 
cellular telephone operators, Instaphone and Mobilink, to panic and 
pack up.
Pakistan Telecom Limited (PTCL) which has been on the privatisation 
block itself since 1994, has expressed its willingness to mobilise 
the needed 150 million dollars in foreign exchange to buy out the 
shares of Paktel now held by the UK's Cable and Wireless (80 per 
cent), Farooq Hasan (17 per cent) and Mrs Nek Mohammad Qureshi (3 
per cent).
The government allowed cellular telephone service in the private 
sector in 1990 when licences were issued first to two operators, 
Paktel and Instaphone, and subsequently, to a third one, Mobilink. 
Since then these three operators could expand their clientele to no 
more than 100,000 subscribers.
Discouraged by slow growth and also because of the losses sustained 
by Paktel due to disconnection of service in Karachi for almost two 
years ostensibly because of reasons of law and order, Cables and 

Wireless decided to sell its entire equity in Paktel to a strategic 
But with PTCL asserting its right of first refusal, prospective 
private foreign investors have refrained from taking even a closer 
look at the C&W offer.
Because of the PTCL's monopoly over voice communication the 
cellular operators have to depend upon its network for their inter-
city traffic. These operators are not even allowed to lease voice 
circuits from Pakistan railways or WAPDA.
Since the PTCL has a very large network and a virtual monopoly, it 
is in a position to adversely affect the operations of cellular 
companies. And if the PTCL also becomes a cellular operator by 
taking over Paktel, the competitive environment would totally 
become unfair. The PTCL can force the competition out of the market 
by simply extending cross subsidies to Paktel for a few months.
The decision to buy out Paktel for the PTCL, is seen by independent 
economists as not only going against the spirit of the government's 
policy of privatisation but they think it would also discourage 
healthy competition in the communication sector as the government 
corporation already holds monopoly on voice communication up to 

Bomb blasts rock three Punjab towns 
Dawn Report

MULTAN, Jan 25: Three bomb explosions rocked Punjab on Sunday, 
killing one and injuring 21.
A vendor was killed and six others injured as a bomb exploded at 
Multan Cantt station five minutes after the Abasin Express had left 
the platform.
Fifteen passengers were injured when another bomb went off on a bus 
in Gujranwala.
In Jhelum all passengers on a bus had a narrow escape as a bomb 
exploded after they had disembarked for prayers.
In the Multan blast vendor Waheed (20) suffered serious injuries 
and died at hospital. Three others, Mohammad Arshad (13), Rab Nawaz 
(24) and Shafiq (23) were hospitalized. Two others were discharged 
after first aid.
The explosion was so powerful that roofs of tea shops were blown 
The police said "unidentified terrorists" had planted the bomb in 
one of several wooden crates for currency notes lying uncollected 
at the station for the last several days. The crates had been 
booked for Okara.
"A big tragedy was averted as the bomb could have caused heavy 
casualties had it exploded before the departure of the Abaseen 
Express," an official told Dawn.
BUS BLAST: In Gujranwala, 15 people were hurt as a bomb exploded on 
a wagon going from Gujranwala to Mandala Tagga.
The bus had left Gujranwala around 2pm, carrying 40 passengers. 
When it reached near Mandala Tagga, on the outskirts of Gujranwala, 
the bomb went off. It had been placed under a seat in the rear part 
of the bus.
The injured passengers were rushed to the Civil Hospital, where 
four passengers were stated to be in critical condition.

The deputy commissioner and the SSP reached the spot and supervized 
the shifting of wounded to the hospital. The bomb disposal squad 
also reached the spot and collected splinters of the bomb.
JHELUM: Passengers on board a Jhelum-bound bus had a narrow escape 
when a bomb exploded five minutes after most of the people had 
stepped off the vehicle at Jhelum's general bus stand.
Police said the bus had left Sialkot for Jhelum and after stopping 
at Wazirabad and Gujrat, it reached Jhelum five minutes before 

Shifa plans to set up medical college in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD, Jan 25: Plans are in advanced stage for the setting up 
of Shifa medical college here, and postgraduate classes would be 
introduced in the college, Dr M. Naseem Ansari, administrator of 
the project, told Dawn.
He said the Shifa Foundation would, eventually, establish a 
university but this would take time to materialize.
The administrator said the foundation had also drawn up plans to 
establish a college of nursing to make up for the shortage of the 
nursing staff in hospitals.
According to Dr Ansari, FRCP classes in post-graduate studies  
basically on-job training  were likely to start in March or April. 
To begin with, eight to 10 students would be enrolled for this 
He said admission to the MBBS first year classes was expected to 
begin in October or November. About 80 to 100 students were likely 
to be admitted for this session.
Dr Ansari said the ratio of male and female students was expected 
to be about 60 to 40. A decision on the matter was still awaited. 
Similarly, a decision on the number of foreign students, to be 
admitted to the college, was yet to be taken, he said.
Dr Ansari said the college would be completed at an estimated cost 
of Rs40 to 50 million and housed in the additional block of the 
Shifa Hospital covering a space of 4,500 square feet. He said the 
college fulfilled all the requirements Pakistan Medical and Dental 
Council (PMDC) of having a teaching hospital with 105 beds.
In two years, he said, the number of beds in the Shifa Hospital 
would be raised to 250. Besides, he added, the hospital would 
establish special wards for poor patients, involving lower medical 
expenses. He further disclosed that soon there would be a 
children's hospital for the medical college.
The college would be equipped with the latest laboratories, state-
of-art-equipment for medical investigation and all the facilities 
that went with a modern medical college, he added.
Dr Ansari said computers would also be provided for teaching 
students in the classrooms, and American teaching aids and 
standards would be followed while assessing their abilities. The 
medical curriculum, prescribed in Pakistan by the PMDC, would be 
followed strictly.
Moreover, emphasis would be laid on Islamic ethical and cultural 
studies while training the medicos, especially the students coming 
from abroad.

Stocks performance improves despite weekend selling
Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Jan 28: Stocks gave another improved performance on 
Wednesday despite weekend selling as investors made fresh active 
covering purchases in the pivotals allowing the market to finish on 
a promising note.
News of a 10 billion soft credit line under the Social Action 
Programme (SAP) seems to be the chief motivating factor behind the 
market's stiff resistance to further decline.
The selling at the fag-end of the session, which clipped some of 
the initial gains, did figure prominently on the overvalued shares 
but it did not affect the general trend.
The KSE 100-share index did show a fractional decline of 2.06 
points at 1,609.16 as compared to 1,611.22 points a day earlier, 
reflecting the relative weakness of the PTCL, one of the major 
weight holders in it, but there are no reasons to believe that the 
market might be able to sustain the run-up in the post-Eid 
Apart from strong foreign support at the lower levels and for good 
reasons, the sentiment was also influenced favourably by the news 
that the World Bank will extend a credit line of $10 billion under 
the Social Action Programme during the next couple of years.
"The new credit line will certainly relieve pressure on bank 
borrowing enabling the government to divert funds meant for SAP to 
some other vital development projects," analysts said.
But what is more important is that the new credit line shows 
donors' confidence in Pakistan's economy and its repaying capacity, 
they added.
Floor brokers said the market appeared to be in for a grand 
technical rebound owing largely to changing economic scenario after 
the World Bank goodwill gesture.
"A bail-out plan like the one for some major South Asian countries 
might not be imminent but there is certainly rethinking among the 
donors to come to Pakistan's aid to provide the much-needed push to 
its failing economy," they added.
Bulk of the buying was again confined to Hub-Power, which posted a 
fresh gain of Rs 1.20 on 19 million shares, followed by PTCL, off 
25 paisa on 12.033 million shares.
However, most of the leading shares put on fresh good gains under 
the lead of Adamjee Insurance, KESC, General Tyre, Dawood Hercules, 
Fauji Fertilizer, CPC Rafhan, Mitchell's and Tri-Pak Films, which 
posted gains ranging from one rupee to Rs 5.
Lever Brothers, Telecard, Mehmood Textiles, Shell Pakistan, Siemens 
Pakistan and Pakistan Oilfields were among the leading losers, 
falling by one rupee to Rs 10.
DEFAULTING COMPANIES: Over 15,000 shares changed hands in this 
sector as investors covered positions in Mian Textiles, which was 
traded higher by 10 paisa at Rs 1.10 against the face value of Rs 

10 on 7,000 shares. Suzuki Motorcycle fell by the same amount at Rs 
2.50 on 8,000 shares.
DIVIDEND: Hoechst Marion Roussel, cash 20 per cent on post-tax 
profit of Rs 30.692 million. Polyron, nil owing to loss of Rs 
33.896 million.

Banks allowed to fix export bill rates
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Jan 24: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has allowed both 
local and foreign banks to fix their own rates for buying export 
bills of all foreign currencies except for the US dollars. The 
decision, which will take effect from Feb 5, is to enable the 
exporters to sell their export bills to the banks offering the best 
The move has come as a part of foreign exchange reforms which the 
State Bank initiated on Jan 21 by allowing the banks to fix their 
own exchange rates for all foreign currencies minus the US dollar.
Senior bankers said the banks have been allowed to determine their 
own rates for the bills on the condition that they would not charge 
more than LIBOR plus 2 per cent on the same. This is the formula 
currently being used by the Foreign Exchange Rates Committee for 
fixing the rates for bills buying. The committee, which acts on 
behalf of the State Bank, will cease to fix both exchange and bills 
buying rates of foreign currencies except for the US dollars from 
Feb 5.
"This is a great move. Now the exporters will be able to take 
advantage of competitive rates," said the chairman of the FPCCI 
export committee Wajid Jawwad.
Talking to Dawn on telephone, he said fixation of bills buying 
rates by the banks themselves should lessen liquidity problems of 
the exporters thereby leading to growth in exports.
Bankers say they buy those bills of export that are to be paid by 
the importers after shipment of export products. When shipment of 
export is completed the banks give to the exporter the rupee 
equivalent of the export bill after deducting the prevailing LIBOR 
plus 2 per cent of the foreign currency in which the export is made 
as their cost and margin. Normally exporters can avail of this 
facility for a maximum 120 dayspermission from the State Bank is 
necessary for extending the facility beyond this period.
Since the banks would continue to charge the prevailing LIBOR plus 
2 per cent as their cost and margin for extending this facility 
there should be no great difference between the existing and future 
rates of bills buying. But as all the banks would calculate the 
LIBOR plus 2 per cent of any currency on the basis of their own 
spot rate for that currency the bills buying prices would vary from 
bank to bank offering multiple choices to the exporter for selling 
the bills.
World Bank okays $2bn soft loan

Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 24: The government has approved a Rs500 billion 
social action programme (SAP-2) for the next five years for which 
the World Bank will also provide a soft loan of $2billion.
Sources told Dawn that Pakistan and the World Bank had finalized 
all details here on Saturday for launching the SAP-2 shortly. The 
deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, Dr Hafeez Pasha, led 
the Pakistani side for talks with the WB's senior executive Mr I.N. 
The government, on its part, approved Rs500 billion for the SAP-2 
which will be announced at a news conference here on Jan 27 after a 
special meeting to be presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Originally the planning commission had proposed Rs404 billion SAP-2 
which had further been increased to Rs500 bn.
The details about the programme has just been finalized with the 
World Bank including the "Expenditure Plan". The SAP-2 will be 
funded by, beside the world Bank-led multi- donor support, the 
entire UN system, Canadian International Development Assistance 
(CIDA), European Union, Norway, KFW of Germany, United Kingdom and 
the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF) of Japan.
The major thrust of the SAP-2 is the alleviation of poverty and 
improving human indicators. Its scope has also been expanded to 
chapters like the primary healthcare, AIDs, tuberculosis and 
referral hospitals. Primary education has been increased to the 
level of middle education and the introduction of vocational 

Big power consumers get special concessions
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Jan 28: The government announced here on Wednesday the 
restructuring plan for Water and Power Development Authority 
(WAPDA) that would provide reduced tariffs to industrial consumers 
and additional Rs 11 billion to the organization.
It was also decided by the government to remove subsidy on 
electricity in the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), Azad 
Jummu and Kashmir (AJK) and flat rates on tubewells.
A new package for electricity consumers specially industries was 
unfolded by the minister for water and power after a high level 
meeting presided over by the prime minister on Wednesday.
Raja Nadir Pervaiz told reporters at a news conference that the new 
restructuring plan would reduce WAPDA's losses and help generate 
about Rs 11 billion.
Giving details he said that it was decided to reduce system losses 
by 1.4 per cent which would provide Rs 1.5 billion. Similarly, Rs 
1.3 billion could be collected through savings and Rs 1.9 billion 
by reducing operational cost and the rationalization of Tariff in 
AJK. "And Rs 3.4 billion will be collected by reducing losses of 
the KESC", he said adding that these measures would provide Rs 8.1 
billion. "Hopefully we will get about Rs 4 billion by removing 
subsidies and by offering incentives to the industrial consumers to 
use WAPDA's excess power capacity", he further stated.

The Minister for water and power also said that a two part tariff 
had been approved by the prime minister which would have four 
features: the two part tariff will be applicable to consumers in 
industrial, commercial and domestic (above3000 KWH per month). 
For consumption in any month above the base consumption during the 
same month in the previous year, the consumers will be charged a 
special tariff of Rs.325/KWH; The special tariff will also be 
offered to the shut-down industrial units to provide an incentive 
for their re-opening; and special incentives will also be offered 
for off-peak consumption through time-of-day metering and rates.
He said that a high-level meeting noted that there had been gradual 
reduction in share of industrial consumption from 32.8 per cent in 
1993-94 to 26.3 per cent in 1997-98.
Insiders said that the prime minister once again refused to allow 
WAPDA to revise upwards its tariffs to avoid any likely political 
fallout. He told the meeting that he could not afford to have any 
increase in the users charges as the common man was already hard 

The prime minister expressed his concern during the meeting over 
WAPDA's serious financial crisis which once had a surplus of Rs 10 
billion in 1993-94 but was now facing a deficit of Rs 16 billion in 
1997-98, particularly because of large payments to private powers 
companies. "The high level meeting also noted with concern that non 
payment of electricity dues by provincial agencies had reached 
alarming proportions since deductions at sources were eliminated", 
said the minister for water and power.
Raja Nadir Pervaiz said that it was decided that the issue of non-
payment of dues would be taken up with the provincial governments 
to find viable solution of the problem.
He said that WAPDA was selling almost 40 per cent of its 
electricity at less than half of its own cost of generation and 
distribution and at one third of the cost of buying power from 
Independent Power projects(IPPs). 
He said the high-level meeting decided in principle the need to 
gradually reduce subsidized sale of energy while keeping in view 
the need to provide electricity to low income consumers at 
reasonable rates.
He said the meeting was of the view that two part tariff being 
prescribed for the industrial sector would increase the overall 
consumption of electricity in the country and would eventually 
bring down the average cost at which WAPDA was purchasing power 
from the private producers. "There was also scope for rescheduling 
the debt repayment of some of the IPPs in the initial years to 
reduce the cost of the power", disclosed the minister for water and 
Responding to a question he said that theft and losses of the WAPDA 
were a matter of serious concern. However, he expressed hopes that 
new restructuring plan would take care of the issue.
To another question he said that power theft in India was 27 per 
cent compared to 23 per cent of WAPDA.
He said that WAPDA was selling electricity at reduced rates while 
it was purchasing it at higher rates from the IPPs. "In fact we are 

selling electric on 1/3 rates".
Minister for finance who was also present during the press 
conference said that WAPDA was a national institution which would 
not be allowed to be destroyed and that the government was taking 
all possible measures to improve its performance.

Move to raise revenue by Rs60bn annually
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 28: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved here on 
Wednesday the "restructuring and revamping plan" of the Central 
Board of Revenue (CBR) to make it fully autonomous with a view to 
achieve Rs 60 billion annual increase in the revenues.
The prime minister also approved renaming of the CBR as Pakistan 
Revenue Services (PRS) which will now have all the autonomy in 
terms of management and financial resources.
He was presiding over a high level meeting to discuss various 
issues including WAPDA and the CBR.
"A high level meeting chaired by the prime minister today has 
approved the complete restructuring and revamping plan to 
substantially increase revenue by one per cent of the tax/GDP 
ratio," said Finance Minister Senator Sartaj Aziz.
Speaking at a news conference after the high level meeting, he said 
that a serious effort for the first time has been made by the 
government to increase revenues. "One per cent increase in the 
tax/GDP ratio should give us additional Rs 60 billion every year," 
he added.
He, however, made it clear that the government did not want to 
burden people with more taxes and that the job of increasing 
revenues will be achieved through short and long term plans.
Giving details, he said that the Pakistan Revenue Service would be 
governed by a high level Policy Board to be headed by the prime 
minister himself. The finance minister would be the deputy chairman 
of this new board.
Minister for commerce, deputy chairman, planning commission, 
secretaries finance and establishment and four eminent 
professionals of the private sector will be members of the board. 
The CBR chairman would also be member of the Policy Board and its 
ex-officio secretary.
The prime minister would nominate, on the advice of the minister 
for finance, members of the board for two years.
This Policy Board would be responsible for setting performance 
standard for PRS, approving its expenditure budget subject to final 
approval of the National Assembly, monitoring overall performance 
and prescribing policy on management and functioning of the PRS.
In the initial phase of restructuring, the Policy Board would be an 
active body which would also have a role in making initial 
recruitments. The remuneration package to be evolved by the Policy 
Board for PRS employees would be based on market rates in the 
private sector.

So far as the jurisdiction of the policy board regarding tax policy 
matters is concerned, the same would be subject to the overall 
budgetary and policy framework of the government.
The Policy Board will get public participation through consultative 
councils to be set up at regional level.
The day to day functioning of PRS will be performed by the 
Executive Board. In order to substantially strengthen PRS, apart 
from the existing four members for direct taxes, customs, central 
excise and sales tax, six new members would be hired on contract 
from the private sector. They would be reputable professionals in 
the field of tax policy, information management, audit, legal 
matters, public affairs and human resources-cum-logistics.
While the existing line members would concentrate on collection of 
government revenue, the members will spearhead the process of 
change. The restructuring effort at the operational level would 
strive at maximizing and expanding the tax base, increase 
elasticity of tax system so that expansion in economy automatically 
yields more taxes without enhancing tax rates and to provide a 
simpler and more friendly tax system.
"A conscious effort would be made to simplify laws and procedures, 
better allocate official resources, promote document based self-
assessment, enhance reliance on post-facto audit on the basis of 
risk assessment and setting up tax payer facilitation centres for 
providing advice and educational material."
The revamped tax system will be extensively supported by state of 
art computerization and information management capability. Several 
peripheral functions would be out sourced in keeping with the 
overall policy of the government.
The tasks ahead have been identified in terms of short term and 
medium term/long term goals. In order to gain maximum advantage, 
extensive use of professional consultants having appropriate 
international exposure will be made.
As a result a team of consultants would be deployed in February to 
walk through the existing systems in the various departments of CBR 
with a view to re-engineering the existing process. 
The objective would be to immediately facilitate the taxpayers and 
to plug loop-holes. Some benefits of this would occur within a few 
months while the entire exercise would be completed in about one 
"The longer term objectives are to redesign the entire tax system 
in order that the modern concepts of taxation can be implemented 
with extensive use of computerization," the finance minister said.
This phase of business re-engineering would take two years or more. 
A different team of consultants would be engaged for this, he 
The prime minister was also informed that international donors like 
the World Bank are highly supportive of the government's plan of 
restructuring the tax system as greater resource mobilization alone 
can provide an answer to the economic difficulties. The 
international donors would provide liberal technical assistance for 
this purpose.
The prime minister also directed that all tiers of employees of CBR 
should be involved in the restructuring as without their active 
support optimal results would not be possible. 

The prime minister also approved the gradual transformation of all 
cadres of employees of CBR along corporate lines which, while 
providing substantially higher salary and benefits, will have to 
necessarily be linked with reduced security of service.

Budget-GDP gap crosses IMF limit
M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, Jan 27: The overall budgetary deficit to the GDP ratio 
in the first six months of the current financial year has already 
crossed 6 per cent against the whole year target of 5 per cent 
fixed by the IMF under its three-year 1.6 billion dollar structural 
adjustment agreement.
So far the government has borrowed Rs40 billion from banks, Rs30 
billion from non-bank sources and Rs100 billion from foreign 
sources which brings the total borrowing for financing the current 
year's budgetary gap to around Rs170 billion against budgeted 
overall borrowing of nearly Rs200 billion, including bank borrowing 
of Rs48 billion and external borrowing of Rs129 billion for the 
whole year.
The GDP growth rate which was fixed at 6 per cent in the budget was 
revised downwards recently by the finance minister who said the 
country would now be able to achieve a growth rate of a little over 
5 per cent because of slow down in the large scale industrial 
sector and the damage sustained by the cotton crop.
On June 30, 1997 the gross domestic product (GDP) of Pakistan was 
estimated at around Rs2.56 trillion. A 5.2 per cent growth during 
the current year is expected to take the GDP in absolute terms to 
around Rs2.70 trillion.
Against this anticipated GDP of Rs2.70 trillion for the whole year 
the government has already borrowed Rs170 billion or 6.30 per cent 
of the GDP in the first six months.
An improvement in the situation could be achieved if by end June 
1998, the growth rate is accelerated to around 6 per cent or the 
borrowing is contained to around Rs135 billion.
Non-bank sources were tapped by the government to meet the 
shortfall in revenue collections which is expected to become more 
acute in the coming months. In the absence of any downsizing of the 
government, slow privatisation and failure of the schemes for the 
recovery of bank defaults and whitening of black money, the current 
expenditure has shot out of the budgeted limits.
The government has adopted a strategy of improving its cashflow 
management by cutting development expenditure and increasing its 
reliance on non-bank sources for deficit financing by borrowing 
long-term through government savings schemes and short-term from 
foreign commercial markets.
If the shortfall in revenue collection expands further in the 
coming months and less than budgeted resources flow in from 
privatisation and bad debt recovery scheme, the budgetary gap is 
expected to expand further forcing the government to borrow more 
which could take the overall budgetary deficit well past 8 per 
cent, the point reached in 1992-93.
Meanwhile, the debt servicing is now testing critical limits, where 
the government has been sucked into a vicious spiral of financing 
repayments with shorter term, and more expensive commercial debt. 
Rising international interest rates, stagnant exports and global 
volatility are expected to worsen the burden. Pakistan's sovereign 
credit rating is also expected to remain B2 (Moody's) with no 
upward revision in the next 12 months.
The removal of a freeze on utility prices in the current quarter, 
and a one time push of 1-2 per cent due to further weakening of the 
rupee, could push inflation back to 15 per cent by the end of the 
fiscal year.

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Back to the top.
Contempt of the people 
Ardeshir Cowasjee

COMPLYING last week with the notices received from the honourable 
Supreme Court summoning us, we  lawyers, columnists, authors, 
editors, and other citizens who refuse to, and cannot, defend 
ourselves by sending in an assault mob  trooped up to Islamabad, 
to the apex court of the Islamic Republic.
We were asked to 'show cause' why action should not be taken 
against us in terms of the Constitution and the law for what we had 
either written or published in 1994 and 1995.
The bench of seven honourable judges, headed by Chief Justice Ajmal 
Mian, hearing the contempt of court cases accorded a most patient 
and civil hearing to the lawyers pleading on behalf of their 
clients, particularly to that old indefatigable crusader and 
lawyer, Habibul Wahabul Khairi, who most forcefully defended 
himself. And, the first law officer of the land, Attorney General 
Chaudhry Mohammad Farooq, was most fair and saw no contempt in any 
of the alleged contemptuous statements.
However, we are precluded from further commenting upon the conduct 
of these subjudice cases for fear that by so doing it may be held 
that the course of justice will be prejudiced.
I am fortunate in having lawyer friends with the capacity, ability 
and understanding as possessed by Jadoogar Sharifuddin Pirzada, 
senior advocate Aziz Munshi and Barrister Makhdoom Ali Khan, all 
three so supportive of the rights and freedoms of the people. 
Without demur, they came with me to Islamabad, to plead for me, 
giving freely of their time and effort, charging no fee. Up-and-
coming constitutional lawyer, the thorough Makhdoom, junior-most of 
the three (who I consistently discourage from pleading for our 
governments), did massive research on the genesis and scope of the 
law of contempt, wading through international and national case 
law. For the public good, he has been commissioned to write a much 
needed book on this aspect of the law.
Sitting in the courtroom for three days, I had time to reflect on 
the judgment (PLD 1977 SC 482) of my late lamented old friend and 
lawyer, that renowned judge of Pakistan, Dorab Patel, relevant 
passages of which were cited by Makhdoom and warrant reproduction:
"But I venture to think that if respect for the courts rests only 
on the law of contempt, then it is resting on foundations of sand. 
In the long run, if public confidence in the Courts is to be 
maintained, it must rest on surer foundations than the sanctions 
available to us under the law of contempt, and in the ultimate 
analysis public opinion is the only sure foundation both for 
respect for the law and for maintaining public confidence in the 
Courts. Therefore, in so far as we have been entrusted with the 
task of laying down the law of contempt and as we are also the 
judges of our own cause when we exercise this jurisdiction, we 
should not lay down a principle which is shocking to the public 
conscience because this would not be a proper exercise of our 
discretion and because this would undermine public confidence in 
the administration of justice by alienating public opinion." and
"... Of course an allegation of bias of a serious nature may be 
derogatory to a judge and through the judge to the court which he 
serves, and the question in such a case would be of the advantages, 
if any, of convicting for contempt the person who advances such an 
allegation. The only advantage which I can see is that the fear of 
contempt proceedings would deter people from making such 
allegations openly and from publishing them. This however might not 
stop the truth from coming out and an insidious whispering campaign 
against a judge might do far more harm to the prestige of the court 
than the alternative course of permitting a litigant to ventilate 
his legitimate grievances...." and
"...Now, I respectfully agree with the view that courts should be 
protected against 'disgruntled (and) unscrupulous litigants.' But 
it is a very different thing to say that Judges must be absolutely 
immune from all criticism, and the necessary implication of the 
draconian proposition laid down by S.A. Rahman and Kaikaus, JJ, is 
that Courts of Justice must silence the truth in order to preserve 
public confidence in the administration of justice. With the utmost 
respect I cannot agree with this proposition."
And, Dorab quoting Lord Denning:
"This is the first case so far as I know where this Court has been 
called to consider an allegation of contempt against itself. It is 
a jurisdiction which undoubtedly belongs to us, but which we will 
most sparingly exercise; more particularly as we ourselves have an 
interest in the matter. Let me say at once that we will never use 
this jurisdiction as a means to uphold our own dignity. That must 
rest on surer foundation. Nor will we use it to suppress those who 
speak against us. We do not fear criticism, nor do we resent it, 
for there is something far more important at stake. This is no less 
than freedom of speech itself. It is the right of every man in 
parliament or out of it, in the press or over the broadcast, to 
make fair comment, even outspoken comment, on matters of public 
interest. Those who comment can deal faithfully with all that is 
done in a court of justice. They can say that we are mistaken, and 
our decision erroneous, whether they are subject to appeal or not. 
All we would ask is that those who criticise us will remember that, 
from the nature of our office, we cannot reply to their criticisms. 
We cannot enter into public controversy. Still less into political 
controversy. We must rely on our conduct itself to be its own 
The Supreme Court is housed in an architecturally and aesthetically 
perfect building. To design this building, Architect Khwaja 
Nasiruddin, heading PEPAC in the 1970s, had the good sense to 
commission Kenzo Tange, "the foremost Japanese architect in the 
decades after World War II." As with the country in general, this 
fine building is being brought into a state of decay and disrepair. 
I suggest that the new Chief Justice, Ajmal Mian, walk around the 
corridors along which the public plough their weary way, never 
traversed by the judges. I also suggest that he pay an incognito 
visit to the conveniences provided for the relief of the awam. 
More important, each day he should leave Tange's building by the 
exit used by the awam, and observe and contemplate on the 
monstrosity that faces him  the ridiculous, horrific and most 
contemptible structure accommodating the prime minister's private 
and personal secretariat. This building, if one can call it that, 
personifies the contempt in which the self- styled so-called 
leaders of this sad and sorry country hold the people over whom 
they rule.
The good Justice Ajmal Mian will face a building which no architect 
of Pakistan or of Wango-wango would dare claim to be his creation. 
It is capped by 17 domes squatting upon 17 turrets, and has cost 
the exchequer, inadequately serviced by less than 100,000 tax 
payers, Rs 117 crores (Rs. 1,17 billion).
It is Nawaz Sharif's brain-child, conceived in his first round, 
during which construction of the monstrosity was started. He was 
followed by Benazir Bhutto who shared his contempt for the people 
and went ahead with the completion of the building, handing over 
the interior decoration to a cousin. (On the books, each internal 
door has cost the taxpayers Rs 5 lakhs.).
No discussions of any importance to the poor of this nation takes 
place in the gaudy gilded cabinet room in which the PM sits with 
his ministers. Nawaz Sharif announces his decisions, all around him 
nod, some chant in unison, "There is nothing to fear, you are on 
the right track. Allah taala nay aap sey ab to bahout kaam lainah 
The expenses of the PM's house and secretariat averages Rs 75 lakhs 
per day. Compare this to the annual budget of Rs 40 lakhs for drugs 
and medicines for the casualty department of Karachi's main public 
hospital, Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre. When the country's 
ministers are accused of being parasites, feeding on the blood of 
the people, they gaze heavenwards and murmur, "Allah maaf karey." 
Though Allah is Beneficent and Merciful, he does mete out justice 
in his darbar and there is no reason why any of our sinners should 
be forgiven. They will boil in oil.
Visiting the Domes and Turrets one day, I heard the sounding of an 
electronic gong. Fire? I asked. No, the prime minister has just 
left his palace and is on his way to fairyland. Roll out the red 
carpet, bow down and worship: Baa adab, baa mulahzah, hoshyar, 
Baadshah salamat aarahe hain." 

Eid  then and now
Rifaat Hamid Ghani

EID MUBARAK  the golden jubilee Eid. What was the very first Eid 
in Pakistan like? It must have been full of hope despite the pain 
of the price paid in blood for the right to observe it as a free 
people, confident of their right to realize and assert their 
sovereign identity.
Things change, as they must, and the way we observe Eid too has 
changed over the years. What better cultural index of a society 
than the way its people express themselves in keeping with the 
tradition of such occasions? Eid is more than just another 
festival; it is an occasion of profound religious significance for 
all Muslims everywhere. It's a joyous occasion because it marks the 
end of an ordained period of voluntary abstinence and restraint  
the culminating point of a process of self-verification which is 
the essence of Ramazan fasting and prayer.
Of course, the day begins with the offering of the congregational 
prayer in mosques and Eidgahs everywhere. The change now is that 
many mosques or approaches to them will be heavily guarded: not 
because of a fear of some alien intrusions or attacks, but because 
there has been sectarian bloodshed and violence in the month of 
Ramazan itself, the month of restraint, self-discipline and 
moderation. That's not how it should have been in a land which is 
supposed to epitomize the golden principles of unity, brotherhood, 
tolerance and compassion of Islam. The security measures at places 
of worship testify to a grievous failure.
It makes such an ugly picture that we really cannot be blamed for 
tending to look away from it. There may be a terrorist factor or an 
externally engineered design behind it all, but there is also the 
worst kind of intolerance, fanaticism and animosity at work in our 
ranks. And because our rulers play upon and manipulate religious 
sentiment to keep people distracted from their failures and 
deficiencies, successive governments have not felt impelled to 
tackle the problem of divisions and dissension within.
In a sense every time a party talks about the ideology of Pakistan 
to imply that other political parties do not believe in it, value 
it or adhere to it, inevitably strikes a theocratic chord and puts 
a primium on dogma and particularism. The way General Zia exploited 
religion and ideology to overcome opposition and keep people 
divided is unfortunately living history. The impact of the 
theologists is epitomized in thundering from the pulpit and the 
The outlook of most who inculcate the thoughts and ideas of the 
obscurantist school is not of religious scholarship so much as of 
plain bigotry. The voice of the enlightened Muslim is denigrated as 
an echo of westernism. In any case, it does not penetrate or 
resonate strongly enough to have an impact on those generally under 
the spell of demagogic zealots in our midst. The Pakistani Muslim 
identity is not emerging quite the way it should; its very 
formulation is being warped.
After the Eid prayer, it is Eid in the home that fills out the 
picture of the observance. Sweetmeats, new clothes, Eidi  these 
are the accoutrements and accessories of the joyous occasion. But 
even here in fifty years evolution has not been positive. The 
middle way is what Islam recommends. Arrogance is one of the worst 
trait. Good things of life are for those who can afford them; envy 
is what drives the rest into trying to catch up. Many families 
still savour the day as it should be, but the collective picture 
that emerges is of gross vulgarity on one side and acute 
deprivation and resentments on the other.
Eid milan is the last of the essentials. The streets may either be 
eerily quiet, or clogged with traffic with all the hazards that go 
with it. Family lunches and gatherings are giving way to the 
assembly at some convenient if modest community centres or elegant 
clubs. Families are sometimes more anxious to impress one another 
than just to be together and exchange greetings and share 
sweetmeats and so on. The numbers gathering at the elders' table 
are dwindling. KFCs and the Pizza Huts are taking over. Even 
sweetmeats have to be upbeat and trendy: is the delicacy Turkish 
delight Egyptian-style? Did you bring it back from Dubai? What does 
the label on the cake box say?
Packaging and presentation is of the essence. That's progress when 
there's something inside the pretty wrapping. But not if it merely 
cloaks a realization that the spirit and substance of it all are 
diminishing fast.

Things to learn from China
M.B. Naqvi

PRIME MINISTER Nawaz Sharif is soon visiting China. In view of the 
long-standing friendship between the two countries, it would be 
meet if this visit does not remain a usual protocol one.
Pakistan is 50 years old as an independent state and its economy 
happens to be in straits and its political life is showing 
disquieting, indeed dangerous signs and propensities. 
Internationally it is pretty much isolated. Let PM Sharif seek some 
light from the east and try and learn the secret of what has made 
China's development an envy of most countries in the world. Only 
that will make the visit worthwhile because in less than 50 years 
China has achieved not merely a great power status, but also 
economic and monetary sinews which support that status.
Two outstanding leaders of China have shaped its destiny after the 
1949 victory over Kuomintang. The first was Mao Zedong along with 
the galaxy of his colleagues and the second was Deng Xioping who 
undertook in 1978 the programme of four modernizations. Mao got 
China out of the middle ages and the mire of underdevelopment and 
then went on to ensure rapid industrialization as well as excellent 
under the circumstances  social services covering everyone among 
the Chinese. Mass under-nourishment, illiteracy and ill health more 
or less vanished from China.
Just when the country's pace of development was beginning to 
decline, Deng introduced a new policy orientation of relative 
opening-up of China to the rest of the world. Ever since, the 1978 
programme of Chinese development has been an envy for the rest of 
the world. It has grown by over 10 per cent annually and its 
monetary reserves have been high and its balance of payments is in 
comfortable surplus.
Chinese progress in both economic and military terms has been 
enviable. There is obviously much to learn from it. But certain 
questions arise and will have to be answered before an 
underdeveloped country can benefit from the Chinese lessons. The 
main threats to China today are two: will overheating of its 
economy begin to produce adverse results and will the new wealth 
now being largely cornered by a small section create new social 
tensions? A subsidiary question concerns the future of social 
Pakistan would want to learn a great deal from China. But before 
that we have to know where we went wrong. After all, we had started 
at least two years before the old corrupt regime was defeated in 
China. Pakistan's progress has been marred by frequent regressions 
and debacles. The country came to a sorry pass half way through its 
independent life. Today its condition is causing anxiety; the 
economy is teetering on the brink of loan repayment default and 
There is need to make a clean break with the recent past. But the 
government seems to have no new idea on that. All it knows is to 
rush to the IMF, seek guidance from it and sink deeper into the 
mire of debts and commitments it knows it cannot meet. There is 
obviously something that we do not know and have missed. That 
should be the leading question in the mind of most Pakistanis, 
including the prime minister, who should seek some light on the 
subject from China.
No doubt, the primary aim of the visit is to cement the ties 
between the two countries and to continue the cooperation that 
already exists. China has been very cooperative and helpful to 
Pakistan. Indeed, Islamabad has acquired the regrettable habit of 
taking Chinese friendship for granted. Pakistanis are not too 
mindful of what they owe to China. Hopefully, that should end now. 
We should study what China is trying to do and what are its 
overriding concerns. Can we be helpful in any of its concerns? And 
we should know what our own situation truly is and what help can we 
reasonably ask from the Chinese and what can the Chinese be 
realistically expected to provide.
Pakistan's primary need is twofold: First and foremost, it must 
make its economy turn around and put it on the road to industrial 
development  of the right kind. It should be a sustained process 
of development that should lead to further development and it 
should benefit the people of this country in matters that are their 
primary concern: jobs, a social safety net, provision of social 
services like health care, education and technical help and 
guidance in developing agriculture and productivity in the 
industrial field. There may also be some scope for not merely 
technical aid but for cooperation in the fields of scientific and 
technological initiatives.
Insofar as sciences and high technology are concerned, China can 
provide places for students and research scholars in Chinese 
institutions of excellence. There can also be joint research with 
joint ventures in both big industry, infrastructure and high 
technology. Above all, the Chinese can provide advice on combining 
social concerns with the requirement of rapid economic growth  the 
fields in which the Chinese have made a happy combination.
But that leaves out the question of what are China's foremost 
concerns. Obviously the primary one is its own growth in the 
economy as well as in the political strength and influence. Once it 
goes on growing economically and does manage to distribute the 
fruits of growth more or less equitably, the next focus of concern 
is its role in the international arena. The Chinese have provided 
ample indication of their own priorities and aims. They have 
declared their chief foreign policy concern is to ensure that the 
world should in fact become a multipolar; it should cease to be 
dominated by one superpower. Among its day-to-day policies, the 
chief short- to medium-term objectives of its foreign policy are 
managing its own relations with the US and coping with the growing 
power of Japan.
In neither of these cases is China taking any rigid view. Although 
the US is pursuing a two-track policy of both 'engagement' and 
containment, the Chinese are responding positively to the 
engagement part of the US policy and are taking counter-measures in 
relation to the containment component of the American policies 
without saying anything needlessly harsh or hurtful. They are 
relying on their own military and political clout to counter the 
American efforts to contain China and to isolate it.
The Chinese do not hesitate to flex their muscles where it is 
needed such as on the Spratly islands or in the case of Taiwan and 
certainly Tibet.
On the larger international plane, the Chinese have taken a bold 
initiative in rebuilding friendship with Russia. As far as it lies 
in China's power, it would lead Russia out of its quagmire of 
economic regression and anarchy compounded by political confusion.
China's own strategy towards Japan is not to stumble into 
adversarial relations. Here, it has not followed a two-track policy 
like America. It has mainly a single-track policy of friendship on 
honourable and peaceful terms. It wishes to ensure that Japan 
remains a peaceful and peaceable nation and does not embark on a 
course of bellicosity or to adopt an active foreign policy that may 
lead to 1930s- like aggressive economic and political offensive 
that pushed South East Asia into the Second World War.
It does not complement the policy with any military threat, though 
it leaves no one in doubt that its own military power remains a 
deterrent to all evil designs against it.
For the rest, China regards itself as a Third World country and 
wishes naturally to lead it. This is a field in which Pakistan 
should encourage and indeed request China to adopt a more active 
leadership role by mobilizing and organizing the Third World on 
issues connected with globalization. The position of the Third 
World in the new world economic order, supervised by WTO, happens 
to be at its lowest ebb. Hence the need for a 'reassemblement' of 
the Afro-Asian and Latin American sentiment in an organized form.
Pakistan needs to learn primarily to stand on its own feet and to 
do what it can with its own resources. For knowing this Mr Sharif 
does not have to go to China. But from China we can learn the 
formula for ensuring rapid growth and combining it with social 
concerns of the people. Maybe, the latter part holds the key to the 
former. Specifically Pakistan government can learn a lesson or two 
from the Chinese on making their armed forces a productive factor 
in the economy.
Not only are the armed forces not a burden on the Chinese economy; 
they in fact contribute to the growth of the economy as well as to 
national income without ceasing to be a strong fighting force.
If we can do some such thing we can find a way out of the debt trap 
much more easily. That is the way to turn the economy around and to 
attract China into the industrial growth of Pakistan by offering it 
opportunities for investments that yield it normal returns.
Chinese help should benefit both countries and we should reorient 
policies of economic development in a fashion that approximates, to 
a growing extent, to the Chinese model of combining social goals 
with rapid economic growth. Let us beware that the Chinese do not 

relish frustrations of the kind they have experienced in the 
Saindak project.

Are we sliding into fascism?
Shameem Akhtar

WE are being warned by certain cry-wolf columnists and orphaned 
politicians that the spectre of fascism is haunting Pakistan and 
would soon tighten its throttling grip on the nation. The cause for 
all this alarm lies in their fear of the parliamentary rule that 
has come to stay despite their attempts to topple the 
representative government.
They branded the government as fascist because it deleted Article 
58-2b which had empowered the president to dismiss the government 
and dissolve the elected parliament. Yet the 13th Amendment, which 
did away with this undemocratic provision, a relic of the fascist 
rule of Zia, was not the work of the three- party ruling coalition 
alone. It was passed unanimously by the parliament, with all the 
parties vying with one another in its support. Outside the 
parliament, Jamat-i-Islami, which had boycotted the polls because 
the president did not listen to its call for accountability first, 
maintained its support for the 8th Amendment since the Zia days 
when it was his partner in the government.
Not surprisingly, Nawabzada Nasrullah, embittered by his 
humiliating defeat in a constituency which he regarded as his 
fiefdom, joined forces with the fellow feudalist, Sardar Farooq 
Ahmad Khan Leghari. One can understand the nature of this unholy 
alliance between the two exponents of feudal order. A member of the 
Ahrar Party in the pre-partition days, Nawabzada Nasrullah formed a 
party of his own, after the establishment of Pakistan, in defence 
of the landowning aristocracy of the country. As for Farooq 
Leghari, his lust for land impelled him to use his office for sale 
and acquisition of land in questionable deals.
Fearful of the inroads of agrarian reform which the dominant 
nouveaux riche class in the government had on the agenda, the two 
fellow feudalists with the blessings of a soothsayer, also a 
feudalist, embarked upon a counter-revolutionary struggle against 
the parliament. Hence, a spate of petitions challenging the 13th 
and 14th Amendments and as the majority of the judges of the apex 
court would not concur with the then Chief Justice, Sajjad Ali 
Shah, in the disposal of certain matters, they were dubbed rebels 
by both the president and the former occupant of the office of the 
Chief Justice. The Chief Justice asked the president to seek the 
removal of five senior judges of the apex court through the Supreme 
Judicial Council, a request which Leghari was only too glad to 
comply with: he told the prime minister to see that it was done. 
Nawaz Sharif refused to act at the president's behest.
In fact, the Chief Justice has no legal authority to ask for the 
removal of the judges of the superior courts, for under Article 209 
(5) "it is on the information received from the Supreme Judicial 
Council or from any other source that the president shall direct 
the Council to inquire into the matter." And since Article 48 binds 
the President to exercise his function according to the advice of 
the prime minister, Farooq Leghari could not ask the Council to 
remove the five judges of the Supreme Court.
As for the revolt of judges, it is something unheard of in the 
history of judiciary. For revolt, mini-revolt or mutiny are alien 
to the working of the courts where each member is entitled to his 
opinion even if he happens to be in the minority of one. The law 
reports record the dissenting judgments alongside the majority 
opinion. Mr Sajjad Ali Shah gave his dissenting judgment upholding 
the dismissal of the Nawaz government and the elected National 
In 1919 National Socialist German Workers' Party was formed and 
under Adolf Hitler rose to power in 1933 after winning the 
elections of the Reichistag on a populist and patriotic manifesto 
which promised jobs to the jobless, redemption of national honour 
by abrogation of the dictated Treaty of Versailles and rearmament 
of the country. The Nazi leader demanded lebensraum or the living 
space eastward of Germany for his people who were gifted with 
tigerlike qualities. The Fuhrer then banned all the parties, took 
over the newspapers or closed them, established party / government 
control over educational institutions from kindergarten to the 
universities, replaced youth bodies with Hitler Youth and labour 
unions with government-sponsored Labour Front and packed the courts 
with Nazis. The Nazi Party, as the country's only ruling party was 
known, denigrated Christianity and sought to substitute a new 
religion, the German Faith for it.
The Italian and German systems had many traits in common. They both 
were a reaction against the national humiliation suffered during 
the first world war. Their nationalisms had xenophobic overtones. 
Both Mussolini and Hitler were apprehensive of the communist take-
over and would take no chances with a pluralist society. Both 
glorified war as a means to salvage national honour. In Spain they 
helped install General Franco in power by military intervention in 
the civil war against the liberal- socialist-communist coalition 
during 1936-1939.
More recently, we have witnessed prototypes of fascism in the 
racist Pretoria and Southern Rhodesian regimes and Pinochet's rule 
in Chile. In Pakistan, the regimes of Ayub, Yahya and Zia were all 
fascist to the core. Yet how many columnists then dared to call 
them fascist? Not many, really. Instead, they have reserved their 
sharpest shafts to assail the soft-spoken Muslim league leader 
Nawaz Sharif who holds the massive mandate of his people. A fascist 
prime minister would not have gone to the court to express regrets 
over some unintended offence caused by his utterances.
Some of these columnists have now taken on the newly-elected 
president for his being a good Muslim; at least one of them objects 
to his patriarchal beard. In a vile attack on Tarar's alleged 
association with the evangelist centre, Rai Wind, a columnist 
forewarns that all would be gone with the wind. He once lampooned 
the muezzin for his call for prayers as "howling." He wouldn't say 
a word, though, about Jimmy Carter being a priest.
The present governments both at the centre and in the provinces are 
coalition governments, with several parties sharing power. There is 
no single party rule anywhere in the country, so how can it be 
fascist? The newspapers are free and the opposition parties hold 
rallies and demonstrations against the government. Rather than 
taking over the educational institutions and nationalizing the 
industries and business enterprises, the government is busy in 
privatization at times amid vehement public protest. Unlike some 
fascist demagogues, Nawaz Sharif does not breathe fire and 
brimstone against India but waves olive branch and offers to do 
business with New Delhi and talk about Kashmir and other matters 
around a negotiating table.
Some of the rank fascists in the country do not like his 
conciliatory policy towards India and would leave no stone unturned 
in reviling his popularly elected government, demanding its 
dismissal and recommending its replacement with a set-up made up of 
technocrats and intelligence agency high-ups to rule the people. In 
other words, they ask for a fascist coterie in place of a popular 
government. Some of the opponents of the present government 
severely criticised the armed forces for not throwing out the Nawaz 
Sharif government and elected members of the parliament when they 
had a perfect setting for such a take- over.
It may be recalled that on the death of Ziaul Haq in a plane crash, 
certain self-appointed Rasputins had advised the former COAS, 
General Mirza Aslam Beg, to assume the presidency and proclaim 
martial law but the army chief snubbed them and instead let the 
succession be determined by the constitutional process. If the 
general were to disclose their identity, one wouldn't be surprised 
if they are the very people who had prescribed the same remedy to 
Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari: a fascist rule with hand- picked 
advisers, including themselves.
If the 13th Amendment were abrogated without giving the government 
side an opportunity to be heard, it would be miscarriage of 
justice. And for President Leghari to have dismissed the government 
and the National Assembly under the restored provision of the 
Constitution, Article 58 (2b), would have meant the imposition of 
fascist rule on the nation. In fact, the triumph of the parliament 
against the autocrat president has saved the country from the 
scourge of fascism.

Duel in the dark that lighted cricket scene
Lateef Jafri

There was a pathos for Pakistani cricket fans over the ending of 
the Independence Cup in Dhaka and the success achieved by India in 
the final. For Pakistan having knocked up a safe and an impregnable 

score of 314 in 48 overs defeat was unimaginable. Yet the honours 
went the other way in a match that was melodramatic in character 
from start to finish.
Whatever agony may have been felt by the Pakistani supporters at 
the Dhaka Stadium and the viewers of the tie on TV in this country 
when the winning stroke was made by India's little-known player, 
Hrishikesh Kanitkar it was lyrical cricket all through. No doubt 
India lifted the Independence Cup but with the stirring batsmanship 
in the Bangladesh capital it was cricket that ultimately won.
Perhaps luck turned its back on Pakistan on that fateful Sunday 
with the Dhaka Stadium packed with a mighty concourse in all the 
stands. India had lost seven wickets for 306 when Javagal Srinath 
skied a ball from off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq. It appeared to be a 
baby's catch. Three fielders were in position to catch hold of the 
ball but it fell to the ground right in their midst, baffling the 
players and the onlookers  and even Srinath, the stroke -maker. 
This fielding lapse at a critical juncture of the Indo- Pakistan 
cricket tussle swung the wheel of the match towards India and away 
from Pakistan. With two balls left and three runs to be had 
Kanitkar got the fifth one away, somehow towards somewhere which 
was the midwicket boundary. this put an end to the exciting duel.
One can easily question the decision or the wisdom of match 
referee, Mike Denness of England, to allow the game to continue in 
poor light. Even the Zimbabwe umpire, Russell Tiffin, had earlier 
thought of suspending the match and had walked off the field along 
with his South African associate, Rudi Koertzen, the Pakistani team 
following them to the pavilion. At that time, the 40th over, India 
were 258 for 2 but still behind the asking run-rate.
Two many signals for wides - of even playable and straight balls  
especially by Zimbabwean umpire Tiffin, added to Pakistan's 
problems. The rule says: "If the bowler bowls the ball so high over 
or so wide of the wicket that, in the opinion of the umpire, it 
passes out of reach of the striker, standing in the normal guard 
position, the umpire, shall call and signal 'wide - ball' as soon 
as it has passed the line of the striker's wicket."
Thirteen runs from wide -balls lightened India's labour and effort.
Then was Aamir Sohail caught by keeper Mongia off Harvinder Singh's 
delivery? It was clear to all on TV that Sohail had not touched the 
ball but the appeal by Mongia, who is usually in the habit of 
confusing the umpires, was upheld by Tiffin. Some of the umpires' 
misjudgments tilted the scales the other side and helped India's 
bid for victory.
Taking up the Pakistani challenge it was Tendulkar who set the tone 
and tenor of fast scoring hitting up 41 from 26 balls with the aid 
of seven drives to the fence and a towering six. Tendulkar set 
about the bowling, right form the first ball, the picture of 
belligerence and menace. In 48 overs the scoreboard moved with 
quickening speed and showed 71 when the former captain departed. In 
fact Saurav Ganguly, the centurion and later to be declared man of 
the match, took the cue from him to exhibit daring strokes. Robin 
Singh, sent earlier and who helped Ganguly to get 179 for the 
second wicket, played an innings of aggression and defiance. He was 
lucky enough on that day for it was a featherbed and he calmly made 
strokes for during the whole tournament he had not reached double 
It was inadvisable on the part of Rashid Latif, the Pakistani 
skipper, to follow the policy of Wasim Akram of not placing a 
sentry on the long on and long-off regions of the field. The error 
must have cost Pakistan many runs, which too gave the advantage to 
India. Azharuddin, by keeping the alert Sidhu or some one else 
there, saw to it that boundaries were cut into twos or ones. The 
Pakistani total must have soared beyond 340 had not the Indians 
guarded the fence. Little Master Hanif Mohammad had correctly 
blamed Pakistan's below par fielding as the main cause of the Dhaka 
upset. One stumping chance was missed and a bye that went to the 
boundary in the penultimate over spoiled Pakistan's chances.
Pakistan started in rampaging brilliance with Shahid Afridi hitting 
18 off 20 balls. Later the thunder of the strokes of Saeed Anwar 
and Ijaz Ahmed earned multitudinous cheers of the crowd. They 
unmercifully pulverised the Indian attack. The Dhaka spectators 
enjoyed full flavour of cricket. The pair's batting may advance the 
cause of the game in Bangladesh. If a fair assessment was to be 
made of the day's batting the prize should have gone to Saeed 
Anwar, whose 140 had a maximum of controlled aggression, instead of 
Ganguly, a centurion of the winning side.
Many think that had Inzamam been sent after Ijaz's gutsy 117, 
instead of Azhar Mahmud and Mohammad Husain, perhaps the score may 
have further multiplied. It was a case of over - confidence on the 
part of the captain to have changed the batting order, possibly 
because the total was looking impressive after crossing the 300 
On a dead wicket Saqlain Muhstaq tossed up fascinating off-breaks 
to the batsmen. He had started picking up wickets when that easy 
catch off his bowling  a skier  fell to earth. But in the whole 
tournament he bowled craftily and with resolution, sometimes 
sending unplayable spin. Saqlain was quickest to reach the 
milestone of 150 wickets in one-day internationals to prove his 
class in global cricket.
Pakistan lost three out of four encounters against India. They made 
a courageous bid to overtake the Indian total in the round-robin 
fixture but missed the target by just 18 runs. The match was over 
bar the shouting when Inzaman's gallant and hard -hitting innings 
of 77 came to an end, caught on second attempt by Tendulkar,the 
bowler. The later batsmen, including Rashid Latif, tried hard but 
failed in their effort. Perhaps the 19 runs given by erratic 
medium-pacer Fazle Akber in his initial two overs settled the issue 
in favour of India. One finds from Press reports that the bowlers' 
name was again submitted by the selectors for the African excursion 
but the board's council turned down the recommendation.
Many cricket enthusiasts have a feeling that if the heavy weaponry 
Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram - would not have been ignored and 
would have accompanied the national team to Dhaka perhaps the 
outcome have been different. It is still unexplained why Waqar was 
left out of the pack; his galloping strides and electric pace would 
have sent panic in the Indian ranks.
Wasim's exclusion was also surprising when charges against him are 
yet unproved. He says he is fit. If there are doubts a medical 
panel should give the right verdict on his fitness or otherwise.
For Bangladesh the tri-nation competition was a test of their 
capability to stage a big cricket show. No untoward incident was 
reported and the independence silver jubilee tournament as a whole 
was a success organisationally. The match was held up for 25 
minutes during third final due to insufficient lighting but this 
deficiency may hopefully be rectified before future contests are 
As a team the ICC Trophy winners gave a good account of themselves 
in the opener against India. Somehow or the other the big occasion 
unnerved them in their second league tie against Pakistan. But they 
may improve and cause surprises in future matches under the 
guidance of such reputed technocrat as Gordon Greenidge of the West 
The final was a heart -throbbing thriller and the characters in it 
will come to mind year after year. The game was undoubtedly played 
in its gayest spirit.

Wasim is axed
Omar Kureishi

IN its latest issue Time magazine has a feature on fake and 
adulterated medicines that pose health risks greater than the 
disease they are meant to cure. Even before I read the feature I 
was convinced that Pakistan would figure prominently as being one 
of the countries where this racket flourished. My hunch was right.
Pakistan is more than mentioned in the dispatches. When the BBC 
does a documentary on child labour, showing horrendous pictures of 
children working in carpet factories, it is Pakistan that has a 
starring role. And so it goes on, drugs, illegal immigrants, money 
laundering, the long list of international crimes, Pakistan manages 
to get its name sullied. Very rarely do we get to read a positive 
story about Pakistan except when its cricket team is playing. Even 
then the praise is grudging but atleast it is praise.
My association with cricket goes back many years. I have seen the 
acorn develop into a full grown sturdy oak. I have rejoiced at its 
triumphs and wept at its failures. I have never held any official 
position in cricket, as a matter of personal choice, but I have 
been an insider. I am that spectator who sees more of the game. The 
emotional involvement of the people of Pakistan with cricket is 
deadly serious. Those cricket fans in Thatta who smashed their 
television set when Pakistan lost to India in Dhaka may have gone 
over the top but there is no doubting the bitter disappointment of 
the cricket public. I consider this emotional involvement to be 
healthy for I have always maintained that cricket provides a 
binding ethic. Cricket is one of those rare occasions when we all 
become Pakistanis. It is an uplifting sight to see Pakistan flags 
being waved at cricket grounds, particularly when the team is 
playing on foreign soil.
This is the second column that I am writing on cricket affairs in a 
matter of a couple of weeks. This is because I am distressed to see 
what is potentially the best team in the world being turned into a 
mediocre one. Whether this is due to faulty judgment or a whimsical 
exercise of arbitrary power that manifests itself in decisions that 
defy logic but come gift- wrapped in self-righteousness, I cannot 
say. I refer specifically to the treatment that has been meted out 
to Wasim Akram, culminating in him being axed from the team for the 
tour of Southern Africa. Even the PCB will have to admit that Wasim 
Akram is one of the world's greatest cricketers. Obviously he could 
not to be dropped on the grounds that he was not good enough. So we 
are told that he is unfit.
I would have thought that a better excuse could have been conjured 
up. If the PCB feel that the cricket public will swallow the 
unfitness excuse then it obviously holds the intelligence of the 
cricket public in very low esteem. Let us accept that this is a 
valid reason. Then obviously Wasim Akram must have been put through 
a rigorous fitness test. He wasn't. He played for PIA against ABL 
and pulled up in the second innings with a minor hamstring injury, 
one of the most common injuries. One does not even have to see a 
doctor for it. The team physio works on the injury and removes the 
If indeed the PCB had any doubts about Wasim Akram's fitness, one 
would have thought that they would have moved heaven and earth to 
have got him fit, so valuable a player is he. Or he could have been 
asked to join the team when he had regained full fitness. Instead 
the door has been shut on him. I'm afraid this fitness excuse is 
eye-wash and the PCB should have had the courage of its convictions 
to come out with the real reason.
The real reason is the suspicion that he is tied up with bookies. 
As real reason is the suspicion that he is tied up with bookies. As 
far as I know, no proof exists, only perceptions and insinuations 
and innuendos. If the PCB has solid proof then this should be 
handed over to the competent authorities for match- fixing is a 
crime. Not to hand over this proof is to conceal evidence which in 
turn is a crime, what is called obstructing justice.
After Pakistan was knocked out of the Quadrangular tournament the 
air was thick with rumours that the fate of Wasim Akram has been 
sealed. Injury had nothing to with these rumours. It was the 
certainty that he was mixed up with gambling syndicates. Losing in 
Sharjah was the final nail. He dropped a couple of catch in a 
crucial match and came in to bat ahead of Azhar Mahmood and this 
was considered conclusive evidence of a sell-out. On such 
absurdities is the career of a national hero destroyed.
By the same token, Pakistan lost to India at Dhaka, after making 
314 giving the Indians a formidable task of overhauling this 
massive total. The Indians did so, aided and abetted by putrid 
fielding and the captain, Rashid Latif himself missed three 
stumping chances. No one in his right mind will conclude that there 
might have been more to this defeat. Why not? Why doesn't Wasim 
Akram get the same benefit of doubt? Why does the PCB not realise 
that these persistent rumours of match-fixing represent a 
management failure? First Salim Malik and now Wasim Akram. Who is 
next? Surely the charter of the PCB does not make it immune to 
accountability. We must protect our cricket stars, not throw them 
to the wolves. We must show some respect for natural justice, not 
contempt for it.

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