------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 03 April 1999 Issue : 05/14 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Issues to be settled before trade ties with India: PM + 900 visas can be issued daily, says Indian HC + SC orders de-sealing of registrar's report + Interest rate on saving schemes may be cut + 25% extra duty on sugar import levied + PPP, MQM may launch drive against governor's rule + Paris moot to discuss Pakistan's needs + ADB to lend Pakistan $307m + Altaf sends SOS to HR bodies over MPA's arrest + Crime rate down, claims Sindh IG + Options being weighed to help Kosovars --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + 2% cut in saving scheme rates under study + Rs 50 billion gap in next budget + Rupee gains 15 paisa on kerb market + Bank credit to private sector falls + 25% additional tax levied on FST paying industries + Five major banks cut lending rates by 1-2% + SBP to check misuse of forex travel quota + Pakistan under pressure on Eurobonds issue + PTV may shift to more powerful satellite soon + Equities end fractionally lower on profit-selling --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Wealth Ardeshir Cowasjee + The great illusion Ayaz Amir ----------- SPORTS + World Cup team likely on Sunday + Ijaz and Inzamam help Pakistan canter to victory + Salim Malik included in World Cup squad + I have gained full fitness: Shahbaz

Issues to be settled before trade ties with India: PM

LARKANA, April 1: Prime minister Mohammed Nawaz Sharif has said 
that the Lahore declaration has paved the way for settling certain 
issues between Pakistan and India through dialogues and added that 
these issues must be settled before initiating trade relations with 
India. He was talking to newsmen at village Masoo Dero, some 20 
kilometres from here, where he had gone to offer his condolences to 
Sardar Allah Bakhsh Jalbani on the tragic death of his brother 
Liaquat Ali Jalbani, president of PML, Ratodero Taluka. In reply to 
a question about the withdrawal of Indian troops from occupied 
Kashmir, the prime minister said that talks were held with India in 
this regard and added that if India wanted seriously to settle this 
issue then she must build up confidence so that people could feel 
that something concrete was in the offing.
About the imposition of governor's rule in Sindh, the prime 
minister said: "The governor's rule in Sindh was the need of the 
time and it will continue as long as it is needed. The role of the 
Sindh Assembly is at present limited and we are going to constitute 
an advisory committee which would help the governor to run the 
affairs of the province." The prime minister denied any differences 
in the ranks of the PML(N) in Sindh and said that Syed Ghous Ali 
Shah was doing well as the president of PML(N) Sindh. He felt that 
the Karachi administration and the police were proceeding in the 
right direction in Asif Bhoja's murder case and everything would be 
clear very soon.
The prime minister said that he had a lot to do yet and much was 
being done to recover illegal arms which had infested the country. 
He expressed his determination to rid the country of this menace.
He claimed that the economy of the country had started showing 
signs of improvement. Banks had slashed markup rates which was a 
welcome step because this would boost up investment. Foreign 
exchange reserves had also increased considerably.
Responding to another question, the prime minister said that local 
bodies elections would be held in Sindh as soon as the conditions 
are favourable. In reply to yet another question he said "We were 
on the road to achieve the goal of imposing governor's rule..." but 
left the answer incomplete. 
He was accompanied by federal education minister Syed Ghous Ali 
Shah, Sindh governor, Dost Muhammed Faizi, Abdul Hameed Sheikh and 
other Muslim Leaguers.

900 visas can be issued daily, says Indian HC

ISLAMABAD, March 27: Indian High Commissioner G. Parthasarthy, 
talking to journalists here on Saturday, said he hoped to issue up 
to 800-900 visas daily to Pakistani visitors if Islamabad agreed to 
a New Delhi proposal for sending additional 20 employees for its 
visa section at Islamabad.

At pressent about 250 to 300 visas were being issued daily, he 
Mr Parthasarthy admitted that under the existing circumstances, 
Pakistanis were facing a lot of difficulties in obtaining visas. 
The reason was mainly the non-availability of required Indian 
staff, he added.
The high commissioner held the news conference to give details of 
the arrangements made to issue tickets and visas and to provide 
transport and overnight stay facilities for 1000 Pakistanis who 
might like to visit India to watch a one-day cricket fixture 
between Pakistan and India at Mohali, near Chandigarh, on April 1.
He said an Indian visa camp office had been set up at the Qadhafi 
Stadium, Lahore, for issuing visas to those who would purchase 
tickets for the match at the same venue from the Pakistan Cricket 
Board, which had already sold about 200 tickets out of the allotted 
The high commissioner said visa and ticket holders would enter 
India between 7.30 and 9.30am through Wagah-Atari border on March 
31. A special train would take them to Mohali, about six hours' 
journey to Chandigarh. Besides usual hotel facility there, some 200 
of the visitors would be provided free accommodation in rest-
houses, he added.
The high commissioner said a return railway ticket would cost Rs 
300 in Indian currency, while hotel charges would be normal. The 
special visa and other facilities were restricted to the Mohali 
day-and-night cricket fixture and the visitors would have to return 
to to Lahore by train on April 3. They would be free to go on 
sight-seeing on April 2 before their return journey , he added.
The high commissioner said Punjab Governor Shahid Hamid had been 
invited by his counterpart in Indian Punjab, Gen Chibber, and the 
Indian Punjab chief minister had invited his counterpart Shahbaz 
Sharif to be their guests and watch the Mohali cricket match.
Mr Parthasarthy believed such exchange of visits would help improve 
bilateral relations.-H.A.

SC orders de-sealing of registrar's report
Shujaat Ali Khan

LAHORE, April 2: With-out expressing any opinion on the legality or 
otherwise of the impugned commission, the Supreme Court ordered on 
Friday de-sealing of the Lahore High Court registrar's report on 
documents examined by him in Switzerland and its production before 
the Ehtesab Bench within a week.
It would be expedient if the Ehtesab Bench comprising LHC Justices 
Malik Moham-mad Qayyum and Najamul Hasan Kazmi, before considering 
and placing reliance on the report of the commissioner (Registrar 
Moazzam Hayat), provides adequate opportunity to the parties to 
raise any objection against it, including the question of 
admissibility of the disputed documents sent to Switzerland through 
the commission for the purpose of verifying their genuineness and 
authenticity before finally disposing of the references, the five-
member bench observed in its unanimous short order announced at 12 
noon after conclusion of hearing at 11am.
The bench consisted of Justices Irshad Hasan Khan, Raja Afrasiab 
Khan, Khalilur Rehman Khan, Ijaz Nisar Sheikh and Chaudhry Mohammad 
The appeal was filed by opposition leader Benazir Bhutto and her 
spouse, Senator Asif Ali Zardari, against an order of the Ehtesab 
Bench announced on March 1 evening on an application made by Ms 
Bhutto on February 18 in Ehtesab Reference No 30 involving 
kickbacks by Swiss preshipment inspection companies SGS and 
Cotecna. The application, moved under Section 476 of the Criminal 
Procedure Code, sought prosecution of Federal Law Minister Khalid 
Anwar, Ehtesab Bureau Chairman Saifur Rehman Khan, EB Joint 
Secretary Hasan Waseem Afzal, EB Director Sami Khilji and special 
prosecutor Ali Sibtain Fazli for concocting evidence against her.
According to the record produced by the respondents before the 
Supreme Court on Friday, the application was registered by the 
Ehtesab Bench on February 22, and March 1 was fixed for its 
hearing. No notice was, however, issued and Mr Waseem Afzal filed a 
rejoinder on his own through Advocate Ali Sibtain Fazli.
According to a statement made by the appellants' counsel, Iftikhar 
Husain Gilani and Farooq H Naek, at the bar, there was no hearing 
and the order was made behind the back of the parties and without 
giving the defence an opportunity of hearing.
But an affidavit submitted by Attorney-General Chaudhry Mohammad 
Farooq, who appeared for the federation, asserted that arguments 
were heard.
Registrar Hayat sent Ms Bhutto a notice of his assignment on March 
3 but the Supreme Court Justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui suspended the 
Ehtesab Bench order on March 4. The registrar left for Geneva and 
completed his assignment on March 5. Ms Bhutto was later granted 
leave to appeal, proceedings on which concluded on Friday. 
Arguing for the federation earlier, AG Farooq said the Ehtesab 
Bench made 'an innocuous' order in view of the gravity of the 
allegations levelled by Ms Bhutto in her application. The 
provisions of Section 503 (2) (b) of the Criminal Procedure Code 
were not attracted, though the order is fully covered by Section 
561-A, which empowers the court to make any order in exercise of 
its inherent powers to advance the cause of justice.
Appearing for the chief ehtesab commissioner, Advocate S M Zafar 
emphasized the growing international trend to provide mutual legal 
assistance in tracking down 'dirty money' or 'funny money' and curb 
money laundering irrespective of treaty obligations. The order was 
in consonance of the spirit of the times and also with the Islamic 
practice of going right to the source for authentication of 
The lawyer argued that the Code of Criminal Procedure, indicates 
that an irregularity in procedure is not to be judged in isolation 
and has to be taken into consideration finally in the context of 
the overall justice in the case. In other words, fragmentation of a 
criminal trial with a view to seek step to step guidance from 
higher courts is not favoured.
Rejoining, Advocates Gilani and Naek said the appellants were 
facing a criminal charge under a law and not under current 
international trends. Nothing, they added, is farther from Islam 
than deciding matters without hearing the parties and resorting to 
discrimination in the matter of accountability.
In his observations on Friday, Justice Irshad Hasan Khan decried 
the practice of releasing advance copies of pleadings to the Press 
and friction between lawyers to the extent that they file 
conflicting affidavits in court.
Interest rate on saving schemes may be cut

ISLAMABAD, April 2: Minister for finance and commerce Ishaq Dar 
disclosed here on Friday that the government was considering 
reduction in rates on the national saving schemes by two per cent.
"We are planning to reduce by about 1.5 to 2 per cent interest rate 
of all the national saving schemes", he further stated.
He, however, pointed out that before taking any final decision, the 
government would carefully take into account the interest of the 
prize bond holders. "We would not take any decision in haste".
The finance minister said that Nationalized Commercial Banks (NCBs) 
has just announced the reduction of about two per cent mark-up 
rate, the purpose of which was to encourage greater trade and 
industrial activities in Pakistan. "Following the reduction in the 
banks' interest rate the same has become necessary for national 
saving schemes", he added.
To a question, he said that the ratio of debt servicing will go 
down with the reduction in the mark-up rate of the banks. He said 
it was the PML government which had earlier reduced by about 2 per 
cent banks's interest rate. "No doubt this is an achievement to 
have this interest rate reduced from 22 per cent to about 20 per 
cent previously and now to 18 per cent", Ishaq Dar said.

25% extra duty on sugar import levied

Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, April 1: The Economic Coordination Committee of the 
Cabinet (ECC) on Thursday imposed 25 per cent additional regulatory 
duty on import of sugar to protect the local industry and 
discourage the import of the commodity.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the ECC, which met with 
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the chair, following the decline in 
the prices of sugar in the international market.
The new rate of regularity duty will now be 35 per cent in lieu of 
10 per cent. The total levy of duty on import of sugar will be 45 
per cent inclusive of 10 per cent customs duty.
The meeting also constituted a permanent committee for the 
restructuring of public sector corporations to make them 
economically and commercially viable. The committee would be headed 
by special secretary corporate finance and would comprise of 
secretaries of BOI and privatization commission, chief of experts 
advisory cell and economic adviser finance division.
The secretary of the concerned ministry would also be the member of 
the committee.
The ECC also decided to extend the date for submission of sales tax 
registration number for issuance of import registration certificate 
and its renewal upto June 30, 1999 or the announcement of trade 
policy whichever is earlier. However, all the new applicants will 
be required to produce sales tax registration number to obtain the 
said certificate.
The committee reviewed the prices and availability of essential 
commodities in the country and noted that kitchen items' index 
indicated a stability and the prices of 16 out of 21 items either 
declined or remained stable during the week ending on March 27, 
The meeting was informed that sufficient stocks of POL and wheat 
were available in the country.
The ECC was attended by ministers for communications, water & 
power, the chiefs of privatization commission and BOI, federal 
secretaries and other senior officials.

PPP, MQM may launch drive against governor's rule

ISLAMABAD, April 1: Pakistan People's Party and Muttahida Qaumi 
Movement have started talks for launching a campaign against the 
Governor's rule in Sindh, sources told NNI on Thursday.
They said the talks started after MQM chief Altaf Hussain gave a 
go-ahead signal to a proposal to form an alliance with the PPP in 
The two parties believe that the government is set to extend 
Governor's rule for a long period. They also fear that the 
government might set up a political advisory body before the coming 
Some smaller parties in Sindh are also expected to join the 
proposed PPP-MQM alliance, the sources said.-NNI 

Paris moot to discuss Pakistan's needs

Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, March 31: The second meeting of the Pakistan Development 
Forum (PDF), formerly known as Aid-to-Pakistan Consortium, will be 
held in Paris from April 21 to 23 to discuss the state of Pakistan 
economy and firm up its funding requirements for 1999-2000.
Official sources told Dawn here on Wednesday that Minister for 
Finance and Commerce Ishaq Dar, who would lead the Pakistan 
delegation, would apprise the multilateral and bilateral donors 
about the government's new economic agenda that needed to be 
supported by the members of the PDF.
"One of the most important elements of the agenda is the projection 
of 5.5 per cent GDP growth rate for 1999-2000," an official said.
Dar would apprise the participants of the forum about the latest 
economic situation, with special reference to the partial lifting 
of international sanctions against Pakistan. He would give his 
assessment of the financial package that Pakistan needed for the 
next financial year. And the donors' representatives would offer 
their own recommendations to help improve the overall economy.
"But certainly this is not going to be a pledging session as has 
been the case in the past," said another official related to the 

ADB to lend Pakistan $307m

MANILA, March 31: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday 
said it had approved loans to Pakistan totalling 300 million 
dollars to reduce trade distortions, modernize export policies and 
decrease its dependence on import substitution.
The loans will help make domestic industries competitive with 
foreign firms while supporting the implementation of a new 
investment policy and the privatization of state industries, the 
Manila-based bank said in a statement.
The loans will also help Pakistan modernize the customs 
administration and meet World Trade Organization obligations, the 
ADB added.
The moves are part of a medium-term economic reform programme 
supported by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as 
well as the ADB.	
Pakistan's industrial base is small, lacks diversification and is 
limited by high statutory tariff rates, special tariff exemptions, 
non-tariff barriers and outdated export policies, the ADB said.
It said small and medium-sized exporters suffer from a lack of 

Altaf sends SOS to HR bodies over MPA's arrest

LONDON, March 31: Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain has 
sent an SOS message to international human rights organizations, 
informing them about the arrest of Zahid Qureshi, a member of the 
Sindh provincial assembly, and expressing the fear that he might be 
subjected to torture or even executed extra-judicially.
Mr Qureshi is the fourth elected member of the MQM to have been 
arrested. He was taken into custody on Tuesday afternoon in 
Liaquatabad where he had gone to meet and greet his constituents on 
Eidul Azha.
Mr Hussain said Mr Qureshi's arrest was a "blatant violation of the 
Constitution and of the right to personal freedom."
The other three MPAs of the party arrested earlier had been 
"brutally tortured" by the police, he said. "We fear that Zahid 
Qureshi will be subjected to severe torture and may even be extra-
judicially executed," Mr Hussain said.

Crime rate down, claims Sindh IG

ISLAMABAD, March 28: Crime rate has gone nose dive, which position 
needs to be sustained, the Inspector General of Police Sindh, Rana 
Maqbool Ahmed said here on Sunday.

Talking to APP, he said the fear of punishment certainly affects 
the criminal behaviour.
About the brutal murder of Asif Bhoja, he said, it was a high 
profile crime and four alleged killers had been apprehended.
Many crime syndicates had of late been active in Karachi, he said, 
adding, this could be work of any of the crime dens. He, however, 
expressed the confidence that the culprits would not go unpunished.
He praised the courage of ASP Ghulam Mohammad Dogar who has 
completed the preliminary inquiry into the case.
The fear of punishment and dispensation of justice does play its 
part in containing crime, he said.
In the wake of governor's rule, he said, there has been 47 per cent 
reduction in car-lifting and car theft cases and robberies and 
dacoities have also gone down by 40 per cent.
On the other hand, he said, there had been increase in recovery of 
snatched or stolen cars by as much as 64 per cent.
"Not a single bank robbery has been reported in the province during 
the recent past," he said.
"We have given nothing but a sense of direction and nothing else," 
he said, adding, and this has made all the difference.
To a question, he said, in his opinion, the situation is quite 
encouraging as the incidence of crime has been remarkably checked 
and criminals nabbed.
He urged that Nizam-i-Adl be enforced so that the criminals are 
given exemplary punishments and these prove to be a sufficient 
deterrence to root out crime and criminals.
To expect that the police would go for a surgical operation is not 
A group, he said, has the reputation of committing 114 murders. The 
alleged killers were not only tried but the courts sentenced them 
to death.
To a question, the IG Police said, the murder of Hakim Said proved 
to be a turning point in Sindh and led to swoops against criminal 
elements, without any discrimination, and this has yielded results.
"The Sindh Police is acting as per dictats of justice, high 
professionalism and upright conscience," he said.
He said, the aspect of vigilance is being given due importance.
Criminal syndicates and tribal system and other heterogeneous 
elements are responsible for incidence of crime, he said, adding, 
the Sindh Police are working in a spirited manner and with 
The IGP said, the federal government had given an assistance of Rs 
100 million for updating the equipment and transportation system of 
the provincial police force. The element of manpower is being 
attached due importance.-APP

Options being weighed to help Kosovars
Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, April 2: Pakistan is carefully considering a proposal 
for sending troops to Kosovo to assist the Kosovar Muslims who are 
being subjected to ethnic cleansing and repression by Serbian 
Foreign Office spokesman Tariq Altaf who briefed the newsmen on 
Koso situation on Friday, reiterated Pakistan's political and 
diplomatic support to the Kosovar Muslims struggling against the 
on-going campaign of ethnic cleansing and repression by Serbs.
The spokesman was asked whether the prime minister during his visit 
to the GHQ had discussed the possibility of Pakistani milita-ry 
support to the Kosovar Albanians.
The spokesman said Pakistan would like the UN Security Council to 
halt the persecution of Kosovars by Milosevic forces.
The spokesman said that Pakistan also handed over relief goods 
worth Rs10 million to the UNHCR officials as humanitarian 
assistance to the affected Kosovars.
The relief consignment contains essential medicines and blankets.
Mr Altaf said that Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz was expected to 
take part in an OIC Contact Group meeting being held in Geneva on 
April 7 to discuss the Kosovo situation and consider sponsoring 
international action to stop oppression on Kosovars.
He said at Pakistan's initiative two meetings of the OIC countries 
- at UN headquarters in New York and at UN Human Rights Commission 
in Geneva - had been convened on the Kosovo situation.
Responding to a question, the spokesman reiterated Pakistan's 
support to the NATO air strikes asserting that there was no doubt 
about the intentions of the air strikes. 
He was asked whether it was not correct that in a way the action by 
the NATO and Milosevic ultimately caused loss to the Kosovars since 
the air strikes had failed to deter Milosevic in pursuing 
persecution of the Kosovars.
The NATO action, the spokesman emphasised, aimed at stopping the 
repression of the Kosovo Muslims by Milosevic forces.
The spokesman rejected any Indian claim against Pakistan's right to 
raise the Kashmir issue at any international forum, stressing that Kashmir
would be agitated at all forums. The Kashmir would stay as 
a live dispute so long as its solution was not found, the declared.
He said that the bus service between Lahore and Delhi, was 
operating very well.

2% cut in saving scheme rates under study
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, April 2: Minister for finance and commerce Ishaq Dar 
disclosed here on Friday that the government was considering 
reduction in interest rates on the national saving schemes by 2 per 
"We are planning cut by about 1.5 to 2 per cent on all saving 
schemes", he further stated.
Talking to Dawn he pointed out that before taking any final 
decision, the government would carefully take into account the 
interest of the prize bond holders. "We would not take any decision 
in haste".
The finance minister said that Nationalized Commercial Banks (NCBs) 
have just announced the reduction of about 2 per cent mark-up rate, 
the purpose of which was to encourage greater trade and industrial 
activities in Pakistan. "Following the reduction in the banks' 
interest rate the same has become necessary for national saving 
schemes", he added.
To a question, he said that the ratio of debt servicing will go 
down with the reduction in the mark-up rate of the banks. He said 
it was the PML government which had earlier reduced by about 2 per 
cent banks's interest rate. "No doubt this is an achievement to 
have this interest rate reduced from 22 per cent to about 20 per 
cent previously and now to 18 per cent", Ishaq Dar said.
Nevertheless he said that this interest rate was further needed to 
be reduced. "You have to have less and less interest rate to 
generate more economic activity".
Answering a question, he said that the government has not so far 
taken any decision to reschedule the Eurobonds as has been desired 
by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Paris Club. "It is 
pre-mature to talk about the issue", he said adding that it would 
take perhaps some more time to decide the issue.
He rejected the assertions that the donors wanted Pakistan to 
immediately reschedule 750 million dollar bonds. "We will have to 
see our own national interest and not anybody's interest to take 
certain decision about the rescheduling of these bonds", he said.
Asked about the London Club meeting, the finance minister expected 
that the donors representatives will soon be gathering in Islamabad 
to help reschedule the remaining 850 million dollar debts of the 
commercial creditors.
To another question, he said he would lead the Pakistani delegation 
at the second meeting of the Pakistan Development Forum (PDF) in 
Paris beginning from April 21 to 23.
He said that the government had successfully met the performance 
criteria of the IMF after which the donors were providing all 
necessary financial support to Pakistan.
Asked whether the government was seeking 2.5 to 3 billion dollar 
from the PDF, formerly known as Aid-to-Pakistan Consortium, Dar 
said, "I am sure to have a positive meeting with our lenders in 

Rs 50 billion gap in next budget

ISLAMABAD, March 28: The federal government expenditure in the next 
budget 1999-2000 is being set at Rs800 billion, with total receipt 
of Rs750 billion, showing a gap of Rs50 billion to be met through 
bank borrowings.
As the budget-preparation process enters in its second phase the 
basic parameters for the formulation of the budget have been 
finalised, say official sources.
A Rs200 billion escalation over and above the federal spending of 
1998-99 are being envisaged in the next budget, they add. On the 
revenue side, Rs150 billion has been planned while no substantial 
cuts are being suggested in the establishment, defence, and 
development allocations.
The government estimates to repay Rs300 billion debt in the next 
financial year in 1999-2000 as compared to the projected budget of 
Rs275.6 billion in 1998-99.
In 1998-99 budget, the receipts from federal revenues were 
estimated at Rs354 billion (now revised downward to Rs318 billion), 
whereas, Rs400 billion is being processed under this head, for 
collection during 1999-2000.
These parameters include scaling up the receipt projection to Rs175 
billion under the head of non-tax revenues. The major revenue 
source being surcharges from the natural resources and petroleum, 
has been projected at Rs80 billion, as against Rs43.4 billion in 
The federal government is also planning to keep the provincial 
share from federal resources at about the same level as projected 
in 1998-99, and an additional Rs50 billion is being planned for 
provinces through increased taxation, predominantly through road-
use and octroi, add sources.

Rupee gains 15 paisa on kerb market

KARACHI, April 2: Rupee gained 15 paisas against US dollar in the 
open market Friday. However, it remained at the same levels in the 
inter-bank transactions, dealers said.
The green bill was being bought and sold at 51.30/51.40 as against 
overnight rates of 51.52/51.55 in the kerb market.
'State Bank's relaxation in foreign exchange rules curtailed the 
demand for US dollar in the open market,' said a currency dealer.
He said that government decision to resume supply of foreign 
exchange quota for health, education and travel at composite rate 
eased pressure on the open market.
Another currency dealer said it was probably for the first time 
since nuclear tests conducted by Pakistan that dollar rates have 
dropped to record lows narrowing the gap between the official and 
open market rates for dollar.
The official parity rate stands at 46.00/46.23 for buying and 
selling of dollar.
Lahore: Pak rupee Friday gained vis-a-vis foreign currencies in the 
local open market as the US Dollar, Pound Sterling and Deutche Mark 
shed their value slightly.
The exchange rate of green back fell to Rs 51.20 on Friday from 
Thursday's Rs 51.45 while Pound Sterling lost 87 paisa against Pak 
The opening rates of local currency market also showed the gain of 
Pak rupee against Deutche Mark, Japanese Yen and French Franc.-APP

Bank credit to private sector falls
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, April 1: Banks and development financial institutions lent 
around Rs61 billion to the private sector by mid-March out of a 
total allocation of Rs98 billion for entire fiscal 1998-99.
Senior bankers told Dawn that credit disbursement to private sector 
during July 1998 to mid-March 1999 fell to Rs60.7 billion from 
Rs77.5 billion during the same period in fiscal 1997-98.
They said public sector commercial enterprises retired Rs10.2 
billion worth of credit during the first eight and a half months of 
the current fiscal year. During comparable period in the last 
fiscal year PSCEs had retired Rs4.3 billion worth of credit. The 
total credit allocation for private sector plus PSCEs was Rs82 
Bankers link the fall in private sector credit mainly to lower 
demand because of an economic slowdown but some business leaders 
say banks are not offering credit to smaller or non-conventional 
sectors of economy. They say that the demand for credit was there 
and if banks diversified their lending portfolios credit flow to 
the private sector would increase.
Sources close to the ministry of finance said the government was 
perturbed over declining credit supply to the private sector 
because economic managers felt that liquidity problems faced by the 
private sector could further slow down economic activities.
The sources said that the Rs61 billion credit supplied to the 
private sector during first eight and a half months of 1998-99 also 
included over Rs29 billion worth of agricultural credit.
Chairman of Sindh Abadgar Board and other agriculturists are on 
record saying that most of agricultural credit was nothing but 
paper transactions meaning that fresh loans sanctioned for the 
farmers had been used by the banks to adjust for repayment of old 
loans. Thus credit flow to industrial sector as such had remained 
quite limited. Besides adjustments of newly-sanctioned agricultural 
loans for repayment of old loans had also led to a cyclic effect on 
trade and industry.
Senior bankers say most of credit supply to the private sector 
related to trade financing as project financing has almost come to 
a halt. They say for the last two years or so state-run banks in 
particular and other banks in general have not made project 
financing for the single reason that they lack expertise to check 
possible defaults in future. They say banks have lately started 
developing expertise to ensure efficient and prudent project 
financing but it is not clear how soon the private sector would 
start getting funds for projects.
Senior bankers say one way to speed up the pace of credit flow to 
the private sector could be lowering of mark-up rates adding that 
the government was all set to see it working. But they say that 
slashing of marginal mark-ups by a few major banks would not do. 
They say what the trade and industry needs at the moment is an 
across the board substantial cut in all types of lending rates.

25% additional tax levied on FST paying industries
Aamir Shafaat Khan

KARACHI, April 1: The 26 categories of industries falling under 
fixed sales tax regime will now pay 25 per cent additional tax for 
the first five months of 1998-99 under the new Simplified Sales Tax 
Scheme (SSTS).
These units will pay 50 per cent additional sales tax for the 
remaining seven months of the financial year 1998-99 as compared to 
the amount paid by them in 1997-98.
Sources in these small industries told Dawn that the Central Board 
of Revenue (CBR) will collect revenue under a new scheme named 
'Simplified Sales Tax Scheme (SSTS) for 1998-99' compared to 
previous name of fixed sales tax (FST) scheme.
An agreement between CBR, Federation of Association Paying Fixed 
Sales Tax (FAST) and All Pakistan Anjuman Tajeran (APAT) was 
reached in the first week of March in Islamabad on SSTS, they said.
Sources said that Collectorate of Sales Tax, Hyderabad had issued 
notices to 20 small marble industries in the last week of March in 
which liabilities had been worked out up to February. These units 
were asked to liquidate their arrears.
They said that 26 categories of industries had been paying 20-30 
per cent enhanced rate since the dual taxation system was 
introduced in 1992. They added that the rate was increased to 40 
per cent in 1997-98.
However, according to ESAF Policy Framework Paper, released on 
January 22, 1999, the FST system had been abolished in 1998-99 
Sources said that CBR had been collecting revenue under a 
provisional agreement with these 26 categories of industries with 
enhanced percentage. 

Five major banks cut lending rates by 1-2%
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, March 31: Three state-run and two partly-privatized banks 
have decided to cut maximum lending rates by 1-2 per cent.
This was announced by Habib Bank president Shaukat Tarin at a press 
conference on Wednesday which was also attended by senior officials 
of two other state-run banks namely National Bank and United Bank 
and partly-privatized Allied Bank. No one from Muslim Commercial 
Bank was present at the press conference but HBL chief said all 
five major banks including MCB had decided to cut their lending 
"The large five banks have decided to reduce their marginal lending 
rates from 20 to 18.00-18.50 per cent," Tarin announced adding that 
each bank would issue a press release on the rate- cuts later on. 
But the banks had not issued the press release till Wednesday 
evening. Officials of these banks said they might announce 
specifics of reduction in lending rates on Thursday.
Tarin said what had enabled the banks to cut their lending rates 
was an overall improvement in their performance adding that all the 
five major banks had been successful in enhancing their market 
share. He said HBL alone had increased its market share from 17 to 
18.8 per cent adding that the five major banks put together 
currently had 70-75 per cent market share.
He said these banks had cut financial intermediation cost by 1-1.5 
per cent.
Tarin said though slashing of lending rates would start from the 
top at the moment but he hoped that average lending rates as such 
would also come down shortly.
"We sincerely believe that lending rates should further go down 
because even at these (reduced) rates industry cannot sustain 
itself," Tarin said adding that banks were prepared to do it if the 
government slashed returns on national saving schemes and reduce 
tax rate on banks.
He said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had agreed to cut returns on 
national saving schemes adding that once these rates were reduced 
only then the banks would be able to further lower their lending 
Tarin said that the cost of fund for five major banks ranged 
between 8-10 per cent or 9 per cent on an average. He said this 
needed to be reduced to 5 per cent before the banks could bring 
down their lending rates to 14 per cent as desired by finance 
minister Dar. He admitted that banks would have to cut returns on 
fixed deposits in order to bring down their cost of funds. But he 
did not agree with a reporter that this would discourage savings.
"With inflation at 7 per cent our marginal lending rate should not 
be over 14 per cent," he said adding that inflation being at 7 per 
cent there was enough room for the banks to cut returns on bank 
deposits without discouraging savers. He did not agree with a 
reporter who said that the inflation rate was under-estimated.
He said five major banks had also decided to start project 
financing making it clear that economic viability of projects would 
be a pre-condition for this purpose. "We are not going to encourage 
herd mentality...we are going to see economic viability of the 
projects in project financing."
Senior executive vice president of National Bank Mozaffar Iqbal 
said his bank had cut its lending rates by 1-2 per cent adding that 
effective lending rates of NBP would now be 18-19 per cent. He said 
if the government reduced high returns on national saving schemes 
his bank and other major banks would further cut lending rates 
within six months. UBL SEVP Khalid Sherwani said the government 
should also lower the tax rate on banks and withholding tax on 
government securities besides rationalizing national saving rates.
ABL president Rashid Chaudhry emphasised more on the need to cut 
returns on national saving than anything else because he felt that 
if it was not done banks would simply not be able to make further 
cuts in their lending rates.
Answering a question HBL chief Shaukat Tarin said income tax rate 
on banks should be brought at par with that on corporate sector. 
Replying to another question he said cut in lending rates had 
nothing to do with privatization.
Responding to another question he said banks need to finance small 
businesses to let the economy grow adding that HBL had already 
earmarked Rs2 billion for micro credit for 1999 which would be 
disbursed through an NGO. He said HBL would definitely support 
those government-sponsored schemes which made economic sense adding 
that financing through SMEDA would also be done if the projects are 
economically viable.
"Small businesses had been slaughtered during the last fifty 
years," Tarin said adding that loans below Rs5 million constituted 
only 13 per cent of HBL total loan portfolio whereas 87 per cent of 
the portfolio was made up of loans above Rs5 million. He said this 
ratio would be gradually changed to 50:50.
Talking about project financing he said major banks were earlier 
reluctant to offer project financing because of the high rate of 
default. He said now these banks were going to link project 
financing to cash flows instead of securities pledged by the 
sponsors to ensure proper recovery. He said HBL had decided not to 
channelize more money toward such conventional sectors as textiles, 
sugar and cement adding that new sectors are being identified 
instead for project financing.

SBP to check misuse of forex travel quota

KARACHI, March 31: The State Bank may issue a circular within a day 
or two to enforce measures for checking misuse of foreign exchange 
purchased from banks on travel quota.
President of Forex Association of Pakistan Malik Bostan told Dawn 
by telephone that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had told a meeting 
held with money changers on Wednesday that he had advised the State 
Bank to issue a circular.
SBP Governor Dr Muhammad Yaqub was also present in the meeting. He 
said the minister told the meeting that State Bank might disallow 
sale of travellers cheques in the open market besides refraining 
airlines from making refunds against those tickets on which foreign 
exchange had been obtained from the banks.
He said the money changers had earlier urged the minister to ensure 
that the revival of foreign exchange quota for travelling purposes 
was not misused. Banks on Wednesday began to sell foreign exchange 
at composite exchange rate to overseas travellers including those 
seeking medical treatment or getting education abroad under a State 
Bank order issued on Sunday.
Malik Bostan quoted the minister as saying that the government 
might also lay down a procedure to punish those found guilty of 
misusing travel quota.
He said money changers informed the minister about problems being 
faced by the people in encashment of bearer dollar bonds from the 
banks adding that the minister indicated that SBP might issue a 
circular on this subject, too. He said the minister categorically 
told money changers that the government was not going to devalue 

Pakistan under pressure on Eurobonds issue
By Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, March 27: Pakistan is under pressure from the World Bank 
and the IMF to resolve the Eurobonds issue as part of the package 
it is negotiating with the commercial creditors of London Club.
"If we seek the rescheduling of bonds, it will further degrade the 
country's credit rating. Also new investors will not opt for such 
bonds in future", said an official dealing with the issue.
He said the government has not been able to make up its mind over 
the issue. "But if we do not seek this rescheduling of bonds worth 
about 650 million dollars, the commercial creditors may not 
restructure our remaining loans of about 850 million dollars", he 
said choosing anonymity.
Sources said that by seeking rescheduling on bonds, the government 
would commit a technical default. The government was already 
worried and as admitted by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif the decision 
to freeze foreign currency accounts turned out to be an unwise 
decision. Under these circumstances, the bonds issue has caught the 
attention of everybody.
Source claimed that the delay in summoning the London Club meeting 
has been partly caused by the government's inability to take the 
decision over the issue of bonds. 
However, finance minister Ishaq Dar has been claiming that the 
meeting has been delayed as Pakistan has asked for a shift in venue 
from London to Islamabad which, he claimed further, would  save 
Pakistan an approximately five million dollars.
According to informed sources, Pakistan which was seeking overall 
rescheduling of about 5 billion dollars has been asked by both the 
donor agencies to give importance.
The question of bonds was considered very important as many other 
countries specially Russia, Brazil and Mexico were facing the same 
problem of much bigger magnitude. Since there was no precedent for 
the rescheduling of bond issue, Pakistan's finance ministry was 
trying to work out modalities for negotiating the issue with the 
concerned quarters. Eurobonds were floated in Luxembourg stock 
exchange with sovereign guarantee of the government of Pakistan. 
These bonds were issued by the private sector companies on the 
European stock exchanges. A textile mill from Multan which raised a 
sizable amount  through Eurobonds went into liquidation afterwards.

Sources said that the meeting of the London Club will further set 
the pace for seeking around 2 to 2.5 billion dollar debt relief for 
1999-2000 from Pakistan Development Forum (PDF) formerly known as 
Aid to Pakistan Consortium which was expected to meet in the last 
week of April.
The officials of the Planning Commission are currently busy in 
finalizing the PDF (formerly the Consortium) document which will 
contain the estimated foreign funding requirement for the next 
fiscal year and also the latest position about broad economic 

PTV may shift to more powerful satellite soon
By Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, March 27: Pakistan Television is likely to shift very 
soon from AsiaSat-1 to more powerful satellite recently launched 
Asiasat-3S and will enjoy higher power and wider service area.
Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company (AsiaSat), Hong Kong 
recently announced that AsiaSat-3S has successfully been launched 
on March 21, 1999 and will soon replace AsiaSat-1. The new 
satellite will deploy its solar panels and communications antennas 
in early April.
According to a press release of AsiaSat, AsiaSat3S, the fourth 
satellite of Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company (AsiaSat), 
was launched at 08:09 Hong Kong Time (00.09 GMT) on March 21 by a 
Russian Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Republic 
of Kazakhstan.

Back to the top
Ardeshir Cowasjee

ON my return from Japan (a different world) I found a rejoinder 
written by a Dr Miftah Ismail (March 20) to my column Shantiniketan 
printed the previous Sunday. He discussed Kenneth Arrow's 
'impossibility theorem' (referred to by some as the 'Arrow-Sen 
general possibility theorem'), democracy, the tyranny of the 
majority, the advantages bestowed by a republic, and the 
accumulation of wealth.
Waiting for me also was the latest journal of the Royal Society for 
the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), in 
which was reproduced a lecture on the subject of 'Redefining 
Wealth' recently given by Dick Onions, the Society's Chairman of 
What the man Miftah had written intrigued me, and he had to be 
found. Found he was by an odd coincidence. At a dinner given by my 
good old friend Haji Ibrahim Haji Karim Al-Karam who adheres to the 
'Micawber theorem,' has his finger on the pulse of real commerce 
and industry, appreciates the true value of wealth, and is 
therefore a highly successful businessman and a renowned 
philanthropist. His family dinners are usually memorable. That 
night, those sitting around the table weighed in at over 200 lbs 
each, all ate voraciously, all sampled the many flavours of ice-
cream made by one of Haji's enterprises, but, being mindful of the 
value of good health, insisted on drinking diet colas.
At dinner, I discovered that Miftah was the son of a great friend 
of Haji Ibrahim. He is a trained economist who did his doctorate at 
Wharton and then joined the IMF in Washington. After eleven years 
in the States he came back to Pakistan to reorganize his family's 
candy business, which he has successfully put back on the right 
track. He also teaches at the IBA in an honorary capacity.
A few days later, Miftah and I met. He explained that his letter as 
published appeared somewhat disjointed and that, perhaps for want 
of space, it had been edited. He has his own views, as do most of 
us, on various theories, but has yet to fathom the 'Spencer-
Cowasjee theorem' (Spencer being economist Ardeshir Spencer who 
taught economics and finance at the IBA from 1968 to 1975).
Miftah on 'Republic versus Democracy': There is a distinction 
between a republic and a democracy. A democracy is merely a 
manifestation of majority rule which does not preclude tyranny of 
the majority. In a republic, all citizens are guaranteed certain 
minimal rights that no majority or authoritarian can take away. If 
we are all guaranteed certain rights, say, the right to life, to 
property, to free speech, to the free practice of religion, and so 
forth, then even in a majority-rule polity, dominated by 
unenlightened opinion, we can go about our business in relative 
peace. A republic presupposes a government of rules and not of men. 
Democracy, or majority rule, makes no such requirement.
We must remember Hitler's Germany, he emphasized. Wily Adolf 
Hitler, a popular leader, received a plurality of votes in the 
elections. And so Germany was a 'democracy.' It certainly was no 
republic and the ruling Nazis, with their 'overwhelming mandate' 
felt free to do what they liked, right or wrong, and embarked upon 
their 'Final Solution.' What did 'democracy' do to save the 
innocent millions of Jews, citizens of Europe, who were murdered in 
the concentration camps? And this, though the Germans were an 
educated people of a highly civilized nation. The articles of the 
German constitution could not prevent the Holocaust.
And on Wealth : Wealth is 'operative liberty,' that is, liberty 
that you can utilize. If one has all the money in the world but is 
not allowed to do that which one wishes to do, then money is of no 
use, one is not wealthy. Conversely, if one has the freedom to do 
all that one wishes, but does not have the money to be able to 
afford to do so, then freedom is useless. So, for money to be 
useful one needs freedom, and for freedom to be meaningful one 
requires money. Thus, an all-encompassing definition of wealth has 
to take into account both money and freedom, which is summarized in 
the phrase 'operative liberty.'
Now to Dick Onions, the founding and general partner of Baring 
Private Equity Partners, who has spent a lifetime in strategic 
financial investment. He argues that the current attitudes to 
wealth, as a purely monetary concept, inhibit risk-taking, creative 
development, and a contribution to a civilized and sustainable 
In his lecture he goes through capitalism in theory, discusses Karl 
Marx (who was a member of the Society), money as a measure of 
success, superpower wealth, the American dream, resolution of 
wealth, global economic balance. He defines 'wealth': "I will let 
George Bernard Shaw have the last word on the subject. 'We have no 
more right,' he said, 'to consume happiness without producing it, 
than to consume wealth without creating.' More widespread 
happiness, surely, must result from a redefined concept of wealth."
Together with the Onions lecture, the journal has reproduced the 
definition of wealth as made by varied personalities, past and 
present.  Edmund Burke: "If we command our wealth, we shall be rich 
and free; if our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed." John 
Ruskin: "There is no wealth but life." William Shakespeare: "For 
thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings that then I scorn to 
change my state with kings." William Sieghart (Chairman of Forward 
Publishing): "Wealth is not having to kowtow to people you don't 
respect." Paul Smith RDI (Royal Designer for Industry - fashion 
designer): "Wealth is good, but cannot buy happiness or health." 
John Monks (General Secretary of the TUC): "Wealth is freedom. 
Poverty is imprisonment." Genista McIntosh (chief executive of the 
Royal National Theatre): "Wealth is being able to pay somebody to 
do the ironing." John McConnell RDI (Industrial designer): "Wealth 
gives you the ability to misbehave." Sir Alan Ayckbourn 
(playwright): "Wealth is having the choice not to do things you 
really don't want to do." Carol Traynor (head of St Boniface Roman 
Catholic Primary School, Salford): "Wealth is good health and peace 
of mind." Alan Fletcher (designer): "Wealth is more than you need."
Our private sector wealthy bowers and scrapers, crawlers and 
cringers, those who know what respect is and who can afford to 
ostracize robbers, should give a thought to Sieghart's definition.
The Sharif family have had power and privilege for the last 
eighteen years. The Bhuttos have been up in the clouds since Father 
Bhutto installed himself as the first civilian martial law 
administrator-cum-dictator in 1971. The Bhuttos make a great show 
of boasting that they were to the manor born, that their wealth and 
aristocratic connections are generations old. The Sharifs claim 
that their riches were amassed through honest toil over the past 
half century. But the people know better. They know at whose cost 
and from where the money and properties emanate, how the two 
families squander wealth that is not theirs but their nation's. 
Both insensitive, they have convinced themselves that it is their 
inherent right "to consume happiness without producing it" and "to 
consume wealth without creating it".
What the people want is security of life and property, water to 
drink, atta to eat. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his hangers-on 
came to Karachi last week in their special plane to condole with 

Farooq Bhoja whose son was murdered by kidnappers. All at our 
expense. The visit afforded them photo-opportunities which their 
'grief' did not prevent them from shunning. No amount of rhetorical 
condolences will bring back Asif Bhoja or assuage the grief and 
agony of his mother and father. Life, the gift of God, is the only 
true wealth and it is the preservation of that wealth that must be 
the first concern of any government or ruler.

The great illusion 
Ayaz Amir

IT could also be called the great betrayal except that the history 
of Pakistan is so full of betrayals that to single out one is to 
distort the significance or impact of the others. Let it therefore 
remain 'the great illusion'.
Does anyone remember the mood prevailing during Leghari's 
dispirited caretaker period when, among other things, Leghari's 
hopes of emerging from the woodwork of his ambition as a great 
reforming figure were laid to rest? The chattering classes were 
clamouring for accountability, that magic Pakistani word which ever 
since it was first abused by that great reader of the national 
pulse, General Zia ul Haq, has alternately raised and dashed the 
blighted hopes of the nation. More, these same classes were 
convinced that after half a century of high-minded robbery and 
pillage, the time had come for calling the nation's crooks to 
How this was to be achieved was not quite clear to these patriotic 
hordes. Even so, they were convinced that here on the plains of 
Pakistan Armageddon was at hand. That they were guilty of a 
fundamental political error is scarcely in doubt. Armchair 
revolutionaries, they were expecting a revolution to happen without 
the tumbrels rolling. Or, to echo Lenin, they were wanting 
omelettes to be made without eggs being broken. But this precisely 
is the point. Pakistan's chattering and political classes were 
nursing an illusion which distorted their thinking.
For much the same reason these classes looked upon the elections 
that were soon to follow not as a normal political event but as a 
watershed affair, a defining moment in our national existence when 
the curtains would come down on fifty years of rot and corruption 
and rise on a new era of justice and prosperity. Two years down the 
road it all sounds a bit foolish but back then this was the mood of 
the drawing room classes, a breed in this country which will have a 
great deal to answer for when the final trumpets sound.
There was, however, one serious problem. New knights or Galahads 
riding white chargers could not be summoned into existence at the 
touch of a button. The nation had to pick its champions from what 
was available and this meant a pretty restricted field. There was 
the caretaker team which had so fluffed its lines that the only 
thing left for it to do was to slink away into the shades with as 
much grace as it could muster. There was the imperial duo of 

Benazir and Zardari, a union as illustrious and strange as that of 
the Emperor Justinian and the Empress Theodora, which during its 
rule had earned such a wealth of ignominy as to have discredited 
itself once and for all. Qazi Hussain Ahmed was riding a high horse 
but given the sad record of failure accumulated by fundamentalist 
parties in every election since 1947, there was not much of a 
chance that he was about to reverse the tide of history. Imran Khan 
was untested material and hence taken seriously by no one except 
the western media. Between hope and despair Nawaz Sharif was all 
that remained. Hence it was upon him that the inflated hopes of the 
nation came to rest.
Everything blighting the Republic's prospects would be exorcised by 
Nawaz Sharif. He would give the ship of state a clear direction, 
clean the stables, carry out accountability, ensure swift and 
terrible justice, build motorways, pump vigour into the economy 
and, all in all, lead the masses to the promised land. The hour and 
the man had come together. Fervid partisans under their breath even 
referred to him as the Second Leader, the first of course being 
Jinnah. But if this was the hope how different has been the 
Two years into its tenure the Muslim League government is still 
groping for a sense of direction and purpose. What is its agenda, 
what does it want to do with the power at its disposal? How does it 
propose to tackle Pakistan's crisis of administration? To these 
insistent questions there are not even makeshift answers. 
Accountability has been turned into a one-way street. Bank robbers 
have not been touched and for good reason because any serious 
effort in this direction would cause a tumult in the ranks of the 
Muslim League itself. Far from bringing in badly needed 
administrative reforms, Nawaz Sharif lets no opportunity go by 
without expressing his sense of helplessness and frustration with 
the country's 'out-dated system' little realizing that his job as 
prime minister is not to denounce things but to try to set them 
For the hapless people of Pakistan therefore the expected watershed 
of the last elections has proved to be another opportunity wasted, 
another promise betrayed. They were expecting a revolution. They 
have got instead an average, run-of-the-mill government which over 
the last two years has put in what can be described at best as a 
lacklustre performance. True, Nawaz Sharif has proved a skilful 
tactician, adept at power plays, defusing potential threats and 
consolidating his position. But this is to his own benefit. For the 
people it has not meant more jobs, steady prices and a better 
quality of policing and justice. So of what use to them the 
imperial prime ministership that they see installed in Mughal 
splendour in Islamabad?
That, consequently, popular disillusionment has set in is hard to 
dispute for anyone not wearing blinkers. On promises alone the 
masses cannot live forever and certainly not on the stale rhetoric 
which the propaganda engines of the Muslim League are having to re-
cycle with growing signs of desperation. After all, a spin can be 
put on events. You can even put a spin on failure. It is hard to 
put a spin on a vacuum. But the question is: who is to be blamed 
for this feeling of loss and betrayal, the Muslim League government 
for performing under par or the masses for pitching their 
expectations too high?
Of one thing there should not be the slightest doubt. The Muslim 
League government is composed of well-meaning but plodding figures 
who are doing the best they can. To expect anything more from them, 
higher competence or vision, is like asking them to defy their 
stars and their destiny. The PPP was programmed to self-destruct. 
Without any thanks to Justice Qayyum or Senator Saifur Rehman it 
has fulfilled its destiny. Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League is 
programmed to deliver a middling performance. It too is fulfilling 
its destiny.
The tragedy is not Nawaz Sharif's who has already known more than 
his share of glory. The tragedy is that of the Pakistani people who 
while yearning and indeed waiting for heroes have always had to 
settle for less than heroic figures. In the present case the 
tragedy is two-fold because the people of Pakistan have deluded 
themselves. Far from anyone else betraying them, they have been 
betrayed by their own expectations. Nawaz Sharif was no stranger to 
them. They knew his strengths and weaknesses as also the history of 
his rise to political greatness. But driven by their own desires 
they saw things in him that were not there. Who is then to be 
blamed: Nawaz Sharif for being true to form and character or the 
people of Pakistan for living out another chapter of their 
unchanging tragedy?

World Cup team likely on Sunday

KARACHI, April 1: Pakistan's 15-man World Cup squad would be 
announced on Sunday, officials said.
Chairman of selectors Wasim Bari maintained on Thursday that his 
committee had been assigned the task of submitting the team by 
March 31. "We have successfully met that deadline.
"However, the cricket board says that it would announce the team on 
Sunday, the day Indian team is announced during the tri-nation 
series final at Bangalore," Bari told Dawn.
According to the World Cup organizing committee rules, April 3 is 
the deadline for submitting final squad. However, Pakistan along 
with India have managed to take an extension by a day.
Bari, while refusing to discuss the team, said it was still upto 
the PCB executive council to approve the side. "I don't know 
whether they would approve the entire squad or would make any 
It is gathered that no top official of the Pakistan Cricket Board 
(PCB) is in the country. Chairman Khalid Mahmood is touring with 
the cricket team while Majid Khan on Thursday left for India as 
manager of a Lahore-based Zaman club. The decision to withhold the 
team was taken by the secretary of the board.
Bari admitted that the delay in the announcement of the team might 
cause some confusion but stressed that it was the job of the 
cricket board think tank. "My committee has done its work and from 
now the cricket board comes into picture."

Ijaz and Inzamam help Pakistan canter to victory

MOHALI (India), April 1: Wasim Akram's Pakistan warmed up for the 
tri-series final against India with a seven-wicket romp over an 
experimental home team here on Thursday.

The Indians, deciding to rest seven top stars before Sunday's final 
in Bangalore, were shot out for 196 after stand-in captain Ajay 
Jadeja elected to bat in the day-night international.
Akram's men then recovered from 34-3 to win in the 42nd over in 
front of 1,023 Pakistani tourists, who were granted special visas 
by the Indian government to watch the match.
The victory, set up by a fiery burst from Shoaib Akhtar, was 
completed through an unbeaten stand of 163 for the fourth wicket 
between Ijaz Ahmed (89 not out) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (63 not out).
Pakistan won easily despite being penalised three overs for a 
painfully slow over-rate which extended the Indian innings by an 
hour to accommodate the mandatory 50 overs.
A sell out-crowd of 35,000 at the Mohali stadium watched the 
inconsequential last league match after both India and Pakistan had 
assured their place in the final ahead of world champions Sri 
Pakistan ended the round-robin league with three wins from four 
matches. India had two wins while Sri Lanka finished with one win.
Akhtar's hostile bowling - 1-10 from eight overs and overall 
figures of 2-18 - were matched by Indian seamer Venkatesh Prasad's 
destructive spell in his first appearance in the series.
The lanky Prasad removed Saeed Anwar in his first over, young Imran 
Nazir in his third and Shahid Afridi in the sixth to raise visions 
of an upset win by the home team.
But the absence of star bowlers Javagal Srinath, Anil Kumble, Ajit 
Agarkar and Nikhil Chopra enabled Ijaz and Inzamam to wrest back 
the initiative.
The Indians were also without regular skipper Mohammad Azharuddin, 
batting ace Sachin Tendulkar and wicket-keeper Nayan Mongia.
Barring Tendulkar, who is recovering from a back injury, the rest 
are expected to be back for the final.
The fringe players who were fielded ahead of the selection of the 
World Cup squad next Monday left the Indian selectors tearing their 
hair in frustration.
Amay Khurasia was stumped in Saqlain Mushtaq's first over for six, 
debutant Virender Sehwag made one, Hrishikesh Kanitkar ran himself 
out and Laxmi Shuka holed out after making five.
India's major contributors were seniors like Ganguly and Robin 
Singh, who are certain to make the England-bound squad.
Ganguly, hit a painful blow on the rib cage by Akhtar, returned to 
top score with 57. Singh made 42 after sharing a 74-run stand for 
the fifth wicket with Ganguly.
Akhtar scared the Indians when he forced Ganguly to retire hurt 
briefly with a snorter and dismissed the other frontline batsman 
Rahul Dravid for no score in the space of three deliveries.-AFP

Salim Malik included in World Cup squad

KARACHI, March 31: Former captain Salim Malik was included in the 
Pakistan cricket team for the World Cup as the national selectors 
submitted a 15-man squad to the cricket board for approval by its 
executive council, informed sources in Lahore said.
April 3 is the final date for submitting the squad to the World Cup 
organizers and chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) 
Majid Khan was not willing to release the squad to the media before 
getting clearance from the competent authorities.
"I didn't receive the team today. But if the selectors say they 
have faxed it, then we will take the clearance from the executive 
council on telephone and will release it to the media," Majid said 
from Lahore.
Nusrat Azeem, president of the Karachi City Cricket Association 
(KCCA) and the senior-most councillor, told Dawn that the team 
would most likely be approved without any objection. "We have 
hardly raised any objections (in the past) and the tradition would 
be retained this time also."
Azeem said he was personally very satisfied with the job of the 
selectors. "Their selected teams have performed brilliantly in 
India and in that background one has reasons to believe that there 
would not be any objections."
He said the executive council had complete confidence in the 
selection committee "and we know that they must have picked the 
best players."
Azeem said it would have been better if a meeting of the executive 
council had been arranged for approving the team. "But that is now 
not possible. However, a meeting is expected on April 22 or 23 and 
will discuss the team and other issues then."
Malik, dropped after the tour of India, has been included along 
side Waqar Younis and Mushtaq Ahmad who also missed the Indian tri-
nation series. The two will also not be going to Sharjah for the 
Champions Trophy but Salim Malik is expected to join the team in 
the desert city along with Wajahatullah Wasti.
"The team management wanted Salim Malik in India and the selectors 
have no objection. But it is upto the cricket board to finalize his 
tour plans," a source close to the selectors said.
Malik, till late Wednesday evening, was in Lahore.
Salim Malik is Pakistan's second leading run-getter in limited 
overs internationals after Javed Miandad. He has scored 7,053 runs 
in 276 matches at an average of 33.11. Waqar Younis also has a 
phenomenal record as his 282 wickets have come in just 172 matches 
at an average of little over 23. experienced wrist spinner like 
Mushtaq Ahmad."
The 15 players picked for the World Cup are:

Saeed Anwar, Shahid Afridi, Wajahatullah Wasti, Ijaz Ahmad, Salim 
Malik, Yousuf Youhana, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Moin Khan (vice captain), 
Wasim Akram (captain), Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Azhar Mahmood, 
Abdur Razzak, Saqlain Mushtaq and Mushtaq Ahmad.
Reserves: Arshad Khan, Mohammad Wasim, Shahid Nazir, Sajid Shah and 
Imran Nazir.

I have gained full fitness: Shahbaz

KARACHI, March 27: Pakistan's most experienced forward Muhammad 
Shahbaz Junior is confident of doing well in the Azlan Shah Cup to 
be held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) from April 02.
"I am eagerly looking forward to do well, prove my fitness and form 
to help team to bring laurels for the country", Olympian Shahbaz 
said in an interview at Hockey Club of Pakistan prior to his 
departure on Saturday for his hometown to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha 
with his family members.
Inside-left Shahbaz dispelled the impression that he was not fit 
for the Azlan Shah Cup. He said when he came in the camp in the 
start he was not hundred per cent fit but gained full fitness and 
momentum after slow and steady training practice and regular 
He said he developed the right knee trouble during test series in 
Belgium prior to World Cup in Utrecht (Holland) in June 1998.
He said on return he started treatment of the knee and underwent 
surgery six months back in Lahore. - APP

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