------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 14 August 1999 Issue : 05/33 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + PM vows to defend country's frontiers + Independence Day being celebrated today + India downs PN plane: 16 killed + Islamabad warns Delhi against hostile acts + American commandos' landing report denied + Land will be a gift from govt: Nawaz + PN chief denies any spy mission + Benazir opposes govt-controlled press council + New Delhi 'sabotaged' back-channel diplomacy + Gas prices raised; GST imposed on oil & power + Karachiites witness total solar eclipse --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Hubco ready to cut profit + Exemption allowed from 10% tax on reserves + Ginneries in Sindh to go on strike from today + No relief to forex depositors: Forward cover fee cut to 8pc on $ + Sindh BoR's plea to inspect banks' documents declined + Rs 5-8 billion needed for revival of sick units + Gas, power hike to reduce farm, industrial output + Machinery import drops by 27.64% + Survey for NTN planned + ICI Pakistan posts Rs2465m in pretax loss + Wapda not to give tariff concession to any industry + Stocks finish weekend session on easy note + IMF mission due on 14th to review reforms --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + A matter of honour? Ardeshir Cowasjee + Battered pride and imperial confusion Ayaz Amir + The cost of Kargil Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Wasim Raja appointed coach of Pakistan team + Scotland down Pakistan in World Cup squash + Indian board awaits decision on Toronto series

PM vows to defend country's frontiers

KARACHI, Aug 12: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday that 
the shooting down of Pakistan Navy's reconnaissance plane by the 
Indian jet fighters was an aggression that would complicate things 
and cast shadow over normalization of ties between the two 

"It was a naked aggression as the Indian authorities knew that the 
plane was on a routine training mission", said Mr Sharif while 
talking to newsmen at PNS Mehran after attending the funeral 
ceremony of the martyrs of the downed plane, Atlantic.

The prime minister and civilian and military officials attended the 
funeral of the five navy officers and 11 sailors who were killed on 
Tuesday when their plane was shot down by Indian fighters inside 
Pakistan airspace in the Rann of Kutch area.

The prime minister declared that "Pakistan will adopt all available 
measures to ensure its security because this is part of our faith".

Mr Sharif reiterated Pakistan's resolve for peace, but said "such 
unwarranted and cowardly acts will not be tolerated and his 
government will do everything to defend the national interest."

Asked to comment on the fallout of the Atlantique episode on the 
Lahore Declaration, premier Sharif said: "India has violated the 
international norms and bilateral agreements by shooting down our 
surveillance plane", adding that "it will further complicate things 
and cast shadow over the peace process between the two countries."

He said the unprovoked attack on an unarmed plane had also exposed 
the lack of Indian interest in the normalization of relations and 
regional peace.

India shot down the plane which had "no capability of doing 
anything aggressive", Mr Sharif said, added that the Indian 
helicopters had collected parts of the wreckage of the plane to 
cover up its "barbaric and cowardly act."

Refuting the Indian claim that the plane was not on a training 
mission, he said: "if the plane had any other design it would not 
have gone in such a way."

Mr Sharif said: "India has done everything to hide its aggressive 
action inside Pakistan airspace. They took away parts of the 
wreckage, displaying it on television and telling false stories to 
other countries.

Indian claim that the plane was shot down within Indian territory 
was exposed when Indian television showed their soldiers "running 
away with the wreckage stolen from Pakistani territory", he said.

The prime minister said: "it is crystal clear that our plane did 
not violate the Indian airspace. On the contrary India has violated 
all the international norms and bilateral accords by shooting down 
a surveillance plan, resulting in cold-blooded murder of 16 
personnel of the Pakistan Navy.

Chief of the Naval staff, Admiral Fasih Bukhari, described the 
unprovoked shooting down of the plane as "barbaric" and warned 
India that Pakistan Navy was fully prepared to safeguard its sea 

The naval chief said the Indians again violated Pakistani territory 
on Wednesday when Pakistani helicopters were busy in collecting the 
remains of those killed in the incident.

He said the Indians were trying to collect more debris of the 
downed plane so that New Delhi could produce it before the 
international media in support of its claim that the plane was shot 
down in its territory.

Independence Day being celebrated today

ISLAMABAD, Aug 13: The nation will celebrate the 53rd Independence 
Day on Saturday with renewed pledge to steer the country into the 
next century as a strong and prosperous nation.

The day will dawn with special prayers at the mosques for the 
country's stability and prosperity and success of the independence 
movement in Kashmir followed by 31 gun salute at the federal 
capital and 21 gun salutes at the provincial capitals. Sirens will 
be sounded throughout the country at 7:58am to halt the traffic at 
ground and sea for one minute.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will hoist national flag at a ceremony 
before the parliament house at 8am before delivering his message 
for the day. The flag hoisting ceremonies will be performed by 
chief ministers at the provincial capitals.

Educational institutions will organize Qirat and Naat competitions, 
debates, national songs and tableaus. The radio and TV will 
broadcast and telecast special programmes while the print media 
will bring out special editions highlighting the independence 

India downs PN plane: 16 killed
By Sarfaraz Ahmed

KARACHI, Aug 10: All the 16 officers and sailors on board were 
killed on Tuesday when a Pakistan Navy training aircraft was shot 
down by two Indian fighter planes. The wreckage of the plane has 
been located 2km inside Pakistan territory in marshy areas, Badin 
district, around 100 nautical miles off Karachi.

Those who were killed during their instrument flying training 
flight were identified as Lt Comdr Mehboob Alam, Comdr Farasat, Lt 
Rizwan Masood, Lt Azhar, Lt Zarrar, Sailor Mohammad Tariq, Sailor 
Nawazish, Sailor Mohammad Husain, Sailor Mohammad Sarwar, Sailor 
Aftab Ahmed, Sailor Mohammad Riaz, Sailor Wahid Iqbal, Sailor 
Mohammad Yasin, Sailor Mohammad Hafeez, Sailor S. Mehmood and 
Sailor M.N. Masood.

The plane - French-made Breguet Atlantic maritime patrol aircraft - 
had left PNS Mehran airbase in the city at 9.15am for a routine 
training flight to the coastal areas of southern Sindh. It was 
scheduled to return to its base after four hours.

The plane went missing at 11am after it made its last contact with 
the Karachi Airport Air Traffic Control at 10.50am. The helicopters 
sent out to search for the plane sighted its wreckage on the ground 
near Badin.

Pakistan authorities had in the day noticed the take-off of two 
Indian fighter planes over the marshy areas, but since it was a 
normal routine flight during peacetime none of those monitoring the 
ground radar had any inkling that the training plane would be 
intercepted, attacked or shot down.

The rescue teams that went to the area following the disappearance 
of the plane found the Atlantic debris strewn in an area of around 
one kilometre. The plane wreckage had created at least three big 
craters in the marshy area, and the helicopter that took the 
photographers of world media, including BBC and Reuters, found a 
sizable part full of red water, believed to be the blood of those 
killed in the plane.

According to one of the Naval officials who was first to reach the 
spot in the afternoon, the debris at some places was still burning.

He said blood had turned the colour of water into red. His account 
was later corroborated by a photographer who reached the spot with 
five other cameramen.

The naval officials, however, said they had been able to retrieve 
some highly mutilated pieces of flesh from the site of the 

One of the photographers who had visited the spot told Dawn that 
they had been able to land at a relatively soft patch of land in 
the otherwise waterlogged area. "The wreckage reminded me of the 
1988 crash in which Gen Ziaul Haq was killed," he said.

Earlier, Rear Admiral Gul Zaman Malik quoting a fisherman told 
newsmen that the fishermen who were near that area had seen a big 
ball of fire coming from the sky.

Islamabad warns Delhi against hostile acts
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Aug 11: The Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) which 
met here on Wednesday directed the armed forces to take all 
necessary measures in self-defence and, at the same time, warned 
India that all provocations and violations 
of Pakistan's airspace would be considered as hostile acts and 
given a befitting response.

The DCC reiterated the sense of indignation of the entire nation 
voiced earlier by the Federal Cabinet during its meeting this 
morning and affirmed that the nation was fully united in its 
resolve to face the Indian aggression.

The DCC called upon the international community to take public 
cognizance of this most deplorable incident and condemn this 
military aggression against an unarmed aircraft which has raised 
tensions and posed a threat to the peace and stability of the 

The meeting further noted that the foreign minister had brought 
this act of aggression to the attention of the president of the 
security council and the secretary general of the United Nations 
and OIC. "Pakistan has always favoured peaceful resolution of all 

According to informed sources, the DCC which was presided over by 
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, discussed threadbare what it termed 
"serious threat perceptions" in the region and directed the armed 
forces to strike back if the situation warranted so against the 

The DCC considered the situation resulting from the latest act of 
Indian military aggression by shooting down the unarmed Pakistan 
Navy aircraft on Tuesday and the cold blooded murder in peace time 
of the 16 naval personnel including trainees who were on board the 
aircraft. The chief of Naval Staff briefed the DCC on the details 
of the gory incident of this naked aggression.

The DCC noted that India blatantly violated the recognized 
international norms as well as the specific bilateral Pakistan- 
India agreement on the prevention of airspace violations signed on 
6th April, 1991.

The meeting was told that perhaps the BJP government wanted to keep 
fuelling war hysteria in India in order to improve its position in 
the forthcoming elections.

The DCC also reviewed the latest situation in Afghanistan and 
reiterated Pakistan's policy of promoting durable peace in the 
country through dialogue and negotiations. 

American commandos' landing report denied

ISLAMABAD, Aug 10: A United States official and the Pakistan 
Foreign Office spokesman on Tuesday denied in separate contacts the 
foreign media reports claiming that an American commando force had 
landed in Pakistan on Monday to launch a 'get-bin-Laden' operation 
in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden is accused by the United States 
of having masterminded terrorist attacks on two of its embassies in 
East Africa on Aug 7, 1998. He has been reportedly provided asylum 
by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The US navy had fired a 
number of cruise missiles aimed at the alleged bin Laden base and 
training camps late last year across Pakistani airspace, and there 
have been frequent media reports for quite some time of another 
operation by the US military to capture bin Laden and his 

Lee Ames Irvin, country chief of the US Information Service, told 
Dawn here on Tuesday that as already stated in Washington, there 
was absolutely no truth in the media reports about the US commandos 
being sent to Pakistan in an attempt to strike against Osama based 
somewhere in Afghanistan. A Qatari satellite television stations 
stated that two planes landed at the same time at two airports in 
Islamabad on Monday, bringing dozens of battle-ready commandos.

The foreign office spokesman Tariq Altaf, when asked for comment, 
said the report had already been denied by the foreign ministry. - 

Land will be a gift from govt: Nawaz

LAHORE, Aug 12: Launching the first project of the Prime Minister's 
Housing programme in Lahore on Thursday Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif 
said cost of land would not be charged from the persons who would 
be sold the houses.

The prime minister unveiled the plaque to inaugurate the project 
here on Thursday after opening similar projects in Karachi, Quetta 
and Peshawar. He was accompanied by Senator Saifur Rahman, who is 
the chairman of the housing programme, Punjab Governor Shahid Hamid 
and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Speaking on the occasion, the premier said the land worth billions 
of rupees all over the country would be a free gift from the 
government to the poor and the needy people. However, only the 
construction cost of the houses would be charged in easy 
instalments over a period of 15 to 20 years.

He said the government could earn billions of rupees by selling the 
land but it decided to give it free to the poor and the needy 
persons of the lower and the middle classes as they could not 
afford to pay for the heavy cost of the land.

Mr Sharif said his housing programme would generate employment for 
millions of jobless people besides helping to set up a network of 
new industries and boost the national economy. The GDP would also 
go up. He said the housing projects had been launched at all the 
four provincial capitals and soon more would be launched in 
Islamabad, Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir.

He said his housing programme would benefit a large number of 
shelterless, the poor and the needy persons throughout the country. 
He said it was one of the biggest projects of the country which 
would provide shelter to the shelterless.

He said slogans of providing "roti, kapra aur makan" had been 
raised by a politician in the past who had also raised the slogan 
of fighting a war for a thousand years against the enemy but he had 
taken no concrete steps. He said his government was the first to 
take concrete steps for providing shelter to the millions of the 
shelterless people by launching the housing programme.

He said over 300 sites had been selected for the programme 
throughout the country. Work on Karachi and other cities' projects 
would begin on Friday.

He said a large number of architects, building designers and 
contractors were being engaged for the housing projects. He feared 
there would be shortage of architects and building planners and 

Earlier, the architect of the project Nayyar Ali Dada briefed the 
prime minister with the details of the housing project at the 
Shabbir Town on Raiwind Road neat Thokar Niaz Baig. He said five 
more sites had been selected for housing projects near Nisar Town 
on Raiwind Road, Misri Shah, Moghalpura, University of Engineering 
and Technology and Jallo Park.

He said the present housing project at Shabbir Town would be on an 
area of 128 acres and 2,420 flats would be built. Four storey flats 
would be constructed in blocks. Provision has been made for a 
commercial area, mosque, playgrounds and other civic amenities in 
each project. The project is estimated to cost Rs 1,500 million.

The housing programme envisages the construction of half a million 
houses and flats. As many as 100,000 flats would be built during 
the first phase started on Thursday. They include 30,000 flats in 
the Punjab, 40,000 in Sindh, 10,000 each in the NWFP and Islamabad, 
5,000 in Balochistan, 2,000 in Northern Areas and 3,000 in Azad 
Kashmir. In the Punjab, the programme includes construction of 
10,000 houses at Lahore, 5,000 each at Multan and Faisalabad, 3,000 
at Sialkot, 2,000 each at Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan, 500 at 

Rahim Yar Khan and 2,500 at other places.

PN chief denies any spy mission

KARACHI, Aug 12: Pakistan Navy chief Admiral Fasih Bokhari 
categorically stated on Thursday that the PN plane which was downed 
by Indian fighter jets on Aug 10, was neither on a reconnaissance 
mission nor in the Indian territory.

Talking to newsmen at the PNS Mehran air base, the naval chief said 
had the plane been on any such mission it should not have been 
flying on an altitude of 7,000 feet when it came under attack.

He said the plane was in Pakistan territory. Had it been carrying 
out any reconnaissance mission it should have "most possibly" been 
in the Indian territory, he argued.

Giving details of the French-made Atlantic, he said it was an 
unarmed training plane operating in an area designated for 
training. He elaborated that training aircraft had to be under 
civilian radar and air traffic control, and a training flight could 
not be operated at an altitude of 7,000 feet in an area where 
civilian traffic was around.

He said that Atlantic had been on Indian radar for well over 90 
minutes before it was shot down and a little later, Indian 
helicopters landed at the site of wreckage and picked up some of 
the pieces of the plane.

Referring to the alleged delay in the search operation, Admiral 
Bokhari said that in the disappearance case of a reconnaissance 
plane a margin of time had to be given before reaching a decision 
to launch a search mission.

As the search for the plane took some time, he said, Indian 
helicopters managed to steal some of the debris in the meantime.

Terming the downing of the plane a "cowardly act," he said it was 
an unwarranted act which could cause a setback to the process of 
Lahore Declaration.

He said there was no need on the part of Indian leaders to give 
statements after the Kargil crisis that they could have blockaded 
Pakistan at sea as that had no relevance to the Kargil situation. 
Indians had now dragged the PN into this conflict, he added.

The admiral said that the PN was fully prepared to safeguard the 
maritime territories and India would not be allowed to violate the 

Benazir opposes govt-controlled press council

ISLAMABAD, Aug 8: Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto condemned the 
Nawaz regime for its bid to form a government-controlled press 
council and described it yet another attack on the independent 
press in Pakistan.

In a statement issued here by PPP media cell the chairperson 
rejected any press council which would be under the control of the 
government. Ms Bhutto demands that such a council should be formed 
only with the consent of various representative bodies of 
journalists who should also be responsible for running it without 
the government controls.

"I urge the people of Pakistan to hold Mr Sharif and his party 
accountable for these heavy-handed tactics, and to continue 
pressing for freedom of the press, an independent judiciary, and a 
return to a democratic government that respects and upholds the 
rights of the citizens", she added.

"The reports that the regime has decided to form the so-called 
press council even without the consent of the representative bodies 
of the press are most disturbing for the freedom of the press in 
the country", Ms Bhutto said.

"This is another clear violation of human rights by a dictatorial 
regime determined to stamp out any and all voices of potential 
opposition to it", the opposition leader said.

The former premier claimed that Nawaz and his cronies had already 
taken control of the presidency, the judiciary and the military. 

They were seeking to eliminate the opposition through special laws 
with retrospective application, she added.

New Delhi 'sabotaged' back-channel diplomacy
Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Aug 13: The back-channel diplomacy adopted by the 
government during the Kargil operation had come close to an 
agreement by June 25, but Indians were not ready for time-bound 
negotiations on Kashmir, revealed Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz on 

Winding up debate on the Kargil operation in the Senate, he said 
the proposal for the prime minister's visit to Washington had been 
under discussion since mid-June.

The PM did not rush to Washington in haste. Since President Clinton 
was on a visit to Europe, he (the PM) could not undertake the visit 
earlier, said Mr Aziz.

The foreign minister emphasized that India must vacate Qamar, 
Chorbutla and Siachen it had occupied in violation of the Simla 

"India must withdraw from those areas to restore the sanctity of 
the Line of Control," he told the house, adding that the LoC had to 
be respected by both sides as it was a mutual obligation.

Pakistan cannot, in the name of peace and restraint, accept the 
Indian hegemonic designs, aggressive postures and implicit policy 
of "might is right". Indian hegemony would not stop at the LoC, it 
would go beyond that, he said.

The minister expressed the hope that the time would vindicate the 
Washington accord. "Only time will tell.. it will bear fruit," he 

Rebutting criticism of the Washington accord by the opposition, he 
said the involvement of international community in the Kashmir 
issue "greatly" favoured the position of Pakistan.

Mr Aziz said it would be considered a positive outcome of the 
Kargil operation if Kashmir issue continued to get attention of 
world community in the coming 18/20 months.

Quoting a Times report, he said it had termed the Kargil episode a 
turning point in the 50-year history of the Kashmir issue.

To a question repeatedly raised by the opposition senators as to 
what was the objective of the Kargil operation, he said firstly the 
Mujahideen had wanted interdiction of Highway A-1 which links 
Kargil with Siachen via Leh. The Mujahideen had successfully done 
that and inflicted huge losses on the enemy in men and material for 
over two months.

Gas prices raised; GST imposed on oil & power
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Aug 11: The federal cabinet approved here on Wednesday 
upward revision in gas prices and at the same time also approved a 
mechanism to pass on to the consumers, in future, the 
increases/decreases in world oil prices 
while fixing the quantum of petroleum surcharge at its present 

The cabinet, which was chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, also 
approved a levy of 15 per cent GST on POL products, electricity and 

As a result of the cabinet decision on Wednesday the gas tariff for 
domestic consumers has gone up by 3.5 per cent while for other 
consumers by 7.75 per cent.

However, there will not be any increase of gas prices for feed 
stock of the new fertilizer plants.

According to the details of the mechanism approved for fixing the 
POL prices, a quarterly adjustment of retail prices will be made in 
accordance with the changes in the international prices/ import 
parity prices while the petroleum surcharge will remain fixed at 
the present level.

Prior to this cabinet decision the quantum of petroleum surcharge 
(the difference between the world POL prices and the domestic 
market prices) used to be adjusted every time the world POL prices 
went up or down in order to protect the interests of the consumer. 
But from now on the increases and decreases will be passed on to 
the consumer to protect the budgeted petroleum surcharge from the 
vagaries of the fluctuations in the world oil prices.

Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar who briefed the meeting about the 
latest economic situation claimed that as a consequence of this 
change in the mechanism, there shall not be any immediate increase 
in the petroleum prices.

The petroleum prices are, however, expected to be reviewed next in 
December 1999 but any change that would entail in the consumer 
prices following this review would not affect the budgetary income 
from petroleum surcharge.

Mr Dar explained to the cabinet that the incidence of GST on POL 
will be absorbed within the existing levy of Petroleum Development 
Surcharge and as such there will be no price increase of POL 
products on this account.

The incidence of GST on electricity will be adjusted by reducing 
the existing levy of additional surcharge on electricity. In case 
of domestic, agricultural and commercial consumers with consumption 
of 500 kwh per month there will thus be no increase in the 
electricity tariff.

However, the industrial and commercial consumers with consumption 
of about 500 kwh per month will have to pay GST at 15 per cent but 
they will be entitled to claim refund as their output.

The fertilizer producers will be eligible for adjustment of GST on 
gas and other inputs against output.

Karachiites witness total solar eclipse 
Dawn Report

KARACHI, Aug 11: Millions of Karachiites witnessed the rare 
phenomenon of the turning of a day into 'night' hours before sunset 
when the moon completely eclipsed the sun on Wednesday.

The spectacle was also seen by the people at Thatta, Jati, Lasbela, 
Turbat and Panjgor.

The total solar eclipse lasted for more than one minute, from 
5:25:56pm to 5:27:09pm. The partial eclipsing of the sun was 
observed almost all over the country. In Karachi - the prime 
viewing area for the last solar eclipse of the millennium - the 
process started at 4:18pm and ended at 6:27pm.

It was the third total solar eclipse witnessed so far in Pakistan. 
The previous solar eclipses were witnessed on June 30, 1954, and 
Oct 24, 1995, according to the Meteorological department officials.

The Karachiites witnessed the uncommon terrestrial event with a mix 
of caution and enthusiasm. Hundreds of thousands of them remained 
indoors during the eclipse. They preferred to watch the spectacle 
on their TV sets.

However, a select group of enthusiasts did visit the scientific and 
educational organizations which had made special arrangements for 
watching the process on closed-circuit TV sets. A number of 
enthusiasts monitored it with the help of websites that had been 
developed specially for the event.

Islamabad: People switched on lights in their homes and automatic 
street lights lit up. Birds perplexed with the natural phenomenon 
as they could not reach their homes before sun-set.

The soggy and cloudy weather marred the spectacle of the long-
awaited solar eclipse in Islamabad, but its occurrence was felt by 
the scary darkness in the skies at 5:30pm.

Lahore: Clouds prevented people from watching the last solar 
eclipse the millennium. According to the Punjab University's space 
sciences department, 75 per cent of the sun was blocked by the moon 
at 5:18pm Lahore time.

The sky was cloudy for much of the day, and it also rained, though 
for a short period, between 1pm and 2pm in some parts of Lahore. 
Most people were not too moved by the eclipse. Many people waiting 
for wagons and other public transport, sensing the fading light, 
tried to get a look at the sun

Rawalpindi: Thick clouds and rain deprived the Pindiites from 
watching the solar eclipse at 5:30pm in the city.

Though the weather was clear, suddenly the dark grey clouds covered 
the sun just before the start of the eclipse.

Most of the people had thronged parks, playgrounds and multi-storey 
buildings to watch the eclipse but the heavy rains swept away their 
all preparations and hopes.

Hyderabad: Partial darkness was witnessed in Hyderabad during the 
solar eclipse.

The assistant meteorologist, Tayyab Arain said that 92 to 95 per 
cent eclipse was observed. The eclipse process started at 4:25pm 
and continued till 6:28pm while total eclipse was observed from 
5:28pm to 5:29pm.

Quetta: People watched the eclipse here, with hundreds reporting to 
private clinics and family doctors complaining pain in their eyes 
after they watched it with naked eyes. There was a partial darkness 
in the city. Met office claimed 80 per cent eclipse was observed in 
this city.

Hubco ready to cut profit
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Aug 13: The Hub Power Company (Hubco) on Friday offered 
to reduce the profit of its shareholders from 18 per cent to 15.6 
per cent to help Wapda to overcome some of its pressing financial 

Informed sources said that the fourth round of talks between 
Pakistan and Hubco ended on a positive note here on Friday when 
both sides decided to give up their respective hard stands with a 
view to end their two-year-old dispute over tariff.

Wapda is expected to give its response to Hubco's proposal within 
the next two weeks when Chief Executive of Hubco Sheikh Mohammad 
Alireza and Chief Executive National Power Company Peter Windsor 
will return to Pakistan for further talks.

Exemption allowed from 10% tax on reserves 
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Aug 12: All limited companies paying at least 40 per 
cent of the current year's post tax profit to their shareholders 
have been exempted from the payment of 10 per cent tax on their 

This was decided at a meeting held here on Thursday to review and 
streamline the procedure on taxing the "excessive reserves" of the 
limited companies.

The meeting was presided over by Minister for Finance and Commerce 
Ishaq Dar.

The new provision will apply from Assessment Year 1999-2000. The 
reserves will not include capital reserves, share premium reserves 
and statutory reserves.

A provision was made through Finance Act to tax excessive reserves 
maintained by the limited companies which did not distribute 
profits to the shareholders. This step was taken to encourage the 
distribution of dividend by the companies and protect the interests 
of small shareholders.

During the implementation of this provision, certain difficulties 
arose and some apprehensions have also been expressed by some 
sections of corporate sector.

Ginneries in Sindh to go on strike from today

MULTAN, Aug 11: Ginneries in Sindh will join hands with the 
already-on-strike units in the Punjab on Thursday in their struggle 
against "exploitation" by spinners, claimed the Pakistan Cotton 
Ginners Association (PCGA) here on Wednesday.

A PCGA spokesman informed Dawn that presently only eight ginneries 
were working in lower Sindh area which would also stop their 
operations from Thursday.

He said a team of ginners from the Punjab successfully convinced 
them (ginners of Sindh) to launch a joint struggle for a common 

In Punjab, ginneries remained non-operative on the third 
consecutive day of their strike to press the government and APTMA 
(All-Pakistan Textile Mills Association) to envisage a plan for the 
disposal of all the indigenous unsold cotton stock. According to 
PCGA figures, it is .35 million bales.

Before strike call by the PCGA, only 16 out of 850 ginneries were 
working in the Punjab after the arrival of phutti from Sindh.

The PCGA alleged that spinners had so far imported .670 million 
lint bales while the local ones were still lying unsold at various 
ginneries of the country.

However, cotton brokers have expressed scepticism over the PCGA 
claim about joining of strike by Sindh ginners.

"They can't do that as they have given advance money to traders to 
buy phutti for them and traders have credited it to growers," a 
broker asserted. But he agreed that ginners in the Punjab were on a 
complete strike. However, their unity and determination would be 
tested on the start of ginning season in the province as currently 
only a few ginneries are operative.

When contacted a leading cotton grower, Saddiq Akbar Bokhari, said 
ultimate sufferer of the standoff between the PCGA and APTMA was 
the grower community as all others shifted their losses to them. 
Keeping in view the present situation in cotton market, one could 
forecast that growers might receive even a low price on phutti as 
compared to the price they got last year.

He said instead of sometime begging and sometime crying before the 
sole buyer (APTMA) of their produce, the ginners should find some 
other buyers also by forming a body that might work on the pattern 
of defunct Cotton Export Corporation (CEC).

No relief to forex depositors: Forward cover fee cut to 8pc on $
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Aug 9: The State Bank on Monday cut the forward cover fee 
from 10 to 8 per cent on US dollar and from 9.75 to 8.15 per cent 
on pound sterling.

It also lowered the fee from 12 to 10.60 per cent on Deutsche mark 
and from 14.80 to 13.50 per cent on the Japanese yen.

The SBP said in a letter issued to all banks that the fee had been 
lowered "with the move towards market-based exchange rate system 
and anticipated relative stability in the exchange rate."

It said the decision which would be effective from August 9 would 
not apply on the foreign currency deposits raised under F.E. 45-the 
scheme under which foreign currency swap funds are raised by the 
banks from abroad.

The letter explained that the gradual increase in forward cover 
rates were made in the past to contain the rising level of losses 
to the SBP due to forward cover on rapid depreciation of exchange 
rate. SBP had last raised the forward cover fees on March 4, 1999.

In 1997-98, SBP had incurred a loss of around Rs 13.8 billion on 
the forward exchange risk cover it had provided on foreign currency 
accounts. This had wiped off about a one third of its total earning 
of Rs 42.12 billion during the same year. Figures for fiscal 1998-
99 are not available but top bankers close to SBP say the SBP may 
have either suffered a minimal loss or made a little profit instead 
on its forward cover business in the last fiscal year.

SBP provides exchange risk cover on foreign currency accounts on a 
pre-determined rate for a specific period. Suffering loss in this 
business means that the SBP realized lesser amounts through forward 
cover fee than the losses it booked due to exchange rate 

Senior bankers reached by Dawn said the recent cut in forward cover 
fee would help them reduce their cost of foreign currency deposits 
by about 2 per cent.

They said their cost of frozen foreign currency deposits might fall 
from 11-11.5 to 9-9.5 per cent on dollar and pound sterling 
deposits and from 13.5.0-15.50 to 11.5-13.50 on Deutsche mark and 
Japanese yen deposits.

"But still the cost would not be low enough to allow us to pay any 
return to the depositors," said treasurer of a leading foreign 

He said the inter-bank money market was wallowing in excess 
liquidity with treasury bills rates down to 7 per cent and as such 
it was not possible for the banks to earn sufficient spread on 
employing the rupee equivalent of such costly deposits into the 

With a 2 per cent increase in forward cover fee on US dollar 
deposits on March 4, most banks zeroed the interest rate on foreign 
currency deposits and some foreign banks even imposed a service 
charge where they anticipated making losses on keeping these 

Senior bankers say since the cut in forward cover fee may not 
immediately lead the banks to offer any return on frozen foreign 
currency deposits the pace of conversion of these deposits into 
rupees or dollar bonds may remain intact.

They say that out of $11 billion worth of FCDs frozen on May 28, 
1998, $6.717 billion have so far been converted into rupees or 
dollar bonds-$5.327 billion into rupees and $1.390 billion into 
special dollar bonds.

Whether the reduction in forward cover fee would result in 
withdrawal of the service charge some foreign banks have imposed on 
old foreign currency accounts is also not clear. Treasurers of 
these banks say even after the lowering of the forward cover fee 
their cost of foreign currency deposits would not fall to a level 
where the service charge could be withdrawn.

Senior bankers say that the cut in the fee would also have no 
impact on fresh foreign currency deposits because the State Bank 
does not provide cover on these deposits.

Sindh BoR's plea to inspect banks' documents declined

KARACHI, Aug 11: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has given cold 
shoulder to Sindh Board of Revenue's (BoR) request to give access 
to financing documents in custody of banks to net cases of evasion 
of stamp duty.

In response to BoR's letter to banks, the SBP said in terms of 
provisions contained in Section 33-A(1) of the Banking Companies 
Ordinance, 1962 and Section 12(1) of the Banks (Nationalisation) 

ACT 1974 relating to secrecy, financial institutions are unable to 
divulge any information rela-ting to the affairs of their 

The Central Bank said banks would not be able to accede to the 
request of BoR. It, however, said that it would instruct the 
banks/NBFIs to ensure recovery of prescribed stamp duty and 
execution of loan documents on proper stamp papers, the SBP letter 
dated August 6 said.

The officials of BoR when contacted said that they have not 
received any letter from SBP.

The BoR had in a recent letter to banks and SBP requested for 
cooperation in a campaign to net all the cases where the stamp duty 
had been evaded.

Sindh BoR said its inspecting officers required access to the 
financing documents lying in custody of banks for proper 
verification of stamp duty paid and ensure recovery of duty on 
fresh documents under the Sindh Government notification of March 
31, 1998.

As back as 1985, the stamp duty on mortgage was 3 per cent. 
However, on the directives of Federal Government the rate was 
brought down to 1 per cent by all provincial governments.

The Sindh Government had increased the rate to 1.5 per cent on 
1994. But due to lack of response from borrowers as well as banking 
authorities, the provincial government was not receiving any amount 
of stamp duty.

Again in consultation with the financial institutions, the rate of 
stamp duty on loan on mark-up basis was reduced from 1.5 per cent 
to 1 per cent upto Rs 1 million.

The stamp duty is to be assessed on the amount of the basic loan 
only, excluding the mark-up.

An official of BoR said that in the fiscal 1998-99, the Board had 
recovered Rs 1,650 million as stamp duty on various accounts.

He did not give break-up of the stamp duty recovered on bank 

Referring to the response of SBP, he said in that case they would 
definitely seek solution of the problem in consultation with the 
SBP and other banks as well.

"Our recoveries on account of bank financing is poor," he said.-APP

Rs 5-8 billion needed for revival of sick units
Sabihuddin Ghausi

KARACHI, Aug 12: The revival of sick industrial units will need an 
injection of fresh funds - from Rs 5 to Rs 8 billion - in at least 
half a dozen banks and financial institutions in addition to 
relaxation in the prudential regulations and the criteria set for 
loan and mark-up write-offs by the State Bank of Pakistan.

"We are in touch with the State Bank to sort out these issues," 
Shaukat Tareen, President of the Habib Bank and Chairman of the 
Bankers Committee informed this correspondent on telephone.

The Bankers Committee has been given 45 days to process over 400 
cases identified as 'revivable sick units'.

Tareen, however, refused to discuss these issues in detail 
maintaining that it was still too early. When insisted, he said 
that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is the sole spokesman on this 

Inquiries made in the financial circles revealed that a few of the 
institutions have complained of having inadequate resources which 
inhibit them to make suitable provisions in their balance sheets so 
as to absorb the inevitable write-offs and sanction of fresh funds 
resulting from the financial restructuring.

A rehabilitation plan for sick industrial units, after the Bankers 
Committee had processed their cases, will be prepared by a Task 
Force formed under section 296 of the Companies Ordinance. This 
Task Force operates under the supervision of Securities and 
Exchange Commission.

Mockingly called the club of 'G-8 ',(a reference to the group of 
eight most affluent countries of the world) in the banking circles, 
the Bankers Committee includes the presidents of the five top banks 
(HBL, NBP, UBL, ABL and the MCB) and the two leading DFIs which are 
PICIC and the NDFC and also the President of All Pakistan Textile 
Mills Association. But there are eight other banks and DFIs 
involved in the revival programme of sick industrial units who have 
not been given any representations on the committee.

Senior executives of many of the banks and DFIs grudge that the 
government had been more generous towards the HBL and UBL who were 
offered almost Rs 30 billion as equity support and for meeting 
other requirements but is showing no concern to other institutions 
which are also exposed to defaults and stuck-up loans, financial 
and administrative problems.

Before the Bankers Committee started processing the cases of 
revivable sick units, another committee-the State Bank of Pakistan 
Coordination Committee for revival of sick units-headed by a 
corporate leader Shaukat Mirza had identified 448 sick units with 
stuck-up loan portfolio of Rs 43 billion as 'revivable'.

The other 544 sick industrial units having Rs 40 billion stuck-up 
loans are considered 'non-revivable' and have virtually been 
written off for all practical purposes.

According to the banking circles, the government is considering to 
constitute another Committee for working out a strategy to dispose 
of the assets of the non-revivable sick industrial units. 
Determination of a reference price for each of this dead industrial 
units, tackling the legal and administrative issues involved in 
sale and auction and finally the distribution of proceeds among the 
loaning banks and institutions is expected to be worked out by the 
proposed Committee.

Bankers have no idea how long this Committee will take to do all 
this exercise and ensure return of at least a quarter of Rs 40 
billion to the loaning banks and the DFIs.

For the 448 revivable sick industrial units, the SBP Coordination 
Committee had laid down four criteria as well as over a dozen 
possible methods to be adopted.

The four criteria on the basis of which the sick units were 
considered revivable are (i) Total erosion of paid-up capital and 
reserves (ii) Persistent losses for two years (iii) Closure of unit 
for one year and (iv) Non-performing loans cases having overdues 
for 365 days or more.

The Coordination Committee made it clear that the cases where 
criminality is proved and liquidators have been appointed, shall 
not be considered for revival. In fact the Committee suggested 
immediate action for liquidation of all such industrial units which 
are declared as dead.

Methods suggested for revival of sick units are (i) Excess Debt 
Recovery (ii) Debt-Equity Swap, (iii) Warehouse Receipt Financing 
(iv) Application of Section 295 and 296 of the Companies Ordinance 
(v) Change of Management, (vi) Working Capital (vii) Relief of 
Mark-up for shut down period (viii) Freezing of mark-up (ix) 
Reduction in the Mark-up rate (x) Participation Term Certificates 
(xi) BMR Financing, (xii) Additional equity injection and the 
(xiii) Sale of excess land.

Many bankers perceive that excess debt taken by the sponsors and 
sanctioned by the executives of the banks and DFIs show the element 
of criminality. It indicates that the sponsors had inflated the 
cost of the project and obtained loan much over and above the 
actual cost and had spent or invested the excess amount somewhere 
else rendering the project sick right from the beginning.

Under the Excess Debt Recovery plan, the bankers are being asked to 
split it into sustainable debt on which the sponsors would be asked 
to service it according to his convenience and the remaining amount 
be considered as unsustainable debt. The borrowers may be given the 
option to settle the adjustment of this unsustainable debt by 
paying straightaway 25 per cent or work out instalments after 
making a generous provision of waiver and write off.

Gas, power hike to reduce farm, industrial output

RAWALPINDI, Aug 12: Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry 
President, Ashfaq Mahmud Khan, on Thursday feared that increase in 
gas, electricity and fertiliser prices would not only affect the 
consumers but also reduce agricultural and industrial output.

In a press statement, he said the adjustment in 15 per cent GST in 
industrial power tariff, offered by the government on below 500 
units, was a joke as more than 500 units were consumed usually in 
residential use.

Though price of petrol had been linked with international rate, 15 
per cent GST imposed on petroleum products would obviously 
createadverse impact on industrial, agricultural production and 
business activities of the country, he added.

The business community of Rawalpindi has decided to observe 
complete shutter down strike shortly against increase in gas, 
electricity and fertilisers' price and imposition of 15 general 
sales tax on utilities.

The convener GST Action Committee, Raja Tariq Kiyani termed the 
imposition of 15 per cent GST along with increase in price of gas, 
electricity and fertilisers as a 'double edge' weapon and said both 
these steps would add to the miseries of the people.

He said why the prices of petrol was not equalised with the 
international rates when its cost was Rs 9 per litre 
internationally. That time Rs 74 billion went to the pockets of 
rulers, he claimed.

 Our Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: The Lahore Chamber of 
Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has opposed increase in gas rates and 
levy of 15% sales tax on power and POL products.

In a statement on Thursday, LCCI president Pervez Hanif said the 
decision would increase the cost of production and deal a blow to 
the steel and textile industries. He said imposition of Rs1,000 as 
withholding tax on industrial gas consumers would add to the woes 
of commercial consumers.

He said the government decision would limit industrial production 
in the country and hit exports hard.

 Our Correspondent from Gujranwala adds: The local Chamber of 
Commerce and Industry, traders, manufacturers and the business 
community in general have strongly protested against the levy of 
general sales tax on petroleum products, electricity, gas and 
fertilizers and demanded that this decision should be withdrawn 

Machinery import drops by 27.64%

ISLAMABAD, Aug 11: Export of textile manufactures fell by 2.90 per 
cent in July 1999 as compared to July 1998, while import of 
machinery dropped by 27.64 per cent.

Statistics Division figures on external trade issued here 
onWednesday show that export of textile manufactures in July 1999 
were valued at $393.936 million against $405.690 million in July 
last year. Simultaneously, the import of machinery has decreased to 
$125.503 million from $173.454 million.

In the comparable months, the export of cotton fabrics fell by 
0.46% from $78.143 million to $77.921 million; ready made garments 
by 2.60% ($67.045 million) to $65.304 million; sports goods by 
33.33% ($20.149 million to $3.433 million); leather manufactures by 
43% ($28.292 million to $10.083 million); surgical and medical 
instruments by 39.26% ($8.395 million to $5.099 million); cutlery 
by 68.60 per cent ($1.121 million to 0.352 million); leather by 
13.65% ($14.355 million to $12.396 million); and raw wool by 82% 
($0.422 million to $US$ 0.157 million).

The export of rice and fish/fish preparations, however, increased 
by 31.76% and 10.67% respectively. The rice consignments brought 
$27.417 million (last year $20.808 million, while the fish/fish 
products' exports valued at $4.210 million (last year $3.804 

A good news for exporter this year is that the export of tulle, 
lace embroidery increased by 325% ($0.424 million to $1.407 

On the imports side, milk and cream import increased by 13.61% 
($88.869 to $100.968 million); tea went down by 16.97% ($20.980 
million to $17.420 million); soyabean oil increased by 16.20% 
($7.918 million to $12.764 million); palm oil decreased by 28.95% 
($39.292 million to 27.917 million); power generating machines by 
48.78% ($17.633 million to $9.032 million); textile machinery by 
27.02% ($14.876 million to 10.857 million); road motor vehicles by 
44.11% ($ 26.844 million to 15.003 million); petroleum group 
(products, crude) increased by 52.82% ($102.406 million to $156.492 
million); plastic materials dropped by 25% ($26.776 million to 
20.002 million).

Survey for NTN planned 

ISLAMABAD, Aug 12: The Income Tax department has planned a 
countrywide door-to-door survey for listing businessmen who have 
not obtained the National Tax Number.

Dawn learned from CBR officials Thursday that the survey would be 
conducted through private firms from whom an expression of interest 
has been obtained. These firms, numbering more than 70, are being 
short-listed for award of survey contract, said officials.

The CBR is launching the campaign for discovery the non-NTN holders 
in a couple of months, during which business premises would be 
visited by the surveyors. Those who already hod NTNs, will be asked 
to display them during the survey period while not having them 
would be penalised and asked to obtain them within a specified 
period after which, in case of failure, harsher penalties will be 
imposed, said officials.

The NTNs, which would be the basis of issue of Common Tax 
identifiers, would be scrapped at the time of issuance of CTIs. The 
survey will be completed before the CTIs are issued to the IT 

CBR has already distributed among the sales tax collectorates and 
Income Tax commissionerates the new ST/IT returns carrying the 
specification for CTI number by each filer of the tax return.

The specification has been created in view of the CTI scheme which 
would be operative with the filing of Income Tax and Sales Tax 
returns in the month of October '99. For the time being, the IT/ST 
return forms would carry the specifications of both the 
registration and the CTI numbers. Allocation of IT NTN and ST 
registration numbers would be stopped after issuance of the CTIs to 
a majority of IT/ST filers.

ICI Pakistan posts Rs2465m in pretax loss
Dilawar Hussain

KARACHI, Aug 10: The Board of Directors of ICI Pakistan Ltd, which 
met in Karachi on Tuesday, announced that the company had posted Rs 
2,465m in pretax loss for the first six months (Jan-June 1999). 
This replaced profit of Rs 333m earned in the corresponding period 
of the previous year. The board also announced that an interim 
dividend for the current year was being skipped.

Following the announcement, the 10-rupee share in the company shed 
30 paisa to close at Rs 9.70 from the overnight value of Rs 10.00, 
with trading seen in 9.9m shares.

In nearly five decades of operation in Pakistan, ICI does not 
appear to have ever been in a worst predicament as now. The pretax 
loss of Rs2,469m that the company posted for the year ended Dec 31, 
'98 perhaps stood out as the only loss to have ever been made by 
the company. And the financial figures for the first half of the 
current year, unveiled by the Board on Tuesday, suggests that 
things may yet get worst before they get better.

Net sales and Commission Income for the half year under review 
showed a robust growth of 51% to Rs5,718m, from Rs 3,792m in the 
similar six months period of '98. A statement by the company said 
that the turnover for the non-PTA portfolio of Businesses of the 
company had risen 14% over the previous similar period, in spite of 
the fluid economic conditions prevailing in the country.

The Soda Ash Business was reported to have recorded an increase in 
operating profit on the back of higher sales and improvement in 
conversion efficiencies and the Paint Business also improved its 
operating performance through strong brand promotion and increased 
customer focus. The company's Polyester arm also returned operating 
profit as demand strengthened and enabled fibre manufacturers to 
operate at higher occupancies.

What is more the pharmaceutical and chemicals businesses too 
contributed higher operating profit. It is thus, observed that all 
businesses combined, except the PTA, contributed operating profit 
in the sum of Rs 526m, which was 34% higher than the earnings in 
the same period of 1998. But like last year, all of the operating 
profit earned by the non-PTA businesses was offset 'by the severe 
depression in the PTA business'.

For investment analysts following ICI, the half term deficit does 
not come as a surprise since the directors had already warned last 
year that the depressed business cycle in PTA business was feared 
to continue all through the year 1999.

The $490m PTA Pure Terephthalic Acid (PTA) project plant was 
successfully commissioned in June '98, by virtue of which it had 
completed one full year at the end of the review period. ICI was 
said to have been able to wrest a market share of over 50% in PTA 
by Dec 31, '98. But the PTA arm had posted an operating loss in the 
whooping sum of Rs1,867.6m for all of 1998. For the Jan-June '99, 
PTA added another sum of Rs 970m in operating loss. And to deepen 
the red of the profit and loss accounts, financial and other 
charges shot up to Rs1,635m for the half year under review, from Rs 

The company had earlier planned to separate the PTA arm into an 
independent company but since the negotiations with DuPont for 
50/50 venture stood terminated, the company decided to drop the 
plans and retain the PTA business within ICI Pakistan. Shareholders 
may now wonder if it would not have been for the best, if the plans 
had gone through. To fund the PTA losses, the company proposes to 
raise Rs4,731m through the issue of right shares at 60%. 

Wapda not to give tariff concession to any industry

LAHORE, Aug 9: Water and Power Development Authority will not give 
tariff concession to any particular industry nor it is considering 
any such proposal at present, official sources told Dawn on Monday. 

"There are already many concessions which Wapda gives to different 
industries in regard to re-connection fee or paying outstanding 
power bills in instalments. But no industry gets tariff concession 
as such", Wapda officials said. 

The issue came to the limelight when flour mills from the Punjab 
and Sindh wrote to Wapda last month for a compromised power tariff. 

The millers contended that power charges cost them Rs 4.7 per unit 
on the average which contributed substantially in increasing their 
overall cost of production.

They worked out that their cost of production would come down by 
around 15 per cent if they get power through their own diesel 

They also lamented that the Punjab government was not allowing them 
to increase the wheat flour price and off set impact of the costly 
power consumed by the mills. 

Last month some industrialists tried to enhance the ex-mill price 
of wheat flour from Rs151.65 per 20 kg to Rs157 but the provincial 
government moved quickly and warned them that their wheat supply 
from food department godowns would be suspended in case the flour 
price was increased. 

"The millers may be facing problems on account of high cost of 
inputs but as far Wapda is concerned it has told them that there is 
no provision to offer tariff concession to them", Wapda officials 

Stocks finish weekend session on easy note

KARACHI, Aug 13: Stocks finished the weekend session on an easy 
note as investors played on both sides of the fence ahead of 
reports of joint statement to be issued officially on the tariff 
issue after the conclusion of a week-long talks between the highups 
of WAPDA and Hubco.

The market should have reacted bullishly to reports of withdrawal 
of 10% tax on the reserves of the companies which are paying 
dividend to their shareholders above 40% as it will mean more 
liquidity for the share business but it went without creating the 
needed enthusiasm in the rings.

'Investors have involved themselves so much with the Hubco issue 
that no one among them is inclined to look beyond it, perhaps 
because of a big stake they have acquired in it", analysts said.

It seems to have assumed the role of a trend-setter relegating the 
mega issue to the secondary position because of the fact that they 
have purchased its shares at much higher rates before the 
protracted bearish spell, they added.

The KSE 100-share index fell by 6.81 points at 1,883.43 as compared 
to 1,190.24 a week earlier, reflecting the weakness of leading base 

The market capitalization also fell to Rs318.017bn from Rs319.317bn 
owing to the weakness of Hub-Power and some other leading heavily-
capitalized shares.

Opinions about the outcome of week-long talks between the Hubco 
team led by its chairman Sheikh Alireza differed from broker to 
broker as some were optimistic but others were pessimistic, dealers 

'Bears fully exploited the rumour-dominated market after indulging 
in massive selling, pushing the share value of Hub-Power at one 
stage to Rs18.70 but later covering by them allowed it finish 
recovered', they added.

The share of the Hubco responded to counter-rumours, rising and 
falling, keeping the entire market unsettled all through the 

An idea of alternate bouts of buying and selling in Hub-Power may 
well have from the fact that it alone accounted for 105m shares, 
out of the total volume of 180m shares.

CPC Rafhan Maize was top gainer, rising by Rs27.00 on active 
support aided by news of higher interim earnings but there was no 
matching floating stock.

KASB & CO, Millat Tractors, Dreamworld, Shafi Chemicals, Prudential 
Bank, Ibrahim Textiles, Mirpurkhas Sugar, Bolan Castings, Fauji 
Fertiliser and Ghani Glass were others among the leading gainers, 
rising by one rupee to Rs4.00.

Losers were led by Nestle Milkpak, which fell by Rs10.00, followed 
by Packages, Glaxo-Welcome, Knoll, Hub-Power, Bank al-Habib, Gatron 
Industries, Al-Ghazi Tractors, General Tyre and BOC Pakistan, which 
suffered fall ranging from one rupee to Rs2.50.

The trading volume rose to 180m shares from the previous 161m 
shares but losers maintained a strong lead over the gainers at 71 
to 55, with 44 shares holding on to the last levels.

BOARD MEETINGS: MFMY Industries on Aug 16, Gillette Pakistan Aug 
20, and Knoll Pharmaceutical Aug 30.

IMF mission due on 14th to review reforms
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Aug 10: A four-member IMF mission is arriving on Aug 14 
for a post-budget review of the on-going structural reforms and 
talks on release of the fourth tranche of $280 million under 
ESAF/EFF programme.

The fourth tranche has been held up because of disagreement between 
the Fund and the government over the revenue estimates for the 
current year's budget and the timing set for meeting the reform 

The IMF executive board is likely to disburse the $280 million by 
the end of September if it found the report of the review mission 
satisfactory, sources in the multilateral agency said on Tuesday.

They said the government had been informed that the IMF mission, 
headed by Ms Sena Eken, would stay in the capital for about one 
week during which it would review the economy, especially the 
revenue collection position.

The IMF has maintained that there existed a Rs45 billion revenue 
gap in the budget estimates for the year 1999-2000.

Back to the top
A matter of honour?
Ardeshir Cowasjee

TWENTY-SEVEN years ago, a woman of Pakistan, a qualified 
gynaecologist of Peshawar, conceived a child which grew within her 
until, nine months later, Samia was born. She grew, was married to 
a relative, was unhappy, and four and a half years ago the couple 

Samia wished to divorce her husband, which angered her family. She 
sought the aid and protection of those well-known lawyers, sisters 
Hina Jilani and Asma Jehangir of Lahore, valiant supporters of 
human rights whose untiring efforts deserve nothing but gratitude 
and praise.

On April 6, 1999, whilst Samia was in Hina's office, her mother 
arrived accompanied by a man who shot Samia dead. On their way out 
the murderer fired at the police guard provided by the government. 
The policeman fired back, the murderer was killed. Asma, on her way 
to the airport to fly off to participate in a Human Rights 
Conference at Geneva, heard the news and turned back. An FIR was 
filed against Samia's mother, father (Chairman of the Sarhad 
Chamber of Commerce and Industry), uncle and brother, all of whom 
Samia had stated were a threat to her life.

So far, no case has been filed in court in Lahore as the police 
claim they are still investigating. In Peshawar, Samia's family 
retaliated, and engaged Barrister Baacha, the frequent 'one-line 
quotation' correspondent to our press who has been known in the 
past to speak up for human rights. Baacha filed an FIR against the 
two sisters accusing them of having abducted Samia.

Subsequently, Senator Iqbal 'Groovy' Haider of the PPP, supported 
by nineteen fellow Senators, framed a resolution condemning the 
horrific practice termed in this country, on the eve of the 21st 
century, as 'honour killings.' Iqbal had to amend the wording of 
the resolution four times, as the supporting Senators' feet grew 
cold and the majority of the honourable Upper House vehemently 
opposed the resolution, Senator Ajmal Khattak claiming that when it 
is a question of 'honour,' there is no room even for discussion. 
Chairman Rhodes Scholar Seasoned Flip-Flop Waseem Sajjad 
unhesitatingly ruled that there could be no discussion on the 
matter. The resolution was not tabled. Thus has the honourable 
Senate impliedly legalised murder by invoking honour. The question 
is, whose honour?

Now we proceed to the depths of the Lower House. On April 13, 1998, 
MNA Khwaja Asif moved a privilege motion alleging that on March 25 
I had used "abusive language" and "threatened him with dire 
consequences," claiming that his privilege had thus been breached. 
The Standing Committee of the National Assembly on Rules of 
Procedure and Privileges then summoned me to appear before it.

I questioned myself. There are some 200 so-called 'honourable' 
members of the assembly, each capable of making a similar 
unsubstantiated allegation. If they were all to do so, can hundreds 
of citizens of Pakistan be summoned to appear at their own cost and 
waste of time? Is this legal? I consulted my lawyers. A letter was 
drafted raising queries and questions on a number of issues, and 
was sent off to the committee secretariat. As I received no reply, 
it was obvious the committee had no answers. But it persisted in 
summoning me on succeeding occasions.

On July 31 I was honoured by a visit from Ilahi Bakhsh Soomro, 
Speaker of the National Assembly. Why can't the committee answer my 
questions? I asked. They will remain unanswered, he responded. He 
invoked the bonds of a sixty-year-old friendship and requested that 
I appear before the committee.

On August 2, I received a notice summoning me to appear on August 
6. That same evening the Commissioner of Karachi called to tell me 
that the committee chairman had issued a warrant ordering that the 
Sindh government arrest me and produce me before the committee. I 
informed a relieved Commissioner that I had already decided to 

Honouring the request of my old friend, I asked Barristers Makhdoom 
Ali Khan and Khalid Jawed to draft for me a statement to be 
presented to the committee. They did so, and it was then settled 
and approved by Grandmaster Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada.

On August 6, before the committee's proceedings began, I handed 
over this statement to the chairman requesting that it be placed on 
record, which he graciously did:

"1)     Had I been summoned by a Standing Committee of the National 
Assembly on an issue of national interest aimed at benefiting the 
public at large I would have deemed it a matter of great privilege. 
But, whilst the people remain stricken with poverty, hunger and 
disease, I am here today solely because of your concern as to 
whether Khwaja Asif has been abused and threatened by me, as he 
alleges in his frivolous privilege motion.

"2)     Have you taken into account that Khwaja Asif is a director 
of the defaulting Sialkot Dairies which is liable to return huge 
loans to many banks, including the ADBP, to which it owes many 
millions of rupees (last reported figure, some 60 million)? Have 
you taken into account the fact that Khwaja Asif is a man certainly 
not known for the modesty of his verbal language, but renowned for 
his proficiency in expressing himself through his body language 
which is unmatched even by his peers? Have you taken into account 
that, to his eternal shame, he has to his discredit a share in the 
storming of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on November 28, 1997? 
Have you taken into account that he has to his everlasting 
discredit the committing of a physical assault upon the former 
president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Advocate Muhammad 
Akram Shaikh, within the premises of the Supreme Court on November 
17, 1997, an assault which caused his victim bodily harm? Before 
enquiring into his privileges you might care to enquire into the 
above incidents and also as to how it is that a director of a 
defaulting company was elected to the National Assembly of 

"3)     Insofar as the allegation of the breach of his privilege is 
concerned, it is not only manifestly untrue but far too 
preposterous to merit a serious rebuttal.

"4)     In my letter dated December 5 1998 (copy attached hereto), 
written in response to your notice, I raised the following issues 
and gave detailed reasons for each:

"(i) Whether the privilege claimed by the member and allegedly 
breached by a citizen legally exists?

"If the answer to (i) is in the affirmative:

"(ii) Whether the conduct amounting to an alleged breach of 
privilege is protected by the constitutionally guaranteed 
fundamental rights, such as the freedom of speech and expression, 
or by some other law.

"If the answer to (ii) is in the negative:

"(iii) Whether there is prima facie evidence that such conduct 
which is otherwise not protected by any law was indeed committed.

"If the answer to (iii) is in the affirmative:

"(iv) Whether the committee has the power to summon a person for an 
alleged breach of privilege for which no prima facie evidence 

"If the answer to (iv) is in the affirmative:

"(v) Is it still desirable to summon the person to appear before 
the committee, keeping in view our democratic aspirations and the 
desire to be a tolerant society governed by the rule of law?

"5)     My conclusion was that no such privilege of a 
parliamentarian which confers immunity from public criticism and 
scrutiny was known to law. As for the committee's power to summon 
me, I have not been made aware of any law which empowers it to so 

"6)     The only response to my detailed reasons was a letter dated 
July 8, 1999, from the Secretariat which baldly stated that the 
points raised by me do not have any force. No reason for this 
assertion was given. This clearly proves that no good reason 

"7)     If your claim that you are a civil court is accepted merely 
because a resolution of the single house which adopted the Rules of 
Procedure so declares, then what is there to prevent it from also 
declaring the committee to be a criminal court? What then is left 
for the courts to do if you confer upon yourselves the power of the 
courts by means of simple resolutions and thus tamper with the 
liberty and rights of the people? Surely you cannot encroach on the 
judicial power.

"8)     Let me categorically state that I am not here today because 
of any misconception about the validity of your summons or the 
legality of the privilege claimed. I am here because freedom of 
expression is a fundamental right, guaranteed by the Constitution, 
which must be defended by me and which, I am sure, will be upheld 
by you."

The proceedings commenced, the chairman announcing they would be 
held 'in camera' (so they were, a PTV camera man was present). A 
puzzling decision, considering that matters of public interest were 
involved. When all was over, I was informed that the committee 
would consider whether Khwaja Asif's privilege had been breached or 
not. One member, jumping the gun, suggested that a date be fixed 
for the next hearing. This, the chairman declined to do.

A matter of honour? Whose honour?

Battered pride and imperial confusion
Ayaz Amir

FOR many people in Pakistan the downing of a naval plane by Indian 
fighters is not one of those regrettable but understandable 
accidents which can happen between two testy and hostile 
neighbours. It is the latest blow to what remains of our national 

As backdrop to this thinking looms the shadow of Kargil. Humiliated 
in that crisis and subsequently humbled in Washington, our 
circumstances are now so reduced that India thinks it can push us 
around and get away with anything. So not only does it shoot down 
our aircraft, it also has the gall to send in helicopters and steal 
the wreckage. It is a measure of our helplessness that we cannot 
completely stop this theft.

If this is a morbid strain of thought the people of Pakistan are 
hardly to blame for it. Their paranoia has been fed by the 
government's handling of the Kargil disaster. They feel humiliated 
and, not surprisingly, blame the dispensation presiding over their 
sad destiny as the architect of this humiliation.

Official drum-beaters, who have a job to do, of course dispute this 
conclusion. They say that since there have been no mass protests 
and no Zulfikar Ali Bhutto looming on the national skyline (who 
decamped from Field Marshal Ayub Khan's cabinet and led the protest 
against his patriarchal rule), dissatisfaction with the wisdom of 
the heavy mandate is not as deep as some sections of the press make 
it out to be.

This is a blinkered approach to take. Our own history tells us that 
in the life of every Pakistani government there comes a time when 
its husk or outward form remains while its kernel or substance is 
gone. So constant is this development that it can almost be taken 
as an iron law of Pakistani politics.

Ayub Khan lasted in power till March 1969. But much of his moral 
authority was eroded after the 1965 war. General Yahya Khan was a 
considerable figure, looked up to by all sides, till the 1970 
elections. When he ordered the crackdown in East Pakistan his moral 
authority was gone. Bhutto was a vibrant figure in the first three 
years of his rule. But as he put on weight and arrogance and became 
less tolerant of dissent, his earlier lustre was lost. Zia, the 
longest serving ruler in the country's history, may have thought of 
himself as a divine warrior but very few of his countrymen shared 
the same conviction. He came in the night and for the next eleven 
and a half years ruled by a mixture of stealth and deviousness. 
When he departed into the clouds he left a bigger mystery behind 

These examples from the past should provide some perspective for 
the present. The people may not be protesting, something which may 
have more to do with their weariness and cynicism than their love 
for anyone, but the process of de-mystification (the iron law of 
Pakistani politics) has happened sooner in the case of Nawaz Sharif 
than even his detractors might have expected.

Just six months ago all the talk in the country was of how powerful 
Nawaz Sharif had become. Today he looks a figure with feet of clay. 
While this image had already started to form in the public mind 
because of his government's poor performance--all promise and no 
delivery-- what completed it was the Kargil adventure. If the 
government's drum-beaters do not realize this, they are living in a 
world of their own.

It is not as if in Pakistan's history there have not been 
governments before which have groped in the dark and erected 
monuments to confusion. But seldom has this process gone as far as 
with this one which was billed, if the heady atmosphere of February 
1997 is recalled, as the harbinger of a new dawn. It is not just 
its record in office or U-turns over Kargil which are responsible 
for this perception. At the heart of the problem is a total absence 
of direction.

Indeed compared to it on this score Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari 
stand as models of clarity. They may have gone about filling their 
pockets and plundering the exchequer but at least they were clear 
in their minds about what they wanted. In contrast Nawaz Sharif and 
his homespun brigade present a picture of confusion. While wanting 
to do good by the country, they are torn between their public and 
private interests. Talking loudly of financial probity, they are 
unable to honestly face the fact that the knights of their round 
table are the country's biggest loan defaulters. While they have 
amassed power and disposed of all competitors in the process, they 
have no sense of the uses of power beyond shaping a dispensation 
whose dominant characteristics are its regal overtones.

Small wonder then that in the absence of definable goals or policy 
objectives, the preoccupation should be with mega-projects such as 
the Lahore airport terminal and the motorways which the country can 
do without at this stage or with gimmicks such as self-employment 
loans, transport schemes and, the latest in this bag of miracles, 
the prime minister's housing project.

A cursory examination would reveal that this last scheme does not 
make any economic sense and will about as much kick-start the 
economy, or provide mass employment, as the Lahore-Islamabad 
motorway. Nor does it make political sense because even if 
everything goes according to plan, five lakh houses for middle-
income groups will not put a roof over everyone's head. But who is 
to quarrel with Pakistan's variant on Kubla Khan?

As with every other big decision in the kingdom of the heavy 
mandate, this scheme too has neither been debated nor put through 
the wringer of institutional scrutiny. Having caught the imperial 
fancy it has been handed over, like so much else, to the 
indispensable Senator Saifur Rehman. While it is the prime 
minister's privilege to rely on whom he pleases, a question yet to 
be answered is about the valuable public land -- railways, PIA, etc 
-- which is being seized for this project without compensation. 
With what authority?

At issue is not the government's survival or its longevity. Most 
people, tired of political experiments, are past caring about who 
stays in or comes to power. Of greater importance is the direction 
the country is taking. Where are we headed? Countries with greater 
riches and potential than us are on the path to ruin because of 
mismanagement and governmental corruption. Is this the fate staring 
us in the face?

Even when the sky was overcast Pakistanis never lost hope in the 
country's future. This optimism is giving way to a feeling of 
hopelessness largely because of the cluelessness to be seen in all 
the places where the good and great of this country congregate. 

The cost of Kargil
Irfan Husain

ACCORDING to an old adage, victory has many fathers while defeat is 
an orphan. But curiously, very few people on either side of the 
great divide are claiming total victory in the Kargil battle.
After the initial euphoria had died down in India, serious analysts 
have pointed out that although the conflict ended with the 
withdrawal of the 'intruders', the weaknesses that it exposed in 
the Indian military machine as well as the heavy losses suffered by 
the army made it difficult to claim outright success. Also, the 
international attention focused on the issue as well as the US 
involvement in obtaining a Pakistani pullout have been seen as 
unfavourable developments in New Delhi. Finally, the 'sanctity' 
ascribed to the Line of Control in the US-Pakistan joint 
declaration issued in Washington weakens the Indian claim to all of 
Jammu and Kashmir.
Strangely, this last element is also seen as a setback by Pakistani 
critics of Nawaz Sharif's retreat. These people viewed the LoC as a 
temporary line that would be erased as soon as Pakistan got all of 
Kashmir. Indeed, the tacit acceptance of the legal status of the 
LoC in Washington, Islamabad and New Delhi is the first step in 
converting it into the international border between India and 
Pakistan, and, hopefully, the end of the Kashmir dispute. Then, and 
only then, would all the blood spilled on the mountain fastness of 
Kargil have been for some worthwhile purpose.
In order to put a positive spin on the Kargil debacle, Mushahid 
Hussain, the information minister, wastes no opportunity to claim 
that the bitter fighting has 'internationalized' Kashmir, and hence 
was worth the loss of life suffered by the Pakistan army as well as 
the Kashmiri freedom fighters involved. According to Senator Aitzaz 
Ahsan, speaking on the floor of the Senate, at least 300 Pakistani 
officers and jawans were killed. The information minister should 
realize that our soldiers are not pawns to be sacrificed to 
'internationalise' a political and diplomatic cause: their duty is 
to defend our borders and not to be butchered at the altar of 
As it is, there is great anger in the army against the political 
leadership as well as the military high command for having first 
put officers and men in an untenable position, and then not 
supplying them adequately. Finally, they consider that the 
sacrifices these brave men made were degraded when the survivors 
were pulled back after the Washington agreement. Again, according 
to Aitzaz Ahsan in the Senate, autopsies of officers killed in 
Kargil indicate that they had kept going by chewing whatever 
foliage they could scavenge at those heights because they were not 
being supplied. Many of the soldiers just ran out of ammunition.
But what made our military and political leadership place our men 
in this no-win situation to start with? What possible gain did they 
hope to achieve? As it is, the world now sees us as an 
irresponsible rogue state that launches military adventures without 
regard to its responsibility as a nuclear power. India, on the 
other hand, is seen as a mature, responsible nation that showed 
restraint under grave provocation. Now, when an unarmed naval 
aircraft is shot down by Indian fighters apparently over our 
territory, there is scant support for us and no condemnation of the 
unprovoked Indian action.
It seems that the Kargil plan was presented to the prime minister 
at a highly restricted briefing without spelling out the 
implications. Given Nawaz Sharif's notoriously short attention 
span, he did not ask any questions and went along, thinking this 
was just another minor cross-border incursion. I fear he may be 
labouring under the delusion that Pakistan's atom bombs are just 
bigger conventional bombs without being aware of the short-term and 
long-term effects of radiation and fallout. Indeed, the more I 
think about the itchy finger on the nuclear trigger, the more 
nervous I get.
Contrary to expectation, the public reaction to the whole Kargil 
misadventure has been a muted unease. Most people, even in Punjab, 
have been largely indifferent. Sensibly, they know full well that 
we cannot wrest Kashmir from India by force. When the Jamat-i-
Islami called for a 'million-man march' to protest against Nawaz 
Sharif's capitulation in Washington, barely 20,000 turned out. 
Hardly anybody was for the incursion when it was launched, and even 
fewer were against the cessation of hostilities.
When the fallout from Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests had 
settled last summer, analysts here and abroad assumed that the fact 
that both sides possessed atomic weapons would act as a mutual 
deterrent. The assumption was that just as a nuclear balance had 
prevented war between the two superpowers during the cold war, so 
too would the subcontinental balance prevent conventional war 
between India and Pakistan. However, on the basis of the evidence 
emerging from the Kargil conflict, it would appear that Pakistani 
planners now feel that their nuclear capability has won them 
immunity from Indian conventional forces.
If this is indeed a new element in our military planning, then 
clearly, the acquisition of nuclear weapons is potentially 
destabilizing. What would have happened had the fighting in Kargil 
continued and India had opened another front along the LoC? The 
entire operation reminds me of our 1965 adventure when we sent 
soldiers in civvies across the cease-fire line into Indian Kashmir. 
That blundering operation rapidly escalated into a full-fledged 
war. Can we afford another one now that the stakes have been raised 
enormously by the nuclear capability acquired by both?
The Indians cannot be absolved of their share of the blame for our 
present impasse. First, by being so obdurate over the Kashmir 
problem, they have ensured that relations between the two countries 
have been virtually at war footing for five decades; then by 
carrying out their nuclear tests last May, they effectively pushed 
the Pakistanis into following suit. Being the stronger and 
therefore the more self-confident nation, they could have shown 
more flexibility and generosity of spirit in solving this problem.
But allocating blame is usually a fruitless exercise. We need to 
look ahead and try to resolve the festering Kashmir issue before it 
plunges us into another round of bloodletting. Already, the 
fighting in Indian Kashmir is getting fiercer, and the recent 
downing of an unarmed naval plane near the border has made the 
situation even more tense. One can only hope that after the 
uncertainty caused by the Indian elections is over, the next 
government will turn its attention to the need for sorting out the 
Kashmir problem once and for all.

Wasim Raja appointed coach of Pakistan team

LAHORE, Aug 11: Former Test all- rounder Wasim Hasan Raja has been 
appointed as coach of the Pakistan cricket team on a long term 
basis on Wednesday. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) office secretary 
Waqar Ahmad said that Wasim Raja will join his duty shortly.

The term of Wasim Hasan Raja as coach, however, was not specified, 
Waqar said.

Raja is the veteran of 57 Tests and 54 One-Day Internationals.

The PCB secretary said that the newly appointed coach was fully 
equipped with latest coaching techniques including use of computers 
and audio visual aids. He was a qualified England and Wales Cricket 
Board Staff Coach.

Raja, the elder brother of Test cricketer Ramiz Hassan Raja, who 
recently appointed as member of the PCB selection committee, passed 
M.A Political Science from Government College, Lahore and Masters 
in Education from England.

outlines his priorities: The newly appointed Pakistan cricket team 
coach Wasim Hassan Raja said on Wednesday that mental approach, 
self respect, self discipline and the country's respect are his top 
priorities to rebuild the Pakistan team.

Talking to journalists at the Gaddafi Stadium after appointed as 
coach, the veteran of 57 Test matches, Wasim Hassan Raja said that 
he had signed one-year contact with the Pakistan Cricket Board 
(PCB) and would do his level best to achieve his target.

Raja said that emphasised would be laid on to improve the fielding 
standard of the team as 30 to 40 runs could be saved by displaying 
excellent fielding.

He said that he had passed five different cricket coaching 

The national coach said that team was also lacking in physical 
fitness and extra efforts were required to remove this shortcoming.

He said that the days had gone when three or four batsmen were 
enough to bring win for a team. Now a team, studded with maximum 
all-rounder could be a strong one, he said.

He said he had already offered this post in past, but could not 
accept because his school, where he was teacher, did not relieve 

Commenting on World Cup final which Pakistan lost tamely to 
Australia, Wasim Hasan Raja denied that the Pakistan team threw it 
away deliberately.

"Ifyou are a professional you can not do anything deliberately", he 

Raja left for England tonight and will back shortly.

Scotland down Pakistan in World Cup squash

ISLAMABAD, Aug 12: Pakistan lost to Scotland despite Amjad Khan's 
surprise victory over Martin Heath on the second day of the World 
Cup Squash Tournament at Hotrogenbosch in Holland on Wednesday.

World No 13 Amjad Khan upset world No 5 Martin Heath in a four-game 
clash but Pakistan's two other players Zarak Jahan Khan and Bushra 
Haider went down to John White and Pamela Nimmo respectively, 
according to reports available hereon Thursday.

Pakistan had scored 2-1 victory over Denmark on Tuesday on the 
opening day of the tournament which is a team championship 
featuring two males and a female player from each country.

Pakistan play their last preliminary Pool B match against Belgium 
on Friday.

Amjad dispatched Heath 9-4, 6-9, 10-8, 9-4 to raise hopes of a 
second successive Pakistan victory in the tournament.

But White evened out for Scotland when he beat Zarak Jahan, the 
world No 47, 9-5, 9-6, 2-9, 9-5.

Nimmo dropped just a single point in beating Bushra 9-0, 9-1, 9-0 
and bringing victory to Scotland.

Pakistan can still make it to the semi-finals if they beat 

Indian board awaits decision on Toronto series

BARODA (India), Aug 7: The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) 
was awaiting guidelines from the Indian government about sending 
its national team for the annual one-day series against Pakistan at 
Toronto in September, the board secretary Jaywant Lele told 
reporters on Friday.

Lele said: We are awaiting the government guidelines and then will 

"Not necessarily," he said when asked whether the board would 
decide to send the team for the five-match series in Canada if it 
gets the green signal from the government.-Dawn/KT Service

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