------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 15 May 1999 Issue : 05/20 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Storming of SC building: PML MPs acquitted for lack of evidence + Sethi case: SC seeks AG views on jurisdiction + Govt planning commercial courts: Dar + Benazir told to surrender: SC rejects appeal + Pakistan, Brunei to cooperate in defence + LHC suspends verdict in Ittefaq assets case + PM's visit to boost trade ties with Singapore + Noted poet Zamir Jafri passes away + Scholar, columnist Eqbal Ahmed passes away + CII declares bank prize schemes un-Islamic + Pakistan-Saudi Arabia joint statement about Serb aggression --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Unified forex rate at composite rate assured + 1999-2000 estimates: CBR projecting 12% growth in tax revenue + Pakistan to buy power from Iran, Senate told + Size of black economy up to Rs2,000 billion: Dar + Dollar bond sales cross $1 billion mark + Incentive deposit schemes attract Rs28bn + Commercial lenders to meet in Bahrain on 18th + Pakistan, Yemen to expand trade relations + KSE 100-share index breaks 1,200-point barrier --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Glass lions Ardeshir Cowasjee + The unwelcome spectre at the feast Ayaz Amir + Shooting the messenger Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Pakistan rated high to enter Super-Six bracket + Akhtar's bowling action perfect: Imran

Storming of SC building: PML MPs acquitted for lack of evidence
Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, May 14: The Supreme Court on Friday acquitted all the 
ruling party legislators who were indicted on the charges of 
contempt of court for attacking the court building when proceedings 
against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were underway.
The three-member bench which decided the case on Friday observed 
that though flagrant contempt of court was committed but showed its 
inability to convict the accused as the people had not given 
specific evidence against them.
The court deplored that people had not come forward to give 
evidence nominating specific persons involved in the violence. The 
case was initiated by the court itself in early 1998 under its suo 
motu jurisdiction.
"We would like to observe that it is very unfortunate that people 
have not come forward to give evidence nominating specific persons 
involved in rowdyism/violence that had taken place in and around 
the Supreme Court premises and building on 28-11-1997."
The court had indicted seven persons including six PML(N) 
legislators after marathon inquiry proceedings. They were MNA Tariq 
Aziz, MNA Mian Munir, MPA Chaudhry Tanvir Ahmed, MPA Chaudhry 
Akhtar Rasool, MPA Akhtar Mehmood, MPA Sardar Nasim and Shahbaz 
Goshi, a young Muslim League activist.
The bench consisted of Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid, Justice Munawar 
Ahmed Mirza, and Justice Abdur Rehman Khan.
However, there is no mention of Senator Saifur Rehman against whom 
oral as well as documentary evidence was in abundance. Number of 
witnesses had informed the court that they had seen him directing 
the police not to stop the mob from entering into the court room. 
The close circuit cameras had also shown him leading the crowd 
towards the court room where the then chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah 
was presiding over a bench.
The court stated it was constrained to observe that despite large 
numbers of onlookers, visitors and officials and also members of 
the press being present perhaps from early morning till the end of 
demonstration, none came forward to name or nominate the culprits.
"It either shows lack of moral courage on the part of eye witnesses 
to come and speak the whole truth before the Court or they did not 
want to get involved in the proceedings perhaps for being singled 
out for having spoken the truth."
The bench had examined 54 witnesses before indicting seven persons 
who it had found, prima facie, guilty of contempt of court. The 
court observed on Friday that it could not act as investigators. 
"As a court we do not act investigators. We could only call persons 
as witnesses about whom information was given that they might be 
able to assist the court."
It was observed by the bench that verbal as well as video evidence 
established that a mob had gathered on that day outside the court 
building which was raising objectionable slogans and also carrying 
banners and placards with objectionable writings against the 
The court held that the incident had not happened on the spur of 
moment and evidence showed it was premeditated. "It appears from 
the evidence that the action of that day was planned and purpose 
was to disturb the court proceeding which was conducting contempt 
proceedings at that time."
It, however, stated that the evidence did not establish at what 
level and by whom the planning was done. It added: "but could be 
presumed that it was not done at the local level."
The court stated: Despite reaching the conclusion that the action 
of the mob/crowd amounted to most flagrant type of contempt of the 
court, as the evidence does not specifically point out any of the 
respondents to the extent that it could be said that the case 
against any of them had been established beyond reasonable doubt. 
In our view the respondents are entitled to acquittal under the 

The court further held that mob attack on the court was intended to 
undermine the independence of judiciary. "It should be endeavour of 
every government to strengthen the institution of judiciary and to 
jealously guard its independence and not to weaken it .
"It appears from the evidence that perhaps time positive action 
could have avoided the ugly situation that was ultimately created. 
The government in power should ensure that incidents of like nature 
are never allowed to be repeated and the judiciary is as jealously 
guarded against such attacks as the Parliament."

Sethi case: SC seeks AG views on jurisdiction
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 14: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the 
attorney general of Pakistan to appear before the court on Monday 
to give his view whether the court had the jurisdiction to look 
into the cases of those booked by the agencies under the control of 
the armed forces.
The order in this regard was passed by Chief Justice Ajmal Mian in 
his chambers on the petition of Jugnu Mohsin, the wife of detained 
journalist Najam Sethi.
The petitioner had challenged the LHC ruling in which it was held 
that the court had no jurisdiction to look into the case of Najam 
Sethi who was arrested by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The CJ issued notice to the AG to address the court on the issue 
and inform it if it had the jurisdiction to look into cases like 
the one at hand. The case will be placed before a three-member 
bench headed by Justice Saiduzzaman Siddiqui. The other members of 
the bench will be Justice Shaikh Ijaz Nisar and Justice Kamal 
Mansur Alam.
The petitioner impleaded the director general of the Inter-Services 
Intelligence, the inspector general police, Punjab, the secretary 
interior and the home secretary Punjab, as respondents.
The petitioner stated that Article 199(3) did not deter the 
jurisdiction of the superior court from calling into question any 
illegal and mala fide arrest of a citizen made by the ISI.
The petitioner further stated that the mode of arrest which was 
alleged to be harsh, improper and illegal could not be ignored 
while determining the legality or illegality of the detention of a 
The petitioner asked the apex court to ensure that her husband's 
life, integrity and physical well-being were not threatened. The 
court was asked to permit the family and counsels to meet him.

Govt planning commercial courts: Dar

ISLAMABAD, May 13: The federal government is planning to establish 
"Commercial Courts" for resolving disputes between Pakistani 
exporters and their overseas clients regarding transportation of 
sub-standard goods and goods other than those promised by the 
The Finance and Commerce Minister, Mohammad Ishaq Dar disclosed 
this while speaking at a pre-budget seminar organized on Thursday.
Responding to businessmen demands of tax concessions, the minister 
sought suggestions to raise revenue from about Rs300 billion in the 
current fiscal to Rs450 billion by 1999-2000.
One of the participants criticized the government for letting loan 
defaulters enjoy privileges and further advised the authorities to 
look into the affairs of the sponsors of defaulting companies.
The finance minister expressed his inability in exposing such 
people due to certain legal compulsions. He indicated his 
willingness over the changes in relevant laws but said that this 
would take a long time. Nevertheless, the people would soon know 
about a government's policy in this connection, he added.
He further informed of including an amendment in the next Finance 
Bill, in the Income Tax and Wealth Tax Laws for the publication of 
directories containing information on taxes paid by senior officers 
in Grades 20 to 22 and all the Parliamentarians.
In his written speech, Dar said that the government's strategy for 
1998-99 was to consolidate the gains achieved in the previous year. 
Due to the economic sanctions imposed by international donors in 
retaliation for the nuclear tests, the government changed its 
strategy with a view to minimizing their adverse effects by 
resorting to curtailment in its expenditure.
Earlier, Dr A.R. Kemal, Chief Economist, Planning Commission said 
the objective of reducing fiscal deficit and resource mobilization 
must not be pursued at the cost of growth and in such a manner as 
to further cut the private savings rate.
Mian Iqbal Farid, Chairman, Central Board of Revenue said that 
without full political will, documentation and consistency of 
policies, the tax resources could not be mobilized to the optimum 
level as the documentation was being opposed by the businessmen out 
of certain fears, which must be removed.
Due to lack of scientifically-based documentation, he said the 
existing tax-payers tended to be taxed too much. Once the economy 
was fully documented, it might be possible to reduce the tax rates 
by broadening the tax net.
The CBR Chairman stated that the service sector would be brought 
under the tax net in the next financial year.
He disagreed with the practice of measuring the success of taxation 
effort as proportion to GDP, pointing out that 68 per cent of the 
economy was unorganized, with the result that the entire tax burden 
was borne by the organized sector. Moreover, the agriculture income 
tax was not part of the federal taxation system, he argued.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former Federal Minister and Chairman, 
Farmers' Association of Pakistan (FAP) opposed what he called 
'presumption tax' instead of income tax on agriculture.

Benazir told to surrender: SC  rejects appeal
Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, May 13: The Supreme Court office on Thursday refused to 
entertain the appeal of Ms Benazir Bhutto against her conviction by 
the Ehtesab Bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) as she had not 
surrendered to the order of imprisonment.
The appeal was returned by the office as soon it was filed by her 
counsels with the objections that the appellant had not surrendered 
in obedience to the order of imprisonment passed by the Ehtesab 
Bench. Ms Bhutto is presently in Dubai.
Ms Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari were convicted by the Ehtesab Bench 
of the LHC on April 15 for receiving kickbacks from a Swiss 
company, the SGS, for the award of a cargo inspection contract.
She was sentenced to undergo five years' imprisonment, and pay fine 
of US$8.6 million. The court ordered that her property made out of 
the kickbacks money should also be forfeited.
On Tuesday, when the counsels of Ms Bhutto took the appeal to the 
concerned official, the Deputy Registrar (Judicial), Budha Khan, 
refused to entertain it. He informed the counsel that till the time 
the appellant did not surrender, her appeal could not be 
entertained under the SC rules.
He informed Ms Bhutto's counsel, Farooq H Naek, and Aitzaz Ahsan, 
who reached after some time, that he could not entertain the 
appeal. The official of the SC inquired if they had moved the 
application for the relaxation of the Supreme Court rules.
Farooq Naek tried to persuade the official that the SC rules did 
not come in their way and that was why they had not filed any 
application for the relaxation of rules. The counsel stated that 
filing an appeal against the Ehtesab Bench order was a statutory 
right. He said that filing of appeal against the Ehtesab Bench 
order was, in fact, a continuation of the proceedings.
He referred to the Section 26 of the Ehtesab Act which provided 
that an appeal against the order of the Ehtesab Bench could be 
filed within a period of one month. The counsel stated that what he 
had filed was not a "petition for leave to appeal" but appeal under 
Section 26 of the Ehtesab Act.
Farooq Naek further stated that under the Cr.PC, a convict was 
entitled to impugn the decision by himself or through his/her 
pleader in the court of appeal. The Criminal Procedure Code is 
applicable to the Ehtesab Act, he argued.
The counsel, however, could not persuade the SC official who passed 
a written order. The order passed by the Deputy Registrar 
(judicial) reads as:
"As the appellant has not surrendered in obedience to the order of 
imprisonment, this appeal is not entertainable, under proviso First 
to Rule 8 of Order XXIII, Supreme Court Rules 1980. This view is 
supported by an Order, dated 25.2.1976 passed in Criminal Appeal No 
16/1976 (Ehsan Ilahi and others vs the State), which reads as 
under: The rule must be complied with and the appellant must first 
surrender before the Competent Authority."
The counsels of Ms Bhutto said that they would challenge the order. 
Under the SC rules, the order passed by the office of the court can 
be challenged and it will be decided by the judge in chambers 
whether or not the order was rightly passed by the office.
If the order of the judge is also on lines with the order of the 
office, the appellant has yet another remedy available. He can 
challenge the order of the judge, passed in chambers, before a 
bench comprising three judges of the court.
Farooq H Naek told Dawn that the appeal had been filed within the 
period prescribed under the Ehtesab Act. The Ehtesab Bench had 
given its verdict on April 15, and it was mandatory for them to 
file before May 15.
Ms Bhutto's counsel said that the appeal against the order of the 
SC office would be challenged within the limited period. He said 
they would obtain certified copies of the order and challenge 
within the "limitation period." The limitation period would end on 
June 13, 1999.
The Ehtesab Bench consisting of Justice Malik Qayyum and Justice 
Najmul Hasan Kazmi held that the pre-shipment contract to Swiss 
company, the SGS, was awarded by the former prime minister "alone" 
at the behest and abetment with Asif Ali Zardari.
The prosecution case was that pre-shipment inspection contract was 
awarded to M/s SGS in consideration of 6 per cent commission of 
total amount received by the company from the Government of 
Pakistan. The commission was paid to an offshore company, Bomer 

Finance Inc. owned by Asif Ali Zardari, his fiduciary agent Jens 
Schlegelmilch. The ultimate beneficiaries of these commissions were 
Asif Ali Zardari and Ms Benazir Bhutto, the prosecution had 
The appeal which was returned by the office of the apex court 
stated that the Ehtesab Act was tailor-made for her persecution and 
was violative of the Constitution. She said that the LHC had no 
jurisdiction to disenfranchise the representatives or voters of 
Sindh as this violated the Federal Principle enshrined in the 
That after the transfer of the case by the SC from Lahore to 
Rawalpindi Bench of the LHC, the same bench could not proceed to 
hear and decide the case both in Lahore and in Rawalpindi.
She stated that the nomination of the LHC judges for hearing the 
Ehtesab references was violative of the Constitution.
Continuing the grounds, the appeal said that the dropping of trial 
of the co-accused was not lawful and this established that the 
appellant and her spouse alone were being targeted.
Pakistan, Brunei to cooperate in defence

ISLAMABAD, May 13: Pakistan and Brunei have agreed to set up a 
Joint Commission to promote cooperation in the fields of defence, 
education, technical cooperation and human resource development.
A joint statement issued after the three-day state visit of Prime 
Minister Nawaz Sharif to Brunei Darus Salam, said the two sides 
agreed to set up the Joint Commission under the terms of agreement 
signed in March 1996 and to convene the first meeting of the 
commission later this year.
The two sides agreed that the Islamic solidarity based on mutual 
respect and commonality of interests would benefit all the Muslim 
states and also assure them of a positive and dynamic role for 
promotion of international peace and progress. They reiterated 
their determination to act in concert to promote the consensus 
amongst the Ummah and to strengthen their deliberative fora, 
including the OIC.
The two sides agreed that the establishment of peace and security 
of South Asia required non-use of force and peaceful settlement of 
The prime minister apprised Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of the recent 
steps taken by Pakistan aimed at defusing tension in South Asia.
Both sides expressed deep concern over the plight of the Kosovar 
people and stressed that the UN Security Council must play an 
effective role in finding a political solution of the crisis and 
the deployment of an international peace keeping force which 
guaranteed the return of the refugees to their homes in safety and 
honour and ensured respect of the basic rights of the Kosovar 
The prime minister of Pakistan extended an invitation to Sultan of 
Brunei to visit Pakistan on mutually convenient dates.
The Sultan of Brunei and Prime Minister Sharif reaffirmed the 
continuing warmth of the traditional friendship which existed 
between the governments and peoples of Brunei Darussalam and the 
Pakistan and which was characterised by high levels of mutual 
understanding and respect between the leaders of the two brotherly 

LHC suspends verdict in Ittefaq assets case

LAHORE, May 13: A division bench of the Lahore High Court suspended 
on Thursday a single judge's verdict in the Ittefaq Group assets 
distribution case.
All the seven members of the families of the group entered 
appearance through their counsel as the bench, comprising Justices 
Ihsanul Haq Chaudhry and Maulvi Anwarul Haq took up the Miraj 
family's stay plea. The operation of the impugned March 10 judgment 
of Justice Malik Muhammad Qayyum has already been stayed insofar as 
it required payment of Rs179 million by the Shafi family to other 
The bench also admitted the appeals of Siraj and Barkat families 
and decided to hear the case on day to day basis from June 16. The 
appellants assail the March 10 judgment as unjust and biased in 
favour of the Sharif family.

PM's visit to boost trade ties with Singapore
Asif Huda

KUALA LUMPUR, May 12: Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif starts a 
two-day official visit to the affluent city state of Singapore on 
He is accompanied by a large entourage comprising foreign minister 
Sartaj Aziz, labour minister Sheikh Rashid, chairman privatization 
commission, Khawaja Asif, chairman board of investment, Humayun 
Akhtar as well as leading businessmen. The very composition of the 
delegation speaks volumes about its trade goals.
Soon after his arrival from Brunei, prime minister Nawaz Sharif 
will hold bilateral talks with his counterpart Goh Chok Tong and 
pay a courtesy call on senior minister, Lee Kuan Yew. In the 
evening, the Singapore government will host an official banquet for 
the visiting Pakistani delegation.
On Friday, the prime minister will visit Singapore's housing 
development board, which has masterminded the construction of low-
cost housing in the city state. The same day prime minister Sharif, 
will address a business conference on "Business Potentials in 
The conference will be jointly organized by the Pakistan High 
Commission and the Singapore Development Board. More than 200 
businessmen are expected to attend. "The purpose of Prime 
Minister's Nawaz Sharif's visit is to boost bilateral ties between 
our two countries and to promote trade and economic relations, 
Pakistan High Commissioner in Singapore, Tauheed Ahmed, told Dawn, 
in a telephone interview. It is part of the government's "look 
east" policy, he added.
Singapore investments in Pakistan remain a disappointing $ 15 
million, while exports are in favour of the island republic. The 
city state sold goods worth $ 269.5 million to Pakistan in 1996, 
and this figure jumped to $ 274.2 million in 1997 and $ 313 in 
Singapore's imports from Pakistan in 1996 totalled $ 71 million, $ 
59.3 million in 97 and $ 38.3 million in 1998. However, they rose 
to $ 20.5 million in the first quarter of 1999 (Jan-March), a jump 
of 124 per cent.

Noted poet Zamir Jafri passes away

ISLAMABAD, May 12: Pakistan's renowned Urdu poet Syed Zamir Jafri 
passed away at a hospital in New York on Wednesday at 6.30pm after 
a protracted illness.
Syed Ghazanfar Mehdi, President of Daira, a local literary 
organisation, received information about the death of Syed Zamir 
Jafri from his friends in New York and London, and described the 
great poet a legend in his life time.
President Mohammad Rafiq Tarar has expressed grief and sorrow over 
the death of eminent poet and writer Syed Zamir Jafri.
Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif and federal information and 
culture minister Mushahid Hussian have expressed their condolences 
over the death of the poet.

Scholar, columnist Eqbal Ahmed passes away
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 11: Dr Eqbal Ahmad, renowned scholar and a columnist 
of Dawn, passed away in Islamabad in the early hours of May 11, 
1999 after a brief illness. He was 67.
He will be buried in Islamabad (H-8 graveyard) on Wednesday, May 
12. His Namaz-e-Jinaza will be offered at 11:15 am in the 
graveyard's premises. The funeral procession will start from his 
residence, House no 293, Street 20, E-7, Islamabad, at 11:00 am.
According to a press release issued by Dr Eqbal's family, he was 
born in Bihar in 1932 and made the journey to Pakistan during 
partition as a teenager under harrowing circumstances which 
cemented at this early age his commitment to the cause of oppressed 
CII declares bank prize schemes un-Islamic
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 11: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has 
declared lucrative prize schemes launched by major nationalised and 
private banks as un-Islamic and said these schemes fell into the 
category of Riba and gambling.
The CII has already intimated the Ministry of Finance that the 
CrorePati Scheme of the Habib Bank and the MaalaMaal Price Scheme 
of the Muslim Commercial Bank were un-Islamic and instigated the 
people to become millionaires overnight.
In a press release issued here on Tuesday, the council said that it 
had received a reference from the Ministry of Finance to study the 
status of the Habib Bank's CrorePati Scheme during November 1998 
after it was declared un-Islamic by the Islamic Wing of the State 
Bank of Pakistan.
The council, the release said, considered deeply the issue and also 
heard the point of view of the bank managements and concluded that 
these schemes fell into the category of Riba and gambling.
The council has already informed the prime minister's office to 
stop these prize schemes but the decision is yet to be implemented.
The council gave the following reasons for declaring these prize 
schemes un-Islamic:
* A lottery in which the investors are attracted to some high 
prizes but is offered to only a limited number of people selected 
on the basis of a draw, is against the injunctions of Islam.
* A scheme in which the investors' investment remain secure but the 
prizes are given from the interest on these investments, is against 
the Shariah.
* All state lotteries are also un-Islamic under the CrPC Section 
294(a), which too has been declared un-Islamic by an appellate 
bench of the SC under order number PLD 1992. Therefore, the 
CrorePati scheme could not be declared as justified or Islamic.
* The argument being given that the prizes on these schemes are 
offered through secure savings and profits of the banks, does not 
make them Islamic because the profit is distributed among a limited 
number of people while others are deprived of it.
* A scheme which provokes for becoming rich overnight is not only 
un-Islamic but unethical and against the healthy economic 
* The Federal Shariat Court and the Supreme Court (PLD 1992) had 
already declared such kind of prize bond schemes as un-Islamic.
* This scheme contains the elements of both Riba and gambling, so 
it is un-Islamic.
The Council lamented that the trend of prize schemes and lotteries 
had increased manifold in the society and every consumer item was 
sold on their basis.
The MaalaMaal Scheme of the MCB was declared un-Islamic early this 
month in a meeting of the council whereas some other schemes like 
the ZarAmad Scheme and CarAmad Schemes were under the review of the 

Pakistan-Saudi Arabia joint statement about Serb aggression 

LAHORE, May 9: Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have called for an 
immediate cessation of the Serb aggression against the Kosovars, 
withdrawal of Serbian forces, deployment of international peace 
keeping forces and return of Kosovars to their homes and assistance 
to them.
A joint statement issued here on Sunday afternoon at the end of the 
five-day state visit of the Second Deputy Prime Minister and the 
Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prince Sultan 
bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, to Pakistan expressed grave concern at the 
current situation in Kosovo and called for immediate assistance to 
the Kosovars.
At the talks between the two sides during the visit, the Saudi 
deputy Prime Minister welcomed the resumption of talks between 
India and Pakistan and it was agreed that realisation of peace in 
the region rests upon the solution of Kashmir issue in accordance 
with the UN resolutions.
The joint statement said that at the talks between Prince Sultan 
Bin Abdul Aziz and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif held in an 
atmosphere characterised with affection and understanding, the two 
sides reviewed matters concerning them and the Islamic Ummah, and 
in this context, exchanged views on issues including Kashmir, the 
Middle East, Iraq and Kosovo.
As regards the Middle East issue, the two sides agreed that 
realisation of peace in the region depends on the implementation of 
all relevant international resolutions and agreements and 
withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab territories.
The two sides affirmed their commitment to the territorial 
integrity of Iraq and the need for implementing the relevant 
Security Council Resolutions and respect for international 
legitimacy to alleviate the sufferings of their Iraqi people.
On Afghanistan, the two sides affirmed the necessity to preserve 
the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of 
Afghanistan and to support all efforts aimed at the restoration of 
a permanent peace in that country.-APP

Unified forex rate at composite rate assured

KARACHI, May 12: Ruling out devaluation, the State Bank said that 
effective unified exchange rate, as and when enforced, would be 
same as the composite rate, if not lower.

An SBP press release issued on Wednesday said, "As and when 
unification is effected, the State Bank will take steps through the 
market to make sure that the effective rate at which unification 
takes place is about the same as the composite rate, if not lower."
The State Bank added that it has" both the resolve and resources to 
ensure the outcome."
As a consequence, the central bank said the rupee return to 
exporters and rupee cost to importers would not be materially 
different at the time of unification, the SBP said.
The State Bank advised importers, exporters and bankers to pay no 
heed to rumours and speculations and conduct their business 
The SBP is stepping up its vigilance to check irregularities and 
speculative activities, it added.
In a clarification on exchange rate unification, the State Bank 
said that foreign exchange market has remained under pressure in 
the last several days mainly due to speculation about the rate 
unification and accompanying possible effective exchange rate 

The State Bank pointed out that at present the exchange rate is 
determined in the market and excepting the last few days of 
speculation, it has remained very stable. In the context of market 
based system, the question of devaluation does not arise, it added.

1999-2000 estimates: CBR projecting 12% growth in tax revenue
Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, May 13: The Central Board of Revenue has started setting 
all tax-amount projections for 1999-2000 on the basis of 12 per 
cent growth over the actuals (collected amount) of 1998-99.
However, this would be the minimum for the tax-heads to set their 
estimates for collection during the next financial year. The 
maximum would be the amount to be determined for each of the tax-
head by the ministry of finance.
The CBR officials working on the next year's budget have completed 
the second phase of computing the maximum amount of federal 
revenues extractable under each of the tax heads. This exercise was 
carried out over March and April to help the ministry of finance 
determine as to what amount of tax money over and above the 12 per 
cent growth rate would the CBR be able to ensure for 1999-2000.
The third and the final phase, for such an exercise, would begin on 
May 17, and for this phase all the revenue-generation-study related 
institutions would be helping the CBR to conclude as to what extent 
the raise of tax money could be expected from each sector.
However, the CBR is bound to complete the ongoing exercise for 
offering a maximum projection of tax amounts under each of the 
revenue head keeping in view the condition that there would be no 
increase in the rate of tax. In case of customs duty, there would 
be a further reduction in rate as far as import duty on machinery 
and raw materials is concerned.
This reduction is planned in view of protecting the local industry 
from the impact of the highest tariff rate reduction to 35 per cent 
by the Nawaz Sharif government. Since the previous rate on a wide 
range of imported machinery and raw materials have already been 
reduced to 25 per cent, further reduction in rate for these items 
would mean brining it down to 15 per cent. Most of the items that 
stand today at the rate of 10 per cent, would most probably be 
However, the growth of 12 per cent in case of customs duty would be 
applied in terms of total estimation for 1999-2000 regardless of 
reduction in the rates for offering protection to the local 
industry, said CBR sources. There could be an estimate of no less 
than Rs 80 billion for customs duty , they sad, arguing that this 
would cover the prerequisite for projecting 12 per cent growth over 
what was expected for 1998-99 under this head.
To meet this prerequisite alongside offering the required amount of 
tax-related protection to the local industry, the CBR has been 
authorized to draw up the lists of all the imports needed for 

industrial sectors to be offered protection against lowering of the 
highest import rate to 35 per cent. This exercise is being 
conducted under the supervision of National Tariff Commission. The 
National Tariff Commission has been authorized by the federal 
government for this purpose while other economic related government 
organs and ministries assisting this process include the 
Engineering Development Board, Board of Investment, Ministry of 
Commerce and the State Bank of Pakistan. 
The Income Tax and Sales Tax sides are preparing a sector wise 
projection for 1999-2000 with 12 per cent growth on the (expected) 
actuals of 98-99 plus the maximum amount of tax to be generated 
over and above the growth, for 1999-2000. Sources revealed to Dawn 
that the Sales Tax side department is basing its prospects for 
generation of tax money (over and above the growth rate) on 
extension of the tax to the services, retail and professionals' 
sectors, while the Income Tax side is depending for this purpose on 
increasing the number of assessees for 1999-2000 by at least 

Pakistan to buy power from Iran, Senate told
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 13: Minister for water and power Gohar Ayub Khan has 
said that Pakistan will buy electricity from Iran to provide power 
to Balochistan's areas bordering the Muslim brethren country.
He told Senate during a question hour here on Thursday that prime 
minister Nawaz Sharif had directed the authorities to explore this 
possibility so that the far-flung areas in Balochistan which could 
not be provided power by Wapda because of heavy finance 
requirements, should get electricity from Iran.
"We have already contacted the Iranian government on this subject," 
the minister said, expecting, "the things will be finalized within 
8 to 12 months." He said it would be feasible to buy power from 
Iran for the border areas of Balochistan.
In reply to a question of Syed Iqbal Haider of the PPP about the 
incidents of electricity thefts in Wapda and KESC during the 
current financial year, the minister said that a total of 101305 
theft cases in Wapda were reported which include 100993 cases of 
electricity theft. The other cases involved material thievery.
However, the number of cases registered with police against these 
theft cases in Wapda were only 3149. A total of 1188 persons were 
arrested and prosecuted which exclude arrest/prosecution of 13 
Wapda officials for their involvement.
The details show that 73983; 26244; 1067; and 11 cases of theft 
were reported by Wapda in Punjab, the NWFP, Sindh and Balochistan, 
respectively. Cases registered with the police in these provinces 
were 2291; 359; 488; and 11, respectively.
Size of black economy up to Rs2,000 billion: Dar
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 12: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that the 
estimated size of the country's black economy stands between Rs 
1,500 billion and Rs 2,000 billion.
Dar made this revelation in the Senate on Wednesday during question 
hour. In response to a question asked by Syed Iqbal Haider, the 
minister admitted that the size of the underground wealth in 
Pakistan was quite big.
At one stage the minister said that the estimated size of the 
underground economy in Pakistan was around Rs 1500 billion but 
later said these figures stood between Rs 500 and2000 billion. The 
minister though acknowledged that the tax culture was missing in 
the country, he said and added that the underground economy existed 
in every country of the world.
"The government is taking all measures to promote the tax culture 
in Pakistan," the finance minister said. He spelled out certain 
measures the government was taking in this regard. These measures 
include the introduction of strong audit system, setting up of 
Pakistan revenue authority, appointment of professionals and 
screening out of corrupt elements from the central board of revenue 
Syed Iqbal Haider diverted the minister's attention towards 
"Customs' mafia" and demanded of him to remove it from the CBR. Dar 
said that he had removed dozens of CBR officials to check the mafia 
but argued that these problems could not be addressed in an 
overnight. He sought people's help to enforce tax culture in the 
Leader of the opposition in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan appreciated 
Dar's will to introduce tax culture in Pakistan but asked the 
minister how would he proceed against prime minister Nawaz Sharif 
who was the richest man in Pakistan but had paid only Rs 477 during 
1994-97 as income tax. He insisted that if the prime minister was 
made to pay his due tax then it would help in enforcing tax culture 
in the society.
Though chairman Senate Wasim Sajjad was not enthusiastic to get a 
reply from Dar to this question of Aitzaz for being a repetition, 
the finance minister made himself available for an answer. Dar said 
that he would be bringing a proposal in the next Finance Bill that 
the tax details of all parliamentarians and senior bureaucrats 
should be made public. He believed that this initiative would solve 
many problems.
Talking about Aitzaz's allegation against PM, he said that the 
Benazir government during its last tenure had audited the income 
tax returns of Nawaz Sharif but could not find any legal lacuna. 
"They had the opportunity but could not find anything," the 
minister said.
To another question, the minister said that the sale proceeds from 
the sale of PTC vouchers, Habib credit exchange and Kot Addu 
amounted to Rs 42.3 billion. After deduction of related 
expenditure, he said, these proceeds were deposited with State Bank 
of Pakistan.

Dollar bond sales cross $1 billion mark
By Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, May 11: Conversion of foreign currency deposits into 
dollar bonds has crossed the $1 billion mark but senior bankers say 
the pace of conversion may remain slow till the close of the 
current fiscal year.
Top bankers told Dawn on Tuesday that $1.004 billion worth of 
frozen foreign currency deposits (FCDs) were converted into the 
bonds up to May 10. "But the pace of conversion has slowed down and 
it would remain slow till the end of June," said treasurer of a 
state-run bank.
Dollar bonds carry annual return of six-month LIBOR (London inter-
bank offered rates) plus 2 and 3 per cent respectively on three and 
five-year papers and six-month LIBOR plus 4 per cent on seven year 
papers. It seems wiser on the part of the holders of frozen FCDs to 
get their FCDs converted into these bonds rather than rupees 
because conversion into rupees is still being made at Rs46 to a US 
dollar. But bankers say it has been the confidence-shaking through 
freezing of FCDs that often prevent people from converting their 
FCDs into dollar bonds and they prefer conversion to rupees 
This is evident from the fact that up to May 10 people had 
converted some $5.652 billion worth of FCDs of which $4.648 billion 
worth of FCDs were converted into rupees and only $1.004 billion 
into the bonds.
Top bankers say people have now adopted a wait-and-see policy with 
regard to conversion of FCDs into rupees or dollar bonds after 
reports of an impending unification of exchange rates. They say 
that during the last ten days less than $50 million have been 
converted into rupees and around $90 million into dollar bonds.
Up to April 29 conversion of FCDs stood at $5.510 billion- $4.60 
billion into rupees and $910 million into dollar bonds. On May 10 
total conversion moved up to $5.652 billion-$4.648 billion into 
rupees and $1.004 billion into the dollar bonds.
Bankers say with $5.652 billion worth of FCDs converted into rupees 
or dollar bonds the $11 billion worth of FCDs frozen on May 28 1998 
have declined to around $4.5 billion taking into account the 
liquidation of at least $800 million worth of FCDs used as 
collateral for rupee loans. They say that liquidation of FCDs used 
as collaterals have stopped pending a case in the Supreme Court 
that is precisely why the economic managers are using other 
monetary tools to lessen forex liabilities in the shape of frozen 
Dollar bonds were launched on July 22 1998 but they could not take 
off until November 11 1998 when the State Bank issued a circular 
notifying to the banks the government decision of making these 
bonds more attractive. Earlier the government had decided not only 
to cut the originally announced maturity periods of the bonds and 
raise their yields besides declaring that the bonds could be used 
both as registered as well as bearer instrument.
Immediately afterwards-on November 14 1998 to be precise-the State 
Bank raised forward cover fee on dollar deposits from 7 to 8 per 
cent along with similar increases in the cover fee on other 
currencies as well. This move was also partly aimed at speeding up 
conversion of FCDs into rupees-specially into dollar bonds.
In a simultaneous move the State Bank allowed banks and non-bank 
financial institutions to use for one year the rupee sale proceeds 
of the dollar bonds issued against frozen FCDs. That step was taken 
to minimize an anticipated liquidity crunch the banks and NBFIs 
might face due to faster conversion of FCDs into dollar bonds and 
that worked. By first week of December 1998 conversion into dollar 
bonds stood around $225 million which rose to $407 million within a 
*From then onwards the pace of conversion into dollar bonds did not 
recede and a second round of increase in forward cover fee on March 
4 1999 particularly left the holders of frozen FCDs with no choice 
but to convert FCDs into rupees-more wisely into dollar bonds. It 
has been against this backdrop that the sale of dollar bonds has 
crossed $1 billion mark but bankers fear a slow down in it in the 
coming weeks.

Incentive deposit schemes attract Rs28bn

KARACHI, May 11: The incentive schemes launched by three major 
banks had attracted around Rs28 billion from the public till the 
end of last month.
Top bankers say the Crorepati scheme of Habib Bank attracted around 
Rs16.5 billion by end of April adding that Malamal scheme of Muslim 
Commercial Bank and Caraamad of United Bank attracted Rs7.5 billion 
and Rs4 billion respectively by the same period.
While senior executives of these banks see nothing wrong in these 
deposit mobilization schemes offering hefty cash prizes and cars 
and gold bars etc observers at inter-bank money market disagree 
with them.
"Deposit mobilization through incentives schemes is prone to sudden 
withdrawals by frustrated depositors who fail to win the prizes," 
said senior executive of a large private bank. He said the savers 
essentially needed higher rates of return instead of cash prizes 
going to a bunch of fortunate ones. 
"What possibly has led to the herd mentality with regard to 
introducing these schemes is a relatively low cost," said senior 
executive of one of five major banks.
Officials of the banks that have launched these schemes admit that 
the effective cost of these schemes has been much lower than that 
on normal deposit generation but they do not accept that the 
schemes are not offering better rates of return to depositors.
Besides they say that these schemes provide a breather to the 
liquidity-strapped inter-bank market thereby brightening the 
prospects of credit expansion. 
"These schemes would help minimize the impact of the a near-
recession in the economy," said senior executive of one of the 
three banks that launched these schemes.
Business leaders do not share this perception. The presidents of 
FPCCI and KCCI are on record criticising these schemes.

Commercial lenders to meet in Bahrain on 18th
Haris Anwar

KARACHI, May 10: Pakistan's commercial lenders are meeting in 
Bahrain on May 18 to end a deadlock on the issue of country's 
short-term debt restructuring, sources said on Monday. "The meeting 
has been called to formulate a workable and consensus proposal to 
be presented to the government to restructure commercial debt of 
Pakistan," said a foreign banker.
Deadlock-type situation was created when US origin banks refused to 
accept Pakistan offer to reschedule their short-term trade-related 
debt for four years.
Syndicate banks, negotiating on the behalf of over 30 commercial 
lenders, also gave a counter-offer to the government to replace $ 
530 million short-term debt by a trade maintenance facility of one 
year, subject to renewal for further one year.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, last week stated that government was 
considering the counter-offer by the foreign banks without 
revealing the details.
But sources in a foreign bank said the offer was unacceptable to 
the government.
"The government has not accepted this offer, which was sent on 
letter pad of some foreign lawyer, who has nothing to do with the 
negotiations," said another source.
Bankers said the matter was now being dealt directly by the head 
offices of the respective lenders.
Pakistan is trying to restructure its short-to-medium term debt of 
over $ 800 million without calling the formal meeting of the London 
Club of creditors.
It has already rescheduled $3.3 billion bilateral debt from the 
Paris Club of creditors after balance of payment crisis on the wake 
international sanction imposed after nuclear explosions in May 

Pakistan, Yemen to expand trade relations
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 10: Pakistan and Yemen has decided to expand their 
trade and commercial relations, including in the field of defence.
According to informed sources, Pakistan has expressed its 
willingness to export arms and ammunition to Yemen. It also said 
the Wah Ordinance Factory was capable of catering to the defence 
requirements of Yemen.
Minister for finance Ishaq Dar, who led the government side at the 
Pak-Yemen Joint Economic Committee held here on Monday also told 
the Yemen's head of the delegation and the minister for education 
Dr Yahya that the forum provides an institutional framework for the 
promotion of bilateral relations in the economic, commercial and 
technological fields.
"The current session gives us an opportunity to carry out an in-
depth review of our existing economic relations and identify new 
areas for mutual cooperation", Dar said while inaugurating the 
third session of Pak-Yemen Joint Economic Committee meeting held 
here on Monday.
Highlighting the agenda for economic development, he said, 
Pakistan's development programme offers vast opportunities to 
foreign investors particularly in infrastructural projects.
The finance minister emphasized the need for an active interaction 
between the private sectors of two countries and said that they 
should come forward to play their role in promoting the bilateral 
trade and other economic activity. He said that Pakistan can 
provide both industrial as well as agricultural products including 
sugar and cement plants, textile and high engineering products and 
share its experience in water management resources.
He asked both the delegations to identify areas in which 
professional, skilled and semi-skilled Pakistani manpower can be 
used in Yemen.
He expressed the hope that this session of JEC will focus to come 
up with concrete recommendations to boost trade and achieve greater 
cooperation in the areas of economic activity.
Reciprocating, the minister for education and leader of the Yemen 
delegation Dr Yahya Muhammad Al-Shuaibi said that there is a great 
potential of economic cooperation between Pakistan and Yemen which 
can be mutually beneficial.
KSE 100-share index breaks 1,200-point barrier

KARACHI, May 14: Stocks on Friday remained in a bullish frame on 
mind as investors were not inclined to entertain bearish ideas 
despite not very encouraging news from the IPP front over the 
tariff issue. The KSE 100-share broke the 1,200 point barrier at 
1.218.66, pushing the market capitalization by another Rs5bn at 
But reports that talks on the issue will continue at the technical 
level despite the departure of the chairman Hubco to report the 
outcome of discussions with the WAPDA chief to the board of the 
company and for seeking consent on broad agreement did raise hopes 
of a possible settlement, said a member KSE
And perhaps it was this fact, which did not allow profit-selling in 
its share at the inflated levels but rather it ended further higher 
on large volume, indicating that investors are not inclined to part 
with their holdings at least for the near-term.
News that tariff-cut talks with the visiting Hubco delegation led 
by its chairman remain inconclusive did not halt the market's 
upturn nor did the late weekend selling.
It appears largely the strength of the PTCL, which took the entire 
market along with it to new year highs. Other blue chips played the 
supporting role.
The KSE 100-share index at one stage was up 30 points at well above 
the barrier of 1,200 points but late selling in Hub-Power and PTCL 
at the day's peak level pushed it modestly lower.
It was last quoted higher by 26.00 points or 2.5 per cent at 
1,218.66 but analysts predicted a sell-off is now overdue as the 
market is now in a highly overbought position.
Massive activities in PTCL and Hub-Power reflect that speculative 
forces are not inclined to loosen their grip on the current price 
PSO again remained a star performer amid reports of higher interim 
sales and added another Rs 9.65 to the previous gains amid large 
volume at the higher level. Some foreign investors are said to be 
taking long positions in it.
Central Insurance, which came out with a cash dividend of 20 per 
cent plus bonus shares at the rate of 100 per cent for the last 
year also attracted good support and rose by Rs 13.75 for its 10-
rupee share at Rs 68.75.
Other prominent gainers were led by Zeal-Pak Cement, ICI Pakistan, 
which consolidated its position well above the face value, Lever 
Brothers and PIC, which posted gains ranging from Rs 1.80 to 19.00.
Barring Shell Pakistan, General Tyre, Johnson and Philip, which 
suffered fall ranging from one rupee to Rs 2.00, all other falls 
were fractional.
Trading volume was maintained on the higher side at 201m shares, 
bulk of which went to the credit PTCL and Hub-Power. Gainers held a 
modest lead over the losers at 64 to 45, with 50 shares holding on 
to the last levels.
The most active list was topped by PTCL, up 35 paisa at Rs 24.05 on 
57m shares followed by Hub-Power, firm 20 paisa at Rs 19.30 also on 
57m shares, ICI Pakistan, higher by Rs 1.80 at Rs 12.50 on 41m 
shares, PSO up Rs965 at Rs 119.40 on 17m shares and Fauji 
Fertiliser, firm 20 paisa at Rs 53.10 on 7m shares.
Other actively were led by KESC, easy 45 paisa on 5.205m shares, 
Adamjee Insurance, off 40 0 paisa on 2m shares, Engro Chemical, 
lower 50 paisa on 1.530m shares, FFC-Jordan Fertiliser, up 25 paisa 
on 1.310m shares and Sui Northern, up 55 paisa on 1.845m shares.
DEFAULTING COMPANIES: Shares of Allied Motors and Bari came in for 
stray support but offtake was modest at 500 shares each.
DIVIDEND: Fauji Fertiliser, final cash 20 per cent plus an interim 
of an identical amount for the year ending Dec 31, 1999, not bonus 
shares as reported in Friday's issue.

Back to the top
Glass lions
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

COULD it have happened in the Karachi of fifty years ago? A man 
fancies himself as a lion-tamer. He takes over the side road 
running besides his house, plus the sidewalk in front of it, builds 
rickety cages made from some sort of cheap metal, and instals in 
them a couple of unfortunate lions. And this on a main boulevard, 
the Khayaban-e-Saadi (plot F12 Block 5 Kehkashan Scheme 5), within 
shouting distance of a large school, spreading fear and unrest in 
the neighbourhood.
Fifty years ago in Karachi, could any man have built on a 
designated residential plot a truly horrendous commercial complex, 
with a cheap and tawdry-looking glass facade, in the most 
deplorable of tastes, and built it so that it protrudes right on to 
one of the main thoroughfares of this city. Could he, at the same 
time, have misappropriated the road that runs along one side of his 
disgusting construction, blocked it to traffic, and raised it to 
the level of the building's plinth?
No, of course not. It was different in those days. There was law, 
there was order. Rules and regulations were made to be honoured, 
not violated. No man would even have dreamt of doing either of the 
above, let alone actually physically attempting to. In the event 
that anyone had been sufficiently criminal-minded, or mentally 
deficient, to have tried, the city authorities would have stopped 
him within minutes.
Now that the Glass Towers case has been heard and decided by the 
apex court, the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and the nightmare is 
over for us few who have fought this monstrosity for the past four 
years, one is free to write about it for the people, even though 
they were largely sceptical and unhelpful , critical but unwilling 
to contribute to the fight in any way.
A portion of paragraph (f) of the order issued by the governor of 
Sindh in November 1996 dissolving the Sindh Assembly reads : "There 
is also corruption in the grant of permissions for highrise 
buildings, for example the case of Glass Towers on the main Clifton 
Road which has caused obstruction to the traffic and is in 
violation of the principles of town planning. The Karachi 
Development Authority is a nest of corruption and inefficiency...."  
The few who have been in and out of court fighting the Glass Tower 
irregularities finally had their appeal heard last week by a five-
member bench of the Supreme Court (Chief Justice Ajmal Mian, 
Justices Mohammad Bashir Jehangiri, Mamoon Kazi, Shaikh Riaz Ahmad, 
Chaudhry Mohammad Arif). On May 3, the bench ordered that the 
builders "shall remove the portion of the structure of Glass Towers 
constructed along and facing the Clifton Road which may obstruct 
the future expansion of the road to the proposed width of 150 feet, 
as ordered by the learned Division Bench of the High Court, within 
a period of three months from today [May 3, 1999] failing which the 
official respondents shall carry out the demolition work 
immediately on the expiry of the above period of three months, at 
the cost of the builder with police aid, if necessary." It also 
ordered that the remainder of the building will stand in accordance 
with the approved plan.
Needless to say, there are many irregularities in the sructure that 
will remain after the demolition process is completed, numerous 
facets that are not in accordance with the approved plan.
Builder Hashim's main hope now is that within the specified three 
months, goernor's rule will somehow disappear, back will come some 
sort of corrupt government made up of politicos on the make, and he 
will manage to buy his way out of the demolition problem. He still 
get s good advice from the man who initially approved the plan of 
Glass Towers, obstruction and all, Rauf Akhtar Faruqui, former 
Chief Controller of Buildings of KBCA-KMC.
Faruqui was one of the 29 officers of the Building Control 
Authority who were suspended by Abdullah Shah, the PPP chief 
minister of Sindh (to be suspended by him a man had to be really 
beyond the pale). His suspension was upheld in the inquiry report 
prepared by Abdullah Shah's secretary of local government, Nur 
Ahmad Shah. Faruqui remained out of the building world until (hold 
on to your hats) governor's rule was imposed in Sindh last year 
when the secretary, housing and town planning Faisal Saud backed by 
chief secretary Salik Nazir, came to Faruqui's rescue and had him 
appointed as DG of the Malir Development Authority. As unbelievable 
as this may be, it is a fact. So much for governor's rule!
The same Supreme Court Bench that issued the Glass Towers 
demolition order has saved a people's park in Karachi. The Costa 
Livina case dates back to 1990, to the first PPP regime. Asif 
Zardari and his crony Dr Zulfikar Mirza (now absconding) aided by 
other cronies, managed to obtain permission to build a highrise 
commercial-cum-residential complex within the bounds of the 
Jehangir Kothari Clifton Park (renamed Bagh-e-Ibn-Qasim). The plot 
in the park upon which they were allowed to build their illegal 
structure had originally been designated for the construction of a 
tower with a revolving restaurant atop, similar to the towers built 
in parks in Toronto, Hamburg and other cities.
People's parks are inviolable; they cannot be desecrated by 
commercial constructions. The politicians involved manipulated 
approval for their commercial venture on the plea that they would 
instal a revolving restaurant on the top of the building. Many of 
us in the know realized that this would never happen. We knew all 
about the building built by Zardari opposite the Services Club on 
Victoria Road. When he applied for permission and submitted his 
plans he duped the authorities into believing that the top two 
floors would be used for car-parking and that cars would be taken 
up in elevators. No such thing ever happened, as all who pass the 
Trade Centre can clearly see.
The building of the Costa Livina complex was opposed by one KDA 
officer, Khalid Mukhtar. He was threatened by the politicians after 
writing his dissenting note and informed that he would be hounded 
out of his job. The citizens went to court . Construction started, 
then it was stopped by the next regime, started again, stopped 
again and so it went on. During the second PPP round, Asif 
Zardari's cohorts succeeded not only in getting Mukhtar out of his 
job, but also out of the country. Luckily, he is an honest well-
qualified man and is doing far better in the US than he would ever 
have done here.
Costa Livina is now a half-built structure, a shell of some six 
storeys. The Supreme Court ordered on May 3 that this structure 
will be demolished and that the builders concerned will submit a 
new plan for the construction of a tower and restaurant only, a 
construction that will be purely for the enjoyment of the people, 
rather than a money-making machine for the unscrupulous greedy, 
self-appointed, freely and fairly elected people's representatives.

The degradation on all fronts has been intense. At one time the 
citizens had to fight unscruplous builders and corrupt officials, 
and lawyers with ethics and self-respect refused to represent these 
despoilers. Now a lawyer mafia has arisen. When one tries to reason 
with some of the legal men one knows and ask them what it is that 
motivates them to demean themselves, their lame excuse is that even 
mass murderers are entitled to a defence. The dangerous trend is 
that many of the young lawyers, for the right price, "guarantee" 
success and manipulate their way through their aiders and abettors 
in the court s.
The plus side is that there are a few left who refuse, no matter 
what price is offered, to sell themselves down the dirty drain. The 
foremost of these is Barrister Mohammed Gilbert Naim-ur-Rahman, who 
has fought his way relentlessly through case after case, opposing 
builder after builder, more often than not charging no fee. He has 
now saved a road and a park. Another man who has given of his 
professional skill and time, to his financial detriment, and has 
been of immense help to those who have fought these cases is 
Engineer Roland deSouza of SHEHRI. Those who will, must press on. 
The city is still worth saving.

The unwelcome spectre at the feast
Ayaz Amir

WHAT accounts for the growing intolerance of the ruling family? 
What is it afraid of? Against the backdrop of the self-serving 
patriotism directed at troublesome journalists these are not 
irrelevant questions.
Let it be said at the outset that like their great mentor General 
Zia-ul-Haq, the Sharifs could not care less about criticism in 
general terms. To accuse them of despotic tendencies or to say that 
they are not democrats at heart would be of no concern to them. In 
fact, seeing themselves as strongmen, which is the great Punjabi 
ideal, they would be flattered by such charges.
Zia-ul-Haq was not the worse for abstract criticism with which he 
amiably coexisted for eleven and a half years. In his time there 
was nothing funnier than newspaper headlines which said, "MRD calls 
upon Zia to quit." Is it all that hard to imagine the slow smile 
breaking on the general's lips as he perused such demands intoned 
from the comfort of deep armchairs?
It was the specific charge, the one that got close to the bone, 
which the general could not tolerate. When on a certain occasion 
the Frontier Post disclosed the exact amount in foreign exchange 
which had been sanctioned for his wife, the Begum Sahiba, for her 
eye treatment in London, General Zia was incensed. When the 
Frontier Post also reported that for the same trip she had taken an 
extraordinary amount of luggage (forty or fifty suitcases) with 
her, General Hamid Gul, then head of ISI, called the paper's owner, 
Rehmat Shah Afridi, for a talk. Some days later the managing 
editor, Farhatullah Babar, had to leave his job.
In 1988 after Junejo's government had been sacked and the National 
Assembly dissolved, a question was asked in the Senate about those 
four-star generals who had imported duty-free cars. When in due 
course the answer was read out on the Senate floor by the finance 
minister, Dr Mahbubul Haq, and made much of by some newspapers the 
next day, the generals concerned were livid. General Akhtar Abdur 
Rehman, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee, wrote to 
the president about this attempt to defame the army and its 
leadership. Dr Mahbubul Haq and the chairman of the CBR, 
Aitzazuddin Ahmed, were summoned to Army House. They were called at 
six in the evening and kept waiting till one o'clock. When finally 
ushered in before a very irate General Zia, they got a severe 
dressing down. Witnesses to the scene say that they had never seen 
the general, normally a man who kept his feelings in check, so 
angry and out of sorts.
Much the same principle is at work with the Sharifs. 
Generalizations, abstractions, punchy editorials about the threat 
to democratic liberties, they can take in their stride. It is 
specific references to their past financial dealings, constant 
reminders of the huge loans they have taken and not repaid, nagging 
charges that in the distribution of family assets the ruling family 
has short-changed its own uncles and cousins - these are the 
charges calculated to test their steely composure. Just as persons 
who have made good do not want to be reminded of their poor 
relations, the Sharifs want nothing to detract from their present 
If the BBC had been preparing a television report merely about 
creeping dictatorship, no one in the government's inner circle, its 
sanctum sanctorum, would have been greatly put out. It was the fear 
that this television report would focus on the corruption charges 
against the Sharifs, and do to them what an earlier BBC 
documentary, 'The Princess and the Playboy', had done to Benazir 
Bhutto and Asif Zardari, which made the high priests of the heavy 
mandate to lose their cool.
The motivation behind this should not be difficult to understand. 
The ruling family has everything: the power to do as it pleases in 
Islamabad, a power base in Punjab, a docile parliament, an 
opposition which has self-destructed and does not know what to do, 
a press which, after the collapse of the Jang group's short-lived 
flirtation with the barricades, is looking over its shoulders all 
the time, an army chief who is stretching his charter of 
responsibilities by taking on duties that would have raised 
eyebrows in military circles only a short time ago, and, 
importantly, an economic situation which so far has proven 
doomsayers wrong. As if all these gifts were not enough, the 
Sharifs have a financial and industrial empire to complement their 
hold on power. Over such a feast of power and money no ruling 
family in Pakistan has ever presided before.
But there is a spectre at this feast, a drop of poison in the 
golden chalice, which comes in the form of the Sharif's financial 
conquests. On the one hand, so much power and glory, on the other, 

sordid accusations of loans not being repaid, of loans owed to Al-
Taufik, of businesses in Kenya, of unfair subsidies to the sugar 
industry, of other skeletons in the cupboard. Of what use Macbeth's 
triumph with Banquo's ghost at the table? Of what use the glory of 
the Sharifs when tagged with tales of financial impropriety?

There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that Najam Sethi has been 
picked up not for any of the quirks or prejudices of the Friday 
Times, of which like any other hard-hitting newspaper it has more 
than its fair share, but for his blunt criticism of the government 
and especially his persistent focusing on the financial affairs of 
the ruling family. The long-standing and festering cause of offence 
was this. His giving an interview to the BBC team preparing its 
report on the financial exploits of the Sharif clan was in all 
probability the last straw. Sethi's speech in New Delhi was simply 
the excuse which has enabled the government to lay its hands on 
All this leaves a bad taste in the mouth and proves yet again what 
dolts we can be. Issue can be taken with Najam's analysis of the 
Pakistani situation but that is not what the music-masters of the 
government are doing. They are beating the drums of national 
security without realizing how utterly small and foolish they make 
the whole country appear by suggesting that a few words spoken in 
New Delhi before an Indian audience can endanger Pakistan's 
security. Is Pakistan so insecure and does its existence rest on 
such brittle foundations?
Ashraf Qazi, Pakistan's high commissioner in New Delhi, was 
absolutely right to respond to Najam's remarks. He would have been 
neglecting his duty had he not done so. But then for him to go on 
and make a mountain of this issue-- in his report to the foreign 
office he describes Najam's speech as an act of "contemptible 
treachery"-- is another example of the petty-minded chauvinism 
which casts such a grim shadow over our national thinking. Would 
the ambassador of any democratic country think it worth his while 
to report a speech such as Najam's in such alarmist tones? While 
certainly not a "failing state" (Najam's thesis being that we are), 
we remain even after fifty years an immature one.
Not the least of the disturbing features of this affair is the way 
the government has passed the buck to the ISI. It was the IB which 
picked up Najam Sethi but the ISI which is being asked to 
"investigate" him. But investigate him for what? If national 
security was really the issue, the ISI should have been called in 
from the start. That it was not merely betrays the government's 
real aim. It wants to teach Najam Sethi a lesson. The ISI should 
have nothing to do with this sorry business.

Shooting the messenger
Irfan Husain

THIS has been a very difficult week: two dear friends have been 
severely tested. Eqbal Ahmed is no longer with us, but Najam 
Sethi's tribulations continue without any end in sight.
As I watched Eqbal struggle for his life during his final hours, 
many images and memories flashed through my mind. It will take some 
time to sort them out and dull the edge of my grief; until then, 
let me turn to the current persecution of Najam Sethi. Had Eqbal 
known about the disgraceful way Sethi was picked up from his house 
at three in the morning, he would have been furious, and I have no 
doubt the government would have felt the full weight of his anger 
in his column.
Najam Sethi has been a friend for twenty years, and I have been a 
regular reader of, and occasional contributor to, The Friday Times 
ever since it was launched a decade or so ago. Since its earliest 
days, the weekly has been a fearless crusader for good governance 
and accountability. Its fierce independence, together with its 
irreverent style, quickly made it required reading for anybody 
interested in being on the inside track of Pakistani politics.
Both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif have been at the receiving end 
of Sethi's incisive and sardonic editorials, as well as critical 
pieces penned by TFT's team of writers. Relentlessly, the weekly 
has printed one devastating expose after another. Documented 
stories of corruption at the very highest level have established 
TFT as Pakistan's foremost investigative publication. I am 
convinced that it is Sethi's uncompromising stance on corruption 
that has led to his Gestapo-like kidnapping, and not his recent 
speech in New Delhi, whatever the government's spin doctors may 
As a matter of fact, the full text of the controversial speech 
reproduced in last week's TFT as well as The Nation contains 
nothing Sethi has not said in his editorials before, or that a 
number of us have not written at one time or another. Indeed, he 
gave the same speech to the officers attending a course at the 
National Defence College not long ago, and his insights were widely 
appreciated. The charge being made by government hacks about the 
damage done to our image in India by Sethi's speech is so much 
nonsense: TFT can be, and is, read the world over on the internet, 
so anyone interested enough in Pakistan has a wide variety of 
Pakistani publications to choose from.
If the government thinks it has a case of sedition against Sethi, 
it should have followed the legal and civilized course of going to 
court with its complaint. Obviously, Mushahid Hussain and his 
minions suspected that the government would become a laughing stock 
if it actually filed charges on such flimsy grounds. Anybody who 
has read the full text of the speech will have noted that Sethi 
ends by demanding that India should arrive at a fair and honourable 
settlement of the Kashmir problem. Hardly seditious stuff. His 
analysis of the situation in Pakistan can scarcely be faulted; 
however, if the information ministry felt that he had gone over the 
top, a strong letter to the editor would have surely sufficed.
The immediate cause of the government's fury is the BBC documentary 
being prepared to highlight corruption alleged to permeate the 
highest levels of this government. Hussain Haqqani had already been 
snatched a fortnight or so ago for committing the sin of talking to 
the BBC team, and now Sethi has fallen victim of a film that still 
hasn't been aired. These two arrests plus Mushahid Hussain's 
amazingly puerile letter to the head of the BBC indicate the extent 
to which this government will go in order to keep the stench of 
corruption bottled up. Indeed, as a Pakistani I cringed in 
embarrassment at reading this pathetically undignified letter from 
our information minister, as well as the BBC's stinging reply.
These acts, combined with the threats and attacks on other 
journalists, reveal a clear pattern of intimidation against the 
press. Clearly, no strong, self-confident government behaves in 
this manner. These are sure signs of nervousness, bordering on 
hysteria and paranoia. For a government that never tires of 
boasting about its 'historic mandate', these strong-arm tactics are 
hard to comprehend. The point is that people are already aware of 
this government's free and easy way with the public exchequer; we 
don't need the BBC to confirm this image. By behaving like a bully, 
the government is only adding further authenticity to the charges 
that will be made in the documentary. Had it not behaved in such a 
hamhanded fashion, chances are that the BBC story would have been 
buried in the World Cup matches that will hold our attention for 
the next five weeks. But now, copies will surely make the rounds, 
and be the topic of conversation across the country.
It would appear that having neutralized competing power centres 
like the presidency, the GHQ and the judiciary, the government 
feels strong enough now to take on the free press. Given the power 
of the state, it may even succeed in cowing down the country's 
independent publications. What then? Arguably, this is the most 
powerful administration since Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's early days in 
power. Although Zia was master of all he surveyed, he lacked the 
legitimacy the PML government has. But what does Nawaz Sharif 
propose to do when he has silenced his critics in the print media? 
As an editorial on this subject printed on this page last week 
asked, why is the government in such a panic? What does it have to 
A free press is the sine qua non of a democratic dispensation. The 
latter is inconceivable without the former. When in the opposition, 
Nawaz Sharif benefited enormously from the investigative reports 
produced by independent journalists like Najam Sethi. Now that he 
is at the receiving end, he has apparently decided to change the 
rules. To her credit, Benazir Bhutto did not resort to the 
fascistic methods this government is employing despite a storm of 
devastating and ultimately destabilizing criticism. More than any 
other single factor, it was the print media that brought down her 
government, and Najam Sethi was in the forefront of journalists who 
ended her second stint in office. But she did not send armed men to 
beat him up and drag him out of his home at dead of night.

One sad and curious twist to this saga is the role of our high 
commissioner in India. His report on Sethi's speech has been widely 
quoted as a defence for the government's action. I have known 
Ashraf Qazi for years and have respected his intellect and 
professionalism, but to dub Sethi's views as 'treacherous' is 
intellectually dishonest. While I can understand his disagreement, 
I cannot comprehend or applaud Ashraf Qazi's role as the official 
hatchet man. Doing one's job is one thing, knifing a friend in the 
back is quite another.
Ironically, Ashraf Qazi has written a short but moving personal 
tribute to Eqbal Ahmed in this newspaper based on their brief 
acquaintance. He can rest assured that Eqbal would never have 
approved of what he has helped the government do to Najam Sethi.

Pakistan rated high to enter Super-Six bracket
Lateef Jafri

Sixteen years after the third World Cup had been staged in England 
the global extravaganza of newlook cricket is back in the country 
where the game was introduced and groomed in the hamlets of Kent, 
Surrey and Sussex.
It will be the seventh edition of what is acknowledged by all 
experts and chroniclers of the game as the world contest of one-
dayers that will open this Friday at Lord's with a match between 
the host nation and the defending champions, Sri Lanka. In accord 
with the programme the greatest show of the year's cricket will be 
launched at the headquarters of the game as the final on June 20 
will also be played at Lord's.
Pakistan's turn comes two days later when they take on two-time cup 
holders, the West Indies, at Bristol. Are the Pakistanis such great 
shakes that they have been installed as the third odds-on favourite 
after the South Africans, who have yet to claim the highest 
accolade, and the Australians, winners in the India-Pakistan 
organised fiesta in 1987 before packed pavilions of Calcutta's Eden 
Gardens?. Can the squad, essentially a pack of young campaigners, 
come up to the great expectations of the game's enthusiasts in this 
country and the South Asians living in England? Is the side balance 
denough to initially cross the rubicon to enter the Super Six 
league? These are some of the questions for which the answers have 
to be found.
All experts of the game are of the opinion that Pakistan has 
perhaps the most effective and potent bowling force among the 12 
combatants of the World Cup. The team's trump card is 23-year-old 
Shoaib Akhtar, whose frightening speed makes the rival batsmen 
quiver at the crease. He had been successful in getting early 
breakthrough with the new ball in the recent international matches 
played in South Asia and Sharjah. Racing with a springing stride 
from a long run-up he has the vigour and energy, better still the 
demoniac pace, to perplex the batsmen and strain their nerves and 
It will be difficult for the batsmen to counter and contain the 
trio of captain Wasim Akram, appearing in his third World Cup, 
Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar while bowling flat out. If Azhar 
Mahmood's honest toil and his medium-paced good length deliveries 
are to be taken into reckoning the attack will undeniably be 
formidable, even if comapred with the combined energy and 
controlled pace of the Australian, West Indian and South African 
seam bowlers.
Add the curve, the cunning and deceitful breaks of Saqlain Mushtaq 
and Mushtaq Ahmad making a short trek from the bowling base 
harassing and confusing the willow-wielders. It is thus accepted on 
all hands that the country has the most difficult and variegated 
attack for this guadernnial competition. The leg-spin of Shahid 
Afridi cannot be taken lightly as it can baffle and remove a set 
partnership, with flight and occasional pace variation.
The inconsistency of the batting-line is the main cause of worry 
for the supporters of the national squad. Wajahatullah Wasti, the 
opener, scored a century in each innings in the Asian Test 
Championship against Sri Lanka at Lahore last March. Statistically 
it was a commendable effort though the runs were made on a batting 
cushion prepared at Qadhafi Stadium. He was neither much of a 
success in the earlier engagement at Calcutta against India nor in 
the final of the Asian Test at Dhaka against Sri Lanka. In limited-
overs matches, as in the Sharjah Coca-Cola Cup, he has been seen to 
persevere with his mode and manner of Test batting which made the 
side slow in the run-chase. One expects to see the Saeed Anwar-
Shahid Afridi combination to be retained. Fortunately both of them 
peaked in the most recent tussles in India and Sharjah. Exhibiting 
an uncanny ability to pick out the loose balls for making their 
strokes they have more often than not, been laying a solid 
foundation for the other batsmen to push the total up in a 
confident, firm and brisk way.
Catching has day by day improved but ground fielding has been 
regrettably lethargic unlike the quick action of the South 
Africans, the West Indians or the Australians on the field. Even 
the Indians have been smarter and more swift in their pickup and 
throw as well as in pouncing at impossible chances. Usually 
Azharuddin's athleticism sets an example for his team-mates. With 
his quick anticipation and rapidity he sends back the batsmen by 
bringing off the most difficult catches of hard, uppish strokes.
The Pakistani field placings leave many gaps, especially in the 
deep and near the boundary. Both in the Indian duels and the 
Sharjah contests the Pakistanis did not care much about saving 
boundaries by putting sentries on the long-on, the long-off and 
deep extra-cover positions. Against the West Indies and Australia 
in group B every run saved will make a world of difference.
After some serious setbacks late last year the national outfit 
scored stunning successes with the advent of 1999 by lifting 
trophies at the Indian tri-nation contest and the triangular at 
Sharjah. These were competitions in which both the bowlers - the 

trundlers and the spinners - and the batsmen touched their high 
point. The enthusiasts of the game and supporters may certainly 
feel optimistic about Pakistan's chances in the preliminaries as 
well as in round two viz the Super Six.
It is possible the setbacks in the Dhaka mini-World Cup, against 
Australia and Zimbabwe were due to psychological reasons. Though 
Australia had sent the documents of its inquiries to the lumber 
room the accusations of bribery and match-fixing had reared its 
ugly head again in Pakistan and a judicial probe had started 
involving many leading players. Daily some news or the other on the 
subject was being splashed by the print media. It was possible it 
had a depressing effect on the performances of the players. 
Thankfully later it was known that the investigations would be 
suspended to be resumed after the World Cup, thus the miserable and 
un-nerving period ended. The players too gleefully started to give 
of their best.
Akhtar's bowling action perfect: Imran

KARACHI, May 11: Former Pakistan Cricket captain Imran Khan on 
Wednesday said there was nothing wrong with the bowling action of 
Shoaib Akhtar and apprehensions expressed by certain quarters were 
Addressing a news conference here the cricketer-turned politician 
said that whenever any player makes his mark and proves to be an 
outstanding cricketer, such psychological weapons are used to bring 
the player under pressure."
He believed that Pakistan should not even bother to respond to 
these allegations.
Replying to a question, Imran said that Pakistan was certain to 
play the semi-final. To yet another question, he said South 
Africa's Hansie Cronje was the best captain who has kept the team 
together . Wasim Akram, he said, had also learnt (the skill of 
captaincy) over the years and had he not been replaced earlier 
Pakistan would have been a different outfit today.
He also dispelled the impression that there were differences 
between him and Javed Miandad or that he had anything to do with 
his exit as coach.
He claimed that he had recommended Miandad as a coach to PCB 
chairman Khalid Mahmood.
On the role of coach and captain in cricket, Imran said it was a 
different ball game. It is not hockey or soccer, in cricket captain 
had a pivotal role.
Imran, who would give comments on the BBC on the matches, said the 
present schedule of the World Cup is expected to suit England.

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