------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 17 July 1999 Issue : 05/29 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Deadline for disengagement may extend: FO + Highlights of Trade Policy 1999-2000 + New Delhi asked to start talks immediately + HR abuses in Valley: Big 5 urged to end mly ties with India + PM's early exit leads to walkout by opposition + IMF to give $280m tranche next month + Ban on jobs goes; 10% quota for poor, disabled + Delhi lifts ban on Dawn website, PTV broadcasts + Dar will visit China to negotiate $24m loan for Saindak + New tariff to hit PTCL revenue: Senate body --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + 15% sales tax on edible oil soon + Dollar shoots up to Rs51.90 + Excise duty on yarn removed: APTMA + AGM of 4 sugar mills: Ehtesab Bench approval awaited + Plans to extend farm income tax to Malakand + Fish output can be raised 10 times + Banks asked to wind up prize schemes by Dec 31 + Exports of textile goods fall by 19.68% + Plans to set up stock market in Peshawar + Investors make heavy covering purchases in PTCL, Hubco --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Lesson learnt? Ardeshir Cowasjee + Abdication of leadership Ayaz Amir + No escape from politics Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Management of Pakistan Cricket Board suspended + Pakistan to host India in 2001 for full tour + Pakistan to take part in Australian triangular

Deadline for disengagement may extend: FO
Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, July 16: The foreign office spokesman said at a news 
briefing on Friday that an extension was likely by two days in the 
deadline to facilitate disengagement by the Mujahideen from area 
opposite Drass-Batalik in Kargil. He said the extension was the 
result of mutual adjustment between the directors-general of 
military operations of the two countries.
The Pakistani DGMO had contacted his Indian counterpart to request 
an extension of about two days to which the Indian DGMO had 
indicated his acceptance.
However, the deadlock over the transfer of the bodies of three 
alleged Pakistani officers, awaiting final burial rites since 
Tuesday last, remained unresolved until now because of the Indian 
refusal to hand over the bodies unless Pakistan admitted that they 
were the remains of their officers. Pakistan refuses to do so until 
the bodies have been handed over for identification. 
Hence, the three bodies have been lying in cold storage in Delhi 
for the last four days.
ISPR director-general Rashed Qureshi who also spoke at the 
briefing, produced a bearded and stocky army man of medium height, 
described as Maj Asim who had been declared dead and buried by the 
Indians on the Kargil heights. Maj Asim was brought by the ISPR DG 
from the Line of Control by helicopter earlier on Friday, to 
provide a solid proof of at least one of the many false and 
fabricated propaganda telecasts by the Indian TV.
Maj Asim responding to newsmen's curiosity, shook hands with 
several of them and said of course he was Maj Asim. He was heard to 
have confirmed his wife was named Bunty whose alleged letter Indian 
TV showed on the mini screen the other day while asserting that the 
man had become a casualty in the Kargil clashes.
The foreign office spokesman, Tariq Altaf, said Pakistan had been 
in constant touch with the International Committee of Red Cross 
(ICRC) urging it to use its good offices and influence, to sort out 
the battle of claims and counter-claims over the bodies.
The spokesman confirmed that the disengagement between the Indians 
and the opposing forces occupying positions on the Indian side of 
the Line of Control in Kaksar and Mushkoh areas had been completed 
almost without any snag. The last of such disengagements, it was 
hoped, would be completed by the end of this week.

Highlights of Trade Policy 1999-2000

ISLAMABAD, July 14: Following are highlights of the Trade Policy 
1999-00 announced by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar here on Wednesday.
The policy sets the export target for the next fiscal year at $9 
billion and the trade deficit to be narrowed to $800 million with 
projected $9.8 billion of imports.
-To promote export of engineering, contracting and consulting 
services, there will be only one per cent income tax on foreign 
exchange earnings of these services.
-The income of buying and export indenting houses will be 
considered export earning and levied one per cent income tax.
-The income tax being curtailed to half per cent to promote the 
export of five kg consumer packs and branded rice.
-Income tax imposed on the exports of fish and other edible items 
(tin and bottle packed), is being reduced to half per cent from the 
existing one percent.
-Ninety per cent depreciation allowance would be given for the 
promotion of edible items packed in bottles and tins in the first 
year of income tax assessment to the relevant industries.
-Cut and un-cut precious and semi precious stones would now be 
levied half per cent income tax instead of one per cent for 
boosting their exports.
-Cut and un-cut stones would be allowed to be imported on the 
previous pattern for their export growth, provided foreign exchange 
is not utilized and later these were exported. These will also 
enjoy exemption from import duty.
-Industrial units which are registered exporters could import 
machinery and spares worth $7000 per annum without opening L/C 
through foreign currency demand draft, provided these imports are 
made by air or through courier.
-The regulatory duty ratio presently levied on export of steamed 
bones and crushed bones at the rate of 20% and 15% is being reduced 
to 10% and 5% respectively.
-To further facilitate the availability of raw material, the 
exporters, who are also industrialists, could now meet their 
requirements of raw material without import duty through the public 
bonded warehouses.
-The import of polyester staple fibre was temporarily banned under 
the no-duty no-drawback and manufacturing bond scheme which is now 
being allowed under the both schemes.
-The facility of export refinance on cotton yarn of less than 
thirty counts, expiring on June 1999, has been extended up to 
December 30, 1999.
-Import of new and used machinery is being allowed to foster 
residential and construction industries and import duty and sale 
tax would not be imposed on them by June 30, 2000.
-New and used angle dozers and bulldozers could be imported sans 
-Under the present import policy, there is no restriction of 
specifications on the import of lubricants. However, lubricants of 
certain specifications or better than those would be allowed to be 
imported including automotive engine oils -(API) SC/CC and 
Automotive Gear oils- (API) GL-4.
-Only commercial companies and refineries of Lube oil and 
registered industries of Lube Oil Blending would be allowed to 
import lube base oil in future.
-Under the present export procedures and regulations, oil and gas 
companies and refineries could import their required items on the 
recommendation of Ministry of Petroleum and this condition is now 
being done away with.
-Only those pharmaceutical industries could import pharmaceutical 
raw materials which had formal licences of pharmaceutical.
To make this system more transparent and check the misuse of its 
imports, only " pharmaceutical raw materials of pharmaceutical 
grade" would be imported.
-Importers are keen to import more than three years old computers 
out of their foreign exchange which is however restricted under the 
present import policy. This restriction of three years is being 
-Under the personal baggage, import of two computers including 
personal computer and Lap Top is being allowed.
-The import of pitted and rusted rail is being disallowed to stop 
its misuse.
-Specific kind of chrysotile asbestos allowed to be imported which 
is necessary for industrial use and less harmful to the health.
-Special Commercial courts will be set up in Lahore and Karachi 
immediately to settle commercial disputes.
-The condition of acquiring Pre-shipment Authorization Certificate 
from the Export Promotion Bureau, under the existing textile quota 
rules, is being done away with for the textile export to non-quota 
-It has been decided that in order to increase re-export of dry 
fruits imported from Afghanistan in face of stiff competition in 
the international market, their import for packing and re-export 
will be on the basis of indemnity bond.
-Currently, the import of Ergotamine, Ergometrine, Pseudo- 
ephedrine, Ephedrine, and Lysergic acid is conditional with the 
recommendation from the Narcotics Division. To ensure their proper 
use, now only recommendations of the Health Ministry will be 
-Under the existing regulations for import, the import of food 
stuff is allowed with a condition that they will have a label "Fit 
for human consumption" on them. As these stuff also have a expiry 
date written on it, the condition of such label is being withdrawn.
-The restriction of L/C up to $ 10,000 is being withdrawn on the 
import of bulbs supply and seeds of fruit in future, provided the 
importers would arrange foreign exchange on their own.
-Present limit on the import of commercial samples is $3000 which 
is being enhanced up to $10,000 per annum for each importer.
-The ambit of existing SRO relating import of machinery by various 
industries is being extended and rice processing and cotton ginning 
which comprise 40% of value addition, are being included in it.
-Specific plastic fish crates which are essential for fish 
processing could be imported now under this Statutory Regulatory 
-Refrigerated trucks and delivery vans which are not manufactured 
in the country for poultry industry, dairy industry, fishing, 
fruits, vegetables and other perishable goods industry are allowed 
to be imported under this Order.
-Auto Coners for the textile industry are also allowed to be 
imported without customs duty.
-Import of used photo copier is also being allowed which was 
earlier banned.
-Under the present import policy, the importers could spend their 
own foreign exchange on the import of used diagnostic and surgical 
machinery like reverse osmosis, dialysis machine, C.T.Scanner 
equipment if those are not used more than three years. This 
condition would now be applicable on the used equipments of less 
than five years in future.
-Hepatitis B plus C free certificate is also now required for the 
import of products, prepared with human blood or blood along with 
aids free certificate.-APP

New Delhi asked to start talks immediately

BOONJI (Gilgit), July 16: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said here on 
Friday that Kashmir is now in world focus and has been accepted as 
a flashpoint by the international fraternity.
Addressing troops, he said, today, the peace-loving nations now 
acknowledge the underlying truth in the principled stand of 
Pakistan on Kashmir issue.
The Kashmiri freedom fighters' movement, he said, is destined to 
turn victorious.
The prime minister appealed to India to start meaningful dialogue, 
forthwith, to resolve Kashmir issue.
The world fraternity, he said, knows it fully well that Pakistan is 
a peace-loving nation. "We do not want war. By dint of our acts, we 
have proved to the world that we are a peace- loving nation," he 
We want to see one billion people of our region prosperous. "We 
don't want that they should confront devastation of war. But, our 
desire to have peace should not be taken as a weakness,"
The prime minister paying tributes to the valiant armed forces, 
said: "our courageous armed forces are always prepared for the 
defence of the country and are fully equipped with requisite 
He said the armed forces have proved that they can emerge 
successful in every trial with the blessings of Almighty Allah.

He assured the people that these sacrifices would not go in vain. 
He added that his government would take all out steps for the 
welfare of the bereaved families.
The prime minister said "Islam is a religion of love and peace", 
being a follower of Islam , he said, we took initiatives for peace 
and even today are pursuing the path of negotiations and dialogue.
He said the tension between the two rival nuclear states at the 
Line of Control could lead to a major war. The flame spewing 
cannons were bringing a bigger confrontation closer."We realised 
the sensitivity of the situation and averted a ferocious war."
Nawaz Sharif said he has come to pay homage to "our brave soldiers 
who have turned a new page of valour in the annals of the history."
He hoped the unprecedented sacrifices and undefeatable spirit of 
our nation would lead to liberation of Kashmir. "I pay salute to 
these great sons of the nation and also pay tributes to the 
mothers, sisters and daughters who sacrificed their sons brothers 
and spouses for the nation.
He said the entire nation is proud of these people. "A Shaheed is 
very dear to Allah Almighty whose body is touched by the angel of 
death but with deference," he said and recited a verse from the 
Holy Quran that "Shaheed is not dead, he is alive."
The prime minister said that the history would not forget the brave 
persons who had laid down their lives and proved that their spirit 
of defending the motherland is invincible. (APP)
HR abuses in Valley: Big 5 urged to end mly ties with India
Masood Haider

NEW YORK, July 16: The New York-based Human Rights Watch (Asia) has 
called upon the five permanent members of the UN Security Council 
as well as other trading partners of India to suspend all military 
aid and sales to that country unless it provides greater 
accountability of human rights abuses in Kashmir.
In a scathing report about India's human rights record in Kashmir 
released on Friday, the HRW also asked the General Assembly to 
condemn abuses by both Indian security forces and those fighting 
them in Kashmir and urge India to permit UN working groups and 
special rapporteurs to visit Kashmir.
The human rights body, in the report "India: Behind the Kashmir 
Conflict," also appealed to the UN High Commissioner on Human 
Rights to visit Kashmir and conduct an investigation into abuses by 
all parties to the conflict. The findings and recommendations of 
the High Commissioner should be reported to the Security Council 
and the General Assembly and be made public.
The report recommends that France, Germany, Russia, the UK, the US, 
and India's other trading partners should suspend all military aid 
and sales and programmes of military cooperation with India, 
including joint exercises, until New Delhi provides greater 
accountability on cases of "disappearances," torture and summary 
killings by its forces in Kashmir and disarms all state- sponsored 
paramilitary groups operating in Kashmir.
It further urges that "at the annual World Bank-sponsored donors 
meeting on India, the participant countries should publicly state 
that continued economic support for India should not be seen as 
support for the Indian government's human rights policies. In the 
statement, and in private and public meetings with the Indian 
government officials, members of the donor group should raise 
concerns about deteriorating conditions in Doda and other border 
districts and press India to allow greater access to these areas 
and other parts of Kashmir to international organizations. They 
should press India to invite the UN special rapporteurs and the 
working groups to visit Kashmir. They should also raise concerns 
about attacks on human rights defenders in Kashmir."
The diplomatic staff of India's allies and trading partners, 
according to the report, should make a point of visiting areas of 
the state outside the Kashmir valley, particularly Doda, Rajouri 
and Punch, and ensure that their reports reflect current human 
rights conditions in those areas.
On Pakistan's involvement in the conflict, the report calls upon 
the international community to condemn Pakistan's support to 
abusive groups operating in Indian-held Kashmir and to make any 
future arms sales or military cooperation agreements contingent on 
an end to Islamabad's support to these groups.
The HRW makes the following recommendations for actions to be taken 
by the government of India, the groups fighting in Kashmir, the 
government of Pakistan, and the international community to address 
the human rights crisis in Kashmir.
The government of India should immediately initiate an impartial 
investigation into reports that the Eighth Rashtriya Rifles 
Battalion in Doda has been responsible for summary executions, 
"disappearances," rape and other assaults on villagers. Other army 
units and security personnel named in other incidents of abuse 
should also be investigated and members found responsible for abuse 
prosecuted and punished.

The HRW has reiterated the problem of rape which requires special 
police training. It stresses that this needs consultation with 
International experts. The report points out that "explicit 
prohibitions against rape should be included in training for all 
enlisted men and officers in the police, paramilitary forces, and 
military as a way of sending a clear signal that rape is not 
tolerated by the state. Medical workers, who have examined and 
treated rape victims, should be protected from abuse. Medical 
facilities, including private licensed physicians, should be 
encouraged to give testimony and introduce physical evidence in 
court with regard to rape and other forms of sexual and physical 
The groups fighting security forces should abide by human rights 
norms and the provisions of Common Article 3 of the Geneva 
Conventions which prohibit hostage-taking, cruel, inhuman and 
degrading treatment, and executions.
These groups should desist from using anti-personnel landmines.
The HRW report said that government of Pakistan should end all 
support to the organizations and groups fighting security forces in 
Kashmir and it should not provide indiscriminate weapons, such as 
landmines, to such groups.

PM's early exit leads to walkout by opposition
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, July 15: The in-camera session of the National Assembly, 
convened to take the opposition into confidence over the Kargil 
disengagement, was marred by the walkout the opposition members had 
staged when the prime minister left the house in the middle of the 
The opposition resumed the proceedings only after an assurance from 
the treasury benches that the prime minister, who had had a one-to-
one meeting with US President Clinton for three hours before 
Washington agreement, would attend the house on the winding up of 
the debate.
As per the understanding reached between the treasury and 
opposition, the house will hold debate on the Kargil issue for 
three days from Friday.
When asked whether it helped to improve their understanding of the 
situation in which Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif agreed on withdrawal 
from Kargil, most of the opposition members replied in negative.
"Most of our answer remained unanswered," former defence minister 
Aftab Shahban Mirani said adding that there was nothing new in the 
foreign minister's briefing which continued for over half-an-hour.
Regarding the opposition's walkout from the proceedings, he said it 
had been agreed that the prime minister would attend the session 
for two-hours and would remain present in the house particularly in 
the question-hour session.
He said the house was to start at 11am but it assembled about 25 
minutes late and the prime minister left the house after one hour.
"We are totally unsatisfied over the briefing," said Mr Naveed 
Qamar. It did not help improve the opposition's understanding of 
the issue and the situation in which they agreed on unilateral 
There was nothing additional in the foreign minister's speech at 
the briefing.
The foreign minister, in his speech, talked of the isolation 
Pakistan had faced on the issue, a member told Dawn on the request 
of anonymity. Mr Aziz informed the House that even the Islamic 
countries were not ready to support Pakistan on the issue.
Later the Press Information Department issued a press release on a 
plain paper.
It said: "According to informal comments about the in-camera 
session of the National Assembly, which lasted four hours, the 
foreign minister had to face a barrage of questions from the 
members of the opposition. In all 15 members asked questions. Some 
asked two or three questions and some up to 8-9 questions.
"According to some members, the foreign minister answered the 
questions with great confidence and clarity. In fact at the end of 
the session, the Speaker Illahi Bakhsh Soomro is reported to have 
complimented the foreign minister for the comprehensive briefing 
and competent manner in which he handled the questions from 
opposition on Kashmir situation.
"Many members of opposition also congratulated the foreign minister 
for his comprehensive briefing and detailed question answer 

IMF to give $280m  tranche next month
Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, July 15: Finance and Commerce Minister Ishaq Dar said 
here on Thursday that Pakistan would receive $280 million from IMF 
in August to improve its balance-of-payments support.
"The IMF review mission is arriving this month to finalize 
arrangements for extending the fourth tranche of $280 million, out 
of $1.6bn ESAF/ EFF by next month," he elaborated.
Talking informally to reporters after having addressed the news 
conference arranged in connection with the Trade Policy for 1999-
2000, Mr Dar said there had been some delay in the arrival of the 
IMF mission but hastened to add that "since some of the budgetary 
figures were not complete we had requested the mission to slightly 
change its schedule".
"This time around the IMF is sending relatively a smaller mission 
as most of the issues have already been discussed and agreed upon," 
he said.
He told a reporter that the government had almost achieved all the 
macro-economic targets, including the annual revised revenue target 
of Rs308 billion.
He said the mission would give its report to the IMF executive 
board at the end of July and "we are sure to get the next tranche 
disbursed in August".
The performance criterion had been fulfilled by the government to 
qualify for the next instalment. The foreign exchange reserves were 
gradually increasing and that the impact of the international 
sanctions was likely to be over shortly, he added.
Moreover, economy had started performing well during the last 
couple of months and despite difficulties the government had 
managed its financial affairs, he said.
The IMF had earlier provided about $350m, out of $1.6bn Extended 
Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) and Extended Fund Facility 
(EFF). The last tranche of $51 million was disbursed in June.
Informed sources said that although the IMF review mission would 
eventually recommend the next tranche, it would seek assurances 
that there would no be no more revenue slippages during the current 
financial year.
The mission has been expressing concern over constant revenue 
shortfall that had occurred during 1998-99 due to which the revenue 
targets had been revised downward thrice, from Rs354 billion to 
Rs308 billion.
Also, the IMF expected the government of Pakistan to urgently 
undertake the restructuring of the CBR, specially by converting it 
into Pakistan Revenue Service (PRS). It is said that the government 
is likely to table a piece of legislation in the current session of 
the National Assembly to have the PRS in place soon. The government 
had assured the IMF that in case the performance of the CBR did not 
improve, it would consider induction of private sector experts into 
the board.
The finance minister has already brought large-scale changes in the 
CBR, particularly by transferring over 150 officials during the 
last few weeks.
Sources said that Pakistan had also been asked to accelerate the 
privatisation process so that some of the state-owned enterprises 
and banks could be disinvested in the current year. The Fund 
authorities believe that the PTCL, KESC, Habib Bank and the United 

Bank could be privatized within this year as their financial 
advisers had already done a lot of spadework.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that the visiting vice president of the 
World Bank, Meiko Nishimisu, who met the prime minister here on 
Wednesday, assured him to provide uninterrupted funds to the 
Ms Nishimisu told the prime minister that the WB had disbursed $90 
million for poverty alleviation in Pakistan. She also assured to 
provide substantial funds for the Social Action Programme.

Ban on jobs goes; 10% quota for poor, disabled  
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, July 14: The federal cabinet on Wednesday decided to 
lift ban on jobs in the ministries, autonomous bodies and 
departments with immediate effect.
Presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the cabinet meeting 
directed the authorities concerned to make recruitments in 
accordance with the existing rules, regulations and procedures. It 
was decided that the recruitment shall be made strictly on merit.
The meeting also approved the allocation of 10 per cent job quota 
for the poor, needy and the disabled. The cabinet directed the 
provincial governments to follow the same procedure.
When contacted, a spokesman for the prime minister's secretariat 
said that earlier the cabinet had lifted ban on jobs in Grade 1 to 
10 and now it decided to remove the ban on jobs from Grade 11 to 
To a question, he said there would be no role of the Federal Public 
Service Commission (FPSC) to make appointments for Grade 11 and 
above. "All the new appointments will be made in accordance with 
the existing laws and procedure without the involvement of the FPSC 
or any provincial service commission," he told Dawn.
Sources said that the secretary of establishment, Afzal Kahot, at 
the meeting had given a detailed presentation about the recruitment 
On one occasion, he went into details to such an extent that the 
prime minister had to intervene. "We are talking about giving jobs 
to people and not detonating any nuclear device which should take 
so much time," said the prime minister.
He asked the secretary to be brief so that other items on the 
agenda could also be taken up. He said his government was committed 
to provide employment to the poor so that the youth and other 
jobless people could play their due role in society.
Mr Sharif said that revival of economic activity and the lifting of 
ban on recruitment would contribute in generating job opportunities 
to be offered strictly in accordance with the established 
procedures and law.
The cabinet also approved the Trade Policy for 1999-2000 after a 
thorough discussion on different aspects of imports and exports. It 
discussed various measures for creation of more jobs and increasing 
The prime minister directed the ministry of commerce and the Export 
Promotion Bureau to accelerate their efforts and provide more 

incentives to attract foreign investment and encourage exports. He 
said that exporters should be provided more incentives to encourage 
regular exports.
He said the ministry of commerce should submit proposals for 
liberalizing economy to create an atmosphere conducive to 
investment in order to create jobs, stop smuggling and to put the 
economy back on firm footing.
The prime minister said that efforts should be made to promote 
software industry which could be a great source of income by way of 
export. He said the Export Promotion Bureau should make special 
efforts for gearing up the export of fruits and potatoes. Cold 
storage facilities should be provided at airports and private 
sector encouraged to concentrate on value added exports of fruits 
and vegetables.
The cabinet approved a convention between the Islamic Republic of 
Pakistan and the Arab Republic of Syria for the avoidance of double 
taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on 
It approved amendments to the agreement for avoidance of double 
taxes and prevention of fiscal evasion on income between Pakistan 
and China.
The cabinet okayed an agreement between Italy and Pakistan on the 
issues of re-admission, fight against organized crime and 
psychotropic substances, and transfer of sentenced persons between 
the two countries.
The cabinet also approved the SAARC Regional Convention on 
Promotion and Protection of Investment.

Delhi lifts ban on Dawn website, PTV broadcasts

NEW DELHI, July 14: With a near-cessation of hostilities in Kargil, 
India has lifted its informal ban on PTV broadcasts and on Dawn's 
Indian media reports said the state-owned Videsh Sanchar Nigam 
Limited (VSNL), India's overseas communication system, had blocked 
access of internet users to Dawn's website since June 25 after 
fighting intensified in Kargil.
The Hindu newspaper quoted VSNL acting chairman and managing 
director, Amitabh Kumar, as saying the move was made on 
instructions from higher authorities. He did not identify "higher 
As for lifting the ban on PTV broadcasts, cable operators said they 
took the decision on "their own" after it was perceived that the 
nine-week old military operation in the Himalayas was drawing to a 
close. - DPA

Dar will visit China to negotiate $24m loan for Saindak

ISLAMABAD, July 14: Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Sardar 
Kamil Umar informed the National Assembly Wednesday that Finance 
Minister Ishaq Dar is going to China to negotiate a $24 million 
loan for Saindak Project.

He was responding to a calling attention notice by MNAs Sanaullah 
Baloch, Shakeel Ahmad Baloch and Shabbir Ahmad Chandio regarding 
the non-allocation of funds in the budget 1999-2000 for Saindak 
Metal Copper and Gold Project in Chagi district.
Replying to a question by Shabbir Ahmad Khan Chandio, the 
Parliamentary Secretary for Finance said, "We feel strongly that if 
the matter is discussed with China, they will agree to it."
Kamil Umar said that the running capital expenditure and salary 
package were rejected by the Planning Commission. He said that the 
Chinese government also refused to extend a loan of US$ 24 million 
as they conveyed that the project was not feasible for them.
He said that a meeting was held in this regard which was chaired by 
Finance Minister and it reviewed the restructuring of the project.
He said that the Finance Ministry has not stopped the money to the 
project and it was Planning Commission.
Kamil Umar said that salary will be paid to employees of the 
Saindak project and the government has already spoken to Habib Bank 
Limited for that.
He said the Federal Government has taken the responsibility for the 
project. As nothing has been decided yet, the Planning Commission 
has recommended to Prime Minister that in case of delay in salary 
interim relief may be given to project. He said that a summary in 
this regard has already been sent to Prime Minister.
Mir Sanaullah said that Saindak metal is situated in Raskoh 
mountain and the impression is that US$ 15 to 16 billion have been 
wasted as this was used as a cover up for atomic programme. He said 
that it is a matter of just one billion dollars to complete the 

New tariff to hit PTCL revenue: Senate body

ISLAMABAD, July 13: The Senate's standing committee on 
communications on Monday called for injecting greater transparency 
and public welfare attributes in launching new projects which had a 
direct bearing on the masses.
The committee, which was presided over by Senator Rafiq Ahmed 
Sheikh, the chairman of the committee, while reviewing the new 
tariff system of the PTCL, took notice of the increase in local 
call charges, installation fee and line rent and observed that the 
increase would discourage consumers to use the telephone facility 
which would be counter-productive for the PTCL in terms of earning 
The minister for communications, Raja Nadir Pervez, informed the 
committee that the new tariffs had been introduced to rationalize 
the rates, however, he said, further adjustments and readjustments 
would be made after a period of six months.
The committee was informed that the documentation with regard to 
the privatization of the PTCL had been completed and the 
privatization commission was processing further formalities to 
privatize the PTCL which would be completed by the end of this 
year. The committee decided to hear the view point of the 
privatization commission on the privatization of the PTCL in its 
next meeting.
The committee was informed that the cellular mobile telephone 
service would use GSM 900 technology and would compete in mobile 
service through better coverage, supported with new service, better 
quality and affordable and attractive packages. The cellular mobile 
service of the PTCL, equipped with the latest GSM technology would 
start functioning according to a phase-wise programme from Karachi 
by the end of this year and would cover almost the whole country.
The committee, while reviewing the list of the areas to be covered 
by the service, stressed that the far-flung areas where no mobile 
operators were functioning currently, should have been given 
priority in providing mobile telephone coverage.
The committee also took notice of the undue delay in the printing 
of the telephone directories and the incidents of corruption in 
this project. The committee decided to constitute a four member 
sub-committee headed by Senator Aftab Ahmed Sheikh with Senators 
Raja Aurangzeb, Muhammad Zahid Khan and Ihsanul Haq Piracha as its 
members to probe into the process of the printing of telephone 
directories over the years and submit a report to the main 
committee at the earliest.
The standing committee, on the preliminary report of the sub- 
committee constituted to look into the allotment of plots by the 
KPT and the Port Qasim authority in Karachi, decided to review the 
terms of reference of the sub-committee in a special meeting of the 
committee to be held on July 19.
The meeting was attended by the chairman of the committee, Senator 
Rafiq Ahmed Sheikh; the minister for communications, Raja Nadir 
Pervez; Senators Ihsanul Haq Piracha, Muhammad Zahid Khan, Raja 
Auranzeb and Aftab Ahmed Sheikh; secretary of the committee, 
Mahboob Ali; secretary of communications, Dr M. Akram Sheikh; 
chairman of the PTCL, Nasim S. Mirza; and senior officials of the 
ministry and the PTCL.

15% sales tax on edible oil soon
Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, July 16: The Economic Coordination Committee of the 
Cabinet (ECC) on Friday approved 15 per cent sales tax on sunflower 
oil and canola oil.
According to sources, the ECC meeting, which was presided over by 
Minister for Finance and Commerce Ishaq Dar, also approved the 
imposition of 15 per cent sales tax on soft oil and commercial oil 
seeds. The meeting brought the above change in order to remove the 
anomalies in the tariff structure of soft oil, specially sunflower 
and canola oils and commercial oil seeds.
The ECC further directed the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural 
Resources to submit a standardised agreement on sale, purchase and 
commingling/condensate exchange and balancing agreement so that in 
future such agreements could be approved at the level of the 
ministry concerned.
A source said the ECC did not want that every agreement should come 
to it for approval and directed that in future some kind of draft 
having standardised agreement should be made available which could 
be signed and approved by any concerned official.
Sources said that the meeting also discussed the petroleum prices 
but could not decide on an increase at this stage.
Pressure is mounting on the government to increase the petroleum 
prices as the international Brent crude oil prices are now touching 
18.50 dollar per barrel mark. In the budget for the year 1999-2000, 
the government has already committed to the international donor 
agencies that it would deregulate the oil price mechanism in the 
domestic market after imposing a minimum per unit price.
Sources said that the ECC would again discuss the issue in its next 
The ECC also reviewed the prices and the availability of essential 
items and noted that the price trend indicated a stability in 
The committee noted that the prices of 17 out of 21 kitchen items 
either declined or remained stable during the week ending on July 
The kitchen item index as a whole decreased by 0.18 per cent during 
the week under report and the annualised increase in kitchen items 
index on week-to-week basis worked out to be 2.91 per cent.
The meeting was informed that there was an abundant supply of all 
essential commodities in the country.

Dollar shoots up to Rs51.90

KARACHI, July 15: The US dollar shot up to Rs 51.90 in inter-bank 
market on Thursday against Rs 51.80-51.85 on Wednesday as some 
banks had to foot more than $20 million worth of fuel import bill.
Senior bankers said there was a buying pressure in the inter- bank 
market that kept the dollar pegged at Rs 51.90 throughout the day. 
They said the State Bank managed to keep the dollar from rising by 
helping the banks in footing the fuel import bill of the 
They said debt payment of about $51 million by Hubco on Monday had 
widened the demand-supply gap in the inter-bank market adding that 
the demand for the greenback was up on Thursday because the market 
was yet to fill the said gap.
In the kerb market, the dollar shot up to Rs 53.90 and Rs 54.05 for 
spot buying and selling on Thursday against Rs 53.85/Rs 54.00 on 
Forex Association of Pakistan President Malik Bostan claimed that 
the dollar closed at Rs 53.95 at the day-end on increased selling.

Excise duty on yarn removed: APTMA

KARACHI, July 15: The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has removed 
Central Excise Duty (CED) recently imposed on yarn and have also 
suspended the implementation of Sales Tax Special Procedure for 

Spinning Industry Rules 1999, for another 15 days. The CBR through 
SRO (I)/99 dated July 1, imposed CED on yarn at the rate of 25 
paisa per kilo but on strong representation made by APTMA chairman 
Humayun Ellahi Shaikh, Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar has 
removed the excise duty on yarn.
Similarly, the CBR has also extended the suspension, till July 31, 
of Sales Tax Special Procedure for Spinning Industry Rules 1999 
issued under SRO No 805(I)/99 dated July 1, 1999.
In the meantime, CBR and APTMA would finalize a Revised Procedure 
for Sales Tax on Spinning Industry which would meet the objective 
of the documentation of the economy without hindering operations 
and exports of the textile industry.

AGM of 4 sugar mills: Ehtesab Bench approval awaited
Dilawar Hussain

KARACHI, July 15: The Ehtesab Bench has appointed receivers for 
four sugar mills in Sindh: Pangrio Sugar Mills; Mirza Sugar Mills; 
Ansari Sugar Mills and the Sakrand Sugar Mills. This was disclosed 
by the law firm Aziz Farooq & Karim, legal advisors to the 
companies, in reply to a KSE letter asking the companies to explain 
the delay in the holding of AGMs.
The solicitors, who advanced similar replies for all the four 
companies, stated that it was true that the SECP had granted 
extension to the companies for holding AGM up to June 29, 1999, in 
respect of the year ended September 30, 1998.
They said that the companies were under the receivership by orders 
of the Ehtesab Bench and therefore they could not take any step 
without the prior permission of the Bench. Further, the firm said, 
it had moved an application before the Bench to seek its decision 
in respect of several issues.
A decision of the Bench was awaited to determine who would submit 
the Directors' Report in the AGM- the directors (who were suspended 
after the appointment of the receiver) or the Receiver? Also, since 
the outgoing management was in control of the business for the 
first half of the year, it needed to be determined, whether they or 
the receiver, would sign the accounts for the year to end-September 
Financial analysts at the market observe that except possibly for 
Sakrand, the other three mills have been in deep financial and 
operational problems. At the close of the last available financial 
statements for the year ended September 31, 1997, Pangrio Sugar 
Mills had accumulated deficit in the sum of Rs564.8 million, which 
had wiped out its comparatively tiny capital of Rs108.5 million. 
The share in Pangrio Sugar Mills is currently placed on the 
defaulters' counter of the KSE, the charge being that 'the company 
has failed to declare cash dividend/bonus for five years from the 
date of last declaration'. The scrip listed in 1987, has hardly 
made up to its par value during much of its career at the country's 
bourses. The current market price is Rs1.80.
For 1997, the company had added loss amounting to Rs125.2 million 
and the auditors had expressed "doubts that the company would be 
able to continue as a going concern".
Mirza Sugar Mills had made provision for bad and doubtful debts in 
the staggering sum of Rs47.5 million during the first half to end-
March 1997. The reason for the huge provision, which came to about 
a third of the company's paid-up capital of Rs141.0 million was 
probably to cover the advances and loans given to the growers 
without a collateral. Its accumulated deficit amounted to Rs53.8 
million at March 31, 1997. Mirza was listed in 1994 and the 
shareholders have received nothing as yet in dividend and their 10-
rupee stock is currently trading at a huge discount of 85 per cent. 
The highest noted value of the share was Rs8 in 1994.
Ansari Sugar Mills was listed on the stock exchange in 1991. The 
company has not paid a cash dividend for many years, though its 
last payout was in 1996 in the form of bonus shares at 15 per cent. 
The price of the scrip is currently Rs2.50.
Sakrand Sugar Mills was listed at the stock exchange in 1990. The 
10-rupee share touched its life-time high at Rs14 in 1994. Paid-up 
capital is Rs223.1 million raised through bonus capitalization. The 
share in the company is currently trading at par. It issued maiden 
bonus shares at 10 per cent (one-for-ten) for 1994 and doubled it 
for 1996. 
The company held sums in reserves, which produced shareholders' 
equity of Rs361.5 million at end March 1997. Total assets of 
Sakrand Sugar at end-March 1997 stood at the book value of Rs1.2 

Plans to extend farm income tax to Malakand
Intikhab Amir

CHITRAL, July 14: The NWFP has planned to charge agriculture income 
tax from the farmers of Malakand division during the 1999-2000 
financial year.
A notification to the effect of collecting agriculture income tax 
from three out of the six districts of Malakand Division, which 
makes the provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA), was issued 
by the NWFP Home and Tribal Affairs Department during the last 
financial year. However, the government could not raise anything 
from the area after the provincial Chief Minister Sardar Mehtab 
Ahmed Abbasi asked the tax collection authorities to abandon the 
move after being persuaded by the ruling party's parliamentarians 
from Malakand on fears of political backlash.
"The provincial tax collection authorities have set a bench mark of 
over Rs21 million to raise from the Swat, Buner and Shangla 
districts of Malakand Division subject to the approval from the 
political leadership of the province, otherwise the province would 
surely miss the current financial year's Rs167 million target by 
atleast Rs16 million if 100 per cent recovery is recorded from the 
other 16 settled districts of the province", a high ranking 
official of the provincial government told Dawn at Peshawar couple 
of days back.
According to the district-wise targets sent to the deputy 
commissioners of 19 districts which also include three districts of 
Malakand division, the provincial Board of Revenue (BoR) has 
anticipated to raise a total of Rs171 million, some Rs4 million 
over and above the Rs167 million target set for the current 
financial year, said the sources.
Out of the total Rs171 million the authorities have anticipated to 
raise some Rs99 million from a total area of 1380620 acres of 
irrigated/cultivated land at the new rate of Rs 72 per acre per 
annum for the 1999-2000 financial year when the provincial 
government would be charging agriculture income tax across the 
Similarly, from the total 2013132 acres of un-irrigated/ cultivated 
area which would fall under the tax met from across the NWFP under 
the new scheme a total of Rs72 million would be raised at the rate 
of Rs36 per acre per annum against the previous rate of Rs50 per 
acres per annum applicable in the financial year closed on June 30, 
Out of the total Rs171 million the provincial tax collection 
authorities are expecting to raise in the 1999-2000 financial year 
some Rs151 million from the 16 districts which make settled parts 
of the province including Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera, Swabi, 
Mardan, Karak, Kohat, Bannu, Hangu, D.I. Khan, Lakki Marwat, 
Abbottabad, Tank, Mansehra, Harriput and Battagram.
Whereas, the three districts of Malkand Division where settlement 
has been done out of the total six a total of Rs21 million are 
being expected to be raised. These districts include Buner, Shangla 
and Swat who have been earmarked targets of Rs5.5 million, Rs4 
million and Rs12 million, respectively. The three districts where 
settlement has not yet been done include Dir (Lower), Dir (Upper) 
and Chitral which are out of the tax regime of both the provincial 
and federal governments.

'Fish output can be raised 10 times'

LAHORE, July 13: Fish industry is the most profitable industry in 
the country and increased public participation can enhance its 
production upto 10 times.

Pakistan has the most modern technology and trained staff in the 
field, besides the biggest irrigation system in the world.
It has huge potential for fisheries and aquaculture development, 
only public awareness is needed to further exploit this potential, 
said Dr Muhammad Nazir Bhatti, DG Fisheries, Punjab in a press 
conference here Tuesday.
He however said that public interest in fish industry is 
increasing, and there is a need to further boost it. He said at 
present there are 4835 fish farms over an area of 12876.45 acres, 
as compared to 3777 farms upon an area of 9782 acres in 1996.
Number of fish hatcheries has gone up to the tune of 60 in the 
province, he added. The 1058 new fish farms upon an area of 3094.45 
acres have been established during a short span of 3 years, he 
While recording efforts of his department he said Punjab province 
is also catering to the needs of fish seed of other provinces, in 
addition to WAPDA/Fisheries.
The total number of seed produced at government hatcheries was 168 
million and that produced at private hatcheries is estimated to be 
about 35 million during the 2 and half years. To increase public 
awareness department held 14 open training schools and 38 fish 
farming melas in the rural areas of the province.-APP

Banks asked to wind up prize schemes by Dec 31

KARACHI, July 13: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday 
directed banks to phase out existing deposit schemes based on 
incentives, whether in cash or any kind, completely by December 31, 
In circular BPRD No 29, issued to all banks/NBFIs, the SBP asked 
banks running "lottery" schemes to submit "a time-bound action plan 
for their termination, latest by December 31, 1999."
The central bank has also instructed the banks to stop the on-going 
advertisement campaign in print and electronic media relating to 
such schemes within seven days.
Besides, no new deposit mobilization scheme based on incentives, 
whether in cash or kind, will be launched, the SBP circular said.

All public advertisements soliciting deposits from the general 
public will henceforth expressly indicate the annualised rate of 
expected return on their deposits, the circular added.
The central bank, however, said that banks and non-bank financial 
institutions (NBFIs) will be free to develop and expand their 
deposit mobilization efforts based on expected rate of returns and 
provision of additional and more efficient financial services to 
the depositors.
In view of public comments on the "lottery" or "inami schemes", the 
State Bank and chief executives of the banks in a meeting held on 
July 10 reviewed these schemes and unanimously decided to wind up 
these prize schemes in an orderly manner.
The central bank in 1998 had allowed banks and financial 
institutions to introduce viable new products and deposit schemes, 
which meet the Sharia injunctions and ensure a reasonable return to 
the depositors. 
The allowance for new products was granted keeping in view, 
interalia, the need of the banks to meet increasing pressure on 
their liquidity.
Banks had attracted more than Rs40 billion deposits through these 
prize schemes.
The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry 
(FPCCI) and Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) had 
hailed the reported SBP decision to phase out all the existing 
lottery schemes.

Exports of textile goods fall by 19.68%

ISLAMABAD, July 12: Statistics Division announced here on Monday 
that export of traditional commodities and textile manufactures in 
the financial year 1998-99 registered a decrease in value by 19.82% 
and 19.68%, respectively, while exports in other major groups 
decreased by 14.31%, over the value of the same in 1997-98.
Decline in export of raw cotton by (98.16%), tarpaulin and canvas 
goods (38%), synthetics fabrics (35%), and sports goods (33.09%) 
also contributed significantly to fall in foreign exchange 
Official statistics also showed that the traditional exports in 
1998-98 were valued at $980.327 million while their value in 1997-
98 was $1.222 billion (less by $242.347 million). Exports of 
textile related goods in 1998-99 valued $4.899 billion while their 
value in 1997-98 was $5.522 billion (less by $623 million).
Exports of other major items (like carpets, petroleum, sports 
goods, leather goods, surgical/medical instruments, cutlery, onyx, 
chemicals/pharmaceuticals, molasses etc) valued in 1998-99 at 
$1.055 billion. Their value in 1997-98 was $1.321 billion (less in 
1998-99 by $266 million).
In the traditional (non-textile) exports, the following registered 
decrease in value: raw cotton (98.16 %), rice (-7.17%); raw wool 
(61.30%); fish and fish preparations (29.96%); leather (16.99%); 
fruits (15.94%); crude animal materials (19.29%); oilseed (4.52%).
In the textile group, the export of cotton yarn decreased by 
19.68%, cotton fabrics 12.96%); towels (13.29%); cotton bags/sacks 
(11.73%); wastes of textile (7.49%); readymade garments (12.68%).
Carpets exported in 1998-99 valued less by 5.05%; surgical and 
medical instruments (10.31%); onyx manufactures (50.38%); chemicals 
and pharmaceuticals (13.55%).
There has been a redeeming feature in the 1998-99 Pak exports 
picture too, and that has been on the front of vegetables which 
rose in US$ value by 140.54%; knitwear (5.63%), bedwear (17.63%); 
petroleum and petroleum products (33.21%); and other products 

Plans to set up stock market in Peshawar

KARACHI, July 10: Bank of Khyber (BoK) is contemplating a programme 
to assist the province of NWFP build a financial market and set up 
a stock market in Peshawar.
"Serious efforts are being made to establish capital market in 
NWFP," said Tahir Abbas - the newly appointed managing director of 
Talking to APP here on Saturday, Abbas who is also managing 
director to Regional Development Finance Corporation (RDFC), said 
the Ministry of Finance has been approached with a detailed 
programme to give the province a financial establishment.
He said BoK will also shortly hold a meeting with the officials of 
Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in this 
"If we can have a stock exchange in Lahore and Islamabad, then why 
not in Peshawar," he said and and maintained that NWFP has rich 
potential for a equity market.
He said, his bank, with equity of Rs 660 million, would pool 
resources in collaboration with NWFP government to accomplish the 
RDFC has 50 per cent stakes in BoK, 5 per cent by Industrial 
Development Bank of Pakistan (IDBP) and 45 per cent by Government 
of Pakistan.
He said BoK also intends to establish a Housing Corporation and 
would like to raise its equity through the stock exchange under the 
envisaged programme.
"The Housing Corporation could be established with public and 
private sector cooperation," he said and added that there will not 
be any duplication of the Corporation activities with that of Prime 
Minister's low cost housing scheme.
Referring to his meeting with the NWFP chief minister Mehtab 
Abbasi, he said, the NWFP government was keen to develop a banking 

Investors make heavy covering purchases in PTCL, Hubco

KARACHI, July 16: Stocks shrugged off the last few sessions 
hesitancy on Friday as investors made heavy covering purchases in 
PTCL and Hub-Power at the lower levels,pushing the index up by six 
Snap rally at the weekend always points to a bull-run next week as 
investors made known their market perceptions through their 
operations in the rings based both on technical factors and 
objective background news.
The new trade policy could provide the much-needed push the 
underlying sentiment as its long-term impact on stock trading will 
be more than positive.
"Those who can think a little farther have suddently turned buyers 
on the selected counters,inviting others to follow their line of 
action", dealers said.
They said with fears of war with India receding each day after the 
reported gradual withdrawal of Mujahideen from the Kargil 
sector,investors are expected to back in the ring possibly by the 
next week.
After fluctuating in a narrow band in the morning session,the KSE 
100-share index rose by 11 points in the afternoon trading but 
ended with a clipped gain at 1,134.78 points as compared to 
1,128.71 a day earlier,showing a gain of 6.07 points.
News that the IMF has agreed to release the delayed tranche of $280 
million out of the credit line of $1.6 billion coupled with 
withdrawal from the Kargil sector and a good trade policy seem to 
have lure investors back in the market and they made heavy covering 
purchases at the lower levels on selected counters.
" But the chief stimulating factor behind the snap rally was said 
to be an expected settlement of tariff row with the managment of 
the Hub-Power after the intervention of some international 
agencies", said an analyst.
The market perception that an announcement in regard to power 
tariff cut by the management of Hubco could be made any time and 
the consequent speculative buying in it.Late in the evening it was 
quoted around Rs.17.00,with some of the buying offers remaining 
unsatisfied in the absence of sellers.
Floor brokers predicted that next week could witness a major change 
in the market psychology as some of its irritants have been removed 
from the secen and technical factor alone warrant a run-up.
Also by that time the withdrawal of Mujahideen from the Kargil 
sector is expected to be completed and that could give an added 
impetus to covering purchases.
"But much will depend whether the foreign investors are back in the 
rings to supplement the current effort of the local institutional 
traders to keep the market atleast at its current level", they 
PSO also followed the lead of Hub-Power as it has a big stake in 
the performance of the latter being a largest supplier of furnace 
oil to it through a 86 k.m. pipeline, said a broker. The market 
resistance to further decline was led by the energy sector under 
the lead of PSO as most of them ended higher, although fractionally 
in line with the Hub-Power.
Dawood Hercules continued to inspire active support owing to 
exemption in respect of gas price hike for Engro and Fauji 
Fertiliser and was quoted further higher by Rs.2.05.
Big gainers were led by PSO,which was quoted higher by Rs.3.20, 
although below the peak of the day,followed by Universal Leasing, 
BOC Pakistan and Al-Khair Gadoon Industries,which rose by one rupee 
to Rs.1.10.
Shell Pakistan led the list of major losers,falling by Rs.6.00 on 
active profit-selling at the higher levels followed by Lever 
Brothers, Reckitt and Colman, Mehmood Textiles,Noon 
Sugar,Balochistan Wheels and General Tyre,which suffered fall 
ranging from one rupee to Rs.10.00.
Trading volume fell to 110m shares from the previous 132m shares, 
but gainers and losers were evenly matched at 53,with 36 holding on 
to the last levels.
DEFAULTING COMPANIES: Sajjad Textiles came in for active support at 
the lower level and was marked up 10 pasia on 9,500 shares followed 
by Norrie Textiles,lower 10 pasia on 4,000 shares.Ravi Rayon and 
Gammon Pakistan were quoted unchanged on 1,000 and 500 shares 

Back to the top
Lesson learnt?
Ardeshir Cowasjee

"THE wise are instructed by reason; men of lesser understanding by 
observation; fools by mistakes; and beasts by nature." Thus wrote 
Marcus Fabius of Rome, otherwise known as Cicero, some 2000 years 
Under the present circumstances and in the 'larger national 
interest' we must presume that Nawaz Sharif (no democrat he) and 
his coterie fall into the first category. Having so said, we must 
examine their attitude, their concept of what the world owes this 
country, and their concern for the poor and deprived millions over 
whom they hold sway. Sadly, the closer a citizen is to the rulers 
and their ways and their thinking, the greater his fears.
In early May, I happened to be in Islamabad. The 'voice of the 
government', Mushahid Hussain, rang to cancel an appointment we had 
made as he had to 'rush' to a cabinet meeting urgently called by 
the prime minister to decide how the first anniversary of the 
testing of the nuclear bomb was to be fittingly celebrated. 
Likeable Mushahid revolves in his own orbit, taking along with him 
those he guides in his capacity as minister of propaganda and 
national mores. Some maintain that it is Nawaz Sharif who 
influences Mushahid and not the other way round - an equally 
calamitous scenario.
Mushahid asked what I thought of the idea of having a postage stamp 
printed showing the Chaghi hill, the first issue to be on May 28. 
You can't be serious, was my reaction. Then how do you think the 
day should be celebrated? he asked. Well, I said, to show the world 
how sober and caring he is, I suggest that the prime minister 
indulge in a photo-opportunity that would go down well 
internationally. Let him lead his men to the Faisal mosque to pray 
for God's forgiveness for having been forced to go nuclear for the 
defence of the country and the safety of its people. Let him 
further pray that circumstances never arise which will force him to 
use the bomb. No good, mooted Mushahid - that would be negative 
internal publicity for our government, what with the lack of 
education and the general unenlightenment that prevails.
Does the cabinet understand what sort of weapons of destruction we 
possess? I asked him. Do they know Einstein's reaction after seeing 
the newsreels of the bombing of Hiroshima? Had he known, lamented 
Einstein, what the bomb could do he would have chosen to be a 
simple shoemaker of Switzerland rather than play any part in its 
creation? Survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki lived the remainder 
of their lives wishing they had been killed outright in the 
bombing, the dying envied the dead - such was their suffering. 
Mushahid rightly pointed out that all this would fall on deaf ears.
One must give him the benefit of the doubt. What he does and says 
may not stem from his genuine beliefs and feelings. It may all 
merely be an exercise undertaken to massage the ego of his boss.
Now to his boss, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who, despite his 
heavy mandate, is an insecure man. He may not realize this and 
therefore cannot admit to it. But as a reasonable human being, he 
must know how he and his family and camp-followers have deprived 
this nation of the money they have milked from its banks and 
financial institutions. In order to thrive and flourish in this 
democratic land, he does what he has to do. He amends laws, he 
amends the Constitution, he subjugates the judiciary. He and his 
men disregard the fact that they are unable to hold four provinces 
together, that they cannot control Sindh without resorting to 
discredited men such as Ghous Ali Shah. They forget that Jam Sadiq 
Ali, similarly sent in, was ultimately unable to deliver Sindh to 
his patrons and left a legacy that to this day undermines the 
Nawaz Sharif believes that he will be better remembered for his 
motorways than for the misery and the thirst he has caused the 
people. His motorways, he believes, will last long after the thirst 
has been quenched. On an almost weekly basis, he and his 
administration raise the cost of utilities, find means to levy more 
taxes on the one million that pay taxes, letting off the hook those 
who can strike and protest and those who have grown fat and rich by 
not paying taxes. The burden on the taxpayers and on those who have 
nothing to tax grows heavier by the day.
Does our head of government know that the only new investment his 
government has been able to generate has come solely from hamburger 
makers, chicken-fryers, and the likes of them? Meanwhile, he and 
his fellow big spenders never fail to miss a chance to fly out and 
off on a spending spree, which they have just done using the grave 
and dire circumstances of the Kashmir-Kargil issue, their excuse 
being to 'internationalize' it by using the Bomb as a threat - the 
annihilation of one fourth of mankind, inhabitants of this 
subcontinent. They feel that the world owes a debt to them and the 
country that the onus of solving the Kashmir problem lies squarely 
on the shoulders of the major world powers. Thus was engineered the 
Kargil misadventure.
The Line of Control was crossed by some 500 men. By sending in 
30,000 men, artillery, and military planes to dislodge them, 
Pakistan claims that India escalated the situation. The world has 
failed to see the logic of this argument.
Pakistan's line is that the uprising in Kashmir is "popular, 
spontaneous and indigenous." Its line, as voiced by its foreign 
minister on the BBC, is that all that it provides to the freedom 
fighters is "moral, political, and diplomatic" support. Does he 
know that the BBC news, just after his 'Hard Talk,' showed the 
Islamabad correspondent talking to freedom fighters who had just 
descended from the hills of Kargil to their base depot at 
Muzaffarabad to rearm, regroup and return? Why do our men mock us, 
and make a laughing-stock of us in the eyes of the world?
The mission to China failed. A statement from the G-8 was frosty. 
With the intent of averting a major conflict, Nawaz Sharif sought 
help from the president of the United States, 'rushed' to 
Washington to meet him on America's Independence Day. Clinton met 
him, not in the White House, but in Blair House. During the 
meetings, Clinton, not wishing to antagonize India, broke to ring 
Vajpayee and apprise him of the progress. A sop of sorts was thrown 
at us. We accepted. Sharif and his family went shopping, then on 
their way home stopped over in London, where he shook Tony Blair's 
apprehensive hand.
Though the prime minister has pledged that hostilities will cease, 
noises are being made that the government is not sure that the 
popular, spontaneous, indigenous freedom fighters will abide by the 
terms of Nawaz Sharif's pledge. We know that the present localized 
hostilities will cease once the shot and shell stop raining from 
the skies. We have heard the Indian prime minister boast over the 
airways that India will give us no quarter and will 'kick us out.'
Neither India nor Pakistan is concerned about the desire of the 
seven million Kashmiris. Neither country talks of allowing them to 
decide their fate for themselves. China for its own good reason is 
not keen on Kashmiri self-determination as it has its own problems 
with the fundamentalists in a large track in the south-west of the 
country, and in Tibet. Pakistan is unconcerned about the plight of 
the 150 million Muslims of India. It does not realize that each 
time it embarks on a Kargil-type misadventure, these Muslims have 
to work overtime trying to prove their loyalty to their country.
India, with its size and weight, can afford to be, and is, 
intransigent. To get India to talk and see things our way, we do 
need global support and sympathy. Does the government comprehend 
that so far all we have achieved and established, relatively 
cheaply, is that we are globally isolated?
Has a lesson been learnt?

Abdication of leadership
Ayaz Amir

THERE is a kind of humiliation which is linked to a chain of iron 
circumstances. Germany suffered defeat in the first world war and 
as a result had to swallow the humiliation of the Treaty of 
Versailles. We suffered defeat in 1971 and as a consequence had to 
accept the yoke of bilateralism which is the principal burden of 
the Simla accord.
The singular thing about the humiliation which Pakistan has 
suffered as a result of the Kargil adventure - for what else should 
it be called? - is its gratuitous quality. We brought it upon our 
own heads, inviting disaster, and then taking almost a masochistic 
pleasure in debasing ourselves before the flawed Caesar of today's 
Roman empire. This was self-inflicted humiliation.
But in the anguish which this event has triggered there is a strong 
element of naivete. Nawaz Sharif, unarguably the hero of this 
drama, may have tripped over himself. But then, to be honest, would 
it have been realistic to expect a different performance from him?
Throughout this crisis he was himself, true to his basic instincts. 
The impulsiveness and shortsightedness which characterized this 
operation; the total absence of institutional consultation; the 
panic and wild mood swings when it became clear that the army had 
bitten off more than it could chew; the lesson in adult literacy at 
the hands of General Zinni; the dash to Washington dictated by the 
need to procure a fig-leaf to cover Pakistan's blunder; the first 
family's photo session with Clinton the morning after the debacle; 
and, crowning everything, the prime minister's shopping in New York 
on his way home from Washington - these were things entirely in 
In emergencies our usual tendencies are heightened, perhaps 
exaggerated, but not replaced by qualities which are not there in 
the first place. In a moment of danger a coward does not become a 
brave man unless there was a dash of bravery in him all the time. 
Statesmen too are not born overnight; they await their moment. 
About his being called to lead Britain after the fall of France, 
Churchill said that all his life seemed to be a preparation for 
that hour.  It is therefore unfair to accuse Nawaz Sharif of not 
being able to judge the likely consequences of the Kargil operation 
when forethought or institutional analysis have never had much to 
do with his pseudo-Mughal ideas of governance. When it has been one 
of the distinguishing features of the Sharif dispensation to take 
any number of big decisions either on the spur of the moment or in 
consultation with a narrow circle of secretive advisers, with the 
cabinet usually at sea and Parliament being considered an 
irrelevance, how could it have been otherwise with the Kargil 
If one man in his wisdom can decide that there should be a motorway 
from here to there, that there should be an airport terminal at 
such and such a place, what should induce him to discover the 
merits of a broader consultation when an essentially shallow but 
superficially attractive scheme to out-flank the Indian army in 
occupied Kashmir is presented to him? It is not far-fetched to say 
that about as much thought would have been given to this plan as to 
the various yellow schemes which constitute the principal 
intellectual output of this government.
If anyone or anything is to be blamed for this disaster it is our 
stars. Who created the heavy mandate? Its origins lie deep in the 
bowels of the Zia regime. It was later nurtured by the military 
intelligence agencies which thought at the time that the highest 
patriotism lay in sustaining the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, Nawaz 
Sharif's step to the prime ministership in 1990. But the popular 
ballast to Sharif's leadership came with Benazir Bhutto's second 
prime ministership. Without her and Asif Zardari there would have 
been no heavy mandate. Thus, to paraphrase T. E. Lawrence (who 
writes to the same effect right at the beginning of his Seven 
Pillars of Wisdom), the evil of the Kargil humiliation may have 
been inherent in our circumstances.
As for the inability to curb the passion for shopping even at such 
a juncture, there is nothing much to be said about it. Leaders of 
the so-called developing world fall into two categories: they 
either come in the Mandela or Castro mould - and therefore, not 
unnaturally, are an endangered species - or they are of the kind 
who milk their countries and like to shop at Harrods. This is not a 
matter of taste but of education and culture.
Just as an artist must have an instinctive eye for landscape and 
line and colour (and the other ingredients of his art) a leader 
worth the name must have an inherent sense of dignity to realize 
what enhances or diminishes his country's honour. If he does not, 
this is not something which is easily taught.
But if Nawaz Sharif is not to be blamed for what he is - indeed if 
anyone is to expiate for his sins it is the nation which gave him 
his 'heavy mandate' - the army command cannot shirk its share of 
the responsibility for the Kargil disaster. No one forced it to 
undertake this venture for which the planning and preparations must 
have gone on for a long time. Did it not weigh the pros and cons 
with the care that was necessary? Did it have to be instructed by a 
General Zinni into the risks Pakistan was incurring by persisting 
with this venture?
The army's avowed raison d'etre for looming large in national life 
is that it is the only organized force in the country, the guardian 
of its external and internal stability. But if most people in 
Pakistan happily go along with this claim and think it right for 
the defence forces to get the lion's share of national resources, 
they also expect from the armed forces a high standard of conduct 
and a commensurate sense of responsibility. Small wonder then that 
when politicians make a mess of things, well-meaning Pakistanis 
look to the army for deliverance. Mistaken as this belief is, 
because the army's share in worsening national problems is no less 
than that of the political elite, the fact remains that it is 
How cruel the shock then when the army command (not the army as a 
whole) is seen as being an equal party to the nation's humiliation. 
At least in Chakwal, the heart of the so-called martial belt from 
where the army gets its recruits, the feeling against the 
Washington climbdown runs deep.
The failure of leadership is thus total. By shooting itself in the 
foot, the army command has diminished its ability to look the 
civilian leadership in the eye. Accordingly, just when the nation 
stood the most in need of consultative government, the trend of the 
last two years towards concentrating power in the prime minister's 
person is set to become more pronounced. In that case, who or what 
will temper the fatal simplicities of the heavy mandate?
The prime minister has reduced his own party to a cipher. Other 
political parties live in press statements alone. In the distance 
the muffled roll of fundamentalist drums is getting louder. The 
outlook for the country is grim.

No escape from politics
Irfan Husain

SOON after he moved back to Pakistan in 1991 after thirty years in 
the United States, I asked the late Eqbal Ahmad what he missed most 
about his life in America.
"Good conversation", he replied. "In Pakistan, the talk invariably 
turns to politics and to the latest scam whoever you are with. 
Personalities, and not ideas, are discussed ad nauseam. In other 
countries, educated people talk about a range of subjects, but the 
focus in Pakistan is exclusively on politicians and their antics. 
After a point this gets very boring".
For a year or so before he died barely two months ago, Eqbal made 
several trips to India on professional engagements, and shortly 
before his death, I repeated my question with reference to India. 
"Politics is very seldom discussed," he replied. "People talk about 
a book they have read, or a film or play they have seen. Somebody 
might discuss the merits of a talented young musician, but politics 
and politicians do not often figure in a conversation".
I have noticed the same thing on my travels. While politics is the 
mainstay of the media, few nations are absorbed in it to the extent 
Pakistanis are, whether they are at home or abroad. In fact, 
expatriate Pakistanis are far more passionate and opinionated in 
their involvement in domestic politics. The exchanges that take 
place in cyberspace between various Pakistanis match the anger and 
intolerance that pass for political debate in Pakistan.
Although I read all the e-mails sent to me by readers, I must 
confess that I generally delete messages addressed simultaneously 
to scores of people without reading them. But once in a while, when 
I do open them, I am amazed and horrified by the hostility some of 
them express: there is currently a vicious argument going on over 
alleged Punjabi dominance and Mohajir oppression. You'd have 
thought we have enough of this stuff in Pakistan and would be 
spared this bigotry on the internet, but those participating in 
this free-for-all seem to have nothing better to do. My only advice 
to them is to get a life.
When I request some of these cyberspace warriors to spare me their 
rage and delete me from their e-mail news groups, they get angry, 
accusing me of not wishing to hear other points of view while 
inflicting mine on others through my columns. Fair enough, but 
while some of them seem to have nothing better to do but to fire 
off badly written and offensively worded missives, I have a nine to 
five job in addition to this and other columns. And as I am 
invariably falling behind on my reading, I spend as little time as 
I can on the internet.
All of this only underlines the point I made earlier: as a nation, 
we are addicted to politics and really have very little else to say 
to each other. How to explain this obsession? No sooner than a 
government is formed we start speculating on its fall. Each time a 
scandal is uncovered - and they are uncovered with depressing 
frequency - a crisis is forecast for the government of the day. 
Newspapers lead this feeding frenzy with highly speculative and 
generally libellous stories and comments.
Even when there is no scandal, we are quite capable of inventing 
one. For instance, when we lost to Bangladesh in the World Cup 
qualifying match, many Pakistanis were convinced that Nawaz Sharif 
had placed a large bet on the weakest team in the tournament at 30 
to 1. Right or wrong, we are ready to believe the worst of our 
leaders; unfortunately, time and again they give us every excuse to 
do so.
Then, of course, there is our deeply divided polity that has 
polarized society to an irredeemable extent: either you are with 
one party or another or against it - there is no middle ground. In 
most countries, politics is not an activity civilized people engage 
in, and politicians are tolerated as a necessary nuisance. In 
Pakistan, we have not yet defined our identity or our place in the 
world, or indeed, what period of history we occupy. For many 
Pakistanis, especially those with a fanatical world view, we are 
still stuck somewhere in the mediaeval era.
This dichotomy creates a perpetual tension between those with a 
liberal interpretation of religion and the zealots. There is also 
constant competition between ethnic groupings as the smaller 
provinces are convinced they are getting a raw deal. All these 
rivalries place a heavy burden on the political process. In other 
countries, many of these fundamental issues have been sorted out 
years ago, and where they have not - as in the Balkans, for example 
- we can see the results of this tension.
Take the current flare-up in Kashmir as another example of our sick 
preoccupation with politics. No sooner had Nawaz Sharif met Clinton 
in Washington and announced that freedom fighters would withdraw 
from their positions in Kargil than rumours began circulating that 
the Pakistani PM would soon be ousted. Indeed, this speculation was 
soon doing the rounds in expatriate circles in London and points 
west. Nobody was prepared to see the significance of the fact that 
the American president spent over three hours with the leader of a 
fairly insignificant country on the American Independence Day, and 
had breakfast with him the next morning. It would seem that a 
bigger deal is on the cards - one that would strengthen and not 
weaken Nawaz Sharif.
Frankly, if he has indeed managed to come to an understanding that 
will end the Kashmir conflict, I, for one, will support him. But 
our conspiracy theorists are spinning scenarios that have the 
Pakistani PM being ousted by the religious right supported by an 
element of the army unhappy at seeing a negotiated end to its 
Kargil misadventure. In the unending political bickering that 
passes for rational debate in Pakistan, people read the most 
convoluted meanings into the most straightforward events.
I think another reason that politics so dominates conversation in 
Pakistan is that people genuinely have very little else to talk 
about. Very few people read, so very few books are written. Our 
cinema is dead, and theatre barely exists on the fringes. Wherever 
we look, we see a cultural wasteland. So what should people talk 
about except politics?

Management of Pakistan Cricket Board suspended

ISLAMABAD, July 16: The Patron of the Cricket Control Committee, 
President Muhammad Rafiq Tarar, has suspended the management of the 
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and appointed an ad hoc committee 
headed by Mujibur Rahman with Javed Zaman to perform the functions 
of the board until further orders.
The committee has been authorized to co-opt three or four members 
with one member to act as secretary, to assist him in the discharge 
of his services.-APP

Pakistan to host India in 2001 for full tour

KARACHI, July 14: Pakistan will host India for a full Test series 
in 2001 according to a programme formulated by the International 
Cricket Council (ICC).
The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Khalid Mahmood, 
told reporters at the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday that 
according to the scheduled prepared by the ICC, all the nine Test 
playing countries would play each other on home and away basis.
He said the programme spans over 10 years. He added that in the 
first half of five years, if a team plays at home then in the 
second half it was bound to pay a return visit to that country.
"It is on the basis of that programme that Pakistan would host 
India in 2001. I discussed the programme with several of my 
counterparts, including Indians, and they all agree to it," Mahmood 
He added that according to the principle of reciprocity, it was 
India's turn to visit Pakistan after Pakistan's tour of that 
country earlier this year.
Mahmood stressed that it would now largely depend on India whether 
they want to honour its and ICC's commitment.
"At the ICC level, you can't pick teams you want to play. The PCB's 
stand is firm in this perspective and we have no objection playing 
any team."
Mahmood, however, said though the ICC programme was unanimously 
agreed by the respective boards, it would be officially approved in 
October at Sharjah at the executive board's meeting during the 
Sharjah tournament.
Mahmood believed that the objective of formulating a 10-year plan 
was the first step in holding the World Test Championship.
To another question, Mahmood said the Pakistan cricket team would 
twice tour Australia in the coming season.
Elaborating the tour, he said the team would first go for three 
Tests to be played between Nov 5 and 30 before returning home. He 
added that the team would fly to Australia for the triangular 
series starting there from Jan 9 next year.
He was of the view that the players deserved some rest as they had 
been playing non-stop cricket for the last 10 months. In addition 
to this, he continued, the holy month of Ramazan would have 
He said New Zealand had offered to host Pakistan between Nov 30 and 
Jan 9 "but because of the strain of regular cricket and the month 
of Ramazan, we thought it otherwise."
He said it was the portfolio of the selectors what combination they 
want to select. He, however, agreed that for every one-day 
competition, a couple of changes are made.
On the tour of Kenya in September, Mahmood said Pakistan has 
expressed its inability to participate in a one-day competition. He 
said Pakistan pulled out because the dates didn't suit their future 
schedule and other commitments.
On the issue of captaincy, Mahmood said the present policy of the 
board was to maintain status quo. "The board wants to retain Wasim 
Akram as captain."

Pakistan to take part in Australian triangular

KARACHI, July 13: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday said 
its team will definitely tour Australia later this year and will 
also participate in the tri-nation one-day series.
The chairman of the PCB, Khalid Mahmood, in response to reports 
that Australia has set a deadline for the two countries to confirm 
participation, told Dawn that Pakistan would be honouring all its 
international commitments.
"As far as the PCB is concerned, the tour is on. We will play three 
Tests and the one-day matches. We have never said we would not be 
playing the (one-day) series or against India.
"If India has reservations, then a deadline should be set for them. 
We have absolutely no problems," Mahmood said from Lahore.
Australia, on Tuesday said, it was looking for alternative 
arrangements as the participation of Pakistan and India in the 
backdrop of the Kashmir issue was doubtful.
India have already raised the issue of breaking cricketing 
relations with Pakistan.
Both the countries play three Tests each followed up by the 
triangular series. Pakistan tour Australia in the first half with 
the opening Test starting at Brisbane from Nov 5. India's opening 
Test starts from Dec 10 at Adelaide. Triangular series begins from 
Jan 9 at Brisbane.
Mahmood said when he says honouring of all commitments, he includes 
the Sahara Cup which the organizers say is cancelled.
"Neither India nor the sponsors of the tournament have informed 
TransWorld International (TWI) about the cancellation of the five-
match series.
"If the sponsors back out, TWI will find another sponsor. But I 
don't know what would be the line of action of TWI if India pulls 
out from the series," he said.
TWI has signed Pakistan and India to play five series in Toronto 
and is paying a reported amount of $350,000 to each board. The next 
series would be the fourth edition.

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