------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 20 March 1999 Issue : 05/12 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS ------------------------- + Sartaj hints at CTBT signing by September + SAARC moot closes Pakistan, India vow to cement ties + Islam insists on honouring contractual obligations + SC accepts Benazir's plea in SGS case + 5% more to have access to higher education by 2010 + Govt depts face power cut if dues not paid + PM adds 30 more seats to Sindh's medical colleges + Passenger bus service begins for Delhi, Lahore + Opposition urges production of detained MPAs + Consultations on special courts continuing: PM + Landing at Shannon airport: PIA rethinking its decision --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Traders meet PM, offer proposal on GST + Pakistan, Thailand to tap trade potential + New private airline in offing + CBR to accept fixed payment: 4700 sales tax notices withdrawn + SPI rises by 6.21pc during 12 months + Minimum export price of yarn up by $10 + ADB to help 15m women and children + Pakistan to benefit from euro: EU envoy + Trading volume falls to 111 million shares --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Shantiniketan Ardeshir Cowasjee + The real threat Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Sri Lanka crumble to defeat against Pakistan + Pakistan win first Asian Test Championship + Pakistan can have 15 players for Sharjah event

Sartaj hints at CTBT signing by September
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, March 18: The government announced on Thursday it might 
sign the CTBT even before September if the ongoing progress towards 
the creation of a coercion-free atmosphere continued.
"There is already some good progress towards creating a conducive 
environment," Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz told the National 
Assembly, adding: "It is worth mentioning that since last 
September, when Pakistan faced unjustified sanctions, the coercive 
atmosphere has eased."
Mr Aziz said the sanctions imposed by the US, Japan and others were 
also being gradually softened." The US administration has already 
initiated the process of further extending the Brownback Amendment 
and expanding its scope to revive preliminary military contacts."
Responding to a question from Syed Naveed Qamar during the question 
hour, the minister, in his written answer, said Japan had lifted 
the sanctions against humanitarian assistance and, hopefully, he 
added, the ongoing bilateral discussions between the two countries 
would yield further good results.
"These are all positive developments. We hope efforts for creating 
a coercion-free atmosphere will continue, enabling Pakistan to 
fulfil its commitment," the minister said, adding that Islamabad 
wished that this progress should continue so that Pakistan could 
adhere to the CTBT within the timeframe announced by the prime 
minister in his address to the UN General Assembly.
Mr Aziz made it clear that Pakistan was not against the CTBT in 
principle. "We had participated in the negotiations for the treaty. 
However, as clearly stated by the prime minister, Pakistan would 
not adhere to the treaty in a coercive atmosphere. This is our 
principled position and cannot be compromised," he added.
BIMSTEC: Responding to a question asked by Kunwar Khalid Yunus 
about BIMSTEC, the minister said the organization was still at an 
initial stage of development, but Pakistan was closely watching its 
"We have not yet applied for its membership and if we consider the 
organization beneficial to our national interest, we may, explore 
the idea of joining it."
He said BIMSTEC was an association of Bangladesh,India, Myanmar, 
Sri Lanka and Thailand for cooperation in the fields of trade, 
investment, industry, human resource development, tourism, 
fisheries, agriculture, etc.
AFGHANISTAN: In response to a question asked by Abdul Lateef Afridi 
on Afghanistan, Mr Aziz reiterated Pakistan's fullest support to a 
proposed meeting of the "Six plus Two" in Tashkent, and hoped that 
this mechanism would help establish a durable peace in Afghanistan.
Referring to developments in Afghanistan during the recent months, 
he said the Taliban had agreed to the stationing of human rights 
monitors in Herat, Kandahar, Kabul, Binyamin, Mazar-i-Sharif and 
Jalalabad. About other developments, he said an agreement for the 
resumption of UN humanitarian operations in Afghanistan had been 
finalised, direct contact between the UN and the Taliban government 
had resumed and NGOs had already started returning to Afghanistan.
The minister said Pakistan had consistently supported efforts for 
peace in Afghanistan. Towards the realisation of this objective, 
Pakistan, he said, had employed a multi-pronged strategy, including 
shuttle diplomacy, joint missions, close liaison with Central Asian 
states, the UN and the OIC.

SAARC moot closes Pakistan, India vow to cement ties

NUWARA ELIYA (Sri Lanka), March 19: Pakistan and India on Friday 
announced a timetable to speed up talks aimed at defusing nuclear 
tensions in the region and to push the "bus diplomacy".

Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz and his Indian counterpart Jaswant 
Singh in a joint statement issued in this Sri Lankan hill resort 
said they would meet again after June.
Their next round of talks would be held after their respective 
foreign secretaries completed a "composite and integrated dialogue 
process" in New Delhi and Islamabad between May and June, the 
statement said.
The statement set out the timetable for pushing forward the 
historic summit last month between Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and 
Atal Behari Vajpayee.
Friday's meeting was the first for the two foreign ministers since 
last month's Lahore declaration.
The two foreign ministers agreed on the urgency of taking concrete 
measures for the implementation of the Lahore declaration.
Our Correspondent adds:     Addressing the SAARC council of 
ministers on Thursday, Mr Aziz said that Pakistan had taken several 
initiatives to improve the atmosphere of bilateral relations with 
India. "The faithful implementation of the Lahore Declaration would 
lead to peace and prosperity in the region," he asserted.
Mr Aziz said it was Pakistan's endeavour to translate commitments 
into deeds. "Only by resolving our differences we will be able to 
ensure peace, security and economic development in the region, 
which has become imperative not only as a result of the 
nuclearization of South Asia, but owing to the pressing need for 
economic development and social progress in the SAARC region on the 
eve of the 21st century," he added.
The foreign minister said that there was obvious link between peace 
and development. Regional as well as bilateral cooperation required 
an enabling environment of security and stability, Mr Aziz said, 
adding that during the Colombo summit, the Prime Minister, Nawaz 
Sharif had proposed the peace security and development initiative 
aimed at reinforcing efforts to resolve disputes in the region.
Mr Aziz said that at the bilateral level Mr Sharif has taken 
several steps in the context of relations with India to reduce 
tensions and to promote beneficial cooperation. "At his initiative 
the bilateral dialogue process resumed. The prime ministers of both 
countries have agreed in their meeting in September 1998 that an 
environment of peace and security is in the supreme national 
interest of both sides and that resolution of all outstanding 
issues is essential for this purpose," he added.
The foreign minister said that in the Colombo Declaration, SAARC 
had reiterated its commitment to the promotion of mutual trust and 
understanding between the member states. He said SAARC had agreed 
that a process of informal consultations would prove useful in this 
The minister pointed out that the lack of conducive political 
environment had adversely impacted regional trade and that the 
share of SAARC member states in the global trade was less than two 
per cent.
Islam insists on honouring contractual obligations

KARACHI, March 19: The Saudi economic expert, pleading the case for 
eliminating riba (interest), on Friday emphasised that Pakistan 
must honour its contractual obligations of paying back external 
debts while Islamic modes were ushered in through the evolutionary 
Dr Muhammad Umer Chapra, senior economic advisor to Saudi Arabian 
Monitoring Agency, stated this while summing up his arguments 
against the interest-based financial system before the Supreme 
Court's Shariat Appellate Bench, Karachi Registry.
"Pakistan's external and domestic debts are very high. With foreign 
debts at $30 billion, any effort by Pakistan to get out of this 
obligation will be very difficult and send wrong signals to the 
world about Muslims," he said.
The bench comprising Justice Khalilur Rahman, Justice Wajihuddin 
Ahmed, Justice Muneer A. Shaikh, Maulana Taqi Usmani and Dr 
Mohammad Ahmed Ghazi, was hearing the federation's appeal against 
the Federal Shariat Court's judgment declaring the present banking 
system un-Islamic.
Dr Chapra called for creating proper conditions for the safety and 
security of foreign investors. "If one is killed, they will close 
the door. We must enact law against nationalization," he added and 
was critical of the government's dealings with the Independent 
Power Projects (IPPs). He was of the view that the government's row 
with the IPPs had sent wrong signals.
Justice Khalilur Rahman interceded and remarked: "But what if 
someone breaches agreement through a dubious manner. At 7 cents no 
one is prepared to purchase," he said, adding that "if such 
agreements are implemented in their own country, they will blow 
Underscoring the importance of executing the contracts to the 
satisfaction of the parties concerned, Dr Chapra was of the view 
that while the Islamic system was gradually put in place, the 
government should not enter into new contracts based on riba.
Justice Khalil while referring to Pakistan's experience with the 
Islamization of economy, said people knew what was riba, but he 
emphasised that "each product has to be decided through Ijma-i-
Ummat. Without that there can be no progress," he added.
Dr Chapra was asked by the bench that while he was advocating the 
honouring of commitments with regard to external debts, why the 
same principle could not be applied to domestic debts?
The Saudi expert was of the view that "we should stop charging 
interest on that, on a cut-away date." He said the Holy Quran 
called upon the creditors to leave riba.
Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed remarked that a time limit was fixed by 
the Federal Shariat Court. Seven years had passed but no step was 
taken by the government to implement its recommendations.
Dr Chapra claimed that all productive projects of the government 
could be financed through Islamic modes like istisna or lease.
In this context, he cited the attempts in Turkey and Malaysia and 
asked why can't Pakistan do that? He said school and hospital 
buildings could be built by the private sector and then leased to 
the government.
When Maulana Taqi Usmani asked whether defence purchases and other 
needs could be met through Islamic modes, Dr Chapra said the 
equipment could be imported on the basis of murabaha.
When Justice Khalil inquired how defence purchase expenditures were 
made in the US, Dr Chapra said it was generally done on credit and 
the organizations involved in it maintained complete secrecy.
He, however, regretted that there were no opportunities in Pakistan 
to invest because of corruption in the government corporations and 
the government's permission to invest in interest-based ventures. 
"If there is no honesty, no instrument can be successful," he 
He said if a prime minister took a planeload of people on a visit 
to the United States and went on a shopping spree, that was not 

Dr Chapra also emphasized the need for creating instruments which 
were negotiable and ownership-based. Debt-based instruments were 
not negotiable. He cited Maulana Usmani who, he said, was of the 
view that Shariat prohibited the sale of debt-based instruments, 
while many others had the divergent view.
In order to cut down luxurious and conspicuous spending by the 
government, he suggested that all government financing should be 
project-based. On a query from Justice Khalil about debt servicing, 
he said Muslims had developed debt instruments during medieval 
He said Pakistan was not interested in creating facilities for 
attracting funds from Muslim countries, though it was in its own 
interest. He blamed bureaucracy and the moral decline of society as 
a whole for such a situation.

SC accepts Benazir's plea in SGS case
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, March 18: The Supreme Court on Monday set aside an order 
of the Lahore High Court's Ehtesab bench closing the evidence of Ms 
Benazir Bhutto and her husband Asif Ali Zardari in SGS case and 
asked both the parties to maintain decorum during the hearing of 
the cases.
The court, headed by Justice Saiduzzaman Siddiqui, after two hours 
hearing, accepted the petitions of Ms Bhutto and Mr Zardari and 
directed the Ehtesab bench to allow the former to record her 
statement under section 340(2) CrPC.
The bench had on Wednesday closed hearing of SGS case for 
announcing the verdict on Monday. After the decision of the apex 
court the SGS case was reopened. The Ehtesab bench will not only 
record the statement of Ms Bhutto on oath but also reconsider the 
list of defence witnesses she had submitted.
The SC bench was consisted of Justice Saiduzzaman Siddiqui, Justice 
Shaikh Ijaz Nisar and Justice Mamoon Kazi.
Taking note of the unpleasant incidents during the hearing of the 
Ehtesab cases, the court hoped that the counsel for the petitioner 
as well as the prosecutor should show utmost restraint at that 
It was third relief given to Ms Bhutto and her husband in the last 
two weeks by the apex court. On March 5, a Supreme Court bench had 
directed an Ehtesab bench to reconsider its order in which it had 
rejected the objection on the authenticity of the documents 
obtained from Switzerland.
Similarly on March 12, the apex court had directed the LHC 
registrar to seal the report of the commission sent to Switzerland 
for verification of the documents.
The court after hearing the counsel for the petitioners (Ms Bhutto 
and Asif Ali Zardari) and the deputy attorney general and public 
prosecutor, converted the petitions into appeals and disposed those 
The SC ordered that the Ehtesab bench order, closing the evidence 
of the petitioner, was set aside, subject to the following:
i) The petitioner in criminal petition No 65 of 1999, (Ms Bhutto) 
who wished to appear as her own witness under section 340(2), CrPC, 
would appear before the Ehtesab bench hearing reference No. 30 on 
March 22 and on that date, the bench shall record her statement 
under that section.
ii) The counsel for the petitioner in criminal petition No 66/99 
(Asif Ali Zardari) had made a categorical statement before us that 
the petitioner in that case did not wish to appear before the court 
and record his statement under section 340(2) CrPC and therefore, 
in his case no such statement needs to be recorded by the bench.
iii) In the criminal petition No 65/99, the petitioner, (Ms Bhutto) 
had filed a copy of the miscellaneous application filed before the 
Ehtesab bench on 1.3.99 in which she had prayed for issuing summons 
in respect of as many as 39 witnesses, who were proposed to be 
examined in the case in her defence.
Similarly in criminal petition No 66/99 (Asif Ali Zardari) the 
petitioner's counsel states that his client wishes to examine the 
following three persons as defence witnesses, namely; Abu Bakar 
Zardari Advocate, superintendent jail, Landhi, Karachi, and 
Salvator Aversano Advocate (Geneva).
5% more to have access to higher education by 2010
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, March 17: The government announced on Wednesday that 
access to higher education (17-23 age group) would be expanded to 
at least 5 per cent by the year 2010.
Education Minister Syed Ghous Ali Shah, in his written reply, told 
the National Assembly during the question hour that this would be 
done by implementing the national education plan . He was 
responding to a question asked by Nasimur Rehman.
The minister also said that the public sector universities would 
enhance their intake by establishing additional campuses, and added 
that access to higher education would be based on entrance tests 
and merit.
The other recommendations included in the plan are:
* New disciplines/emerging sciences to be introduced in 
* Community colleges to be established.
* Selected disciplines to be transformed into centres of advanced 
studies and research.
* Representation of industrialists on university authorities to be 
* Institutions of professional education to be encouraged to 
generate internal resources.
* Provincial agricultural research institutes to be merged with 
respective agricultural universities.
* One-year BA/BSc (Hons) course after BA/B.Sc to be launched in all 
the colleges.
* Degree colleges to have the option to affiliate with any 
recognised Pakistani university or degree-awarding institution.
* Selection of teachers and non-academic staff to be done on merit.
* A proper service structure will be developed for laboratory and 
technical staff of universities and colleges.
* Carricula of universities will be revised at all levels and 
adjusted to requirements of industry and brought to international 
* Interaction between universities and industries to be arranged.
* Local M.Phil and Ph.D degree programmes to be launched.
* Split Ph.D programmes will be launched in collaboration with 
reputed foreign universities.
* Linkage with universities in foreign countries to be developed to 
promote interaction.
* A teachers service training academy to be established.
* Balance between teaching and research to be shifted in favour of 
research. At least 10 per cent annual recurring budget of each 
university to be allocated for research.
* Funding of education to be raised from present 2.2 per cent to 4 
per cent of GNP with enhanced allocation of universities.
* Import of educational equipment to be exempted from all types of 
* Universities and institutions of higher education to be 
encouraged to admit students under self-financing scheme.
* Poor and meritorious students to be given waiver in fee. Portions 
of Ushr and Zakat, collected, will be used for needy students.
* A dean of student affairs to be appointed in universities.
* A code of ethics to be enforced to regulate the corporate life of 
students and teachers on campus.
* All students to be assigned community work during summer 

Govt depts face power cut if dues not paid

ISLAMABAD, March 19: Water and power minister Gohar Ayub Khan 
informed the National Assembly on Friday that federal and 
provincial departments had been asked to pay Rs67 billion Wapda 
arrears pending against them, otherwise the government would 
consider suspending power supply to them.

He was responding to a call-attention notice moved by Kunwar Khalid 
Yunus, Arif Khan, Tariq Jawaid, Farrukh Naeem Siddiqui and Babar 
Khan Ghori who invited the attention of the government regarding 
the refund of overcharged amount of Rs5 billion by Wapda in the 
Sindh province.
They alleged that Wapda had charged Rs4.5 billion from Sindh with 
17,500 consumers while Punjab had been charged Rs3 billion with 50 
thousand consumers. Moreover, they alleged, the financial condition 
of Sindh was precarious and the deduction of Rs4.5 billion had 
aggravated the situation.
Refuting the charge, Mr Khan said Wapda was treating all the 
provinces equally and every government department had to pay power 
bills to make Wapda viable. He added that if domestic consumers 
were brought under pressure to pay small amounts, why not the 
government departments should pay huge arrears to bring Wapda out 
of the financial crisis.
Mr Khan said he had decided to disclose the figures of stuck-up 
Wapda arrears against government departments in every session.
The minister said the Wapda billing in January was Rs8.70 billion 
with the induction of the new management, which had now reduced to 
Rs6.127 billion in February, facing a shortfall of above Rs2.5 
billion due to check on power thefts.
He said a task force had been created by finance minister Ishaq 
Dar, with Sindh governor as its member, also to give recommendation 
on figures of power bills. It had been decided by government 
committees that government departments should pay 80 per cent of 
their arrears first and the remaining 20 per cent would be decided 
after their claims. It had also been decided to deduct bills at the 
Replying to a question by deputy opposition leader Khurshid Shah 
regarding the disparity in bills of Sindh and Punjab, the minister 
said a task force constituted to deal with the matter would take 
decision on it. He assured the house that no province would be 
deprived of its due rights.- APP

PM adds 30 more seats to Sindh's medical colleges

KARACHI, March 18: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced 
another increase of 30 seats to medical colleges of Sindh raising 
the number of additional seats to 100.

He made this announcement while talking to reporters at the 
Governor's House here on Thursday morning.
The announcement came in response to the demand from students 
agitating over the issue of admission to medical colleges. Police 
had baton-charged and manhandled the protesting students on 
Wednesday when they tried to reach the Governor's House to see the 
prime minister.
Earlier, Sindh Governor Moinuddin Haider had announced the increase 
of 70 seats in the medical colleges to accommodate those candidates 
of A-1 and A grades who were unable to secure admission after 
appearing in the entry test conducted by the Institute of Business 
The governor, who was also present on the occasion, said that what 
the students wanted had been done and now what they (students) 
wanted they should give in writing so that there could be no shift 
in the demands.
Official sources said the prime minister had taken note of 
students' demands while presiding over a meeting here on Thursday 
morning with governor Moinuddin Haider and state minister Haleem 
Siddiqi after which he made the announcement to increase seats.
However, the students demand to admit the A and A-1 graders without 
entry tests was not conceded.
This demand has been turned down by the government as Haleem 
Siddiqi made it clear to newsmen that admission tests were 
This is a system which the government has introduced and will have 
to be followed, the governor and the minister told newsmen.
Halim Siddiqui said the test for admission against the increased 
seats would be held by April 10. 
Meanwhile, Sindh Governor's Media Adviser Dost Muhammad Faizi has 
contradicted the reports, appearing in a section of the press on 
Thursday that students were subjected to a "planned lathi-charge" 
by police on Wednesday.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Mr Faizi, however, 
regretted over the irritable situation and said that it occurred 
owing to a non-compromising attitude of some students who wanted to 
forge ahead to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was staying at 
the Governor's House on Wednesday.
This group tried to take all the students inside the Governor's 
House while the administration had repeatedly asked them to 
nominate some of their fellow students as their representatives to 
brief the premier about their demands.
Due to security reasons, it was not possible to allow so many 
persons to approach the premier, he added.
Mr Faizi said after the creation of additional 100 seats, as 
announced by the prime minister on Thursday, the issue stood 
resolved and suggested the students, having A-1 or A grade, to 
prepare for the entry test as they would have to go through the 
same process initiated for upholding of merit.
The Governor's Media Advisor defended the IBA entry tests and 
termed it a positive step towards improving the education system. - 

Passenger bus service begins for Delhi, Lahore 
Mahmood Zaman

LAHORE, March 16: Lahore-Delhi bus service began on Tuesday with 
the first bus leaving the Punjab capital at 6.15am with 25 people, 
including 20 passengers, aboard.
The first Indian bus from Delhi reached Lahore at 7.45pm carrying 
33 people 29 of whom were passengers and four others, including two 
drivers. Three children also arrived Lahore with their parents.
The Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation bus (No LXE 2426) 
started late by about 15 minutes as one passenger, a Canadian 
national Pakistani Anwar Mahmood, did not turn up and the PTDC 
people tried to contact him.
The Delhi Transport Corporation bus began its journey to Lahore 
late by some 90 minutes waiting for some passengers who had booked 
their seats on the inaugural service but reached late at the DTC's 
Dr Ambedkar terminal.
There was an air of subdued excitement as passengers of the two 
buses showed enthusiasm in opening of the third mode of travel 
between the two countries. Passengers reaching Lahore in the 
evening were all praise for facilities and comfort during the 11- 
hour journey.
Both the services had two drivers and one liaison officer each to 
help passengers going through immigration and customs formalities 
at Wahga and Attari check-posts. The buses stopped at Kartarpura, 
Sirhand and Pipli for meals and refreshments as is provided by the 
protocol signed by the two countries.
Most of them believed that travelling by air was expensive and full 
of ordeals by train. That was why they liked the journey by bus 
which is convenient and entertaining during the journey. Serving of 
meals and refreshments during brief stop-overs after every two and 
a half hour was an added attraction for them. They though the price 
of Rs950 for one-way travel was not expensive keeping in view the 
Though not all the tickets were sold in either of the two buses, 
some people came to "have a feel of the atmosphere" when the PTDC 
bus left for Delhi in the morning. A city trader was seen around 
seeking more information about the journey as he planned to take 
the bus in the next week.
A US national Pakistani, Khan Idrees, got his air ticket to Delhi 
cancelled and opted for journey by road as he cherished to see 
"plains of the Punjab in this full blossoming spring". He said, "I 
have travelled to India many times by road, but today I have a 
different feeling; I am excited".
PTDC managing director Imtiaz Ali Syed saw the morning bus off 
garlanding passengers. When the Indian bus arrived he welcomed them 
with flowers. He said the government has allowed holder of visa for 
any mode of transportation (air and train) to travel by road. The 
facility is available for one week and he plans to propose to the 
Foreign Office to extend the facility for another four to five 
weeks to popularize the bus service.
As for less than expected response for the first bus, he said it 
would take some time to attract the people in "this atmosphere of a 
little skepticism" for a variety of reasons.
Twenty-one passengers booked their seats in the bus for Delhi. Of 
them 10 were members of the Daudi Bohra community who travelled all 
the way from Karachi to take the bus. Three each of the passengers 
were from Islamabad and Lahore and the rest came from Karachi. Of 
them 14 were women and six men. No child was accompanying any of 
Boarding the PTDC bus was the family of Izhar Amrohvi from 
Islamabad who was the first to be issued visas by road. He was 
accompanying wife and two daughters Tehmina Gulnaz and Saeeda 
Yasmin. Hatim Husain, Zubeda Bai, Nasim Jaweja Kolawala and Mehfooz 
Bai also travelled by the inaugural service. They all felt excited 
to be on board the first bus to Delhi. Most of them were from the 
divided families and were going to visit their relatives in India.
Ameer Khan and Inayatullah were the two drivers, clad in white 
shalwar-kamees and dark green jackets of the Pakistani bus while 
Syed Ishtiaq Husain was the liaison officer. Two commandos in plain 
cloths also accompanied the bus upto Wahga check-post.
The luxury bus was fitted with a video television set and as it 
left, a recorded announcement was made apprising passengers of 
details of the journey. Two such buses have been leased by the PTDC 
for the service.
Strict security measures were seen at the bus terminal. The luggage 
was checked with a metal detector and a police van escorted the bus 
to Wahga check-post.

Opposition urges production of detained MPAs

KARACHI, March 16: The Sindh Assembly which met here on Tuesday, 
with Acting Speaker Jalal Mahmood Shah in the chair, unanimously 
passed a private bill with two amendments moved by PML MPA Syed 
Murad Ali Shah.

The bill seeks the establishment of Elites University in District 
Under one amendment, the house was authorized to nominate two MPAs 
on the Board of Governors of the University instead of nominations 
to be made by the speaker.
Earlier the Chairman of the house special committee, Nawab Mirza, 
presented his report on the draft law. The bill was introduced by 
Dr Farooq Sattar, Leader of the MQM Parliamentary Party, on behalf 
of the sponsor, Kazi Khalid Ali.
Taking part in the discussion, Dr Sattar said the situation in the 
education sector of the country was not good. He cited the example 
of Bangladesh where, he pointed out, 3 per cent of GDP was spent on 
education with significant allocations for research and higher 
He said the Sindh Assembly had so far granted charters for 10 
universities in the private sector.
He pointed out that the budget of Karachi University was only Rs300 
million whereas the budget of Aligarh Muslim University, India, was 
more than Rs2,500 million.
Dr Sattar said the universities established in the private sector 
had been bound down to set up their campuses in rural areas also.
The general discussion on the bill was also participated by Nisar 
Khuhro, Pir Mazharul Haq, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Munawar Ali Abbasi, 
Sher Mohammed Baluch, Ghulam Mujtaba Isran, Khalid Bin Walid and 
Mohammed Hussain.
Earlier, the house reverberated with the demand for producing the 
three detained MQM MPAs during the assembly session.
Dr Sattar requested the speaker to give ruling against the 
provincial government for not producing the three arrested assembly 
members despite his directives in the house.
"By not producing the detained MPAs in the house despite the 
directives of the speakers, the government is violating Article 232 
(2) of the Constitution," he said, adding: "The government will 
have to produce the detained MPAs."
Pir Mazhar said the provincial home department had misguided the 
acting speaker.
Dr Sattar's stand was also supported by Nisar Khuhro, who was of 
the view that non-production of the detained MPAs was tantamount to 
undermining the assembly's prestige.
When Mr Khuhro was on his feet, the speaker adjourned the house 
till Wednesday.
RESOLUTIONS: The Sindh Assembly passed four resolutions unanimously 
on Tuesday.
These resolutions pertained to refund of Sindh's five billion 
rupees by WAPDA and non-deduction of WAPDA bills at source, 
distribution of government land among minorities, restoration of 
seats for women in Sindh Assembly and local councils and stoppage 
to draining out of saline water through RBOD into the sea.
The assembly session began at 12:50 hours with a delay of two hours 
and 50 minutes.
The house time continued to be extended after every half an hour to 
have the private bill for the establishment of Elite University 
passed and finally the house was adjourned at 3:30pm.
At 3pm when the proceedings were being extend for half an hour, Dr 
Sattar suggested to Speaker Jalal Mahmood Shah to also ask from the 
journalists covering the proceedings in this regard. 
The assembly secretary neither came to the press room nor talked to 
any journalist. - APP/PPI

Consultations on special courts continuing: PM

KARACHI, March 17: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said here on 
Wednesday that consultations were continuing for the appointment of 
judges of the special courts to be set up to deal with heinous 
He was responding to questions by newsmen during a visit to the 
Kidney Centre.
Asked what were the impediments in the appointment of judges for 
special courts, Nawaz Sharif said "according to the Constitution, 
the government will appoint the judges in consultation with the 
judiciary" and added that "we have sent the list for appointment of 
judges to the judiciary and as soon as we receive their assent 
these courts will start functioning".
He said, "I am confident the Judiciary will fulfil its 
Replying to another question, he said that terrorism had subsided 
by the measures his government had taken. This was an indirect 
reference to military courts.
Asked to comment on Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's 
remarks about Kashmir, Mr Nawaz Sharif said: "We both have signed 
the Lahore Declaration and I believe that all issues, including 
that of Kashmir, can be solved through mutual consultation by 
adhering to the declaration."
APP adds: Earlier during the visit to the Kidney Centre, the prime 
minister said that the government would bear the cost of kidney 
transplantation and dialysis of all deserving patients in the 
country from PM's special fund.
He said this while talking to patients at the Kidney Centre here. 
Mr Sharif said it was the duty of the government to find out all 
kidney patients in the country, particularly poor patients and 
provide them treatment.
He directed the in charge of PM's Cell for kidney patients, Brig 
Masood Siddique, to reach all the needy patients who cannot contact 
or approach the Cell for their treatment.

Landing at Shannon airport: PIA rethinking its decision
Masood Haider

NEW YORK, March 18: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is 
rethinking its decision to have its passengers processed by the US 
immigration authorities at Shannon airport due to time factor, and 
would now have them processed in New York and Washington airports 
as usual.
Last Tuesday PIA's maiden flight arrived here from Shannon airport 
in Ireland an hour late since the US immigration authorities denied 
entry to about 29 passengers.
While PIA still intends to stopover at Shannon airport for 
refuelling, picking up the meals and the crew, it will not have its 
passengers processed by the immigration authorities there.
"The reason for the exercise was to save passengers' time, but if 
the US immigration denies entry to a passenger then we have to 
offload his baggage and things which is time consuming and most 
likely the flights will be delayed", said PIA's Marketing Manager, 
Iftikhar Ahmed.
Besides, the US immigration department still charges PIA a fee of 
$4,500 per passenger who is denied entry into the US. So its not 
cost-effective in one sense. Moreover, the passenger who lands at 
US airport and is denied entry is provided facility of due process 
according to US law.
The decision to go back to original procedure would take effect 
within days, it is learnt.
However, PIA officials insist that by eliminating Paris, Frankfurt 
and Zurich stops for its North American-bound flights they have 
reduced the airline's expenses.
One reason being that the landing fees and fuel costs at Shannon 
are far more reasonable than at Paris and other European 
destinations. PIA was charged $20,000 per landing at Paris and 
other airports while it pays less than $2,000 at Shannon. The fuel 
is cheap and so are the lodging and boarding costs for the crew.
PIA will still be able to offer more discounted fares to the 
passengers since it will have 150 more seats for North American 
passengers. Earlier the airline had to earmark at least 150 seats 
for European destinations and the exercise was not cost effective.
"Now we will be able to offer North America-bound passengers 
discounted fares in excess of hundred dollars or more if they 
purchase tickets one month in advance", a PIA official said.

Traders meet PM, offer proposal on GST
Habib Khan Ghori

KARACHI, March 17: The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry 
leaders on Wednesday night assured Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that 
if their proposal pertaining to the GST registration was accepted, 
the government could immediately generate a revenue of Rs5 billion. 
The revenue could be raised to Rs10.2 billion within two years, 
they added.
This assurance was given to the prime minister at the residence of 
Senator Majid Sultan where selected business leaders had converged 
on a short notice of an hour or so.
Those present at the meeting included EPB chairman and officials of 
the KCCI and Karachi Stock Exchange as well as tycoons from 
textile, processing and ship-breaking etc.
They exchanged views with the prime minister for over two hours, 
informed sources said.
The prime minister acknowledge the problems faced by the business 
community and issued necessary instructions for their resolution.
He took serious notice of complaints pertaining to harassment of 
the business community by the PRC members and ordered an early 
remedy. The prime minister asked the business community to fix a 
date for payment of duty and full dues.
He was disturbed to know the plight of exporters and the 
difficulties being faced by them as the banking system was not 
supportive to exports.
He also ordered immediate release of all trucks held up laden with 
steel and iron scrape.
He lauded the performance of KPT and Karachi Stock Exchange and 
directed the KPT and the governor to allot a plot where a 
monumental building of the chamber could be built.
The prime minister also freely mixed with the social workers and 
women and assured them of his cooperation in carrying out social 

welfare work.

Pakistan, Thailand to tap trade potential

ISLAMABAD, March 18: Pakis-tan and Thailand on Thursday agreed on 
taking concrete steps to cement their economic co- operation and 
tap their existing trade potential.
This agreement was reached between the two countries during an 
inaugural meeting of Pak-Thai Joint Economic Commission and their 
2-day deliberations here.
The visiting Deputy Foreign Minister of Thailand Sukhumb-hand 
Paribatra and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Muhammad Saddiq 
Khan Kanju signed agreed minutes of the joint commission inaugural 
meeting at a ceremony held at Foreign Office here.
The joint commission was set up in 1997.
Both Paribatra and Kanju in their opening statements on the 
occasion stressed the need to take requisite measures to enhance 
their economic ties particularly trade.
The meeting of the joint commission," will prove to be a big 
milestone in Thai- Pakistan relations," said the Thai minister.
Paribatra said the proposed agreement of promotion and protection 
of investment would be "another effective mechanism in 
strengthening our bilateral investment cooperation."
Saddiq Khan Kanju said the proposed signing of agreement for 
promotion and protection of investment between the two countries 
would go a long way in boosting the bilateral investment activity 
in each other's country.
Thailand will send a delegation from its construction sector in 
June, this year to explore the possibilities of co-operation 
between the two countries in this field.
He called for further co-operation between the two sides in many 
"The decision to sign an agreement between our respective chambers 
of commerce and industry would further bolster the existing 
commercial links."
There are ample opportunities to cooperate in this sector 
particularly in processing and preservation of agricultural 
products. Fishing industry in Pakistan needs investment and 
technical assistance. "We welcome the interest shown by Thailand in 
this sector and assure you of our full support."
Thai technical assistance, Kanju said, will help in revamping the 
fishing industry in Pakistan.-APP

New private airline in offing

KARACHI, March 18: A new airline is likely to be operational in the 
private sector from March 23 which mainly will cater to the needs 
of passengers and cargo with destination in Balochistan as a feeder 
The airline "Safe Air International" board of directors comprises 
individuals having experience in the aviation industry with more 
than 20 years, claimed captain Tariq Mehmood Khan who had 
association with PIA for 18 years as pilot followed by service 
record as captain with Tunis, Qatar and Saudi airlines.
Addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club on Thursday, he 
introduced the chairman Haji Fazal Rahim and director Jafar Maulvi.
He said SAI would make cities like Turbat, Gwadar, Pasni and 
Panjgur accessible to the cosmopolitan cities of Pakistan and ferry 
items like poultry, bread, milk and chicken to Balochistan and 
bring perishable fruits from there to dump them in Karachi where 
there was good market and mangoes from Multan and elsewhere to 
Karachi for export to European destinations.
To a question, Captain Tariq said that SAI have total four aircraft 
three of them are the YAK-40 (Executive jet) and the fourth one is 
IL-114 (64 seaters).
He said the civil aviation authorities would be inspecting the 
aircraft on Friday for issuing operational licence.

CBR to accept fixed payment: 4700 sales tax notices withdrawn

ISLAMABAD, March 17: The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has 
withdrawn 4700 notices issued to the industrial units in 27 sectors 
for non-payment of sales tax during the first eight months of 1998-
The Association of Fixed-S/Tax-paying Industries (FAST) has been 
agitating the issue with the Central Board of Revenue, using the 
conduit of Mian Abdul Manan, chairman Standing Committee on 
Commerce, for the last six months. They have been exerting all 
kinds of pressure for a CBR decision to substitute the normal ST-
rate application with a fixed amount of payment through FAST for 
the financial year 1998-99.
The Sales Tax Department, accepting their plea, agreed with FAST 
last week to accept fixed ST payment formula. It has, accordingly, 
withdrawn all the notices issued to the units concerned, for not 
paying ST at the standard applicable rate.
The number of units paying sales tax dropped from 11,000 
(operational) in February 1998, to 8730 (operational) in February 
1999. Notices were issued during the past eight months to 4700 
units after scrutiny of claims submitted by most of them, that they 
suspended production/sales during the said period.
These notices were meant to warn them that they were not paying 
sales tax at normal rate of 12.5 per cent before December 1998, and 
15 per cent afterwards, and that they were liable to penalties plus 
other punishment for non-payment. 
One category of notices, about 3000, were issued for short-filing 
sales tax, while the other notices carried warning of 
penalties/punishment for non-paying ST at all.
Those paying but depositing short amounts of ST at rates 
applicable, were either under-assessing their tax amounts or were 
assessing at fixed rates (per sector/unit), which were previously 
applicable but were abolished under the Finance Act 1998.
Those non-paying at all, neither at fixed nor at the currently 
applicable rates, proved non-filers and were sent up notices to 
show cause under section 34/35 of the ST Act 1990.
Most of these units replied, though after repeated notices, 
pleading in two forms: that they had suspended operation of 
production/sales; and that they were liable to pay at the fixed 
rate, as applicable previously.
The CBR officials revealed that last year (by February) numbering 
11,000, only 3710 of these units paid ST which, by February 1999, 
amount to Rs2.13 billion. In the same period last year, these units 
had paid Rs3.54 billion, recording a shortfall of Rs1.41 billion.
Having undertaken to accept fixed ST amounts for 1998-99 from these 
units, the department has now worked out that a sum of Rs4-4.5 
billion would be extracted from units operating in these sectors, 
which would be about equal to what they paid for the whole of last 
To confirm whether such a violation of the Finance Act 1998, had 
taken place, Dawn approached Member ST, CBR for comments through 
his private secretary on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the member 
declined to respond.

SPI rises by 6.21pc during 12 months

ISLAMABAD, March 15: Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) moved up by a 
further 6.21 per cent during the last 12 months, as indicated by 
the price data released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics for the 
week ending March 13.
The index, which was recorded as 211.52 at the end of corresponding 
week of last year, reached 224.65 during the week under report.
During the current financial year, the increase in SPI has been 
shown by FBS as 2.79 per cent, compared to 2.84% in 1997-98. 
Similarly, the Kitchen Items Index rose by 2.52% as against 2.92% 
during the previous year.
Out of the 47 essential items comprising the SPI basket, 36 items 
registered substantial rise in price during the week, compared to 
their cost a year ago.
Minimum export price of yarn up  by $10

KARACHI, March 15: The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association 
(APTMA) has with immediate effect raised the Minimum Export Price 
(MEP) of all counts of yarn by $10 per bale of 181 kilogram.
It is expected that this measure will help the country to earn 
around $1.767 million more, at $68.066 million on an average 
monthly export of 32 million kilogram of yarn per month.
This decision has been taken at an emergent meeting called by the 
Chairman APTMA, Humayun Ellahi Shaikh of the Export Price Check 
Committee, here on Monday.
Industry sources claim that prior to this raise the MEP for 20 
single count yarn, which constitutes bulk of yarn exports was $375 
per bale and it had been fetching around $66.299 million on export 
of 32 million kg per month.
While criticizing the government decision to allow export refinance 
at 8 per cent on all counts of yarn exports, APTMA chief 
categorically said that the entire benefit of this measure would be 
retained by the country.
He further said that APTMA is convinced that these decisions will 
go a long way in boosting country's textile exports.
The Export Price Check Committee of APTMA also took other decisions 
which will ensure that the enhanced MEP by $10 per 181kg is 
implemented in letter and spirit.
All yarn exporters are being advised that no exports would be 
allowed below the increased MEP. The government of Japan is being 
assured that export price of Pakistan's yarn will be maintained and 
would not be reduced.
Above all, APTMA has assured local textile manufacturers that their 
entire requirements of yarn would be fulfilled at reasonable 
prices. Only the surplus quantity will be exported. 
APTMA reiterated its pledge to the government, based on the 
positive decisions taken by it that APTMA members would increase 
yarn and fabric exports by $500 million this year.
However, leaders of textile ancillary industry continue to raise 
objection over APTMA's claim and say that why the spinners are 
including grey cloth or fabric while assuring to increase exports 
particularly, when the benefits were only given to yarn and to no 
other textile product.

ADB to help 15m women and children

MANILA, March 16: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Tuesday 
that it hopes to help about 15 million rural women and children in 
Pakistan through a 47 million dollar loan for a project aimed at 
reducing maternal and infant deaths.
The Manila-based ADB said the Women's Health Project "will directly 
improve access to health care, as well as the health status, of 
women, girls and infants in rural areas" in Punjab, Sindh, North-
West Frontier and Balochistan.
"The health status of women in Pakistan is poor compared with other 
countries in Asia," the ADB said. "Some 30,000 women die each year 
due to pregnancy complications and 10 times more women develop 
life-long, pregnancy-related disabilities."
"About one quarter of all children suffer from low birth weight due 
to maternal problems and 10 per cent of those born do not reach 
their first birthday," the bank added in a statement.

"Improving women's health will also bring substantial economic 
gains in terms of improved productivity, better returns on 
investments in children, and the benefits of population planning," 
the ADB said.
The ADB loan finances 63 per cent of the total cost of the project. 
The OPEC Fund and UNICEF will co-finance.-dpa

Pakistan to benefit from euro: EU envoy

KARACHI, March 18: Ambas-sador of the European Union Kurt Juul said 
on Thursday Pakistan could benefit a lot from the launch of euro - 
the single currency of 11 European nations.
Delivering his lecture on "EU and the Single Currency" at the 
Pakistan Institute of International Affairs he said "for a country 
like Pakistan euro could become a useful currency and an 
alternative source of foreign exchange". Kurt Juul who is also head 
of delegation of the European Commission to Pakistan said it was 
quite encouraging to note that major banks in Pakistan were already 
dealing in euro. "We hope Pakistan will make use of it," he 
Juul mentioned in details the strong trade relations between 
Pakistan and the euroland and hoped that euro would open new 
funding and investment opportunities.
He said a strong and stable euro would counter the US dollar but 
hastened to add that "the shift will not be overnight." He said the 
European Central Bank would have surplus dollars which it would 
sell in the market to stabilize the euro at the time of the need. 
He avoided a direct reply when asked whether it would not weaken 
the dollar which in turn would hit global financial markets. Juul 
only said the process would be smooth and gradual.
The EU ambassador said recent financial crises had shown that no 
single country could fully shield itself against a financial crisis 
adding that euro would help in creating overall stability in 
international financial systems.
"(That is how) third countries also stand to gain from euro."
Talking about the impact of the euro on labour market he said the 
launch of the new currency was likely to create five million jobs 
between 1998-2000. Responding to a point during the question answer 
session he said the reason why euro failed to retain the initial 
strength it had shown against the dollar was that part of euphoria 
linked to euro had gone. He said another reason was that the dollar 
was faring smoothly as the US economy was showing signs of growth. 
"The dollar is still strong...so is US economy."
In response to a question he said EMU had been "in running 
dialogues with Turkey" on prospects of Turkey becoming a member of 
Politician Fatehyab Ali Khan and economic journalist Sultan Ahmed 
also spoke on the occasion. Ahmed stressed the need for having 
greater intra-Asian economic ties for the uplift of the region.

Trading volume falls to 111 million shares

KARACHI, March 19: Selective support emerged strong on a number of 
blue chip counters as some of the institutional traders covered 
positions at the falling prices amid predictions of a big 
turnaround. The index ended further shaded by 4.06 points at 
1,050.87 points.
The continued contraction in the trading volume reflects that there 
are more buyers than sellers as no one is inclined to entertain 
bearish ideas at least for the near-term.
"The worst is over and investors could look forward for a robust 
rally in the next couple of sessions based on some basic bullish 
fundamentals", most analyst believe.
The technical rally could manifest itself in a big way just in a 
couple of sessions as the way is being paved for its advent any 
day, they added.
The selling, which came in primarily to avoid double clearing and 
to higher "badla rate" was well-absorbed both at the dips and rises 
as leading investors were not inclined to leave the rings at the 
mercy of a section of bears.
"I perceive the index could hit the high mark of 1,200 points 
possibly by the end of the current month as the market is poised 
for a grand turnaround", said an analyst at the KASB & CO.
He said the economy might not be picking up at the desired rate of 
growth but some positive developments on the political front, 
notably an encouraging beginning of good relations with India could 
keep investors in the rings.
The KSE 100-share index finished with a fractional fall of 3.69 
points at 1,051.24 as compared to 1,054.93 a day earlier, 
reflecting the relative weakness of the PTCL on active weekend 
"The market may pass through technical corrections after each rise, 
its underlying sentiment will remain uppishly inclined in the 
months to come", said leading broker adding "it is the right time 
for investment for those who want to enhance their share portfolios 
on the selected counters".
Both bank and energy shares continue to be the market leaders as 
investors are not inclined to move out from them as their lower 
levels are providing them the much needed hedge against possible 
fall, he added.
"The settlement of the IPP issue might not be far off and that will 
give the needed boost to the share business", stock analyst Faisal 
Abbas predict "eying an index level of 1,400 points not in a very 
distant future".
Although minus signs dominated the list for the second day in a 
row, some of the leading shares managed to finish with good gains 
under the lead of KASB & CO, Security Bank, Telecard and Adamjee 
Insurance, which posted gains ranging from Rs1.75 to 3.45, biggest 
being in Adamjee Insurance on a large volume of 2.619m shares.
Gulf Commercial Bank, Pak Synthetics and some others also came in 
for active short-covering and ended higher by 50 paisa to one rupee 
amid active trading.
Losers were led by most of the textile shares, notable among them 
being Metropolitan Bank, Ibrahim Textiles, Ideal Spinning, Kohinoor 
Weaving, Shahtaj Textiles, and International Industries, falling by 
one rupee to Rs 2.75.
Trading volume fell to 111m shares owing partly to Friday and 
partly to the absence of leading sellers as compared to previous 
121m shares. Losers led gainers by 59 to 44, with 42 shares holding 
on to the last levels.
DEFAULTING COMPANIES: Shares of two companies came in for trading 
accounting for 5,500 shares. While Shahpur Textiles fell by 10 
paisa on 4,500 share, Allied Motors rose by the same amount on 

Back to the top
Ardeshir Cowasjee

IN 1863, at Shantiniketan (The Abode of Peace), in the Birbhum 
district of West Bengal, an ashram, a meditation centre, was 
founded and endowed by Maharishi (Great Sage) Debendranath. In 
1901, Maharishi's son, Rabindranath Tagore, in turn established 
there the Brahmo Vidyalaya, an open-air laboratory school.
By 1921, the school had greatly expanded and Tagore inaugurated the 
Vishva-Bharati University, its aim to seek a basis for a common 
fellowship between the cultures of East and West, to blend the best 
of the two traditions. Tagore himself, a gifted writer, composer 
and painter, was most influential in introducing to the West the 
best of Indian culture, and vice versa. At nearby Sriniketan, the 
following year he set up an institution that deals with rural 
reconstruction, health, social welfare and the revival of ancient 
arts and handicrafts. In 1931 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for 
In 1951, ten years after his death, the residential University was 
incorporated, with colleges for fine arts and crafts, Sino-Indian 
studies, music and dance research, teacher training, technology, 
and postgraduate studies and research. The university's museum, 
Rabindra-Sadana, is an academy for the study of Tagore's works.
Born at Shantiniketan in 1933 was Amartya Kumar Sen, in the house 
of his grandfather who taught Sanskrit at Tagore's school. Sen's 
early education was at his birthplace. He graduated in 1953 from 
the Presidency College at Calcutta and went on to teach economics 
at Jadavpur University. In 1957 he was elected a Fellow of Trinity 
College, Cambridge. He taught at the London School of Economics, at 
Nuffied College, was appointed the Drummond Professor of political 
economy at Oxford, and in 1980 moved to Harvard as Lamont Professor 
of economics and philosophy.
Last year he was appointed Master of Trinity College, and was 
selected by the Swedish Royal Academy for the 1998 Bank of Sweden 
Prize in Economic Sciences (worth $978,000). Sen is the sixth 
Indian to be awarded the Nobel Prize. He was honoured for a 
lifetime's work and for his achievements in investing the dismal 
science of economics with concerns far from the mundane. His 
interests are abstruse in comparison with the usual market-oriented 
research of the past few laureates, light years away from his 
concern for social choice, for measuring poverty and inequality by 
the most rigorous scales, for his studies of the reasons for 
economic failure and of famine.
Sen's seminal work, 'Collective Choice and Social Welfare,' 
published in 1970, offered an answer to the 'impossibility theorem' 
of US economist Kenneth Arrow (1972 winner of the Nobel Prize for 
economics). Arrow's argument was that it is impossible to devise a 
voting system with an outcome both rational and egalitarian, as 
there are grey areas in individual and group choices. Thus, 
perfectly responsive representative government is impossible. Arrow 
had, in effect, said farewell to democracy. His disciples still 
hold that view.
Sen's answer was that there is a strong case for democracy, that 
there is much middle ground in the analyses of choice, that 
economic inequality cannot be measured without a proper yardstick. 
His 1973 work, 'On Economic Inequality,' provided the tolls. The 
poverty line is a common measure of the share of population below a 
tolerable standard of living but it ignores the levels of 
deprivation. The number of those below this line does not lessen 
even if the poorest are given a better deal. He devised a new 
formula for poverty indexation, based on income inequality below 
the poverty line.
This formula, known as the Sen Index, is now a standard tool for 
calculation of the Human Development Index. It was used by our own 
economist, Mahbub ul Haq, for his excellent yearly reports on Human 
Development in South Asia, which contained the most reliable 
statistics available on the human miseries and deprivations which 
beset this republic. Dr Haq, so sadly missed after his death last 
year, was 'mystified' by the fact that our region, though it has 
done better than Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of economic growth, 
has fallen behind even that rock-bottom area when it comes to human 
Sen's milestone work came in 1981, 'Poverty and Famines : An Essay 
on Entitlement and Deprivation,' in which he showed how famines are 
the result of maldistribution rather than food shortages and that 
famine-stricken countries can even export food. No substantial 
famine has ever occurred in any independent and democratic country 
with a relatively free press. There are no exceptions to the rule - 
take the current starvation in Sudan and North Korea, the recent 
famines in Ethiopia and Somalia, the earlier famines in the Soviet 
Union, in China, in Northern Ireland, and in India under alien 
rule. India continued to have famines under British rule right up 
to independence (the last being in 1943). They disappeared 
suddenly, after independence, with the establishment of a multi-
party democracy with a free press.  Sen's recent concern is social 
opportunity. He argues that even well-functioning markets cannot 
take care of the problems posed by a shortfall in 'human 
capabilities' caused by inadequate basic education, a low level of 
health services, poor ownership patterns, skewed social 
stratification, and gaping gender inequalities. His belief is that 
variations in social opportunities can be reduced by more political 
protest and opposition.
In a paper on 'Democracy and Social Justice,' presented at the 
World Bank conference in Seoul last month, Amartya Sen identified 
what to his mind is the pre-eminent development of the 20th century 
- the rise of democracy, the establishment of the idea of democracy 
as the 'normal' form of government to which any nation of the world 
is entitled. He maintains that there is no question of a particular 
country being 'ready' for democracy; it is taken for granted that 
it is. There have always been lengthy arguments about whether one 
or another country was yet 'fit for democracy,' as there was with 
the British when they stalled on the question of independence for 
India. But a country does not have to be judged 'fit' for 
democracy. It has to become fit through democracy.
Sen argued against the 'Lee hypothesis,' named after Lee Kuan Yew's 
holding that non-democratic systems are better in bringing about 
economic development. Admittedly, there are certain relatively 
disciplinarian states such as Lee's own Singapore, pre-democratic 
South Korea and post-reform China that have had faster rates of 
economic growth than many less authoritarian ones such as India. 
But this is no definitive proof, says Sen, that authoritarianism 
does better in promoting economic growth, just as there is no 
definitive proof that democracy does better, as it did in Botswana 
which has one of the finest records of economic growth in the 
entire world and has been an oasis of democracy in the African 
continent for decades. He finds no convincing evidence that 
authoritarian governance and the suppression of political and civil 
rights are beneficial in encouraging economic development.
Questions for Amartya Sen : What is the difference between the 
penalties imposed upon a people by admitted undemocratic governance 
and by sham democratic governance? Is a democracy in name only 
enough to foster fitness and readiness for a true democracy?
How does a country of 140 million people, the larger percentage of 
them below the poverty line and deprived of basic amenities, most 
of them illiterate, which describes itself as a democracy and makes 
a show of formally following the norms of democracy merely by 
holding frequent dubious elections, become 'fit' for democracy 
through a sham form of democracy?
How can it be taken for granted that a country is 'ready' for 
democracy when it is riddled through and through, from top to toe, 
with massive corruption, when the politicians both in and out of 
power are venal to the hilt, when it has two political family 
parties alternating in power, steadily robbing the national 
exchequer and bankrupting it?
How can it be 'ready' or 'fit' when all its institutions are either 
destroyed, subdued or neutralized - parliament, administration, 
judiciary, armed forces, and whatever else passes for an 
institution - when its Constitution is amended over and over again, 
at will, purely to suit the aims of its rulers?
What does Tagorian Sen recommend the oppressed perennially-in-debt 
people of such a country do to make it 'fit' for democracy through 

The real threat
Irfan Husain

AS predicted by just about everybody, the Taliban spillover  into 
Pakistan has started. Recently, a cinema was burned down in  Quetta 
as some militants felt it was spreading "obscenity."
After some 200 of these protesters had been arrested, some  
ministers in the Balochistan coalition government demanded their  
instant release, together with an apology from the  administration. 
Obviously, these worthies thought it was their  right to go around 
destroying private property. The next item on  their agenda was to 
smash TV sets and satellite dishes, and close  down video shops, 
just as their colleagues in Afghanistan have  done. Although some 
of the accused have been released, around 80  of them are still in 
jail, together with their leader, Maulana  Noor Ahmad who issued a 
fiery statement saying that he would  continue his campaign.
The provincial government's line is that the case was  registered 
by the owner of the cinema, and he should be persuaded  to withdraw 
his complaint before the arrested firebrands can be  released. The 
owner is understandably insisting on being   compensated for his 
loss of around rupees 45 lakhs, plus  assurances from the party  
leaders that he will not be harmed by  them. And here the matter 
currently rests.
Considering that the party supporting the protesters is a  partner 
in Balochistan's fragile coalition government, arresting  these 
hotheads in the first place was a bold step by the  provincial 
administration. No doubt the recent change at the top  of the 
Balochistan bureaucracy had something to do with this  tough 
stance. And at a time when the federal government caves in  before 
most extremist demands made by obscurantist groups,  Islamabad's 
firm posture in refusing to be blackmailed by the  agitators 
deserves our support.
Under the Qisas and Diyat law, the culprits will be released  if 
the complainant withdraws his charge, something he will be  under 
great pressure to do once he has been compensated for his  loss. 
The problem with such legal provisions is that anybody with  money 
and clout can walk away with arson or even murder by paying  off 
the aggrieved parties and persuading them to drop the case.  As the 
state is no longer a party to such legal actions, it  cannot punish 
the guilty if the victim accepts blood money.
Although the provincial government is insisting on assurances  from 
the concerned party leadership to ensure that its activists  will 
behave, Maulana Noor Ahmad's harsh and threatening rhetoric  does 
not hold out much hope that he and his followers will  respect the 
sanctity of private property when they are released.  Unless the 
federal and provincial governments make an example of  these 
militants, we can expect to see such attacks being repeated  
elsewhere in the country.
This is a classic case of the chickens coming home to roost.  The 
extremist religious groups have been running institutions  where 
young men have been filled with hatred and bigotry. For  many 
Afghan refugees, this was all the education they received;  they 
then formed the hard core of the Taliban, and after their  
spectacular success, they have become the role models for many  
Pakistanis. In this scary scenario, incidents like the one in  
Quetta are the opening shots in a long, hard struggle.
But if the battle lines have been drawn, it does not help for  the 
prime minister to go around saying that he admires the  Taliban's 
system of justice which, incidentally, includes  chopping off the 
hands of thieves, and flogging men for not  having regulation-
length beards, and women for showing an inch of  ankle. Such 
statements of implicit support gives the Taliban an  undeserved 
legitimacy, and their followers in Pakistan an  unnecessary boost.
After two decades of concessions by successive governments to  
bigots, we should not be surprised to find the forces of darkness  
at our doorstep. The process was started by Z.A. Bhutto who  sought 
to neutralize his right wing enemies by donning the mantle  of 
conservatism. While he was never very convincing, General Zia  ul 
Haq was. Leaning on (and making use of) the religious right,  he 
uncorked the bottle and released the genie of sectarianism. We  are 
still paying the price for his lust for power. Followed by a  
succession of weak elected governments, the pattern and values  Zia 
set have come to be the norm and not the aberration they  actually 
Against this backdrop, the erosion in democratic discourse and  
civilized behaviour is only to be expected. Indeed, developments  
here have been in step with similar reactionary movements in  other 
parts of the Islamic world. The only nations to have  resisted this 
trend are not necessarily the ones to emulate:  Algeria and Turkey 
have both resorted to anti-democratic means to  suppress Islamist 
How to simultaneously satisfy spiritual aims and modern goals  is a 
task our thinkers have not yet resolved. Indeed, Sir Syed  Ahmad 
Khan attempted such a reconciliation a century ago, with  mixed 
results. Currently, we have not even articulated the  
contradictions between these two worldviews, far less resolve  
them. Other societies, most notably the Greco-Christian  
civilization, sorted these issues out hundreds of years ago. More  
recently, the Confucian civilization followed suit. The Muslim  
world is still grappling with these questions, much to its  
temporal discomfort.
But for Pakistan, the choices are limited. If we go the way of  the 
Taliban, we will become the pariahs of the world community,  much 
as our neighbours are. If people here decide they don't mind  
reverting to the stone-age, then so be it. But if they want to  
live in a modern, civilized country with democratic freedoms and  
values, then they will have to fight the forces of darkness to  
achieve this goal. Unfortunately, we have been hampered in this  
struggle by a supine leadership that is willing to compromise  with 
the devil to stay in power. But both Nawaz Sharif and  Benazir 
Bhutto must realize that they have a common interest in  keeping 
the Taliban at bay. Both would lose if the stone-age  views of this 
backward brotherhood prevails. But the biggest  losers would be the 
rest of us, so we have to draw a line, and  not let them cross it.

Sri Lanka crumble to defeat against Pakistan

JAMSHEDPUR (India), March 19: Pakistan captain Wasim Akram 
continued his hold over Sri Lankan batsmen to fashion his team's 
nine-run win in the first One-day International here on Friday.

The left-arm seamer grabbed three wickets in five balls as Sri 
Lanka, chasing Pakistan's 246-9 from 50 overs, were shot out for 
237 despite a valiant 81 from Aravinda de Silva.
The World Cup champions lost their last seven wickets for 20 runs 
after being well-placed at 217 for three in the opening match of 
the three-nation tournament also featuring hosts India.
Akram, one-day cricket's most successful bowler with 367 wickets, 
came good again after his sensational hat-tricks in successive 
Asian Test matches against Sri Lanka over the last two weeks.
The 32-year-old clean bowled Ruwan Kalpage, Marvan Atapattu and 
last man Pramodya Wickremasinghe with deadly yorkers to earn the 
Man-of-the-Match award from West Indian referee Cammie Smith.
De Silva put on 104 for the second wicket with Mahela Jayawardene 
(60), while Hashan Tillekeratne brought Sri Lanka closer to 
Pakistan's target with an unbeaten 39.-AFP

Pakistan win first Asian Test Championship

DHAKA, March 15: Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 175 runs 
to win the first Asian Test Championship here today, the fourth of 
the five-day match.
Replying to Sri Lanka's first innings total of 231, Pakistan piled 
up a record 594, the previous best by Pakistan against Sri Lanka 
was 555/3 at Faisalabad in 1985-86. The Sri Lankans managed to make 
188 all out, losing the match by an innings and 175 runs.
Double centuries by Ijaz Ahmed and Inzamamul-Haq and a second hat 
trick by Wasim Akram were the highlights of the Test. With 378 Test 
wickets, Wasim has climbed to world's fifth position.

Pakistan can have 15 players for Sharjah event

KARACHI, March 18: Pakistan are entitled to add another player to 
their 14 for the Champions Trophy contest in Sharjah to be played 
between April 7 and 16. England and India are the other two 
contenders in the double-league competition.
According to reliable sources, the selection committee is unaware 
of the playing conditions of the Champions Trophy and thus when 
they announced the squads for the Indian and Sharjah tri-nation 
series, they named 14 players only.
The provision for the 15th player may turn out to be a blessing in 
disguise for opener Wajahatullah Wasti who returned from 
Bangladesh. His place was taken by all-rounder Abdul Razzak for the 
Indian triangular beginning at Jamshedpur from Friday.
Wasti, who scored a century in each innings at Lahore earlier this 
month, could only score 18 with the bat against Bangladesh but 
picked up three wickets for 36 runs. His performance showed that he 
had the potential of becoming a utility cricketer for Pakistan. In 
addition to this, he is also one of the 19 probables for the World 
Cup and as things stand as present, he has an outstanding chance of 
making into the 14-man squad.
Meanwhile, the cricket board sources said on Thursday that March 31 
was the last date for the submission of the 14-man squad to the 
organizing committee of the World Cup. The selectors were 10 days 
late in meeting the Feb 28 deadline for submitting a 19-man 
provisional squad. And things aren't very different this time 
either as so far no selection committee meeting date has been 
According to sources, the selection committee was expecting for a 
discussion with the team management. But that is out of question as 
the captain and coach are not scheduled to return home before April 
17 as they fly directly to Sharjah from India.
However, team sources said Mushtaq Ahmad and Waqar Younis, not in 
the India and Sharjah tours team, are set to stage a comeback in 
place of Arshad Khan and Shahid Nazir respectively. "We want to go 
with experience and in the background of their knowledge about 
English conditions, their selection is guaranteed," a senior team 
official told Dawn from Jamshedpur.
Mushtaq has represented Somerset in five seasons while Younis 
played for Surrey and Glamorgan for seven seasons.
The tie for the 14th place is between Imran Nazir, Wajahatullah 
Wasti and Mohammad Wasim. "It has to be decided if we want to 
bolster the middle-order or take another opener. In terms of 
experience, all the three are raw. But that has to be decided who 
would be more useful in English conditions in May and June when it 
is very cold and the atmosphere heavy," sources said.

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