------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 23 January 1999 Issue : 05/04 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Altaf Hussain granted permanent residency by British government? + WB okays $350m for key public sector areas + Pakistan used plutonium in May tests: report + GST on pertoleum: Power rates to go up by 30pc + PM, ministers discuss Talbott visit, ties with India + Nawaz govt responsible for economic crisis: Benazir + Military courts a temporary measure: AG + US deports 373 Pakistanis + President, PM urge nation to struggle for a welfare state + Pakistan-India bus service from Feb 20 likely --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Net inflow of foreign funds falls to $15m in 1998 + Pakistan may not achieve wheat target + New gas reserves found in Balochistan + Forex payments to gas producers approved + CBR withdraws special refund facility + $7.5bn FDI anticipated during 9th plan + Deposits of $450m converted into bonds + Banks lend Rs19bn to farmers in six months + Active trading in PTCL, Hub-Power --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Are the courts functioning? - 2 Ardeshir Cowasjee + Paradise under threat Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Shiv Sena withdraws threat to cricket tour + Pakistan to field full-strength side for tour opener + National hockey camp resumes

Altaf Hussain granted permanent residency by British government?

The British government has granted permanent residency to 
Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain, claim MQM sources. 
Reports reaching here from London suggest that the British 
government has permitted Mr Hussain to live in UK for an 
indefinite period. 

This decision was apparently conveyed in a letter sent by the 
British Home Department. Mr Nadeem Nusrat, political secretary to 
Altaf Hussain, has also been given the same concession. 

Mr. Altaf Hussain had submitted his application for political 
asylum to the British Government immediately after the Operation 
Clean-up started in Sindh in June 1992. 

It may be mentioned that the governments of Benazir Bhutto and 
Nawaz Sharif had approached the British government to repatriate 
Mr Altaf Hussain who is wanted in several cases of heinous crimes 
in Pakistan. 

Courtesy the STAR

WB okays $350m for key public sector areas
Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON, Jan 22: The World Bank on Thursday afternoon approved a 
$350 million loan for Pakistan to support better governance in key 
public sector areas.
The Structural Adjustment Loan (SAL) will help the government 
improve public sector activities of banking, tax administration, 
public utilities and public expenditure, a World Bank announcement 
said on Friday.
The SAL is a single tranche loan approved on the basis of 
Pakistan's reform programme, the adequacy of the macroeconomic 
framework and its balance-of-payments needs, the announcement said.
These three elements have all been worked out within the context of 
Pakistan Policy Framework, with the collaboration of the 
International Monetary Fund. The SAL contributes much-needed 
resources within an overall financing plan that includes additional 
financing from the IMF and the Asian Development Bank.
Financial transactions in the sectors covered by the SAL amount to 
around half of Pakistan's GDP, and poor performance in these areas 
is among the key reasons for high public sector deficits.
Giving details, the World Bank said that in the banking sector the 
reforms supported by the SAL are a continuation of steps taken 
under the US$250 million Banking Sector Adjustment Loan, provided 
by the World Bank in December 1997.
These reforms aim at strengthening banking system governance, 
bringing in private sector management to the banks with some public 
ownership, arresting the flow of bad loans, curtailing loss-making, 
and conserving assets of the nationalized banks prior to their 
"They also aim to strengthen central bank independence and 
supervisory and regulatory capacities, and to build the capacity of 
the legal and judicial system for loan recovery," it said.
In the public utilities (power sector) the two main objectives of 
the SAL are: (1) to restore financial viability of the Water and 
Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Karachi Electric Supply 
Corporation (KESC) by ensuring that line losses are reduced, 
distribution is improved, and cross-arrears between energy 
utilities and governments are settled; and (2) to ensure that the 
National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) becomes fully 
operational in order to regulate corporate entities and provide 
necessary comfort to investors and consumers.
Over the medium-term, the reform agenda would focus on: (1) 
completing the corporatization process and establishing 
commercially-oriented autonomous corporations, with NEPRA issuing 
licenses for the new corporatized entities; (2) implementing theft 
and loss reduction programmes and introducing other efficiency 
improvements; (3) intensifying bill collection efforts from both 
public and private customers; (4) implementing financial and other 
restructuring measures; and (5) accelerating the privatization 
programme for the thermal generation and electricity distribution 
In the natural gas sector the government has long been committed to 
the privatization of the Sui Northern and Sui Southern companies 
through a strategic sale with management rights and the creation of 
an independent gas regulatory authority which promotes competition 
in the sector and de-politicizes tariff setting.
The announcement said the future agenda for reform includes further 
improving the financial discipline of the gas distribution 
companies, reducing the stock of overdue bills and improving the 
legal basis for gas tariff setting and collections.
The steps include: (1) completion of cash recovery from the stock 
of overdue bills from the private sector, reduction in WAPDA and 
KESC arrears, and keeping the payment of gas bills by WAPDA and 
KESC current; and (2) enactment by the National Assembly of the 
Natural Gas Regulatory Ordinance and amendment of the penal code to 
make tampering with gas meters a crime.
For taxation reforms, the Bank said the government has developed a 
tax reform programme comprising both policy and administrative 
It is putting in place a tax administration which is more efficient 
and responsive. The programme includes actions to reform tax 
administration; broaden the base of domestic taxes; further 
liberalize the trade regime; and increase tax revenues while these 
institutional reforms are being undertaken.
The tax enforcement programme is being strengthened with a more 
effective tax registration programme, an information exchange 
programme, better administration of the taxpayer identification 
numbers, and a strengthened tax audit regime.
Significant progress has been made over the last two years in 
reforming the General Sales Tax into a modern, broadly-based value-
added tax, it said.
The reform agenda for the tax administration envisages that the 
Central Board of Revenue (CBR) will be transformed into the 
Pakistan Revenue Authority through an act of legislation.
The CBR is to increase the number of income tax payers with 
identity cards to 1.6 million, the law ministry is to increase the 
number of fully functioning tax tribunals from seven to 15; and 
collect Rs3 billion of tax arrears.
For public sector expenditure reforms in this sector focus on 
adjustment in Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 
allocations by imposing prioritized cutbacks on the low-priority 
portion of the PSDP and retaining only the highest-priority 
projects. Reforms in this sector also include, (1) addressing the 
shortfalls in allocations for high-priority projects and for Social 
Action Programme-related development activities by appropriately 
revising and protecting these allocations against budgetary 
cutbacks; (2) ensuring adequate and timely release of funds to all 
high-priority projects; and (3) strengthening monitoring and 
evaluation of development projects.
The Single Currency Loan will be repayable in 20 years, including a 
five-year grace period, and will be at the World Bank's standard 
variable US dollar interest rate, the announcement said.
Pakistan used plutonium in May tests: report

WASHINGTON, Jan 18: Pakistan used weapons-grade plutonium in its 
May nuclear blasts, the CIA informed President Bill Clinton before 
he met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the White House on Dec 2.
The CIA assessment was included in the highly classified briefing 
book Clinton reviewed before his meeting.
According to the Washington Post, the CIA told the president in the 
highly classified report that material released into the atmosphere 
during the underground nuclear test by Pakistan contained low 
levels of weapons-grade plutonium.
Interesting, despite the briefing and CIA's assessment, the issue 
did not come up at any of the meetings or in any of the official 
briefings which the US officials gave after the Nawaz Sharif visit, 
experts said.
Quoting US national security officials, the paper said the 
implications of the preliminary analysis, conducted at Los Alamos 
National Laboratory, were that Pakistan was either importing or 
producing plutonium without US knowledge.

The country could also build smaller, easy-to-conceal, longer-range 
nuclear weapons that would be more threatening to neighbouring 
India, which recently acknowledged its nuclear capability, the 
paper said.
But scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and other 
government experts are contesting the accuracy of the initial 
analysis, alleging that Los Alamos contaminated and then lost the 
air sample from the Pakistan blast.
The CIA declined to comment last week and has not changed its 
initial assessment. The agency has at times been slow to accept 
changes that might reflect poorly on its initial judgment. In this 
case, said one US intelligence official, "there is some 
disagreement here, and experts at the labs need to sort it out."
Brooke Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Energy, which 
administers the laboratories, said Friday night that Energy 
Secretary Bill Richardson "has asked the lab directors for a full 
report on the procedures used."
As the flap over the sample analysis demonstrates, US intelligence 
experts and scientists are having trouble keeping up with the 
demands to monitor and detect the secret development of nuclear, 
biological and chemical weapons around the world.
On May 11 and May 13, to the surprise of US intelligence agencies, 
India conducted its first underground nuclear tests.

GST on petroleum: Power rates to go up by 30pc
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 22: The government has agreed to increase power 
tariffs by 30 per cent, disclosed finance minister to reporters 
here on Friday after presenting in the National Assembly the IMF 
agreement signed on November 25, 1998.
The increase in power tariffs, he explained, would be made by 
September this year on the advice of the National Electric Power 
Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) and the total amount would have to 
match the component of subsidy which the government had agreed to 
According to the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) 
Policy Framework Paper, Pakistan has been asked to withdraw the 
electricity subsidy, announced by the prime minister to the 
consumers last year, in two phases by September 1999.
Mr Dar also confirmed that debt repayment arrears had gone up to 
$1.5 billion  almost equal to the foreign exchange reserves on Jan 
23  after the disbursement of the latest IMF and World Bank 
He said that the NEPRA would be empowered to increase or reduce 
electricity tariffs. "The government now has nothing to do with 
power charges", he asserted.
Mr Dar also ruled out the possibility of reviving the foreign 
currency accounts (FCAs). "The government does not have $6 billion 
to unfreeze these FCAs", he stated. He said that the dual exchange 
rate would be gradually unified. Dar also declared that there would 
not be any devaluation during the current financial year.

Earlier, he unfolded the details of the agreement contained in the 
Policy Framework Paper (PFP) in the National Assembly that seeks to 
achieve the formidable task of reducing the budget deficit from 4.3 
per cent of the GDP in 1998-99 to 3.3 per cent in 1999-2000, 
bringing down the rate of inflation to 6 per cent from 10-11 per 
cent, achieving 5 to 6 per cent growth rate in the GDP, improving 
the rate of domestic savings from 12 per cent to 16 per cent, and 
gradually reducing the current account deficit to less than 1.5 per 
These conditionalities would have to be met during three years 
period (1998/99-2000/01).
Stabilization of the total public sector debt-to-GDP ratio by 
2001/02 has also been introduced as one of the conditionalities in 
the PFP.
To underpin such objectives, gross capital formation would need to 
be increased from less than 15 per cent of GDP in 1998-99 to about 
17 per cent in 2001-02, largely reflecting a recovery in private 
sector investment.
The paper also asks Pakistan to further bring down customs tariffs 
but the finance minister did not elaborate it. These tariffs have 
already been brought down from 65 per cent to 45 per cent in March 
He referred to the statement of the prime minister that as soon as 
the situation permitted, the government would go for zero rated 
The PFP also called for reducing dependence on foreign loans and 
rapidly increasing the availability and quality of social services 
in particular education, health, population welfare, sanitation and 
rural water supply sectors.
Further an enhancement of the tax on petroleum products; reduction 
in the budgeted amount of unproductive expenditure; strengthening 
of the financial position of WAPDA and KESC; reduction in the 
subsidy on wheat; and lowering of the budget appropriation of seven 
components of non-interest current expenditure have also been 
included in the PFP.
The PFP also believes that export volumes would need to grow at the 
rate higher than the real GDP. However, owing to the anticipated 
improvements in Pakistan's terms of trade, import volumes could 
grow even more rapidly, while the trade account will register small 
surpluses starting from 1999-2000.
Such an adjustment, combined with substantial amounts of external 
financing is consistent with the official reserves target of three 
months imports by 2001.
The PFP seeks the government to make substantial efforts to broaden 
the tax base, revamp tax administration, implement the 
restructuring plan for the energy and a number of other public 
sector enterprizes, and raise the productivity of the government 
In parallel, the government will move forward with privatization of 
financial institutions, trade liberalization, and make further 
progress in the development of market-based foreign exchange and 
payments system.
The government has also been asked to broaden the registration of 
tax payers from 1.6 million to 1.8 million by March 31, 1999. Tax 
enforcement will also be strengthened with a view to reducing the 
number of non-filers for GST to 10 per cent by June 1999.
The implementation of the new loan recovery law (Banking Companies 
Act 1997) will have to be made more effective, particularly to 
improve the transparency and effectiveness of the banking courts.
The PFP believes that interest and defence expenditure together 
accounted for 54 per cent of total budgetary outlays which 
undermines the government's ability to maintain the level of 
capital and social expenditures that would be consistent with the 
requirements of higher growth and social welfare.
About the expenditure and civil service reform, the PFP seeks an 
action plan to reform the service and begin its implementation 
during 1999/2000 to improve accountability, enhance the skills 
base, and rationalise management and compensation, including the 
pension system.
Discussing the banking sector and capital market reform the PFP 
says that the haemorrhage, caused by politically-motivated lending 
and operating losses, has been stemmed. However, it says the 
corporate governance in the nationalized commercial banks has 
improved with the change in the managements and the reduction in 
outside interference in their operations.
Dar told legislators that ESAF and EFF deals were signed in 1997 
for an assistance of $1.6 billion.
"As this House is aware, the performance of the economy during 
1997-98 was encouraging", the minister said.
The economy grew by 5.4 per cent as compared to 1.3 per cent in 
1996-97. Agricultural and industrial production rose rapidly. The 
fiscal deficit had been reduced from 6.3 per cent of GDP in 1996-97 
to 5.4 per cent in 1997-98. The current account deficit improved 
significantly. The rate of inflation was brought down to 7.8 per 
cent as compared to 11.8 per cent in 1996-97. Wide ranging reforms 
in the industrial, agricultural, commercial, banking and finance 
and social sectors were also introduced.
In the backdrop of this improved situation a high economic growth 
target of 6 per cent along with a number of additional measures for 
economic and social development have been set out for the current 
year of 1998-99.
The main objectives of the IMF agreement, he claimed, were 
consistent with the prime minister's national agenda of economic 
and social reforms to accelerate the pace of growth, to ensure 
macroeconomic and financial stability, to improve the climate for 
greater savings and investment, to continue with the structural 
reforms, and to enhance self-reliance, the minister said.
The trade regime will be liberalized further by relaxing the 
remaining restrictions on imports and exports to help the process 
of industrialization, increase the production of value added goods 
and to improve in our competitiveness in the world market.
Dar said critical reforms were being introduced in the energy 
sector aimed at increasing the efficiency and viability of 
electricity supply and creating a competitive environment. WAPDA 
and KESC, Dr said, were being restructured. NEPRA had been made 
fully operational, he added.
The authority would be responsible for determining a fair level of 
electricity tariff. This will ensure that electricity rates are 
worked out by an autonomous and independent agency and not by the 
government or the energy producers, as is in practice in most of 
the countries of the world, Dar said. he said electricity tariffs 
would henceforth be determined by NEPRA based on the filings to be 
done by WAPDA/KESC and detailed scrutiny of the rationale behind 
tariff adjustment requirements as also the consumers interest.
He said taxation reforms would be introduced aimed at significant 
enhancement of revenues, equitable distribution of tax burden and 
improvement in tax administration.
Expenditure reforms would be introduced to maximise its 
effectiveness and development impact.
He said reforms of public sector enterprises would be undertaken to 
make them economically and financially viable and to ensure that 
their privatization process was speeded up.
Prudent public debt management policies would be put in place to 
reduce the debt and debt-servicing burden.
Additional steps would be taken for reforming the capital market 
with a view to improve efficiency and to augment mobilisation of 
additional portfolio investments.
The Social Action Programme, covering such critical areas as basic 
education, primary health, population welfare, sanitation and rural 
water supply, will be implemented effectively.
The Social Safety Nets (including the establishment of the Poverty 
Alleviation Fund and the Zakat and Ushr system), will be 
"I have briefly highlighted the salient features of the IMF 
agreement. This agreement will not only supplement our efforts of 
economic and social development but also pave the way for greater 
inflow of investment and revival of confidence", he believed.

PM, ministers discuss Talbott visit, ties with India

ISLAMABAD, Jan 22: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday chaired a 
high level meeting here at the Prime Minister House, reviewing 
regional situation with particular reference to Afghan problem and 
current state of Indo-Pakistan relations.
Attended by Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz, Chief of Army Staff 
General Pervaiz Musharraf, Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmad and 
Secretary Defence Lt Gen (retd) Iftikhar Ali Khan, the meeting also 
discussed matters relating to forthcoming rounds of Pakistan-India 
foreign secretary level talks in New Delhi and Pakistan-US dialogue 
on security affairs and non-proliferation.
US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott is due to visit 
Pakistan on February 2-3 for talks with Foreign Secretary Shamshad 
Ahmad on entire range of issues pertaining to regional security and 
According to informed sources, the meeting discussed the Afghan 
issue in detail with reference to forthcoming meeting of six plus 
two group in Uzbekistan, reviewed the efforts being made to restore 
peace in the war-shattered country and reiterated Pakistan's 
position for establishment of a broad based multi-ethnic 
On Pakistan-India relations, it was observed that only a meaningful 
and result-oriented dialogue could lead to resolution of all 
outstanding problems including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir 
as well as peace and security.
The talks on priority issues of peace and security and Kashmir will 
be held at New Delhi and the foreign secretaries of the two 
countries will pick up the threads from where they had left in 
their last round of talks in Islamabad on October 15-18 last.
The prime minister briefed the meeting about outcome of his recent 
visit to Saudi Arabia where he had talks with King Fahd bin Abdul 
Aziz and Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz.PPI

Nawaz govt responsible for economic crisis: Benazir

ISLAMABAD, Jan 16: Opposition leader in the National Assembly 
Benazir Bhutto has said that the Sharif regime in Pakistan had 
dismantled all democratic institutions in the country and is 
responsible for the collapse of the economy in the country.
According to a press release issued by PPP Media Cell, here, on 
Friday, she was speaking before an audience of over 2000 people at 
the Peninsula Speakers Series in San Mateo, California on Thursday.
Former premier said that when her second term began in 1993 the 
country was on the verge of bankruptcy. But we moved urgently, made 
difficult decisions, sometimes unpopular decisions, to restore 
solvency and create a macroeconomic framework that would allow 
Pakistan to compete in the world and attract foreign investment.
"When my government assumed management of the economy in 1993, the 
country's growth rate rested at a dismal 2 per cent. When tripled 
that to 6 per cent in three short years", she said and added that 
"we were able to double our tax revenue, a task that was previously 
terribly mismanaged and paid off $1 billion of our debt and reduced 
it to 40 per cent of GDP".
She said that her government was dismissed under allegations of 
corruption, but "the losing firm in a privatization project wrote 
praising the transparency of our privatization process".
Describing the current situation in Pakistan, Ms Bhutto said, "For 
those of us who fought and died for democracy and freedom in 
Pakistan, the return of a fascist, one-man dictatorship is painful 
beyond comprehension. Today, Pakistan is a very different place".
Fear, frustration and demoralization are the order of the day. 
Under one-man, under one rule, civil institutions have collapsed. 
And while the regime concentrates on political vendetta, the 
country heads toward economic collapse. The situation is worsening 
every minute, she said.
The opposition leader said that since she left office the deficit 
had risen by 3%, investments have fallen, the regime has defaulted 
on payments to international lending institutions, corporations and 
even airlines tax collections are frozen and the rupee has been 
shrinking in value.
"Nearly 70,000 people have lost their jobs. Foreign accounts have 
been frozen, making it all but impossible for international 
commerce to proceed", she said. The regime she said was following a 
dual agenda, namely to destroy her character and to enrich its own 
friends. The fascist Prime Minister does not seem to care that the 
consequence of his vendetta against political opposition is the 
isolation of Pakistan from the community of nations, she said.
Ms Bhutto said that government had been neglected and Pakistan, 
once again, is viewed by the international community as an unstable 
society with an inhospitable economic environment, causing private 
investment to flee.
She urged the international community, and specifically the United 
States, to watch closely what is happening in Pakistan, and said, 
"the United States must do everything within its power to ensure 
that progressive, pluralistic Muslim countries like Pakistan are in 
a position to serve as models to the entire Islamic world".

Military courts a temporary measure: AG
Shujaat Ali Khan

LAHORE, Jan 21: Military courts are a purely temporary stratagem 
adopted to meet the peculiar situation prevailing in Karachi and 
the long-term solution to terrorism remains deweaponization of 
society all over the country, Attorney-General Chaudhry Mohammad 
Farooq said here on Thursday.
The AG, who met Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif on 18th, again saw 
him on Thursday morning to discuss the issue of military courts. He 
was to leave for Islamabad by road in the afternoon, cutting short 
his stay in the provincial capital.
Talking to reporters in his office in the LHC building, Mr Farooq 
emphatically said military courts had only been set up in Karachi. 
When his attention was drawn to reports that military courts had 
also been set up in the NWFP and Balochistan and were likely to be 
established in the Punjab, the AG said he had made no such 
statement, though Interior Minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain might 
have said this.
The AG said he did not want to comment on a pending case but was 
optimistic about persuading the Supreme Court in favour of the 
government position. About the 1977 Lahore High Court full bench 
judgment in the Darvesh M Arbey case, he said the Bhutto government 
had proceeded to set up military courts under Article 245 of the 
Constitution without enacting a law under it. The present 
government promulgated an ordinance under Article 245 to provide 
legal cover to military courts.
Conceding that the Sindh High Court and Supreme Court judgments in 
the Sharaf Faridi case, the 1995 LHC judgment on special banking 
courts and tribunals, and the SC decisions in the 1996 Judges Case 
and the 1998 Mehram Ali or Ata case leave no scope for any court 
outside the judicial hierarchy envisaged by Article 175 of the 
Constitution, least of all an independent parallel judicial 
hierarchy, the AG said the rationale was applicable only to 
civilian courts. Military courts have nothing to do with Article 
175 and have been set up under Article 245.
The AG said the Supreme Court has upheld the imposition of the 
governor's rule in Sindh because it had already validated 
imposition of emergency in the country. The governor's rule would 
be futile without military courts, which will remain confined to Karachi.
He recalled that the Supreme Court has already approved of 
the military court procedure in a petition challenging Maj-Gen 
Abbasi's court-martial filed by his widow.
The AG said Karachi was gateway to Pakistan and the country cannot 
be safe so long as it was 'on fire'. Things have reached a pass 
that even the prime minister of the country felt insecure. He (the 
PM) was receiving threats to his life. Special security has been 
provided to him and his entire extended family, including his 
schoolgoing grandsons and granddaughters.
The AG asserted that the Quranic injunctions and punishments are 
immutable and could not be altered or varied even by the Holy 
Prophet. However, Hazrat Omar Farooq suspended the penalty of 
amputation of hands prescribed for thieves during famine.
Chaudhry Farooq agreed with his brother PML MNA Asadur Rehman, who 
was also present along with a number of lawyers, that nuclear 
powers do not face external threats because of the deterrence they 
possess. They face internal security threats or economic sabotage.
About the Sindh Assembly, he reiterated that it cannot meet except 
when summoned by the governor to transact legislative business. As 
for divergent interpretations of the Supreme Court's short order in 
this behalf, he confidently said the position as stated by him 
would become all the more clear on announcement of the Supreme 
Court's detailed judgment 'in a few days'.

US deports 373 Pakistanis

WASHINGTON, Jan 16: A total of 373 illegal Pakistanis were deported 
from the US by immigration authorities in 1998, official figures 
announced by the INS reveal.
"Pakistan was among the top 20 countries whose illegal aliens were 
removed and Mexico, with 81 per cent of the total, led the lot," an 
INS official said.
More Pakistanis were deported than any of its South Asian 
neighbours, including India and Bangladesh, the figures show.
There were 373 Pakistanis and 351 Indians among 171,154 illegal 
aliens removed by the US. The number of removals last year broke 
the 1997 record of 114,386.
According to INS spokeswoman Barbara Francis, among the top 20 
countries led by Mexico, which accounted for 81 per cent of the 
removals, Pakistan was 16th on the list and India 18th.
She said that the breakup for the rest of South Asia in terms of 
removals was 81 Bangladeshis, 44 Sri Lankans and eight Nepalis.

She acknowledged that the number of criminal removals among the 
South Asians were a fraction of the total removals and that the 
vast majority who were deported were illegal aliens.
The INS said the fiscal year 1998 results were 39 per cent above 
the target of 123,000 removals and 50 per cent higher than last 
fiscal year's record performance. The agency said this marks the 
fifth consecutive year of record-setting removals.
INS Commissioner Doris Meissner said in a statement that "removals 
play a crucial role in our effort to restore credibility of our 
nation's immigration laws."
"I'm pleased with the progress we've made in removals, but in the 
interior and at our borders we have much more to do," Meissner 
The INS said criminal alien removals reached 56,011, nine per cent 
over fiscal year 1997's total of 51,272. It said an average of 
1,077 criminal aliens were removed each week last year. Drug 
conviction (47 per cent), criminal violations of immigration law 
(15 per cent), convictions for burglary (5 per cent), assault (5 
per cent) and sex crimes (4 per cent) accounted for most of the 
criminal alien removals, the agency noted.

President, PM urge nation to struggle for a welfare state

ISLAMABAD, Jan 18: President Rafiq Tarar has urged the nation to 
prepare itself for a struggle to create an Islamic welfare state in 
the light of Islamic principles.
In his message to the nation on Eidul Fitr the President said, "We 
should adopt values like determination, unity, discipline, 
continuous work, mutual amity and cooperation and continue our 
struggle for our destination in the light of objectives of 
establishing Pakistan."
He said "the elements spreading hatred and anarchy in the society 
want to create instability by weakening our collective power.
"We should, in the spirit of Ramazan-ul-Mubarik, promote unity, 
brotherhood and mutual love so that the country becomes the cradle 
of peace and serenity and the energies of the nation are dedicated 
for lofty objectives," he implored.
"Today we are also getting an opportunity not only to secure 
spiritual happiness, but make the Islamic philosophy of service of 
humanity a cardinal principal of our life to share our joys with 
our destitute and poor brethren."
Ramazan-ul-Mubarik, he said, is not only the month of patience, 
sympathies and commiseration in which the food of a faithful is 
reduced, but this month also inculcates a sense of obedience and a 
longing for worship.
NAWAZ SHARIF: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his message said that 
he wanted to lay down the foundation of a revolution in the country 
where everybody could get his right.
"With utmost sincerity, I want to lay down the foundation of a 
revolution that ensures everybody his rights, creates a society 
free of exploitation, where masses do not face any difficulties in 
seeking justice, and people get employment according to their 
capabilities," he said.
He said, "the time demands that people get speedy justice, 
criminals do not roam around unhindered and the rulers become true 
servants of the people."
The PM stated that he was determined to bring in such a system. 
"Every step is moving in this direction, whether it is the self-
employment scheme, Shariat Bill, the distribution of land among 
landless Haris or the construction of Motorways."
He said "Pakistan should emerge as a model Islamic state."
The prime minister said, "we will deserve the blessings of Allah 
Almighty on Eidul Fitr only if we care for the poor and deprived 
people of our country and make them share our joys."
"On this day it is also our responsibility to remember our 
oppressed brethren who are offering their blood for the liberation 
of Kashmir and have not seen the delightful moments of Eid for the 
last so many years", he added.APP

Pakistan-India bus service from Feb 20 likely
Mahmood Zaman

LAHORE, Jan 17: The governments of Pakistan and India have decided 
to set Feb 20 as a tentative date for a formal launching of the bus 
service between the two countries.
However, a final settlement will be made in this regard consequent 
to an agreement for which draft proposals by the two countries have 
been exchanged.
Pakistan has given to New Delhi its proposals and the Indian 
government had detained two Pakistani officials for further talks 
for arrangements.
Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation managing director Imtiaz 
Ali Syed and the Tourism Development Corporation Punjab chief 
Kamran Lashari, who left for New Delhi as part of a 21- member 
technical mission on Jan 14, have prolonged their stay in the 
Indian capital for a day. They are now expected to reach here on 
Monday with the draft agreement.
The remaining 19 members of the Pakistani mission reached here on 
Sunday covering a distance of about 450 kilometres between Lahore 
and New Delhi in a PTDC bus in about 11 hours on Sunday. The bus 
left the Indian capital at 6.40am and crossed the Wagah checkpost 
at 5.30pm. The journey time included immigration and customs 
formalities which took another one hour on both sides of the 
On the way the bus stopped at Pipli, Sirhand and Kartarpura for 
meals and refreshments in restaurants being managed by the Haryana 
and Punjab states of India. Actual journey time thus was a little 
over eight hours.
A PTDC official who accompanied the mission, told Dawn  that the 
journey was "comfortable and exciting". The road was not very good 
but not uneven. State restaurants at Pipli, Sirhand and Kartarpura 
were excellent and offered a good service to the Pakistani 
Among arrangements to be finalized, according to the PTDC official, 
will be the fixing of fare. The PTDC official assessed one-way bus 
ticket for a passenger to be fixed around Rs900 which includes 
breakfast, lunch and tea in the afternoon. 
An Indian delegation member, who arrived here on Jan 8, said the 
fare was Rs600. But the Pakistani official said it would be revised 
as the fare to be worked out by the Pakistan Tourism Development 
Corporation and the Delhi Transport Corporation would be uniform.
According to the official, the DTC have already developed a bus 
terminal in a spacious building in New Delhi. The PTDC is setting 
up a bus terminal at Hotel Faletti's and is also renovating its 
hotel at Wagah checkpost.

Net inflow of foreign funds falls to $15m in 1998
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Jan 22: Pakistan stock markets attracted a net inflow of a 
mere $15 million in 1998compared to $55 million in 1997 but senior 
stock brokers foresee better prospects for this year.
The statistics compiled by Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) show that 
foreign investors purchased about Rs 14.930 billion worth of shares 
during 1998 and sold Rs 14.242 billion worth of shares leaving a 
net inflow of Rs 688 million or $15 million. In 1997 the purchases 
had amounted to Rs 26.823 billion against the sales of Rs 24.271 
billion of shares: the net inflow was of Rs 2.551 billion or $55 
"Many things led to the fall in foreign investment...but the 
prospects for the current year are certainly better," said KSE 
Chairman Yasin Lakhani.
Talking to Dawn on telephone he said the decline in foreign 
investment in stock markets was mainly an after-effect of Asian 
financial crises. He said the government-IPP tussle was another 
major factor that led to this situation. "Besides the post- blast 
sanctions and consequent controls imposed on the movement of 
foreign exchange sent wrong signals among global investors."
Lakhani said he saw better prospects for 1999 after revival of IMF 
lending to Pakistan and partial lifting of the sanctions. But he 
felt that to attract increased foreign investment this year the 
government should better resolve IPPs issue once and for all and 
allow immediate repatriation of stuck-up foreign funds. "The sooner 
the controls over foreign exchange movement are lifted...the faster 
will be the inflow of foreign funds."
Official figures are not available but senior money brokers 
estimate total stuck-up amount of non-repatriated funds at $60 
million. The State Bank of Pakistan had suspended repatriation of 
foreign funds more than $10,000 in June last year after the country 
plunged into a financial crisis in the wake of nuclear blasts in 
May last year. Lately it cleared allowed remittance of stuck-up 
foreign exchange earned by shipping and air lines but there is no 
word on how early the corporates would be accorded the same 
IBM country manager Nisar A. Memon told Dawn that after the revival 
of IMF package and consequent build-up in the foreign exchange 
reserves multinationals operating in Pakistan expected early 
lifting of restrictions on remittance of foreign exchange.
Senior bankers and stock brokers say real inflow of foreign funds 
in 1998 was much lesser than what has reflected in KSE statistics. 
They say a large amount of non-repatriated funds was reinvested in 
stocks and sizable funds were sent abroad through open market 
Senior stock brokers say what brightens investment prospects for 
1999 is the fact that Pakistan stock markets are still the most 
attractive in terms of the rate of return to the investors.
"We are still the most attractive market...our PE ratio is the 
lowest in the region and automation of trading has brought in more 
transparency," said KSE chairman Yasin Lakhani. A low PE ratio 
means a higher rate of return to the investors. PE ratio of blue 
chips at KSE is 2:1 whereas in some countries it is as high as 
Some stock brokers feel there are only remote chances for the 
country to attract increased foreign investment in stock markets in 
the near future. "Every thing said and done...the problem is our 
macroeconomic fundamentals are not strong enough to match the 
attractiveness of our stock markets," said a KSE member Amin Essai 
"If the economy as such how can a low PE ratio may attract foreign 
investors?" Tai said foreign investors knew that even the most 
outstanding corporates would be forced to cut their rates of return 
if the economy continues to remain in problems.

Pakistan may not achieve wheat target

KARACHI, Jan 22: Pakistan's wheat output is likely to fall about a 
million tons short of the official target of 19 million tons in the 
1998/99 April-March crop year, a senior official said on Friday.

"According to our calculations the loss will be somewhere around 
one million tons which means that the production will be about 18 
million tons against our target of 19 million," the Agriculture 
Ministry official told Reuters from Islamabad.
Officials estimate domestic consumption during 1998/99 at 21 
million tons, so imports of around three million tons may be 
Pakistan has bought 1.54 million tons of wheat from the United 
States, Australia and Canada since July.
The ministry official said rains in the past few days had helped 
the crop but he added that a longer-than-usual dry spell extending 
from November to early January would result in about a 20 per cent 
output loss from rain-fed areas.
"Barani (rain-fed) areas accounted for about two million tons of 
wheat last year, so a 20 per cent loss would mean a cut in 
production by about 400,000 tons," he said.
He said sowing in irrigated areas, which accounted for about 17 
million tons last year, was almost complete but added that delayed 
sowing and harvesting of sugarcane meant that some areas were not 
available for sowing wheat.
"We will have a shortfall in production of about five per cent or 
over 800,000 tons in the canal-irrigated areas because of the 
delayed sugarcane sowing," he said.
He said sowing was complete in about 99 per cent of the 20 million 
acres (eight million hectares) of area targeted for this year.
He said because of a bad cotton crop, a number of farmers had 
replaced cotton plants with wheat without waiting for the second 
cotton harvest.
"The cotton crop factor and recent rains together might likely help 
boost some production, so instead of a loss of over 1.2 million 
tons we are looking at a loss of around a million," he said.
Rana Musavir Ali, a wheat farmer in Sadiqabad town, said recent 
rains, cloudy weather and lower-than-usual temperatures were also 
likely to help the wheat crop.
"We need some more rain before February 15 and if the weather 
remains as cold as it is now the maturity period of the grain will 
extend which would mean better and heavier grains," Ali said.
Pakistan set the 19 million ton output target in October, against 
an actual output of 18.7 million in 1997/98.Reuters

New gas reserves found in Balochistan
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 16: A huge quantity of oil and gas has been 
discovered in Balochistan, disclosed minister for petroleum and 
natural resources Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan here on Saturday.
"We have successfully discovered 4 to 6 trillion cubic feet of gas, 
raising the total reserves of gas to about 23 trillion cubic feet," 
he further stated.
Speaking at a news conference here, he said that 30 to 35 per cent 
new gas reserve have been discovered by adopting a new technology 
in Sui and Mari gas fields.
"Both Sui and Mari gas fields were fast depleting but we used the 
modern technology and got 4 to 6 trillion cubic feet of gas 
reserves which is the highest in the world," he said.
He said that new gas reserves have been discovered at the existing 
Sui and Mari fields by going to 4,500 feet depth compared to usual 
1,600 feet drilling. This job, he said, was done by the Pakistan 
Petroleum Limited (PPL) without the support of any foreign 
Mr Nisar pointed out that at present it could not be determined how 
much oil will be available from the new discoveries. "But initial 
assessment says that there is a large quantity of oil also," he 
said adding that 5 oil, 4 light oil and 7 gas discoveries have been 
Another achievement of his ministry, he claimed, was that the 
sensitive areas like Chaghi in Kharan has been re-opened for oil 
land gas exploration after a long time. There was a huge potential 
of oil and gas there.
"Also we have just resumed work at Kohlo and Zumardan in Mari and 
Bugti areas where there exists a big oil and gas potential," he 
said adding that some of the new areas in Sindh were also be-ing 
opened for oil and gas exploration.
The minister for petroleum also claimed commitments worth 1.2 
billion dollars of foreign investment in the oil and gas sector 
during the last one year. This investment, he said was both in 
upstream and down stream sectors. "Then we have also successfully 
attracted 11 million dollars foreign investment in the mineral 
sector," he added.
Mr Nisar also said that PACO oil refinery will be completed in the 
year 2000 and will be the first after 30 years.
He told a reporter that new oil and gas discoveries have been 
possible after restoring various incentives which were withdrawn by 
the PPP government. "All the tax concessions, rebates and other 
fiscal and non fiscal incentives have been restored by our 
government to attract foreign investment in the country," he said.
Chaudhry Nisar said that a total of 16 new oil and gas discoveries 
had been made during 1997-98. Most of them, he said, have achieved 
their appraisals.
He also claimed petroleum ministry have saved Rs 7 billion by 
cutting various administrative expenditures. Only Rs. 2.2 billion, 
he said, were saved in the import of premium oil. Then gas losses 
to the tune of 257 million were curtailed, and Rs 119 million were 
saved by conducting anti-adulteration campaign.

Forex payments to gas producers approved

KARACHI, Jan 16: Pakistan's state-run Sui Southern Gas Co (SSGC) 
said on Saturday it had secured approval from the central bank to 
make foreign exchange payments due to two foreign gas producers.

The Pakistan units of US-based Union Texas Petroleum Holdings Inc. 
and British Lasmo had asked Sui Southern to clear the outstanding 
amounts or face output cuts from next month.
'We were given approval on Friday by the central bank and payment 
will be made through our banks on Saturday and Monday,' a company 
official said.
He said the total dues were $23 million, but did not say how much 
would be paid to each company.
The official said Union Texas and Lasmo supply 40% around 150 
million cubic feet daily from Union Texas and 70 million from Lasmo 
of Sui Southern's requirements.
Union Texas has a gas field in Balochistan province and Lasmo has a 
field in Sindh province. Sui Southern buys and distributes natural 
gas and liquefied petroleum gas in the two provinces.
'We are releasing the payment before the notice period (for the 
output cuts) ends on February 1,' he added. The payment had been 
delayed because of a foreign exchange crisis facing the country 
after it was slapped with US sanctions after conducting nuclear 
tests last May, he said.
Pakistan says it faces a $5.5bn balance of payments deficit in 
1998/99 (July-June) because of the sanctions. Bankers say the 
country has arrears of $1.5bn and is using grace periods to delay 

CBR withdraws special refund facility

ISLAMABAD, Jan 21: The Central Board of Revenue has withdrawn the 
special refund facility to the manufacturers-cum-exporters under 
the Certificate of Special Registration.
Under the SCR scheme, which was notified under SRO:826 (I)/98 dated 
July 21, 1998, the manufacturers-cum-exporters who exported 70 per 
cent of their products based on import consignments of raw 
materials, had the right to be repaid total sales tax amount levied 
at the time of release of import consignments.
Now, under a directive to the sales tax collectorates issued by the 
CBR in the second week of December, the operation of SRO:826 has 
been almost suspended. The CBR is considering to create a new 
scheme of tax relief to these manufacturers cum exporters.
The SRO:826 allowed such commercial exporters the right to delivery 
of goods without payment of sales tax through a certificate of 
special registration, for which they had to submit a statement 
indicating the value of exports and domestic supplies in the last 
financial years, details of goods manufactured during the last 
three years, requirement of raw materials or semi-manufactured 
goods and their sources, whether imported or domestic.
The withdrawal order says: The SRO:826 is under review by the 
federal government. Accordingly, it has been directed that no new 
special certificate of registration be issued under the said 
notification without obtaining specific permission from the CBR. 
The SCRs already issued under the notification but surrendered by 
the parties, may be cancelled and audit be conducted to determine 
if there remain any sales tax dues to be recovered at the time of 
surrendering of the certificate on account of tax-free goods 
received by them but not exported yet. Quarterly audit of persons 
already issued such certificates may also be conducted as a measure 
against any leakage/loss of revenue. Presently, these exporters-
cum-manufacturers would be covered under the CBR notification of ST 
repayment incentives scheme titled "gold" and "silver" categories 
Meanwhile, the CBR has directed the sales tax collectorates to 
overcome the problem of registration of brick kilns under invoice-
based sales tax regime. The directive says "it was decided at the 
collectors' conference in August that wholesalers of coal may be 
registered which would subsequently lead to registration of brick 
kilns for input tax adjustments".
It is to be noted that the CBR has a five-year long experience of 
dealing with the brick kiln industry for persuading them to adopt 
themselves to the invoice-based sales tax regime, but to little 
gains. The last effort was made in 1997, when the brick-loaded 
trucks were stopped on main highways and kiln-market roads. The CBR 
has now rejected the proposal to go for the same modus operandi for 
extracting the tax as violent strikes had resulted from the last 

effort. Now it has been decided that the kiln-owners be taxed 
through registration of the coal-suppliers for maintenance of 
supply records and ultimate extraction of ST from kilns on the 
bases of these records.

$7.5bn FDI anticipated during 9th plan
M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, Jan 18: Pakistan hopes to fill the investment gaps being 
created by the diminishing flows of soft loans by attracting about 
7.5 billion dollars of foreign direct investment (FDI) during the 
9th five-year plan, likely to be launched from July 1, 1999.
These resources are expected to finance about 2.2 per cent of 
investment required during this period to improve the annual 
average growth rate to 6.3 per cent over the next five years 
compared to 4.3 per cent obtained during the 8th five-year plan.
The plan projects the average rate of national savings to increase 
from 14 per cent in 1987-88 to an ambitious 19.1 per cent of GDP in 
2002-03 and the foreign savings to go down hopefully to 2.3 per 
cent from 3.3 per cent in the same period.
Pakistan has received 4.39 billion dollars worth of foreign 
investment including 3.18 billion dollars as FDI and 1.21 billion 
dollars as portfolio investment during 1993-98.

The current pattern of FDI is dominated by power sector ( 35.9 per 
cent) followed by financial business (15.5 per cent) and food and 
beverage and tobacco (7.6 per cent). The power sector is dominated 
by the controversial IPPs.
The government is chalking out a strategy to ensure that the new 
FDIs flow to areas consistent with the overall investment policy 
especially in export-led industries.
However, the government understands that the actual flow of foreign 
investment will depend on the initiatives and priorities of private 
entrepreneurship and strength of macro-economic fundamentals.
In order to make the private sector a dynamic partner in the 
development, the macro economic policies are being made conducive 
to improve the environment for investment. The government proposes 
to vigorously pursue the policy of deregulation and liberalize 
investment processes.
The government, however, is expected to intervene to ensure equity 
without disturbing market-friendly environment. The long gestation 
work relating to physical and social infrastructure is also likely 
to remain one of the immediate concerns of the government.
All areas where private sector is willing to invest would be thrown 
open to them on the basis of level playing field. No special 
incentives would be given to public sector in these areas.
Where private sector investment could be attracted through public 
participation, it would be vigorously facilitated. The public 
sector would be confined to residual and vacuum filling role. It 
would , however, concentrate on improving the enabling environment.


Deposits of $450m converted into bonds 

KARACHI, Jan 18: The conversion of foreign currency deposits into 
Special Dollar Bonds has increased by over 50% since first week of 
According to the statistics of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the 
foreign currency depositors whose accounts were freezed after 
nuclear tests last May, have converted $450m into Special Dollar 
Bonds till January 16 as compared to $164m on Dec 2.
The SBP said that foreign currency depositors have withdrawn 
$4.080bn or converted into rupees by the depositors.
The government freezed the accounts in May to prevent capital 
flight from the country.
The Special Dollar Bonds were first introduced in July last year 
and in November were revised with reduced tenures of 3, 5 and 7 
years and interest rates were increased. These bonds were also 
allowed to be traded at the three stock exchanges of the country.
Dealers at the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) said currently the 
bonds were being offered at the bourses at 46.20/46.40 for buying 
and selling as compared to last trading at the rate of Rs 
48.75/48.50 last month.
The foreign currency depositors are permitted to convert their 
dollar accounts into Bonds at the official parity rate of Rs 46.
'Trading is mainly confined to 100 Dollar Bond," said a stock 
exchange member and said that they were facing problem, 
particularly, from foreign banks to encash the bonds.
He said they have decided to approach the State Bank in this 

Banks lend Rs19bn to farmers in six months
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Jan 16: Banks and financial institutions lent around Rs19 
billion to farmers during July-December 1998 against total 
allocation of Rs40 billion but agriculturists say they continue to 
feel a financial crunch.
Senior bankers said Agricultural Development Bank and Federal Bank 
for Cooperatives disbursed more than Rs16 billion and five major 
commercial banks offered less than Rs3 billion to farmers during 
the last six months. The five banks are (i) National Bank (ii) 
Habib Bank (iii) United Bank (iv) Allied Bank and (v) Muslim 
Commercial Bank.
"But the farming community has received only part of this huge 
amount in the shape of fresh loans," said the chairman of Sindh 
Sugarcane Growers Association Khair Muhammad Junejo. Talking to 
Dawn by telephone he said most of the credit disbursement made by 
specialized and commercial banks represented nothing but "paper 
He said in most cases the banks simply readjusted fresh loans 
against overdues to keep their portfolios of stuck-up loans from 
swelling further.
"Fresh loans as such are not coming in and farmers continue to 
remain short of funds," Junejo said adding this is true with all 
growers across Pakistan.
Cash-strapped farmers can neither use quality inputs in their crops 
nor invest in agricultural machinery which reduces the per acre 
yield of the crops.
Banks engaged in agricultural lending are supposed to provide both 
production loans to help the farmers in growing crops and 
development loans for the purchase of agricultural implements and 
machinery. The maximum amount of these loans are worked out for 
each crop on the basis of pre-fixed per acre rates. Banks charge 14 
per cent mark-up to small farmers and more to others. Small farmers 
are those who hold 16 acres of land in Sindh or 32 acres in 
Balochistan or 12.5 acres in Punjab or NWFP.
"In both the areas the banks engaged in agricultural lending are 
not providing much help to the farmers," said the chairman of Sindh 
Abadgar Board, Ali Mir Shah. Talking to Dawn by telephone from 
Hyderabad he said most of the loans advanced by ADBP were 
readjustments and only a small part of them go to needy farmers.
"As for other banks engaged in agricultural lending they are simply 
reluctant to lend."
    Shah said some banks even preferred paying penalties for not 
meeting targets of agricultural lending than offering credit to the 
farmers. The State Bank sets annual targets for each bank involved 
in agricultural lending and penalises those who fail to meet them.
Junejo and Shah both said that another thing that restricted flow 
of credit to the farmers was that the banks engaged in agricultural 
lending often offered credit to processing units like ginneries and 
rice mills and sugar mills brokers in the name of farmers. They 
said this is done through false declarations by brokers and third 
Senior bankers say since recovery of agricultural credit is very 
difficult because of the nature of lending operations they try to 
meet all requirements of prudent lending while offering credit to 
the farmers. "Of course this results sometimes in more 
readjustments than fresh lending as such," confided a senior banker 
at a state-run bank.
Bankers say the pace of disbursement of production loans may pick 
up during the second half of the fiscal year adding that major 
demand may come from the growers of sugarcane and wheat. Sugarcane 
would be sown between March and June and wheat would be ready for 
harvest by June. Cotton picking has been over and new sowing would 
be made in June.
They say they cannot predict about disbursement of development 
loans because import of agricultural and industrial machinery has 
been very low this year due to the foreign exchange crisis and it 
cannot be said when the trend would be reversed.

Active trading in PTCL, Hub-Power

KARACHI, Jan 22: Stocks on Friday finished on any easy note as the 
mid-session rally could not be carried through owing to late 
weekend profit-selling in most of the pivotals and the absence of 
follow-up support. 
The KSE 100-share index showed a fractional decline of 2.13 points 
at 930.71.
However, the market showed signs of an improvement on most of the 
counters under the lead of bank and energy shares and there are 
reasons to believe investors will be back in the rings possibly by 
the next week aided by perceptions of an increase in the quantum of 
foreign aid.
"The floodgate of foreign aid might not have been opened but the 
changing scenario tells the sailing could be easy without knowing 
its political price", some analysts said.
They said investors are sure to take positions though on selected 
counters as economic outlook could undergo a major change in the 
weeks to come and those who could take risk will be back in the 
rings and that could be a decisive phase for the direction of the 

The opening after three-day closure on account of Eid holidays was 
a bit bearish as heavy selling in PTCL on news of massive 
recoveries of Rs 20 billion due from its subscribers pushed the 
entire market into the minus column.
However, news that the World Bank has approved a loan of $350 
million to carry out basic structural reform just at the heels of 
IMF credit line of $575 million brought investors back in the rings 
and they made active covering purchases at the lower levels.
The KSE 100-share index early was down by six points but the mid-
session saw it recovering about three points. 
The closing was easy around 930.71 as compared to last Monday's 
932.84, off 2.13 points.
"Investors are not inclined to take long positions despite 
resumption of foreign aid as they are not sure about the direction 
of the market at least for the near-term", analysts said.
They said apprehensions about the resumption of aid now seem to 
have been removed but in the absence of strong foreign fund demand, 
investors are inclined to play safe.
But some leading members of the KSE believe that worst is now 
almost over and the market could respond to its technical demands 
within the next few weeks.
They base their perception on the fact that selling is 
progressively drying up and those who still hold short positions 
may re-enter the rings anytime.
Some of the leading shares came in for strong support but as there 
were no matching selling offers, prices rose sharply under the lead 
of Balochistan Wheels, 9th ICP, BOC Pakistan, Nestle Milkpak and 
Package, which posted gains ranging from Rs 2.00 to 6.65.
Other good gainers were led by Gulf Commercial Bank, Ideal 
Spinning, Shell Pakistan and some others, rising by one rupee to Rs 
1.10. PIC, which was quoted spot, was the leading losers, falling 
by Rs 42.00, followed by Pak Datacom, Pak-Suzuki Motors, Trust 
Bank, Hajveri Modaraba and Saudi Pak Leasing, falling by one rupee 
to Rs 3.50.
Bulk of the alternate bouts of buying and selling remained confined 
to the current favourites, notably PTCL and Hub-Power and some 
Trading volume showed a modest contraction at 41m shares as 
compared to 57 million shares on Monday, while losers held a modest 
lead over the gainers at 36 to 40, with 27 shares holding on to the 
last levels.
The most active list was topped by PTCL, lower 15 paisa at Rs 18.75 
on 17m shares followed by Hub-Power, unchanged at Rs 13.00 on 14m 
shares, and ICI Pakistan, easy 10 paisa at Rs 9.60 on 3m shares, 
PSO, off 90 paisa at Rs 65.30 on 1.207m shares and FFC-Jordan 
Fertiliser, up five paisa at Rs 12.80 on news that all is set to 
resume urea production suspended some two weeks back at its Port 
Qasim plant.
Other actively traded shares were led by Engro Chemicals, easy five 
paisa on 0.912m shares, Southern Electric, up 15 paisa on 0.535m 
shares, MCB, unchanged on 0.522m shares, Adamjee Insurance, off 75 
paisa on 0.318m shares and Fauji Fertiliser, lower 20 paisa on 

Back to the top
Are the courts functioning? - 2
Ardeshir Cowasjee

'ARE the courts functioning?' was printed on May 17 1998, wherein 
it was related that at the first War Cabinet meeting held by 
Churchill after becoming prime minister on May 10 1940, when in 
Britain bombs were falling on the home front, fires burning, people 
homeless and hungry, all hell had been let lose and lawlessness was 
feared, the first question he asked of his men was : "Are the 
courts functioning?" He was told they were working as they always 
had. "Then all is well," was his comment.
Some reacted by saying how stupid I was to hope that even a small 
minority of those who maladminister us and of our judges would even 
understand what I was trying to convey. How many had heard of 
Churchill or the havoc caused by the Blitz? How many could have 
been impressed by the fact that the judiciary was Churchill's first 
concern? How many realize that in a democracy, or in any country 
claiming to be democratic, in bad or in good times, the first 
requirement is to have a functioning, completely independent, 
capable judiciary.
May be so, but would they be not able to comprehend what followed : 
"Seven years and three months later, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, when 
making his first speech to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan 
stressed the law and order factor. 'The first observation that I 
would like to make,' he said, 'is that the first duty of a 
government is to maintain law and order so that the life, property 
and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the 
For law and order it is necessary to have a strong judiciary, fully 
independent, comprising honourable men appointed for their 
integrity, loyalty and learning, impervious to all pressures from 
the legislature or the administration.
Most of us who were around at the birth of this country never even 
dreamt that strife over religious beliefs and ethnicity would cause 
hundreds, if not thousands, of deaths, that men and children would 
be gunned down whilst at prayer in our mosques.

The fact remains that the courts (which pass for courts in 
Pakistan) are not functioning and this has been admitted by none 
less than Khalid Anwer, more the prime minister's legal adviser 
than law minister of the country. Defending the constitution of 
military courts : "He expressed his concern over the fact that for 
the last three and a half years not a single conviction had been 
obtained from the courts whilst the rate of crime and terrorism 
went up manifold in the city [of Karachi] ." None can say that he 
is not sufficiently qualified to realize that it is the government 
of which he is a minister that has been responsible for the final 
throw. What has he or his government done to urge that those of his 
partymen and leaders responsible for organizing the storming of the 
Supreme Court on November 28, 1997, for committing the grossest act 
of terrorism, be duly punished? Should these "terrorists" not be 
tried by a military court?
Laws are not lacking. There are more laws on the statute book than 
are needed and their surfeit often causes problems. It is their 
enforcement that is absent, in particular in this city of Karachi. 
It is this absence of order and the inability to enforce the law 
that has forced our citizens to support the proposed bringing in of 
a complete change in the policing and administrative system.
It is solely the bureaucratic brethren who have solidly opposed the 
introduction of a new police system. Former members of the police 
service have supported it. The last bureaucrat to write on the 
Karachi Metropolitan Police was Abdullah Memon, a former home 
secretary of Sindh, whose article was printed in this newspaper on 
January 10. What he wrote makes eminent sense. One cannot revamp 
rotten foundations, if there is to be a change for the better one 
must begin from the bottom: destroy and build anew.
Jamil Yusuf, the caring chief of the CPLC, who has been unduly 
attacked in the press, has agreed to organize a seminar which will 
be open to all those who care for Karachi. No lunch will be served, 
so let's see how many turn up and speak in support of their 
Mr Memon, though writing on the police, cited the example of the 
Karachi Building Control Authority : "As long as the officers of 
this agency were willing to resist the successive ministers of 
housing and chief ministers they were unable to indulge in major 
malpractices," Despite the exertions of SHEHRI, coupled with my 
efforts, the illegal highrises and other buildings mushrooming in 
the city could not be halted or even restrained.
But let me assure Mr Memon that I have gone to the High and Supreme 
Courts many times and opposing me far too often have been a corrupt 
chief minister, an equally or more corrupt minister of housing, a 
non-descript chief secretary, an acquiescing or corrupt housing 
secretary/KDA chief/KBCA chief controller, corrupt legal advisers 
of these two latter bodies, and a team of high-powered and highly 
paid lawyers representing the builders. On the rare occasion that I 
had the good fortune to have a case heard by independent-minded 
judges with a feeling for the environment, judges conscious and 
aware of the nuances and dimensions of public interest litigation, 
with right and the law on my side, I was given relief. However rich 
and corrupt the builders were, they lost. Sadly for Karachi and for 
us all, this is a matter of the past.
The KBCA Act of 1979 provides for the formation of an 'Oversee 
Committee' to oversee the functioning of the KBCA. When Farooq 
Leghari dismissed Benazir in 1996, the Sindh caretaker minister of 
housing, Maqbool Rahimtoola, was persuaded by the people to 
constitute this committee. The committee met on the first Tuesday 
of each month throughout the caretakers' three- month stint. It 
continued to meet when the elected government took over in February 
1997, despite a corrupt chief minister and perhaps an even more 
corrupt minister of housing. Through the efforts of the committee, 
the working of the KBCA was somewhat streamlined and controlled.
The committee was constituted "until further orders" and was 
obviously effective, because when Mahmood Ahmad Khan took over as 
housing secretary in 1988, come July of that year and with the 
connivance of chief minister Jatoi and housing minister Waseem 
Akhtar it was denotified and replaced by a headless-footless body 
of sorts. Luckily at that time we had an efficient honest chief 
secretary, Zubair Kidwai, who with the help of the previous chief 
secretary, Saeed Mehdi (now in the PM's secretariat), the 
denotification was cancelled and the original committee 
reconstituted. Though now we are fortunate enough to have no 
minister, we have a housing secretary who too seems inclined to 
denotify once again.
But, though felicitously we have the absence of a political 
government, things continue to go awry. The builders of Karachi 
manage to get one-sided stay orders from the superior courts which 
prohibit the authorities from taking action whilst they continue to 
build ("at their risk and cost") in indecent, dangerous haste, and 
sell. Some builders have even managed to have consent orders 
changed without notice being given to the public interest 
petitioners. One builder has succeeded in obtaining a court order 
allowing him to block a public thoroughfare, and restraining the 
municipality from taking any action.
Twelve developers have in the last couple of months grabbed land 
totalling some 120 acres in one district, that of Malir. The DC 
says that although the illegal allotments have been cancelled he is 
helpless, as he is restrained by court orders which permit the 
developers to sell and to take money in advance.
On the other hand, SHEHRI has been to the courts and managed to get 
demolition orders for 28 properties in the vicinity of Mr Jinnah's 
Mazar. But, when certain politically-connected builders approached 
the governor, the demolition orders were suspended.  Mr Memon, I am 
of the firm conviction that in any organization just one honest 
headman, or one honest chief adjudicator, or one honest top 
administrator can be of inestimable help to the citizens. One does 
not have to find a hundred. Take New York City. Not long ago it was 
crime-ridden and its police department renowned for its corruption. 
The present mayor of NYC, Mario Giuliani, despite his political 
ambitions has cleaned up the police force, which is now held in 
high respect in the city, and in the space of one year the crime 
rate has been halved.

Paradise under threat
Irfan Husain

OVER the last few months, I have been spending my weekends on a 
relatively secluded part of the beach. The evenings are the best: 
quiet and restful with spectacular sunset followed by utter peace 
as the silence is broken only by the lapping waves. Every once in a 
while, a sheet of white flame races across the surface of the sea 
as a wave-crest is lit up by phosphorescence.
The monsoon months provide high drama of another kind as tremendous 
waves pound the rocks that jut out into the roiled sea jut in front 
of my hut. The breakers foam white as the water cascades over the 
rocks and onto the beach and some of waves rear thirty feet into 
the air after smashing on the reef. We watch this awesome spectacle 
while we barbecue fresh fish on charcoal and sip our sundowners. In 
winter, we light a bonfire and think our private thoughts as we 
gaze into the flames.
Nights under the open sky provide a different sight. Far from the 
city's pollution and obscuring lights, the firmament is aglow with 
stars. The Milky Way is an almost solid band of pale white. When 
the moon rises, the scene is transformed into a hypnotic interplay 
of light and shadow. Finally, we go to bed with the windows wide 
open, listening to the waves.
Mentally and physically, we are far from Karachi and its many 
problems. Indeed, our stretch of the beach moves to a separate 
rhythm and is governed by different laws as it is probably the 
safest place for miles around. On Sunday,local fishermen bring 
crabs, fish and lobsters for our inspection. There is even the 
occasional lot of plump oysters. So we eat and drink well, and for 
a few fleeting hours manage to forget the pressures and problems 
that shape and often distort our "normal" lives.
But this sanctuary is under threat from both land and sea, and I 
don't think it can escape the fate of the rest of the country for 
very much longer. The "qabza groups" are at work already. Walls are 
springing up along the road to the beach, and one developer has 
already started advertising flats. Once the monstrosity of 
apartments is up, others will surely follow. Inevitably, the sewage 
from these horrors will enter the sea, increasing the level of 
pollution that is already poisoning coastal marine life. Heavy 
traffic and noise will surely accompany this development, and 
within a few short years, Sandspit and Hawkes Bay will resemble 
Clifton beach in their hideous construction and general squalor.
Instead of protecting Karachi's only redeeming asset, official 
agencies have joined the plunder by allocating land to developers. 

As it is, the colony built for truckers in Mauripur a couple of 
years ago has already become an eyesore. It seems that everything 
officialdom touches is transformed into an urban blight. 
Unconcerned about pollution, aesthetics or any civic sense, city 
authorities are busily destroying whatever remains of Karachi's few 
Across the horizon on the sea, another threat is invisibly at work 
to destroy the lives of coastal fishermen, and with them, my small 
stretch of paradise. Foreign fishing trawlers are plundering our 
waters without let or hindrance. The agencies that are supposed to 
check this illegal operation have turned a proverbial Nelson's eye 
to these ships that are depleting marine resources within our 
economic zone.
Both the Maritime Security Agency (MSA) and the Coastguards have 
the mandate and the resources to put a stop to this piracy going on 
under their noses, but so far, the only people ever hauled up are 
poor Indian fishermen who stray into our waters. The well-heeled 
commercial operators from the Far East who fish within our economic 
zone do so untroubled by Pakistani officialdom. Obviously, they 
have paid off the concerned agencies to stay home.
On top of this unfair competition, the government has announced 
plans to permit some mysterious American group to further deplete 
our fishing stocks. This deal has mercifully been rejected by the 
Balochistan government, but knowing how things work here, I think 
it is just a matter of time before all the parties concerned come 
to a cozy arrangement. The deal has been questioned on the floor of 
the house and in many newspaper articles. The letter of intent was 
issued to the firm in question without any competitive bidding, and 
Humayun Akhtar, chief of the Board of Investment, has been accused 
of giving this firm a deal that is against the interests of the 
economy and the 200,000 people who derive their livelihood from 
coastal fishing.
In all these years, we have simply not realized how valuable our 
marine assets are. Nobody has a clue about our fish stocks. The 
last survey done in our waters was conducted in the mid-eighties by 
FAO, and even that was not a very in-depth (no pun intended) 
effort. By and large, fishing in Pakistan remains a cottage 
industry with very little investment and archaic technology. Banks 
are reluctant to lend money, and despite the huge export potential, 
the government remains curiously apathetic.  The Institute of 
Oceanography limits its research to more theoretical concerns, and 
there is no other agency remotely interested in our maritime 
wealth. One would have thought that some enterprising newspaper or 
NGO would have obtained evidence of the illegal fishing in our 
waters. In its absence, the federal government insists that no 
foreigners have been given permission to fish in our economic zone. 
Nevertheless, traders regularly buy rejected seafood from these 
ships for sale in the fishing harbour.
These hi-tech ships use kilometer wide, fine skein nets that cause 
fearsome destruction as all living things are swept up along their 
path. By killing off young fish in this callous manner, these 
operators are threatening the viability of entire species. My 
fishermen friends confirm that their catch has been dropping 
steadily. Clearly, they cannot compete as their little boats cannot 
go very far from the coast; foreign poachers, on the other hand, 
operate in deep water, aided by sonar that identifies shoals of 
fish, and supported by mother ships that take in the catch and 
freeze it. Unwanted fish are sold to locals or dumped into the sea.
Over the years, successive governments have been paying lip-service 
to the need to boost our exports. Here is a wide open field, but 
instead of helping our fishermen to compete, we are doing 
everything possible to make them redundant. Selfishly, I want them 
to survive so that they can continue to provide security to my 
little sanctuary.

Shiv Sena withdraws threat to cricket tour

NEW DELHI, Jan 21: India said on Thursday that the right wing Hindu 
Shiv Sena party had withdrawn its threat to disrupt a cricket tour 
by Pakistan.
"Shiv Sena has withdrawn the protest," Home (interior) Secretary 
Balmiki Prasad Singh told reporters shortly after Home Minister Lal 
Krishna Advani met Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray in Bombay.
In a joint statement released after the meeting, Thackeray made it 
clear that the campaign had not been called off indefinitely.
"In response to the request made by the prime minister, Thackeray 
has decided to suspend his protest move against the series of 
matches this year only," the statement said.
Singh held a meeting of top officials on the tour, which was 
threatened by the Shiv Sena, which says that India must not play 
cricket with its neighbour while its soldiers died in skirmishes 
with the Pakistani army.
"I am quite satisfied with the security arrangements," Singh said. 
"We have reviewed the security arrangements in all the states where 
matches are to be held," he said.
"The representatives of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, West 
Bengal and Kerala and Tamil Nadu and Delhi were present. We will 
provide foolproof security to the players, stadiums where the 
matches are to be held and places of their stay."
Shiv Sena's activists earlier this month vandalised the cricket 
pitch in Delhi by digging it up, but denied involvement in an 
attack on Monday when a mob broke up furniture and trophies at the 
Indian cricket board's headquarters in Bombay.
Pakistan captain Wasim Akram expressed relief saying: "The players 
were really worried but I am sure that this news is going to make 
them very easy and comfortable. It is definitely going to take 
quite a lot of pressure off their heads."
Pakistan coach Javed Miandad, who toured India in 1979, 1983 and 
1987 as a player, was also a relieved man.
"It is a great development. I am sure the players would now land in 
India in a different state of mind. The worries or concerns would 
not be there".
When the cricket team reached New Delhi, the 16-man squad 
surrounded by gun-toting commandos, was whisked away from the 
airport to a downtown hotel, which resembled a fortress.

Pakistan to field full-strength side for tour opener

GWALIOR (India), Jan 22: A threat from Hindu militants behind them, 
the touring Pakistani cricketers finally get down to serious 
business on their Indian tour here on Saturday.

The three-day opener against India's second-string provides Wasim 
Akram's tourists their only chance to tune up for the first of two 
back-to-back Tests starting in Madras on Jan 28.
Coach Javed Miandad said on the team's arrival in New Delhi on 
Thursday he would field a virtual Test-strength side for the first 
match so the players could get used to Indian "conditions, crowds 
and security."
Miandad himself played three Test series in India in 1979, 1983 and 
1987. But only Akram among the current team was part of Pakistan's 
last Test tour 12 year ago.
"Most of the others have played one-day cricket here, but a Test 
match atmosphere is very different, very tense," the coach said. 
"They must get used to it fast."
Tight security, including gun-toting commandos, awaits the 
Pakistanis when they arrive in this central Indian city late Friday 
despite firebrand Hindu leader Bal Thackeray's decision to call off 
violent protests against the tour. The Gwalior stadium looked like 
a fortress protected by hundreds of policemen, Press Trust of India 
news agency said.
Pakistani captain Wasim Akram said his side was a lot more talented 
than the one that last visited India in 12 years ago and beat the 
home side.
"I know there would be very tight security, but that would not 
create any pressure on the players," said Akram after surveying the 
ground conditions.
A relaxed Akram called for a resolute approach from his squad.
"It is mental toughness they need," said the Pakistan captain.
"It is really an important game tomorrow because it is the only 
game we are playing before the test series."
Akram said he was happy with the situation in India. ~So far, 
everything has been fine. Our families were concerned but when we 
arrived here, we called them up and said everything was fine. 
Security was right and people were very positive."
"We have been told not to relax the security," match organiser 
Prashant Mehta said. "There's no problem here, but we are not 
taking chances."
The irrepressible Miandad, who created a stir two years ago by 
inviting Thackeray to Pakistan for the World Cup, had another dig 
at the Shiv Sena supremo.
Pakistan (from): Wasim Akram (captain), Wajahatullah Wasti, Saeed 
Anwar, Mohammad Naveed, Ijaz Ahmed, Salim Malik, Inzamam-ul Haq, 

Yousuf Youhana, Moin Khan, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Saqlain 
Mushtaq, Nadeem Khan, Mushtaq Ahmed, Azhar Mahmood, Shahid Afridi.
India A: Venkat Laxman (capt), Devang Gandhi, Sadagopan Ramesh, 
Jacob Martin, Mohammad Kaif, Amay Khurasia, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, 
Dodda Ganesh, Rahul Sanghvi, Harbhajan Singh, Saba Karim, Sitangshu 
Kotak, Jyoti Prakash Yadav, Virender Sehwag.AFP/AP/Reuters

National hockey camp resumes

LAHORE, Jan 21: Pakistan hockey team coach Shahnaz Sheikh said on 
Thursday that new strategy will be adopted in the national training 
camp to prepare team for the forthcoming nine-match series against 
The series is being held on home and away basis with opener at New 
Delhi on February 3.
Talking to reporters at the National Hockey Stadium (NHS) where the 
camp resumed today after Eid-ul-Fitr holidays, the former Olympian 
Shahnaz Sheikh said that main emphasis would be laid also on 
converting penalty-corner on indirect try as the team was only 
depending on specialist Sohail Abbas in this department.
Among 18 players and eight stand-byes who were called to attend the 
camp only captain Atif Bashir, Danish Kalim, Muhammad Nadeem, Irfan 
Mahmood, Navid Iqbal, Ali Raza and Hamid could reach.

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