------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 24 April 1999 Issue : 05/17 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS Pakistan has no aggressive designs, says COAS India says talks with Pakistan to continue IPP-like crisis looms large in gas sector Deal signed by Hubco, govt & Wapda SC Bar calls for restoration of 1973 Constitution Contracts should be respected, says IMF chief Identification of Benazir's property PC, Freedom of Information Act: APNS to submit draft to govt --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY Investment moots in 10 Turkish, ME cities Tatarstan experts to study feasibility Wapda pays 54pc of its revenue to buy power from IPPs ADB to provide $125m for KESC restructuring Asian Bank calls for long-term reforms Only 27pc of listed textile cos declare dividends Cotton crop lower than last year's output by 1.1m bales Petroleum exploration licence granted Strong foreign support extends gains to share index --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES Power thieves Ardeshir Cowasjee Justice with unclean hands Ayaz Amir To catch a thief Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS Former Test stalwarts on Miandad's resignation Javed Miandad resigns as Pakistan coach Wasim credits victory to team work Amjad snatches PIA Open squash title from Jansher Tough tasks ahead for hockey team

Pakistan has no aggressive designs, says COAS

KAKUL, April 17: Pakistan declared on Saturday it had no aggressive 
designs against any country, but said it had to be perpetually 
prepared to strike against any aggressor in order to guard its 

"We are peace-loving but cherish our hard-earned freedom and shall 
not brook an evil eye cast against our sovereignty and territorial 
integrity, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and chief of 
Army staff General Pervez Musharraf said while addressing the 98th 
PMA long course/graduate-8 at the Pakistan Military Academy here.
He added "Our efforts to acquire a viable defensive force both in 
the conventional mode and also, by the grace of Allah, in the 
nuclear and missile mode, is to guarantee peace and security 
through potent deterrence. Our success in this field is visible - 
let no one have wrong notions."
He said the army, on its part, remained aware and fully conscious 
of its responsibilities towards security of the motherland from 
external and internal threats.
Gen Musharraf made it clear that the army was committed to the 
ideals of democracy and firmly believed in its neutrality. "We 
stand ever-ready to contribute towards nation building whether it 
be conduct of census or survey of schools or reviving national 
institutions or contributing towards law and order or fighting 
natural disasters like floods and earthquakes."
He said the art of warfare had become complex, highly sophisticated 
and more lethal. He said that with the induction of nuclear weapons 
and missiles in the South Asian region, the complexion of future 
war had registered a quantum change.-PPI

India says talks with Pakistan to continue

ISLAMABAD, April 22: India has said that it will continue bilateral 
talks with neighbouring Pakistan.

"As regards India-Pakistan issues, there is a bilateral process 
under way, which will continue", an Indian High Commission, 
Islamabad, statement quoted a spokesman of Indian external affairs 
ministry as saying in New Delhi.
The spokesman described as inappropriate the US State Department 
spokesman's comment that the new Indian government should accept 
"international demands" on missile and proliferation issue.
"We have seen the comment attributed to the US State Department 
spokesman. We believe that it is not appropriate to make such 
pronouncements in the course of a process of democratic 
transition," he said.-NNI

IPP-like crisis looms large in gas sector
M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, April 19: An IPP-like crisis is about to hit the gas 
sector as well, as the government has decided not to honour the 
agreements entered into with international oil and gas exploration 
companies under the 1994 petroleum policy.
The decision of the government follows the discovery by various 
international exploration companies, over the last four years, of 
new gas reserves amounting to as much as eight trillion cubic feet 
(TCF) - almost equal to the reserves of Sui fields.
The government claims that it can refuse to buy the new gas by 
invoking one of the clauses of the agreement which says that "The 
President (Pakistan) may not purchase...".
The government has taken the position that the terms of the 
agreement with the foreign exploration companies under the 1994 
petroleum policy were as unfavourable to the country as they were 
under the power policy of 1994 which had given birth to the IPP 
The two specific objections that the government has raised vis-a-
vis these agreements concern the price at which the producers would 
sell the new gas to the buyer (the government) and secondly the 
permission to the seller to repatriate as much as 75-85 per cent of 
the price out of the country in foreign exchange.
Officials said that the 1994 petroleum policy had pegged the 
purchase price of the new gas from the producers to the world fuel 
oil prices instead of that of crude oil.
Under this clause, they said, Pakistan would have no significant 
financial or economic advantage in buying gas from its own fields 
as the government would be purchasing this gas at the rate of fuel 
oil import prices and then 75 to 85 per cent of this price would go 
out of the country in the shape of foreign exchange.
In fact, according to the official claim, the local gas will become 
50 per cent more expensive than what the government is already 
paying for the gas from companies producing from the old wells.

Deal signed by Hubco, govt & Wapda
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, April 19: Hubco on Monday signed a standstill agreement 
with the government and Wapda under which no party will initiate, 
procure or proceed further with any litigation against one another.
In a notice sent to Karachi Stock Exchange, the company said that 
the parties have further agreed to enter into negotiations for the 
resolution of all disputes, including these relating to tariff, 
with good faith and without any prejudice.
The agreement will remain in operation till May 18, 1999 or 
earlier, if disputes resolved, or any other date mutually agreed by 
the parties.

SC Bar calls for restoration of 1973 Constitution
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, April 17: The Supreme Court Bar Association called on 
Saturday for the restoration of the original 1973 Constitution with 
amendments to confer more powers on the Senate and the provincial 
governments and to ensure the independence of the judiciary.
Earlier at the seminar on the silver jubilee of the Constitution 
and the first-ever annual general meeting of the association, 
speakers regretted that the country was not being governed in 
accordance even with the existing constitutional provisions and 
that there was little to celebrate the occasion.
They said that the basic law has been distorted out of recognition 
and in any case, a constitution which could not save itself from 
virtual abrogation just four years after its adoption could not be 
relied upon to protect the people. It should, therefore, be so 
amended that it could neither be held in abeyance or abrogated or 
deviated from in the future. The whole system shall have to be 
thoroughly decentralized and the power vested in the people to 
achieve that end, the senior lawyers said.

Contracts should be respected, says IMF chief
Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON, April 22: Pakistan and other countries in a similar 
situation should decide for themselves whether to default on 
international bonds or to keep making the payments, IMF Managing 
Director Michael Camdessus said on Tuesday.
"Contracts must be respected; countries should not default on bonds 
or whatever other instruments ... we are not saying to the country 
you must pay that or that, or pay this one, don't pay that one. 
This is a decision for the country to take," he told a news 
conference to mark the beginning of the IMF spring meetings here.
A Pakistani delegation, led by State Bank Governor Yaqub Khan, is 
also attending these meetings where major global economic and 
financial issues would be discussed between IMF members. Side 
meetings of groups of 10 and 24 are also planned.
The IMF chief was specifically asked what was the Fund position on 
defaults on bonds, specially by Pakistan and Russia.
"Contracts are sacrosanct," he said, adding: "And bond contracts no 
more sacrosanct than the others, but equally, certainly", he 
But, he explained that there were situations of extreme illiquidity 
for a country, or at times insolvency, and there the international 
community must deal with the situations of objective risk of 
default of a country.
"Here we are not saying to the country you must pay that or that, 
or pay this one, don't pay that one. This is a decision for the 
country to take. Our line, and of course, this line is quite 
strongly correlated to our effort to involve the private sector 
more in forestalling and resolving financial crises, is not to 
allow a significant reduction in outstanding commitments of the 
private sector in a situation of crisis.

Identification of Benazir's property

ISLAMABAD, April 22: The authorities in the four provinces have 
been directed to identify the property, allegedly purchased by 
Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari, using the money which they had 
received from SGS as bribe, APP learnt here Thursday from reliable 
The direction has been issued in compliance with the order of the 
Lahore High Court (Pindi Ehtesab Bench).
Under the court's order, Ms Bhutto and Mr Zardari have to pay a 
fine of $8.6 million (equivalent to Rs396 million), and in case of 
non-payment, the fine will be recovered by disposing of the 
property of the couple equivalent to the fine money.
The property purchased from ill-gotten money in SGS case will also 
be confiscated according to the decision of the Ehtesab bench.
Last year the Lahore and Rawalpindi Ehtesab benches of the Lahore 
High Court had passed freezing orders of the property and assets of 
Ms Bhutto, Mr Zardari as well as their front men.
The assets and property of some persons facing corruption charges 
were also blocked through courts by investigation agencies and the 
anti-narcotics force.
The sources said the Ehtesab bureau had "unearthed" "ill-gotten 
assets and property" of Ms Bhutto, Mr Zardari "and his cronies" 
worth Rs22 billion in Pakistan.

The bureau stated that Ms Bhutto declared her own assets as on June 
30, 1997 to be worth Rs16.8 million. But investigations showed that 
she possessed assets in Pakistan worth Rs235.371 million. Likewise, 
Mr Zardari declared his assets on June 30, 1997 to be worth Rs17.5 
million. But investigations found the same to be worth Rs5012.947 
million in Pakistan.-APP

PC, Freedom of Information Act: APNS to submit draft to govt

KARACHI, April 21: The All Pakistan Newspapers Society has decided 
to put forth its draft to the government for the Freedom of 
Information Act and the Press Council, stated the Secretary General 
APNS, Arshad Zuberi.
The government's draft about the act, the council and the revised 
Press and Publication Ordinance, was considered by the APNS 
executive committee at its meeting in Lahore on Wednesday, which 
found a number of clauses in the government draft archaic and not 
in consonance with the ground realities.
The committee directed Mr Zuberi to circulate the government draft 
on the three vital issues, having a direct bearing on the print 
media, to all members of the APNS for eliciting their views which 
should be placed before a committee to be formed by the APNS 
president, Mir Shakilur Rehman to finalize the society's response 
so that a meaningful dialogue could be held with the government.

Investment moots in 10 Turkish, ME cities
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, April 22: The Board of Investment (BOI) is holding 
investment conferences in ten foreign cities from April 27 to 
attract one billion dollar foreign investment during 1999-2000.
"Now when the sanctions are partially over, we plan to achieve one 
billion dollar investment during the next financial year and as a 
first step we will be going to ten foreign cities for this 
purpose", said the BOI chairman, Humayun Akhtar Khan.
Talking to Dawn here on Thursday, he said that he would be heading 
a delegation to ten cities. Many important officials including 
Chairman Privatization Commission Khawaja Muhammad Asif were 
included in the delegation.
"First we would reach Kuwait city on April 27 to have an investment 
conference there", he said adding that other cities were Musqat, 
Dahran, Riyadh, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar, Istanbul and 

Responding to a question, he pointed out after a conference in each 
city, about 40 to 50 investors would be invited to Pakistan to see 
for themselves various incentives given by Pakistan government for 
the promotion of foreign investment.

Tatarstan experts to study feasibility

KAZAN, April 23: Pakistan and Tatarstan Republic have agreed in 
principle for collaboration in the economic, commercial and 
industrial sectors.
This was agreed during talks between Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz 
Sharif and Premier of Tatarstan, R N Minnikhanov held here Friday.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told Tatarstan journalists waiting 
outside the Prime Minister's office where talks were held that they 
discussed various possibilities of establishing close cooperation 
between Pakistan and Tatarstan, specially in the economic field.
He said possibility of setting up a working group within the 
framework of the joint Ministerial Commission formed between 
Pakistan and the Russian government was discussed to further 
promote trade between them.-APP

Wapda pays 54pc of its revenue to buy power from IPPs
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, April 22: Wapda is paying 54 per cent of its revenue to 
purchase 23 per cent of electricity from the independent power 
producers (IPPs).
This was stated by Wapda deputy chairman Maj Gen Sarfraz Iqbal 
while addressing the executive committee of the Lahore Chamber of 
Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Thursday.
He asserted Wapda is trying its best to solve its dispute with IPPs 
in the best interests of the nation. He said he did not wish to go 
into details as to who is responsible for these agreements. 
'However I assure you that the Wapda chairman has been authorized 
by the government to settle the issue for good and we are working 
on it day and night. If you have any proposals in this regard, we 
will like to study it as well,' he asserted.

ADB to provide $125m for KESC restructuring
Ihtashamul Haque
ISLAMABAD, April 21: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide 
250 million dollar power sector loan to Pakistan, of which 125 
million dollars will be spent on the financial restructuring of 
Karachi Electricity Supply Company (KESC).
"An ADB appraisal mission is arriving here in the first half of May 
to discuss and finalize details about the power sector loan after 
which the proposal for loan of 250 million dollars will be 
presented in the Bank's board meeting", said M.F.W.Zijsvelt, 
Resident Representative of the ADB in Islamabad.
Speaking at a news conference here on Wednesday, he said that 125 
million dollars were expected to be disbursed for the restructuring 
of the KESC so as to effectively privatize the organization. "The 
financial restructuring of the KESC is must for its privatization", 
he said hoping that the ADB loaning for the KESC will help remove 
its financial problems and effectively address the issue of line 
and distribution losses.

Asian Bank calls for long-term reforms

ISLAMABAD, April 19: The Asian Development Bank has called for 
long-term reforms of Pakistan's economy, saying growth has been 
impeded by poor governance, sectarian violence, weak policy 
implementation and a lack of private dynamism.
The bank, a major lender to Pakistan, also said in its 1999 Asian 
Development Outlook report released on Monday that industrial 
recession and low levels of private investment would limit growth 
to 3.4% in the fiscal year ending in June.
The economy grew by 5.4 per cent in the 1997/98 year.
The bank prescribed long-term reforms to boost economic growth, 
also partially stalled by economic sanctions slapped on Islamabad 
after the country conducted nuclear tests last May in response to 
similar tests by India.
'Major issues concern the need to achieve macro-economic 
stabilisation and promote exports, increase economic efficiency and 
ensure that social protection is available for the poorest members 
of the society,' the bank said.
'Pakistan's economic performance has been handicapped in recent 
years largely by a lack of private sector dynamism, weak policy 
implementation, ineffective governance, persistent sectarian 
violence and low labour productivity,' it added.
Violence between militants of the majority Sunni Muslim groups and 
minority Shi'ite activists in the populous Punjab province has 
claimed more than 50 lives so far this year, and political, ethnic 
and sectarian violence killed more than 800 last year in Pakistan's 
most important commercial city Karachi.
The bank suggested the government work to revitalise small and 
medium-sized enterprises and resolve the problems of the industrial 
sector to promote exports.

Only 27pc of listed textile cos declare dividends

Dilawar Hussain

KARACHI, April 19: Forty-eight companies on the textile sector of 
the Karachi Sock Exchange declared dividends for the shareholders 
for the year ended September 30, 1998. These work out to only 27 
per cent of the total 177 listed units on the textile sector 
(excluding 52 units placed on the 'defaulters' counter), a study by 
Dawn revealed.
Except for those couple of units who may have been allowed 
extension for holding AGM and declaration of results by the CLA, 
all companies were obliged to announce financial figures for the 
year to end-September 1998 within six months of the close of the 
accounts, i.e March 31, 1999.
Interestingly, for all the stepped up efforts by the corporate 
monitors to inculcate "corporate governance", the number of 
dividend defaulters on the textile sector this year, is larger than 
was a year ago: For 1997, 65 companies or 37 per cent of the total 
had announced a payout.
Investors generally remained disinterested to the results posted by 
textile companies, since all but some 60 of the total 177 companies 
continued to be traded at significant discounts to their offered 
price. The market value of all the units on the textile sector 
changed by about only Rs16 million or by one percentage point, pre 
and post the announcement of results:

Cotton crop lower than last year's output by 1.1m bales
Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana

KARACHI, April 19: With the shortfall of around 1.1 million bales 
up to April 15, cotton production for the current season stands at 
7.216 million bales as compared to 8.329 million bales produced in 
the corresponding period of last year.
According to official figures issued by Pakistan Cotton Ginners' 
Association (PCGA) here on Monday, the total cotton production this 
year stood short by 13.36 per cent, with Punjab recording fall of 
8.50 per cent and Sindh 26.36 per cent.
As a result of insufficient production, the spinners have already 
stepped up their imports of raw cotton to see the current season 
through and according to customs figures around 119,348 bales have 
already reached the country.
The country needs around 8.5 million bales to keep its 7.5 million 
spindles and rotors in production till the arrival of new crop in 
coming September, a leading spinner said.
"If the spinners do not increase the blending ratio of cotton and 
man-made fibre the country would have to spend a substantial amount 
in foreign exchange for importing raw cotton," another spinner 

Petroleum exploration licence granted

ISLAMABAD, April 19: The Government of Pakistan on Monday granted a 
Petroleum Exploration Licence to a joint venture of Premier 
Exploration Pakistan limited 95% and Government Holdings 5%, over 
Dadhar Block 2867-3 covering 6248 sq km in Balochistan (Kalat, Sibi 
and Dadhar district).
Similarly, a Petroleum Concession Agreement was also executed 
between the parties. The block lies adjacent to Premier's Bolan 
Block in which a gas discovery (Zarghun South) has recently been 
Premier Exploration Pakistan Limited (Premier), the operator of the 
joint venture, intends to carry out geological and seismic 
activities during the first two years and after delineation of a 
commercially viable structure, drill at least one exploratory well 
in the third year.
Minimum expenditure of the joint venture for the said work 
programme is US$ 5.85 million. The Government Holdings has 5% 
carried working interest in the Block during the exploration period 
and has the right to increase its working interest up to 20% after 
a commercial discovery.
The licence over this Block has been awarded through competitive 
bidding in accordance with Petroleum Policy, 1997.
Premier is a subsidiary of Premier & Shell Pakistan B.V. (PSP) 
which is joint venture company of Shell, one of the largest L&P 
company, and Premier Oil of UK Premier has been engaged in oil and 
gas exploration in Pakistan since 1989.

Strong foreign support extends gains to share index
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, April 23: Stocks on Friday finished with an extended gain 
followed by strong foreign support in some leading pivotals 
allaying fears of hasty unloading by weak-holders owing to a long 
weekend ahead because of two Ashura holidays. The index recovered 
another 28 points at 1,071.12.
The market may have more than one reasons not to be weighed down by 
the bearish perceptions associated with a four closures as it 
picked up the positive signals emitted by the advent of strong 
foreign buying on selected counters.
The KSE 100-share index finished with an extended gain of about 28 
points or 2.5 per cent at 1,071.12 as compared to 1,043.16 a day 
earlier as all the base shares virtually raced toward their pre-
reaction levels under the lead of PTCL.
The breach of the psychological barrier of 1,100 points now not 
appears to be a distant possibility as another push in the PTCL 
could put it well above this level, said a leading analyst Faisal 
Abbas of AHRA.
"Massive buying in PTCL by Morgan Stanley for the last two sessions 
seems to be the chief bullish factor behind the current run-up", he 
claimed adding "the terrible shortage of the floating stock in 
Engro Chemical could be the contributory bullish factor in the 
coming sessions".
Analysts at KASB & Co said revival of foreign buying in PTCL and 
some other pivotals signals a major shift in the investor 
perceptions and what makes it more significant is that moping up 
operation came at the weekend when locals were predicting a big 
sell-off ahead of four closures.
The market will now re-open on next Wednesday after official 
closures and two public holidays on next Monday and Tuesday on 
account of Ashura.
"No one could deny the fact that the local political scenario is 
tense after the conviction of Benazir Bhutto for five years on 
corruption charges and the consequent protest rallies by the 
People's Party, its impact on stock trading appears to be a market 
factor", floor brokers said.
They said although the signals from the donor countries about the 
implementation of contracts signed before the release of IMF credit 
line of $1.5 billion are not too encouraging, investors are not 
worried on this count, said a leading broker.
However, the conflicting news about the settlement of IPP issue did 
certainly worry them as the future outlook of the market largely 
tied to it, he added.
Trading volume fell to 113 million share from the previous 119 
million shares but gainers held a strong lead over the losers at 67 
to 49,with 33 shares holding on to the last levels.

Back to the top
Power thieves
Ardeshir Cowasjee

THE dynasty began with Pir Syed Raja Shah Bokhari of Shah Jewna. He 
studied at Chiefs' College (otherwise known as Aitcheson) from 1888 
to 1899. In 1910 he was appointed by the British as an honarary 
magistrate to do justice in Jhang, which he did judiciously, 
earning the acclaim of the people. In 1915 he died, a respected 
elder of the community, respected by rulers and the ruled. It was 
he who founded the Shah Jewna stud farm.
Bokhari's only child, Syed Abid Hussain, was born the year he died. 
He, following in his father's footsteps, studied at Chiefs' College 
from 1924-1930. He ran the stud farm, improving and increasing the 
bloodstock. He farmed, he did all the right things that were done 
in those days. During World War II, the British gave him the rank 
of an honorary colonel and he helped the war effort by supervising 
recruitment in his area. He was elected a member of the Legislative 
Assembly of India in 1946, together with Jinnah and the others. 
Come Pakistan, and he served as a minister in the central 
government and then in the government of West Pakistan. His forays 
into Pakistani politics were short. During the 1965 elections, for 
supporting Fatima Jinnah and opposing Ayub Khan, he was arrested.
Before he died of cancer in 1971 he cautioned his only child, his 
daughter who he called his son, Syeda Abida Hussain to the world, 
Chandi to her friends. Politics, he told her, is a dirty game 
anywhere and in Pakistan more so. Remember, if you lie down with 
dogs you get up with fleas. And, quoting Shakespeare, he forewarned 
her "Neither a borrower nor a lender be."
It was twenty-five years ago that I first met Chandi, in 1973. She 
was neither a borrower nor a lender but had opted to play the dirty 
game. The previous year she had been elected an MPA of the Punjab 
Assembly, on a PPP ticket, to one of the reserved seats for women. 
She resigned her membership of the PPP in March 1977 and joined the 
NDP. She contested the famous abandoned elections that year on a 
PNA ticket. In Zia's 1985 elections, she was elected from NA69 and 
became the first woman to sit in our National Assembly. She stood 
as an independent in 1988 and was re-elected, then lost the 1990 
elections but joined the Jatoi caretaker cabinet of that year and 
meekly watched Mustafa Jatoi dole out plots of lands which were not 
his to gift. In 1991, Nawaz Sharif sent her as his ambassador to 
Washington, from which post she resigned when Nawaz Sharif was 
forced out in 1993. She officially joined the Muslim League in 1994 
and was again elected to the National Assembly in 1997.
Now she has been accused of power theft and is bracketed with such 
lowly-life as former provincial minister Mian Miraj Din, party 
tough, the srong-arm man put in charge of transporting the Lahore 
PML 'activists' to Islamabad for the November 1997 raid on the 
Supreme Court. He was forced to resign his provincial ministership 
of excise and taxation when accused of power theft and was 
compensated by being awarded the lucrative waste paper disposal 
government contract for Punjab and the NWFP. Last week, whilst the 
Mian was on one of his bi-weekly visits to his hometown, Miraj Din 
made an impassioned plea to be restored to favour, to be given a 
chance to restore his 'lost honour,' "Mian saab, meri jan chhorao, 
hun tey baut ho gayee aya."
We may hold Chandi responsible for many of our ills (though she 
refuses to admit that she understands what collective 
responsibility entails) but not even her worst enemy could believe 
that she would filch electricity. The military men of WAPDA do have 
evidence of power theft at her farm, of meters having been tampered 
with. Fair enough. But if this be so, says Chandi, then she has 
either been framed or fixed. Most who know her and know politics, 
her rivals, her detractors, and her government, believe her.
When all this broke in the press, I looked at my KESC meter stuck 
on the wall of my garage together with the KESC fuse boxes. It 
bears two KESC paper seals. When anything blows, the KESC repair 
men arrive, tear the paper seals and fiddle around with fuses and 
wires. They also call to read the meter. Who knows what happens 
when they break the seals for whatever reason? I have no idea what 
is inside the meter box. I have no idea whether the meter has been 
'tampered' with, whether it is running fast or slow. How familiar 
could Chandi be with all her WAPDA meters?
Now to what Chandi can be blamed for. Her fault is not power theft, 
but the fact that she joined a party of thieves and defaulters, 
remained with a party of thieves and defaulters, served a party of 
thieves and defaulters. She, with the rest of today's politicians, 
both in and out of power, can be accused of theft of another sort, 
the theft of political power, of depriving the people and the 
country of their assets and due rights.
Does she not know that those who lead her party, her fellow 
ministers, prime and others, have borrowed money from the 
government banks and financial institutions, money that they could 
never have borrowed had they not been in power, and money that 
certainly no respectable leading private bank would lend to them? 
Does she not know that the defaulters of her party claim to be 
technical defaulters and that some of the leading defaulting lights 
are attempting to have the laws of the land changed so that they 
may not have to pay interest?
Does Chandi not know who it was that stormed the Supreme Court in 
1997 and the reason for the storming? Does she not remember how 
incorrectly and contrary to rules Constitutional Amendments 13 and 
14 were rushed through the National Assembly in truly indecent 
haste? Does she know that a petition concerning the allotment of 
thousands of plots by the then Punjab Chief Minister Mian Nawaz 
Sharif is pending in the Supreme Court, that it has not so far come 
up and will not come up before July of this year, after the 
retirement of the present Chief Justice? Does she not know how the 
judiciary is pressured and prevailed upon to hear and not to hear? 
For instance, petitions regarding the unlawful ISI distribution of 
money, the award of wheat contracts by the prime minister, his 
misuse of power in putting pressure on the banks to settle loan 
matters out of court, all of which Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah 
was to hear had he not been forced out, remain pending in the 
Supreme Court.
Is Chandi not a party to the stifling of parliamentary dissent, 
having voted for the 14th Amendment? Was she not a party to the 
proposed impeachment of a president of the republic merely to shunt 
him out for purposes of expedience? Is she not one of those hoping 
to push the 15th Amendment Bill through parliament?
Her father taught her enough for her to know that as a federal 
minister, whilst sitting in the cabinet and irrespective of the 
portfolio she holds she bears equal responsibility with the rest of 
the members for all wrongs that are done, whether they relate to 
population or to poppy seeds. Now she maintains that her 'honour' 
has been tarnished. Does she not realize that it was tarnished the 
day she associated herself with one of our political parties and 
assumed a position of power?
She had wanted to resign for months, and finally she has resigned, 
whether voluntarily or otherwise. All for the better. There may one 
day be in-house changes and, if she keeps her head and talks less, 
she stands a good chance of coming back in a higher position. By 
her own admission she is only 53, young in politics. Time is on her 
As this goes to press we read of another woman, a younger woman, 
Benazir Bhutto, who has often been accused of thieving power of the 
political sort and who now has been convicted for her thievery. 
"Plunderers of wealth punished for the first time, says Nawaz," 
roars one headline (The Nation, April 17). A more perceptive and 
prescient Muslim Leaguer, Syed Kabir Ali Wasti, commented, "The PML 
government had set a wrong precedent of conviction of the leader of 
the Opposition.......".

Justice with unclean hands
Ayaz Amir

WHAT we are seeing is the playing out of a tawdry tragedy, a once-
upon-a-time Joan of Arc, a beacon of hope and light, brought down 
by her greed and folly. Benazir Bhutto's crime is not that she 
rifled the exchequer and pocketed commissions on state deals. If 
this was a punishable crime in Pakistan half the country's 
governing class, a mighty tribe with tentacles far and wide, would 
have to be marched before a firing squad.
Her real crime is that she threw caution to the winds. She was 
always arrogant and in power became overbearing. It was this which 
tempted the fury of the gods. That the gods made Senator Saifur 
Rehman the dubious and cross-grained instrument of their wrath is 
another matter. When history turns to record these events-- that is 
, if history will ever be concerned with Pakistan's pathetic 
tragedies-- it will not linger over the names of executioners and 
hangmen. It will record such events and move on. There was no one 
with greater promise than Benazir. There is no one who has fallen 
harder than her.
The story could be called 'the queen's necklace'. Buying an 
expensive necklace with laundered money and being caught in the 
act. For this misjudgment alone she deserves no leniency. From our 
rulers we might not expect the wisdom of Solomon but when loading 
their pockets they might at least not behave like careless 
amateurs. Benazir's Swiss accounts therefore are not so much a 
moral outrage as an insult to our intelligence.
The commercial success of the Sharif dynasty has been handled more 
adroitly and indeed professionally. Whatever carping critics might 
say, the trail of incriminating evidence is thinner, the links 
between suspicion and reality enveloped in a cloud of smog. Unpaid 
loans worth billions of rupees are of course an obvious problem 
because the amounts involved and the red ledgers will not simply 
disappear. But at least there has been an attempt to proffer 
excuses and face-saving devices.
No matter if the Sharif dynasty is offering rundown assets for its 
unpaid loans. No matter if a London court has passed a decree 
against members of the clan for another unpaid loan (the news of 
this in Pakistani papers must have come as an embarrassment for the 
ruling family). But at least these matters are being handled 
professionally with the best advice that is available. Benazir and 
her husband by contrast deserve to be hanged for their bad verses.
The only problem is that the hanging is being done with soiled 
hands. It is being carried out by those who, if there was any 
justice here, would also be at the stake giving deserved company to 
Benazir and Asif Zardari. This is what detracts from the merit of 
the sentence passed against the two and precisely this which is 
earning them a measure of sympathy, although the heavens know that 
the audacity and indeed brazenness of their actions offer few 
grounds for sympathy.
It is the laughable one-sidedness of this process which accounts 
for the curious paradox we are witnessing. While there is no 
outpouring of support for Benazir and her husband, no cries of loud 
outrage that they have been treated badly, it is also true, and 
this is where the paradox rests, that their conviction has not been 
hailed, except by official loudspeakers and trumpeters, as a 
triumph of unqualified justice.
Although before the bar of public opinion both are considered 
guilty - this collective feeling having nothing to do with judicial 
quibbles, abstruse technicalities or even what the Supreme Court 
may eventually decide - mass opinion is less than convinced about 
the cleanness or impartiality of the process which has brought them 
to destruction's door. It sees the show for what it is: a power 
play and not the pursuit of justice. Small wonder then if lack of 
sympathy for Benazir is matched by a monumental distrust of the 
Ehtesab Bureau's brand of selective accountability.
Even so, the gloomy assessments of what Benazir's conviction and 
disqualification from public office might mean for the country's 
politics are exaggerated. No one thinks of Benazir as a martyr, she 
having lost that halo much before her appetite for queen's 
necklaces came to the public's attention. Accordingly, the people 
of Balochistan are not going to fret if a Punjabi bench has 
sentenced a Sindhi leader. As for the Sindh card and the alienation 
of Sindh, it is a theme which was worked to death during the Zia 
What Pakistan is suffering from is the alienation of the people and 
this circumstance is neither going to increase nor decrease because 
of Benazir's ouster from the political arena. Although before there 
is a rush to judgment on this score it should be borne in mind that 
no one knows what might happen in the Supreme Court. Once the 
matter is there it might turn out that Benazir's political demise 
is being prematurely celebrated.
For argument's sake, however, the assumption is easily tested. 
Pakistan's present political line-up is such that the ouster from 
it of any political joker would not make the slightest difference 
to the health of the people of Pakistan. This applies as much to 
the PPP as to the ruling party or the ridiculous figures staging 
their pantomimes on the fringes of the political scene. The nation 
is heartily sick of its assorted redeemers and would lose no sleep 
if any of the messiahs in the Muslim League or the PPP are force-
marched into the shades. Parliament already is a cipher and a 
vacuum. How would it become a greater vacuum if Benazir is drummed 
out of the National Assembly and Zardari from the Senate?
A political vacuum is created when a political choice is 
eliminated. Benazir represents no choice except arrogance and the 
greater adornment of her purse. Cruel though it may be to say so, 
her fate no longer is of any concern to ordinary people. Much the 
same is true of Nawaz Sharif and his knights of the round table. 
For a brief moment the hopes of the nation were fixed upon them. 
Forgetting that Nawaz Sharif was a product of the system he was 
vowing to change, the people of this country, their gullibility 
seemingly endless, expected that he would change their destiny. 
That foolish moment has been swept away on the tide of a fresh 
cycle of cynicism.
The public's sensibilities have been honed to such a pitch that if 
ever avenging angels pursue Nawaz Sharif, no tears will be shed at 
his predicament. As a consequence of the concentrated political 
knavery they have been seeing over the past twenty years, the 
people of Pakistan have finally given up the national pastime of 
manufacturing unlikely heroes.
A word about Justice Qayyum. What this country needs is more judges 
like him. One Justice Qayyum for the PPP, one for the PML, one for 
bureaucratic fat cats like Falstaff Sadiq (a prosecution witness in 
this case, if you please) and one for military saviours. This is 
the only way to bring the sorry business of accountability to 
anything resembling a happy conclusion. 		
As for Benazir's disqualification, it might even do a world of good 
to Pakistan's static and somnolent political scene by introducing 
an element of uncertainty into it. It will also set a precedent 
which, hopefully, given the right circumstances, might be followed 
in the years to come. One royal couple may be down but Pakistan's 
landscape is littered with solemn and self-righteous scoundrels. 
Unless there is a process of accountability which treats all these 
scoundrels equally the Pakistani public should be forgiven for 
treating selective justice with the scepticism, if not the outright 
contempt, which it deserves. 

To catch a thief
Irfan Husain

BY the time you read this, every columnist and editorial writer in 
the country will have analysed the implications of the conviction 
of Benazir Bhutto on corruption charges.
So why am I bothering to add my two paisa to the mass of opinion 
already available in print? Basically, the Lahore High Court 
judgment is an important landmark in our political history, and the 
more the debate on it, the better. Predictably, Benazir Bhutto and 
her jiyalas have rejected the outcome of the trial out of hand, the 
PPP leader calling it the 'murder of a trial'. But anybody who has 
read the short judgment will not fail to be impressed by the 
documents that have been collected, and the facts that have been 
marshalled to prove the allegations.
Benazir Bhutto's lawyers have concentrated on trying to establish 
the inadmissibility of the documents gathered by Saifur Rehman and 
his team at the Ehtesab (or Accountability) Bureau. According to 
them, the papers were all forgeries prepared by the government to 
pin this corruption charge on the leader of the opposition. I think 
this defence is based on an excessive and misplaced belief in this 
administration's creativity and ingenuity. For documents to be 
faked well enough to fool a Swiss judge and his team of 
investigators, we must assume a degree of skill and imagination 
which is in serious short supply in Nawaz Sharif's camp.
The fact that these documents have been removed from the office of 
Jens Schlegelmilch, an old-time Bhutto friend, confidant as well as 
agent, gives them a stamp of authenticity. The certified copies 
have been rechecked and compared with the originals in Switzerland 
in the presence of the judge dealing with the case. To quibble now 
over the admissibility of the documents is to engage in sophistry 
that borders on desperation. Indeed, the government's case has been 
immeasurably strengthened in the court of public opinion - the most 
relevant bench where a politician is concerned - by the fact that 
the Swiss judicial authorities have investigated the allegations 
and satisfied themselves that prima facie, there was a strong legal 
case against Ms Bhutto and Mr Zardari.
An even more compelling - if indirect - piece of evidence lies in 
the fact that the Swiss government sealed a number of bank accounts 
said to contain funds illegally garnered by the ex-First Couple. In 
addition, a necklace worth 117 thousand pounds has been impounded. 
Benazir Bhutto claims that it does not belong to her, and neither 
are the bank accounts in question hers or her husband's. But then 
whose are they?
After all, the money and the necklace must belong to someone. If 
they are somebody else's property, why hasn't the rightful owner 
protested to the Swiss government and demanded the release of his 
or her property? This is a classical case of the dog who did not 
bark: the silence of the owner - if indeed he or she exists - 
proves that in fact, the bank accounts and the famous necklace are 
indeed the wrongful property of BB and AZ.
The most ardent jiyala will admit privately that Asif Zardari is as 
crooked as they come, but will deny Benazir Bhutto's involvement in 
his many scams. However, it is unlikely that a wife - especially 
when she ws prime minister of Pakistan - knew nothing of the source 
of her husband's income. I know people who have had dealings with 
the ex-First Couple, and they speak of doing business with a very 
clued-in team. Whatever the quantum of guilt or the amount skimmed 
off, the vast majority of the public believes there was corruption 
at the very highest level of government during BB's two stints in 
There are many who say that accountability should be even-handed, 
and those in government should also pay for their crimes. While in 
theory this is a perfectly valid viewpoint, it'll be a cold day in 
hell before a sitting prime minister of Pakistan will undergo due 
process of law for corruption. This is not to suggest that those 
ruling the roost today are blameless; the recent decree by a London 
court directing the ruling family to pay a Middle East bank $32 
million to clear a loan indicates the extent to which the Sharifs 
are indebted to various financial institutions.
Their recent ploy of offering some broken down industrial units to 
local banks in settlement of sundry loans is a clear signal of 
their willingness to use their political muscle to break all 
banking rules. And their reluctance to pay income tax severely 
erodes their moral authority when they exhort the rest of us to 
foot the bill for their excesses. There was the infamous instance 
last year when duties were lowered on big cars briefly as two 
shiploads of luxury vehicles docked. Once they were cleared, duties 
were raised again while somebody made a packet.
Then there is the case of the new airport at Lahore: against the 
strong advice of the finance ministry, the project is proceeding 
full speed ahead. No prizes for guessing who is benefiting. The 
export of sugar to India has raised many eyebrows: sugar is being 
exported at rates lower than the market price in Pakistan, with the 
subsidy being paid by the tax-payer (i.e., you and me). As many 
leading members of this government are manufacturing sugar, the 
beneficiaries of this neat little scam are well-known figures.
In short, the charge of corruption made by this lot against their 
predecessors is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. The 
head of the Ehtesab Bureau is reputed to be one of the biggest bank 
defaulters around, and a nationalized bank has a hefty claim 
against him in the courts. Good luck to the bank is all one can 
say, as those in power usually remain excepted from judicial 
answerability. But the process has to start somewhere. So if BB 
gets the chop, so be it. Perhaps one day those in power today will 
undergo the same process.
But what does this verdict mean for the PPP and the country? By 
having herself anointed life chairperson of the party, she has 
tried to head off a leadership challenge in case she is removed 
from parliament. By her nature, Benazir Bhutto is suspicious to the 
point of paranoia, and has consciously prevented any colleague from 
establishing a strong political base. But if the PPP is to survive 
its present crisis, it must rise above the Bhutto syndrome and 
elect a leader capable of reuniting and motivating a party still 
reeling from the battering it received from its leadership when it 
was in power.
The country clearly needs a two-party system, and the demise of the 
PPP is in nobody's interest. It still has a support base, but 
desperately needs to shed its blind dependence on the Bhutto 

Former Test stalwarts on Miandad's resignation
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, April 22: Former Test stalwarts have lamented Javed 
Miandad for resigning as Pakistan coach maintaining that the timing 
of his decision was wrong.
The former cricketers observed that if there was something wrong, 
he should have announced his decision well before the World Cup 
instead of five days before the team leaves for England.
"The timing of the decision is terribly wrong," felt Little Master 
Hanif Mohammad, adding: "As a cricketing point of view, it is very 
bad for Pakistan cricket."
Former chairman of selectors Hasib Ahsan said: "If Javed (Miandad) 
was having adjustment problems with the players, he should have 
quit long time ago instead of ditching the team at the eleventh 
Former captain Ramiz Raja said: "It is a big, big blow. I think 
Javed Miandad should come out with a statement to clear the air 
because there is too much confusion."

Hanif Mohammad, who was recently inducted in cricket's Hall of 
Fame, said the nation deserved to know what were the circumstances 
in which Miandad left. He said though a lot of things have been 
appearing in the print media, the exact story was only with Miandad 
and the cricket board.
However, Hanif was of the view that Miandad's absence would have no 
effect on the team. "The team is well set. It is winning and the 
players are giving their best to skipper Wasim Akram."
The former captain opined that if Miandad was having problems with 
the appointment of Richard Pybus and Sarfaraz Nawaz, he should have 
expressed his views in newspapers instead of resigning.

Javed Miandad resigns as Pakistan coach
Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, April 21: Pakistan suffered a body blow to their prospects 
of regaining the World Cup when team coach Javed Miandad resigned 
just six days before the squad leaves for England.
The 42-year-old cricket genius faxed his resignation to Pakistan 
Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Khalid Mahmood at Lahore at about 3:00 
Miandad was appointed last September and his contract was to run 
till the end of the World Cup in June. He cited "pressing family 
commitments". But sources close to the former captain said he took 
the extreme decision after assessing that his position in the team 
had become tenuous after the appointment of Richard Pybus as 
technical coach and Sarfaraz Nawaz as fast bowlers coach.
Miandad, while talking to Dawn, also insisted that the decision 
should not be mixed up with newspaper reports of conflicts between 
him and some senior players.
"I still maintain that I have good relations with the players," he 
"I wish the team good luck in the World Cup and hope and pray that 
the Cup returns to Pakistan," Miandad wrote in his resignation 
Khalid Mahmood, when contacted in Lahore, admitted that he has 
received Miandad's resignation but remained noncommittal if his 
resignation would be accepted.

Wasim credits victory to team work
Muhammad Yaqoob

LAHORE, April 18: Captain Wasim Akram has said that the latest win 
against India and England in the Sharjah Cup, which follows 
victories against India and Sri Lanka in Asian Test Championship 
and the triangular one-day series, has given enough confidence to 
the Pakistan team to perform well during the Seventh World Cup in 
England next month.
Talking to mediamen on arrival of the Pakistan cricket team at the 
Lahore Airport, a smiling Wasim Akram said that the successive wins 
have brought back unity among players and boosted their morale sky-
"No one should get the impression that these victories were a 
pointer towards an easy sailing during the quadrennial cricket 
extravaganza like World Cup !" cautioned Wasim Akram in an emphatic 
The skipper said that the Pakistan team has been registering wins 
mainly against India during recent months but top teams of the 
world will be competing during the World Cup and to emerge on top 
will demand a much greater effort, stamina, team-work and brilliant 
performances from all the members of the team.

Amjad snatches PIA Open squash title from Jansher
A.Majid Khan

KARACHI, April 20: Top seeded world number 15 Amjad Khan emerged 
the new champion of PIA Open squash by snatching the title from 
holder Jansher Khan, the second seeded world no 33, in straight 
games 15-14, 15-12, 15-11 in the final sans thril and excitement 
here on Tuesday afternoon at the PIA Jahangir Khan Squash Complex.
Karachi Commissioner Shafiq-ur-Rehman Paracha was the chief as 
Sindh Governor (Rtd) Moinuddin Haider could not come because of 
some pressing engagement.
Amjad Khan got a trophy and winner's cheque of Rs 22,750 of the 
total prize money of Rs 1,30,000 and Jansher Khan had a cheque of 
Rs 14950 from the chief guest.
Record eight-time world champion Jansher Khan, who has returned to 
competitive game after a seven-month lay-off following groin 
problem after his first unsuccessful attempt at the Hong Kong Open 
in August last year, defended the title against his nephew Amjad 
Khan in great spirit in slow-paced 48-minute match before almost 
packed to capacity championship court gallery.

Tough tasks ahead for hockey team
Sports Reporter

ISLAMABAD, April 17: Pakistan team having broken the barrier by 
lifting the Azlan Shah Cup has to go a long way as big tasks are 
coming up and expectations are running high.
Coach of Pakistan team Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh expressed these 
views while talking to Dawn on Saturday afternoon.
Shahnaz considered victory in Azlan Shah as just the beginning of 
the tougher assignments ahead. "The deep and mid defence is 
required to improve their standings, we have a problem in checking 
and tackling," he said.
The defence is also required to polish its acts of "throwing-
tackling" which resulted in two yellow-cards in the Azlan Shah 
tournament, such violations can be very crucial in big matches, 
Shahnaz said.
He suggested that authorities in Pakistan should strictly monitor 
"throwing-tackling" during the domestic championship.
Analysing the performance of Pakistan team in Azlan Shah Cup, the 
Olympian praised the excellent showing by the forward-line. "They 
clicked throughout the tournament, it was a good luck for Pakistan 
that there were no off-colour day's for anyone which is a rare 
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