------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 29 May 1999 Issue : 05/22 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Islamabad calls for political settlement with India + India attacks civilians in Bhimber + Pakistan seeks early talks to end tension + 300 bodies recovered so far, says Sindh govt + Army formally takes over KESC + Supreme Court allows Benazir's appeal + Govt urged to allocate Rs50bn for farm research, progress + 'Incompetent' NGOs banned, Senate body told + 11 die in Daska bomb blast + Asif remanded in judicial custody + Massive devolution: Leghari for amending Constitution --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + IMF okays $51m tranche for Pakistan + Trade deficit to be improved by 37% + Islamic Bank raises credit limit up to $350m + Banks free to issue traveller cheques + Rs264 billion tax revenue likely by month-end + Forex Association of Pakistan prices being violated + 420 companies acquire ISO-9000 certificates + Fresh measures likely to keep rupee stable + Rs2.175m recovered from sale of tax defaulter's property + KSE index suffers fresh setback of 60 points --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Not guilty? Ardeshir Cowasjee + The triumph of the louts Ayaz Amir + A long, hot summer Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Pakistan's performance truly magnificent + Pakistan cruise to easy win over New Zealand

Islamabad calls for political settlement with India
Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, May 28: Information Minister Mushahid Hussain Syed on 
Friday called for de-escalation in the present tense situation in 
the Kargil Sector in Kashmir and said that Pakistan remained ready 
to resume dialogue with India on Kashmir and all other issues 
dividing them. He was speaking at a media briefing here.
The information minister said that this had been the policy of 
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government to seek political 
settlement of Kashmir and other issues. He however, stressed that 
there had to be some progress in discussion on Kashmir for the 
India-Pakistan dialogue to be meaningful and purposeful.
He said it was recognised by all well-wishers of both countries 
that the Kashmir dispute was at the root of the troubled South 
Asian conflict which needed to be resolved in order to restore 
durable regional peace and security. He also recalled that India 
itself stood committed to resolve the Kashmir dispute according to 
its solemn agreement and pledges in the UN resolutions and various 
other undertakings including the Simla Agreement of 1972.
The minister said that the Indian military high command and the 
authorities in the IHK were making highly confusing and diabolical 
statements about the present state of affairs. They had also sought 
to mislead the Indian public by circulating confusing and 
contradictory statements about the shooting down by Pakistanis of 
the Indian MiG fighters which crossed over the LoC and entered the 
Pakistani airspace on Thursday.
The Indian authorities had also been making vain and devious 
efforts to misrepresent the correct nature of the Kashmiris freedom 
struggle. He debunked the Indian propaganda that Pakistan or other 
Islamic states or organisations outside Kashmir had been 
contributing to the armed struggle inside the IHK.
Mushahid Hussain quoted some leading Indian newspapers who had also 
criticised the Indian administration for escalating tension over 
Kashmir and conceded that it was for India as the bigger neighbour 
to take the first step towards de-escalating the situation.

He said that Pakistan had nothing to hide from the world as far as 
the happenings in the J&K were concerned and said the UN and other 
neutral observers were welcome to come and visit the areas of 
conflict to make their own judgment.

India attacks civilians in Bhimber
Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, May 28: Two civilians were killed and two others injured 
when the Indian Army opened mortar fire at a village in Bhimber 
Sub-sector at the Line of Control (LoC), Azad Jammu and Kashmir, on 
Friday, a spokesman of the Pakistan Army said.
Brigadier Rashid Qureshi, Director General of the Inter-Services 
Public Relations (ISPR), however, described the mortar fire at the 
civilian population by the Indian Army as something "unusual".
Normally, only machine guns are used by the Indian Army while 
firing upon the civilian population. They had not used mortar 
weapons earlier, Brigadier Qureshi told reporters at the regular 
briefing on Friday.
The Indian Air Force (IAF), after losing two aircraft on Thursday, 
restricted its activity to the occupied Kashmir and did not commit 
any violation of the Pakistani airspace on Friday, he said.
"Today, we saw less activity," the spokesman said while confirming 
reports about the loss of an Indian combat helicopter in an 
Pakistan Army did not fire at the Indian positions or at the Indian 
aircraft whose activity remained confined to the occupied 
territory, he said denying allegations that the helicopter was shot 
down by the Pakistan Army.
Commenting on the motives of Indian Army, he said they wanted to 
push back the Pakistan Army, which was occupying some dominating 
positions at 12,000 to 15,000 feet on Drass-Kargil road which was 
the lifeline to its posts in the Siachin area.

Pakistan seeks early talks to end tension

KARACHI, May 28: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he had talked to 
his Indian counterpart Atal Behari Vajpayee on Friday and warned 
him against the dangers of sabre rattling and urged him to resolve 
the Kashmir issue through talks.
Addressing a gathering at the Mazar of Quaid-i-Azam in connection 
with the Youm-i-Takbeer, the prime minister said he urged the 
Indian prime minister to come to the negotiating table and resolve 
the issue through peaceful means.
"Today I talked to Mr Vajpayee and asked him how long the air 
strikes will continue and told him that if more planes will come, 
their fate will not be different from the two which were downed 
yesterday", he added.
Mian Nawaz Sharif said that he told Mr Vajpayee that as nuclear 
weapon states the two countries should exercise restraint and 
should avoid sabre rattling and immediately settle the core issue.

He said that Pakistan was ready to take the first step in this 
regard. But he did not elaborate it.
Sharif said it was a matter of pride and satisfaction for Pakistan 
for attaining the status of nuclear state and "no one could now 
cast an evil eye on Pakistan because the enemy knows that Pakistan 
is adequately equipped and is capable of meeting any threat." 
Referring to current security environment in the region owing to 
developments in Kashmir, Mian Nawaz Sharif said that he had 
telephonic conversation with Mr Vajpayee and had tried to impress 
upon him that the events in Kashmir were contrary to letter and 
spirit of the Lahore Declaration.
"Three days earlier I had told Mr Vajpayee that as a signatory to 
Lahore Declaration we should work for making the region bastion of 
peace by peacefully resolving the Kashmir issue," he said 
regretting that the very next day the Indian planes attacked parts 
of Kashmir.
He emphasised that air strikes were not the solution of Kashmir 
issue and this would not deter Pakistan from its course. "If anyone 
has aggressive designs against Pakistan, then we also have the 
right to defend ourself," he said adding that Pakistan was capable 
of defending itself.
Mian Nawaz Sharif also referred to the defunct military courts and 
said he had opted for them not for any personal reason. These were 
aimed at restoring normality and peace in Karachi.
The prime minister said that unless the present corrupt and 
inefficient system was not changed common man would not get justice 
and respect.
"This out-dated system must go and I am prepared to lead in the 
crusade against it with the support of the people," said the prime 
minister while declaring that he would soon embark on implementing 
this agenda.
Mian Nawaz Sharif also expressed his concern on the plight of 
cyclone-hit people of lower Sindh and announced Rs 500 million 
additional assistance to compensate those who had lost their kith 
and kin, their homes and other belongings, including standing 
The prime minister, who had earlier an aerial view of the cyclone-
hit areas of Thatta and Badin directed his partymen and other well-
to- do people to share the agony of the cyclone hit people. "Go to 
the affected areas, give them food, help them in re-building their 
homes and provide them medicine," said Mian Nawaz Sharif.
He directed the officials to set up their camps in the affected 
areas to provide assistance to the people.
Mian Nawaz Sharif, who was joined on the stage by the Mutahidda 
Qaumi Movement's former central leader Ishtiaq Azhar, declared that 
if the people extend their support to him, he would recover all 
illegal weapons from Karachi and dump them in the Arabian Sea.
Prime Minister Sharif, who had reached the venue almost three hours 
late, promised to banish terrorism from Karachi and rest of the 
country forever together with the unemployment.
He said that his government would provide every assistance to the 
provincial governments to set up more schools, colleges, hospitals, 
roads, water and electricity facilities for the uplift of the 
In the context of the measures his government had taken to improve 
the situation in Karachi, Mian Nawaz Sharif referred to the handing 
over of KESC to the army and promised that in a couple of months 
the shortage of water problem in the city would also be resolved to 
a great extent.
He also promised all possible assistance for the overall 
development of the interior of Sindh. He also announced that Yellow 
cab scheme would be revived soon to enable the people to earn their 
living with dignity.

300 bodies recovered so far, says Sindh govt
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 25: The Sindh government on Tuesday said that 300 
deaths have so far been confirmed as a result of the cyclone that 
hit the coastal areas on Tuesday-Wednesday last, and uprooting of 
over 700,000 people from the devastated areas.
The exact figures of those who had become victim to this natural 
calamity were not available with the authorities at this stage. 
However, it is expected that the death toll will not touch four 
"The deaths are in hundreds," a report communicated by the Sindh 
government to the Cabinet Division said.
The Cabinet sources stated that the extent of loss to life and 
property would only be assessed once the rescue and relief 
operation in all the affected areas was completed.
"At present, it is difficult to access many areas," a source 
quoting the Sindh government said.
The most affected districts by the cyclone are Thatta and Badin. 
Almost, 40 per cent of the population in these two districts was 
hit by the cyclone which left in its wake 400,000 victims in Badin 
and 300,000 in Thatta.
The preliminary report was prepared on the basis of information 
provided by the army and the navy personnel who were carrying out 
the bulk of rescue and relief operations.
The federal government was told that the cyclone and subsequent 
rains had played havoc with the lives and property of the people.
The entire crop in the cyclone-hit areas has also been destroyed 
because of the standing water and strong winds. The poor drainage 
system has further increased the losses.
The relief operation will continue till the time the cyclone 
victims are rehabilitated, a source said, indicating that the 
federal government was currently working on an aid package for the 
reconstruction and rehabilitation of the cyclone-hit areas and the 
It has been decided that the relief cell of the Cabinet Division 
will start formulating updates on the casualties, losses, relief 
work and relevant progress from May 26.

Army formally takes over KESC

KARACHI, May 27: Army formally took over management of the Karachi 
Electric Supply Corporation on Thursday  and promised that there 
shall be no loadshedding in Karachi from June 15. 
Announcing this at a news conference Chairman WAPDA, Lt. Gen 
Zulfiqar Ali Khan banned trade union activities for two years in 
the organisation.
He also announced that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had appointed 
him chairman of the reconstituted board of directors of the KESC 
and he had appointed Brig Abu Rashid as the new chief executive of 
the utility.
About 3000 men in khaki would be initially inducted who would be 
assigned task in the three priority areas and after six months bulk 
of them would go back leaving behind only 10 or 12 per cent of 
their colleagues.
He made it clear that there would be no influx of personnel from 
WAPDA and also made it clear there would be no retrenchment from 
the KESC.
He said the total expenditure on transportation, food, residence, 
and other expenses will be born by the army and the KESC will have 
to bear the amount of Rs 2.2 million per month under the head of 
allowances to the armymen.
There would be no increase in tariff because he felt that it would 
add to the burden of the common man and increase the cost of 
production. He said that first and foremost priority would be to 
end the loadshedding in the city by enhancing the KESC's own 
generation and bridging the gap from back up support from WAPDA.
In this context, he said arrangements had been worked out with the 
PSO to resume full supply of furnace oil, lack of which had been 
impeding full generation and was one of the causes of loadshedding.
The PSO had been assured that current bill would be paid in full 
and Rs 1.2 billion arrears would be paid after two months following 
deliberations with that organisation.
The new KESC chairman said that gas supply had also been reduced 
owing to cyclone, which would soon improve.
The second priority of the army-led KESC management would be to 
improve distribution for which Rs 140 million would be spent to 
provide power transformers and other related materials to the KESC 
on urgent basis.
Gen Zulfiqar said that since he was also chairman of WAPDA he had 
directed the Lahore-based utility to meet the KESC requirement on 
priority basis.
He said the immediate objective was to improve customer services in 
every part of the city and the bulk of the armymen would be 
involved in this sphere. For this purpose 56 general purpose 
complaint centres would be opened where the customer would be able 
to lodge complaints of electrical fault or get the billing problem 
resolved under one window operation.
The new KESC chairman noted that the KESC's installed capacity of 
1790mw was not being fully utilised owing to paucity of funds for 
oil to generate electricity. As such there was a shortfall of 350 
to 400mw in meeting the demand of 1730mw. This gap was presently 
being bridged through backup supply from WAPDA.
He said that even if the KESC's generation capacity was augmented, 
its distribution system was not in a position to sustain the load.

He said that after brain storming sessions he had gathered that 
consumer was not happy with the customer service owing to non-
responsive attitude of the concerned staff. He said that the 
present system of tackling complaints about electricity faults and 
billing was cumbersome and time consuming, and thus needed 
About the present financial health of the KESC he said that it was 
between 45 to 55 per cent and the utility was in a deficit of Rs 13 
billion. The amount outstanding against the federal and provincial 
government institutions was Rs 4 billion, whereas industry owed 
about Rs 3.8 billion and domestic consumer Rs 10 billion. 
Receivables stood at Rs 18 billion.
The WAPDA chairman said that he had held talks with Hubco's high 
level delegation headed by its Chief Executive Ali Reza last Monday 
but admitted that no headway was made.
He said it was a longstanding issue concerning high tariff rates 
and hoped that Hubco would cooperate with WAPDA in the same spirit 
with which WAPDA was pursuing to resolve the issue.

Supreme Court allows Benazir's appeal
Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, May 27: A judge of the Supreme Court on Thursday set 
aside the order passed by an official of the apex court, returning 
the appeal of Ms Benazir Bhutto against her conviction by the 
Ehtesab Bench, and directed that her appeal should be entertained.
"I allow the appeal, set aside the impugned order of the Deputy 
Registrar (judicial) and direct that the appeal filed by the 
appellant (Ms Benazir Bhutto) against her conviction and sentence 
in Ehtesab Reference 30 of 1988 be processed in accordance with 
Justice Irshad Hasan Khan who heard the appeal of Ms Bhutto against 
the order of the Deputy Registrar (judicial) accepted the argument 
of the petitioner's counsels that if she could be convicted in her 
absence why could she not be permitted to file an appeal against 
her conviction in her absence.
"If the appellant could be tried and valid judgment could be passed 
in her absence, there could be no bar in entertaining her appeal in 
her absence," Justice Irshad observed. Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, and 
Farooq H. Naek appeared on behalf of Ms Bhutto.
The appeal of Ms Bhutto was returned by the office on May 13 on the 
ground that she should first surrender in obedience to the order of 
the Ehtesab Bench.
Deputy Attorney General Tanvir Bashir Ansari who represented the 
State contended that Ms Bhutto was a "fugitive from justice", and 
entertainment of her appeal without her surrender in obedience to 
the impugned judgment of the Ehtesab Bench, would tantamount to 
abuse the process of the court.
The DAG contended that the appellant had committed a crime and was 
presently residing within the territory of another state, England 
where extradition treaty was not in force. "It is not a fit case 
for allowing the appeal", the DAG submitted.

After hearing the argument of Ms Bhutto's counsel, Justice Khan 
ruled that Rule 8 of the Order XXIII of the Supreme Court Rules was 
applicable to petitions filed wherein leave to appeal was sought 
against any order of imprisonment or fine.
Justice Khan observed that the court would not act in aid of a 
person who was fugitive from justice and the petition filed by such 
a person against his imprison seeking leave to appeal was not 
entertainable unless and until the condition of surrendering was 
He, however, observed that the case of the appellant Ms Bhutto 
stood on a different footing, inasmuch as she was out of the 
country with leave of the Court. "She was not required to furnish 
any bail bond. There was no restraint on her from the Ehtesab Bench 
to travel abroad during the pendency of the trial. She was 
convicted and sentenced in absentia," Justice Khan noted.
It was observed that the Supreme Court was empowered under Article 
187(1) of the Constitution to issue directions, orders or decrees 
as might be necessary for doing complete justice in any case or 
matter pending before it including an order for the purpose of 
securing attendance of any person or discovery or production of any 
Justice Khan stated that it was not the case of the State that the 
appellant fled from the jurisdiction of the Court after her 
conviction and was residing within the territory of another state 
i.e. England. "On the other hand, as stated above, her personal 
attendance had been dispensed with in Ehtesab Reference No 28 of 
1997, after her conviction when she was residing within the 
territory of another State."
Justice Khan ruled: "Thus visualized, entertainment of her appeal 
in her absence will not tantamount to abuse of process of law, in 
the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case."
Justice Khan said that the counsel had rightly relied on the SHC 
judgment in the case of Altaf Hussain, chief of MQM (1998 PCrLJ 
1486) and quoted the relevant para which reads as:
"The appeal is a fundamental right and is a continuation of 
proceedings. When a person can be tried in absentia, there is no 
reason as to why his appeal could not be heard as such."

Govt urged to allocate Rs50bn for farm research, progress

FAISALABAD, May 26: Aiwan-e-Zaraat Faisalabad has urged the federal 
government to allocate Rs 50 billion for the research and progress 
of agriculture sector in its budget for the year 1999-2000.
This was stated by president Aiwan-e-Zaraat Faisalabad, Ch Sadique 
Naseem, while talking to newsmen here on Tuesday. He stressed that 
the federal government should give top priority to the agriculture 
sector otherwise import of wheat and edible oils would destabilize 
the national economy.
He further suggested that the government should introduce new 
varieties of wheat, sugarcane, rice, cotton and vegetables seeds. 

It should make sure that the growers got fair prices for their 
produce, he demanded. 
The government should also make it obligatory for all the sugar 
mills to provide new approved needs, fertilizers and insecticides 
to the farmers and it should recover the loans after harvesting of 
their sugarcane crop and the loan should be recovered without any 
mark-up, he added.
He further proposed that the government should help the owners of 
orchards and growers of vegetables in exporting their produce. The 
government should in collaboration with US government and European 
countries set up industrial units for production of juices and dry 
vegetables so that these could be exported, Naseem suggested. The 
government should award cash prizes to the growers for establishing 
model agriculture farms and producing luxuriant crops.
He deplored that the companies in Pakistan were selling a bottle of 
liquid insecticide for Rs 688 while the same was available in India 
for Rs 235.
He regretted that the country had been spending Rs 3 billion 
annually on the import of insecticides while four plants of 
insecticides, one each in all the four provinces of the country, 
could be installed only at a cost of Rs 500 million.

'Incompetent' NGOs banned, Senate body told

ISLAMABAD; May 26: The Senate's Standing Committee on Social 
Welfare was informed on Tuesday by the government that registration 
of only those NGOs had been cancelled which were inoperative and 
virtually non-existent.
The committee met here on Tuesday under Senator Hafiz Fazal 
Mohammad to review the situation after the cancellation of 1941 
NGOs' registration. The government informed it that out of 5967 
such NGOs, which were found non-existent and inoperative, only 1941 
were dissolved, whereas a total of 5967 NGOs were registered in 
The committee observed that the Punjab government took the action 
to bring the working of the NGOs within the ambit of the law and to 
revolutionize the socio-economic sector, which would encourage this 
It was told that a number of organizations, institutions and trusts 
were also registered under the "Trust Act, 1882", the "Charitable 
Endowment Act, 1890", and the "Companies Ordinance, 1984".
A number of NGOs were operating in various parts of the country but 
neither did they get registered under the law, nor they provided 
any information regarding the source of their funding, nor did they 
bother to get their accounts audited by any chartered accounting 
firm, the committee was told.
A complete scrutiny of the working of NGOs was recently carried out 
in the Punjab and out of the total registered agency, only 1941 
were dissolved.

11 die in Daska bomb blast

SIALKOT, May 24: At least 11 people were killed and over 24 injured 
in a bomb blast in Daska on Monday morning. Ten of the injured were 
said to be in a critical condition.
The bomb went off at 8.45am on College Road near Jamia Masjid Noor, 
a thickly populated area which is the gathering point for labourers 
looking for work. Most of those killed or injured were labourers 
present there.
The bomb was reported to have been placed at the "labourers' adda" 
in a shopping bag tied to a bicycle which had been brought by 
unidentified people and abandoned there. Bomb disposal experts said 
it was apparently a time bomb and weighed about 10 kg.

This was the first incident of its kind in Daska. It caused panic 
and anger. All shops in the town were immediately closed and people 
demanded action against those responsible for the blast.
Six people injured in the bomb blast in Daska on Monday were 
shifted to the Mayo Hospital for treatment in a serious conditions. 
They were identified as Asgher Husain, 25, Muhammad Shahid, 15, 
Roshan Qureshi, 40, Mohammad Akhtar, 18, Mohammad Habibullah, 45, 
and Mohammad Jamil, 35.

Asif remanded in judicial custody

KARACHI, May 22: The administrative judge, Anti-Terrorism Court, 
here on Saturday remanded PPP Senator Asif Ali Zardari in judicial 
custody till May 30 on the request of the DSP CIA who is 
investigating the murder of Justice Nizam Ahmed and his son.
Cancelling the police remand which expired on Saturday, the judge 
issued jail warrants and directed the investigating officer, Amanat 
Javed, to produce the challan on May 24.
Earlier, a division bench of the Sindh High Court had given two 
days to the provincial government to call for the record from the 
two ATC judges who had granted police remand to Mr Zardari.
Comprising Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar and Justice Ghulam Nabi 
Soomro, the bench issued this order on a revision application which 
had prayed the HC to declare as illegal, ab initio and without 
lawful authority the order of remand passed by the ATC No VII on 
May 10.
The Advocate General of Sindh, Mohammad Iqbal Raad, submitted that 
the remand order passed 12 days back was expiring on Saturday and 
the government had filed an application to the administrative 
judge, Rahmat Hussain Jafri, for a four-day extension in it.
Mr Raad said the accused had been taken into police custody on May 
16 but was shifted to Aga Khan Hospital three days later on the 
orders of a division bench of the High Court.
As a result, he said, the IO was able to carry out interrogation 
only for three days and therefore four more days were sought to 
complete the investigation.

Massive devolution: Leghari for amending Constitution
Zubeida Mustafa and Sabihuddin Ghausi

KARACHI, May 27: Mr Farooq Leghari declared in an interview with 
Dawn that his party stood for major constitutional reforms 
embracing, among other things, a massive devolution of power upon 
the lower tiers of authority and a substantial increase in the 
number of seats in both houses of parliament.
Mr Leghari spoke elaborately on the need to decentralize the 
political system. This could be done within the framework of the 
existing constitution, he said. But he preferred that the 
devolution of power take place through a constitutional 
arrangement, which he considered essential to ensure that no future 
government in Pakistan could upset it.
He said that "decentralization and the devolution of power should 
be instutionalized permanently." The former President of Pakistan 
and the Chief of the Millat Party was talking to a team of senior 
Dawn staffers at the newspaper's office on Wednesday, the interview 
covering a wide range of subjects.
Linking his proposed reforms in the political and constitutional 
system with his concept of empowerment of the people, the former 
president said that in Pakistan people were still denied legitimate 
power at all levels even 50 years after the country had freed 
itself from colonial rule. They lacked authority over their lives, 
he pointed out.
He said that the real empowerment of the people was not related to 
the distribution of power in the legal framework done. "It is more 
important that an environment be created for it and this can be 
done by linking empowerment with decentralization."
Me Leghari spoke of two elements in his scheme of things to give 
power to the people. First, they should be given easy access to 
information and knowledge. For this he considered the spread of 
education and a freedom of information law essential to enable the 
people to redress their grievances by reaching out to the courts 
and the press. Information and knowledge also empowered the 
legislators and enabled them to play a more meaningful role, he 
Secondly, he felt that knowledge and information facilitated 
popular participation in the life of the community. He found the 
people alienated from the rulers because they had no access to the 
government. He felt it was this distancing of the people from the 
government which was the cause of the failure of many projects and 
Speaking about his vision for Pakistan, Mr Leghari said that his 
party wanted to see Pakistan develop in the modern world as a 
country that is liberal, progressive and Islamic. He believed that 
Islam is a progressive religion which is mindful of human rights 
and sensitive to the demands of the times.

IMF okays $51m tranche for Pakistan
Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON, May 24: The IMF Executive Board on Monday approved a 
$51 million tranche for immediate release to Pakistan, an IMF 
official said after the board meeting in the afternoon.
"The board completed the third review of the EFF/ESAF for Pakistan 
and approved the next tranche of $ 51 million," the official said.
The money will be available to Pakistan immediately, the official 
said, adding that details of the board meeting would be released by 
the IMF soon.

Trade deficit to be improved by 37pc
M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, May 28: The government is projecting a 37 per cent 
improvement in trade deficit for 1999-2000 at 196 million dollars 
against a deficit of 518 million dollars estimated for the current 
financial year,
This improvement in the trade deficit is proposed to be achieved by 
keeping the import growth rate depressed at about 2 per cent at 8.5 
billion dollars against current year's import bill of 8.4 billion 
dollars while exports are projected to grow by about 7 per cent 
earning about 8.6 billion dollars against an estimated income of 8 
billion dollars in the outgoing year.
The import projections are based on import substitution in 
agriculture sector. And the increase in exports earnings is 
predicated on increased production of cotton and rice as well as 
revival of the manufacturing sector, improvement in quality and 
competitiveness of value-added products and adherence to the 
delivery schedule.
However, despite a significant improvement projected in the trade 
deficit, the current account balance for the next year is expected 
to remain around the current year's level of 1.7 billion dollars as 
the invisible deficit in 1999-2000 is projected to expand by 20.37 
per cent at 1.54 billion dollars against an estimated imbalance of 
1.28 billion dollars in the current year.
Prospects for the invisibles will continue to be governed mainly by 
the behaviour of workers remittances. For 1999-2000, remittances 
have been projected at 1.3 billion dollars against 1.1 billion 
dollars this year.
Amortization (principal and interest payment) for next year has 
been estimated at 1.77 billion dollars against an estimated 2 
billion dollars under this head for the current year.
The reduction in the amount of amortization is perhaps the result 
in part of the debt relief allowed by the Paris Club.
The overall deficit is projected to expand to about 3.50 billion 
dollars (current account deficit plus amortization) next year 
against 3.84 billion dollars during the current year.
Long-term capital inflows (gross) of 2.42 billion dollars and 60 
million dollars of private long-term capital (net) plus 37 million 
dollars from other official transfers (net) are expected to reduce 
the overall deficit to around 983 million dollars requiring 
official financing.
But this deficit is projected to turn into positive balance of 343 
million dollars as a result of debt relief of 1.3 billion dollars 
as well as mobilization of 160 million dollars from FEBCs, DBCs, 
FCBCs and Eurobonds.
Taking into consideration Pakistan's net position with the IMF and 
other transactions of the banking system, a build-up of 646 million 
dollars in reserves is expected during 1999-2000. And the overall 
foreign exchange reserves (FERs) during the next 12 months are 
projected to expand, as a result, to 2.63 billion dollars against 
1.98 billion dollars estimated for the current year ending June 30, 

Islamic Bank raises credit limit up to $350m

LAHORE, May 24: The Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has 
increased the credit limit for Pakistan to $ 350 million.
'This will include a US $ 141 million credit for the import of 
petroleum products,' Federal Fiancee Minister, Muhammad Ishaq Dar 
told reporters Monday.
Dar who returned home Monday after a week long visit to Saudi 
Arabia and oil-rich Emirate of Qatar, attended the Golden Jubilee 
celebrations of the Islamic Development Bank as its chairman of 
board of directors and Pak-Qatar Joint Ministerial Commission 
The minister said that IDB would increase the total trade facility 
for 53 member countries of the Organization of Islamic Conference 
(OIC) during the year 1999-2000 from $ 766 million to $ 1650 
He said the IDB would compile a report on the total imports of the 
OIC countries from the non-Muslim countries so that a strategy 
could be formulated to increase trade between the Muslim countries.
Dar said an experts cell would be set up at IDB to provide guidance 
regarding the World Treaty Organization (WTO).
He said that Pakistan and Qatar have agreed to promote relations in 
the field of trade and economics.-APP

Banks free to issue traveller cheques
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, May 27: The State Bank has stopped banks from issuing 
traveller cheques (TCs) and bank drafts etc to Pakistanis for 
outward remittance of foreign exchange. But banks are still free to 
issue TCs to Pakistanis undertaking private or business visits 
Senior bankers reached by Dawn said the SBP restriction on the 
issuance of TCs was related only to back-to-back remittance. In 
plain words Pakistanis can no longer go to a bank and surrender X 
amount of foreign exchange to be repatriated abroad through TCs or 
other modes of payment. But they are still entitled to foreign 
exchange travel quotas set by the State Bank for visits abroad.
They said under the rules every single person can carry with him 
foreign exchange at the rate of $50 per day per visit with the 
condition that maximum should not cross $2100 in a calender year. 
Similarly there is a quota of $200 per day per person for 
businessmen with a maximum limit of $6000 in a calender year. SBP 
officials could not be reached for immediate confirmation of the 
Bankers close to SBP said the quota of $50 per day per person for 
private visitors did not apply to those travelling to 
India/Bangladesh and Afghanistan for which there was separate 
quotas - lesser than the general quota. They failed to quantify the 
quotas for these countries. These bankers said that the quota of 
$200 per day per person for businessmen subject to a maximum of 
$6000 in a calender year also did not cover India and Afghanistan. 
They said businessmen visiting these countries were entitled to a 
foreign exchange quota of $40 per day per person with a maximum 
limit of $1200 per calender year.
The bankers said in case the TCs were issued in the past to people 
travelling abroad and they had failed to use the entire amount of 
the TCs they should surrender the leftover amount to their banks 
and get rupees. They said banks should buy the leftover foreign 
exchange at the buying inter-bank rate prevailing on the date of 
the transactions. They said those who spent less than the amount of 
foreign exchange they were supposed to spend under the foreign 
exchange quota they could use the leftover amount on their TCs 
during next visits abroad.
Elaborating they said if a person had purchased say $500 from a 
bank under private visit quota of $50 per day per person as he was 
supposed to stay 10 days abroad he could use again the left over 
amount if he remained abroad for all 10 days but spent only say 
$300. On the other hand if he returned within 5 days with a left 
over amount of $250 he should surrender this amount to the bank.
Bankers said Pakistanis were allowed to get foreign exchange quota 
irrespective of whether they maintain a foreign currency account 
with a bank or not.
They said banks dealing in foreign exchange should not confuse 
issuance of foreign exchange quota with the fact that fresh foreign 
currency accounts opened after June 21 1998 were exempted from the 
ban on issuance of TCs and bank drafts etc to Pakistanis for 
outward remittance against surrender of equal amount of foreign 
exchange in Pakistan.
Rs264 billion tax revenue likely by month-end
Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, May 27: The Central Board of Revenue expects to collect 
Rs 264 billion tax revenue by end of May 1999.
Officials told Dawn here on Thursday that a sum of Rs 27 billion 
has already been deposited for May, of which four days remain and 
in which CBR hopes to collect another Rs 5 billion.   As per 
records, the CBR will only be equalling the collection made in 
July-May period of the 1997-98 financial year, if they succeed in 
raising Rs 32 billion in May 1999. The 1997-98 tax collection 
amounted Rs 291 billion.
Since the last revision of the federal revenues in April brought 
down the target from the original (budgeted) Rs 354 billion to Rs 
305 billion, the CBR will now have to collect Rs 41 billion more in 
June 1999.
The CBR officials say that should not be a tall order. However, the 
total now being estimated for 12 months of 1998-99 is Rs 300 
billion, as tax experts say that not more than Rs 36 billion tax 
deposits should be expected in June 1999.
To meet the target of Rs 305 billion for 1998-99, the CBR was 
supposed to collect revenues at Rs 25.4 billion per month, whereas, 
it collected at the rate of Rs 24 billion per month, recording a 
shortfall of Rs 15.4 billion for 11 months.
The total shortfall of Rs 8.5 billion was recorded for 1997-98, as 
against the target of Rs 297 billion.
A total of Rs 232 billion had been collected in July-1998-April 

Forex Association of Pakistan prices being violated

KARACHI, May 27: Though the Forex Association of Pakistan has 
started pre-fixing of exchange rates to be observed in the open 
market yet people say these rates are of very little practical use.
"The exchange rate you published today was Rs 53.30 per dollar but 
I was denied dollars at this rate," said Muhammad Salim-a banker by 
profession who wanted to buy only $500 from the open market. He 
said he visited offices of two money brokers at I. I. Chundrigar 
Road who refused to sell dollars at pre-fixed rate under the 
pretext of non-availability of the greenback. "I was told I can get 
the greenbacks if I pay extra."
Similar complaints were received from other people as well who went 
to buy dollars from open market on Thursday.
"I can understand that some people might have failed to get dollars 
because a panic-buying triggered by the developments on the line of 
control had dried up the stocks of the dollars," said chairman of 
Forex Association of Pakistan Malik Bostan.
But he said all money changers had strict instructions not to deny 
sale of dollars to genuine buyers at the pre-fixed prices.
Meanwhile, a press release issued by the Association said the money 
changers who were operating without State Bank licence had one-
month time to get themselves licensed.
The release said June 24 was the deadline for this purpose adding 
that those who applied for the licence would be honour-bound to 
abide by all the rules and regulations even during the period their 
applications remained under process.

420 companies acquire ISO-9000 certificates
Aamir Shafaat Khan

KARACHI, May 26: As many as 420 companies have acquired ISO-9000 
certificate of which 110 are multinationals while the rest are 
The number of certification units was 330 last month in which 98 
were MNCs, said an official of the Total Quality Management Experts 
Cell (TQMEC) of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and 
Industry (FPCCI).
He said that the ministry of commerce and ministry of science and 
technology, which is supposed to provide Rs200,000 to the aspiring 
company, have now finally started partial disbursement of the 
amount and so far some 50 companies have availed from the benefit.
A comparison by city, compiled by TQMEC, reveals that out of 420 
units - Karachi topped with 37 per cent share (152 units) followed 
by Sialkot 21 per cent (89 units), Lahore 18 per cent (76 units), 
Faisalabad five per cent (21 units), Islamabad 13 per cent (13 
units) and Shaikhupura one per cent (six units). The share of 
others is 15 per cent with 63 units.
    On certification by model/type - as many as 89 per cent units have 
acquired ISO-9002 certificate (373 units) while 10 per cent (44 
units) and one per cent (three units) have got ISO-9001 and ISO-
14000 certificates.
Textile sector topped in certification by sector category with 34 
per cent share (141 units) followed by surgical and engineering 
sectors with 16 per cent and 69 units each respectively. The share 
of other sectors are: chemical (31 units), Food processing (20 
units), service (25 units), pharma (11 units), automotive (10 
units), sport (eight units) and other sectors (36 units).
Pakistan had adopted the quality certification in 1990 but it was 
in 1994 when a multinational electrical giant became the first 
company to acquire the certificate.
Initially, the TQMEC official said that the pace of getting quality 
certification had been comparatively slow but now many companies 
are coming up fast as it facilitates sale of local products to 
foreign countries.
Around 11 foreign companies are now engaged in Pakistan for the 
certification of various ISO standards. There is no local 
accredition company which can provide these certificates.
Sources said the foreign buyers prefer certification from well 
established western agencies.

Fresh measures likely to keep rupee stable
By Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, May 25: The State Bank is likely to announce a couple of 
measures aimed at keeping the rupee stable against the dollar in 
the inter-bank market. Senior bankers say the announcement is 
expected before the close of this month.
"Right now treasurers of leading local and foreign banks and State 
Bank officials are working on couple of proposals aimed at keeping 
the rupee stable," a senior banker told Dawn on Tuesday night. He 
said these proposals might be finalized and translated into State 
Bank circulars on Wednesday or any time during this month.
SBP Governor Dr Muhammad Yaqub held an exhaustive session with 
heads and treasurers of all banks earlier in the day and asked them 
to check speculations in inter-bank market and ensure that the 
rupee remains stable all the time.
Soon after treasurers of selected banks were huddled with SBP 
officials responsible for monitoring exchange rates and the two 
sides engrossed themselves in deliberations.
Sources privy to the SBP meetings said there was a consensus among 
the bankers that panic-driven forward buying of foreign exchange by 
the importers should be contained. They said it was suggested by 
SBP officials that rules be framed disallowing the importers to get 
the benefit of the exchange rate fluctuation if their LCs proved 
fake or did not materialise.
The sources said framing of such rules were in progress and a 
decision might be announced any time. They said there was a 
possibility that the banks might be asked informally to deny 
forward cover of shorter tenors to importers to keep the inter -
bank foreign exchange liquidity from drying up.
Senior bankers said SBP chief had convened another meeting of heads 
of banks and their treasurers on Wednesday to work out more details 
of what they call a post-unification strategy to keep the rupee 
"Everything said and done. The fact is you have let the genie out 
of the bottle by floating the rupee," said treasurer of a state-run 
bank. "Now the rupee can no longer be kept in the oxygen tent and 
the more you try to do so the worse it would be."
This view is widely shared in the banking community and senior 
bankers say if the rising demand for the dollar is contained 
through artificial means one day the bubble would burst and the 
rupee would sink to unknown lows. They say unless the government 
narrows the huge trade deficit of $1.2 billion no magic wand can do 
any miracles in the inter-bank market to save the rupee from 
sliding against the greenback in future.
The dollar opened with bids and offers at Rs51.90-52.00 on Tuesday 
morning but as the day progressed it rose to Rs52.30 and Rs52.40 
respectively. Bankers said there was not much of buying from 

Rs2.175m recovered from sale of tax defaulter's property

KARACHI, May 25: The tax authorities have auctioned the property of 
a tax defaulter and deposited the sale proceeds amounting to 
Rs2.175 million in government coffer.
Official sources said here on Tuesday that for the recovery of huge 
income tax arrears from a director of an industrial group the 
authorities have to auction his banglow situated in Gulshan-e-
Iqbal, Karachi.
Prior to this sources said all legal requirements were met 
including issuance of reminders, through freezing of bank accounts 
and attachment of property.
The sale proceeds of property amounting to Rs2.175 million sources 
said have been deposited in the treasury against his personal tax 
liability and those of his private limited company of his 
industrial group, where he was director.

Sources said that a part adjustment of sale proceeds against 
liability of private limited company was also considered in the 
light of grant of permission under Section 77(2) of the Income Tax 
Ordinance by the commissioner of income tax.
In pursuance of directions given by the RCIT, Corporate Region, all 
the tax circles have initiated major drive against tax defaulters, 
official sources added. They said that a systematic series of 
recovery actions as provided in the Tax Recovery Rules, 1982 have 
been initiated, ranging from penalty under Section 91 to freezing 
of bank accounts to auction of assets, and in certain cases arrest 
warrants have been issued.

KSE index suffers fresh setback of 60 points

KARACHI, May 28: Fresh heavy selling in PTCL and Hub-Power again 
featured the trading on the stock market on Friday as bulls were 
out to get out of the rings until some positive news came from 
The KSE 100-share index suffered a fresh setback of 60 points or 
4.5% after breaching the barrier of 1,200 points and was last 
quoted at 1,185.24 as compared to 1,243.72 a day earlier.
'It is heading to stablize around base level of 1,000 points and 
may breach it also if the tension on the Kashmir borders did not 
ease', analyst Faisal Abbas said adding 'but might not breach the 
base level of 1,000 points as buying support re-emerge at this 
But analysts at the KASB said talks between the two countries could 
resume any time to settle the issue and in a week's time there 
could be peace on the Line of Control.
'The war clouds on the Kashmir issue now are there but saner 
elements are expected to prevail possibly by the next week', they 
The interesting feature was that there were buyers at the falling 
prices that seems to have saved the market from a total collapse, 
said a leading broker.
Who are those buying the falling PTCL and Hub-Power and other blue 
chips is now a known fact' he said and added 'they are not taking 
risk but are working on some insider information'.
Both PTCL and Hub-Power are progressively falling to their pre-
price flare-up rates after hitting the peak at Rs 29.00 and 24.00 
and theory were on Friday quoted at Rs 24.00 and 17.15 
An idea of erratic price movements amid alternate bouts of buying 
and selling in PTCL may well be had from the fact it ended at 
Rs24.00 after hitting the lowest and the highest for the day at Rs 
23.50 and 25.70, falling by Rs2.35.
Most of the overvalued shares, the chief beneficiaries of the last 
few weeks run-up again received massive battering under the lead of 
PTCL and Hub-Power and induced sympathetic selling in other blue 
chips also.
Nestle MilkPak, which suffered a fresh setback of Rs 20.00 adding 
to the overnight loss of Rs 50.00 was prominent among the losers, 
followed by National Foods, Highnoon Lab, Shell Pakistan, PSO, Noon 

Sugar, and Adamjee Insurance, which fell by Rs 2.00 to 3.40. Alico, 
Hub-Power, General Tyre, Telecard, Atlas Honda Cars, and Crescent 
Bank also fell by Rs1.50 to Rs1.95.
The gainers were led by EFU Life Insurance, Dewan Salman, Sitara 
Chemical, Cherat Paper and Lever Brothers, which rose by one rupee 
to Rs 5.00.
Trading volume fell to 144m shares from the previous 192m shares, 
reflecting a relative pause in panic liquidation and some 
rethinking on the developing Kashmir situation in the wake of 
continued Indian air strikes on the militants in the Kargil area.

PTCL topped the list of most actives, off Rs 2.35 at Rs 24.00 on 
56m shares followed by Hub-Power, lower Rs1.95 at Rs17.15 on 44m 
shares, ICI Pakistan, easy five paisa at Rs11.35 on 15m shares, 
PSO, off Rs3.05 at Rs103.00 on 7m shares and KESC, up 10 paisa at 
Rs10.20 on reports of takeover of its management by the army and 
hopes of cut in losses on 5m shares.
Back to the top
Not guilty?
Ardeshir Cowasjee

AT 0300 hours on Friday, November 28, 1997, the landing strip of 
the Islamabad airport was lit up. Punjab Chief Minister Mian 
Shahbaz Sharif flew in, having wished God speed to his party 
stalwarts travelling by road from Lahore to the capital city. He 
had come to witness his 'stormers' perform and to arrange a post-
storming celebratory luncheon at Punjab House.
With him, amongst others, was Senator Saifur Rahman. Saif was later 
to deny having had anything to do with the transportation of the 
hordes, explaining that he had 'rushed' to Lahore the evening 
before to visit a judge of the Supreme Court. Having met His 
Lordship at 11 o'clock at night he had hitched a ride back with 
Shahbaz Sharif.
At 0730 hours the same day, Lt-General Nasim Rana, then heading the 
ISI, called on COAS General Jehangir Karamat to report that a large 
crowd of ruling party men had left Lahore the previous night and 
was now congregating in Islamabad preparing to storm the Supreme 
Court . General Karamat played by the book and asked Rana to warn 
the man whose orders he obeyed, Nawaz Sharif, prime and defence 
minister. Another general in Karamat's place would have perhaps 
ordered a company of the 111 Brigade to conduct a 'move' exercise 
around the Supreme Court and the Parliament area that morning. The 
army is, after all, responsible for the security of the people and 
their institutions.
That morning whilst Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah was presiding in 
Court No.1, hearing the contempt of court case against the prime 
minister and other parliamentarians, the Supreme Court was stormed 
by a horde of members and supporters of the ruling party, the 
Muslim League. They committed gross and blatant contempt in the 
face of the court, obstructed the course of justice, and forced 
Sajjad Ali Shah and his brother judges to rise and take cover. 

Their plan was to physically prevent the Chief Justice from doing 
what was feared - from convicting Nawaz Sharif and disqualifying 
him from political life.
That morning I was in the Supreme Court, in Courtroom No.1. All 
present , neutral or otherwise, had no doubt that the storming had 
been organized by the men of the ruling party.
The plan to oust Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, which had taken 
root as early as August 21, 1997, succeeded and he was deposed.
It was expected that his successor, Justice Ajmal Mian, would 
immediately, as his first act, take suo motu action to restore the 
honour of his court. This was not done.
Morris vs Crown Office (1972 QB 114) was the first case in Britain 
in which the Court of Appeal had to consider "contempt in the face 
of the court." On February 4, 1970, the court was invaded by eleven 
students. They were sentenced the same day to terms of 
imprisonment. Their appeal was heard on February 9 and decided on 
February 11. The honour and dignity of the court was restored 
within the space of one week.
On December 13, 1997, fifteen days after the event , I addressed an 
open letter to Acting Chief Justice Ajmal Mian (my column, 
14/12/97) requesting that "it be accepted as a petition and that he 
take suo motu action, for the gravest contempt committed in the 
face of the court, against those who stormed the Supreme Court on 
November 28, 1997, as well as those responsible for organizing, 
paying, and directing them to so do, and that severe deterrent 
punishment be handed down to all of them. Collectively responsible 
and guilty is the entire federal cabinet and its "primus inter 
pares". Together with the letter, I sent him a video cassette which 
clearly showed the storming of the court and in which several 
Muslim League leaders were identified.
Acting Chief Justice Ajmal Mian referred to the 'storming' as a 
'very serious incident of rowdyism.' By his order dated 15/12/97 he 
appointed Abdur Rahman Khan, J, to hold an inquiry. Two months 
later, on 18/2/98, Justice Rahman submitted a report in which, 
inter alia, he stated : "As the action of those individuals who 
forced their entry into the court premises and raised slogans 
against the judiciary prima facie amounts to gross contempt of this 
court ..... it is considered appropriate that the honourable Chief 
Justice may constitute a bench of the court to [initiate] contempt 
proceedings for the outrageous incident of 28/11/97. The bench so 
constituted can adopt such measures and take such actions as it may 
deem necessary to identify the concerned persons ..... the 
necessity for initiating such action immediately is felt because of 
paramount importance of the matter as the sanctity, dignity and 
respect of the apex court of the country is involved. Street power 
should not be allowed to coerce and intimidate the judiciary."
On 25/2/98, the CJ constituted a bench of three to inquire into the 
matter. Those of us who helped the court by testifying as to what 
we had seen, heard and read were given the distinct impression that 
it was we who were the accused. During the course of the 
proceedings advocate Akram Shaikh and I pointed out that the 
Attorney-General and his deputies, employees of the government, 
could not be expected to prosecute their employers. It was 
suggested that an independent special prosecutor be appointed. The 
judges were unmoved. The inquiry ended on 16/6/98, the judges 
directing that show cause notices be sent to 26 inconsequential 
members of the ruling party and the administration.
The hearing of the contempt case began on 21/2/99 before a bench of 
three headed by Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid, the same bench that had 
conducted the inquiry. I was asked to appear before it on May 6 as 
a prosecution witness. I was further directed : "If you wish to 
place on record any material regarding the incident, you are 
requested to send the same in advance." I sent a copy of the video 
cassette of the recording of the court's own CCTV cameras and 
fourteen documents, all of which had been handed over to the 
Supreme Court and/or the DAG between December 1997 and May 1998, 
i.e. prior to and during the course of the inquiry hearing of 
Before the court on May 6, I challenged the capacity and capability 
of the DAG to prosecute, and handed over a statement suggesting 
that it was still not too late to appoint a special prosecutor, in 
conformity with current international judicial norms and practices, 
who is able to prosecute the case in an unbiased manner. The 
statement was accepted on record and the DAG was directed to sit 
down. The judges asked whether I had any statement to make. I 
accused the prime minister and the ruling party of having stormed 
the court on November 28, 1997, and of obstructing the course of 
justice. On what basis had I made my statement? I was asked. On the 
basis of the video cassette and of all the documents already sent 
to the court.
During cross examination by a defence lawyer it was "put " to me 
that my accusation was malafide and made out of malice. "Right or 
wrong ?" he asked. Wrong, I replied, and there the matter ended. 
The judges then asked me what I had seen and heard in the courtroom 
on the day of the storming. Once again I narrated my account, 
including the passage concerning Saifur Rahman. They asked me what 
I saw when I left the courtroom. I saw people dancing the 'Peshawar 
Jig,' I said. When I asked what they were celebrating they informed 
me it was the success of their mission - they had disrupted the 
court and forced the judges to rise. Did I recognize any of the 
dancing mob, the judges asked? No, said I, not one in that madding 
crowd. They all looked alike, fat and flabby.
On May 14, 1999, over one and a half years after the storming, the 
judgment was delivered. Statements made under oath, the video 
cassette recording, newspaper clippings - all these were not 
considered to be evidence.
On the morning of May 21, a crowing Mushahid Hussain rang and we 
discussed the judgment. His praise of their Lordships' wisdom 
clearly implied that the judgment informed the people that in 
actual fact there had been no storming of the Supreme Court , that 
no man had committed contempt. For had there been a storming, the 
law of the land would surely have found the high command and the 
foot-stormers guilty of the grossest contempt in the face of the 
court. In any event, I told him, the sole appeal against this 
judgment lies now before the Master Referee. Ajmal Mian? asked 
Mushahid. No, I informed him, Allah Mian, the Omnipotent, the 
Omniscient. He is the one who knows which of us down here possessed 
'moral courage' and which lacked it.

The triumph of the louts
Ayaz Amir

IN the rich and developed countries, it is football enthusiasts and 
hardened beer-drinkers who claim sole proprietorship over loutish 
behaviour and systematic vulgarity. In Pakistan it is the other way 
round. The lower orders, for all their other faults, have an innate 
sense of decency. It is the chosen representatives of the state 
who, with a consistency that will astonish future historians, have 
turned chest-thumping and trumpet-blowing into two of the 
Republic's most striking art forms.
To have gone nuclear a year ago is one thing. A compelling if not 
absolutely conclusive case can be made out for it. But to turn the 
anniversary of this event into the tamasha that has been unfolding 
before our eyes for these past several weeks - with the information 
ministry and that unbeatable instrument of state propaganda, 
Pakistan Television, in the lead - requires a singularity and 
uniqueness of imagination attributable in the prevailing 
circumstances only to the intellectuals of the Pakistan Muslim 
Such anniversaries are best not observed. Americans, who, as even 
Dr A. Q. Khan might admit, came first to splitting the atom, do not 
open champagne bottles to observe the day they developed the first 
nuclear bomb. The other nuclear powers, including China, do not 
hold ticker-tape parades to commemorate their entry into the 
nuclear club. But if, as with us, a leadership intent on deriving 
doubtful political capital from such an event sets its heart upon a 
commemoration, even a notional sense of aesthetic propriety would 
suggest that it were best done solemnly and with quiet dignity 
instead of the jumping about and banshee-like sounds which the 
nation in some stupefaction has been compelled to witness and hear.
Nowhere in literature or sensible history (as opposed to the 
history taught in Pakistani schools) is Mars, the god of war, a 
gleeful figure, performing a clownish dance around the instruments 
of destruction. He comes wearing a stern visage, a blend of resolve 
and necessity. But perish the thought of applying similar yardstick 
here for to do so would be to underestimate the cultural 
sophistication of Pakistan's ruling classes. Indeed the ruling 
party would not have been true to itself if it had not staged this  
atomic mela, as I have seen it described in a news report. 
What indeed is the purpose of our Youm-i-Takbeer? Certainly not the 
celebration of our technological prowess as the information 
ministry would have us believe because, if anything, our nuclear 
capability casts a bitterly ironic light on our comprehensive 
backwardness in other spheres of national life. The purpose cannot 
be the greater glorification of our native Oppenheimer, Dr A. Q. 
Khan, because he is his own best publicist and needs no help from 
anyone else in this regard. 
As a testimonial to his self-effacing modesty, consider only the 
laudatory meetings he has found time for in recent days. Praise 
however outrageous, titles and epithets however extravagant, he 
accepts with a straight face. A lesser man would blush. Not Dr Khan 
who is made of sterner stuff. The higher mysteries of our nuclear 
achievement - who did what and what might be the relative roles of 
Dr Khan and the scientists of the Atomic Energy Commission - may be 
shrouded in secrecy but one thing is clear. Whatever the 
contribution of Dr Ashfaq Ahmed Khan and Dr Samar Mubarakmand, they 
are no match for Dr A. Q. Khan in the all-important field of public 
Possessing the nuclear genie is not a joke. It is serious stuff and 
the first demand it puts on its keeper is sober and responsible 
conduct. The crowing and jumping about which the government has 
ordained as part of the Youm-i-Takbeer celebrations reveal anything 
but a mature frame of mind. India certainly left us with no choice. 
For reasons not clearly thought through at the time, it went for 
its nuclear tests and, in the given climate of the subcontinent, we 
had to follow suit. But this dialectic, perverse though it be, 
dictates quiet resolve not infantile behaviour. 
There is also a civic cost to the periodic effusions of juvenility 
to which the Pakistani official mind is prone. Every glorious 
commemoration brings forth another hideous addition to the list of 
monuments which pock-mark our larger cities. The 50th anniversary 
of the country's existence brought the nation a gift (at our 
collective expense of course) from Benazir Bhutto: the Convention 
Centre in Islamabad, a white elephant of no use to anyone. Youm-i-
Takbeer is bringing us a gift from the guardians of the heavy 
mandate: a replica of the Chaghi hills near the intersection at 
Faizabad. There is no use in praying for some limits to the 
philistinism of the official Pakistani mind. Is there drinking 
water or Sui gas or a decent school at Chaghi? It does not matter 
because the more important thing is to raise another monstrosity in 
the capital.
But none of this should be surprising. When mediocrity is the order 
of the day, every happening becomes a propaganda opportunity. So it 
has been with these celebrations which, apart from anything else, 
make it appear as if the country's nuclear prowess owes itself to 
two individuals: a brilliant scientist, A.Q. Khan, and an intrepid 
statesman, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. In all the hype we have heard  
not a word about Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the true father of Pakistan's 
nuclear effort. Without the political will he demonstrated where 
would our Oppenheimers be?
There are certain things all Pakistanis, whatever their other 

differences, should collectively own and, if the occasion arises, 
be collectively proud of. But it is their governments which do not 
allow this to happen because governments turn everything into a 
partisan affair. This in part accounts for the highly developed 
sense of cynicism that ordinary Pakistanis have come to possess. 
Since they do not trust their governments (and who is to blame them 
for that?) they also treat with cynicism everything connected with 
the government. The police can put on the garb of angels but 
ordinary people will not believe them. Pakistan Television can hire 
Walter Cronkite without adding anything to its credibility. So it 
is with government-managed stage shows. They will lack popular 
enthusiasm, let the Muslim League try what it wants. 
Even so, governments never stop trying to insult the nation's 
intelligence. Rightly or wrongly, an overwhelming majority of 
Pakistanis are for the bomb, a circumstance with which official 
propaganda has nothing to do. But about these infantile 
celebrations decreed by our latter-day Kublai Khans it is not too 
far-fetched to say that most Pakistanis would have a dry opinion. 
When, at the governmental level, will we begin to behave 
responsibly and maturely? Not any time soon if only to judge by the 
kind of poets and card-board characters we keep sending to 

A long, hot summer
Irfan Husain

JUST as we were settling down for the onslaught of summer, the 
government has raised the political temperature for reasons best 
known to it.
Apparently not satisfied with the unprecedented concentration of 
power, they have already achieved after weakening of the 
presidency, the judiciary and the GHQ, the PM and his men are hell-
bent on pulverizing the last remaining islands of independence that 
remain outside their direct control. Thus, we are witnessing today 
a concerted campaign against the NGO movement and the print media.
In both cases, government spokesmen have stated with a straight 
face that their crackdown has nothing to do with the freedom of 
expression or human rights. Excuse me if I take this claim with a 
pinch of salt. NGOs like ASR, Shirkatgah and the Human Rights 
Commission of Pakistan are being targeted.Under the garb of 
"scrutinizing" the accounts of these and other organizations, a 
number of frivolous charges are being laid at their door. Since 
they don't get any funds from the government, this high-handed 
exercise is simply a method devised to harass and hobble 
institutions that refuse to dance to our rulers' tune.
While the ongoing attack on the free press has been discussed and 
denounced extensively in this and other newspapers, it is important 
to see it as part of a pattern of paranoia and a pathological 
hunger for total power. The manner of Najam Sethi's arrest, his 
continuing detention and the orchestrated campaign against his 
reputation indicate the length the government is willing to go to 
stifle dissent. Information Supremo Mushahid Hussain's claim that 
Sethi's arrest has nothing to do with any threat to the freedom of 
speech is as credible as the Serb protestation that they are 
innocent of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Unfortunately, those elected to high office in Pakistan tend to be 
fairly unsophisticated where the rights and responsibilities of 
different institutions of a democratic dispensation are concerned. 
With a feudal mindset (if not background), they tend to see things 
in black and white: if you aren't with them, you are automatically 
against them. And if you are against the government, then you are 
ipso facto against the state, and hence a traitor. This linear 
logic makes them the implacable enemies of those who see things in 
shades of gray, and are critical of the ills they see around them. 
In this narrow, paranoid worldview, loyal friends are rewarded with 
contracts, plots and portfolios, while perceived enemies are to be 
incarcerated and humiliated if they can't be hanged immediately.
Indeed, through its viciousness, this government has succeeded in 
the very difficult task of generating sympathy for Benazir Bhutto 
and Asif Zardari. By hounding the erstwhile first couple 
relentlessly without cleaning up its own act, the PML leadership 
has given the opposition a lease of life it might not otherwise 
have got. The third degree Zardari has clearly been subjected to is 
a grim portent of things to come.
There has been an element of desperation in the way the government 
has lashed out in all directions in the last couple of months, and 
this behaviour has triggered the usual spate of speculation about 
its imminent fall. Nobody seems to have any clear idea of how a 
change is to come about, but from Islamabad to Karachi, there is 
speculation about the coming events. In our recent history, such 
wishful thinking has too often been transformed into self-
fulfilling prophecy.
Politicians not suffering from a suicidal bent of mind have known 
the dangers of opening too many fronts at the same time, thus 
uniting a fractured opposition. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, secure in his 
grip on power, committed the cardinal sin of angering and 
humiliating his enemies simultaneously. Now Nawaz Sharif, armed 
with the knowledge of his control over the key institutions of 
state, is forcing the smaller provinces and most political parties 
to seek common cause against him. He is giving them a focus for 
their grievances and fuel for their anger and insecurities. Where 
he could have been magnanimous in victory, he is being ungenerous 
and vindictive.
Clearly, he is not being well served by his inner circle of 
advisers. At a time when the international situation demands 
greater internal cohesion than ever before, government policies are 
driving a wedge between the people and the administration. Indeed, 
not content with pushing domestic allies away, the PML has 
successfully alienated traditional friends like Iran and United 
States. We have seldom been so isolated internationally. Just when 
the fallout from our nuclear tests last year was settling down, 
many countries have been revolted by the systematic destruction of 
institutions we are witnessing today.
One small example of the siege mentality that has gripped this 
government is the confiscation of the current issue of the 
Economist for a critical leader the magazine has carried. 
Basically, the editors have suggested that in view of this 
government's attack on democratic institutions and human rights, 
international donors should halt the flow of aid. Now we may 
disagree with this point of view, but confiscating the copies of 
the publication, even temporarily, is an immature and 
unsophisticated reaction. Apart from the fact that the offending 
article has already been reproduced in Pakistani newspapers, 
anybody who reads the Economist regularly has access to a computer 
and can download the leader over the internet. By acting in such a 
ham-fisted manner, the government only reinforces the impression 
that it is desperate.
One question a number of us are constantly asking is what will 
Nawaz Sharif do with absolute power when he has obtained it? Even 
now, he is master of all he surveys, but instead of getting on with 
the job he was elected to perform, he is wasting his time and 
energy in the self-defeating effort to amass yet more power at the 
cost of the other pillars of the state. In the process, he is 
making a mockery of the democratic process and the rule of law.
At the outset of his tenure over two years ago, Nawaz Sharif had a 
splendid opportunity to tackle the many problems facing Pakistan. 
He was elected, first and foremost, as a competent manager who 
would jump-start the economy. By any reckoning, he has failed in 
this task. Instead, he has expended all his goodwill and political 
capital on taking on the presidency, the judiciary, the GHQ and now 
the press. He may succeed in controlling all of them for a short 
while, but sooner or later, he will discover that he has won a 
Pyrrhic victory.

Pakistan's performance truly magnificent
Mark Baldwin

LONDON, May 24: All Pakistan should be very proud of Wasim Akram 
and his cricket heroes today. Their performance in beating 
Australia at Headingley was truly magnificent, and could have 
significant ramifications for the rest of the tournament.
In the last World Cup, when Pakistan lost to India in the quarter-
finals, there was an ugly reaction - with Wasim, in particular, 
coming in for intense criticism. Wasim, however, did not even play 
in that match in Bangalore because of injury!
The Pakistan selectors have, in the past, treated Wasim very badly 
by refusing to support him as skipper. But, after just three games 
of this World Cup, I think Wasim has proved beyond doubt that he 
has become, at last, the true and rightful successor to Imran Khan 
as his country's cricket leader.
Pakistan's chances of winning the World Cup grew from the moment 
Wasim was re-instated and, as with Imran in 1992, he has a team 
behind him that is a perfect mixture of youth and experience, of 
aggression and calm.
In 1992 it was the likes of Inzamam, Mushtaq Ahmed, Aamir Sohail, 
Moin Khan and even Wasim himself who were the young firebrands 
moulded by Imran and Javed Miandad into a formidable unit.
Now, it is Wasim, Moin, Ijaz and the lumbering Inzamam who provide 
the experience while the young bloods Shoaib Akhtar, Yousuf 
Youhana, Abdur Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood provide the fearless spirit 
which lies at the heart of this team.
But, unlike in 1992, Wasim has a team who are firing right from the 
start. Imran was fortunate in his Cup-winning campaign nine years 
ago that the format of that tournament allowed a team to begin 
slowly but then pick up a late momentum. In this event that would 
not be possible and, if the current format had applied in 1992, 
England would undoubtedly have been crowned winners.
What Wasim has grasped is that, to win this World Cup, a team has 
to perform consistently well right through the near six weeks of 
its duration. And what he has also realised is that only sides with 
a strong, five-man specialist bowling attack can possibly hope to 
Wasim's captaincy in the field against Australia were near 
faultless, but his greatest triumph in this early stage of the 
competition is to get his team selection spot on - and to get his 
team to play with all the passion and commitment that is required.
Pakistan's captain has been critical of the practice facilities 
afforded his squad by the World Cup organisers, and of the lack of 
proper practice matches once the early May weather intervened. He 
has a point, and there is no doubt that Pakistan have suffered more 
than most because of being based in the northern half of England 
during the warm-up period.
Yet a sense of injustice also helps to knit a team together more, 
and Wasim again has used this to his advantage. You can almost feel 
Pakistan's sense of togetherness when they are in the field, a 
desire to show the world they cannot be beaten by anybody or 
anything. This, too, is a reflection of Wasim's natural leadership. 
What he has to do now is keep that aggression focussed on the 
ultimate prize - and the only prize worth winning.
Some proof that he is succeeding in that objective was offered by 
the running battle Shoaib waged with Australian captain Steve Waugh 
during Pakistan's momentous 10-run victory.

Pakistan cruise to easy win over New Zealand

DERBY, May 28: Pakistan emphasised the cruel gap between excellence 
and competence on Friday with an untroubled 62-run victory over New 
Zealand in their World Cup match to seal their berth in the Super 
Six round as the Group B winners.

Set a daunting 270 to win, New Zealand laboured to 207 for eight 
with only captain Stephen Fleming (69) offering any serious 
Once again the New Zealand top-order failed with the fierce young 
fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, tearing in against a backdrop of 
chanting, dancing Pakistani supporters, dismissing both openers 
Nathan Astle (0) and Matthew Horne (1) in his first three overs.
Both were caught by wicket-keeper Moin Khan who equalled compatriot 
Wasim Bari's World Cup record of 22 dismissals.
Azhar Mahmood extinguishing any lingering hopes New Zealand might 
have had of mounting a recovery by dismissing Chris Cairns and Adam 
Parore lbw in successive balls for ducks, leaving the innings in 
ruins at 71 for six.
New Zealand, who caved in against the West Indian pace bowlers on 
Monday, found the Pakistani quicks too hot to handle as well. They 
slipped to 71 for six by the 20th over, before Fleming and Harris 
came together to take the score to 154.
Left-handed Fleming, who came in the sixth over, stayed till the 
39th when he pulled Azhar Mahmood to his counterpart Akram at mid-
wicket. Harris went near the end for 42.
After Fleming had won the toss and elected to field, Pakistan made 
a flying start with 23 runs off the first two overs and managed an 
equally frenetic finish, taking 24 off the final two in their 
daunting 269 for eight.
Left-arm pace bowler Geoff Allott picked up four for 64 to rattle 
the Pakistani top order. For the third time in four Cup matches, 
Allott dismissed both openers within the first 10 overs then 
returned to pick up two more wickets.-Reuters/AFP

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