------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 31 July 1999 Issue : 05/31 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
The DAWN Wire Service (DWS) is a free weekly news-service from 
Pakistan's largest English language newspaper, the daily DAWN. DWS 
offers news, analysis and features of particular interest to the 
Pakistani Community on the Internet.

Extracts, not exceeding 50 lines, can be used provided that this 
entire header is included at the beginning of each extract. 

We encourage comments & suggestions. We can be reached at: 

     e-mail        dws-owner@dawn.com
     WWW           http://dawn.com/
     fax           +92(21) 568-3188 & 568-3801 
     mail         DAWN Group of Newspapers 
                   Haroon House, Karachi 74200, Pakistan 

Please send all Editorials and Letters to the Editor at

(c) Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., Pakistan - 1999


CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Washington backs Nawaz on Kashmir + Nation proud of its armed forces, says Musharraf + National Assembly gives new lease of life to job quota + London Club to reschedule loan, says Dar + MQM warns govt against blocking passive resistance + PPP to launch anti-govt rallies on Aug 4 + Signing of CTBT: Pakistan calls for coercion-free environment + Objectives in Kargil achieved: Sartaj + Pakistan & IMF agree on all major matters + Delhi says it's for Islamabad to resume talks + London MQM workers call off hunger strike --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Act amended: State Bank now to buy, sell forex directly + GST on power, gas, petrol: Pakistan accepts IMF, WB condition + Loans write-off: State Bank issues guidelines to NBFIs + WB gives India, Bangladesh $1 billion each, Pakistan $440m + Nine captive power companies improve profit by 114% + Levy of sales tax: Powerloom owners' strike threat + CBR evaluating impact of tax on reserves + Life insurance ratio in Pakistan one of the lowest + Petroleum dealers call off strike + Massive buying in Hub-Power shares + UAE-based traders to invest in PM's transport scheme --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Sound advice Ardeshir Cowasjee + Accountability Pakistani-style Ayaz Amir + Our image abroad Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Pakistan likely to boycott Sharjah event + Suspended players not to be selected, says Mujeeb + Wasim Akram denies any wrongdoing + Pakistani boxers bag 6 gold medals in Iranian contests

Washington backs Nawaz on Kashmir
Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON, July 29: The US State Department on Wednesday came out 
strongly in support of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as the senior 
most official handling South Asia defined President Clinton's 
personal interest in the Kashmir issue and assured a "supporting 
and facilitating" US role in resolving it.

Assistant Secretary Karl Inderfurth told a crowded on-the-record 
briefing for South Asian journalists Mr Sharif had full knowledge 
that he would come under some strong criticism at home when he 
undertook the Kargil withdrawal.

The briefing came after recent reports of major street 
demonstrations in Pakistan against the withdrawal from Kargil, a 
development which experts say would not be viewed by Washington as 
positive in any way.

The general view in Washington is that Nawaz Sharif had taken a 
courageous stand by pulling back his forces and he should be 
supported like late President Anwar Sadat of Egypt. Many also 
realise the fate of Anwar Sadat and do not wish the same to happen 
to Mr Sharif.

Inderfurth went on record to explain in detail what President 
Clinton had meant by mentioning in the July 4 statement that he 
would take personal interest in persuading India and Pakistan to 
bilaterally resolve their issues.

"That was a way to make it very clear that the President does take 
a strong personal interest in South Asia," he said.

"The President is quite frustrated he could not travel to the 
region so far. The July 4 statement is a further evidence of his 
desire to support in any way he can, the resolution of long 
standing conflict, and do it within the context of what he believes 
is the best way, the bilateral context.

"The President believes Lahore declaration itself stands for 
intensification of efforts to resolve all issues including Kashmir. 
We are hopeful that the supporting, facilitating role that we 
played in Kargil crisis can demonstrate to the parties that while 
they must deal with it directly, US and others in international 
community may have a useful supporting role to play."

Inderfurth said the July 4 statement was like a "deposit in a bank" 
and was a public declaration of that intention and desire on the 
part of the President. "You can take that and put it in a bank as 
deposit and commitment on part of US to use our influence again in 
a supporting role to assist in this process.

"Part of this would be determined as events unfold," he said. "We 
will have to take our direction and lead from what the parties do 
and initiate in the post Kargil period. We will encourage movement 
as soon as possible. That is something Secretary of State Albright 
did with Foreign Minister Singh in Singapore where she talked about 
importance of resuming the Lahore process and general importance of 
moving forward on nuclear non-proliferation issues as well as some 
positive movement and thinking on Kashmir issue itself.

"This is the direction we are going. It will be further defined and 
elaborated as we go forward," Inderfurth stated.

Asked to comment on the new pre-conditions imposed by India to 
resume the Lahore process, Inderfurth said he would not comment 
directly on what one was saying to the other. "One has to read FM 
Jaswant Singh's speech of July 20. That is a thoughtful exposition 
on where the two countries should go in the post-Kargil 
environment. I would trust there would be a response from Pakistan 
to what the FM said. I think it is very clear that he reaffirmed 
his desire to return to Lahore process at the appropriate time and 
his commitment remains firm to the process. So again we hope views 
will be exchanged between the two capitals soon."

To a question about the nuclear benchmarks and what US expected 
after Kargil, Inderfurth said even as Kargil took place, the US had 
discussions with Pakistani officials in Geneva.

"We are quite aware that a national election has been scheduled in 
India. We will have to wait until elections are over. We will re-
engage quickly. In the meantime we hope it would be possible for 
Pakistan to take certain steps on CTBT and other steps which are 
part of those benchmarks. We are of the view that we are moving in 
the right direction and we are hopeful that we see more concrete 
steps by both governments as soon as possible," he said.

"What Daley said others have made the same point before. Our 
relationships with India and Pakistan stand on their own. There is 
no issue of a balance involved. We continue to address the concerns 
and pursue our interests with each country according to the 
circumstances. That is all he was saying. Some may have read into 
it more, given the current circumstances and the Kargil crisis etc. 
But these are two countries they have some similarities but many 
differences. We have not had the same history and relationship with 
each. We take them on their merit and deal with circumstances as 
they come as we did on Kargil.

"Please do not read more into statements than is actually there. 
Stick with the lines."

Nation proud of its armed forces, says Musharraf

RAWALPINDI, July 25 : General Pervez Musharraf, Chairman of Joint 
Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of Army Staff, has said the 
Pakistan armed forces are keeping themselves abreast of the 
situation and are meting out selective and telling punishment to 
the enemy, wherever the situation so warrants.

According to a press release of ISPR, issued here on Sunday, Gen 
Musharraf was addressing officers and men during his two-day visit 
to the Northern Areas.

He said operational preparedness, training, discipline and an 
unswerving faith in Allah were the factors which had contributed to 
the superb performance of Pakistan troops on the Line of Control.

The COAS, who was accompanied by Corps Commander Lt-Gen Mahmud 
Ahmed, FCNA commander and other senior army officers, appreciated 
the fighting spirit and high morale displayed by the troops 
operating under adverse conditions.

Gen Musharraf expressed his total satisfaction at the manner in 
which the troops had repulsed aggressive actions of the enemy along 
the LoC and demonstrated their capability of defending every inch 
of the country's land.

He paid tributes to the officers, junior commissioned officers and 
jawans who had sacrificed their lives while defending the 
motherland, adding that the entire nation was proud of its valiant 
armed forces.

Assuring the troops of all possible support, the COAS told them 
about the government's resolve to meet the country's defence needs.

He also informed them about steps being taken for the welfare of 
the next of kin of Shuhada and for the personnel of the Northern 
Light Infantry, whose performance during the recent escalation had 
remained par excellence. He distributed cheques among the families 
of Shuhada.

After spending two days and a night with troops deployed at forward 
locations in the Northern Areas, Gen Musharraf returned to 
Rawalpindi on Sunday.

National Assembly gives new lease of life to job quota

ISLAMABAD, July 27: Displaying unanimity in the ranks of treasury 
and combined opposition on Tuesday, the NationalAssembly passed the 
much-awaitedConstitutional(Sixteenth Amendment) Bill, 1999 by 162 
against four votes, more than two-thirds majority, reviving the 
quota system in services till 2013.

The Bill was finally adopted by the process of division. When the 
speaker asked the members wishing to vote for yes vote to proceed 
to the lobbies on his right side, the MNAs belonging to both the 
treasury, independents and the opposition made a beeline to proceed 
to the lobbies. 

Only one PPP MNA, Shabir Ahmed Khan Chandio, who is forced to sit 
on a wheel-chair owing to his physical disability, kept sitting in 
the house. The speaker directed the teller to come to the house and 
get his signature for vote.

After 45 minute-exercise, the speaker announcing the results, 
saying that the Bill had been adopted by 162 votes. The MQM voted 
against the Bill with a tally of four votes.

Earlier, the Muttahida legislators in the National Assembly put up 
a stout opposition to the Bill. Dr Nishat Mallick of the MQM 
speaking on the Bill said that the MQM, who were four people 
present in the house, should be given opportunity to speak out 
their mind on an important bill.

In 1973, he said that the government had taken the plea that the 
quota system was being kept in force for only ten years in view of 
the existence of backward areas in the country since equal 
education and other facilities were not available to the people of 
these areas for competing the people from developed areas.

However, Dr Nishat said that even after ten years no steps had been 
taken by the government to bring such people at par with the 
developed areas in terms of education.

He said distinction of urban and rural was maintained only in 
Sindh, while in the other three provinces, no distinction on the 
basis of rural and urban was made. He expressed apprehension that 
in the year 2013, once again another constitutional amendment would 
be sought to extend the period on the same grounds. MQM members 
Kunwar Khalid Yunus, Arif Khan advocate and Tariq Javed also 
opposed the Bill terming it as being against the spirit of the 
Constitution. The members were given two minutes to speak on the 
Bill. They said that the discrimination on the basis of rural and 
urban would create frustrations among the people and would generate 
feelings of alienation among them, leading to creating a new 
Bangladesh in the country.

The Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Bill, 1999 provided that in 
the Article 27 of the Constitution, Clause (1), in the first 
proviso for the word "twenty" the word "forty" shall be 
substitutedand shall be deemed always to have beenso substituted.

When the speaker put this Clause to vote, he first asked the 
members who wished to support it to rise from their seats. The 
count revealed that in all 155 members voted for the adoption of 
Clause 2. This was followed by the count of those who opposed the 
Clause 2. Only four MQM MNAs stood up tooppose it.

The speaker then put the clause to vote and asked the members 
supporting Clause 1 to rise from their seats. The counting of the 
votes showed that 162 supported it. Then the speaker asked the 
opponents of the Bill to rise. Only four MQM MNAs stood up. The 
speaker declared the Clause passed.

The prime minister did not attend the House though hehad earlier 
presided over the PML parliamentary party meeting and was present 
inhis chamber till the passing of the Bill.

London Club to reschedule loan, says Dar
Nasir Malick

LONDON, July 29: The London Club has agreed to reschedule 
Pakistan's $877 million loan for another three years, Finance 

Minister Ishaq Dar said on Thursday.

Mr Dar, who held a detailed meeting with the representatives of the 
London Club, which comprises 10 banks and financial monetary 
institutions, on Wednesday told reporters at a news conference that 
the average interest rate for three years would be Libor (London 
inter-bank offering rate) plus 1.19 per cent, the payment of which 
would be made in quarterly instalments from January 2001.

Elaborating, he said different rates of interest had been agreed 
for the three-years period. During the first year it would be Libor 
plus 1 per cent; the second year it would increase to Libor plus 
1.25 per cent and the final year it would be Libor plus 1.50 per 

"The effective interest rate for this three-years period will come 
to 1.19 per cent on an average," Dar said. "It will be a uniform 
rate of interest for all the banks and financial institutions."

He said Pakistan had requested to reschedule the loan for four 
years with Libor plus 1 per cent interest but the Club had 
suggested to extend it for only one year with Libor plus 4.5 per 
cent interest. "However, we have finally convinced them to extend 
the loan for three years with a uniform average rate of 1.19 per 
cent for this period," Dar said.

"There was some tough time for us because a Western bank was 
refusing to extend the period and unless all the banks agree the 
loan cannot be rescheduled," he said. "But finally that bank also 

He praised the Middle-Eastern banks and said their role had been 
very positive during these talks.

He said instead of paying each bank heavy fees for their solicitors 
and other expenses, Pakistan had agreed to pay 0.02 per cent or 
around 60,000 sterling pounds to all the banks and the same amount 
to its own solicitor in London. Thus the total overhead expenses 
would come to 120,000 sterling pounds.

"This must be the cheapest cost (of expenses) that we are paying to 
London Club," Dar said asserting that these costs run up to half a 
million dollars or more.

He said the banks would be sending the "signed term sheets" to 
Pakistan on Monday or Tuesday. Once these sheets are received, 
Pakistan would release the interest arrears accumulated of around 
$52 million up to July 14, 1999.

He said it took almost five months to make the London Club agree to 
rescheduling the loans according to Islamabad's terms.

MQM warns govt against blocking passive resistance

KARACHI, July 29: Amid mounting tension the Muttahida Qaumi 
Movement on Thursday warned the administration that if it tried to 
obstruct or to sabotage their peaceful hunger strike, then the 
party would be compelled to launch a public protest campaign, and 
the onus for its consequences would be on the government.

Senator Aftab Shaikh, deputy convener of the MQM coordination 
committee, was talking to newsmen after the fourth batch of the 
hunger strikers, two elders and two ladies, led by MNA Tariq Javed 
and MPA Asim Kabir, replaced the previous batch for another 24 
hours at midday outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC).

They were carrying placards deploring extrajudicial killings and 
police excesses and injustice to the people of Sindh. They also 
deplored the violations of human rights and of constitutional 

The anti-MQM group, which called itself "Voice of Karachi," also 
resumed its protest on the pavements of Lakson Square, opposite the 
KPC. They had hung banners inscribed with slogans demanding 
punishment for the killers of their relatives.

Senator Shaikh alleged that the local administration and the police 
had tried to prevent the people from coming to the site of protest 
and had put up barricades.

He said even he and his parliamentarian colleagues were stopped at 
the barricade. He had to personally remove the barricades to make 
way for the vehicles, said the MQM senator.

Senator Shaikh said he had told the officials on duty that "if we 
are not allowed to exercise our right of peaceful protest, then we 
will cut short the hunger strike programme and go into agitation."

He said the MQM did not recognize Section 144 because it was a 
colonial law and against the fundamental rights guaranteed in the 

He refuted allegations that the MQM was trying to break up the 
country. "This is absurd because we are the people who fought for 
Pakistan and gave sacrifices for its creation. It is malicious 
propaganda of those vested interests who engineered the 
dismemberment of the country and are adamant on denying the people 
their rights," he said.

"We want our rights, and we reject the dictatorial and fascist 
tendencies of the government," said Senator Shaikh. He said the 
people were already enraged over the administration's attitude due 
to which there was a strike in Hyderabad on Wednesday. He indicated 
that if the regime's attitude did not change, "other forces, which 
are marking times, would also jump into the fray and launch an 
anti-government movement."

This was a reference to the anti-Nawaz protest rallies planned by 
the PPP in the Sindh province on Aug 4.

He said that the claim of heavy mandate did not mean that the 
mandate of others had diluted. Nawaz Sharif must learn to respect 
the mandate of others.

He said the local administration was clearly divided. The civil 
administration was moving in one direction, while the Inspector-
General Police, Sindh was acting in another direction.

PPP to launch anti-govt rallies on Aug 4
Bureau Report

PESHAWAR July 29: The NWFP PPP, in line with its central executive 
committee's decision, has announced that it will launch anti 
government movement from August 4, by holding rallies throughout 
the province.

Maj-Gen Naseerullah Khan Babar and Iftikhar Gilani would lead a 
protest demonstration and address a rally in the provincial capital 
to start the campaign, the PPP MPA and acting provincial president, 
Najmuddin Khan, told a news conference here on Thursday.

Questioning the government's sagacity first in "allowing its 
troops" to enter in Kargil sector and then their withdrawal under 
external pressure, he said the comprise by the premier had not only 
shattered the prestige of the nation but also jeopardized the 
Kashmir cause.

Mr Khan feared that the government might sign the Comprehensive 
Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) by compromising more national interests and 
might even allow the United States to use its territory to launch 
operation against Osama Bin Laden.

The majority of the political parties were getting closer on one 
point agenda of getting Nawaz Sharif removed from power as he (PM) 
had become a security risk for the country, the PPP leader said and 
asked his party workers to prepare themselves for ensuing polls 
which, he remarked, were getting closer.

Lashing out at the country's "failed" foreign policy, he observed 
that the failure of the rulers had isolated the country and 
deprived it of its tested friends.

Signing of CTBT: Pakistan calls for coercion-free environment 
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, July 27: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Siddique 
Khan Kanju on Tuesday reiterated Pakistan's commitment to non-
proliferation and called for coercion free environment to move 
towards signing of the CTBT.

According to a press release issued by the Foreign Office, Kanju 
was talking to a four member Japanese delegation headed by Mr Kazuo 
Aichi who called on him here on Tuesday.

Mr Aichi is the secretary of Japan-Pakistan Friendship League in 
the Japanese Diet. He also heads the special committee on external 
economic cooperation in the Diet.

While extending a warm and hearty welcome to the delegation, the 
minister of state underlined the importance that Pakistan attaches 
to its excellent relations with Japan.

"The minister of state highlighted Pakistan's commitment to non-
proliferation and called for a coercion free environment to move 
towards signing of the CTBT, " the FO press release said.

Mr Kazuo Aichi thanked Kanju for a warm welcome and detailed 
briefing on various issues concerning regional security and socio-
economic development.

"He lauded Pakistan's efforts for peace and urged resumption of 
dialogue under the Lahore Declaration to bring durable peace and 
stability in the region," it said.

He observed that time had come to assess the negative impact of 
Japanese sanctions. He appreciated Pakistan's continued commitment 
to non-proliferation, the press release concluded.

HEALTH: The delegation also called on Health Minister Makhdoom 
Javed Hashmi to discuss the issues of common interest.

A press release said that the health minister briefed the 
delegation about the progress Pakistan had made in areas of health 
and population welfare.

The delegation was informed that the population welfare programme 
had been designed to provide better quality of life and that the 
ministry of population had successfully achieved the targets fixed 
in the 8th five year plan to bring down the population growth rate 
upto 2.4 per cent.

The minister said that the population growth had started to 

Mr Aichi assured the minister to do their best in the continuation 
of their support in the areas of health and population. The 
minister appreciated the assistance being provided by the Japanese 
government in these areas and requested Mr Aichi to help for 
getting the proposals matured which were submitted by Pakistan for 
government of Japan's consideration.

Objectives in Kargil achieved: Sartaj

LONDON, July 29: Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz has claimed that 
Pakistan has "achieved its objectives" in Kargil by bringing 
Kashmir issue on the top of the world agenda.

Speaking at a dinner reception hosted in his honour by a UK-based 
Pakistan Cultural Foundation, the foreign minister said that India 
was trying to use the Kargil issue to divert the international 
attention from state repression in the occupied Kashmir and to 
create an impression that it was terrorism and not freedom movement 
which was going on in held Kashmir.

He said when the Kashmir history would be written, Kargil would be 
remembered as a landmark in the independence struggle and in 
retrospective it would be considered as an issue, which brought 
Kashmir on the international agenda.

Besides, he said, Pakistan had also made it clear that it would not 
accept India's hegemony in the region or accept the principle of 
might is right.

By capturing the heights of Kargil, he said, the freedom- fighters 
showed a "qualitative change" in their "abilities" and instead of 
hit and run operations, it was for the first time that they 
captured an area and made Indian army to bleed.

He said that in spite of India's aerial bombardment and heavy 
artillery fire, its forces failed to get these posts vacated from a 
handful of around 700 freedom-fighters.

The minister said that one of the reasons why the Mujahideen 
occupied Kargil was that Indian troops, sitting on the heights had 
made the life of the people of Neelam Valley in Azad Kashmir a hell 
by closing down the Valley road and making the people of the area 
captive for two years since 1994.

He said the freedom-fighters blocked Laddakh Road for two months in 
retaliation which meant that India would be able to send only 50 
per cent of the supplies to Siachen area through road as the winter 
was approaching to close the road.

He also indirectly agreed that India had marginalized Kashmir in 
Lahore peace process but asserted that it had now once again come 
on the forefront and Kashmir was considered as a "flash point" for 
a nuclear confrontation.

Mr Aziz indirectly admitted that India had succeeded in getting 
sympathies of the international community over the Kargil issue but 
asserted that it was misusing that support.

The minister said while Pakistan had de-escalated the tension, it 
was now waiting for the resumption of substantive talks on Kashmir 
issue with India and called upon the international community to 
exercise its influence on the Indian government to resume the 

Earlier, Lord Nazir Ahmad asked Pakistan to counter Indian 
propaganda and informed that Indian diplomats were telling "pack of 
lies" to British parliamentarians and feeding them half-truth on 
Kashmir issue.

Pakistan & IMF agree on all major matters
Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON, July 28: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar claimed on Tuesday 
that understanding had been reached with the IMF on all major 
issues, but an IMF spokesman said though "good progress" had been 
made, several issues were still to be discussed.
Both Mr Dar and the spokesman said an IMF mission would go to 
Islamabad in August. Mr Dar said it would complete the "nitty 
gritty and a detailed financing plan" while the IMF spokesman said 
it would also tackle the remaining issues, making it clear that 
more discussions were to be held.
When Mr Dar's attention was confronted with the IMF statement, he 
was taken aback and asked how could they say so. He then tried to 
explain what might have happened.
"It (the review) has been completed but they cannot say it is over 
until it is over. All issues have been taken care of. There is no 
major pending issue on which we don't have a consensus and a joint 
decision. Now they have to go and prepare according to these 
decisions, like the revenue figures. They have to go and see all 
the figures and make sure that the figure is Rs308.1 billion as has 
been reported. Here they had to rely on verbal things now they have 
to go and prepare back-up reports, data and statistics. 
Technically, it will not be complete even one day before it is 
circulated to the board and that is always the case."
The IMF spokesman, when asked on Wednesday morning about the 
differences, told Dawn Mr Dar was correct about the technical 
details but the IMF insisted that discussions on several issues 
would also take place.
The spokesman was aware of that fact that the stock market in 
Karachi had reacted adversely to the IMF statement. "We are saying 
that good progress has been made in our talks but if everything had 
been agreed, the mission would not be going again to Islamabad."
Experts said Mr Dar had failed to win a firm commitment about the 
release of funds from the IMF, his claims that consensus on 
everything had been reached notwithstanding. The BBC quoted IMF 
spokesman William Murray by name, as saying: "Good progress was 
made in resolving outstanding issues for the completion of the 
programme review. An IMF mission will visit Islamabad next month 
and we hope to conclude the discussions."
Last year, the IMF's $1.5bn lending programme was frozen following 
Pakistan's nuclear tests. Disbursements resumed in January and 
Pakistan is set to receive $460m in loans between now and October 
2000 - provided it meets reform promises it has made to the IMF. 
The last instalment received by Pakistan was $51m in May.
Mr Dar made the claims at a news conference at the Pakistan embassy 
after five days of intensive negotiations and dismissed the IMF 
statement, saying: "They must be referring to the detailed working 
which they have to do on each issue which is a routine matter. 
Unless the issues were resolved, the mission would not go back."
He opened the news conference with a short statement, saying that 
understanding on major issues had been reached and budgetary, 
fiscal, monetary, exchange rates and structural reforms had been 
well covered.
"We have arrived at an understanding that an IMF mission will 
hopefully come back to Pakistan to complete their nitty gritty and 
detailed financing plan and before the end of August they will 
return to Washington so that a report could be prepared for 
circulation to the board which will meet before the annual IMF 
meetings. Then we will get the $280 million tranche in September."
Pakistan, he said, had crossed so many reviews. "It was known as 
the first-tranche country. We are now better than the past. It is 
our fourth review."
Mr Dar claimed that the review for which he led the team had been 
completed but the IMF spokesman told Dawn that the review had not 
been completed. "The discussions have to be concluded and several 
issues remain to be resolved," the spokesman said.
Mr Dar insisted that the IMF mission would not go back to Pakistan 
unless there was a consensus on each major issue. "Even micro 
matters have been settled and now they have to be translated into 
action." Asked about a gap of Rs45 billion between the IMF 
calculations and government figures, the finance minister said it 
had now been bridged. "I cannot give details but I say 
fundamentally there were some differences. The calculations 
required some revision. There are certain measures which we are in 
the process of taking. They are not quantified and taken into 
account. We have reconciled the figures. Now there is no gap."

Delhi says it's for Islamabad to resume talks

SINGAPORE, July 28: India said on Wednesday it was up to Pakistan 
to initiate a dialogue on peace, claiming it was Islamabad that had 
derailed the previous peace process.
In an interview with Reuters, Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh 
reiterated there was no place for a mediator in any talks between 
the two countries.
"We were the initiators of the dialogue...the initiation was the 
dramatic bus journey that the Indian prime minister undertook to 
Lahore," Singh said, referring to the meeting held between Atal 
Behari Vajpayee and Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif in February to 
discuss peace.
"Unfortunately our neighbour re-routed the bus ride from Lahore to 
Kargil and it is now important that they bring it back on the 
Lahore road. As soon as it is there, the process of dialogue can be 
restarted," he said.
Singh said he saw Pakistan-India relations as a purely bilateral 
affair, adding there was no place for an intermediary.
He said US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had told him that 
cross-border terrorism had no place in international conduct, and 
stressed the "inviolability" of the Line of Control.
Albright called last week in Washington for an immediate end to 
"acts of terrorism" along the Line of Control, adding that both 
India and Pakistan had made "conflicting claims" about fighting 
there, and "we can't verify either".
Singh and Albright then held talks on the sidelines of an 
Association of South East Asian Nations meeting in Singapore on 
Singh, who also met his Chinese counterpart for talks, said China 
and India would hold a security dialogue soon.
"The idea will be fleshed out by the two ministries of external 
affairs and I expect that it should be some time early autumn this 
year," Singh said.
He said Indian and Chinese military and diplomatic experts would 
meet shortly on the clarification of the Line of Control.-Reuters

London MQM workers call off hunger strike

LONDON, July 28: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement on Wednesday called 
off the hunger strike its leaders had started here in the United 
Kingdom eight days back.
The MQM had set up a camp opposite the 10-Downing Street to observe 
the hunger strike in protest against the "ethnic cleansing" of 
Mohajir community in Pakistan.
Several MQM leaders, including Senator Nasreen Jalil and Senator 
Mustafa Kamal, besides MPAs had staged the hunger strike.
The MQM had planned to call its members of parliament from Pakistan 
to take part in the protest, but the government stopped the MQM 
members from leaving the country.
During the protest, the MQM workers distributed thousands of 
pamphlets and handbills among the tourists to inform them about the 
grave human rights violations taking place in Pakistan, 
particularly against the Mohajir community in Karachi and other 
urban areas of Sindh.

An MQM spokesman said that the protest in London had been called 
off because of their "pressing engagements" in view of a similar 
camp set up in Karachi.

Act amended: State Bank now to buy, sell forex directly
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, July 30: The State Bank can now buy foreign exchange from 
and sell it to any person whether in Pakistan or abroad after an 
amendment introduced to the State Bank of Pakistan Act.

The SBP has informed all the banks and financial institutions of 
the amendment introduced through the Finance Act, 1999, which 
allows it to buy or sell foreign exchange from any one in Pakistan 
or abroad. Earlier the SBP was making foreign exchange transactions 
only with the authorized commercial banks.

"The (State) Bank may buy or sell to any person whether in Pakistan 
or abroad approved foreign exchange at such rates of exchange at 
such places and on such conditions as it may determine from time to 
time," says the amended section of the Act as quoted in SBP 
circular of July 29.

Earlier it read: "The (State) Bank shall sell to or buy from any 
authorized dealer (bank) in Pakistan approved foreign exchange at 
such rates of exchange at such places and on such conditions as the 
Federal Government may from time to time by general or special 
order determine."

The SBP circular has only reproduced the amended section (23) of 
the State Bank Act of 1956 without making any comment. It has 
simply asked all the banks and other financial institutions to 
acknowledge the receipt of the information.

Bankers expect that the SBP may issue detailed guidelines on the 
subject in near future.

The shift in the policy is unmistakably clear: it would now be the 
prerogative of the SBP to determine the rates of exchange and other 
specifics related to buying and selling of the foreign exchange. 
The federal government would no longer exercise this right. It is 
also obvious that the commercial banks with valid licences would no 
longer act as the State Bank authorized dealers to buy or sell 
foreign exchange.

The SBP itself would start buying and selling foreign exchange in 
the local and international market.

Senior bankers said the amendment empowering the State Bank to 
enter into foreign exchange transactions on its own would help it 
stabilize the rupee when needed. "Now the SBP could buy foreign SBP 
now to buy, sell forex directly exchange from the open market and 
pour it into the inter-bank market and vice versa," said a 
treasurer of a leading foreign bank.

Treasury head of a local bank said the commercial banks would now 
find little room for manipulating foreign exchange business to earn 
huge profits. But treasurers of a couple of foreign banks said with 
the SBP now free to enter into foreign exchange deals "with every 
Tom, Dick and Harry" the banks would have very little role to play.

The bankers and open market currency dealers are anticipating the 
State Bank intervention in the open market any time now to squeeze 
the spread between inter-bank and open market exchange rates. 
Currently the spread ranges between Rs2.20 and Rs2.50 with the 
inter-bank rate oscillating between Rs51.20 and 51.50 and the open 
market rate between Rs53.50 and Rs53.70 a US dollar.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has been on record saying that the 
government may force the open market currency dealers to stop their 
business if the spread goes up beyond Rs1.00-1.50 a dollar.

The president of Pakistan Forex Association, which groups about 300 
licensed money changers, said with the SBP now allowed to buy and 
sell foreign exchange freely the exchange rates both in the inter-
bank and open market would stabilize. "It is a right step in the 
right direction", he said while talking to Dawn by telephone.

Senior bankers say the State Bank would now be able to raise swap 
funds from the international market but it is yet to be seen how 
the market would rate the central bank i.e. at what rate would the 
SBP be able to attract these funds and on what conditions.

GST on power, gas, petrol: Pakistan accepts IMF, WB condition

LONDON, July 29: Pakistan has agreed with the IMF and the World 
Bank to impose GST on petrol, gas and electricity before the 
release of the next tranche of $270 million loan "without putting 
any extra burden" on the consumers.

It emerged on Thursday after talks with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

Mr Dar arrived here on Wednesday from the United States after 
holding talks with the IMF and the World Bank officials for the 
release of $270 million tranche in September.

The IMF, according to reports, had conditioned the release of the 
loan with the imposition of GST on petrol, gas and power.

Though the minister did not divulge the details of the 
"understanding" reached with the IMF, it was very clear from his 
talk that Pakistan has agreed to the Fund's conditionalities. But, 
simultaneously, it has found a way out not to burden the consumers.

It is understood that Pakistan will decrease the central excise 
duty or some other duties on these items in proportion to the GST.

When asked whether he had agreed to IMF conditionality of imposing 
GST on these services, the minister refused to answer the question 
saying he has to brief the cabinet first before making any 

However, he said: "The common man is not concerned whether GST is 
there or not, if he is paying the same money on bills (which he is 
already paying)."

It was very evident the government is considering that while it 
will fulfil the IMF conditionality on the one hand, it will give an 
equal relief to the consumers by reducing the excise or some other 
duties proportionate to GST.

"Consumers will not be burdened," he said while advocating for GST. 
"It is a future tax as direct taxes like income tax are dying".

IMF TEAM'S VISIT TO PAKISTAN: Asked about his talks with the IMF 
and the World Bank for the release of $270 million tranche, the 
minister said that the fourth review by a Fund team was completed 
in June 1999, after which he could not continue talks because of 
other pressing engagements like the budget, trade policy and then 
the Kargil situation.

He said his present visit was aimed at picking up the thread from 
the same place where it was in June 1999.

"I can tell you that during my six-day talks with the IMF and World 
Bank officials, an understanding has been developed."

Asked to elaborate the "understanding", the minister said "it is 
enough to say that an understanding has been arrived with them."

Dar asserted that the IMF team would be visiting Pakistan in mid-
August for continuation of talks. "If there is no understanding how 
have they agreed to visit Pakistan", he questioned while referring 
to newspaper reports which hinted that the talks had been 

"Inshallah, the IMF will be holding its board of governors meeting 
before September and we will get money in September," he hoped.

RUPEE DEVALUATION: The minister said there would be no devaluation 
of the currency and asserted that any devaluation in rupee would 
not be in the national interest.

"I never believe devaluation can help the country rather I believe 
it will be a path of destruction," Dar said. "I am not willing to 
accept devaluation at any cost because I know this is not in the 
national interest."

He said the IMF had put a lot of pressure on Pakistan in October 
last year to devalue the rupee but he had refused to do so. "I knew 
it will result in an instant shooting up of Pakistan's defence 
budget, its debt servicing and was nothing less than a disaster 
recipe for the country."

Dar said during his meeting with the IMF officials he asked them 
what happened to their predictions that the dollar would go up 
against the Pakistani rupee. "They told me that Pakistan is a 
miracle country."

He agreed that the government had to be tough with the foreign 
currency dealers who were manipulating the price of the dollar 
against the Pakistani rupee. "The State Bank arrested only 44 
people in 14 days and the dollar rate started declining," he said. 
"Governments have to take such steps to save their currencies from 
such manipulations."

Loans write-off: State Bank issues guidelines to NBFIs

KARACHI, July 29: The State Bank has issued guidelines to Non-Bank 
Financial Institutions (NBFIs) in case they need to write-off any 
irrecoverable loans/advances or mark up.

The NBFIs received a circular from the Central Bank's Banking 
Supervision Department here Thursday which warned them that while 
rescheduling or restructuring is permissible, it should not be done 
simply to break time frame and allow unwarranted improvement in the 
classified category of loans.

The NBFIs include modarabas, leasing companies and investment 

Banking sources said the circular follows reports that various 
financial institutions were writing-off unqualified applications of 
defaulters just to show improvement in the balance sheets.

The SBP circular said bad/irrecoverable loans may be continued to 
be written off by NBFIs themselves with the approval of their 
respective board of directors.

But, before considering write-off proposals, they should ensure 
that the write-off proposal is duly audited by the Internal Auditor 
who would be required to clearly indicate whether any deviation 
from the credit policy approved by the board took place in 
sanctioning the advance.

Moreover, any irregularity or slackness that occurred during the 
disbursement or documentation should also be mentioned.

The SBP further asked for names and designation of officers/staff 
responsible for various lapses in handling the advance which led to 
its write off in full or part and that action taken against them 
may also be specified.

The NBFIs are also required to produce the latest valuation of 
properties / stocks held as security against advances, indicating 
present market value as well as forced value duly assessed by an 
approved surveyor.

It was made clear to banks that no write off will be allowed if the 
forced sale value of the security held is more than the outstanding 
amount recoverable.

They were further asked to ensure that all liquid assets including 
government securities, share certificates held under lien and 
pledged goods etc have been realized and sale proceeds are 
appropriate towards adjustment of outstanding.

The SBP further asked the banks to ensure that the borrower / 
guarantor has no known means of repayment and that the borrowers 
have not created other business interests and assets out of the 
non-performing loans proposed to be written off and that no 
criminal misappropriation of stock or other moveable/immovable 
securities by the borrower was involved.

The write-off of loans, if any, in the names of directors of the 
bank or their relatives, dependents or other concerns in which they 
have interest and in the name of head of banks etc would require 
prior approval of SBP.

These banks are further required to give full particulars of loans 
written off to the Credit Information Bureau (CIB) of SBP.-APP

World Bank gives India, Bangladesh $1 billion each, Pakistan $440m 

WASHINGTON, July 28: India and Bangladesh received more than $1 
billion each while Pakistan got $440 million from the World Bank in 
financial year 1999, which ended on June 30, the bank announced on 
Bank's lending commitments to the South Asian countries reached 
$2.6 billion for 18 projects. These commitments included $1.8 
billion in interest-free credits from IDA, and $750 million in 
market-based loans from the IBRD.
Disbursements reached $2.7 billion, showing a significant increase 
over the previous year. India and Bangladesh were among the bank's 
top ten borrowers in fiscal 1999. India was the largest borrower 
with commitments totalling $1.5 billion ($654 million in IDA 
credits and $400 million in IBRD loans) for seven projects.
Lending to Bangladesh reached record levels, with the approval of 
six projects totalling more than $1 billion (all IDA credits).
Pakistan received $440 million ($90 million in IDA credits and $350 
million in IBRD loans) for two projects; Sri Lanka, $29 million for 
one IDA-financed project; and Nepal, $17.5 million in IDA credits 
for two projects.
In close coordination with the IMF and other donor agencies, the 
bank moved swiftly to help maintain macroeconomic stability and to 
help meet balance of payment needs in the region through two multi-
sector programmes. These included a $200 million credit to 
Bangladesh, which helped the country recover from last year's 
devastating floods, and a $350 million loan to Pakistan, which 
supports structural reforms in banking, tax administration, public 
utilities, and public expenditure.
Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), a $90 million IDA credit 
supported the work of local partners such as NGOs and community-
based organizations (CBOs), to provide micro-credits to 
individuals, and grants and technical assistance to communities for 
small infrastructure projects, such as water supply schemes and 

Nine captive power companies improve profit by 114%
Nasir Jamal

LAHORE, July 29: Nine captive power generation companies improved 
their net profit by 114% to Rs540.018 million during the first half 
of the financial year 1999 ended Dec 31, 1998 from Rs252.114 
million in the corresponding period the previous year.

The sales of these companies rose by 21.21% to Rs2.248 billion from 
Rs1.848 billion in the same period as against an increase of merely 
5.31% in the cost of sales to Rs1.427 billion from Rs1.355 billion, 
according to the unaudited financial statements of these companies 
for the first six months ended Dec 31, 1998.

The growth in profits is attributed to lower prices of furnace oil, 
improved production efficiency, upward revision of the Wapda tariff 
and contained sales cost.

Kohinoor Genertech Ltd (KGL) and DG Khan Electric Co were actually 
able to cut down their costs of sales by 17.78% and 1.39%, 
respectively. KGL and DG Khan Electric were able to reduce the cost 
of their sales despite the fact that their respective sales shot up 
by 2.25% and 23.64% and profits by 76.55% and 128.12%.

Ibrahim Energy improved its profits by a staggering 234.29% to 
Rs48.733 million while its sales rose by 17.28% and cost of sales 
by 2.59%. Mapleleaf Electric followed it by registering growth of 
233.35% in its profits to Rs92.278 million from Rs27.682 million. 
Its sales improved by 48.79% and cost of sales by 18.94%.

Genertech Pak's profits shot up by 137.40% to Rs54.833 million 
while its sales and costs rose by 32.31% and 5.65%, respectively. 
Sitara Energy Ltd registered an increase of 123.24% in its profits 
taking them to Rs119.837 million from Rs53.681 million. Its sales 
and their costs grew by 23.24% and 12.82%, respectively.

Ideal Energy's profits bolstered by 55.60% to Rs25.731 million from 
Rs16.536 million while its sales rose by 12.28% and the cost by 
9.30%. Elahi Electric Co improved profit by 43.94% to Rs41.016 
million from Rs28.496 million, sales by 19.79% and cost by 3.10%. 
Kohinoor Power trailed behind the others by improving its profits 
by 11.54% to Rs22.286 million from Rs19.980 million and its sales 
rose by 4.6% and cost by 4.02%.

Large industrial consumers were allowed to establish their own 
power plants in the early 1990s in view of shortage of energy and 
the growing industry in the country because the public utilities, 
Wapda and KESC, were unable to meet the demand.

Most plants have been set up in the Punjab and supply power to 
their sponsors' industrial units. Their main consumers are sugar, 
textile, chemicals and cement industries.

'The profitability of captive power plants hinges on the price of 
furnace oil. Any fluctuation in the oil price can tumble their 
income.' Waseem Butt of Trust Securities and Brokerage Ltd (TSBL) 
says. 'The lowering of the furnace oil prices is reflected in the 
incomes of these companies.'

Besides, the financial health of their consumer industries can and 
does affect their incomes to a great extent. 'Those supplying power 
to cement industry have been forced to give rebate to their 
consumers that affects their incomes,' says an official at one of 
these plants.

The problems in the consuming industries can result in their 
reduced capacity utilization of the captive power plants and 
profits. Most of them are actually operating much below their 
capacity utilization due to a slowdown in economy and less demand 
by end users.

Some companies claim that they are 'trying to boost capacity 
utilization by selling power to the other industries'.

'These power plants have contributed great deal to improve the 
financial situation of their consumers and to help them make more 
money by saving them from the upward changes in the power tariffs 
and from power breakdowns, unreliable supplies, loadshedding and 
power fluctuations,' says TSBL analyst Fahim Ahmed.

Under their agreements with the government, the captive plants are 
allowed to sell the surplus power to public utilities as well as 
other industrial consumers.

Levy of sales tax: Powerloom owners' strike threat

FAISALABAD, July 29: The owners of silk and cotton powerlooms 
factories and sizing units have announced to observe a complete 
strike from August 1 in protest against the imposition of sales tax 
on powerlooms and sizing units.

Chairman All Pakistan Cotton Powerlooms Association, Rana Ikhlaq 
Ahmed, chairman All Pakistan Sizing Industries Association, Rana 
Talib Hussain, and other representatives of various trade 
organizations talking to newsmen here on Thursday pointed out that 
final notices for the registration of sales tax to the powerloom 
owners were issued and July 30 was the deadline.

They pointed out that the government had earlier announced that it 
would not impose any sales tax on powerlooms and sizing industry up 
to year 2003.

They urged the federal government to honour its commitment 
otherwise thousands of labourers would be rendered jobless and 
their families would be pushed to the very verge of starvation 
because of the collapse of the powerlooms and sizing industries.

They announced that protest camp had already been set up in the 
local Karkhana Bazaar where representatives of the traders would 
observe a token hunger strike daily by rotation.

They alleged that local MNAs were taking the owners of powerlooms 
and sizing units for a ride and they did precious little to resolve 
their problems.

They said they had been in illusion because MNAs and officials kept 
promising that the irritants that tormented them would be removed 
and they would be able to present their case before the federal 
authorities, but no such meeting ever took place and now yet 
another crisis stared them in the face. They said the only option 
they were left with was to go on strike and agitate as long as the 
authorities refused to be considerate and reasonable.

CBR evaluating impact of tax on reserves
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, July 28: The Central Board of Revenue is evaluating the 
possible impact of the government decision of levying a 10 per cent 
across-the-board tax on those companies whose reserves exceed 50 
per cent of their paid-up capital.
Sources close to CBR told Dawn that senior CBR officials were 
currently weighing the pros and cons of the decision in terms of 
revenue generation and corporate governance.
"It would be too early to say that the CBR would recommend any 
amendment in the decision but senior officials are studying its 
pros and cons," one of the sources told Dawn.
Sources at Karachi Stock Exchange said that KSE had sought a 
meeting with CBR Chairman Iqbal Farid to discuss this issue and 
solicit his support for amending it to the long-term benefit of the 
corporate sector. They said CBR had so far not responded to their 
The sources said KSE would also seek a meeting with Finance 
Minister Ishaq Dar on his return from Washington to urge him to 
differentiate between good and bad companies in levying the tax on 
reserves. Sources at CBR said senior CBR officials were also 
waiting for the minister to discuss this issue in detail and seek a 
go-ahead signal to find out the way to appease the agitating 
KSE has demanded that the tax should be levied only on those 
companies who fail to distribute at least 50 per cent of their 
current year earnings among their shareholders. Several other 
business bodies including Lahore Stock Exchange have also urged the 
government to restrict imposition of the tax only to those 
companies which fail to give out dividends to their shareholders.
A senior KSE official said an across-the-board levy of 10 per cent 
tax on the companies with extra reserves would defy the very spirit 
of it. He recalled that minister Ishaq Dar had made it clear in his 
budget speech on June 12 that the tax was not being levied only to 
earn revenue but to encourage the companies to pay dividends.

"Now if the tax is levied across the board it would force good 
companies paying dividends to find out ways for out of the book 
channelization of funds," observed the official. "Some companies 
might also resort to issuing unnecessary bonus shares which would 
dilute the earning per share of the companies discouraging the 
investors." For the last two years or so capital investment in the 
country has remained at its lowest ebb. "So any fresh move to 
discourage investors from making investments in the companies of 
their choice would severely hit the country."
"I am not sure how the government might tackle the issue but 
indications are that the demands of the business community make 
some sense and the government may have to accommodate them," an 
Islamabad-based official told Dawn on phone.

Life insurance ratio in Pakistan one of the lowest

KARACHI, July 28: Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce 
Muhammad Sulaiman has said that life insurance ratio in Pakistan is 
one of the lowest in the world.

Speaking at grand gold medal awards ceremony, organised by Karachi 
Southern Zone of State Life Insurance Corporation (SLIC) here 
Wednesday, Sulaiman exhorted the SLIC workers to work with 
He said if every sales representative sells one policy every month, 
all the financial problems of the corporation would be solved.
He said persistency of life insurance policies would play an 
important role in success of the corporation.
The Additional Secretary of Commerce suggested that the policy 
holders should be discourage to take a loan against their policies. 
After taking a loan, the policy holders are unable to repay it, 
which ultimately result in surrender of the policy.
Earlier, the SLIC Chairman Dr. Najeeb Sami hoped that the annual 
target of Rs. 1.65 billion premium for 1999 would be achieved.
Later, gold and silver medals were distributed among the winners.-

Petroleum dealers call off strike

ISLAMABAD, July 24: Petroleum dealers have called off their 
country-wide strike scheduled for July 26 after the federal 
government assured them on Saturday to consider their demands.

All Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (APPDA) President Malik 
Mohammad Majeed and Director General Oils of Ministry of Petroleum 
held negotiations here on Saturday to assess the prospects of 
meeting the dealers' demands. The demands include revival of the 
dealers' deduction profit to 5 per cent as per the APPDA-government 
agreement of 1993, and reduction of withholding tax imposed in 
1999-2000 federal budget from 10 per cent to 5 per cent.

The ministry acquired a three-month period for fulfilling these 
demands and assured the APPDA that the CBR would be asked to review 

the 10 per cent withholding tax. The APPDA leaders said there were 
some hurdles in the way of resolving these issues for which the 
government has been given a three month period. Those who 
participated in the talks included APPDA Senior Vice President, 
Mohammad Ashfaq Tarar, Vice Presidents Chaudhry Suleman and Tahir 
Mushtaq, and adviser to Punjab Chief Minister S.A Hameed.

Massive buying in Hub-Power shares

KARACHI, July 30: Massive buying in Hub-Power on news of an early 
settlement of the tariff issue with the Independent Power Producers 
on Friday triggered fresh strong speculative support in the energy 
sector, which took the entire market along with them to the new 
peak levels.

The linkage of the aid release by the IMF with the long-drawn IPP 
issue seems to be the chief motivating force behind the massive 
support equally shared by the foreign investors as the general 
perception was that "settlement of the power cut issue is now 
imminent", said a member of the KSE.

The share of Hub-Power surged to well above the resistance level of 
Rs.20.00 at Rs.20.45,up Rs.1.60 on a massive activity of 84m 
shares, out of the total volume of 203m shares.

The KSE 100-share index posted a fresh gain of 26.22 points at 
1,251.79 as compared to 1,225.57 points after initial smart advance 
was clipped by the late weekend selling. It was early up by 32 

The breach of the barrier of 1,250.00 is significant in more than 
one ways as it generally prove a launching pad for a sustained run-
up at least up to 1,400 point level.

"It was the IMF pressure or one of the conditionalities to release 
the fourth tranche of $280 million,which forced the finance 
minister to set up a new two-member committee to settle the issue 
immediately", analysts said.

But some other doubted the perception of an early settlement of the 
IPP issue as for the last several months energy shares respond 
bullishly to such news that originate from various sources whenever 
aid talks start with the IMF or the other donor agencies but the 
issue stayed unresolved.

However, a section of leading brokers "makes millions in between 
after buying Hub-Power at the fall and selling it at the 
speculative rise", they added.

A wave of fresh heavy speculative buying in Hub-Power was initiated 
by some of the leading foreign investors as no one among them was 
inclined to be outwitted by their local rivals below Rs.20.00.

Other energy shares, notably those sponsored by the foreign 
investors and are still ruling below their face values were also 
actively traded as a section of institutional traders also made 
heavy buying in them.

"The IPP issue has been one of the major irritants for the market 
for the last about two years and its early settlement could give 
the needed boost to it the same day", said a leading floor broker.

He said the next week could be very crucial for the direction of 
the market as the official committee is expected to give its 
verdict after examining the tariff cut proposals of the management 
of Hubco and some other foreign sponsors.

UAE-based traders to invest in PM's transport scheme

LAHORE, July 26: Pakistani businessmen living in United Arab 
Emirates will invest in the prime minister's national transport 

This was stated by Pakistan Business Council Dubai President 
Muhammad Siddique Chaudhry after a discussion on the transport 
scheme at the head office of Small and Medium Enterprise 
Development Authority here on Monday. 

SMEDA Chairman Khawaja Belal Ahmed was also present. Siddique 
Chaudhry said it was first time that a long term transport plan had 
been devised in Pakistan which showed lot of promise to 
investors.He said overseas Pakistanis always looked forward to 
opportunities for investment in their homeland. 

The Pakistan Business Council, he said, enjoyed full patronage by 
the UAE government and had been helping Pakistanis working there in 
providing them information pertaining to their jobs, business, 
remittances and economic policies carved out by Islamabad time to 

He told SMEDA officials that soon the council would arranged a 
business convention for Pakistanis and others working in gulf 
states and other Arab countries. 

The moot is likely to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Nawaz 
Sharif. Appreciating the transport scheme, he invited the authority 
to arrange a presentation of the transport plan at the convention 
as well. 

Kh.Belal Ahmed told the visitors that SMEDA would participate in 
the convention being arranged by the Pakistan Overseas Foundation 
in Islamabad on Aug 25 this year. 

He said efforts would also be made to take part in the UAE moot. He 
said the authority was striving to get legal protection for its 
schemes which it had formulated for various sectors' development so 
that no government in future could deviate from the basic 

He informed the council members that being the patron of SMEDA 
prime minister took personal interest in authority's plans and 
ensured their execution through various government organizations.

Back to the top
Sound advice
Ardeshir Cowasjee

NOTHING has changed for the better. Nine years ago, in May 1990, 
during Benazir Bhutto's first round, I was visited one evening by a 
henchmen of the prime minister and her husband, an officer of the 
grade of an SDM. He sent in his card which read "Ahmad Fahim 
Mughal, Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, Bilawal House, 

He had come to see me, in his official capacity, about a huge 
highrise complex, 'Classic Homes,' of which he claimed to be a part 
owner, the others being 'Powerful Friends.' I had filed a suit 
against this illegal construction and the Sindh High Court had 
granted a stay. He very directly asked me to withdraw the suit and 
have the stay vacated at the next hearing of the case in three days 
time. If I did not do so, showing me his fist, he told me I would 
have to face the consequences.

The suit had actually been filed by 27 affected citizens, many of 
the 26 not accustomed to dealing with people such as Mughal and his 
bosses. Worried about their safety, I went to court the next 
morning to find my lawyer, Khalid Anwer, to ask him what could be 
done to save the others from potential harassment. Khalid told me 
that fifty per cent of our judges exist in fear of their rulers and 
were not likely to spring to our aid. Safety could only lie in 
exposing bullies who issued threats. His suggestion was that I 
write to President Ghulum Ishaq Khan, sending copies to the high 
office holders of the land, and spread the word in the press, which 
I did. I also wrote a column the following Friday and no more was 
heard from Mughal - no further threats issued. Khalid had given 
sound advice: when threatened, expose the threatener.

Now, in 1999, on the morning of Sunday July 18, Moinuddin Khan, who 
had been brought in by the prime minister early in his second round 
to be chairman of the Central Board of Revenue and who has now 
reverted to his original profession, banking, rang from Riyadh. He 
told me that his brother, Naeemuddin Khan, an officer of the United 
Bank who dealt with bad debts and recoveries, had been abducted 
from his house in Karachi the night before by the FIA under 
instructions from Senator Saifur Rahman, head of the accountability 
bureau, the prime minister's chief trouble shooter. Naeem's 
whereabouts were not known. Knowing how Najam Sethi and Hussain 
Haqqani had been recently treated, Moin was naturally worried. What 
could be done?

Ringing Saifur Rahman would not help as he would deny all knowledge 
or involvement. All that could be done was to file a writ of habeas 
corpus, though many of our judges are not aware of the meaning or 
importance of the urgency of this writ, and do not realize that it 
must be heard as soon as a petitioner's advocate rises and 
announces that he has filed such a writ. Moin said that they had 
already decided to do this and that advocate Akram Shaikh was being 
instructed accordingly.

Senator Saifur Rahman, close confidante and friend of the prime 
minister from whose secretariat he operates, has taken upon himself 
the responsibility of ensuring that Nawaz Sharif and his government 
rule over us in perpetuity. Like the rest of the partymen, using 
his clout he had borrowed money from the government bank UBL in 
1991, during Nawaz Sharif's first round and become a mill owner and 
industrialist. Some sums have been repaid but as of today he, his 
family, his textile mill and his business concern Redco owe UBL, 
from borrowings made in Pakistan and abroad, some Rs.1.4 billion 
(140 crores).

Before Nawaz Sharif came in for the second time, the loan 
repayments were rescheduled twice but the repayment schedule was 
not adhered to. Come Sharif and his second round, banker Zubayr 
Soomro was brought in to head UBL and the recovery process in all 
cases was activated. For the third time, Saifur Rahman's repayments 
were rescheduled, and yet again no repayments were made in time. 
Finally, UBL filed a recovery suit in the Lahore High Court and the 
harassment of Zubayr commenced. His safety was guaranteed by the 
fact that he is the son of the Speaker of the National Assembly, 
Ilahi Bakhsh Soomro.

Saifur Rahman, in turn, filed a suit in the LHC against UBL 
claiming damages, pleading that interest was un-Islamic, etc, etc. 
The suits are being heard. Then, about six weeks ago, Saifur Rahman 
filed a writ in Justice Malik Qayyum's court at the LHC seeking, 
inter alia, that proceedings in the UBL suit be stayed so as to 
give him time to approach the high-powered bankers' rescheduling 
committee. Justice Qayyum passed no orders.

The heads of seven banks and financing institutions forming the 
committee are: Shaukat Tareen, Habib; Mohammadmian Soomro, 
National; Zubayr Soomro, United; Mian Mohammad Mansha, President, 
Muslim Commercial; Rashid Chaudhry, Allied; Mohammad Ali Khoja, 
PICIC; Bilal Shaikh, NDFC. This committee cannot take notice of any 
rescheduling until the affected bank itself refers the matter to 
it. This UBL has not so far done. Saifur Rahman can prevail upon 
five of the seven committee members (let each think he is one of 
the two).

In the meantime Saifur Rahman managed to get one-time Ittefaq 
lawyer, Chaudhry Mohammad Farooq, who is also the Attorney-General 
of Pakistan, the first law officer of the people, to write to the 
Governor of the State Bank asking him to direct the committee to 
consider questions relating to Saifur Rahman's unpaid loans. The 
State Bank has brought this letter to the committee's attention but 
so far it has taken no action.

In the meantime, on the orders of Saifur Rahman, the income tax 
authorities commenced harassing Naeemuddin and his other brother, 
Banker Bahauddin of Deutsche Bank. Saif rang Moinuddin in Riyadh on 
July 9 asking him to prevail upon Naeemuddin to be reasonable. Moin 
told him his brother abided by his own norms.

On July 18, as soon as Zubayr learnt that Naeemuddin had been 
abducted by the FIA, he moved to save his man. The first person he 
turned to was naturally his father, Ilahi Bakhsh, who leapt into 
action, and found the prime minister at Lahore airport as he and 
his ninety hangers-on were about to board their special Umra 
flight. The prime minister took a second wise decision and 
instructed his Principal Secretary, Saeed Mehdi, to order the 
immdiate release of Naeemuddin, who had been flown from Karachi to 
Islamabad and lodged in Saifur Rahman's safe domed secretariat.

On July 22 when I rang Saif to ask him why he felt compelled to 
harass those who did not 'cooperate,' he denied all knowledge of 
Naeemuddin's abduction. For good measure, he informed me that the 
previous day certain power-wielders of Islamabad were considering 
sending the federal police to collect me from Karachi and to ensure 
my presence before the Privileges Committee of the National 
Assembly. When I asked who they were, he would not name them, but 
told me he had restrained them from taking any such action. I had 
to refresh his memory.

On April 13, 1998, MNA Khwaja Asif, holding the rank of a federal 
minister, reported to the National Assembly secretariat that I had 
not only "used abusive language but also threatened me with dire 
consequences." He considered this to be "a clear breach of my 
privilege and attempt to stop me from performing my duties as a 
parliamentarian." I was summoned by the Privileges Committee. Much 
correspondence ensued. On December 5, 1998, I wrote a seven-page 
letter in the final paragraph of which I wrote : "Let me state that 
in principle I have no objection to appearing before the Committee 
but before I do I would like to be categorically told about the law 
under which I am required to appear, the details of the allegation, 
as well as the evidence upon which it is based, and the finding of 
the Committee on the crucial issues I have raised hereinabove."

After my talk with Saif, I wrote another letter to the Secretary of 
the Privileges Committee drawing his attention to the General 
Clauses (Amendment) Act 1997 (adding section 24A to the General 
Clauses Act 1897) passed by parliament. This requires any 
authority, office or person making any order, or issuing any 
direction, to give reasons for making the order or issuing the 
direction. I reiterated my readiness "to appear before the 
Committee as and when lawfully summoned, but I must be made aware 
of the law which entitles you to summon me . . . . . I justifiably 
feel that an unsubstantiated statement made by a legislator is not 
sufficient reason to inconvenience any citizen."

I would like to believe that my lawyer, Khalid Anwer, our present 
government's law minister, is giving 'sound advice' to the prime 
minister but that his advice is not being heeded.

Accountability Pakistani-style
Ayaz Amir

AFTER sowing in Kargil the seeds of a disaster with few parallels 
in our tear-laden history, and in the process making clowns of 
ourselves in the international arena, on whom do we vent the 
concentrated fury of our righteous indignation? On the national 
cricket team. As some of our media wizards might say, this is 
homespun accountability.

Our star cricketers may be louts to the last man: lazy, greedy, 
erratic and temperamental who perform well only by fits and starts. 
But in possessing these attributes in what way do they differ from 
the rest of their countrymen? After 50 years of sustained effort we 
have managed to turn ourselves into a nation of boors, with the 
dominating national qualities being greed, laziness and mediocrity. 
What then entitles the nation's Moral Commissioners to judge anyone 
else harshly, least of all our cricketers who at least are good at 

What can the rest of us claim for ourselves, including our rulers 
who, even after their victories in Washington, feel no qualms about 
saying that occupied Kashmir will soon become a part of Pakistan? 
This inspiring claim, fired at a nation still trying to recover 
from the Kargil experience, was made at Hiran Minar a few days ago 
at the ground-breaking ceremony of another inter-change on the 
motorway, the white elephant whose continued pampering is very 
likely to be the one economic activity which will survive when 
everything else comes to a standstill.

Consider also as to who is doing the judging. Pakistan's Chief Boy 
Scout, Senator Saifur Rehman. What is the operating Scotland Yard 
principle here at work? Set a saint to catch a thief. True, there 
is a cloud over his dealings with UBL to which he owes over a 
billion rupees. But he says his default was "engineered", a term 
which is Pakistan's contribution to the art and science of banking.

Before the Lahore High Court he has also taken the plea that 
interest is unIslamic, something which he apparently did not 
realize when drawing his loans. For good measure he is also suing 
UBL for a sum exceeding 900 crores for causing him undue distress 
and discomfort. In short, just the right man to conduct an ethical 
probe and visit judgment upon the cricket team.

Indeed, if the course taken by the heavy mandate over the last two 
and a half years emphasizes anything it is the striking 
indispensability of two individuals. In matters judicial, Justice 
Qayyum of the Lahore High Court. In matters investigative, 
administrative, financial and miscellaneous, Senator Saifur Rehman 
of Redco. Small wonder then if after having dealt with Benazir 
Bhutto, Asif Zardari, the independent power producers, the Jang 
Group (whose insurrection, alas, proved only too short-lived) and 
the Friday Times, the indefatigable Boy Scout has been entrusted 
with another national task: reforming the morals of the cricket 

But what are our cricketers being accused of? That they have fixed 
matches and as a result brought a bad name to the country. It might 
be asked as to who has brought a worse name to the country: these 
match-fixing louts or the victors of Washington and Kargil? Whose 
is the more heinous offence? But to deal with questions is to tread 
on dangerous ground. So allowing this to pass, let us dwell instead 
on match-fixing.

Is this charge not likely to provoke the laughter of the gods? In a 
nation where everything is fixed - police, judiciary, customs, bank 
loans, favoured terms of trade for privileged industries (but not 
which is a strategic asset) and even elections - is it not funny to 
prosecute cricketers for match-fixing?

The present Muslim League itself is a monument to one of the 
greatest feats of political fixing seen in Pakistan. Conceived and 
consummated by the country's invisible masters, its aim was to 
build a counter-weight to the PPP. This was largely achieved and 
the result was the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad on whose back Nawaz 
Sharif successfully resisted the PPP from 1988 onwards. With this 
and other skeletons in our cupboard, it reveals a skewed sense of 
proportion to go after the supposed shenanigans of the cricket 
team. If confronted by the biblical injunction, let him cast the 
first stone who hath not sinned, what would Senator Rehman say?

If these same louts had come back with the World Cup as they had 
half a chance of doing, they would have been treated as demi-gods. 
Non-taxpaying traders would have held receptions in their honour. 
The Lord Mayor of Lahore would have feted them in the Shalimar 
Gardens or the Fort, two items of our inheritance abandoned to the 
peculiar post-independence culture of Lahore a long time ago. But 
having thrown away their last match our of sheer incompetence or 
call it what you will their sins are suddenly being remembered.

A picture in the papers says it all. Wasim Akram with an 
ingratiating double-handshake stooping before the newly-appointed 
cricketing czar, Mujeebur Rehman. Both of them should be ashamed of 
themselves: Akram, for behaving in a servile manner and not having 
any self-respect, Mujeebur Rehman for allowing this to happen. 
Akram after all, match-fixer or not, is a cricketing legend, one of 
the greatest all-rounders in the world today. Who is Mujeebur 
Rehman? His only known qualification for his cricketing job is his 
being the younger brother of Boy Scout Saifur Rehman.

It is things such as this which give one a headache. After 52 years 
what do we have to show for ourselves? That we have become a nation 
dedicated almost solely to the pursuit of mediocrity and bad taste. 
What else explains the need to commemorate with as much noise as 
possible the anniversary of our nuclear explosions, install cheap 
replicas of Shaheen and Ghauri missiles at traffic inter-sections, 
make empty boasts all the time, have no sense of remorse for our 
actions and none of shame?

When the prime minister is shown on television taking telephone 
calls from the general public on Saturday mornings, two plastic 
models of these missile can be seen standing next to his desk. Have 
they been put there to convey an impression of fortitude and iron 

There is then Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani Oppenheimer, from 
whom there seems to be no escape. Every day in the papers there is 
a picture of him attending a ceremony where his scientific genius 
is lauded.

With things like this going on all the time, and with verbal and 
other forms of excess having become national pastimes, it is 
perhaps a hopeless undertaking even to suggest that a bit of 
modesty in word and gesture might do us some good or that before 
attempting to reform anyone else's morals we might try looking into 
our own bosoms.

Our image abroad
Irfan Husain

IF the average Pakistani knew of the low esteem much of the world 
held his country in, he would be most unhappy. Luckily, there are 
no opinion polls to confirm this view.

On the other hand, most of us who suspect this state of affairs 
probably ascribe it to an international plot. For these conspiracy 
theorists, our actions and words do not warrant any reaction 
abroad. Just consider a few recent gems to understand why we are 
increasingly seen as an incomprehensible, irrational rogue state by 
those foreigners who are aware of and interested in what is 
happening here.

While I will discuss the Kargil fiasco at greater length in another 
article, let me say that the rest of the world is appalled by the 
recklessness of the entire episode. I was abroad for the last six 
weeks, and can report that the stories and editorial comments 
published on the affair were almost uniformly critical of Pakistan. 
That a nuclear power could be irresponsible enough to launch such 
an adventure was horrifying. And while reporters and editors did 
write that the Pakistani government denied a hand in the whole 
affair, nobody really believed it. In fact, no Pakistani here or 
abroad swallowed this fabrication either.

But if the initial blunder wasn't bad enough, we have the spectacle 
of thousands of people demonstrating against the decision to call a 
halt to the fighting. How should foreigners view such a bellicose 
reaction? It would have been perfectly proper for a popular 
response against the government for instigating hostilities, but 
instead here are people demanding that the killing and dying 
continue in the mountain wastes of Kashmir.

Then we have the spectacle of the government hounding a respected 
journalist. On my return flight, I noticed a New York Times story 
carried by the Khaleej Times of Dubai. The report detailed Najam 
Sethi's trials and tribulations at the hands of the Nawaz Sharif 
government, including the attempt to declare The Friday Times 
editor a non-Muslim. I then picked up Newsweek, and found another 
major story on the subject there. I am sure millions of people 
around the world are now aware of this vicious vendetta against a 
journalist.When I was in London recently, several people asked me 
why the government was gunning for Sethi, and the only reason I 
could think of was that he was doing his job and exposing 
corruption in high places. What should foreigners think of a 
government and a country where journalists are arrested, beaten up, 
incarcerated without charges and their faith called into question? 
To top it all, the Election Commission is examining in all 
seriousness the "charge" that Sethi is a non-Muslim. In case I have 
such doubts about somebody I dislike, I trust the Chief Election 
Commissioner will take similar note of my suspicions. In fact, this 
is a novel way of harassing opponents, and one that seems destined 
to become a popular pastime.

In another move to hassle him, 52 income tax-related cases have 
been slapped on the editor. This blatant misuse of state power to 
silence dissent is repellent to all those concerned about democracy 
and the freedom of the press. Sethi now faces the very real 
prospect of having his house confiscated, his weekly's office 
sealed, his book selling business seized and his bank accounts 
frozen. He has already been stopped at the airport and his passport 
taken away when he was leaving for London recently to accept an 
award conferred on him by Amnesty International.

Then we have the bizarre indictment of the national cricket team 
for having lost the final of the recent World Cup. Apparently, 
effigies of players were burnt, their houses stoned, and inquiries 
launched into the causes of the defeat. Nobody abroad can 
understand why the loss of a game should inflame such passions and 
arouse such hysteria. The English press had been full of praise for 
our team, calling it the most exciting and talented squad in the 
tournament. And when it lost by such a humiliating margin, it was 
put down to inexperience and nerves. Nobody suggested that they had 
deliberately thrown the match, and the accusations appearing in the 
Pakistani papers were quoted with amusement and amazement.

There have been stories in the British press of late detailing the 
sad saga of many girls born of Pakistani parents who are forced to 
marry against their will. When one such girl eloped with the man 
she loved, she was murdered at the behest of her parents. There are 
bounty hunters who track down young women who flee their homes to 
avoid forced marriage. These mediaeval acts in their midst shock 
average Britons who have been amazingly tolerant of the most 
bizarre behaviour by many of those who have chosen to settle in 
their midst.

The defence most of these parents give in court is that they acted 
according to the norms prevailing in Pakistan, and all too often, 
they get off with only a mild reprimand. Unfortunately, it is true 
that they took their barbaric notions from here, although they 
should certainly not be permitted to put them into practice in a 
civilized country where young men and women are free to marry 
according to their choice once they have reached the age of 
consent. So even when our countrymen who have settled abroad choose 
to act in a barbaric manner, their attitudes do reflect on us as a 

So far, I have not even mentioned the drug smuggling, the illegal 
immigration and the rabid fanaticism our countrymen are known for 
across the globe. But all these traits have gone a long way in 
giving Pakistan and Pakistanis a very unsavoury image and 
reputation abroad. We may choose to close our eyes to this reality 
or ascribe it to an international plot against us. But it is more 
difficult to face the truth and try to do something to change the 
image we have built for ourselves abroad.

I stopped in Turkey for one glorious week on my way back with a 
very old and dear friend on the Aegean coast at her summer house in 
a small village. Keep in mind the fact that until relatively 
recently, Pakistanis were warmly welcomed in Turkey. Anyway, Deniz 
and I walked into a village shop for some groceries, and my hostess 
introduced me to the shopkeeper as a visitor from Pakistan. The man 
looked at me and said, "Ah, Pakistan!" I swear I could hear the 
pity in his voice.

Pakistan likely to boycott Sharjah event
Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, July 29: The ad hoc committee of the Pakistan Cricket 
Board (PCB) is contemplating pulling out its team from October's 
Sharjah Champions Trophy, informed sources said.

The Sharjah contest, to be played between Oct 13 to 22, will also 
be competed by former world champions Sri Lanka and the West 

According to an agreement between Pakistan and the Cricketers 
Benefit Fund Series (CBFS), the team is bound to tour Sharjah at 
least once each year till 2000.

But the ad hoc committee has objected to the CBFS's decision to pay 
Pakistan a token money from the television rights it has signed 
with TransWorld International (TWI).

"The CBFS has signed a $25 million contract with TWI. But is paying 
just $225,000 to Pakistan which is peanuts. We strongly object to 
this rational and are seriously considering to pull-out from the 
Sharjah tournament in protest," a top ad hoc committee official 

The official added that he would also be discussing the issue with 
the Indian cricket board officials and would seek their help. 
"India will also be getting the same money.

"The point is that TWI signed a lucrative deal because Pakistan and 
India tour Sharjah and play matches. Therefore, we have a claim to 
ask for more share from the television rights.

"Ask TWI, will they pay a similar amount to CBFS if New Zealand or 
England or even South Africa are playing? People of the Emirates 
want to see Pakistan and India in action.

"The CBFS is cashing in on the names of Pakistan and Indian 
cricketers without giving their boards the share they deserve," the 
official added.

The official, requesting not to be identified, added that the 
players have also lodged a serious complain against the attitude of 
the CBFS officials.

Suspended players not to be selected, says Mujeeb

KARACHI, July 29: The chairman of the ad hoc committee Mujeeb-ur-
Rahman on Thursday reiterated that the suspended trio, including 
skipper Wasim Akram, will not be selected in the coming season 
until they proved their innocence.

"They are great players but the charges against them are quite 
serious. They will first have to get their names cleared before 
becoming eligible for selection," he said in his first press 
conference in the city during which he faced a barrage of questions 
regarding the suspension of the three players.

Mujeeb stressed that the three players were suspended on an interim 
report prepared by a three-member probe committee of the defunct 
board and submitted 10 months ago.

He, however, offered no comments when pointed out that at least 
Salim Malik was cleared of match-fixing and betting charges when 
the investigations were carried out by former Justice (retd) 
Fakhruddin G Ebraheem in 1995.

He stated that he has not insulted the national heroes by 
suspending them. 

"I want them to get cleared of all charges. I have promised my 
full support to them and have also offered them that I can arrange 
meetings for them with Accountability Cell chief so that they can 
defend themselves.

"The board is not insulting any player but if any one found guilty 
will be dealt severely. It is premature to say what action would be 
taken against players found guilty but it would be a tough 
punishment," Mujeeb asserted.

"No player is neither above discipline nor is indispensable," he 

Mujeeb said five players viz Moin Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mushtaq 
Ahmad, Saqlain Mushtaq and Waqar Younis were not suspended because 
the Accountability Cell had levelled specific charges against Wasim 
Akram, Salim Malik and Ijaz Ahmad.

However, he added that if the judicial commission named the 
involvement of any of the five players in match-fixing, he would be 
taken to task.

"They have not been suspended until now because the interim report 
didn't mention their names as prime suspects. But if the judicial 
commission named any of the five players, they would be severely 
dealt with," he said.

Mujeeb said he has already made up his mind that the three players 
will not be selected until the judicial commission submits its 
recommendation. "The team may lose in their absence, but at least 
the defeat would not be attributed to any foul play. I don't mind 
losing but the allegations of match-fixing are something which 
takes the gloss out of the prowess of the team."

Mujeeb said Pakistan cricket was getting a bad name because the 
issue had been dragging on for four years. He said he believed that 
the players should have been banned then and there.

Mujeeb, for the first time, said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) 
was suspended because of mismanagement.


He said the management was suspended because of the repeated 
allegations of match-fixing. He said the defunct board failed to 
handle the issue and that's why it prolonged for so long.

He denied the impression that his brother Senator Saif-ur-Rahman 
manoeuvred to get him inducted as the ad hoc committee chief. 

"He, in fact, advised me not to become the ad hoc committee 
chairman," he said.

Wasim Akram denies any wrongdoing

LONDON, July 25: Pakistan captain Wasim Akram, suspended by the 
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) following a probe into allegations of 
match fixing, on Sunday denied any wrongdoing.

"I absolutely refute any charges," Akram said on Channel Four 
television. He is currently commentating on the Test match between 
England and New Zealand.

"This is more to do with politics than anything else," Akram said.

"I am going to go back (to Pakistan) next week and sort this out."

Akram said the ongoing allegations about match fixing and betting 
were damaging the game in Pakistan. "Young cricketers are going to 
get scared of losing," he said.

He said that almost everybody, rich or poor, gambled in Pakistan.

"When they lose, they have to blame someone."

Akram said it was "a long story. I think what has happened is that 
in Pakistan sport has a lot to do with politics and this is more 
political than anything else. I

"It is getting too much. They are ruining Pakistan cricket and the 
youngsters in Pakistan are scared of losing now. You won't be able 
to win in future."

He was also critical of the press for fuelling the rumours.

"I don't know what they are doing to their own team. I don't 
believe what is happening. The press in Pakistan can do anything 
they want. You can sue them but it takes about 100 years to sort 
the case out.

"They write what they want to write, whatever will sell they write, 
so the press and media in Pakistan have a big hand in this 

Pakistani boxers bag 6 gold medals in Iranian contests

KARACHI, July 28: Pakistan pugilists conjured up six medals in the 
recently held International Boxing Tournaments in the Iranian 
cities of Tehran and Ramsar.
In the event held at Ramsar, Pakistani boxers scooped-up four 
medals. Ali Asghar Shah, the 16th Commonwealth Games silver 
madallist, and Haider Ali bagged a gold medal each in lightweight 
and flyweight categories, respectively.
While Sohail Baloch who took part in any international event for 
the first time, won a silver in bantamweight and Olympian 
Usmanullah got a bronze in welterweight.
Usmanullah once again proved his agility and skills in the Iranian 
capital Tehran when he grabbed a silver in welterweight while his 
team-mate Haider Ali got a bronze in flyweight.
The seven-member Pakistan squad reached here today and went to 
Islamabad to join the camp established there in connection with 
South Asian Federation (SAF) Games to be held in Nepal, Kathmandu 
coming September.
The team coach Juan Dussace has expressed satisfaction on the 
performance of the team and termed the tour as fruitful which has 
given international exposure and will help Pakistani boxers prepare 
themselves for the SAF Games.
The team which participated in the two events in Iran is ; Haider 
Ali (flyweight), Sohail Baloch (bantamweight), Asghar Ali Shah 
(lightweight), Usmanullah (welterweight) and Abdul Rasheed (light-
middle weight).
Major Zubair was team manager while Juan Dussace coach. -PPI

You can subscribe to DWS by sending an email to 
<subscribe.dws@dawn.com>, with the following text in the BODY of your 
message: subscribe dws

To unsubscribe, send an email to <unsubscribe.dws@dawn.com>, with 
the following in the BODY of you message:
unsubscribe dws

Back to the top.

Dawn page