------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 01 January 2000 Issue : 06/01 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Hijackers get three freedom fighters released + Defence again pleads for copies of audio tapes + Maniac Javed Iqbal makes dramatic surrender + PML not to oppose SC ruling on Riba: Sartaj + Arif Nakai disqualified for 21 years + PML to fight legal battle for Nawaz's release + Two NAB courts set up in Sindh + Textile quota policy for 2000 announced + Forcible recovery of arrears from tomorrow + Altaf to expose plot against MQM + No Y2K problem in communications sector: PTCL + Report rejects conspiracy in Murtaza case --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Petroleum sector deregulation: Proposal to be finalized by Feb + 20 held in Ehtesab's second drive + Foreign debt to be retired through sale of state units + Setting up of commodity stabilization fund urged + Provinces asked to draw up strategy for funding uplift plans + SBP says data on defaulters incomplete + Rs400m ADB aid to schools suspended + Pact with non-Paris Club within two months + Savings schemes' rates of return being cut + Six CBR divisions abolished + Sales tax for Northern areas notified --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Something after all to celebrate Ayaz Amir + Brave new world Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Wasim Akram questions actions of other pacers + Javed Miandad incharge of domestic cricket + PHF abolishes Executive Board + Waqar replaces suspended Shoaib for triangular

Hijackers get three freedom fighters released

KANDAHAR, Dec 31: The eight-day hijacking of an Indian airliner 
with 160 people on board came to a sudden end on New Year's Eve 
after India bowed to demands to release three Kashmiri freedom 

After five days of intense negotiations, the five hijackers gave up 
peacefully just after Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh arrived 
in Kandahar with the three Mujahideen whose release had been 
demanded by the hijackers.

Wearing masks and armed with pistols, the five hijackers descended 
from the Airbus A300, got into a van and were driven away from the 

Shortly afterwards the passengers, trapped and blindfolded for long 
stretches inside the plane since Dec 24, began to emerge.

The 160 passengers and crew were immediately driven in buses to two 
waiting Indian aircraft and flown to India.

Those released included the widow of the only fatality during the 
hijacking - a newlywed Indian who was stabbed to death, apparently 
for peeking at the hijackers through his blindfold when the plane 
was seized on Christmas Eve en route from Kathmandu to New Delhi.

The plane eventually landed in Kandahar, the Taliban headquarters, 
on Saturday after crisscrossing South Asia and the Gulf.

"As a result of the negotiations with the Taliban and the 
hijackers, there has been an agreement for the release of all the 
hostages in exchange for three militants," Indian National Security 
Advisor Brajesh Mishra told reporters in New Delhi.

He identified the three Mujahideen as Maulana Masood Azhar, Mushtaq 
Zargar and Ahmad Umar Syed.

One of the key issues in the negotiations had been the fate of the 

But Singh scotched rumours they would be given political asylum by 
the Taliban in Afghanistan, saying they had just 10 hours to leave 
the country.

It was not immediately clear what had happened to the three 
Kashmiris freed from Indian jails when they arrived in Afghanistan.

Azhar, a charismatic scholar arrested in held Kashmir in 1994, was 
a senior leader of the Harkat-ul-Ansar, one of several hardline 
Muslim groups fighting Indian occupation forces in Kashmir. India 
has accused the Harkat of staging the hijacking.

Zargar is described by Indian officials as one of the founding 
fathers of "militancy" in held Kashmir.-AFP

Defence again pleads for copies of audio tapes

KARACHI, Dec 29: The defense in the October 12 PK-805 hijacking 
case, involving deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and six others, 
on Wednesday contested the prosecution claim that experts had 
stated that copies of the audio-recording on spools, connected with 
the flight, cannot be made, and demanded that the same be supplied 
as per court orders of Dec 20.

An application to this effect was moved by the defence counsel 
Iqbal Raad and Arshad Khan Jadoon in the court of Judge Rehmat 
Hussain Jafferi of the Anti-Terrorism Court. He is the link judge 
in the absence of Justice Shabbir Ahmed.

The defense counsel submitted that prosecution be ordered to supply 
copies of the cassettes containing the contents of spool without a 
further loss of time for which the prosecution had agreed on Dec 20 
and the court had passed the orders accordingly.

The prosecution had been insisting that copies on the spools cannot 
be made and had supplied transcripts of the recordings to the 

The special public prosecutor, M. Ilyas Khan, had on Monday moved 
an application before Judge Jafferi, seeking "appropriate orders" 
in view of the statement given by the defence aviation expert 
Tanweer Daar that "it is not advisable to prepare audio tapes of 
the spools" of recordings.

The defense now claims that its expert had not stated that copies 
of the recording on spools cannot be made but had asked the 
prosecution for identifying the portions to be copied.

The defence counsel submitted that the prosecution is not supplying 
the copies and was making lame excuses. The prosecution had 
maintained that the same could not be copied.

Since an earlier application of the prosecution, seeking 
appropriate orders on defence aviation expert's view was fixed for 
Dec 12, the defence application would also be taken up on the same 

Both the sides argued on defence application for the joint meeting 
of central PML leaders, Chaudhri Shujaat Hussain, Mian Ejaz Shafi, 
Shaikh Rasheed, Majeed Malik and counsel Iqbal Raad with the 
deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the prison on Dec 30.

Special Public Prosecutor M. Ilyas Khan contested the defense point 
of view and submitted that the defense had "misused" the facility 
in the past. The SPP pleaded that according to rules the defense 
should first apply to the Jail Superintendent and if they do not 
respond, they should contact the IG and the Home Secretary before 
seeking remedy through the court.

The order on this application would be announced on Thursday. The 
application for the meeting of Salim Zia, Nehal Hashmi and Khalilur 
Rahman with their clients was also fixed for Jan 12. The matter 
pertaining to keeping all the accused in one compound would also 
come up on the same date.

Maniac Javed Iqbal makes dramatic surrender
Azmat Abbas

LAHORE, Dec 30: The self-confessed killer of 100 boys, Javed Iqbal, 
made a dramatic appearance at the office a newspaper here on 
Thursday to surrender himself that brought to end the country's 
biggest ever manhunt.

Javed Iqbal surrendered at the same newspaper's office to which he 
had earlier sent a parcel containing the photographs and details of 
his gruesome killings.

On December 2, acid-filled barrels containing human remains and 
sacks of cloths and shoes of at least 100 boys were recovered from 
his Ravi Road house.

In his written statement, Javed claimed that he had sexually 
assaulted 100 boys and after killing them dissolved the bodies in 
the acid solution.

The main accused in the crime that was described by some as 'crime 
of the millennium' surrendered following the arrest of his two 
accomplices at a bank in Sohawa, Jehlum, earlier in the day.

The acting Lahore SSP was addressing a news conference at the 
district police lines regarding the arrest of Muhammad Shahzad 
alias Sajid and Muhammad Nadeem when he received a phone call and 
left in a hurry. Shortly, afterwards it was learnt that a heavily 
armed military contingent had entered the offices of the daily Jang 
and The News on Sir Agha Khan Road.

The suspects told the police that as chances of their arrest 
increased they escaped to Gujranwala from where they went to 
Rawalpindi and spent a day there. They arrived Tarki near Sohawa 
and spent some days underneath a culvert. Later, they shifted to a 

The police also raided the place where the suspects were staying 
and recovered various items.

"Only police should be held responsible for what I did. It was the 
misdeeds of the police which led me to kill the boys," the sources 
quoted Javed as having told a military officer.

Several senior officers were contacted but none was willing to go 
on record.

PML not to oppose SC ruling on Riba: Sartaj

ISLAMABAD, Dec 26: Former finance minister Sartaj Aziz has 
dispelled the impression that the PML parliamentarians may not 
cooperate in enacting legislation in its favour (whenever the 
assemblies are restored) because their government had appealed 
against the earlier Federal Shariat Court decision.

In a statement, on Sunday, he clarified that the purpose of the 
1992 appeal was to seek guidance on evolving an alternative system 
to the interest-based one. This had now been provided by the 
Supreme Court. 

 It was also necessary to obtain a time-frame for making such far-
reaching changes in the existing system. That was why, the 
government had set up a commission for Islamization of the economy, 
under the 12th Constitutional Amend-ment.

To assist the commission in its work, the services of 12 eminent 
scholars, from different Islamic countries, were sought, with the 
cooperation of the Islamic Development Bank.

Sartaj Aziz said the work of the commission was completed in August 
1997, soon after the PML government had gained power.

He said the Supreme Court had not only declared the existing system 
of mark-up, National Saving Schemes and other debt instruments 'un-
Islamic' but had also maintained the sanctity of the international 
and domestic loan contract that currently exist.

Arif Nakai disqualified for 21 years

LAHORE, Dec 27: Former chief minister Sardar Arif Nakai stands 
disqualified for 21 years from any public office because his 
release order of Dec 17 was subject to 'all the 
incidences/consequences propounded by Section 25' of the National 
Accountability Bureau Ordinance entitled 'Voluntary return/plea 

Section 25 is to be read with Section 15 of the ordinance, which 
deals with disqualification. It says that voluntary return of the 
misappropriated public money or pardon for an approver shall be 
deemed 'conviction' for the purpose of disqualification. However, 
instead of Sections 25 and 26, it mentions Section 26 and 27. The 
error is apparent on the face of the text inasmuch as Section 27 
deals with the accountability bureau's power to seek assistance 
from any public or private sector office or individual.

Mr Nakai's is the first ever 'conviction' under the new Ehtesab 
Law. It is also the first ever voluntary return, though there was 
provision for voluntary return in the defunct Ehtesab Act also. The 
operative part of order passed by Sheikh Muhammad Rafiq Goreja, 
presiding officer of the Accountability Court No 1 says:

"Today, when this reference came up for hearing, Chaudhry Mushtaq 
Ahmad, learned counsel for the accused, made petition under Section 
25 of N.A.B. Ordinance No XVIII of 1999, seeking voluntary return 
of an amount of Rs 15,00,000 alleged to be spent out of 
Discretionary Fund amounting to Rs 19,00,000, withdrawn vide Cheque 
No A-532646, dated 08-02-1996 by Mr Saeed Aziz, the then PS to 
Chief Minister by, inter alia, contending therein:-

"2. That in February, 1996 when the petitioner was holding the 
office of Chief Minister, Punjab, paid an official visit along with 
entourage to Saudi Arabia and performed Umra as well. The 
expenditure for the visit was arranged by the Secretary to Chief 

Minister, Mr Jalil Abbas as per previously settled 
practice/precedent from the petitioner's discretionary funds which 
was drawn and part thereof utilized in a bona fide manner under the 
bona fide belief that the same can be withdrawn and utilized for 
the aforementioned purpose as per past practice. The officials 
concerned had neither brought to the notice of the petitioner that 
head of the expenditure is not justifiable nor any objection had 
ever been raised by the Finance Department.

3. That on return from official visit to Saudi Arabia, Mr Saood 
Aziz, PSO, who was responsible for executing the actual expenditure 
and maintaining of accounts thereof, had submitted the accounts to 
the authorities concerned and has also deposited unspent amount of 
US.$10,300 and Saudi Rials 3,980 equal to approximately an amount 
of Rs 4,50,000.

4. That in view of the above position and a protracted trial which 
the petitioner is facing from last about three years, he offers to 
deposit the balance amount of Rs 14,50,000 to the National Ehtesab 
Bureau immediately and prays his release as an accused person with 
leave of this Hon'ble Court."

PML to fight legal battle for Nawaz's release

LAHORE, Dec 27: PML leader Mian Yasin Wattoo has said that his 
party will take all possible steps to secure restoration of the 
constitution, assemblies and democratic rights of the people 
without confronting the military government.

"This policy has been adopted by the PML central working committee 
after lengthy discussion and we stick to it in letter and spirit," 
Mr Wattoo said while talking to reporters at an Iftar reception 
hosted by former MNA Pervez Malik here on Monday.

A number of PML leaders, including Mian Azhar, Ms Tehmina Daultana, 
Ghulam Dastgir, Tariq Aziz, Chaudhry Ameer Husain, Birjees Tahir, 
Mian Munir, Akhtar Rasool, Mehnaz Rafi and Punjab general secretary 
Rana Nazir Ahmad, attended the reception.

Mr Wattoo told a questioner that the PML would fight a legal battle 
for the country to return to democracy and the release of party 
president Mian Nawaz Sharif. Democracy as a system had been 
accepted the world over and no other system could succeed. The 
country would have to return to a democratic order and sooner it 
was decided the better.

Asked on Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf's remarks that a huge 
mess had been left by the previous government, Mr Wattoo proposed a 
permanent commission of five high court judges to investigate into 
charges against political leaders particularly those affiliated 
with the Muslim League.

He said accountability was a permanent and continued process and 
should in no way be linked with restoration of democracy and 
clearance of the mess.

He said all politicians, civil and military bureaucrats and bank 
loan defaulters be made to stand trial in accountability courts.

Accountability, Mr Yasin Wattoo said, should be transparent and 
even-handed and no element of discrimination should be seen in the 

Replying to a question, he said the party had not yet decided to 
establish contact with other political parties. But he himself 
favoured such a contact and close interaction of organizations to 
create an atmosphere of political understanding.

Two NAB courts set up in Sindh

KARACHI, Dec 30: Two national accountability courts were 
established in Sindh on Thursday, and all pending cases of the 
Sindh High Court's former Ehtesab bench stood transferred to them, 
an official of the NAB said.

Dr Qamaruddin Bohra and judge Riazul Haq Phulpoto were appointed 
judges to the newly-created courts, said Shujaat Ali Qarni, joint 
secretary of NAB.

These courts had started work at the Municipal Training and 
Research Institute, Clifton, where ATC courts were situated , he 
said, adding that notices had been issued to the concerned parties 
for two cases, including previous Ehtesab reference Nos 20 and 22.

Textile quota policy for 2000 announced
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Dec 29: The government has announced the Textile Quota 
Management Policy for 2000 on Wednesday, which specially 
facilitates genuine exporters and effectively curbs quota trading.

One of the prime objectives of the policy for the next year is to 
effectively curb quota trading and ensure that quota premiums come 
down so that exporters, specially newcomers have greater access to 

The basic criteria for allocation of quota i.e. on the basis of 
performance would continue next year. The major departures from the 
existing policy would be as follows:

i) Flexiblities available in each quota category would be announced 
in early January. Individual exporters, however, will only be 
allowed use of these flexiblities after physical shipment of at 
least 70% of their quota the basis for utilizing flexiblities 
including swing and shifts etc.

ii) In the case of European Union, use of exceptional flexiblities 
by exporters will be subject to shipment of at least 70% of their 
quota by 30th September each year at the latest.

iii) The flexiblities will be calculated on the basis of quota 
available in the passbook on the day it is requested for by the 
individual exporter and not the entitlement in the beginning of the 
year. This means that any transfer of quotas would be taken into 
account while calculating the flexiblities of individual exporters, 
that is, after deducting quota transferred out etc. The actual 
entitlement of flexiblities would, therefore, be calculated on the 
basis of quota in the passbook at the time of application of which 
at least 70% must have been shipped by the exporters.

First-Come First-Served (FCFS) will be allocated both for 
reservations as well as post shipment in the following ratios:

i) 70% quota in each category placed on FCFS will be allocated to 
exporters after they have made shipments.

ii) 30% of quota in each category placed on FCFS will be available 
for reservations on the following conditions and rates of bank 

a) For shipment within 60 days provided an irrevocable Letter of 
Credit/contract is produced, the bank guarantee equal to 2% of the 
FOB value of the quota being reserved.

b) For shipment within 90 days, bank guarantee equal to 5% of the 
FOB value of the quota being reserved.

c) For shipment in 120 days, bank guarantee equal to 7.5% of the 
FOB value of quota being reserved.

d) No extensions will be granted. The last date for shipment in 
each case will be 31st October. On expiry of the reservation period 
or the deadline of 31st October, whichever comes earlier, the bank 
guarantee will stand forfeited and the quota would revert FCFS 

Exporters who open new category passbook with transfer-in quota 
will have to ship at least 90% of the quota transferred in. 
Transfer out from new category passbook in such cases will not in 
any case be allowed above 10% of the total quota. 

 To make Textile Quota Management Policy effective and efficient, 
the number of textile associations handling quota categories will 
be reduced. Effective from 2001, only those textile associations 
which handle 15% of the quota in any category will be allowed to 
operate in these categories. Any association which does not handle 
15% or above of quota in particular category will cease its 
functions in that category. The exporters in such a case would have 
to process their cases through those associations which will then 
be permitted to handle quota categories under the above criteria.

The government may also consider allocation of quota for value 
addition in 2001. The actual percentage of such quota, the criteria 
for eligibility of exporters to such quotas and other terms and 
conditions may be notified by the government through a separate 
Public Notice which will offer equal opportunity to all exporters 
to become eligible for additional quota under this scheme.

To check any malpractice in quota allocations, distributions and 
utilization, audits may continue and will be made more effective 
under supervision of the government.

The government hoped that the new policy which will be effective 
from 1st January, 2000, will facilitate better utilization of 
quotas and bring in higher value for our exporters.

To finalize Textile quota Management Policy for the year 2000, 
extensive meetings have been held in the Export Promotion Bureau, 
Karachi under Chairmanship of the commerce Minister, Abdul Razak 
Dawood, as well as other senior officers of the ministry of 
commerce and the Export Promotion Bureau. The meetings were 
attended by representatives of textile associations, and exporters 
in addition to the Quota Supervisory Council.

Forcible recovery of arrears from tomorrow

ISLAMABAD, Dec 29: 'There would be a round of forcible recovery 
from those who do not deposit the arrears by Dec 30 and those who 
make an attempt at evading the dues, would be listed for punishment 
under Sec 34 and 35 
of the Sales Tax Act,' says CBR.

Dawn was informed by CBR officials Wednesday the first task 
assigned to the newly appointed national negotiator on taxation, 
CBR is to communicate it to the manufacture and trade sector that 
the '99-2000 budgetary procedures and dates annouced for recovery 
of taxes and arrears, would not be changed.

The CBR officials, all chambers of commerce and industry, and trade 
bodies have been issued final reminders by the negotiator's office 
that Dec 30 is the final date for depositing the arrears of Sales 
Tax at 75% concession, and there would be no extension in this 

'We have been directed by the CBR chairman's office that all the 
collectorates of Sales Tax should be instructed to prepare for 
taking action under the relevant sections of the ST Act, '69. They 
have been communicated to activate from Dec 31, '99, their teams 
for making arrest of the arrears holders', said a senior CBR 

He added that more than 1000 ST registered persons are on the list 
for holding ST arrears. From five ST collectorates, the officials, 
including collectors, were sent to their regional chambers of 
commerce and industry offices, to impress upon their members that 
Dec 30 was the final date, it would not be extended, and reprisals 
would be the fate of those who do not deposit the dues.

Altaf to expose plot against MQM

LONDON, Dec 29: Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain has 
said that he will soon inform the nation about the plans of the 
intelligence agencies to annihilate Mohajirs.

In a press statement issued here on Wednesday, the MQM chief 
claimed that his party has collected hard evidence and facts about 
the intelligence agencies' plans.

The statement came a day after Altaf Hussain announced that he 
would reveal his future strategy to the people very soon. The MQM 
chief said that the details of the plans would enable the people to 
understand his new strategy. He said on the one hand the government 
and its officials were claiming that action would be taken against 
all those police officials involved in extra-judicial killings in 
the past while on the other hand, according to MQM information, 
government officials were conferring awards on those police 
officials who are involved in extra-judicial killings.

Mr Altaf Hussain said that according to MQM Intelligence Bureau 
Report, last week Corp Commander Karachi, General Muzaffar Usmani 
invited all those Station House Officers (SHOs) who were involved 
in extra-judicial killings and not only praised their "efforts" but 
also gave them costly wrist watches. "Mohajir people should not 
expect any good from any senior government official," he said.

The MQM chief said according to another MQM Intelligence Bureau 
Report, on December 4, 1999, the head of Inter-Services 
Intelligence (ISI) in Sindh, met the head of the "Haqqiqi activist" 
at Barrack No 73 of Malir Garrison. He claimed a telephonic meeting 
was also arranged between the "Haqqiqi activists" and the Director 
General of ISI in Islamabad. He called upon General Pervez 
Musharraf and other army officials in GHQ to investigate these 

Mr Altaf Hussain also asked the MQM workers not only to seriously 
read his statements but also keep the cutting of the newspapers in 
which these are published for future reference.

NON-VIOLENCE: Meanwhile, MQM Convenor Dr Imran Farooq in a separate 
statement issued here on Wednesday said that MQM will continue to 
pursue a policy of non-violence in future. He said that some 
confusion has arisen because of the statement of Mr Altaf Hussain 
in which he had told workers that he would announce the MQM policy 

Dr Imran Farooq said that Mr Altaf Hussain after the publication of 
these reports has told him in clear terms that MQM will continue to 
pursue a policy of non-violence.

The MQM Convenor said that MQM's "new strategy" would also be based 
on "non-violence" and pursuing the objectives through peaceful 
means. The MQM Convenor also severely criticized the government for 
failing to produce Dr Farooq Sattar before the Sindh High Court 
despite a court order.

He said on 26th November, 1999, Dr Sattar voluntarily courted his 
arrest from Karachi Press Club Karachi and since then is being kept 
in unlawful detention by the government.

No Y2K problem in communications sector: PTCL
Haris Anwar

 KARACHI, Dec 31: Pakistan is unlikely to face any major Y2K 
problem in the light of its telecommunication links with Australia 
and New Zealand, two highly advanced countries, which showed no 
sign of any communication disruption or difficulty at the beginning 
of new millennium, Dr Ejaz Khawaja, national coordinator for the 
Y2K task force told Dawn from PTCL's Islamabad control room.

The successful communications link with that part of the world 
shows that both the ends are Y2K compliant. "Not only these two but 
any network linking Pakistan to that region is also Y2K compliant," 
Khawaja said.

Khawaja said Pakistan International Airlines would ground its all 
local and international flights at 12:00am to avoid any Y2K related 
mishap. "They have rescheduled their flights in a way that there 
will be no plane in the air at 12:00am, but after that they will 
resume their operations normally," he said.

A PIA spokesman said so far the timings of three international 
flights on the Middle Eastern route were rescheduled. These 
included: Lahore-Dubai, Multan-Dubai and Islamabad to Jeddah 

"But we expect further delays during next 18 hours because of 
conjunction in the Asia Pacific region," he added. Iran has closed 
its airspace for four hours, which will result in re-routing of 
many flights to Afghanistan, causing conjunction in that area.

However no domestic flight was corresponding with the millennium 
date changeover.

The Y2K bug stems from mainly older computer systems which were 
programmed to read only the last two digits of a year.

This problem could also apply in all financial services, utilities, 
health services, energy, transportation and other vital services 
where computers are involved.

Pakistan is not heavily reliant on computerized systems and 
appeared to be somewhat prepared to deal with the Y2K problem. 

Report rejects conspiracy in Murtaza case
Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD, Dec 26: A fresh inquiry report prepared by senior police 
officers into the Murtaza Bhutto murder case has rejected the 
criminal conspiracy theory on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

A three-member team of superintendents of police (SPs), which had 
reinvestigated the case and finalised its report on October 10, 
1999, observed, "Mostly, there is heresay evidence which can not be 
relied upon.Hence, accused Abdullah Shah, Asif Ali Zardari, Masood 
Sharif, Dr Shoaib Suddle and Wajid Durrani can not be challaned on 
the charge of criminal conspiracy."

Sources in the Central Police Office (CPO), Karachi, told Dawn that 
on the basis of this report, the trial court had already been 
requested to cancel the proceedings against the accused. 

The report had recommended the cancellation of two FIRs No.399/96 
and 443/96 and said that FIR No.386/96 be registered on the 
complaint of Haq Nawaz Siyal, the-then SHO Clifton.

The report said that on 20-09-96, a police party headed by ASP Rai 
Tahir, had taken position at Shahrah-e-Iran near the Clifton Garden 
in connection with performance of lawful duty of apprehending 
gunmen of Murtaza wanted in case FIR Nos.106/96 and 270/96.

The gunmen of Murtaza, the report said, were not ready to be 
arrested and they fired at the police party, resulting in injuries 
to two of them namely, Haq Nawaz Siyal, SHO Clifton, and ASP Shahid 

"Consequently, the police party fired in retaliation 
spontaneously," said the report, a copy of which was also faxed to 
Dawn by the CPO. 

 "Had they not retaliated, there was a likelihood of casualties or 
injuries to other police officers. Gunmen of Murtaza preferred to 
fight as most of them had criminal record."

The team also assessed the veracity of the complainants of all the 
three FIRs on the same incident and noted with surety that the 
complainant of the last FIR No.443/96, Mr Noor Mohammad, (the 
servant of Murtaza Bhutto) was not present at the scene of the 
incident and the facts narrated by him were "in fact dictated by 
some other person having interest in the matter".

"The FIR was lodged on 9-11-96 which was the result of 
deliberations and after-thought instead of being a true account of 
the incident," said the report.

The report said that the DIG Karachi did not come out of his house 
when the incident happened. He was rather implicated in the case at 
a later stage. Initially, no evidence was recorded to indicate his 
presence on the scene or his visit to the spot during and 
immediately after the incident.

Later, the interested witnesses have tried to bring on record a few 
statements showing his presence at the scene. None of the twelve 
witnesses of the complainant sides or newsmen Najeeb Ahmed and 
Ghulam Hussain or police officers examined by the investigating 
officers indicated the DIG's presence or visit to the scene.

About the SSP Wajid Durrani, the report said the statements 
recorded earlier by the deputy commissioner, South, Arif Elahi, and 
SP traffic Maula Bux proved that Durrani was at Traffic Kiosk near 
Do-Talwar and he accompanied the DC to the scene after the firing 
was over and Murtaza had already been shifted to the hospital.

The report also referred to some other evidence and said that some 
interested witnesses had tried to assign Wajid Durrani a role in 
Ashiq Jatoi's killing.

About another accused, ASP Shahid Hayat, the report said that he 
was injured during the incident. None of the witnesses have 
mentioned him firing at Murtaza or his gunmen. "There is not a 
slightest evidence to challan him in this case."

The available evidence was manipulated to involve another ASP Rai 
Tahir in the case. Tahir was named in the FIR because one of the 
empties had matched the weapon issued to him. 

In order to ensure justice, a fairness board was constituted which 
could not bring any evidence against Tahir.

However, later the board was disbanded on the recommendation of the 
investigating officer. After this, the report said, one of the 
unmatched empties was matched with Tahir's weapon, a 9mm pistol. 
The team of British experts decided that both the empties of 9mm 
bore, which had remained unmatched, were fired from the same 

"Furthermore, as per record of the Police Lines, South, the entire 
ammunition issued to the ASP was deposited with his pistol," the 
report said, adding that it was ASP Tahir who had actually 
evacuated Murtaza and took him to the hospital for treatment to 
save his life.

Accused Inspector Agha Jameel and SI Shabbir Qasim Kiani, the 
report claimed, neither took part in the firing nor they were at 
the scene when the incident took place. 

Petroleum sector deregulation: Proposal to be finalized by Feb
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Dec 28: The government is finalizing a proposal to 
deregulate the petroleum sector by February 2000.

Informed sources said here on Tuesday that the ministry of 
petroleum has been directed to finalize its proposal for the 
deregulation of the petroleum sector by February next year in the 
light of the announcement made by the Chief Executive general 
Pervez Musharraf in his address to the nation.

However, sources said that many things were still unclear on how 
deregulation will proceed. 

 For example the government could not make up its mind whether to 
allow private oil companies to import oil on their own. Currently 
Pakistan State Oil (PSO) was importing this oil and was selling it 
to others. It was also providing the oil to the army on subsidised 

 "But whether the PSO will continue to offer its oil to the army on 
subsidised rates is anybody's guess", asked a concerned official. 
When contacted he said that the deregulation of the petroleum 
sector was a very ticklish issue and could not be done so quickly.

A special board meeting of the PSO, sources said, has been convened 
in early February next year to finalize all its accounts before the 
deregulation of the petroleum sector.

20 held in Ehtesab's second drive 
By Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD, Dec 28: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has 
arrested 20 politicians, bureaucrats and bankers out of the 
targeted 33 persons.

NAB sources said that out of 33 persons, 20 had been arrested. 
Furthermore, raids were being conducted for the arrest of eight 
persons who were believed to be in the country. They added that 
five accused were perhaps out of the country.

The names and charges of 33 persons whose summons were issued are: 
Azam Hoti, misuse of power as communication minister/Port Qasim and 
Motorway; Javed Alam Khanzada, excessive assets; Zahir Shah, 
corruption as chairman of the Peshawar Development Authority and 
ring road in Peshawar; Saeed Mehdi, misuse of authority and 
purchase of plots in Islamabad; Chaudhry Mohammad Sharif, excessive 
assets; Maula Bux Abbasi, misuse of power as chairman of the NBP 
and NDFC; Younas Dalia, corruption as banker; Asadullah Sheikh, 
case already in the banking court; Shafi Shewani, fraud and 
embezzlement in the CDA; Khawaja Asif, corruption as chairman of 
the privatization commission; Satar Keiro, Sakrand Sugar Mill and 
frontman of Asif Ali Zardari; Rana Maqbool Ahmed, corruption as DIG 
Lahore and IG Sindh; Nawaz Tiwana, corruption and illegal 
appointment as MD PIA; Liaquat Jatoi, corruption as chief minister 
of Sindh; Mahtab Ahmed Abbasi, wheat scandal and corruption in land 
deals in Abbattabad as chief minister of the NWFP; Malik Riaz, 
usurpation of land for Bahria Town and Church property; Sikander 
Jatoi, land grabber and frontman of people in power; Safdar Abbas 
Zaidi, corruption in HBL and IDBP; Mian Iqbal Farid, excessive 
assets; Maqbool Sheikh, corruption as food minister; Abu Bakr 
Sheikhani, usurpation of land in Malir; Rana Mumtaz Ahmed Noon, 
sale of job applications; Akbar Lasi, illegal appointments as 
labour minister; Habibur Rehman Tanoli, corruption; Alim Adil 
Sheikh, Mohammad Hanif Patwari, corruption; Kamal Qureshi, Javaid 
Kiani, Akram, Mukhtar and Haroon Pasha, assistance in corruption to 
Ittefaq Group.

Those who have been arrested are Azam Hoti, Javed Alam Khanzada, 
Zahir Shah, Khalid Aziz, Saeed Mehdi, Chaudhry Mohammad Sharif, 
Shafi Shewani, Khawaja Asif, Rana Maqbool Ahmed, Nawaz Tiwana, 
Mahtab Ahmed Abbasi, Mian Iqbal Farid, Habibur Rehman Tanoli, Alim 
Adil Sheikh, Mohammad Hanif Patwari, Kamal Qureshi, Javaid Kiani, 
Akram, Mukhtar and Haroon Pasha.

According to a source Malik Allahyar of Kalabagh is also charged in 
involving the purchase of helicopters for the Establishment 
Division. He has not been arrested as the investigators believe 
that he is too sick to be arrested. Liaquat Jatoi, Asadullah 
Sheikh, Liaquat Jatoi, Zulfikar Mirza and Sattar Keiro and Maula 
Bux Abbasi are probably outside the country. 

 Raids are being conducted for the arrest of Younas Dalia, Malik 
Riaz, Sikander Ali Jatoi, Safdar Abbas Zaidi, Maqbool Skeikh, 
Abubakar Sheikhani, Rana Mumtaz Ahmed Noon and Akbar Lasi.

Foreign debt to be retired through sale of state units
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Dec 27: Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz will preside over 
a high-level meeting on Tuesday to finalize the government's new 
strategy for disinvestment of state enterprises.

The ministers for petroleum, industries, commerce and senior 
officials would be attending the meeting to approve the new road 
map for the privatization.

 The chairman of the Privatization Commission, Saleem Altaf told 
Dawn "We are proposing a piece of legislation to make sure that the 
sale proceeds of the privatization are used only for debt 
retirement and not for development purposes". 

 In an interview here on Monday, he said the military government 
has decided to retire 65 per cent of the most expensive short term 
external debt through privatization, shortly.

"We need to retire this most expensive $8 to $10 billion foreign 
debt, and initially it has been decided to remove 65 per cent of 
such debt to improve our economy", he said.

The chairman PC, however, pointed out that a decision has been 
taken to undertake bigger transactions for transparent 
privatization. He said that about 30 per cent of government 
shareholding in the oil and gas sector will be sold on priority. He 
said it will take four to six weeks to complete what he termed 
"home work" of the government for effective and early 

Saleem did not believe that there did not exist a favourable 
environment to undertake a large disinvestment process specially 
that of the oil and gas sector. He was of the view that the 
international investors always went in a high risk areas for 
investment. "We are still better than many countries as far as law 
and order and other problems are concerned therefore I am sure 
foreign investors will come here".

He said nine of the oil wells owned by the government of Pakistan 
will be disinvested along with other state entities such as 
Pakistan State Oil, Sui Southern and Sui Northern etc gas 
companies. It will take 4 to 6 weeks to organize bigger 
privatization deals.

After the oil and gas sector, he pointed out, the government has 
decided to privatize the banking sector minus the National Bank of 
Pakistan. "We want that we should privatize those banks which we 
are obsoletely ready for it", he said adding that once the 
reference price of any unit or bank was determined, it will not be 
changed as has been the case in the past. Also, he said that 
decision was being taken as to which strategic units should not be 
sold. "We want every thing in black and white so that there is no 
confusion about the privatization policy of the government".

Responding to a question Saleem Altaf said that there will be a two 
prong strategy to deal with the process. "On the one hand we will 
determine as to which strategic assets should not be sold out and 
on the other hand we will have broad based disinvestment process 
mostly through stock market", the new chairman said.

 To a question he pointed out that there was no specific law which 
governed the privatization process in Pakistan. "Here too we will 
have new legislation so that nobody could challenge our efforts", 
he added.

The government, he said, was examining the privatisation models of 
some countries, and "we will pick up the one that best suits us".

Asked what has happened to four major transactions (PTCL, KESC, 
Habib Bank and the United Bank) which were ready for sale during 
the tenure of the previous government, Saleem Altaf said the 
government was having a fresh look at them. "We will not abandon 
these transactions and bring them in the market very soon after 
having developed certain consensus about them", he said adding that 
if the government could get a good price then there will not be any 
delay to complete all these four transactions.

To a question he said that a decision has not been taken whether 
the Habib Bank should be sold in toto or its privatization should 
be carried out by separately selling its local and foreign 
operations. However, he said that if the government could get a 
good strategic buyers, the HBL will be sold in one go.

Initially, he said that 5 to 10 per cent share of the state owner 
enterprises will be sold through stock markets.

Setting up of commodity stabilization fund urged

LAHORE, Dec 30: Federal Secretary for Food and Agriculture, Dr. 
Zafar Altaf Thursday urged the farmers associations to set up 
Commodity Stabilization Fund to help check problems related to the 
prices of the agricultural produce in the country.

" This fund may help stabilize prices of the production in the 
market when ever these come below those fixed by the government," 
he said while speaking at a seminar on Herbicides organized by 
Pakistan Crop Protection Association (PCPA) at a local hotel.

Referring to recent price crises of the cotton and onion crops, he 
said that the farmers organizations should come forward to play 
their role to help avert the recurrence of such a problem in 

He said that these organizations could also ask the government to 
contribute a matching amount to the fund.

Dr. Altaf said that the problem could also be tackled by entering 
into forward contracts for 20 to 25 percent of the cotton 
production in the international market every year.

Speaking on the occasion, Director General, Federal Plant 
Protection Department, M.D. Mohsin said that about 23 pesticides 
had been banned by the Pakistan government due to their 
carcinogenic characteristics.

He said ,since the year 1973, some 1663 pesticides had been 
registered with the Plant Protection department.

" Of these , 208 are herbicidal preparations," Mohsin said. He said 
that Pakistan imported 40,000 tonnes of pesticides during the year 

Earlier, in his key-note address Chairman PCPA, Javed Saleem 
Qureshi said that only those manufacturers should be permitted to 
export in Pakistani market who commit to install manufacturing 
plants within the time frame as laid down by the government of 

Provinces asked to draw up strategy for funding uplift plans

ISLAMABAD, Dec 30: The federal government has asked the provincial 
finance departments to streamline their resources for meeting the 
spending, especially the development projects implementation during 
the next half of the current financial year.

A meeting was held Thursday under federal secretary finance, 
attended by secretaries of finance of the four provinces and other 
relevant senior federal and provincial officials.

A review of the provincial receipts and spending position was 
undertaken in the special purview of the funding required for 
implementation of Poverty alleviation programme, announced by Chief 
Executive, Gen Musharraf.

The meeting, examined the available resources of the provinces as 
far as the demands for meeting the current and development 
expenditure are concerned. On the development side, the project 
allocation and funding situation was reviewed which led to a formal 
decision that the provinces should submit details on how they can 
assist the poverty alleviation programme.

Officials said the federal government, in the light of these 
details to be submitted in a fortnight, would finalise its funding 
strategy for the programme. The provinces were also asked to submit 
details on strategies so far chalked out in response to the 
directive from the Chief Executive, to list the projects and their 
funding sources under theoverall programme for devolution of 
authority to the local council levels.

The programme entails shift of a bulk of funding based on locally 
generated receipts to the local councils, and the powers to plan 
their development projects as per the local needs. Most of these 
projects, falling under the Social Action Plan and the federally 
assisted ones which has so far been the jurisdiction of the 
provincial Communication and Works departments.

The meeting is reported to have discussed the initial shifting 
process needed for such funding to be placed with the local 
government authorities, and their coordinated planning with the 
Poverty Alleviation Programme.

SBP says data on defaulters incomplete

KARACHI, Dec 30: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has said that the 
data submitted by banks against defaulters was not in accordance 
with its requirements.

"Data submitted is not in accordance with the prescribed format. 
Information is not placed in correct column and key data like NIC 
number, address, father's name etc is missing," observed State Bank 
in its letter to heads of all chief executives of banks and 
development finance institutions (DFIs).

The letter (BPRD/47/19250-99) issued by Central Directorate of SBP 
on Wednesday was received by banks on Thursday.

It is second letter issued by SBP in three days with same nature of 
non-compliance, pointed out against banks .

The letter required the banks to submit the details of defaulters 
of Rs 1 million and above and Rs 100 million and above, whom banks 
consider necessary for placement on Exit Control List (ECL).

Banks were reminded in the latest letter to give all information 
correctly with full names in capital letters without abbreviation, 
NIC No. father's name, address and reason for recommending 
placement on ECL.

The information being sensitive in nature, the heads of banks were 
asked to personally ensure that the information provided is 
complete and correct in all respects to avoid necessary referrals.

The Central Bank had issued a similar letter on Dec 9, 1999 also 
with similar complaints that the information provided by banks 
against defaulters was not complete.

A senior banker in a public sector bank said that the financial 
institutions lack detailed information against borrowers or 

"Defaulters were given loans without completing the necessary 
formalities," he observed and added that many of the staff of the 
concerned banks who were directly or indirectly involved in giving 
loans were no more in the banks.

"Hundreds of senior bankers of loan recovery and loan sanctioning 
departments are either retired or have opted Golden Hand Shake 
Scheme," he observed and added it was a major hurdle in recovery of 
loans and tracing the defaulters.

He said that if the retired bankers are also held responsible for 
loan defaults and given targets to trace out the missing 
defaulters, it might be of significant help to the banks.-APP

Rs400m ADB aid to schools suspended

ISLAMABAD, Dec 30: The ADB has suspended its Rs400 million 
assistance to an education project under which 140 primary schools 
of Balochistan would have been ungraded to middle level, following 
reports of misappropriation of funds by officials.

The aim of the project was to make 7,700 students of those girls 
schools continue education at middle level. By upgrading their 
schools, the ADB planned to reduce girls dropout rate at middle 
level in Balochistan where female literacy rate is lowest in the 

Sources in the federal education ministry said the assistance had 
been suspended for a few months and the provincial government had 
been asked to remove "bottlenecks" immediately so that the 
suspended amount could be released.

The ADB has declared the project a "problem project" owing to 
irregularities in the procurement of furniture and science 
equipment over the recent months.

The Balochistan government informed the federal government that an 
inquiry had been initiated into the case and the auditor-general 
asked to conduct a thorough audit of the project.

The project, sources said, was undertaken at a total cost of 
Rs508.4 million out of which the share of ADB was Rs396.5 million. 
It was to be completed by Dec 12, 1999.

Pact with non-Paris Club within two months

ISLAMABAD, Dec 30: Negotiations with six non-Paris club countries 
for signing debt rescheduling accord worth $500 million are 
believed to be concluded within two months span, well placed 
sources told APP here on Thursday

However agreements with 12 out of 18 Paris Club countries have 
already been inked while another rescheduling agreement with Russia 
will be signed on Friday, the sources stated.

Negotiations for debt relief accord with remaining five Paris Club 
member countries are presently at advanced stage and would be 
completed by the end of next month (January 2000).

Loan rescheduling accords signed with 13 countries amounted to 
around $2 billion including an agreement signed with France for 
$395 million, sources added maintaining, the whole process of 
signing agreements with 18 Paris Club countries worth $2.8 billion 
would be finalized by the next month.

The negotiation process for signing debt relief pact with non-Paris 
club member countries including China, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, 
Libya and Czech worth $500 million will be completed by February 
2000, sources stated.

The sources said that Pakistan will not be facing any problem in 
getting debt relief from the non-Paris and remaining Paris Club 
member countries.

Pakistan has already requested the Paris Club Secretariat for 
extension in the final date for negotiation beyond Dec 31, 1999 
sources said hoping, all agreements would be finalized within the 
extended span.

The bilateral agreements, signed so far, included $926 million 
accord with US, $255 million with Germany, $11.63 million with 
Norway, $81 million with Sweden, $22 million with Austria, $23 
million with Spain, $4 million with Denmark, $30 million with 
Netherlands, $42 million with (CIDA, $27 million, Canadian Wheat 
Board, $15 million) with Canada, $35 million with South Korea and 
$395 million with France.-APP

Savings schemes' rates of return being cut
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Dec 30: The government has decided to rationalize the 
rates of return on all savings schemes from Jan 1, says an official 
announcement here on Thursday.

The decision has been taken in view of the decline in the rate of 
inflation over the past three years.

It said the revised rates would be applicable on defence Savings 
Certificates, Special Savings Certificate, Regular Income 
Certificates and on Saving Accounts.

The rate of return (mark-up) on savings is an important instrument 
of macro-economic management and has a close linkage with the rate 
of inflation prevailing in the country.

The present rate of return on national savings schemes were 
relevant and appropriate when inflation was in the range of 10 per 
cent or above. The inflation rate has come down in the last two 

In the current fiscal year (1999-2000), the rate of inflation is 
expected to be around 6 per cent compared with 11.8 per cent in 

With a significant decline in the rate of inflation over the last 
three years the existing rate of return on savings schemes has 
resulted in heavy budgetary cost to the government. Also, the 
differential between the real returns from investment in savings 
schemes and bank deposits has increased disproportionately and this 
has hurt the banking sector.

By withdrawing the withholding tax on National Savings schemes, the 
government has taken a decisive measure to honour its past 
commitments to the savers and this has resulted in a benefit of 1.5 
per cent to them. Since the government's inflation target for 
fiscal years 2000 is around 6 per cent, it now intends to reduce 
the cost of borrowing in order to minimize its debt servicing 
liability and to encourage investors in productive areas by the 
private sector.

The banking sector requires a level playing field in order to 
increase its deposit base and to provide financing at reasonable 
rate for working capital to investors. The reduced cost of 
borrowing by the industrial, agricultural and the trading sector 
will eventually help in making Pakistani products move competitive 
and thereby enhance exports.

Six CBR divisions abolished


ISLAMABAD, Dec 31: Central Board of Revenue has scrapped its six 
divisions under a down-sizing and right-sizing plan put in action 
here Friday.

A CBR press release says that Members of the Customs and Sales Tax, 
Anwar Ali and Mushtaq Kazmi, have also been removed from their 
posts. In their place, Mir Fuad and Sarfraz Ahmad Khan have been 
appointed as Member Customs and Sales Tax, respectively.

The six CBR divisions which were scrapped on Friday, were created 
by former chairman CBR, Moinuddin Khan, during the Nawaz Sharif 
government. The CBR senior officials said none of these divisions 
helped in achieving any improvement toward tax collection and they 
were rather proving a burden on the structure of this federal 

It said : In view of the government's desire to streamline various 
public sector entities, it was decided to reorganize the CBR. Based 
on discussions with the respective stakeholders, it has been 
undertaken to make the CBR an apparatus which is more service 
driven, taxpayer-friendly, and cost-effective.

To translate this policy into action, the number of divisions and 
their supervising officers has been right-sized from 13 to 7, to 
ensure greater efficiency and promptitude. The six posts abolished 
are: Members of Tax Audit Division; Public Affairs Division; Human 
Resource Division; Management Information Services (MIS) Division, 
Judicial (Customs) and Judicial Income Tax Divisions.

After removal of Members Customs and Sales Tax, the new assignments 
and their occupants are: Mansoor Ahmad, Member Direct Taxes; 
Sarfraz Ahmad Khan, Member Sales Tax; Mir Fuad, Member Customs; 
Mohsin Asad, Member Central Excise; Asad Arif, Member Tax Policy; 
Shuja Shah, Member Exports, and Riaz Malik, Member Coordination.

As already announced, Riaz Malik will handle the task of 
streamlining and simplification of GST Law, Rules and Procedure. 
Details of placement of Members whose posts have been abolished or 
those who have been transferred will be notified separately. 

Sales tax for Northern areas notified

ISLAMABAD, Dec 31: The federal government has notified imposition 
of sales tax in the Northern Areas with immediate effect.

The notification No 9 (7)/91-NA-I., dated Dec 27, '99, issued by 
the Kashmir and Northern Areas and States and Frontier Region 
Division, has authorised the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) to 
extend its apparatus of the Sales Tax Department to the whole of 
the Northern Areas.

Previously, the Customs department had its apparatus extended to 
only the Sust Pak-China border post at the farthest tip of the 
Karakoram Highway. This post has so far been assessing only Customs 
Duty leviable on the goods consignments generating in China and 
transported through this mountainous border to the down-country 
destinations in Pakistan.

Through the Dec 27 notification of the KANA Division, the Sales Tax 
deduction would also be made by the Tax collecting authorities on 
the China-Pakistan traded consignments.

Sales Tax would also be leviable through this notification on the 
manufacture and supplies, including retail sector, in the Northern 
Areas, said federal government authorities. 'The KANA Division 
notification authorises the CBR to create at any point and location 
the Sales Tax collection and monitoring offices', said a senior 
KANA official.

Explaining the specification mentioned in the notification 'as far 
as practicable', the official said 'it means wherever and howsoever 
the CBR deems fit to create the sales tax collection and monitoring 
apparatus, and in whatever possible way it wants to impalement the 
tax in the area.'

The notification reads as follows: An order to enforce Sales Tax 
Act, '90 in the Northern Areas: Whereas it is expedient to adapt 
and enforce the Sales Tax Act, '90 in the Northern Areas, now, 
therefore, the government of Pakistan is pleased to make the 
following order:

Short tile, extentand commencement: This order may be called the 
Sales Tax Act (Enforcement) Order, '99. It extends to the whole of 
the Northern Ares. It shall come into force at once.

Enforcement of the Sales Tax Act, '90: The Sales Tax Act, '90, as 
in force immediately before the commencement of this order, and all 
amendments which may be made after such commencement, and all 
rules, notifications and orders which may have been, or may be made 
or issued thereunder shall, as far as practicable, be in force in 
the Northern Areas.

Back to the top
Something after all to celebrate
Ayaz Amir

ONE of my deepest regrets has been that my generation came of age 
at the wrong time. When Pakistan was more at ease with itself than 
it is now, we were too young or down-at-heel to fully sample the 
amenities on offer. As a second lieutenant posted in Karachi in 
1969 I with my salary of Rs 550 could only look at places like the 
Palace Hotel and the seedier Excelsior (the names stick in my mind) 
from the outside. Years later when I was in a position to walk into 
them with more confidence in my pocket, those places of repose for 
the thirsty and the lonely had disappeared forever.
My other regret is about taxis. Once upon a time when the old 
discipline of the Raj still lingered in our midst, they used to 
have properly-functioning meters. Not anymore. With haggling and 
extortion now associated with this form of travel the joy has gone 
out of it.

My third regret is about what we have done to our railways. They 
provided a civilized mode of transport but have since fallen on bad 
times which is why anyone with a choice before him no longer uses 
them. One of the saddest things to have happened to Chakwal is the 

dismantling of the railway track which going past Chakwal ended at 
the picturesque village of Bhoun at the foothills of the Salt 
Range. Anyway, General Musharraf's government is making noises 
about improving the railways. But whether inducting military 
officers into this department is the best way of restoring its lost 
glory remains to be seen.

My last regret is about the vanishing of decent bookstores. In all 
the major cities - and not counting Dhaka, we had four of them: 
Peshawer, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi - good books used to be 
available. The habit of reading is in any case on the decline but 
reinforcing this trend is the disappearance of the old bookshops.

Inviting saloons, convenient public transport and the availability 
of books are essential to any idea of civilized living. Having 
systematically stripped itself of these amenities (or should I say 
necessities?) Pakistan has succeeded in driving out whatever little 
culture it had in the first place.

Material progress we have undoubtedly made since 1947. We live 
better and despite the economic downturn we are seeing, there is 
more money to go around. Villages (most of them at least) have been 
electrified. Roads have been laid. On the land there is an 
abundance of tractors; in towns and cities no shortage of consumer 
goods. But against these plus points must be weighed the crassness 
and vulgarity which have come to dominate our collective thinking.

That this cultural degradation is not simply a matter of abstract 
idealism but a downward trend with serious political consequences 
is to be seen in the changing outlook of the classes which 
historically have held the reins of power in Pakistan. While it is 
true that these classes could never lay claim to an excess of 
virtue or piety, their civic behaviour in the old days was a model 
of rectitude compared to what it was later to become.

>From the sixties onwards, and here Ayub Khan's martial law has to 
carry some of the blame, the political class which collaborated 
with the Ayub regime was slavish in its outlook and also guilty of 
minor forms of corruption like getting route permits and other 
concessions from the government. But much worse was to follow. So 
much so that by the eighties, in the midst of our longest and most 
destructive spells of military rule, greed, acquisitiveness and 
ostentation had become the defining passions of the privileged 
classes. Since architecture is often a faithful mirror of the human 
soul, it is hardly surprising that the mock-Roman pillars which are 
to be seen everywhere now, meant no doubt to convey the 
expansiveness of our architectural thought, made their first 
appearance then.

These pillars also adorn many new army buildings especially, since 
it is so visible, the Armour Mess on the road from the old 
presidency to GHQ in Rawalpindi, a telling reminder that the new 
spirit pervading the country had affected the military as well. If 
further proof of this was needed it was provided by another 
circumstance. The frugality and austerity hitherto associated with 
the armed services gave way to a new-found preoccupation with cars, 
houses and other forms of real estate.

How could politics remain unaffected by this mood? General Zia-ul-
Haq indeed turned financial inducements into a prime instrument of 
policy. The political virtues he prized most were silence and 
acquiescence and, provided anyone who could be a political nuisance 
paraded these virtues, the doors of the public sector banks were 
opened for him. Stuck-up loans which the Musharraf regime is now 
trying to recover owe their origin largely to that period.

While the political elite was never made up of angels, corruption 
was now becoming a way of life for it, indeed the moving spirit of 
politics. In Punjab, the power-house of Pakistan, there arose a new 
class of predator-politician best exemplified by the Sharifs and 
other lesser stars who found themselves enrolled in the resurgent 
Muslim League which, just as the Convention Muslim League had 
created a civilian constituency for General Ayub Khan, gave a 
civilian face to General Zia's regime. Old traditions die hard and 
so it is not a little quaint to see many years later Zia's son, 
Ejazul Haq, trying to strike a deal with another military regime 
although to Haq's discomfiture his overtures, frantic at times, 
have gone unanswered.

But to return to our theme. While political corruption had spread, 
its triumph could not be wholly complete as long as Benazir Bhutto 
and the PPP, both standing for the spirit of defiance and idealism, 
remained outside its charmed circle. But with Benazir returning to 
the country and soon thereafter becoming prime minister this 
omission was made up with a vengeance. For the next decade the 
choice before the people of Pakistan was between two varieties of 
corruption. Tired of one they could settle for the other. Only in 
October this year was this cycle broken. But whether this means a 
return to civilization and some honesty in public life we do not 
know because this latest experiment is in its infancy and has yet 
to play itself out.

But what has this to do with saloons, orderly taxis, trains on time 
and decent bookstores? Perhaps a great deal because these are some 
of the symbols of a civilized form of existence which was to be 
found in Pakistan at one time and which, when it disappeared, made 
public life in this country poorer and a prey to greed and the 
acquisitive mentality.

The corelation between culture and politics is greater than 
Pakistanis generally care to assume. What after all is the function 
of culture? Primarily, to mellow human beings and to soften their 
rough edges so that they come to the realization that while 
material things are important, because without them existence 
becomes impossible, there is also something beyond the mere 
material. In other words, it brings idealism with it which in 
politics distinguishes the statesman from the mere politician.

What has happened in Pakistan? In material terms it has progressed 
but culturally it is more impoverished than ever before. As 
McDonald joints proliferate and the sounds of advertising get 
shriller (surely two of the worst afflictions to hit humankind this 
century), is all lost and is there no hope for the future? I do not 

know. This century has seen marvellous leaps of technology but it 
has also produced a great deal of junk and erected temples to the 
new gods of consumerism and wasteful consumption. Pakistan too has 
been hit by this destructive religion with none of the civilizing 
influences that are to be seen elsewhere to balance the outcome.

But if so much remains uncertain, of one thing I am pretty sure. 
For all its maddening frustrations - and lack of saloons and proper 
taxis - this remains a great place to live in which, and this is a 
personal choice, I would not exchange for the south of France. So 
as the bells toll this evening and the sounds of revelry spread 
across the globe, it is to this sum of frustrations that I will be 
raising my glass, sure in the conviction that the next century can 
be no worse for it than perhaps, on a cynic's reckoning, the 
departing shades of this one might have been.

Brave new world
Irfan Husain

I SUPPOSE every columnist and editorial writer across the globe is 
writing a piece to mark the end of the millennium and the start of 
a new one.

But more than an arbitrary date, the end of 1999 represents the 
transition from one era to another. Just as 1950 saw the beginning 
of the end of colonialism, we are now on the threshold of perhaps 
the most exciting period of human history. Never before have 
science and technology been more central to our lives, and never 
before have they moved at such breathtaking speed. And never before 
has legitimate wealth been created so rapidly for so many people. 
The sky, it seems, is the limit in this brave new world.

Much of this revolutionary and explosive transformation has been 
driven by computers. These ubiquitous agents of change have 
penetrated every aspect of our lives in a way that is even more 
profound than the impact of electricity at the turn of the century. 
>From cars to dishwashers, virtually every appliance is controlled 
in varying degrees by the ever-present microchip. In a few short 
years, the whole world has become so dependent on computers that 
the Y2K bug is dreaded from Los Angeles to Lahore.

The dramatic new discoveries in the biological sciences have 
triggered ethical debates over the limits of scientific knowledge. 
Cloning and the mapping of the human genome will soon give man 
almost god-like powers to create new life and perpetuate lives 
virtually indefinitely. The exciting work currently under way to 
peer into the ultimate building blocks of life - DNA and the 
chromosome - hold out the promise to cure any disease.

Perhaps the Internet will have the most far-reaching impact among 
all the new technologies. Already, western marketplaces are being 
revolutionized by people shopping on the net. But more importantly, 
giant corporations like Ford and GM are now buying their spare 
parts on the net, speeding up the procurement cycle and creating 
greater economies and efficiency. Shares are being traded globally, 
people are getting university education on the net, and millions 
are exchanging letters or just chatting. In brief, within five 
years, the Internet has come to dominate our lives as no other 
single technology has done.

To cash in on this new technology, very little capital is needed. 
What you require is a good idea, and thousands of people - mostly 
in America - have become millionaires overnight by floating what 
are known as dot.com startups. The beauty of this computer 
revolution is that you can be sitting anywhere in the world and 
still be able to log on and be at the cutting edge. Indian software 
firms have done very well by developing programmes for clients all 
over the world, and now export software worth well over a billion 
dollars, and this is just the start.

And where do we stand in this brave new world? Despite having some 
excellent programmers, we have lagged far behind our neighbour. 
Thousands of qualified Pakistanis have emigrated, discouraged by 
the lack of opportunities at home. Entrepreneurs have been 
dissuaded from investing in a country where successive governments 
have dragged their feet in permitting the private sector to 
establish direct satellite links without which close and instant 
contact with overseas client is not possible. The PTCL has 
consistently adopted a very conservative and monopolistic strategy 
on communications, thus driving away potential investors in 
Pakistani software firms.

In more ways than one, we have missed the bus. As it is, the entire 
Muslim world lags far behind the West: all Muslim countries put 
together do not produce a fraction of the scientific papers written 
in Israel alone. In Pakistan, the problem has been compounded by a 
ramshackle educational system and a stifling bureaucracy. Education 
has long had such a low priority in the allocation of resources 
that it is small wonder that literacy is at an optimistic 30 per 

But more than money or the number of classrooms, the fundamental 
problem is one of attitudes: the last thing our feudal and tribal 
leaders would like to see is the spread of education in the areas 
they control. Similarly, our urban elites are quite happy with the 
status quo as they send their children to private schools where 
English is the medium of instruction. The children of the average 
Pakistani are condemned to study in the awful government 
institutions which are designed to crush any notion of independent 
thought and creativity.

Then there is the fundamental contradiction between rational 
thought and religious dogma. This is the real reason why Muslims 
have fallen so far behind the rest of the world, content to be 
users of technology, but not inventors. The handful of Muslim 
scientists who have broken new ground have had to do so abroad as 
their own soil is too barren and inhospitable for new ideas to take 
root. Parvez Hoodhboy has written eloquently and persuasively on 
this topic in his book "Muslims and Science", but other than him, 
very few people seem to be concerned about this immensely important 

As a nation, we seem to be forever bogged down by such puerile 
matters that it should surprise nobody that we are where we are. 
Currently, there is a furious debate going on in the pages of this 
newspaper over provincial rights. One would have expected that 
after 52 years of independent existence, we would have sorted out 
such a basic issue. And although we aver that Urdu is our national 
language, the state and the corporate sector continue functioning 
in English. Indeed, hardly any books are translated into Urdu, so 
it is small wonder that this linguistic confusion continues long 
after independence.

These examples can be multiplied to show that after half a century, 
we have been unable to get our act together and sort out the 
basics. But these problems accurately reflect the unending crisis 
of leadership we have faced virtually since Pakistan came into 
being. Compounding this has been the identity crisis we have 
created for ourselves: in our determination to prove to the world 
and to ourselves that we are different from Indians, we have gone 
to the other extreme of asserting that we are somehow closer to the 
Middle East. These historical and geographical contortions have cut 
us off from our roots and thus the fount of creativity. Then, of 
course, we insist on carrying the crushing burden of Kashmir that 
has been like a millstone around our necks these last fifty years.

I mention these problems not to depress my readers but to, 
hopefully, start a debate on them. As a people, we prefer to brush 
problems under the carpet. But at the end of this millennium, the 
pile is now too large; clearly it is now high time to face these 
fundamental issues with a view to resolving them.

Meanwhile, a very happy new year, a new century and a new 
millennium to all my readers.

Wasim Akram questions actions of other pacers

SYDNEY, Dec 31: Pakistani pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar said he was 
"totally shocked" after being suspended on Friday, but vowed to 

"They've just told me to re-model my action, but I can't say 
anything more because I'll be in trouble," he said.

Pakistan captain Wasim Akram said the decision was "sad" and 
questioned other bowlers' actions.

"I've played more cricket than anyone else in the world and I think 
his action is fine - more than fine," Wasim told Ten News.

"If arm bends are (illegal), every second bowler does the same 
thing so it means they are going to ban everyone - let's see.

"The poor guy - I can't imagine what he must be feeling now. My 
heart goes out to him." The Australian Cricket Board remained 
silent on the suspension, saying it was a matter between Pakistan 
and the ICC.

"The Australian board does not come into the picture," a spokesman 

Javed Miandad incharge of domestic cricket:
Ramiz Raja named chief coordinator

LAHORE, Dec 30: Former Test captain Ramiz Raja was namedchief 
coordinator of the newly formed Pakistan Cricket Board adhoc 
committee Advisory Council on Thursday while celebratedcricketer 
Javed Miandad will be the incharge of the domesticcricket. Former 
Pakistan captain Miandad will also represent Pakistan in the ICC 
CricketDevelopment Committee.

The decisions were taken in the first meeting of theAdvisory 
Council which was presided over by the PCB chairman Lt.- Gen Tauqir 
Zia at the Gaddafi Stadium.

Talking here to reporters, Ramiz Hasan Raja saidthatNasim-ul-Ghani 
would deal with the affairs of the umpiring andscrutiny of bogus 
clubs in all the associations. Wasim Azhar andYawar Saeed were 
given the task of marketing and finance,respectively.

The chief-coordinator said that as the advisory councilwould also 
select the team besides appointing its official.Theselection 
committee headed by Salahuddin had been dissolved,he said.However, 
he was uncleared about the fate of the junior selectioncommittee. 
No discussion was held on this issue, he said.

Ramiz Raja said that assignments had been given to theadvisory 
council members and they were independent in formingsub-committees. 
The advisory council will again meet on Jan 18 totake further step, 
he said.

PHF abolishes Executive Board
Muhammad Yaqoob

LAHORE, Dec 29: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Council, which 
met under its changed set-up on Wednesday here at the National 
Hockey Stadium, decided to abolish the Executive Board, filled 
three vacant posts and also took some other decisions.

The PHF Congress also met to approve those decisions. Both the 
council and congress meetings were presided over by a senior member 
Mir Zafarullah Jamali because PHF president Arif Ali Khan Abbasi 
and vice-president Mohammad Saeed Khan did not reach here. Arif 
Abbasi was reported to be feeling high temperature while Mohammad 
Saeed Khan was overseeing the developments at Haripur in his 
capacity as the NWFP Inspector General of Police.

Waqar replaces suspended Shoaib for triangular

 KARACHI, Dec 31: Waqar Younis was named to replace Shoaib Akhtar 
who was suspended from international cricket by the ICC after its 
advisory panel ruled his bowling actionillegal.

Waqar is expected to fly out to Perth on Saturday to the join the 
cricket team that reached there on Wednesday for the tri-nation 
series starting from Jan 9. Immediately after Waqar's arrival, 
Shoaib will be released from the squad.

The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Lt-Gen Tauqir Zia 
told Dawn on telephone on Friday that he had received the 
International Cricket Council (ICC) findings on Shoaib Akhtar late 
on Thursday evening.

"At the moment, Shoaib has been ruled out from the triangular 
series in Australia. But he will be provided with the best possible 
facilities to rectify his action and become eligible for selection 
for the series against Sri Lanka in February" said the general from 

Sri Lanka arrive here on Feb 8 to play three Tests and as many one-
day internationals.

The general minced no words in expressing his disguise over the ICC 
decision. He said the PCB would challenge the outcome of the 
advisory panel and would also request to review the decision.

"We would request the ICC to review its decision but will protest 
to Sir Clyde Walcott (chairman of the advisory panel) on the 
judgement which we feel is not fair."

"Questions have been raised over Shoaib's action while bowling a 
particular delivery (bouncer). Now how can the ICC put Shoaib's 
career on line because of one delivery. Besides, his 
disqualification from the Australian series is also contestable 
because bouncers are no-balled in one-day cricket," the general 

For Waqar Younis, it was a welcome surprise on the eve of a new 
millennium. The paceman was facing heavy cash penalty, if not 
suspension, for accusing his long-time bowling partner and now 
captain Wasim Akram of victimizing him and settling old scores.

Younis had made the allegations after he was ignored for the second 
half of the Australian tour after being a member of the team that 
toured the kangrooland for three-Tests series which it lost 3-0.
Younis has 284 wickets from 173 one-day internationals.

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