------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 8 January 2000 Issue : 06/02 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Indian plane's hijacking: Pakistan seeks Nepalese findings + Talks with India at this stage ruled out: Musharraf + US senators coming for talks on vital issues + Justice Marri shot dead in Quetta + India asks Pakistan to either deport or punish hijackers + US warns Pakistan over Azhar's threats + Nepal expels Pakistan embassy official + Govt in no hurry over CTBT, says Sattar + Belgium told to sell N-spares to Kanupp + Court allows lawyers to meet Nawaz + Produced before court: Farooq says PPP leaders in barracks + Hakim arrested on corruption charge + Judge sees progress in serial killings probe + Pakistan, India swap lists of N-installations --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Merger of 3 FIA wings likely to help NAB probes + Cut in NSS interest rates: Budget's burden to go down by Rs10bn + PTCL merged into S&T ministry + ECC revises tariffs to protect industry + Entrepreneurial risks: Too many eggs in business basket + Ministry of commerce to be restructured + Efforts on for non-Paris Club loans rescheduling + Four saving schemes exempted from IT + Accord on CED issue for air tickets soon + Drug Board rejects 100 import applications + Sales Tax Dept receives Rs1bn arrears --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Shining idea, abiding tragedy Ayaz Amir + Throw the rascals out Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + ICC may suspend ban on Shoaib Akhtar + India, Pakistan promise lively one-day contest + Watches: MQM sticks to its claim

Indian plane's hijacking: Pakistan seeks Nepalese findings

ISLAMABAD, Jan 6: Pakistan on Thursday asked Nepal to share the 
findings of an inquiry into the recent hijacking of an Indian 
airliner on a flight from Kathmandu to New Delhi.

The report would "hopefully provide important clues in determining 
the responsibility for the condemnable action," a foreign office 
spokesman said after the request was made to the Nepalese embassy 

The ambassador of Nepal was summoned to the Foreign Office on 
Thursday morning to receive this request for communication to his 
government, the spokesman added. The spokesman again insisted on 
Thursday it had no involvement in the hijacking of the Indian 
Airlines jet, even though India said it had evidence the hijackers 
were Pakistani nationals.

Asked if the hijackers were indeed Pakistani, Altaf said: "We have 
not been given any evidence, we have not been shown anything. "They 
should have shared information with us, they should have come to us 
and said here are the names. But these people have another agenda." 
"They (Indians) themselves are neck-deep in this dirty game," Altaf 
said, using words Advani chose to describe what he viewed as 
Pakistan's involvement.

INDIAN CLAIM: In New Delhi, India claimed on Thursday it had 
arrested four Kashmiris in connection with the week-long hijacking 
and accused Pakistan of masterminding the drama, adds Reuters.

"Those on the trail of the wrongdoers have been able to make a 
significant breakthrough," Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani told a 
news conference. "Deny howsoever it may, Pakistan is neck-deep in 
this dirty game of hijacking." He spelt out six "tell-tale 
pointers" implicating Islamabad in the hijacking.

Advani said four members of Harkat-ul-Ansar were arrested in Bombay 
on suspicion of providing support for the hijack plan two months 
before the hijacking. Two of the four were Pakistanis and one was a 
Nepali. The fourth was an Indian who, Advani alleged, was recruited 
by Pakistan's secret service while in the Gulf and later underwent 
intensive militancy training at two camps, one in Pakistan and the 
other in Afghanistan.

Advani gave the names of the hijackers as Ibrahim Athar from 
Bahawalpur, Shahid Akhtar Sayed from Karachi, Sunny Ahmed Qazi from 
Karachi, Mistri Zahoor Ibrahim from Karachi and Shaqir from Sukkur.

He released a letter written in June 1996 by former interior 
minister Gen (retd) Naseerullah Babar, to the Indian High 
Commissioner in Islamabad seeking Masood's release on humanitarian 

In the letter, Khan described Masood as a young "Pakistani 
journalist... (who) travelled to India in February 1994 on a 
Portuguese passport under the name of Essa bin Adam. Apparently he 
had gone to India to see the conditions in Jammu and Kashmir 
himself for some report for his magazine".

Advani claimed that a Pakistan embassy car arrived at Kathmandu 
airport just before the departure of the Indian Airlines plane. 
"Among the three officials who dismounted from the car and 
proceeded to the departure lounge was one who is believed to have 
supplied a consignment of RDX (explosives) to a group of Punjabi 
militants in Kathmandu some years back," he said. -Reuters

Talks with India at this stage ruled out: Musharraf
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 4: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf asked India 
here on Tuesday to create a conducive environment for talks, but 
added that Pakistan would not beg for it.

Talking to reporters after an Iftar-cum dinner, hosted by the 
Islamabad-based ambassadors of the Muslim countries in honour of 
President Rafiq Tarar and the chief executive, Gen Musharraf said 
India must create a conducive environment to start negotiations.

"But let me tell you that we will not beg them for talks," he said, 
adding that Pakistan was not in any hurry to seek negotiations with 
India at this stage.

He said Pakistan had nothing to do with the hijacking of an Indian 
airliner and called upon Prime Minister Vajpayee to "exercise 
restraint" in his utterings with a view to improve relations 
between the two countries.

"I never imagined that Mr Vajpayee would go to the extent of openly 
maligning Pakistan and accusing us of hijacking which is totally 
false and baseless," he said.

"Now I am convinced that India had hatched a conspiracy against 
Pakistan. This was their game, but it is good that the 
international community does not believe what they (Indians) are 

The chief executive said India was trying to get Pakistan declared 
a terrorist state and that was why it was hurling unfounded 
allegations against it.

"Initially, it was my suspicion that India had a certain political 
agenda but now the way Mr Vajpayee is continuously trying to 
involve Pakistan in the hijacking, I have no doubt that it was all 
pre-planned to declare Pakistan a terrorist state," he asserted.

Gen Musharraf regretted that India did not appreciate Pakistan's 
sincere efforts to resolve the hijacking crisis on humanitarian 
grounds, but then hastened to add, "They are doing so because of 
their inept and ineffective handling of the hijacking drama for 
which they are being severely criticized even by their own people."

He said India was facing internal pressure on various fronts which 
forced it to stage the hijacking drama against Pakistan. "Whenever 
there is an internal failure, the Indian leaders start targeting 
Pakistan and this time they had tried to put the blame of the 
hijacking on Pakistan."

US senators coming for talks on vital issues
Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON, Jan 6: A group of powerful US senators is going to 
Islamabad shortly to talk to Pakistani leaders on crucial issues of 
interest to the US, including terrorism, CTBT and President 
Clinton's visit to the region.

Senator Tom Daschle, leader of the Democratic Party in the Senate, 
will be accompanied by Senators Chris Dodd of Connecticut, Harry 
Reid of Nevada and Daniel Akaka of Hawaii. They would be visiting 
Pakistan between Jan 9 and 16, Senator Daschle's press office 
confirmed on Thursday.

The visit will be the first direct high-level US congressional 
contact with the new Pakistani military leadership and comes at a 
time when the US has some burning questions to ask about Pakistan's 
role in the context of international terrorism, nuclear non-
proliferation and future of democracy in Pakistan.

Sam Brownback, another important Republican senator, who recently 
sponsored the legislation in the Senate to lift sanctions against 
Pakistan and India, would also be travelling to Pakistan between 
Jan 9 and 16, though separately, informed sources said.

A well- known name in the Pakistani community, Democratic Party 
senator Tim Johnson, who defeated the infamous Larry Pressler, will 
also visit Pakistan soon.

The sources said the visits by these senators had been planned 
before Nawaz Sharif was thrown out in a coup and were to be part of 
an exploratory tour to pave the way for President Clinton's South 
Asia visit, but fast developing events in the region had led to the 
delays. It is likely that some of these senators may also visit 
India before or after their Pakistan visit.

The hot subjects these senators are to raise in meetings with top 
Pakistani leaders, including Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf, will 
be the role of Pakistan in the context of international terrorism, 
highlighted by the recent hijacking of an Indian Airlines aircraft, 
which ended in the release of Kashmiri leaders.

The US view of the hijacking drama and specially Islamabad's role 
has been greatly influenced by the Indian propaganda blitz that 
Pakistan had sponsored the hijackers, and their organizations, some 
of which are already on the State Department's list of terrorist 
outfits; and Pakistan must now do something concrete and quickly to 
stop being branded a terrorist state itself.

The Indians have apparently been able to convince the US 
policymakers that the level of professionalism, accuracy, stamina 
and planning demonstrated by the hijackers was so high and perfect 
that they were highly trained commandos from some regular army unit 
and not just a bunch of happy-go-lucky freedom fighters.

The senators will be seeking answers to these tricky questions from 
Pakistan authorities as they appear to be seriously concerned over 
the fact that Pakistan has not tried to catch the freed Kashmiri 
leaders and get details about the hijackers from them.

The appearance of Maulana Azhar in Karachi, where he addressed a 
big gathering and also talked to the media, has created the 
impression here that Pakistan was allowing the hijackers and the 
freed Kashmiri leaders to get the maximum political and media 
advantage, thereby encouraging other such acts of terrorism and 

The US senators will also be seeking a timeframe from Pakistan for 
the restoration of democracy which, they think, is vital for the 
White House to even think about President Clinton making a short 
stop in Pakistan during his visit to India and Bangladesh. 
Likewise, the signing of CTBT will be a crucial moot point as such 
a decision by Pakistan could greatly help President Clinton review 
his travel plans and make a brief stop in Islamabad or Karachi. 
Some influential Pakistani-Americans will also be travelling to 
Pakistan with the senators, it is learnt.

Justice Marri shot dead in Quetta

QUETTA, Jan 7: A senior judge of the Balochistan High Court, 
Justice Mohammad Nawaz Marri, was ambushed and killed by unknown 
terrorists at Zarghoon Road here on Friday morning.

The security guard, sitting on the front seat, received bullet 
wounds. However, the driver of the car was unhurt.

The terrorists, all masked, fled in a Land Cruiser which was 
waiting for them at the Khojak Road.

Justice Marri received four bullets wounds on upper parts of his 
body and died on the spot. He was rushed to the Civil Hospital, 
Quetta, in another vehicle of the Balochistan High Court along with 
security guard where doctors pronounced him dead.

The security guard, identified as Mohammad Ali, was admitted in the 
hospital where he was reported to be out of danger.

Police sources said that a police contingent, escorting justice 
Marri, fired on the terrorists which was returned, but the police 
escort could not succeed in intercepting them.

The cause of the killing of Justice Marri could not be known 
immediately. However, police officials did not rule out tribal 
enmity behind the incident.

Justice Marri was on his way to the court around 10am in his 
official car along with driver and security guard. When the vehicle 
reached near St. Francis Grammar School at the Zarghoon Road, it 
was ambushed by unknown masked armed men who were waiting for the 

They opened indiscriminate fire on the car of Justice Marri during 
which he received four bullets on upper parts of his body. Security 
Guard Mohammad Ali also returned the fire but could not stop them 
as he sustained bullet wounds on his hand and back side.

The driver of the official vehicle did not stop the car and sped 
into the High Court premises where the seriously injured Justice 
Marri was shifted to another vehicle and rushed to the Civil 
Hospital, Quetta. However, he succumbed to the injuries and profuse 
bleeding. The doctors of the Civil Hospital declared him dead when 
he was brought to the hospital.

However, according to eyewitnesses the assailants were more than 
five who were waiting for Justice Marri at the Zarghoon Road for 
some time while their Land Cruiser was parked at the Khojak Road.

Soon after they saw the police escort of Justice Marri they came on 
the main road and after the escort van had crossed them they 
started firing on the vehicle of Justice Marri, an eyewitness told 
this correspondent who was present in the area when the incident 
took place.

Another eyewitness claimed that the number of armed men was over 
ten and they escaped in two vehicles after killing Justice Marri. 
However, police sources did not confirm the presence of another 
vehicle of the assailants.

The injured guard, who was admitted in the hospital, told newsmen 
that around four to five persons were involved in the firing.

"I tried to return the fire but one bullet hit my weapon and 
injured my hand. I also received another bullet injury on my back," 
security guard Mohammad Ali said.

The driver of the official car of Justice Marri, Noor Mohammad, 
said that when armed men, who were wearing mask, started firing he 
did not stop the car and sped it into the High Court building with 
full speed.

Meanwhile, police blocked all the exit points of the City and 
started extensive search for the killers, SSP of Quetta, Mohammad 
Riaz Ahmed, said.

A case has been registered against unknown armed men and a team of 
senior police officers has been set up for further investigations.

Police sources said the cause of murder of Justice Marri could not 
be known immediately. However, one of the close relatives of 
Justice Marri, Shahnawaz Marri, told police that they knew who had 
attacked Justice Marri.

He said that he would lodge an FIR against them. However, police 
sources said that as yet no written complaint was lodged by the 
relatives of the late justice.

Late Justice Nawaz Marri has been survived by a widow and four 
sons. He belongs to Bijarani clan of Marri tribe. He was the 
younger brother of a former chief justice and former governor of 
Balochistan Justice (retd) Khuda Bukhsh Marri, and elder brother of 
provincial minister for Excise and Revenue Mir Mohabbat Khan Marri.

He joined the profession in 1977 as a lawyer of the BHC. He was 
inducted as judge of the Balochistan High Court in 1994. He 
remained vice-chairman of the Pakistan Bar Council and President of 
the Balochistan Bar Association. He also served as assistant 
advocate general of Balochistan for many years.

The funeral prayer of Justice Marri was held at the Railway Hockey 
Ground after Jumma prayers and was attended by Governor Mengal. 
Chief Justice Iftekhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Judges of the BHC, senior 
government officials, lawyers, relatives and a large number of 
people belonging to different walks of life also attended the 
funeral prayers.

Later, his body was flown to his ancestral town Kohlu for burial, 
by a helicopter.

In the meantime Governor Amir-ul-Mulk mengal has condemned the 
tragic death of Justice Mohammad Nawaz Marri and directed the 
police and local authorities to arrest the assailants within 48 

The governor presided over a high-level meeting in this connection 
in which the incident was discussed in detail and various decision 
were taken for the early arrest of the killers.

India asks Pakistan to either deport or punish hijackers

NEW DELHI, Jan 7: India on Friday asked Pakistan to either 
prosecute or extradite five men who hijacked an Indian Airlines 
plane as New Delhi sought to make its terrorist charges against 
Islamabad stick.

A foreign ministry spokesman here said the "onus" was on Islamabad 
either to send the men, identified by India as Pakistanis, back 
here for trial or charge them at home, adding Pakistan was a 
signatory to a number of international conventions on hijacking.

When asked if any country had questioned India's allegations of 
Pakistani involvement in the December 24-31 hijacking, he said: "We 
have had no feedback from anywhere which questions the veracity of 
what we have stated."

Meanwhile, the faces of five Pakistanis identified by India as the 
hijackers of Indian Airlines Flight IC814 stared from the front 
pages of every newspaper here on Friday.

The photographs and names of the five men - Ibrahim Akhtar, Shahid 
Akhtar Sayeed, Sunni Ahmed Qazi, Mistri Zahoor Ibrahim and Rajesh 
Gopal Verma - were released on Thursday as evidence of Pakistan's 
"neck deep" involvement in the hijacking.

Following the eight-day drama, which ended after India agreed to 
release three jailed Muslim militants in exchange for 160 
passengers and crew, India urged the international community - 
particularly the United States - to declare Pakistan a terrorist 

US warns Pakistan over Azhar's threats

WASHINGTON, Jan 7: The US used strong language on Thursday saying 
Islamabad would be held responsible for any harm that may be caused 
to Americans as a result of, the recently-freed, Maulana Azhar's 
activities in Pakistan.

State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin told a briefing at 
Shepherdstown in West Virginia, where Israeli-Syrian talks are in 
progress, and the language he used in warning Pakistan was quite 

Rubin was asked about the speech of Maulana Azhar at Karachi where 
he had lashed out at the US and at India, vowing to continue to 
struggle against them.

He said in his response: "We find his speech deplorable and 
unacceptable -his reported remarks about destroying America and 
India. Such language feeds a climate of hostility against both 
countries and incites (people to) violence."

Rubin further said Pakistan must assure the safety of US citizens, 
Indians and all foreigners in their country. "We would hold the 
government of Pakistan responsible for Masood's activities which 
threaten the lives of our citizens. Masood Azhar is the secretary 
general of the renamed 'terrorist' organization. No country should 
permit terrorist activities to be organized from its territory, and 
we urge Pakistan to investigate carefully whether his (Azhar's) 
actions have violated any Pakistani law. If so, he should be 
prosecuted accordingly."

Asked if Azhar wanted to remain in the country, would Pakistan be 
placed on the list of countries that support terrorism or harbour 
persons suspected of terrorism, Rubin parried the question saying: 
"I'm not going to speculate on the future. I think I used some 
quite strong language about our views on Pakistan's 
responsibilities here. When and if the Secretary places any new 
countries on the terrorist list, I will inform you, and I don't 
think there is any need to speculate in advance about that."

Nepal expels Pakistan embassy official

KATHMANDU, Jan 5: Nepal on Wednesday ordered the expulsion of a 
junior official from the Pakistan embassy in Kathmandu, a Foreign 
Ministry official said.

He said Asim Saboor, a junior official at the embassy detained on 
Monday for exchanging fake 500-Indian rupee notes worth 50,000 
rupees ($1,150), was told to leave the Himalayan kingdom within 72 

Saboor was expelled for his "involvement in an activity 
incompatible with his status", a Foreign Ministry statement said.

Earlier the Pakistan embassy refused a request by the Nepal 
government to waive Saboor's diplomatic immunity without which 
Nepal could not initiate criminal proceedings against him.

Pakistan embassy officials in Kathmandu were not immediately 
available for comment on the issue.

Indian currency is freely exchanged in Nepal but banks under 
instructions from the Central Reserve Bank of India do not accept 
the 500-rupee notes.-Reuters

Govt in no hurry over CTBT, says Sattar

ISLAMABAD, Jan 4: Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar on Tuesday said 
Pakistan would have the option to conduct a nuclear test if another 
country did so even after signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty 

He was speaking on the implications of the CTBT at a seminar 
conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies here.

"If another country conducts tests, Pakistan's option to do the 
same remains open, irrespective of signing or not signing the CTBT. 
Nothing in the treaty imposes unilateral obligations on a state 
that has signed the treaty," he said.

"Nuclear deterrence is indispensable for the defence and security 
of our country," he said. "The government is determined to maintain 
a robust and credible deterrent capability. The government is in no 
hurry to make a decision let alone sign the treaty."

"The final decision will not be made unless an informed consensus 
emerges as to what will best serve the interest of our country," he 

On December 22, the CTBT came up before the National Security 
Council and the federal cabinet. It was agreed that signing the 
CTBT was too important a question to be decided in secrecy, said 

"We want the people to understand the treaty and deliberate upon 
the merits of signing or not signing the treaty," he said.

The foreign minister analysed various aspects of the treaty and 
said the question of the CTBT must be pondered on the basis of its 
objective merits.

"Cold logic should guide us. Unfounded doubts and emotions should 
not be allowed to cloud judgment," he added.

Abdul Sattar said Pakistan had declared a moratorium as it did not 
intend to conduct any further tests.

However, he said, "Not signing the treaty has identifiable costs 
but not benefits. Singing the CTBT has no identifiable costs even 
though the benefits, too, are more intangible than concrete. A 
sound policy should keep Pakistan in the mainstream rather than 
push us to the fringe, liable to international isolation."

He hoped the deliberations of the experts participating in the 
seminar would lead to a judgment that would best advance the 
national interests.

Pakistan has always joined its voice in building a global consensus 
in favour of nuclear restraints. Now, as a declared nuclear weapon 
state, he said "Pakistan remains conscious of its obligations to 
the world community."

Sattar observed that nuclear deterrence was indispensable for 
defence and security of the country and said the present government 
was determined to maintain a robust and credible deterrent 

He said Pakistan was a declared nuclear state and referred to the 
commitment by the chief executive to exercise restraint and 

Turning to the CTBT, he said of the eight states possessing nuclear 
weapons, six, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, 
France and Israel, had already signed it. He said now India too was 
moving towards signing the treaty.

"Confident of our capacity to deter an evil eye, we must not shut 
our minds to the imperatives of safeguarding Pakistan's good name 
and standing in the world," he said and added that the CTBT did not 
restrict research, development, improvement of design, production 
and accumulation of fissile material.-Agencies

Belgium told to sell N-spares to Kanupp
Shadaba Islam

BRUSSELS, Jan 5: The International Atomic Energy Agency has called 
on the Belgian government to press ahead with plans to deliver $2 
million worth of electronic components to the Karachi Nuclear Power 
Plant (Kanupp), saying the machinery is urgently required to ensure 
the security of the installation.

Press reports published on Wednesday in Belgium said that Mohamed 
ElBaradei, head of the Vienna-based IAEA, has warned Belgian Prime 
Minister Guy Verhofstadt in a letter that Kanupp can only become 
operational under required security and safety conditions if it has 
access to the Belgian equipment.

Last summer Belgium suspended the delivery of the equipment because 
of concerns about Pakistan's nuclear plans.

The Prime Minister's press service said that Verhofstadt had not 
received the IAEA letter dated November 18.

"For reasons still to be established, the IAEA director general's 
letter has not reached the Prime Minister," a government communique 

The contents of the IAEA letter were, however, revealed in 
Wednesday's edition of the Libre Belgique newspaper.

According to the Libre Belgique, the IAEA has cautioned the Belgian 
government not to insist that Kanupp should resume operations 
before getting delivery of the Belgian equipment, saying this could 
pose "serious security problems."

The paper added that the IAEA had assured Brussels that the 
electronic machinery in question could not be misused for military 

The agency added that while Pakistan had not signed a complete 
security supervision treaty called a "full-scope safeguard" accord 
with the IAEA, international security norms were in application in 
Kanupp since 1969 under a specific accord concluded with the 
Vienna-based organisation.

Controversy triggered by release of the IAEA letter on Kanupp could 
present Prime Minister Verhofstadt with his first political 
headache of the new year, according to Belgian commentators.

Court allows lawyers to meet Nawaz

KARACHI, Jan 6: Rehmat Hussain Jafferi, the administrative judge of 
anti- terrorism courts (ATCs), on Thursday allowed an application 
by Khalid Anwar, Ashtar Ausaf Ali and Iqbal Raad, advocates, 
permitting them to meet former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the 
main accused in the October 12 plane conspiracy case.

The applicants, counsel for Nawaz Sharif, moved the court to meet 
their client for consultation on a number of cases pending against 
the accused before the superior courts.

The court, deciding the application, ordered the superintendent 
District Jail, Malir, to ensure a meeting of the accused with his 
lawyers. The same court disposed of a similar application moved by 
PML leaders seeking a meeting with the accused Nawaz Sharif and 
others on Eid day.-APP

Produced before court: Farooq says PPP leaders in barracks 

KARACHI, Jan 4: A top leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Dr 
Farooq Sattar, who is being interrogated by the National 
Accountability Bureau in an octroi contract case, said on Tuesday 
that he had been kept in the army barracks in Malir Cantonment 
where several PPP leaders and bank defaulters were also lodged.

Dr Sattar was talking to reporters at the Sindh High Court where he 
made first appearance after detention. The court had allowed him to 
meet his lawyers and family.

The PPP leaders kept in the army barracks are Nadir Magsi, Agha 
Siraj Durrani and Naveed Qamar. Besides, Islamuddin Shaikh, Munawar 
Sindhu, Zakaria Ghani, Abdul Shakoor Kalodi, Abdul Sattar Dero and 
Capt S.M. Ajmal Mahmoodi are the alleged bank defaulters kept 
there, Dr Sattar said.

He said toilets were about 30 or 40 steps from the cells and the 
inmates had to wait for their turn. There was no tap- water in the 
toilets and they had to fetch water from a distance in bottles or 
cans, he said. Referring to the 1997 octroi case in which the NAB 
claimed he was involved, the MQM leader said no case had so far 
been registered against him.

Nobody had told him about the quantum of loss he had allegedly 
caused to the exchequer in this deal, said Dr Sattar, adding that 
the matter was taken up by the high court and the Supreme Court.

Hakim arrested on corruption charge

KARACHI, Jan 4: The father-in-law of former prime minister Ms 
Benazir Bhutto has been arrested on corruption charges, his counsel 
said on Tuesday.

Hakim Ali Zardari is under detention in a local hospital where he 
is undergoing treatment for a back ailment, Farooq Naik said.

Hakim Ali Zardari is accused of illegally selling land in 1989 and 
1990 which had been pledged to a government lending institution.

Last month an anti-graft accountability court issued an arrest 
warrant against him.

Mr Naik said the case had originally been initiated by the 
government of ousted prime minister Sharif as part of what the 
counsel claimed political victimisation.

Ms Bhutto herself has been in London since April last year after 
being convicted along with her husband by an anti-graft court on 
charges of receiving kickbacks on a contract during her term in 

Judge sees progress in serial killings probe

LAHORE, Jan 6: Judicial Magistrate Mian Ghulam Hussain on Thursday 
extended till January 13 the physical remand of self- confessed 
killer of 100 children, Javed Iqbal, who was produced in the court 
along with two co-accused.

The court noted in the order that "some progress has been made in 
the investigation", and granted a police request for the extension 
of the remand. Replying to a court question, Iqbal said they had 
not been tortured and that they were being provided necessary 
facilities in custody.

To another question, Iqbal said he had not engaged any lawyer. 
Asked if he wanted to say anything regarding the police request for 
an extension of the remand, he said he accepted it. The court asked 
if he wanted to say further, the accused replied he was guilty 
(Mein qaum ka mujrim hoon)

The court noted in the order that the accused intended to confess 
guilt. It told the accused that he was not bound to do so, but if 
he still wanted to make a confession it could be used against him. 
The court said the same went for the co-accused, one of whom 
admitted that he had relations with Iqbal. The court said Iqbal 
could think over it till the next date of hearing.

The investigation officer, Masud Aziz, DSP, told the court the 
police had made some recoveries from the accused. They had traced 
the shop from where the accused bought acids and also recovered 
some receipts. The IO also produced in the court four charts 
recovered from the residence of Iqbal with messages written on 

The court asked the accused to sign the charts and made them a part 
of the record.  The accused initially objected, saying the charts 
already carried his signatures.

Pakistan, India swap lists of N-installations 

ISLAMABAD, Jan 1: Pakistan and India have exchanged lists of their 
nuclear installations and facilities through diplomatic channels, a 
foreign office statement said on Saturday.

The annual swap was under an agreement signed by Pakistan and India 
on prohibition of attacks against each other's nuclear 
installations and facilities, it said.

Under the agreement the two countries are required to exchange the 
list of their nuclear installations on the first working day of 
every year.-AFP

Merger of 3 FIA wings likely to help NAB probes
Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, Jan 2: The government has decided to merge three FIA 
wings into one in order to create an economic intelligence agency 
to assist the National Accountability Bureau in its prosecution 
against the white-collar criminals.

Officials dealing with the job of creating a NAB organ by 
dissolving the FIA wings told Dawn here on Sunday that the work 
would "hopefully be complete in January 2000."

They added that the FIA wings to be merged into one were Commercial 
Banks Circle, Economic Investigation Circle and Financial Crimes 
Prosecution Wing.

The merger of these three FIA circles was intended to be the 
initial step toward right-sizing the FIA, and strengthening the NAB 
investigation and prosecution organs. The right-sizing of the FIA 
had remained on the agenda of last three governments, but had never 
been carried out in practice.

While the FIA, after this step, would remain an exclusively social 
crimes investigation and immigration control apparatus, the NAB 
would be turned into the country's most powerful financial crimes 
and corruption investigation body, apart from being the central 
prosecution-assisting organ of the state.

In matters relating to financial crime and corruption 
investigation, the wings chopped off the FIA and given under the 
control of the NAB would now be manned by professionals recruited 
and hired both from the state and private sectors, said the 

"Since most of the technical assistance needed by the kind of 
investigation jobs generated by the NAB would not be available with 
the state sector organisations, the private sector firms like the 
stock exchange, security exchanges, and international finance-
movement monitoring institutions would also be allocated such 
assignments", said a senior government official.

He added that the NAB was supposed to allocate these jobs, and hire 
private sector assistance in a manner that those numerous 
businessmen, bureaucrats and go-between persons currently facing 
charges, or were expected to face some, did not come to know about 
the identity of such investigators.

Cut in NSS interest rates: Budget's burden to go down by Rs10bn
M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, Jan.2: The burden on the current year's budget will go 
down by an estimated Rs10 billion following the cut in the interest 
rates on National Savings Schemes (NSS), it was learnt here on 

The current expenditure for 1999-2000 was budgeted at Rs525.9 
billion including Rs160.61 billion for taking care of interest on 
domestic unfunded debt amounting a total of Rs487 billion. Now this 
expenditure will come down to Rs150.61 billion as a result of the 
reduction in the NSS rates.

Another positive development which independent banking experts 
anticipate, following the move, is an across-the-board reduction in 
overall bank interest rates by about 2 per cent.

The yields on the treasury bills, which will be offered 
subsequently, would also go down pro rata, further easing the 
burden on the budget, these experts said.

All this, they said, would have a salutary effect on the overall 
domestic cost of production and at the same time would also, to a 
large extent, neutralize the adverse impact of the recent increases 
in the prices of petroleum products on the rate of inflation which 
at present was estimated at 6 per cent.

The reduction in bank rates was expected, as a corollary, also to 
make bank advances less prohibitive for the genuine investors who 
for the last several years had greatly reduced their borrowings for 
investment because of uneconomic bank rates.

According to informed sources, the savings of Rs10 billion from 
current year's debt servicing, in all likelihood, would be spent on 
SAP projects the expenditure on which has gone down, mainly because 
of resource constraints, by 10 per cent annually in the last three 
years after showing a growth a rate of 24 per cent in the years 
immediately preceding 1997.

Under the SAP arrangement this year the donors had committed to 
reimburse about Rs12 billion, the amount the government had 
budgeted for various SAP activities for the year which in foreign 
exchange amounted to $268 million but because of resource 
constraints the government has not been able to make these 
expenditures in the first place to qualify for the reimbursement.

The sources said if the Rs10 billion saved from interest payment 
was diverted to these SAP expenditures, the government would not 
only make a positive beginning towards poverty alleviation but 
would also be assured of a reimbursement of $268 million, the 
resources needed badly for taking care of a significant part of the 
balance-of-payments arrears.

The poor performance of the SAP in the last three years is 
attributed by experts to the fact that nobody at the top had felt 
personally responsible for the programme, " nobody owned it and the 
cabinet committees set up earlier at the federal and provincial 
levels to implement and monitor the programme were made redundant."

At present the entire SAP budget amounting to Rs70 billion was 
being handled by a grade-21 officer (the Federal SAP Coordinator-
FSC) plus his three assistants.

PTCL merged into S&T ministry
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 5: A joint meeting of the National Security Council 
(NSC) and the federal cabinet decided here on Wednesday to merge 
the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) into the 
Ministry of Science and Technology.

The meeting also sought to drastically improve the performance of 
the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) before their privatisation.

Sources said the meeting was told that the Pakistan 
Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) would start its mobile 
phone service in April/May this year to compete with national and 
international cellular companies.

The meeting directed officials of the PTCL to provide better and 
inexpensive mobile services to its subscribers.

Instructions were also issued to the PTCL officials to remove 
leakages in the organisation so that it could be put up for 
effective and profitable privatisation.

ECC revises tariffs to protect industry
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Jan 4: The Economic Coordination Committee of the 
Cabinet (ECC) approved here on Tuesday, a number of changes in the 
tariff of different items to remove anomalies in the duty structure 
and provide protection to the indigenous industry.

These include reduction of customs duty from 10% to 5% on VCM, 
removal of 5% CED on import of sack craft paper and 5% CED on local 
manufacturing of paper sack, reduction of CED from 15% to 5% on 
polyester chips and from 10% to 5% on polyester filament yarn.

It was decided for the UFMC that if the C&F price does not exceed 
$800 per ton then protective duty will be applicable in a graduated 
manner to maintain landed cost at not less than Rs61,000 per ton. 
It was decided to remove 5% CED on BOPP film if used in the film of 
capacitor grade.

The ECC which was presided over by Minister for Finance Shaukat 
Aziz also allowed the ministry of communication to the signing of 
implementation agreement with M/s Alcatel SpaceCom for the 
launching of telecommunication and broadcast satellites into the 
Geostationery Orbit. The entire expenditure on the project will be 
arranged by the foreign investor.

The meeting was presented a report on the potato crop and was 
informed that the crop for the last two years has been excellent 
and the estimate for the next crop also indicate a reasonable 
surplus for exports. It was informed that new markets are being 
explored for the export of surplus potato. The committee therefore 
allowed 25% concession on freight for the export of 100,000 tons of 
potatoes during the period January-September 2000.

The meeting decided that resident business ventures in the service 
sector engaged on providing services at ports by way of setting up 
an operating container or oil terminals as well as those 
infrastructure and service sector projects which are covered by the 
Investment Policy 1997 would be exempted from presumptive tax and 
be taxed on net income basis

Thye also reviewed the prices and availability of essential items 
in the country and noted that there was a general stability in the 
prices of kitchen items and prices of 18 out of 21 kitchen items 
either declined or remained stable. The Index of Kitchen Items 
decreased on average by 2.59% since July 3, 1999.

The ECC is also monitoring the 18 selected items which are 
generally consumed during Ramazan. Out of the 18 items, the prices 
of 11 items (such as various fruits, potato and onion) have 
registered decline during the week ended on December 30, 1999 as 
against December 21, 1999. The prices of 5 items (such as dal) 
remained unchanged while the prices of two items (such as baisan 
and yellow dal) registered minor increase.

The reasons for the decline in the prices of 11 items include the 
better supply situation owing to the seasonal factors and better 
management and vigilance of the Price Monitoring Committee at the 
district level. The committee was informed that stock position of 
POL, wheat and fertilizer was quite satisfactory in the country.

 The meeting was also attended by the Minister for Commerce, Food 
and Agriculture, Environment, Local government, Rural Development, 
Labour Manpower and Overseas Pakistani, Chairman Privatization 
Commission, Secretary General Finance concerned Federal Secretaries 
and other senior officials.

Entrepreneurial risks: Too many eggs in business basket

THE truest measure of how thoroughly the new entrepreneurialism has 
permeated the United States may be the changing ways in which 
people are being paid for their work.

For generations, most working people sought a fixed wage, 
predictable raises, health benefits and a company pension. But 
increasingly such stable arrangements are giving way to ones that 
are more flexible, less certain, often riskier and sometimes more 
rewarding: in short, more entrepreneurial.

-Instead of straight wages, workers are agreeing to be paid in ways 
that vary with their performance or their company's. Almost two-
thirds of 2,800 companies surveyed annually by the American 
Compensation Association - a veritable Who's Who of corporate 
America - use bonuses, incentives and goal-sharing arrangements to 
adjust what some or all of their workers make depending on 
performance. That's up dramatically from the start of the decade, 
when less than 15 percent relied on such schemes.

-Instead of avoiding business risk, many people are embracing it by 
accepting various forms of company stock as part of compensation. 
One-third of companies recently surveyed by the Federal Reserve 
offer stock options - the right to buy shares at a fixed price - to 
at least some employees below executive rank. Private surveys 
indicate the number could be even higher.

-Instead of relying on employers to offer and manage their 
retirement benefits, millions are taking on the task themselves. 
Individuals, rather than employers, now make the basic investment 
decisions - and bear the investment risks - for almost half of the 
nation's non-Social Security retirement savings, up from a little 
more than one-third 15 years ago.

A recent Federal Reserve study concluded that the use of options 
and bonuses has grown so extensive it helps explain one of the 
great economic mysteries of the decade: why regular wages haven't 
exploded in the face of unemployment at a 29-year low. Government 
statistics don't fully reflect variable pay options.

The rewards of no-limits pay have become increasingly apparent as 
the economic expansion of the decade has proceeded. Much less 
apparent have been the new risks Americans are bearing as they 
forsake their old social compacts with employers - a comfortable 
living in return for a career of loyalty - for new, entrepreneurial 

That's because the economy and the stock market have done so 
spectacularly well that they have masked many of the risks. It is 
also because the experts who are pushing the new arrangements have 
played down their dangers.

As the boom has continued and consumers have purchased with growing 
abandon, workers have found it increasingly easy to hit the targets 
needed to collect their bonuses and goal-sharing payments. And for 
those worried about what would happen if the growth stops, 
economists such as Harvard's Martin Weitzman argue that giving 
companies the right to cut pay in downturns is good for workers 
because it means that fewer are likely to be laid off.

But the new pension arrangements may be even more vulnerable to 
setbacks than the variable pay schemes. The rise of self-directed 
retirement plans such as 401(k)s at the expense of more traditional 
company-controlled pensions has come in an era of sustained growth. 
It has been accompanied by a significant decline in employer 
contributions to all types of plans (down 15 percent after 
inflation since the mid-1980s) and a big jump in stock investment 
of retirement money (up from less than one-third in the mid-1980s 
to well over half last year.)-Dawn/LAT-WP News Service (c) Los 
Angeles Times

Ministry of commerce to be restructured
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 4: Minister for Commerce, Industries and Production 
Razak Dawood said on Tuesday his ministry will be restructured to 
respond to the challenges of globalisation of economy.

He chaired a meeting which was attended by chief executives/sector 
specialists from the private sector and officials from the Ministry 
of Industries and Production.

The agenda for the meeting included reorganisation and 
revitalisation of the Ministry, Industrial Policy, role of Board of 
Investment and future export strategies.

He said a long term vision for industrial development and economic 
growth was needed in view of liberalisation of international trade 
in the years to come. He stressed that consistency in economic 
policies and provision of level planning field were the basic 
requirements of a growth oriented industrial sector.

The Minister admitted that the Ministry had become fairly weak over 
the years due to transfer of its major functions to other 
ministries/departments. However, with the return of SMEDA, BOI etc 
the ministry would be strengthened and revitalised. The Minister 
invited views from the participants for the development of long 
term vision for the industrial sector in the areas of textile, 
software development, chemicals and engineering. He also invited 
suggestions for making the industrial sector competitive to meet 
challenges of free international trade.

Efforts on for non-Paris Club loans rescheduling

ISLAMABAD, Jan 4: The government is on course to meet requirements 
for getting the loans rescheduled from the non-Paris Club 
countries, said Shoukat Aziz, federal finance minister.

Talking to reporters here on Tuesday evening, the minister said the 
government's policy of getting its loans and Euro-bonds rescheduled 
has meet the desired success and the loan-awarding agencies have 
appreciated this accomplishment.

The minister said the IMF had changed its loan awarding policy and 
now it was demanding the loan-money's utilization for the projects 
of poverty alleviation and social action programme.

He added that there was no cause for panic on the Shariat Appellate 
Bench of the Supreme Court to do away Riba from the economy of 
Pakistan. He said the government is taking measures to bring its 
economic and financial decision-making in line with this decision 
and the ministries of law and finance are coordinating for this 

The Law Division has formed a special committee to make changes in 
the legal structure attached to the financial procedures and policy 
implementation in consonance with the Islamic injunctions.

On the other hand, he added, the finance ministry's special 
committee created for this purpose is taking up the matters 
relating to loans obtained by the government, to turn their 
operation as per the requirements of Islamic financial system.

The minister said the government is taking steps to create a sense 
of participation among all the four provinces by allocating 
equitable shares from finance to the smaller provinces, and by 
helping them in financing the development projects. Such projects 
in the NWFP and Balochistan are being given top priority.

He assured the consumers that the prices of petroleum products 
would be reduced according to the reduction in international prices 
of these products. He said prices of consumer goods either remained 
stable or showed a trend of reduction during the Ramazan.

Four saving schemes exempted from IT

ISLAMABAD, Jan 4: The Central Board of Revenue has clarified that 
it has issued no notification to impose 10 per cent income 
(withholding) tax on profit/interest of certain National Savings 
Schemes for which the government has restored exemption on Dec 16, 
last year.

The impression lately created by certain news items appearing in a 
section of the press that the withholding tax (WT) was still being 
deducted in violation of the government's decision to withdraw the 
tax, was incorrect, says a CBR press release issued here on 

It says the correct position is that WT was imposed through SRO 
1012 (I)/99, dated Sept 3, 1999, on interest/profit derived from 
the following NS schemes which were previously exempted:

Savings Accounts: Mahana Amadni Accounts (monthly instalment) does 
not exceed Rs1,000; Special Savings Accounts/Certificates 
(registered) for individuals/local bodies; and Defence Savings 

In accordance with the government's decision, SRO 1343 (I)/99, 
dated Dec 12, 1999, was issued restoring tax exemption in respect 
of the above mentioned schemes from which exemption had been 
withdrawn through SRO 1012 (I)/99, dated Sept 3, 1999. This was 
clearly explained in the following words:

"The decision dated Sept 3, 1999, to levy 10 per cent WT on certain 
NS schemes has been withdrawn and the exemption on profits of 
schemes which were exempt till that date has been restored.

"A detailed circular No 31/1999, dated Dec 29, 1999, has already 
been issued by the CBR clarifying that only the tax exemptions 
withdrawn through SRO of Sept 3, 1999, have been restored through 
SRO of Dec 16, 1999."

WT is, therefore, being rightly deducted out of interest/profit 
paid on National Savings Schemes other than those four the names of 
which have been mentioned above, it adds.

Accord on CED issue for air tickets soon

ISLAMABAD, Jan 6: An agreement between the Central Board of Revenue 
and All Pakistan Travel Agents Association (APTAA) is likely to be 
reached in the next couple of days for thepayment of 5% Central 
Excise Duty on air tickets.

The CBR had imposed a 5% CED on the travel agents approved by 
International Air Travel Agency (IATA), in '95, and under the 
procedure of payment of this duty, the travel agents were bound to 
deduct the deduct it from ticket-buyers for depositing into the 
state treasury.

However, the travel agents failed to make these duty deposits and 
have been repeatedly receiving notices from CBR for payment on this 
count. A meeting between the APTA leaders' delegation, led by its 
president, Waqas Ahmed, and the chairman CBR was held on this issue 

The CBR demanded that the entire amount of unpaid duty since its 
imposition in '95 be deposited. The APTA leaders, however, pleaded 
that they could presently deposit the amount for the period 
starting from '98, and in future they would be depositing it 

The meeting remained inconclusive and the two sides are expected to 
meet again, before or immediately after Eidul Fitr, to settle the 

Drug Board rejects 100 import applications

ISLAMABAD, Jan 6: The Drug Registration Board of the Health 
Ministry on Thursday rejected 100 drug import applications to curb 
the import of fancy drugs and non-essential vitamins.

Director General of Health Ahsan Ahmed told APP that the board's 
decision to disapprove 100 applications was aimed at encouraging 
drug manufacturing in the country, besides saving millions of 
dollars in foreign exchange.

He said 117 applications were received for grant of import licences 
of different drugs, including those being manufactured locally. Out 
of these, he said, only 17 licences for essential drugs were 

He said the board also cancelled manufacturing licences of six 
pharmaceutical companies on the grounds that they were producing 
spurious and substandard drugs. He said that manufacturing licences 
of local pharma companies Azad, Uni Pharma, United drugs, were 
cancelled as their products were substandard.

Three manufacturing licences of local companies, Cessna, Al-Amir 
and B. Braun were cancelled as these companies had stopped 
production but other parties with vested interest were using their 
licences for manufacturing spurious drugs.

The Drug Registration Board also banned manufacturing of vaccine 
vials of multiple use. He maintained that the manufacturers were 
asked to produce single-dose vail's of different vaccines, 
including typhoid, penicillin, septamicyne and dozen other such 
vaccines to check the spread of hepatitis.

The board also decided to check manufacturing of substandard 
syringes by un-registered companies. He said some companies were 
un-registered in Pakistan but were manufacturing syringes which 
were dangerous for health and could cause hepatitis and other 
diseases. The board asked these companies to get registered and 
follow the standard and procedures set by the ministry of health 
according to WHO instructions by June 1, 2000.

The DG health said that some multinational companies were issued 
licenses for manufacturing different drugs but instead they were 
importing these drugs under import licenses wasting country's 
precious foreign exchange. He said the board decided to cancel 
these licenses and the companies were asked either to manufacture 
these drugs locally or face cancellation of their licenses.-APP

Sales Tax Dept receives Rs1bn arrears

ISLAMABAD, Jan 5: The Sales Tax department received Rs one billion 
in deposit of arrears in the month of Dec '99, according to Central 
Board of Revenue (CBR) records.

The deposits of arrears received in Dec '99 have been unprecedented 
for a fiscal month, said an official. Having gathered pace in Nov 
'99, the government campaign was intensified to improve recovery 
the following month.

In the course of arrears-depositing during each month of a 
financial year, taxpayers are bound to clear all their un-litigated 

This is imperative to show a 'nil' balance on assessment-deposit 
sheet for a month in which a sales declaration has been made and 
the department informs the taxpayers of un-cleared dues.However, 
'the practice has been that the taxpayers have been reluctant to 
pay even after repeated reminders and notices sent up by the ST 
collectorates.' The trend would, hopefully, be arrested, and 'the 

taxpayer who has been attempting to evade the tax money listed as 
arrears and which remained unpaid for long periods, would find it 
difficult to keep these dues for long without filing convincing 
appeals against the collectorates' claims', thee official added.

Back to the top
Shining idea, abiding tragedy
Ayaz Amir

THE closer I get to becoming a senior citizen - or an "uncle" as 
one is increasingly called in this country - the more I realize 
that Pakistan, far from being an historical aberration or a product 
of any divide-and-run strategy by the British, was an historic 
inevitability. It had to come into being because of the 
irreconcilable differences between the Hindu and Muslim races. I 
find it utterly amazing that there are people both here and in 
India who should think otherwise.

A book I have just been reading is Nirad Chaudhuri's stunning 
"Autobiography of an Unknown Indian." After having read it I am 
ashamed of the fact that it had to take me half a century to reach 
it. Anyone interested in the recent history of the sub-continent, 
especially the revival of Hindu nationalism in the 19th century, 
should take this revelatory book to heart and chew its contents 
slowly. A more insightful look at the psychology of the Hindu mind 
over the ages would be hard to come across.

One of the things coming out strongly in Chauduri's account is that 
Hindu nationalism was not born as a consequence of British rule. It 
was there when the Muslims first arrived on this land and, feeding 
on rancour and hatred, it festered within for all the long 
centuries that the Muslims ruled India. Undergoing a revival in the 
19th century at the hands of such enlightened teachers as Rammohum 
Roy and Swami Vivekenanda, it became corrupted when it came under 
the influence of Gandhism which returned Hindu nationalism back to 
the crude, atavistic forms it had acquired in response to the 
Muslim invasions.

Since the Muslims of the subcontinent also had a consciousness of 
separate identity, Hinduism and Islam in India were fated to follow 
divergent paths. Partition, therefore, far from being a tragedy, 
was driven by the forces of historic necessity. To historians my 
submissions would sound banal and over-simplistic, as perhaps they 
are. All I want to say is that the precise idea of Pakistan may 
have been articulated in the 1930s or '40s, but its seeds were sown 
when the first Muslim conquerors came to India a long time ago.

In setting down these facts (for so I take them to be) my intention 
is not to do my bit to stoke the fires of India-Pakistan animosity 
which already are blazing away merrily without needing any help 
from anyone. I am just trying to make a point, that too for 
domestic consumption.

And the point is that if the idea of Pakistan (while considering 
this, please keep the demons of literalism at bay) lay embedded in 
the alluvial soil of the Indo-Gangetic plain for so long, then it 
is likely that the realization of this idea will survive the 
ravages of history.

In other words, Pakistan is not an artificial construct like 
Yugoslavia or indeed the Soviet Empire whose break-up we have 
witnessed. It would therefore be quite wrong to label it a 'failed 
state' because this tag implies that such a state, collapsing under 
the weight of its failures, is about to have its name erased from 
the calendar of nations. Unless the entire sub-continent reverts to 
the chaos and disorder which existed in India between the twilight 
of the Mughals and the advent of the British, this is unlikely to 
Now if it is accepted that Pakistan will be around till the final 
trumpets sound, it follows that when with every change of 
government Pakistanis mount the house-tops and shout that this is 
their last chance, they stand guilty of collective stupidity. If 
Pakistan is going to be around till global warming gets the better 
of all of us, how can Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif or General 
Pervez Musharraf be our last chance?
Rulers will come and go, as will finance ministers with their 
promises to take us to the moon, but even if each one of them is 
worse than the other, Pakistan with all its debts and mishaps will 
remain - not because it has received a special dispensation from 
the gods but simply because its scaffolding rests on a thousand 
years of history. This does not mean that we have open licence to 
commit what folly we please. But it does mean that we should learn 
to temper some of the morbidity which strikes us whenever one 
government falls and another takes its place.
The question of the idea addressed, what then is Pakistan's abiding 
tragedy? It is simply this that the guardians of its flame, whether 
chosen by accident or design, have been unequal to the task 
entrusted to them. The idea of Pakistan has been betrayed by the 
country's successive rulers and this fact, more than anything else, 
accounts for the mordant and unrelieved quality of Pakistani 
What is important to bear in mind, however, is that the motivating 
force of this cynicism is neither nihilism nor a sense of despair. 
Far from being so effete or defeatist as to question the very 
purpose of the country's existence, it rather asks, often with 
anguish in its voice, why the country's circumstances are not 
better than they are, why inadequacy is the defining characteristic 
of Pakistani leadership, why Pakistan and Pakistanis should be the 
butt of international criticism. Behind such expressions of concern 
lurks the hope that Pakistan too can be a proud nation liberated 
from the never-ending cycle of reliving its past.
But this cynicism also recognizes that while certain things measure 
up to the idea of Pakistan, others do not. Bumbling political 
leadership is a bad thing but it is a fact of political life. 
Countries, even the most advanced and developed, get good rulers 
and bad. Life goes on. But political power in the hands of the 
military is a distorting influence, an aberration, because in no 
respect is it consistent with the spirit which underlies the 
creation of Pakistan.
True, Pakistan's democrats have been their own worst enemies. But 
that should mean the replacement of one legitimate sovereign by 
another till the golden mean is struck and not the replacement of 
democracy by a different animal altogether.
Although the wisdom of the masses is a meaningless cliche, nothing 
is more misleading than the assertion that illiteracy and poverty 
make the people of this country unfit for democracy. If being 
illiterate they could vote for Pakistan, and being poor keep faith 
with the country (which is more than can be said of the educated 
and the rich), they are fit enough for democracy. But only if their 
betters will let them be and not thrust fresh political experiments 
upon them after every few years.
These may sound like metaphysical calculations but going beyond 
them, how can we close our eyes to our own history wherein military 
rule is remembered more for the enduring damage inflicted than any 
good achieved? We must suffer from a strange death-wish to want to 
go down the same paths again.
Those who, struck by a loss of memory, say that this government 
will be different should look closely at its performance over the 
last 90 days. No one is saying it should have wrought miracles in 
this period. But at least it should have been able to get its 
direction straight and, if asked, been able to point out the 
difference its coming has made.
For most people the initial burst of euphoria with which the advent 
of the military was greeted is over because the realization, 
although slow in coming, has finally dawned, that replacing mufti 
with khaki in the seat of power has made no difference to their 
True, under the aegis of the army's monitoring teams, encroachments 
have been removed and some roads cleaned up. An accountability 
drive of sorts is also sputtering along. For the rest, all the 
glowing characteristics of subcontinental administration - bribery, 
work-shirking, inefficiency - remain in place. What justification 
then for rolling up the baggage of democracy?
Nor must eyes be closed to another danger. The army is getting more 
embroiled in civilian affairs: WAPDA, railways, district 
monitoring, canal desilting, in addition to the other jobs it is 
doing. What if it becomes an expert in everything else and starts 
getting rusty about its primary function for which the nation feeds 
and clothes it? That would be a bit like the crow in the old fable 
who wanted to walk like a peacock and could not but in the process 
forgot how it was to walk like a crow.
This is no reflection on the fighting qualities of our officers and 
jawans (who will always do their duty) but just a reminder of what 
happens to army commands when they pile up too many extraneous 
things on their plate.

Throw the rascals out
Irfan Husain

I AM writing this on the first day of the new millennium 
overlooking the Indian Ocean, which stretches out to the horizon A 
few yards away, it cascades onto a golden beach in an endless 
series of rolling breakers.

The last ten days have passed very quickly on a spectacular beach 
in a village called Mirisa on the southern-most tip of Sri Lanka. I 
have done very little but swim, read, play bridge, eat and drink 
and talk to close friends. But in the midst of this idyllic 
vacation, I have been thinking about the problems of poverty that 
faces the countries of the subcontinent.

When Bernard Tavernier, the sixteenth century French explorer, 
travelled across India, he was struck by the prosperity of the 
people he saw around him when compared to Europe. In his account of 
his voyage, he talks admiringly of the thriving urban centres and 
the security provided by the state. He could not have foreseen that 
within the space of two centuries, the situation would be radically 
reversed and riding on the crest of the Industrial Revolution, 
Europeans would master the world.

On the first day of the 21st century, it is pertinent to ask why 
over a billion South Asians remain among the most backward in the 
world. The countries they inhabit have been richly endowed with 
resources and a basically talented population. Why then do we 
continue to wallow in poverty while the rest of the world strides 
further and further ahead?

Much of the answer lies in the conflicts and divisions that afflict 
the region. A country like Sri Lanka, blessed with a superb 
climate, rich soil and plentiful rainfall, should have been doing 
far better than it is. With a literate population and an adequate 
infrastructure, one would have thought that it would be on an Asian 
tiger growth curve. But largely because of its unending civil war, 
foreign investment has not flowed in to the extent one would have 

India and Pakistan remain locked in a mindless conflict over 
Kashmir. This dispute has brutalized the people of Kashmir over 
whose wellbeing this quarrel is supposed to be about. It has 
drained the exchequers of both countries, warped their political 
development to varying degrees and has contributed to Pakistan's 
isolation. Pakistan, being the smaller and less stable state, has 
suffered far more grievously.Owing to this conflict, regional trade 
has received a huge setback as the South Asian grouping, SAARC, has 
been paralyzed into irrelevance. Whereas such regional arrangements 
have brought prosperity to other parts of the world, we deny 
ourselves the benefits of cooperation due to the self-defeating 
rivalries and disputes that have sharpened over time instead of 
dying down as they have in many other regions.

In the Fifties and Sixties, there was a belief that the problems of 
poverty could be solved with money. Experience has shown that this 
tenet of faith is demonstrably false. After 50 years and 40 billion 
dollars in loans, Pakistan remains at the bottom of all social 
indicator tables, and its economy teeters on the brink of collapse. 
So clearly, money by itself is not the answer to our woes.

To varying degrees, the people of South Asia are victims of a 
rapacious and shortsighted ruling class. In the early days of 
Pakistan, politicians in West Pakistan blocked a constitution based 
on the universal principle of 'one-man, one-vote' as this would 
have transferred power to the eastern wing; this selfish approach 
led inexorably to the creation of Bangladesh and the traumatic 
events of 1971.

In India, the grip the Nehru family had on political power proved 
to be ultimately harmful. And partly due to the fact that the 
Nehrus themselves were of Kashmiri pandit stock, the resolution of 
the festering Kashmir issue has remained elusive. For their part, 
Pakistani politicians and generals have raised the stakes over this 
quarrel to such an extent that it is difficult to see how we can 
ever restore peace to the subcontinent.

And we need to be very clear that without peace there can be no 
prosperity. Untold billions have been sunk into sterile bickering 
while the real problems of the people remain relegated to the back 
burner. Despite the many advantages South Asia enjoyed on 
independence when compared with other backward regions (a 
relatively developed infrastructure; an efficient bureaucracy; and 
familiarity with the English language with all this implies in 
terms of access to the rest of the world), we have frittered away 
our heritage. In Pakistan, we have tried to establish our 
legitimacy by manipulating religious sentiment and trying to 
pretend that we are not of South Asian stock. This has resulted in 
an identity crisis that has produced a succession of lost 

While sections of Indian society are making rapid progress now that 
the heavy hand of the state is gradually being lifted from the 
private sector, far too many people are condemned to live below the 
poverty line. The caste system remains a blot on Indian democracy. 
Bangladesh has made significant progress since its bloody birth in 
1971, but it remains a hostage to a high population and a predatory 

All these problems are man-made and we can resolve them all, given 
common sense and resolve. But we choose instead to invent useless, 
time-wasting, energy-sapping issues and conjure up conspiracies to 
explain our own failings. Most of our politicians are too immature 
and too devoid of vision and ideas to seriously tackle the vast 
problems that beset us; instead, they waste their time and our 
resources, brandishing weapons at the enemies they have themselves 
created. By keeping the region in a constant state of turmoil, they 
have diverted attention from the real issues of poverty, and 
prevented the people from demanding decent governance and a measure 
of prosperity.

If there is indeed a conspiracy, it has been hatched jointly by the 
politicians and the ruling elites of South Asia in an effort to 
conceal their incompetence and venality. For instance, the World 
Bank or the IMF has not decreed that the police in the region 
should be so brutal and yet ineffective. The Americans do not urge 

our rulers to be devoid of integrity and intelligence. The ISI has 
not produced the rise of Hindu nationalism in India, just as RAW 
has not instigated the fundamentalists in Pakistan to drag the 
country back to the medieval era. All these problems have been 
created and condoned by our rulers.

But in the ultimate analysis, it is the people of South Asia who 
have given the power to the ruling elite to misgovern us, and if 
things are to change, we will have to reject them once and for all.

ICC may suspend ban on Shoaib Akhtar 
Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, Jan 6: Shoaib Akhtar is all set to figure in the 
triangular series in Australia after the International Cricket 
Council (ICC) sought explanation from its advisory council 
regarding the suspension of the Pakistan fast bowler.

The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Lt-Gen Tauqir 
Zia, said from Lahore on Thursday that he received the information 
from country's perminent representative in ICC, Ehsan Mani.

"According to Ehsan Mani, Jaghmohan Dalmiya (ICC president) has 
told Sir Clybe Walcott (chairman technical committee) to settle 
this issue in the next 48 hours," the general said, adding: 
"Explanation has been sought from the advisory panel as to what 
were the grounds on which such an extreme action was taken."

The advisory panel of the ICC on illegal deliveries suspended 
Shoaib Akhtar from international cricket on Dec 30 despite the fact 
that onlysix out of nine members attended the meeting. Pakistan's 
representative Intikhab Alam was not allowed to sit when the 
committee passed the judgement on Shoaib.

The general said Dalmiya issued the instructions after he received 
Pakistan's protest. Pakistan has also challenged the suspension of 
Shoaib Akhtar and has requested that the ban be suspended.

"The development is very encouraging. We have received indirect 
information that the ban on Shoaib Akhtar will be suspended," he 
said, adding: "The exact picture will clear tomorrow (Friday) 
afternoon when I discuss the issue with Dalmiya on telephone."

The PCB chairman said he was keen to see the advisory panel meet as 
soon as possible so that the player is cleared to play in the tri-
nation series in Australia.

"I am pretty confident that Shoaib Akhtar will figure in the 
contest though his appearance in the back-to-back matches on Sunday 
and Monday seems to be out of question," the general said.

The general said he would like Imran Khan to attend the advisory 
panel meeting. He said Imran was very clear in his mind that 
Shoaib's action was legal and has several arguments to support his 

"But if Imran is not available, Intikhab will be asked to attend 
the meeting. It has now been made clear by the ICC that Intikhab 
will be allowed to sit when the panel makes its decision," Lt-Gen 
Tauqir said.

The PCB chairman stressed that Pakistan has claimed that if there 
was suspicion about Shoaib's bowling action when he was delivering 
an express fast delivery or a bouncer, he should be no-balled 
instead of banning him.

"Now how can he be banned if there is an element of doubt when he 
bowls an express fast delivery. He should first be called and then 
warned before he is suspended and told to remodel his bowling 
action," said the general.

The general said he was extremely sad over the controversy 
following board secretary Shafqat Rana's statement. He termed the 
controversy unnecessary. "I have asked Shafqat over his remarks. 
And he has denied the he spoke of racism. "But as a policy 
decision, I have decided that only I will speak on cricket matters. 
No one else is allowed to give statements," he said.

India, Pakistan promise lively one-day contest

BRISBANE, Jan 7: Asian rivals India and Pakistan have united in a 
common goal to defeat world champions Australia when the limited-
overs tri-series opens here on Sunday.

They believe the one-day contests will be more competitive than the 
recent Test series in which Steve Waugh's men swamped them both by 
identical 3-0 margins.

"One-day cricket is a new ball game, because everything depends on 
how you play that day," Indian captain Sachin Tendulkar said.

His Pakistani counterpart Wasim Akram added: "Australia may be the 
world champions, but no team can take anything for granted."

Odds, however, favour Australia, who defeated India in the super-
six league and Pakistan in the final on their way to winning the 
limited-overs World Cup in England in June.

Pakistan's build-up for the gruelling 12-match preliminary league 
has been ruined by the ban on speedster Shoaib Akhtar for a suspect 
action and three successive defeats in warm-up matches.

India, who ended the Test series on Tuesday, have had to quickly 
get into the one-day mode without a warm-up match for their five 
one-day specialists who flew in earlier this week.

The series opens with a double-header here with Pakistan playing 
Australia on Sunday, before taking on India on Monday.

After four matches each across Australia, the top two teams will 
contest the best-of-three finals from Feb 2.

While new pace sensation Brett Lee joins 12 members of Australia's 
World Cup winning squad, Pakistan still nurse hopes that Shoaib 
will be available for the series.

A decision on Pakistan's request to reconsider the ban was expected 
to be announced on Friday night by International Cricket Council 
president Jagmohan Dalmiya.

Dalmiya told reporters from his home in Calcutta that he was keen 
to arrive at a quick settlement of the raging controversy after 
consulting West Indian Clyde Walcott, the head of ICC's cricket 

"This thing has affected us all," Wasim Akram said. "I don't know 
what is happening, but hope the ICC will act quickly."

While Australia selected 13 players for the series and Pakistan 14, 
India have 16 players to choose from after opener Venkat Laxman's 
last-minute inclusion following his brilliant 167 in the third 

India, who have not won a Test match outside the sub-continent 
since 1986, have also not won a limited-overs tournament away from 
Asia after the World Championship of Cricket in Australia in 1985.

They begin the series under a cloud over the continued omission of 
former captain Mohammad Azharuddin, the world's most experienced 
one-day player, reportedly at the behest of Tendulkar and coach 
Kapil Dev.

The duo refused to discuss the issue, saying it was a 
"confidential" matter between them and the selectors.

But reports in the Indian media suggest that Azharuddin may well 
join the side if the batting falters in the first few matches.

A similar move is reportedly being made in Pakistan to draft out-
of-favour opener Aamir Sohail after Akram's men lost two practice 
games to Australia 'A' and one to Queensland.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to wait till the first two 
games before taking any decision on the temperamental, but 
experienced Sohail.

Watches: MQM sticks to its claim

LONDON, Jan 2: Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain on 
Saturday released "details" to establish his claim that Karachi 
Corp Commander General Usmani had distributed costly wrist watches 
to those Station House Officers (SHOs) of Karachi who had been 
involved in the extra-judicial killings of MQM workers.

"I am grateful to the ISPR (Inter-Services Public Relations) which 
by denying my claim has provided me an opportunity to release 
evidence about the distribution of those watches by General 
Usmani," Mr Altaf Hussain said in a press statement here.

He claimed that 25 wrist watches were smuggled by Shabbir Jadoon, 
"a well-know carrier" who runs a shop from the basement of Tibet 
Centre in Karachi. Of these, Mr Altaf Hussain claimed, Shabbir 
provided 11 watches to General Usmani and fictitious receipts of 
these wrist watches were obtained from a shop at Zaibun Nissa 
Street in Karachi on December 24, 1999 to establish that these were 
not smuggled watches but purchased locally. Later these were 
distributed by General Usmani among the SHOs at a party where they 
were invited.

Mr Altaf Hussain claimed that Shabbir was recruited by Major Ajmal 
of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in 1995 to work for the 
organisation. He claimed that on the behest of ISI, Shabbir 
recently lodged a complaint against Major Dabbur Khan of Coast 
Guard Karachi.

He claimed that the SHOs were awarded these watches to encourage 
them to kill MQM workers and supporters. Referring to the ISPR's 
denial, Altaf Hussain said that by denying the "facts", ISPR has 
established that it is least interested in the national integrity.

Mr Altaf Hussain claimed that he was well aware that Chief 
Executive General Pervez Musharraf has no power and he was working 
as a "front man" for those who were running and controlling the 
affairs of the country.

MILLENNIUM FUNCTION: Meanwhile according to another press release, 
a simple function was arranged on Friday evening at the MQM 
International Secretariat to welcome the new millennium.

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