------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 12 February 2000 Issue : 06/07 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Pakistan to remain N-state after signing CTBT + Musharraf for boosting economic ties with Iran + Clinton may visit Pakistan: magazine + Clinton concerned at discord + No immediate plan to repatriate stranded Pakistanis + Corruption: seven FIA officials dismissed + Benazir says Pakistan is in turmoil + Price issue deferred: Provinces wheat quota enhanced + Foreign legislators briefed: India increases LoC violations + PIA asked to prepare revamping plan + GDA against change in Constitution --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Action plan needed to reduce debt burden: SBP + CE tells banks to expand loan base + Number of taxes to be cut to three: Shaukat + New package for oil exploration shortly, says Aminuddin + Hubco's net profits plunge + CBR axes 1,016 IT posts + US eases controls on export of computers + Bank of Khyber to invest in leather sector + Wapda blames Sindh for big default + ADB to start $490m new lending programme + Cabinet body okays shipping policy --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + The best in Pakistan Ayaz Amir + The armies of the night Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Saeed for separate teams for Tests and one-dayers + Saeed Anwar to lead Pakistan against Sri Lanka + Shoaib says decision vindicates his innocence

Pakistan to remain N-state after signing CTBT

ISLAMABAD, Feb. 6: Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar on Sunday said 
Pakistan was a declared nuclear weapon state and signing the 
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) would not alter its status.

Talking to a panel of APP journalists here, he said Pakistan did 
not need a certificate for its nuclear status. The international 
community does not deny this fact, he said.

When questioned on US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott's 
statement acknowledging India as a de facto nuclear state, Sattar 
said Assistant Secretary Karl Inderfurth had said the same about 

He said the CTBT was a unique treaty as it would not come into 
force unless signed and ratified by 44 countries who either 
possessed nuclear weapons or could produce fissile material.

Meanwhile, Sattar clarified that even if Pakistan signed the 
treaty, it would not forego its right to conduct further tests, if 
India conducted further tests.

This non-discriminatory principle is contained in Article 14 of the 
CTBT, which was incorporated in 1996 and Pakistan was in the 
forefront among the movers of this amendment.

Before this amendment became a part of the CTBT, Sattar said he 
himself had opposed signing it. But then Article 14 incorporated 
the linkage between Pakistan and India in the text of the treaty. 
After the treaty changed, it was no longer necessary to oppose it.

"Whether Pakistan and India become parties to the Comprehensive 
Test Ban treaty or not, that will not affect the nuclear status of 
either country or their right to maintain and even develop their 
nuclear arsenals," said the foreign minister.

Sattar said the word "recognition" of nuclear status was used in 
the context of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which was negotiated 
over thirty years ago. Then there were only five declared nuclear 
weapons states. Amendment of that treaty is a different and 
difficult proposition, he added.

Questioned when Pakistan was going to sign the Comprehensive Test 
Ban Treaty, he said the government "is in no tearing hurry."

The purpose of the on-going debate is to promote better 
understanding of what this treaty is.

Asked about critics' claim that signing the CTBT will result in 
rollback of Pakistan's nuclear programme, Sattar urged them to read 
the text of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Its only object is 
to prohibit nuclear tests. Pakistan will never agree to rollback, 
he said.

He said 156 countries had signed the treaty. They include not only 
all the other major Muslim countries but also China and Israel. 
"Have they agreed to give up their nuclear arsenals?" he asked. "If 
either one does not become a party, the treaty just cannot enter 
into force. So it has become irrelevant which country signs it 
first," he said.

On consensus, he said actually every government had been in favour 
of it. He said in 1996 Pakistan voted in favour of the treaty. In 
September 1998, the Pakistani prime minister announced in the UN 
General Assembly that Pakistan would sign the treaty if sanctions 
were lifted.

Most knowledgeable commentators favour signing. Most of those who 
speak against do not seem to know what the CTBT is. It is our 
earnest effort to explain the treaty so that people understand that 
it will have no adverse impact on our nuclear weapons programme.-

Musharraf for boosting economic ties with Iran

ISLAMABAD, Feb 10: Syed Hasan Agha Khomeini, grandson of Imam 
Khomeini, who is currently visiting Pakistan, called on Chief 
Executive General Pervez Musharraf here on Thursday evening.

Welcoming the Iranian dignitary, Gen Musharraf said his visit would 
go a long way in strengthening the long-standing historical, 
cultural and religious bonds shared by the two brotherly Muslim 

He emphasised the need for cementing economic ties between the two 

"Pakistan and Iran have a key role to play in uniting the Muslim 
Ummah and in the projection of Islam in its true perspective as it 
is a religion of peace."

He appreciated Iran's unflinching support to Pakistan, particularly 
on the issue of Kashmir.

Syed Hassan Agha Khomeini, while reciprocating the good wishes of 
Gen Musharraf, said Iran, as chairman of the Organization of 
Islamic Conference, was deeply concerned about the problems being 
faced by the Muslim Ummah in various parts of the world, including 
Kashmir, and would play its role to resolve them.

Also present on the occasion were Minister Abdul Malik Kasi, 
members of Iranian delegation, including Ayatollah Seyed Mohammad 
Mousavi Bojnourdi, Syed Raza (Yasser) Mostafavi Khomeini, Maulana 
Ishaq Madni, Syed Mohammad Hashami, Iran Foreign Affairs DG 
Jalaluddin Nameni; Iranian Ambassador Syed Serajeddin Mousavi and 
Iranian Embassy Minister Counsellor Jalal Kalantari.

Later, the chief executive hosted a dinner in honour of the Iranian 
delegation. The members of the National Security Council and 
Cabinet and senior military and civil officers also attended the 

Clinton may visit Pakistan: magazine

WASHINGTON, Feb 8: President Bill Clinton may visit Pakistan, 
irrespective of whether Islamabad meets US concerns about terrorism 
and other issues, Newsweek magazine said in its latest issue 
quoting official sources.

As the magazine hit the stands, Secretary of State Madeleine 
Albright also tried to clarify some perceptions about President 
Clinton's visit to India. "The upcoming visit to India is not a 
sign of Washington's absolute approval of the country's policies 
and will focus on issues of deep concern to the US, Albright said 
on Monday.

"The trip is one that will be important, but it is not just a sign 
that everything has been dealt with and all the problems have been 
resolved," Albright told reporters.

Newsweek said: "A snub (to Pakistan) might add to the region's 
instability... and there is little chance that the White House will 
make good on its threat to leave Pakistan out of the president's 
South Asian trip."

"Experts worry that such a snub might add to the region's 
instability, worsening the threat of outright war and a possible 
nuclear exchange between Islamabad and New Delhi ... Such a risk is 
unacceptable. That is why practically any gesture of accommodation 
from Islamabad will probably be rewarded by a visit from Clinton," 
Newsweek said.

Stating that Gen Pervez Musharraf is making efforts to cooperate 
with the Clinton administration in fighting terrorism, the weekly 
said: "Already he (Musharraf) is speaking of a possible visit to 
Afghanistan. His agenda would likely include talks on the status of 
Osama bin Laden.

"Not that anyone expects the Afghans to extradite their ill-behaved 
Saudi friend," it, however, noted. Newsweek said the question is 
whether "Pakistan's pragmatic military ruler, Musharraf, can keep a 
lid on the radicals around him. Some of the most dangerous 
individuals belong to a phalanx of pro-Islamic officers immediately 
below him. There has been an alarming fundamentalist Islamic trend 
in the army," a senior military official told the weekly.

Clinton concerned at discord

WASHINGTON, Feb 9: President Clinton on Wednesday repeated his 
promise "to do something" about Pakistan and India before he left 
his office in January next year.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Mr Clinton said he was 
"profoundly concerned" about the discord between rivals India and 
Pakistan and hoped to do something to ease it before leaving 

The President made the comment, his second in recent days, in the 
context of questions about his forthcoming visit to South Asia. But 
he again said he had not yet decided whether to make a stop in 

The comments were made amid persistent reports that the Mr Clinton 
wanted to visit Pakistan even if no major gesture was made by 
Islamabad to facilitate his visit.

Officials are however watching the moves of Pakistan leader General 
Musharraf very closely amid signs that he was trying to help the US 
on terrorism issues including talking to the Taliban leaders about 
Osama bin Laden and arresting the main figure in the Indian 
hijacking, Maulana Masood Azhar, said to be in protective custody 
in Pakistan.

"We haven't made a decision on the final itinerary yet," Clinton 
told reporters. "I want to make a trip which maximizes the 
possibilities not only for constructive partnership for the US in 
the years ahead but even more urgently for peace in that troubled 
part of the world."

The President said the potential for conflict between India and 
Pakistan was far greater than is commonly understood.

"It has enormous implications for people in the US and throughout 
the world, more I suspect than most people know," he said.

"I hope in the time that I have here that we can make some progress 
because it is something that I remain profoundly concerned about 
for years and years into the future," he said.

No immediate plan to repatriate stranded Pakistanis
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Feb 9: The government has no immediate plans to 
repatriate stranded Pakistanis from Bangladesh, the spokesman for 
Cabinet Division (CD) said on Wednesday.

At a press conference, Zafar Iqbal, the spokesman for the CD said 
the Cabinet Division had not received any direction regarding the 
repatriation of the stranded Pakistanis.

He was addressing the press conference under the directive of Chief 
Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf to meet the press at regular 
intervals. The official, however, had nothing special to tell the 
press. He spent most of time in explaining how many departments 
were under the Cabinet Division.

When asked to explain the function of these departments, the 
spokesman said the Cabinet Division coordinates and sends 
directives of the cabinet to relevant provincial governments and 
departments for implementation.

To a question, he said the chief executive had issued a total of 68 
directives to different ministries and departments so far. Out of 
those, three directives had been implemented while the others were 
in process.

When asked what was the difference between the present military 
government and the deposed government of PML, he said the present 
government was holding cabinet meetings regularly while in the past 
it was not the practice.

He said that a department of the Cabinet Division was carrying out 
an exercise about the size of different departments. When asked to 
give exact information about the down sizing of the government 
departments, he said, he had no exact information.

To another question regarding use of CD vehicles by the different 
departments, he said he had no exact information about the use of 
Cabinet Pool transport. He, however, said that the Cabinet Division 
had six helicopters at the moment.

Corruption: seven FIA officials dismissed
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Feb 8: The director-general of the Federal Investigation 
Agency (FIA) has dismissed seven officials and issued show cause 
notices to 11 others.

In its on-going drive to purge the agency of corrupt elements, the 
DG has also recommended to the interior ministry that seven of the 
FIA's senior officials be made officers on special duty.

The dismissed officials are: Rai Abdur Razzak, Munir Akhtar Shah, 
Noor Nabi Leghari, Riaz Ahmad (all inspectors), Mohammad Yousuf, 
Mohammad Yasin and Javed Khan (constables).

Show cause notices for the dismissal from service were issued to 
Mohammad Masud Iqbal, Mazhar Hussain Gardezi, Azizullah Shah 
(inspectors), Mohammad Daud, Anwarul Haq, Ghulam Murtaza Bajwa, 
Manzar Hussain, Mohammad Ismail Hungra (sub-inspectors), ASI Arshad 
Nawaz, Head-constable Mirza Mubarik Beg, and Constable Tahir Javed.

Those recommended to be made the OSDs include Chaudhry Sharif and 
Riaz Sheikh, both deputy directors of the FIA where they are known 
for their influence. At present, Mr Sharif is under the custody of 
the National Accountability Bureau.

Both Mr Sharif and Mr Riaz were once suspended by the then DG, 
Khawar Zaman, but within months they succeeded in getting Mr Zaman 
removed and got themselves reinstated during the PML tenure. Mr 
Sharif even got out-of-turn promotion.

Besides them, assistant directors Mushtaq Ahmad, Subah Sadiq, Ali 
Qaswar Bukhari, Mohammad Malik and Kamran Ataullah have also been 
recommended to be made the OSDs.

Interior ministry sources admitted that it was a challenging task 
to uproot the corruption mafia from the FIA.

The Federal Investigation Agency chief, who has been asked to make 
the FIA a really effective and neutral organization by March, is 
taking various initiatives to achieve the objective.

Benazir says Pakistan is in turmoil 
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Feb 9: Former prime minister and PPP Chairperson Benazir 
Bhutto has said Pakistan is in turmoil which threatens the 
stability of the whole region.

She was addressing "The women in leadership" conference held in San 
Francisco on Monday. "Today, the long shadow of the military falls 
over the destiny of 140 million Pakistanis" she said and added that 
"one simple basic fact is clear - Pakistan is in turmoil and with 
it the stability in the region is threatened."

She said: "Pakistan is no ordinary country. It is a nation that 
detonated six nuclear devices last spring. It has fought three wars 
in the last 50 years of its history. It nearly went to war last 
summer over the frozen wastelands of an area called Kargil. It is a 
country of desperately poor people rich in weapons of mass 
destruction. It is a country where powerful drug lords undermine 
civil rule when faced with extradition. It is country fiscally 
bankrupt which refuses to live within its means. It is a country 
where men still kill women in the name of male pride."

She said "these contradictions, so severe, threaten to suffocate 
the state itself", and added that the Pakistanis yearned for the 
restoration of their right to elect a government of their choice.

She said US members of Congress and Assistant Secretary of State 
Inderfurth had recently visited Pakistan and urged restoration of 
civil rule there.

"The state department deplored the recent 'Order' facing sitting 
judges to sign loyalty to the military rule as contrary to the 
general's pledge when he took power to respect constitutional and 
human rights. The visit of the US delegations demonstrateshow 
leadership has changed in the 20th century. Leadership is no longer 
confined to national boundaries or to state governments," she said. 

Price issue deferred: Provinces wheat quota enhanced
Rauf Klasra

ISLAMABAD, Feb 11: The federal government on Friday revised the 
wheat distribution formula among the provinces from the existing 
124kg/person annually to 150kg/person in the light of the 1998 

The decision, raising the country's total requirement from 18 to 20 
million ton wheat in 2000, was taken at an inter-provincial 
ministerial meeting held here with Federal Agriculture Minister Dr 
Shafqat Ali Shah Jamote in the chair.

The meeting also decided to distribute 500,000 wheat imported from 
Australia among Sindh, Balochistan and the NWFP to meet their 
earlier demands for additional wheat.

Last week, Mr Jamote had indicated that the wheat consumption 
formula would be increased form 124 to 140kg/person. Talking to 
newsmen after the meeting on Friday, he said the proposal of 140 
was increased to 150kg/person after conducting a study of age 
group-wise annual consumption in the light of the '98 census.

He expressed the hope that the production target would be increased 
in accordance with the revised requirement.

Giving details of the age-wise consumption formula, the minister 
said it was calculated that the children up to 4 years, whose 
number is 19.67 million, consumed 17kg/person annually. About 21 
million children of 5-9 years consumed 50kg/person. Nearly 72 
million people in the main age group consumed 175kg/per person and 
4.62 million people above 65 consumed 125kg/person.

Thus, the minister said, after meeting the requirement of Azad 
Kashmir, northern areas, strategic reserves, and Afghanistan, the 
total consumption requirement came to 20 million ton wheat a year. 
The additional 2 million wheat would be distributed among the 
provinces from next financial year.

He said the other problem which needed to be addressed was the 
removal of faults and irregularities in the distribution system. He 
claimed that Pakistan would export the commodity instead of 
importing it if all those faults were removed.

He pointed out that the federal government procured only 6 million 
ton wheat every year while the remaining of the required amount was 
either procured by the provinces or the private sector. But, he 
said, every province thought that the federal government must 
fulfil its needs.

He identified the NWFP and Balochistan as wheat deficit provinces 
and said Sindh and Punjab were producing surplus wheat and were 
providing it to other provinces as well. He said the wheat 
production in Sindh could be improved significantly by taking some 
measures on the farming side.

He said Pakistan had so far imported 1.6 million ton wheat, adding 
that the government had decided not to import more wheat.

To a question about existing stocks in the provinces, he said that 
at present the country had 300,000 ton wheat which was sufficient 
to meet the food requirements of the provinces till March when the 
wheat harvesting season will start in Sindh to be followed by 
Punjab in April. Thus, he remarked, there was no need to import 
more wheat.

He elaborated that at present Punjab had 1.5 million ton wheat in 
its godowns, Sindh 189,000 tons, while the NWFP and Balochistan had 
0.05 million tons each.

He said the withdrawal of subsidies on wheat was under 
consideration. He said the government had realized that the 
benefits of subsidy were being exploited by the flour mills owners 
as they were not passing this facility to the consumers.

Foreign legislators briefed: India increases LoC violations

CHAKOTI (LoC), Feb 6: The United Nations Military Observers Group 
for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) , has recorded 3,388 violations of 
the Line of Control (LOC) by India during the last four years, from 
1996 upto 1999.

This was stated by the Commander of Chakoti Sector of Pakistan 
Army, Brigadier Khalid Nawaz, while briefing foreign delegates 
about the current situation on the LoC.

The delegates included journalists, historians, writers, 
broadcasters and parliamentarians from Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, 
Sri Lanka, Nepal, China, Bangladesh, and Indonesia.

Giving yearly break-up of the LoC violations by India, he said 
during 1996 there were a total of 1,990 violations.In 1997, 
although, the violation rate remained considerably low, yet the 
Indians started firing heavy mortar shells and guns.

During the year, there were a total of 731 recorded violations.

During 1998, the LoC violations were recorded at 350. In 1999 
again, the LoC violations escalated with the figure touching 517 

Due to lack of resources and manpower, the UNMOGIP records LoC 
violations through various means and sources, Khalid said.

The data collected for four violations is considered to be one, he 
added. So, he said, the UNMOGIP-recorded figures could reveal the 
actual figures. 

Referring to the casualty figures of civilians, he said 63 people 
were killed and 226 others were injured in 1997. During 1998, the 
fatal casualty rate rose to 115 with 442 injured. During 1999, the 
toll was recorded at 165 with 579 injured.

Regarding the intensity of firing during 1997, Brig Khalid said 
that over 23,959 rounds of various calibres were fired by the 
Indian Army from across the LoC. In 1998,39,983 mortar- gun and 
other heavy artillery rounds were fired. (APP)

PIA asked to prepare revamping plan
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Feb 10: The high officials of the Pakistan International 
Airlines Corporation (PIAC) have been directed by the government to 
formulate a comprehensive plan for revamping the organisation.

Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz chaired on Thursday an important 
meeting and directed the PIA officials to make the Corporation 
profitable by implanting a well thought out revamping programme. 
The PIA Chairman and the Managing Director were present in the 

Official sources told Dawn the finance minister has sought a 
proposal from the PIA officials to have a turn around in the 
Corporation. He was given a presentation about the current state of 
affairs in the PIA. This was the second presentation given to him.

The minister asked the officials to consider the cost efficiency 
and find out profitable international routes so as to remove its 
financial problems. The minister, sources said, was told that due 
to increase in the fuel cost, PIA 's profit has reduced and that 
things were needed to be improved. The possibility of offering some 
golden handshake was also discussed.

Although the government has no plans to go for rightsizing in the 
PIA, it has reportedly been recommended to 'shed the extra fat' 
with a view to make it financially and administratively viable.

'Then the minister asked the chairman and the M.D to do some urgent 
cost cutting in the Corporation', a source said adding the minister 
also directed the officials to remove financial irregularities and 
told them to 'put the house in order' so that by next year there is 
a turn around in the corporation.

The sources said the government has been advised to seriously look 
into the issue of hundreds of political appointments made in the 
PIA during, both Nawaz Sharif and Benazir governments. However, the 
chief executive did not agree to remove them from jobs without 
providing them any alternative. But Gen Musharraf sources said, was 
of the view that PIA could not only maintain the present level of 
jobs but could have more provided, it was reorganised on modern 

It was in that backdrop the minister chaired a high level meeting 
and issued directives to the officials for making the Corporation 

GDA against change in Constitution

KARACHI, Feb 10: Component parties of the opposition Grand 
Democratic Alliance at this stage do not favour initiating any 
movement against the military regime whom they have warned against 
any amendments to the 1973 Constitution and rejected the ongoing 
accountability process. However, the leaders do not rule out a 
movement whenever the people are ready.

This was stated by Makhdoom Amin Fahim, PPP vice chairman on 
Thursday while briefing newsmen about the decisions taken at the 
GDA meeting at Bilawal House a day earlier.

The GDA leaders were able to set aside the objections of the 
Pakistan Tehrik Insaf but divergent views persisted on the 
methodology of restoring democratic dispensation and on the 
question of challenging the NAB and other "draconian" laws.

The Makhdoom of Hala, who was flanked by Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Khalid 
bin Walid, Haji Adeel, and other leaders of the GDA said the 
alliance was unanimous on any move by the regime to change the 

"We will not accept any outside parliament change in the 
Constitution," he said.

Through an unanimous resolution adopted at the meeting the GDA 
pledged to struggle for the protection and preservation of the 

It also warned the regime that any attempt to "tamper with the will 
of the people is fraught with danger to the federation, any 
amendment to the Constitution must be translated into legislation 
through the provisions of Articles 238 and 239 of the 

Abrogation of the Constitution would not be acceptable and the 
struggle for the restoration of democracy will continue, Makhdoom 
Amin Fahim told a questioner.

The GDA recalled the vicissitudes and tribulations that had 
engulfed the Constitution-making process where the "will" of the 
people had been denied by the vested interests in their endeavour 
to keep the decision-making process away from Parliament. In this 
exercise the nation saw two Constitutions; each abrogated by its 
author, it maintained.

The GDA resolved that the "Constitution of 1973 was a document 
reflective of the struggle of the people for a federal 
parliamentary democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law. It 
is born from a collective national consensus of all political 
parties and the federation, unanimously passed by Parliament 
competent in law and exercising its powers and authority vested in 
it by the people.

Asked whether the GDA supported the PML demand that the army should 
return to the barracks, Makhdoom Fahim said: "We have been 
demanding return to democracy as soon as possible which would, in 
turn, result in the return of the army to the barracks."

The meeting was of the view that the democratic process had been 
derailed, democratic and the institutions of the State had been 
weakened, provincial autonomy denied, fundamental rights violated, 
sectarianism had been fanned, and horizontal and vertical divide in 
society was pronounced.

Action plan needed to reduce debt burden: SBP
By Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Feb 11: The State Bank has urged the need for putting in 
place an action plan for ensuring payments of rescheduled foreign 
debts starting next year and reducing the burden of these debts as 

The warning is contained in the second quarterly SBP report on the 
state of economy for the year 1999-2000. The State Bank Board of 
directors that met here on Friday approved the report. Governor Dr 
Ishrat Husain was in the chair. The report will be out on Saturday.

"Slow down of the economic activity witnessed in the last year 
continued during the current year," says the report highlights of 
which were released to the press by the SBP. "Long term prospects 
for sustainable growth are not obvious yet as the structural 
problems still persist," said an SBP press release quoting from the 
report. "There are no signs of improvement in private investment. 
Public investment is also constrained by budgetary considerations."

The SBP report warns that trade deficit will exceed the target for 
the year due to larger than expected imports. It says though 
pressures on external sector have eased by rescheduling of debt 
owed to Paris and London Club "an action plan needs to be put in 
place for payments beginning January 2001 and to reduce the debt 
burden." Nevertheless there are some indications of a turnaround.

This is reflected in higher industrial and agricultural output and 
increase in imports of industrial raw material and an upward trend 
of the stock exchange activity. This is also reflected in lower 
inflation that stood at 3.4 per cent (measured by consumer price 
index) on an annualized basis during the first half of fiscal 199-

The SBP report says that industrial production judged on the basis 
of 25 major industries rose by 9.3 per cent during July-December 
1999 compared with a decline of 0.1 per cent in the same period 
last year.

"Industrial sector especially the cotton-based industry has picked 
up its momentum mainly due to good cotton crop, lower cotton prices 
and lower interest rates," says the SBP report. It links the 
improved performance of the agricultural sector to a good cotton 
crop and lower cotton prices plus lower interest rates. It says 
while the production of cotton and rice have exceeded the targeted 
levels the production of sugarcane has registered a significant 
shortfall. "It is too early to venture any estimates for wheat 
production although given the timely rains and increase in 
procurement prices production of wheat should be around the 
targeted level."

The report says there are indications of improvement in tax revenue 
that may lead to achievement of the revenue target this year. But 
the outcome on fiscal deficit will depend on whether the government 
is able to contain its non-development expenses including interest 

The report says inflation measured by CPI fell to 3.4 per cent in 
the first half of this fiscal year from 6.5 per cent during the 
same period last year chiefly because of slower monetary expansion 
and an stable exchange rate. It says that improved supply position 
and a decline in the prices of imports excluding that of petroleum 
products also held down inflation.

The report says money supply increased only 2.7 per cent in the 
first six months of this fiscal year compared with a target of 9.4 
per cent for the entire year and 4.7 per cent during the same 
period in 1998-99. The report attributes the slower rate of 
monetary expansion to slower expansion of credit to the private 
sector. "Net credit expansion to the private sector during July -
December 1999 was Rs 28.7 billion" compared with Rs 56.6 billion in 
the first six months of the last year.

The report says the pace of credit flow to the private sector 
remained slower due to "uncertainty during most part of the first 
six months and high real lending rates. It also links the slower 
pace of credit flow to the private sector to the drive against loan 
defaulters and a subdued demand for credit by the textile sector in 
the wake of low cotton prices.

"The recent reduction in lending rates announced by commercial 
banks may not automatically translate itself into revival of 
investment unless access to credit is broadened to include small 
and medium enterprises," the report says.

Commenting on the external sector, the report says that during 
July-December 1999 current account deficit, without official 
transfers, stood at $712 million compared with $1.593 billion in 
the same period last year. It attributes the fall in the current 
account deficit to an increase in net receipts under private 
transfers, a reduction in trade deficit and a marginal decline of 
deficit on services account. "The trade deficit narrowed to $947 
million during July-December 1999 from $1.257 billion during July-
December 1998."

CE tells banks to expand loan base

KARACHI, Feb 9: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf asked the 
heads of banks and financial institutions on Wednesday to reach out 
to new borrowers, particularly those in rural areas and in small 
and medium-sized businesses.

He told the bankers here at the State Bank that they must not stop 
disbursing credit because of fears of action by the National 
Accountability Bureau on the errors of judgment.

"If you shirk from discharging your normal professional duties then 
it is not fair to take the refuge under the guise of fear of the 
NAB. We cannot simply stop taking decisions and paralyze the 

economy because some of the loans which we are going to make today 
may become sore at some point of time in the future," he said.

"I will urge upon you to expand your borrowers base and extend 
credit to deserving small and medium enterprises," said the chief 
executive. He quoted some statistics to show that their borrowers 
base was narrow.

"I have just been informed by the (SBP) governor that only 1.2 per 
cent of total borrowers get 76 per cent of total bank credit while 
4 per cent get 83 per cent of the total bank credit. The remaining 
96 per cent have only 17 per cent. Similarly, five major cities 
take away over 74 per cent of the total bank credit."

He said "this excessive concentration of credit to a selected few 
among prime borrowers and large-scale enterprises, and that too in 
a few cities, has led to distortion of the economy. A few hundred 
large borrowers are responsible for default of more than Rs145 
billion. This situation cannot be allowed to continue".

Emphasizing the need to expand the borrowers base, the CE said that 
banks should not fear action by the NAB without any reason.

"I have been told that the bankers, particularly at the second tier 
of hierarchy, have become very apprehensive that they might be 
taken to task by the NAB if loans decided upon by them later become 
bad debts."

"Let me assure you that nobody should fear the NAB except for those 
who are corrupt, dishonest and (those who) indulge in malpractice 
knowingly for their personal benefits or for their families and 
friends," he said.

"Those who are professional and honest but have made genuine and 
legitimate business decisions which later prove to be wrong for 
transparent and justifiable reasons have nothing to fear."

The next issue the chief executive raised at the meeting was that 
of home remittances. "During my visit to the Middle Eastern 
countries I was told on many occasions that Pakistani banks take a 
lot of time to deliver (overseas Pakistani's) money to their 
families in Pakistan."

"Even though the rate offered by Hundi-wallahs may be a couple of 
rupees higher, these patriotic Pakistanis are willing to send their 
remittances through official channels if the bank service was quick 
and efficient."

The CE said he was aware that banks were working with the State 
Bank to expedite the delivery of home remittances. "I hope that the 
steps you are going to take will soon lead to an increase in 

He said that another point which had been agitating his mind...had 
to do with the inconvenience faced by the public in paying their 
utility bills. He said he had raised the issue with both the 
finance minister and the State Bank governor. "We should find 
sensible and easy ways of catering to the need of people in paying 
their utility bills. I would like you to pay particular attention 
in finding a solution to this problem," he said.

"The overall service quality of banking system has to improve 
through better systems, automation and focus on customer needs, 
including both corporate and consumer - whether they are small, 
medium or large."

Gen Musharraf said he was satisfied with the early results the 
country had in its economic sphere "but we still have a distance to 

"The successful loan recovery effort, the completion of Paris and 
London Clubs rescheduling, the rise in stock market, controlled 
inflation, increased agricultural and industrial production and 
export growth are all indicators in the right direction," he said.

"I am committed to a policy of self-reliance under which we should 
grow our economy, fight unemployment and reduce poverty," he said. 
The CE said bankers' role in meeting these objectives was extremely 
crucial "and I am sure you will live up to our expectations".

SBP CHIEF: Speaking on the occasion, SBP Governor Dr Ishrat Husain 
said the State Bank and the ministry of finance were working hard 
to identify and induct professional managers of reputable integrity 
as heads of financial institutions.

Number of taxes to be cut to three: Shaukat

KARACHI, Feb 8: Finance Minister, Shaukat Aziz, has said that 
government has positive signs of improvement in the economy with an 
11pc increase in exports.

"Our ultimate desire is to reduce federal taxes only to three 
during this budget, if not than in the next and rationalize the 
remaining taxes", he said while addressing the CBR officers, 
Collectors and Senior officials of Customs at the Custom House on 

Noting that exports are rising and inflation still quite low, 
Shaukat Aziz said that our exchange rate policy is stable and the 
initial signs are very encouraging.

He said the agriculture crop was very good and rather superb. He 
said with fixation of wheat price at Rs 300 per maund by the 
government, has yielded good results and the country expects a 
bumper crop.

Pointing out that this would benefit the balance of payment, he, 
however, said that "we should not let these early indicators make 
us complacence".

The economy's ultimate health and revival will get a spurt when 
ongoing structural reforms would be complete, he said.

Describing smuggling and under-invoicing, Shaukat Aziz referred to 
the constitution of a committee and said smuggling has two major 
hazards - one revenue losses whereby goods are coming in without 
paying duties and secondly our industry is badly suffering.

He said that in order to overcome smuggling there is need to 
enhance physical surveillance with the help of Law and Order 
Agencies on the one hand and strictly check sale of smuggled goods 
at the retail end after few months on expiry of amnesty time.

Referring to misuse of bonded warehouses, he said government is 
thinking about very strict measures in this respect. He said in 
major cities certain bonded warehouses are theoretically for 

The minister said the second area where a solution is being 
explored, relates to under-invoicing. This too is causing big 
revenue losses.

He said rules and regulation may be there but actually these are 
being violated.

Referring to the issue of exports, Shaukat Aziz emphasized that it 
is our life line. Pakistan's economy will progress only when 
exports will increase, and added, the Customs have played a major 
role in countries where exports have been increased.

He pointed out that goods worth billions of rupees are lying at 
Karachi Port by no fault of the Customs or for whatever reasons. 
But it should be understood that foreign exchange spent on it had 
gone from Pakistan and their LCs too were opened by Pakistani banks 
which have been paid but the goods are lying idle here.

Shaukat Aziz said that if these goods remain uncleared, these could 
be auctioned so that "dead assets" are reduced. For this purpose 
the Port Trust, Customs, Banks all will have to do something.

The minister pointed out that bulk of government revenue is in the 
hands of CBR and organizations which are part of it.

He said Pakistan's tax to GDP ratio is the lowest in the world with 
more emphasis on black and undocumented economy. Therefore the 
government is taking steps for documentation of economy.

He said our tax net is also embarassing. It is very narrow with tax 
levied only on those who are already in the tax net whereas it 
needs to be expanded.

He told them that if they ask from the common man and name the 
customs, the impression they would get is very negative and perhaps 
after the police, the Customs is the most dreaded department.

As regards the reports about right sizing in the CBR, the minister 
pointed out that this is being done in all government departments 
and not exclusively in CBR.-APP

New package for oil exploration shortly, says Aminuddin

ISLAMABAD, Feb 9: A detailed plan will be submitted to the 
Balochistan Government on exploration activities shortly, Minister 
for Petroleum and Natural resources,Usman Aminuddin, said.

He termed his recent meeting with Governor Balochistan, Minister 
for Interior and Corp Commandar Quetta as "very useful".

Usman Aminuddin has said that natural resources of almost 10-14 TCF 
gas could be found in Balochistan and likely to generate additional 
revenues upto Rs. 208 billion during the life of the fields 
stretching over 28 years.

The Minister said Balochistan Province could collect additional 
revenues upto Rs. 7 billion per year in the form of royalties and 
excise duty.

The minister said the development plan for Balochistan would be 
evolved in consultation with concerned authorities and the people, 
in which development of the areas and people's welfare would be on 

He further said that highly perspective areas in Balochistan were 
under force majeure due to tribal interferences, with a negotiated 
settlement .It was estimated that The provinces currently receiving 
Rs. 640 million in the form of royalties.

The Minister also paid a surprise visit to the Headquarters of the 
Geological Survey of Pakistan. This was an unscheduled visit and 
hardly any staff out of the 600 was present.

Hubco's net profits plunge

KARACHI, Feb 9: The net profit at Hub Power Co Ltd (Hubco) for the 
six months to end-Dec '99 plunged 11.7% to Rs 2,916m, from Rs 
3,304m for the corresponding period of the previous year.

The results announced by the directors from Dubai on Wednesday, 
evidenced scars of the nineteen month old lingering battle with the 
Government on issues ranging from alleged corruption to high 
tariff. The company skipped an interim dividend, citing adverse 
cash flows, resulting from mounting dues from Wapda, as the reason.

For several days now, the market was all braced up to receive a 
gloomier bottomline, yet the share in the company settled 30 paisa 
down at Rs 27.45, from the overnight level with some 60m shares 
changing hands on Wednesday.

Turnover for the half year was recorded at Rs 10,176m, 4.1% higher 
than Rs 9,767m in the similar six months of '98. Directors report 
released simultaneously, stated that the turnover was based on 
amounts billed to Wapda in accordance with the Power Purchase 
Agreement (PPA). The report went on to state that the accounts 
included a sum of Rs 2,423m, which had not been paid by Wapda. 
Hubco chief executive, S.K.Husain, who signed the directors report, 
cautioned: 'In the event that these amounts are not paid, this 
would result in a reduction in the net profit by approximately Rs 
2,423m to Rs 493 m'.

Directors also noted that trade debtors included Rs 11,250m 'which 
is either disputed or not paid by Wapda for which no provision has 
been made by the company'.

An equity analyst at a foreign brokerage house, who asked not to be 
named, said that it made no sense to interpret the results in the 
face of such colossal sum in dispute. 'The numbers mean nothing 
until the tariff row is settled', said this analyst. Also, he said, 
it would have to be seen if any settlement, which hopefully may 
eventually be reached, is made with retrospective effective or only 
on future power purchases. In the latter eventuality, the company 
would be forced to write off the huge sums due from Wapda and that 
would send all analysts' forecasts into a tailspin, he said.

Given the extent of uncertainties surrounding the IPP, many 
analysts consider it imprudent to place a 'fair value' for the 
Hubco stock. Based on the July-Dec '99 annualised earning per share 
(eps) at Rs 5.02 (half year: Rs 2.51), the share is trading on the 
price-to-earnings (p/e) multiple of 5.4. On the positive side, many 
analysts believe that the Government is intent upon resolving the 
dispute with the IPP and they hope for an outcome within the next 
three-four months.

The directors, meanwhile, continued to reiterate their old stance. 
In the half term report, they observed that the company had been 
the subject of investigation by the FIA and the government 
appointed auditors. Directors 'strenuously denied any wrongdoing' 
on the part of the company, which they said continued to 'defend 
itself vigorously'. Directors also said that the company 'continues 
to seek an amicable resolution of its dispute with Wapda in an 
atmosphere of mutual respect and co-operation'.

As regards the operating efficiency of the 1,200 MW oil-fired power 
plant, directors said that 2,268 GWh of electricity had been 
generated during the half year under review, which was claimed to 
represent 'very high thermal efficiency rate' of 37.3%.

Operating costs for the period under review were seen to have 
increased in proportion to the improvement in turnover so that the 
gross profit edged higher by 4.2% to Rs 5,150m and the gross margin 
remained static at 50.6%. Selling, general & administrative 
expenses amounted to Rs 247m, reflecting a hefty rise of 52% from 
Rs 163m in the earlier similar period.

CBR axes 1,016 IT posts

ISLAMABAD, Feb 10: The Central Board of Revenue has abolished 1016 
posts in the Income Tax department at the CBR headquarters and nine 
major towns of the country.

These abolished posts include that of a director general 
Withholding Tax Organisation in BS-21, says a CBR press release 
issued here on Thursday. It announces that the office of Income Tax 
commissioner Appeals (VII) at Karachi, has been closed down.

The decision has been taken in pursuance of rightsizing of the CBR 
headquarters and its field offices, and the abolition of the posts 
continues. The rightsizing process is likely to be completed in a 
couple of weeks, it says. The CBR had already axed 976 posts of the 
Customs department last month.

In the CBR headquarters, the posts of Chief Wealth Tax, Chief 
Income Tax Education, four posts of IT secretaries in BS-19, 
another four posts of second secretaries in BS 18 and 17, have also 
been abolished.

In the field, 64 circles manned by IT deputy commissioners in BS-18 
and IT officers in BS-16 have been wounded up in Karachi, 
Hyderabad, Sukkur, Quetta, Multan, Lahore, Faisalabad, Islamabad 
and Peshawar.

Another six posts of BS-20, 12 posts in BS-19, 76 posts in BS-10, 
17 and 18, and 922 pots in BS-1 to 12 also stand abolished. The CBR 
has also axed 20 posts of Withholding Tax Organisation, three 
directors in BS-20, eight posts of additional directors in BS-19, 
and nine posts of deputy directors in BS-17 and 18.

US eases controls on export of computers

WASHINGTON, Feb 9: The US has announced further liberalization of 
controls on export of sophisticated computers to Pakistan and 
India, officials said.

The President has issued a notification, raising the individual 
licensing levels for computers with processing speeds from 6,500 to 
12,500 MTOPS for military end-users and from 12,300 to 20,000 for 
civilian end-users.

Likewise, a senior Commerce Ministry official told a conference in 
California that decisions had been taken to restore licence 
exception for computers for India and to move from a presumption of 
denial to a presumption of approval for entities still under 

Regulations to that effect will be published very soon, Bob Majak, 
Assistant Secretary of Commerce, said at the annual conference on 
export controls and policy at La Jolla in California last week.

The President's notification made some changes in the list of 
countries designated as Tier-III states in which India, Pakistan, 
all Middle East/Maghreb, the former Soviet Union, China, Vietnam 
and Central Europe are included.

"The President's decision announced on Feb 1, will maintain the 
current two-level system for civilian and military/proliferation 

 "The decision will raise the individual licencing levels from 
6,500 to 12,500 MTOPS for military end-users and from 12,300 to 
20,000 MTOPS for civilian end-users."

The Commerce Department will immediately raise the licencing level 
for civilian end-users and will raise the licencing level for 
military end-users in six months.

Given anticipated significant increases in individual micro- 
processor performance in the near term, the Administration will 
review these levels by April to determine if further adjustments 
were warranted, the announcement said.

The Under Secretary of Commerce, Mr Reinsch, told the California 
conference that India, Pakistan and China were the obvious examples 
of countries where the US export control regimes had been less 

Bank of Khyber to invest in leather sector
Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, Feb 5: Bank of Khyber has decided to invest in the 
leather sector of the province and in this connection it will raise 
funds for establishing a raw material store in Charsadda, sources 
told Dawn.

The BoK and SMEDA (NWFP) will jointly prepare the required 
feasibility report, work on which will soon be undertaken, sources 

BoK's decision to make investment in the sector was conveyed to 
SMEDA in a meeting held recently between the representatives of the 
two organizations.

'The amount to be raised for the raw material store will be known 
after the availability of the feasibility report,' said a SMEDA 

BoK will extend credit facility to small and medium enterprizes to 
help them improve leather products quality.

The proposed raw material store at Charsadda will be the first of 
such stores in a chain to be set up in different places to 
facilitate the sector.

Charsadda's selection appears obvious for its being the major 
centre of traditional 'Charsadda Waal Chapli' produced in large 
number every year. The product enjoys high demand in the entire 
country and abroad, especially in the middle east where a larger 
number of people belonging to NWFP live.

To promote the Charsadda leather products, the provincial 
government, Export Promotion Bureau and Federal government recently 
decided to establish the a training centre at Charsadda.

Federal government will provide a sum of Rs 50m for the proposed 
leather centre whereas the NWFP government will provide a piece of 
32 kanal land on theCharsadda-Mardan road.

The project pertained to the days of the last government. However, 
a final decision to this effect was taken in a high level meeting, 
chaired by the federal industries minister Abdul Razaaq on Jan 12.

The Rs50m sanctioned for the construction of the building will be 
provided from the Export Development Fund.

Wapda blames Sindh for big default
Sabihuddin Ghausi 

KARACHI, Feb 11: The Sindh province is on the top of Wapda's list 
of defaulters, with a total accumulated liability of over Rs16 
billion. It is almost 26 per cent of the total amount of over Rs62 
billion that Wapda should have recovered from all its consumers by 
the end of 1999. Its consumers are private citizens, federal and 
the provincial government agencies in all parts of the country 
except Karachi.

This amount includes Wapda's unpaid bills, with Sindh, of Rs1.87 
billion during July-December 1999. More than Rs14 billion was to be 
recovered from Sindh by Wapda till June 1999 which, according 
Manzoor Sheikh, member, finance, Wapda, is the accumulated 
liability since 1997.

"We do not agree with the federal arbitrator's award on our billing 
dispute with Sindh," Manzoor Sheikh said at a press conference on 
Friday he held with another Wapda official, Javed Nizam, at the 
KESC office.

Responding to a question, he said Wapda's position was that the 
billing disputes with Sindh had been reconciled till 1997 and the 
arbitration was needed in the disputes that arose beyond that 

He said Wapda's contention was that by bringing the billing dispute 
since 1992 under the arbitration proceedings, the arbitrator had 
gone beyond his mandate. Wapda had now filed a petition in a civil 
court against the award.

Javed Nizam, the general manager, finance, claimed that the bulk of 
Wapda's billing amount with Sindh was based on meters while a small 
amount pertained to defective meters and extended connections.

A statement circulated by the Wapda officials at the press 
conference on Friday mentioned the Karachi Electric Supply 
Corporation (KESC) as its only client in Karachi. The KESC has to 
pay it about Rs7.5 billion for the electric power that it imports 
from the Wapda system to offset its gap in its generation and 
consumption demand. During six months - July to December 1999 - 
Wapda's power supply to KESC was worth over Rs3.2 billion.

"Wapda has made substantial contribution towards the economic 
activities in Karachi and in keeping your lights on," claimed 
Manzoor Sheikh who addressed the local newsmen to inform them how 
Wapda had helped to control the loadshedding and power breakdowns.

Responding to a question, he claimed that Wapda provided 
electricity to the KESC at Rs3.19/kwh, which was worked out after 
adjusting transmission losses from the generation cost, both 
thermal and hydel, at the point from where it was supplied to the 
KESC system.

"We are not making any profit from the electricity supply to the 
KESC," Wapda's member of finance said and explained that the tariff 
had been worked out with the consent of Nepra, an independent 

Calling receivables a "tricky area", the Wapda officials said this 
included a sum of Rs21.57 billion from the private consumers in all 
parts of the country, over Rs2 billion from the defence, Rs4.90 
billion from the Azad Jammu and Kashmir government, Rs4.51 billion 
from Punjab, Rs873 million from the NWFP, Rs503 million from 
Balochistan, Rs3.24 billion from the FATA and Rs5.49 billion from 
the tubewell operators in Balochistan.

He disclosed that the government was considering a Wapda proposal 
that could allow the Authority to import furnace oil directly. He 
said Wapda was the single largest consumer of furnance oil and its 
purchases from the Pakistan State Oils was worth one billion rupees 
a month.

Responding to a question about the dispute with the IPPs, 
particularly with Hubco, Manzoor Sheikh said Wapda had proposed 
early December to bring down the levelized tariff rate to 5.46 
cents. Hubco's proposal is to bring this rate down from 6.86 cents 
to 6.5 cents. "Since the day the proposal was offered, Hubco has 
not come back," Manzoor Sheikh said, and added that the average 
tariff rate with other IPPs was 5 cents. In a few cases it was less 
than 5 cents.

ADB to start $490m new lending programme
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Feb 10: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide 
another $490 million to Pakistan for five projects to be undertaken 
in 2000, in addition to $267.9 million, already sanctioned for 
existing programme.

"We have discussed and agreed with the Pakistani authorities to 
start a new lending programme of $490 million which includes $290 
million ADB's soft loan window under Asian Development Fund (ADF) 
and $200 million under Ordinary Capital Resource (OCR) facility", 
said the head of the visiting Country Programme Confirmation 
Mission Bruce Carrad.

Briefing a group of reporters here on Thursday, he also said that 
ADB has decided to offer substantial funds for poverty alleviation 
in Pakistan. "In fact our 40 per cent assistance will be available 
for poverty reduction".

He said that ADB operational focus in 2000 will be on undertaking 
series of studies on poverty reduction to provide a clear strategy 
for Bank's long term involvement and broadening and deepening 
portfolio management practices to improve governance. Also the 
purpose was to strengthen poverty impacts of ADB's assistance, 
encourage reforms and continue to support province-based 
interventions to promote decentralization.

He pointed out that the agreed lending programme to Pakistan for 
2000 was $490 million in addition to a Power Sector Restructuring 
Programme of $267.9 million and 15 technical assistance projects 
for total of $12.9 million.

Giving details, Carrad said that new lending has been agreed for 
five projects to be undertaken during 2000. The Second NWFP Barani 
Area Development Project which will cost $40 million was being 
designed to improve social and nutritional well-being of the rural 
population, including women.The main components of the project 
include agriculture, rural roads, community infrastructure, rural 
credit and community organization.

Punjab Water Resources Sector Development Programme will cost $150 
million and will be for supporting policy and institutional 
arrangements for sustainable management of Punjab's water 
resources, and to rehabilitate and improve the Marala-Ravi Link 
Canal System.

Then, he said, NWFP Urban Sector Development Project will be 
undertaken at a cost of $70 million. The project would cover 
upgrading of water and sanitation facilities, roads, drainage, 
solid waster management, slums, the promotion of guided land 
development and housing schemes, and strengthening the provincial 
and local government institutions.

Non-Formal Education For Rural Women project will be designed to 
improve delivery of non-formal educational programmes, provide 
micro credit and social development components including 
institutional capacity building and community participation. The 
project will cost $30 million.

Foreign Currency Import Finance Facility which will cost $150 
million was a project which was a part of ongoing Trade, Export 
Promotion and Industry Programme (TEPI). The project will provide 
assistance to the small and indirect exporters for foreign exchange 
requirement relating to exports.

Cabinet body okays shipping policy

RAWALPINDI, Feb 10: The Cabinet Committee on Ports and Shipping 
Thursday approved in principle, the Shipping Policy - 2000.

The Committee, which met here with Chief Executive General Pervez 
Musharraf in the chair, also approved in principle, the Merchant 
Shipping Ordinance - 2000.

The Committee directed that the Shipping Policy and Merchant 
Shipping Ordinance be presented to the Federal Cabinet for approval 
and promulgation.

The meeting of the Cabinet Committee was held in light of the 
decision taken at the joint session of the National Security 
Council (NSC) and the Federal Cabinet on Jan 5.

The meeting reviewed the prioritization of existing developmental 
and operational plans in the sectors of Ports and Shipping.

Secretary Communication, Dr Akram Shaikh apprised the participants 
about the plans, priorities, implementation strategies and 
recommendations in Ports and Shipping with the aim of maximizing 
output, facilitating trade and minimizing wastage.

With regard to the Shipping Sector, it was decided that in addition 
to the Public Sector, the Private Sector would also be encouraged 
to play its role in a competitive atmosphere.-APP

Back to the top
The best in Pakistan
Ayaz Amir

THE best in any country is the fire and enthusiasm of its people. 
The best in Pakistan has never been the property of its mandarins, 
political bosses and men in uniform. It has been the preserve of 
those who, despite the odds, have held aloft the torch of freedom.

Pakistan was not always the graveyard that it now increasingly 
resembles. Even in the most stifling dictatorships intrepid and 
often romantic souls were to be found who believed in democracy and 
were convinced that if only elections were held the country's 
problems would disappear. The unsoundness of this belief should not 
detract from the honesty or idealism with which it was held.

Fazlul Haq and Suhrawardy - by today's depressing standards these 
two figures from the gloom of the past appear almost like political 
titans. Later in East Pakistani there appeared Maulana Bhashani, 
the closest thing to a political firebrand we had in those days.

The country's tragedy of course was that the poverty of the 
political element in West Pakistan ensured that even in Jinnah's 
first cabinet (a point often ignored) the equilibrium was already 
shifting towards the representatives of the mandarin class: Ghulam 
Muhammad and Chaudri Muhammad Ali. Behind them in the shadows stood 
the sinister figures of Iskander Mirza and Ayub Khan, both destined 
to leave their baleful imprints on the country's history.

Unless they turn to books (a fashion on the wane in Pakistan) 
youngsters of today have no way of knowing the all-embracing nature 
of Ayub Khan's dictatorship. The old political leadership 
epitomized by such figures as Daultana, Khuhro, Gurmani, Qayyum 
Khan, Suhrawardy et al, (admittedly not all angels) was consigned 
to oblivion. A new political structure was raised based upon the 
system of basic democracies. Far from being autonomous, this system 
was completely under the heels of the bureaucracy, then more 
powerful than at any other time in the nation's history.

Nowadays much is made of the economic successes of the Ayub regime, 
mostly by economists whose expertise in their own discipline is 
often not matched by their understanding of politics. Economic 
development may have taken place in the Ayub era but the 
totalitarianism which was the hallmark of that regime left the 
country impoverished in spirit.And yet, despite the oppressive 

nature of the Ayub regime, the cause of freedom was kept alive by a 
political class (so different from today's) which had almost a 
childish belief in the merits and efficacy of democracy. It was 
kept alive also by a cadre of political mavericks like Agha Shorish 
Kashmiri (than whom a greater orator I have never heard) and the 
quintessential rebel poet, Habib Jalib. Once at the YMCA Hall in 
Lahore (this was in 1966) I heard Agha Shorish speak. If not the 
hall at least my heart was set on fire. As for Jalib, his moment in 
the sun was the presidential election of 1964 in which Miss Fatima 
Jinnah was persuaded by a cabal of opposition politicians, 
including Mian Mumtaz Daultana, to enter the lists against Ayub 

The fervour to be seen in Miss Jinnah's public meetings was 
exceptional. There were other speakers too but the star performer 
was undoubtedly Jalib who would sway the crowds with his fiery 
poetry. He also looked the part of the revolutionary: blazing eyes 
and hair swept back to a full mane. Pakistan was a slower place 
then with little of the rush and noise which pass for progress 
these days. But in its soul there stirred a richer mixture of 
romance and idealism.

But poetry and dictatorship resulted in a strange schizophrenia. At 
the top was the suffocation and stagnation produced by an 
autocratic regime, at bottom the restlessness of the disfranchized 
masses trying to give voice to their frustration and despair. We 
know what became of this turmoil: in the eastern wing the triumph 
of Shaikh Mujibur Rehman, in West Pakistan the success of another 
stormy petrel, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

By that time power had shifted to another military saviour, General 
Yahya Khan. It could not have been a poorer or a more fateful 
choice. Incapable of understanding the complexity of events in 
which he was soon caught, Yahya presided over the greatest disaster 
in the nation's history: defeat at Indian hands and the loss of 
East Pakistan.

But we seem to have a gift for reliving the past. Thirty years have 
gone by since the tempestuous events of 1971 and yet we are no 
closer to learning anything from experience. Lost once more on the 
desert sands and looking to the stars for hope and salvation, the 
nation's caravan is being led by another group of military 
enthusiasts who, even as they retrace their steps in the dark are 
vowing to create a brave new world.

Before I proceed further with my tale, here is a piece of racism I 
want to share. Pakistan's best, brightest and toughest can show a 
hard face to the world but before foreign (white) journalists they 
somehow tend to let their defences down and say things that in more 
guarded moments they perhaps would not.

Now whether this had anything to do with General Musharraf's 
expansive comments to Christina Lamb of the Sunday Telegraph I 
cannot say but connoisseurs of the unusual or the rare will have 
noted that it was in this interview that the General said two 
things: setting the country on the right path could take anything 
from five to 20 years and power in any case would not be returned 
to the likes of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. Voices timidly 
protesting that no time-frame was being given for the return of 
democracy should now be silenced. No time-frame could be clearer 
than this. Nor the contempt that comes through for the political 
class as a whole.

But with or without Ms Lamb, the contempt for the political class 
seems to be one of the central tenets of General Musharraf's 
philosophy. Consider in this context what the attorney-general and 
law minister, Aziz Munshi, told the Nawai Waqt: Pakistan's 
politicians had now become a forgotten part of the country's 
history and they would only be remembered for their loot and 

With this analysis I have no quarrel at all except that plunderers 
in Pakistan have come in different garbs and to blame politicians 
alone is not only unfair but historically incorrect. Munshi has 
blamed politicians from the year 1988 implying thereby that in the 
Zia-ul-Haq era which came before that cutoff point everything bore 
a roseate hue. This is a travesty of history. Besides setting the 
country back many years, Zia wasted long-term opportunities for 
short-term goals. Indeed, the seeds of most of the country's 
current problems were sown during his rule.

But who in the prevailing climate will listen to such reservations? 
The new philosophy we are being indoctrinated with proclaims that 
politicians are all scoundrels while men in uniform are knights in 
shining armour.

That politicians have sinned and are corrupt admits of no doubt. 
But others have sinned with them and drunk equally at the trough of 
corruption. The imposing bungalows of Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi 
- edifices which mock the poverty of the Pakistani masses - are a 
testimony to that. They do not belong to politicians alone. In much 
the same way, no single section of the population or the ruling 
elites can claim sole proprietorship over wisdom and infallibility. 
The very notion is foolish.

A little humility, instead of the growing arrogance on display, 
would be more useful. We need to start from the premise that 
Pakistan's failure is the failure of its governing class which 
includes, in equal measure, politicians, bureaucrats and men in 
uniform. Only when we accept this can we proceed further and agree 
that giving Pakistan a sense of direction and putting it on the 
right path has to be a national and not just a military endeavour 
if it is to have any hope of lasting success.

The military is a part of the nation but not the nation itself - a 
distinction that would be considered elementary in normal times but 
one worth holding on to at a time when all sorts of new professors 
are working overtime to extend the frontiers of political theory. 

The armies of the night 	 			
By Irfan Husain

NATIONS do not normally have to strive consciously for a consensus 
on the kind of country they wish to be. Social and economic 
pressures and the consequent political decisions shape them over a 
period of centuries.

But a relatively new state like Pakistan does need to conduct an 
internal debate over the path it wishes to take. Although the 
founding father of the nation, Mr Jinnah, pointed us in an 
unambiguously secular, progressive direction, he died too early to 
transform this vision into reality. His successors were too weak to 
pursue it effectively, and allowed this concept to be subverted to 
the point where it is but a distant memory. Whereas Mr Jinnah saw 
Pakistan as a homeland for the Muslims of the subcontinent where 
the minorities would be equal citizens, obscurantists and self-
serving politicians hijacked this vision and transfigured our 
country into a cockpit of warring religious militias and a haven 
for terrorists.

Indeed, what we are seeing today is a victory for a revolution by 
stealth. there has been no call to man the barricades, no stirring 
appeal to fight to the last man. And yet the political topography 
has been transformed beyond recognition over the last quarter 
century. Now if foreigners think of Pakistan at all, it is in the 
context of religious fanaticism, military juntas, heroin smugglers 
and illegal immigrants. From being a respected developing country 
that was making excellent progress, we have slipped into a sickly 
state which has brought it on the brink of bankruptcy.

The irony is that this metamorphosis has taken place without a 
debate over the kind of country we wish to be. The previous issue 
of Newsweek ran a long story about Pakistan and the jehadi 
organizations operating on our soil. According to this report 
(which quotes active members of these militias as well as unnamed 
military and civil sources), militants are getting training here 
and conducting operations in Indian-held Kashmir. The report goes 
on to conclude that if this government were to crack down on these 
groups, most Pakistanis would rise in protest.

Fortunately, this ominous conclusion is not justified by any 
objective yardstick. As we survey the political wreckage around us, 
the one positive element we see is the continuing and consistent 
refusal of the Pakistani electorate to vote for religious parties. 
For instance, all these parties put together only managed to gain a 
meagre six seats in the National Assembly out of a total of 210. 
While the majority of Pakistanis are practising Muslims, they are 
clearly not convinced that their many problems can be solved by 
leaders who want to drag the country back to the seventh century.

Given the good sense displayed by Pakistani voters in election 
after election, the extremist tilt in our politics becomes harder 
to explain. Clearly, unlike the Iranian revolution, religious 
parties command no huge following of the faithful marching in the 
streets, calling for the imposition of a theocratic order. The 
reality is that a number of sects and leaders are vying to impose 
their versions of Islam on the national polity, and this 
multiplicity erodes their appeal and credibility.

So while there has been no dramatic revolutionary movement to bring 
in the Shariat, what we have witnessed is the gradual, piece-meal 
reduction in the space for secularism. General Zia-ul- Haq, 

undisputed military dictator of Pakistan for eleven years, did more 
than anyone else to push us backwards. Edward Gibbon, the 18th 
century English historian, observed in his Decline and Fall of the 
Roman Empire: "All that is human must retrograde [this is the word 
used in the quotation] if it does not advance." When Zia and his 
many toadies blocked the path of social and intellectual progress 
in the name of religion, we began our long slide into chaos.

Once this agenda had been set, weak politicians like Benazir Bhutto 
and Nawaz Sharif had neither the political will nor the gumption to 
take on the religious right that had been strengthened by Zia and 
provided with much largess by the state. Hardened veterans of the 
Afghan war provide the muscle and semi- literate graduates of 
religious madrassahs run by various fundamentalist parties are the 
foot-soldiers in the undeclared war against the state and its 
organs. Their sympathizers in clandestine government agencies and 
the media have given them covert and overt support to the point 
where they now set the national agenda, specially on Kashmir and 
Afghanistan. Ignorant leaders who have no understanding of global 
realities pressure the government to maintain a hard line on 
complex issues like the CTBT and talks with India.

General Musharraf had raised early hopes when he took over in 
October last year that he would halt the tide of fundamentalism 
that threatens the foundations of the state. His public 
pronouncement of admiration for the secular Turkish leader Kemal 
Attaturk and his outwardly liberal stance made us think he might 
take a stand against the armies of the night. But in the four 
months he has been in power, the only positive action we have seen 
is the fact that the firebrand Maulana Azhar Masood has been placed 
under 'protective custody'. According to the Newsweek story, 
several of General Musharraf's colleagues are fundamentalist 
sympathizers and presumably would try and block any modernist, 
secular policies his government might wish to follow. As it is, 
several religious leaders have attacked the liberal tendencies of 
some of the civilian ministers and advisers he has appointed.

The situation now is that the religious right has pre-empted the 
political high ground, and dissenting voices are silenced with the 
charge of apostasy as well as violence. To all intents and 
purposes, we are in free-fall without a parachute. Although the 
dangers of extremism are obvious to all thinking people in and out 
of government, they seem unable to act to prevent the disaster now 
facing us. They resemble a rabbit that is frozen into inaction in 
the headlights of an onrushing car.

Clearly, our best interest lies in following a path of reason and 
moderation towards peace and prosperity. But perversely, our 
leadership has permitted the fanatics to divert us into wasteful 
and pointless confrontations that have bled the exchequer white 
apart from isolating us diplomatically. We cannot sustain such 
policies without becoming bankrupt. Ironically, at a time when the 
government is pursuing bank defaulters, we as a nation are on the 
verge of default at an international level.

Speaking at a rally in Hamburg in 1936, the Nazi leader Herman 
Goering said: "We have no butter... but I ask you - would you 
rather have butter or guns? ...preparedness makes us powerful. 
Butter merely makes us fat." But the hungry would rather have 
butter; they are too thin to worry about calories.

Saeed for separate teams for Tests and one-dayers

KARACHI, Feb 11: Pakistan captain Saeed Anwar on Friday called for 
different teams for Tests and one-day internationals.

Talking to reporters here at the National Stadium during his team's 
opening training session, the left-hander said there were few 
senior players who can still deliver in Tests.

"I think that it is time that Pakistan has separate teams. I 
haven't talked to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman about 
this idea but I will definitely try to convince him to implement 
it," he said.

Saeed was named Pakistan captain on Thursday after Wasim Akram 
relinquished captaincy in an effort to concentrate more on his 
cricket and domestic commitments.

He said when Australia initiated the plan of having different 
teams, the world was laughing at them and contesting their 
strategy. "But the results were delivered in three years as now 
they are the undisputed world champions of one-day cricket.

"Players like Michael Slater, who can easily walk into any team, 
doesn't find place in the one-day squad because he doesn't qualify 
in the fielding standards the Australians have set for themselves," 
Saeed argued.

He added that there were players in the Pakistan setup who are 
still very good at Test level. Without mentioning anyone's name, he 
said but those senior players may not be very sharp in the field 
for one-dayers.

"That is why I believe that they should be played in Tests and 
youngsters play in one-dayers."

Saeed, commenting on the newcomers, admitted that he hasn't seen 
them "but Aamir Sohail has played with them in the domestic circuit 
and speaks very highly of everyone who has been called for the 
first match."

Saeed said he saw the spark and talent when the youngsters batted 
in the nets. But he stated that youngsters can't be groomed 
overnight. He said the players need sometime to settle and overcome 
international pressure.

"I would like to use them (youngsters) in the entire series. And I 
will talk to the chairman of the PCB about it."

The skipper said it was his and the senior players duty to give 
them the confidence and required tips so that they can cement their 
places in the team.

Saeed Anwar to lead Pakistan against Sri Lanka

Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, Feb 10: Left-handed opener Saeed Anwar on Thursday was 
named as Pakistan captain for the home series against Sri Lanka 
after Wasim Akram surrendered the job "in an effort to concentrate 
more on his cricket and domestic commitments"

Wasim is just 17 wickets short of becoming the fourth bowler in 
Test history to claim 400 wickets. He already has a record 409 one-
day scalps under his cap.

Besides, Wasim has already informed the Pakistan Cricket Board 
(PCB) that he will not be available for Pakistan's return tour to 
Sri Lanka in June-July this year. Wasim has signed a contract with 
England television, Channel 4, as their expert commentator for the 
England series against Zimbabwe and West Indies.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) not only appointed a new captain 
for the series, it also made drastic changes in the squad for 
Sunday's first one-day international against Sri Lanka.

In the wake of Pakistan team's horrendous performance in Australia 
where it lost three Tests and six one-day internationals, the 
cricket administrators dropped all the five batsmen viz Ijaz Ahmad, 
Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Wasim, Wajahatullah Wasti and Shahid 

Paceman Waqar Younis was not considered for selection because of 
his marriage while allrounder Azhar Mahmood was left out because of 

Cricket officials named five uncapped players and recalled openers 
Aamir Sohail and Imran Nazir and paceman Shahid Nazir. Of the 
uncapped players, Faisal Iqbal, Yasir Arafat, Zahid Saeed 
represented Pakistan in the Youth World Cup in Sri Lanka last 

The other two rookies include 25-year-old Younis Khan of Habib Bank 
Limited (HBL) and 21-year-old Imran Abbas of Agriculture 
Development Bank of Pakistan (ADBP). Both are middle-order batsmen.

Younis struck a brilliant 68 not out off 58 balls against Sri Lanka 
on Thursday after having come into the exhibition match with more 
than 1,100 runs in Quaid-i-Azam Trophy against his name.

Shoaib says decision vindicates his innocence

KARACHI, Feb 10: Pakistan pace demon Shoaib Akhtar on Thursday 
welcomed the International Cricket Council ruling that has left him 
free to terrify top batsman once more - and said he was looking 
forward to getting a good night's sleep.

"I am overjoyed. I was banned wrongly but I am thankful to the 
Almighty and will get my sleep back," Shoaib told AFP.

The ICC, in a landmark decision, said it had revoked the powers of 
its advisory panel to ban bowlers with suspect actions.

The decision will automatically reinstate Shoaib in Test cricket.

"I have lost my sleep although from inside I was convinced that I 
would play in Test cricket again," he said.

"I knew I would be back to thrill the crowds the world over. I play 
for my country and to entertain the crowds."

Shoaib is now hoping to develop as a better bowler with 
Nottinghamshire in the coming county cricket season.

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