------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 1 July 2000 Issue : 06/25 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Islamabad considering Most-Favoured Nation status for New Delhi + FM briefs OIC ministers: Peace linked to Kashmir issue + Deterrence main aim of nuclear policy: CE + Chief Executive to meet 'clean' politicians soon + Refusal to fill tax forms: Magistrates to conduct summary trials + Held Kashmir assembly okays plan for autonomy + OIC group rejects move for autonomy + Police reforms: Chief Executive okays interior ministry proposal + Britain rejects Supreme Court verdict on military takeover + Nawaz case: Fair trial in Lahore not possible, LHC told + Chief Executive seeks list of 'corrupt' bureaucrats + Highlights of Punjab budget + Rs41.73b budget for NWFP --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Trade policy announced: More incentives to boost exports + Gas prices increased by 15% + Tax amnesty scheme fetches Rs2 billion + Budget 2000-2001 projection: Bulk of foreign financing assured + Business with United States not usual, says diplomat + Cut in Income Tax Officers powers urged + Dollar up 35 paisa in kerb market + Tax payment: Traders to get facilities + Mixed reactions on trade policy + Traders can hire their own auditors, says Aziza + WAPDA told to solve dues issue with provinces + EC wants winner to secure 51% votes: Election system proposed + Japanese to study economic situation + Officials to be punished for not recovering taxes --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + The sole statesman - 2 Ardeshir Cowasjee + The evil of our circumstances Ayaz Amir ----------- SPORTS + 3rd Cricket Test: Jayasuriya, Atapattu in record stand + Wasim pulls out of SL triangular + Qamar Zaman appointed manager

Islamabad considering Most-Favoured Nation status for New Delhi
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, June 29: The government is considering granting the
most-favoured nation status to India to improve trade relations
with New Delhi.

"We have no objection to have trade between the two countries and
that is why the issue of offering the MFN status to India is under
active consideration,"Commerce Minister Razzak Daud told a news
conference on Thursday.

Highlighting the salient features of the new trade policy, he said
Pakistan was in favour of improving relations with India and wanted
to have more trade than the prescribed 600 items being traded
between the two countries currently.

Asked whether the government had any plan to begin talks with India
for increasing trade, Mr Daud said a certain framework was being
discussed. India had accorded the MFN status to Pakistan in 1995.

He told a questioner that the government was already considering
importing sugar from India, though the commodity did not come under
the mutually agreed 600 items. "If we can import sugar from India
by paying less price, then we should consider this option".

He did not believe that Pakistan would compromise its political
interest by offering the MFN status to India.

"That is an old issue and you better just concentrate on the
present situation which warrants better relations between the two
sides,"Mr Daud replied when asked why Pakistan was in a hurry to
go for more trade with India while there was not much enthusiasm on
the part of New Delhi which in October had even cancelled orders
for importing raw cotton from Pakistan.

He told a reporter that currently the level of trade between the
two countries was about $25 million a year. "We are importing goods
from India worth about $25 million annually and India too is making
imports almost about the same size."

In reply to a question, he said trade deficit had been narrowed to
$1.6 billion during the outgoing financial year. "We exported goods
worth $8.6 billion while our imports were at $10.4 billion in 1999-
2000,"he said, adding that the import bill had swelled due to
increase in the international oil prices.

The minister conceded that the $10 billion export target was an
ambitious one but hastened to add, "if the exchange rate mechanism
and the cotton situation in the international market remains
stable, we will be able to achieve this target".

He stated that 17 per cent increase in exports as against 11pc in
the outgoing financial year would be ensured, particularly by
strictly monitoring the quality controls laws.

He said the interests of cotton growers would be fully protected
and they would not have to face loss like the last year. At
present, he added, a task force was finalizing recommendations to
reduce the tariff structure. The recommendations, he pointed out,
would be implemented by the Tariff Commission.

The minister expressed the confidence that the Asian Development
Bank would offer $250 million for import financing to indirect and
small exporters. This financing, he explained, would be offered in
foreign currency so that the indirect and small exporters could
increase their exports. "But the interest rate will be charged from
the exporters as per London Interbank Offered Rate".

FM briefs OIC ministers: Peace linked to Kashmir issue

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27: Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar said on
Tuesday that durable peace in South Asia was linked to the
resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the
aspirations of the people of occupied Kashmir.

He was talking to foreign ministers of Muslim countries on the
sidelines of the OIC conference which opened here at the Palace of
Golden Horses.

Pakistan, he said, was committed to bringing about peace in the
region. "We are prepared to take practical measures to achieve this
objective, provided India realizes the need for resolving the
Kashmir issue."

He said Pakistan believed that the All Parties Hurriyat Conference
was a true representative of the Kashmiris, and it had a leading
role for dialogue on the issue. He dispelled the impression that
the APHC had entered into dialogue with the Indian government.

Mr Sattar said the Indian government had imposed the puppet chief
minister Farooq Abdullah on the people of Kashmir to suppress the
freedom struggle.

Earlier, speaking at the inauguration session on behalf of 17-
member Asian group participating in the conference, the FM said
that Pakistan wished to seek scientific knowledge and skill for
achieving progress, bringing the country at par with developed

The 27th session of the conference began with a call for laying
greater emphasis on acquiring scientific knowledge and skill for
facing the challenges of the modern world.

The 56-nation conference opened to address a number of issues being
faced by the Muslim world, including Kashmir, Palestine and

Deterrence main aim of nuclear policy: CE
Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, June 26: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf said on
Monday that Pakistan supported the creation of a strategic self-
restraint regime in the subcontinent and expected a positive
response from India.

"The rationale behind our nuclear policy is purely security and we
only want to maintain a minimum credible deterrence to deter any
aggression against our homeland", Gen Musharraf said here while
inaugurating the 25th PAEC summer college.

Reiterating his government's policy not to enter into a nuclear or
conventional arms race with India, he said: "Pakistan, unlike
India, does not harbour any ambitions for regional or global

"We would not enter into a nuclear arms race with India and would
never subject our people to economic deprivation,"he said, and
added that the thrust of Pakistan's nuclear programme was on its
peaceful application.

Generation of electricity, General Musharraf said, was the main
task undertaken by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.

 He termed the completion of the country's second nuclear power
plant at Chashma and its connection to the national grid a
milestone in peaceful pursuit of nuclear technology.

"The plant, which was built with the collaboration of People's
Republic of China, will always remain a symbol of Pakistan-China
friendship,"he added.

Chief Executive to meet 'clean' politicians soon
Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD, June 27: Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider said on
Tuesday that the chief executive would start holding meetings with
"clean"politicians from next week to develop consensus on various

Talking to newsmen here, the minister explained that the chief
executive would meet only the "clean politicians filtered through a

The politicians, he stressed, needed to feel their responsibilities
and behave accordingly, adding that the future of the country
belonged to them. He said the military had to leave office, as
ultimately a democratic government would be in place.

In reply to a question, the minister said the government would not
contact those politicians who had been involved in corruption, tax
evasion or plunder of national wealth.

Mr Haider said that politicians, traders, bureaucracy, etc., would
have to play their roles for the development of the country, adding
that every body would have to share the burden equally.

APP adds: Asked to define the "good politicians,"he said people
were the best judges and the government would act according to
their aspirations.

Referring to de-weaponization, the minister said that display of
arms was contrary to the norms of civilized societies.

Refusal to fill tax forms: Magistrates to conduct summary trials
Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana

KARACHI, June 26: Instead of judicial magistrates 'tehsildar',
'mukhtiarkars and additional magistrates have been given powers to
conduct summary trials of those who refuse to comply with tax
survey questionnaires, law experts said Monday.

These powers which have been so far vested with judicial
magistrates of first class have been suddenly transferred to
executive magistrates through Finance Ordinance 2000-01.

The Documentation of Economy Ordinance No.XV of 2000, dated May 24,
2000, originally gave these powers to judicial magistrate but the
same have been handed over to magistrates through an amendment
effected by Finance Ordinance 2000-01.

The judicial magistrates are appointed by High Courts and are part
and parcel of Judicial hierarchy whereas executive magistrates are
appointed and empowered by home departments of provincial
governments, experts said.

"Nobody other than judges of judicial hierarchy can pass sentences
against anybody as per the settled principles of justice and
natural law,"another law expert said.

Section 5 in the Ordinance XV of 2000 provided that no court other
than of Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall try the
offence under the Ordinance. However, the amendments by the Finance
Ordinance has not only substituted "Judicial Magistrate of the
first class"with "Executive Magistrate of the first class"but
also provides for "summary trial."

Furthermore, in violation of the Code of Criminal Procedures the
powers of Judicial Magistrates have been given to Executive
Magistrates. This is not only illegal but also against the settled
principle of separation of the judiciary from the executive, law
experts maintained.

"The Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz time and again had been
assuring the businessmen that the powers of executive, including
tax collecting machinery will not be enhanced but this step has
negated his firm and oft-repeated assurances,"a business leader

Another provision against the commitment of the government is the
amendment in Section 4, sub-section of the Ordinance XV of 2000.
This section relates to "false information,"and if an offence is
committed, a person doing so is punishable with imprisonment for a
term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may
extend to Rs 25,000, or with both.

However, law experts say that for proving an information to be
false the person should be given an opportunity of a proper, fair
defence which will not be available in the 'summary trial' and that
too by an executive magistrate, otherwise not entitled to pass
sentence in penal law. Since this Ordinance is a penal law the
affected person must be given proper opportunity to defend himself,
these experts exhorted.

Held Kashmir assembly okays plan for autonomy

SRINAGAR, June 26: The occupied Kashmir assembly on Monday passed a
proposal advocating autonomy for the held state, setting the stage
for a confrontation with the Indian government.

The proposal, supported by the ruling National Conference party
which enjoys a two-thirds majority in the assembly, was passed by
voice vote.

It calls for full autonomy for occupied Kashmir, except in matters
related to finance, defence and communications.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's BJP is bitterly opposed to
the autonomy plan, as are the Buddhist and Hindu communities in
held Kashmir.

The eight BJP members of the 87-seat assembly walked out in protest
when the vote was called after a week of heated debate.-AFP

OIC group rejects move for autonomy

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29: The OIC Contact Group on Kashmir has opposed
the recently adopted resolution on state autonomy in occupied
Kashmir, stating categorically that it could not be a substitute
for the right of self-determination.

At its meeting on Thursday the group reaffirmed its commitment to
the cause of Kashmir, and said India must fulfil its obligation of
holding a plebiscite in the Valley in accordance with the UN

Ambassador Ibrahim Bakar, assistant secretary-general of the OIC,
was in the chair.

The group noted that India was trying to impose puppet state
assembly and the government of Farooq Abdullah on the Kashmiris to
achieve its ultimate motive of suppressing the freedom struggle,
said a spokesman.

It decided to send a fact-finding mission to occupied Kashmir to
observe the human rights situation there. The group hoped that the
India would allow its mission to visit the Valley.

Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar briefed the group on the latest
development in occupied Kashmir and Pakistan's efforts at seeking a
peaceful settlement of the dispute.

He said the indigenous and popular mass resistance movement was
going on against the Indian occupation. To curb the struggle, he
added, the Indian government was killing and torturing the innocent

"The state assembly in occupied Kashmir is the result of rigged
elections, and it has no right to go against the wishes of their
people by suggesting state autonomy under the Indian rule,"he

Mr Sattar regretted that unfortunately the international community
had remained insensitive to the suffering of the Kashmiris.-APP

Police reforms: Chief Executive okays interior ministry proposal
Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD, June 29: The Chief Executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, has
shown in principle his agreement to the police reforms proposed by
the interior ministry but avoided its immediate implementation
owing to the government's devolution plan.

At a meeting held here on Wednesday evening, the chief executive
agreed to the recommendations formulated by the interior ministry's
focal group on police reforms.

However, on the insistence of the National Reconstruction Bureau
(NRB) no decision was taken on the implementation of the reforms
pursued by the interior minister.

Interior Minister Lt-Gen (retd) Moinuddin Haider, NRB chief Lt-Gen
(retd) Syed Tanvir Naqvi, and senior officials of the chief
executive secretariat and interior ministry attended the meeting.

Reliable sources in the chief executive secretariat told Dawn that
the interior minister pressed for the immediate implementation of
these reforms as, he argued, the country badly needed independent
but accountable police.

The NRB chief, however, said that he intended to finalize his
recommendations on district government plan by the end of August so
the government should refrain from introducing these reforms until
the plan, which also covered reforming district police, was given

Since there are two sets of police reforms - one proposed by the
interior ministry and the other considered by the NRB under its
district government plan - currently under consideration of the
government but both contradicting each other, the chief executive
asked the two sides to remove the contradictions through

Final decision on police reforms, it was decided, would be taken

However, contrary to what was discussed at the meeting, the NRB
publicised through newspaper advertisements on Thursday its own
system of police reforms which totally negates what was proposed by
the interior ministry.

The interior ministry wants the police to be under an independent
national/provincial/metropolitan safety commission to ensure the
depoliticization of the force and ensure its impartiality.

But the NRB as publicised in the newspapers not only put the police
under the proposed chief mayor's control but authorised him (mayor)
and the district assembly to select a police officer of their

The NRB proposes that even the ACR of the district police chief
will be written by the chief mayor. At the same time the inspector
general of police of the province, the NRB proposal said, would
write technical report of the district police chief.

The interior ministry sources seemed perturbed over the premature
publication of this advertisement at a time when it was not even
accepted by the ministry. They said this advertisement was also in
complete disregard to what had already been agreed between the NRB
and the ministry.

Britain rejects Supreme Court verdict on military takeover

LONDON, June 29: Britain has rejected Pakistan's Supreme Court
ruling which had legitimised the military coup in Pakistan for
three years. "We cannot accept the recent ruling by Pakistan's
Supreme Court which legitimised the coup,"British Foreign
Secretary Robin Cook said in a letter to Lord Ahmad.

"Our position on Pakistan is clear,"he said in his two-page letter
written on June 26. "Last October's coup is unacceptable."

However, the Foreign Secretary made it clear that Britain would not
turn its back on Pakistan, with which it has close and long-
standing ties. "We continue to share our concerns with the
Pakistani authorities."

He also agreed that the recent article published in the Sunday
Mirror had caused anger in Pakistan and among the Pakistani
community living in Britain.

In that article, it may be mentioned, British Foreign Secretary
Peter Hain had accused Pakistan of involvement in illicit trade in
nuclear material. "The comments in the article attributed to Peter
Hain were inaccurate and distorted the UK's views,"Mr Cook said in
his letter. "The article appearing under his name was not
authorised text. We have made this clear to the Pakistani
authorities,"he said.

"Nevertheless, we are sure that Pakistan shares the UK's concerns
about the illicit trade in nuclear materials and the danger that
such material might fall into the hands of terrorists".

Referring to Britain ties with India, he said London and New Delhi
enjoy good relations and this "enables us to raise frankly with
them our concerns on contentious issues, including Kashmir and the
position of religious minorities".

Mr Cook said he had also raised the issue of killing of ethnic
minorities in India with Indian Foreign Secretary Mr Jaswant Singh
during his visit to India in April. "He assured me that attacks
against religious minorities were fully investigated by the
police,"he said and pointed out that this issue was also raised by
Peter Hain.

"We will continue to monitor the position of minorities in India
and to raise our concerns on this and other issues with the Indian
government,"Mr Cook informed Lord Ahmad.

Nawaz case: Fair trial in Lahore not possible, LHC told
Bureau Report

RAWALPINDI, June 30: The government stated before the Lahore High
Court, Rawalpindi bench, on Friday that a fair trial of former
prime minister Nawaz Sharif at Lahore was not possible.

In their replies on the petition of Nawaz Sharif, who has
challenged the establishment of the accountability court at Attock,
the government and the NAB chairman informed the court that "no
fair, open and transparent trial of the petitioner could take place
at Lahore".

The government stated: "Any trial at Lahore will certainly be a
media event. The pictures of armed personnel carriers and machine-
gun carrying personnel mounted on open jeeps will be splashed
around the world, thus causing serious damage to the image of

It said the experience of the plane hijacking trial in Karachi had
shown that the safety of witnesses, counsel, accused and judges was
placed at grave risk. "And under the circumstances, Lahore is far
more dangerous."

The trial at Attock, the government stated, was not only in the
interest of the petitioner, but also in the interest of the state
and the people of Pakistan.

Earlier, when the petition was taken up by Justice Javaid Bhuttar,
the DAG informed him that a full bench of the Lahore High Court at
the principal seat had reserved its judgment on the same issue. He
requested the court to either send the petition to the full bench
or stay its proceedings till the announcement of the judgment by
the principal seat.

The counsel for the petitioner, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, said he had
no objection to the stay of proceeding but added that the court
should also stay proceedings at Attock.

The court decided to adjourn the case till July 4 in the hope that
by then the judgment would have been announced by the full bench.

In its written reply, the government stated that the NAB chairman
could file a reference before any accountability court in Pakistan.
"The facts and circumstances of all cases in which the petitioner
is involved are such that they involve serious questions of
security and, law and order."

The government stated the fact that the petitioner had repeatedly
won elections from Lahore had increased the threat of disruption of
proceedings before any accountability court there.

Responding to the statement of the petitioner that he had twice
remained prime minister, it pointed out: "There is at least one
other former prime minister of Pakistan, who also was twice elected
as prime minister of this country, remains overseas as a proclaimed

The government stated that there had been no malice in the
establishment of a court at Attock and there had been no attempt to
harass or humiliate the petitioner. In fact, a serious attempt was
being made to ensure that the dignity of the person was maintained.

It said that any reference to the trial at Karachi could not go by
without taking note of the extraordinary security measures that
were mobilized by thestate, and the adverse resultant picture that
was portrayed by the international media.

The government then prayed that the petition be dismissed as being
without merit or substance.

Chief Executive seeks list of 'corrupt' bureaucrats
Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD, June 25: A large number of bureaucrats, found to be
corrupt or inefficient, are to be placed under suspension anytime
after July 31, reliable sources told Dawn on Sunday.

The Chief Executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, has directed the
secretary of establishment division to seek lists of such unwanted
members of the civil bureaucracy both from federal and provincial
authorities by the date for an 'immediate action', it is learnt.
The CE chaired a meeting of the top functionaries here on Saturday
to review the performance of the civil bureaucracy.

Gen Musharraf wanted all the government institutions to follow the
precedence set by the Central Board of Revenue which recently
placed more than 1,000 officials, including over 100 senior
bureaucrats associated with customs and income tax groups, under
suspension after establishing charges of corruption and
inefficiency against them, the sources revealed.

The CE, it is also learnt, intended to talk personally to the
governors and federal ministers to help speed up the process of
'cleansing' the bureaucracy.

The establishment secretary told the CE that the federal and
provincial authorities had already been directed to make such lists
available to the the establishment division at the earliest but
their response was not so encouraging. On his contention, the chief
executive asked the secretary to issue a reminder with stress on
the urgency of the task.

During the meeting, officials apprised the CE of the progress on
the government's plan aimed at restructuring and reforming the
civil services.

Those who attended the meeting included Sahibzada Imtiaz, a member
of the National Security Council, Lt-Gen (retd) Mumtaz Gul,
chairman of the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), Lt-Gen
Ghulam Ahmad, chief of staff to the CE, Tariq Aziz, principal
secretary to the chief executive and Tariq Saeed Haroon, the
establishment secretary.

They informed Gen Musharraf of the measures taken for the
implementation of the plan.

Restructuring the FPSC, encadrement of occupational groups, career
planning for bureaucrats, disciplinary proceedings, promotion and
transfer policies and rightsizing in government departments were
the other issues discussed at the meeting.

Highlights of Punjab budget
By Intikhab Hanif

LAHORE, June 28: Following are the salient features of the Punjab
budget for 2000-2001.

* The total outlay is Rs212.37 billion.

* The estimated revenue receipts are Rs114.16bn and the
expenditure Rs107.15bn.

* The receipts include federal transfers of Rs89.76 billion.

* The Annual Development Programme stands at Rs13 billion to be
reinforced by Rs8.132 billion under the poverty alleviation

* Rs11.3 billion has been allocated for the completion of 2,000
ongoing schemes.

* A 15% GST has been imposed on services.

* The central excise duty and provincial professional tax on
certain services has been abolished.

* The agriculture income tax exemption has been reduced from 12.50
acres to five acres, and that of orchards from 7.50 acres to three

* The number of taxes has been reduced from 36 to nine.

* Entertainment duty on stage drama has been cut from 50pc to 20pc.

* The collection of education cess has been handed over to the
social security.

* Property tax will be charged on the fixed value of property and
not on its annual rent.

* The royalty of minerals has been linked to the inflation rate.

* The mark-up rate on the loans for the provision of wheat has been
reduced from 16pc to 12pc, and on development loans from 17.3pc to

* Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur Development Authorities have been

Rs41.73b budget for NWFP
A.S. Yousufi

PESHAWAR, June 26: Finance Minister Farid Rehman on Monday
announced a Rs41.73 billion surplus, tax-free budget for the fiscal
2000-2001. The budget projects a surplus Rs2.6 billion which will
be neutralized by less receipts to the extent of Rs6.89 billion on
account of net hydel profits capped already by Wapda at Rs6

The hydel profit receipts have been projected at Rs12.89 billion in
accordance with the AGN Kazi Formula. The formula has been awaiting
implementation for years together.

With the projected increase in the federal tax assignments from the
current year's revised estimates of Rs15.74 billion to Rs20.36
billion, revenue on this specific account would go up by Rs4.61

The province would, for the first time, receive Rs866.66 million
from the federal government on account of its octroi and Zila tax

NWFP's own receipts have been estimated at Rs4.25 billion as
against the revised estimates of Rs3.92 billion for the current
fiscal. Income under various heads has been projected at Rs1.74
billion, Rs2.4 billion and Rs101.56 million on account of tax
receipts, non-tax receipts, and interest/dividend respectively.
After deducting Rs955 million, which is believed to remain non-
receivable, the net receipts will remain at Rs3.29 billion compared
to Rs3.1 billion in the current fiscal.

The special grant subvention of the province has been raised by the
federal government from the current year's Rs3.88 billion (revised)
to Rs4.31 billion. With this goes Rs173.74 million (revised) on
account of grant for specific purposes for which no projection was
made in the 1999-2000 budget.

The province will be spending 44.75pc, or Rs17.51 billion, of the
outlay on social service departments. The second largest chunk of
Rs8.26 billion, or 21.12pc of the current expenditure, will go to
debt servicing. Debt servicing consumed Rs7.18 billion as per
revised estimates for the current fiscal, showing a net increase of
Rs1.07 billion.

The highest yield of Rs600 million is expected from the motor
vehicles tax. The agriculture income tax has been estimated to
return Rs180 million as against Rs167 million in the current
fiscal; land revenue Rs200 million; development cess on octroi and
others Rs166 million, provincial excise Rs20 million, registration
Rs10 million and other taxes and duties Rs364.930 million. An
amount of Rs204 million is estimated to come from non-tax receipts.

ECONOMY: Highlighting the measures for better tax collection, the
minister in his speech broadcast by the TV and radio, said the
government had introduced a system of quarterly review of revenue
collections, ensured reduction in discretionary powers of the tax
officials, simplified assessment system and taken steps for an
early computerization of token tax collection.

He said the government was committed to improving the condition of
people through good governance. Both the government and the people,
he said, would have to work collectively to improve the condition
which had deteriorated over the years. "We have to live within our
means,"he insisted.

LAW & ORDER: The minister expressed satisfaction over the law and
order situation, claiming that there had been a 50pc decline in
major crime and 40pc decline in offences of other categories.

He announced 14 per cent additional funds to the police department
which has a strength of 33,209 personnel. The funds, he said, would
be utilized for the purchase and repair of vehicles and other
equipment besides utilization on services and commodities.

Trade policy announced: More incentives to boost exports
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, June 28: The government has announced a number of
incentives for importers and exporters in the new trade policy by
setting a $10 billion export target for 2000-2001, 17% higher than
the last year.

Announcing the policy on radio and television here on Wednesday
Federal Commerce Minister Razzak Daud said that the requirement of
opening of letter of credit before shipment had been done away

The actual users could now import any item up to the limit of
$5,000 per annum, the minister said.

Earlier in the day a joint meeting of the federal cabinet and the
National Security Council (NSC) had discussed and approved the

Mr Daud said advance payment facility had been provided for all
importable goods upto $5,000 in the new policy. For industrial
users, the minister said, the limit had been enhanced to $15,000 in
case of air frighted spares/machinery.

Shelve life and other labelling requirements for edible products
had been simplified, the minister said.

Procedures for import of ozone depleting substances had been made
more transparent. The EPZ units were being allowed to sell/export
to the tariff area (a) waste upto 3 per cent of FOB value of
export, (b) vehicles not less than five years old, and (c) imported
goods in the same state subject to the provisions of the Imported
Trade Procedure Order.

The minister added the procedural requirements for certain
restricted goods had been simplified so that an importer did not
have to obtain NOCs from several government offices. Car (gift and
baggage) rules had been simplified and it had also been decided to
do away with the L/C margin requirement on imports, he said.

The $10 billion export target, according to the minister, will be
achieved through a sustainable and consistent growth in export
earnings. Diversification of export base and achievement of greater
value addition in the goods and services will also be important
part of the new policy.

The objective of the new policy was to firstly enhance the
country's world market share of top 10 textile and non-textile
categories; and secondly to concentrate on selected non-traditional
issues such as software, engineering goods, chemicals, fruits and
vegetables for which a detailed plan was separately being

A number of incentives had been offered to the textiles, fisheries,
fruits and vegetable, rice, gems and jewellry, software, leather
garments and products with a view to substantially increase the
country's exports.

The other measures announced by the minister for textile sector,
included allowing export of raw cotton right from the beginning of
the season; setting up of a ginning research institute; reduction
of customs duty on import of sawgins; amendment to Karachi Cotton
Association (KCA) bylaws allowing shift from varieties to grades;
grading by PCSI at ginneries (w.e.f July 01); and withdrawal of
excise duty on import of raw cotton.

Gas prices increased by 15%
Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, June 30: The government increased on Friday the prices
of gas by 15%, about two weeks after the presentation of the
national budget 2000-2001. The upward revision of gas rates for
domestic, industrial, commercial and power consumers will come into
effect from July 1 when the new fiscal year begins, says an
official statement.

It will have adverse effect on the power sector which is the
largest consumer of the commodity, with its share of 33.9 per cent
of the total consumption, followed by fertilizer, 24.5 per cent;
industry, 19.1 per cent; household, 17.5 per cent; commercial, 2.9
per cent; and cement, 1.8 per cent.

The last increase in the prices of gas was made in Sept 1999 when
the deposed PML government had imposed 15% general sales tax on the
gas tariff.

Now a household consumer, who was paying Rs196.03 for consuming 100
cubic meters gas per month, will have to pay Rs225.44 for the same;
the second slab under which the consumers who were paying Rs233.13
for 200cm will have to pay Rs266.10; and the third category of
consumers who were paying Rs318.24 for burning 300cm gas will have
to pay Rs439 for the same.

The commercial consumers who were paying Rs479 for 100cm gas, will
have to pay Rs551.13; the industrial consumers who were paying
Rs425 for 100cm will now pay Rs489.82.

The upward revision will also have negative impact on the
government efforts to convert all the furnace oil-fired industry on
gas within the next two years.

The decision will also adversely affect over 90,000 vehicle owners
who have shifted their vehicles on compressed natural gas (CNG).

It will perticularly hit hard the commuters in the twin cities of
Rawalpindi-Islamabad where over 90 per cent of public transport
(Suzuki pick-ups) have been shifted on CNG.

Tax amnesty scheme fetches Rs2 billion
Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana

KARACHI, June 30: People have given encouraging response to the tax
amnesty scheme (TAS-2000) which ended at 11pm on Friday. The scheme
was launched on March 1.

The corporate and southern regions of income tax collected around
Rs3 billion under the scheme till late evening, official sources
said. The southern region netted Rs2.4 billion and the corporate
region Rs700 million.

A top official said the figure could have mounted much higher but
many taxpayers, in order to avoid last-hour rush, preferred to
issue bank drafts or pay orders instead of paying the 10 per cent
tax on their declarations through challans.

"We believe that collection under TAS-2000 could be much higher
because at the moment the money coming through bank drafts and pay
orders could not be accounted for,"he pointed out. The tax offices
throughout the country remained open till 11pm while designated
bank branches collected challans till 10pm.

On a visit to tax offices on the Atta-Turk Road long queues of
taxpayers were seen. According to the southern region, 17,790
declarations were filed till 9pm as a result of which around Rs2
billion was collected as 10pc tax paid to whiten hidden wealth/
assets worth around Rs30bn.

Another factor which might have depressed the collection figure, an
official said, could be the relaxation in the payment of tax by
50pc of the total 10pc tax along with declarations. The balance has
to be paid in three instalments.

Budget 2000-2001 projection: Bulk of foreign financing assured
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, June 24: State Bank Governor Dr Ishrat Husain says that
out of the Rs178.5 billion worth of external financing projected in
the budget 2000-01 inflow of only Rs42.5 billion is uncertain: the
rest of the amount is sure to flow in in due course of time.

He told Dawn on Saturday that it was wrong to assume that most of
the external financing projected in the budget was less likely to
materialize expanding the gap between income and expenditures.

Quoting figures from budget documents, he said the projected
commodity aid financing worth Rs23.3bn from ADB and of Rs19.2
billion from the World Bank represented the inflows one could not
be sure about. But the rest of the projected external financing
(Rs136bn) is OK.

Husain said this should remove fears of those who thought that the
country would be in serious problem if the projected external
financing did not materialize. He said the government had made a
contingency plan to meet for any shortfall in external financing -
even relating to the Rs42.5 billion projected commodity aid
financing from the World Bank and ADB. But he would not disclose
the specifics of the contingency plan saying "contingency plans
cannot be discussed...You have to have all kinds of contingency
plans in place."

Though in a different context the governor said the government was
planning to launch a long-term bond that implied that raising debt
through the bond could be one way of meeting any shortfall in the
projected external borrowing.

Husain said currently the yield-curve of the proposed bond is being
drawn adding that the bond might be ready for the launch in
October-November this year. The proposed corporate bond would be of
five, seven and ten year maturity.

Business with United States not usual, says diplomat

KARACHI, June 29: The business between the United States and
Pakistan has not been as usual since change in government on
October 12 last year and it will remain in effect until an elected
government resumes power in Islamabad.

This was stated by Consul General of the United States, John E.
Bennett while speaking to the members of the Korangi Association of
Trade and Industry (KATI). "In absence of democracy, we cannot
have business as usual. Normal ties cannot be achieved until there
is return to democratic rule,"he added.

He said we have welcomed General Mushrraf's announcement of holding
local body elections by end of this year but we remained concerned
that freedom of association remains curtailed.

He said that however, in pursuit of our national interest, we have
remained engaged with Pakistan adding that at the official level,
more US elected representatives (both congressmen and senators) had
been travelling to Pakistan so far since 2,000 than in the several
preceding years.

Bennett said that there has been significant traffic by
representatives of the administration as well beginning with
President's Clinton visit but also including senior administration

He said a number of Pakistani delegates are currently exploring
opportunities to introduce proven American franchises to Pakistan
and several are already signed up to become exhibitors in next
year's International Franchise Expo.

On non-governmental side, he asked the KATI members to consider
having dialogue with the American Business Council (ABC) in
pursuing your interests in trade with the USA.

On protection of intellectual property rights, he said this is of
vital interest to US manufacturers, particularly in the
entertainment industry as well as home-car and petroleum products.

The consul general said that USA is the largest foreign investor in
Pakistan and contributes over 16 per cent to the total foreign
investments, followed by UK's 12 per cent and Japan's 10 per cent.
He added the contribution of 55 American firms in the country was
estimated at over Rs 20 billion and they also contributed
approximately 10 per cent in the national revenue, providing
employment to 16,000 people.

On economic reforms, he said we are also encouraged by Pakistan's
announced intention at long last to reform its policies and
institutions, work to root out corruption and resolve international
commercial disputes equitably. He said here again, actions will
speak ever so much louder than words, however, as Pakistan has this
one last chance to save itself from economic stagnation and

He added that for our part, if the right moves are made in the
economic sphere, we in the international economic community will be
prepared to lend appropriate support in offering its people
prospects for better life.

Cut in Income Tax Officers powers urged

KARACHI, June 27: Mr. Amjad Rafi, President, Chamber of Commerce
and Industry, Karachi, in a communication to Mr. Shaukat Aziz,
Federal Finance Minister, has strongly suggested for the withdrawal
of enhanced ITO's discretionary powers, vide new Finance Ordinance,

Meanwhile, the Chamber is making an in-depth study to identify
other similar amendments in Customs, Sales Tax and Income tax laws,
for submission to the Government.

The contents of the letter addressed to the Finance Minister
against enhancement in ITO's discretionary Powers, is reproduced

"As I have already brought to your kind notice the discretionary
powers of the tax assessing authorities have been considerably
enhanced, instead of being diminished, as per repeated assurances,
vide Finance Ordinance, 2000.

A glaring example to this effect relates to the discretionary power
of income tax officers to open past cases. Assessing income tax
officers have been empowered to open cases pertaining to past for
tax purposes on an asset which may have been created or expenditure
which may have incurred by an assessee.

A provision was added to section 13 vide Finance Act, 1987, which
provided that assets or expenditures which fell under the
provisions of clause (a) to (e) of section 13(1) of the Income Tax
Ordinance, 1979 could be treated as income of the assessment year
in which such asset was first discovered. This provision was
suspended, but now has again been restored.

 Immunity from Action: Under Section 56, 65 and 66A has also been

Dollar up 35 paisa in kerb market
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, June 27: The US dollar rose to Rs55.30 and Rs55.35 for
spot buying and selling in the open market on Tuesday from Rs54.90
and Rs55.00 on Monday. Bankers and top currency dealers said the
rupee fell as people swarmed to buy greenbacks in panic fearing
further downward adjustments in exchange rates in the inter-bank
market before the close of fiscal year on June 30.

"The rupee fell on panic-buying by those who are anticipating
further downward adjustment in exchange rates in the inter-bank
market,"said treasurer of a foreign bank.

Anwar Jamal of Galaxy International said the same thing. But his
colleague Hanif Galaxy felt that increased purchases of foreign
exchange by a textile group in the past few weeks and speculations
on trade policy due on June 28 were rather stronger factors
responsible for pushing the dollar up.

The group has been purchasing dollars from the open market for the
past two weeks under a State Bank permission to provide partly for
a cash collateral against an LC of around Rs4 billion. The
collateral is needed for confirmation of the LC for the import of
machinery. A consortium of local and foreign banks has opened the

Currency dealers said the higher demand for the dollar coupled with
lower supply moved the dollar up in the open market. "At the month-
end money changers get much less of home remittances than in normal
days,"said a dealer explaining the fall of the rupee.

The State Bank this month lowered the rupee value by 40 paisa to a
dollar by twice modifying an unofficial exchange rate band. The new
band is Rs52.10/Rs52.30.

Pakistan rupee has shed 1.30 per cent of its value against the US
dollar during this fiscal year: the fall is much less than in the
previous years when the rupee was not afloat-it is also lesser than
an approximately three per cent depreciation in Indian rupee since
July. This factor alone is strong enough to make many people
believe that Pakistan rupee would test further lows in the days to

 Businessmen believe that further adjustments are on card. There is
no official word on this subject from the State Bank or from the

But sources close to the ministry of finance say the economic
managers of the country may not go for a big downward adjustment in
one go: they may rather keep making smaller adjustments for the
time being.

Bankers said the US dollar traded between Rs52.28/Rs52.30 in the
inter-bank market on Tuesday. "This shows the intensity of the
demand for the dollars in the inter-bank market,"said head of
treasury of a foreign bank.

He said premiums on forward buying were as high as Rs1.05-Rs 1.08
over spot rate for six months; 58-68 paisa for three months and 27-
33 paisa for one month.

Tax payment: Traders to get facilities
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, June 29: High government officials told a business
delegation here on Thursday that maximum convenience will be
offered to small traders to pay their taxes.

A delegation of the representatives of small traders, yarn
merchants, powerloom operators, cloth exporters, hosiery
manufacturers and sizing factories held a meeting with the chairman
of the Privatization Commission, Altaf Saleem and briefed him about
their problems.

 Tariq Aziz, Principal Secretary to the chief executive and the
Member Income Tax, Mansoor Ahmad were also present on the occasion.

They were informed that it was the policy of the government to
offer all possible facilities to small traders specially in the
payment of their taxes. The participants were told that the
government was ready to remove genuine concerns of small traders,
provided they were within the existing system through a continuous
consultation process.

The delegation was further told the Chief Executive GenPervez
Musharraf had given instructions to the concerned authorities to
settle taxation issues with mutual understanding.

The participants termed the introduction of documentation of
economy drive as a major achievement of the government, which they
said, would strengthen the country's economy and was essential for
the prosperity and stability of the country.

 The traders' willingness to come under GST net was also a success
of the government, they stated.

Mixed reactions on trade policy

KARACHI, June 28: Business leaders term the new trade policy
export-oriented and believe the incentives it offers would help
meet the target of $10bn in fiscal 2000-01.

Chairman, Site Association of Industry, Abdullah Rafi said the
target of $10bn looks achievable and termed the policy export-
oriented adding that it offers meaningful incentives to selected
seven sectors of exports.

He said these incentives would help boost exports. Rafi appreciated
the decision to allow import of machinery for rice processing from
India adding that it would strengthen trade ties between the two

Chairman Pakistan Seafood Exporters Association Tariq Ikram said
the incentives offered to seafood exporters would help raise
seafood exports substantially and hoped the target of $10bn would
be achieved in 2000-01.

Chairman, Pakistan Bedwear Exporters Association, Shabbir Ahmad
appreciated the withdrawal of export finance facility on yarn and
fabric as 'this would encourage value-addition in textile export.'

He, however said, the export target of $10bn for next fiscal may
not be achieved as the government has announced measures on sales
tax refunds and duty drawback without consulting exporters.

He said the new sales tax refund procedure is not acceptable to
exporters and unless bottlenecks are not removed the target will
remain a dream. 'Our sales refunds have been blocked for the last
four to five months creating liquidity problems for exporters, he

Many business leaders reached by Dawn on telephone said they had
not listened to the trade policy speech of the commerce minister
and the time was not suitable to announce such major decisions.

Traders can hire their own auditors, says Aziz

ISLAMABAD, June 25: The commercial banks and Small Business Finance
Corporation (SBFC) would soon announce special programmes for the
promotion of small and medium- size traders, Finance Minister
Shaukat Aziz said on Sunday.

One of the government's top priorities was to encourage small and
medium-size traders in promoting their businesses so that sustained
development could take off, he said, addressing the concluding
ceremony of an industrial exhibition, organized by Islamabad
Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).

"The small and medium-size enterprises are the backbone of our
economy and capable of speeding up socio-economic development in
the country,"he said and added: "This sector was deprived of bank
loans in the past."

The government was making efforts to provide maximum bank loans to
traders and, in this respect, a micro credit bank would also start
lending credit from August 14 next, Mr Aziz said and added that It
would provide small borrowings to help people set up their own

The finance minister said small and medium -size traders had 95 per
cent recovery rate of bank loans, while the big borrowers mostly
created problems for the banks, he observed.

Talking about widening of the tax net, he asked every individual to
pay taxes honestly to steer the country out of the debt burden and
make the country prosperous.

He said the government was sincerely working to make the tax system

 Traders would now even be allowed to hire their own auditors and
the government would bear half of the expenses, he added.

With the expansion of tax net, there would be no need for
increasing taxes on many items, including telephone, electricity
and petrol, he said.-APP

WAPDA told to solve dues issue with provinces
Fafaz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, June 29: The government on Thursday agreed with the
provinces that their electricity bills should not be deducted
unilaterally from their shares in the federal revenues, and
directed WAPDA and provincial authorities to reconcile the issue

The directive came at a meeting held here with Chief Executive Gen
Pervez Musharraf in the chair. WAPDA's financial position and water
shortage also came under discussion.

The CE stressed that the WAPDA and the provincial authorities
should at least reconcile the bills from January 2000, a source

WAPDA's total outstanding bills against the private and public
sectors, including the federal government and provinces, stand at
Rs65 billion. Sindh alone, according to WAPDA, has to pay Rs15
billion. Last month the finance ministry had, on the insistence of
WAPDA, made some deductions from the funds released by the Centre
to the provinces.

The government, a participant said, was satisfied with the
performance of Gen Zulfiqar and decided that he would be retained
as the WAPDA chairman.

The Balochistan governor had asked WAPDA to defer the collection of
bills from the farmers in the drought-affected areas.

Agriculture Minister Shafqat Jamote stressed the need for an
expeditious lining of canals, saying about 40 per cent of water was
lost on its way to farmlands from reservoirs, the source said.

WAPDA officials emphasized the need for enhancing the capacity of
reservoirs or construction of new ones. They informed the meeting
about the decreasing storage capacity of Mangla and Tarbela because
of silting. They said the country would require much more water in
the coming years because of the increasing agriculture activity.

Later, a press release issued by the chief executive's secretariat
said that the agriculture minister had made a presentation on
proposals for integrated water management in the country.

He had apprised the meeting on proposed measures aimed at better
utilization of water resources to achieve the objectives of inter-
provincial harmony, cost-effective returns and minimal financial
investment. He briefed the participants about the reasons for water
problems which were compounded by a dismally low efficiency (40pc)
of the irrigation system.

In his briefing, the WAPDA chairman said that from a net operating
loss of Rs3.6 billion in 1996-97 and Rs1.5 billion in 1997-98, the
organization had improved its financial health to a profit of
Rs12.4 billion in 1998-99 and projected profits of Rs4.8 billion in
1999-2000 despite substantial increase in fuel prices, particularly
furnace oil.

EC wants winner to secure 51% votes: Election system proposed
Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, June 24: The Election Commission has recommended that
the present 'first past the post' system should be combined with
the run-off elections system, requiring the winning candidate to
secure 51% of the total registered votes.

In the first-past-the-post system, any candidate getting the
largest number of votes, irrespective of the percentage of those
votes, is declared elected. However, when it would be mixed with
the run-off elections system the winning candidate would have to
secure 51pc of the total registered votes. In case, the EC says in
a set of 15 reforms, there is a constituency where three candidates
are contestants and nobody bags 51pc votes, then repolling will be
carried out.

An EC official said the run-off elections system was in vogue in
France and added that EC recommendations were being studied by the
National Reconstruction Bureau.

Besides recommending changes in the procedure for appointment of
election commissioner, the EC has suggested that the term of chief
election commissioners should be extended from three years to six

"The election commission in its previous reports has been
recommending that the terms of office of the chief election
commissioner should be six years instead of three years, enabling
him to plan and organize at least one general election. The
government may like to consider this recommendation while making
future appointment of chief election commissioner,"the EC said.

It has been suggested that the election commissioner may be
appointed by the President in consultation with the leader of the
house and leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and the
chief justice of Pakistan.

The EC has recommended that the statements of accounts and finances
of the political leaders should be audited by the auditor-general.

The office-bearers of the political parties, who failed to submit
their statements of accounts and finances to the satisfaction of
the auditor-general, should not be allowed to contest elections and
bye elections to be held in that year.

It called for the restoration of Ordinance CXVII of 1996 regarding
submission of statements of assets/liabilities and declaration
about defaulters of loans.

"This may be restored and all candidates should submit their
statements of assets and liabilities in respect of themselves,
their spouses and dependents along with their nomination papers.
Thereafter, the elected members should submit these statements
annually,"the EC said.

It further recommended that the election campaign should be
restricted to a minimum period as may be determined by the
commission after the list of contesting candidates is published for
an election.

It also called for strict observance of code of conduct by all
political parties and contesting candidates.

The candidates and political parties should refrain from speeches
calculated to arouse parochial and sectarian feelings, and
controversy or conflicts between genders, sects, communities and
linguistic groups.

 The commission should be empowered to disqualify the candidates
for violation of these provisions, it said.

The provisions relating to election expenses in the Representation
of the People Act, 1976, which were omitted by an act of
parliament, should be restored and strict compliance of these
provisions by the candidates may be secured, it added.

The violation of the provisions of elections expenses should be
made punishable and the chief election commissioner may be
empowered to disqualify those candidates who exceed limit of
election expenses, fail to submit their expenses, or submit false

The expenditure by the political parties on election campaign may
also be restricted by fixing a reasonable ceiling.

Japanese to study economic situation
Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, June 30: A ten-member fact-finding mission of the "Japan
Pakistan Business Cooperation Committee"(JPBCC) comprising
representatives of leading businesses is arriving on Monday for a
five-day visit.

The mission headed by Shun Imaizumi, executive vice president,
Komatsu Trading International, Inc. is coming after an interval of
three years to meet important personalities in business and
government circles.

It intends to study Pakistan's present economic and political
situation and to formulate agenda for the next joint meeting of the

The mission will meet senior members of FPCCI and member of
Pakistan-JapanBusiness Cooperation Committee, Members of Japanese
Association of Commerce and Industry (JACI), Japan's envoy the and
Consul General of Japan in Karachi. It is also expected to call on
some leading members of the Government.

The JPBCC and its Pakistani counterpart, Pakistan-Japan Business
Cooperation Committee were established by Japan Chamber of Commerce
and Industry and Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (FPPCI) in '84 with a view to establish such committees to
enhance the trade and investment activities between the two
countries and hold joint meetings to develop better understanding
between the businessmen of the two countries.

There have been nine meetings since the establishment of these

Meanwhile the Embassy of Japan has announced the decision of Japan
making a fresh contribution of up to $4.2m for emergency relief for
the people of Afghanistan suffering from the devastating drought.

Officials to be punished for not recovering taxes

ISLAMABAD, June 25: The tax officials in future will be punished
for failing to recover tax money from evaders within a specified
period. Stringent laws are being considered by the government to
make the Central Board of Revenue officials punishable for failure
in recovering taxes and duties if they do not make required efforts
for recovery. The period, the required efforts, and punishment
would be specified in accordance with the amount of taxes and
duties involved.

Presently operative laws under the Customs, Sales Tax and Central
Excise Acts, and Income Tax Ordinance do not specify any time
period for recovery before the assessee goes into the appeal
against assessment of duties and taxes. Dawn learnt from official
sources that the amendments are being made to ensure that the
punishments envisaged under these acts and ordinance are made
stiffer, and the time period for recovery is stipulated.

The step is reportedly being taken after examining a number of
proposals generated in this connection from within the department,
which were duty vetted by the law and justice division. In this
connection, the army monitoring cell keeping watch on CBR, also
offered a set of proposals asking the CBR top officials to review
the present laws dealing with the performance of officials failing
in making recoveries of taxes and duties within a specified period.

The sources added that the step had become "all the more vital due
to loss of colossal amounts of revenue stuck in assessments which
have not been complied with, and CBR officials have not been
pursuing these cases for extracting the revenues due to the
government exchequer", said an official.

He added that the committee created in the CBR to examine these
proposals received reports on a number of cases wherein the huge
amounts of revenue were involved but no recovery had been
initiated. According to report Rs29.87bn has been stuck for the
last 4 to 5 years.

The amounts are as follows: customs department incurred losses of
Rs9.925bn; central excise department Rs4.644bn; sales tax
Rs3.667bn; ministry of petroleum and natural resources Rs9.637bn.

The report has pointed out that the assessed dues of Rs9.9bn
remained unrealised for about two years despite the fact that the
collectors enjoy powers of recovering taxes as arrears. It says
that the CBR accepted evasion incidence of Rs6.596bn as
permissible, it did not make any response to another report of
Rs16.228bn evasion, while it contested the evasion of Rs5.045bn but
did not even once ask the relevant officials to answer for the
revenue loss.

Only a sum of Rs1.681bn was recovered after pointation by the
Auditor General, as follows: customs duty: (Rs96 million); central
excise duty (Rs1,484bn); sales tax (Rs71m); other indirect sub-
heads (Rs8m); miscellaneous (Rs22m).

Another major report on failure of the CBR to recover taxes and
duties pertains to a number of industrialists of Gadoon Amazai
Industrial Estate, involving more than Rs20bn. The report is
presently under scrutiny by the CBR top officials, and it points
out that two senior (grade 20) and three grade 19 CBR officials
illegally allowed payment of Rs19.78bn Iqra Surcharge to GAI

Back to the top
The sole statesman - 2
Ardeshir Cowasjee

EACH time a government changes in Pakistan its supporters and
detractors, the liberals, extremists and obscurantists alike, try
to form and propagate their own version of the ideology of

The touchstone on which Pakistan was conceived and founded was the
will of the man destined to be, for the first half century of its
life, its sole statesman, Mohammed Ali Jinnah. He decided that his
fellow Muslims of the subcontinent, in order to survive and
prosper, must be given a homeland, which they would share with
others of any creed or denomination who lived in it. This he did.

The redeeming feature is that, despite the efforts of those who
have their own expedient agenda for this nation, Jinnah's words,
sayings and speeches survive and hold the field, and men of
learning, for the good of the country he founded, continue to write
on his life, ideals and vision.

To refer once again to the OUP book published this year 'Jinnah -
Speeches and Statements 1947-1948' (ISBN 0 579021 9) with an
excellent introduction written by the Pakistani historian, writer
and diplomat, S. M. Burke, there are certain passages which need to
be quoted, particularly in the present distorted environment by
which this country has been successfully invaded and under which it
seems to be sinking.

Mohammed Ali Jinnah, a good Muslim, a far better Muslim, in the
true sense of what being a Muslim entails, than the men who now set
themselves up as their religion's saviours, carried no chips on his
narrow shoulders. He was a Muslim and at the same time a man of the
world, who looked to the future, who was open to ideas and to
learning. As a young man, he was sent off from Karachi to Britain
to complete his education. Burke relates :

"Almost immediately after his arrival in London (1892), Jinnah came
under the influence of Dadabhoy Naoroji who had been elected to the
House of Commons in July that year as a Liberal. Naoroji took a
fatherly interest in Indian students of all denominations. Jinnah,
who later won acclaim as Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity,
reminisced in his presidential address at the Thirtieth Session of
the All-India Muslim League at Delhi in April 1943 that he had
learnt politics 'at the feet of that great man, Dadabhoy Naoroji'
and that it was 'men of the character of that Great Dadabhoy who
inspired us with some hope of a fair and equitable adjustment'
between Hindus and Muslims.

"In fact, the Liberals at that time were very much in evidence ...
Jinnah told Dr Ashraf that during the last two years in London his
time was 'utilized for further independent studies for the
political career he already had in mind'. Jinnah also said,
'Fortune smiled on me and I happened to meet several important
English Liberals with whose help I came to understand the doctrine
of Liberalism. The Liberalism of Lord Morley was then in full sway.
I grasped that Liberalism, which became part of my life and
thrilled me very much'."

He returned to India as a barrister, decided to live and practise
in Bombay and to involve himself in politics :

"It is not surprising that Jinnah should have joined the ranks of
the idealists and become a member of the Congress party (1906).
After absorbing British liberalism in London he had taken up
residence in Bombay which was India's most cosmopolitan city where
the mores of social life were set by the highly westernized Parsee
community. Jinnah found their way of life congenial to his own
refined tastes and he made many Parsee friends. He later married a
Parsee socialite.

"But the decisive reason why Jinnah became a member of the Congress
party was that the three persons who dominated Congress at that
time were his political mentors. The three in question were the
Parsees Naoroji whom he had first met in London and Sir Pherozeshah
Mehta, and the Chitpavan Brahman, Gokhale."

After Gokhale's death in 1916, Jinnah felt he had no place in the
Congress party and that his future lay with the Muslim League.
Burke writes:

"In marked contrast with Congress' arrogant policies, Jinnah
persevered with his secular politics and carried on his mission to
achieve Hindu-Muslim unity based on a constitutional accord between
the two major communities of India. At the Muslim League session at
Lahore, under his presidency, in 1924 he said :

"'We must not forget that one essential requisite condition to
achieve Swaraj is political unity between Hindus and the
Mohammedans, for the advent of foreign rule and its continuance in
India is primarily due to the fact that the people of India,
particularly the Hindus and Mohammedans, are not united and do not
sufficiently trust each other. The domination by the bureaucracy
will continue so long as the Hindus and Mohammedans do not come to
a settlement. I am almost inclined to say that India will get
Dominion Responsible Government the day the Hindus and Mohammedans
are united'.

"Jinnah followed secular politics till the experience of Hindu rule
in the Congress provinces (1937-39) finally drove him to the
conclusion that if the Muslims wished to practise their religion
and culture freely they would have to achieve an independent
homeland of their own. During his speech in the Central Legislative
Assembly on February 7, 1935 he said that 'religion should not be
allowed to come into politics... Religion is merely a matter
between man and God ... '."

Burke naturally refers to the most famous, the most relevant and by
far the most important of Jinnah's speeches, the one embodying his
creed :

"Some commentators have suggested that Jinnah was too westernized
to conceive Pakistan as an Islamic state. To support their argument
they usually cite his speech at the inaugural session of the
Pakistani Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947 (the relevant
unexpurgated portions of which were printed in my column last

"However, when this is read with Jinnah's other pronouncements it
becomes quite clear that he was recommending generous treatment of
non-Muslims not as a commendable secular principle but as a
mandatory Islamic injunction. Only thirteen days later during the
transfer of power ceremony on August 14 when Mountbatten praised
the Emperor Akbar's policy of political and religious tolerance,
Jinnah pointed out: 'The tolerance and goodwill that the Emperor
Akbar showed to all the non-Muslims is not of recent origin. It
dates back to thirteen centuries ago when our Prophet not only by
words but by deeds treated the Jews and Christians after he had
conquered them with the utmost tolerance and regard and respect for
their faith and beliefs'.

"In his Eid Day message on November 13, 1939, he had already
pointed out that 'no injunction is considered by our Holy Prophet
more imperative and more divinely binding than the devout but
supreme realization of our duty of love and toleration towards all
other human beings'."

Finally, as says Burke : "He remained a good Muslim all his life
but was too sophisticated ever to be a narrow-minded one."

There is no single word in the Urdu language into which the English
word 'secular' can be translated. I am the proud owner of a
facsimile of the dictionary published by Dr Samuel Johnson in 1755,
"A Dictionary of the English Language: In which the words are
deduced from their originals, and illustrated in their different
significations by examples from the best writers, to which are
prefixed, a history of the language, and an English grammar."The
adjective 'secular' therein is defined as: "[secularis, Latin;
jeculier, French] Not spiritual; relating to affairs of the present
world; not holy; worldly."

*From a 1984 editorial in 'The Times' : "Samuel Johnson died on the
evening of December 13 1784. He is a more suitable patron saint for
the English than our Palestinian soldier-saint, George, or that
other candidate for the role, Thomas A Becket. For one thing
Johnson spoke English. More than that, his work as lexicographer
and Hercules of English literature, helped to make English the
world language that it has become.

 "The chief glory of the English is their language; and Johnson's
'Dictionary', the only one in any language compiled by a writer of
genius, had a lot to do with its rise to glory. It is an irony that
might have amused him eventually, after a bear's growl or two, that
his 'Life' written by his young Scottish friend is far more widely
read than any of Johnson's own more literary works."

Now let us hope that no great scholar of our country comes up with
the suggestion that it would be in the interests of Pakistan that
the usage of the English language be banned.

The evil of our circumstances
Ayaz Amir

THE older I get and the more I try to read about the past (although
God knows I waste my time and do not read enough) the more
convinced I become that there is no reforming the state of Pakistan
as it has taken shape these past fifty odd years. It can either be
rebuilt - as my faith in its future tells me it can - or it can
continue to wend its way to richer harvests of despair. There is no
middle way. Of this I am convinced.

Not that Pakistan's foundations were dug the wrong way. To say that
would be to question the country's genesis. But the wrong materials
were used to fill those foundations. A warped childhood is not the
best preparation for responsible adulthood. Foundations with shale
in them cannot support the highest walls. Anyone who puts reform -
in the liberal, Minto-Morley sense of the word - at the top of the
national agenda is turning a blind eye to Pakistan's history.
Reform is no answer to its problems. The institutional mess which
has stifled the nation's best abilities must first be cleared
before Pakistan can embark on a voyage of rediscovery. There are no
short-cuts to the promised land.

"Some of the evil of my tale,"writes Lawrence at the very
beginning of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, "may have been inherent
in our circumstances."Read the history of Pakistan and even to the
myopic it might become clear that much of the evil in it was
inherent in our circumstances. When Jinnah said he and his
typewriter had created Pakistan, could a more devastating
indictment have been offered of the rest of the Muslim League
leadership? No connecting thread runs more clearly through
Pakistan's formative years than the poverty of the political
leadership and the inexorable rise to hegemony of the civil-
military class as represented by Ghulam Muhammad and the sinister
duo of Iskander Mirza and Ayub Khan.

Reading Humayun Mirza's doting account of his father in From
Plassey to Pakistan all I can do is to prevent myself from crying.
The son is blind to his father's faults and ascribes his eventual
fall and disgrace to his marriage (Iskander Mirza's second) to the
beautiful Iranian, Nahid Afkhamy. But to anyone not wearing
partisan spectacles, Iskander Mirza's failings are not only obvious
but are also a tearful commentary on the early years of the star-
crossed Republic. In India could a British favourite like Iskander
Mirza - first Indian to get the King's Commission and later a
rising star of the Indian Political Service - gain high political
office? Could a mediocre military figure like Ayub Khan get endless
extensions as army commander?

Humayun himself writes that Prime Minister Muhammad Ali was
"...quite adamant that (Ayub) retire when his term as Commander-in-
Chief ended in January 1955. Nevertheless, he later got a four-year
extension through the efforts of Iskander Mirza, then the Secretary
of Defence."For this act alone, Iskander Mirza deserves no
forgiveness before the bar of history. And when, sometime later,
another prime minister, Suhrawardy, tried to adopt an anti-British
stance during the Suez crisis, he was thwarted by Iskander Mirza.
Suhrawardy's attitude at the time is described by Humayun as
"irresponsible and irrational..."This tell-tale remark aptly
reflects the mental make-up of the pro-western coterie which set
the country's course for the future. From amongst this coterie
arose Ayub Khan and although he would loosen his western moorings,
in other respects he exemplified the attitudes and limited
imagination of his predecessors. From Ayub's long stay at the helm
would come the disastrous 1965 war with India and, in time, the
secession of East Pakistan.

History, as much as life itself, is not a series of disjointed
incidents. What comes before casts a shadow over the future. Hitler
was no mere freak in German history. What he stood for, including
his anti-Semitism, had deep roots in Germany's past. Bolshevism was
no aberration in Russian history. It had connecting links with
strains of thought that were alive in the 19th century. In
Pakistan, likewise, it is wrong to draw arbitrarily lines in the
sand and declare Zia-ul-Haq or Benazir Bhutto or Nawaz Sharif as
the sole cause of our sorrows. The roots of military arrogance and
civil ineptitude go back to the country's foundations. Experiences
gathered up then prefigured later developments.

Jinnah was the true anomalyin our history, less representative of
anything native to Pakistan than Ghulam Muhammad, Iskander Mirza
and Ayub Khan, who despite their forced exits from power remain the
country's real godfathers. Jinnah's influence died with him. That
of the godfathers survives even if their names have been washed
from public memory. No ruler has been a throwback to Jinnah. So
many who have been throwbacks to Iskander Mirza and Ayub Khan.

"Some underdeveloped countries have to learn democracy, and until
they do so they have to be controlled. With so many illiterate
people, politicians could make a mess of things."Who said this?
Actually Iskander Mirza but they could have been spoken by any of
the apparitions later to appear on the Pakistani political stage.
Even Musharraf, although he may not favour the same bluntness
(times after all being different) is guided by much the same
philosophy when he draws a distinction between 'real' and 'sham'
democracy. A conqueror, said Plutarch, is always a lover of peace.
He would like to make his entry into your cities unopposed.
Military figures who conquer the commanding heights of politics
always fall in love with 'real' democracy.

How then to rebuild? But first how to destroy, for much on the
national scene is fit only for destruction. Can any good come out
of the existing political order? Which political party deserves to
exist? Which leader has proved worthy of his people? Neruda's
haunting words about the education of the chieftain bear repeating.

He made himself out of taciturn fibres.
He oiled himself like the soul of the olive.
He became glass of transparent hardness.
He studied to be a hurricane wind.
He fought himself until his blood was extinguished.
Only then was he worthy of his people.

Taciturn fibres indeed. Tell this to the Chief Executive and the
interior minister both of whom have made a virtue of verbosity.
Soul of the olive indeed.

Is bureaucratic destruction a recipe for anarchy? By no means. The
administrative services and the police in Pakistan have become so
corrupt and useless, and indeed such a burden on the people, that
they are past any tinkering or moderate reform. Set up a hundred
focal groups to look into their affairs and no one will be any
nearer a solution to their problems. The slate must be wiped clean
for any new pattern to be drawn. I say this in all seriousness that
abolishing the office of district magistrate (overnight and at a
stroke) would make not the slightest difference to the public
welfare. If the entire Punjab Police was suspended for a week or a
fortnight, pending a Stalinist purge of the most corrupt elements
in its ranks, I can sign a sworn affidavit to the effect that
incidents of theft, dacoity and murder would decline. For this
period the people would look to their lives and property themselves
and make a much better job of it than the police. If half the
ministries and divisions which clog Islamabad were finished, the
business of government would dramatically improve.

For years the Punjab University, in thrall to a student mafia, has
had more to do with politics and less with education. The only
answer to its problems is to shut it down indefinitely, disband its
tainted and timorous faculty (or post it out where it can do the
least harm) and make a fresh start. The same thing with the police
and the civil services: destruction before any act of creation.
What was that Maoist phrase? There is great disorder under the
heavens and the situation is excellent. Pakistan's problem is that
its cultural revolution never happened.

TAILPIECE: Good news though for the vendors and hawkers of
Chakwal's Chappar Bazar whose prayers after seven months have been
answered. On a visit to Chakwal during which he also toured the
Bazar, GOC 6 Armoured Division, Maj-Gen Israr Ghumman, ordered
their immediate rehabilitation. God be with him for this although I
still cannot understand why a professional army should be
entrusting its best officers with civic responsibilities.

3rd Cricket Test: Jayasuriya, Atapattu in record stand

KANDY (Sri Lanka), June 29: Centuries by Marvan Atapattu and Sanath
Jayasuriya in a record 335-run opening stand steered Sri Lanka to a
formidable 449 for five on the second day of the third and final
Test against Pakistan at the Asgiriya International Stadium here on

Atapattu was one run short of his third Test double century at
close of play while Jayasuriya went for 188 after batting for 467
minutes and striking 17 fours and two sixes in his 357-ball knock.

Atapattu remained unconquered on 199 off 450 deliveries having
blunted the Pakistan attack for a marathon 649 minutes.

Their 335-run stand was the fifth best all-time Test opening
partnership, and easily broke Sri Lankan record for the first-
wicket of 159 set by Sidath Wettimuny and Ravi Ratnayeke against
India at Kanpur in 1986-87.

Jayasuriya already holds the world record partnership for any
wicket in all Tests, putting on 576 for the second wicket with
Roshan Mahanama against India in 1997.

The last occasion an opening pair figured in a triple century
partnership was 11 years ago when Australians Geoff Marsh and Mark
Taylor put on 329 against England at Nottingham.

On the way, the record-breaking Sri Lankan pair eclipsed the
previous highest first wicket stand of 269 against Pakistan by
Australians Michael Slater and Greg Blewett at Brisbane last

Both Atapattu and Jayasuriya made use of some poor catching by the
Pakistanis on an unhelpful pitch, to forge their big stand.

Jayasuriya, who began the day at 82, reached his century in style,
square cutting Waqar Younis to the point boundary for his eleventh
four. He also had one six in his 211-ball century, which took him
257 minutes.

Pakistan allowed him the luxury of three dropped chances after his
century at 107, 132 and 140, which the left-hander made full use of
to savage 15 boundaries and a six by lunch.

It was Jayasuriya's first Test century since he scored a double
hundred - 213 - against England at The Oval two years ago.

Atapattu, playing cautiously till the second drinks break, went to
his century in a flurry moving from 81 to 100 in six scoring shots,
which included one six and three fours.

He was harsh on leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed, whom he hit for 18 runs
in that period. He completed his fourth Test century in 349 minutes
off 231 balls with 11 fours and a six.

Atapattu had a reprieve at 66 when off-spinner Arshad Khan failed
to hold on to a hard caught and bowled chance.

Jayasuriya 's 150 came immediately after lunch when he flicked
Wasim Akram through the slips for a four.

Jayasuriya was struck a blow on his right index finger by fast
bowler Waqar Younis before he edged a catch to second slip Younis
Khan off the following over bowled by Abdur Razzaq.

Atapattu, the passive partner, made full use of misses at 37 and 66
on the way to his fourth Test century. He has faced 450 balls and
hit 19 fours and a six.

Pakistan who delayed taking the second new ball by 32 overs, struck
back in the final session to claim four wickets for 33 runs, with
off-spinner Arshad Khan taking three.

Abdur Razzaq dismissed Russel Arnold for 24 edging a catch to
wicket-keeper Moin Khan with the score at 401, before Arshad picked
up the wickets of Aravinda de Silva (0), Mahela Jayawardena (2) and
Arjuna Ranatunga (6), reaping just rewards for sending down a
marathon spell of 51 overs.

The destroyers of the Sri Lankan batting in the first two Tests,
Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis were wicketless after bowling 43 overs
between them.-Agencies

Wasim pulls out of SL triangular

KARACHI, June 30: Former captain Wasim Akram has withdrawn from the
forthcoming tri-nation one-day series starting in Colombo from July
5, a spokesman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said here on

"Wasim requested us to be excused from the tournament which the
board has accepted. He will not be coming to Pakistan but will be
proceeding to Manchester,"PCB director Yawar Saeed said.

He added that Wasim has decided to concentrate more on longer
version of the matches and play restricted one-day tournaments. He
said the PCB had no objection.

"The board respects his decision. Besides, we want to assist him as
much as we can in his chase for Courtney Walsh's record.

"At the moment, he has pulled out only from the Colombo series,"
Saeed said.

Pakistan is scheduled to play a tri-nation series in Singapore and
Toronto in August and September respectively. South Africa and New
Zealand will be the other teams in Singapore while India will
figure in the fourth edition of the five-match series.

The board spokesman said the selectors would be deciding about the
composition of the team for the one-day on Saturday.

He, however, hinted that with Wasim not available, the two
teenagers Qaisar Abbas and Shoaib Malik would return.

Shahid Afridi has already been named to join the team for the
competition also involving South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Qamar Zaman appointed manager

PESHAWAR, June 30: Former world squash champion Qamar Zaman has
been named as the manager of the Pakistan squad which will
participate in 10th Asian junior squash championship starting from
July 5 in Hong Kong.

Qamar Zaman said he would leave for Hong Kong on Saturday to attend
the Asian Squash Federation (ASF) meeting in which certain
decisions would be taken regarding promotion of the game.

The meeting, he said, would also deliberate upon the rules and
regulations of the game. The Pakistan squad comprises, Mansoor
Zaman, Aijaz Azmat, Shams Kakar and Zubair Jahan Khan.-APP

Pakistan, India troops resume border ritual

JAMMU (occupied), June 30: Indian and Pakistani border guards
exchanged sherbet and Quranic verses at a holy shrine near the LoC
on Thursday, resuming an annual ritual skipped last year when the
two sides clashed
over the region.

Thousands of pilgrims converge once a year on the 200-year-old
shrine of Baba Dileep Singh Manhas at Chamiliyal village in
occupied Jammu and Kashmir near the Line of Control.

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) personnel took two tractor loads
of "shakker and sharbat"to the border and handed them over to
Pakistan Rangers.

As per ritual, the Pakistani guards then handed over a chadder, a
sheet of embroidered Quranic verses, for the shrine, which is
revered by people on both sides of the border.

"They met each other in a very cordial atmosphere,"BSF Inspector
General U.C. Chabbra told Reuters.

The ritual was not held last year, for the first time in a decade
because of the Kargil situation.-Reuters

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