------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 20 May 2000 Issue : 06/19 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Cabinet pledges true democracy in three years + Maulana Yousuf Ludhianvi shot dead + Business closed in major cities: Peaceful strike observed + Election Commission ready to start delimitation work + Blasphemy law: Old FIR procedure restored + Rs25 billion wheat stocks in peril + Gen Musharraf has visited 19 countries + Tariff dispute: Shaukat to meet Hubco officials + 'NAB forgot ex-HBFC chief after dumping him somewhere' + PML to challenge Supreme Court verdict + Pakistani Nazir Sabir conquers Everest + Lower-level cases also to be tried: 23 more Ehtesab courts soon + 65 million NICs to be issued --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Ordinance to allow private Radio, TV stations this year + CBR begins tax survey from 27th + Duty-free tea exports proposed + Proposal in offing: Collection of taxes by single agency + No ADB project loan after March '99 + Retailers drive wedge between IMF and Pakistan + Income tax for salaried class may be reduced + IMF team arrives for pre-budget consultations + Dawood meets Ishrat today: Talks to focus on project financing + Inching up of inflation seen + Pakistan Telecommunication Co pre-tax profit up 46.5% + Government urged to rationalize import tariff + Stocks shake off early losses --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Grundnorm Ardeshir Cowasjee + Fit for what? Ayaz Amir ----------- SPORTS + 2nd Day: Hinds scores 165 to put West Indies on top + Pakistan remain fifth in Malaysian golf + Saleh on top of snooker ranking + PCB chief, judge reading different scripts?

Cabinet pledges true democracy in three years
Ihtasham ul Haque

  ISLAMABAD, May 17: The federal cabinet on Wednesday resolved to
complete the government's agenda, including the establishment of a
true democracy, within three years as stipulated in the May 12
verdict of the Supreme Court.

Presided over by the chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, the
cabinet said that all institutions of the state will work for a
fast implementation of the agenda, particularly the accountability.

It was the first reaction by the government at the SC verdict that
had validated the army intervention of Oct 12. The cabinet felt
that the unanimous decision of the apex court was truly reflective
of the independence of the judiciary.

It approved the Islamabad Capital Territory Shops, Business and
Industrial Establishments (Security) Ordinance, making it
obligatory for all financial and business establishments like
banks, money-changers, financial institutions, industrial units,
companies, etc., to maker their own security arrangements.

It also approved the establishment of 'National University of
Computer and Emerging Sciences' in the private sector in Islamabad.
The original sponsoring body of the university known as Foundation
for Advancement Science and Technology has campuses at Lahore,
Karachi and Islamabad.

The cabinet held a lengthy discussion on the parameters of economic

The CE briefed the cabinet on his visit to Turkmenistan. He said
both countries had agreed to accelerate cooperation in
telecommunications, oil and gas resource development, and building
of highways.

Turkmenistan, he said, will send a team of experts to negotiate
with the Pakistan Telecom to seek its cooperation for
promotion/establishment of telecom facilities in Turkmenistan.

Both the countries had also agreed to develop road link for
promotion of trade, he said.

Describing the death of a Faisalabad trader in the sales tax staff
custody on Monday as unfortunate, the CE said that those
responsible shall be dealt with in accordance with law. An inquiry
into the circumstances that led to the death had already been

Maulana Yousuf Ludhianvi shot dead

KARACHI, May 18: Noted religious scholar Maulana Mohammad Yousuf
Ludhianvi and his driver were shot dead by four unidentified
assailants on Thursday in Naseerabad in the Central district. A son
of Maulana Ludhianvi and a fruit vendor received injuries.

Maulana Ludhianvi leaves behind his wife, four sons, four daughters
and thousands of disciples. According to the police and residents
of the locality, the 76-year-old maulana came out of his house
about 10am in a white Toyota Corolla of 1998 model to leave for his
office at Aalmi Majlis-i-Tahafuz-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat at Old
Exhibition on M.A. Jinnah Road.

As soon as his car stopped near a fruit stall, four men, riding two
motorcycles, opened fire from the right side of the car, smashing
the windscreen and the side screens. The maulana and his 55-year-
old driver Abdur Rehman died. His son, Hafiz Mohammad Yahya, 30,
and fruit vendor Mohammad Naeem were injured.

Other accounts suggest the number of killers was two, who rode a

Hundreds of Maulana Ludhianvi's followers arrived at Abbasi Shaheed
Hospital soon after his body was brought there for autopsy.

According to doctors, Maulana Ludhianvi had received two bullets:
one pierced through right shoulder and travelled out of the left
side of neck, while the other pierced through right side of neck
and travelled out of skull.

The post-mortem examination report of Abdur Rehman showed that he
was hit by a bullet which pierced through his right shoulder from
the backside and travelled out of chest.

Hafiz Mohammad Yahya received a bullet on the left side of his
chest. His condition was stated to be serious. The fruit vendor was
hit in his right shoulder, and his condition was stated to be

Born on August 31, 1931 at Esapur in Ludhiana, India, Maulana
Yousuf came to Pakistan in 1947 and obtained early education at
Multan's Khairul Madaris. Before joining Jamiat Uloom-i-Islami
Binori Town, where he had been teaching Hadith, the maulana had
studied at Faisalabad and Sahiwal. Thursday was his weekly off-day,
according to a teacher, Abdullah.

Maulana Ludhianvi authored over 100 books and many had been
translated into various languages. His major works included Aap kay
masail aur unka hal spread over nine volumes. He was editor of
weekly Khatm-i-Nabuwwat, monthly Buyyanat, and another monthly Lau
Lak. Through his weekly column for an Urdu daily, he had been
associated with journalism for the last 40 years. For the last
seven years, his column had been appearing in an English daily as
well. Maulana Ludhianvi was also chief patron of Iqra School's

Business closed in major cities: Peaceful strike observed

KARACHI, May 19: A peaceful strike was observed throughout the
country on Friday on the calls of religious groups and traders. The
strike was called by Milli Yekjehti Council to protest against the
proposed amendment in the Blasphemy Law.

  The chief executive has withdrawn the proposal but the religious
parties decided to go ahead with their strike plan. The Aalami
Majilese Khatm-i-Nabuwwat had on Thursday given a strike call for
Friday to protest the killing of Maulana Yousuf Ludhianvi.

All Pakistan Organization of Small Traders and Cottage Industries
had also given a three-day strike call against the planned
imposition of general sales tax on retailers and conduct of surveys
for assessment of businessmen's income tax and property value.

All business centres and shops in major cities of the country
remained shut. Traffic was thin in towns. The number of public
transport on city and inter-city routes was also thin.

Since it was a closed holiday on account of Shah Latif Day, the
Sindh government offices and schools remained closed. All the main
city markets, including Saddar, Tariq Road, Hyderi, Water Pump
Federal B. Area, Clifton, Gole Market, Nazimabad, Karimabad, Jodia
Bazaar, chemical market, paper market, cloth market, Bohrapir
market, Bahadurabad and, Liaquatabad remained shut throughout the

Industrialists claimed that the production at the factories ranged
between 40-50 per cent owing to partial turnout of the workers.
Attendance in private and federal government offices and banks,
particularly in disturbed areas, remained thin.

ISLAMABAD: The strike in the twin cities of Rawalpindi-Islamabad
was also successful where even small locality shops also remained
closed for the whole day.

All the main markets in Blue Area, Super, Jinnah Super, Industrial
& Trade Centre, Sitara, Peshawar More, Abpara, and Melody in the
federal capital remained shut. The markets on Murree Road,
Commercial Market, Moti Bazaar, Sarafa Bazaar, Sadar, Tench Bhatta,
City Sadar Road, Raja Bazaar, Ganj Mandi, Namak Mandi and other
areas of Rawalpindi also remained closed.

Mr Sailya said elimination of smuggling was one of their main
demand. He claimed that there were 19 big smugglers in the country
but the government was reluctant to arrest them.

To a query about the visit of IMF team, he said the team members
would be greeted with rotten tomatoes and eggs on May 24.

LAHORE: Most city markets wore a deserted look in Lahore on Friday.

No untoward incident was reported till the evening as the APOSTCI
had asked shopkeepers to stay home and register, a "silent protest"
against the government's taxation policies.

"We do not want confrontation. Our endeavour is to get all issues
resolved amicably through talks between the government and
representatives of the small traders", the organization's Punjab
leader, Ansar Zahoor Butt, told Dawn.

PESHAWAR: A complete shutter down strike was also observed in
Peshawar today.

All the city markets, shopping centres, restaurants remained closed
throughout the day. Most of medicine shops, tandoors were also
closed. Afghan refugees also participated in the strike in large
numbers, in the city, Saddar, cantonment, University Town,
Hayatabad and Karkhano Bara markets down.

QUETTA: A complete strike was also observed in Quetta and other
towns of Balochistan by the small traders and business community on

All shopping centres, business establishments, shopping plazas,
markets, and bazaars remained closed throughout the day. Most of
the hotels, medical stores and bakeries also remained closed.

Ulema opposed the government's policies regarding blasphemy law at
Juma prayers. They demanded of the government to restore Friday's

Election Commission ready to start delimitation work

ISLAMABAD, May 16: The Election Commission (EC) would soon start
the process of delimitation of constituencies for general
elections, official sources told APP here on Tuesday.

The process would begin when the EC had received data of the
recently held national census, they added. "We are waiting for
district-wise data of the national census, held in 1998, for
starting the process of delimitation," the sources said.

The sources referred to the Article 51(3) of the Constitution,
which says: "The seats in the National Assembly shall be allocated
to each province, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the
federal capital on the basis of population in accordance with the
last proceeding census officially published."

The task of delimitation of constituencies for the local bodies
election, the sources said, would be carried out by the provincial
governments respectively.

The Election Commission would carry out the process of delimitation
in accordance with the Delimitation of Constituencies Act, 1974,
they added.

The law says: "All constituencies for Muslim seats shall as far as
practicable be delimited having regard to the distribution of
population, including non-Muslims in geographically compact areas,
existing boundaries of administrative units, facilities of
communication and public convenience and other cognate factors to
ensure homogeneity in the creation of constituencies."

For the purpose of delimiting constituencies, the Election
Commission might receive and consider representations, hold
inquiries, summon witnesses and record evidence, and prepare and
publish in the official gazette a preliminary report and list of
constituencies specifying the areas proposed to be included in each

Under the law, within 15 days of the publication of the report any
person who is entitled to cast vote in any National Assembly or
Provincial Assembly election may make a representation to the
Election Commission in respect of the delimitation of

Blasphemy law: Old FIR procedure restored

ISLAMABAD, May 16: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday
announced to restore the old procedure for lodging of FIR with the
station house officer (SHO) under the blasphemy law.
"As it was the unanimous demand of the Ulema, Mashaikh and the
people, therefore, I have decided to do away with the procedural
change in registration of FIR under the blasphemy law," said Gen
Musharraf while talking to reporters at the PAF Base here on his
return from Turkmenistan.

The government had decided last month that an FIR under the
blasphemy law should be registered with a deputy commissioner
instead of an SHO.

Gen Musharraf said blasphemy law, which is part of PPC 295 C, was
the main issue. "No one can even think of changing it. No change
was ever brought into this law," he added.

Answering a question, he said his government wanted to take along
all the people, Ulema and clean politicians. "I was thinking since
long to find a way out to have a dialogue with them so that we all
move along together. I intend to contact them directly in future,"
he added.

Reacting to an incident in which a Faisalabad trader was killed in
custody of the agencies, Gen Musharraf said he was grieved to learn
about it. An FIR had been registered against those who were
responsible for it, he said, and added there would be a judicial
probe into the killing.

When asked if he intended to visit the drought-hit parts of Dera
Ghazi Khan, he said the situation there was not as serious as
compared to Balochistan and Sindh. However, he wanted to visit all
the areas at a proper time, he added.-APP

Rs25 billion wheat stocks in peril

ISLAMABAD, May 19: The wheat godowns in Punjab have run acutely
short of aluminium phosphate tablets (APT) used for keeping grains
safe from infestation and diseases.

Official sources said the Punjab government had told the centre
that due to non-availability of APTs, wheat stocks worth over Rs25
billion, stored at different cities of the provinces, were in

Sources quoted Punjab food secretary Junaid Iqbal as saying to the
Centre that the non-availability of the tablets was looming large
as an impending disaster for the whole country.

Official sources told Dawn on Friday that in a letter sent to the
federal government, Mr Iqbal had requested registration of firms on
emergency basis so that the required tablets could be imported,
immediately and save the wheat.

"It will enable the government to get a better deal both in terms
of lesser price and quick delivery through competition", sources
quoted the Punjab government as saying.

Sources said, the provincial government, in January, had informed
the Centre about the problem of wheat infestation. The scientists
were rushed to Lahore and the matter was discussed. The meeting,
among other causes, identified substandard fumigants and the
possibility of pest resistance of wheat infestation.

It was confirmed through laboratory tests of the tablets, supplied
by a contractor, A.G. Services and Supplies, Karachi, to the Punjab
government that the fumigant did not contain the prescribed
percentage of active ingredients.

Sources said, at that time, the Punjab government had in stock
9,367kg of A.P. tablets. The firm was given a show-cause notice to
be blacklisted. Recently the firm was directed to provide standard
fumigant equal to the quantity lying in stocks with the Punjab
government. The firm complied but took more than two months.

In the meantime, the federal government was told to follow the case
being heard in a Karachi court in which the supplier had obtained
the stay order against registration of other firms for supply of
the compound.

But, the concerned government agency, the Plant Protection
Department, Karachi, did not pursue the case.

Now, Punjab said there was only one importing firm (A.G.Service and
Supplies) and it also needed about 90 days to supply the products.
Higher cost is another inhibiting factor, it added.

A purchase officer of Punjab, who had visited Karachi has reported
that the firm was in serious financial straits and may not be able
to provide the required fumigant, a provincial government source

Punjab thus told the Centre to register more firms to import the
required tablets to save the crop from devastation.

Gen Musharraf has visited 19 countries
Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD, May 18: Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf has
visited 19 foreign countries since Oct 12 military takeover in what
seems to be an effort to obtain world recognition for his

Sources told Dawn that most of these visits were organised by the
foreign office in the backdrop of hard-line position taken by some
major world powers including US, European countries, Japan etc for
Pakistan's early return to democracy.

Soon after the takeover, Musharraf chose first to tour Saudi Arabia
and United Arab Emirates from October 25 to 27. During the first
half of November 1999 -Nov 7 to 9- he visited three more Muslim
countries including Qatar, Turkey and Kuwait.

Bahrain and Iran were the two other Muslim countries whom the chief
executive visited from December 8 to 9 last year. In January, from
17 to 19, Gen Musharraf visited China.

April was the most hectic month for the chief executive as far as
foreign visits were concerned. From March 27 to April 3, Gen
Musharraf toured Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei and

On his way to Havana to attend a meeting of G-77 summit, Gen
Musharraf visited Paris on April 9 and 10. He stayed in Havana from
April 10 to 13. From there he went to Rome on a two day visit -
April 14-15. He then visited Cairo (April 15-18) and Tripoli (April
18 to 19).

On May 15-16, the chief executive visited Turkmenistan. Gen
Musharraf is also expected to tour Kabul, however, dates for this
visit have not yet been finalised.

Like Havana there were some visits that were necessitated by the
country's presence in the international forums/bodies. There were
certain visits like Cairo and Tripoli which were made on the
invitation of the respective heads of the governments.

Foreign office sources confirmed that the prime purpose of most of
these visits was to further cement Pakistan's relations with the
host countries and to build up a personal rapport with the leaders
of these countries.

The chief executive besides discussing important foreign policy
issues including Kashmir with the leaders of these countries, the
sources said, also discussed the options of improving Pakistan's
trade relations with them.

They added that during these visits Gen Musharraf had been
apprising the foreign leaders of the regional security situation
and the need for an early settlement of the Kashmir issue.

Foreign ministry sources admit that though not much has been
achieved with regard to Musharraf's efforts to get his government
recognised, yet they feel that the Supreme Court's latest verdict
validating the October 12 takeover would serve a useful purpose in
his future visits abroad.

Tariff dispute: Shaukat to meet Hubco officials
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 18: Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz will be leaving
for Dubai on Saturday (May 20) to meet the senior representatives
of Hubco to hammer out differences on tariff and other
administrative matters.

Official sources told Dawn that the finance minister, accompanied
by Wapda Chairman Lt-Gen Zulfikar Ali Khan, would meet Hubco
chairman Sheikh Mohammad Alireza and vice-chairman of the National
Power Company Peter Windsor to sort out differences between them.

The meeting has been arranged by the World Bank. The WB in charge
of the South Asian desk, Elister Mactny, and legal advisor Strom,
will also participate in the meeting.

Sources said talks would figure on Hubco's proposal of reducing
power tariff by three billion dollars over the life of the project.

Secondly, Hubco wanted that allegations of corruption against it
should be dropped, as they had not been proved so far, they added.

Earlier, the WB had arranged a video conference in Washington to
narrow down differences between the government and Hubco. The
finance minister and the Wapda chairman were the participants from
Islamabad for that conference.

The Supreme Court bench, hearing the Wapda-Hubco case on Monday
last, had reserved its judgment. Hubco pleaded that it should be
allowed to present its case before the arbitration tribunal of the
International Chamber of Commerce for the resolution of tariff
dispute with Wapda.

Wapda argued that the tariff increase was due to signing of two
amendments and one supplemental deed in the power purchase
agreement (PPA), which were obtained through corruption and fraud
with the connivance of Suleman Farooqi, former secretary for the
ministry of water and power, and Shahid Hasan Khan, former advisor
to the then prime minister on energy.

Sources said the government and Hubco would have to bring some
flexibility in their respective positions to achieve a mutually
beneficial agreement on tariff.

'NAB forgot ex-HBFC chief after dumping him somewhere'
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 18: The prosecutor-general of National
Accountability Bureau, Farooq Adam, on Thursday told the Supreme
Court that they had forgotten Siddiqul Farooq, former chairman of
the House Building Finance Corporation, after having dumped him

Siddiqul Farooq, who was also press secretary to the then Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif, was produced for the first time in any court
since his arrest on Oct 18.

"I apologize that Mr Siddiqul Farooq was forgotten after being
dumped somewhere as we were occupied by other important matters,"
Mr Adam stated.

Chaudhry Ikram, the counsel for the detainee, lamented that this
was the way how the government was treating citizens.

The court was shown two files by the prosecutor-general on the
basis of which the Nab chairman had issued warrants for Siddiqul
Farooq on May 11. He stated that no case had been registered so far
but prima facie there was a case of corruption against him.

Mr Ikram stated that Siddiqul Farooq had been under illegal
detention since Oct 18 without registration of any case against him
by any investigation agency.

He said a habeas corpus petition was filed in the Lahore High Court
where all the law enforcement agencies were summoned. The agencies
simply refused to admit that he was in their custody. The
prosecutor-general himself had stated before the LHC that Siddiqul
Farooq was not in the custody of Nab.

"Now after seven months, they are saying they forgot after dumping
him somewhere," the counsel said.

According to information gathered by the family of Siddiqul Farooq,
he was kept in Mujahid Battalion 886, Malir Cantonment, since his
arrest, said the lawyer.

The SC bench consisted of Justice Mohammad Bashir Jehangiri and
Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmed.

To a court query why Siddiqul Farooq was kept in custody without
registration of an FIR for the last seven months, Deputy Attorney-
General Mansoor Ahmad said activities of the former chairman of the
HBFC before and after Oct 12 were "threat to the security of the
state and he had connections with foreign agencies". Details could
not be disclosed in open court, he added.

The prosecutor-general told the court that Siddiqul Farooq had met
Gen Tariq Pervaiz, former corps commander of Quetta. Gen Pervaiz
was prematurely retired by the COAS, Gen Pervez Musharraf, for his
alleged connections with the deposed prime minister.

The prosecutor-general assured the court that investigations
against Siddiqul Farooq would be completed within 10 days and he
would be sent to a judicial lock-up soon as it was necessary for
his mental health.

The counsel asked the court to allow Siddiqul Farooq to make a
statement, but the court disallowed the request. The judges asked
him to write his statement and provide it in a sealed envelope for
their perusal only. The statement should not be released to the
Press, the court directed.

The court rejected the request for bail and observed that they were
pleased that the former HBFC chairman was alive. Justice Sheikh
Riaz observed that court was worried about the safety of Siddiqul
Farooq. "Alhamdo Lillah, he is alive," the judge remarked. The
court adjourned the case till June 1.

Family members of Siddiqul Farooq were present and touching scenes
were witnessed when he appeared in the courtroom.

PML to challenge Supreme Court verdict
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 17: The Pakistan Muslim League on Wednesday
expressed "disappointment" over the Supreme Court decision of
validating the military takeover and decided to file a review

The decision was taken at the Central Working Committee (CWC)
meeting, which was jointly chaired by Raja Zafarul Haq and Kulsoom

The CWC also set up a committee, headed by Wasim Sajjad, to draft a
petition to be filed by the party in the Supreme Court.

Hardliners prodding the party leadership for launching a movement
against the government, were averse to the idea of filing a review
petition, a party insider told Dawn. They were of the view that the
party should focus its energies on gearing up its cadres for
launching a movement against the government, he said.

Later at a press briefing, Raja Zafarul Haq claimed that a
resolution calling for filing the petition was unanimously adopted
at the meeting.

Begum Kulsoom, in her brief speech, gave an implicit call to the
party leaders to join her in mobilizing public opinion against the
government to prepare grounds for launching a movement at some
appropriate time, the source added.

Raja Afzal said the issue of electing a new party leader had been
closed once and for all.

Raja Zafar replied in the negative when asked whether or not the
party would join the three-day strike call given by the traders
from May 19.

He said the economic condition of the country was not good and it
would not be in the national interest to launch any protest

Regarding the suggestions of setting up of a national government,
he said after the government's rejection the idea was not worth

"The Central Working Committee of Pakistan Muslim League expressed
its disappointment that for the third time in Pakistan's history,
the Supreme Court has validated a military takeover without
defining the limits of the controversial 'doctrine of necessity',
thus opening the door to similar interventions in the future," the
resolution said.

The CWC also expressed its concern that the power to amend the
constitution had been entrusted to an individual and the chief
executive of a transition regime.

"The 1973 constitution embodies a very sensitive and difficult
consensus reached and preserved among the federating units. It is
very risky to make constitutional changes in an atmosphere of
political vacuum. The process of judicial review allowed in the
judgment provides some safeguards but, at the same time, by
assuming the power to determine whether the constitutional
amendments made by the chief executive under this dispensation
qualify on the 'touchstone of state necessity.' The Supreme Court
will also be effectively discharging its functions, which the 1973
constitution assigns to parliament," it said.

Pakistani Nazir Sabir conquers Everest

ISLAMABAD, May 17: Nazir Sabir, 45, became the first Pakistani to
reach the summit of Mount Everest on South Col Nepalese side on
Wednesday at 7:31am Nepal time (02:00 GMT). He unfolded the
Pakistan flag on the world's highest peak.

  Mr Sabir and his teammate, Benjamin Webster, 38, a photo-
journalist from North York in Canada, reached the summit of the
8,848-metre (29,000-feet) mountain, accompanied by four Nepalese
high altitude mountain guides who have already climbed the 8,848-
meter peak.

The two climbers were from an eight-member "Mountain Madness
Sagarmatha" (the name in Nepali for Everest) expedition, led by
elite American mountaineer Ms Christine Feld Boskoff, 33.

Mr Sabir started hard-night-long ascent on Tuesday at 10pm and
reached the top at 7.31am Nepal time on Wednesday. He was followed
by Ben Webster and four Sherpas.

This was Mr Sabir's second attempt on mount Everest. In 1997, he
had made his first attempt from the Chinese side as leader
ofPakistan's golden jubilee expedition, but was driven back by
blizzards a few hundred meters short of the summit.

  With this outstanding feat, Sabir, born in 1955 at Raminj, a
remote village of upper Gojal-Hunza, in Gilgit district, has scaled
five of the world's 14 high peaks of 8,000m.

Lower-level cases also to be tried: 23 more Ehtesab courts soon

ISLAMABAD, May 14: Twenty-three additional Accountability Courts
will be established shortly across the country to expand and
accelerate the process of accountability, officials said on Sunday.

Rawalpindi and Islamabad will have three additional courts while
two courts each will be established in Lahore, Peshawar and Multan.

One additional court each will be set up in Dera Ismail Khan,
Attock Fort, Kharian, Sargohda, Gujranwala, Bhawalpur, Sialkot,
Quetta, Khuzdar, Sibi, D. G. Khan, Karachi, Hyderabad and Pano Aqil

A spokesman of Ministry of Law and Justice Mohammad Jamil told APP
that the new courts would help expand the scope of accountability
to lower level, and to seek disqualification of 'the corrupt
parliamentarians and bureaucrats'. Thirteen such courts are already

The spokesman said the government was ensure that the process of
accountability was carried out in a coherent and transparent
manner. He said the government had already requested the Chief
Justice of Pakistan for the appointment of judges for these
additional courts.

He said a proposal was already under consideration of the
government to give a legal cover to the tenure of the judges, to
ensure their independence status.

The government, he said, was also providing reasonable salaries and
allowances as well as supporting staff to the judges to enable them
to carry out their work smoothly.

He said each judge of the accountability courts enjoyed the status
of a judge of the high court. He said it was also essential that a
judge nominated for these courts, should be of the level of a
district sessions judge.

65 million NICs to be issued

ISLAMABAD, May 19: Arrangements have been made for issuance of 65
million national identity cards to those people who had applied for
NIC during 1998 census.

The new card would be fire-proof, damp-proof and irreplaceable and
would be delivered to the applicants on their addresses given on
the census form. The cards would be distributed over a period of
three months, starting from September.

Each recipient of the card would have to pay Rs50-80, depending on
the mailing and production charges presently being worked out by
National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

Sources told Dawn on Friday that NADRA had taken over the job in
April, which should actually have been completed about a year ago.

The change in governments incapacitated the relevant authorities
from taking a decision about finalizing the arrangements in this

It has now been decided that NADRA would get the cards designed and
printed by some experienced international or local firms.

The Pakistan Revenue Automation (PRAL) has now been engaged for
processing the entire data given by the applicants, while Z.A. Khan
Associates have been engaged for the delivery of the cards. The
delivery men would receive the card fee against a receipt duly
signed by each recipient.

The PRAL has started working on the forms which have been filled by
the applicants in Urdu, English, Sindhi and Pushto. The staff is
being employed to translate and correctly spell all the entries in
a single (English or Urdu) language. The new NICs would
automatically scrap the old cards as these would not be acceptable
from any person who was 18-year-old or more at the time of 1998

Those who have not been able to fill the application form, will
have to apply for the card immediately after the issuance of the
new card.

Ordinance to allow private Radio, TV stations this year
M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, May 18: The military government proposes to promulgate
access to information ordinance by the end of June this year and
yet another ordinance by December 2000 to allow setting up of
private sector television and radio channels,
  according to a tentative programme which recognizes information as
the key element in the efforts to curb corruption.

According to a brief outline of this programme obtained by Dawn a
tax ombudsman will also be set up to address complaints and
irregularities on tax collection.

Another step which is contemplated to be taken under this programme
pertains to using professional opinion poll firms in August this
year and in February next year to check the incidence and public
perception of corruption.

Subsequently workshops will be held to discuss the outcome of the
surveys and follow-up action plans.

At a later stage it is proposed to turn the National Accountability
Bureau (NAB) into an independent and autonomous agency and
strengthen the provincial anti-corruption bodies by providing them
adequate funding and separating them from the executive branch of
the government.

Under the proposed access to information law the NAB and the
provincial branches would be obliged to publish their annual
reports, detailing cases processed and convictions secured during
the year.

Meanwhile, it has been decided to promulgate a new procurement law
in line with international best practices and also encourage the
recently formed Fiscal Monitoring Committee to publish detailed
report on progress in strengthening fiscal reporting by the FMC.

In addition, an action plan will be devised in response to
recommendations in the fiscal module of Report on Observance of
Standard and Code (ROSC) and an implementation plan will be
prepared for the adoption of the new accounting model and the
separation of audit and accounting function.

CBR begins tax survey from 27th

KARACHI, May 16: The government has finally given a go-ahead signal
to the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) to initiate with a task of
tax survey and on-spot assessment from 27th of this month, official
sources disclosed here on Monday.

As planned, initially thirteen cities, including federal and four
provincial capitals will be covered by survey teams comprising
official from revenue collecting agencies and army personnel.

The teams will visit commercial, industrial as well as residential
areas to distribute questionnaire for the purpose of survey and on-
spot assessment of assets, stocks, income and wealth tax, general
sales tax and central excise duty.

The survey which originally was to begin from May 2, was suddenly
put off by CBR without assigning any reason.

Taxpayers disclosing information about their income and assets to
survey teams could declare the same by availing TAS 2000, to whiten
their black money on payment of 10 per cent tax, a tax official

Most of the concerned departments have also prepared stationary for
updating their internal survey which includes taxpayers' data and
tax profile on commercial centres, information from civic bodies,
utility companies, motor vehicle department, Pakistan
Telecommunication Corporation (PTCL), mobile phones, credit cards

"Over 25 different sources have been used to compile taxpayers'
data and tax profile which will be used for verification with
ground survey and TAS 2000." a high official of CBR confided.

Duty-free tea exports proposed

DHAKA, May 16: Pakistan, once Bangladesh's major tea importer, is
considering duty-free tea imports by the end of this year to jump
start exports, officials and reports said on Tuesday.

Increased domestic demand against stagnant production in Bangladesh
has caused a decline in tea exports to Pakistan, Mohammad Hanif
Janoo, a member of the visiting Pakistani trade and investment
delegation, was quoted as saying by the private UNB news agency.

Currently we are importing seven million kilos of tea from
Bangladesh if the price of your tea goes up, Bangladesh would lose
its market to Vietnam, which offers lower prices, he said.

Bangladesh, he said, also remained very strong due to the increased
domestic demand compelling Pakistani importers to look for other

Pakistan currently imports its bulk requirement from Kenya, trading
sources said, adding that Bangladeshi entrepreneurs have proposed a
bilateral agreement for duty-free exports of tea to Pakistan.

Pakistan's imports were cut by almost half between July, 1999 and
February this year from 5.5 million kilos during the corresponding
period of the previous fiscal, officials said.

Qamrul Islam Chowdhury, chairman of the Bangladesh Tea Growers
Association, earlier told AFP that efforts were being made to lift
exports to Pakistan.

We believe we will succeed and be able to export at least 10
million kilograms of tea to Pakistan this year, Chowdhury said.
Drought and pest played havoc last year causing production losses.

Bangladeshi tea growers in southeastern Chittagong port city have
been upbeat about increased exports with good production this

Proposal in offing: Collection of taxes by single agency
Ikram Hoti

ISLAMABAD, May 19: A system of collecting federal and provincial
taxes through a single agency is likely to be introduced for the
financial year 2000-2001.

The formula for doing away with the system of collecting
fed/provincial taxes at 33 points/stages, was an important aspect
of the package of tax reforms presented for review to the Chief
Executive on Thursday last. The package is meant for incorporation
of changes in the coming tax laws.

The single-agency formula is applicable to all taxing deductible at
source, under the withholding method. This would coincide with
reduction of withholding sources of tax deduction to be
incorporated in the next budget.

  The businessmen have been complaining of multiple tax collecting
agencies and points while the CBR and the provincial agencies have
been pointing out that the system prevents coordination for
effective check on the tax evasion.

The package also contains the facility of quick refunds repayment
to the export manufacturers.

  The step is meant to improve exporters' liquidity which is
fractured substantially due to the Customs Duty and Sales Tax
refunds/rebate withholding by the two departments.

The conditions applicable to refunds applicants qualifying for
release of the demanded amount within 24 hours under the "golden"
category, are likely be relaxed through this package, to some

Presently, only about 400 exporters can avail this facility, as per
the sales tax records. A Sales Tax survey conducted in March 2000
points out that the conditions set for figuring up on the list of
"Golden" refund category, have been deemed too harsh by majority of

The revised conditions are likely to include on-the-spot issuance
of refunds release order for the "Golden" category exporters once,
under a simplified export clearance system, the goods are certified
as cleared for export.

The policy also makes it binding on the ST and Customs departments
to release refunds/rebates which are due for the current financial
year, before July 1, 2000.

The package contains a single-audit system for units operating for
more than 3 years with clean record. Presently, a half-yearly audit
of manufacturing units is mandatory. Additional to that is the
audit on suspicion of tax evasion.

The single-audit system is meant to fulfil the long standing demand
of manufacture sector with good records that they be rewarded for
setting a good example.

No ADB project loan after March '99
M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, May 19: The Asian Development Bank has not approved any
new project loan for Pakistan after March 1999 and since has also
closed down three loans amounting to 280 million dollars for two
projects-Pat feeder Canal and Third Pirkoh.

The ADB has also taken a dim view of Pakistan's failure to comply
with 70 per cent of governance- related covenants contained in its
loan agreements while project implementation according to the bank
was 'generally slow'.

It has found delays dogging the project implementation at virtually
all stages, starting with loan effectiveness and followed by
contract awards, contract payments, and many other events that
require decisions for timely execution.

Out of the 87 good-governance covenants contained in the ADB loan
agreements and which were due as of March 31, 2000, only 28 or 32
per cent were fully complied in time.

The ADB defines governance as the manner in which power is
exercised in the management of a country's social and economic
resources for development. To enable this the government and the
ADB often agree on specific actions aimed at strengthening
governance, as incorporated in loan agreements of various projects.

The ADB identifies lack of ownership on the part of executing
agencies, undefined institutional responsibility for action, lack
of capacity to implement specific actions and the lack of
monitoring as some of the major factors that have contributed to
the massive lapses in meeting the governance related criteria
contained in the loan agreements.

And most delays in project implementation are attributed to
Pakistan's existing system of decision making, "When problems are
encountered, executing agencies are generally not able to resolve
them in a flexible manner as deviations from the government's
internal project documents (called PC-1) must be approved through a
time-consuming process often involving the government's highest
decision making body, "asserts the Bank.

It further points out that time consuming review/approval process
and generally slow pace of actions most critically affect
procurement where timely decisions and actions are crucial to
maximize economic and financial gains.

Some of the delays in project implementation, according to the
Bank, could be clearly attributed to a lack of
implementing/coordinating capacity required for specific activities
in project implementation.

Next, conflicts between the government's rules and ADB's guidelines
and general principles on project implementation are said to affect
project implementation. Example: Under procurement guidelines ADB
requires open competition, while Pakistan Engineering Council
requires prequalification to be limited to its members only.

Under its procedure, the ADB advances part of the loan proceeds to
implementing agencies to provide an adequate flow of funds to the
executing agencies for financing eligible project expenditures and
to expedite project implementation, but this money is invariably
misused which cause major delays.

Retailers drive wedge between IMF and Pakistan

KARACHI, May 18: Pakistani military ruler General Pervez
Musharraf's plans to begin reforming a corruption-ridden economy
face a serious challenge from a planned strike by retailers upset
with his efforts to tax them,
analysts said.

The three-day strike is due to start on Friday. Analysts said the
strike, called by business groups opposed to broadening the tax
net, has been complicated by the death of a businessman who died
this week while being questioned by tax officials.

Similar protests by the business groups have forced previous
governments to back away from plans to widen the tax net, driving a
wedge between Pakistan and donors such as the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), which has tied tax reform to renewed aid.

"The government's back is up against the wall," one Western
diplomat said from Islamabad on Thursday.

"Fail to start doing something promised to the IMF, and the
goodwill is lost. They already lost some international goodwill by
backing down on the blasphemy thing," he said.

Musharraf backed down on Wednesday in the face of pressure from
religious leaders upset at a proposed change that would have made
it harder to file complaints under a controversial blasphemy law.

The Islamic groups had also called for a general strike in protest
on Friday, but said on Thursday they would tone down the protest
after Musharraf's step back and would not hold any public meetings
or rallies.

Punjab: Protests have already broken out in several cities in
populous Punjab province after police found the body of exporter
Nadeem Akhtar in a bathroom of tax department offices in
Faisalabad, 120 km (75 miles) west of Lahore, on Monday.

He had been taken for questioning in a tax fraud case, and
newspapers said he died while in chains.

Musharraf condemned the killing and ordered a judicial probe,
saying that those found guilty would be severely punished.

Others said because previous governments have given in to the
pressure from the business groups, Musharraf had to take a stand.

"I just feel the government has to make a stand. I think it is
important for their own credibility," said Mansoor Ali, research
head at brokers Jehangir Siddiqui.

"There is a perception among the traders that sooner or later this
will be implemented and they are jockeying for terms," Ali said.

The son of Umer Sailya, chairman of the All Pakistan Organization
of Small Traders and Cottage Industries and one of the chief
backers of the strike, said that his father was picked up on
Wednesday night but he did not know by whom.

The police said they did not know who detained Sailya, who was
behind a countrywide protest last year which forced then prime
minister Nawaz Sharif to abandon his tax plans.

Donors to Pakistan, including the IMF, the World Bank and other
multilateral agencies, have repeatedly called on Pakistani
governments to broaden the tax base and impose a GST.

An IMF team arrived in Pakistan on Thursday to discuss how to
replace a $1.56 billion loan programme suspended last year after
the Sharif government failed to meet agreed targets.

The military government's first budget, for the year beginning July
1, was expected to include tax reforms plus ways to begin
documenting a black economy estimated by the World Bank to be 70
per cent of a gross domestic product of $60 billion. -Reuters

Income tax for salaried class may be reduced

ISLAMABAD, May 18: The Government plans to reduce the tax rate for
the salaried class in the 2000-2001 budget. A proposal to this
effect was submitted to the Chief Executive Gen Musaharraf
A briefing was conducted by Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz and
chairman Central Board of Revenue, for incorporating a package of
tax relief to the low-income group and about the final plan of the
GST/Income Tax survey to Chief Executive Gen Pervaiz Musharraf.

The CE was informed that the total tax achieved from the salaried
class is less than 2% of the total revenue collection, which
brought no big dividends to the government but caused financial
problems to the salaried persons with small incomes. Their incomes
did not even suffice to meet both ends meet while the tax deduction
at source was most regularly being applied to this class, the CE
was informed.

The CE is reported to have directed the CBR to incorporate a
reduction in this rate of this tax for the salaried class. The CE
was also briefed about the prospects of the declarations of assets
and deposits of tax amounts under the Tax Amnesty Scheme. Last date
of filing declarations of undeclared and untaxed assets/incomes etc
is June 15, 2000.

The briefing, however, mainly focused on the GST/Income Tax survey
to be launched at the end of May 2000. The CE reportedly asked the
CBR officials to further simplify the proforma of details which
would be filled up by the recipients who would be visited by the
survey teams from June 1, 2000.

CBR officials told Dawn that though no date has so far been fixed
for the conduct of survey in the major 13 cities, they said it has
been decided during the briefing to the CE that the plan be
reviewed to some extent.

This review is being conducted for simplifying the
income/assets/sales etc detail-seeking proforma, and for adjustment
of the rest of the information-gathering data network, accordingly.
The proforma asks mainly 6 questions on the GST side and 7
questions on the Income Tax side.

However, there are about five sub-questions attached to each
question, and a number of documentary proofs have to be
supplemented for substantiating the answers. Wrong answers are not
acceptable and, in case of "serious misstatement", the recipient of
the proforma is also exposed to legal action.

The CE is reported to have advised the CBR senior officials to tone
down the requirements of responding to the questions regarding
taxable incomes/assets/sales. Since the recipients have to submit
intricate details of expenditure and source of income through the
proforma, there is an element of harassment attached to the
exercise which the CE is believed to have taken notice of.

The CE was told that training of about 600 persons, both army and
civilians, is complete, the stationary required for the survey work
has been dispatched to each station, software has been created for
computerized transmission of data to central information depository
at Islamabad, has been set up.

IMF team arrives for pre-budget consultations
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 18: A four-member advance team of the IMF arrived
here on Thursday from Washington for pre- budget consultations with
the Pakistani authorities.

Official sources said that the leader of the team Ms Sena Ekin will
arrive here on Saturday to lead the negotiations. The team is
expected to stay in the capital for one week.

Formal talks between the two sides will start on Saturday
immediately after Ms Ekin's arrival. The advance team on Thursday
held its internal meeting in the local IMF office and finalized
major topics of discussion which included the size of the budget
and taxation proposals with special reference to the levy of
General Sales Tax (GST) on small traders, stretching of GST to
services sector and the imposition of tax on agriculture income.

Pakistan is seeking $2.5 billion from the IMF for its new Poverty
Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) programme by replacing the
$1.6 billion ESAF/EFF, which according to Pakistani officials, had
been scrapped for all practical purposes.

Dawood meets Ishrat today: Talks to focus on project financing

KARACHI, May 17: Minister for Commerce, Industry and Production
Abdul Razzak Dawood has said that he would be holding a crucial
meeting today (Thursday) with the Governor State Bank Ishrat
Hussain to make project financing arrangements
for textile ancillary industry.

Speaking as a chief guest at a certificate and award giving
ceremony of Pakistan Readymade Garments Technical Training
Institute (PRGTTI) here on Wednesday, the minister said that as
envisaged in the draft proposal of 'Textile Vision 2005' the
priority areas for project financing would be for garment
manufacturing units, followed by finishing and weaving of cloth and
upgradation of Faislabad powerlooms.

Similarly, he said that the euro parity vis-a-vis Pakistani rupee
would also be discussed with the governor SBP, who had already
assured of sorting out the issue at the earliest.

"If we have to meet the challenges of phasing out of MFA by year
2004, when quotas will be no more, the textile industry which had
been playing an important role in country's economy will have to go
for value-addition," he asserted.

He categorically told the assembled business community members that
there would be no more export refinancing on yarn and grey cloth in
future and these matters along with others would be taken up by him
with the governor SPB in Thursday's meeting.

The minister said, for meeting the challenges arising out from the
phasing out of quotas, when an era of open competition, locally and
internationally will have to be faced, the textile industry need to
prepare itself by going into value addition and higher quality

Inching up of inflation seen
Haris Anwar

KARACHI, May 17: A constant rise in the prices of energy products
may disturb the price stability in the economy, financial analysts

Given th fact that overall inflation is at 3.4 per cent as of March
this year, non-food inflation has steadily risen from a level of
3.1 per cent in August 1999, to 4.9 per cent in March, 2000.

The increase in the domestic price of petroleum products in March
this year, ranging from 1.3-11.8 per cent on different categories
and later 10 per cent increase in the furnace oil prices may
threaten the price stability in the economy.

Economists said the imposition of general sales tax on the gas
bills, as well as on certain other products combined with the
increase in the gas tariff last year has already led to a
pronounced uptick in non-food CPI inflation.

CPI is the most commonly used measure of general price level. It is
the weighted average of the basket of goods purchased by a typical
urban consumer. In Pakistan, the basket of goods used for CPI
includes consumer items with non-food presenting 50.65 per cent of
the total weightage.

"A simultaneous fall in the food component of CPI, particularly
since October 1999, has mitigated the impact on overall inflation",
an economist said.

During the first three quarters of this fiscal, inflation on year-
on-year bases remained 3.4 per cent. State Bank's quarterly review
on the state of the economy, however, says that a further reduction
in inflation rates is unlikely, since the existing rates are
amongst the lowest Pakistan has ever faced.

It also points to the fact that some factors which contributed to
the lower rate of inflation may change the direction as the economy
picks up.

Economists on the other hand fear that the imposition of a retail
GST and other price adjustments as a part of the structural
adjustment programme will hike up inflation beyond the near-term.

They further said the gradual inching up of inflation will leave
little room for downward adjustments in the interest rates.
Government in the past kept pressing the banks to cut their rates
because of lower rate of inflation in the economy.

But despite this ideal price situation, the demand is still not
picking up in the economy, which is holding back the real recovery
in the growth rate.

"The subdued inflation is not the solution unless matched by the
increased output, but this not happening in Pakistan," a leading
economist said.

Pakistan Telecommunication Co pre-tax profit up 46.5%
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, May 15: Pakistan Telecommunication Co (PTCL), has shown
an increase of 46.5% in the pre-tax profit for the nine months
accounts ended March 31, as compared with corresponding period of
the last year,
an official announcement said.

Total revenues during the period stood at Rs42.91bn as compared
with Rs37.96bn of nine months period ended March 31, '99 showing an
improvement of 13.0%.

The increase of Rs4.95bn in revenues is due to rationalization of
tariff, introduction of new facilities, clearance of traffic
congestion in network plus optimization of long distance
transmission media and better management.

This is encouraging, as there was a further 15% decrease in long
distance (NWD), charges and reduction in total accounting rate
(TAR), on international revenues.

  The growth in total revenues has partly offset by the increase in
operating cost of 4.8% due to normal inflationary factors.

The profits before tax for the period was Rs 17.93bn which is 46.5%
higher as compared with the corresponding period of last year.
However as the tax holiday ended in June '99, the net profit after
tax was Rs12.01bn as compared with Rs12.32bn in the previous year.

Total assets stood at Rs134.45bn as of March 31, 2000 as compared
with Rs124.27bn on March 31, '99. An amount of Rs8.89bn has been
invested for the expansion of PTCL network while the working
connections increased by 136313.

Each year PTCL has been investing substantial amount for the
expansion of its network to offer technical support for sustained
development and improvement of its system. Net trade debtors on
March 31, 2000 were Rs19.07bn compared with Rs18.57bn of the last

PTCL has made concerted efforts to collect arrears of dues from its
customers. A special task force was constituted for this purpose
and the names of defaulters were published in newspapers to help in

Government urged to rationalize import tariff
Kamal Siddiqi

KARACHI, May 15: The Chairman of Lever Brothers Pakistan, one of
the country's largest multinationals and biggest corporate
taxpayers, has pleaded with the government to rationalize its
import tariff structure
so that local producers are not at a disadvantage in comparison to
importers of finished and semi-finished products.

Jean Marc Delpon de Vaux, the chairman of Lever Brothers Pakistan,
told reporters in Karachi on Monday that the company's main concern
in the forthcoming budget was the rationalization of the tariff
structure which had been distorted in favour of importers.
"Finished goods are being charged a duty of 35% while semi-finished
good attract a duty of 25%.

However, the raw materials that we import attract 40% to 50%
additional costs," said Delpon de Vaux.

Lever Brothers chairman told reporters that in 1999 the company's
sales value grew by a modest 5% because of a depressed economic
environment and due to reduction in the world price of teas and
edible oils which led the company to reduce selling prices which in
turn impacted sales value.

Delpon de Vaux said that the operating profit grew by 47% in the
year from Rs492 million in 1998 to Rs724 million in 1999 leading to
an increase of earnings per share by 55%.

He said that this strong performance was due to the combined
efforts at cost effectiveness, the restructuring of the tea
operations under which a tea factory in Karachi was closed down and
the drive to reduce stock levels, which can be seen in the decline
in stock-in-trade of the company.

He said that sales were affected by three factors which were the
economic environment of the country, price factor and the
competition. Giving an example, he said that in the case of edible
oils, cheap imports by smaller companies resulted in competition
for Lever Brothers' brands.

But Delpon de Vaux warned that profitability would be affected by
the import tariff distortions and this may show up in the profits
of the company in the coming year.

He said that the company's plans of investment and acquisitions
were being held up by this anomaly. Delpon de Vaux did not comment
on stock market rumours that Lever Brothers were interested in
acquiring various local companies in expanding their line of
business but at the same time said "we do not rule out any

He appreciated the drive by the government to check the smuggling
of various items and said that Lever Brothers was affected as soaps
and personal care items like skin care products and creams were
widely affected.

  "We have made substantial investments in Pakistan and we are here
to make profits. We just cannot sit idle while such products enter
the country illegally," said Delpon de Vaux.

Lever Brothers chairman said that the right answer to curbing
smuggling was to give a competitive tariff structure to imports.
"Look at what has been achieved in the case of the tea imports.

We can duplicate this experience elsewhere," he said. But he added
that instead of starting with giving concessions to finished
products, the government's priority should be to give concessions
to import of raw materials so that local producers are given an

Stocks shake off early losses

KARACHI, May 19: Stocks shook off early losses on Friday to close
up 1.5% in a buying spree led by Hub Power Co Ltd amid hopes that
its tariff row would be solved soon, dealers said.

The Karachi Stock Exchange 100-share index ended 25.33 points, or
1.53%, higher at 1,681.08 points.

Dealers said the hopes were generated by news of a start of fresh
talks between Hubco and government officials in the United Arab
Emirates on Sunday to solve a lingering dispute over power tariffs.

It also helped overcome worries over the violence that hit Karachi
on Thursday after the murder of an Islamic scholar, although the
city witnessed relative calm on Friday.

Hubco, locked a legal battle with state-utility Wapda for the last
two years over a dispute on power tariffs, rose two rupees to 21.35
rupees but market-giant Pakistan Telecommunications Co Ltd fell 25
paisas to 26.55 rupees.

The total volume of the day remained at 245.56m against Thursday's
trading of 372.01m shares. Market capitalization, however,
increased to Rs 437.39bn against Thursday's capitalizaion of Rs
431.4bn. Fateh Textile remained on top of the gainers with an
appreciation of 200 per share to close at Rs 1200. Knoll Pharma was
the second highest gainer with increase of Rs 8 in its value to
close at Rs 230 per share.

Pakistan Insurance Corporation and Shell (Pak) were the major
losers of the day with a loss of Rs 105 and Rs 7 per share

Out of total 231 active scrips, 102 were in positive column and 88
in negative column.-Reuters/APP

Back to the top
Ardeshir Cowasjee

IT was April. The sky was heavily overcast. Above the carpet of
clouds the aircraft circled the airport at Hamburg. I awaited an
announcement from the captain informing us that the plane was
unable to land. Then I remembered that I was not in Pakistan,
hovering over Lahore or Islamabad. The aircraft landed, the
passengers filed out. The easy part was over.

At the immigration counter a young Teuton sat examining passports
presented to him, an older official stood by to guide him. He
removed the leather cover in which my passport is kept, and looked
at what is normally the front, which in the case of our passports
is blank. He gave me a strange look as he turned the book over and
found on what he took to be its backside the golden endorsement and
crest of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

He mumbled, "Pakistan!" He looked towards his senior, who looked me
up and down. The younger man opened the passport and saw the words
printed on the inside of the cover which request and require him
"in the name of the President of Pakistan to allow the bearer to
pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford him/her all
assistance and protection of which he/she may stand in need."

Had he seen a photograph of our president, I wondered? I hoped not,
recalling how Queen Silvia of Sweden, soon after Tarar had been
sworn in on New Year's Day 1998, had persuaded her husband, King
Gustav, to cancel their official visit to Pakistan due to take
place in March.

His eyes moved to the left, then down, scanning my personal
details. They stopped at 'Religion'. He looked up. "Parsi?" Then
seeing the Karakul collar of my cloak, "Afghan?" "No," I said.
"Muslim?" "No. I am a follower of Zarathustra, a Zarathustrian."
Our passport officials are dim, for each time I put down as my
'religion' 'Zarathustrian', it is inevitably changed to 'Parsi.
This is wrong. No such religion exists. (The 'religion' requirement
was innovated by Zia-ul-Haq, despite the Master's dictum : "You may
belong to any religion or caste or creed - that has nothing to do
with the business of the state." - MAJ, August 11, 1947)

The two Germans looked dubiously at each other. I hoped they would
not go back five thousand years and ask where Zarathustra was born,
in Balkh or Azerbaijan. They spoke, eying my beard; the one
decipherable word was 'terrorist'. They found my visa, scanned it
on their scanner, waited, and all being clear, stamped me in.

Thanks to the varied antics of our leaders, from Zia downwards, and
thanks to the Americans and their interpretation of the word
'terrorism', a man from Pakistan is now a bomber, a missile-
launcher, an armed and dangerous man fighting his own holy war.

  Our leaders rebut the terrorism allegation by insisting that they
neither encourage terrorism nor terrorists, but simply and only
provide "moral, diplomatic and political support" to the freedom
fighters on jihad. They do not specify where such support begins
and ends. They cannot recognize that a terrorist is only
transformed into a freedom fighter and applauded when the freedom
fought for is won. It is time to face the grundnorm, the ground
reality. What is needed, if the country is to be saved, is to
reconstruct by reviving the economy. Broke as we are, this can only
be done with foreign aid, investment and help. The world well knows
that our last couple of supposed democratic leaders, Benazir and
Nawaz, and their respective cohorts, were but common or garden
thieves. Most investors from the West who contemplate coming to
this country prefer to be guided by The Economist (London). A
comment from its issue of March 18 still holds good: "Pakistan, by
contrast (to India) is falling apart. Venal politicians have sucked
the country hollow, leaving the void to be filled by Islamic
extremists or military coup-makers, with troubling signs of
alliances between the two. The economy is primitive, corrupt and
weakening by the day. Pakistan badly needs foreign aid if it is not
to implode. Yet its military-dominated government and its violent
meddling in Kashmir make it a frustratingly hard place to help."

Kashmir cannot be won by what we are doing. William Jefferson
Clinton was right: "Pakistan is paralyzed by its past." We insist
on continuing to presume that the people who live in the Valley
want us to interfere. Many Kashmiris of the Vale wish to follow the
example of Bangladesh and be independent. They know, as everyone
knows, that the Bangladeshis are far far better off in every way
than they ever were when they were East Pakistanis. However, should
the Kashmiri dream of independence come true, will they not wish to
claim the territory of 'Azad' Kashmir which we hold in trust for

Reconstruct we cannot by remaining isolated. By repeatedly
proclaiming that we are not isolated will not make us any less
isolated than we actually are. We will not get the help needed from
countries which can help us unless we get them on our side, in
particular and most importantly, the United States.

  China may be an ally but it is as fearful of Muslim extremism and
fundamentalism as are the US and Russia, and this is now a problem
afflicting its south-western front with which it deals in its own
silent and subtle way. However, whether we, or anyone else for that
matter, like it or not, the fact is that the US remains the sole
ascending superpower. Their work ethics have boosted their economy.
Working America rises at five in the morning. Nothing new. In Class
One, in my day, we were taught : "He who would thrive, must rise at
five...". Working Pakistan rouses itself at noon.

The US is like our legendary lion (or 'loin'): "Jungle ka
badshah hai, kabhi baccha deta hai, kabhi unda deta hai." It
supports sham democracies when it needs to, dictators when it needs
to, generals when it needs to, even murderers of the Pol Pot mould
if they serve its purpose. US- sponsored Asian dictators and
generals include, but are not restricted to:

Cambodia - General Lon Nol.

Indonesia - General Suharto. The CIA brought him in and the
Pentagon Defence Intelligence Agency saw him out.

Iran - the Shahanshah Aryamehr, the King of Kings of Iran, together
with his SAVAK. At the end, they denied him a six-foot by two-foot
plot of land for his dead body.

Laos - General Phoumi Nosavan.

Pakistan - Generals Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan; and then Generals
Zia-ul-Haq and Akhtar Abdur Rahman Khan who, when they grew too big
for their boots, were eliminated.

The Philippines - Ferdinand Marcos. Presidents Ronald Reagan and
George Bush even hailed him as a democrat.

Taiwan - Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo. But for
American help and support and its hardworking population (today it
can boast of reserves totalling US$120 billion) Taiwan would long
ago have been gobbled up by China.

Thailand - Marshals Pibul Songgram, Sanit Thanarat, Praphas
Charusathien, and Thanom Kittikachorn.

Vietnam - Ngo Dinh Diem (later assassinated on American orders),
General Nguyen Khanh, General Nguyen Cao Ky, and General Nguyen Van
Thieu. With the exception of Nawaz Sharif and his cabinet of
intelligent lawyers and thinkers, from 1997 onwards the rest of us
acknowledged that "force begets force". Nawaz was supported by not
only his followers but by the entire mixed bag in the National
Assembly in his constitutional amendments which made him seemingly
impregnable. To nobody's surprise, the army eventually took over.

To nobody's surprise, Chief Justice of Pakistan Irshad Hasan Khan
made the right noises from the bench that heard the constitutional
petitions filed against the dismissal of the government and
suspension of the assemblies. To nobody's surprise, the honourable
Supreme Court has judged and on May 12, 2000, delivered yet another
historic judgment upholding the army's action. To nobody's
surprise, flip-flop acquiescing suspended Senate Chairman
Petitioner Wasim Sajjad and my dear old suspended friend, National
Assembly speaker Petitioner Ilahi Bakhsh Soomro, are happy with the
verdict (Wasim, Soomro accept verdict, says a headline, May 13).
Rhodes scholar Wasim has recorded: "Being an advocate I have to bow
before the judgment of the Superior Court."

The West is prepared to accept Musharraf and his actions. But it is
naturally very wary of the army of extremists and the self-enlisted
soldiers of God who surround the general.

Rebuild, or reconstruct, we can. The territory and population are
large enough. The leaders, the generals, should take themselves
back to 1947, to what Mohammad Ali Jinnah said on August 11 in his
speech to the Constituent Assembly, and concentrate on one
sentence: "The first observation I would like to make is this: You
will no doubt agree with me that the first duty of a government is
to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious
beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the state." This is
the point from which they must make a start, take off, and act.

Fit for what?
Ayaz Amir

WE are not fit for democracy. Of this I am becoming increasingly
certain. It is not that we lack the requisite tolerance. We just do
not seem to have the competence and temperament for it.

Forget about parliamentarians and their pathetic performance of the
past 15 years. When was the last time anyone read of a meeting of
the Lahore High Court Bar Association at which the honourable
members were not about to come to blows? Is there a single
university in the country where reading and writing are taken
seriously or where various student factions do not try to exercise
control through violence or the ever-present threat of it?

Of no institution is this more true than the army-led Punjab
University - yes, we have managed to pull off a world first by
installing retired generals there as vice-chancellors - where, for
more years than I can count, political activism of a narrow kind
has made nonsense of anything that has to do with education. If
this be the state of the champions of the rule of law, which is
what lawyers in their less rowdy moments imagine themselves to be,
and of centres of higher learning (some joke, this) what
foundations of democracy are we talking about?

Military theoreticians, a deadly species, are guilty of sophistry
when they cite low literacy levels as an impediment to democracy.
Such self-serving arguments need not be taken seriously. Pakistan
has been brought to its present pass by its educated elite, not its
untutored masses.

I must also confess to a prejudice. I have seen Muslim Leaguers in
full bloom and PPP stalwarts in all their glory and I do not know
which comes off greater: their all too plain ineptitude (forget
greed, a quality common to all aspiring Pakistanis) or their
preening arrogance. Talk of Roman senators or a Nazi gauleiter:
they would not walk with half the self-importance of a Pakistani
politico flush with any kind of authority. Seen up close, this
phenomenon never ceases to amaze.

But it is not more amazing than the street-walker morality of the
Pakistani bureaucrat who will readily offer his services to any
master. Every Pakistani government, civil or military, has had its
bureaucratic facilitators adept at the misuse and perversion of
authority. The comparison with street-walkers might indeed be
inappropriate. Street-walkers on occasion are capable of loyalty.
Try catching a mandarin in this mode. No wonder the two most famous
approvers in Pakistani history have been bureaucrats.

But, and here's the Pakistani conundrum, if we are unfit for
democracy we are no better suited for strong government. While it
is no longer fashionable to look approvingly on authoritarianism,
strong and ruthless government is not without its uses or indeed
its appeal to countries such as Pakistan where the authoritarian
tradition, despite appearances to the contrary, runs deep.

Authoritarianism, however, is not simply a matter of looking tough
and behaving senselessly. To be effective and successful it needs
(paradoxical though this may sound) a greater refinement of culture
than democracy. In particular it requires the fulfilment of two
conditions: (1) inspired if not messianic leadership; and (2) the
mobilization of the masses so that national energies, instead of
being dissipated, are concentrated on a single point.

In Pakistan we might as well ask for the moon as these conditions
are beyond us to meet. For leaders we have had tinpot figures, each
more empty than the other. As for the mobilization of the masses,
only two leaders achieved this: Bhutto in these parts and Shaikh
Mujib across the seas. Both came to sticky ends. Shaikh Mujib's
fate is no longer relevant to our history but Bhutto's is. He had
great qualities but also enormous failings and ultimately it were
his failings which brought him low. But there is something else
which must also be kept in mind. The state of Pakistan does not
seem to be programmed to accept leaders with brains above the
national average. If through a quirk of fate another intelligent
figure tries to make a splash in the murky waters of Pakistani
politics, there is little reason to think his fate will be any
different from Bhutto's.

As for Jinnah, he was really the exception which proves the rule.
The community he came from - with its habits of prudence, thrift
and hard work honed over generations - can scarcely be called
representative of present-day, mainstream Pakistani society. Jinnah
was an extremely successful professional who, when fame came his
way, was most at home with the Bombay aristocracy. He had nothing
in common with the Punjabi and Sindhi landowners who formed the
Muslim leadership class in these parts. The relationship between
Jinnah and this class was one of mutual necessity and not the
product of any natural affinity.

Those who came after him - the Ghulam Muhammads, the Iskander
Mirzas, the Ayub Khans - were truer sons of the soil with none of
Jinnah's finicky concern for such abstractions as constitutionalism
and the rule of law. When we moan the fact that we have failed to
live up to Jinnah's ideals we forget that the soil of what came to
be Pakistan was not particularly well-suited for receiving the
seeds of such exotic plants as democracy. West Punjab, Sindh, the
Frontier and Balochistan were the western marches of the British
Indian Empire and between these regions and central and eastern
India where the British presence had been longer there lay a world
of difference.

After Jinnah's death the Muslim League leadership did not stray
from the high road of democratic principle. This charge is false.
Never having been on that highway, there was no question of
straying from it.

So knowing where we come from should teach us to be less harsh on
ourselves. If we have crucified democracy it is because culture and
history predisposed us towards this sacrifice. The greater failure
is the failure of dictatorship. With the feudal tradition of Punjab
and Sindh, the military recruiting tradition of Punjab, and the
tribal traditions of the Frontier province and Balochistan, the
circumstances were right for raising an enduring temple to
authoritarianism. It is Pakistan's abiding tragedy that its despots
have proved more egregious failures, and more empty vessels, than
its putative democrats. In the history of Pakistan that remains to
be written, it is not the failure of democracy that will engage the
closest attention of the historian but the failure of militarism
and dictatorship.

It might have been supposed that General Musharraf had a chance of
bucking this historical trend. No such luck as every passing day
brings fresh proof of the strange inadequacy dogging the heels of
this government. What are the hallmarks of its performance? A total
inability to see the wood for the trees, the total absence of any
sense of direction, the needless involving of the army in every
sphere of national life, and, strangest of all, an irresistible
penchant for opening unprepared fronts - now against smugglers and
gun-runners, the next day against traders and religious schools -
and then, even before battle is joined, galloping off into the
sunset in headlong retreat. Don Quixote charged at the windmills.
This government is making a virtue of challenging the windmills
from a distance and then running off in the opposite direction.

The anti-blasphemy issue furnishes the latest example of this new
method of warfare. Whatever urban begums or NGOs might say, there
was no pressing need to touch this issue at this time. The
government has more serious issues on its plate. But egged on by
God knows whom, General Musharraf in full public view announced a
procedural change in the anti-blasphemy law. He need not have done
it but having made the announcement should have stuck to it,
especially since what was envisaged was a minor change in the
procedure and not the substance of the law. But faced with the
battle-cries of the religious parties, the General lost no time in
announcing a precipitate retreat.

2nd Day: Hinds scores 165 to put West Indies on top

BRIDGETOWN, May 19: Wavell Hinds scored 165, his first test
century, as West Indies threatened to build a big first innings
lead against Pakistan in the second test on Friday.

West Indies were 283 for five in reply to Pakistan's 253 when bad
light stopped play three overs before the scheduled close on the
second day.
Jamaican Hinds, playing in his fourth test, completed his 100
before tea with his 16th four in 218 minutes off 150 balls.

The 23-year-old left-handed batsman continued to spray the ball
around the ground after reaching his century and his next 50,
scored off only 55 balls, included a further seven fours.

He was out shortly before the close when he hooked a Waqar Younis
delivery into the hands of Inzamam-ul-Haq at mid-on. Ramnaresh
Sarwan, making his test debut, was 28 not out and night-watchman
Curtly Ambrose nought not out at stumps. (Reuters)

Pakistan remain fifth in Malaysian golf
By Our Sports Reporter

ISLAMABAD, May 19: A two-member Pakistan team, comprising leading
amateurs scratch handicapper Zeeshan Ali and Ali Raza Nazim Haji
(handicap 2), returned on Friday after participating in twin
events, the Malaysian Golf Championship and Saujana Panasonic Amateur Golf
Championship held at Kaula Lumpur from May 11-18.

Pakistan remained fifth in team championship with a score 301
(Zeeshan 74-73=147, Ali Raza 77-77=154). The title was clinched by
the Indian pair of Shiv Kapur and Ashok Kumar with 284 over two
days, followed by Chinese Taipei (291), hosts Malaysia (293) and
New Zealand (300).

The individual category was also won by Indian Shiv Kapur. Zeeshan
Ali finished eighth with a score of 296 (74-73-77- 72) over four
days while Ali Raza remained 21st, his tally was 77-77-79-74. Both,
youngsters were making their first appearance in the tournament.

Saleh on top of snooker ranking

KARACHI, May 17: Former National Champion Saleh Muhammad took the
top slot in the National Snooker Ranking after his triumph in the
recently concluded Championship here by relegating reigning
national champions,
Muhammad Yousuf to second position.

According to new latest ranking of the Pakistan Billiards and
Snooker Association (PBSA) on Wednesday, another former National
Champion Farhan Mirza slipped to fourth for the first time in three
years. Current Asian number three Farhan Mirza had never gone below
three in the ranking.

Muhammad Shafiq slipped eight places from 13 to 21.

Naveen Perwani of PIA made significant improvement by jumping to
third place. Teenage Atif Latif Bakhsh also improved two places
from Eight to Sixth.

PCB chief, judge reading different scripts?

KARACHI, May 14: The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)
and the judge, who investigated the charges of match-fixing, are
studying different scripts, as, the deadline set by the
International Cricket Council (ICC) approaches.

The development comes after Lt-Gen Tauqir Zia told the newsmen last
week that none of the players, currently in the West Indies, would
be affected by the report and Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum
revealed the names of the players against whom he has recommended
the penalty.

But before the PCB submits the judicial commission's report to the
governing body before its annual summit on June 21 and 22 at
Lord's, it has promised to make the document public authored by
Justice Qayyum last November after more than two years of

According to a report published in The Telegraph on Sunday, Justice
Qayyum has directly named Salim Malik as one of the players against
whom he has recommended a life-long ban.

"That is correct," the judge was quoted as saying by the newspaper
when he was questioned if he has suggested the ban against Salim

"I can't say, but the answer isn't no," Justice Qayyum said of the
wrist spinner Mushtaq Ahmad, who is currently touring the West
Indies with the Pakistan cricket team.

When questioned about former captain Wasim Akram, the judge
replied: "I can't say, but he has not got scot-free."

Commenting on the statement of Gen Tauqir Zia, Justice Qayyum said:
"It depends on how you look at it. He is looking from a certain
angle and there can be another way of looking at it. But I don't
know from what angle he is looking.

"The one thing he is right in saying is that there was no planned
match-fixing by the team as a whole," the Judge told the British

The judge revealed to the newspaper that the PCB chairman met him
on Wednesday last and promised to publicize the entire report. He,
however, remains mystified that why the general should be
commenting on the contents of the report before it was released.

"I am surprised because they should release the report and then say
these things," the judge said.

Desperate efforts were made to contact the PCB chairman on Sunday,
but he was not available for comments.

However, Salim Malik, when contacted by Dawn in Lahore, expressed
his surprise. "Really?" was his initial reaction.

"Where did you get the report? To whom the judge has told this?" he

Nevertheless, he later said that he would make his official comment
once he goes through the report.

"How can I comment now. I haven't seen the report. You are the
first one to tell me. Let me go through it (report) and after that
I would say anything," the former captain said.

CANICC SUSPEND PAKISTAN?: The newspaper said if the report was
changed, and Qayyum remains true to his work and exposes it as a
sham, then the ramifications would be huge.

"The ICC would have no alternative but to suspend Pakistan from
international cricket," The Telegraph said.

The ICC, on May 3, decided that all the countries would cooperate
but in case any country did not cooperate it could face suspension
from cricket.

But the PCB chairman last week emphatically said that the ICC
decision could not be implemented for whatever had happened in the

He said it was not a new case and the inquiry had been going on for
the last two years. The ICC decision has to be implemented from the
day the decision was taken. Pakistan's judicial inquiry is an old

"Pakistan's judicial investigations doesn't come in the ICC's
jurisdiction. It's entirely up to the PCB how it wants to handle
the judge's report," he had said.

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