------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 25 November 2000 Issue : 06/45 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + US imposes missile sanctions on Pakistan + Pakistan says US sanctions unjustified: + Political link out: New setup to manage Zakat and Ushr + Rangers, BSF reach accord: Firing across working boundary to stop + PML blames government for split + Pakistan values its ties with China: CE + Rebels refuse to accept Nawaz as party president + Sattar says Govt backs Nawaz-Clinton agreement + Governors empowered to issue ordinances + Govt to end child labour, says CE + Ex-ISI chief faces court martial: ISPR + 50 Afghan families enter Pakistan daily + Ex-Balochistan minister gets nine-year RI --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + List of SBP primary dealers soon: Debt bonds next month + Islamabad seeking $250m cushion loan + Performance of petroleum sector discussed + Pakistan rich in oil, gas reserves: expert + Zakat not to be deducted from FCAs + Export of wood items on agenda + Govt cuts bank borrowing + Internet bandwidth rates reduced + Rightsizing plan being implemented, WB told --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Man bites dog Ardeshir Cowasjee + Old script, new situation Ayaz Amir + Riding the tiger Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Tauqir Zia welcomes bid to revive Indian tour + Youhana hits century as 1st Test ends in a draw + Lifetime achievement awards for cricketers

US imposes missile sanctions on Pakistan
Tahir Mirza

WASHINGTON, Nov 21: The United States on Tuesday announced 
sanctions under the Missile Control Technology regime against the 
Pakistani Ministry of Defence and the Space and Upper Atmosphere 
Research Organization (Suparco) while lifting similar sanctions 
against China.

The sanctions were announced by acting Assistant Secretary of State 
Richard Boucher at a news briefing on Tuesday afternoon. He said 
the sanctions would be for two years during which all commercial 
contacts with the entities concerned would be frozen.

In reply to a question, Mr Boucher indicated that the US would be 
prepared to discuss a waiver with Pakistan.

The new sanctions also apply to Iran, which along with Pakistan has 
been accused by the US of receiving missile technology development 
help from China.

Asked whether it was not odd that China, which had allegedly 
transferred missile technology, was being taken off the hook while 
sanctions were being imposed on Pakistan and Iran, Mr Boucher said 
it was not a question of taking anyone off the hook or putting 
anyone on the hook. The US was concerned only with controlling the 
transfer of ballistic missile technology from any one country to 
another. Asked whether India, with its large missile arsenal, 
figured in US concerns in this context, Mr Boucher said India 
should welcome the assurances given by China that no further 
transfers of missile technology would take place.

In his statement announcing the lifting of sanctions against China, 
Mr Boucher said in consideration of Beijing's commitment to 
strengthen its missile related export control system, "we have 
decided to waive economic sanctions required by US law for past 
assistance by Chinese entities to missile programmes in Pakistan 
and Iran."

Pakistan says US sanctions unjustified: 
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Nov 22: Pakistan said on Wednesday that its indigenous 
missile development programme would be maintained and would not be 
affected by any discriminatory regimes such as Missile Technology 
Control Regime.

Terming the US government decision to impose sanctions under the 
MTCR against Pakistan's Ministry of Defence and the Space and Upper 
Atmosphere Research Organisation (Suparco) as "unwarranted" and 
"unjustified," a Foreign Office spokesman said Pakistan's missile 
development programme would not be affected by the US announcement.

The spokesman said: "Pakistan has indigenous missile development 
programme which is a part of our nuclear deterrent and 
indispensable to our security. This programme will be maintained 
and will not be affected by any discriminatory regimes such as 

He said that the US had first raised the question of alleged 
transfer of missile technology by China to Pakistan in early 
nineties. The question resurfaced recently during the China-US 
consultations. At the time when this issue was first raised and 
subsequently, China had categorically stated that it had not 
supplied to Pakistan any missile technology or missiles which 
violated the MTCR guidelines accepted by China voluntarily, even 
though it was not a party to the regime.

The spokesman said Pakistan had also stated that it had not 
received any transfer of technology from China in consistent with 
MTCR guidelines. The US has never provided any evidence of the 
alleged transfer nor did it discuss the matter with Pakistan in the 
recent past.

The US decision announced on Tuesday to impose sanctions on 
Pakistan's Ministry of Defence and Suparco on the basis of the 
alleged transfer of technology is unwarranted and unjustified, he 

"It is our hope that the US will review the decision and remove 
these latest sanctions as well as those which it had imposed on 
many Pakistani civilian facilities two years ago," he added.

Political link out: New setup to manage Zakat and Ushr 
Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD, Nov 23: The President promulgated an ordinance on 
Thursday dissolving all existing Zakat and Ushr committees 
throughout the country, with immediate effect.

The ordinance to this effect was issued which has amended Section 9 
and 16 of the Zakat and Ushr Ordinance 1980, besides inserting a 
new Section 29A, makes it mandatory for the government to 
reconstitute these committees - district Zakat and Ushr Committees, 
Tehsil Taluka and sub divisional Zakat and Ushr committee and local 
Zakat and Ushr committees - within three months.

The ordinance also de-politicises the future constitution of these 
committee by barring the appointment of any person having political 
background as chairman or member of district committees.

In an effort to check irregularities in the distribution of Zakat 
funds it has been made mandatory to make all the Zakat payments 
through crossed cheques. No cash payment would be allowed in 

The following is the operative part of the ordinance called the 
Zakat and Ushr (Amendment) Ordinance 2000:

"Amendment of Section 9, Ordinance XVIII of 1980- In the Zakat and 
Ushr Ordinance, 1980 (XVIII), hereinafter referred to as the said 
Ordinance, in section 9; i) in sub-section (2), after the world 
"to" the words "the Personal Ledger Account of the" shall be 
inserted; ii) In sub-section (3), after the words "funds" the words 
"through crossed cheques" shall be inserted; and iii) in sub-
section (4), after the word "Fund", occurring for the first time, 
the word "through crossed cheques" shall be inserted.

4) Amendment of section 16, Ordinance XVIII of 1980.- In the said 
Ordinance in section 16, in sub-section (4) in the proviso. for the 
full stop at the end. a colon shall be substituted and thereafter 
the following new proviso shall be added. namely:-

"Provided further that the Chairman and members of the District 
Committee shall be the persons who are of good moral character and 
are not commonly known as persons who violate Islamic injunctions 
and are of financial integrity and do not engage in political 

5) Insertion of new Section 29-A, Ordinance XVIII of 1980.- In the 
said Ordinance, after section 29. the following new section shall 
be inserted, namely; "29A, Dissolution and reconstitution of 
Committees:- Al existing District Zakat and Ushr Committees, Tehsil 
Taluka and sub-Divisional Zakat and Ushr Committees and Local Zakat 
and Ushr Committees shall stand dissolved and cease to function 
with immediate effect and new Committee shall be constituted under 
Sections 16, 17 and 18 within a period of three months from 
commencement of the Zakat and Ushr (Amendment) Ordinance 2000".

Rangers, BSF reach accord: Firing across working boundary to stop

LAHORE, Nov 23: Major-General Abdul Qadir Baloch, DG, Sindh 
Rangers; and A. S. Aulakh, IG, Indian Border Security Force, signed 
minutes of a bi-annual meeting held at the Rangers Headquarters 
here on Thursday.

The meeting discussed exchange of fire along the working boundary 
in the Jammu-Sialkot sector; joint patrolling;i llegal border 
crossing and maintenance of boundary pillars.

The meeting also discussed ways for preventing smuggling of 
contraband items and narcotics.

Both sides agreed that no attempts would be made to alter the 
status of the working boundary, i.e., erection of fence or 
establishment of defence-oriented structures, etc. They also agreed 
to immediately stop firing across the working boundary and 
targeting of innocent civilians.

Officials of Survey, Works and Narcotics Control Departments of 
both the countries also attended the meeting.

The two sides expressed satisfaction at the maintenance of boundary 
pillars and joint surveys conducted for the purpose, and agreed 
that more effective measures would be taken to stop smuggling and 
illegal immigration. They also agreed to use restraint while 
dealing with inadvertent border crossings. -APP

PML blames government for split
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Nov 22: The Pakistan Muslim League on Wednesday formally 
accused the military government of causing a split in the party and 
helping rebels occupy the PML central secretariat.

"Three prime ministerial candidates, by the dint of military 
government's might, blocked the Margalla Road at midnight and took 
over the office of the country's biggest political party,"Syed 
Zafar Ali Shah told a joint press conference held at the residence 
of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.

Though he did not name anyone, this was apparently an indirect 
reference to Ejaz-ul-Haq, Caudhry Shujaat and Fakhr Imam. " First 
they (military regime) captured the Prime Minister's House, then 
the parliament house (on Oct 12, 1999), and now they have captured 
the Muslim League secretariat," Mr Shah said while accusing the 
government of supporting the rebel group, which includes scions of 
two former generals.

Mr Shah lauded the sagacity of PML leadership, which, he said, had 
avoided a clash on Nov 20. "Had we sent our workers to the party 
office there could have been a clash and bloodshed," he said, 
praising Kulsoom Nawaz and Saranjam Khan who had immediately 
decided to change the venue of CWC meeting.

Kulsoom Nawaz, when asked to comment on Nov 20 incident, said that 
it had shocked her.

Secretary-General Saranjam Khan had earlier in the day, lodged a 
written complaint with the inspector-general of Police, Islamabad, 
asking him to get the PML's office vacated and investigate the Nov 
20 "ugly incident."

" A large number of people, armed with deadly weapons, came on 
vehicles arranged by some dissidents of the party," he said. " 
After criminally trespassing upon the PML House, they damaged the 
furniture and other fixtures in the office, manhandled the staff as 
well as some of the members who had come to attend the meeting," 
the secretary-general stated in his complaint to the police.

"Islamabad is the capital where a large number of foreign missions 
are based. This ugly incident has brought a bad name to the country 
as well as the local administration, because the offences were 
committed in the presence of a large contingent of local police 
deployed around the PML secretariat at the time," he added.

Mr Shah rejected the claims of dissidents that the Muslim League 
House was taken over by the workers as a reaction to the party's 
decision to join hands with the Pakistan People's Party.

" Muslim League workers would never have damaged the portrait of 
Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and party president Nawaz Sharif," 
he said.

He termed the breakaway faction a "cow dung league," alleging that 
trucks carrying cow dung had been brought to block the Margalla 

Responding to dissidents' demand for convening a meeting of the 
general council, the secretary-general said:" I am ready to convene 
a meeting of the council today if the party rebels give me an an 
assurance that they will give in if the body ( council) reposes 
confidence in Nawaz Sharif."

Kulsoom Nawaz and others did not rule out the possibility of a 
rapprochement with the rebels, saying that nothing was final in 

" There are no full stops in politics," said Saranjam Khan. Mr Shah 
said that those who had been issued show -cause notices had not yet 

Pakistan values its ties with China: CE

ISLAMABAD, Nov 22: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf briefed a 
delegation of All China Lawyers Association(ACLA) on Wednesday on 
the agenda of the government and said Islamabad greatly valued its 
long-standing fraternal ties with Beijing.

The delegation, headed by Fu Yang, Vice-President of ACLA, along 
with Chinese Ambassador Lu Shulin, called on him here.

" Pakistan greatly values its long-standing fraternal ties with the 
People's Republic of China and interaction with members of the 
Chinese legal profession," said Gen Musharraf.

The two sides agreed that there was a need for increasing 
cooperation between the judiciary and legal communities of Pakistan 
and China. They also expressed the desire to learn from each 
others' experience and explore ways and means for achieving this 

The chief executive apprised the delegation of the gvernment's 
reforms agenda, the legal system, process of accountability and 
other related matters, it was officially stated.

 Sweden: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf said on Wednesday 
that Pakistan wanted to enhance cooperation with Sweden in all 
fields, including defence production.

He was talking to a Swedish delegation, comprising Soren Gindahl 
from Swedish Aerospace AB and Ekberg, President, Bofors AB; 
who,along with Chairman Wah Nobel Board of Directors, Lt-Gen Abdul 
Qayyum, called on him here.

" Bofors of Sweden has 38 years of fruitful joint venture with POF 
and their meetings of board of directors are regularly held in 
Sweden and Pakistan", it was officially stated here.-APP

Rebels refuse to accept Nawaz as party president
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Nov 21: Muslim League rebels have refused to accept Mian 
Nawaz Sharif as party president and announced to call a meeting of 
the general council - a body comprising former parliamentarians - 
in December for electing a new president and members of the Central 
Working Committee (CWC).

Speaking at a joint press conference held at the occupied party PML 
Secretariat, the anti-Nawaz group refused to accept the CWC's 
decision of suspending the basic membership of Chaudhry Shujaat, 
Mian Azhar, Ejazul Haq and Faqir Hussain and termed the decision as 

The news conference was participated by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, 
Mian Muhammad Azhar, Ejazul Haq, Humayun Akhter, Fakhar Imam,Abdus 
Sattar Lalika, Begum Abida Hussain, ChaudhryPervez Elahi, Maqbool 
Sheikh and Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri.

"We outrightly reject the ridiculous and so-called suspension 
announced by an illegally constituted body," said a statement 
distributed at the press conference.

The rebels, who had not objected to CWC's legal status till Monday, 
said that its composition was not in accordance with Article 44 of 
the PML constitution.

The Central Working Committee according to the Muslim League 
constitution could have a minimum of 12 members and a maximum of 40 
members, Syed Fakhar Imam said.

He said under the constitution only general council members were 
eligible to become CWC members.

Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri recalled that they had been expressing 
their opinion independently and openly even when Nawaz Sharif was 
in power.

Sattar says Govt backs Nawaz-Clinton agreement

ISLAMABAD, Nov 24: Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar has said the 
government is prepared to stand by the July 4, 1999 statement 
signed by the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif and US President 
Bill Clinton.

"Pakistan, having agreed to the (Washington) statement has an 
obligation to comply with it," Sattar told the Times of India in 
Islamabad on Thursday.

Sattar said that although present government had no reservations 
about the Sharif-Clinton statement, "I don't know why one insists 
on observance of the July 4 statement when we have the Simla 
agreement to respect the LoC". When he was reminded that Musharraf 
has himself raised doubts about Simla, Sattar said the main issue 
was "India's refusal to implement the UN resolutions of 1948-49".

 Sattar rejected the suggestion that Pakistan has not done enough 
to stop unauthorized crossings of Line of Control. He said: "Both 
sides have an obligation but India, which has some 700,000 troops 
in Kashmir, is surely in a better position to prevent LoC 

Governors empowered to issue ordinances
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Nov 20: The Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf on 
Monday allowed the governors of the four provinces to promulgate 
ordinances and other legal instruments.

The Order No 11 of 2000, called as Governor's Powers Order 2000 
amends Article 4 of Chief Executive Order No 9 of 1999.

The ordinance stated that the words "on the instructions of the 
Chief Executive" mentioned in Article 4 of Chief Executive Order 9 
of 1999 "the words on instructions of the Chief Executive" shall be 

According to new provision it shall be duty of a governor to 
furnish information relating to any proposed ordinance to the Chief 

The CE order provides that the Chief Executive might at any time, 
whether before or after promulgation of an ordinance by the 
governor, issue directions or instruction to the governor including 
those to amend, alter or repeal ordinance, as the Chief Executive 
may deem fit.

Govt to end child labour, says CE

ISLAMABAD, Nov 19: President Muhammad Rafiq Tarar has said that the 
government is committed to provide a framework to ensure children's 
inalienable rights to survival.

In his message on the occasion of the Universal Children's Day 
being observed on Monday, the President said that it is heartening 
to know that Pakistan joins international community to celebrate 
Universal Children's Day.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE: In his message on the occasion of Universal 
Children's Day, Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf said that 
Universal Children's Day provides an opportunity to express 
solidarity with the children and to reaffirm the pledge for their 
welfare in order to enable them to become useful citizens of 
Pakistan and productive members of the global village.

The Chief Executive said: "Our religion Islam has made it incumbent 
upon us to protect and guide for children."

As a part of this commitment, we are proceeding with programmes 
aimed at protection of children. A national policy and plan of 
action for elimination of child labour has also been launched. Fund 
for the education of working children and their rehabilitation with 
an initial grant of Rs100 million has been set up.-NNI

Ex-ISI chief faces court martial: ISPR
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Nov 18: The government has decided to conduct the 
accountability of senior armed forces personnel and disciplinary 
action against former ISI chief Lt-Gen Ziauddin Butt and Brigadier 
Javed has already been initiated to court-martial them shortly.

This was stated by the chief executive's press secretary, Maj-Gen 
Rashid Qureshi, at a press conference on Saturday.

"No one is above the law as the accountability process will take 
its course against corrupt people whether they belong to armed 
forces, judiciary and the media."

Maj-Gen Qureshi, who is also director-general of the Inter-Services 
Public Relations, said that a special committee headed by the 
interior minister had completed its review of the Hamoodur Rehman 
Commission Report which would be made public soon. "I would give 
you the exact date for the publication of the report after 
consulting the concerned officials".

He said the government had no plan to hold general elections one 
year before the time set by the Supreme Court, as had been hinted 
by a section of the press.

The military authorities, he said, had completed investigation 
against Lt-Gen Butt and Brig Javed, the former prime minister's 
ADC, for violating the army discipline on Oct 12, 1999.

"All the evidence has been collected against them and you would 
soon see their court-martial by a competent military court," he 
said, adding that a former air chief had already been convicted 
recently by a accountability court for corruption.

Without naming former Maj-Gen Zaheerul Islam Abbasi, he said that 
one senior military officer had been court-martialled in the past 
and imprisoned for violating the army's discipline. Similarly, he 
said, a serving major had been punished to death for killing 
innocent people in Sindh a few years ago.

50 Afghan families enter Pakistan daily 
Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, Nov 22: An Afghan national was held at the Torkham border 
post after security personnel found US$100,000 in his possession.

Abdul Qadir, son of Abdul Qadeer, from south eastern Ghazni 
province of Afghanistan was on his way back home when during a 
routine search security personnel recovered a large amount of 
American dollars.

After registering a case, the border security staff handed over the 
Afghan national to the assistant political agent of Landikotal for 
further investigation.

Meanwhile, long queues of Afghan refugees including foreign aid 
workers continued to throng both sides of Torkham Pak Afghan 
borders on 14th day of a ban on fresh entry of Afghan refugees on 
Wednesday, eye witnesses coming from the border crossing told Dawn.

Some 40 to 50 Afghan families are allowed into Pakistan from the 
Torkham gates daily, but not before a thorough check of their 
documents to prove they are registered with the Afghan Refugees 
Commissionerate authorities.

The border check post which is under stiff check by reinforced 
security forces located atop the hills overlooking Torkham remains 
crowded all the day long as authorities on both sides of the border 
check identification papers of refugees.

Those Afghan nationals who have identification papers are allowed 
into Pakistan.

Ex-Balochistan minister gets nine-year RI

QUETTA, Nov 20: An Accountability Court on Monday awarded nine-year 
rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs25 million to a former 
Balochistan Minister for Labour and Manpower, Mir Faiq Ali Khan 
Jamali on the charges of receiving illegal gratification.

Judge Mohammad Anwar Khan Kasi announced the judgment in the 
presence of accused. In case of default Mir Faiq Ali Jamali would 
have to undergo an additional three years rigorous imprisonment.

The Regional Accountability Bureau had filed a reference against 
the former minister pertaining to receiving Rs25 million as illegal 
gratification from Shamrez Khan, a wheat supply contractor of Food 
Department, to help him obtain special permit from the federal 
ministry for the supply of wheat and flour.

List of SBP primary dealers soon: Debt bonds next month
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Nov 21: The State Bank will announce in a day or two the 
names of its primary dealers, who will partly underwrite long term 
government debt bonds and sell them in the secondary market.

The government is eagerly waiting for a green signal from the State 
Bank to launch Pakistan Investment Bonds of three, five and 10-year 
maturity, sources close to the SBP said.

The bonds, the specifics of which are yet to be announced, are 
likely to offer market-driven interest rates and can be held by 
both resident or non-resident individuals and the corporates.

These bonds should be available for auction within weeks after the 
selection of primary dealers depending upon the conditions in the 
money market. Top bankers say the bonds will hit the market in 
December or January.

The sources said the SBP had asked more than half a dozen short- 
listed banks and a leading brokerage house last week to confirm 
within three working days whether they would like to be appointed 
primary dealers on revised terms and conditions. By the close of 
the deadline on Tuesday more than half a dozen local and foreign 
banks had confirmed their willingness. It was not clear if the 
brokerage house had sent its confirmation.

Stock market sources said the brokerage had some reservations over 
the revised terms and conditions particularly those relating to the 
paid up capital.

The sources said the banks that confirmed their willingness to 
become primary dealers included such heavyweights as state-run 
National Bank and Habib Bank and private-sector Union Bank. They 
said some foreign banks, including a high profile American bank and 
two leading European banks also confirmed their willingness.

Once selected as primary dealers, these banks will buy the long 
term bonds from the SBP and sell them onwards to individuals or 
corporates or even to other banks. They will also keep selling on 
other government securities in the secondary market on behalf of 
the central bank.

Government officials say the purpose of launching new bonds is to 
bring back into financial system some long term institutional funds 
including pension and provident funds, whose investment in national 
savings scheme was stopped in March this year. But from the State 
Bank's point of view these bonds would help develop an yield curve 
for long term debt instruments.

Islamabad seeking $250m cushion loan
M. Ziauddin

ISLAMABAD, Nov 20: The government has mobilized a rolling 
commercial loan of 100 million dollars from a consortium of foreign 
and local banks and it is negotiating a similar loan of 150 million 
dollars from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

This is half of the 500 million dollars of commercial loan which 
the government has been prospecting since the last two months under 
a contingency plan pending the approval of the 580 million dollars 
of relatively softer IMF loan by the Fund's Board later this month.

Both these loans, the 100 million dollars from the commercial banks 
and the yet to be finalized 150 million dollars from the IDB are 
being arranged under what is called the Trade Enhancement Facility. 
And both carry tough commercial rates and conditions.

Brief details of the 100 million dollar loan by the consortium of 
the commercial banks were published in the shape of an 
advertisement on Sunday in some of local newspapers according to 
which the loan was being arranged and structured by ABN AMRO Bank 
NV and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private 
sector window of the World Bank.

The participating banks include Habib Bank Limited, Muslim 
Commercial Bank Limited, Askari Commercial Bank Limited, Soneri 
Bank Limited, Bank Al Habib Limited and ABN AMRO Bank, Pakistan.

The request for a 150 million dollar loan from IDB was placed by 
finance minister Shaukat Aziz when he visited Beirut earlier this 
month to attend the Bank's Board of Governor's meeting.

Under the Trade Enhancement Facility, the agencies arranging the 
facility stand guarantee for the LCs opened on behalf of Pakistani 
importers and in case there is a default by an importer, these 
agencies are obliged to meet the bill.

Sources said the ABN AMRO/IFC facility has been offered on a roll-
over basis which means the facility providers would keep 
replenishing the loan fund as and when the importers clear their 
dues. The facilitating agency will charge the usual commission 
between 0.25 per cent to 0.67 per cent from the importers for the 

Performance of petroleum sector discussed
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Nov 23: World Bank has asked the Pakistani government to 
accelerate deregulating process of petroleum sector and limit the 
role of petroleum ministry to a regulator.

Official sources told Dawn that the World Bank Vice President Ms 
Mieko Nishimizu held a detailed meeting with the Minister for 
Petroleum and Natural Resources, Usman Aminuddin on Thursday and 
discussed the performance of petroleum sector with special 
reference to deregulating it as early as possible.

She was told that the petroleum ministry was being reduced to a 
police giving body which will have nothing to do with running the 
affairs of various petroleum organizations of the oil and gas 

Sources said Ms Mieko Nishimizu was told that there were less 
chances for increasing the oil prices in Pakistan, though the issue 
would be reviewed next month. She was told that a policy has been 
devised under which oil prices were reviewed after every three 
months while furnace oil rates were reviewed every month.

She was also told that boards of directors of public sector oil 
companies have been changed with a view to prepare them for 

Later, she held a separate meeting with the Chairman Privatization 
Commission, Altaf M. Saleem and discussed with him issues relating 
to disinvestment of the state sector.

"I have informed Ms Mieko Nishimizu that the government has planned 
the privatization of many units that will give about $3 billion in 
next two years period", he said.

Pakistan rich in oil, gas reserves: expert 

RAWALPINDI, Nov 19: Pakistan is situated in a zone which has 
abundant oil and gas reserves, said Dr Wasim Piracha, Geophysical 

Talking to a group of journalists here on Sunday, Dr Wasim Piracha, 
who had been associated with the field of geophysics for the last 
20 years in Copenhagen and Stolkhom, said Pakistan was located in a 
zone where they have tectonism, subduction and plain area full of 
oil and gas reserves.

However, he said, professional and internationally reputed experts 
should be hired for gas and oil exploration. Besides modern 
equipment and trained manpower were also needed to make progress in 
that vital field.

"We should train people who are not aware of oil exploration 
technologies being used by the major oil companies in Western 
countries and US," he said, adding the Pakistani companies engaged 
in oil and gas exploration and the ministry concerned should make 
structural geological maps of Pakistan for both on land and 
offshore exploration.

The maps should be drawn by using satellite imaging techniques and 
geophysical interpretation of lower part of the earth.

In this connection, Dr Wasim Piracha cited the example of Kohat and 
Potohar areas, which according to him were full of oil reserves but 
due to non-availability of related maps, no drilling could be done 

He said Makran was the third offshore subduction zone in the world 
and had huge oil reserves. Similarly, he said, Himalayan 
mountainous ranges also have oil reserves. He said in both the 
areas high quality of oil could be explored by deep drilling.

Dr Wasim Piracha said oil resources could also be explored in 
Northern Himalayan zone and glaciers as Norway had oil field in 
snow-covered areas in the North of the country while in Greenland 
too Geological Survey of Denmark had found hydrocarbon prospects.

He said there were two types of offshore basins in Pakistan one is 
Indus offshore zone and other is Makran offshore zone. These basins 
were divided by a ridge called Murray Ridge, which played an 
important role for hydrocarbon analysis and research due to its 
geo-dynamics and tectonic movement.

He said Murray range and surrounding areas should be used for oil 
and gas exploration.-APP

Zakat not to be deducted from FCAs

ISLAMABAD, Nov 23: A Spokesman for the Finance Ministry on Thursday 
termed as false the impression that Zakat will necessarily be 
deducted from the Foreign Currency Accounts (FCAs).

The spokesman clarified that the Zakat and Ushr Ordinance is a 
basic and special law and the relaxation, given to the Foreign 
Currency Accounts through amendments in the Economic Reforms Act, 
1992, will not be affected.-APP

Export of wood items on agenda
Rauf Klasra

ISLAMABAD, Nov 22: The federal government is expected to allow the 
export of wood products made out of sustainable forest woods, 
sources said on Wednesday.

The federal ministries of commerce and environment have jointly 
submitted a report in this regard to the Economic Coordination 
Committee (ECC) of the cabinet, which is meeting here on Saturday 
after a month with Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz in the chair.

The items which are being allowed to export include timber doors, 
window frames, flush doors, panel doors, mouldings, beading 
pallets, crates and cable drums in knock down condition, broom 
sticks and floorings, all made from sustainable forest wood.

However, the government has decided that it would be mandatory for 
exporters to ensure that the value of export product should be at 
least 100pc more than the value at which the timber was purchased 
from factory.

The two ministries have informed the ECC that the Export Promotion 
Bureau (EPB) is receiving numbers of enquiries from various 
exporters for the export of lumbers, planks, doors, window frames, 
flush doors etc in knock down conditions and broom sticks and 
floorings made out of sustainable forest species like poplar, 
eucalyptus, mango and sumbal.

Sources said the ECC was also informed that natural forests and 
timber were preserved throughout the world but man made forest or 
sustainable forests were encouraged for use in products for 
domestic as well as export markets.

It said even countries with scarce resources in the natural 
forests, such as India, too have adopted a policy of encouraging 
export of products of sustainable man-made plantation, keeping 
strict controls on natural forests.

Govt cuts bank borrowing
By Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Nov 22: The government has started reducing its bank 
borrowing in an effort to meet the performance criteria that it has 
to meet to qualify for an IMF standby loan.

Senior bankers said gross government borrowing stood at Rs39 
billion between July-October 2000. But as the government had placed 
Rs17 billion in its debt retirement account in the same period, its 
net borrowing totalled Rs22 billion.

Up to September, the gross government bank borrowing stood at Rs53 
billion and net borrowing at Rs39 billion as the government had 
placed Rs14 billion in debt retirement account.

Bankers link a Rs17 billion fall in net government borrowing to the 
performance criteria set by the IMF for every quarter of this 
fiscal year. This criteria has to be met by Pakistan to be able to 
convert a $580 million 10-month IMF standby loan into a long term 
poverty reduction and growth facility.

The IMF board of executive directors is meeting in Washington on 
November 29 to approve the standby arrangement.

Under the performance criteria for conversion of standby loan into 
PRGF, the government is to cut its net bank borrowing for budgetary 
support to Rs6.4bn by the end of December 2000.

Bankers say a sharp reduction in net government borrowing from Rs39 
billion upto September to Rs22 billion by the end of last month 
suggests that the government may bring it down to Rs6.4bn by end of 

The performance criteria requires the government to keep its net 
bank borrowing at Rs19.9 billion by the end of March 2001 and at 
minus Rs16.7 billion at the close of this fiscal year on June 30, 

Bankers said seven major state-run organisations retired bank 
credit worth more than Rs12 billion between July-October 2000 on 
net basis. These organisations include (i) WAPDA (ii) KESC (iii) 
PTCL (iv) SSGC (v) SNGPL (vi) OGDC and Pakistan Railways. Sources 
close to IMF say under the performance criteria set by the IMF, net 
borrowing of these organisations is supposed to be at Rs6.5 billion 
by the end of December. By the end of March next year, these 
organisations may keep their cumulative net borrowing at Rs9.5 
billion that should not cross Rs 11.5 billion mark at the close of 
June 2001.

Bankers say what has helped the government slash its borrowing from 
banks in the first four months of this fiscal year is that revenue 
collection has remained almost satisfactory. The Central Board of 
Revenue (CBR) reported about Rs 106 billion collection between 
July-October showing an increase of Rs7 billion over what was 
collected in a year-ago period. But this collection still fell 
short in relation to the full year target of Rs430 billion. That is 
why some financial analysts doubt the government's ability to cut 
its net bank borrowing to Rs16.7 billion at the end of this fiscal 

In a sharp contrast to declining government bank borrowing, the 
flow of credit to the private sector began picking up in October. 
Bankers said bank credit channelized towards private sector stood 
slightly over Rs16 billion at the end of last month. By the end of 
September, the private sector had made a net retirement of Rs5 
billion bank credit, instead.

In Pakistan, private sector credit starts picking up in October on 
cotton and sugar financing and continues through March next year. 
Between April and September every year, the private sector retires 
more credit than its borrowing from banks due to seasonal 
fluctuation in credit demand.

Internet bandwidth rates reduced

ISLAMABAD, Nov 21: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Prof 
Atta-ur-Rehman Tuesday announced further reduction in Internet 
bandwidth rates up to 50 per cent for the software companies, IT 
firms and Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Addressing a crowded press conference at PID Press Centre here the 
minister said that government has reduced the bandwidth rate from 
$32,000/Mb to $3,600/Mb. He said that about six months ago the 
government had reduced the Internet bandwidth rates by 53 per cent.

The minister said that the present reduction is linked with 
improvement of quality of services by ISPs.

He said the bandwidth rate for educational institutions, IT and 
software firms will be $3,600/Mb while for ISP it will be 
$9,000/Mb. He said the present reduction has been made possible due 
to bulk purchase by PTCL without undermining its financial 

The Minister said that for public sector universities free 
bandwidth and infrastructure of 256Kb/s will be provided for four 
years, which can be further extended for the same period.

The private sector educational institutions, he said will also 
benefit from low bandwidth rate at the rate of $3,600.-APP

Rightsizing plan being implemented, WB told
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Nov 24: The World Bank has been told that the government 
was implementing a detailed downsizing and rightsizing plan to cut 
non-developmental expenses of the federal and provincial 

Informed sources told Dawn that the senior government officials 
including the finance minister and the State Bank governor held a 
meeting with the visiting World Bank delegation led by Vice 
President for South Asian Region, Ms Mieko Nishimizu, here on 
Friday and discussed with them various issues specially cut in non-
developmental expenditures by shedding extra weight in the 
ministries, divisions and provinces.

Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz told the World Bank delegation that 
the government was trying to bring financial discipline in the 
entire system by implementing a home-grown programme. This 
programme, he said, was aimed at removing all kinds of distortions.

Secretary Establishment Division, Tariq Saeed Haroon gave a 
briefing about the downsizing and rightsizing in the government 
organisations. The sources said that the World Bank officials were 
informed that those appointed on political basis during the period 
of PML and PPP governments were being removed from their services. 
A number of them had already been sent home and that those who had 
indulged in corruption were facing criminal investigations by NAB 
and other agencies.

The sources said that the World Bank vice president informed the 
government officials that the Bank was interested to provide $363 
million to undertake three projects including $300 million for 
Structural Adjustment Loan (SAL) in 2000-2001.

More talks will be held between the two sides on new loan for 
Pakistan. The government was expecting $300 million for SAL to 
carry out power, taxation and banking sectors reforms, beside 
certain funding for the restructuring of the CBR.

Also, the World Bank was interested in extending $25 million each 
for On-Farm Water Management projects in Sindh and NWFP. Similarly, 
$10 million will be extended for Environmental Fund along with $3 
million technical support for trade and transport assistance 

Pakistan wanted to have a single tranche of $300 million for 
Structural Adjustment Loan (SAL) for which it has assured to 
implement necessary reforms in banking, taxation and power sectors.

Sources said that Bank has made it clear to the government that in 
case reforms for various sectors were not carried out adequately, 
the Bank will not continue assistance for Pakistan.

Back to the top
Man bites dog
Ardeshir Cowasjee

Progress must be applauded.

One military government, that of General Ayub Khan, encouraged by 
super-bureaucrat Altaf Gauhar (who sadly died last week - may his 
soul rest in peace) promulgated the draconian black press laws.

Another military government, that of General Pervez Musharraf, has 
decided to allow the press to print whatever it may choose to 
print. It has been left to the genius of the people of Pakistan to 
interpret in their own way what the learned have written and what 
the editors-in-chief many of whom are proprietor-editors, have 
deemed suitable and appropriate to print and publish.

Reproduced hereunder is a collection of what is known in local 
parlance as 'nuggets' culled from the national press.

Courtesy The Nation, November 15, 'Readers Column', letter from 
Sajjad Khawaja of Lahore:

"A photo published in national English dailies on November 12 
depicts the Governor Punjab shaking hands with a foreign lady with 
her husband looking on. It is un-Islamic to shake hands with women. 
I request the CE to take due action against the Governor."

Courtesy The Friday Times, November 3, 'Nuggets from the Urdu 

"According to 'Khabrain', the prostitutes of Malaysia have started 
bathing in Coca-Cola because they have solid proof that it prevents 
AIDS. The paper reports that before they have sex with their 
clients, Malaysian prostitutes wash themselves with Coca-Cola 
because they think the bubbles in the drink prevents AIDS."

"According to 'Pakistan', transvestites in Hyderabad were attacked 
by traffic policemen who tried to sexually molest them. This 
happened at the annual urs of a local saint. The transvestites were 
attacked by drunk officers and were beaten in turn. The 
transvestites ripped off the policemen's clothes and then beat 
them. They also rained sandals on the policemen. The local people 
saved the naked traffic policemen."

"It is reported in 'Khabrain' that a race took place in Sikhpur 
between a donkey and a horse. The donkey won the three kilometer 
race and was garlanded with rupee banknotes. The owner of the 
donkey was carried triumphantly to Sikhpur accompanied by beating 
drums while the owner of the horse that lost the race could not 
bear the sorrow and lost consciousness. The following day he died. 
People offered up to Rs.5 lakhs for the donkey but his owner 
refused to sell him."

TFT 'Nuggets', November 10:

"According to 'Jang', the wealth of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif 
cannot be calculated by ordinary calculators, and advanced 
scientific calculators have to be used to do a mathematical tally 
of their money. This was stated by Mohammad Ali Durrani, Chief 
Organizer of the Millat Party. Durrani said that the party had to 
buy special advanced calculators to add up BB's and NS's assets in 
order to prepare a white paper on their corruption."

"According to 'Aussaf', a man in Chiniot visited a poor family and 
told them that he had found employment for their ten-year old son. 
He took the boy and handed him over to a maulvi and then 
disappeared. The maulvi immediately sodomized the boy, and when the 
child screamed people from the neighbourhood broke into the 
maulvi's place. They freed the boy and he ran away crying. But the 
maulvi waylaid the boy on the way home and kidnapped him. The 
police were informed, they mounted a search party, and recovered 
the boy."

"According to 'Khabrain', Mulazim Abbas, an attendant at a tyre 
shop on Circular Road, Lahore, had a fight with 18-year old Ishfaq. 
He felled Ishfaq to the ground and forcibly pumped air into his 
stomach through his rectum. He then ran away. Ishfaq was rushed to 
Mayo Hospital where his stomach was deflated."

TFT 'Nuggets', November 17:

"According to 'Jang', Pir Pagaro, head of the Muslim League 
(Functional) is reported to have said that he would never again 
'lend' a prime minister to the government of Pakistan because 'his' 
PMs get nationalized and taken over. He added that those who have 
the name of God on their lips carry the Quran in one hand and a 
Kalashnikov in the other. It is they who bring a bad name to 
religion. He said his understanding with Nawabzada Nasrullah is 
limited to gupshup and the dining table."

"According to 'Pakistan', a cow gave birth to a calf and a python 
simultaneously in village Kaleki. Apparently, a baby snake entered 
the cow's womb at the very moment that she was fertilized by an ox. 
The snake grew along with the cow's embryo and when it was full 
term the cow gave birth to a calf along with a fully-grown python."

Courtesy 'Qaumi Akhbar', November 13, and Editor Ilyas Shakir, 
elected Honorary Secretary of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper 
Editors :

Headlines - "For taking revenge, Cowasjee has influenced decision 
to demolish Mosque Aisha. Voice was raised about liquor stores of 
his relatives, therefore he used his influence. Cowasjee had put 
pressure on Mohtasib to order mosque demolition, which shall be 
resisted. Mohtasib Sindh issues directives on behalf of Cowasjee 
and Mehromal Jagwani. Some weeks back I spoke against Cowasjee at 
which he has flared up : Moulana Rashid Ansari. Under any 
circumstances, Khatm-i-Nabuwat conference shall be held in Mosque 
Aisha, North Karachi, today. Leaders of important religious 
organizations shall spell out strategy for resisting mosque 
demolition. Peaceful demonstrations shall be held, and if untoward 
incident occurs, administration shall be held responsible, leaders 
have said."

News item - "Leaders of religious organizations have said that 
Khatam-i-Nabuwat conference shall be held today at Mosque Aisha, 
Sector 11-B North Karachi, under any circumstances. And today 
evening, in an emergency meeting, central office bearers of Jamiat-
i-Ulema-i-Islam, Sipah-i-Sahaba, Pakistan Shariat Council, Sawad-i-
Azam Ahl-i-Sunnat, International Khatam-i-Nabuwat, Tanzeem Ulema-i-
Pakistan, Jaish Muhammad, Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami shall declare 
strategy for resisting mosque demolition.

"Deputy Secretary General of Pakistan Shariat Council and head of 
Tehrik-i-Ansar-ul-Islam, Maulana Abdul Rasheed Ansari, has said in 
his statement that in the eyes of Mohtasib, liquor stores are 
sacred instead of mosque. Mohtasib has issued directions on the 
advice of English newspaper columnist Ardeshir Cowasjee and 
minorities member of dissolved Sindh Assembly, Mehromal Jagwani. He 
said that his crime was that some weeks back he had taken a strong 
stand and made a speech against Cowasjee in a local hotel and asked 
Mohtasib Haziq-ul-Khairi to cancel licence of liquor stores 
established in Muslim neighbourhoods and the selling of liquor to 

"Mohtasib Sindh was given video film of liquor being sold to 
Muslims and was told that employees of these stores not only sold 
liquor to Muslims but these Hindu employees supply illegally to 
local five-star hotel. Cowasjee got out demolition order for Mosque 
Aisha by using his influence over Mohtasib Sindh, but licences for 
these liquor stores have not been cancelled; instead these stores 
remain open on Shab-i-Barat also.

"Moulana Abdur Rashid Ansari has said that today, November 13, in 
Khatam-i-Nabuwat conference, prominent religious scholars Maulana 
Manzoor Ahmed Chinioti, Maulana Fida-ul-Rehman Darkhuasty, Maulana 
Ajmal Qadri, Maulana Asas Thanvi, Maulana Qari Sher Afzal, Maulana 
Asfandyar, Maulana Ikram-ul-Haq Khairi, Qari Saeed Qamar Qasmi and 
other shall address the gathering. Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, Maulana 
Azam Tariq and Maulana Masood Azhar have decided to come to 
Karachi. We want a peaceful demonstration but if administration 
creates any trouble, then it shall be responsible for any 

Needless to say, I do not know where the Mosque Aisha stands (or 
stood), I have not spoken to the Sindh Mohtasib, nor do I know Mr 
Jagwani, nor any of the honourable reverends, nor am I familiar 
with any of the reverential organizations mentioned in the 
newsitem. However, the mind does not boggle.

Old script, new situation
Ayaz Amir

THE happenings in the Muslim League are nothing new. They are based 
on a script as old as the history of authoritarianism in Pakistan. 
Every incoming Caesar has needed a Muslim League. The Muslim League 
has always played an obliging hand and to every Caesar - be he Ayub 
or Zia - has provided a ready platform.

The Convention Muslim League was Field Marshal Ayub Khan's 
political handmaiden. The Pakistan Muslim League, born of the 
National Assembly of 1985 and headed by Muhammad Khan Junejo, was 
the civilian face of the Zia regime. When Zia, miffed by Junejo's 
growing independence, axed the National Assembly and sent the 
Junejo premiership packing, the Muslim League split into two 
factions, the one in the wilderness still headed by Junejo, the one 
which closed ranks behind General Zia under the command of his most 
loyal protege, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

The meeting in which this split was sealed was held at the 
Islamabad Hotel. No speeches were made, no discussions held. 
Instead, the opposing factions hurled abuses and spoons at each 
other. All perfectly in character because the climate of the sub-
continent does not favour the polite exchange of views. It is more 
conducive to platform oratory, slogan-shouting and even fisticuffs 
when tempers run high. Look at the politics of Bangladesh where 
Hasina Wajed and Khalida Zia are engaged in a never-ending 
conflict. Look at Indian politics where the sound of shouting rises 
above any whispered attempts at calm debate. Look at Pakistani 
politics the essence of which is mirrored in the politics of the 
Muslim League.

In 1988 at the Islamabad Hotel the wounded democrat was Muhammad 
Khan Junejo and his adversary Nawaz Sharif. This time the prophet 
in chains is Nawaz Sharif and the King's Party is headed by the 
Gujrat Chaudries, Mian Azhar, Ejazul Haq (Zia's son), etc. As on 
the earlier occasion, rowdyism took the lead over gentle 
persuasion, the only difference being that whereas in 1988 
distinguished parliamentarians went for each other's throats, this 
time 'workers' were bused in from Lahore and Gujrat to assault the 
Muslim League Secretariat. The more things change...

Let it be noted in passing that while the culture of being 
unprincipled and siding with authority has a long tradition in the 
Muslim League, the culture of violence was largely absent from the 
party, factionalism in the League being conducted mostly along 
civilized lines. The use of strong-arm tactics took root when Nawaz 
Sharif as chief minister of Punjab was locked in a confrontation 
with Benazir Bhutto at the centre.

In any event, the Kashmiris of Lahore, who count the Sharifs as 
their most famous sons, are known for two things: good eating and 
muscle-flexing (the storming of the Supreme Court in 1998 being not 
so much an aberration as an instinctive reaction from the new 
Muslim League shaped in the image of the Sharifs). That the same 
tactics have now been applied to them is a minor irony which I 
suspect would be lost on them.

There is, however, one vital difference between king's factions 
past and the king's faction now taking shape within the Muslim 
League (and which no doubt will soon claim the mantle of legitimacy 
for itself by saying that it is the genuine article). The 
Convention League in Ayub Khan's time and the Muslim League in 
Zia's time were the B teams of powerful centres of authority. Ayub 
was a strong ruler and so was Zia. In both dispensations it paid to 
be a collaborator of the military and those who sided with those 
autocrats enjoyed long political innings.

Ayub's martial law destroyed the pre-1958 political order and 
replaced it with a new class (its most famous alumnus being 
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) which enjoyed a long stint in power. In much 
the same manner, the Zia regime, while not succeeding in 
demolishing the PPP or Bhuttoism, gave birth to a countervailing 
force in the form of a revived Muslim League which sat in the 
assemblies for close to 15 years, 1985-99, a record in Pakistani 

It is different this time round. The gun is with General Musharraf 
and although it is hard to argue with that, the evidence of the 
past 12 months suggests that there is little which is impressive or 
durable about the dispensation he commands. How then to weigh the 
fruits of collaboration with him?

Guided by better political sense the military could have split the 
Muslim League, and ensured the isolation and eclipse of Nawaz 
Sharif, soon after October 12, 2000 - that is, in those balmy days 
when military interventionism basked in the warm glow of public 
approbation. No wonder the generals rode the wind, thinking they 
would conquer the moon and set everything right (how precisely was 
never very clear, but that is beside the point). The necessity of 
garnering broader political support (a necessity not dismissed out 
of hand by patriarchs stronger than them) did not cross their 
minds. Or was not high on their agenda. So that golden moment was 
allowed to pass.

Now times are different. After experiencing the performance of the 
past 12 months the public is in a bitter mood, unhappy with how 
things are and increasingly nostalgic about the way things were. 
Thanks to this state of affairs, Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto 
are well advanced on the road to public rehabilitation. In Nawaz 
Sharif's case it has to be admitted that his resurgent image owes 
itself in no small measure to his defiance of military rule.

In the summer of 1977 Bhutto was a discredited figure. When after 
his ouster he stood up to Zia, his popularity once again soared. 
Dissimilar in other respects, Bhutto and Sharif can be compared in 
their standing up to military rule. When Bhutto went to the gallows 
the PPP's cause looked hopeless. But it was not many years later 
when his daughter gathered the rewards of his courage. When this 
military chapter comes to a close, as in the nature of things 
sooner or later it must, it requires no clairvoyant to see as to 
who will still be riding the tide of public approval. That it 
should be Pakistan's destiny to remain in thrall to flawed and 
limited heroes is of course a different matter.

But to return to our subject, the past seldom repeats itself in a 
mechanical manner. Ayub, Yahya and Zia were all military patriarchs 
but each faced a different set of challenges and each left a 
different set of problems in his wake. Ayub's legacy came to 
fruition in the form of Pakistan's breakup. Poor Yahya only came in 
at the finishing line, the dragon's teeth having been sown earlier, 
that too by the military-bureaucratic complex in West Pakistan. Zia 
in turn faced a different situation and left behind a legacy sordid 
and squalid in most respects. In between came the civilian tribune, 
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who had a great opportunity before him and 
blew it because of his boundless lust for power.

The situation today is wholly different. Once again we have a 
military government but different from its predecessors. The 
Musharraf regime has so much going against it, and so little in its 
favour, that it will take a brave man to bet on its longevity. What 
is more, the last thing that remained in Pakistan was the mystique 
of the uniform - that when the going got too rough the bugles would 
sound and the cavalry come charging in, to set wrongs right and put 
goodness on its throne. Now even this mystique is lost, the emperor 
close to being seen without his clothes.

What new political order will arise from this shambles? How will 
collaboration flourish in this unpromising climate? The much-touted 
devolution plan, and the local elections, are increasingly taking 
on aspects of the bizarre and macabre. Judging by the groundwork 
laid, the success of these mighty enterprises looks as likely as 
that of the tax survey and documentation drive carried out earlier 
this summer. In other words, more trophies in the pantheon of 

For the sake of the king's followers (Cavaliers as they were called 
in the English Civil War) I hope they are on to something, for some 
of them are earnest souls. But looking at the weather and the state 
of the heavens, I fear they have hitched their wagon to a waning 
star. (Not that I can fault the Chaudries for their smart move, 
long-standing investments always counting for more than shooting 

Riding the tiger 
Irfan Husain

IN a recent newspaper article, Farhatullah Babar reminded us that 
November 21 marked Professor Abdus Salam's sixth death anniversary. 
Apart from this article, I do not recall a single recent mention of 
this great scientist's contribution in the media.

Had he been alive today, he would have been greatly pained by the 
recent wave of attacks on his fellow Ahmadis in Punjab. Indeed, as 
Kuldip Nayar reminded us in his latest column on these pages, there 
has been remarkably little condemnation of these barbaric incidents 
in the Pakistani press. I have received a number of e-mails from 
readers abroad expressing their horror and revulsion over these 

By sheer coincidence, I received a phone call last week from Kamal 
Afsar (not to be confused with the politician), a very dear friend, 
asking me to lunch as a common friend of ours, Hanif Bajwa, who was 
in town very briefly from the States. Not having met Hanif in over 
twenty years, I dropped everything and went across. 

 He had changed remarkably little, his gentle humour intact and his 
intellect as honed as ever. He moved to the States in the mid-
seventies with his family, and has lived there ever since. As an 
Ahmadi, he saw very little future for his two daughters in an 
increasingly hostile and intolerant Pakistan. Like thousands of 
other Ahmadis, they have made their lives abroad.

I do not feel defensive about repeating myself on the subject of 
our treatment of Ahmadis as I think it deserves to be hammered home 
time and again. The fact is that ever since they were arbitrarily 
and whimsically declared non-Muslim, they have been increasingly 
marginalized. As they do not consider themselves to be a minority 
community, they do not participate in the elections that are based 
on the shameful separate electorate system. And yet, despite all 
the grievous provocation they are constantly subjected to, they are 
among the most hard working, honest and productive of Pakistanis, 
model citizens in every sense.

In spite of their forbearance, they have been victimized to an 
unacceptable extent by a brutalized majority. For years, they have 
been arrested on the flimsiest grounds: reciting the kalma renders 
them liable to prosecution and imprisonment. I wrote recently about 
an Ahmadi who was convicted for praying in police custody. How can 
we claim to be civilized when we treat peaceful, decent human 
beings in this fashion?

The late Professor Salam, Pakistan's only Nobel laureate, is more 
respected abroad than he is here. When he was alive, he tried to 
further the cause of science in Pakistan, but was largely ignored. 
When he was invited to campuses here, he was often not allowed to 
speak by Jamiat hoodlums. As Farhatullah Babar reminds us, "...in 
his home country, he was shunned, ignored and cold-shouldered... 
many in Zia's government also were opposed to honouring him..."

And yet, the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, is 
named after him. He spent some of the most productive years of his 
life here. On the occasion of his first death anniversary, his 
successor said: "...let us celebrate the accomplishments of this 
extraordinary man and let us honour his memory by renaming this 
institution to which he devoted so much of his energy and 
intelligence, the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical 
Physics. It's the right thing to do for the man and the 
institution." In Pakistan, not a single road or institution has 
been named after him. In his own country, he is unhonoured and 

Despite their many contributions to Pakistan, Ahmadis remain the 
targets of bigots and fanatics. On October 30, five Ahmadis were 
shot dead, and ten were wounded in a murderous attack in a village 
near Sialkot. Barely ten days later, another five were killed as 
they prayed together in Takht-Hazari, a village 30 miles away from 
Sargodha. Their mosque was burned down, and another dozen people 
were injured. No arrests have been made despite police assurances 
that they are investigating these brutal killings. Considering that 
our intelligence agencies have the time and resources to vet civil 
servants before they are promoted, you would think they would have 
penetrated armed gangs of militants, and made some arrests by now. 
Their failure to do so reflects equally on their incompetence as 
well as on how vulnerable our minorities are in an increasingly 
lawless state.

The animosity shown by bigots towards Ahmadis has always amazed me. 
A difference of opinion is one matter, but to express such hatred 
for another community betrays a level of intolerance that is 
incompatible with the dictates of civilized behaviour. Whenever 
incidents of violence against them are reported, there is hardly a 
ripple. But this is at par with our treatment of other minorities. 
And yet we are forever ready to champion the cause of human rights 
from Palestine to Chechnya.

There is growing concern in the outside world as well as among the 
dwindling numbers of thinking Pakistanis that we are drifting into 
a very dangerous zone of anarchy and lawlessness. As the effects of 
our involvement in Afghanistan and Kashmir spill back into 
Pakistan, and as armed militants are politically strengthened by 
state support for their questionable activities, all of us are at 
risk. What is happening to one community today may well begin 
happening to another tomorrow.

In the ways that truly count, Ahmadis are far more religious than 
most of the rest of us. Professor Salam was a devout man right till 
the end, and Farhatullah Babar has quoted a marvellous phrase in 
his article: "Whenever faced with two competing theories for the 
same set of observations, I have always found that the theory that 
was more aesthetically satisfying is also the correct one." How can 
anybody who lives his life by this maxim not be wholly spiritual?

At the outset of the army's takeover last year, we had hoped that 
General Musharraf would have the will to take on the obscurantists 
and rid us of militant sectarianism. We little realized that the 
government was using these same zealots to further its policies in 
Afghanistan and Kashmir, and would therefore be unwilling to rein 
them in. Another contradiction stems from the fact that 
fundamentalists consider themselves to be the ideologues of 
Pakistan, and so far, no government has contradicted them.

Until these contradictions can be resolved, Ahmadis and many of the 
rest of us will continue to be at risk.

Tauqir Zia welcomes bid to revive Indian tour

DUBAI, Nov 23: Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Lt Gen 
Tauqir Zia, on Thursday welcomed a bid to revive the Indian tour of 
Pakistan, called off last week due to political tensions over 

Tauqir was reacting to a meeting in New Delhi between Rajsingh 
Dungarpur, a former Indian cricket board president, and External 
Affairs minister Jaswant Singh.

Tauqir, in Sharjah for an Asian Cricket Council meeting, said: 
"It's a good development and we welcome it." A.C. Muthiah, 
president of the Indian cricket board, confirmed: "Efforts are on 
to revive the tour".

But he added: "We have to respect the view of the government in the 
national interest." In New Delhi, a foreign ministry official said 
attempts to revive the tour were being made "by some people", but 
not the government.

India had been due to play three Tests and five One-day 
Internationals from December to February.-Reuters

Youhana hits century as 1st Test ends in a draw 
Samiul Hasan

LAHORE, Nov 19: Yousuf Youhana stroked a brilliant century as the 
first cricket Test between England and Pakistan ended in a draw at 
the Qadhafi Stadium here on Sunday.

Youhana resumed this morning at 77 in Pakistan's 333 for eight and 
departed after scoring a top class 124 as the home team were 
dismissed for 401 shortly after lunch.

England, who declared their first innings at 480 for eight and 
secured a 79-run lead, were 77 for four when the two captains 
decided to call off the match with 10.5 mandatory overs still to be 

Saqlain Mushtaq, adjudged Man-of-the-Match, added the wicket of 
last innings' centurion and Surrey team-mate Graham Thorpe to 
finish with match figures of nine for 178. The award was further 
justified after the 23-year-old local boy had contributed a dogged 
unbeaten 32.

Pakistan might have succeeded to cause some more dent in the 
England confidence when twice on successive balls they came close 
to picking up the wicket of Alec Stewart who finished unbeaten on 
27. But once the ball sped fast Saeed Anwar at short gully and the 
second time Salim Elahi failed to hold on to a sharp catch at silly 
point. The opportunities came in the last over before tea and the 
sufferer was Mushtaq Ahmad.

But snapping up England's four wickets for 77 runs would certainly 
give Pakistan the confidence to take another shot at the tourists 
`weak link' in the second Test which begins in Faisalabad from Nov 

Nonetheless, the draw proved to be a big morale and confidence 
booster for the Englishmen who were considered to be weak in facing 
the quality spinners. Contrary to the pundits' prediction that the 
match would last for three days, it went on for five and England 
dominated the play almost for four days.

England brought Pakistan on the brink of follow-on when they 
reduced them to 273 for eight. But it was a different story that 
despite having broken the back of top order, they couldn't overcome 
the resistance of Saqlain Mushtaq and Yousuf Youhana who featured 
in a 127-run stand in 228 minutes.

For Pakistan, it was a narrow escape but a good one. It displayed 
Pakistan's grit and guts to fight when the chips are down.

And the man who showed the way to his senior players was Yousuf 
Youhana who started on Sunday from where he had left the other 

He looked purposeful and on a mission. He stroked the ball well and 
showed a compact defence in blocking good deliveries. The 
highlights of his innings was the shot selection.

Nasser Hussain, the England captain, shuffled his bowlers and made 
quick changes to upset Youhana's concentration but failed.

His dismissal cannot be put to poor shot but a very good delivery 
from Ashley Giles which spun just across him and took the outside 
edge of his bat and into the gloves of Alec Stewart.

"The secret to his batting was his very good footwork and excellent 
timing," Pakistan coach Javed Miandad said, adding: "I have been 
working hard on him, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi. I am 
delighted that all delivered the goods, and specially Yousuf."

Yousuf, who stroked his fourth career century and second on this 
ground, batted for 13 minutes over six hours and faced 308 balls. 
His innings spiced eight signature boundaries and a six.

Lifetime achievement awards for cricketers
Special Representative

LAHORE, Nov 19: Five celebrated Pakistan cricketers were bestowed 
with lifetime achievement awards by the Sindh Governor Mohammadmian 
Soomro in a glittering and impressive ceremony organized by the 
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday evening. Wasim Akram was 
honoured for his over 400 wickets in Tests and one-day 
internationals, including four hat-tricks (two each in Tests and 
one-dayers); Waqar Younis was appreciated for his over 300 wickets 
in both the forms of the game; Inzamamul Haq for becoming country's 
leading one-day run-getter; Saeed Anwar for his record 194 in one-
day internationals that also include 19 centuries; and Pakistan 
captain Moin Khan for his world record dismissals behind the 
wickets in limited overs internationals besides his numerous 
innings under crisis.

The ceremony also served as reception for both the Pakistan and 
England cricket teams and was attended by International Cricket 
Council (ICC) dignitaries, former Pakistan captains and cricket 
administrators. A breath-taking display of fireworks was the 
feature event of the three-hour reception. Various types of 
crackers went in air after the five players received gold medals. 
The fireworks continued for nearly 20 minutes and was appreciated 
by not only the locals but the foreigners.

In his brief speech, the president of the ICC Malcolm Gray 
condemned India's decision of not sending their team to the 
winter's tour of Pakistan.

"All such decisions which deny exchange of relations between people 
and governments must be condemned," the newly-appointed Australian 
said, adding: "Cricket is going through a dark phase at the moment. 
But after watching several of thousands of players at various 
Lahore cricket fields, I am sure that the sport will come through 
this phase and flourish."

Mohammadmian Soomro also expressed his disappointment over the 
cancellation of the three-Test and five one-day international 
series against India.

PCB chairman Tauqir Zia said the sport required a lot of 
conviction, faith, sustained aggression, grit, flair and the right 
attitude. "I vouch for the restoration of its untainted image and 
for its return to the heights it really belongs."

The chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) 
Tim Lamb said his institution enjoyed a very good relationship with 
his Pakistan counterparts.

"There may be a lot of people who think that England has not toured 
Pakistan because of the tension between the two boards. But this is 
not correct," he said.

"My team has been looked after very well on this tour and the boys 
have enjoyed this visit." The official ceremony was followed up by 
a cultural, fashion and musical programme.

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