------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 7 October 2000 Issue : 06/38 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Three provinces promulgate Local Govt Election Ordinance + SHC hears state appeal in Plane Case + Another reference against Nawaz + Govt plans to highlight achievements + Pakistan calls for UN action against Israel + Problems thornier than ever: US paper's report on Pakistan + Govt can stop anyone from leaving country + India to release 160 fishermen + Local government under devolution plan + Putin urges Pakistan, India to talk peace: Moscow, Delhi sign deal + Enemy mounting pressure, says Musharraf + Hamood report to be released, says CE + 10m new voters to be enlisted: Moin + Asif admits mistakes but denies corruption charges --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + SBP hikes repo rate, cash reserves: Dollar reaches new heights + State Bank warns of cap on inter-bank rate + Hydel profit issue to be resolved: CE + Cash margin on LCs resented + Bumper cotton crop expected this season + Govt seeks bankers' help: Steps to halt rupee slide + HUBCO offer higher than original rate + Japan to give aid to Pakistan + 21 politicians, bureaucrats held so far in Frontier + Single-grade petrol sale from today --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Storming of the Supreme Court Ardeshir Cowasjee + Caesar bemused Ayaz Amir + Eqbal and the pain of Palestine Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Reaching the semis no mean achievement: Islah + Moin, Javed confident but avoid predictions + Holland keep Koreans at bay to retain title; Aussies clinch

Three provinces promulgate Local Govt Election Ordinance
DAWN Report

LAHORE, Oct 5: The governors of Punjab, NWFP and Balochistan on 
Thursday promulgated local government ordinance in their provinces 

Governor Lt-Gen (retd) Mohammed Safdar promulgated the Punjab Local 
Government Elections, Ordinance, 2000.

The ordinance, drafted by the National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB), 
was to be enacted on Wednesday by all the provinces simultaneously 
but only Sindh government could promulgate it.

The Punjab government could not release the ordinance for want of 
approval by the chief executive.

The law only provides a mechanism for the local government 
elections that will be held in the Punjab from December.

The remaining aspects of the devolution plan will be given legal 
cover by the time the elections are over by the middle of next 
year. The next step will, however, be to define the method of the 
oath of the elected members to the local councils and their 
functioning which this ordinance does not cover.

Ahmed Hasan adds from Peshawar: The NWFP governorLt-Gen (retd) Syed 
Iftikhar Hussain Shah, on Thursday promulgated the North West 
Frontier Province Local Government Elections Ordinance-2000.

The ordinance not only elicits the qualification for candidatesbut 
also provides checks on corrupt practices during the elections for 
union, tehsil and district councils.

Any person found guilty of bribery for the purpose of inducing a 
person to be or to refrain from being a candidate at an election or 
a voter to vote or refrain from voting at any election, or a 
candidate to withdraw or retire from election shall be punishable 
to a term of three years imprisonment along with a fine upto 

Similarly punishment of fine upto Rs1,000 has been fixed for anyone 
who is guilty of undue influence to compel any person to vote, 
refrain form voting or to induce or compel any person to withdraw 
his candidature at an election, directly or indirectly, by himself 
or by any other person on his behalf.

Punishments have also been proposed for anyone found in polling 
station or trying to poll bogus vote or removing a ballot paper or 
a ballot box, lets, lends, employs, hires, borrows or uses any 
vehicle or vessel for the purpose of conveying voters to or from 
the polling station.

While no basic qualification for a candidate for any tier of local 
government has been fixed, matriculation has been made the minimum 
educational qualification for a Union Council, Tehsil and Zila 
Nazims. A Muslim candidate has to be of good character and not 
known as one who violates Islamic injunctions and has adequate 
knowledge of Islamic teachings and practices. 

 Does not possess assets which are inconsistent with his 
declaration of assets or justifiable means whether held in his own 
name or in the name of the dependents.

The ordinance further provides that while the local government 
elections will be conducted by the Chief Election Commissioner but 
he may authorise any of his officers to exercise any of his powers 
and to perform any of his functions under this ordinance.

SHC hears state appeal in Plane Case

KARACHI, Oct 6: The Sindh High Court on Friday commenced hearing in 
the prosecution's appeal challenging the acquittal of six accused 
in the plane case.

Barrister Zahoorul Haq argued for the conviction of Shahbaz Sharif, 
Saifur Rahman, Syed Ghous Ali Shah, Rana Maqbool, Shahid Khaqan 
Abbasi and Saeed Mehdi before the full bench comprising Chief 
Justice Saiyed Saeed Ashhad, Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany and 
Justice Wahid Bux Brohi.

The appellant's grievance was that the judgment of the anti- 
terrorism court insofar as it pertains to the respondents was 
perverse, completely illegal and on perusal of evidence no other 
conclusion could have been made except the guilt of the 

The appellant's contention was that there had been a misreading of 
evidence leading to miscarriage of justice by the Anti-Terrorism 

The bench was to commence the hearing of the state's appeal for the 
enhancement of Nawaz Sharif's sentence but owing to non-
availability of his counsel, Barrister Ijaz Hussain Batalvi, on 
health grounds, it decided to take up the other appeal of the 

At the very outset, Khwaja Haris, the Lahore-based counsel for 
Shahbaz Sharif, stood up and sought, on behalf of Barrister 
Batalvi, a week's adjournment of the hearing of appeal pertaining 
to enhancement of Nawaz Sharif's sentence. 

He then requested the court to take up the appeal against the 
acquittal of the six accused.

Sindh Advocate-General Raja Qureshi pressed for the hearing of the 
appeal, seeking permission to make his submissions. After that, he 
said, the matter could be deferred till Mr Batalvi returned. 

The chief justice decided to proceed with the state's appeal 
against the acquittal.

But the defence seemed unprepared for even that as Khwaja Haris 
again sought adjournment on the grounds that Manzoor A. Malik, 
counsel for accused Rana Maqbool, was not present and that some of 
the accused had to consult their lawyers.

The CJ declined the request as some of the accused were already 
being represented whereas others had decided to appear in person.

Arguing the case in appeal against the acquittal of six co- 
accused, Barrister Zahoor made submissions on the "union of mind" 
to prove the role of six accused in what he termed a conspiracy.

He referred to the "utterances" of some of the witnesses to 
establish the involvement of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the then 
chairman of the PIA.

He also cited "utterances" of six prosecution witnesses to 
emphasize that Mr Abbasi was actively involved in the crime and 

He then referred to Article 23 of Qanoon-i-Shahadat to prove his 
point on the role of co-conspirators and for establishing the 
"union of mind."

He contended that the ATC judgment was not sustainable because the 
evidence relied upon had been ignored for no valid reasons.

While Barrister Zahoor was making submissions on the union of mind 
and relying on Z.A. Bhutto's case, the CJ observed that "something 
must be shown to have been done to establish union of mind. 

You are not challenging finding of the trial court that means you 
have accepted it."

Barrister Haq said that "overt may not be necessary. The utterances 
of co-conspirators, one saying 'why not land at Peshawar', the 
other orders 'not to land at Nawabshah' and someone (else) asks 
another co-accused 'if he could take control of the airport (at 
Karachi)' were sufficient to establish their union of mind."

He also referred to the utterances of six prosecution witnesses 
with regard to Mr Abbasi's dialogue and his alleged role. "He 
(Shahid Khaqan Abbasi) is very active participant, these actions 
were not in isolation," he said.

The CJ observed why Shahnawaz Dara and other officials, who had 
ordered blockade of runway, were not made accused.

Barrister Haq replied that in the present criminal case those 
wielding powers were responsible and Mr Abbasi, being then the PIA 
chairman, was one of them.

The CJ then asked was there any evidence to show that the former 
PIA chairman had said 'there was not enough fuel, or the plane 
should be taken outside Pakistan?'

Justice Osmany observed that Mr Abbasi was just following 
instructions... "where is the eviden-ce?"

The state appeal was also based on the contention that the ATC had 
not entered deep into the merits of the case and failed to discuss 
ocular as well as circumstantial evidence in juxtaposition as the 
same stood on the judicial record.

It was also the appellant's contention that the ATC had not 
considered the corroborative pieces of evidence for arriving at a 
conclusion that a conspiracy had been hatched by the respondents at 
Islamabad as well as at Karachi resulting into the commission of 
the offence of section 402-B read with section 109 PPC.

Another reference against Nawaz

LAHORE, Oct 6: The army monitoring team authorities reported to 
have filed a reference against Mr Nawaz Sharif for allegedly 
allotting 400 plots worth Rs1.50 billion to his favourites the day 
his government in the Punjab was dismissed in 1990.

The reference has been sent to the NAB for action, sources said, 
alleging that Mr Sharif had as the chief minister allotted the 
plots during a late night secret meeting at the LDA offices the day 
his government was dismissed.

They claimed that the plots were allotted to 399 PML MPAs under 
fictitious names and references against them will also be filed.

It was alleged that staff of the LDA and some banks were asked to 
sit in the meeting to complete the formalities and deposit fees. 
The LDA staff was given an honoraria of Rs 200 each for the night 
duty, it was claimed.

Govt plans to highlight achievements
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Oct 5: The government is organizing to launch a media 
campaign on Oct 12, to inform the people of its achievements during 
the first year of its rule.

All federal secretaries have been asked to forward to the 
information ministry material about their achievements.

"We propose to highlight the work that has been done during the 
past 12 months through the print and electronic media...you are 
requested to kindly provide us with material highlighting the 
achievements of your ministry," an information ministry letter sent 
to the ministries and divisions said.

The material, it is said, will be included in the publication that 
the government proposes to bring out on Oct 12. "It (the material) 
will also be used for commissioning articles in different languages 
for publication in newspapers," it added.

Pakistan calls for UN action against Israel
Masood Haider

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 5: Speakers, during a United Nations Security 
Council debate on the outbreak of violence in Gaza, on Wednesday, 
expressed outrage over what they termed Israel's use of excessive 
force, and said that Israel had violated international humanitarian 
law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention, 1949.

Israel was also condemned for killing children, with several 
participants pointing, in particular, to the heart-rending death of 
a 12-year-old Palestinian boy in his father's arms.

They called for an international investigation into these events, 
and urged the Security Council to formally compel Israel to halt 
its actions and censure it for violating the Geneva Convention.

In his address, Pakistan Ambassador Shamshad Ahmad stressed that 
"prompt action is required by the international community, in 
particular the Security Council, to put an end to the present round 
of violence against the Palestinians, secure Israel's compliance 
with UN resolutions, ensure the safety and sanctity of Al Quds Al 
Sharif and facilitate the realization of the national rights of the 
Palestinian people."

Mr Ahmad said Pakistan shared the international outrage and concern 
at the high-handedness of the Israeli forces against defenceless 
Palestinian civilians in the very vicinity of Al Haram Al Sharif in 
Al Quds, the third most holiest place of Islam.

The Security Council must send an unequivocal message that such 
provocative actions and bloodshed of innocent Palestinians were 
unacceptable to the international community, he added.

Pakistan's chief delegate pointed out that Security Council 
resolutions 242 and 338 continued to provide a viable and just 
framework for a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. The status 
of Al Quds remained central to any comprehensive settlement of the 
Arab-Israeli conflict. No lasting peace in the region would be 
possible without the realization of the legitimate rights of the 
Palestinian people, he said and added that these included their 
right to establish their independent state with Al Quds as its 
capital and the exercise of their full sovereignty over Al Haram Al 

Problems thornier than ever: US paper's report on Pakistan

WASHINGTON, Sept 30: As the military regime of General Pervez 
Musharraf nears its first year in power on October 12, an article 
in Saturday's Washington Post suggests that the hopes raised by the 
bloodless army takeover a year ago have "largely dimmed".

The article, by the paper's South Asia correspondent Pamela 
Constable and datelined Islamabad, says Gen Musharraf is still 
widely regarded as honest and well-intentioned, but Pakistan's 
problems seem "thornier than ever". The economy has stagnated, 
poverty has deepened and the general has backed off from 
confronting "Islamic leaders on foreign and religious policies and 
has maintained Pakistan's costly commitment to Kashmir," the 
article asserts.

This has prolonged a severe drain on the country's resources and 
aggravated concerns that "Islamic fundamentalism is a threat to 
Pakistan's stability as a secular state and nuclear power".

Headlined "Great expectations fade in Pakistan", the article says: 
"Many Pakistanis are deeply disappointed with Musharraf, largely 
because they once expected so much of him. While some praise his 
government for refraining from using force to suppress dissent, 
many complain that Musharraf should be acting more like a general, 
making tough decisions and using military muscle to back them if 
needed. ..

"Pakistan's image abroad, already tarnished by the military 
takeover, has been further damaged by its open support for 
Mujahideen groups in occupied Kashmir and by its friendly relations 
with radical Islamic leaders in neighbouring Afghanistan. Foreign 
investors, wary of doing business with an army regime and impatient 
with its slow pace of economic reform, have shied away. The 
International Monetary Fund seems likely to agree to a one-year, 
$580 million debt relief package, but Pakistan still faces a $35 
billion foreign debt - equivalent to half its gross national 

The article also quotes Gen Musharraf's aides who take exception to 
such criticism and stress that Pakistan's problems are too 
entrenched and pervasive to fix overnight and the regime's 
programme needs time to work. 

"They say Musharraf is working to build trust in government after 
decades of corruption and incompetence and that true economic and 
political reform will flow from that."

Officials are cited as saying that the government has not been 
credited for its lengthy list of economic initiatives and its 
ambitious plan to empower local elected bodies, which they say will 
reduce the centralized corruption and patronage that have long 
stymied representative democracy.

The Washington Post correspondent talked to PPP leader Aitzaz 
Ahsan, who says: "The fact is that we will not fix the economy 
until we get foreign investment, and we will not get foreign 
investment until we take a decisive stand on relations with our 
neighbour (India) and with the Mullahs. Musharraf is showing some 
grit on the economy, but he needs to show more courage on these 
other fronts."

The article is accompanied by a graphic on "Pakistan and the 
Military" which appears to have missed out Yahya Khan's martial 
law, referring to only three periods of army rule - of Ayub Khan, 
Ziaul Haq and now of Gen Musharraf.

Govt can stop anyone from leaving country

KARACHI, Oct 4: The federal government has maintained that it has 
the right to prevent anybody from going abroad despite valid travel 

This was spelt out in a written reply submitted by the government 
in a Constitutional petition filed by Nasreen Jaleel, suspended 
senator and deputy convener of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, 
challenging vires of the Exit from Pakistan Control Ordinance 1981, 
and seeking deletion of her name from the ECL.

The federal government also maintained that it was not obliged to 
specify grounds for preventing the former senator from proceeding 
abroad and maintained that the aggrieved party could make a 
representation to the federal government for reviewing the order.

The petition was fixed for hearing before a division bench of the 
Sindh High Court, comprising Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed and Justice 
Ghulam Rabbani. The petition could not be heard for want of time, 
although petitioner's counsel, K. M. Nadeem, was present.

In the written reply, filed through the Interior Ministry, the 
respondent has stated that name of the petitioner was placed on ECL 
since October 1988, along with 45 parliamentarians. She was granted 
permission to proceed abroad twice in the past on June 1 and July 
2, 1999.

India to release 160 fishermen

KARACHI, Oct 4: India has agreed to release 160 more detained 
Pakistani fishermen and their 18 fishing boats, it is learnt.

According to a Fisheries source, the Fishermen Cooperative Society 
has received a message from the Pakistani High Commission in New 
Delhi in this regard.

The FCS has been asked to send a list of boat owners and 
representatives of the society who could visit India to look after 
the repatriation arrangements and repair the damaged boats.

It is also learnt that a 12-member delegation of Pakistani 
fishermen to be led by the FCS Vice-Chairman, Haji Shafi Mohammad 
Jamote, will visit India next week to take custody of the 160 
Pakistani fishermen.

The FCS chairman has approved the necessary expenses for the 
fishermen being released and for repair of their damaged boats 
during their stay in India.

In this regard, the FCS has contacted families of all the fishermen 
and collected their passports and national identity cards.

According to an FCS announcement, 298 Pakistani fishermen along 
with 44 fishing boats are detained in India."Efforts are underway 
for the release of the remaining detained fishermen in India," the 
announcement added.

Local government under devolution plan

KARACHI, Oct 3: As many as 12 departments, including various 
development authorities, would function under the umbrella of the 
proposed three-tier new local government setup being introduced by 
the present regime as a part of its devolution plan.

However, cantonment boards throughout the country would continue to 
function even after the introduction of the devolution plan, as the 
list containing the names of acts of development authorities to be 
repealed with the promulgation of the local government ordinance-
2000 did not include the Cantonment Boards Act.

According to sources, a city or district government will have 12 
departments which include finance, planning, development and 
accounts, works and services, health, education, literacy, 
community development, information technology, law, agriculture, 
revenue and magistracy.

The Nazims of city/district governments would be executive heads of 
the district administration and a civil servant of grade 20, who 
will be appointed by government for the city/district governments 
for a three-year period, will serve as district coordination 
officer to look after offices of coordination, human resources, 
development and civil defence.

There would be executive district officers for each of the 12 
departments of the city/district governments and they will be 
assisted by the district, deputy and assistant district officers in 
their respective departments.

With regard to the concept of district police, sources said that 
according to the draft of the new local government ordinance, there 
will be an independent and self-contained city district police for 
the provincial capital city, organized on functional bases of law 
and order, investigation, prosecution, traffic, administration, 
protocol duties and reserves.

Putin urges Pakistan, India to talk peace: Moscow, Delhi sign deal

NEW DELHI, Oct 3: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday 
called for concrete efforts to restart peace talks between India 
and Pakistan, and defuse tension in the region.

"...great attention was paid to the situation in South Asia," the 
visiting president told a joint news conference with Indian Prime 
Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee after talks.

"We have expressed our hope that concrete specific efforts will be 
further applied in order to renew...the process of negotiations 
between India and Pakistan, in order to weaken the military and 
political tension in the region," Mr Putin said.

He confirmed Moscow's backing for India's bid for a permanent seat 
in the UN Security Council. "Russia considers India a strong and 
deserving candidate for permanent membership to the Security 

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP: India and Russia signed a new "strategic 
partnership" aimed at reviving ties in the 21st century, as Moscow 
seeks to expand its regional role in Asia.

The document said both sides were proceeding from a common 
conviction in the need to build a "multipolar global structure".

"It's not directed against a third country," Mr Vajpayee said, 
adding, "it is a solemn and long-term commitment on the part of 
Russia and India to work in close cooperation as partners on all 
issues - political, economic and international."-Agencies

Enemy mounting pressure, says Musharraf
Bureau Report

HYDERABAD, Oct 3: The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, has 
said that Pakistan is facing both internal and external threats as 
the enemy was trying to destabilise the country internally and was 
mounting pressure along the Line of Control as well.

He was speaking at the regimental darbar of the Sindh Regimental 
Centre here on Tuesday, which coincided with the Nishan-i-Haider 
celebrations and a two-day biennial conference of the centre.

Gen Musharraf said the mission of the defence forces was to not 
only to defend the country but externally internally as well. The 
armed forces would always remain alert to meet any threat as they 
were "equipped with the powers of faith and determination."

He said the most difficult economic problems had been overcome and 
the country had now entered into a new phase.

He said he felt proud in addressing the first Nishan-i-Haider 
function of the centre in which in addition to the retired officers 
and jawans of the regiment the father and brother of Shaheed Capt 
Karnal Sher Khan (Nishan-i-Haider) were also present. He said he 
was proud of the centre, which had produced officers like Capt Khan 
and brave JCOs, NCOs and jawans who had proved their mettle in 
Siachin and Kargil; the 1965 and 1971 wars and even in Somalia.

He expressed his confidence that the centre would maintain its high 
standards and observed that training and operational preparedness 
were the best weapons for the armed forces. He said "the enemy had 
tested these weapons when it attacked our post at the Line of 
Control and was met with 'offensive defence.'" He said the enemy 
lost 15 personnel while two Pakistani jawans were martyred.

The chief executive said the criterion for the performance of a 
training centre were training, administration, education and sports 
and added that the Sindh Regimental Centre was second to none in 
these fields.

He said the fundamental objective for the establishment of the 
centre was to motivate the local people to join the army and noted 
that people from Sindh were present in every unit of the army.

Earlier, Brig Zamir Raja, commanding officer of the centre, 
narrated the history of the centre in his welcome speech.

Lt-Gen Saleem Haider, Col Commandant of the regiment; Maj-Gen 
Khalid Munir, GOC Hyderabad; all the COs of the regiment and the 
top army brass attended the darbar besides hundreds of jawans and 

The chief executive also laid a floral wreath on the "Shuhada 
Monument" and inaugurated the Regimental Museum.

He announced a contribution of Rs2,000,000 for the Memorial Trust 
Fund that was established for families of martyrs and retired 

Hamood report to be released, says CE

KARACHI, Oct 2: The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, 
announced on Monday that the government would release the whole of 
the Hamoodur Rahman Commission report except for the portions 
concerning the foreign relations.

Speaking at the APNS award-distribution ceremony, the CE said that 
a committee had already been constituted that would go through the 
entire five-part report before making it public.

However, he pointed out, the fifth part would not be available to 
the people at large because of the "sensitivities" of foreign 

The publication of the portion that dealt with the military debacle 
in the former East Pakistan had been picked up with mala fide 
intentions to malign and destablize the military and the regime, he 

The rest of the report that dealt with the Indian designs and 
involvements, and cast aspersions on the leader who had ordered the 
constitution of the commission had not been published with mala 
fide intentions, he claimed.

The army chief, who appeared perturbed over the publication of the 
report, said that what happened in the then East Pakistan was 
disgrace but asked why this report had not been published when it 
was ready. 

"Why the hue and cry now when most of the people are not alive?"

The East Pakistan debacle, he said, was a politico-military problem 
but why only the military matters were focused. He thought it was 
also with a mala fide intent.

Why action was not taken by the man who had constituted the 
commission? Why I should be asked to do it now? said the CE in an 
indirect reference to the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Referring to criticism and reports of irregularities and kickbacks 
in various defence deals (submarine, tank and other weapons 
systems), he said the defence ministry had been asked to examine 
such reports and find out whether they were transparent or not.

Although there were such information and reports, the evidence that 
would stand a trial was difficult, he said.

Referring to the tank deal, he said they were the best, cheapest 
and cost-effective tanks, and their induction had given the army 
superiority over the Indians.

He, however, admitted that the military was not above board and 
stated that an Air Marshall and a Brigadier were facing the 
National Accountability Bureau.

The CE refuted allegations and perceptions about the perks and 
special privileges to the armed forces personnel. He said he had 
declared his assets and there was nothing to hide. "Nothing is free 
... we get it under a system," he said, asking why at this stage it 
was being focused when it had been going on over the past 53 years.

He said efforts were being made through intelligentsia and a lot of 
money was being pumped in to defame the army and to destablize the 
government. He advised the people not to fall prey to the 

Referring to his recent visit to the US and the ripples some of his 
remarks had made, Gen Musharraf said that "whosoever controls the 
media can create perceptions and Pakistan suffers from this 

The CE reaffirmed his commitment to the freedom of press within the 
bonds of secrecy which was also observed in countries like the 
United States.

On the political situation, he recognized that despondency had 
started setting in to some extent but not at large. "Despondency is 
not among the people at large but among the intelligentsia," he 

Gen Musharraf said: "I don't like sycophants around me. I don't get 
scared of negative propaganda. I'll be the first person to go when 
I realize that I am not able to deliver (the goods), but that is 
not happening, I'll stay on."

10m new voters to be enlisted: Moin

LAHORE, Oct 2: About 10 million new voters will be added to 
electoral rolls throughout the country by lowering voters age to 18 

This was disclosed by Federal Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider 
while speaking at a seminar arranged by the Citizens Commission for 
Women Development at a hotel here on Monday.

He said that round the clock work was being done by over 8,000 
people engaged in preparing new electoral rolls which would include 
the names of 64 million voters. He said that the task also included 
computerization of the rolls and preparation of national identity 
cards (NICs).

He asked politicians, leaders of public opinion, intellectuals, 
writers, journalists, lawyers and traders to see themselves how and 
with much fast speed the work for preparations of electoral rolls 
was being done. "It is all transparent and we have nothing to hide 
from the people", he declared. These new electoral rolls were being 
prepared as the old ones prepared for 1970 elections had become 
obsolete as they included the names of voters who had since then 
died or gone abroad and their updating and revision had not been 
done satisfactorily. He said that the new rolls would also be used 
for the next general elections of national and provincial 
assemblies. He said that the electoral rolls of two provinces had 
already been completed and handed over to the Election Commission 
while the lists of other two provinces would be ready soon.

These lists would be displayed for public for rectification of the 
names of the voters before sending them for printing. Even after 
printing the lists would be displayed again for further correction 
and registration of any leftout voters, he added.

The minister said that every care was being taken to remove the 
names of Afghan refugees and the nationals of other countries who 
had managed to get themselves enrolled in the past by producing 
fake NICs. No non-Pakistani will be enrolled, he declared.

Referring to the devolution of power plan, Mr Haider said that it 
was purely indigenous one and "not the result of any American or 
western agenda." He said that the plan had been prepared keeping in 
view the objective conditions of Pakistan and the cultural 
traditions of the people living here.The plan ensures to give the 
rightful pace to the women of Pakistan and it was for the first 
time that they had been given such a substantial representation in 
the local elections. "Both our religion and the Constitution do not 
put any bar on women in participating in the national activity," he 

He indicated that if women proved to be good representatives in 
these elections and gave better performance their percentage could 
be increased in the future polls. He said that women could also 
contest the seats reserved for peasants and workers as the plan 
puts no restriction on them. The women members of the local 
councils could also be given financial powers. "If they can manage 
the domestic budget of their houses, there is no reason why they 
should not be given financial powers in local councils, he argued. 
He said that all discriminatory laws against women should be 
repealed or amended to remove any discrimination against women. He 
revealed that the government was already seized of the matter and 
federal minister Attiya Inayattullah was working on it.

Asif admits mistakes but denies corruption charges
Luke Harding

KARACHI, Oct 1: Asif Ali Zardari, husband of former prime minister 
Benazir Bhutto, admitted that he had made mistakes but denied 
charges that he was involved in corruption.

In an interview with the Guardian, he denied the main allegation 
which has stuck to him like glue for more than a decade - that of 
corruption and greedy excess. "To err is human, but I have not 
broken any laws," he declared.

But in answers smuggled out from behind bars, Mr Zardari, who 
became investment minister after his arranged marriage to Ms 
Benazir Bhutto in 1988, conceded that he had behaved "improperly in 
being extravagant".

Speaking from his prison hospital bed in Karachi, Mr Zardari said 
he was also surprised and disappointed by the British government, 
which has agreed to cooperate with the Pakistani authorities who 
are investigating his overseas assets.

He said he was dismayed by the decision of the home secretary, Jack 
Straw, earlier this week to release secret details of his British 
bank accounts to Pakistani prosecutors who are trying him on drugs 
charges. He is accused of buying a nine-bedroom mansion in Surrey - 
Rockwood House - with the proceeds of drug deals.

Zardari, 46, refused to confirm that he was the owner of Rockwood 
House. But he insisted that the property had not been acquired 
corruptly. "I am a businessman with my own sources of money," he 
said. These included hotels and construction. The home secretary 
has given him 14 days to appeal against the judgment.

The original request for help with the Pakistani investigation into 
Ms Bhutto's hidden assets was made by the ousted prime minister, 
Nawaz Sharif. The British government delayed its response in the 
wake of October's military takeover. "I am not the devil that has 
been painted in the press although I am not an angel either," Mr 
Zardari said on Friday night. "I am a human being with the 
frailties that accompany it."

His lawyers have not yet decided whether to appeal against the 
Rockwood ruling, he said. But his two co-defendants who implicated 
him in confessions have declared that they were tortured and have 
withdrawn their statements, he added. He declined to say whether he 
had met the British builder Paul Keating, who claims that Mr 
Zardari owes him money.

Mr Zardari, whose legendary fondness for commissions, led him to 
acquire the nickname "Mr 10 per cent" during his stint as a 
minister, was imprisoned in December 1996. 

 He blamed his downfall on Nawaz Sharif, who is now also in jail. 
Mr Sharif was "over ambitious" and "not very intelligent", he said. 
He drafted new anti-terrorism laws which were later used against 
him by the military. "Mr Sharif dug his own grave by taking on the 
Pakistan People's Party in a fascist fashion. He was tried by the 
same laws he had made against me ... put in the same prison cell 
... and made to travel in the same armoured personnel carrier," he 
said. In April, six months after being toppled, Mr Sharif was 
jailed for life for hijacking.-Dawn/Guardian News Service

SBP hikes repo rate, cash reserves: Dollar reaches new heights
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Oct 4: The State Bank on Wednesday increased the cash 
reserves requirement for the banks from five to seven per cent and 
enhanced its three-day repo and discount rates from 12 to 13 per 
cent. The twin measures are aimed at strengthening the rupee by 
containing its supply and making holding of dollars costlier.

It also hiked the maximum yield on treasury bills of different 
tenures by 2.00-2.23 per cent to reinforce the signal carried 
through the increase in repo and discount rate. On Sept 18, the SBP 
had raised its discount and repo rate by one per cent to 12 per 
cent and on Sept 20 it had enhanced the yields on treasury bills by 
1.17 to 1.52 per cent.

SBP repo rate is the rate at which it lends money to the banks for 
up to three days against government securities. Its discount rate 
is the rate at which the banks make outright borrowings for up to 
three days. Cash reserve requirement is the percentage of the total 
deposits of a bank that it has to keep with the State Bank. As the 
total deposits of the banking sector stands around Rs 1120 billion 
at present two per cent increase in cash reserve requirement will 
suck in about Rs 24 billion from the inter-bank money market thus 
making the rupee stronger against the dollar.

And a one per cent increase in the SBP repo and discount rate would 
force the banks to hike up their own lending rates. That in turn 
would again contain surplus supply of the rupee on the one hand and 
result in additional inflow of dollars on the other. The overall 
impact of the twin measures would be that the rupee would gain 
grounds against the rising dollar.

The decisions were announced after the SBP failed to stabilize the 
rupee against the US dollar through a couple of interventions 
carried out in the past one week. The rupee on Wednesday slid to 
59.75/59.80 to a dollar in the inter-bank market-down 40 paisa from 
Tuesday's close of 59.35/59.40.

In the open market it closed at 63.40/63.65 to a dollar-down 90 
paisa from the previous close of 62.50/62.75. Currency dealers said 
the rupee had fallen to 63.75/64.00 to a dollar earlier in the day 
on heavy speculative buyings.

Unlike on previous days the SBP did not intervene in the inter-bank 
market on Wednesday. "The market squared on its own," said a 
foreign banker.

Bankers generally hailed the SBP decision to support the rupee 
through interest rates rather than by making quick interventions in 
the market. But they said it would be too much to expect that the 
shift in policy would lead to quick recovery of the rupee vis a vis 
the dollar.

The rupee began a steep fall against the dollar since July 20 when 
the State Bank lifted an unofficial cap on inter-bank exchange 
rates after it entered into negotiations with the IMF for a fresh 

Since then the rupee has depreciated by 12.5 per cent in the inter-
bank market.

State Bank warns of cap on inter-bank rate
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Oct 6: State Bank Governor Dr Ishrat Husain said on Friday 
that the SBP could once again cap inter-bank foreign exchange rates 
- and even go for imposing cash margins on import letters of credit 
- to stabilize the rupee.

Talking to Dawn in his office he said reintroducing a trading band 
in inter-bank forex market is a possibility he would never rule 
out. "That is a tool we can employ if the monetary measures we have 
taken do a little to stabilize the rupee." He said he was not 
ruling out another trading band "to make the market realize that 
State Bank is not helpless."

Dr Husain said the banks had imposed a cash margin on import 
letters of credit on their own - with the SBP having no hand in it. 
"But again this is also a tool we cannot rule out employing when 
the need arises." Asked whether reimposition of a trading band - or 
cash margins would incite opposition from IMF and WTO he said: "So 
far cash margin is concerned you can always do such things for 
temporary purposes. And for the trading band...we can talk to the 

The removal of a cap on exchange rate on July 20 has so far left 
the rupee poorer by 13 per cent. The SBP governor said he hoped 
that tighter monetary measures introduced recently would help 
stabilize the market in the near future.

"Even further tightening of monetary measures cannot be ruled out," 
he said meaning that the SBP's short-term interest rates and 
treasury bills yields might still go up. "But there are some costs 
associated with it," he hastened to add - implying that further 
tightening of monetary measures could have such adverse impact on 
the economy that can outweigh its benefits.

Lately the SBP enhanced its short-term lending rate by two per cent 
in two instalments. It hiked up yields on treasury bills by 3.5 per 
cent also in two phases.

The central bank also raised from five to seven per cent the cash 
reserves requirement for the banks-a step that would suck in about 
Rs24 billion excess liquidity from the banking system.

Banks are likely to translate the increase in SBP short-term 
lending rates and treasury bills yields into their own lending 
rates. That would keep the rupee supply within limits on the one 
hand and make the cost of dollar holding on the other thus making 
the rupee stable. "But banks have so far not come to us and tell 
that they are hiking their rates," said Dr Husain. But he said if 
the banks revise their lending rates up it would be just natural.

What else would be natural is that it will push up inflation 
particularly because it is going to couple with record high oil 

The governor said he did realise this. "But you cannot have a cake 
and eat it too. If we stabilize the exchange rate through monetary 
measures it will happen."

Replying to a question the governor said consumer inflation may 
reach seven per cent this year due to rupee depreciation and 
tighter monetary measures plus higher oil prices provided that "we 
do have some good food crops."

"If we do not have good food crops-wheat and rice and sugar etc. 
the inflation may be a bit higher...but it would not be in double 
digits," the governor said.

Hydel profit issue to be resolved: CE
Ahmad Hassan

PESHAWAR, Oct 6: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf on Friday 
assured the NWFP government that the issue of net profits from 
hydel power generation would be settled once and for all.

He said that all out efforts would be made to improve financial 
position of the province protect the its rights in the federal. He 
gave this assurance during a briefing on the province's financial 
position at the governor house. 

 The NWFP governor, Lt-Gen (retd) Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah, 
Federal Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz and provincial ministers were 
also present at the briefing.

The CE assured that a solution to the problem would be sorted out 
at a meeting shortly which would be participated by all governors, 
Wapda chairman and finance ministry officials so that the NWFP was 
not deprived of its due right.

Earlier, the provincial finance minister Farid Rahman briefed the 
chief executive that according to A.G.N. Kazi formula Wapda owed 
Rs12.9 billion to the province on account of net profits from hydel 
power generation and it would be getting a capped amount of Rs6 
billion this fiscal year. He maintained that the arrears from the 
net profits accumulated over the years due to Wapda's failure in 
payment since 1973, which needed to be resolved.

On the devolution of power plan in the province, the local 
government secretary informed Gen Musharraf that the process of 
delimitation of local councils in Bannu, D.I. Khan, Tank and Lakki 
Marwat districts had been completed.

The chief executive was also told that restructuring of various 
government departments was under way.

The meeting was told of details of the first phase of poverty 
alleviation programme under which 102 schemes costing Rs601.60m, 
had been completed and work on 722 schemes was in progress. About 
11,278 people had been provided job besides benefiting 7.8m.

Cash margin on LCs resented

KARACHI, Oct 6: The decision taken by some leading local and 
foreign banks on Thursday to impose 30 per cent cash margin on the 
letters of credit (LCs) of all imports, minus crude oil and POL 
products has created confusion among importers.

At the same time it has left bankers wondering whether it had any 
legal sanctity. But heads of major local and foreign banks say the 
decision would ease off a long spell of volatility in the inter-
bank market.

"We reject this decision and demand its withdrawal. It would create 
problems for us", said Chairman of Pakistan Commodity Traders 
Association Raees Ashraf Tarmohammad. He said if the decision was 
not withdrawn it would lead to skyrocketing of the prices of all 
imported items including raw materials.

"The businessmen will not be able to pass, the whole impact, on to 
the end consumers thus taking a hit on them," he remarked.

"The fact that the decision has not been announced from the State 
Bank puts it into question. What is the legal sanctity of it?" 
questioned Regional chairman of Pakistan Tea Association Razzak 
Bantvawala. He said the imposition of cash margin will curtail 
imports that would not only push up the price line but would also 
compound problems for the industries fed on imported raw materials.

President of National Bank Ali Raza admitted that the decision had 
no legal binding on the banks. "It is a voluntary step that the 
banks have taken on their own to contain a frenzy of dollar 
buying," he said.

Talking to Dawn, he however, asserted that banks had the right to 
impose a cash margin on imports and as such there is no reason for 
the importers to challenge the decision. "Under the terms of the 
agreement with the customers banks are free to make changes in the 
conditions set for opening LCs," Raza observed.

Country Manager for Citibank in Pakistan Zubyr I. Soomro made it 
clear that the decision of imposing 30 per cent cash margin was not 
taken by Pakistan Banks Association. "Let me clarify that the 
Association was rather not involved in the decision," he told Dawn.

Importers said bankers perception that forward demand for the 
dollar was moving up on panic-buying by importers presents only the 
half truth.

"Had the inter-bank rate not been lowered dramatically on the 
insistence of IMF in one go there would not have been this much 
buying," said a leading importer in Jodia Bazar.

"In the past there used to be creeping downward adjustments in the 
dollar-rupee parity. That used to keep the forward demand for the 
dollar under control. But this time around it was a different 
story," he said.

The rupee finished in the inter-bank market at 59.85/59.90 on 
Friday up 10 paisa from the previous close of 59.75/59.80. Senior 
bankers said there was enough supply of dollars from exporters but 
the demand for the dollar was still high. Hence the increase.

Bankers said the decision taken by leading local and foreign banks 
to impose 30 per cent cash margin on import LCs was hard to 
implement. They recalled that last month some banks decided not to 
quote dollar prices to the customers to other banks but the 
decision was hardly adhered to. Dawn inquiries showed that the pace 
of opening LCs with local and foreign banks slowed down on Friday. 
Branch managers said they had problems in explaining to the 
importers that banks had imposed a cash margin on their own.

Bumper cotton crop expected this season

KARACHI, Oct 5: Phutti arrival from fields into ginneries has 
gained momentum, thereby raising hope that the country may reap, 
yet another bumper cotton crop this season (2000-2001).

"If the current pace of phutti arrival is maintained during the 
entire first picking period, which lasts till late November, there 
is a strong possibility that cotton production may cross 10 million 
mark," opined a leading broker here on Wednesday.

According to Pakistan Cotton Ginners' Association (PCGA) figures, 
phutti arrival up to Oct 1, stood at 1.056 million bales or 29.49 
per cent higher than 0.815 million bales produced during the 
corresponding period of the last year.

It is encouraging to note that despite water shortage in Sindh, the 
increased flow of phutti up to 7.91 per cent in comparison to 
previous year, indicates that little damage was caused and the 
province is likely achieve its cotton production target.

In Sindh, where 116 ginning factories have come into operations, 
have so far processed around 0.553 million bales as against 0.513 
million bales produced during the corresponding period of last 

As per reports coming from fields the standing crop in both the 
cotton producing provinces - Sindh and Punjab is in good shape and 
unlike in the past there was nominal shedding of fruit balls which 
indicates that per acreage yield would be much higher than previous 

Similarly, there is a remarkable rise in phutti arrival in Punjab 
where up to Oct 1, around 0.503 million bales or 66.06 per cent 
higher production has been achieved as compared to the same period 
of last year when output was at 0.303 million bales.

Even fortnightly flow of phutti is showing better figures as around 
0.615 million bales have been recorded from Sept 15 to Oct 1, as 
against 0.588m bales during the same period last year.

The PCGA further disclosed that about 0.272 million bales of unsold 
stocks are presently lying with the ginneries which is much higher 
than the previous year, when around 0.183 million bales were with 

Cotton economy analysts believe that if the country manages to 
harvest another bumper cotton crop this season a sizeable 
exportable surplus, after meeting the domestic industry's demand of 
over 9 million bales, could help bring in much needed foreign 

Govt seeks bankers' help: Steps to halt rupee slide
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Oct 5: The finance ministry officials met a number of 
bankers and representatives of the money changers here on Thursday 
in an attempt to seek their cooperation in halting the continuing 
downslide of the rupee.

The bankers and money changers were reportedly told that the 
government and the IMF had reached on an understanding to maintain 
the exchange rate at Rs58 to a dollar.

They were also told that the government had decided not to allow 
speculation in the market and warned that the speculators would be 
dealt with seriously both by the State Bank and other state 

Sources said the government had conceded to the IMF that the rupee 
was over-valued and needed to be rationalized at Rs58 against a 
dollar. However the government, they added, made it clear to the 
Fund, bankers and money changers that there was no question of 
letting the rupee exchange rate go up at Rs60 or above as was being 

They said that the rupee devaluation was also done on the 
exporters' demand who had been hit by the depreciation of Indian, 
Bangladeshi, Chinese and Sri Lankan currencies. "We have to compete 
and make our exports competitive in order to achieve the $10 
billion target at all costs", said an official.

He added that the exporters of other countries of the region were 
making windfall profits by depreciating their currencies against 
the dollar while Pakistani exporters suffered due to the over-
valued rupee.

Sources said that the rupee had over shot its actual value and it 
needed to be brought down to a realistic level for which State Bank 
had intervened and considerably brought it down on Thursday.

HUBCO offer higher than original rate
Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Oct 5: The World Bank has found that Hubco's latest 
offer made to the chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, during his 
stay in New York last month, is even higher than the original 
tariff of 6.86 cent per Kwh.

A copy of the World Bank's evaluation was referred to Hubco 
chairman Sheikh Alireza last week which, officials here believe, 
might have made him change his mind and put off his scheduled visit 
to Pakistan to hold talks.

"The postponement of the visit has not come as a surprise to us as 
we have been anticipating this after the World Bank's report," an 
official told Dawn.

The decision of Entergy, a major power concern of the USA, to 
withdraw its case from the International Court of Arbitration has 
also come in the wake of the WB's evaluation, which has "exposed 
Hubco's intentions", according to the official.

Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz and Wapda chairman Gen Zulfiqar on 
Thursday discussed the Hubco offer in the light of the WB's report 
and found it unacceptable.

WB Country Director W. Walton in a letter to Shiekh Alireza stated 
that the Hubco offer to bring its tariff at par with AES tariff of 
5.45 cent per Kwh, if worked out with other conditions set later, 
was much more than the claimed reduction.

The WB said that if evaluated with other conditionalities, the 
Hubco's offer of 5.45 cent per Kwh, in fact, comes to 6.255 cent 
per KWh, excluding its demand of guaranteed energy dispatch of 64.4 
per cent.

Japan to give aid to Pakistan

TOKYO, Oct 3: The Japanese government will provide an additional 
$4.5 million in emergency grants to help Pakistan recover from a 
prolonged drought since the summer of last year, Japan's Foreign 
Ministry said on Tuesday.

The relief is the realisation of Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori's 
offer of 500 million yen for drought relief, made as part of 
Japan's humanitarian aid to Pakistan during his visit to the 
country in August.

In June, Japan gave a combined 41 million yen in emergency grants 
and drought relief supplies such as tents, medical supplies and 
water tanks.

Japan, however, maintains the sanctions it imposed on Pakistan 
after the country conducted nuclear tests in May 1998. The 
sanctions involve a freeze on new grants and loans to the country, 
except for humanitarian purposes.

The widespread drought has caused severe damage in the provinces of 
Balochistan and Sindh, killing more than 140 people and affecting 
about 2.2 million others, as well as destroying farm products and 
livestock, the ministry said, citing reports from the Pakistani 

21 politicians, bureaucrats held so far in Frontier
Ahmad Hassan

PESHAWAR Oct 1: The tally of politicians and bureaucrats arrested 
by NAB in the NWFP has risen to 21 after the recent arrest of 
suspended senator Syed Qasim Shah form the Kaghan valley in the 
Mansehra district on Friday.

The National Accountability Bureau has taken into custody nine 
politicians since the Oct 12 change of government in the country. 
They include two former chief ministers. Three politicians, 
including one former chief minister, have been convicted by the 
accountability court.

Among the politicians arrested so far are: former chief minister 
Sardar Mahtab Ahmed Khan, former ministers Abdul Haleem Khattak, 
Ghaniur Rahman, Habibur Rahman Tanoli, suspended MNA Haji Kabir 
Khan, former federal minister Azam Khan Hoti, former senator Javed 
Iqbal Abbasi and suspended senator Qasim Shah. Former chief 
minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao is at large (in self-exile in 
UK). Mr Sherpao has been sentenced to three years' imprisonment in 
absentia and been declared as proclaimed offender.

The arrested bureaucrats are: former secretary of food Javed Alam 
Khanzada, former director general of Peshawar Development Authority 
Syed Zahir Shah, National Highway Authority general manger Hamid 
Maghfoor Shah, additional secretary of physical planning and 
housing Akbar Khan Marwat, XEN construction and works Mohammad 
Baseer, SDO Zahir Arif, chief electrical inspector of irrigation 
Sher Adam Khan, tehsildar Mian Mohammad Shafi, former senior member 
of Board of Revenue Abdul Hamid Khan, Engineer of irrigation 
Hezbullah, secretary of Workers Welfare Board Javed Anwar and 
police inspector Mahmud Hussain. Deputy Superintendent of Customs 
Tariq Tanvir has been released after he paid Rs25.5 million to NAB.

Single-grade petrol sale from today

ISLAMABAD, Sept 30: Single-Grade Petrol (87 Octane) is being 
introduced throughout the country from Sunday which will give more 
mileage to consumers at lesser cost.

The ministry of petroleum and natural resources had long been 
considering to improve the specifications of the petroleum products 
with the objectives of reducing environmental pollution, optimizing 
petroleum logistics and infrastructure and increasing fuel 
efficiency and benefits to consumers.

The production of single-grade petrol has been achieved through 
modification of the configuration of the existing refineries and 
setting up of PARCO Mid-Country Refinery at Multan, said an 
official announcement.-APP

Back to the top
Storming of the Supreme Court
Ardeshir Cowasjee

AFFIDAVIT sworn at Karachi on September 27, 2000:

"In The Supreme Court of Pakistan (Cr. Appeal 162/99)...... I, 
Ardeshir Cowasjee ........ in reference to a front-page news report 
published in Dawn, the newspaper of record, on September 19, 2000, 
headed 'Rowdyism at SC: Respondents seek mercy' (Attachment 1) in 
which has been reported '... After conferring with his clients, the 
counsel said that his clients had thrown at (sic.) the mercy of the 
court. Referring to SC judgment in Masroor Ahsan vs. Ardeshir 
Cowasjee', counsel said that whenever the accused threw himself at 
the mercy of the court the court showed magnanimity....', do hereby 

1) That the above news item implies that in Cr.O.P. 5/95, Masroor 
Ahsan v. Ardeshir Cowasjee, Mr Ahmad Ali Khan, Editor, Dawn and Mr 
Ghulam Ali A Mirza, Printer & Publisher, Dawn, the Respondents, 
threw themselves at the mercy of the court.

2) That, the factual position is, no charges were framed against 
any of the Respondents and that no Respondent threw himself at the 
mercy of the court. It is requested that the court record may be 
accordingly corrected.

3) That I attach hereto a copy of my unrefuted column published in 
Dawn on May 23, 1999, entitled Not guilty?' (Attachment 2). 
Particular reference is made to the following passages:

(a) "At 0300 hours on Friday, November 28, 1997, the landing strip 
of the Islamabad airport was lit up. Punjab Chief Minister Mian 
Shahbaz Sharif flew in, having wished God Speed to his party 
stalwarts travelling by road from Lahore to the capital city. He 
had come to witness his stormers perform and to arrange a post-
storming celebratory luncheon at Punjab House."

(b) "With him, amongst others, was Senator Saifur Rahman. Saif was 
later to deny having had anything to do with the transportation of 
the hordes, explaining that he had 'rushed' to Lahore the evening 
before to visit a judge of the Supreme Court. Having met His 
Lordship at 11 o'clock at night, he had hitched a ride back with 

(c) "At 0730 hours the same day, Lt General Nasim Rana, then 
heading the ISI, called on COAS General Jehangir Karamat to report 
that a large crowd of ruling party men had left Lahore the previous 
night and was now congregating in Islamabad preparing to storm the 
Supreme Court. General Karamat played by the book and asked Rana to 
warn the man whose orders he obeyed, Nawaz Sharif, prime and 
defence minister. Another general in Karamat's place would have 
perhaps ordered a company of the 111 Brigade to conduct a 'move' 
exercise around the Supreme Court and the Parliament area that 
morning. The army is, after all, responsible for the security of 
the people and their institutions."

(d) "The plan to oust Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, which had 
taken root as early as August 21, 1997, succeeded and he was 

(e) "On December 13, 1997, fifteen days after the event, I 
addressed an open letter to Acting Chief Justice Ajmal Mian [my 
column, 14/12/97), requesting that "it be accepted as a petition 
and that he take suo moto action, for the gravest contempt 
committed in the face of the court, against those who stormed the 
Supreme Court on November 28, 1997 as well as those responsible for 
organizing, paying, and directing them to so do, and that severe 
deterrent punishment be handed down to all of them. Collectively 
responsible and guilty is the entire federal cabinet and its primus 
inter pares". Together with the letter, I sent him a video cassette 
which clearly showed the storming of the court and in which several 
Muslim League leaders were identified."

(f) "Acting Chief Justice Ajmal Mian moved with trepidation. He 
referred to the 'storming' as a 'very serious incident of 
rowdyism.' By his order dated 15/12/97 he appointed Abdur Rahman 
Khan, J. to hold an inquiry.

Two months later, on 18/2/98, Justice Rahman submitted a report in 
which, inter alia, he stated: 'As the action of those individuals 
who forced their entry into the court premises and raised slogans 
against the judiciary prima facie amounts to gross contempt of this 
court..... it is considered appropriate that the honourable Chief 
Justice may constitute a Bench of the court to instigate contempt 
proceedings for the outrageous incident of 28/11/97. The bench so 
constituted can adopt such measures and take such actions as it may 
deem necessary to identify the concerned persons ..... the 
necessity for initiating such action immediately is felt because of 
paramount importance of the matter as the sanctity, dignity and 
respect of the apex court of the country is involved. Street power 
should not be allowed to coerce and intimidate the judiciary'."

(g) "The hearing of the contempt case began on 21/2/99 before a 
Bench of three headed by Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid, the same Bench 
that had conducted the inquiry. I was asked to appear before it on 
May 6 as a prosecution witness. I was further directed: "If you 
wish to place on record any material regarding the incident, you 
are requested to send the same in advance." I sent a copy of the 
video cassette of the recording of the court's own CCTV cameras and 
fourteen documents, all of which had been handed over to the 
Supreme Court and/or the DAG between December 1997 and May 1998, 
i.e. prior to and during the course of the inquiry hearing of 

(h) "Before the Court on May 6, I challenged the capacity and 
capability of the DAG to prosecute, and handed over a statement 
suggesting that it was still not too late to appoint a special 
prosecutor, in conformity with current international judicial norms 
and practices, who is able to prosecute the case in an unbiased 
manner. The statement was accepted on record and the DAG was 
directed to sit down. The judges asked whether I had any statement 
to make. I accused the prime minister and the ruling party of 
having stormed the court on November 28, 1997, and of obstructing 
the course of justice. On what basis had I made my statement? I was 
asked. On the basis of the video cassette and of all the documents 
already sent to the court. During cross examination by a defence 
lawyer it was "put" to me that my accusation was malafide and made 
out of malice. "Right or wrong?" he asked. Wrong, I replied, and 
there the matter ended."

(i) "On May 14, 1999, over one and a half years after the storming, 
the judgment was delivered. Statements made under oath, the video 
cassette recording, newspaper clippings - all these were not 
considered to be evidence."

4) That with regard to the above cited passages, I have the 
following elaborations/questions:

(a) Mian Shahbaz Sharif flew to Islamabad in his special plane at 
dead of night. Why?

(b) Which Supreme Court judge did Saifur Rahman call upon at 2300 

(c) A 'move' exercise would have entailed a company of 111 Brigade 
motoring up and down the Constitution Avenue without resorting to 

(d) From the statement filed in the court by Senator Iqbal Haider 
on May 25, 1998. This was followed by the clandestine visit to the 
judges of the Quetta Bench of the honourable Supreme Court by the 
envoy of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Senator Rafiq Ahmad Tarar, 
whereafter the Quetta judgment of November 28, 1997, was delivered 
by Justices Irshad Hasan Khan and Khalilur Rahman Khan.

(e) The video cassette of the film recorded by the CCTV cameras 
installed in the Supreme Court building was considered sufficient 
evidence by Chief Justice Ajmal Mian to order a judicial inquiry 
into the storming.

(f) Justice Abdur Rahman Khan confirmed that the storming had 
coerced and intimidated the judiciary. A clear case of contempt in 
the face of the court.

(g) All the evidence remains on record of the Supreme Court.

(h) On the production of evidence recorded by the court cameras a 
judicial inquiry was conducted and contempt proceedings followed.

5) That in the interests of the "sanctity, dignity and respect of 
the apex court of the country", I submit that Mian Nawaz Sharif, 
Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Saifur Rahman, Lt General Nasim Rana, and the 
journalists present in court on November 28, 1997, be summoned to 
give evidence under oath.

6) That I request that this affidavit and its attachments be taken 
on record.

7) That whatever is stated above is true and correct."

We must be thankful to providence for small mercies, and our 
honourable judiciary should be thankful to journalist Shahid 
Orakzai for his persistence. Three chief justices later and a 
thousand days down the road from the November 28, 1997, storming of 
the supreme court, Orakzai and his tenacity have enabled the court 
to restore, to some extent, its damaged image. Seven of the 
hundreds of stormers have been convicted and now that the second 
investigation ball has been lobbed to a superintendent of police, 
it is just possible that a few Untersturmfuehrers will be convicted 
equally swiftly. This is certainly not the end of the story.
Caesar bemused
Ayaz Amir

AS the first anniversary of this halting revolution approaches, 
spare a thought for General Musharraf's confusion. When more in 
response to the brilliance of the Sharifs (God's gift to Pakistan) 
than to any vaulting ambition of his own, Musharraf seized power - 
or rather his generals on the ground seized power for him - the 
gushing enthusiasm of a nation always on the lookout for miracles 
hailed him as redeemer, national saviour and Ataturk. A year down 
the road, with reality reasserting itself and that gushing 
enthusiasm subsiding, the same person, no worse or better than 
before, is being attacked by every lamp post within striking 

A year ago every pundit in the land was calling upon the General to 
complete his agenda, even if it seemed unclear what his agenda was. 
Now the same pontiffs, not a whit put out by their misplaced 
zealotry, are criticising the General. Is this dramatic turnaround 
- everything in Pakistan being dramatic - a reflection of the 
General's shortcomings or a mark of a volatile nation given to 
swinging from one extreme to another?

The General came in the darkness of the night. He had no agenda, 
even if he put on a brave face and pretended to have a deeply 
thought-out manifesto for national revival. It was the nation which 
was tired of the "heavy mandate" and looking for a reprieve. When 
it got a reprieve (let's not go into the sequence of cause-and-
effect) it seized it with both hands. What is more, on the reprieve 
it cast all its thwarted hopes and desires.

But let us bear witness. The General did not seek the role of a 
saviour. It was thrust upon him by a nation - or, to be more 
precise, a corps of pundits - in no mood to take no for an answer. 
If after a year honey dew has not been harvested on the mountains 
or if the waters of the Indus have not turned to holy wine who is 
to blame?

What is wrong with the present lot of generals ruling Pakistan? All 
in all, they are competent professionals with sound instincts and 
the good of the nation at heart, their collective calibre on a par 
with the best on offer in the country. Of course, they committed a 
sin: seizing power and, if that was made inevitable by the 
brilliance of the Sharifs, then by holding on to it. For this they 
should have been criticised right from the start. But this was not 
done. On the contrary, the General and his team were received as 
miracle-makers. When they failed to live up to our exaggerated 
expectations we began pulling them to the ground and judging them 
by standards more appropriate to the tales of Scherezade than to 
politics in the times of Mian Muhammad Sharif and President Rafiq 
Tarar. (They say improbable names do not rise to historic 
prominence. Could an Adolf Schicklegruber have become German 
Fuehrer? Rafiq Tarar disproves this thesis. If he can be president, 
anything is possible.)

So, holding onto the middle ground betwixt excessive effusiveness 
and perverse cynicism, how runs the balance sheet of the last 
twelve months? Forget, as a reference point, Musharraf's seven-
point agenda which he announced in his justification speech soon 
after the "heavy mandate" was consigned to the limbo of history. As 
much a product of darkness as the rest of that stormy night, it 
serves no purpose to run a comb through that lack-lustre check-
list. Far better to look elsewhere for the General's successes and 

Wittingly or otherwise, the General's foremost success has been to 
calm the nation's nerves and to steady the ship of state, the very 
dullness of the political scene, and the repetitive nature of what 
the press has to offer, being a reflection of this soporific state 
of affairs. Reflect how things were a year ago - the uncertainty 
spawned by Kargil, the tense standoff that followed between Sharif 
and the army command, the sense of dissatisfaction running deep 
through the ruling party itself, the uneasy feeling that things 
were bad and Sharif not the man to improve them - and only then is 
it possible to appreciate the balminess of the present season of 
dullness. Musharraf after a year in power is no more popular than 
Sharif was at this time last year, but at least there is no feeling 
in the air, as opposed to the sentiment in some newspaper columns 
that things are on the verge of spinning out of control.

The military government has kept a steady course in Afghanistan 
which is no mean thing given the constant carping and snide remarks 
of the outside world. The Taliban may be in no position to win a 
fashion contest anywhere but Pakistan, condemned by geography to 
share the burden of Afghanistan, cannot be choosy. Other countries 
which helped create Afghanistan's problems when it suited them, and 
then walked away when their interests were no longer involved, can 
afford the luxury of softchair liberalism. Not Pakistan which would 
be stupid to ignore the fact that the Taliban, whether one approves 
of their manners or not, hold sway over most of the country.

On Kashmir and "cross-border terrorism" the military government has 
had to put up with much out-door preaching and lecturing on the 
part of the Clinton administration. But it has rolled with the best 
punches the US and India (both newly-locked in a post-cold war 
embrace) could throw without losing its cool or retreating (as 
would have been all too easy) into a Myanmarish isolationism.

And despite everything the government has engaged successfully with 
international philanthropy as signified by the IMF and the World 
Bank. Harsh conditions have been met and the rupee has been allowed 
to bleed, but at the end of it all an IMF package of sorts will in 
all likelihood come Pakistan's way, allowing it to adjust its debts 
and get on with life.

On the downside of military performance is the sullen mood of much 
of the populace, embittered by the feeling that military rule far 
from delivering anything has made economic conditions worse. This 
has been the General's weakest spot. Prices are high and purchasing 
power is down. With no economic activity in the country, those on 
daily wages or restricted incomes are feeling the pinch. And laying 
all their troubles at Musharraf's door.

But when criticism is freely offered, all sides of the question 
must be examined. What choices did this team have? What magic wand 
to deliver Pakistan from its budgetary and debt problems? The good 
times, with the easy money that came with them, stopped rolling a 
long time ago. Since then everything has been coming to a head. 
Governments which should have looked ahead got by with gimmicks. 
General Musharraf has the exasperating habit of reciting hollow 
statistics to signify economic progress. Perhaps he would be better 
off if he eschewed this habit. But when it comes to economic policy 
at least he does not shoot from the hip. For right or wrong, the 
economic direction Pakistan is taking is underpinned by 
institutional decision-making.

True, Pakistan is still bereft of a sense of direction, Muharraf 
being no visionary or inspirational leader. But, if I am allowed 
the paradox, Pakistan is facing in the right direction. It is 
engaging with the outside world and trying hard to dissipate the 
fallout of Kargil. At the same time, aware of domestic realities, 
it is not upsetting the country's internal balance by swinging too 
abruptly in any one direction. Hence, to the dismay of armchair 
liberals, the studied attempts not to inflame clerical sentiment in 
the country.

On strategic direction, therefore, the Musharraf government is on 
course. Which again is a paradox because these were the generals 
who got tactics right and strategy hopelessly wrong during the 
Kargil operation. Now it is just the other way round. On day-to-day 
handling of policy, which is what forms a government's image in the 
eyes of the people, this has to be the most inept bunch of 
operators in the nation's history: rootless civilians trying to 
pass off as old political hands, amateurs trying to pass off as 
professionals, tough-sounding rookies convinced that stern oratory 
is the essence of good government.

Compounding the sense of a shambles on the cards is the glasnost 
prevailing in the country, with the press more free, and certainly 
more adventurous, than any time in its history. Past defence deals 
have been questioned. The army has been criticised by name like at 
no other time in the past. To his credit, Musharraf (the odd 
outburst against lifafa journalism notwithstanding) has remained 
cool and unflappable under fire, his own temperament and style 
contributing in no small measure to yet another paradox to be found 
in Pakistan today: militarism with a human face.

Ultimately, the question boils down to one of alternatives. The 
arguments against military rule are well-rehearsed, so no point in 
going over them again. But I ask myself that if I was able to 
resurrect the past and have a choice in the matter, under whom as 
an ordinary citizen would I prefer to live: Bhutto, Zia, Benazir, 
Nawaz Sharif or Musharraf? The answer horrifies me: the statistic-
chewing General.

Eqbal and the pain of Palestine  
Irfan Husain

AS searing images of the brutality currently being inflicted on 
Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories flash daily 
across our TV screens, I find myself wondering how the late Eqbal 
Ahmad, activist, intellectual, distinguished columnist and a much-
missed friend, would have reacted to this latest bout of 

As a man of deeply felt convictions and a passion for justice, 
Eqbal's interests and involvement spanned the globe. But the trials 
and tribulations of Palestinians engaged his passion, intellect and 
skills of oratory in a way that no other single issue did. He met 
Yasser Arafat and other members of the PLO on a number of occasions 
and tried to advise them to change their tactics; unfortunately, 
and to the continued suffering of the Palestinian people, his 
advice fell on deaf ears.

In a recent book comprising interviews with David Barsamian ("Eqbal 
Ahmad: Confronting Empire"; published by Pluto Press and 
distributed by Vanguard Books), Edward Said, the brilliant 
Palestinian writer and thinker whose column graces these pages, 
says in his moving foreword:

"...Something about Eqbal that touched and helped me more deeply 
than almost anything he did or wrote was his heroic defence, his 
unstinting sense of solidarity with my people, the Palestinians. 
For many refugees, camp dwellers and wretched of the earth who have 
been forgotten by their own leaders and their fellow Arabs and 
Muslims, Eqbal was one of their guiding lights. And for that, no 
Palestinian can ever thank him enough...

"...But what also needs to be mentioned is that to struggle for 
Palestine as Eqbal did was to have none of the material or even 
intellectual awards of the struggle. Palestine is a thankless 
cause... Palestine is the cruelest, most difficult cause to uphold, 
not because it is unjust, but because it is just and yet dangerous 
to speak about as honestly and concretely as Eqbal did..."

Said goes on to discuss the specific suggestions Eqbal made, 
including the proposal that Palestinians in countries neighbouring 
Israel should form unarmed processions and march on the borders of 
Israel, announcing their intention "to go home." In one of his 
interviews with Barsamian, Eqbal puts a more ingenious twist to 
this idea: he suggested to the PLO that large numbers of 
Palestinians should board ships in nearby countries and sail for 
Israel, again announcing that they wanted to return to their homes. 
How many ships full of unarmed civilians would the Israelis sink 
before the cameras of the assembled world media?

Basically, Eqbal argued forcefully that the PLO's notions of "armed 
struggle" were counterproductive as this surrendered the moral high 
ground to Israel, at least in the eyes of the American public. And 
gaining the support of the American people, media and politicians 
was crucial to the cause. In this context, he urged Palestinians to 
collect information on every congressional district and important 
civil institution in the United States with a view to influencing 
legislators. But the PLO leadership was too unsophisticated to 
grasp the impeccable logic of this approach, preferring the path of 
terrorism ("a weapon of the weak", according to Eqbal). In effect, 
Eqbal advocated "aggressive non-violence" (Edward Said's words).

Elaborating this theme at a conference in the United States where 
he was the keynote speaker, Eqbal said in one interview with 
Barsamian: "...I argued that armed struggle was supremely 
unsuitable to the Palestinian condition, that it was a mistake to 
put so much emphasis on it. I argued that armed struggle is less 
about arms and more about organization, that a successful armed 
struggle proceeds to out-administer the adversary and not out-fight 
him... Finally I argued that this out-administration occurs when 
you identify the primary contradiction of your adversary and expose 
that contradiction not only to yourselves... but to the world at 
large, and more important, to the people of the adversarial country 

"I argued that Israel's fundamental contradiction was that it was 
founded as a symbol of the suffering of humanity... at the expense 
of another people innocent of guilt. It's this contradiction that 
you have to bring out. And you don't bring it out by armed 
struggle. In fact, you suppress this contradiction by armed 
struggle. The Israeli Zionist organizations portray the Jews as 
victims of Arab violence..."

These brilliant insights may seem obvious when put in words, but 
they are the products of an incisive and logical mind. As a 
militant pacifist, Eqbal was always against the crude mindset that 
seeks to settle every problem with arms. Although he had fought in 
the Algerian war of independence, Eqbal was convinced that 
legitimacy and organization were the keys to success. 
Unfortunately, a corrupt and inept Palestinian leadership was 
incapable of understanding and applying Eqbal's theories.

The Oslo accords represent what Eqbal called "the peace of the 
weak." In fact, Yasser Arafat threw away many of the gains made by 
courageous young Palestinians during the intifada. By agreeing to 
many ambiguous declarations of intent rather than pinning down the 
Israelis to specific dates and locations in their haste to return 
to the occupied territories and grab some form of power, the PLO 
has effectively signed away any chance of normal statehood and 
sovereignty. The Palestinian Authority has been reduced to what 
Eqbal used to call the role of "policeman and municipal official."

The last time Eqbal met Arafat was in Tunisia after the PLO had 
been driven out of Lebanon by the invading Israeli army. Arafat was 
understandably depressed and barely followed Eqbal when he urged 
the PLO to recognize Israel, but then insist on asking which Israel 
it should recognise: "Is it the Israel of 1948? Is it the Israel of 
the 1947 partition plan? Is it the Israel of 1948 that expanded 
three times more? Is it the Israel of the 1967 war? Is it the 
Israel of the Israeli imagination? Because Israel is the only 
country today... that has refused to announce its boundaries."

Eqbal went on to argue passionately as only he could that Arafat 
should "develop a viable, acceptable peace proposal that die-hard 
Zionists may not accept, but the world, as well as decent Israeli 
opinion, could not afford to reject. One that would offer Israel 
the security that it publicly claims to want, but which insists on 
justice for the Palestinians in ways that no one could find 

I can do no better than close this column with Said's conclusion to 
his foreword where he discusses the need to collect Eqbal's 
scattered writings into several volumes so that "those who didn't 
have the privilege of knowing him would know what a truly 
remarkable, gifted man he was. Because, to paraphrase the words of 
Wordsworth, writing about Milton, 'the world has need of thee'."

Reaching the semis no mean achievement: Islah

 KARACHI, Oct 4: Pakistan hockey manager Islahuddin Siddiqi said 
here Wednesday that having finished fourth at the Sydney Olympics 
was by no means an ordinary achievement and it definitely pointed 
to a bright future ahead.

He said though the team failed to step on the victory stand, the 
performance could by no means be rated as 'unsatisfactory' or 
disappointing as Pakistan remained unbeaten in its pool, which, he 
said was a tough one. 

 "I am completely satisfied with the boys' performance," he said on 
his return from Sydney early Wednesday morning. 

Recalling the pessimistic views many people had expressed about the 
team's ability to qualify for the semi-finals before its departure 
for Down Under, the former Olympian said the performance of the 
players had belied their assessment.

"Reaching the last four stage was my first target which the team 
achieved. But it was sheer bad luck that Pakistan couldn't grab the 
gold," he added.

Pakistan, in their pool matches, salvaged 2-2 draw with Canada, 
thrashed Britain 8-1, drew 1-1 and 2-2 with Germany and Malaysia 
respectively, and breezed past the world champions the Netherlands 

However, the Koreans, who later clinched the silver medal, proved 
as the nemesis for the green shirts with 1-0 win. Hosts Australia 
grabbed a bronze by beating Pakistan 6-3.

Number of missed chances was the prime reason for 1-0 defeat 
against the South Korea, Islah said and added the luck was not on 
Pakistan's side.

He said non-availability of Imran Yousuf in the matches against 
Korea and Australia was one of the factors for Pakistan's losses 
against both the teams. Imran didn't play against Korea and Aussies 
due to fever.

Islah didn't agree that Pakistan team was heavily relying on Sohail 
Abbas rather than scoring field goals, saying only eight out of 
eighteen goals were netted by Sohail, while the rest were field 

Islah said the team, by virtue of finishing fourth in the Olympics, 
has qualified for the 2002 Champions Trophy in Brussels, and 2002 
World Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

He said match-to-match strategy was devised during the competition, 
but anything can happen in a tough event like the Olympics.

He said the team members were fully fit throughout the matches and 
had good training before the Olympiad.

The former Olympian said he considered the present squad a talented 
pool of youngsters and there were no technical deficiencies 

The manager rejected the idea that top outfits will mark penalty 
corner executioner, Sohail Abbas, in the future just like the 
Koreans did, saying "it was not the day for Pakistan. We tried 
variations in penalty corner through Shafqat but it didn't prove 
effective either."

The Korean dashers had unnerved our players during the crunch 
match, blocking Sohail to prevent him from trying his deadly drag 

Moin, Javed confident but avoid predictions

KARACHI, Oct 2: The Pakistan cricket team left for Saudi Arabia on 
way to Kenya sans Yousuf Youhana on Monday to participate in the $ 
1 million ICC knockout tournament starting in Nairobi from Oct 3.

Yousuf Youhana will fly directly to Kenya on Tuesday evening and 
join the team at the same it reaches Nairobi. The Pakistan team 
will be in transmit in Makkah for 30 hours during which it will 
perform Umra.

Pakistan has been given a bye in the first round. They play the 
quarter-final on Oct 8 against the winners of West Indies and Sri 
Lanka who face each other on Oct 4.

The team is being led by wicket-keeper Moin Khan who sounded 
optimistic over the team's chances but refrained from making any 

"The team is formidable with the return of frontline players. But 
in a knockout format, it is very difficult to predict a victory," 
he said on the eve of his departure.

Wasim Akram, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saqlain Mushtaq have returned for 
national duty after missing out the last competition in Singapore. 
Moin also stages a comeback after skipping the Singapore triangular 
because of knee injury.

Pakistan has been drawn in a comparatively easier half. If they win 
the quarter-final, their opponents in the semi-final would either 
be New Zealand or Zimbabwe who play the other quarter-final on Oct 
9. The other half is a death pool with defending champions South 
African drawn with Australia, India and England.

Moin admitted that Pakistan was in an easier half as compared to 
the other one but emphasised that his team ought to play good 
cricket in order to qualify for the final and then win it. "We 
can't be complacent by going through the two halves.

"This is a season opener and a buildup for the home series against 
England. Naturally a victory in Nairobi would lift the morale of 
the players," he said.

Ironically, Pakistan will play the quarter-final with the team 
against whom they have not enjoyed success recently. Pakistan lost 
the double header to Sri Lanka in the Sri Lanka triangular 
competition and though Pakistan won the triangular in the West 
Indies, they lost thrice to the home team in five matches.

Moin Khan said the batsmen needed to fire up to give their bowlers 
an even chance to win the games. "Our bowlers have done excellently 
in the recent past. But now it is time for the batsmen to 
contribute evenly.

"Inzamam-ul-Haq has been shouldering the responsibility of scoring 
bulk of the runs. But now the other batsmen have to rise and show 
their potential. The return of Ijaz Ahmad strengthens the middle-
order which leaves no excuses for a failure."

Inzamam has scored over 950 runs in the 29 one-day internationals 
he has played this year. He averages 40.

"Courtesy the depth in our batting, we can recover from a 
disasterous start but can never post a match-winning total if the 
top order doesn't deliver. Which means the key to our success will 
be how the batsmen flare up," the world record holder of dismissals 
behind the wickets in one-day cricket added.

Javed Miandad, Pakistan coach, said he was confident that the team 
would perform well. He said the players have done all the hard work 
in the training camp and was convinced that it would pay back.

"We are taking this competition very seriously because this is the 
contest which will be the platform for the rest of the season. It 
is always a great feeling to start any season victorious. Victory 
makes a world of difference to the morale of the players," he said.

Pakistan last played in Kenya in 1996 in the four-nation tournament 
where it finished losing finalists to South Africa.

Holland keep Koreans at bay to retain title; Aussies clinch bronze
Zawwar Hasan

SYDNEY, Sept 30: The fighting Koreans today all but ended Holland's 
golden dream in the Sydney Olympics. Once again the reigning 
Olympic champions took the crutches of penalty strokes to 
successfully negotiate the thorny path to the defence of their 
Olympic title.

Holland thus became the first country to have won two successive 
Olympic titles in the post-World War II period.

Pumping in two penalty corners in the last five minutes of the 
game, the doughty Koreans held the "oranjas" to a 3-3 draw and 
played scoreless extra time to stake their claim as the new Asian 
tigers of hockey. They forced the Dutch to fall to the crutches of 
penalty strokes once again to decide the match. The Dutch had 
entered the final also through penalty strokes when Livermore 

Ironically, it was Korea's own ace executioner Seung-Tai Song who 
cost them the goal medal. On Thursday Song had scored the match-
winner against Pakistan and looked like having done the same 
demolition job on Holland by scoring a field goal in the eighth 
minute. Later he faltered in the crunch hour. Slotted third to take 
the penalty corner, he failed to score.

The final got to a sensational start as Song fired in an early 
goal. After Loman had misfired his first penalty corner Stephan 
Veen capitalized a God-sent penalty stroke a moment later to level 
the score. This spurred on the Dutch to go for a kill, but the 
Koreans defended valiantly to break for the recess with the 
scoreboard still standing at 1-1.

After the interval Stephan Veen again furthered the cause of the 
Dutch team when he broke loose from the Korean defence to gain a 2-
1 lead. And it seemed all over for Korea when Stephan Veen repeated 
the performance. Not only the goal brought individual glory to 
Stephan by giving him the hat trick, it put the Dutch team in 
seemingly impregnable position.

Only twelve minutes then remained for the final whistle. It was a 
now-or-never situation for Korea. The Koreans then ordered all 
hands to the pump and it paid rich dividends within two minutes. 
Two quick conversions of penalty corners by their captain Kang in 
just two minutes left the Dutch completely bewildered.

After a scoreless extra time when Korea shared the exchanges 
equally they had to go into a penalty stroke session. Korea who 
took the first penalty stroke were level after two but then Song 
weighed down under the burden and failed to score to be the lone 
defaulter from either side to concede the match and the Olympic 
gold medal to Holland.

A silver in only their second attempt at the Olympics is a 
creditable record by any standards. The emergence of Korea as a 
hockey power augurs well for the game and gives a sharper edge to 
the Asian challenge, which had so far been carried on by only 
Pakistan and India. Hockey bronze.

AUSTRALIA TAKE BRONZE: Gold or nothing. That mindset seemed to have 
haunted Pakistan when it commenced the battle for bronze against 
the Australian hosts at the Home Bush Hockey Centre in the closing 
stages of the Olympic extravaganza here this evening.

A screaming, flag-waving crowd egged on the Australians to pick up 
the pieces of their elusive golden dream, shattered only 48 hours 
before by the reigning champions in a fight that could not have got 
any closer.

The Kookaburras responded with a tennis score of 6-3. And the crowd 
laughed. Understandably, a bronze is better than nothing is.

That thought was not uppermost in the minds of the green-shirted 
warriors who had brought a struggling team so near its golden goal. 
Or so it seems. Grieving hockey fans too will probably take some 
time to soak in the enormity of achievement of this young and 
promising team under stress and strain, known to all. At this 
emotional hour, the larger picture looks faded.

This team has brought Pakistan back to the centre of hockey stage. 
When they came to Sydney last month Pakistan was barred entry to 
World Cup and the Champions Trophy. Even their route to Olympics 
was indirect. They had to come via Osaka, where they had to play 
the qualifying rounds for the first time in their hockey history. 
By finishing among the first four they have knocked the doors down. 
Now begins the testing time for the managers of Pakistan hockey.

Whether these functionaries have the will and ability to stand the 
test only time will tell. Sadly, today the team did not stand up to 
the test. Living in past successes or failures does not take one 

True, the Koreans elbowed them out on Thursday from the gold medal 
contest. But there is life beyond the gold medal.

If the Pakistan team had got over its semi-final defeat, their body 
language did not show. Nor did their efforts at controlling the 
game. The Aussies looked more focused and had a game plan. Whenever 
their midfielders moved towards the Pakistan goal the wingers and 
the striker were well positioned to receive the passes.

Some times it made one wonder where all the defenders had gone. The 
Australian attackers had all the time and the space in the world to 
pass the ball to each other in their effort to find a player who 
would be more suitably placed. The Australians worked real hard, 
extending themselves to unbelievable extent. Some of the direct 
through passes would have certainly gone out of play if not 
deflected by diving players.

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