------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 1 December 2001 Issue : 07/48 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Nuclear assets not at risk, says Rashid + Nuclear scientists' case hearing adjourned + Interrogation of Nuclear scientist at US embassy condemned + Non-Kashmiris terrorists: Benazir + Coalition rules out inquiry + Coalition has no mission in Pakistan: envoy + US would have attacked even after Osama handover, says Zaeef + Akram to represent Pakistan + 'Islamabad to accept Bonn moot decisions' + US ignores request for spares + 49 Pakistani fighters freed in Jalalabad + Assets of 152 Taliban officials to be frozen + Shahbaz wife, daughters 'made to leave' + Govt to take action against Shahbaz's wife, daughters + Non-Afghans' massacre: reprisals feared in NWFP + Policy soon to weed out extremist forces: ISPR + Security: US seeks data on air passengers + Pakistani Americans meet Bush + Most detainees are Pakistanis: US + Bid to cover up hate crimes in US condemned + Bonn conference agrees to form broad-based govt + UN staff leave Mazar for security reasons + Security enhanced to block Osama's entry + Consensus reached on role for Zahir Shah + CE optimistic about new Afghan govt + US, UK abusing power in 'war', says Chomsky + Benazir demands assurance of safety on return + Benazir suggests China model for Kashmir talks + Pakistanis sense US has failed to keep deal + US has no proof to get Osama convicted: Chomsky + Six Pakistan tribesmen killed in US bombing + US, UK plan for war in Somalia, Sudan & Yemen: report + CE, Indian premier may not meet + Efforts on for Pakistanis' evacuation from Kunduz + No Pakistan aircraft in Afghanistan, says official + Taliban office sealed, 20 held + Muttahida may set up radio, TV stations + Saif's arrest in murder case sought: Plea filed in PHC + 10 killed in Kashmir explosions, shootouts + 19 killed in Jherruk road accident --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Japan to provide Rs5.3m for DPs + Chances for poverty funds bright: IMF + EU agrees to cut tariffs, raise textile quotas + KESC sell off plan finalized + Fake message creates furore in capital market --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + A free press Ardeshir Cowasjee + Noose tightens on Osama Eric S. Margolis + Pragmatism of the supine Ayaz Amir + Governments from hell Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + PCB to send Shoaib's footage to Perth + Wasim explains no-show act

Nuclear assets not at risk, says Rashid
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Nov 26: Government dismissed the apprehensions, if any, 
about its nuclear installations being hit by a stray bomb from the 
US-led allied forces.

Responding to a question at a foreign office briefing, Maj-Gen 
Rashid Qureshi, director-general ISPR, said that although a couple 
of stray bombs did fall inside Pakistan territory close to the 
border, no material damage was done.

When asked about a possible misfire hitting Pakistan's nuclear 
installations, Gen Qureshi said: "It was ridiculous to presume such 
an eventuality as I have told you those were stray bombs which 
accidentally fell only about 10 yards away from the border".

Nuclear scientists' case hearing adjourned
By Shujaat Ali Khan

LAHORE, Nov 28: The Lahore High Court adjourned the hearing of 
nuclear scientists' habeas corpus petitions for submissions on the 
legality and propriety of detention of a citizen for questioning on 
a sensitive issue and of a notice to the President in the matter.

Justice Khalilur Rahman Ramday heard the petitioners' counsel, 
Muhammad Ismail Qureshy and Mian Jamil Akhtar and asked at the end 
of hearing whether it would not be better for the detainees and 
their dependents to await their release in the light of official 
statements that there was no material against them and that they 
would be freed in due course.

Mr Ismail Qureshy spoke at length about the contribution of the 
detainees, particularly Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood, to the 
development of Pakistan's nuclear program. As for their links to 
Kabul, he produced copies of a commerce ministry letter to Mr 
Mahmood's Ummah Tamir-i-Nau Trust allowing it to import equipment 
and machinery for agricultural development of Afghanistan on the 
condition that they would ultimately be brought back to Pakistan. 
The authorization was issued in early September but the government 
policy underwent a radical change after Sept 11.

The lawyer referred to the statements of President Gen Pervez 
Musharraf and his ministers praising the services of nuclear 
scientists to the country. He heavily relied on the President's 
latest PTV interview declaring that there was no material against 
the scientists and that they were being held in 'protective 

Mr Qureshy said the President's statement meant that there was 
neither any case against the detainees nor were they in preventive 
custody. The high court was thus all the more obliged to order 
their production. The question of a notice to the president did not 
arise. Nor was it in keeping with the dignity of the court to wait 
for their release.

When Mr Qureshi cited a number of past habeas corpus cases, 
including the petitions filed for the production and release of 
Shorish Kashmiri, Chaudhry Zahur Ilahi and Maulvi Farid Ahmad, the 
judge observed that they were all politicians and the mala fide of 
the detaining authority stood proved. The case of scientists was 

While Mr Qureshi appeared for Mr Mahmood's mother, Fazilat Bibi, 
who moved the court on Monday, Advocate Mian Jamil Akhtar 
represented petitioner-lawyer MD Tahir, who filed a petition on Nov 
5. He submitted that never before in Pakistan's judicial history, a 
habeas corpus petition had remained unheard for such a long time. 
He pressed for a production order as the scientists were being kept 
in unlawful detention. Nobody could be confined for mere 
questioning for over a month, he said.

Interrogation of Nuclear scientist at US embassy condemned
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Nov 24: The Pak-Afghan Defence Council's Punjab chapter 
condemned the arrest of Pakistan's nuclear scientist Sultan 
Bashiruddin Mahmood and his colleagues, and their interrogation at, 
what it said, the American embassy.

Adopting a resolution at a meeting chaired by its president Hafiz 
Muhammad Idrees of the Jamaat-i-Islami, the council termed the 
scientist as a national hero who played a key role in making 
Pakistan a nuclear power while ignoring all international 
temptations. The way the rulers had recognized his services was 
condemnable, it said.

It termed the arrest of the scientist and his colleagues an action 
inimical to the sovereignty of Pakistan. These scientists did not 
commit any crime and America was annoyed with them because they had 
pushed a Third World country into the international atomic club.

The council urged the people to take stock of the situation and 
register their protest.

Non-Kashmiris terrorists: Benazir
SRINAGAR, Nov 29: Non-Kashmiris fighting Indian troops in the 
disputed territory are not freedom fighters but terrorists, Benazir 
Bhutto said in an interview published Thursday.

"Let me clear here that non-Kashmiris are not freedom fighters and 
indigenous Kashmiris are fighting for their freedom," Bhutto told 
the Greater Kashmir, a daily in the Indian-administered territory. 
"I also call non-Kashmiri militants as terrorists," she told the 
newspaper in an interview from New Delhi, where she is on a private 

Benazir had been asked about India's stand that Pakistan supports 
"cross-border terrorism" in the form of Islamic militants crossing 
the disputed border to target Indian forces.

Pakistan considers the militancy in Kashmir part of an indigenous 
drive for self-determination. Benazir claimed her position may 
eventually be adopted by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, 
noting that she was ahead of Musharraf in breaking ranks with 
Afghanistan's Taliban.

"What I say first is followed by Musharraf later," Bhutto said. 
Benazir said she opposed hard-line Kashmiri groups such as Lashkar-
i-Taiba "which are trying to hijack the Kashmir movement." "We 
believe the people of Kashmir should be given right of self-
determination. They should choose their own future," she said.

Bhutto called for nuclear-armed India and Pakistan to resolve 
through dialogue all issues, including Kashmir, to avoid a repeat 
of conflicts such as the two-month confrontation in 1999 in 
Kashmir's Kargil district. "We certainly want to avoid conflicts 
like Kargil. We do not want it (the hostilities) to turn into 
nuclear war," she said.

Kashmiri freedom fighters criticised Benazir's comments. Aasiya 
Andrabi, a female freedom movement leader, said that Bhutto, "who 
knows nothing about Islam, has no right to pass comments against 
the Mujahidin."-AFP

Coalition rules out inquiry
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Nov 30: The US-led coalition rejected a suggestion made 
by the Amnesty International for holding an inquiry into the 
killing of hundreds of Taliban prisoners at Qala-i-Jangi in 

"There is no need of inquiry," coalition spokesman ambassador 
Kenton Keith told the daily briefing while dismissing the report in 
which the United States and the United Kingdom had been held 
responsible for the massacre.

He said there was no evidence that the Northern Alliance had 
carried out the massacre of Taliban soldiers. On the bombardment of 
Qala-i-Jangi, he claimed that the Taliban soldiers had changed 
their status from prisoners to combatant by taking up arms.

Mr Keith revealed that the United Front forces had captured Ahmed 
Omer Abdur Rehman, an associate of Osama bin Laden and member of Al 
Qaeda.  He did not give any details about Mr Rehman except that he 
is an Egyptian national and required by Americans for 

He hoped that the forces of Northern Alliance would hand over Mr 
Rehman to them. When asked that in the absence of an extradition 
treaty with Afghanistan how Mr Rehman would be taken to the United 
States, he said: "The absence of treaty does not mean that he 
cannot be extradited."

He said once the alliance agreed on handing over Mr Rehman to the 
US forces he would be taken to the United States for questioning.

Mr Keith had no information about the walkout of a participant, 
Qadir Khan, from the Bonn conference. "The conference has moved 
beyond the presentation of initial positions and has gotten down to 
the difficult business of narrowing the differences," he said.

The ambassador did not disclose the number of casualties suffered 
by the coalition forces during the military operations. "I can say 
we have suffered casualties," he said, adding he would not be able 
to confirm the number. "Casualties do not mean deaths," he 

Coalition has no mission in Pakistan: envoy
ISLAMABAD, Nov 29: Coalition spokesperson Kenton Keith said that 
the coalition did not have operational mission in Pakistan. There 
are no coalition objectives in Pakistan, ambassador Keith said at 
his daily briefing when his comments were sought on a report that 
some British troops were on a search mission in a part of 
Balochistan near the Afghan border.

The coalition had decided to respect the policy of the British 
government not to comment on the activities of British special 
forces, he further said.

He clarified that there were some incidents of bombs falling inside 
Pakistan territory near the Afghan border but that was not the 
coalition objective. It just happened because the operation was 
being carried out so close to the Pakistan border.

When asked whether the coalition would chase fleeing Taliban or Al 
Qaeda leaders into Pakistan, Mr Keith replied in negative. 
Pakistan, he said, was an active, enthusiastic and effective member 
of the coalition. Pakistan authorities, he added, were perfectly 
capable of guarding their borders and that is their responsibility.

About massive killings in Spin Boldak, Mr Keith said when or 
wherever summary execution would take place coalition would condemn 
it. There is no place for summary executions or atrocities. 
However, he said, the coalition didn't have information about the 
killing of Taliban in Spin Boldak. "What we have learnt about the 
incident is that a Pakhtoon anti-Taliban group has killed the 
Taliban (men) there and not the Northern Alliance."

About Mulla Omar's statement that coalition was waging a war 
against Islam, Mr Keith replied to say this was a war against Islam 
was a lie.-APP

US would have attacked even after Osama handover, says Zaeef
By Ashraf Mumtaz

LAHORE, Nov 29: The US would have attacked Afghanistan even if the 
Taliban had handed over Osama bin Laden, Mulla Abdus Salam Zaeef 
says. Talking to reporters, he said a decision to attack 
Afghanistan had been taken much before the Sept 11 incidents and 
Osama's custody was used only as a pretext for the aggression.

America, he said, wanted to uproot the Islamic system enforced by 
the Taliban and that was the major reason behind all what has been 
going on since Oct 7, the day the US launched its military strikes 
against one of the poorest countries of the world.

Akram to represent Pakistan 
Staff Correspondent

NEW YORK, Nov 28: Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations in 
Geneva, Munir Akram, would take over as the country's permanent 
representative at the UN headquarters in New York from April, well 
informed sources here told Dawn.

Mr Akram would replace Shamshad Ahmad following his retirement in 
March. Mr Ahmad has been given three months to wind up meetings and 
conferences he has already been committed to. Mr Akram as 
Pakistan's top diplomat would seek a non-permanent seat at the UN 
Security Council next year.

He has lead Pakistan's mission at Geneva for the last three years 
and has taken part in vigorous debates at the World Trade 
Organization pleading the case of the developing countries. He has 
been involved in the talks at the UN conference on disarmament. He 
has also served as the first secretary at Pakistan's mission to the 

'Islamabad to accept Bonn moot decisions'
ISLAMABAD, Nov 28: Pakistan will agree to any decision, acceptable 
to a majority of Afghans, from Bonn meeting, Foreign Office 
Spokesman Riaz Ahmed Khan told a news briefing. He said Pakistan 
supported efforts for the establishment of a broad-based, multi-
ethnic and representative government in Afghanistan.

"Whatever is acceptable to the broad and large majority of Afghan 
people will be acceptable to us," he said. "We feel that all Afghan 
groups should be party to those discussions," he said.

He said the results of the meeting should be acceptable to all 
Afghan groups. "It is for the Afghans to decide what they wish to 
do and what role they want to give, to what faction."-APP

US ignores request for spares
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Nov 28: The United States pronouncements of lifting 
military sanctions so far remain meaningless for Pakistan armed 
forces as no request, made for much-needed spares, has been 
entertained by Washington, Dawn learnt here from authoritative 

Defence officials concerned with procurement of spares, 
particularly of Pakistan navy and air force, had taken a sigh of 
relief after Washington announced lifting of military sanctions 
against Pakistan. But, their hopes of getting spare parts appear to 
be fading as they have not received any positive response despite 
sending repeated requests for these parts.

A highly-placed defence official concerned with procurement of 
spares told Dawn that the manufacturers and concerned defence 
officials in the United States, when contacted by the defence 
procurement departments of the armed forces, replied that they had 
not been officially intimated by Pentagon about the lifting of 
military sanctions against Islamabad. "What is more disturbing for 
Pakistani officials is that they have been asked not to make any 
further contacts till an official notification was received by 
them," the official said.

Islamabad's request for the supply of 28 F-16s fighter planes had 
already been turned down by the Bush administration and with the 
changing situation in Afghanistan, there is a growing fear that 
other pledges might not be honoured.

The US had slapped military sanctions on Pakistan in May 1998, when 
Islamabad carried out nuclear tests in response to a series of 
similar tests conducted by its arch rival India.

Though the imposition of sanctions had been generally regarded as a 
blessing in disguise, as it made Pakistan self-reliant in many 
areas, the need of military spare parts had not been totally over 
because of a wide-range of imported defence equipment used by the 
armed forces, particularly the air force.

While Pakistan Air Force requires spares for its F-16 planes, navy 
wants spares for its PC-3 Orion and even for French helicopters, 
parts of which are being developed in the United States under 

49 Pakistani fighters freed in Jalalabad
ISLAMABAD, Nov 28: The post-Taliban administration in Jalalabad 
released 49 Pakistanis who had gone to Afghanistan to fight 
alongside the Taliban, the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) reported.

The fighters are supporters of Tehrik Nifaz-i-Shariat Mohammadi 
(TNSM). Negotiations are underway to secure the release of the 
remaining Pakistani prisoners, it added.

Sources in the tribal zone say a number of Pakistani volunteers 
were killed early this month in Mazar-i-Sharif, with some 2,000 
being listed as missing. -AFP

Assets of 152 Taliban officials to be frozen 
By Masood Haider

NEW YORK, Nov 28: The United Nations has asked all its 189 members 
to freeze assets of 152 Taliban officials, almost everyone who held 
a government post on behalf of the former rulers of Afghanistan.

The 11-page list, posted by the UN security council sanctions 
committee, adds another 127 names of individuals, groups or 
businesses associated with the Taliban or Osama bin Laden and his 
Al Qaeda network.

Mulla Mohammed Omar, the Taliban's spiritual leader and founder, 
heads the list with Mulla Mohammad Rabbani, chairman of the council 
of ministers. The entire Taliban representation in Pakistan is 
included as well as its former consulate officials in various 
cities in that country. 

Trade and charity groups, some with their addresses, are named in 
capitals in each continent. The list includes the whole Al Barakaat 
financial network, a Somali-based operation, with branches in 
Europe and North America, the United States says was used by Al 

Other names are the Wafa Humanitarian Organization, with offices in 
Peshawar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab 
Emirates. And the list included Afghan-related businesses, such as 
the Ariana airlines account in Citibank's New Delhi, India, branch 
and the Agricultural Development Bank of Afghanistan in Britain. 

Shahbaz wife, daughters 'made to leave'
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Nov 29: The wife and two daughters of former chief minister 
Shahbaz Sharif returned to Saudi Arabia on Thursday evening after 
the Punjab government told them that they would be arrested in case 
they stayed back.

During her stay, Mrs Nusrat Shahbaz met her father and other family 
members. It is said that the Punjab government conveyed to Mrs 
Shahbaz Sharif that she should go back to Saudi Arabia or face 
arrest. She was not happy the way she was being forced to leave her 

Govt to take action against Shahbaz's wife, daughters
By Ashraf Mumtaz 

LAHORE, Nov 27: The sudden return home of the wife and two 
daughters of former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif in less than a 
year after being exiled along with the rest of the Sharif family is 
being regarded by the government as violative of the agreement 
under which the Sharifs were sent to Saudi Arabia for a period of 
10 years.

PML(N) leaders were taken aback by the development and various 
leaders are interpreting it differently.

Sources close to President Musharraf press secretary Maj-Gen Rashid 
Qureshi denied any government deal with the Sharifs. They told Dawn 
that Mrs Nusrat Shahbaz and her daughters' return amounted to the 
breach of the agreement and the government would proceed against 
them in accordance with the law. However, they did not elaborate 
the kind of action likely to be taken.

Mrs Nusrat Shahbaz met her father at the latter's Model Town 
residence where many other relatives were also present. Police kept 
the journalists away.

Family sources quoted Mrs Nusrat Shahbaz as saying that some other 
exiled family members could also come back in the near future. It 
is said that Hamza Shahbaz met the Punjab home secretary and 
informed him about the return of his mother and sisters. No further 
details were available.

Top PML(N) leaders contacted by Dawn said they had not been 
informed beforehand by the Sharifs that such a development was in 
the offing. "Their return to Lahore has no political significance", 
a party leader said on the condition of anonymity.

He said the real issue was whether deposed prime minister Nawaz 
Sharif, his brother Shahbaz Sharif or Begum Kulsoom would also came 
back. Those who had come back were the ones who were sent as a part 
of deal and no role of their own in any issue, he argued, 
apparently playing down the matter.

Former press secretary to Mian Shahbaz Sharif, who is in constant 
contact with him even in Saudi Arabia, said that Mrs Nusrat Shahbaz 
and her daughters had come permanently and had no plan to go back. 

Pakistan, he said, was their home and they were not required to go 
back. The Sharifs were banished to Saudi Arabia on Dec 10 last year 
under an agreement which binds the former ruling family to stay out 
of the country for at least a decade. Hamza Shahbaz was the only 
member kept back in Pakistan as a guarantee against millions of 
rupees in loans the Sharifs owed to various state institutions.

Abbas Sharif's son, a student, had come to Pakistan a few months 
after the exile of the family and was arrested. There have been 
reports that the Sharifs are setting up a huge steel mill in Saudi 
Arabia. Some people took these reports to mean that the Sharifs had 
given up the idea of returning to Pakistan.

The impression that the Sharifs would now permanently stay in the 
Kingdom was strengthened when Mian Shahbaz Sharif divorced Aliya 
Shahbaz as his wife. Shahbaz had married Aliya against the consent 
of his parents who had never recognized her as a part of their 
family.The former chief minister had arranged a separate residence 
for her in Defence. The divorce meant that Shahbaz Sharif was 
either unable or was not interested to take Aliya to Saudi Arabia.

Another PML(N) leader having close contacts with the Sharifs said 
Mrs Nusrat Shahbaz and her daughters might have come back to see 

He said the return of the three members might herald the coming 
back of the remaining Sharifs from the Saudi Kingdom. He said on a 
telephonic contact during the past two weeks the Sharifs had 
sounded very optimistic about the change in Pakistan's situation. 
They had also claimed that they might return anytime.

In his opinion, the Musharraf government might be under pressure 
from some important countries to allow the Sharifs as well as Ms 
Benazir Bhutto to come back to Pakistan to prevent religious forces 
from dominating the political scene. It may be pointed out that 
sources having access to the former chief minister have been 
claiming for quite some time that Mian Shahbaz Sharif could stage a 
comeback as surprisingly as he was made to leave the country along 
with the rest of the family members. They claim that the Musharraf 
government has rather a soft corner for Shahbaz Sharif.

It is, however, not clear whether Shahbaz Sharif may strike a deal 
with the government, ignoring his brother Nawaz Sharif.

Non-Afghans' massacre: reprisals feared in NWFP 
By Ahmad Hassan

ISLAMABAD, Nov 28: For fear of reprisal against the non-Pakhtoon 
refugees in the aftermath of the recent killing of Pakhtoons in 
Mazar-i-Sharif and Kabul, the Pakistan government has decided to 
shift the Shia Afghan refugees  to a new camp in Parachinar, Kurram 
Agency, official sources told Dawn.

"Very soon about 4,500 Shia Afghan refugees, now lodged at the 
Jallozai camp near Peshawar, would be settled at a makeshift camp 
to quash fears of a confrontation among the refugees," they said.

Hundreds of Mujahideen, most of whom were from Malakand and other 
parts of the NWFP, were in Afghanistan to fight alongside the 
Taliban. They were killed by the Northern Alliance troops in Kabul 
and then in Mazar-i-Sharif.

As a result of these killings, there has been an angry reaction in 
the NWFP. Some religious leaders have even threatened that they 
will not spare Persian-speaking Afghan refugees living in Pakistan 
to avenge the killing of Pakhtoons in Afghanistan. "This has put 
the Pakistan government in a very difficult situation," the source 
said and added that the shifting of Afghan refugees from the 
settled districts to tribal areas is already in progress.

Meanwhile, the chief commissioner for Afghan refugees, Syed Asif 
Ali Shah, has expressed optimism that food supplies to the war-
ravaged interiors of Afghanistan will be resumed as soon as 
conditions on the Pakistan-Afghan borders at Torkham return to 

The new administration in Afghanistan has secured the Torkham to 
Jalalabad as the convoys were escorted by armed men and Jalalabad-
Kabul Road was already peaceful, he claimed. He denied reports 
about an order to stop the pre-registration of Afghan refugees at 
Chaman or Torkham.

Talking to this scribe, Shah said the process of shifting of Afghan 
refugees from the staging camps of Chaman borders to the newly-
established Roghani camp has started and so far some 10,500 
refugees had been shifted.

Policy soon to weed out extremist forces: ISPR
By Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, Nov 27: Pakistan will wait for the outcome of the Bonn 
meeting being held to work out the future Afghan government before 
taking a decision on the recognition of authority in Kabul.

Foreign Office spokesman Aziz Ahmad Khan told the daily news 
briefing that no government delegation was holding talks with any 
Afghan parties on the recognition issue nor had any official team 
gone to Dubai to meet Prof Burhanuddin Rabbani. However, he said, 
the government had maintained "contacts" with all Afghan groups.

The spokesman conceded it was for Afghans to choose their 
government without any outside interference but said it needed to 
be remembered from the past experience that there could not be a 
durable government in Kabul if that was based at the expense of 
ethnic claims and interests.

Referring to President Pervez Musharraf's talk show, ISPR director-
general Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi told the briefing that the 
government policy to weed out "extremist" forces from society would 
be publicly known in the next few weeks.

Security: US seeks data on air passengers
By Masood Haider

NEW YORK, Nov 27: The United States customs put 58 international 
airlines, including PIA, on notice to provide Advance Passenger 
Information Lists or their carriers and passengers would face 
intense scrutiny and inspections beginning this week.

In a letter to 58 carriers, Customs Commissioner Robert Bonner 
warned of heightened inspections for those that would not comply 
with by Thursday, even though a new law gives the airlines until 
next year to start providing the required information.

The American authorities now want advance information on the 
incoming flights to the several United States airports.

A PIA spokesman told Dawn that the airline would comply with the 
request made by the US customs. "PIA is working on it," he added. 
But given the fact that all US-bound passengers are required to 
submit four copies of passport and visa information to the airline 
which also feeds it into the computer, such a list could easily be 
given to the US authorities by PIA.

Many international airlines already offer the information to the 
customs. But Bonner is urging immediate compliance with the Advance 
Passenger Information System, which was signed law last week and 
gives carriers 60 days to comply.

The letter was sent to 58 carriers, including Saudi Arabian 
Airlines, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Pakistan International 
Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Aeroflot (Russian) and Air China.

The US customs demand passenger's name, family name, date of birth, 
passport number, date of issue and expiry.

"We recognize that the vast majority of travellers are not a threat 
to the United States," Bonner said in the letter. "However, we 
believe that in the wake of Sept 11, international flights pose a 
serious national security risk to the United States if carriers do 
not provide comprehensive and accurate APIS data," Bonner said.

"Accordingly, for international flights where such data is not 
provided in advance to the US customs service by the carrier, it 
will be necessary for customs to address the security risk that 
such flights pose by, among other things, inspecting all hand-
carried and checked baggage on every flight arriving in the United 

Pakistani Americans meet Bush
Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Nov 28: A delegation of Pakistani Americans met 
President George Bush and senior administration officials at the 
White House to discuss issues relating to US-Pakistan ties and 
matters concerning the Pakistani community in the United States.

Debt rescheduling for Pakistan and US economic aid were among the 
major items discussed, according to Mr Hanif Akhtar, President of 
the Pakistan American Business Association, and Dr Amanullah Khan, 
who is a member of the state's homeland security task force, both 
of whom were part of the 17-member delegation.

Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca was 
also present during the discussions. The composition of the 
delegation was said to have been decided jointly by the White House 
and some of the Pakistani American organizations.

The question of the detention of Pakistanis in the wake of the Sept 
11 attacks and instances of harrassment and hate crimes were also 
reported to have been taken up. President Bush, according to one 
participant, had told the delegation that he was cognizant of the 
problems being faced but underlined the need for thorough 
investigations into all aspects of the September attacks. He asked 
the community representatives to bring cases where civil rights 
were affected to the notice of the attorney-general.

Most detainees are Pakistanis: US 
By Tahir Mirza

WASHINGTON, Nov 28: More than a third of those rounded up after the 
Sept 11 attacks and still in custody are people of Pakistani 
origin, according to official figures released.

Attorney-General John Ashcroft, under pressure to release details 
of those being kept in federal custody, said 641 people were in 
detention of whom over 200 came to the United States from Pakistan. 
These are among 548 held on immigration charges.

Pakistan embassy sources had earlier said they had information 
about 70 of those arrested who were Pakistani nationals, that is, 
those who held valid Pakistani passports. The others must be those 
who had either applied for or acquired US citizenship or did not 
have valid documents and who had not informed the embassy of their 

The issue was taken up with President George Bush by a 15-member 
delegation of Pakistani Americans that was invited to the White 
House for talks. The talks, on the overall picture of US-Pakistan 
relations, were mainly with National Security Council officials, 
but President Bush had also joined in for about half an hour.

Pakistani community organizations, unlike Arab American 
associations, have generally not been very vocal about the issue of 
detained Pakistanis, saying that they have often not been informed 
of those who have been arrested or who have been victims of hate 
crimes and racial profiling.

Mr Ashcroft said at his news conference that of the total number of 
641 people still in custody, 548 faced immigration charges; the 
rest were detained on what he called federal criminal charges. The 
names of those on immigrations charges were not released, only the 
numbers and nationalities were detailed. The 104 charged with 
federal criminal violations were, however, named.

According to Justice Department figures, of the 548 persons held on 
immigration violations, 208 came to this country from Pakistan. The 
vast majority of the others are from the Middle East, including 
Egypt (74), Jordan, Yemen, Iran, Algeria, Morocco, Syria, 
Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. Twenty Indians are also being held.

Being held at various lockup facilities nationwide -- including New 
York, where some are being questioned by the Justice Department's 
terrorism task force -- those in custody on immigration charges 
have reportedly been accused of a vast range of suspected crimes, 
from misuse of a passport to fraud.

News reports said some were arrested after being found in 
possession of box cutters similar to those used by the terrorists 
who crashed three jetliners into the World Trade Centre and the 

More than 1,182 persons have been arrested since the attacks, 
although more than 400 have since been cleared and released. Forty-
nine others face federal charges and are being sought or are free 
on bail. Mr Ashcroft alleged that some of those in custody were 
memebrs of Al Qaeda.

Under vastly increased powers authorized by the attorney-general, 
5,000 people, mostly of Arab descent, have been sent letters 
"inviting" them to cooperate with authorities in answering 
questions relating to terrorist networks. The federal government 
has also assumed authority to increase electronic surveillance of 

A leading member of the Senate judiciary committee, Senator Russell 
Feingold, a staunch opponent of the new anti-terrorism laws, said 
in a statement after Mr Ashcroft's news confeence that he was 
deeply troubled by the attorney-geneal's refusal to provide a full 
accounting of everyone who had been detained and the reasons for 

Bid to cover up hate crimes in US condemned
Staff Correspondent

NEW YORK, Nov 27: Pakistani-Americans in the United States have 
condemned the statement of an eight-member delegation of the 
Overseas Pakistani Foundation led by Saghir Tahir saying Pakistanis 
are not discriminated in US, nor being harassed by the law-
enforcement agencies, or threatened by the locals.

Shaukat Sindhu, Chairman of Pakistan American Association of North 
America, (PAANA) pointed out that over 1,000 Pakistanis have been 
jailed since Sept 11 attacks most of them without any charge. He 
pointed out that after Sept 11, one Pakistani citizen was murdered 
last month in Dallas, Texas, a former Pakistani journalist was 
beaten in New York City, one Pakistani Student was beaten in the 
INS Deportation Cell in the presence of INS officials, several 
other beating cases were reported from other parts of the United 
States. More than 165 Pakistanis were arrested by the FBI on 
suspicion of connection with WTC attack, most of them were shifted 
to INS in violation of the law.

Mr Sindhu said that the PAANA had received hundreds of reports of 
hate crimes and discrimination daily. The association claims to 
have 60,000 Pakistani members spread all across the United States 
and Canada. Saying that Saghir Tahir, a member of New Hampshire 
legislature does not represent the Pakistani community in the 
United States, Sindhu pointed out that despite efforts of the Bush 
administration hate crimes against the Muslims in general and 
Pakistanis in particular continue unabated.

Bonn conference agrees to form broad-based govt
Staff Correspondent

LONDON, Nov 27: Afghan delegates attending talks in Bonn have 
agreed on the principle of forming a broad-based transitional 
government. The aim of the Bonn meeting is to form an interim 
administration tasked with paving the way for an interim broad-
based government and later the holding of a Loya Jirga (council of 

A UN spokesman said the first point in the agenda was to form an 
"interim supreme council" to guide Afghanistan through a period of 
transition to democracy, which the UN hopes will last not more than 
six months.

A broader interim government is then to be agreed upon. Finally a 
loya Jirga would be convened to decide how the country is to be 
governed after the six-month period.

The conference will continue for three to five days and will work 
to achieve an agreement on different issues on the agenda. The 
conference is being attended by four Afghan groups. Mr Younis 
Qanooni heads a delegation from the Northern Alliance. Among the 
other three groups is a delegation from the former king Zahir Shah, 
headed by Abdul Sattar Seerat.

The "Peshawar group" is headed by Mr Hamid Gilani and the "Cyprus 
group" by Himayoun Jarir. The Taliban are not represented.

During next few days the delegates will discuss the formation of an 
interim administration and the deployment of security forces in 

Sources close to the conference told Dawn that a provisional 
council may comprise more than one hundred delegates sent by 
Afghanistan's different ethnic groups-from Pakhtoons and Tajiks to 
the Kyrghyz and Ismailis. Women are also expected to be included.

The council will elect a chairman, who would be recognized as a 
symbol of national unity. The most likely candidate is the former 
monarch, Zahir Shah, 87, who is planning to return to Afghanistan 
from 28 years of exile in Rome.

The day-to-day running of the country will be the responsibility of 
a chairman and his deputies.

UN staff leave Mazar for security reasons 
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Nov 27: The United Nations security officer and staff of 
an international NGO have left Mazar-i-Sharif following insecurity, 
lawlessness and violence, UN officials said at a news conference.

The officials also reported lack of security in Kandahar and Kunduz 
in addition to Mazar-i-Sharif. Speaking at the news conference, UN 
Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan spokesperson, Hasan 
Ferdous, said the UN security officer in Mazar-i-Sharif was forced 
to withdraw to Termez due to continuing violence.

Expressing concern over the security situation in Mazar-i- Sharif, 
he said an international agency has also reported the withdrawal of 
two of its staff from the city following recent clashes. "We are 
considering different access routes into the north from 
Turkmenistan due to volatility in the north and redeploying staff 
elsewhere," he said.

Security enhanced to block Osama's entry
ISLAMABAD, Nov 27: Pakistan stepped up border security to prevent 
Osama bin Laden from slipping across the border from Afghanistan to 
evade a US manhunt, a senior government official said.

"The border has been sealed. The border levies (security forces) 
have been put on a 24-hour-surveillance alert and tribal leaders 
have been asked to prevent people from crossing illegally," said 
the official, who asked not to be named.

President Pervez Musharraf said on state television, that the 
government had taken strict measures to foil any attempt by Osama 
to enter Pakistan.

The official said the porous 2,240km border with Afghanistan was 
being tightly monitored with the help of tribal elders whom the 
government had asked to keep watch for Osama. "We have not left any 
possibility open that Osama can sneak in," he added.

Border officials said the extra security meant that all crossings, 
whether formal border posts or informal routes frequented by 
smugglers or refugees, were being watched. But a source close to 
religious groups said it was impossible for the authorities to seal 
the border.

"If Osama wants to come, he can smuggle himself in, though I doubt 
he will ever do that," said the source.-Reuters

Consensus reached on role for Zahir Shah
BONN, Nov 27: Delegates participating in UN-sponsored talks in 
Germany to forge a new Afghan government are in broad agreement 
that the former king should act as a figurehead for an interim 
administration, diplomatic sources said. But the sources predicted 
the toughest hurdles would come over the appointment of a deputy, 
or prime minister, to ex-king Mohammed Zahir Shah, and the sharing 
out of the key portfolios of defence, interior and finance.

"The hard talking will be over the detailed composition of an 
interim authority. There is already something close to consensus 
regarding its leadership," a European Union diplomat explained. He 
noted that 14 out of the 28 delegates attending the talks could be 
considered royalists, while the rest are not overtly opposed to the 
idea of the king as a "symbolic figurehead".

>From the ethnic Pashtun majority, the king is also seen as crucial 
to winning support for a new administration in the south of the 
country - an area currently without strong leadership following the 
collapse of the Taliban militia. But disputes are expected to arise 
over the sharing out of key posts in an interim government, which 
in theory will pave the way for a Loya Jirga - or traditional 
"grand council" of elders - to decide the next step towards a 
formal government.-AFP

CE optimistic about new Afghan govt
ISLAMABAD, Nov 26: Reiterating support for United Nations efforts 
to form a broad-based, multi-ethnic government in Afghanistan, 
President Pervez Musharraf has expressed the hope that any future 
political dispensation in Kabul will be friendly towards Pakistan.

Guaranteeing Afghanistan's unity, stability and ensuring 
establishment of a broad-based multi-ethnic political dispensation 
were the basic parameters, he said and the whole world felt 
concerned and was making efforts in this behalf.

The President said this while speaking at the PTV's News Night. "We 
recognize Northern Alliance and each composite group of the 
Northern Alliance. Therefore, there is nothing to worry about, 
whatever their role be in a multi-ethnic government," he said.

He said there was a wrong perception that the presence of Northern 
Alliance in Kabul would be a security concern for Pakistan. 
"Pakistan has its own importance with regard to Afghanistan. Being 
a landlocked country, whatever government comes into being in 
Afghanistan will be friendly towards Pakistan," he said.

He was responding to a question on the oft-repeated fear in the 
media that presence of Northern Alliance government in Kabul could 
be a cause of concern for Pakistan. "There is no reason why a 
future Afghan government, whatever it be, would not be friendly 
towards Pakistan," he added.

On having a demilitarized Kabul, he replied that it was not a 
question of Northern Alliance or Taliban being there, "our 
assertion was based on our past experience that after the Soviets 
left Kabul there were atrocities."

On the so called 'hands on' or 'hands off' policy towards 
Afghanistan, the President said: "Our earlier policy was in 
response to the policies pursued by the respective Afghan 
governments. "In my opinion, keeping in view the culture and the 
psyche of the Afghans, no solution should be imposed on them. One 
can only facilitate them whatever home grown political arrangement 
takes shape there, without any outside interference," he said.

"Let the Afghans themselves evolve any future dispensation or any 
arrangement for themselves," he added.

The President said that all the neighbours of Afghanistan would 
like to have a friendly government in Kabul, and I am sure, 
Afghanistan would itself like to have friendly attitude towards its 

"We always emphasize the need for facilitation of any arrangement 
and no imposition," he said, adding whatever they want to do, they 
should be facilitated in resolution of any infight or disputes. 
This role is being very well played by the United Nations and Mr 
Lakhdar Brahimi and we support it.

"A peaceful and friendly government in Afghanistan is required by 
everyone. All the ethnic groups in Afghanistan are contacting us 
and whichever government is there, I am sure, will be friendly to 
us," Gen Musharraf said.

He said: "We have generally failed to grasp the term Taliban. 
"There are different ethnic groups in Afghanistan. While the people 
are clear about Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras, they are not clear on 
Pashtoons. We mix up all Pashtoons with Taliban. But the fact 
remains that all the Pashtoons are not Taliban. One is tribal order 
i.e. Afghan Pashtoons, which was dormant during the Taliban 
government; the second is the Pashtoon Taliban and third is non-
Afghan Taliban.

"The people opposing the Taliban representation in future 
dispensation, doesn't mean they are opposing Pashtoons. A vast 
majority of Pashtoons are there who are not Taliban. It is Pashtoon 
Taliban about whom the people have fears. Among them as well there 
are moderate Taliban who are changing their attitude or the 
dissidents who could be given representation," the President 

About claim that Pakistan has been marginalized, the President 
said: "Pakistan cannot be marginalized. We are a frontline state in 
the fight against terrorism. As far as bombing in Ramazan is 
concerned, I did say that it will have a negative impact in the 
Muslim world but I never insisted on it. I do understand that until 
and unless the set military objectives are achieved it could be 
difficult to give a one-month pause in the action. But I did say 
that the military objectives be achieved before Ramazan. This I had 
been saying.

"Secondly, not only Pakistan but everyone wanted that Kabul should 
be a demilitarized city. The Taliban sitting inside Kabul and 
Northern Alliance out of it. How can you make sure that Taliban 
leave Kabul and the Northern Alliance do not enter? We understand 
it is not that easy. Unfortunately, nobody could perceive the 
sudden retreat by Taliban which created a vacuum and the Northern 
Alliance drove into Kabul. But I don't think, all this has happened 
by design to let down Pakistan."

The President said it was the whole coalition and the United 
Nations who wanted Kabul to remain demilitarized city, adding it 
was not Pakistan alone demanding it. "It is not a chess board, 
there are people who react to such situations, more so while there 
are so many ethnic groups having ethnic interests. Everything does 
not happen as one desires," he said.

As for a military man, he said, certain strategic objectives were 
set and one used tactics to achieve them. "In tactics, there will 
always be some changes according to the situation on the ground and 
one should not bother the change in tactics.

To say that Pakistan has lost its importance, due to change in 
tactics would be a far-fetched conclusion. We should not keep 
bothering about tactical changes. "There is no change in Pakistan's 
significance, and it is still a very important country," he 

He cited the frequent and unending visits by important world 
dignitaries, and emphasized that Pakistan remained a significant 
coalition partner.

On the decision to side with Coalition in the fight against 
terrorism, the President said: We took that decision keeping in 
view our core concerns and national interests. "The core concerns 
are unity, stability and security of Pakistan, the security of 
strategic assets and the Kashmir cause. Our national interests are 
revival of national economy, diplomatic and international standing 
and prestige of Pakistan and the domestic environment," he stated.

He said had Pakistan not joined the Coalition, our core concerns 
and national interests would have been endangered.

Pressed to elaborate, the President said: "We were on the 
borderline of being declared or not declared a terrorist state. In 
that situation what could have happened to the Kashmir cause. Had 
we succumbed to the dictates of the extremist minority, the whole 
world would have acted against us and where could we go then.

"By joining the Coalition, we have gained internationally and the 
importance given to Pakistan today in the United Nations and other 
countries could have never been so. Our domestic environment has 
also improved because Pakistan has rejected the extremist 
minority," he said.

The President said: "The extremist elements have exposed 
themselves, and now I will move against them in a concrete manner 
so that the writ of the overwhelming moderate majority should 
prevail," the President asserted.

"Due to the activities of this extremist minority, our exports were 
adversely affected and so was the economy," he added. "But it was a 
short-lived affair and we will come out of it. I am sure it will be 
corrected. In fact, it is being corrected. It is a win situation, 
all the way round," he stated.-APP

US, UK abusing power in 'war', says Chomsky 
By Nasir Malick

ISLAMABAD, Nov 26: Prof Noam Chomsky accused the United States and 
Britain of being above the international law and using "unlawful 
force" in their so-called fight against terrorism.

Giving a lecture at a function organized jointly by Dawn Group of 
Newspapers and Eqbal Ahmad Foundation at Convention Centre in the 
federal capital, the visiting American scholar gave examples of 
Sudan, Somalia and Nicaragua where the United States had been 
involved in the killing of thousands of innocent civilians.

"Terrorism is a weapon of the weak, but mostly used by the strong", 
the professor told a glittering gathering of around 1,500 
politicians, government ministers, intellectuals, scholars, 
academicians, serving and retired civil and military hierarchy.

The two-hour lecture was followed by a question-answer session 
during which the American scholar answered questions relating to 
several current issues.

The scholar said the US government's military action in Nicaragua 
was more "devastating" than the Sept 11 terrorist attacks. This was 
a reference to 1982 events in Nicaragua when Contras, who were 
fully supported by the American government, started promoting anti-
Sandinista activities and carrying out attacks in which 30,000 
people were killed.

Prof Chomsky said Nicaragua was in no position to attack the United 
States so it followed a legal course by approaching the 
International Court of Justice, which held the US responsible for 
the events. Nicaragua then also took its case to the United 

He said instead of taking its case against Osama or other 
terrorists to the international court of justice or other similar 
forums, the United States attacked Afghanistan. "The US should have 
pursued the same path," Mr Chomsky said. "But the US does not want 
to establish that it is subordinate to anyone (in the world)."

He said President Bush, on the recommendation of his speech 
writers, was speaking the language of violence by legitimizing the 
acts of violence in Afghanistan and in other parts of the world.

Agreeing with a questioner that the US superiority had been "partly 
eroded" by the Sept 11 attacks, the professor said both President 
Bush and Osama bin Laden were almost speaking the same language.

"While President Bush says they (allied forces) are going to drive 
out the evil from the land (world), Osama says they (Muslim 
militants) are going to drive out infidels from the Muslim land," 
he remarked.

Mr Chomsky regretted that humans were not only engaged in the 
large-scale destruction of other biological species, but also of 
their own specie and referred to Sept 11 and later events to prove 
his point. "This specie has surely developed the capacity to do 
just that and an extra bit with the cold and calculated savagery 
assaults on each other," he said. However, he asserted, that there 
was a need to find out the reasons for this tragedy.

Mr Chomsky said the scale of human catastrophe that had already 
taken place since Sept 11 and that might follow could only be 
guessed. But he warned that the projections on which policy 
decisions were being taken, and commentaries based, were enough to 
tell us that the world was being directed by its leaders towards a 
direction that no decent person would like to see.

"The crimes of Sept 11 are in the historic turning point, but not 
because of their scale, rather because of the choice of targets," 
he said, adding that it was for the first time since British bombed 
Washington in 1814 that the American territory had been attacked 
and threatened.

During the past two centuries, he recalled, the US had remained an 
invader and annihilated the indigenous population, conquered the 
Mexico and intervened validly in the surrounding regions, 
overpowered Philippines and killed hundreds and thousands of 
Filipinos in the chase.

He said during this period America extended its force throughout 
the world. "The number of victims of US savagery are huge right 
upto the present moment," the visiting US scholar said. "For the 
first time, almost in two centuries, the guns have been pointed in 
the opposite direction. And it is a historic change."

He said the same was true about the Europeans' past, though Europe 
had also suffered a murderous destruction during the internal civil 
wars. "However, the Europeans conquered most of the world, leaving 
a colossal trail of destruction," he said. "The list of crimes is 
long and horrendous - it is a change, a dramatic change. And it is 
not surprising that Europe must be shocked by these murderous 
terrorist atrocities of Sept 11."

He said while the Sept 11 incidents would not change the world 
affairs, these had raised several questions that must be addressed 
very carefully, if the attacks were to be analysed.

The question to be asked is whether the specie of mankind was on 
the verge of destruction and whether their intelligence was being 
tested by the biological error?

"Some of these questions have to do with the immediate events, some 
with the most fundamental issues and some are combined," he said, 
adding that the most important questions were "what is terrorism 
and what is the war that has been declared against it. And what are 
the dangers to the continuation of the human survival in future."

Another important question, he said, was as to what extent it was 
easy to proceed against the people who were involved in terror and 
the war against terrorism. He said there were natural and 
irrational approaches within the existing institutions and 
ideological structures. The extent they do danger to all was the 
main question that must be addressed.

Discussing what the world had learnt from these events about the 
principles and values that guided the most powerful forces of the 
world, he said even before Sept 11, most of the Afghan population 
was relying on the international food aid for their survival. That 
number, he said, had now risen from 0.5 million to seven million as 
a direct result of the terrorist attacks in the US.

He said the international media had also reported huge casualties 
in Afghanistan and the UN itself had appealed to the US to stop 
bombing so that it could re-start its relief operations inside the 
war-ravaged country. But, ironically, these appeals were rebuffed 
by the US without any comment.

Mr Chomsky recalled that only 10 days before the bombing, the 
United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization had warned the 
world that seven million people would face starvation in 
Afghanistan if the military action was initiated. He said this 
warning was repeated after the bombing began and the UN agencies 
demanded that the US must avoid this action as these would 
aggravate the human catastrophes.

Citing media reports, he said, the bombing had already destroyed 
the farm plantation of about 80 per cent of the country, which 
meant more famine and hunger in Afghanistan next year. He said 
several months had already been wasted with no food delivered to 
the Afghans.

"These are the estimates on which civilizations are relying as the 
coalition forces are making plans to further destroy the hunger-
stricken country," he said. "The consequences of their crimes will 
never be known and they are quite confident about that. And that is 
the enormous outcome of the crime of the powerful and they don't 
like to see in the mirror any more than the others do. And they are 
free in this obligation as a world power they have to carry."

He also referred to the new American threats of extending its war 
against terrorism to other countries like Somalia and Sudan.

"They (Western media) did not mention that in the case of Somalia 
the US was there not long ago and left hopeless people there by 
10,000 US troops," he said. "In the case of Sudan, the US bombed it 
in 1998, destroying pharmaceutical supplies that a factory 
produced. The death toll during this attack was not known and 
nobody cared to investigate the crime. But there had been some 
investigations by the German embassy in Sudan and their estimates 
were that several thousand people were killed in that attack on the 
factory. But we do not know the official figures of casualties.

"So it is quite natural to pick these countries, target them in the 
war against terror that arouses no comments. And without looking at 
the world Press you must be confident that they will never discuss 
these issues in public."

Discussing the term "terrorism", he said it appeared that the term 
to "wipe out evil from the earth" used by President Bush's speech 
writers was borrowed from ancient epics about the incarnation of 
the gods.

"The goal of the civilized world has been clearly announced at many 
places that we must eradicate the evil, suppress the terrorism," he 

"To place the enterprise in its right perspective it is useful to 
recognize that the power to eliminate the plague (of terrorism) is 
not new. It started from President (Ronald) Reagan and Secretary of 
State, George Shutlz. Their organizations came into office claiming 
that their struggle against world terrorism would be the core of 
their foreign policy and they reacted against this plague by 
reorganizing campaign against the international terrorism on an 
unprecedented scale."

Mr Chomsky said that the United States had rejected all moves made 
by the former Soviet Union to reduce nuclear weapons of mass 
destruction. Instead, he added, the United States had started 
manufacturing these weapons at a large-scale.

The US scholar said that the United States itself recognized 
nuclear weapons as the most important means for mass destruction.

Mr Chomsky said that the US claimed that its missile defence system 
was not offesnive. However, China, Russia and other world powers 
have strong reservations about it fearing that the US programme 
might start another race for achieving nuclear warfare stretching 
to the boundaries of space by using satellite navigational system.

He also recalled that the United States had opposed a UN 
resolution, that had defined terrorism, because it excluded 
freedom-fighters from terrorism. He said since Nelson Mandela was 
then a "terrorist" in the eyes of the United States, it opposed 
that resolution and vetoed it.

Benazir demands assurance of safety on return
Staff Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Nov 26: Saying that her exile was a reflection of the 
state of human rights in Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto sought assurances 
of safety from President Pervez Musharraf's regime whenever she 
does decide to return to her country.

Ms Bhutto told a news conference on the second day of a private 
visit to India that her government was subverted by jihadi elements 
in the Pakistan army and by Osama bin Laden himself.

"I represent one side of the debate which represents freedom, free 
markets and global co-operation," she said. "The other part of the 
debate is that which believes that violence can bring about a more 
meaningful change, that there should be a de-linking from the rest 
of the global community. My election was, therefore, opposed by 
extremist forces sometimes referred to as jihadi generals, 
sometimes referred to as pro-Taliban."

She said in 1989 Osama bin Laden was recalled from Saudi Arabia to 
fund a no-confidence move to topple her government. "That no-
confidence move failed in 1989."

In 1993, since convicted terror mastermind Ramzi Yussuf "at the 
behest of the domestic Pakistani supporters made two assassination 
attempts on me which both failed. In one of those assassination 
attempts the plan was to blame my brother and his supporters for 
the attack on me."

Ms Bhutto denied charges that her government was largely 
responsible for the creation of the Taliban militants in 
Afghanistan, but said she had worked with them for some time with 
the United States and European countries.

"As far as the creation of the Taliban is concerned, there is a 
widespread perception that they were created by my party, and that 
perception is incorrect," Ms Bhutto said. "In fact we did not have 
anything to do with the creation of the Taliban. They were an 
indigenous Afghan movement that rose to take control of Kandahar. 
However, initially, the US, Europe and my government did work with 
the Taliban.

Asked about her prospects of returning to Pakistan to contest 
elections promised by Gen Musharraf, Ms Bhutto said her party and 
the military regime were engaged in a discussion on the issue.

"There is still a wide gulf between the two sides. And this wide 
gulf depends on a range of issues, including our demand that 
political prisoners be released, politically motivated cases be 
withdrawn, that elections be fair, free and impartial, in that 
regard certain substantive steps be taken and, of course, safety 
assurances for my return."

However, she said: "Even if there is no agreement between the 
military regime and my party, I still intend contesting the next 
election. And then I would return in the context of no 
understanding with the military regime. But that would mean that 
the military regime does not want to have fair elections. If there 
are elections, I would like to contest the elections. By barring my 
contest they cast on the whole process. We have not abandoned the 
path of dialogue. Nor has Gen Musharraf abandoned the path of 
dialogue. And since his regime has kept open the doors of dialogue 
there is still a possibility that we can have an agreement."

Ms Bhutto said a stable and democratic Pakistan was absolutely 
essential today. "I hope in the better interest of my country that 
Gen Musharraf's regime has the agreement to facilitate the return 
of democracy. There is too much tension in the region and a stable 
Pakistan is very important for Pakistan and for the region."

Benazir suggests China model for Kashmir talks
By Jawed Naqvi

NEW DELHI, Nov 26: Benazir Bhutto acknowledged that there was a 
wide gulf between India and Pakistan over their perceptions on the 
Kashmir dispute, but said the problem could be resolved peacefully 
and patiently, by adopting the ongoing border talks between India 
and China as a model to follow.

"If there is no progress in conflict resolution, there should be an 
effort towards conflict management," Ms Bhutto told a news 
conference on the second day of a private visit to India.

"India has a dispute with China over the border. But India and 
China have not gone to war. India and China are holding meetings 
and this could be a model of how states with disputes, where they 
disagree, could handle their situation."

Ms Bhutto said the United Stated and China have a dispute over 
Taiwan. "But the two countries are involved heavily in trade. I 
think it is important for us to understand, if there are different 
perceptions, we can still meet to dispel misperceptions."

She underscored the difference between her government's policy 
towards Kashmir and that of her numerous successors. "During my 
tenure we ensured that no outside group was allowed to hijack the 
Kashmiri movement. And organizations like the Lashkar-i-Tayyaba, 
which had their links to the al-Qaeda group, were kept out. The 
level of violence was lower. There were no hot pursuits into 

In separate remarks to journalists Ms Bhutto advocated open and 
safe borders between the two countries.

"Irrespective of our differing views on Jammu and Kashmir, let us 
build safe and open borders. Let India and Pakistan sit down and 
see how they can replicate to some extent what happened in West 
Asia between Jordan and Israel, where they have safe and open 
borders despite the fact that there are militants who want to take 
advantage," she said, adding that it was a "do-able mission" 
depending on the will of the governments in the two countries.

Strongly favouring a broad-based relationship between the two 
countries, the leader of the Pakistan People's Party said: "If we 
can somehow have negotiations without prejudice to our views on 
Jammu and Kashmir, may be when we work together, the wounds (would) 

On the skepticism in India about Pakistan President Gen Pervez 
Musharraf's stand on terrorism, she said: "Overtly he says he is 
against terrorism but he needs to demonstrate that in a palpable 
way. The continued intensity of violence in the disputed Jammu and 
Kashmir has its own impact on Indo-Pak relations."

Pakistanis sense US has failed to keep deal
Staff Correspondent

NEW YORK, Nov 25: Only 10 weeks after Gen Musharraf pledged his 
"full support" to the United States, enraging religious groups and 
Islamic hard-liners in the army, sense that the United States has 
failed to keep its side of the deal, said the New York Times on 

The sense of frustration of Pakistani officials was reflected, the 
Times said, "when Pakistan appealed for American intervention to 
work out an arrangement in Kunduz, Secretary of Defence Donald H. 
Rumsfeld responded, in effect, that the Pakistanis would face the 
choice of all defeated soldiers in war, surrender or death."

The Times quoted a Pakistani official as saying: "I am sorry to put 
it in this way, but Rumsfeld's been extremely callous."

The Kunduz drama has captured the frustration and anger of many 
Pakistani officials who entrusted their interests in Afghanistan to 
the United States after Sept. 11, when the Bush administration 
demanded that Pakistan join in the war against terrorism, the paper 

"The corollary, as stated and repeated by President Pervez 
Musharraf, was that Washington would see to it that all of 
Pakistan's essential interests in Afghanistan were protected. From 
the American perspective, the war has gone a long way towards 
achieving its objectives, with the Taliban driven from power in all 
but one city, Kandahar, and Al-Qaeda terrorists on the run. But 
from the Pakistani perspective, things have gone badly wrong, and 
the Americans have not delivered," the Times said.

The sense that the United States has failed to keep its side of the 
deal is rife, from the bazaars of cities to the offices where 
senior aides to Gen Musharraf ponder how to extricate Pakistan from 
the problems the war has caused, the paper said. However, the paper 
noted that "Pakistan's gains have been substantial, specially 
financially, with the removal of American economic sanctions and 
the giving of fresh aid and help in debt payments. But 
strategically, the war has been a disaster in the minds of most 
Pakistanis. Two weeks ago, when President Bush and Gen Musharraf 
met in New York, Mr Bush pressed the Northern Alliance not to 
capture Kabul. But when the general returned home days later, he 
arrived just in time to see alliance troops pouring into the Afghan 

The Times said that with the Bonn meeting coming up, Gen Musharraf 
has said little about the situation, other than repeating his 
"expectation" that the talks will begin the process of establishing 
a provisional government with strong Pakhtoon representation that 
would be friendly to Pakistan. "But privately, Pakistani officials 
say, the general is deeply skeptical that alliance leaders will 
keep their promise, specially to cede military control of Kabul to 
a force comprising Pakhtoon units. Gen Musharraf has bitten his 
tongue, hoping that the Bonn meeting will prove his worst fears 
wrong, Pakistani officials suggest. He does so knowing that his own 
standing in Pakistan would be seriously undermined if he were to 
say that the United States has broken a promise to him."

US has no proof to get Osama convicted: Chomsky
By Intikhab Hanif

LAHORE, Nov 25: US scholar Dr Noam Chomsky on Sunday said America 
wanted Osama bin Laden dead and not alive because it did not have 
any proof to get him convicted in a court of law.

"If captured alive it will be difficult for America to try Osama in 
a court of law and that is why it considers it better to kill him," 
he said while replying to questions at a forum of a local 

The Sept 11 plane attacks on America did not mark a beginning of 
its end. The happening merely changed the history, as it involved 
the first-ever massive attack this time on a major developed 
country in hundreds of years. But it will not change the social and 
economic and political system of America and the world, he said.

Prof Chomsky said it was true that all past empires fell. But the 
peak of the US power was in 1945 when it possessed half of the 
world's wealth and a huge military force. But by 1970 this wealth 
was reduced to 25 per cent.

Now, he said, there were three major power centres, the US based 
west, the German based West and the Japan and China based South 
East Asia. The events on Sept 11 will not change this set up.

Prof Chomsky said the Kashmiri people had the right to self- 
determination but the dispute could be resolved only by Pakistan 
and India through the sympathetic recognition of each others stand 

"America is not favouring any of the parties to the conflict. It 
wants to go its own way and is showing one side of the picture to 
Pakistan and another to India. It merely wants both the countries 
to be nice subordinates, desiring that Islamabad must stop support 
to violence in the held Kashmir," the US scholar said.

He termed the attack on Afghanistan merely an act of establishing 
the power and credibility of America and its allies. Even bombing 
Taliban soldiers was a crime, an illegal act and sheer exercise of 
power, he said.

Prof Chomsky said the CIA, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other Arab 
countries created mercenaries in Afghanistan. "Yes, Afghans had the 
right to defend the USSR invasion but America and Muslim countries 
had no right to raise mercenaries in Afghanistan," he said

He said the USSR invaded Afghanistan in December 1979, which was a 
crime, but the US started supporting the Mujahideen there six 
months earlier to fight against their government and to "invite and 
trap" the USSR in Afghanistan. "The plan was successful," he said.

Prof Chomsky said China and Iran too were playing their game in the 
region before 1978. Pakistan also got involved and they all 
destroyed Afghanistan, he claimed.

He said both the USSR and the US used the cold war as a pretext to 
establish their hegemony in the world and to block each other. But 
the same policy continued even after the demise of the USSR as the 
US invaded Panama using this time not to defend the country against 
"Moscow but against Spanish drug lords". The cold war was an 
illusion and the Third World was its victim.

The US scholar said the Central Asia had oil reserves but these 
were much less than those in the Gulf region. The Central Asian 
states were not the major source of attraction for their oil 
reserves as the cold energy (technology) will soon replace the hot 

He said sarcastically referred to the pro-establishment 
intellectuals as wise men and said they were the associates of 
policy makers. "If you don't support the power, you are not 
considered intellectual," he said.

Prof Chomsky said people in the US were not given full information 
but still there were occasions when public opinion led to a change 
in the policy. To prove his point he quoted the examples of the 
Kennedy and Reagan administrations which made military experiments 
in Vietnam and Central America and had to worry about the public 
reactions against it.

He said the long war in Vietnam had created strong public opinion 
against the US administration but it stopped the aggression when 
the business community, which matters and not the people, said that 
the conflict had become costly. "A delegation of the business 
community went to Washington and asked the president to resign, 
stop bombing and start withdrawing army as the war is costing too 
much," he said.

Prof Chomsky said the Reagan administration tried to duplicate the 
action of the Kennedy administration in Vietnam and the media 
supported both the regimes. "But, the US action against weaker 
nations must end rapidly because the public support erodes 
quickly," he said.

America raised the slogan of the star war to eliminate nuclear 
weapons whereas it was meant to accelerate the arms race and was 
opposed by the people. "They do respond to public voice, but as 
they defend the power, it happens occasionally," he said.

Prof Chomsky said those who press for democracy were not serving 
the West because this was the last thing the West would want. "The 
West want subordinate system no matter it is being run by military 
dictator," he said.

Six Pakistan tribesmen killed in US bombing
Staff Correspondent

QUETTA, Nov 25: At least six tribesmen of the former Asmat militia 
were killed and some others were injured in US bombing in Adha area 
some 25km northeast off Chaman.

Sources said that these members of the Asmat militia were present 
in the area to attack Taliban position along-with armed men of 
former Kandahar Governor Gul Agha and Hamid Khan Karzai during 
which they came under the bombing of US warplanes in the early 

"US warplanes dropped a bomb in the area resulting in killing of 
six tribesmen of Asmat militia," border security official confirmed 
to Dawn adding that all the six victims were Pakistanis.

The bodies of these six persons were brought to Chaman. Four of 
them were buried in Chaman and two bodies were sent to Jungle Pir 

US, UK plan for war in Somalia, Sudan & Yemen: report
LONDON, Nov 25: The United States and Britain are planning to 
extend the war on terrorism to Somalia, Sudan and Yemen as soon as 
the campaign in Afghanistan is over, The Sunday Times reported.

A defence ministry spokeswoman played down the report, but did not 
rule out future action in the three new countries.

The spokeswoman told AFP: "You can't discount any ideas but we are 
focusing on Afghanistan and we have no plans to do anything else. 
We still have work to do in Afghanistan. "But it would be stupid to 
narrow what we are going to do in terms of the military aspect."

The US and Britain are considering targets linked to Osama bin 
Laden in the three countries, The Sunday Times said, citing senior 
official sources in London and Washington.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush 
had agreed that the momentum created by the anti-terror coalition's 
recent successes in Afghanistan must be maintained with swift 
action elsewhere, the paper added.

The British defence ministry spokeswoman added: "We analyse the 
military situation day by day. "I am not ruling anything out. 
Military planners are looking at a range of aspects."

Intelligence officers from both Britain and the US have been on the 
ground in all three countries to gather information about 
terrorists and ascertain their links with Al-Qaeda.The British and 
their CIA counterparts have been assembling evidence to be used as 
the basis for attacks on Osama's associates and terrorist training 
camps, The Sunday Times reported.

Military preparations have also begun, though plans to strike 
specific targets have not yet been finalised, the paper added.

The first targets, according to the broadsheet's British sources, 
could be hit as early as late January if the war in Afghanistan is 
nearing its final stages by then.

Al-Qaeda supporters have established bases in the northern 
mountains of Yemen, where 17 US sailors died in a suicide bomb 
attack on the USS Cole off Aden last year, The Sunday Times said. 
It added that US officials hoped to secure the cooperation of 
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who visits Washington this 

In Sudan, where Osama lived until 1996, the Bush administration is 
expected to pursue followers of Hassan al-Turabi, a former 
parliamentary speaker who gave Osama sanctuary for five years, 
according to The Sunday Times.

Possible targets in Somalia include the Al-Itihaad group, which has 
been linked to Osama through Muhammad Atef, his deputy, who was 
killed by an US missile in Afghanistan, the paper added.

Officials believe that extending the campaign to Sudan, Somalia and 
Yemen will keep Al-Qaeda on the run. A British Ministry of Defence 
source told the paper: "We are focused on Afghanistan. "However, 
this is part of a wider war on terror, wherever that may be, so it 
should not be a surprise to learn that military planning may be 
under way in other parts of the world. "While we cannot confirm 
targets, the three countries mentioned have all been linked to 
terrorist activity."-AFP

CE, Indian premier may not meet
By Jawed Naqvi

NEW DELHI, Nov 24: Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was 
quoted as raising hopes of a meeting with President Pervez 
Musharraf during a regional summit of South Asian countries in 
Kathmandu in January but diplomats cautioned that his deliberately 
measured words could yet mean just the opposite.

"If Saarc summit is held (in Kathmandu) and I go there and he 
(President Musharraf) comes there, then we could meet", Mr Vajpayee 
told reporters in an informal chat at a luncheon in New Delhi.

Diplomats said there were far too many ifs in the tantalising 
sentence which, coupled with the domestic expediency for Mr 
Vajpayee to remain or be seen to remain at loggerheads with 
Pakistan for the time being, means that it is rather uncertain if 
he would really be meeting President Musharraf soon.

Well-placed diplomats spoke instead of the possibility of India 
sending President K.R. Narayanan to the January 4-6 summit of South 
Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) in the Nepali 
capital. Saarc leaders have often used the ploy to avoid each other 
whenever it has suited them.

"There has been considerable thinking in the diplomatic circles on 
this issue and there is a growing belief that India may not send 
its prime minister to Kathmandu, and instead ask the president to 
represent the country," one diplomat told Dawn.

Indian officials, speaking privately, said Mr Vajpayee was not too 
keen to meet Gen Musharraf in Kathmandu but he would wait until 
closer to the occasion to see if he could really avoid the visit. 
"His problem is that he has a bilateral commitment to visit Nepal 
as prime minister, something he does not wish to delay for too 
long," one official said.

Efforts on for Pakistanis' evacuation from Kunduz
Staff Reporter

RAWALPINDI, Nov 24: The Director-General, ISPR, Maj- Gen Rashid 
Qureshi, said that the government is engaged in negotiations with 
the coalition forces and the International Committee of the Red 
Cross for safe evacuation of Pakistanis from Kunduz province, 

General Qureshi said these people would be tried according to laws 
of the country, if handed over to Pakistan or the international 
laws, if given in the custody of the United Nations.

The government, he said, had been doing everything possible to 
avert a Mazari-Sharif-like massacre and added that in that city, 
hundreds of Taliban's supporters, including Pakistanis, had been 

"These people had violated the law by going to Afghanistan without 
the permission of the government and without valid documents. But 
we have been doing everything to evacuate them on humanitarian 
grounds," he added.

No Pakistan aircraft in Afghanistan, says official
ISLAMABAD, Nov 24: No Pakistani aircraft has flown into Afghanistan 
since the world coalition began its military action against the 
Taliban regime, said a government spokesman. He described as 
baseless a report appearing in a section of the foreign Press, 
alleging airlifting of the Pakistanis stranded in Kunduz. "This 
story", he said, "was in fact first published by some Indian 
newspapers and was promptly contradicted by the government of 

The spokesman regretted that despite Pakistan's repeated denials 
regarding the presence of any Pakistani troops or ISI officials in 
Afghanistan, a section of the foreign Press continued to be misled 
by fabricated stories originating from the Indian media.

A section of the foreign Press was unfortunately re-circulating the 
reports without realizing the biased reporting of the Indian media 
against Pakistan, he added.-APP

Taliban office sealed, 20 held
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Nov 25: The law-enforcement agencies raided a Taliban 
representative office and arrested some 20 people and sealed the 
office. Well-placed sources said the law-enforcement agencies of 
the federal government surrounded the building. They took all of 
the people inside the building into custody, besides seizing relief 
goods, documents and aid money.

Those taken into custody included Taliban representative Maulvi 
Abdur Rehman Haleem, his seven-year-old son Roohullah, Maulvi Fazal 
Mohammad, Maulvi Naseer, Maulvi Khalil, three local doctors and 

All of the arrested persons were taken away to some unknown 

Muttahida may set up radio, TV stations
By Mohammad Asghar

ISLAMABAD, Nov 30: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) plans to set 
up a "communication network", comprising a radio station and a 
satellite television channel, to reactivate the organisation and 
workers throughout the world, especially in Pakistan, an official 
source told Dawn.

The source said a high powered transmitter was planned to be set up 
in Rajasthan through which the TV and radio network would be beamed 
into Pakistan and other countries. The source said the federal 
government had directed the communication ministry to trace out the 
details of the plan and take steps to counter it. 

For this purpose, a former senior official of Pakistan 
Telecommunication Corporation, who had been residing in South 
Africa, had come to Pakistan recently, the source said. During his 
stay, he had conducted a detailed survey in Sindh to explore the 
possibility of setting up of the communication network.

The source further said that the TV channel would be used by the 
MQM for generating funds and to gear-up the people. The purpose of 
the network is to get public support, which the party officials 
believe had declined in recent months.

Saif's arrest in murder case sought: Plea filed in PHC
Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, Nov 24: A freelance journalist approached the Peshawar 
High Court, praying that former senator Saifur Rehman be taken into 
custody and instructions be issued to the crimes branch to 
interrogate him for the murder of his brother.

The request came in an application submitted by Shahid Orakzai with 
a writ petition in the PHC against Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, 
Saifur Rehman and the former MNA, Jawed Ibraheem Piracha. 

The petition has been pending before the court which had twice 
issued notices to the federal government. The government has not 
filed any comments so far.

Apprehending the release of Saifur Rehman, the petitioner had 
earlier filed an application, requesting the court to issue 
directives to the government not to release Mr Rehman and to place 
him on the exit control list.

While the high court is yet to decide the application, Mr Rehman 
has been released a couple of days back on the order of the Supreme 
Court with the result that Mr Orakzai has filed a fresh 
application. The petitioner stated that the alleged killer of his 
brother Major Khalid Saeed Orakzai had now been granted full 

He stated that the military government was unwilling to register a 
single corruption case against Mr Rehman despite documentary 
evidence of a horse-trading deal which the petitioner had provided 
to the NAB.

The petitioner recalled that an SC bench had ruled that the murder 
be investigated in the context of horse-trading allegations and 
that the murder had nothing to do with the religious beliefs of the 

10 killed in Kashmir explosions, shootouts
SRINAGAR, Nov 24: At least 10 people were killed and 32 wounded in 
explosions and shootouts in Kashmir, police said. A grenade attack 
in a crowded market in Srinagar killed one civilian and wounded 23 
others, police said.

They said the Mujahideen hurled the grenade at a paramilitary 
patrol vehicle at Srinagar's Budshah Chowk barely 200 metres from 
the assembly building. "The grenade missed the target and exploded 
on the road injuring nearly two dozen civilians, many of them 
seriously," a police official said. The injured were admitted to 
hospitals, he said. "One of the injured later died in hospital."-

19 killed in Jherruk road accident 
By M. Iqbal Khwaja

THATTA, Nov 26: Nineteen people were killed and 36 others injured 
when two coasters collided head on near Jherruk, some 62km off here 
on National Highway.

A Hyderabad-bound coaster while overtaking a truck, collided with 
the other coaster coming from the opposite direction near the 
Hameed Farm.

Thirteen passengers from both vehicles died on the spot and six 
others died on their way to a hospital in Hyderabad. The bodies and 
injured were brought to Liaquat Medical University Hospital 
Hyderabad by Edhi volunteers.

Japan to provide Rs5.3m for DPs
Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, Nov 25: The Japan government will provide Rs5.3 million 
assistance for child health-care and provision of clean drinking 
water to Afghan refugees, living in the NWFP and Balochistan.

The agreement was signed by the Japan Ambassador, Sadaaki Numata, 
and President of Family Planning Association of Pakistan (FPAP. 
According to the agreement, the Japan government would extend 
support to Afghan refugees through grassroots grant assistance, 
worth Rs5.3 million.

The FPAP will utilize this assistance on safe motherhood, 
reproductive health/family planning information and services and 
safe drinking water supply in 12 refugee camps in NWFP and 
Balochistan. The project will focus on children, adolescent girls 
and women.

The assistance to this project is being extended under the grant 
worth 200 million yen ($1.87 million) allocated for grassroots 
level projects, under the Emergency Economic Assistance package for 
Pakistan, announced by the government of Japan on September 21. 
Japan initiated the Grassroots Assistance scheme for Pakistan in 

Speaking on the occasion, Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka 
said that her government would make all efforts to resolve the 
Afghan conflict. She said that Japan would continue assistance for 
the destitute Afghan refugees.

Chances for poverty funds bright: IMF
By Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Nov 30: Pakistan's chances of getting substantial 
funding under Poverty Reduction Growth Facility programme from the 
IMF are exceedingly good when its executive board meets in 
Washington on Dec 6, says a senior IMF official.

"Pakistan is poised to get a three-year highly concessional PRGF 
package on the basis of a strong economic reform programme it has 
prepared," Mr Henri Ghesquiere, Senior Resident Representative of 
the IMF in Islamabad told Dawn on Friday.

He said that Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy prepared by the 
government of Pakistan was an impressive document on the basis of 
which the IMF executive board will decide new funding under the 
PRGF programme. This IPRS, he pointed out, will explain to the 
Executive Board the strategy Pakistan wanted to put in place during 
the next three-year period.

However, he said, he could not indicate the exact size of the 
programme at this stage. The financing gap of $3.2 billion for the 
current year, he said, will be jointly bridged by the bilateral and 
multilateral creditors.

"The good news is that there are sufficient indications of Pakistan 
getting its current financial year's financing gap filled 
adequately," he said. He said the new package to be offered by the 
IMF only carried 0.5 per cent interest rate which was very 

This IPRS has been handed over to the IMF and is expected to be 
shortly made public by the government of Pakistan, Mr Ghesquiere 

EU agrees to cut tariffs, raise textile quotas
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Nov 24: The European Union and Pakistan government 
signed an agreement to reinforce political cooperation. The two 
sides also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for 
preferential trade package, envisaging a reduction in tariffs and 
increase in Pakistan's textile quotas.

KESC sell off plan finalized
By Khaleeq Kiani

ISLAMABAD, Nov 29: The federal government finalized a plan for 
restructuring of Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) with a 
target to complete its privatization by Dec 31, 2002.

The plan that envisaged issuance of bonds and involvement of Asian 
Development Bank (ADB) as equity shareholder to the extent of about 
seven per cent was finalized at a meeting presided over by Finance 
Minister Shaukat Aziz.

A high-level team of ADB headed by Mr Kawasaki, the head of bank's 
south Asia wing, and Khalid Rehman, head of energy department, 
Minister for Privatization Commission Altaf Saleem, WAPDA and KESC 
chairman Lt-Gen Zulfiqar Ali Khan, secretary-general of finance 
Moeen Afzal, managing-director of KESC and secretaries of finance 
and water and power, and financial advisers of KESC Price 
Waterhouse Coopers attended the meeting.

Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz told Dawn that the financial advisers 
on KESC privatization submitted their final report on restructuring 
and privatization of organization and the meeting fully agreed to 
it. He said that the restructuring plan would now be submitted to 
the federal cabinet for approval during forthcoming meeting in 
December and then the regulatory framework and restructuring 
process would start before the end of December.

The report, he said, contained time-bound targets for regulatory 
framework, restructuring process, invitation of bidders and 
negotiations with prospective buyers including issuance of bonds. 
He did not give exact size of bonds but said there was a 
possibility that the ADB became equity partner in the utility.

"It's an aggressive schedule but we think it can be implemented," 
said the minister. He said that KESC had been accruing around Rs1.2 
billion per month losses but now the losses were about Rs1 billion 
per month due to fall in oil prices. Official sources said that 
accumulated KESC losses were now touching Rs80 billion as annual 
losses amounted to around Rs15 to 18 billion. Of this amount, a 
portion would be covered through issuance of bonds and the 
remaining liabilities would have to be taken over by the federal 
government to make the utility a loss-free privatizable entity.

The sources said that KESC's Rs10 billion outstanding dues payable 
to WAPDA would also be covered under the restructuring plan. A 
separate plan was also discussed that involved additional provision 
of gas supply to KESC in next couple of months.

The additional gas supply would provide KESC a saving of Rs500 
million per month, the sources added. The privatization of KESC is 
already beyond schedule by many years as it was originally planned 
to be transferred to the new buyer by the end of December 1998 and 
then the target was revised many times. However, the privatization 
process could not be started due to heavy liabilities, over 40 per 
cent line losses and unfavourable market conditions.

Fake message creates furore in capital market
Muhammad Aslam

Shares on the Karachi stock market remained under pressure as the 
mid-week attempted rallies failed to get through in the absence of 
strong follow-up support both from the genuine investors and the 
institutional traders. 

The suspension of trading in the shares of Hub-Power Company 
followed by the reports of a forged fax message claiming that "its 
lenders have approved the recently declared 22 per cent final 
dividend", worked against the underlying sentiment followed by the 
panic-selling in most of the pivotals. Although the dividend 
approval came at the weekened but the damage has already been done. 
The KSE 100-share index showed a fresh decline at 1,358.82 as 
compared to 1,381.71 a week earlier, eroding about Rs8 billion from 
the market capitalization.

The KSE 100-share index fell to 1,348.50 points from the previous 
highs of 1,381.00 as the Hubco episode jolted the entire market at 
least for the near-term. Earlier, the announcement of an interim 
cash dividend at the rate of 20 per cent by the ICI Pakistan toward 
the fag-end of the session generated a good bit of short-covering 
in it and some other blue chips, putting the market back on the 
rails. The ICI Pakistan board gave a pleasant surprise to even most 
well-informed brokers after declaring an interim dividend at the 
rate of 20 per cent. The announcement was welcome as it came in the 
backdrop of a previous blank year and 60 per cent right shares in 

"The separation of the Pakistan PTA from the principal company 
shows that the ICI Pakistan is heading to attain the required 
financial viability and will soon resume its role of a market 
leader", analysts at the W.E. Financial predict.

Continued losses in the PTA business after the withdrawal of a 
foreign joint venture partner a couple of years back has strained 
the ICI Pakistan's financial position but the interim dividend 
tells it is all set to regain its past glory, they add.

The news was well received in the market as was reflected by a 
smart rally of 55 paisa to close at Rs45.30. During the last about 
two weeks it has risen to its recent peak level of Rs50 apparently 
on an anticipatory buying ahead of the interim, they added.

The record rise in forex reserves to well over $4bn and 45 per cent 
increase in the remittances was another aiding factor, indicating 
the strength of the rupee and the confidence of those sending money 
through formal channels.

"The strength of the local currency could well be an envy of the 
foreign investors as it ensures that the value of their dollar 
investment may not erode", some leading stock analysts believe 
hoping a medium-term rally on the blue chip counters.

Stock analysts at the Finex Securities also hold the same view 
about the direction of the market as a record rise in forex 
reserves could prove an attractive bait for foreign investors in 
the coming weeks.

"With Afghan war losing relevance investors are having a second 
thought on the post-war economic realities and their likely impact 
on the stock trading", says floor broker adding "the post-war 
scenario will be clear soon".

Cement shares came in for renewed support under the lead of 
D.G.Khan Cement on reports that its management along with some 
others have converted their production process from furnace oil to 
coal, billed most cheaper. It could add significantly to their 
profits after cutting overhead costs.

The bulk of the support originated from the institutional traders 
who have sold earlier, followed by some jobbers but floating stock 
in some major shares still remains unabsorbed. However, a part of 
it has been lifted at the dips. Most of the price changes were 
fractional, reflecting the absence of big ones. However, among the 
major gainers, which rose by Re1 to Rs2.50 Balochistan Wheels, the 
PSO, Shell Pakistan, and Clover Pakistan were leading.

Losers were led by the Colgate Pakistan, which came in for renewed 
selling followed by some adverse comments of sales, off another 
Rs4.40 followed by the Burewala Textiles.

Trading volume showed a sharp contraction partly because of 
suspension of trading in the Hubco shares and partly due to the 
advent of the holy month of Ramazan and curtailed business hours 
falling to 340 million shares from well over half a billion shares 
a week earlier.

Among the actives, Hub-Power, the PTCL, the ICI Pakistan, Sui 
Northern, the PSO, the MCB, Adamjee Insurance, Engro Chemical and 
Nishat Mills were leading followed by the Fauji Fertiliser, Japan 
Power,the D.G.Khan Cement, Lucky Cement, WorldCall Payphones, the 
FFC-Jordan Fertiliser and several others.

Back to the top
A free press
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

One of the good deeds done for us and this country by the military 
government of President General Pervez Musharraf is that it has 
allowed the press complete freedom, it has tolerated with 
equanimity whatever it may publish on white, yellow, red or black 

It is wise enough to give the readers the benefit of the doubt and 
assume that they are sufficiently sane and sensible to be able to 
judge for themselves the worth and weight of the newspapers they 

The reading public of Pakistan, that mini-minority, have read last 
week how the chief of Nawaz Sharif's accountability bureau, Ehtesab 
Saifur Rahman, and his brother, have both been granted bail by an 
accountability court after a 'deal' was done. We now know the 
extent to which they robbed, how many millions they looted from the 
exchequer, and how many millions will be recovered from them over 
how many years.

We have also read over the past two years of many other 'deals' 
having been done between the National Accountability Bureau and the 
many military and civil and political figures, still alive and 
happy, who over the many years have robbed and looted this country 
with impunity. Needless to say, all the robbers are anxiously 
awaiting the 'restoration of democracy', i.e. the restoration of 
the freedom to loot and plunder the national exchequer, together 
with the making of new democratic 'deals' undoing the NAB 'deals' 
which will leave them free to return nothing.

The losers in this case will of course be, as always, the people of 
Pakistan - its ever increasing population of the poor and deprived 
who reproduce at the rate of eight births per minute (a rate which 
grows by the year).

Last Sunday's column dealt with the Nazims and their new rule, and 
the owners of a textile mill who are being harassed and are 
suffering due to the prevailing Blasphemy Laws of this country and 
how the yellow press had played its role in furthering the 
harassment. They continue to do so.

For example, reproduced (loosely translated from the Urdu) are some 
of the false, scurrilous, and inflammatory allegations made: (Due 
to the quaint editorial policies of the Pakistani press it is not 
done to name another newspaper, be it a competitor or not, so I 
will have to refer to the relevant newspapers as 'A', 'B', and so 

Paper 'A' (Oct 26): "A joint team of city government, Tehrik-i-
Insaf, and social worker leader raided Yunus Textile Mills (YTM) at 
Daoud Chowrangi on directions of Nazim-i-Ala Naimatullah. Printed 
cloth has been recovered. The Nazim-i-Ala issued orders for 
cancelling the mill licence and sealing the mill...... FIR will be 
registered for blasphemy says Qadir Khan advocate. International 
Bar President Qadir Khan Mandokhel said while talking to a reporter 
of the paper 'A' that very soon he will get the FIR registered for 
blasphemy and get strict punishment for the accused from Shariat 
Court......" .

Paper 'A' (Oct 29): "Protests by religious and jihadi parties and 
blocking of Mehran highways by hundreds of people. Fatwa for death 
penalty be given for blasphemy. Sipah-i-Sahaba announced 
countrywide strike if arrests were not made. Tehrik-i al Furqan 
said that police offices would be burnt if the accused persons were 
not arrested within 48 hours. Tehrik-i-Jafaria has demanded that 
the people behind such act should be identified and appreciated the 
efforts of Paper 'A'. Umar bin Abdul Aziz Trust has demanded the 
cancellation of the licence of the mill...... Resentment against 
printing of holy names. Protest will continue until punishment, 
said representatives of the Pakistan Workers' Movement. Following 
leaders protested against blasphemous acts and demanded arrest of 
the culprits - Allama Hussain Turabi, Abu Huraira, Hafiz Abdullah."

Paper 'A' (Nov 1): "A mob consisting of Pasban Workers Movement, 
religious leaders and social organizations carried out processions 
in front of YTM. Some stones were thrown at the factory but due to 
police intervention the situation was brought under control. They 
demanded the closing of the factory and the National Highway was 

Needless to say, the Nazim-i-Ala gave no sealing orders, there was 
no stoning, there was no blocking of any highway.

Paper 'B' (Oct 24): 'Reproduction of the names of Allah and 
Mohammad on cloth sheets; citizens very annoyed. Great tension in 
the area due to production of sheets by YTM. The Nazim of Landhi 
Town contacted SSP Malir. Warning to YTM administration by Nazim 
Landhi Town Mr M Shahid that if production of said cloth and its 
sale in the market is not stopped forthwith he, being a Muslim, 
would ensure forceful resistance and legal action .... The Nazim of 
Landhi said that there was a lot of unrest in the area around the 
mill but still so far he and his colleagues were managing to keep 
the public peaceful. In spite of repeated messages to YTM 
management and owners there is a mysterious silence from them which 
is increasing the unrest among the public.

"The reproduction of sheets with Allah and Mohammed printed thereon 
has been viewed as a worldwide conspiracy by an organization 
especially in view of the present sensitive position of Pakistan. 
After this incident people have started ringing the newspapers and 
contacting religious scholars."

Paper 'B' (Nov 7): "Qaidabad police refuse to arrest YTM owners. 
Punishment for blasphemy is death. No action initiated despite 
registering a case ..... The police is avoiding arrest of mill 
owners and others responsible ... President of the Mandokhel 
Welfare Trust for Sindh Hafiz Abdul Bar, and president, Hafiz Abdul 
Ahad, have asked the higher authorities to apprehend the accused as 
soon as possible so that they may be taken to task in the light of 
available evidence and witnesses."

Paper 'B' (Nov 11): Workers Movement carried out a protest and 
demanded the arrest of the owner of the textile mill for printing 
the sacred names. They reiterated that they would keep on 
protesting till arrests were made."

Of course, there were no protests, no public unrest, and no 
worldwide conspiracy. The earth has neither moved nor shaken.

Similar reports have been printed by four other similar newspapers, 
dailies and eveningers, who sell through sensation.

One weekly Urdu publication (Nov 11) wrote an editorial in the same 
vein, the final paragraph of which read: "The honourable readers 
stand witness to the fact that we have tried our utmost to keep up 
our promise to 'clean our share of space'. Jihad in script is also 
one among its several other forms. We will stand by our commitment 
to use our pen as a sword and Insha'Allah, Zarb-i-Islam's stunning 
strike on the enemies of Islam shall continue as such."

Now from this newspaper, Paper 'C' (Sep 25): "Court dismisses plea 
against cricketers - Justice (blank) (many say the best of the 
judges this province has to offer) of the Sindh High Court 
dismissed on Monday a petition with costs which had sought to 
institute criminal cases against eight cricketers and termed it an 
attempt at seeking personal publicity by the petitioner. Advocate 
Qadir Khan Mandokhel had filed the petition on behalf of the 
Welfare Trust he heads praying that criminal cases be registered 
against [names of eight cricketers] and all the bookies whose names 
had come on record of the inquiry report (by Justice Abdul Qayyum). 
Justice (blank) observed that the petitioner himself being a lawyer 
must be aware of the law. The judge dismissed the petition which, 
he observed, was aimed at seeking personal publicity and directed 
the petitioner to pay the cost in the sum of Rs10,000."

In yesterday's press, one report told us that Pervez Musharraf will 
be staying on as president after the elections to be held towards 
the end of next year as he wishes to complete the reforms he has 
initiated and started to put into form and practice. Now, in this 
post-September 11 scenario, when we and the world have learnt 
exactly how forceful and strong are our so-called religious 
extremists who threaten to bring down governments, this is the time 
for Musharraf to competently deal with these outmoded blasphemy 
laws so that they may no longer be used as personal weapons of 
vengeance in the hands of the unscrupulous, the wicked and the 

Noose tightens on Osama
By Eric S. Margolis

Osama bin Laden has survived at least ten assassination attempts 
mounted by the Soviets, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. But 
now, after the rapid retreat of Taliban forces and fall of Kabul to 
the Russian-backed Northern Alliance, the noose is tightening 
around the world's most wanted man.

Taliban's retreat was inevitable. Its 30,000, lightly-armed tribal 
fighters spread over a Texas-sized nation could not withstand 
massive US air attacks and Northern Alliance Tajik and Uzbek troops 
freshly supplied by Russia with tanks, armoured vehicles, and 

Taliban's deftly executed surprise retreat wrong-footed the US. 
Washington didn't want the Alliance to occupy Kabul before it could 
cobble together a government of its own choosing. Taliban's retreat 
that opened the way for the Northern Allinace to seize Kabul was a 
nasty Parthian shaft that hit Pakistan in the eye - revenge for 
Islamabad abandoning Taliban.

The Northern Alliance is a proxy for Russia. Its two military 
leaders are Gen. Rashid Dostam, a brutal communist warlord who 
slaughtered 30,000 civilians in the 1990 s, and Gen. Faheem, a 
senior officer of Khad, the former Afghan communist secret police, 
an arm of the Soviet KGB. Khad tortured and murdered thousands of 

To Washington's embarrassment, the Alliance also controls 
Afghanistan's opium and heroin exports. Taliban, a religious 
movement, had shut down the drug trade. Bush's war against 
terrorism has plainly taken priority over the war on drugs.

Handing northern Afghanistan and Kabul over to the Russians appears 
the price the US had to pay for Moscow's support in the hunt for 
Osama bin Laden. Having ousted the Russians from Afghanistan in the 
1980s, Washington has now invited them back in. So far, clever 
Vladimir Putin is the big winner in the Afghan mess.

Mullah Omar, Taliban's leader, ordered his men to retreat into 
Pushtun territory in southwest Afghanistan, and into neighbouring 
Northwest Frontier Province. In this wild region, the birthplace of 
Taliban, heavily-armed Pushtun tribesmen are a law unto themselves.

Taliban says it will now wage guerilla war from the NWFP and from 
the central Hindukush mountains north of Kandahar. The Taliban 
believe guerrilla fighting will allow them to finally engage US 
troops hunting for Osama at more equal odds.The US military plan 
for Afghanistan is on schedule, though its political agenda 
certainly is not. 

The overthrow of the Taliban regime has opened the way for the US 
special forces to hunt down bin Laden, who is believed to be hiding 
in cave complexes north of Kandahar that he helped build during the 
jihad against the Soviets. It is essential for the US to capture 
bin Laden or at least recover his body. If he somehow escapes, or 
is buried alive in a cave, the US will be unable to proclaim 
victory and will have to face charges that it tore apart 
Afghanistan, killed large numbers of civilians, and created tens of 
thousands of refugees, for nothing.

Last week, pro-Taliban sources reported Osama vowed he will not be 
taken alive, a position perfectly in keeping with his record as a 
courageous fighter against the Soviets and a 'mujahid,' ready to 
become 'shaheed,' for his faith.

The $25 million dollar reward being offered by the US for Osama bin 
Laden will certainly tempt local tribesmen and even some Taliban 
leaders to hand him over to the Americans. Sudden betrayal and 
double-dealing are the norm in Afghanistan. Pakistan government 
would also reap huge additional rewards from the US by handing over 
bin Laden.

Last week, President George Bush authorized closed military 
tribunals for the first time since World War II. They are clearly 
designed to avoid bin Laden and his associates, if captured, 
standing trial in open courts where they could defend themselves 
and win sympathy in the Third World. These courts are sure to hand 
down death sentences.

There is still a remote chance the elusive Osama could escape. He 
may slip across the border into the Northwest Frontier and be 
hidden by friendly Pashtun tribesmen. There is much sympathy for 
Taliban and Osama in Pakistan. Some Islamist officers of Pakistan's 
army or intelligence service might aid Osama's escape. But it will 
be very difficult for the world's most notorious man to change his 
appearance. Bin laden is over 6 foot 4, gaunt, and, currently, the 
world's most famous face.

There are very few places where Osama could hide. Nations like 
Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria or Indonesia would be unable to 
withstand American pressure to hand him over. Osama and Iraq's 
Saddam Hussein are bitter enemies. Libya is lying low. Iran and the 
Central Asian states are his bitter enemies. China is hostile. 
Wherever he might find refuge, he is almost certain to be sold to 
the US for cash or political favours.

The day Osama openly declared a one-man war against the US over 
Israel, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, this Arab Don Quixote signed his 
own death warrant.-Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2001.

Pragmatism of the supine
By Ayaz Amir

Accepting our weakness and bowing to the inevitable is one thing. 
But can we please stop pretending that by acting the way we have 
done in this Afghan crisis we have somehow rescued Pakistan's 

Last week General Musharraf said Pakistan's stance on Afghanistan 
had been vindicated by events. If this is vindication, what would 
defeat look like? This week he says, "Pakistan's importance in 
relation to Afghanistan is a matter of geography, which cannot be 
changed." If our importance is so self-evident, why are we 
proclaiming it from the housetops? Why are we protesting so much 
about how, by becoming bag-carriers of the United States, we have 
protected our 'core' interests. If this is the way to protect 
'core' interests, every beggar would be a king.

Thanks to Afghanistan, General Zia ul Haq enjoyed nine years in the 
sun, General Musharraf a mere two months. This is no reflection on 
Musharraf's person, only an indication of the different 
circumstances then and now, the rout of the Taliban having 
dramatically altered our frontline status.

Our name is mud both in Kabul and Kandahar. This is what military 
wizards past and present have managed to achieve by playing the 
great game in Afghanistan - a game warranted neither by strength 
nor pressing necessity but driven entirely by a misguided ambition.

Given this record of unrelieved failure anyone in our place would 
draw a curtain of forgetfulness around Afghanistan, letting the 
pieces fall where they will and letting a new equilibrium arise in 
that war-torn land. But old habits die hard. We persist in talking 
of our importance in relation to Afghanistan.

A little humility would teach us a different lesson. We who are 
taking no small pride in the defeat of the Taliban as a vindication 
of our stance, choose to forget that whereas the Taliban have taken 
nearly two months of the most ferocious punishment imaginable, 
without surrendering or deserting, we succumbed before a single 
telephone call from Colin Powell. He himself has said as much in an 
interview with the New York Times, saying that he delivered a 
virtual ultimatum to General Musharraf: "Mr President, you have a 
choice to make." We made the choice there and then and ratified it 
a mere 24 hours later.

As we mock the rout of the Taliban we forget that whereas the 
Taliban are still holding out, defiant to the last, our vaunted 
army laid down its arms in East Pakistan in 1971 without so much as 
a decent fight in an encounter that lasted no more than a 
fortnight. Here and there junior officers and soldiers upheld the 
honour of their arms. But the army command as a whole covered 
itself in shame. Unmindful of this record, any number of clucking 
pundits are joining in the chorus of denouncing the Taliban and 
glorifying the superiority of American firepower.

If this were to become the prevailing wisdom, resistance of any 
sort would disappear from the face of the planet. The US has hinted 
darkly at taking the so-called war on terror to Sudan and Somalia. 
President Bush has openly threatened Iraq. Lebanon is also on the 
list of states incurring American displeasure because of the 
government's refusal there to freeze the assets of Hezbollah. What 
should all these countries do? And what should the great 
commonwealth of Islamic countries be doing?

This has not been the Ummah's proudest hour but if the Muslim 
kings, despots and assorted dictators who make up this commonwealth 
still do not wake up, there will be no stopping the American 
steamroller set in motion by the September 11 attacks.

Apart from tiny Lebanon, in the entire Muslim world about the only 
leader to show some guts has been Mahathir Muhammad of Malaysia. He 
opposed the American air strikes on Afghanistan when they started 
and has since said that the so-called war on terror seemed to be 
directed only against Muslim countries. All other leaders, even 
when they have voiced reservations, have done so indirectly and 
ever so discreetly. As for us, we have succeeded in protecting our 
'core' interests. Isn't that bravery enough?

Malaysia (or Lebanon for that matter) does not have a Kahuta, an A. 
Q. Khan or a collection of atom bombs. No 'strategic assets' 
whatsoever, at least none of the kind covered by our understanding 
of the term. But because it is a country which stands on its feet, 
does not pay too much attention to what western leaders say and has 
a strong leader who can speak up when the need arises, it can dare 
tell even the unpleasant truth.

Since September 11, Pakistan's ruling circles, supported by the 
country's 'moderates', have become the world's leading exponents of 
pragmatism. Their mantra: Pakistan had no choice. It either had to 
join the American coalition or invite American wrath. Had we 
hesitated the Americans would have clobbered our military and 
'strategic' assets. By siding with the Americans Pakistan has been 
saved from American anger and its own extremists. It has also been 
able to break out of its isolation and rejoin the international 

No one cares to answer a simple question. What would we have lost 
if we had chosen to negotiate the fine print of our cooperation 
with the US? Even America's European allies - with the exception, 
of course, of Britain - took some time to make up their minds 
before rushing in with offers of help. Would we have been declared 
international terrorists if we had negotiated with some toughness 
instead of being dazzled by the sudden attention we started 
getting? Now that the euphoria has gone what do we have to show for 
our caving in? Musharraf got his exclusive dinner with Bush in New 
York. Beyond that, what?

Now of course all the rage in Pakistan is for settling matters with 
the 'extremists'. In a TV interview Musharraf has said that the 
extremists stood exposed and now was the time to move against them. 
By extremists he means the religious parties which rallied to the 
support of the Taliban when the American bombing of Afghanistan 
started. What is the guilt of these parties? At a critical moment 
they expressed a point of view which represented the views of a 
wide section of public opinion in Pakistan. They did not take up 
arms against the state or plant bombs anywhere. If anything, being 
faithful to their professed beliefs, they showed more spirit and 
determination than General Musharraf's so-called 'silent majority'.

There is no cause to move against them except if the aim be to rock 
the foundations of the Pakistani state. The religious right is part 
of our landscape. It has always existed and will always exist and 
while it certainly does not speak for the majority, to move against 
it is to move against a limb (even if, at times, an awkward one) of 
Pakistan. While it is possible to disagree with the Jamaat-I-Islami 
and the JUI, these and other religious parties add to the richness 
of whatever political discourse exists in this country. For 20 
years these parties were in the vanguard of official ideology. Now 
that under the threat of American retribution, Pakistan's official 
ideology has undergone a complete somersault - the military jehadis 
of yesterday becoming the secularists of today - the religious 
parties are being spoken of as some kind of outcasts.

Not too long ago this government showed every sign of being scared 
of that religious mountebank from Chakwal, Maulana Akram Awan (into 
which part of the woods has he disappeared?). Now it has begun 
thundering against the religious tribe as a whole. We are 
extremists in everything. Let us at least be moderate in our 

And in any case the answer to the nostrums of the religious parties 
is not suppression or the bravado at which the interior minister, 
General Haider, has come to excel, but in better governance and the 
spread of social justice. The religious madressahs cater for the 
poorest of the poor. Let the state provide universal education, and 
a glass of milk for every poor child in Pakistan, before inveighing 
against the madressahs. Before threatening to move against the 
religious parties let the state legitimize itself by acting on the 
great Omar's ringing cry that even if a dog went hungry by the 
banks of the Euphrates, God would hold him, the commander-of-the-
faithful, accountable on the Day of Judgment.

Let us also beware of the example of the Arab countries such as 
Algeria and Egypt where repression and the strangulation of 
democracy have led to the birth of radical Islam. Do we want the 
same to happen here?

Riding a favourable wind, General Musharraf is all set to 
perpetuate his presidency. But pray God the experiment on which he 
is now embarked does not degenerate into what we have seen 
happening in places as far afield as Nigeria and Indonesia.

Governments from hell
By Irfan Husain

Although the bombing and fighting in Afghanistan are not quite 
over, the endgame has clearly begun. It is now only a matter of 
time before the Taliban are history, and the reconstruction of our 
devastated neighbour will start in earnest.

In retrospect, despite the death and destruction rained down on the 
unfortunate Afghans by the Americans, it is clear there was no 
alternative. This may be an unpopular viewpoint, but there are 
times when only foreign intervention can rid a people of vicious, 
repressive rulers. Indeed, a moral argument can be built up in 
favour of a short, sharp military action to free the citizens of a 
country from an unacceptable government.

For instance, had the international community intervened in time in 
Cambodia's killing fields, the hateful Khmer Rouge may not have 
been able to slaughter as many people as they did. Or had that 
clown Idi Amin been booted out of Uganda earlier, he might not have 
inflicted as much damage to the country's economy and people as he 
did. Many more examples of such blood-thirsty and destructive 
leadership can be placed on this list, and many of them are still 
in the business of killing and torturing their own hapless 

We can now add the gruesome Taliban to this roll of dishonour. 
Irrespective of the revulsion we may feel at the sight of a 
helpless country being pounded for weeks by a far stronger power 
can we honestly say that the Afghans could have overthrown Mullah 
Omar, Osama Bin Laden, and their nasty followers by themselves? 
Surely there must be some international mechanism that can act as a 
check against the excesses committed by such governments from hell.

Many knee-jerk liberals will protest against such "interference in 
the internal affairs of sovereign states." But what about the 
interference of countries like Pakistan that helped the Taliban's 
rise to power in the first place? The Soviets paid a heavy price 
for their invasion; indeed, many observers ascribe the implosion of 
the USSR (remember those once-familiar initials?) to the hammering 
its army suffered in Afghanistan.

But apart from the hundreds of deluded Pakistani volunteers who 
fought for the Taliban and paid with their lives for their 
fanatical ardour, those in the Pakistani establishment who are 
responsible for our foolish Afghan policy are sitting pretty. No 
court of enquiry or public opprobrium for them. Nor am I aware of 
any resignations from the ISI or the Foreign Office. Actually, I 
would be quite happy with a hara kiri or two.

Although we are now scrambling on to the bandwagon of a "broad-
based government" in Kabul, we are doing so because we have no 
choice in the matter. The best we can hope for now is a diluted 
Northern Alliance regime next door that is not too vengeful for our 
past acts of omission and commission. Not, of course, that the 
victors of Kabul and Konduz are angels themselves: they qualified 
eminently for B-52 strikes during their reign of terror from 1992 
to 1996.

However, our policy makers can draw some comfort from the fact that 
whoever forms the next government in Kabul will have to deal with 
Islamabad whether they want to or not: as General Musharraf noted 
in a recent TV interview, most Afghan imports pass through 
Pakistan, and many Pukhtoon tribesmen (who constitute nearly 40 per 
cent of the Afghan population) have kinsmen across the border. In 
all probability, many of the goods and services needed for the 
reconstruction of our neighbour will either originate in Pakistan, 
or our port, rail and road network will be the conduit for their 
delivery in Afghanistan.

This Afghan dependence on good ties with Pakistan has existed for 
years, and would have ensured stable relations between the two 
countries after the Soviets pulled out. But instead of being 
satisfied, our leaders and planners got the bit between their teeth 
and went for broke in the expectation that as the backers of the 
best-armed group of Mujahideen, they would be the sole power-
brokers in Kabul. This hubris strained our relations with Tehran 
and further antagonized Moscow.

As the infighting between rival groups exploded into open civil war 
and Kabul saw fighting far worse than when the Soviets were in 
control, the ISI under Benazir Bhutto saw the Taliban as its best 
chance to call the shots in Afghanistan. Training and supplying 
this medieval movement, the Pakistani establishment led it to 
victory as it swept to power virtually without a fight. Initially, 
it imposed a spell of welcome peace on a war-weary nation, but soon 
its bizarre and brutal interpretation of Islam sent a wave of 
revulsion around the world. In particular, its cruel treatment of 
women made it an international pariah.

The Pakistani government should have known that their clients in 
Kabul were not only out of control, but also over the top when they 
went ahead and destroyed the priceless giant Buddhas in Bamiyan 
despite international protests. Our spooks and mandarins were 
disconcerted to discover that they exercised absolutely zero 
control over Mullah Omar. Instead of distancing themselves from the 
Taliban at that point, we continued supporting them, pleading with 
the rest of the world to "engage" with them.

Whether our establishment is capable of learning from its mistakes 
is doubtful; but in the changed scenario and under the glare of 
international publicity, one can only hope that it stops playing 
power games in other countries and focuses on our many problems. 
Another lesson is to be learned by our Islamic parties and clerics: 
utopia is not to be created by enshrouding women, insisting on long 
beards, and turning our backs on education and reason. Neither 
logic, nor our faith requires such a return to the past. But I 
suspect that our jihadis will brood over their reverses in 
Afghanistan and plot their revenge. Meanwhile, hundreds of young 
Pakistanis, sent to Afghanistan as cannon fodder, will never 
return. But their bearded, self-styled leaders will not be held to 
account for all these unnecessary deaths.

As the anti-terror rhetoric gets shriller and shriller, we need to 
address the problem of state terrorism directed against a country's 
own citizens. It is immoral and cowardly to hide behind the 
hackneyed notion of "non-interference". Just because a people are 
too cowed down by repressive regimes does not mean they should not 
be helped by the international community: if victims of natural 
calamities can be given assistance, why should not the sufferers of 
man-made disasters be helped to overthrow corrupt and cruel 

PCB to send Shoaib's footage to Perth
Sports Correspondent

LAHORE, Nov 25: The PCB bowling review committee watched Shoaib 
Akhtar's bowling action footage which was sent by the ICC. The PCB 
director, Brig Munawwar Rana, said the footage was being sent to 
Western Australian University and further line of action would be 
taken after its report.

The PCB official said the review committee mentioned nothing new in 
its report and had cleared Shoaib.

Earlier, Western Australian University had cleared Shoaib Akhtar by 
saying the bowling arm of the controversial pacer was deformed. The 
PCB has refused ICC's advice of hiring former West Indies fast 
bowler Michael Holding for rectifying Shoaib's action and to submit 
a report by Feb 7.

"Our panel has conceded that Akhtar's problem remains the same. It 
is the hyper mobility of his bowling arm which is causing 

Wasim explains no-show act
ISLAMABAD, Nov 24: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram failed to 
appear at the Lahore High Court for a judicial inquiry 
investigating alleged match-fixing by Pakistan cricketers at the 
1999 World Cup. But the seasoned fast bowler told Reuters that 
neither he nor his legal adviser had received any summons, and 
insisted he had nothing to hide.

"I have nothing to hide from anyone on the match-fixing issue," he 
said. "If I or my legal adviser had received the summons from the 
commission for today, I would have made myself available."

The inquiry, ordered by the Pakistan government to investigate 
allegations that two matches at the 1999 World Cup in Britain 
involving Pakistan were fixed, has scheduled its next hearing for 
December 1, Kazim Ali Malik, registrar of the inquiry commission, 
told Reuters from Lahore.

Pakistan lost both World Cup matches to Bangladesh and India. Malik 
said a Karachi-based journalist had also failed to turn up to 
testify on Saturday.

"We will issue fresh summons to Wasim and the journalist for the 
December 1 hearing. Even if for some reason they could not appear 
before the commission, they should have informed us in advance 
about this situation," Malik said. Malik said the commission had 
also not received any response from former South African cricket 
head Ali Bacher, who is the executive director for the 2003 World 

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