------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 8 December 2001 Issue : 07/49 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Italians here for N-safety talks + Scientists' pleas referred to CJ for larger bench + Washington may supply F-16 spares + Islamabad, Tehran to increase mly cooperation + Screening job at airports not given to FBI, says Anwar + Doubts about FIA's new role + Taliban can play role in future govt, says Karzai + Coalition rules out amnesty for Omar + Amnesty for all declared: No revenge, vows new chief + Afghans sign power-sharing agreement + CIA seeks help to track down Osama: Talks held with Musharraf + Islamabad cooperating with US: envoy + No Pakistani jets flew into Afghanistan, says US + Rumsfeld stresses mly ties with Pakistan + Coalition under fire + Fatal errors that led to Qala-i-Jangi massacre + Pakistan seeks access to detained suspects + Convicts might be barred from contesting poll + Preparation of electoral rolls begins: Election 2002 + Shahbaz was banished 'against his consent' + Ejaz seeks sedition case against Benazir + PML-N concerned over Benazir's statement + Court orders release of Farooquis + Govt sets condition to end Fazl's detention + Foreign newsman expelled + Musharraf's wife not buying house in US + 22 killed in Kashmir clashes + Former MNA convicted --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + IMF okays $1.3bn facility + IMF allows Pakistan to raise deficit target + IMF asked for $1.3 billion loan + Germany to give DM300m aid + US targets $5 trillion oil, gas reserves + Investment down in first quarter: SBP + Former chief of BEL jailed for seven years + EC's 50m euros for DPs camps --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Fire ! Fire ! Ardeshir Cowasjee + Now for a Loya Jirga for Pakistan Ayaz Amir + A return to relevance Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Waqar and Mudassar get extensions + Shoaib cleared again, but not yet by ICC + Wasim denies he was under pressure + Pakistani appointed ACC offical + Bi-annual league system to be introduced + New rules to be tried after World Cup

Italians here for N-safety talks
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 5: Two physicists of the Italian Arms Control 
Centre, Landau Network Centro Volta, have arrived on a five-day 
visit, ending Dec 7, to prepare a report on the status of nuclear 
security in Pakistan.

Sources said the visiting scientists, Prof Paolo Cotta-Ramusino and 
Prof Maurizio Martellini, would be looking at certain key questions 
relating to safety of Pakistan's nuclear weapons, the percentage of 
nuclear weapons that are assembled, effects of the Sept 11 attacks 
and the Afghan crisis on the nuclear posture of Pakistan, 
Pakistan's reaction to possible Indian attack and the public 
perception of the nuclear weapons. The report would later be 
submitted to the Italian government, they said.

The scientists, visiting under the auspices of the foreign ministry 
of Italy, have held deliberations with the foreign ministry 
officials and think-tanks to assess the safety of nuclear weapons 
and the risks of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to 
terrorists and rogue states, the sources said, adding that a 
similar nuclear risk assessment visit to India is not on the 
itinerary of the scientists for the time being.

In a synopsis, co-authored by the two scientists for their visit, 
it is said the situation of Pakistan is crucial, specially 
considering the terrorist attacks on the United States, the 
dimension of the world-wide spread of the relevant terrorist 
network and the ensuing Afghan conflict. "The situation has raised 
serious concerns about the possibility that terrorist groups have 
acquired weapons of mass destruction or may be striving to acquire 
such weapons."

The scientists said Pakistan is an important country from the point 
of view of global stability, its long border with Afghanistan, a 
sizeable section of the public that supports radical Islamic 
parties and scientists and technicians who are capable of building 
nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, in addition 
to the fact that the country has fissile materials and nuclear 

Some of the questions being asked by the two scientists have raised 
concern in the security establishment.

The sources said that in terms of the nuclear proliferation risks 
the scientists are exploring the possible links of Pakistani 
nuclear scientists with the Afghan Taliban and the Arab Afghans in 
the past and present scenarios, effectiveness of control over 
Pakistani fissile material storage and production facilities, 
possible transfer of illicit nuclear material through Pakistan and 
Afghanistan and the effectiveness of control of Pakistan's 
radioactive sources and their potential illicit traffic.

They said that in terms of the chemical and biological weapons the 
scientists have the questions about effective control of materials 
of concern for chemical and biological weapons transfer and 
diffusion, Pakistan Afghan border in recent history and transfer of 
illicit biological, chemical agents and dual use equipment through 
the border.

Some of the questions being asked relate to transfer of nuclear 
scientists and experts to Afghanistan or any other country and the 
impact of recent events on the scientific community, particularly 
on the community of scientists involved in military and defense 

The sources said the scientists would also report the impact of 
Pakistan's nuclear program on the role of Islamic countries in the 
international arena and whether Pakistan's nuclearization has 
contributed to any change in the role of the Islamic countries.

Scientists' pleas referred to CJ for larger bench
By Shujaat Ali Khan

LAHORE, Dec 4: The scientists' habeas corpus petitions were 
referred to the chief justice for consideration by a larger bench 
of the Lahore High Court.

Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, who made the reference, dismissed a 
plea by Advocate A.K. Dogar, petitioner-lawyer M.D. Tahir's new 
counsel, to order the production of the detenus in the meanwhile. 
He said Mr Tahir, who filed a habeas corpus petition on Nov 5 for 
the release of all the detenus, had already moved an application in 
this behalf.

Earlier, speaking on behalf of detained scientist Sultan 
Bashiruddin Mahmood's mother, Advocate Ismail Qureshi submitted 
that to enjoy the protection of law and to be treated in accordance 
with law is the inalienable right of every citizen, wherever he may 
be, and of every other person for the timebeing in Pakistan. No 
action detrimental to the life, liberty, body, reputation or 
property of any person can be taken except in accordance with law. 
Politicians and scientists are equally protected.

Justice Ramday observed that all the past cases cited by him, 
including the Zahur Ilahi and Shorish Kashmiri cases, were decided 
by larger benches. A larger bench must also hear the present 
petitions. He referred the petitions to Chief Justice Falak Sher 
for constitution of a larger bench to consider it.

Washington may supply F-16 spares
By Tahir Mirza

WASHINGTON, Dec 1: The United States intends to provide Pakistan 
with military spare parts sought by Islamabad following the lifting 
of US sanctions on military and economic aid. This was stated by a 
senior Pentagon official who was asked for a comment on a Dawn 
report last week that Pakistan had put in a request for spare parts 
immediately after the sanctions waiver and was waiting for a 
response from Washington.

The official said most of the spare parts related to Pakistan's F-
16 aircraft. The spare parts were ordered before the recent events 
but were held up because of the embargo on US military sales to 

All US sanctions imposed before the nuclear tests in the 
subcontinent and those slapped subsequent to the tests, as well as 
the so-called democracy sanctions, have been waived by the Bush 

The waiver was being considered even before the Sept 11 events, but 
the process was speeded up after the attacks and Pakistan's 
decision to back the US anti-terrorism drive.

Pakistan sources say the embassy's defence officials have been 
looking at the required spare parts that are located at various 
points in the US to see whether their shelf life remains valid. 
They said that apart from technical reasons there was no political 
impediment to the acquisition of spare parts.

During his meeting with President George Bush in New York in 
October, Gen Pervez Musharraf had also raised the question of 
getting additional F-16s, but the proposal was turned down.

Islamabad, Tehran to increase mly cooperation
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 1: Pakistan and Iran have decided to enhance 
military cooperation for manufacturing of small arms, ammunitions, 
artillery tank ammunition, propellant and various kinds of 

Gen Qayyum said that increased military cooperation would not lead 
to any joint venture in the nuclear field. "I must clarify here 
that our military cooperation will be limited to the manufacturing 
of tactical weapons and not nuclear weapons," he added.

He said that Iranian deputy defence minister had visited POF Wah 
and was briefed about the whole range of products being 
manufactured according to international standards and western 

Screening job at airports not given to FBI, says Anwar
Staff Reporter

RAWALPINDI, Dec 2: The federal information secretary, Anwar 
Mehmood, dispelled the impression that the American Federal Bureau 
of Investigation (FBI) had been provided facilities at airports to 
screen suspected passengers. "Such misreporting is regrettable", he 
said while talking to journalists.

The secretary said, under an agreement last year, the US was to 
train Pakistani immigration staff on the use of some new equipment 
being installed at the airports. Under that agreement now, a US 
team has arrived to install 'passport-readable machinery' at the 
airports and train the immigration officials in this regard.

He said no airport screening contract had been given to the FBI as 
reported in some newspapers. 

Doubts about FIA's new role
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Dec 5: Reports of an anti-terrorism role for the Federal 
Investigation Agency have generated a debate within the Agency on 
whether it was prepared for the assignment.

Objectors to the new role maintain that like a secretariat most of 
FIA's time and effort were taken by record keeping. It did not 
have, as a result, the resources and training required 
investigating, pre-empting and dealing with terrorist activities.

"A cursory look at the investigative procedure and backlog of cases 
at the Agency reveal its basic weakness," an official says.

It takes years, he says, to file a first information report with 
the Agency. Once an investigating officer completes an inquiry, it 
goes to the deputy director concerned, who, in turn, marks it to 
the legal branch. If the file returns with some objections, the 
investigator is asked to remove them. Once the lacunas are removed, 
the case goes to the regional director, who once again seeks legal 
opinion and removal of objections, if any. The file then moves to 
the central headquarter where the procedure is repeated.

Once FIA is finished with a report, it is referred to the Ministry 
of Interior, which again seeking a legal opinion and removal of 
objections before deciding whether the person concerned should be 
prosecuted. If it is decided to prosecute the offender, the file is 
sent back to FIA's central headquarters, to the regional director, 
to the deputy director concerned and ultimately to the 
investigation officer.

This generates mammoth volumes of correspondence that keep people 
busy at the Agency. Should the court acquit the accused and the FIA 
decide to appeal against the judgement, the file travels in a 
similar manner to the Ministry of Law and back.

The Agency has backlog of cases including some registered in the 
early '90s, says another insider. Given its style of a plodding 
turtle, assigning it a role requiring the speed of a rabbit, would 
hardly be a welcome development.

A severe manpower shortage at the Agency is an additional drag. 
"The Lahore office has a strength of 117, including the director 
and the office peon. Considering that all government offices work 
at about 80 per cent the total strength, with the remaining 20 per 
cent on leave, there are around 100 people at the FIA at a given 
time. Outs of these, around 25 are currently working with the 
National Accountability Bureau. This leaves only 75 people, 
including 55 to 60 investigation officers looking after nine 
circles and around five wings of the Agency," says an officer. How 
can the government expect the Agency to take an additional load 
without additional manpower, he asks.

About the proposed role of the US Federal Bureau of Investigations 
in the training, another official says it is limited to what the US 
calls the PISES program. It is a three years old program that was 
shelved for political reasons. Under the program, the FBI and 
Pakistan's Intelligence Bureau were to join hands to track down 
international terrorists. The FIA does not have the required 
computer facilities at the airports. Its exit control list 
comprises people wanted for political reasons or defaults on 
payment of bank loans. The US, however, wishes it to nab those 
wanted by the Interpol. For this reason, the US has launched the 
PISES program and is paying for the necessary equipment to 
establish the 'enabled' immigration counters. The IB-FBI joint 
venture has nothing to do with the FIA.

The recent visit to various airports by an FBI team was designed to 
finalize lay out arrangements for the proposed counters.

Inducting women officers for checking is also an idea discussed 
first during the former PML government, an FIA officer said.

Taliban can play role in future govt, says Karzai
Staff Correspondent

LONDON, Dec 6: The head of the newly-appointed Afghan interim 
administration, Hamid Karzai, has said former Taliban figures could 
play a role in a future government if the Afghan people wanted them 
but that "foreign terrorists" must be expelled.

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Karzai said: "Foreign terrorists 
that have made Afghanistan their base and have brought unbelievable 
sufferings to our people and my country must be brought to 
justice." He said his country needed economic opportunities and 
democratic elections in order to move forward.

Mr Karzai told the BBC that the Afghan people must make decisions 
about the type of the government the country would have and who it 
would include. He also said that if local forces could not provide 
"security at this critical time of transition, then the presence of 
a UN force would be a good thing". He was talking by satellite 
phone from Kandahar.

Coalition rules out amnesty for Omar
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 6: The very first decision taken by the head of the 
newly-appointed Afghan interim government, Hamid Karzai, to grant 
general amnesty has been vetoed by the US-led coalition.

Coalition spokesman Kenton Keith at the daily briefing ruled out 
the possibility of granting amnesty for Mulla Omar and other top 
leaders of the Taliban. Mr Keith, who had earlier characterized 
Taliban as those involved in domestic terrorism and Al-Qaeda 
members as those guilty of international terrorism, said senior 
Taliban leaders were "inextricably bound with Al-Qaeda network."

"There are those among the Taliban leaders who definitely have 
blood on their hands and it is expected that they would be brought 
to justice," Mr Keith said.

On the issue of amnesty announced by Mr Karzai within hours of his 
nomination as the interim prime minister, Mr Keith said that the 
agreement reached at Bonn did not contain any such reference.

"We have seen the statement of Mr Karzai," he said, adding that 
they had taken note of the Bonn agreement, which clearly stated 
that international terrorists would be pursued by the transitional 
authority. "We do not see anything to change that," he said. "We 
are happy that the agreement reached at Bonn specifically contains 
this reference."

On the negotiations going on between Mr Karzai and Mulla Omar in 
Kandahar, he said they had independent reports that it had reached 
a decisive phase. "We would welcome any agreement that would spare 
bloodshed in Kandahar," he remarked. He did not give any details 
about the agreement, saying that it would be speculative to predict 
what would be the terms of the agreement.

However, he noted that Mr Karzai was a signatory of the Bonn 
agreement that international terrorists would be pursued and 
brought to justice. This principle would be embodied in every 
negotiation, he added.

On the reports that Gen Dostum and some other leaders had raised 
objections to the constitution of the interim government, he said 
nobody ever pretended that the setting up of the interim government 
would be a smooth process.

Amnesty for all declared: No revenge, vows new chief
By M. Ismail Khan

PESHAWAR, Dec 5: The interim Afghan Prime Minister, Hamid Karzai, 
announced general amnesty hours after he was nominated the head of 
the transitional government.

"I have declared general amnesty to all. Let there be no revenge 
and no vendetta," the 44-year-old Pakhtoon tribal leader, who 
belongs to politically influential Populzai tribe, told Dawn. 
Karzai said he would work hard to bring peace and reconciliation to 
his homeland. "This will be my ultimate goal and I pray that Allah 
gives me the strength to achieve the objective."

The son of an Afghan parliamentarian, who had served during the 
rule of former King Zahir Shah, Karzai started off as secretary to 
Mujahideen leader Prof. Sibghatullah Mojaddedi. He lived in 
Peshawar for some time before moving to Quetta. His father, Ahad 
Karzai, a royalist, was killed in Quetta in 1999. The Taliban were 
blamed for the killing.

Hamid Karzai joined the so-called Rome Process in 1997 when the 
former king, announced his plan to bring peace to Afghanistan. He 
left for Kandahar in late October to fight the Taliban.

Speaking by telephone from northern Kandahar, where he was fighting 
the Taliban to oust them from their last stronghold, Karzai said he 
would make all-out efforts to convene the traditional Loya Jirga 
within the stipulated six-month time given to him under the UN-
brokered agreement. "This is the best way to lasting peace."

The Afghan interim prime minister said he would favour the UN 
peacekeeping forces in Kabul and other places to ensure peace if 
his new administration could not mobilize enough resources to do so 
on its own. "If we face problems in restoring peace due to paucity 
of funds, then I would favour UN forces to help us out."

He appealed to the international community to come forward and help 
Afghans in their effort to rebuild and reconstruct their country 
devastated by decades of infighting.

Outlining his foreign policy, Hamid Karzai, who was a deputy 
foreign minister in the Mujahideen government led by Prof. 
Sibghatullah Mojaddedi in 1992, said he wanted friendly ties with 
all the countries. "We want friendly relations with all the 
countries including our neighbours."

He particularly mentioned Pakistan and Iran and said that he wanted 
extremely good relations with these two countries. "I would like 
strong, brotherly and good-neighbourly relations with Pakistan and 
Iran which had stood with us during the Jihad."

Speaking of the injury caused by the American bombing, he said a 
bomb exploded nearby, shattering windowpanes. Shrapnel also hit him 
in the face slightly wounding him. "There is nothing serious," he 

Afghans sign power-sharing agreement
By Amanullah Ghilzai

LONDON, Dec 5: Afghan factions meeting in Bonn signed an agreement 
to end 23 years of civil war and to lead their country towards 
rebuilding and democracy. Delegates continued their discussions 
until dawn to finally agree on a post-Taliban government to be 
headed by Hamid Karzai, a Pakhtoon and supporter of ex-king Zahir 

The signing ceremony was also attended by German Chancellor Gerhard 

Mr Ahmad Fawzi, a spokesman for the United Nations, said all the 
delegates had agreed upon the names of 30 people put forward, but 
11 of those named still needed to be contacted for getting their 

He said the new government would start functioning on Dec 22. It 
will rule for six months. After the expiry of the six-month period, 
former king Zahir Shah will call a Loya Jirga (grand assembly) to 
appoint a transitional government for the subsequent 18 months.

The deal was sealed just in time for a donors conference at Berlin, 
which is expected to approve immediate emergency humanitarian 

The new administration faces a mammoth rebuilding task requiring 
billions of dollars in Western aid.

The Northern Alliance keeps the three most powerful ministries - 
Yunis Qanuni will serve as interior minister, Mohammad Fahim as 
defence minister and Abdullah Abdullah as foreign minister.

The three are Tajiks from the Panjsher Valley, the base of 
legendary guerilla leader Ahmad Shah Masood, who was assassinated 
on Sept 9.

There are women in the cabinet. The accord asks the UN Security 
Council to send peacekeepers to guarantee security in Kabul.

The new interim administration has so far not specified a role for 
Northern Alliance leader Burhanuddin Rabbani, the UN-recognized 
president of Afghanistan.

The newly appointed foreign minister, Dr Abdullah Abdullah, had 
said last week that his side was seeking no role for Prof Rabbani, 
signalling a rift between its younger and older members. But the UN 
blueprint contains an addition obviously intended to mollify the 
Alliance leader, expressing "deep appreciation to His Excellency 
Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani for his readiness to transfer power 
to an interim authority".

Mr Karzai, selected for the top post, has an advantage of 
representing the Pakhtoons, Afghanistan's biggest ethnic group. A 
strong supporter of former king Zahir Shah, Mr Karzai came under 
attack by Taliban forces a few weeks ago when he tried to rally 
Pakhtoons living in the south of the country to support efforts for 
a new government.

WOMAN DEPUTY PM: A woman has been named to become deputy prime 
minister in Afghanistan's future interim administration, Abdul 
Sattar Sirat from the ex-king's entourage in the Bonn negotiations, 
said. add agencies.

Sima Samar is to hold the portfolios of deputy premiership and the 
public health ministry.

Main points of Bonn accord

The agreement:

* acknowledges the right of the people of Afghanistan to freely 
determine their own political future in accordance with the 
principles of Islam, democracy, pluralism and social justice, and 
expresses appreciation of the Afghan mujahedin for their years of 
combat and sacrifice for the defence of the country's independence.

* notes that these interim arrangements are intended as a first 
step toward the establishment of a broad-based, gender-sensitive, 
multi-ethnic and fully representative government.

* establishes an Interim Authority consisting of a 30-member 
Interim Administration presided over by a Chairman, a Special 
Independent Commission for the Convening of the Emergency Loya 
Jirga, a Central Bank and a Supreme Court.

* lays down that an Emergency Loya Jirga or assembly of elders 
shall be convened within six months of the establishment of the 
Interim Authority. The Emergency Loya Jirga will be opened by His 
Majesty Mohammed Zahir Shah, the former King of Afghanistan.

* the Emergency Loya Jirga shall decide on a Transitional 
Authority, including a broad-based transitional administration, to 
lead Afghanistan until a fully representative government can be 
elected through free and fair elections held no later than two 
years from the date of the convening of the Emergency Loya Jirga.

* The agreement says that a Constitutional Loya Jirga shall be 
convened within eighteen months of the establishment of the 
Transitional Authority, in order to adopt a new constitution for 

* The agreement also essentially restores the constitution of 1964, 
save for the role given to the monarchy.

* It commits the Interim Administration to establish an independent 
Human Rights Commission with UN help to monitor human rights and 
investigate violations.

* The Special Independent Commission to convene the Emergency Loya 
Jirga will ensure that due attention is paid to the representation 
in the Emergency Loya Jirga of a significant number of women as 
well as all other segments of the Afghan population.

* The Emergency Loya Jirga will elect a Head of the State for the 
Transitional Administration.

Annex I to the agreement provides for an international security 

* this says that while responsibility for law and order lies with 
the Afghans themselves, some time may be needed for Afghans to 
establish new security and armed forces.

* the participants to the talks therefore request the United 
Nations Security Council to consider authorizing the early 
deployment to Afghanistan of a United Nations mandated force. This 
force will assist in the maintenance of security for Kabul and its 
surrounding areas. Such a force could, as appropriate, be 
progressively expanded to other urban centres and other areas.

* the participants pledge to withdraw all military units from Kabul 
and other urban centers or other areas in which the UN-mandated 
force is deployed.

The text of the agreement can be accessed at www.uno.de 

List of ministers

BONN, Dec 5: Following is an approved but still incomplete list of 
members of an interim government that will lead Afghanistan for a 
six-month period. Of the 30 posts, 18 are from the Northern 
Alliance, 11 are from the Rome group, and one from the Peshawar 

Chairman: Hamid Karzai (Rome)

Vice-Chair and Women's Affairs: Dr Sima Samar (Rome)

Vice-Chair and Defence: Mohammad Qaseem Fahim (United Front)

Vice-Chair and Planning: Haji Muhammad Mohaqqeq (United Front)

Vice-Chair and Water and Electricity: Shaker Kargar (United Front)

Vice-Chair and Finance: Hedayat Amin Arsala (Rome)


Dept of Foreign Affairs: Dr Abdullah Abdullah (United Front)

Dept of the Interior: Mohammad Yunus Qanooni (United Front)

Dept of Commerce: Seyyed Mustafa Kazemi (United Front)

Dept of Mines and Industries: Mohammad Alem Razm (United Front)

Dept of Small Industries: Aref Noorzai (United Front)

Dept of Information and Culture: Dr. Raheen Makhdoom (Rome)

Dept of Communication: Abdul Rahim (United Front)

Dept of Labour and Social Affairs: Mir Wais Sadeq (United Front)

Dept of Hajj et Auqaf: Mohammad Hanif Hanif Balkhi (United Front)

Dept of Martyrs et Disabled: Adbullah Wardak (United Front)

Dept of Higher Education: Dr Sharif Faez (United Front)

Dept of Public Health: Suhaila Siddiq (United Front)

Dept of Rural Development: Abdul Malik Anwar (Rome)

Dept of Urban Development: Haji Abdul Qadir (United Front)

Dept of Transport: Sultan Hamid Hamid (Rome)

Dept for the Return of Refugees: Enayatullah Nazeri (United Front)

Dept of Agriculture: Sayed Hussein Anwari (United Front)

Dept of Irrigation: Haji Mangal Hussein (Peshawar)

Dept of Justice: Abdul Rahim Karimi (United Front)

Dept of Air Transport and Tourism: Rahim Wardak (Rome)

Dept of Border Affairs: Amanullah Zadran (Rome)

Dept of Education: to be confirmed (Rome)

Dept of Public Works: to be confirmed (Rome)

Dept of Reconstruction: to be confirmed (Rome) -AFP

CIA seeks help to track down Osama: Talks held with Musharraf
Staff Correspondent

NEW YORK, Dec 4: George J. Tenet, the director of Central 
Intelligence Agency, met President Gen Pervez Musharraf in 
Islamabad and sought tactical assistance for an assault on a 
mountain base in eastern Afghanistan where Osama bin Laden is 
suspected of hiding, said The New York Times.

During meetings with Gen Musharraf and top ISI officials, Mr Tenet 
outlined aspects of the next phase of the war in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has been quietly expanding the use of three isolated 
military bases by American Special Operations forces, the paper 

American Officials told the paper that Mr Tenet also said the US 
planned to send more intelligence operatives into southern 
Afghanistan. They urged President Musharraf to go further in 
cracking down militant religious figures and other extremists.

Other officials told the paper that talks were the "strongest 
attempt" to-date by the CIA to push Pakistan to rein in religious 
extremists and monitor activities of pro-Taliban elements inside 
and outside the government.

The American push comes as Gen Musharraf appears to have gained new 
confidence in his ability to restrain outspoken religious leaders 
and religious parties who have failed to ignite widespread outrage 
over Pakistan's assistance to the US-led coalition.

CIA officials told their Pakistani counterparts that they would 
need more help on the ground in coming weeks. One of the most 
pressing requests was for more information about the base formerly 
used by the anti-Soviet Mujahideen in the mountainous Tora Bora 
region where some people think Osama might be hiding, the paper 

A senior Pakistani official said the Americans wanted help in 
formulating plans to block exits from the remote region and 
information about how to reach the maze of elaborate caves and 
tunnels that may be Osama's last refuge.

Officials did not say what the Pakistani response was to that 
particular request, but said the Pakistanis had been generally 
helpful to the alliance in providing that sort of assistance when 
requested, the Times said.

Officials said Mr Tenet and members of his team had also described 
plans to expand the covert war in southern Afghanistan by 
increasing the number of operatives working there. They are 
expected to stage a variety of missions aimed at helping track down 
members of Al Qaeda and providing more money to buy the loyalty of 
anti-Taliban forces and secure defections from the Taliban 
commanders, the officials said.

The NYT said that providing assistance to the American intelligence 
agency underscored Pakistan's determination to cast its lot with 
the coalition, but that has not eased all of the suspicions among 
the Americans about the Pakistani military and intelligence 
services. Substantial elements of both are known to remain strongly 
pro-Taliban and to resent Pakistan's growing alliance with the 
United States. But Lt-Gen Ehsan ul-Haq, appointed by Gen Musharraf 
as director of the ISI in October, is regarded as a moderate who is 
respected by American intelligence officials and appears willing to 
cooperate with them, officials said.

Mr Tenet left Islamabad on Saturday for Germany where he boarded 
the plane that carried the body of Johnny Michael Spann, the CIA 
officer killed last week in a so-called prison revolt in northern 
Afghanistan. The plane arrived in the United States on Sunday.

Islamabad cooperating with US: envoy
Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, Dec 3: Islamabad is cooperating with the United States on 
preventing 'undesirables' from crossing over to its side of the 
Pakistan-Afghanistan border, with the two countries working jointly 
to get information from those arrested when sneaking into Pakistan 

"I am quite confident that the government of Pakistan is committed 
absolutely to preventing any of al-Qaeda or senior Taliban (member 
from escaping)," US ambassador to Islamabad Windey Chamberlin said.

During her day-long visit to Peshawar, the US ambassador held 
meetings with the NWFP governor Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah, Corps 
Commander of the 11-corps Lt-Gen Ali Mohammed Jan Orakzai.

She was also briefed about the refugees' affairs in the NWFP by the 
Commissioner Afghan Refugees, NWFP, Mr Mohammed Naeem Khan. Without 
disclosing the number of 'undesirables' intercepted after they 
entered Pakistan, she said "we are working jointly to get 
information (from them)."

Pakistani authorities are holding three of the Taliban's foreign 
troops who were arrested by the border security forces as they 
tried to sneak into this side of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

"I can't give you the numbers," she said, when asked how many al-
Qaeda members or Taliban leaders had been arrested upon their 
arrival in Pakistan. "It is a long, 1,500-mile border; it is porous 
and rugged and it would be hard to make any hard and fast 
statements," she said concerning the number of al-Qaeda members and 
Taliban leaders who have crossed over to Pakistan.

With Corps Commander Lt-Gen Ali Mohammed Jan Orakzai, Chamberlin 
said issues relating to Pakistan border security came under 
discussion, particularly the $73m assistance the US was extending 
to Islamabad for enhancing its security on the country's border 
with Afghanistan.

"Congress has appropriated the money. We are actively putting it 
together as we speak," she told this correspondent. The assistance, 
she said, was meant to help Pakistan strengthen its ability to 
protect the border with Afghanistan in the long term. 

No Pakistani jets flew into Afghanistan, says US
By Masood Haider

NEW YORK, Dec 2: US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that he 
was convinced that Pakistan did not fly any airplanes or 
helicopters into Afghanistan to evacuate any Pakistani prisoners 
from there.

In an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press", Rumsfeld said: 
"According to my information neither Pakistan nor any other country 
flew any planes into Afghanistan to evacuate anybody."

He said Pakistan was cooperating fully with the United States in 
its campaign against terrorism as it had deployed crack troops on 
the border with Afghanistan to stop anyone from escaping into 

He said the US had been monitoring the skies in Afghanistan as 
skillfully as possible and that he had not seen any evidence of any 
planes flying to evacuate anybody to Pakistan or any other country.

Rumsfeld stresses mly ties with Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Dec 1: The US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld said in 
an interview with PTV that Pakistan-US defence cooperation should 
not become victim of ups and downs in the political relationship.

He said, military-to-military linkages should be maintained. He 
pointed out that military contacts and exchanges programs have 
benefited both Pakistan and the United States.

To a question about West's apprehensions about Pakistan's nuclear 
assets, Mr Rumsfeld said that I fully respect the assertion of 
President Musharraf and his government's nuclear programs and 
assets were being managed safely and handled with responsibility.

He appreciated that President Musharraf recognized the 
responsibility that comes with the weapons of mass destruction and 
he is taking proper steps to ensure their safe management.

Asked what role the United States can play to help resolve the 
Kashmir dispute, Mr Rumsfeld said President Bush and secretary of 
state Colin Powell had repeatedly expressed American interest in 
the peaceful resolution of the disputes and differences including 

To a question Mr Rumsfeld said that the United States had no 
intention to station troops in Afghanistan on long term basis. "Our 
only interest in Afghanistan is to deal with Al Qaeda and change 
the leadership to pave way for stable and broad-based government."

Dr Condoleezza Rice, assistant to US President on national security 
affairs, also in a interview with Radio Pakistan and PTV at the 
White House, said that the United States was working on big plans 
to build a long-term relationship with Pakistan.

She said the United States believes that Pakistan is not just 
important to American security interests but important to peace and 
security in South Asia and the world.

She categorically stated that the United States will not turn away 
from Pakistan after the current crisis. Instead, she said, 
"Washington expects it to be a long-term relationship to build a 
prosperous Pakistan." She hoped that President Musharraf's 
commitment to hold elections in October next would bring more 
stability to Pakistan.-APP

Coalition under fire 
ISLAMABAD, Dec 1: The US-led coalition fighting in Afghanistan and 
the Northern Alliance came under fire for ruling out an inquiry 
into the killing of hundreds of Taliban prisoners.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, dismissing calls for an 
investigation, said in an interview with the BBC: "The idea that at 
this moment we could have a judicial inquiry into the difficult 
circumstances of Mazar-i-Sharif is frankly not on."

Amnesty condemned Britain's stance. It said "serious abuses of 
international human rights and humanitarian law may have been 

"The rejection of an inquiry by the United Kingdom into what is 
apparently the single most bloody incident of the war ... raises 
questions about their commitment to the rule of law," Amnesty said 
in a statement." What can there be to fear from an inquiry except 
the truth and a clear message that impunity will not be tolerated?"

Amnesty said an international investigation involving the United 
Nations should be considered if the US-led coalition refused to do 
its own.-AFP

Fatal errors that led to Qala-i-Jangi massacre
Guardian staff writers

LONDON, Dec 1: A single, horrific, atrocity has provided a defining 
moment in every war of the modern age. America is still facing 
demands to apologize for the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam, while 
the remains of charred Iraqi soldiers on the Mutla Ridge, outside 
Kuwait, provided a chilling illustration of Washington's 
overwhelming firepower during the Gulf war.

Questions are being asked about whether the bloody end to this 
week's prison siege at the 19th-century Qala-i-Jangi, outside 
Mazar-i-Sharif, will provide the defining moment of the Afghan war. 
Pictures of aid workers picking their way through the corpses of 
hundreds of Taliban prisoners, killed by a combination of US 
bombing and Northern Alliance savagery, have caused revulsion 
around the world.

As pressure grows on Britain and the US to hold an inquiry into the 
killings, Guardian has pieced together a minute-by-minute account 
of this week's events. This suggests that from the very first, when 
Taliban soldiers fell into the hands of the Alliance after the fall 
of Kunduz, a series of catastrophic errors were made.

Amir Jan, a Pakhtoon commander who defected to the anti-Taliban 
opposition earlier this year, said that the elite foreign fighters 
from Kunduz were never supposed to turn up in Mazar-i-Sharif, 
Afghanistan's main northern city.

The foreigners - Arabs, Pakistanis, Chechens and Uzbeks - were 
meant to surrender at Erganak, a mountainous frontline position 
20kms west of Kunduz. Instead, they travelled across the desert 
through the night and arrived on the outskirts of Mazar, in a 
wilderness of desert and telegraph poles, at 3am last Saturday.

Mullah Fahzel, the Taliban's commander at Kunduz, had instructed 
the foreign fighters to give up their weapons - but failed to tell 
them that they would then be taken into custody. "The foreigners 
thought that after surrendering to the Northern Alliance they would 
be free," Jan said. "They didn't think they would be put in jail."

While US soldiers dressed in desert khaki set up satellite links, 
soldiers loyal to the alliance warlord General Rashid Dostam took 
up attack positions. After three to four hours' negotiation, the 
Taliban fighters agreed to surrender again - but only to Amir Jan, 
whom they trusted because of his Pakhtoon roots and Taliban 
history. Dostam's militia then began disarming the Taliban fighters 
and piling their weapons into a green lorry.

Dostam had arranged to take the prisoners to Mazar-i-Sharif's large 
Soviet-built airfield, well away from the centre of the city. But 
American special forces vetoed the plan, saying that the runway 
could be needed for military operations, Jan revealed.

Instead, Dostam would take the prisoners to his own personal 
fortress on the muddy outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif, the Qala-i-
Jangi. Over the previous two weeks several American officers had 
secretly spent many hours in the castle. They knew it was full of 
heavy weaponry.

Nonetheless, they agreed with Dostam's impromptu scheme. By mid-
afternoon on Saturday, the prisoners had been piled into five 
trucks. Said Kamal, Dostam's head of security, arranged for 
prisoners in the first three trucks to be body searched. But with 
dusk approaching, the convoy set off with the last two trucks not 
searched. This proved to be disastrous.

While Dostam set off with the bulk of his army towards Kunduz, the 
convoy rolled the other way into the Qala-i-Jangi, where a 
comparatively small number of guards had been left behind. Nader 
Ali, Dostam's chief of police, made another attempt to search the 
prisoners soon after they arrived in late afternoon. As he was 
about to be frisked a Taliban fighter detonated a hidden grenade 
killing himself, Ali and another Dostam aide.

While the dying Ali was carried away, soldiers then bundled the 
Taliban fighters into the stable area to the north of the compound. 
The search was abandoned.

That night eight of Osama bin Laden's fighters blew themselves up 
in a room in the prisoners' compound, Jan said. It soon became 
clear that a large minority of the Taliban were still armed with 
grenades. "After that I decided they were hardliners, that they 
were dangerous," Jan added. "We agreed it would be better to tie up 
their hands and put them in the basement."

The following morning (Sunday) guards prepared to implement the new 
order. At the same time Simon Brooks, the head of the International 
Committee for the Red Cross in northern Afghanistan, swept into the 
Qala-i-Jangi in his white Red Cross vehicle. He had come to seek 
reassurances from Kamal that the prisoners would be treated 
humanely. The Red Cross also wanted to register the prisoners' 
names and allow them to send a message back to their families. 
Brooks was not the only person interested in the new Arab, 
Pakistani and Chechen detainees.

CIA AGENTS: Two CIA agents, Johnny "Mike" Spann and "Dave", had 
also been instructed to screen the Taliban fighters for possible 
links with al-Qaida. From a distance Dave looked Afghan. He even 
spoke Uzbek, the language of Dostam's soldiers, and wore a shalwar 
kameez beneath a long coat. But his square-cropped haircut gave the 
game away, and revealed him as an American.

Two television crews - from Reuters and the German station ARD - 
had also turned up at the fort. They were in the prisoners' 
compound, together with Dave and Mike, who had begun interviewing 

At 11:25am the Taliban fighters were marched to the central grassy 
compound of their mini-citadel. The guards tied up the first eight 
prisoners, Jan said. "The prisoners suspected they were about to be 
shot. They attacked one of the guards and grabbed his gun," he 
added. The foreign fighters had also assumed that the television 
journalists were American soldiers who had come to film their 

Another prisoner grabbed Mike and set off a grenade, blowing him 
up. This conflicts with the CIA account of his death which says 
that he was shot.

All hell then broke loose: the prisoners shot dead five guards and 
grabbed their weapons, while the journalists ran for cover. Dave 
only managed to escape by shooting dead at least one Taliban 
prisoner with his pistol. A firefight blew up between the 
prisoners, now in charge of their own fortified area, and soldiers 
sitting in Dostam's headquarters building 300 metres away, down a 
line of trees.

"Dave managed to reach the rooftop [of Dostam's HQ] about 15 
minutes after fighting broke out," Brooks said. "One of the Taliban 
who had obviously been wired with explosives simply grabbed the 
other American and the bomb detonated."

"I met Dave in the building. He was absolutely completely shocked 
and really quite scared. I can now understand why: he witnessed his 
friend being blown up. He had managed to shoot his way out and run 
150 metres out of the building."

Soon the firefight had developed into a major battle, as the 
Taliban prisoners broke into the arms depot in their compound and 
helped themselves to mortars and rocket launchers. From the 
rooftop, Dave borrowed a satellite phone from the German television 
crew and phoned the American embassy in Uzbekistan.

"We have lost control of the situation. Send in helicopters and 
troops," he said.

The call appeared to work. As the Red Cross vehicle blazed in the 
car park, and Brooks slithered down the mud battlements to safety, 
the Pentagon prepared to send in the airforce. Most of the eight 
prisoners who had been tied up when the battle broke out were shot 
dead in the early minutes; the others were able to take cover. 
Their bodies were still there four days later when Dostam's troops 
were finally able to re-enter the compound.

At 3:30pm the jets dispatched by the Pentagon fired nine or 10 
missiles directly into the Taliban's positions. All of them hit 
their target - apart from the last one, which sank into a field 
more than one kilometre away.

In the confusion, a small group of at least 10 prisoners escaped.

The following day the remaining Taliban, some armed with rocket 
launchers, held out as B-52 bombers flew repeatedly overhead. 
Alarmed by the resilience of the Taliban fighters, further special 
forces arrived at the base on Tuesday. They reportedly advised the 
alliance to flush out the remaining Taliban by pouring oil into the 
basement and setting fire to it.

It took a tank and an intensification of bombings from the air to 
finish them off.

Confident that the way was clear, the alliance regained control of 
the fortress on Wednesday. But on Thursday it emerged that a lone 
Taliban was still holed up in a basement of the fortress where he 
was surviving on horse meat.

High above the lone survivor, the imposing figure of Dostam toured 
the fortress where the full horror of the siege was on display. A 
photographer saw the bodies of up to 50 Taliban fighters, whose 
hands had been bound by scarves, laid out in a field in the 
southern part of the fort. The photographer watched as alliance 
fighters cut the scarves from the hands of some of the corpses; at 
least one picked gold fillings from a corpse.

WAR CRIMES: As Washington attempted to wash its hands of the 
episode, saying that the alliance was responsible for the 
prisoners, human rights lawyers warned that the Geneva convention 
may have been breached on two counts. This is over the degrading 
treatment of the Taliban, when they were tied up, and the huge 
firepower directed at them by US warplanes.

On the first count, article 13 of the convention says: "Prisoners 
of war must at all times be humanely treated." On the second count, 
the convention permits the use of force against prisoners. But it 
says that this must be proportionate.

Christopher Greenwood, professor of international relations at the 
London School of Economics and joint editor of International Law 
Reports, said that killing people with hands tied behind their 
backs was illegal.

"If it was heavy-handed overreaction, it was illegal,", he said.

Amid the doubts about the legality of the US and alliance response, 
there were also questions about the conduct of the two CIA 
officers. Adam Roberts, professor of international relations at 
Oxford University and a leading authority on the laws of war, 
described their conduct as "incredibly stupid and unprofessional".

Angered by the death of Spann - the first American to die in the 
conflict - CIA director George Tenet swept aside the criticism as 
he accused the Taliban of premeditated murder.

"Their prison uprising - which has murder as its goal - claimed 
many lives, among them that of a very brave American," he said of 
Spann, who worked in the directorate of operations, which analysts 
say is involved in "paramilitary" activities.

As the final bodies are cleared, the battle has now moved to 
Britain and America, where both governments have rejected calls by 
Amnesty International for an inquiry. Amnesty hit back, saying that 
this raised questions about their commitment to the rule of law.

A head of steam is unlikely to build up around this issue, however. 
At his weekly appearance in the Commons this week, British Prime 
Minister Tony Blair faced only one question about Afghanistan and 
that was about Marjan, the one-eyed lion at Kabul zoo.-Dawn/The 
Guardian News Service.

Pakistan seeks access to detained suspects 
Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Dec 1: Pakistan ambassador Dr Maleeha Lodhi met 
Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca to 
discuss the issue of people of Pakistani origin detained in the 
United States following the events of September 11.

This has been an ongoing subject of discussion between Pakistan and 
US officials for the past many weeks. According to Justice 
Department figures released last week, 208 persons born in Pakistan 
are being held on immigration charges. Their names have not been 

According to an embassy press release, the ambassador informed Ms 
Rocca that they would like the US authorities to provide the names 
of all Pakistani detainees, the location of the detention centres, 
and specific charges under which they had been detained.

The ambassador also requested consular access to the detainees and 
reiterated the earlier offer that Pakistani missions in the US 
would be ready to facilitate the deportation process in cases where 
the detainees agreed not to contest their deportation.

Ms Rocca was said to have reaffirmed the US authorities' desire to 
be helpful in this matter. The press release said it had been 
assured by the American officials that the detainees would be 
treated in accordance with the US law and that the US government 
would fulfil its obligations under the Vienna Convention.

Convicts might be barred from contesting poll
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Dec 3: Pakistan Awami Tehrik chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri 
thinks that the government will soon issue an ordinance to bar 
convicted leaders from taking part in politics or heading any 

Talking to reporters, he said President Musharraf in his meetings 
with PPP leaders had made it amply clear that Ms Bhutto could not 
take part in politics. But, he regretted PPP leaders after coming 
out of the meeting hall had issued quite different statements about 
the outcome of their meeting.

He believed that the elections as well as the transfer of power 
would take place in October. He proposed that elections should be 
held under the judicial control of the Election Commission and 
administrative control of the army.

Answering a question, Dr Qadri said so far as he knew that the 
government had no favourites for the transfer of power. He hoped 
that a ban on political activity would be lifted by March.

Answering a question, he said, if invited the PAT would certainly 
participate in the APC being called by Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan. 
However, he said, there was no need for such a conference at this 

He said the PAT supported the government's right to amend the 
Constitution, as also explained by the apex court. He said only a 
few seminaries had exploited the sacred name of jihad and misused 
the funds they had collected to give a bad name to the entire 
religious community and the country. He said the government must 
end "madressah politics" and deal with those besmirching the name 
of Pakistan. For achieving this goal, he said, it was necessary to 
strengthen the country economically, end poverty and illiteracy.

It was necessary to enlighten the youth through modern education 
and scientific research. Pakistan had put a lot at stake for a 
fight against terrorism but the international community was yet to 
respond in kind to its sacrifice, he said. The world must help 
Pakistan in every way to put it back on its economic feet, he 

The international community had pledged over $20 billion for the 
reconstruction of Afghanistan, it would not be proper on its part 
to ignore Pakistan in its reconstruction effort.

Preparation of electoral rolls begins: Election 2002 
By Habib Khan Ghori

KARACHI, Dec 2: Preparations for new electoral rolls have started 
for the promised October 2002 general elections in the country. 
Persons of 21 years of age and above on Jan 1st, 2002, will be 
enrolled as voters in the draft, which will be ready for inviting 
objections by Dec 20.

After decision on objections on the draft lists, a door-to-door 
campaign for verification of the rolls would be launched from 
January 1st, which will be completed within twenty days. For this 
purpose, about 72,000 election staff will be recruited from the 
employees of education department, banks, financial institutions 
and other government organizations.

Although the elections will be held on a party basis, so far except 
demands by certain leaders for holding fair and free polls, no 
political party has initiated any exercise to warm up its party 
cadres. The political leaders appear to be demoralized, 
particularly in the case of three main rivals - PPP, PML and MQM - 
whose top leaders have taken refuge abroad. 

They pointed out that President Pervez Musharraf will unveil a 
detailed election schedule on Aug 14, and by that time all ground 
rules would have also been announced. Only after that the political 
parties would be in a position to take decision on how to jump into 
the fray. But, this will leave very little time for electioneering.

Shahbaz was banished 'against his consent'
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Dec 2: Almost a year after being exiled to Saudi Arabia 
along with the rest of the Sharif family members, former Punjab 
chief minister Shahbaz Sharif alleged that he was banished against 
his consent.

In the first ever formal statement issued through his former press 
secretary, Mr Shahbaz disputed official spokesman's assertion that 
the return of some female members of the Sharif family to Pakistan 
was a violative of the agreement. Rejecting the statement as absurd 
and false, he said there was no such agreement under which the 
women members of the family could not live in Pakistan.

The statement said that it was Dec 7 last year when he was in 
Landhi Jail, Karachi, that a "representative" from Islamabad came 
to him to tell that the Sharif family was being sent out of the 
country, and he, too, was among them. Shahbaz Sharif said he 
refused to leave the country. On this, the emissary told him that 
in case he refused, his ailing father, mother and other family 
members would also not be allowed to go.

The message was astonishing, Shahbaz Sharif said, as on the one 
hand the government had implicated them in baseless cases and on 
the other he was being blackmailed in the name of his family.

The former chief minister said that he was told in plain terms that 
he would have to leave the country. Shahbaz Sharif said he asked 
the emissary that Gen Musharraf should be told that the former was 
reluctant to leave Pakistan and that he should not be forced. 
However, the message from Islamabad was that the ex-chief minister 
would have to do as told.

Shahbaz Sharif said people who brought him out of his jail cell 
shared the view that it was an injustice but they could not help 
him talk to the corps commander. He was first brought to Multan and 
then to Lahore where his brother Abbas Sharif was already present.

According to the statement, the highest military authority told him 
before his flight for Jeddah took off that he had great respect for 
him (the former chief minister). In response, he said, if it was 
really so, he should not force him to leave the country. He also 
requested that he should be sent back to Landhi Jail.

The military authority, he said, told him that it was not possible 
for him to oblige him and that for the time being he would have to 
leave the country.

Mr Shahbaz Sharif asked the army if it was justified for the 
institution, meant to defend the country and honour of the people, 
to force women to leave the country. He said such tactics could not 
demoralize the Sharifs nor could they keep them away from their 
people and the country for long.

Ejaz seeks sedition case against Benazir
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Dec 2: PML-QA Senior Vice-President Ejazul Haq demanded a 
sedition case against PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto for her 
reckless utterances during her recent visit to India on the Kashmir 
issue which were in conflict with the country's consistent national stand 
on the issue.

Talking to reporters Mr Ejaz alleged that the PPP chairperson had 
gone desperate and she was making statements just to please some 
important countries to win their support. He urged the 'patriotic 
workers' of the PPP to take a serious notice of the statements 
issued by their leader.

PML-N concerned over Benazir's statement
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Dec 3: The PML(N) expressed concern over the reported 
statements of PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto on the freedom 
movement in occupied Kashmir and Pakistan's role in it during her 
visit to India.

A resolution adopted at a meeting of the divisional scrutiny 
committees, held under the chairmanship of Zulfiqar Khosa, said 
these statements were in conflict with national interests. The PML-
N and the PPP are allies in the ARD.

Mr Khosa said in his speech that by adopting a viewpoint of 
Afghanistan which was contrary to the national aspirations, and 
supporting Indian point of view on the freedom movement in occupied 
Kashmir, the PPP chairperson had hurt the feelings of the entire 
nation. He ruled out alliance with the PML-QA, saying the PML-N 
would make adjustments with the recognized political forces.

Court orders release of Farooquis
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 6: An accountability court ordered release of the 
former chief of Pakistan Steel, Mohammad Usman Farooqui, his wife 
and their daughter in a reference.

Judge Rahmat Hussain Jafferi of AC-3 ordered the release after Mr 
Farooqui and his family surrendered over Rs330 million assets.

Mr Farooqui, his wife, Aneesa Farooqui, and their daughter, 
Sharmila Farooqui, had been charged with acquiring movable and 
immovable properties and assets through illegal means.

Govt sets condition to end Fazl's detention
Staff Correspondent

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Dec 5: The Peshawar High Court was told that if 
Jamiat Ulema Islam (F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman was ready to 
submit a bond that he will obey the government and not cause any 
disorder, the NWFP government would not extend his detention after 

Deputy Advocate General Shaukat Hayat Khakwani said that if Maulana 
Rehman was not ready to make such a commitment, the Home office 
would resist his release even on bonds.

Foreign newsman expelled
Staff Correspondent

QUETTA, Dec 2: The government expelled another journalist for his 
alleged involvement in undesirable activities. Rajiv Chandrasekaran 
of the Washington Post, was asked by officials to leave the country 

He was taken into custody by the local authorities and detained at 
the Railways Rest House before being sent to Islamabad by a PIA 
flight in the afternoon.

Musharraf's wife not buying house in US
Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Dec 1: The Pakistan embassy here has dismissed as 
utterly baseless and motivated a report said to have been published 
in India that the wife of Gen Pervez Musharraf has been visiting 
Washington, looking for a house to buy in the US.

The report was mentioned by an Indian journalist at the White House 
briefing. The journalist asked Mr Fleischer to comment on the 
report "that Mrs Musharraf, was in Washington twice recently last 
week, looking for a house. Is there something... and senior US 
officials helped her to look some houses in Washington, DC, and in 
New York. Is there something..."

Fleischer: I have not heard anything about that, to confirm that, 
or shed any light on that. I have not heard that.

Q: She is planning to move to the US.

Fleischer: I have not heard anything about that, so I have nothing 
to offer on it. I don't know if that's true or not.

22 killed in Kashmir clashes
SRINAGAR, Dec 1: At least 22 people were killed in clashes in 
Kashmir, police said. Unidentified men disguised as policemen 
killed six people in Udhampur district, including four belonging to 
a village defence committee, police said.

Police have launched search and rescue operations in the hilly 
forested area, but so far have failed to arrest any of the 

At Sonamulla village, in Kupwara district, Indian army soldiers and 
police shot dead three freedom fighters. 

Indian forces claimed killing four Mujahideen at the villages of 
Dub Magam and Machil, in Kupwara, police said. Two more Mujahideen 
were shot dead in the districts of Anantnag and Pulwama overnight, 
police said. Six more people, four of them Mujahideen, were killed 
elsewhere in held Kashmir on Friday evening or Saturday, police 

Former MNA convicted
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Dec 3: Akbar Ali Bhatti, ex-MNA from Vehari and former 
owner-cum-editor of an Urdu daily, was convicted by an 
accountability court and sentenced to three years rigorous 
imprisonment and a fine of Rs 11.8 million for willful default in 
payment of government dues and misuse of public office.

Announcing the judgment, Judge Chaudhry Iftikhar Hussain also 
disqualified the former MNA from holding public office and securing 
loans from banks for 10 years. 

According to the prosecution, Mr Akbar Ali Bhatti misused his 
public office as MNA for acquiring the Palla Pond government land 
in Maillsi (Vehari) on lease for his company, the Akbar Brothers, 
but did not pay the requisite dues. Mr Bhatti, however, denied the 

IMF okays $1.3bn facility
Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Dec 7: The International Monetary Fund's executive 
board agreed to lend $1.3 billion to Pakistan for Poverty 
Alleviation Program.

A detailed Press release, possibly detailing conditions on which 
the lending is based, was still awaited at noon on Friday, but Mr 
William Murray, an IMF spokesman, confirmed that the board had 
approved a three-year arrangement for Pakistan under the Poverty 
Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), totalling SDR 1.033 billion 
(about US$1.309).

As a result of this decision, he said, Pakistan would be able to 
draw SDR 86.16 million (about US$109 million) under the 
arrangement. PRGF loans carry an annual interest of 0.5 per cent, 
and are repayable over 10 years with a five-and-a-half-year grace 
period on principal payments.

The new package follows earlier aid to Pakistan and opens the way 
for favorable consideration of Pakistan's case for debt relief and 
assistance at the forthcoming Paris Club meeting.

Pakistan can access $109 million immediately as part of the $1.3 
billion approved on Thursday. The IMF executive board meeting had 
continued almost all day.

IMF allows Pakistan to raise deficit target
By Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Dec 7: In a major policy shift, the International 
Monetary Fund has allowed Pakistan a budgetary deficit target of 
5.7 per cent for 2001-2002, to effectively help address concerns on 
poverty and stimulate growth in the country.

"We had earlier agreed to enhance budgetary deficit target from the 
original 4.9 per cent to 5.3 per cent, but now we are allowing 
Pakistan government to stretch this target further to 5.7 per cent 
for substantially alleviating poverty and accelerating growth," 
disclosed a senior IMF official.

Talking to Dawn, the IMF Senior Representative in Pakistan, Henri 
Ghesquiere, however, said the government would have to increase 
funding for social sector under the Khushal Pakistan program to 
justify relaxation in budget deficit target.

All the three IMF lending programs offered during the last one 
decade had four per cent of the GDP as the end-year budgetary 
deficit target, which was never met and hence no program was 
completed. Only the ten-month-long $596 million Standby Agreement 
(SBA) that ended on September 30 this year was successfully 
completed, though the target set for the budgetary deficit for the 
whole year still looks far from achievable.

Still, ostensibly on the basis of the completion of this program, a 
new three-year $1.3 billion Poverty Reduction Growth Facility was 
approved by the IMF Executive Board in Washington on Thursday. The 
first installment of the $109 million 36-month lending program, the 
IMF official said would be disbursed to Pakistan next week.

"There will be 12 equal instalments of the new lending program," he 
said, adding that countries like Pakistan generally had a 60 per 
cent lending quota under Special Drawing Rights, which had now been 
increased to 100 per cent as a special favour by the IMF Executive 

Mr Ghesquiere said as a result of the fallout of Sept 11 events; 
the Central Board of Revenue could not achieve desired revenue 
targets during the first quarter of the current financial year.

This was also one of the reasons for the IMF to initially allow the 
relaxation in the budget deficit target from 4.9 per cent to 5.3 
per cent. "We have agreed with the government that revenue target 
will now be Rs430 billion and not Rs457 billion which was set at 
the time of the announcement of the federal budget in June this 
year," he further disclosed.

Nevertheless, he made it clear that now the CBR would have to 
effectively carry out various reforms under its restructuring 
program. "Mobilizing domestic revenues will be essential for the 
CBR to enable the government to have the much-needed funds for 
social sector," he said. There had been an exceptional impact on 
revenues due to Sept 11 events which specially hurt customs duties, 
he said.

"Now when the new IMF lending program has been approved, issues 
relating to governance, economic growth, financial stability and 
poverty will have to be taken up seriously by the government," the 
IMF official said.

Responding to a question, he said approval of the IMF lending 
program had paved the way for "re-profiling of debts" by the Paris 
Club which was meeting in Paris next week.

"The Paris Club will re-profile Pakistan's loans rather than going 
for their rescheduling which is very beneficial for Pakistan," the 
IMF official said, adding that re-profiling would help the writing 
off of certain loans and reduction of interest rate.

He said Pakistan's $3.2 billion financing gap for the current 
financial year would be jointly filled by the IMF, Paris Club and 
some other creditors. The Paris Club is expected to cover this gap 
by extending $700 million to $900 million to Pakistan. Pakistan's 
three-year financing gap is estimated to be 8 to 9 billion dollars.

Asked about Pakistan's huge foreign debt, the IMF official said 
that a certain coherent strategy was needed to be worked out to 
avoid debt trap.

To a question, he said Pakistan was expected to achieve 3.7 per 
cent GDP growth rate during 2001-2002. The level of foreign 
exchange reserves, he said, would have to be equal to three months 
of imports, he added.

Mr Henri also said that a decision had been taken that no 
objections would be raised to Pakistan's central bank buying dollar 
from the open market. Pakistan's exports, he said, should not 
become incompetitive for which trends of the dollar would have to 
be observed carefully.

He said the current rate of inflation was estimated to be 2.5 
percent, which, he added, was very good for Pakistan.

IMF asked for $1.3 billion loan
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 5: The government has asked the International 
Monetary Fund for grant of about $1.3 billion of concessional loan, 
equivalent to 100 per cent of Pakistan's Special Drawing Rights 
(SDR) quota, from the Fund's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility.

The IMF Board is meeting in Washington to consider Pakistan's 
request for the loan. Under the PRGF terms of eligibility, a 
country may borrow up to a maximum of 140 per cent of its IMF quota 
of SDRs, although this limit may be increased under exceptional 
circumstances to a maximum of 185 per cent of quota.

The IMF had indicated that it was prepared to allocate to Pakistan 
a loan of about $700 million, equivalent to about 60 per cent of 
Pakistan's quota, totalling 1.03 billion SDRs or about $1.3 

"We have asked for a loan equivalent to 100 per cent of our SDR 
quota and hopefully we will get roughly $1.3 billion new funding 
line under the PRGF program," said Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz.

Talking to Dawn before leaving for Germany, Italy and France, he 
said prospects for getting the PRGF with increased funding were 
bright due to improved economic situation. He said the IMF 
Executive Board was meeting in Washington to discuss and approve 
the PRGF for Pakistan. "The approval of the PRGF will help us in 
getting our substantial loans rescheduled by the Paris Club," the 
finance minister said.

Giving details of his visit, he said that bilateral talks would be 
held with Germany, Italy and France to get enhanced financial 
support and to secure additional market access for Pakistani goods.

"I will be reaching Berlin first and we hope to get additional 100 
million DM from Germany," he said, adding that there were also 
expectations for enhanced trade and economic relations between the 
two sides. "We are also expecting a major debt relief from 
Germany," Aziz said. He also hoped to get one billion-dollar German 
loan converted into social sector funding.

Germany to give DM300m aid
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 6: Germany has decided to offer DM300 million 
assistance to Pakistan, which included DM100 million for debt swap. 
This debt swap is for two years, and as such DM50 million will be 
offered this year and another DM50 million will be made available 
next year. The amount of debt would now be spent for development 

Also, the new German aid included DM75 million of fresh loan/grant 
for economic assistance as well as DM110 million for reprogramming 
of old assistance. 

According to an official announcement made by the ministry of 
finance, negotiations were finalized in Bonn by Pakistani 

US targets $5 trillion oil, gas reserves
By Khaleeq Kiani

ISLAMABAD, Dec 1: While Pakistan expects realization of $2 billion 
Pakistan-Turkmenistan gas pipeline in the post-Afghan war 
situation, the United States is targeting to capture around $5 
trillion of oil and gas' proven reserves in the Central Asian 

Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan jointly hold 
around 15-30 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and around 240 
trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves in the Caspian Sea 
Region. At last year's market rate, these reserves were valued at 
$4-5 trillion, according to independent studies.

Some energy experts in Pakistan believe that as the United States 
launched the Desert Storm operation in the Gulf in early 1990s to 
take hold of Arab reserves, the same pattern is being followed in 
Afghanistan to put its foot in the Caspian Sea Region.

The Heritage Foundation in a testimony to the house of 
representatives in 1999 said that Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, 
Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan together "have 15 billion barrels of 
proven oil reserves and gas deposits totalling over nine trillion 
cubic meters."

These analysts believe that a peaceful Afghanistan can play a role 
of connecting pipelines from Central Asia to international markets 
of Europe and South Asia besides its own large oil and gas deposits 
that remained untapped because of unending war for over two 

The US-based Unocal withdrew its leading role from Centgas 
consortium as that had signed an agreement with Pakistan for laying 
a 1600-km pipeline from Daulatabad in Turkmenistan to Multan in 
Pakistan through Afghanistan. But before withdrawal, officials of 
US intelligence agencies made comprehensive surveys of the 
prospective zones and pipeline routes.

Many in the petroleum ministry in Islamabad suggested that pipeline 
tariff finalized in the agreement was so low than other competitors 
from Iran and Qatar that they saw it with skepticism. Another $600 
million investment could have linked this pipeline to India.

Investment down in first quarter: SBP
By Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Dec 7: The State Bank of Pakistan says doubts will linger 
on about Pakistan's economic prospects - and about the speed with 
which things will return to normal - until "there is a credible 
solution to the Afghan situation."

Meanwhile, the country "should shore up confidence by taking 
difficult steps in terms of fiscal reforms," says SBP's first 
quarterly report released.

The report says Pakistan should also go for merging the inter- bank 
and open foreign exchange markets, dismantling subsidies and 
improving the financial viability of state-owned enterprises. It 
says if proper steps are taken to help the agriculture sector and 
weather conditions remain favourable a certain level of the 
economic growth could be assured. Earlier, the SBP had said in its 
annual report for the outgoing fiscal year, that Pakistan's economy 
could grow by 2.5-3.75 per cent in the current fiscal year.

The quarterly report that covers the events of July-September 2001 
says although uncertainty still remains following September 11, the 
reforms implemented during the past year have improved Pakistan's 
macroeconomic fundamentals. That, in turn, has made the economy 
more resilient to such shocks.

The report says though the war in Afghanistan has entered a new 
phase with the strategic retreat of Taliban forces...the 
implications for Pakistan are still unclear. But it points out that 
the war-risk premium has been taking a toll on both importers and 

The report says the actual implications of the Afghan war will only 
be realized in the second quarter of this fiscal year - between 
October-December 2001.

"In the post-war uncertainty, the exporters suffered not just in 
terms of the war premium and higher transportation costs, but also 
due to the appreciating rupee and reduced orders from the US and 
EU. "There is also a real fear that even if conditions return to 
normal, Pakistani exporters may not be able to recapture lost 
market outlets in the West," the report warned. It says though 
efforts are under way to secure special access to Western markets, 
the degree of market access that Pakistani exporters are expecting 
may not materialize. The reason is the global recession is making 
G-7 countries more introverted in their short-term trade outlook.

The report further says though certain promises by the US and EU 
for special assistance to Pakistan have been made (and some 
formalized) it will take time before this funding is actually 

The report clarifies that contrary to popular belief, the debt 
rescheduling agreements that have been signed since September 11 
are unrelated to Pakistan's enhanced stature in the global order.

"These agreements are mere formalities following certain decisions 
taken in the rescheduling talks that took place in January 2001 as 
part of the IMF stabilization program," the report said.

"The approach developed by the government for discussion on 
Pakistan's external debt is a significant departure from the 
conventional rescheduling and entails debt re-profiling," said the 
report. "This will provide Pakistan an opportunity to tailor (on a 
permanent basis) its debt servicing payment in accordance with its 
capacity to pay."

MOST CRITICAL DEVELOPMENT: The report says global awareness of the 
Hundi system and certain steps taken in the UAE have changed the 
behavior of moneychangers. It says that in October 2001 the average 
kerb premium was just 0.7 per cent compared to 4.1 per cent in 

"Although this trend may seem temporary in nature, the threat of 
international scrutiny is almost equivalent to a structural change 
in the kerb market," says the report. "If international pressure 
remains, it is unlikely that the kerb premium will return to pre-
October levels."

The report says that the SBP has been purchasing hard currency from 
both the inter-bank and kerb markets to ensure that the rupee does 
not appreciate too much. "During the month of October alone, net 
purchases from the inter-bank market were $317 million, while kerb 
purchases were only $79 million." The report says the purchases 
from both markets are continuing.


1. AGRICULTURE: The SBP report says agriculture sector has shown 
signs of improvement in the first quarter of this fiscal year. It 
says initial estimates point towards higher than targetted 
production of sugar cane, cotton and improved varieties of rice. 
The report says the cotton crop is expected to be in the range of 
10.2-10.5 million (ex-gin) bales against the original target of 8.7 
million bales.

"In effect, Pakistan could witness its third bumper cotton crop in 
three consecutive years." A table attached with the report shows 
that sugarcane production could also rise to 46.5 million tons 
against the original target of 38.1 million tons.

The report links the improvement in the agricultural production to 
more than expected rainfall. But it makes it clear that in case of 
rice "the outlook may not be as encouraging since this crop is more 
dependent on canal water than rainfall."

LARGE-SCALE MANUFACTURING: The report says that large-scale 
manufacturing grew by only 5.3 per cent in the first quarter of 
this fiscal year against 8.1 per cent in a year ago period. It says 
that all industries, with the exception of metal and engineering, 
grew in nominal terms. But only few showed improved performance 
over last year. The report says that in a sharp contrast to last 
year, textiles slowed down despite depressed lint cotton prices at 
the start of the cotton season. During the first quarter of this 
fiscal year, textile sector grew by only 2.2 per cent compared to 
5.1 per cent in the corresponding period last year.

"As most manufactured textile items are exported, the impact of 
global recession on local industry cannot be ignored," says the 

"Although, the quantum of textile exports has not declined, the 
spillover effects of recession are clearly evident from declining 
prices of textile products in the world market." So manufacturers 
curtailed production in the first quarter anticipating further 
deepening of the recessionary trend.

FISCAL DEVELOPMENTS: Tax collection in the first quarter of this 
fiscal year showed negative growth compared to a buoyant 
performance a year-ago. Total tax collection in July-September 2001 
stood at Rs77.5 billion down by Rs2.4 billion from Rs79.9 
collection realized a year ago.

This was mainly due to (i) a significant decline in dutiable 
imports, which in turn form the base of custom duties and sales tax 
on imported goods; and (ii) large payment of refunds/rebates.

The SBP report says Rs21.1 billion were paid in refunds/rebate in 
July-September 2001 against Rs15.7 billion in July-September 2000.

Former chief of BEL jailed for seven years
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 4: An accountability court sentenced Rauf B. Qadri, 
former chief of the Bankers' Equity Limited, to a seven-year term 
for financial fruad.

Judge Dr. Qamaruddin Bohra of AC-1 also imposed a fine of Rs1 
million on the former banker, who would have to undergo an 
additional one-year term in case of default on the payment.

The same court had earlier ordered the release of co-accused Ashfaq 
Y. Tola, former president of the BEL, after he voluntarily returned 
Rs1 million.

The case against the two was lodged in 1999 by the Commercial 
Banking Circle (CBC) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on a 
complaint filed by Majeeduddin Khan, chief executive of the BEL. It 
was alleged that the BEL had approved a lease finance facility to 
the tune of Rs14.336 million to the Quality Knits (Pvt) Ltd for 
leasing of machinery for five years, repayable in 20 quarterly 

The lease finance facility was extended in violation of company's 
policy and rules. However, subsequently the request of Quality 
Knits was approved on Jan 4, 1999, by accused Rauf B. Qadri, who 
was the chairman of the BEL.

Later, final settlement of Rs11.765 million was effected on the 
instruction Qadri and the borrower returned the amount through two 
cheques of Rs9.756 million and Rs2 million. However, only an amount 
of Rs9.765 million was adjusted against the termination of the 
facility, thereby causing a loss of Rs2 million to the BEL.

The cheque of Rs2 million, delivered for the termination of lease 
facility, was recorded in the account of 'Miscellaneous Payable 
Project'. The cheque was deposited in he BEL's account at Muslim 
Commercial Bank, FTC branch, and the money was used as payment 
account instead of depositing it in the collection account.

The amount was later withdrawn in cash through a crossed cheque No. 
19191266 on Jan 8, 1999. The case was withdrawn on behalf of 
accused Raub B. Qadri by Ashfaque Tola and they converted the same 
for their own use.

"In view of my findings, I am of irresistible view that the accused 
persons were entrusted with bank affairs and having dominion over 
financial matters have committed criminal breach of trust and 
accused Ashfaque Tola is soley responsible for falsification of the 
account books of the bank, thus they are liable to be punished", 
the judge observed.

The judge also disqualified for 10 years for seeking or from being 
elected, chosen, appointed or nominated as a member or 
representative of any public body or any statutory or local 
authority or in service of Pakistan or of any province under 
section 15 of the NAB Ordinance, 1999.

EC's 50m euros for DPs camps
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 6: The European Commission has decided to pool in 50 
million euros to help Pakistan bear the burden of Afghan refugees 
and help set up refugee camps.

Speaking at a news conference, European Union Commissioner for 
Development and Humanitarian Aid Paul Nielson said that under a new 
five-year perspective of cooperation plan, relations with Pakistan 
would be beefed up, specially in the education sector.

Mr Nielson said during the past four days, he held meetings with 
President Gen Parvez Musharraf, Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar and 
the Education Minister Zobaida Jalal.

To a question about reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, he said 
the European Commission planned to spend 100 million euros for 
humanitarian assistance in the war-ravaged country. 

Welcoming the Bonn accord, he said it was a turning point for peace 
in Afghanistan. Expressing commitment to the global efforts for 
Afghanistan's revival, he said the European Commission would assist 
in the implementation of Bonn agreement.

Back to the top
Fire ! Fire !
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

SADDAR Bazaar of old Karachi was a pleasant, calm, clean, treelined 
area where, in the first half of last century, it was safe for all 
to walk, to meet, to talk, to loiter. There were, of course, far 
more bicycles than cars and it was a common sight to see women 
strolling along under the shade of their parasols.

It was the central shopping area of Karachi in which could be 
bought all that was needed for life in those distant days. For 
schoolchildren, there was the famous tiny stationery store, 
Makanjee Damjee, opening straight onto the street, with old 
Makanjee sitting on his haunches with all his wares - exercise 
books, pencils, biscuits, nuts - within easy stretching distance so 
that he never had to rise to serve his customers.

Now, at the start of this century, under the recently introduced 
devolution scheme, this old Saddar Bazaar area and its surroundings 
have evolved into Saddar Town, the 18th town of Karachi, and its 
elected nazim, Farooq Ahmed Faria, is its administrator.

Since partition Saddar has radically changed. It is now chock-a-
block with shops, departmental stores, and street vendors who have 
encroached upon the pavements. Traffic is so congested, there are 
so many people, that it is difficult to either move, hear or 
breathe in the rush, the noise and the pollution. Shopping malls 
have sprouted up all over the place contravening all building and 
town planning rules and regulations. The entire area, with its 
congestion and illegal structures, is now a veritable fire trap.

We in Karachi have all read about the recent fire in the monstrous 
mall, Karim Centre. After the fire, a non-governmental organization 
was asked to carry out a survey and its report makes alarming 
reading. Those citizens of Karachi who are concerned about their 
own safety and that of their fellow citizens may read on.

Karim Centre is built on four plots in the pre-partition Saddar 
Bazar area straddling Zaibunissa Street (old Elphinstone Street) 
and Abdullah Haroon Road (old Victoria Road) near the Post Office. 
In the mid-1970s, Dedhi Builders had construction plans approved 
from the Karachi Development Authority for ground plus five floors 
(with basement parking) on Plots 3/2, 4 and 5/SB-7, and ground plus 
three floors (without parking) on part of Plot 6/SB-7.

With its atrocious quality of construction, poor circulation 
planning, sagging floor slabs, excess floors, and its permanently 
temporary wiring, the project (as all other such shopping malls) 
has evolved into a disaster zone. Virtually the approximately 
300,000 square feet of Karim Centre has been built in excess of the 
approved plans and stands ground plus six storeys high. All the 
mandatory parking spaces have been converted and let as tailors' 
sweatshops. The plethora of substandard shops, all less than 100 sq 
feet in area, on the seven floors, with their mass of inflammable 
ware - cloth, all extending into the passageways and balconies, 
festooned internally and externally with loose electric wiring, has 
ensured that this shopping mall is a prime fire-trap.

Just after midnight on November 20, while workers were preparing 
for the anticipated Ramzan-Eid rush, disaster struck. Some 150 
shops on the first, second and third floors were gutted. The poorly 
equipped and inadequately manned fire brigades of the city arrived 
in due course and did their best to fight the conflagration whilst 
rushing around Karachi the entire day trying to find the non-
existent hydrants and water. Luck was with the trapped people in 
the building. They managed to get to the roof or on to the 
balconies, shouted for help and were rescued. It is amazing that 
there were no fatalities.

Despite the fact that the apparent fire-distress 'signals' in the 
concrete slabs of the affected areas were noted after the fire by 
the preliminary inspection team of the Karachi Building Control 
Authority, the faults have not been repaired. All have been 
suppressed and no action has been taken, or is planned to be taken, 
by the Sindh government's regulatory bodies. The burnt structural 
members are being hurriedly painted over, and the shops are being 
recommissioned without any structural repair work, or improvement 
in the hazardous electric wiring, so that they can reopen for the 
pre-Eid shopping spree. Petrol generators, begging for disaster, 
continue to chug away in all congested corridors.

Although KDA recognized thirty years ago the illegal building 
proclivities of the builders involved, to date they have not been 
warned or penalized, nor have any of their projects, all equally 
dangerous, been demolished. They have unsavoury and political 
contacts, and during the 1980s and '90s managed to construct 
numerous other unauthorized buildings, including multi-storeyed 
flats/shops in Jamshed Quarters and Garden East that are counted 
among KBCA's infamous '260 sealed buildings' of 1996.

This week, the KBCA proclaimed in a prominent advertisement in this 
newspaper: "The allegation with regard to unfettered, unauthorized 
construction in the city is not wholly true. KBCA makes 
considerable effort to promptly take cognizance of all such 
deviations/violations whenever these are observed." (Interestingly 
the KBCA admits to the allegations being somewhat though not 
'wholly' true.) Similar 'cognizance' was taken by KDA and KBCA as 
far back as 1975. But 25 years down the line, Karim Centre's 
illegalities stand tall and prominent as a badge of shame on the 
local government of this city.

The KBCA has also 'taken cognizance' (but no lawful action against 
the illicit project, the criminal builder, or its own colluding 
officials) of the under-construction and 140 per cent overbuilt 
Capital Centre next door to Karim Centre. The mandatory parking 
spaces and fire-escape stairs have not been provided by the 
builder, nor have any of the fire-fighting and fire-resistant 
structural requirements demanded by law been met. The building is 
now being progressively occupied without the mandatory KBCA 
'Occupancy Certificate' having been issued and KBCA is taking no 

In blatant violation of applicable laws, and with the whole-hearted 
cooperation of the concerned government agencies (including the 
Sindh EPA, the KDA/KBCA, Sindh Board of Revenue, the Sindh 
government's electric inspector, the KESC), a large part of Saddar 
Town is being surreptitiously converted into crowded, over-built, 
unhygienic, fire-hazardous, polluted structures, housing garment 
factories, gold-smith furnaces/workshops, and other semi-industrial 

In 1994, a major explosion in a goldsmith's workshop on Shahrah-e-
Iraq killed eight people. Frequent fires and explosions over the 
years from ever-increasing hazardous misuse of commercial and 
residential premises have cost numerous lives. The situation is 
exacerbated by appalling wiring installations and dangerous petrol-
generators. This week the local press highlighted the perilous 
situation at Sarah Hotel on Parr Street, which is being converted 
into a sarafa bazaar (gold-smiths' bazaar), the shops having their 
unauthorized workshops and furnaces (fire ?) in the same building.

Other commercial areas in the city are no better. The recent fire 
in Khaliq Cloth Market at Liaquatabad is mute testimony to the 
apathy and collusion of the statutory agencies set up to protect 
the public interest. The Clifton Road hosts numerous illegally 
commercialized and constructed buildings, with congested passages, 
flammable sale goods, dangerous permanent temporary wiring, and 
with no fire-escape or fire-fighting facilities.

The Building Regulations of 1979 state: "The requirements for 
providing space about buildings are governed by hygienic and fire-
fighting considerations." In order to ensure adequate space for 
fire-fighting, the rescue of persons endangered by fire, and access 
for fire brigades to the rear of buildings, there must be fire-
stairs, compulsory open spaces and other such facilities.

Periodically, the 'friends' Karachi's builders have managed to make 
in the Sindh government suggest bartering away these non-
implemented mandatory requirements in return for due compensation 
for regularization. What can the citizens expect? Can the local 
government of this city be expected to graduate from 'taking 
cognizance' to 'taking action'? Can it be expected to actually 
implement the law? Can it be expected to sacrifice the 'noora-
kushti' that generates crores of rupees in illegal kickbacks to 
bureaucrats, other servants of the public, and politicians? Can it 
be expected to uphold the fundamental rights of the citizens of 

The Saddar Town nazim, Farooq Ahmed Faria, has promised to improve 
the state of affairs.

A tall order indeed. We wish him luck. He will soon be tested.

Now for a Loya Jirga for Pakistan
By Ayaz Amir

With Afghanistan being purged slowly from our system - it is 
noticeable how both the anguish and enthusiasm set off by the 
American onslaught on Afghanistan are draining away - it is time to 
turn our attention to the state of the stables in Pakistan.

But before proceeding any further a small note of gratitude is in 
order. Leaving aside the question of whether their war on 
Afghanistan has been just or not, we have to be thankful to the 
Americans for curing us of this particular obsession. If September 
11 and its aftermath had not occurred, we would still have been 
stuck with the Taliban and all the myths and half-truths which have 
defined our Afghan policy these past 20 years.

Like all new converts to a cause we are quite gung-ho about our 
born-again liberalism. But let us not forget where the original 
impulse came from. We thus owe a vote of thanks to Colin Powell for 
putting the matter starkly in his now-famous telephone call to 
Pakistan's commander-in-chief and supreme leader. He left us no 
room for waffling.

To say, as I have foolishly been doing since September 11, that we 
should have behaved with greater dignity, or a greater regard for 
national independence, is like crying for the moon. Our 
indebtedness and the guilt complex arising from our support of the 
Taliban left us with no real choice except to swallow, with what 
grace we could muster, whatever the Americans wanted to thrust down 
our throats.

But there is more to it than this. We have been a dependent power 
since our birth, our leaders more than our people always relying 
upon external props to shore up the nation's defences or its sense 
of self-esteem. This will not change unless two things happen: (1) 
we get out of India's shadow and stop seeing everything through its 
prism; and (2) for a change we start learning to stand on our feet.

Even nations far poorer than us do not forsake the requirements of 
national honour so readily as we do. Whether our struggle for 
independence wasn't hard enough, or because of something in the air 
of the subcontinent, we have been cursed with a leadership style 
whose arrogance at home is perfectly balanced by its obsequiousness 
abroad. I can't say what precisely is the sense of insecurity which 
lies behind this attitude. 

The Afghans have a truly devastated homeland on their hands but 
even in the midst of all their misery they conduct themselves with 
greater self-assurance than we do. It took the UN, and US handlers 
working from the sidelines, nine exhausting days to seal a 
settlement between the contending Afghan factions in Bonn. Consider 
for a moment if this had been a conference to settle Pakistan's 
affairs. Some leader would have been satisfied with a green card 
for his offspring, another with scholarships for his sons and 
daughters while someone else would have aimed higher and angled for 
an arms deal down the road. In any case, it would have taken at the 
outside two and not nine days to sign an accord.

But these musings aside, the Bonn accord may work or come unstuck 
when it is tested against Afghan realities. But at least it holds 
the promise of a "broad-based" government for Afghanistan two and a 
half years from now. The question that strikes the Pakistani mind 
is, when are we going to get a broad-based government for 

At the moment we have a government whose only justification in 
democratic theory rests upon two shaky premises: a Supreme Court 
verdict and what General Musharraf claims as the support of the 
'silent majority'. But with the supreme commander saying that 
although national elections will be held he, in the national 
interest, will continue as president, the future promises to be no 
different from the past. At this rate, we might find Afghanistan 
outstripping us in the race for democracy.

This issue is hardly academic. People keep asking what is the 
Pakistani problem. One does not have to look into the Dead Sea 
scrolls for an answer. Quite simply it has been our inability to 
create and sustain a stable polity. What has been the national 
record? Two and a half decades of wobbly civilian rule matched by 
two and a half decades of disastrous militarism, with institutions, 
as a consequence, destroyed and the nation bereft of a sense of 
direction. Is there a Pakistani dream? If there is, what does it 
mean? It is not easy getting the right answers.

Every now and then brilliant economists suggest that we need to 
invest in education and our manpower to attract foreign investment. 
Investing in education is a political decision and can only come 
when an enduring political order is in place - an order committed 
to long-term policies, spread over 25-50 years, and not to the 
short-term needs, such as those of survival and legitimacy, of 
insecure leaders. The key, therefore, is politics and how we manage 
our affairs. Everything else - whether spending more on education, 
getting money from overseas or enhancing exports - comes 

Instability in the political sphere, therefore, is Pakistan's bane, 
destroying continuity of effort and breeding frustration and 
cynicism in its wake. It is often said Pakistanis are compulsive 
critics who should be more positive in their outlook. Positive 
about what? The corruption of their leaders? The incompetence on 
display by successive relays of mandarins, politicians and 
generals? The Republic's history is an invitation to rebellion or 
apathy. A positive outlook, the kind beloved of officialdom or 
retired salary men, hardly fits into such a dialectic.

Not the governing class which has proved its bankruptcy thrice over 
but the common people of the four provinces (and I daresay Kashmir) 
are keeping Pakistan aloft and allowing it to brave the many storms 
which have beset its path. But how long must things continue in 
this fashion? When will we set aside the theatrical accompaniments 
of ad-hocism and learn to conduct our affairs on the strength of 
institutions rather than the whim or uncertain competence of 

The cult of the strongman, or even the benevolent dictator, has had 
its day in Pakistan. Repeated experiments along this line - from 
the time of the first strongman, Ayub Khan, down to the present - 
have destroyed the country's elan and vitality, the legacy of 
military rule being sign-posted with unnecessary wars and foolish 
adventures. As a result, we can't stand up to our reflection in the 
mirror. How can we stand up to the US and its bullying?

A grand retreat, therefore, is called for. Not from the great game 
as played in Afghanistan - the US having taken care of that 
particular line in adventure travelling - but from the wide, open 
spaces of Pakistani politics. There is no Colin Powell who will 
help the Pakistani military to come to this decision. Nor can the 
'silent majority' do anything in this regard. The 'silent majority' 
is living up to its name, choosing to remain silent under all 
circumstances. This decision must come from within. 

The conductor's baton is in the supreme commander's hands. It is he 
who must orchestrate the new score in which lies the country's hope 
for the future. Between self-interest and the common good it is 
only he who can decide - the tribunes of the people, Benazir and 
Nawaz Sharif, being busy with other things. The Beards, and pundits 
such as myself, are smarting from their Afghan wounds (not that 
pundits matter in any game of power). Musharraf has the field to 
himself to do with it as he pleases.

But what do the stars say? The Agra summit and the destruction of 
the Taliban have been to Musharraf what the French defeat in World 
War Two was to Hitler: his self-confidence has been bolstered. From 
this high horse it will not be easy stepping down.

All oligarchs think they are the best definers and arbiters of the 
national interest. This is their occupational hazard: a mounting 
suspicion of all opposition and a growing belief in their 
infallibility. How many times have we not been here before? An 
experimental lab for would-be saviours: for much of its history 
this is what Pakistan has been. Surely some witch's spell is at 
work here. For how else to explain our failure to break out of this 

A return to relevance
By Irfan Husain

Benazir Bhutto's recent statements in India have predictably 
triggered a flurry of critical letters and statements in the press. 
Her new-found desire for peace between India and Pakistan has 
ruffled the feathers of pro-establishment types here.

But this brief blip aside, Pakistan's two-time prime minister (and 
perpetual claimant to the post) has virtually disappeared from the 
political radar. Similarly, the Sharif family was in the spotlight 
for a day or so last week only because the ex-PM's sister-in-law 
returned from exile in Saudi Arabia and embarrassed the government. 
Again, this intrusion into the public consciousness ended with Mr 
Shahbaz Sharif's wife and daughters being swiftly put on a plane to 

This about sums up the extent of the contribution of Pakistan's two 
major political leaders to the public discourse in these critical 
days. While Nawaz Sharif has been prevented from sending us his 
pearls of wisdom from his comfortable exile by the terms of his 
deal with General Musharraf, Benazir Bhutto's support for the 
government has been qualified by her self-serving demands for an 
early return to civilian rule. Meanwhile, Muslim League rebels have 
distinguished themselves with their incoherent stand on this 
government's support of the American-led coalition.

The only politicians to be clear in their stand in this crisis have 
been the leaders of the extremist religious groups who have opposed 
the military regime's position tooth and nail. Even though we may 
disagree with their support of Osama bin Laden and the taliban, at 
least they have not waffled about it: in public rallies and 
statements, they have been vociferous in their condemnation of the 
government's policies, and their supporters have flocked to their 

Followers of our two mainstream parties (and sundry Muslim League 
fragments), on the other hand, have been confused and demoralized 
by their leaders' lack of clarity and coherence. There has been no 
attempt among our politicians to analyze the situation and give 
their party members a direction and a focus as the nation has 
attempted to come to terms with the momentous events next door. 

Neither of the two contenders for power has in any way attempted to 
help the refugees who have fled their country in the wake of the 
on-going bombing. No discussions or seminars have been organized to 
debate the issues.

In other words, our two major political parties have been exposed 
yet again as redundant and irrelevant to the situation we confront 
today. While the MQM has been more forthright in its support for 
the government's position, its earlier bizarre boycott of the local 
bodies elections has marginalized it still further. Also, in a 
situation full of ironies, Altaf Hussain's condemnation of 
terrorism from his London home takes the cake for sheer gall. The 
British government's odd decision to grant him citizenship will no 
doubt serve as encouragement to others of his ilk.

Given the pathetic role of our politicians, the road back to 
democracy seems a bumpy one. Even before September 11, the 
Pakistani public was weary of its leaders. 

Their endless scams, their self-serving histrionics and their rank 
opportunism had not endeared them to us, and this is why we 
accepted yet another round of military rule without protest. And 
now that the national and provincial elections are less than a year 
away, there is some concern about the return of the same 
discredited politicians.

So far, Benazir Bhutto is persona non grata with the military-led 
government, and Nawaz Sharif is unlikely to risk upsetting his 
Saudi hosts who brokered the deal sending him into exile. 

In Ms Bhutto's absence, the PPP has retained its unity while the 
PML has splintered without Nawaz Sharif to hold it together in 
these difficult days. But the Muslim League has hardly ever been a 
party of the opposition, and its post-independence history is 
replete with shady characters running off with its name in their 
sleazy quest for power. This time around has been no different with 
the Chaudris of Gujrat being easily persuaded by the military 
rulers to ditch Nawaz Sharif. 

As a reward, they were not put through the accountability grinder, 
and were given all kinds of help by the generals in the recent 
local body polls. It is wonderful how a whiff of power can change 

With the religious extremists in disarray because of the debacle of 
the Taliban and the mainstream parties either split or demoralized 
or both, General Musharraf is in a strong position to dictate terms 
and make the rules that suit him. And as he has declared his 
intention to continue as president well after the elections, it is 
clear that he is not going to be a figurehead. Chances are that he 
will be very much the dominant partner, exercising control over 
defence and foreign affairs while the elected Prime Minister looks 
after the social sector and the economy. 

The latter, however, will not be the PM's exclusive preserve as the 
president will take more than a passing interest in the subject.

Under such a dispensation, it will not be long before tensions 
surface. Even somebody like Junejo, elected on the basis of a non-
party election, found it difficult to toe the line. How much more 
difficult this cohabitation will be for an elected politician with 
political debts to pay off, constituents to satisfy and high 
expectations to meet, can be easily imagined.

The intention of this analysis is not to question the need for 
democracy. To me, at least, a democratic dispensation is the sine 
qua non of progress and decent government. The fact that our 
politicians have disappointed us consistently is at least partly 
due to the constant interference they have had to endure from the 
army and our plethora of intelligence agencies. 

This time, it is certain that the military's role will be 
institutionalized, and it is possible that the system will be more 
robust as a result. But once clear prerequisite for power-sharing 
is that the army must be seen as neutral, and both major contenders 
for power should have a level playing field. Unfortunately, these 
conditions have not been met. There is a clear tilt towards the 
rump faction of the Muslim League controlled by the Gujrat 
Chaudris, even though the PPP has staged a dramatic turn-around 
after its shattering defeat in the last national elections.

It is high time our politicians showed us that they are still 
relevant to the situation and can make democracy work in Pakistan.

Waqar and Mudassar get extensions
By Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, Dec 7: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) gave Waqar Younis 
and Mudassar Nazar extensions until the home series against the 
West Indies.

"The PCB has decided to retain Waqar Younis as captain and Mudassar 
Nazar as coach until the home series against the West Indies," 
chairman of the PCB Lt Gen Tauqir Zia told Dawn from Lahore.

Waqar was initially named captain until the series against New 
Zealand but got an automatic extension for next month's Bangladesh 
tour after the Black Caps cancelled a scheduled tour because of 
Sept 11 attacks.

Mudassar was last month appointed coach for the Sharjah triangular 
series and for next month's tour to Bangladesh.

"Although the combination of Waqar and Mudassar has worked in just 
one tournament, it appears to be a nice pair. The two deserve 
extension purely on merit," the PCB chairman said.

Waqar's men comprehensively defeated Sri Lanka in the Sharjah 
final, which, ironically, was Pakistan's first international 
assignment since August.

"The two united their boys and played professionally (in Sharjah). 
The performance of the team reflected that there was some purpose 
and planning. "But the most enterprising part is that they played 
like a team which is so very crucial to our build up for the World 
Cup," Tauqir said.

Tauqir said Waqar's tenure up to the World Cup depended on his 
fitness and form but added that he would talk to Mudassar before 
awarding him a 12-month contract. "If Waqar keeps himself fit, he 
remains our top priority.

"Mudassar's contract with the PCB expires in February. I would 
certainly like to have him but before that certain modalities have 
to be finalized. "I will discuss the subject with him at the right 

The general, however, dismissed the return of England-born and 
South Africa-based Richard Pybus. "He is presently not in the 
running because of political uncertainty in the region," he said. 
But when pointed out that situation seems to have eased out after 
the West Indies agreed to tour Pakistan, Tauqir said: "True, but 
Richard is low on our priority list."

Pybus coached Pakistan for two weeks before returning home in the 
wake of terrorist attacks on Washington and New York. However, 
insiders in the board say Pybus' demand of full authority and 
objections on the working of the PCB has irked the officials who 
have decided in principle to fall back on a local man.

Mudassar, besides the current Pakistan side, has the support of 
some of the best cricketers, including Imran Khan.

Shoaib cleared again, but not yet by ICC
Sports Correspondent

LAHORE, Dec 7: The University of Western Australia has reiterated 
its earlier findings regarding Shoaib Akhtar's bowling action 
calling it peculiar anatomical characteristic that leads to the 
erroneous perception of throwing.

Pakistan Cricket Board spokesman said that the report of the 
university had been received by the board in which nothing was new.

Shoaib Akhtar's bowling action was reported for the third time 
during the Sharjah tri-series earlier last month by South African 
match referee Denis Lindsay.  

On it, the International Cricket Council had advised the PCB to 
hire Michael Holding for rectifying Shoaib's action and to submit a 
report by Feb 7.  However the PCB decided to send the footage of 
Shoaib's bowling to the University of Western Australia again which 
had already examined the case and cleared him with a report that 
the bowling arm of the controversial pacer was deformed.

Announcing the next action of the PCB its director Munawar Ahmad 
Rana said that the board was considering the fresh report of the 
university and was in touch with the ICC to proceed with the matter 
in a logical and amicable way, so that Shoaib Akhtar could continue 
to bowl without any further undue pressure as soon as possible.

Wasim denies he was under pressure 
Sports Correspondent

LAHORE, Dec 1: Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram has denied that 
he was under government pressure to lose a World Cup match against 
Bangladesh in 1999.

He was recording his statement before the one-man judicial 
commission headed by Justice Karamat Nazir Bhandari which is 
investigating the match -fixing allegation against Pakistan team 
for deliberately losing two World Cup matches, against Bangladesh 
and India.

Wasim, who was leading the team, refuted the charges that he bowed 
down to any pressure from the government in order to let Bangladesh 
get Test status.

Wasim said though the Pakistan team was stronger than Bangladesh, 
they lost the match only due to over confidence. He said that two 
run-outs, one of Saeed Anwar and other of Azhar Mahmood in that 
match were not deliberate but were due to misjudgments.

Wasim denied that his assets were beyond his income and that he had 
earned money through match fixing. He said that cricket was his 
lone financial source and his entire income was on record.

He also refuted Sarfraz Nawaz's statement that he had advised him 
(Akram) on the day of match against Bangladesh to avoid a defeat 
because there was hue and cry in the public that Pakistan would 
lose it. He said that he talked to Sarfraz Nawaz last time some 
five years ago.

Reacting to Majid Khan's statement recorded before the commission, 
he said that Majid must give strong evidence for accusations 
against the Pakistan team.

Pakistani appointed ACC offical
Sports Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 3: Zakir Hussain Syed has been appointed Development 
Manager for Asia by the Asian Cricket Council. His responsibilities 
would involve promotion and development of cricket in Asia, 
especially in the non-Test playing countries with greater emphasis 
on institution based development.

Zakir was reportedly the unanimous choice of the chief executives 
of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, chairman of the Asian 
Cricket Foundation, Jagmohan Dalmiya and others.

The ACC had earlier appointed Roger Binny (India), Rumesh Ratnayake 
(Sri Lanka) and Iqbal Sikander (Pakistan) as development officers 
with proper country-wise distribution of work.

The International Cricket Council has released a sum of $6.5 
million to the ACC for a two-year period for cricket development 
with a commitment for a similar amount every two years until 2007.

The amount is 50 per cent net profit of ICC knockout tournaments, 
which has been accepted as the rightful share of the Asian region.

Bi-annual league system to be introduced
By Imran Naeem Ahmad

ISLAMABAD, Dec 3: The Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) is to 
introduce a bi-annual league system for players involving promotion 
and relegation by February next year.

Sqd. Ldr Sajid Waheed, Secretary of the PSF speaking to Dawn said 
that the new system of play would keep the players on their toes in 
a competitive environment.

According to the plan initiated by PSF president Air Chief Marshal 
Mushaf Ali Mir the league would initially see a senior team and a 
junior one comprising eight players each playing against one other.

Explaining the system, Sajid said that the top players would play 
with those at a lower tier and in the end points would be 
calculated. "Those achieving a set number of points would gain 
promotion while those in the top rung not making the grade would be 

Sajid said that in the league the senior players would also play 
the promoted juniors like those in the under-19 age group. "This 
would help the juniors to break away from the age bracket and give 
them confidence."

Sajid explained that the league would be played on the pattern of 
those in Malaysia and Singapore. "These countries even invite 
foreign players to compete."  But the secretary said no foreigner 
would be asked to play in the Pakistan league, the base of which 
would eventually be extended.  "Soon we may have 16 to 20 players 
with two senior and two junior sides."

"The league system would also help us identify the top four senior 
and as many junior players without going through the process of 
selection trials."

New rules to be tried after World Cup
Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 3: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has 
decided not to have changes in the game's rules until next year's 
World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, an official said.

Islahuddin Siddique, a member of the Hockey Rules Board, who 
attended the meeting of the Board in Brussels, said the one of the 
three trial rules would also be tried after the World Cup.

"The rule to be tried after World Cup will be enhancing of the 
goal-scoring area. It will be tried during an international 
tournament after the World Cup," he said.

The three rules tried were, enhancing of the scoring area to 23-
metre, presence of only eight defenders inside 25-yard line during 
the field play, and only eight defenders during the penalty 

The FIH had asked 28 countries for the feedback of the three rules 
to be tried. Five countries have submitted their recommendations so 
far, including Pakistan, India, the Netherlands, Germany, and 

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