------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 06 January 2001 Issue : 07/01 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Islamabad hopes for talks: Pullout of troops from LoC completed + APHC chief meets Pakistan envoy amid suspense + Plan for 2nd phase of polls announced + Election free and fair, says CEC + Germany resumes development aid + Some secret documents not included in HRC report + Ayub used Mujeeb to split opposition: HRC report + Exile put judiciary's credibility at stake: SCBA president + CEC to decide about Benazir's return: Yousaf + PPP regrets MQM 'accusation' + Similar policy for all provinces, says CE + City governments in 5 capitals by August + US pays damages to PIA --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Petroleum prices increased: Fifth hike in a year + Worldwide fall in oil prices: Ministry seeks cut in power rates + Exporters allowed to transfer quota + US slowdown not to affect exports + Free cotton trade policy to continue + One-year performance: Economic downslide checked, claims govt + Rupee weaker: State Bank injects Rs13.5bn + Wapda plea for rate hike rejected: Nepra sees no justification + NIT seeks approval to launch five funds + Adjustment under IMF terms, says Shaukat --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Sharaf Sharif Ardeshir Cowasjee + Riotous times Ayaz Amir + The battle for hearts and minds Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Pakistan wants to make tri-nation series annual event

Islamabad hopes for talks: Pullout of troops from LoC completed
Ihtashamul Haq

ISLAMABAD, Jan 5: The process of withdrawal of Pakistani troops 
from the Line of Control (LoC) has now been completed to 
significantly improve relations with India, says a senior 
government spokesman.

"The withdrawal of troops from the LoC has been completed from our 
side. It is a classified information to tell the exact number of 
troops that have been withdrawn but I can tell you that this number 
is quite substantial," said the Press Secretary to the chief 
executive, Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi.

Speaking at a news conference here on Friday, he denied that there 
was any incident of heavy fighting along the LoC between Pakistani 
and Indian troops. "I have read some of the statements emanating 
from India about firing and heavy fighting on the LoC which are 
absolutely untrue," he asserted.

Qureshi regretted that whenever there was pressure from world 
community on India to hold talks with Pakistan, the Indian leaders 
dragged their feet by saying that the environment was not conducive 
for talks. The situation, he said, was rapidly improving on the LoC 
which had also been appreciated by the international community.

He expressed the hope that Indians would not be adamant to hold 
talks with Pakistan in order to remove tensions between the two 

He, however, expressed satisfaction over the latest moves including 
the decision of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) to visit 
Pakistan and to resolve long-outstanding disputes including the 
core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

"There is a clear shift in the situation and there are some 
encouraging signs to see improvement of relations between India and 
Pakistan," said Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi, who is also the Director 
General of Inter-Services Public Relations.

Responding to a question, the ISPR director general said that the 
government of Pakistan was investigating reports that Lashkar-i-
Taiba was behind the killing of some people at Red Fort in Delhi. 
Similarly, he pointed out, the government agencies were also trying 
to know as to which Kashmiri organization had planned murder 
attempt against Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. "We are 
not sure whether these statements were made by anyone from 
Pakistani soil or were issued by those who are fighting with Indian 
forces in the occupied Kashmir," he added.

The CE's press secretary accused Indian security forces of killing 
their own citizens and then putting the blame on Pakistan. "What 
happened in Taripura in the occupied Kashmir is before you, where a 
number of innocent Sikhs were killed by the Indian security forces 
but Pakistan was held responsible for it."

Asked about the prospects of talks, he said some of the leaders 
within the APHC were expressing their serious concern over the 
continued repression in the occupied valley by the Indian security 
forces. "Some of the APHC leaders have rejected talks under these 
circumstances and India should take notice of it so that some 
meaningful talks could be held among the parties concerned," he 

To a question, he said that the National Security Council (NSC), 
which met on Thursday, had discussed Pakistan-India relations with 
special reference to arrival of the APHC delegation. Also, he said, 
the foreign minister had issued a detailed statement over the 

APHC chief meets Pakistan envoy amid suspense
Jawed Naqvi

New Delhi, Jan 5: The chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, 
Abdul Gani Bhatt, held talks with Pakistan High Commisioner Ashraf 
Jehangir Qazi here on Friday amid suspense over his proposed travel 
to Pakistan at the head of a still undecided APHC delegation.

The meeting came also amid growing unease among some of Mr Bhatt's 
senior APHC colleagues over the likely agenda, or the absence of 
it, during the proposed visit that is scheduled to start on Jan 15.

However, the chief concern on Friday continued to be the absence of 
any communication from the Indian government about the fate of 
travel documents which five, out of the seven members of the APHC 
executive council, do not have.

Hurriyat sources said that uncertainty over passports had prompted 
alternative plans, namely, authorising Mr Bhatt to appoint some 
members of the APHC general council to the team, if they have 

Mr Bhatt declined to say what he had discussed during his talks 
with Mr Qazi, which were held moments before the envoy was due to 
leave for Islamabad. Interestingly, the APHC leader cancelled a 
scheduled press conference at Delhi-based Foreign Correspondents' 
Club, citing the presence there of Farooq Abdullah, chief minister 
of occupied Kashmir.

Some APHC leaders said the Hurriyat was so deeply divided over its 
plans to travel to Pakistan that Mr Bhatt was not very keen to face 
any embarrassing questions over the issue, preferring instead to 
cancel the long-planned press conference.

While the Indian government continues its unbelievable 
prevarications over passports, some Hurriyat leaders confessed on 
Friday that New Delhi had unwittingly given them time to ponder 
over the rare visit to Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.

According to this line of thinking within the APHC, comprising some 
23 diverse groups fighting the Indian rule in Kashmir, the very 
idea that most members have virtually no base at all in Pakistan 
has the potential to become an embarrassment to them as well as to 
the chief host, the Pakistan government.

The irony for the APHC is that one senior leader, who has been 
singled out for shoddy treatment by the Indian government and by 
some of his own Hurriyat colleagues, is Syed Ali Shah Gilani, the 
Jamaat-i-Islami representative in the group.

"Is it not funny that barring the Jamaat-i-Islami, which has the 
street power and financial resources to muster an impressive show 
of protest and comradeship across Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, there 
is hardly any other member in the (APHC) executive council who 
could identify with a credible organization in Pakistan that has a 
standing among Kashmiri freedom fighters," one APHC official told 

Indian media reports say that Mr Gilani's name does not figure in 
the list of those likely to be given passports. One analyst, close 
to the APHC, said he was puzzled by India's refusal to allow Mr 
Gilani to travel to Pakistan.

Plan for 2nd phase of polls announced

ISLAMABAD, Jan 1: Chief Election Commissioner Justice Abdul Qadeer 
Chaudhry announced on Monday a plan for the completion of electoral 
rolls for the second phase of local bodies elections which will be 
held in 23 districts on March 21.

The spokesman for the commission, Mohammad Dilshad, said that 
electoral rolls for the second phase would be finalized by Feb 
19.He said the programme for finalization/completion of electoral 
rolls was as under:

-Publication of draft electoral rolls for inviting claims, 
objections and corrections- 1-1-2001

-Filing of claims, objections and corrections-2-1-2001 to 11-1-2001

-Disposal of claims, objections and corrections by the revising 
authorities up to 18-1-2001

- Preparation of lists of additions, deletions and corrections by 
registration officers by 22-1-2001

-Supply of lists of additions, deletions and corrections to NADRA 
by 23-1-2001

-Incorporation of decisions of revising authorities in the 
electoral rolls by NADRA by 30-1-2001

-Publication of final electoral rolls on 19-2-2001

According to the spokesman,the following are the districts where 
elections in the second phase will be held on March 21: Kohat, 
Hangu, Karak, Mardan, Sawabi(NWFP), Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, 
Rahimyar Khan, Gujranwala, Hafizabad, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, 
Sialkot, Narowal(Punjab), Sukkur, Ghotki, Khairpur, Naushero Feroz, 
Nawabshah (Sindh), Nasirabad, Jaffarabad, Jhal Magsi and Bolan 

Election free and fair, says CEC

ISLAMABAD, Dec 31: Chief Election Commissioner Justice Abdul Qadeer 
Chaudhry on Sunday said that the election for the local bodies was 
held in a transparent, free and fair manner and there was no 
complaint of any undoing from any where in the country.

Talking to APP at the concluding of the polling process, the CEC 
said he was fully satisfied with the election arrangements.

The CEC, who witnessed the polling process in five polling stations 
in Bhalwal, said that he saw long queues both at the men and women 
polling stations.

About the voter turnout he said it was about 35 per cent in most of 
the places in Punjab and the NWFP till 11.30am.

Despite rain in Punjab and the NWFP, people showed keen interest to 
cast their votes, he said. About the results the CEC said the 
results announced by the presiding officers would be considered 

Unofficial observers at several polling stations around the country 
reported a generally low turnout, affected by rain.

In a move to broaden the electorate, the government had lowered the 
voting age from 21 to 18 years.

The elected members will take oath of their office after completion 
of the four-phased election process by Aug 14, official sources 

Some secret documents not included in HRC report
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 2: Some documents of secret and sensitive nature 
scanned by the Hamoodur Rahman Commission to formulate its report 
were not included in any of its (report) volumes.

These documents, according to the HRC report, are however available 
in the folders containing original evidence and exhibits which were 
handed over in a sealed box to the then ministry of presidential 

SETTING UP OF THE COMMISSION: Looking for reasons behind the HRC's 
constitution, the report said, "Just a day after Lt-Gen Amir 
Abdullah Khan Niazi had boastfully announced that the enemy would 
enter Dacca over his dead body, this nation was stupefied at the 
news broadcast through the foreign media of the abject and 
ignominious surrender accepted by him on December 16, 1971, at a 
ceremony held at the Dacca Race Course by laying down his arms and 
of those under his command, variously estimated between 73,000 to 
93,000 men and officers."

The report said the same evening the then commander-in-chief of the 
Pakistan army and self-appointed president of Pakistan, Gen Yahya, 
in a message broadcast to the nation attempted to characterize this 
as the loss of only a battle in a particular theatre and announced 
his firm intention of continuing the war on the western front.

"But again the nation received a greater shock when on the next day 
he (Yahya) took a complete somersault and acknowledged defeat by 
accepting the unilateral ceasefire offered by the prime minister of 
India at a stage when, according to official newspaper reports, the 
armed forces on the western front had been advancing every where 
into the enemy territory and had suffered no major reverses," the 
report lamented.

The nation, the report said, was completely at a loss to understand 
as to what had happened to bring about such a shameful surrender 
and inexplicably hasty acceptance of the ceasefire. These feelings 
burst out in spontaneous wrath and charged the then regime of being 
guilty of some insidious conspiracy to dishonour and destroy the 

The people, the HRC report added, demanded an open trial and 
punishment of those found to be guilty. The agitation attained such 
proportions that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the then deputy prime 
minister-designate, was hastily summoned back from New York where 
he had gone to lead the Pakistan delegation before the Security 
Council of the United Nations, and Gen Yahya transferred power to 
him on December 20, 1971.

"It was in these circumstances that this commission came to be 
appointed by the new president soon after assumption of office," 
the report said.

It acknowledged that the members of the commission, being members 
of the judiciary, were totally unfamiliar with military tactics or 
military strategy or the arts of war, and said they could only 
presume that the purpose of appointing such a high-powered 
presidential commission with such wide terms of reference was to 
bring out the truth in all its aspects without regard to the 
personalities involved, so that the public should have a clear 
picture of the causes which led to these disastrous consequences 
and know as to whether there was any basis for the charges made by 
the press and the public.

Some, particularly from the armed services, had doubted the wisdom 
of appointing such a judicial commission to inquire into such a 
highly technical matter, the report said, adding, but it might be 
pertinent to point out that such inquiries were not unusual after a 
shocking military failure. In India the utility of a commission 
headed by a military officer, Maj-Gen Henderson Brooks, appointed 
to inquire into the debacle of the India-China war of 1962, was 
seriously questioned and most writers on the subject had since 
suggested that a much powerful presidential commission would have 
produced better results, it said.

Fully conscious of its own limitations, the magnitude of the task 
entrusted to it and the enormity of the responsibility with which 
it had been charged, the commission had, therefore, endeavoured 
first of all to familiarize itself, as far as practicable, with the 
methodology and mechanics of warfare, the principles of its higher 
direction, the process of its planning and the methods of its 
execution with the able assistance of Lt-Gen Altaf Qadir (rtd), 
whose services were placed at its disposal as military adviser, and 
the representatives of the three services attached with the 
commission and various senior officers of the General Headquarters 
of the army who had taken great pains to brief the commission on 
the defence technology and its modus operandi.

The HRC did not claim to have achieved any kind of perfection in 
any of these fields, but the first lesson it claimed to have learnt 
was that in order to find out the causes of the failure of any war 
they must first know as to why the war at all took place. Modern 
wars, the commission was told, were not fought in isolation. They 
were no longer merely questions of matching weapons or generalship. 
Military tactics, it was said, was directly linked up with 
political and diplomatic strategy. There were also psychological, 
sociological, economical and geographical factors to be taken into 

The commission also asked the then government whether it would like 
to be represented before the commission in any manner, and whether 
the government would like to put forward any particular point of 
view or produce any witness in this behalf. The commission was told 
that Yahya Bakhtiar, the then attorney-general of Pakistan, would 
represent the government and would assist the commission by, inter 
alia, producing documents and necessary witnesses, and Rafi Raza, 
special assistant to the president, would assist the commission by 
filing a statement embodying the facts within his knowledge as also 
the present president's views before assuming charge of his office 
on December 20, 1971.

The attorney-general and Mr Raza also held discussions with the 
commission on some occasions. Mr Raza later formally appeared 
before the commission as a witness to place the official viewpoint 
of the Pakistan People's Party. The attorney-general was present 
during the examination of a few witnesses and briefly cross-
examined them but he did not lead any independent evidence on 
behalf of the government.

In addition the commission also issued letters and questionnaires 
to several people who were at the helm of affairs at the relevant 
time for eliciting their views in a more definite form.

On January 20, 1972, the commission also addressed separate letters 
to the heads of 17 political parties in the country requesting them 
to send summaries of their views, appreciations and assessments of 
the matters under inquiry. It was inquired from them whether they 
would be willing to give evidence personally or send their 
representatives before the commission. The response was, by and 
large, satisfactory, although a few political leaders at first 
informed the commission that since the scope of inquiry was by its 
terms of reference confined to military aspects only and the 
proceedings were to be held in camera, they regretted their 
inability to assist the commission, the report said.

It was, however, pointed out to them that the commission did not 
interpret its terms of inference as being so confined as to 
altogether exclude the other aspects, which had a bearing on the 
subject matter of the inquiry. This ultimately persuaded them to 
agree to assist the commission on the political aspects of the 
matter and as many as 23 political leaders were good enough to make 
available to the commission the benefit of their valuable views.

In the meantime, it came to the knowledge of the commission that a 
large number of serving officers of the defence services, who were 
anxious to give evidence before the commission, were being deterred 
by the apprehension that they might be victimized for doing so. The 
commission therefore approached the president of Pakistan with a 
request to give a public assurance that no one who appeared before 
the commission would be victimized on that account.

An official announcement was published in the newspapers on January 
11, 1972, to the effect that the proceedings before the commission 
would be in camera, that the statements made before and addressed 
to it would be absolutely privileged and would not render a person 
making any such statement liable to any civil criminal proceedings, 
except when such statement was false.

Though the GHQ also (at the suggestion of the commission) issued a 
circular letter informing all army personnel that they could send 
written statements to or appear before the commission on a purely 
voluntary basis, the commission found this circular letter 
inadequate and asked the defence services' chiefs to issue fresh 
letters clearly embodying an assurance that the serving personnel 
should have no feeling whatsoever of any victimization on account 
of their giving evidence or imparting information to the commission 
regarding its terms of reference.

Later, during the course of examination of the witnesses or 
afterwards, no complaint was received that any serving personnel 
had in any way been victimized except for one solitary instance of 
alleged victimization of a naval officer, which was being inquired 
into by the naval authorities. The commission took great pains to 
see that no harm was done to any person who in any way assisted it.

The commission was empowered to call before it any citizen of 
Pakistan, including the former president and chief of staff, to 
seek information. The commission could, if necessary, even issue 
warrants to secure the attendance of any person unless he was 
otherwise exempted by law from personally appearing before the 

The commission believed that it was in the national interest to 
hold the proceedings in camera because almost all the information 
which was likely to come before it would be of a highly sensitive 
nature and it would not be possible to make such information public 
or allow it to be published or broadcast when the armies of India 
and Pakistan were still facing each other on the western border.

The commission proposed to discuss separately the question of 
higher direction of war and the planning for war, as this was a 
subject with respect to which the HRC had come to the conclusion 
that they were woefully unconcerned. "Some have even suggested that 
our strategy was so vague, our tactical objectives so obscure and 
our decisions so hesitant and faulty that the ignominy of the 
disaster lay more in disorganized activity and absence of 
coordinated effort rather than the lack of men and material during 
the closing phases of the war," it observed.

To fight a war, it said, "we must have a national political 
objective, a war aim, a coordinated planing, a machinery for a 
proper direction of war, and, above all, the whole-hearted support 
of the nation in the war effort. Any maladjustment amongst any one 
of these factors was likely to lead to disastrous consequences."

Ayub used Mujeeb to split opposition: HRC report
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, Jan 5: Hamoodur Rehman Commission recorded a statement 
of a witness who claimed that the Six Points Programme of Mujeebur 
Rehman which served as a seed for Pakistan's break-up in 1971, were 
actually drafted by Altaf Gauhar. This was done on the instruction 
of Field Marshal Ayub Khan.

Ayub Khan, it was said, had actually used Sheikh Mujeebur Rehman to 
wreck the All Parties Conference called by Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan 
in 1966 and to trigger a split in the opposition which had started 
mustering support for the ouster of martial law government.

As to how Six Points Programme (SPP) came to be formulated or who 
formulated these, according to HRC, evidence in this was somewhat 
conflicting. Most people are of the view that Sheikh Mujeebur 
Rahman himself did not posses the necessary intelligence to 
formulate them, the HRC said.

"Mr Nurul Amin thinks they were inspired by some foreign power. 
Some others think that they were drafted by a group of East 
Pakistani C.S.P. officers and a bank official.," the report said, 
adding, "one witness, A.K. Rafiqul Hussain, however, actually 
charged Mr Altaf Gauhar of being the author of the draft of the Six 
Points which he alleged was sent to Sheikh Mujeebur Rahman through 
the above mentioned bank official. This witness also charged that 
this was done at the instance of Ayub Khan himself because he 
wanted to utilise Sheikh Mujeebur Rahman to wreck the All Parties 
Conference called by Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan."

However, Altaf Gauhar denied that he had any hand in this. The 
Commission said that the witness, Rafiqul Hussain, came to know of 
it just a little before the conference when Sheikh Mujeebur Rahman 
handed over a copy of this to Manik Mian, the editor of Ittefaq, 
who was also a member of the Awami League. "Be that as it may, the 
fact remains that the 'Six Points' came into being just before this 
conference," the Commission remarked.

What the Commission thought was important at the time of its 
deliberations that in 1966 a convention was called in Lahore to 
voice an organised opposition to the regime of Field Marshal Ayub 
Khan, the convener of which was Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan. The 
convention was attended by Sheikh Mujeeb and it is here that the 
famous Six Points Programme was first made public.

"What is important is that the idea was conceived before the 1966 
convention to which we have referred," the HRC said and disclosed 
just before the convention a copy of the Six Points had been sent 
to Mr Nurul Amin, leader of the Pakistan Democratic Party (ex-Vice 
President of Pakistan) who showed it to another member of his 
party, Mr Mahmud Ali (ex-Presidential Adviser and still continuing 
as state minister) and both agreed that it contained the seeds of 
secession which they could not support. Amin and Ali were under the 
impression that the former alone was the recipient of the copy but 
they were surprised when at the convention Sheikh Mujeeb suddenly 
and to the surprise of everybody, came out with the Six Points, the 
language being precisely the same as that which had been shown or 
sent to Mr Nurul Amin earlier in Dacca.

Mujeeb's disclosure caused an immediate rift in the opposition 
itself and its efforts to mount an agitation for the restoration of 
democracy fizzled out.

The HRC also reproduced the Six Points Programme as they then 
stood:- Point No.1. The constitution should provide for a 
Federation of Pakistan in its true sense on the basis of the Lahore 
Resolution, and parliamentary form of government with supremacy of 
legislature directly elected on the basis of universal adult 

Point No.2. Federal government shall deal with only two subjects, 
viz; Defence and Foreign Affairs, and all other residuary subjects 
shall vest in the federating states.

Point No.3. A. Two separate but freely convertible currencies for 
two wings may be introduced, or B. one currency for the whole 
country may be maintained. In this case effective constitutional 
provisions are to be made to stop flight of capital from East to 
West Pakistan. Separate Banking Reserve is to be made and separate 
fiscal and monetary policy to be adopted for East Pakistan.

Point No.4. The power of taxation and revenue collection shall vest 
in the federating units and that the Federal Centre will have no 
such power. The Federation will have a share in the state taxes for 
meeting their required expenditure. The Consolidated Federal Fund 
shall come out of a levy of certain percentage of all state taxes.

Point No.5 i) There shall be two separate accounts for foreign 
exchange earnings of the two wings. ii) Earnings of East Pakistan 
shall be under the control of East Pakistan government and that of 
West Pakistan under the control of West Pakistan government. iii) 
Foreign exchange requirement of the Federal government shall be met 
by the two wings either equally or in a ratio to be fixed. iv) 
Indigenous products shall move free of duty between two wings, v) 
The Constitution shall empower the unit governments to establish 
trade and commercial relations with, set up trade missions in and 
enter into agreements with, foreign countries.

Point No.6. The setting up of a militia or a para military force 
for East Pakistan.

Till the 1965 war, the HRC observed that notwithstanding their 
(East Pakistanis) sense of isolation there was no lack of 
patriotism in the people of East Pakistan. They stood solidly as a 
Nation and their only regret was that they had had no opportunity 
of fighting the enemy shoulder to shoulder with their brethren in 
the West. The East Bengal Regiment fought a valiant battle at Khem 
Karan and East Pakistani pilots in the air force won the Nation's 
esteem by their daring deeds.

"There was no question of secession even up to this stage. The 
nation was one and every East Pakistani would have gladly laid down 
his life for the defence of his country. The sense of frustration, 
however, deepened after the war by the realization that in a crisis 
the West would not be able to come to its rescue and East Pakistan 
would be left to defend itself."

Discussing factors which contributed in uniting the political 
forces against Gen Ayub, the HRC also referred to the appointment 
of Nawab of Kalabagh as governor of West Pakistan and Mr Momen Khan 
of East Pakistan. "The former did not believe in democracy and the 
later was an extremely unpopular figure in East Pakistan, but both 
ruled with such ruthlessness that the image of the Field Marshal's 
regime was considerably tarnished. They freely arrested political 
leaders, closed down newspapers and even forfeited presses. Their 
actions in no way helped to relax the mounting tension in the 

Another factor which gave rise to considerable dissatisfaction at 
this stage was the part played by the sons of the Field Marshal 
themselves, the report said, adding, they not only interfered with 
the day-to-day administration of the country but sought also to 
utilise their position for obtaining undue personal advantages for 
themselves. One of them was elected as a member of the National 
Assembly and even aspired to become an industrial magnate under the 
patronage of his father.

Apart from this, the report said the rapid pace of industrial 
development of the country resulted in an unequal distribution of 
wealth. The wealth of the country gradually accumulated into the 
hands of a few families of West Pakistan. It was generally alleged 
that all the wealth of the country was concentrated in the hands of 
some 22 families in West Pakistan. Apparently, therefore, 
prosperity and development was more rapid in West Pakistan. The 
East Pakistanis dubbed them as exploiters of East Pakistan and 
built up their main propaganda of hatred of West Pakistanis on the 
basis of this economic disparity, combined with the fact that the 
Field Marshal ruled with the support of the Army consisting mainly 
of West Pakistanis.

Although Martial Law had avowedly come in to end corruption it is 
paradoxical that during the Constitutional regime of Ayub Khan 
corruption increased at an alarming rate. The Basic Democracy 
System, it was said, had spread corruption into every nook and 
corner of the country. "The government itself, it was further 
alleged connived at, if not, actually encouraged their corruption 
for they formed the Electoral College for the election of the 
President himself. They openly sold their votes to the highest 
bidder. The Field Marshal's policy of appeasement of the Army by 
giving them lands, increased pay and pension benefits and other 
venues of employment after retirement also tended to create a 
feeling of resentment."

All these factors had contributed to build up the opposition 
against the regime and the country was seething with discontentment 
when Z.A. Bhutto formed his People's Party in 1967 and joined in 
the agitation against the Field Marshal. The opposition, at first 
was mainly directed against the tyranny of the governors of the two 
provinces and abuse of the powers under the emergency. The 
political parties launched an agitation for the lifting of the 
emergency and four of the major parties formed a combined 
opposition under the name of the United National Command. The 
People's Party led by Mr Bhutto did not join this Command but 
continued its agitation separately for the restoration of democracy 
and more equitable distribution of wealth. The government, however, 
remained adamant. The political leaders including Mr Bhutto were 
arrested and with its majority in the National Assembly the 
government actually procured a resolution for the continuance of 
the state of emergency in Pakistan.

At this stage differences arose between the Nawab of Kalabagh and 
the Field Marshal, as a result of which the Nawab resigned and 
General Muhammad Musa, the then Commander-in-Chief, was appointed 
governor in his place. General Yahya Khan was promoted as 
Commander-in-Chief. General Musa released a number of political 
detenues and took some other conciliatory measures by pardoning the 
heads of Mari, Bugti and Mengal tribes of Quetta and Kalat 
divisions and restoring the Sardaris of their families.

In East Pakistan, however, Momen Khan continued his repressive 
measures. Sheikh Mujeebur Rahman along with 35 others were charged 
with a conspiracy to separate East Pakistan by a violent rebellion. 
The trial known as the Agartala Conspiracy Case opened in June, 
1968. The agitation in West Pakistan also, in spite of the 
conciliatory measures taken by General Musa, continued to gather 
momentum and assumed serious proportions in November, 1968. Almost 
every section of society joined the revolt. Lawyers, doctors, 
students all started coming out in processions, abusing the Field 
Marshal and demanding his resignation. The Field Marshal himself 
was fired upon at Peshawar while addressing a meeting. All efforts 
to suppress the agitation having failed, the government at last 
released all political detenues and invited the opposition leaders 
to a Round Table Conference to be held at Rawalpindi.

The political parties, which had now formed a Direct Action 
Committee, demanded the lifting of the emergency as a condition 
precedent to the acceptance of the invitation to attend the 
conference and continued their agitation. A countrywide strike was 
called on the 14th of February, 1969. Many processions were taken 
out on this day, which came into clash with the police and many 
people were injured. Mr Bhutto also, whilst still under 
imprisonment, went on hunger strike for the immediate lifting of 
the emergency. This was at last done on the 17th of February, 1969, 
and as a result thereof Mr Bhutto was freed.

The DAC now agreed to attend the Round Table Conference but the 
People's Party, the Awami League and the National Awami Party 
refused to attend the conference. Pre-Conference parleys held on 
the 19th February ended in a deadlock. The DAC then demanded that 
Sheikh Mujeebur Rahman should also be brought to the conference 
table. The Sheikh at first agreed to come on parole but in the 
meantime another incident occurred. One of the accused in the 
Agartala Conspiracy Case was shot dead on the allegation that he 
was trying to escape. When his body was handed over to his 
relatives it was taken away in procession. The mob joined in and 
feelings ran so high that serious disturbances took place on the 
19th of February, throughout East Pakistan. The police had to open 
fire in Dacca, Kushtia and Noakhali resulting in the death of nine 
persons and injuries to 51 others. Sheikh Mujeebur Rahman refused 
to attend the Conference unless the case was withdrawn.

On the 21st of February, Field Marshal Ayub Khan announced his 
decision not to contest the next elections for the presidentship 
and on the 22nd the Ordinance setting up the Tribunal to try the 
case against Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his co-accused was repealed, 
with the result that the Sheikh was a freeman, although neither 
acquitted nor discharged. The Sheikh attended the Conference at 
which the Field Marshal agreed to introduce the parliamentary 
system of government, to have the assemblies elected directly and 
to hold elections on the basis of adult franchise. Nawabzada 
Nasrullah Khan dissolved the Direct Action Committee but the Sheikh 
dissociated himself from the combined opposition on the ground that 
it had not supported his demand for regional autonomy and the break 
up of the One-Unit.

Field Marshal Ayub Khan, also replaced his governors. The 
agitation, however, continued in East Pakistan and between the 10th 
and 20th of March, 39 persons were killed in Dacca and many cases 
of arson and looting took place. The appointment of the new 
governors had, as was expected, relaxed the tension somewhat and 
the movement was beginning to subside when suddenly on the 25th of 
March, 1969 the Field Marshal announced that he had relinquished 
his office and handed over power to the Commander-in- Chief, 
General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan.

Exile put judiciary's credibility at stake: SCBA president

SUKKUR, Jan 5: The president of Supreme Court Bar Association, 
Abdul Haleem Pirzada, has said that the exile of former prime 
minister Nawaz Sharif had staked the credibility of the judiciary, 
and time would come when this case would be reopened.

Speaking at a press conference here on Friday, he said that the 
President had no legal power under Article 45 of the Constitution 
to send Nawaz Sharif into exile. This even amounted to jailbreak by 
the present government, he remarked.

He said that Nawaz Sharif had been a convict in the plane hijacking 
case, moreover so many cases were pending in the courts. He 
questioned the validity of this action as in what capacity the 
government would answer the courts when these cases are heard?

He said with this act the judicial system had lost its credibility, 
and once the people loose their faith in the system no one can stop 
them from resorting to unconstitutional and unlawful methods to 
achieve their rights.

He said there was no clause in the Constitution, which could 
empower the government or the President to exile anybody to a 
foreign country, nor there was any precedence in Islamic Shariat.

He termed the Provisional Constitutional Order an unlawful act of 
the government, and said that the decisions under the PCO was 
challengable. He said the judicial system had been under jeopardy, 
because the judges took a wrong turn by taking oath under the PCO.

CEC to decide about Benazir's return: Yousaf

LAHORE, Jan 5: Pakistan People's Party chairperson Benazir Bhutto 
has left the decision about the timing of her return to Pakistan to 
the party's central executive committee which will give her a green 
signal after completion of necessary preparations at the grassroots 

This was stated by PPP vice-president Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani while 
addressing the party workers at a function held in connection with 
the 73rd birthday of the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on Friday. Mr 
Gilani was among the PPP leaders who met the party chairperson at 
the United Arab Emirates.

"The ball is in the court of PPP leaders and workers and the timing 
of Ms Benazir's return will depend on the time taken by the party 
cadre to organize themselves to face the challenge," he said.

Mr Gilani said the greatest contribution of the late Bhutto to the 
country's politics was his initiative to bring the politics from 
the drawing rooms to the common man. Efforts were being made by the 
military regime to reverse the process, he added.

He said the local government system and devolution plan were part 
of the new move of the military regime.

Mr Gilani said a majority of those elected as nazim and naib nazim 
were from the feudal background. There would further pick and 
choose in the subsequent phases, he continued.

He said it was on the government agenda to oust Nawaz Sharif and 
Benazir Bhutto from politics and it had succeeded in accomplishing 
its task.

Addressing a function held in connection with the 73rd birthday of 
the late Z. A. Bhutto at the residence of Mian Misbahur Rehman, he 
said the committee was headed by former federal minister Mian Raza 
Rabbani and would start work shortly.

PPP regrets MQM 'accusation'

ISLAMABAD, Jan 4: A spokesperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party has 
regretted the attitude of the MQM wherein it had accused the PPP 
and PML of committing "murder, raids, arrests and extra judicial 
killings" of its members.

In a statement on Wednesday the spokesperson of the party denied 
that the PPP had indulged in victimization of the MQM.

"The PPP was a political government whereas the administration was 
in the hands of officers responsible for the same under the 
constitution and law of Pakistan. Those officers had to fulfil 
their duties where they saw the law being broken or acts of 
terrorism and violence being committed. It is wrong to blame the 
officials for carrying out their duties, to protect the life and 
liberty of citizens".

The spokesperson recalled that "the human rights organizations had 
raised the issue of extra judicial killings. The PPP asked the 
judiciary to look into these complaints. Consequently 126 judicial 
inquiries were held. Not one case of extra judicial killing took 
place." The spokesperson said, "The MQM should agree to a respected 
human rights organization holding inquiries into allegations that 
its workers were trained to kill, kidnap, rob banks and indulge in 
acts of violence. These atrocities were committed against rangers, 
police, politicians, businessmen, taxi drivers and other poor 
people. The heirs of the affected persons have their lives 
destroyed by such acts."

He said, "The PPP recognizes the MQM as an important political 
force. However, it makes a distinction between the political wing 
of the MQM and its terrorist wing". In conclusion, he said, "The 
PPP and MQM have different interpretations of history. The politics 
of tolerance calls upon both to respect divergence of views and 
avoid dictating a view to the other."

Similar policy for all provinces, says CE

KARACHI, Jan 3: Chief Executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf said on 
Wednesday that federal government is maintaining a balanced policy 
for all the province and the same policy is being pursued in 
respect of urban and rural areas within the provinces.

He stated this at a meeting with the members of Sindh cabinet held 
at the Governor House. The meeting was also attended by Sindh 
Governor Mohammedmian Soomro and Corps Commander Lt-Gen Muzaffar 

He pointed out that as per government policy attention was being 
paid on priority sectors like Gomal Dam in NWFP, coastal highway in 
Balochistan, Right Bank Outfall Drain and K-3 bulk water supply 
project in Sindh and major problems of Lahore in the Punjab.

On the occasion, the governor and members of the cabinet briefed 
the chief executive about their respective departments.

Gen Musharraf appreciated the functioning of provincial 
administration under the guidance of Governor Soomro and observed 
that he was trying to bring improvement and delivering the goods.

He said agonies of the past be now forgotten and everyone should 
work unitedly for a brighter future.

The chief executive was informed that eight different sub-
committees had been formed which were working for the revival of 
economy, promotion of agriculture and industrialization, solution 
of urban and rural problems etc.

Gen Musharraf said that he was regularly getting a feedback about 
these committees which were doing a good work with effective 
community participation.

Speaking about the first phase of local bodies elections in Larkana 
division, the chief executive expressed satisfaction over greater 
participation of people particularly by womenfolk.-APP

City governments in 5 capitals by August
Rauf Klasra

ISLAMABAD, Jan 2: The federal government on Tuesday announced 
establishment of city governments in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, 
Quetta and Peshawar before August this year.

Briefing newsmen about the results of first phase of local bodies 
polls held on Dec 31, the Federal Minister for Rural Development 
and Local Bodies, Omar Asghar Khan, said that election schedule for 
these five big cities would be announced soon.

Referring to the devolution plan, the minister said that although 
powers and functions of the federation and provinces would be 
decentralized, the existing structure of federal parliamentary 
system would not be disturbed.

Omar Asghar said that the decentralization of powers, functions and 
resources would be carried out while remaining within the limits of 
constitution and existing legal provisions to maintain the 
parliamentary system of the country.

On the question of bringing about required changes in the existing 
laws to accommodate the local government plan, Mr Khan said 
required changes would be made in the law to give legal cover to 
the new set up before the completion of local bodies election 
process in August.

The minister said that the elected councillors, who have been 
elected for three years, would receive no salary.

The minister also reaffirmed government's commitment to hold 
general elections on party basis before October next year.

On the question of turnout in the recent elections, Omar Asghar 
claimed that according to results of 435 union councils, which have 
so far been received, turnout was 43.5 per cent. "This is quite 
encouraging," he added.

The minister said the Election Commission would announce the final 
result of LB elections on Jan 6.

The minister said government was also launching a training 
programme to train 130,000 councillors from all over the country on 
issues like governance, budgeting, rules of business, financial 
aspects, administrative matters, and development orientation and 
local government plan.

He said that the government had also decided to set up federal 
support unit in the Local Government Ministry to advice and 
coordinate with the provinces on the matters related to local 
government plan.

The minister said the work had also been undertaken on electoral 
reforms in the country. He said these reforms would be announced 
before the holding of elections for National and provincial 
assemblies next year.

He clarified that there was no restriction on the people from 
minority groups to contest elections for the posts of Nazims and 
Naib Nazims.

To a question regarding political parties' candidates who got 
elected in the local bodies polls, Omar Asghar said there was no 
restriction on the workers of political parties to contest the 
election. However, they are barred from using the party platform.

The minister claimed that quite many doctors, lawyers and 
unemployed people had won the election, which was a good sign for 
the basic democracy.

US pays damages to PIA
Masood Haider

NEW YORK, Dec 30: The US government paid Pakistan International 
Airlines almost half a million dollars in damages after a US 
federal appeals court on Thursday found it unlawfully ordered the 
airline to pay for the custody of passengers seeking political 
asylum in the United States.

In last several years the US immigration department had ordered PIA 
to pay for the upkeep of passengers who were incarcerated after 
they applied for political asylum until their case was adjudicated 
by the US Courts.

Mr Mumtaz Alvi a prominent New York lawyer told Dawn that the US 
Court of Appeals for Federal Court, reversed a decision of lower 
courts which had held that PIA could not proceed with its lawsuit 
against the US Department of Immigration and Naturalization Service 
(INS). It held that INS had unlawfully directed PIA to take custody 
and pay for the maintenance of passengers until the date of their 
asylum hearings. These hearings were held months after the 
passengers who arrived by PIA flights in New York

PIA was forced to hire security guards and leased several hotel 
rooms to secure their asylum hearings.

The US appeals court held that by passing a statute known as the 
1986 Immigration User Fee statute, which created a new fund for use 
by INS in taking custody of passengers seeking political asylum in 
the United States effectively stripped INS of the authority to 
order PIA to pay for the keep and custody of these passengers.

Petroleum prices increased: Fifth hike in a year
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Dec 30: The government has announced an increase in the 
prices of petroleum products. The increase, which ranges between 
6.82 per cent and 22.48 per cent, comes into effect immediately.

This is the fifth increase made over the past one year. The new 
increase is in addition to the 40 per cent increase that has 
already been effected over the past 12 months.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Petroleum and Natural 
Resources Secretary Yousef Abdullah said the government would 
receive Rs7 billion through new oil prices to "offset the impact of 
the increase in international prices".

"The upward revision in oil prices was inevitable," he said, 
admitting that the increase was being announced though 
international prices were showing a declining trend.

The increase, he explained, had been made in view of the review 
conducted for the months of September, October and November when 
international prices had been high.

He said that in case international prices continued to decline in 
March 2001, the government would decrease petroleum prices.

The secretary said the government had suffered a loss of Rs1 
billion owing to the delay of about 15 days in announcing new oil 
prices. "We did not want to increase oil prices in Ramazan and 
preferred to suffer the loss of Rs1 billion," he observed.

Another reason why oil prices had been increased, he said, was the 
appreciation of the dollar vis-a-vis the rupee. Over the past three 
months, the price of dollar had increased from Rs57.28 to Rs58.25, 
forcing the government to revise the prices of petroleum products 
upward, he said.

Mr Abdullah said that Pakistan imported 85 per cent petroleum 
products and it had no choice but to pay more for petroleum prices 
as and when they were revised upward in the international market.

He claimed that the prices of petroleum products in the country 
were low, compared with those in many countries in the region, 
especially India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. "And then we did not 
seek more taxation for petroleum products," he said, adding that 
there was a usual 15 per cent general sales tax in force.

The petroleum secretary regretted that the government had not been 
able to offer any relief to people, "but I promise that if world 
prices continue to decline, we will certainly pass on its positive 
effect to people in March 2001".

He admitted that prices of most commodities, including transport 
fares, would go up owing to the increase in the prices of petroleum 
products. Parrying questions about the undue advantage that traders 
and businessmen take of new oil prices, he said: "This job should 
be looked after by the provincial governments and local 
administrations as it has nothing to do with us."

Worldwide fall in oil prices: Ministry seeks cut in power rates
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Jan 3: The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources 
has called for reduction in electricity charges following a 22 per 
cent decrease in the furnace oil prices during the last one year.

"We certainly want reduction in electricity tariff for the 
consumers because of the huge 22 per cent reduction in the furnace 
oil prices," said Secretary Ministry of Petroleum and Natural 
Resources, Abdullah Yousuf.

Speaking at a news conference here on Wednesday, he said that the 
issue should be considered by Wapda, KESC and other Independent 
Power Producers (IPPs). The furnace oil import, he pointed out, has 
been de-regulated for all power producers including Wapda and the 
KESC and that they should now consider reduction in power tariff 
for consumers due to the continued declining trends of the product.

Interestingly, while the petroleum ministry was seeking reduction 
in power charges, Wapda has just been allowed to revise upward its 
tariff by 9.54 per cent by the National Electric Power Regulatory 
Authority (Nepra) from September 2000.

"This is a simple formula and it does not require much to ponder. 
If the input cost has reduced, output cost should automatically go 
down," he added.

The petroleum secretary also disclosed that the government was 
considering allowing general traders to import furnace oil.

"At present general traders are not eligible to import furnace oil 
but they would soon be allowed to enter the field," he said, adding 
that the government wanted to further de-regulate the furnace oil 
import for the benefit of all businessmen.

Exporters allowed to transfer quota
Rauf Klasra

ISLAMABAD, Jan 4: Ministry of commerce on Thursday announced 
Textile Quota Management Policy-2001, carrying rewards on one hand 
to encourage exporters and penalties on the other to bring about 
transparency and fair play.

Under the new policy, the specific categories, for which 
exceptional flexibility of 4,000 MT allowed by European Union is to 
be used, would be determined by Quota Supervisory Council (QSC) and 
communicated to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

Following acceptance of the European Union, the EPB shall allow the 
textile associations the use of exceptional flexibility on notified 
terms and conditions.

For good performance, all eligible exporters would get additional 
quota as a reward.

In addition the government has also accepted a major demand of 
textile exporters by allowing them to transfer their official quota 
as well as one purchased from the open market.

The policy, for the first time, allows the quota holders to 
surrender their performance quota upto September 30 every year 
without forfeiture of security deposits.

The additional quota reward, announced in the Quota Policy- 2001 on 
Thursday, would be given to exporters to encourage greater 
utilization and higher per unit price. Terms and conditions of such 
rewards would be notified well in advance by the government. Reward 
allocations would be made from the growth quota, subject to such 
limits as the government may determine.

The policy also allows exporters to transfer their entitlement 
(government) quota as well as the one they had purchased from the 
open market. However, quantities obtained through auction, reward, 
flexibilities, including exceptional flexibility, first-come- first 
served facility, and one-time usage and such other allocations as 
determined by Export Promotion Bureau would not be transferable.

Separate coloured sheets with consecutive page numbers shall be 
added to the category pass-books in which necessary entries of non-
transferable quota would be made (for shipment purposes).

The new policy said that no transfer-OUT would be allowed until the 
exporter's passbook has been audited by the auditors.

Textile associations shall ensure that forms are issued in serial 
order and that no blank transfer forms are issued. These 
associations will also be required to maintain proper records of 
issued forms. In case any fake or forged transfer form is detected, 
the concerned association would be held responsible and action 
would be taken against it under the law.

The garment manufacturing units in Export Processing Zone have also 
been allowed to purchase quota through foreign exchange encashment 
certificate at price not less than that, which prevailed at the 
last auction.

On the issue of surrender of quota, the policy said, quota holders 
would be eligible to surrender their performance quota, without any 
loss of security deposits and the textile associations would 
immediately provide details of such surrender to the EPB for 
disposal on such term and conditions, as may be notified.

As far as the entitlement, allocation and utilization of the quota 
is concerned, an exporter's entitlement for the year would consist 
of total shipments made in a particular category in the preceding 
year and adjusted for over or unauthorized shipments, one time use, 
deductions, and or flexibilities.

Final annual entitlements would be authenticated by the respective 
textile associations and finally determined by the auditors by 
April 30.

The exporters would also be entitled to flexibilities on their 
entitlement plus quotas obtained through auction, reward, and or on 
first-come-first serve basis.

On the issue of exceptional flexibility, the policy said that 
specific categories, for which exceptional flexibility of 4000 MT 
allowed by European Union is to be used, would be determined by 
Quota Supervisory Council (QSC) and communicated to EPB.

Following the acceptance by the European Union, the EPB would allow 
the associations, the use of exceptional flexibilities on such 
terms and conditions as notified by the EPB. However, exceptional 
flexibility allocations would be for one time use.

Under the new policy, allocation of quotas would be made against 
periodical security deposits as follows: First quarter nil, Second 
Quarter nil, third Quarter 0.5 per cent and Fourth quarter one per 

The periodical security deposits would be calculated on the basis 
of average FoB prices obtained for the categories in the preceding 

As regards the auction of growth quota, Policy Order-2001 said that 
the quantities available from growth quota would be notified and 
put to auction in commercial lots by the EPB.

As much as 50 per cent of available growth quota would be placed in 
first auction, 25 per cent in the second and the remaining 
quantities in the third auction.

Only registered exporters, who are members of a textile 
association, would be eligible for purchase of quota through 

US slowdown not to affect exports
Jawaid Bokhari

KARACHI, Jan 4: The feared prolonged slow-down of US economy is 
unlikely to impact adversely on Pakistan's exports at least during 
the current year.

Hard landing of the US economy is presently ruled out by the 
business community in view of the official steps being stipulated 
to handle emerging indicators of a slow-down.

 US is the biggest export market for Pakistani merchandise. Sales 
touched $2.1 billion in fiscal ending June 2000, nearly a quarter 
of the country's total exports. The annual trade surplus soared to 
record $1.5billion.

 Exporters and manufacturers engaged in trading with the United 
States say that our prices are competitive for the quality range 
offered. This is indicated by the growth in exports over the past 
few years. Earnings from sale of merchandise were to the tune of 
$1.36 billion in 1995-96. Going by the export trend over the past 
few years, official target for exports to the US for current fiscal 
has been hiked by over 20 per cent.

 There is a consensus among exporters and economists that the Bush 
administration would succeed in preventing hard landing. The Fed 
decision on Wednesday to lower the interest rate by half per cent 
to 5.5 per cent would cheer up the US bourses and intending three 
trillion dollar cut in taxes would help prop up the consumer's 
purchasing power, says a leading industrialist and exporter of 
textiles to the United States.

 The United States had a decade of sustained economic growth 
without the cyclic boom and bust. Economists say that America had a 
good time for such a long spell. The US will now have either the 
hard or soft landing, which will spill over the industrialized 
world. These are countries, having deeper access to the US markets 
and those exporting high value-added goods that would be hurt the 

 Over 60 per cent of Pakistan exports and bulk of trade surplus are 
earned from developed countries. Western Europe buys goods worth 
$2.5 billion against Pakistan's imports of $2 billion from the 

 Trade experts say it is the rich nations that have the purchasing 
power to buy foreign merchandise. Over 61 per cent of the Pakistani 
export earnings come from developed countries and less than 39 per 
cent from the developing countries, which often suffer from scarce 
forex resources.

A former commercial counsellor in Los Angles says that producers 
and exporters should focus on the US market. It is the biggest 
market for widest possible variety, quality and range of products, 
with differing prices. Even the entire production of a large number 
of industries could be re-oriented to meet goods in demand in the 
United States. Big orders can be secured by meeting specific needs. 
This is what South East Asian countries like Thailand and South 
Korea are doing. To double or treble exports in short-term, there 
is need to increase, step by step, sales of value-added goods.

The potential of export of merchandise from Pakistan to the United 
States is vast when seen in the context of US global imports. 
Secondly, the quality and price of most of the products offered 
compete with those from China, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia 
Hong Kong and India and not against goods and services offered by 
industrialized west.

In case of soft landing of the US economy, consumers are expected 
to cut their expenses on imported high quality goods from western 
Europe or Japan and may show their preference for cheaper variety 
from developing states like Pakistan, says a businessmen.

 Official figures indicate US imports of Pakistani cotton fabrics 
and made-ups are around 10 per cent each of its global imports.The 
share of readymade garments is just over 1.1 per cent and cotton 
yarn and knitwear each under three per cent. Carpet and rugs picked 
up in last fiscal to clinch a share of nearly nine percent. In rice 
exports, we have lost the market to India. Pakistan's share in the 
total US rice import is currently at 4-5 per cent. Other items like 
leather and leather garments, sports goods, surgical instruments, 
fish and fish, fruits and vegetables were all under one per cent of 
the overall US imports.

 Bulk of the exports to the United States are of food and clothing 
that would still be in demand whether there is hard or soft landing 
of the US economy. Lower incomes would raise demand for cheaper 

 But it would not be all smooth sailings for local exporters. 
Shabir Ahmed, Chairman, Pakistan's Bedwear Exporters Association, 
says that Pakistan should monitor closely the economic development 
in US and Europe and respond to the emerging challenges promptly. 
The threat to our exports from Chinese and Indian goods should not 
be taken lightly.

 With indicators of the slow-down in US economy, currency experts 
forecast that the US dollar may not be able to sustain its strength 
and parity against euro and other hard currencies. It would mean 
expensive imports and cheaper exports for the Americans. Pakistan's 
imports from the USA have dropped sharply. Imports from the US may 
pick up. Exports may find the going tougher. The favourable trade 
balance may shrink.

Free cotton trade policy to continue

ISLAMABAD, Jan 4: Current policy of free import and export of 
cotton would continue and no government intervention would be made 
in this regard.

This was decided at a meeting of the Federal Textile Board chaired 
by the Minister for Commerce, Industries and Production Abdul 
Razzaq Dawood.

The Board would continuously monitor progress for investment in 
spinning for import of machinery under BMR-expansion or new units, 
the meeting decided adding, APTMA would take the proposal of 
Commercial Warehousing Scheme with the banks at their own.

If needed, government intervention would be solicited for support 
from the State Bank, the meeting further decided.

The meeting noted that the textile industry was in need of 
importing various synthetic fibres, which are not locally 
manufactured through an easy mechanism.

S.R.O 818, the meeting decided was to be made user friendly and a 
list of M.M.Fibres & Yarns not produced locally be prepared for 
change of tariff.

A meeting should be convened to discuss on the issue with 
stakeholders (synthetic fibre manufacturers and importers of 
synthetic yarn) for producing high value added garments for 
exports, the board observed.

Regarding Technology up gradation in weaving, the meeting decided 
that Ministry of industries, commercial banks and State bank would 
sort out issues pertaining to availability and disbursement of 
funds to the powerloomers under L.M.M scheme as well as for 
imported/second hand shuttleless looms. The representative of the 
State bank said that the bank would also look into the issue at 
their own.

It was also decided that the dyes not manufactured in Pakistan be 
listed and issue of reduction in import duty be taken up with CBR.-

One-year performance: Economic downslide checked, claims govt

ISLAMABAD, Jan 1: Despite inheriting a faltering economy, the 
Musharraf government took some vital and far-reaching steps in the 
year 2000 that helped check economic downslide and put the country 
on path to sustained growth.

A government spokesman, giving details of the performance in the 
outgoing year, said much had been achieved on the economic front 
through concrete steps that would have far-reaching results on 
country's economy, which was showing signs of revival.

Mentioning the milestones, the spokesman said, Rs25.5 billion had 
been recovered from loan defaulters and Rs390 million deposited in 
the national exchequer on account of recovery from the corrupt 
people, foreign investment was pouring in, exports had registered 
an 11.3 per cent increase in the first five months of the current 
fiscal year, and the growth in tax revenues had been 11.3 per cent 
in the first five months of the fiscal year.

"A massive poverty alleviation programme worth Rs35 billion has 
been launched, a tax amnesty scheme has brought additional revenues 
of Rs10 billion, the Pakistan Steel Mills has touched a a level of 
sale to the tune of Rs445 crore."

The dawn of the new century also saw the heralding of a true 
democratic era in Pakistan as the country took the first important 
step on the road to democracy with the conclusion of the first 
phase of local government elections in 18 districts on Sunday, the 
spokesman said.

"The historic process of empowering the people has begun," he said.

"The first phase of local bodies elections in 18 districts has been 
completed today. Voters have exercized their right to elect their 
representatives at the union council level with great enthusiasm 
and fervour, as they genuinely believe that the new system is going 
to make them masters of their own destiny," he stated.

Recounting the achievements and performance of the government, the 
spokesman said, Gen Musharraf in his first address had promised to 
introduce genuine democracy in the country at grass-roots level.

"The process has started and the local bodies will be in place by 
August 2001."

He stated that the resolve of the present government to clear 
Aegean stables of misrule, root out corruption, revive shattered 
national confidence and restore genuine democracy in the country 
was now rekindling hope and optimism among the people of Pakistan.

"The policies of the present government have started paying 
dividends to the nation. The negative slide down and deterioration 
of national institutions has been arrested.

"The economy is showing signs of revival, foreign investment is 
pouring in, and the accountability of the corrupt is in full 

Rupee weaker: State Bank injects Rs13.5bn
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, Jan 4: The State Bank on Thursday pumped in Rs13.55 
billion in inter-bank market for one week at 11.5 per cent but the 
direct injection fell short of the market appetite for funds. 
Consequently, banks had to borrow overnight funds worth more than 
Rs40 billion from SBP through regular repo of treasury bills at 13 
per cent.

On the other hand exchanged rates fluctuated wildly in inter- bank 
market and the rupee lost 35 paisa to a US dollar: It closed at 
58.80 on Thursday against the previous close of 58.45. Bankers said 
some ready transactions took place at Rs58.90 to a dollar.

Bankers said the rupee continued its slide despite the money market 
being tight on the back of dollar buying by two state-run and a 
partly privatized bank. "These and other banks were buying dollars 
mostly to cover their oversold positions," said treasurer of a bank 
meaning that the buyers had earlier sold dollars beyond their 

Bankers said there was some corporate demand for the dollar as 
well. A state-run bank tried to cool off the pro-dollar sentiment 
by selling a few million of them but to no avail.

In the kerb market, however, the rupee recovered 15 paisa and 
closed at 61.15 to a dollar for spot selling on Thursday up from 
61.30 on Wednesday. Currency dealers said the rupee recovered as 
speculators sold part of their dollar inventories.

The inter-bank market remained speculation free as the cost of 
dollar holding remained prohibitive because of liquidity crunch. An 
SBP official said banks were not speculating against the rupee and 
the local currency was losing its worth due to real demand for 
foreign exchange. But why then the central bank injected less than 
expected liquidity in the market on Thursday indicating that it 
would keep money market tight to stabilize rupee?

"The answer is that though the recent fall of the rupee is not 
driven by speculative forces a liquid market may invite them in 
action," the official said. Bankers said what refrained SBP from 
making a big injection of funds into the market on Thursday was 
that an inflow of Rs23 billion is expected next week.

In the mean time banks started preparing themselves for making a 
$50-55 million debt and interest payment on behalf of Hub Power 
Company next week. Bankers said the foreign banks that would be 
handling the outflow may start buying dollars from the market on 
Friday pushing the rupee further down. They said these foreign 
banks - four in number - normally get some relaxation from the SBP 
in buying dollars from the market to make debt payments of Hubco. 
These banks are (i) Citi bank (ii) ABN Amro (iii) Deutche Bank and 
(iv) Bank of Tokyo.

Wapda plea for rate hike rejected: Nepra sees no justification
Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Jan 4: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority 
(Nepra) has rejected Wapda's review petition asking for an increase 
of 64 paisa per unit instead of the allowed rate of 16 paisa per 

"Wapda's request for allowing further raise in tariff has not been 
accepted," Nepra said in a press release issued on Thursday. "Nepra 
has examined the ministry of water and power's request, but has 
found no reasonable ground to review its determination."

The review petition was filed by the ministry of water and power on 
behalf of Wapda, saying that the increase of 16 paisa per unit 
allowed by Nepra on Dec 2, was not enough to cover the financial 
burden of the authority on account of increase in international 
furnace oil prices.

Nepra, in its ruling, also referred to the ministry of petroleum's 
reported assertion that the benefit of decrease in furnace oil 
prices in the international market should be passed on to the 

"The matter is covered in Nepra's determination of tariff where 
increase and decrease of fuel prices is to be automatically 
adjusted in the consumer end tariff by Wapda every quarter with the 
approval of the authority," it said, adding that the first review 
of the automatic tariff adjustment formula would take place in 
March 2001.

An official source said Wapda had asked for an increase in tariff 
by 64 paisa per unit when the furnace oil price in the 
international market had shot up to Rs15,000 per ton from Rs11,000 
per ton. Since then the furnace oil price had gone down by 22 per 
cent to Rs10,000 per ton, just nullifying the justification for any 
increase, he added.

He said the increase of 16 paisa per unit allowed to Wapda on Dec 
2, on an average, comes to 4.7 per cent as against 19.70 per cent 
demanded by the authority.

Wapda had sought the increase for meeting additional burden of 
Rs17.718 billion it faced due to increase in fuel prices.

NIT seeks approval to launch five funds
Sabihuddin Ghausi

KARACHI, Dec 30: The National Investment Trust (NIT) is seeking a 
go-ahead signal from the government to launch five different funds 
for public offering in next three to six months.

All these are to be open-ended and close-ended funds and will to be 
floated in a period that is expected to extend from 24 to 30 
months. It would be NIT's first major initiative, as for the last 
more than 35 years it has confined its public offerings to the 
registered and unregistered units only.

These funds, which the NIT proposes to offer to public are (1) 
Islamic Fund (2) Privatization Fund (3) Regular Income Fund (4) 
Safe Capital Scheme and the (5) Information Technology Fund.

Flotation of these funds however, depend on a host of factors. 
First and foremost is the proposed merger of NIT with that of 
Investment Corporation of Pakistan (ICP) and the subsequent 
privatization. This possible merger of the two financial 
institutions, offering close-ended and open-ended funds and 
subsequent privatization, is expected to be a long drawn process.

Nonetheless, the financial analysts and investment executives in 
NIT are convinced that the merger of NIT and ICP and the 
privatization could be taken up simultaneously with the flotation 
of the funds. The new team of sponsors after privatization is 
expected to continue with this funds flotation programme and may 
even expand it more.

The open-ended Islamic Fund is expected to be the first public 
offering through three stock exchanges to tap what the NIT analysts 
believe huge funds available within the country and outside from 
the resident and non-resident Pakistanis who look for Shariah 
compliance avenues of investments.

This fund is designed to provide the investor with protection 
against the long-term effects of inflation by a mix of capital 
gains and regular income to be generated from a combination of 
regular income and equity investments that comply with Shariah.

A Religious Board will be constituted to oversee all the operations 
particularly the avenues of investments. Conventional banking, 
depository and financial institutions and conventional insurance 
companies have been ruled out of the investment possibilities from 
the proposed Islamic fund and the Religious Board will approve the 
Shariah compliance companies where investment could be made.

The NIT has proposed to form an Investment Management Company (IMC) 
that should float a series of close-ended privatization funds 
through stock markets for each of the public sector enterprises 
that are offered for public disinvestment.

The IMC is proposed to have a capital base of Rs50 million which 
would be equally shared by the NIT, Pak-Kuwait Investment Company, 
Pak Saudi Investment Company, Faysal Bank, Al-Faysal Islamic Bank, 
National Bank of Pakistan and private groups. This company is 
expected to float a series of privatization funds of Rs250 million 
to Rs3 billion depending on the general capital market conditions, 
liquidity, investors' appetite and the capacity of the companies 
that are to be offered for disinvestment. The NIT analysts want 
foreigners to participate in the subscription of these funds.

The proposal is to offer a close-ended fund that will become open-
ended on expiry of five years period when the privatization process 
is completed. The authors of this scheme are undecided on how to 
handle the privatization proceeds. One of the proposals is to 
retain the privatization proceed and re-invest it for disinvestment 
of other companies. Another proposal is to distribute this 
privatization proceed to unit holders.

Adjustment under IMF terms, says Shaukat

ISLAMABAD, Dec 30: Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz on Saturday said, 
the fuel price adjustment was part of an agreement signed with the 
IMF and its implementation would enhance the country's credibility.

He said that the new prices would be reviewed on March 15 and hoped 
it (prices) would come down owing to the declining trend in oil 
prices in the world market.

The government made on Saturday made an increase of Rs2.25 per 
litre in motor spirit and Rs3 per litre in high speed diesel.

The minister recalled that the government had announced a formula 
early this year to fix the oil prices.

This formula was included in a recent agreement with the IMF for a 
$596m standby loan, he said.

"The price adjustment is an important part of the IMF agreement," 
Mr Aziz said, adding, "its implementation will enhance Pakistan's 

Under the agreement, he explained the petroleum prices would be 
adjusted quarterly in line with the international market prices, on 
the basis of prices prevailing during the last three months.

The new prices is on the basis of daily average of oil rates that 
Pakistan paid for buying oil from the international market in 
September, October and November, he said.

Mr Aziz said the oil prices in the world market were now showing 
downward trend and hoped, the prices would come down during the 
next review on March 15.

He said that it often happened in the past that Pakistan got the 
first instalment after the agreement with the IMF but later failed 
to follow the agreed conditionalities. -APP

Back to the top
Sharaf Sharif  
Ardeshir Cowasjee

At the ending of this millennium the Sharaf Sharif era of our 
country has drawn to its close. Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif has been 
banished and General Pervez Musharraf rules the roost.

But, with Pakistani politics and its super-mercurial flow, there is 
no guarantee that the man who robbed the nation (at best the first 
crook, or at worst the second) will not stage a successful 
comeback. The probability is he will stay away for as long as 
Musharraf remains in the saddle, but he could return as prime 
minister with Musharraf as president - or, the ways of this country 
and its ignorant people being exceedingly strange, even vice versa.

On October 17 1999, five days after the general rode in with his 
men, he spoke : "My dear countrymen, my aims and objective shall be 
: 1) rebuild national confidence and morale; 2) strengthen the 
federation and remove inter-provincial disharmony and restore 
national cohesion; 3) revive the economy and restore investor 
confidence; 4) ensure law and order and dispense speedy justice; 5) 
depoliticise state institutions; 6) devolution of power to the 
grass-roots level; 7) ensure swift and across-the-board 

Objectives 1) to 3), admittedly difficult, have not been achieved, 
as have not 5) and 6). Objectives 4) and 7), relatively simple and 
achievable, remain similarly unachieved.

There is absolutely no reason why, with the army exercising 
abundant power, law and order cannot be enforced. It is not 
understandable why saboteurs and obscurantists are allowed to hold 
sway and why violators of the law are not found and punished. As do 
the politicians, our army men maintain that a foreign hand, or a 
hidden hand, is at play and cannot be found. This is inexcusable.

Oddly, Musharraf's objective listed at number 4 was the premier 
objective of the country's Founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. On August 
11 1947 he told the members of the constituent assembly : "The 
first and foremost thing that I would like to emphasize is this - 
remember that you are a legislative body and have all the powers. 
It therefore places on you the gravest responsibility as to how you 
should take your decisions. The first observation I would like to 
make is this - you will no doubt agree with me that the first duty 
of a government is to maintain law and order, so that the life, 
property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected 
by the state".

The general exercises and possesses more power than any legislative 
body could ever have. Yet people lose their lives, their properties 
are destroyed, and religious beliefs are tampered with. 
Obscurantists and street forces are able to threaten and intimidate 
our military men.

As for the judiciary, it has been so badly mauled that it is unable 
to right itself. Charging those who say this with alleged contempt 
of court helps not a whit. When it comes to justice and 
accountability, the only court which could successfully deal with 
thieves and defaulters such as the Sharifs was the Queen's Bench 
Division of the High Court of Justice in England.

Hudaiba Paper Mills Limited (first defendant), Mian Shahbaz Sharif 
(second defendant), Mian Mohammad Sharif (third defendant), and 
Mian Mohammad Abbas Sharif (fourth defendant), borrowed money from 
Investment Funds Limited, operated by Al-Tawfik Company. A master 
of the court, not even a judge, served an order on the defendants 
on September 4, 1998 and the court attached valuable properties in 
London owned by the Mians : 16, 16A, 17 and 17A Avenfield House at 
117-128 Park Lane, London. End of story. The Mians paid up. The 
loan plus interest, amounting to approximately $450 million, was 
repaid within 16 months.

The master of the court recorded the "consent order" signed by the 
solicitors of both sides on January 25, 2000. The money, the Mians 
say and which we don't believe, was paid back by an Arab "friend" 
of theirs out of mere love and affection. At the request of both 
parties the court ordered that the details of the repayment not be 
disclosed. The lenders and the court were satisfied that justice 
had been done and naturally they had no objection to a "friend" 
paying the debts of a "friend".

The Mians owed almost half a billion dollars which they held abroad 
and which they repaid. How many of us have a "friend" who out of 
love and affection will repay for us our debts totalling millions 
of dollars?

Now to the nitty-gritty of money, the rupee, which once was made up 
of 16 annas, or 64 paisas, or 192 pies. As a schoolboy I was given 
four annas a week as pocket money as were most of my friends. The 
father of a school friend, Rustomjee Perozshah Kharas, an 
auctioneer to the Crown, a man who valued money, used to give the 
same royal sum of four annas to his son, my friend Jhangu Kharas, 
with the admonition "Khajo, peejo, ney majha kerjo, pun kharab 
rastay Napier Road ni turaf jasso tau autey weekay nahin apas". 
(Eat, drink and make merry, but if I find you are straying into the 
wicked Napier Road area you will get nothing next week.)

Our present-day financial wizards Moeen Qureshi (chairman), Sartaj 
Aziz (vice chairman), Professor Doctor Hafiz Pasha (managing 
director), Javed Jabbar (director) and other luminaries and office 
bearers of the Social Policy and Development Centre, core funded by 
the good Canadians, have produced a report for the year 2000. In 
true Pakistani style it is entitled "Social Development in Pakistan 
- Towards Poverty Reduction", when it should have been given the 
title "Bankrupt Pakistan". Apart from this it is a fairly accurate 

Moeen Qureshi is a highly intelligent person who has spent most of 
his life in a civilized society. For three months in 1993 he was 
our caretaker prime minister and it remains beyond my comprehension 
how a man such as he could have succumbed to the charms of Benazir 
Bhutto, that accomplished robber of the people's money, and 
appointed Maula Bakhsh Abbasi, a known confirmed robber, to head 
our then reasonably solvent National Development Finance 
Corporation. Abbasi proceeded to rob the NDFC bone dry and is now 
as can be expected a declared absconder.

Sartaj Aziz, once Nawaz's finance minister, was privy to the 
shenanigans of his boss but did not have the decency to either 
resign or try to do something to prevent Nawaz from robbing.

Hafiz Pasha is a talented man who tried his hand at planning and 
policy-making during Nawaz's second round. He failed and gave up. 
Now he has gone to the UN in New York as an assistant secretary for 
economic affairs. We wish him luck.

How much robbing can the people endure and our country bear ? The 
first paragraph of the synopsis of this report sums it up : "Today, 
46 million people of Pakistan are poor and one in every three 
families is unable to meet its basic requirements of nutrition and 
other needs. During the decade of the '90s [Bhutto/Sharif years] 
the number of poor has increased by as much as 25 million. If 
present trends continue then we expect that within the next three 
years the number of poor will increase by another 14 million and 
approach 60 million, almost 40 per cent of the population. Clearly 
poverty has emerged as the principal problem requiring urgent 
attention if a large-scale social breakdown is to be averted, with 
its concomitant implications for law and order".

For years to come we will remain broke. All the government 
organizations and institutions, many of which do not justify their 
existence, and the armed forces are all living beyond their means. 
The country's revenue earnings amount to some Rs.450 billion per 
year. Debt servicing takes care of around Rs.350 billion and the 
armed forces consume Rs.230 billion (130 b. salaries and other 
recurring expenses ; 50 b. defence spending - tanks, aircraft, 
ships, etc - in Benazir's time this cost us 100 b per year ; 25 b. 
pensions ; 20 b. ISI and paramilitary - 
rangers/coastguards/levies/constabulary ; 5 b. nuclear deterrent, 
capital and recurring).

Any Ataturks in sight ? Moaning and groaning and giving in to 
threatened riots and marches on the capital does not help. Tomorrow 
is the first day of the next millennium. We must thank our stars 
that despite the destroyers of our country who have led us since 
Jinnah died in 1948 we have so far only lost half of it. Now, on 
the foreign affairs front, would it not help if we were to adopt a 
less belligerent posture?

Riotous times
Ayaz Amir

SHOULD the Hamood Report be read as dirge or high drama? The army 
command living it up, General Yahya in thrall to various beauties, 
he and General Hamid conducting the nearest thing we have had to 
bacchanalian orgies, Lt-Gen Niazi (as given to sensual delights as 
his superiors but, coming from Mianwali, somewhat less polished) 
smuggling betel leaves and living it up in Dhaka: this is the stuff 
of Falstaffian comedy.

What is the Hamood Report? Essentially, wisdom after the event. 
When the events of 1970 and 1971 were unfolding most people in the 
know, and this included junior army officers such as myself, had a 
fair idea of how the senior command was disporting itself and 
spending its free time. Tales of copious drinking (Ghalib surely 
would have approved) and other delights abounded. As a captain 
posted in Lahore, where Lt-Gen Niazi was corps commander before 
being sent to liberate East Pakistan, I well remember how the more 
knowledgeable amongst us used to regale each other with stories of 
his escapades with the famous Mrs Saeeda Bokhari of some sector of 

Someone even told me that while visiting his favourite lady the 
Corps Commander, Lahore, was given to wearing calf-length boots, as 
a mark, I would suppose, of his Mianwali machismo. Furthermore, 
that before climbing the stairs to her flat he would make a beeline 
for some nearby bushes and there relieve himself. Festive warlord 
indeed. High boots and relieving oneself in the bushes: try as I 
might I find it hard to work up a patriotic indignation over these 
telling details.

While the Higher Command was thus preparing itself for war, how was 
the political warlord of West Pakistan conducting himself? Zulfikar 
Ali Bhutto was threatening to break the legs of those of his MNAs 
who had the temerity to attend the scheduled National Assembly 
session in Dhaka - whose postponement triggered the chain of events 
which culminated in the surrender ceremony at Paltan Maidan, again 
in Dhaka.

When the drama of it all ended and Bhutto was ensconced in power in 
what remained of Pakistan the search began for scapegoats and the 
readiest to hand were booze and women, Pakistan's humiliation being 
blamed on these kindred vices. In this frenzied orgy of 
righteousness few people chose to consider that in 1971, even if 
Pakistan had been led by a college of cardinals, the same policies 
would have led to much the same disaster. Yahya's drink was first-
rate and his black beauties (there being several in his stable) 
sublime. It is his policies which were to blame.

It is also sobering to remember that those policies were backed by 
the entire West Pakistani establishment, from the mandarinate of 
Islamabad to the great political warlord himself, Zulfikar Bhutto. 
Not only this but the Jamaat-i-Islami, which later became one of 
the most ardent purveyors of the booze-and-women theory of national 
humiliation, was amongst Yahya Khan's foremost supporters. So much 
so that its then chief, Mian Tufail Muhammad, famously said that 
the president was about to give the country an "Islamic" 
constitution. And this when the lights were already closing in on 
the Yahya era. From no single quarter have Pakistan's villains 
sprung. They have come from all sides of the national compass.

The army command's great fault in '71 was to mix up the issues of 
peace and war. If Yahya Khan and his generals had stuck to their 
peacetime vocation of exercising power, the sun would not have set 
so tragically on their wining and dining. But the Fates pushed them 
into the vortex of events they could neither comprehend nor 
control. Even if there had been no Mata Haris at their court they 
would still have been driven on the rocks.

It can be argued of course that booze and women robbed Yahya and 
his coterie of the power of lucid thinking. Maybe so although 
looking at some of the other highpoints of Pakistani history I find 
it hard to subscribe to this theory. How did we stumble into the 
'65 war? Ayub drank moderately and was certainly not given to late-
night trysts with black and other beauties. How did we decide to 
carry out our nuclear tests in May 1998 or, a year later, rush into 
the Kargil adventure? Both decisions, each disastrous in its own 
way, were made in a flush of flaming sobriety.

Caesar was abstemious in food and drink (although less straight in 
the matter of choosing his bed partners). Napoleon hardly tasted 
alcohol. Hitler was a puritan in most matters, including sex. 
Ataturk drank to excess and liked amorous company. Churchill was a 
serious drinker. Stalin was given to all-night drinking orgies in 
the Kremlin. RAF and Luftwaffe pilots in the second world war 
seldom went short of good wine and champagne, none of which 
impaired their fighting ability. Either way the evidence is not 
conclusive. Sobriety is no automatic guarantee of statesmanship, 
drink not always the shortest route to hell. To be sure Yahya 
(lucky devil) was in the arms of his women when he should have been 
studying his war maps. But then Yahya's inclinations were well 
known much before Ayub picked him to be army c-in-c. In normal 
times he would have made a genial commander. It was just his luck 
to be presiding at the high table when adverse winds were driving 
Pakistan into stormy seas.

Maybe the praetorian tradition which is strong in Pakistan is to 
blame. Maybe if democracy had not been derailed civilian leaders 
would not have taken as readily to failed and expensive wars. But 
this is to second-guess history and is like saying that Germany 
would not have plunged into the first world war if the militaristic 
spirit had not been so strong in it. This precisely is the point. 
The baptism of Germany at the hands of Bismarck took place at the 
altar of militarism. How could Germany escape one of the defining 
influences of its birth?

The strength of the praetorian tradition in Pakistan is not because 
of the subverting of democracy. This is too simplistic an 
explanation. In what is now Pakistan the praetorian tradition has 
always been strong. In Ranjit Singh's kingdom, which encompassed 
Punjab and much of the Frontier (and which in these parts was the 
last settled political order before the arrival of the British), 
the most powerful element was the Khalsa army. Being the kingdom's 
mainstay everything else was subordinated to its interests. For 
their part when the British finally annexed Punjab some years after 
the death of Ranjit Singh they introduced a system of 
administration which was more military than civilian.

Henry Lawrence, the man at the epicentre of Punjab events (after 
whom is named Lawrence College in the hills), chose a group of 
brilliant young men as his political assistants: James Abbott 
(after whom we have Abbottabad), Herbert Edwardes (Edwardes 
College, Peshawer), Joe Lumsden (who raised the Guides Cavalry), 
Jack Nicholson (of Nicholson's Monument at the Margalla Pass near 
Taxila), Hodson (of Hodson's Horse) and several others. All of them 
were junior officers of the British Bengal army. They proved great 
administrators but were at heart soldiers. In the relief of Delhi 
during the Sepoy Uprising of 1857 some of these men, especially 
Nicholson, played an important part. What is of interest to us, the 
imprint of their administrative methods long survived them.

The district and police officers of Pakistan may not know much of 
the origin of their services. They may lack the spirit and 
competence of their forebears but to the extent that they have a 
collective unconscious it is haunted by the memory of those shadowy 
figures who imposed British order on the parts which now form the 
Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Democracy and its trappings have 
merely scratched the surface of this more timeless reality.

>From all of which I conclude that whatever Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan 
might say we are not going to be rid of the praetorian tradition in 
Pakistan any time soon. General Musharraf may choose to formally 
retire to the barracks tomorrow but this tradition will continue to 
cast its shadow on our polity. This, to my way of thinking, is the 
grim reality.Even so, if the praetorian tradition is to remain with 
us for some time more (and who knows how long this 'some time' may 
be) why should it not learn to tame the spirit of frivolous 
adventure? Yahya Khan was brought down not by his black beauties 
(to say as much is to do a grave injustice to those women of great 
zest and charm) but by not heeding the wisdom of Horace's words, " 
Brute force bereft of reason falls by its own weight..." For the 
generals of today brute force comes dressed in the garb of 
infallibility which leads them to believe that while everyone else 
in Pakistan is a fool or a scoundrel they alone of God's creation 
know best.

TAILPIECE: Apropos of the great Ranjit Singh, he drank to excess, 
took opium daily and had a stable of mistresses of both sexes. His 
durbar was the scene of greater licentiousness than Yahya Khan 
could ever have imagined. Yet he was a great ruler because he knew 
where to draw the line and for as long as he lived did not cross 
swords with the British except in peace.

The battle for hearts and minds
Irfan Husain 

LAST Christmas, a suicide bomber blew himself and a number of 
Indian soldiers up in Srinagar. Since this type of attack has been 
unusual in the Kashmir conflict, there was some speculation about 
the bomber's identity.

According to a recent edition of The Asian Age, a certain Sheikh 
Omar Bakri Mohammad, leader of the London-based Al Muhajiroon 
group, has claimed to have recruited Mohammad Bilal, 24, for the 
attack. According to him, Bilal's brother and cousins have also 
been trained by his group, and his parents were "proud of their 
son's sacrifice." Apparently, Bilal was recruited in 1994, and has 
spent much of his time in Pakistan since then, receiving weapons 
training as well as participating in several raids into Indian 

Omar Bakri has told the press that he and his group have recruited 
over 600 Britons (presumably of Pakistani descent) in universities 
and mosques to fight in Kashmir. He also finances Al-Maddad which, 
with other groups, recruits around 2,000 young men from all over 
Britain. According to him, these volunteers are sent abroad for 
training to Pakistan, South Africa, Nigeria or Afghanistan where 
they learn of "weapons and explosives."

Such recruiting, funding and training activities are being targeted 
in Britain by a new anti-terrorism law that is expected to be 
enacted in February. Under the new law, police will have far-
reaching powers to prevent groups from supporting and launching 
terrorist acts from British soil. This law makes no distinction 
between 'jihad', just freedom struggles and straightforward 
terrorism. Once the law is passed, people like Omar Bakri can be 
prosecuted and jailed.

As this law will also prohibit exiles from inciting supporters to 
violence in other countries, presumably Altaf Hussain and the MQM, 
among others, will be affected. Indeed, a number of countries - 
Pakistan among them - have long protested that self-styled British-
based exiles have escaped justice at home, and are abusing liberal 
British laws to exhort their supporters to acts of terrorism. Given 
tough extradition requirements, politicians can (and do) sit in 
London and live off their ill-gotten gains issuing statements 
critical of their rivals. As long as they do not break British law, 
they can indulge in all sorts of subversive activities aimed at 
governments in their home countries. But the new law will at least 
discourage residents from using British soil to recruit and train 

However, apart from the legal aspects of such activities, people 
like Omar Bakri and his cohorts have inflicted serious damage to 
race relations in Britain. To be told that not only was a suicide 
bomber recruited and trained in their country, but his parents are 
actually proud of his act, is to reinforce the worst impression the 
British have of Muslims generally, and of Pakistanis in particular. 
Suicide is considered a sin in both Islam and Christianity. It is 
therefore difficult for westerners to empathize with parents who 
profess to feel pride when their son blows himself up along with 
soldiers from a country generally admired in the West. Indeed, 
there is scarcely any other act that would cause as much revulsion 
as suicide bombing. It should not surprise us when Pakistan's cause 
in the Kashmir conflict receives little support abroad.

As it is, there is so much that divides orthodox Muslims from their 
white, Christian neighbours. The real and perceived injustice meted 
out to women in some Islamic communities is a constant source of 
misunderstanding and friction. When Britons read about young Muslim 
girls being forced to marry against their will, they have reason to 
be unsympathetic to a patriarchal culture where parents can decide 
their children's future without any semblance of free choice.

Secularism is now so deeply ingrained in the western psyche that 
even well-travelled, liberal people have a problem in understanding 
a society where every action in a believer's life is dictated by 
faith. When Afghan Taliban refuse to allow women access to a doctor 
in the name of Islam, the most tolerant westerner is revolted. So 
when the United Nations slap fresh sanctions on the Taliban, nobody 
protests. And when successive Pakistani governments persecute 
religious minorities, it is not difficult to see why we have such a 
bad image abroad.

The bottom line here is that right or wrong, good or bad, Muslim 
countries generally have a very bad press in the West. From oil-
rich Arabs to the bigots everywhere, Muslims have acquired a very 
poor image. By losing the propaganda war-virtually by default - 
Muslim countries and causes have lost the support of powerful 
western nations and institutions. Apart from the grim human-rights 
record most Muslim countries have piled up, very few of them have 
democratic practices or institutions. All these factors have 
combined over time to ensure permanent tension between Islam and 
the West.

Against this backdrop, when people like Omar Bakri openly boast of 
recruiting thousands of young men to fight friendly countries 
abroad, we should be prepared for a backlash. Today it is an anti-
terrorist bill; tomorrow it can be tougher sanctuary and exile 
laws. Or legislation can make it harder for immigrants to get 
citizenship in Britain. And before we talk about racism, let us 
remember that Saudi Arabia and the UAE hardly ever accord 
citizenship to foreigners, no matter how long they have been 
resident in these countries.

Muslims across the world are resentful - often with good reason - 
of the hostility they attract in the West. When a white American 
blew up a public building killing scores of innocent people, the 
first reaction was to accuse Muslim terrorists. Such racial 
profiling has been criticized, but given prevalent threat 
perceptions among western security forces, acts like the Srinagar 
suicide bombing will only reinforce and sharpen existing 

At least half of all freedom struggles are aimed at swinging public 
opinion around to the side of the oppressed. This is especially 
important when there is no realistic chance of military victory. 
However, misguided extremists attack the innocent as they are seen 
as soft targets, thereby losing popular support for their cause. 
This makes the task of security officers easier as they can use the 
most oppressive means and justify them as necessary to fight a 
cruel foe. In this mounting cycle of violence, diplomacy and public 
relations fall by the wayside.

Omar Bakri and his followers and supporters would do well to 
remember that the battle for hearts and minds is not won by suicide 

Pakistan wants to make tri-nation series annual event
By Our Sports Reporter

KARACHI, Dec 31: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has requested the 
International Cricket Council (ICC) for some flexibility in the 10-
year schedule which will be discussed and approved at Melbourne in 

A spokesman of the board said the ICC has been requested to keep 
the provision for an additional team each year to assist Pakistan 
organize a triangular one-day competition.

The tournament will be staged in accordance with the format of 
Australia where the third team visits for the tournament if it is 
not playing a Test series there. Pakistan has also shown interest 
in hosting two home series' with the triangular tournament 
sandwiched between the two rubbers.

Last year, Pakistan and India competed in the Australian event 
while this year Zimbabwe will be the third nation to join the West 
Indies and the home team.

Pakistan last organized a triangular competition is 1994 which was 
also played Australia and South Africa. In 1997, a quadrangular 
competition to celebrate country's 50 years of independence was 

"We want to make the triangular tournament an annual feature. It 
would not only result in financial gains, it would also help us 
distribute the games equally to all the centres. Need not to say 
that cricket will flourish," the spokesman said.

The official added that the PCB would also press the ICC to make 
available a standby team or compensate for the financial loses if 
India refuses to tour Pakistan. According to the 10-year programme, 
India are scheduled to visit Pakistan thrice. The cancellation of 
next year's series here has already incurred a $15 million loss to 

SELECTION POLICY: On an another front, chairman of selectors Wasim 
Bari said the fitness and form of some of the key national players 
would be monitored before they are considered for the tour of New 
Zealand in February.

"We would see Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Mohammad Akram, Saqlain 
Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmad, Younis Khan in action before deciding if 
they are worth retaining or regaining their places in the team," 
Bari conceded.

Some of these players are expected to figure in the Patron's Trophy 
which commence from January 26 as they are not entitled to play in 
the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy for not being registered by their parent 

The players will get at least two rounds to prove their form and 
fitness as it is expected that the board would organize a 
reconditioning camp from Feb 7. The team departs on Feb 12 for New 
Zealand for three Tests and five one-day internationals.

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