------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 17 March 2001 Issue : 07/11 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Pakistan not to be first one to resume N-testing: FM + Small dams all over country planned: CE + Balance of power among objectives, No interim setup in offing: CE + Musharraf to meet politicians on CTBT: Consensus to be sought + UN chief refuses to meet APHC leaders + A political conviction: counsel + Law to ban sectarian groups proposed + Reforms reversion to be blocked: CE + Sovereignty to be safeguarded, says Musharraf + Jam elected chief of like-minded group + PAF to acquire F-7 aircraft from China + Religious fanaticism to be curbed: Musharraf + Pakistan Navy test-fires 2 missiles + Moin fails to convince Taliban + Torkham closed after firing --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Pakistan economy rated as fifth riskiest + WB to help Pakistan, says official + No rise in defence budget: minister + CE calls for 25-30pc growth in exports + Trading volume nosedives at KSE + Govt to reward tax detectors + Tinplate importers to meet CE + 22pc increase in revenue collection + Petroleum prices cut by 17%: Unified rates for remote areas + KSE top companies awards: CE sees GDP at 4pc, exports $9.5bn + Pakistan seeks $6 billion soft-term loans + Change in monetary policy unlikely --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Tsunam Ardeshir Cowasjee + Mahmud and Ayaz Ayaz Amir + The limits of sovereignty Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Wasim stabs Moin in the back

Pakistan not to be first one to resume N-testing: FM
Omar R. Quraishi

TOKYO, March 15: Foreign Minister Abdus Sattar said here on 
Thursday that Pakistan would "never be the first one" to resume 
nuclear testing.

Addressing a press conference at the Japan Press Club, preceding a 
meeting with the Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono, the Mr 
Sattar said that Pakistan was in favour of a no-first use of 
nuclear weapons but that it retained the right to use, defensively, 
conventional weapons.

In his opening statement, the minister said that Pakistan had 
"voted in favour" of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) since 
1996 but given what happened to the country in 1971 it was 
difficult to build public opinion on this. However, he said, this 
is precisely what the government is trying to do.

Responding to a question whether there was any possibility that the 
treaty might be signed in the near future and whether it was linked 
to India's signing, the minister said that Pakistan was not linking 
its decision to India's decision to sign or not sign though "it 
would help build consensus in Pakistan if other countries" went the 
CTBT route.

Referring to his meeting with newspaper editors in Lahore recently, 
Mr Sattar said that he had told them (the editors) that signing the 
CTBT was in the national interest.

In reference to the country's nuclear programme the minister said 
that the sole reason for its birth was to prevent anything like 
what happened in 1971 when the country was dismembered into two.

TALIBAN: Responding to several questions regarding Pakistan's 
Afghan policy and the recent demolition of the Buddha statues in 
Bamiyan, the minister said that anyone who thought Pakistan had a 
lot of influence over Afghanistan had better think again. He, 
however, said that had the western powers been more engaged with 
Afghanistan, it was possible that they, working with Pakistan, 
might have been able to do more to save the statues.

KASHMIR: The minister did not directly answer a question referring 
to Pakistan's policy vis-a-vis attacks by freedom fighters in Held 
Kashmir and how these attacks would affect Gen Musharraf's offer 
for dialogue with India. The minister said that comprehensive peace 
proposals had been sent to New Delhi as long ago as Dec 2 of last 
year, but Pakistan was still waiting on that.

Small dams all over country planned: CE

ISLAMABAD, March 13: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf on 
Tuesday said many small dams costing about Rs200 billion would be 
built at various sites in the four provinces to address the water 
shortage problem.

He was responding to a question asked by a woman councillor at the 
concluding session of women councillors' convention here.

Gen Musharraf said it was not right to think that construction of 
only Kalabagh dam could fulfil the irrigation and power generation 
needs of the country.

He said instead of insisting on building Kalabagh Dam in the 
presence of reservations of Sindh and the NWFP provinces, the 
government had decided to prepare feasibility for small dams like 
Hingol Dam in Balochistan, Gomal Zam Dam in the NWFP and Sehwan Dam 
in Sindh.-APP

Balance of power among objectives, No interim setup in offing: CE

KARACHI, March 15: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf on Thursday 
ruled out the possibility of any interim setup in the country.

"I keep reading about it but there is nothing of the sort," he said 
while speaking at a gathering of cross-section of opinion leaders 
at the 5 Corps Auditorium in Karachi.

About roadmap of the present government, the chief executive said 
that such rhetorics should be stopped as there was no such roadmap.

He said we would adhere to the Supreme Court decision regarding 
October 2002 and this is our roadmap and strategy. "We are not 
going to do anything in between and the Supreme Court decision will 
be adhered to."

The chief executive said: "we will initiate steps for continuity, 
balance of power, ensuring national interests supreme." He said, 
"all these are before us and you will have to wait for sometime for 
how we are going to achieve these. We will let you know about this 
in a short time as to how we will ensure all this".

"We have the ideas in mind. We are further analyzing and maturing 
the ideas. We will bring in checks and balances which will ensure 
economic activity in Pakistan".

The direction and the path we have set will be followed in future, 
he added.

About sectarian problem, the chief executive said some drastic 
decisions have been taken but have not been announced. He said some 
elements would have to be banned but before this steps will be 
taken for effective implementation procedure.

He said in this regard a backup will be provided within a legal 
framework after examining various pros and cons for which the 
federal law minister has been assigned the task to work out, in 
consultation with the Chief Justice, within a week as to which 
ordinance or law is to be framed that could provide backup support 
for speedy trial.

He said the government wants to frame a new law under which wanted 
elements are caught on fast track and tried.

The chief executive said that his government would change the 
"political structure and culture" in the country by empowering the 
people with administrative authority and financial autonomy under 
the local government system to have control on running their 
affairs at the district and grassroots level.

"We will ensure balance of power. At present there are no 
constitutional remedies to political problems. For this there is 
need to amend the constitution, and this would be done by eliciting 
public opinion."

"My government will make sure that our system stays in place and is 
not changed in future," Gen Musharraf emphasized.

The CE said that display of weapons had been banned but it was not 
an easy task to deweaponise the whole of Pakistan.- APP/PPI

Musharraf to meet politicians on CTBT: Consensus to be sought
Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, March 16: The chief executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, 
would start holding meetings with politicians next month to forge 
consensus for signing the CTBT as early as possible.

Informed sources told Dawn on Friday that the CE had assured the 
Debt Reduction and Management Committee that the government would 
soon be signing the CTBT to become eligible for increased 
international assistance.

During a presentation given at a recent cabinet meeting by Dr 
Pervez Hasan, chairman of the debt committee, the CE had said that 
the government had, in principle, decided to sign the treaty and 
that it was being delayed only to achieve consensus.

Gen Musharraf had said that he would start inviting people from all 
walks of life, particularly politicians, next month to discuss with 
them the issues concerning the CTBT. The chairman of the debt 
committee and its members had called for signing the treaty with a 
view to removing international sanctions against Pakistan.

"The CE gave a patient hearing to the members of the debt committee 
and fully agreed with them that the treaty should be signed without 
wasting any more time," a source said.

The cabinet was told that Japan was still opposing the lifting of 
sanctions against Pakistan and wanted G-7 countries not to be 
lenient over the issue.

Sources said that Germany and England had been backing efforts for 
restoration of aid to Pakistan but they were facing opposition by 
Japan due to which it was becoming difficult for G-7 to take any 
decision in favour of Islamabad.

Dr Hasan did not raise the CTBT issue in his report, but he stated 
at the cabinet meeting that now when the country's internal and 
external debt had reached $60 billion, Pakistan was making its case 
further difficult by not signing the CTBT. Signing of the treaty, 
he added, would help expedite foreign assistance to the country.

"Pakistan has to acquire $10 billion - $6 billion soft-term loans 
and $4 billion debt relief by the Paris Club - to pay off its $21 
billion foreign liability in the next four years. This objective 
can only be achieved if the government decides to go for signing of 
the CTBT," Dr Hasan was quoting as having said at the meeting.

UN chief refuses to meet APHC leaders

NEW DELHI, March 16: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan declined to 
meet leaders of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, saying his 
schedule was too full to accommodate them, APHC leader Abdul Ghani 
Lone told Dawn on Friday.

Indian media described Mr Annan's refusal as a snub to the APHC's 
claim to represent the people of occupied Kashmir.

The excuse offered by the UN chief was all the more baffling since 
he was forced to cancel some of his appointments, including a 
meeting with Defence Minister George Fernandes on Friday after the 
minister's resignation over a raging arms scandal a day earlier.

Mr Annan was allotted some time in the parliament galleries to 
witness the functioning of the world's most populous democracy, but 
in vain as the parliament could not meet, again because of the arms 

"He has expressed regret because of paucity of time," Mr Lone said 
with disbelief. "We, of course, knew much before that there would 
be no meeting. That is the unfortunate reality."

Referring to Mr Annan's remarks during his visit to Pakistan in 
which he had expressed the UN's helplessness to intervene directly 
in the Kashmir issue, Mr Lone said those remarks were a reflection 
of the UN's flagging interest in the suffering of Kashmiris.

"We know that if you are powerful and America is with you, you 
stand a better chance of getting justice," the APHC leader, camping 
here for the meeting with Mr Annan, said.

Mr Lone said that more than 80,000 people had been killed in 
Kashmir's battle against the Indian rule. "The UN charter speaks on 
behalf of people like us, we have a say and a legitimate human 
rights case apart from a political quest. We are sorry that this 
does not seem to have occurred to the world community."

An Indian news agency reported Mr Annan's refusal to meet the 
Kashmiri leaders thus: "In a rebuff to the Hurriyat Conference, 
which claims to be a principal party to the Kashmir dispute, United 
Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Friday declined to give an 
audience to its representative Abdul Ghani Lone.

"Hurriyat Conference had made a request at the United Nations 
office and Ministry of External Affairs to meet Annan during his 
three-day stay in the country," it said.

A political conviction: counsel
Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, March 16: Raja Anwar, counsel for Benazir Bhutto, on 
Friday argued that his client was convicted only because Nawaz 
Sharif, the then prime minister, wanted her to leave politics.

Addressing a seven-member SC bench, hearing appeals of Benazir 
Bhutto and Asif Zardari against their conviction, Raja Anwar argued 
that the Ehtesab Bench, comprising Justice Malik Qayyum and Justice 
Najmul Hasan Kazmi, had convicted his client on the basis of 
documents which were inadmissible.

The process of awarding pre-shipment inspection contract which was 
set in motion in 1992 during the Nawaz Sharif government, 
culminated in 1994, the counsel said.

The counsel said there was no violation of Financial Rules of the 
Government of Pakistan in the award of tenders. He said tenders 
could only be rejected after assigning any reasons in writing.

When he referred to rule 90 of Pakistan's Financial Rules, Justice 
Bashir Jehangiri observed that in Pakistan every contract was 
awarded in violation of rules. At the end of every tender notice it 
was written that the competent authority reserved the right to 
reject the bids without assigning any reason.

He said his client did not grant the contract, rather it approved 
it. The contract was awarded by Nawaz Sharif who had issued letter 
of intent before he was removed from office.

The seven-member bench consists of Justice Bashir Jehangiri, 
Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmad, Justice Munir A. Sheikh, Justice Nazim 
Hussain Siddiqui, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Qazi 
Mohammad Farooq, and Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar.

Responding to court's question about Jens Schlegelmilch's stay in 
Islamabad in Aug 1994, Raja Anwer said that there was nothing on 
record to show that the alleged frontman of Asif Zardari, Jens 
Schlegelmilch, met Benazir Bhutto.

Justice Nazim Hussain Siddiqui observed whether it was possible for 
any official to investigate the sitting prime minister, the counsel 
said that his client was not prime minister at the time when 
investigations were being conducted.

On conclusion of the proceedings on Friday, the court asked Raja 
Anwer to conclude his arguments by Monday as many other cases are 
suffering because of lengthy hearing of the case. The counsel, who 
had earlier indicated that he would conclude by Friday, said that 
he needed at least one more day to conclude his arguments.

Raja Anwer assured the court that he would conclude his arguments 
by Monday next. The court will resume hearing on Monday, March 19.

Law to ban sectarian groups proposed
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, March 14: A joint meeting of the federal cabinet and the 
National Security Council (NSC) here on Wednesday approved the 
formulation of a stern law to take action against organizations and 
groups involved in sectarian terrorism.

The proposed law to be presented at the next cabinet meeting would 
also provide for banning of such organizations.

The meeting, presided over by Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf, 
also directed the provincial governments to strictly implement the 
ban on the display of arms, making of inflammatory speeches and 
statements and actions in any way encouraging sectarian violence. 
All such offenders will be arrested immediately and proceeded 

The cabinet approved the recommendations of the task force on 
sectarian harmony to eliminate the menace of sectarian terrorism 
from the country.

The recommendations are:

A commission on religious harmony comprising minister for religious 
affairs as chairman, leading ulema and Heads of Wafaq of Deeni 
Madaris (Wafaq-ul-Madaris) as members and minister for interior as 
official member will be constituted for continuous consultations.

Boards consisting of different sects to be constituted at tehsil, 
district, division and provincial levels for promotion of 
sectarian/communal harmony.

Establishment of special task forces at provincial level to deal 
with sectarian terrorism.

Conciliation committees to be established at the provincial level 
headed by the respective home secretary with leaders of both the 
sects and members to sift sectarian cases in order to identify 
innocent people falsely implicated and seek their release.

Media to be encouraged to play an effective role in combating the 
menace of sectarian terrorism.

Action to be taken against those religious leaders/workers who make 
provocative speeches and raise derogatory slogans against opposite 

Reforms reversion to be blocked: CE

KARACHI, March 14: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf said on 
Wednesday that a package will be introduced to ensure that no 
future government can undo economic and political reforms being 
introduced by the government.

He also announced that the government would move against 
sectarianism in a strong way and warned that religious extremism 
would not be tolerated at any cost.

Speaking at the "22nd Top Companies Award 1999" of Karachi Stock 
Exchange here, the chief executive said majority of the people were 
moderate whose voice should be heard. "We will eliminate the 
extremism", he said.

Gen Musharraf said action will be taken after resolving the legal 
bottlenecks of the proposed plan so that extremism could be 
controlled effectively.

"There may be some problems in the beginning," he said but hoped 
that the government would overcome them. He said sectarianism and 
religious extremism were the cause of concern for sane elements 
within the country and abroad.

Referring to political reforms, he said: "We will introduce a 
check- and-balance system and ensure that a constitutional answer 
is available for all future political problems of the country".

He said the government would ensure restructuring of the system and 
take necessary steps so that no future government could reverse it.

He said: "If an organisation is not functioning well and have 
serious defects then you carry out reforms but if the system is 
cancerous, you have to restructure it by carrying out strategic 
changes in the system which takes sometime."

He said: "We may not be able to attain to attain maximum objective 
but we will set the direction to achieve it and not allow future 
governments to reverse the system."

Sovereignty to be safeguarded, says Musharraf

ISLAMABAD, March 14 : Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf has said 
Pakistan is a progressive and moderate Islamic state, with no 
aggressive designs but will take all necessary measures to ensure 
its integrity and sovereignty.

"Pakistan desires peaceful coexistence with all its neighbours in 
the region. It will, however, take all necessary measures to guard 
its integrity and sovereignty," he said while addressing a 
delegation of Pakistan Development Forum members which called on 
him on Wednesday.

According to an official statement, Gen Musharraf gave a detailed 
overview of the prevailing geo-political environment in the region 
and enumerated the various steps taken by the government of 
Pakistan for initiation of dialogue with India and for defusing 
tension in the region.

"The ball is now in India's court," he stated.-APP

Jam elected chief of like-minded group
Saleem Shahid

QUETTA, March 14: The provincial council of the Pakistan Muslim 
League (like-minded group), Balochistan, elected Jam Yousuf as 
provincial president here on Wednesday.

Jam Yousuf was elected unopposed and was empowered by the council 
to nominate other office-bearers of the party, including the 
provincial general-secretary, till March 30, with the consultation 
of senior party leaders and workers.

Senior PML leaders, including Asad Junejo, Zafarullah Jamali, 
Sardar Atif Sanjrani, Mian Ijaz Waheed, Malik Sarwar Kakar, Saeed 
Ahmed Hashmi, Mir Abdul Karim Nausherwani, Jam Mohammad Akbar and 
Sardar Nisar Ali Hazara, also attended the meeting.

The name of Jam Yousuf was proposed for the top slot by Sardar 
Mohammad Yousaf Jogezai, while Dr Faqir Mohammad Jamal Nasir and 
Chaudhry Shabir Ahmed backed him in the provincial council meeting, 
which was held here at Muslim League provincial headquarters. The 
outgoing provincial president, Syed Fazal Agha, presided over the 

No other candidate filed nomination papers for the top slot against 
Jam Yousaf. About 122 out of 151 members of the provincial council 
expressed their confidence in the leadership of Jam Yousuf.

It is interesting to note that PML(N) group leader, Sardar Yaqoob 
Khan Nasir, was claiming till last night that Syed Fazal Agha was 
loyal to Nawaz Sharif and the provincial council of Nawaz group 
would repose confidence in him as the provincial president.

Syed Fazal Agha, who was appointed governor and party president by 
Nawaz Sharif, was underground for the last one week. He showed up 
at the council meeting, surrounded by armed guards.

The like-minded group claimed that 131 provincial councillors 
attended the meeting and supported the election of the new 
provincial chief of the party. However, only 122 councillors were 
seen in the meeting. Sources said that 12 out of 151 provincial 
councillors had passed away.

PAF to acquire F-7 aircraft from China

KARACHI, March 13: Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mushaf 
Ali Mir, has said that PAF is in the process of acquiring F-7 PG 
aircraft from China. The critical deficiency of a hi-tech aircraft 
in our force structure remains to be redressed, he said.

Addressing the participants of the Air War College at PAF Base, 
Faisal on Tuesday, the Air Chief said as an interim solution, old 
Mirages have been purchased from various sources and upgraded to 
meet current technology requirements.

Air Marshal Mir said various options have been studied and the 
government has been approached to consider the acquisition of a hi-
tech weapon system as soon as the economic conditions allow.

Air Marshal Mir said the PAF is fully capable to inflict 
significant damage upon the enemy and can effectively execute the 
mission assigned to it.-APP

Religious fanaticism to be curbed: Musharraf
Ahmad Fraz Khan

LAHORE, March, 12: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf declared on 
Monday that stringent measures would be taken to control religious 
fanaticism as it had brought no credit to Islam or the country.

He was addressing 16th annual lunch meeting of the Council of 
Pakistan Editors here at a local hotel. "These outfits have harmed 
the country internally and distorted its image externally. I don't 
want to go into the details of the steps being envisaged by the 
government, but some tough measures are certainly on the cards 
during the next cabinet meeting on 14th. The meeting will also 
bring the oil prices down to pass on the decrease in international 
price to the consumers," he said.

Gen Musharraf also appealed to journalists and the people in 
general to stop insisting on the construction of the Kalabagh dam 
as it was, according to him, creating a national crisis by 
alienating two provinces.

Terming the economy his number one priority, he unveiled, what he 
called, a fast track economic revival plan and promised to pursue 
it with single-mindedness.

Dilating upon his plan, Gen Musharraf told his audience that there 
were three main budget guzzling expenditure - debt servicing, 
defence and the task of running of the government.

In order to revive the economy we have to manoeuvre some money from 
among these three sectors. Given the threat perception from India 
and its yearly increase in defence budget, we can hardly afford to 
cut defence expenditure beyond a point.

Even if we do, it cannot be substantial enough to give us an 
economic breather. So is establishment expenditure. This leaves us 
only option of reducing our debt servicing. If we can replace our 
high interest rate borrowing with low or zero interest, we have 
chance for economic viability.

He said he had personally spoken to President Hosni Mubbarak of 
Egypt, Prince Karim Aga Khan, Saudi Prince Abdullah and all of them 
had promised help. This is the only light at the end of economic 
tunnel, he remarked.

On the domestic front, he said the government had identified three 
main areas, i.e. agriculture, small and medium-sized industry and 
information technology. He said information technology had the 
potential to take care of the urban middle class unemployed youths.

"During last six months, I have been told by the minister for 
science and technology, that 6,000 students were trained in IT and 
all of them have got jobs," Gen Musharraf said.

Continuing, he said agriculture could play the same role in rural 
areas. At present it was facing water shortage, but efforts were on 
to build dams to store more water for farmers. The government was 
concentrating on tea and edible oil production. Both consumed a 
combined foreign exchange of $2billion. Once the import bill is 
brought under control, more money would be available for this 
sector, he assured.

Investment in the social sector, as being demanded by the press and 
some segments of civil society, promised long-term benefits, but 
the country needed short-term and quick results which could be 
expected from IT and agriculture.

Pakistan Navy test-fires 2 missiles 

KARACHI, March 10: Pakistan Navy on Saturday successfully test-
fired two missiles of the Exocest family.

SM-39, a subsurface-to-surface missile, was launched from the 
newly-acquired Agosta sub 90-B PNS/M Khalid, and AM-39, which is 
the air-launched version of the same missile, from Atlantic 
aircraft. Both missiles were fired from near optimum range on to 
the target which was a decommissioned gearing class DD that later 
sank, said a PN spokesman.

The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Abdul Aziz Mirza, who was 
present onboard a ship, expressed satisfaction on the successful 
conduct of the exercise in the North Arabian Sea, some 80 nautical 
miles south-west of Karachi.

"Pakistan Navy stands committed to safeguarding the vital national 
interests at sea, and is firm in its resolve to defend the 
motherland from aggression," he said.

 Briefing newsmen at PNS Mehran, the ISPR director of Pakistan 
Navy, Captain Zafar Iqbal, said that PNS/M Khalid was commissioned 
into the PN in September 1999 and this was the first time that SM-
39 missile firing had been conducted from that platform.

Capt Iqbal said that successful firing of SM-39 from a submerged 
submarine had added tremendously to the anti-surface capabilities 
of Pakistan Navy.

Referring to the second missile, he said that AM-39 was fired from 
a recently modernized PN Atlantic, which had been retrofitted with 
state-of-the-art sensors.

Moin fails to convince Taliban

ISLAMABAD, March 10: Taliban chief Mulla Mohammad Omar told 
Interior Minister Moinuddin Haider on Saturday that his decision to 
destroy pre-Islamic statues was "irrevocable," the Afghan Islamic 
Press (AIP) reported.

"We cannot back down on the edict given by the religious scholars 
on the issue of statues," the privately-run AIP quoted Mulla Omar 
as telling Mr Haider at his headquarters in Kandahar.

The interior minister had asked the Taliban leader to review his 
decision on the destruction of the statues.

Taliban's senior spokesman Abdul Hayee Motmain quoted Mulla Omar as 
saying that "the destruction of statues and artefacts will continue 
in line with the edict of our religious scholars." 

Mulla Omar told Mr Haider, "the edict of religious scholars is the 
basic principle of Afghanistan and we cannot renege on it". He also 
told Mr Haider, "it is 100 per cent a religious issue strictly 
related to our internal affairs".

An APP report from Islamabad said the Taliban authorities on 
Saturday told Pakistan that it was not possible for them to review 
the decision to destroy statues in Afghanistan.

Mulla Mohammad Omar told Mr Haider and his delegation that the 
decision was taken after giving due consideration to all aspects of 
the issue, said a Foreign Office spokesman in a statement here.

Torkham closed after firing
Ismail Khan

PESHAWAR, March 13: Pakistan on Tuesday closed the Pakistan-Afghan 
border at Torkham, following a shooting incident by a Taliban 
border guard, officials said.

The official said that a Taliban border guard following a scuffle 
with Pakistani guards posted at the border checkpost 63km. The 
Afghan guard pulled out a pistol and fired a single shot at 01pm. 

Officials at Torkham said they did not know what caused the 

Angry Afghans waiting to be allowed entry into Pakistan pelted 
stones on the Pakistani border guards. "We exercised restraint and 
did not retaliate," the official said. He said that several Afghans 
who had forced their way into Pakistan following the incident had 
been held and charged under the Pakistani laws.

The official said that the border remained closed until 06pm, the 
official border closing time. "The matter has been brought to the 
notice of the higher authorities and we are waiting for further 
instructions," the official said.

Pakistani border authorities have asked the Taliban to surrender 
the man involved in the shooting incident. The Taliban, though 
regretted the incident, have refused to oblige saying that the man 
has been arrested and would be tried under the Afghan laws. An 
official said this was the second serious incident this week.

Pakistan economy rated as fifth riskiest
Masood Haider

NEW YORK, March 16: Despite government's efforts to persuade the 
international businesses to invest in Pakistan, the country 
continues to be rated as one of the riskiest economies of the 

In the latest quarterly survey by The Economist which assesses the 
risks of investing in 100 countries, Pakistan is rated as the fifth 
riskiest country to invest in, preceded only by Iraq, Myanmar, 
Kenya, and Indonesia.

The Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) criteria includes a 
country's political structure, economic policies, sovereign data 
risk and the state of banking system. The EIU publishes its 
findings every four months.

Besides the political instability in Pakistan, with the army rule 
in force, the latest reports of Shari or Riba banking law as 
mandated by Shariat court is also inhibiting the already scared 

Many investors were burned in 1998 when former prime minister Nawaz 
Sharif's government decided to freeze all foreign exchange accounts 
in the wake of nuclear tests by India and Pakistan.

Another reason for the poor investment ratings for Pakistan is due 
to the fact that the Western media is full of reports about the 
fear of extremist forces in Pakistan, which they contend are 
gaining strength which may bring Taliban-like system in the 

Although Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz has assured the investors 
that their investment would be safe and not subject to Riba banking 
laws but past experience has made the investors shy due to 
fragility of the economic system.

The Financial Times in a report points out that "Pakistan's 
previous military rulers tried similarly to create a new political 
order in the hope of taking away powers from the country's top 
political families. 

They were suspected by politicians, however, of trying to create a 
lobby of supporters which would remain intact even under a civilian 
government. But the eventual departure of the generals was followed 
by the return of the very same people they wanted to sideline, only 
proving to many that building a new political order is much easier 
said than done."

General Musharraf faces the added problem of being the first 
military ruler who must contend with the pressures unleashed by a 
weak economy, in contrast with previous military rulers who oversaw 
large sums of western aid flowing into the country, the paper said.

WB to help Pakistan, says official
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, March 12: Ms Mieko Nishimizu, Vice President of the 
World Bank for South Asian Region, said here on Monday that 
Pakistan was facing a crisis of governance which was threatening 
social justice, harmony and the very soul of the nation.

In her opening remarks at the three-day Pakistan Development Forum 
(PDF) meeting, she said that she agreed with Chief Executive Gen 
Pervez Musharraf that "Pakistan today stands at the crossroads of 
its destiny which is in our hands to make or break".

"These are frightening words that speak honesty of a crisis of a 
nation. I recall sharing his sentiments. A crisis of governance, 
corroding the nation's economy, finances, and once proud 
institutions. A crisis of governance, distorting the distribution 
of income, wealth and human capital. 

"A crisis of governance, threatening social justice, harmony, and 
the very soul of the nation - hope and happiness of the sovereign 
people of Pakistan," she said.

However, the World Bank vice president, who is considered in the 
donor community as Pakistan's friend, said that her bank was ready 
to help Pakistan overcome its various crises and that the purpose 
of holding the PDF meeting in Islamabad was to directly understand 
the problems the country was facing.

She also pointed out that the peace and security in South Asia was 
a significant factor for the world. "I view this region as one 
"equaliser" for global economic and political relations, involving, 
many nations including China, Russia, as well as the Islamic 
World," she added.

No rise in defence budget: minister 
Nasir Jamal

 LAHORE, March 15: Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz on Thursday said 
the government did not want to raise its defence spending in the 
real terms in the next budget but an increase could not be ruled 

"We want to maintain the defence budget at the current level in the 
real terms after factoring in the impact of inflation. But it may 
be increased. I can't say anything (right now). It will be known 
only when the budget (for the financial year 2001-02) is 
announced," the minister told a questioner at his press briefing 
here at a computer college.

To a question, he admitted that some donors had called for taking 
measures for enduring peace in South Asia and Afghanistan at the 
three-day meeting of the Pakistan Development Forum (PDF) that 
concluded in Islamabad on Wednesday. However, he said, this issue 
did not come up for discussion as such during the meeting. "The 
participants and ambassadors of some of the donor countries did 
discuss it in their meeting with Chief Executive Gen Pervez 
Musharraf," he said.

He reiterated Pakistan's position on the issue of peace in the 
region, saying "the government was committed to peace but would not 
compromise on our dignity, honour and sovereignty".

CE calls for 25-30% growth in exports

KARACHI, March 15: Chief Executive, General Pervez Musharraf, 
Thursday called for a 25 to 30 per cent annual growth in Pakistan's 
export target which, he said, at $10 billion at present was very 

"Although we are sure to create a new record in the country's 
export history, I am not complacent to this achievement" he said 
while speaking at the inauguration of Pakistan Hand Knotted Carpet 
Exhibition '2001, here at Expo Centre. The exhibition was jointly 
organised by Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters 
Association and Export Promotion Bureau.

Acting Sindh Governor, Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed, Corps Commander, 
Lt Gen Muzaffar Husain Usmani, Commerce Minister Abdul Razzak 
Dawood, EPB chairman Tariq Ikram and other senior officials besides 
a large number of foreign buyers also attended the ceremony.

"When I look to Malaysian exports of $70 billion and other Far 
Eastern countries with the exports of 30 to 40 billion dollars 
annually, Pakistan's target of $10 billion seems to be very small". 
the Chief Executive said.

Pakistan, he pointed out, has all the capacity to increase its 

"We have human and other resources. Why can't we increase our 
exports by leap and bound", he said and added that not by 10 to 12 
per cent but at least 25 to 30 per cent every year.

"If we work harder, I am sure, we will be able to achieve this 

He asked the exporters and government machinery to joint hands and 
achieve this target.

Pointing out that government has fixed the export target of $10 
billion for the current year, the CE observed that both Commerce 
Minister and EPB are striving very hard to achieve this target, But 
the support of exporters is imperative in this regard.

While referring to the problems of carpet exporters, particularly 
duty drawback payments, soft term loans, land encroachment etc. 
General Musharraf assured that government will try to resolve them 
in keeping with the national as well as the exporters interests.

These points will also be discussed in the forthcoming meeting with 
the Commerce Minister and other officials in Islamabad and he will 
personally see that these are redressed.

To the demand regarding removal of encroachment on the 
Association's land, the CE asked the Acting Sindh Governor and 
Corps Commander to take measures in this respect.

He congratulated the carpet exporters on achieving a new record 
exports level of $263 million last year after hovering around $200 
million for the last several years.

However, it was still not sufficient and should increased further.

'Referring to Pakistan's share of 3 per cent in world's total 
carpet exports of $10 billion, Chief Executive said it must go up 
to at least 6 per cent.

"I want a quantum jump in carpet exports", he maintained and asked 
the exporters to increase carpet exports to 300 million dollars by 
the end of the current fiscal year.

He described holding of such exhibitions as absolutely necessary to 
attract foreign buyers and as an export promotional activity.

He advised the exporters to produce high quality carpets with 
innovative designs and colour combination which, he said, are 
appreciated by carpet buyers world over.-APP

Trading volume nosedives at KSE 
Muhammad Aslam

KARACHI, March 16: The turnover figure on the Karachi Stock 
Exchange on Friday fell to a record low of 45m shares as leading 
buyers and sellers kept to the sidelines for no apparent terribly 
disturbing background news.

Stray support was evident on selected counters at the dips, which 
enabled the KSE 100-share index to finish partially recovered but 
below the psychological barrier of 1,400 points at 1,396.29 as 
compared to 1,390.06 at the dips. The KSE 100-share index recovered 
6.23 points at 1,396.29.

It was four-year low volume level. The previous daily volume low 
was touched at 43.732m shares as bulls and bears withdrew to the 
sidelines after the Supreme Court rejected Benazir Bhutto's 
petition for the restoration of her government on June 30, 1997. 
The other lower figure was recorded at 57.388m shares on June 30, 
2000, the all-time record higher trading volume figure being 470m 
shares established on June 20, 2000.

Analysts attributed the terribly low trading volume to the exit of 
general investors and some big operators fearing a negative impact 
on stock trading after the introduction of T+3 system that would 
mean daily clearing possibly by the next month.

"The introduction of this system will take away whatever steam is 
left in the market," said a member of the KSE. "Investors are 
refixing their investment priorities well ahead the event."

The KSE 100-share index managed to recover 6.23 points at 1,396.29 
as compared to 1,390.06 a day earlier, reflecting the strength of 
PTCL and Hub Power, two major weight holders.

"We don't think the market has fresh appetite for more unloading as 
foreign selling is gradually drying up and in some cases is turning 
into short-covering at the lower levels," stock analysts at the 
AHRA predict.

The index level has already touch the three-month lows from where 
it is certain to rebound alone on technical grounds, they add.

"The market is awaiting some good news from the market leaders, 
PTCL and Hubco, the two holding about 45 per cent weightage in the 
index, which in turn could trigger buystops by the end of the 
current month," stock analysts at the WE Financial believe.

But analysts at the Finex Securities think otherwise. "The market 
is awaiting the return of foreign investors with the same vigour as 
they did at the time of their exit in January and February, leaving 
behind crisis-like conditions," they say.

As far as the dividend announcements are concerned most of them are 
on the higher side of the investor perceptions but non of them 
could rescue the market from the bear onslaught, said a leading 

However, he foresees a major shift in the market psychology 
possibly by the next week as by that time, second tranche of $138m 
from the IMF, and an expected dividend from Hubco could strengthen 
the investors' confidence. Although advancing issues cut short the 
strong lead held by the losing ones, the former still remained in 
deficit at 69 to 83, with 75 shares holding on to the last levels.

Leading losers were led by Premier Sugar, Dewan Khalid Textiles, 
English Leasing, Shell Pakistan and Colgate Pakistan, which 
suffered fall ranging from Rs2.85 to Rs6. Other notable losers were 
PSO, Knoll, Reckitt and Colman, Kohat Cement and Attock Refinery, 
falling by Rs1.40 to Rs1.50.

Advancing shares were led by Nestle MilkPak, which rebounded from 
the recent lows on strong demand and was quoted higher by Rs22.50, 
followed by BOC Pakistan and Lever Brothers, up Rs4.60 and Rs10.

DEFAULTER COMPANIES: Trading on this counter was relatively slow as 
only four shares came in for stray alternate bouts of buying under 
the lead of Service Fabrics, up 20 paisa at 0.80 paisa on 2,000 
shares and Qayyum Textiles, easy 15 paisa at 0.25 paisa on 1,000 

Govt to reward tax detectors
Ikram Hoti 

ISLAMABAD, March 16:The government has decided to pay reward money 
to tax auditors who detect large scale evasion Informed sources 
told Dawn here Friday that a sum of Rs78 million has been allocated 
for improving the sales tax audit of the manufacturing and trade 
sectors. Out of this amount, Rs18 million would be paid in the next 
three months to auditors who perform for substantial improvement in 
tax evasion.

This step has been taken to meet the revenue shortfall and improve 
tax compliance during the remaining period of the current financial 
year (March-June 2001)

The minimum reward amount to be distributed among the auditors 
would be Rs20,000, while the maximum amount to be paid to an 
"excellent" auditor, or a team of auditors, would be decided in 
view of the scale of evasion detected

The Central Board of Revenue also intends to reward the auditors in 
whose areas the maximum tax evasion is detected, considering it as 
the result of "collective" performance

The latest records of CBR indicate that though a substantial 
increase in the number of registered persons has taken place, the 
number of those who do not pay any tax at the end of February 2001 
stands at 33,500. This is an unprecedented increase in nil- filers 
registered with the sales Tax Department

The domestically collectible amount of the sales tax has also not 
recorded a desired increase during the current financial year's 
first eight months. Last year, the CBR had collected Rs28.86 
billion on local supplies of goods and services. This amount was 
68.32 per cent of the sales tax collected at the import stage (Rs 
42.24 billion)

Tinplate importers to meet CE
Muhammad Ilyas

ISLAMABAD, March 16: The representatives of Pakistan Tinplate 
Merchants Association (PTMA), Karachi, and Punjab Tinplate 
Association (PTA) have decided to request an interview with Chief 
Executive General Pervez Musharraf to invite his attention to the 
grave consequences of the recent drastic increase in regulatory 
duty on the import of tinplates.

The decision was taken after a meeting with the chairman and other 
officials of National Tariff Commission (NTC), which fell short of 
any assurance of an early end to the crisis which, according to 
them, threatened to destroy the entire tin plate industry. The 
crisis would render its 50,000 workers jobless and another over 
half a million workers of other industries using tinplate for 
packing etc.

Also present in the meeting was Tariq Rafi, proprietor of 
Siddiqsons, operating the sole tinplate-processing plant at Windher 
in Balochistan.

After the meeting, the PTA president Muhammad Aslam Warsi and PTMA 
chairman Haji Tasleem Qureshi, talking to Dawn, expressed the 
apprehension that the measure would create a monopoly of the sole 
operator with only 50 workers, raising its cost with a massive 
adverse impact on the cost of production of other industries.

According to them, not a single importer had cleared his 
consignments from the Karachi Custom House since March 1, for the 
simple reason that the increase in tax liability on tinplates from 
Rs12,600 to Rs22,500 per ton was absolutely unsustainable.

By contrast, Siddiqsons Tinplate (STPL) enjoyed total exemption 
from taxes including customs duty, sales tax and income tax.

Huge quantities of tinplate had accumulated at the port and 
warehouse, while thousands of tons are expected to arrive shortly. 
Moreover, no LC had been opened since the issuance of the said SRO. 
This state of affairs was also detrimental to the Pakistan 
government's prestige as the Pakistani importers fail to fulfil 
their forward sales contracts with foreign suppliers.

In this situation, it was very likely that the importers would 
decide not to accept the consignments in order to avoid bankruptcy. 
Should this come about, the banks through which the LCs were opened 
might lose billions of rupees and face serious problems with the 
foreign suppliers.

Besides, the government stood to deprive itself of Rs15 billion, 
paid annually by the importers on account of customs duty, sales 
tax and income tax. This would be the outcome of the impugned SRO, 
which may increase the tax burden by another Rs900 million.

Rafi gave no answer when asked by this correspondent to comment on 
the importers' charge that the duty had been raised at his 
instance. He, however, said being located in the special industrial 
zone (SIZ), his industry was exempted from these taxes.

22pc increase in revenue collection
Parvaiz Ishfaq Rana

KARACHI, March 15: The Income Tax Department (Southern Region) has 
achieved a remarkable increase of 22 per cent in revenue collection 
during the first eight months (July-Feb) of current fiscal, 
official sources disclosed on Thursday.

The collection figures showed that a total of Rs24.833 billion had 
been netted during this period as against Rs20.3 billion achieved 
in the corresponding period of last fiscal.

Despite 14 per cent increase in revenue target from Rs35 billion of 
last year to Rs40.5 billion fixed by the CBR for southern region, 
the performance under the depressed economy is quite commendable.

Sources said close monitoring by the income tax department of the 
withholding tax collecting agents had been the main cause of higher 
revenue collection, during first eight months of current fiscal.

It is quite encouraging to note that collection of direct taxes in 
February, recorded a jump of 42 per cent at Rs3.207 billion as 
against Rs2.258 billion of the corresponding period, last fiscal.

A major chunk of eight months collection of direct taxes 
constituted of income tax, followed by withholding, wealth tax and 
capital value tax (CVT).

During the month of February, Rs3.186 billion had been collected on 
account of income tax, Rs3.020 billion as withholding tax, Rs15 
million wealth tax and Rs5.5 million CVT. Income tax collected at 
import stage stood at Rs1.449 billion.

A high official of local tax office told Dawn that there was 
persistent fall in wealth tax collection, which had been abolished 
by the government from next fiscal. However, current demand being 
created by the department to some extent was fulfilling the gap, he 

Nevertheless, the sluggish economic activity and high cost of 
living, sharply eroding consumers' purchasing power, has badly 
affected the CVT collection, which is being mainly collected on 
transactions of real estate and motor vehicles, official said.

The IT department has also detected a very large number of 
concealment cases, which also helped to improve revenue collection.

According to official figures, the IT department of Southern 
Region, during eight months (July-Feb) under review collected 
Rs24.320 billion on account of income tax as against Rs19.323 
billion in the same period last fiscal. Showing 26 per cent 

However, the falling wealth tax collection sharply declined by 56 
per cent during July-Feb at Rs395 million from Rs892 million of the 
corresponding period of last fiscal.

The lesser CVT collection at Rs45 million from Rs70 million of last 
year in the same period is an evidence of the fact that there is a 
steep decline in economic activity and monetary circulation.

However, there is a rising trend in the withholding tax collection 
during July-Feb and stood at Rs21.710 billion compared to Rs18.179 
billion collection in the same period last year.

Petroleum prices cut by 17%: Unified rates for remote areas
Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, March 14: The government on Wednesday announced decrease 
in the petroleum prices ranging from seven to 17 per cent on six 
different products including petrol, kerosene and diesel.

The downward revision, which takes effect immediately, has brought 
prices to the level at which they had been before the last increase 
made on Dec 30, 2000.

In another significant move towards deregulation, the government 
has also partially done away with the freight pool system, 
Secretary Petroleum Abdullah Yousaf told a press conference.

The petroleum products will be available at 19 depots at unified 
prices but the prices at the sale outlets will vary by five to 25 
paisas in accordance with the transportation cost from depots to 
petrol pumps.

However, the government would ensure sale of petroleum products at 
unified prices in remote areas like Azad Kashmir, Federally-
Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and remote areas of Balochistan, 
Mr Yousaf said.

"In fact we have withdrawn the increase announced in the petroleum 
prices on Dec 30, 2000," he said.

Despite an average decrease of 14 per cent on six different 
products the taxes and duties still constituted over 50 per cent of 
the retail prices, which Mr Yousaf said "are on the higher side".

The government earns Rs16 on sale of every litre of petrol whose 
price has been fixed at Rs30 a litre.

A decrease of 6.98 per cent or Rs2.25 a litre has been made in the 
price of petrol (MS 87 Ron) by bringing it down from Rs32.25 to 
Rs30 a litre.

The price of HOBC has been reduced to Rs33 a litre from Rs35.25 - a 
decrease of 6.38 per cent or Rs2.25 a litre.

The prices of kerosene and diesel, products largely consumed by 
people in the low income group, have also been reduced by 7.58 per 
cent a litre and 15.62 per cent a litre, respectively.

Kerosene has been made cheaper by Rs1.25 a litre by bringing its 
price down from Rs16.50 a litre to Rs15.25 a litre.

High speed diesel would be available in the market at the rate of 
Rs15.40 a litre as its price has been reduced by 16.92 per cent a 
litre or Rs2.75.

Last year the price of diesel, the fuel used in freight and public 
transport, had been increased by around 90 per cent. In December 
1999, when the military government had first revised the petroleum 
prices diesel was available at the rate of Rs10.50 a litre.

Light diesel oil has been reduced by 16.92 per cent or Rs2.75 a 
litre from Rs16.25 a litre to Rs13.50 a litre.

The highest decrease approved by the federal cabinet on the 
recommendation of the petroleum ministry was in JP-4, aviation fuel 
used by defence aircraft. Its prices decreased by 16.99 per cent a 
litre or Rs3.10 a litre.

A long outstanding demand of the petrol pump owners regarding the 
revision of their commission rates has also been accepted by the 
cabinet, which approved the increase of commission from 2.02 per 
cent to three per cent.

"It was their genuine demand," Mr Yousaf said. Regarding the 
commission of oil marketing companies he said it would remain 

When asked whether the revision of dealers commission would have an 
impact on the consumers, he denied, saying that the cost as well as 
taxes and all expenditures were included in the prices.

However, he explained that with the withdrawal of the freight pool 
system, the price of petroleum products differd from petrol pump to 
petrol pump.

He also said they had approached the Iranian government for the 
sale of surplus oil as the Iranian government was importing motor 
spirit from other countries.

KSE top companies awards: CE sees GDP at 4pc, exports $9.5 billion
Dilawar Hussain

KARACHI, March 14: Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf has 
said that the annual growth rate this fiscal would be four per cent 
and the export is expected at around $9.5 billion.

He was addressing at the Karachi Stock Exchange Top Companies 
Awards for 1999, ceremony on Wednesday evening.

The chief executive said the GDP growth last fiscal was 4.2 per 
cent, reflecting improvement over the 3.1 per cent earlier year. 
Agriculture played the major role in the higher growth rate, 
particularly the wheat, cotton and rice. He said the agriculture 
growth would be slack this year, due to prevailing drought, but 
hastened to add that manufacturing sector would compensate for the 

Musharraf observed that the government had set the export target 
for this year at $10 billion. Although the actual target would fall 
slightly short, the improvement of nine per cent over the previous 
year's target which itself was higher by 10 per cent of the year 
preceding, was no mean achievement. He said new export markets of 
Egypt, Iraq and Syria were being tapped.

Musharraf stated that he had been conferring with the Pakistan 
Development Forum (PDF) - a body of all foreign donors - and they 
had expressed satisfaction over Pakistan's economic progress and 
the measures being taken to stabilize the economy. "They have 
assured of maximum possible assistance in the future as well," he 

He said his government had been able to retrieve the economy from 
total collapse last year and the figures for the first eight months 
of this year show a 'visible reversal' in the earlier downturn of 
the economy. He said he had his eye on the revenue collection and 
the February revenue receipts were higher by 26 per cent over the 
revenue collected last year.

Specific to the stock exchange, Musharraf said the capital gains 
tax exemption, which is to expire in June this year, would 
"certainly be" extended in the next budget. Regarding the other 
demands of the stock exchange, viz tax exemption on bonus shares; 
tax exemption for clearing house protection fund and investors 
protection fund and privatization through the stock exchange, he 
said the government would look closely at them. Also he said the 
government would be relying on the stock exchanges in accelerating 
the development of economy.

General Musharraf said the Takeover Law was ready for approval by 
the cabinet and it would shortly be promulgated.

He said the government would raise overall effectiveness of market 
as a mode of resource mobilization and increase the level of 
integrity and fairness. He stated that the government had last year 
set an agenda for capital market reforms. This included 
strengthening the capital market; equity as a vital source of 
financing; protection of minority interest in companies; corporate 
governance; information disclosure and curbing insider trading. He 
said the institution of SECP would be strengthened, law would be 
framed for easy mergers, takeover and liquidation and removing the 
impediments to the growth of fixed income securities.

Musharraf congratulated the 25 top companies for having won the 
awards in the economic environment of the 90's, which, he said, he 
would term "economic disaster". He said such awards create 
bloodline of competitive environment.

Earlier, KSE chairman Yasin Lakhani, in his welcome address, 
pointed out that the KSE had improved by 80 per cent since July 
1998, when the index was 765 points - now at 1,400. He stated that 
340 companies had declared dividends for 2000, against 330 last 
year and more declarations from textile sector were still in the 
pipeline. But, Lakhani pointed out, less than one per cent of 
Pakistanis were shareholders and the number needs to be increased 
to enhance the profile of the market.

Lakhani urged that tax exemption on capital gains and bonus shares 
for a period of five years should be announced before the budget, 
preferably 'Now'. He asked that takeover law be promulgated and the 
tax exemption status of clearing house protection fund and 
investors protection fund be restored.

Lakhani asked for induction of elected representatives of the stock 
exchange to the Economic Advisory Board. In respect of 
privatization, Lakhani asked that privatization should be made 
through stock exchanges and secondly in tranches to facilitate 
absorption. He suggested that preference be given to non- resident 
Pakistanis in privatization.

The chief executive lastly distributed awards to the top 25 
companies for 1999: PSO, Al-Ghazi Tractors: Grays of Cambridge; 
Fauji Fertilizer; Lever Brothers; Kohinoor Weaving Mills; Rafhan 
Maize Products; Millat Tractors; Cherat Papersack; Shell Pakistan; 
KASB & Co; Nestle Milkpak; National Refinery: Rafhan Bestfoods; 
Lakson Tobacco; Dawood Hercules; Thal Jute; Murree Brewery; Engro 
Chemical; Treet Corporation; Mitchell's Fruit Farms: Kohinoor 
Raiwind Mills; Sitara Energy; BOC Pakistan and Nishat (Chunian) 

Pakistan seeks $6 billion soft-term loans 
Bureau Report

ISLAMABAD, March 14: Pakistan has requested for $6 billion soft-
term loan from foreign donors to gradually pay off its huge $21 
billion foreign loans during the next four-year period.

"We have requested for both soft-term loans and grants at the end 
of the three-day meeting of the Pakistan Development Forum (PDF)," 
said Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz.

Speaking at a news conference with World Bank Vice President Ms 
Meiko Nishimizu here on Wednesday, he said Pakistan has also made 
it clear that it planned to implement its own home-grown structural 
reforms programme to revive the economy rather than accepting any 
foreign recipe.

Both were asked whether the donors have taken up the report of the 
Debt Reduction and Management Committee in which they were expected 
to help Pakistan by offering $6 billion soft-term loan and $4 
billion debt relief for paying its $21 billion foreign debt in four 
years period. "Yes we have sought their support and received an 
encouraging response," the finance minister said.

Ms Nishimizu said that the donors had received the request for new 
funding line for Pakistan which would be considered systematically. 
"We will look into it though it takes time to finalize the process 
by the bank," she remarked.

Responding to a question, the finance minister denied that the PDF 
participants had raised questions about the revival of democracy or 
cutting down the defence expenditure.

The vice president of the World Bank said that it was Pakistan 
which had to decide about its economic and political problems. "The 
theme of the PDF meeting was the economic development of Pakistan 
which does not have anything to do with political issues," she 

She said that donors agreed with the government of Pakistan that 
issues concerning good governance, transparency, corruption and re-
building of institutions needed to be seriously looked into and 
that the donors believed that right policies were being implemented 
to achieve desired results in this behalf.

The finance minister said that four specific requests had been made 
at the end of the PDF meeting which included; soft-terms loans and 
grants, technical assistance, speedy disposal of loans and that 
"any project which we undertake should be allowed to be home grown 
and it should not be donors-driven.

Giving details, the finance minister said that 32 presentations 
were made during the three-day meeting which covered the state of 
the economy and the whole range of structural reforms being 
undertaken by the government.

He said tax reforms, trade policy, railways and devolution plan 
received a lot of attention from the over 125 delegates drawn from 
18 countries and 14 international donor agencies besides 20 people 
from the private sector.

"What donors have by and large said that there were concerns about 
the sustainability of reforms beyond Oct 2002," he said, adding 
that generally Pakistan was offered all possible support to resolve 
its pressing economic problems.

He said that they were assured that the government was taking all 
necessary measures to ensure that whatever was being done was fully 
protected and that nobody should be allowed to undo its reform 

"The participants also asked how the issue of Riba would be 
resolved and we were doing to restore the investors' confidence," 
he said, adding that they were pleased to know that the government 
had started implementing reforms programme.

Ms Nishimizu, when asked what was the most important outcome of the 
meeting, said: "We told them that reducing poverty, good governance 
and reviving the economy should be taken into consideration more 
importantly than anything else."

The finance minister told a reporter that the participants 
expressed keen interest in the devolution plan and a presentation 
was also given by the chairman of National Reconstruction Bureau. 
He denied that any serious concern was expressed by the 
participants about this plan. At this stage, Ms Nishimizu said that 
if any delegate had asked any question about the plan it did not 
necessarily mean that donors were opposing it.

She told a reporter that there were no sanctions against Pakistan 
and that all possible development assistance was being offered to 
the country. However, she said that G-7 countries led by the United 
States had their own priorities which did not have anything to do 
with the World Bank. "We are a bank and not a country, therefore we 
cannot be bracketed with G-7 countries," she added.

Change in monetary policy unlikely
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, March 13: Pakistan is determined to follow a monetary 
policy not too tight to discourage recovery of investment though 
immediate interest rate-cut is not on cards.

Official sources say chances for softening monetary policy are 
bleak - even in the name of boosting industrial output to make up 
for an anticipated zero rate of growth in the agricultural sector. 
Secretary General Moeen Afzal had said in Karachi last week that 
the on going water crisis could stop the agricultural sector from 
growing at all in this fiscal year.

This situation has raised a pertinent question. Is it possible for 
Pakistan to cut interest rates so that the industrial sector can 
deliver more - making up for the shortfall in GDP due to zero 
growth in agricultural sector? 

Seemingly the answer is No, because after entering into the IMF 
standby credit programme, Pakistan has not enough room to move its 
monetary policy in exact direction of its choice. 

The IMF has relaxed for January-March quarter some of key 
performance targets for Pakistan tagged with its $596 million 
standby credit but even the revised targets do not allow room for 
interest rate cuts.

One of such targets relates to expansion in the net domestic assets 
of State Bank. Initially, it was set at minus Rs39.6 billion for 
this quarter but later on the IMF relaxed it by more than Rs45 

"We cannot go for interest rate cuts if we have to meet this 
target," a central banker told Dawn. Government sources said it was 
also not clear if interest rate cut at this stage would help the 
industrial sector raise its output to a level compensating for zero 
growth in agricultural sector.

They said cheaper finance was one of several other factors that 
could help manufacturing sector perform better but in the absence 
of other factors missing availability of cheaper finance would not 

In fiscal 1999-00, a high 7.2 per cent growth in agricultural 
sector was a key constituent of 4.8 per cent growth in GDP: 
manufacturing sector had grown by only 1.1 per cent. Initial growth 
targets for this fiscal year were set at 3.9 per cent for 
agriculture and 6.2 per cent for manufacturing.

MEDIUM TERM OUTLOOK: Meanwhile, Pakistan seems poised to follow a 
somewhat softer monetary policy in the medium term - that is if it 
can find room for doing so amidst a lot of dictations coming in 
fromthe IMF.

The country also seems committed to not only maintaining its 
market-based exchange rates system and making it more liberal to 
encourage exports.

"We would like to follow a monetary policy not characterized with 
too high real interest rates in the medium term," said a senior 
economist attached with the Ministry of Finance. A central banker, 
who held the same view made it clear that chances for an immediate 
interest rate-cut was not on cards.

A World Bank document reinforces their view. The World Bank report 
on 'Pakistan's Reform Programme: Progress and Prospects Report' 
says: "A monetary policy that avoids high real interest rates 
(which could choke off recovery of investment) and an active 
exchange rate policy to encourage exports provide the remaining 
elements of a macro policy mix that would support growth while 
maintaining macroeconomic stability."

Back to the top
Ardeshir Cowasjee

As ever, ignorance is bliss. Who or what is tsunami? I asked a man 
who had graduated from a madrassah, and was confronted by a blank 
stare. But he is in good company. A man who had returned from 
Oxford thought it was a variety of sushi. The man from Cambridge 
recalled that it was the name of a svelte geisha of Osaka. A woman 
from Wellesley was frank enough to admit that she had no idea who 
or what he/she/it was.

Tsunami is a long high sea wave caused by an earthquake or other 
similar disturbances. The origin of the word dates from the late 
19th century, a combination of the Japanese words "tsu" (harbour) 
and "nami" (wave).

Tsunami-generated earthquakes mostly occur at the three locations 
along the Indo-Pakistan coast: in and around the Andaman Sea; in an 
area approximately 500 kilometers SSW off Sri Lanka; along the 
Arabian Sea coast, approximately 70 to 100 kilometers south of the 
Pakistan coastline (which extends over 1,000 kilometers) off 
Karachi and Balochistan.

The oldest record of what now is termed a tsunami dates back to an 
earthquake near the Indus Delta in the Kutch region, circa 326 BC. 
History records that whilst Alexander the Great's mighty Macedonian 
fleet was returning to Greece after his partial invasion of India 
it was destroyed by an earthquake of a large magnitude.

Pakistan was hit by a major cyclone on May 20, 1999, 
unimaginatively code named "Tropical Cyclone 2A", which was 
responsible for the death of at least 400 people, and over 60,000 
people were said to be missing at one time.

In a search for Tsunami + Arabian Sea on the internet, one 
reference is given on 'The Pakistan Cyclone, May 1999' recorded by 
the Accident and Disaster Information Service of the International 
Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC). We are told that:

"Cyclone 2A reached the coast of the Arabian Sea with wind up to 
270 kmh, and caused tsunami that submerged 600 coastal villages in 
Thatta and Badin district. The sea water gushed 10km inland of the 
coast. The Cyclone 2A is said to be the biggest cyclone to have hit 
this area in this century.

"At least 164 bodies were found from Raj Malik village in Thatta 
district. At least 100 fishermen were caught on their boat.

"The infrastructure for water and power supply was destroyed. Also 
the road and [tele-communications] were cut. The coastal area of 
Pakistan was completely isolated from other areas.

"The damages [to] crops and livestock were estimated to be 
tremendous. The officials said as many as 60,000 hectares of 
farmland were destroyed. In the Shah Bunder and Ketty area alone, 
152,000 acres of farmland were lost.

"The huge dams upstream had weakened the flow of water in the Indus 
River, and some experts said that the change had made it easier for 
sea water to gush into the delta area with strong force . . . . . .

"At least 50,000 people were displaced to such areas as southern 
Sindh province. At one time, 13,000 people were living in a camp 
set up by the army. More than 65 tons of food were distributed to 
the victims in a week.

"Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced $1 million for the relief 
but the governor of the damaged province said that at least $6 
million was needed.

"Many survivors complained that the rescue teams took too much time 
to arrive. Also, people attacked by the cyclone claimed that they 
never received any announcement for evacuation from the government.

"The Institute of Human Settlement and Environment has prepared a 
public safety plan so people will know what to do when they are hit 
by a cyclone."

Was the government of the day prepared to assist the people in 
distress? Was the government across the border, our Indian friends, 
equally unprepared? Yes, to both questions.

In India, scientists, geologists and engineers spent over two years 
painstakingly working on a study for the ministry of urban affairs 
and employment and produced a three-volume "Report of the Expert 
Group on Natural Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation 
Having a Bearing on Housing and Related Infrastructure' which was 
published in 1998. One simple point made: "Disasters don't kill 
people, buildings do." And in India, as in Pakistan, the number of 
unsafe buildings is increasing every day. It is not a lack of 
construction standards but indifference to them that kills people.

After the Bhuj earthquake, the convenor of the Expert Group, T. N. 
Gupta, a professional, remarked, "Sadly, our work has been ignored, 
but that's the way things are in a developing country. Preparedness 
is not the policy in India. We respond to disasters only after they 
have taken place . . . . . . Whereas the earthquake in Latur in 
India killed 9,700 people an earthquake of the same intensity in 
California killed five."

Continuing the lament, the people of India complain that it is only 
now that editorial writers and columnists in their newspapers are 
venting their anger. The target of their wrath is the combination 
of unscrupulous builders and corrupt and negligent politicians. The 
Statesman, for example, in an editorial noted "Far from taking note 
of extra reinforcement and proper bonding of pillars, and weight-
bearing walls, required for extra protection in earthquake zones, 
most buildings were death traps before people moved into them."

And from an editorial in The Financial Express: "The bigger tragedy 
is that a very large number of deaths were avoidable, and happened 
simply because of a culture of lining of pockets that is especially 
entrenched in municipal authorities and the building trade."

The Pioneer wrote to the point: "Those whose greed caused so many 
deaths must not be allowed to go scot free."

We move to Karachi. We are also advanced in our thinking and have a 
report on the seismic zoning of Karachi prepared by some of our 
professionals of no mean standing and published by the Association 
of Consulting Engineers of Pakistan (ACEP) in association with the 
Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA). We too have our 
recommendations for the seismic design of buildings.

The writers and publishers have provided an 'Acceptance Criteria' 
which clearly states that the designation of Karachi in the most 
severe Seismic Zone IV by the well recognized Uniform Building Code 
in 1997 was found inconsistent and overrated by the geologists and 
engineers of Karachi. This they based on the local seismo-tectonic 
data. Consequently, two seismic committees were constituted by 
ACEP/KBCA in late 1999 and their report was published in April 
2000. It has finally seen the light of day after the Bhuj 
earthquake and was recently launched by the KDA.

The Report states that Karachi is not in Seismic Zone IV but in II-
B. But the question is, do our buildings conform to the 
requirements of even II-B?

Talking of death-traps, all we have to do is look at the 17-storey 
skeleton of an unauthorized commercial plaza which stands near the 
Nursery Market on our main artery, Sharea Faisal, It has stood for 
the past fifteen months. It is a monument to the corruption of the 
KDA/KBCA, and a sign of the betrayal of the citizens by the 
government and other institutions of the country in partnership 
with the builders and developers.

In April 1999, the KBCA admitted in the Sindh High Court that it 
has no way of establishing whether the construction being raised is 
safe and sound since the reports/tests accompanying the building 
plans submitted to it and approved by it bear no resemblance to the 
structure eventually raised. The safety and soundness of a building 
is not arbitrarily determined but is based upon the nature of the 
soil, the load, the structure and other factors. Yet the ex-parte 
status quo order granted on 16/12/1999 by Justices Saiduzzaman 
Siddiqui, Nasir Aslam Zahid, and Sheikh Riaz Ahmad of the Supreme 
Court, obtained through the not inconsiderable skills of Jadoogar 
of Jeddah Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, is allowed by the KBCA to 
linger on unchallenged to this day. Over the past 20 years, the 
KBCA, in collaboration with the builders' mafia of Karachi, has 
become adept at passing the buck for illegal construction on to the 
judiciary. Should the illegal and potentially dangerous skeleton of 
the commercial plaza in question unfortunately fall as the result 
of an earthquake, who will be up for the long jump?

One bit of good news is that Omar, Air Marshal Asghar Khan's son 
and our minister in charge of the environment, is now concerned and 
is in the process of moving the government to appoint a dedicated 
Disaster Relief Commissioner for Karachi and Sindh. The name of an 
able strong man has been suggested to him and we must hope that 
young Omar moves quickly. The Relief Commissioner can, at no 
additional cost, pick men for his organization from the overstaffed 

What we cannot prevent, we must at least try to mitigate.

Mahmud and Ayaz
Ayaz Amir

WHEN I started in journalism (oh, with so much diffidence) twenty 
years ago, my hair was black, my face unlined and my mind full of 
foolish notions. Those being the Zia years, it is a measure of my 
youthful enthusiasm that I put faith in Ms Bhutto's rising star, 
believing her to be the answer to the nation's dreams.

As youth, alas, is not immortal,the years have taken their toll. My 
hair is grey and on my face are the wrinkles of age. I am not a 
wiser man for these changes and my insight into the nature of 
things is no clearer. But about certain things I am more relaxed. 
As a journalist, for instance, I am less inclined to strike 
dramatic poses or adopt positions of extreme cynicism and despair, 
a temptation to which youthful minds easily succumb.

I hope I do not sound like a pontiff when I say that Pakistan is no 
better or worse than other countries. While not the promised land, 
or God's gift to humanity, it is also not, as some of its denizens 
too readily assume, specially marked out for reverses and failure. 
In other words, it is not a land immune to the laws of common 
sense. For folly it will pay the price, as it has done in the past. 
But given some competence and the right national direction, there 
is no reason for it to stumble in the dark.

Twenty years of political hackwork have left some other impressions 
on my mind. Not for the sake of effect but as an inescapable 
corollary of our recent history do I say that on its own the army 
is no solution to anything. The army high command has not 
distinguished itself in the conduct of war, its true business. In 
neither of the two major wars fought in the last 53 years did it 
show strategic flair or intellectual competence. This should be a 
sobering thought. Mediocre or indifferently competent at its own 
profession, can it shine in another for which it is equipped 
neither by training nor by temperament?

But it is equally true that the political class has made a hash of 
things. Take the recent past. Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif had 
their chances and blew them. Sharif's political notions were of the 
most primitive kind. An intellectually limited person, he was only 
capable of the mess he made. But what about Benazir? She blames the 
intelligence agencies for her troubles. Doubtless she faced 
intrigues on that front but was it ISI and MI which took her hands 
and dipped them in Marcos-scale corruption?

The truth is mediocrity rules the roost: as much in the military 
caste and the political class as in the mandrinate and, I daresay, 
the press. As for the present order, Musharraf and his generals are 
nice guys with the right instincts, no doubt about it. The national 
climate today is more relaxed than at any time since 1958. But what 
does the other side of the picture show? Drift, an unsophisticated 
view of politics and a muddled sense of priorities.

So what is to be done? Hold elections and transfer power to another 
National Assembly of political incompetents? Few musical scores are 
as intoxicating as the rhetoric of democracy. But democracy of the 
kind we have had is a recipe for disaster. If the generals are not 
equipped to run the political show by themselves, neither are the 
politicians. A resurrected or remade Muslim League calling the 
shots? The PPP once again on trial? The mere prospect is 

Ours is a tolerant society, with a known capacity for suffering, 
but it cannot afford Benazir or Nawaz again. Even with masochists 
there is an acceptable threshold of pain. Just so much and no more. 
Vis-a-vis these two wonders we are in this position. If this does 
not square with the requirements of pure democracy, so be it. The 
corps commanders are right on this score: no political future for 
Pakistan's most famous duo.

As for the beguiling theory that to solve the problems of democracy 
we need more democracy, we can do without it. Lower the floodgates 
of democracy and all we will get are substitute versions of the 
original Benazir and Nawaz models. No, if it be laid down as the 
first commandment that Pakistan's generals should not occupy the 
bull-ring by themselves, the second is that Pakistan's politicians 
should not be allowed to run loose on their own. As each is a 
menace more threatening than the other, both together must forge a 
pragmatic partnership.

Armchair revolutionaries and democratic purists, of which Pakistan 
has more than its share, need not be alarmed. A civil-military 
partnership need not assume a structural form. The repeated 
insistence on the hybrid animal called a national security council 
only reveals the poverty of the military mind. If there is such a 
council and generals, air marshals and admirals sit on it they will 
simply suffocate democracy and not allow it to function. We will be 
back to square one.

A civil-military partnership has to be like the British 
constitution, unwritten but faithfully followed. Parliament and 
prime minister must learn to tread softly. The space for democracy 
must be extended slowly and gradually, less through the letter of 
the constitution than through ability and performance. What, after 
all, is the constitution? On its own it is helpless before the 
rifles of 111 Brigade.

To be sure, defiance is a great thing. But what is the reality? 
Pakistani politicians out of power are either windbags or 
sycophants - preaching verbal revolution, which harms no one, or 
cringing before authority. In power they behave like professional 
wrestlers. There must be a tempering of these two extremes.

How then to safeguard the army's concerns? By embodying them not in 
any mythic unicorn and calling it the national security council but 
in the person of the president who should not be the neuter that he 
is at present but at the same time not so powerful that he makes a 
hobby of dismissing governments. The Eighth Amendment president 
brought grief to Pakistan. We should be taking a closer look at the 
French model wherein the prime minister runs domestic policy while 
the president looks after foreign policy and national security.

As for the proposal aired in some quarters that while the president 
should not be able to axe the National Assembly (as the Eighth 
Amendment president was able to do) but only prime minister and 
cabinet, this will take us back to the Ghulam Muhammad and Iskander 
Mirza eras when at presidential bidding a succession of prime 
ministers hurtled through a revolving door.

Of Ayaz, the great Sultan Mahmud's favourite slave, it is said that 
when he had risen in royal favour he would oft go to a secret 
chamber, there put on the rags he wore as a slave and standing 
before the mirror say to himself, "Ayaz, qadr-i-khud beshanas". 
Which is to say, don't forget thyself. For long Pakistan's 
strutting heroes have attempted to walk in Mahmud's footsteps, with 
not an iota of his ability. For a change they might remember the 
example of his slave.

The limits of sovereignty 
Irfan Husain 

THE recent international furore over the wanton destruction of the 
two Buddhist colossi at Bamiyan by the Taliban demonstrates yet 
again how the world has shrunk, and the extent to which we are 
interdependent. No country is an island unto itself any longer.

Despite the Afghan leadership's protestations that their bizarre 
behaviour was "an internal religious matter", the rest of the world 
was simply not buying this argument. Gradually, the international 
community has been moving towards a set of rules of acceptable 
behaviour, and it is now considered to be as morally reprehensible 
and irresponsible for the Taliban to dynamite millennia-old 
statues, as it would be for the Egyptians to bomb the pyramids.

Similarly, genocide is simply not tolerated even under the guise of 
"internal security." The treatment of citizens is no longer the 
sole concern of individual states: the United Nations and its 
members, as well as human rights organizations the world over, 
track and condemn violations of individual liberties and rights. 
Thus, voices are raised over mistreatment of individuals or groups; 
gross aberrations are occasionally punished through collective 
action; and forces representing either the UN or organizations like 
NATO are dispatched in extreme cases. Of course, the system of 
enforcement remains imperfect and full of loopholes, but there is a 
growing consensus that the global community has a responsibility to 
intervene where the behaviour of a government is absolutely 
intolerable. For instance, other countries continue to condemn the 
massacre of Armenians by the Turks over 80 years after the event.

Not long ago, states would hide behind the convention that others 
should not interfere in their internal affairs, but this cover is 
now wearing thin, especially as satellite television brings horrors 
into homes, thus mobilizing international public opinion. For 
instance, the atrocities committed in East Pakistan by our troops 
(and described vividly in the Hamoodur Rahman Commission report), 
would be inconceivable these days. Thirty years ago, Yahya's 
military government fended off international criticism by shameless 
denials and the constant recourse to the civil war being Pakistan's 
"internal affair." Despite the lack of instant images, India was 
still able to mobilize sufficient support to attack and break up 
Pakistan without a tear being shed anywhere in the world.

Of course, the weaker a state, the more vulnerable it is to 
international pressure. Sovereignty is relative, not absolute, but 
stronger and richer countries can assert themselves more 
effectively on the world stage and remain free of any interference. 
Thus, despite the worldwide push towards democracy and equal rights 
for women, oil-rich Arab countries can remain immune to calls for 
participatory governments and women's rights. Similarly, the United 
States can sabotage international efforts to establish a permanent 
World Court to try cases of international human rights abuses as it 
insists on exemptions for its citizens.

Countries like Afghanistan are so far outside the ambit of 
international norms and discourse that they are immune to pressure 
as well. Thus, their arms cannot be twisted by threats to cut off 
aid, grants or trade relations because they have none anyway. This 
freedom of action can be a mixed blessing. While the leadership can 
reject appeals to surrender Osama bin Laden, the Afghan people 
suffer under a myopic and medieval government that dictates the 
length of women's veils and men's beards. Indeed, the Taliban seem 
to have no other concern but the outward appearance of their 
citizens. Had Afghanistan been even loosely integrated into the 
international system, it would have come under pressure to tone 
down some of its more regressive ways. But without representation 
in any international forum, it feels free to go its own way, 
warnings of disaster ahead notwithstanding.

Many nations have surrendered a part of their sovereignty 
voluntarily in order to achieve certain collective ends. To join 
the European Union, for example, member states have agreed to 
subordinate many of their laws, rules and regulations to a legal 
framework arrived at through collective bargaining and agreements. 
Thus, large swathes of legislation are no longer within the purview 
of national parliaments. Clearly, this arrangement is viewed as 
beneficial by the majority of the people living within the EU, even 
though politicians rail against it from time to time.

Although national sovereignty is jealously guarded, it cannot be an 
end in itself. We surrender a portion of it every time we enter 
into an international agreement committing us to certain 
obligations. By joining the United Nations and its various bodies, 
we have pledged adherence to its Charter and its principles. By 
agreeing not to conquer foreign territory by force, for example, we 
are (hopefully) safeguarding our own territory from invasion by 
others. And by agreeing to the principle of the sanctity of 
international contracts, we are protecting our own commercial 
rights. However, by breaching such a contract by preventing Hubco 
from seeking recourse through international arbitration, the 
government has ensured that in future, foreigners will think ten 
times before investing in Pakistan.

Nations cannot escape the responsibility that comes with their 
support of other countries. Thus the United States is often blamed, 
especially by Muslim countries, for Israel's overbearing arrogance 
and unchecked aggression because of its open-ended support of the 
Jewish state. It is clear that without American military, financial 
and diplomatic assistance, Israel would have had to modify its 
behaviour and learn to live with the normal compulsions and 
limitations of a small state. Similarly, Pakistan cannot distance 
itself from the Taliban's aberrant behaviour: by virtue of having 
financed the movement and giving it the military and logistic 
support to become the paramount power in Afghanistan, the 
government and its various overt and covert agencies must accept 
responsibility for the actions of Mullah Omar and his government.

Indeed, despite our government's opposition to the destruction of 
Buddhist statues, many countries do not absolve Islamabad of some 
blame in the matter. To them, we are one of only three countries in 
the world to recognise the Taliban regime, and continue assisting 
them financially and militarily, and therefore should have 
considerable leverage with their leadership. However, in their 
search for the elusive "strategic depth" our military has been 
seeking, the government has failed to exert the kind of pressure on 
the Taliban as it could and should have.

Belatedly, the government has woken up to the very real danger 
posed to Pakistan by religious extremists. Never mind that it has 
taken hundreds of lives to focus minds at GHQ, the recent 
proclamations by Generals Pervez Musharraf and Moinuddin Haider are 
nevertheless very welcome. However, they must realize the 
contradiction between clamping down on armed sectarian groups 
internally while leaving them free to pursue their jihadi aims 
elsewhere. This gives them a legitimacy and a licence that must be 
withdrawn, otherwise Pakistan will have to accept responsibility 
for their actions.

Wasim stabs Moin in the back

KARACHI, March 15: Sacked former captain Wasim Akram has complained 
to the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) against the 
leadership, approach and attitude of skipper Moin Khan.

According to highly placed sources, Wasim, who returned from New 
Zealand earlier this week after breaking down once again when the 
team needed him, held a closed door meeting with Lt Gen Tauqir Zia 
in Lahore who gave him a patient hearing.

"Wasim spoke against Moin. He had a bagful of grievances against 
the wicketkeeper," insiders in the board said.

Wasim's major objection was Moin's working relationship with team 
coach Javed Miandad. Sources said Wasim outlined how the two were 
creating a rift between the players and the cricket administration.

He also briefed the general about the closed door meetings the 
players had to counter the selectors decision to call Saqlain 
Mushtaq back. In one of the meetings, eight players had 
contemplated returning home.

Moin is not the first captain against whom Wasim has started a 
crusade. In fact, he pulled out from the second Test against Sri 
Lanka under Ramiz Raja in 1995-96 after Pakistan had won the 
opening Test. Ramiz was eventually sacked after Pakistan lost the 
series 2-1 and later failed to qualify for the tri-nation final in 

Wasim later let Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail down while it was his 
sudden appearance in South Africa in 1998 which disturbed the 
atmosphere of the Pakistan team. Need not to say that Pakistan lost 
the Port Elizabeth Test after winning the Durban game under Rashid 

Interestingly, all the four captains were replaced by Wasim. 
However, he is unlikely to get another chance to lead Pakistan 
after he was censored, fined and recommended never to be appointed 
captain by Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum who investigated the 
charges of corruption in Pakistan cricket.

Moin, who was said to be a truth lieutenant of Wasim until he took 
over the charge in March last year, had forced the inclusion of the 
left arm fast bowler after he was dropped from the tour to Sharjah 
on fitness grounds last year.

Wasim had missed the second and third Tests against Sri Lanka and 
the selectors had demanded his fitness before considering him for 
the four-month tour to Sharjah, West Indies, Dhaka and Sri Lanka.

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