------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 12 May 2001 Issue : 07/19 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
The DAWN Wire Service (DWS) is a free weekly news-service from 
Pakistan's largest English language newspaper, the daily DAWN. DWS 
offers news, analysis and features of particular interest to the 
Pakistani Community on the Internet.

Extracts, not exceeding 50 lines, can be used provided that this 
entire header is included at the beginning of each extract. 

We encourage comments & suggestions. We can be reached at: 

     e-mail        dws-owner@dawn.com
     WWW           http://dawn.com/
     fax           +92(21) 568-3188 & 568-3801 
     mail         DAWN Group of Newspapers 
                   Haroon House, Karachi 74200, Pakistan 

Please send all Editorials and Letters to the Editor at

(c) Pakistan Herald Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., Pakistan - 2001


CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + War-games will not impress Pakistan: FO rules out arms race + China supports Pakistan stand on Kashmir + Six accords, one MoU signed with China + US wants India to limit nuclear arms + Canada urges trilateral talks on Kashmir + Chief Executive assures Kashmiris of support + Lubbers discusses refugees issue with CE + Nawaz wants party men to work against dictatorship + Sattar to meet Powell next month + Pakistan no longer helping Taliban: US + US likely to lift sanctions within six months + Jamaat demands end to military rule + Islamabad wants UN aid inside Afghanistan --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + Japan may resume aid next year + Government borrowing starts falling + WB losing patience on Development of financial institution + 42.43% rise in Sales Tax refund during 10 months + UNHCR proposal for repatriation of refugees + WAPDA failed to utilize funds: Draft report + Failure to utilize gas to cost $1.1billion + Riba unlikely to go soon, says Governor State Bank of Pakistan --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Gilli-dunda Ardeshir Cowasjee + A passion for verbosity Ayaz Amir + The winds of change Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Umpires examine video of Shoaib's action: newspapers + Dowman defies Pakistan + Mushtaq spins Pakistan to victory: Universities lose by innings

War-games will not impress Pakistan: FO rules out arms race
Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, May 8: Pakistan has an "unassailable" defence against 
external aggression and was not going to be impressed by the 
ongoing Indian military exercises in Rajasthan close to country's 
borders , said Foreign Office spokesman Riaz M. Khan at a news 
briefing here on Tuesday.

The spokesman was asked for comments on the Indian exercises close 
to Pakistan's border. He said: "Such blatant show of force and 
statements (by India) are not going to impress Pakistan."

When asked whether the biggest Indian military exercises could lead 
to an arms race between the two countries, the spokesman said, 
Pakistan policy was guided by the principle of restraint and 

He said: "We have stated at the highest level on several occasions 
that Pakistan will not be drawn into any arms race by such blatant 
show of force and demonstration of arms. Pakistan had developed 
deterrence and nuclear capability to defend the country against any 
aggression and that was an indispensable part of our defence 

The spokesman accused India of violating a bilateral agreement of 
1990-91 concerning military exercises close to borders. He said 
India had not given in writing an advance notice of 60 days through 
diplomatic channels for its more than a corps-level exercise as 
stipulated in the 1990-91 agreement.

He dismissed suggestions that the Indian exercises, timed to 
coincide with Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji's four-day visit to 
Pakistan starting from Friday, were a signal to Islamabad and 

AFGHAN REFUGEES: Commenting on the UNHCR chief's statement 
concerning the fresh influx of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, the 
Foreign Office spokesman said that Pakistan's suggestion that the 
United Nations meet the needs of the drought-affected people of 
Afghanistan inside that country rather than in Pakistan was "an 
eminently reasonable idea". The UNHCR chief, Ruud Lubbers, had 
termed the Pakistani proposal as "silly".

The spokesman said any screening and registration of new Afghan 
arrivals at Jalozai camp as proposed by Ruud Lubbers, would have to 
be accompanied by some kind of relief undertaking across the border 
in Afghanistan, a view which the UNHCR chief rejected.

Rebutting the position adopted by Mr Lubbers, the spokesman pointed 
out that "that was part of the understanding" reached with UN 
Secretary-General Kofi Annan during his recent visit to Pakistan. 
The UNHCR did set up camps for thousands of Afghans displaced by 
drought in Herat close to Afghanistan border with Iran and in 
Mazar-i-Sharif close to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan borders.

Riaz Khan categorically stated that contrary to what the UNHCR 
chief reportedly said here on Monday, Pakistan had not pushed back 
any of the more than two million Afghan refugees who had been 
residing here for many years.

China supports Pakistan stand on Kashmir
Syed Talat Hussain

ISLAMABAD, May 11: China on Friday backed Pakistan's efforts for 
peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue. However, he said the defence 
of Pakistan was its internal affair.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Chief Executive Gen 
Pervez Musharraf, the Chinese Prime Minister, Zhu Rongji, termed 
Kashmir "a leftover of history," adding, "China supports and agrees 
with Pakistan's position for a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir 
issue." To a question about Chinese support to Pakistan's defence 
capability, he said there was co-operation in all areas, but added 
that the defence of Pakistan was its internal matter.

The chief executive said while India might be spending 28 per cent 
more funds on defence this year as compared to last year, the 
Pakistan army was maintaining its minimum level of deterrence to 
defend the country. "We are very proud of the Chinese help and we 
are grateful. But there should not be any doubt in anyone's mind 
that no amount of increase in India's defence budget can deter us 
from maintaining this deterrence," the chief executive said.

Prime Minister Zhu Rongji described his talks in Islamabad useful 
and said the two sides were able to evolve consensus on a wide 
range of questions. He said this visit would go a long way in 
bringing about further co-operation between the two countries.

On Beijing's policy on supply of defence equipment and technology 
to Pakistan, he said both the countries co-operated in a number of 
sectors including defence, but it was in line with international 
agreements. Earlier, the Chief Executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, in 
his opening remarks welcomed the Chinese dignitary and said 
meetings with the Chinese premier resulting in "total unanimity of 
views on all global and regional issues."

The Chinese premier explained the basis of the relations between 
the two countries, saying "both have an exemplary friendship 
because they trust each other, understand each other and can 
mutually accommodate each other's positions." Speaking at the press 
conference, both the leaders announced total unanimity of views on 
bilateral regional and global issues, adds APP.

The two leaders said Pakistan-China relations would see higher and 
greater level of co-operation in all fields in days ahead.

"We have consensus and identity of views on a wide range of 
questions. I am confident the visit will go someway to bring about 
greater level of co-operation and peace and stability in the 
region," said the Chinese prime minister. Gen Pervez Musharraf said 
during the talks the two sides held" intensive interaction on all 
issues of mutual concern and finally concentrated on economic 
issues." "We have total unanimity of views on all global, regional 
and bilateral issues," said the chief executive.

Zhu Rongji said he "totally agrees with the comments made by the 
chief executive." Gen Musharraf said both the sides have signed 
seven agreements to further strengthen their existing bonds of 

Six accords, one MoU signed with China

ISLAMABAD, May 11: Pakistan and China signed six agreements and one 
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at a ceremony attended by Chief 
Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf and Chinese Prime Minister Zhu 
Rongji on Friday.

These included agreements on economic and technical co-operation, 
tourism co-operation, lease agreement on Saindak Copper-Gold 
Project, supply of locomotives to Pakistan Railways, supply of 
passenger coaches to Pakistan Railways, white oil pipeline and MoU 
between ZTE and Pakistan Telecommunications Corporation Ltd.

Under the agreement on economic and technical co-operation the 
Chinese government would provide a grant of 50 million yuan for the 
promotion of economic and technical co-operation between the two 
countries. The agreement was signed by Chinese Minister for Foreign 
Trade and Economic Co-operation Shi Guangsheng and Finance Minister 
Shaukat Aziz.

The agreement on tourism co-operation would provide for co-
operation between the two countries in the field of tourism, 
through contacts between their tourism organizations, exchange of 
information and joint investments.

Chinese Ambassador in Islamabad Lu Shulin and Foreign Secretary 
Inamul Haque singed the agreement on tourism co-operation. Under 
the lease agreement on Saindak Copper-Gold Project, the 
Metallurgical Construction Corporation of China (MCC) will be given 
a ten-year lease to mine and process copper and gold ores at 
Saindak. Under another agreement for supply of locomotives to 
Pakistan Railways, the Chinese firm, Dongfang Electric Corporation, 
would provide 69 locomotives to Pakistan Railways under a 
supplier's credit. President of Dongfang Electric Corporation, Li 
Zongwen and Secretary Railways Saeed-uz-Zafar signed the agreement.

China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) would 
supply 175 passenger coaches to the Pakistan Railways under a 
supplier's credit, according to an agreement for supply of 
passenger coaches to Pakistan Railways. -APP

US wants India to limit nuclear arms
Tahir Mirza

WASHINGTON, May 10: US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage 
is due to arrive in New Delhi on Friday for talks with Indian 
government officials on the Bush administration's national missile 
defence shield , but he is also expected to seek assurances that 
India is willing to limit its nuclear weapons development 

A report here on Thursday suggested that Mr Armitage needs such 
assurances to strengthen the hands of those in the State Department 
who want sanctions against India to be removed against a lobby that 
believes that doing so would encourage potential nuclear weapons 
states to develop their own atomic military capability.

However, Mr Armitage's New Delhi visit comes at a time when India 
has just conducted a massive military exercise on its borders with 
Pakistan and held wargames oriented towards nuclear warfare. The 
use of the Pokhran desert area, where India carried out its nuclear 
tests in 1998, for the exercises is significant. Mr Armitage may 
find that he has to contend with a new aggressive and self-
confident mood in the Indian military and political establishment 
and may not find it easy to extract promises about non-

Canada urges trilateral talks on Kashmir 
Latafat Ali Siddiqui 

TORONTO, May 10: Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Manley has 
said that his country supports trilateral negotiations between 
India, Pakistan and Kashmiri representatives to find a peaceful and 
negotiated settlement to the Kashmir dispute.

"Canada welcomes recent emerging developments for a peaceful 
resolution of the Kashmir issue," he said, adding: "We urge the 
Indian and Pakistani governments to continue to show restraint, to 
respect the Line of Control, and to resume their dialogue with the 
object of resolving bilateral issues, including Kashmir."

In a communication to the Executive Director of the Kashmiri-
Canadian Council (KCC) Mushtaq A. Jeelani, the Canadian foreign 
minister said: "In your letters, you called upon Canada to 
facilitate dialogue for a lasting solution of the dispute in 
Kashmir. As you may know, Canada has historically approached the 
Kashmir issue with due regard for the sensitivities of the parties 
involved." Canada, he added, supported a political solution 
involving negotiations between India, Pakistan and Kashmiri 
representatives." And a solution must take into account the 
interests of the Kashmiri people," he said.

John Manley said: "In addition to offering assistance to help 
resolve the dispute should India and Pakistan agree to this, Canada 
has provided funding for peace building initiatives in the region."

Mr Jeelani told Dawn on Thursday that he had reminded Mr Manley 
about Canada's important role on the issue of Kashmir. He said: 
"When the Kashmir dispute erupted in 1947-48, Canada, under the 
Liberal administration of Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent (1948-
57), was firm that the future status of Kashmir must be determined 
by the will of the people of the territory, and their wishes must 
be ascertained through an impartial plebiscite under the 
supervision and control of the United Nation."

Chief Executive assures Kashmiris of support

ISLAMABAD, May 9: Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf has said 
that Pakistan is committed to providing all diplomatic, moral and 
political support to the people of Kashmir in their just struggle 
for self-determination.

The chief executive made these remarks while talking to a senior 
leader of the All Parties Hurriyet Conference Shaikh Abdul Aziz who 
called on him here on Wednesday. The chief executive assured the 
APHC leader that Pakistan would continue to strive for the cause of 
the people of Kashmir at all forums.

Lubbers discusses refugees issue with CE
Hasan Akhtar

ISLAMABAD, May 7: The United Nations High Commissioner for 
Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, said on Monday he had failed to persuade 
Pakistan to open border for Afghan refugees fleeing the country 
because of war and drought and predicted "chaos" in both countries 
because of the emerging situation.

The UNHCR chief who completed his 10-day visit to the region with a 
news conference here on Monday, said he had failed to persuade the 
authorities in Pakistan not to seal border and stop deporting the 
refugees living in Pakistan.

Lubbers who toured Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan to review 
refugees problems, predicted chaos for Pakistan and Afghanistan 
because of continued fighting in Afghanistan and pressure on the 
Afghan people to migrate to escape the conflict and the drought 
which has badly hit a major part of their homeland and caused 
widespread economic hardships.

The UNHCR chief said he has told the Pakistani authorities that the 
people who are fleeing Afghanistan because of fighting have a right 
to register as refugees and similarly the UNHCR has a right to 
check that Afghans being deported by the Pakistan government are 
not registered refugees.

Describing the continued fighting in Afghanistan as "insane", he 
warned that a chaos was in the making for Afghanistan and "here in 
Pakistan" unless steps were taken to ameliorate the sufferings of 
the people.

The UNHCR chief reported some progress in his talks with Pakistani 
officials regarding access to the UN to screen nearly 80,000 
inmates of Jallozai camp near Peshawar.

Islamabad has maintained that Jallozai is a transit camp and a big 
majority of its inmates are economic refugees and therefore cannot 
be provided relief goods and permission to settle here.

The issue of the settlement and provision of relief to the inmates 
of Jallozai camp was also discussed by the UN Secretary-General, 
Kofi Annan, during his recent visit to Pakistan.

Nawaz wants party men to work against dictatorship
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, May 6: PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has directed party leaders 
and workers to work relentlessly against the dictatorial system. 
Talking to Ms Tehmina Daultana by phone from Saudi Arabia on 
Saturday, he said the welfare of the country was more important 
than anything else and everybody should play his due role to save 
the motherland.

He appreciated his party leaders who were taking an active part in 
the struggle for the revival of a democratic system. The deposed 
prime minister conveyed his appreciation to the relevant leaders. 
Ms Daultana told reporters on Sunday that Mr Sharif was aware of 
the situation at home and he wanted the inactive people to change 
their attitude.

Mr Sharif, she said, was also upset over the ongoing water shortage 
in the country which was adversely affecting the agricultural 
sector. Ms Tehmina informed him how leaders of one province were 
being prevented from entering the other. "When such situations 
arise, changes at the highest level become inevitable", Ms Tehmina 
quoted the deposed prime minister as saying. Mr Sharif was critical 
of the downsizing being carried out at present, and said that it 
would add to the joblessness.

Sattar to meet Powell next month
Tahir Mirza

WASHINGTON, May 6: Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar will make an 
official visit to Washington some time in June at the invitation of 
US Secretary of State Colin Powell. The dates for the visit are 
being worked out, Pakistan ambassador Dr Maleeha Lodhi said on 

Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz was in Washington for the just-
concluded IMF/World Bank spring meetings and also met US Treasury 
Secretary Paul O'Neill, but Mr Sattar's visit will mark the first 
real review of the political and foreign policy aspects of the 
Pakistan-US relationship at this level.

The relationship has been an uneven one in the past few years 
because of various factors the perceived rise of religious 
extremism and the alleged backing given to it by Pakistani 
government agencies, nuclear proliferation, Kargil, and the 
military's overthrow of an elected government. Islamabad's support 
for the Taliban regime, which is under pressure from the US to hand 
over Osama bin Laden, has cast its own shadow on Pakistan-America 

But there is a growing feeling in Pakistani circles that the Bush 
administration has decided to look at Pakistan and South Asia with 
an open mind, and while this may not lead to any far reaching 
changes, there are indications that America's South Asia policy is 
at least being closely reviewed, uninfluenced by some of the 
prejudices of the Clinton era. It remains to be seen whether the 
review will lead to greater sympathy emerging for Pakistan's 
dilemmas vis-a-vis Afghanistan and Kashmir.

Apart from the more obvious issues such as the economic, political 
and military sanctions, Mr Sattar will probably restate Pakistan's 
anxiety for the US to play a more active diplomatic role in setting 
up a Pakistan-Indian dialogue for regional peace and stability. New 
Delhi has been warming up to the Bush administration, and is among 
the few countries to endorse the administration's commitment to a 
missile nuclear defence system. Mr Sattar will be able to find out 
during his visit if the US is willing to exploit India's new mood 
of co-operation with Washington to persuade New Delhi into adopting 
a more rational stance on Kashmir and peace negotiations.

Pakistan no longer helping Taliban: US
Monitoring Desk

WASHINGTON, May 6: The United States has said Pakistan is no longer 
helping the Taliban with men and material and is committed to 
implementing the arms embargo and other UN sanctions imposed on 

A senior USAID official said this in response to a question about 
the State Department's report on "Patterns of global terrorism, 
2000", which had said that although Pakistan was committed to 
implementing the UN resolution, it is providing Kabul with 
material, fuel funding, technical assistance, besides military 

"The report was a 2000 report. It is not talking about today," 
Morris told reporters at a comprehensive briefing on Afghanistan, 
arranged by the State Department. Morris said in the current 
situation, Pakistan will abide by the conditions of the UN Security 
Council Resolution 1333, which imposed sanctions on the Taliban.

US likely to lift sanctions within six months
Masood Haider

NEW YORK, May 6: United States is expected to lift economic 
sanctions imposed on India and Pakistan within six months as the 
Bush administration believes that these are hurting the American 
economic interests.

The sanctions were imposed on the two countries following May 1998 
tit-for-tat nuclear tests by the two countries. A report in the New 
York Times on Sunday said: "Despite Pakistan's many political and 
economic problems, the new administration is likely to try to help 
Pakistan by supporting soft loans through the International 
Monetary Fund and World Bank, among other things. Like its 
predecessor, the Bush administration does not want to push nuclear 
armed Pakistan -a society with strains of fundamentalism- over the 

While the lifting of sanctions against India would be complete, 
Pakistan would still remain under some democracy sanctions, which 
would stay in place until restoration of civilian rule in Pakistan.

Ever since the visit of India's External Affairs Minister Jaswant 
Singh to Washington, wherein he met with President George Bush, 
India has not only softened the criticism of the Bush 
Administration's foreign policy, it has come abroad on Mr Bush's 
controversial nuclear missile defence plan. The reason: India has 
been given assurances that all economic sanctions imposed on it 
following its nuclear tests would be lifted and the normalization 
of once strained ties would continue.

Besides Indian minister's visit, Pakistan's Finance Minister 
Shaukat Aziz held extensive meetings with US Treasury Secretary 
Paul O'Neil, and State Department's Under-Secretary of Economic 
Affairs Alan Larsen, in which impact of US sanctions on Pakistan's 
economic recovery were discussed. Mr Aziz also met Mr Richard Haas 
of the State Department where again the impact of sanctions were 

Mr Aziz clearly came out with an understanding that the new Bush 
administration may ease the sanctions against Pakistan, although US 
was critical about Islamabad's support for the Kashmiri freedom 
fighters and its support for Taliban government. The US also 
emphasized for restoration of democracy in Pakistan. The Times 
report also says that "India would also like to be able to buy 
nuclear reactors for civilian use from the United States. And it 
wants the United States to lean on Pakistan to rein in Mujahideen 
who have been battling India in Kashmir."

The Bush administration so far appears to be carrying on efforts 
made in the waning Clinton years and solidified when Bill Clinton 
visited India in March 2000 to overcome the mutual suspicion that 
dated from the cold war, when India was close to the Soviet Union 
and Pakistan was an American ally.

Last week the State Department did not add Pakistan to its list of 
state sponsors of terrorism, but it did criticize Pakistan for 
backing anti-India Mujahideen groups operating in Kashmir. It also 
said it was disappointed that Pakistani government, which took 
power in a 1999 military take over, had cracked down on a pro-
democracy rally organized by political parties.

Jamaat demands end to military rule
Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, May 6: Jamaat-i-Islami Amir Qazi Hussain Ahmad on Friday 
threatened the government with launching a nation wide movement if 
the government did not meet the demands made at the party's 
national convention in Lahore last month.

"We will show the way to Gen Musharraf much the same way we did to 
Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto," the Jamaat leader said while 
talking to party delegates at Serai Gambela in Lakki Marwat.

Qazi claimed that corruption was permeating the armed forces whose 
motto had been Jehad-i-Fee Sabilillah. He said that it was high 
time the army returned to the barracks and formed a civilian 
caretaker government to hold free and fair elections under an 
independent election commission. He lamented that Pakistan had been 
unable to achieve the objectives for which it had been created and 
the responsibility for this lay with the unscrupulous rulers who 
danced to the tunes of their foreign masters. This was the main 
reason for growing corruption and social injustices in Pakistan, he 

He said that the PPP and PML had failed in delivering the goods to 
the people and it was now the turn of Jamaat-i- Islami to come up 
to the expectations of the people.

VISITS JALOZAI: Later, upon arrival from Lakki Marwat, Qazi Hussain 
Ahmad visited Jalozai refugee camp near Peshawar where he 
distributed relief goods amongst the refugees. He, on this 
occasion, called on the warring factions in Afghanistan to stop 
fighting and work towards the reconstruction of their war-battered 

Accountability: Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau 
(NAB) Lt-Gen Khalid Maqbool, during a visit to the Regional 
Accountability Bureau here on Saturday, stressed the need for 
accelerating the pace of accountability in the province, says a 
press release. RAB Commander AVM Zakaullah Khan briefed the NAB 
chief about the performance of the regional office.

Islamabad wants UN aid inside Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD, May 5: Foreign minister, Abdul Sattar, urged the United 
Nations and the international community to provide humanitarian 
assistance to the drought-stricken Afghans inside their country to 
prevent their exodus.

He was talking to the visiting chief of the UN High Commission for 
Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, who called on him here on Saturday. "A big 
majority of the nearly two hundred thousand new arrivals were 
economic migrants and their exodus could have been prevented if 
food and relief were available to them inside Afghanistan," Sattar 
was quoted as saying by an official statement.

The foreign minister urged the international community to focus on 
the provision of humanitarian assistance inside Afghanistan so that 
the Afghans, afflicted by unprecedented drought, did not leave 
their country in search of food. He said it had also been decided 
not to push the new arrivals back into Afghanistan.

"Pakistan's capacity to receive more refugees was exhausted since 
the presence of the large number of refugees had placed an enormous 
burden on its resources, in addition to the social, political and 
ecological costs," he was quoted as saying. Sattar took serious 
note of the unfair media criticism against Pakistan regarding 
Jalozai refugee camp and emphasized that the government had not 
obstructed the provisions of relief assistance to the Afghans 
either in Jalozai or elsewhere.-APP

Japan may resume aid next year

ISLAMABAD, May 8: Japan has indicated to resume Pakistan's 
increased annual assistance from the next financial year. 
Diplomatic sources said that Pakistan's 400 million dollars annual 
Official Development Assistance (ODA) by Japan could be increased 
to 500 million dollars from 2001-2002.

Moreover Japan could also consider extending additional financial 
support for mitigating the effects of a severe drought the country 
has been experiencing. Sources said that Japan saw assurances given 
to finance minister Shaukat Aziz by US Secretary Treasury Paul 
O'neil last week in Washington as positive developments for the 
removal of remaining international sanctions against Pakistan.

They said that US Secretary of State Colin Powel's invitation to 
Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar to visit Washington could lead to 
removal of sanctions against Pakistan. Nevertheless they said that 
Pakistan would have to indicate some timeframe to sign the CTBT 
about which it had already, in principle, taken a decision.

"We hope that the government would soon start taking the 
politicians into confidence to sign the CTBT," a source said. He 
added that leaders of major political parties PPP and PML have no 
inhibitions to sign the treaty especially to get the sanctions 

Japan had suspended new loans and grants except those for 
humanitarian and emergency purposes and those for grassroots 
assistance schemes since Pakistan's nuclear tests in 1998. 
Technical assistance is also outside of this measure.

Government borrowing starts falling
Mohiuddin Aazim

KARACHI, May 7: The government reduced its net bank borrowing from 
banks to Rs18 billion up to first week of April 2001, from Rs31.4 
billion a month ago. It is supposed to keep it at minus Rs14.5 
billion at the end of the current fiscal.

Senior bankers said the government had made a gross borrowing of 
Rs45 billion up to April 7, 2001 but at the same time it had placed 
Rs27 billion in a special debt account thus reducing the net 
borrowing to Rs18 billion. Up to March 3, net government bank 
borrowing stood at a little more than Rs31 billion.

Under $596 million IMF standby credit programme, the government is 
to keep its net bank borrowing at minus Rs14.5 billion at the end 
of the fiscal in June. That explains why the government had to cut 
its bank borrowing after it had risen to Rs31.4 billion as on 
March 3.

Senior bankers say meeting bank borrowing target should not be a 
tough task for the government in the wake of its larger than 
expected borrowing through long term bonds that forms part of its 
non-bank borrowing. On April 18, the government had raised Rs11.2 
billion through these bonds and all is set for another auction of 
the bonds on May 19.

But at the same time, investment in national saving schemes has 
been on the fall after rate cuts leaving little room for non-bank 
borrowing through such schemes and reducing the impact of borrowing 
through Pakistan Investment Bonds. Historically what compels the 
government to make constant borrowings from banks is that its tax 
machinery often misses tax collection target. For this fiscal, tax 
collection target is Rs417 billion: according to provisional 
figures the tax machinery has collected Rs306 billion in the first 
10 months of the current fiscal - between June 2000-April 2001.

Senior bankers said up to April 7, selected seven public sector 
organizations had retired Rs14.3 billion of bank credit. Under the 
IMF standby credit programme, these organizations namely.
(i) WAPDA 
(ii) KESC 
(iii) SSGC (SNGPL) 
(iv) OGDC 
(v) PTCL and 
(vi) Pakistan Railways are supposed to keep their bank borrowing at 
Rs11.5 billion. This means these organizations can make a net 
borrowing of more than Rs25 billion between April 7 and June 30.

COMMODITY OPERATIONS: Senior bankers said bank borrowing by state-
run agencies for financing commodity operations stood at minus 37.9 
billion up to April 7. Under the IMF credit programme these 
agencies are supposed to retire by the end of this fiscal year Rs40 
billion of loans taken earlier for commodity operations. Under 
commodity operations state-run agencies borrow money from banks for 
buying agricultural crops and inputs like wheat and rice and seed 
and fertilizer for onward supply into the market.

PRIVATE SECTOR AND PSCEs: Bank borrowing of the private sector and 
public sector commercial enterprises (PSCEs) stood at Rs85.8 
billion up to April 7 down from Rs93.4 billion as on March 3. Of 
this borrowing by private sector proper stood at Rs76.3 billion and 
borrowing by PSCEs totalled Rs11.2 billion.

Senior bankers attributed the fall in the credit flow toward the 
private sector between March 3 and April 7 to the fact that it was 
time for retirement of private sector credit. In Pakistan private 
sector starts credit retirement normally from April and in some 
cases the process start even a bit earlier.

Demand for private sector credit remains high in six months i.e. 
October-March that are the months of higher agricultural 
productivity. After that the demands fall drastically and the 
private sector starts repaying the seasonal loans.

WB losing patience on Development of financial institution 
Jawaid Bokhari

KARACHI, May 11: The World Bank is losing its patience for want of 
official decision on issues like merger and privatization of 
development financial institution (DFIs) with negative balance-
sheet, sources indicated here on Friday.

Barring PICIC which has come out of the woods on impressive debt 
recovery once major players like NDFC and IDBP have been identified 
for merger in a concept paper approved by the cabinet.

Earlier, these were on the list of units to be privatized. No 
progress has been made in either of the two directions. In the 
current scenario, both NDFC and IDBP have stopped fresh long-term 
lending and are focusing on existing business-debt recovery, debt 
rescheduling and funding of existing projects, that do not need 
large capital and have potentials for a turn-around. These include 
big projects in which large debts are stuck-up. DFIs are tempted to 
put small sums to salvage huge amounts. They provide working 
capital to running industries from the deposits they raise from the 

These two institutions, NDFC and IDBP are windows for long-term 
financing, vitally needed in a developing country suffering from 
critical shortage of capital. They are essential for turning assets 
from dead capital into living capital in any strategy for the 
country's industrialization.

Experienced retired development bankers rule out the possibility of 
merger as a feasible proposition and reject the official concept 
that envisages merger of two or more units suffering from the same 
malady i.e. financial distress. How can NDFC and IDBP, with 
negative balance-sheet and different company cultures, turn into a 
financially sound outfit, by the act of corporate marriage, they 
ask and add "for any merger to succeed, a strong unit needs to take 
over a weak one."

Elsewhere in the world, mergers are often encouraged through 
provision of funds either by the government or lending agencies. 
The government is cash-strapped and indications are that the IFIs 
like World Bank are not inclined to oblige.
Sources here said that the government plans to share its view on 
merger of DFIs with the World Bank team expected here in the next 
few days to discuss issues related to $250 million banking sector 

Officials have, however, not paid heed to an option that emerges 
out of PICIC experience of a turn-around. No doubt, PICIC is a 
private sector organization. Though the private sector has a major 
stake in the corporation, the current chief executive has come from 
the state-run commercial bank, the UBL. PICIC has expanded, owns a 
commercial bank and provides medium to long term loans and working 
capital to its clients.

Apart from non-performing loans, DFIs have suffered immensely 
because quick changes in top management with the tenure of the 
chief executives averaging between 1-2 years and uncertainties 
sparked by governmental pronouncements.

During the tenure of Junejo as prime minister, Burmah Oil Company 
(BOC) withdrew its offer to sell Pakistan Petroleum Ltd to Shell, 
when the latter failed to get 'no objection' from the government 
within the specified extended period. BOC complained that it cannot 
allow uncertainties to damage the morale of its employees and the 
PPL's future. In this country, IFIs and responsible government 
leaders, by their pronouncement and actions, often damage state-run 
units. There was a run on deposits when the financial advisor in 
Moin Qureshi's government made some observations on financial 

The DFIs have also suffered because the IFIs first halted their 
creditlines and later offered foreign loans at interest rates that 
became prohibitive after hedging against devaluation. The last 
credit by an IFI to Bankers Equity for disbursement through 
different DFIs, remained unutilized.

Apparently, the market does not have an appetite for DFIs because 
long-term lending is far riskier business than commercial banking. 
Only two small banks were sold in the recent past and privatization 
of major banks, remains stuck on government's agenda.

42.43% rise in Sales Tax refund during 10 months

KARACHI, May 8: There has been a remarkable rise of 42.43 per cent 
in Sales Tax refund payments to exporters during the first 10 
months of present fiscal year, official sources disclosed here on 

The Sales Tax Collectorates (East & West), Karachi, have paid 
Rs13.091 billion towards sales tax refunds during the first 10 
months of FY-2000-01, as against Rs9.191 billion paid during the 
corresponding period of last year.

A soaring refund payments of sales tax allay exporters' claim that 
there had been long delay and non-payment of huge amounts against 
their claims. The exporters had been also claiming that due to non-
payment of ST refunds they were facing liquidity crunch.

According to details, the ST collectorate (East), during the period 
under review, paid Rs8.492 billion or 62.21 per cent higher in ST 
refunds than the corresponding period of last fiscal when an amount 
of Rs5.233 billion was paid.

Similarly, the collectorate (West), during the first 10 months of 
present fiscal, paid Rs4.599 billion in ST refunds which is higher 
by 16.21 per cent than of last year when Rs3.957 billion were paid.

When looked at these facts it could be easily stated that there is 
continuous rise in ST refund payments and the hue and cry by 
exporters stands invalid.

It is also being stated that the system of ST refund payment is not 
foolproof and is exposed to fake as well as flying invoices' which 
gives a lot of room for exporters or even the supplier to make 
fraudulent claims.

"I would say that the bureaucracy itself is not keen to evolve a 
system which could not be tampered with easily simply because they 
also want to make quick and easy money," a leading exporter 

UNHCR proposal for repatriation of refugees
Bureau Report

PESHAWAR, May 7: The United Nations High Commission for Refugees 
(UNHCR) has presented a plan to the federal government that 
provides for a sustained Afghan refugees repatriation, a highly-
paced government official said.

The plan, which has been presented to the Ministry of State and 
Frontier Regions (Safron) spread over a period of 18 months, from 
July 2001 to December 2002. It addresses Pakistan's concern 
regarding the slow repatriation of Afghan refugees.

Pakistan is host to around two million Afghan refugees, 1.2 
million. The official said that the plan aims at facilitating the 
voluntary return of 100,000 refugees to Afghanistan by assisting 
them in getting shelter, better health, education, and water. It 
aims at setting-up income-generating projects in Afghanistan.

"The aim is to promote sustainable return, and once the refugees go 
back, they should be able to stay back," the official said. The 
official acknowledged that previous repatriation programmes were 
successful due to several reasons. "Giving the refugees a couple of 
thousands of rupees and a bag of wheat was not enough to encourage 
voluntary repatriation."

A tripartite commission that includes Pakistan, Afghanistan and the 
UNHCR already exists to facilitate the voluntary return of Afghan 
refugees to their country.

The official said that something that hampered the voluntary 
repatriation of Afghan refugees, has been the lack of job 
opportunities and economic activity.

The Governor NWFP, Lt-Gen (retd) Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah, 
however, is believed to have raised several questions with regards 
to the strategy plan, but as one official put it, he has not 
rejected it.

WAPDA failed to utilize funds: Draft report

ISLAMABAD, May 6: Major donor agencies have expressed 
dissatisfaction over the utilisation of $1.5 billion funds by the 
government and WAPDA under Private Sector Energy Development Fund
 (PSEDF) that financed private sector involvement in Pakistan's 
power sector reforms since 1988.

The PSEDF programme now stand completed but over $200 million are 
still un-disbursed. A draft report "Intensive Learning 
Implementation Completion Report" on the subject highlighted a 
number of major areas of deficiencies including poor financial 
performance of WAPDA and lack of achievements in the institutional 

Of this amount, $145 million loan is technically available to WAPDA 
but would not be disbursed due to a policy decision of Japan Exim 
Bank. Another $66 million were cancelled jointly by the World Bank, 
Jexim, Italian government and the United States. Pakistan has 
separately asked Bank of China to disburse $7.315 million for Uch 
Power Project only after agreeing to a late interest of 7.48 per 
cent, a revised schedule for payments and some other 

Six major objections in the report that rated the WAPDA performance 
under PSEDF as "unsatisfactory", include: (i) "institutional 
objectives have not been fully achieved (ii) Wapda's financial 
performance has been poor (iii) WAPDA Power Purchase Organisation 
(WPPO) never developed full capacity to implement and monitor the 
power purchase agreements (PPAs) (iv) WPPO suffered from turnover 
in its senior management (v) IPPs faced delays due to failure to 
provide interconnection on time (vi) WPPO did not co-operate with 
IPPs in plant testing and commissioning (vii) WAPDA resorted to 
negotiating tariff with many IPPs before their commissioning.

WAPDA has however held the World Bank responsible for failures and 
strongly contested these reservations and claimed that its 
performance has been excellent. WAPDA said: "We differ with the 
performance rating of 'unsatisfactory' pertaining to WAPDA 
including WPPO. Despite constraints, including inadequate support 
from the Bank itself, WAPDA performed satisfactorily".

WAPDA forecast a financially viable future for itself and its 
companies based on restructuring programme and efficiency 
improvement measures saying "Wapda's self-assessed rating regarding 
implementation of PSEDF-I and II is satisfactory". Regarding 
institutional reforms WAPDA said that it had created a centre-of-
excellence in the form of WPPO which is not capable of handling 
present IPPs but is likely to usher-in further flow of foreign 
investment during next 25 years.

On its power performance WAPD Aclaimed that it has improved, 
development programme was back on fast track, Ghazi-Barotha and 
Chashma Hydel were now on schedule and payable position was 
satisfactory. WAPDA said it never defaulted on payments to IPPs 
even at the lowest point of its relations with IPPs.

Failure to utilize gas to cost $1.1billion

ISLAMABAD, May 5: Pakistan will lose about $1.1 billion foreign 
exchange (Rs70 billion) during 2001-02 besides incurring 
unspecified "large penalties" to gas producers due to its inability 
to utilize 715mmcfd of natural gas.

Sources in the petroleum ministry told Dawn that this spending in 
foreign exchange could have been avoided had the government 
marketed the 715mmcfd of gas produced from newly developed fields 
by the private producers. The donors have also told the government 
that Pakistan would incur increasingly large penalties as a result 
of its inability to bring gas to market effectively, unless 
transmission and distribution network is upgraded in view of 
rapidly increasing demand, the sources said.

The average potential demand in Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited 
(SNGPL) in fiscal year 2001 has been estimated at 1,350mmcfd 
against contracted supply and delivery capability of 970mmcfd. The 
government could have marketed an additional 380mmcfd, equivalent 
to 3.6 million tons of fuel oil or equal to $600 million in fuel 
oil imports, had it been able to secure its requirement in full.

Similarly, the average potential demand in Sui Southern Gas Company 
(SSGC) system in 2001-02 has been estimated at 1,000mmcfd against 
total delivery capability of 565mmcfd. "Had it been able to secure 
its requirement in full, it could have marketed an additional 
335mmcfd, equivalent to 3 million tons of fuel oil, about $500 
million in fuel oil imports," a world bank study said.

Thermal power generation in fiscal year 2000 accounted for 11 
million tons of oil equivalent, of which six million tons was in 
the form of imported fuel oil at a cost of $1 billion. An 
additional 700mmcfd of natural gas for power generation is 
estimated to have a net benefit of $100 million to $200 million per 
year in addition to other contingent benefits like improved 
environment, employment etc.

SSGC, however, planned to bring to market some 500mmcfd of gas 
within two years, relatively at a low cost due to its system though 
SNGPL distribution area is facing problems due to magnitude of the 
investment requirement for infrastructure development.

The amount of gas required for all power plants including Water and 
Power Development Authority plants and independent power producers 
(IPPs) to convert to natural gas is around 1,350mmcfd on average 
load conditions, much larger than 930mmcfd likely to be available 
after the full development of new gas discoveries.

Pakistan has total recoverable reserves of about 38tcf (trillion 
cubic feet) of which cumulative production has been 13tcf till June 
last year. Remaining reserves hence stand at about 24.92tcf. In 
terms of normalized reserves at 900btu/cft (pipeline quality gas), 
the remaining reserves are estimated at 21tcf.

A three phased plan is, however, under way to bring around 450mmcfd 
of gas from Miano, Sawan and Bhit fields on stream by December 
2002. Another 480mmcfd of gas will be added to the system by July 
2003, followed by third phase of 750mmcfd by 2006-07. Official 
estimates suggest that the country would be in a position to start 
annual saving of $240 million from next year and $380 million by 
the year 2010 through substitution of furnace oil with natural gas.

Riba unlikely to go soon, says Governor State Bank of Pakistan 

KARACHI, May 6: State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Ishrat Hussein 
said on Saturday that, due to some technical constraints, complete 
elimination of Riba from the economy was not possible immediately 
after July 2001 as per directives of the Supreme Court.

Speaking at the book launching ceremony of "The Future of 
Economics: An Islamic Perspective" by Dr Mohammad Umer Chappra, Dr 
Ishrat said the country was caught in a serious financial crisis. 
He said that if any experiment of enforcing a whole new system 
would be carried out, it was feared that the attempt would lead to 
collapse of the system. He said the implementation of the new 
system was a big challenge and arrangements would be made from July 
to implement it. 

Whatever problems arose in the process, they would be brought into 
the notice of the apex court, he said. Dr Hussein said an Islamic 
Transition Commission had been constituted and its recommendations 
would be incorporated in the new system. 

A task force to eliminate borrowing had also been formed, he said. 
There was no perfect Islamic system enforced in any Islamic 
country, he said. Underlining the need for Ijtihad, the State Bank 
governor said sectarian and factional differences among Muslims 
were the main hindrance in implementation of Islamic system. The 
federal minister for religious affairs, Dr Mahmood Gazi, said that 
it was the age of economic powers and no advancement could be 
achieved without economic development. He said nations were being 
enslaved through financial weapons and the Muslim Ummah would have 
to prepare itself for the new challenges. -PPI

Back to the top
Ardeshir Cowasjee

OUR former Pakistani-American finance minister, Professor Shahid 
Javed Burki, was passing through Karachi and dropped in for 
breakfast. He very seriously wanted to know what he already knew, 
and asked, "Where are we heading?" I equally seriously answered, 

Base: A population of 140 million, of which 139 million are 
uneducated (in the profound and other sense of the word) and remain 
intolerant and bigoted. Population growth rate, 8 births per 
minute, 480 births per hour, 11,520 per day, 4,204,800 per year.

"Jobless deposed political leaders, now self-employed agitators and 
disruptionists: 99.9 per cent corrupt, endowed with unsatiable 

National till: Empty. 

Friends: Few." "Do you agree with Stiglitz ?" I asked Shahid. 
"Yes," he said, himself a former World Bank man.

Two years ago the World Bank fired its chief economist, Joseph 
Stiglitz, merely because he had expressed mild dissent from World 
Bank-style globalization. He was recently interviewed in Washington 
for The Observer and News night about the inside workings of the 
IMF, the World Bank, and the Bank's 51 per cent owner, the US 

The World Bank, Stiglitz tells us, claims that it has an assistance 
strategy for every poorer nation, which is designed for each after 
careful in-country investigation. Not so, says Stiglitz, once a 
true insider, a member of Bill Clinton's cabinet, and chairman of 
the President's council of economic advisers. The so-called 
'investigation' involves little more than a close inspection of 
five-star hotels and concludes with a meeting with a begging 
finance minister, who is handed a 'restructuring agreement' pre-
drafted for 'voluntary' signature. Then, after an analysis of each 
nation's economy, the Bank hands to every finance minister the same 
four-step programme: Privatization; capital market liberalisation; 
market-based pricing; free trade.

Step one: Rather than objecting to the sell-offs of state 
industries, most politicians of poor countries use the World Bank's 
demands to silence local critics and their governments and then 
happily flog their electricity, water companies, and so forth. They 
leap, with eyes gleaming, at the possibility of commissions for 
shaving a few billion off the sale price. The US government knows 
exactly what is going on - as it did in the case of the biggest 
privatization of all, the 1995 Russian sell-off. Stiglitz maintains 
that the US Treasury wanted Yeltsin re-elected and was totally 
unconcerned as to whether the election was corrupt or not. The 
result: US-backed oligarchs stripped Russia's industrial assets, 
with the effect that national output was cut almost by half.

Step two: In theory this allows investment money to flow in and out 
but in practice, usually, the money simply flows out. MacDonald's 
Kentucky Fried? Stiglitz calls this the 'hot money' cycle whereby 
cash flows in for speculation in real estate and currency and flows 
out at the first signs of trouble. Stiglitz says that a nation's 
reserves can drain literally in days, and when it does the IMF 
steps in and demands that interest rates be raised, thus 
demolishing property values, savaging industrial production and 
draining the national exchequer.

Step three: With a nation down on its knees, the IMF propels it 
towards raising prices on food, water and utilities. As one 
illustration of the results of what the Bank fancily terms market-
based pricing, Stiglitz cites Indonesia in 1998. When the IMF put a 
stop to food and fuel subsidies the country exploded into riots 
what Stiglitz calls Step three-and-a-half, 'the IMF riot'.

News night had obtained several World Bank documents one of which 
was a 2000 Interim Country Assistance Strategy for Ecuador in which 
it was clearly stated that the Bank expected its plans for that 
unhappy country to spark 'social unrest', which is exactly what 
they did.

These 'IMF riots' cause new flights of capital and ensuing 
government bankruptcies. Who profits?: foreigners who rush in to 
pick up at bargain prices whatever assets remain. In this game, 
says Stiglitz, the clear winners seem to be the western banks and 
the US Treasury.

Step four: Free trade is conducted by the rules of the World Trade 
Organization and the World Bank. Europe and America demolish all 
barriers to sales in Asia, Africa and Latin America whilst 
barricading their own markets to purchases from these areas.

World Bank and IMF plans are devised in secrecy, they are never 
open to dissent or even discourse, and according to Stiglitz, are 
'driven by an absolutist ideology'. Not only do they actually 
undermine the demanded democracy but they just do not work. Take 
Africa, for instance. Under the IMF structural assistance 
programmes, Africa's income dropped by 23 per cent and the only 
nation that escaped was Botswana which gave the IMF the boot.

Stiglitz's recommendations: Forget the Bank and the IMF. Go in for 
radical land reforms and thus completely change the power of the 
elites. But changing the power of the elites is not high on the 
Bank's or the IMF's agenda, and neither is changing their own four-
step course in the face of failures and suffering. "We must get out 
of the World Bank-IMF trap," said Burki, "we must produce more, our 
industries must grow. We desperately need foreign investment." I 
groaned, he groaned

Foreign investment in Pakistan has declined by some 73 per cent 
over the last year. And the few who have embarked on the investment 
misadventure face numerous difficulties or home-made hurdles 
created by the self-appointed guardians of the nation's moral 

Take the case of the unfortunate foreign investors whose 
multinational corporation produces consumer goods. The corporation 
pays Rs 1 billion per annum in direct taxes to the Pakistan 
exchequer. It has recently pledged to commit a further US $ 10 
million to install a new soap manufacturing plant near Karachi and 
has invested another $3 million in local packing of disposable 
diapers and sanitary towels both widely used items of necessity. It 
launched the sales of its sanitary towels with a massive 
advertising campaign in the print as well as the electronic media 
Pakistan Television. Similar ads are projected over the television 
channels of most countries, including those of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, 
the UAE, Morocco, Malaysia and Indonesia all members of the Muslim 
ummah. But those of our Islamic Republic inflicted with religiosity 
found the ads objectionable.

Meetings were held with the representatives of the organized 
Islamic groups. "Is the product un-Islamic?" they were asked. "Is 
anything vulgar or obscene being shown". "No", said the objectors, 
"but there should be no mention on TV of the phrase 'sanitary 
towels'. That is taboo".

PTV had no objection to what the advertiser wanted to show and the 
account would have augmented their earnings, our national earnings, 
by Rs 50 million. But 'No,' said the Lord High Executioner sitting 
in the Chief Executive's Secretariat (no less !). On April 10, 
Musaddeq Asad Shah, deputy secretary A-3, fired his missive, No 
1(1) SO-I(A-3)/CES,2001/428, aimed at the additional secretary 
incharge of the ministry of information and broadcasting, conveying 
the 'desire' of 'The competent authority' (surely not his Lord and 
Master, General Pervez Musharraf?). The Managing Director of PTV 
was duly copied. The lethal message.

Subject : Importance of female education through media. The 
competent authority has desired to stop the playing of the 
advertisement 'sanitary towel' forthwith on PTV. However, the same 
may be re-recorded and played if required after clearance from the 
ministry of religious affairs. Implementation of the above 
instructions may be confirmed. "The sanitary towel advertisements 
remain suspended, awaiting clearance from the religious affairs 
ministry. This ministry's functions as defined by the government's 
rules of business have nothing to do with reviewing advertisements, 
or delivering a judgement on the use of the product advertised. 
Should the CE's secretariat have involved itself at all in this 
matter ? And must the government involve the men of religion in 
issues as to whether citizens of this country should or should not 
buy and use a consumer item? How is investment to be attracted and 
protected when highly incompetent 'competent authorities' interfere 
in mundane matters such as the advertising of sanitary towels on 

We will soon end up making, playing, but not even exporting, Gilli-

Poor Musharraf. He has to carry with him the fanatics in his camp. 
He says the right things : "There is no room for religious 
extremism..." But then he finds it necessary to cover his rear, and 
adds, "and there is no room for western liberalism." He and his 
privatization minister, Altaf Saleem, are doing their best to 
privatize, and at the same time his men in Karachi are doing their 
best to nationalize a well-run completely privately funded 
hospital, The Kidney Centre.

The trained mind, wherever it may live, is not boggled. It is not 
drained by whatever is incessantly dinned into it about Kashmir and 
our sole ally, the Taliban. It must keep on and on waging the 
losing war.

A passion for verbosity
Ayaz Amir

WHEN Polonius commended the virtues of brevity as being the soul of 
wit he could scarcely have had a Pakistani audience in mind. 
Telling Pakistanis to be brief is as good as telling them not to 

We are a prolix people with a talent, nay a positive genius, for 
being long-winded. Anything that can be said in ten different ways 
will never be said in one. What's the point of stating a 
proposition if it cannot be repeated? Or, better still, worked to 

The disease at its most virulent is to be found in the political 
class. It will take the nation's politicos another generation to 
get used to television because even on TV they conduct themselves 
as platform orators, taking their time to warm up to their theme 
and then in slow, measured cadences letting fall their pearls of 

The live TV show, Dialogue, I have been anchoring for the past 
seven weeks, and which now mercifully is drawing to a close, was 
meant to last an hour, twice or thrice going beyond this limit. Yet 
it was much too short for the guests who came on it. An hour of 
live television is an eternity. Anything beyond that should qualify 
as a criminal offence. But then television calls for the short, 
crisp statement, something yet to be discovered in the Pakistani 

In any event, the word Dialogue is a complete misnomer. The ability 
to conduct a dialogue springs from the art of conversation, an art 
form wholly lost to the subcontinent. Indians, Pakistanis, 
Bangladeshis, it makes no difference. We declaim, hector, preach; 
we do not converse. It lies not in our temperament. Whoever 
invented the loudspeaker would have had second thoughts about its 
effect upon the human race if he had an insight into the uses to 
which it would be put in the teeming lands of South Asia.

One reason why opera will never take off in the sub-continent is 
because our normal mode of discourse is operatic. Motor rickshaws, 
pressure horns and platform oratory can leave little space for 
Mozart or Puccini. Or even Wagner. Former Baron of Punjab Manzoor 
Wattoo deserves to have all his sins washed away for the one 
service he did the province by restricting loudspeaker use in 
mosques to the azaan and the Friday khutba. Although the order he 
passed--and, what's more, enforced has been subverted in various 
ways, it remains in force. But I tread on sensitive ground and 
return to my theme.

When words fail, as they will do when no premium is put on their 
worth, recourse will be had to the stick and the firearm. Why do 
parliamentarians in all our three countries take to fisticuffs at 
the slightest provocation? Not because great principles of policy 
are involved but simply because their high-wired temperaments get 
the better of their discretion. A scene from the National Assembly 
here and the Lok Sabha in India is about the same: noise, clamour 
and little genuine debate. And for variety, fisticuffs.

Qazi Hussain Ahmed of the Jamaat-i-Islami as a guest on the 
Dialogue programme seemed a bit ruffled because he was not being 
allowed to hold forth. I had a lurking suspicion of what he would 
have preferred: the studio surrounded by activists of the Islami 
Jamiat-i-Tulaba so that Qazi Sahib could speak as much as he 
wanted. There has always been a menace about the Jamaat. It was the 
first party to inject violence into politics and education in 
Pakistan. To sit with the Jamaat chief for even five minutes is to 
realize that his party has not outgrown this tradition. It is the 
Jamaat's bad luck the military government is keeping it at arm's 
length. General Musharraf has even called Qazi Hussain Ahmed an 
"unbalanced man". Harsh words but uncomfortably close to the truth.

In the seven programmes I anchored were there no deviations from 
the norm? Begum Nasim Wali Khan was impressive. She is relaxed on 
TV and speaks with great precision. Abida Hussain good as always. 
Meraj Khalid meaty but a trifle long-winded. Mumtaz Bhutto taking a 
controversial line but being brief and lucid. Imran Khan 
surprisingly good: clear and forceful. Air Marshal Asghar Khan 
brief and speaking with a sense of authority. Beyond this little 
circle of relevance a sea of smoke and verbosity. I forget. Senator 
Khudai Noor of Nawab Bugti's Jamhoori Watan Party came across well. 
The rest of the Baloch, including Akhtar Mengal and Mahmood 
Achakzai, need lessons in TV speak.

A word about the various audiences. The gift of verbosity being a 
national trait, it was scarcely surprising if most people, although 
by no means all, were more interested in making speeches than 
asking questions. If any invidious distinctions are to be drawn I 
would say the audience at Peshawer was the best in terms of 
behaviour. Which comes perhaps from the Pakhtoon sense of respect 
for time and place. At Lahore with press heavyweights like Mr 
Irshad Haqqani, Abdul Qadir Hasan, Arif Nizami and the maverick 
Nazir Naji attending, the questions and observations were of a high 
order although, to prove that we were in Pakistan, the evening was 
not without its share of silly interventions. The audiences at 
Islamabad and Karachi came the closest to the sub-continental norm 
of aimless shouting and impatient arm-raising.

As for myself, here is some Chinese-style self-criticism. If there 
is a purgatory or re-education centre for those ill at ease before 
the cameras I deserve a stint in it. At 51 I am still nervous on 
TV, the sweat on my brows showing easily and proclaiming my lack of 
poise and confidence. What is more, discomfort on TV makes on 
occasion for a forced manner, the worst of faults on this medium. 
At times I think I spoke too much, at times that I did not 
intervene enough to check the flow of rant from some of the guests. 
All in all, an uneven performance.

But the exercise and the pain were worth it. Every government has 
felt mortally afraid of opening up television as if to do so would 
invite the furies and imperil its existence. The first time ever a 
live political discussion took place on PTV was when Mr Irshad 
Haqqani was information minister in Malik Meraj Khalid's interim 
government. When I suggested to him that he should look into the 
possibility within 24 hours he had come back to me and said "yes". 
(Who says journalists are not quick decision-makers?) That's when 
we had the famous face-off between Gen Naseerullah Babar and a 
couple of MQM die-hards. Whatever good came of that performance it 
was great TV and a lot of fun.

For the second time in PTV history a government has allowed a live 
political programme, the credit for this going squarely to General 
Musharraf (and Gen Naqvi). I know that in cabinet there was serious 
opposition to the idea but it was overruled by the CE himself. So 
it is that for the first time in Pakistan live TV has carried 
criticism of martial law and even the army. Mumtaz Bhutto argued in 
favour of a confederation. Mengal called for a fresh constituent 
assembly, all before a national audience. Has Pakistan broken up 
into pieces as a consequence? Have the heavens fallen? Have 
Pakistan's ramparts crumbled? Has Musharraf ceased to be Chief 

If anything, this openness has come as a breath of fresh air. That 
a military government is behind this glasnost is an irony which 
should not be lost on the political parties.

Whatever the glitches (and there were many) in this initiative it 
needs to be taken forward not rolled back. These programmes were on 
a single subject, provincial autonomy, which I personally thought a 
waste of time because Pakistan's problem is not provincial autonomy 
but the quest for stability. The open discussion of everyday issues 
that's what we need so that the many cobwebs hanging in the 
national corridors, the many shibboleths which fill the air, can be 
swept away by a cleansing broom.

The winds of change 
Irfan Husain

IN the hoopla and fuss surrounding Chinese Prime Minister Rongji's 
state visit to Pakistan, there will be no doubt much written and 
said about the 'historic ties' between the two countries.

But this should not obscure the fact that this relationship is very 
much in flux. While blinkered Foreign Office mandarins and gushing 
editorial writers exult in the bonds between Beijing and Islamabad, 
we should not forget that ultimately, every rational state bases 
its foreign policy on its perceived self-interest. Although 
ideological states might allow their guiding dogma to warp 
policies, they revert to pragmatism and real-politik as soon as 
their ideology weakens.

Before the Iron Curtain fell, Communist states tended to help each 
other irrespective of gains and losses because of the so-called 
fraternal ties between them. Usually, Moscow called the shots, but 
there was an element of idealism. Similarly, there have been 
repeated calls for some kind of Islamic union linking the forty-odd 
Muslim states. Nothing much has come of this due to the entirely 
different conditions obtaining in these countries, but this does 
not prevent appeals for a Pan-Islamic confederation in some form or 

Power in the United States has been seized by an ideologically 
motivated right-wing party. Despite the narrowness of his victory, 
Bush and the extremist elements in the Republican Party are bent on 
reviewing and redirecting foreign policy. For them, Communism is 
the greatest evil on earth, and they are determined to revive the 
fervour and rhetoric of the cold war. However, as the Soviet Union 
has ceased to exist a victory for which the Republican Ronald 
Reagan has been given much credit the enemy is now China, already 
dubbed "our strategic competitor" by Bush.

Against this backdrop, Washington's efforts to isolate China and 
erect a 'cordon sanitaire' around it can already be discerned. By 
agreeing to sell Taiwan a wide range of sophisticated weapons 
systems, signalling the start of a new military relationship with 
India, and deciding to embark on an ambitious Nuclear Missile 
Defence programme, Bush has pushed the United States on a path of 
confrontation. The recent spy plane episode is the first chapter in 
what may well turn out to be a new cold war.

When the world's only superpower changes direction, smaller states, 
especially those located on the periphery of potential conflict, 
have to be nimble in adjusting their policies. Even in Clinton's 
second term, the relations between the United States and India had 
improved beyond recognition. But this change was based on largely 
economic factors such as the recognition of India as a huge 
potential market for American products, as well as an exporter of 
tens of thousands of computer experts and other professionals. 
While these factors still hold good, there might soon be a military 
dimension to this relationship. There is every indication that 
sanctions, applied after Indian nuclear tests conducted three years 
ago, will soon be repealed. Pakistan, however, will continue to be 
subjected to a set of sanctions triggered by the military coup. 
However, sanctions or no sanctions, we are unlikely to be sold 
advanced weapons systems as Washington will be reluctant to annoy 

Indeed, India might play the same 'frontline' role for the United 
States against China as Pakistan did in the last century against 
the Soviet Union. The difference obviously will be that India will 
be an equal partner in the enterprise while Pakistan was very much 
a client state. If this scenario unfolds along these lines, then 
the present military balance already heavily tilted in India's 
favour will become totally lopsided.

Another factor underlying the logic of such a strategic alliance is 
the fear of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism in both countries. 
In such an arrangement, Israel is clearly the third partner. As it 
is, the ties between Tel Aviv and New Delhi have been growing 
closer; the possible acquisition of an advanced military radar 
system from Israel is probably the first item on a long shopping 

Thus India is extremely well placed to cash in on both of America's 
current phobias: China and Islamic fundamentalists. We, on the 
other hand, will end up on the wrong side. We already suffer from 
the burden of a self-defeating Afghan policy where we support the 
most retrogressive elements in the world. In Kashmir, we are seen 
as a state that is sponsoring terrorists. It matters little if we 
call them freedom fighters: for the rest of the world, when 
innocent civilians are kidnapped and killed, those committing such 
acts are terrorists. And we have what we are proud to call 
'historic ties' with China. These factors make Pakistan a very 
suspect country to Bush's Washington in its current anti-Communist 
crusader mode.

But Beijing is no longer the ideology-driven state it was under 
Mao. It now aspires to become a major power, and does not wish to 
become embroiled in a cold war with the United States, a country 
with which it has a trade surplus of billions of dollars every 
year. It will undoubtedly try and find an accommodation with 
Washington. The rising generation in China is far more interested 
in acquiring the good things of life than in engaging in sterile 
ideological debates and conflicts. Mr Rongji and his colleagues 
realize in a way our leaders never have that in the long run, 
military and diplomatic power comes only with economic strength. 
Unless they can match the United States in the technological and 
financial fields, they will be unable to rival the Americans. They 
have the example of the Soviet Union before them, and they are too 
cautious and sensible to repeat those mistakes.

To avoid the encirclement Bush and his cold warriors would like to 
see in place, the Chinese will certainly use diplomatic means. One 
of them is to improve ties with India, even if it is at Pakistan's 
expense. The Chinese are very pragmatic people, irrespective of 
their current (and rapidly weakening) ideology. Several times in 
the recent past, they have advocated dialogue to resolve the 
Kashmir dispute rather than sticking to their old position of 
insisting on the implementation of the UN resolutions.

These are thus likely to be testing times for Pakistan, but 
unfortunately, we have consistently failed to take note of the 
changes taking places around us. By arrogating all strategic 
decision-making to itself, the military establishment has not 
allowed any serious debate on the direction of our foreign policy. 
Our inability to navigate these turbulent waters is a direct 
outcome of our helmsmen's failure to read the winds of change.

Umpires examine video of Shoaib's action: newspapers

LONDON, May 11: England cricket chiefs have rubbished media reports 
suggesting that Pakistan pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar's action is 
again under scrutiny. British newspapers reported on Friday that 
umpires Peter Willey and Tony Clarkson had examined video replays 
of Shoaib's action during the tourists' match against Derbyshire.

"Willey and fellow official Tony Clarkson asked to see TV replays 
of Shoaib's bowling action in Pakistan's drawn match with 
Derbyshire," a report in The Sun said.

"Willey confirmed he had watched the film but refused to comment 
But the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) immediately issued a 
statement saying the reports were "wholly misleading." Shoaib, who 
has not played a Test for a year, remodelled his action after it 
was officially questioned by several umpires. The 25-year-old, at 
one time regarded as the fastest bowler in the world, was also 
reported for a suspect action in 1999.

ECB operations manager Alan Fordham, however, said the two umpires 
had been invited by Sky Television to look at a new device being 
used to analyse lbw decisions. "During the course of their visit, 
the umpires saw TV clips of several bowlers including one delivery 
by Shoaib Akhtar. "But it is wholly misleading to suggest that the 
umpires' visit to the Sky production truck was prompted by concerns 
about Shoaib Akhtar's bowling action," he said.

"The umpires will not be making any mention of Shoaib Akhtar's 
action in their report on the match to the ECB." Shoaib, dubbed the 
"Rawalpindi Express", is part of a 17-man squad in England for two 
Tests and a triangular one-day series. The first test at Lord's 
starts on May 17.-Reuters

Dowman defies Pakistan

Derby (England), May 10: Pakistan's three-day match against English 
County Derbyshire ended in a tame draw here Thursday. Any hopes of 
an outright victory by either team was dashed by rains.

The honours of the day however belonged to Derbyshire's young 
batsman M.P. Dowman who struck a magnificent unbeaten 145 that 
virtually ensured a draw for the home side. Overnight 66 for two, 
Derbyshire, declared their innings at 247 for five wickets, leaving 
Pakistan the impossible task of scoring 152 for victory.

Pakistan who made 262 in their first innings opted for batting 
practice and were 63 for one in 20 overs with Imran Farhat and 
Abdur Razzaq unbeaten on 23 and 34. 
The only disappointment for the tourists was the second failure in 
the match by batsman Yousuf Youhana who promoted in order to open 
the innings but managed only four before being trapped lbw. Reuters

Mushtaq spins Pakistan to victory: Universities lose by innings

NOTTINGHAM (England), May 5: Leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed captured 
eight for 49 as Pakistan beat British Universities by an innings 
and 87 runs on the second day of the three-day tour match Saturday.

Mushtaq, who snapped up four wickets between lunch and tea, claimed 
four more as the students were skittled out for 155 in their second 
innings after conceding a lead of 242 to the visitors on the first 
innings. Rookie speedster Mohammad Sami chipped in with two late 
wickets. Earlier, Pakistan resumed on their overnight score of 224 
for four and, despite losing four wickets for just five runs in the 
morning, they were eventually bowled out for 316.

Captain Waqar Younis, batting at number nine, made a whirlwind 50 
not out while Tim Murtagh was the pick of the Universities attack 
with a return of six for 86.
Pakistan will play their next three-day match against Derbyshire at 
Derby from Tuesday. The visitors will take on England in the first 
of two Tests at Lord's starting on May 17.-Reuters

You can subscribe to DWS by sending an email to 
<subscribe.dws@dawn.com>, with the following text in the BODY of your 
message: subscribe dws

To unsubscribe, send an email to <unsubscribe.dws@dawn.com>, with 
the following in the BODY of you message:
unsubscribe dws

Back to the top.

Dawn page

Webbed by Philip McEldowney
Last update: .