------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 29 September 2001 Issue : 07/39 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Islamabad not to join any military action: Foreign Office + Embassy staff withdrawn + US to consider Pakistan view: Support to Northern Alliance + Pakistan opposes help to Northern Alliance + No compromise on national security, says Musharraf + Afghan envoy supports negotiated settlement + Washington plan to waive democracy strictures + US hints at lifting more sanctions + Washington lifts sanctions against Islamabad, Delhi + Norway also lifts sanctions + Benazir asks US to back party-based elections + Laden wanted to control Islamabad: Benazir + SBP freezes accounts of Al Rashid Trust, Harkat + Protest lodged with news channel + Nuclear assets in safe hands, says Maleeha + President pushing country into blind alley, says PML + PML against US attack from Pakistan + New Delhi will not complicate situation: Jaswant + Taliban, WFP talks remain inconclusive: Takeover of UN offices + Plea to open border rejected + No accord on border opening: Govt rejects UNHCR claim + Pakistan to open borders for refugees: UNHCR + Govt-ANP deal seen behind Hoti's release + Issuance of visa restricted + Strict search at airports ordered + Ambassador dies in accident --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + IMF okays $596m Pakistan loan + Ordinance to protect FCAs promulgated + Economy to get a boost, says Shaukat + Stocks end session on mixed note + Stocks make recovery on institutional support + Suspension fails to make any difference --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + The enemy within Ardeshir Cowasjee + Standing a 20-year nexus on its head Ayaz Amir + Reality check Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + SAF Games Postponed + Organizers decision supported

Islamabad not to join any military action: Foreign Office
ISLAMABAD, Sept 26: Pakistan said it was part of the global 
coalition against terrorism but can never be part of any hostile 
action against Afghanistan. "Pakistan cannot and can never join any 
hostile action against Afghanistan or Afghan people," Foreign 
Office spokesman Riaz Mohammad Khan told reporters.

"We are deeply conscious that destinies of the two people and two 
countries are intertwined," he said, adding: "There is no joint 
operation or any specific operation or contingency plans (by the 
United States) which has been placed before Pakistan."

The spokesman said it was a fight against terrorism in which 
Pakistan was part of international coalition and we wanted the 
Afghan government to be responsive to what international community 
wants from it. "It is not fight against any people or any country."

Embassy staff withdrawn
By Faraz Hashmi

ISLAMABAD, Sept 24: Pakistan for security reasons has withdrawn all 
its staff from its embassy in Kabul and consulates in some other 
cities of Afghanistan, a foreign office spokesman said.

When asked whether the staff withdrawal could be considered as 
severing of diplomatic relations, Mr Khan pointed out that Afghan 
ambassador was still in Islamabad. 

US to consider Pakistan view: Support to Northern Alliance 
By Tahir Mirza

WASHINGTON, Sept 26: The United States will keep Pakistan's 
sensitivities with regard to the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in 
mind while considering its next moves in Afghanistan.

This was indicated by White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer 
while responding to questions on Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdul 
Sattar's statement cautioning Washington against trying to install 
a Northern Alliance-led regime in Kabul and describing any such 
course as a recipe for disaster.

Mr Fleischer said the US was aware of the indisputable nature of 
Pakistan's relationship with the Northern Alliance, which had a 
historical context, and would keep all interrelated strains in view 
as it went about its efforts to end the actions of Osama bin Laden 
and al Qaeda, "hosted and harboured by the Taliban".

Pakistan opposes help to Northern Alliance
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 25: Foreign Minister Abdus Sattar warned against 
attempts to provide military assistance to anti-Taliban groups, 
specially Northern Alliance, saying that it would be a recipe for 

Speaking at a joint press conference along with chief of EU 
delegation Belgium Foreign Minister Loui Michel, Abdus Sattar said: 
"We are concerned to read reports that Afghan groups are asking for 
military assistance from the United States. Any such decision on 
the part of any world power will be a recipe of adding suffering to 
the Afghan people."

No compromise on national security, says Musharraf
ISLAMABAD, Sept 24: President Gen Pervez Musharraf said said that 
sanctions against Pakistan were being lifted owing to his 
government's sagacious and timely decisions, and the country's 
economy would now be back on the road to progress and prosperity.

President Musharraf maintained:" There is no question of any 
compromise on national security, independence and sovereignty and 
all the decisions have been taken in the greater national 
interest," he said.

He said: " We hold the national interest supreme and the armed 
forces are fully capable of safeguarding strategic national 

Afghan envoy supports negotiated settlement
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD Sept 24: Reiterating that the Saudi dissident Osama bin 
Laden has gone into hiding within the country, the Afghan 
ambassador in Islamabad said on Monday that the efforts to trace 
him and convey him the decree of ulema council as approved by 
Mullah Omar had so far failed.

Speaking at a news conference at Afghan Embassy, which was attended 
by foreign journalists in large number, the Afghan Ambassador, 
Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, contradicted a report that the British 
elite force had joined hands with the opposition Northern Alliance 
or had come face to face with the Taliban forces.

Replying to a question, he said his country was still looking for a 
negotiated settlement of the issue to save the country from another 
war and was ready to utilize all available channels for this end.

Washington plan to waive democracy strictures
Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Sept 25: After waiving nuclear-related sanctions 
against Pakistan, the Bush administration is looking at the 
question of taking similar action in relation to democracy 
strictures applied after the 1999 military takeover.

A clear indication to this effect was given by Undersecretary of 
State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman at a special briefing for 
foreign press correspondents.

Mr Grossman, who was the State Department's liaison with Congress 
on the removal of nuclear-related curbs last week, said a number of 
legislators, both in the Senate and the House of Representatives, 
had urged that the administration should also look into waiving the 
democracy sanctions, "and we are currently doing so".

If the administration moves in this direction -- Pakistan will 
become sanctions-free for the first time since 1988 and become 
entitled to substantial economic and military aid.

US hints at lifting more sanctions
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 24: The United States indicated that it might lift 
democracy-related sanctions against Pakistan under section 508 as 
its "small military delegation" entered into a dialogue with 
Pakistan military authorities about specifics of the anti-terrorism 

"We are looking at it (waiver of section 508 sanctions) very 
seriously but it would require a different kind of administrative 
and legislative mechanism," US Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin said.

The two sides issued separate statements on debt rescheduling 
agreement signed by the US ambassador and secretary Economic 
Affairs Division Naveed Ahsan. The agreement automatically relieved 
Brooke sanctions.

The statement issued by US embassy said: "This agreement will 
reschedule $379 million (including late interest) in government-to-
government debt and is the final action on the general agreement on 
debt rescheduling for Pakistan reached by creditor Paris Club 
members on January 23, 2001."

The written statement distributed by the finance ministry said: 
"Under this agreement debt service of $375.4 million covering 
maturities of USAID, PL-480, CCC, US Exim bank, DOD Program Debt, 
due during the period from Dec 1, 2000, to Sept 30, 2001, including 
arrears of Nov 30, 2000, due on loans contracted up to Sept 30, 
1997, have been consolidated and rescheduled."

Washington lifts sanctions against Islamabad, Delhi
By Tahir Mirza

WASHINGTON, Sept 23: Displaying unusual speed on a weekend, the 
Bush administration has responded to Islamabad's support in the 
current crisis by lifting all sanctions against Pakistan except 
those imposed under democracy strictures. The administration, 
according to the Pakistan embassy sources here, has confirmed that 
sanctions under the Glenn, Pressler and Symington amendments have 
been waived.

Democracy-related Section 508 sanctions, which cover some important 
areas in both military and economic cooperation, will continue to 
stay in place "for now", although they have in the past been 
modified to meet specific targets.

Nuclear-related sanctions against India have also been removed.

The removal of most layers of sanctions clears the way for Pakistan 
to get economic help from the US and international financial 
institutions where Washington enjoys decisive influence.

Norway also lifts sanctions
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 28: The Norwegian government lifted sanctions on 
government-to-government cooperation with Pakistan.

In a Press statement issued by the Royal Norwegian Embassy, 
Minister for Development Cooperation Anne Kristin Sydnes said the 
Norwegian government, under the present circumstances, feels that 
it is the time to lift sanctions," she said.

"In this way we want to express our support to Pakistan, who today 
finds itself in a very difficult political and economic situation," 
she said.

She said that Norway would continue to encourage Pakistan to sign 
and ratify both the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the 
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). "The future development 
cooperation will be outlined following consultations with the 
Government of Pakistan," the Norwegian Minister said.

Benazir asks US to back party-based elections 
Staff Correspondent

NEW YORK, Sept 26: Saying that an alternative to democratic 
Pakistan was "horrific", former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has 
called upon the US and the international community to support free, 
fair and party-based elections in Pakistan in Oct 2002,

In an article in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal Ms Bhutto said "a 
democratic Pakistan is the world's best guarantee of the triumph of 
moderation and modernity among one billion Muslims at the 
crossroads of our history."

She said bluntly "the alternative of a long-term, nuclear-armed 
Pakistani dictatorship has consequences that could make Sept 11 
look like a mere prelude to an even more horrific future for the 
civilized world."

Ms Bhutto who has written her opinion in several US dailies 
recently warns that "Islamabad may be tempted to ask the United 
States to abandon its support for Pakistani democracy in exchange 
for support in the war against international terrorism."

She said "allowing dictatorship to strengthen its stranglehold over 
the democratic institutions of Pakistan can, in the long run, 
create an even greater Frankenstein than the US miscalculation with 
the Mujahideen in the 1980s. Osama commandeered jets. Pakistan has 
nuclear weapons. The United States must demand a democratic 
Pakistan to stave off a true catastrophe in the future.

Laden wanted to control Islamabad: Benazir
Staff Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Sept 24: Benazir Bhutto, has disclosed that during her 
tenure Osama bin Laden supported the pro-Taliban forces in Pakistan 
in their bid to control Islamabad as the centre for their battle 
against the civilized world.

In an article in The Washington Post, she said in 1989 Bin Laden 
poured more than $10 million into an unsuccessful no-confidence 
move to bring down my government. Years later, after the attack on 
New York's World Trade Center in 1993, Bin Laden-backed mastermind, 
Ramzi Yousef, fled to Pakistan. "Working with the FBI, my 
government's law enforcers apprehended Yousef near Islamabad.

Before we extradited him, we learned the Bin Laden apparatus had 
made two unsuccessful assassination attempts against me in 1993."

She said during the tenure of my government, we closed an important 
paramilitary training university in Peshawar and disarmed other 
forces. We arrested militants; they were on the run. We extradited 
wanted terrorists.

They hit back by bombing the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad, burning 
the National Assembly and hijacking a school bus. But when my 
democratically elected government fell in November 1996, the range 
of the militants increased, she said. She added the Sept 11 terror 
attacks and their grim toll, climaxed in a call to end 
international terrorism. As America leads this fight, I caution 
that Pakistani democracy not be sacrificed at the altar of 
It is right for America, as it battles international terrorism, to 
sow the seeds of stability. Democracy and debt reduction are two 
pillars on which the edifice of a political structure promising 
peace and stability can be raised. It is also right to rescind the 
discriminatory Pressler sanctions, which soured relations between 
our countries for a generation, she said.

It is also important for America and the rest of the world to keep 
their commitment to democratic values by continuing to press for 
party-based elections in Pakistan next year open to all candidates 
and all parties. She suggested that two of the most important long-
term goals for our region should be the formation of a broad-based 
government in Afghanistan that gives confidence to the refugees to 
return to their land and, equally important, the restoration of 
true democracy to Pakistan. 

SBP freezes accounts of Al Rashid Trust, Harkat 
ISLAMABAD, Sept 26: State Bank ordered a freeze on the bank 
accounts of Harkat ul-Mujahideen and Al Rashid Trust which were 
included on a terrorism blacklist made public by the United States.

Both groups were named on a list of 27 individuals or groups 
identified as being linked to terrorism by US President George W. 

The trust's funds, which include both dollar and sterling accounts, 
are kept with Habib Bank Ltd.

Protest lodged with news channel
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 23: The government has lodged protest with a 
leading American news channel for carrying a story based on 
videotapes provided by the Indian army.

"We have written protest letters to the president of Atlanta-based 
organization and talked to their senior people who are currently in 
Pakistan," Information Secretary Anwar Mahmood told newsmen.

The government, he said, had also expressed its indignation over 
the international news channels' reports showing Pakistan army's 
movement in some mountainous region and an army truck passing 
through a road. "That was a route-march, which every army unit 
undertakes in routine," the spokesman for President Pervez 
Musharraf, Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi said.

Refuting reports of army deployment on the country's western 
borders, Maj-Gen Rashid said that neither the Pakistan army nor the 
Taliban had made any deployment on the borders.

Nuclear assets in safe hands, says Maleeha
WASHINGTON, Sept 23: Pakistan's nuclear assets are secure and there 
is no question of any outside element gaining unauthorised access 
to them, Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Dr Maleeha 
Lodhi, declared in an interview.

She was asked during an interview on the CBS Sunday news programme 
"Face the Nation" if Pakistan's nuclear weapons were safe. She 
called concerns about their safety being expressed in recent days, 

Asked for her reaction to President Bush's decision to lift three 
layers of nuclear-related sanctions against Pakistan, she said it 
was a welcome decision that was long overdue and it was her hope 
that it would open a new chapter in relations between the two 

Asked to comment on reports from Islamabad that the Pakistan 
government would try to moderate US actions, she answered: "I think 
as many other countries are part of the international coalition 
with the United States in the fight against terrorism, we, not 
unlike the UN secretary general and other people, would obviously 
like it to be an effective fight against terrorism which should 
also ensure that innocent people do not suffer in this fight and 
nothing is done that is not measured, not carefully targeted, so 
that we can deal with the aftermath of the situation and not end up 
exacerbating the crisis we have. 

Asked if Pakistan would allow the mobilisation of any Western 
ground troops, the ambassador replied, "I think until the United 
States has evolved its operational plans and got into specific 
discussions with us, it would be very premature for me to respond 
to that. I am not at liberty to get into operational details."

Asked if at this point there was anything off the table, she said, 
the only thing that had been indicated was that it would not be 
possible for Pakistani forces to be involved in an operation 
outside the country's borders.-APP

President pushing country into blind alley, says PML
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 24: Acting President of Pakistan Muslim League 
Makhdoom Javed Hashmi said that President Gen Pervez Musharraf was 
pushing the country into a blind alley just to perpetuate his 
military rule.

Speaking at a press conference Mr Hashmi claimed that President 
Musharraf for his vested political interest was keeping the masses 
in absolute darkness but the people had already expressed their 
abhorrence to his decision of lending support to the United States.

Reiterating the demand for restoration of democracy he said, it was 
very hard for a military and an unrepresentative government to 
appreciate the sentiments of the public. He said that the 
government could have restored the parliament and the issue could 
have been placed before it.

PML against US attack from Pakistan
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 22: Chairman Pakistan Muslim League (N) Raja Zafar-
ul-Haq said his party would give a protest call in case the United 
States attacked on Afghanistan from Pakistani soil.

He said in this grave situation, the military should immediately 
revert to its original role and a representative government should 
be installed forthwith. It called upon the government to adopt a 
sagacious policy and desist from any action that could create 
internal chaos, endangering the life and property of millions of 
Pakistanis, and leave the country's western borders insecure.

New Delhi will not complicate situation: Jaswant
By Faraz Hashmi and Javed Naqvi

ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI, Sept 22: In their first direct contact since 
the Agra summit in July, Mr Sattar spoke to Mr Singh to discuss the 
arriving military campaign against the Taliban. Mr Singh asked Mr 
Sattar to convey to President Pervez Musharraf that India had "no 
intention to add to the current complexities that the government 
and the people of Pakistan are faced with."

Mr Sattar explained that the remarks made by President Pervez 
Musharraf in his address to the nation were prompted by a barrage 
of Indian propaganda against Pakistan.

Foreign Office spokesman Riaz Mohammad Khan told reporters in 
Islamabad that Mr Sattar had exchanged views with Mr Singh about 
the situation arising out of Sept 11 terror attacks in the United 

Mr Sattar apprised Mr Singh about Pakistan's decision to support 
international efforts against terrorism, the spokesman said. The 
foreign minister pointed out that Pakistan's policy had been cast 
in the mould of the United Nations resolution.

The FO spokesman confirmed that the United Arab Emirates, one of 
the three countries which recognized the Taliban regime, had 
severed its diplomatic relations with Afghanistan.

Taliban, WFP talks remain inconclusive: Takeover of UN offices
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 25: The initial negotiations between the Afghan 
ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdus Salam Zaeef and senior UN 
officials about the take over of the United Nations offices and 
communications apparatus by the Taliban in Afghanistan, remained 

Addressing a press conference, a spokesperson of the United Nations 
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance to 
Afghanistan (UNOCHAA), Stephanie Bunker, said that the UN's 
resident coordinator called on the Afghan ambassador and apprised 
him of the seriousness of the Taliban's action starting from 
September 21.

Plea to open border rejected 
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 26: Pakistan turned down a United Nations request 
for immediate opening of its borders with Afghanistan, and declared 
that the borders would remain sealed until forced by the situation 
arising out of possible US strikes against Afghanistan. "... within 
Afghanistan, if the situation becomes untenable, or if there is an 
attack, purely for humanitarian reasons, we will contemplate (the 
opening of border)," the federal minister for frontier regions and 
Northern Areas, Abbas Sarfaraz Khan, told a press conference.

He said Pakistan, expecting the fresh arrival of refugees, had 
drawn up a contingency plan in consultation with the UN bodies to 
accommodate one million Afghan refugees. "For one million Afghan 
refugees, $122 million will be needed for the first six months," he 
said, adding that the figure did not include food support.

However, the minister said, Afghan women, old men, children and the 
seriously sick stranded across the Chaman border might be allowed 
entry in due course and sheltered by the government of Balochistan.

No accord on border opening: Govt rejects UNHCR claim
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 25: The federal government has formally asked the 
United Nations to stop issuing incorrect statements about the 
Pakistan-Afghan border policy.

Talking to Dawn on Tuesday, Federal Minister for Northern Areas and 
Frontier Regions Division, Abbas Sarfaraz Khan, said there was 
absolutely no change in the Pakistan-Afghan border policy. "We have 
spoken to the UNHCR and asked them to stop issuing incorrect 
statements regarding the matter." The reservations of Pakistan have 
been communicated to the United Nations in writing, he said.

Pakistan to open borders for refugees: UNHCR
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 24: The Government of Pakistan has reached an 
understanding with the United Nations to open its borders and allow 
Afghan refugees into the country.

Speaking at a news conference, the spokesman of the United Nations 
High Commissioner for Refugees, Peter Kessler, said that the 
Afghans who want to cross over to Pakistan will be allowed. 

The UNHCR officials said that the movements out of Kandhar, near 
Balochistan in Pakistan, are also visible. 

Govt-ANP deal seen behind Hoti's release
By Waseem Ahmad Shah

PESHAWAR, Sept 23: The release order of Awami National Party's 
leader Azam Hoti by the Lahore High Court has raised many eyebrows 
and legal circles believed that his release is an outcome of a 
clandestine deal between the party and the government.

A source privy to the whole affair told Dawn that the ANP buys 
release of Azam Khan Hoti, undergoing prison term of 14 years, in 
return of supporting the government in the crisis emerging in the 
aftermath of Sept 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

The source said: "In the past the ANP remained a strong opponent of 
providing any support to the US by Pakistan, specially allowing its 
airspace, logistics and sharing intelligence, but in the instant 
case the ANP leadership has assumed silence on these issues."

A legal expert dealing in criminal cases expressed surprise over 
allowing bail to Mr Hoti by an accountability appellate bench of 
the Lahore High Court and suspension of his sentence. He claimed 
that such things happened in rare cases. He said that Mr Hoti was 
allowed bail on medical grounds, but across the country a number of 
persons detained under the National Accountability Bureau 
Ordinance, 1999, were suffering from more critical diseases as 
compared to Mr Hoti but they were not allowed bail.

Mr Hoti was convicted on Oct 7, 2000, by an accountability court at 
Attock Fort in a reference pertaining to receiving kickbacks for 
awarding contract for installation of telephone booths on the 
Motorway. He was sentenced to 14-year rigorous imprisonment along 
with a fine of Rs20 million. He has been an asthmatic.

An official of the NAB told Dawn on the condition of anonymity that 
under the NAB Ordinance 1999 every offence was non-bailable and the 
courts in very few cases allowed bail to an accused.

He informed that under the NAB law only few people were fortunate 
enough to get bail: former federal minister Anwer Saifullah and a 
former director general of Peshawar Development Authority Syed 
Zahir Shah, were allowed bail a few months back by the apex court, 
but both of them had undergone their prison terms.

The official claimed that in one of the cases even Aga Khan 
Hospital had given its findings about an under-trial prisoner of 
accountability court that he should be sent abroad, but even then 
he was not allowed by a high court. In another case an accused was 
suffering from paralysis, but he was kept behind the bars, he 

Issuance of visa restricted
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 24: Pakistan has issued a directive to all its 
embassies not to issue visas without Islamabad's approval, the 
foreign office spokesman said.

"After the incidents of Sept 11, we felt the need for a more 
stringent visa policy," Riaz Ahmed Khan said. The visa policy that 
Pakistan had been pursuing was fairly lenient as it aimed at 
promoting tourism in the country. However, in view of recent 
development, Pakistan had decided to tighten the visa policy a bit, 
he said. Now all the visa applications would be referred to 
Islamabad for clearance.

The visa policy was being tightened primarily because an army of 
journalists had landed in Pakistan and more were expected in 
anticipation of US military action against Afghanistan, a source 
said. Besides security concerns, presence of such an large number 
of media persons in Islamabad, Quetta and Peshawar had already 
become unmanageable for the government. Moreover, some of the news 
channels had carried speculative stories.

Strict search at airports ordered
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 26: Defence Ministry has ordered the Airport 
Security Force to conduct a final search of passengers as well as 
the crew members at all airports before they enter the aircraft, a 

At present, the passengers undergo the search twice before they are 
allowed to board a plane. Under the new orders, the final body and 
hand-baggage search would be conducted right at the gate of the 
plane, the source said, adding that the ASF air guards were also 
likely to be redeployed within a couple of days.

Ambassador dies in accident
By Latafat Ali Siddiqui

OTTAWA, Sept 22: Pakistan High Commissioner to Canada Tariq Altaf 
died after having suffered head injuries in a road accident.

He leaves behind his wife and two daughters. According to the 
embassy sources, Mr Altaf, 55, was taken to hospital with multiple 
injuries. He was put on the respiratory system for a couple of 
hours before he was pronounced "clinically dead". 

IMF okays $596m Pakistan loan
WASHINGTON, Sept 26: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved 
the final tranche of Pakistan's $596 million stand-by loan with the 
fund, IMF sources said. The third and final tranche is around $130 

"It went through without any problem," said one source present at 
the meeting of the IMF's decision-making executive board. He added 
that while Pakistan is in favour with the international community 
because of its cooperation with the United States in the wake of 
the Sept 11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, the country has 
also "been doing rather well" in sticking to its IMF-backed 
economic program.

The Pakistan embassy said on Wednesday that the country's economic 
team, including Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz and Central Bank 
Governor Ishrat Hussain, are due to arrive in Washington on Oct 8 
for talks with the IMF on a new loan.-Reuters

Ordinance to protect FCAs promulgated
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 28: President Pervez Musharraf promulgated an 
ordinance to protect foreign currency accounts.

According to the ordinance named Foreign Currency Accounts 
(Protection) Ordinance, 2001, "no person holding a foreign currency 
account shall be deprived of his right to hold and operate the 
foreign currency account." The FCA holder would not be restricted 
in any manner, temporarily or permanently, to lawfully sell, 
withdraw, remit, transfer, use as security within or outside 

Under the law no suit or other legal proceedings should lie against 
the federal government or any person for anything done in good 
faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of his this 

The ordinance would have overriding effect on laws which are in 
existence for regulating the FCAs.

The law specifically provides that protection provided to a foreign 
currency account holder under this ordinance should be in addition 
to and not in derogation of the protection provided under the 
Protection of Economic Reforms Act, 1992.

Under the new law, the federal government, can make rules, in 
consultation with State Bank of Pakistan, for carrying out the 
purposes of this ordinance. The State Bank, under the new law, can 
make regulations consistent with the provisions of this ordinance.

Economy to get a boost, says Shaukat
By Khaleeq Kiani

ISLAMABAD, Sept 23: Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz has said the US 
move to lift sanctions against Pakistan "would help speed up 
economic activities and improve prospects of foreign investment in 
the country." With the waiver of these sanctions, the United States 
could now vote in our support in the multilateral institutions like 
the World Bank, IMF and ADB and help facilitate American investment 
in Pakistan, he said.

The private sector could now secure soft-term credits from the Exim 
bank of America to import machinery and equipment from the United 
States, he added.

Meanwhile, two investment and export-import banks of United States 
operating overseas - OPIC and EXIM Bank - would be allowed to 
finance private sector projects in Pakistan as a result of the 
proposed waiver of US sanctions.

Finance ministry officials, requesting anonymity, agreed that 
President Bush could only waive the sanctions for a specific period 
and then the congress would lift them once it was convinced with 
the post-waiver performance.

Oil and gas, textile and information technology sectors would be 
the main beneficiaries on the civil side. 

Stocks end session on mixed note
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 28: The KSE 100-share index was up by 4 points. 
Trading was, however, suspended soon after the opening as trading 
could not be resumed in the shares of ICI Pakistan, which along 
with its Pak PTA have made debut after the demerger a day earlier.

The KSE 100-share index finished with an extended gain of 3.90 
points at 1,133.44 as compared to 1,129.54 a day earlier, 
reflecting the relative strength of leading base shares.

Active short-covering in the fertilizer shares followed by reports 
of withdrawal of 15 per cent sales tax appears to have played a 
role of major morale booster neutralizing the negative impact of 
the weekend selling. The market advance was again led by Pakistan 
Oilfields, which posted a fresh sharp gain of Rs.28.75 on active 
follow-up support on some positive developments. Shortage of 
floating stock could be another reason behind the price flare-up.

Other good gainers were led by Ishaq Textiles, Sapphire Textiles, 
Pakistan Refinery, Shell Pakistan, Dawood Hercules and several 

Losers were led by PSO, which remained under pressure for the third 
session in a row and have lost about Rs.12.00 amid rumours of some 
problems in settling the badla business. Others to fall further 
were led by Al-Ghazi Tractors, Atlas Honda, Millat Tractors, Knoll 
Pharma and Lever Brothers, falling by Rs.1.10 to 6.00.

Trading volume showed a modest decline at 43 million shares from 
the previous 46 million shares as losers forced a strong lead over 
the gainers at 88 to 55, with others remaining unchanged.

PTCL topped the list of most actives, up five paisa at Rs.13.75 on 
12 million shares followed by Hub-Power, easy 25 paisa at Rs.13.35 
on 9 million shares, PSO, off Rs.3.20 at Rs.105.60 on 6 million 
shares, Ibrahim Fibre, firm five paisa at Rs.11.35 on 2 million 
shares and Sui Northern, lower five paisa at Rs.7.75 on 1.347 
million shares.

FUTURES CONTRACT: PSO also came in for active selling on the 
forward counter in sympathy with its continued fall in the ready 
section and ended lower sharply by Rs.3.00. Others fell 

PTCL proved to be volume leader, fractionally down on over 4 
million shares in both the contracts followed by Hub-Power, also 
easy on 3.5 million shares.

DEFAULTER COMPANIES: Allied Motors again came in for active support 
and ended higher by 45 paisa at Rs.3.20 on 3,500 shares followed by 
Hydery Construction, up 10 paisa on 1,000 shares.

Sept 28,2001 Market at a glance TONE: easy, total listed 
757,actives 168,inactives 589,plus 55,minus 88,unc 25. KSE 100-
SHARE INDEX: previous 1,129.54,Friday's 1,133.44,plus 3.90 points. 
TOP TEN:gainers Pak Oilfields Rs.28.75,Shell Pakistan 4.00,Sapphire 
Fibre 1.75,Dawood Hercules 1.50,Ishaq Textiles 1.25. LOSERS: Knoll 
Pharma Rs. 3.45,PSO 3.20, Lever Brothers 6.00, Al-Ghazi Tractors 
1.45 Atlas Honda 1.34. TOTAL VOLUME: 43.018m shares. VOLUME 
LEADERS: PTCL 12.310m,Hub-Power 8.810m,PSO, 5.415m,, Ibrahim Fibre, 
1.970m,Sui Northern 1.340m shares. Atlas Honda 1.34, revised

Stocks make recovery on institutional support
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 25: Stocks staged a snap rally on active 
institutional and general support followed by reports that the KSE 
high-ups have allowed a 10-day relief to settle disputed carryover 
transactions. The KSE 100-share index finished with a marginal 
decline of 0.75 points at 1,105.04 after having fallen early by 
more than 34 points.

The KSE 100-share index finally ended fractionally lower by 0.75 
points at 1,105.04 as compared to 1,105.79 a day earlier, although 
some of the leading base shares ended further lower under the lead 
of Hubco.

Most of the leading MNCs again led the market blue chip decline 
under the lead of Lever Brothers, off Rs22.60 followed by Shell 
Pakistan, Glaxo-Wellcome, Abbott Lab and Knoll Pharma, falling by 
one rupee to Rs4.75.

Other prominent losers were led by Sitara Chemicals, Sapphire 
Fibre, Sapphire Textiles, Lakson Tobacco, and Pakistan Oilfields, 
which suffered fall ranging from Rs1.80 to Rs4.75.

Most of the price increases were fractional barring New Jubilee 
Insurance, Nishat Chunian Spinning, Crescent Steel, Fazal Textiles 
and PSO, which posted gains ranging from one rupee to Rs3.70.

Trading volume showed a modest increase at 48.547m shares as 
compared to 38m shares a day earlier but losers held a modest edge 
over the gainers at 73 to 55, with 36 holding on to the last 
levels, out of 164 actives.

The most active list was topped by PTCL, up 10 paisa at Rs13.20 on 
21m shares followed by Hub-Power, lower 30 paisa at Rs13.15 on 
11.112m shares, PSO, up Rs3.70 at Rs117.45 on 4m shares, Sui 
Northern, firm by 10 paisa at Rs7.40 on 2m shares and Fauji 
Fertiliser, higher by 90 paisa at Rs31.00 on 1.469m shares.

Other actives were led by Dewan Salman, lower 25 paisa on 1.053m 
shares, Engro Chemical, up 10 paisa on 0.961m shares, MCB, up 75 
paisa on 0.883m shares, Adamjee Insurance, off Rs1.05 on 0.789m 
shares and Nishat Mills, lower 10 paisa on 0.747m shares.

FORWARD COUNTER: Trading activity expanded modestly as the turnover 
figure rose to 3.456m shares from the previous 2.633m shares, bulk 
of which 1.545m shares went to the credit of PTCL, up 10 paisa at 
Rs13.25. Hub-Power followed it lower five paisa at Rs13.30 on 

Among the major gainers, PSO was leading, up Rs3.00 at Rs118.00 on 
0.301m shares and FFC-Jordan Fertiliser, firm by 10 paisa at Rs2.85 
on 99,500 shares.

DEFAULTER COMPANIES: Only Colony Textiles came in for trading and 
accounted for 17,000 shares done at the last rate of Rs8.75.

Suspension fails to make any difference
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 24: The KSE 100-share index was off about 34 points 
at 1,105.00, signaling to breach next psychological barrier of 
1,100 points, but turnover figure was light at 38m shares as 
leading buyers were not inclined to cover positions even at the 
falling prices.

Lifting of N-related US sanctions and some corrective steps taken 
by the KSE authorities to put the KSE back on the rails failed to 
enthuse investors as they resorted to fresh panic selling when the 
trading resumed after a week's suspension.

The KSE 100-share index suffered a fresh fall of 33.85 points or 
2.25 per cent at 1,105.79 as compared to previous 1,139.64 when the 
trading was suspended a week ago to check panic selling triggered 
by attacks on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has allowed five per cent 
either-way change in the share values that is Rs.5.00 loss and gain 
in the share having a face value of Rs.100.00 and the same ratio in 
those whose par values are Rs.10.00.

Apart from ban on blank selling, the KSE has also changed the rules 
of buybacks of shares but all corrective steps taken before the 
reopening of the market did not work. Institutional traders, who 
have committed to support the market after injecting Rs.5 billion 
in the carryover transactions failed to make bigger showing, 
although some analysts reported their entry at the fag-end of the 

Although final cash dividend at the rate of 55 per cent by Lakson 
Tobacco was well below the previous 100 cash and 50 per cent bonus, 
it was well-received in the market as was reflected by a sharp rise 
of Rs.5.00 in its share value at Rs.60.00.

Minus signs again dominated the list under the lead of MNCs, 
notably in the pharma and energy sectors: Lever Brothers Rs.35.40, 
Knoll, Glaxo-Welcome, Dawood Hercules and shell Pakistan, which 
fell by Rs.3.00 to 10.15.

Other prominent losers were led by PSO, Pakistan Oilfields, Al-
Ghazi Tractors, and National Refinery, falling by Rs.1.80 to 4.70.

Gains were fractional barring, Liberty Mills, Thal Industries, 
Prudential Commercial Bank after the management change and Lakson 
Tobacco, up by one rupee to Rs.5.00.

Trading volume was modest at 38m shares as selling was confined 
within the permissible limits but losers maintained a strong lead 
over the gainers at 121 to 22, out of 177 actives.

PTCL topped the list of actives, finishing at the floor rate of 
Rs.13.15, off 65 paisa on 20.070m shares followed by Hub Power, 
down 70 paisa at Rs.13.45 on 8m shares, PSO sharply lower by 
Rs.4.70 at Rs.113.75 on 2m shares Fauji Fertilizer, the only 
exception among the actives, up 80 paisa at Rs.30.10 also on 2m 
shares and Sui Northern lower 35 paisa at Rs.7.30 on 1m shares.

FORWARD COUNTER: Bears onslaught was more visible on this counter 
as leading shares ended with sharp fall under the lead of PSO, off 
Rs.4.50 at Rs.115.00 on 0.256m shares followed by Engro Chemical 
down Rs.2.40 at Rs.44.70 on 58500 shares. Hub-Power and Fauji 
Fertilizer suffered decline ranging between Rs.1.15 to 1.55 at 
Rs.12.90 and 29.45 on 1.072m and 31,000 shares respectively.

PTCL was off 60 paisa at Rs.13.20 on 1.767m shares followed by MCB, 
easy Rs.1.10 at Rs.19.00 on 45,500 shares.

DEFAULTER COMPANIES: Activity on this counter was dull barring 
Gammon Pakistan, which was traded unchanged at Rs.11.50 on 4,000 
shares and Al-Asif Sugar also unchanged at Re1.00 on 500 shares.

Back to the top
The enemy within
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

A few supporters of Nawaz Sharif have called me since last 
Wednesday gloating over the perceived discomfort of President 
General Pervez Musharraf whilst addressing the nation. Their 
contention is that the Mian's normal wooden expression would have 
been far more apt to the occasion. Perhaps, but then, is his wooden 
expression not invariably a sign that nothing has penetrated his 

This takes me back to the early 1980s when I was in London. My 
wife, a physician, and her cousin Feroze Bharucha, a psychiatrist, 
convinced me that my then state of depression was clinical and I 
was in need of professional treatment were I to get over it. The 
psychiatrist referred me to his master. Notwithstanding my 
protestations that I was merely depressed by the depressing 
circumstances combined with the English weather, I was persuaded to 
visit Feroze's professor, a specialist.

The professor had a clean desk, with not one bit of paper upon it, 
and he sat with folded arms and listened to my recitation of woes, 
taking no notes, saying very little but agreeing with me 
wholeheartedly on the weather factor. At the end of the appointed 
half hour, he rose, saw me to the door, shook my hand, told me to 
go out and enjoy my life and that he would be writing to Feroze. In 
his report he reproduced exactly the sequence of events as narrated 
by me and his summation was that under the circumstances if I were 
not depressed then there would be something seriously wrong with me 
which would warrant further investigation.

This is no time for retrospection or introspection, or for the 
compilation of a never-ending list of our faults, mistakes, 
misjudgments, stupidities and sins. It is now time to look ahead, 
to look outwards, thoughtfully, calmly, making haste slowly. What 
is now urgently and direly needed is an entire revision of our 
worn-out 'principled stand', our battered supreme national 
interest, and the high moral ground upon which we claim to rest but 
which long ago sank below sea level. Our 'moral, political and 
diplomatic' support stand, under the totally new circumstances, 
will also have to undergo some adjustments. It will no longer be 
possible to try and fool the world by using one euphemism or 
another to cover the acts of terrorists.

The president general may indeed find it troublesome and tiresome 
to deal with the bigoted ignorant obscurantist one per cent who 
hold the nation hostage and who insist on perpetuating these 
useless negative 'strikes' which do nothing but further damage our 
economy and our international image, but he should be able to at 
least rein in those who have learnt, those who have served in the 
army in which he serves, and those who are now, so to speak, 
kicking this nation in its rear end. 

Devious disgruntled men such as Hamid Gul, Javed Nasir and Aslam 
Beg should be muzzled, or put away into a deep dark dungeon from 
where their voices cannot be heard. One must give credit to 
Naseerullah Babar, godfather of the Taliban, as he has not uttered. 
His fault is that he does have a tendency to jump into bed with the 
wrong political companions. Rumour has it, he was used to 
'negotiate' with the Taliban leadership. If he was, he was the 
ideal choice. If he was not, he should have been. He is not to be 
found in Peshawar. Is he in Kabul lecturing Mulla Omar or is he in 
Dubai conferring with his party boss?

There are over 400 foreign press people in Islamabad right now 
filing their daily stories. Men such as Hamid Gul find easy prey 
amongst those not fully experienced or familiar with the jokers in 
this country's pack. Take The Times (London) of September 19, which 
on its overseas news page carried the banner headline 'President 
faces backlash as country splits' over a story on Pakistan with a 
photograph of Hamid Gul sitting next to one of the mullah 
fraternity. As we all know, the one per cent, plus the likes of 
Hamid Gul, are in no way capable of splitting this country. Hamid 
Gul, a former head of the ISI, a former corps commander, has few 
rivals in irresponsibility. He is quoted as having said : "The 
decision to support America under pressure is one of the military 
leadership and not the decision of the Army as an institution. The 
nation will never accept. Such a decision by an employee of the 
state has no validity. If Mulla Omar gives a call for jihad the 
Islamic world will support it. America's chocolate and cream 
soldiers cannot compete with the battle-hardened Afghans. Afghans 
are happy that the Americans are coming because they can take them 
prisoner and use them as hostages."

Is Saudi Arabia not the cradle and citadel of the Islamic world? Do 
we visualize the Saudis or the Iranis rising to the Mulla Omar 
bait? And what about Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and 
Turkey, Indonesia and Bangladesh - to name but a handful. Does Gul 
count upon them rushing to the call? As for the chocolate soldiers, 
does he imagine they fight with bows and arrows? As a soldier 
himself (of whatever flavour) he should know how many hours it will 
take the chocolate soldiers to take out every single one of our 
'strategic assets'.

This country is not yet quite capable of going to war against the 
world. Irresponsible jingoism only sends out the wrong signals and 
it may well bring the war to us. I am not aware of the preparedness 
of other parts of Pakistan, but I am aware of things in this city 
of Karachi. Congested, overbuilt, badly built, criminally built, 
its crowded shopping malls and plazas, some of them only half-built 
or a quarter built, its super and other markets, are perfect fire 
traps. Most of them have perpetual 'temporary' electric wiring - a 
sure invitation to disaster. The first thing that the busy 
foundation-stone laying governor of this province should now do is 
to have all such places surveyed and plans prepared of the ground 
conditions which should be given to whatever it is that exists of 
the various fire departments. At least this will be a starting 
point from which to operate and seek out the existing hydrants. 

And have our firemen considered and recorded from where the water 
will come that is needed for their pumps and hoses in the areas 
they serve? Then the government electric inspectors should be put 
to work to inspect all the hanging string-tied electrical 
connections and close dangerous areas until the necessary repairs 
are done.

So far Musharraf has taken the right decisions. The people must 
support him rather than instigate riots against what he has done 
whilst keeping the interests of Pakistan firmly in his mind. The 
very minimum percentage should ask their religious leaders to list 
for them the number and names of members of their families who are 
now residing permanently or temporarily in the safety of the United 
States of America. Qazi Hussain Ahmad for one is said to have two 
of his sons learning or working there.

Standing a 20-year nexus on its head
By Ayaz Amir

Once again a successful attempt is afoot to confuse the Pakistani 
public. It is being told that the military government has made a 
brave and correct choice in not siding with the Taliban and in 
agreeing to assist the United States in its still fuzzy war against 
'global terrorism'. This proposition is worth examining, if only 

Regardless of the guilt or innocence of Osama bin Laden, only a 
Pakistani government gone mad could have sided with the Taliban at 
this juncture. And if a mad Pakistani government had taken such a 
step it would have faced the wrath of the Pakistani people first 
before facing anything else from the US. The common Pakistani would 
have been appalled at such a decision. So what is the military 
government taking credit for? That it did not go down the path of 

The real choice before it was either to go the whole hog with the 
Americans, without asking any questions, or to preserve a semblance 
of calm and while offering assistance question the Americans on 
specifics and the likely fallout of future events on Pakistan. 
Would Washington have considered such a demarche as rebellion?

All this talk of Pakistani installations being wiped out in four 
days by American military might, and of an American-Indian nexus 
developing to punish Pakistan, is not so much counsel of fear as of 
outright absurdity. We wouldn't have been telling the Americans to 
go to hell. We would merely have been trying to see through the 
haze. This might have provoked American bluster but for how long? 
American rhetoric is already toning down (not that CNN or other TV 
channels are greatly helping this process). So it would have been 
in our case, without our precious 'nuclear strategic assets' facing 
the threat of instant annihilation.

But we sought wisdom in panic and promised the Americans everything 
they asked for. If this was the brave and correct choice made by 
the military government then it is a matter of opinion that no 
other course was available.

While military specifics are blanketed in uncertainty one thing is 
for sure: after the storm passes Pakistan will be left alone 
holding a flood of refugees. We can't cope with our own problems. 
How do we cope with the problems of a war brought to our doorsteps? 
Debt rescheduling and the partial lifting of US economic sanctions 
will provide us much-needed relief. But are these rewards adequate 
to the problems that we are likely to face?

Far from focusing on the refugee question, Pakistan's diplomatic 
and military bonzes are still pursuing the chimera of a pro-
Pakistan regime in Afghanistan. For 22 years, no less, we have 
played this game, now supporting one faction or leader, now 
another. To no avail. From Hikmatyar, once the ISI's darling, to 
the Taliban, our king-making efforts in Afghanistan have come to 
haunt us. But we refuse to learn and even at this time Foreign 
Minister Sattar is warning the world about the consequences of 
supporting the Northern Alliance.

Why can't we get over our Afghan obsession? It has distorted 
national thinking more than any other issue. Sectarianism, the 
militarization of religion, the spawning of a maulvi and 'jehadi' 
culture, the spread of madrassah education and the besmirching of 
Pakistan's image abroad are all offshoots and consequences of this.

Something else too. The lines between domestic and external 
policies have become blurred as a result of this involvement. The 
forces of religion which should have been confined at home have 
become regional players. The intelligence agencies whose role 
should be confined to external vigilance have spread their wings to 
dabble in domestic politics. Therefore while the spirit of jihad 
has distorted foreign policy priorities, the spirit of intervention 
and guidance has destabilized national politics. Getting out of 
this mess is a more pressing necessity than shoring up our sinking 

The present moment brings with it an opportunity. For the first 
time since 1978 - when after the Taraki coup we got involved in 
Afghan affairs - the nexus between home-grown fundamentalism and 
the military has been broken. The clerics are on one side, the 
military commanders on the other. This is the real godsend for 
Pakistan, even more than the lure of economic benefits. The people 
of Pakistan were helpless before this alliance and on their own 
could never have ruptured it.

But for Pakistan to fully recover from the effects of this 
alliance, this rupture has to be made permanent. Putting the 
religious parties in their place is not a problem. They have always 
lacked popular support and still do. Which is why their calls to 
the public have largely gone unheeded. The more important task is 
to eradicate the maulvi or fundamentalist mindset from the 
intelligence agencies. If one of the spinoffs of the present crisis 
is this, some of the irrationality dogging national policy these 
last 20 years will be removed. As Ardeshir Cowasjee has aptly put 
it, the enemy is within. Let us look to it rather than to demons 
such as the Northern Alliance.

As to the expected bonanza from dancing to America's tune, let us 
put it in perspective. Money is one thing, the ability to use it 
another. For our services in Afghanistan during the eighties we got 
plenty of money. Where did it all go? Where has Indonesia's oil 
wealth gone? Or for that matter, Nigeria's? In both cases pilfered 
by a corrupt oligarchy.

This is where self-respect and national dignity come in. The work 
ethic, without which no development is possible, is closely linked 
to such intangibles as dignity, honour and the ability to look 
adversity in the eye. The notion current in Pakistan that we have 
no dignity and therefore should not worry too much about how we get 
some economic advantage is little different from the mentality of 
the street-walker. Allied to this notion is the belief that showing 
the faintest streak of independence is akin to national 
annihilation. National weakness can't get purer than this.

Look at neighbouring Iran, a terrorist state in American eyes. The 
British foreign secretary comes to pay a visit and inclines his 
body ever so slightly when he meets the Iranian president. The two 
sides hold useful talks but soon after Jack Straw's departure the 
Iranian spiritual leader, Ali Khamenei, delivers a blistering 
attack on the US and says that Iran will not be part of any 
coalition against the Taliban (even though, let us bear in mind, 
there's no love lost between Iran and the Taliban). No one is 
talking of flattening Iran. Agreed, our economic difficulties are 
greater. But then the economic argument, stripped to essentials, 
underlies the philosophy of the street-walker.

Clarity is the first casualty in such a situation. If one talks of 
national pride, it is taken to be jingoism. If it is said that we 
explore details with the Americans and seek guarantees for the 
problems that are bound to arise, it is read as support for the 
Taliban. If military wisdom - which, after all, is responsible for 
our Afghan imbroglio - is questioned in any way, we say national 
unity is threatened. It is a time for unity but also a time for 
scepticism because once events are on the march it may be too late 
to ask any questions.

Another thing. When US anger is assuaged after punishing the real 
or imagined perpetrators of the recent terrorist attacks, Pakistan 
will still be left with the necessity of living in peace with its 
neighbours. There will still be an Afghanistan to our right and an 
India to our left, and an unsettled Kashmir on the roof of the 
world. Now that we are riding high on the tide of world opinion it 
would be especially becoming on our part to renew the invitation to 
the Indian prime minister to visit Pakistan. What if India tried to 
embarrass us during the present crisis? Must we play tit-for-tat 
with it always? To do something not out of compulsion but free 
choice will make us look good and lend an aura of statesmanship to 
our diplomacy.

Reality check
By Irfan Husain

Over two weeks after the ghastly events of 11 September, we remain 
glued to our television screens while commentators and analysts, 
now as familiar as old friends, report on the latest developments. 
And every once in a while, the image of a jet plane slamming into 
the World Trade Centre returns like a recurring nightmare.

But while most of the coverage is instantly forgettable, some 
footage remains etched in our memory. One such documentary was 
called "Behind the veil" aired recently by CNN. Featuring a young 
Afghan woman brought up in the United States who returns to her 
native country, it was a searing experience as it revealed what the 
Taliban had reduced their own people to. The narrator smuggles a 
concealed video camera into Afghanistan to film women trying to 
survive in a brutally misogynist society. The daily suffering of 
ordinary Afghans, the massacre of opponents, and the deliberate 
erasure of joy and colour are depicted with pain and passion.

An unblinking expose of one of the most tyrannical regimes of our 
times, it should be required viewing for anybody who seeks to 
defend the Taliban. In particular, those demonstrating in the 
streets protesting the impending attack on these barbarians should 
be forced to watch it several times a day. While no sane person 
wants to see ordinary Afghans suffer any more than they already 
have, "Behind the veil" makes it clear that if their nightmare is 
to end, the evil that is the Taliban has to be removed forever. And 
if it takes a short, sharp military campaign to rid us of them, so 
be it.

Although it is clear that the Taliban will soon be consigned to the 
dustbin of history, the post-Taliban scenario is a troubling one. 
We tend to overlook the fact that before they swept into power 
(courtesy the Pakistan government, let us not forget), Afghanistan 
had been wracked by a vicious civil war. Kabul was reduced to 
rubble by warlords fighting over the capital, and not by the 
present Taliban government. So bringing back the Dostams, the 
Hikmatyars and the Rabbanis is not necessarily a formula for peace 
and good governance. In their own way, they are thugs who have 
contributed heavily to our neighbour's distress.

When our foreign minister warned the Americans to avoid taking 
sides in Afghanistan, he conveniently forgot that for years, 
successive governments in Islamabad have been doing just that. In 
an attempt to install a pliant regime in Kabul, the ISI funnelled 
60% of all the cash and arms that flowed in from the US, Saudi 
Arabia and sundry others during the Soviet occupation to Hikmatyar. 
The assassinated Tajik leader Ahmad Shah Masood, one of the most 
effective and charismatic leaders of the resistance, was starved of 
help. Even now, thousands of Pakistanis are in Afghanistan fighting 
the Northern Alliance under the Taliban banner. But all these 
efforts at controlling events and decisions in Kabul have backfired 
time and again.

The tribal, ethnic and sectarian mosaic that is Afghanistan admits 
of no easy answers or quick fixes. One real concern is that after 
the Americans have appeased their understandable desire for revenge 
by arresting or killing bin Laden and pounding the Taliban, their 
coalition will either get bored or move on to a new target and the 
media circus will go with them. Pakistan, however, will be stuck 
with another flood of refugees, large groups of armed and dangerous 
religious militias on its own soil, and a powder keg with a 
smouldering fuse next door.

In short, what is to prevent the Americans from walking away just 
as they did once the Soviets left Afghanistan? The post-Taliban 
scenario calls for patience, subtlety, and the will to exert 
pressure and apply power over an extended period of time. Our newly 
rediscovered American allies are not famous for any of these 
qualities. In addition, the Afghan terrain and temperament are 
notoriously treacherous.

But despite all these doubts and caveats, General Musharraf's 
decision to support the Americans in their war against terror is 
the right one, if only because the alternative is even more 
unattractive. So far, the protests have been more pro-Taliban and 
anti-American than they have been anti-Musharraf. However, once the 
cruise missiles and the B-52s start inflicting heavy casualties, 
the mood in the streets of Karachi and Peshawar could well change. 
The major components in these demos have been Pakistani and Afghan 
Pushtun tribesmen and militants of some pro-Taliban religious 
parties. The average, middle-of-the-road Pakistani continues to 
support the government, and the lifting of sanctions will firm up 
this support even further.

Actually, this sudden crisis can benefit Pakistan in some 
unexpected ways. Quite apart from the lifting of economic and 
military sanctions, this conflict can roll back the creeping 
Talibanization that had threatened to tear this country apart. A 
number of us had been warning of the baneful effects of the insane 
policy of encouraging extremist elements to further the agenda of 
successive governments in Afghanistan and Kashmir. There will now 
be huge international pressure to rein in such groups, and 
hopefully, their power and influence - out of all proportion to 
their numbers - will decline. In this admittedly optimistic 
scenario, the government will be able to initiate the tough steps 
against jihadi groups General Musharraf had promised but was unable 
to take a few weeks before the attacks in the United States. In 
Kashmir, he will find it difficult to continue supporting armed 
militancy while joining the anti-terrorism chorus in other parts of 
the world. In many ways, this crisis has crystallized the 
contradictions in our internal and external policies, and will 
hopefully lead to their review and revision.

While President Bush has pledged to fight and eradicate terrorism 
around the world, Pakistanis do not have to look very far to tackle 
this menace. Over the last two decades, we have become so used to 
random violence and terrorist attacks that we assign them the same 
level of personal and police attention that we do to common acts of 
criminality. It now takes a cataclysmic event like the terror 
bombing of the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon to shake us out 
of our torpor and force us to act.

Now that we are poised to emerge from our largely self-inflicted 
isolation, we need to remind ourselves that peace and prosperity 
are incompatible with fundamentalism and extremism. Whenever we 
forget this basic rule, we should watch "Behind the veil" again.

SAF Games Postponed
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 23: The 9th South Asian Federation (SAF) Games were 
postponed after the technical delegates, who were to supervise the 
events, expressed their inability to come to Pakistan following 
escalating tension in the region.

The Games, which were to run here between Oct 6 and 15, are now 
likely to take place sometime around February next year.

Organizers decision supported
Sports Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 23: The national federations officials and those 
associated with the Pakistan teams supported the organizers 
decision to postpone the 9th SAF Games, saying it would give the 
athletes a chance to prepare even more.

Col Asif Dar (retd), vice president of the Pakistan Weightlifting 
Federation, while endorsing the decision said that the athletes and 
officials must take full advantage of the opportunity and aim to 
beat India on the medals table. "All the organisational aspects of 
the Games have been looked after well and now preparation of 
athletes should be our only consideration."

Manager of the football team, Maj Muhammad Ashfaq, said that the 
extra time available to them now would do the team a world of good. 

Secretary of the Pakistan Squash Federation, Sqd-Ldr Sajid Waheed 
also approved the decision, saying it was a right thing to do in 
the prevailing conditions. But he said it would affect the players 
who had just peaked and were ready to enter competition.

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