------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 21 September 2002 Issue : 08/38 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Musharraf advises people to elect honest candidates + Political parties pledge to fight corruption + Key parties to ensure fair polls, transfer of power + Constitution's supremacy top priority of PPP: Babar + PPP(S) vows to stamp out poverty + PTI to reshape judiciary if voted to power: Imran + Alliance to work for unity, says Noorani + Muttahida promises to bring down prices + Over 8,000 in the run + EC announces final list of candidates + EU reduces number of observers + NA foresees strong opposition + PML-QA to back Musharraf's bid for presidency + NRB to restructure govt departments + 'Govt is not backing any candidate' + Civil servants warned against influencing poll results + HRCP casts doubts on fairness of elections + PPP, PML-N plans on seat adjustment off + 'Prestigious' seats in Punjab + LHC dismisses plea against Nawaz + Rejection of Shahbaz papers challenged + Shahbaz, Kulsoom appeal 'flawed' + Laws changed to keep Benazir out, court told + Benazir's poll petition comes up for hearing + Asif indicted in SGS reference + President says he is facing no threat + Harkat men given in police custody + IG confirms arrest of 7 suspected militants + 8 militants arrested in Karachi + Ramzi has not been arrested: Al Qaeda + Ramzi, four others flown out of Pakistan + Vital papers seized from Al-Shaiba + CID begins grilling 46 men handed over by Kabul + Forces fully equipped to face enemy: Law & order has improved + American approach seen as threat to world peace: Seminar + New US visa programme for students + Musharraf asks India to shun bilateralism + Pakistan invites APHC for talks: Mirwaiz assured of OIC help --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + $2.4bn accord signed with ADB + Asian Bank cuts risk premiums + Pakistan, US FTA likely + Fiscal law ready for cabinet approval + NFC silent on debt relief to provinces + Profit-selling halts upward drive on KSE --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + 'Give me seven years...' Ardeshir Cowasjee + A year later Eric S. Margolis + Iraq's N-weapons: fact or fiction? Eric S. Margolis + Introduction to music Ayaz Amir + Devolution and revolution Irfan Husain ----------- SPORTS + Waqar's men cleared of any wrongdoing + Root causes behind team's defeats + Sacked Mudassar denies rift in team + Youhana also out of Aussie Test series + PCB keeps faith in Waqar for home Tests + No major changes in hockey team for Asiad

Musharraf advises people to elect honest candidates
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 19: President Gen Pervez Musharraf appealed to the 
nation to elect honest and dedicated candidates in the October 
elections in order to have clean leadership which should only serve 
the interests of the country.

"Politicians, bureaucrats, people of the armed forces and 
businessmen have been indulging in corrupt practices in one form or 
the other and that is why Rs1.3 trillion were eaten away during 
1988 to 1999", he further stated.

Inaugurating a seminar organized by Pakistan Chapter of the 
Transparency International, the president said he did not mean that 
all the politicians, bureaucrats, armed forces men and businessmen 
were corrupt and were involved in loot and plunder.

"There are good people who live every where in Pakistan but still 
there are others who do not believe in any morality and frequently 
indulge in corrupt practices", he added.

The president said that there are 10 per cent people who are 
corrupt and another 10 per cent who are not corrupt in Pakistan. 
"And there are 80 per cent people who sway to any side whenever 
they get any opportunity therefore we must save them by providing 
equal opportunity to grow and by ensuring adequate pay structure 
and by giving them some better political system", he added.

The seminar was attended by the leaders of some political parties 
including PML(N), PML(Q), MQM, PPP(S), Millat Party, Sindh 
Democratic Alliance and Jamaat-i-Islami(JI). However, no 
representative of the PPP and the PTI of Imran Khan attended the 

The representative of those political parties who were present on 
the occasion signed a declaration pledging that they would not 
indulge in corrupt practices in case there parties came into power 
as a result of the Oct 10 elections.

The president claimed that higher level corruption did not exist in 
the country today and that his three years period has proved to be 
good compared to previous years.

"I am also declaring here that there has not been an increase of 
single penny in my assets eversince I took power", he said. He also 
gave a personal commitment to remain honest.

He said Pakistan has come a long way since 1947 and during this 
period there had been development of infrastructure, roads, dams 
etc. "We have certainly achieved a lot during the last 50 years but 
we did not optimise our resources and one of the main reasons was 
the corruption".

The president regretted today the majority of Pakistani people were 
pessimistic and that there was a general apathy which was 
surrounding the whole environment. He said he did not understand 
why people were so demoralized and even any thing good was done it 
was not recognized and appreciated. "Look we have taken a 
successful action against Al Qaeda in Karachi but people say it was 
due to Americans which is totally wrong as our people conducted the 
whole operation", he said.

He also criticized the press for not playing its due role to 
project good things and expose the corrupt practices. The president 
said that corruption was seen in haves and have-nots. "Those who 
already possess great deal of wealth, they are greedy and always 
look for more ill-gotten money and those who do not have money, 
they think this is their right to have ill-gotten money", he said.

He was of the view that corruption rose in Pakistan because there 
was no check and there was no accountability. At the same time he 
said that "there was no performance of the judiciary".

The president said during his three years experience in the 
government, he has come to know many things about the corruption.

"First there is a corruption which is done with the connivance of 
politicians and the bureaucrats and they do not feel tired of 
eating development funds", the president said.

"Foreign assistance coming in Pakistan is also consumed through the 
nexus of politician and bureaucrats. All kinds of development funds 
are eaten away at the federal, provincial and district level", he 

"Then the businessmen get loans from ADBP and other banks with the 
connivance of the bankers and do not return them due to which today 
our banks have gone bankrupt".

"And then we witness nexus between the industrialists and the CBR 
people for tax evasion. Similarly, people in the armed forces 
indulge in corrupt practices specially in arms deals and other 
defence purchases", the president said.

Political parties pledge to fight corruption
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 19: Political parties of different shades pledged 
to implement an effective anti-corruption package after the 

Through the package, the accountability process and transparency 
would be ensured through access to information at federal, 
provincial and local government level, they decided.

The commitment, titled "our pledge to the people of Pakistan," was 
made during a convention of political leaders organized by the 
Pakistan chapter of Transparency International at the Convention 

Those who signed the pledge are: Millat Party chief Sardar Farooq 
Leghari, Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-i-Azam) President Mian 
Azhar, PML leader Sartaj Aziz, Abdus Sattar of Muttahida Qaumi 
Movement, Imtiaz Sheikh of Sindh Democratic Alliance, Ashraf Malik 
of Jamaat-i-Islami and Iqbal Khattak of Pakistan People's Party 
(Sherpao). Ajmal Khattak left early but signed the pledge.

Jeremy Carver, the representative of the Transparency 
International, told the audience that out of 12 political parties 
invited, 10 had agreed to attend. The PPP, Pakistan Awami Tehrik 
and Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf were absent.

Mr Carver read out the pledge in which the political leaders 
acknowledged the damage caused by corruption and the urgency of the 
need for countering it. The said they recognised that continuing 
international support for the country was largely dependent on the 
prompt and effective national anti-corruption strategy.

The pledge stated that those who were elected and formed the 
opposition after the election would play a full part in holding the 
government accountable and to cooperate in non-partisan ways with 
the adoption and implementation of effective anti-corruption 

The pledge said that when the new government was sworn in after the 
elections, the politicians would work together to evolve an 
effective system of accountability, including an independent and 
effective judicial system, to eliminate corruption.

They pledged to serve the people with integrity and said corruption 
crisis must be tackled openly by all. They also invited the 
citizens to unite with them in their determination to rid the 
country of corruption.

Speaking on the occasion, National Accountability Bureau Chairman 
Lt-Gen Munir Hafeez said corruption had created the largest hole in 
the fabric of democracy. "While all of us acknowledge that not all 
politicians are corrupt, there is a general feeling that, lately, 
the politicians with conviction and a desire to serve the nation 
had gone into the background while it had come to be dominated by 
mercenaries who entered for a profit," he observed.

The small set of political leaders had been responsible for giving 
politics and democracy a bad name and destabilizing the country, he 
said and added that corrupt elements existed in all sectors all 
over the world and the it was true in Pakistan as well. However, in 
politics and democracy the worst came out when those at the top 
indulged in corruption and the honest were sidelined, he said.

He said years of plunder had left the economy in a shambles, 
burdening it with unsustainable debt and extremely poor social 

He said the first victim of corruption was justice because the weak 
failed to get their rights and the powerful usurped them. "Such a 
social system was not sustainable and eventually there was a 
breakdown of law and order, resulting in chaos," he said.

He said the public had lost faith in the governance system and the 
democratic process.

Farooq Leghari called upon the West, United States President Bush, 
United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Transparency 
International to include corruption in their war against terrorism.

He said corruption could be eradicated to a considerable level if 
the corrupt elements could not get safe havens through transfer of 
plundered wealth to offshore companies. He said that about $50 
billion had escaped Pakistan in the past years - an amount more 
than enough to wipe out the external debt.

A way to tackle corruption, he said, was to respect the supremacy 
of law, honour the Constitution and devise a system where the 
judiciary was also made accountable.

He said that despite claims of economic development, poverty was 

Mian Azhar said the common man took the state as a supporter of the 
corrupt. The state must convince the citizens that it was not 
tolerant of corruption, he said.

Sartaj Aziz emphasized the need for judicial independence and an 
independent investigating machinery to probe corruption charges. He 
said that the manifesto of the PML, to be announced two days later, 
talked in detail about corruption.

Abdus Sattar said corruption could be plugged if the sizes of 
cabinets were restricted and the president, prime minister and the 
chief ministers were allocated minimal funds, subject to scrutiny 
of Public Accounts Committee. He said the parliament needed to be 
made dynamic, the powers of NAB should be transferred to the 
Ombudsman and discretionary powers should be looked into.

Key parties to ensure fair polls, transfer of power 
By Ahmed Hassan

ISLAMABAD, Sept 20: Almost all the major parties contesting general 
elections have decided to join hands on one point agenda of 
ensuring free, fair and impartial polls and smooth transfer of 
power to the winning party, sources said.

Although these parties have failed in making any substantial seat 
adjustments between themselves in a bid they earlier envisaged to 
defeat the pro-government candidates, they clearly smell that if 
they also failed in putting their act together they will lose 
elections miserably if the feared manipulations were enforced by 
their opponents on the election day.

A list of demands vis a vis holding of smooth polls is being mulled 
at an appropriate level which will be discussed among the leaders 
and made public probably at a joint news conference of these 
leaders within the next few days, the source said.

"Efforts were being made to get at least the leaders of four major 
parties, Makhdoom Amin Fahim (PPP), Raja Zafarul Haq (PML-N), Qazi 
Hussain Ahmed (JI/MMA) and Imran Khan (PTI) together at a joint 
news conference to pronounce their joint stand on the holding of 
elections and the apprehensions attached to them", said a source.

Imran Khan chairman Pakistan Tehrik Insaaf who is spearheading the 
campaign to rally the opposition parties affected by government's 
actions dubbed as pre-poll rigging has completed first round of 
talks with three major parties, PPP, PML(N) and JI/MMA.

He had told a news conference that he had talked by phone to Jamaat 
chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed being last in the list who principally 
agreed with my point of view and also agreed on taking a united 
stand on holding of polls.

According to sources Mr Khan has undertaken the task of bringing 
the mainstream political leaders to join hands against any effort 
of manipulation in the general elections.

Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Raja Zafarul Haq in their meetings with 
Imran Khan had agreed with the notion that the parties who don't 
enjoy support from the establishment and were confronting the pro-
government parties should have a joint platform.

Sources said, Makhdoom told Imran that he will be right back after 
consulting ARD chief Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan and other component 
party leaders.

In his telephonic talks with Imran, Qazi Hussain also promised to 
discuss the issue with the components of the MMA during a rally in 
Rawalpindi and to hold a meeting together with other political 

Constitution's supremacy top priority of PPP: Babar
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 19: The rule of law and supremacy of the 
Constitution prioritizes the agenda of every candidate of PPP, 
besides their pledge to resolve the grievances of the residents of 
their respective constituencies.

This was said by Dr Babar Awan, PPP candidate for NA-48, at a 
reception hosted in his honour by the Islamabad Bar Association 

He said the PPP was striving for the cause of justice and well-
being of the countrymen despite its leadership being subjected to 
the worst ever victimization.

He said the suppressed classes could never benefit nor peace in the 
country could be restored if there was no "respect for the law and 

The present government has made a mockery of law and Constitution 
only to prolong its rule and for this purpose to defame the popular 
leaders of the opposition, he said.

Mr Awan said it was a matter of pride for all citizens concerned 
that the lawyers community was determined to safeguard their 
Constitutional rights and all their interests.

Seeking all out support of the lawyers' community, he said: "He had 
made it clear to the party chairperson, Benazir Bhutto, that he 
would get all his pledges fulfilled if elected and that the party 
leadership would not object to his intentions in case of his 
success in the elections."

PPP(S) vows to stamp out poverty
PESHAWAR, Sept 20: Chairman of his own faction of Pakistan People's 
Party Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao has said that the PPP(S) will 
continue its struggle for the rights of Pakhtoons and slated the 
negative politics of frustrated elements who are out to mislead the 

He said that the people were politically conscious and they would 
reject them in October polls. He was addressing an election rally 
at village Srekh Shabqadar, Charsadda.

He believed that it would not only stamp out poverty and 
unemployment but it would also remove public grievances.

He further said that the PPP(S) would fight for the rights of 
Pakhtoons and would further expose the so-called champions of 
Pakhtoons' rights who were out to hoodwink them. He called upon 
Pakhtoons to bury the hatchet and forge unity in their ranks for 
the achievement of their rights.

He criticized the so-called sympathizers of Pakhtoons who for the 
sake of personal interests wrote off their principles.

He alleged that the so-called well-wishers of Pakhtoons had done 
nothing for them as they always relied on lip service causing great 
pains to the nation.

He expressed the determination to change the politics and assured 
Pakhtoons of pragmatic measures for changing their destiny.

Mr Sherpao contended that masses would say a big no to dirty 
politics and respond positively to the constructive politics of the 
PPP(S). He asked the people to reject vested interests in October 
polls and vote honest candidates who could best serve them.

He said that October election was a golden opportunity to put the 
country back on the track of democracy. He maintained that the 
democratic institutions would be strengthened with the restoration 
of democracy and the country would prosper.

He said the provincial autonomy would strengthen the federation. He 
backed federal parliamentary democracy saying that it was the basis 
of our political system and strong federating units were 
instrumental for the stability of federation.-APP

PTI to reshape judiciary if voted to power: Imran
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 19: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) launched its 
election manifesto with major focus being on freeing the judiciary 
from administrative control and ensuring that no citizen was 
deprived of justice and no political exploiter was able to 
victimize anyone for his personal and political gains.

Unveiling salient features of the manifesto, Imran Khan said: "We 
want to rid the poor masses of the coercion of the government as in 
present state, all the institutions were sucking the blood of their 
own people and they were made to serve them instead of they serving 
the people.

"Our first and foremost task after returning to power, he said 
would be to reshape the judicial system by enormously enhancing the 
emoluments of judges changing the mode of their 
appointment/promotion and freeing them of the administrative 
influence in making their independent judgments".

He said western world's success lay in their independent judiciary 
but in our case the predominant feudal hierarchy occupying the 
power seat never allowed the judicial system to work independently 
and to provide remedy to the poor and less privileged ones.

Imran said, we would lower the size and quantum of taxation 
particularly end personal income tax to give the people direct 
relief and enhance Zakat contribution through its judicious 
utilization of providing the people free health and education.

A national level commission would be set up to overlook the 
political victimization of the people by certain feudal 

Under an independent judiciary alone, he said the downtrodden could 
get remedy specially the labourers in Pakistan, who were most 
exploited workforce in the world.

An independent election commission would be constituted to stop 
corrupt politicians from returning to power, once condemned by the 
courts. He said biggest task ahead of his party would be to end the 
shameless era of feudal influence in power politics.

Another area of attention for his party, he said would be to make 
the increasing population a national asset by providing them labour 
intensive businesses. 

The PTI would declare an emergency in education to promote 
education for all by calling out retired army and civil bureaucrats 
and educated youth to first prepare a common and most advanced 
syllabus and then spread education to every youth. Compulsory and 
free education would be provided to female students up to 
matriculation, he said.

"Our foreign policy would be realistic and based on self esteem and 
not accept conditionalities imposed by the IMF and World Bank and 
instead take steps for eradicating poverty, which they have 
promoted through cutting financing in recession period", Imran 

To achieve maximization of foreign exchange reserves, he said his 
party would give maximum incentives to the 3.7 million registered 
overseas Pakistanis for enhancement of foreign remittances up to 
three billion US dollars equivalent to the national deficit.

He said his party supported devolution of powers through local 
councils but the government had politicized these councils by 
involving them in electioneering.

A cursory look at the PTI manifesto showed that it has touched all 
the traditional subjects such as interpreting democracy as 
empowering the people, justice for all through ensuring rule of 
law, political and economic sovereignty through 'Haqooqul Ibad", 
economic prosperity through harnessing human capital and natural 
resources, human development through investing in people, strong 
federation through provincial autonomy and equitable distribution 
of resources, international relations subservient to none, good 
governance meaning efficient and transparent government and 
security meaning complete protection of life and prosperity.

Alliance to work for unity, says Noorani
Staff Correspondent

CHARSADDA, Sept 20: Maulana Shah Ahmad Noorani, president of the 
Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), has said that all the components of 
the religious parties alliance would be merged into a single entity 
to work for the unity of the nation.

He said the United States and all the secular forces were very much 
scared of the unity of religious forces in the shape of the MMA in 

Speaking at a big public meeting held at the Municipal Park, 
Noorani said the alliance would emerge victorious in the general 
elections and would implement Shariat in the country. "Oct 10 will 
be a day of Islamic revolution," he added.

The MMA chief said the alliance was a permanent one and was based 
on principles.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Amir of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and general 
secretary of the MMA, addressing the meeting, said an independent 
nations had four things - freedom, religion, culture and economy.

Muttahida promises to bring down prices
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 20: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has promised to 
reduce the prices of eatables and other essential daily use items 
by 50 per cent within three months if voted to power.

This promise was made by the party's London-based chief Altaf 
Hussain in a telephonic address to party supporters in three 
different areas of the city.

Addressing large gatherings at Burnes Road, North Karachi and 
Baldia Town simultaneously, Hussain focused on bread and butter 
issues, but did not explain how he would bring down prices.

He said that the MQM is not against any party or community, but it 
is striving for a judicious system, in which 98 per cent of the 
people who are oppressed and belong to the middle and lower income 
groups should also have their due rights.

We don't want to deprive the two per cent of their wealth and 
facilities. We want the rest of the population to have an 
honourable living, and that they not be jobless or left without 
food, education, health care, and above all, justice, Hussain said.

He said that the MQM wants quality education for everyone, and 
demanded of the government to provide the same facilities to the 
children of the deprived majority which are available to the 
children of feudals and other rich people.

He declared that when the MQM forms a government, it will allocate 
a sizable portion of the budget for education, with a view to 
providing quality education to all segments of society from primary 
to the higher secondary level.

He also promised to cut down administrative expenses to divert 
funds towards improving health care facilities - including 
hospitals and maternity homes. He also promised to set up 
industries in which ladies would also have the opportunity to earn 
an honourable living.

Hussain also expressed concern over the inhuman and deplorable 
treatment being meted out to women, and declared that such persons 
who were guilty of this would be publicly punished by the MQM 
government. He deplored sectarian killings and attacks on mosques 
and imambargahs, and said such elements would be apprehended and 
hanged publicly.

He said that the "huge" turn out at these meetings in Karachi, 
Hyderabad and elsewhere proved that the masses are with the MQM, 
and if the elections are free, fair and transparent, then it would 
form the government in Sindh.

Over 8,000 in the run
ISLAMABAD, Sept 16: The final and consolidated data compiled by the 
Election Commission shows that there are 8,349 candidates 
contesting for 342 national and 728 seats of four provincial 
assemblies including reserved seats for women and non-Muslims. 

For 342 seats of the national assembly including 60 reserved for 
women and 10 for non-Muslims, there are 2,424 candidates in the 

For the 728 seats of the four provinces including the reserved 
seats for women and non-Muslims, there are 5,925 candidates.

Following is the complete data of the candidates for 342 national 
assembly seats.-APP

                NA        Women        Non-Muslims

Area        Candidates   Candidates     Candidates

          (272 General)  (60 seats)     (10 seats) 

Islamabad      28           0               - 

Punjab        946         135               - 

Sindh         634          79               - 

NWFP          241          45               - 

FATA          121           0               - 

Balochistan   128          22               - 

Total         2098         281              45 

Distribution of seats of four provincial assemblies:

Province    General Seats     Non-Muslims    Women    Total 

Punjab        297               8            66       371 

Sindh         130               9            29       168 

NWFP           99               3            22       124 

Balochistan 51 3 11 65 

Total: 577 23 128 728 

The following is the data of the candidates for the four provincial 
assemblies of the country.

Province PA    Women    Non-Muslims  
Punjab 2386 261     36 

Sindh       1561 210       85 

NWFP        642 126       23 

Balochistan  521  52     22 

Total:      5110  649      166 

EC announces final list of candidates
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 15: Another important phase of electoral process 
completed when the Returning Officers (ROs) displayed the final 
lists of candidates for National and provincial assemblies, setting 
the stage for Oct 10 elections.

An official of the Election Commission said all the ROs have 
displayed the final list of the candidates in their respective 
constituencies. The EC will release the consolidated list of the 
candidates for National and provincial assemblies.

The ROs for each constituency allowed election symbols to the 
candidates at the production of party certificates. The independent 
candidates were allotted election symbols from the list of symbols 
drawn by the EC.

PPP leader Benazir Bhutto and PML leader Nawaz Sharif are out of 
the race but their parties are in the field and are expected to 
show their vote bank.

It is perhaps the first election that not a single candidate from 
1070 National and provincial assemblies seats has returned 
unopposed. The EC has denied the reports that one candidate for 
Balochistan Assembly, Juma Khan, has returned opposed.

EU reduces number of observers
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 19: European Union announced it will not deploy the 
same number of observers it had originally planed for the 
forthcoming general elections due to Pakistan's "reluctance to meet 
security requirements."

In a statement, John Cushnahan, chief observer European Union said, 
"Our original intention was to eventually deploy a team of around 
164 observers. For a number of logistical reasons, including the 
initial reluctance of the Pakistan authorities to fully meet our 
requirements relating to security, we will unfortunately be unable 
to fulfil our original plan with regard to the deployment of the 
full compliment of short-term observers."

It further said: "While this may be regrettable, we will ensure 
that it will not impact negatively on our ability to complete our 
full task, However, we do appreciate that the provincial 
authorities are cooperating with the mission in order to ensure 
security for the current team structure."

NA foresees strong opposition
By Amjad Mahmood

LAHORE, Sept 17: The National Alliance (NA) sees a limited role for 
future parliament, whose duration, it says, will depend upon its 
conduct rather than the constitutional decree in the presence of a 
powerful president and a strong opposition.

Although mostly old faces are potential winners in the October 
polls, they will not be spared if they behave like in the past, 
says NA secretary-general Mohammad Ali Durrani.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Durrani said he foresaw a strong opposition in 
the post-election scenario besides a president armed with 58(2-B) 
and the National Security Council, who would force the elected 
representatives to behave.

The future MPs would be unable to indulge in corruption, he 
claimed. The prime minister would have to show competence and set 
his priorities right, he added.

Mr Durrani, whose NA is part of the Grand National Alliance, said 
the GNA had a two-point agenda - to give the country a stable 
government and ensure continuity of reforms introduced by the 
military government.

About the allegations being levelled by almost all opposition 
parties, he said the rulers would not commit the folly of rigging 
the elections for fear of national and international pressure.

He predicted a low turnout in the October polls for, he said, the 
masses did not see any change for the better in the future.

He was critical of involvement of Nazimeen in the politics. It was 
a conspiracy of the bureaucracy to defame the office which had 
snatched its powers, he alleged.

Answering a question about credibility of the polls if the PPP and 
the PML-N boycotted them, he said their credibility would be 
damaged to some extent if Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal followed the two 
mainstream parties.

He, however, predicted that the local leadership of the two parties 
would rise in revolt if their bosses sitting abroad chose to 
boycott the elections. The leaders sitting abroad feared that in 
case of electoral achievements in their absence they would loose 
their control over their parties, he claimed.

About adjustments with the PML-QA, he said that to save the GNA 
from any split, it had been decided that the NA and the PML-QA 
would see to it that no third party won a seat in case of a mutual 

PML-QA to back Musharraf's bid for presidency
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Sept 15: Punjab PML-QA president Chaudhry Pervez Ellahi has 
pledged to extend all kind of support to Gen Pervez Musharraf when 
the latter seeks a presidential mandate in the parliament.

Speaking at Meet the Press programme, he said: "We say it boldly 
that the incumbent government has done good deeds. We are not like 
the hypocrites who have availed all privileges which the government 
could provide and are now speaking against it after becoming sure 
of their defeat in the October elections."

The PML-QA, if voted to power, would frame laws through the 
parliament instead of the office of president (ordinances), he 

Replying to a question about sovereignty of the future parliament, 
he said the war between the president and the prime minister for 
attaining powers had already caused much damage to the country 
while the powers so attained were always misused.

He said he believed that a system with checks and balances would 
work more efficiently.

He denied claims of other politicians that the government was 
indulging in pre-poll rigging and projecting the PML-QA. "No 
government can afford a rigged election after seeing its aftermath 
in 1977."

NRB to restructure govt departments
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 16: The military government has assigned the 
National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) the task of restructuring and 
rationalising various ministries, divisions and autonomous bodies, 
Dawn learnt here.

Official sources said the chief executive's secretariat had issued 
a directive to the NRB to review the progress made on the 
rightsizing programme and examine whether further reduction was 
possible in the government employees' strength.

The NRB has also been asked to study in detail the workload, 
productivity and contribution of various ministries and autonomous 
bodies in the national economy and suggest where the staff strength 
was lower or higher than required and justify it with the 

The federal ministries, divisions and their attached autonomous 
bodies have also been directed to cooperate with the NRB and 
provide it with relevant data. The decision, say the sources, gives 
a new lease of life to the think-tank that would had become 
redundant after the referendum and October elections.

The committee had recommended that the office staff ratio in 
federal divisions that was 1:4.5 in 2000-01 should be reduced to 
1:3.2 in 2001-02 and to 1:2.5 during 2002-03.

Various ministries had voluntarily offered to abolish as many as 
26,587 posts, most of which were vacant at the time. Around 90 per 
cent of the rightsizing programme in various ministries has been 

Against a target to abolish 26,587 posts on voluntary basis, over 
23,500 posts have so far been abolished. Early this month, the 
president had directed the ministries to abolish the remaining 
posts against the target in the current month.

The ministries which met their targets are: the water and power 
ministry with 10 posts; railways, 14,413); religious affairs, 
seven; interior division, 212; health, 39; establishment, 254; 
environment, five; and economic affairs, 105.

The cabinet division, culture and sports, industries and 
production, information and media development, labour and manpower, 
narcotics control, planning commission, population welfare, women 
development and science and technology ministries failed to meet 
their targets. 

The communications ministry abolished 6,228 posts against the 
target of 8,097. Commerce ministry could achieve only 20 per cent 
of target by reducing 132 posts, education division achieved 18 per 
cent target with 62 posts, finance by 11 per cent with reduction of 
six posts, Kashmir affairs 86 per cent with 774 posts, petroleum 31 
per cent with 73 posts and statistics division 91 per cent with 180 

'Govt is not backing any candidate'
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 18: No close relative of any senior civil servant 
is contesting the elections and no candidate is being supported by 
the government, as it is committed to hold free and fair elections, 
said an official spokesman.

Referring to certain allegations levelled by Tehrik-i-Insaf about 
the interference of high government functionaries in the election 
process, the spokesman said: "The elections are being held under a 
totally independent and fully autonomous election commission."

Describing the allegations as baseless, the spokesman regretted 
that repeated allegations were being levelled by the same party 
against a senior civil servant, who for reasons of service 
discipline cannot enter into a public debate on the issue.

He also denied the allegations levelled by Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf 
about the involvement of a senior government officials in the 
election campaign.

The spokesman, in a press statement issued, said "the daughter of a 
senior civil servant who was planning to contest the elections in 
Punjab voluntarily withdrew her candidature though she had all the 
legal rights to contest."

Civil servants warned against influencing poll results
By Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, Sept 18: The Chief Election Commissioner warned that any 
civil servant using official position to influence the election 
results would be doing so "at his own risk and consequences."

The CEC directed the Inspector Generals of Police throughout 
Pakistan to issue instructions to their subordinates "to behave 
with the members of the public with due decorum and courtesy, 
promote amity and aid individuals who are in danger of physical 

The CEC took notice of the news items appearing in a section of the 
press, which spoke of contesting candidates being harassed by some 
police officials, an EC announcement said.

It recalled that in its previous directive, it had stated in clear 
terms that the executive authorities in the federation and in the 
provinces shall not exercise undue influence, affecting the 
interest of any person intending to contest election.

"They shall act with neutrality and impartiality throughout the 
election process and shall not use official influence or 
governmental patronage in favour of a person intending to contest 

The Representation of the People Act, 1976, also specifically 
provides that if a person, in the service of Pakistan, misuses his 
official position in a manner calculated to influence the results 
of the election, he would be guilty of an offence punishable with 
imprisonment for a term which might extend up to two year, the EC 
release said.

It is the statutory duty of every police official to protect life, 
property and liberty of citizens.

HRCP casts doubts on fairness of elections
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 15: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) 
has expressed serious apprehensions about the shape of things to 
come in the country's political sphere after the general elections. 
Speaking at press briefing in a local hotel, the Chairperson of the 
HRCP, Afrasiab Khattak, noted with concern the new laws governing 
the conduct of the general elections and various measures 
undertaken "to secure pre-determined results."

At the press briefing he was flanked by Hina Jilani, the Secretary-
General of the HRCP, Saleema Hashmi, Vice Chairperson of the Punjab 
chapter of the HRCP, and I. A. Rehman, the Director of the HRCP.

Expressing serious reservations on steps such as "ignoring the 
views" of an overwhelming majority of the people, political 
parties, and various civil society groups, the HRCP chairperson 
said the constitution must not be altered in any way other than the 
procedure prescribed in the basic law itself.

"The regime has carried out changes to the 1973 constitution to an 
extent that the basic features of the federation based on a 
parliamentary form of government have suffered erosion," he said.

He was of the view that the proposed National Security Council 
would negatively effect the status of parliament and the 
concentration of powers in the hands of the head of state would 
undermine the authority of the prime minister and the cabinet.

Hina Jilani said we consider most of the political steps since 1999 
pre-poll rigging.

"The Legal Framework Order diminishes the importance of democratic 
dispensation, and the HRCP will evaluate the forthcoming general 
elections in the backdrop of marginalization of political parties," 
she added.

Responding to a question, I. A. Rehman said if level playing field 
was not available, democratic choice would not be possible.

He appreciated the presence of foreign observer missions in the 
country monitoring pre-poll activities, and said HRCP observers 
would also accompany foreign observers during the polling process.

He claimed that only such ordinances as were against the interest 
of the public had been promulgated, and said an ordinance 
pertaining to access to information had yet to come.

"The HRCP is of the opinion that the post-election dispensation 
will further polarize society and create new difficulties in the 
management of state affairs," Mr Reman said.

The HRCP Chairperson, Mr Afrasiab, said the graduation condition 
for candidates meant that now only a small minority had the right 
to represent the people.

The demand for an independent Election Commission had not been 
fully conceded, he said, adding that the decision that General 
Pervez Musharraf would remain President for another five years as a 
result of the referendum could not be justified by any democratic 

"Similarly, separate voters lists for Ahmadis cannot be defended, 
and measures specifically targeting certain political elements and 
individuals have been adopted," the HRCP chairperson said.

"There have been regular reports of transfers of government 
officials despite prohibitory orders of the Election Commission, 
and also reports of government resources and personnel being used 
for selecting and screening candidates, and candidates being 
pressured to withdraw from the contest," he added.

The "no-go areas" would make fair elections in those areas 

PPP, PML-N plans on seat adjustment off
By Raja Asghar

ISLAMABAD, Sept 19: The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan 
Muslim League (Nawaz group) are new allies against the military 
rule but are unwilling to share each other's votes, shattering 
their own hopes for a significant seat adjustment for the Oct 10 

But the two mainstream parties and one-time arch-rivals to each 
other seem happy to have succeeded in overcoming mutual bitterness 
of the past that contributed to the fall of four governments they 
alternately formed between 1988 and 1999.

The two parties said they were no longer pursuing seat adjustment - 
to back a single nominee of either party from selected 
constituencies of the national assembly and the four provincial 
assemblies to defeat pro-government candidates.

"Whatever (adjustment) was possible has been done and no more is 
being done," a PPP spokesman said.

A PML (N) spokesman said his party felt the PPP "probably preferred 
not to have considerable seat adjustment," which was touted as a 
weapon to counter alleged poll-rigging plans that the government 
vehemently denies.

But very little seat adjustments have been made by the two parties, 
though the PPP has done a lot of seat-sharing with the Awami 
National Party in the NWFP and the PML (N) was doing the same with 
Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal.

The PPP and PML (N), each of which tried for the collapse of the 
other's government for more than a decade, became allies in the 15-
party ARD in what appeared to be a move to end bitterness created 
by 11 years of Gen Zia's rule.

With their recent conciliatory moves, the two parties moved a long 
way from an era when PPP leader Benazir Bhutto branded PML (N) 
"remnants of Zia" and PML leader Nawaz Sharif, in turn, questioned 
the patriotism of the Bhutto family and once said "my blood boils 
when I hear the name of People's Party".

Though the ARD, formed to oppose President Pervez Musharraf's 
perceived plans to prolong military rule, could not turn into an 
electoral alliance, its components - mainly the PPP and PML (N) - 
promised seat adjustments to defeat rivals from the pro-Musharraf 
PML (QA) and its allies.

"There has been (seat adjustment) wherever it was possible," PPP 
spokesman Farhatullah Babar told Dawn.

But he acknowledged "what had been hoped for has not happened" and 
ruled out any more adjustments because of what he called 
unwillingness of workers and candidates of both parties for more 
electoral accommodation.

But PML (N) spokesman Mohammad Siddique-ul-Farooque indicated his 
party would have wanted more seat adjustments, which can now be 
done only by retirement of candidates after the Election 
Commission's deadline for withdrawal of candidatures passed on 

'Prestigious' seats in Punjab
By Ashraf Mumtaz

LAHORE, Sept 19: The National Assembly seats being contested by the 
heads of the PML(QA), the Millat Party, the PML(N), the Pakistan 
Tehrik-i-Insaaf, the Pakistan Awami Tehrik, the PML(Z) and the 
central office-bearers of the People's Party Parliamentarians are 
the most prestigious seats in the Punjab on which the respective 
parties are focussing their energies to win them at all costs.

Defeat on these seats will mean the loss of face for the loser as 
well as his party.

The results of the Oct 10 elections may be as unpredictable as were 
those of the 1997.

Split of the PML, alliance between arch rivals PML(N) and the PPP - 
though it could not translate into electoral adjustments even on 
many important seats- alliance of all important religious parties, 
increase in the number of assembly seats and the voters because of 
the lowering of voting age from 21 years to 18 and total government 
support to a particular party make it difficult even for the 
stakeholders to speculate what is in store for them.

Another factor because of which the possible outcome of the 
elections can't be forecast is the induction of a large number of 
new faces in the electoral arena because of the education bar.

LHC dismisses plea against Nawaz 
By Zeeshan Siddique

LAHORE, Sept 20: The Lahore High Court dismissed petitions seeking 
permanent disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, 
Shahbaz Sharif and two other PML leaders from contesting any future 

A full bench of the LHC ruled that no petition seeking permanent 
disqualification of a candidate could be allowed once he had been 
okayed by the returning officer concerned.

Besides the Sharif brothers, the petitioner had sought 
disqualification of Khwaja Saad Rafiq and Asad Ashraf, candidates 
for the National Assembly from Lahore.

The bench comprised Justice Javed Butar, Justice Ejaz Chaudhry and 
Justice Jamshed Ali.

The petition was based on allegations that the respondents had 
actively been involved in organizing an assault on the Supreme 
Court building in November 1997. It was maintained by the 
petitioner that Shahbaz Sharif had himself monitored the assault 
through a telephone call from the Prime Minister Secretariat.

It was further argued that the bill for the lunch offered to the 
assailants had been paid by Khwaja Saad and Asad Ashraf. As alleged 
by the petitioner, Khwaja Saad had been summoned thrice by the 
Islamabad police but he did not appear before the inquiry team.

The petitioner sought the permanent disqualification of the four 
because of their alleged anti-Pakistan conduct.

The bench observed that the petition was not alive to the extent of 
Nawaz Sharif since he had already withdrawn his candidature and 
hence could not be made a respondent in the petition.

The Deputy Advocate-General of Punjab assisted the court on this 
point, saying that the election laws had given a right of 
withdrawal to every candidate and such right had been exercised by 
Nawaz Sharif.

The petitioner, who was told to produce the inquiry report of the 
Supreme Court Assault Case to prove his case, was unable to do so.

In its detailed judgment, the bench was of the view that any writ 
petition filed even by a rival candidate for declaring the other 
candidate disqualified to contest the polls forever would stand 

It was further observed that the petitioner was not a registered 
voter of the constituencies concerned nor was he contesting the 
elections from there so he could not challenge the candidature of 
the respondents. It was observed that there was nothing on record 
to show that the respondents had been convicted in the SC Assault 
case to render them disqualified from contesting the elections.

PETITIONS: The bench fixed Sept 25 for hearing the petitions of 
Shahbaz Sharif and Kulsoom Nawaz against their disqualification 
from contesting the polls. The bench observed that it could not 
take up the petitions for hearing on Friday since the court timings 
had lapsed.

Rejection of Shahbaz papers challenged
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Sept 19: The revised petitions challenging disqualification 
of PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif and Kulsoom Nawaz from the 
forthcoming elections were filed before the Lahore High Court after 
the inclusion of 52 missing names of the respondents.

The LHC full bench comprising Justice Javed Butar, Justice Ejaz 
Chaudhry and Justice Jamshed Ali would hear the petitions.

The LHC officials had returned the petitions unmarked, saying that 
the names of the candidates of the respective constituencies for 
which both Shahbaz and Kulsoom had submitted their nomination 
papers had not been mentioned as respondents.

The petitions filed afresh include the names of candidates from NA-
119, PP-141 and PP-142 for which Shahbaz had submitted his papers 
and NA-122 from where Kulsoom had been cleared by the returning 
officer concerned.

Some 12 validly nominated candidates for NA-119, 19 for NA-141, 18 
for PP-142 and 13 for NA-122 would be summoned by the bench as 

Shahbaz, Kulsoom appeal 'flawed'
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Sept 18: Lahore High Court (LHC) officials returned the 
petition against disqualification of PML-N leaders Shahbaz Sharif 
and Kulsoom Nawaz, saying that it had a legal flaw.

The petition was filed by the counsel for Sharif family, Ashtar 
Ausaf Ali, earlier in the day. 

It was pointed out that the petition did not include the names of 
those persons as respondents who had challenged the candidature of 
Mr Shahbaz and Ms Kulsoom before the election tribunal. It was 
maintained by the authorities concerned that under the law, no 
petition could be entertained if the name of any respondent was not 
mentioned in it.

When contacted, Mr Ausaf said he would include the missing names in 
the petition.

Earlier, Mr Ausaf filed the petition before the full bench 
comprising Justice Javed Butar, Justice Ejaz Chaudhry and Justice 
Jamshed Ausaf Ali on behalf of the disqualified PML-N leaders, 
asking the bench to set aside the judgment of the election tribunal 
and direct the ROs concerned to include their names in the final 
list of candidates.

According to the petitioners, the tribunal had no authority to 
question the authenticity of signatures of the two candidates. The 
appellants could not do so either, as they were not familiar with 
the signatures of Mr Shahbaz and Ms Kulsoom.

It was pleaded that the onus to prove the authenticity of 
signatures was shifted to the candidates who obliged by sending an 
affidavit carrying two specimen of their signatures.

It was submitted that the tribunal had relied on an unattested 
affidavit - apparently issued by the Pakistani Consulate General in 
Jeddah - which intimated to the government of Pakistan that the 
Jeddah office had not received the nomination papers of the two 
candidates for attestation. The petitioners pleaded that this 
affidavit had been produced by an individual, who was not inquired 
about the source of this affidavit. "The tribunal readily accepted 
the unattested document and brought it on record," the petition 

With regard to the attestation of Mr Shahbaz and Begum Kulsoom's 
signatures on the nomination papers, the petition contended that 
according to Section 12(2) of the Representation of People's Act 
1976, attestation of the candidates' signatures on filed nomination 
papers was not mandatory. It was argued that the Jeddah consulate 
general's attestation of signatures was, therefore, not necessary.

"No objection was raised by the RO concerned while receiving the 
papers of the petitioners. Rather, he issued a clearance receipt 
when the papers were filed, the petitioners maintained.

About the alleged default committed by Shahbaz, the petition 
maintained that the tribunal had ignored the settled law that a 
"pending recovery" did not constitute a loan - as defined in the 
Representation of People's Act 1976.

It was argued that Mr Shahbaz had not acquired any loan in his own 
name or in the name of his dependents or business concerns mainly 
owned by him. The petition challenged the tribunal's finding that 
the petitioner was the real beneficiary of the loan. Besides, the 
assets of Ittefaq Foundries (Pvt) Ltd and Ittefaq Brothers Ltd were 
taken over by the bank concerned, which was the final remedy for 
both the parties, the petition maintained.

Laws changed to keep Benazir out, court told
By Shamim ur Rahman

KARACHI, Sept 18: Hearing of the petition of Benazir Bhutto, 
challenging recent amendments to the Constitution and NAB laws was 
adjourned to Oct 2.

The bench comprised the Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court, 
Justice Saiyed Saeed Ashhad, Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed, Justice 
Ghulam Rabbani, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Musheer 

Continuing his arguments, Barrister Kamal Azfar, the counsel for Ms 
Bhutto, submitted that the amendments were not in conformity with 
the objectives the Chief Executive had outlined in his address to 
the nation after the military takeover.

Mr Azfar stated that in the light of the Supreme Court judgment in 
the Zafar Ali Shah case, it was to be seen whether the 
constitutional amendments were made to achieve the objectives 
outlined by the CE.

Mr Azfar's arguments focused on the "colourable legislation" aimed 
at eliminating Ms Bhutto from the election process and political 

He argued that amendments to Article 63 were a "colourable" 
exercise and added that Section 31-A was a deviation from the 
principle of Natural Justice, i.e. opportunity of being heard, and 
there was a deviation from Constitutional Amendment Procedure. He 
said the impugned legislation was not warranted.

When the counsel contended that the petitioner had left the country 
with the court's permission, the CJ observed that the permission 
had been granted in one case.

Farooq H. Naek, attorney for petitioner, stated that the permission 
was in all the three cases.

The bench advised the counsel to respond to the objections 
pertaining to the approbation and reprobation of the Legal 
Framework Order, raised by the Attorney-General.

Responding to the query, Mr Azfar referred to a recent judgment in 
a suit and said that the choice of the forum rested with the 

The petitioner, he submitted, was seeking remedy against the 
decisions by returning officers belonging to Sindh. Mr Azfar said 
that parliament had powers to legislate.

Benazir's poll petition comes up for hearing
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 17: When the constitutional petition of Benazir 
Bhutto impugning the Legal Framework Order and recent amendments to 
the constitution and NAB laws came up before a full bench of the 
Sindh High Court on Tuesday, her counsel argued that the insertion 
of clause (p) in article 63 (1) of the constitution was a 
colourable legislation.

Barrister Kamal Azfar was making submission before the full bench 
comprising the Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court, Saiyed Saeed 
Ashhad, Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed, Justice Ghulam Rabbani, Justice 
Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Musheer Alam.

In the petition, filed by her attorney Farooq H. Naek, advocate, Ms 
Bhutto has contended that clause "P" of article 163 (1) and/or 
section 8 D (ii) n of CEO No 21 of 2002/CEO-211/or clause (r) of 
section 99 of the Representation of Peoples Act of 1974 were 
without lawful authority and of no legal effect.

It is also her contention that section 31 (a) of the NAB Ordinance 
does not apply to her case and is without lawful authority and of 
no legal effect.

Mr Azfar argued that this was a question of right of franchise of 
an individual who had been elected by the people of his 
constituency four times.

He submitted that when the election schedule was announced there 
was no mention of absconcion as a ground for disqualification. 
However, on 29th July the CEO No 21 of 2002 had been promulgated in 
which this ground was added as clause 8 D (ii) n. One of the 
grounds taken in the petition was that the clause 8 D (ii) n was 
inconsistent with sub-clause H K & L of article 63 of the 
constitution. Subsequently, a new clause "P" to article 63 was 

On the question of absconcion, Mr Azfar submitted that the Lahore 
High Court did not apply ratio of the Supreme Court case in Ashfaq 
Chief's case. He also cited Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi's case (1994) 
which pertained to the right to franchise.

Justice Sabihuddin observed that the right of franchise was not an 
issue here. He also asked the counsel to reply to the Federation's 
objections on territorial jurisdiction as the petitioner was 
convicted by the Rawalpindi bench of the LHC.

Mr Azfar submitted that the question here was about the vires of 
the statute as the petitioner's grievance was against the returning 

Responding to the objection with regard to territorial 
jurisdiction, Ms Bhutto's attorney Farook H. Naek clarified that 
before the order was passed by the accountability court-II, Sardar 
Lateef Khosa had applied to appear on behalf of the petitioner. His 
plea was requested on the ground that he had no locus standi as he 
was not the aggrieved party. Therefore the question of territorial 
jurisdiction did not arise.

Mr Naek, attorney for the petitioner, who is appearing as counsel 
in those cases, informed the bench that intra-court appeals were 
pending against such judgments wherein appeals filed by Sardar 
Khosa had been dismissed in limine.

Responding to the objection regarding territorial jurisdiction, Mr 
Azfar said all the respondents (returning officers) were situated 
in Sindh province and that the petitioner had filed nomination 
papers from constituencies in Sindh.

Mr Azfar cited extensively from Syed Zafar Ali Shah's case in 
support of his contention that insertion of clause "P" in article 
63 of the constitution was a deviation from the constitution and 
beyond the powers of permissible deviations conferred upon the 
Chief Executive.

He contended that the vires of the LFO and section 31 (a) of the 
NAB Ordinance could be questioned before a court of law as power to 
exercise jurisdiction came from the same judgment which conferred 
limited powers of necessary legislation on the Chief Executive.

The bench however observed that "You are not realizing that there 
is an extra-constitutional document, the PCO."

Mr Azfar, continuing his arguments, said that "judicial power 
cannot be exercised with bias. No power can be exercised in 
colourable way."

He raised a question that whether in the case of Zafar Ali Shah the 
criterion of good governance which applied to the whole country 
could also be applied to attract only one person out of 140 million 

Attorney-General Makhdoom Ali Khan submitted that Ms Bhutto had 
challenged the vires of the LFO on the one hand and was also 
contesting election on a seat reserved for women in the National 
Assembly which was created under the same law.

He said he would raise this aspect in the course of his arguments.

Three preliminary objections were raised by the Federation in a 
rejoinder filed by Maqbool Elahi Malik, counsel for the Federation. 
The first objection says that the petitioner is "an absconder and 
therefore cannot seek benefit of equity jurisdiction."

It is also his contention that the petitioner wanted the SHC to sit 
in judgment on an order passed by the LHC in a writ petition. He 
claimed that the SHC lacked territorial jurisdiction.

Asif indicted in SGS reference
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 19: An accountability court indicted Asif Ali 
Zardari in the SGS corruption reference. The charges, which were 
read out in the presence of Mr Asif, were, however, denied by him.

Later, the court adjourned the hearing till September 30 for the 
recording of evidence against the accused.

Asif Zardari was facing the charges of receiving $72.5 million (6 
per cent commission of total amount received by the company from 
the government of Pakistan) as kickbacks and by misusing his 
authority as holder of the public office in the award of a pre-
shipment inspection contract to M/s Societe Generale Surveillance 

The court had also framed charges against the former chairman of 
Central Board of Revenue (CBR), A R Siddiqui, in the same 

The same court has already convicted Benazir Bhutto, the former 
prime minister, in the same case and awarded her three years 
imprisonment under Section 31-A of the NAB Ordinance after 
declaring her proclaimed offender.

According to the indictment, the contract was awarded to the SGS 
through corrupt, dishonest and illegal means to obtain pecuniary 
advantages through commission and kickbacks. These commissions were 
earlier agreed to be paid by the M/s SGS to be submitted in the 
bank accounts of Off-shore companies allegedly operated by their 
fiduciary agent Jens Schlegilmilch.

The Off-shore companies include Bomer Finance Incorporated, 
Mareston Securities Incorporated and Nassam Overseas Incorporated 
of which, the reference alleged, both Benazir Bhutto and Asif 
Zardari were the beneficiaries. The pre-shipment inspection 
contract was awarded in September 29, 1994.

President says he is facing no threat
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 19: President Gen Pervez Musharraf has said that 
there is no threat to his life and he is performing his duties 
comfortably, without any fear.

"This is wrong to say that there is a threat to my life," he said, 
adding that he always enjoyed visiting Karachi and moving in the 
city freely.

Talking to reporters, the president said he believed in God 
Almighty, the Protector of all. He said he had had dinners in Lal 
Qila and Zamzama restaurants in Karachi, which, he added, amply 
showed that there was no threat to his life as was often falsely 
said these days.

In reply to a question, he said the law and order situation was 
relatively better and there was no need to deploy troops during the 
oncoming elections. He said that police and other agencies were 
satisfactorily performing their duties to ensure the law and order 
during the electioneering.

Harkat men given in police custody
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 20: Seven workers of the Harkatul Mujahideen Al-
Aalmi, arrested, with a huge quantity of arms and ammunition, were 
given in police custody for interrogation till Oct 2.

Sharib (alias Asadullah alias Zahid alias Uncle) and Hafiz Mohammed 
Zubair (alias Farhan alias Mufti Mohammed Hashim alias Ahmed), two 
of the six absconding accused in June 12 car bombing on the US 
Consulate and an attempt on the life of President Pervaiz 
Musharraf, were produced before the judicial magistrate, East, 
Zahida Perveen.

The police sought a 14-day custody of the two accused in a fresh 
case pertaining to the possession of arms and ammunition and 
objectionable sectarian literature.

A kalashnikov rifle was seized from accused Sharib, and one 
kalashnikov and 30 hand grenades were seized from accused Zubair. 
The accused who were arrested near Rangoonwala Hall within the 
limits of Bahadurabad police.

Mohammed Shamim, another Al-Aalmi activist, who was arrested with 
25 rocket shells near Denso Hall, was produced before the judicial 
magistrate, South, Lubna Yousuf, who gave him to the police for 
interrogation till Oct 2.

The police, however, could not obtain the remand of the four other 
activists - Mohammed Taj, Mohammed Ismail, Abdul Munim and Maqsood 
Ahmed - as the area judicial magistrates of the districts Central 
and West were not available at the respective court.

The four activists were taken back by the police, and they will now 
be produced on Saturday before the court.

Accused Mohammed Taj and Mohammed Ismail were arrested separately 
in Orangi Town and the raiding party seized two drums of chemicals 
each from their possession.

The other two - Abdul Munim and Maqsood Ahmed - were arrested in 
Nazimabad. Nine rockets of 107mm and one kalashnikov were seized 
from the two respectively.

IG confirms arrest of 7 suspected militants
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 19: Sindh IG Syed Kamal Shah acknowledged the arrest 
of seven suspects of Harkatul Mujahideen Al-Alami and seizure of 
arms and ammunition from them.

At a press conference in the Central Police Office, the provincial 
police chief said the arrested suspects were wanted in the US 
consulate blast and the April 26 plan to assassinate the President 
on Sharea Faisal.

He rejected the impression that the suspects were about to execute 
a third plot to kill the President arguing that the arms in their 
possession were not in a staging state.

Describing Sharib as the group leader, Kamal Shah said a national 
identity card showing his identity as Asadullah was also seized 
from him.

He said Zubair, having several aliases, was initially arrested in 
Bahadurabad and his arrest led to the capture of Sharib in the same 
general area but a different spot.

The police chief described Zubair as a technical mastermind of 
their organization, as for the communication they used e-mails with 
coded messages. If the message by mistake went to a wrong person, 
he could not make a sense out of it, the IG added.

Referring to the recovery of arms and ammunition, Kamal Shah said 
the entire catch was not seized at one place but was found in 
different parts of the city during raids.

Speaking about their involvement in different cases, he IG said 
they were wanted in the US consulate bombing case, the April 26 
conspiracy to assassinate the President, the Area-51 blast which 
took place on the eve of the new year, the Aga Khan flats blast in 
the limits of Pirabad and the McDonald's blast, which occurred in a 
refuse bin.

He said during interrogation, the suspects revealed they had bought 
arms and ammunition in the tribal areas in the NWFP.

To a question regarding their alleged links with Al Qaeda, Mr Shah 
said so far the police had found no such evidence.

According to a handout distributed on the occasion, Sharib alias 
Asadullah was arrested near Rangoonwala Hall in Dhorajee Colony, 
and Hafiz Mohammad Zubair alias Farhan in Bahadurabad.

Third suspect Mohammad Taj was picked up at house number 314, 
Sector 8-B, Data Nagar in Orangi Town, and Mohammad Shamim near 
Denso Hall.

Mohammad Ismail was arrested in Shah Faisal's Baloch Para, Abdul 
Munim in Al-Qureshi Little School, B-115, Iqbal Town, Nazimabad, 
and Maqsood Ahmed at Salam Clinic, 20/21 Roedad Nagar, Paposh 

8 militants arrested in Karachi
By Arman Sabir

KARACHI, Sept 18: Eight suspected militants of a Jihadi 
organization were picked up and a considerable quantity of arms and 
ammunition seized from them, police sources claimed.

The sources said that the suspects were picked up at different 
places in the city. He identified them as Sharib, Abdul Moin, 
Ismail, Taj Mohammad, Shamim Ahmed, Murtaza Maqsood, Asadullah 
alias Shehzad, and Hafiz Mohammad Zubair alias Mufti, an employee 
of the Pakistan Navy.

A senior police official, requesting anonymity, said the suspects 
belonged to Harkatul Mujahideen Al-Alami.

The official said that the suspects, arrested by the police, had 
been handed over to the Rangers.

Sources said that the police had recovered eight Kalashnikovs, 12 
rocket launchers, 36 TT pistols, dozens of RPG-7, and hand-
grenades, 16 drums containing hydrogen-oxide and 10 bales of 
potassium nitrate. Sensitive communication devices, which were used 
to intercept the wireless communications on the police network, 
were also retrieved from the suspects, they added.

No senior official, including the IGP, was available to confirm the 

Sharib was included in the most wanted list, and according to other 
sources in the police, he had been picked up in the mid of June 
soon after the US consulate bomb blast.

But, other sources said that the police on a tip-off conducted a 
raid in the Pehalwan Goth and picked up Murtaza, who led the police 
to arrest Zubair alias Mufti in the Koochi Camp and Sharib in the 
Dhorajee Colony.

Police sources said more raids were conducted in Orangi Town and 
Nazimabad in which more weapons were recovered.

The Sindh government had announced a reward of Rs18.5 million on 
the arrest of nine most wanted suspects for their alleged 
involvement in the bomb blasts and sectarian killings.

According to the sources, Sharib was wanted for his alleged 
involvement in the Sheraton Hotel and US consulate bomb explosions. 
The government had announced a Rs1.5 million prize on his arrest.

Another suspect Naveedul Hasan, carrying a reward money of Rs2 
million, was also arrested for his alleged involvement in the US 
consulate bomb explosion.

Besides, Ataur Rehman alias Naeem Bukhari and Faisal Bhatti alias 
Zubair Chishtie, affiliated with a banned group, are also in the 
custody of the paramilitary forces. They are included in the most 
wanted list carrying Rs3 million reward each.

However, the police officially denied the arrest of any suspect 
included in the most wanted list.

The Director-General of ISPR, Major General Rashid Qureshi, told 
Dawn by telephone from Islamabad that seven people had been 
arrested in Karachi and some of them were involved in the Sheraton 
bomb blast. The suspects were being interrogated by the 
intelligence agencies and police.

Ramzi has not been arrested: Al Qaeda
CAIRO, Sept 18: An Islamic group denied US and Pakistani reports 
that Al Qaeda's Ramzi bin Al Shibh, an alleged coordinator of the 
Sept 11 attacks, was among those arrested in a raid in Karachi a 
week ago.

Yasser Al Serri, an Egyptian who heads the London-based Islamic 
Observatory and who spoke to AFP by telephone, cited a Yemeni 
witness of the raid as saying that an informer misled police into 
thinking they had arrested Ramzi in order to collect reward money.

The Islamic Observatory website, Al-Marsad, circulated a letter 
from the Yemeni, Abu Shibh Al Kandahari, who said he witnessed the 
arrest of the group last Wednesday before he fled.

"I deny the American allegations and those of the government of 
Pervez Musharraf which say they have arrested Sheikh Ramzi bin Al 
Shibh," the letter said.

The suspect "denied he was Sheikh Ramzi, but one of the mercenaries 
who tipped off (the police) about the location said it to receive 
the award," promised by Washington to whoever helped arrest him, 
the letter said.

On Sunday, the website www.jehad.net carried a statement purporting 
to be from Al Qaeda militants insisting the wanted leader was still 
at liberty.

"The Mujahideen affirm that brother Ramzi bin Al Shibh has not been 
arrested and is in their company," the statement posted on the 
website said.

Serri said he could not rule out the possibility that bin Al Shibh 
had been arrested elswhere but insisted he was sure the wanted 
militant had not been detained as Islamabad and Washington 

Ramzi, four others flown out of Pakistan 
KARACHI, Sept 16: Pakistan handed over key Al Qaeda suspect Ramzi 
bin Al Shibh and four others to US custody and they have been flown 
out of the country, a government spokesman said.

"Five people have been handed over to US custody, Ramzi amongst 
them," Major-General Rashid Qureshi said.

"I have no information on where they were taken." A senior 
government official said earlier the five were flown to an unknown 

Five others, who were also detained during raids in Karachi last 
week, would also be leaving the country soon, an official said on 
condition of anonymity.

The transfer was apparently kept secret even from top Pakistani 

There was speculation the five men might have been taken to Bagram 
air base in Afghanistan, the base for US-dominated coalition 

BUSH THANKS: President Bush thanked Pakistan for its cooperation in 
his war on terrorism, after Islamabad handed five suspects, 
including alleged key operative Ramzi bin Al Shibh to US custody.

Bush said "we're making good progress," in the US hunt for Al Qaeda 
and other terror suspects. Saying Ramzi had wanted to be the 20th 
hijacker in the Sept 11, 2001 attacks on US targets, Bush said he 
wanted to "thank the Pakistani government for cooperating with US 
personnel to bring this person to justice. This guy's just another 
killer, and we got him." -AFP

Vital papers seized from Al-Shaiba
KARACHI, Sept 15: US and Pakistani agents who are interrogating top 
terror suspect Ramzi bin Al-Shaiba and other Al Qaeda members have 
seized evidence in their hunt for more operatives, a Pakistani 
intelligence official said.

He said the investigators returned to two bungalows where some of 
the suspects were arrested last week.

"The most vital thing they got is a telephone index and an office 
file containing printouts of some e-mails," the official told AFP 
on condition of anonymity.

The FBI is firmly in charge of the investigation, he said.

"The Pakistani intelligence officials have been asked to hand over 
all such information to the FBI and work in accordance with 
guidelines they receive from the Americans," the official said.

"These FBI officials are interrogating the suspects according to 
their methods and even not allowing Pakistani intelligence to 
interfere. The Pakistanis are supposed to extract maximum 
information from the low-key suspects and convey it to the FBI 
men," the official said. -AFP

Forces fully equipped to face enemy: Law & order has improved
KARACHI, Sept 17: President Gen Pervez Musharraf said that 
Pakistan's armed forces were fully equipped to face the enemy.

"Everything depends on threat perception, and to see as to what 
your enemy is in possession of and what is your strategy and 
whether you have the equipment according to that strategy," the 
president said during a visit to IDEAS-2002 defence exhibition.

The five-day exhibition was inaugurated by the president at the 
Expo Centre.

In reply to a question, Gen Musharraf said that there was no 
indication of withdrawal of forces from the borders.

"There could be some movement in the wake of elections in the held 
Kashmir and what happens thereafter, we will see," the president 
said, adding: "We have no problem...we are not perturbed at all".

He said neither any significant expenses were involved in keeping 
forces at the borders, nor the country's economy was over-burdened. 
"We have made all arrangements and there is nothing of the sort to 
worry about," the president said. The morale of our troops is very 
high and rather they are happy over there, he elaborated. "Hence, 
if they (India) want escalation, we have no problem, we are also 
ready," the president declared.

Answering a question, Gen Musharraf said the government was trying 
for the export of the country's defence products.

LAW & ORDER: Referring to the breakthrough achieved in smashing the 
terrorists network, the president said it would bring a lot of 
improvement in law and order all over the country.

He observed that there were local extremists who would 
unnecessarily kill people in churches and carry out bomb blasts. 
However, he pointed out, they all were either killed or caught.

The president pointed out that there were foreign elements who had 
entered the country and said they should go and leave our 
motherland and carry out their nefarious activities outside 
Pakistan. "Why are they doing these ghastly and abhorrent acts in 
Pakistan?" he asked.

Gen Musharraf said the government had gained significant success in 
arresting those extremists in Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad.

About sectarian violence which involved killing of doctors, the 
president said no such thing had occurred for the last eight 

"I am quite confident that a definitive improvement is there; the 
police, Rangers and intelligence agencies have done a good job, and 
these will result in attracting more investments in the future," he 

On the arrest of top Al Qaeda fugitive Ramzi bin Al Shibh, the 
president said that the accused had been interrogated and 
information was being gathered.

Gen Musharraf said the security environment had improved; all the 
hotels of Karachi were full to capacity, it was a matter of great 
rejoice and happiness.-Agencies

American approach seen as threat to world peace: Seminar
By Shamim-ur-Rahman

KARACHI, Sept 16: The increasing American unilateralism and 
destabilising effect of its frenzied approach to the international 
and regional security paradigm came under scrutiny at the 
international seminar on the "emerging security environment in 

Participants of the seminar, organized as part of Ideas 2002 Arms 
for Peace international defence exhibition, also emphasised the 
need for defining terrorism.

As the freedom struggle in Kashmir continues, the need for 
resolving this dispute between India and Pakistan, through a 
process of negotiations, was emphasised to end the violence to 
eliminate a dangerous flash-point. Concern was also expressed over 
the growing Indo-Israel nexus.

The participants were also concerned over the unchecked unilateral 
actions being taken by the Israelis and the Indians against the 
Palestinians and the Kashmiris. They said they believed that it was 
the fallout of the American unilateralism.

Discussing the ramifications of a unipolar world, the need for 
strategic restraint regimes to control arms races and nuclear 
proliferation was also emphasised.

The security imbalance created by the inordinate amounts spent on 
defence was also pointed out with an emphasis on investing more on 
human development. The larger countries were called upon to send 
signals of reassurance rather than heightened threats.

The need for moving towards co-operative mechanisms and processes 
within Asia was also emphasised to avoid conflicts and violence.

There were two sessions. The first dealt with the Asian security 
scenario and the second was focused on the Asian Defence market.

Inaugurating the seminar, former army chief Gen Jehangir Karamat 
said the regional security scenarios in Asia would be affected by 
domestic disparities and vulnerabilities and political upheavals 
leading to instability and social turmoil.

This aspect, he said, acquired great importance in the context of 
the ongoing war on terror because besides destroying terrorist 
structures a war would also have to be waged for the hearts and 
minds of people.

Examining the developments since 9/11, it was contended that 
normality in Afghanistan was essential for peace and stability in 
Asia. After the recent events and the ongoing situation in 
Afghanistan and Pakistan, the epicentre of terrorism no longer 
existed - it was now a widely-dispersed phenomenon. It was 
emphasised that close international co-ordination and co- operation 
was required to remove the challenge that terrorism posed to 
democratic societies and states.

Commodore Fasahat H. Syed (retired) spoke on the four sets of 
security paradigms which included proactive planning and 
programming to deal with terrorism.

The political suppression was another major cause which ultimately 
led to acts of terrorism, he said. It included denial of the right 
to self-determination, duplicity in the conduct of international 
relations, selective dispensation of politico-economic justice, 
neo-colonialism, double standards by the UN in implementing its 
resolutions, indifference of big powers towards resolving of 
conflicts and funding of radical and extremist organizations.

Keynote speaker Prof Zhu Febg of China examined the effects of 9/11 
on the security paradigm and said regional stability was still on 
the brink in South Asia owing to the conflict between India and 
Pakistan. He emphasised the need for dialogue and activation of 
regional and sub-regional institutions. He said he believed there 
was need to search for a new security edifice.

Iran's Dr Amer Mohammad Yousefi's presentation was mainly focused 
on littoral states of the Gulf region and the Caspian sea and the 
oil and gas reserves. He said hegemonic pressures from Russia, with 
whom Iran had entered into many strategic agreements, might cause 
problems for Iran.

Tim Kennedy, who serves as a consultant to the Pentagon, presented 
the western perspective on the same topic and maintained that press 
reports saying that President Bush would revise the plan to 
construct a pipeline from Central Asia through Afghanistan to 
Pakistan was a significant development.

He said the international war on terror, energy resources, and 
NATO's strategic transformation were just a few of the reasons why 
the stability of the Caspian States was of vital interest to the 
region, the West and the world.

He said the most obvious impediment to peace and stability in this 
region was the Allied military action in Afghanistan. Mr Kennedy 
also dealt with the military action against the Taliban and Al 

He also referred to the presence of an Indian military base in 
Tajikistan, which reflected New Delhi's desire to play a role in 
the new Great Game.

But he evaded to define terrorism. When asked to answer the growing 
perception that the US war on terror was selective and directed 
against the Muslims, he restated the official US policy and said it 
was not so.

Shireen Mazari said that with the nuclearization of South Asia, the 
Asian defence parameters, in the form of distinctive strategic sub-
regions, were challenged by states like India, which now saw their 
strategic operation milieu in the form of "southern Asia" 
stretching from West Asia to East Asia. She came hard on the Indian 
designs and the US policies.

For Pakistan, joining the US-led anti-terrorist coalition reflected 
a major policy shift in that it required withdrawing support from 
the Taliban government, which had seen Pakistan as one of its 
leading allies. For Pakistan the logic of this shift was clear: to 
preserve its strategic assets and national sovereignty. As the war 
progressed in Afghanistan, US demands on Pakistan increased, but, 
unfortunately for Pakistan, the US economic commitments still 
remained unfulfilled.

The present danger for Pakistan, she said, was the shift in the 
focus of the war against Al Qaeda. With members of this group on 
the run and US inability to nab the leadership, attention was 
focusing on their possible presence in Pakistan. There was also 
increasing US involvement with the Pakistani security agencies, she 

One major reflection of the negative fallout of 9/11 on Pakistan 
has been the introduction of a new form of terrorism within the 
country - that of suicide bombings and the indiscriminate targeting 
of foreigners.

Questioning the morality of US unilateralism, she said that overall 
the presence of the US and other Western forces in Afghanistan had 
brought in an external military dimension into the region, which so 
far had not created any stability. Since the International Security 
and Assistance Force in Afghanistan had an area of operation 
limited to Kabul, the lack of law and order continued to pervade 
the rest of Afghanistan and the situation had been further 
aggravated with a revival of warlordism. A further factor of 
instability had been almost total sidelining of the Pakhtun Afghan 
population from the structures of power. Given that this group was 
the largest single ethnic Afghan group, such a situation would only 
extend the political instability.

Dr Mohammad Selim of Egypt focused mainly on the Middle East and 
the American and UN indifference over Israeli brutalities against 
the Palestinians.

He said situation in South Asia was serious and escalation of 
tension between India and Pakistan was a major concern of the 
Arabs. A war between the two would have serious impact on the Arab 
economy and politics.

He called for demobilization of troops from the borders and 
beginning of a dialogue to include Kashmir as one of the issues.

He also said the Indo-Israeli nexus was a cause of concern to the 
Arabs, especially Egypt. He suggested ways for forging cooperation 
among Arab and other Asian countries.

He emphasised that the Arabs needed to reassess their Asian 
paradigm in many ways. Perhaps, the most important of them is to 
establish a pan Arab-Asian institutional framework for cooperation 
similar to the Europe-Asia Forum. The League of Arab States is 
already in the process of establishing a Sino-Arab Forum for 
cooperation. Such a forum should be expanded to comprise other Arab 
Asian counties or similar forums with these opportunities should be 
established. The Arabs also need to revise their economic Asian 
paradigm towards integration between economic, political, and 
cultural issues.

CID begins grilling 46 men handed over by Kabul
By Arman Sabir

KARACHI, Sept 15: The Crime Investigation Department (CID) has 
started interrogating 46 Pakistani nationals handed over by 
Afghanistan to Pakistan. Well-placed sources in the police said the 
46 men, all residents of Sindh, most of them belonging to Karachi, 
went to Afghanistan to help Taliban fight the international 
coalition forces. After Taliban government was toppled, they were 
arrested and remained in the custody of the coalition forces, who 
handed them over to the new Afghan government.

After negotiations between the governments of the two countries, 
they were handed over to Pakistan and shifted to their native 
province. They were not set at liberty and remained in the custody 
of the CID for investigation.

The 46 men shifted to Karachi are: Badshahzada, North Nazimabad; 
Mohammad Tahir, Orangi Town; Mohammad Nazeer, New Karachi; Ahmed 
Hussain, Landhi; Mohammad Imran, Landhi; M. Arif, Clifton; Kashif 
Malik, Nazimabad; Azhar Khan, Landhi; Abdul Tawab, Manghopir; M 
Sultan, North Nazimabad; M. Usman, Korangi; Shamshad Ahmed, Baldia 
Town; Mutiur Rehman, Federal B Area; Abdul Wudood, North Nazimabad; 
Abdul Jalal, North Nazimabad; Malik M. Farhan Aslam, Model Colony; 
Abdul Haleem, North Nazimabad; Shireenzada, North Nazimabad; 
Mohammad Jan, North Nazimabad; Khilzar Khan, North Nazimabad; 
Kamran Jamshed Bhatti, Korangi; M. Fayyaz, North Karachi; M. 
Mujahid, Landhi; Ashraf Bakhsh, Landhi; Zeeshan Saeed, Landhi; 
Afzal Anwar, Landhi; Tanveer Anwar, North Karachi; Ghulamullah 
Jilani, Orangi Town; Mohammed Naveed, Gulistan-i-Johar; Humayun 
Mehmood, Landhi; Zulfiqar, Golimar; Mohammad Muneer, PIB Colony; 
Zafar Khan, Gizri; Shehzad Baloch, Gizri; Raees Majeed, Korangi; 
Shaaban, Model Colony; Izharul Haq, North Nazimabad; Shehbaz Abdur 
Rasheed, Landhi; Mohammad Shakir Ali, Surjani Town; Hasnain Ali 
Khan, Korangi; Syed M. Iqbal Shah, Landhi; Eedo Haji Suleman 
(mentally retarded), Tando Allahyar; Sikandar Ali, Nawabshah; Abdul 
Ghani, Khairpurmirs; Bedam Ali, Nawabshah and M. Bilal Khoso, 

The sources said investigators were trying to ascertain as to who 
had convinced them to go to Afghanistan and what means they used to 
cross the border illegally.

The financial resources, supply of weapons and ammunitions to them 
and other things are also being investigated. The investigators are 
further collecting information about the family background of these 

They said some of these men had acquired education from various 
Madaris and the police had associated a number of persons in 
different Madaris with the investigation.

They said interrogating these men would help lead the police to 
locate more Al Qaeda men hiding in Sindh, especially in Karachi.

New US visa programme for students
ISLAMABAD, Sept 20: An official with the US Immigration and 
Naturalization Service (INS) told a Congressional committee that 
the agency foresees successful and timely implementation of a new 
system for the issuance of foreign student visas.

The new system is known as the Student and Exchange Visitor 
Information System (SEVIS) and it will greatly enhance our ability 
to track and monitor foreign students and exchange programme 
visitors, according to Janis Sposato of the INS Immigration Service 

The new programme is being implemented under mandates issued in 
legislation passed after the Sept 11 terrorist attacks, said a 
press release issued by US Embassy here on Friday.

The US Congress recognized a need to impose a more rigorous system 
for issuing and monitoring foreign students visas upon the 
revelation that several of the hijackers responsible for the 
attacks had entered the country under the old system.

With SEVIS, Sposato said INS will be exerting greater control over 
institutions authorized to admit foreign students in F and M visa 

The institutions first will have to apply for certification for 
participation in the foreign students programme, and Sposato said 
that the process is under way.

"SEVIS enables schools and exchange visitor programme sponsors to 
transmit electronic information and event notifications, via the 
Internet, to the INS and the Department of State throughout a 
student's exchange visitor's stay in the United States," according 
to the testimony Sposato presented to the committee.-APP

Musharraf asks India to shun bilateralism
By Ihtasham ul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Sept 19: President Gen Pervez Musharraf advised India to 
give up the bogy of bilateralism and engage itself in 
multilateralism or Saarc-based resolutions of disputes in South 

Inaugurating a two-day international conference on peace and 
security in South Asia organized by the Institute of Strategic 
Studies, the president said: "The forum of Saarc needs to be made 
more potent and mandated to play a pro-active role in regional 
conflict resolution."

Any talk of security, peace, stability, cooperation, progress, 
poverty alleviation, economic progress and trade cooperation ends 
up in focusing on the India-Pakistan relations, he maintained.

Gen Musharraf said that improvement of India-Pakistan relations 
depended on resolution of the Kashmir dispute. "The earlier we 
understand this reality, in India and Pakistan, the better it will 
be for the region."

Over the years, the president pointed out, India had developed an 
extraordinary doctrine of bilateralism which sought to sell its 
neighbours one-to-one relationship and resolution of differences 
through bilateral negotiations. Through this high-sounding 
mechanism, he said, India unabashedly exploited its superiority in 
size and strength over states much smaller.

He said India desired to mould South Asian relations to suit its 
own great power ambition.

The president said that the essential first step for peace, 
security and prosperity in the region required a peaceful and fair 
resolution of differences and creation of an environment of trust 
among the nations concerned. "While issues of peace and security 
concern all South Asian states, it cannot be denied that 
normalization of relations between India and Pakistan is a pre-
requisite to the realization of the vision of a peaceful prosperous 
South Asia."

The key to normalization of relations between India and Pakistan, 
the president maintained, lay in progress towards the resolution of 
the core issue of Kashmir. He stressed that a principled resolution 
of Kashmir dispute, in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiri 
people, would unlock the doors of normalization of relations.

He said that deployment of Indian forces in forward and strike 
locations entailed a grave security risk for the entire region. 
"There is a need to sit across the table and thrash out our 
differences...and this is also the opinion of the world."

Pakistan, he said, had made major commitments and taken significant 
steps to ease the current crisis. He said India's continued 
intransigence in the hope of further concessions was totally 

"There will be no more concessions from Pakistan and New Delhi must 
take substantive reciprocal steps if it is serious about its 
declared intention of walking to high road to peace," he declared.

Gen Musharraf stated that Pakistan was neither allowing, nor 
sponsoring, nor encouraging any kind of movement across the Line of 
Control, the Working Boundary and the international border. "Any 
claims to the contrary are motivated and false."

He said that it was practically impossible to completely seal the 
LoC. If India with larger force deployed, cannot seal the LoC, it 
should not expect this from Pakistan, he maintained.

The president said that the continuation of Kashmir struggle 
despite the measures taken by Pakistan to prevent the cross-LoC 
movement had proved the point that the struggle was an indigenous 
movement with grass-roots support in occupied Kashmir.

He said that an early acknowledgement by the Indian leadership of 
this fact would bring it closer to the solution of the Kashmir 

Another source of great concern to Pakistan, he said, was India's 
feverish conquest for hi-tech weaponry and force multiplication.

Giving details, he said between 1998 and 2001 India purchased 
weapons worth $7 billion and increased its defence budget by 50 per 
cent. "India has earmarked $4.5 billion for defence purchases this 

He said it was an open secret that while India continued to raise 
the Chinese bogy, bulk of its forces and strategic assets were 
deployed against Pakistan. He said Pakistan did not intend to get 
involved in an arms race and it had rather invited India to jointly 
reduce defence expenditure.

On the other side, he said, Pakistan had kept its defence budget 
frozen over the last three years.

The president referred to his statements in the United States and 
reiterated the peace offer to India. He said the offer included 
peaceful resolution of disputes, no-war pact, mutual reduction of 
forces and denuclearization in South Asia.

Referring to the doctrine of preemptive strikes, the president said 
it could apply between unequal opponents or adversaries.

In the case of equal adversaries, he explained, application of this 
doctrine would lead to war which would be extremely dangerous. "It 
would be more dangerous in case the adversaries are equal and have 
nuclear potential."

Gen Musharraf said there should be no doubt that the doctrine of 
preemptive strike did not apply in India-Pakistan context at all, 
at least in the foreseeable future.

Earlier, the chairman of the Institute of Strategic Studies, Aga 
Shahi, said that South Asia had become the most dangerous place in 
the world and emphasized the need for resolution of disputes on an 
urgent basis.

Pakistan invites APHC for talks: Mirwaiz assured of OIC help
By Jawed Naqvi

NEW DELHI, Sept 14: President Pervez Musharraf has invited the All 
Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) to hold talks with Kashmiri 
groups in his country, the group's senior leader Mirwaiz Maulvi 
Umar Farooq told Dawn from New York.

The former APHC chairman also said he had invited Abdelouahed 
Belkeziz, secretary-general of the Organisation of the Islamic 
Conference (OIC), to visit Kashmir.

He said the offer had been accepted in principle.

Mirwaiz, who is Kashmir's spiritual leader, said he had invited 
Pakistan's National Kashmir Committee Chairman Sardar Abdul Qayyum 
for talks either in New York or later this week in London. Qayyum 
is currently on a tour of the Gulf states, he said.

Gen Musharraf and in a separate meeting, Pakistan's Foreign 
Minister Inamul Haq, were also briefed about the recently set up 
Kashmir Committee in India. "They expressed their approval of the 
effort," Mirwaiz said.

The officially encouraged Indian committee is headed by Ram 
Jethmalani, a former law minister, who has argued in favour of 
Kashmiris' right to self-determination as an integral right of its 

"We acknowledge the efforts the United States is making to 
facilitate a purposeful dialogue between India and Pakistan and in 
that context, to maintain contact with the Hurriyat Conference. We 
place the trust in US Secretary of State, Colin Powell that he will 
not countenance any attempt to ignore the wishes of the people of 
Kashmir and bypass the expression of those wishes," Mirwaiz said in 
a statement.

"The American effort would, however, be far more constructive than 
it has proved so far if its focus would be on putting the Kashmir 
dispute on the road to a settlement rather than merely obtaining a 
reprieve in the situation of tension," Mirwaiz told the OIC contact 
group on Kashmir.

In his meeting with the Kashmir contact group of the OIC, Mirwaiz 
was accompanied by Gen Mohammad Anwar Khan, President of Azad 
Kashmir, Barrister Sultan Mehmood, former Prime Minister of Azad 
Kashmir, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director, Kashmiri American 
Council and Mr Faiz Naqashbandi, leader of the APHC, Azad Kashmiri 

"Consistently with our stand, we have shown repeatedly that we are 
prepared to reciprocate any gesture of genuine goodwill and to 
cooperate in a credible effort to achieve a just and durable 
settlement of the dispute concerning our life and future. Along 
with the Kashmir Committee headed by a respected former law 
minister of India, we have agreed that the peace process could best 
be nurtured through a structured dialogue involving all concerned 
parties," he told the OIC group comprising foreign ministers of 
Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Niger.

"We have thus demonstrated our earnest resolve, insofar as it lies 
in our power, to help take the poison out of the Kashmir dispute. 
But the resolve will be of little avail if the Government of India 
continues to follow a course that is as moribund as it is fraught 
with dangerous consequences, not least for India's own welfare and 

The OIC secretary-general thanked the members of the Kashmiri 
delegation for updating him about an issue which concerns not only 
the Ummah but also the whole world owing to its impact on 
international peace and security -- the disputed question of 

Abdelouahed Belkeziz also said it was on the basis of the analysis 
that the OIC had been exerting sincere efforts to find a peaceful 
resolution to the Kashmir dispute.

"Following the escalation of tension in May, I have issued a press 
release in which I deeply deplored the deterioration of the 
situation between the two countries to such a degree that 
disastrous consequences could ensue," he told the meeting.

He said he had expressed total readiness to use his good offices so 
as to ease tension and help settle the outstanding issue between 
India and Pakistan.

"Mirwaiz, on behalf of the APHC, extended an invitation, to the 
secretary-general to visit Kashmir and assess the situation on the 
ground. The secretary-general gladly accepted the invitation in 
principle," the APHC statement said.

$2.4bn accord signed with ADB
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 16: The government and the Asian Development Bank 
signed $2.4 billion agreement to reduce the incidence of poverty to 
less than 15 per cent by 2011. "Initially we have signed the 
agreement worth $2.4 billion assistance but ADB aid portfolio will 
increase if Pakistan continues to implement its reform agenda", 
said the visiting ADB Vice President Myoung-Ho Shin.

Speaking at a joint news conference along with Minister for Finance 
Shaukat Aziz, Mr Shin, however, warned that the ADB assistance was 
conditional and could be withdrawn if Pakistan did not stay the 

"We hope that the new political government will continue 
implementing the reform agenda beyond October this year", he added.

He said that the poverty reduction partnership agreement set out 
the common vision of both the Government of Pakistan and the ADB 
for drastically reducing poverty in the country.

The agreement sets a medium-term target of reducing the incidence 
of poverty to 25 per cent by 2006 and raising the GDP growth to 
over 5 per cent. It supports the government's objective of reducing 
poverty below 15 per cent and raising GDP growth to 6 per cent by 

The agreement was signed by Dr Waqar Masood Khan, secretary 
economic affairs division (EAD) and ADB's Country Director Marshuk 
Ali Shah.

Mr Shin said that the ADB will be for governance reform, more 
assistance for health & education, water supply and urban 
development, agriculture and rural development, energy, transport 
and industry sectors.

He was hopeful that the ADB's new financial support will promote 
good governance, generate productive jobs and support human 
development by improving the access of the poor to education and 
health programmes.

Mr Shin said that the Bank's support will aim at promoting gender 
equality and the support of development of small and medium 
enterprises. "We will also encourage the private sector of Pakistan 
and promote regional cooperation", he added.

Mr Shin further said that the ADB which has offered roughly $1 
billion for 2002, will maintain the same level of financial support 
in 2003.

He praised the government for implementing reform agenda and said 
that the ADB fully supported the government's long-term goals of 
attaining universal primary school enrolment and reducing the 
population growth rate to less than 1.6 per cent by 2011. Mr Aziz 
said that the government was very thankful to ADB for being the 
biggest donor for Pakistan. 

Asian Bank cuts risk premiums 
Staff Reporter 

ISLAMABAD, Sept 20: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) reduced 
Pakistan's country risk premiums for its Political Risk Guarantee 
(PRG) facility due to improved foreign exchange reserves and 
positive steps taken by the government to improve the economy.

The ADB provided a US$150 million PRG facility to Pakistan last 
September to help exporters lower costs of imported raw materials, 
spare parts and production equipment. The PRG facility enables 
international banks confirming eligible letters of credit issued by 
Pakistan banks to receive an ADB guarantee covering Pakistan's 
country risk (including currency convertibility and transfer).

The facility enables Pakistan to become more export competitive by 
helping small- and medium-sized exporters.

The ADB has lowered country risk premiums as follows: for letters 
of credit less than the 90 days, the premium has been reduced to 
1.2 per cent per annum from 1.5 per cent per annum; for 90 days to 
180 days, to 1.15pc from 1.45pc; for 181 to 360 days, to 1.1pc from 
1.4pc; and for over 360 days, to 1.1pc from 1.35pc.

"This reduction in premiums reduces costs for exporters, making 
them more competitive internationally. We are supporting private 
sector transections which have significant development impact," 
notes Werner Liepach, ADB's Principal Financial Markets Specialist 
in charge of the facility

Pakistan, US FTA likely
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Sept 16: Pakistan and the United States are likely to 
sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) soon to provide more concessions 
to each other's businessmen.

Official sources said that the FTA came under discussion between 
President Bush and President Gen. Pervez Musharraf in New York.

The US president told President Musharraf that since his government 
was extending all out support to America against terrorism Pakistan 
will be provided increased economic assistance including more 
market access to its products.

The sources said that President Musharraf asked his American 
counterpart that Pakistan did not want to seek unilateral economic 
assistance but it wanted some better arrangements like signing of 
the FTA for improving its economy through more market access and 
adequate tariffs.

The Pakistani delegation was also told that the US government had 
decided in principle to write off $1 billion debt, out of total of 
$3.2 billion Pakistan owes to the US. The issue has been notified 
in the US budget for 2003 and will be formalised after the approval 
by the US Congress.

The sources said that Pakistan had been assured that its present 
level of $300 million annual assistance would be increased to $500 
million. The US government assured Gen. Musharraf that more 
resources will be lined up specially for Pakistan's health and 
education sectors.

Both sides have agreed to work closely to enhance their trade and 
economic relations and the issue will now be figured during Finance 
Minister Shaukat Aziz's visit to Washington later this month. He 
was going there to attend the annual meeting of the World Bank and 
the IMF.

Fiscal law ready for cabinet approval
By Ihtashamul Haque

ISLAMABAD, Sept 18: The government has finalized the draft Fiscal 
Responsibility Law, which aims at eliminating the entire revenue 
deficit (approximately Rs 125 billion) by June 30, 2007 and to 
reduce the outstanding public debt (approximately Rs1500 billion) 
to 60 per cent of GDP by June 30, 2012.

According to official sources, the ordinance would be promulgated 
immediately after the cabinet approval, which would give its assent 
within this month. The draft law was to be enacted by August 31, 
2002, but delayed due to government's preoccupation with political 
matters including the holding of general elections.

The draft law finalized by the Ministry of Finance is now being 
sent to the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs for 
necessary vetting within this week. The government has accepted and 
incorporated in the draft law some of the proposals given by the 
private sector experts and professionals to make this law more 

The sources said it had been decided to withdraw the provision of 
suspending the salaries of the cabinet members in case any 
government crosses prescribed limit for spending.

The draft law also seeks to reduce the outstanding public debt by 
at least 2.5 per cent of GDP every fiscal year, while ensuring that 
social and poverty related expenditures are not reduced below 4 per 
cent of the GDP. It also requires the government not to issue 
guarantees, including those on rupee borrowing by public sector 
enterprises, minimum rates of return, output purchase agreements, 
and other claims and comments for any amount exceeding 2 per cent 
of GDP.

According to the draft, the government can deviate from various 
targets only on grounds of unforeseen demand on its resources due 
to national security or national calamity, which would be 
determined by the National Assembly.

The draft law provides for the establishment of a Debt Policy 
Coordination Office (DPCO) that would serve as Secretariat in the 
Ministry of Finance, and prepare a 10-year debt reduction path to 
be followed by the government.

The DPCO will be responsible for monitoring and analysing the 
performance of the government, and would submit annual reports to 
the cabinet.

If the government fails to meet the target of debt-to-GDP ratios 
over two years period, it would be required to take all necessary 
actions to return to the debt reduction path delineated by DPCO by 
the end of next two years.

The sources said that Economic Adviser of the Ministry of Finance 
Dr. Ashfaque Hasan Khan is being appointed as the head of the DPCO. 
Instead of promoting Dr. Khan in Grade 22 as was earlier being 
considered, a decision has been taken to offer him M-1 package 
which is considered fairly adequate. As long as the new economic 
adviser is not appointed, he will handle both the assignments.

According to the draft law, Article 166 of the Constitution 
empowers the federal government to borrow for financing its 
budgetary expenditures within such limits as the Parliament may fix 
from time to time. The Parliament never enacted a law to prescribe 
these limits. As a result, successive governments demonstrated 
complete lack of fiscal responsibility, particularly during the 
1980s and 1990s. With the result the outstanding public debt 
increased from 66 per cent of the GDP in 1980 to 102 per cent in 
1999, the level at which it was unsustainable.

NFC silent on debt relief to provinces
By Sabihuddin Ghausi

KARACHI, Sept 20: The federal government is showing no inclination 
to offer any debt relief to the provinces in the National Finance 
Commission award. The three "small" provinces Sindh, Balochistan 
and NWFP carry a debt burden of about Rs145 billion on which 
Islamabad is charging an exorbitant interest rate of about 18 per 

Budget documents shows that NWFP carries the highest debt burden of 
Rs86 billion followed by Rs43 billion on Sindh and about Rs16 
billion on Balochistan. Debt portfolio of NWFP includes Rs43 
billion cash development loans, about Rs16 billion SCARP loans and 
about Rs27 billion SAP-tied loans. Sindh's debt portfolio shows 
Rs24.8 billion cash development loans, Rs13.4 billion SCARP loans 
and Rs5.3 billion SAP loans.

Well placed sources say that the representatives of the three 
provinces will again demand some relief in debt servicing from 
Islamabad in the crucial meeting of National Finance Commission 
(NFC) being held on Sunday.

The federal government has suggested to the provinces to seek loans 
from market and foreign donors at lower rates to retire Islamabad's 
expensive loans carrying interest rate of about 18 per cent.

The Sindh government has recently retired Rs2 billion federal loan 
from a virtually interest free 100 million dollars credit given by 
the World Bank. "It will give us an annual saving of Rs400 million, 
which would have been paid as interest," the Sindh Finance Minister 
Abdul Hafeez Sheikh claimed on more than one occasion. It shows 
that annual interest on Rs2 billion loans was about 20 per cent.

Since 1972, when elected provincial administrations took charge, 
the federal government started offering cash development loans, 
SCARP loans to finance tube wells and rupee component for the SAP-
tied schemes. This loaning was abruptly stopped in 2000- 2001 when 
provinces were asked to finance all development schemes through 
their own resources.

Small provinces have been agitating before the previous as well as 
the current Commission to get some relief in debt servicing. Debt 
servicing takes up more than 21 per cent of the revenue expenditure 
budget of NWFP, almost 16 per cent of Sindh budget (it was 26 per 
cent in 1994-95), while Balochistan had been deferring the payment 
on the expectation that Islamabad would provide some relief in the 
awaited NFC award.

Provinces have blamed the federal finance ministry of carrying out 
arbitrary calculations "on the basis of a complicated formula" 
without consulting provinces. The federal finance ministry fixes 
the annual payments for principal and interest amounts. This amount 
is then deducted at source from the instalments of monthly 
provincial shares in federal divisible pool of taxes. Once 
deducted, the provinces have no options but to accept it.

This system has given Islamabad an image of "extortionist and 
usurer" that has Continued on Page 11NFC silent on debt relief to 
provinces fleeced and continues to fleece small provinces since the 
time of their re-emergence in 1970 after break-up of one unit.

How unjust this system of debt recovery is, it has been well 
illustrated in the budget documents of Sindh and NWFP. 

The White Paper issued by NWFP government states that Peshawar has 
paid back to Islamabad about Rs74 billion during 1972-73 to 2001- 
2002. It has adjusted Rs7.36 billion principal amount while Rs66.50 
billion went for payment of interest. 

The NWFP estimates that it will make a total interest payment of 
Rs125.5 billion on Rs44 billion principal amount of cash 
development loans till 2024-25.

"The total payment to the federal government would be 386 per cent 
of the principal amount by the year 2024-25," the NWFP White Paper 

Sindh's story of debt servicing is no different from NWFP. Sindh 
received total amount of Rs36 billion cash development loans in 
last 26 years. 

It has paid back more than Rs59 billion that adjusted only Rs6.5 
billion principal amount and Rs52.75 billion went for payment of 
interest, and, therefore, there is still an outstanding amount 
standing at more than Rs30 billion.

"Is this federal relationship or a colonial bondage" is the bitter 
remark of a cynic officer in a private conversation.

Profit-selling halts upward drive on KSE
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, Sept 20: Stocks finished the weekend session on an easy 
note as jobbers took profits at the inflated levels in the absence 
of strong follow-up support from the leading institutional 

The selling in part was also attributed to below market 
expectations dividend by some of the leading oil companies, which 
had been in strong demand during the pre-dividend sessions and had 
risen sharply. All the leading energy shares were sharply lower 
barring Shell Pakistan, which managed to close with an extended 
gain of Rs.3.

But analysts say the retreat was technical and in no way reflected 
the market's inability to breach through the index level of 2,000 
just in one go.

However, as was widely speculated, the index failed to touch the 
high mark of 2,000 and after a slight rise, ended lower by 8.15 
points at 1,981.08 as compared to 1,989.23 a day earlier, 
reflecting the weakness of leading base shares.

However, at no stage the underlying sentiment weakened, and 
indications are that the market will resume its upturn when it 
reopens on next Monday.

"The bulls are not inclined to be outwitted by the bears at this 
stage as they will think about a technical retreat after 
consolidating the index level above 2,000," one broker said adding 
"the next week could witness a sharp turnaround beyond the 2,000 
index level thanks to active short- covering in the pivotals."

Cash dividend at the rate of 30 and 80 per cent by Attock Refinery 
and Pakistan Oilfields, two leading oil companies seem to have 
fallen below market expectations and the consequent selling in 

Floor brokers said their share values had risen sharply during the 
pre-dividend sessions amid rumours of higher dividend but their 
final payout triggered a good bit of selling not only in them but 
also in other energy shares, notably Pakistan Refinery.

But some other said another negative factor, which halted the 
market's upward journey, was weekend selling by jobbers and short-
term dealers as they were not inclined to hold long positions owing 
to risk involved in the intervening two official closures.

HinoPak Motors, Dilon, Bannu Woollen, Shell Pakistan and Gatron 
Industries, which rose by Rs.2.55 to 3 were leading among the 
gainers. Other notable gainers included Third ICP, Lawrencepur 
Woollen, Liberty Mills, Al-Ghazi Tractors, HinoPak Motors, Abbott 
Lab, Berger Paints and Packages, which posted gains ranging from 
Rs.1.50 to 2.55.

Losers were led by Pakistan Refinery, PSO, Millat Tractors, Attock 
Refinery and Pakistan Oilfields, off Rs.2.35 to 7.55 followed by 
Meezan bank, Crescent Textiles, Sapphire Fibre, Cherat Cement, 
National Refinery and Cherat Papers, off one rupee to Rs.1.90.

Trading volume rose to 109m shares from the previous 102m shares as 
gainers held a modest lead over the losers at 121 to 110, with 71 
holding on to the last levels.

PTCL, topped the list of most actives on reports that its sell-off 
may be delayed, lower by 15 paisa at Rs.19.95 on 31m shares 
followed by PSO, off Rs.2.80 at Rs.189.50 on 14m shares, MCB, 
higher 35 paisa at Rs.27.15 on 12m shares, Engro Chemical, higher 
80 paisa at Rs.62.40 on 11m shares, Sui Northern Gas steady 10 
paisa at Rs.15.40 on 7m shares, Hub-Power unchanged at Rs.27.50 on 
4m shares and National Bank, up five paisa at Rs.22.90 on 3m 

Other actives were led by Dewan Salman, up 55 paisa on 6m shares, 
FFC- Jordan Fertilizer, steady by 15 paisa on 4m shares, and D.G. 
Khan Cement, lower 25 paisa on 3m shares.

FORWARD COUNTER: Barring heavy selling in PSO, speculative issues 
on the cleared list performed well under the lead of Engro 
Chemical, which rose by 65 paisa at Rs.62.40 on 0.879m shares.

Volume leaders were again led by Hub-Power, up five paisa at 
Rs.24.30 on 7.442m shares followed by PSO, off Rs.1.95 at Rs.189.90 
on 6.562m shares and PTCL, easy five paisa at Rs.20 on 5.554m 

DEFAULTER COMPANIES: Shares of a dozen companies came in for 
trading under the lead of Kausar Paints, easy 10 paisa at Re.1 on 
25,000 shares followed by Schon Modaraba, unchanged at Rs.0.50 on 
5,000 shares and Sahrish Textiles, lower 15 paisa at Rs.0.70 on 

Back to the top
'Give me seven years...'
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

"Give me seven years and I'll change the complexion and culture of 
politics in Pakistan," said Musharraf to an applauding 'jam-packed' 
crowd of Pakistani-American 'elite' assembled in the city of New 
York on Friday to hear him speak for 80 minutes.

According to a news report, this was the same elite crowd which had 
been as equally generous with its applause to Benazir Bhutto and 
Nawaz Sharif in 'yesteryear'. 'They always give a big hand to 
Pakistani leaders but to Musharraf, with Abdul Sattar Edhi by his 
side, they gave a standing ovation.'

To effectively change anything in this country in seven years is 
not impossible, but it is improbable. To do so, General Pervez 
Musharraf would have to be a dictator in the true sense of the 
word. But Musharraf says, "Let me tell you, I firmly believe in 
democracy. I am no usurper of power. I am going to give it over to 
the elected people and my role will be that of a neutral umpire."

The man is a commando, trained to take risks. Presumably he has 
calculated that by the years 2009 he will be ruling over an 
illiterate, ignorant, bigoted mob of some 180 million, the majority 
of whom will also be hungry and thirsty.

As for today, just what has he on his plate? According to an AFP 
report printed on the back page of one of our morning newspapers, 
dateline Multan, September 13, headlined 'Teacher cuts boy's 
tongue' says: "A religious school teacher allegedly chopped off the 
tongue of his 13-year old student to destroy evidence after he 
allegedly saw the teacher sodomizing another student, his family 

The boy, in the small town of Yazman, had reportedly seen the 
learned teacher sexually assault a fellow student in a side room of 
the school a couple of weeks ago. He was warned by the imparter of 
religious knowledge, Bashir Ahmad, not to open his mouth; if he did 
he would lose his tongue. But the boy told his parents, and on 
September 3 the teacher got hold of him and cut off his tongue with 
a razor. No arrest has so far been made as no complaint has yet 
been lodged with the police.

The recent scandals concerning the Roman Catholic church and the 
homosexual activities of some of its priests have been largely 
reported in the foreign media, but there has been no instance of 
any of the accused good fathers amputating tongues or any other 
portion of the human anatomy.

Was Bashir Ahmad, with his religious background and his knowledge 
of the holy scriptures, at heart a mere barbarian? Had he no 
thought as to what effect his actions - sodomy and tongue 
amputation - would have upon his students?

What else was in the news yesterday?

Atal Behari Vajpayee, in his turn, in the tit-for-tat exchange (as 
the foreign media has referred to the two addresses by the head of 
state and head of government of Pakistan and India, respectively 
addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations "in his mother 
tongue, Hindi, in which he is known for his oratorial flourishes." 
No statesman he, as Musharraf showed himself to be no statesman. 
Had Vajpayee had the stuff of statesmanship in him he would have 
ignored Musharraf's speech the previous day and touched upon the 
issues with which the democratic developed world is now wholly 
concerned - the Middle East and, more importantly, Iraq and Saddam 

Another headline: 'Musharraf rejects LoC conversion into 
international border'. We have rejected the conversion of the 
'line' for over half a century, and by the look of things, with the 
status quo of the firm 'principled stand' adopted by Pakistan for 
over half a century, the rejection will continue for the next half 

Bigotry is born of ignorance. During the three years he has been 
with us, had the general been confident and strong enough he would 
have wiped away the blasphemy laws and the Hudood Ordinance, or at 
least changed the administrative processes which allow them to be 
abused and misused for personal vengeance or gain. How many men has 
he been able to free who are languishing in the death cells or in 
other cells of our prisons having been wrongly charged under these 
iniquitous laws? How many women who have been raped have ceased 
being in turn victims of the law and accused of adultery? Not one 
of us will be at all surprised if the four men who raped the woman 
of Meerwalla are acquitted and freed to rape again, rather than 
sent to the gallows.

Democracy is being once more cobbled up. Who do we now have coming 
into our assemblies? For instance, the honest Chaudhrys of Gujrat, 
the honest Sherpao of the Frontier, the honest Imtiaz Sheikh of 
Sindh, the party of Altaf Hussain of London whose members have 
already started extorting 'bhatta' (a.k.a. election expenses) from 
the people and disfiguring the city with graffiti. The one decent 
monument we have, Bhutto's Teen Talwar, stands disfigured with 
'MQM' sprayed all over and around it.

Education is the sole answer to the travails and troubles with 
which this country is faced, and it cannot be encapsulated. I have 
on my desk an e-mail message from an Indian, a Hindu, professor 
friend of mine who teaches at a university in the US. He is 
concerned about Pakistan, and would like India to coexist with us. 
He opens up with the Gujarati salutation 'Sahebji' and goes on to 
say: "I have some disturbing news. Pakistani students who have 
applied to come to the US for post-graduate degrees, Masters and 
PhDs, are categorically rejected. No explanations provided. In 
general, a Muslim/Arab-sounding name is especially researched for 
its religious affiliations and if found Islamic - turned down.

"Muslim professors in US universities are under pressure not to 
recruit Muslim students and they are obliging. The number of 
students from Arab/Muslim countries has reached a record low. The 
slack is picked up by Indians and Koreans (who are in great 
demand), and the visa status for J-1 exchange and H-1 is "Currant" 
- i.e. no restrictions on numbers and duration. This was bound to 
happen sooner or later but I was amazed at the suddenness and 
unanimity of the ranks joining in. Education is the first and final 
frontier, everything else is in between. There can be no commerce, 
no development, no nukes, without education (unless you are ready 
to pay retail prices, the way Pakistan is doing and in the process 
going bankrupt). When will the rulers of Pakistan understand the 
economics of what is the price the people of Pakistan are paying to 
languish in the dark ages?"

To Musharraf's credit, he realizes the importance of this 
disturbing news and he took up the matter with President George 
Bush when they met in New York. Reportedly, Bush has promised to do 
something to ease the situation. Let's hope he moves quickly before 
too much time is lost to our blocked students.

A year later  
By Eric S. Margolis

A year after the 9/11 attacks on the United States, we know 
remarkably little about the attackers, or about who really 
organized the complex operation that seems well beyond the 
capabilities of amateur terrorists. Among the major questions are 
those that are discussed below.

The suicide attackers were apparently middle-class Saudis, though 
some identities are still in question. They were quiet, well-
educated, 'westernized' technical students living in Hamburg, 
Germany, whose links to Osama bin Laden's Afghan-based Al Qaeda 
remain uncertain. Part of the attack planning was done in Spain.

The men who piloted the doomed aircraft were trained at American 
flying schools. Some may have briefly visited Afghanistan, but none 
resided there or were known Al Qaeda members. Were they sent by 
Osama bin Laden? Osama lauded the attacks that murdered 3,000 
civilians, but denied involvement, though a trail of circumstantial 
evidence leads to him.

Al Qaeda is portrayed by the US government and media as an 
octopoid, world-wide conspiracy with thousands of members. In fact, 
Al Qaeda - which began as a guest-house for holy warriors during 
the anti-Soviet struggle in Afghanistan in the 1980s, never 
numbered more than 1,000 men, and usually much less.

Today, there are probably only 300 or so hardline Qaeda members, 
scattered mainly in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Europe. But there are 
numerous other underground, militant Islamic groups that align 
themselves from time to time with Qaeda, or draw inspiration from 
Osama bin Laden's fiery preachings. Such fighting groups as 
Egyptian Jihad, Gamma Islamiya, and Algeria's Armed Islamic Groups, 
have formed a loose anti-American/anti-Israel alliance of 

But other Islamic groups, notably Lebanon's Hizbollah, have nothing 
to do with Al Qaeda. Nor do Iraq and Syria, whose rulers have been 
targets of Osama bin Laden's wrath for a decade.

The Taliban and a variety of Muslim resistance groups - Kashmiri 
independence fighters, anti-communist insurgents from Tajikistan 
and Uzbekistan, Filipino Moros, and Uighurs fighting China's ethnic 
absorption of Eastern Turkestan (Chinese Xinjiang), have all been 
lumped together as 'Al Qaeda.' Some of these Islamic international 
brigades were trained in old Afghan camps originally funded by CIA.

Others went through two service support and commando training camps 
run by Al Qaeda - a sort of Islamic version of Ft. Bragg, home of 
the US Green Berets. The biggest camps were not run by Al Qaeda, 
but by ISI - Pakistani intelligence outfit - preparing holy 
warriors, or 'jihadis.' Many of the 1,000 prisoners captured and 
murdered by Uzbek forces of Gen. Rashid Dostam - assisted by US 
Special Forces - were from the international brigades.

President George Bush claimed America was attacked because the 
assailants 'hated' democracy and America's way of life. He 
describes terrorism as pure evil, unrelated to any specific 
political events. This is nonsense. The US was attacked because of 
its deep involvement in Mideast affairs, and total backing for 
Israel's iron-fisted repression of the Palestinians.

In July, Washington agreed to Israel's request to replenish huge 
amounts of heavy munitions used in crushing the Palestinian 
intifada. These included $80 million worth of TOW heavy anti-tank 
missiles to be fired at buildings, tank shells packed with 
thousands of razor-sharp flechettes, and Hellfire air-to-ground 
missiles. Israel reportedly used more heavy munitions against 
Palestinians in one week last April than it expended in the 
previous 20 years. American money and weapons kill Arabs, Arabs 
kill Americans.

Osama bin Laden arrogated to himself the right to champion revenge 
against the United States for the bloodbath in Palestine. "There 
will be no peace in America," Osama warned, "until there is peace 
in Palestine." These frightening words were never widely reported 
in the North American media, which is filled with uninformed 
commentators explaining why Muslims are inherently bloodthirsty or 

America's virtual military occupation of Saudi Arabia, its 
punishment of Iraq that caused at least 500,000 civilian deaths, 
and Bush's planned jihad against Iraq have enraged the entire 
Islamic world against the United States. There is little doubt more 
attacks against American targets will be coming. Such is the cost 
of empire.

Did the 9/11 perpetrators foresee the immense damage they would 
inflict on the United States? Besides the 3,000 Americans murdered, 
$70 billion in property losses; $10 billion so far of airline 
losses; insurance rates across the US soaring by up to 300 per 

September 11 suicide bombing helped puncture the stock market tech 
bubble that brought $3 trillion in equity losses that cost 160,000 
jobs. The next attack on the US may be designed to cause more 
economic mayhem rather than kill people, targeting 
telecommunications nodes, power systems, and airports.

The 9/11 attack triggered a psychotic episode in the Bush 
administration, producing a futile invasion of Afghanistan; plans 
for war against Iraq, and possibly Iran, spurred by the 
embarrassing failure to find Osama bin Laden or crush Al Qaeda.-
Copyright Eric S. Margolis -2002

Iraq's N-weapons: fact or fiction? 
By Eric Margolis

Does Iraq have nuclear weapons? Last week, Britain's authoritative 
International Institute for Strategic Studies issued a study that 
concluded Iraq had the ability to produce a few nuclear devices but 
lacked the enriched uranium or plutonium to do so.

The Institute's report was clearly timed to provide more 
justification for a US-British attack on Iraq. The US and British 
governments as well as world media made use of the report to 
intensify claims that Iraq was a grave nuclear threat.

As a long-time member of the Institute, I was disappointed that it 
would so easily yield to pressure from the British government by 
producing a report that was misleading and sensational. Instead of 
supporting 'regime change' in Baghdad, the IISS might do better to 
review its own weak leadership at London HQ.

Iraq has no nuclear weapons or fissionable materials. This fact has 
been certified by the UN's nuclear inspection agency. As to the 
IISS's claim that Iraq has the capability to produce nuclear 
devices, so do more than 40 nations. Making a nuclear weapon is 
relatively simple. Take 4-9 kilos of highly enriched uranium or 
plutonium, surrounded with a specially shaped shell of high-
explosive lenses, and detonate.

The recipe is available on the internet. The trick is acquiring 
highly enriched uranium or plutonium. This process requires hugely 
expensive, laborious separation and enrichment using banks of 
centrifuges, as well as expertise in fusing, and shaped-charge 

In the 1980s, Iraq was indeed working on a crude nuclear weapon. 
Saudi Arabia secretly funded this top-secret project in order to 
counter Israel's large nuclear arsenal, believed to number over 200 
devices. Iraq acquired uranium from South Africa in exchange for 
oil. South Africa, which produced eight nuclear devices, secretly 
obtained its nuclear weapons technology from Israel. Ironically, 
South Africa later sold the Israeli uranium enrichment technology 
to Iraq.

When Saddam Hussein stumbled into the trap laid for him by George 
Bush senior by invading Kuwait in 1990, his scientists were within 
a few years of producing a primitive nuclear test device. During 
the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq's total nuclear and, in fact, total 
national industrial infrastructure, were pulverized by massive US 
bombing. Before the war, Iraq had been the most technologically 
developed and best-educated nation in the Arab world. After, Iraq 
was reduced to pre-World War I level, with even its water and 
sewage systems wrecked by America's ruthless air campaign.

However, Iraq still retains a cadre of about 10,000 trained nuclear 
scientists and technicians. Unless they are all shot, Iraq will in 
theory be able one day to build a nuclear weapon, provided it can 
obtain fissionable material. Once the crushing blockade of Iraq is 
lifted, Baghdad might be able to produce 1-2 nuclear warheads 
within five years. But having warheads and delivering them are two 
different things. Iraq currently lacks aircraft or missiles to 
deliver nuclear weapons beyond 70 miles range.

Iraq is a leading Arab nation with the Mideast's second largest oil 
reserves. Unless the US succeeds in implanting and maintaining a 
compliant regime in Baghdad, such as it has done in Kabul, whatever 
brutal general that succeeds Saddam will eventually seek nuclear 
weapons. Why?

First, to counter Israel's nuclear monopoly. Israel has repeatedly 
threatened to attack Iraq and Iran with nuclear weapons, and is 
considered a mortal threat by the Arabs and the Iranians. Second, 
because Iraq fears neighbouring Iran, which has three times its 
population. Interestingly, every Iraqi leader since the 1920s has 
vowed to invade Kuwait and reunite it with Iraq. Why, in fact, 
should Iraq not have the right to possess nuclear weapons to 
protect its vast oil reserves?

President Bush claimed this week that an attack on Iraq was 
justified because it had refused to bow to UN resolutions and had 
weapons of mass destruction. Bush could just as well have been 
talking about Israel which ignores scores of UN resolutions and 
refuses to admit UN nuclear arms inspectors. Or of India, which 
also ignores UN resolutions on Kashmir, and is developing a very 
large nuclear arsenal with Israeli aid, that includes nuclear-armed 
ICBM missiles that will soon be able to reach the US.

The original 1990 UN resolution authorizing military action to 
evict Iraq from Kuwait had a little-noticed article that called for 
the Security Council to immediately begin a process of regional 
nuclear arms control and disarmament. This provision was totally 
ignored, yet it offers a key to the Iraq problem.

Instead of Bush threatening a purely aggressive war against Iraq 
the US, EU, and Canada should begin an intensive campaign to rid 
the Mideast of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Regional 
disarmament cannot be accomplished until all nations, including 
Israel and Iran, are thoroughly inspected by impartial specialists 
- the Canadians would be ideal. There must be no repeat of the 
1990's, when many UN inspectors in Iraq turned out to be the US and 
Israeli spies whose job was to target Saddam Hussein for 
assassination. Mr Bush might even begin this overdue process by 
getting rid of a lot more of his own weapons of mass destruction.-
Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2002

Introduction to music
By Ayaz Amir

Years ago at school I came across a book entitled "Hundred Great 
Lives." There is a time during one's youth when such anthologies 
exercise a great hold on the mind. 

The reason, I suppose, is that every boy and girl with some 
imagination subconsciously believes that, with a bit of luck, he or 
she is also destined to join the company of the select and the 
brave about whom they are reading. So as I read the book avidly it 
was only to be expected that I was assailed by dreams of romance 
and glory.

One thing about this book struck me, however. It had only two 
photographs. One, perhaps inevitably, that of Sir Winston 
Churchill. The other of Ludwig Van Beethoven. More arresting was 
the inscription under the second picture: "If man's fate is to 
suffer in an unfriendly universe, Beethoven's music creates the 
spirit to endure and even to exult in the endurance." I wondered 
what the words meant. Could there be music so powerful?

Years later in an attic to which I had gained temporary access I 
came across two records. One was something by Brahms (I forget 
precisely what), the other a recording of Beethoven's concerto for 
violin and orchestra, the only one he ever wrote. At first I felt 
myself at sea, this being my very first introduction to classical 
music, western or eastern. But I soon found myself enjoying the 
flourishes and crescendos which, in any case, I would had to be an 
ass not to like. In no time I was listening to this music all the 

I struck gold, however, when I came in possession of a cassette of 
Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. This was grand stuff and was like a 
revelation to me. Its effect was overwhelming and amply bore out E. 
M. Forster's testimony that the Fifth was "the most sublime piece 
of noise ever to enter human ear." Even a person deaf to the sound 
of music cannot help being effected by it. If there is any perfect 
introduction to classical music it is this. Simply because you 
can't go wrong with it. Play it to a donkey and chances are he too 
will be affected by it.

There is nothing squeamish or half-hearted about the Fifth 
Symphony. It is a headlong assault on the senses and carries all 
before it. Does it convey anything? I think it is a tribute to the 
ability of the human spirit to surmount all odds. I have read 
somewhere that in the Second World War news of allied victories on 
BBC used to be heralded by the opening bars of the Fifth Symphony. 
(In much the same manner, when the tide of war turned against 
Germany, bad news on radio Berlin was usually prefaced by something 
from Wagner's Gotterdamerung, the Twilight of the Gods.)

For a long time my classical collection remained restricted to 
these two or three pieces. I was only able to add to it when I went 
abroad. The trouble was my knowledge of music was patchy and 
selective, there being no guru or maestro to guide me. So it was 
only natural that there should be broad gaps in my musical 
education. I became familiar with Beethoven's symphonies but not 
with his piano concertos or string quartets.

It was the same with Mozart. I listened to his symphonies but 
remained ignorant of his operas. Later I made it a point to make up 
this omission. I must confess, however, I am no fan of The Marriage 
of Figaro or Don Giovanni. They may be great operas but, barring 
incidental passages here and there, they leave me cold. If I was 
ever stranded on a desert island my favourite operatic music would 
be Verdi and Puccini. With Puccini again you can't go wrong.

Until today my knowledge of Bach remains confined to a few of his 
Brandenburg concertos. This is unforgivable but it just goes to 
show my patchy education. A piano concerto of Grieg's which remains 
one of my favourites was recommended to me by a sympathetic 
salesgirl at a record shop in Moscow. It was from her too that I 
gained an introduction to Liszt's Hungarian rhapsodies. Wagner's 
Meistersingers I also bought from the same shop.

So it has been over the years, picking up odd bits of music here 
and there. Thanks to my trips to Delhi I have managed to acquire 
quite a respectable collection of Indian classical music. But I 
remain a partisan in music, returning to a few favourites time and 
again. My test of great music has always been its ability to put me 
to sleep. So when I draw the curtains in my bedroom I end up 
listening either to the great Kishori Amonkar, Mallikarjun Mansur 
(a hot favourite), Pandit Kumar Gundharva or Raga Jai Jai Wanti 
sung by Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.

I have three Jai Jai Wantis: one played on the flute by Pandit Hari 
Prasad Chaurasia, another on the shehnai by the great Bismillah 
Khan and the last sung by Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. Each is 
superb in its own right but if a tyro is permitted his opinion, 
one's heart misses a beat when Ghulam Ali Khan, clearing his 
throat, moves magisterially (a word I use advisedly) into the notes 
of this raga.

Jai Jai Wanti itself is a splendid raga. Who composed it, pandit or 
sage? On which sacred mountaintop (or hallowed riverbank) did the 
moment of inspiration come? Alas, the answer is lost in the mists 
of time.

What makes Bade Ghulam Ali Khan's singing of it so special? First 
of all his unrivalled virtuosity. Second his voice, always 
melodious but in this instance its timbre and tone so rich one 
wonders where it was cured. Wine cellar or deep chamber cut into 
the earth? In this raga his voice also has--how should I put it?--a 
languid quality which is another sign of his mastery. It's like an 
old troubadour all too sure of what he is doing.

In form and method Indian and western classical music are far 
apart. But in substance they come close to each other. The defining 
quality of all great music is passion and verve. Indeed this is 
true of all the arts. Great painting and great writing have the 
same quality. In order to qualify for the title of greatness they 
must be sustained by feeling and gusto. This is why a Puccini opera 
or a raga sung by Kishori Amonkar have much the same effect on the 
mind. The forms are dissimilar, the substance much the same.

And here's an example of passion in writing, H. L. Mencken 
recording his opinion of Beethoven's Third Symphony. "The older I 
grow, the more I am convinced that the most portentous phenomenon 
in the whole history of music was the first public performance of 
the Eroica on April 6, 1805. 

The manufacturers of progamme notes have swathed that gigantic work 
in so many layers of banal legend and speculation that its 
intrinsic merits have been almost forgotten. Was it dedicated to 
Napoleon 1? If so, was the dedication sincere or ironical? Who 
cares--that is, who with ears? It might have been dedicated, just 
as well, to Paracelsus or Pontius Pilate. What makes it worth 
discussing today and forever, is the fact that on its very first 
page Beethoven threw his hat into the ring and laid his claim to 
immortality. Bang!--and he is off. 

No compromise! No easy bridge from the Past! The Second Symphony is 
already miles behind. A new order of music has been born. The very 
manner of it is full of challenge.

Devolution and revolution 
By Irfan Husain

As the election campaign stutters along its no-frills, no- thrills 
path, the parties and politicians that have survived the arbitrary 
and often illogical screening process are going through the motions 
of asking people to vote for them.

The people justifiably want to know what politicians have done for 
them in the past and what they propose to do in the future. Nothing 
very much, is the honest answer to both questions. Nowhere is this 
more evident than in the backwaters of Karachi: a visit to Orangi 
and places like the Buffer Zone and Federal B Area show yet again 
how hard life is for the vast majority of our citizens.

And yet, the good news is that in the face of terrible adversity 
and criminal neglect by the state, the people condemned to live in 
these disadvantaged areas are resilient and hardworking, and more 
often than not develop their own solutions rather than wait for 
lethargic and corrupt government agencies to intervene.

The Orangi Pilot Project, of course, is a path-breaking initiative 
that is now widely replicated in Pakistan and abroad. It has 
transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of poor people by 
empowering them and showing them how to take charge and change 
their environment.

There is a dynamism at work in these localities that is in sharp 
contrast with the complacency and stagnation that has become a 
hallmark of our so-called posh housing societies. For instance, the 
literacy rate in Orangi, a low-income area of 1.2 million souls, is 
a startling 83 per cent. And this has not been achieved by the 
government's education department; rather, rudimentary, make-shift 
schools were first run in small homes and under canvas.

Now, there are signs for private schools in just about every lane. 
One businesswoman has contributed five million rupees for a pucca 
school that is now functioning, teaching boys and girls from class 
one to class eight. Incidentally, I was told that after 9/11, fewer 
parents now enrol their children in madrassahs, preferring to send 
them to normal schools.

Contrary to stereotypes, the most forward-looking community in 
Orangi are the Pakhtoons. They work hard, help each other get a 
start and the second generation of settlers want to marry educated 
girls. I met two young Pathans who are involved in running schools, 
including six home-based girls schools supported by the Trust for 
Voluntary Organizations. Orangi is home to literally thousands of 
cottage industries that make a wide range of products from Benarsi 
silk saris to spare parts for cars. Many of these entrepreneurs 
started off with small loans they received from the micro-credit 
branch of the OPP.

In the Buffer Zone (our bureaucratic approach to naming localities 
never ceases to amaze me), there are literally hundreds of small 
weaving and garment factories working round the clock. In one such 
operation, I sat on the floor with a hundred or so workers, 
listening to my old friend Javed Jabbar make his campaign pitch. In 
his short address, he managed to bring in the population problem, 
his audience's civic problems and the threat posed by the WTO 
agreement to their jobs. How he does against the MQM juggernaut in 
this election race is another matter; in any case, I wish him luck.

The well-to-do of Pakistan do not realize how deep and wide the 
gulf between them and the have-nots has become. Arif Hasan, the 
perceptive and indefatigable observer of social and physical 
changes taking place in Pakistan, laments in his book, 'The 
Unplanned Revolution':

"The rich now live in ghettos, surrounded by armed guards and 
security systems. They are developing their entertainment, 
recreational, educational and commercial facilities in their own 
areas. Old Karachi food, book and other retail outlets have 
relocated to these posh neighbourhoods, and boutiques selling first 
world designer goods and international chains selling fast food 
have sprung up.

"Their children do not visit the National Museum or the Karachi Zoo 
and are more at home at London's Hyde Park than at Safari Park in 
Gulshan-i-Iqbal. Their textbooks, too, teach them nothing about 
their city, its history, its problems or its culture. The sprawling 
lower-middle-class settlements of District Central, the katchi 
abadis of District West, or the chaos of the inner city simply do 
not exist for them. Thus Karachi has lost what is perhaps a city's 
greatest asset - an interested, informed and enlightened elite - 
and in the absence of such an elite, a decline in civic services 
and institutions is bound to happen."

According to General Musharraf and his acolytes, these problems are 
supposed to be solved by the devolution of power initiated by this 
government. To check the situation on the ground, I met one nazim 
of the union council in Orangi. Outside his office, the road was 
under construction, and I thought he had begun some development 
work, even if it was on his doorsteps. The reality was very 
different as this disgruntled elected official told us:

"In the new system, the local union councillors and their nazims 
are elected directly, while the town and city council nazims are 
elected indirectly by us. Thus people in our area who have problems 
come to us to sort them out while we only have a monthly budget of 
Rs 75,000. After rent, salaries and utilities, there is hardly 
anything left. None of the proposals I have sent to the nazim of 
the Town Council have been approved. The road under construction 
you see outside has been in this condition for over a year."

And yet, despite the abject failure of the state in helping the 
poor (or perhaps because of it), there have been notable successes. 
For instance, many neighbourhoods have negotiated an arrangement 
with the KESC to supply electricity to a central point, and the 
people have undertaken the task of distributing it to homes. The 
electricity company is happy because it collects revenues more 
easily, and the citizens feel they have solved this problem through 
their own initiative. Every second house has a telephone and cable 
connection. To quote Arif Hasan again:

"Karachiites are living in dramatically better environmental 
conditions at the micro level in spite of increasingly bad 
conditions at the macro level. The number of one-room houses has 
fallen from 45 per cent to 30 per cent. ... and the number of 
three-room houses has increased from 14 per cent to 21 per cent. 
The number of houses with electricity connections has increased 
from 66 per cent in 1980 to 94 per cent in 1998 and the number of 
houses with piped water connections has increased from 44 per cent 
to 74 per cent in the same period..."

Clearly, the impact of these changes is bound to be profound. As 
urbanization forced the European feudal classes to share power with 
the bourgeoisie at the end of the middle ages, so too will an 
increasingly aware urban population in Pakistan demand the transfer 
of political power from the feudal-military nexus that has obtained 
the monopoly of power in Pakistan.

Waqar's men cleared of any wrongdoing
NEW DELHI, Sept 18: An International Cricket Council (ICC) 
investigation into Pakistan's defeat in the Champions Trophy last 
week has cleared the team of any wrongdoing, official sources said.

"The matter is over and Pakistan does not have to worry about 
anything," the source said, adding the Pakistani team management 
had been informed about it.

The ICC had announced that its anti-corruption unit reviewed the 
tapes of Pakistan's eight-wicket defeat to hosts Sri Lanka in the 
tournament opener played last Thursday.

Pakistani manager Yawar Saeed confirmed he had been told by the ICC 
that the issue was now closed.

"I was given a copy of the ICC statement issued and told there was 
nothing to worry about," Yawar said. "The matter is finished."

Media reports suggested that the investigators were particularly 
interested in the run out of Pakistani batsman Yousuf Youhana for 
zero in the 10th over of the innings.

The ICC statement confirmed the anti-corruption unit (ACU) had 
asked for tapes of all games in order to review any "unusual" 

"Specifically, it has reviewed a number of incidents that took 
place in the opening match of the tournament between Pakistan and 
Sri Lanka," the statement added.

Sources said such action was "normal procedure" and would not have 
been made public had a furore not been created after commentator 
Tony Greig announced on air that the tape of the first match had 
been sought.

The ICC is not bound to reveal its findings unless "something 
dramatic turns up," the source added. -AFP/Reuters

Root causes behind team's defeats
Sports Correspondent

LAHORE, Sept 18: Lack of fitness, a proper game plan and confidence 
are the root causes behind the defeats of the Pakistan cricket team 
in the last three tournaments.

This was observed by the former Test cricketers who participated in 
an one day long seminar held. The seminar presided over by the 
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Lt Gen. Tauqir Zia, also 
informed the attendance that the same reasons were also marked by 
the team management.

The former Test cricketers suggested the PCB to develop fresh 
talent in order to make replacement for the players who might lack 
form or fitness. The participants also suggested that there should 
be more tours by Pakistan 'A', Under-19 andUnder-17 to other 
countries on reciprocal basis.

The discussion also considered the plan about the possible 
replacement of the coach of the team Mudassar Nazar. The PCB chief 
informed the gathering that Richard Pybus was coming to Pakistan to 
meet him in order to settle his assignment as new coach of the 
Pakistan team.

Sacked Mudassar denies rift in team
By Imran Naeem Ahmad

ISLAMABAD, Sept 17: Mudassar Nazar, sacked as Pakistan coach 
following a string of poor performances denied that there was any 
rift within the team.

"All this is absolutely rubbish," he told Dawn after meeting the 
chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Lt Gen Tauqir Zia in 

Mudassar was asked to return from Sri Lanka where Pakistan have 
still to play Holland in their second group match of the ICC 
Champions Trophy to explain the reasons for the side's poor showing 
in recent tournaments.

In a meeting, described as "good" by Mudassar, the coach presented 
a detailed report on the causes that led to the fall of the team 
that has lost six of its last 10 One-day Internationals.

He said that the players were feeling burnt-out because of an 
overdose of cricket and some of them needed to be rested before the 
next year's World Cup in South Africa.

Mudassar said that he had no regrets on losing his job. "It was 
performance oriented and because we did not do well in the last 
three tournaments, I was expecting this."

"Before the three tournaments we had done well by winning the 
majority of the matches but then when things began to go wrong it 
was difficult to check them."

Youhana also out of Aussie Test series
KARACHI, Sept 17: Pakistan batsman Yousaf Youhana has been ruled 
out of next month's Test series against Australia with a shoulder 
injury, a spokesman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said.

"Doctors carried out a bone scan on Youhana's shoulder in Kandy and 
it was confirmed he would not be able to play the test series," the 
spokesman said.

"Youhana will not be considered because doctors have advised him to 
take four to six weeks rest."

Youhana is the fourth senior member of the crisis-hit Pakistan side 
to be ruled out of the Tests.

Wasim Akram and Saeed Anwar have opted out of the series while 
Inzamam-ul-Haq has been advised to rest to recover from a foot 

Youhana has been carrying the shoulder injury for the last two 

He was sent back to Pakistan from Nairobi last month on 
disciplinary grounds, but played in Pakistan's defeat by Sri Lanka.

"Obviously the selectors would now consider a replacement for 
Youhana before the Test series, which is very important to us," the 
spokesman said. -Reuters

PCB keeps faith in Waqar for home Tests
By Samiul Hasan

KARACHI, Sept 15: Waqar Younis retained Pakistan captain for the 
three-Test home series against Australia to be played at offshore 
venues of Colombo and Sharjah with the opener starting Oct 3.

The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Lt Gen Tauqir 
Zia, told Dawn from Rawalpindi that although he was concerned and 
worried with the sudden slump in the team's form, "the board still 
had faith in Waqar's abilities as captain".

The PCB left the cricketing fraternity mesmerised when it named 
eight probables, including former captain Moin Khan, but put 
Waqar's extension on hold.

The speedster was initially given a term till the back-to-back 
tournaments in Tangiers, Nairobi and Colombo. Waqar's men are under 
the hammer following defeats in six matches out of 10, including a 
no-result against Australia.

"We are retaining Waqar for the Australian series and would 
continue to monitor his performance as well as of his team. 
Naturally, his team will be now under a closer watch since he is 
expected to motivate the boys and try to put the team back on 
winning track," the PCB chairman said.

Waqar's own performance as captain has been splendid and his 
success rate in the 10 Tests has been 80 per cent. But all might 
count for nothing if his team continues its decline.

No major changes in hockey team for Asiad
By Mohammad Yaqoob

LAHORE, Sept 20: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) named a 16-
man team for the Asian Games that will be held in Busan between 
Sept 29 and Oct 14.

Only two changes were made in the 18-man side that returned last 
week after completing a more than 10-week tour of Europe during 
which it also participated in the Commonwealth Games and the 
Champions Trophy.

Kamran Ashraf and Mohammad Usman were left out while Khalid Saleem 
was added.

Kamran last week announced his retirement from international hockey 
while Usman pulled out because of hamstring injury.

Inside-left Khalid Saleem was recalled after he was declared fit 
from back injury. The team that was originally scheduled to be 
named on Sept 18, was also delayed because the selectors were 
waiting for the clearance on Khalid.

"The national selection committee members, after thorough 
discussion have recommended the below-mentioned final line-up, 
approved by the president PHF," the press release stated.


Goalkeepers: Ahmad Alam, Muhammad Qasim.

Full-backs: Sohail Abbas, Tariq Imran, Zeeshan Ashraf.

Half-backs: Ghazanfar Ali, Wasim Ahmad, Muhammad Saqlain, Dilawar 

Forwards: Mudassar Ali Khan, Muhammad Shabbir, Kashif Jawwad, 
Muhammad Sarwar, Nadeem Ahmed, Khalid Saleem, Rehan Butt.

No changes were made in the team management that comprise Lt Col 
Zafar Ali Khan (manager), Tahir Zaman and Asif Bajwa (coach and 
assistant coach) and Waqar Saleem (doctor/physio).

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