------------------------------------------------------------------- DAWN WIRE SERVICE ------------------------------------------------------------------- Week Ending : 22 March 2003 Issue : 09/12 -------------------------------------------------------------------
Contents | National News | Business & Economy | Editorials & Features | Sports
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CONTENTS ===================================================================
NATIONAL NEWS + Kaleem Saadat appointed air chief + Justice Munir to be CJ for LHC Bar + President cannot overrule two-third majority: LHC ruling + President's election by parliament 'necessary' + 'Musharraf cannot dissolve assembly' + Constitutional crisis to be over only after Musharraf exit: Asif + NWFP announces enforcement of Shariat + Punjab govt under fire in PA: Poor law and order + Opposition slams NA session's adjournment + LFO undermines parliament: PPP + Polls not held under LFO, says SCBA + Opposition reaffirms stand on LFO issue + Govt, opposition still poles apart + First formal NA session yet to take place + Amended constitution 'acceptable' to MQM + PML-N for debate on Hamood report in NA + Wasim named PML-Q Senate leader + Two systems pulling in different directions: New govt set-up + Sanaullah staged a 'drama' + Police refuse to file MPA's case + Major Adil Qudoos shifted to Rawalpindi + Qudoos' bail plea rejected + ATC transfers Qudoos' case + Another Al Qaeda man held in Lahore + ATC formally starts Khwajas trial + Nusrat Bhutto's condition serious + Minister unaware of govt deal with Bugti + Noor shifted to undisclosed location + Councillor files suit against marriage + Seven-year RI to be awarded for Vani + Hearing of Dr Qadeer's plea put off: IBS case + Pakistan deplores military action + US embassy, consulates closed --------------------------------- BUSINESS & ECONOMY + IMF asks govt to stop meddling: Power tariff + Aid to help win 'war on terror', says Powell + KSE-100 index crosses 2,600-point barrier + Index falls 20 points as follow-up support turns shy + Rebound adds Rs18bn to market capitalization --------------------------------------- EDITORIALS & FEATURES + Tyranny Ardeshir Cowasjee + When words run out Ayaz Amir + 'No LFO, No!' Irfan Husain + Iraq: It's about power, not democracy Eric S. Margolis + Blair's hypocrisy Eric S. Margolis ----------- SPORTS + Angry Waqar blasts selection committee + Wasim, Waqar, Shoaib, Saeed shown the door + Pakistan to push ICC on Indian boycott + Ganguly inspires India crush Kenya in semifinal + Ganguly's century propels India to imposing total + India shatter New Zealand's World Cup dreams + Sri Lanka overwhelm Zimbabwe to seal semifinal spot

Kaleem Saadat appointed air chief
Staff Reporter 

ISLAMABAD, March 19: Air Marshal Kaleem Saadat has been appointed 
chief of Air Staff with immediate effect, says an ISPR statement. 
He has also been promoted to the rank of air chief marshal.

The chief of Air Staff called on President Gen Pervez Musharraf at 
the Aiwan-i-Sadar after his appointment.

The president congratulated Air Chief Marshal Kaleem Saadat on his 
appointment as Chief of Air Staff and wished him success in his new 

The chief of Air Staff thanked the president and said he would 
strive to live up to the trust reposed in him.

Justice Munir to be CJ for LHC Bar
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, March 19: The Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) 
announced that it would now be considering Supreme Court's Justice 
Munir A. Sheikh the chief justice of Pakistan rather than Justice 
Sheikh Riaz Ahmad, whose tenure in the office "ended on March 8".

LHCBA president Hafiz Abdul Rehman Ansari and other office-bearers 
told a press conference at the close of a 10-day anti-LFO camp that 
Justice Sheikh Riaz Ahmad was "no more the chief justice of 
Pakistan" after reaching the age of retirement on March 8.

They regretted that Justice Riaz did not quit his office and 
accepted the three-year extension of his service under the LFO. He 
said that since Justice Munir was the senior-most SC judge after 
Justice Riaz, the LHCBA would recognise him as the new chief 
justice in the light of SC's judgment on March 20, 1996.

The LHCBA set March 22 as the deadline for all the judges of SC and 
high courts reaching the age of 65 and 62 respectively to vacate 
their offices. Hafiz Ansari termed the three-year extension of the 
service of judges as a "conspiracy" and urged the superior court 
judges to counter it and refuse to accept it.

Mr Ansari criticised the statement of Senate chairman on the LFO 
which, he said, would not become part of the 1973 Constitution 
without being approved by a two-third majority of the Parliament.

He appreciated the efforts of lawyers for holding a successful 
anti-LFO camp and hoped that they would continue their struggle 
till the abrogation of LFO.

He further announced that a seminar would be held on the LFO on 
March 26 and former chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah, Qazi Hussain 
Ahmad, Nawabzada Nasarullah Khan, and Makhdoom Javed Hashmi invited 
to it.

President cannot overrule two-third majority: LHC ruling
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, March 18: The Lahore High Court (LHC) ruled that under the 
1973 Constitution, the president was bound to sign every bill 
passed by a two-third majority of the Parliament.

Justice Tassadaq Hussain Jilani, senior member of the division 
bench, while hearing Pakistan Lawyers Forum's intra-court appeal 
against the LFO, refuted the petitioner's argument that President 
Pervez Musharraf had the authority to reject a bill of the 
Parliament that disapproved of his presidency and the LFO.

The court observed that the president could only send a bill back 
to the Parliament for review. The bill would become a law even if 
he refused to sign it for the second time.

The court further observed that former president Ziaul Haq had 
signed the eighth amendment bill following its approval by a two-
third majority of the Parliament, and this precedent could not be 
ignored while considering the hypothetical situation cited by the 

Justice Jilani observed that the SC judgment in Zafar Shah case was 
the only time in the history of the country when the court set 
parameters for a military ruler by giving him a three-year 
timeframe, the authority to amend the Constitution and a roadmap 
for restoration of democracy.

The court further observed that the only valid question in the 
appeal was whether the parameters set by the SC in Zafar Ali Shah 
case had been violated by the former military regime.

With regard to legality of the referendum order, the court ruled 
that it had become part of the 1973 Constitution since the matter 
was examined by the Supreme Court and no objection raised. "All we 
have to see is the impact of the referendum order as part of the 
Constitution," observed Justice Jilani.

According to the court, the constitutional precedent for the 
referendum order was the Parliament approving Ziaul Haq as the 
president through Eighth Amendment to the 1973 Constitution after 
he had assumed the office through a referendum in 1985. Gen Pervez 
Musharraf claims to be the president for the next five years since 
the referendum order has been made part of the Constitution, the 
court observed.

It also cited the observation of SC on the referendum order that 
"this matter would be decided by an appropriate forum at an 
appropriate time" and sought explanation of the term "appropriate 
forum" from petitioner's counsel A.K Dogar. The counsel submitted 
that by an appropriate forum, the SC meant any court having the 
jurisdiction to enforce the Constitution.

The court pointed out that Article 41(6) of the Constitution 
clearly laid down that "election of the president could not be 
called into question", and the petitioner could not challenge the 
validity of the referendum order.

The petitioner, however, disagreed with this observation saying 
that this provision was applicable to an elected president and not 
to the one assuming the office through a referendum. He elaborated 
his point by arguing that the term "election" stood for two or more 
candidates vying for an office while in the present case, one 
person had become president without any competition.

He submitted that the SC had not validated the military takeover of 
October 1999 but only the actions that would be taken in line with 
the 1973 Constitution within a three-year timeframe. The SC never 
gave him the authority to install himself as the president of the 
country or amend the Constitution after Oct 12, 2002, through the 
LFO, claimed the counsel.

He alleged that President Musharraf was "withholding" power and not 
transferring it under the SC directions after the three-year 

Mr Dogar, while arguing the appeal on behalf of the PLF, submitted 
that the Parliament could not approve a non-elected person as the 
president and contravene Article 2-A of the 1973 Constitution. It 
could not permit an individual to amend the constitution either, 
claimed the counsel.

The court pointed out that there was a contradiction in his 
arguments since he had argued the other day that those provisions 
of the LFO that were passed for the good of the general public 
should be considered as valid.

The petitioner stood by his argument. He further submitted that a 
parliament did not have any constitutional identity without an 
elected president and would remain incomplete.

He submitted that the High Treason Punishment Act 1973 had 
prescribed death penalty or life imprisonment for anyone subverting 
the Constitution after March 23, 1956. The constitution of a 
country is the will of its people and cannot be amended by an 
individual, the petitioner concluded.

Deputy Attorney General Sher Zaman Khan informed the court that 
Attorney General Makhdoom Ali Khan would like to argue the case on 
behalf of the State, whereupon the hearing was adjourned until 
March 26.

President's election by parliament 'necessary'
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, March 17: Election of the president was necessary within 30 
days after Senate polls, Advocate A.K. Dogar argued before a 
division bench of the Lahore High Court.

He appeared for the Pakistan Lawyers Forum before Justices Tassadaq 
Husain Jilani and Raja Muhammad Sabir in an intra-court appeal, 
challenging dismissal of a petition against the Legal Framework 

He submitted that election of president by parliament was a 
constitutional requirement. The 1973 Constitution recognized only 
that person as the president of the country who had been elected by 
parliament. The sitting president did not fulfil this criteria.

He criticized the stance of a political party that it would accept 
Gen Musharraf as country's president if he relinquishes one of the 
two offices currently held by him.

He contended that the Supreme Court had given three-year to Gen 
Musharraf to transfer power to an elected government.

Advocate Dogar said Article 41 (7) of the LFO empowers Gen Pervez 
Musharraf to remain the chief executive as long as he desires. It 
also empowers him to be the president of the country for five year 
at his own will.

He argued that this provision had exposed the mala fide intentions 
of President Musharraf who had still not yet transferred the power 
to a "representative government".

The LFO was a mean to provide continuity to former military regime, 
he alleged.

Through the LFO, the military regime tried to amend the 1973 
Constitution without any legal authority and public mandate.

Justice Jilani observed that if this argument was to be assumed 
correct, the provision increasing the total number of National 
Assembly's seats could not be termed as a valid one. The provision 
had been practically exercised during the October last general 
elections without being approved by a parliament.

The counsel submitted that the criteria for judging the validity of 
LFO provisions would be "the benefit of general public and 
adherence to the 1973 Constitution".

The provision referred by the court had proved to be beneficial to 
the general public, it would be considered valid one and all those 
aimed at fortifying the rule of 'an usurper' were to be treated as 
illegitimate and invalid.

About the role of the judiciary in exercising powers under the 
Doctrine of Necessity, the counsel submitted that to end up the 
chaos in the aftermath of October 1999, the then judges could have 
either vacated their offices in order to uphold and preserve the 
sanctity of the Constitution or could have broken their oath to 
provide a legal cover to the military intervention.

He alleged that the former military regime had misused the powers 
granted by the SC under the Doctrine of Necessity.

'Musharraf cannot dissolve assembly'
Staff Correspondent

SANGHAR, March 15: Jamaat-i-Islami Amir Qazi Hussain Ahmad has said 
Gen Pervez Musharraf has no power to dissolve the assembly and his 
party will not accept a uniformed president.

He said this while talking to newsmen after inaugurating the 
Jamiat-ul-Mohsinat Trust Academy in Sinjhoro on Saturday.

MNAs Abdul Sattar Afghani, Mohammad Hussain Mahnati, Dr Mairajul 
Huda, Sindh JI Amir Asadullah Bhutto and many other Muttahida 
Majlis-i-Amal leaders were present on the occasion.

Mr Ahmad stressed the need for female education as he said 
educating a girl was educating the whole family.

About a possible attack on Iraq, Mr Bhutto said the US had no right 
to attack any country and topple its government.

He said the US was attacking Iraq to take control of its oil 
resources. He feared the US might attack Iran, Saudi Arabia and 
Pakistan after Iraq.

Constitutional crisis to be over only after Musharraf exit: Asif 
Staff Reporter

RAWALPINDI, March 15: Former senator Asif Ali Zardari said fresh 
elections after the exit of General Musharraf would rid the country 
of the constitutional crisis created due to inclusion of the Legal 
Framework Order (LFO) into the 1973 Constitution.

Talking to reporters at the Accountability Court, the former 
senator predicted that the present assembly would be sent packing 
in a very short period. However, he was happy that after the 
National Assembly, the issue of Legal Framework Order was also 
raised in the Senate and the members had agitated against inclusion 
of the controversial amendments in the 1973 Constitution.

The party's Secretary General Raja Pervez Ashraf, Qazi Sultan 
Mahmood, Sardar Khalid and Ismail Dehri accompanied Mr Zardari.

Talking about the performance of the government, he said it was not 
running efficiently due to wrong suggestions of the advisers. 

Printing money and the claims of $10 billion foreign reserves won't 
stabilise the economy, he added.

He said the incident of September 11 had changed the shape of the 
world equally affecting Pakistan. "Had the events of September 11 
not taken place, President Pervez Musharraf would not have been 
controlling the reigns of power," he observed.

About the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), he said the 
institution had lost its credibility and respect in the public eye, 
as it was also pursuing a political charter. 

NWFP announces enforcement of Shariat 
By Mohammed Riaz

PESHAWAR, March 21: The NWFP government has decided to enforce 
Islamic Shariat in the province by introducing Enforcement of 
Shariat Act and Provincial Accountability Act in the provincial 

Speaking at a news conference, the NWFP Chief Minister Akram Khan 
Durrani unveiled the salient features of the Islamic Shariat 

He said that Islamic Shariat would be the supreme law in the 
province, and Quran and Sunnah would be the sources of guidance for 
future legislation in the NWFP.

All the provincial laws would be brought in conformity with the 
Islamic Shariat, he said.

"All laws falling within the ambit of the provincial assembly will 
be made compatible with the Shariat. And all courts will be free to 
interpret the Shariat laws," he added.

After the approval of the Shariat Act, he said, the government 
would formulate various sets of laws to run the affairs of the 
economy, judiciary, education and media in the light of Islamic 

Education, up to middle, has been made compulsory, he declared. 
Health budget would be enhanced and more teaching hospitals would 
be built. Life-saving drugs would be provided to patients free of 

The wedding under duress, tradition of Swaray, honour-killing and 
selling of women would invite punishment. The honour-killing would 
be treated as wilful murder, he added.

Punitive action would be taken if women were deprived of hereditary 

The minorities would be free to preach, promote and perform their 
religious rituals like Muslims. All minorities would enjoy the same 
civic, political, economic and other rights guaranteed to the 
Muslim majority, he said, adding that their places of worship will 
be protected at all costs.

He hoped that high-ranking officials would make themselves punctual 
in offering prayers during the working hours at their offices.

He asked the traders associations to close their businesses during 
the prayer time. 

Punjab govt under fire in PA: Poor law and order
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, March 21: The Punjab government came under severe criticism 
in the provincial legislature for its failure to maintain law and 

Suspending the rules to set aside the Question-Hour to devote the 
whole day to the law and order situation, members from the 
opposition and treasury benches expressed their views on the 
subject, with most of the speakers were of the view that the 
situation in the Punjab was of 'no law but more order.'

The session was requisitioned by the opposition when PML(N) leader 
from Faisalabad Rana Sanaullah Khan, who is also deputy opposition 
leader in the provincial legislature, was picked up allegedly by 
some intelligence operatives who shaved off his head, eyebrows and 
bristle moustache and also caused some two dozen blade injuries on 
various parts of the body.

Rana, a lawyer by profession, came to the house and was warmly 
received by his opposition colleagues outside the assembly 
chambers. He was garlanded and also offered a turban.

Immediately after recitation of the Holy Quran, PPP leader Rana 
Aftab Ahmed Khan proposed suspension of the rules to discuss the 
law and order situation in the province, specially the traumatic 
experience of Rana Sanaullah Khan. Law Minister Rana Basharat did 
not oppose and thus started the debate.

Opposition leader Qasim Zia opened the debate by recalling how his 
PML(N) colleague was picked up and tortured. The law and order, he 
said, was something non-existent in the Punjab and thus the whole 
debate would be an exercise in futility.

He said the culture adopted by the leadership at the centre 
trickled down to provinces and in a country where there was little 
regard for the Constitution, law and order would be an extinct 

He said the crime in the Punjab was highest compared to any other 
federating unit. The gravity of the situation could be gauged by 
the fact that neither people belonging to the treasury benches nor 
to the opposition were safe. He recalled how a minister was 
deprived of his car and the other's residence was fired upon.

Rana Sanaullah Khan likened himself to the people of Iraq who have 
been subjected to US aggression.

There was a time, he said, when rulers used to throw their 
opponents before beasts. But now those in power got their 
adversaries beastly treated by 'human beings'. He handed over to 
speaker Afzal Sahi his medico-legal report and the cotton pads with 
which he was blindfolded after being picked up.

Rana made it clear that such maltreatment would not stop him from 
telling the truth. He said he stood by what he had said of the 
Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report or appointments of military 
officials in the TEVTA.

"We respect the army as an institution, as a defender of the 
country. But, we condemn army's role in politics. I can't respect 
those who have inflicted injuries on my body".

Criticizing the maltreatment he had to face, he said the 
perpetrators would have done better if they had dared former Indian 
General Arora.

Rana Sanullah warned the rulers that such tactics would never help 
them. He recalled that the late Shah of Iran had used SAVAK to 
suppress his opponents. But then came a time when the same 
institution could not help him get place for his grave in the 

He said Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi had phoned him after 
the incident and gave an impression that his government was not 
involved in the incident.

He said the government should inquire as to who had been getting 
tapes of the assembly proceedings and seeking legal advice on 
whether some case could be instituted against him (Rana) on that 

"If the home secretary is part of the Punjab government, then the 
government can't dissociate itself. But if he is a separate entity, 
then it can", he said, implying that the home secretary was 
responsible for whatever had happened with him.

He criticized adviser on human rights for his assertion that the 
PML(N) leader had not been tortured. He said though the adviser was 
also Rana by caste, he deserved little respect.

He said it was for the government to expose the accused responsible 
for the incident.

PPP leader Rana Aftab Ahmed Khan said utterances in the assembly 
hall could not be made basis for action against any member.

He was critical of the deteriorating law and order situation in the 
province. He said still more deplorable was the fact that neither 
the home secretary not the police inspector-general was present in 
the house to listen the debate. He said it was not clear as to who 
was running the province, the governor, the national security 
council, the home secretary or somebody else. 

PML(Q) leader Sardar Hasan Akhtar Mokal said the situation Rana 
Sanaullah Khan had to face could have been averted if the evil had 
been nipped in the bud. He recalled how Dalai Camp was set up in 
the late Bhutto period and how leaders like Malik Muhammad Qasim 
and Yasin Khan Wattoo were tortured.

"If no remedial step had been taken then, it's time to take the 
initiative now", he said, underlining the need for measures to 
protect the political opponents. He called for an inquiry into the 
incident of Rana sanaullah Khan.

PPP's Raja Riaz said democratic traditions demanded that the chief 
minister and the home minister should step down forthwith after the 
tragedy the deputy opposition leader had been through. He said he 
believed that Rana Sanullah Khan would not get justice from the 
government and thus he would like to entrust the matter to Allah's 
court. Saying this, he started reciting "Azan" (call for prayer) in 
the house.

One member proposed that Raja Riaz should be deseated for he did 
not remember "Azan". Or else, he said, he should be asked to sit 
with minority legislators.

MMA's Ehanullah Waqas, Arshad Baggoo, Malik Ahad, Ms Ferzana Raja, 
Khizer Hayat Virk, Abdur Razzaq, Malik Asghar, Brig (retd) Javed 
Asghar, Saba Sadiq, Ms Naseem Lodhi, Dr Ferzana, Sheikh Amjad Aziz, 
Sibghatullah, Rana Mashshood, Faiz Ahmed Moakal, Uzma Bukhari, 
Saeed Akbar Niwani, Asghar Ali Gujjar, Javed Aslam, Sheikh Ijaz 
Ahmed, Dr Javed, Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor, Nazar Husain Gondal, Dr 
Waseem Akhtar and Raja Shafqat Abbasi were among the speakers.

Opposition slams NA session's adjournment
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, March 20: Opposition leaders accused the government of 
shirking its fraternal obligation of supporting Iraq by proroguing 
the National Assembly.

Speaking at a press conference, parliamentary leader of Pakistan 
Muslim League (Nawaz), Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, Naveed Qamar of 
People's Party Parliamentarians and other leaders said the 
government was supporting the United Stated but it did not have the 
courage to announce it.

They said National Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain had 
violated the Constitution by proroguing the session on Wednesday 
instead of adjourning it till the next day.

Javed Hashmi said the opposition wanted to get a resolution passed 
on the Iraq issue in Wednesday's session but the proceedings were 
abruptly stopped by the speaker.

He said leaders of the ruling coalition, including Abdus Sattar 
Lalika, had assured the apposition that a unanimous resolution 
would be passed. However, on directive from somewhere, the session 
was prorogued, he said.

"If the quorum was incomplete, the speaker could have adjourned the 
session, but the proroguing was pre-planned," he alleged.

Naveed Qamar said the opposition had filed a requisition for 
convening the special National Assembly session to discuss the Iraq 
issue. However, the treasury benches and the speaker were not 
serious in passing a unanimous resolution to support the brotherly 
country, he said.

He said the government seemed to be scared of opposing the assault 
of the US-led forces on Iraq. He said the speaker had violated 
Article 55 of the Constitution by proroguing the session.

Former minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said: "The government had 
assured the opposition that the session would continue till Friday, 
but it was suddenly prorogued without any solid reason."

He said Saudi Arabia had been providing 100,000 barrels of crude 
oil to the country free of cost every day for the last year, 
therefore the increase in prices of petrol was unjustified.

Former finance minister Ishaq Dar said the price of petrol would 
shoot up if the war prolonged.

He said the Alliance or Restoration of Democracy had demanded that 
surcharge on petrol should not be raised if its price went up.

He said the opposition had submitted a requisition for session of 
the Senate by March 28.

LFO undermines parliament: PPP
Staff Correspondent

HYDERABAD, March 20: Sindh People's Party Parliamentarians chief 
Nisar Ahmed Khuhro has said that the Legal Framework Order has 
undermined supremacy of the parliament.

Mr Khuhro accused the government of deceiving the parliamentarians 
by clandestinely incorporating the LFO in the Constitution.

He said that if the package of the constitutional amendments was to 
be made a part of the Constitution, it should have been brought 
before the parliament for a discussion.

He said that Illahi Bux Soomro, Pervez Ellahi and Jalal Shah had 
deceived the members of the assemblies when they announced as the 
speakers of the national and the provincial assemblies that oath 
was being taken in accordance with the Constitution that stood 
before Oct 12, 1999.

He said: "When the assemblies were formed on the basis of a fraud 
how can they restore real democracy in the country."

Referring to the deadlock between treasury and combined opposition 
benches over the LFO in the National Assembly, he said that 
parliamentarians always found solution of deadlock provided the 
rulers did not make it point of their prestige.

He said that if sanctity of parliament was upheld then democracy 
would automatically flourish in the country.

He agreed with a questioner that present level of friendship with 
the USA and the arrests of Al Qaeda activists from the country 
could prove to be counter productive.

About violation of party discipline by some MPAs in Senate 
elections in Sindh, he said that the names mentioned in the press 
in this regard were speculations but the party was investigating 
the issue.

He said that the PPP had formed committees which would visit 
districts of Sindh to investigate into shortcomings of the party at 
district level.

He said that the committee, comprising Maula Bux Chandio, Dr Ayub 
Sheikh and Shah Mohammad Shah, would begin its visits with going to 
Thatta district.

He said that Hyderabad district president of the party, Abdul 
Sattar Bachani, had been replaced with Syed Muhsin Shah Bukhari.

He said that the action was taken in view of violation of party 
discipline with regard to distribution of tickets to party 

Polls not held under LFO, says SCBA
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, March 19: Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President 
Hamid Khan said that parliament had been formed by virtue of 
Supreme Court judgment and elections were held under the Conduct of 
General Elections Order and not the Legal Framework Order.

He said at a press conference that a wrong impression was being 
created that if the LFO was not accepted, the return to civilian 
rule would be reversed.

The LFO was a package of constitutional amendments which a military 
ruler introduced to strengthen his position against parliament and 
the prime minister and the elections were not held under it, he 

The LFO, he said, was promulgated on Nov 15, 2002, when the 
elections had been held. Hamid Khan said revival of the 
Constitution and holding of election was mandatory under the 
Supreme Court judgment.

He said the lawyers were struggling for the restoration of the 
Constitution as it was before Oct 12, 1999, and they believed that 
the Supreme Court had no authority to vest legislative powers in 
the military ruler.

He said the so-called legislative power was given to the military 
ruler by the Supreme Court when it had "ceased to be an independent 

He said independent judges had left the institution as they refused 
to swear allegiance to the military ruler's decrees.

The SCBA president said if the judges returned the "dubious gift" 
of three years extension in their retirement age, the bar would 
reconsider its decision of not raising any matter of constitutional 
importance before the courts. He said if the extension was not 
accepted, the bar would consider it a step towards the revival of 
independence of the judiciary.

The Supreme Court's short order on the LFO petition was different 
from the detailed Judgment released after a month, he said.

In the short order, the SCBA president said, the court did not give 
its view about the consequences of the referendum, but when the 
detailed judgment was released, it observed that holding of the 
referendum was a recognized democratic exercise. The detailed order 
negated the short order passed by the same bench, he claimed.

He said the bar would soon release a white paper about the 

He expressed his hope that time would come when those who abrogated 
the Constitution and those who connived with them would be tried 
for treason.

Opposition reaffirms stand on LFO issue
By Nasir Iqbal

ISLAMABAD, March 18: Opposition members raised the LFO issue again 
in the National Assembly, making it clear that it had not 
compromised its stand on the package of controversial 
constitutional amendments.

One by one the opposition leaders invited the attention of Speaker 
Chaudhry Amir Hussain to the Legal Framework Order on points of 
order but they did so by showing restraint instead of resorting to 
protest or creating pandemonium.

However, the house witnessed a brief uproar when Wasi Zafar of the 
PML-Q, raising the issue of killing of six Pakistanis in Macedonia, 
accused the opposition members of staging a tamasha in the house. 
This agitated the opposition but the speaker intervened to control 
the situation.

Jamaat-i-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad was the first to say in 
unequivocal terms that the opposition's stand on the LFO was 
unchanged. He said the way the last session was prorogued demanded 
patience from the treasury benches.

Liaquat Baloch, an MMA member, said the opposition's stand on the 
LFO was based on Articles 238 and 239 according to which parliament 
alone can accept or reject any constitutional amendment and that 
too with a two-thirds majority.

He reiterated the joint opposition's stand that the LFO was 
unconstitutional and that opposition to it was still there.

Mr Baloch hoped that negotiations on the LFO between the government 
and the opposition would continue so that an agreement could be 
reached. If the LFO was imposed without such an agreement then 
opposition reserved the right to resume its agitation, he warned.

Naveed Qamar of the PPP alleged that the government was, in fact, 
buying time. He said unless the LFO was discussed threadbare by the 
house everything else would be meaningless. Nothing was more 
important than the sovereignty of the house, he emphasized.

Mr Qamar pointed out that the last session was adjourned with an 
assurance that the government would arrange a dialogue with the 
opposition to find a solution to the deadlock and added that even a 
steering committee had been formed for the purpose to which the 
opposition members had given their proposals.

He said the debate on Iraq crisis reflected large-heartedness on 
the part of the opposition which had allowed the discussion. 
However, he pointed out, this should not be considered as a 
weakness of the opposition which had reservations on the 
fundamentals of the LFO.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the parliamentary leader of the PML-N, 
said the opposition wanted to see smooth proceedings in the house 
under a policy of 'forgive and forget'. Otherwise, he said, the way 
the politicians were denounced and a vilification campaign had been 
launched during the last three years was shameful. "We are 
cooperating only to give democracy a chance and to let it 

He said whatever had been done during the last three years under 
the Provisional Constitutional Order should not be repeated under 
the LFO.

He said the purpose of parliament and the civilian cabinet was to 
restore democracy in its true spirit but deplored that right from 
cricket to hockey to Wapda and the presidency, army generals were 
running the affairs.

He offered that the opposition would go 10 steps ahead if the 
government took one step forward to restore real democracy and to 
serve people.

Mahmood Khan Achakzai alleged that army generals had become fond of 
enjoying the power. However, he said, politicians would not let 
this happen and added that the 1973 Constitution suggested how 
amendments were brought to it.

The speaker thanked the members for letting the proceedings to go 
on smoothly and said both opposition and treasury benches should 
take the dialogue on the LFO seriously.

Govt, opposition still poles apart
By Raja Asghar 

ISLAMABAD, March 17: The government and opposition parties seemed 
still poles apart over the controversial presidential powers ahead 
of a special National Assembly session convened for Tuesday mainly 
to focus on the issue.

Political sources said they could not rule out another noisy scenes 
in the session called at the opposition's request as no formal 
talks between the two sides had yet been held to narrow down 
differences over Legal Framework Order (LFO).

But a silver lining appeared on the horizon as one major opposition 
party said it had discussed with the PML-Q the possibility of 
moving a joint resolution in the house over the Iraqi crisis.

The opposition had requisitioned the special assembly session to 
discuss the LFO and foreign policy after the president prorogued 
the house indefinitely last week following three successive noisy 

A source in the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal reported a contact between 
the PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and the MMA 
parliamentary leader Qazi Hussain Ahmed. But other opposition 
sources said no formal talks on LFO had yet been held between the 
ruling coalition and the combined opposition.

"There has been no progress," PPP secretary-general Raja Pervez 
Ashraf, said about PML-Q's promises to resume dialogue with the 

He told Dawn that there had been some formal government contact 
with the opposition over the issue since then.

Asked if the opposition parties would hold a similar protest as 
last week when the house meets at 5:00pm on Tuesday, he said: "On 
LFO, our stand remains the same."

While adjourning the assembly on March 10, speaker Chaudhry Amir 
Hussain had said the move was aimed to give more time to the ruling 
and opposition parties to iron out their differences.

Chaudhry Shujaat went to Jamaat-i-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed's 
residence on Sunday and had a meeting with him over the LFO and 
Iraqi situation, a JI spokesman, Shahid Shamsi, said. 

He said the two men discussed the possibility of formulating a 
joint government-opposition resolution on Iraq. He said a final MMA 
stance over the matter would be evolved at an alliance 
parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday morning.

The PPP and PML-N have also called meetings of their parliamentary 
parties on Tuesday before the start of the assembly session.

Mr Shamsi said the JI chief had urged the PML-Q leader to impress 
upon President Musharraf to accept the opposition demand to seek 
parliament's approval for the LFO, which among other things 
empowers him to remain president as well as army chief for five 
more years, dissolve parliament and sack prime ministers.

"If they (ruling coalition) want to extricate the country from the 
present crisis and secure its future, they are bound to support the 
opposition demand for the restoration of the (un- amended) 1973 
Constitution," a PML-N spokesman, Mohammad Siddique-ul-Farooq, 

The speaker responded quickly to the opposition requisition in 
summoning Tuesday's session in a move that appeared to save Mr 
Jamali from an embarrassment of anti-LFO protests at home while he 
will be visiting China and the United States next week.

The opposition parties had sent the requisition on Wednesday for a 
fresh session, only two days after March 10 prorogation, and the 
speaker could delay the session until March 26, when Mr Jamali - 
after the proposed three-day visit to China - is due to leave for 
the United States where he is scheduled to meet President George W. 
Bush on March 28.

First formal NA session yet to take place
By Rafaqat Ali

ISLAMABAD, March 17: The first formal session of the National 
Assembly has not "commenced" yet and will commence only with the 
address of president to the joint session of parliament as required 
under Article 56(3) of the Constitution.

Official sources told Dawn that the sessions held for oath taking, 
elections of speaker and leader of the house as well as those 
"requisitioned" by the opposition were "technical". The 
parliamentary year would commence with the address of President 
General Pervez Musharraf to the joint session of parliament, the 
source said.

Opposition members have termed the delay in the presidential 
address a "violation of the constitution". They said President 
Musharraf had shown scant respect for parliament which he himself 
had "crafted."

Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, a PPP MNA, said the president had showed 
total disregard and disrespect for parliament. "This is a very 
serious lapse, and I hope that parliamentarians are prepared to 
take a serious view of this matter, because it amounts to contempt 
of parliament."

The official source, requesting anonymity, said the joint session 
would only be possible in April when the prime minister returned 
from the United States.

Article 56(3) reads: "At the commencement of the first session 
after each general election to the National Assembly and the 
commencement of the first session of each year the President shall 
address both House assembled together and inform the Majlise Shora 
(Parliament), of the causes of its summon."

Government legal experts are of the view that even if the president 
does not address the session, no consequences will flow as Article 
56 provides no consequence in case the requirement under the 
provision is not fulfilled. They contend that Article 56(3) is not 
"mandatory" but "directory" in nature.

The address to the joint session by President Musharraf is expected 
to be a noisy affair, as opposition parties are not ready to accept 
him as president on the basis of what they call a controversial 

Opposition parties are insisting that Gen Musharraf should lay down 
the uniform and become president through the constitutional 

Mr Ahsan said any view that a requisitioned session or the earlier 
sittings of the National Assembly were not formal sessions would 
amount to a denial of these working days, in the calender of either 
house which mandates a minimum number of sittings in a 
parliamentary year, namely, 130 days for NA and 90 days for the 

Amended constitution 'acceptable' to MQM
By Ashraf Mumtaz

LAHORE, March 17: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad says the 
Muttahida Qaumi Movement has put "in abeyance" its demand for a new 
Constitution replacing the 1973's after the amendments made by 
President Musharraf to reform it.

The 1973 Constitution, as amended by President Pervez Musharraf, 
must be adhered to. However, a dialogue should be held to evolve 
national consensus on controversial issues, he said while talking 
to a group of reporters.

Dr Ibad, said the Muttahida's viewpoint on the 1940 Resolution had 
been misinterpreted by various political circles.

According to him, the MQM had sought provincial autonomy according 
to the "spirit" of the said resolution, not the very enforcement of 
the resolution passed before the emergence of the Islamic republic 
on the global map.

Rejecting suggestions to the contrary, the governor said the form 
of government provided in the Constitution, even after being 
amended through the LFO, was parliamentary. He said the president 
had introduced various changes as he deemed it fit and the system 
must be allowed to continue. 

In response to a question, he said all federating units should hold 
talks with the federal government on the need for more reservoirs 
to meet water requirements of all provinces. He said the situation 
should be analysed properly and decisions taken according to the 
available resources. He was asked about the justification for Sindh 
Assembly's resolution against the Greater Thal Canal project the 
Punjab government wants to set up to meet its requirements, and its 
consistent aversion to the Kalabagh dam the Punjab thinks will 
benefit all federating units.

Dr Ishratul Ibad said all provinces faced water shortages and thus 
more resources should be explored.

Replying to a question, the governor said the situation in Sindh 
was very complex but he and the chief minister were handling it 
through mutual cooperation. The law and order situation, he said, 
had improved remarkably as a result of the steps taken by the new 

He said provinces had reservations about the system of district 
governments and Sindh had given its proposals to improve their 
working. In response to a question, he said Mr Altaf Husain would 
himself decide on when he should return to the country. However, he 
said in his opinion he should come back.

PML-N for debate on Hamood report in NA
Staff Correspondent

FAISALABAD, March 15: PML-N acting president Makhdoom Javed Hashmi 
has demanded that complete Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report should 
be presented before the National Assembly so that the elements 
responsible for dismemberment of Pakistan could be exposed.

Speaking at a press conference here at the DHQ Hospital after 
visiting deputy opposition leader of the Punjab Assembly Rana 
Sanaullah Khan, Mr Hashmi said national and foreign newspapers had 
already published the classified portions of the report.

The rulers targeted Mr Khan for mentioning some of its portion 
which was undoubtedly an act of state terrorism, he added.

The Makhdoom criticized the role of ISI in the formation of 
governments and policies and termed it a harmful act for the 
country. He claimed that the PML-N would close political wing of 
the ISI after coming into power and end their intervention in 
policy making.

Criticizing the foreign policy, especially stand on Iraq issue, he 
said Pakistan should cast its vote in the UN Security Council 
against the US.

About the Legal Framework Order, he said a committee comprising 
opposition leaders in the National Assembly had been formed for 
holding dialogues with the government. But, it was unfortunate that 
the rulers were using delaying tactics which could create problems 
for them, he added.

The PML-N acting chief vowed to continue struggle for the 
restoration of 1973 Constitution and revival of true democracy in 
the country.

ISHAQ DAR: Former federal minister Ishaq Dar has said a document is 
being prepared on violation of human rights by the Gen Pervez 
Musharraf regime which will be sent to the Commonwealth and 
European Union countries, the United Nations and human rights 

Speaking at a press conference here on Saturday, the PML-N central 
leader said the country was being run by agencies. The present 
handpicked civilian set up was a stooge of the establishment, he 

Wasim named PML-Q Senate leader
By Nasir Iqbal

ISLAMABAD, March 15: The Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-i-Azam) 
nominated veteran parliamentarian Wasim Sajjad leader of the house 
in the Senate.

An official announcement of Mr Sajjad's appointment came after a 
meeting between Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali, PML-Q 
President and parliamentary party leader in the National Assembly 
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Mr Sajjad at the PM's House on 

The meeting also discussed the political situation, the recent 
Senate elections, the Iraqi crisis and other party matters.

An official source told Dawn that the meeting discussed a strategy 
for the upcoming session of the National Assembly called for 
Tuesday on the requisition of the opposition.

The appointment of parliamentary secretaries in the National 
Assembly was also considered, when the prime minister asked for a 
meeting of the central working committee on March 20 when the 
appointments will be finalized.

Mr Wasim Sajjad was law minister during the Junejo government and 
was first elected as Chairman of the Senate when Mr Ghulam Ishaq 
Khan became president after the death of Gen Ziaul Haq.

Mr Sajjad remained chairman for more than a decade till the Senate 
as well as the National Assembly were dismissed by Gen Pervez 
Musharraf on Oct 12, 1999.

The tradition of appointing a leader of the house in the Senate was 
introduced by Mr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto when he had appointed Rao 
Abdus Sattar to this position in 1973. At that time the leader of 
the opposition in the Senate was Mohammad Hashim Gilzai.

Two systems pulling in different directions: New govt set-up
By Habib Khan Ghori

KARACHI, March 15: The new system of local government is under 
attack from legislators and ministers who see no role for 
themselves in development projects to be executed in their 
respective constituencies.

Since the revival of democracy, polarization is brewing up between 
the district government and legislators.

Although the Sindh local government minister has denied any rift 
between the Sindh and the local governments, he said such a 
situation had been created by the vested interest. However, the 
Sindh cabinet, taking a clue from the on-going controversy between 
the provincial authorities and the district government, has set up 
a task force to receive proposals from different departments, 
ministers and legislators for sending them to the National 
Reconstruction Bureau for making necessary amendments to the SLGO.

Under the devolution plan, the role of the provincial government 
was of a facilitator to the district government in discharging its 

In Sindh, out of 23 departments, 12 have been devolved to the 
district government, leaving only 11 departments with the province.

In addition to this, the corresponding umbrella departments would 
also be at the provincial level to ensure a chain of command, 
coordination and policy direction. However, with the announcement 
that each member of the provincial assembly will be given Rs 5 
million for local development, the district governments are 
considering it a curtailment of their power, as in the SLGO the 
role of legislators was only to indulge in policy issues.

Likewise, transfer/posting in the police and the local government, 
without taking the City Nazim into confidence, has created an 
atmosphere of mistrust between the two systems.

Taking notice of a row between the provincial and district 
governments over sharing of power, Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah 
Khan Jamali defended the devolution scheme, saying there should be 
no dispute between the elected representatives and Nazims as both 
were elected to resolve the problems of the people and were 
supposed to work within their parameters.

They should sit together and work for the betterment of the system, 
and the federal government was there to provide them necessary 

In view of the obstacles in the implementation of devolution, 
particularly want of fiscal powers, non-transfer of Kutchi Abadis 
Authority, Karachi Water and Sewerage Authority, Karachi Building 
Control Authority which as per SLGO ought to be merged with the 
city government, and the new row over sharing of power between the 
provincial and the local governments, the situation calls for an 
immediate attention of the NRB to sort out the differences before 
the nascent system comes to a stand-still.

In addition, there is a need to find it out why measures were being 
taken half-heartedly even in the setting up of a public safety 
commission, and why district ombudsman office, police complaints 
authority, and citizens community boards were being ignored to 
monitor police performance and deal with corruption and serious 
complaints against federal law-enforcement agencies.

These institutions are yet to be notified while the advisory 
committees and local government commissions, formed recently, are 
yet to start functioning.

Sanaullah staged a 'drama'
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, March 16: Punjab Chief Minister's Adviser on Human Rights 
Rana Ejaz Ahmad Khan termed the torture of PML-N leader Rana 
Sanaullah a 'drama' which, he said, was staged just to defame the 

This was not a case of basic human rights violation, the adviser 
said while replying to a question at a Press conference here at the 
Civil Secretariat.

He said: "There is no need to torture Rana Sanaullah because 
neither he is an important politician nor a threat to the 

"He was not beaten up by agencies as those who are given such 
treatment do not make it public and stay home quietly," he said.

Rana Ejaz said prima facie Rana Sanaullah was not tortured. He 
himself shaved off his eye brows and moustache to malign the 
government, the adviser alleged.

He said the Musharraf government had not tortured anyone showing 
dissent during its three-year tenure. Unlike the past democratic 
governments, there was no political murder and the press was 
allowed to freely criticize government policies. Gen Musharraf's 
military regime is more democratic than any of the past democratic 
governments, he said.

Rana Ejaz said in case Rana Sanaullah had been tortured by an 
agency, it was a federal subject and the province could not 
initiate any action in this regard.

Police refuse to file MPA's case
Staff Correspondent

FAISALABAD, March 15: The local police have reportedly refused to 
register a criminal case against a major of the ISI and his 
unidentified subordinates on charge of kidnapping and torturing the 
deputy opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly, Rana Sanaullah 

Official source told this correspondent that the Kotwali police, on 
the instructions of the district police officer, termed the 
Sanaullah incident as non-cognizable.

In a complaint lodged with the district police officer, Rana 
Sanaullah said that a major of the ISI and his around a dozen armed 
subordinates intercepted his car (No FDU 59) on Circular Road at 
8:30pm on March 8.

The armed men forcibly took him to the office of the ISI, adjacent 
to PIA's Faisalabad building. His driver Abdul Majeed, secretary 
Tariq Janbaz and a number of passers-by witnessed the kidnapping.

The MPA alleged that his 'kidnappers' severely tortured him and 
brutally cut his hair after snatching Rs4,000 and a cellular phone 
from him. Later, the kidnappers threw him on the service lane of 
Sargodha Road.

Rana Sanaullah claimed that he was kidnapped and tortured to 
destabilize the campaign of the PML-N, launched against the 
misdeeds of the rulers.

Qudoos' bail plea rejected
Staff Reporter

RAWALPINDI, March 19: A judicial magistrate rejected the bail 
application of Aqeel Ahmad Abdul Qudoos, who allegedly harboured Al 
Qaeda activist Khalid Shaikh Mohammad.

The assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of Westridge police station, 
Farhat, argued on behalf of the prosecution and contended that 
police officials, including DSPs Sadar, Maqsood Khan and Rana 
Shahid Pervez and Inspector Raja Saqlain, conducted a pre-dawn raid 
after receiving information that a sectarian terrorist, Rashid, was 
hiding inside Ahmad's house.

During the raid the accused, Ahmad, came out of his house and 
started scuffling with ASI, Mohammad Hanif, tore his uniform and 
pulled out a 30-bore pistol in order to open fire at the raiding 
party. However, the police overpowered him, he said.

He pleaded before the court not to grant bail to the accused who 
had attacked the police party, possessed illegal weapons and 
explosives and harboured one of the top operatives of the 
terrorists network - Al Qaeda - and his Somali aide. He said that 
according to the report of the explosives expert, all the three 
recovered grenades were in workable conditions. However, the 
defence counsel, Sardar Ishaq Khan, Fawad Hamdani and Qausain 
Faisal, blasted the prosecution charges against their client and 
termed the accused innocent. They described the case as "baseless" 
and "fabricated."

Referring to the reports of the print and electronic media, the 
defence counsel observed that there were contradictions in the 
public and police records.

Major Adil Qudoos shifted to Rawalpindi
By Abdul Sami Paracha

KOHAT, March 20: Major Adil Qudoos, brother of Ahmad Qudoos, from 
whose house Al Qaeda leader Sheikh Ahmad was arrested, has been 
shifted from Kohat to Rawalpindi, highly-placed sources told Dawn.

Major Adil was arrested in a surprise raid on March 1 from his 
cantonment residence here for his alleged connections with Al 
Qaeda. He belongs to the 45-Signals regiment which has its 
headquarters at the Kohat Cantonment.

He was first asked to give details about Sheikh Ahmed whether the 
latter visited Kohat in recent days or last year and about 
whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and Mullah Mohammad Omar, it has 
been learnt.

Earlier, it was claimed that the major had not been arrested by the 
FBI and would not be interrogated by US agents.

A senior official of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) talking 
to Dawn said that nobody from the FBI was involved in the Kohat 
However, an FBI team was interrogating suspects in Islamabad.

He said that during a high-level coordination meeting of 
intelligence agencies held on Tuesday it had been decided to put 
army patrolling on the western border at the highest alert in the 
light of disclosures made by Sheikh Khalid Mohammad and Ahmed 

ATC transfers Qudoos' case
Staff Reporter

RAWALPINDI, March 17: An anti-terrorism court rejected the 
application of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) to the case of Aqeel 
Ahmad Abdul Qudoos, the alleged harbourer of Al Qaeda activist 
Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, and transferred the case to a lower court 
for trail.

The judge of anti-terrorism court No.2, Safdar Hussain Malik, 
rejected the application of Section 7 of the ATA, 2002, on the 
accused after the defence counsel, Sardar Ishaq, satisfied the 
court during arguments before presenting his bail application.

The court observed that other charges against the accused would 
remain. The court returned the bail plea to the defence counsel and 
observed that the case did not fall in its jurisdiction and it 
should be tried in the proper court.

The defence counsel had challenged the jurisdiction of the court 
and contended that the accused had never struck any terror or 
created a sense of fear and insecurity among the people or any 
section of the society. Nor was there any evidence against the 
accused, which could link him with any sectarian or terrorist 
activities, he said.

He contended that the accused had not used bombs, dynamites, 
explosives, inflammable substances or lethal weapons which could 
have caused deaths, injuries, damage or destruction to any person 
or place.

He maintained that although the police had claimed seizing weapons 
and grenades from the house of the accused during their raid, there 
was no evidence to show that he was involved in terrorism. The 
history of the accused was clean of any such crimes, he said.

The defence counsel submitted the bail application in the court of 
the civil judge and judicial magistrate, Iqbal Guraya, where it 
would be heard on Wednesday.

On March 1, the police and other agencies had arrested the accused 
allegedly with Khalid Shaikh and his two Somali aides from his 
Westridge residence.

Another Al Qaeda man held in Lahore
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, March 15: Officials from the FBI and Pakistan intelligence 
agencies reportedly arrested a suspected Al Qaeda member.

Sources said a raid was carried out on a house on Shahbaz Road, 
Bhagatpura, which resulted in the arrest of Yasser-al-Jazeeri, a 
Moroccan national. He was shifted to an unknown place for 

The sources said that Al-Jazeeri's few accomplices were also 
arrested from the house. However, it could not be ascertained 
whether the other arrested were Pakistani or foreigners.

The sources said that Al-Jazeeri might have been arrested on a tip 
off given by Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of Sept 
11 attack on the US, who was arrested some weeks ago from 

The PTV, however, claimed that Al-Jazeeri was an important Al Qaeda 
leader and was arrested by Pakistani law enforcement agencies.

When contacted, SSP (Operations) Aftab Cheema said that the Lahore 
police were not aware of his arrest. He said no law enforcement 
agency in the country had asked them to provide help for any such 

INTERIOR SECRETARY: Interior Secretary Tasneem Noorani said Al-
Jazeeri was less important than Khalid Shaikh Mohammad but he was 
quite an important person, adds Reuters.

"This is the biggest catch since Khalid Shaikh Mohammad," an 
intelligence source said, adding a second man, an Afghan named 
Gulzeb, alias Jaffar, had also been captured.

The intelligence source told Reuters the arrest had been made by 
Pakistani security personnel.

ATC formally starts Khwajas trial
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, March 15: An anti-terrorism court formally commenced trial 
of Dr Ahmad Javed Khwaja and his brother at Kot Lakhpat jail after 
the prosecution furnished the case copies with the accused.

The court fixed March 25 for the indictment of Dr Ahmad Javed 
Khwaja and Ahmad Naveed Khwaja, and summoned all the prosecution 
witnesses for the next hearing. The court announced that it would 
examine the prosecution evidence the same day after framing charges 
against the accused.

Earlier, prosecutor Rana Bakhtiar provided the case copies to the 
accused under section 265-C CrPc. The documents include photocopies 
of four foreign nationals' passports, chargesheet prepared under 
173 CrPc, a copy of complaint initially received by SHO Farooq 
Asghar, a copy of FIR, inspection notes prepared by the 
investigating officer, the report of forensic expert on the empties 
allegedly recovered from outside the accused's residence and 
written statements of eight prosecution witnesses.

All the eight prosecution witnesses cited in the case copies are 
police officials - Khalid Javed, Muhammad Ayub, Muhammad Ashraf, 
Ashfaq Ahmad, Muhammad Riaz, Muhammad Alam, Muhammad Latif and 
Wilayat Ali.

The copies of four foreigners' passports have been placed on the 
judicial record following an observation made by the court on the 
last hearing that incriminating evidence against the two accused 
regarding their alleged links with Al Qaeda activists had not been 
brought on record.

In the chargesheet provided to them, both the Khwajas have been 
accused under section 324 CrPc (opening indiscriminate fire on 
police party), section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, (indulging in 
terrorist activities), and section 11 (V) of ATA, (harbouring Al 
Qaeda activists).

Briefly, the charge-sheet narrated that SHO Farooq Asghar received 
a wireless message that the two accused had opened an 
indiscriminate fire on police outside their residence in Manawan 
area on December 19, 2002. Later, both the accused were arrested 
and a pistol and a kalashnikov were recovered from them. Passports 
of some foreign nationals and Afghani and the US currency were also 
allegedly found in their residence.

The court also directed defence counsel Pervez Inayat Malik to 
provide it a copy of the Lahore High Court's judgment pronounced on 
a petition of the accused, challenging their trial in jail. The 
court sought a copy of this judgment to confirm whether the LHC had 
given any observation in its verdict to the effect that the trial 
court had the prerogative of holding an in-camera proceedings, and 
did not need any direction from the LHC in this regard.

An application of the defence counsel pleading the court to allow 
the general public and journalists to the cover the trial 
proceedings is pending with the trial court. The court observed 
that this application would be decided after going through the 
LHC's judgment.

The LHC had dismissed Khwajas' petition, saying the trial court and 
the provincial home department were authorized to hold their trial 
in jail for security. It also refused to direct the court to hold 
an open trial on jail premises.

The four members of the accused family were present during the 

Nusrat Bhutto's condition serious
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, March 16: Begum Nusrat Bhutto, former first lady and 
mother of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Chairperson Benazir Bhutto, 
suffered a stroke in Dubai on Sunday and was in a serious condition 
in a hospital there.

A PPP statement said Begum Bhutto was immediately rushed to a 
hospital after the stroke and was admitted to an intensive care 
unit. It quoted doctors attending her as saying that her condition 
was "serious".

Doctors were "struggling to save her life" as Ms Bhutto was by the 
side of Begum Sahiba at the hospital, the PPP statement said.

"Later tonight (Sunday night) a board of medical doctors will 
decide whether the former first lady should undergo surgery," it 

Ms Bhutto has called her family members, including sister Ms Sanam 
Bhutto, to Dubai to be present on the occasion.

BENAZIR'S PLEA: In a special urgent message, Ms Bhutto has urged 
party workers, sympathisers and well-wishers within Pakistan and 
abroad to pray for the health of her mother. She has requested that 
special prayers be held "tonight for Begum Sahiba's recovery."

Asif applies for parole: Asif Zardari, detained PPP leader on 
Sunday asked the government to allow him to leave the country for 
one month to attend his ailing mother-in-law, Begum Nusrat Bhutto 
in Dubai.

Mr Zardari, who is behind the bars since Nov 5, 1996, has been 
granted bail in 12 out of 13 pending cases, but has not been 

The government in recent past, has been releasing him on parole. 
Advocate Farooq H. Naek, counsel for Mr Zardari told Dawn late on 
Sunday night that he had faxed the application for his client's 
release for one month to attend his ailing mother-in-law, who is in 
critical condition.

No official was ready to comment on the request. Interior Minister 
Faisal Saleh Hayat is not the country and reports say he is in 
Middle East.

Maj Gen Rashid Qureshi, Press Secretary to President Pervez 
Musharraf, when contacted expressed his ignorance about any such 
application. He said the query should be made to the government, as 
president was not concerned with the case.

Secretary of Federal Interior Ministry, Tasneem Noorani was not 
willing to come on line. Press Secretary to Prime Minister Mir 
Zafarullah Khan Jamali, was also not aware of any such move. 
Similarly, NAB spokesman Maj Ali, expressed ignorance about such 

Mr Ismail Dheri, secretary to Asif Zardari told Dawn that all the 
arrangement for his departure have been made and we are waiting for 
the government decision on his application.

Mr Zardari has offered to furnish "solvent sureties" that he would 
come back. Ms Bhutto had left the country in 1999, has not come 
back then.

The National Accountability Bureau, which succeeded Ehtesab Bureau 
of Mian Nawaz Sharif government, is claiming that Mr Zardari had 
stashed billions of dollars in foreign banks which he minted during 
the first and second tenure of his wife as prime minister.

Mr Zardari is in jail for over six years but is carrying no 
conviction. His only conviction along with Ms Benazir Bhutto in SGS 
case, was set aside by Supreme Court and the case was sent back for 

The judge who convicted him in 1999, Justice Malik Qayyum, had to 
leave the judicial institution after the Supreme Court declared him 

He has been granted bail by courts in 12 cases so far.

Minister unaware of govt deal with Bugti
Staff Correspondent

SAHIWAL, March 15: Federal Petroleum Minister Naurez Shakoor is 
unaware of reported deal between Bugti tribe chief Nawab Akbar 
Bugti and the Ministry of Petroleum.

Talking to newsmen, he said the Nawab had signed a 'peace deal' 
with the Balochistan chief secretary. "The ministry or petroleum 
companies were not involved in the process according to my 
knowledge," he said.

Replying to a question, he said the year of parliament would start 
after the address of the president. "This fact has been clarified 
in the Legal Framework Order."

Noor shifted to undisclosed location
By M. H. Khan

KHAIRPUR, March 16: Ms Noor Khatoon Shar was shifted from Khairpur 
to an unknown location on Sunday, most probably Karachi, in view of 
the persistent threat to her life.

It has been learnt that the young woman was accompanied by district 
Nazim Nafisa Shah. The possibility that Ms Noor was shifted to 
Islamabad could not be ruled out in view of the gravity of the 

Both the DPO, Tahir Naveed, and the district Nazim, Nafisa Shah, 
believe that there was a serious threat to the life of Ms Noor, 
adding that the silence, on part of her in-laws, reinforced those 
fears. They said that given the nature of the tribal culture in 
this area, retaliation on part of her in-laws could not be ruled 

Her absence would make it impossible for the authorities to produce 
her before the judicial magistrate for recording her statement 
under section 164 of the CrPC, the DPO said, adding that even he 
did not know about her departure from the city till Sunday evening.

Those, who were handling Ms Noor's case, declined to disclose 
details regarding the suit, filed by Ms Noor, for the annulment of 
marriage, fearing action by the woman's in-laws.

According to investigations carried out by this correspondent, the 
present situation arose because of the couple being mentally 
incompatible. The trouble began after Ms Noor and her husband, 
Sharaf Din, failed to get along ever since she had come to know 
that she was to be married to the man.

Reports suggested that there was no proper documentation regarding 
Ms Noor's Nikah and her Nikahnama also did not bear signatures of 
the required number of witnesses, although her father insisted that 
her maternal uncle was one of the witnesses.

The situation became public knowledge after publication of a 
letter, which was faxed to a number of Sindhi newspapers followed 
by an identical missive sent to the district Nazim, DCO and the 

The unsigned faxed letter prompted the DPO to take action.

Although Ms Noor denied having written and dispatched the anonymous 
letter to the media and officials simultaneously, she more or less 
confirmed the veracity of the contents of the letter, saying that 
she had somehow maintained her rapport with some of her friends, 
who, according to her, had helped her in this regard.

Ms Noor said that she had told them to approach the media if they 
found the situation taking a violent turn.

Local journalists believe that a clarification, issued by Ms Noor, 
denying her having written the letter, was prompted by the pressure 
exerted by her own parents.

Ms Noor's father said that his daughter's marriage with Sharaf Din, 
had been solemnized on June 23, 2002, following a family 
arrangement, adding that Noor Khatoon had expressed "100 per cent" 
willingness in this regard.

He accused the district Nazim of holding his daughter in illegal 
detention, he said that there was no court order in this regard.

While talking to Dawn at the district Nazim's residence, Ms Noor 
said: "I would prefer to die than return to my husband's house."  
Ms Noor claimed that her father was also very upset as her in-laws 
could forcibly occupy her family's farm land besides hurting them 
in many other ways.

Reports indicated that her parents had asked her to wait for some 
years before seeking a separation from her husband, which, 
according to her, seemed next to impossible.

Councillor files suit against marriage
By Mansoor Mirani

KHAIRPUR, March 15: A family court here on Saturday took action on 
a suit filed by Noor Khatoon Shar for dissolution of her marriage, 
summoning husband Sharafdin Shar on April 12.

A poet and member of the district council of Khairpur, Noor Khatoon 
has contended that Mr Sharafdin had subjected her to torture, 
rendering her conjugal life miserable. She said she cannot live 
with him.

On Saturday morning, Noor Khatoon was shifted to the residence of 
the District Nazim, Nafisa Shah. Noor Khatoon was living at the 
residence of her father, Ahmed Din Shar, advocate, at Thari Mirwah, 
but due to security reasons she was shifted to the Nazim's house.

The Nazim told this correspondent that Noor Khatoon would be 
provided with medical treatment as she was "under depression and 
psychological pressure".

Meanwhile, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan secretary-general Ms 
Hina Jilani has condemned the torture of Noor Khatoon and demanded 
strict action against the culprits.

The HRCP secretary-general, in a statement faxed to Dawn , 
expressed her shock over the violations of Ms Noor's basic rights 
and condemned threats to her life under Karo-kari.

Noor Khatoon, she said, was subjected to torture by her husband, 
who, according to the statement, had been married to her against 
her wishes, adding that she was punished for raising issues of 
violence against women.

Many days ago, Ms Jilani said Ms Noor had begun receiving threats 
to her life for being a Kari. Her complaints made to local 
authorities went unheeded, she added.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan also condemned attempts 
being made to interfere with the course of justice.

"The HRCP condemns the torture on Noor Khatoon, demands appropriate 
action against the culprits, and again reminds the custodians of 
state power of the urgent need for a vigorous movement to end all 
customs that are based on a total denial of woman's rights and 
dignities. "Action on some of the published atrocities on women and 
dispensation of charity to a few of the victims will not do", it 

Seven-year RI to be awarded for Vani
Staff Reporter

LAHORE, March 16: The Punjab government is introducing a seven-year 
rigorous imprisonment for committing Vani -- offering and accepting 
women to settle a dispute.

This was stated by Punjab Chief Minister's Adviser on Human Rights 
Rana Ejaz Ahmad Khan. He said a summary had been sent to the 
government to make Vani a cognizable offence and award rigorous 
imprisonment up to seven years to those found committing it. The 
law would be passed by the provincial assembly in near future, he 

During the Press conference, he announced steps being adopted to 
protect human rights in police stations and jails, legal and 
financial assistance to the poor, women and juvenile prisoners, and 
implementation of the law banning food on marriages.

He said these steps would be implemented with the help of 
committees comprising district Nazims, DCOs, lawyers, 
philanthropists and journalists.

Rana Ejaz said he would raid police stations to detect violation of 
human rights. Police stations had become torture cells and police 
were torturing and humiliating people without any let or hindrance.

He said instead of changing its culture with the introduction of a 
new police law, the police had become more ruthless. There were 
cases of custodial killing and kidnapping for ransom by the police, 
he said.

Rana Ejaz said detaining people without any reason and demanding 
money for their release was kidnapping for ransom which carried a 
capital punishment.

"We will register cases against those found guilty of this crime or 
file private writ petitions for the purpose," he said.

He said under directions from the Lahore High Court chief justice, 
sessions judges were visiting jails once a month to provide relief 
to those who could not fight their cases due to any reason. But as 
this system had not given the desired results, the provincial 
government would request the high court to double the number of 

Rana Ejaz said there were 54,000 prisoners in Punjab jails against 
the capacity of 17,000 prisoners. Many of them were women, children 
and those who could not afford to secure their release after paying 
small amounts of fine outstanding against them.

He said to help such prisoners he had asked district Nazims and 
DCOs to visit jails. Chambers of commerce and industry had also 
been approached in every district to pay fines of those who could 
not arrange them. 

Lawyers had also been requested to plead the cases of those who 
could not pay their fees. The government would bear the petty 
expenditure of such litigation, he said.

Rana Ejaz said steps would also be adopted for the implementation 
of the ban on extravagance on marriages. The violation of the law 
by a Kasur family had been confirmed and the government was going 
to impose the prescribed fine on them, he said.

He said he would inspect Sunday Bazaars to ensure the provision of 
low-cost but quality items of daily use to the people.

Hearing of Dr Qadeer's plea put off: IBS case 
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, March 19: An appellate bench of the Sindh High Court 
adjourned the hearing of an intra-court appeal filed by Dr Abdul 
Qadeer Khan against an order of a single judge.

The single bench had ordered constitution of a committee to help Dr 
Qadeer and respondent Dr S. Haroon Ahmed jointly run the Institute 
of Behavioural Sciences.

The impugned interim order was passed by Justice Zahid Kurban Alavi 
on Feb 18. Subsequently, he asked the Sindh High Court Bar 
Association president, who is a member of the committee, to convene 
its meeting as early as possible.

The committee will submit its report on IBS affairs to the court 
within a month of its first meeting.

The judge also asked the Pakistan Association for Mental Health, 
headed by Dr Ahmed, to depute doctors to treat patients at the IBS 
without involving themselves in any other activity.

The suits and counter-suits and several applications moved by the 
two parties will be taken up by Justice Alavi after the receipt of 
the committee's report.

The appeal against the interim order came up before a division 
bench, comprising Justice Mohammad Roshan Essani and Anwar Zaheer 
Jamali, on Wednesday but its hearing was adjourned due to non-
availability of the appellant's counsel, Barrister Dr Farogh 

Pakistan deplores military action
Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, March 20: Pakistan deplored the US-led military action 
against Iraq and called for giving priority to avert humanitarian 
disaster for the Iraqi people.

"Pakistan deplores the initiation of military action against Iraq," 
Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri told a news conference 
which was also addressed by Information Minister Sheikh Rashid 

Mr Kasuri said military action should not prolong. He said Pakistan 
was not among those 35 countries supporting attack on Iraq. 
"Whether they are 55 or 35 countries, we are certainly not among 
them and will never endorse any military action."

Asked why the government was just deploring and was not condemning 
the military action, Mr Kasuri said Pakistan had made its position 
very clear. "But if you insist then I would advise you to consult 
Oxford dictionary and see the meaning of deploring".

He stressed that the Security Council must resume its primary 
responsibility under the UN charter for maintenance of 
international peace and security.

Reading out a statement, Mr Kasuri said civilian causalities and 
damage to civic services and holy places must be strictly avoided. 
Territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq must be preserved as 
well as its rights over its natural resources. The fundamental 
rights of the people of Iraq, including their right to governance, 
should be respected, he said.

Nevertheless, he pointed out, this course of events should not be 
considered as setting any precedent in the conduct of inter- state 
relations. Pakistan, he said, firmly believed in preserving the 
centrality of the United Nations, observance of Charter of 
Principles by all states, and implementation of the Security 
Council resolutions without any discrimination.

In reply to a question, Mr Kasuri said India could not launch any 
preemptive strike against Pakistan as had been done by the US 
against Iraq and added that three wars between India and Pakistan 
as well as the last year's deployment of Indian forces on Pakistani 
borders could not deter Islamabad to change its principled stand on 
various issues.

"Let me very clearly tell you that Pakistan cannot be browbeaten by 
any country as the unity of our people and preparedness for war is 
our best weapon against any aggressor," he said.

Mr Kasuri said the Security Council must uphold international 
legality equitably. The council, he pointed out, must implement all 
its resolutions, including those on Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine 
whose peoples had been struggling and dying for over 50 years.

Pakistan, he said, had consistently called on Iraq to fulfil its UN 
Security Council disarmament obligations fully and quickly which 
did not happen. "In the Security Council and outside we had urged 
the permanent members to evolve a consensus, as this was their 
traditional responsibility, to ensure the unity of the council, 
which would have been the best solution for resolving the Iraqi 

However, he said, it was unfortunate that a P-5 consensus could not 
be reached, and that the efforts of the non-permanent members, 
including Pakistan, could not succeed in bridging this divide.

Pakistan, he said, would continue to work within the Security 
Council and elsewhere towards the restoration of peace and security 
in Iraq and the region. He said Pakistan was ready to send 
humanitarian assistance to Iraq.

Asked what Pakistan could do to prevent the destruction of the 
Iraqi people, he said: "If the countries like Russia, France and 
Germany cannot do anything what can Pakistan do?"

Mr Kasuri did not believe that the United Nations had been rendered 
useless. The role of the world body was very important to deal with 
international affairs, he emphasized.

Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said law and order 
situation was under control and there was no need to be worried 
about as the government was alert and vigilant.

He said the government had made all arrangements, including for 
sufficient stocks of oil and other essential commodities, to meet 
the situation.

In reply to a question about Pakistanis in Kuwait and Qatar, the 
foreign minister said: "We are carefully watching the situation and 
if there will be any need we will run special PIA flights to 
evacuate our people from there."

Asked why no unanimous resolution on the Iraq crisis was adopted in 
the National Assembly on Wednesday, the information minister 
alleged it was due to a lack of interest by opposition members. 
"They (opposition) had convened the session but many of them were 
not present in the house which led to a quorum problem and hence 
the session was postponed by the speaker," Mr Ahmad said.

US embassy, consulates closed
ISLAMABAD, March 20: The United States embassy and consulates 
closed temporarily following the US-led attack on Iraq.

US embassy spokeswoman Linda Cheatham, citing "security reasons", 
told APP the embassy and the consulates at Peshawar and Lahore had 
been closed "temporarily".

The closure means suspended services, including issuance of 
immigrant and non-immigrant visa services "until further notice."

The consulate in Karachi closed its public operations indefinitely 
on Aug 5, last year "due to security concerns."

The state department advised private American citizens in the 
country to "consider departing." The consular personnel remained 
available to provide emergency information and services to American 
citizens, it said.-APP

IMF asks govt to stop meddling: Power tariff
By Khaleeq Kiani

ISLAMABAD, March 21: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has 
asked the government not to interfere in the electricity tariffs of 
Wapda and KESC for political gains and let the pricing system to 
develop with transparency.

The finance ministry has also agreed to provide the formula and 
recovery schedule of public sector dues to the IMF and the Wapda by 
March 30, which now stand at more than Rs33 billion so that 
realistic targets could be set for next year, senior official in 
the finance ministry told Dawn.

The Wapda chairman had complained to the IMF team during recent 
meetings the government had used even the automatic fuel based 
tariff mechanism for political purposes and did not implement 
decisions of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority on 
quarterly tariff revisions.

Quoting certain specific incidents of delayed recovery of public 
sector dues and non-transparent implementation of automatic fuel 
adjustment formula, the Wapda blamed the federal government for 
disruption of its financial improvement plan (FIP) agreed to with 
the IMF last year.

The IMF told the government that implementation of the automatic 
fuel adjustment formula should be based on rules otherwise the 
fiscal gap of the utility would continue to grow in the months to 

The IMF also advised the Wapda to reduce energy losses of Hyderabad 
and Peshawar Electric Supply companies (Hesco & Pesco) as Wapda 
insisted that only these two distribution companies were in the 
negative and overall losses of other companies have now been 
reduced to a comfortable level and were well on target.

The Wapda had told the IMF that the government delayed the 
implementation of 19-30 paisa per unit increase announced by Nepra 
in August/September was delayed for over a month and then a 
reduction in rates in second quarter review was implemented on 
December 16.

The Wapda said that again the raise in fuel based tariff was due on 
March 16 but was still to be determined by the Nepra. The finance 
ministry has already asked the provincial governments and the 
public sector institutions to clear their dues by March 31 or 
should be ready for at source deductions at once.

Wapda's public sector arrears have touched Rs33 billion mark this 
year against Rs20 billion of last year, up by Rs5 billion in a 

Wapda's revenue shortfall was estimated at Rs28 billion by the year 
2003 which was to be met through various measures under the 
financial improvement plan that could not be adhered to and the 
revenue shortfall rose to Rs35 billion.

The Wapda and finance ministry are currently revising Wapda's FIP 
that has to be shared with the IMF and the Bank by next month to 
meet conditionalities of the $350 million structural adjustment 

The non-compliance with the FIP has been attributed to continued 
increase in fuel prices, failure to collect electricity arrears to 
the agreed limit and reduction in line losses to 15 per cent and 
inadequate increase in tariff since start of the fiscal year.

The finance ministry sources, however, suggest that there was no 
provision for budgetary support to the utility in the budget 2002-
03 on the understanding the Wapda would be self- reliant through 
measures under the FIP.

They admit that some of the factors in the non-compliance with FIP 
were out of Wapda's control, any recourse to budgetary support 
would result in increased fiscal deficit.

Wapda is already accusing the ministry of collecting massive 
revenue due to increase in fuel prices and withholding sales tax 
refund to the utility to show higher revenue collection to the 

These sources said that the IMF and the Bank were opposed to the 
budgetary support and wanted the Wapda to increase tariff, curtail 
line losses and administrative cost and recover Rs33 billion 
receivables from the public sector.

Aid to help win 'war on terror', says Powell
By Anwar Iqbal

WASHINGTON, March 16: US Secretary of State Colin Powell has 
informed Congress that $395 million of financial assistance for 
Pakistan in 2004 will come from the Bush administration's anti-
terrorist budget.

He said the administration was seeking a total of $4.7 billion to 
help the countries that have joined the US-led war on terrorism.

The assistance for these countries, he said, would come from a much 
larger, $18.8 billion package the administration wanted to set 
aside for international assistance during the fiscal 2004.

"Our number one priority is to fight and win the 'global war on 
terrorism.' The budget furthers this goal by providing economic 
military and democracy assistance to key foreign partners and 
allies," he said.

The proposed anti-terrorism budget seeks $657 million for 
Afghanistan, $460 million for Jordan, $395 million for Pakistan, 
$255 million for Turkey, $136 million for Indonesia, and $87 
million for the Philippines.

Powell said Afghanistan would be one of America's top priorities 
because Washington believed that to win the war on terror it was 
also necessary to help rebuild the countries destroyed by 

The United States is providing financial and logistic support to 
Afghanistan to help establish a national military and a national 
police force.

Both institutions were destroyed during the 20-year civil war and 
the country is now run by dozens of warlords with their own 
militias, who often do not follow the orders of the Kabul's central 

The US assistance, Powell said, would be used to "help establish 
security through a national military and national police force" and 
to "establish a broad-based and accountable governance through 
democratic institutions and an active civil society."

The United States is also funding projects to rebuild Afghanistan's 
road network, destroyed during the war.

"These funds will ensure a peace dividend for the Afghan people 
through economic reconstruction, and provide humanitarian 
assistance to sustain returning refugees and displaced persons," 
said Powell.

"People often talk about how things are going in Afghanistan - Is 
it going well, is it not going well, or what? But when you look at 
what we've accomplished in less than a year and a half, it's quite 
remarkable," he said. "We've put in place a new government that is 
representative of its people. We've put in place a system where 
people are selecting their own leaders."

The women of Afghanistan, he said, who were forced out of the 
national life by the former Taliban rulers were returning to the 
business place, the workplace, the educational system.

The economy, he said, was slowly getting restarted and this 
tremendous success was achieved with the assistance of the nations 
around the world.

Powell said one of the key indicators of "whether or not the glass 
is half full or the glass is half empty," is the return of two 
million Afghan refugees from neighbouring Pakistan and Iran during 
the last year and a half.

"And no critic can take away from the simple fact that 2 million 
people have voted with their feet to return to this country that 
they had fled from over the last 15 or 20 years," he added.

KSE-100 index crosses 2,600-point barrier
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, March 21: The index breached through the barrier of 2,600 
at 2,652. The 100-share index recovered another 61.32 points at 
2,651.71, breaching through the barrier of 2,600 points with a 
sustainable margin. The total market capitalization at Rs579bn.

Leading energy shares, notably PSO, Hub-Power, PTCL again led the 
market advance on renewed support aided by lure of capital gains. 
Prominent among them being Pakistan Refinery, Attock Refinery, and 
PSO, which rose by Rs2 to Rs7.25 followed by Javed Omer, EFU 
General, Blessed Textiles, Faisal Spinning, Gadoon Textiles, 
General Tyre, Dawood Hercules, Fauji Fertilizer, Glaxo-Wellcome, 
BOC Pakistan, Pakistan Services and Ghani Glass, which posted gains 
ranging from Rs2 to Rs3.50.

Losers were led by Century Insurance, Shell Pakistan, Indus Motors, 
Noon Sugar and Pakistan Resource Co, off one rupee to Rs7.

Trading volume soared to 286m shares from the previous 181m shares 
as gainers maintained a strong lead over the losers at 165 to 42, 
with 26 shares holding on to the last levels.

Hub-Power topped the list of actives, up by 70 paisa at Rs37 on 80m 
shares, PTCL, higher by Rs1.10 at Rs24.15 on 68m shares, Sui 
Northern Gas, up by Rs1.05 at Rs24.65 on 31m shares, PSO, firm by 
Rs7.25 at Rs207.75 on 26m shares and FFC-Jordan Fertilizer, steady 
by 15 paisa at Rs11.15 on 20m shares.

Other actives were led by Dewan Salman, up by 30 paisa on 7m 
shares, Pak PTA, firm by 15 paisa also on 7m shares, Fauji 
Fertilizer, higher by Rs2.35 on 5m shares, National Bank, up by 40 
paisa also 5m shares and Pakistan Oilfields, firm by five paisa on 

FORWARD COUNTER: Fresh sharp gains in all the pivotals featured the 
trading on this counter where PSO posted a fresh sharp gain of 
Rs7.65 at Rs208 on 9m shares followed by PTCL and Engro Chemical, 
higher by Rs1.15 and 1.75 at Rs24.10 and Rs82.45 on 10m and 2m 

Hub-Power led the list of actives, higher by 75 paisa at Rs37.10 on 
11m shares followed by Sui Northern Gas, up by one rupee at Rs24.60 
on 3m shares, ICI Pakistan and Fauji Fertilizer also finished with 
gains ranging from Rs2 to 2.45 at Rs48.20 and Rs81 respectively.

DEFAULTER COMPANIES: The activity on this counter was relatively 
slow as investors remained busy in the ready and the forward 
section. Suzuki Motorcycles again led the list of actives, up by 25 
paisa at Rs8.25 on 12,000 shares followed by S.S. Oil and Allied 
Motors, higher five and 75 paisa at Rs3.10 and Rs10 on 2,000 and 
1,000 shares respectively.

Index falls 20 points as follow-up support turns shy
Staff Reporter

KARACHI, March 19: The KSE 100-share index fell by 20 points but 
stood above the benchmark of 2,500 points.

The KSE 100-share index, which recovered about 40 points on 
Tuesday, again shed 19.56 points at 2,506.22 as compared to 
2,525.78 a day earlier as leading base shares again finished 

Prominent gainers were led by Noon Sugar, Shafiq Textiles, Bhanero 
Textiles, Pak Reinsurance Co and Nestle MilkPak, up Rs3.35 to 
Rs14.60. They were followed by Century Insurance, Faisal Spinning, 
Sapphire Textiles, Sapphire Fibre, Al-Ghazi Tractors, Ghani Glass 
and HinoPak Motors, up Rs2 to Rs3.30.

Losers were led by Shell Pakistan, Wyeth Pakistan, Shell Gas, 
Pakistan Oilfields and Pakistan Refinery, off Rs5 to Rs6.80. Attock 
Refinery, PSO, HinoPak Motors, Indus Motors, Pak-Suzuki Motors 
owing to post-dividend selling followed and Dawood Hercules, off 
Rs2.30 to Rs4.95.

Their absence was also reflected in a substantial decline in the 
traded volume at 95m shares from the previous 130m shares. Losers 
maintained a fair lead over the gainers at 163 to 91, with 41 
shares holding on to the last levels.

Hub-Power topped the list of most actives, lower 45 paisa at 
Rs35.40 24m shares followed by Sui Northern Gas, up 40 paisa at 
Rs22.80 on 16m shares, PTCL, lower 30 paisa at Rs21.45 on 10m 
shares, PSO, off Rs4.45 at Rs193.60 on 8m shares, Engro Chemical, 
up 70 paisa at Rs92 also on 8m shares and Pakistan Oilfield, off 
Rs5 at Rs168 on 3m shares.

Other actives were led by FFC-Jordan Fertiliser, easy 15 paisa on 
6m shares, Dewan Motors, lower 30 paisa on 4m shares, Dewan Salman, 
up 15 paisa on 2m shares and Pak PTA, easy 10 paisa also on 2m 

FORWARD COUNTER: PSO came in for active selling at the overnight 
inflated level and finished reacted by Rs3.35 at Rs194 on 5m 
shares. Sui Northern Gas, on the other hand rose by 25 paisa at 
Rs22.70 on 3m shares and so did Engro Chemical at Rs80.30 on 2m 
shares. PTCL fell 20 paisa at Rs21.55 on 2m shares.

Hub-Power also came in for selling, off 35 paisa at Rs35.40 on 8m 
shares, but its April contract suffered a sharp setback of Rs3.35 
at Rs32.40.

DEFAULTER COMPANIES: Shares of a dozen companies came in for modest 
activity under the lead of Suzuki Motorcycles, which suffered a 
fresh fall of 40 paisa at Rs7.95 on 30,000 shares followed by Medi 
Glass, easy five paisa at Rs0.60 on 8,000 shares and Shahpur 
Textiles, up 20 paisa at Rs2 on 6,000 shares.

Rebound adds Rs18bn to market capitalization
By Muhammad Aslam

The KSE 100-share index finally ended with an extended gain of 
91.59 points at 2,540.25, adding Rs18 billion to the market 
capitalization at Rs577 billion.

The KSE 100-share index staged a snap rally later on active short-
covering in some of the leading base shares under the lead of the 
PSO followed by some positive developments on its sell-off.

Leading gainers were led by the Shell Pakistan, the New Jubilee 
Insurance, Sana Industries, the Unilever Pakistan, the PSO, the 
Pakistan Oilfields, followed by the Tata Textiles, Dreamworld, 
Pakistan Telephone, Habib Insurance, the ICP SEMF and the Pakistan 
Refinery and several others.

Losers included the 4th ICP Mutual Fund, Javed Omer Vohra, Dawood 
Hercules, Lakson Tobacco, Javed Omer, the BOC Pakistan, Engro 
Chemical, Orix Leasing and Pakistan Reinsurance Company, Wyeth 
Pakistan, Bhanero Textiles, Nestle MilkPak and many others.

Owing to holiday shortened week, trading volume fell to 366m shares 
bulk of which went to the credit of Hub-Power, the PTCL followed by 
the PSO, the Sui Northern Gas, the FFC-Jordan fertiliser, the MCB, 
Bosicor, Pakistan National Bank and the ICP SEMF.

Other actives were led by the Engro Chemical, the ICI Pakistan, the 
Pak PTA, Dewan Salman, Pakistan Oilfileds, Fauji Fertiliser and 
several others.

FORWARD COUNTER: The Hub-Power and the PSO encountered alternate 
bouts of buying and selling but finally managed to finish higher on 
active short-covering at the lower levels.

The PTCL led the list of other actives, followed by the Engro 
Chemical Sui Northern Gas, the FFC-Jordan Fertiliser, the Fauji 
Fertiliser and the MCB.

Back to the top
By Ardeshir Cowasjee

Whilst the entire world is preoccupied with the Iraq issue and the 
prospect of a war being waged against Saddam Hussein, our press 
carries news item after news item of how our politicians persist in 
wittering on and on about the oaths they are constitutionally 
required to swear before they can seat themselves as members of our 
honourable National Assembly and Senate.

Now, every citizen of this country who has read or heard the 
wording of the oaths is aware that not one political person has in 
the past upheld the sworn oath and that not one of this new lot is 
likely to uphold it.

The other obsessive question being raised by the political 
fraternity is the taking off of the uniform of President General 
Pervez Musharraf, a futile obsession as any perceptive Pakistani is 
aware that the general will take off his uniform only when and if a 
force far greater than that he commands orders him to so do.

Of far more significance are the reports in our press and in the 
international media on the ever-present subject of tyranny in 
Pakistan and the suppression of the freedom of its press. The New 
York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has, on March 13, 
addressed a letter to the president of Pakistan, copying the 
internationally influential press people and press organizations, 
human rights organizations and other bodies involved in the 
protection of freedom.

The subject of the letter addressed to the general is the threat 
allegedly made by Punjab Home Secretary Ejaz Shah to Ilyas Meraj, 
the publisher of the weekly Independent (a Lahore-based English 
language publication said to have a print order of a mere thousand 
copies). Shah reportedly rang Meraj on March 10 to tell him : 
"Enough is enough. The Punjab government has finally decided to 
proceed against your newspaper for working against the national 
interest." This comment was carried by the Independent in its March 
13 issue. The CPJ contacted Shah, who denied having made any such 
comment and said that he had not spoken to anyone at the 
Independent during the past week.

The CPJ, however, is not satisfied. As it writes in its letter to 
Musharraf: "However, CPJ believes that because of the serious 
nature of the allegations, an official inquiry is warranted. The 
weekly Independent's editor told CPJ that Shah - who is a retired 
army brigadier, former head of the Punjab division of Pakistan's 
powerful Inter-Services Intelligence, and a close associate of Your 
Excellency - advised Meraj to 'roll back' the weekly's operations 
if he wants to stay in business and stay safe.

Shah allegedly criticized the newspaper for writing against the 
army and warned Meraj to consider the example of Rana Sanaullah 
Khan, an opposition politician who has been twice arrested and 
tortured in official custody in apparent reprisal for his criticism 
of your military government."

Who is to be believed? But this, of course, unfortunately brings 
into focus once again the disgraceful treatment meted out to 
advocate Rana Sanaullah Khan, the PML (N) parliamentary leader in 
the Punjab Assembly, who for the second time has suffered at the 
hands of a security agency believed to be ISI. 	

Soon after the October 1999 Musharraf counter-coup men of one of 
our 'agencies' picked up Sanaullah, held him in custody, and 
subjected him to the usual form of torture they employ against 
their offenders. Sanaullah's crime at that time was to have made 
'derogatory' comments against the military government at a PML 
meeting held at the house of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.

This time round, on March 8, whilst leaving his law chambers at the 
Faisalabad district courts, he was grabbed by, again, 'agency' men, 
believed to be of the ISI, taken away, humiliated and tortured, and 
then dumped at a deserted point on the Faisalabad-Pindi Bhattian 
road. A man with a healthy growth of hair, thick eyebrows and a 
bushy moustache, when found, after he had got himself to the 
nearest petrol station, he had lacerations and bruises on his body, 
a shaven head, no eyebrows and no moustache. Sanaullah claims that 
he gleaned from the conversations of his captors and torturers that 
they were indeed men of the ISI and were doing their duty on 
'orders from above'.

His present crime, he can only presume, was to have stood up in the 
Punjab Assembly, spoken out vociferously against the role of the 
military in Pakistan's politics, and illustrated his criticism with 
quotes from the Hamoodur Rahman report which was released to the 
public, after a quarter of a century under wraps, by the government 
of General Pervez Musharraf.

The violence, the tyranny, to which Sanaullah was subjected must 
not be allowed to be shelved and forgotten. An inquiry should be 
ordered and his abductors and torturers suitably dealt with 
according to the laws of the country. We cannot afford to continue 
to be classified by the rest of a world as being a nation devoid of 
law and order.

When words run out
By Ayaz Amir

When words run out it is time for resignation - for being 
reconciled to the inevitable - or for worse. With Iraq it's the 
worst now happening - a tyrant at home being assailed by tyranny 
from abroad.

Only this time there is nothing the Tyrant of Baghdad could have 
done to avert war. The inspections were a sham, or at least a sham 
from America's point of view. Hans Blix's team could have 
discovered an El Dorado of forbidden weaponry and America would 
still have gone to war.

The US, or rather the war caucus now at the steering wheel of US 
policy, has its own agenda, something that goes beyond Iraq and 
predates September 11. The war caucus wanted a war in the Middle 
East for a host of reasons all inter-connected. Oil, Israel, the 
entrenchment of US power (as if any more entrenchment were needed) 
and Christian evangelism have all been at work in priming the US 
for this war.

Islamic fundamentalism is not the problem here. A form of Christian 
fundamentalism is. If he lived and ruled in our part of the world 
Bush's view of religion would brand him a bigot. An ayatollah in 
the White House - supported by a corps of ayatollahs around him. If 
Shias take offence at this metaphor, then a mullah in the White 

Reading about the war caucus and their inter-connecting threads - 
the ones that bind Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Rove, Abrams, and 
their fellow-cohorts - will give anyone the creeps. And to imagine 
that they have a sophisticated country, the most powerful on earth 
to boot, in their grip.

Bush rules the US. These people, Bush's minders, their moment 
having come, rule Bush.

In a fundamental respect this is worse than Hitler. No one pushed 
Hitler into any war. He was war's leading advocate and indeed in 
'Mein Kampf' sketched a grand theoretical basis for conflict, 
Germany's need for living space, a good 15 years before the Second 
World War.

Bush was an isolationist before September 11. Many in the war 
caucus had laid out their blueprints for redrawing the Mideast map 
and ensuring Israel's unchallenged dominance much before. Not Bush. 
He was not even interested in foreign policy. Now he is war leader, 
the triumph of the war caucus complete.

Nothing could have deflected Hitler from going to war. No 
appeasement, no Munich. He wanted war at any cost. Nothing could 
have prevented the onslaught on Iraq. The Bushites (another name 
for the war caucus) wanted war at any cost. Saddam just happened to 
be the perfect excuse, with just the right credentials as a 
domestic tyrant to invoke justifying clauses about morality and 
human rights. If Saddam hadn't been around, he would have had to be 
invented. The Bushites wanted war and they've got it.

>From their point of view the perfect war. A weak country, or at 
least a country no match for the US. An Iraqi army in no position 
to put up a fight. Between Kuwait where the US armoured columns 
were massed and Baghdad, the ultimate prize, the only serious 
obstacle is the vast desert.

China, even though without air power, taught the US a lesson in 
Korea. But that was on a different scale, the Chinese analogy not 
fitting Iraq. Vietnam taught the US a lesson. Even tiny Cuba, 
dauntless Cuba, taught the US a lesson during the Bay of Pigs 
invasion. Alas, Iraq is neither the one, nor the other. Nor is its 
foolish leader a patch on Ho Chi Minh or Castro. Iraq thus is the 
perfect victim and Saddam with his megalomania, for which his 
people have paid such a heavy price, the perfect excuse.

Will the annihilation of Iraq satisfy the war caucus? Or will its 
appetite be whetted for more? What are the limits of American 
arrogance? Or, in other words, after Iraq, who? No one can say for 
sure. But Pakistan has to be wary.

What was the mantra behind this war? Weapons of mass destruction. 
Does a nuclear bomb qualify for this label? If it does, we better 
watch out for our so-called 'strategic assets'.

Back in the old days our worst nightmare used to be an Indian-
Afghan nutcracker. That's why our military wizards went overboard 
when Afghanistan, far from serving Indian interests, came into our 
orbit. They thought Pakistan had acquired 'strategic depth', not 
the least of the quaint notions haunting our military wizards.

The old equation no longer holds. If there is a nightmare now 
weighing upon the Pakistani mind it is of an Indo-American squeeze, 
India and the US working in tandem to put Pakistan in its place.

These may be exaggerated fears. But they are not altogether 
groundless. We saw this squeeze working when twice last year 
General Musharraf had to assure the world community that Pakistan 
was backing away from militancy in Kashmir.

There's little wisdom in reacting to events all the time. Better 
sometimes to forestall evil and for this purpose fashion a pre-
emptive doctrine of our own.

In the new post-Iraq climate no one, least of all the US, is going 
to have much patience with any form of militancy in Kashmir. We 
must start doing our sums now before we are caught on the hop 

What Gen Musharraf takes pride in the most - his obduracy towards 
India - has been his biggest failure. Despite the scarecrow of 
Kargil he carried round his neck, he had a chance at Agra to mend 
relations with India, to secure them on a fresh basis. But he and 
his negotiating team blew it, not for want of goodwill but for a 
failure of vision. They saw the trees and were passionate about 
them. They just couldn't see the forest.

The Indians blew the chance likewise. After all we are from the 
same region, sharing the same history and culture. Lack of vision 
is not a Pakistani monopoly. The only thing is, more was at stake 
for us. Both sides quarrelled over a form of words at Agra not 
realizing that more was at stake than the right phraseology.

The failure at Agra paved the way for Pakistan's being beaten with 
the stick of "cross-border terrorism".

Mere words have taken us nowhere. We have the words of the UN 
resolutions on Kashmir in our possession, locked away in our safest 
closets. What good have they done us? How closer have they brought 
the liberation of Kashmir? Mere words have been of no solace to 
Iraq either. If words and moral indignation could save, Iraq would 
not have been attacked.

Our problem is not the US or our unholy dependence on it. Our 
biggest weakness as a nation lies in everything being made hostage 
to Kashmir and our India policy. Defence spending and foreign 
policy, both derive sustenance from the way we look at India.

Shouldn't we be growing up and casting aside this phobia? No one is 
saying we abandon Kashmir. Why should we? Self-respecting nations 
do not sacrifice positions of principle lightly. But at the same 
time, unless they be allied to folly, they don't pursue them in a 
manner putting everything else at risk.

Pakistan's Kashmir wars haven't liberated Kashmir but they have 
placed a heavy burden on the nation. The source of our readiness to 
embrace military rule lies not in civilian failure but in our India 
policy. Our defence spending may not have bought military prowess 
but it has led to the military becoming the leading national 
institution. Is it any wonder then if we can't get the military off 
our backs?

A strange amnesia afflicts the Pakistani mind. The Kashmir problem 
existed before the 1965 war but it did not prevent the two 
countries from enjoying a good working relationship in many 
spheres. Goods were exchanged and travel was easy. The '65 war 
ruined everything. Without abandoning anything, why can't we return 
to those sensible days?

Pakistan's security lies not in basking in American favour but in 
putting its house in order and seeking peace and friendship in the 
region, with Iran, India and the new Afghanistan.

Whatever else Iraq may bring in its wake, whatever turmoil it 
generates, Pakistan should be looking ahead to the time when 
militarism gives way to democracy - the genuine article and not the 
bogus variety we have at present - and foreign policy adventurism 
to a polite discourse with its neighbours.

'No LFO, No!'
By Irfan Husain

Traditionally, ambitious generals in Pakistan and other banana 
republics use the alleged misrule and corruption of civilian 
governments to justify their dissolution of elected parliaments. 
They then proceed to try their half-baked experiments in the name 
of 'clearing up the mess' they claim they inherited.

Now, however, we are in the peculiar situation of having an elected 
opposition that might trigger yet another military intervention. 
Even by Pakistan's unenviable reputation of decades of direct and 
indirect army rule, this is a very bizarre state of affairs: here 
we have a government cobbled together by the ruling junta after a 
carefully scripted run-up to the elections, and the generals still 
aren't happy.

The mistake they made, of course, was not to strike a deal with one 
or the other of the two most popular parties in the country, the 
PPP and Nawaz Sharif's faction of the Muslim League. Instead, they 
opted to try and keep both of them out of power. The predictable 
result is that Musharraf and his fellow generals face the 
embarrassing possibility of dissolving an assembly that has just 
started functioning.

Many arm-chair democrats - the ones who hold forth on the antics of 
the elected representatives they never bothered to vote for or 
against - profess their disillusionment over the performance of the 
current parliament and its deadlock over the Legal Framework Order. 
The daily disruption of proceedings by a vocal opposition shouting 
'No LFO, No!' and 'Go Musharraf, Go!' is seen by them as a sorry 
waste of public funds and parliamentary time that might be better 
spent in legislating matters of grave importance. They see in these 
public manifestations of dissent further evidence of their 
contention that Pakistan is not ready for democracy.

While the raucous proceedings in the National Assembly might well 
upset those who prefer well-mannered debates in the Westminster 
tradition, the fact is that what is happening today in the 
Pakistani parliament goes to the heart of democracy. What is at 
issue is not a group of shabby politicians agitating for more 
power, but about the sanctity of the Constitution and who shall 
exercise the right to amend it. Zia, soon after he took power, once 
said that the 1973 Constitution was a slim volume he could rip to 
shreds whenever he chose to. But that document has outlived him and 
might yet survive his successors. The same democrats who sneer at 
our elected representatives assert that if Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif 
could amend the Constitution to serve their purpose, why shouldn't 
Musharraf? The short answer is that no matter what the motives of 
past parliamentary leaders, the fact is that they had a two-thirds 
majority with them. 

Even though I disapproved then, as I do now, of many of these 
changes, I accept their legality. The LFO has no such sanctity and 
that is why it cannot and must not be incorporated into the 
Constitution without a proper debate and vote. To accept it through 
military fiat would open the floodgates for all future adventurers 
to chop and change the much-abused Constitution to suit themselves.

The other dimension of the current political crisis is the 
difficulty being experienced by the local bodies elected on a non-
party basis under Musharraf's famous devolution plan. Now that 
elected provincial assemblies and governments in place, they are 
trying to reclaim the powers their predecessors earlier enjoyed, 
and view the councillors as upstarts.

However, given the political investment made by the military rulers 
in creating this grass-roots system, Musharraf has a vested 
interest in keeping them going. All the contradictions many of us 
had pointed out when this exercise in political restructuring was 
being planned have surfaced.

Basically, Musharraf's woes started when he insisted on holding a 
referendum to gain legitimacy, but succeeded in exposing himself as 
a politically isolated but power-hungry general. He was advised to 
pursue this chimera by a group of generals who had never voted in 
their lives, and understood nothing about the political dynamics at 
work. Having been let down by the King's party in this fraudulent 
exercise, he persisted in placing all his eggs in the Gujrat 
Chaudhries' frail basket after the October elections.

But having seen that the emperor wore no clothes, the opposition he 
had helped create has ganged up against him. Indeed, the coalition 
government his intelligence agencies have stitched together for him 
is such a fragile creature that without constant life support, it 
will go rapidly into terminal decline. The opposition, on the other 
hand, is probably the most powerful grouping our parliament has yet 

Time and again, power has been usurped by uniformed men whose 
belief in their own abilities to right the country's many wrongs is 
matched only by their incompetence. Each time they have tried to 
impose their ill-conceived solutions on a reluctant nation, they 
have ended up by damaging the system even further. In all these 
years of failed plans that have ended up in the rubbish-heap of 
history, it has never occurred to these amateur political masons 
that they are out of their depth, and really have very little idea 
of what makes civil society tick.

Many columnists and editorial writers have expressed the view that 
the legislators now protesting against the incorporation of the LFO 
into the Constitution were aware of its existence when they stood 
for elections, and should therefore have no objections to the 28 or 
so amendments Musharraf wants to insert into the Constitution. They 
miss the point that once these elected members meet in parliament, 
the institutional dynamics change, for the sum here is greater than 
its parts.

But this is what happens when you try and fine-tune the elections 
and their aftermath to suit yourself. Had Musharraf cut a deal with 
Nawaz Sharif or Benazir Bhutto, he might have achieved a more 
stable and reliable government. As it is, Jamali's shaky coalition 
is very susceptible to blackmail, as is Mehar's provincial 
government in Sindh.

This is the price Musharraf is having to pay to cling to power. 
When he decided to allow only graduates to contest, he and his 
advisers thought they were being very clever by eliminating so many 
of the old guard from the elections. However, the graduates now 
shouting 'Go Musharraf, Go!' are as prickly about their powers 
under the Constitution as their predecessors were.

When Musharraf and his comrades-in-arms were indulging in their 
favourite pastime of political engineering, their constant refrain 
was that they were aiming at better governance. Is this truly what 
they think they have given us?

Iraq: It's about power, not democracy	
By Eric S. Margolis

PRESIDENT George Bush claimed last month his impending war against 
Iraq would bring peace and democracy to the Middle East and 
liberate Iraqis from repression.

At the same time, in a move clearly aimed at intimidating the 
media, the White House denounced a CBS News interview with 
President Saddam Hussein in which the Iraqi leader asserted his 
nation had nothing to do with 9/11 or Al Qaeda, as 'propaganda'.

Now, I have no love for Saddam's sinister, brutal regime. The last 
time I was in Baghdad, late 1990, the Iraqi secret police 
threatened to hang me as a spy after I discovered a group of 
British technicians and scientists who had been secretly sent by 
the British government to produce anthrax and other germ weapons 
for Iraq to use against Iran.

But what I dislike even more than Saddam's nasty regime are 
government lies and propaganda. Since 9/11, North Americans have 
been subjected to the most intense propaganda campaign from their 
government since World War I. Much of the mainstream US media has 
been intimidated by the administration into unquestioningly 
amplifying its party line, or, in the worst tradition of yellow, 
jingoist journalism, it acts as cheerleaders for war. I am reminded 
of the sycophantic Soviet media during the days of Chairman Leonid 

The American public, often wobbly about geography, history and 
international affairs, has been alternately terrified and enraged 
by bare-faced lies that Iraq was about to attack America with 
nuclear weapons or germs, and was a secret ally of Al Qaida. A 
shocking two-thirds of Americans mistakenly believe Iraq staged the 
9/11 attacks.

A surging wave of anti-Islamic hate promoted by Bush's allies on 
the Christian loony far right, and administration repression of 
Muslims, frighteningly recall Europe's growing anti-Semitism of the 
early 1930s. These are the reasons why a majority of Americans 
still support a war of pure aggression against Iraq, though more 
and more question the president's motives.

It is frightening to see Bush claim with a straight face his war 
against Iraq will bring democracy and peace to the Mideast, and 
save Iraqis from repression. Why didn't he begin by saving 
Palestinians from the repression by his alter-ego and, 
increasingly, his mentor, Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon. If 
Bush really cared about Mideast democracy, he has had two years to 
do something about US-sponsored dictatorships like Egypt, or 
medieval autocracies such as Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and 
American's Gulf protectorates.

When Bush says he will bring democracy to benighted Iraqis, what he 
really means is US rule. In Bush-speak, 'democracy' has been 
perverted to mean US imperial hegemony: nations run by puppet 
rulers who makes all the right noises, like Afghanistan's US-
installed figurehead, Hamid Karzai, while following Washington's 
orders to the letter.

Bush's war is not about democracy, weapons of mass destruction, 
human rights or terrorism. It has two main motivations. First, the 
Manifest Destiny crowd in Washington, led by Vice President Dick 
Cheney and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The terrible events 
of 9/11 seemed to produce a psychotic reaction in these good, 
patriotic Americans, transforming them into 19th century 

Their intention is perfectly clear: prevent any nation ever 
challenging US global hegemony; dominate oil. The aggression 
against Iraq is not about oil per se; it is about control of oil. 
Before the Iraq crisis, the US imported about $18 billion of oil 
annually from the Mideast, but spent $31 billion keeping military 
forces there. Why? Control of Mideast oil gives the US domination 
over Europe and Japan, which draw most of their oil from the 
region. Domination of Mideast and Caspian oil will assure the US a 
permanent stranglehold over China and India, as well as Europe and 

The second, but almost invisible driving force is Israel's far 
right Likud government, which has come to dominate Bush 
administration policy and US media commentary on the Mideast. The 
Clinton administration was close to Israel's moderate Labour Party; 
Bush's camp is totally aligned with Israel's aggressive far right 
and mirrors its views and policies to a remarkable, unprecedented 
degree. Likud, and its powerful American supporters, want the US to 
crush Iraq into pieces. The principal beneficiary of the war 
against Iraq will be Israel.

Many Americans simply do not understand their leadership is about 
to plunge the nation into an open-ended, dangerous colonial war.-
Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2003

Blair's hypocrisy
By Eric S. Margolis

Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair proposed a 'compromise' 
recently to the deadlocked UN Security Council: President Saddam 
Hussein of Iraq should go on TV and admit he had weapons of mass 
destruction and had committed five other transgressions.

Blair's offer, reeking of mock sincerity, was clearly crafted to 
dampen down a storm of Labour Party criticism over his sycophantic 
and highly unpopular support of President George Bush's impending 
crusade against the Saracens of Iraq. But it was an offer Iraq was 
certain to reject.

Small wonder French call Britain 'perfidious Albion.' Blair's 
demarche was high hypocrisy, even by Downing Street's usual 
standard. Why doesn't the relentlessly sanctimonious Blair go on TV 
and explain why Britain still retains nuclear, chemical, and 
biological weapons in sizable quantities. Are they to stop a cross-
channel invasion by France or Vikings?

Perhaps Blair could discuss Churchill's plan to use poison gas 
against any German landing during World War II. More to the point, 
Blair should explain to his own people why Britain and the US 
supplied Iraq with all its germ and many of its chemical arms 
during the 1980s (confirmed in US Senate hearings). Why British 
government technicians discovered by this writer in Baghdad in 1990 
were producing anthrax and Q-fever germ weapons for Iraq?

Instead of harping on Iraq's brutality, Blair might discuss 
Britain's savaging of Ireland, colonial conquest of almost half the 
known world, forced addiction of millions of Chinese to British-
grown opium, and crimes in India, Africa, and Burma. And admit that 
some of today's worst political problems - Iraq, Palestine, 
Kashmir, India v. Pakistan - are the poisoned fruits of British 

Blair may well owe a political debt to the financiers and press 
barons who launched and funded his meteoric political career and 
badly want this war. But plunging Britons into an unjust, 
unnecessary war to please these born-again imperialists is 
intolerable. The only other explanation, that Blair is doing all 
this out of conviction, is even more frightening.

Bad enough born-again George Bush apparently believes he is 
commanded by God to go to war. That his chief advisers on the 
Mideast want to recreate Biblical Israel for Prime Minister Sharon. 
And that Bush's core Christian fundamentalist supporters believe 
this war will hasten the conversion of Jews to Christianity and 
bring the world's end through Armageddon. Blair is too intelligent 
to swallow such medievalism.

Every 'Iraqi weapons of mass destruction site' claimed by British 
and US intelligence turned out, when inspected by the UN, to be 
clean. If Blair still actually believes these clearly debunked 
claims, he needs help. CIA and MI6 still claim they know Iraq is 
still hiding stores of germs and nerve gas. So then why not give 
the locations to UN inspectors?

Iraq's feeble, 150km ranged al-Samoud missiles might have exceeded 
their permitted range by a inconsequential 10-15 kilometers. Big 
deal. They are being destroyed. Worry instead about North Korea's 
new Taepodong-II, which CIA says can deliver a nuclear warhead to 
the United States. Unbelievably, Iraq-obsessed Bush dismisses 
menacing North Korea as only a 'regional problem.'

Saddam's notorious 'Winnebagos of death' - germ-making trucks - 
turned out, on inspection, to be mobile food testing labs. The 
latest US-British-promoted canard: Iraq's 'drones of death:' three 
rickety model aeroplanes unworthy of World War I, rather than Fu 
Manchu dispensers of germs, as the Pentagon ludicrously claimed. 
Only one had managed to fly - two miles.

Iraq's only true potential weapons of mass destruction, VX nerve 
gas and perhaps some germs, remain an open question. But Iraq lacks 
any offensive capability to deliver either, aside from a few hidden 
Scuds. The sole use of germs or gas is as defensive battlefield 
weapons, CIA Director George Tenet noted.

Iraq's most important defector, Gen Hussein Kamel, who headed its 
biowarfare projects, stated he personally supervised destruction of 
all of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons in 1991, a fact 
suppressed by the White House. Other experts say any germs or gas 
still held by Iraq have by now deteriorated through age into 
inertness. As for Bush's charge Saddam might give such weapons to 
anti-American groups, why didn't he do so from 1990 to 2003, when 
the US was daily bombing Iraq and trying to overthrow his regime? 
Because he's not suicidal.

Unable to locate Iraq's US-British supplied weapons, unable to link 
Iraq to Osama bin Laden, Bush and Blair shifted gears. They now 
claim Iraq's suffering people must be 'liberated.' But why weren't 
they liberated when Saddam committed his worst rights violations 
during the 1980s, when Iraq was a US-British ally? And what about 
the startling revelation by the former CIA Iraq desk chief that the 
gassing to death of 5,000 Kurds at Halabja - an event endlessly 
reiterated by Bush - was accidentally caused by Iran, not Iraq.

As fast as one fabrication is exposed, more pop up. The US-British 
propaganda machine is relentless. For Bush, the war against Iraq 
will conveniently be both his re-election campaign and culmination 
of Biblical prophesy. For the more worldly British leader, all we 
can say is Blair, your pants are on fire. What next in this 
laughable, pre-war propaganda circus that has made the Bush 
administration and Blair look silly and deceitful? Will Iraqis be 
accused of smoking indoors or hiding lethal nail clippers?- 
Copyright Eric S. Margolis, 2003.

Angry Waqar blasts selection committee
Sports Correspondent

LAHORE,March21: Humiliated former Pakistan captain, Waqar Younis, 
blasted the selection committee for axing him from the Sharjah-
bound squad.

Talking to Dawn, Waqar who led Pakistan in the disastrous World 
Cup-2003, agreed that he may have not led the side according to 
expectations, but as a player his performance was certainly better 
than most of the squad members.

"I am not responsible alone for the debacle, the other seniors are 
equally responsible but surprisingly they are 'rested' and I am 
dropped," Waqar said.

The chief selector, Aamir Sohail, while announcing the team for 
Sharjah Cup categorically mentioned that Waqar was dropped while 
Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Saqlain Mushtaq and 
Saeed Anwar were rested. 

Aamir also indicated that the senior players could be considered in 
the near future and that too would depend on the performance of the 
young guns included in the 16-man squad.

Waqar said that the national selection committee had no need to 
wait for his retirement from cricket.

"I played cricket for 15 years without taking any advice fromany 
quarter and will decide on my own when to call it a day," he said.

He demanded an explanation from the selectors for the 
discriminatory treatment meted out to him.

Wasim, Waqar, Shoaib, Saeed shown the door
By Mohammad Yaqoob

LAHORE, March 20: Authorities left out as many as seven World Cup 
stalwarts for Sharjah Cup, including the pace trio of Wasim Akram, 
Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar and premier batsmen Inzamam-ul-Haq 
and Saeed Anwar.

Unveiling a new-look 16-man squad at a press briefing at Gaddafi 
Stadium, Aamir Sohail, the new chairman of selectors, clarified 
that apart from deposed captain Waqar, who was dropped, the 
remaining senior players were being 'rested'.

Off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq was also a notable omission in a squad 
that now contains only seven players who played in the World Cup in 
southern Africa. Also not considered for selection was all-rounder 
Azhar Mahmood while Shahid Afridi is serving a ban for sledging in 
the World Cup Group 'A' fixture against India.

Skipper Rashid Latif and his newly appointed deputy Yousuf Youhana 
retain their place along with Younis Khan, Saleem Elahi, Taufiq 
Umar, Abdul Razzaq and Mohammad Sami.

First time inductees, opening batsman Mohammad Hafeez and pace 
bowler Umar Gul, are among nine changes in the Sharjah-bound squad. 
As expected Misbah-ul-Haq returns after a prolific Quaid-i-Azam 
Trophy season in which he topped the batting averages and amassed 
963 runs (averaging 107.00).

Also back in favour are batsmen Faisal Iqbal and Naved Latif, off-
spinning all-rounder Shoaib Malik, leg-spinner Danish Kaneria and 
fast bowler Mohammad Zahid.

Rana Naveed-ul-Hasan, a right-arm medium-pacer who is also a useful 
batsman, is picked for his second tour with the senior team. He was 
a non-playing member of the Pakistan side that played host to 
Australia in the offshore Test series in Colombo and Sharjah last 

The inclusion of 22-year-old Hafeez is a major surprise. He made 
only 251 runs in seven matches for Sargodha in the recent Quaid-i-
Azam Trophy. In contrast, claims of several young players were 
ignored by the five-man selection committee. Among them were 
batsmen Saeed bin Nasir, Yasir Hameed, Bazid Khan, Asim Kamal and 
Farhan Adil, all-rounder Yasir Arafat and speedster Jaffar Nazir. 
All these youngsters performed exceptionally well in the Quaid 

Aamir, while addressing the media, however, contradicted himself 
saying he was not sure whether the senior players would get the 
chance to make a comeback in the future.

"We are passing through a rebuilding process. To test how much 
backup is available, the new players will be given sufficient time. 
If they click we will then see whether the team needs the stars or 
not," Aamir said.

Aamir further remarked that the new team was formed with full 
consent of skipper Rashid Latif. "The new selection committee had a 
detailed meeting with Rashid and finally the skipper's point of 
view was given full weight."

Regarding the selection of injury-plagued paceman Mohammad Zahid, 
Aamir said that the bowler was included in the team after the PCB 
panel of doctors passed him fit.

He said that the selectors wanted to include pacers Najaf Shah and 
Jaffar Nazir but Rashid demanded an all-rounder be picked and thus 
Shoaib Malik was included.

The chief selector said that Rashid had been told clearly not to 
use Razzaq or Shoaib at No 3 position unless a pinch-hitter was 

Aamir claimed that Razzaq had lot of qualities and he could not 
performed to his true potential in the World Cup only because of 
repeated reshuffling of the batting order

When asked why Hafeez was given the nods over others, Aamir 
replied: "Hafeez had been performing well at the domestic level and 
deserved a place in the team."

Aamir made a plea to the nation and the national press to support 
this new team. "This team will be given a proper time to deliver. 
And I appeal to media and nation to show patience."

To a question, Aamir dispelled the impression that the PCB has 
imposed Rashid with the captaincy because the announcement was made 
before selecting the team.

"I was consulted by PCB for Rashid and I gave my full consent 
because he is the best man for this post under current 
circumstances. He is a fighter and having the abilities to deliver 
under difficult situation," Aamir said.

Squad: Rashid Latif (captain), Yousuf Youhana (vice-captain), 
Saleem Elahi, Taufiq Umar, Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis 
Khan, Naved Latif, Faisal Iqbal, Abdul Razzaq, Rana Naveed-ul-
Hasan, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Sami, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria and 
Mohammad Zahid. Officials: Javed Miandad (coach), Haroon Rasheed 
(manager), Dr Tauseef Razzaq (trainer/physiotherapist) and Dr Riaz 
Ahmed (team doctor).

Pakistan to push ICC on Indian boycott
JOHANNESBURG, March 16: Pakistan will push for sanctions against 
India for refusing to play Test matches against it when the 
Executive Board of the ICC meets here later this week, a top 
official said.

"We want the matter to be taken up seriously because India's 
refusal to play us is hurting the game in the region," Pakistan 
Cricket Board (PCB) director Chishty Mujahid said.

The Executive Board will meet here on Saturday, a day before the 
World Cup final at the Wanderers.

The Indian government has banned bilateral cricket with Pakistan 
since June 2000 in protest at Islamabad's alleged support to 
Islamic militants in the disputed Kashmir region.

But both teams face each other in multi-nation events like the 
current World Cup where India and Pakistan played in the 
preliminary league at Centurion on March 1.

The match passed off without an incident as India recorded a 
comprehensive six-wicket win.

India is scheduled to tour Pakistan for a three-Test series next 
month, but the visit is unlikely to take place.

India are committed to playing a tri-series in Bangladesh in mid-
April featuring South Africa and the hosts.

"The writing is on the wall, the Indians will not be coming to 
Pakistan, although we have not had any official word from them," 
Chishty said.

Under the 10-year Test program of the ICC, India and Pakistan are 
scheduled to play four series till 2010.

Indian cricket chief Jagmohan Dalmiya had earlier this month urged 
the federal government to allow the April tour of Pakistan to go 
ahead to prevent India from being isolated on the world stage.

"If India do not play against Pakistan, the equilibrium of world 
cricket will be severely affected because the World Test 
Championship cannot be decided," Dalmiya wrote to sports Minister 
Vikram Verma.

India last played a Test match in Pakistan in January 1990, while 
Pakistan toured India in 1999 despite threats from Hindu 
fundamentalists to disrupt the tour.

"Pakistan's hopes of organizing a tri-series with England and 
Zimbabwe next month to fill the void left by India did not bear 
fruit," Chishty said.-AFP

Ganguly inspires India crush Kenya in semifinal
JOHANNESBURG, March 21: India exposed Kenya's pretensions to Test 
status with a World Cup semifinal victory even more comprehensive 
than their 91-run victory margin would suggest (partly reported in 
Friday's edition).

The 1983 champions now play defending champions and hot favorites 
Australia in the final at The Wanderers on Sunday.

Set an unlikely victory target of 271 at the Kingsmead ground in 
Durban, Kenya slumped to 104 for seven before captain Steve Tikolo 
struck a half-century against India's part-time bowlers.

Tikolo's 56 from 83 balls helped Kenya to 179, including 39 extras, 
but most of the cricket in the latter stages of the day-night match 
was not worthy of a World Cup semifinal.

With the result never in doubt after India compiled 270 for four, a 
large section of the 18,000 crowd had drifted to the exits before 
the match ended.

Captain Saurav Ganguly used spinners Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj 
Singh in an effort to reach the 25 overs needed for a result if 
rain stopped the match early. But once that mark was reached, he 
persisted with Yuvraj and also used Virender Sehwag and Sachin 
Tendulkar, who bowled indifferently at best.

"We wanted to give everybody a bowl," Ganguly said. "They obviously 
went for a few runs, but once the fast bowlers came back we 
finished it off quickly."

Rahul Dravid, suffering from a sore finger, was sloppy behind the 
stumps and India relaxed their grip on the match in a manner 
foreign to Australia.

India's batting against some accurate if hardly threatening bowling 
at least matched the occasion.

Tendulkar (83) struck his sixth half-century of the tournament and 
Ganguly scored his third century with an unbeaten 111 in a total of 

Batting under the lights, Kenya could make no headway against the 
India pace attack of Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra, 
with Zaheer proving the most successful with three for 14 from 9.2 

Ravindu Shah (1) was plumb in front to Zaheer, Ongondo (0) looked 
totally out of his depth at number three before offering a catch to 
mid on off Nehra and Srinath continued his good tournament with a 
fine delivery Kennedy Obuya (15) could only edge to the wicket-

Nehra grabbed his second shortly afterwards when Sehwag did well to 
hold on to a steepling catch at fine leg to dismiss Thomas Odoyo 
for seven.

Kenya were similarly outclassed in their group match against twice 
champions West Indies, who failed to advance past the first round, 
although they will go home with victories over three Test nations 
in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and fellow-Africans Zimbabwe.

Opening batsman Ravindu Shah, who looked the classiest of the 
Kenyan batsmen throughout the tournament, said Kenya needed more 

"We would like support from the ICC and to play more regularly at 
this level," he said.

"We need the funding to play more cricket abroad."

Ganguly's century propels India to imposing total
DURBAN, March 20: Saurav Ganguly's fourth World Cup century spurred 
India to an imposing 270 for four from 50 overs in their semifinal 
against Kenya.

The India captain's century, his 22nd in one-day internationals, 
took him alongside Australia's Mark Waugh and team mate Sachin 
Tendulkar at the top of the list of World Cup centurions.

It was also his third hundred in the tournament and his second 
against the Kenyans, an achievement matched only by Waugh in 1996.

Ganguly moved to three figures with a six smashed over mid on from 
a Martin Suji full toss in the 49th over as the India innings 
finished with a flourish, 18 runs coming off the penultimate over.

He was undefeated at the close, his 111 runs coming off 114 balls 
with five fours and five sixes.

Thomas Odoyo's tidy opening spell of six overs cost just 19 runs 
and he was well supported by Martin Suji and Peter Ongondo. All the 
Kenya bowlers disciplined themselves with a tight off stump line as 
India reached a relatively modest 56 without loss from 15 overs.

Their control was finally rewarded when Sehwag played loosely at 
Ongondo and skied a catch to Maurice Odumbe at cover to depart for 

Tendulkar batted well within himself, passing his 50 off 64 balls 
and looking well set to notch his 35th one-day hundred when he 
pulled Steve Tikolo straight to deep midwicket. His 83 runs came 
off 101 balls with five fours and took his tournament record tally 
to 669 from 10 innings.

Ganguly played himself in before looking to accelerate, targeting 
young leg-spinner Collins Obuya as he did in Cape Town in the Super 
Six match between the two sides.

Twice in the same over, Ganguly slog swept Obuya for towering sixes 
over midwicket and he continued to improvise throughout his 
innings, several times charging down the wicket to the Kenyan 
medium pacers.

The Kenyan bowling effort was rewarded with two further wickets.

Mohammad Kaif was run out after a fine piece of work by Collins 
Obuya for 15 and Odoyo got his own reward when Yuvraj Singh was 
caught in the deep for 16 in the final over.-Reuters

India shatter New Zealand's World Cup dreams
CENTURION, March 15: Middle-order batsmen Mohammad Kaif and Rahul 
Dravid shared an unbeaten century partnership to guide India to a 
comfortable seven wicket win over New Zealand.

After India had survived some early scares, Kaif scored 68 and 
Dravid 53, taking their side to victory with 9.2 overs to spare.

New Zealand were eliminated on Saturday after Sri Lanka defeated 
Zimbabwe in their last Super Six match.

Left-arm fast bowler Zaheer Khan took four wickets in yet another 
inspired showing by India's pace bowlers as the New Zealanders 
stumbled to 146 all out from 45.1 overs.

Then fast bowler Shane Bond briefly raised New Zealand's hopes by 
reducing India to 21 for three. But Kaif and Dravid shared in an 
unbeaten 129-run fourth wicket partnership to steer their side home 
after both were dropped before reaching double figures.

"We have done very well so far," said captain Saurav Ganguly. "We 
lost a couple of early wickets but we have quite a few match 
winners and it's obviously good that all of them are hitting the 
ball well."

Bond removed opener Virender Sehwag (1) and Ganguly (3) in his 
first two overs, the latter yorked by a 153 kms an hour delivery.

Daryl Tuffey, at the other end, sent back Sachin Tendulkar for 15 
after he had hit three consecutive fours as India.

Wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum spilled a big opportunity one run 
later when he dropped Rahul Dravid after Bond had induced an edge 
through sheer pace.

Bond almost dismissed Mohammad Kaif for six but a leaping Chris 
Harris at point could only get his fingertips to the ball before it 
fled to the fence.

Zaheer put India on top in the morning after Ganguly had asked New 
Zealand to bat on a good pitch at SuperSport Park.

The 24-year-old paceman struck twice with consecutive balls in the 
first over before New Zealand had scored a run. He finished with 
four for 42, including his 100th One-day International wicket.

New Zealand never recovered from the horrible start as Zaheer, 
fellow left-arm paceman Ashish Nehra and Javagal Srinath reduced 
New Zealand to 38 for three and 88 for six by the halfway mark.

The Kiwis recalled Craig McMillan to open the innings but Zaheer 
removed him for a second ball duck when he flicked a half-volley to 
Harbhajan Singh at square-leg. He then trapped Nathan Astle leg 
before first ball to an uncertain forward defence shot.

Nehra, who bowled impeccably, then beat Scott Styris (15) with late 
seam movement to make it 38 for three in the ninth over. Styris, 
who hit Zaheer's hat trick delivery for a couple down the ground 
and drove him through midwicket for his only four, was beaten by 
the bounce and movement to edge a catch to wicket-keeper Dravid.

Zaheer, whose opening three-over spell went for 28 runs, switched 
ends to bowl Brendon McCullum (4) between bat and pad, his 100th 
one-day wicket.

New Zealand were teetering at 47 for four in the 14th over as Nehra 
conceded just nine runs in his first six-over spell after starting 
with two consecutive maidens.

Only captain Stephen Fleming looked in control, top-scoring with 
30, but he grew frustrated by the miserly bowling and sharp 
fielding to mis-hit Srinath to Tendulkar at mid-off to make it 60 
for five.

"There was nothing in the pitch," Fleming said. "This is the 
disappointing factor. If anything it should have favoured us."

Sri Lanka overwhelm Zimbabwe to seal semifinal spot
EAST LONDON, March 15: Sri Lanka secured the final World Cup 
semifinal place with a decisive 74-run win over Zimbabwe at Buffalo 

After winning the toss and posting 256 for five from their 50 
overs, Sri Lanka dismissed Zimbabwe for 182 to claim a date with 
champions Australia in Port Elizabeth.

The Super Six victory put paid to any lingering New Zealand hopes 
of a place in the last four. The New Zealanders required a Zimbabwe 
win to head the Sri Lankans.

Zimbabwe's hopes all but disappeared when Andy Flower was lbw in 
his final international match for the top score of 38.

Sri Lanka's total was built on the back of opener Marvan Atapattu's 
unbeaten 103, his 10th one-day hundred and only the ninth time a 
batsman has batted through a completed innings at the World Cup.

Atapattu started cautiously and was dropped on 23 when wicket-
keeper Tatenda Taibu dived full length to his right but narrowly 
failed to hold on to an extremely difficult chance off the bowling 
of Travis Friend.

It took Atapattu until the final over of the innings to reach his 
century when he pushed the ball into the covers and scampered a 
single off Doug Hondo. He faced 127 balls and hit seven fours.

With Heath Streak slipping into a good rhythm from the start, the 
Sri Lankans failed to produce one of their trademark quick fire 
starts, captain Sanath Jayasuriya taking until the 11th over of the 
innings to find the boundary.

He perished shortly afterwards for 22, edging a Streak delivery 
angled across him through to Taibu.

Avishka Gunawardene played unusually within himself on his return 
to the side as he and Atapattu added 83 for the second wicket. 
Gunawardene was dismissed for 41 when he chipped a return catch to 
Doug Marillier.

While Atapattu continued to graft at one end, Kumar Sangakkara 
provided the acceleration the Sri Lankans required towards the end 
of the innings with 35 runs from just 25 balls at the other. Streak 
was the best of the bowlers with two for 40 from his 10 overs.

Craig Wishart (43), Doug Marillier (19) and Travis Friend (21) got 
the Zimbabwe run chase off to a positive start, but the tournament 
co-hosts failed to build substantial partnerships at the top of the 
order and were undermined by the loss of wickets at regular 

Their cause was terminally damaged when Flower was given out lbw 
for 38 to Aravinda de Silva's slow off spin although television 
replays suggested the ball cannoned into Flower's pads off an 
inside edge. The player himself was visibly aggrieved but left the 
field to a standing ovation.

Muttiah Muralitharan then returned to the attack and turned one 
through the gate to bowl Taibu (2) with the first delivery of his 
new spell and when Andy Blignaut smashed a Dihara Fernando full 
toss straight to cover in the next over Zimbabwe were 151 for six 
and in dire trouble.

Jayasuriya (three for 30) then picked up two wickets in three balls 
to hasten the end of the contest and spark celebrations with his 
team mates as Sri Lanka confirmed their place in the last four.

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