Jul 24 - 30, 2000
EU may review ties with
Pakistan in September
Pakistan, worried about stagnating relations with the European Union,
is pressing the 15 nation bloc to resume normal bilateral economic and diplomatic ties,
including efforts to kick start a political dialogue suspended after last October's
"Pakistan and the EU must re-engage with each other," said
Inamul Haque, Pakistan's Federal Secretary for Foreign Relations following meetings with
senior Belgian and EU officials and members of the European Parliament.
"We must talk to each other to resolve our problems," Haque
said, adding that the EU's decision to downgrade relations with the present government in
Islamabad by reducing aid (except to social sector projects) and suspending the signature
of a new trade and economic treaty was hurting Pakistan's economy.
The EU should see that the direction of the present government in
Pakistan is right and should resume financial and economic assistance, the Foreign
Resuming aid only in two years once elections are held could be
"too late" for Pakistan's economic well being, he cautioned. But EU insiders say
Pakistan faces an uphill struggle in seeking closer relations with the bloc. "We do
not like military regimes," the EU's "high representative" for common
foreign and security policy told.
"Relations cannot be the same with democratic countries as they
are with governments that are the product of a military coup," Solana added.
However, the Union is determined to maintain all channels of
communication open with Islamabad, convinced that isolating Pakistan is not in Europe's
EU governments are set to review relations with Islamabad in talks in
Brussels in early September, with suggestions that political discussions could resume,
albeit at a low level, with Islamabad.
Kuwait to supply oil without disruption
Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Usman Aminuddin
said on Tuesday that the Kuwait government has assured him that there would be no
disruption in supply of oil products to Pakistan in the wake of last month's explosion at
Kuwait's major Al Ahmadi refinery that affected its production capacity.
Mr Usman, who arrived on Monday as a special envoy of the chief
executive, General Pervez Musharraf, was addressing a press conference after holding talks
with the Kuwaiti leaders.
On his talks with Kuwait's Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister, Sheikh
Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, Mr Usman said he emphasized Islamabad's policy of total peace in
the region. "I reiterated that Pakistan would like to maintain peaceful relations
with all countries in the region and seeks a dialogue with India at any time, any place
and any level."
He said that Pakistan seeks Kuwait's support in promoting unity among
Ummah and proposed that "we all take a concerted action for seeking a role of the
massive Islamic world in international arena."
No plan to isolate Pakistan, says UK
The British government has lifted the ban on the sales of some of the
military equipment and spares to Pakistan, mainly to ensure that the British-origin naval
hardware and ships in the Pakistan Navy remain functional and serviceable.
The move does not add to Pakistan's aggressive capability but only
ensures its defensive capacity and that too on the high seas where its ability to launch
any offensive campaign is highly limited, a high official of British Foreign Office,
responsible for Pakistan and Afghanistan Desk, said.
He did not think the timing of the decision was all that significant.
Such decisions took some time to process. He did not agree with the suggestion that the
decision signalled a softening of British attitude towards the military regime in
PTV to start 100 cable TV channels
Pakistan Television will shortly provide facility of cable TV channels
throughout the country under which more than 100 TV channels of different countries can be
seen, its learnt.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued a licence to
PTV for starting a cable TV under Section 5(2)(0) of the Pakistan Telecommunication
(Reorganisation) Act, 1996, and Rule 3 of the Cable Television Operation Rules, 2000,
framed under Section 57(1) of the Act.
Chinese FM arriving
Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan will arrive on Saturday for three
days of top-level meetings designed to foster the "all-weather friendship"
between the two countries, officials said.
He would meet Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf as well as Foreign
Minister Abdul Sattar and President Rafiq Tarar, they said on Thursday.
A foreign ministry official said: "All issues of mutual interest
will be discussed, including the situation in Kashmir and Afghanistan."
Saudi firm files $70m damages suit
A Saudi-based mega concern has filed in the International Chamber of
Arbitration Paris a suit for $70 million damages against Pakistan for the government's
alleged failure to implement an agreement signed with it four years back.
Dalla Group, operating in different business spheres in various
countries, has filed the suit on account of Pakistan's failure to construct a Haj complex
in Makkah. However, Pakistan is refusing to defend the case and waiting for an ex parte
decision, sources told.
The Group was awarded a $225 million contract to build the complex to
accommodate almost 35,000 Pakistani pilgrims during Haj seasons.
Cabinet approves amendments
The Federal Cabinet which met Wednesday with Chief Executive General
Pervez Musharraf in chair, approved amendments in the Securities and Exchange Ordinance
1969. The proposed amendments have been necessitated to strengthen the securities market
through improved governance, regulation and supervision to support orderly growth of
companies and restore investors' confidence.