- July 01, 2001
Takeover in 'national interest'— CE
The Chief Executive, Gen Pervez Musharraf, assumed
the office of President on Wednesday afternoon with a pledge that
elections would be held in the country by Oct 2002 as directed by the
Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Talking to journalists after being administered the
oath of office by the Chief Justice, Irshad Hasan Khan, at the
Aiwan-i-Sadar, President Gen Pervez Musharraf said he had assumed the
office of the president in the "supreme national interest."
The oath-taking ceremony was attended by cabinet
members, provincial governors, corps commanders, services chiefs and
the diplomatic community. An official announcement made earlier in the
day said that Mr Rafiq Tarar had ceased to hold the office of the
president with immediate effect. This followed the dissolution of the
suspended parliament including the Senate, the National Assembly and
the four provincial assemblies. Two amendments have been made in the
Provisional Constitutional Order to effect the removal of Rafiq Tarar
and induction of Gen Musharraf as the president. A proclamation order
was read out after the oath-taking ceremony of the President which
said: "General Pervez Musharraf has entered upon the office of
the President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan under the President's
Succession Order 2001.
Therefore, let it be known to all and sundry that
General Pervez Musharraf took oath of office as President and assumed
the office of the President of Pakistan." After the ceremony, Gen
Musharraf told reporters that his decision to take over as the
president was led by constitutional, political and economic
considerations. He, however, made it clear that general elections
would be held by October next year as was directed by the Supreme
Court of Pakistan.
"I feel in all humility that if I have a role
to play for this nation I will not hesitate whatever decisions are
involved. I hold national interests supreme.
Govt to promote free-market economy: Usman
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Usman
Aminuddin said on Wednesday, the government is committed to pursuing
agenda of promoting a free market economy in oil and gas, as well as
in other sectors of the economy.
"We have already removed many bottlenecks
restricting inflow of foreign investment in Pakistan and others are
being addressed through comprehensive business-related reform
measures," he said in his keynote address at a conference
"Pakistan's Oil and Gas Sector: Emerging Investment
The minister said, as a result of the investment
policy reforms of December 2000, the entire services sector has been
opened for FDI, adding, minimum foreign equity for non- manufacturing
sector has been reduced from and technical fees for non-manufacturing
enterprises have been relaxed, he said, adding, foreign investors are
allowed to select any field of investment, barring a few industries.
Rs 91 billion state units liabilities
The federal government has taken over Rs91.44
billion liabilities of the public sector corporations that is equal to
more than 3 per cent of the GDP. Disclosing this in his budget speech,
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz said that during the current fiscal
(2000-01) this expenditure was likely to be Rs92 billion.
The minister said that major public sector
corporations incurred a loss of Rs33.7 billion in 2000-01. This
leakage of precious and scarce resources would continue so long as
these corporations remain in the public sector.
The minister expressed helplessness of the
government to improve financial health of these corporations.
"There is no other option available to us except to privatize
these corporations which we are committed to undertake as soon as
possible," said the minister.
Lifting of curbs may be delayed
The US does not endorse Gen Pervez Musharraf's
takeover as president and called upon Islamabad to immediately restore
democracy, sources in administration said on Thursday.
The US officials have also expressed apprehension
that the development might delay moves to lift sanctions against
Islamabad which were imposed after Gen Pervez took over in October
1999. Administration sources said Secretary of State Colin Powell felt
"blindsided" and "angry" on Wednesday because
Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar had one day earlier outlined
Islamabad's plans to return to civilian rule.
Gwadar road link to cost $142m
The Gwadar deep-sea port would be provided a rail
link from Dalbandin via Panjgur at a cost of $142 million. The
gigantic project itself would be completed in two phases at a cost of
This was stated by minister for communications and
railways Lt-Gen (retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi during a visit to the site,
where Chinese communications minister Huang Zhendong also accompanied
Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Lu Shu Lin, federal
secretary for communications Iftikhar Rashid, Chinese experts, and the
senior's officers of the ministry gave a detailed briefing.
During his visit to Gwadar Port, Lt-Gen (retd)
Javed Ashraf Qazi said Pakistan-China friendship was time-tested and
this relationship will further strengthen with the passage of time.
Chinese firms sign four contracts
The companies of visiting Chinese delegation on
Saturday signed contracts and memorandum of understanding (MoU) with
their Pakistani counterpart companies.
Chairman of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Tariq
Ikram, Chinese Consul General in Karachi, Director General of Ministry
of Foreign Trade and Economic Corporation of China Wang Schichun (head
of the Chinese delegation) and Vice-Chairman of EPB Ejaz Ahmed Qureshi
were also present on the occasion.