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Aug 06 - 12 , 2001

Musharraf outlines proactive strategy

The government has decided to launch a massive crackdown on the holders of illegal arms immediately after the local bodies elections. "There will be targeted searches to recover illegal arms but without cordoning off localities ," President Gen Pervez Musharraf said while speaking at a seminar on "Arms Control in Pakistan" on Thursday.

"Let me assure you, we will be conclusive, proactive and offensive after the completion of elections," the president said. "We will search targeted areas. Obviously not cordoning the whole area and doing massive search. Targeted searches will be done," the president said. Gen Musharraf said the campaign to recover illicit arms was viewed by the government as a test case and "we are determined to bring it to a successful conclusion."

The president, however, admitted that there was no considerable success to recover illegal arms during an amnesty period. "But now we will have to take strong measures for which I have convened a meeting of the governors on Saturday to finalize our strategy," he added. "Enough is enough. We have to work more actively and aggressively in all area where extremism is causing us harm," he said.

The president said that in some cultures it was a matter of pride to carry arms. "But when practice becomes a threat to the social and economic stability of any society then there is need to take strong action against those who endanger social harmony." He said the government had allocated Rs2 billion for police reforms in the current budget but actually there was a requirement of Rs15 billion to achieve certain objectives.

Gen Musharraf emphasized the need for improving the functioning of police and judiciary along with improved intelligence and investigation process to get hold of terrorists and criminals. While criticizing the performance of police, intelligence and investigation agencies and the judiciary, he said that since there were no sufficient funds he could not squarely blame the whole government administrative machinery for not delivering the goods.

Revival of democracy next year: Musharraf

President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday reaffirmed his resolve to abide by the Supreme Court directive regarding the restoration of democracy by October next year.

The reaffirmation came during talks between the president and US assistant secretary of state for South Asia Christina Rocca. The discussions focused on bilateral relations. Ms Rocca is the first senior official of the Bush administration to have visited Islamabad for exchanging views with Pakistan leaders on the government's reform agenda and the steps being taken to restore democracy, including the holding of local bodies elections, a press release said.

Five companies allowed to issue TFCs

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has given permission for issue of Term Finance Certificates (TFCs) worth Rs2.95 billion to five companies of last week.

An official announcement said this was part of efforts to raise capital through capital market and development of fixed income securities market in Pakistan. During the current year, 12 companies have been given permission to raise their capital through issuance of TFCs to the tune of Rs7.875 billion.

The companies that were given permission last week include First International Investment Bank (Rs100 million) as first tranche of total authorized Rs500 million, Gulistan Textile Mills Ltd worth Rs300 million, Dawood Leasing Co. Ltd. worth Rs250 million, Packages Limited worth Rs700 million and ICI (Pakistan) worth Rs1.6 billion.

President may visit Cuba next month

President Gen Pervez Musharraf is likely to visit Federal Republic of Cuba in September before visiting New York for attending the UN General Assembly's session, Foreign Office sources said.

The date of his visit to Cuba is being kept secret by the Foreign Office in view of reports that Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee might not visit New York during President Musharraf's stay there. Earlier, the visit of Cuba was scheduled after the General Assembly's session.

TCP invites LoIs

Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has decided to utilize the services of private sector and international organizations to check contamination of cotton. According to TCP officials on Thursday, the corporation has invited Letters of Intent (LoIs) from private sector inspection organizations to establish cotton testing laboratories for checking contamination.

Exploration licence granted

The government on Wednesday granted Petroleum Exploration Licence to Joint Venture of Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and Government Holdings (Private) Limited over block no 3371-7 (Jhamat) covering an area of 933.75 Sq.Km. 933.75 km in the district of Attock, Chakwal, Mianwali and Kohat in NWFP.

New power policy next week

New policy for power projects, aimed at introducing incentives to attract investment in this sector, will be announced next week after the approval of the Federal Cabinet.

According to sources in the ministry of water and power, the final draft of the policy has already been sent to federal cabinet for approval after the vetting by the ministry of law and justice.

Well-furnished passenger coaches

Pakistan Railways will shortly include 175 well-furnished passenger coaches in its present fleet with the help of China. This was informed at a meeting held on Saturday between the minister for communication Lt-Gen (retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi and a delegation representing three Chinese companies including Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Works (DLRW), Dong Fond Electric Corporation (DFEC) and CMC headed by Mr Hu Weidong.