Aug 20 -
26 , 2001
CE gives roadmap for democracy
President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday unveiled
a roadmap for the restoration of democracy, under which elections to
the national, provincial and the senate would be held in October 2002.
The election process, which will be completed in
four phases, will also incorporate several amendments to the
Constitution. Speaking at the gathering of newly-elected Nazims and
Naib Nazims at the Convention Centre, the President said the election
process would be completed through a "strategic plan" within
the parameters provided by the Supreme Court.
No exact date was given by the President for
National and provincial assemblies elections. "These elections
will be held between October 1 to October 11, 2002," he said.
"Today I have fulfilled one of my major promises to hold
elections within the timeframe given by the Supreme Court," he
Although the President did not specifically point
out the constitutional amendments in his speech it is widely expected
that the Eighth Constitutional Amendment would be restored with a
provision that instead of the president dissolving the entire National
Assembly, the Leader of the House (prime minister) could be dismissed
for saving the system.
Giving details of his plan, Gen Musharraf said the
first phase towards restoration of democracy has been completed with
the installation of district governments which have become functional
from today. During the second phase, he said, which starts from Sept
1, 2001 and ends on June 30, 2002, the constitution of Election
Commission and commencement of delimitation of constituencies would be
finalized by October this year. The finalization of proposed
constitutional amendments to introduce checks and balances and their
release for public analyses/comments would be completed by May 2002.
US company to invest $2.4m
A US petroleum exploration company has entered into
a joint venture with the Government Holdings to invest $2.4 million in
the oil and gas exploration sector in Jacobabad and Shikarpur
districts, covering an area of 1,215 kilometres.
Petroleum Ministry secretary M. Abdullah Yousuf,
the Government Holdings (GHPL) chairman, Dr Mehmoodul Hasan, and
resident director/vice-president of Hycarbex Iftikhar Zahid, signed
the agreement, says a press release issued on Saturday.
Under the agreement the joint venture will make a
risk investment of over $2.4 million during the initial three years.
Hycarbex will carry out geological and geophysical studies in the
first year and will conduct 100km seismic study in the second year.
Pakistan asked to meet IMF criteria
Saudi Arabia and China have asked Pakistan to meet
the IMF performance criteria for seeking 2 to 2.5 billion dollars new
funding line in the shape of Poverty Reduction Growth Facility (PRGF).
Official sources said on Thursday that both China
and Saudi Arabia, who are extending generous financial assistance to
Pakistan, had asked the government to satisfy the IMF officials about
the state of the economy so that the existing 596-million-dollar
Standby Arrangement (SBA) could be replaced with PRGF before the end
of this year.
The sources said Pakistan would have to manoeuvre
hard to resolve some of the political issues with the G-8 countries.
"Although the US and the West have cautiously welcomed President
Pervez Musharraf's announcement to hold general election in October
2002, they are still to be satisfied on the return of democracy,"
Unicef to provide $0.2m to NWFP
The NWFP government and Unicef would shortly sign a
memorandum of understanding (MoU) under which the former would be
extended a grant of $0.2 million for carrying out a province-wide
survey to develop socio-economic indicators of the 23 districts and
one tribal agency.
Official sources told on Thursday that the exercise
had been necessitated to compile data primarily for its onward use by
the provincial finance committee (PFC) for the purpose of evolving a
formula for distribution of resources among the 23 district
governments and one tribal agency under the devolution of power plan.
$150m ADB loan likely for judicial reforms
The Asian Development Bank is likley to extend $150
million by December this year to help Pakistan undertake judicial
reforms. A six-member team of the bank is arriving on Aug 20 to
discuss and finalize the" Access to Justice Programme (AJP)
Loan". It will also review proposed police reforms and dovolution
The overall objective of the loan is to help
improve access to justice so as to: (i) provide security and justice
to people, particularly the poor; (ii) strengthen legitimacy of state
institutions; and (iii) create conditions for the revival of growth by
fostering confidence of investors.
Karachi City Govt begins working
The city government, headed by Naimatullah Khan,
the City Nazim, started formal functioning on Wednesday. The first day
of City Nazims and Naib Nazims began with briefings in their new
offices by the District Coordination Officers on the working of
The City Nazim presided over a meeting at the Civic
Centre. Later, Naimatullah Khan and Naib Nazim Tariq Hasan met Sindh
Governor Mohammedmian Soomro at the Governor's House.
PTCL, UBL sell-off
Privatization Commission Board approved the
pre-qualification criteria for the parties participating in the
privatisation of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL),
United Bank Limited (UBL) and National Investment Trust Ltd (NITL) on
According to a handout issued, the Federal Minister
for Privatization Altaf Saleem chaired the meeting. PC received eleven
Expressions of Interest for PTCL, 21 for UBL and 11 for NITL from
prospective bidders of national and international repute.