Oct 01 - 07, 2001
Washington lifts sanctions against Islamabad, Delhi
Displaying unusual speed on a weekend, the Bush
administration has responded to Islamabad's support in the current
crisis by lifting all sanctions against Pakistan except those imposed
under democracy strictures.
The administration, according to the Pakistan
embassy sources, has confirmed that sanctions under the Glenn,
Pressler and Symington amendments have been waived.
Democracy-related Section 508 sanctions, which
cover some important areas in both military and economic cooperation,
will continue to stay in place "for now", although they have
in the past been modified to meet specific targets.
Nuclear-related sanctions against India have also
Sanctions against the two countries were imposed
immediately after their nuclear tests in 1998. Pakistan came under
additional democracy sanctions a year later when the army displaced
the Nawaz Sharif government.
The removal of most layers of sanctions clears the
way for Pakistan to get economic help from the US and international
financial institutions where Washington enjoys decisive influence.
Two days ago, the chairmen of the foreign relations
committees of the US Senate and the House of Representatives had
called for sanctions to be ended in the case of both India and
Pakistan, overcoming previous reluctance to act simultaneously in the
case of both countries.
There was an active lobby in Washington that was
against treating Pakistan and India equally in the matter of
sanctions, despite Islamabad's plea that it was New Delhi that had
first carried out the nuclear tests. The Sept 11 attacks in New York
and Washington and Pakistan's prompt agreement to help the US in its
campaign against terrorism have been effective in inducing a sobering
change of heart in the Bush administration and in Congress and in
helping to overcome the distrust that has often marked official US
attitude to Islamabad.
National security top priority: CE
President General Pervez Musharraf re-assured the
people on Wednesday that Pakistan, its vital interests and national
security were the foremost priorities of the government.
In a message to the nation on the occasion of
'Pakistan Solidarity Day' being observed on September 27, the
president said: "We have not been oblivious for a moment to our
obligations and responsibilities, and in the wake of thorough
consideration of all the aspects of the situation, we have once again
taken a decision in the supreme interest of Pakistan."
UNHCR seeks $252m for Afghan DPs
Preparing for an influx of up to one million Afghan
refugees into Pakistan, the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees has appealed for $252 million to meet the large-scale
humanitarian emergency in and around Afghanistan.
Speaking at a press conference, the UNHCR
spokesman, Peter Kessler, said the UN agency needed $252 million to
prepare and respond to the possible influx of one million Afghan
refugees into Pakistan, 400,000 into Iran and 50,000 each in
Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Additional contingency plans are underway
to supply aid to 500,000 people inside Afghanistan if the necessity
arises, he said.
According to the UNHCR officials, authorities in
the NWFP have designated 100 sites for possible new Afghan DPs camps
which could accommodate up to one million Afghan refugees.
GST on fertilizers withdrawn
The Central Board of Revenue has withdrawn General
Sales Tax on supply of all kinds of fertilizers with immediate effect.
According to official sources, the CBR through a
notification clarified that 15 per cent GST would now only be charged
on import and at manufacturing stage of all kinds of fertilizers.
Govt bringing ord against freezing of FCAs
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz said on Thursday the
government was bringing an ordinance to guarantee that in future
Foreign Currency Accounts are not frozen.
"The Ordinance, already sent to the president
for signature, will provide a legal cover to this effect," he
said while addressing a function at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce
and Industry, organized in connection with Pakistan Solidarity Day.
Khalid elected new LCCI chief
Dr Khalid Chaudhry was elected on Thursday as
president of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday.
Chaudhry was fielded by the Founders-PIAF Alliance.
He defeated the Founders Group's Farooq Iftikhar, who is also the
sitting senior vice president of the chamber.
OGDCL asks Uch Power to clear Rs4.6bn dues
Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) has
asked Uch Power Limited (UPL) to clear its outstanding amount of Rs4.6
billion on a stand alone basis.
A company statement said that gas supply to Uch
Power Station, Dera Murad Jamali, was started in December 1999.
"Till date OGDCL has received a sum of Rs1.376 billion against
the sale gas invoices of Rs6.099 billion while a sum of Rs4.632
billion is still pending".
Paramount Leasing, AMZ to merge
Paramount Leasing Limited and AMZ Securities (Pvt)
Limited have decided to merge the two companies, subject to receiving
the regulatory approval, a press release issued by AMZ Securities on
The merged company would be named AMZ Paramount
Leasing Limited. AMZ Securities is a stock brokerage firm while
Paramount Leasing is one of the 32 leasing companies listed on the
10-year financial plan for PIA
A 10-year comprehensive and functional business
plan has been chalked out to make PIA a financially stable and strong
This was stated by PIAC chairman Lt Gen (Rtd) Hamid
Nawaz Khan while speaking at the 24th AGM of PIAC's shareholders at
PIA head office on Saturday.