Jan 29 -
Feb 04, 2001
Extradition accord with Uzbekistan signed
Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar signed an extradition
treaty on Thursday with his Uzbek counterpart, Abdulaziz Kamilov, who
hoped that the treaty would establish cooperative relations between
the two countries.
The two sides also signed agreements on consular
services and customs regulations before addressing a joint press
The Uzbek foreign minister expressed a desire to
establish relations with Afghanistan on certain conditions, such as
adherence to a policy of non-interference, guarantee of secured
borders, elimination of terrorist camps in Afghanistan against
Mr Sattar said that at the initiative of the UN
secretary- general's special envoy, Frances Vendrell, the Uzbek
government had offered to host a reconciliation meeting of all Afghan
parties to end civil war.
Both foreign ministers clarified that though a
United Nations Security Council resolution banned interaction with the
Taliban, the proposed initiative on Afghanistan had come from the UN
They added that Uzbekistan had merely offered to
host the meeting.
Answering a question, Mr Kamilov said that though
Uzbekistan did not recognize the Taliban and their ideology, it
recognized the ground reality that they held sway over 90 per cent of
He stated that Uzbekistan endorsed a UN arms
embargo on the Taliban, adding that it would like the embargo to cover
entire Afghanistan, including its northern areas.
He maintained that Uzbekistan would abide by the UN
Security Council resolution on Afghanistan. He supported the Pakistan
move for a dialogue with India on Kashmir.
Paris Club links more help to reforms
Paris Club has offered more assistance to Pakistan
if it completes reforms in the economic and social sectors, Finance
Minister Shaukat Aziz told on Wednesday from Paris.
"We assured them that the government is
committed to restore true democracy in Pakistan and this went quite
well with the creditors of the Paris Club", the minister
"You must complete the reform agenda and if
you do so we will offer more support to Pakistan", the finance
minister quoted the Club president as saying.
Mr Aziz said he had also briefed the Club about
establishing of democracy at grass-roots level in Pakistan. I told
them that the first phase of local governments elections had been over
and the second phase would soon be started that would consequently set
the tone to hold general elections, he added.
He said that the Paris Club had appreciated the
government's efforts to promote good governance and transparency in
its agreements with the foreign companies.
Three pacts signed with Tunisia
Pakistan and Tunisia have signed three agreements
after talks on a range of issues, including Afghanistan and Kashmir,
an official report said on Tuesday.
Tunisian Foreign Minister Habib ben Yahia had met
Gen Pervez Musharraf and President Rafiq Tarar on Tuesday after
signing the accords with his Pakistani counterpart, Abdul Sattar, on
Monday, it said.
Musharraf accepted Yahia's invitation to visit
Tunisia and said he hoped something could be arranged at an early
date. "A wide range of bilateral, regional and international
issues, including Kashmir, Palestine and Afghanistan, were discussed
in a frank atmosphere," the APP reported of his meeting with Sattar.
He and Sattar signed agreements on air services, a
memorandum of understanding on annual bilateral consultations and a
cultural exchange programme.
US court rejects Pakistan request
A US district court in Colombia has rejected
Pakistan's request for reviewing its earlier verdict of freezing the
bank accounts of Pakistan's agriculture ministry in the Washington
branch of National Bank of Pakistan.
The US District Court judge has also allowed the
plaintiff — Ned Chartering — to locate the defendant's
(agriculture ministry) assets in the United States to enforce its
December 4 judgment in which Pakistan was asked to pay US$268,000 to
the plaintiff on account of wheat shipment charges from Turkey in the
IMF wants number of taxes cut
The IMF experts have advised Pakistan to cut down
the number of taxes and eliminate the regulatory duty imposed for the
protection of local industry.
The advice was given by two IMF technocrats,
presently on a visit to Pakistan.
In two separate meetings with the officials of
Central Board of Revenue on Wednesday, they lauded the government
efforts in expanding tax net and plugging evasion loopholes. However,
they observed that the policy to extract bulk of revenue through
indirect taxation was against the internationally-accepted norms.
Double taxation talks with Nepal
Pakistan-Nepal talks, on double taxation, are being
held in Katmandu on Friday, official sources said on Wednesday.
A CBR delegation, headed by its Chairman Riaz
Hussain Naqvi, will visit Katmandu to discuss the issue of double
taxation with his Nepalese counterpart.
Presently, Pakistan maintains 10-20% cut in duty on
items traded with major SAARC member India, while 30% cut is applied
to items traded with other SAARC members, namely Bangladesh, Bhutan,
Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Pakistan, Finland agree to boost ties
Pakistan and Finland agreed to enhance bilateral
cooperation during talks on Monday, an official statement said.
Finnish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Jukka Valtasaari and
Foreign Secretary Inamul Haq co-chaired the talks, it said.
They reviewed the "entire gamut of bilateral
relations, particularly the economic and commercial aspects." The
conflict in neighbouring Afghanistan, India-Pakistan relations and
nuclear issues were also raised.