20 -June 02, 2002
PAKISTAN, INDIA CLOSE TO WAR, SAYS MUSHARRAF
Describing the situation on Pakistan's eastern
borders as "grim," President Gen Pervez Musharraf said on
Wednesday that Pakistan and India were closer to war than they had
been at any time since the Dec 13 attack on the Indian parliament.
The aggressive Indian rhetoric, said the president,
had come in the wake of complete operational capability on the part of
India which was why it could no longer be dismissed as mere rhetoric.
However, he added, Pakistan armed forces were fully prepared to meet
any threat and were capable of matching all forms of Indian
President Musharraf was speaking at a meeting with
editors and senior journalists in the morning. Soon after the meeting,
he went into a closed door joint session of his cabinet and the
National Security Council.
Moving on to the national political scene, he said
it was because of the tense border situation that he had decided to
invite all political parties for a consultative meeting.
He said he was dismayed by the refusal of the ARD
(Alliance for Restoration of Democracy) and the MMA (Muttahida
Majlis-i-Amal) to attend the all parties meeting he had called because
it was a genuine initiative given that he was least interested in
retaining power after the October elections. "In fact," he
said, "I now want to shed power. I wish there was an elected
prime minister to take the crucial decisions that need to be taken at
Explaining his concept of power, he said he wanted
to shed the powers of the chief executive which ought to rest entirely
with the prime minister. Musharraf said he was least interested in a
figurehead prime minister and wanted a premier who wielded complete
power to govern. However, he added, the setup he wanted to create
would revolve around a system of checks and balances in which no one
— the Prime Minister, the President or the Chief of Army Staff —
could act arbitrarily.
EU SIGNS 50M EURO ASSISTANCE ACCORD
The European Union (EU) Commissioner for External
Relations Chris Patten has said that he is visiting Pakistan and India
to assess the security situation in the region.
"In the next couple of days, I will be talking
on regional issues both geographical and diplomatic directions,"
he further stated.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Finance
Minister Shaukat Aziz after having signed 50 million euro grant for
Pakistan, he said on Wednesday that he would also visit Afghanistan
during his current trip to the region. He said issues concerning the
United Nations Security Council's 1373 resolution against terrorism,
which both Pakistan and EU had signed, would come up for discussion.
When asked how did he see the increasing tension in
the region with special reference to massive Indian military build-up
on Pakistan's borders, Patten said he still had to discuss these
issues in Islamabad and New Delhi.
He said that matters pertaining to "democratic
accountability" and increasing trade and economic cooperation
between EU and Pakistan would also be discussed.
RS219 BILLION HUMAN UPLIFT PLAN FINALIZED
The federal government has finalized a Rs219
billion three-year human development program (2002-4). The Khushhal
Pakistan Program (KPP) will get the biggest share (30 per cent),
followed by education (26 per cent) , health (17 per cent) and women
development (three per cent).
According to the details made available to on
Monday, out of Rs110 billion, Rs30 billion has been earmarked for the
current financial year, while Rs32 billion for 2002-03 billion and
Rs38 billion for 2003-4 will be made available under the federal and
provincial public sector development programs (PSDPs).
A financing gap of about Rs105 billion, including
Rs1.4 billion in 2001-2002, Rs46 billion in 2002-3 and Rs55 billion in
2003-4, will be bridged by the international donor agencies, specially
the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
STOCKS OFFER BEST YIELDS IN TIMES OF CRISIS
Never mind the steep decline of 300 points in four
sessions, stock brokers and analysts beckon the brave to defy the
'herd mentality' and seize the stocks as they offer attractive
Humaira Zaheer, analyst at IP Securities says that
in their list of core stocks, Hubco took the top position based on
dividend yield. Hubco was trading on Tuesday at Rs20.75 while the
expected full year dividend for the company was Rs8 per share, which
translated into a dividend yield of 39 per cent.
EOIS FOR POL INVITED
The Privatization Commission on Tuesday invited
Expressions of Interest (EoIs) from potential bidders for disinvesting
the government's 26 per cent shareholding in Pakistan Oilfields
Limited (POL) through a block sale process.
For acquiring a minimum lot of 26 per cent
(approximately 21.35 million government of Pakistan owned shares), the
prospective bidders have been asked to submit their EoIs latest by
June 15, 2002, along with required non-refundable processing fee.
Parties submitting EoIs, will be provided with Instructions to Bidders
(ITB) and further information about the company.
ISLAMABAD RECALLS HC FROM DELHI
The Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi, Ashraf
Jahangir Qazi, was recalled by the government on the demand of the
Indian government on Saturday.
The Indian demand came only a day after its
parliament adopted a unanimous resolution, criticizing Pakistan for
its support to alleged cross-border militancy which Islamabad has
POL PRICE HIKE FLAYED
The Chairman, Pakistan Petroleum Dealers
Association (PPDA), Abdul Sami Khan has criticized the increase in
petroleum prices by the Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) on May
15 by 0.63 to 17 per cent.