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Hearing of petition against freezing AI-Rashid Trust accounts put off

By Our Correspondent

KARACHI: Habib Bank Ltd (HBL) had seized three accounts of Al-Rasheed Trust on the directives of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), which is well within powers to issue such directive. The HBL stated this in its comments on Al-Rasheed Trust's petition against freezing of its accounts. After September 11, 2001 attacks in the US, the American govt had frozen its accounts and Pakistani govt followed suit and took a similar action against the Trust in the country. The Trust assailed this freezing of accounts at the behest of the US and made the SBP and HBL beside others respondents in its petition.

The petition was originally filed in the name of Al-Rasheed Trust but the court had pointed out that the Trust was not a person in legal sense of the word also reminded the counsel that jurisdiction of the SHC under Article 199 of the Constitution could only be invoked by a person or persons. The title of the petition was, therefore, changed and it was filed by one of the trustees Suleman Ibrahirn through Zafar Iqbal advocate. The petition came up before the bench, comprising Justice Sabihuddin Ahmad and Justice Ali Aslam Jaferi. Qazi Faez Isa advocate filed para-wise comments on behalf of the HBL. He submitted that the HBL had three accounts of Al-Rasheed Trust; one was dollar account, one pound sterling account and one rupee account. The rupee account had a balance Rs 2.6 million while there was transaction worth millions of rupees in the remaining two accounts.

The SBP had sent a list of accounts on Sept 25, 2001, which the govt had ordered to freeze and all the Trust's were included in the list. Zahid Jameel advocate, representing the SBP, was also present and he sought time for filing para-

wise comments. Allowing the request this bench fixed March 26 for furthe proceedings. It has been submitted in this petition that the Trust was purely a welfare organisation and had nothing to do with Jihadi organisations. It maintain: its accounts with the HBL, which dishonoured a cheque of Rs 0.4 million the Trust had issued while there wa: sufficient balance with bank. Stating tha the decision of freezing the accounts hac been taken without any just reason by the government and pleaded the court tc reverse the decision.

America not able to fight mujahideen: Gen Hameed

By Abu Osama

ISLAMABAD: America can only drop desycatter bombs to perpetrate terrorism and kill the humanity. While fighting the ground war, it will find itself trapped in difficulties. America is not able to fight the ground battle,"

These views were expressed by General (Retd) Hameed Gul, a famous war analyst and a former ISI chief.

Commenting on the beginning of guerrilla operations against the US forces in Afghanistan, he said that America would sink in the Afghan quagmire and would ultimately lose the war in the battlegrounds as well as in the political fronts. "The latest change in Afghanistan's situation has thrown into uncertainty the return of ex-king Zahir Shah and convening of Loya Jirga."

America's war against Taliban is going to be followed by a war between America and the Afghan interim government. Since America has stopped paying salaries to the interim rulers, they are getting furious and rebellious, he observed.

"America is a mad elephant, who, in its own interest, will not quit the region. Even after getting defeated, it will ask Pakistan to provide troops for carrying on the operation against mujahideen. But it is impossible that we send our troops to Afghanistan. If the Pakistan government committed such a blunder, it will render the country totally vulnerable," he said.

America Has now learnt how difficult the Afghan war is. France, U.K and Germany are parting their ways from America, he added.