Democracy, a system of governance dedicated to serve people and utilizing national exchequer judiciously for welfare and security of lives of citizens has been distorted in Pakistan for benefit of few. Except for role of a vibrant independent superior judiciary, the whole system in this country seems to have fallen prey to insatiable greed based corruption of few, who are devoid of any shame or honor. It seems in Pakistan either fools, or little people pay taxes, and this country created for welfare of its citizens has been reduced to a fiefdom, where state itself is there to serve individuals or the elite that dominates select powerful institutions. It is not a failure of democracy but its abuse by those elected by people or paid servants of state to serve them in accordance with spirit of constitution. Years of indiscipline and abuse of law by ruling elite has created a culture where individual interests take precedence over collective interests of the people and state security or sovereignty.
Democracy in Pakistan faces a threat from corruption and mediocrity of a visionless group that dominates our political parties and few media spin masters who are hand in gloves with this betrayal of masses. The national debt has almost tripled from Rs4.8 trillion in 2008 to Rs12 trillion by Dec 2011, with people facing burden of escalating prices and investment to GDP ratio liable to fall as low as 12 percent. This was a government committed to benefit large landowners by raising the support price of wheat from Rs 450 to Rs 950, with windfall of profits to few, while the vast majority suffered untold miseries. This coalition government has refused to levy taxes on rich landlords, traders, real estate owners etc and failed to enforce financial discipline in FBR where total tax recovery is lower than tax default. Net result is levy of indirect taxation on food, petroleum, gas etc with no relief in sight, nor any hope of voluntarily taxing the rich for benefit of deprived majority.
MALIK TARIQ ALI,
Lahore, March 5.