This year ‘Independence Day’, instead of being celebrated by people and the state, as is done by other sovereign self respecting countries, is being used for political agitation. For almost seven years, ‘Independence Day’ has all but turned into a non-event. Why? Because, those who ruled were busy cutting cakes to celebrate birthdays of their deceased cult like political leaders. Billions were wasted and national holidays declared, but Independence Day celebrations, were postponed on pretences of austerity or security.

This country is fighting a war against terrorism, in which thousands of our soldiers and civilians have been brutally slaughtered. Yet, our political parties are busy engaging in turf battles, rather than a legitimate political struggle within the confinement of the constitution. In any case, whatever the arguments, the choice of August 14 for political agitation seems to be completely unjustified. What this country needs is zero tolerance and an effective system of punishment for all those involved in corruption, plunder, illegal land grabbing, extortion and violation of laws, irrespective of political affiliations or belonging to civil and uniformed paid bureaucracy.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, July 19.