Why all this melodrama on public stage when the script of windfall profits for the sugar cartel had been approved by all who matter in the establishment? The owners of sugar mills today occupy the House on the Hill as well as control all the major political parties, be they PPP, PML-N, PML-F, PML-Q or ANP. At the end of the day, the state had to reduce the GST by 50% while the mill owners walked away with billions in their pockets. Is it not a fact that the sugar mills had sold their stocks to TCP at a price ranging from Rs25 to Rs28 per kg, just three months ago? The international sugar price hike had no effect on the present stock of sugar mill owners, other than serving as an excuse to make a quick buck. They rule the roost and have won the day, as always, for they sit on both sides of the table when the negotiations on sugar are held. It is the masses who have been hoodwinked once again. And as long as they are willing to be taken for a ride, this is how it's going to be. Instead of being waylaid by empty slogans of the political parties, they need to stand up for their rights and demand accountability across the political divide of all involved in this institutionalised corruption. -SHAHZAD KHALIL, Sialkot, via e-mail, August 23.