Zia-ul-Haq had no ideology, nor did he treasure sovereignty, or believed in the socio-economic justice system of Islam. Quaid wanted the citizens of Pakistan to practice their faith, live by Islamic code of ethics, with tolerance and respect for human rights and a system where corruption and bribery were to be dealt with an iron hand and writ of law to prevail over petty individual interests. Zia excelled in exploiting religion to fool masses, creating islands of prosperity surrounded by a sea of misery, cronyism and bartering state sovereignty for individual gains, because in his philosophy money and power went together. During his tenure smugglers and criminals thrived and prospered. His tenure witnessed a widening gap between the rich and poor and promoting culture of plot allotments in paid bureaucracy, a remnant of the British Raj, which used this ploy to buy loyalties of natives, alienating them from masses, to serve his dictatorship.

Unfortunately Zia’s legacy has gripped even PPP after Mohtarma’s death. Both Musharraf and Nawaz Sharif subscribe to his legacy. Ever since 2009 every elected government in power has withdrawn every proposal announced in approved Federal Budget to levy taxes and widen tax net, only to withdraw these proposals Post Budget approval by submitting to tax evaders. The latest move was announcement by Finance Minister in budget to impose 10% tax on actual profits from sale of real estate acquired by seller for period less than five years. This would have improved documented economy, lessened cancerous Tax to GDP ratio, discouraged money laundering and brought real estate within reach of common man instead of a cartel consisting of paid servants who are beneficiaries of allotments and criminal land mafia which forcibly occupied both state and private property.

ALI MALIK TARIQ,

Lahore, July 25.