Whatever the apologists or the paid spin doctors of the regime may say, our NROed High Commissioner in UK has misused his diplomatic assignment to reportedly take into custody documents relating to Cotecna case in Switzerland. While it may be true to assume that a "man has to be assumed innocent till proven guilty", it is also a fact that a man accused of something cannot be presumed 'not guilty' until a judgement of the court says so. It is for this reason that in the developed world where rule of law prevails, individuals holding any public office are required to quit office till they are absolved of the charges they face. This rules out any chance of misusage of their official status to doctor or tamper with the evidence pertaining to their alleged irregularity. Why should our High Commissioner in UK resort to the embarrassing and shameful action of removing evidence from record if he or his mentor are not guilty of any irregularities? What has happened is a gross miscarriage of justice by an official given the diplomatic assignment to represent Pakistan. He has misused his office to interfere in the judicial process. This misdeed only drives home the point that all those individuals mentioned in the NRO, or those accused of willful default of loans, criminal offences or charged with land mafia and abuse of discretionary powers, must not occupy any public office till such time that their names have been cleared. What is shocking is that members of the political elite and many former civil or khaki bureaucrats accused of willful default on their loans continue to live like princes and own vast estates and assets within Pakistan and abroad. The sugar and cement cartels emerged during Musharraf rule when these mafia Dons were part of his government. They survived then and have survived today because they enjoy political clout, courtesy a weak election commission that allows such people to contest elections using their ill-gotten wealth. -GULL ZAMAN, Paris, December 2.