THE revelation by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Babar Awan, about corruption is quite shocking and proves the point that the menace is endemic. He told the reporters that from 1985 to 2003, six families took loans from several banks amounting to billions of rupees and had them illegally written off largely during the rule of President Musharraf. Though he fought shy of mentioning the names of beneficiaries, the report presented by him shows that they were members of the military, political and industrial class who had got off scot-free. Though he referred to the loan scandal as the 'mother of the NRO', which is not entirely false, yet the way he has linked this to the ongoing NRO controversy is not encouraging. Two wrongs don't make a right. His argument that the NRO is now a part of history and that it is a hostile section of the media that is engaged in slinging the mud on the PPP leadership is not valid. Meanwhile, a private TV channel has caught Pakistani High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hassan red handed trying to hush up cases of corruption against Pakistani leaders involved in Swiss money laundering scam. It again shows the strength of the menace and how weak we are to deal with it in a befitting manner. What is worse, there is little indication that these criminals would ever be brought to justice. Consider the statement by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani that he would ask the NRO beneficiaries to tender their resignations "at the right time". Clearly, he is trying to brush the mess under the carpet, because this is the time when the NRO culprits should be taken to task. By not weeding out the corrupt elements in proper course of time, he is doing no service to the nation. The kind of monster that corruption has become, it needs more than a soap opera to be eradicated from society. It is a crying shame that no government department is immune from the menace. From applying for a passport or a licence to the registration of FIR, the official concerned would not bother to listen unless his palm is greased. Broadly speaking, the behaviour of our ruling class stinks to high heaven in terms of looting the wealth of the nation. The jargon like 'political victimisation' is only rarely relevant because it is well known that the scourge is indeed real and has eaten into the fabric of our society. Good governance, transparency and alleviation of poverty will remain a dream unless the government takes it up on a war footing. The Prime Minister ought to have a rethink on his strategy of fighting corruption.