I returned from abroad after many years in early 2006. I was disappointed to see most things around me. High crime, rampant power failures, gross inefficiencies and deeply entrenched corruption in all spheres, especially the government departments. I was reconsidering the wisdom of my decision of moving back to the country when an experience gave me hope. The experience I had relates to the most unexpected quarters of all, the Pakistan Customs. One of my cargo containers arrived at KICT in Karachi. Therefore, I was forced to interact with PACCS. I was truly amazed at what I saw; a truly modern computerised system in a government that was still mired in the 17th century practices. PACCS was clearly far ahead of the customs systems in US and Europe, and that made me proud. I was able to clear my cargo myself from the comfort of my office over the internet, without having to come across a single sadistic, incompetent, inefficient and corrupt Customs official. The only time I had to interact with Customs was during obtaining a 'User ID' for PACCS and even that I could have obtained from the local office in Lahore. The taxes were higher but completely legal and receipted. I would gladly pay the legitimate dues of the government than greasing the dirty palms of a corrupt official after endlessly waiting outside his office. -SARMAD ASLAM, Lahore, July 1.