For crime to flourish in any society, any criminal act not punished in accordance with laws because of political exigencies, and where laws are selectively applied, anarchy takes over. In a country where 270 police officers fall victim to target killings just in one month and not a single murderer is arrested, you cannot expect police to stand up for upholding law. If the Custom Officer handling Ayyan Ali case is murdered a day before he was required to provide evidence, it is surprising to dismiss it as an accident or street crime.

How can we expect Customs to nab highly influential and corrupt people, involved in money laundering or smuggling under such circumstances? Are we to digest all these as coincidences and are we willing to tell the truth, knowing that we could be killed for doing so? If public memory is not short there is a history of such unexplained killings of key witnesses and law enforcement officers pursuing high profile cases.

When US wanted to prosecute Al Capone in 1931 there was no witness protection program and public prosecutor concluded that nobody would be willing to become witness in numerous killings ordered by mafia don. The US Government and IRS decided to investigate tax evasion, because organized crime, black money and tax evasion are interlinked. Al Capone was successfully sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion.

If Pakistan wants to eradicate terrorism, organized crime and massive pilferage of state revenues by powerful and corrupt criminals, the only way punishments can be given to powerful elite could be to catch them for tax evasion. Unfortunately those in power are in cohorts with them so who would be willing to bell the cat?

ALI M TARIQ,

Dubai, July 27.