If democracy is not seen to serve people, through good governance, commitment and integrity, than it will never take roots in this country. The best of systems are bound to fail, if those given charge to steer it, lack the minimal of morality and integrity required of them to assume their roles as guardians and custodians of state exchequer and fundamental rights of the people as enshrined by the constitution and their oath of office.

Laws will only be legislated to enforce rule of law, protect lives and property of citizens, collect taxes without any fear or favor, prevent pilferage, make appointments on merit, invest in development of human resources, facilitate in punishing criminals, only if legislators themselves are not involved in such nefarious activities.

Financial and administrative discipline can only be enforced through strict regulatory controls and appointment of men of integrity to head such institutions. This country can no longer wait for deliberate slow process of democratic evolution, if universally accepted and practiced norms, adopted for scrutiny of elected public representatives in leading successful democratic countries of the world are not adopted immediately. Why do we have to reinvent the wheel, when it has been already invented? If there is sincerity in claims to strengthen democracy in Pakistan, than why obstruction to pre-requisites, essential for ensuring good governance!

An elected public representative, who does not pay taxes, has no stakes, openly and defiantly leads an immoral life, sponsors politics of violence and has given false information under oath has no right to seek re-election. Terrorism can only be curtailed, or eliminated, if there is zero tolerance for armed outfits belonging to all religious and political groups, whether in power, or out of power, belonging to banned groups, or affiliated with registered political parties.

Why should academic degrees submitted by sitting parliamentarians and new comers submitting their nomination papers for forthcoming elections not be scrutinized? The submission of fake degrees, or false statement of assets, confirms that the individual has no morals or integrity and therefore under no circumstances should he be allowed to seek elections, otherwise there will never be a change for better, nor will Quaid’s vision of Pakistan as a modern democratic welfare state ever see the light of day.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, February 21.