IT would appear out of the question that a government, which does not tire of reiterating its commitment to provide shelter to the homeless, would close down a cell constituted to track down those who enrich themselves at the expense of the citizens wanting to get a house of their own with their hard-earned money. Lately, when stories of influential mafias having floated fake housing schemes and decamped with millions they had collected from intending buyers of houses, reached scandalous proportions, the former NAB Chairman set up a cell to exclusively deal with this specific type of fraud. His successor, this paper has learnt, has thought it fit to wind up that cell, perhaps taking a cue from his political bosses that fakes and frauds, when they serve their purpose, are not to be scorned at. The ruling leadership, as the story of the past few months has revealed, does not find anything wrong with legislators who hold fake degrees and is ready to come to their defence and patronise them. Anyone with a modicum of commonsense and moral fibre would feel aghast at the reprehensible turn of events, with the higher judiciary, on the one hand, giving verdict against the morally detestable practice of faking degrees, while the powers that be, on the other, welcoming these fraudsters and extending full support in their re-election. One can imagine that rank poverty might have driven quite a few to vote for the morally corrupt candidates in return for monetary gain; and the combination of greed and official favours must also have worked wonders. The above instances provide a good enough peep to the outsiders to realise that Pakistan's milieu of today reeks of cheating and fraud and enjoys full official patronage. In fact, it reinforces their perception of the country as deep in corruption that the findings of impartial international agencies have created. The tragedy is that the scenario, particularly the scandals of fake degrees, have created problems for our students studying in foreign universities, which are justified in suspecting that their degrees might as well have been forged. The Foreign Office has reportedly been flooded with queries for verification of the documents the poor students possess. When would our rulers realise that, with their words as well as deeds, they have so thoroughly exposed themselves to their people and the world that instead of putting things right they are out to let the evils grow, if that could prolong their stay in power? The only alternative to a radical change in policies is social and political chaos