The Punjab Youth Festival is under investigation following allegations of widespread embezzlement and corruption, confirmed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials. Allegations of such widespread fraud have overshadowed the success of the festival, where officials have wasted millions of rupees and paid suspiciously high prices for thousands of chairs and tracksuits for the participants.

The PTI has in this regard out-rightly questioned both the economic management of the festival and several of the records. They said the government had planned to gather 400,000 people to create the world’s largest human flag and bought 200,000 tracksuits to make up the colours. The event was cancelled and millions of rupees were wasted. The Minister for Sports and Education Punjab, denied the allegations and said NAB Lahore Bureau had simply taken notice of media reports of the alleged embezzlement, without having any actual proof.

In Pakistan however, there is always a level of truth to such allegations, where we tend to often make a debacle out of any successful venture that takes place. This is not the first project in Punjab that is suspicious for its large waste of money and resources. The Sports ministry is the second Punjab ministry this week accused of fraud. The Education Department is also under scrutiny. NAB officials and the Sports Minister are now going head to head, to provide evidence for their positions.

Hailed as the world’s largest-ever youth festival, it is said that more than four million people took part in a series of events throughout 2014 to promote sports in Pakistan. Yet, it is all a profit-making ventures- a profit not for Pakistan, but for private individuals. It is time that there is a protest against such state managed activities, where corruption and lack of transparency has become routine.