Corruption has not only become endemic in Pakistan today, there is also a shamelessness with which nepotism and corruption are indulged in by the ruling elite at any given time. There is nothing too petty, or too unattainable. While corruption and nepotism have always been features of the governing class in Pakistan, over the decades, the levels have altered qualitatively and there is a new brazenness about it all. Scandals that are being exposed daily seem to have no impact; while those standing their ground against pressure and blackmail are being harassed through covert and overt threats and false cases even. As for jobs going on political expediency rather than merit, it has now become a disease and no one expects merit to be a criterion any more for jobs in the public or even quasi-public sector. This results in inept and unqualified people holding jobs while the qualified but influence-deprived remain unemployed. How can the country progress in such an environment? Now the new law envisaged to replace the NAB will give a blank cheque to bureaucrats and public office holders to indulge in these activities. So while the NRO has been removed from being placed before Parliament, the new accountability law is even worse because in its non-discriminatory character in terms of time span, it gives permanent protection to the corrupt - corruption being seen holistically, not just in money terms. That is why the Prime Ministers decision to make public the list of NRO beneficiaries is to be welcomed, especially if the alleged crime or crimes for which they have been pardoned are also made public. But that is just the beginning. What is needed is to develop some mechanism whereby all those pardoned also bring back their wealth to the country and give back to the nation what may have been wrongfully taken from them. If Prime Minister Gilani is serious about leaving his mark on history in a positive fashion, he should ensure a complete end to this epidemic of corruption and nepotism that is destroying the very fabric of our society. For that, the past cannot simply be written off; instead, accountability or return of ill-gotten revenue has to be mandatory for the future to being on a clean slate. But what of the non-financial corruption, including nepotism? How will those injustices of the past be rectified? And what of the murders and other criminal offences that may have come under the NRO purview? While the courts can take up these issues again, how much can we burden our courts with the past, when their present case loads are already excessive? These are issues that need the ruling elites attention if we are ever to move out of the debilitating cycle of corruption that surrounds us today.