PM Imran Khan’s maiden address to nation, although simple in choice of words, has won hearts of millions and inculcated hopes for change. Whether it is our capacity to safeguard national security, state sovereignty, resolve issues of water, energy shortages or development of human resources etc, they are all linked and dependent upon national economy.
Unless and until every individual earning above certain level is taxed and our exports increase there is no way Pakistan can hope to achieve economic self sustainability. The TAX CULTURE that one witnesses in developed documented economies is because of fear of prosecution and punishment for tax evasion which inculcates willingness to pay taxes. Even Almighty Allah who created universe and living creatures, including human beings, has stressed upon concept of reward and punishments in hereafter, striking fear in hearts of those who indulge in evil deeds, murder and injustice. Yet there are numerous amongst followers of three monotheistic faiths who commit brutal acts and inflict untold miseries on others, denying them basic fundamental rights which their respective faiths insist upon.
Mere legislation of laws or seminars stressing upon importance of paying taxes, will not suffice, unless exemplary punishments are given to few prominent tax-evaders to serve as deterrence. If PTI led federal government does not have the will, than the alternative is more debts, non-existent welfare and subsidies for most deprived and state sovereignty captive to those countries and international financial institutions on whose aid and loans we survive. Survival of state sovereignty and national dignity is linked with economy and not size of army alone. Austerity and no conflicts of interest must not be limited to PM House, but to all public office holders, civil or uniformed and their ostentatious lifestyle on state expense.
MALIK TARIQ ALI,
Lahore, August 21.