Media is supposed to be an instrument for change, never for status quo where neither lives, private property and revenues generated from taxpayers are at stake.  Edmund Burke stated that “A state without the means of some change, is without the means of its conservation”. He also states that “Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist. Those who criticize judiciary for being pro-active have forgotten that Pakistan was reduced from  welfare state envisioned by its founding fathers to a state where it has become a paradise for usurpers, thugs and plunderers, either in the name of religion, or their distorted perception of state security, when judiciary was inert. What do you term a state, where thousands of citizens go missing, whose parents are unaware whether they live or are dead, while their murderers roam around free.  No judiciary, worth its name, would permit individuals posing threat to national security to go free. This vigilantism has gone berserk, afflicting few political parties, notorious for using violence to eliminate their opponents, or even journalists that dare criticize them. Slogans such as, that those who betray the leader deserve death, are heard and tolerated, while law enforcement and intelligence authorities look the other way. Today few media anchors have freedom to criticize politicians and even our sensitive agencies, but none dare to raise their finger against parties responsible for thousands killed in target killings, not in remote rural areas but in Pakistan’s financial capital Karachi. We have become a state that tolerates lawlessness, murder, corruption, abuse of power and deceit. Our state collects taxes but does not feel any obligation to citizens for regulating production of safe pharmaceuticals and other necessities of life such as unadulterated food items, affordable education, health and security for lives and property of its citizens. It is a state which neglects welfare of deprived masses, but has gone overboard to provide welfare for its paid khaki and civil bureaucracy, or members of the elite, enjoying tax free subsidies. Our state which as yet is not a failed state, is certainly on the path of becoming one, if change for the better does not occur with accountability of those who have violate constitution and laws.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, February 11.