This is in reference to Mr Kamran Shafi's article in a newspaper in which he points out that the military does seem to portray an image of increasing involvement in commercial activities. These can be divided into two broad categories: activities of the three foundations, of which Fauji Foundation is by far the largest, followed by the Army Welfare Trust. Speaking of the former by dint of my personal experience of five years of service in it after retirement, it is largely comprised of civilian personnel alongside some retired servicemen. It is a trust for the welfare of ex-servicemen and their families which runs a whole network of hospitals, clinics, schools, colleges, etc, facilities that should have been provided or funded by the state which is unwilling or unable to do so. Some of its profits are given to the services for the welfare of deserving individuals, widows, orphans, etc. Its biggest revenue earner is Fauji Fertilisers Ltd, which is listed on the stock exchanges of the country. Fauji Foundation itself owns less than half the equity, but manages the enterprise through employees who are largely civilian with a smattering of retired servicemen. The industrial enterprises pay their taxes just like everyone else, and abide by all the laws of the land. In fact, when it comes to paying taxes, Fauji entities may be the only ones which pay their due taxes on time unlike many enterprises which excel in tax evasion and double bookkeeping. Would Mr Shafi have all these activities shut down, and if so, who will take up the slack? -BRIG (Retd) M. SHER KHAN, Rawalpindi, via e-mail, June 1.