For a country whose Father of Nation while addressing first Constituent Assembly on 11 August 1947, emphasized that corruption and bribery was a curse that should be dealt with an iron hand, it is ironic that corrupt practices have been regularized and we are amongst top ten most corrupt nations of world. From top bureaucrats, to star studded khaki elite and our elected representatives, all have no issue with what is termed as conflict of interest.

We profess to follow and uphold the constitution and ideals set forth by our Prophet, but in reality we would not blink an eye doing reverse, as long as it financially benefits us, irrespective of disastrous consequences for country, threatening lives of citizens and economy. What a coincidence that as soon as an individual acquires top office, his family members become beneficiaries of contracts, or commissioned agents for multi billion armament and civil procurement contracts. Human smuggling, extortion and kidnapping have become a lucrative industry.  What started as a scheme to give one residential plot for construction of private house owned by fixed income government servants, has been restructured as a perk with commercial benefits running into billions, in a country where more than half population lives below poverty line, without a home.

All that would constitute as gross irregularity in any civilized country with rule of law, or which would qualify as an abuse under any norm or religion, has been regularized as a perk and accepted as such. Criminals, mercenaries and robbers can walk in and out of this country with no questions asked, as long as they can buy favors. Thousands of containers loaded with weapons and contraband stuff manage to leave our ports, airports, border posts etc, and help finance and arm those who kill our people, yet nobody ever gets caught. Accountability of corrupt is termed as political victimization, while billions of dollars remitted by expatriates on work visas is siphoned off by elite, holding dual nationalities, or those having assets abroad, while Pakistan is on verge of financial default seeking bail-out packages from IMF, but no taxes can be levied on real estate and stock exchange profits, nor can FBR ensure that retail traders are documented.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, October 10.