It seems, that for ruling political elite and our civil and uniformed bureaucracy, “Discretionary Powers” are a license to do what they wish without regards to rules, laws, precedents, financial costs, public interest, penalties and impact on fundamental rights of other citizens. How else can somebody explain the grant of 9,000 kgs of a restricted chemical Ephedrine, which can be used in production of lethal addictive drugs such as Ecstasy, to two pharmaceutical companies based in Multan.  It was again an abuse of discretionary powers when PM appointed an intermediate pass controversial man to head OGDC, NICL etc in violation of constitutional rights of more competent, qualified and experienced officers and the negative impact on national exchequer of nomination of such incompetent persons to head state owned corporations. Today Pak Railways, Pakistan Steel Mills, PIA, PSO, NICL, PSO, etc are all suffering losses and pilferage because of appointment of corrupt and unqualified cronies to head these state corporations, thereby depriving the common man of much needed funds, which could have been used for their welfare, health and education. It is again a repulsive tradition where senior civil bureaucrats and generals are being allotted expensive real estate for doing what they were paid to do. We are perhaps amongst few countries of the world, where the state instead of taking care of welfare and housing of most deprived section of society is instead involved in welfare of its paid public servants and political elite, who are responsible for the chaos that this country today faces, where people face crippling electricity shortages, no security, unemployment, no subsidised education or health and an economy on the brink of financial collapse.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, April 12.