Imagine the helplessness of the Punjab government when it decides to sell thousands of hectares of state land in various districts to keep it out of the clutches of the land mafia. That means the mafia is more powerful than the government. Who are the mafiasoes? You might venture a guess that they are the unruly from the tribal belt. But no, they are swindlers and conmen supported by the politicians sitting within our very own government. Bureaucrats particularly in the revenue department and politicians operate hand in glove to defraud the government. One is sure the CM Punjab knows who they are. But these people are so influential that no one can touch them, not even the spare-no-one CM. The situation, though, is not irredeemable yet. Only one among the leaders of the thugs has to be sent to the prison and nobody will look towards the state land ever again with the intent to grab it. It is a test of will for Shahbaz Sharif. People think government intends to sell the land to benefit the very mafia that has grabbed it. He has to prove them wrong. -MIRZA TUFTAN BAIG, Lahore, via e-mail, July 8.