There is an ancient saying in Greek mythology “Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad”. Any citizen of Pakistan elected to hold executive posts such as President, PM, CM, parliamentarians etc or paid public offices in civil or uniformed services can exercise powers conferred to them by constitution and cannot assume extra-constitutional powers. The same constitution from which PM derives his powers, gives Supreme Court of Pakistan sole right to interpret constitution and sit in judgment on all citizens. This includes constitutional public office holders for transgressions of power or any other violation of laws in existence.

Senator Nehal Hashmi lashed out at those investigating PM Nawaz Sharif and his family on 28 May 2017 after SC ordered investigation into Sharif family’s business dealings abroad. He should have promptly offered sn unqualified apology, when SC took suo moto notice but he wasted a lot of time.

This country has witnessed state institutions complicity involved in facilitating Land Mafia in illegal takeover of state and private land, depriving citizens of their had earned life savings and organized money laundering. Can any public office holder justify holding their posts, if they cannot protect state lands and life of citizens? It is time that all those holding constitutional public offices, both elected and paid, must submit to limits defined in constitution and not try to be Mughal Emperors nor act like Greek god Zeus. Pakistan has suffered enough abuse at hands of tyrannical dictators like Zia or Musharraf or few of our elected PMs; and, it is time to put our house in order. National interests are those which seek to protect fundamental rights of citizens, guaranteeing them equal opportunities, recruitments and appointments strictly on merit, ensuring that State levies direct taxes uniformly on all citizens earning above declared threshold, and invest state funds for collective welfare of all citizens with priority only for most deprived. The blatant conflicts of interest of those holding public offices or employed by state has driven Pakistan into perpetual state of economic collapse.

MALIK TARIQ,

Lahore, February 1.