The curse of terrorism and extremism which haunts Pakistan today is the consequence of governments which held power, financial regulatory agencies and intelligence apparatus who allowed foreign funding to non-state actors. It is this very foreign financing which fomented sectarian groups who resorted to proxy wars resulting in death of innocent Pakistanis, whose sole fault was that they belonged to a Fikah that was different to that of private armed militias. Over one million innocent men, women and children were brutally murdered or displaced from their homes, while State failed to protect them. It is also a bitter reality that a military junta headed by Zia received foreign funding, which has never been audited to date, nor does any record exists of these funds being credited to national exchequer, yet Pakistan’s sovereignty was compromised by giving sanctuary to foreign mercenaries or militias, who were engaged in fighting a proxy war in Afghanistan. 

No sovereign democratic state in civilized world allows its political parties to get funding from individuals, groups or state actors belonging to a foreign country. Pakistan’s economy, and unfortunate citizens have suffered enough for such irresponsible oversights and it is time to clamp down on foreign funding. In case Pakistani expatriates wish to donate to political parties that they support, than they must remit this amount to their relatives Pakistan based banks, from which these funds can be transferred through regular banking channels to their favorite political party. In case, loopholes exist in laws on statute books, or rules of State Bank of Pakistan, than these must be plugged. There should be no exceptions, nor should any state institution and elected executive have discretionary powers to grant waivers. Enough blood has been spilled. 

ALI MALIK TARIQ,  

Lahore, May 24.