For the first time in history of Pakistan, a man accused of complicity and facilitation in robbing the ordinary people, the fraudster who destroyed the Bank of Punjab, has been arrested from abroad and brought home. That is indeed a welcome sign. The Punjab government, despite its many other weaknesses, gets the credit for making this possible, especially as it was done against stiff resistance by some federal ministers, including those of Law and Interior. The Minister of Law and his counterpart in Ministry of Interior were determined to delay the required certification of a fair trial, perhaps to facilitate the convict on technical grounds. Just goes to show, if there is a will, there is a way. Millions had suffered previously on account of the cooperatives scam, the land mafia scams and the default-by-design on banking loans by the privileged elite. The nations debt burden has become unbearable with most of our revenues being diverted debt servicing and making up for pilferage in the FBR, by some reckoning over Rs 550 billion or more. It is time that this nation starts holding criminals accountable and treats them the way they deserve to be treated. Punjab governments recent drive to collect tax on expensive limousines, mostly owned by people whose tax records do not justify their keeping, is another good move. However it would have been much better if these vehicles were confiscated on the spot if the owners were unable to justify their purchases in accordance with their declared assets to FBR. Pakistan cannot move forwards unless the rich start paying taxes and tax evaders are treated like criminals. The western countries where VAT is levied have imposed VAT only after they have exhausted other avenues of direct taxation in order to fund development projects. In Pakistan, the reverse is happening, with emphasis on indirect taxation and encouraging tax evaders and bank defaulters. This culture must be eliminated otherwise the burden of indirect taxation would force the frustrated masses to come out in revolt. -TARIQ MALIK, Lahore, May 15.