Pakistan's transport industry has been in a crisis for the last whole decade due to mismanagement, massive corruption, pilferages in procurement and politically nominated, mediocre, executives with dodgy backgrounds. Pakistan Railways which caters to millions of passengers and was once the main source for goods transportation has been neglected for years at the behest of a powerful lobby that wanted goods transportation to be handled by NLC. PIA, the other transport asset of the country, is presently on respirators with liabilities of over Rs 70 billion on the books and still more being continuously pumped into it with ever bigger cash injections. That privilege is thought to be due as it is the mode of transportation of the country's elite that comprises the all-important 1% of our population. The national airline has been subjected to the worst form of mismanagement due to cronyism of successive governments, military as well as political, that were hostage to ethnic biases. The corrupt practices of a powerful mafia that minted billions from this cash cow, thus, remained unchecked. Meanwhile, the airline's losses skyrocketed to unmanageable limits. In the last quarter July to Sept 2008, PIA losses were to the tune of Rs 227 million a day, which come to Rs 9.49 million an hour. Pakistan Railways on the other hand has total losses of under Rs 20 billions. Compared to PIA's Rs38.4 billion loss in just 9 months (Jan-Sep 2008), that is negligible. -JAMIL A., Islamabad, via e-mail, December 10.