A strange country indeed. A dichotomy in reality. And torn between efforts to implement law(s) as something natural and normal for every one and to retain what is correctly billed as the facility of different laws for different people. It is also seen that a vast minority is simply above the law here. However, except for the largest political entity of our country - which ever remains above the law floating in a levitational mode (who says the French were the first to introduce levitation), the rest of the blue-eyed ones once in a while have to answer for their shenanigans. Accountable they never are. That first someone billed Accountability as nabbing and now the wish to wish it simply away is a case in point. A little insight into this world reveals that today's special minority is the successor to the Moguls and the colonial English of the yesterdays. The mantle of leadership is worn by this class now and would remain so in the times to come. As was envisaged by the British through the Land Alienation Act of 1900, this class keeps on being strengthened to look after it's and the progeny's interests in the long run. As a consequence, a special class has emerged which is destined to rule the waves. Slowly and surely, agriculture and industry too have been added to its forte. The Land Alienation Act drafted in late 1890 by the then Punjab government was first put up for the Privy Council's pleasure with the specific purpose of creating a class between the colonial and the so-called natives of India, or till then the inhabitants of the annexed lands. However, it was specially meant to take care of the areas that comprised the hinterlands of the Punjab - an area where even nominal sardars or nawabs did not exist. Actually, this area was different from the areas ruled by princes - nawabs and sardars - the ones who could take the responsibility of looking after the interests of the British. The enactment of this Act led to an arrangement whereby temporary nawabs and sardars could be created and in case of default unseated to bring in new entrants. A very cosy and apt arrangement indeed. It is like the present contracts which serve till the pleasure of the competent authority lasts. Leaving aside the emergence of this new class and the celestial robes of authority which it wears, it would be worthwhile to look into the perks which come along with being a member of this nabobery, starting with the breakage of the law of the land that bars land owning beyond a particular limit and which ensures distribution to the landless hand. We see that this class is a negation to all legislatures that would be allotted huge tracts in recognition of the services rendered to the nation (?). And during the period when these chosen ones are serving the poor nation of ours, we see that they can (mis) use all facilities at will (surely not theirs) and with impunity. As a consequence, it is the begums who drive jeeps and staff cars. Traffic jams with predominant official transport participating in it are normal - specially around expensive private educational institutions or in posh bazaars. Similar are our highways on weekends. And then these special people do not retire - they simply slide into re-employment's. So much has this tribe proliferated that nearly everyone now stands adjusted (to the mis-alignment of the cadres). But, for this special facility one has to be a course or a batch mate. Once the batch of 63 was famous - now of course it is the 39th course. This time, however, some instructors also got included. The best amongst the chosen is the ubiquitous yaaron ka yaar, who would adjust all and sundry fitting the bill, be it from the same seminary or a frequenter of the same neighbourhood club (pub). The one who talks about placement of the best for a particular slot is a pariah. After the course bit, comes the clan, the tribe, the city or the village fellow and this is how we end up with the Rao as the naib-qasid and rai-bahadur as the managing director. On being asked - about him being still in the lowly position, the Jr Clerk Rana would accusingly point his finger at the cluster of Arains, the jam packed Jaats, the bevy of Balochs and the yelling Yousafzais, who had wrongly relegated the Rajputs. Strange isn't it, but a fact as we see the chief secretary's son being dutifully selected for and by the commission(s). Indeed a draw back to the olden times, when the barber's progeny would keep the barberry alive forever. Isn't it what our elders used to tell us - that the caste system was the best for us. At least, it keeps the Brahmins and the Kashatriyas aloft. And the interesting part is that in the heady 60's, we thought that folk wisdom was trite and did not provide solutions for the present. We also thought that relegated traditions were to our advantage. Then there are the rest houses, the retreats and the cruisers that cart off the Brahmin's to these palaces. When the gifted ones are not able to grace these mansions (yes, when they are busy in consolidating their already cemented positions or indulging in the various palace intrigues), the proverbial nephews and the son-in-laws are always there to fill in the vacant slots. However, the in-actuality-touring officials have to live elsewhere. In case a son-in-law or a favourite nephew wishes to visit one of these much-vaunted places for longer times, then the officially residing officials may be kept away for months altogether. These can also be declared as de facto residents for years together with all expenses being paid by the state through the funds (command or commandeered). I must not forget the foreign tours and the scholarships, which come across our hardworking Economic Affairs Division. These are rightly booked for the sons and protg's of the Brahmins. However, the Kashatriyas would always ensure their larger than life slice of the pie. No one else may even think about it. Actually, it is the same Land Alienation Act of 1900 and the colonial's dream of strengthening special clans for the specific purpose of perpetrating its rule. Probably, it is the oldest Act so actively being followed both in letter and spirit in Pakistan at the moment. It is also important to look into the latest edict whereby the Botswana Model (akin to the Bangladeshi Model) is being planned for the country. This would correct all kinks and then restore the broken links. And as Botswana is even more backward in comparison to the nearby Bangladesh, I am sure the up-coming dispensation would be of the highest order. All this would ensure that the beneficiaries of the Land Alienation Act of 1900 would retain their grip as proclaimed by the masters then - specially when pure civvies too have the ability to be seen as the defenders for allotment of land. That no one will get caught in the process in another story. If at all the above is not possible, then caretakers are called in. As the hunting lodge has had quite a few of the ilk, it has the ability to house any new musketeer. The last of the batch was truly representative of us the Pakistanis. The eldest was past eighty and the youngest still in teens (trying in vain to look old by using his mother's mascara as a moustache). But look at the people - they still are not satisfied although much brain and intellect had been put in for the exercise. Much thought has also been put into the welfare of the public by making hospitals autonomous to be able to charge for all services. On the other hand, See Dee Aye falls head over heals to provide entertainment to the rich of the Capital (a truly deprived class). A new concept, where the private sector takes over the provision of health and the government provides entertainment. I am sure, all and sundry will be looking forward to emulate this new concept. And not to be left behind, we have also arranged for all to encroach beyond ourselves. The Sumo takes over the plane never ever flown by him, the clerk snatches lands being recorded by him, the public servant's definition of public is truly amazing; it rightly recognises the near and dears as the ones to be served, the public man takes over his neighbour's and so on. But at least, no one is left without the chance to encroach. Our's indeed is an egalitarian society. We have also arranged to allow the advantaged to prosper and thus the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) is rightly not allowed to interfere in the affairs of the cartelised and in-collusion banks. Why shouldn't the hardworking shylocks get their due. Isn't this what God also ordains; hard and focused work will always be rewarded. Not to be left behind, we also follow the dictum that the left must not know what the right does. Whatever management gurus would say, this is what we have been told (forget that it pertains to alms giving and so on). Also look at the very neat and convenient way of enacting laws - just ask the offending stratas to draft the same for you. Can the drafts be any better - don't the offenders know their-selves the best and surely would list all the requirements in the drafts. There is another first: the forces have come up with the land based, air (y) and the water (y) types of education, while the educators have been told to pack-up (this being a state secret decided to be divulged after a century). We may also decide to swap many other responsibilities between each other. Indeed a cosy way to share chores. It relieves monotony and propagates our great achievements. Lately we are being given a chance to see magic. Evening suits galore with no powers except to decide for a Windsor or a lover's knot. Indeed, we see something else, while we think about some other person. Faiz always spoke the truth, but would we ever speak (Ham Bolain Gay). The writer is an engineer and member central council of IEEEP