Pakistan's peace and tranquility has been eroded by unchecked weaponisation, land mafia, drugs and abuse of power by individuals and institutions. The dominance of political and religious parties by these elements along with a weak judiciary and failure of the state and its institutions in eradicating this scourge today threatens our national security. Our major urban centers like Karachi are having battles of turf control while Swat, Balochistan and the tribal belt suffer turmoil that looks like a civil war. Insurgency and rebellion breeds on deprivation, injustices, exploitation and discrimination. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted to create a welfare state for the Muslims of subcontinent. Instead, it has become a country riddled with ethnic strife, prevalent street crime and armed insurgencies by misguided religious bigots like Maulvi Fazalullah of Swat. Today, we have raging emotions of deprivation in Balochistan because the state has failed to cater to its primary function of doing its bit for welfare of the most deprived sections of our society. Pakistan's security is threatened from within by self-seeking adventurers, with their insatiable greed to acquire wealth, irrespective of the cost it incurs to our society. The state and the superior judiciary must discharge their obligations to protect private and public property, irrespective of the political affiliations. If Madoff can face prosecution and possible life sentence and freeze of all his assets for robbing the public in USA, why cannot we do likewise in Pakistan and hold all these criminals accountable for their crimes? -MALIK TARIQ ALI, Lahore, via e-mail, May 8.