Our ruling elite

It is time that the paid and elected ruling elite of this country, who aspire to hold public office, must be seen to have all their stakes in this country, no conflicts of interest, and lead by example in their total commitment to Pakistan. This country was created by politicians with integrity and character, who were not smitten by greed for assets and real estate allotments.

In 1930 Quaid left for London, where he served as a successful barrister, bought a house in Hampstead and was well settled. However, when he was approached by Allama Iqbal and others to return to India, he sold that house and returned back to lead the All-India Muslim League, never to return back to England. In his 11th August, 1947 address to the First Constituent Assembly MAJ warned about the cancer of corruption, that years of colonial rule had nurtured to buy loyalties of natives, willing to betray their motherland and serve the British Raj. The British used land and titles to lure the paid servants of the state to serve them loyally.

Unfortunately, since 1955, these remnants of the British Raj conspired to derail Jinnah’s vision of a modern democratic welfare state to be replaced by a security state, serving their former colonial masters. We may be amongst the few countries whose paid and elected elite are allowed to own vast assets abroad, settle their families there and yet be eligible to hold sensitive public offices in the civil and uniformed services. Our paid bureaucracy, both civil and uniformed, while in service have no restriction to buy properties abroad, facilitate their families from acquiring immigration and after retirement shift abroad, to live with there. Individuals holding important sensitive public offices are facilitated to sell their assets in Pakistan, including lands allotted to them, and transfer proceeds of such sales to their foreign bank accounts.

This must stop immediately.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore.

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