Sovereign independent State levies taxes on citizens to provide basic services, security of life and property. To perform these functions, it employs citizens on merit, invests in development of human resources and trains them for specialized services. Representatives of people are elected for legislation, oversee law enforcement, and regulate relations with comity of nations. A disciplined paid militia is recruited to defend country from foreign aggression and aid elected civilian government when asked to do. Independent judiciary plays vital role to enforce rule of law and accountability of all citizens who enjoy equal rights and opportunities. This is the social contract between citizens and custodians of state.

Unfortunately we have not been able to shed legacies of 200 years British Colonial rule, where an occupying foreign country utilized state assets, lands and titles as spoils of war to be given solely at pleasure of Her Majesty’s Governments to natives willing to collaborate with Raj for services rendered. On periphery of every big city, cantonments were established to house soldiers of British Indian Army and gated housing society for civil servants, both recruited to assist Viceroy in prolonging colonial rule and collecting taxes for systematic transfer of natural resources to UK.

More than 71 years have elapsed since our independence in 1947, but unfortunately we have not yet shed tyrannical legacies of colonial rule and adjusted to the reality of being a sovereign free country, whose people are sole masters of their destiny and all civil and uniformed institutions are there to serve them. Under the Raj, people were there to serve Colonial Masters. State assets, land and taxes collected from citizens must be handled by paid or elected public office holders strictly in accordance with laws in existence, while performing their role as custodians and not for abuse and personal benefits at cost of public welfare.

Why should elected government spend billions on advertisements for self projection on completion of projects completed on tax-payer money? When will these housing societies, belonging exclusively to various state institutions, built on state land given on subsidized rates cease, when over 90 % of population is denied basic necessities, security of life and housing? Can anybody justify allotment of 80 acres?

MALIK T ALI,

Lahore, March 9.