Profile in Politics Ikramullah Opinions may differ on the magnitude of Pakistans economic meltdown, which may vary from an alarming proportion to a manageable state of the economy. The President, Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Governor State Bank have openly spoken about the state of the countrys economy. At the same time, international financial institutions, including the World Bank and IMF, have asked the government to immediately introduce major reforms to bridge the gap between national income and non-development expenditure that exceeds the total revenue receipts beyond reasonable proportions. The foreign and internal debts have created more problems leading to a massive decline in the economic growth. To cut it short, the state of national economy has reached such a critical point that Pakistan is unable even to fulfil its commitment to pay back the interest on the loans borrowed from international financial agencies. Mercifully, we have been granted nine months by the donors to return the payments. Thus, it was in this context that the Chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Salman Siddique, remarked: The country is passing through an undeclared financial emergency, after which he suggested a number of remedies. That reminded me of caretaker Prime Minister Moin Qureshi, who had offered a very simple recipe to meet the economic crunch dont spend a penny on any project if you do not posses the necessary amount. Eventually, Qureshi cancelled all the orders placed abroad and at home in different sectors under different public welfare scheme. On the contrary, soon after meeting PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif and agreeing to fulfil his 10-point agenda within 45 days, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced a Rs3 billion project to build luxury lodges for the parliamentarians in Islamabad. Not only this The PM also directed the Chairman of Capital Development Authority (CDA) to work out the cost to build an underground tunnel that would connect these lodges to Parliament House to ensure the security of parliamentarians under the present unsafe and trying times. Without doubt, it is a waste of public funds. Unfortunately, billions of rupees are lost through corruption, acts of terrorism and religious extremism, writing off billions worth of bank loans, and mismanagement of mega national projects like Pakistan Steels Mills, PIA and Railways. Can one imagine the Haj scandal, the NATO container scandal, the Bank of Punjab fraud case, and the loss of national wealth through the issuing of licences to foreign companies to dig precious minerals like cooper and gold present in Balochistan? Luckily, the Supreme Court is looking into some of these criminal lapses involving trillions of rupees lost to the national exchequer. The fact of the matter is that the state is in the grip of grave emergency, whether the government of the day cares to issue a formal notification to declare it or not. In Karachi, for example, the Federal Interior Minister, Sindh Home Minister and Sindh Chief Minister, who sees no evil, hears no evil and consequently speaks no evil, have unanimously declared that they are not aware of who is carrying out the operation to restore peace in the city, where approximately 100 innocent citizens have been made victims of target killing in one week. How many more innocent people will be killed, looted and burnt by mysterious hands before turning the undeclared emergency into a declared one? The writer is the president of the Pakistan National Forum.