This is in reference to media reports about 17 Chinese, seven Turkish and one Canadian firm, who, despite being blacklisted and debarred by World Bank and ADB, continue to be beneficiaries of lucrative contracts funded by unfortunate tax payers of Pakistan, by successive governments, who have misruled this country, and through their policies institutionalized corruption.

The power of the corruption mafia and their influence within the establishment and the ruling political elite can be gauged from the awarding of the contract for the construction of the new international airport at Islamabad by the Musharraf government to a blacklisted Chinese firm, notorious for delays and financial irregularities. Railways is no different, where a blacklisted Chinese company of ill-repute continues to be selected for the supply of engines, locomotives, etc, irrespective of who rules in Islamabad. As long as the government does not strictly enforce that there is no conflict of interest, among those who hold power or hold public offices and those given contracts, Pakistan will continue to be a victim of loot and plunder, with massive flight of capital, surviving on loans and indirect taxation. Be it WAPDA, OGRA, CAA, PSO, PIA, the Drug Regulatory Authority or other financial regulatory bodies, the ones at the helm hold foreign nationalities, where they have acquired enormous assets from money transferred from Pakistan, because none of them have any known sources of income in their new adopted countries whose passports they hold.

The Nawaz government’s choice of an advisor on aviation, a person, who along with another individual, are main beneficiaries of major sub contracts awarded to the debarred Chinese company, should expose massive financial irregularities that erode like a cancer in the unfortunate Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which is perpetually in a state of financial collapse, surviving on foreign remittances and foreign loans, with no signs of any reforms in sight.

MALIK T ALI,

Lahore, July 23.