When traders dominate politics, than public interest and state sovereignty is often sacrificed at altar of greed and commercial profits. This provides ideal environment for contractors; land and drug mafia to thrive and criminal black economy to dominate the documented economy, bringing country to brink of economic collapse with unchecked money laundering thriving. Pakistan is becoming poorer by the day while these traders in politics have become billionaires with assets in Pakistan, Dubai, London and Canada etc. This curse of greed and profiteering has proliferated paid civil and unformed bureaucracy of this country. 

No wonder billions allocated for development funds disappear, buildings made for schools and basic health units are converted for housing animals, while cracks appear in bridges and buildings within months of their completion and thousands of acres of state and private land are illegally occupied by powerful land mafia. Horse trading in politics has become a thorn for democracy. 

This explains repetitive granting of tax amnesty schemes in a country where tax collection is dismally low and country has to take loans to fill ever-expanding deficit between Revenue and Expenditure. Imports almost double exports and those at helm seem to be least bothered. Unchecked smuggling of goods poses a threat to local industry. Cost of power projects like Nandipur or New Islamabad Airport have tripled because of recurring extensions in date of completion and choosing corrupt cronies to head these projects or as contractors. Vital logistics institutions like Railways or PIA and financial regulators like State Bank, SECP etc have been systematically eroded. Nationals of Pakistan are being discriminated in choice of postings, appointments and promotion to favor dual nationals. 

MALIK TARIQ ALI,  

Lahore, March 12.