Anyone who is interested in running a country must first learn from examples, but regrettably in Pakistan our rulers keep making the same mistakes again and again. Most of the state owned companies have been destroyed by our own government employees, not long ago there was a public company called Government Transport Service which was destroyed by corruption. Almost all of its buses was stolen, part by part, by its employees and the government overstaffed it with their party workers resulting in its total bankruptcy.

We are now seeing the same pattern being repeated with the few moneymaking government sectors such as PIA, WAPDA, PSM and all the rest of them. For example, the Multan Electric Power Company (PEMCO) is overloaded with at least 40% extra staff, most were recruited by the previous government. There is massive electricity theft committed with full complicity of MEPCO staff. In fact, it is impossible to steal electricity without the implicit knowledge of the staff. Only those users are framed as thieves who refuse to pay them a monthly bribe, but sadly, the government is going on raising tariff and also formulating anti-theft laws that make the electricity staff more powerful and hence more corrupt.

With most of the revenue thus stolen not much is left to produce electricity hence the shortfall. No one listens to the honest customers. For example, a customer of Mauza Lundi Pitali refused to grease their palm and insisted on genuine meter readings. No meter reader came to read his meter for a long time and then one day his meter was rigged by the staff and shortly afterwards he was handed an astronomical bill that was beyond his capacity to pay. The customer decided to knock at the door of justice and filed a case against the MEPCO staff, but, despite a stay order against any such action, after a few days the WAPDA staff removed his meter and never replaced it with a new one. This is the kind of punishment that the electricity employees can mete out to a rebellious customer. The helpless villager is unable to visit the city frequently to pursue his case with such a dismal state of affairs prevailing; it is only natural that the public sector companies should go bankrupt.

MUHAMMAD NAWAZ,

Muzaffargarh, September 20.