On the morning of September 4, a breaking news appeared on Pakistani news channels saying that Pakistan FBR had issued notices to some 350 Panama-affected persons, including the family members of the Prime Minister. This news has been presented as a happy occasion in regards to the accountability of corrupt people. However, my assessment is that this step has been initiated by the FBR to benefit the ruling class by officially removing any charges against them and declaring the family members of the Prime Minister as honest persons. 

There are a large number of organisations in Pakistan that are responsible for the elimination of corruption. These include FBR, State Bank, Anti-corruption Department, FIA, to name a few. On top of these, there is National Accountability Bureau (NAB) that has vast powers to apprehend those who are involved in corruption. Some of these organisations are even constitutional and the heads of these organisations have to take an oath for working honestly without fear or favour. In spite of this, over the years, Pakistan has emerged as the symbol of corruption in the whole world. It is so because the corrupt politicians are the appointing authority and they have been appointing corrupt people as the heads of these and many other organisations for their own personal benefits, and also to protect them in case any charge is levied on them. These appointed persons consider themselves the servants of the people who appoint them, and not the servants of the people of Pakistan. History shows us that this network of corrupt people has been working very successfully and in spite of clear evidences of corruption, no prominent person has ever been punished. If any time a notice is served to any prominent person, it is either to black-mail him to remain within his limits, or to declare him innocent saying that no proof has been found against him. 

The total number of Pakistanis involved in Panama Papers is big. However, the notices have only been served to 350 persons. The previous record tells us that the names must have been carefully selected under the above-mentioned two categories – those political opponents who need to be black-mailed for not speaking against the government. The cases against them will continue indefinitely. And those who have to be declared honest, their cases will be decided early so that they, as honest people, can take part in the next general elections. 

I am not predicting what will happen in future. I am only analysing this situation looking at the past performances of these organisations. Pakistan will never come out of this disastrous situation unless apolitical, capable, sincere, and honest people are appointed as the heads of the organisations. To me, under the present corrupt network of the ruling class, there is no constitutional way to come out of this situation, and a corruption-free Pakistan will remain a dream of the people of Pakistan. 

MUNIR M HASAN, 

Lahore, September 4.