As a Pakistani for whom this country is my motherland, a place where I was born, where I lived and wish to be buried, I am confused with how various individuals and institutions have been manipulating and exploiting the term national security . Unfortunately, over the years, because of vested interests of few, Pakistan has become a very insecure country, where lives and freedom of citizens is threatened by few extremist armed militias, some of whom we ourselves nurtured. 

It is obligatory of every paid and elected public office holder, that they must have no conflicts or commercial interests during their tenure, other than salary. There have been too many serious security lapses in the past decade, ranging from attack on GHQ to Kamra etc. The rise in money laundering through loopholes built within the system, which remain unplugged is a serious self-inflicted threat. Our national security concerns demand undivided total focus of our paid security agencies and those who hold constitutional offices such as President, PM, Parliamentarians etc to the tasks assigned to them. It is an established Islamic Code and a universally accepted ethic of governance that elected and paid public office holders must not be involved in commercial enterprises from where they directly or indirectly receive remuneration or gains, other than salaries they receive for services rendered. Over boosted individual ego hinders rationale thought process. 

There must be a clearly defined distinction between welfare and abuse of power. Any benefits under guise of welfare, beyond those derived by public office holders, in countries like Norway, are clearly abuse and institutionalized corruption. Merely regularising an irregularity through abuse of power does not make it legal, but it does promote greed to an extent, where individuals are likely to compromise their constitutional obligations. 

Any act done by any individual, whichever public office he holds, where he overlooks any hostile action committed by any person in connivance with any other country, especially our neighbour to the East, which has on numerous occasions clearly exhibited their animosity is a national security threat. Overlooking Altaf Hussain’s speech at Delhi in 2004 was one such compromise. Similarly allowing individuals who have split loyalties, or who hold foreign passports, or any other immigration status and whose families or assets are located abroad, to hold elected or paid public offices or ambassadorial assignments is a compromise of national security

ALI MALIK,  

Lahore, May 4.