Billions of dollars have been given in aid as loans and grants to Pakistan since 1958 and they are yet to be accounted for in full. The country is creaking under the burden of mounting debt bulk of which were loans for development that have been siphoned off by corrupt bureaucrats and members of civil or uniformed ruling establishment. Pakistan, a product of a democratic struggle waged by politicians and lawyers, all men of integrity and high repute, is today facing a crisis of credibility. The foreign donors are justifiably hesitant to give aid without any credible accounting for the money spent. A state that was supposed to be a welfare state for millions of its citizens has become a welfare state for the paid civil and khaki establishment and corrupt politicians, none of whom have ever been held accountable. In a country where the poorest of the poor do not receive any welfare benefits, the state has the audacity to dole out luxurious bungalows to an elite clique of uniformed employees along with scores of residential plots and agriculture land at subsidized price. The blatant oppression by the few with the connivance of law-enforcement agencies has led to general frustration with the system. There is no hope of justice and people having lost all hopes from a judiciary tainted with allegations of corruption have turned to non-state actors for help with dangerous consequences. While the restoration of Chief Justice Iftikhar is a welcome development, it has happened quite late in the day. The elected democratic setup has to restore the credibility of the state both within and outside the country. This can only be done if every paisa spent is fully accounted for. -SHAHZAD KHALIL, Sialkot, via e-mail, April 17.