Parliamentary review of judicial appointments is also done in the US. Once a judge is appointed to the US Supreme Court, he never retires until he either himself relinquishes the post or is declared unfit to serve. However the fact that this parliamentary review is confined only to judicial appointments raises some queries and doubts about the intent of this decision. In US, all nominees for appointments made by the President are subject to parliamentary scrutiny and review for confirmation. These major appointments include judges, ambassadors, the Attorney General, the Auditor General, ministers (secretaries as they are called there), heads of the state-owned enterprises and financial institutions like the Federal Reserve Bank or SEC and sensitive military and intelligence posts. Unfortunately in Pakistan, the powers of discretion are abused by all those occupying the constitutional high offices. Even an elected member of the US Congress or Senate has to undergo scrutiny by a parliamentary committee, if chosen for appointment to any important assignment. The embarrassing performance of the parliamentary committee on petroleum in the controversial LNG has raised doubts about the credibility of all committees the parliament. Conflict of interest dominates the parliamentary committee on finance and revenue, which decided the fate of the Competition Commission of Pakistan. There is also no penalty for perjury in Pakistan. Elected and unelected officials have open told lies publicly, even while under oath. This abuse of powers of discretion by those holding constitutional offices has led to appointments of controversial cronies and men of no merit or only a mediocre capability. People holding fake degrees and those having made false declarations of assets, have sought public office and continue to hold it even when their unauthentic, or palpably false declarations have been exposed. I doubt if all these appointments were open to parliamentary review, men like Senator Waqar Ahmed, Qayyum Malik, Sohail Zia Butt, Captain Ijaz Haroon, Rahman Malik, Haqqani, Faisal Abidi etc could have ever had the assignments they hold today. -M. TARIQ ALI, Dubai, April 25.