Pakistan's political history is a history of rhetoric. Almost every government in power trumpeted: "Poverty shall be eradicated from the country." When poverty heard the declaration, it laughed and laughed and laughed. Did the trumpeters hear the laugh? Let's not ask silly questions. Before a government initiated an eradicational process, it was itself eradicated by its malfunctioning. The succeeding government trumpeted more vociferously to exile poverty from the land. When poverty heard the declaration, it out-laughed its previous laughter. Before the government initiated a poverty-exiling process, it was itself exiled from its office. We have a multiplicity of national identities. Poverty is only one such identity. Corruption is another identity. According to the Transparency International, during the year 2008 Pakistan occupied 47th position amongst 180 most corrupt countries of the world. During 2009, Pakistan has improved its position by five tiers. Now it occupies 42nd position. If we maintained our present rate of progress, it would take us only five and a half years to get to the top. Once a government declared that it had vowed to eradicate poverty. A foreign journalist was excited. He kept on watching and watching for months. Not an iota of poverty was eradicated. He was stunned. He said to the government: "No signs at all of an eradicational process are visible. Is there some reason?" The government explained: "Some emergencies have trapped us. Obviously, we must first deal with the emergencies. Eradication can wait." The government's entire tenure was consumed by the emergencies. Poverty kept on flourishing and flourishing. This is the story of almost every country where poverty is crushing the masses. If wealth commands political power, it can't eradicate poverty. For wealth to eradicate poverty is tantamount to committing suicide. For its own security and prosperity, wealth must ensure that poverty keeps growing poorer and poorer. The poorer the poor grow, the wealthier the wealthy grow. This spectacle you can watch in almost every poor country of the world. A poor country is a country where a small minority rolls in wealth and the masses roll in misery. Unfortunately, poverty is most cruel to children. It hits them the hardest. In poor countries, the rubbish heaps in the streets are the children's restaurants. They search the heaps for discarded eatables. If luckily they find something which looks like food they look at heaven and eat it excitedly. They thank the rubbish throwers for their generosity. Millions of children die of starvation annually. This is poverty's achievement. Millions of children die of preventable diseases annually. This is poverty's another achievement. Millions of children die of certain mysterious reasons annually. This is poverty's still another achievement. Essentially, poverty is a creation of corruption. A poor country is a country where corruption is the patron goddess of the rulers. With the blessings of their patron goddess, the rulers monopolise the entire resources of the country. Nothing is left for the masses but air and dust. Lord Acton says: "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Let's tell Lord Acton: "It is corruption which gets power and absolute corruption gets absolute power." If a young man is poverty-stricken, he is more dangerous than a mad elephant. Unfortunately, most of our young men belonging to poor families are jobless. They are dangerously frustrated. They have only two options: either to kill themselves or create some sorts of jobs for themselves. A few opt for self-killing. But most of them embrace robbery as their full-time employment. They snatch mobile phones from the passers-by. They strip ladies of their handbags. They break into residences and get away with the booty. Inspired by the sea piracy, they have invented land piracy. They barge into passenger buses running from city to city. They rob the passengers. No wonder, extreme poverty is the mother of crimes. The writer is an academic.