In a democracy, right to dissent without resort to violence, threats or intimidation are ensured. Unfortunately prolonged protests in Islamabad amidst amateur calls of civil disobedience and non-payment of electricity bills, with such unacceptable incidences like storming of NA and PTV, or attempts to scale fencing around the Presidency have only scarred what otherwise would qualify as legitimate political process.

Politicians should lead by example and never allow civility to be a casualty in their public address, as has been done by loud and volatile Sheikh Rasheed. However this needless controversy about the use of an aircraft owned by JDW, whose majority shares are owned by Jehangir Tarin, pales when you witness conflicts of interest of those who have been in power for decades, holding important constitutional offices. Jehangir Tarin is amongst the highest income tax payers of this country who through innovation have prospered.

While business ethics, transparency and morality need to be incorporated in our public sector, this can only take place if those in power lead by example, by eliminating waste of already scarce public money on extravagant lifestyles they lead, maintaining huge fleet of private aircraft for use by both elected and paid civil or uniformed public office holders and declaring multiple private residences as official.

It is constitutional obligation for any elected government to ensure that every citizen, earning above declared quantum, be subjected to levy of uniform direct income tax, instead of resorting to indirect taxation without exhausting all direct taxation options. Similarly constitutional oath binds public office holders to prevent waste of public money. What purpose has it served this country with frequent so called official foreign trips to specific countries where their families are based without any reciprocal visits by their heads of state?


Lahore, November 26.