State owned enterprises in Pakistan have been deliberately driven to technical insolvency by successive governments and civil or uniformed bureaucracy of this country, who administratively control these corporations. We live in a world, where only specialists in a designated field, must be appointed to head state corporations, instead of civil bureaucrats who are considered jack of all trades.

The loss running corporations like Pakistan Railways, PIA, PSM, PSO, etc which were once operating effectively and profitably were driven to their present state of bankruptcy, because of massive corruption and mediocrity that dominated their executive corridors. If these organizations are to be saved from collapse, than they must either be totally privatized, or their management handed over to private parties of repute through schemes like 26% share holdings. In the event these steps are not undertaken these corporations will have to be closed, because Pakistan does not have fiscal space to dole out billions into these bottomless pits.

The intensity of corruption that has eroded our bureaucracy can be gauged from the following example. A bureaucrat from Lahore, who opted for early retirement as DC Income Tax Karachi, now an industrialist with vast real estate holdings redefined corruption as a perk of office, instead of an irregularity. He elaborated that pilfering and plundering state funds does not constitute corruption, because in his opinion financial irregularity occurs only when an individual deprives another person of cash or his assets through fraudulent means.

Corruption cannot be eradicated by lectures or seminars, but only by giving exemplary severe punishments to those who hold highest paid public offices; otherwise this country will face an institutional collapse. Can somebody in the government explain why nobody involved in financial terrorism has been punished in Pakistan, when Governor State Bank has stated on record that $25 Million in cash is being smuggled out of country daily through our main international airports?

RAHAT SIDDIQI,

Karachi, October 25.