This is in reference to a report about the handover of Bagh Ibn-e-Qasim in Karachi to a real estate tycoon. In the past, this tycoon has been involved in other major irregularities such as takeover of thousands of acres of prime real estate and forest land in Punjab, the environmentally vital mangroves in Karachi and not to forget his involvement in DHA Valley Islamabad scam involving over Rs40 billion of poor Pakistanis who had invested in 5 and 8 Marla general balloting scheme, held in 2008. 

There is no law in the constitution, which gives legal or moral authority to any individual or institution, elected or paid, to facilitate an irregularity and declare it as regularity. Today, criminals on whose payroll are best legal brains have managed to circumvent and shred to pieces written laws in connivance with prosecutors whose job it was to prevent such irregularities. It was this greed and assurance of no accountability that prompted few to bargain state sovereignty and security. We are now reaping and shall continue to reap the harvest of seeds sown by such men. 

Have we forgotten Karachi’s Kidney Hill Park takeover by another notorious land mafia and out of court settlements that follow such illegal grabbing? There are numerous precedents mind boggling irregularities in this country which were accepted as fait-accompli, assuming almost form of regularity. This is what happens when those who hold elected or paid public office have blatant conflicts of interest. Just look at mansions, buildings, hotels and villas in Dubai, owned by family members of paid and elected elite of this country. 

Pakistan today has been reduced to a fiefdom, where public welfare and national interest are sacrificed to feed insatiable greed of few. When criminals manage to get away with murder, rape and takeover of private and state property in a country, than such a country becomes a haven for crime to flourish providing an ideal environment for terrorism to thrive. When those who are supposed to be guardians and custodians hired to provide security of life and property, start become abusers and violators than public interest becomes a casualty and this is what is happening in Pakistan. 

MALIK TARIQ ALI,  

Lahore, March 31.