Nobody can disagree with what our PM stated when he said that there can be no state within a state. In a democracy, people elect a government to strictly provide good governance, act as custodians of national exchequer, enforce rule of law, make decisions strictly on merit, provide equal opportunities, cater to their welfare and provide security to life, property and fundamental rights. They do not elect a government to grind state owned rail, road and air transportation industry to almost a halt, protect the corrupt, deprive the industry of energy, make appointments in violation of merit and usurping the right of equal opportunities, patronize a culture of tax evasion, encourage creation of cartels and large scale illegal allotment or occupation of private and state lands by a mafia, while billions are transferred to foreign banks.
The PM has to understand that a government functionary under oath must state facts, even if they differ from the distorted version authorised by the political government and its public office holders. Image of an elected constitutional office holder, such as a PM, is eroded when his selected crony is involved in fraud of Rs 630 Million and he himself is alleged to have sat in one such meeting at his official residence. An elected government fails in its duty when it appoints an ambassador who is prone to fall prey to conflict of interests in another country, of which he/she or his immediate family members may be citizens of. The army and its intelligence agencies have no authority to interfere in internal politics or indulge in real estate or other business, but this cannot stop our sensitive agencies to undertake surveillance to protect vital national interests in accordance with their specified role as defined in the constitution. If a government fails to protect the life of its citizens, as it has failed in Karachi and Balochistan, it loses its ethical and moral high ground to retain public office, because they have violated the oath of office, through which they occupied it in the first place. Similarly the security agencies have no unlimited powers to arrest citizens without judicial authorisation and due process of law, as has been happening in Balochistan. No elected or paid public officeholder has the right to abuse his powers in violation of laws depriving a citizen of his fundamental rights, without due judicial process as defined in our constitution. A state within a state exists when other than the authorised tax collectors, a group is being allowed to extort money from citizens as is happening in full know of the state in Karachi and other cities and towns.
MALIK TARIQ ALI,
Lahore, December 23.