Democracy in Pakistan faces a threat not only from few powerful elements in civil and Khaki bureaucracy, but from the corrupt black sheep that today dominates the political parties of this unfortunate nation. The worst example is the latest unforgivable rip-off of poor innocent Hajis by none other than the nominated thugs of the elected regime. These corrupt vultures in Ministry of Haj and the national airline have made the pilgrims a victim of their insatiable greed for illegitimate wealth, knowing fully well that nothing will happen to them. It has now become a routine in Pakistan for more than a decade that those caught with their hands in the till, are never made to return the bounty. All that happens is that having hit the jackpot, there is a facade of investigation, followed by removal or resignation of the robbers, who are than facilitated to get away with the peoples or the taxpayers money and live happily thereafter. In some instances, the government, be it of uniformed dictators or elected civilians, gives compensation from state funds. Look at the marvelous strategy of these crooks. In the first instance, it is the common man who is made a scapegoat by these swindlers. Then the victims of their heist are compensated from the taxpayers money, which means a double jeopardy for unfortunate law abiding citizens of Pakistan. Never has a swindler been made to return the full stolen money, because no government in Pakistan wants to set a precedent, that will haunt them, when they leave office. The maximum that has happened is that the culprit returns a small amount in so-called plea bargain and then all his assets become white money. This is what happened in the Co-operatives and Taj scams, or in the case of Admiral Mansur-ul-Haq. It is a long list of such cold-blooded killings of state owned organizations like Railways, PIA, PASSCO, NHA, NICL, OGDC, Military Procurements, Balochistan mineral and natural resources, KPT etc. The fact that such scams and heists are happening more frequently even when there is a facade of democracy in Pakistan, does not augur well for this country. The people also have to bear the burden of electing those who have no stakes in Pakistan, or who are notorious for their corruption in the past. Politics in Pakistan must be cleansed of these bloodsucking leeches, some of them scions whose forefathers were saints, but their grandchildren or great grandchildren have openly indulged in corruption. They feel no shame living off the offerings of their illiterate followers. This is why the elected government has no credibility and people look up to the Supreme Court for intervention and relief. SYED IJAZ, USA, November 28.