Ever since Quaid’s unfortunate demise Pakistan’s fragile democracy and state institutions have been a victim of greed and abuse due to the corrupt ruling elite and paid bureaucracy. In a democracy those elected to power are subject to strict accountability through independent state regulatory institutions while issues are required to be resolved through dialogue in parliament.  

The government is required to adhere to a strict code of ethics and is answerable to its people. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, neither the government nor opposition, have any regard for its democratic traditions, ethics of governance and norms, like conflicts of Interest. PM Nawaz like his predecessors thinks that getting elected for five years gives him a license or contract to do as he wishes. The appointment of a semi-literate incompetent mediocre being to head state institutions like PIA, OGDC, PASSCO, WAPDA etc. and driving them to bankruptcy. He has appointed controversial individuals whose names are tarnished with corruption, to head mega projects like Islamabad Metro, as if these are spoils of war.  

His choice of a Finance Minister is a man under whom exports have declined and he thinks it commendable to build up foreign exchange reserves by taking in debts and floating bonds at rates which are almost double or triple the existing international market rates. Organized money laundering is rampant threatening to erode national economy and is the tool used by terrorists to fund their nefarious activities. Important financial regulatory institutions like Auditor General of Pakistan and State Bank are headed by individuals who hold foreign passports. The establishment of this country has no qualms in appointing a controversial British national accused of heinous crimes as Governor Sind although there are numerous judgments by Supreme Court which have declared this unlawful.  

The unchecked occupation of state land by the powerful Land Mafia has assumed epidemic proportions. Even the Opposition has threatened to shut-down Islamabad, which under no circumstances can be justified as a democratic protest. Both PM and his political opposition lead by Imran Khan rarely attend parliament, although both derive strength from it. In rare instance where public interest was being served in Punjab by a conscientious bureaucrat Ayesha Mumtaz through strictly regulating quality of food sold by restaurants etc. she has been forced to proceed on leave by powerful milk industry, one of key players being none other than a member of ruling family. 

MALIK TARIQ, 

Lahore, October 24.