The bus-accident on Monday at Kallar Kahar, where a number of lives, mostly of children on a pleasure trip, were lost, is extremely tragic and has plunged a large number of happy homes into a dismal abyss. But such accidents are not uncommon in our country and are just the tip of the iceberg of a deep malaise pervading our society; the malaise of bribery and corruption. You can obtain a driving licence, light or heavy, by paying a fixed sum of money, even if you cant tell a brake pedal from a clutch pedal. Similarly vehicle-fitness certificates are at sale for vehicles even if they would fail at the next step. And our police, traffic or its other branches, are notorious for corruption and laxity while on duty. So how would we know whether the driver of the ill-fated bus was competent to drive, or if that the bus was at all travel worthy when it started its journey. And why did the principal of the school allow 110 students to be loaded into a bus designed for 60 passengers? Was it to make more money from the trip? And pray, why the motor-way police, after it had been discovered that the bus was grossly over-loaded, did not challan and impound this bus and let it proceed to its fatal end? If this was another country, many heads would have rolled, but here even the biggest calamity would leave those responsible unmoved and stuck to their chairs. DR ZAHEER ASGHAR KHAN, Lahore, September 28.