When a state becomes hostage to special interest groups to the extent it has been in Pakistan, than there can be no meaningful governance and in essence it becomes dysfunctional. The booming criminal economy that thrives in Karachi because of patronization by political groups and establishment has attracted extremist fundamentalist terrorists to take their share of this huge pie, where extortion exceeds tax collection. It was a dictator who bartered our state sovereignty by giving sanctuary to armed militias.

Democracy and sovereignty cannot survive without state collecting taxes, to fulfill its constitutional obligation to provide subsidized education, health, security and housing to deprived sections of society. Failure to collect taxes makes state sovereignty vulnerable to dictation by foreign donors, and this is happening in Pakistan. It is powerful vested interests, within establishment, who are responsible for vanishing green belts around our cities and town, leading to food scarcity and hiking of food products in a country with an alarming population explosion.

This reckless insatiable greed has blinded even vital state institutions, which in connivance with known land mafia, are responsible for DHA Valley scam, bringing disrepute to an important state institution. For a state to survive, it must be seen delivering justice, with equal opportunities and security of life and property for all citizens. Even Soviet Union crumbled, in spite of its massive military power, when those at the helm shelved welfare aspect of socialist system. For Pakistan to function as modern democratic welfare state, the sole objective of achieving independence in 1947, it must enforce rule of laws based on morality, ethics and equality, not selective application of laws, nor allow its policies to be framed by men with split loyalties, having abandoned their motherland for greener pastures.

ALI MALIK TARIQ,

Lahore, November 23.