The problem of our ruling elite, our paid civil or khaki bureaucracy, who have monopolized the corridors of power for almost five decades, is their fantasy that they are God’s Gift to this country. The truth is that they owe their success, fame and fortunes to vast opportunities, legal or manipulated, offered when Pakistan was created and a vacuum left by fleeing affluent Hindus, whose beneficiaries they became. If only those who have benefited most, and gone from rags at time of partition to riches thereafter, were to ask themselves what have they given back to this country, it may shame those who have any integrity. The unfortunate reality is that at first sign of discomfort, they abandoned their motherland for greener pastures, or to evade accountability.

Everybody, who has been at helm since 1956 and onwards is responsible for abuse of powers and relegating national interests for their selfish agendas, from Ghulam Muhammad to Ayub, Yahya, Zulfiqar Bhutto (ZAB), Zia, Musharraf to AZ, there are many within them, who have betrayed this country and are responsible for economic mess, institutional collapse, flight of capital and massive brain drain. Yes, ZAB did lay down foundations for self sustaining nuclear deterrence, to which Benazir and Nawaz Sharif contributed, this country unfortunately has had more than its share of opportunists, putting at stake destiny of this nation, just to perpetuate their power and accumulate ill-gotten wealth. The people of Pakistan have paid back their debt by giving them a mandate, which unfortunately they have failed to honor. As for Nawaz Sharif, he must keep in mind that he and his family owe their business successes to opportunities offered by this country and if some tin pot dictator has given them a harsh treatment, they still owe a lot to Pakistan. Pakistan needs dams more than it requires motorways. If anything Nawaz Sharif owes anybody, it is the people, by giving them clean good governance, equal opportunities and welfare by collecting taxes from all those who earn above declared minimum, making appointments strictly on merit, enforcing rule of law and ensuring supremacy of constitution.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, August 23.