The State Bank of Pakistans Counsel not only justified past loan write-offs to the Supreme Court, but informed it that there could well be more write-offs. This was contained in a letter from the State Bank, which cited the international recession, the declining growth rate of the domestic economy and the recent monsoon floods as reasons why loans would be written off. The Court wanted to find out the loans written off in the last two years, which the Counsel assured would be done. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who is heading the three-judge bench of the Court hearing the case, observed that Rs 54 billion had been written off in the last two years. He further observed that the loans waived off on political basis could not be condoned, nor would anyone responsible be spared. The Chief Justices observation implied that the practice of obtaining bank loans and then using political influence to have the loans written off is still rife. Now that the banks have been denationalised, the practice should have declined, but the regulatory power of the government is still strong enough to make it still an attractive means of putting depositors money in the pockets of Party cadres. The irony is that both the President and the Finance Minister have stated boldly that the rich must be ready to pay taxes through the reformed GST. The talk of taxing the rich has nothing to do with ending the GST exemptions, and when ordinary consumers pay through their nose for food and medicine, the rich cannot be said to be taxed. Indeed, the imposition of an agriculture tax, which would touch the vast incomes that are currently taxfree, is not something the present government will carry out, because parliamentarians of the ruling party rely on such income. The imposition of further taxes on the people shows that the painful experiences of the recent past have not served to teach the government any lessons, and it does not seem that the lessening of the peoples suffering, which should be any governments primary consideration, has informed any of its decisions. Instead, it seems to regard the countrys populace as a cash cow which will tolerate infinite milking. However, while the people of Pakistan are long-suffering, they are not as infinitely pliable as is assumed by the government. The lending institutions may be deliberately pushing the people of Pakistan to the end of their tether, but nothing compels the government to execute its demands so obsequiously. It should not hesitate in making a break with an economic relationship that is unpopular with the people, who understand its true nature.