Friday, January 25, 2013

State Aristocracy’s Pakistan – 9: OGRA chief’s escape

FOR a developing country like Pakistan the biggest threat to its existence is terrorism within its boundaries which, if unchecked, may render it ungovernable. While external aggression unites a nation, internal dissension motivated by ethnic or sectarian move divides or causes gross injustices and state-institutionalised inequalities can break even the strongest of nations. Only prompt effective remedial measures taken across the board can avert this existential threat.

Unfortunately Pakistan faces the cancer of terrorism bred by hate, waged by mercenaries and massive unchecked corruption which has assumed the form of financial terrorism. The bonding between corrupt members of this exclusive club extends beyond political divides and amongst the few within civil-cum-khaki bureaucracy, traders, drug traffickers, organised tax evaders, so-called religious parties and the land-grabbing mafia.

The ease with which Ogra chief Tauqir Sadiq was facilitated to travel across two provinces, controlled by political parties poles apart, from an airport located next to the sensitive Afghan border and manned by sleuths of immigration, intelligence and police should give an insight into their commitment to save each other.

Earlier the whole nation stood by and watched two prominent, but controversial men, found guilty of tax evasion to the tune of Rs120 billion and Rs50 million by none other than the Suddle Judicial Commission appointed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and no attempt to prosecute either.

If criminals declared absconders by the SC can depart from Pakistan, then what can stop terrorists from buying their way in, or depart at ease from our international airports. Such shocking compromises are an incentive for corruption to breed and gain strength in the this country. While this cooperation between the corrupt aims at saving individuals who are caught red-handed, it threatens to drive this country to bankruptcy, anarchy and disintegration.

Given the social acceptance within the elite of these thugs, men like Tauqir Sadiq will return, spending a few billions on charity and PR, be accepted as prominent citizens and perhaps regain prominent public offices, where they will indulge in loot and plunder, fully assured that there would be no accountability.


[Letter to the Editor, Dawn January 9, 2013]

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