Or­gan­ised cor­rup­tion

Enterprise - - Letter -

In­ves­ti­ga­tions are be­ing con­ducted by the Fed­eral In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency (FIA) into or­gan­ised cor­rup­tion by the po­lit­i­cal elite and bu­reau­cracy who have trans­ferred bil­lions abroad and bought ex­pen­sive prop­er­ties in Dubai, which can­not be jus­ti­fied ei­ther by their tax dec­la­ra­tions or known sources of le­git­i­mate earn­ings. Such in­ves­ti­ga­tions have been con­ducted by ev­ery mil­i­tary and elected civil gov­ern­ment only to set­tle po­lit­i­cal scores, but never yielded any re­sults to ben­e­fit the na­tional ex­che­quer. What can be a big­ger in­cen­tive for cor­rup­tion than a coun­try that al­lows public of­fice hold­ers, im­me­di­ately af­ter re­tire­ment from ser­vice, hav­ing amassed bil­lions in bribery, kick­backs and com­mis­sions, aban­don Pak­istan lock, stock and bar­rel to set­tle in coun­tries like Canada, Aus­tralia, UK, Spain, Dubai, etc, whose na­tion­al­ity or immigration sta­tus they have ac­quired. There are nu­mer­ous ex­am­ples of public of­fice hold­ers who dur­ing their tenures amassed bil­lions openly and de­fi­antly through un­fair means and yet con­tinue to en­joy pro­to­col, no ques­tions asked.

Through co­er­cion and abuse of pow­ers, gross ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties have been reg­u­larised in this coun­try. State lands have been al­lot­ted to in­di­vid­u­als who have done noth­ing but per­formed ser­vices they have been paid for. Loop­holes have been in­ten­tion­ally crafted into poli­cies by cor­rupt bu­reau­crats and the elected elite to de­fi­antly fa­cil­i­tate the trans­fer of bil­lions out of Pak­istan. What else can we ex­pect when the state con­tin­ues to ap­point in­di­vid­u­als hold­ing im­por­tant posts in key fi­nan­cial and reg­u­lar­ity agen­cies who have pledged an oath of loy­alty to another coun­try? Al­most 75 per­cent of all ap­point­ments made to im­por­tant state in­sti­tu­tions would not stand up to ju­di­cial scru­tiny. If Pak­istan is se­ri­ous about clamp­ing down on cor­rup­tion, laws need to be changed where onus of proof should shift to in­di­vid­u­als to jus­tify how they ac­quired their as­sets. Pak­istan’s na­tional and se­cu­rity in­ter­ests re­quire the strict im­ple­men­ta­tion of ex­ist­ing laws to pun­ish tax eva­sion ir­re­spec­tive of af­fil­i­a­tions with po­lit­i­cal par­ties, sen­si­tive in­sti­tu­tions or re­li­gious groups. A M MA­LIK, Dubai

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