I have a question to ask from the two leading popular political parties of Pakistan, namely the PPP and PML(N), as to why they tolerate individuals with questionable integrity, when there is no dearth of men with virtue amongst their supporters. This question must also be asked from leaders of institutions which form the establishment, that has enjoyed power, irrespective of whether there is a political representative government or a military dictator at helm of affairs. Individuals who have been subject of voluminous investigative reports that prove their involvement in financial bungling in their official capacity, or their involvement in criminal irregularities like land grabbing, smuggling etc in their private life, continue to be patronized by both these parties. Such patronization of criminals by military dictators like Musharraf can be understandable, but not in the case of political parties which enjoy widespread popular support. The most glaring example is that of an individual found guilty by a Committee headed by AVM Mushaf Ali Mir, and his involvement in the controversial Kidney Hill land grab. Yet this individual has been given a key appointment by the PPP. Similarly the PML(N) continues to tolerate the controversial MPA appointed as a Provincial Minister, inspite of proven criminal charges against him, including the recent episode at Lahore airport. Why this romanticizing with known criminals? Have we not had enough damage done to this country? Is it not the collective responsibility of all political players and members of the establishment to realize that enough damage has been done to this country and its institutions, because of cronyism, nepotism and rampant corruption? What worse can be the state of affairs that which prevail presently?. It is time that both the political and civil or armed bureaucracy submit themselves to rule of law. Plundering of state lands, assets and major corporations must cease forthwith, because time has already run out and there is no space or capacity for this country to absorb any further self inflicted pain, because of the greed of few. - R CHAUDHRY, U.S.A, via e-mail, July 3.