The mountain of cash found at the house of the Balochistan Finance Secretary Mushtaq Ahmed Raisani is probably the most outrageous news item since the Panama Leaks. While we are obsessed with why money is flying out of the country to tax free havens, here we have a government official hiding it under his mattress. The news was shocking not just because of the amount of money found, but images of it being counted - so much so that machines has to be brought in and suitcases of cash were filled up. With banking systems available, and even ingenious ways available to make black money white, we can only marvel at the naivety of the Finance Secretary, as well as the bravado with which he thought his treasure was safe.

The National Accountability Bureau has called the amount recovered as the largest in the country’s history. More than Rs730 million was found from the residence and he has been accused of embezzling billions of rupees from local government development funds. With half of the people of the country and more than half of the people in Balochistan living below the poverty line, this is yet another example of how corruption and callousness permeates our governmental structures. While admittedly Balochistan lags behind in development, and some of the blame can be put on the centre, the ruling party and the military, its own officials and people have been no less in exploiting the province.

The Balochistan government has announced suspension of Mushtaq Raisani and the provincial government has promised to co-operate with the NAB investigation. Additionally, the Advisor to Chief Minister on Finance Khalid Langau has resigned from his post following Raisani’s arrest, claiming that when a man from his department is facing such grave allegations he should not be morally allowed to stay in his post. This was in good grace in comparison to other cases where officials never volunteer resignation when their reputations are tainted by scandal.

After a string of arrests in Sindh, this is the first high profile arrest made by the accountability body in Balochistan during the PML-N government’s term as it seeks to unearth corruption worth billions of rupees in the provincial finance department’s development funds. We have a system so saturated with corruption that it in unraveling in front of our eyes. For once, NAB did well for itself. But how many more highly influential politicians have gotten away with such atrocities?