LAHORE - PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif has identified the major problems and their solutions, urging the government to take steps to solve them without delay. In a four-page letter written to President Asif Ali Zardari, the former prime minister has also offered cooperation to implement the measures proposed by him. However, he made it clear that the party could not remain silent spectator to policies that are leading the country to ruin. The letter said, Unless there is a prompt and sincere response from the coalition government, PML-N will not hesitate to take all necessary measures it deems fit not only within the Parliament but also outside to ensure good governance and people friendly policies. The following is the text of the letter. I am writing this letter to draw your attention to some of the serious issues that the nation is facing today. The Honorable Prime Minister in his speech in the National Assembly on 3rd of November 2010 had remarked that he would welcome suggestions and recommendations from those who had misgivings about the governments commitment to good governance. It is in the spirit of his offer that I want to share some of my thoughts with you, as I have done in the past with all sincerity. I am sure you must be aware that cross sections of people of Pakistan, including members of civil society, independent media, as well as elected members of the national and provincial legislatures, have been repeatedly expressing their deep concern and an anxiety over widely reported and apparently credible cases of corruption. These fears have also been voiced by members of the international community. As so embarrassingly made obvious during the recent floods, when many foreign governments and international organisations, expressed their legitimate reluctance to offer assistance to Pakistan. They did so because of their concern about the possible misuse and mismanagement of the fund to be provided by them. Whatever doubts there may have been on this count, have been more than confirmed with the release of the Transparency Internationals latest report. This report paints a dismal picture of how Pakistan is viewed the world over. These perceptions will inevitably have a most damaging impact on all dimensions of our relations with the outside world, particularly as regards our effort to attract foreign investment. It is too well known that the international community is already hesitant to invest in Pakistan because of security concerns. At the same time, there appears to be no end to the galloping inflation, unprecedented price hike and rising unemployment, all of which has made it virtually impossible for the common man to make two ends meet. The middle class, which is the backbone of any vibrant society, has been crippled while the poorer classes have been driven into a state of utter despair. These developments, understandably, have led to widespread alarm among our friends abroad, and at the same time given rise to great pessimism and despondency within the country. In just over two years, the people of Pakistan, who were excited on their historic triumph over the dark forces of a brutal dictatorship, have seen many of their hopes and expectations turn to dust. They are angry and disillusioned at what they perceive is a total disregard for sanctity of laws and a systematic failure to abide by the norms and standards of a responsive and responsible government. They are being exposed everyday to instances of widespread neglect, incompetence and rampant corruption. It is not only the poor governance and utter disregard for transparency that has resulted in disappointment and growing disillusionment among the people. Even more worrying is the fear that governments failure to ensure good governance and to take concrete measures to check rampant corruption is also creating serious doubts in the minds of the people about the inherent benefits and advantages of democratic dispensations per se. If these trends are not checked urgently, there is a real danger that people may lose faith in democratic institutions. This, you would agree, will be a great political tragedy. I have no doubt in my mind that the Federation of Pakistan can only survive as a truly democratic state if the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and where the rule of law provides the foundation of good governance. While it is the fundamental responsibility of government to evolve and spearhead a national strategy to fight inflation and corruption and to provide good governance the opposition, too, is mandated to play its democratic role in highlighting the failings of the government and to suggest suitable remedies. It is in this context, that I am proposing to you the following initiatives and measures, which the Leader of the Opposition, Ch Nisar All Khan, will also present before the National Assembly, for combating corruption and checking the menace of inflations. a) Both PML-N and PPP had agreed to establish an independent accountability forum. Regrettably, more than two and a half years have elapsed, but the Ehtesab Bill has not yet been enacted till today. PML-N believes that a consensus Ehtesab Bill is an urgent requirement to ensure fair and transparent accountability in the country and must, therefore, be presented during the ongoing session of the Parliament. B) In his budget speech, the Finance Minister had admitted that the country was suffering losses of over Rs250 billion, through leakages in State Owned Enterprises (SOEs). In the last four months, the situation has worsened. Regrettably no corrective action has been taken so far. PML-N feels that incompetence, corruption, and cronyism in the management of the SOEs are the major factors responsible for the huge losses being incurred by these corporations. It would be recalled that PML-N had successfully reformed public sector banks during its last tenure by inducting professionals to manage them. We demand that senior management of all SOEs, including PIA, Steel Mills, PS0, Railways, NIC, TCP, power sector companies, be replaced through a transparent recruitment process with well-reputed and talented Pakistani professionals from home and abroad. c) Non-compliance of Supreme Court judgment on NRO is seriously compromising rule of law in the country and generating tension between the judiciary and the executive. PML-N demands that all judgments of the Supreme Court must he implemented in totality without further delay. d) The recent increase in POL prices and electricity tariff has hit hard the common man and adversely affected his life and livelihood. The need for mobilising more resources is understandable. However, it must be done by preventing losses in the SOEs, leakages in the tax collection process and by better enforcement of the tax regime in the country, rather than by accentuating the sufferings of the already distressed citizens. Moreover, the failure to take any substantive steps to reduce the non-productive expenditure, such as rationalisation of the size of cabinet, is adding to the common mans frustration. PML-N demands that the increase in POL prices be withdrawn immediately as it is causing great hardship to people. Further, the coalition government must reduce the size of the Cabinet forthwith. We also propose a comprehensive and thorough debate in the Parliament on measures to encourage savings by cutting wasteful expenditure. e) The sugar crisis has hit the country for the second time in the last two years. Despite repeated written requests by Government of Punjab to make timely imports of sugar to avoid escalation in prices, the federal government miserably failed to take appropriate steps. This has resulted in unprecedented increase in price of sugar in the country. PML-N demands that a Parliamentary Committee be formed to investigate the matter for taking action against those who failed to ensure timely import of sugar. I am putting forward these proposals, as I fear that if these steps are not taken expeditiously and with all sincerity, we will be damaging democratic institutions and harming the country itself. While the superior judiciary has got its independent and rightful place in the State structures, we must also strive to make Parliament effective and functional so that it can play its constitutional role in providing effective and transparent governance. This alone will strengthen democracy and earn for politicians peoples trust and confidence. I would like to assure you that PML-N is prepared to extend all possible cooperation in the implementation of these proposals. However, it cannot remain a silent spectator to policies that are leading the country to ruin. Unless there is a prompt and sincere response from the coalition Government, PML-N will not hesitate to take all necessary measures it deems fit not only within the parliament but also outside to ensure good governance and people friendly policies.