The outgoing Chief Justice Saqib Nisar will be remembered for taking up cases of public interest, which were lying dormant for decades. Judicial activism did take place because of an almost inactive executive slave to political expediencies and corrupt bureaucracy captive to insatiable greed for allotment of plots, kickbacks and conflicts of interest. The welfare state that Quaid envisioned was for deprived citizens and not just paid public office holders.

It was the role of political executive and bureaucracy to ensure that forest and state land, or private holdings were not illegally occupied by powerful land mafia who have increasingly become a state within a state, collecting bills for utilities and taxes from public who buy plots and houses.

Fake degree holders were recruited in public sector organizations like PSO, PIA, CAA etc. while qualified citizens remained unemployed, leading to a lot of grievances. Unchecked money laundering took place, while foreign exchange reserves touched rock bottom, resulting in a debt-trap. Value added exports have declined because the state has failed to keep supervisory oversight to ensure manufacturing of quality goods. Direct Income Tax collection from those earning above declared threshold has declined whilst indirect taxation levied has led to massive inflation, making it difficult for the middle class and poor to eat two meals a day or educate their children.

Those at the helm of affairs within bureaucracy, political elite and sensitive institutions, have visible split loyalties because either they or their family have abandoned this country choosing to live abroad with their assets, while they decide the fate of over 200 million citizens.

ALI MALIK TARIQ,

Lahore, January 15.