Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Criminals 2: Pakistan, the Criminal state

I did not invent that statement. It was my friend, Dr. Khalil Ahmad, the founder and director of the only free market think tank in Pakistan, Lahore-based Alternate Solutions Institute. With all the political instability in Pakistan due to the fight against the Taliban and other armed fundamentalist groups, Khalil is a very brave man to write his paper, Pakistan -- A Criminal State

In his paper, Khalil bravely wrote,

Who is to deny that from day first most of the individuals, from top to bottom, associated with the state of Pakistan and its institutions and the government were somehow having criminal record, or they were patronizers of criminals, or they directly or indirectly help promote crimes and criminals, or they let crimes and criminals flourish by not letting law take its course. In the first half, not by giving the nation a constitution under which they were to be ruled, and in the second, not by adhering, in letter and spirit, to the dictates of the constitution, the said elites committed crimes of the highest order.

More than that, they used public money as if it was booty looted from an enemy in time of war. It seems these elites, who behave quite like merciless parasites, in the form of public exchequer found a gold mine to fulfill from their minor needs to their choicest luxuries. Throughout they proved to be the worst thieves and merciless robbers, if not to dub them as the worst marauders.

I have written several papers in this blog or in the MG website pointing out how shameless many Filipino political leaders and bureaucrats are, but if I read Khalil's description of Pakistani politicians, military leaders and bureaucrats, I begin to think that perhaps Philippine government corruption is still a "mild" one.

But Khalil is very consistent in his arguments: it is the non-promulgation of the rule of law in Pakistan that causes the various problems of underdevelopment, corruption and political instability. The absence of the rule of law means the monster rule of men, the rule of non-accountable political elites and the various business groups and interests that benefit from such rule of men in Pakistani society.

Given the boldness that Khalil exhibits when he writes and the occassional bombings, massacre and other acts of terrorism happening in Pakistan, I sincerely wish for his safety.

There is a huge price in asserting freedom and liberty. Khalil and other friends in the liberty and free market movement in Asia and other parts of the world are perfectly aware of that. A struggle to expose a criminal state is a struggle worth fighting for.

See also: Criminals 1: Killings in Thailand and Military Crackdown, April 16, 2009

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