Any action or decision taken against the interest of the country is condemnable. This is the time that civil society should wage a war against those who are undermining the viability of the state.
The civil society world over is the watchdog on the operations of the government. In all countries it comprises of educated strata of society, such as doctors, engineers, professors, chartered accountants, researchers, and executives in the private sector.
They are mostly white-collar workers with adequate incomes to live a better life than most other employed classes. These members of the civil society command respect from the masses and governments listen to them.
This civil society is inert in Pakistan. The civil society raises its voice against all evils and injustices against tax evasion, but in Pakistan the doctors, engineers’ lawyers are among those who evade taxes. Only those employed in private jobs at junior level try to raise their voice against injustices in the society, but they have little influence.
Criminals with money and power (they are in large numbers) wield more influence and respect than the members of the civil society. In the absence of a vibrant civil society, they are the ones who influence the government policies.
This has given rise to social injustice and economic deprivation. This has led to discontent among the poor who are in majority. If genuine needs and rights of the majority are not granted, it has the potential to lead to terrorism.
This goes without saying that all illegal activities are against the interest of the nation, and law violators exist in all countries. But can all law violators be termed as the enemies of their nation?
Countries manage to live with rogue elements in their society. All states keep a check on criminal elements among them.
The rule of law is supreme in well-governed countries, still corrupt practices and violation of law takes place and rogue elements are not respected by the society. This is the reason that law breakers in well governed societies never become a threat to the existence of the nation.
In the case of Pakistan, illegal activities are rampant as successive governments failed to establish their writ. It is not limited to well-recognised criminal activities. There is no dearth of terrorists or tax evaders, smugglers, hoarders, those that give bribe or accept bribe, electricity or gas thieves or the dacoits and robbers that loot the citizens.
The civil society by and large respects most of these criminal elements. Pakistanis are wondering about their actual identity. What they observe all around is as bad as terrorism.
Terrorists destroy lives and property. The absentee or indifferent doctors at hospitals and clinics are responsible for many deaths that are caused due to their negligence. Rampant corruption in the country still dents economy more than the damage caused by terror attacks.
Criminals are not the only rogue elements in our society, but politicians and bureaucracy are as well a part of malaise that has plagued our society. What we fail to realise is that government must exert its writ on economic affairs as well.
Rampant tax evasion in the country is indicative of the fact that successive governments in Pakistan abdicated their right to collect fair revenues and paved the way for sustained increase in inequality.
The writer is a staff member