Sir: For crime to flourish in any society, any criminal act not punished in accordance with laws because of political exigencies, and where laws are selectively applied, anarchy takes over. In a country where 270 police officers fell victim to target killings in just one month of June 1995 and not a single murderer is arrested, you cannot expect the police to stand up for upholding the law. If public memory is not short, there is a history of unexplained killings of key witnesses and law enforcement officers pursuing high profile cases, such as the state prosecutor who was found hanging in his room in Islamabad a few years back and quite recently the killing of a witness of Sabeen Mehmood’s murder in Karachi.
When the US wanted to prosecute Al Capone in 1931, there was no witness protection programme and the public prosecutor concluded that nobody would be willing to become a witness in numerous killings ordered by the mafia don. The US government decided to investigate tax evasion because organised crime, black money and tax evasion were interlinked. Al Capone was successfully sentenced to 11 years in prison.
If the state wants to eradicate terrorism, organised crime and the massive pilferage of state revenues by powerful and corrupt criminals, the only way punishments can be given to mass murderers and the powerful elite involved in robbing the state of billions of dollars is political will. Unfortunately, those in power within the ruling elite and establishment are themselves involved in massive tax evasion and therefore unwilling to set any precedents where high profile criminals are convicted for non-payment of taxes.
ALI M TARIQ