It seems all the talk about tackling corruption was not just empty politicking. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has actively pursued corrupt individuals through the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and other agencies. On August 31, the Prime Minister (PM) asked journalists to support this endeavour. This is commendable — and yes — the media, journalists and citizenry at large should support the PM in this fight. However, this should be a struggle to end all corruption — not just target a particular group of politicians, bureaucrats and business persons. This includes persons in the army, the judiciary, his own party as well as the PTI’s financiers. If this is done, the PM and his party will only grow more popular. On the other hand, if a ‘pick and choose’ approach is taken to tackling corruption — as has been the case numerous times throughout Pakistani history — the new government will only gain criticism. PM Khan has an opportunity to make a big contribution to the future of this country by making all institutions equally accountable before the law — including NAB itself. Every person’s assets need to be examined before they hold any public office — no matter what their political affiliations are — and then scrutinised throughout their tenure. Without these steps, any accountability the PTI claims to deliver will be a sham If we, the law abiding tax payers, are burdened with even more taxes to deliver to Asad Umar the Rs 9 billion he says the government needs to run the country, then all citizens should be equally accountable before the law. Every institution’s financial audit should be conducted by independent, external auditors. The assets of all public functionaries and dependents — whether bureaucrats, judges, army officials or politicians — should be filed and probed. These details should include local and foreign assets. Once all are accountable, only then can it be said that these processes are just and transparent. Every person’s assets need to be examined before they hold any public office, and then scrutinised throughout their tenure. Without these steps, any accountability the PTI claims to deliver will be a sham. Our system is one in which the honest suffer for forthright financial disclosure. Meanwhile, the dishonest get away scot free. The person who goes by the book ends uplooking like a loser, and as a consequence more and more people turn to financial deceit. We need a system which favours law abiding citizens. This is only possible through across the board accountability. Law-abiding Pakistanis have had enough of being forced against a wall, and change is now imminent. PM Khan, if you do not deliver what you have promised, eventually someone else will rise who will. If you fail to deliver, that day might not be too far off. The writer is a lawyer. She writes on social, governance and policy issues, and tweets @humzee1 Published in Daily Times, September 3rd 2018.