PRIME Minister Imran Khan on Friday said his govern ment had no option but to go for surgery to remove the tumour of corruption that was hindering Pakistan’s development and prosperity. The PM, who returned home Friday after a three-day official visit to Davos, Switzerland where he participated in the World Economic Forum’s annual session, said they will have to take tough, painful decisions to shore up economy adding that the nation should not despair, as corrupt people are spreading disappointment and despondency for their own political mileage. There is no denying the fact that corruption has become a major source of concern for the country as it is hindering its progress and development. It is also a fact that the continued focus on the issue has created awareness among people about the need to eradicate the menace and one of the factors that led to electoral victory of PTI was its commitment to ensure good governance. However, there is general feeling that the Government has not succeeded in translating its pledges in this regard into reality. This has been confirmed by the latest report of the Transparency International (TI), which should have served as an eye-opener but regrettably the Government is in self-denial mode. The Prime Minister deserves credit for his resolve to go for surgical operation to take out the tumour of corruption but, for this to happen, the authorities concerned need to acknowledge the ground realities. Instead of rejecting the TI report, it is time for planners and decision-makers to discuss the issue in a thorough and threadbare manner to pinpoint what went wrong in the campaign to address the menace of corruption and what needs to be done to ensure good governance. As for more ‘tough and painful decisions to shore up economy’, the Government should realize the plight of the common man as well. The economy would remain as it is in the backdrop of continuous retreat of the Government on the front of documentation of economy with the ultimate objective of bringing tax-evaders into tax net and making tax-payers to pay their due taxes. Exemption, exceptions and so-called concessions have disfigured the entire system and only layman is expected to give more sacrifices and that too at the cost of his/her quality of life. This is injustice and must not be done by a party whose very nomenclature is ‘Justice Movement’.
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