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Wealth Tax

PERJURY COMPROMISES ACCOUNTABILITY

The Oxford Dictionary defines perjury as “an act of willfully telling an untruth when on oath”, and goes on to use the words, “lying, mendacity, mendaciousness, falsification, deception, untruthfulness, dishonesty, duplicity”. A perjurer is thus a criminal. Telling lies whether under oath or not is a favourite (and quite profitable) pastime in South Asia, particularly in Pakistan where it has flourished to become almost an art, a profession. A visit to any of the lower courts or even the High Courts should be an eye-opener, if needed one can hire services of touts who excel in lying under oath. According to the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) person giving or fabricating false evidence is liable to be punished with imprisonment for life or with rigorous imprisonment, extending ten years, and also liable to being fined. However it is so rarely used as not to provide any deterrent against a witness who comes into court solely to mislead and propagate lies.

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Federal Budget circa 1990 – III

The coming Federal Budget exposed Pakistan and the Federal Government to the financial ills inherited from the past, not the least of them being a foreign debt burden of US$ 19 billion with almost US$ 6 billion lying unutilized due to inefficient bureaucratic practices. Already plans for a LONG MARCH on Islamabad post-budget are afoot, it being taken for granted that there will be reason enough to make an attempt to bring the streets into the front-line of the Dump-Benazir campaign (or as it is probably known, Anybody But Benazir (ABB). One does not have to be a soothsayer to predict tragic consequences for the country, encouraging the neutrals, or the Great Silent Majority if you please, to take a “plague on both your houses” attitude. The Federal Government needs to elicit support from all sections of the people to find answers to the problems troubling the economy. It behoves the opposition to respond in kind for the sake of the nation. Let’s not play games with economy, in the end the masses that have voted the governments into power need the elected to tend to the more serious matter of ameliorating their atrocious living standards.

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