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The Mechanics of Accountability

After months of cajoling the PPP regime to check the rising tide of corruption engulfing the country, the President finally decided that enough was enough and sent a message to the two Houses of Parliament to enact effective measures for accountability. Instead of welcoming the initiative by a person who had not only remained a respected leader of their own Party but was their nominee for President in the first place, the PPP reacted like a wounded animal. In a rather silly ploy, the ruling Party went on a filibustering defensive, calling for a “select committee” to decide on the parameters. Since all of us know that select “commissions” and “committees” are safe euphemisms for relegating things into the waste-paper basket, the PPP reaction was very suggestive that the rulers had something definitive to hide. The general public perception is that PPP have someone they want to protect, at the cost of their conscience, at the cost of the credibility of their Party and at the cost of the economic hopes of the nation.

The US Permanent Representative to the UN, Ms Madeleine Albright, was extremely supportive of a UN Resolution on the eradication of corruption which would make it incumbent upon member States to monitor the financial dealings of citizens of other countries in their respective territories, particularly politicians and bureaucrats, maintaining large bank deposits or real-estate holdings, making it illegal and thus impossible to get away hiding their ill-gotten gains with the same impunity they do now. If such a UN Resolution should become binding, it would strike a tremendous blow for the poor, downtrodden masses of the developed world whose leaders feed them with endless rhetoric while shamelessly stealing at will from their country’s coffers. For starters we could possibly circulate among member countries the famous list of 20 which has caused considerable apprehension in bureaucratic circles and see whether it is really true that some of them are billionaires (even if they are not, some of them at least live and act like it).

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A Concept in Cooperation

The essence of society as we understand it is that it is based on cooperation and understanding between individuals and like-minded groups. Human beings have an inherent penchant to extend help to other human beings and in the ultimate analysis even the basis for Islamic society is mutual cooperation on a comprehensive basis laid down in detail in the Holy Quran. While all this may be natural, the successful harnessing of the cooperative instinct for material benefits and the consolidation of this process along organised, scientific lines is the basis for Cooperative Societies. At the very basics, Cooperatives can be extremely helpful to those that don’t have the inherent ability for either entering into entrepreneurship of any kind or if the ability is there, to expand the scope of its horizons, whether it be in business, industry or in the agriculture sectors. It is an all-inclusive benefit scheme meant mainly for the have-nots of society. Being an agriculture-based economy, Pakistan’s main thrust in the Cooperative field has been in farming and the imperative need to create a suitable monetary system to ensure desperately needed adequate cash flow to the small-unit subsistence farmer.

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