It is time that we start telling the truth to people, regarding commitments made by successive governments with IMF, World Bank and all other international financial institutions instead of the fiction which every government has been painting. The first financial package from IMF was negotiated in 1958, whilst the junta celebrated the Decade of Reforms with pomp and show and the paid elite, with their conflicts of interest, started abuse of allotting land to themselves.

People have a right to know about their fate and destiny. The fruits of development must be seen to trickle down and not just the impact of poor governance reflected by inflation, ever-widening gap trade deficit etc. People would be willing to sacrifice if they see paid and elected elite observing austerity and not leading a luxurious lifestyle in the taxpayer’s account. It is criminal for any government to sign an agreement with IMF, making it obligatory to withdraw all subsidies etc. while misleading citizens by painting a rosy picture. The current IMF agreement must be made public, including the names of those who were involved in negotiations.

The last balanced budget was given by Khawaja Nazimuddin in 1953, who belonged to the prestigious family of Nawabs of Dacca, who in 1905-06 laid down the foundations of the Muslim League. The non-Bengali dominated bureaucracy, both civil and unformed, openly opposed the formation of his government. He was a man of integrity, who did not own even a house in Pakistan, unlike those who went from rags to riches by allotting land to themselves.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore.