Apropos reports published in media about the main accused of Hajj corruption scam of 2010-2011, Ahmed Faiz, being arrested in Saudi Arabia after four years on 7 July, 2014. The inordinate delay in arresting a government appointed Director Hajj based in Saudi Arabia, accused of most heinous of crimes, unbecoming of a Muslim, who instead of facilitating pilgrims subjected thousands of poor to undergo hardships, exposes power of corruption mafia in this country. Had it not been for persistence by Supreme Court of Pakistan to provide justice, Mr Ahmed Faiz may most likely have got away. He managed for four years to evade arrest, prosecution and accountability, because of lack of will to tackle corruption, which many within the ruling elite and bureaucracy consider a perk and a talent, instead of criminal act. It is this deliberate patronisation of corruption which has made Pakistan a haven for criminals, a country where criminals violate laws at will, as long as they can grease palms of those who are appointed by state to establish writ of laws and constitution.
It was in 2010-2011 that before these unfortunate hajis or Umrah pilgrims proceeded on holy journey that the ‘corruption nexus’ between a few in the national airline PIA and travel agents cum tour operators connived to create an artificial shortage of seats, by intentionally relaxing built-in firewalls within Computerized Reservation to enable few to block seats and create an artificial shortage. This resulted in pilgrims desirous of proceeding on holy journey to pay a premium to get seats which was pocketed by this nexus. Under intense pressure from media and opposition, former chairman had to take action, temporarily making Director Marketing and GM Reservation and few others OSD, only to be rehabilitated after few months by MD and chairman and till date neither an investigation has been launched, nor anybody in PIA has been punished, although it was publicly promised that culprits will be punished.
There is a constitution and laws in this land but as long as there is no implementation, and criminals and those who violate laws are not prosecuted and made accountable, crime and terrorism will flourish in this country, and there will be massive tax evasion, flight of capital and economic collapse.