http://www.indianexpress.com/news/learn-from-india-pak-media-tells-govt/741674/0 The conviction of a serving Indian Army general for his role in a land scam should serve as an example for Pakistan, where no action has been taken against military officers linked to various corruption scandals, the Pakistani media said today. Holding up the example of the Indian general, editorials in several leading newspapers contended that Pakistan could become a real democracy only if certain institutions like the army are not treated as "sacred cows" and if all organs of the state are held accountable for their actions. "The example of the court martial that tried (Lt Gen P K Rath) should be applied in Pakistan, not just for the army, but for the entire executive cadre. No one can be above the law any longer," said the editorial in The Nation, a conservative daily known for toeing a pro-army line and criticising India. "The conviction of a senior army officer in India should serve as a wake-up call for Pakistan. We should emulate their example," said an editorial titled "Justice for all" in the liberal Daily Times. It called for greater transparency in the functioning of the Pakistani military, including the closely guarded military budget that is seldom discussed even in parliament. "The only way Pakistan can ever become a real democracy is when we stop treating some institutions as "sacred cows". Transparency in the military, starting from the defence budget, should be mandatory. Justice must be served across the board," the editorial said. The Express Tribune, in an editorial titled "Learning from our neighbours," said the conviction of Lt Gen Rath would lead to some in Pakistan concluding that the Indian Army "is as corrupt as its counterparts in Pakistan." It added: "But we should be taking a very different lesson from this case. Both civilian politicians and the military in India have been implicated in corruption scandals. Yet the difference between the two countries is that in India, the guilty have been held responsible for their misdeeds." The action taken against Rath and another lieutenant general for the Sukna land scam "is a good example of the fact that in India, it is the civilian set-up that is in charge," The Express Tribune said. "Before pointing fingers at India, we should ask if we can say the same of ourselves," the editorial concluded. Rath, a former deputy Chief of Army Staff-designate, was found guilty on three counts after an eight-month-long court martial. He was convicted for facilitating a deal with a realtor to build an educational institute adjacent to the Sukna military station in West Bengal. He was also found guilty of issuing a no-objection certificate and illegally signing a memorandum of understanding with the educational trust by not informing his superiors. His seniority was reduced by 15 years for pension benefits and he also forfeited two years of seniority. The Pakistani media noted that not a single military officer in Pakistan, serving or retired, had been tried or convicted following allegations of involvement in corruption scandals. Pakistan remains "under the khaki shadows despite the fact that a democratic set-up is in place" and corruption scandals in the military "are either swept under the carpet or never come out in public", the Daily Times said in its editorial. It noted that a recent example of such corruption was the lease of the Pakistan Railways Golf Club in Lahore that allegedly involved three retired generals. "Land scams are a norm in our military while other corruption tactics involve kickbacks on arms deals," it added. Action is not taken in such scandals "because of the military establishment's strong hold over our political system and the media" and the "fear of retribution", the Daily Times observed. The Nation noted that the "internal accountability mechanism of the Indian Army contrasts with that of the Pakistan Army, where a case coming up before the National Assembly's Public Accounts Committee was deferred because the (army chief) had ordered a fresh inquiry even though vast sums had been lost on the stock market." "Clearly, the (Pakistan) Army may not formally rule the country, but it still looks after its own," The Nation said.