Corruption in Pakistan Corruption is a social evil having capacity to shake the very basis of the society; it cannot only affect the working of the government but threaten the very fabric of society. Though no country in the world is save from this evil; even the developed countries has to cope with this predicament however this phenomenon has proved to be disastrous for the developing countries like Pakistan. In 2011 Pakistan is graded as 123rd most corrupt state out of 136.
Corruption may be referred as a deliberate and intentional exploitation of one’s position, status or resources directly or indirectly for personal aggrandizement, whether it may be in term of material gain or enhancement of power, prestige or influence beyond what is legitimate or sanctioned. Corruption is illegal, irregular or unlawful exercise of authority on the part of any public office bearer, politician, any NGO or Private person, in order to obtain some benefits either in monetary term or to gain some power.
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Generally corruption is construed in a sense of bribery, no doubt bribery comes within the ambit of corruption however confining corruption merely to the bribery narrows down its scope; range of corruption contains everything from bribery to power or professional malpractice. Favouritism, embezzlement of funds and misuse of powers are immediate outcome of corruption. No doubt the founding fathers of Pakistan expressed their loath against corruption e. g. Quaid-e-Azam described corruption as a curse while he was addressing to Constituent Assembly; he said;
One of the biggest curse from which India is suffering is bribery and corruption that is a poison, we must put that down with an iron hand. History proved him right in his approach as after 64 years of independence; corruption has eroded the economy of Pakistan, imbued social immorality and has dreadful implication on governance. Because of extensive corruption people are losing their faith in Government and are wary of efficiency, competency and sincerity of government; violation of law has become order of the day; everyone exploit his power and take advantage of the situation.
Factors like lust for maximum power, status and wealth are responsible of waning away the social order bringing it at the brink of complete collapse. The causes of corruption are numerous depending on its nature; on political front the sole reason of corruption is the yearning for power, more power and maximum power on the part of politician. By misusing their power they try to perpetuate their rule and tenure in power.
So far as civil service is concerned; the paramount reason of corruption is to gain pecuniary benefits; they put forward the excuse of financial disparities as justification of corruption. No doubt the prices of living now a days is too high to be managed while the remunerations of employees are too low to make their both ends meet compelling them to resort to corrupt practices. Civil servants in Pakistan inherited corrupt practices from civil service of British India; they are generally prone to illegally extort money from the people before doing their work.
Insecurity of tenure of post; irrational assignments and promotions; compartmentalization of bureaucracy, permeating of psychological clime of lower; lack of bureaucratic harmony; frustration by technical experts; resentment on the part of provincial service officers; immobility between the cadres and major classes of ranks; large scale readjustment of personnel and changes in structure of government are other contributors of this imbroglio.
The other major reasons of fast creeping corruption are political instability, poverty, unequal structure of society, growing unemployment, lack of accountability, unequal distribution of resources and power and absence of rule of law. Political instability takes away economic growth, completely halt the development procedure in society ensuing poverty and social stratification which themselves are stimulators of the corruption. Unequal social order and race of status also contributed a lot in endorsing legitimacy of corruption.
Long usage of corrupt practices has made it acceptable way of life; today a corrupt officer don’t expect the loathe of people around because the Islamic concept of earning pure money is fading away on the other hand wealth has become sole criteria of respect in our society; ignoring the source of money and violating the moral order; corruption has penetrated into Pakistani society where greatness of individual depends upon the what they possess, rather what they are.
Due to rising economic problems and financial disparities poverty is on rise entailing huge unemployment. Skilled segment of society is bound either to remain unemployed or to accept jobs with low salaries. In both these situation corruption takes place as an unemployed person use his money and reference to get job and person with inadequate salary try to exploit his position to extort money.
Hitherto no adequate steps are taken to curb corruption practices though efforts were made in different eras in this aspect; accountability laws were enacted but no concrete measures were taken to apply these laws in letter and spirit. Today enactments such as NRO disclose that most of the beneficiaries of these laws are lawmakers and bureaucrats; this proves not only the fact of want of accountability rather shows the appeasement policy that government has adopted towards corruption.
Certainly corruption can thrive in suitable situation like one prevailing in our country. It also creates obstacles in the way of foreign investment; in 2007 foreign investment in Pakistan was recorded at 700 USD which has now fall up to US $300 surely no foreign company likes to invest its capital in a corruption ridden country rather even local investor prefers to invest in the foreign state that provide better business policies and provide protection against red tapism and corruption.
As wealthy and powerful person can easily obtain his objects through bribery or reference, he is always in advantageous position as compare to poor and relatively vulnerable section, equal and just distribution of resources has become almost impossible. Administration of justice with corrupt institutions is a complete debacle; instead of providing relief to the public it cause hardships to the common man as public functionaries grab maximum money from the common man by way of bribery. Want of proper administration of justice and good governance further deteriorates law and order situation.
A poor man who don’t get justice for any grievance while he is the only one who gets punishment for his misdeeds promptly; feel society and specially elite class as his main culprit no doubt he revenge by becoming a terrorist, robber or dacoit. On the other hand powerful elite consider exploitation of poor classes as their divine right. Corruption on political level ensue lack of transparent working in public institutions. Laws are made to protect the rights and interests of individuals instead of general public e. g. NRO; private rights get priority upon public rights e. . land grabbing, deforestation for some personal gains, misuse of land acquisition laws etc. A deep rooted corruption like one in Pakistan is threat to international status of country, internal tranquillity, welfare of general public, proper administration of justice, rule of law, good governance, social and moral prosperity; prompt and judicious measures are needed to be taken to get rid of this blight, however while uprooting this menace require a deep revamping of political, bureaucratic and social order mere cosmetic treatment will not serve the purpose.
Following are certain measure which can be taken to deracinate corrupt practice; at first place an honest political leadership must be given power; however power can never be honest and transparent without proper accountability as absolute power corrupt absolutely. The rulers aren’t angels they are human beings and human beings need to be controlled. Security of tenure and adequate salary package should be given to bureaucrats simultaneously their training course should be reviewed so that they could understand their duties to serve the people.
Immediate measures should be taken to depoliticized bureaucracy from the politics. Politicians must not be allowed to treat civil servants as their personal servants. Selection, promotion and other incentives should only be given on merit. A system of accountable-management should also be introduced in the administrative structure of Pakistan; the techniques of job analysis, job appraisal and job evaluation are proper methods to bring accountability in civil service. As the people have accepted corruption as order of the day proper awareness against corruption through proper education is imperative.
Institutions should be made strong for the proper working of government. Only a powerfully but controlled institutions can establish a translucent system clean from corruption Measure should be taken to get rid of red tapism, establishment of e-government is best solution of this problem. We’re living in an era where no proper planning is made by successive inefficient and incompetent governments to eradicate corruption. Proper accountable body should be set up that should also has authority to carry out its procedure transparently and without meddling on the part of politicians.
Once the curse of corruption is successfully snubbed the plight of corruption; poverty, economic disparities, deteriorated law and order situation can easily be avoided. A society which assure rule of law, where every department perform its duties honestly and that provide proper administration of justice to all tempt foreign and local investment and its population takes interest in constructive activities instead of taking revenge from their fellow citizen for every mishap they suffer.