Corruption is a poison which squanders the government resources deters investment and is detrimental to economic growth and political development. It flourishes if people in authority are dishonest and corrupt the state institutes are weak, and there is a political instability financial control lack of transparency in governance and disregard of the rule of law. Essay on Corruption in Pakistan Its Causes. Corruption has spoiled Pakistan completely and is resulting in increase in poverty, unemployment, hunger and is tarnished the image of the country by bringing immense miseries to its people.
Corruption has been deep routed in all levels either private or government from top to bottom and anti-corruption institutions have unfavorably failed to address this or even reduce the ongoing dishonesty and frauds. Corruption in Pakistan is widespread particularly in the government and lower levels of police forces. Transparency International 2017 Corruption perception index ranks the country 117th place out of 180 countries. Essay on Corruption in Pakistan Its Causes. Pakistan saw a significant improvement in its statistics in 2013 when its ranking improved by 12 indices compared to its previous rankings.
Corruption is not something new. There have been periods in the subcontinent when corruption was rampant such as under British East India Company. When there was almost anarchy in the northeast of the subcontinent. Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in his inaugural address to the constituent assembly on 11th August 1947 had warned that bribery and corruption is a poison and “we must put that down with an iron hand”
The corruption practices have increased to an intolerable proportion and have assumed the gravity of a cancer. Dr IIhan Niazi write in his book, “The culture of power and governance of Pakistan 1947-2008 has dealt with the corruption. As early 1950 the Lahore High Court found the Chief Minister of Punjab guilty of corruption abuse of power and obstruction of justice because he had illegally acquired evacuee land for himself. After the demise of the first Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaquat Ali Khan (1947-51) a period of weak governments followed. As many as six prime ministers were changed during the next seven years.
Essay on Corruption in Pakistan Its Causes and Solution
Causes of Corruption:
Corruption prevails in those regions where there is no peace no write of the state and there is no stable government. Pakistan unfortunately has been a place of political intrigues politics of opportunism and obstructionism.
Discretionary Power of Public Officials:
According to Roseau, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” wide and discretionary powers to the public officials provide incentive for corrupt behavior. These make them less accountable. Judges, Bureaucrats and politicians have access to control the valuable benefits of private citizens. They can impose costs over them and their business.
Corruption also stems from policy environment either on the top or at the bottom of the hierarchy. The payoffs are frequent to the lower level officials charged with collecting tariffs, provide police protection, issuing permits and the like.
Civil and military officials are also likely to involve in corruption due to their low salaries. As their costs and expenses are exceeding form their remunerations.
Poverty is also one of the main causes of corruption. The economic conditions of our country have always been shabby. Inflation as ever is on the rise. There is a lack of social safety network. All these compel a man to indulge in such unlawful activities.
IMPACTS OF CORRUPTION
According to Kimberly Ann Elliot:- “Bribery often undermines political legitimacy, squanders government revenues, and distorts international trade and investment flows. Where it is pervasive, corruption can deter investment, thereby lowering growth,” and is “detrimental to economic and political development.” Some of the main impacts of corruption are as follows:-
Corruption tends to moral degradation. The culture of corruption has plagued the society to the extent that it has become a way of life. Values and norms have changed and new values orientation is undergone. It puts us on the threshold of the cross roads of values. The generation, in all walks of life, emanates from assumption of power and corruption of values. Corruption leads to corruption. Corruption of liberty leads to liberty of corruption. It initiates every type of fraud, jealousy, deception, negligence and exploitation of vulnerable and weakest segments of society. It breeds inequality and injustice in the society. It denies the basic human rights of freedom, equality and fair play.
Slow Economic Growth:-
Corruption leads to slow economic growth, coupled deceleration with the development in the state. It impacts the private sector as there is no transparency. In consequences, investment is discouraged, whether it is internal or foreign. It impacts the public sector, as there is scarcity of resources. Thus, it creates despair, insecurity and detracts people’s constructive objective.
Mistrust and Suspicion:-
When there is corruption, there is mistrust and suspicion. People lose faith in the integrity of Public Administration as it becomes inefficient due to the violation of merit. Furthermore, they lose their faith in the state and its representatives. Thus, these facts cause damage to the social fabrics of the society. In consequence, democracy is put at stake and the nation become vulnerable to be exploited by the anti-Pakistani elements. Resultantly, the writ of the state will be shaken.
Corruption Leads To Exploitation:-
Corruption leads to exploitation because the living standard of people becomes very low. As corruption retards economy and poverty alleviation and public service delivery. Thus, it leads to all sorts of crimes and violence. Rich and poor gap get widen. Poor is exploited by burgesses (big businessman) class for their own aims.
Brain drainage is the direct effect of corruption. It will become harder to locate men and women’s ability and integrity in the public life. Capable people prefer to go abroad and serve other nations with their ability instead of suffering in Pakistan.
Current Government Era:-
It has been reported that during the last four years (2008-11) there were corruption and liabilities to the tune of Rupees 8500 billion. The estimated corruption was Rupees 390 billion in 2008, Rs 450 billion in 2009, Rs 825 billion in 2010 and Rs 1100 billion in 2011.it is due to prevalent corruption that the country’s economy has deteriorated to an extent that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has rated Pakistan as “highly vulnerable”, and besides mounting external debts, “for the first time in the country’s history, the domestic debts and liabilities across Rupees 7 trillion mark.”
Increment in Social Problems:
The general public suffers because it is difficult for the people, who do not enjoy political patronage or contact with higher authorities, to get their genuine work done. Those who can bribe or have political support and contacts with higher authorities are the main beneficiaries of the prevailing system of governance. As for the judiciary and legal professions, except for superior courts, “there is widespread lack of public confidence in the justice system. Access to justice and legal the rule of law are undermined by corruption.” It can, therefore, be assumed that the bureaucracy as well as the judiciary is not above board and needs to improve their standards.
Miss Fatima Jinnah had once said that corruption is like a snow which melts from the top. “Corruption cannot exist without the
connivance of political leadership, even if passive,” says Elliot. Thus the foremost need is the top executive authority should be men of integrity who should not be corrupt and should not permit others to indulge in corruption.
As for the government officials and functionaries, meritocracy must be implemented. The professional standards for the cadre law enforcement agencies should be improved, their induction made scrutiny on merit, they are reasonably well paid, there are improvements in the conduct of their training, they have service security and are free from political interference. The judiciary both at higher and lower levels should be strong, independent, honest and corruption-free. Greater transparency and effective accountability should be ensured, so there is easy accessibility of poor people to police stations, judicial courts and other public service departments.
Rule of Law:-
There should be a rule of law so that “thieves” are caught. The people should have fear of law and severe punishment to be given to those found guilty of corruption.
There is a tendency that candidates for legislative assemblies spend a large amount in their election campaign and in bribing the voters with a hope that they would be able to earn more. If elected, they resort to corrupt practices to amass wealth to compensate for the amount spent as well as for expenses to be spent in the next elections. If the alternative system of proportional representation, as practiced in Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, Sri Lanka etc., Is introduced it will be a check on individual corruption. And only those persons, who have an impeccable record of honesty, should be eligible for election to legislatures.
For financial oversight, the Public Accounts Committee and the Ministry of Finance with its Auditor General’s Office should work with efficiency and honesty. They need to continue reforming and overhauling themselves for improvement. Their working should be computerized so as to adopt best international procedures and practices, for audit and scrutiny. In addition, with a view to improving government revenues, they should ensure that the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) makes every eligible taxpayer to pay taxes to the government honestly.
The local government system introduced in 2002 should be re-introduced and reformed wherever necessary. The system implies handling over local governance to the people through decentralization of administrative authority, de-concentration of management functions, and distribution of resources and public-private partnership in implementing and execution of works. This decentralization will eliminate corruption at provincial and higher levels, because local works would be carried out locally.
The civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should be associated with government agencies and committees, in advisory and oversight roles. The civil society may act as “watchdogs” in fighting against corruption. The public private partnership should be ensured, especially at district, tehsil and village level. Only those citizens should be co-opted who can take part in the direct monitoring of the Police, the Judiciary, the district government officials and others. Complaint cells be established which should be controlled by a committee composed of senior district officers and responsible citizens. In addition, there should be freedom of information in offices especially those having control over public works.
Education and Media:-
As a long term measure, intensive efforts need to be made to raise the Pakistan’s literacy rate, which is only 56 percent at present. There should be increased emphasis on character building and inculcating qualities such as honesty, justice, love of humanity, modesty, dignity, fair play etc, in our educational institutions. Besides, it should be the theme, which electronic and print media should focus on.
National Accountability Bureau:-
In the past many attempts were made to uproot corruption but all in vain. Critics opine that in the past, people were targeted and not facets of corruption. NAB was established to substantiate the commandment of Allah but it became a kingro court. The anti- corruption Act is still on the Statue Book (constitution), the Public Representative Office Disqualification Act is still in vogue. General Ayub, Zia, Musharraf introduced their own anti- corruption programs but they all aimed at throwing out the politicians and not the corruption.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) at the federal, provincial and local levels should effectively resort to monitoring through public awareness and in cooperation and collaboration with civil society. NAB should be independent of the executive. The setting up Public Safety Commission (PSC) in each district will be helpful. It would ensure greater private-public partnership and participation. It will be of assistance in the investigation of grievances. The anti-corruption process will be effective if the functionaries of NAB are paid well and have security of tenure. The Nab should have adequate staff and the requisite capability and capacity to perform its functions effectively “for improving governance, management, transparency and accountability and quality of public procurement of goods, services and works in the public sector.”
Anti Corruption Ombudsmen:-
Perhaps, Pakistan also needs to have an office of an anti-corruption ombudsman as proposed by Anna Hazare in India to deal with complaints against the conduct of other government officials and agencies dealing with the public. There may be anti-corruption ombudsmen at federal, provincial and local levels for prompt and speedy disposal of corruption cases involving abuse of power, illegal gratification, and misappropriation of property, kickbacks and commissions. However, accountability must not be selective and it should be across the board. The anti-corruption ombudsman should not only be independent but have vast powers. He should work without discrimination and the privileged people should not be treated differently. It would be the implementation of anti-corruption measures which would rather, as the taste of the pudding lies in its eating.
Transparency, honesty and fair play are the pre-requisite for any state to progress. In order to make Pakistan a corruption free state, it is inevitable to introduce a transparency and merit culture in all its departments. No room should be provided for favouritism, gifts culture and bribery.
Increasing the Salaries of Public Servants:-
Corruption is a socio-economic problem. In the past, it has been treated only as a legal and administrative issue. Good rumination to the public servants and merit- oriented bureaucracy should be the norm in the country. There should be social justice and equity among all citizens of the country. The pay structure of the public officials must be realistic. Their salaries should be adequate to meet their needs.
To minimize corruption in Pakistan, there is a need of comprehensive campaign on the media to bring awareness to the people. The
propagation against corruption could play a vital role in uprooting corruption in Pakistan. Civil society can also play a vital role in minimizing corruption in our society.
Empowering Parliamentary Oversight Committee:-
Democratic government is still the best policy even if its leaders are less austere and less capable than non-political guards or experts. A democratic system has its own correcting mechanism. Parliament oversight and fear of losing the confidence of people makes it more efficient. A parliament oversight committee should be empowered to revive all the actions of the government, big cartels and bureaucrats. Only then the corruption could be minimized in the country.