It is the season of General Elections in Pakistan. Therefore all the political parties in the country are busy in leveling allegations against each other in a bid to play down their opponents rather than elaborating on their manifesto. Amidst all that noise of letting down the political opponents, the word corruption has emerged as a catchphrase. If we ignore the habit of politicians to keep up with the tradition of playing a blame game on the opponents, what we can’t overlook is that rampant corruption in Pakistan is a real issue and needs a solution.
Well, there is no lack of suggestions regarding practical ways to stop corruption, but there is need to do something more rather than talking about dictatorial pieces of dos and don’ts.
Who is Responsible for Corruption in Pakistan
In Pakistan, the real problem is that no one is ready to take the blame for corruption. Cursing the prime minister of the country for allegedly stealing the public money from government’s treasury is met with the argument that crime begins at grass root level. The milkman selling milk with water shouldn’t be in a position to complain about the corrupt government. But, public says that nations’ moral characters don’t necessarily build from the grass root level. Instead, it works in a manner of trickledown effect and reflects who is ruling the people.
Amidst all this debate of what depends upon what, the real question of who is responsible for corruption in Pakistan remains unanswered.
Let’s have a look at factors that might have to do with increased corruption in Pakistan.
According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, Pakistan ranks on number 117 out of 180 countries. Well, the state is still less corrupt than at least 63 other entries in the list, but it is not transparent by any means. One reason for corruption in Pakistan dates back to colonial legacy. The country celebrated its 70th Independence Day on August 14, 1947, the nation still seems to be following the tradition of that era. The system of bureaucracy in Pakistan is inherited from what it used to be in British period.
It is a fact that British government did some work to build infrastructure in the country, but it also deprived the indigenous people of many valuable resources. The British civil servants who seemed to be in the service with the goal of keeping the people of sub-continent subservient didn’t emphasize much on the building of the ethics and morals of the nation, instead focused on achieving their goals in an exploitative manner. Bureaucracy in even the political governments in Pakistan are somehow working on the same norms. So, colonial legacy might be one of the reasons of rampant corruption in Pakistan.
Relative Poverty in Pakistan
Pakistan is a capitalist nation, so it is evident that relative poverty in Pakistan is extensive. Corruption is no less than a moral evil, and according to the prevailing concept, poverty is the mother of all the moral crimes. Therefore, people who can’t meet their expenses or find their incomes to be insufficient for meeting their daily basic needs are likely to distract and choose a wrong path that can make them corrupt.
Lack of Justice and Culture of Bribe
The absence of the justice and culture of bribe are another factor that promotes corruption in Pakistan. Many institutions in the country, particularly Police Department are perceived as most corrupt for being famous as custodian of bribe culture. Due to lack of transparency employees don’t resolve the issues with legal procedures and favor those who have deep pockets. Due to lack of quick justice system, people also tend to adopt unlawful means.
The culture of Nepotism and Might is Right
Prevalent culture of nepotism in Pakistan is eminent from the hereditary politics. Therefore, cronyism or favoring the relatives and friends and acquaintances for critical positions rather than making appointments on merit is another reason for widespread corruption in Pakistan.