Corruption is a method and a technique adopted just to bypass the rule of law and engulfing the whole system into socio-economic turmoil. Furthermore, corruption, being the mother of all ills, gives birth to multifarious problems including nepotism, favouritism and negating meritocracy, transparency and accountability. It is an established fact that the cruelty shows its influence as the rule of law is abrogated. Banking scams, industrialist’s monopoly to create baseless crises, bypassing the constitutional supremacy, lavish living styles of the ruling class, foreign tours under the head of national exchequer, general apathy, neglect, carelessness and an attitude of indifference towards national issues are all the outcomes of corruption which is root cause of all evils in the motherland. The poor are sidelined, the rich are bestowed, the needy are ignored and the affluent are delivered. However, the story does not end here. The socio economic situation is much more dubious and gloomy than as expected.
Lack of accountability is an outcome of nepotism and favouritism. How can a corrupt person be held accountable by a corrupt authority? All in all the entire unfortunate system is prone to the monster of corruption. In such dismal state of affairs, the question of accountability does not arise. Only lucrative and emotionally charged speeches and pledges can never come up to the expectations of the people. Rule of law is the only option that can pave way for accountability.
Moreover, the crippled and dwindling economy and ever-rising levels of inflation are the major source of corruption. The more the prosperous a country, the more the rule of law are followed. But it is quite unfortunate to mention that Pakistan is a country rated in the third world where neither the rule of law prevails nor the economic system is strengthened. The per capita income is significantly low that renders the lower strata of society more prone towards corruption.
Incompetent judiciary in terms of not bringing the culprits in to the gallows of law and absence of bringing the corrupt politicians and policy makers to the books is another decisive factor in today’s sorry state of affairs. In the same manner the unnecessary delay in deciding the cases of corruption is a clear explanation of the adage: the justice delayed is justice denied.
In much the similar fashion, highly centralized economy, breeds conflict amongst the poor and the rich. The growing influence of the privileged class always uses the influential authority to snub the poor people. In such a grim situation, the victims and the upper both use their influence at their maximum extent to have maximum benefit from the opportunity. Thus the capitalism is in the forefront in bringing and paving ways for corruption.
Corruption evolves as a result of evasion of ethical and religious norms. Religion always asks the believers to have a solid strive in bringing a moderate society. It agrees in favour of decentralized economy. Regulation of wealth according to rule of law is the motto of Islam.
All the above mentioned factors have brought Pakistan at number 139th among the most corrupt countries of the world. According to CPI report, Pakistan has 2.3 score out of 10 which shows its position very weak while on contrary, New Zealand showed 9.4 out of 10 in the race and toppled the entire scenario. Pakistan on the other hand, is lagging behind in all spheres of life. This is the outcome of corruption that Pakistan has lost its identity and failed to establish its credibility in the whole world.
The discussion on corruption in Pakistan would never be complete without having a glance on National Reconciliation Ordinance, a symbol of corruption in Pakistan. It was promulgated by a military dictator to serve his own vested interests. It freed all the politicians and civil servants until 1990, who were convicted on charges of corruption. PPP and PML (N), the big political giants remained the beneficiaries of this ordinance. Under the provisions of NRO, the civil servants, politicians and major industrialists were given a safe passage to escape from all the charges of corruption and made them free of any sin. NRO, most appropriately can be termed as the law that legitimized corruption in Pakistan.
Given the dismal state of affairs, as is evident from all the above-explained short story, there is a stringent need of implementing religious and ethical values, if the nation wants to get out of the clutches of monster like corruption. The religious counseling must be given at all levels so that ethics and values have a strong hold on the characters and actions of the people. Educational reforms based on morality must be given place in the social system.
Redtapism, nepotism, favouritism must be eradicated by grooming and nurturing a culture of accountability based on trickledown effect that runs from top to bottom. Independence of judiciary and rule of law can only bring in meritocracy so that talented and high caliber people must be employed at the higher posts.
Another pragmatic solution is to increase the salaries of the government servants. Financial satisfaction to all and sundry can bring in a positive change in the society. It forces the workers to follow the principles of morality and honesty.
Moreover, the laws must be made strict and their implementation be ensured. Unfortunately, Pakistan is a land of laws which are never implemented. One thing must be given preference that it is not the severity of punishment but the certainty of punishment that matters. Such practices put the things in order and in right directions. Therefore, strict implementation of laws is the only way forward. China after the empowerment of communist party, paved this way for a cause of change.
Corruption is social curse that must be ditched. The lawmakers in the parliament must take stringent efforts and evolve practicable strategies to eradicate the mushrooming menace. Rule of law, supremacy of the constitution and independence of judiciary and off course a free and vibrant media being the fourth pillar of the state, must be implemented in true letter and spirit. The accused must be given a cold fist. Time is ripe that drastic measures be taken to get rid of this tsunami of corruption that undoubtedly has torn and destructed our very social and economic fabric. Enough of apathy and negligence, the need of the hour is to join hands on all fronts by all members and areas of society to ouster this curse. If Pakistan wants to run in the race of socio economic development, evils like corruption do not fit in the scenario