Corruption in Pakistan: Issues, Challenges, and Way Forward

Corruption in Pakistan Issues, Challenges, and Way Forward

CSS Current Affairs | Corruption in Pakistan: Issues, Challenges, and Way Forward

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The menace of corruption has become a leviathan haunting the country’s socio-economic development due to the lack of transparency, monopoly of institutions, political instability, and weak legal system. Therefore, certain practical remedial measures are inevitable to rein the untamed horse of corruption, such as ensuring transparency, eradicating institutions’ hegemony, making the country politically stable, and strengthening the legal system.  

Current situation 

  • At 124th position out of 180 countries 
  • Corrupt practices becoming morally correct 

What are factors have contributed to the surge of corruption?

  • The lack of transparency 
  • The monopoly of institutions 
  • Political instability 
  • The Weak legal system 

How has the malice of corruption affected Pakistan? 

  • Making the country’s economy fragile 
  • Surging the moral decline in society  
  • Increasing the trust deficit between the youth and the state’s institution

How can this aggravated issue be dealt with effectively?

  • To ensure transparency
  • To eradicate institutions’ hegemony 
  • To make the country politically stable
  • To strengthen the legal system  

Critical analysis 


Answer to the Question


The menace of corruption – the use of public office for private gains – has become a significant threat to the country’s very existence, sadly. It has hampered the country’s socio-economic development and has shaken the people’s trust in public offices. According to Transparency International, the country is currently at 124th position out of 180 countries. For this reason, the increasing corruption has paved the way for surging moral decline, increasing trust deficit between the youth and the state’s institutions. Furthermore, the challenges faced by the country have not been born in isolation. However, political instability, the monopoly of institutions, the lack of transparency, and the weak legal system have contributed to making the situation worse. To deal with the issue effectively, certain pragmatic steps, such as ensuring transparency, eradicating institutions’ hegemony, making the country politically stable, and strengthening the legal system, are the need of the hour. By and large, the peril of corruption – if not addressed – can rob the country of its dream of becoming a developed nation.

Currently, the issue of corruption is a major obstacle in the way of the country’s socio-economic. According to the International Transparency, the country has been ranked at 124th out of 180 countries on the Corruption Perception Index. On the one hand, it has resulted in declining the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as it has shaken investors’ confidence. But, on the other hand, corruption has caused a moral decline in society as people consider corruption is the need of the hour. Ironically, those who are indulged in corrupt practices encourage others to get their work done immediately by providing private gains to those who possess the authority to do the work.


To begin with, the lack of transparency provides a breeding ground for corruption in the country. Due to non-transparent procedures, most of her citizens don’t know how to get work done. As a result, they are exploited by government officials. Furthermore, the monology of institutions has also given rise to corrupt practices in specifically the government sector. Either all powers are vested in a single institution, or the approval of more than one institution is required to get work done. In both cases, every institution comes in the position to charge economic rent. Besides this, political instability has also paved the way for corruption in the pure land. During the political turmoil, public office holders try to benefit by abusing their power. Last but not least, the country’s fragile legal/penal system has also given stimulus to the public servants to misuse their authority. They know that hardly can they be punished because whole the system is corrupt.


Corruption has increased the gap between the youth and the state. It happens because of two factors:

  1. During recruitment, favouritism prevails in institutions. Thus, much of the youth remain unemployed, making them vulnerable to being easily exploited by the anti-state actors.
  2. The country is void of easy business because the processes and procedures to get a business registered are complex. And with the change of a government, policies are also changed, which frustrate them.
  3. The issue of corruption is responsible for the moral decline in society.

It has engulfed both the government officers and citizens. The former leaves no single instance of taking personal gain through unconstitutional use of their authority. Ironically, they don’t hesitate to do so because there is no harm in doing so to them. And the latter consider it the fastest way to get their work done. Moreover, the malice of corruption has made the country’s economy fragile. The corrupt officers keep a significant portion of the fund allocated for development projects. Consequently, the projects that were to contribute to the economy remains uncompleted. 

Way forward 

The country can eradicate the menace of corruption by ensuring transparency. The reason this that, according to Transparency International, the more a country ensures transparency, the lesser her corruption perception index is observed. To materialize this, the government needs a three-dimensional approach. First, the rules and procedures must be accessible to all citizens to get legal work done. Second, these established rules and procedures must be reformed in such a way so that her people can easily comprehend them to save them from exploitation at the hands of corrupt officials. Third, these procedures must not have hidden clauses that can lead a government official in the position of monopoly. Furthermore, the country can combat corruption effectively by ending institutions’ hegemony. Multiple institutions must be vested with the power to do work independently because it can facilitate individuals to get their work done from other institutions if one department charges them illegally.

Moreover, the country can get rid of corruption by strengthening its political system as, in a politically stable system, government officials have fewer opportunities to misuse their power. To achieve this, there is a need to promote democratic values, like freedom of the press and civil participation. For instance, the release of the press publically castigates and criticizes a corrupt public servant, which, in most cases, results in his defenestration from public office. Besides, strengthening the country’s legal system can also help her root out the corruption from her borders because it can act as a deterrent against corrupt practices. For this, a twofold strategy is needed. First, the already imprisoned or identified corrupt officials must be punished. Second, the institutions must identify loopholes that pave the way for corruption, and these lacunas must be addressed through legislation to halt further corruption.

Critical analysis:

The menace of corruption has undermined the country internally as well as externally. The country is perceived as a corrupt country in the international domain, which shakes the foreign investors’ confidence. In contrast, on the internal front, the country faces a legitimacy crisis, sub-nationalist tendencies etc. Moreover, the prism through which corruption was seen as evil for society has gotten dark or broken because, at present, many people do not consider corruption an alarming threat to the country. Hence, corruption has become a stumbling block in the way of the country’s socio-economic progress. 


In a nutshell, the issue of corruption has left no stone unturned in making the country fragile socially, politically, and economically. It has paved the way for a sinking economy, surging moral decline, and increasing trust deficit between the state and the youth. Furthermore, the alarming situation of the rising corruption is not the product of one day; however, the weak penal system, non-transparent procedures, and political instability have pushed her into the flames of corruption since the country’s inception. Although the menace has engulfed the whole country, certain practical remedial measures – such as ensuring transparency, eradicating institutions’ hegemony, making the country politically stable, and strengthening the legal system – can help her get rid of this devastating situation. 

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