Corruption in Pakistan, its causes, impacts, and practicable measures | Best for CSS, PMS Current Affairs, Pakistan Affairs, and Essay Papers
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Corruption has emerged as an existential threat to Pakistan’s social, economic, and political progress without transparency, accountability, and efficient bureaucracy. However, some pragmatic steps, such as bureaucratic reforms, access to information, and promotion of a democratic environment, may help mitigate social evil.
WHAT ARE THE LEADING FACTORS BEHIND CORRUPTION IN PAKISTAN?
- Lack of transparency
- The overlapping jurisdiction of institutions
- Recruitment and appointment based on favouritism and political background
HOW HAS CORRUPTION IMPACTED THE STATE?
- Seeping of funds into the pockets of authoritarians
- Vanishing meritocracy
- Overpowering the institutions
HOW TO CONTROL CORRUPTION IN PAKISTAN?
- To reform the regulatory system
- To give access to information to the citizens
- To set exemplary decisions by the judiciary
- To block the political involvement
- To enhance the accountability system
Answer to the Question
Nothing seems to hamper the socio-economic development and the political progress of a country more than corruption. It hinders an efficient democratic environment from prevailing in the state. Pakistan, unfortunately, has been a victim of corruption for decades. Injuring the state’s economic health, corruption has also gained social acceptance in Pakistani society in some ways. Moreover, social frustration and the loss of legitimacy of the institutions are the prominent impacts of corruption in the polity. However, several reasons have drowned the state into the sea of corruption. Some of them are inefficient bureaucracy, the absence of transparency, and the lack of accountability. Therefore, its high time for Pakistan to take practical measures to obliterate corruption from society. For instance, promoting the democratised society, resisting the political involvement in institutions, and giving access to information to people may help fight social evil successfully. The following answer highlights the causes, impacts, and suggestions regarding corruption.
At present, the issue of corruption has become a matter of grave sickness for Pakistan, pushing the country to the bleak. It manifests in multiple forms across the country, including widespread financial and political corruption, nepotism, and abuse of power that, consequently, cast dire consequences on the socio-economic and political life of people. As per the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index report, Pakistan stands 124th based on corruption-free governance. Despite having multiple corruption laws, agencies and independent accountability bureaus, Pakistan lag behind India in reducing corruption. Although the government has recently taken concrete measures to counter the menace, the remedy seems afar. It would take some time for the positive impact of the reforms to seep in.
What are the leading factors behind corruption in Pakistan?
Amongst several reasons for corruption, the absence of transparency stands the most prominent one. It is hard for people to understand the complex and hidden governance procedures in the institutions. In fact, the absence of transparency becomes more lethal with the lack of accountability. As a result, the discretionary power enjoyed by personnel or institutions, in some cases, causes the monopoly over society. Furthermore, Pakistan is one of the most overregulated countries in the world. Furthermore, the overlapping of jurisdictions of the institutions hurts the governance of the state. It creates an opportunity for corruption to spread like a fire in a system. In addition to it, the culture of nepotism and favouritism has heralded good governance in Pakistan. Moreover, the recruitment and appointment of employees based on political background have killed the essence of democracy in the institutions. Thus, corruption has been a cause of several social, political, and economic issues.
How has corruption impacted the state?
Nothing hurts the country socially, politically, and economically the way corruption does. In economic realms, corruption has created an opportunity to misuse discretionary powers held by the authoritarians of the state’s institutions. The authoritarians have used the state’s funds and resources to achieve their vested interests. Moreover, corruption has hurt the culture of meritocracy in the state’s institutions. As a result, inefficient people are running the matters of state. In addition to the economic impacts, corruption has also impacted the state’s political realms. The executive and judiciary institutions’ autonomy and independence are under the immense influence of politics. The decisions made by the judiciary is not the same; it usually favours government policies even if they are against the interest of the public. Furthermore, corruption has also caused social frustration in society. It has declined the Pakistani society morally. Unfortunately, today corruption has gained social acceptance and acknowledgement in society. Thus, it is true to say corruption is the mother of all social evils.
How can Pakistan control corruption?
First, it is high time for Pakistan to reform its regulatory system. Since the laws are overregulated, the departmental procedures are complex to understand for the citizens. Simplifying the vague laws and making them transparent and accessible to the citizens would be an efficient way to cope with corruption. Moreover, information must be made accessible to the citizens. This way, the opportunity of corruption for the institutions and authoritative people would become less. In addition to it, the judiciary must play its professional role and should build its deterrence in society through exemplary decisions. It must also empower its internal accountability system of judges so that its judges don’t misuse discretionary power. Similarly, check and balance over each state’s institutions must be ensured. As it is remarkably said, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. To the abovementioned pragmatic measures, a decrease of political interference in executive and judiciary matters must also be added to mitigate corruption from society. Indeed, the efficiency and workability of good governance are impossible without the autonomous and independent status of the institutions. Therefore, the institutions’ recruitment and other administrative procedures should be pure of political influence. Thus, these are a few practical measures to control corruption in Pakistan.
Corruption is the mother of all social evils. Corruption has given birth to unemployment, poverty, economic crisis, good governance crisis, water crisis, and energy crisis. Disturbing the economy and peace of Pakistani society, corruption has exerted repulsion on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). As a result, Pakistan has received aid from the IMF, WB, and other forums. In the name of financial and economic help, Pakistan has been chained in several sanctions by the international superpowers, making its sovereignty insecure. Thus, corruption has ultimately weakened the state’s national security.
Despite hundreds of determinations made by each successive government, corruption stands uncured. It has killed meritocracy, snatched the legitimacy of the elected governments, and made the public lose their trust in the institutions. The absence of accountability, rising trend of nepotism, and the concentration of power on a certain group or class of society are a few prominent reasons behind it. However, promoting transparency and accountability, restructuring the democratic system in the state, and educating citizens the moral values may help the society to pluck itself out of the malice of corruption.
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