CSS & PMS Solved Essays | Implications of Corruption For Pakistan
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Corruption, a vicious force eroding the country’s societal fabric, holds critical implications. A rising culture of dishonesty, the public’s trust deficit in state organs, administrative ineptness, and an increased trend of election rigging could become a norm of the day if the menace is not controlled sagaciously.
2- Reviewing breeding grounds of corruption
- ✓Corruption comprises every illegal and immoral act that compromises collective gains for individual gains. It can be a public choice, organizational culture, or administrative theory.
3- Overviewing the current state of corruption in Pakistan
- ✓”The country ranked 140th in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2022.” (Transparency International (TI))
4- Implications of corruption for Pakistan
- ✓Political implications of corruption
- Rising election rigging and political polarization
- Case in Point: The confluence of heightened uncertainty with high inequality often seems to favour support for authoritarian leaders, who are less likely to foster intragroup and intergroup cooperation. (UNDP)
- Nurturing an undemocratic governance mechanism
- Case in Point: Countries with low corruption perception index (CPI) demonstrate high voter turnout whereas those with high corruption levels determine low turnout.
- Damaging administrative fibre
- Case in Point: In Pakistan, the highest stratum of governance intentionally practices grand-scale corruption as no successive government – military regime or civilian government – has ever tackled corruption on serious grounds. (European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS))
- Rising election rigging and political polarization
- ✓Social implications of corruption
- Fostering crime and immorality
- Case in Point: The number of all reported crimes has increased from 0.64 million in 2010 to 0.87 million in 2020. (the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics)
- Breeding social inequalities
- Case in Point: Pakistan has the highest maternal mortality rate in South Asia due to malnutrition and the unavailability of health facilities. Likewise, the country’s progress in promoting literacy and bridging income inequalities remained dismal in 2022. (SDG Report, the UN)
- Tarnishing the country’s image in global society
- Case in Point: The surging crisis of judiciary failure, flaring political instability, flawed public tender institute, escalating threats of natural disasters, inefficient managing bodies, and intra-institutional trust deficit are some of the significant outcomes of corruption, making Pakistan a complex country to live in.
- Fostering crime and immorality
- ✓Economic implications of corruption
- Misappropriating public funds
- Case in Point: Corruption in Pakistan has reached its highest level during the last decade, totalling Rs. 12,600 billion in the previous five years. (Transparency International (TI))
- Producing incompetent human capital
- Case in Point: Pakistan is placed at 161st position in the Human Development Insight Report by UNDP, whereas Norway is ranked 2nd in the same report; both the countries correspond equally in the Corruption Perception Index by TI, where Pakistan is ranked 140th, and Norway possesses 4th position.
- Increasing foreign debt (low exports and low FDI)
- Case in Point: The empirical results suggest that capital inflows decline on average by 7.6 per cent of GDP when the country is grey-listed. (International Monetary Fund (IMF))
- Misappropriating public funds
5- Suggestions to tackle implications of corruption in Pakistan
- ✓To strengthen accountability by embracing cutting-edge technology
- Case in Point: Reviewing FIA and NAB Acts to end political victimization
- ✓To inform people about their civic rights and responsibilities
- Case in Point: Corruption eradication model of the developed nations
6- Critical analysis
Corruption is a vile and insidious force that erodes the very fabric of society. It not only hinders progress and development but also undermines trust in public institutions. In fact, when government officials are motivated by personal gain rather than the common good, they neglect their formal duties and responsibilities. Consequently, corruption breeds a culture of dishonesty and deceit, ultimately breaking social and economic order. Unfortunately, Pakistan has become a state where corruption has become endemic and endemic. Even after seven decades of independence, the country is still ranked among the most corrupt countries by Transparency International (TI). Although corruption has always remained the main reason for the country’s spasmodic development, the worst is yet to come if the menace is not controlled. Being at a premium in every institution, corruption has the potential to decline the country’s overall performance and tarnish people’s trust in the state organs. For instance, election rigging and polarization in politics would become casual approaches in Pakistan. Likewise, administrative ineptness would rise day by day. The growing ratio of lawlessness, declining moral values, and expanding inequalities are some social implications of corruption for the nation. In the same manner, the menace would weaken the state’s economic infrastructure by leading to the embezzlement of public funds, producing a large cohort of unskilled workforce, and making the republic increasingly dependent on foreign debt. In conclusion, although the anticipations are dismal, the country can combat corruption by employing multiple pragmatic measures, such as switching to e-governance, the revival of accountability culture, and inculcating civic sense in people’s work. This essay discusses several corruption implications for Pakistan and many positive practices to curb its repercussions.
Before discussing the current dynamics of corruption in Pakistan, the concept’s nature must be understood. The term is often misinterpreted as merely an act commenced for financial gains; thus, bribery or funds embezzlement are simply considered “Corruption”. Contrarily, the notion comprises much more; corruption comprises every illegal and immoral act that compromises collective gains for individual gains; it can be a public choice, organizational culture, or administrative theory. In fact, it violates human rights and derails democratic values because it gradually erodes healthy social contracts and promotes apathy in society; therefore, undue favour, patronization, and materialistic and opportunist ways of life are all forms of corruption. Furthermore, in terms of governance, corruption means lack of service delivery, abuse of public office, misuse of power, and nepotism that creates a chaotic authoritative governing model, breeding a trust deficit between the managing bodies and people.
Further, corruption is a global dilemma that cannot be particularized to a specific community; however, studies indicate that the phenomenon is much more prevalent in developing or post-colonial states. Hence, Pakistan’s existence is alarming. Transparency International (TI) statistics show that the country ranked 140th in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) in 2022. The most worsening factor is that the past few decades have witnessed an enormous rise in the corruption index in the country. Despite every succeeding government raising slogans against the menace and aimed at rooting it out, the statistics are constantly rising, and currently, the practice has become a social norm and is widely accepted by the people. The major sectors breeding corruption in the state are police, judiciary, health, education, public tendering, taxation, land administration, and local government; among all these, the police is the most corrupt sector (30%), followed by public tendering (16%) and judiciary (13%), National Corruption Perception Survey (NCPS), 2023. In conclusion, corruption has significantly threatened Pakistan’s society and government.
Considering the implications of corruption on a state, it is inversely proportional to its level of development, i.e., the more the corruption will be, the less likely the country will develop. Likewise, the unprecedented level of corruption in Pakistan is destroying the developmental foundations of the state. Many such implications are discussed below in political, social, and economic domains. Regarding the political implications of corruption for Pakistan, election rigging and political polarization are essential. Since its independence, Pakistan has never had fair elections, owning to corrupt politicians as they exploit socio-economic inequalities and existing insecurities of the masses. According to the Human Development Report by the United Nations (UN), “The confluence of heightened uncertainty with high inequality often seems to favour support for authoritarian leaders, who are less likely to foster intragroup and intergroup cooperation.” Accordingly, the rising ratio of corruption in Pakistan can make people rigid about their beliefs and alliances, intensifying political polarization. Consequently, the dishonest political culture will nurture biased public behaviour; thus, society would become reluctant to change Pakistan’s traditional unjust political scenario.
Besides extremely polarized political institutions, the undemocratic governance mechanism is another grave concern of the state, as it feeds on corruption. For instance, countries with low Corruption Perception Index (CPI) demonstrate high voter turnout whereas those with high corruption levels determine low turnout. Therefore, Turkey, with the 96th CPI, had an 87% turnout in its recent presidential election; on the contrary, Pakistan, possessing the 140th position in CPI, claimed only a 51% turnout in its last general election. Hence, in Pakistan, such dismal statistics indicate the public’s disbelief in public representatives as their malpractices erode their trustworthiness. Subsequently, the deepening trenches of corruption in Pakistan would derail democracy and invite authoritarianism, oligarchism, totalitarianism, and dictatorship.
Further, heightened corruption in the country is damaging the administrative fibre of the state. Pakistan’s highest stratum of governance intentionally practices grand-scale corruption as no successive government – military regime or civilian government – has ever tackled corruption on serious grounds, as per the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS). A deep infiltration into political, judicial, and economic establishment could validate the statement. Making the situation even worse, long-standing weak public policies and lack of service delivery are still predominant features of public administration, and, unfortunately, they have become an acceptable norm for the community. Furthermore, the unjust institutional factor is polarizing Pakistan’s society and polity by strengthening intragroup cohesiveness. In conclusion, corruption would immensely destroy the legitimacy of the current political system, negatively affecting the state’s administrative efficiency.
In addition to the political crises induced by corruption, Pakistan’s social institutions are also at stake due to widespread unscrupulousness. As per the record of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics Report, 2020, the number of all reported crimes has increased from 0.64 million in 2010 to 0.87 million in 2020. Accordingly, despite a slight change in Pakistan’s CPI ranking, corruption is rapidly fostering lawlessness. Also people are declining morally and ethically because of the prevailing injustice. Furthermore, the collapsing condition of police and judiciary is compelling the commons to assume that the state machinery has failed. Now, they are authorized to strive- by hook or crook- for their gains, whether legal or illegal. In short, corruption may instil the battle for absolute power in society, stimulating apathy and the law-and-order crisis in Pakistan.
Further explaining the social declivities, the formidable figures of biasedness in Pakistan are becoming conducive for widening the gaps between existing social dividends, especially in income, education, and health. According to the Sustainable Development Goals Report by the UN, Pakistan has the highest maternal mortality rate in South Asia due to malnutrition and the unavailability of health facilities. Likewise, the country’s progress in promoting literacy and bridging income inequalities remained dismal in 2022. The statement can be supported by societies comprising a high degree of polarization like Pakistan, which makes it easier for power giants to obtain undue gains. In such societies, corruption is reinforced by a context supporting a public officeholder to favour his kinship and followers. Hence, the mounting level of corruption in Pakistan would trigger irreconcilable social gaps.
From a broader perspective, corruption has not only destroyed Pakistan’s domestic society but also eclipsed its image in the global community. The surging crisis of law-and-order, judiciary failure, nasty power game stimulating political instability, flawed public tender institutes, escalating threats of natural disasters, inefficient managing bodies, intra-institutional trust deficit, the increasing ratio of poverty, and the accelerating rate of brain drain are some of the significant outcomes of corruption making Pakistan a complex country to live. The dystopic global image of Pakistani culture is resisting its compliance with international society; thus, Pakistan faces resistance to adopting globalization and other emerging international trends for growth. Additionally, a tarnished global image spoils Pakistan’s transboundary relationships and hurts its diplomatic concerns. For instance, the international community is not supporting Pakistan in Kashmir’s cause against India. In short, the menace of corruption would crumble Pakistan at the national and international levels.
Besides excessive political and social implications, the economic implications of corruption for Pakistan are also enormous. Among many such negative anticipations, the misappropriation of public funds is the most disastrous. Corruption in Pakistan has reached its highest level during the last decade, totalling Rs. 12,600 billion in the previous five years (Transparency International (TI)). Such embezzlement results in weak institutional infrastructure and undermined service delivery, burdening the national exchequer to increase social welfare funds and financial support programs like the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) and health card. Moreover, misallocating public revenue due to inefficient public policies and inept administration adds insult to injury. Summing up, corruption may further weaken the fragile economic infrastructure of the country and compel the government to move towards the privatization of state-owned enterprises.
Further dissecting the corruption phenomenon in Pakistan, the underdeveloped human capital is the prominent upshot of corruption in the country. Like other areas of development, human development and corruption cannot go hand in hand; both aspects are inversely proportional. For instance, Pakistan is placed at 161st position in the Human Development Insight Report by the United National Development Program (UNDP), whereas Norway is ranked 2nd in the same report; both countries correspond equally in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), where Pakistan is ranked 140th, and Norway possessed 4th position. Considering the low human development ratio, it is a devastating symbol for the economic growth of Pakistan as it is making the significant human capital a liability to the country. Boiling down, the corruption culture of Pakistan is producing an incompetent and unskilled workforce that would further crush the already shambling economy of the state.
Furthermore, the fraudulence of Pakistan’s governance system is deteriorating its economy by reducing its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as intense misappropriation of tenders, and foreign-funded projects have reduced the country’s global trustworthiness. The empirical results suggest that capital inflows decline on average by 7.6 per cent of GDP when the country is grey-listed (International Monetary Fund (IMF), report). The fact could be validated by comparing Pakistan’s FDI in October 2022 ($ 120.8 million) and October 2023 ($122.46 million). Additionally, low FDI alongside an incompetent workforce is causing a trade deficit because both aspects jointly contribute to low production, thus reducing export commodities, tending to import goods to increase. In conclusion, the evil of corruption will compromise Pakistan’s economic growth and push it to the verge of total collapse by lowering its capital inflow.
Despite the dreadful corruption statistics in Pakistan and all negative anticipations, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The corruption giant can be tamed if the government adopts some pragmatic measures. First, the culture of accountability in the state should be strengthened. Though many measures have already been taken in this regard, like the inception of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the dream to curb corruption in the state is still a far cry. For the model’s efficiency, both acts should be reviewed and implemented purely for transparency rather than political victimization. Furthermore, incorporating cutting-edge technology in governance mechanisms can bring positive results as it gives the public easy access to understand government initiatives and evaluate their performance indicators.
Second, controlling corruption in Pakistan can not only be confined to reforming accountability mechanisms; it is a cultural norm that needs to be rooted out. For this purpose, the people should know their civic rights and responsibilities. They must learn actual democratic values to practice for a corruption-free, fair society. This can be done by educational means and by remodelling curriculum contents stressing moral norms and tolerance. Moreover, advancing information and communication technology (ICT) can also play a constructive role in inculcating civic sense and democratic values in the Pakistani community. Thus, Pakistan should follow the ICT-based corruption eradication process of the developed nations for swift reforms.
Critically analyzing the circumstances, corruption has encircled every state institute, eroding the country’s foundations. It will bring the nation to the verge of disaster, and the most tragic fact is that it is now practised in society as a norm and culture. If reviewed keenly, it is the only aspect that is causing the country to collapse; it is favouring state enemies, supporting terrorism, backing fifth-generation war elements, and mushrooming civil insurgencies. Altogether, such elements will not let Pakistan pave its way for sustainable development. However, it is high time the government infiltrated state affairs to undo the damage and recover the losses.
In retrospect, despite corruption being an undeniable element of the governance system, it can never be overlooked as its surging cost will be very high for the nation. Therefore, Pakistan, a developing country with weak institutional infrastructure, will be unable to bear its implications. Though the current state of the menace is formidable, as the matter has been ignored for decades, the existence of anti-corruption institutes indicates that Pakistan is seriously considering corruption. In the evolving phenomenon of globalization, controlling corruption is a matter of survival for Pakistan. Currently, only a fair, just, and secure society can aid the state in consolidating democracy in its governance system, thus enabling the country to play its due role globally. Accordingly, the Pakistani government has to devise and implement long-term, robust, and sustainable policies to outshine the future corruption threats in its political, social, and economic institutes for smooth growth and prosperity.
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