CSS Current Affairs | The issue of central importance about corruption and accountability in Pakistan is the increase in corruption despite six decades of efforts to eradicate it. Analyze and comment on the root causes of rampant corruption in society.
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Having proved itself catastrophic for the country’s socio-economic fabric – the menace of corruption has permeated across the country. However, the government has failed to get rid of corruption despite decades of efforts. Furthermore, political instability, weak legal system, lack of transparency, etc., have contributed to their zenith in making corruption an impossible giant.
Current situation: –
- At 124th position out of 180 countries
- Corrupt practices becoming morally correct
What efforts have been made to eradicate corruption?
- Having created anti-corruption intuitions
- Having passed anti-corruption acts
- Having devised anti-corruption strategies
Why are the root causes behind the rampant corruption in society?
- Lack of transparency
- Monopoly of institutions
- Weak penal system
- Political instability
Critical analysis: –
Answer to the Question
The peril of corruption has become an immovable obstacle in the way of the country’s peace and prosperity. It has hampered the country’s socio-economic development and has pushed her into an eternal vicious cycle. Currently, the country holds 124th position among 180 countries on the Corruption Perception Index. Undoubtedly, it is a matter of the fact that corruption has permeated the country. Despite decades of efforts, the country has failed in getting rid of the menace in the absence of effective measures against its deep-rooted causes. Lack of transparency, besides monopoly of institutions, has helped the parasite nurture in the land of pure. Moreover, political instability and the weak penal system bring corrupt officials to charge economic rent. By and large, the corruption issue—if not addressed, can rob the country of its dream of becoming a developed nation.
“Doing nothing for addressing the issue of corruption is doing everything for making a state fragile.”Dr. Ishrat Hussain
At present, 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), which has shaken the 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 practice encourage others to get their work done immediately by providing private gains to those who possess the authority to do the work.
Since independence, to not become a breeding ground for corruption, Pakistan has passed multiple acts, created different institutions, and devised various strategies to nip the menace in the bud. For instance, to strengthen the legal system, the country’s legislative organ has passed three acts: (i) the Prevention of Corruption Act 1947, (ii) the FIA Act 1974, and (iii) the NAB Ordinance 1999. On the executive front, multiple institutions—at the federal and provincial levels—have been created. These institutions include the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the Federal Investigating Agency (FIA), the Anti-Corruption Establishment, etc. And to get rid of the menace, the government has encouraged these institutions to devise strategies. For example, the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) is a brainchild of the NAB to strengthen accountability and ensure transparency in the country.
“A country thrives when evil-mined practices like corruption are curtailed in a country.”Dr. Hafeez Pasha
To begin with, the lack of transparency has been a leading cause responsible for the mushrooming corrupt practices in the country. Most people don’t know how to get legal work done because the process is complex or denied access to the general public. As a result, they give economic rent to government officials to save their time and avoid the cumbersome process. Furthermore, the overlapping jurisdiction of more the one institution is also responsible for the deep-rooted corruption in society. It means that the approval of each institution is needed to get the work done. As a result, institutions become the position of monopoly and pave the way for their officials to charge economic rent.
Moreover, the weak penal system rubs the back of corruption in the country. In two ways, this system is responsible for increasing corruption. First, the legal system faces many loopholes that government officials exploit for their gains. Second, if somehow a corrupt official is caught red-handedly, hardly is he given exemplary punishment, which amplifies his confidence to continue his practice of charging economic rent. Besides, political instability flames the fire of corruption in the land of pure. The public office holders are aware of the fact that the existing government can be overthrown at any time, and the new government may transfer them to remote areas or may not keep them in power. So, they try to get maximum benefit by abusing their authority. For instance, they approve illegal work or give construction contracts to those contractors who—in turn—facilitate them.
“The greater the political instability prevails in a country, the more the corruption hurts a country.”Professor Andrés Velasco, the London School of Economics
The peril of corruption has undermined the social fibre of the country as the attitude towards corruption has, with time, changed in society. Now the people—who were considered parasites for the country in the past—don’t face any kind of social castigation in society. And the irony of the fact is that a large number of people consider them honourable people of society. Furthermore, it has become a common practice in a society that an individual, instead of waiting for his turn in a queue, gets his work done by giving a small amount of money to the person sitting on the counter. Hence, the menace of corruption is responsible for the moral decline in society.
In a powerful diagnosis, corruption has become a well-known fact in the country as it has disturbed all kinds of development in the land of pure. However, despite channelizing her energy and utilizing her resources to eliminate corruption, the country has achieved little in rooting out the menace from her borders. The reason is that certain factors have contributed to their zenith in making corruption an undefeatable giant. Among these factors, the lack of transparency and the weak legal/penal system comes first. Moreover, the political turmoil and monopoly of the institutions have also facilitated the public-officeholders to misuse their authority.
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