Chitral — Corruption has become an incurable cancer strangling our society in a nice and proper manner. Though at the time of independence it did exist, but did so in an apologetic form in the back alleys. A corrupt person would then be pointed out as “look there goes a corrupt man”. Now it is like “look there goes an honest man”.
The reasons for increase in corruption and it becoming an acceptable norm may be manifold, but the most prominent reason that comes to mind is that our religious preachers have completely ignored it thereby implicitly giving a tacit approval to financial corruption. It is not unusual to hear a one hour sermon in Jumma prayers, stressing the ills of consuming alcohol and the evil of dancing but not a word can be heard from them on the ills of financial corruption like bribery, adulteration of foodstuff and medicines, corrupting the scales, telling lies in money matters, cheating in examinations etc, etc..
At the governance level corruption has been duly institutionalized, with every department having it’s own rate of under the table commissions, bribes etc. A Federal Minister belonging to PPP govt of the time is on record declaring on TV that “we also have a right to indulge in corruption”.
With the advent of Imran Khan on the political scene, it was hoped that corruption would be curbed at last, specially after he declared at the historic Lahore meeting that he would eliminate corruption within 90 days. A well meaning politician who should be given the credit for bringing back the word ‘corruption’ which had hitherto been deleted from the dictionary of Pakistanis; however could not go beyond giving lip service to curbing corruption His chosen DG Accountability who started off aggressively walking Khan’s talk, had to beat a hasty retreat after he was made to eat the humble pie in the face of the indomitable forces of corruption in the province.
A govt contractor talking to CN said committedly that the rate of bribery has increased two fold as government officials wryly quote ‘supposed’ restrictions on corruption in the province and therefore the higher risk of being caught and thus demand higher rates of bribes. This only goes to prove that half baked and half hearted measures only enhance strength of the criminals in the long run.
With a situation like this prevailing and no light seeming at the end of this dark tunnel, should we Pakistanis accept corruption as a part of our life or should we look towards Allah to pull us out of this quagmire. — C N Editorial, 17 Aug 2016