Pakistanis are considered corrupt. Rightly so, we are on 42nd number amongst the most corrupt countries in the world, sliding down from 34th to this position! Although the ruling party has rejected the Transparency International report and termed it as fake, the fact of the matter is that there is not a single common man on the street that has not become victim of corruption and bribery is perhaps the most common form of corruption faced by common man.
There could be multiple justifications for being corrupt, some say, government is corrupt, some say police is corrupt, and some say politicians are corrupt. But generally we forget to mention our own names in the list of corrupt people. This is a factor that is evident in all corrupt societies. People never think that they have the key role in spreading the menace of corruption.
Let us quickly see how our governments in respective provinces are involved in irregularities and maligning the societal norms.
Express Tribune reported in November last year that Auditor General of Pakistan found irregularities worth Rs 8.6 billion in six key departments of Punjab government. These departments include Communication and works, Irrigation and Power Development Department, housing and urban development, and Public and Health Engineering department.
Oxfam International, a NGO working for the rehabilitation of flood victims in Sind reported that their investigation revealed that there was a loss from fraud of up to £135,000 ($220,000) in the project based in Shahdadkot, Larkana, and upper Sindh when they found fake invoices and massive manipulation of checks to suppliers. In August this year, Sind ministers also expressed sever concern over rampant corruption in the Sind province and government’s inability to prosecute the corrupt officials.
Unfortunately, According to Transparency International, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa rated the most corrupt government in Pakistan. Although KPK government denied the allegations, they were unable to prove it wrong!
Most interesting case is from Balochistan, which despite its massive natural resources is still far behind in education, infrastructure and industrial development. Recently Minister for Communications, Mr Ali Madad Jatak accepted that there must be some corruption in the province, but there really is no harm in having some corruption. A newspaper reports suggests that Balochistan’s Home Minister also in assembly said that some ministers were involved in kidnapping for ransom in Balochistan.
These are few reported facts that cannot be denied – Shame on us, we are raising our kids in a corrupt society!
9th December is being celebrated as UN International Anti-Corruption day. Let us ensure that we as individuals recognize corruption as the cancer of our society and will take small steps to help build the culture of corruption free society. One of the simple steps is “not offering bribes to government officials” – Lets be brave enough to Say No to Bribes.
By Hammad Siddiqui. The writer is a passionate blogger and an expert in the field of institutional capacity building. He is the Deputy Country Director at Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). Hammad has written over 300 articles on entrepreneurship, social media and policy reforms. You can follow him on Twitter @HammadS.