A culture of corruption

 

Hamza Jaffry

Corruption has become synonymous with our existing system and is pushing our nation to a dead end. Favoritism, nepotism, misappropriation of public fund, bad debts and misuse of power are on the rise. Corruption has gained roots in our society because of wrong decisions and weak policies of the successive governments. The agencies responsible for checking corruption have completely failed in their mission. Thus accountability seems non-existent. First of all we must define the corruption. Apparently, it would look like suspicious financial transaction alone. But that is too narrow view. Corruption today has become a way of life and it encompasses the ideological, moral and ethical values of society. It has become a part of our culture. Think about everyone else who is engaging in corruption. If we don’t do the same thing, will not it be to our loss? If a thousand people are engaging in corruption, the one who doesn’t is only hurting himself. Corruption is a series of developed reactions to the same situation that has strengthened with time and repetition.

Corruption evolves as a result of evasion of ethical and religious norms. Religion always asks the believers to have a solid strive in bringing a moderate society. It agrees in favor of decentralized economy. Regulation of wealth according to rule of law is the motto of Islam.

Islam explicitly condemns the existence of corruption in every form. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) declared that;

“Damned is the bribe giver (or corruptor)-the bribe taker (the corrupted) and he who goes between them”.

In this scenario, there is no room for cooperation, fair play and justice. It is all about who is better, powerful, influential and dominating than the others and also about how you use your advantages to control your opponent by talking away his or her assets.

While addressing to the constituent assembly of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam said,

“One of the biggest curses from which India is suffering is bribery and corruption that really is a poison. We must put that down with an iron hand”.

His words were not directed at any particular group. He foresaw corruption as a deadly virus, a poison which could sap the very foundation of a state and lay it open to all kinds of dangers.

In America the rising expenses of elections have created a strange situation. The Jewish business magnates have turned into kingmakers because of their money and the entire American nation is being held hostage to their ability to provide enormous amount of money for the election of key contenders. This is also a form of corruption which is monopolized by a few people.

The position in the East is worse because the democratic system has not been institutionalized. And because of this practice the level of corruption is much higher while the level of discipline much lower.

In China and India, corruption is gaining momentum. The indiscipline is also following in the footsteps of corruption and several uprisings point out that corruption has gained firm roots in soil too.

The major reason of fast creeping corruption is political instability, poverty, unequal structure of society, unemployment, lack of accountability, weak political institutions and absence of rule of law. Resultant they are affecting political stability, equal distribution of resources and power, confidence of local and foreign investors and political institutions.

Incompetent judiciary in terms of not bringing the culprits in to the gallows of law and absence of bringing the corrupt politicians and policy makers to the books is another decisive factor in today’s sorry state of affairs. In the same manner, the unnecessary delay in deciding the cases of corruption is a clear explanation of the adage: the justice delayed is justice denied.

The discussion on corruption in Pakistan would never be complete without having a glance on National Reconciliation Ordinance, a symbol of corruption in Pakistan. It was promulgated by a military dictator to serve his own vested interests. It freed all the politicians and civil servants until 1990, who were convicted on charges of corruption. PPP and PML (N), the big political giants remained the beneficiaries of this ordinance. Under the provisions of NRO, the civil servants, politicians and major industrialists were given a safe passage to escape from all the charges of corruption and made them free of any sin. NRO, most appropriately can be termed as the law that legitimized corruption in Pakistan.

All the above-mentioned factors have brought Pakistan at number 139th among the most corrupt countries of the world. According to CPI report, Pakistan has 2.3 score out of 10 which shows its position very weak while on contrary, New Zealand showed 9.4 out of 10 in the race and toppled the entire scenario. Pakistan on the other hand, is lagging behind in all spheres of life. This is the outcome of corruption that Pakistan has lost its identity and failed to establish its credibility in the whole world.

It is pity that we are working without effective planning. Whole of the society is running aimlessly with no destination or target in view. In the process, everyone picks whatever he finds on his way. It is also one of major reason of backwardness. If we want to kill corruption at grass root level, we will have to cap those cavities where the virus of corruption nourished. If we confine ourselves to the systems alone, we will, at the most, be applying cosmetic treatment. It merely touches the tip of the iceberg. For a more lasting solution we will have to adopt effective measures to check corruption.

 

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