Rooting out corruption | Pakistan Today

Rooting out corruption

We are a strange country where corruption is rooted deep in society, but nobody ever gets punished. Whenever a politician officeholder or a government officer is apprehended for corrupt practices, they claim that the case is politicized. The party of the politicians decries that the corruption cases are political victimization. Even the government officers would take a stand that they are being victimized because they served with the outgoing government. No accused ever responds to the charges in a manner that would satisfy the law. They instead hide behind the slogan of victimization. I wonder if all the corruption charges are bogus and based on malintent, who is responsible for massive corruption in Pakistan. We all know that it is almost impossible to have work done in any department without a bribe or a strong reference (sifarish), but somehow nobody is responsible for it. Another issue with our system is the weak prosecution. The departments responsible prepare weak cases based mostly on circumstantial evidence that does not stand in the court of law and the accused go scot-free. I wonder if this farce is intentional to make us (the public) fools. Corruption can only be rooted out if there is zero-tolerance for any transgression by anyone. The department responsible for accountability prepares and presents strong evidence in the court to get strong sentences. I remember from my days in service in the early days of Pakistan that an official working in the commissioner Rawalpindi office was apprehended by the anti-corruption department. The commissioner appointed an inquiry officer who asked the accused for his plea. The accused instead of refuting the evidence or providing proof of his innocence took a stand that other officials in the office also took bribes. The inquiry officer asked the accused to defend himself rather than blaming others. He was eventually found guilty and the inquiry officer sent his findings to the commissioner who gave the defendant one last chance.

Raja Shafaatullah
Islamabad



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