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[/B]Corruption Culture in Pakistan
Definition of corruption: It is misusing of power for the private/personal gain
Types of Corruption: Petty, Grand and Political
Incidence of corruption: rare, widespread, systemic
Scenario of corruption in world in general and Pakistan in particular
Corruption in Islamic teaching
Quaid-i-Azam on corruption
Causes of corruption
Dismal performance of Institutions
Absence of political will
Lack of effective accountability
Lack of Transparency
Impact of corruption
Deteriorate the quality of governance
Shamble the economy
Retards economics growth
Injustice to people
Widening the gap between rich and poor
Rule of law
Adherence to Islamic principles
Role of transparency agencies
Corruption is the misuse of entrusted power for private gains. It is of different types e.g. petty, grand and political. The petty corruption is usually linked with the lower salary employees and generally considered as facilitating payments, whereas, the grand corruption is associated with the high level bureaucracy. However, the political corruption as name indicates is related to the politician. They usually involve in this type corruption in order to maintain their status quo. The corruption varies in the rate of presence, therefore, in this regard the incidence of corruption may be rare, widespread or systemic. The rare corruption is easy to identify and control than widespread. Whereas, the systemic corruption becomes a way of life and it is very difficult to overcome. The corruption is universal, however, its existence varies in rate of occurrence. Since the inception of Pakistan, the country has witnessed of the rampant corruption. Many governments in general and the governments in decade of 1990 in particular has become the victim of the widespread corruption and corrupt practices. In a recent survey conducted by the Transparency International, Pakistan ranks lowered from 42th most corrupt country to 34th country in the world.
Islam explicitly condemns the existence of corruption in every form. Hazart Muhammad (PBUH) declared that;
Damned is the bribe giver (or corruptor)-the bribe taker (the corrupted) and he who goes between them.
Quaid-i- Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah has strongly condemned the presence of corruption. He avowed a strict action against such mal practices and their doer.
The root causes of the rampant corruption in the country are lack of effective accountability, poor performance on the part of respective institutions, unchecked and unlimited power of feudal for vested interests. The presence of corruption and corrupt practices play a pivotal role to deteriorate law and order, shackle the economy which leads to the inflation, unemployment and poverty in the country. Its presence distracts a man from ethics, humanely attitude, tradition and civic laws. The pervasive corruption in the country can be checked by applying certain measures. The government should ascertain the rule of law; it means equal application of law, equal protection by the law and equality before law, effective and impartial accountability, active role of media to eradicate the corruption are the few factors which can play an active role to diminish the corruption.
The word corruption is derived from the Latin word corruptus means to break. In simple words the corruption is defined as the misuse of delegated power for private/personal gains. National anti-corruption strategy (NACS) has defined the corruption as;
A behavior on the part of the office holder in the public or private sector whereby they improperly and unlawfully enrich themselves or those close to them or induce others to do so, by misgiving the position in which they are placed.
Conceptually it is a behavior which distracts a person from ethics, morality tradition, law and civic virtues. The corruption is of various types. It is a petty, grand or political.
The petty corruption is linked to the low salaried employees. This type of corruption usually exists to fast track the administrative bureautic procedure and regulations. Therefore, it is generally referred as facilitating payments. The general perception about this kind of corruption is that people indulge in order to meet their living expenses. Thus the need a reason is applied to this form of corruption. The grand type of corruption is associated with high level bureaucracy. The greed and lust for power is the main factors behind this type of corruption. The political corruption is related to politicians. The expensive election campaigns, dispense the political favor from the colleagues and to keep the sub-ordinates happy, cooperative and loyal, and lust for power is few factors which inspire the politicians for corruption. The incidence of corruption varies in rate of existence in society. It may be rare, widespread and systemic.
The corruption which is not deeply rooted in the entire edifice of the government known as rare corruption. Further, it is easy to detect and control, and the culprit can easily be punished, whereas, the corruption which is permeated in all the sphere of life is called as widespread corruption, and it is difficult to detect and control. However, in case of systemic corruption, it becomes the way of life and it is very difficult to overcome. In Pakistan the prevalent corruption is perceived as widespread and systemic. It has deeply ingrained in society and government at all levels. Islam is the religion of high values and ethics and strongly condemns the corruption in all its forms.
Islam provides complete code of life. It is replete with moral standards, ethics, values and norms of behavior which facilitates the Muslims to run the daily affairs of personal, professional and business life in more disciplined way. Islam condemns the corruption in it's every form i.e. bribery, unlawful hoarding and earning, extortion, embezzlement. Hazart Muhammad (PBUH) said about the hoarding;
Whoever withholds cereals that may become scarce and dear is a sinner (Mishkat-12:8) Furthermore, Islam lays great importance on the lawful earning. Hazart Muhammad said in this context;
Earning of lawful livelihood is a duty only next to importance to the duty (of prayers)
Quaid-i-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the staunch opponent of the corruption. He advocated the policy of strict action against the corruption doer. In this regard, he said that;
One of the biggest curses is the bribery and corruption. Thats really is a poison, we must put it down with iron hand
The corruption is perceived as universal. It exists in all countries i.e. developed and developing, in all sectors i.e. public and private, autonomous or semi-autonomous as well as in non-profit and charitable organization, however, it varies in magnitude and frequency. In some countries it is infused in lesser scale than the other countries. In Pakistan the corruption has become systemic on large scale. Pakistan has remained the prey of corruption since its inception, despite that fact that Quaid-iAzam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder as well as the first Governor General of Pakistan denounced the existence the corruption. Therefore, due to the continuity of corruption it has become the way of life now. In a country over a period of years particularly during 1990s many government became the victims of the rampant corruption. In a recent report presented by Transparency International, Pakistans corruption perception index declined to 2.3 in 2010 against 2.4 in 2009 and out of 178 counties, its ranking as most corrupt country jumped from 42 in 2009 to 34 in 2010. There are several factors responsible for the existence of prevalent corruption in the country.
The major factors are responsible for the pervasive corruption in the country is the poor governance on and the dismal performance on the part of institutions. It is a fact of matter that the very foundation of any institution lays in the process of appointment. If such process is carried out transparently, the institution becomes the model of efficiency and performance. However, in Pakistan the appointments are being made on the basis of favoritism and nepotism at a great extent. Therefore, the development and innovation in these institutions remain stagnant, rather these become the hub of politics. Consequently, the institutions become the burden on the countrys exchequer. In Pakistan there are many profit-earning institutions which have been running in a loss during many years. These include; steel Mill, Pakistan Railway, Wapda, etc. Though the governments have made efforts for handling the corruption like Pakistan penal code of 1960, the prevention of corruption Act of 1947, and the National Accountability Ordinance , however, these efforts remain elusive on the side of implementation due to absence of a political will to carry out this gigantic task. Mr. Shoukat Ali Tarin, former Finance Minister publicly acknowledged and pointed out about the existence of 500 billion rupee corruption in Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR), tax collecting institution. But the government does not seem to take any strong measures to nip the corruption in the bud.
Other factor conducive to such a rampant corruption in a country is the meager income of the employees. The minimum wages set by the government, and salaries given to lower grade employees do not keep the body and soul together. The government increases pay at once in a year, however, the prices of consumer goods soar on the daily basis. In a recent year it is recorded that the prices rose on 18 months high. Pays and prices tend the employees to the corruption to make both ends meet. This gap in the prices and pays engender the corruption. The presence of corruption a country has extensively and devastating effect on society and country.
The existence of corruption weakened the very foundation of society and country. The presence of corruption and corrupt practices in a society distract a man from ethics, humanely attitude, tradition, civics and laws. It degrades the morality of the people which leads to violence or dissension among the people. It deteriorates the quality of governance. The corruption and corrupt practices are indicative of breaches in the governance edifice. They pose serious threats to the sanctity of ethical and democratic values and weaken the administrative, social and political institutions. The economic reform in a country demand greater transparency, accountability, free and fair competition, however, the corruption and corrupt practices place restraint on the countrys capacity to undertake economics reforms and make some substantial progress in the development of a country. Corruption has also adverse impact on the private investment, both domestic and foreign which are considered very harmful to a developing economy. This impact on the economy lead to inflation and unemployment in the country. The direct impact of corruption in Pakistan could be witnessed in the rise of food commodities, which according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, had increased up to 120 percents in the last one year. It plays significant role in widening the gap between the rich and poor. The pervasive corruption cannot be eradicated in a day, however, it requires well-woven plan along with effective implementation.
Government is required to ensure the rule of law in a strict sense. The law of rule means equal application of law, equal protection by law, and equality before law. Without rule of law, the institutions get weak and become hatcheries of corrupt practices. The government must provide the effective mechanism for implementation of rule of law without any discrimination. The application of rule of law in a letter and spirit requires political will to carry out such a colossal task to eradicate the corruption. The government has already made serious efforts to combat the scourge of corruption, however, all these efforts are in vain due to the absence of political will. Once the people are convinced that the government is serious about fighting the corruption, they will provide their support in resolving the problem. A publicity campaign to create awareness among the people on the adverse effects of corruption is indispensible to combat the corruption. A responsible press to gather, analyze, organize and disseminate the information is vital to create the great public awareness and to provide the impetus for undertaking reforms to overcome the corruption.
Moreover, Islam obviously condemns the corruption and provides means and mechanism to curb the corruption. Therefore, the corruption may be eradicated on adherence to Islamic teaching.
It is concluded that the Corruption issue is that corruption is a symptom of deep-seated and fundamental economic, political and institutional weaknesses and shortcomings in a country. It has severally affected the state of governance, has shackled the economy, has distracted the man from ethics, humanely attitude, tradition, civics and laws. To be effective, measures against corruption must therefore address these underlying causes and not the symptoms. Government must ensure the rule of law i.e. equal application of law, equal protection by law, and equality before law, effective and impartial accountability. Media also plays significant role in creating the awareness among masses and government plan to curb the pervasive corruption with an iron hand.
REASONS OF THE CORRUPTION
“They want – I give”, “I want – I get”.
Corruption is a process of decay which can never be eradicated completely from any society. The most important reasons contributing ti this decay are bad interaction between the specialized bodies for combating corruption and the citizens, the extensive prerogatives of public officials, the widespread bureaucracy ,insufficient political will for dealing with corruption, the low remuneration of public officials, lack of effective measures and sanctions, the possibility for public officials to obtain illegal benefit, weaknesses of the legislation, lack of willingness on the part of the citizens to contribute to, the process of combating corruption. So corruption is to be done everywhere. Everyone wants to fulfill their needs or to get success so corrupt ways are used for that so you find corruption on all levels that’s why there are so many reason of corruption.
The basic reason for corruption is low salaries as everyone is finding a way to better their living standard as much as they can; it’s also a human nature that he has everything more and more. So mostly corruption is to be seen where there are people having fewer salaries they use corrupt ways to achieve the goal. It is true that they do not have any other way to fulfill their wants.
Lack of accountability and regulation:
Corruption is more prevalent because lack of accountability and regulation. If money that the government receives is going in their pockets rather than being spent on the people who need it, on their education, health and so on, then the consequences are obvious that many people don't pay taxes because they don't trust the government to spend it on the people, they think they are corrupt and the money would just disappear. And so this creates a vicious circle. People don't see the government doing anything to help them, so they think it's a waste of time to pay taxes. The government doesn't get any money from taxes and so can't do anything to help people.
Corruption on the low-level is systematic and fed by desperation. In many of these nations, it's almost expected that a policeman or clerk will earn a fair amount of income through bribes, so the states pay those workers less based on that assumption. Bribes and the like become a kind of tip. Even in situations where this is not true, there's still the temptation of extra cash, whether necessary to feed one's family. The "every man for himself" attitude in some cultures encourages this.
Corruption prone institutions
According to many people corruption can only thrive in bureaucratic societies or countries where every single matter, law and order is under the control of corrupt government. The reality does not authenticate just this idea. At an "elite" level, corruption is the everywhere. Then, what developing countries are full of, is non-elite corrupt people. Corruption is normally associated with the government, police, legal system and other bodies that control and allocate public resources. The police are responsible for maintaining order and justice in a society. A police department for instance can be compared to other governmental bodies for simple understanding of the term. e.g.: a cop stops a car to make a ticket, but is also willing to accept a small bribe to let it pass (or even stop the car to get a bribe in the first place). Some drivers will also try to bribe the cop, to avoid the ticket. Mostly the same at all administration levels, at any given bureaucrat institution. Of course, virtually all government regulated institutions (police, hospitals, schools, etc) have their employee being overly underpaid, which helps a lot to lead into this. The reason why a policeman for example would accept a bribe to let someone go free is that they are often underpaid and extra cash is always a tempting prospect. The wide consensus across surveys points to the police as being one of the most corrupt institutions in Pakistan. According to the organization Global Integrity appointments in the police force are often based on political considerations. Police officers frequently have conflicts of interest due to personal loyalties and family connections. It is also well known that in Pakistan, influential landlords decide the appointment of law enforcement officers in their area, with police officers acting on their behalf. Unlawful police methods do not solely affect poor people. Businesses also complain that they suffer from extortion by the police, for instance in the form of bogus traffic fines. Basically Police misconduct is a topic of great concern worldwide. However, the causes of police corruption are remarkably different. Understanding the unique political, historical, legal, and economic institutions of a country is essential in identifying the potential for police misconduct. The boundary line between corrupt and non-corrupt activities is quite difficult to define. A police officer who takes advantage of his power and authority for personal and organizational gains can easily be described as a corrupt police officer. The term “police corruption” has been used to describe many activities: bribery; violence and brutality; fabrication and destruction of evidence; racism; and, favoritism. Not only lower ranked officers are involved in such malpractices, but also senior officers, and those ranked below them are involved in organized corruption. The position is best summed up in the words of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs in Pakistan: Today we have a police, which is politicized and Politically polarized. For it has become a pawn in the hands of its masters. In Return, the policemen get political patronage, which has become essential for there Survival.
The other sector in Pakistan which is seen as notoriously inefficient and corrupt is the judiciary. According to TI Pakistan’s 2006 survey, 96 percent of the people who came in contact with the judiciary encountered corruption and 44 percent of them reported having to pay a bribe to a court official. The judiciary is also viewed as lacking independence from the executive and contributing to a general culture of impunity. According to Global Integrity, the procedure for selecting judges at the national level is not transparent and selection procedures are often made in exchange for political favors. Despite these problems, judges are exempt from oversight and investigations by Pakistan's national anticorruption agency, the National Accountability Bureau. The business community generally lacks confidence in the capacity of the judiciary to enforce rules and laws, and the settlement of disputes often involves paying bribes. For example, the judiciary takes an average of 880 days to settle a business dispute at a cost of 24 percent of the claim the country’s tax and public finance administration has also been affected by corruption. The World Bank’s 2004 Public Expenditure Management report on the country showed widespread collusion between taxpayers and tax officials, a situation that has led to tax evasion and lack of tax compliance In addition, a financial accountability assessment undertaken by the World Bank in 2003 showed that, although good progress had been achieved in public sector accountability, major gaps and weaknesses remain in the accountability chain. These have arisen mainly from low institutional and staff capacity and uneven implementation of reform measures. The report emphasized the urgent need to strengthen financial reporting, to institute adequate controls at all levels of government — especially at the provincial level1 — and to maintain effective tracking of social spending. A more recent report on public sector accounting in Pakistan further shows its public sector accounting and auditing does not comply with international Standards. More attention needs to be paid to summary tables of outstanding public sector accounting and to good reporting and disclosure processes following audits. The high prevalence of corruption in the sectors covered in the national survey suggest that the problem likely cuts across federal, provincial and local administrations since service delivery is divided between different political levels. Moreover, the country is administratively structured in such a way that there are 100 times more junior-level civil servants than senior officers, creating a ready group to engage in the petty abuses currently plaguing Pakistan. However, recent findings suggest that the devolution of government to the local level may provide benefits by increasing the good governance and accountability needed to help fight corruption. (Business Recorder May 25, 2007¬)
According to a survey carried out by Transparency International the corruptions factors are as follows along with their results in terms of percentage.
TI-Survey on Causes of Corruption-Mega & Petty
• Lack of Accountability (31.68%)
• Low salaries (16.54%)
• Monopoly of power (16.43%)
• Discretionary powers (12.61%)
• Lack of transparency (9.97%)
• Power of influential people (4.59%)
• Red Tapism (4.28%) • Others (4.9%)
Source: Government of Pakistan
Now in order to combat them few measures need to be taken are as follows
• Strengthening of Institutions
• Supremacy of Law
• Prevalence of code of conduct
• Proper check and balance on all officials as well as citizens
• Increase in salaries and incentives
• Restoration of judiciary on free basis
• Hiring of new employees on merit rather than beneficiaries
• Proper awareness campaigns need to be formed
• There should be proper ehtesaab for everyone who completes tenure of governance
• Defect positions should be reordered making it into and effect position