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Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist

By Shah N. Khan, Moderator, Pakistan Post - Internet Discussion Group

Among all kinds of corruption the abuse of entrusted power for private gain is the worst and most dangerous. It not only hurts everyone who depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority, but also retards national progress.
Lack of Political Accountability is the greatest hindrance in fight against bribery, graft and all kinds of corruption and major cause of decline of our economic condition and obscuring social norms.

Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might; endanger the Morals of an individual, the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country.

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Let us discourage, prevent Corruption or Expose- Embarrass- Punish the Corrupt in whatever way can.

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Corruption is one of the greatest obstacle to economic and social development. It undermines development by distorting the rule of law and weakening the institutional foundation on which economic growth depends. It is the greatest hurdle in eliminating the poverty and ignorance. But the apathy of 'the educated or well do to do people' of our country and Muslim Ummah is amazing. Rich are poor in attitudes of a true momin and they are ignorant about Huqooq Allah and Huqooqul Ibad (Rights and Obligations prescribed by the Holy Prophet)

Muslim Ummah as a whole has forgotten the emphasis laid on honesty, kindness, justice and acquisition of knowledge and saying of the Holy Prophet that the ink of the pen of the scholar is as sacred as the  blood of a martyr.

It is wrong to believe that the corruption is due only to the attitude of civil servants or those in public administration and law enforcement. It is the greed in almost every segment of the population which causes corruption. From milkman to flour mills owners and different traders indulge in food adulteration. Hoarding and profiteering is rampant. Manufacture of fake medicines and different brands of products is quite common. The meters of taxis are rigged. Bus conductors of public transport do not issue ticket to the commuters and thus cheat the owners.

Then there are ghost workers who go to schools, municipal offices etc. once a month only to collect pay. It is said for getting a job of a policeman, or as a clerk in the government or municipal body bribe is taken. Every year hundreds of employees are sacked when it is detected that their educational certificates were fake. 

It is said that it is very difficult to pass driving test or even to register First Information Report with police for theft etc without paying bribe.

Bribe is usually gien to lower or middle level to escape penalty or punishment for some misdemeanor or to get your job done in time . At higher level it may be given for the sake of obtaining some licence or to speed up processing of application. But there are many good people who regard bribe as a  great sin and do the work honestly. Similarly the honest people who can face the risk of running from pillar to post to get the job done would succeed in getting the job done if they remain steadfast in pursuing the matter according to their rights.

Corruption sabotages policies and programs that aim to reduce poverty, so attacking corruption is critical to the achievement of the mission of general prosperity and poverty reduction.

It is believed that an effective anti corruption strategy builds on at least ten key elements:
1. Increasing Political Accountability
2. Police Reforms and Better Training of detective agencies
3. Local Bodies reactivation and Mohalla Vigilance
4. Strengthening Civil Society Participation
5. Creating a Competitive Private Sector
6. Institutional Restraints on Power
7. Improving Public Sector Management
8. Encouraging consumer protection initiatives
9. Speedy legislation to modify punishments for corruption according to Sharia which may be from flogging to amputation of hand or finger just like those for  professional thieves.
10. Codes of conduct embodying Islamic ideals of honesty and integrity for local body, provincial and national assmblies, senate, civil and military personnel

To reduce the corrosive impact of corruption in a sustainable way, it is important to go beyond the symptoms to tackle the causes of corruption. 

Since 1996, the World Bank has supported more than 600 anticorruption programs and governance initiatives developed by its member countries. What they have done in Pakistan is not known. But let us remember that what Edmund Burk said about corrupt people: ""Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist." Is it not true?  Have we not become economic slaves?

According to Transparency International yearly ranking India and Pakistan have been place among the countries with very high rate of corruption.

Pakistan Parliament fails to take proper notice of growing lawlessness and Corruption as a preeminent problem Bribery, extortion, fraud, unethical business and industrial practices, kickbacks, illegal arms, smuggling and sedition and collusion have resulted in retarded economies, predator elites, and political instability. If they cannot find solution they should resign appointing an independent election commission

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