Fight against Corruption
By N Khan
Pakistan is going through the economic turmoil which is result of multiple factors persisting over the decades. Amongst major causes of prevailing economic turbulence are corruption, misgovernance, lack of investment (mainly due to security reasons), inefficiency of government controlled entities due to corruption and lack of professionalism, energy crisis, inept tax policies etc. Though government appears to be keeping issues of security and energy crisis high on its agenda sheet, however also needs to simultaneously address at priority the other multiple factors to lift the economy. Corruption is the leading factor seriously affecting the economic progress which leads to poor performance of public sector including the government owned entities such as Railways, PIA, Steel Mills, and WAPDA etc. It also discourages both domestic and foreign investment thus limiting the economic activity thus affecting the overall economic growth. There is a dire need to strengthen the institution of Anti Corruption Body by making it apolitical and fully empowered to enable it to exert its authority across the board by enactment of anti corruption law/bill.
In order to make anti corruption body viable and effective there is a requirement to select an honest, upright, credible, devoted, committed and highly competent person as head of this body who should be allowed to chose his team freely and work independently with out any political pressure/influence in order to fight against the menace of corruption effectively. Government should also appoint the highly honest, upright, patriotic , devoted, competent and dynamic persons as head of all Government departments (especially Police, CBR, FIA, Education, WAPDA etc.) and entities such as Railway, PIA, Steel Mills etc. These heads of departments and organizations should be given mandate to purge corruption from their departments and improve their efficiency within reasonable timeframe while giving them full freedom of action as well as authority with assurance of no interference from any quarter.
More over another factor which has contributed in rise of corruption is the performance of Judiciary. Though honourable Superior judiciary has demonstrated its intent and will through judicial activism to check, contain and bring corrupt elements to justice. However, unfortunately Judiciary could not leave any worthwhile impact as no big fish has yet been given any exemplary punishment in any of the corruption case to the disappointment of the masses.
Further superior judiciary also did not take any substantial measures to purge its institution mainly the lower judiciary from the corrupt and inefficient elements which instead of awarding punishment to corrupt elements has been providing relief to them either by acquitting them on pretext of lack of sufficient evidences or prolonging/pending the cases to indefinite period. Honourable superior judiciary being an important organ of state should also assume their responsibility to exhibit activism in putting its house in order by cleansing their own institution from corrupt and inefficient elements, taking measures such as induction of honest people in the judiciary as well as making up the deficiency of judges especially at lower level for quick and fair disposal of cases.