Of Cheques and Bal­ances

Cor­rup­tion can­not be to­tally elim­i­nated in Pak­istan but, given the will, can be con­tained some­what.

Southasia - - CONTENTS - By S.G. Ji­la­nee

Pak­istan con­tin­ues to wal­low in cor­rup­tion and there is no so­lu­tion to the mal­ady in sight.

Cor­rup­tion is a gift of cap­i­tal­ism. Lais­sez faire trig­gers a rat race for lu­cre. Money de­ter­mines the quan­tum of good life. It is also an in­dis­pens­able tool for suc­cess in pol­i­tics, es­pe­cially in a feu­dal so­ci­ety like Pak­istan. There is no space for such ab­stract things as prin­ci­ples, moral­ity or val­ues. The pull of money is so pow­er­ful that even pi­ous peo­ple suc­cumb to it so as to ac­quire the so­bri­quet like “Maulana Diesel.”

That is why, ex­cept for vari­a­tion in lev­els, cor­rup­tion is uni­ver­sal. It can be con­trolled and re­duced to a min­i­mum but, like any other vice, it can­not be to­tally elim­i­nated. And that is what many coun­tries at­tempt to do. In Amer­ica, for ex­am­ple, gov­er­nors, con­gress­men and sen­a­tors guilty of cor­rup­tion, are pun­ished. In In­dia, sim­i­larly, Tamil Nadu’s twice chief min­is­ter Jay­alalithaa was sen­tenced last year to four years in jail and a fine of Rs 100 crore for own­ing as­sets worth Rs 66.65 crores (in­clud­ing 2,000 acres of land, 30 kg of gold and 12,000 saris) which was dis­pro­por­tion­ate to her known sources of in­come.

As for Pak­istan, it has been in the race

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