A mo­ment to cel­e­brate...

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL - Wajeeha Ah­mad

COR­RUP­TION is a real en­emy of de­vel­op­ment of any coun­try. The causes and ef­fects of cor­rup­tion, and how to com­bat cor­rup­tion, are is­sues that are in­creas­ingly on the na­tional and in­ter­na­tional agen­das of politi­cians and pol­i­cy­mak­ers.

More­over, I have in­creas­ingly grown fond of know­ing the true mean­ing of cor­rup­tion. It is the abuse of en­trusted power for pri­vate gains. It can be clas­si­fied as grand, petty and political, de­pend­ing on the amounts of money lost ac­cord­ing to Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional. In other words, cor­rup­tion is a form of dis­hon­est or un­eth­i­cal con­duct of an in­di­vid­ual en­trusted with a power or may be hold­ing any au­thor­ity or po­si­tion just for the at­tain­ment of per­sonal gains whereas trans- parency means shed­ding light on shady deals, weak en­force­ment of rules and il­licit prac­tices that un­der­mine good gov­ern­ments, eth­i­cal busi­nesses and so­ci­ety at large.

There are var­i­ous rea­sons like per­sonal, cul­tural, in­sti­tu­tional and or­ga­ni­za­tional that are ap­pli­ca­ble on a greater or lesser scale to dif­fer­ent cul­tural and ge­o­graph­i­cal en­vi­ron­ments caus­ing cor­rup­tion. Cor­rup­tion oc­curs be­cause it is hu­man na­ture to take the easy way out and to gain per­sonal ben­e­fit from what­ever means pos­si­ble. Both "na­ture" (Bi­o­log­i­cal) and "nur­ture" (psy­cho­log­i­cal) fac­tors have a part in cor­rup­tion. One of the ma­jor causes of cor­rup­tion is ris­ing poverty and un­em­ploy­ment that seeks roots in our so­ci­ety & on later stage th­ese causes turned into so­cial evils such as drugs ad­dic­tion, bribery, street crimes, ter­ror­ism etc.

Since 1995, "Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional" has been re­leas­ing Cor­rup­tion Per­cep­tion In­dex of the coun­tries that it sur­veys. It is a mo­ment of im­mense plea­sure for all the Pak­ista­nis that Pak­istan has jumped from 50th po­si­tion to 53rd on Ber­lin-based Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional's Cor­rup­tion Per­cep­tion In­dex, 2015. Ac­cord­ing to which PAK­ISTAN fares bet­ter than all SAARC states namely In­dia, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. Pak­istan is the coun­try that im­proved its CPI score whereas the rest ei­ther scored the same or scored less. Pak­istan has left de­vel­oped coun­try such as China be­hind in the im­prove­ment. Never in the his­tory of the coun­try, did Pak­istan score that well. It is the re­sult of zero tol­er­ance for cor­rup­tion at the top level that our mother­land has come out of top 50 most cor­rupt coun­tries.

It is quite en­cour­ag­ing fact that in 2012 be­fore the PML-N Govern­ment took over; Pak­istan scored 27/100 and was ranked at 36th po­si­tion from the bot­tom. From 2013 to 2015, there has been an ad­di­tion of one point to the coun­try's score on CPI, which means that the coun­try was ranked 49th in 2013, 50th in 2014 and 53rd in 2015. Though it is not an en­vi­able po­si­tion but rep­re­sents a trans­for­ma­tion.

In Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional's CPI 2015, Pak­istan is a re­flec­tion of trans­parency and com­pli­ance with the rules and reg­u­la­tions in the CPEC and other mega projects that has been im­ple­mented by the PML (N) govern­ment. The im­proved rank­ing is also a slap on the faces of those who are in the habit of mak­ing false ac­cu­sa­tions. CPI 2015 has proved them all wrong. By the grace of God and firm com­mit­ment of the PML-N lead­er­ship, Pak­istan is proud of this im­prove­ment and in­tends to con­tinue it in the fu­ture as well.

In or­der to com­bat this is­sue, a longterm strat­egy needs to be evolved. A few mea­sures need to be taken like 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, inde- pen­dence of ju­di­ciary for prompt dis­pen­sa­tion of jus­tice, hir­ing of new em­ploy­ees on merit rather than nepo­tism, and proper aware­ness cam­paigns also need to be taken. There should be proper sys­tem that will hold all ac­count­able un­der the rule of law. De­fect po­si­tions should be re­ordered mak­ing it into and ef­fec­tive po­si­tions.

Al­ham­dulil­lah, Pak­istan is proud to have high level of me­dia free­dom, ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion, high level of in­tegrity among the peo­ple in power, and in­de­pen­dent ju­di­ciary. The jour­ney to­wards pros­per­ity and good gov­er­nance has al­ready be­gun in the right di­rec­tion. Our lead­er­ship is com­mit­ted to erad­i­cate the men­ace like cor­rup­tion. It is very wel­com­ing news for the peo­ple of the land of pure and I hope to wit­ness more days like to­day in the fu­ture as well. Let us just all hope for a bet­ter Pak­istan, Pak­istan that Quaid-eAzam dreamt of. Rightly put in words by Joe Bi­den, Vice Pres­i­dent of USA.

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