Dr. Abdul Razzak Shaikh
Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability.
Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes. Economic development is stunted because foreign direct investment is discouraged and small businesses within the country often find it impossible to overcome the “start-up costs” required because of corruption. On 31 October 2003, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption.T he Assembly also designated 9 December as International Anti-Corruption Day, to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the Convention in combating and preventing it.
Governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, the media and citizens around the world are joining forces to fight this crime. There are umpteen legal and constitutional measures to check corruption. However, to eliminate corruption is a herculean task as corruption is more an attitude than a necessity. People who indulge themselves in corrupt practices are driven by lust for money and material well-being. To make easy money and power is the prime goal behind every act of corruption. Eradication of corruption calls for change in our attitudes and lifestyle. It is an ethical mindset that contains our lust for money. Simple living and high thinking is the motivating factor to eliminate corruption in the country. Our lust for material well-being and lust for money compel us to commit corruption. In a nutshell, unless the people of a country are righteous and honest and love to live by honest means corruption will never go away. Even after having a great number of anti-corruption measures Pakistan is still languishing in the throes of corruption. To build a corruption-free society we need accountable and honest leadership and a populace characterized by simplicity and righteousness in life.
People who resort to corrupt ways to achieve or get something lack moral principles and ethics. They need to realize the infamy attached with corrupt practices. Every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes while an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen annually through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than 5 percent of the global GDP. In developing countries, according to the United Nations Development Programme, funds lost to corruption are estimated at 10 times the amount of official development assistance. Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune. This year United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have developed a joint global campaign, focusing on how corruption affects education, health, justice, democracy, prosperity, and development. The 2017 joint international campaign focuses on corruption as one of the biggest impediments to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Corruption remains a substantial obstacle for Pakistan where it is still perceived to be widespread and systemic. Petty corruption in the form of bribery is prevalent in law enforcement, procurement and the provision of public services. The judiciary is not seen as independent and considered to be shielding corrupt political practices from prosecution. Various efforts over the past years have tried to develop institutional mechanisms to address these problems. A National Anti-Corruption Strategy, which was developed in 2002, offers a comprehensive plan for tackling corruption. The executing agency, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), is endowed with comprehensive powers to investigate and prosecute cases. However, a lack of political will, coupled with the perceived co-option of the judiciary and the arbitrariness of many anti-corruption proceedings, are major obstacles.
Some of the ways in which government around the world, private business, NGOs, the media and the general public can be involved are by organizing the creative activities, reporting incidents of Corruption and spreading the message through Social Media. International Anti-Corruption Day is a time for Political leaders, governments, legal bodies, and lobby groups to work together against corruption work by promoting the day and the issues that surround this event. On this day anticorruption advocates organize events to engage the general public to effectively fight against corruption and fraud in communities. Other activities that promote the day include. In Pakistan NAB is working effectively but need to proper prosecution to accused that must be punished. Anti-corruption Departments of provinces are only collecting money and they are no more effective. Vigilance team like JIT may be made for check and Balance and make full efforts to prevent the corruption in Pakistan. Looted money must back to the country and people get relief to pay bribes in every part of the department. People of Pakistan are much worried about the corruption and needs strict laws.
Dr. Abdul Razzak Shaikh