Politics
 
Corruption in Pakistan: how to alleviate it?
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February 03, 2012
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: "Beware of bribery for verily it is sheer infidelity, and the briber will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise."[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 104, p. 274, no. 12]

Corruption is an evil which has played havoc with the socio-economic development of Pakistan. Corruption is a curse and a major hurdle to the progress of Pakistan. According to the World Bank estimates, more than US$1 trillion is paid in bribes every year and according to one estimate the cross-border flow of proceeds from corruption, criminal activities, and tax evasion is US$3.61 trillion every year, or the equivalent of 3 to 5 percent of the world’s GDP. The African Union has estimated that corruption costs African economies in excess of US$148 billion a year which represents 25% of Africa's GDP. These statistics shows that corruption is not only threat to Pakistan, but it is also a major irritant in the development of countries at global level.

Pakistan is facing corruption in almost every sector. There are many types of corruption. Commonly known types are (1) - Systemic corruption, (2)-Sporadic (individual) corruption, (3) - Political (Grand) corruption, (4) - Petty corruption, (5) - Legal and Moral Corruption.

Systemic corruption is an integrated and essential aspect of the economic, social and political system, when it is embedded in a wider situation that helps sustain it. Whereas, sporadic corruption is the opposite of systemic corruption. Sporadic corruption occurs irregularly and therefore it does not threaten the mechanisms of control nor the economy as such.

The third type of corruption is political corruption, which means any transaction between private and public sector actors through which collective goods are illegitimately converted into private-regarding payoffs. Political corruption is often used synonymously with grand or high level corruption, distinguished from bureaucratic or petty corruption because it involves political decision-makers. This type of corruption is common in Pakistan.

Petty corruption means a small scale, bureaucratic everyday corruption that takes place at the implementation end of politics, where public officials meet the public. Petty corruption is bribery in connection with the implementation of existing laws, rules and regulations, and thus different from grand or political corruption. Such corruption is very much common in our daily lives. Whether courts, police stations, colleges, hospitals, or any other institution, such corruption is present everywhere in Pakistan. Corruption in Pakistan is rampant; almost every institution is involved in corruption.

According to the Transparency International report 2011, Pakistan stands at 34th position in the world. The level of corruption has reached the optimum and it is advisable for the government of Pakistan to take some serious action to root out this menace from society. Corruption has a wide range of implications for the society. Corrupt people being in strong position deprive the poor and weak of their due rights and share. Corruption causes inequity in society and the gap between the rich and the poor increases. It is also regarded as the murder of merit. Corrupt people bypass deserving people and appoint their relatives or supporters to lucrative posts. A Greek statesman Pericles has described corruption in a fascinating way.

“Fishes live in the sea, as men do on land: the great ones eat up the little ones.”

In this way, a competent man is deprived of his right. This is one of the reasons that our youth is striving for change in Pakistan. Corruption also causes poverty and unemployment. When deserving people are denied their right then it is obvious that poverty and unemployment will increase. Due to corruption we have a poor infrastructure, roads and buildings. Corrupt contractors use low quality material in the construction of building, roads and bridges, risking the lives of many. The government must take concrete steps to root out this menace from society.

Our leaders must read this Hadith and realize this fact that there will be accountability in the life after death. "A ruler who has been entrusted with the affairs of Muslims, but makes no endeavor (for their material and moral uplift) and is not sincerely concerned (for their welfare) will not enter paradise along with them." (Sahih Muslim1:82)


It is necessary for us to first identify the cause of corruption. Only then we can propose remedy for it. The first cause of rapid corruption in Pakistan is lack of accountability. Our institutions like anti-corruption department and National Accountability Bureau- (NAB) are not fully independent. Whether it is military rule or civilian government, these institutions have been influenced and used by both civil and military governments for their personal gains or political victimization of the opponents.

One of the major causes of corruption is deviation of people from the teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah. The Holy Prophet (SAW) said: "If you get something from people because of your position it is bribery. Would you get it if you are not holding that position, or if you stay in your father's house?"

The apostle of Allah Almighty has also said: “Allah will call us to account how we spend our life, our youth, our wealth and our knowledge.”

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: "Whosoever from you is appointed by us to a position of authority and he conceals from us a needle or something smaller than that, it would be misappropriation (of public funds) and [he] will (have to) produce it on the Day of Judgment." (Sahih Muslim no. 847)

Almighty Allah says: "And eat up not one another’s property unjustly (in any illegal way e.g. stealing, robbing, deceiving, etc.), nor give bribery to the rulers (judges before presenting your cases) that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully." (Surah Al-Baqara, Ayat: 188)

Holy Quran states: "Corruption (sins and disobedience of Allah, etc.) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds, etc.), that Allah may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allah, and begging His Pardon)." (Surah Ar-Rum, Ayat :41).

“The Apostle of Allah (SAW) cursed the one who bribes (rashi) and the one who takes (murtashi).” (Sunan Abu Dawud, Hadith No. 1595).

All these above narrations from Quran and Sunnah clearly assert that there is no place of such sleaze in Islam. A true Muslim would never deviate from the words of Allah, and His Prophet (SAW). Corruption has been denounced by Allah and our prophet and it is binding upon every Muslim to curb this menace.


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