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Say No To Corruption – By Laiba Ali

Laiba Ali
Freelance Writer

Wikipedia
VOA
Images Credit:
The Kabul Times
Borgen Project
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Say No To Corruption
  فساد ته نه ووایه
भ्रष्टाचार को ना कहें
بد عنُوانی کو مُسترد کرو

“Corruption is something that enters into us. It is like sugar: it is sweet, we like it, it’s easy, but then, it ends badly. With so much easy sugar we end up diabetic, and so does our country. Every time we accept a bribe and put it in our pocket, we destroy our heart, we destroy our personality and we destroy our homeland. … What you steal through corruption remains … in the heart of the many men and women who have been harmed by your example of corruption. It remains in the lack of the good you should have done and did not do. It remains in sick and hungry children, because the money that was for them, through your corruption, you kept for yourself.”

Bribery and Corruption in Afghanistan

Over the past three years, Afghanistan has undergone an important period of transition, with the election of a new government in 2014 and the withdrawal of international forces the same year. Since then, levels of insecurity in the country have seen a marked rise and the number of internally displaced people in the country has doubled. Levels of optimism about the overall direction of the country and confidence in government in 2015 fell to their lowest levels in a decade.

Corruption in Afghanistan is endemic and has penetrated all parts of the Afghan state, adversely affecting the ability of Afghanistan to maintain security for its citizens and deliver basic public services. Corruption is also increasingly embedded in social practices, with patronage politics and bribery becoming an acceptable part of daily life.

“This world is very good as if we do good deeds then we will get its fruits. World is bitter for those who are live their life with corruption or sins.”

Transparency International’s 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks the country in 150th place out of 180 countries. The 180 countries of the Index are scored on a scale of 0 (“highly corrupt”) to 100 (‘very clean”) according to the perceived corruption in the public sector, and then ranked by their score.

 Afghanistan’s 2022 ranking was based on a score of 24. For comparison, the best score was 90 (ranked 1), the worst score was 12 (ranked 180), and the average score was 43. In Afghanistan today, corruption most often takes the form of demanding and offering bribes, both in the private and public sectors and on large and small scales. There are also many other major forms of corruption, including nepotismgraft, and illegal land transfers. The US Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has estimated that over half of the nation’s annual customs revenue is lost to graft.

The walls have eyes: Kabul's anti-corruption graffiti - World - DAWN.COMThe walls have eyes: Kabul’s anti-corruption graffiti

Attitudes toward corruption

On the one hand, Afghans criticize corruption; on the other hand, they increasingly accept patronage and bribery as inevitable and even legitimate parts of daily life. A UN study found that in 2012, 68% of Afghans found it acceptable for civil servants to bolster their salary by charging bribes to service users. This represented an increase from 42% in 2009. Also, 67% found it acceptable for at least some civil servants to be hired because of family ties and friendship networks. (This rose from 42% in 2009.)

The Asia Foundation’s 2011 survey “shows that while Afghans associate democracy with general freedom, they do not associate it with less corruption, more rights, laws, and more inclusive government.” On the contrary, they feel that democracy and the free market result in chaos and higher risk for ordinary Afghans while the already-powerful are provided with additional opportunities. The feeling of injustice that results from widespread corruption reportedly strengthens support for terrorists.

Forms of corruption

Afghans have identified over 70 types of corruption that affect them personally, “ranging from public administration and elected bodies to private sector, international aid, and the Taliban.” Afghans identify corruption mostly with government institutions but have experienced it in many sectors.

Curbing Corruption in Afghanistan

Bribery

Bribes must be paid in Afghanistan to secure most public services. A UN study shows that the completion of public services is reliant almost solely on bribes paid and has resulted in a severe hampering of economic growth. Petty bribery has been the leading cause of distress among the average citizens of Afghanistan, although it is generally only the high-level corruption cases that are reported in major media.

Prosecutors, teachers, judges, and customs officials are the most likely public employees to receive bribes. The average bribe to prosecutors and judges is over US$300. Bribes to other officials are somewhat lower. In 85% of cases, bribes are directly or indirectly requested by public officials; in 13% of cases, they are offered spontaneously by citizens. Some officials request bribes through intermediaries. According to the U.N., 50 percent of Afghans paid bribes in 2012; in some parts of the country, the figure was as high as 70 percent. Half of Afghans had bribed teachers, with similar numbers paying bribes to customs officials, judges, and prosecutors. A somewhat smaller number had bribed land registry officials and provincial officers. The bribing of judges declined significantly between 2009 and 2012. The percentage of persons paying bribes to teachers climbed from 16% in 2009 to 51% in 2012. Doctors, nurses, and paramedics account for 15 to 20% of bribes.

In 2013, 43% of Afghans viewed civil servants and bureaucrats as corrupt, while 58% said they paid a bribe to Registry and Permit Services, 44% to Tax Revenue and 40% to Land Services. In 2012, half of Afghans bribed customs officials. The bribing of customs and tax and revenue officers rose between 2009 and 2012. In 52% of Afghan households, at least one member has applied for a public sector job, and 45% paid bribes to help secure the jobs.

Education system

The chief form of corruption in the education sector involves so-called ghost teachers and double-registered teachers. Anything involving paperwork in the educational system requires small bribes.

SIGAR report stated that senior officials at the Ministry of Education had intentionally falsified data on the number of schools and teachers in the nation in order to over-bill international aid providers. As a result, millions of US taxpayer dollars have been used to pay for nonexistent schools and teachers, and enriching the dishonest education officials in Afghanistan.

“When it comes to racism, discrimination, corruption, public lies, dictatorships, and human rights, you have to take a stand as a reporter because I think our responsibility as journalist is to confront those who are abusing power.”

A February 2012 article in Gulf Today explored the fact that in many Afghan schools there are many no-show teachers, teachers who know nothing about their subjects, and teachers who cannot even read or write. Only 20% of funds budgeted for teachers’ salaries in one province went to actual teachers; the rest went to local security or education officials who receive the “ghost teacher’s” salary in their place.

Graft in customs system

A December 2014 report focused on graft within the customs system. Although many experts identified such graft as a primary cause of the government’s shortfall of revenue goals the previous year, it was noted that little had been done thus far to address the problem. Customs agents were identified as the most glaring offenders, with the report noting that they in most circumstances appointed by ministers with the express understanding that financial kickbacks are to be given for the position.

Cash smuggling

The Washington Post reported in December 2012 that the US had provided the Afghan government with bulk currency counters at airports to help prevent cash smuggling. In response, the Afghan government provided a way for VIPs to bypass the machines.

Nepotism and patronage

Outside observers have noted that the Afghan people view what Westerners consider “favoritism” or “nepotism” as the right thing to do, since they believe themselves to be taking care of their extended family. “You take care of your own. Period. It just happens that when you do that with public funds and positions, people tend to get a little persnickety about it. While admitting that they would do the exact same thing.”

The Asia Foundation describes the central route of growing corruption in Afghanistan as the strength of patronage politics in the country. While patronage is a centuries-long Afghan tradition, it is now an integral part of the society, and its entanglement with criminal activities is a growing concern. Because of patronage, people without connections have great difficulty rising within the Afghan government. While corrupt officials enjoy impunity, honest officials are often denied access to powerful positions.

Judicial corruption

According to surveys by both Transparency International and the U.N., Afghans consider the judiciary their society’s most corrupt segment. Judicial corruption is said to be an endemic problem in the country that affects every level of the legal system. “From granting judicial access and selecting the deposition of cases to extorting money from defendants for favorable decisions, corrupt justices are able to line their pockets with hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes.” Judges are subject to the influence of warlords, terrorists, and others; most judges are appointed as the result of “under-the-table deals,” and are largely unqualified by all legal standards. Interviews carried out in 2013 with people who had lost lawsuits indicated that the winning party had bribed the court. Judges and prosecutors are believed to accept bribes to bar a case from going to court, making evidence and witnesses vanish from court evidence. There is no oversight of courts by other government branches and no transparency in Supreme Court decisions.

Zahoruddin case

In December 2012, a senior judge named Zahoruddin was convicted of seeking to extort bribes from Dewa, a 22-year-old freelance journalist, who had filed for divorce. After she had refused to bribe him, he offered to marry her in exchange for granting the divorce. Dewa secretly recorded the entire conversation, and sent the tape to the Supreme Court. After a case was brought against Zahoruddin, she received a death threat from him. His conviction was described by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty as a rare victory in the struggle against corruption in Afghanistan.

Ishaqza case

In 2014, a leading opium trafficker, Haji Lal Jan Ishaqzai, was arrested in Afghanistan by the Counter Narcotics Police, but he soon was freed in exchange for bribes. It was almost a week until the Afghan counter narcotics authorities in Kabul was informed that Ishaqzai was freed, reported The New York Times. He fled to Pakistan where he was beyond the scope of Afghan or American law enforcement. Several judicial officials were arrested, and some sources said that the Supreme Court was directly involved in letting Ishaqzai go, but it was unclear who exactly was responsible for his release.

Anti Bribery Images - Free Download on Freepik

Corruption at traffic stops

Corruption in Afghanistan’s traffic department, according to a February 2013 article in The Washington Post, is among the worst of the nation’s fledgling bureaucracies. Vehicle registration requires 27 separate signatures. A new driver’s license calls for “about a dozen stamps from ministries, agencies and banks.” These requirements have led to the formation of a black market that involves the bribing of public officials in order to expedite traffic documents. “It’s corruption in $30 or $40 bites—far from the millions allegedly stolen here every year,” stated the Post. However, these bribes have warped the perception Afghans hold on their nation’s institutions. The Post quoted an official who earns $10,000 annually on such corruption, who stated that the corrupt system is disadvantageous for everyone, including many of those involved in the scheme. The department’s red tape has earned it the reputation as the most exploitive one in the government, stated the Post.

Illegal land transfers

One form of corruption that has come to the fore since 2001 is the confiscation of land. In 2003, slum dwellings in the Sherpoor neighborhood of Kabul were destroyed and replaced by residences for cabinet members. Similar actions have followed. Land has been illegally distributed by the executive to political elites in order to win their allegiance. More than 80% of new land in Kabul was distributed under the auspices of Afghan elites and high officials. Ex-warlords have made money illicitly in a range of fields and then laundered it by purchasing real estate.

Physical infrastructure

Corruption is common in the physical infrastructure sector, and involves criminal patronage networks. The construction business involves hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of bribes that benefit a massive network.

Corruption Bribery Images - Free Download on Freepik

Police

The Afghan National Police (ANP) are considered notoriously corrupt. The Ministry of the Interior has been criticized for “failing to properly account for billions of dollars allocated for police salaries via a U.N.-administered trust fund.” Corruption robs police officers of up to half of their salaries, which makes them more likely to solicit bribes. A 2012 Asia Foundation survey found that over half of Afghans who had dealt with an ANP officer during the previous year had been forced to pay a bribe.

Beginning in 2009, policemen in parts of Afghanistan began to be paid through their cell phones, which prevented their superiors from skimming off part of their wages. According to MIT Technology Review, the bribes had been so immense that on their first pay period on the phone system, the police officers believed they had received a pay raise, when in fact they were simply receiving their full pay without any administrative bribes or extortion taking place.

Reuters reported in August 2011 that “an expanding dossier of unresolved police violence and corruption cases … have alienated Afghans,” and that this called into question the feasibility of rebuilding the civic institutions of the war-torn nation.

Fox News reported in October 2014 that Afghan officials may have systematically stolen $300 million from a UNDP trust fund used to pay police officers in Afghanistan and that European Union donors had withheld about $100 million in contributions to the fund owing to concerns about the fund’s management. The UNDP itself stated that it was not the agency’s responsibility to address this corruption. Some police officers, according to a 2015 report, have informed the Taliban of impending operations, presumably in exchange for bribes.

“Corruption is the enemy of development, and of good governance. It must be got rid of. Both the government and the people at large must come together to achieve this national objective.”

Military

The Afghan National Army is considered more professional than the ANP but also experiences a significant misallocation of resources and immense levels of bribery solicitation. In a 2013 Transparency International survey, one-fifth of Afghans said they considered the military corrupt.

The New York Times reported in March 2012 that Afghan defense officials were impeding a probe into whether Afghan Air Force members were trafficking in opium and weapons and that an Afghan officer who had killed eight members of the US military in 2011 may have been involved in trafficking. For example, investigators were only given limited access to military personnel with any evidence to report, and were denied access to areas of the airport where smuggling was still suspected to be underway.

As a result of corruption, according to a 2014 report, the Department of Defense had lost account of over 200,000 weapons allotted to the ANSF and ANP. Those weapons, as well as ammunition, had reportedly been sold by police and security officers to the Taliban.

In early 2015, the oversight committee for Ministry of Defense contracts uncovered a kickback scheme involving payment by the ministry of over $200 million to fuel contractors. After an investigation, the contracts were cancelled and senior ministry officials fired.

Can the Taliban Tackle Corruption in Afghanistan?

For more than a decade, Afghanistan was continuously ranked among the 10 most corrupt governments. But this year, the country has left its disreputable position, and the Taliban claim credit for it.

Transparency International, a Berlin-based nongovernment corruption watchdog, released its latest annual corruption perception index, ranking Denmark as the least corrupt state in the world and Somalia 180th as the most corrupt.

Taliban-ruled Afghanistan is ranked 150th, a remarkable status upgrade from its 174th ranking in 2021. In 2011, at the height of U.S. military and developmental engagement in Afghanistan, the country was ranked 180th, next to North Korea and Somalia.

The improved ranking is surprising for a regime that has been widely condemned as deeply authoritarian and misogynistic because of its mistreatment of women and the press. But it does not give full credit to the Taliban for tackling Afghanistan’s chronic corruption ills.

Tackling corruption has provided financial lifelines for an isolated Taliban regime that faces crippling international economic and banking sanctions.

The World Bank released an upbeat assessment of the Taliban-run Afghan economy, saying exports were high, currency exchange was stable and revenue collection was strong in the first three quarters of 2022.

UN: Cost of bribes paid by Afghans spiked in 2012

Aid-driven corruption

For two decades, the Taliban fought the former U.S.-backed Afghan government, calling it inherently corrupt and inefficient.

The United States spent $146 billion to rebuild Afghanistan, including the country’s anti-corruption agencies, before the Taliban returned to power, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a U.S. government entity that has investigated, reported and prosecuted numerous corruption cases involving Afghan and American contractors.

Endemic corruption diminished public support for the former Afghan government, weakened its position in peace talks with the Taliban and culminated in its ignominious fall in August 2021.

Western donors have stopped development assistance to Afghanistan but have continued giving humanitarian aid to needy Afghans while bypassing Taliban institutions.

While corruption still permeates different layers of the public sector in Afghanistan and most citizens resort to bribery to receive basic services such as getting a passport, senior Taliban leaders show a will in tackling corruption. The Taliban have called bribery in the public sector a criminal act, but other forms of corruption such as diversion of public funds, nepotistic appointments in public positions, access to information on government activities and the abuse of official powers remain prevalent across the country.

Laiba Ali Freelance Writer Wikipedia VOA Images Credit: The Kabul Times Borgen Project The Arab News Freepik FPIF Say No To Corruption   فساد ته نه ووایه भ्रष्टाचार को ना कहें بد عنُوانی کو مُسترد کرو “Corruption is something that enters into us. It is like sugar: it is sweet, we like it, it’s easy, but then, it ends badly. With so much easy sugar we end up diabetic, and so does our country. Every time we accept a bribe and put it in our pocket, we destroy our heart, we destroy our personality and we destroy our homeland. … What you steal through corruption remains … in the heart of the many men and women who have been harmed by your example of
Say No To Corruption – By Laiba Ali

Laiba Ali
Freelance Writer

Images Credits:
Dhaka Tribune

Say No To Corruption
भ्रष्टाचार को ना कहें
بدعُنوائی کو مُسترد کرو

Bribery and Corruption in Bangladesh

“The evil of corruption reaches into every corner of the world. It lies at the heart of the most urgent problems we face — from economic uncertainty, to endemic poverty, to the ever-present threat of radicalization and extremism.”
“Corruption in the form of bribery and misuse of public funds is a major obstacle to democracy and economic development in many of the world’s poor countries.”
“Without strong watchdog institutions, impunity becomes the very foundation upon which systems of corruption are built. And if impunity is not demolished, all efforts to bring an end to corruption are in vain. “
“Integrity, transparency and the fight against corruption have to be part of the culture. They have to be taught as fundamental values.”

Corruption in Bangladesh has been a continuing problem. According to all major ranking institutions, Bangladesh routinely finds itself among the most corrupt countries in the world.

Corruption has always been a major concern for Bangladesh as it directly affects the economy and development of the country. Bangladesh has been trying its best to prevent corruption by implementing various stringent laws and has certainly been successful in minimizing the level of corruption in the past few years. An allegation of bribery or corruption is one of the fastest ways a company can tarnish its reputation. Whilst corporations doing business in Bangladesh have their own Anti-bribery and Corruption policies and compliance programs, an appraisal of anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws of Bangladesh is of utmost importance for any corporation doing business in Bangladesh. This writing is aimed at giving a birds’ eye view of the laws and regulatory framework in place in the jurisdiction of Bangladesh.

Corruption is a parasite that feeds on the resources of a society and drains it of its strength.  It can devastate every level of business and government.

Around 70.9% of Bangladesh households have had to pay bribes to get government services in various sectors, said a household survey of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on Wednesday.

The survey, titled “Corruption in Service Sectors: National Household Survey 2021”, also revealed that the law enforcement agencies are the most corrupt service sector (74.4%) followed by the Department of Immigration and Passports (DIP) (70.5%) and Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) (68.3%).

Other most corrupt services sectors include the judiciary (56.8%), health (48.75), local government institutions (46.6%) and land services (46.3%).

The survey report said the country’s overall bribery rate is 40.1%, with the top three sectors receiving bribes being passports, law enforcement agencies and BRTA.

Up to 72.1% of the victims of bribery mentioned “service not available without bribery” as the reason for paying bribes, which means that bribery continues to be institutionalized. Every household, on average, has to pay a bribe of Tk6,636 annually and the three most bribe-taking sectors are insurance, judiciary and gas services, said the report. The survey revealed that an amount of Tk10,830 crore was exchanged as bribes in the services sector during the survey period, from December 2020 to November 2021, which was 0.4% of the country’s GDP in the fiscal year 2020-21 and 5.9% of the revised budget of the same financial year. TIB has conducted nine National Household Surveys since 1997.

Bangladesh still languishes among world’s most corrupt countries

According to the survey, the rate of corruption in the service sectors has increased compared to 2017. In 2021, while the rate of corruption in the same sectors was found to be 70.8%, in 2017 this rate was 66.5%.  Compared to 2017, the rate of bribes or unauthorized payments decreased in 2021 but the amount of bribes increased.

Due to the government’s digitization process, corruption in some sectors remains the same (law enforcement agencies, passport, BRTA, etc) and has increased in some sectors (local government institutions, NGOs, insurance, etc).  In addition, compared to 2017, the rate of bribery increased in some sectors (local government institutions) and decreased in some sectors (agriculture, education and health) in 2021. The survey shows that in 2021, incidents of bribery in the service sectors was higher in rural areas than in urban areas (36.6% vs. 46.5%).

“The corruption of the best things gives rise to the worst.” 

The burden of corruption is higher on low-income households than on high-income households. Low-income households are forced to pay a higher proportion of their annual income in bribes than high-income households in order to receive services. The survey result also shows that female service recipients were victims of corruption more than male service recipients in some sectors (health, local government institutions and other sectors). On the other hand, male service recipients were victims of corruption more than women in certain sectors (education, public services). In addition, service recipients aged 36 and above are relatively more victims of corruption compared to service recipients below 35 years.

Business bribery risk: Bangladesh ranks 2nd in South Asia, despite progress

According to all major ranking institutions, Bangladesh routinely finds itself among the most corrupt countries in the world. Companies should, therefore, beware of high corruption risks when operating or investing in Bangladesh. Corruption is pervasive at all levels of society and companies have reported being subjected to costly and unnecessary license and permit requirements. The Code of Criminal Procedure, the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Penal Code, and the Money Laundering Prevention Act criminalize attempted corruption, extortion, active and passive bribery, bribery of foreign public officials, money laundering and using public resources or confidential state information for private gain. Nevertheless, anti-corruption legislation is inadequately enforced. Facilitation payments and gifts are illegal, but common in practice. Bribery, misappropriation of funds, excessive lobbying, delays in performing services, pilferage, neglect of duties, abuse of power, and patronage were rampant throughout the public sector. This included law enforcement, customs, tax authorities, banking, education, health care, the judiciary, and utilities. Corruption abounds in Bangladeshi government offices. Many officials receive salaries without having any actual assigned work. Officials are recruited and promoted for reasons that are not objectively clear. Solicitation of bribes is common.

Infographic: TBS

Despite improving its position by seven notches globally this year, Bangladesh now ranks second in terms of business bribery risk in South Asia – ahead of only Afghanistan – due to high expectation of bribes, poor transparency, and low media freedom, according to the 2023 Bribery Risk Matrix.

The country ranked 146th in the index released by the US-based business association TRACE, which measured business bribery risk in 194 countries. The country’s position was 153rd last year.

Released on 14 November, the 2023 Bribery Risk Matrix indicated an improvement in Bangladesh’s ranking, yet its overall score decreased by 3 points to 61 out of 100. A higher score signifies a higher risk of business bribery. The matrix also mentioned low quality of anti-bribery enforcement and a low degree of civil society engagement as the driving factors behind Bangladesh’s poor performance in terms of business bribery risk. Bangladesh now has the second highest commercial bribery risk in South Asia as Pakistan overtook the country this year climbing an impressive 29 notches to 129th position in the global rankings.

Last year, Bangladesh had outperformed Pakistan, while Afghanistan maintained its position at the bottom. According to the index, in South Asia, the business bribery risk in Afghanistan and Bangladesh is “high”, while the risk level of other countries in the region is “medium”, except for Bhutan with a “low” risk.

How Bangladesh performed

This year Bangladesh received a medium score of 60 in business interactions with the government, based on a medium degree of government interaction, a high expectation of bribes, and a medium regulatory burden.

The country scored poorly (66) in the second domain – anti-bribery deterrence and enforcement – based on a medium quality of anti-bribery dissuasion and a low quality of anti-bribery enforcement.

Bangladesh’s poor score of 61 in government and civil service transparency, is based on medium governmental transparency and poor transparency of financial interests.

The South Asian nation also received a poor score of 60 in capacity for civil society oversight based on a low degree of media freedom, quality and civil society engagement.

Corruption is the greatest impediment to conducting business in Bangladesh, overshadowing issues such as liquidity crisis and soaring inflation, according to a survey released recently. Conducted by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in partnership with the World Economic Forum, the survey finds that 64.6% of the respondents think corruption is the biggest obstacle to doing business in the country as they had to bribe even for tax payments, licences and utilities.

<strong>Transparency International</strong>

Bangladesh has been ranked 147 out of 180 in corruption by Transparency International, which said it was one of the countries with a concerning trend of weakening of anti-corruption institutions.

“Fighting corruption is not an end in itself. But there is a fight for social justice, for peace and for security.”

The country has dropped one notch on the Berlin-based organization’s Corruption Perception Index 2021 with the score unchanged at 26.  Bangladesh’s score puts it in the bottom fifth of the countries surveyed. The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of 0 to 100.

Without a doubt, corruption is a vast and complex matter. It means any kinds of dishonest, defiled or illegal behavior, especially of people in authority. It is a major problem in the third world countries but it has been the burning question in Bangladesh. The list of the countries having rampant corruption is headed by Bangladesh several years. Transparency international found it as the most corrupted country. Corruption may originate from want, the immorality of people, lack of transparency, unsolved problems, unfinished works, vicious politicos, weak administration and many after relevant things. All the sectors of the government and the administration are corrupted severely as well. Taking bribe, nepotism, malpractice of power are the natures of corruption. No department of either government or non-government like ministry, office, school, college, university, law court, police station, hospital, etc. is beyond the reach of corruption. Even the victims of accident and the dying patients are not left untouched by corruption. It has become customary in our country that nothing is done without the intervention of corruption.

“The truth will always be our shield against corruption.” 

The influential high officials and their assistants in our country adopt such techniques and pretense to materialize their ill-motives that common people who are deprived of their legal rights. Corruption has a terrible effect on all the parts of society. It leads the country to anarchism. Law and order situation become deteriorated for corruption. The difference between the poor and rich widens day by day. All the development procedures of the government become useless for the cause of corruption. However, this is a humiliating condition for us a nation. It has spoilt our image in the home and abroad. Above all, foreign donors and the investors become reluctant observing the large scale of the practice of corruption. However, the time has changed. With the same parade of the present government, all the people should voice against corruption. Nepotism, favoritism, red-tapism, biased attitude etc. should be dealt with an iron hand. Only our honest approaches can reinforce the government to ensure the good governance. Inclusion corruption begets corruption. It should be prevented urgently in all spheres of our life. Otherwise, we will fail to build up a sound and potent generation. We should look forward to ensuring corruption-free society as well as corruption free country.

 “If corruption is a disease, transparency is a central part of its treatment.”

Corruption prevention and transparency are key elements of the proposed way forward. Even though most of the governance challenges have to be met in Bangladesh, Western buyers can exert substantial influence based on their contractual relationship with factory owners. For them, sustainable supply chain management and recognition of responsibility along the supply chain become more and more important. Codes of Conduct and compliance programs are valuable tools for preventing corruption. Nevertheless, solicitation of bribes and extortion remain everyday challenges.

“A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.”

In sum, corruption continues to be the norm in Bangladesh despite decades of sustained growth. Inability to fight bureaucratic corruption at all levels of the government, particularly in the industrial sector, will make further expansion harder as manufacturing industries shift to higher value-added activities and technological upgrading. Regardless of whether the actual impact of corruption is ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ on the Bangladesh economy, however, curbing corruption is also an important end objective in itself – improving governance and combating corruption are key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets. Therefore, a major challenge for governments in Bangladesh and elsewhere in South Asia is to reduce corruption and bribery in all forms by 2030.

“Radical Transparency. There is no going backwards. We must ensure that greater transparency will drive the prevention and uncovering of corruption in the years ahead.” 

Laiba Ali Freelance Writer Images Credits: Dhaka Tribune Say No To Corruption भ्रष्टाचार को ना कहें بدعُنوائی کو مُسترد کرو Bribery and Corruption in Bangladesh “The evil of corruption reaches into every corner of the world. It lies at the heart of the most urgent problems we face — from economic uncertainty, to endemic poverty, to the ever-present threat of radicalization and extremism.” “Corruption in the form of bribery and misuse of public funds is a major obstacle to democracy and economic development in many of the world’s poor countries.” “Without strong watchdog institutions, impunity becomes the very foundation upon which systems of corruption are built. And if impunity is not demolished, all efforts to bring an end to corruption are in vain. “
Say No To Corruption – By Laiba Ali

Laiba Ali
Freelance Writer

Images Credit:
The Times of India
CNN

Say No To Corruption
भ्रष्टाचार को ना कहें
بد عُنوانی کو مُسترد کرو

“A corrupt system cannot be reformed, it must be dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up.” “Corruption is a form of violence that destroys the lives and futures of millions of people.”
“Corruption is the biggest threat to our democracy, and we must fight it with all our might.”
“The fight against corruption is not a one-time battle, it is a continuous struggle.”

“A man who has never gone to school may steal a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”

Bribery and Corruption in India

Corruption still the biggest obstacle for entrepreneurs in India

The term “corruption” is commonly used in everyday language, so most of us are familiar with it. What is the definition of corruption? In our minds, various images emerge. “Corruption is just another type of tyranny,” said Joe Bidden, America’s 47th Vice President. According to the statement, corruption is on par with cruel and tyrannical government rule. Corruption, on the other hand, is a struggle that a common man or woman encounters every day in order to maintain his or her fundamental rights and other benefits as human beings granted by the Constitution. Corruption in public life is a means of obtaining personal benefit through illicit means and the abuse of public office and property. Private-sector corruption is all about making unjust profits by exploiting employees and consumers while skirting government regulations. Corruption exists in every sector and at every level of government in the country, large or little. People in the public and private sectors employ corrupt methods and unfair methods to complete a variety of large and minor tasks. This is because people desire to make a lot of money without putting in a lot of effort.

“Corruption and bribery are against the very nature of democracy and freedom.”

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It is not easy to define corruption. But in a narrow sense, corruption is mostly concerned with “bribery” and it takes several forms. Corruption today is a world-wide phenomenon and India is one of the most corrupt nations in the world.
Corruption is an indication of decadence. A corrupt person is termed immoral and dishonest. Only a person with greatly eroded values indulges in corruption. The problem with corruption is that it threatens the very existence of the society. Corruption is like a leech draining the blood of the society. The worst part is that it affects every part of human life: the flourishing black market in essential commodities, adulteration of even food, bribe, fraud and economic, political and administrative manipulations etc have made the people feel greatly miserable and helpless.

At least one in every two people in India have paid a bribe in the past year, according to a new national corruption report, which branded the practice “part and parcel of daily life.”

The survey, conducted by independent anti-corruption advocates Transparency International India (TII) and social media platform Local Circles, found that bribery had actually reduced by 10% over the past year. But it remains rampant, with 51% of respondents admitting they had paid bribes.

Corruption remains “part and parcel of daily life in India,” said a press release from TII. It’s particularly widespread in local-level citizen services, which are “ridden with bribery and kickbacks.”

The survey, published Tuesday, gathered 190,000 responses across 20 of India’s 28 states. Some 24% of respondents said they had paid bribes several times in the past 12 months, while the remaining 27% said they had done so only once or twice.

Property registration and land issues were the biggest sectors of corruption, with more than a quarter of respondents having paid bribes to the relevant local departments. The police force was next; 19% of respondents said they had paid most of their bribes to police in the past year.

People also paid bribes to the tax department, transport office, municipal corporations, and other local authorities, the report found.

State of infamy

“Corruption is a disease that eats into the morals of the nation.”

The Indian government has tried to crack down on bribery and corruption, amending an anti-corruption bill last year and setting up watchdog institutions. Under the amended bill, bribery is punishable by up to seven years in prison or a fine, or both, the report said.

The new deterrents and measures are “starting to show some effects,” the report said – but that change has not trickled down to the local level. Only 6% of people said that their state or local governments had taken steps to reduce corruption, and many reported that nothing had changed at all.

According to Transparency International, the parent organization of TII, India has a score of 41 on a scale of public sector corruption – 0 being highly corrupt and 100 being clean. Any score under 50 indicates “a serious corruption problem,” according to the organization’s website.

India has the highest bribery rate in Asia and the most number of people who use personal connections to access public services, according to a new report by corruption watchdog Transparency International.

“With the highest bribery rate (39 per cent) in the region, India also has the highest rate of people using personal connections to access public services (46 per cent),” the report said.

Bribery in public services continues to plague India. Slow and complicated bureaucratic process, unnecessary red tape and unclear regulatory frameworks force citizens to seek out alternate solutions to access basic services through networks of familiarity and petty corruption, the report said.
Although reporting cases of corruption is critical to curbing the spread, a majority of citizens in India (63 per cent) think that if they report corruption, they will suffer retaliation, it said.

Page 4 | Immorality Images - Free Download on Freepik

“Corruption is the enemy of progress and development.” 

Most Indians will immediately recognize facilitative corruption from their regular interaction with the state machinery: officials demanding bribes to perform or expedite the basic functions of their job, like issuing passports or ration cards. Collusive corruption involves bribes paid to circumvent regulations, kickbacks from government procurement, and bribes paid to illegitimately obtain government contracts or licences all fit into this category. Extractive corruption comprises diverse crimes, from embezzlement and harassment bribery to shirking and simply not showing up to work. The empirical evidence of these three categories of corrupt activities is widespread.

Corruption is a poison that really has taken root in the human brain of those who place themselves above society, community, and even country in order to take advantage of ill-gotten profits. It is the mistreatment of public resources with the intention of obtaining unfair benefits in order to satisfy material goals. It is concerned with the inappropriate and needless use of authority and position by anyone in power, whether in government or non-government organizations. It has a negative impact on both individual and national growth, lowering both personal and national income. It is a major contributor to the current state of inequity in our society. It stifles a country’s social, economic, and political growth and progress on all fronts.

Growing corruption is also a result of unbridled greed and increased market competitiveness. People have become exceedingly selfish in recent years. They desire to make more money than their relatives and friends, and in their haste, they are willing to use corrupt tactics to achieve their goals. Everyone wants the country to be free of corruption and condemns the government for not doing enough to combat it, without blaming oneself for contributing to the problem.

Corruption has well-established causes. It is believed that identifying the root of an issue is half the battle won. Rather than debating the issue over and over, it is now time to seek for answers. The government must rid India of corruption; else, our country will be unable to prosper. Corruption must be eradicated at its source. For example, India’s expanding population is linked to a shortage of adequate work options, which leads to corruption. To keep the country’s population under control, the government must adopt severe measures. Similarly, it must work on all fronts to create a corruption-free India. We can defeat corruption if we stand unified and committed to rid the world of this evil. Another factor contributing to the rise of corruption is a lack of knowledge. To a considerable extent, spreading education can assist to alleviate this problem. People who engage in corrupt practices such as receiving and offering bribes, using unlawful means to build their enterprises, acquiring black money, and other advantages that they do not have legal access to must face harsh penalties. These people must be severely punished. The media and the government should work together to organize sting operations to expose corrupt individuals in various industries. Such sting operations will not only expose corrupt individuals, but will also deter others from engaging in such behavior. Each of us must accept it as a personal obligation to follow the proper procedure for getting things done rather than paying bribes to get things done or avoid fines.

India Brefing-Anti-Corruption Laws in India – Minimize Your Risk Exposure

“Corruption is a curse that harms the nation at every level.” 

Technology can also support in the reduction of corruption. CCTV cameras must be put at government buildings, at red lights, and other locations where bribes are frequently taken and given. Recorders can be used in situations where cameras are difficult to deploy. People might also take the initiative to record any corrupt practices that are taking place in their area on their phones and then share the information with the local police station. People in India are afraid of coming to the police station, even to file a complaint against corrupt officials. They avoid going to the police station for fear of becoming entangled in the nitty-gritty of the police investigation and gaining a poor reputation. The processes at the police station must be set up in such a way that persons who desire to assist the cops are not inconvenienced. Though corruption is widespread in India, it is also true that the majority of Indians are honest and have a strong distaste for corruption. Corruption, no matter how deep seated, may be successfully eradicated with political resolve and public knowledge. While individual efforts can help to rid the country of corruption, the government’s involvement is also required if the problem is to be addressed at its source. To address this issue, the central government must enact severe legislation. Individuals, the media, and the government all need to work together to help achieve a corruption-free India. To make the country a better place to live, they must collaborate.

But we just have to understand corruption is not going to go away. This goes all the way up to the very top. Everybody has their own self-interest. And to a degree, when the legal system is a little weak, when the wages of a lot of these officers is very low to start with, headwinds make this happen.

Low-level, everyday corruption, however, has persisted unabated, harming the country’s most vulnerable citizens.


“Corruption is a silent killer that takes from the poor and gives to the rich.”

Recent studies have demonstrated, for example, that it is India’s poorest men, women and children who are the most acutely affected by corruption because they are forced to pay bribes they cannot afford in order to obtain basic services like electricity, clean water and protection from law enforcement.

Today, although India is free, the government officials have enslaved the general public with their corruption. Most of them are hand in gloves with businessmen and thus the whole system is corrupt. What starts at the top percolates down to the lowest rungs of the society. It has thus become widespread even in villages.

Tackling corruption in India is a massive task, but the enormity of the challenge should not dampen reformers’ spirits. The stakes are high—left unchecked, corruption will hamper India’s ability to grow its economy and to provide opportunities for its young population. Worse, corruption also risks diminishing the faith ordinary Indians have in the rule of law and the democratic system; such distrust can trigger a negative spiral as even honest reform initiatives are viewed with suspicion and stymied. Reformers should take comfort in knowing that they are not forging a new path; the literature is replete with examples of effective, inexpensive and logistically simple solutions. India stands to gain immensely from combining these fixes with the more arduous task of strengthening important institutions and State capabilities. While the ability of these solutions to circumvent weak public sector institutions has its limits, the potential gains from reform suggest that such an agenda should be pursued with urgency.

“Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual, the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country.”

Laiba Ali Freelance Writer Images Credit: The Times of India CNN Say No To Corruption भ्रष्टाचार को ना कहें بد عُنوانی کو مُسترد کرو “A corrupt system cannot be reformed, it must be dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up.” “Corruption is a form of violence that destroys the lives and futures of millions of people.” “Corruption is the biggest threat to our democracy, and we must fight it with all our might.” “The fight against corruption is not a one-time battle, it is a continuous struggle.” “A man who has never gone to school may steal a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.” Bribery and Corruption in India The term “corruption” is commonly used
Say No To Corruption – By Irma Abbasi

Irma Abbasi
Freelance Writer

Images Credit:
Freepik
Dawn News
Reuters
AFP

Say No To Corruption
بدعنوانی کو نہیں کہو
भ्रष्टाचार को ना कहें

 Corruption undermines the foundations of a fair and just society
 Stop corruption; it erodes trust in institutions and hinders progress.
 Corruption is a curse that stifles economic growth and development.
 Say no to corruption; it tarnishes the principles of equality and justice.
 Combat corruption for a brighter and more equitable future.
 Corruption breeds injustice; let’s work together to eradicate it.
 Stop corruption in its tracks to ensure a level playing field for all.
 Corruption corrodes the moral fabric of society; choose integrity over deceit.
 Reject corruption; it’s a roadblock to prosperity and shared success.
 Stand against corruption; it’s a collective responsibility for a better world.

Unveiling the Layers of Corruption
A Deep Dive into
Pakistan’s Reality
Corruption Images - Free Download on Freepik

I. Introduction to Corruption
Corruption, a pervasive global menace, transcends borders and infiltrates the fabric of societies worldwide. It manifests in various forms, undermining trust, impeding progress, and eroding the
foundations of both economic and societal development. In the context of Pakistan, a nation grappling with its share of challenges, the study of corruption becomes particularly crucial. This section aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to corruption, elucidating its definition, global perspective, and the profound impact it wields on societal and economic dynamics.
A. Definition and Global Perspective
Corruption, in its essence, involves the abuse of entrusted power for personal gain. This multifaceted
phenomenon encompasses bribery, embezzlement, nepotism, and other illicit activities that compromise
the integrity of individuals and institutions. The global perspective on corruption is one of shared concern, with international organizations and governments acknowledging its corrosive effects on democracy, economic stability, and social cohesion. Corruption’s tentacles extend across borders, affecting developed and developing nations alike. The interconnectedness of economies and the ease of information dissemination make corruption a transnational challenge that demands collective action. Understanding corruption’s global dimensions sets the stage for a nuanced examination of its manifestations within the specific context of Pakistan.


B. The Impact of Corruption on Societal and Economic Development
Corruption acts as a formidable barrier to both societal progress and economic development. In the
societal realm, it corrodes the foundations of trust between citizens and their institutions. When public officials prioritize personal gain over the welfare of the people, the social contract is breached, leading to disillusionment and a loss of confidence in governance. Economically, corruption stifles growth by diverting resources away from essential public services and infrastructure projects. Funds intended for education, healthcare, and poverty alleviation end up lining the pockets of the corrupt, perpetuating a cycle of underdevelopment. Foreign direct investment may be deterred, as investors hesitate to engage in environments tainted by corrupt practices.
C. Significance of Studying Corruption in the Context of Pakistan
Against the backdrop of Pakistan’s complex socio-political landscape, the study of corruption takes on
heightened importance. The nation, blessed with rich cultural heritage and potential for economic growth, has, at times, found its progress hindered by the prevalence of corrupt practices. To envision a future of sustainable development and equitable prosperity, a thorough understanding of corruption’s roots, manifestations, and consequences is imperative.

II. Types of Corruption in Pakistan
Corruption in Pakistan is a multi-faceted challenge, deeply embedded in various sectors of society.
Understanding the different types of corruption is crucial for dissecting the complexities of this issue and developing targeted strategies for reform. In this section, we will explore the diverse manifestations of corruption in Pakistan, ranging from political to petty corruption.
A. Political Corruption
1. Examples of Political Corruption Cases: Political corruption in Pakistan has been evidenced through numerous high-profile cases. One notable example is the National Reconciliation
Ordinance (NRO), which granted amnesty to politicians accused of corruption. The Panama Papers scandal revealed offshore holdings of several Pakistani political figures, casting a shadow over
their financial transparency.
2. Influence on Governance and Policymaking: Political corruption exerts a profound influence on governance and policymaking. Bribes, kickbacks, and nepotism can skew decision-making processes, diverting resources from essential public services to the pockets of politicians. This not only hampers effective governance but also perpetuates a culture of impunity, eroding public trust in political institutions.

B. Bureaucratic Corruption
1. Role of Bureaucracy in Fostering Corruption: The bureaucracy, intended to be a pillar of public service, is often marred by corruption in Pakistan. Instances of bribery to expedite paperwork,
embezzlement of public funds, and favoritism in appointments tarnish the image of bureaucratic
institutions. The discretionary powers vested in bureaucrats become breeding grounds for corrupt practices.
2. Implications for Public Services and Administration: Bureaucratic corruption has severe
implications for public services and administration. Public projects may be compromised as funds
are siphoned off, leading to substandard infrastructure. The unequal distribution of resources perpetuates social and economic disparities, hindering the government’s ability to fulfill its duty of ensuring the welfare of all citizens.
C. Police and Law Enforcement Corruption
1. Challenges in Maintaining Law and Order: Corruption within the police force undermines efforts to maintain law and order. Bribery and collusion with criminal elements compromise the integrity of investigations, and selective law enforcement perpetuates a culture of impunity. This
challenges the very foundation of a fair and just society.
2. Impact on Citizens and the Justice System: The impact of police corruption extends beyond law enforcement to citizens and the justice system. Innocent individuals may face harassment or false
charges, while the guilty might escape justice through bribery. This erosion of trust in law enforcement institutions weakens the overall justice system, creating a breeding ground for criminal activities.In a significant development, the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) has formed special committees in all the four provinces and in Islamabad to identify “inefficient and corrupt judges” and to “prepare” references against them. — Reuters/File

D. Judicial Corruption
1. Examination of Corruption within the Judiciary: Judicial corruption poses a threat to the core
principles of justice. Instances of judges accepting bribes or manipulating legal processes for personal gain tarnish the credibility of the judiciary. The politicization of judicial appointments further exacerbates concerns about impartiality.
2. Consequences for the Justice System: The consequences of judicial corruption extend beyond
individual cases to the overall justice system. Unjust decisions, delayed justice, and a lack of accountability erode public confidence. The perception that justice can be bought undermines the foundational principles of a fair and transparent legal system.
E. Corporate Corruption
1. Unraveling Corruption in the Business Sector: Corporate corruption in Pakistan encompasses arrange of illicit activities within the business sector. Fraudulent financial practices, bribery for favorable contracts, and tax evasion are prevalent issues. The lack of transparency in corporate
dealings contributes to an environment conducive to corrupt practices.
2. Effects on Economic Growth and Private Enterprise: Corporate corruption has far-reaching
effects on economic growth and private enterprise. It stifles healthy competition, hampers foreign investment, and distorts market dynamics. The diversion of resources towards unethical practices
instead of innovation and development impedes the long-term sustainability of businesses.
F. Petty Corruption
1. Everyday Practices Contributing to the Culture of Corruption: Petty corruption, often considered minor in comparison to high-profile cases, permeates everyday life in Pakistan. Examples include bribes for routine services like obtaining permits or licenses, and the misuse of authority by low level officials for personal gain.
2. Impact on the Lives of Ordinary Citizens: While seemingly minor, petty corruption has a significant impact on the lives of ordinary citizens. The cumulative effect of small-scale corruption erodes public trust in institutions, perpetuates inequality, and exacerbates the challenges faced by those with limited resources. It creates a culture where corruption is normalized and accepted as part of daily life.

III. Root Causes of Corruption in Pakistan
Corruption in Pakistan is deeply rooted, shaped by a complex interplay of historical, socioeconomic,
governance, accountability, and cultural factors. Understanding these root causes is essential for devising effective strategies to combat corruption. This section delves into the multifaceted origins of corruption in Pakistan, exploring its historical evolution, socioeconomic underpinnings, governance challenges, lack of accountability, and cultural influences.
Pakistan is a country with weak institutions which is the biggest alone cause of corruption. Other reasons of corruption are; insufficient political will to eradicate corruption from the society, bureaucracy is the principal authority for the administration of institutes, salaries in the public sector are very low as compared to the other sectors of the economy and higher rate of inflation. The government bodies are held responsible for spreading corruption in Pakistan because these bodies control and allocate public resources of the country. The department of police is supposed to maintain the law & order situation in a country but known as the most corrupt institution of Pakistan. In Pakistan, police officers are appointed on the basis of political and bureaucratic connections. Thus, the police officers often have divergences of significance due to special loyalties.

Corruption may be classified broadly into two categories. One reason is compulsion, and the other is greed. Some people are corrupt because they cannot make both ends meet with their meagre income. They cannot afford the cost of their babies’ food or their children’s education. They are mostly from the low and middle income classes. Because of their position and status in society, they can neither beg, nor borrow, nor steal. The only alternative for them is to adopt unfair means to maintain their livelihood. In short, they are compelled to resort to corruption out of dire necessity. The other reason is greed, which is mostly out of moral decadence. People lacking in human values and moral responsibility towards others can do or undo anything to satisfy their ugly desire for worldly things. The more they get, the more they want. Out of sheer greed, they can indulge in any kind of corruption without caring for the consequences.
The biggest challenge of the day is this second category of corruption. It can bring the nation to the brink of disastrous consequences. It could make the country a truly bottomless basket.

A. Historical Perspective
1. Historical Factors Contributing to the Prevalence of Corruption: Historical factors have played a pivotal role in shaping the prevalence of corruption in Pakistan. The legacy of colonial rule and
subsequent political upheavals have left an indelible mark. Patronage systems established during
colonial times, coupled with political instability post-independence, created an environment conducive to corrupt practices. The lack of institutional continuity and a stable political environment provided fertile ground for corruption to take root.
2. Evolution of Corruption in Pakistan Over the Years: The evolution of corruption in Pakistan is a dynamic process influenced by changing political landscapes and economic structures. Initial
decades witnessed corruption primarily at higher echelons of power. However, over time,
corruption permeated various levels of society, becoming ingrained in everyday practices.
Economic liberalization, while fostering growth, also led to new forms of corruption, particularly in business and bureaucracy.
B. Socioeconomic Factors
1. Poverty, Inequality, and Their Role in Corruption: Poverty and inequality contribute significantly to the perpetuation of corruption in Pakistan. The disparities in wealth distribution create an environment where individuals, driven by economic hardship, may resort to corrupt practices to
meet basic needs. Additionally, the lure of wealth accumulation through corrupt means becomes
more appealing in societies with stark socioeconomic divides.
2. How Economic Factors Contribute to Corrupt Practices: Economic factors, including low wages and limited economic opportunities, contribute to corrupt practices in both the public and private sectors. Insufficient remuneration for public officials may incentivize bribery, while businesses facing economic challenges may engage in corrupt activities to gain a competitive edge. Economic
pressures can compromise ethical standards, fostering an environment where corruption flourishes.No movement was recorded in the open market as dollar held steady at Rs158.5. — AFP/File

C. Weak Governance
1. Examination of Institutional Failures: Weak governance, marked by institutional failures, is a
critical factor facilitating corruption in Pakistan. Inefficiencies, lack of transparency, and
insufficient checks and balances within institutions create opportunities for corrupt practices to thrive. Political interference in administrative processes further weakens the governance framework, allowing corruption to go unchecked.
2. Reforms Needed to Strengthen Governance Structures: Strengthening governance structures is imperative to curb corruption. Reforms should focus on enhancing transparency, streamlining bureaucratic processes, and fostering independence in decision-making. Implementing merit based appointments, ensuring accountability within institutions, and empowering oversight bodies are essential steps toward building a robust governance framework.
D. Lack of Accountability
1. Impunity and Its Role in Fostering Corruption: Impunity, the lack of accountability for corrupt
practices, is a significant driver of corruption in Pakistan. Individuals engaging in corrupt activities
often face minimal consequences, emboldening others to follow suit. The culture of impunity erodes trust in institutions and reinforces the belief that powerful individuals can act outside the bounds of the law.
2. Measures to Improve Accountability in Public and Private Sectors: Improving accountability requires comprehensive measures in both public and private sectors. Strengthening anticorruption institutions, ensuring swift and impartial judicial processes, and promoting a culture of accountability within organizations are crucial steps. Whistleblower protection mechanisms
and effective use of technology for transparency and oversight can further enhance accountability.
E. Cultural Factors
1. Influence of Cultural Norms on Corrupt Practices: Cultural norms and practices in Pakistan play a significant role in shaping attitudes towards corruption. Nepotism, clientelism, and a tolerance for corrupt practices in exchange for personal favors contribute to a culture where corruption is
normalized. The concept of loyalty to one’s community or network, even at the expense of ethical conduct, adds another layer to the cultural dynamics of corruption.
2. Addressing Cultural Factors to Combat Corruption: Combatting corruption requires addressing cultural factors through education, awareness campaigns, and ethical training. Promoting a
culture of integrity, emphasizing the importance of ethical conduct in educational curricula, and
encouraging civic engagement can help shift societal norms away from accepting corruption as a norm.
IV. Corruption Perception and Global Rankings
A. Overview of International Corruption Indices:
International corruption indices, such as Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), provide a systematic assessment of corruption levels globally, utilizing expert opinions and surveys.
B. Analyzing Pakistan’s Position and Trends Over Time:
Pakistan’s ranking in corruption indices fluctuates over time, reflecting the impact of policy initiatives,
legal reforms, and socio-political dynamics on efforts to combat corruption.
C. Perception vs. Reality: Public Opinion on Corruption:
Public opinion on corruption in Pakistan may align with or differ from international rankings. Factors such as media influence, political discourse, and societal attitudes shape how corruption is perceived at the grassroots level, influencing overall governance dynamics.
V. Notable Cases and Scandals
Corruption in Pakistan has been punctuated by high-profile scandals that have captured public attention
and shaped the discourse on governance and accountability. This section explores some of these
noteworthy cases, the investigative processes undertaken, their legal outcomes, and the lessons learned from these incidents.Bureaucrat facing corruption charges 'cleared' - Newspaper - DAWN.COM

A. High-profile Corruption Scandals in Pakistan:
1. Panama Papers Scandal (2016): The Panama Papers leak exposed offshore holdings of numerous
Pakistani political figures, including then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family. The revelations led to widespread protests and legal inquiries, ultimately resulting in Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification
from office.
2. Rental Power Projects Scandal (2010): The scandal involved allegations of corruption and kickbacks in contracts awarded for rental power projects. Investigations revealed irregularities,
and several officials were arrested. The case shed light on corruption within the energy sector.
3. National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) (2007): The NRO granted amnesty to politicians and bureaucrats accused of corruption during certain periods. Its nullification in 2009 led to the
reopening of corruption cases against prominent figures, illustrating the challenges in reconciling accountability and political stability.
B. Investigations, Prosecutions, and Outcomes:
1. Accountability Courts and National Accountability Bureau (NAB): High-profile cases often find their way to the accountability courts, and the National Accountability Bureau plays a central role
in investigating corruption. The legal process involves thorough investigations, prosecutions, and, in some instances, convictions. However, the effectiveness of these processes can be hindered by delays and legal challenges.

protesters hold a sign as they take part in a protest in islamabad photo reuters

2. Challenges in Prosecutions: The prosecution of high-profile figures faces challenges, including political influence, legal maneuvering, and a sometimes-overburdened judicial system. While some cases result in convictions, others may linger in the legal system for years, testing the
patience and confidence of the public in the justice system.
The anti-corruption laws consider any abuse of public power as a crime deserving of up to 14 years of imprisonment, however, no one has ever been subject to this verdict. In societies with high degrees of social polarisation, such as Pakistan, social conditions tend to induce an environment where the use of public power for personal gains is likely to obtain social recognition and appreciation. This could be perceived as the ‘moral view of corruption’, where an act of corruption derives its legitimacy from a context in which a holder of public office receives and returns favor to his kinship, associates and followers.

Pakistan failed to make any improvement on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) in 2022 as the country ranked 140 out of 180 countries — a position unchanged from the last year, Transparency International said in a report.

Illustration via TI website.

Unfortunately, in 2023, there will still be no progress made in eliminating corruption in Pakistan.
What is the most corrupt institution in Pakistan?
Police in Pakistan remained the most corrupt institution, followed by tendering and contracting and judiciary, the Transparency International (TI) Pakistan reported in its latest corruption survey in the South Asian country.
At national level, National Corruption Perception Survey 2023 has revealed that police remain the most corrupt sector (30 percent), Tendering and Contracting was seen as the 2nd most corrupt (16 percent) and Judiciary 3rd most corrupt (13 percent), the survey report read.
Pakistanis Consider Police, Judiciary The Most Corrupt Institutions

VII. Public Opinion on Corruption
Public opinion serves as a pivotal force in the fight against corruption, offering insights into the perception of citizens and influencing the broader narrative on governance and accountability. This section explores the multifaceted aspects of public opinion on corruption in Pakistan, drawing from surveys, grassroots movements, and the critical role of public awareness.

Surveys and Polls:
Understanding Public Perception: Surveys and polls provide valuable snapshots of public perception regarding corruption in Pakistan. Organizations like Transparency International often conduct such surveys to gauge citizens’ views on the prevalence of corruption and the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures. These tools offer quantifiable data, helping to understand the depth of public concern and identifying trends over time. Perception revealed in surveys is not merely an indicator of the prevalence of corruption but also reflects the trust citizens place in institutions to combat it. High levels of perceived corruption can erode public trust, impacting the legitimacy of governance structures. Insights from these surveys guide policymakers in tailoring strategies that resonate with public expectations. Police in Pakistan remained the most corrupt institution, followed by tendering and contracting and judiciary, the Transparency International (TI) Pakistan reported on Saturday, in its latest corruption survey in the South Asian country. The findings were part of the National Corruption Perception Survey (NCPS) 2023 that was conducted by the Pakistan chapter of the Berlin-based international monitor. Since 2002, Transparency International has conducted eight such surveys in Pakistan. The latest survey, comprising the perception of levels and frequency of corruption perceived by Pakistanis, was conducted in all four provinces of Pakistan from October 13 till October 31, with 1,600 respondents. “At national level, National Corruption Perception Survey 2023 has revealed that police remain the most corrupt sector (30 percent), Tendering and Contracting was seen as the 2nd most corrupt (16 percent) and Judiciary 3rd most corrupt (13 percent),” the survey report read.
In Sindh, police climbed to become the most corrupt sector (37 percent), tendering and contracting was seen as the 2nd most corrupt (14 percent), while education improved to become the 3rd most corrupt (13 percent) since the NCPS 2022. In Punjab, police continued to remain the most corrupt sector (25 percent), while judiciary (17 percent) and health (15 percent) ranked 2nd and 3rd most corrupt sectors, according to the survey. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), police climbed to become the most corrupt sector (37 percent), followed by judiciary (15 percent) and tendering and contracting (13 percent). In Balochistan, tendering and contracting (31 percent) remained the most corrupt sector, while police (20 percent) and judiciary (16 percent) were seen as the 2nd and 3rd most corrupt sectors.
At the national level, the watchdog found, the average expenditure on bribery was around Rs11,121, based on 760 respondents. In terms of the public service delivery, the average expenditure on bribery was highest on judiciary (Rs25,846).

Free vector hand drawn flat anti corruption day illustration

Around 75 percent citizens considered private sector to wield too much power and influence often leading to corruption at the national level, while a majority of citizens (36 percent) considered the role of anticorruption institutions “ineffective.” The major cause of corruption was a lack of merit, according to the survey.
A majority of Pakistanis (68 percent) believed that accountability institutions such as National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Anti-Corruption Establishments were used for “political victimization.”

Around 47 percent Pakistanis considered corruption as the main reason hindering Pakistan’s progress.
The survey also shed light on corruption and climate change, and the need for transparency and
accountability in climate governance.
“At national level, (62 percent) of Pakistanis consider corruption and unethical practices to contribute to
environmental degradation and the exacerbation of climate change effects in Pakistan,” the report read.
“In Sindh (61 percent), Punjab (66 percent), KP (80 percent) and Balochistan (38 percent) think that corruption and unethical practices have important role in exacerbating climate change effects in Pakistan.”
At national level, a large population of Pakistanis (67 percent) felt that provincial and local governments
did not take their views in shaping climate policies and actions, including projects aimed at addressing climate crisis, according to the report. They also believed that ordinary people could make a difference in the fight against corruption.
VIII. International Cooperation in Combating Corruption
A. Collaborative Efforts: Pakistan collaborates with international organizations like the UN and World Bank to combat corruption. Joint initiatives focus on sharing best practices, capacity building, and diplomatic cooperation.
B. Successful Models: Countries like Singapore and Denmark offer successful anti-corruption models. Pakistan can draw lessons from their strategies, emphasizing strong institutions, transparent governance, and a culture of accountability.
IX. Conclusion
A. The Path Forward: Recommendations for Tackling Corruption in Pakistan:
Recommendations for tackling corruption in Pakistan include strengthening anti-corruption institutions, enhancing transparency, enacting robust legal frameworks, prioritizing whistleblower protection, fostering international collaborations, and promoting public awareness.
B. Building a Corruption-Free Future: The Role of Every Citizen:
Every citizen plays a crucial role in building a corruption-free future. Cultivating a culture of integrity, civic responsibility, and active engagement in holding public officials accountable is essential. Empowering individuals with knowledge fosters a foundation for collective action.
C. Final Thoughts on the Challenges and Opportunities:
The fight against corruption in Pakistan faces challenges rooted in history, systems, and culture. However, each challenge presents an opportunity for transformation. Leveraging lessons from successful models, fostering international cooperation, and recognizing the vital role of public participation can pave the way for a future where corruption is minimized, institutions are strengthened, and the principles of good governance prevail. The collective aspiration is for a brighter, more just, and equitable future for the people of Pakistan.

Irma Abbasi Freelance Writer Images Credit: Freepik Dawn News Reuters AFP Say No To Corruption بدعنوانی کو نہیں کہو भ्रष्टाचार को ना कहें  Corruption undermines the foundations of a fair and just society  Stop corruption; it erodes trust in institutions and hinders progress.  Corruption is a curse that stifles economic growth and development.  Say no to corruption; it tarnishes the principles of equality and justice.  Combat corruption for a brighter and more equitable future.  Corruption breeds injustice; let’s work together to eradicate it.  Stop corruption in its tracks to ensure a level playing field for all.  Corruption corrodes the moral fabric of society; choose integrity over deceit.  Reject corruption; it’s a roadblock to prosperity and

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