According to news reports, the Transparency International has improved Pakistan’s ranking in the Corruption Perceptions Index from 30 points last year to 32 points in 2016.The international watchdog compiles the data of public sector corruption from various sources, including the World Bank, the African Development Bank and International Institute for Management Development before issuing the report of its ranking. The organization starts from zero as the most corrupt country and 100 as the cleanest one. India has secured 40 points in the index, still eight points ahead of Pakistan and has been ranked 79th. This shows that corruption at the government level in India has not reached the point Pakistan has already crossed in the past years. Most of the western nations, most importantly Scandinavian countries, New Zealand, Germany and Singapore, are on the bottom of the corruption index, which shows that they deserve to be the part of the first world. Most of the politically unstable and third world countries have secured top positions in the corruption index, including Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Afghanistan.
According to economists, corruption is the first enemy of Pakistan and a major barrier in the way for its development. All the government departments and institutions are drenched in corruption from bottom to the top levels, which affects not only the economy, but also common man. Corruption has become the way of life in this country and it is not easy to rid the nation of this menace. There is no dearth of honest officials in the country, but they are either made scapegoats by colleagues or are unacceptable by seniors. They are regularly transferred from one station to another and complete their service tenure without using their abilities. How a few can come clean when the whole of society is plagued with corruption. The country’s financial, industrial and trade sectors underperform due to corruption which is also blamed for security lapse. The institutions, which were set up to check corruption, themselves became victims of corruption. Corruption is the legacy of the colonial era, but it continued to increase with the passage of time. The leadership of the country will have to take drastic steps to curb corruption and it will have to start it from home.
The policymakers must adopt a corruption-free country as a role model if they wants to root out this menace from the country. The time has come the government should take across the board action against corrupt officials, politicians and businessmen by leaving the expediencies aside. Otherwise, there is no way out and the nation will continue to suffer at the hands of evils.