Corruption and Collapse

August 4, 2009
Our past experiences with democracy have been tangled up almost inextricably with experiences of corruption. We had hoped this time would be different. It seems though that we are not to be so fortunate. Indeed, many of Pakistan’s present day problems can be linked back to the fact that successive rulers have been more concerned with lining their own pockets rather than meeting the needs of people desperate for good governance. Now, a detailed report in this paper lists the manner in which key national institutions are being destroyed by poor management, nepotism and in some cases at least the theft of wealth from them. These giants include Pakistan Steel, PIA and the National Bank of Pakistan. The tales of how these bodies have been destroyed is shocking. In many ways the stories are microcosms of the state of Pakistan as a whole. Dishonest practices have stripped it of assets, leaving behind only a hollow, brittle shell which could fall apart under any kind of pressure.

Although the report confirms our worst fears, very little of what has been said is completely new. We are all aware, in one capacity or the other, of how heavily our politicians are involved in robbery. It is true that in some cases this may extend only to extending favours to cronies or cramming already over-staffed organizations with new employees recruited on the basis of nepotism. Such acts of loyalty to political allies amount to disloyalty to the nation as a whole.

Our country is, almost literally, being eaten away from within and destroyed. The new report simply goes to confirm our worst fears and give weight to floating rumours about wrongdoing. The real question is, what is to be done? The so-called ‘accountability’ attempts of the past led nowhere at all. In most cases the organizations set up to bring the corrupt to justice simply became means of political victimization. Today, the NRO protects past acts of dishonesty. The fact that the recent Supreme Court judgment has opened it up to political scrutiny will raise fear in some places. Some good may come of this.

But at a wider level we need citizens’ groups to lobby on the issue of corruption and on the need to save key national institutions. Each of these has the capacity of delivering if it is competently run and honestly managed by professionals. In our country we also have the expertise to do this. What we need is the political will to move in this direction. Each of us has a duty to play a role in this and to demonstrate, as has happened in the past, that the power of people can truly achieve change for the better. We need to save our country. There can be no bigger rallying point than this.



  1. To expect masses to rise,is useless.We are a mob of 17 crores.Corruption is our national character.The person hoarding sugar is on the street protesting Atta shortage and the one hoarding atta is shouting for sugar.Politicians divide people on provincial and ethnical lines,but when it comes to sugar and other problems, all owners of sugar mills across the country are united.
    I just saw a play on a channel where police are beating a thief.The thief says I want water to make wadhoo.Police laugh. The thief says “Chori mera pesha hai aur Namaz Fardh”.From where a reformer has to start.
    Zia used to say”I remove the lid from sewage for a while and close it.If I remove it for good,the whole world will be full with bad smell.Musharraf removed it by allowing electronic media.What we are seeing around us is not a creation of one day.It took us 62 years.For which I blame religious parties specially JI.
    Last hope,if any, is from a very honest and sincere Electronic media which in the presence of Jang(GEO) and Nawai Waqt not possible.
    Good deeds of our society should be glorified.In one of Arican countries,probably Sierra Leone, a pregnent women was sitting under a tree Floods came and not finding any escape,she went up the tree and gave birth to a child.Her courage was applauded and she became a national figure.Does it happen so in Pakistan.Are honest and sincere people glorified?

  2. 1. The Chaudhry Judiciary is a contradiction in terms.Iftikhar Chaudhry has been put back by sheer street/mob thuggery not by the Parliament. Two wrongs dont make a right.

    2. The current ruling is flawed as Chaudhry had personal conflicts of interests/ bias and should not have been sitting on the bench at all.

    3.The same Chaudhry has given selective rulings by cherry picking . Why cant he take suo mot action against NRO, Sufi Muhammads brand of Nizam i Adl et al.

    4. The same Chaudhry had stopped the privatisation of Steel Mills . Since it continues to be in the Public sector who is responsible for the continued corruption there. Why no suo moto action now?

    5 To Mushrraf’s credit the Press got its Freedom which no previous ‘ democratic ‘ dispensation ever allowed . In GEO and Nawa i Waqt we now see a Press that is more ‘Awara’ than ‘ Azad’ and is servile to the polticians who bankroll it.

  3. Choudhry,possibly is aiming to be the President and Nawaz as PM.

    For Dogar,people phrased:”Dog,Dogger and Doggest”
    What should be Choudhry?

    It seems a rebellion is developing in Judiciary.What else you can expect under a below mediocre Choudhry.

  4. It is also people like her who take power in the governemnt institution or place thier friends in high places to rip the country of its wealth. Just do a google search on recent cases and you will find big names like PIA and Steel Mills who made millions in profit are now in debt of billions. Steel mills had a balance of Rs 17 billion in assets and cash but is now in debt of Rs 21+ billion. PIA has an incompetent MD who became MD because he knows peopel in the government. A man who only knows how to fly a plane should stick to what he knows – not do something he has never done in his life. Not to mention the shady deals where moeny has been stolen from PIA coffers by paying higher prices for planes and other day to day equipment and then transferring the difference to their personal bank accounts. Shamefully, money was deducted from PIA staff salary for Swat victims but no prizes for guessing whose bank account it went in instead?the reason these cronnies are taking our wealth is because they move everything out of the country and enjoy a luxurious life while the poor people to whom all this wealth belongs to are left starving and dying of disease. The government and the incompetent MDs/chairmans should be charged with man slughter and murder of these innocent people who dont get medince and hospital treatment when they are ill witha minor disease and therefore die. The blood is on the hands of the government and their cronies. They are traitors who should be hanged.

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