Pakistan's political culture monstrously corrupt: Paper

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 23, 2013 06:50 hrs

Islamabad, Jan 23 (IANS) Pakistan is facing "a danger that in some parts of the country the election is going to be tainted to the point at which it is constitutionally invalid", warned a daily that called the country's political culture "monstrously corrupt".

An editorial in the News International Wednesday said that the entire political culture of the country is "monstrously corrupt where finding honesty is akin to seeking the proverbial needle in a haystack".

"Elections bring out the very worst in our politicians, and many are limbering up for a corruption-fest like no other - the general election later this year.

"Elections being all about votes, now is the time to buy. How better to buy a vote than by giving the voter a job in these times when jobs are hard to come by, and pre-poll rigging is now in full swing. Thousands are being inducted into jobs and billions of rupees diverted from development projects to the discretionary fund of the prime minister for its utilisation in his own constituency," said the daily.

The editorial stressed that so blatant has this manipulation become that the Election Commission Monday banned all such moves, "and not before time".

It went on to warn that there is a danger "in some parts of the country the election is going to be tainted to the point at which it is constitutionally invalid..."

"The induction of thousands of people into government departments amounts to a political bribe. It is thus imperative to take action to stop the rot, though putting the brakes on a juggernaut like our political class when it has the scent of power and money in its collective nostrils might not be easy," the editorial added.

The daily noted that banning of recruitment into federal government positions and the freezing of funds "before they disappear into pockets they were never destined for is not going to change the corrupt mindset that is all-pervasive".

"Every one of our elected bodies at federal and provincial levels is stuffed with individuals and groups who seek, at every opportunity, to corrupt the democratic process, to tilt the electorate in their direction," it added.

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