Corruption culture getting entrenched in Pakistan: Daily

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 07, 2012 05:10 hrs

Islamabad, Dec 7 (IANS) Pakistan is "entrenching the culture of corruption" and has been "indulging in wishful thinking of purging" it, a daily said Friday after the country was named as amongst the most corrupt countries in the world.

An editorial in the Daily Times Friday said that Pakistan seems to have 'progressed' from its previous ranking on the Transparency International Corruption Index, rising from 42nd to 33rd position.

The Index measures corruption on a scale of 100 to 0. The lower the ranking, the more corrupt a country is perceived as, "hence the 'improvement' for Pakistan as one of the most corrupt countries in the world".

The daily said the Accountability Bill, with a new nomenclature, is gathering dust on the parliamentary committee's desk for want of consensus on its content.

"To make matters worse, we are entrenching the culture of corruption by introducing tax amnesty schemes once again instead of going after those hoarding black wealth and studiously evading paying taxes," it added.

The editorial observed that governments secure rule of law, keep the cost of doing business to a minimum, enable the judicial system to dispense cheap and easy justice, and ensure the integrity of the police. All this cannot happen unless a strong mechanism of accountability within each institution is enforced through legislation and enforcement.

"In its absence, the flow of corruption runs unabated.

"Countries such as Finland, Denmark and New Zealand, which had earned 90th rank on the Transparency International scorecard, are ones where people have strong access to information systems and stringent rules governing those in public positions," it said.

The daily added: "We have been indulging in wishful thinking of purging the menace of corruption by installing different unsustainable and short-lived mechanisms in the past."

It said that while military regimes could not be put in the dock for corruption, democratically elected governments were replaced with the promise that corruption would be rooted out.

"But every time we ended up with more rather than less corruption.

"In the present circumstances, if a start has to be made somewhere, perhaps it should be through an awareness and education campaign in the media, followed by civil society and activists taking up the cause to remove the perception that corruption is the only way to move ahead in life."

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