PRIME Minister Imran Khan has the distinction of waging a consistent war against the menace of corruption that is threatening the country’s march on the road to progress and prosperity.
Appreciably, he has an uncompromising approach to the issue of corruption and his resolve is reflected once again by his latest remarks that countries get bankrupted and indebted when the head of state or government and ministers are corrupt, not the bribery taken by low-level officials.
There is no doubt that the process of accountability should begin from the top as action against the powerful and influential ones serves as deterrence against corruption.
The concern of the Prime Minister about the instance of corruption and his commitment to eradicate it deserves appreciation by all patriotic Pakistanis.
However, the campaign against corruption doesn’t seem to have produced the desired impact neither at lower nor at higher level as has been highlighted by a number of instances that forced the Prime Minister (who has a reputation of being honest to the core) to take cognizance of the corrupt practices and order investigations into several scandals.
While a sitting Prime Minister was convicted on charges of corruption, there has so far been no conviction despite the emergence of mega corruption scandals like sugar, wheat, medicines and R3 involving hundreds of billions of rupees.
This legitimately creates an impression that accountability of the influential has political connotations and there is, therefore, improvement neither at the highest nor at the lowest level of governance.
No one would oppose accountability of the elite but the fact remains, for people of Pakistan; it is day-to-day corruption that matters as they are unable to get their genuine rights due to corrupt practices by departments concerned.
Problems of the citizens multiply, their partly incomes squeezed and development budget is digested every year without corresponding work on ground.
Similarly, it is because of rampant corruption in police and lower judiciary that those publicly wronged do not get justice from the system.
Therefore, while carrying forward its drive against corruption at the highest level, the authorities ought to focus on eradication of corruption at the lower levels of governance if they are genuinely interested in providing much-needed relief to the masses.