Fight corruption with commitment

Those involved in corruption and plundering the national wealth deserve no mercy but only stringent punishment. In fact the unbridled growth of corruption has affected our entire system from top to bottom and such a situation does not even remotely commend any leniency towards this menace.
In what could be termed as a first step in this direction, government on Saturday amended controversial provisions governing plea bargains and voluntary returns in the National Accountability Ordinance 1999, disqualifying corruption convicts from holding any public office for life. The move has come following scathing criticism and concerns expressed by different quarters including the Supreme Court over these controversial provisions which allowed corrupt individuals to go free and return to their posts after returning some portion of the plundered amount. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while addressing a news conference along with members of law review committee termed the move an extreme step which has been taken to check corruption. Indeed strict punishments always prove to be a major deterrent against crimes and rid the society of unscrupulous elements. We hope that slapping the lifetime ban on corrupt officials and politicians will also serve the same purpose but entering into any sort of plea bargain procedure is contrary to the requirements of justice. In our view, this plea bargain provision should totally be abolished and apart from slapping lifetime ban, those indulged in corruption and looting the national wealth should also face imprisonment keeping in view the level of corruption they have committed. Bureaucrats and politicians involved in corruption of billions of rupees also deserve lifetime imprisonment. As a twenty member parliamentary committee has been constituted to revisit the NAB Ordinance, we expect that it will not only plug existing loopholes in the law but also come up with more stringent measures to rid the country of this curse. The committee can also review anti corruption mechanisms of other Asian countries like Hong Kong and Japan where public’s zero tolerance and political will has helped a great deal in strengthen anti-corruption efforts.

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