Pakistan News Service

Saturday Dec 2, 2023, Jumada-al-awwal 19, 1445 Hijri

Corruption & Vertical Alignment

13 March, 2012

By Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)

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Some time back the Interior Minister resolved to eradicate corruption within seven days. A news item appearing in this context said that the head of the department concerned would also be held equally responsible for the corruption indulged by any of his subordinates. Though it may sound somewhat unreasonable yet, that's the way to deal with the corruption found so rampant now a days in the offices and administration. The NAB or the Anti-Corruption department cannot keep a tag on each and every government functionary. Just impossible and impracticable. It has to be done at each level and in each office.

To catch a thief, set a thief. On the spot, there and then. This will break the 'vertical alignment' of corruption in the offices, where – everyone knows - the booty is passed on upwards on a prorata basis. The immediate senior certainly knows of the life style of his junior and more importantly whether the junior can afford it or not. The way he dresses, the cigarettes he smokes, the transport he uses, the cell phone, the gold rings, the watch the sun glasses, the shoes etc. all can betray if the junior is living within or beyond his means. He must question him about these and if not satisfied censure him for it and reflect the same in his ACR. And, if the senior doesn't do it he is either devoid of the moral courage required of his position or is himself an accomplice to the crime of his subordinate. In either case he doesn't deserve to be there where he is.

It is generally believed that it is impossible to root out corruption from the government offices. That unfortunately speaks of the incompetence of the higher administrators. Given the will to do it can be eliminated altogether in less than a year. Break the vertical alignment of corruption in the offices. The immediate superior must be held responsible for the misdeeds of his subordinates. He should be charged for the same offence as committed by his subordinate and dealt with ruthlessly for not exercising strict monitoring and control over him. Both should be deported to Cholistan on conviction, the way Russos send their delinquents to Siberia. I assure the nation that Pakistan will be Corruption Free country in less than a year and as a bye product, Cholistan will develop and prosper by leaps and bounds due to plenty of free labour there. Who knows it might prove to be Pakistan's Australia in a couple of generations' time.

Judiciary in a country is the most important organ to ensure honesty and justice to all. Unfortunately, the present state of it, particularly at the lower echelons, leaves much to be desired. A year or two back four Civil judges & Judicial magistrates were reportedly suspended on charges of corruption by the Honourable Chief Justice Sindh High Court. Judges and corruption?! Unthinkable. There must be something wrong somewhere otherwise how could a judge - the dispenser of justice insaf, adl – be corrupt? Dispensation of justice is divine for, He Himself is the greatest of Adils and Munsifs. Is insaf a saleable commodity or something that could be purchased?! Purchased by the stinking opulent who can daze the judges' eyes with the chamak of their wealth. But what about the poor who cannot even pay their lawyer's fee? However, the real question is what made the four munsifs sell their divinity? Is it the greed and avarice or some economic compulsion(s)? If the former, they must be hanged by the tallest pole.

And, if the later, the Honourable CJP is prayed to look into their genuine needs. Their salaries must be commensurate with the onerous task they have to perform. They must need not augment their pay with other means to make their both ends meets. Why can't their children be provided with free or subsidized schooling? Why can't the family be provided with some limited free or subsidised travel to ease their economic burden? Why could they not be given a house on retirement – of course pre-paid in instalments by them during their service as is done by the armed forces for their officers? Please make them "corruption proof" by paying them sufficient in kind and coin. That will make them do justice without fear or favour. That will dawn a new era in the land of the pure. Independent and honest judiciary is the panacea for all evil and that's what Pakistan needs.

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)

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