Corruption in Pakistan

Categories: CorruptionPakistan

Corruption is a ‘poison’ which squanders the government resources, deters investment and is detrimental to economic growth and political development. It flourishes, if people in authority are dishonest and corrupt, the state institutes are weak, and there is a political instability, financial control, lack of transparency in governance and disregard of the rule of law. It can be curbed if there is honest leadership, meritocracy, financial control, decentralization, vibrant civil society and media, transparency and rule of law.

Corruption is a method and a technique adopted just to bypass the rule of law and engulfing the whole system into socio-economic turmoil.

Furthermore, corruption, being the mother of all ills, gives birth to multifarious problems including nepotism, favoritism and negating meritocracy, transparency and accountability. It is an established fact that the cruelty shows its influence as the rule of law is abrogated. Banking scams, industrialist’s monopoly to create baseless crises, bypassing the constitutional supremacy, lavish living styles of the ruling class, foreign tours under the head of national exchequer, general apathy, neglect, carelessness and an attitude of indifference towards national issues are all the outcomes of corruption which is root cause of all evils in the motherland.

Get quality help now
Prof. Finch
Verified writer

Proficient in: Corruption

4.7 (346)

“ This writer never make an mistake for me always deliver long before due date. Am telling you man this writer is absolutely the best. ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

The South Asian countries have been pluralist societies; however, the legacy of colonial rule was a fragmentation of loyalties through corruption and bribery.

That is why corruption and nepotism continue to exist. Loyalties to a particular group; family; caste or ethnic, religious, or linguistic community invites corruption in the form of nepotism. Since independence, the nationalization of bank and industries in the 1970s, the use of foreign aid, and the infusion of drug money into the economy, corruption has become even more systemic.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

Lack of accountability is an outcome of nepotism and favoritism. How can a corrupt person be held accountable by a corrupt authority? All in all the entire unfortunate system is prone to the monster of corruption. In such dismal state of affairs, the question of accountability does not arise. Only lucrative and emotionally charged speeches and pledges can never come up to the expectations of the people. Rule of law is the only option that can pave way for accountability.

Corruption is not something new. There have been periods in the subcontinent when corruption was rampant such as under British East India Company (1757-1857), when there was almost anarchy in the northeast of the subcontinent. Soon after the revolt of 1857, when the authority was transferred from the East India Company to the British Crown, corruption decreased because the British government concentrated on better governance by building institutions, such as executive and legislative councils, an efficient judiciary, bureaucracy and military. But after independence in 1947, these institutions suffered a decline in efficiency and accountability causing an increase in corruption. Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in his inaugural address to the constituent assembly on August 11, 1947, had warned that bribery and corruption is a Poison and “we must put that down with an iron hand.”

Сorruption in Pakistan

Corruption evolves as a result of evasion of ethical and religious norms. Religion always asks the believers to have a solid strive in bringing a moderate society. It agrees in favor of decentralized economy. Regulation of wealth according to rule of law is the motto of Islam. The discussion on corruption in Pakistan would never be complete without having a glance on National Reconciliation Ordinance, a symbol of corruption in Pakistan. It was promulgated by a military dictator to serve his own vested interests. It freed all the politicians and civil servants until 1990, who were convicted on charges of corruption. PPP and PML (N), the big political giants remained the beneficiaries of this ordinance. Under the provisions of NRO, the civil servants, politicians and major industrialists were given a safe passage to escape from all the charges of corruption and made them free of any sin. NRO, most appropriately can be termed as the law that legitimized corruption in Pakistan.

The cost of corruption is high. Stolen resources from education budgets mean overcrowded classrooms and crumbling schools, or no schools at all. Books and supplies are sometimes sold instead of being given out freely. Schools and universities also ‘sell’ school places or charge unauthorized fees, forcing students (usually girls) to drop out. Teachers and lecturers are appointed through family connections, without qualifications. Grades can be bought, while teachers force students to pay for tuition outside of class. In higher education, undue government and private sector influence can skew research agendas. The end result is limited access to – and poor quality of – education, and a social acceptance of corruption through a corrupted education system.

Benazir Bhutto of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) first came to power in August 1990 but later was dismissed. Her government was replaced by Nawaz Sharif and his Islamic Democratic Alliance (IJI) party in April 1993. After the resignation of both the president and the prime minister, and an interim government, elections were held, which resulted in a second term for Bhutto and the PPP. Her government was again dismissed in November 1996. Sharif returned as prime minister but this time representing the Pakistan Muslim League party -N(PML-N). This era of democratic government ended in October 1999 following a military coup led by General Pervez Musharraf. After declaring himself the chief executive, the Supreme Court validated Musharraf’s claim to the presidency in May 2000. In 2002 a parliamentary election returned civilian rule, yet the Musharraf presidency was extended for another five years. During the military government, former Prime Minister Bhutto was indicted and convicted on corruption charges at home (in April 1999) and abroad (in Switzerland in July 2003).

Former Prime Minister Sharif was also tried and sentenced for acts of terrorism in April 2000 although he was eventually pardoned and went into exile. Against this backdrop, the political situation in Pakistan deteriorated. A devastating earthquake in 2005 in the Pakistan-administered Kashmir region greatly strained the government. In March 2007, further turbulence arose after the dismissal of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry for alleged misuse of office. Violence in the northern province of Waziristan and in the province of Balochistan in the south served another blow to national unity. After a period of civil unrest, Musharraf was re-elected to the presidency in October 2007, declaring a state of emergency and suspending the constitution within a month of taking office.

Although parliamentary elections were to take place in 2007, they were first postponed because of worries of instability and later as a result of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007. When the elections finally took place in February 2008, President Musharraf was defeated by the PPP and PML. The parties formed a coalition government in March 2008 with a new prime minister in power: Yusuf Raza Gilani. The Supreme Court justices that Musharraf had dismissed during the country’s state of emergency in 2007 were then restored. Currently, the fate of President Musharraf seems uncertain now that his party has been excluded from the ruling coalition. However, he has so far not given any indication that he is considering any type of voluntary resignation. Corruption in Government

Corruption is rising in Pakistan society and now it is a bitter reality. Almost every person is corrupt no matter belongs to government or not. Pakistan is blessed with corrupt and fraud people from President to MPA all are corrupt who are sitting in Assemblies and Parliament and are said to be called the so called leaders of Pakistan. The corruption does not only present in high government officials but every single Pakistani is corrupt. In my point of view corruption is in blood of Pakistani’s and without it our identity is incomplete.

According to Transparency International Report in Pakistan corruption is increasing on every level from low level to high the ratio is the same and the result the general public have been crushed in a wheel of inflation. In Pakistan corruption is happening in all the departments whether it’s police, custom, education, media, judiciary it is almost everywhere every single institution. One cannot think of getting an NIC or passport easily without bribing the so called government employees who are said to be called the helpers of common man but in my point of view in every government institution corruption have been done openly without any fear. Because when our judiciary is corrupt that who will think of being punished in this corrupt society.

It’s not only the fault of corrupt government which are rolling on us and has made our lives like hell, it’s our fault also when we quietly bear all the unfair things happening all around at least we should raise a voice but it is also impossible. Pakistan corruption has touched the sky and now it’s become uncontrollable and it has been spread like a fire in every institution of Pakistan. Pakistani nation are now use to the rising corruption in society and we the common man have mould ourselves in such a way that we also adopt the way of corruption in our daily lives.

Corruption is not only done on high level and in government offices but it’s been happening all around because common people are get inspiration from high level officials and adopt the same behavior as they do for destroying general people. When milk man mixes water in milk what is this, this is also corruption but done on low level and from this also common man will be affected. When traffic police do Chelan of an ordinary citizen while violating traffic rules so the challenge meant nothing to us we just bribe the officer and all things better. Now the common man has also learnt the surviving techniques in the corrupt society like Pakistan and in way only we are able to survive.

Corruption is there in Pakistani society and it cannot be controlled or stopped because of corrupt government and its Pakistan bad luck that after Liaquat Ali Khan Pakistan has been ruled by corrupt people. Corruption is not a new phenomenon in Pakistan. The consensus is that corruption had started taking root immediately after Pakistan’s creation in 1947, when people in collusion with the bureaucracy filled fake claims to get property allotted to them. But none of the seven Prime ministers till 1970, Liaquat Ali Khan, Khwaja Nazimuddin, Muhammad Ali Bogra, Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar, Chaudhry Muhammad Ali, Hussain Shaheed Suharwardy or Feroz Khan Noon were ever accused of being directly or indirectly involved in any kind of corruption. Neither did the Ayub Khan or Zulfiquar Ali.

Bhutto governments encounter serious allegations of corruption. However, corruption received a huge fillip during ‘the lost decade’ under military dictator Zia ul Haq, when the US was fighting the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan and bags full of dollars were landing at the infamous Ojhri camp, the ISI covert headquarters in Rawalpindi. After Zia, two governments each of the PML and the PPP were dissolved on charges of corruption, following which Transparency International declared Pakistan the second most corrupt country in the world in 1996. When Pervez Musharraf took over in 1999, he promised ruthless and across-the-board accountability. Headed by Lt. Gen. Amjad Hussain, NAB managed to send shivers down several spines (particularly those of the business community) and succeeded in recovering Rs 300 billion.

In the process, however, he sparked off massive capital flight, which forced then Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and former SBP governor Dr Ishrat Hussain to beg Musharraf to call off the witchhunt for businessmen. Hussain was thus unceremoniously ousted and none of his successors were willing to take up the cause. Meanwhile, it is said, the Chaudhrys of Gujrat prevailed upon Musharraf and forced him to give up the drive against corruption and go instead for their political opponents. This gave birth to the infamous National Reconciliation Ordinance, the object of which was to pardon the corrupt and the criminals in the name of national reconciliation. But in December 2009, the Supreme Court declared the ordinance illegal.

Meanwhile, the past PPP government has won for itself the dubious distinction of being the worst government in last 64 years. The title may not be wholly undeserved: a number of top government officials (including ministers and senior officials) have either been sent to jail or have had criminal investigations launched against them on the directives of the Supreme Court (this list includes our new prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, who faces charges in a rental power case in which Rs120 billion were swindled).

Meanwhile, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is also considered among the biggest players in the corruption game. According to a daring statement made by the previous PPP finance minister Shaukat Tarin, the premier tax collection agency is involved in tax evasion worth Rs 500 billion annually. This is why one never hears of tax evaders being jailed in Pakistan; ‘punishment’ comprises nominal fines and penalties, which further encourage evaders to remain within the ever-expanding underground economy. While the World Bank gave $150 million to Pakistan for reforming the FBR and effecting real documentation of the economy, nothing has happened so far. That said, Pakistan is not the only victim of corruption.

Corruption in Other Countries

Even so called honest societies in the west, including the US, seem to shine on the surface but are rotting at the core due to corruption. Among recent laws introduced in the European Union is one that states that corruption cannot be challenged in a court of law; hardly anybody is arrested in the US for having committed financial fraud. The black economy is also a global phenomenon which, according to The Economist, accounted for a missing nine trillion dollars worth of output in 1998, an amount close to the size of the US economy.

Later, a study by Australian economist Friedrich Schneider attempted to measure the size of the black economy in 76 developed and emerging economies. Among the findings was the fact that underground activity is equivalent to 15 percent of officially reported GDP on average in rich economies and about one-third of GDP in emerging ones. In India, the black economy which was rampant in the 1970s is back and booming, pushing up stock and property prices, causing inflation and even making the Indian rupee unusually strong against the dollar. The black economy is growing in India and is now estimated to be worth a stunning 500 billion dollars, almost half the size of the official economy.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chief, Admiral (retired) Fasih Bokhari has said at a press conference in Islamabad that in his estimate, corruption in Pakistan could be Rs 10-12 billion a day. Earlier, the NAB had put out a relatively less shocking figure of six to seven billion rupees a day which had upset the cabinet of Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. The retired admiral has responded to the ire of the politicians by being blunter. The factor of the politicians is significant. When you cut them out, the world detects significant cutback in corruption.

During the early days of the General (retired) Pervez Musharraf regime, there was subsidence in the occurrence of graft because his government was still to expand to get him the ‘legitimacy’ he wanted as a ruler. After patterns of corruption get repeated, the people start complaining about it. Their encounter with graft takes place with departments that deal with them: the police, the judiciary, the income tax bureaucracy, the customs, land records, etc. In many cases, at the provincial and federal levels, departments are presided over by politicians as ministers.

Third World levels of corruption have been identified and accepted as unavoidable. The noise of corruption in India and China is deafening but no one says they are ‘failing states’ because of corruption. In fact, both are counted as successful in comparison to the ‘no-corruption’ countries in the EU and the US superpower itself. Those who advocate ‘tough accountability’ before the 2013 elections in Pakistan need to reflect a little on the precedents. But that doesn’t mean we should do nothing about the loss of public trust in the NAB and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other corrupt anti-corruption institutions.

First of all, the NAB, FIA and FBR should be constitutionally protected in their powers to take action against offenders. But the catch is that Pakistan’s problem number one is not corruption but law and order and writ of the state. As China and India demonstrate, a country can still be rated ‘successful’ if it has a functioning economy undamaged by a dysfunctional state. All the more significant because until a few weeks ago, the former navy chief had estimated that the amount lost through corrupt practices was just Rs 5 billion a day. And the revised figure is giving severe heartburn to politicians; former civil and military officials as well as the people of Pakistan who are now demanding Bukhari expose and take action against the corrupt.

However, even if Bukhari were so determined, he’d be walking into the Augean stables. ‘Pakistan’ and ‘corruption’ are synonymous in the eyes of the world. Not only has the vice gained acceptance as a way of life, corruption has been institutionalized in Pakistan over the years. Take, for example, the latest ordinance promulgated by President Asif Ali Zardari, which allows investors to invest in the stock market without disclosing their source of funds till 2014. Plain as a pikestaff, the move is aimed at assisting people to whiten their black money and evade accountability, a fact confirmed by concerned officials. However, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan continues to insist that the move is essential to jumpstarting investment since the stock market is a risky business and won’t attract significant investors under the prevailing circumstances.

That said, there are primarily two categories of corruption in Pakistan. One is tax evasion, which funnels monies into the black economy; the second is the siphoning of funds from the formal economy by the informal economy. It’s this latter category that hurts the Pakistan economy most. The practice that generates the largest gains for tax evaders in Pakistan is the under invoicing of import goods, particularly machinery. Since the economy is largely under documented, the culprits easily get away from under the noses of the authorities responsible for maintaining checks and balances and eradicating sham business practices. But corruption is not a new phenomenon in Pakistan. The consensus is that corruption had started taking root immediately after Pakistan’s creation in 1947, when people – in collusion with the bureaucracy – filed fake claims to get property allotted to them.

Factors of Corruption

The basic reason for corruption is low salaries as everyone is finding a way to better their living standard as much as they can; it’s also a human nature that he has everything more and more. So mostly corruption is to be seen where there are people having fewer salaries they use corrupt ways to achieve the goal. It is true that they do not have any other way to fulfill their wants.

The other sector in Pakistan which is seen as notoriously inefficient and corrupt is the judiciary. According to TI Pakistan’s 2006 survey, 96 percent of the people who came in contact with the judiciary encountered corruption and 44 percent of them reported having to pay a bribe to a court official. The judiciary is also viewed as lacking independence from the executive and contributing to a general culture of impunity. Despite these problems, judges are exempt from oversight and investigations by Pakistan’s national anticorruption agency, the National Accountability Bureau. The business community generally lacks confidence in the capacity of the judiciary to enforce rules and laws, and the settlement of disputes often involves paying bribes. For example, the judiciary takes an average of 880 days to settle a business dispute at a cost of 24 percent of the claim the country’s tax and public finance administration has also been affected by corruption Survey

According to a survey carried out by Transparency International the corruptions factors are as follows along with their results in terms of percentage:

  • Lack of Accountability (31.68%)
  • Low salaries (16.54%)
  • Monopoly of power (16.43%)
  • Discretionary powers (12.61%)
  • Lack of transparency (9.97%)
  • Power of influential people (4.59%)
  • Red Tapism (4.28%)
  • Others (4.9%)

Anti-corruption Measures

Now in order to combat them few measures need to be taken are as follows:

  • Strengthening of Institutions
  • Supremacy of Law
  • Prevalence of code of conduct
  • Proper checks and balance on all officials as well as citizens
  • Increase in salaries and incentives
  • Restoration of judiciary on free basis
  • Hiring of new employees on merit rather than beneficiaries
  • Proper awareness campaigns need to be formed

To a varying degree, corruption exists in almost all countries. However, the degree to which it impacts the common people’s lives and increases poverty is directly proportional to the level of this scourge and how widespread it is in society. A country’s or provinces development depends on how much of the States resources are lost to this ugly practice. In developed countries, where corruption is limited to a small number of projects and where common people do not encounter it on a daily basis, the adverse impact tends to be marginal and does not jeopardize the welfare of its people. In contrast, a poor country like Pakistan, where each borrowed dollar must be spent to uplift the people from poverty, it has a significant impact. A recent World Bank report lists corruption and lack of transparency as the two core reasons that hamper Pakistan’s drive for development. Corruption can also affect the various components of sports activities (referees, players, medical and laboratory staff involved in anti-doping controls, members of national sport federation and international committees deciding about the allocation of contracts and competition places).

The Impact of Corruption on Economic Development

There is little doubt that corruption impedes economic development, lowers the ratio of private investment to GDP, and has a negative effect on the functioning of democratic institutions. Therefore, corruption poses a serious development challenge. In the political realm, pervasive corruption undermines democracy and good governance by undermining formal democratic processes, including elections. More generally, corruption erodes the institutional capacity of government institutions as formal procedures are ignored, resources are diverted for private gain, and public offices are paid off through bribery or other means of enrichment. The good news is that there appears to be an inverse correlation between democracy and corruption; strong, robust democratic institutions result in less corruption across the system. The role of sound democratic institutions, including an independent judiciary and an independent media, along with active political participation, is crucial to the fight against corruption.

We need to call on our politicians and public officials to be accountable for their actions. How can we trust them if we don’t know what they’re doing? We must demand that they put in place regulations which will force them to act openly. Then corruption can’t hide. And our trust in the political process will improve. When leaders act transparently, showing us clearly what they do, we can make informed choices when we vote. And we can hold them to account once elected. From grassroots groups to big organizations, civil society has a crucial role to play. We can monitor electoral campaigns and parties’ activities. If state resources are abused, we must report it. And if regulations to prevent corruption aren’t in place, we must demand them. Rules about politicians’ conflicts of interest. For example our regulations to stop corporate lobbying and political funding from distorting the democratic process. If companies publish their donations, they can show their contributions aren’t intended to win favors. By speaking out, we can show that everyone gains from honest elections and open decision-making.

Education is a fundamental human right and a major driver of human and economic development. It strengthens personal integrity and shapes the societies in which we live. Since education typically comprises 20-30 per cent of a country’s budget, it is critically prone to corruption, from national education ministries to local schools and universities. The cost of corruption is high. Stolen resources from education budgets mean overcrowded classrooms and crumbling schools, or no schools at all. Books and supplies are sometimes sold instead of being given out freely. Schools and universities also ‘sell’ school places or charge unauthorized fees, forcing students (usually girls) to drop out. Teachers and lecturers are appointed through family connections, without qualifications. Grades can be bought, while teachers force students to pay for tuition outside of class. In higher education, undue government and private sector influence can skew research agendas. The end result is limited access to and poor quality of education, and a social acceptance of corruption through a corrupted education system. SUMMARY

Corruption remains a substantial obstacle for Pakistan where it is still perceived to be widespread and systemic. Petty corruption in the form of bribery is prevalent in law enforcement, procurement and the provision of public services. The judiciary is not seen as independent and considered to be shielding corrupt political practices from prosecution. Various efforts over the past years have tried to develop institutional mechanisms to address these problems. A National Anti-Corruption Strategy, which was developed in 2002, offers a comprehensive plan for tackling corruption. The executing agency, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), is endowed with comprehensive powers to investigate and prosecute cases. However, a lack of political will, coupled with the perceived co-option of the judiciary and the arbitrariness of many anti-corruption proceedings, are major obstacles in the fight against corruption.

In Pakistan, corruption has eaten up the inner of people belonging to all walks, sections, areas and classes in the country. The poorest is least corrupt only because there is nothing handy to steal from the laborer who puts in half a day’s work and charges for the full day, is as corrupt as the executive engineer in a government department who puts half the project funds in his pocket. The problem, therefore, is somewhat larger than it appears. Corruption has become part of our system. It is much easy to diagnose the problem, analyze it and lay it out explicitly but it is more difficult to prescribe as to what can be done about it. Fortunately, the solutions to all the problems sketched out above are well known: i.e. transparency, openness accountability, selection on merit, privatization, competitive tendering, and removal of discretion and enforcement of the rule of law. Not with standing, mentioning or diagnosing the hallmarks of an egalitarian society or corruption. Free policy; there is dire need to pen down practical measures in removing or rooting out corruption from the country.

Following steps may also ensure corruption-free future in our country. Establishment of independent commission to combat corruption and ensuring independence of regulatory institutions, and independent judiciary, in this regard, plays a vital role in upholding the rule of law and protecting a society against corruption. It can ensure that no one is above the law. There is also need to ensure the independence of regulatory institutions such as the Central Bank, Securities and Exchange Commission in order to prevent major corruption in relation to the financial operations of banks and stock exchanges. Loans must be issued pledging the equal value property without politician’s pressure. Declaration and publications of assets of all persons holding elected office and their family members, such declarations should be available for inspection to the members of the public. In the UK a number measures have been adapted to monitor and provide checks on activities of members of Parliament. A register that is open for inspection by the public is maintained in which members have to declare nine categories of interest from which they may derive financial benefits. All the public servants should be compelled by law to clear their deskwork within a reasonable time.

Failing which, they should be punished with deduction from their pay because sometime they delay in work to get some benefit from people. Work in offices should be automatic so that needy persons do not have to visit offices and give an opportunity to clerks to make illegal demands. Citizens should be free to lodge complaints with courts or ombudsman. Discretionary powers of officials should be kept to the minimum and be monitored by respectable citizens. Let us revive social boycott of corrupt politicians, officials, businessmen and even journalists. In addition there is a dire need to organize various forms of civil society groups, raise voices and keep on highlighting these issues, use the free press to expose the real instances of corruption and malpractices and act as pressure group. Moral and religious awareness are also key solutions to this problem.

Cite this page

Corruption in Pakistan. (2016, Apr 07). Retrieved from

Corruption in Pakistan

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment