Time and again the problem has been identified, but its solution eludes all the governments that have seemingly only added to the list of people stealing from this country. Yes, corruption is at the root of almost all problems that plague this country, and no, just by admitting that there’s a problem, it will not magically disappear. It seems to be one of Pakistan’s worst kept secrets, that the entire system is riddled with inefficiency and corruption. Very few steps have been taken to rectify this situation.

Profitable industries that once used to be at the peak of growth and stability now lie in ruins, with the likes of PIA and Pakistan Steel Mills, requiring billions of rupees in bailouts just to keep them from going under. It’s time the government owns up to its responsibility and starts actually trying to solve the problem that has crippled the infrastructure of this nation. The bureaucracy and other machinations of the government have gone unchecked for too long, and they have taken full advantage of that. Khattak’s recent comments regarding the complicity of the WAPDA officials in power theft is nothing new, and maybe the KPK Chief Minister should remember that as part of his job description, he is in a position to do something about it. Politicians have a proclivity for playing the blame game, but it seems that they are inept when it comes to actual policy-making which interestingly, is supposed to be their primary function.

It is also ironic to see that structures that are constructed to deter potential law-breakers are misused for its blatant abuse. Prison systems are filled with corrupt officers who thrive in the trade of providing favours for convicts, from giving them access to more comfortable quarters or even providing with ‘luxury commodities’ such as special food and shockingly, better medical care than other prisoners. Steps need to be taken to ensure more scrutiny of officials who are entrusted with power to see that they do not abuse it. The government needs to stop fearing repercussions from people it has hired to do necessary jobs. Instead, it should aim to establish a proper system of checks and balances that uproots this embedded ‘I scratch your back’ tradition from society which will then ensure that a more equitable, functional and ultimately, efficient system is in place.