LAHORE - Well done, Imran Khan. You did a commendable job by flinging two ministers, belonging to the Qaumi Watan Party, out of the PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa coalition for their alleged involvement in corruption and showing poor performance. (A third minister, affiliated to the PTI, lost the cabinet seat after being disqualified by court for having a fake degree).

Imran’s action against them will certainly bolster the image of the provincial government. Also, it will send a very strong message to other ministers and bureaucrats who might be thinking of making money through corrupt practices at some later stage. Now, they will dislodge such evil thoughts from their minds.

It was quite predictable that the QWP will show a strong reaction against the action taken against its ministers. The parting of ways between the PTI and the QWP and the resignation by senior minister (a QWP leader) are the logical and expected outcome.

But there is nothing to worry about. The provincial setup will remain intact even after the QWP’s departure. And the PTI-led coalition will enjoy more than simple majority in the house.

Although the Sherpaos will now try to weaken the coalition by persuading other partners to leave it, they are less likely to succeed in their designs. The reason: Imran Khan has done nothing wrong that could provide a justification to others to say him goodbye.

And the PTI chairman will not be a loser even if political machinations of some disgruntled elements succeed.

Corruption, everyone knows, is one of the most serious problems facing the country. A former NAB chairman had once said that corruption worth Rs eight billion was committed in the country every day. This works out to Rs 2,920 billion per year.

The menace is spreading with the passage of time because no action is taken against the corrupt. The ones who get caught in corruption buy their way out by sharing a part of the “booty” with the relevant authorities.

The National Accountability Bureau, though in the field for a long time, has not been able to bring corruption down. Political expediencies of the successive governments are a major factor responsible for the watchdog’s disappointing performance.

But what Imran Khan did against the ministers of the KPK government will certainly compel the governments at the centre and in other provinces to follow suit.

The PTI chairman’s message is especially directed at the PML-N and the PPP, the parties that have been alternating each other in power for several years.

Only two PML-N ministers were proceeded against during 1997-99. Senior leader Begum Abida Hussain of Jhang and Mian Meraj Din (of Lahore) were removed as minister on power theft charges.

Although both the leaders denied charges against them, the PML-N leadership did not review its decision.

Thereafter, there has been no such action against anyone, although this doesn’t mean corruption has come to an end. Nepotism, favouritism and misuse of powers are also forms of corruption, but they are so deep-rooted in our society that people think the rulers have the right to involve themselves in such practices. Even courts don’t take notice of this form of corruption, no matter how obvious.

The situation was worse during the PPP era. Multan’s Yousaf Raza Gilani was known as an MBBS prime minister. (MBBS stood for Mian Bivi, Bachon Samait, or husband, wife along with their children – all involved in corruption).

Those who know the Gilanis well say that they have amassed so much wealth while in power that it is sufficient to meet the needs of several future generations of theirs.

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, who became the prime minister after Gilani was disqualified by the Supreme Court, was called Raja Rental because of his alleged involvement in corruption in rental power plants. Several cases are pending against both the former prime ministers.

The situation in Sindh is even worse at present when the PPP is in power there. On papers it is Syed Qaim Ali Shah who is running the province, but in practice it is the Zardari family that calls the shots. Arbitrary decisions are taken while there is no one to oppose them.

If the parties like PML-N and the PPP want the country to make progress, they will have to go the Imran way. They should have zero-tolerance for corruption, no matter whoever is involved.

Imran Khan really drove his message home, sending two ministers packing. But this should not be enough, the KPK government should now take these ‘gentlemen’ to court.