All political parties, intellectuals and TV anchors are ridiculing Imran Khan on his claim of ending corruption in ninety days. I am sure that political parties, particularly those who have been in power, know this is possible if they really wanted to tackle corruption. The following are some measures which if taken would eliminate corruption mostly on the top level in less than 90 days.
We can reduce the number of ministers and consequently the secretaries, to less than twenty, as is the practice all over the world, countries even with larger population than ours. Only PTI's manifesto limits the ministries to seventeen. Other parties should also agree to this number. People should not vote for parties which do not agree to this number. I am sure we can find 17 ministers and two dozen honest and competent officials, to be appointed on merit, as secretaries and heads of public sector enterprises.
Retired officials or those close to retirement age should not be appointed in any government organisation, public sector enterprises or international organisations. Any official involved in negotiations with international organisations should not be given an NOC for employment in international organisations for five years after retirement. Officials who are near the end of service would stoop to any level to please their masters for an extension or reemployment. No one is indispensable; therefore, no civil or military official (without exception), should be given an extension or reemployment. The Supreme Court passed a judgment prohibiting this, but did not adhere to its own judgment by reemploying the registrar. This provided the government an excuse to follow suit.
Freedom of information law should be passed, to allow the public access to government decisions. Assets of all grades 20 and above civil and military officials should be accessible to the general public. All public representatives, officials should sign an affidavit and take an oath that they do not have any assets outside Pakistan.
All discretionary powers and funds should be done away with and all perks and privileges of officials should be monetized. No government land or plot should be given to any individual. Plea bargain in NAB should be discontinued. The guilty should be punished even if no money is recovered. NAB should not get a percentage of the looted money. A central jail with a hospital inside should be created to ensure that the corrupt, who invariably fake illness, remain in jail hospital instead of the comfort of best hospitals with all facilities. This is just for starters on the menu of this new meal for Pakistan called ‘No Corruption allowed.’
Islamabad, April 13.