One can only feel sorry for a country where accountability is nobody’s cup of tea but corruption has become somewhat a cake whose slice is always desired by everyone. Despite pervasive and persistent corruption, there exists no effective or efficient anti-corruption strategy or policy in the country. According to a Transparency International report, Pakistan has lost more than Rs 8.5 trillion in corruption, tax evasion and bad governance during the last four years tenure of ex-premier Yousuf Raza Gilani. It terms the same period of Gilani as the worst in terms of corruption and bad governance in the history of the country. It also acknowledged that, “Pakistan does not need a single penny from outside world if it effectively checks the menace of corruption and ensures good governance.” Likewise, the then chairman NAB also declared that Pakistan was losing Rs 7 billion every day as a result of corruption, inefficiency and tax evasion.

A lot of mega stories of corruption and plunder, by the ruling elites, have been surfacing one after the other during the same period. The media and the superior judiciary had been proactive and vocal in this regard. But it is believed that all such scandals may just be the tip of the iceberg, as a lot of corruption cases still remain undiscovered. Despite many differences, there has been a general ‘consensus’ of both the major political parties, the PML-N and the PPP, that there should not be any effective or meaningful accountability mechanism in the country.

This may be the reason that post of chairman NAB remained vacant for almost five years during the PPP government. This post is also unoccupied since the SC declared the appointment of Fasih Bukhari as chairman NAB null and void. The PML-N has neither in its election manifesto nor afterwards announced any significant and effective anti-corruption measure to curb this menace. It seems as if the ‘friendly opposition’ of the past is going to be ‘friendly government’ of the present by making all the stories of plunder and loot by the previous government not just stories but the story will continue with new vigour! The nation needs to be aware that we are all in for another long five years of continued corruption.

MOHSIN RAZA MALIK,

Lahore, August 1.