Having the worst mechanism of accountability and the highest level of corruption ever witnessed makes Pakistan a unique nation. The process of accountability in Pakistan has been just rhetoric used by both the democrats and dictators alike to get some political mileage. Accountability has only been an instrument used by the governments to suppress the dissidence and victimize the opponents, while protecting their own political skeletons in the official cupboards.
Now, corruption is persistent, pervasive and rather on the rise in the country. Regrettably, we have become a high-ranking internationally ‘certified’ corrupt country in the world. So as to check the monster of corruption, we have to evolve and adopt a comprehensive anti-corruption strategy. For this, firstly, we need to mobilize and modernize all the regulating and enforcement mechanism through the various regulatory bodies operating in the county in different areas of the governance. Of course, prevention is better than cure. These regulatory bodies, acting as watchdogs and whistle-blowers should be highly paid honest members of the society.
Secondly, the premier accountability body NAB should be made an autonomous and effective institution, independent of all political pressures and affiliations. Its transparency, credibility and impartiality should also be ensured. Besides NAB, other institutions created for the same purpose like Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Anti-corruption Establishment (ACE), Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of national assembly, the office of the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP), the Federal Ombudsman should also be out of the reach of every politician. All these institutions should be well-coordinated and work in close liaison to nip the evil of corruption in the bud, and show some results.
Judicial activism should also contribute towards this end by ensuring the establishment of rule of law and compliance of rules and regulation in the country. Role of media is also imperative in highlighting the various aspects of corruption and creating an environment and attitude encouraging a zero tolerance policy on corruption. Only a firm resolution, determination and political will can ensure all this, because where there is will there is always a way.
Lahore, December 14.