EVER since the countrys inception, corruption has been the bane of the system. Successive governments, both military and civilian, could not stand ground against this enemy. The present set-up likewise, is at a loss dealing with the issue in an impressive manner. Just the other day, a report released by the Auditor General of Pakistan, in which he pointed out financial irregularities worth billions of rupees in Pakistan Railways and Central Zakat Funds accounts, made dreadful reading. Indeed, it is safe to say that corruption has become part and parcel of the present system of governance. Some time back, media reports highlighting corruption in a number of government departments including PIA, Pakistan Steel Mills and the Bank of Punjab had been rife. That the culprits are usually allowed to run away scot free with their ill-gotten wealth sends a chill down ones spine. Unfortunately, letting errant officials off the hook has been a norm, a factor that has allowed the culture of lawlessness to spread its tentacles all around. While one feels happy at the good work done by the AGP, the fear that unscrupulous elements in the Pakistan Railways would go without punishment blunts all hope. It is time the government put its act together for setting up an internal control mechanism to check corruption at various levels. This means that rather than relying on departments like NAB, which stand the risk of falling into bad ways themselves, a robust system of checks and balances across the government administrative machinery would have to be put in place. Indeed, the degree to which the scourge has ravaged the nation can be gauged from the observation made by the Chief of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority that even if 40 percent of the allocated funds are spent on the project, it is considered to be executed in an honest way. It remains to be seen if the government has the guts to take the bull by the horns.