From head to toe | Pakistan Today

From head to toe

  • Bureaucrats are drenched in corruption, not the NAB Chairman

The title might make this column seem a satire on the incumbent Chairman NAB, Mr Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, over his recent scandal going viral on social media. However, this is not so. Although the incident has become the centre of all political gossip, I perceive it differently. From head to toe, we are ashamed of intertwining personal matters with official. From head to toe, we are ashamed of presenting an alleged call girl as a heroine and questioning the moral integrity of an upright officer. From head to toe, we are ashamed of using highly objectionable and obscene language for a planted video on mainstream media and initiate a rash media trial on its basis. From head to toe, we are ashamed of assassinating someone’s character in public. What is more shameful than pride in passing verdict against someone despite ourselves being drenched in the sea of moral corruption?

To ensure Pakistan’s prosperity and take the taxpayers’ money back into the country’s economic cycle, the Prime Minister should dissolve the bureaucratic setup on war footing and introduce an entirely new system in its place

As I was saying, I do not aim to dissect the title in the light of Justice Javed’s alleged scandal but since this statement is associated with him, I will precisely discuss it. While blaming him for all that was leaked in the video and audio call, no one ever whether, considering his post and stature, was he short of girls to get himself entertained and amused? No one would have thought the same sting operation would have resulted differently had it been carried out against some professional criminal. No one would have thought that unlimited call girls had been assigned to trap and defame the big names in different arenas. His fault cannot be denied, but the pots calling the kettle black should look into their own lives to see their unlimited mistakes which can be mocked to question their moral integrity.

As we all have a negative side, why do we turn the guns upon a person who has no undeclared assets, lives upon his rightly earned income and is striving to bring public money back into this country? We have watched in movies that a rigid and honest SHO is either accused of bribery or trapped by using a woman as a proof of his alleged moral degradation to get rid of him. Mr. Chairman does not even know who trapped him because he is also at fault in all this matter. But the role played by the majority in blaming him is alarming. Imagine the pain of an honest officer amidst the hue and cry of head to toe in front of his family members and children. His life becomes a huge burden after seeing people avoiding him and his family. The woman, who shot the video and leaked it and accused him of harassment, was interviewed by a personality associated with a specific political party. Ideally, the people who undertake such sting operations are brought into a court.

You might have remembered the video scandal of Mazhar Majeed and the three Pakistani cricketers. The video completely destroyed their careers but the planner of this sting operation was also heavily fined. The right to privacy exists globally but it is not implemented here, and that is the reason for presenting an alleged call girl as a heroine. The government’s decision to let the Chairman continue is laudable. Despite the decision of the government, we need proper moral policing as the ruthless bashing of an honest officer’s character is highly objectionable and it portrays nothing but our own moral degradation.

My main concern behind writing this article is to assert the need of sting operations where needed the most. The bureaucracy, soaked in the ocean of corruption from head to toe, deserves them. The corrupt bureaucracy is the cause of corruption that has become the country’s greatest problem. This bureaucracy, which is the remains of the British Raj, can only function in the Third World. The developed countries, and even the founder of this system, the UK, do not use it. No one would have ever heard of the offices of the Chief Secretary or Commissioner in England. We all are well aware of the financial embezzlements by the Pakistan Administrative Services officers. Who would have questioned their lavish international trips, expensive shopping and luxurious lifestyles on a modest salary? A corrupt person knows all the safe havens to get rid of the shackles of law. Bureaucrats know that the politicians, who are elected for five years and hardly complete their terms, can easily be made fools.  Apparently the FIA, NAB and Anti-Corruption Departments are keeping an eye on them, but these bureaucrats are well aware of the underground tunnels that provide them a safe passage to a so-called clean career.

Prime Minister Imran Khan talks about reforming the bureaucracy and that too at the hands of those responsible for taking it to the present situation. Mr. Khan should rely on fresh faces, and minds who could take the system to the new horizons by eliminating all the corrupt elements from it. The Prime Minister should dissolve this system on priority basis and prefer the real democratic setup. It is a matter of grave concern that our youth appears for the competitive examinations just to benefit more from this corrupt system. The aspirants of civil services are well aware of the permanence of their job and after earning through illegal means, they set on to explore the new vistas of life.

The current bureaucratic setup should be suspended permanently in order to fulfill the dream of a corruption-free Pakistan. The bureaucrats should be inducted for a period of three years on contractual basis through a revised system of examination. The qualifiers should have salaries equal to those of minsters and members of Parliament. Independent audit firms should keep a strict eye on the corrupt activities of these civil servants and a proper system should investigate the assets of their family members as well.

These steps, if implemented properly, can ensure the removal of the corrupt practices in the civil services and enhance employment opportunities by ending undue institutional dominance. Local government reforms should be introduced on priority basis. Institutional reforms should be drafted and introduced through such people who honestly believe in changing the system rather than benefiting from it. The bureaucracy, drenched in corruption from head to toe, is responsible for Pakistan’s plight. To ensure Pakistan’s prosperity and take the taxpayers’ money back into the country’s economic cycle, the Prime Minister should dissolve the bureaucratic setup on war footing and introduce an entirely new system in its place because these bureaucrats have always proved obstacles in the way to the state’s progress. Civil service reforms are the need of time but the reforms should not be the ones as proposed by the elements surrounding Mr Khan. The bitter pill of these reforms should be taken to make this country progress well.