Deep-rooted corruption

The PTI government took charge in 2018 when Pakistan was already badly entangled in the debt trap. There was no way out except to take more loans to run the economy. Prime Minister Imran Khan was and hopefully still is against seeking loans from international lending institutions. He believes that loans do little to strengthen the economy and only open the gates of corruption. He has tried to curb corruption, but with little success.

Corruption is deep-rooted in our society ever since the colonial period. We inherited it when we gained freedom from the British. I learnt of this firsthand while working as a lower division clerk in the office of the commissioner at the Rawalpindi division before the partition. I used to share a room with two other clerks, one of whom was a senior clerk who attested the orders being issued to applicants. He used to openly take bribes and only facilitate those who paid him. One day, he took whatever money an appellant had to give him his required order copy. The appellant pleaded to the clerk that the money was for his return fare to Mianwali, to which this clerk suggested that he go back on foot. Watching this, I lost my temper and slapped the senior clerk. I forcefully took the money from him and returned it back to the appellant. At this point two lawyers present there grabbed me to stop me from further roughing him up.

The HVC, Lala Ram Narain, entered the room and asked what had happened. He then took me to another room and told me that it was quite alright if people are willingly to give money as long as you don’t get caught. I refused to accept this principle and had myself transferred. I sometimes feel that the same philosophy transcends across our society today and corruption is only bad if you get caught. I wonder if our PM would ever be successful in ending corruption, especially with the kind of team he is working with.

Amna Islam


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