Our attitude towards corruption

At some stage of our lives we ourselves have indulged in corrupt practices, encouraged them or at the very least, not resisted them.

Salman Shah Jilani August 24, 2010
Silence is an attribute of the dead; he who is alive speaks. The National Corruption Perception Survey 2010 by Transparency International-Pakistan graced the headlines and remained talk of the town for a few days but then went on the backburner as is usual practice in our country. However, in a developed country such high perceived numbers of corruption would have rang alarm bells and would have drawn public ire.

The lack of public outroar - rather a deafening silence - against the alleged corruption which has become Pakistan’s greatest shame, forced me to think, we as individuals have become so corrupt ourselves that it is justified in saying that our state functionaries are from us hence no different than us.

This means that at some stage of our lives we ourselves have indulged in such corrupt practices ourselves, encouraged them or not resisted them in other words. Don’t we at the driving license office, passport office, NADRA or at vehicle registration dept. grease the palm of agents so that our job could be expedited may be because we hate to stand in a queue and wait for things to get done in their due time or lack of patience has become our second nature. Isn’t their a collusion of plunderers and mafias who spur electricity theft in the residential, industrial and commercial areas ,water theft by the tanker mafia , local agriculturist and industrialist courtesy the officials of relevant water board and irrigation department and gas theft by the influentials who own CNG stations and have the right links with the movers and shakers of the country.

The icing on the cake is that our rant about the shortages when we our selves fail to adhere any of the conservation initiatives in terms of closing down our businesses at 8 or setting our ACs at 26 or using water efficiently or abstain from the use of natural gas fueled generators without getting the extra load regularized by the SSGC SNGPL.

Now let us come to the burning issue taxation, yes it’s a fact we evade taxes worth 800 billion rupees as revealed by the world bank report and even after this we are not even bothered to ask for a proper invoice or issue a proper receipt whenever we transact. And above all this is our silence and indifference to report such actions, which serves as the biggest weapon for these plunderers and gives them the courage to carry on and usurp my rights and your rights to fill in their pockets.

Rest assured I am in no way defending any of the state deparments perceived to be corrupt but who is going to bell the cat, because it wont change over night, nor would it change if we are not willing to mend our own ways because it starts with you, it starts with me.
Salman Shah Jilani A management undergraduate who blogs at globaldaaira.wordpress.com and chowrangi.com and tweets at @jilani7.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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