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The pervasive issue of corruption and mismanagement acts as a two-edged sword that significantly undermines societal progress and equitable distribution of resources. This destructive cycle not only consumes an alarming 70 to 80% of the resources generated by the workforce but also continuously sabotages the trajectory of potential prosperity through a combination of poor planning, incompetence, inefficiency, and entrenched dishonesty.

At the heart of this cycle is the mindset of corruption, deeply embedded within the fabric of every social, political, economic, and administrative institution. This entrenchment is so profound that individuals within these institutions find themselves either unwilling or unable to enact any significant positive change. The insidious nature of corruption breeds more of the same, creating a self-perpetuating loop that is difficult to break.

The relationship between corruption and inequality is particularly concerning. Corruption, by its very nature, is the source of further corruption. It facilitates the unfair distribution of resources, opportunities, and power, favoring a select few while disenfranchising the broader populace. This disparity manifests not just in financial terms but also in access to justice, education, healthcare, and other critical services, thereby exacerbating societal inequities.

Inequality, in turn, fuels the drive for more corruption. Those who find themselves at a disadvantage due to systemic inequities may see corruption as a means to level the playing field, albeit in a manner that further undermines the integrity of the system. Conversely, those in positions of power and privilege may engage in corrupt practices to maintain and enhance their status, thereby perpetuating a cycle of exploitation and injustice.

This vicious cycle of corruption and inequality is detrimental to societal cohesion and development. It erodes trust in institutions, hampers economic growth, and widens the gap between the wealthy and the poor. Moreover, it stifles innovation and efficiency, as resources that could be invested in infrastructure, education, and healthcare are instead diverted or squandered.

The pervasiveness and entrenchment of corruption, often seeming insurmountable, can be fundamentally attributed to the absence of constitutional rule within a country. This deficiency serves as the bedrock for poor governance, a breeding ground for corrupt practices that undermine the principles of fairness, justice, and equity.

The essence of constitutional rule is the governance of a country based on a set of laws and principles that are applied uniformly, without prejudice or favoritism. When these principles are sidelined, it creates a vacuum where laws are either applied selectively or ignored altogether.

This vacuum is not merely an absence of law but a profound failure in the enforcement of laws designed to regulate public life and maintain order. It allows for the proliferation of an environment where governance is not driven by what is legal and just but by the whims and interests of those in positions of power.

This absence of constitutional rule gives rise to a scenario where individuals within powerful institutions, lacking the legal license or authority, engage in the manipulation and mismanagement of the system. They leverage the most corrupt and dishonest individuals available in society to perpetuate a culture where success and advancement are not achieved through merit or honest hard work but through corrupt practices and backdoor dealings. This culture sends a powerful message across society: the only way to attain wealth, power, or authority is through circumventing the system.

This dynamic severely undermines the concept of good governance, which is predicated on accountability, transparency, and the rule of law. Good governance is impossible when decisions and actions are influenced by corrupt practices rather than the welfare of the public. The system becomes skewed towards serving the interests of a select few, while the needs and rights of the many are neglected or violated.

Moreover, the normalization of corruption as a means to success erodes public trust in institutions and the rule of law. It discourages civic participation and diminishes the public’s belief in the possibility of positive change through legitimate channels. This disillusionment can lead to a sense of apathy and disenfranchisement among citizens, further weakening the fabric of society.

To effectively confront and eradicate the entrenched corruption, it is crucial to reaffirm and maintain adherence to constitutional governance. This endeavor necessitates a unified effort to bolster institutions, guarantee the unbiased enforcement of laws, and cultivate a culture of transparency and accountability.

The political institution, notably, has been critically weak or ineffective in offering a democratic alternative to autocratic governance, let alone facilitating good governance.

Historically, our nation has lacked genuine political parties. The All India Muslim League, for instance, did not function as a political party in the traditional sense but was more of a popular movement. Led by a figure who did not get the time and resources to develop a structured institutional hierarchy and team leadership with clear, documented directives, it failed to pave the way toward a robust, dynamic federal system that could embody a new national identity, fostering democratic values and prosperity.

Presently, our political entities remain oblivious to the nuances of the post-internet era, let alone the burgeoning era of generative artificial intelligence. They are uninformed about the comprehensive and integrative models of digitization and digital transformation, the significance of proactive disclosure of information held and produced by government bodies, and the critical need to dismantle the centuries-old educational framework. This is in favor of adopting a new model that promotes advanced technological education and skill development for every individual, regardless of age, within the society.

To overcome entrenched inequalities and the resultant poverty, corruption, and inefficiency, reinstating constitutional governance is essential, contingent on the rise of political parties committed to digitalization, democracy, transparency, efficiency, and competence.

The digital era offers unprecedented opportunities for engagement, accountability, and streamlined operations, necessitating parties that utilize digital tools for more inclusive governance. Upholding democratic values ensures equitable participation in governance, while transparency and efficiency are crucial for resource allocation and combating corruption.

Competence in leadership is vital for effective policy implementation. Properly utilizing even 40% of the country’s resources towards public welfare, particularly in administration of governance, education, healthcare, and infrastructure, could significantly turn around societal conditions in a short period, showcasing the power of good governance and efficient resource management.

(The writer is a retired

Civil Servant and Advocate at the High Court. [email protected])

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

Dr Murtaza Khuhro

The writer is a retired Civil Servant and Advocate at the High Court. [email protected]

Comments

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KU Mar 05, 2024 10:53am
Absolutely spot-on right analysis, good article.
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Tariq Qurashi Mar 06, 2024 10:08am
A very good analysis. "Any country where politicians are richer than businessmen is on the verge of collapse". "Honesty or dishonesty are learned in the lap of one's mother".
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