International Anti-Corruption Day

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has organized a seminar on Curbing Corruption through a Documented Economy in collaboration with civil society organizations and also planned an awareness walk to mark International Anti-corruption Day today, December 9, 2023. The NAB authorities perceive the public-private partnership as crucial to combat corruption and stress individuals to hold themselves accountable and work together to combat corruption in society. As said, each citizen including students and children should take on an active role in preventing corruption or corrupt practices in their surroundings. While everyone should be committed to performing their duties diligently and honestly.

Historically, corruption has been a longstanding issue in Pakistan, seriously affecting various sectors including politics, bureaucracy, national institutions, business as well as the common public. It has hindered development, eroded public trust, and impeded economic growth over the past decades. Despite efforts to address it through reforms and anti-corruption bodies, the challenge not only persists but is shaped into a grave challenge, requiring sustained commitment from authorities, civil society, and citizens to combat this menace and promote transparency and accountability in our society.

Combating corruption involves a multifaceted and a whole of national approach while the role of the LEAs including the Police, FIA, NAB, the legislature, the judiciary, academia as well and the masses is of utmost importance. There is a general trend in our society that people do not perceive damage to public/ government property as their own loss and unjustly use government resources for their personal benefit. Meanwhile, witnesses never feel their national and moral responsibility to report that loss to concerned authorities. Rather a majority of the masses offer bribes to have done their rightful job, or obtain an entitlement under the law, while public servants categorically demand unlawful favour, graft, or bounty to perform their official duty or deliverance of service to the public. Hence, the service-providing departments such as local government, police, revenue department, health and education departments have become hubs of corruption instead of being vanguard against this evil.

There is a dire need for implementing transparent processes, open government initiatives, and clear accountability mechanisms within the government institutions and anti-graft watchdogs, that can help reduce opportunities for corruption. The introduction of rigorous legislation, use of modern technology, education and training of staff, and public awareness could play pivotal roles in cultivating a culture of honesty and integrity among citizens and public officials. So, our society could liberate itself from this menace once and for all.