White elephants

Published January 27, 2022

ACCOUNTABILITY is a bulwark against the misuse of power, especially in societies where committing crimes in the name of different accepted but illegal practices is considered permissible and kosher.

As the economy is fragile because of various reasons, building and strengthening institutions should be our priority. Officers must be held accountable for misuse of power, corruption and illegal gains. We often hear from government officials that if one does not accept bribes in a government department, one will not be able to survive professionally and live peacefully.

The higher-ups inflict mental torture on their subordinates if they ever dare to disobey their orders and refuse to toe the line. This should not be so.

Billions of rupees in tax are evaded on borders and seaports. Iranian fuel, for instance, is smuggled into the country without any resistance. One wonders what Customs officers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Balochistan and Punjab borders have been doing in this regard. There must be some reason why Customs officers are considered most favourite by the matchmakers.

Similarly, officials of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) consider themselves all in all. They think they can arrest anyone in the name of cybercrimes and money-laundering. They do not seem to care whether the allegations are correct or whether the crime was intentional or unintentional. It is expected that the FIA may soon have officers like those in the police department, who have a reputation for extrajudicial killings in the name of ‘encounters’.

Instead of being harassed, the citizens should be facilitated, encouraged and thanked for filing complaints against corrupt officers in government departments. The Citizen Portal should be further developed for this purpose.

Fida Hussain Wazir
Dera Ismail Khan

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2022

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