Honesty and weakness

Published December 6, 2022

THIS refers to the article ‘Corrupt absolutely’ (Nov 12) which I found to be thought-provoking as it asserted that corruption is not the only parameter by which the voters judge public leaders. They also look at the delivery of good governance and development works that leaders carry out during their time in office.

This, according to the article, has been proven time and again, not just in Pakistan, by the electorate when supposedly ‘corrupt’ leaders or parties have been returned to power through votes.

This is correct. Yet, open debate and accusations and counter-accusations do have a cleansing role. People are made aware of ill-gotten wealth and there is public opprobrium. This makes incumbents more careful, and possibly cleaner.

We, in Pakistan, just as in many other parts of the developing world, have got to a stage where being corrupt is considered ‘normal’, and being honest is considered a sign of weakness. The corrupt but bold officer is considered worthy, and pretty unprintable adjectives are used for the honest but ineffective public servants.

The democratic process works slowly and with all its imperfections, but in the end it is a better system of governance than any other that has been devised by the humans.

Tahir Jahangir
Lahore

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2022

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