The True One's To Blame

Why I believe Pakistan's true path to progress begins with individual integrity and accountability, not just political reform
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Created by sobanali2006

Published on May 15, 2024
an alleyway in Pakistan
Shazaf Zafar on Unsplash

While it seems the entire populace of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan observes and enjoys the show of a political tug-of-war for power, the most inherent instinct of us Pakistani citizens- in essence, “raising fingers without really knowing the true grounds of any situation”- manifests itself.

Amidst all the economic collapse and social systems failing, all that we Pakistanis can do is fling the flames toward some federal or higher authority (which seems fair). Honestly, considering the deliberations of the current lot of leaders of Pakistan, coupled with the crumbling situation of the country that is at the brink of everything it shouldn’t be it is natural to be infuriated. But we’ve got so carried away with the blame game that our attention has surreptitiously parried from the real culprits – the citizens ourselves!

I believe corruption in Pakistan is something that is embedded deep down in our very own social fabric. It has seeped into our daily practices so discretely over time that we can’t even seem to identify what ‘corrupt’ really is. From electricians towing an extra electricity line to their own homes, to dairy product retailers adding water to milk, from vendors charging extra pennies to unaware customers to officials taking extra cash and denying it as a bribe, it seems every society in Pakistan has adopted corruption as its second trait without even knowing what it is. 

As the levels of society grow, so does corruption. From stealing electricity, this micro-corruption develops into manipulating documents and funds for social benefits: and so on and forth. As the effects compound and the act of brazenly doing wrong becomes more commonplace – macro-level corruption kicks in the bigger picture where the entire nation is affiliated with it, and which the nation, ironically, despises.

So, why is corruption seemingly taken so lightly here in Pakistan? Many different factors sum up in this direction –with the most predominant one being ‘observe and mimic’. The behavioral questions that Pakistanis ask themselves when they observe micro-corruption include “If them, why not me?” and “What difference does it make?”. Copying others in corrupt acts at any given level has infused into our psyches and become our natural frontier. It isn’t that we are wholly oblivious to the fact that the act is not right, but rather, we believe that the effect is miniscule. The realization that “trillions of single water drops make the ocean” is something that we are not completely familiar with, and thus, we keep doing what we do best. 

If you’ve been to Pakistan even once, then you’ve seen what it looks like (If you haven’t, then you will). The complex entanglement of uncountable wires creating an unjust and labyrinthine power supply network near electricity transformers is just one visible example of it. It isn’t really bad management of the country, it is bad management and irresponsible citizens both, which completely overwhelms the positive side and people of this nation.

So, be the corruption moral or material, it is something that requires immediate reversion because, in this current course, all Pakistanis are participating together towards the doom of this naturally-gifted beautiful country, wasting great potential and making ourselves vulnerable to exploitation.

So what’s the way forward? 

To envision an uncorrupt and transparent Pakistan, a multifaceted approach to societal transformation is imperative. This begins with cultivating a culture of integrity and accountability, where citizens prioritize ethical conduct in their daily lives and hold themselves and others accountable for their actions. This effort necessitates implementing stringent anti-corruption measures, such as independent oversight bodies and robust law enforcement, to swiftly prosecute perpetrators and promote transparency in governance processes like public procurement and financial transactions. Education and awareness campaigns are crucial, equipping citizens with the knowledge to combat corruption and emphasizing its detrimental effects on economic development and public services. Moreover, instilling ethical values in future generations through school curricula and community initiatives is vital for long-term sustainability, fostering a sense of moral accountability from an early age and laying the groundwork for a more ethical society.

Achieving an uncorrupt and transparent Pakistan demands a collective commitment that transcends individual interests and political affiliations. It requires a paradigm shift wherein integrity and ethical behavior are celebrated as essential components of national identity. By embracing this vision and actively pursuing its realization, Pakistan can forge a path toward a brighter and more prosperous future for all its citizens.

“Pakistani’s rise and prosperity doesn’t need a great miraculous leader first! It needs the citizens to reform themselves and misalign themselves from these spiteful acts.”

 

Content Disclaimer: The views & opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of VoiceBox, affiliates, and our partners. We are a nonpartisan platform amplifying youth voices on the topics they are passionate about.

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