Fighting Corruption in Pakistan

Corruption is rife in Pakistan. It is prevalent at all levels of society. It is reported that even Osama Bin Laden had to pay a bribe to be able to build his hideaway in the Northwest Province. Petty corruption in the form of bribery is prevalent in law enforcement, procurement and the provision of public services. The judiciary is not seen as independent and considered to be shielding corrupt political practices from prosecution. Various efforts over the past years have tried to develop institutional mechanisms to address these problems.

Pakistan’s anti-corruption wing recently estimated that graft costs the country billions of dollars each year. Citizens regularly identify corruption as one of the nation’s biggest problems, and it is getting worse. Pakistan slipped nine places to the 33rd most corrupt country in the world last year, out of a total of 176, according to Transparency International.

Now, an enterprising group of Pakistani officials is cracking down on this culture of graft with an innovative program that harnesses technology to identify corruption hot spots in the country’s most populous province, Punjab.

The initiative, which leverages the ubiquitous presence of cell phones, relies on the simple concept of asking citizens about their experience.

But experts say it represents the first large-scale attempt by any government to proactively solicit feedback from citizens who are forced to pay bribes for basic public services and use that information to discipline officials.

“The strength of the model is that word gets out among officials that there is someone watching and there is someone who can make them accountable to what the public says,” said Nabeel Awan, a government official who has played a key role in the program. “It may not eliminate corruption, but it does reduce corruption and bad administration.”

Corruption makes it hard for those people who are seeing to live honest lives and to run honest businesses. It is hard not to just do what everyone else does – give and take bribes

Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Pray that as the Gospel is proclaimed and people respond to its truth, yielding their lives to God through Christ, so there will be a respect for truth and honesty and justice and bribery will be challenged. Pray that the coming of the Kingdom will see this evil uprooted. Pray for the Church to become a voice for righteousness and justice in society.

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