Would Khan’s War Stratagem Against Corruption Really Work?

Inspired by the One Pakistan chant and Change rhetoric the nation beyond any other consideration has unprecedentedly given Imran Khan led PTI a chance – a first time and perhaps the last time if his team fails to stand up to his grandiose promises. With an anti-corruption and radical change rhetoric Imran Khan led PTI has embarked upon an anti-graft sweeping campaign sparking fear amongst his political opponents. Given the enormous public clamor and widespread emotional appeals against the pervasive corruption that have entrenched in to almost all tiers of government, the Khan led cabinet without first realizing the need to spearhead necessary reforms hastily announced country wide anti-graft campaign. Moreover to dispel the notion of any political pressure from the PTI regime, the government de-hyphenated its relation from the anti-corruption organizations and sanctioned their wide discretionary powers so far enjoyed and allegedly abused by these state agencies. This has generally sparked fear amongst public office holder’s working at different tiers of government and particularly his political opponents at large. Thus lending credence to the widely expressed suspicion that with no parliamentary oversight and due compliance of law observing mechanism in place which can keep a track of their actions and take those anti-graft bodies to account would render these institutions unchecked and allow them to operate with impunity. Multilateral international forum like Transparency international which has studied extensively this malpractice worldwide and shared valuable date with nations across the globe combined with our own historical precedents suggest that such unbridled anti-graft bodies at once are frequently indicted of abusing power, at their disposal, and are often indulged in committing excesses reducing them to become a mere tool for political victimization, rent-seeking and for securing political patronage. Moreover such unwarranted institutional arrangement is said to have gravely affected the smooth functioning of governance as public office holders fearing themselves vulnerable and thus remain reluctant to take pragmatic decisions on matters that rest within their entrusted ambit.

Without compromising on nation resolve to fight corruption, these unintended outcomes still are avoidable provided the constitutionally guaranteed rights such as fair trial, reasonable opportunity to legal defense, transparent and impartial accountability practices are equally followed during the entire course of this formidable however indispensable Khan’s anti-corruption quest.

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