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How to define Corruption?

There is no single, comprehensive, universally accepted definition
of corruption. Attempts to develop such a definition invariably encounter
legal, criminological and political problems. Moreover, various defined forms
of corruption and corrupt practices keep evolving and new forms keep sprouting
up making it difficult and rather unpractical to limit it to only one
definition. Bearing this difficulty in mind writers usually go for operational
approach instead of seeking to define corruption in generic terms. For our
ease, the word “corruption” comes
from the Latin verb “corruptus” (to
break); it literally means broken object. Conceptually, corruption is a
form of behaviour, which departs from ethics, morality, tradition, law and
civic virtue. Anyhow, corruption can be defined as:-

“Corruption is behaviour which deviates from the
formal duties of a public role because of private-regarding (close family,
personal, private clique) pecuniary or status gains; or violates rules against
the exercise of certain types of private-regarding influence”i (Nye, 1967)

evolves such behaviour on the part of office holders in the public or private
sector whereby they unlawfully and improperly enrich themselves and/or those
close to them, or induce others to do so by misusing the position in which they
are placed.

is a moral wrong, a universal sin condemned in all societies and religions yet
it exists all over the world. It is increasingly becoming a way of life and
part of culture thus more and more impossible to contain. Reforms are failing a
deaf ears and almost every country suffering this problem.

Causes of Corruption

may be the major causes of corruption generally and specifically in Pakistan.

a)    Abuse of power:

Flagrant and unlawful abuse of power
by the public or private office holders increases the corruption more rapidly
than any other reason. Whenever any office holder or even a common man cross
limit of his power, he’s actually involving himself in corruption. This abuse
of power is common in high officials.

b)   Lack of combating operations:

Lack of serious programme of combating
corruption in the countries. The investigative agencies and related departments
could not develop as per the aspirations of the public.

c)    Proper ethical and business standards:

Elected government become fail to develop
proper ethical and business standards for the public and private sectors. Lack
of set-standards allow culprits to do their work freely.

d)   Lack of transparency:

Lack of transparency in the government’s
decision making process increases frustration among general public and they try
to achieve their goal by any mean.

e)    Lengthy Procedures:

Lengthy and cumbersome procedures of
government departments and executive system is also an increasing factor of
corruption. Public want their issues to be solve as quickly as possible.


g)    Weak Judicial System:

Pakistan’s judicial system is slow as well
as weak in many aspects. A corrupt man is not bring under law. If by chance
Police catch him and appeals in court, process is too slow and weak that
corrupt man can easily make himself free. Unless the system of Judiciary is reviewed,
corruption will not stop making new records.

h)   Poor salary structure:

Poor salary structure in public sector is
also a big factor of increasing amount of corruption. This problem often
discuss by Police department. However in any institution handsome salary
package and other employee’s benefits are very much demanding now a days to
keep the internal environment of the institution clean from bribery and


Reputation of institutions among

latest survey report of The Transparency
International suggests quite interesting (not unexpected though) results
about corruption and people trust on their institutions.

of them discussed below.

Bribery rate in world:

to latest Survey report, every one of the four men (in an average) paid bribe
when went to Public Office in the 12 months prior to when the question was


Government Performance:

most of the people think that their government is not doing well in fighting
against corruption. Government has failed in most of the countries, to deliver
what they expected to be delivered.


Citizen’s Opinion:

good news is more than half the people around the world – and particularly
young people – agreed that citizens of the country could make a difference. 58%
of people aged 24 and under said they feel empowered to make a difference. 58%
of those aged 55 also agreed.

Most Corrupt institution:

Police and elected officials were regarded as the most corrupt institution by
the people more
than for any other group or institution when


How Much Corrupt Institutions Are?

Chart shows percentage of respondents
who answered that either “Most” or “All” of the institutions are corrupt.


i Corruption and
political development, Nye JS

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