Saturday, January 1, 2011

A wider net

We have, in recent months, heard a great deal about corruption in the government and all the scandals that have hit it from time to time. Nepotism and other forms of grave wrongdoing have done a great deal to shake the trust of people in the government. But it is also important that we keep in mind the fact that, sadly, in our country corruption is not limited to any one group. It is widespread and exists in many places. The rich and influential are often the worst culprits. If the scourge is ever to be rooted out, we will need to act against all of them – whenever proof becomes available.
The raid by the FIA on the office in Lahore of MPA Moonis Ellahi in connection with a land scam involving the National Insurance Company Ltd goes a step in this direction. The action was approved by the interior ministry. The Supreme Court had already given orders to recover amounts misappropriated by the NICL by the middle of next month. The action against Moonis Ellahi who has also faced accusations of corruption – particularly with regard to land deals – in the past, apparently after some individuals involved in the NICL affair opted to speak out, has important implications. It may act as a warning to others that they cannot get away with wrongdoing, regardless of the power and position they hold. This is important in our society where the privileged have enjoyed immunity from action for too long and this in turn has allowed the evil seeds of corruption to grow into giant vines that wrap themselves around our state and its people.

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