State accountability

My piece published in The Friday Times (June 18 issue)
Leaving aside the political debate on the results of the recent Transparency International (TI) survey, the results are pretty damning for the masters of our destiny. The issue is not about which province is least or most corrupt. The fact that the majority of respondents hold the Police as the most corrupt department since the last eight years is a matter of grave concern. It is even more troubling, given the current security scenario where Pakistanis are facing a crisis of public safety. Markets, shops, and highways are not safe. If there is a respite from the terrorists, then the criminals are there to make hay while collapsing administrative and policing structures struggle to manage their operations. Let us not forget that security of the person and their property is a fundamental right of the Pakistanis.
The party-based and ethnicity-oriented feuds on TI survey are meaningless as the Police is a provincial subject and TI’s surveys have consistently shown that there is something deeply rotten in how the security apparatus works at the subnational level. The causes for such a crisis of governance need to be highlighted, regardless of which party we vote for or where we live. What could be more telling than the events of the recent past?