The subject of national corruption is a hot topic no matter where you live. But let’s take an educational course today in Political Science and learn that we might not be as corrupt as we think. Here is something your tuition teacher probably never taught you.
Do you think that corruption abounds in Pakistan? Well let’s learn the statistics and take a brief course in which countries rank highest in the corruption business.
First of all let’s determine what is corruption? Corruption, according to Transparency International is ‘the abuse of entrusted powers for private gain’. So, this organisation looks specifically at corruption in the public sector. They target politicians, civil servants and public officials; using expert assessments and opinion surveys to determine the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for almost 200 countries in the world. Some of the activities that Transparency International looks at are kickbacks, bribery and embezzlement.
According to the 2011 rankings Transparency International: global coalition against corruption; Somalia ranks No. 1 as the most corrupt country in the world. Flanked right next to it is North Korea and Myanmar.
Where does Pakistan fall in the top 10? Well surprise! It didn’t even make the charts. Pakistan is something like number 42 out of 183. That means that there are 41 countries that are perceived to be more corrupt than Pakistan.
What country is perceived to be the least corrupt country out of the 183 countries indexed? New Zealand seems to be the least corrupt followed by Denmark.
You may question why the index uses ‘perceived’ rather than actual. Well, the actual fact is that corruption is illegal activity and therefore hidden from public view; consequently it is hard to do the math on the actual amount of corruption. Any corrupt politician that has been taught well the science of corruption keeps his/her illegal activities a secret. Hard empirical facts are hard to come by in a corrupt nation. Therefore, one gauge used for testing corruption is the effectiveness of the judicial system and the media in exposing corruption in the country.
So how was that for a brief Political Science course? Pakistan is not as corrupt as you think! We are not high on the charts, but we aren’t the lowest either. Next time your tutor or Pak Studies teacher brings up the subject of corruption in the public sector, you can give them the facts. Or if you are just chilling with friends; here is a piece of information they may not know. It will guarantee to spark a good conversation.