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Corruption on the Rise


Every new government that takes over the control of the country remembers to quote the problems of corruption for the benefit of the people. Most of them even go further and extend the promise of eradicating it from the society. So far, however, no such government has been able to fulfill its pledge. Gallup Pakistan has conducted several surveys and polls on the subject.
In a survey conducted in 2005, the people were asked to name the institutions that they viewed as very corrupt. 51% mentioned the police, 25% named the judiciary, 32% indicated towards political system, 31% identified the bureaucracy and 16% pointed towards the forces.
In response to the question, ‘Compared to the rest of the world, do you think Pakistani leaders are more corrupt or less corrupt?’, asked in early 2006, 63% of the respondents stated that our national leaders were more corrupt, 34% considered them to be less corrupt and 3% stated that they did not know.
Gallup Pakistan also conducted a detailed survey on corruption towards the end of 2005. 50% of the people included in that survey were of the opinion that the level of corruption had increased in the country in the past five years, 16% believed that it had declined and the remaining, standing at 34%, were of the view that there had been no change.
In response to a similar question put forward in that poll, 39% of the respondents stated that there had been a significant increase in corruption over the last three years, 26% said that it had increased somewhat and 16% believed that there had been no change. On the other hand, 8% thought that it had declined somewhat and only 1% felt that there had been a considerable decline in corruption in the last three years. 10% said that they did not know. Neither did the respondents seem very optimistic about the future. 30% were convinced that the rate of corruption would exhibit a significant increase in the next three years, 25% believed that it would increase somewhat and 16% predicted that there would be no change. 5% were of the opinion that there would be some decline in corruption and only 2% asserted that it would decrease considerably. 22% said that they had no idea.
When probed in more detail about the effect of corruption on their lives, 17% of the respondents revealed that corruption had affected their daily lives, 6% stated that it had influenced their business and 5% were of the view that it had affected the political structure of the country. 15% of the respondents told Gallup that they or someone in their family had been forced to offer bribes in order to get their work done in the past one year, 66% had been saved from such a situation and 19% did not offer a response. Amongst those who had bribed someone, 30% had paid less then Rs. 500, 35% had paid between Rs. 500-2000, 8% had given between Rs. 2000-3000 and 7% had forfeit Rs 3000-6000. 2%, 2%, 1% and 2% of the people had paid between Rs. 6000-9000, Rs. 9000-12000, Rs. 9000-18000 and Rs. 18000-30000 respectively. 2% refused to identify the amount that they had given and another 7% offered no response. When inquired about the reasons behind their offering a bribe, 23% said that they had paid simply because they were asked to do so, 28% had done so to avoid possible problems and another 28% had used bribes to obtain legal benefits.
When asked to list the specific sectors which were being corroded by this menace, 47% named customs, 42% mentioned law and order, 28% pointed towards education, 35% highlighted tax collection, 32% pointed towards the utility bills department, 61% listed police, 38% identified political parties and 29% chose the parliament. 31%, 29% and 24% of the people named hospitals, license and registration departments and the private sector respectively. Similarly, 20% identified the media, 21% pointed towards the army, 19% specified NGOs and 14% mentioned religious organizations.
Given these figures, one does not need any other proof to reach the conclusion that corruption and dishonesty have plagued almost all the sectors of the government and the economy, making the lives of ordinary people very difficult. Bribery has become commonplace and this government, just like the previous ones, has failed to do anything about this critical problem. The people seem to have lost all hope in a better future and are already anticipating the worst.
These surveys and polls were conducted by Gallup Pakistan, an affiliate of Gallup International, on a sample of over 1100 respondents in urban areas of all four provinces of Pakistan. This sample was statistically selected across all ages, income groups and educational levels. The error for a sample of this kind is estimated to be +/- 5% at a 95% confidence level.