Shattered accountability

Dr. Martin Luther King’s power­ful words, “justice delayed is justice denied,” echo with a tragic truth in our nation. Common citi­zens find themselves struck in un­ending legal battles, while power­ful quarters seem to avoid facing the consequences of their actions. Such lack of accountability makes it almost impossible to hold even high-ranking officials or corrupt bureaucrats responsible for their wrongdoings. Blatant corruption, misuse of power, trust deficit, and denial of the sworn oath that they took before assuming their sacred duties. Apparently, neither the government, opposition, nor the judiciary demonstrates sincere commitment to accountability as witnessed in other democracies.

In stark contrast, nations like the USA, France, and South Korea boast robust judicial systems with effective checks and balances. Re­cent events stand as stark remind­ers of the importance of holding the powerful accountable. Two for­mer South Korean presidents face jail time for corruption and human rights violations. Former US Con­gressman Rostenkowski, wielding immense power as chairman of the House Ways and Means Commit­tee, received a sentence for using his office for personal gain. Similar­ly, France’s former President Chirac faced the consequences of corrup­tion, and South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye was removed from office following a scandal.

These instances resonate pro­foundly. They underscore the vi­tal role accountability plays in up­holding law and order, reminding us that power unchecked breeds injustice. It is our collective respon­sibility to demand accountability from those who betray public trust, exploit national wealth, and squan­der the nation’s future.

We stand at a pivotal moment, a crossroads where the path we choose will define the very soul of our nation. We can accept the status quo, where justice re­mains in name only, or we can demand change. Empowering our judiciary is the first corner­stone. We must demand judicial independence, free from political pressures and undue influence, granting them the strength and impartiality to uphold the law without fear or favor. Anti-cor­ruption bodies like the Nation­al Accountability Bureau (NAB) must be fortified, not just in name, but in spirit. Furthermore, we must demand and implement harsher penalties for corruption and financial crimes. Let the pun­ishment act as a deafening deter­rent, reminding those tempted by greed that justice has teeth.

But legal frameworks alone are not enough. We need a vibrant, independent media landscape. A media empowered to investigate, expose, and hold the powerful ac­countable, acting as a watchdog against the shadows of corrup­tion. Only through our collective will and unwavering commitment can we build a nation where ac­countability reigns supreme, and justice truly serves all.

SAJJAD ALI MUGHERI, 

Larkana.

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