Saturday, Jun 22, 2024 | Last Update : 06:45 PM IST

  Opinion   Edit  06 Aug 2023  AA Edit | Imran sentence a job half done

AA Edit | Imran sentence a job half done

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Aug 7, 2023, 12:00 am IST
Updated : Aug 7, 2023, 12:00 am IST

Corruption by those in power is a burning issue globally

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, meanwhile, was sentenced to prison for three years by an Islamabad court after it found him guilty of corruption, including illegally selling gifts that he had received while in office from foreign nations and other heads of states. (File Photo: AFP)
 Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, meanwhile, was sentenced to prison for three years by an Islamabad court after it found him guilty of corruption, including illegally selling gifts that he had received while in office from foreign nations and other heads of states. (File Photo: AFP)

Pakistan is now facing democracy’s familiar dilemma — what should a government do if the most powerful or popular leader of the Opposition is accused of criminal action? What happens if the courts indict such a leader?

In a week of strange similarities and, simultaneously, drastic differences, several countries found this issue playing out in their political and judicial backyard — Donald Trump in the United States, Rahul Gandhi in India and imprisoned Opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Russia.

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, meanwhile, was sentenced to prison for three years by an Islamabad court after it found him guilty of corruption, including illegally selling gifts that he had received while in office from foreign nations and other heads of states. He was subsequently arrested. The court also disqualified him from politics for five years.

Corruption by those in power is a burning issue globally, irrespective of the format of government, from democracies to military dictatorships, monarchies, et al. But it is a particularly emotive issue in developing nations. People here often believe that most, if not all, politicians and bureaucrats, across the political spectrum, are corrupt.

People in India, Pakistan, and most other Asian, African and South American democracies have agitated against corruption several times in the past decades, and many leaders have risen up as crusaders for clean politics. But the same disappointing story has largely repeated itself, with vested interests proving to be more stubborn than the people’s will for change.

Therefore, Pakistan must demonstrate that its polity is not doing away with one particular leader for partisan ends using corruption charges as an excuse. It must clean up its politics to show that this indictment is the fair end of a rigorous judicial journey, and not a quick partisan fix by a kangaroo collective.

Tags: rahul gandhi, imran khan, alexei navalny, donald trump