Meanwhile, reports are common about financial wrongdoing on part of some of the country's biggest businessmen, industrialists and politicians. In the recent past, a number of sitting and former representatives of the government have been accused of serious corruption. These have further undermined the public's level of trust for the state, its institutions and its representatives.
Such loss of faith translates to a lack of support for the government's policies, at a time when the country is in the midst of an economic and security crisis. But there is also another angle to be considered: Pakistan's massive military budget does not come under the purview of TI's corruption monitors. As a result, next to no information is available about any possible irregularities in defence spending, which is now set to increase by some 20 per cent. Citizens contrast this information vacuum with reports of massive corruption in civilian state institutions and representatives. The 'clean' look thus acquired by the military -- by default really -- can be dangerous to a budding democracy that is already on shaky ground. To prevent further loss of public confidence in not just the current government but the democratic system itself, it is imperative that a sustained effort be made to root out corruption at all levels.