I want to be part of the corruption brigade, don’t you?

Published: December 9, 2012

This encourages me to focus on single point agenda to pursue ─ how can I become corrupt? ILLUSTRATION: IMAAN SHEIKH

As a Pakistani, I really want to be a part of the corruption brigade; after all, it is the biggest business in this country, right? Recurrent news about the level of corruption in Pakistan explains that in the past four years, people in power can easily pocket around Rs8.5 trillion

This encourages me to focus on a single point agenda to pursue ─ how can I become corrupt?

I guess majority of the Pakistani youth is also thinking along the same lines. Apparently, there is no need to think of another option because this one is the most convenient. Pursuing another career and trying to make money is a rather slow and tedious process. One can spend an entire lifetime working without attaining any profound success, whatsoever.

I succumb and question; why not invest your time in something worthwhile?

Ironically, today is the ‘International Anti-Corruption Day’ and I have something to offer. Lucky for you, I am willing to share. Below are five potential areas that I am considering to join in order to get a ride on the corruption bandwagon. Enjoy!


This is a versatile field with numerous career options. One can be a low level worker, but with experience, grow as senior as a political leader. Career progression depends on how ruthless, truth-less and characterless one becomes.

All this does not generally happen overnight, but these are the basic traits one needs to develop to climb the career ladder quickly. And, hey, every now and then you get to be on TV too! Fame and wealth? Infallible career choice, I’d say.


The police force is a very interesting option. As a policeman one can be extremely unbiased and simply follow the instructions given from the higher-ups; money flows in automatically.

Mostly, there is no need to take critical decisions. Making money is as easy as standing in a dark corner and stopping motorcyclists from passing by for the purpose of checking registration papers. Now we all know that this is an excuse. One can also alternatively work on tips to occasionally catch big fish. One trait that is required for this profession is the ability to disappear from the crime scene as quickly as possible.

One can take pride in Pakistani cops for mastering this part of the game.


Bhatta khori, or extortion, is an emerging profession in Pakistan. The public is becoming immune to bhatta khori. An excellent start could be joining an existing group of extortionists and learn the tricks of the trade. Growth in this profession might be slow initially, but once experienced, one can establish the market price based on one’s own brand. Once you prove your mettle and have sufficiently terrified people, you won’t get tired of counting the big bucks.

Land mafia:

This field is a bit tricky and a more labour intensive. Generally, one needs to have an army of poor people who are placed on lands identified by a senior group. One can get into trouble though, since this profession is answerable to the ones mentioned above. But the good news is that they all fall into the league of the extraordinarily corrupt! One just needs to have the right connections to operate smoothly and professionally. A little ‘chai samosa’ to the police, a bit of flattery to the politicians and regular submission of your ‘parchi’ to the extortionists (if needed), and you are good to go!

Public sector procurement:

Last but not the least is the public sector procurement. This profession is lucrative because in Pakistan, the public sector organisations have lost over Rs393 billion in the past four years, making the potential for this great. You needn’t care about how well you will perform. The worse (and thus traditional) your performance, the better you are. Education and experience is generally irrelevant, but one must be well connected to the powerful political leadership in order to get an appropriate position, otherwise it would not yield the same results.

It really is a shame that my upbringing disqualifies me for all the above positions.

Sigh. How unfortunate is it that I’ll have to live like a common Pakistani!

Read more by Hammad here or follow him on Twitter @hammads

Hammad Siddiqui

Hammad Siddiqui

An institutional capacity building specialist who currently works as Deputy Country Director at Center of International Private Enterprise (www.cipe.org). He is qualified from the US Chamber of Commerce and blogs at hammadsiddiquiblog.com

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Abaul Raoof

    I am from Dhaka, very interesting post, I can also relate to this post because we have lots of corruption in Bangladesh too. Recently World Bank Stopped a major project in Dhaka due to corruption. Thanks for sharing your views lightly. Recommend

  • http://woman-of-pakistan.blogspot.com/ Fahmina Arshad

    Great post on ‘International Anti-Corruption Day’. I hope people will read and understand the true meaning why you need to write about corruption. I agree and have the same feeling that ” How unfortunate is it that I’ll have to live like a common Pakistani! “Recommend

  • Abbas Meerani

    Hammad: I think you missed the media from the list. Although media is not a very old style of looting and polluting the minds of the public but Media is the biggest money making racket ever.Recommend

  • Jawwad Shekha

    Very good post. Unfortunately people in Pakistan are also making money out of religion. Can we have someone like Anna Hazare.Recommend

  • zakir Hussain

    Honestly I enjoyed the way you put it – when will u share more such professions?Recommend

  • http://www.BohraDevelopers.com Hatim S. Dabbawala

    Hammad Saheb, I must say its a good read to start the day today. We thank our parents, our teachers, our mentors, all who surround us and make us apart from what is said Corrupt Society. Science student becomes Engineer or Doctor, Commerce reader does accounting and management/marketing; Corruption is taught free of cost – everywhere you move around; it requires no degrees to execute operations. It starts from breaking red signal while moving to school on your first day of learning.
    I appreciate you took this bold step to post this blog and lets help improve the social values by propagating this message to all.Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/ToobaHFarooqi TH

    Great piece… spoke my heart out… Now I wonder when are they recruiting for the luttairey brigade. Recommend

  • Harsh

    @Jawwad Shekha:

    Very good post. Unfortunately people in Pakistan are also making money out of religion.

    Well this thing also jumped to my mind this is the biggest racket and does not need any education of any sort with so many religious channel going on. I my self a banker now for 30 years thinking on this line as my retirement plan.Recommend

  • Usman Ansari

    Another wonderful post by Hammad Siddiqui. You are becoming real Guru of Entrepreneurship. Funny! Here I remember Saadat Hassan Manto, who explains that my writing is not dirty. I write about society which is dirty. Recommend

  • Parvez

    Simply put and straight forward but many other fields exist but I suppose the allowed length of this blog would not permit you to list all of them and then to have it accommodated you would have to send a box of chocolates to ‘ who matters ‘………………and then it all becomes complicated.Recommend

  • Raheela sarfraz

    I really liked the way you have put this serious issue in a lighter yet intriguing manner.Corruption is the root cause of all the other ills prevailing in our country right now. We can make Pakistan a better place by eradicating Corruption( mother of other ills). Recommend

  • Shahzad Hanif Ganatra

    You have uncovered the reality very well. Sir, in my view 90% of us are involve in corruption whether it’s on country level or personal level we do corruption with no fear. The time when everybody take their own responsibility and play their role things will be alright.Recommend

  • sibz

    Sir,you highlighted a really sensitive issue Govt. must take notice of it.Corruption free Pakistan is the need of time now.may allah bless you :)Recommend

  • Hammad

    Mr. Meerani, mentioned “Media”, if that is the case then let us include the most classic professions like that of “Food”, “Medicine” & “Education”; lucrative extortion option where every thing U do is fairly legal and occasionally U get praised too… :)

    Hammad Siddiqui sb, I share a similar upbringing like our names, so unfortunate that we cannot cash on these opportunities…Recommend

  • Fariha Munir

    Seriously unfortunate :( Many purposes of many people around u could be served, only if your upbringing was different. LOL!Recommend

  • http://www.bites.pk Zia Imran

    Hammad Sb, great post. It is unfortunate that ‘criminal entrepreneurship’ is on the rise in this country. This form of entrepreneurship pays handsomely and one doesn’t have to sweat it out for so long working hard at it. instead all you have to be good at is to make connections with existing mafias, crime barons and corrupt government officials. It is so pervasive that even ordinary citizens who want to follow the law fall into trap. Let’s give the corrupt official his 2,000 rupee graft instead of waiting in line, patiently arguing for your right etc. etc.Recommend

  • shabbir kazmi

    Hammad Sahib there are three categories of people 1) born corrupt because they have been fed on ‘haram’ and corruption is part of their DNA composition. True is the saying ‘you don’t have to teach a fish how to swim’.
    Second is the category that is initially reluctant because of ‘dunyia kia kahey gi’ but soon learns tricks of the trade. They initially become part of a mafia and soon develop their own clout. They work on rule ‘collect bhatta to pay bhatta to’. They are patronized by ‘shurfas’ who are in fact gundas.
    Third is the category of ‘stupids’ who still believe there will be a Day of Judgment. They lead miserable life (devoid of luxuries) but remain contented. Even their families curse them for the woes they have to bear.
    Therefore, soon this world will be full of bad people because good remain silent. Recommend

  • Mr. Honest

    Very well written! bravo. Though its heart breaking to see where we have come to? sad.Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashrafchaudhry1 Ashraf Chaudhry

    Superbly written. The country is looking like George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. I congratulate you that ET published your article because it is on highlighting corruption. Write something where you showcase positive aspects of Pakistan, ET will not publish. My challenge to Hammad :)Recommend

  • Syed Waqar Abbas

    True picture of the society, corruption is not only at Top level but at every level and every one* is contributing to it.
    *Undoubtedly there are good people in each society, though they are very few among us but yet they areRecommend

  • Nandni Puri

    Corruption is bad in the whole of South Asia. I think the way you have put it is really interesting to read and learn from. Please share this with politicians, because if they are clean, there will be less corruption at lower level. Recommend

  • http://- Abid P Khan

    “…the biggest racket and does not need any education of any sort with so many religious channel going on. “

    I think religion.biz is the best choice, something I would go for. There are uncountable aspects in favour of it. Here are just a handful.

    Muraghghan khaana.
    No need to shave every morning
    Though sporadic yet guaranteed income (people won’t stop being born or die ever).
    Don’t create problems for state employment agency. You are never jobless
    Get a better seat wherever you go
    The more uneducated you are the better status you can achieve.
    Even when you speak Chinese (compulsory in Sindh province) with your faux Arabic accent, all doors open to you

    Hammad Saaheb, you have let us all down. Why did you not reveal this brilliant idea earlier?


  • http://Www.google.com Saeed swabian

    I dont agree with you Author for we pakistanis and other undevolped countries are given to-be-corrupt naturally and individually,for me i dont need to be politician.police or other mafia to loot money or to be in the line where your mentioned authorities stand,i am a lower type clerck in a private firm and i dont do anyone’s work till i get some “chae pani”.Dont think i have no ethics or self-consciousness,overall the problem is my being pakistani,and pray i get joined in police.Recommend

  • http://www.bsoforum.com Majid Shabbir

    Very thought provoking article that has touched a very important issue of “CORRUPTION”, due to which our country is badly suffering. You know that there is a saying that “Survival of the fittest” but for Pakistan, “Survival of the most corrupt” is appropriate. Corruption has spread like an unstoppable virus in our country and even in most cases, it is considered as a right. There are many forms of corruption and in reality almost the whole society has deeply immersed into it.

    Yes, you are right that it is a good business to become rich but only for those who have no integrity. Unfortunately, we are given such a system, that sometimes; we have to be the part of it. A few television channels are pointing out corrupt practices in different fields for remedial actions, but of no use, because in the absence of implementation of strict rule of law and accountability, corruption flourishes, so as the case of Pakistan.

    Recently Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & industry has launched a survey report “Unpacking Corruption” available at http://bsoforum.com/a-corruption-survey-unpacking-corruption-lunched-by-icci/ that presents opinion of the business community on the perception, manifestations, causes, effects and remedies of corruption in the business environment.

    Especially, our youth feels greatly frustrated but it is sad that they have to live with it. Apparently, no serious effort is made to control corruption, because from top to bottom as pointed out by you, every Tom, Dick and Harry is involved in it. It remains a big question that how long we have to live with the “Corruption brigade”? Recommend

  • ALI
  • http://www.abetoday.com Susan

    Corruption is a minefield to write about. Hammad has managed to capture the true import and pervasiveness of it but in a light-handed way. Corruption creates a minefield for businessmen and that is exactly why it needs to be addressed so that it is easier for business planning. Thank you Hammad for your post. Blessings. Recommend

  • http://www.twitter.com/NoorZafer Noorulain Zafer

    I could not help but agree more with your stance Hammad! Great piece of work. As a Gen Y individual and someone who is faced day in day out with multi-dimensional corruption, I can totally relate to this. For the wider public reading this, let me assure you that we (the youngsters) are CONCERNED. We want a transparent system and accountability of our actions. If we can’t see this practice being implemented by our predecessors we should just let go and move on and be the change we want.Recommend

  • Sania Asad

    Very well written Blog Hammad Sir, This is a very serious dilemma that from being the 47th most corrupt country of the world in 2008, Pakistan is now the 33rd most corrupt country. An honest leadership is the only solution if we want to uproot the menace of corruption. If we failed to select the right leaders this time too then I am afraid we will soon be topping the list of most corrupt countries of the world.Recommend

  • Muhammad Saad

    Excellent article! I being the youngster don’t want to become the part of the corruption brigade. I want corruption free society where youth could get the opportunities to progress. I say “No corruption barriers” ……… let us live good life. We must say NO to corruption and raise voice against it.Recommend

  • Wajhee Ansari

    Corruption is part of every society, some are more corrupt, some are less. But I guess youth must put a strong fight against corruption. Youth is the future of Pakistan. Recommend

  • daniyal

    Poor nation because of corruption. Still waiting for a miracle. Instead of waiting should do something.the easiest thing I can think of is to vote for the right people. All the best.Recommend

  • Rahim Mian

    Greece is the most corrupt country in Europe and Pakistan as most corrupt in South Asia. At least we are standing with a European Country, never mind the word CORRUPTION!Recommend

  • Sunilaa Javed

    Party karoo bcz everone is inn Party MoodRecommend

  • http://www.cipepk.org Mohammad Yasir

    The fight for justice against corruption is never easy. It never has been and never will be. It exacts a toll on our self, our families, our friends, and especially our children. In the end, I believe, as in my case, the price we pay is well worth holding on to our dignity.

    Frank SerpicoRecommend