The Panama Papers and Pakistan’s Corruption Dilemma

Since the Panama Papers leaks, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has twice addressed the nation. In his first address, the prime minister’s tone was defensive, as he insisted he was guilty of no legal wrongdoing. In his second speech, by contrast, his body language was aggressive as he called on the incumbent chief justice to head a commission of inquiry. Notwithstanding Sharif’s Panama Papers predicament, those who believe his fall from the pinnacle will free Pakistan from corruption need a refresher course in the country’s politics.

Corruption is institutional in Pakistan, from top to bottom. Firing corrupt individuals alone is not going to fix this complex issue overnight. That kind of heavy-handed approach will only push the corrupt practices ingrained in the system underground, from which they will later re-emerge. Moreover, this kind of approach can only be applied to the top tier.

To effectively tackle corruption, a comprehensive national-level anti-corruption policy

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