On Friday, Dr Asim Hussain, former petroleum minister and close aide of former president Asif Zardari, and five others were charged with corruption of Rs 462 billion by an accountability court. On the same day Rs 730 million from the residence of Balochistan Finance Secretary Mushtaq Ahmed Raisani, who was arrested earlier in the day, and indicted on Saturday. On May 9 – barely half a week later – the complete data form the Panama papers is set to go public; and many wealthy politicians are quaking in their boots wondering who it will name next.

In an environment such as this – where government members are not only being accused of corruption, but are being indicted, named and shamed – it is unsurprising that the public’s trust in the government is low. Counter-intuitively this distrust isn’t because of these latest scandals, although it may have added to it, the majority public perception that the government is corrupt precedes them. The average Pakistani’s main interaction with the state remains their dealings with government departments for services and complaints; and their greatest complain remains with the bureaucracy more so than the politicians. Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen), a non-governmental organisation, has released the report of a survey – conducted in February – which has indicated that as many as 64 per cent of Pakistanis believe that certain level of corruption prevails in government departments.

Further trends are revealed in the details of the report showing the public is most disillusioned with the government where recourse to free media and the justice system is limited. About 82pc of respondents in Balochistan, 74pc in Sindh, 72pc in Islamabad Capital Territory, 68pc in Punjab, 52pc in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 8pc in Fata felt their respective government is corrupt. In most major provinces upwards of 70 pc view the government negatively. This is a large number, which any government must consider seriously.