Govt rejects TI report on corruption


ISLAMABAD, JAN 24 (DNA) – Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Friday told that the incumbent government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has rejected Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019.

While addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the special assistant termed the report that revealed corruption has soared in 2019 in Pakistan as biased. Transparency International should unveil its sources from where the data was gathered, she demanded.

The Special Assistant recalled that Pakistan chapter of Transparency International was given favours by the previous government of PML (N).

Firdous Ashiq Awan said giving clean chits to those whose corruption cases are pending before the court clearly indicates the nexus between these elements and Pakistan chapter of Transparency International.  She said the report itself raises question on the transparency and credibility of the institution.

The Special Assistant said PTI government is committed to free the country of corruption and all the corrupt practices. She said Prime Minister Imran Khan has never compromised in the fight against corruption and never will he do so in future.

Firdous Ashiq Awan said world institutions such as Moody’s are endorsing and appreciating the improvement in economic indicators of Pakistan. She said the world acknowledges the credibility of Imran Khan and such reports cannot hoodwink the world.

The Special Assistant also reminded that unprecedented recoveries were made from the corrupt elements over the last one year.  These recoveries are more than the ones made during the last ten years.

Earlier, Pakistan’s ranking had dropped to 120 out of 180 countries with a worse score of 32 out of 100, according to the annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2019 released by the Transparency International.

In the previous report, Pakistan scored 33 out of 100, which implies that no improvement could be observed in terms of eradication of corruption from the state. Last year, Pakistan’s ranking stood at 117, same as in 2017, although it’s score had slightly increased to 33.

The CPI uses a scale from 0 to 100, in which 100 is very clean and 0 is highly corrupt. Shockingly, two-third of 180 countries have scored below 50, whereas the average score is 43 out of 100.

According to Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) Chairman Sohail Muzaffar, on clarification sought against the lowering of Pakistan’s score by one point on CPI 2019, the Transparency International Secretariat explained that many countries have not performed well this year.

Muzaffar said that the National Accountability Bureau under its present chairman has performed much better, and NAB was rejuvenated after it took various initiatives, including adopting the combined investigation team (CIT) system, in order to have collective wisdom in the conduct of inquiries or investigations on merit.

NAB has collected Rs153 billion from corrupt elements and filed 530 references and its overall conviction ratio in the accountability courts is about 70 per cent, the statement noted.

The Transparency International further outlined recommendations “to end corruption and restore trust in politics” and stated “it is imperative to prevent opportunities for political corruption and to foster the integrity of political systems.” = DNA