Govt terms Transparency International report as biased

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ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Friday said that the incumbent government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has rejected Transparency International’s (TI) annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019. Talking to media persons, 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. 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, twothird 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. Mr 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.” Agencies add: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan Friday said Imran Khan had a clear and bold stance of no-compromise on corruption, with no leniency for corrupt elements in future. Talking to media outside Parliament, she said that a ‘corruption king’ was employing tactics to hide his malpractices and wrongdoings while referring to Transparency International Report, adding people would ultimately know about his corruption. The SAPM said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s resolve was manifest to the world, which was clearly aimed at uprooting the corruption from the country. She said the present government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, under dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, had come into power with the clear agenda of uprooting the corruption at any cost. She called for thorough assessment of the TI Report to differentiate the fact from fiction. ‘Specific elements’ should also be indentified who had been active in compiling the report, prior to jumping to the conclusion, she added. She said Transparency International should fully review its own worth and credibility, prior to releasing such reports. She said that Transparency International’s Pakistan chapter was favoured by Pakistan Muslim League (N) which was an open secret and added such reports can not misguide the world about Pakistan and the efforts being made by PM Imran Khan for eradication of corruption. Dr Firdous said the law fully ensured the people’s rights and added strategy will be chalked out to protect the rights of media workers in line with the PTI’s slogan of justice for unprivileged people. Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shehzad Akbar on the report of Transparency International said that the outdated system in Pakistan cannot function effectively against corruption. In a statement issued by Shehzad Akbar, he asserted that the opposition is playing tricks on the global corruption’s report and it needs a proper clarification. “Transparency International is a pressure group that does not work in practice, but the the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is taking practical steps against corruption”, he added. “Even Australia and Canada dropped one and three points respectively”, he said, adding that the US and UK also witnessed a downfall of two and three points severally. He went on to say that the PTI-led government is taking effective measures against corruption in the country. He expressed that Transparency International also loathes corruption the same as PTI. He added that reforms are underway in the Financial Board of Revenue (FBR), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) laws are effectively being modified to battle the corruption.