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Fawad blames absence of rule of law, state capture for Transparency report

Pakistan dropped 16 places in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2021

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday defended the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), blaming absence of rule of law and state capture for the recent Transparency report.

Pakistan dropped 16 places in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2021 compared to the previous year, ranking 140 out of 180 countries, Transparency International said in a report on Tuesday.

In 2020, Pakistan’s CPI was 31 and it was ranked 124 out of 180 countries. According to Transparency International, the country’s corruption score has now deteriorated to 28 while it is ranked 140 out of the total countries on the index.  

Addressing a post-Cabinet press conference in Islamabad today, the information minister asserted that Pakistan’s score has been affected because of lack of rule of law and state capture — not financial corruption. “A complete answer on the Corruption Perceptions Index will be given after a complete report comes,” he added.

The term “state capture” denotes a type of systemic political corruption in which private interests significantly influence a state’s decision-making processes to their own advantage.

Briefing reporters about the other decisions taken in the federal cabinet meeting, the federal minister said the next general elections would be held on the basis of new census for which the cabinet approved Rs5 billion.

The minister further said results of the pilot survey under the Census -2022 will be revealed by the end of April while the whole process will be completed till the end of this year. “After getting these results, Election Commission will start delimitation of constituencies for next general elections,” he announced.

Fawad also said the cabinet was briefed on the spread of COVID-19 in the country. It was informed that despite a spike in Covid-19 cases only 1.5 percent increase in hospitalization was recorded that shows our health system is not overburdened.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan’s successful policy of smart lockdown is being implemented again to deal with this wave,” he said, adding that the initiative was being acknowledged worldwide and even United Kingdom has decided to implement it.

The Minister said it is great news that according to the Economist Pakistan is among those few countries which have returned to normalcy after the COVID-19.

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