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Transparency International report: Has corruption really increased in Pakistan?

The Prime Minister has taken a strong stand against corruption from the very beginning but it has been claimed that corruption has increased during his tenure. (Photo: Hindustan Times)

If corruption is called Umm al-Khabaith then it is not unreasonable because the cradle of corruption gives rise to priceless evils. Corruption is also the cause of the deterioration of Pakistan’s economy and the destruction of society. They are established but corruption has also taken root in these institutions due to political interference.

Transparency International has claimed in its recent report that corruption has increased in Pakistan but the government says that the report does not mention financial corruption while the opposition says that this report is a charge sheet against the government. 

Transparency International Pakistan

Transparency International Pakistan is basically a national branch of Transparency International, a civil society organization dedicated to preventing both global and national corruption. Its main purpose is to cover corruption in national and business affairs. 

Transparency report

Transparency International has released the Corruption Perceptions Index of 180 countries, according to which Pakistan has moved up 16 places in the Corruption Perceptions Index, and Pakistan is ranked 140th in the world in the Corruption Perceptions Index.

The report of Transparency International states that in 2020 Pakistan was ranked 124th in the world and in 2020 Pakistan’s score in Corruption Perception Index was 31 last years while in 2021 Pakistan’s Corruption Perception Index score was 28. Pakistan’s score in the Corruption Perception Index has decreased by three points. The low score of the index indicates an increase in corruption.

According to Transparency International, corruption in Pakistan has increased compared to last year. When the current government came to power in 2018, Pakistan was ranked 117th in the Corruption Perceptions Index. In 2019, Pakistan was ranked 120th. Coming 124th in 2020 and now 140th in 2022 is an indication that Pakistan has slipped 23 places in the current regime.

According to the report, Finland, New Zealand, and Denmark topped the list with 88 scores against corruption, with South Sudan at the bottom of the list. The United States was 27th with 67 points and India was 85th with 40 points.

Opposition reaction

Opposition parties have stated that Transparency International’s corruption report is a charge sheet against the government. In 2020, Pakistan was ranked 124th in the Corruption Perceptions Index worldwide. Within a year, Pakistan has been ranked 140th. The government’s claims to eradicate corruption has left 16 countries behind in the race for corruption.

Government position

Referring to the report of Transparency International, the government said that the said report did not include financial corruption but was done on the issue of rule of law and the full report of Transparency International did not come, only the score was given. All reporting bodies maintained the rankings, with only the Economic Intelligence Unit lowering the score.

Corruption in Pakistan

According to Transparency International, Pakistan has seen an increase in corruption in the last three years. Although Prime Minister Imran Khan has maintained his stance against corruption, the rise in corruption in Pakistan is a matter of concern.

During the tenure of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the operations of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) have also intensified. According to the report released by NAB, NAB has received Rs. 501729 complaints were received and 498256 were disposed of while 1237 references of 1353 billion are pending, out of which 15475 investigations have been completed.

Despite the actions of NAB and other agencies and the commitment of the government to increase corruption in the country, the government and the relevant agencies need to unite and take practical steps to eradicate corruption, not just claims, so that the dream of a corruption-free Pakistan can be realized. 

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