By Raza Ruman
PTI soon masters are finding it hard to spin the Transparency International’s latest report.
Pakistan has plunged 16 places on TI’s corruption perceptions index in the span of only one year and, with a score of 28 — down from 31 in 2020 — now ranks at 140 out of 180 countries.
“The report punches a hole in the self-righteous façade of a party that has long beaten the drum of accountability, whose leader — the country’s chief executive — will not deign to meet senior opposition leaders on the pretext of their alleged corruption,” says Dawn in it’s editorial. Past governments have often expressed reservations about the reliability of TI’s findings and the conclusions that can be drawn from them. However, while in opposition, Imran Khan would present the CPI as a gold standard and use it as a stick with which to beat the party in power. Now that Pakistan has scored the worst on the index since 2013, for the PTI government to find fault with the methodology is challenging, to say the least.
“Nevertheless, its spin doctors are pushing back in the face of uproar from the opposition parties. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry ascribed the drop in Pakistan’s CPI ranking to weak rule of law and ‘state’ capture rather than financial wrongdoing. It is a thin, illogical argument that does not in any way exonerate the PTI government. Rule of law is the foundation upon which rests the edifice of accountability; it is a situation in which the law is applied across the board, without fear or favour,” the paper says.
However, NAB, the premier anti-graft body, has by now been thoroughly discredited, with several judgements of the apex court questioning its workings and decrying the blatant political witch-hunt in which it has been engaged. The amendments that the government has enacted in the NAB law have made accountability an even more partisan exercise. In other words, it has made a deliberate choice to weaken the mechanism of anti-corruption.
It is unfortunate the CPI ranking has in the last couple of decades been used by all sides for point-scoring. Corruption remains a major issue in Pakistan, as in many other developing countries, something the TI’s latest report itself illustrates. “By exacerbating inequity and concentrating resources within a sliver of society, corruption prevents a country from developing to its full potential.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team should better some other slogans than this so called corruption as this not going to work any more.
This must learn fast by the PTI team. PAK DESTINY