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Wednesday July 24, 2024

TIP urges Pakistan to adopt, enforce whistleblowers protection laws

By Kasim Abbasi
June 24, 2024
Transparency International logo seen in a board in their office in this undated image.— X@TIP/file
Transparency International logo seen in a board in their office in this undated image.— X@TIP/file  

ISLAMABAD: Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) has asked the government of Pakistan to adopt and enforce whistleblower protection laws at federal and provincial levels.

Transparency International Pakistan has called upon the prime minister, provincial chief ministers, chairman Senate and speakers of National and provincial assemblies, seeking attention towards a delay in the enactment of Whistleblower Protection Acts at the federal and provincial levels in Pakistan, stated a press release issued by TIP on July 22.

It further stated, “The letters written by TI Pakistan note that for the progress of integrity and eliminating corruption from the country and fostering an environment where citizens can report misconduct without fear of retaliation, effective whistleblower protection laws are essential”.

TIP further highlights that the government of Pakistan ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2007. “Article 8.4 and 13.2 of UNCAC mandates governments to implement legal measures that protect whistleblowers.

To ensure compliance with UNCAC provisions, TI Pakistan calls on the federal government and the provincial governments of Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan to enact laws regarding the reporting and protection of whistleblowers, which includes adequate reporting mechanisms and protective measures, in line with the UNCAC requirements”, said the notification.

TI Pakistan has also highlighted that there have been attempts to introduce whistleblower protection legislation in the past, including in May 2019, when Whistleblower Protection and Vigilance Commission Act, 2019 bill was presented in the National Assembly, however, it was later withdrawn by the Ministry of Law.

TIP has further emphasised that while the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has passed Whistleblower Protection and Vigilance Commission Act 2016, the province must establish Whistleblower Protection and Vigilance Commission as mandated under Section 3 of the Act.