BERLIN: Pakistan ranks 117th among 180 countries in the ‘Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2018’ released by the Transparency International on Tuesday, with score of 33 out of 100.
Though Pakistan improved its position by one point as compared to the one in 2017, its ranking remains unchanged. The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. More than two-thirds of countries score below 50 on this year’s CPI, with an average score of just 43.
It reveals that the continued failure of most countries to significantly control corruption is contributing to a crisis in democracy around the world. While there are exceptions, the data shows that despitesome progress, most countries are failing to make serious inroads against corruption.
“With many democratic institutions under threat across the globe — often by leaders with authoritarian or populist tendencies — we need to do more to strengthen checks and balances and protect citizens’ rights,” said Patricia Moreira, the managing director of Transparency International.
“Corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption,” she added.
The index highlights that more than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of only 43. Since 2012, only 20 countries have significantly improved their scores, including Argentina and Côte D’Ivoire, and 16 have significantly declined, including, Australia, Chile and Malta.
Denmark and New Zealand top the Index with 88 and 87 points, respectively. Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria are at the bottom of the index, with 10, 13 and 13 points, respectively. The highest scoring region is Western Europe and the European Union, with an average score of 66, while the lowest scoring regions are Sub-Saharan Africa with an average score of 32 and Eastern Europe and Central Asia with an average score of 35.
India ranked 78th with a score of 41, making a point better than previous year. With a score of 71, the US has dropped four points since last year. This marks the first time since 2011 that the US falls outside of the top 20 countries on the CPI.
“A four point drop in the CPI score is a red flag and comes at a time when the US is experiencing threats to its system of checks and balances, as well as an erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power,” said Zoe Reiter, Acting Representative to the US at Transparency International. “If this trend continues, it would indicate a serious corruption problem in a country that has taken a lead on the issue globally. This is a bipartisan issue that requires a bipartisan solution.”
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