ISLAMABAD: Last 19 years annual reports of the Berlin-based global watchdog — Transparency International — show corruption at its peak in Pakistan during General Musharraf’s tenure but the PTI government’s probe into past governments spending excludes the dictator’s rule and only focuses on the last 10 years of PPP and PML-N regimes.
The Transparency International, which publishes annual Global Corruption Barometer and Corruption Perception Index to give a comparative listing of corruption worldwide, shows Musharraf tenure more corrupt than the last tenures of the PPP and PML-N.
The least corruption in terms of the best CPI score was attained by Pakistan in 2018, the year which was shared by the rule of the outgoing PML-N government, caretaker regime and the PTI government.
The TI record shows that from 2013 till 2018, Pakistan continued to improve its CPI score in a manner that each year has been the best year. However, the best ever score of 2018 is 33 out of 100, which shows that still the level of corruption in Pakistan is high and the country needs to do a lot to curb the menace.
If Transparency International’s corruption index is considered since 1996 when Benazir Bhutto government was ruling and Islamabad was first evaluated by Transparency in its global report, the 1996 regime has been the worst with 10 out of 100 (or 1/10) score.
But later the second lowest score of 21 out of 100 (2.1/10) was registered during 2004 and 2005 when General Musharraf was ruling the country.
Although the last PPP regime was generally dubbed the most corrupt in the history of Pakistan, the TI annual reports record shows that the lowest score during the last PPP regime has been 24 out of 100 (2.4/10) in 2009 as against 21 during Musharraf junta. It means that the last PPP tenure’s lowest score is three points better than Musharraf’s lowest score.
The TI annual reports of the last 23 years show Pakistan scoring 10/100 in 1996; 25/100 in 1997; 27/100 in 1998; 22/100 in 1999; there has been no report in 2000; 23/100 in 2001; 26/100 in 2002; 25/100 in 2003; 21/100 in 2004; 21/100 in 2005; 22/100 in 2006; 24/100 in 2007; 25/100 in 2008; 24/100 in 2009; 23/100 in 2010; 25/100 in 2011; 27/100 in 2012; 28/100 in 2013; 29/100 in 2014; 30/100 in 2015; 32/100 in 2016; 32/100 in 2017; and 33/100 in 2018.
The present PTI government recently formed a high-powered commission, headed by Hussain Asghar, to probe the soaring loans piled up over the past 10 years.
The Commission comprises 12-members including officials of National Accountability Bureau, Inter Services Intelligence, Federal Investigation Agency, Intelligence Bureau, Military intelligence, Federal Board of Revenue and State Bank of Pakistan.
According to the government notification, the federal government would hire national and international experts to conduct forensic audit of investment and expenditure of the past governments during the last 10 years.
The Commission would also probe all the development projects, kickbacks and contracts during 2008-2018. Embezzlement of government funds and alleged corruption in the development projects would also be investigated. The government notification ensured that the probe does not touch the Musharraf tenure.
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