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January 25, 2020

Govt rejects TI report, questions its credibility

Top Story

January 25, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Friday said that the government had rejected outright the findings of the ‘managed and biased’ report of Transparency International (TI).

Giving formal reaction on behalf of the government, she told media persons here that there was a huge question mark over the transparency of TI and pointed out that it was the government’s fault that it just could not ‘take care’ of the fact that the Transparency’s Pakistan chapter head had been hugely favoured by the PML-N government and then appointed an ambassador.

She insisted that the TI report was neither free nor fair and wondered who would accept it, being non-transparent. She emphasised, “It is necessary to expose the people and the data in front of public, on the basis of which this report was published.

“We think this is a managed report while the PTI has never issued such reports by managing people. People know that when you are saying that corruption fell during the rule of these two parties, you are kidding. People will not own any report which declares Sindh corruption-free or says that it was the lowest during the PML-N regime. We will continue with our efforts towards taking Pakistan towards progress and prosperity. Such reports will never deter us from our path," she made it clear.

The report, she noted, was contrary to what the PML-N did and this explained why the reports during their term were so favourable, asking who would respect the findings of a report that said the most amount of corruption was done during the government of General Pervez Musharraf, followed by ImranKhan’s government and then by the PPP, while placing the PML-N government at the very bottom.

Dr Firdous claimed that the findings of the report were worth of laughter, as the clean chit given to what she alleged the corruption kings, who were currently under trial in the country’s courts, made it evident that the report was not fair or transparent, rather it was biased.

Attacking the PML-N leadership, she said that those who had fled the country were now trying to spread disinformation among masses while the prime minister had chosen to lead the fight against corruption.

She remarked that the corruption kings were using this report as a tool to hide their sins, but they would be disappointed. She pointed out that the Moody’s and other international agencies had not only recognised an improvement in the country’s economic indicators but had also appreciated the efforts being taken by the government.

The special assistant maintained that Prime Minister Imran Khan had the resolve to fulfilling the mandate given to him by the people, saying, “We will keep on working to provide the people a country free of corruption.”

Referring to the prime minister’s trip to Davos, where he attended the World Economic Forum (WEF), Dr Firdous said the prime minister’s meetings with global leaders and various firms and their interest to invest in the country showed that the world had decided to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with Pakistan.

The world recognised, she claimed, the credibility of the government and insisted that such reports would not succeed in misleading the world, noting that one thing that should be taken away from the index was that the money recovered during the past one year was more than that recovered during the past 10 years.

Dr Firdous emphasised that instead of highlighting the report, the ‘corruption kings’ should inform the people about Nawaz Sharif’s platelets count. She quipped how our Dr Adnan Khan used to inform us about Nawaz Sharif’s platelet count every two hours. "Now, when they are in a country with the best and latest healthcare facilities, there is deafening silence," she noted, and asserted that the government had the masses’ mandate and would continue with the accountability process.

Meanwhile, the Senate Standing Committee on Interior Chairman Rehman Malik took notice on the report released by the Transparency International on corruption in which Pakistan is ranked 120th out of 180 countries which was 117th last year.

He has asked the Ministry of Interior to present a detailed report on the matter within 10 days. The notice issued by secretary, Senate Standing Committee on Interior to the Ministry of Interior sought a detailed report on the report of Transparency International on corruption.

Rehman Malik said the report has sent a wave of anxiety and concern in the public which needs that the Ministry of Interior should coordinate with the Transparency International to present a detailed report on the following points:

i. What is the procedure and criteria being adopted by Transparency International to evaluate corruption in a country?

ii. The number and names of the government departments included by the Transparency International in the study to evaluate corruption in Pakistan on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2019 during the last three years?

iii. The detail of the statistics of the CPI during the last three years?

Rehman Malik said he will appreciate the input of the Pakistan chapter of Transparency International in person, and the date will be notified to discuss the report in the committee. He said that the committee may also hold a public hearing on the corruption.