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January 14, 2021

Corruption deep-rooted, considered part of a system: PM Imran Khan

National

January 14, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that unfortunately corruption is deep-rooted and it has been considered part of the system.

He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of e-building, e-billing and GIS mapping at the National Highway Authority, here Wednesday. He said that the paperless system had been in vogue all over the world for 20 years owing to which the graph of corruption and malpractice was reduced.

He said no country could make progress wherein people had accepted corruption as a system and similarly no system could work this way. Linking transparency in tenders and biddings to reduction in corruption and bribery, he said the country's most important institution --- FBR --- would be digitalized by July this year.

Citing the widely-discussed Broadsheet scandal, the Premier pointed out that the official of the British company was explaining in his interview how then prime minister and ministers stole money and transferred it to Britain. He said a Pakistani politician had transferred $1 billion from Saudi Arabia to Britain.

He said when the prime minister of a country indulged in corruption it would trickle down to the lower level and become common. He said: “Look at the lifestyles of the prime ministers and presidents of western countries and look at the lifestyle of the former ruler of a debtor country like Pakistan.”

He said that the former president and prime minister of Pakistan used to stay in very expensive hotels while attending the sessions of the UN General Assembly.

About change in Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the main reason for no change was the 'status quo' and mafia. He said: “The people who take unfair advantage of the old system do not allow the change to happen.”

Citing the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital, he said: “We have made the administrative affairs of the entire hospital paperless to eradicate corruption and favourtism and there is no corruption and everything from buying to selling of medicines to administrative matters is on e-bidding and e-billing”.

Speaking about character, he said that Islam spread in Malaysia and Indonesia because of the virtuous character of Muslim merchants. He said there were instances in the past when Pakistani citizens were respected all over the world, adding the US president had received the visiting Pakistani president at the airport in the United States and how the queen had received him when he had visited Britain.

Imran Khan said: “Our decline started when we turned away from the truth and bribery became common and the leaders of political parties indulged in corruption.” He said commission or bribe was rife in road construction so the NHA had decided to digitalize its administrative affairs.

Likewise, he said that the biggest change would come when the FBR would be fully digitalized. He was hopeful that complete digitization of the FBR would improve the tax collection graph. Similarly, he said all the ministries had been given six months and hopefully they would switch to e-governance.