ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has slipped by four points on the international Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) and stands at 124th position in comparison to 120th position in 2019.
The rankings were issued by Transparency International (TI) which also showered loads of praise on the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), national media reported.
According to the TI report, Pakistan’s score is 31 out of 100 and the country is ranked at 124th out of 180 countries, and the score has increased four times since 2012. The Berlin-based non-profit releases the CPI every year, ranking 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people. Pakistan lost four positions in 2020 compared to 2019 and seven positions compared to 2018. In 2019, Pakistan ranked 120th on the global corruption list and 117 in 2018.
In neighbouring countries, the corruption score of India, Iran and Nepal also worsened by one point and Malaysia's by two points. On the other hand, Afghanistan's corruption score improved by 3 and Turkey's by 1.
Denmark and New Zealand topped the index this year, with 88 points each. Syria, Somalia and South Sudan are at the bottom of the chart with 14, 12 and 12 points, respectively.
Pakistan’s score in CPI 2020 has lowered to 31/100 from 32/100 in 2019 and rank to 124/180 from 120/180 in 2019.
The TI Pakistan Chairman Sohail Muzaffar says Pakistan has scored less than last year on two counts: the rule of law index and varieties of democracy. The questions asked by the rule of law index and varieties of democracy, he said, are about the corruption of government officials through legislatures (parliament), executives (bureaucracy), judiciary, police and military. Muzaffar said that the government has to improve its performance in these four sectors.
The CPI uses a scale of 0 to 100 to rank nations, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. Pakistan's score — 31/100 — is one below its score last year and well below the CPI average for the year 2020.
Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed the report, and said that Transparency International had obtained the data for the year 2017-18.
He said the PML-N and the Qabza mafia were one and the same and that he would not spare Qabza mafia. Addressing the party spokespersons, the prime minister said that only Justice (R) Azmat Saeed would inquire into the Broadsheet issue.
Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz said the corruption of 30 years cannot be cleaned in 30 months. Talking to Geo News, he said Prime Minister is neat and clean and the impact of his clean record is now shifting to ministers as well.
Reacting to the report, the PML-N spokesperson Maryam Aurangzeb said that the TI report is global proof of the corruption of the Imran Khan government.
“The selected government has failed on every front and only made progress in corruption commission and theft. Congratulations Imran Sahib,” she added.
PPP Senator Sherry Rehman said Prime Minister Imran Khan's claims to end corruption were based on lies. She said corruption is on the rise during this government's tenure and that Pakistan losing a few places on the global corruption index is a question mark on the PTI government's performance. “Pakistan has dropped down seven places on the list since this government came to power,” she said, adding that the world is now watching the story of the government's wrath of corruption. "The focus is on NAB and the government's political opponents, not corruption," Sherry said.
PPP Parliamentarians Secretary Information Shazia Atta Marri said that in the past, Imran Khan used to wave transparency reports and ask governments to go home. “Until 2018, Imran Khan never got tired of wailing over the Transparency International reports,” she said.
The PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar said that the report of Transparency International has exposed the false claims of Imran Khan's government.
The JI Ameer Senator Sirajul Haq expressed concern over further dip in Pakistan’s deterioration on global corruption perception index, saying it showed that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s claims of eliminating corruption and enforce across the board accountability were to hoodwink the voters.
Special Assistant to PM on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill defended the government, saying that the TI has again exposed Pakistan's leaders and their corruption. The prime minister's aide said if one were to take the data sources out, they will find out-dated data has been used to calculate Pakistan's rating.
He gave an example of the WB data cited in by the TI which has been published in 2017. He said this means the data for a 2017 publication must have been collected before 2017. He showed another data source from 2018. He said this corruption perception report, thus, is from the last tenure of the PML-N government.
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