In a severe blow to the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan has droped off three spots from the previous year’s ranking in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).
Pakistan has been placed at 120 ranking out of 180 countries, last year it was 127. On a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), Pakistan was given a score of 32, a point lower than its score of 33 on the 2018 index and well below the global average of 43, Dawn newspaper has reported quoting the CPI report of the Transparency International (TI).
In a statement, Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) Chairman Sohail Muzaffar said that many developed countries, including Canada, France, the United Kingdom and Denmark, had performed badly in 2019.
According to the CPI, the average score for Asia-Pacific is 45 out of 100, showing Afghanistan as ‘highly corrupt’ with a score of 16. New Zealand was on the top of the ranking in the region with a score of 87 followed by Singapore ranked fourth with a score of 85.
The TIP chief praised the measures taken by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a bid to uproot embezzlement from public institutions.
“The NAB has collected Rs153 billion from corrupt elements and filed 530 references and its overall conviction ratio in the accountability courts is about 70 per cent,” he said.
On Dec 13, Special Assistant on Accountability Shahzad Akbar had said Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment had recovered government land worth 129 billion rupees last year.
Replying to PML-N leader Maryam Aurangzeb’s questions in a news conference in Islamabad, he had said Asset Recovery Unit spent 23 million rupees so far on its administrative expenditures, including the salaries of staff.
“Those that have ruled the country for 35 years have been indulged in corruption and illegal practices, now that they are being held accountable there is tremendous hue and cry,” Akbar had said.
The Special Assistant had said NAB had also recovered money under plea-bargain law.
Akbar had also alleged that the PML-N had laundered money in the past through cash boys . “Who were Masroor Anwar and Shoaib cash boys?” he had asked.