International Anti-Corruption Day was celebrated on Sunday the world over, including Pakistan, marking the signing of United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) at Merida, a city in Mexico in 2003.
Pakistan was among member states that signed the convention at the Charter of UN in August 2007, and has remained an active member in its deliberations for combating corruption.
The government designated the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as the central authority for purporting international cooperation and combating the social evil under the provisions of the convention, NAB spokesman Zafar Iqbal said.
NAB plays a key role in dealing with affairs related to providing mutual legal assistance with States Parties and holding meaningful dialogues at various forums, like the Inter-governmental Working Groups on Review Implementation, Assets Recovery and technical assistance.
The bureau has participated in a Pilot Programme on Review Implementation of UNCAC, where Pakistan was reviewed by Croatia and UK for eight articles of the Convention under its peer review exercise.
Currently, NAB is reviewing Kazakhstan, based on a self-assessment checklist provided by Kazakhstan. Similarly, Pakistan is to be audited by two States Parties (Soloman Island and Norway) in the beginning of 2013, for which an in-house exercise is in the process of preparing a self-assessment checklist based on existing laws, rules and regulations against corruption, the spokesman said.
According to Iqbal, NAB has so for recovered Rs250 billion corruption money siphoned off by the corrupt. Under its prevention regime, envisaged under the provisions of UNCAC, NAB saved Rs1.5 trillion from being embezzled, through its early interventions in more than a thousand projects.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2012.