DUBAI: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Friday that the recently released Transparency International report on corruption in Pakistan was fabricated, baseless and a pack of lies that depicted volume of corruption more than country's annual budget, and negated its earlier acknowledgement of anti-corruption measures adopted by Pakistan.
In a statement issued here, he said the report had depicted daily corruption of Rs7 billion with its annual volume of Rs25.20 trillion in the country, which was the strongest evidence to prove its irrationality and falseness.
The information minister observed that Transparency International had modified its method for calculating its perception index this year and that the current score was incomparable with that of previous year. Likewise, the comparison between Pakistan's 33rd rank with 42nd of previous year was illogical.
Kaira added that no country maintained same score during previous years as out of total 176 countries, around two-third countries obtained a score below 50 manifesting that increase in corruption was a global phenomenon. In this respect, the minister pointed out that the rising trend of corruption in South Asian states was more worrisome. Nepal came in at 139 in the list of most corrupt countries, followed by Bangladesh and Afghanistan depicting that the whole region was crippled with corruption.
Suggesting a means to arrest this worrisome development, he said the situation needed to be addressed through civil society, media, business community and the government using different techniques.
The Information Minister said even the countries located at the heart of the Euro Zone have been showing dismal progress in Corruption Perception Index. He observed that the world's top 85 multinational companies do not show their tax invoices on their corporate website.
Combating corruption in Pakistan
Defending Pakistan in light of poor rating it received in the report, Kaira said that the country has taken a number of steps to combat corruption. At the parliamentary level, the Public Accounts Committee was actively working and for the first time in country's history, the opposition leader in the National Assembly was appointed as its chairman which manifests the government's commitment to eliminate corruption.
Presenting figures to back his claim, Kaira said the PAC has so far recovered Rs180 billion indiscriminately that was also lauded by the Transparency International as it had helped reduce corruption, but now through this report, the TI was negating its own stance.
He dilated that at the federal level, the National Accountability Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency were working, while Anti-Corruption Departments were performing at provincial levels, which have also recovered embezzled amounts and acted against the responsible people.
The information minister added that in Pakistan the judiciary and media were functioning independently in arresting corruption. The courts had taken suo motu notices on the basis of media reports, several of those have been disposed of and plenty of others were subjudice he pointed out.
"It is a fact that graph of corruption has come down owing to efficient performance of NAB and FIA as well as court cases," he commented.
Kaira alleged that TI had no mechanism in Pakistan to detect corruption in the institutions, rather its findings were based on guesses and concocted figures.
The information minister claimed that since Pakistan Peoples Party came into power, various reports have come to scene regarding corruption, or about popularity graphs, but such elements neither achieved their targets nor would they do so in future.
"Despite all such nefarious propaganda, the democratic government was about to complete its tenure for the first time in the history [of the country] that would follow the caretaker government and the general elections. The PPP would come into rule once again to serve the masses for next five years," the minister declared.