Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senators on Friday challenged the credibility of a report by the country’s top accountability body, which claimed that the magnitude of daily corruption in the country could range from Rs10 to 12 billion.
However, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Zafar Ali Shah seemed much perturbed by the figures.
On a point of order, he said that a “responsible organisation’s chief (National Accountability Bureau [NAB] Chairman Fasih Bokhari)” claims that there is about Rs10 to Rs12 billion corruption on a daily basis, which threatens the nation’s stability. He also lamented the government’s indifference towards corruption.
“If the government controls this curse, it can successfully achieve the slogan of former Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chief Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,” he said. Holding the government responsible for the astronomical figures of corruption, Shah urged immediate measures for checking it.
In response, PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the statement issued by the NAB chairman was contrary to facts and ground realities. Initially, he recalled, the NAB chairman had stated that there was corruption of Rs7 billion but later enhanced the figure to Rs12 billion – a move which, Babar said, questioned the credibility of NAB’s claims.
Though Babar admitted that corruption was a menace in the public system, he expressed scepticism over the NAB report.
Meanwhile, Awami National Party (ANP) Senator Zahid Khan said that declaring politicians as tax evaders is an insult to them. He demanded that tax returns filed by generals, judges and owners of media houses should also be revealed.
Killing of minority leader
Minority Senator Heman Das diverted the attention of the house towards the killing of a spiritual leader of the Hindu community in Balochistan.
He claimed that, under a pre-planned conspiracy, Hindus were being targeted across the country in the recent past. Hindu girls were kidnapped and forced to change their religion while in other cases a girl was kidnapped and gang-raped, he said. Senator Amer Jeet, another minority member, said that killers of the spiritual leader should be exposed.
ANP walked out from the house when the senate secretariat and chairman refused to cooperate over the implementation of the directives of the standing committee on water and power. The committee had issued arrest warrants for Tabish Gohar, CEO Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC), after he refused to appear before the committee.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2012.