Corruption index: Pakistan's global ranking improves by 12 spots

Published: December 3, 2013
Recent survey by Transparency International reveals Pakistan has become less corrupt in 2013 as compared to 2012. PHOTO: FILE

Recent survey by Transparency International reveals Pakistan has become less corrupt in 2013 as compared to 2012. PHOTO: FILE

BERLIN: While the government is regularly accused of corruption, a recent survey by Transparency International revealed on Tuesday that Pakistan is deemed to be less corrupt in 2013 as compared to 2012.

Pakistan has improved its ranking by 12 places in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 since last year. The country now has 48 countries behind it in the corruption index against only 35 in 2012.

Pakistan, which was ranked 127 on the scale of 1 – 175 this year, has witnessed irregular decrease in corruption in the last five years. Pakistan was ranked 139 in 2009, 143 in 2010, 134 in 2011 and 139 in 2012.

The study by the graft watchdog declared Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia as the world’s most corrupt countries while Denmark and New Zealand came out as nearly squeaky-clean.


Worldwide, almost 70 percent of nations are thought to have a “serious problem” with public servants on the take, and none of the 177 countries surveyed this year got a perfect score, said the Berlin-based non-profit group.

Transparency International’s annual list is the most widely used indicator of sleaze in political parties, police, justice systems and civil services, a scourge which undermines development and the fight against poverty.

“Corruption hurts the poor most,” lead researcher Finn Heinrich told AFP.

“That’s what you see when you look at the countries at the bottom. Within those countries, it’s also poor people who get hurt the most. These countries will never get out of the poverty trap if they don’t tackle corruption.”

Highs and lows

Among countries that have slipped the most on the group’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index are war-torn Syria as well as Libya and Mali, which have also faced major military conflict in recent years.

“Corruption is very much linked to countries that fall apart, as you see in Libya, Syria, two of the countries that deteriorated the most,” said Heinrich.

“If you look at the bottom of the list, we also have Somalia there. These are not countries where the government is functioning effectively, and people have to take all means in order to get by, to get services, to get food, to survive.”

Heinrich said Afghanistan, where most Nato-led Western forces are pulling out next year after a more than decade long deployment, is “a sobering story. We have not seen tangible improvements”.

“The West has not only invested in security but also in trying to establish the rule of law. But there have been surveys in the last couple of years showing the share of people paying bribes is still one of the highest in the world.”

Also at the bottom of the list is North Korea, “an absolutely closed totalitarian society”, said Heinrich, where defectors report that famine is worsening corruption “because you have to know someone in the party who is corrupt in order to even survive”.

Among the “most improved” countries, although from a low base, was Myanmar, where a former military junta has opened the door to the democratic process and, facing an investment boom, has formally committed to transparency and accountability rules.

“That’s the only way countries can avoid the ‘resource curse’, where the resources are only available to a very small elite,” said Heinrich. “Nigeria and other oil-rich countries are obviously very good examples.”

Huguette Labelle, chair of Transparency, said “all countries still face the threat of corruption at all levels of government, from the issuing of local permits to the enforcement of laws and regulations”.


The group says that because corruption is illegal and secretive, it cannot be meaningfully measured.

Instead Transparency collates expert views on the problem from bodies such as the World Bank, African Development Bank, Economist Intelligence Unit, Bertelsmann Foundation, Freedom House and other groups.

It then ranks countries on a scale of 0-100, where 0 means a country’s public sector is considered highly corrupt and 100 means its is regarded as very clean.


The latest survey “paints a worrying picture”, said Transparency. “While a handful perform well, not one single country gets a perfect score. More than two-thirds score less than 50.”

The bottom-ranked countries, scoring 10 to 19, included Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan and South Sudan, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

At the top, between 80 and 89, aside from Denmark and New Zealand, were Luxembourg, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Singapore, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

“The top performers clearly reveal how transparency supports accountability and can stop corruption,” said Labelle.

“Still, the better performers face issues like state capture, campaign finance and the oversight of big public contracts which remain major corruption risks.”

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (53)

  • Majid
    Dec 3, 2013 - 1:36PM

    PMLN all the way, Alhamdulillah!


  • Ghauri Missile
    Dec 3, 2013 - 1:41PM

    World breaking achievement for Pakistani standards. Congrats to us. May Allah continue to guide us towards Enlightenment.


  • Ijaz
    Dec 3, 2013 - 2:22PM


    IK is the catalyst here. Because of his fierce opposition and exemplary measures in KPK to force PMLN to follow the same. Otherwise PMLN does not have any will nor any capability to curb corruption. for example in another news NS has removed NADRA chairman after he refused to cover up massive rigging in election 2013.

  • Malik
    Dec 3, 2013 - 2:24PM

    It should be 12 Nations became worse than Pakistan,
    there is no way we have improved ??? Just go to apply a driving licence for a say.


  • Shazia Bangash
    Dec 3, 2013 - 3:23PM

    The Imran Khan effect.


  • The Joker
    Dec 3, 2013 - 3:54PM

    everykind of research now-a-days is just so fake and flawed well let me put the real story in short words.To get a better rating you have to purchase a platinum membership and then the golden and then the silver and then the worst corruption rating you will get if you don’t have the money you know what i am saying so you see Nawaz is spending our tax money on buying good ratings to show the investors that the word Corruption is no where to be found in Pakistan.i say Good job Baldy Old Chap.Recommend

  • Karachiite
    Dec 3, 2013 - 3:57PM

    Negativity combined with jealousy is killerRecommend

  • Parvez
    Dec 3, 2013 - 3:59PM

    When the Nawaz government goes it will improve by anothe 11 points.Recommend

  • shoaib
    Dec 3, 2013 - 4:03PM

    That is something called a common man corruption not institutional corruption. Recommend

  • Balochi
    Dec 3, 2013 - 4:03PM

    Slap on the face of PPP who now claim to have developed a modern pakistan, politics on the deadRecommend

  • Abdullah
    Dec 3, 2013 - 4:06PM

    All thanks to PPP for getting out of government, else Pakistan would’ve gone down 12 spotsRecommend

  • Pakistani1
    Dec 3, 2013 - 4:10PM

    2012 = PPP + friendly opposition of PML
    2013= PML + fierce opposition of PTI

  • iMuslim
    Dec 3, 2013 - 4:12PM

    Imran Khan zindabadRecommend

  • Dec 3, 2013 - 4:42PM

    Oh God what am I listening? It means that Army rule was more corrupt then the civil rule. Well some thing to cheer about.


  • JAM
    Dec 3, 2013 - 4:56PM

    it does not matter that rank in improved. Important thing is if corruption index in improved.


  • Muhammad Imran
    Dec 3, 2013 - 5:15PM

    What is credibility of Transparency International Pakistan? A controversial person is heading the organization and its surveys base on the perception of people those who interviewed by university students….

    If corruption mean earning money through illegal means than you cannot caught a government run by capitalists.They looting through legal means by relaxing strict regulation and creating favorable market environment. I will recommend here a documentary “Inside Job” to understand how financial lobbyists and capitalists looting people through breaching weak regulation structure of a state.

    In above mentioned documentary you will also able to understand how rating organizations and institutions like Transparency International are working hand in hand with these giants looter(capitalists).

    In Pakistani case indirect taxes(also called stealth tax in west) is worst example of looting people for nothing…..


  • Sultan Mehmood
    Dec 3, 2013 - 5:21PM

    @Shazia Bangash:

    Yes, we should always have Nawaz in the government, and Imran in the opposition. ;)


  • Tauseef Riaz
    Dec 3, 2013 - 5:30PM

    Imran Khan I love you. You do a superb job cleaning up Pakistan


  • asim
    Dec 3, 2013 - 5:42PM

    When Musharraf left foreign debt was 40 billion $. Now it stands at 80b$. Highest loans were taken in the history but where is the money NO dams, no electricity, no gas, No medical for people.
    State bank governor says 25m$ daily going out of Pakistan. Inflation at its peak. one kg ata 50RS.

    I think this report is not correct lets see who prepared the report and how it was prepared?
    May be some one paid to make the ranking better.


  • Ijaz
    Dec 3, 2013 - 6:20PM

    @Sultan Mehmood

    No!! we dont believe in damage control only. We want progress, so lets bring IK to the chair and make into top 10 clean countries.


  • Concerned
    Dec 3, 2013 - 6:22PM

    where is the news about the Nadra chief sacking. we want facts behind who issued the order. ask who is behind it. We all know its Nawazoo but we should still ask.


  • Javed
    Dec 3, 2013 - 6:29PM

    This is a good news for our former President. His demand will sky rocket and he can now be hired for lectures from the countires where Politicians involved in corruption get caught. He can charge ten times more than that of Musharraf and Benazir’s lectures. His lectures will be titled “How to get away with corrupt practices – untouched”.


  • xor
    Dec 3, 2013 - 6:41PM

    coz of KPK govt.


  • Pedro
    Dec 3, 2013 - 7:33PM

    10 most honest nations are all Western (except one, Singapore).
    Of the 10 most corrupt nations, all are Muslim, except two.

    So depressing to the the moral bankruptcy and decay of the western/post-christian civilization…
    Only sharia can saves us..(sarcasm).


  • Dec 3, 2013 - 7:40PM

    I am very disappointed to see that most of the commentators from Pakistan are challenging this report and asserting otherwise. It looks that denial mode is so deeply taken root in the people of Pakistan that they do not believe any thing to be true. They keep on denying denying and denying every thing. Sad is it not?


  • Dec 3, 2013 - 7:54PM

    My comments is this let us hand this democratic government over to military government it will be better.


  • unbelievable
    Dec 3, 2013 - 8:05PM

    Someone deserves a Kudos – good news should be acknowledged/appreciated.


  • Oats
    Dec 3, 2013 - 8:38PM

    @Parvez: You forget that not only has Pakistan’s international image improved with stable governance, less corruption and better investment but Pakistanis themselves have become a great deal more optimistic since Nawaz Sharif has come to power. It goes to show that a democratic system with good checks and balances is the only way for Pakistan to move forward.


  • anoop
    Dec 3, 2013 - 8:43PM

    good,,,, wishes from india you can do better


  • GIndian
    Dec 3, 2013 - 9:02PM

    This is a sharp improvement. Computerization in government offices can reduce corruption to some extent as chances of officers to come into direct contact with citizens get reduced.


  • lol
    Dec 3, 2013 - 10:01PM

    pakistan shares rank with russia now at 127….. china is at 80….. india unchanged at 94 ,,,brazil is at 72 whereas US of A is 19……..


  • Raj - USA
    Dec 3, 2013 - 10:12PM

    Next year, when Modi becomes the PM, India’s score shall improve by 50 points. Modi shall bring back the $2 billion of Sonia Gandhi’s wealth stashed abroad.


  • MJ
    Dec 3, 2013 - 10:15PM

    Knowing how our government, bureaucracy and foreign offices operate, Transparency International was probably bribed by them to show an improved corruption ranking for Pakistan.


  • Muslim Leaguer
    Dec 3, 2013 - 10:15PM

    This is indeed a very good news coming from Pakistan.
    The radicalized pseudo-intellectual trolls of political wings of TTP should now learn to digest good news from Pakistan after 5years of massive corruption endowed by a former dictator through National Recorruption Ordinance (NRO– overnight closing of more than 8000 cases of corruption).
    Long Live Pakistan!


  • Sparta
    Dec 3, 2013 - 10:59PM


    10 most honest nations are all Western
    (except one, Singapore). Of the 10
    most corrupt nations, all are Muslim,
    except two. So depressing to the the
    moral bankruptcy and decay of the
    western/post-christian civilization…
    Only sharia can saves us..(sarcasm).

    What does the corruption of those countries have anything to do with Islam or Sharia?Your comment is really asinine, none of those 8 Muslim-majority countries follow sharia law:
    Syria -Secular
    Iraq -No sharia
    Libya -No sharia
    Somalia/Somaliland -No sharia
    Afghanistan -No sharia
    none of the countries mentioned follow sharia law, in fact most Muslims would probably agree that the constitutions of most western countries are compatible with Islam.


  • Parvez
    Dec 3, 2013 - 11:53PM

    @Oats: Your optimism has a feel-good ring to it, lets hope you’ve seen the economic figures and the extent of our borrowings and the factual state of the economy before commenting.


  • Qismat khattak
    Dec 4, 2013 - 12:04AM

    If the corruption rate in pakistan improved now as compare to previous governoment then whats the reason of increasing the rate of daily using things day by day.


  • Randomstranger
    Dec 4, 2013 - 12:17AM


    Are you by any chance agent Vinod?


  • Khan
    Dec 4, 2013 - 1:17AM

    CYBER HINDUS in full hate spreading mode, go comment on indian sites


  • ufaquarian
    Dec 4, 2013 - 1:26AM

    @Oats : Which world do you live in , where are you seeing improved optimism among Pakistani s ? How has Pakistan’s image improved with militants still flagging around ,militants found in seminaries , Islamabad shut down by lone con man , PU’s event of yesterday , rising prices , huge circular debt , record borrowing from IMF , agreement by government to increase electricity prices , revenue collection target being repeatedly misses etc etc.

    Its good to be passionate about your specific leader but rationality and logic is much needed. I support Imran Khan and believe that things will improve InshaAllah. I am so much waiting for the day when we get done with this Taliban mess.


  • Awais
    Dec 4, 2013 - 1:48AM

    People who are praising PMLN, should not get too excited. They have too many corruption cases in just these 6 months, it is the opposition of PTI which has helped to decrease corruption.


  • Diretide
    Dec 4, 2013 - 9:51AM

    PTI all the way … ! I wish PTI was ruling party then Pakistan must’v improved 50 points atleast ..


  • KAKA
    Dec 4, 2013 - 10:13AM

    I dont believe in credibility of this report, believe in what I see everyday


  • Malik
    Dec 4, 2013 - 2:17PM


    Should also face the reality, in 2012 Pakistan Confidence Interval was 27 and in 2013 it is changed to 28 (where higher is better) so we improved a rank.
    I Wish Pakistan can go 100


  • Dec 4, 2013 - 7:01PM

    @Randomstranger: At least I write my real name and do not hide behind funny names. If I am an agent I am an agent of peace and also a well wisher of Pakistan. I do not comment out of hate but try to say some thing that the most of the enlightened writers and opinion columnists of Pakistan are saying. Don’t you think that the news of reduction of corruption is some thing to cheer about and not to be contradicted..


  • Dec 4, 2013 - 7:02PM

    @Khan: please quote the comment where I have spread hate. I am a friend not enemy.


  • sm
    Dec 5, 2013 - 1:55AM

    @Raj – USA:
    Not so sure. Would like to believe it is true. But for the moment the Mullahs seem to be
    more corrupt than the Maofiosi.


  • sterry
    Dec 5, 2013 - 2:15AM

    @KAKA: I believe this report since it is coming from a European agency. Also from what I see in Rawalpindi, Gujranwala and Lahore, things are clearly improving in Pakistan. Good news is good news.


  • sabi
    Dec 5, 2013 - 7:18AM

    “I am very disappointed to see that most of the commentators from Pakistan are challenging this report and asserting otherwise.”
    Well said.


  • imad
    Dec 10, 2013 - 12:43AM

    Muslim should not be courupt.very sham for corrupt Muslims.


  • Dec 10, 2013 - 7:10PM

    @imad: How about saying such impractical sayings


  • asad
    Dec 10, 2013 - 9:46PM

    The credit goes to PTI, and InshaAllah PML (N) will follow its way as well.


  • Moiz Omar
    Jan 11, 2014 - 6:37AM

    This is good.


More in Pakistan