Corruption rampant in Pakistan: Transparency International report

Published: May 22, 2014
South Asia now is the worst region in the world when it comes to corruption, according to Transparency International. PHOTO: FILE

South Asia now is the worst region in the world when it comes to corruption, according to Transparency International. PHOTO: FILE

Though politicians in Pakistan constantly accuse each other of corrupt practises and vow to end this evil when they come to power, corruption is on the rise in Pakistan and the rest of South Asia, a new Transparency International report stated.   

The report titled “Fighting Corruption in South Asia: Building Accountability” says South Asia is now the worst region in the world when it comes to corruption.

The report recommends countries in the region (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives) to transform political rhetoric into concrete actions if they are serious about their anti-corruption promises.

Right to information

Despite being the first country in South Asia to introduce a right to information law, the report states that lawmakers in Pakistan failed to make the law strong and effective. “The Freedom of Information Ordinance falls short of international standards, while the new Right to Information Bill has been described as bad as [the law] it seeks to repeal, if not worse,” the report stated,

The report, however, mentions the recently enacted Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Ordinance 2013 and Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act on 12 November 2013 as small steps in the right direction. With zero protection for whistleblowers in the region, the report also commends the K-P bill for including articles that cover elements of whistleblower protection.

More than the strength of the law and government’s ability to implement it, the report expresses concern over how unaware citizens are of their rights. The report claims there is a perception among general public that the law is not relevant to them.

Anti-corruption watchdogs

The report lauded the judiciary and national corruption watchdog body for their accountability efforts in the country. While it praised the National Accountability Bureau for exposing Pakistan’s biggest financial scam – Double Shah Scam, the report stated that the role played by the country’s active and independent judiciary has been transformative.

But the report admitted the apex court had overused its power too many times, which raises questions about the need to balance independence of oversight bodies with accountability.


Apart from strengthening the RTI law, Transparency International called on the government to invest in setting up strong infrastructure and training officials to ensure authorities are able to provide information to citizens in a timely manner as required by law. It further demanded that states invest in public education campaigns to raise awareness among citizens of their fundamental right to information and of how to hold their governments accountable.

The report also recommended that the government should avoid manipulating with the scope and jurisdiction of NAB and that appointments, transferral and removals of heads and senior staff of anti-corruption agencies and the judiciary should be conducted transparently.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Mohammed
    May 22, 2014 - 5:57PM

    This whole problem arose because of IK becoming PM-had the PML and PPP been in power we would had no corruption because democracy is the best revenge taken out on the people.


  • Fawad
    May 22, 2014 - 6:03PM

    Pakistan is the lowest among the 6. No surprise here. Pmln, ppp and the military have ruled us for major part of our history, what else do you expect?


  • Safwan
    May 22, 2014 - 6:04PM

    “Corruption is on the rise in Pakistan” Of course, PMLN Zindabad!


  • Jibran
    May 22, 2014 - 6:07PM

    There is nothing but corruption behind the way projects are being awarded, run, institutions being privatized, top slots being awarded to frontmen, 0.5 trillion distributed overnight to buddies without any audit.


  • Absar
    May 22, 2014 - 6:11PM

    And the other day the other news said that by 2050 Pakistan will become the 17th best economy in the world.

    In the absence of corruption it might even be 10 or under 10.


  • Shahriyar
    May 22, 2014 - 8:39PM

    rampant ? u gotta be kidding me. Corruption is in the blood of most of Pakistanis. We just are done with the most corrupt person in this world as our most top ruler. People are corrupt and love corrupt rulers


  • sterry
    May 23, 2014 - 12:06AM

    @Shahriyar: We tolerated a corrupt dictator for 10 years so we deserve to be lumped together with all the corrupt Arab countries like Syria, Libya, Egypt and Iraq. Muslims in general have no respect for democracy and institutions so it does not surprise me that so many Muslim countries have a poor ranking in TI reports of all world countries. Incidentally Pakistan is still less corrupt than most Muslim countries – we are still ahead of Tajikistan, Bangladesh etc!


  • Citizen
    May 23, 2014 - 7:41AM


    Considering IK isn’t even the Prime Minister, your callous assumption is a fallacy, to say the least. Check your facts before you throw out statements like that around, since to me your bias reeks through this fallacy-ridden argument of yours.


  • Shahriyar
    May 23, 2014 - 10:24AM

    @sterry: R u kidding me ?? Pakistan’s total debt was 6 trillion rupees when corruption party regime took over in 2008. It became 14 trillion when corruption party regime ended in 2014. Where did all that money go ? As no single significant development project was completed neither people were given relief of any kind??? Such out of the blue corruption you can not even find in Egypt.


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