ISLAMABAD: A woman who is leading from the front through her recently launched campaign ‘Say No to Corruption’ got an overwhelming reception in the parliament on Tuesday.
Aliya Rashid, once unbeaten tennis champion of Pakistan, has finalized a set of recommendations on structural reforms for eradication of corruption particularly from government departments. She was assigned by the parliamentary panel to suggest measures to fight the menace of corruption in her role as Director General Awareness and Prevention in NAB.
“There is need to revamp regulatory bodies first where a lot of corruption happens,” Aliya told the Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice.
“We can deal with this menace by curbing the practices of tax evasion, improving the health sector, controlling spurious medicines, reformations in pharmaceutical evolutions and registration. Areas that should be looked into include drug licenses, quality, assurance, laboratory testing and reformation for procurement of syringes and vaccines. Hajj reforms are needed and computerized asset declaration mechanism in the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) needs to be introduced.
For the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, she also suggested a parliamentary body for oversight.
Aliya further proposed that to operate successfully, an accountability agency must possess committed political backing at the highest government levels.
She stated that NAB entrusted with the task of investigating and prosecuting corruption, falls short of ‘required mandate’ to some extent. The transparency of NAB’s prosecution has increasingly been called to question for being selective. Excesses of the military and the judiciary have by and large, been ignored by the bureau she claimed.
In some isolated cases, NAB’s investigation methods have also been reported in the national press as violation of the standard human rights norms. These perceptions need to be rectified, if the accountability process is to gain credibility and transparency, the proposal draft read.
Aliya also requested the lawmakers to play their role to ensure passage of whistleblower act, currently pending before the cabinet for last four months. She also proposed effective right to information laws enhancing transparency and accountability.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2015.
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