KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Friday said corruption in Pakistan is not a new phenomenon but today the problem had been “blown out of proportion,” especially in Sindh, because of strong media.
Speaking at an anti-corruption event in Karachi, the chief minister said the Sindh government was being put under the microscope unjustly, with federal agencies interfering in its workings, adding that the media had also been “very harsh” in leveling allegations of corruption on the Sindh government.
He said it was not an easy task to cleanse the province from this ill and it would be unrealistic to claim that corruption will be eradicated in a year or two.
“After the demise of premier Liaquat Ali Khan, prime ministers used change every other day without election, without justification… and that invited Ayub Khan’s martial law,” the chief minister said, substantiating his claim that corruption had been present in Pakistan for decades.
Corruption has become a part of life in every section of our society, said Qaim. “I partially appreciate the media for highlighting corruption but this problem cannot solely be eradicated by good governance.”
Qaim said Pakistan is facing several problems including poverty and terrorism, adding that it was impossible to “do away with all these issues in a short span of time.”
He reiterated his earlier allegation of “Sindh being under attack from federal agencies.” He referred to interference by Rangers, FIA and NAB as “unconstitutional.”
“Corruption is a provincial subject now. If you prove that provinces have failed and that the federal government has succeeded in rooting out corruption, only then will this interference be justified.”
The CM said his government was determined to rid the province from the menace of corruption but stressed that it was not an easy task given that corruption had taken deep roots since the creation of Pakistan.
“What was happening in Pakistan during Ziaul Haq’s time or before 2008 when a democratic government came into power?” Qaim asked the audience. He said it was essential to expose corruption and it was a problem that ought to be highlighted.
Qaim Ali Shah said his entire cabinet, including himself, were accountable to the people of Sindh and would put in whole-hearted efforts for transparency.