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OKARA: It was a sight to see: public schools’ students hitting the podium one after another and delivering speeches on the International Day of Anti-Corruption in emotional tones at the Okara Arts Council Hall on Saturday.

One of them said amid thundering applause that there existed an unwritten agreement among public, government officials, opinion makers and politicians to be least bothered about corruption in society.

The seminar, where boys and girls delivered speeches in English and Urdu, was held by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE).

They said the nation had forgotten its constitutional and legal duties to improve the situation and instead left such affairs to fate, which was really bad luck.

One speaker argued that corruption and poverty were linked to each other and it was corruption which forced the governments to go to the IMF for loans. Rulers mostly obliged their supporters from the national exchequer for their ulterior gains.

The students who spoke on the occasion included Haseebur Rehman, Muhammad Sulman, Kinza Mushtaq, Nimra Khalid, Zainab Adnan and Fajar Ejaz.

District Council Chairman Malik Ali Abbas Qadir, Additional Deputy Commissioner Khurram Shahzad, Regional ACE Director Kashif Muhammad Ali, Deputy Director Asma Sabir, Chief Executive Officer of Education Rana Muhammad Sohail Azhar, Colleges Director Muhammad Naveed and Okara Municipal Committee Vice-Chairman Sheikh Liaqat Ali were also present.

ACE director Kashif Muhammad Ali admitted that they failed to control corruption in society. He said other than bribery, unlawful use of power and avoiding responsibilities were also corrupt practices.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2018