President Arif Alvi in a message on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day on Sunday called upon all citizens to contribute towards eliminating corruption and paving the way for economic growth and prosperity.
Alvi recalled that International Anti-Corruption Day was observed due to the 2003 ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption which sought to raise public awareness about financial crimes.
"This day serves as a reminder not only to the people of Pakistan but also to the citizens of all nations around the globe about the harmful effects of corruption," he explained.
Describing corruption as "a major hindrance against development and prosperity", the president said that it hurt business and the economy, which "in turn sabotages the prosperity of the nation".
"Corrupted economies remain unable to function properly because corruption prevents free functioning of the natural laws of the economy. As a result, corruption in a nation's political and economic operations causes its entire society to suffer," he added.
Billions of rupees in public funds are lost annually to corruption, directly affecting "the ability of the government to provide even proper basic services to the public", the president said.
"NAB being the apex anti-corruption agency of Pakistan has been mandated to keep this menace in check as well as to create awareness among the public at large about corruption," Alvi said, noting that the "sheer scale of this challenge calls for combined efforts to confront it head on".
Although the government is committed to eradicating this menace, he said, NAB alone cannot win this fight.
He called upon and urged all segments of society to unite in bringing out changes in attitude and contribute towards efforts in putting an end to corruption to support economic growth in order to bring prosperity.
Alvi addresses seminar
President Arif Alvi on Sunday expressed a resolve to strengthen NAB in order to better check corruption while addressing a seminar held on International Anti-Corruption Day in Islamabad, Radio Pakistan reported.
While addressing the event at Aiwan-i-Sadar, President Alvi called corruption "an assault on humanity".
He added that corruption cases should be taken to their logical conclusion by strengthening prosecution.
'NAB must continue work despite propaganda'
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal also addressed the seminar at Aiwan-i-Sadr today.
Iqbal warned elements in society trying to "spread propaganda" against NAB that the people of Pakistan were not so gullible that they could not differentiate between right and wrong.
The NAB chairman said that the bureaucracy had been worried since he came to power, but assured them that he himself had remained a bureaucrat and would use the resources available to NAB with integrity and "in the best possible way".
Describing the country's bureaucracy as its spine, he said that "if it hurts, therapy must be done".
"The Supreme Court has said this many times, that every bureaucrat will only follow those orders which are in according with law," he said, adding that the apex court had in the past always taken action in the event that a bureaucrat was being treated unfairly.
"People should know that NAB is using it's authorities," Iqbal said.
He added that those who had previous called NAB "dead wood" were now, to some extent, willing to accept that it had become a tree with branches and was in bloom.
"Whether you do propaganda or not, NAB must continue its work," the chairman stated.
Iqbal said that we are no longer living in a time "when you are given a wrong order and you say that it is okay".
He concluded by noting that every step taken by NAB will be for the citizens and state of Pakistan.