Campaign to identify honest govt officials launched

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Activists of Accountability Lab Pakistan hold placards outside the National Press Club on Monday following the launch of ‘Integrity Icon 2019’. — White Star
Activists of Accountability Lab Pakistan hold placards outside the National Press Club on Monday following the launch of ‘Integrity Icon 2019’. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Lab Pakistan on Monday launched the ‘Integrity Icon 2019’, a global campaign run by citizens in search of honest government officials.

The campaign aims at generating a debate on the idea of integrity and demonstrates the importance of honesty and personal responsibility by ‘naming and faming’ exemplary public servants.

Through the campaign, Accountability Lab Pakistan hopes to inspire the new generation to be more effective public servants.

The 2019 campaign, launched here at the National Press Club, has been supported by partners including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Sustainable Social Development Organisation (SSDO).

Fayyaz Yaseen, Country Director of Accountability Lab Pakistan, said it was an opportune time to launch the campaign.

“Pakistan is at a watershed moment in terms of fighting corruption, everyone in the country supports clean, efficient, and corruption-free government. The only difference in opinion may be in how we would like to reach these goals,” he said.

Mr Yaseen said: “We feel it should be through a change of perspective by celebrating the positives, and by making heroes out of the do-gooders within the system.”

UNDP Resident Representative in Pakistan Ignacio Artaza lauded the creativity of the Integrity Icon campaign, saying reframing debates around accountability engendered high levels of popular support.

SSDO Executive Director Syed Kausar Abbas said that it was essential to highlight efficient and honest public servants and praise them.

“I am a strong believer in young peoples’ role in the development of this country; unless they unequivocally reject corruption and demand a transparent government and efficient civil service, things may not change,” he said.

The examples of honest public servants who will be highlighted through this programme not only give us hope about the country, but also provide our youth with the role models that they need to emulate in their own careers.

Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2019