Govt rejects ‘biased’ Transparency International corruption report

Updated January 24, 2020

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Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan speaking at a news conference in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTv
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan speaking at a news conference in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTv

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Friday stated that the government has rejected the findings of the "managed" and "biased" report by Transparency International (TI).

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Friday, Awan said: "There is a huge question mark over the transparency of TI. It is necessary to expose the people and the data, on the basis of which this this report was published, in front of the public.

"It is our fault that we did not fawn over the head of TI's Pakistan chapter and allowed him to retire after the expiry of his term," said Awan. This is contrary to what the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) did which explains why the reports during their term were so favourable, she added.

"Who will respect the findings of a report that says the most amount of corruption was done during the government of Gen Pervez Musharraf, followed by Imran Khan’s government and then by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), placing the PML-N government at the very bottom?

"The findings of the report are laugh worthy. The clean chit given to the 'corruption kings' who are currently under trial in the country’s courts makes it evident that the report is not fair, fair or transparent.

"It is biased."

The PM's aide maintained that those who have fled the country are trying to spread ill will among the people the prime minister has chosen to lead the fight against corruption.

"Prime Minister Imran Khan is adamant on fulfilling the mandate given to him by the people. We will keep on working to provide the people a country free of corruption.

"‘Corruption kings’ are using this report as a tool to hide their sins, but they will be disappointed. Moody’s and other international agencies have not only recognised an improvement in the country’s economic indicators but have also appreciated the efforts being taken by the government."

Commenting on Imran’s recent trip to Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum, Awan stated: “The prime minister’s meetings with global leaders and tech firms and their wishes to invest in the country show that the world has decided to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with Pakistan.”

"The world recognises the credibility of the current government. Such reports will not succeed in deceiving the world.

"The one thing that should be taken away from the index is that the money recovered during the past one year is more than that recovered during the past ten years.

"Instead of highlighting TI’s report, the ‘corruption kings’ should inform the people about Nawaz Sharif’s platelet count."

Calling our Dr Adnan Khan, Awan said: “He used to inform us about Nawaz’s platelet count every two hours, four hours. Now, when they are in a country with the best and latest healthcare facilities, there is radio silence.”

“We think this is a managed report and the PTI has never issued such reports by ‘managing’ people.

"The people have understood that when you are saying that corruption fell during the rule of these two parties, you are making a joke. The people will not own any report which calls Sindh corruption free or says that it was the lowest during the government of PML-N.

"We will continue with our efforts towards taking Pakistan towards progress and prosperity. Such reports will never deter us from our path," she concluded.

Opposition terms report ‘charge-sheet’ against govt

On Thursday, major opposition parties had termed the report a “charge-sheet” against the PTI government saying the report had “badly exposed” Imran's claims about his government’s actions against corruption.

“The TI report is a certificate of failure of the Naya Pakistan project,” PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb had said in a statement. “The report has confirmed that the level and amount of corruption committed by Imran Khan’s government in the past 16 months is more than any government in the entire past decade.”

This report, she had said, was a “slap in the face” of the government as it had exposed all its lies about anti-corruption measures and good governance.

“Imran Khan, who has already been proven incompetent, liar and incapable in the country, has now received an award from an international institution,” Aurangzeb had said in her statement.

She had said Imran had defiled Pakistan globally by calling its governments corrupt and today the world finally found out that “the chief of all corruption is Imran himself”.

If Imran Khan had any moral courage, he should now say the same thing he so vehemently used to say about others that “the country has a corruption problem because the government is a bunch of thieves and looters”, she had said.

The report, she had said, was an eye-opener and an answer to those who used to justify Imran Khan by saying that he was “authoritarian, incompetent and takes massive U-turns and lies but he is not corrupt”. She had said the TI report had endorsed the PML-N’s narrative that the PTI government was looting the country with both hands.

She had added that the report proved that the real reason behind imprisoning PML-N leaders, who had served the nation, was to keep them away while “Imran and his corrupt regime empty the national treasury with unprecedented corruption”.

“From Peshawar Metro to Billion Tree Tsunami to the wheat crisis, the sugar crisis, Rs11,000 billion loans and corruption of writing off friends’ billions have all been published by the TI,” she had said.

Meanwhile, Parliamentary leader of the PPP in the Senate Sherry Rehman in her statement had said the TI report had exposed the so-called accountability process in the country. She said the curtain was about to lift from the corruption committed in the projects of Malam Jabba, Peshawar BRT and other such scams.

Instead of eliminating the corruption, she said, the government would create new records of corruption.

JI chief Senator Sirajul Haq had also talked about the TI report while addressing an Ulema convention at Mansoora. He said the report must be an eye opener for the prime minister who had made tall claims to start a ruthless and across-the-board accountability drive and introduce reforms in governance during his election campaign.

The JI chief wondered how the objective of “clean Pakistan” could be achieved when the ministers were involved in wrongdoings and openly blaming each other of making money through corruption.

Haq had said the decline of the country’s position in democracy index reflected the PTI’s inability to run the government on democratic principles. He said the fragile democracy, corruption, inflation and unemployment had become the trademarks of this government, adding the overall situation had made the masses desperate and hopeless and they wanted to get rid of these rulers at any cost.