Thursday Jan 28, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Corruption in Pakistan is perceived to have increased compared to last year as the country now ranks 124 out of 180 countries, four places down from 2019's ranking, on a global corruption perceptions list prepared by Transparency International (TI), an international non-governmental organisation based in Berlin.
The Berlin-based non-profit releases the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) every year, ranking 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people.
Pakistan lost four positions in 2020 compared to 2019 and seven positions compared to 2018. In 2019, Pakistan ranked 120th on the global corruption list and 117 in 2018.
In neighbouring countries, the corruption score of India, Iran and Nepal also worsened by one point and Malaysia's by two points. On the other hand, Afghanistan's corruption score improved by 3 and Turkey's by 1.
Pakistan’s score in CPI 2020 has lowered to 31/100 from 32/100 in 2019 and rank to 124/180 from 120/180 in 2019.
This is despite efforts of NAB which claims to have recovered Rs363 billion in the last two years and the Public Accounts Committee claiming recoveries of Rs300 billion in over two years.
TI Pakistan Chairperson Sohail Muzaffar says Pakistan has scored less than last year on two counts: the rule of law index and varieties of democracy.
The questions asked by the rule of law index and varieties of democracy, he said, are about the corruption of government officials through legislatures (parliament), executives (bureaucracy), judiciary, police and military.
Muzaffar said that the government has to improve its performance in these four sectors.
CPI uses a scale of 0 to 100 to rank nations, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. Pakistan's score — 31/100 — is one below its score last year and well below the CPI average for the year 2020.
Pakistan ranked at the 117th place for the years 2017 and 2018.
The country had scored 33/100 on the CPI in 2018 and 32/100 in 2017. Although Pakistan's score on the index has not changed much compared to the past year, changes in the scores of other countries on the list can be one reason why Pakistan slipped in the ranking.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister of Pakistan on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill was quick to defend the government after Pakistan's ranking was revealed on the global corruption list.
He said TI has again exposed Pakistan's leaders and their corruption. He said if you take the data sources out, you will find outdated data has been used to calculate Pakistan's rating.
He gave an example of World Bank data cited in by TI which has been published in 2017. He said this means the data for a 2017 publication must have been collected before 2017. He showed another data source from 2018.
He said this corruption perception report, thus, is from the last tenure of the Pakistan Muslim League -Nawaz government.
You can listen to Gill's full statement here.