Pakistani Corruption a Rare Love Story

The Global Corruption Index is set to release on January 31st. It’s worth noting that Musharraf’s departure placed the country at 143 in the corruption index. The corrupt Zardari government decreased it to 137, achieving a six-level improvement. Nawaz Sharif, considered a thief and dacoit, brought it down to 117 with a twenty-level improvement, and Imran Khan, portrayed as honest and upright, restored it to 140.
During the PDM era, Pakistan maintained its position at 140, and I anticipate that this year, it will either enhance its ranking or remain at the same level without facing a decline.

A global corruption index is set to be published on 31 January. It’s worth remembering that Musharraf left the country at 143 in the corruption index. The corrupt Zardari government ranked at 137, while the notorious Nawaz Sharif secured a position at 161. The honest and upright Imran Khan brought it back to 140. Pakistan currently holds a firm position at 140, and my prediction is that it will either improve its standing or maintain it this year, with no significant decline. Imran Khan’s anti-corruption stance marked a unique period in Pakistan’s recent history.

Perhaps another reason is that from Musharraf to the PML-N government, dollars continued to flow into the Pashtun region for the benefit of the United States, maintaining an environment conducive to terrorism. However, with Imran Khan’s government, changes in Afghanistan and alterations in the overall environment resulted in a clear reduction in the dollars coming into Pakistan.

According to other newspapers in our country, during Nawaz’s era, prices reached their lowest levels. Niazi on the other hand is not just a thief; he is the biggest dacoit who, with the funds collected as donations, has become a robber of Pakistan’s treasury. May Allah bring ruin upon Niazi and his followers.

Focus on the index points rather than rankings

The PTI supporters appear to be unwavering in their conviction, as no amount of global influence, factual information, or logical reasoning seems sufficient to sway their perspective.

To them, the progress that occurred during Khan’s tenure is worth acknowledging. The failure to conclude corruption cases against the mafia is cited as a reason for the CPI (Corruption Perception Index) increasing during the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) tenure. Conversely, the index was down because the judiciary concluded corruption cases against MNS (presumably referring to Nawaz Sharif).

From 2013 to the present, Pakistan has remained in the same position. The corruption score of Pakistan did not increase or decrease, staying between 100 and 40. The corruption score of Pakistan did not change; it stayed constant. With incomplete statistics, one can manipulate the narrative to suit a particular agenda. To them, the public is forcefully being made to understand that Imran Khan has been in government for only three years, and the comparison is being made with the 35-year rule of corrupt politicians who are allegedly performing their duties well.

Not only did the exports increase, but the current account deficit, which was around 4 billion dollars in 2013, rose to 19 billion dollars by 2018. Imran Khan’s government later managed to reduce it to 12 billion dollars.

What was the economic team of the PML-N doing during those 5 years?

How did the corruption of the Sharif family make its way into the CPI, while money laundering and the entry of illegal funds are not even considered by the CPI? In June 2013, PML-N took over the government, and at that time, the Zardari government had handed over nearly 127 position. An index of 143 was recorded during the Zardari era in 2010.

From 2013 to 2018, the country was progressing to such an extent that its exports declined so much in the first three years that they could not even reach the 4th and 5th positions, where they were in 2013. On the other hand, during Khan’s fourth year in power, according to World Bank figures, there was an increase of 9 billion dollars in exports.

Certainly, the Transparency Index (commonly known as the Corruption Index) indicates that an increase in a country’s index points corresponds to higher transparency and lower corruption. Here, the graph illustrates that during Imran Khan’s tenure, the transparency graph declined.

According to them, Khan’s era is considered the sole golden period in the 75-year history of Pakistan as they point out corruption index points instead of ranking change. Transparency Perception Index works on the perception of corruption in any country. During Imran Khan’s tenure, as there were more cases against Nawaz Sharif or cases in progress, the perception of corruption was also higher. They think that if a compartive is drawnn between Pakistan and other Governments, their perception would look even worse.

My recent interaction with a Pakistani expatriate robotic surgeon abroad strongly supports this sentiment. However, it’s ironic that, as a society, we seem to have lost the ability to accept facts and assess situations without bias.

I recently met a Pakistani robotic surgeon, likely one of the pioneers in this field among Pakistani doctors abroad. He shared an interesting story where his host country offered 2000 scholarships for South Asia, and he attempted to secure some for Pakistan. Upon his return to Pakistan in 2019, he briefed the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Youth Affairs, @UdarOfficial.

After the briefing, SAPM Umar took an unusual stance and told the robotic surgeon, “Baki cheezein aap se PA decide kar ley ga,” leaving the decision on everything else to the Principal Accounting Officer.

Now, as Pakistanis, we understand the implications of such a statement. However, what’s ironic is that the determined surgeon insisted, saying, “Khan ko aise logon ne chalne nahi diya bas” – expressing frustration that individuals like him weren’t allowing Khan to govern freely.

It’s not about the ruler; it’s about the financial dynamics within this governance system. Corruption tends to decrease when Pakistan is under an IMF program due to heightened oversight and transparency. On the other hand, the cycle of printing money, securing loans, and initiating projects, sometimes leading to corruption, remains a concern. This highlights the need for strong fiscal management, efficient project oversight, and robust anti-corruption measures to ensure sustainable economic development.

Corruption flourishes in environments with weak institutions and lack of transparency, emphasizing the importance of addressing these fundamental issues for a governance system resilient to corruption, regardless of the economic assistance programs in place.

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