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Police remain most corrupt in Pakistan, TIP survey shows

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  • Survey says police first while judiciary 3rd most corrupt department.
  • Tendering & contracting emerge as 2nd most corrupt sector.
  • Education climbs to 4th rung of the corruption ladder since 2021.

ISLAMABAD: A fresh survey Friday revealed that police continue to occupy the top rung of the corruption ladder in the country followed by tendering & contracting, judiciary, and education —which climbed to 4th since the last poll carried out in 2021.

These are the findings of Transparency International Pakistan’s (TIP) National Corruption Perception Survey (NCPS) 2022.

The NCPS 2022 released at 01:00 am on Friday also showed no confidence in anti-corruption entities including National Accountability Bureau (NAB). At the national level, the majority of people considered anti-corruption institutions’ role as “ineffective” in curbing corruption in Pakistan, the report said.

Key findings of the NCPS 2022: 

01: The provincial breakdown of the three most corrupt sectors reveals the following:

In Sindh, education remained the most corrupt sector, police was seen as the 2nd most corrupt, while tendering and contracting was the 3rd most corrupt. In Punjab, police remained the most corrupt sector, tendering and contracting were seen as the 2nd most corrupt, while the judiciary was the 3rd most corrupt.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), the judiciary remained the most corrupt sector, tendering and contracting was seen as the 2nd most corrupt, while the police department was the 3rd most corrupt.

In Balochistan, tendering and contracting remained the most corrupt sector, police were seen as the 2nd most corrupt, while the judiciary was the 3rd most corrupt.

02: At the national level, the majority of 45% of people considered anti-corruption institutions’ role as ‘ineffective’ in curbing corruption in Pakistan. In Sindh, 35% of Pakistanis considered the NAB’s role as effective in curbing corruption. In Punjab (31%), KP (61%), and Balochistan (58%) Pakistanis considered the role of “none of the anti-corruption institutions” to be effective in curbing corruption in Pakistan.

03: Pakistanis continued to believe that corruption in public service delivery is high. According to the citizens, the three most corrupt public services for which people have to pay bribes are contracts of roads (40%), access to uninterrupted electricity (28%) and access to clean drinking water (17%). In Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan, maintenance of roads tops the list of public service delivery perceived by the citizens to be the most corrupt. While in KP, the majority of citizens (47%) consider access to uninterrupted electricity to be the most corrupt public service delivery.

04: The three most important causes of corruption, according to NCPS 2022 are delayed decisions in corruption cases (31%), use of state institutions by governments for their gain (26%) and incompetence of the government (19%). In Sindh (43%) and Punjab (29%), citizens consider the “use of state institutions by governments for their personal gain” as the most potent reason for corruption in Pakistan. While KP (43%) and Balochistan (32%) consider “delay in decisions of corruption cases” as the main reason for corruption in Pakistan.

05: As measures to curb corruption, 33% of Pakistanis at the national level say corruption should be punishable by life imprisonment, and 28% of Pakistanis say all government officials, politicians, military officers, judges etc. should disclose their assets to the public, and 25% say corruption cases should be heard in NAB, FIA and anti-corruption courts on daily basis and decided in 6 months.

In Sindh, 39% of citizens believe that to curb corruption, corruption cases should be heard in NAB, FIA and anti-corruption courts daily and decided in 6 months. In Punjab (32%) and KP (38%) citizens feel that corruption should be punishable by lifetime imprisonment to combat corruption. While in Balochistan, 33% of citizens opine that to control corruption, the government should immediately make it mandatory for all government officials, politicians, military officers, judges, etc, to disclose their assets to the public.

06: The survey also sheds light on the devastating floods of 2022 and the need for transparency and accountability in the utilisation of funds and response to floods. At the national level, about 62% of Pakistanis considered the role of local NGOs as effective and better during the recent floods in 2022.

07: Large population of Pakistanis (70%) believes that the funds/aid were not distributed transparently during the recent floods in Pakistan and 60 % of Pakistanis believe that the donations and relief operations of the NGOs working in flood relief activities should be more transparent. Overwhelming population 88% of the population believes that details of donations and expenditures of all NGOs should be publicly available on their websites.

08: Significant portion of the population (77%) finds it difficult to obtain public information from public bodies under Right to Information laws. The provincial breakdown reveals that in Sindh (87%), Punjab (83%), KP (71%) and Balochistan (68%) citizens face difficulty when it comes to accessing public information from government departments.

09: Majority of Pakistanis (64%) say that Pakistan has not benefited from the IMF agreement dated 12th May 2019.

10: At the national level, 54% of citizens believe that the news channel’s reporting is biased.

PM urges need to remove corruption

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif tied the country’s turnaround to the eradication of corruption in all its forms, calling the menace a major cause of instability as it was not only undermining the economy but also the administrative structure.

The premier also underscored the need for doing away with the practice of using corruption as a tool for political victimisation. He said that the previous government jailed political opponents on the basis of frivolous corruption allegations.

“This practice should be ended so that anti-corruption institutions may strengthen by performing truly for the elimination of corruption without being misused,” he commented.

He said the deterioration of social values also gave way to corruption in any society.

PM Shehbaz said the corruption not only risked the flow of money into the hands of miscreants to disrupt the country’s peace but also led to the weakening of national institutions creating public mistrust in governance.

He said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government always took practical steps to eradicate corruption. The ratio of corruption witnessed a downward trend during the party’s government from 2013-18. Moreover, no one could prove the corruption of a single penny by the PML-N government which executed projects of billions of dollars under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

He also urged all the political circles to prepare a clear roadmap to get rid of corruption.

He said in light of Islamic principles, efforts should be made for strengthening the institutions to do away with the scourge. “We will have to ensure rule of law besides social protection as well as social values.

“All of us will have to work collectively for a corruption-free Pakistan. Only this way, Pakistan will be able to achieve progress. On this International Anti-Corruption Day, let us pledge to realise this dream,” he urged.

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government contests Imran Khan and Qureshi’s exoneration in the cipher case

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On Thursday, the federal government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court contesting the exoneration of former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the well-known cipher case.

Citing procedural and jurisdictional issues, the Ministry of Interior has appealed the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) ruling.

In hearing the cipher case, the High Court allegedly overreached its power, arguing that judges cannot change laws where Parliament has not expressly passed legislation.

Despite receiving government-funded legal representation, the petition emphasized Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s lack of cooperation during the trial, submitting 65 separate motions and neglecting to cross-examine witnesses.

The petition contended that in order for a retrial to satisfy legal standards, the High Court should have ignored important evidence that was given during the trial. It requests that the appeals contesting the IHC’s June 3 acquittal be given a hearing date by the Supreme Court.

Case history

The cipher issue concerns a supposed diplomatic document that disappeared from Imran Khan’s custody. The cipher allegedly contained threats from the US to remove Khan from office, according to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Shah Mehmood Qureshi and several aides, including Asad Umar, are named in the First Information Report (FIR) submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in accordance with Section 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act.

The then-foreign secretary received a diplomatic cipher from Washington on March 7, 2022, according to the FIR. The lawsuit claims that by manipulating the data for their own benefit, Khan and Qureshi put the safety of the country at risk. It alleges that on March 28, 2022, Khan secretly met at his Bani Gala home and gave his Principal Secretary, Muhammad Azam Khan, instructions to change the content of the cipher to his advantage, jeopardizing national security.

The document asserts that Khan still has custody of the cipher, jeopardizing Pakistan’s encrypted messaging systems and possibly helping foreign forces, which would be detrimental to the nation. A complaint has been filed by the FIA’s Anti-Terrorism Wing against Khan, Qureshi, and other individuals for improper use of state secrets and unapproved possession of the cipher.

Acquittal by the Islamabad High Court

In the cipher case, on June 3, the IHC cleared Khan and Qureshi when Justice Aamir Farooq issued a succinct ruling in their favor. Their sentences were appealed in the case, which has since been a source of political and legal controversy, leading to their acquittal.

This acquittal and the ongoing legal and political struggles surrounding the cipher case are highlighted by the government’s subsequent move to contest it.

With potentially huge ramifications for the parties involved and the larger political scene, the Supreme Court’s decision over whether to hear the appeal will be keenly scrutinized.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi urges political stability in order to accelerate economic expansion.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the former prime minister, emphasized on Thursday how important political stability is to Pakistan’s economic development and how the nation cannot prosper without it.

His concern was that export growth had not progressed, and he emphasized that stability in the current climate is vital to draw investments and carry out the necessary reforms.

In his criticism of the tax system, Abbasi brought up the erratic nature of tax laws and the transient nature of the most recent tax slab implementation. Insisting that difficult choices are unavoidable for economic recovery, he emphasized the necessity of designing a tax system that is equitable and does not burden the people.

Furthermore, arguing that the effectiveness of organizations like the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is essential for economic governance and transparency, Abbasi urged for changes within these and other organizations.

Abbasi, in his discussion of more comprehensive fiscal plans, suggested that the National Finance Commission (NFC) award be reviewed again and that power distribution companies (DISCOs) be decentralized to the provinces.

In order to reduce inefficiencies and corruption at the provincial level, he recommended looking into ways to share the cost of defense spending and decentralize the management of energy resources.

In closing, Abbasi emphasized that Pakistan’s economic trajectory will stay stagnant unless comprehensive changes are implemented immediately. To move the nation towards sustainable progress, he urged policymakers to give stability and structural reforms first priority.

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Through in-app QR payments, Zindigi and SBP streamline transactions involving sacrificial animals.

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With its in-app QR code payment system based on Raast, Zindigi—powered by JS Bank—has elevated the convenience of cashless payments for the procurement of sacrificial animals to a whole new level for Eid ul Adha.

This program uses QR code payments to streamline transactions for sacrificed animals for the general public and traders. It is a component of the State Bank of Pakistan’s Raast quick payment service.

This feature enables users of Zindigi and users of any digital banking apps or wallets to safely and easily make payments at certain cattle markets throughout Pakistan using Zindigi QR. The consumer must scan the QR code of the livestock merchant and pay the transaction amount in order to complete the payment.

In order to further financial inclusion and digital innovation in Pakistan’s developing economy, Zindigi and the State Bank of Pakistan have partnered. Both organizations are committed to improving the efficiency and accessibility of financial services, especially on holidays such as Eid ul Adha, by utilizing the most recent developments in fintech.

One of the most important steps toward promoting financial inclusion and economic empowerment at the local level is the integration of livestock markets into the digital economy. Farmers and retailers may take charge of their financial operations and help realize the larger goal of an inclusive digital Pakistan by adopting digital payments.

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