- Country's score lowered to 28/100 in 2021 from 31/100 in 2020
- Position down 16 places, from 124/180 to 140/180
Pakistan's position has worsened in the latest corruption perception index, dropping from 124th to 140th place among 180 countries, revealed Transparency International's (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI 2021) report on Tuesday.
Transparency International, the leading civil society organisation working to end corruption worldwide, released its CPI, showing 25 countries improved their ranking while 23 worsened.
The CPI ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption on a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). The CPI global average remains unchanged at 43 for the tenth year in a row, and two-thirds of countries score below 50.
“As anti-corruption efforts stagnate and deteriorate, human rights and democracy are under attack,” said TI Pakistan in a statement. “This is no coincidence. The continued use by governments of the COVID-19 pandemic to erode human rights and democracy could also lead to sharper declines across the globe in the future.”
Pakistan’s score has lowered to 28/100 in 2021 from 31/100 in 2020, a three-point decrease.
TI found countries that violate civil liberties consistently score lower on the CPI.
Complacency in fighting corruption exacerbates human rights abuses and undermines democracy, setting off a vicious spiral. As these rights and freedoms erode and democracy declines, authoritarianism takes its place, contributing to even higher levels of corruption.
“Human rights are not simply a nice-to-have in the fight against corruption. Authoritarian approaches destroy independent checks and balances and make anti-corruption efforts dependent on the whims of an elite. Ensuring people can speak freely and work collectively to hold power to account is the only sustainable route to a corruption-free society,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International.
Meanwhile, Justice (retd) Nasira Iqbal, the vice-chair at TI Pakistan, said, “The absence of Rule of Law and State Capture has resulted in substantial low CPI 2021 score of Pakistan compared to CPI 2020, from 31/100 to 28/100 and rank from 124/180 to 140/180, whereas there is no change in CPI 2021 Scores of India and Bangladesh from CPI 2020."
The top countries on the index are Denmark (88), Finland (88) and New Zealand (88), all of which also rank in the top 10 percent in the world on the Democracy Index civil liberties score.
Somalia (13), Syria (13) and South Sudan (11) remained at the bottom of the CPI. Syria is also ranked last in civil liberties (Somalia and South Sudan are unrated).
Afghanistan is ranked 174th with a score of 16/100 in the CPI.
Reacting to the report, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif said that corruption "has hit an all-time high despite the fact that no worthwhile development has taken place".
He further said that during the PML-N's government corruption had decreased as a result of "transparency, good governance and legal reforms".
Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party Vice-President Sherry Rehman also took to Twitter and termed the report a "charge sheet against the PTI government". She said that the rankings had "exposed the government's narrative".