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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to step down following Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index report ranked Pakistan at 140 from 124 in a short period of one year.

The PML-N, the major opposition party, also declared Prime Minister Imran Khan as “the most corrupt” ruler in Pakistan’s history. In a series of tweets, PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif stated: “Corruption rampant in ‘Naya’ Pakistan of ‘anti-corruption Mujahid’. According to Transparency International, the PTI government has broken all records of corruption in the last 20 years. Among Asia-Pacific region, Pakistan has unfortunately been ranked as the 5th most corrupt country.”

In another tweet, he stated: “During PM Nawaz Sharif’s government, corruption decreased despite the massive development, which was the result of transparency, good governance and legal reforms. Now corruption has hit an all-time high despite the fact that no worthwhile development has taken place.”

“Mr Niazi, if you can’t hear the voice of your conscience, listen to Transparency International,” he stated in yet another tweet. Speaking at a news conference, senior PML-N leader and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi maintained that it was unprecedented for a country to go up from 124 to 140 out of the total 180 countries on the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index in a short period of one year, adding Pakistan was ranked at 124 in 2020.

“The fact of this report [Transparency International] is that only 40 countries have now left behind Imran Khan to become the most corrupt leader of the world,” he maintained. “A person who was calling others thieves, has now become an ‘international thief himself’,” he alleged, adding the incumbent PTI government had become the ‘most corrupt’ government ever in Pakistan’s history.

“This is, indeed, a national tragedy when a government is about to complete its four-year term, and corruption continues to increase in the country,” he added. He maintained that when PML-N came into power in 2013, Pakistan was ranking at 127, adding that when the party left the government in 2018, Pakistan’s rank was improved by bringing it to 117.

In PTI’s three years in the power, he added that Pakistan had now reached to 140 from 117 on the corruption index. According to him, the current inflation in the country was because of the corruption, adding that when the PML-N was in power, the inflation was at the lowest and the country’s position on the corruption index was improving.

“Today, corruption in the country has reached to its new records and so is the inflation rate. But it is very unfortunate that a person who was declared as ‘Sadiq and Ameen’ by then chief justice of Pakistan, proved to be the most corrupt ruler of Pakistan’s history,” he further maintained.

He said that as per the report, Pakistan’s position in the public sector procurement is 152, ‘which means only 28 countries have left as the most corrupt in governmental affairs.’ He said Pakistan had been ranked at 152 in the corrupt practice in governmental affairs at such a time when there is no development works underway and no motorways or any other mega projects are currently under construction.

He added that the report had also pointed out the corruption that has been done in the Covid fund. “This is one single government in the world whose accountability body itself is corrupt. It has also been mentioned in the report that the accountability of this government is aimed at suppressing the opposition,” he added.

He also demanded that the chairman NAB and the outgoing adviser on accountability Shehzad Akbar should also declare their assets’ details before the nation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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